And now for some news that matters to know one.
From Record Store Day to Nintendo Challenge Night, lots going on
Saturday, April 21 is one of those days where there is almost too much going on. Only almost, because in reality, I don't think it's possible for too much to be going on.
All day long is Record Store Day, when a bunch of new, special release records (y'know, that stuff made out of vinyl) will go on sale in limited quantities. And Celebrated Summer Records, 3620 Falls Road, will be participating, carrying new Record Store Day records by Flaming Lips, Mastodon, Deerhoof, RunDMC, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Arcade Fire, Feist, Animal Collective, Otis Redding, Afrika Bambaataa, Of Montreal, Aretha Franklin, Rainer Maria, Tegan & Sara, The Misfits, Poison Idea, Integrity and many, many more. Other record stores throughout the country are participating,. too.
Record Store Day is huge, so be sure to get there early. Celebrated Summer opens at 11 a.m..
Later that day, there will be an opening reception for "Swords Buried Deep," by illustrator Benjamin Marra, at Spur Gallery, 3504 Ash St., from 6:30 - 8:30. Marra is a ridiculously talented and rather controversial artist and creator of the underground comics Night Business, Gangsta Rap Posse and The Incredibly Fantastic Adventures of Maureen Down (yes, he turned the New York Times columnist into an action hero).
Marra has also done work for Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Vice Magazine, Playboy, Nylon and many more.
Musician-turned-author Sam McPheeters will be reading and discussing his new novel, "The Loom Of Ruin," from 7-9 p.m. at Atomic Books. McPheeters has been in the bands Born Against and Men's Recovery Project and has written for Maximum Rocknroll and Vice Magazine.
But there are things happening on other days, too.
For example, on Saturday, April 14, Minas Gallery & Boutique, 815 W. 36th St., will host a poetry reading by Joseph Harrison and Stephen Kampa at 5 p.m. Admission is free. Also, be sure to check out Kathy Strauss' art exhibit, Time/Space/Matter, which runs through May 31.
And on Thursday, April 26, get ready to get your game on at The Golden West Cafe, 1105 W. 36th St. It's Nintendo Challenge Night and the game of choice will be Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo. The event starts at 10 p.m.. There's an entry fee to play, but winners take home cash.
If your parents ever said you were wasting your time playing video games, now's your chance to prove them wrong.
Series Fans Lapped Up Kingdom Hearts 3D, Casual Players Maybe Not
By Ishaan . April 6, 2012 . 8:30am
As expected, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance didn’t do all that well. The game sold 213,579 copies in its first week, which Media-Create report is 64.20% of its shipment. By comparison Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days on Nintendo DS sold 295,205 copies in its first week, which was a 72.35% sellthrough.
Media-Create point out two observations to accompany these sales:
1. Nintendo 3DS sales are only at about 5.5 million, while Nintendo DS sales were over 25 million when 358/2 Days was released.
2. Another interesting fact is that Kingdom Hearts 3D had lower first-week sales despite the fact it had higher pre-orders. 358/2 Daysonly had 90,000 pre-orders prior to release, while Kingdom Hearts 3D had 150,000 pre-orders.
Both these theories would suggest that Kingdom Hearts 3D had no problem reaching the series’ fans, which rules out the possibility of some sort of stigma against the game, as some have suggested. Instead, it suggests that Kingdom Hearts 3D failed to sell to a more mainstream audience. Perhaps Square Enix might have benefitted from releasing the game to a larger Nintendo 3DS userbase.
In the case of Birth by Sleep, too, the previous mainline Kingdom Hearts game, the PSP userbase was far higher than the 3DS userbase is at present. Personally, I believe that the game also benefitted from having an existing audience to tap into, thanks to Square Enix’s prior release of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, with which there was probably some audience overlap.
Finally, there’s also the matter of the series simply having gone on for too long. Each new game makes it harder and harder for new fans to get into the series. At the very least, Birth by Sleep gave fans a new cast of characters. In contrast, Kingdom Hearts 3D expects the player to jump right in and keep up with the events of the previous five games.
The question now is, how will Kingdom Hearts 3D perform worldwide? Square Enix plan to release the game this July in North America.
10 Tips and 4 set-ups to help you win in Kid Icarus Uprising Multiplayer
Kid Icarus Uprising is brilliant (you can read our Kid Icarus Uprising review here) and features one of Nintendo’s most thoughtful and frantic multiplayer modes to date. Choosing a weapon you like is hard enough, let alone selecting your powers, memorising a stage, learning what items do what and then actually putting all that knowledge into a workable plan. Daunting? Definitely.
But never fear, Nintendo Gamer is here! We’ve got ten tips and four weapon and power set-ups that should help you find success in future Grecian brawls, or at least ensure you lose slightly less… No, win. You will win.
This is not a guide to collecting the best weapons, nor is it a list of cheeky, cheap methods to cheat victory. What it is, is a series of yays and nays that will help direct you towards success next time your friend threatens you with a Knuckle Staff Sandwich.
Staying in the mix like Mr. Gold there will get often see you stabbed in the back. Like Mr. Gold there.
DO Experiment with Weapons
Don’t think ‘I like the look of the Atlas Club, I’m going to use the Atlas Club’, you’ll wind up stuck in your ways and unable to adapt. Experiment with different weapons, it will keep your options open if you’re proficient with a handful of types, you’ll learn what to look out for when a foe is charging at you with a Black Club, Practise against AI in wireless together mode and you may find a secret favourite.
DON’T Forget your Powers
Powers are just as important as the Blade/Orbiters/Bow/Whatever you’re wielding, and can often provide the trump card in a sticky situation. You choose your abilities so what can you do? Go invisible? Run faster? Never tire? Reflect shots? Launch fireworks? whatever you’ve got, don’t forget to use your powers frequently.
DO Focus your Powers
Sure, having a wide selection of powers sounds like a great idea but choosing a wide pool of basic powers can leave you with only one or two weak shots of each ability per life, unable to call on a specific power when you want it. You’ll find a more powerful tactic is to focus on a specific playstyle, say ‘I want to do this’, and choose three or four powers that absolutely compliment that style.
DON’T Play Dumb
Sounds obvious yes? Don’t be an idiot. Thing is, Kid Icarus Uprising tells you a lot more than you initially realise, and it’s up to you to use this information. What weapon is the chap running this way brandishing? A Club? Well he’ll want to be in melee range so do your best to keep away from him. Also, if you’re on low health don’t run at someone rocking a full tank, lay low and look for some tasty floor cake.
DO Mix your Weapons
It’s easy to adapt to a person’s fighting style and find their weakness. For example, if you’re facing a particularly proficient melee brawler take a bumblebee power next round to introduce the largest of spanners to their works. If you mix up your style frequently you’ll be able to react to opponents and also reduce your own predictability. Don’t pidgeonhole yourself.
Take some time to play offline and learn which items do what, turrets are true boon you won't want to waste.
DON’T Abandon your Team
In Light vs. Dark, Kid Icarus Uprising’s 3vs.3 team mode, your buddies are your strength. If you stay together you’ll find you’re much stronger, able to gang up on melee foes and confuse ranged aggressors. This goes doubly when you’re the Angel, don’t get yourself killed.
DO Run Away, if you must
Dying doesn’t do you any favours so don’t be afraid to take a page out of Sir Robin’s book and bravely run away if you find yourself in the middle of a huge scrum or simply in an unfavourable position against an individual foe. If it comes to it, hide. In a game of Light vs Dark not dying is as valuable a contribution to your team as killing. The floor cake will appear soon.
DON’T Forget about Continuous Fire
A lot of Kid Icarus Uprising players focus all their efforts on athletic, leaping charge shots and vicious melee onslaughts, meaning one of the best ways to grab a cheeky kill actually lies in your weapon’s often underrated continuous fire. Use it, it puts a lot of pressure on foes that many people forget about.
DO Use the Environment
Kid Icarus Uprising’s maps are big and cluttered, use this clutter to your advantage. Lie in wait for unsuspecting enemies, use cover to absorb shots. Set a reflect in a doorway. Flank enemy positions while team-mates distract them. Most levels have key battle spots, learn these and use them to your advantage.
DON’T Ignore Solo Mode
While the multiplayer mode is great, improving your Solo abilities and pushing through the Intensities is still a better way to amass hearts and locate rare, powerful weapons. Remember what they say, a level a day keeps the Reaper away. Do dodo dodo dodoo do dodo dodoo doooo.
As tempting as grind rails are they can often be slower than actually running. Note what you're fighting.
A few choice Nintendo Gamer Setups
The following weapons and power set ups have shown Nintendo Gamer success, so we’re providing you with the weapon name, powers, and a short description of the tactic used.
Weapon: Beam Claws
Powers: Bumblebee (lvl 1), Counter (lvl 3), Transparency (lvl 2), Playing Dead (lvl 1).
Method: The trick here is the surprise. Using transparency and the improved speed of the beam claws we’re a knife, carving through the battlefield, using the huge melee range to abuse unsuspecting enemies. Bumblebee and Counter keep would be brawlers off of our back, so we hide, plan attacks, but never spend too long out in the open. We are the Reaper ( Do dodo dodo dodoo do-sorry).
Weapon: Cragalanche Cannon
Powers: Explosive Flame (lvl 2), Meteor Shower (lvl 2), Heavenly Light (lvl 1), Mega Laser (lvl 3)
Method: Excessive damage is the name of this set-ups game, launching great massive explosives into gaggles of opponents, going hell for leather with all the explosives you’ve got. In fact death isn’t a major concern when we’re rocking the Big Boom, as that just re-arms our explosives even quicker.
Weapon: Gaol Blade
Powers: Sky Jump (lvl 1), Angelic Missile (lvl 3), Reflect Barrier (lvl. 3), Transparency (lvl 2)
Method: The Blade is a versatile weapon that we favour at mid-range. The aim is to attack enemies that aren’t looking at us, then using a Reflect Barrier as soon as they catch a sniff. The Gaol Blade fires for a long time, making it a sneaky weapon that we can easily pick up kills with, while the Angelic Missile can be employed to pick up some cheeky kills and make some clutch escapes.
Weapon: Paw Pad Orbitars
Powers: Super Speed (lvl 1), Power Thief (lvl 4), Freeze Attack (lvl 3), Interference (lvl 3), Counter (lvl 1)
Method: Ninja Cat was always the master of surprise, and this load-out embodies the reactive and unexpected nature of the legendary feline. The Pad Paws back dash charge shot lets us set up huge, slow moving obstacle while the Power Thief and Interference powers give us a sneaky, unexpected edge in close encounters. Fear the paws!
The way each paw has an actual tail makes this weapon even more disconcerting.
Hopefully this will give you a little bit of fresh insight with which to conquer your enemies in Kid Icarus Uprising multiplayer. Feel free to recommend your favourite weapons and powers in the comments below, together we can only grow stronger.
22 Wii U games we know are in development
We’ve already begun chatting about our fantasy Most Wanted Wii U games, and we’ve also asked you about the Wii U games you want to see (get stuck into the discussion if you haven’t already). Now it’s time to look into the actual Wii U games that we know are coming. Justin Towell gets busy with the facts…
For a console as mysterious as the Wii U, you’d think there’s little we know about the line-up. But there’s actually a lot of concrete information. And, in the cases where information isn’t concrete, there’s usually a hint or two dropped by the developers to put us on the right track. So after a couple of Wii U videos from last year’s E3 conference, here’s what’s almost definitely coming to the machine within its first year on sale, along with how we expect it to work with Wii U’s unique capabilities.
Above: Nintendo’s Wii U concept video shows off how Wii U Sports, Wii U Fit and other Wii U games could work.
Above: This Wii U software line-up trailer shows some of the Wii U games that are currently in development.
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. Wii U
Destined to be forever remembered as the first game we saw running on the new device, New Super Mario Bros gets an HD sequel and all is right with the world. The action looks comfortingly familiar, as Mario and friends (including Miis) jump about in the Mushroom Kingdom, collecting coins and generally showing every other platform game how it’s done.
How New Super Mario Bros. Mii might work
The E3 trailer was probably mock-up gameplay, but it doesn’t suggest the controller itself will play any special part in the action, aside from being able to take your game away from the TV when somebody wants to watch baseball (or whatever regional variation you prefer – E3 was held in America so no chance of the cricket featuring in their promos). Besides, even if we do get to use two Wii U controllers with one console, that’s not going to help the four-player mode, so we would imagine the game will be playable with three Wii remotes and an Wii U controller.
Wii U FIT
The Wii Fit frenzy may have died down now, but the fact the old Wii Balance Board will work with the Wii U means that massive market could be recaptured with little extra outlay. This was briefly shown in the E3 demo reel, so we’re taking it as a cert come launch.
How Wii U Fit might work
It looks like the hand-held unit will be able to display stats and weight information in real-time as you stand on the balance board. Of course there will be the usual fitness-based minigames to play on the TV too, but doing daily step routines around the board while someone else watches TV (possibly even you) sounds good to us. But then, so does a donut. There’s also the possibility (as hinted at by Iwata himself) that the camera in the controller will be able to track your whole body, Kinect-style. Can it really do that with a single camera?
Wii U SPORTS
Golf, baseball… perhaps boxing might be a bit difficult (unless you just use an old Wii remote). Seeing Wii U turning the already revolutionary Wi Sports into something new and exciting yet again was the moment that we realised exactly how much potential Nintendo’s new console really has.
How Wii U Sports might work
There’s little need to guess – Nintendo’s already shown us. Lie your HD controller down on the ground and see with your own eyes exactly how your ball is sitting in the inevitable sand trap. Then just swing away over it with your Wii remote and watch your shot play out on your TV screen across the room. Incredible. The game itself is technically unconfirmed, but if any game is going to capture the imagination of the mass-market and show up Kinect as the already outdated me-too device it really is, it’s Wii Sports Wii U.
DARKSIDERS II Wii U
Barring some major disaster, Darksiders II Wii U will be available day one. Of course, ‘some major disaster’ is exactly what the game is about, taking place during the Apocalypse. After playing as ‘War’, this time, you’ll be playing as Death, as the events of the first game unfold around you once more. If the scenario works, why not just see it all again from another angle? There will be extra features added to the gameplay, such as ‘traversal’, which is Prince of Persia-style wall-running and climbing, plus Diablo-style loot. Plus, you’ll get to use Death’s scythe, which is all they really needed to say to get us interested.
Above: Darksider II gameplay footage. Let’s hope THQ’s recent woes don’t delay its Wii U launch!
How Darksiders II Wii U might work
It seems unlikely that there will be any motion control added to Darksiders II as it’s very traditional joypad fare. But that’s not a bad thing – this is exactly the sort of game Nintendo owners have been without for the past six years. Even if the touch screen is relegated to magic or inventory selection, or perhaps camera control, this should be the best-looking version of Darksiders II, and that’s good enough for us.
TEKKEN Wii U
Namco’s long-standing one-on-one fighting franchise already appears to be quite a way along on Wii U, with gameplay video and features all shown off by the game’s Chief Game Director, Katsuhiro Harada (read our interview with Harada here). We know there will be in-game currency called Fight Money that you earn whether you win or lose (although hopefully you’ll get more for winning) that will allow you to purchase customisation items in-game, which will even stretch to being able to design your own stages to fight in. That’s a first for the Tekken series!
How Tekken Wii U might work
It isn’t hard to imagine some of the new ways you’ll be able to interact with the characters in Tekken, because the E3 showreel showed it in detail. You can draw on your opponent’s face in real-time once you beat them, and the subsequent comedy tache could (supposedly) stay there for up to a year. That’s some punishment for losing!
You can also use this to add decals to jackets, which should be fun. There’s also the promise that onlookers will be able to view your fight with someone else from another camera angle while they wait to play, plus a training mode running on the HD controller as you play, so you can analyse the fight as you go. That really is Tekken it to another level (groan).
There are more at the links! I cannot give you all the goodness, can I ?