Monster Hunter Stories announced for 3DS

A Monster Hunter RPG has just ben announced for Nintendo 3DS called "Monster Hunter Stories" in Japan. It is scheduled for release in 2016.

The trailer has a hunter and their felyne doing that most quintessential of Monster Hunter quests, delivering an egg. Then along comes a Tigrex, and it begins to chase them down. The hunter passes the egg to the felyne, and then a small Rathalos comes swooping down, and although it appears at first to be chasing the hunter, it is in fact a teammate! The hunter gets on the Rathalos and turns to fight the Tigrex! In a blaze of fire, the Tigrex is vanquished. The end scene shows the hunter and the Rathalos riding home, to a peaceful valley of Aptonoths. Meanwhile, the felyne still has the egg, and as it runs along, the smallest of cracks appears on the egg. Oh no!

If this game is an RPG, my only question is, will the combat be changed or simplified? Quite possibly. No gameplay was shown in this trailer, so it's hard to know. But given that the hunter and the Rathalos are both youthful, it's likely that the game is skewed towards a different audience than the main Monster Hunter.

From Siliconera:

Capcom have yet to reveal much as far as gameplay goes, Monster Hunter producer Ryozo Tsujimoto explained that it’ll be a game where players will take on the role of “Riders” instead of Hunters this time around, and it will be an RPG that tells the tale between these Riders and monsters.

“After having passed the 10th anniversary last year, this is a new challenge for the Monster Hunter series, that we’ve began designing since about five years ago,” said Tsujimoto during the event.

He continued, “while staying true to the world of Monster Hunter, and a story that can only be told through an RPG, we’d like to pack it with fun and enjoyment that we can’t even begin to describe with words.”

“It is still in the middle of development, we’d like to offer you a new kind of excitement that is different from the conventional series, and the development staff are working on it in full-spirit,” Tsujimoto concluded.

Posted on April 12, 2015 and filed under News.

The last ever Club Nintendo Gold and Platinum awards

It's the end of an era. These are the last Gold and Platinum Club Nintendo awards, given to those who have amassed 300 or 600 coins over the year, respectively.

Here are your choices:

Gold Status (Earned 300 Coins):

Wii U Games

  • Advance Wars (Wii U - VC)
  • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (Wii U - VC)
  • Metroid Fusion (Wii U - VC)
  • Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (Wii U – VC)
  • Super Mario Kart (Wii U – VC)
  • The Legend of Zelda (Wii U – VC)
  • WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames! (Wii U – VC)
  • Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3 (Wii U – VC)

Nintendo 3DS Games

  • Crashmo (Nintendo 3DS – Digital Download)
  • Freakyforms: Your Creations, Alive! (Nintendo 3DS – Digital Download)
  • Pushmo (Nintendo 3DS – Digital Download)
  • Super Mario Bros. 3 (Nintendo 3DS – VC)
  • Super Mario Bros. Deluxe (Nintendo 3DS – VC)
  • The Mysterious Murasame Castle (Nintendo 3DS – VC)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages (Nintendo 3DS – VC)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (Nintendo 3DS – VC)

 

Platinum Status (Earned 600 Coins):

Wii U Games

  • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U – Digital Download)
  • NES Remix 2 (Wii U – Digital Download)
  • Punch-Out!! (Wii U – VC)
  • Pushmo World (Wii U – Digital Download)
  • Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii U – VC)

Nintendo 3DS Games

  • Animal Crossing: New Leaf (Nintendo 3DS – Digital Download)
  • Mario Golf World Tour (Nintendo 3DS – Digital Download)
  • Mario Kart 7 (Nintendo 3DS – Digital Download)
  • Mario Party: Island Tour (Nintendo 3DS – Digital Download)
  • New Super Mario Bros. 2 (Nintendo 3DS – Digital Download)
  • Ultimate NES Remix (Nintendo 3DS – Digital Download)
  • Yoshi's New Island (Nintendo 3DS – Digital Download)
Posted on April 2, 2015 and filed under News.

What a great Nintendo Direct! Watch it again!

Did you catch the Nintendo Direct yesterday? Being shown at 6pm Eastern time, I was able to sit down and watch it during dinnertime with my family. We're most looking forward to Splatoon and the Animal Crossing characters and track DLC in Mario Kart 8.

00:00 Mewtwo Strikes Back
02:10 Super Smash Bros. Update
03:22 Lucas Comes Out of Nowhere
06:30 Super Smash Bros. amiibo
07:31 amiibo Tap: Nintendo's Greatest Bits
09:00 Mario Maker
12:05 Yoshi's Woolly World
13:29 Yoshi's Woolly World amiibo
14:17 Splatoon
15:45 Splatoon amiibo
16:34 Nintendo 64 and Nintendo DS come to Wii U Virtual Console 
18:04 Adventures of Pip
18:39 Octodad: Dadliest Catch
19:23 Mutant Mudds Super Challence
19:49 Don't Starve Giant Edition
20:31 Coming Soon to the Nintendo eShop
22:30 Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem
24:44 Fatal Frame for Wii U
25:26 BOXBOY!
25:32 Pokemon Rumble World
27:46 Puzzle and Dragons Z + Puzzle and Dragons Super Mario Edition
30:19 Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains
31:03 Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. Update and Tournaments
32:23 StreetPass Mii Plaza Ultimate Angler and Battleground Z
33:38 StreetPass Mii Plaza Premium
34:28 Xenoblade Chronicles 3D
37:14 Fire Emblem
41:05 Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer and amiibo Cards
42:47 Mario Kart 8 Animal Crossing DLC
45:04 Mario Kart 8 Additional Mii Racing Suits 
45:28 200cc is Here! 

Posted on April 2, 2015 and filed under gamerparent tv.

Gameplay video of SteamWorld Heist

Ever since playing through SteamWorld Dig earlier this year on 3DS, I've been greatly anticipating the next project from Image & Form. So I was excited to see some core gameplay footage from their new game SteamWorld Heist, coming this fall. Check it out!

From the makers of SteamWorld Dig: SteamWorld Heist is a game about space adventures and strategic shoot-outs. Play as Captain Piper and recruit a team of rag-tag robots to explore and scavenge the remains of a destroyed world. Board enemy spaceships and command your crew in a unique variety of turn-based combat, where the outcome is determined purely by your own skills.

Posted on March 31, 2015 and filed under News.

Sick Bricks - collectible, swappable, brick figures game (video)

Another gamer parent, Andy, over at Family Gamer TV has a new video showing what all the fuss is about with Sick Bricks! Check it out.

While Lego Dimensions remains a rumour Sick Bricks was released this month and offers a range of twenty or so collectable irreverent characters made of bricks. You buy these in the toy shop but they unlock the related individuals in the iOS game by simply placing them in front of the camera.


Posted on March 27, 2015 and filed under gamerparent tv.

The Game My Father Played - Ryan Thompson

Today's guest post is from Ryan Thompson, a gamer parent in the D.C. area, and a co-host on the Magic Hour Show.

Christmas of 1991, I got a shiny new Nintendo Entertainment System. The Super Nintendo released the August prior, but I was just six years old and had never played a video game before. To me, this was a brand new experience, and the NES was the best there was. I remember walking into whatever game retailers were in existence then with my grandparents. Upright cardboard boxes were filled with NES cartridges, cheap because they were now old. But in my mind, these games had no release date or shelf-life. They existed for my enjoyment; they were there for me to play.

Sometime that summer, I brought home Super Mario Bros. 3. Its bright yellow artwork and the happy Mario with the raccoon tail invited me to a fun world where Mario was going to FLY LIKE A RACCOON! The shiny new cartridge was put in, no blowing necessary, and I excitedly pressed the power button. The curtains opened and the colorful world of Super Mario 3 was revealed to me.

My father came home from his night shift at a grocery store as I was beginning my adventure to save the princess.  He watched as I played through the first level, figuring out how to use the leaf power-up, running back and forth to build up flying power and probably falling to my death once or twice. To my surprise, he asked to play. I reset the system, and chose 2-player. I let my dad be Mario, because, well he was my dad! I’d be Luigi.

Quite the library of NES games had been built by the time I got Super Mario Bros. 3. My dad had never shown interest in playing any of them before. He would often pick up one from the rental store he thought I’d be interested in, and sometimes would watch as I struggled to beat a Mega Man level, or raced around the tracks in Al Unser, Jr.’s Turbo Racing, but this was the first time he wanted to play one with me. And he wanted to play a lot.

Summer vacation allowed for a lot of game time. As soon as my dad would get home from his shift, The Price is Right would be turned off and the Nintendo turned on. We’d spend hours at a time playing Super Mario Bros. 3. I still have the Nintendo Power Games Atlas he bought for us to use to find all the secrets, to match all the cards in the memory mini-game, and to line up the power-up pieces in the Toad House bonus games. Our favorite world was the Giant World. I don’t think that bright yellow cartridge left the system all summer. And then, it stopped.

As quickly as our father/son gaming began, it ended. He decided he was too addicted to the game and couldn’t play anymore. He decided this for all games. Time has blurred some of my memories, but I don’t think I was ever able to convince Dad to play anything with me again.

My hobbies were always different than the rest of my family. I wasn’t interested in learning how to maintain a muscle-car, or play sports. I wanted to play video games and rock and roll. For a brief few months, my dad and I connected with the mustachioed plumbers. We were united in the goal of breaking blocks, shooting fireballs, and defeating a quirky family of spiked dinosaurs. Now, just as my memory of those months has faded, so has my relationship with my dad

I’m Dad now. A father to two children who are small, but growing more rapidly than I’d prefer. I include them in my hobbies. I read the text of RPGs to my youngest, holding him in one arm while my other clicks a mouse. The oldest, asks for “Mar Kart Aaaaaaaate!,” “Shove-Knight,” and “Pikit” (Pikmin), and I’m happy to oblige, providing an unpowered controller for her use. The day will soon come when the pretend controller no longer works, and I look forward to it.

I can’t help but wonder if we had continued gaming together; maybe my relationship with my father would be different today. Mario would have evolved to co-op Diablo sessions, Warcraft II and III, various MMOs, and would excitedly loop back into the New Mario series on the WiiU. A line of communication might have remained open that has been, for reasons, indefinitely closed. I hope that, whichever hobbies my children end up pursuing, that I can find some way to be a meaningful part of them, even if it means learning some sports-ball.

Ryan Thompson is a musician and gamer by night, a husband and dad all the time, and a co-host of The Magic Hour Show.

Posted on March 24, 2015 and filed under Article.

Some nice press about Monster Hunter 4U

Rich Stanton, for the Guardian:

"The first time you encounter most monsters, they’ll batter you from pillar to post for daring to intrude on their stomping grounds. As you struggle against this you’ll learn their moves, make mental notes of a few tells, and realise you should have brought antidotes, or sonic bombs, or maybe even a different weapon. Soon, imperceptibly at first, the scales begin to tip. Soon it’s you chasing down the monster, tooled-up with the perfect gear and with the kind of experience that only comes from hard-fought victories, relentlessly attacking and dodging every offensive onslaught by reflex.

What you have done is mastered that monster. And then you move on to the next, which you’d better believe is bigger, spikier, and eats five of that first one for breakfast every morning. The point is that mastering a beautifully-crafted AI creature like this is not grinding. Yes, you fight the same monster multiple times, and if you want to make every item possible from a monster’s organic treasure trove you’ll need to fight it a lot. But though your kit may become more tailored, or your armour a little better, the improvement in your hunting ability is almost nothing to do with statistics – it’s about you. This is a skill-based system built around repetition, rather than a series of stat increases built around repetition, and the gulf between these is the difference between hundreds of average action-RPGs and one of the greatest in history."

Read the entire article here.

Posted on March 17, 2015 and filed under News.

New membership service to replace Club Nintendo jointly developed by Nintendo and DeNA

Details about the membership service replacing Club Nintendo were announced today at the briefing by Nintendo President Satoru Iwata. The service will be a product of the partnership between Nintendo and DeNA:

"Nintendo, together with DeNA, will jointly develop a new membership service which encompasses the existing Nintendo 3DS and Wii U systems, the new hardware system with a brand-new concept, NX, and smart devices and PCs, and Nintendo will be the primary party to operate this new membership service. Unlike the Club Nintendo membership service that Nintendo has been operating, the new membership service will include multiple devices and create a connection between Nintendo and each individual consumer regardless of the device the consumer uses. This membership will form one of the core elements of the new Nintendo platform that I just mentioned."

Posted on March 17, 2015 and filed under News.

Nintendo announces work on new console, NX

Amidst its announcement about partnering with mobile games company DeNA, Nintendo also announced that it was working on its next gaming hardware device (platform?) code named NX. More would be shown next year (2016), said Iwata.

"Nintendo has decided to deploy its video game business on smart devices, but it is not because we have lost our passion or vision for the business of dedicated video game systems", he said.

"On the contrary, because now we have decided on how we will make use of smart devices, we have come to hold an even stronger passion and vision for the dedicated video game system business than before."

"As proof that Nintendo maintains strong enthusiasm for the dedicated game system business", Iwata adds, "let me confirm that Nintendo is currently developing a dedicated game platform with a brand new concept under the development codename 'NX'."

While not surprising that Nintendo is working on the next thing, no real details were given, leaving us to speculate rampantly on the internet.

quote via kotaku

Posted on March 17, 2015 and filed under News.

Nintendo and DeNA form alliance

Companies to develop new game apps featuring Nintendo IP for smart devices and a new multi-device membership service

TOKYO, JAPAN - March 17, 2015 - Nintendo Co., Ltd. (Tokyo: 7974) and DeNA Co., Ltd. (Tokyo: 2432) today entered into a business and capital alliance to develop and operate new game apps for smart devices and build a new multi-device membership service for consumers worldwide.

Leveraging the strength of Nintendo's intellectual property (IP) and game development skills in combination with DeNA's world-class expertise in mobile games, both companies will develop and operate new game apps based on Nintendo's IP, including its iconic game characters, for smart devices. The alliance is intended to complement Nintendo's dedicated video game systems business and extend Nintendo's reach into the vast market of smart device users worldwide. Under the alliance, DeNA will also be able to strengthen its gaming business at a global scale by leveraging Nintendo's IP. To ensure the quality of game experience that consumers expect from this alliance of Nintendo and DeNA, only new original games optimized for smart device functionality will be created, rather than porting games created specifically for the Wii U home console or the Nintendo 3DS portable system.

In order to create completely new game experiences for smart devices, all Nintendo IP will be eligible for development and exploration by the alliance. As these consumers enjoy the unique kind of gameplay found only with Nintendo, they will have the opportunity to explore even more premium experiences on Nintendo's dedicated video game platforms. Information on upcoming games and availability will be forthcoming.

Nintendo and DeNA also plan to develop an online membership service that is accessible from smart devices, PC and Nintendo systems, such as the Nintendo 3DS portable system and the Wii U home console. The membership service, which is targeted to launch in the fall of 2015, will be built on DeNA's extensive experience and capabilities in online membership services.

As part of the long-term relationship and commitment by each company, Nintendo and DeNA have also agreed to form a capital alliance. Under the capital alliance, Nintendo will acquire 15,081,000 of DeNA's treasury shares, which corresponds to 10.00 percent of its total outstanding stock, for a total of approximately 22 billion yen. DeNA will simultaneously acquire 1,759,400 of Nintendo's treasury shares, which corresponds to 1.24 percent of its outstanding stock, for a total of approximately 22 billion yen. The payment is due April 2, 2015.

About Nintendo

The worldwide pioneer in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Wii U™ and Wii™ home consoles, and Nintendo 3DS™ and Nintendo DS™ families of portable systems. Since 1983, when it launched the Nintendo Entertainment System™, Nintendo has sold more than 4.3 billion video games and more than 680 million hardware units globally, including the current-generation Wii U, Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL, as well as the Game Boy™, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi™ and Nintendo DSi XL™, Super NES™, Nintendo 64™, Nintendo GameCube™ and Wii systems. It has also created industry icons that have become well-known, household names such as Mario™, Donkey Kong™, Metroid™, Zelda™ and Pokémon™. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo’s operations in the Western Hemisphere. For more information about Nintendo, please visit the company’s website at http://www.nintendo.com.

About DeNA

DeNA (pronounced “D-N-A”) is a global Internet company that develops and operates a broad range of mobile and online services including games, e-commerce and other diversified offerings. Founded in 1999, DeNA is headquartered in Tokyo with offices and game development studios across the globe. DeNA Co., Ltd. is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (2432). For more information, visit: dena.com

Posted on March 17, 2015 and filed under News.

The Magic Hour Show 01 is live

It's live! The first episode of The Magic Hour Show is live, and you can check it out here, in RSS, and on iTunes (as soon as the Store is back up, it's down as of 10:25AM).  Please remember to leave a rating and review, we do appreciate it.

We'll be recording on most Tuesday nights, and posting on Wednesday.

Give us your feedback on the show! Email us at feedback@themagichourshow.net

 

Posted on March 11, 2015 and filed under News.

Get hype! I'm launching a new show tomorrow!

I'm not usually one to promote myself. Maybe it's my reserved Asian-Canadian nature, or a carry over from the lack of self confidence I had as a teenager. Whatever it is, I'd rather build up others than toot my own horn.

But when you start something new, you have to get out there, be active, and show and tell people what you're doing. And once you've done that, you have to do it again. And again.

So with that in mind, I've got something to talk about.

Tomorrow is the launch of my new project, The Magic Hour Show. It's a weekly audio show hosted by me, about games, kids, and parents, and everything in between. I'll be joined by Ryan Thompson and Mikey Rollins, who are gamer parents just like me.

You'll be able to listen to the show right here at www.themagichourshow.net and also by subscribing on iTunes and RSS.

You can help me by following us on twitter @GPmagichourshow, liking us on Facebook, and subscribing and leaving a review in iTunes.

Thanks for your support, and I hope you enjoy the show!

Posted on March 10, 2015 and filed under News.

Learning From The Masters: Level Design In The Legend Of Zelda - Mike Stout on gamasutra

When going back to replay classic games I played as a kid to mine them for knowledge, I always fear that any games from the NES era or earlier are too old to learn much from.

I tend to assume that many elements of modern design will be missing: no training, bad difficulty ramping, haphazard level design, and so forth. Before writing this article, I was under the impression that many “good design principles” I’ve come to know and love were invented during the SNES era and iterated on from there.

The NES was the Wild West of game development, I thought, lawless and free.

So when I went back on Link’s 25th anniversary to play the first Zelda game and maybe write an article about it, I was a bit gun-shy.

As it turns out, I was totally wrong!
— Mike Stout
Posted on March 9, 2015 and filed under Article.

Free Monster Hunter 4U DLC pack for March released today

Capcom released the first of many free DLC packs for Monster Hunter 4U today, and this one's a doozy. Featuring Link armour and two weapons, the bow and the sword and shield, this Free DLC  includes:

14 new quests;
11 new weapons;
complete armor sets (8 if you count Blademaster AND Gunner) plus the Fan Club pieces;
Palico armor sets;
1 Palico weapon;
Bonus Palico: Calico Red;
Guild Card backgrounds;
Guild Card pose;
Guild Card titles;
1000 Caravan Points

Pretty sweet for a free pack. Capcom has committed to continued free DLC packs releasing on the first Friday of each month.

 

Posted on March 6, 2015 and filed under News.