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Hang Em Hyrule photo
Hang Em Hyrule

What if The Legend of Zelda took place in the Wild West?

The Power, the Wisdom and the Courage
Aug 13
// Salvador GRodiles
When the folks at Beatdown Boogie aren't shooting at a con, they go behind the set to create their own special projects. In their latest video, the group gives us a taste of how The Legend fo Zelda would turn as a spaghetti ...
Splatoon photo

Behold the glory of Splatoon's Squid Girl gear

Coming soon to everywhere!
Aug 07
// Josh Tolentino
It's happening! Everyone's favorite cephalopod-children combat painting simulator, Splatoon, is getting the long-awaited crossover with everyone's favorite cephalopod-conquest documentary, Squid Girl. Scans from the latest is...
Nintendo photo
Iwata was 55
[Update: Developer legend and Nintendo General Manager Shigeru Miyamoto issued a statement in reaction to Iwata's death, saying that he was "surprised at this sudden news and overcome with sadness."] In a brief statement issu...

Splatoon photo

Transform and Ink-Roll Out: Splatoon gets a Transformers homage

Make like a Squid, Kid
Jun 12
// Josh Tolentino
Nintendo's friendly shooter Splatoon is definitely looking to be the mimetic flavor of the moment, judging from the amount of buzz it's been generating online, but hey, if it somehow results in awesome art and whatnot, I...

Squid Girl x Splatoon photo
Squid Girl x Splatoon

Ain't Squiddin': Splatoon x Squid Girl is the crossover to watch

The deal is inked
Jun 05
// Josh Tolentino
It looks like Splatoon's the game to take the world by storm this year. Nintendo's paint-themed squid-kid shooter's quickly barged its way into the gamer hivemind on a spray of bright paint, and you know what that means: Cros...
Xenoblade photo

XenobladeX checks all the right boxes

Can not wait
Apr 23
// Hiroko Yamamura
I haven't touched my Wii U in quite some time. While I don't game nearly as much as I should, it's the system that's seen the least amount of miles in my collection. Luckily, XenobladeX will likely change all of that. This i...
Megaten X FireEm photo
Megaten X FireEm

Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem trailer explodes my mind

Apr 03
// Hiroko Yamamura
I watch a lot of anime and video game trailers, as you can probably guess. However, I can only count on one hand the times a video has totally blown my mind and left me confused! During the Nintendo Direct show yesterday, a ...
New 3DS photo
New 3DS

This New 3DS commercial shows off Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's Kawaii Touch

Nintendo's characters receive an amazing makeover
Sep 29
// Salvador GRodiles
I may not be a huge Kyary Pamyu Pamyu fan, but it's hard to say "no" to her style that brings us an abstract take on cute things. Speaking of which, Nintendo made an interesting move when they chose to feature Pamyu in the N...
Smash Bros 3DS photo
Smash Bros 3DS

Even AKB48 want to kick Nintendo's butt

48 New Challengers Appear!
Sep 08
// Josh Tolentino
Nintendo's been ramping up the hype train for its next Super Smash Brothers game, and in Japan, that means getting AKB48 involved, naturally.  It's a good thing that one of the key features of the upcoming 3DS and ...
Super Smash Bros. photo
Super Smash Bros.

E3 2014: Palutena's anime reveal is glorious

We need a full season of this!
Jun 11
// Josh Totman
One thing I got to give the people at Nintendo, is that they know how to make a reveal for their Super Smash Brothers games. In the trailer above, we get a beautiful anime sequence of Pit and Link fighting it out. When, all ...
Persona Q photo
Persona Q

E3 2014: Behold the glory of Persona Q

The 'Q' stands for 'labyrinth'
Jun 09
// Josh Tolentino
As if I needed any more reasons to get a 3DS, Nintendo has gone and released a new trailer for Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, the Persona 3 and 4-themed dungeon crawler from the studio that brought you Etrian ...
Hyrule Warriors photo
Hyrule Warriors

Hyrule Warriors releases in Japan this summer

Thousands of mobilns will weep and bleed
May 08
// Pedro Cortes
Back when we first found out about Hyrule Warriors, there was much excitement in the collective pantaloons of Japanator. I mean, combining The Legend of Zelda and Dynasty Warriors seems like a match made in gaming heaven. Unf...
Mario Kart photo
Mario Kart

You can finally defeat the Spiny Blue Shell in Mario Kart 8

Not lying.
May 03
// Ben Huber
Nintendo recently had a Mario Kart 8-centered Direct, and they ran through a bunch of the new features in game. They revealed some new playable characters (Baby Rosalina and Pink Gold Peach), the new ability to upload replay...
Fatal Frame photo
Fatal Frame

Fatal Frame Wii U in the works: Plus a film, novel and comic too

The question is, will ANY of this stuff find its way over here?!
Apr 22
// Dae Lee
Fatal Frame and the Wii U were destined for each other. The Wii U tablet was practically made to become my Camera Obscura, fighting for my life and sanity with my dwindling Type-Zero film. With no title or date released yet, ...
Toys photo

Nendoroids rarely get cuter than Wind Waker Link

He can be yours, come August
Apr 17
// Pedro Cortes
Over at Tomopop, we're used to seeing all manner of toy from a variety of shows. It's rare to have a figure pique all of our interests, and one such figure is Good Smile Company's Nendoroid Wind Waker Link. Coming from a love...
Nintendo photo

Tomodachi Life announced for June 6th in crazy Nintendo Direct

This is like a weird fever dream featuring Nintendo executives.
Apr 10
// Ben Huber
A while back we got word that Nintendo was going to be bringing over the incredibly popular Tomodachi Collection. Today, Nintendo released a surprise Nintendo Direct that detailed the game mechanics and the release date...
Sonic: Lost World photo
Sonic: Lost World

The Legend of Zelda drops into Sonic: Lost World via free DLC

Ruppee joke
Mar 27
// Chris Walden
Nintendo certainly seems to at least be trying to step up their Wii U offering, and while Zelda DLC for a Sonic the Hedgehog game is hardly a system seller, it's the right kind of attitude to have. The game is already a 3DS ...
Japan photo

Adidas hearts Pokmon with their latest promotion

Hint: Snorlax is a great goalkeeper
Mar 17
// Pedro Cortes
As we get closer to the 2014 World Cup, expect to see a ton of sponsorship announcements in your local news. Let's face it: one of the world's largest sporting events is a great time to promote your product. That of course go...
Special edition Monopoly photo
Special edition Monopoly

Pokmon and Zelda special edition Monopoly sets are coming

And they'll take your money before throwing you in jail
Mar 10
// Chris Walden
I think Monopoly is a great game to play if you want to lose the will to live, your friends or both, but even I think I'll have trouble keeping my hands off the upcoming Pokémon special edition set. Unfortunately, all ...
Pokemon XY Movie Trailer photo
Pokemon XY Movie Trailer

Pokemon XY second movie trailer looks impressive

Even if it's really short
Mar 06
// Chris Walden
Animated pokémon battles are always great fun to watch, but the movies always like to go the extra mile. As it's Pokémon X&Ys first movie, we've got the powerhouses Yveltal and Xerneas firing all sorts of c...
Nintendo photo

Recreate Mario Kart moments with this life-size ride-on

Watch out for banana peels
Feb 21
// Pedro Cortes
For years, I've been playing the various Mario Kart games and wishing I could smack my buddy with a Koopa shell. It comes with the competitive spirit, inflamed by getting hit with the blue shell for NINETY SEVENTH TIME, DAMMI...
Pokemon Battle Trozei photo
Pokemon Battle Trozei

Pokmon Battle Trozei lands on the 3DS in March

That's Pokemon Link: Battle for us Europeans
Feb 15
// Chris Walden
Thursday's Nintendo Direct brought a few new announcements with it, one of which will please us Pokémon fans. Remember Pokémon Trozei? It was a match-three game for the Nintendo DS, and not a particularly bad o...
Video Games photo
Video Games

Huzzah! New gameplay footage for Monolith Soft's X

It's very chatty
Feb 15
// Elliot Gay
I love Monolith Soft. I've been following the company ever since it was founded by Tetsuya Takahashi and Hirohide Sugiura after they left Square Co. in the late 90s. I dug the Xenosaga titles, adored Xenoblade, and even like...
Ace Attorney photo
Ace Attorney

Shu Takumi's next project is... Ace Attorney!

The king has returned.
Feb 14
// Ben Huber
A bunch of interesting news came out yesterday from the Nintendo Direct, but what I found most exciting was an announcement from Nintendo of Japan, stating what Shu Takumi's next game would be. Takumi is one of my favorite ga...
Nerd jewelry photo
Nerd jewelry

Subtle nerdy jewelry: Legend of Zelda key necklaces

Don't go dungeon crawling without a key
Feb 14
// Kristina Pino
It isn't uncommon to see folks wearing keys as jewelry, and for those nerds who like their geekdom to show, but subtly, a Small Key (or alternatively, Boss Key), might be just what you need. No heroic quests or magical abilit...
Bayonetta 2 photo
Bayonetta 2

Bayonetta 2 still exists, gets new trailer

Why is this game not in my Wii U now?
Feb 14
// Pedro Cortes
Yesterday's Nintendo Direct gave us a lot to be excited about. For me, the biggest news was the new Bayonetta 2 trailer. We saw more of short-haired Bayonetta, the Joe Pesci knock-off and a kid with white cornrows. Oh, there...

Review: One Piece: Romance Dawn

Feb 11 // Pedro Cortes
One Piece: Romance Dawn (Nintendo 3DS)Developer: Three RingsPublisher: Namco BandaiRelease Date: February 11, 2014MSRP: $39.99 (Gamestop Exclusive) Romance Dawn is a role-playing game that covers most of One Piece's main story, from the start of Luffy's adventure through the War of the Best at Marineford, minus Skypeia. That's close to 600 chapters of material crammed into one game. That right there should tell you that you'll be spending a lot of time absorbing dialogue and action. Well, just dialogue really. The vast majority of story in the game is told through portraits silently speaking to each other with tinny music playing in the background. Expect to wait dozens of minutes between action sequences when you're in the midst of story-heavy portions. When you're not watching a static screen shaking with implied action, you'll be running around in various themed maps trying to get to the exit. Impeding your progress are enemies walking around, who will instigate battles upon touch. Much like Chrono Trigger, combat takes place on the map. Unlike most RPGs, each round is turn-based while allowing free-movement. Turns are displayed on the side of the screen, similar to Final Fantasy X's battle structure. Characters are encouraged to stay in one of two concentric circles in order to avoid movement and recovery penalties. Character attack options are based off Action Points, which deplete with every attack you perform. Every attack that connects will increase the amount of Technical Points you have banked, which opens up the options for potentially longer, damage-dealing combos. The idea is that you move one of your three party members into a starting position, knock the enemy toward one of your other party members that's supposed to go next, finish them off and knock them off the sides of the level to increase treasure drop rates and get bonus experience at the end of the fight. The problem starts right away with the enemy evasion rate. From the start of the game, enemies will often dodge multiple attacks in a row. This not only keeps them from getting damaged, but it limits the amount of TP you gain and cuts you off from using your stronger attacks. So you're often stuck using a lot of weaker attacks until you luck out and hit enemies enough times so you can use a special attack that does more than 20 points of damage. Every encounter is artificially extended due to imbalances place on you. There's also the issue with spacing. The movement rings are supposed to prevent you from being able to run around the entire screen during a conflict. That's fine, as it has the potential to force you to strategize how to position each member of the Straw Hats during their turn. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the enemies. Aggressors are free of any sort of penalty and are able to attack you from any point on the field with no repercussions. What's the point of being able to knock enemies away if they can just walk right up to you and smash you in the face? This, once again, makes fights last entirely too long. The fights that last the longest are the boss encounters, which are some of the worst I've had to face in an RPG. In One Piece, each arc eventually devolves into each Straw Hat being forced to battle an enemy on their own. In Romance Dawn, this means that the character has to fight a one-on-one turn-based battle with an enemy that cannot be stunned and can hit you from any point on the field. You, on the other hand, are limited in healing items and abilities. Even if you are joined by another teammate, you are usually still outnumbered and have to desperately hope that you can dodge the bosses attacks. This is exacerbated by your tiny party. There are nine Straw Hats and only three spots in your active party. After the third area, you'll almost always have somebody sitting out on the sidelines. Anybody not currently with you doesn't gain experience, so if you aren't constantly switching out your party members, you might reach a point in the game where you can't continue. I had a fight with Usopp and Chopper that lasted over an hour because I hadn't had much of a chance to level either one of them and only survived because I stockpiled a ton of healing items. Outside of the busted combat and long-winded story progression, you'll occasionally be forced into short quicktime events. It turns into an endless runner, with Luffy hauling ass through whatever locale he's currently in. You'll have to hit Y or A to avoid fighting people in your path and you'll have to hit another button to either jump over branches or punch through walls. Completing levels will punt you out to the world map, where you can select new story segments or generic locations to grind out levels. There's also an item synthesis system, but there's little it does to add to the game besides occasionally upgrade the strength of your equipment. You might get a slight bonus to your stats and be able to deal some extra bonus damage, but it didn't really do much to help me at all. The ability upgrades are what will make you life somewhat easier. Increasing the level of your special attacks will allow you to do more damage and increase your combo chain when maxed out. The problem still remains that if you can't connect with your attacks, you won't be able to use these nifty moves.  Romance Dawn is one of the few 3DS games where 3D is not an option, which is fine by me. Everything runs fairly smooth, so if making any sort of adjustments into three dimensions would have ruined it, it's better for it to stay flat. Besides that, the graphics are nice and bright, though the maps you run through are pretty generic and uninspired. As previously mentioned, the music is pretty awful, lacking any sort of personality. One highlight is that all the original Japanese voices were kept. Instead of dubbing it, the cutscenes are subtitled and the random grunting and battle jabber is in the original language. While it was probably done more as a cost-saving measure, I always love hearing the original voices at work. It made the hours of grinding levels somewhat less annoying. So is there anything of merit in this package? Well, there is about 30 minutes worth of reanimated footage from early in the series. You'll get to see everybody's dynamic crying moment redone and looking quite nice. Characters have their modern designs in older stories, which can be jarring if you're used to the old stuff. The world map looks nice, giving a bird's-eye view of the world of One Piece. The combat is occasionally fun, giving you hope that maybe, just maybe, things will get better. Sadly, those moments are few and far between. You'll spend most of the time wondering how every enemy in the game gained the ability to read your thoughts and dodge your attacks. I spent most of my time with Romance Dawn simultaneously angry and sad. Angry because this game is so thoroughly the antithesis of fun and sad because it sometimes shows glimmers of new ideas. Even One Piece mega-fans will be hard pressed to find anything good in this disaster. 3 -- Poor -- 3s went wrong somewhere along the line. The original idea might have promise, but in practice the game has failed. Threatens to be interesting sometimes, but rarely.
One Piece photo
Short-lived romance
I've got some major love for One Piece. On top of keeping up with it on a weekly basis for about eight years, I've spent a good amount of money on merch. Figures, manga, art: I've sunk a lot of hours into getting all that stu...

Pokmon photo

Pokemon Bank finally up for North America

Feb 06
// Pedro Cortes
After five weeks of delays, the Pokemon Bank is finally live for those in North America. Readers may remember how the Pokemon Bank crashed Nintendo servers when it went live in Japan, necessitating a delay in other regions un...
Pokemon Bank photo
Pokemon Bank

Pokmon Bank has appeared in Europe

And about time, too.
Feb 04
// Chris Walden
You know, after months of watching fans of Pokémon X&Y eagerly awaiting the release of Pokémon Bank, it seems extremely odd that it would end up on the European eShop without any kind of grand anno...
Attack on Titan photo
Attack on Titan

Smash Bros. meets second Attack on Titan opening

Colossal Titan vs Bowser?
Feb 03
// Pedro Cortes
Attack on Titan continues to stick in people's minds, even months after the anime's conclusion. Just take a look at this video, hand-animated by AmazingArtistYellow. Taking over six months of work, AmazingArtistYellow takes ...

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