Tag Archives: Wii U

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.

Advertisements

DIGESTIVE GAMING BISCUIT 31st MARCH – 6th APRIL 2014

id-05-visceral

Following our previous report about Amy Hennig leaving her position of Creative Director at Naughty Dog, Visceral games have just announced that they have have hired her to work on an upcoming Star Wars project.

Steve Papoutsis announced the hiring on EA’s official News Blog. Hennig and Papoutsis have experience working with one another at Crystal Dynamics and went on to say that he “always admired her approach to creative development – focusing on nailing down the soul of a game first, and then making sure the writing, the gameplay, the design and the art comes together to form a unified, interactive experience for the player.”

Dead Space

We are very excited that the Executive Producer of Dead Space is teaming up with the Game Director of Uncharted as both Papoutsis and Hennig have a fantastic history in helping to create immersive, atmospheric thrill rides. With both of their skills we are sure the Star Wars license is in safe hands and we cannot wait to see what they create.

This wasn’t the only announcement made by EA this week. As it was the first of April the official twitter feed for the DICE engine featured a tweet regarding the Wii U that read “Frostbite now runs on the #WiiU since it is the most powerful Gen4 platform, our renderer is now optimized for Mario and Zelda.”

Wii U

This dig at Nintendo prompted EA COO Peter Moore to issue an apology over the April Fools prank, condoning the joke and apologising to Nintendo and their fans.

Fans of micro consoles rejoiced in America as Amazon finally launched the Amazon Fire TV earlier this week and it is now available to buy. Amazon do not see the Fire TV as a contender in the battle between Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. Instead Amazon have marketed the system as an alternative to Apple TV.

Fire TV

The Fire TV specs are reasonable and Amazon have provided a more powerful system than the competition. Powering the Fire TV is a Qualcomm Quad core 1.7ghz processor and Qualcomm Adreno 320 GPU as opposed to the single cored A5 CPU in the in the Apple TV. The Fire TV also has 2gb of RAM which is four times the amount found in the Apple TV.

The Apple TV has been designed as a dedicated streaming device so although the extra power of the Fire TV looks great for marketing the Apple TV doesn’t require the additional processing power because it’s not intended for gaming. The Fire TV has just under 100 games available at the moment with a few exclusives and more on the way from developers such as EA, Sega and Amazon even bought the studio Double Helix which developed Killer Instinct recently for Microsoft.

Fire TV

Amazon does seem to be trying to plug a niche in-between the Apple TV and the Ouya by providing a system for gamers that streams tv titles. Even though the Fire TV does come in at the budget price of $99, PS3’s and Xbox 360’s have dropped significantly in price thanks to the arrival of the latest generation of consoles and we cannot help but feel like the Fire TV is trying to plug a gap that doesn’t quite exist. Yes the Amazon TV is very sleek, tiny and won’t take up much space, but a PS3 or an Xbox 360 would give players access to the same amount of content online, plus exclusive games have an even higher level of polish and also work as a dvd/blu ray player.

Whilst we are on the subject of exclusive titles, there was a string of Halo news this past week. Ridley Scott has been named as the Executive Producer on an upcoming digital feature to be directed by Battlestar Galactica director Sergio Mimica-Gezzan. This new series is to follow the format of Forward Unto Dawn, but will not feature the Master Chief as the lead character and is also completely unrelated to Steven Spielberg’s Halo project that is being Directed by Neil Blomkamp and was announced at E3 2013.

Cortana

Microsoft will also be using Cortana as a rival to Apple’s Siri. Although Cortana will appear on Windows 8.1 phones as just a circle, she will still be voiced by  voice actor Jen Taylor who lends her voice to Cortana’s character in the games.

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.

Review: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze

And so Nintendo welcomes Donkey Kong onto the Wii U with his first brand new adventure in four years.  Now, we feel very sorry for poor old DK as he must have a massive amount of pressure on his shoulders. Donkey not only has to look after Diddy and Dixie making sure they go to school and get a good education, but he must also look after elderly Gorilla Cranky, because there isn’t a nursing home under the sun that treats their residents like anything more than creatures in a zoo.

Along with his family, Donkey Kong also has to deal with some overweight Walrus and Penguin type creatures calling themselves the Snowmads who have decided to evict DK from his Island. Just when you think poor old DK should have had enough, he’s also got Nintendo on the phone. There aren’t many Wii U releases over the next couple of months so this one better be pretty damned good.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

As killer apps go, those Nintendo fans expecting Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze to come along and save their system are massively misguided. If Mario couldn’t achieve system saving sales success, then what kind of hope does Donkey Kong have? After all, Donkey Kong Country is a series that traditionally is a lot harder and less accessible to gamers than Mario is.

Donkey Kong Country is also a 2D scrolling platformer that doesn’t have the technical wizardry that Super Mario 3D World has. To the average Joe on the street DK is less superior than his plumbing counterpart.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

This is a shame because Tropical Freeze is a rich, colourful platformer. Retro Studios don’t explore the huge amount of variations on the platforming theme that Nintendo did with the latest Super Mario 3D World. There are still an extensive amount of ideas within Tropical Freeze though, that will keep players excited to unlock new stages and progress. The visuals are also stunning. Even though silhouetted levels are becoming something of a cliché nowadays, in Tropical Freeze, the hidden shadow stages are absolutely beautiful.

The massive variations between the different Islands also help to keep the aesthetics fresh and again, will propel you forward wanting to see everything right up until the final massive Walrus Viking Snowmad boss at the end. There are theatrical Lion King esque Saharan levels, Alpine levels with giant horn parping owls, and levels with bouncing jelly blocks that look so real you will shudder at the thought of poor old DK having to deal with his sticky fur.

Donkey kong Country: Tropical Freeze-18_PR_11

Our biggest complaint against DK isn’t towards the starring Gorilla, it’s more about the supporting Kongs. Donkey is joined by Dixie, Diddy and Cranky and players are able to choose which one of these characters they want to team up with after locating barrels hidden around the different stages. By allowing another character to ride on Donkey Kong’s back and treat him like a pony at the seaside, not only does DK get an additional two hearts on his health metre but he also benefits by gaining additional abilities. Diddy Kong can hover when jumping for slightly longer by using Diddy’s jetpacks. Dixie propels Donkey further by allowing her pigtails to transform her into a Chinook, or should we say a Chimp-nook. Cranky is able to bounce on his walking stick, sending Donkey Kong slightly higher, but also allowing you to traverse spiky ground. The problem is, Dixie’s abilities far surpass those of all of the other primates. Her skill to float like a helicopter effectively means she can do pretty much what Diddy and Cranky can do but slightly better. Therefore, the majority of the time, payers will find themselves picking Dixie Kong every time; apart from those very few moments where Cranky’s ability to navigate thorny ground is required. Character selection could have been refined a tad by Retro but, it’s hard to make too much of a fuss about this as it doesn’t really detract too much from Tropical Freeze. Should they get a chance to work on a third title, then its something Retro can definitely improve and build upon. Here’s hoping they don’t get the chance though and their next title will be a Metroid one. Well, we can dream can’t we?

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

As to be expected with the Country series, Tropical Freeze is a very difficult game. However, the difficulty curve is so well judged you won’t feel like you’ve been cheated when you die. It might almost be said that Tropical Freeze is a game of polar opposites. There are levels that allow players to wander around rich and fertile jungles, exploring at will and looking for secret barrels and exits that will take them off to new areas. As there is no clock counting down a la Mario, you are afforded a more leisurely stroll when investigating the nooks and crannies of some levels. There are times though, when you will be catapulted down a mountain in an avalanche or on top of a rhino dashing away from a wave of lava.  When these moments occur, you will find yourself huffing and puffing like a Penguin getting into a hot bath because the game requires jet speed reflexes and laser guided precision.

If you are reading this and thinking, “Hmmm that’s nonsense I thought the latest Donkey Kong was a bit of a doodle”. Then you are either lying or have the kind of abilities that the Ministry of Defence want to take advantage of in their jet fighters.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze doesn’t try to re-invent the platforming genre. It doesn’t even take full advantage of the Wii U’s hardware. If you are using the TV to display the picture then the image on the pad is de-activated and Visa versa, when using the pad to display gameplay. At least you get a choice of which screen you want to play on, how many other consoles give you that?

And thankfully Retro haven’t shoe horned in some touch screen mechanics just for the sake of it, like so many other developers would have been tempted to. As a result Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze is a well-refined 2D platformer. If you like hard-core old school gameplay then there are few titles available that come anywhere near as strong as this one.

Score: 8/10

System:  Wii U

Bought From: HMVDonkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

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.