infitite crisis- super heroes and dominion style play
prime world- would prefer not to, but does have the tutorial/mini-game
Awesomenauts- 2d moba
super monday night combat – shooter moba
strife- HoN creators aiming for nubs
smite – 3rd person action moba
dragons and titans- another mobile
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Consider this part two to my experiment in introducing people to MOBAs. As fun as Heroes of the Storm was, the community outside of the forums was awful. Much like my thoughts when playing Starcraft or other Blizzard titles aside from Hearthstone, I felt that the game’s community really prevented me from enjoying the game.
That’s when I remembered Solstice Arena. Though it’s primarily made to be a mobile MOBA, the team’s made it playable on PC as well, and A Bit Lucky’s metrics seem to indicate that no platform gives players an edge. I’m not the best MOBA player, but from what I’ve experienced, being on a PC doesn’t feel like it gives me a huge edge, and neither does playing on my Windows tablet.
What makes SA different from MOBAs are a few things. First, there’s one lane. Second, there’s a treasure chest in the middle that, yes, gives your team money. Your character only has 3 moves, but they’re all available from the start of the match. The map is small, so there’s no recall, no jungle, and no minions. There’s still three towers, but in a triangle formation in front of the base, not in a line. It’s a three versus three match, with battles lasting five to twenty minutes, though on average, probably closer to eight to twelve minutes. It is a Zynga game, so everything’s monetized, but at least for me, I never felt like I had to pay to keep up with other players.
I don’t often play MOBAs too long after I do a review, but SA is one of the few that I revisit in my spare time. One reason for this is the complete lack of chat. Maybe it’s because this is a mobile title, but even on PC there’s no chatting. Instead, the game has a smart pinging system. Pinging your tower means to defend, pinging a damaged ally calls for a heal, pinging behind you signals to retreat… you get the idea. You can communicate just enough to work as a team but without worrying about anti-social gamers who don’t understand that bashing their team mates doesn’t help them play any better.
However, the game was also built for Apple products. I’ve hated Macs since I was a kid, and disliked how often new iProducts came out, so I don’t have any. In fact, after trying out Solstice Arena on an iPad, I had to live without it until it was released on Steam, constantly heckling the devs to port the game to a platform I and the other Apple haters could appreciate. Just the same, I thought for this article, I should use a gamer who buys Steve Jobs’ babies. Enter Eric.
Eric’s more of a mobile gamer these days, especially trivia based ones like Words with Friends. When he has time, he’s into RPGs. Nintendo games, especially Mario and Zelda, are among his favorites, which means his online game time is generally restricted to a small device. However, Eric specifically said he doesn’t communicate much in the games he plays because they’re not really team based or need coordination. He’ll give compliments, especially if playing with friends, family or co-workers, but generally, he plays for short bursts of time for a few weeks/months before moving in to something new. That being said, after his tutorial experience, he was anxious to try playing with/against people. At the rate MOBAs come out, he certainly could become a MOBA man if they followed the correct recipe.
To note, Eric was a complete MOBA newbie. Oh, he’s played Unreal Tournament and Quake 3, so it’s not like we threw a Tetris master into something completely foreign, but just the same, the mechanics and team play are different.
Solstice Arena’s tutorial was enough to
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give to teach him that towers hurt and to kill the main base or “oracle.” However, it didn’t mention the “alert team” button. Once he discovered it though, even with bots, the uses felt natural, which is interesting since Eric doesn’t usually communicate with other players in the game, preferring to simply experience the game with other people around him.
While AI isn’t the best, beating it did boost Eric’s confidence, and he still learned from being forced to play bot games at the start (before reaching level certain level, you’re restricted first to all bot matches, then PvE matches before finally being able to PvP). For example, Eric initially would allow himself to die so he had time to shop, but eventually simply used the “auto-buy” button so he could go to the base, heal up, and get back to the action. This is all good stuff to learn before jumping into the game with other players since in any other MOBA, Eric would most likely be told to uninstall the game, rather than receive advice on optimizing his time/strategy.
With all that being said, I do wonder if this really is an introduction to MOBAs. While Eric certainly learned that living is better than dying, he didn’t learn about jungling, laning, or last hitting. However, those were kind of removed from Heroes of the Storm, so perhaps we’re seeing a shift in the genre, or at least, know which parts to cut when trying to bring in a broader audience.
-I did not try co-op mode.
-Mostly I tried to build up Hamhock but I did try Kyra once. I liked my stronger Hamhock better, was kinda too lazy to put in the time to build up Kyra.
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Waiting for Citizens of Earth to drop in price before purchasing it? Well, good news! Release day also marks the first day you’ll have to purchase the game at a discount, on all platforms, according to an Atlus press release. If you’re worried about the quality of the game due to the day one discount, check back with us later for my preview of the Steam version of game and possibly a full review of the 3DS version of the game. For everyone else, click past the break for more details on the discounts.
North American Details
Steam Launches Tuesday, Jan. 20. 20% discount ($11.99) and soundtrack download at launch for one week (till 1/27).
PS4 and PS Vita (North America) — Launches Tuesday, Jan. 20. 20% discount ($11.99) for PS Plus subscribers at launch for two weeks (till 2/3).
Wii U and 3DS (North America) — Launches Tuesday, Jan. 20. 20% discount ($11.99) at launch for one week (till 1/27).
PS4 and PS Vita (Europe) — Launches Wednesday, Jan. 21. Similar discounts are planned for Europe, but there’s no exact details yet.
Wii U and 3DS (Europe) — Launches Thursday, Jan. 22 20% discount (€9,59) at launch for one week (through 1/29). If who own either version of the game, you can buy the game for the other platform at 40% discount; buy one, get the other for €7,19 for one week only (through 1/29)
Australian gamers! According to the game’s Facebook page, the game will release for you at the same time, but no word yet on discounts. We’ll update this page if Atlus gets back to our questions!
Australian Update: Straight from Atlus, you should be getting discounts similar to the European ones, but hard numbers are not yet available.
So we skipped a preview of the latest Pokemon games, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (ORAS). We unfortunately didn’t get review codes until release, and due to some staffing issues, I’ve been responsible for reviews while things continue to cook in the background. That being said, I was able to pull in some help from past guest writer T. Striker. It’s been a busy holiday season, so progress was a bit slow. In that sense, I think we can give a long term, quality look at the games, without the pressure of making predictions for what will happen down the line. Here’s our thoughts on the game.
Nintendo provided us with two review copies of the game post launch, so Striker and I were able to play together a bit onlline. While I enjoyed the X/Y, it was also obvious the series simply hasn’t been able to mature with me as well I’d hoped. Striker, though, was quite excited about playing the new games:
I had similar feelings, though I had skipped the birds and went straight for the big, bad legendaries… and never trained them. The stones were inconvenient to get with my work schedule, but overall, I’d had a good dose of nostalgia, but was hesitant to try the new games. Just the same, I had prepared a bit for my review.
In X/Y, I finally had a perfectly bred Froakie, plus the event Gengar, so I stat trained them. I forgot how much I hate that part of the game. I also tried the demo, which wasn’t bad the first two or three times, but it was so short and repetitive that doing it 10 tens to get the most rewards out of it really felt like a chore. Maybe it was more interesting for people who played the original Ruby/Sapphire, but I’d skipped most of the third generation, so I probably missed some cool nods. Seeing the same town in the released version was a little neat, but not enough to make me appreciate the demo.
I have to say though, being able to prepare for Pokemon games is really nice, and with the ability to trade (what seems like) every generation now, I almost wonder if the series will keep pushing the “catch’em all!” goal. I’ll try to keep overall series comments to a minimum, but while preparing for the game, I had to question just how long Nintendo can push the formula. Perhaps this is why Nintendo’s had so many Pokemon side games, and why I’m looking forward to Pokken.
That being said, one thing that Striker and I both noticed as soon as the game started was the lack of clothing options from X/Y. Laugh if you will about two grown men playing virtual dress-up, but after several generations of essentially being a clone of your friends during battles, it was nice to see some variety. The fact that some features were cut and some added, in addition to a lot of resources being reused (not just art assets, but entire mini-games like the stat training), made it feel like the game could have been offered as DLC for X/Y as well. I would have preferred to just use my old character than the new one. Maybe this would have disrupted the story a little, but I’m sure Nintendo could have come up with something to fix that.
It’s not all bad though. You can now encounter specific pokemon in the wild. That is, you can see a tail or ears in tall grass, caves, water, etc, and sneak up on that pokemon to catch it. Unlike previous games, I was slowly catching more of the same pokemon, which is more interesting than past games. Don’t get me wrong, breeding added depth to the game, but a lot of tediousness as well in my opinion, especially if you consider just how much modern games are simplifying their mechanics (yes, breeding has been simplified, but is still quite a learning process). The game is about catching them all, not breeding, and this new mechanic brings the catching back full force.
I almost wonder if Nintendo finally needs to drop the random encounters and focus on having pokemon just out in the world. As they add more and more pokemon to the physical game world, the game is starting to actually feel like an organic world, and now the random encounters are standing out to me. I mean, when you’ve got poke-gulls on the beach that run from you as you leave tracks in the sand, and some pokemon’s tail suddenly pops out of a bush, getting a random encounter suddenly feels… weird. It breaks the immersion of the game for me now, and honestly, immersion is a word I would have never used for past Pokemon games. They’ve generally felt artificial with a few exceptions.
There’s a bit of a problem though: Striker and I have caught a lot of pokemon before. We even stopped trading some version exclusives because we already had them in X/Y. While the new system is more interesting than past installments, doing it again is quite a daunting task. There is so much to do in any Pokemon “end game.” I use quotes here because, luckily, the game lets you see a lot of long term activities well in advanced: contests, berry farming, base guilding, breeding… you have all of that in addition to the normal catch and battle. As I mentioned before, it took me quite some time to make a single (relatively) perfect pokemon. Doing it for a whole team seems pretty hardcore for me, though I have to admit this year has been busy and I’ve had a lot of reviewing and guide creation to do. Just the same, catching pokemon again when I’ve done it before just felt tedious, especially since you then have to level them up all over.
Some of the new features are interesting, but… well, maybe not useful enough for most people to care about. For example, I live in Japan, so I get a lot of Street Pass updates. I love the idea of secret bases, but most people don’t really do anything with their bases. I know at the start of the game, before getting fly, I’d make secret bases and lay down a bed just so I could have a pokemon center wherever I wanted. Once I beat the Delta episode (the final story arc for legendary capturing after you beat the elite four), I decorated a bit and looked for other bases. Most people, though, did little to nothing with their bases. The online communities really do more with them, such as making a place for people to more easily grind levels. If you live in the states like Striker does… well, you can sometimes be starved for Street Passes in general, much less quality ones.
While I handled bases, Striker hit up the contests and decided to use the cosplay pikachu. He was able to get to the master level easily since he could just use TMs to teach pikachu the right variety of moves to win. Each run was about 4-6 minutes, but it was mostly just watching the game and not much interaction. I felt the same way, which was one reason I’d only done a few contests.
While there’s a lot to do in the game, at the end, I was kind of… done. No, I didn’t breed or catch any new perfect pokemon. My secret base team could be a higher level, I could catch more legendary pokemon (this game gives you access to so many!), farm berries, beat contests, level pokemon but… why? I’ve done this so many times before, even stream lining it doesn’t make it that much less daunting. While it’s cool to have daily and weekly activities, after having done them in previous games, I just feel overwhelmed, a word Striker used often whenever we discovered a new, full feature or sometimes town. Yes, you can keep importing pokemon from past generations slowly but surly, but that takes a lot of time. Preparing to play the game isn’t as much fun as just playing it. While having random battles with people on the trains using a level 50 level scaling system makes things a bit more fair and accessible, it’s a bit too familiar to me.
I’ve complained a lot, but both Striker and I did enjoy our Pokemon ORAS experience. In fact, if I hadn’t played X/Y, I think I would have enjoyed it more. While the last generation had a great nostalgia factor, the newest games’ additions really made the series feel more alive for me. If you’ve never plated a Pokemon game, this really is the best one to start with. There’s a lot, but I think it’ll feel fresh and exciting. For anyone else, you really do have to like the current game’s formula to enjoy doing it again and being happy with your purchase. For everyone else, the game’s good if you’re on a budget or find yourself with a lot of time but maybe little internet access.
I have to admit that I’m someone who doesn’t always pick up games or consoles the first day. If it’s something I’ve really been looking forward to, and I have the spare money, I do. Other times, however, I look for the late reviews. News that’s come out after the game’s released because, let’s face it, a lot of game sites give positive reviews just to ensure they keep getting review copies (hint: we don’t do that but do receive review copies). Smash Bros for Wii U is over a month old now, but there is still a lot to do with it. The question for some people is whether or not it’s fun enough to bother with.
Let’s start with my opinions from my initial preview.
I’m still not totally enjoying a lot of the controller options. I’ve gotten much more comfortable with the Wii U game pad, especially since I’ve come to enjoy playing games on the small screen lately. Don’t get me wrong, everything looks better on a big screen, gorgeous even, but I take a lot of notes on my computer, so playing on the game pad saves me some walking time. However, for the full feeling of the game, the GameCube controller is best. I picked up an adapter from Japan once one of Nintendo’s PR folks told me it should work cross region, and I’ve been very happy with it (though I do wish I could use that controller for Mario Kart 8). I just wish they’d let the 3DS work as it’s own controller in every game mode, not just Smash.
I still love Smash Tour, even though I’ve only been able to play it alone. I really wish I could play it online, kind of (more on online play later). It can be frustrating at times, especially if I haven’t played the game or a certain character in awhile and get killed quickly in a stock match, but it happens. The other modes, such as events, Master/Crazy orders, even the basic classic mode are still holding my attention. I enjoy them now, even after I’ve played them a bunch, almost as much as when I first started playing.
However, I don’t just want to look at my own thoughts. After the game’s been out for awhile, I wanted to look at a few of my predictions about competitive players. Those who may be on the fence who loved Melee or Brawl for it’s purity may not be happy with the latest entry. I decided to poll some competitive players (though the topic was moved, as of this writing, there have been no new votes) and ask for feedback. As I predicted, 8 player Smash and Smash Tour aren’t the most popular modes, but were better received than I thought. However, one thing I hadn’t thought about was people disliking classic mode due to the larger number of players being present in some fights. While I understand people in general (not just hardcores) disliking gimmick fights, and therefor not always able to appreciate certain mods, I hadn’t thought about how much a competitive player might play the classic mode. Obviously not everyone is the same, casual or hardcore, but there seems to be a bit of a trend with them disliking the more accessible or gimmicky modes.
Now, about the big problems I was concerned about. We only have the Smash mode online. As of this writing, we can’t share custom levels. I didn’t say much about them last time, but I have to admit that I feel like Brawl’s level editor was better. Costume shapes are neat, but there are less tools, and those of us who aren’t very artistic have trouble making “pretty” levels. Perhaps this is why they can’t be shared yet. However, there are so many other modes that local play get that online doesn’t that I often find myself forgetting to pursue challenges to unlock things. I usually take customizations from my 3DS versions, so my wall of unlocks is actually pretty bare by comparison. As a solo player, I often play classic or Smash Tour with the occasional Crazy Orders alone, then (try) to play Smash online.
I say “try” because, much like with the 3DS version of the game, Smash Bros for Wii U has connection issues. Have a 2 minute game stretch to nearly 10 due to lag is not fun for anyone. While the game is fairly smooth sometimes, other times, it’s a complete nightmare. Yes, it’s free, but if Nintendo needs some money, why not offer a premium service for those who want it? I really like a lot of the local play options, but I don’t live near a lot of my gamer friends and families. I’ve heard people complain several times that they can’t do 8 player Smash because, simply put, there aren’t enough local Smashers for them to play with. Having this online would be much more fun. Sakurai really does put a lot into these games, but I feel like in this day and age, online play options are a requirement, and local play, if anything, should have less options. Perhaps this is another reason why the Wii U has sold less consoles. After all, if Nintendo’s multiplayer games are mostly supporting local play, and if I’m just a casual player, isn’t it better to just mooch off my friend than to buy it and play one exclusive mode (For Glory)?
All of this may sound negative, but this is just me being critical. From the features I tested before, I’m still very much satisfied with the game. I have a hard time playing on home consoles these days, so the fact that there is some connectivity between the Wii U and 3DS games makes things easier on me (though I still wish I could just import all my 3DS data). Unless you’re a very technical player who only wishes to become skilled for tournament play, I can highly recommend that you pick up Smash Bros for Wii U. Even hardcores can find “fun” stuff they enjoy about the new game. However, I have to add some thoughts on the Amiibos.
As you may recall, I wasn’t able to test an Amiibo for my preview. I had to wait like many of you for the actual release, and I had a few more bumps to deal with as well. Originally I heard they were pretty much like level 9 CPUs, but others have indicated they’re quite smart. I’m not so much a collector, as reading about how to play games is usually why I have an advantage over many gamers, but I’m also not hardcore about Smash these days except as a general enthusiast, especially when it comes to Sakurai’s work with so many IPs and ideas being entrusted to him.
After Smash‘s release, I went out and bought some Amiibo like anyone else might. I’d seen the prototypes at E3, but obviously my cross-eyed Link, or “Ravio” as I’ve named the Amiibo, is pretty different. However, I’m really not buying these as toys/figures. I’m looking at them as DLC, and since Link works with 3/3 of the current games that support Amiibos (special content in Hyrule Warriors, a costume in Mario Kart 8, and of course Smash Bros for Wii U), I figured he’d be the best first pick.
After registering it as mine, choosing a name, and a skin (of course Ravio is purple!), I fed him some junk gear I had laying around and then gave him a custom move. Then it was play time. My first choice was Smash Tour but Amiibos aren’t allowed in that, which really felt like a waste. I thought Amiibos were supposed to be the next best thing to playing with humans, and I’ve lacked anyone to play that option with due to it being one of several features that doesn’t work online. In fact, Amiibos don’t work in 2 player event mode, All-Star, Classic… essentially, they’re only useable in Smash mode. Period. It really limits their use for more casual players trying to take advantage of most of Smash’s content outside the one mode we’ve been playing since the game began. Still, I figured I should give it a whirl.
The first match was pathetic, but Ravio grew to level 6 just from a regular 2-minute match, 1 on 1, Link versus… well, Ravio. It just wasn’t smart, or good. The second match wasn’t much better, it at all. On a custom stage, at the start of the match, it jumped into some lava on the ceiling without me even moving, and did this twice. At the end of the match, Ravio was level 8 and still embarrassing. In the third match, I tried a moving stage. While at Ravio didn’t suicide, he still acted a bit erratic. Perhaps this was because I’d whiffed with some attacks a few times, but he would use upward smashes when standing alone, far from me. Later on though, I noticed him starting to throw items, a trick I use, but also doing footstool jumps, something I hadn’t used against him. After the end of the match, he was level 10. Just 40 more to go.
At level 16, after trying longer matches and stock, I decided to try coin battle, and to also turn my handicap to “auto” to at least see if that would change anything about Ravio’s play style. He was still aiming to send me flying upwards, as I know I’m prone to do, but he’d also hookshotted to a ledge, something I had never shown him. At this point, it was obvious that the computer just makes the amiibo smarter on it’s own as it levels, but it certainly had learned at least something from me.
At 22, I decided to go back and feed him more gear and get some rewards. I suppose feeding them is partially supposed to help make them tougher? I’m not sure it helped, but I appreciated the rewards: coins and custom parts! They were a nice bonus, since I dislike how normal Smash barely gives any custom parts. Still, Ravio didn’t get any wins until he was level 28 and I was starting matches at 80% damage due to the handicap. Around 35, Ravio finally started to feel challenging, but partially because Amiibos have higher stats than players.
At 41, I pitted Ravio against 7 other level 9 CPUs in a 15 minute 8 player Smash. He placed third. He acted kind of erratically, jumping in place at times and just… really not doing anything. I tried this a few more times even at 50. Eventually he started winning more, but I fed him until all his stats were +26. One on one, he was tough to fight, but again, not all of his tactics were good. Probably learned some from me or the bots. He hasn’t learned everything I’ve tried to teach though. He’s not dodging, and he doesn’t often roll. I’ve heard people talk about making sure you teach them to hit during grabs at low damage percentages, but even though I don’t do this, he’s doing it. Simply put, I have a feeling they’re built to be smarter in general, but can learn a little. The stat bonuses probably are the big thing that makes them so tough.
So, final thoughts? Overall, while the game is solid and fun enough as a single player game, you’ll want to play this one with friends still. Amiibo might be good for training, but they can’t even attempt to replace real people. I would strongly hesitate to invest in Amiibo for Smash Bros unless you really love a character or want a more difficult CPU to train defensively against. Competitive players can still enjoy the game, but casuals, especially those who like a variety of fun and challenging modes should pick up the game. There’s plenty to due and great variety. If this really is Sakurai’s last Smash game, he can still walk away a winner.
We tried the portable, but now it’s time for the console: Smash Bros Wii U. I’m not writing this as a review quite yet, but as a preview piece since I’ve only had about ten hours with the game, all solo since the servers won’t go live until launch day. While I was provided a preview copy, I do not have an Amiibo to test with. For this reason, I’m simply doing a preview until I can see all the game has to offer, and obviously that will take some time. The game is surprisingly large, and although we’ve had time to prepare for the console game, not everything is perfect.
First is the controls. I don’t have the Gamecube adapter, so I have to use a Wii remote, Wii remote classic controller, or the usual Wii U gamepad. I’ve tried all for extended periods of time, and oddly enough, the unwieldy Wii U gamepad is my favorite so far, but it is a very distant third to the 3DS, which is an even further distant second to the Gamecube controller. Really Nintendo, the GC controller is one of those “if it wasn’t broke,” situations. I’m fine with your new zany controllers, but if you’re going to give me a D-pad and joystick, just let me use the GC controller. The other two options, the Wii Remote and Classic controller, are useable, but for a long time smasher, they feel awkward, especially after I’ve just gotten used to the 3DS.
Now, the 3DS connection we’ve been staring at for months only allows for Smash playing, not the other game modes, like All-Star or Smash Tour. You can connect your Japanese 3DS to a Wii U version of the game though, and I’m told Amiibo do work cross region. You can upload your custom characters, even Mii-Fighters with costumes you haven’t unlocked, but you can’t edit them once moved. While it’s nice that the past months (remember, I began with the Japanese version) weren’t a total waste, I do really wish I could just unlock all the moves I have on both the Japanese and US versions of Smash. I’m a sucker though, so I’ll be earning my custom parts a third time it seems.
For new modes, Smash Tour feels like Mario Party but without individual turns. Unpredictable, fun, occasional mini-games, and a strong “finale” which is the main fight. I can see lots of opportunities for people to gang up on a strong player or help out their friends. However, since I’m playing alone, I think I prefer Smash Run. I know it’s a multiplayer game, but Smash Run felt like a fast and effective way to play Smash Bros a little differently. While I like Smash Tour, 15 minutes playing a game that feels like a party game rather than a fighter can be a bit depressing.
The new Master Orders and Crazy Orders offer the chance to gamble and win some prizes, but these are more for the collector type. I must admit, I haven’t even checked my collection in the 3DS version, so doing so in the Wii U version only occurred for preview purposes and it’s… well, good enough for me, but interesting enough for me to write about in more detail. I don’t consider myself a hardcore smasher, but I prefer to unlock things that are used in the battles.
Speaking of which, the new classic mode is quite fun, and perhaps faster than the 3DS version (or so it feels). You’re given a “rival” that you pretty much want to take on as the last challenger on a board filled with figurines of other fighters. Where the figures stand indicates who you’re fighting, and you’ll notice some have prize icons above them, such as event tickets for Crazy Orders or trophies. These are on top of winning loot from the slot reel you use before the match. It’s a different method from the 3DS version, and not just because of the Master Fortress. The fact that you can, and often must, participate in hoard battles with more than 3 other opponents (often 5-6, but a full 8 isn’t rare) is probably why this mode feels faster, but also in some ways, more challenging, which I can appreciate to an extent.
This is where I have to bring in the game’s 4+ fighting modes. Originally I thought I’d be left out in the cold when it came to this part of the game, but there’s plenty of it in the Wii U version, and I get the feeling that may not be welcomed by everyone, especially fans of certain characters. Those who felt Mega Man was a bit underwhelming in 3DS will feel more strongly about it in the Wii U version I think. It does, however, make certain customizations feel more useful. For example, Ness’ lasting PK Thunder was a nice bonus for those who didn’t want people jumping into their Thunder to screw their triple jump, but in a match with more than 5 people, it feels necessary. I have a feeling we’ll see some backlash from certain hardcore Smashers due to this, but maybe I’m wrong.
We do have Event mode now though, and that may appeal to them. It’s kind of like Adventure Mode in Hyrule Warriors; you have a specific character and task to execute that’s not like something you experience in the regular multiplayer game. While there are different difficulties, the reward page will specify what difficulty you need to achieve to get said reward, as well as other limitations, like character or time. I think serious Smashers may enjoy this since it can test your technical mastery of characters, though they could also hate it because of the gimmicks.
My biggest concern, however, is about how much of this can go online. Maybe it’s due to my age again, but I just don’t have local people to play with. It’s hard enough I have few friends with a Wii U, but when they do, we’re constantly frustrated by the limited online capabilities of the system. “Together but not quite” in games like Hyrule Warriors leaves much to be desired, so having a lot of gameplay options limited to local only is a big tease I think, including for Japanese players (I don’t think I’ve found a student at any of my schools who have a Wii U, and I live in Japan).
This brings up my second concern: Nintendo made a huge game that I feel will only see use in one or two areas for most players: Smash mode and classic mode. People may want to do unlocks, but if I were a competitive Smash Player, I’d simply keep playing the 3DS version if I felt like unlocking parts/moves and use the Wii U for access to the GC controller. As I’ve mentioned before, Smash Run just hasn’t seemed popular here in Japan, so having so many non-Smash modes makes me wonder whether or not these new features will be valued by some players. I may love many of them, but I often find myself in the minority of the Smash community these days.
As for the lack of Amiibo figures? So far, I don’t feel the pinch. Thomas Schulenberg from Joystiq has experience with that, and more time with the game than I had, but is quite a different player from myself. He doesn’t notice much of a difference between his level 50 Amiibo and a level 9 CPU, but since there’s so little news about that at the moment, it’s hard to accept at this point. I do have to admit I am very leery of the Amiibo thing, as Nintendo often introduces a gimmick that largely works with one title and gets shoe-horned into others with few results. Smash is supposed to be the big big for it though, so I’ll reserve my judgement for now.
Of course, all of this may change in a few days/weeks as I play more, but for now, these are my initial thoughts on the game. The console Smash brings a lot to the table. I do get some feeling of a connection between the two games, especially in terms of basic fighter mechanics. There’s a good single player challenge so far with lots of unlocks, and I can certainly see this as a great party game. I just worry about whether or not there’s a big enough crowd that’s willing to show up for all it’s events after the rather lonely time I’ve had with the 3DS version’s Smash Run.
We’re finally getting some news on Nintendo’s upcoming Amiibo functions for games beyond Smash Bros. While some of it is very minor additions (like costumes for certain racers in Mario Kart 8), some add meatier content (like a new weapon, the Spinner, for Link Amiibos and a different weapon Zelda Amiibos in Hyrule Warriors). A few other games are noted as getting content, but no specifics were given yet.
Nintendo also revealed they’re remaking Majora’s Mask for the 3DS for you Zelda fans, and those of us who are interested in the upcoming Nintendo multiplayer, squid and ink shooter Splatoon got a bit of an update, learning that our mortal enemy the octopus will be in the game as well, though we have to wait till the second quarter if 2015 for a release. Full details and the actual video after the break.
Update: We’ve gotten news that Amiibo will also come later in smaller, er forms, including potentially as cards. Full details here.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D Descends on Nintendo 3DS in 2015
Nintendo Also Reveals Additional Details About amiibo, Splatoon, Xenoblade Chronicles X and Many Other Upcoming Wii U and Nintendo 3DS Games
REDMOND, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– During a Nintendo Direct presentation this afternoon, Nintendo dropped a moon-sized announcement: The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D, a remake of the beloved Nintendo 64 game, is coming exclusively to Nintendo 3DS in spring 2015. The Nintendo Direct video also revealed new details about amiibo functionality and upcoming games like Splatoon, Xenoblade Chronicles X,Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, Code Name S.T.E.A.M. and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker.
During a Nintendo Direct presentation this afternoon, Nintendo dropped a moon-sized announcement: The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D, a remake of the beloved Nintendo 64 game, is coming exclusively to Nintendo 3DS in spring 2015. (Photo: Business Wire)
To view the Nintendo Direct video in its entirety, visit http://www.nintendo.com/nintendo-direct.
“Now is the best time to be a Wii U and Nintendo 3DS owner,” said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “There’s something for everyone with a variety of quality, exclusive games already available and launching soon. From new IP in Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker to unforgettable greats like The Legend of Zelda on the horizon, we have both classic and new franchises covered.”
Some of the details revealed in the video include:
Wii U & Nintendo 3DS
For more information about Nintendo, visit http://www.nintendo.com. You can also now pre-order or purchase a number of games directly from a PC or smart device by visiting http://nintendo.com/buydigital.
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