Archive for April, 2012


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New Nintendo Wii U and 3DS Info From Financial Briefing

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Nintendo had their yearly financial briefing for their shareholders yesterday and since they’re publicly published, we can glean some precious Wii U info from it.  Here’s a summary of what Nintendo said:

  • “As I informed you before, in the first half of this fiscal term we will get out of the situation that we sell the hardware below cost. We anticipate the improvement of the product profitability of the hardware alone.”
  • New Super Mario Bros. 2 for 3DS will be launched worldwide in August
  • NSMB2 will be Nintendo’s first title available both in 3DS card and digital format.
  • Nintendo still has “some unannounced titles” that are coming out within a year
  • Nintendo plans to put a large emphasis on the digital downloads of retail games on both the 3DS and Wii U.
  • Download codes for digital games will be purchasable at physical retail outlets as well.  In addition to this, it will operate like software sales and allow individual stores to set their prices for the digital content potentially allowing for sales, promos, and price competition.
  • At the Wii U’s launch the first-party games (at least) will be available for download as well as physical purchase.
  • While Nintendo plans to sell DLC for titles, it will not be required to fully enjoy the game.  Nintendo plans to continue to make fully-realized games for release and then potentially expand upon them at a later date with DLC instead of blatantly money-grabbing with it.
  • The Wii U’s price and release dates (it will at least be before the year’s end in Japan, North America, Europe and Australia) will not be announced at E3, but it’s launch titles and other details will be.

So, at least we know a little more about Nintendo’s plans for digital distribution.  If you want to see the full transcript from the meeting, you can check it out here: http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/library/events/120427/index.html

Game Usagi 3.1.5.4 rev7 Release Candidate

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

While we may be kidding in this post’s title, the recent changes to Game Usagi are no joke.  Over the past couple of weeks we’ve slowly rolled out a ton of enhancements to the Game Usagi experience to make your visits here more streamlined and enjoyable. Remember to clear your browser cache so that all of the improvements display correctly and let us know if you have any issues or ideas for ways we could further improve. If you’re interested, check after the jump for a list on what’s new both under and above the Game Usagi hood.

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Site Updates Occurring

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

You probably noticed our fancy new menubar and the fact that the website loads roughly 80+% faster than before, but the changes aren’t done yet.  We’re joining the 21st century by widening the website theme yet again to a full-out 980px.  While this is happening, you may experience some site glitches, so just clear your cache, keep calm and carry on and we’ll let you know when the editing fun is over and the “Game Usagi is really super awesome now” fun can begin.

Point Review: Fez (Xbox 360)

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Developer: Polytron
Publisher: Polytron
Genre: Platforming Adventure
Players: 1
Console: Xbox 360 (XBLA download)
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Hours Played: ~11-12 hours
Progress: Found all 64 cubes, all artifacts, and all 3 “heart cubes”

First announced in 2007, Fez was immediately surrounded by a cloud of anticipation.  Several delays in the game’s release had some people believing that it would end up being vaporware even though its gameplay looked so enticing.  The gaming community was very happy to welcome Fez with open arms upon its release this month, but are the charming 8-bit-style graphics and novel perspective-shifting gameplay worth the 5 year wait or did this game fall as flat as its 2D characters?  Read on to see what we thought of Fez.

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Opinion: Top 5 Gaming Disappointments of 2011

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

It is often easy to see gaming’s successes, they are well covered in the media, receive accolades and high review scores alike and their achievements are spread throughout the gaming community. It may be more beneficial, therefore, to focus on some of the industry’s more vexing occurrences so that one may avoid such pitfalls and the subsequent loss of their pocketbook contents. Consider then my top five most disappointing developments in gaming of the past year; they are either games that failed to deliver on the promise and potential of the franchise, or video game fads that were lauded to change the industry but perhaps only did so for the worse. Let us know your thoughts on my picks as they are by no means fact, but rest merely in the domain of personal perception. 

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Nintendo Direct April 20, 2012 Info

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Nintendo had a Nintendo Direct presentation again today and a lot of interesting info came out of it in contrast to the one we saw in February.

Here’s what we learned:

  • Pokemon Black/White Version 2 are coming out on June 23rd in Japan
  • A companion 3DS app for B/W V2 called “Pokemon AR Searcher” will launch at the same time and allow you to catch extra Pokemon in Face Raiders-style AR shooting galleries that can be transferred to the game proper.  Its price will be around $3.99 US.
  • Pokedex 3D, the free Pokedex 3DS app, is going to be removed from the eShop as of June 17th (in Japan anyways) and replaced with Pokedex Pro that has an enhanced interface and presumably covers all 649 Pokemon. The equivalent price of Pokedex Pro in Japan is about $17.99.  (I don’t know if that price will fly in North America, so time will tell)
  • Mario Tennis Open for 3DS will feature 16 characters, as well as Miis, and will have around 200 items that your character can wear that will increase their stats.
  • There is a firmware update coming out for the 3DS on April 25th that includes:
    • Folder functionality:
      • 60 apps per folder
      • Folders can be named (but only first character of name shows on folder)
    • Ability to patch games
      • First games to be patched include: Mario Kart 7, New Love Plus, Kingdom Hearts DDD
      • Mario Kart 7 to be patched in May to fix some shortcut exploits
  • Animal Crossing 3DS due out this Fall in Japan
  • New Super Mario Bros. 2 coming this August for 3DS (in Japan):
    • Tanooki ears/tail make a return with their original functionality from Super Mario Bros. 3
    • A new Golden Mario power was shown
    • Golden enemies were shown too
  • Nintendo is releasing a Kirby’s 20th Anniversary Game Collection for Wii, games included weren’t detailed
  • New Mario Tennis Open Puzzle Swap piece is now available via SpotPass on your 3DS

A very respectable Nintendo Direct indeed.  After the jump there are a couple of short Youtube clips courtesy of GoNintendo that showcase what was shown of the new 3DS menu folders, New Super Mario Bros 2, and Pokedex Pro.

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WR: SSX (Xbox 360, PS3)

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Developer: EA Canada
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: Sports
Players: 1 
Console: Xbox 360, PS3
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Hours Played: 15
Progress: 7 (out of 9) deadly descents completed

Extreme sports titles have taken a bit of a holiday recently, FIFA Street, Tony Hawk and yes SSX have fallen off the annual release schedule to something a bit more inconsistent. In SSX‘s case it has been over 5 years since we saw a release in the series with SSX Blur on the Nintendo Wii. Often taking a few years off can do wonders when it comes to reinvigorating a franchise, but is this the SSX we all know and love, or a reworked travesty that has become a mere husk of its former self? Read on to find out…

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Microsoft E3 2012 Briefing Announced (And We’re Going!)

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Microsoft has announced the time and place for their E3 2012 conference.  Held once again at the Galen Center, the conference will be taking place on Monday, June 4th at around 10:00 AM CST.  The other great thing about this is that we’ve received our invitation to attend the press conference so we’ll be honest-to-goodness liveblogging it as it happens this year to give you the best up-to-the-second coverage possible!  Tell you friends, Game Usagi is the place to be on June 4th.

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