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  1. Amidst the somewhat mixed reception of Star Fox Zero from critics yesterday, Nintendo quietly announced via a press release that Metroid Prime: Federation Force will release on August 9 for 3DS. I'm still not quite sure what to make of this one, though the most recent Nintendo Direct did indicate that there will be a campaign and be playable by just one player (although it seems to benefit from multiplayer interaction). That same trailer also revealed that Samus will be making a cameo in game as well. Will you be playing Metroid Prime: Federation Force when it drops in August? Source: Press Release
  2. Jason Clement

    New Metroid

  3. Jonathan Higgins

    Review: Axiom Verge

    Developer: Tom Happ Publisher: Tom Happ Platform: PlayStation 4 (PS Vita, PC coming at a later date) Release Date: March 31, 2015 ESRB: N/A (E10+ suggested) Official Website I“ve probably mentioned this before, but I was a SEGA Channel kid growing up. I loved my Sega Genesis, and as a result, got a service that allowed me to play fifty games a month. In exchange, though, my parents never bought me a Super Nintendo back then. There was an entire library of games I missed out on until purchasing a Wii in 2006 and immersing myself in its Virtual Console. Super Metroid was one of them. I don“t have the nostalgia that a great number of folks do for that game. And that“s why I can tell you, honestly: Super Metroid is the action-game all the others since have aspired to topple. Today, Metroid co-creator Yoshio Sakamoto“s game design philosophy is often emulated. And when a person or team is creative enough, they can spin ideas brought forth by older action games into something completely new and original. Enter Axiom Verge, created by Tom Happ, who developed, designed and composed everything in this game on his own over five years. A failed scientist named Trace dies in an accident, and awakens in an alien world. He has no idea how he got there, and...well…”reality” as a construct seems a little broken. As Trace, you explore this new world—and literally break it as well. There's certainly an equal balance of obliterating everything in your path and learning about the...forces at work that brought you there. You can tell something is amiss from the moment you face the game's first major boss. Almost everything you fight insists you“re a demon, after all. As you continue to play, the plot that started out pretty simple reveals a surprising amount of depth. Whether you“re finding hidden journals or just advancing the story, you“ll learn that Axiom Verge is a game that“s not afraid to school you a little on physics and other complexities during its many twists and turns. When describing the script of the game, "highly intelligent" comes to mind. It“s not going to drown you in scientific terms; don“t get me wrong. However, the fact that the game isn“t afraid to express complex ideas makes Trace a better character. Plus, the guy has a sharp sense of sarcasm. The story is but one of the elements that makes Axiom Verge a truly unforgettable experience. Every piece and part that makes up the game's overall presentation boasts a similar quality. The music isn“t unnecessarily complex; it“s very grounded in the 16-bit era and channels Kenji Yamamoto successfully, while coming into its own and making the game“s world that much better. The game“s sense of design feels fresh as well. I like that its visuals aren't concerned with convincing you Axiom Verge belongs on the Super Nintendo. No, this title feels right at home on PlayStation 4 (and eventually Vita and PC). Everything else that makes up the game“s design, from its sound effects (some alluding to days gone by, and some...well, kind of terrifying if I“m being honest) to its menus and maps...it“s perfection. It“s Super Metroid without actually being Super Metroid... and that“s the highest compliment I can give. The gameplay is what“s going to keep you at Axiom Verge for hours on end, though. I can“t realistically pin a completion time on this experience because there“s a Speedrun option on the title screen and I“ve spent at least sixteen hours exploring the map, getting stuck and unstuck, celebrating when I finally figured out how to reach various points, and more. That“s one element of the gameplay that I can springboard from right away: there is a keen sense of exploration. Save Points are very, very fairly placed, and you“re encouraged to go beyond where you should to get better weapons, power-ups and more. There are so many secrets, and unlike some action-games I“ve played as of late... the weapons that are well-hidden are actually worth going after! You won“t be spending the game just shooting stuff. Without spoiling anything, there are weapons that will make the small child in you shout with glee as you obliterate foes that once posed a challenge to you. Only if you work towards them, though. I haven“t even elaborated on how this game messes with actual conventions. You“ll notice parts of the game that seem glitched, then gain an item that lets you actually derezz those glitches. You can turn bubbles into platforms by glitching them out so you can ride on top of them as they float to the ceiling. You also gain the means to "glitch" Trace himself; he can teleport through walls! Further into the game, you're quite capable of phasing upwards to extend your jump, as well as downward. This combination of glitching/derezzing the world around you—as well as phasing through the world around you—is a concept that revolutionizes the typical Metroid-like fare. How many other games allow you to, quite literally, phase through the bottom of a map in places to access powerful upgrades? What about phasing through the wall to a part of the "map" that's not even recorded? Honestly? I know a game is something special when I'm actually finding myself holding back my words, so I spoil as little as possible for those interested in giving it a try. I wish I could go on forever about how well this game works, philosophically. Happ knew exactly what he wanted in his dream game, and then sought to achieve it. The enemies start out simple to fool you into thinking you“re playing the typical Metroid game, then you“ll go into the next room and have this ultra-terrifying white humanoid thing screech at you, then bolt towards you at full speed, jump at you when you try to avoid it, and more. Several of the enemy designs are natural evolutions of the typical flora and fauna of an action game. You go into a game like this with a set of expectations when it comes to foes and bosses alike. Axiom Verge messes with those expectations in ways that will leave you elated, not frustrated. Speaking of bosses—there are typically save points right before them, so you can spend some time learning their tricks. Also, there usually will be patterns that will allow you to triumph over them without scratching your head for too long. I may have played this game for far longer than most should, as I got used to things. I struggled sometimes, trying to figure out what to do next, only to have the solution right there the whole time. Even though I“ve spent sixteen hours conquering the main story when it can probably be done in a fraction of that time… I was having an absolute blast. There was always a smile on my face as the game continued to blow away my expectations, over and over again. It“s all so well-made that I was never mad at it, even when Trace (or the game itself) was being intentionally cross. Axiom Verge isn“t just a game where I slap a perfect score on it and call it a mark of mastery. I dare say it“s a new paradigm in the genre, and that teams of all shapes and sizes should follow Tom Happ“s example, like Sakamoto before him. Pros + A phenomenal presentation that isn't concerned with being stuck in the past, plus a story that messes with perceptions almost as much as the gameplay. + There's so much to do! Weapons are versatile, secrets are plentiful (and worth pursuing), and there are multiple ways to approach combat. + This is a game that's not afraid to be challenging, but it plays fair. Enemies and bosses alike are tough, but not frustrating or cheap. Cons - As with any Metroid-inspired game, you can definitely get stuck. Solutions aren't unnecessarily cruel, though. Overall Score: 10 (out of 10) Masterful Axiom Verge is the result of one man's quest to create the Metroid game he's dreamed of playing. There's no question in my mind; Tom's dream came true. Disclosure: This review is based on downloadable code provided by the publisher.
  4. Interesting news coming to the surface today regarding the Metroid series. It turns out that a former Next Level Games artist put a few concepts for a potential Metroid title in his portfolio. Destructoid verified through a source related to the project that the art was indeed for a protoype that was being developed by the team at one point; however, the project was shelved in favor of working on Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon. Whether this prototype eventually made its way to higher-ups at Nintendo before getting shelved isn't certain at the moment, but one wonders if they could be revisiting the idea now that Dark Moon has been released. Next Level Games has been radio silent since the game's launch last year, and the Metroid series in general has been dormant since 2010's divisive Metroid: Other M (which Team Ninja helped developed in conjunction with Nintendo), so the possibility is certainly there that they've returned to the idea of developing a new Metroid, especially given the higher pedigree they now have after Dark Moon's quality and success. In a recent Kotaku interview with Shigeru Miyamoto and Shinya Takahashi back in June, the latter mentioned that they feel inclined to take care of both the 2D and [Metroid Prime's] 3D styles and that they hoped to announce something in the near future, possibly alluding to the fact that there may actually be two Metroid games in development at the moment. Whether or not Next Level Games is involved with making one of them, only time will tell. For now, you'll be able to play as Metroid protagonist Samus Aran (in both her signature power suit and as Zero Suit Samus) in the upcoming Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U. Source: Nintendo-Online (via Destructoid) Would you be interested in having Next Level Games develop the next Metroid title?
  5. Wait a minute- January releases? Isn't this March? Yep, we're a little bit late with this feature (okay, we're a LOT late with this) and now we're playing catch-up, but better late than never, eh? And with Elizabeth (Gaiages) taking a breather from the feature, I've decided to step in and help finish what she started, so giddy up! Historically, January has been an interesting month for releases because it comes right after a busy holiday season. Especially in recent years, most major AAA games start coming in March after the new year begins, but a few titles actually did release in January here and there. So let's take a trip down Memory Lane and see what the first month of the year held for the industry over the years. 2003 One of our rather low-key years this time around, January 2003 didn't harbor many releases at all, but there were still a few notable games that came out, with perhaps the biggest one being Sim City 4, which was the first game in the series to primarily use a 3D engine to render its visuals. In the end, this fourth installment did quite well for itself, becoming one of the top-selling PC games of that year and garnering review scores that averaged around the mid-80's on Metacritic. Other Notable Releases: Devil May Cry 2, Panzer Dragoon Orta 2004 Only one true game of note came out in 2004, and it was a remake of one of the most influential games of all time - Metroid: Zero Mission. This GBA classic brought the classic NES original Metroid up to date with brand new graphics, gameplay enhancements, and even a new epilogue mission which saw the first ever appearance of Samus in her Zero Suit. For GBA owners, it was pure bliss, and even to this day is widely debated to be the best handheld entry in the series yet. Other Notable Releases: Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2005 What's this? A year where there was two massive games coming out in the very first month? Believe it - this year's January saw not only the release of a new handheld Zelda title, but also one of the most anticipated games of entire generation - Resident Evil 4. To make things more controversial, it was exclusive to Gamecube at first, and Nintendo fans got their sweet, sweet comeuppance with this massive exclusive which made PS2 owners wrench with jealousy. At least for a little while. After Capcom decided that the game did not fall under their exclusivity agreement with Nintendo, Resident Evil 4 was ported to the PS2 and released in October later that year, and with extra content to boot. It was subsequently ported to pretty much every non-handheld platform in existence afterward (no joke), and in fact an HD version just released for Steam recently. But it's all for good reason - Resident Evil 4 is widely considered to be the best game in the entire series, even above Resident Evil 5 and the more recently released (and controversial) Resident Evil 6. Other Notable Releases: The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap 2006 2006... oh boy, where do we start. For the first time in a while, this year started off with no new releases during January. Zero, zip, zilch, nada. But despite that fact, some interesting developments DID happen. Arguably the biggest bit of news during the month this year was that Nintendo announced the DS Lite, which would go on to become the de-facto version of the handheld during the DS generation (more so than even the DSi and DSi XL.) In other news, this was the month that Activision (or more accurately Vivendi, Activision's parent company at the time) acquired High Moon Studios (developers of the recent Transformers Cybertron series of games and last year's Deadpool), and Take 2 acquired Irrational Games, Ken Levine's studio which is most famous for creating the System Shock and Bioshock series. There were also rumors that Cisco was interested in buying Nintendo, though nothing panned out in the end. Finally, Sony was reported to be developing an "Xbox Live-killer" that we all now know as PSN. It doesn't quite live up to that 'description' nowadays, but it does give Microsoft a run for their money with their well-received PlayStation Plus program. Other Notable Releases: Nothing! 2007 If you know your gaming, and you know it well, you'll remember that 2007 was essentially the holy grail of video gaming-dom. It's actually ridiculous how many good games came out that year, and January was no exception. While there were plenty of big games, arguably the biggest release wasn't an actual standalone game but an expansion of one of the biggest games in existence at that point - World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade. Why was it a big deal? It was the first major expansion for the Blizzard MMORPG, and players were hungry for new content, so much that the expansion sold through 2.4 million copies on the first day alone. In addition to a new story campaign, the level cap being raised to 70, new PvP enhancements, and a whole new planet with all-new quests, items, dungeons, raids and more, The Burning Crusade also introduced two new playable races: The Draenei and the Blood Elves. It was one of the best received expansions ever for the game, garnering an average of 91 on both Metacritic and Gamerankings. Other Notable Releases: WarioWare: Smooth Moves, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice For All, Rogue Galaxy, Lost Planet: Extreme Condition 2008 If you thought 2007 was a good year for January releases, 2008 was ecstatic with them. In fact, there were two extremely notable games that released that month, though I'll focus on the one that I believed had a larger cultural impact on the industry for certain reasons. That game was No More Heroes. It wasn't Suda51's first title by any means, but No More Heroes was for many gamers their first taste of Grasshopper Manufacture's wild and crazy antics. Starring a young punk named Travis Touchdown, the game featured a great visual style, unorthodox gameplay, and crude humor to boot. The game cemented itself as one of the Wii's best third-party titles and would go on to receive a sequel a few years later as well. Other Notable Releases: Burnout Paradise, Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice, Rune Factory 2: A Fantasy Harvest Moon, Advance Wars: Days of Ruin 2009 After a great 2007 and excellent 2008, January 2009 was a bit more low-key in terms of big releases. There were ports of Saints Row 2 and Mirror's Edge for PC, but those had released in the Fall of the previous year for consoles already. The most notable title releasing then was likely Skate 2, the sequel to the game that gave Tony Hawk's Pro Skater franchise a run for its money a couple of years earlier. Building on some of the design it started in the first game, Skate 2 managed to score some impressive reviews, averaging around the mid-80's on Metacritic and Gamerankings. Other Notable Releases: Lord of the Rings: Conquest, Star Ocean: Second Evolution, DJ Max Fever 2010 This year saw one of the biggest release months ever for January with the likes of Darksiders, Bayonetta, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars and more all releasing in close proximity to each other. However, you better believe there was no bigger game on peoples' radars than the Bioware-developed bruiser known as Mass Effect 2. The first Mass Effect was generally well-received by many fans, but Mass Effect 2 took things to a whole new level with its increasingly action-oriented gameplay, deep story, engaging characters, and abundance of personalized choice-based design. It all resulted in what many consider to be the best Mass Effect game yet. Other Notable Releases: Bayonetta, Darksiders, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, MAG 2011 Keeping up the momentum from 2010, January 2011 had a few big heavies of its own in its release lineup, but the biggest was probably LittleBigPlanet 2, Media Molecule's smash successor to one of the biggest games of 2009. Though there was a lot that was similar to the first game, LBP2 offered a wider array of options to create your own levels and worlds. The tools were so powerful, in fact, that many could create their own actual games with them, with one person creating a top-down Zelda-inspired game, another recreating a limited version of Final Fantasy VII, and more. Other Notable Releases: Dead Space 2, DC Universe Online, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, Kingdom Hearts: Re:coded 2012 January 2012 was another bustling month of release activity, and this time it was Square Enix's time to shine with the release of Final Fantasy XIII-2. It was the JRPG giant's chance to rectify some of the faults that made the game's predecessor unbearable for many, and though it did, many critics agreed that the game was still a bit lackluster when compared to numbered Final Fantasy entries of yesteryear, especially in regards to its story. But Square Enix was not one to falter so quickly; they announced yet another a FFXIII sequel later that year, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, though it wouldn't release until February 2014. Other Notable Releases: Soul Calibur V All in all, January has been a pretty decent month for releases, bar one or two years. In fact, it's probably not too far behind the Fall months in terms of importance of games releasing, possibly only being bested by March, which can often rival October and November's release list. Which is a good thing, right? After a holiday lull in December, what better way to get back on the bandwagon with new releases than with games released in January? What were your favorite games that released in the month of January over the years? Let us know below!
  6. During a press release earlier today, Nintendo announced a special Nintendo Direct broadcast, which they call "Wii U Direct - Nintendo Games." This broadcast will be held tomorrow, January 23rd, at 6AM PST / 9AM EST / 2PM GMT, and will be hosted by our lovely Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. The Big N wanted to emphasize just how "special" this broadcast really is, so they tweeted a teaser explaining that new software and services for the Wii U would be shown off. Satoru Iwata wasn't satisfied, however, by such simple hype-builders, so he added on the initial announcement with a tweet of his own, proposing that this particular Nintendo Direct will be different from what we might expect: Tweet translated by NeoGaf: "This time, the plan is a bit different from a regular Direct, in that I'll be talking about what kind of Wii U titles and services Nintendo is developing." If you've been keeping track of the company's recent Nintendo Directs, you'll recall that most of them have shown upcoming games largely from developers other than Nintendo, and many of the games have been announced already, only further revealed during the respective broadcasts with release dates and such. It can be deduced by Iwata's tweet that tomorrow's special Nintendo Direct broadcast will focus not on what other companies are up to, but what Nintendo themselves have been working on as of late. Will we be getting our super-hyped up Legend of Zelda and (3D) Mario announcements? Or perhaps a Super Smash Bros. 4 trailer? What about the company's other big guns, like Metroid, F-Zero, or Star Fox? Whatever they show off, we'll have to wait until tomorrow to see it. You can watch the broadcast live tomorrow at Nintendo UK's official website, among others. What would you like to see in this special Wii U Direct broadcast?
  7. http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/05/19/rumor-star-fox-and-metroid-teaming-up-on-wii-u Basically they say that Retro Studios, the makers of the Metroid Prime series and Donkey Kong Country Returns, are working on a crossover game for the Wii U. The two game franchises that they are combining are Star Fox and Metroid. The working title is "Star Fox - Metroid Fusion Saga." You can read the article if you want the rumored plot info. I'm sure the hardcore fans will be up in arms over this, but I think it sounds like a good idea. I'm not the biggest Nintendo fan, but I like these two franchises and Retro is a very talented developer. Since crossovers are all the rage these days I think this rumor isn't all that far-fetched. I just hope they can combine the two worlds and game play styles into something coherent.
  8. From the album: Leah's Editorial Images

    © nintendo, ubisoft, square-enix

  9. Adam McCarthy


    From the album: Adam McCarthy's Album

    Concept Art from Metroid: Other M