Wreck-It Ralph: A Movie Review

What comes to mind when you think of video game movies? Poor writing, cheesy action scenes, and an all-around terrible experience? Maybe, but this stigma doesn’t apply to Wreck-it Ralph, the best animated movie you will see this year.

Set in an arcade, the story centers on gaming villain Wreck-It Ralph, who works in a fictional arcade game, Fix-It Felix Jr. His job as the bad guy involves him destroying an apartment building only to be foiled by Fix-it Felix Jr., the Mario to Ralph’s Donkey Kong. Every time Felix makes it to the top of the building he wins a medal, while Ralph get thrown into a pool of mud.

Though Ralph wants to be liked, he must continue on in his sad fate of wrecking a building. Following Toy Story rules, Ralph must be a villain as Woody must be a toy. On the thirtieth anniversary of the game, a celebration is held in the apartment building. Ralph, of course, is not invited. The citizens of the building, the Nicelanders, are anything but, and treat Ralph like a monster. Felix has empathy for Ralph and lets him in to the penthouse to eat cake, only to be chastised by the Nicelanders.

When Ralph tries to change the cake to make it him on the top with the medal, he is rejected by the Nicelanders. They say he can never have a medal—only heroes get medals. This sets him on his journey to win a medal in FPS game, Hero’s Duty. From there he ends up in Mario Kart-like Sugar Rush where he meets the little girl Vanellope von Schweetz, who is a cast out for being a glitch.

Its setting of different video game worlds gives the movie opportunities to make many references to real games. My personal favorite is when Ralph looks through a lost and found box and finds a Metal Gear-esque exclamation point. Each reference comes across as a pleasant homage with appearances from iconic characters and references to obscure games, odds are something you like is referenced.

However, the movie doesn’t coast on its references, instead relying on strong characterization and witty writing. Many of its best moments are non-specific references to classic gaming staples like glitches and unfinished hidden areas, but you shouldn’t be worried about seeing this movie with a non-gaming friend, spouse, parent etc.

The otherwise exceptional movie has some hang-ups. The world the movie spends the most time in, Sugar Rush, has a strong candy focus, and as pleasant as that setting can be, I would have rather seen one or two more to represent other genres of games. Some of the humor also felt a little too immature.

As a Disney fan, I applaud this movie for continuing the resurgence of their digital animation efforts outside Pixar. It makes for an entertaining viewing experience, and a fun interpretation of games and their history.

Mario & Luigi: Doing RPGs Better Since 2003

While certainly taking advantage of Paper Mario’s physical predicament, the Mario & Luigi series handily crumples its figurative brother and throws it into the trash. No, not the recycling. That would mean it would have a chance to come back.

Excuse the initial hyperbole, because the Paper Mario games most certainly deliver. They’re fun, but they have also always had the home console advantage. Paper Mario has always been taken more seriously, with more eyes on it. But the Mario & Luigi series outshines it without breaking a sweat. It has had to earn our respect from the handheld ghetto. It’s a scrapper, and better in many ways.

For starters, the Mario & Luigi series is far more creative. Perhaps in trying to stand out on handhelds that boasted catalogs rich with great RPGs, M&L had to be riskier. It viewed the world of Mario from a very goofy lens, playing host to a cast of memorable characters and enemies, all of which hinged on excellent humour and writing. Enemies in the Paper Mario series made their splash and then it was on to the next; there was never any longevity. Wham, bam, thanks for trying to take over the Mushroom Kingdom. But Mario & Luigi had Fawful, an enemy just as constant as the brothers. Starting as an oddball assistant in Superstar Saga, he slowly plotted his return from beneath Peach’s castle in Partners in Time, and made his triumphant return as the big baddie in Bowser’s Inside Story. Fawful obviously made a splash among the Nintendo faithful. Is there anyone remotely analogous in Paper Mario? Worst of all, word is that Paper Mario: Sticker Star doesn’t put much emphasis on writing and dialogue, and that a lot of the humour now comes from sight gags. I suppose it’s just succumbing to the hilarity of its competition.

What I adore the most about the Mario & Luigi games is its sprite work. It’s not likely you’ll see anything like it elsewhere. Crafting sprites and their animations take time; there’s a genuine reason titles like Ace Attorney and Professor Layton are moving to the third dimension. But AlphaDream is staffed by madmen (or child labourers) willing to give it all for their craft. Throughout the entire series, there are animations that occur only one time. That’s insanity! Paper Mario cannot compare. Hell, it hasn’t even taken proper advantage of its paper aesthetic. The series started off on the Nintendo 64, so its visuals are hardly a highlight. Superstar Saga was a Game Boy Advance game, and its 3D brethren still can’t outdo it.

AlphaDream’s work on the M&L series makes you speak poorly of games that you otherwise love. Putting any entry of the series next the best of what Paper Mario has to offer isn’t even fair. But if you do it, don’t be shocked to see Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door turn into an actual turd.

Attractive Attractions: Most Anticipated Nintendo Land Games

The Wii U finally launches in North America on Sunday with the rest of the world following suit soon after. Get ready to experience a breadth of Wii U coverage right here on Nintendo World Report.

As someone who isn’t able to get a Wii U until later on down the road, I am still enamored with the launch lineup. One of the games that excites me the most is none other than Nintendo Land. While not the real world Nintendo theme park that fans of the big N have wanted and wished for, Nintendo Land looks to be an extremely entertaining title.

I’m using this opportunity before the Wii U and Nintendo Land launches to write up a list of my most anticipated attractions from the compilation, ranked by the least to most interesting.

12) Octopus Dance

The mini-game I am least excited for is based off one of Nintendo’s oldest properties, the Game & Watch. The Octopus Dance game has players essentially partaking in Simon Says as the AI does various poses which the player has to memorize, and then they have to repeat the computer’s actions via the control sticks or gyro controls. This is all while doing it in rhythm. It seems like Octopus Dance is rather light on content and depth, so this game doesn’t really appeal to me so much.

11) Yoshi’s Fruit Cart

Don’t let the simplistic presentation fool you – there is a lot to like about Yoshi’s Fruit Cart. By drawing a line on the GamePad’s touch screen, players lead Yoshi through a level to gather all of the fruit and make it to the goal. The caveat here, and the thing that makes the game something that could only be done on the Wii U, is that players need to look at the TV screen to see where the location of the fruits are, as the GamePad screen does not show it to them. The dozens upon dozens of different levels interest me greatly.

10) Takamaru’s Ninja Castle

The mini-game primarily showcased in the North American general Wii U television advertisement, Takamaru’s Ninja Castle is based off a Japan-only Famicom Disk System game. By sliding his or her finger across the GamePad longways, players can launch shuriken at multiple waves of ninja. Alongside the normal ninja enemies, there are boss characters to battle. These sections has the player using a sword instead of shuriken. I enjoy shooting gallery-style games, and Takamaru’s Ninja Castle looks to scratch that itch for me.

9) Donkey Kong’s Crash Course

Get a crash course on using the GamePad to tilt a fragile vehicle through a hazard-laden, platform-filled obstacle course. Go too fast, and your vehicle might topple over. Go too slow, and time will expire. Ample checkpoints promise that repeated attempts don’t get overly frustrating. The TV screen shows the entirety of a given level while the GamePad screen shows a zoomed-in view of your vehicle. With multiple levels to ride through, Donkey Kong’s Crash Course may seem intimidating to beginning players, but it appears to be a solid challenge regardless.

8) Captain Falcon’s Twister Race

Not even using the F-Zero name in its title, Captain Falcon’s Twister Race has the player’s Mii riding in a windup Blue Falcon as they tilt the Wii U GamePad to steer through a windy track full of obstacles, boosts, and ramps. Perhaps my thirst for a new F-Zero is making me more enthused for this particular mini-game than I should be, but I could always use a good and not-so-complex racing game for the Wii U launch.

7) Balloon Trip Breeze

It’s pertinent to note that only the single-player mini-games have been listed thus far. The final of these solo mini-games is Balloon Trip Breeze, based on Balloon Fight. Creating wind gusts to blow the player’s Mii around the auto-scrolling levels, the player collects balloons and dodges air mines that will pop one of their three balloons. Pop all three, and it’s game over. Similar to Donkey Kong’s Crash Course, the GamePad screen shows a zoomed in view while the TV screen displays a larger portion of the level. Each level ends with the player landing on an island.

6) Animal Crossing: Sweet Day

Animal Crossing: Sweet Day features the asymmetrical gameplay that Nintendo has been touting so much since the Wii U’s initial unveiling two E3s ago. One player controls two guards with both analog sticks, one for the left stick and one for the right stick. That player’s job is to capture all of the other players who are trying to collect candy and take it back to a drop off point. The more candy one has on them, the slower they move. The game ends in one of two ways: 1) The GamePad player captures every animal or 2) The players collecting candy drop off enough.

5) Luigi’s Ghost Mansion

Dressing one’s Mii up as Mario, Luigi, Wario, or Waluigi?! Where do I sign up for that? Luigi’s Ghost Mansion has a promising premise. Like Animal Crossing: Sweet Day, this game also uses asymmetric gameplay. The four players dressed up as the four plumbers attempt to find the location of a ghost controlled by the player with the Wii U GamePad. The ghost is completely invisible, but can be seen occasionally when a player’s flashlight gleams on it or when lightning brightens the room. The players searching for the ghost have their controllers rumble when they are nearby the ghost. If the ghost player grabs and sucks the life force out of all players, that person wins. If the ghost gets sucked up by the other players, they win. I think Luigi’s Ghost Mansion is a remarkably clever little game, and I am excited to try it out for myself.

4) Pikmin Adventure

Since Pikmin 3 isn’t getting a release until next year, Nintendo Land’s Pikmin Adventure mini-game will have to do for now. This is a cooperative-based game. The GamePad player controls Olimar. Meanwhile, up to four players with Wii Remotes control little Pikmin. Working together to bash baddies and break through obstacles, the players pass through colorful levels as they head to the end where Olimar’s ship awaits. Before they can reach the Dolphin, however, they must deal with a powerful boss. The cooperative aspects of Pikmin Adventure seem enjoyable enough to me, making this mini-game my fourth most anticipated.

3) Mario Chase

We first saw this game under a different guise as Chase Mii at E3 2011. Now it has been given a Mario aesthetic as up to four Miis dressed as Toads try to capture the Mii dressed as Mario. The Mario Mii player can see where the Toads are on the Wii U GamePad screen. The fun comes from the players chasing after the Mii in the Mario costume communicating with one another. “No, over there!” “Not here! THERE!” If time runs out, the Mario player wins. If he or she is tagged by a Toad, then obviously the Toad brigade wins. It’s an intriguing and seemingly entertaining take on tag, for sure.

2) The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest

Set in a patchwork Hyrule, The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest can be played alone or with some buds. It’s an on-rails game where the GamePad player shoots bows and arrows at foes from afar while the other players utilize Wii MotionPlus to attack nearby baddies. The whole team shares a handful of hearts, so it is pertinent to play nicely and work together. With a fair amount of levels included, The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest excites me as someone who: 1) loves The Legend of Zelda, 2) enjoys teamwork, and 3) likes on-rails experiences.

1) Metroid Blast

Unquestionably the Nintendo Land mini-game that I want to play the most (like right NOW), Metroid Blast takes third-person shooting to the Wii U. The game was originally known as Battle Mii, an E3 2011 tech demo. There are three modes in Metroid Blast. One has the GamePad player utilizing Samus’s Gunship to destroy the opposing ground force Mii players and vice versa. Another has players scrambling to collect credits while the last is akin to the Gears of War series’s Horde mode, where players work together to defeat wave after wave of enemies. Hearing reviews that the third-person controls are some of the most fun to use definitely has me excited. Another reviewer stated that Metroid Blast was one of the few Nintendo games in a long while to have him “feel like a bad ass.” Mighty strong words, and ones that cannot stop me from feeling hype.

You have read one NWR staffer’s list, but what attractions from Nintendo Land enthuse you the most? Let the community know in the feedback section.

Retiring the Wii

I only had to sit in the Fred Meyer electronics department for an hour before I was able to buy my Deluxe Wii U, pick up my wife from the airport, and come home. My intention was to download the OS update and go to sleep, but being the slightly OCD person I am, that didn’t really happen. I got the thing home at 1:00, and I didn’t go to sleep until 3:30. The whole process was pretty brutal, and there were a few times I thought I was screwed.

First of all, I had to set up the Wii U in such a way that I would have access to my still-hooked-up Wii, since I was—at some point—going to do a system transfer. I set up the new system on a chair next to the TV. Did you notice that the Wii U comes with an HDMI cable?! How glorious is that? Anyway, I set up both systems so that they’d be on separate inputs and went to work. The setup process for the Wii U is extremely simple and reminded me of that for the 3DS. It then more or less forces you to get on the Internet and look for updates… which it found.

As you’ve probably read by now, the update process is brutally long. It took my system over an hour, during which time the missus and I caught up on TV shows. But then it wasn’t quite done. It had to install the new patch, which was a far briefer process but still seemed to take forever. It was something like 2:00 a.m. at this point, and I figured I’d just do the system transfer (how bad could it be?) and hit the hay.

The system transfer takes you into the Wii U’s “Wii Channel,” which acts like a Wii within the Wii U. Everything is the same. The menu, the sound effects, and even the storage capacity (which we’ll get to). The Wii U has a Wii inside of it, with all the baggage that carries. Long before I left the house to buy my Wii U, I’d organized my VC and WiiWare games on my Wii and downloaded the Wii U transfer app. The weird part is that you also have to go into the Wii U’s Wii Channel and download the Wii U Transfer Tool… from the Wii Shop Channel. There were times I couldn’t tell whether I was on my Wii U or my Wii. It was a little spooky.

What you do, then, is place an SD card into the Wii and activate the transfer tool. It sucks up all the licenses, save data, Mii information, shop history, any remaining Wii Shop Channel points, etc., and then asks you to move the SD card into your Wii U. The animation for this is, as it was in the 3DS, involves adorable Pikmin carrying data from one place to another.

Once it gets back to the Wii U, you go into the Wii Channel and select the Wii Transfer Tool and the whole process goes in reverse: the Pikmin appear once more, carrying data from the Wii to the Wii U. A rolling display shows what’s currently being downloaded. At about 30 percent completion, my progress bar just stopped, and the Pikmin animation looped forever: “Downloading Donkey Kong Country” for about 10 minutes. I didn’t really know what to do. Turning off the system was begging for a fatal error in the transfer. Because the Wii U was only a few hours old, the Internet held no solutions.

Eventually, however, an error message popped up saying there was a problem and I should restart the system. Well, the system was in hard-lock. I couldn’t actually turn it off, so I was forced to unplug the thing, wait 10 seconds, and plug it back in. Thankfully, when I again selected the Wii Channel, it prompted me to “continue the transfer” and things kept up as if there’d been no interruption. Things went smoothly that time, and by 3:00 a.m. all my data was transferred over.

Well, not ALL of it. Anything that couldn’t fit on the SD card the first time was erased entirely, but because my download history carried over, I spent a little while re-downloading my other games. The funny thing is, though, that I could not save anything else to the “Wii System Memory” even though it’s the Wii U. There’s plenty more onboard space. I could, however, select the SD card. What this means is that the Wii U, in Wii mode, assumes it has the exact same amount of onboard space with which to save VC and WiiWare games. Everything else has to be put on an SD card. So I did that, but I thought it was pretty funny.

It’s like somebody crammed two GameCubes duct taped together inside the Wii U! After all that, I left the living room in shambles—cords strewn about, remotes and booklets lying all over the place—and went to bed. Aside from adding to my friends List, I haven’t even touched the system yet today!

LIVE STREAM: Backlogg With CurtDogg Tonight at 9 p.m. Pacific!

Hey everyone, Curtis(aka “CurtDogg”) here, and I’m one of the latest Staff Writers here on the site. Not only will I be contributing news and reviews, but I will also be taking over the official Nintendo World Report Twitch channel every Monday and Friday night, at 9:00 p.m. Pacific Time. I’ll not only be streaming/commenting on the various games in my backlogg, but I’ll also be interacting with all you lovely readers out there. I feel like these streams would also be a good opprotunity for me to get to know fans of the the site, and vice-versa.

Tonight I plan on going hunting for Green Stars in Super Mario Galaxy 2, as well as playing through some more of Bit.Trip Presents Runner2, so if you want to join me in my quest, feel free to follow our Twitch page, and be there at 9:00 p.m. Pacific Time, or tune into the stream below!

Call from EU: Zoning Out with the Runner2 Soundtrack

Gaijin Games recently launched their BIT.TRIP LOVERS Game Music Bundle,a great deal where you can get all the BIT.TRIP soundtracks for dirt cheap. But hold on, what is this? If I fork over $10 or more, I get access to the soundtrack of BIT.TRIP Presents… Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien! How can I say no to that deal? I have been playing the game for a little while, so an excuse to listen to these awesome tracks is a welcome opportunity.

The soundtrack features 17 songs. First off, we have the Runner2 theme, which plays on the title screen and in various variations in the menus. Just as in the BIT.TRIP soundtracks before it, Matt Harwood does an awesome job of changing up the arrangements so they fit the scope of a soundtrack. In case of the Runner2 theme, it is slightly longer than the one found in the game, and has a proper end.

The level tracks are, of course, the stars of the show, and the approach on these tunes is clear. The intros build to something cool, and let you a look at each level in a different way. If you listened to the example track Gaijin Games released early in development, you may already be familiar with the feeling I am describing. The other song from world one, “Cloud Titans,” makes you feel as if you are prepping for a huge undertaking. This is the exact same thing I felt while playing the levels, so it’s great to see it reflected in this way. The music flows similarly to the levels, but the changes in its undertones makes it click.

As soon as the music for Emerald Brine begins, I am already fully sold on the soundtrack. “Welcome to Brine Time” opens in a calm and relaxing manner, as a hard beat slowly kicks in. The music starts to transition, and finally ends up going all out. The elegant shifts between various parts made me bob my head, and I started getting in the zone. “Cetaceous Old Saw” follows, with soft and pleasant sea sounds, when all of a sudden a guitar comes in and turns it into a tropical party. “The Supernature” does something similar, starting with jungle noises and adding some mysterious sound effects. A piano starts playing and all the other instruments start to come into place. “Whetfahrt Cheesefunk” opens slightly quicker, then drops into some funky sounds as the true colors of the level kick in.

The music of the fourth world, Mounting Sadds, is quite different from the rest. The world contains much darker levels, and features a lot of industrial sounds. This is how the music in the song “Sadds” starts, but soon a darker undertone pulls through. Some notes are more uplifting, though, and at some point we get even a nice Runner theme. “Moldy Drops” is a bit more dubstep-y, with sounds that shift to a darker format. As the title may suggest, there are a few drops in there, so be ready to headbang.

As we approach the music of the last world, we go back into much brighter sounds and find ourselves with a rocking tune in “BIT.TRIP.” The song builds steadily, and brings a feeling of adventure. The final level song, “Re-Fusion,” is much more playful, with later parts signaling that the end of the journey is approaching.

“Cloud Titans” and “BIT.TRIP” are the ones I keep on repeat, though all the tunes serve as fitting interpretations of the levels. The soundtrack also includes five retro-styled musical bits by Disasterpeace, made for the Famicom challenges in the game. They haven’t been changed up, and are just 30 seconds long, but they work just as well on repeat. The final song that plays over the credits (roughly a minute long) doesn’t seem like much, but it mixes different musical elements of all five worlds into a neat surprise. I wish it was longer, but it is a pretty neat little tune.

So there you have it, my thoughts on the soundtrack of BIT.TRIP Presents… Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien. I hope this has inspired you to check out the soundtrack for yourself and, of course, the game itself.

Valentine’s Day in My Village

As many of you know, Animal Crossing: New Leaf has special eventson annual holidays, such as New Year’s Day, Christmas, etc. During these days, you’ll see something special occur in your village. This blog post shares a cool experience I had while playing the game.

Thursday was Valentine’s Day. In Japan, Valentine’s Day is celebrated quite differently from how it is in the West. It’s the day of chocolate and love, when females give confectionery to men they love (a custom some say was conspired by a sweets company decades ago). On that day, many Japanese guys are nervous in a unique way about whether they will get chocolate or not. Me? I didn’t go out at all, aside from in my virtual village.

Looking forward to getting chocolate in my village, I started up Animal Crossing: New Leaf. It always begins with Shizue, a female shih tzu and my secretary, under the spotlight. On special days, she tells you about the events. This time, she announced that today is Valentine’s Day, so she made sweets for a special person. I was a little disappointed that seemingly I wasn’t that special person. My day broke; my mind ached. I went out in front of my house and saw a pop-up from the mail box, telling me that I had a letter. I got two letters, one from Mom, and one from Shizue, both of them in the form of parcels. What Mom sent me was something forgettable, while the attached letter was, as always, in the form of tanka (traditional Japanese poetry with a particular metrical structure). The letter ends with “Happy Valentine’s Day! From Mom.” Just like Valentine’s Day presents from my real mother, this was embarrassing. The other present from Shizue was just what I wanted, a chocolate cake. Her letter said that she tried making a Valentine’s Day cake for her dear mayor, Minoru. Feeling so good, I went for a walk around my village with the cake.

To get chocolate from more gals, I deliberately spoke to female villagers. Since I had not played the game since February 3, which is another special annual occasion in Japan (Setsubun), they all said something along the lines of “Long time no see!” No matter how many times I talked to them, they did not give me chocolate, possibly because I am not intimate enough with them. Despite this, Jasmine, a polite yet pretty female cat, asked me if it was OK to come to my house. This was the first time a female character wanted to visit my house! God, my room isn’t well organized, nor does it have any particular theme! Anyway, I escorted her to my home.

Soon after I entered, I tried laying down on my bed;she ignored my come-on. Was that a little premature? Then I decided to talk with her first to build a rapport. She acted distant, commenting on my pieces of furniture one by one. Meanwhile, she said she wanted to see my other room on the second floor. I was hesitant since it only has a few pieces of purple furniture, which look kind of indecent. But I led her there, ascending the stairs. Again, she just commented on the interior, and sooner or later she said that she had to go. I stayed home; she went out, without leaving any chocolate.

After walking around a little bit and buying a Venetian-style leaf mask (which you can see in the image at the top), I stopped at my village’s café. I thought it would be nice to have Shizue’s chocolate cake along with a cup of coffee. I took a seat at the bar; the proprietor, Brewster, solemnly poured brown liquid into a cup and served it. It was not until I took a sip that I noticed it isn’t the usual bitter coffee, but in fact sweet hot chocolate! Interrupting my surprise, Brewster said to me, “Happy … Valentine’s Day!”, soothing my broken heart with the flavor of cocoa.

Make the Legend of Zelda LEGO Set a Reality

Last year a fan-proposed Legend of Zelda LEGO set reached 10,000 supporters on the LEGO CUUSOO site, the level required for LEGO to officially review the idea. However, it was turned down for cost reasons(the Minifigure molds were too expensive).

Since then, multiple sets based on The Legend of Zelda have appeared, including two I want to share with you here. The first is based on The Wind Waker and has already received 1000 supporters.

If the Legend of Zelda: King of Red Lions Playset were made it would include the King of Red Lions boat with a moving sail, an island with a tree that can be chopped, one or two ChuChu enemies depending on price, and a Link Minifigure. The team at LEGO CUUSOO officially commented on the idea after it accumulated 1000 supporters on the site, saying “We love this approach to the Legend of Zelda in the design style of the Wind Waker. Your models and characters are very well done!”You can add your support to the project here.

The other set I wanted to share is Legend of Zelda: Iron Knuckle Encounter, which has 4,970 supporters.

The more that reach that mark, the more chances there are of this actually happening. As a LEGO and Zelda fan I think themarriageof the two would work quite well, Link is a silent character which lets players create their own idea of what the character is like. A LEGO Legend of Zelda would give children and adults a like the chance to build new adventures for their hero in green.

One video game related LEGO set has already been made based on Minecraft. So go support a LEGO Zelda set, Chase McCain would want you to.

Come See Nintendo World Report at PAX East 2013

Nintendo World Report will be bringing not just one panel (as we have done since PAX East began in 2010), but two panels to PAX East in Boston for the second year in a row. On March 23, get ready for Radio Free Nintendo’s fourth panel in the historic city, and on March 24, come see Connectivity’s second go-around showing off our game show supremacy. Additionally, follow the attending staffers on Twitter and go do fun stuff with us, ranging from playing games in the retro and modern freeplay rooms, or maybe even playing Magic with Jonny or something.

Also, remember that both panels will be recorded as very special episodes of both RFN and Connectivity. Hope you can make it, but if you can’t, we’ve got you covered.

Super Radio Free Nintendo 64 Live Panel U and MiiSaturday, March 23 at11 a.m.Arachnid Theater

Radio Free Nintendo returns to PAX East for another live panel from the Internet’s favorite Nintendo podcast! Join us for a fun,insightful discussion, humorous babble, prizes, special guests,StreetPassing, and the very popular Q&A session!

Panelists include:

  • Jonathan Metts [@jonnymetts] [Contributing Editor, Nintendo World Report]
  • James Jones [Senior Editor, Nintendo World Report]
  • Guillaume Veillette [@GuillaumeNWR][Podcast Editor, Nintendo World Report]
  • Nate Andrews [Managing Editor, Nintendo World Report]
  • and very special guest… Chris Kohler [@kobunheat] [Editor, Wired Game|Life]

NWR Connectivity Presents Who Wants to Be a Nintendoaire?Sunday, March 24 at11 a.m.Arachnid Theater

Do you think you know everything there is to know about Nintendo video games? Do you think you could totally become a Nintendoaire, if given the chance? Then get ready for Nintendo World Report’s “Who Wants To A Nintendoaire?” We’ll take as many contestants as we possibly can in an hour, and even let the audience participate, making everyone in the audience able to win a prize. If you enjoy Nintendo games, intense moments of human triumph or strife, and guerrilla reinterpretations of TV game shows, then you’ll want to see if you or one of your fellow PAX-goers becomes a Nintendoaire.

Panelists include:

  • Neal Ronaghan [@nron10] [Director, Nintendo World Report]
  • Scott Thompson [@oksoda] [Podcast Editor, Nintendo World Report]
  • Patrick Barnett [@papatch15] [ Editor, Nintendo World Report]
  • Billy Brown [@hioo1] [Photographer Extroadinaire]
  • Lauren Ronaghan [Contributing Writer, Nintendo World Report]
  • And your man on the wheels of steel, Nate Andrews [Managing Editor, Nintendo World Report]

And even more Nintendo World Report staffers will be around the convention, including Zack Kaplan [@SteelDiver], David Egolf, and Alex Culafi. And NWR Video Producer Jared Rosenberg will do crazy video stuff. It’s going to be sweet and tons of fun!

E3 2013: The Wii U Show

“To view a new installment of Nintendo Direct, which will provide updates about future Wii U games, visit http://www.nintendo.com/nintendo-direct on June 11 at 7 a.m. PT.”

With that announcement, Nintendo confirmed to me that E3 2013 will be the Wii U show (part deux). We’ll get our token 3DS mention, likely in the form of the recently announced Pokémon X/Y presentation, but for the purposes of what will physically be on the show floor, I expect Wii U, Wii U, and more Wii U.

That’s not terrible, in the grand scheme of things. 3DS essentially had its “E3″ last month, when Nintendo adopted the same format they will at E3 with a Nintendo Direct followed by a software showcase with a focus on 3DS titles such as Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, The Legend of Zelda, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and more.

Nintendo’s booth size is, according to the E3 floor plan, essentially the same it was last year, when their booth was made up of Wii Us with a few Mario and Luigi-hatted women with some 3DS systems attached to them. Don’t get me wrong; I’m excited to see the blowout for the new 3D Mario, Mario Kart Wii U, and Super Smash Bros. It should be pretty wild and potentially a lot more impressive than last year’s lineup. Of course, that blowout could be surrounded by games that were at last year’s E3, such as Pikmin 3 and The Wonderful 101, which would be a little less exciting.

Even with the excitement of these new Wii U titles, I am personally bummed out about the seeming lack of 3DS focus at E3 2013, especially after last year’s lack of 3DS focus. I love that system. However, it is important for Nintendo to show us why we should love the Wii U.

Nintendo’s move to cancel their press conference was seen by many as a sign of weakness; a white flag waved towards the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. As we get closer and plans are being fully revealed, I don’t think that’s the case. I see Nintendo using this plan to go for the jugular the only way they know how: by doing it in a special, sort-of weird way.

Nintendo Directs and other presentations will be numerous, even if it might not reach the same numbers it did on G4 and Spike TV. Nintendo is going to cut the losses on what was an underwhelming and borderline disastrous presentation last year. The plan seems to be to double down on the Wii U by presenting a variety of (hopefully good) games in the manner that has been successful for the company and their fans.

Will it reach the wider audience? Who knows. Maybe a reinvention of Wii Sports and Wii Fit will be the play towards that audience. That’s all important, but I’d rather see Nintendo make me (as a Nintendo gamer) happy before the focus is on making everyone else happy.