Tag Archives: Mario Kart 8

Video – Snowboard Kids

With the recent Mario Kart hype, a lot of people have been referring back to what is arguably the best title in the Mario Kart series. And that is Mario Kart 64. However, we can’t help but feel like there is another contender for the best racing game on the N64, and no it’s not Diddy Kong Racing.

Check out our latest video and allow us to explain why Snowboard Kids is the best racing game for Nintendo’s 64 bit beauty.

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DIGESTIVE GAMING BISCUIT: 3rd MARCH – 9th MARCH

playstationThe gaming news this week saw two industry giants step down from their position’s.  As of the 31st of March Jack Tretton will be relinquishing his position as Sony Computer Entertainment’s CEO to Shawn Layden. Tretton and Sony both have stated that this is a mutual decision.

Tretton was one of the founding execs of Sony’s Playstation division having worked for SCEA for the past 19 years. He led the American division of Sony Computer Entertainments through the hardware launches of PSone, PS2, PSP, PS3, Vita and most recently the PS4.

Sony Computer Entertainment president Andrew House made the following statement. “I’ve worked with Jack for nearly two decades and I want to personally thank him for his leadership and the considerable contributions he’s made to the SCEA business and PlayStation brand over the years. I wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.”

Jack Tretton

Shawn Leyden, Tretton’s replacement has been with Playstation for 15 years spending a short stint as president of Sony Computer Entertainment in Japan, so he is clearly more than experienced enough to take on the new role.

The second high profile industry member to leave her position was Amy Hennig. Hennig was game director for Naughty Dog, and it was reported initially that she had been forced to by the company’s co-presidents. Naughty Dog have been quick to respond to these accusations and posted a statement on their website that reads; “Bruce Straley and Neil Druckmann were NOT involved in what transpired.”

Uncharted Amy Hennig

In the first reports claiming Hennig was forced out, there were no precise sources or evidence quoted. It would seem that these early articles were therefore a bit speculative. After all, Hennig had done some incredible work at Naughty Dog for the Uncharted series and prior to that the Jak and Daxter title’s. So, it would seem strange for the studio to push her out . However, not wanting to fall foul on this subject like the earlier reports I will end all speculation here.

Nintendo’s Iwata seemed to be the only major player making a statement regarding his intent to keep ploughing on. After making a statement to reduce his wages until Nintendo’s financial reports stop causing the printers from running the red ink cartridge dry, Iwata made a post on Nintendo’s website stating his commitments to continue to develop new Nintendo hardware, and research into providing a “quality of life,” platform.

It was a good job Iwata posted the report early in the week as Nintendo fan’s were exploding with excitement later when Mario Kart 8’s  limited edition was unveiled. The limited edition of the game comes with a plastic statue of the infamous Blue Shell, which has stolen more victories than Russia has stolen in land mass.

If you pre-order the title from Nintendo’s online store, you will also get a t-shirt and key chain included as part of your package.

Mario Kart 8

For the indie hipsters with wispy moustaches that deem Mario Kart 8 too mainstream, have no fear. There’s actually some Nintendo related news you might enjoy. Cebit Games officially became a Nintendo approved developer. If you aren’t aware of the studio they are currently developing a game called Insanity’s Blade: The Chronicles of Thurstan which they will be porting over to the Wii U. This title is the first in a proposed series that charts the journey of a sword possessed by a father’s powerful grief and hatred.

The gameplay combines Action-RPG elements with platforming and tries to wrap it up in a classic arcade style. As regulars to the site might realise I am a sucker for an overarching storyline so I definitely have my eyes on this beautifully rendered 8-bit game. If it sounds like your cup of tea but don’t have a Wii U, you can also support the studio here on Steam Greenlight.

And the most exciting news we have saved until last. Which is probably a bit stupid because 99% of you will have stopped reading by now anyway but who cares. Because that %1 will be part of a special elite who will get to join us for the opening of our new video channel. Click here to see our Metroid Fusion video and don’t forget to subscribe and check back for regular updates while we try and provide you with the finest in videogaming entertainment.

Metroid Fusion

DIGESTIVE GAMING NEWS – 9TH TO 16TH OF FEBRUARY

This week was quite a heavy one for gaming announcements. Nintendo threw buckets of information at us with the latest Nintendo Direct.

Mario Kart 8 will be hovering onto the Wii U on May 30th and Bowsers minions, the Koopalings have all been announced as playable characters for the first time ever in a Mario Kart title.

Mario Kart 8

Little Mac was announced as a playable character for the upcoming Super Smash Bros. Whilst he lives up, or down to his name depending upon which way you look at it in terms of stature, Little Mac is able to deliver really powerful punches that send even Samus flying.

The game that joins two of the greatest super sleuths of all time finally got a release date. No, Mark Sloane and Jessica Fletcher haven’t got their own title, fans will just have to hold out for that one. But Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright finally got given a European release date of the 28th of March.

Professor Layton Vs Phoenix Wright

Gameboy Advance games are finally going to be finding their way onto the Wii U virtual console as well in the spring with Metroid Fusion, Mario & Luigi: Super Star Saga and Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3 being the first titles to arrive.

Nintendo also dove straight into the free to play market with the announcement of Steel Diver, Sub Wars. We have been playing that quite a bit the past few days and you can see a review here .

In non-Nintendo news, The Evil Within was given a solid release date from Bethesda. We are very excited about this title as it is from Shinji Mikami the creator of Resident Evil. Resident Evil has gone through an identity crisis recently, morphing into an arcade shooter and losing the horrifying elements that gave the series the massive fan base it has seemingly deserted.

Early footage shows the main character running away from a chainsaw wielding mentalist. As he has no weapons he has to take to hiding in lockers a la metal gear solid. This cat and mouse gameplay should hopefully inject some fear and tension into the title and we can’t wait to get our hands on it when it arrives on the 29th of August.

Evil Within

Capcom released a new trailer for Ultra Street Fighter 4 that shows off new character Poison. She joins the other newbies Elena, Hugo and Rolento. There is still one new character to be announced, which along with the six new stages this new update sounds like it will be worth the Ultra prefix.

USFIV

Gearbox delivered a bout of bad news to Borderlands fans this week releasing a statement that said that Borderlands 3 is not currently in development. Borderlands 2 is such a large title though, we are sure there is still plenty of life left in the old girl yet, and besides, for the Borderlands uber fans Walking Dead developer Telltale games are working on a point and click adventure title that will fit into the series.

Borderlands

Review: Steel Diver, Sub Wars

The Nintendo Direct announcement caused quite a stir last night amongst the Nintendo faithful. “What’s a Titanfall Beta?” Nintendo fans asked as they gathered around 3DS screens eager to hear Iwata’s hallowed words.

Nintendo Direct

There certainly was a lot for Nintendo fans to be happy about. Hot on the heels of the new Sonic exclusives announced last week, Capcom also stated that Monster Hunter 4U would be coming to 3DS in Europe and a new trailer for Bayonetta 2 was shown in all of its eye melting beauty.

Nintendo paraded their own wares as well. Bowsers Minions are to be playable characters in Mario Kart 8 and Little Mac was added to the roster in upcoming Super Smash Bros.

To be honest though, the thing that I found most exciting about last nights announcement was Steel Diver: Sub Wars. Iwata didn’t do a terribly good job in selling it though, claiming that it was “contemplative” slow paced tactical FPS.

Steel Diver Sub Wars

My favourite FPS’s and the ones I always flock to are those that are fast paced, with big explosions, colourful graphics a multitude of ridiculous weapons with names like BFG or Cerebral Bore. What Iwata seemed to be selling last night was Forsaken but with really bad lag.

As Steel Diver: Sub Wars is free though I though that I would give it a chance. This title marks Nintendo’s cautious toe dipping into the free to play market and as a first attempt it’s Admiral, sorry admirable. In single player mode the free version is limited to the first two levels, which are essentially tutorials and you can only choose one Submarine. The multiplayer mode is playable in its entirety though.

Due to Nintendo’s liberal amount of free content, Steel Diver feels more like an older Shareware game like Doom and Quake. Free to play titles nowadays tend to be so bloated with adverts it’s like playing an interactive infomercial.

How does Steel Diver play then? Well after playing through the first two missions of the single player (the only ones available in the free version,) it looks like it could be a really boring mess. The areas are lacking any detail to give them character. The radar only works for small periods of time so you constantly have to refresh it, which when combined with the sluggish controls make searching for that final enemy to kill a really boring chore.

3DS Steel Diver SubWars

But, the things that make Steel Diver’s single player mode so dismally boring are the exact same elements that help to make the multiplayer a tense and enjoyable game.

It’s a simple Team Death match style of play where the Red team and the Blue team compete to eliminate one another. Like Counter Strike there’s no re-spawning, so if you die you are forced to watch the rest of the game play out. If you leave the game early you lose any experience gained. This isn’t as bad as it sounds because the camera angles are so cinematic and the torpedoes move so slowly that you find yourself cheering them on as they try to connect with their target in a sort of natural aquatic bullet time.

The cumbersome lever controls on the touch screen, along with the members of crew that pop up to keep you informed of imminent collisions and how many torpedoes you have make you feel like you are actually in command of a giant submarine. There’s a sense that your vessel is populated by a few hundred souls who have their faith that you are going to captain them to victory and make sure that they see their families again.

Steel Diver

The most impressive thing that Nintendo have achieved with Steel Diver though is the perfection of team speak. Rather than listening to shrieking teenagers who seem to have no purpose in life other than to cause extreme irritation, much like genital warts, in Steel Diver gamers communicate through the use of Morse code, which is amusing, novel and helps add to the nautical theme of the title. It also takes a while to tap out messages so people only tend to communicate when they have something intelligent or really important to say.

Steel Diver is an incredibly addictive online hit that Nintendo should be able to capitalise upon by adding more submarines and modifications that people can purchase and carry more of their own presence into the virtual world. Currently you can purchase a single submarine for the price of just 89p or you can buy the full game which includes 18 subs, all of which are customisable, and you get the full single player mode for just £8.99.

Steel Diver should be a successful first step into the world of Free To Play for Nintendo and hopefully more companies will take note and adopt a more shareware style of distribution. Lets just hope that Nintendo’s next effort has a much better single player mode as well.

Should You Wii U ?

Just before Christmas, one of the longest running generations of gaming history came to a close as self proclaimed ‘hardcore gamers’ tried to get their hands on the latest consoles, clawing over one another like Zombies trying to break into Jerusalem.

World War Z

Being an attractive highly sought after male with a crazy other half who insists on trying to adopt every single child we come across aren’t the only points that Brad Pitt and I share in common. Just like he manages to survive the Zombie outbreak in World War Z, I managed to avoid the hype-induced pandemic that had brain-swollen idiots purchasing £500 pictures of Xbox Ones from eBay.

Xbox One Fool

I decided I wanted to be different, and as such I decided to buy a console from the company who dares to be different. So I purchased a Wii U.

I used to be a huge Nintendo fan boy and shudder when I think back to my days of secondary school, laughing at people with Sony ‘Gay,’ Stations, because I was a homophobic, narrow minded, opinionated little shit who felt the N64 was king. Later on, the Gamecube extended my extremism. Pikmin is possibly the only RTS that works on a console. Rogue Squadron 2 translated the epic scale of an intergalactic space battle into the living room in a way never seen before, whilst Luigi’s Mansion and Eternal Darkness were perfect polarities off the survival horror genre.

Then came the Wii. Whilst the sales figures were astounding, Nintendo couldn’t have gotten it more wrong. The Wii-mote had gamers waving their arms like they were parking a plane. Nintendo argued the new control scheme would create more immersive and unique experiences. Well, they were wrong, having tired arms and not being able to relax actually distanced players and only Nintendo themselves tried creating anything unique, whilst all other developers insisted on creating mini game compilations.

Wii Granny

This turned the Nintendo Wii into nothing more than a novelty item that the majority of owners put away after ten minutes only to stare at from time to time and wish it would play DVD’s. It also caused Nintendo to distance themselves from the core game playing market; those who are more than happy to buy hardware with the sole intent of playing videogames on, as opposed to those idiots who think that videogames are a waste of time and for nerds, yet make sure they have an overpriced smartphone with their mobile phone contract for no other reason than to play Angry Birds.

After sales of the Wii began to drop, Nintendo realised gamers were beginning to figure out that the Wii was just a Gamecube with a motion sensor. So they decided to bring their back catalogue kicking and screaming into the HD generation. Being Nintendo though, they simply weren’t going to make Wii HD. If Nintendo were in the business of making stationary, they would have been the guys to come up with the pencil, and rather than rest on their laurels and rake in the money they would have released the pencil with a rubber on it the following year, then the year after that we’d get colour!

Satoru Iwata President and CEO of Nintendo wanted a system that built upon the Wii’s control system and improved upon the graphics. But he also wanted a system that was compact and quiet, so parents wouldn’t object to it being in the living room, whilst keeping the price accessible. Nintendo really wanted to attract back the ‘hardcore’ gamer and burst their doors wide open to them, unfortunately none of them came back. Nintendo went from Yoshi’s Dream to Yoshi’s Nightmare in terms of home console sales over night and it’s easy to see why.

Those of a moobed disposition, sorry, ‘hardcore gamers’ as they like to refer to themselves, felt that the Wii U wasn’t powerful enough. The Wii U is certainly as graphically impressive as the PS3 and the 360, unfortunately the Wii U arrived just as Sony and Microsoft began promising the most realistic ever graphics with real fire that would actually burn your eyebrows off on the Xbox One and PS4. Epic games added fuel to the fire by demoing the latest Unreal 4 engine and stating that they wouldn’t be supporting Wii U. It certainly hasn’t helped the Wii U amongst the more intense gaming community that in it’s entire library of games there isn’t a single title that fully exploits the graphical prowess of the system to make a gritty and realistic world. The PS4 launched with Killzone Shadowfall, the Crysis of the console world, while Xbox One promised a blending of cinema and games with Ryse, where all the characters motions were captured using classically trained actors at Andy Serkis’s new motion capture centre.

It’s the environments of Killzone and Ryse that the more adult gamer wants to see. They want arteriel spray pissing everywhere like an exploded water main, perfectly rendered using the latest particle effect. They don’t care about how cool the new shadow effects look on a re-release of an 11 year old Zelda game.

Sad Link

Surely the pricing of the Wii U will lead it to becoming many gamers second console though? Unfortunately not, as cheap as £250 is when compared to a brand new Xbox One or PS4. Those of the serious gaming fraternity inhabit such disappointing lives that it’s very difficult to impress them as they extoll doom and gloom at every opportunity. They mistrust Nintendo’s promise that the Wii U’s pad actually helps to improve the console experience, probably because they are tainted by the disappointment of the Wii’s controls. To say the Wii revolutionised controller input is like seeing a flambé pudding in a restaurant and then calling the Firemen and claiming the place is on fire.

“Why don’t they just bundle the Wii U with a basic controller and make it even cheaper, I’d buy one then.” Is what most of the inspirationally challenged sweat producers tend to mash out on their Razer keyboards with pudgy fingers that overspill and miss their mark. Often resulting in the evolution of such hilarious new internet words like “pwn”.

Well, I’ll tell you for why, my chubby keyboard warrior. Because the pad is kind of the point of the whole system. Selling a Wii U without the pad would be like selling a chocolate éclair without the cream. Sure, you can’t leave the room that the system is in and OK, not all games make full use of the pad’s capabilities, a lot of the time its just a second screen, BUT it completely evolves the console experience.

Wii U

Say your partner is watching one of those generic by-the-numbers Disney ABC dramas like Castle or Grey’s Anatomy. Or say the system is in your bedroom and you fancy a quick game whilst they are sleeping/watching something. You can just turn on the gamepad and plug your earphones in and your away playing a full-blown game with console style graphics on a pad.

Sony are falling over themselves and have invested a fortune to deliver the same experience with the PS4 and the Vita, and although with Sony’s hardware its an optional experience, it’s a damned site more expensive.

PS4 PS Vita Bundle

The games that do take advantage of the pad do so fantastically. The Wonderful 101 would be incredibly difficult to control without being able to swipe a quick shape on the screen to align all of your heroes accurately. It finally offers a system of control that previously only PC gamers enjoyed with their Mice.

Lego City Undercover also does a fantastic job of using the pad to immerse players in the game experience. Characters from the . Satoru Iwata announced this week that the Wii U is to receive a firmware update that will allow the use of the pad to quickboot into a game. Meaning you will be able to bypass the system’s OS when first turning the Wii U on and jump straight into a game. This will cut loading times by 50%

In terms of the physical buttons on the pad, Nintendo have now provided players with the standard dual thumb stick and trigger buttons that Nintendo players have been calling out for since Sony released the Dual Analog. As a result the Wii U’s pad is probably the best controller Nintendo has ever made.

Even with all of these positives gamers still aren’t happy, keen to point out that the new Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze actually de-activates the screen on the pad if you are using the TV as the main display. Well my response to this is, so what? If you are not going to be looking at the screen on the pad surely its nice to have it disabled to improve battery life?

“Yeah, but if you are using the screen on the pad then the picture on the tv is disabled.”

My point still stands. The game may as well be displaying images of kittens wrapped in barbed wire being thrown into microwaves on the secondary screen, because if you don’t need to use it for controller input or aren’t even looking at it, then you aren’t going to see it. Whether you chose the controller screen or your TV, how many other consoles actually give you a choice?

Lego City Undercover Wii U

I bought the Lego City Undercover bundle from Amazon,  I wouldn’t usually use Amazon and while their bundle was the same price as everywhere else, they also included an additional copy of Lego Batman 2 as well. It turns out that everyone has a price, and mine is the cost of an average port that suffers from terrible multiplayer controls.

To give you an idea of the size of the base unit its about 4 inches longer than a DVD case and probably 2 inches wider. You can rest it upright on the included pair of feet or just lay it flat. The length might be a little awkward for any hipsters with bare minimalist tiny shelves that really bring out the brickwork in their open plan flat in Hackney, those who actually deserve human rights should be fine though. It’s a really quiet system too, the only time it really becomes audible is when it’s reading from the optical drive.

When I was manhandling the system into place by the TV it felt really solid and well built. The pad also has no flex in it at all and the buttons seem perfectly balanced and unlikely to cause any problems in the future. Of all the Nintendo consoles I have owned over the years I have never had a single technical issue with any of them apart from when my Game Boy screen covering fell out after 12 years of service.

Aesthetically speaking, Nintendo really have created the blandest console ever. If the Wii U was the cuisine of a single nation you definitely wouldn’t say it was Japanese. It’s more British in that its completely inoffensive and very bland. This isn’t really a valid complaint in the argument as to whether or not you should buy a Wii U and I feel shallow for bringing it up but the N64, Gamecube and Wii were all very iconic designs, and the shape of the SNES pad is something that is imprinted into gaming culture’s collective consciousness.

However looks aren’t everything (thankfully, otherwise I’d be screwed, I may claim to look like Brad Pitt but I also think that a Cheese Burger Crust Pizza is a balanced meal so you can see how my view of reality is skewed slightly.) What really sells systems is exclusive titles and recognisable franchises.

The Wonderful 101

In my opinion, the following Wii U titles are all worth paying full price for: The Wonderful 101, Pikmin 3, Super Mario 3D World, Sonic Lost World and Lego City Undercover. Lets also not forget that Batman Arkham City and Deus Ex both received overhauls in order to take advantage of the Wii U controller and provide the definitive versions. These are also worth picking up if you haven’t managed to play them already.

Pikmin3

If you take into account that Nintendo somehow, and I can only imagine it involved a ritual sacrifice, managed to gain exclusive rights to Capcom’s Bayonetta 2, plus the fact that we are going to be treated to Mario Kart 8 and a new Smash Bros this year, then the Wii U’s library actually looks a lot stronger than the PS4’s and the Xbox One’s. I’m also very interested to see how Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs will run on the Wii U. Ubisoft would be insane not to fully utilise the Wii U gamepad in a title that sees the hero running around hacking things with his PDA.

Watch Dogs

Can I recommend a Wii U then? Yes I can, despite the internet exuding negativity towards the Wii U like a fat person sweats, there are loads of great exclusive titles. There are also some great deals to be had out there as shops are desperate to shift stock. I recommend, and what I wish I had done, would be to get the cheapest base 8gb unit and then buy an external HD. You can find a list of recommended HDD’s on Nintendo’s website, and they are so easy to set up, that I can forgive the miniscule amount of internal memory.

Nintendo haven’t quite got the online services cracked just yet, but traditionally the big N felt that multiplayer was best served face to face with split screen modes. They are improving though and my experiences of Netflix and Lovefilm have been great. I have also watched a few films on the controller, the screen of which, doesn’t have the detail of the higher end tablets and is sharp and bright enough for it to serve as a viable alternative to your tv set. The touch screen also makes navigating the vast menus easier and less cumbersome than the 360 and PS3 counterparts.

For those that live in the UK iPlayer and other on demand services such as 4oD are not yet available. However, the BBC made a statement earlier in January that they want to bring iPlayer to the Wii U and Xbox One by the end of the year. Nintendo in their infinite wisdom still hasn’t allowed DVD playback, but then who actually wants to use their Wii U as a DVD player when you have a mint conditioned Panasonic Q under your TV that you want to show off.

ZombiU

Oh, and I shouldn’t forget, that there was a bit of a Zombie problem for the Wii U at launch (although not quite the same as the PS4 and Xbox One’s). Its called ZombiU and should be avoided like the rotting festering corpse of a title that it is.

Super Mario 3D World