Nintendo of Japan unveils first pictures of Wii external hard drive

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Nintendo of Japan unveils first pictures of Wii external hard drive

Said to be released late 2009 with a price tag around 4400 Yen (40USD)

Nintendo DS Review: The World Ends With You


By Pierst179

For companies like Square-Enix that have a huge group of gaming series that are known worldwide and generate incredible hype among fans whenever a new installment is coming, it is fairly easy to create a new game. All the developing team needs to do is to use most features and characteristics that make those critically acclaimed series so amazing and bring them to a "new" game that will present a new world, a different group of enemies and a nice storyline. The result will obviously be a great package that unfortunately won't contribute neither to the growth of the industry nor to the genre itself.

The true challenge behind the developing process is taking the risk to create something so fresh and authentic that even people who are supporting the project will doubt its success. And when Square-Enix is willing to take such a leap chances are fans all over the world will be pleasantly surprised with the outcome of the experience. The World Ends With You is exactly that, a game overflowing with a unique vibe that appears on a moment where titles that are way too similar dominate the market.

The game takes place in Shibuya, one of Tokyo's wards, a place filled with many young people where big brands are fashion centers are the most popular subject among the local dwellers. It is in this vivid and vibrating place where we first encounter the main character of the story. Neku Sakuraba is a teenager with the "I don`t care attitude" that has many doubts about the world and people who live around him.

He wakes up in the main area of the district unable to remember anything about his life besides his own name and a couple of minor details. He has no idea how he got there but a few minutes later his whole world will change dramatically once he discovers that he is part of a game controlled by The Reapers – a mysterious organization – where in order to survive the players have to accomplish each one of the missions that are received via a cell phone on a daily basis during an entire week. Failing on a mission will lead to erasure.

In order to survive on this game players need to team up in duos. Neku quickly meets a young girl named Shiki and both of them form a partnership despite the fact that Neku somehow refuses to befriend with anyone. Basically that is all the information you will get in the beginning of the adventure, so questions like: Who are the Reapers? What is this game all about? Who Neku truly is? And what is the backstory of some of the characters? will be constantly hovering over your head as you progress through the game. The storyline therefore is extremely compelling because of the mysteries the game presents to the player as soon as the game kicks off and will be one of the main reasons you won't be able to put the game down.

In order to get through the game Neku and his partner will have to advance through Shibuya to solve the missions. Most of them are pretty straightforward as you will be battling your way to certain locations until you reach a big bad boss but some others require some more investigation and exploration. In certain occasions – those are rare though – you will feel like you are simply moving from one place to another while fighting enemies because the game can get very linear sometimes.

The battle system is one of the highlights of the game. Players who dislike random battles will be glad to know that you will only face enemies in Shibuya when you want to. This is accomplished by using the "player pin" which is displayed on the screen as an icon. By touching it with the stylus Neku will use his senses to scan the area where you are located. When you do so you will be able to read the minds of people who are nearby – except for other players – and also locate the "noise", which are the enemies of the game. Touch the noise icon and battle will ensue.

In batlle Neku will take the botton screen while his partner will fight on the top one, to suceed you will have to control both of the characters. In the beginning you will be fumbling with the controls a little bit since fighting on two screens at the same time can be confusing but after a few missions you will naturally perform movements with both characters. For those who are not able to master the dual battles there is an option that permits the CPU to take control of your partner automatically.

Both of the characters have different battle controls. Neku uses different pins for attacks, each one of them has a different function such as sending bullets towards the noise, generating an earthquake or dragging objects on the screen to attack the enemies. There is an endless variety of moves all of them being activated by different actions with the stylus like tapping the enemies, slashing neku or scrathing the ground. Sometimes the system will not identify those actions properly causing the character to perform the move incorrectly which can become frustrating sometimes.

Another minor flaw is that when you equip two pins that are activated by the same move the game will randomly choose one of them to use first, and you will only be able to use the other attack once the other pin has alread been used to its limit and is recharging its power for another usage.

Meanwhile, the partner faces the same enemies on the top screen by atacking them with moves made by pressing one of the directions of the D-pad. Once you press one of the directions a combinations of arrows will appear on the screen and by following them correctly you will land a combo. By succesfully performing many combos you will activate the fusion move which is a powerful attack performed by the duo that will heavily harm the enemies and recover a little bit of your HP.

Another noteworthy detail during battles is a green light puck that is passed from one character to the other. Whenever you land a combo one character will hand the puck to the other one this will temporally increase the attack of the one that received it, kepp the combo going and the puck will keep being passed and its attack boost will subsequently increase.

The battle system is very solid and it creates some truly memorable battles. It has some minor setbacks that could have been fixed but overall it is very original and most importantly a lot of fun. During the battle your character will receive some EXP points and his level will raise, improving a few stats automatically.

As on most RPGs out there, on The World Ends With You your characters should be well equiped to conquer the challenges but in the modern Shibuya there are not swords or iron ammo. All you are going to find are many stores that sell clothes from certain brands, buying them may make your character stronger.

One of the most interesting aspects of the game is the fact that brand charts rule this place. Most of the pins and all clothes acquired during your adventure belong to a certain brand and if this brand is on the top-3 of the brand chart your stats will gain a very good boost – especially if the brand is on the top of the chart – however, if the brand is the least popular of the area your stats will be halved. So taking a look at the chart is always a good idea if you intend to enter a battle.

The presentation of the game is absolutely astonishing. Everything here transpires originality from the graphics to the stylish menus. The different locations of Shibuya are close to perfect reproductions of the actual place and when playing the game youi can actually feel how alive that corner of Japan is. The character models are very nice and the storyline is shown via text boxes and steady characters with a few impressive cutscenes appearing on some dramatic moments of the plot. You can easily see the producers were very careful when polishing this product to this level.

The only thing I think is missing is a map of the Shibuya. On most missions you have to visit some certain locations but since the world is pretty big sometimes is easy to get lost while looking for your destination, still a map is nowhere to be found and if you don not have a good memory chances are you will eventually go through the wrong path at least once.

The soundtrack is one of the things that makes this game so thrilling, you may not like some of the music genres that the game uses but truth be told you will probably end up enjoying them when you are caught up in a battle or simply because the songs perfectly capture the young and brand-new feel that the game has.

The World Ends With You also has an incredible replay value because during your first playthrough – which must take around ten to fifteen hours - you will find out the solution to all questions I listed in the beginning of this review but your curiosity about some details of the plot and some rather obscure characters will make you replay the game since some pieces of information can only be acquired by playing the game once again. Do not worry though, the first ending explain enough to satisfy all players who do not feel like going through an extra adventure.

In the end, The World Ends With you is as original as an RPG created by Square Enix can be. The game may have its share of problems but none of those will make you forget about how big of an accomplishment this game is truly is, because adventures with such a perfect storytelling and refreshing gameplay do not appear as often as we would all like nowadays.


Aug. 11, 2008

If your idea of a superhero is someone with an invincible ego who can type e-mails while wearing boxing gloves, then the Wii™ Shop Channel has great news for you. The legendary Strong Bad (from the popular Homestar Runner Web series) makes his eagerly anticipated WiiWare™ debut this week. For even more laughs and clever gaming kicks, you'll also find a satirical space-age shooter on the Virtual Console™, along with a classic billiards game for those who prefer to keep their feet planted firmly on the ground.

Nintendo adds new and classic games to the Wii Shop Channel at 9 a.m. Pacific time every Monday. Wii™ owners with a high-speed Internet connection can redeem Wii Points™ to download the games. Wii Points can be purchased in the Wii Shop Channel or at retail outlets. This week's new games are:


Strong Bad Episode 1: Homestar Ruiner (Telltale Games, 1 player, Rated T for Teen-Crude Humor, Mild Cartoon Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes, 1,000 Wii Points): Charming. Suave. Awesome. These are the words Strong Bad would use to describe himself. In a world gone mad, only one man can be trusted to save the day. A man with an attitude. A man called Strong Bad. As the star of the Homestar Runner Web cartoons, Strong Bad has been answering e-mails (in boxing gloves), pranking his friends, pummeling his enemies, and making people with questionable taste snort milk out of their noses for years now. And he's branched out to star in Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, a monthly five-episode series. In Episode 1: Homestar Ruiner, Strong Bad's plans to beat the snot out of Homestar backfire, and he ends up with an unwanted houseguest cramping his style. Now he needs to get life back to normal by any means possible. But wait, there's more: Teen Girl Squad comics, achievements, funny costumes and arcade games. You can even send pictures and messages to Wii Friends using Strong Bad's computer. So how about it? Can you handle Strong Bad's style?

Virtual Console

Break In (TurboGrafx16, 1-4 players, Rated E for Everyone-Tobacco Reference, 700 Wii Points): Gather up to four players for an authentic game of pool right in your own home. Choose from six billiards games including 9-Ball, Rotation and Carom (a game played without pockets). Use Simulation mode to calculate the perfect shot, or select Action mode and check out what went wrong with your missed shots. With all that to choose from, Break In gives players-from beginners to experts-all the elements necessary to enjoy a great game of pool. But it doesn't stop there. Select Technique to practice your angles or even go for a trick shot. Get some help from the CPU and hone your skills. With Break In, you'll be a pro in no time.

Star Parodier (TurboGrafx16 CD-ROM, 1 player, Rated E for Everyone-Mild Cartoon Violence, 900 Wii Points): Star Parodier is the hilarious spoof of the classic Hudson shooter Star Soldier. In this parody, there are three playable ships for players to choose from: the ingratiating PAROCEASER, the hot-headed BOMBERMAN, and the ever-so-introverted PC-ENGINE. Players control one of these unique and original ships and set off to blast their way through eight stages on the planet PAROSON. The comical characters take the color and flavor of the Soldier series to the next level and are guaranteed to leave players mesmerized. In addition to the normal game mode, there are also the familiar two-minute and five-minute attack modes, making Star Parodier the complete package that is sure to have players coming back for more.


Anyone who loves Pokémon® knows a rare treasure when they see one. A treasure that is sure to be sought after is Nintendo’s new Nintendo DS™ Limited Edition Pokémon Pack, which includes a Pokémon-themed Nintendo DS game system and exclusive Pokémon premiums.

Available on Aug. 17, the Nintendo DS Limited Edition Pokémon Pack features a custom Onyx Nintendo DS emblazoned with images of Dialga and Palkia, two of the most legendary characters from the Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl games. The set also includes a never-before-released animated special – Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time and Darkness (based on the story of the two newest Pokémon DS titles) – plus a cool Dialga and Palkia carrying case, and collectible mini-poster.

The Nintendo DS Limited Edition Pokémon Pack will be available at a suggested retail price of $129.99. For more information about Pokémon, visit

Customize your Wii Wheel!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Click here to learn how!

Want your Wii Wheel Blue ring in different colors? Learn how by clicking the article above!

Reggie Confirms Storage Solution In the Works!

Multiplayer: One of the other things about hardware is that there’s been a lot of questions about the state of storage for the system. There was the retracted comment about “geeks and otaku” from the representative form Nintendo of Europe. But there are people who are downloading WiiWare games and finding that they are running out of room. There are channels in Mario Kart and Wii Fit that take up storage space. DLC coming for “Guitar Hero: World Tour” that’s going to have to be put on SD cards if you want to have a lot of music. Clearly there are a lot of reasons to provide extra storage. Are you guys planning on providing extra storage?

Fils-Aime: We have said publicly that we’re looking hard at the storage situation, that we’re working on a range of solutions. We have nothing to announce now. But certainly it’s an issue we are aware of and we’re working to find a solution and we will.

Read more of the interview here.

GTA on Wii?

Click here for Article.

Well, it seems that GTA may be possible for the Wii. It is said to use the PS2's San Andreas Engine. It is also stated to come out in Fall of 2009. Hopefully a Wii exclusive since the PS3 and X360 got GTAIV.

Resident Evil 5... Coming for Wii?

Sega's President told Kotaku that Resident Evil 5 would come to the Wii, but it seemed to be just a "simple slip of the tongue". Hopefully Resident Evil 5 for the Wii was meant to be a secret, but accidentally stated that it would. You know... Hopefully.

Nintendo DS Review: Final Fantasy IV

By Ethenia

A masterpiece from the SNES era have been reborn on the Nintendo DS with full 3D Graphic and some voice over. Has Final Fantasy IV lost its charm or it is still same as before or even better on the Nintendo DS? Read on to find it out.

The story of Final Fantasy IV has been given a new translation from the Japanese version rather than using the old translation. The new translation are better in the sense that it fit into cut scene, it manage to give cut scene more feeling as there are voice over. With the new translation Final Fantasy IV is still able to retain it storyline without changing much. However in Final Fantasy IV, there are more storyline which usually tells what happened in the past. So here is another reason to get the DS version of Final Fantasy IV as it tells more story when the Gameboy Advance or SNES don't.

In Final Fantasy series, Final Fantasy IV standout as one of the better one where many fans will agree. I will give a short summary of the story without spoiling anything. The story started with a young guy name Cecil, who is the captain of the Baron's Red Wings, who is seeking for crystal for the king. However, innocence people have involved in the situation and those people claim that the crystal will have impact of the world. The story have mixed of love, betrayal and sacrificial. With so much feeling in one game, you might think that it will be bad or complicated. But don't worry, it fits the story perfectly. Final Fantasy IV offers a good storyline but not all will enjoy it, but the story should appeal to most of the people who have played this game.

Music of Final Fantasy IV is being composed by Nobuo Uematsu. Nobuo Uematsu is famous for composing music for the Final Fantasy series, so Final Fantasy IV is no difference. Final Fantasy IV soundtracks have been remixed by no other than Nobuo Uematsu himself. However, due to the slight remixed of the original soundtrack, some fans claim that it is awful. But, me myself and I believe many fans that found that the remixed version of the soundtrack is a lot better.

Final Fantasy IV offers awesome soundtrack during the SNES era and now the soundtrack on Final Fantasy IV still retain it awesomeness. The soundtrack itself is very epic which totally fits itself into the environment and carry a lot of feeling. For example, the most popular music in Final Fantasy IV which is Theme of Love. Therefore when playing this game, remember to use a headphone to have the best effect for soundtrack in game.

During important cut scenes, there will be voice acting. The voice acting is something new for Final Fantasy IV DS which all the previous version of Final Fantasy doesn't contain. The voice acting together with the new translation which totally made the cut scene a lot better. With voice-acting, character now have more personalities than before. Sound effect is also one important aspect in game, which is nicely done on Final Fantasy IV DS. In battles skills and magic have different sound effect, with sound effect the game itself is better as the sound effect will not feel out-of-place.

Final Fantasy IV is one of the many DS games that are able to have really good 3D graphic. All the older version of Final Fantasy IV is all 2D base where 2D character on 2D map. However, Final Fantasy IV DS is the first Final Fantasy IV to have a full 3D graphic. You might think that 3D graphic on the DS will be all pixilated, but no. Final Fantasy IV uses both the top screen and the bottom screen where the top screen usually displays the gameplay as for the bottom screen, it is usually use for maps.

Final Fantasy IV starts off with a FMV as the opening video for the game where all character looks a lot better than the in-game graphic which lasted for around 3 minutes. As you should know, most FMV does by Square Enix are top-notch. Enough with FMV now lets move on to in-game graphic. During game, there are no FMV present, the cut scenes are represented by normal game graphic. There are plenty to cut-scene so it actually covered up for no FMV in the main story itself.

Final Fantasy IV is a 3D game as stated before where the characters, towns and maps are all in 3D. During battles, there is a difference between the normal battles and boss battles, normal battles the camera are shown from the side where the monsters in on the left while you are standing on the right. But during boss battles, the camera is shown from the back of the character meaning that you will be seeing only the back view of your character.

Now I am going to talk about sprites. Firstly the character sprites have 2 versions, one is the FMV type while the other is in-game type. The in-game character sprites are just a step down of the FMV sprites so they look similar but do not look as great as the FMV sprites. The character also looks exactly like those from the previous Final Fantasy IV where the sprites are 2D, however in the DS version it look bigger and clearer but in 3D. During game, when you changed your weapons, your sprites will change as well. However, it only applies to weapon. Secondly is the monster and the non-playable character (NPC), both the monster and NPC sprites look exactly like those in 2D but bigger and clearer and of course in 3D. Lastly is the town and map, the map and town still retain it same old structure but it have been remake graphically where now it look clearer and is in 3D.

Lastly about graphic, I am going to talk about skills and magic animations. During battles, skills and magic are very important, if the animation for both skills and magic is bland it would be very bad. However, in Final Fantasy IV for most of the skills and magic animation, most of them look very awesome and some of them can even give you a "wow!" expression. In skills and magic, summons stand out the most as the animation is being supported by a cut-scene then followed by the damage.

Final Fantasy IV is a Role Playing Game (RPG) where there is story to follow and need level to proceed further into the game. As you know that most Final Fantasy, the party only allows 3 or 4 members only. However, Final Fantasy IV allows 5 members in the party. You might say that it is unbalance but enemies party can be up to 6. Final Fantasy IV have higher difficulties compare to the other versions as boss battle need strategy now.

Final Fantasy IV uses the Active Time Battle (ATB) system, where there is a bar to charge and if the bar have charge finish you can input commands for your character to perform. The speed of the battle is determine by the setting you made in game, it can be fast or it can be slow and more importantly there is slow and active mode. In slow mode, when you input commands, the enemy bar will stop charging while in the active mode even if you are choosing what are you going to do the next turn the enemy bar will carry on charging. So the difficulties can be control but the boss battle is still tough.

Like in most RPG genre, leveling and buying equipment in always there and Final Fantasy IV is no difference. You would need to level up and buy better equipment to kill stronger monster to advance into the story line or to make the game easier. Monster in Final Fantasy gives experience point and gil where is needed to level up and buy equipment. To encounter monster, you will need to walk around the map and random monster will pop out, this is called random battle. There are others way to encounter monster as well like using items.

Final Fantasy IV does not have job system that is similar to Final Fantasy III or Final Fantasy V. Final Fantasy IV already have a specific job for each character, so you need not have to worry of changing too much on the job. In the DS version of Final Fantasy IV, it has something call augment which allowed you to use other character skills. I won't elaborate on it as it contain major spoiler. Also in DS version of Final Fantasy IV character abilities have been revamped. For instant certain character is not longer useless as they are useless in the previous version of Final Fantasy IV.

Some nice addition to Final Fantasy IV has improved the gameplay for Final Fantasy IV such as the auto-play features. This features allow help players who are doing grinding, with this features players need not need to input commands as the computer itself will choose to attack for you, all you need to do is to press the "x" button to activate or deactivate the features. There are other features such as if you explore 100% on this particular map, you will be awarded with prize. There are other extras where you can find in the DS version of Final Fantasy IV

Final Fantasy IV does not have wifi so there is nothing to comment here. But Final Fantasy does have multiplayer support but it is pretty useless. The multiplayer for this game is basically to have some sort of battle with your friend. Not with your party member but with a summon. In multiplayer, you need to do some games to get scores and these score will affect the summon stats.

Final Fantasy IV offers player up to 30 to 40 hours in their first play through. Final Fantasy IV enable players to play New Game+ after their first play through. However, the New Game+ is only there for 3 play through. This game has side quest and mini games which will occupy more of your time on this game.

Final Fantasy IV overall gives us a relaxing time to enjoy such great game. Final Fantasy IV offers a lot of thing for players and many new extras where all the previous version of Final Fantasy IV doesn't. This game can also be enjoyed by players who haven't played Final Fantasy IV before. Therefore I end my review with this; Final Fantasy IV DS version, by far is the best version of all the Final Fantasy IV.

Nintendo controllers facing possible ban

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It was already known that Nintendo was on the hook for $21 million in a patent suit over the company's controllers. A Texas judge last week denied the game maker's request for a new trial, and Bloomberg is reporting that the judge will issue a ban to halt sales of the controllers tomorrow.

However, if the ban were to be issued, it would not take effect until after a Nintendo appeal on the original ruling was resolved. Nintendo could also avoid the ban by posting a bond or putting royalties into an escrow account, according to Bloomberg.

The original suit sought to have Nintendo's Wii Classic Controller, Wii Nunchuk, GameCube controller, and GameCube WaveBird all deemed in violation of an Anascape patent for a "six degrees of freedom" interface device. A jury found that all of those products, with the exception of the Wii Nunchuk, infringed on Anascape's patent.

Microsoft was also named as a defendant in the suit, but settled out of court before it went to trial. Sony has licensed the patent for use in its own products since 2004.

"Friend Codes are not Perfect"

Probably the biggest flaw in Nintendo’s online system is friend codes. It’s Nintendo’s way of keeping kids safe from online harassment. But even Nintendo President Satoru Iwata doesn’t think they are perfect, and he also says Nintendo is trying to improve Wii’s online service. More info after the break.

In an interview with GameDaily, Iwata was asked how Nintendo’s approach to online may be changing.

Iwata answered with this, “First of all, I don’t think the current system we have with friend codes is perfect. However, if it’s an online world where you can get access to anybody without any restrictions, I as a father do not feel like allowing my daughter be engaged in that kind of world. So for Nintendo, especially in terms of the people who have never experienced online video games before, we think that it’s still very important to create a world where we can assure that there will be no harassment for these online beginners, and we really want to assure the security and safety for them to do that. So we will be studying this on an ongoing basis in order to improve Nintendo’s own circumstances where people can freely and safely enjoy the communications through the net.”