This is probably the weirdest review I’ve ever had to write. It’s the first time I’ve reviewed a piece of software that wasn’t really a game. Pixel Paint released on the Wii U recently and we were given the opportunity to take a look at it. There’s no game elements to it at all. It’s simply a piece of software that allows you to create your own pixel art.
What You Need to Know
Pixel Paint is simply what it says. It’s a paint program for Wii U that lets you create pixel art. You simply use the touch screen on the Wii U GamePad to fill in the pixels to create the art you want, whether it’s recreating your favorite 8-bit characters to creating large, unique works of art. You can share the pictures you’ve created with others on Miiverse. There are more than half a dozen different color palettes to choose from ranging from simple monochromatic, Game Boy style colors, all the way up to thousands of colors to choose from. You’ll be able to make your art as simple or complex as you like.
I’m a sucker for the “toys come to life” genre that was essentially started when the first Skylanders game was released. Having kids in the house doesn’t make that any better because they’re also really into playing that game, or at least playing with the figures. I’ve played all four entries in that series and have a huge tub full of figures for it. We also have both of the Disney Infinity releases and a separate bucket full of those figures. It only made sense that Nintendo was eventually going to get into that market. With their huge lineup of characters it only seemed natural that they, more than any other developer or publisher could capitalize in a big way in that area of the games industry. You know we’re all dreading the day when the Pokemon Company gets the greenlight to release those figures, pokeballs and some way to make them interact directly with a game. Nintendo announced their entry into that market with amiibo and it seemed like everyone’s wallets all cried out in agony at once. Nintendo was finally doing it. They were going to be leveraging 30+ years of nostalgia in a way no one else could.
Up to this point I haven’t actually dropped a penny on a single amiibo figure. The temptation has certainly been there. There are definitely some of those figures I’d like to have, but as we’re getting closer to the launch of amiibo and the first game they’ll be compatible with I’m starting to be more and more glad that I held off. amiibo might not be as great as we’re hoping.
Anymore a yearly Skylanders release is guaranteed as much as the next Call of Duty game. Activision hit big with the original release three years ago and they’ve continued that train with a new game in the series every year since. What began as a reboot of the Spyro the Dragon series has quickly become something all on its own and Spyro is just another character among the dozens in the series. The newest installment, Skylanders: Trap Team, brings back all of your favorite characters, adds more to the mix and even lets you take control of the villains this time around.
What You Need to Know
Skylanders: Trap Team is the fourth installment of the franchise where your figures comes to life. This time around Kaos as unleashed the most dangerous criminals Skylands has ever seen from their imprisonment in Cloudcracker Prison. From there he and the Doom Raiders unleash havoc and you have to build your team of Skylanders to try and stop him. You’ll use different elemental characters to unlock various areas of Skylands, defeat hordes of adorable enemies. There will even be betrayals or allegiances you might not expect this time around.
If you’re like me and you’re in the market for a new 3DS then the new systems that will be available later this month might just be what you’re looking for. Nintendo has announced that on November 21st the newest model of the 2DS will go on sale for $99.99, just in time for the release of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. This new system also gives you a look at the 2DS you’ve never seen before. The new red and blue systems both use clear, see-through plastic allowing you to see all of the internal workings of the device. They harken back to the days of the see through Game Boy that was and is incredibly popular among collectors.
The new systems called Crystal Red and Crystal Blue have access to the huge library of 3DS games available now. It does not appear there will be any bundles of the system available.
Kid Icarus: Uprising was released on the 3DS back in 2012 to rather mixed reviews. The 20 year wait for the sequel to the Game Boy game changed the franchise considerably. Many people didn’t care for the controls and even Nintendo semi-conceded that they weren’t ideal by offering the stand that holds the system as part of the package. Pit has been pretty active outside of those game with his appearances in Super Smash Bros. The upcoming Wii U release even has some interesting tidbits of information.
Nintendo fans like to glean every bit of info from every game looking for hidden clues to future releases buried deep within seemingly unrelated titles. Friend, and former Okie staffer, Gaz Plant passed this along to me earlier today and it “could” hint at a future Kid Icarus title in the works.
The picture shows some of the characters from the franchise talking to each other. They reference the events of Kid Icarus: Uprising, including the unlikely alliance between all the participants involved. Where it gets interesting is the last panel there where Viridi mentions that the fight isn’t over. Could this be the hint that a new Kid Icarus game is in development?
Sakurai has said he’s not really interested in doing another Kid Icarus game. Nintendo does have a lot of developers that they could hand the franchise off to and no one really knows what Retro is working on at the moment. Maybe they’ve taken up the reins of Kid Icarus and are going to do with him what they did with Samus and Donkey Kong. I’d be okay with that. It could be another developer working on the game or it could be nothing at all.
I was one of those people that absolutely loved the game on 3DS. I never really had any issue with the control scheme. I would have greatly preferred it be a twin stick shooter, but found I was able to adapt really well to what was offered. I think a Wii U sequel in HD with another control option could be a huge seller for Nintendo and another really solid franchise under their belt. It might even help boost sales of the system a little more.
What do you all think? Is this wishful thinking? Would you even be interested in a sequel to Kid Icarus: Uprising?
For anyone interested in Disney Infinity, the first batch of “Disney Originals” for Version 2.0 hit stores today. These new characters are playable in Toy Box mode. The list of new characters includes Aladdin, Baymax, Hiro, Merida, Stitch, Donald Duck, Maleficent, and Tinker Bell. None of these characters have their own playsets yet, and cannot be used in the playsets already available in the game. They’re only available to use in Toy Box mode.
In addition to that Disney has also announced the release of the Toy Box Starter Pack which included the game, the portal, Merida, Stitch, two Toy Box game discs (Stitch’s Tropical Rescue and Brave Forest Siege), and a poster. This new starter set retails for $59.99.
I’ve been playing Disney Infinity and I think it’s improved considerably over the first game, especially Toy Box mode, which is much easier to use this time around. And yes, it is the best day in the history of the series because Aladdin is finally a playable character.
The portal is also compatible with the first game so if you missed that and want to go back and play it you just need to pick up the playsets for the first game and the figures needed for that. If you own a Wii U the first game is actually available as a free download through the eShop. I highly recommend the Pirates of the Caribbean levels in that game.
One of the first games to launch on the eShop was a small puzzle game from Enjoy Gaming called Pyramids. It was a Solomon’s Key inspired block puzzle game where you played as an adventurer who was dropping in a room, with limited resources and had to escape. You could drop and destroy blocks, shoot snakes in the rooms with the ammo supplied and collect treasure to unlock harder and harder puzzles. Now three years later the developer is back again with a sequel cleverly titled Pyramids 2. The premise is the same, but the puzzles are harder.
What You Need to Know
Pyramids 2 is, as previously mentioned, a block puzzle game. Like before you star as an adventurer who is trying to solve the riddles of the rooms, collect treasure along the way and escape without dying. You can drop blocks on the same level as your character, or one level lower. You must avoid traps, like spikes that come from the floor or fireball shooting statues as well as snakes, monkeys and natives along the way. You earn stars for the speed you finish the level and whether or not you collect all of the treasure in a room. Those stars are used to unlock levels later in the game, with the last set of rooms requiring you to have earned every star in the game up to that point.