Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Site Chat @ 8PM EST

Hi, folks, It is I, the NinSage (NinSage for short). I'm feeling a little goofy because I'm been working on my research for the past 5 hours. So please excuse my Supa-levels of wackiness. Anyway, see you in the chat in 3 hours!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Site chat at 6pm EST

So another Sunday has come and it is time for another site chat. I just woke up so I may not be talkative for a short while.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Site Chat @ 8PM EST

Loads of awful Nintendo rumors, loads of moronic blather from popular gaming media - so what does that mean for us? Lots to talk about in tonight's chat.

See you there.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Site chat at 6pm EST

Site chat is at 6pm EST today. With the release of Xenoblade Chronicles in Europe last week we can talk about the game and if it is coming out in the USA. Also the possibility of Last Story and Pandora's Tower heading to the west.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Site chat at 8pm EST

Well today is Gamescom over in Germany. Few things have been confirmed for the Wii and 3DS so far and I will edit this later as more come in but here is what we have right now. Maybe we can chat about things revealed in the chat at 8pm EST.

The Legend of Zelda:Skyward Sword has a November 20th release date for the North American Market.Europe has a November 18th release date.

Last Story and Pandora's Tower has been given a 2012 release for Europe.

Europe will be given a Wii hardware revision which will be without Gamecube compatability.The revison will include Wii Sports and Wii Party and the Wii Remote Plus and a Nunchuk. No plans for the North American market for this revision.

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, Metroid II: Return of Samus and Bionic Commando will arrive on the 3DS Virtual Console during the fourth quarter in Europe.

Kirby Returns to Dreamland will be able to have 4 Kirby's playing as well as Meta Knight, King DeDeDe and Waddle Dee. So at any time they can swap out different characters depending on the players choice.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Four more join the Nintendo Selects line

Recently Nintendo is offering four more Wii titles for the Nintendo Selects line of games which cost $19.99. The four new titles are Super Mario Galaxy, Mario Strikers Charged, Punch-Out!! and Super Paper Mario. These four join The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Animal Crossing: City Folk, Mario Super Sluggers and Wii Sports as part of the discount line.

The only one that I am interested in that I don't have is Super Paper Mario. Anything you see that you plan on picking up?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Site chat at 6pm EST

Well it is Sunday again and we have a site chat at 6pm EST. I guess we can talk about the 3DS and if you guys think it is doing well for itself at this point in it life.

Anything else is fair game if you want to bring it up in the chat. See everyone at 6pm EST.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Reggie keeping an eye on Operation Rainfall games and Operation Rainfall enters Phase two

Recently Reggie has been asked about the 3 RPGs heading to the West and he said that he will keep an eye on the sales of said titles for consideration for the west. He said this."Certainly if there are business opportunities and positive consumer uptake from some of those titles, that will be great data for us to consider as we look at what to do with these titles."

In response to said comments from Reggie Operation Rainfall will be entering the second phase. Here is the second phase from Operation Rainfall's site.

As part of Phase Two of Operation Rainfall, we very much want to see Xenoblade Chronicles sell exceptionally well in PAL regions. To all residents in the regions of Europe and Oceania, we encourage you to pre-order and purchase it at your earliest convenience. In the Americas, we encourage you to promote awareness of these titles. Good sales abroad will be a strong indicator for the title making it to American shores.

For those supporting our movement domestically don’t forget to write, stamp, and mail your letter to Nintendo of America this week. We’re hoping to get all those letters in the mail between August 13th and 17th so that they reach NOA at roughly the same time. Our goal is to have all letters ARRIVE at Nintendo of America offices on or close to August 19. If you prefer, we have a template for mail in letters featured on our website. Be sure to mention your promise to buy Xenoblade, and if relevant, your contribution to Child’s Play on our official website –

Also, as part of Phase Two we want to encourage everyone to make a single Virtual Console purchase on your Wii system. We specifically ask that as many as possible download “Final Fantasy (NES)” on the date of August 19, 2011 (to coincide with the Xenoblade Chronicles’ European launch date). Final Fantasy costs 500 Nintendo points and is published by Nintendo. If you already own the game, please consider purchasing the game as a gift for another Wii owner or making a donation to Child’s Play Foundation through the widget on our website. It’s important to donate through the widget on our website, so that the updated tally remains accurate. This purchase shows intent to buy products, which is important to businesses, please reference your purchase or donation in your letter, and hold off on making said purchase or donation until the 19th to coincide with the arrival of your letter, and the European release of Xenoblade Chronicles

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hanafuda Cards: Get!

So we've been waiting to cash in our Club Nintendo points since we weren't going to make Platinum this past year and wanted to save them up for 2011-2012. We were also planning to buy the Hanafuda Card set (pictured). So, a few days ago we finally cashed in our points and purchased the set!

I'll have a full review of the item when they arrive in the mail in ... some amount of business days.

Has there even been an announcement on the 2010-2011 Platinum reward? I'm going to assume the Gold reward is still a nifty desk calendar as always =P.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Site chat at 8pm EST

Today is Wednesday so it is time for site chat. Few topics I want to talk about are the perception of gamers in the world at large. A recent Today show episode has made me think about this.

Also this year is the 25th anniversary of Metriod and we can talk about that as well.

Also currently the Tri servers are down.It may be a temperary thing so don't panic. So we can talk about the lastablity of online games versus offline games and the pros and cons of each.

Hope to see everyone in the chat.

Nintendo Gets Fired up for the Holidays with New Flame Red Nintendo 3DS

Well in recent 3DS news Nintendo is going to release a Red 3DS coming September 9th. The same day Starfox 64 3D will be released. So by then the 3DS will be at $169.99 for North American shores. Super Mario 3D Land will be released in November.Mario Kart 7 will be released in December. In case you guys missed it Nintendo is offering an Ambassadors program for early 3DS adoptors. If you have your 3DS connected onto the 3DS eShop or preform a system update at least once before 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Aug. 11. These users will automatically be registered in the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador program.

The bonuses are able to download 10 NES games for free also there will be 10 Gameboy advance games offered as well for free.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ignored Signs of Life

In 2010, the Wii had one of the best software line-ups that I can ever recall. 2011, on the other hand, has been dry to say the least. With Nintendo shifting efforts to the 3DS and the upcoming Wii U, and third parties continuing their policy of minimum risk and minimal effort, many have proclaimed the Wii as good as dead ... except for Zelda.

As much as I feel it is foolish to view game platforms with the "what have you done for me lately" mentality (games don't have expiration dates!!!), I can see why many gamers are feeling the Wii is dead.

However, I felt compelled to write this little post to remind our vast small audience and anyone that they might communicate with not to ignore the signs of life the Wii is showing for the future ...

Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword - Goes without saying.

Kirby Returns to Dreamland - Having a major console release of Zelda and Kirby still on the calendar for 2011 proves Nintendo is not completely abandoning the Wii like some believe.

Bit.Trip Complete - Yea, it's technically a re-release of games already available. But for some gamers (like me) putting the entire series on one disc was the only way I ever intended to invest money in the franchise. Now that is happening, and since the franchise is fairly awesome, we should be excited!

Rayman Origins - Like NSMBWii? Like Rayman? Like amazing 2D artwork? Then get excited about this game!

Rhythm Heaven Wii - The whole world seems to love this series. I keep hearing that this game is coming to the states but no one is confirming it or giving release dates. Assuming it's on its way, it shouldn't be passed over!

Dragon Quest X - Some media would really help people realize that this game is coming, but for now we only have the word of Nintendo and Square Enix CEOs to go on - and that should be enough to keep the game from getting forgotten about entirely!! We know nothing about the game ... except that it will be awesome.


So hey, I know these games aren't all going to appeal to everyone, and I know that it's always hard for gamers to look on the bright side of anything, but they are likely going to be quality experiences and no one is talking about them. Heck, even Nintendo Power's online poll for next month forgot to list Bit.Trip Complete. So, let's take the blinders off, people!

Gameboy to Game Man

When I was a young boy, I had a Gameboy.

Super Mario Land was one of the first titles I acquired and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Unfortunately, so did my sister. It was one of the few video games she ever played on her own. What's unfortunate about that? Well, she lost it!

However, this past week, while on a trip to Chicago, I stopped in to a retro game store. While browsing around I saw Super Mario Land for $7 and thought: "now is the time to remedy this 20-year-old tragedy!" So, I got the game, and when I returned home I popped some batteries in my Gameboy to give it a whirl!

... my Gameboy wouldn't turn on. It seems the decades of neglect lead to some kind of corrosion of the battery contacts. Fortunately, my wife has a Gameboy and hers worked! Oddly enough, when I first turned it on it sort of flickered and sputtered as if it was shaking off the rust of its own decade+ hibernation.

So, I've been playing some SML lately... how the hell did I used to play games without a backlight!? Regardless, even as a 30-year-old man, I find that Gameboy is still pretty nifty.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Metroid is 25 years old

Back on August 6th, 1986, the first Metroid game was released on the NES. It was an interesting mix of Super Mario Bros. platforming and The Legend of Zelda exploration aspects into one game. The creators of the game were Gunpei Yokoi, Makoto Kano and Yoshio Sakamoto. The original Metroid was a pretty challenging game for its time and unlike most games these days you weren't really given any direction. It was up to you to explore and figure out things yourself. I didn't play the original Metroid until years later on the Wii Virtual Console. There were several passwords that could make different things happening in the game - JUSTIN BAILEY and NARPAS SWORD were the more well know ones back then. At the end of the game, if you got a good time, Samus would remove her armor and reveal herself as a woman. This was a pretty big deal back in the 80s since there really weren't any female heroines back then.

For the second game in the series they decided to put it on the Gameboy. The result was Metroid 2: Return of Samus. There were a few more things they added like the Spiderball. The game took place on SR388, the home world of the Metroid species. The game's music was quite atmospheric and gave you a sense you were all alone on the planet and that there was Metroids waiting to come out at anytime. I haven't played this title but I have watched some playthroughs of the game.

The next title in the franchise is widely considered one of the best games of all time. That game was Super Metroid. It took Samus back to Zebes, the location where the first game took place. This game's difficulty can vary depending on how you play it. You could do a low item percent run and make it more challenging, or you could get all the items in the game and make it a cake walk. I think this game was the game that popularized the idea of a "speedrun." There were also several ways to get through the game and acquire different items out of their intended order.

Since Samus' only N64 appearance was in Super Smash Bros., we fast forward to the Gamecube. Metroid fans were waiting for a new game to play. When it was first announced that Retro Studios was taking the reins of the Metroid series it was met with scepticism. However, when Metroid Prime came out on November 17th, 2002 it blew everyone's minds. The game took place on planet called Talon IV. A mysterious substance called Phazon was being used by Space Pirates to further their quest for power. The game's story was cleverly incorporated into the gameplay. Samus could scan certain objects and get a bit of information about what was happening around her. It was there if you wanted it and if you didn't want it you could avoid it. The game had lots of new bosses and a few returning ones from previous games. Overall it was an outstanding game. Personally, I have yet to beat it, but I am at the final area in the game. It was released on the Wii in Metroid Prime Trilogy along with its two direct sequels.

Released on the same day, Metroid Fusion hit the Gameboy Advance. This went back to the 2D sidescrolling from the eight and 16-bit days. There were several new weapons in the game and a very interesting antagonist - yourself - though, not exactly. You run into yourself many times in the game, but your doppelganger is more powerful so it is usually a good idea to avoid her. During the course of the game you are given access to different areas in a more linear manner than past Metroids. Finally, as a bonus for those who had Fusion, Prime and a Gamecube to GBA cable, you could access extra content in both games.

Zero Mission was released on the Gameboy Advance next. It was basically a remake of the first game. Most people consider this to be the best version of Metroid. It took some things from Fusion to make the controls better. This was also the first game that showed Zero Suit Samus later in the game.This game can also be speed runned pretty well much like Super Metroid could.

The next game in the series was Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. This took place on Aether, a planet split into two dimensions much like the Light and Dark world in Link to the Past. The game is considered by many to be the hardest in the Metroid series. Part of that is because of the dual worlds and but also because the bosses were typically harder than those of its predecessors. I have the game but I have yet to make much headway in it. It was also released for the Wii in the Metroid Prime Trilogy compilation.

The next few games were released on the DS and they were Metroid Prime Pinball and Metroid Prime: Hunters. The former was a solid game made by Fuse Games. The latter was one of the first games that used the new Nintendo Wi-Fi connection and focused heavily on multiplayer.

When Nintendo revealed the Revolution (aka Wii) there was a demo that used Metroid Prime 2 and motion controls as a focus for the next console. Originally slated as a launch title to come out in 2006, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption finally came out in 2007 and leading up to the launch of the game Nintendo released a Metroid Prime 3 channel for the Wii which revealed story teases for the new game. They also released the NES and SNES games for the Wii Virtual Console. Much like Super Metroid the weapons that you earned stacked on top of each other so whenever you got a beam upgrade it replaced the previous one. While it was liner as far as traveling between different planets, the four different planets could be traversed in a non liner way. The main change with Samus this time was her ability to use Hypermode for more powerful attacks at the cost of an energy tank's worth of health. I have beaten two of the three difficulties. I am stuck on Hyper Mode at the end of the game.

Finally, Metroid: Other M was released on August 31st, 2010 for the Wii. This game was an interesting mix of first and third person gameplay. The events took place after Super Metroid in the timeline so the focus was on the baby Metroid Samus rescued at the end of Metroid II: Return of Samus. Generally, the story was the primary issue for the game's detractors. But, from what I can tell, it was a solid game aside from the dialogue.

This being the 25th anniversary of the series, what do you think Nintendo should do to celebrate it? Any favorite games from the series? What step do you think Nintendo should take with the series next?