Esperino http://www.esperino.com Thu, 16 Apr 2015 23:38:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 J-Stars Victory VS+ Coming in June; Preorder Edition Announced http://www.esperino.com/j-stars-victory-vs-coming-in-june-preorder-edition-announced http://www.esperino.com/j-stars-victory-vs-coming-in-june-preorder-edition-announced#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 23:38:04 +0000 http://www.esperino.com/?p=22459 J-Stars Victory VS+ is on its way to English speaking shores. Bandai Namco have penned in a launch date for June 26th in Europe and June 30th in America.

For fans of Jump manga, there will be a special Preorder Edition available for J-Stars Victory VS+ when in comes out middle of the year.

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Pre-order the game ahead of launch and you’ll receive a limited edition release that includes:

  • Copy of J-Stars Victory VS+ (PS3, PS4, or PS Vita)
  • PlayStation Themes for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PS Vita
  • J-Stars VS+ Compendium, containing 52 characters arts

Below is a quick fact sheet on J-Stars Victory VS+:

The Most Famous Original Manga/Anime Stars are Ready to Fight!

Celebrating the 45th anniversary of the “Shonen JUMP” magazine and the 20th anniversary of the “V JUMP” magazine in Japan, a never before seen fighting game has been developed! J-Stars Victory VS+ invites fans and gamers to play with their favorite manga/anime characters and progress in the JUMP World through different environments recalling Naruto, Dragon Ball Z, One Piece and other memorable moments. For every Manga and Anime fan, J-Stars Victory VS+ is jam packed with long hours of intense and amazing battles and a must-have addition to their videogame collection!

Features

  • 1st Time Outside Japan – A unique game combining licenses in the famous JUMP magazines is releasing for the first time outside of Japan!
  • Incredible Roster – A huge choice of characters coming from the most famous mangas/animes issued in the JUMP Magazine.
  • JUMP World – The world where the adventure takes place offers 4 different scenarios in which players can travel in memorable places like “Alabasta”, “Hidden Leaf Village” and “Planet Namek”.
  • Epic Battles – With the 2 vs. 2 team battle system, fights are going to be tough, strategic and exciting. Each character possesses his own specifications and attacks coming from the manga/anime. The game also adds special moves called “Combination Attack” and “V-Voltage System” – making battles even more aggressive.
  • Arcade Mode – An Arcade Mode has been added to the game in the same vein as other fighting games.
  • Stunning Graphics – A PlayStation 4 version of the game is releasing for the first time, offering the best possible experiences and plunging players into the Manga/Anime world.

North American fans can pick up the Preorder Edition through GameStop, while European customers will be able to find it for pre-order through selected retailers.

Please check with your local supplier for more details.

Word on an Australian/New Zealand release for the Preorder Edition is yet to be revealed, but we’ll update as soon as we learn more.

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Bladestorm: Nightmare Review http://www.esperino.com/bladestorm-nightmare-review http://www.esperino.com/bladestorm-nightmare-review#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 23:36:24 +0000 http://www.esperino.com/?p=22454 Bladestorm is Koei Tecmo’s black sheep of their franchise family. Primarily known for their Dynasty Warriors series, Bladestorm: The Hundred Years’ War was released back in 2007 on the PlayStation 3 to a rather hush reception.

Although a competent title, it’s nowhere near as popular as the Musou series, largely due to its real-time strategy approach to its historical re-telling of the century long clash between England and France. If you missed it the first time, Bladestorm: Nightmare offers you the chance to experience it on a revised re-release with expanded content on a new generation of consoles.

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Developer: Omega Force
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Platform: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, PC
Players: Single-Player, Multi-Player
Genre: Real-Time Tactics
Release: (NA) March 17th 2015, (EU) March 20th 2015

Bladestorm: Nightmare‘s gameplay mechanics is possibly its weakest point, but conversely its greatest strength. In comparison to the Dynasty Warriors series, Nightmare can be difficult to learn with its daunting mix of real-time strategy, role-playing yet familiar hack-n-slash combat. It’s a steep curve to come to terms with all the different mechanics, not to mention the sheer scale of the battlefield across country-wide locales. Most gamers would probably turn away from Bladestorm due to its complexity, but hang in there long enough and a rich world of cleverly fused genres begins to emerge.

The world of Bladestorm: Nightmare feels expansive to the point of exhaustion. Looking off into the distance upon the horizon, the magnitude of size extends far beyond the battleground of a Dynasty Warriors title. Within these huge maps are contained villages, castle and inhabitants for you to capture, or defend to fulfil objectives. Storming these strongholds with your AI-controlled army can be hugely gratifying; with battles ranging from a few minutes to many more depending on how adept you are at the art of war.

Unlike other strategy titles where your ultimate goal is to conquer the entire region, Bladestorm: Nightmare takes a different tact, whereby your conquests don’t necessarily translate to complete domination. A previously captured region may no longer be under your rule, with opposing forces seizing control in an ongoing war. As selfish as this sounds, your real objective is actually military fame and fortune for yourself, and nothing much else beyond that.

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As an unbound mercenary, you can choose to support the English or the French, with the ability to flip-flop between the two at any given mission. Your allegiance isn’t for King and country, but for fortune to further your military strength. Combine this with full character customisation and a diverse range of armour, weapons and consumables and you have a role-playing experience with plenty of depth to sink your teeth into. Upgrades go beyond your chosen character, as levelling up a team of military types further unlocks more powerful units. Like any good RPG mechanic, you’ll start out with basic choices from swordsmen to archers, and further unlock more specialised unit such as magicians and even ninjas.

The RPG elements means progression is a slower, steadier climb where you’ll be rewarded for the time you invest in Bladestorm: Nightmare. Further progress into the game unlocks even more commanding officers to control, however you will still need to develop your soldiers as this is not a one hero show like Dynasty Warriors games. If you go running in gung-ho, you will die a swift death and the same applies to under-developing your military strength. Although there are hack-n-slash components to the game, you’ll need to combine this with solid leadership in order to succeed.

Each unit comes with their own unique skillsets that you’ll need to take advantage of in order to overcome your enemy on the battlefield. Choosing a more aggressive stance at the right time paves the way forward for a quick victory, while the wrong strategy can descend into a grindy confrontation which you’d be advised to avoid. Mixing up where you invest your time and resources into upgrades ensures your infantry never suffers from a singular weak point as each class does have its pros and cons. For example, foot soldiers will get decimated by horseback raiders, although they are susceptible to ranged fire. It’s a game of rock, paper scissors in simplistic terms.

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It isn’t all tactics and clever warfare, as Bladestorm: Nightmare does have its fair share of quick paced action borrowed from its bigger Musou brother; however the real meat of the game sways more towards the role-playing and strategy aspects that often will lead to problems with pacing. As mentioned, some classes are better suited to tackle certain situations, but the size of the map often leads to stalemate situations.

I spent a good deal of time marching my army to an enemy location, only to discover my current squad configuration was ill-equipped for the task. You do have the option to expend resources to recruit the appropriate unit types, but that can only get you so far before you’ll need to wrangle together your current units to converge on your destination point, and that can be a bit of a wait at times.

An all-new Nightmare mode attempts to inject something different to the original format, incorporating a touch of fantasy to the storyline. Although the original Bladestorm: The Thousand Years’ War is historical figures such as Joan of Arc with that special Koei romanticised twist, Nightmare takes its even further with the introduction of dragons, goblins and mythical creations. As crazy as it sounds, Nightmare is highly fun to play and proves to be one of the better parts of the game. This mode alone is worth the price of admission in my books.

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Bladestorm: Nightmare may be a re-release, but the keyword here is enhanced, and it most certainly is. There’s already a staggering amount of content with hours upon hours to invest in the story mode, and then there’s the optional content and collectible aspect such as skills, abilities, you pushing on units, rare items and gear to seek out. There’s enough here to keep pushing the limits for weeks to come. Although slow going at first, Bladestorm: Nightmare really comes into its own, offering a uniquely different combination of genre and mechanics in a single experience.

7.5 – Good. Entertaining but is held back by a couple of flaws. It will certainly capture its intended audience but it won’t appeal to everyone.

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Watch 5 Minutes of Gameplay From The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt http://www.esperino.com/watch-5-minutes-of-gameplay-from-the-witcher-3-wild-hunt http://www.esperino.com/watch-5-minutes-of-gameplay-from-the-witcher-3-wild-hunt#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 22:51:13 +0000 http://www.esperino.com/?p=22451 CD PROJEKT RED’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is drawing closer to its May 19th release date. To tide you over until next month, a brand new gameplay trailer has been unleashed for your viewing enjoyment.

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In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt you become Geralt of Rivia, a monster slayer for hire. You take on the greatest contract of your life – tracking down the Child of Prophecy, a living weapon that can alter the shape of the world.

Your journey will take you across the Northern Realms, a vast continent filled with merchant cities, mysterious islands, dangerous mountain passes, and forgotten caverns to explore. Hundreds of armor and weapon upgrades await you, with lethal sword and magic skills at your disposal.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt looks to be Geralt’s greatest adventure to date, and it certainly looks primed and polished to perfection. Although the release date has been pushed back previously, I think you’ll agree that extra time afforded to the developers was well worth the wait!

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be available on May 19th on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. If you haven’t pre-ordered yet, the Collector’s Edition as well as a few different versions are still available. You can check out a list of available packages for Australia/New Zealand here.

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Destiny: House of Wolves Expansion II Dated for May 19th http://www.esperino.com/destiny-house-of-wolves-expansion-ii-dated-for-may-19th http://www.esperino.com/destiny-house-of-wolves-expansion-ii-dated-for-may-19th#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 22:24:09 +0000 http://www.esperino.com/?p=22448 Bungie have finally revealed the release date for Destiny: House of Wolves Expansion II. The latest DLC will drop on May 19th, 2015.

To go along with the announcement, Bungie have released a prologue trailer, setting the plot for things to come. You can view it below, along with a short description of what you can expect from the House of Wolves Expansion.

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Expand your Destiny adventure with a wealth of weapons, armor, and gear to earn in new story missions, three new competitive multiplayer maps, and a new cooperative Strike. Expansion II introduces a new competitive elimination mode in the Crucible and an all-new arena activity – The Prison of Elders. The Reef is open. Join the Awoken and hunt down the Fallen rising against us.

More details on the expansion is set to be revealed leading up to May 19th, with Bungie’s House of Wolves dedicated website showing a scheduled reveal on April 22nd, April 29th, May 6th, and May 8th.

What do you think the new details could be? It’s been fairly sparce pickings inbetween Expansion, with The Dark Below launching back on December 9th, 2014 to a lukewarm reception. Here’s hoping Bungie have stepped up their game for this upcoming release.

If you’ve already purchased the Expansion Pass, you’ll receive access to the House of Wolves immediately on the release date.

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Final Fantasy Type-0 HD Review http://www.esperino.com/final-fantasy-type-0-hd-review http://www.esperino.com/final-fantasy-type-0-hd-review#comments Fri, 10 Apr 2015 01:50:54 +0000 http://www.esperino.com/?p=22437 Final Fantasy Type-0 HD has finally graced English speaking shores. Released back in 2011 for PlayStation Portable in Japan only, it’s taken a decent while for us to receive a localized port, but was it worth the wait?

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Developer: Square Enix 1st
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), Xbox One
Players: Single-Player
Genre: Action-RPG
Release: (NA) March 17th 2015, (JP) March 19th 2015, (EU) March 20th 2015

Originally titled Final Fantasy XIII Agito, Type-0 HD is a collective part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis subseries (Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XV being the other two), adopting a similar mythos in which the characters exist in. After the lukewarm reception for Lightning and her friends on three separate releases, Square chose to distance Agito’s association with the subset, rebranding it to Final Fantasy Type-0 instead.

Type-0 HD retains aspects from the Fabula Nova Crystallis, but at the same time manages to break free and encapsulate gameplay more reminiscent of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, giving it a much more classic, action-JRPG feel. Although the general plot can be perplexing if you aren’t paying close attention, you can almost excuse Type-0 HD for the larger set piece battles on offer compared with the previous XIII releases.

The story centres on Class Zero, a group of 14 students training at Akademeia in the city of Rubrum, one of four major nations in the world of Orience. Rubrum, as well as the other nations are attacked by the army of Milities, led by Cid. Taking control of the members of Class Zero, you’ll be fending attacks against Rubrum, with the story deepening further as the other nations become more involved in the conflict with Milites.

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In contrast to the plot of Final Fantasy XIII, Type-0 HD takes on a much darker undertone, touching on topics of war and death, instead of free-roaming across delightfully colourful vistas and slightly off-kilter humour. At times you will be dragged into a state of despair with its depressing topics, but this is a far more fulfilling experience in terms of storytelling compared with more recent Final Fantasy titles. You can’t help but feel moved by the initial opening cut scenes, but I won’t go into detail to avoid any spoilers. Some patrons will find Type-0 HD a much darker title in the FF universe than they’ve grown accustomed to.

For a title with the HD moniker, you can expect visual upgrades and by comparison to the original PSP release, Type-0 HD certain looks like a high production value RPG adventure, but it isn’t all improvements unfortunately. Graphical fidelity doesn’t quite push the limits to break free of the portable port confines that creep up from time to time. Multi-player functionality has been given the chop from the PSP version; however additional difficulty levels have been added in its place. This is great for replayability, but lacking multi-player on a next-gen system seems like an odd design decision.

Combat revolves about the 14 members of Class Zero, however you will only be able to control three characters at a time. In combat, you’ll be in direct control of a lead character, while the remaining two are AI controlled to provide assistance. You do have the option to switch between your squad mates with a simple press of a button, however this doesn’t extend outside of combat. Your lead character will always be the character you see in the overworld map and your avatar of choice during exploration around the towns of Orience.

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You can switch out character for my Class Zero members; however this can only be accomplished via save points and at the beginning of Akademeia missions. Much like other Final Fantasy games, only characters that participate in combat will earn XP, and with 14 characters to level up, that’s a whole lot of grinding if you want to keep everyone on par. It isn’t necessary to level up all characters, but it does help team composition during certain missions.

Gameplay itself has plenty of random encounters for combat XP during overworld exploration, but there’s also story mission if you want to stick to a more linear path. Battle sequences takes place within confined terrain, however its free-flowing and possibly Type-0 HD strongest element.

Combat consists of a basic attack, two specials, and a defensive action mapped on the four face buttons. Directional inputs dictate where and what type of action is executed, but the variety comes from the different characters with their own unique talents and skills. Ranged combat, magic-flinging or close-quarters adds versatility to the mix, as does the assortment of boss battles. Timing and targeting all play a part in the complexity, giving it that action-RPG element that has become so popular as of late.

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There’s combat in the traditional sense, but then there’s the intriguing element of defending occupying forces from cities or capturing them, almost Musou style in concept. Once you’ve taken care of hostile forces, battle reverts to the familiar mechanics that adds a bit of variety to an often generic formula.

Often overlooked is the stellar soundtrack backing Type-0 HD. Composed by Takeharu Ishimoto, the tracks capture a broad range of emotions, but sadly let down by the lacklustre English voice-over work.

Asides from being able to play Type-0 HD, Square has also included Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae into the package, a playable demo to the long-awaited Final Fantasy XV (first announced in 2006). Episode Duscae provides a look at the game’s environment and gameplay mechanics, presented in both English and Japanese audio. Although you can transfer your progress into the full release, there are reports that the developers may reward those that have played the demo with an in-game bonus when Final Fantasy XV does eventually launch. This alone may be more than enough reason for some to purchase Type-0 HD.

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Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is a competent title in the series, although being a HD re-release; it does show signs of its age during the upscaling process. Combat mechanics are a joy, as are the roster of playable characters. Possibly Type-0 HD weakest aspect is its graphics which, lack the same kind of polish seen in other HD remakes of late. Still worth taking a look if you’re a Final Fantasy fan, as there’s more than enough content and variety to keep you entertained for many hours of gameplay.

7.5 – Good. Entertaining but is held back by a couple of flaws. It will certainly capture its intended audience but it won’t appeal to everyone.

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LEGO Dimensions Toys-to-Life Video Game Announced http://www.esperino.com/lego-dimensions-toys-to-life-video-game-announced http://www.esperino.com/lego-dimensions-toys-to-life-video-game-announced#comments Thu, 09 Apr 2015 23:59:22 +0000 http://www.esperino.com/?p=22442 Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment have announced LEGO Dimensions today, a toys-to-life video game incorporating the immensely popular building bricks.

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Working with long-time partners TT Games, LEGO Dimensions will merge physical LEGO brick building with interactive gameplay, featuring popular characters from fan-favourite universes, including DC Comics, The Lord of the Rings, The LEGO Movie, The Wizard of Oz, LEGO Ninjago, Back to the Future, and more still to be announced.

Available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii U, the LEGO Dimensions Starter Pack includes:

  • LEGO Toy Pad, which allows players to transport special LEGO minifigures and other LEGO objects into the game
  • LEGO bricks to build the LEGO Gateway
  • Three (3) LEGO Minifigures, including
    • LEGO Batman from DC Comics
    • LEGO Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings
    • Wyldstyle from The LEGO Movie
    • Plus the LEGO Batmobile.

The Starter Packs are priced at AU$169.95 RRP and will be available through all major video game retailers throughout Australia and New Zealand. EB Games already have the Starter Packs available for pre-order, along with Team Packs, Level Packs, and Fun Packs starting at AU$24.95

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These additional expansion packs include new buildable characters, vehicles, tools and gadgets, as well as compelling game content with new mission-based levels and unique in-game abilities. Each expansion pack can be interchanged anywhere throughout the game without limitations, according to WBIE.

Packs announced so far include Back to the Future Level Pack with a LEGO Marty McFly minifigure, a LEGO Ninjago Team Pack with Kai and Cole minifigures, three Ninjago Fun Packs with Jay, Nya and Zane minifigures, two DC Comics Fun Packs with Wonder Woman and Cyborg minifigures, three The Lord of the Rings Fun Packs with LEGO Gollum, LEGO Gimli and LEGO Legolas minifigures, four The LEGO Movie Fun packs with Emmet, Bad Cop, Benny and Unikitty characters, and a The Wizard of Oz Fun Pack with a LEGO Wicked Witch of the West minifigure.

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Additional packs to round out the 2015 assortment will be announced in the months leading to launch. Further waves of expansion packs will be released regularly following the launch of the game and into 2016.

Watch the full announcement trailer below, along with a series of screenshots and pack shots.

Only time will tell if LEGO Dimensions will make an impact on the toy-to-life market, already occupied by the popular Skylanders franchise, Disney Infinity range and ridiculously popular amiibo toys.

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FREE Dr. Wu Minifig with LEGO Jurassic World Pre-order http://www.esperino.com/free-dr-wu-minifig-with-lego-jurassic-world-pre-order http://www.esperino.com/free-dr-wu-minifig-with-lego-jurassic-world-pre-order#comments Thu, 09 Apr 2015 21:28:01 +0000 http://www.esperino.com/?p=22435 Pre-order LEGO Jurassic World from EB Games in Australia and receive a free Dr. Wu LEGO Minifig.

Warner Bro. Interactive Entertainment have run similar pre-order incentives through EB Games in the past for customers, most bonuses being collectible Minifigs.

Some may not remember Dr. Henry Wu in Jurassic Park given his rather small role, however he does make a return in the upcoming Jurassic World as a much more prominent character.

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Played by B.D. Wong of Law & Order fame, his LEGO representation comes with a tiny mosquito encased amber accessory.

This offer applies to all version of LEGO Jurassic World but you will need to pre-order as this promotion is only for a limited time.

To place a pre-order, head in-store or order online here.

LEGO Jurassic World is schedule to launch in June 12th 2015, available for 3DS, Wii U, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Windows PC.

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Nintendo Direct reveals new amiibos and games for 3DS & Wii U http://www.esperino.com/nintendo-direct-reveals-new-amiibos-and-games-for-3ds-wii-u http://www.esperino.com/nintendo-direct-reveals-new-amiibos-and-games-for-3ds-wii-u#comments Thu, 02 Apr 2015 02:19:31 +0000 http://www.esperino.com/?p=22422 Nintendo Direct ran a presentation this morning, revealing a new range of amiibo products, as well as outlining new titles due out for release on the 3DS and Wii U console.

Some of the biggest news from today include the unveiling of Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. Launching in spring, the game will make use of new amiibo cards with in-built NFC chips that can be used to open up new content without the game.

Mario Kart 8 owners are in for a treat with a free update including 200cc racing class to all courses, the fastest setting even made available in a Mario Kart title.

New add-on content for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS will be available shortly, including the much anticipated Mewtwo as a playable character. StreetPass Mii Plaza will receive fresh content as well.

The Nintendo Direct broadcast revealed release dates for Splatoon, Yoshi’s Woolly World, as well as 30th anniversary celebrations for Super Mario Bros., starting things off with Mario Maker for the Wii U.

Below is a recap of all the biggest news from today’s broadcast:

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  • amiibo cards: A totally new form of amiibo is coming this spring! The first set of amiibo cards will feature Animal Crossing characters and will be compatible with the new Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer game. The NFC reader/writer accessory for Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 3DS XL and Nintendo 2DS that can read amiibo figures and amiibo cards will also launch at the same time.
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  • The next waves of Super Smash Bros. amiibo: In May, two new amiibo in the Super Smash Bros. Collection will launch: Greninja and Jigglypuff. Then in winter, Palutena, Dark Pit, Zero Suit Samus, Ganondorf, Olimar, Dr. Mario and Bowser Jr. will join the amiibo family.
  • Play classic Nintendo games using amiibo: amiibo Touch & Play: Nintendo Classics Highlights is coming in May as a free download from Nintendo eShop for Wii U. With this title, Wii U users can unlock a variety of three-minute gameplay highlights from select NES and Super NES games, simply by tapping an amiibo to the GamePad.
  • Yarn Yoshi amiibo: A new set of Yoshi amiibo figures, made out of a knitted material, will launch alongside Yoshi’s Woolly World. Among other uses, tapping one of these yarn amiibo to the GamePad while playing Yoshi’s Woolly World will make another Yoshi appear, allowing players to control Double Yoshi. The Yarn Yoshi amiibo will be available in three colours: green, pink and light blue.
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  • Splatoon amiibo: Launching simultaneously with Splatoon on 30th May are Inkling Girl, Inkling Boy and Inkling Squid amiibo figures, with Inkling Squid amiibo exclusive to a special pack that includes all three figures. By tapping one of these amiibo to the GamePad, players in Splatoon can receive special missions to unlock weapons and gear.
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  • More Mario Kart 8 Mii racing suits: During 23rd April, a free downloadable update to Mario Kart 8 will add support for nine more amiibo characters: Wario, PAC-MAN, Olimar, Bowser, Sonic, Toad, Villager, Rosalina and Mega Man. Players can tap these amiibo to outfit their Mii characters in Mii racing suits themed to those amiibo characters.
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Wii U

  • Mario Maker: Mario Maker launches exclusively for Wii U in September and enables users to easily create their own Mario courses and share them online with people all over the world! Various activities related to the 30th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. are also planned throughout the year.
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  • Splatoon: In addition to previously detailed single-player and online “Turf War” modes, action shooter Splatoon will feature a competitive “Ranked Battle” mode, which ranks and matches players based on their wins in 4-on-4 multiplayer games. The game will also feature a “Battle Dojo”. In this mode, players can enjoy local 1-on-1 battles with friends. One player uses the GamePad, while the other plays on the TV screen, competing to see who can pop the most balloons. Splatoon will launch exclusively for Wii U on 30th May.
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  • Yoshi’s Woolly World: The lovingly crafted new Wii U game launches on 27th June and overflows with challenges and hidden secrets. In addition to the challenging Classic Mode, Yoshi’s Woolly World adds Mellow Mode, which lets players of all skill levels play as Winged Yoshi. From launch, a bundle comprising a copy of the game and a Green Yarn Yoshi amiibo will also be available.
  • 200cc in Mario Kart 8: For the first time in the Mario Kart series, a 200cc racing class is coming to Mario Kart 8. Even faster than 150cc, the new high-speed class will be applied to all tracks in the game and makes braking an important consideration during a race! The new 200cc class will be offered as a free downloadable update to all Mario Kart 8 players during 23rd April. On this same day, the purchasable Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack 2 – themed after Animal Crossing – featuring three new characters, four new vehicles and eight new tracks will also be released.
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  • Nintendo 64 and Nintendo DS games hit Wii U Virtual Console: Available now, classic Nintendo 64 and Nintendo DS games are coming to Virtual Console on Wii U. Today brings Mario Kart DS and WarioWare Touched! for Nintendo DS and Super Mario 64 and Donkey Kong 64 for Nintendo 64. While playing Nintendo DS games, the TV and GamePad combination will provide various options for dual-screen layouts, while all Nintendo 64 games that supported the Rumble Pak will continue rumbling away on Wii U controllers. As a special offer, purchase any three of these games before 16th April and receive the fourth one for free on the same Wii U. Games scheduled for future release include Paper Mario for Nintendo 64 and Yoshi’s Island for Nintendo DS in May.
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  • More downloadable Wii games on Wii U: Adding to the growing list of Wii games available to download from Nintendo eShop on Wii U, critically acclaimed titles Pandora’s Tower and Sin and Punishment: Successor of the Skies will arrive on 17th April and 1st May respectively. Both games will also be 25% off for one week after their launch.
  • Shin Megami Tensei & Fire Emblem Crossover Project: The role-playing masters at ATLUS are developing a truly modern RPG, where everyday life exists alongside a secret world of fantasy, including characters from the Fire Emblem series.
  • New Project Zero game: Fans who have been clamouring for a chance to play the latest game in the unnerving Project Zero series will have their chance when it launches later this year for Wii U. Players will play as one of three different characters, each with their own storyline as they explore the cursed tourist destination, Mount Hikami. The Wii U GamePad is used as a camera to investigate the environments and soak in the supernatural atmosphere, as well as a means to fend off hostile spirits during quick bursts of chilling action.
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  • Affordable Space Adventures: The Wii U GamePad transforms into the cockpit display of a stealth spacecraft in this Wii U exclusive. On a hostile planet, players need to carefully manage all of the ship’s systems to avoid danger and slip by monsters unnoticed. Players can fly solo or work together in local multiplayer as a crew of two or three players, each with their own specific responsibilities. Affordable Space Adventures is available from Nintendo eShop for Wii U from 10th April.
  • Swords & Soldiers 2: Coming exclusively to Nintendo eShop for Wii U on 22nd May, this side-scrolling strategy and action game is the sequel to the award-winning WiiWare title. Build structures and create an army to overpower the enemy on a 2D battleground. With touch screen controls it only takes a quick tap to heal your units, cast lightning bolts and unleash meteor strikes!

Nintendo 3DS

  • Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer: This new spin-off title in the Animal Crossing series focuses on the decorating and home-designing aspects of the Animal Crossing games. Animals will ask players to design houses for them, and it’s up to designers-in-the-making to meet the animals’ requests by furnishing and decorating their homes. By scanning a new Animal Crossing series amiibo card to a New Nintendo 3DS system or NFC reader/writer accessory, players can design a room for that specific character on the card and scan additional cards to invite those characters to visit. Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer will launch this spring.
  • Fire Emblem (working title): For the first time in the series, the main playable character is not only a customisable avatar, but also the main hero or heroine of the game. Players must choose to take one of two major paths, resulting in two different experiences: the “Hoshido” side for a more traditional experience, or the “Nohr” side, which makes the story more complex and the difficulty level more challenging. The new Fire Emblem title will launch for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems in 2016.
  • Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition: This two-games-in-one package releases on 9th May. Puzzle & Dragons Z combines the key elements of a deep and strategic puzzle game, a dungeon-crawling RPG and a monster-collecting adventure. Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition offers the same deep puzzle gameplay, presented in the Super Mario Bros. universe. For players who can’t wait until launch day to play, a free demo for Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition will be coming soon to Nintendo eShop for Nintendo 3DS.
  • Code Name: S.T.E.A.M.: Launching on 16th May, Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is a turn-based strategy shooter featuring extensive single-player and multiplayer content. Multiplayer supports both local and online play across various modes such as Death Match – where each turn only lasts 60 seconds, Medal Battle – where teams battle to collect the most medals with limited turns in a limited time, and “A.B.E. Battle” – where players fight using a giant robot inspired by Abraham Lincoln himself. Players will be able to enter tournaments against players from all over the world and even host their own private tournaments.
  • New StreetPass Games: On 17th April, two new StreetPass Mii Plaza games will be available to purchase. In StreetPass Fishing, players visit islands to try to catch more than 150 types of fish and legendary monsters with bait received from Mii characters via StreetPass. In StreetPass Zombies, players receive items based on the hobbies of their Mii Plaza StreetPass characters to defeat a horde of zombies. Fans will also get the option to purchase StreetPass Mii Plaza Premium, which adds features like StreetPass Birthdays and the new VIP Room.
    Nintendo Direct 020415 (7)
  • BOXBOY!: From the celebrated developer HAL Laboratory, Inc., creators of the Kirby series, comes BOXBOY!. This monochrome platform-puzzle game tasks players with creating, casting and hooking blocks to navigate more than 150 challenging stages. BOXBOY! is available now, exclusively on Nintendo eShop for Nintendo 3DS.
  • Pokémon Rumble World: The latest game in the Pokémon Rumble series is free-to-start (with paid content) and features over 700 Pokémon, all the way from the original Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue to the recent Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire. Pokémon Rumble World will launch on Nintendo eShop for Nintendo 3DS on 8th April.
  • Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains: Based on the popular anime, Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains features four-player local and online co-op gameplay and leaderboards as players work together to defend the outer walls from the giant Titans. Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains will launch on Nintendo eShop for Nintendo 3DS in May. For some early inspiration, the first two episodes of the Attack on Titan anime series are available for free on Nintendo eShop from now, until 1st July.
  • Azure Striker Gunvolt & Mighty Gunvolt: Experience thrilling fast-paced action in these two separate but related titles from acclaimed developer Keiji Inafune. Play as a powerful hero who can control lightning. Blast through stages, conquer intimidating bosses and challenge yourself to set new high scores. Azure Striker Gunvolt is available from 3rd April on Nintendo eShop for Nintendo 3DS and until 2nd July, purchasers of Azure Striker Gunvolt will receive Mighty Gunvolt for free.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS

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  • New (AOC) challengers approaching!: The previously announced Mewtwo will join the roster of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS as a downloadable character on 29th April. Players who have purchased and registered both versions of the game by 31st March will receive free download codes for Mewtwo on 15th April.
    Nintendo Direct 020415 (3)
    In addition, fan-favourite character Lucas from MOTHER3, the sequel to EarthBound released only in Japan, is planned to join the all-star Super Smash Bros. cast in June as purchasable DLC. After a software update on 15th April, Super Smash Bros. players can also purchase more costumes for their Mii fighters, including outfits inspired by major game series, such as The Legend of Zelda, Xenoblade Chronicles and Capcom’s Mega Man series.Nintendo Direct 020415 (6)
  • Vote for your own Super Smash Bros. fighter: Starting today, Super Smash Bros. fans can visit http://www.smashbros.com to participate in a “Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot.” Fans can use this ballot to vote for which character they would like to see added to Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U as a playable character.

If you’d like to watch the presentation again, you can head over to http://www.nintendo.com.au/nintendodirect. It runs 45 mins long but it’ll give you a closer look at those new adorable amiibo.

Also, don’t forget to pre-order your amiibos as this new batch of amiibo compatible products are guaranteed to sell out in Australia.

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Bonus 3DS Theme with Xenoblade Chronicles 3D Pre-order in Australia http://www.esperino.com/bonus-3ds-theme-with-xenoblade-chronicles-3d-pre-order-in-australia http://www.esperino.com/bonus-3ds-theme-with-xenoblade-chronicles-3d-pre-order-in-australia#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 01:03:40 +0000 http://www.esperino.com/?p=22418 Pre-order Xenoblade Chronicles 3D at selected retailers in Australia and you’ll score a bonus 3DS Xenoblade Chronicles theme for your 3DS console.

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The bonus offer is available through EB Games, JB Hi-Fi, The Gamesmen (AU), and Mighty Ape (NZ), strictly while stocks last.

Keep in mind Target Australia currently have the best price at AU$49, but you won’t get the theme unfortunately, so you may want to try price matching at EB Games and see how you go.

It’ll come in a form of a redeemable code, printed on a leaflet that you’ll need to scratch off to reveal. Input the code via the eshop and you’re good to go.

The official NintendoAUNZ Twitter account posted an image of the game with the redemption voucher.

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It isn’t clear if the codes will have an expiry date, but you won’t have long to pre-order given the game is due out this coming Saturday, April 4th, 2015.

Have you secured your copy of Xenoblade Chronicles 3D yet?

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Batman: Arkham Knight Limited Edition PS4 Bundle Unveiled http://www.esperino.com/batman-arkham-knight-limited-edition-ps4-bundle-unveiled http://www.esperino.com/batman-arkham-knight-limited-edition-ps4-bundle-unveiled#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 21:18:48 +0000 http://www.esperino.com/?p=22412 Rocksteady Studios are wrapping up the Batman: Arkham series with style, announcing two Batman: Arkham Knight Limited Edition PlayStation 4 bundles.

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The Limited Edition PlayStation 4 comes in a Steel Grey PS4 chassis with a custom Batman: Arkham Knight faceplate, a matching DualShock 4 wireless controller in Steel Grey and a copy of Batman: Arkham Knight. The bundle will go on sale for US$449.99, available for pre-order through Amazon and Best Buy.

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To pre-order in North America, click here.

The console will also be available in the Europe through selected retailers.

A standard black PS4 limited edition bundle is also available, which comes with a standard Jet Black PS4 unit, DualShock 4 controller and a copy of Batman: Arkham Knight. This bundle will be priced at US$399.99.

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As an added incentive to purchase for PlayStation 4, Batman: Arkham Knight will also come witll exclusive bonus content including:

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  • PlayStation Exclusive Scarecrow Nightmare Missions: As Gotham City falls victim to Scarecrow’s fear toxin – transforming the famous city into a twisted, hellish nightmare – tear through the city in the all-new Batmobile and face off against a towering vision of Scarecrow and his undead army as they spread terror on the streets.
  • PlayStation Exclusive Custom Batman and Batmobile Skins: Fight crime in the futuristic Justice League 3000 Batman skin or go retro the Batman Classic TV Series Batman and Batmobile skins.

These bundles are currently scheduled to launch on June 23rd, alongside the worldwide release of Batman: Arkham Knight.

Details on availability in Australia/New Zealand are yet to be revealed. I’ll update as I learn more.

EB Games Australia have listed the PlayStation 4 bundle for pre-order, priced at AU$619.

JB Hi-Fi also have it listed for pre-order here at AU$619.

Will you be upgrading your PlayStation 4 console?

Thanks, PlayStation Blog!

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