Last week when Nintendo held their most recent Nintendo Direct presentation it was announced that they would be holding another similar presentation before E3. Now we know when that will happen. At 10:00 am EST on June 11th you’ll be able to tune in to another of Nintendo’s popular video presentations. This one will focus on Wii U software that will be coming later in the year. We know release dates of the Wii U software that will be coming before that, but I really hope that Nintendo outlines a very solid schedule of releases for the rest of the year.
Listen all you deal hunters out there. Nintendo is releasing three Super Nintendo Kirby games onto the Wii U Virtual Console today. Those games are Kirby Super Star, Kirby’s Dream Course, and Kirby’s Dream Land 3. What’s even better is that they’re running a promotion on those games for this week. If you buy any two of those games from the eShop before 11:00 am on May 30th then you can get the third one for free. They’ll each set you back $7.99 unless you previously bought them on the Wii. If you own the Wii Virtual Console releases you can upgrade them to the Wii U versions for $1.50 each. That means if you own those you could get all three for as little as $3. Even still $16 for three solid games is still a pretty good price.
The Fire Emblem franchise hasn’t had a huge following here in North America, but it’s been sort of a big thing in Japan. It’s one of those Nintendo franchises you just expect to come around every few years, but apparently that almost wasn’t the case. The franchise has been seeing declining numbers of the years, with each release selling fewer and fewer copies, according to series producer Hitoshi Yamagami; so much so that Nintendo almost pulled the plug altogether.
He had the following to say in an interview with Spanish magazine Hobby Consola:
“Truth be told, sales are dropping. The sales manager of Nintendo, Mr. Hatano, told us that this could be the last Fire Emblem. Due to this progressive descent in sales, they told us that if the sales of this episode stayed below 250,000 copies, we’d stop working on the saga. I remember when I came back from the meeting and told the team, ‘My God, what are we gonna do?! The end has come!’ Our reaction was clear: If this was going to be the last Fire Emblem, we had to put everything we always wanted to include.”
According to unofficial numbers through VG Chartz the latest entry, Fire Emblem: Awakening, has sold over 500,000 units in Japan, having been on sale for over a year there. Here in the US it’s sold around 250,000 units and a little over 100,000 in the rest of the world with retail sales sitting at over 880,000. Nintendo has mentioned over the last few months that the game has sold very well through the eShop as well, mentioning it any time they release statements about digital sales, but never giving firm numbers.
The game has had a very good reception being praised in numerous reviews, including ours. I think it’s safe to say that we’re going to see another entry into the franchise and maybe Nintendo wasn’t quite expecting the reception this game received, and that’s a good thing.
That’s right. One of the biggest third party publishers has come out and said flat out that they have no games in development for one of the three major home consoles. EA has been giving signs over the last few weeks that they’re not really interested in developing games for the Wii U. Last week one employee said the Frostbite 3 engine wasn’t running on Wii U. Another said there are currently 15 games in development that use the engine, which would hint at no games for Wii U. Now the company has confirmed those suspicions.
This isn’t the first time that Nintendo has lost the support of a major publisher. Back in the 90’s Nintendo and Square Enix had a falling out that led to a decade with no Square published games on Nintendo systems.
Neither Nintendo nor EA will confirm exactly what the reason for the falling out between the two companies is, but many point to the rumor (and it is just that) that Nintendo balked at allowing EA to push Origin as the digital store on Wii U. I don’t know how much truth there is to that as neither Microsoft, nor Sony, utilize Origin to sell digital content on their systems.
Does this signal another nail in the Wii U coffin? While Nintendo has lost one publisher, they are pushing heavily into the independent market courting a number of developers to bring their games to the Wii U eShop. Other third parties, like Ubisoft, Capcom and Sega, are showing they still consider the Wii U a viable platform and support it with feature similar releases of their high profile games.
Nintendo has been in this position before and survived. If the Wii U turns around the sales slump, will EA once again hop on board the train or will they ride out this coming generation on the back of PS4 and the next Xbox?
Have you ever wanted to name a video game character? Sure you can name your character in an RPG or a sports game, but the whole world doesn’t see it. Well, now you’ve got your chance to let the whole world know your awesome name. Saturnine Games is working on a new 3DS eShop game called Turtle Tale and the main character doesn’t have a name yet. He needs your help. Take a look at the screenshots above and gain some inspiration. What kind of name should this poor hero have?
Nintendo Okie and Saturnine Games have partnered up to let you give this aquatic ace a proper name. From now until May 31st you can submit name ideas through a number of various outlets. You can go to Twitter and tweet your ideas to @SaturnineGames and @Nintendo_Okie. Be sure to include #nametheturtle in your post. You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’ve got a Facebook account you can go to the Saturnine Games page or the Nintendo Okie Facebook Group and submit your ideas there. Entries can be submitted through all of the various means, but please don’t spam the same name to them all, be creative.
The top four entries chosen will receive a download code for Saturnine Games’ DSiWare release of Antipole. The winner will also get to have their entry become the official name of the turtle in their upcoming eShop release, Turtle Tale; and get a special mention in the game’s credits. You’ll have bragging rights amongst your friends from now until the time when video games no longer exist.
The contest is open to anyone that wants to enter, but download codes for the games will only be available if you live in North America. Entries may not contain any vulgar, insulting or derogatory terms. You also waive the right to any monetary compensation and the official name becomes the property of Saturnine Games. I mean isn’t a free game and a mention in the credits enough? All entries must be received by 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time on May 31st, 2013. Employees of Saturnine Games, Nintendo Okie and their families are not eligible to win.
Just to give you some inspiration here is some more art featuring the turtle in some menacing poses; after the break… Read more…
The Mayor’s Journal is my attempt at creative writing. I’ll be talking freely about a number of the things I experience while playing the game so be warned for spoilers.
May 10th, 2013
I don’t think this rain is ever going to stop. It rained yesterday and it’s rained again today. Not constantly, though. We did have a break early in the afternoon before it picked back up again. On the plus side I did have a chance to run through the rain barefooted today. The soft, wet ground felt nice beneath my toes. You can’t be all business, all the time can you?
Yesterday we had a visitor in town. A walrus, named Phineas, came and he gave me a fishing badge. He said it was because I had completed more than 50% of my fishing encyclopedia. It was nice to be recognized for something and he said there would be more to come. I guess a love of fishing pays off sometimes? Oh, I caught a whale shark today. I didn’t even think that was possible with a fishing pole. The museum is going to have a nice addition to its collection. I spent a lot of time on the island fishing. One trip earned me over 65,000 bells that all went directly into my savings account.
The eShop has been gaining a lot of traction in the last year or two, adding quality titles at a pretty regular rate. The latest is a port of an iOS game from developer Pixel Toys called Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo. It’s a blend of simple mechanics, cute, cartoonish characters, a nice learning curve and solid controls.
What You Need to Know
Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo is a platformer where you play as a squirrel attempting to collect all of the nuts in a level. Various obstacles and enemies such as spiders, raccoons and hedgehogs block your path as does a timer that ends the level when it reaches zero. You have a few power-ups at your disposal to take care of anything that might prevent you from feeding your family. Once all of the acorns in a level are collected, a door to the next level opens. There are four separate objectives to try and achieve in each level; collecting all of the acorns, finishing in a set amount of time, killing all the enemies and collecting all of the bonus fruit. These additional objectives reward you with more acorns that will unlock new levels and other bonus content.
I have to tell you I’ve been really impressed with indie developers, especially ones going through Kickstarter. I’m also impressed that these games are reaching goals past their initial funding. Why you ask? The stretch goals for a number of independently developed games like Shovel Knight include development for Wii U and 3DS. Yesterday the Kickstarter fund for Onipunks’ pixel art inspired rogue-like, C-Wars, reached its stretch funding goal of $65,535 to fund development of a 3DS version. Today we have news that the game reached $75,000. That’s enough to guarantee a Wii U version.
What this tells me is that indie developers are very interested in developing games for the platform. That’s been evidenced by a number of news stories and interviews with developers talking about their new found love of Nintendo with their relationship to indie games. Also, it tells me the public at large is interested in funding these games and seeing releases come out on both Nintendo platforms.
Nintendo may not be getting a lot of interest from major third party developers, with a few obvious exceptions like Ubisoft and Sega, but the independent crowd is really beginning to flock to these platforms and that’s something to look forward to.
There’s still time to get in on the project if you want to help fund the game and secure your own copy. The deadline for donations is tomorrow afternoon at 4:19 EDT.
Ronimo Games is set to bring their popular side scrolling RTS, Swords & Soldiers, to the 3DS later this month and we now know exactly when. Next Thursday, May 16th will be the day you can download this little gem, and it will only cost you $7. I played the game on Wii and absolutely loved it. It was one that I went back to on a regular basis. The visual style is charming. The characters are funny. The game play is solid. I really like how the developers have uncluttered the action on the 3DS by moving all of the relevant informational bits to the 3DS bottom screen.
The enemies in the upcoming platformer from Yacht Club Games, Shovel Knight, have been slowly revealed over the last few weeks. The final announcement is that of Specter Knight, probably not related to the famous game designer. He’s a cool looking character with a blood red cape and a huge scythe. He also appears to float in the air. Here’s the official description of the character from the developer.
In life, Specter Knight was a cruel and cunning warrior. And although his blood is now icy cold, he is no less formidable as a phantasm. The most begrudgingly loyal knight of the Order, Specter Knight follows the Enchantress only because she is capable of magically extending his undeath. Clutching a grim scythe in his shriveled claws, Specter Knight commands his weapon with uncommon cunning… and his next target is Shovel Knight.
Cons: overly sentimental, tries too hard to act cool
I’m digging him (no pun intended). He looks cool. My favorite character from the Order of No Quarter, though, is Plague Knight. I’ve always been a fan of that medieval inspired look. What about you? Which of Shovel Knight’s foes are you most interested in fighting? Which characters would you like to see playable? Let us know in the comments.