Tag Archives: Nintendo

DIGESTIVE GAMING BISCUIT 7th April – 14th APRIL 2014

The Last Of Us

This week The Last Of Us fans were given a reason to be joyous. And when we say Last of Us fans that’s surely anyone who has played the apocalyptic adventure horror title from Naughty Dog. Following a leaked screenshot advertising The Last of Us coming to the PS4, Sony were forced to confirm that the game will indeed be coming to their newest console.

The Last Of Us Re-mastered edition will come with all DLC from the PS3 version including the prequel Left Behind that helps to fill in a few gaps in Ellie’s history. Along with the additional content the game will also feature graphical improvements thanks to the PS4’s impressive hardware. The Re-mastered edition of the game will run at 60fps as opposed to the PS3’s 30fps and will also run in 1080p.

The Last of Us

A trailer showing one of the more touching moments in the game running on PS4 hardware has been released in order to show off the benefits of buying the game again. We would link it but are such massive fans we don’t want to run the risk of ruining any surprises and lessening the emotional impact for any players who are yet to experience this classic.

To be honest though, if you are yet to play The Last of Us but don’t own a PS3 or a PS4, even though we are yet to play the PS4 Remastered edition. As per our website title “Its Not Just Graphics”, we would argue that whilst it’s nice the game is getting a fresh coat of paint, the PS3’s graphical experience is certainly strong enough so why wait. You should run out and buy a PS3 and a copy of The Last Of Us now! There are numerous other PS3 exclusives that also warrant purchasing the Sony’s previous generation console.

xbox-one-titanfall-bundle

Sony weren’t the only ones making next gen waves this week. Microsoft’s Xbox One has seen its price slashed down to just £350 by UK retailers. ASDA and Amazon have both discounted the Titanfall bundle, prior to this price cut Ebuyer and Overclockers UK, two British etailers, were selling the bundle for just £389 which was £10 cheaper than the Console’s RRP. Whilst the Xbox One’s sales figures certainly are nothing to scoff at they are trailing behind Sony at the moment so it is only natural for retailers to try and bring the price down in line with the more successful PS4 in the hope of shifting more units.

Nintendo fans also had plenty of excitement this week. Ubisoft have announced that Watch Dogs will be coming to Wii U in the Fall of 2014. This will be a huge relief to many Wii U owners as there have been persistent rumours claiming the game had been cancelled for Wii U.

smashbroswiiu3ds

There was also a Nintendo Direct announcement highlighting loads of new information on characters, gameplay, and technical details for the 3DS and Wii U versions of upcoming brawler Super Smash Bros. The 3DS version will find it’s way into player’s systems this summer while the Wii U version will arrive slightly later this winter.

super smash bros wiiu

Some critics are already calling the late release date for the Wii U the final nail in the coffin for the struggling system. Unfortunately the internet seems to forget that the Wii U has high profile exclusive titles in the form of Bayonetta 2 and Mario Kart 8 to keep players interested in the mean time and while these negative comments certainly aren’t justified, they will certainly create a lot of traffic, incite a lot of negative discussion and just add to the unjustified storm of negativity currently pounding Nintendo.

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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.

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

It’s Not Just Graphics launches new video channel!

Metroid Fusion

We have finally launched our video channel with our favourite parts of Metroid Fusion. Here you can find us trying to entertain you with our thoughts and musings on our favourite games. If you enjoy our first video please subscribe to find out as soon as we put up the next one. If you don’t like the video, disagree or just like to make grown men cry, then feel free to send us a message in the comments section below or on twitter @itsnotjustgraphics

Do People Really Like Professor Layton?

Layton

Now, I am fully aware in expressing the following viewpoint I may be tarring myself as a lazy unimaginative pillock. But…

Professor Layton is pants. There I said it. It’s probably one of the worst games I have ever played. I actually couldn’t bring myself to finish it and therefore am unable to class this piece as a review. My save game states I have played a little over five and a half hours, but it felt so much longer.

Professor Layton and the Curious Village is the first title in the franchise that consists of two trilogies, and an upcoming tie in with Phoenix Wright. It was the overarching plot that attracted me to Layton initially, after seeing the incredible cinematics for upcoming Professor Layton Vs Phoenix Wright I found myself in the wilds of ebay. While there, I was able to hunt down some fool willing to let their mint condition copy of Curious Village go for just £3.50. Bargain.

It would seem the people I bought the game from had no clear attachment to it, as upon booting up there were three different save files, all attributed to different names with no more than 40 minutes racked up between them.

When I saw this alarm bells in my head rang out a tiny bit. I just shrugged these minor worries away though. Those save files probably belonged to some noob-like kids who didn’t fully appreciate the intricacies of Professor Layton. Surely I, a seasoned gamer of 21 years, would be able to understand the small nuances that makes Professor Layton great.

Unfortunately, when it comes to Professor Layton I really am a noob. The introduction gripped me, I loved the cinematics and while the very first puzzles Layton posed to Luke felt clunky and staged, it’s obvious the intro is just easing players in with a forgivable tutorial section.

Layton

When I arrived at St. Mystere for the first time I enjoyed the puzzle to figure out how to lower the drawbridge, this was a puzzle based within the context of the in game action so it made sense. I was also excited to enter St. Mystere and explore. Especially after the short animated cut scene that displayed a tantalizingly quirky Japanese interpretation of a rural French town.

Upon entering the town it became very quickly apparent that most of St Mystere’s citizens are only concerned with solving puzzles. To the extent that every single conversation usually result’s in Professor Layton being challenged with riddle. At one point not even the recent sight of a corpse belonging to a relative was enough to stop a resident quizzing the good Professor about penning in some pigs. This obsession with puzzles, whilst crucial to the gameplay mechanic of the game, makes all of the supporting characters incredibly two dimensional.

See something of interest moving in the background? Tap on it, and you’ll probably be asked to complete a puzzle. Think you can just ignore the puzzles and storm ahead in a bid solve the interesting mysteries that include disappearing townsfolk and murder? Well tough, members of the public will block your way to crucial areas if they feel like you haven’t solved enough puzzle’s, because despite the grisly murders no one seems to want Granny Riddleton’s Shack to become inundated with unsolved puzzles. Maybe they think she’s too old to be working and don’t want to over burden her for fear of causing a heart attack. Although that would seem strange seeing as they don’t seem to care about anyone else disappearing or dying.

This is incredibly infuriating and does nothing to build up the story of the game. It also does nothing to create a credible foundation for Professor Layton’s character as a super sleuth. Imagine how ridiculous Columbo would have looked if every time he wanted to interrogate a suspect he had to answer a ridiculous question involving a piece of string and some coins. Each little mini puzzle is a distraction which makes the overall game experience feel like one of those cheap puzzle books you buy for your gran when she has an extended stay in hospital. You know, the ones that no one under the age of forty buys because everyone else knows how to play videogames.

Layton

I wouldn’t mind so much if the puzzles themselves actually reflected or enhanced what was happening on screen but most of the time they are so far removed from the context I feel like I’m 8 years old again, trying to play a really unfunny version of Monkey Island but my Mum keeps interrupting me with my Maths homework.

Videogames can offer really rich, engrossing narrative experiences. The best example of recent years would be the cinematic thrill rides provided by the Uncharted series, OK so the puzzles aren’t the most difficult thing in the world, but the way in which the levels are designed to make players feel like they are constantly progressing is incredibly engrossing.

Not into action titles and want something a bit more cerebral? Fine, what about Telltale Games incredible Walking Dead series. These point ‘n click adventure titles mix a dark brooding atmosphere with a story that adapts to player’s choices.

Zombies a bit too adult? Fancy something a bit more anime styled? Well Level 5, the developers of Professor Layton managed to get the mix right at least once before with the seminal RPG Ni no Kuni Wrath of the White Witch.

In my opinion Professor Layton is a terrible game because the story is broken up needlessly by trivial puzzles that are boring to solve and add nothing to the overall narrative, atmosphere or general experience of the game. As a result I have no idea how Curious Village went on to cultivate such a huge following let alone act as the foundation for such a massive franchise.

If you think Tom is wrong and have a viewpoint that can help him appreciate Curious Village a bit more then please tell us in the comments section below or send us a tweet @itsnotjustgraphics

Nintendo Force

Nintendo Force

It was with great excitement that I received my copy of Nintendo Force. This independent publication was set up to plug a gap in America left behind by the demise of Nintendo Power.

I have to be ashamedly honest here and admit to not realising that Nintendo Force existed until I stumbled across their Kick Starter campaign.

In the UK we still have the monthly publication of Official Nintendo Magazine. You can subscribe to this publication from anywhere in the world and apart from the odd piece of regional information regarding game’s release dates there really isn’t a lot to stop ONM from catering to the American Nintendo audience.

NF & ONM

In fact, when you place NF next door to ONM there are immediate different levels of quality to the publications. The paper in ONM is more resilient and less likely to tear, and the front cover is a much nicer, glossier, and harder wearing paper than the cover of NF.

ONM is a lot more frequent as well, NF is bi-monthly whilst ONM is a monthly publication allowing it to provide you with information that is a little bit more up to date. However, in this day and age with the advent of the internet, I doubt most gamers rely upon Magazines as their source of gaming news. (We are pretty sure that most gamers use innovative, informative and entertaining news feeds such as Digestive Gaming Biscuit).

Nintendo Force

The team at Nintendo Force seem to realise that print has been usurped in up to date news by the internet. As a result, there are loads of really interesting articles that cover indie, retro and the latest games.

Because Nintendo Force are an independent magazine with a strong following, they obviously don’t have the restrictions that ONM have, especially when it comes to their covers. Looking at the back catalogue of cover’s that NF have run is a lot of fun. The issue that I received for January/February is Shovel Knight which isn’t just a massively creative and beautiful cover that continues around to the back of the magazine. It’s also pretty daring, there aren’t many Nintendo mag’s out there that would use an indie title that was funded by a kick starter campaign for their cover art.

Nintendo Force

There is a really nice interview with the guys over at Fresh Meat regarding the upcoming release of Fresh ‘n Tasty and Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath. We have a review of Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath here if you don’t know anything about the game and want to get excited.

Nintendo Force

You may have seen the Nintendo Force site, and especially if you live in the UK wondered if it was actually worth subscribing too. I would say yes it is, even if you already subscribe to ONM, both magazines offer enough unique material to make them worthy of Nintendo fan’s coffee tables. NF have just offered up another 500 reduced rate subscriptions as well in celebration of Lucas’s brand new baby boy being born. As soon as I finish this post I will be going onto their website and signing up for a subscription.

If you are residing in the US though and you  are already enjoying everything Nintendo Force has to offer. I can also heartily recommend a subscription to Official Nintendo Magazine. Not many editor’s of Magazines are willing to be filmed in an ill fitted Pikmin onesie after all.

DIGESTIVE GAMING NEWS: 17TH – 23RD FEBRUARY

IrrationalGamesLogo

Ken Levine, God Father of Bioshock and head of Irrational stated this week that he would be closing the studio he helped to set up in 1997.

Mr Levine released a statement that claimed he was not able to create the kind of games that he was interested in at Irrational, so will be moving on with around fifteen members of staff whilst leaving the majority of the employees at Irrational facing unemployment.

Bioshock Infinite

Many within the industry have put this rather ‘Irrational’ move, (pardon the pun), down to a fact of economics. Whilst Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite were critical successes that had reasonable sales figures., the time and resources that these titles took to develop meant that Irrational’s owner, 2K games, would have received very little back in the way of profit.

It is strange that Irrational was shut down completely though. It’s almost as if Levine didn’t want to leave his legacy in the hands of someone else, like a spoilt child not wanting to share his drawings. What’s even stranger is that the studio were working on porting Bioshock over to the PS Vita, a project that seemingly has been put on hold. Provided that the Vita is as powerful as Sony would have us believe and its an easy job to port Bioshock over, I wouldn’t have thought it would take long before 2K games farm the project out to another studio to try and recoup some more money from one of their more expensive investments.

You can see our review of Bioshock Infinite here if you have not yet played the game.

Kiefer Sutherland

In other news Kiefer Sutherland has apparently told reporters that he has been working on a previously unannounced Mortal Kombat game. We assume that he means he has been doing the voice over work and not any character design. Otherwise it will soon also be announced that a moody teenage 80’s styled vampire and a gruff government operative whose fatality is to waterboard people to death have been added to the roster.

Microsoft took a further bashing in the current next gen war as Sony released the PS4 finally in Japan and announced that the sales of the PS4 are around double what Microsoft have managed to shift of their Xbox One console.

Hideo Kojima also added fuel to the fire of the current battle between Sony and Microsoft by releasing his very own comparison video for Metal Gear Solid Zeroes. It shows the upcoming stealth em up running on 360, PS3, PS4 and Xbox One. The comparison video, for those who can’t be bothered to watch it (lets be honest these things are so damned dull that not even the cinematic Kojima can make them interesting), shows the game looking best on the PS4.

While we are very firmly of the belief that its not graphics that make a game, but gameplay, when you are selling a system claiming to provide the ultimate gameplay experience and charging a premium over your competitors it’s a bit embarrassing when you don’t deliver. At the moment the Wii U has more titles running at 1080p 60fps than the Xbox One does. It also has more exclusive titles worth playing. Hopefully the internet will realize there really is no reason to hate Nintendo so much and then the Xbox One can become the new Wii U.

Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze

Nintendo released Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze for the Wii U this week. Nintendo fans were excited because the software drought that is affecting all of the latest gen of consoles is hitting the Wii U hard. If you are thinking of picking up the game, then why not check out our informative, and amusing review here.

This is the end

For those who don’t remember the cinematic travesties that were Super Mario Bros, Street Fighter the Movie, Max Payne and so many others I’ll get arthritis in my fingers from typing, then get excited! A new videogame movie is coming out! Before we get too negative, rather than being based on a particular title, the film is actually to be based on the book Console Wars by Blake J. Harris. The book charts the console war between Sega and Nintendo and most intriguingly looks to have Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg at the helm. These are the guys responsible for the funniest film (In our opinion,) of last year This is The End.

Sony VR

And finally, not content with resting on their laurels over the success of the PS4 and the growing audience with PS Vita, it has been leaked that Sony are preparing to announce their very own Virtual Reality unit to compete with the Occulus Rift.

If you feel like we have missed anything out or are lonely and just want a chat please feel free to tweet us @notjustgraphics or just drop us a message below.