Miyamoto’s numerous confirmations

We’ve seen the logo, we knew it was coming but so far all Nintendo have said about Super Mario 3DS is that we’ll find out more come this year’s E3. Satoru Iwata announced the game early in the year at GDC showing a handful of screenshots and saying how the move from a 2D platformer to a 3D one proved to be problematic for some gamers, specifically precision jumping. Today, Shigeru Miyamoto spoke to Edge about Super Mario 3DS revealing “It’s a combination of Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario on N64. It won’t convey the message if I talk to you today, but if you play it at E3 that will give you more understanding of what I’m talking about.” I think from such a statement like that, we can get a good understanding of what he’s talking about. Both those titles are quite similar with Galaxy adding gravitational elements and ramping up the creativity of levels and suits. If Super Mario 3DS is a combination of the two, we can expect comparable gameplay and innovative gravity physics.

Because the game will be in stereoscopic 3D, Miyamoto believes the difficulties of pseudo 3D Mario games will be a thing of the past. Using floating platforms as an example, Miyamoto said: “In 2D it’s difficult to judge the distance, but in 3D it’s really easy.” He also said that the title is coming this year and echo earlier comments in an Iwata Asks feature about how it’ll be completely original. Adding to the promised originality will be the return of the Tanooki suit from Super Mario Bros 3 whose tail was seen in the logo shown at GDC. “The tail you mentioned on the logo – it’s what you think it is. You probably know what’s going to happen using that character,” said Miyamoto. Flying in Super Mario 3DS? Confirmed? Pretty much.

While he was at it, Miyamoto also confirmed the existence of a Wii successor but said even less about that, pleading for Edge not to ask anymore questions about it: “Don’t ask! Even when the Wii launched we were developing new hardware, work on 3DS had already started. It’s a matter of when we announce it. Please wait. Be patient until we decide.” No one ever thought for a minute that Nintendo wouldn’t be releasing another console but a lot of speculations were about simply a HD upgrade of existing hardware. From the latest rumours, the new system will be more powerful than the Xbox 360 and PS3, have the ability to play Wii games and a controller featuring a large HD touchscreen. Even if Nintendo weren’t planning on announcing anything about Project Cafe at E3, they may be forced to if more rumours keep surfacing. It could be another good year for Nintendo at E3 in June.


Angry aggregations

As if Metacritic wasn’t steeped in enough controversy, the aggregation site has once again been made to look the fool by its users. Instead of giving honest and balanced opinions, members of the user reviews section have polluted the figure of Portal 2 with a number of 0/10 scores (via Gamesindustry.biz). Why? A lot of grumbles are due to the game being a console port – heaven forbid – with PC users are expressing their disgust at how Valve’s highly anticipated puzzler already has a mountain of launch day DLC. A common console idea not generally found on PC titles.

Portal 2‘s length is another gripe. One user said how if it was cheaper, a 10/10 score is perfectly fitting but a 4-6 hour experience isn’t worth $60. The critics disagree. The 19 which have so far been submitted collectively award Portal 2 with 95/100, claiming it’s not only better than the first but one of finest games ever made. That sure sounds like it’s worth paying full price for.

The absurdity of a game’s length directly affecting its price is continuously brought into conversations yet only ever one way. No one ever shouts how a 40-60 hour RPG should cost considerably more than a 12 hour FPS. If a game provides anything more than a satisfactory experience, hasn’t it justified its price tag? And the platform ownerships of titles is a little ridiculous. There are some games which by their very nature are far better suited for one system over another, the RTS genre for example, but if anything, Portal was just a big a hit for the Xbox 360 as it was for the PC so the fact that it’s become more console-focused as a package is expected and doesn’t sound as if it detrimentally effects the actual game.

Thankfully, the user scores aren’t regarded very highly because of occasions such as this but it’s still a shame that it happens at all. Having your own opinion is fine as long as the criticisms are educated and not aggressively negative for the sake of lowering an aggregate score.

Review: ilomilo (XBLA)

UPDATE: This review has been updated with purchase information to coincide with ilomilo‘s launch today.

Now then, what can be said about ilomilo? Breaking it down to its purest form, the game is a puzzle-platformer of sorts with fantastic graphics. Expanding on such simplicities, ilomilo is a divine creation filled with the kind of quirky madness and creativity that is sorely missing on the Xbox 360 of late. I won’t hide my shameless admiration for this game nor will I cover the few flaws if does contain but in this review, I’ll do my best to explain just why I think ilomilo is a wonderful triumph.

Read on!
Continue reading

Kirby fans receive an epic wait in Europe

Finally, Europe has been given an official release date for Kirby’s Epic Yarn being February 25th 2011. Nintendo delayed the game for our continent in August but America was still set for an October launch which turned out to be very successful. Back then, all we knew was that Kirby’s Epic Yarn would make an appearance over here in Q1 2011 but now we have a solid timeframe to focus excitement towards. Nearly five whole months separates both US and EU dates with no sound reason why other than the need for multiple translations. That usually gets the blame for holding up the European releases but a delay like this hasn’t been seen for some time. A few games have even hit the EU before they hop over the pond to America. Sadly not this little beauty.

I did think that delaying Kirby’s Epic Yarn for Europe was a good thing, giving it and other top Nintendo franchises like Donkey Kong Country Returns and Metroid: Other M a bit of breathing space in such a crowded period for gaming. However, maintaining a Q4 schedule in the US hasn’t appeared to have detrimentally effected their hype or sales figures. But most of all I’m just peeved that I must wait so long to play a game that demoed brilliantly and has given our American cousins one more thing to gloat about in the world of gaming. They already have so much!

Play ilomilo early, or now to be precise

I’ve gushed over the gorgeous art-style of ilomilo before and verbally waved my fist in anger at the risk of it only being Windows Phone 7 exclusive but now it appears I, along with all of you lovely people, can try the game via XBLA and even buy it for 800 MS Points (£6.85/$10/€9.60). Before it’s officially released. Woot! But how, you may ask as I did when reading The Sixth Axis story. Navigate yourselves to ilomilo‘s official site and follow the on screen instructions to nab a download code for the game. Marvelous!

Fry up some zombies in Tempura of the Dead

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Have you heard of a game called The Tempura of the Dead? No? That’s because Xbox Live’s Indie Games are still criminally ignored even though there are a great deal of talented micro studios supporting the marketplace. But enough of politics, The Tempura of the Dead is a retro inspired platformer that roots itself in the glory days of the NES but looks like it has all the nuances of a modern day title. I’ve not had a chance to check it out myself but after an IGN forum poster alerted my attention to a rather awesome gameplay video, it’ll be soon added to my download queue. The price of 240 MS Points (£2.06/$3/€2.88) is at the slightly higher end of the Indie Games market but just watch the video above and try not to love it. A game where you switch between a gun-toting president and katana-waving Samurai to take out hordes of zombies? Yes please!

LittleBigPlanet 2 collector’s edition gets netuered for Europe

July this year was when we first heard about the LittleBigPlanet 2 collector’s edition and its wealth of goodies. Back then, the game was still on course for a November release and word on pricing for Europe was sketchy. Since then, the $79.99 box set including a number of free DLC, book/game ends and a Sackboy plushie, was pushed back until next year and if that’s not bad enough, it won’t even be coming to Europe. We’ll still be getting the DLC but the cuddly toy and book ends is to be replaced with a ‘steel’ case. Wow… Odd that one of the champions of British game development isn’t to have such a luxuries SKU but sales of the first game were significantly better in Europe after its 2008 release so maybe Sony feel that America need the most persuading to part with their cash.

{Thanks European PlayStation Blog}