2001’s Luigi’s Mansion allowed Luigi to finally take the spotlight away from his older, more successful brother. The Gamecube launch title, while charming, was unfortunately lacking, ultimately too simple, easy, and short to be anything memorable, or frankly worth a spin. Now, a dozen years later, Luigi finally gets another crack at the spot light with Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon.
Yes, it’s that time again, time for another episode of The Brocast! This time, Ben and newcomer Justin (the other Justin, whom you may remember from early episodes of the GUFU Late Nite Show) try to convince our Editor in Chief that DOTA 2 is totally worth playing, we’ll talk about Animal Crossing: New Leaf, our short-lived Minecraft hardcore server, DmC: Devil May Cry and Ben’s favorite game of the forever, the Japan-only Earth Defense Force 4. So join Ben, Justin, Justin and your host Gagan on the latest episode of The Brocast.
The GUFUyourself Brocast crew is back with our thoughts on the big 3 and how they did at E3. Chris shares how he got that special feeling for Kingdom Hearts, Justin tries to hide his sorrow, Brian becomes a celebrity, and I tell you why Nintendo totally under delivered. So yeah, basically Chris and Brian were there to drown out our bitching.
Author’s Note: This article was written three months ago when the PS4 was first announced. However, with the current situation with the Xbox One, the points in this article are even more relevant.
The next generation of gaming consoles is nearly here, and people are preparing to pay big bucks on new hardware. However, what is more concerning than the price of the hardware itself is the new standard price of retail games. Nintendo has finally raised their game prices to $60 (along with $300+ for the console itself), but how much will Sony and Microsoft raise their game prices (if there’s going to be a price hike at all). A few weeks ago, Sony gave us some comforting news that PlayStation 4 games will have a wide variety of game prices, from $0.99 to $60. It seems like Sony doesn’t plan to raise game prices for PS4 games, however, EA has other plans. During their next-generation press conference this week, EA announced they expect game prices rising to $70 on the PS4 and the next Xbox. If that’s not bad enough, EA also announced that they’ll be implementing their controversial micro-transaction system in every game they release in the future…
This image will never get old
Gaming has always been criticized for being an expensive hobby and practices like those above aren’t helping matters much. Many find it ludicrous to pay hundreds of dollars for a game console and then have to pay $50 or more for each new game. Some were able to get around this via game rentals and borrowing games from friends but the expensive stigma remains. Despite this, things are looking bright for gaming in the digital space, with smartphone and social gaming bringing new people to experience and appreciate gaming as well as digital stores such as Steam and premium services such as PlayStation Plus providing “hardcore” games at cheap and reasonable prices.
But for the traditional gaming industry, things don’t look so bright. Game sales at retailers have been decreasing year after year, with some game developers failing because their games haven’t sold as much as they needed to break even, much less make a profit. Due to the poor economy, people are spending less on games, and if game publishers are expecting customers to pay $60 for a game and even more on downloadable content on top of that, it’s no surprise that people are switching to cheaper alternatives with mobile gaming, or at the very least, sticking to game franchises that they are familiar with. In order for such a market to keep its relevancy, the industry needs to change in the following ways:
Fire Emblem Awakening is another well-made game in the Fire Emblem franchise that lives up to the grand history of this series. After all, it was a little over 20 years ago this series laid out the blue print for the Strategy RPG genre. The rock-paper-scissors gameplay that Fire Emblem has become known for is as strong and timeless as ever and the relationship building mechanic can still yield some wonderful rewards. Awakening is a game that is willing to mess with the formula enough to add a bell here or a whistle there but what it doesn’t do is give the series a much needed facelift. Thus, what we have here is a very safe entry to the series but an easily tolerated one given how well all these gameplay elements hold up.
So maybe they didn’t actually say “E3 is for suckers”. But it’s a clear implication after the latest Nintendo Direct, which announced 3DS news a damn sight more important than anything revealed at E3. Granted, that’s not saying much considering some of the biggest news was that Luigi’s Mansion 2 isn’t actually named Luigi’s Mansion 2, but bare with us: there’s a new 3DS.
Yes, Miyamoto told the world there wasn’t. And to be fair, he may not consider a “new 3DS” to be a “bigger 3DS”. That is, after all, just what it is. There’s no second circle pad, no scaled-back 3-D. Just a rounder, bigger system with slightly improved battery life and a 4GB memory card instead of the current 2GB. We won’t bore you with the details (there is a picture), but we would like to highlight one very important detail: the American version includes an AC adapter. Contrary to initial reports, not all countries are being screwed equally.
The lack of a second circle pad appears puzzling at first, but we can infer that Nintendo has no plans to heavily utilize the peripheral, probably to avoid ruining any good will they earned from the Ambassador program. Third parties remain up in the air, but without a model that includes the second pad we have a hard time believing many will use it, at least to a meaningful extent. The 3DS XL releases August 19 for $200, the same day as the coin-fixated New Super Mario Bros. 2.
NSMB2 will kick off Nintendo’s initiative to launch first-party titles on the eShop the same day as retail. It’s also leading the charge with paid DLC, though Reggie made a point of stating that the content had no set release date as it wasn’t in development yet. Fire Emblem: Awakening will also charge you for DLC, though the game won’t release until 2013. The next Professor Layton game, however, will be putting out one free puzzle a day for a full year. That one hits in November.
As for other stuff you can buy online, Nintendo’s “8-Bit Summer” program will release two Virtual Console titles every week in July. One of them is Wario Land. Buy it. Oh, and that weird Super Mario Land game where he jumps on Easter Island heads and Asian people is on sale. That one’s not as good; ignore that and buy Pikmin 2. The Wii version is $20 now, and the Gamecube version costs twice that. Used.
Kirby fans are also getting a great deal with Kirby’s Dream Collection, which collects all three Dream Land games, Kirby’s Adventure, Kirby Super Star, and Kirby 64 in addition to some challenge levels based on the last year’s Return to Dream Land. Basically, it’s the anniversary game Mario should have had instead of the SNES port he ended up with. Apparently Kirby is the mascot we deserve and the one we need right now since the collection is out September 16.
Also, Smash Bros. U is officially a thing. Sakurai’s still in charge, but Namco Bandai is doing the heavy lifting development-wise with guys like the Tales director and the entire Tekken team on board. Maybe someone can convince Sakurai that tripping is an unbearably stupid concept. We don’t expect the roster to deviate too sharply from the usual first-party focus, so color us surprised if there’s more than one Namco fighter. Some fans might cry foul at Namco’s involvement, but it’s a stretch to assume the Smash Bros. formula will see any big changes. The addition of seasoned fighting developers can only benefit the series, and hopefully the final results will lean closer to Melee than Brawl.
Finally, Pokemon Black 2 and White 2, which appear to put a bigger focus on classic critters, are set for Fall and Animal Crossing for 2013. If there’s one thing to take away from the news dump, it’s this: Nintendo doesn’t need your stinking E3 to make announcements. They’ll do their own thing, even if means flushing their press conference down the toilet.