Hyrule Warriors is the Nintendo x Koei Tecmo Collaboration of My Dreams

Hyrule Warriors

Of all the news coming from today’s Nintendo Direct, I’d have to say that the collaboration between Nintendo and Koei Tecmo has got me the most excited. The unofficially titled Hyrule Warriors throws the hero of time Link into battle against hordes and hordes of Hyrule’s enemies, Dynasty Warriors style.

Say what you will about the Dynasty Warriors (Musou) series of games, I love the fact that it has been unapologetic and honest about what it intends to be. A guilty pleasure hack-n-slash that makes history and fables into the stuff of boyish comic books complete with physics defying combos, fan serviced characters and ridiculous guitar solos. Mixing in The Legend of Zelda just makes all the more delicious a treat.

While it certainly isn’t the first outing for the two Japanese developers (Koei Tecmo studio Team Ninja developed the poorly received Metroid: Other M), this seems to be more in Koei Tecmo’s wheelhouse. Especially considering The Legend of Zelda producer/director Eiji Aonuma is on board, then Link should certainly get the attention he deserves in this spin-off.

I hope the game features more than just Link (and/or Toon Link). I hope they include Zelda/Shiek, Wolf Link or even Ganon. As much as I enjoy the idea of Hyrule Warriors, the thing that I love the most about any Dynasty Warriors game is at least a little bit of variety.

Hyrule Warriors is expected out on the Nintendo Wii U sometime in 2014.

Marth! Marth! Marth!

Super Smash Bros. Wii U

Nintendo’s next installment of the always popular Super Smash Bros. is finally beginning to show some life in its roster. While most of the old stalwarts have been confirmed to many agreeing nods, the tertiary franchises haven’t been explored too much from the playable character pool. Already confirmed of fringe franchises have been the Wii Fit Trainer (with a potential bonus of the male trainer being added), the Animal Crossing Villager, Pikmin’s Captain Olimar and even Pit from Kid Icarus. Even Sega’s Sonic makes his return to fight alongside Capcom newcomer Megaman.

But the announcement I’ve been waiting for has always been the inclusion of Intelligent System’s Fire Emblem characters, and I’m happy to report that Marth will be returning for his third appearance in the free-for-all brawler. As the central figure in the original Fire Emblem, Marth has become a household name and helped spur the popularity of the franchise in the west, even earning a remake of his first game in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon.

Super Smash Bros. Wii U

But what I’m hoping is that Nintendo holds to tradition and gives Marth a worthy Fire Emblem opponent to square off against where past games have pit him against Roy (Melee) and Ike (Brawl). Odds are that Nintendo will choose Chrom, the protagonist of Fire Emblem: Awakening which not only was a success in their home territory of Japan, but was also the best selling Fire Emblem to date in North America. Although he won’t have the brute style that Ike seemed to possess, Chrom might be a perfect balance to Marth. So long as it isn’t a Ganondorf/Captain Falcon balance.

Who else are we looking forward to? The Odds of Snake coming back are looking slim as I doubt Nintendo would pony up to have him in once more, much to my disappointment. Captain Falcon is almost always a late addition but he’ll make it on sheer popularity alone. Star Fox’s Falco and Kirby’s Meta Knight should also make their returns, but I see less of a case for Wolf and King Deedeedee. I’d almost put money on Namco throwing a character in, maybe somebody like Mitsurugi from Soul Calibur or Heihachi from Tekken would be natural additions. Or they could even go old school and put Pacman in, so long as he isn’t bipedal.

Super Smash Bros. Wii U

SuperSmashBros.com – Marth

Gaming Backlog – Wind Waker

Wind Waker HD

The term system seller is thrown around a lot when referring to titles that are “must-own” alongside their exclusive consoles. Halo was that title for the original Xbox just as Super Mario Bros. was for the Nintendo Entertainment System. But on a case to case basis, a system seller can be more than a high water mark like Halo was. Personally, I purchased an Xbox for Dead or Alive 3, not Halo (which was actually the third game I purchased). To me, a system seller is a game that is immediately identifiable as a companion to a particular console. With that definition in mind, there is no game to console relationship quite like how The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker was to the GameCube. Continue reading

Nintendo 2DS – The Gaming Doorstop You Didn’t Ask For

Not one to be outdone by the reality show of Sony and Microsoft pre-launch antics, Nintendo proved they know how to make heads turn back in their direction. On a day where the headline should have been the price drop of the Nintendo Wii U to $299, Nintendo surprised everybody by unveiling the handheld that nobody wanted: the 2DS.

Nintendo 2DS

Launching October 12, the 2DS will be able to play all 3DS software (and subsequently DS software) but with the 3D features permanently disabled. But the sheer terror of the handheld comes from the its hideous uni-body design. Rather than sticking with the clamshell aesthetic that Nintendo has rolled with since the Game Boy Advance SP, the 2DS will be a large chunk of plastic with the the two screens bolted on. The 2DS body is also not merely a rectangular block but has an wedged back that gives the system an appearance similar to a doorstop or an axe head. As a result of the new uni-body design, the analog and digital buttons have moved a few inches higher, so that they are positioned closer to the physical middle of the system. It’s an awkward looking item at a glance, but for the most part appears functional. Continue reading

E3 2013 Primer

E3 2013

With E3 2013 less than a week away, the media storm of pre-show hype is getting thick. From game announcements to rumors of resurrected IPs, this year’s E3 just might be the most unique show in recent memory. The show is guaranteed to have both the new Microsoft Xbox One and the Sony PlayStation 4 to show off for their respective fall launches, Nintendo will be present as well to drum up interest in their Wii U and 3DS platforms, PC gaming will show its rejuvenated mojo and the Ouya will be shown in a parking lot.

Continue reading