Category Archives: news

Professor Layton and the Last Specter to open up a new trilogy

Oh my, looks like we have another new release coming out this year for the Nintendo DS, not the Nintendo 3DS. That’s right. The 3D-less system is still kicking, and it’s gonna be kicking even higher with the fact that we’re getting another Layton title, a prequel that, um, kicks off a new trilogy. Professor Layton and the Last Specter–known as Professor Layton and the Specter’s Flute in Japan and Professor Layton and the Specter’s Call in Europe/Australia–hits North American shores on October 17, 2011.

Professor Layton, newly appointed, receives a letter from an old fried requesting his assistance at the village of Mist Haley. According to the letter, a giant specter is appearing at night and wreaking havoc. It looks like everything we’ve come to expect from the series, such as top-notch animation, intriguing puzzles, and a story that is gripping and mysterious and probably not without a twist or two:

Mmm. Oh, and something else to take note of. The North American version is coming bundled with London Life, a previously unlockable RPG that looks and plays a lot like Mother 3, but is set in Luke and Layton’s universe. Yeah…jump for joy on that ticket. Supposedly, it’s of the 100+ hours ilk, and that absolutely rocks especially because it is no longer only available to those that beat the game, coming unlocked from the get-go. Not sure which I’d want to try first.

Really, at some point, I should finish up the original trilogy. I absolutely loved everything about Professor Layton and the Curious Village, and actually used that game as full-blown proof that a girl I was kinda seeing at the time should pick up a DS of her own. And she did. Those mathy puzzles, while not my thing, were definitely hers. Haven’t gotten to try the other two in the series, Diabolical Box and Unwound Flute, but maybe they’ll be a bit cheaper now that time has come to pass and a new entry is about to debut. Will have to keep my eyes peeled…

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Nintendo 3DS gets a price slash, and 3DS Ambassadors get 20 free games

The Nintendo 3DS has not had a stellar ride so far, skirting the edge of failure and occasionally dancing with the promise of success. From its initial system launch in March 2011, the pricey handheld ($249.99) has had to compete with things like smartphones and internal delays of vital applications such as the eShop, Netflix, and video hub, and while it does have a working gimmick of offering “3D without the glasses,” it’s not been enough to push the system into everyone’s hands like the previous DS did.

Nintendo is looking to shake things up with a hefty price slash, dropping the Nintendo 3DS to $169.99 on August 12; this is probably the fastest I’ve seen a newly launched system drop in price, which says a lot. The company is scared and trying to hurry up and make the 3Ds shine a little more, and they now have everything else in place to make the 3DS more than just a gimmicky block of plastic; you can surf the Internet on it, watch 3D videos, take photos, stream movies, and play games.

But what about sucker-chumps like me that dropped $250 on launch day, with slim pickings like Pilotwings Resort and Nintendorabbits? What does a price cut ultimately do for us but create grumbling sounds in stomachs? Well, early adopters of the system are now coined 3DS Ambassadors, meaning they are special, prized, and worthy of free stuff. Hey, I like free stuff. Especially great free stuff.

First, 3DS Ambassadors will get 10 free Virtual Console games from the NES era, including Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong Jr., Balloon Fight, Ice Climber, and The Legend of Zelda. The other five have not been announced. Additionally, they will also be treated to 10 free Game Boy Advance titles, including Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Metroid Fusion, WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$, and Mario vs. Donkey Kong. Again, the other five have not been announced…but yowza, that’s already quite a gathering of freebies if ever there was one. And from what I’ve read, these GBA titles will not actually end up on the eShop, meaning they are exclusive to 3DS Ambassadors.

It’s unclear when these games will be available to 3DS Ambassadors; I’m guessing some short time after the August 12 price slash. Or maybe right before it? I dunno. More details to come, I’m sure. Really looking forward to the free titles as I was just complaining to Tara about my disappointment with the 3DS, my severe lack of caring for it thanks to the delays and cancellations of desired titles. This helps…a bit. I’m still not in love, but filling up my 3DS with tons of oldies, but goodies is a great start to a better relationship.

Ambassador, out!

Another day, another patch for Fallout: New Vegas

Old World Blues will be released on all platforms on July 19, but before that can happen, a patch must hit to fix some problems with Fallout: New Vegas. And when I say some, I really mean a plenitude of glitches and bugs and outstanding wonkiness. One might have thought a lot of these would’ve gotten taken care of back when an earlier patch was also put together. Oh well. Can’t get 100% in V.A.T.S.-patching all the time. Right, Obsidian?

This newest patch is a big one, so I’ll put all of its updates and corrections below a cut. Clickity click to read on.

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The Nintendo 3DS eShop opened later than expected

Yesterday morning, before heading off to the day job, I took a chance and tried to see if the system update for my Nintendo 3DS was available; it wasn’t, but I did find a message telling me a bit about the newest update and that it would be available for downloading this evening. Okay, I thought, I’ll get it tonight and have some time to tinker and explore before going to bed. The final result? I went to bed at 1:00 in the morning…eShop-less. What a shame, as I most definitely had time to kill considering I beat Red Faction: Guerrilla and watched an episode of Cheers.

However, the update was available this morning for downloading, which I did do. Took about five minutes or so. That means that it either went live in the two hours in Pacific time that would still allow it to count for its June 6, 2011, timeframe or it missed the mark completely. Either way, it was pretty disappointing; when given a launch date of June 6 for something special, no one–and I mean no one–assumes that the launch time would be something like 11:30 at night. Give it to us early in the day so we can, y’know, start using it. I don’t know. Nintendo will never really get with it in these terms, but still, it was frustrating. I’ve now downloaded my free copy of Excitebike 3D and the Pokedex thingy, but that’s all I could do as I then had to go drive to work. Will try out more of the shop, web browser, and freebie games tonight, I guess.

I’m sure most people were distracted by all the crazy E3 news as of late, but not me…I was hoping for some play time with my 3DS, a system that barely gets used for the reasons it was made. I haven’t switched on the 3D slider in weeks. Looks like Nintendo’s victory points are in another castle.

Anyways…got any suggestions for DSiWare titles to pursue? I like ’em cheap and kooky if that’s any help.

What’s what with the forthcoming Nintendo 3DS eShop

Unless it happens to get delayed again, the Nintendo 3DS eShop will soon be available on June 6, 2011, to all us loyal fans that jumped the gun on getting the system. It’ll be accessible through a system update, much like how we all got that OK GO music video with the energetic dogs. Sadly, once we get the new update, that video is gonna disappear. Not really sure why, but it’s a small price to pay to make the 3DS somewhat relevant again. Here’s what is gonna be available for U.S. gamers at store launch:

  • Excitebike – 3D Classics, free until July 7, 2011
  • Pokédex 3D – “3DSWare”, free
  • Super Mario Land – Game Boy
  • Alleyway – Game Boy
  • Radar Mission – Game Boy

The eShop will, reportedly, update every Thursday, which explains the slim pickings of the launch lineup. One free game, one free app, two games nobody’s gonna want, and a nice stab at nostalgia with Super Mario Land. The addition of an out-of-game Pokédex is nice, especially that it’s free, but it seems like it’s reliant on StreetPass for growing larger and fuller. Fun idea, but probably not plausible. Missing from the list is, of course, Mega Man Legends 3: Prototype Version. Boo to that, as it was gonna be a heavy hitter for the eShop debut, and that’s saying a lot considering it’s not even a finished game yet.

There’s been no word yet from Nintendo about whether next week’s update will include the Netflix app for streaming films/TV, which I’m positive I will try once and not really like considering how quickly the system’s battery life gives out. However, we do now have some details about the free web browser; it’s supplied by Netfront instead of Opera this time around and will not support Flash. The browser will allow you to upload 3D photos you’ve taken with the system’s camera, as well as view 3D images on websites like 3D Porch. Neato? Naaah.

This doesn’t concern me, but many handheld gamers will be pleased to know that you can transfer DSiWare games from a DSi to a 3DS. Except for these titles. However, you can’t transfer files from a 3DS back to your DSi, natch. Some streets are one way only.

Well, at least I’ll have a reason to really use my Nintendo 3DS on June 6, 2011. Here’s hoping this is just the start and slow climb to greatness; I’m now just waiting for a 3D version of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, as well as wondering how payment is going to work.

Steve Jackson Games unsheathes Munchkin Conan the Barbarian

Strangely and surprisingly, over the Memorial Day weekend, Steve Jackson Games announced yet another new Munchkin title, this time going almost back to their fantasy origin roots with Munchkin Conan the Barbarian. This is a 15-card supplement for original Munchkin–y’know, the core set that already has 74 supplements as is–and while I will always be excited for new Munchkin art, cards, and game mechanics, I am growing a little weary of how bulky original Munchkin is getting. I think I only have like three big expansions (Munchkin 4 – The Need for Speed, Munchkin 5 – De-ranged, Munchkin 7 – Cheat With Both Hands) and one little one (Munchkin Waiting for Santa), and it’s already way too many cards to deal with. When my wife and sisters and I play, we have to actually create two Door piles and two Treasure piles because stacking them all at once would suddenly turn a round of Munchkin into a round of Jenga.

But yeah, Conan the Cimmerian…I mean, Barbarian. He’s definitely a great character, surviving in a world with inventive monsters and barrels full of fun–yet deadly–weapons. There’s actually so much to Conan’s rich history to pluck from that I’m sad to see this as just a supplement and not its very own set. Again, give me more big sets before little additions.

Munchkin Conan the Barbarian comes out this fall. Naturally, a better title would’ve been Conan the Muncharian. I’m dying to see what the Barbarian Booties do. No sample cards available yet, but you can check out a few pieces of early art over at the set’s homepage.

June 6 is the new “late May” for the Nintendo 3DS eShop

If you’ve been pretty disappointed with your Nintendo 3DS and haven’t found much reason to turn it on as of late, well…that problem is going to continue on as the Nintendo’s eShop has been delayed until June 6 in North America (June 7 in Japan; wait, we’re getting something before Japan does?).

Originally, Nintendo’s next firmware update for the 3DS was due to hit in late May, and it’s now been a couple of months since the system’s release with no online gaming connectivity or shopping. Considering the lackluster launch titles, I was hoping to pick up some quirky, cheap downloadable games (or at least demos) to show off this new system’s cool 3D tricks and tech. That has not happened. Nor can players currently port over via SD card DSi software they’ve already purchased. Even the possibility of a free Excite Bike doesn’t dampen the disappointment that–as always–Nintendo can’t get things like online interaction right. Supposedly, we’ll also be getting an Internet browser in this update, which I might never use because I have, uh, a laptop for that.

I think we’re all getting the impression that Nintendo launched its newest console prematurely. This eShop should have been implemented and functional from the very get-go. Guess this also means a longer wait for Mega Man Legends 3: Prototype Version. A dang shame.