E3 Day One [Nintendo]

 

Nintendo
This afternoon Nintendo sent their digital presentation in. Yes, digital. The staff of Nintendo did not present personally at the conference this year, but they did have a lot in store for those who are big fans of the Nintendo franchise. Within an hour Nintendo presented us with games for this year, and next year, that fans of the Nintendo franchise may have something to look forward to and get excited about. The anticipation of Zelda, Super Smash Brothers, Bayonetta 2, and a new Yoshi World are just a few to name that got my Nintendo gland shooting out euphoric memories of insomnia. The developers for Nintendo must have been reading their fan newsletters because the amount of talent coming out this year and next year is astounding. After all they are Nintendo… and they know what they are doing. From Wii U to the 3DS, Nintendo is stepping up their game and bringing gamers what thy have been needing, pure bliss.

I think it is important to let the public know that Nintendo announced a new version of Super Mario Bros. As of right now Mario Maker only be released for the 3DS, but nonetheless it is a really neat concept. In the game you are available to pick and choose which elements you want to include within the maps. Add enemies, put in more springs, hell even more mushrooms. Or, all enemies, no mushrooms and have your buddies try out a Mario death pit! Even if you didn’t like a certain spot in an original Mario level, you are able to go in and edit it, play around and have fun. The developers at Nintendo have added an element to Mario that wasn’t there for the player, but wasn’t something that changed his look, or the feel for the game. I think this will be a fun purchase, and one to look forward to in the future.

mario makerIf Mario isn’t something you are looking to purchase or play (I wouldn’t know why you wouldn’t..) then maybe Yoshi can help you out. Personally you won’t find a Yoshi World game on my shelf, or even hear me talk about Yoshi unless I am yelling at the one I fell off of in Super Mario Brothers Wii. Regardless, Yoshi World is coming back and looking very (insert pun here).

yoshi yarn

 

 

Yoshi Woolly World is a new installment of a friendly face of the Mario franchise. New levels, worlds, and even coop are apart of this comfy adventure. It looks stunning for a Wii U game, and also a lot of fun. The past couple Yoshi games were not my cup of tea, and honestly I never wanted to play them but I did. Yoshi Woolly World does not look like a chore, nor a pain in the ass to play. It actually look like it could play off very nicely, minus all the fun features of Mario, but it isn’t a Mario game, its Yoshi’s a Yoshi game. It has a very ‘crafty’ look to it, so its time to swallow some yarn, and manipulate it to defeat the enemy! Posts should follow later on this one, when the time is right.

One game in particular that really made me want to highlight it in this post. It is a mash up of two games that I have come to love and respect, and have followed for some time now. The Zelda franchise and the Dynasty Warrior franchise has teamed up to create Hyrule Warriors (though rumors are the name may not stick). This game got me out of my seat and made me contemplate a Wii U after my purchase of a Ps4. In Hyrule Warriors you are the iconic Link running through fields of soldiers, of whom are attacking your team members.

Zelda

In a nutshell, this game is going to be fantastic. Picture the collaboration  of characters of Zelda, and the fight-style of Dynasty Warriors. EPIC. That is the only word to describe. There is a suggested cast of some characters whom pop up in the series, most notably Princess Zelda herself, that you can choose and unlock. But honestly this game has me itching to buy a Wii U. I knew Nintendo was going to come out with some great games, and they have, but Hyrule Warriors is definitely my highlight. I cannot wait to get ahold of it! I suggest you  save some cash for this one, because the Wii U is in desperate need of this game, it could be their beacon of light.

Before I do finalize what game will make Nintendo a smash hit again, I must interrupt the post and introduce what we feel here will be THE game to revive the Wii U. It is early to say, and also very daring, but a highly anticipated game that we here a FBG[R] that will make the Wii U a must purchase will be released in 2015. Squid Splatoon

Yes, Splatoon. Childish, hilarious, fun, and outrageous. Characteristics that Nintendo has thrived off of and has really flourished. Think. Mario is a plumber running through tubes and chasing a giant turtle. Splatoon is a battle of four player squads shooting ink every where that then allows you to turn into a squid.

Splatoon

The mechanics look spectacular and the gameplay is seemingly easy, but what really highlights this game is teamwork and madness. It truly is the ultimate water-gun fight crossed with squid s and squid ink. The maps are small, and you can travel fast through them by shooting your ink throughout, but the ink is a highly effective tool for both offense and defense. If you do have a Wii U a pre-order is in order. If not, then save up. 2014 was a big announcement year for Nintendo, and Day one was definitely their day. Even though Nintendo had a giant release conference, these games were the ones I felt had the impact worthy of noting. The games in production for the Wii U have shown promise and maturity. Yes this is a family based system, and a very kid friendly one at that. But what about the adults? The parents who bought the system for their kids? Don’t they deserve a ‘top-shelf’ ‘off-limits’ section in their library of games? Yes, yes they do. With these games coming up even the owners of the house will have their chance to get in on the fun.

 

 

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“Day Zero” at E3 [EA]

E3  Today at E3 it was technically day one but what the media is calling it is ‘day zero’. It is the day where the big franchises showcase their new projects, leak critical information, and leave gamers wanting more. It is the perfect tease for any one who wishes to know what is in store for the future of the next generation consoles. From Microsoft to PlyStation, from Bungie to NaughtyDog, there were some amazing showcases for the start of this amazing event. Unfortunately I was unable to be there (this year) however the lovely group Twitch is broadcasting every event that is happening live on their website twitch.tv/e3.

If you cannot be there then you need to get on this site.

The times have been listed on this blog, and I am continuing to update. After watching the press conferences today, I would like to touch upon one that I was fully involved in from minute one (sorry Microsoft I will touch on your conference soon).  But let me cut to the chase: EA had my attention. I am an avid player of their FIFA titles, NHL titles, and almost every Battlefield going back to Battlefield 2 (yes on PC). I wanted to start off ‘Day Zero’ with a trip to the EA conference first, and then walk you through Ubisoft and then Sony in two separate posts. electronic_arts_ea_mobile  Electronic Arts took the stage under a highly anticipated showcase light. With titles ranging from their sports genre, to their  fps (first person shooter) platform, EA has delivered. I, a giant Battlefield gamer, was stolen from the Call of Duty franchise when EA linked up with Frostbite to deliver one hell of a punch to the FPS community. If I didn’t like the building obstructing the objective I simply aimed my RPG or my tank cannon and fired away until I was able to walk through the building much more effortlessly as well as eliminating any lurkers. When I was logging on to watch the live stream presented by Twitch, I was hoping for a possible new preview of Battlefield: Hardline. What I got was a full hour of gameplay coverage followed by interviews!

BF HArdline EA teamed up with a company called Visceral, and for those who don’t know they created this little ditty called ‘Dead Space’. Granted the two genres are different, but they both share a love for the FPS. One is killing the undead by any means necessary, and the other is a take on modern combat in a modern war setting. Unbelievably you cross the two and get a wonderful love child of cops v.s robbers with amazing detail and ultimate destruction! Hardline is featured in a cityscape of L.A. A very metropolitan location set in modern times. Instead of fighting a war against Russians, Chinese or Americans as you would in Battlefield 4, the objectives revolve around heists, or defending what is being heisted. Whether you are a cop protecting the loot, or being a robber and stealing the loot, both sides are free to blow up anything they want! But of course one stands on a higher moral ground than the other…

EA Leaves it up for you to decide whether or not you want to be in pursuit of the robbers, or be the robbers enacting the heist. Either way, there is seemingly no wrong choice. Robbers Hardline Cops HardlineIn anticipation of the release, the beta has gone live for ps4 users today, but does have a limit to downloads and you must own Battlefield 4 already to access it. Aside from that, if you don’t meet the prerequisites to do battle in the beta, just sit tight and wait until October 21st of this year! Thanks to the generous mind of Sean McIninis I was able to get some much needed insider info for the game, and the multiplayer game modes themselves. I will be diving into this game at a later date once I am able to get my hands on it because right now I can only preach about how amazing the gameplay LOOKS, and how excited I am to PLAY it. So I will hand it off to Sean to explain it in his wonderful, in depth look at the EA studios. Please follow this link if you want first hand insight into the new EA, Visceral, experience. And of course its run with DICE!

 www.gamespot.com/articles/e3-2014-everything-you-need-to-know-about-battlefield-hardline/1100-6420088

The fun does not stop there! EA also announced their sports title releases for the ps4 including NHL15, PGA Tour (which I have my reserves over), Madden 15 and of course FIFA 15. The most notable changes of their sports series is seemingly Madden 15.Madden15 Now personally I have not picked up a Madden game and played it for fun since Madden 2008 and that is a rough guess. The main reason why is because I just cannot play the offense and without offense you are nothing. We all know that. But at the E3 conference EA announced that the defensive aspect of the game will be reinforced and modified to make it so defense is… its fun to play. With newly installed camera angles, and defensive tactics, holding up the defensive line should be easier maintained as well as advantages at times. Whther you want to hold the offensive line up for your d-backs, or rush the passer with some Chandler Jones type plays the controller allows you to play it. The graphics are outstanding, and the gameplay looks as if it has taken advances in the right direction.  This adds the fun element that I am looking towards, but also keeping the always entertaining long ball for the the touchdown. Only difference with Madden 15 is that I am hoping to sack the QB before they throw that long ball! What I enjoyed about the presentation is it left me waiting for more. Wanting to play some football inside as opposed to tossing the old pig skin with the fam’.

Next on the docket is the NHL franchise. They have put out a stunning… stunning presentation of the next chapter in the series. Most notably the stadium. I know this sounds silly but they have introduced authentic looking stadiums that are packed with details that will make you question whether or not they have visited and followed each and every stadium’s blueprint to a ‘t’. The graphics are refined, but it all comes down to the gameplay. I know that many of you have reservations based off of the glitches in NHL14, which I can attest to, were bad and never repaired. Regardless, the playability will be there, and the graphics will keep you coming back for more and more, as far as I can see.  There will be a post stock full over these videos of which I shall link to this page. So please hold tight, and within a few short hours I will have the videos posted of all the EA sports games!

One title that did not escape without making some noise was the launch of Dragon Age: Inquisition.Dragon Age screen shot EA announced that this Title will be released October of this year, the 7th to be exact (without any delays reported). It is the third installment of this series, so one can only think if its the end of a trilogy, or the beginning of a saga. It is a party based fighting system, with four characters to battle with. There are two styles of combat that each player can interact within the game: one being the standard yet very reminiscent action style where the player can switch between each character (similar to that of Ni No Kuni) attacking at will; and the second style which is similar to that of Final Fantasy Tactics. The player will choose how the battle will be conducted and by whom. Now I am an avid player of RPG’s. Action RPG’s are my favorite kind of game style (if I had to choose). When I see something like Dragon Age: Inquisition in such a refined setting with an intriguing story line, I can’t help but want this game.

Dragon age inq

If there is an opportunity for me to gather a group and fight dragons, then sign me up.! This year, EA delivered. There is only one other game that has been highlighted today at ‘Day Zero’ that maybe have inched out Dragon Age, and that would be The Witcher III. Granted both games are set in two different universes, they both have a similar mystique to it with their creatures, environment and magic involved. Now most of these games, and by most I mean generally all, have similar character classes, moves, and monsters with each own’s individual twist. But Dragon Age introduces a party style fighting, and a tactical option that has been rarely used on consoles. EA could either start a new trend, or introduce to the next-gen console a blueprint on how not to carry out an action RPG game. There;s only one way to find out… PLAY IT!

Overall; EA’s conference was in my opinion a hit. A success. They got me wanting more than I anticipated and E3 has not even begun! Here on the East Coast we have less than 12 hours to go, and I know the party has begun in L.A. With this press release, EA has me paying attention, and storing money for game titles that I didn’t even think I wanted. Hell, I am even thinking about purchasing Mirror’s Edge II, and I haven’t even played the first one let alone had any interest in it. But when it released I didn’t catch on to the hype as easily as I have with the second edition. Honestly, the new games coming out have mind/retina-blowing graphics that can turn any bad storyline into an amazingly fun and intensely artistic experience. From the sporting arena to the age of dragons, EA has covered a lot of ground during their first press-conference and I am sure has much more in store. With E3 starting tomorrow the exhibits and previews will be pouring out faster than I can write them down and that is the exciting bit of the whole exhibition. So keep your eyes peeled and your fingers clicking here! I will have as much EA information as possible with links elsewhere to keep you informed!

-FBG[R]

E3 Is Coming To Town!

Hello Los Angeles!

 

With only 3 days left until E3, the most important thing to have is knowledge. The Electronic Software Association (ESA) is throwing the biggest electronic entertainment exhibition in the world and inviting leading computer and video game companies, business partners/investors, gamers and media personnel from over 100 countries to the show! Not only will you see the best developers in the world, but you will have the chance to watch the best gamers in the world test the new games in a competitive fashion!

Be sure to catch the exhibition on a live stream hosted by, as far as I know, Gamespot. I know most of you will be working, but each time slot is linked to each corresponding game/company/personnel so you don’t have to load the entire show and you can pick and choose which one you want to visit. There are usually a few groundbreaking announcements made within the electronic community at this exhibition so being there for them somehow is exhilarating!

 

According to the expo website the show will run as follows (mind you these are Pacific Standard times):

Date Time (Hours)
Tuesday, June 10, 2014 12:00 – 6:00
Wednesday, June 11, 2014 10:00 – 6:00
Thursday, June 12, 2014 10:00 – 5:00

 

 

There are a lot of notable companies stepping into L.A. ready to show off their new products, and the stakes are being raised once again for new-gen gaming. If you have the slightest bit of interest in anything electronic then these three days will give you insight into what you should be saving your pennies for this year in 2014 and some anticipation of ’15. I am hoping by now you are asking where you can find these links, and for that I have listed the link below so that you may navigate through any of the games of companies that you wish. Remember these links will not go live until Tuesday June, 10 at 12 p.m. which on our side is 3:00 p.m. Regardless, I want to thank the ESA and Gamespot for making this possible. Also I will be live as well during most of these times keeping you updated via twitter and Facebook, so remember to follow along so I can at least keep you up to date while you work or sit there at summer school!

 

http://www.gamespot.com/e3/live/

Download the e3 2014 app in the app store (droid or itunes) and it will send live updates to your phone, as well as allow video streams!

 

I hope you are all as excited as I am!

-FBG[R]

A Giant Amongst Giants

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

         ImageYes, this one is over due. So overdue I am almost embarrassed that I am posting this now, yet proud because this is ultimately my first blog post for this blog site, and personally, I could not think of a better game to begin the journey with. When I had first heard of Ni No Kuni I was intrigued to say the least, and the more I read about it, the more my excitement grew. I must admit, I read about the anticipation of this game when E3 2013 was at the stages of being hyped the week before (kind of like right now… funny how life has a simplistic rhythm to it) and looked for more than a simple blurb of info on the game. This for me, this game, this new edition of adventures that was just waiting to be launched, could not have had less of a hype than it did last year, and the coverage of it was not received well in the United States. Well, Bandai Namco, let me try… just try to redeem last year, and make this game a very appealing take for the reader here who is looking for a new game to play, because Call of Duty, and NHL are getting too annoying with the headsets, and glitch gameplay (which we will [R]age [Q]uit about later).

         When dropped in January 22, 2013, Namco Bandai supposedly shipped worldwide 1.1 million copies. Worldwide. Now I know I shouldn’t, but comparatively to that of a dominant gaming studio, that is a terrible release because 15 million people went out and bought GTAV on the first week it launched. 15 million people worldwide! And even with the one million shipped, 5-600,000 of the copies where sent to Japan (which received the amazing cover to go along with it) that leaves only 5-400,000 copies shipped to both the UK and the U.S. and Canada regions alongside the rest of the not-named world.

So in a nutshell, a masterpiece has slipped through the cracks, and I want to make my audience aware.

Granted you may be in a super-store looking through the game titles that they have, and this little red box with the PlayStation’s Greatest Hits at a can’t beat price of $19.99 is just staring you in the face. What do you do? Nothing. Possible have an inquiry about it, but where have you ever heard of this game?

This is my problem. It is the lack of knowing what the box holds inside, and in this case it is probably one of the most beautiful games created for any system up to date (and selfishly I love that it is a PlayStation exclusive). Not for just its genre, although holding interest in the adventure RPG area will only reinforce my opinions here for you and vice versa, but in its entirety Ni No Kuni brought to the table, and still does bring; a story like no other, a lovable cast and character base, and the creature hunting adventure that we all use to have when we were young be it with Pokémon, Monster Hunter, all the way back to the Ferbie (am I spelling that correctly?). Yeah I said it, I hated those things but they were ubiquitous in my young past and kids were raising little monsters right before our eyes. Ni No Kuni did hit my nostalgic love for a very similar creature catching game that I would play for endless amounts of hours with my best friend, even breaking curfew to evolve that one creature that I waited so long for… and when I got it, it was like winning the Super Bowl, well not that insane but it was very exiting. The world of creature catching and training them so you can defeat evil has far surpassed the times of Team Rocket! and moved on to bigger and more important things: defeating the most evil wizard in dark times to save your mother from death! Yes! This young, vivacious game drops one of the heaviest hammers I have ever encountered.Image

         Let us begin then. Once you pop the game in, Ni No Kuni brings you on an adventure with a boy named Oliver in a simple town. Unfortunately Bandai doesn’t let you enjoy the peacefulness of the town and Oliver’s situation for too long before his mother is pronounced dead, and all Olly is left with is the stuffed toy his mother sewed for him. Mind you throughout this experience the scenery and the graphics of this game are extraordinary simply because of the graphic design. Bandai created an anime-like look for its people and most of its environment, but does not withhold on the talents of their design teams or their [assumed] highly talented musical producers. Final Fantasy definitely holds up to having the best music for video games, hell they even sell their soundtracks on iTunes, and in stores on cd, but the group that worked on Ni No Kuni has made a statement on their own. But I digress… the adventure that Oliver embarks on, begins when his tears leak onto his toy and spark a magic that brings him into some sort of parallel universe. Now, as a gamer and someone who pays attention to the story, the question for me is: Is it a parallel universe that he travels to, or is it all just in Oliver’s head?

         For me, of course it is the parallel universe triggered by magic caused by love! How could it not be?! As soon as Oliver is introduced to his wizardry talents, the quest for finding his mother begins! The characters that Oliver team up with correspond to those whom existed in the other universe from which he came, and are utilized throughout the game in both universes. Oliver’s story carries you along through a timeless adventure in search for his mother. His companion, Drippy, is definitely there for comic relief throughout some of the more heart aching points of the game, but is also very helpful in times of duress in battle. At one point in the game Oliver realizes that the only way to save his mother (or get to her) is to save all of those whom are heartbroken, and distraught by the evil wizard Shadar. Now I know this may sounds terrible, and something that a little boy should never endure on his own… and you’re right! Because not only does Oliver get Drippy to hang with him the entire time he his joined by Swaine (the DPS/Theif) and Esther (the healer). Oliver is the wizard of the group, and the most important in this universe because he is the only one who is destined to defeat Shadar and restore all of those whom are broken hearted in the world.

Now before I blabber on about the story and make this a book report, I need to explain exactly what makes Ni No Kuni a great game. Personally I have logged over 50 hours on the game, and have not completed the story. I know that sounds crazy but when I pick up a game I need to get almost everything done before I see those end credits roll. Within those 50 hours I have tamed, trained and fought over 200 hundred familiars (minions who fight for each main character).Image

The familiars are a major factor in the game, and similar to the old classic Pokémon, you have to catch them all. Except now the Pokémon have grown up and have become more intricate in keeping them by your side. Each member of the group has benefits with certain familiars, and the same goes for certain foods for the familiars. You are able to evolve each one, teach them moves, and conquer evil with them! But as a gamer in this universe do not forget about Oliver and the all his capabilities.

From casting spells to conjuring up rare items in the cauldron, everything can be used as an ingredient and should not be forgotten. Ni No Kuni is a wonderful story about a brave little boy with endless love for his mother and the willingness to aid everyone who needs his help. The story is very well written and excellently composed by the Bandai Namco company which creates a true piece of art in a time of mass produced assembly line type of game. It is very rare for me to say that a video game should be held up to as a masterpiece, but Ni No Kuni definitely gets my vote. It truly was an exciting find for me, and playing it proved to be an even more enjoyable experience than I had originally anticipated.

As stated previously, my aim is to try to extend why these games that I write about are worth buying or not, and in this case Ni No Kuni is a game that NEEDS to be on your shelf if you like to think of yourself as a true PlayStation gamer. From fresh animated action fighting, to the travel music, Ni No Kuni delivers in every which way. Yes it is a bit childish, but the message that you can make everyone happy, or fix their broken heart just by doing good by them, sends a brilliant message to those who are the younger generations of gamers. So not only are you running around thrashing monsters and potentially one of the most evil wizards to ever exist, you are spreading joy and healing those who truly need you!

 

Overall grade: 10

Gameplay: 10

Story line: 10

Graphics: 10

Re-play: 10

Image