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Review: Pandora’s Tower
By: | April 22nd, 2013

The time has finally come: the last Operation Rainfall Wii game has hit stateside. After so much fanfare for the two major RPGs in the group, Xenoblade and The Last Story, the action-centric Pandora’s Tower arrives with little to no fanfare, compliments of publisher XSEED Games.

But it’s a shame that it hasn’t gotten more publicity, as it’s completely worthy of “classic” Wii game status –in fact, I’d say it’s my favorite of the Rainfall Three. Provided that you’re willing to deal with a few outdated technical aspects, you’ll find one of the best raw action games in recent memory in Pandora’s Tower. Read more… »

Better late than never, right? New Play Control! Pikmin 2 released over three years ago in European territories, but American fans looking forward to seeing the updated Wii version of the GameCube classic have been forced to wait. Nintendo Power says that’ll be changing later this year, with Olimar and the creatures of “Distant Planet” making their way to North American shores once again this June.

Exciting news, but one has to wonder what took so long. Following something of an unfortunate trend for the publisher’s North American office, Pikmin 2 is the latest in a long line of titles that the publisher has brought to the United States months or years after hitting other territories. On top of that, over a dozen great titles have yet to see localization – a sad fact of life for any Wii fan lamenting the console’s sparse release calendar.

If you’ve been content to enjoy Pikmin 2 in its original state and have instead been looking forward to the next entry in the franchise, Shigeru Miyamoto recently confirmed that Nintendo will be bringing that title with them to Los Angeles for E3 later this year.

Pikmin 2 Finally Reaches North American Wiis Soon [nintendolife via Siliconera]

I’m going to put this on record: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is my least favorite Zelda game of all time. But I’m not stopping there; not only is it a poor Zelda game, it’s also a poor videogame in general.

Without even touching upon the love ‘em or hate ‘em motion controls, there’s more than enough evidence to show that Nintendo should’ve taken a step back, looked at Skyward Sword’s innovations, and asked themselves, “Are we sure these ideas are good?”

Read more… »

The Last Story logo

It seems like some of the efforts of Operation Rainfall have borne fruit. Xseed Games announced that they and Nintendo are partnering up to bring Wii RPG The Last Story to North America sometime this summer.

Hit the jump for more info about The Last Story and the announcement. Read more… »

Over the past few years Nintendo’s online shop has developed a bit of a reputation. WiiWare was once looked at as a platform for indie developers and small studios to showcase their work. In reality, however,  it’s something more akin to a dumping ground for sloppy, poorly made games that no-one really wants.

Despite that negative distinction, the service has accumulated a number of outstanding titles that clearly stand apart from cashgrabs and shovelware. Unfortunately for Wii owners searching for the next diamond in the rough, Zombii Attack just isn’t one of them.

Still interested? Well then, read on after the break for the full breakdown of the latest gem to join the Wii’s library.

Read more… »

Zombies are attacking Nintendo’s digital platform and the only way to stop them is…a massive slingshot apparently. This new shooting gallery title from Gamers Digital pits survivors against an oncoming zombie horde.

Players will need to launch everything from anvils to boxes filled with dynamite to stop the undead menace (and maybe destroy a few buildings along the way). Zombii Attack is now available on WiiWare for 500 of Nintendo’s moon bucks.

Worried that the looming specter of the Wii U is staged to make your favorite paper weight even more useless? Well, Reggie Fils-Aime is hear to quash all your fears, give you a pat on the head and lull you to sleep in those giant meaty arms of his. The Nintendo of America executive believes there’s plenty of room in the closet for both consoles.

“The consumer buying Wii hardware today is going to be a different consumer than the one who will be buying Wii U in the future,” said the beefburger boss. ”This is the first holiday that the Wii is available at $149.99 or below, so it’s an expanded demographic we’re reaching.

“We haven’t announced pricing for Wii U, but you can definitely expect that pricing is going to be different and that the games are going to be different,” added the tenderloin tycoon “We do believe that Wii and Wii U will coexist for some time. As we drive the install base of Wii, we’re really setting people up to take their gaming library and be able to transfer it over to Wii U.”

When asked about what will keep the Wii afloat heading into the future, the pastrami president touted Nintendo’s WiiWare and Virtual Console services and their weekly updates — funnily enough purchases that will likely not be making the transfer over to the Wii U thanks to Nintendo’s brilliant online program. See, there is a reason to keep the Wii around after all. And besides, with no Wii U GCN support, you’re going to want to keep that Wii around to play P.N.03 anyway.

Nintendo’s Reggie Fils Aime Talks Zelda, Future of Handhelds and Wii’s Big Holiday Push [Time]

It’s been a very exciting few years for Kirby fans.  Last year brought us the charming and innovative Kirby’s Epic Yarn, and just recently the equally inventive Kirby Mass Attack landed on the DS.  It would be inaccurate to call the more traditional Kirby’s Return to Dreamland a ‘return’ to its roots, since the game went through a very tumultuous development after initially being proposed once Kirby 64 was released.  Kirby’s Return to Dreamland nonetheless demonstrates that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to bring out the qualities that makes Kirby so endearing.

Return to Dreamland feels like entering a time capsule.  The game channels the spirit of the older 2D Kirby platformers, most notably the excellent Kirby Super Star.  No yarn, no Kirby clones.  This is straight Kirby classic: Inhaling enemies, developing copy abilities, and using them to both navigate through differently themed worlds and access special areas.  The fittingly simplistic story chronicles Kirby as he teams up with Waddle Dee, Metaknight, and Dedede to assist a stranded alien named Magolor, who has crash landed on Popstar and whose ship components have flown across the world. Read more… »

Two years ago a colorful little Pong-like indie game took me by surprise and unexpectedly rocked my world. With its addictive gameplay and fantastic soundtrack, the charmingly retro Bit.Trip BEAT  introduced me to what has become one of my favorite series of all time. Over the last couple years Santa Cruz-based Gaijin Games’ delivered some of the best games of the generation in the last place you’d ever expect to find them — WiiWare.

Though that platform may have limited the series’ audience, most that are lucky enough to have stumbled across the Bit.Trip games have nothing but kind words to say. They helped remind me why I began to love games in the first place. Hopefully now that they have been compiled on physical media for retail release these games can reach a wider audience.

Read more… »

In its heyday, the JRPG was one of the the most well loved, paradigmatic experiences in the entire medium of videogames. Unfortunately, all empires must eventually fall and the the tale of the JRPG has been one of stagnation and decline. Rapid technological improvements brought many eastern studios into an uphill battle, where all too often gameplay suffered at the expense of modern graphics.

We are left with an aging genre where stories are often absurd and incomprehensible, combat is frustrating and needlessly complicated, and high-definition visuals are prioritized above all else. Luckily, Xenoblade Chronicles proves to be a rare exception.

Read more… »

[Update: LKS for PS Vita will be playable at TGS. The title is said feature full touch based controls, a new story, dynamic weather, and an overhauled visual style with more realistic proportions.]

Well, I guess I’m going to have to get a PlayStation Vita. Word comes from adriasang that a sequel to Marvelous Entertainment’s Little King’s Story will be reveled in next week’s Famitsu. Apparently, the game is called The King, The Demon King and the Seven Princesses: New King Story (translated) and will be heading to the PS Vita by way of Konami.

The Wii original was a fantastic experience, but I figured chances for a sequel were nil. Apparently, a bankrupt developer and modest sales aren’t enough to keep this one from spawning a sequel. I don’t really care how it’s happening, but I’m glad it is.

Xenoblade Chronicles landed on European shores last week, and so far it looks like the Wii RPG is performing pretty well at retail. The highly anticipated title is currently charting at number seven for entertainment software sales in the United Kingdom.

On the Wii-specific charts Xenoblade is second only to the ever-popular Zumba Fitness, which has enjoyed ten straight weeks in the top spot. Well that’s certainly exciting news. But if you’re still on the fence, our official review is on its way.