All posts by Phil Stortzum

Top Ten Most Anticipated Nintendo System Games of E3 2013

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Nintendo’s E3 is quite a bit different this year. They have forgone a traditional E3 press conference for a series of smaller events, including the most anticipated one, tomorrow’s Nintendo Direct. Already there are a lot of already announced games that Nintendo fans are looking forward to getting more information on. Those games are included in this list, but so are some titles that we know are going to be at E3 but Nintendo has yet to do a proper reveal. Get ready, Nintendo fans, here are my most anticipated titles for Nintendo systems set to show up this week at E3.

10) The Wonderful 101 (Wii U)

Coming from Platinum Games, The Wonderful 101 (formerly known by the code name of Project P-100) is a game that comes off with the ravishing style of Viewtiful Joe and the gameplay akin to something like Pikmin, though much flashier and with more pizzazz than Shigeru Miyamoto’s brain child. Already we’ve seen some clever use of the Wii U GamePad, an epic boss battle taking place on a gigantic robotic creature, and an absolutely stunning presentation.

9) Pikmin 3 (Wii U)

Speaking of Pikmin, why not talk about the much awaited and anticipated third installment of the series, which debuted near the launch of the Nintendo GameCube. We’ve already seen a lot of this game, so that’s why it’s not much higher on this list. In fact, it led Nintendo’s 2012 press conference. Regardless, I’m really liking what I’m seeing with having three captains you can switch between, each commanding their own Pikmin armies. I am interested in seeing exactly what kind of multiplayer Pikmin 3 will possess. I guess I won’t have to wait too long to find out!

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Stortzum’s Squawking Points: The Nintendo Third-Party Problem: Is It Us or Them?

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Nintendo fans have had a lot of bad run-ins with third-parties. A good portion of the time, the fault lies on both sides. The mantra that Nintendo consoles only benefit Nintendo and that Nintendo fans only buy Nintendo games is a common one. Well, actually first it was Nintendo is too kiddy and family-oriented, and now it is this new one since arguments, like cavemen, needed to eventually evolve.

Fans have seen third-parties cancel games, release games with no marketing and missing features and then turn around and blame Nintendo fans for low sales, and we’ve seen promised exclusives get moved to other platforms. The latter really isn’t that bad, but when it comes just weeks before the intended release, Nintendo fans feel burned.

The most recent egregious thing to happen from a third-party is the Wii U port of Sniper Elite V2, created by Rebellion. According to various angry purchasers on Miiverse as well as this article on Nintendo Life, the game is completely missing the cooperative modes, the online multiplayer, and the online leaderboards that the other versions (which are cheaper and have been out for awhile) have had.

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Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D Review (3DS)

donkeykongcountryreturns3d530Back in 2010 the gaming world was reintroduced to the Donkey Kong Country series with a brand-new, Retro Studios-developed entry known as Donkey Kong Country Returns for the Nintendo Wii. It is now three years later and who could have guessed a game like DKCR could be possible on a handheld. That is exactly what has happened with Monster Games porting the Wii original to the Nintendo 3DS with Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D. Is this game a top banana or a rotten one?

What You Need to Know

Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D is a port of the Wii original that released back in 2010. While Retro Studios developed the Wii game, Monster Games (the folks behind the Wii Excite games and Pilotwings Resort) worked on the 3DS port. All of the content of the original DKCR is included with this Returns 3D, but there’s also a good helping of completely exclusive to the 3DS version content. In many regards, the game is a much better overall product for it.

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Stortzum’s Squawking Points: Nintendo’s E3 & That Old Familiar Feeling

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Hey, guys. Phil here, a relatively new addition to the Nintendo Okie staff. Perhaps you have seen some of my reviews? That’s not important. I’d like to introduce a new recurring segment that will run weekly or even biweekly. It’s Stortzum’s Squawking Points (get it? Instead of “talking” points?), where I broach about three specific subjects related to the video game industry. They will not always be Nintendo-centric, but the majority of subjects will relate to the house that Mario helped build.

I’d first like to mention Nintendo not having a traditional press conference this year at E3. Instead they deemed it necessary to shift their resources to Nintendo Direct. Now, don’t mistake not having a traditional press conference for not showing up at E3. Nintendo will be at E3 and will have demo stations just like normal. Heck, they’re even having a presentation for the press that will feature Reggie Fils-Amie and Shigeru Miyamoto.

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Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate Review (Wii U)

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A series that has caught on like wildfire in Japan is Capcom’s Monster Hunter series. While its first two PlayStation 2 installments did not cause that much of a stir, it was when the series hit the PlayStation Portable that Monster Hunter soon became the juggernaut of a franchise in the Land of the Rising Sun. A lot has happened since then, the most notable of which is the series’ shift from Sony platforms to Nintendo ones. The latest in the series is an updated version of the Wii’s Monster Hunter Tri. It’s Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, and quite frankly, it is the definitive Monster Hunter experience.

What You Need to Know

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate follows the design of its predecessors. You create your own custom hunter, take part in quests that start off by slowly introducing you to the features of the game, and eventually you begin hunting monsters both small and large. The opening tutorial missions might annoy some series veterans who simply want to dive into the deep end, rather than be forced to do menial tasks like collecting mushrooms or killing defenseless herbivore creatures.

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Splinter Cell: Blacklist’s Wii U Trailer Impresses

I know that Nintendo console owners have a rocky history with Ubisoft, what with the Imagine games released on the Wii and with how the original Red Steel turned out. However, you cannot really knock Ubisoft this generation, as they are supporting Nintendo’s Wii U with many of their big titles, despite the new system’s well-known sales struggles.

Such a big title is Splinter Cell: Blacklist, the latest in the stealth-action series. This trailer shows the various uses the Wii U GamePad has, such as controlling a drone via the controller’s gyroscope, or viewing the spy cam via the touchscreen. The version definitely looks promising, so here’s hoping the final product is something Wii U fans can be proud of and purchase.

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed Review (PS3)

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If you are a kid of the 90’s, loved Sega and its hedgehog mascot Sonic, and enjoy racing games, then no doubt you are familiar with the Blue Blur’s original speedy offerings with Sonic Drift, as well as Sonic R. However, a few years ago Sumo Digital stepped in and created a racing game actually worthy of not only Sonic but Sega as well. The game was known as Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, and it still remains to be the best kart racer of the generation in a fair number of gamers’ eyes — this writer included. Sumo has now followed that terrific karting experience with another one in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. Does this sequel accelerate past its competition, or does the game need to take a pit stop?

What You Need to Know

The two main single-player modes within Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed are Grand Prix and World Tour. Grand Prix should not be a stranger to any kart racing fan. It is a series of four races where the all-star with the most points at the end of the series is deemed the victor. There are five cups in all, with the final cup being comprised of tracks from Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, the game which preceded Racing Transformed.

World Tour is the star attraction to the game. It has you competing in various events for stars. The higher the challenge level you choose, the more stars it is worth. You can simply go through the World Tour selecting easy for every event. The AI will be less arduous to defeat, for timed events you are given a more generous helping of seconds to work with, and for races you need only finish in third place as opposed to first. However, World Tour has various locked gates that can only be opened through getting the required amount of stars. These locked gates house alternate paths with new challenges and new playable characters.

Such events include typical three lap races; knockout races, where after every time the clock hits zero the person in last place is eliminated; boost challenges, where the clock stops every time you come across a boost pad or pull off a drift boost; and Pursuit, which has you chasing after, dodging the attacks of, and taking on a tank within three unique stages. World Tour mode has a myriad of different event types to play through, each getting progressively harder than the last.

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