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New Super Mario Bros. U: same princess, another castle

Tuesday, 27 November 2012 09:26 GMT By Dave Cook

New Super Mario Bros. U launches alongside Wii U across Europe from November 30th. VG247′s Dave Cook has been jumping his way through it to see if it’s worth a punt.

“As the game takes place across Super Mario World’s Dinosaur Land, it doesn’t take long for the wave of SNES-era nostalgia to wash over you. Seeing a line of scurrying Monty Moles bearing down on your position, or hearing the odd sting of Koji Kondo’s original score peeking through the new arrangement is enough to make hearts melt.”

Mario has become far too good at his job. No, I don’t mean plumbing, because how often do we actually see the portly plumber with his fist down a stagnant toilet? Even though it’s been 27 years since we first saw the Mario Bros. hopping around on the NES, they’re still showing most rival studios how platforming should be done.

When you’re already at the top of your game, where else can you go? After all, if Nintendo tried to dramatically shake up Mario’s core 2D exploits in a significant manner, then you could bet that many gamers would cry foul. Such experimentation seems to be what spin-offs like Paper Mario are for.

No, the best way for Nintendo to take Mario forward in his Wii U debut is to look back to the past and redefine what came before. Specifically, New Super Mario Bros. U is – in many ways – Super Mario World wearing HD skin, delivering a slew of familiar gameplay mechanics, locales and enemies that retro fans will appreciate.

Yet there is no sea change here, no Super Mario 64 moments of awe, or the revelatory design of Super Mario Galaxy. What you get is another solid platforming adventure across eight worlds in constant pursuit of Princess Peach. It’s a bankable format that you can rely on, and Nintendo knows it.

As the game takes place across Super Mario World’s Dinosaur Land, it doesn’t take long for the wave of SNES-era nostalgia to wash over you. Seeing a line of scurrying Monty Moles bearing down on your position, or hearing the odd sting of Koji Kondo’s original score peeking through the new arrangement is enough to make hearts melt.

Mounting Yoshi causes the drum lines to ramp up just like it did in 1992, the Koopalings -Bowser’s bothersome offspring – are also back to terrorise players at the end of each world, and shifty wizard Kamek pops up every so often to gum up our hero’s quest.

This is indeed a celebration of all things Super Mario World, although its rigid eight-world structure feels restrictive when compared to the branching paths and secret levels of its SNES predecessor.

Bonus Toad huts and warp pipe shortcuts break up the straight path a little, but this is a decidedly old-school approach to progression, with all of the forest, desert, ice, water and cloud world staples thrown in just to be safe.

One major setback of the old ways is that you still can’t perform a hard save anywhere on the world map. You can do a one-time only quick-save if you need to dash off out of the house, but hard saves require you to re-complete a mid or end-level castle. That’s just plain frustrating.

“Yoshi is also a powerful asset, as he can still gobble up enemies, hover while jumping and tread over some spiked foes, although he always pisses off at the end of each stage, which feels restrictive and out of sync with Super Mario World.”

While Nintendo has largely looked to Super Mario World for level inspiration, there are gameplay nods and musical riffs that span the series’ entire legacy, making stages something of a mash-up of ideas.

Only those with hearts of stone will refuse to be drawn in by the fun, and deny all memory of their misspent youth sat in front of the SNES. Personally, I loved living in the past while playing but still, even I can’t overlook the fact that much of the content here isn’t exactly new, it’s just delivered in a different way.

It’s clear to see that a Goomba will always be a Goomba, a Koopa Trooper likewise, and that there is only so much to be done with the source material at hand. What does impress however, is that almost every level within each of the game’s eight worlds delivers a unique hook.

One minute you could be scaling a giant stone fortress full of spinning cogs, then the next you may find yourself in an icy canyon being set upon by a gang of sliding penguins. There is a wide range of themes and mechanics at play, carefully sectioned so that every level on the world map offers something that feels fresh without breaking the mould.

New and returning power-ups also add a layer of fun into the mix, and are essential to collecting all three giant coins hidden in every level. New to the series is the Super Acorn, which dresses up characters in a flying squirrel suit. You can use it to glide a short distance, or boost up into the sky using the GamePad’s right trigger.

It’s an excellent power to use when falling to your death, or when trying to reach floating platforms or collectibles. Combine this with previous New Super Mario Bros. power-ups such as the shrinking mushroom and ice flower, and you have one of the most expanded skill-sets in the series’ 2D history.

“As is Nintendo’s nature now, New Super Mario Bros. U has been designed to cater players of all skill levels, and as such is rarely challenging. You can quite easily hold in excess of 50 lives if you know what you’re doing, making the gameplay feel like it’s set on some kind of hypnotic cruise control.”

Yoshi is also a powerful asset, as he can still gobble up enemies, hover while jumping and tread over some spiked foes, although he always pisses off at the end of each stage, which feels restrictive and out of sync with Super Mario World. Yoshi was a core mechanic in that game, but feels more like a side attraction here.

However, Yoshi babies can be found loitering around the world map, and are perhaps more useful than their grown-up equivalent. Simply walk up to one and it will follow you into the next stage.

From there you could theoretically hold on to one until the end of your current world if you wanted to, but doing so requires a great deal of patience and skill. Drop one in a level and it will eventually respawn on the world map after a while. Keep it safe however, and it can prove invaluable.

Pink Yoshi can inflate like a balloon, while blue Yoshi can blow bubbles that ensnare enemies and turn them into coins. The golden breed only appears within dark stages and can emit a powerful light that reveals hazards and collectibles. They’re all useful and slightly different, but again, they aren’t revolutionary.

As is Nintendo’s nature now, New Super Mario Bros. U has been designed to cater players of all skill levels, and as such is rarely challenging. You can quite easily hold in excess of 50 lives if you know what you’re doing, making the gameplay feel like it’s set on some kind of hypnotic cruise control.

Super Guide also returns, which gives you the option of seeing a tricky level completed by Luigi, essentially showing you how it should done. If you still can’t face it, you can opt to have the level complete itself, and while some some might applaud this option as a way of helping young kids or elderly players unfortunate enough to be born with two right thumbs, I simply can’t condone it personally.

It’s a cop-out if ever I saw one and in a game that isn’t exactly the pinnacle of difficulty to begin with, it feels like a coddling step too far. But that’s just me, I was born in a decade where games gave you one life and no continues, so it’s possible I’m just being a stereotypical Scottish grump.

Through all of this – the comforting familiar mechanics and design, the charming music and cute animations – there is a real sense that Nintendo has this formula so perfectly nailed that it doesn’t need to try too hard in order to create something special. It feels effortless, yet it’s clear that a lot of love has been poured into every level.

“It’s not quite a sequel to Nintendo’s SNES masterpiece, but it does enough to tickle your nostalgia bone for the duration while trying its hardest to shake up what you already know. However, that seismic shift is likely a task for Mario’s next 3D outing, whatever that may be.”

The HD visuals sing on the screen, helping each painfully detailed backdrop and character animation leap off the screen. It even looks superb on the Wii U GamePad, should you wish to be lazy and play from your bed on a Sunday morning like I did once.

In a weird way, the Wii U could be considered a powerhouse handheld, if it didn’t need the base console to function. It’s not of course, but the option of playing in different rooms is welcome, even if it guzzles batteries like two Game Gears taped together with the volume and brightness turned up to max.

For device-hungry fans you can even get four WiiMotes and your GamePad synced up to play co-op mode over a game of Boost Rush, which sees four on-screen players scrambling to survive a continually scrolling level while the GamePad operator creates platforms to help or hinder them. There are even single-player time attack and coin challenges in there too.

I’m usually more hyper and excited when talking about a game as polished and well-crafted as New Super Mario Bros. U – you’ve probably seen what I mean on these very pages before – but I honestly didn’t expect any less from Nintendo on this one, and chances are you already had presumptions about it too. If you did they’re probably correct.

So dependable has the brand become that you can hedge your bets after seeing some screens or a trailer. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy the game – far from it in fact – because as I mentioned earlier, it’s pitched at Super Mario World fans.

It’s not quite a sequel to Nintendo’s SNES masterpiece, but it does enough to tickle your nostalgia bone for the duration while trying its hardest to shake up what you already know. However, that seismic shift is likely a task for Mario’s next 3D outing, whatever that may be.

For now you can rest assured that New Super Mario Bros. U is a solid launch title, and a worthy companion to your shiny new Wii U console. What’s a Nintendo console without Mario games after all?

Disclosure:

  • To assist in writing this review ahead of the Wii U launch, Nintendo sent Dave a Premium Wii U console with New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land games bundled, as well as a Pro Controller. No review event or additional merchandise was offered or accepted.

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18 Comments

  1. richiefrank

    “To assist in writing this review ahead of the Wii U launch, Nintendo sent Dave a Premium Wii U console with New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land games bundled, as well as a Pro Controller. No review event or additional merchandise was offered or accepted.”

    Glad to see everyones forgotten about Doritosgate

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Dave Cook

    @2 The console’s not out here yet. What did you want me to do, make my own Wii U?

    It’s a necessary tool of the job. Would you expect a car salesmen to buy all of the cars himself, or a builder to buy his own bulldozer or crane?

    No of course not.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. monkeygourmet

    @2

    You could of just duct taped 2 Wii’s together as everybody keeps suggesting! ;)

    Game sounds nice, will be one only list for sure.

    Off topic, but do you know how the Zombie U servers are going to work.

    Have we got pure European servers? If not will there be lots of spoiler messages already in the game as it launched in US a week ago?

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Patrick Garratt

    I don’t think the EU servers are up yet. I know the day one patch hadn’t been delivered yesterday.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. richiefrank

    Well actually builders do buy all their equipment. They don’t get given them by a PR. If they need a drill, they buy it. If they need a crane, they buy it.

    Minus.VAT of course.

    I just thought with Garrett’s VG manifesto (which claims you shouldn’t accept anything over £50?) that the site would have a bit of integrity. Guess not.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Patrick Garratt

    @5 – I said we’d disclose everything over £50 and promos weren’t included. We have to have hardware and games or we can’t write about them. Go and ask every other games site that isn’t disclosing this stuff why they aren’t. Hassle someone that isn’t actually trying to be honest, eh?

    http://www.vg247.com/2012/10/31/doritosgate-after-the-storm-lets-clean-ourselves-up/

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Gadzooks!

    #5

    Would you mind not being such a fucking idiot please?

    There’s a good chap.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. richiefrank

    I’m just surprised. VG won’t accept flights or hotels but it will accept a £300 console. Seems counterproductive to me.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Patrick Garratt

    It’s a fair bit more than that, to be honest. We bought one for Sam yesterday (I think it was more like £400 without a game). We got sent two machines as Dave and I were “on the list” in the UK. I have no idea if Brenna and Steph are getting them.

    The thing is that we really do have to have every console and pretty much every core game. It’s an absolute necessity for what we do. It’s just part and parcel of product journalism: you have to look at the product.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Showmeyomoves!

    Richie’s just trolling you, everyone. No one is THAT thick. Let’s move along. :)

    #10 2 years ago
  11. richiefrank

    I’m not trolling. I’m calling into question the ethics of games journalism, which we should all be doing.

    Pat has now explained it very well, but when you see that one person is being sent an expensive console I just had to question it.

    I’m sorry if it seemed as though I was trolling.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. monkeygourmet

    @11

    You have to crawl through Pats legs now! ;)

    #12 2 years ago
  13. ManuOtaku

    I do really like the analogy of the title of this thread, the same princess but different or another castle, nice dave, i think i will get this game because i didnt get the 3ds version therefore i need to check whats different in that castle ;)

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Patrick Garratt

    @11 – No worries. I really do understand the concerns and we are seriously committed to honesty. I’m sorry if I was short.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. richiefrank

    Not a problem, I perhaps went about it in the wrong way myself anyway.

    Though it was Dave’s response that, while less antagonistic, appeared a little naive. Perhaps he needs to think about his reactions.

    Thanks Pat, hope I didn’t spoil everyone’s fun.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Dave Cook

    @15 ‘Perhaps he needs to think about his reactions.’

    No doubt. I’m still learning on that front ;)

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Clupula

    Are we really giving journalists shit about owning every system? I would rather they get sent all of them, rather than talk about shit they don’t have any idea about like Ishaan at Siliconera, who has admitted to not even owning a PS3.

    If you’re getting paid to give your opinion to the masses, you should damn well know what you’re talking about and one of the ways you do that is through receiving the material required to do your job. It’s not like Nintendo sent him a case of white wine. They sent him and game and a system to play it on, so that he could properly review it.

    I don’t see anything shifty about that.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Ireland Michael

    @11 Receieving things from the media does not make you a sellout. My own website gets free game through the nose from large and small publishers alike, but it sure as hell hasn’t stopped us from being honest with our reviews, and we’ve always been willing to score low.

    Journalists need these sort of things to do their job. If they bought them all themselves, they’d never make a sustainable living! Do you think music critics buy all their music? Do you think film buffs wait to go to the cinema to analysise new movie? No, they are provided with the content by the people creating it.

    It’s the professional standard that this sort of thing is always footnoted with a disclaimer. That way nobody can accuse you of hiding anything, or being in someone’s pocket. Just as an example. Dave is a huge Call of Duty fan, yet he was more than willing to drill the Vita Call of Duty game with a tonne of criticism. He’s many things, but he’s no sellout.

    I’m not even sure why you’re criticising him. While Dave says it’s a solid game, he also flat out admits that its no masterpiece and some of the design is a cop-out. Myself personally? I think the New Super Mario is beaten into the ground, and lacks any of the charm that made the franchise so popular and enjoyable in the first place. It needs to be put to bed. It’s tedious and dull.

    #18 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Roll 7 has released the first trailer for OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood. Gameplay in the second outing will include ramps, jumps and hills, allowing for plenty of air and split level routes. It comes with a deeper combo system with Manuals, Reverts, Revert Manuals and Grind Switching. The ‘Tricktionary’ has also been updated with new […]

  • Learn all about the single-player mode in this Evolve video

    A video showing off the single-player portion of Evolve has been released by 2K and Turtle Rock. All content in the game can be played in either online multiplayer or offline in single-player. The video below contains two matches of Defend mode played from both the Monster and Hunter perspective. AI obviously takes on the […]

  • Super Smash Bros. Wii U update comes with 15 extra stages

    An update for Super Smash Bros. Wii U has been released, and it comes with 15 new stages for the 8-player mode. The update, version 1.0.2., is 316MB in size and the stages are split with nine normal stages and six Omega stages. Here’s the list: Regular stages Animal Crossing – Smashville Animal Crossing – […]

  • Nintendo US eShop update includes Metroid Prime Trilogy, Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. demo

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with the Metroid Prime Trilogy, Shadow of the Ninja on Virtual Console and a demo for Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. Here’s your update: Metroid Prime: Trilogy – Wii U Rock ’N Racing Off Road – Wii U Frenchy Bird – Wii U Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. – […]

  • Battlefield Hardline open beta takes place next week on all systems

    Details and dates for the Battlefield Hardline open multiplayer beta were announced by EA and Visceral Games today. From February 3-8, the beta will be available to all players worldwide on Origin for PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. You’ll notice that the dates coincide with the Microsoft slip up earlier in […]

  • Transistor, Yakuza 4, Thief headline February PS Plus offerings

    Sony has announced your free PlayStation Plus games for the month of February. Come February 3 in North America and February 4 in Europe, Plus members on both side of the pond will be gifted with the following: Transistor (PS4) Apotheon (PS4) Yakuza 4 (PS3) Thief (PS3) Rogue Legacy (PS Vita|PS4|PS3) Kick & Fennick (PS […]

  • Life is Strange launch trailer and final dev diary released

    With the first episode of Life is Strange releasing tomorrow, Dontnod Entertainment has released the last developer diary for the title as well as the launch trailer. Titled Creating Arcadia Bay, the video provides more information on the licensed soundtrack as well as the voice actors behind Max and Chloe. It also touches upon how […]

  • LEGO Jurassic World and LEGO Marvel’s Avengers out this year

    LEGO Jurassic World and LEGO Marvel’s Avengers have been announced by Warner Bros., the former was outed by Toys R Us and then teased at the end of LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, if you recall. LEGO Jurassic World encompasses all four Jurassic Park films and will be made available in June for 3DS, PC, […]

  • Pokemon, Super Smash Bros. top Nintendo’s million units sales list for Q3

    Nintendo has posted a list of titles which have sold millions of units as part of its quarter three earnings release. Global unit sales of 3DS titles for the nine months ending December 31, 2014: Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire: 9.35 million (life-to-date, same) Super Smash Bros.: 6.19 million (life-to-date, same) Tomodachi Life: 2.11 […]

  • How to take a screenshot on Xbox One: a lesson in frustration

    Trying to do just one simple thing seems to have 360 steps with Microsoft – why is the Xbox One’s functionality such a car crash? “The Xbox One’s definition of usability is in fact the exact opposite – this is a console designed to make life inconvenient for its players unless they sign up for […]

  • Game of Thrones’ Westeros is being made in Minecraft by 125 people

    WesterosCraft, the project dedicated to creating the entirety of Game of Thrones’ Westros has resurfaced. There are more than a few ambitious Minecraft projects, but hardly any as impressive as WesterosCraft. We first came across it all the way back in January 2013, but it looks much better now. “I would say the world is […]

  • Dying Light exploit gives you unlimited money and items

    Dying Light has been out for just over a day and an infinite money and item exploit is already out there. A simple exploit has been discovered in Dying Light that lets you duplicate weapons, all of which you can sell for profit. Win/ win. YouTuber PowerPyx lays out the steps in the handy video […]

  • Sunset Overdrive concept art is as jovial as the game itself

    Sunset Overdrive is a colourful game which is partly due to its concept art. The concept art featured below is created by Vaughan Ling, one of the concept artsists who worked on Sunset Overdrive. Anyone who’s played the game will immediately recognise the locations, weapons, character designs and general atmosphere of the game through these. […]

  • Get an extended look at the PS4 version of Project CARS

    The PlayStation 4 version of Project CARS has been shown in 1080p 60fps. The video below is captured by racing game enthusiasts Team VVV from a preview build. You can see different racing disciplines being demonstrated here, on different circuits. The game’s impressive visuals get even better when the weather gets worse.

  • Battle Pod is the Star Wars arcade game you’ve waited your whole life for

    Star Wars: Battle Pod is an arcade game that lets you replay the battles of the original trilogy, and features an incredible cockpit. If you’ve never played a game at an arcade before, Star Wars: Battle Pod will definitely be the one to change your mind. It’s an arcade cabinet out of a classic Star […]

  • CoD Exo Zombies: how to unlock the Ride of the Valkyries Easter egg

    To no one’s surprise, Exo Zombies mode in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has some Easter eggs. The first Exo Zombies Easter egg, of surely many more to come, has been discovered. It’s a musical one that involves Richard Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries. How you unlock it is not as convoluted as you might […]

  • Dying Light is sub-1080p on Xbox One, full 1080p on PS4 – report

    Early analysis of Dying Light on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One has revealed a few technical details about both ports. Digital Foundry has produced some analysis of both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One ports of Dying Light based on some early testing. Both versions manage a solid 30 frames-per-second, only dipping below that in […]

  • Battlefield 4 Second Assault DLC free to all EA Access members

    EA is offering Battlefield 4′s Second Assault expansion free to anyone with an active EA Access subscription. Anyone with an active subscription to EA Access can download the Second Assault expansion pack for Battlefield 4 starting January 29 and through February 28, free of charge. All you need to do is find it on the […]

  • The Witcher 3 is getting optimised, but no visual downgrade

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is in the final stages of development and developer CD Projekt RED is making sure optimisation work doesn’t impact the game’s visuals. The Witcher 3 art producer, Michal Stec, spoke to Eternity in an interview and was asked whether the team will downgrade the visuals to get better performance. “No. […]

  • Can’t download Dying Light on PS4? Here’s a fix

    If you’ve bought Dying Light on PS4 and you’re having trouble downloading it, you’re not alone. Here’s how to beat the bug. Techland’s Dying Light is stumbling out of the blocks a little this week, with many PS4 users experiencing problems with their full-game downloads. A bug’s to blame. Your console thinks you’ve already installed […]

  • What The Witcher 3 owes to Skyrim – and how it surpasses it

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt owes more than a nod to Bethesda’s Skyrim. I went to see The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and had a great time. I went in a fan of the books but not very experienced with the first two games. I came out with The Witcher 3 top of my gaming […]

  • Dragon’s Dogma Online has great monsters

    Dragon’s Dogma Online looks pretty rad – an undesirable quality in a game unlikely to come west, from our perspective. The first Dragon’s Dogma trailer was released this afternoon; admire its beauty below. The free to play online RPG was announced for PC, PlayStation 3 and PS4 overnight, but Capcom doesn’t intend to bring it […]

  • Xenoblade Chronicles X map about five times the size of last game’s

    Xenoblade Chronicles X is not a small game. This week’s Famitsu has a feature on Xenoblade Chronicles X giving some details on Monolith Soft’s next RPG and first Wii U game. According to Siliconera‘s translation of reports on the feature, the game’s map is about five times the size of that in Xenoblade Chronicles. The […]

  • Take on Mars expected to hit beta in April

    Take on Mars, the space sim from Bohemia Interactive will soon be reader for wider consumption. According to a new Take on Mars development roadmap, the sim will go into beta at the start of April, with full release expected in June. The project is currently available via Steam early Access, but between now and […]

  • Can you guess the next Mortal Kombat X character reveal from this fatality audio clip?

    Mortal Kombat X will have at least one very liquid-sounding fatality. NetherRealm is revealing Mortal Kombat X’s cats one character at a time, and has promised a new reveal during a community Twitch stream tomorrow. It also provided the following teaser video – it’s audio only, and apparently taken from a fatality sequence. What’s your […]

  • Nintendo Creators Program now recruiting YouTubers

    Nintendo has opened a Creators Program designed to ensure creators get a slice of ad revenue from videos featuring Nintendo assets. The Nintendo Creators Program will launch on May 27, but is currently in beta and taking registrations. This is Nintendo’s answer to the knotty question of YouTubers making money on videos featuring its assets […]

  • Xbox Live issues under investigation

    Can’t sign into Xbox Live? Microsoft is on the case. Xbox 360 and Xbox One users report being unable to sign in to Xbox Live. Microsoft is already aware of and working on the problem. “Our team is hard at work right now trying to get this resolved. Thank you for staying patient while we […]

  • Make money from your non-Valve mods with Steam Workshop

    Valve has opened the money-making side of Steam Workshop to third-party titles, giving enterprising modders more ways to make money. Steam now hosts curated Workshops for Dungeon Defenders: Eternity and Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, the first non-Valve games to support the scheme. What that means is that community members can create, vote on and eventually even […]

  • Check out DmC: Devil May Cry’s new manual lock-on

    DmC: Devil may Cry developer Ninja Theory has released a video showing off the new, controversial lock-on mode. The new manual lock-on is causing quite a stir, although its reception is probably better than the white-wigged Dante who makes fans even more upset than the original makeover. “The primary purpose of this video is to […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes looks pretty fun

    Dragon Quest Heroes is yet another Omega Force take on an existing property – like Hyrule Warriors or the One Piece games. And it looks pretty sweet. We haven’t heard much from Dragon Quest Heroes here in the west because it hasn’t been confirmed for release outside Japan. This isn’t terribly surprising as we still […]

  • Square Enix to reveal new PS4 game this weekend

    Square Enix is doing something pretty mysterious right now. The Final Fantasy publisher is teasing something called Project Code Z. The project, which Square Enix is tweeting about in Japanese, English and German, is due for reveal at Tokaigi 2015 on Saturday. It’s a PS4 game, but that’s all we know. There’s a website you […]

  • Tetris has crowned its first known western Grand Master

    Tetris fans have a new western champion. Tetris is one of those gaming obsessions that goes much deeper than you might expect. For example, did you know that some versions of the game assess your performance and over you the chance to become a “grand master”? Turns out that’s a thing, and according to Polygon […]

  • Ken Levine’s next game teased as “sci-fi-ish” small, open-world RPG

    A series of tweets from BioShock creator Ken Levine has shed a sliver of light upon his next project. According to Levine he and his team are considering something a bit sci-fi and contemplating first-person mode. The team is developing the game for PC with a large in scope, expandable, systems-based narrative where more can […]

  • Become a lynx in new Shelter 2 trailer

    Shelter 2 casts players in the role of a lynx, which makes for quite a different experience to the badger of the first game. The first Shelter game had you evading predators, but in the second, you becomes one yourself. That doesn’t mean there are no dangers to face, of course. Judging by the trailer […]

  • Why King of Fighters 13 isn’t coming back to Evo

    Evo, the premiere western fighting game tournament, has dropped support for a few previously favoured titles. King of Fighters 13 had a loyal following, but isn’t featured in the Evo 2015 line-up. “Many things go into what games makes it to Evo, but the most obvious one is, ‘Is the community playing this game?’” Evo […]

  • An average Evolve match takes less than ten minutes

    Evolve players are pretty quick at hunting each other down. Evolve developer Turtle Rock has released an infographic brimming with statistics garnered from its recent beta test. One of the key takeaways is that all three monsters, and all four classes, are working as intended – their performance in game matches Turtle Rock’s designs. If […]

  • Super Mario Amiibo can be pre-ordered on Nintendo UK, Mario and Peach sold out

    The latest set of Amiibo in the Super Mario series is now available for pre-purchase through the Nintendo UK Store. Each of the following sports a red base and will run you £10.99: Bowser, Luigi, Mario, Peach, Toad and Yoshi. It looks like Peach and Mario are both sold out, though. All six can be […]

  • The Music of League of Legends Vol. 1 free to download now

    League of Legends has excellent music, and now you can have it too. The Music of League of Legends Vol. 1 collects 15 tracks from the MOBA’s history, and is available for free. You can grab the music from iTunes, Google Play or via direct download. Tere’s an example track below to get you in […]

  • Super Bowl 49 update arrives on Madden NFL Mobile

    With Super Bowl 49 occurring this coming Sunday, February 1, EA Sports has updated Madden NFL Mobile with new feature enhancements and Super Bowl-themed Live Events. Updates include: League vs League Tournaments Obstacle Course Super Bowl Bonus Players Tom Brady and Richard Sherman Super Bowl Legends Super Bowl Moments Upgraded Auction House The Super Bowl […]

  • See Super Smash Bros.’ unused custom moves

    Super Smash Bros. was originally intended to have 16 custom moves per character. The final version of Super Smash Bros. only features 12 custom moves per fighter, but Nintendo left animations for some of the cut moves in place. A Youtuber called RED has dug these cut mvoes out of the brawler’s code, and displayed […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt contains 16 hours of sex scene mo-cap data

    Sex is nothing new to the The Witcher games, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is no exception. In fact, it contains 16 hours of sex scene motion capture data. Giggity. There’s a reason for the bedroom dalliances though, as Geralt is a flesh and blood human, or a modified human at any rate, with […]

  • Here’s the launch trailer for Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered

    A launch trailer for Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered has been released after an Amazon listing was revealed for it over the weekend. Key upgrades include: High-definition Graphics — All of the in-game textures have been meticulously recreated in HD for mobile and desktop. Widescreen Support – A true widescreen (not cropped) view strengthens the game’s […]

  • The open beta for Battlefield Hardline will be dated tomorrow

    The exact dates as well as more information on the Battlefield Hardline open beta will be shared tomorrow. This is according to the latest blog post from developer Visceral Games. “We’ll share the exact dates and info on the Battlefield Hardline open beta tomorrow,” wrote Visceral boss Steve Papoutsis. “Stay tuned, thanks again, and keep […]

  • Upcoming Hearthstone patch to apply balance change to Undertaker

    An upcoming Hearthstone patch will apply a balance change to the Undertaker card, Blizzard has announced. After the release of Goblins vs Gnomes, Blizzard said it kept an “eye on the state of game balance” as more matches were played using the additional cards. Released with The Curse of Naxxramas, Undertaker is considered an overly […]

  • February Games with Gold offers up Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

    The free games on offer in February via Xbox Live Games with Gold have been announced. Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox One can download #IDARB during February. Xbox 360 users can grab Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons from February 1-15, when it will be replaced by Sniper Elite V2 from February 16 -28. […]

  • Kinguin blames unidentified Russian for deactivated Far Cry 4 keys

    Third-party game key seller Kinguin is issuing refunds to those who found their games deactivated through Ubisoft’s Uplay service. Customers which purchased keys for Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Far Cry 4, The Crew and Watch Dogs are affected. Kinguin said 4,600 customer tickets were submitted over the last 72 hours and 35 out of 3,400 of […]

  • Video Unlimited to be re-branded as PlayStation Video starting in February

    Like Music Unlimited, Sony’s Video Unlimited service is being replaced and re-branded PlayStation Video. PlayStation Video will become part of PlayStation Network to streamline digital services for the over 64 million PSN users. PlayStation Video and PlayStation Music will be added to PSN which is already a destination point for the PlayStation Store, PlayStation Plus, […]

  • Spotify arrives on PlayStation Music this spring, Music Unlimited closing

    Spotify will launch on PlayStation Network this spring as part of a new music destination called PlayStation Music. PlayStation Music is a replacement for Music Unlimited, and those with a PSN account can link to Spotify which can be used just for music, or when playing games on PlayStation 4. Existing playlists from current Spotify […]

  • Closed beta for Alone in the Dark: Illumination starts tomorrow

    The private beta period for Alone in the Dark: Illumination starts on January 29. Those who pre-order the game via Steam, will automatically be included in the beta, enabling them to provide feedback on the first campaign in single-player mode. An additional beta period will be announced in the weeks leading up to launch. The […]

  • Majora’s Mask Special Edition New 3DS XL available once more on UK store

    UK residents who want to get their hands on the shiny Majora’s Mask Special Edition New 3DS XL can once again pre-purchase it through the Nintendo UK Store. If you want one, you better hurry because units will likely go rather fast. Only one per customer is allowed, and once you drop £209.99 on it, […]

  • Nintendo Q3: 1.9M New 3DS models sold, Wii U lifetime sales hit 9.2M

    New 3DS XL has sold 1.3 million units as of December 31, 2014, Nintendo announced in its Q3 financial results today. New 3DS moved 580,000 units by the end of the same period. Lifetime sales of both systems combined total a little under 1.9 million. Combined global sales for current 3DS models available in Europe […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s exo zombies reanimate a familiar format

    Advanced Warfare’s exo suits manage to bring an undead format back to life. Dave Cook welcomes zombies back to Call of Duty. “The challenges start to spike early so seasoned zombie slayers needn’t worry about being coddled.” Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s first DLC went live this week, dropping four very solid maps for multiplayer […]

  • YouTube app and Maps will be removed from PS Vita

    Sony said that it will end support for the YouTube and Maps apps, as well as remove the “near” feature in an upcoming firmware update. Sony has revealed that a system update releasing in March will remove the Maps app and prevent the “near” feature from obtaining location address or display maps, making it redundant. […]

  • There is a Destiny loot cave Easter egg in Dying Light

    Dying Light is the latest game to take a jab at Destiny by having its own loot cave. Destiny’s infamous loot cave has been recreated in Dying Light, sort of. Of course the loot cave in Dying Light is only an Easter egg and doesn’t actually net you any loot. Instead, upon entering it, you […]