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Messages - Aaron Brown

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TalkBack / Re: Fantasy Life Review
« on: October 22, 2014, 08:55:00 PM »
Solid review, Neal. I can't wait.

TalkBack / Teslagrad Interview with Rain Games
« on: August 24, 2014, 11:58:42 PM »

Platforming, electrified.

We had the privilege to speak with Peter Meldahl from Rain Games about their imminent Wii U eShop title, Teslagrad. Read about the Nicola Tesla-inspired game, featuring an whole hand drawn fictional universe full of electrifying history.


Nintendo World Report (NWR): Teslagrad is an exploration platformer, correct? What exactly is the game about?

Peter Meldahl (PM): As a story, Teslagrad is about discovering and overcoming your past. It is a game about exploration.Troughout the world there are both usable items of ancient technology and clues about what happened long ago.

NWR: And what's the etymology of Teslagrad? Has it something to do with Nikola Tesla himself? If so, is that who the main character is based on?

PM: There is a lot of inspiration both from Tesla's work and his character in the game. Teslagrad is set in a fictional universe, so the actual person Nicola Tesla does not exist. Yet there is a parallel to his ideas in our world.

In the world of Teslagrad, the Tesla family name saw several geniuses. All who brought great new insights into the powers of electricity and magnetism. In the technology of the world, there are a lot of designs taken from inventions like the Tesla Coil, Plasma Lamp, and Wardenclyffe Tower (The original Tesla Tower). Both the young protagonist and his father bear a resemblance to Tesla's traits, and the look of the King who is the game's villain was taken from Nikola Tesla's Death Mask.To be clear, ours is a work of fantasy. We imagine a place like Europe with four great nations, each with their own flavour of technology. The nation where Teslagrad takes place is the nation of Electropia–a place that is a blend between the Nordic region and the Russian territories. Teslagrad is the nation's capital and the game is about the nation's history.


NWR: So Teslagrad has already been released on PC. What, if any, are the differences between the PC and Wii U versions?

PM: In the Wii U version we have put the map and the list of collectibles over to the GamePad. A better set of accessible buttons have also allowed our default controller settings to be somewhat better. The game is clearly a lot more at home with the D-Pad family of controllers than with a keyboard. There is also the option of off-screen play. I must say that, for myself, this was the most comfortable way of playing Teslagrad. We didn't have to cut back on graphics or anything else for this version either, something that we are really proud of.

NWR: Were there any abilities that you wanted to put in the game, but just somehow couldn't get them in there?

PM: There are always ideas that don't make it into the game, but perhaps this is for the best. We thought about letting the character be able to slide, but then the "Blink" boots serve a lot of the same function. We also thought about magnetic rails that would attract you and then drag you along. However, in the end, it turned out that the magnetic mechanics that are already in the game had more than enough possibilities for gameplay, and there are already sufficient mechanics in the game for the player to learn and master.

NWR: And I see the world in non-linear. Just how expansive is it?

PM: Teslagrad is not as sprawling as a game like Super Metroid, but there are some alternative routes and secret rooms. There are over 100 rooms in total. It is [when] you have the heart to start exploring for the extra bits of the game that Teslagrad becomes a truly non-linear experience.


NWR: These environments are hand-drawn too, right? How long did it take to do all that?

PM: It took us two and a half years to do the game. Doing classical animation for the characters too was a lot of work. Petter Amland did the backgrounds, Aslak did a lot of the animation, and Ole Ivar Drudi blended it all together with spot details and a brilliant sense of ambiance and lighting. Compared to all that, it only took us a half year to change everything so that it could work on the Wii U.

NWR: Can you clue us in on an ETA or price or any kind?

PM: The ETA is really close. The game is in Nintendo's hands, and we are just waiting for the green light. However this is our first console release ever, so we have been loath to give a date. It is always so hard to guess how much time different things will end up taking. It seems that there will be a date real soon, and that the game will be out shortly after.

Looks like it's worth checking out. It kind of reminds me of Rogue Squadron.

TalkBack / Mega Slowbro, Mega Audino Leaked
« on: August 12, 2014, 10:44:10 AM »

You can't hide this awesomeness.

Details of Mega Slowbro and Mega Audino were erroneously posted on the official Korean Pokémon website, but have since been taken down.

Tucked firmly in a shell on the left is Mega Slowbro, which has the Shell Armor ability. Mega Audino, the Normal/Fairy-type on the right, has the Healer ability.

In planned Mega Pokémon news, check out how you can get a free, Mega Stone-holding Shiny Beldum when Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire releases on November 21.

TalkBack / Shiny Beldum Giveaway for Pokémon Omega Ruby, Alpha Sapphire
« on: August 12, 2014, 10:41:00 AM »

That's one shiny robot.

Players who purchase Pokémon Omega Ruby or Alpha Sapphire will have a window shortly after launch to receive Shiny Beldum as a gift.

The Shiny Beldum will be holding a Mega Stone, meaning it will be able to transform into a Shiny Mega Metagross once evolved to its third form. Exact dates that players will be able to claim their Shiny Beldum was not mentioned.

Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire are scheduled to release on November 21, 2014.


Rowan? More like growin'!

A new Harvest Moon game means more characters, and the first to be revealed is Rowan, a seemingly chipper Harvest Sprite. He's the first Harvest Sprite players will cross paths with in Harvest Moon 3D: The Lost Valley, as he'll guide you in the first part of the game.

Throughout the game, Rowan will develop a friendship with the main character, and will certainly come in handy. Rowan has the ability to use Harvest Sprite magic in order to grow hearty, bigger, and healthier crops.

Rowan also has another Harvest Sprite as a best friend, Blossom, but more details on her and other helpful characters are yet to be revealed. Check out a couple exclusive screenshots below!

TalkBack / Re: Shovel Knight Interview with Yacht Club Games
« on: August 05, 2014, 08:06:44 PM »
My video editing skills are clearly not the greatest. This was basically the first "video" I've made. I'm sorry there's not more to look at while you listen, but I hope you enjoy!

TalkBack / Dragon Fantasy Book I Coming to 3DS eShop
« on: August 05, 2014, 12:42:06 PM »

With new and better features!

Dragon Fantasy Book I is on its way to the 3DS eShop, Muteki has announced. This episodic RPG series (reminiscent of original Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy titles) originally launched for iOS in 2011, and has since been improved and released on other platforms.

In this new 3DS version, developer Muteki has, for the most part, listened to fan feedback and are adding and updating features. Players will now have access to a quest log and an in-game map, and  will be able to purchase multiple items simultaneously, as well as track how many enemies have been defeated with a bestiary. The inventory system has also been improved for sorting and filtering. These all will appear on the lower screen of the game. Additionally, the protagonist, Ogden, will have the ability to gain allies, meaning no more solo grinding.

Lastly, random battles have partially been removed. While they will still occur while travelling the world map, they have been altered in caves, towns, and dungeons to help with exploring. Monsters will still be scattered in these areas, but they will take a step when players take a step, leaving players with the option to evade, or even corner monsters.

Dragon Fantasy Book I will first launch on the North American 3DS eShop, and will follow Europe soon after, though no release dates have been mentioned.

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 38 - THE LAST BODY PILLOW
« on: August 01, 2014, 12:13:18 AM »
Fake or Real: Vet Simulator. Neutering has never been this fun!

TalkBack / Re: Devil's Third Preview
« on: July 28, 2014, 09:56:46 PM »
I like these kinds of detailed previews on the site. Keep up the great work!

Thank you kindly, Michael!

TalkBack / Re: Devil's Third Preview
« on: July 28, 2014, 09:56:18 PM »
Aaron Brown...  Just want to keep you up to date.  THQ is no longer publishing Devil's Third.  Nintendo is funding and publishing the game.  Secondly, Nintendo SPD is co-developing with Valhalla Game Studios.  Is it possible if you could please update it?

I was confused at first because near the end I mentioned that, but I see you mean the actual game profile. Consider it done.

TalkBack / Devil's Third Preview
« on: July 28, 2014, 04:00:00 AM »

A long-lost Itagaki game as a Wii U exclusive? That’s something you don’t hear every day.

This year at E3, years after the initial announcement of Devil’s Third, developer Valhalla Games Studios finally presented their upcoming (and violent) Wii U exclusive. According to Yoshifuru Okamoto, the studio’s producer, the game was to be a breakthrough in various ways, or the end result of things they wanted to accomplish. Regardless of how it turns out, it looks like a title from Tomonobu Itagaki (Dead or Alive, Ninja Gaiden) — and Nintendo is totally cool with that.

Devil’s Third is by large a third-person shooter, but it carries a focus on hack-and-slash action as well. The protagonist is a beefy bald man named Ivan, heavily tattooed with Buddhist scripture in Sanskrit all over his body. Ivan is based on Hoichi from the old Japanese ghost story Hoichi the Earless, showing the game’s inspiration in multiple cultures. The game is set after the Kessler effect (in which objects like satellites in low orbit collide, creating debris, leading to further collisions) has occurred, and nearly all satellites are wiped out. This disaster eliminates the Earth’s power grid, leading to worldwide havoc. The single player campaign itself jumps to different locations around the world, such as Panama and Yoshiwara, Japan. In the multiplayer slideshow during the Treehouse showing, the pre-text before the Texas multiplayer level gave a clue as to what sort of problems are occurring due to the Kessler syndrome:

“The fracturing of post-Kessler America led Texas to resurrect its past as an independent Republic. But the former state is hardly unified, as the Lone Star clans are at war over precious petroleum. Bloody battlegrounds stretch from the Panhandle oil fields to the wrecked high-rises of Dallas, down through the warlord-controlled southern beaches.”

Though the overall story is unclear from only this preface, it distinctly displays that battles between factions have a sizeable presence. In this case, the fight is over petroleum. With satellite and other communication seemingly near-nonexistent, the nation is having a hard time keeping it together.

In the demo mission that Okamoto played at Treehouse Live during E3, Ivan infiltrated a building in the company of a few other men and fought off a wave of enemies, with ninja following soon after. Though categorized as a third-person shooter – it takes place in a third-person space most of the time – the camera went first person while aiming. All other attacks stayed third-person, so you could fully see the sword split bodies as the main character sliced and diced. At the same time, enemies were also ruthless and the action stayed fast-paced. The ninja were quick and had glowing red eyes, and at times even shot at the protagonist. Yes, you read that correctly: there are gun-wielding ninja.

This melee-shooting blend ties in with the first goal Valhalla wanted to accomplish, which is to make a breakthrough in the shooter genre. Though this has been done before in games like Sleeping Dogs, it appears that Valhalla is giving the shooting at least as much attention as the melee, if not more so. “We’ve spent a lot of years making fighting games and action games, but this time we wanted to challenge ourselves to make a shooter,” Okamoto explained at the Treehouse showing. Now, having combined shooting with the studio’s experience with action/fighting games, Okamoto established that there are countless ways to go about ending the enemies’ lives while playing.

In the midst of all the killing, verticality was prominently shown with the gunfight. The gunfight started on ground level, continuing with Ivan climbing up buildings, and ultimately ending with the ninja fight on a roof. While this was happening, people were dropping from being shot, sliced, stabbed via sword throw, and beaten with nothing but bare fist.

Parallel to single-player, the multiplayer will offer the same melee/shooter combat, but will have more options in regards to game-type and customizables. There are ten different match types with different rule sets. The playable maps consist of thirteen areas in different parts of North America, such as Northern and Southern California, the Midwest, Texas, and more. It of course has Team Deathmatch, with other game-types such as Cargo Capture, Battle Royal, Gladiator, and others. There is even a match type called Chickens, that has something to do with flying colorful chickens. Overall, it looks like a more militarized (but wacky) version of Uncharted multiplayer, but with far more customization.

With costumes, the game offers “dozens” of choices, with crazy costumes like cardboard boxes and a cat warrior. One of the goals in multiplayer will be to invade an opposing fortress, and you can bet that fortresses will be customizable too. If that wasn’t enough, you can join a clan, create your own clan, or even go it alone if you’re feeling up to it. “We found that the more customization options we added, the happier Nintendo was, so we just kept going and going, creating a bunch,” Okamoto commented. All these attributes contribute to their second goal, which is to make a breakthrough in multiplayer.

“And the third thing we wanted to accomplish was creating a breakthrough game in this partnership with Nintendo,” he added. This is particularly interesting due to Devil’s Third’s history. Long story short, it was originally announced by THQ in 2010 and planned to release on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. However, after THQ closed last year, the rights were given back to Valhalla, and Nintendo became the game’s publisher.

In an interview with Polygon, Itagaki explained that the majority of the game remains the same with about 90 percent of the game staying unchanged. “That other 10 percent I think really has been favored by this cooperation with Nintendo,” Itagaki explained. Okamoto also said during the live E3 Treehouse event that “there are probably some people who are really surprised by this pairing of Valhalla and Nintendo, but I think both of us having different ideas and bringing them together in that kind of conflict has created some really interesting and unique concepts.”

With it still having most of the characteristics and content that Itagaki and Valhalla originally planned, it might appeal to players who enjoy the latest Ninja Gaiden games. One thing’s for sure: it’s adding diversity to the Wii U’s library, and this is never a bad thing.

TalkBack / 3DS Receives Minor Update
« on: July 27, 2014, 01:55:28 PM »

That is one stable 3DS.

The 3DS has recently received another minor update, Verison 8.1.0-18U. Just as every update, it improves system stability and usability, with minor adjustments to enhance the user experience.

Usually, these updates include this improved stability with supplemental noticeable features like new Parental Controls, new support for Network IDs and Miiverse and more in the updates prior. However, users will not experience anything new, as this is for improved stability only.

TalkBack / NES Remix Pack Announced
« on: July 27, 2014, 06:47:40 AM »

These well-loved digital titles will be an on-disc twofer.

NES Remix Pack will release this holiday season as a physical bundle containing NES Remix and NES Remix 2, Nintendo announced at San Diego Comic-Con this year.

The package will be available in stores, though no price was mentioned in the announcement. Additionally, the first NES Remix is available for free to 2014 Club Nintendo Platinum Members until August 15.

TalkBack / Wooden Sen'SeY
« on: July 26, 2014, 05:23:31 AM »

Lumbering through this game can be pleasurable, but also tough.

Wooden Sen’SeY does a lot of things right. The core idea is funny, and the simplicity of it is enticing. The wooden protagonist, Goro, witnesses his village’s alcohol (Sey) supply being stolen, and he’s not having any of that. He sets off for a nine-level adventure strapped with axes to get the booze back from the bandits.

What is most refreshing over these nine levels is the individuality of them. Obviously, there’s the standard forest level that’s good for learning how to control Goro and setting the groove, but then the levels shift into more fascinating environments. He fights through many different locales, each filled with Japanese aesthetics, including a flying ship, cold watery depths, and a dark factory/torture compound. There’s even a silhouette level, reminiscent of Donkey Kong Country Returns, which was great to see. Oh, and every level had its own music -- that’s some supplementary freshness right there.

However, while surroundings succeed in wonder, there are other aspects that could be improved. Wooden Sen’SeY can get brutally difficult at times. Tough games can be fine and dandy if you’re into that sort of thing, but it’s definitely not for everybody. Having the ability to block attacks would have really made this game more enjoyable for me. I’d be able to duke it out for a drink, rather than repeatedly failing to dodge sword slashes and ninja stars that lead to recurring deaths. Instead of a sense of accomplishment when defeating tough waves, I was just glad it was over–not a good sign. Fortunately, extra lives were sprinkled conveniently at extra tough parts, which kept my frustration in check.

As a whole, it feels like this game was created with challenge seekers in mind. Aside from getting to the end, there are goals to collect every bottle of Sey and defeat every enemy. There are also times to beat, but they are nearly impossible to achieve the first time around. This adds to the replay value for those who are looking for it, but otherwise they don’t do much. I was surprised that these bottles of Sey didn’t act as currency to buy upgrades, say, to make attacks stronger or to buy more ninja stars or bombs, or even more abilities. Something along those lines would certainly have my approval, since the limited number of moves Goro can perform is one of the reasons why it is so difficult.

All in all, it’s a decent game. To the dedicated gamers out there who love a hard challenge, Wooden Sen’SeY might be for you. It’s lovely to see the atmosphere that Upper Byte Studio has created, but is only lovely until you start dying more times than you can count.

TalkBack / Re: Siesta Fiesta Review
« on: July 24, 2014, 11:34:01 PM »
I think I might be due for a game like this. Your review has piqued my interest, Daan.

TalkBack / Mario Tennis: Power Tour
« on: July 19, 2014, 03:21:26 AM »

It's good, but certainly not as good as some other Mario Tennis titles.

Mario Tennis is Mario Tennis, and who doesn’t love some Mario Tennis? Over the years, I have loved playing my fair share of the N64 and GameCube installments. Not having played GBA’s Mario Tennis: Power Tour before, I went in with high expectations thinking it’d have the same fun-paced gameplay of its siblings that I love so dearly. Needless to say, it more or less disappointed, and in the end, was only mildly good.

Now, the main schtick of this Mario Tennis game is its RPG-like campaign: the Power Tour. You play as a newcomer to a tennis academy, where you’ll have to move up the ranks to go and win the annual Island Open. While the concept is solid, it never really kept me interested. As I wandered the campus trying to find where to go, conversations that were ultimately pointless kept popping up. Comparable to newer titles, it’s very similar to Mario Golf: World Tour, where the game could have been more up front and faster paced if it had more of a menu-style facade rather than a physical location, like Mario Party. As a whole, there are not a lot of actual things you can do within the academy aside from ranking up in tennis matches and training in a couple areas.

At the same time, the RPG-style has it’s merits in that it gives you experience points from matches and training to level up your character so you can craft them into the type of player you want. The doubles partner that you spend the majority of the Power Tour with gets their own level and attributes, so the strengths and weaknesses can be focused on individually -- which might actually be the best thing that Power Tour does.

The matches themselves are good, but still present a couple things that are disappointing, the first being switching sides. While I understand side switching is necessary in real tennis matches, I don’t know why Camelot felt like they needed to put players on the far side of the court. Why there was no option to always keep the camera on your team’s side is something I’ll never know. The second issue I had is the doubles partner not performing smartly when the Power Shot was usable. More often than not on offensive Power Shots, they were shot toward an opponent, rather than away to score, which let the opponent easily volley it back. Defensive Power Shots make it capable of saving an out-of-reach shot, but it seemed about 90% of the time the partner’s Power Shot did not even trigger when the opportunity arose, letting the opponents score more easily.

I don’t want to knock too hard on the game as it is indeed still a solid game, but this seems to be one of the weaker titles in the Mario Tennis series. While being a bit more bland than I’d like, the matches were still fun, and the music kept me good company as I meandered the academy and island. The unlockable mini games offered a nice change of pace, and Exhibition mode made up for some of what the Power Tour lacked since it let you pick actual Nintendo characters as well as your own rules and court. In my mind, Mario Tennis: Power Tour is a nice tennis fix for the Wii U, but is only just good, and inferior to the series’ other console titles.

TalkBack / Club Nintendo Elite Status Gifts Now Available
« on: July 16, 2014, 01:37:00 AM »

Pick one free downloadable game, please.

The 2014 Elite Status gifts have been revealed on Club Nintendo. Instead of any physical rewards like previous years, choices consist of sixteen different free downloadable titles, with Gold members' options being limited to Virtual Console games.

The following games will be claimable until 11:59 PM PT on August 15, 2014:


Game & Wario
NES Remix
Dr. Luigi
Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D
Fluidity: Spin Cycle
Dillon's Rolling Western
Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move


Ice Climber
Kid Icarus
Super Mario Bros.
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
Donkey Kong 3
Wario Land 2
Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins

TalkBack / Miyamoto Explains Upcoming Wii U Zelda's 'Open World'
« on: July 12, 2014, 11:31:00 AM »

The series is evolving to let you enjoy it "freely in a vast world."

Shigeru Miyamoto further explained the "open world" of the upcoming Legend of Zelda game for Wii U in the 74th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders when asked when more information would be announced for the game.

Though he could not give any information that has not already been officially announced, he did recap that it was announced at E3 that it will have an "open world," though Miyamoto himself prefers not to use that term. However, "open world" was used at E3 to make it easier for consumers to understand:

"This term means that there is a large world in which players can do numerous things daily. In the traditional “The Legend of Zelda” series, the player would play one dungeon at a time. For example, if there are eight dungeons, at the fourth dungeon, some players may think, “I’m already halfway through the game,” while other players may think, “I still have half of the game to play.” We are trying to gradually break down such mechanism and develop a game style in which you can enjoy “The Legend of Zelda” freely in a vast world, whenever you find the time to do so."

Miyamoto then made it clear that A Link Between Worlds was a checkpoint for them to evolve the series' structure:

"We created the games in the traditional “The Legend of Zelda” series in steps that players could easily understand and follow; the player would obtain a new item in each dungeon, use the item to clear that dungeon and be able to enjoy applying the items in different ways after acquiring about eight items. However, in “The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds,” we broke that down and let the player rent different items from the beginning, so the player could use different combinations of items. In this way, we are gradually changing the structure of “The Legend of Zelda” series, and we are preparing to newly evolve the series for Wii U."

TalkBack / New Smash Bros. Character Being Announced Monday
« on: July 12, 2014, 08:14:00 AM »

Place your bets!

A new challenger for the upcoming Super Smash Bros. games for Wii U and 3DS will be revealed on Monday, July 14, via a live stream on the games' official website. Director Masahiro Sakurai announced on Miiverse that the unveiling will begin at 7 a.m PT. The stream, as seen below, is currently displaying a countdown to the announcement.

TalkBack / Unannounced Ideas for a 3DS Zelda Linger at Nintendo
« on: July 07, 2014, 07:32:19 PM »

Don't make us wait.

Nintendo has unannounced ideas for the next Legend of Zelda game for the Nintendo 3DS, Shigeru Miyamoto commented at the Nintendo's 74th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders.

"I am afraid I cannot give you any information other than what has been officially announced," said Miyamoto when asked when more information for Wii U's Legend of Zelda will be announced. "At this point, there are a few titles under development in The Legend of Zelda series, so please look forward to their completion."

Hyrule Warriors and The Legend of Zelda for Wii U are still yet to come, and we recently saw A Link Between Worlds flourish in late 2013. It looks like ideas are being tossed around to even the odds. "In addition to that, we have ideas for Nintendo 3DS which we have not announced yet, so I hope you will look forward to them," Miyamoto concluded.

TalkBack / Midora Interview with Mhyre from Epic Minds
« on: July 07, 2014, 09:52:43 AM »

We're told this Zelda-inspired game is making its way to Nintendo platforms.

We got a chance to chat with the gentleman that simply goes by Mhyre from Epic Minds. Their upcoming game, Midora, is set to release on multiple platforms, including the 3DS and Wii U. Check out the game's Kickstarter, which still has seven days to go.

Nintendo World Report (NWR): Hi Mhyre, thanks for taking the time to talk to us about your upcoming game, Midora, which currently has a Kickstarter campaign underway. Want to fill us in on what the game is?

Mhyre: Hello! Thanks for taking the time to interview me. Midora is a 2D action-adventure game with RPG elements, inspired by many classics such as The Legend of Zelda and Secret of Mana. You play as Snow, a young girl sent on a quest to prevent a war of the elements all the while discovering she can control water.

NWR: Okay, so it's a bit story-inspired, much like those classic games. And, also like those games, this is a game with pixel art, correct?

Mhyre: Absolutely, pixel art is vital for this kind of game. Midora is going to be 100% pixel art. We have a pixel artist working hard to make everything pixel perfect.

NWR: Yeah, I have to say it is looking quite good. Now, what exactly is this War of the Elements that Snow is sent to prevent?

Mhyre: The War of the Elements is a war that happened centuries ago in the game when evil entities tried to take control over four elements: water, fire, earth and air. Those elements were first used by a deity called The Architect to shape the world, then given to different guardians to maintain some sort of balance. Peace was brought to the land when the architect came back to seal the elements away in his staff, leaving everyone powerless. Unfortunately, centuries later, our hero will accidentally trigger a chain of events that will break the staff. Four elemental shards now have to be found to repair the staff before someone obtains full control, and Snow is racing against the clock to prevent that same war from happening again.

NWR: So you said Snow learns to control water. Will this be her primary ability to take on enemies, or how exactly will the combat system work?

Mhyre: When the elements are free again, Snow had no idea she had control over water. This comes from the fact that she is of Artezian descent. The Artezians are a tribe of white-haired and blue-eyed people, who were given control over water to push back the Inferno during the ancient war. Because Snow had no idea who she was, she will be very weak when trying to use water, but will eventually grow to become stronger, until she can unleash devastating attacks. Snow can fight using swords, shields and many other items, but water plays the most important part in the game as it interacts with pretty much anything (environment, enemies, items, etc.).

NWR: Gotta love that interaction. And yes, I see there are about 200 different items that can be alchemized, collected, and so on. What will be the different uses for all of these items?

Mhyre: A lot of these items were made to allow for even more roleplay. I personally always liked the idea of discovering the location of my next mission, then going back to sort my inventory and decide what items I needed for my quest. It's exciting, and really makes you feel like you're preparing for an adventure. We have a handful of items that come from side activities and side quests, such as ingredients for potions, crafting materials and more! While this may sound like we're trying to add too much to the game, all of these items will have an use in the game, either by interacting with water or creating interesting scenarios on how you can beat a certain enemy.

NWR: Nice. Will there be any currency system to buy items as well or will everything be obtainable through quests and creating through alchemy?

Mhyre: We do have a few shops in the game where you can mostly buy consumables, but also a few weapons and spells. Midora's currency uses 5 different coins. There is a silver and a gold coin, which are the two primary coins found in the game. The three other coins (royal, navy, crow) are high value coins that allow you to buy very expensive items you can't buy with regular coins. All three have to be crafted at the Inventor's workshop by combining existing coins with other items.

NWR: Oh, right on. So I see that contrary to your regular RPGs, Midora doesn't have leveling up system. Do the countless items act as a substitute for that?

Mhyre: That is true for some items, yes. We have swords and shields with different levels, that each allow you to attack or defend yourself for more. The combat system works using full hearts and half hearts, and swords and shields each upgrade your ATK/DEF by half a heart. For example a lv.2 sword will attack for 1.5, and a lv.3 shield will block attacks that deal 2 or less (or reduce the damage you take by 2, if the attack deals more than 2).

NWR: Awesome. So currently, the Kickstarter is only for a PC release, but the 3DS and Wii U are at the first stretch goal. Why did you choose Nintendo systems as the first stretch goal?

Mhyre: Popular demand! We actually had Wii U and 3DS ports as our last stretch goal, which didn't make sense for the kind of game we're making. A lot of people complained, so we decided to run a poll. The Wii U and 3DS ports came first with 712 out of 1168 votes (61%), so we decided to make it our first stretch goal. I would like to mention that all console ports listed in stretch goals will happen no matter what, so pledging for a console copy even if we do not reach the stretch goal is a viable option to get the game.

NWR: Oh my, that's awesome to hear. So with that being said, I assume you have a back-up plan if in case the game doesn't quite reach the Kickstarter goal itself?

Mhyre: We do! We added Midora on Steam Greenlight about a week ago, and the whole thing blew up! We never expected to be in the top #15 in a week, so chances are Midora will be Greenlit soon. A recent poll confirmed that most backers would be okay with pre-ordering the game on the Humble Store to support us directly, which would allow us to work on a vertical slice of the game, then add it on Steam Early Access to fund the rest of the game. We are incredibly happy with that option existing, but a successful Kickstarter would of course make us even more happy. All top tiers from the campaign (design tiers) were taken by incredible people. We would love to work with early fans on the game and make the best out of their ideas, some of which already influenced the way we will implement a few mechanics in the game!

NWR: Oh, sweet! But as you said before, you can safely say this will come to 3DS & Wii U. It seems like it would be a great fit on the eShops.

Mhyre: Yes, Midora will come on 3DS and Wii U as soon as possible, depending on the money we have, and when we have it. It's only a matter of time!

NWR: Great news, great news. I'm looking forward to it. Thanks very much for your time!

Mhyre: Thanks to you too.

TalkBack / New Pokémon 3DS LL Announced
« on: July 05, 2014, 09:26:16 AM »

Only 10 lucky winners will get one.

A new Pokémon themed 3DS LL will be awarded to only a handful of raffle winners in Japan.

The handheld's decal are based on the upcoming Pokémon movie, Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction. To enter, you must spend over ¥1,000 at Denny's & Famil family restaurants from July 15 through August 25. Consumers will then receive a raffle code printed on their receipt to win one of these ten handhelds.

An additional five will be distributed through an e-mail campaign with the Japanese company Apaman.

TalkBack / Armillo Review
« on: July 02, 2014, 02:20:00 AM »

This armadillo is an armadeal-o.

What’s orange, rolls around, and is an eShop game most likely worth your bucks? That’d be Armillo, a 3D puzzle/action platformer that spans over multiple planetary systems (and dimensions) in outer space and features a cute armadillo tasked with saving his home planet. While the premise is mostly entertaining, Armillo excels best when it just focuses on its gameplay mechanics. Fusing the core genres into a superb, unique blend that gets more interesting with each new element makes Armillo stand out in its own sort of special way.

Your primary action is rolling around as the titular armadillo is curled up into a ball. Maneuvering around bumper, bomb, and obstacle-filled environments (as well as simply being a platformer) makes it necessary to have good controls. For the most part, the controls were fine, making it easy to boost around and collect as many currency-like orbs as possible. The simplistic two-button control scheme makes it a breeze to jump right in. Whether it’s the high-sky paths or solving a puzzle in the dark dimension, rolling as a means of travel simply felt good and smooth--and the boosting definitely helps.

Unfortunately, the 2D levels (or Secret Levels as they’re called) did not feel quite as fluid as the 3D levels. For some reason, I had a hard time jumping to where I wanted to at times. The timer felt a smidge too fast as well, making these Secret Levels more difficult than the main levels. At the same time, the diversity of each 2D level still makes them worth trying, as they each have their own engaging ruse, especially with the fantastic music. The soundtrack throughout the whole game is great to groove to, but the 8-bit songs for the Secret Levels captivated me most of all.

As for abilities, it seems as if developed Fuzzy Wuzzy Games had a good ol’ time with those as well. From growing in size, to boost-bashing, to shooting your newly-acquired Critter friends out of the ever-helpful Critter gun, Armillo’s abilities all felt like they belonged in the playful (but dark) world. None were too frequently used, nor too sporadic. But I think I do have to favor the Critter gun, which lets you demolish what’s in your way, leaving vibes of proud badassery.

However, it's times like those, where a lot is going on, that makes it look as if the frame rate drops for a second or two due to the game loading some things on the fly. While this happens rarely, there are a couple times where it appears choppy enough to note, even though it runs at a smooth 60 frames per second throughout. It's not a major detractor by all means, but is unsightly when it occurs.

Using the orbs you collect in each level, you can also buy upgrades and more from an in-game store. The upgrades include extra health, starting lives, extra time, and more, and almost all of them are worth buying. Armillo makes you work for them, though. I often came up short for the upgrade I wanted to buy, forcing me to collect more orbs by either continuing the story or further perfecting a run in already beaten levels. Either way, this is more or less a change of pace from your average title, as a surplus of currency is usually the trend. The challenge is nice.

In the end, I finished the game at a mere 58 percent. Revisiting levels is rewarding, especially since there is a lot left to unlock and discover in each one even when you finish the main story, which is a fun romp by itself. Basically, I’d say there is no reason to not at least check out this neat, novel game. It’s an easy-to-pick-up, fun title that just about anyone can enjoy.

TalkBack / Cooking Mama 5 Launching in September
« on: June 27, 2014, 12:04:59 PM »

Get your 3DS pre-heated.

Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appétit for 3DS is set to release this September in North America.

The game will feature six modes of play, including a new Cooking Dojo mode for training. Over 60 recipes varying from appetizers and drinks all the way to desserts will be on the menu to master. 30 activities will also be included that will let players feed pets, deliver orders, play word games, and more.

SpotPass will earn players decorations and outfits which can be used for customization, and download play is also utilized which lets players compete with up to three friends who do not need their own copy of the game.

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