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What’s downloadable this week, Nintendo? 12/20//2012

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The latest Nintendo downloads have hit the scene. Every current platform from the company has new downloadable content. What's good? What's not so good? Check it all out right here as we look at this week's digital offerings from Nintendo.

The Wii U has two game show games, Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. They're both priced at $49.99, and they're both published by THQ. And then some people wonder why that company filed for bankruptcy. Sheesh! Things on WiiWare aren't looking that great. We've got Vampire Crystals for 1000 Wii Points. You can also download the demo if you'd rather not purchase a game titled Vampire Crystals.

The 3DS eShop is stacked with a number of new and old games. The first title is 3D Game Collection, which sounds like a mini-game compilation that's priced at $5.99. Also available is escapeVektor for $9.99. That one was a lot of fun on WiiWare. The puzzle game Pix3D is downloadable for $3.99. If you want, you can download a demo of the horribly titled 2 Fast 4 Gnomz. Then there's Wario Land 2 for $4.99. Not bad for a rad Game Boy Color era platformer.

Some retail games are also now purchasable on the 3DS eShop. Bit.Trip Saga collects the current series of Bit.Trip games and offers them up for just $14.99. Also up for download are Mario Tennis Open, Pilotwings Resort, Pokemon Rumble Blast, and Riding Stables 3D.

DSiWare also has a few offerings. The first is Anonymous Notes Chapter 3: From the Abyss, a silly-looking action-RPG that will run you 200 DSi Points. Cake Ninja: XMAS is a Fruit Ninja rip-off that's trying to capitalize on the spirit of the holidays. That one's 200 DSi Points, too. Last is Castle Conqueror: Heroes 2. For 500 DSi Points you can conquer castles, so there's that.

Want to talk about indie games, Kirby, or cheap pizza? Follow me on Twitter @dr_davidsanchez.

Tags: Nintendo downloads, Wario Land 2, Bit.Trip Saga, escapeVektor

By David Sanchez

So Renegade Kid made a DS demo for a Crash Bandicoot game

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Mutant Mudds developer Renegade Kid was apparently working on (or going to work on) a Crash Bandicoot game a few years back. This is evidenced by a never-before-seen demo for a DS title called Crash Landed.

The demo, which you can check out below, looks like a very early build of the 3D platformer. For what it's worth, it seems like it could've been a neat game even if the gameplay in this demo is noticeably underwhelming.

Also, is it just me or is Crash one ugly fellow? Seriously, that face …

[Nintendo World Report]

Want to talk about indie games, Kirby, or cheap pizza? Follow me on Twitter @dr_davidsanchez.

Tags: Crash Bandicoot, Crash Landed, Renegade Kid

By David Sanchez

LEGO The Lord of the Rings demo discs are the actual game

LEGO The Lord of the Rings on  Image / Screenshot

LEGO LotR

The demo discs that accidentally shipped with the Xbox 360 version of LEGO The Lord of the Rings are actually full game discs, only falsely labeled, says Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

The publisher issued a statement after a number of game boxes were found with a disc marked "demo" inside.

WBIE said this error only affects certain shipments to Walmart, Target, and Toys ‘R’ Us, which it's recalling from the retailers. The mix-up doesn't apply to any other version of the game.

"Consumers who purchased a copy of the Xbox 360 version of the game with the disc labeling error can contact customer support via email at support@wbgames.com or phone at 410-568-3680 for a replacement disc," the statement read.

The goof does make you wonder how these things happen in the first place.

LEGO The Lord of the Rings released yesterday for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, and Wii and on October 30 for PlayStation Vita, Nintendo 3DS, and DS.

Follow @wita on Twitter.

[Game Informer]

Tags: LEGO The Lord of the Rings, Warner Bros.

By Stephanie Carmichael

Weekly wrap-up: NYCC 2012 edition

Dishonored on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 Image / Screenshot

Dishonored Image

It’s a big week for gaming, folks. Not only are we playing games like Dishonored and Worms Revolution, but we’re also in the middle of New York Comic Con, which is providing plenty of geek fan service. To kick off the weekend, we present to you, the GameZone faithful, with our weekly wrap-up of reviews, previews, and original editorial content. Check it all out here.

Reviews

Dishonored will feed your hunger for revenge, and satisfy it (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)

While it takes a short while to really get going, this steampunk-inspired adventure ultimately takes off and delivers on its pre-release hype.

iControlPad is mobile gaming's messiah (Gadgets)

If you’re looking for an outstanding controller option to play your mobile games, you really can’t go wrong with the iControlPad.

FIFA 13 on PS Vita feels like a repeat (Vita)

Is this game of handheld soccer any fun? Yes, it most certainly is. Sadly, it’s the same game we already played six months ago.

Marvel vs. Capcom: Origins review (Xbox 360, PS3)

Capcom successfully delivers an enjoyable throwback to the days of old school 2D crossover fighters.

One Piece: Pirate Warriors stays faithful to the series, but suffers from repetition (PS3)

Despite the gameplay’s appeal wearing thin quite soon into the experience, this anime-based title still has a few interesting moments.

Worms Revolution review (Xbox 360, PS3)

Team17 delivers one hell of a turn-based artillery experience with the return of its Worms series, which is pretty triumphant for the most part.

FTL: Faster Than Light video review (PC)

This spaceship sim delivers a unique take on the roguelike formula and is incredibly addictive.

Previews

Adventure Time steals the show, this time on 3DS

Despite being based on a preexisting license, this upcoming handheld title is proving to be a total blast to play.

[NYCC 2012] The Unfinished Swan is a work of art … literally

It’s unique, it’s fresh, and it’s incredibly artistic. This upcoming PlayStation Network title has all the potential to be a winner.

[NYCC 2012] Wonderbook 'Book of Spells' is just as cool as I thought it would be

Despite being a bit offbeat, it’s evident that there are some solid gameplay foundations in this upcoming game from Sony.

[NYCC 2012] PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale leaves a lasting impression

The PlayStation 3 and Vita crossover fighter is looking more and more worthwhile with every passing update and press event.

Medal of Honor: Warfighter beta impressions

If you’re a fan of military shooters, you should definitely keep a lookout for the upcoming Medal of Honor: Warfighter.

[NYCC 2012] The Last of Us shows off more of the same

While we’re not questioning the game’s quality, it would seem that Sony continues to show us the same content as far as The Last of Us is concerned.

[NYCC 2012] God of War: Ascension is equal parts brutal and kick-ass

If you’re looking to add more God of War to your life, Ascension seems to deliver exactly that, which is to say it’ll probably be badass.

[NYCC 2012] Tomb Raider even manages to make hunting deer seem intense

Crystal Dynamics’ fresh take on the Lara Croft character is interesting and emotional, and it may actually manage to pull players into a riveting experience come launch.

Kevin Smith and cast of Comic Book Men talk Season 2 at NYCC Panel

GameZone gets a sneak peak at season 2 of AMC’s comic book-themed reality show.

[NYCC 2012] Injustice: Gods Among Us plays just as good as it looks

2013 is almost here, and already we’ve got one hell of a fighting game to look forward to.

[NYCC 2012] Hitman Absolution is pure stealth assassin bliss

Agent 47’s upcoming stealth-action romp looks to be an exciting adventure rife with assassination.

GZ Originals

Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn interview: Executive Producers Josh Feldman and Lydia Antonini

GameZone gets the skinny on this upcoming live-action Halo endeavor straight from the producers.

Borderlands 2 Class Breakdown: Maya the Siren

Thinking of playing as Maya in Borderlands 2? Check out our class breakdown.

How will Cliff Bleszinski’s departure from Epic affect Gears of War Judgment?

Cliffy B has left Epic Games. How will that affect the future of Gears of War, starting with the upcoming Judgment?

That awkward moment when you know the Akinator knows: League of Legends champions

It’s scary that this digital genie knows his League of Legends.

Borderlands 2 Class Breakdown: Salvador the Gunzerker

We give you the skinny on Salvador the Gunzerker from Borderlands 2.

Nitpick: How cheap is death?

Seriously, why is cheap death even a thing in video games?

Want to talk about indie games, Kirby, or cheap pizza? Follow me on Twitter @dr_davidsanchez.

Tags: Reviews Previews, GZ Originals, NYCC 2012, Dishonored

By David Sanchez

New 3DS XL bundles for Japan (patience for the rest)

Nintendo 3DS XL on  Image / Screenshot

Nintendo 3DS XL Image

If you are a huge Nintendo fan, you know by now that Japan gets all the awesome stuff either exclusively or first. The whole “headquarters being there” makes a big different, apparently. Well this is but another example of this. Three new bundles and designs are coming out for the 3DS XL. As far as we know now, these are for Japan only. The bundles below are as follows:

  • Monster Hunter TriG (all black) – November 1st for 21,800 yen / ~$280
  • Animal Crossing (white and pattern) – November 8th for 22,800 yen / ~$290
  • New Super Mario Bros. 2 (black and red) –November 15th for 22,800 yen / ~$290

So if you’re not in Japan or into importing, it’s time to play the waiting and hoping game. The good news is that you at least get to pick out which one is your favorite until then. That’s something to do, I guess.

Monster Hunter 3DS XL

New Super Mario Bros. 2 3DS XL

[Engadget via Nintendo]

Historian, teacher, writer, gamer, cheat master, and tech guru: follow on Twitter @AndrewC_GZ

Tags: Nintendo 3DS XL, Nintendo, Japan, Monster Hunter TriG, Animal Crossing, New Super Mario Bros. 2

By Andrew Clouther

What’s downloadable this week, Nintendo? 1/3/2013

Unchained Blades on  Image / Screenshot

Unchained Blades Image

It's a new year and another Thursday which means that there are some new downloadable Nintendo titles. This week we've only got a handful of digital games across the 3DS and DSi. Let's check out the Nintendo downloads that kicked off 2013, shall we?

The first game on the 3DS eShop is the sports-action download Air Battle Hockey 3D for $4.99. The enjoyable retro RPG Code of Princess is also getting a digital release this week, and it's available for $39.99. Also on tap is Gunman Clive, an action-platformer that has a neat hand-drawn look to it, for $1.99. Last is the 3DS debut of Unchained Blades for $29.99.

DSiWare is also on the receiving end of some downloadable games, but there are only two this week. The first is Galaxy Saver, an old school arcade-looking shooter that's priced at $1.99. Then there's Snowboard Xtreme for $1.99. Seriously, that one doesn't need any explanation. It's a snowboarding game with the fake word "xtreme" in the title.

Want to talk about indie games, Kirby, or cheap pizza? Follow me on Twitter @dr_davidsanchez.

Tags: Nintendo downloads, Unchained Blades

By David Sanchez

What’s downloadable this week, Nintendo? 1/10/2013

ZombiU on Wii U Image / Screenshot

ZombiU Image

This week is looking a bit light as far as Nintendo downloads are concerned. Still, a few titles were released, as well as a couple of Wii U demos, so let's check 'em out, shall we?

No new content on the Wii U this week. Instead, we've just got the aforementioned demos. If you've yet to play NBA 2K13 or ZombiU on Nintendo's latest console, you can check out trial versions of both and see if you like them.

Digital content on the Wii is also a bit bare, with retro fighter World Heroes 2 being the only game available on the Virtual Console. You can download that for 900 Wii Points.

The 3DS eShop has quite a few games available for download, none of which look especially great. For $4.99, you can play virtual pet simulator 101 DinoPets 3D. I'm assuming people will get bored after the fifth dinosaur. There's also Hello Kitty Picnic with Sanrio Friends (no price info) and Reel Fishing 3D Paradise Mini for $3.99, both of which sound like riveting action games. If you don't want to hunt for fish, you can hunt for deer in Wild Adventures: Ultimate Deer Hunt 3D for $3.99.

Last is the sole DSiWare download of the week. Biorhythm is, well, a thing about, like, measuring your emotions or something. Whatever it is, it costs $1.99.

Want to talk about indie games, Kirby, or cheap pizza? Follow me on Twitter @dr_davidsanchez.

Tags: Nintendo downloads

By David Sanchez

Dementium dev clarifies 3DS piracy comments

Dementium II - NDS on DS Image / Screenshot

Dementium II - NDS Image

Mutant Mudds and Dementium developer Jools Watsham has once again taken to his blog, but this time to clarify earlier comments he made regarding piracy on the Nintendo 3DS.

In a post written last month, Watsham expressed concern regarding the progress being made in hacking the 3DS. After recalling the effect piracy had on the original Nintendo DS, Watsham warned that if it got bad enough on the 3DS he would have "no choice but to stop supporting the platform with new games." Some interpreted this as an attack on Nintendo and responded with rude and hateful comments.

In a follow up post, written today, Watsham sought out to clarify his comments. He assured he is not taking a stand against piracy or taking his business elsewhere in protest.

"What this means is if we cannot make money from developing games we can no longer develop games," Watsham explained. "That is what can happen if piracy gets bad. If enough people choose to illegally obtain copies of my games for free instead of paying for them, it directly affects my business and my home."

"I understand that piracy is always going to exist, and that every market has some form of piracy," he added. "I accept that piracy will exist on the 3DS. The question is how much is it affecting the market? Some markets maintain a healthy business environment alongside piracy. I believe this is due to many factors, not least of which is the service provided in that market."

In his prior post, Watsham suggested his past gameDementium IIwas a victim of piracy on the DS. Watsham did acknowledge that piracy will always exist in some form and that he didn't think there was a solution to it.

"We just need to make sure the price of games is affordable," he suggested. "We need to make it easy to buy and own games. The availability and access player's have to their games needs to be at least as easy and convenient as the ROM sites make it to illegally download a game file. Ideally, it should be better."

"I hope this helps explain where I was coming from a little better. We have games planned for the 3DS into 2014. Our support of the 3DS platform couldn’t be stronger," Watsham concluded. "I expect the cynics out there will discard my words as an attempt to just smooth things over. No. I just want to try and get my original intent communicated. That is all."

You probably already know my stance on pirating; and that's that pirating is wrong. As someone in the industry, I see the effects it has on developers. Just see what it's doing to app developers.

Tags: Nintendo 3DS

By Matt Liebl

Weekly wrap-up: Thanksgiving leftover sandwich edition

Hitman: Absolution on PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 Image / Screenshot

Hitman: Absolution Image

Thanksgiving has come and gone, but you know you’re still viciously slamming yourself face first into a pile of mashed potatoes or concocting a sandwich made up entirely of delicious leftovers. Well, that’s the case with this edition of GameZone’s weekly wrap-up. We’ve got load of content ranging from reviews to editorials, and it’s enough to leave you feeling satisfied. We’re covering two weeks of gaming goodness here, so be prepared to feel stuffed.

Reviews

Review: Generic DS brawler (guest starring the Thundercats)

Oh, Thundercats, why did you have to be so bad? Seriously, even the level of nostalgia was lacking in this beat ‘em up.

Review: Midway Arcade Origins reminds us of a time when games were meant to kick our a**

This compilation of 31 classic arcade titles will bestow unforgiving gameplay upon everyone who dares touch it.

Review: Skyfall aims for the heart and soul of Bond

James Bond’s latest adventure is fast-paced and action-packed, and it may be his best outing yet.

The Walking Dead recap and review: 'Say the Word' slows it down, even as Rick goes nuts

What happens as The Walking Dead delves deeper into Rick’s slowly deteriorating mind?

Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 another electrifying entry from Treyarch

Black Ops 2 delivers yet another incredible military FPS experience, right down to its addictive multiplayer and meaningful campaign.

Review: F1 Race Stars is Mario Kart meets Formula One

We’ve already seen kart racers like this before, but that doesn’t mean this one’s a complete bore. F1 Race Stars is an unoriginal yet entertaining racer.

Review: Angry Birds Star Wars proves that hokey religions and ancient weapons are a perfect match for Angry Birds

If you’ve been following either Angry Birds or Star Wars, you should probably check out this mobile title.

Review: Persona 4 Golden is all that glitters

Atlus delivers one hell of a Persona game and gives fans of the genre and the series something to really enjoy wholeheartedly.

Review: Pokemon Black and White 2 plays it safe and feels a bit too familiar

The latest Pokemon releases may not exactly be groundbreaking, but they’re still as enjoyable as the series has ever been.

Review: Transformers Prime for 3DS is rusty but surprisingly well-oiled

3DS-owning Transformers fans are in store for a satisfying and rewarding beat ‘em up romp.

Review: Ragnarok Tactics is great, if a little on the easy side

This tactical RPG for PSP is an awesome adventure that’s totally memorable, even if it isn’t all that challenging.

Review: Paper Mario: Sticker Star sees the brilliant return of our favorite paper plumber

Mario is back in paper form and provides a truly wonderful 3DS experience.

Review: Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is a love letter to both kart racing and Sega

The latest Sonic racer isn’t just a love letter to the Sega brand — it’s also a love letter to fans of kart racers everywhere.

Review: Call of Duty Black Ops Declassified is big letdown for Vita owners

Stick to the console version of Black Ops 2, because this military FPS on the Vita is an absolute mess.

Review: Dokuro is a puzzler's paradise

With its charming art style and clever puzzles, this Vita title is certainly worth playing.

Review: Pokédex 3D Pro is exactly what it should be

Its somewhat hefty $15 price tag notwithstanding, this 3DS app is great for fans of the tiny pocket-sized critters.

Review: Cabela's Hunting Expeditions shoots itself in the foot – twice

Smashing a cockroach is probably more fun than playing this weak hunting game.

Review: Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two isn't all that epic

Though there’s some genuine entertainment to be had with Mickey and Oswald’s colorful romp, it still has a few glaring weaknesses.

Review: The Sims 3 Seasons brings good cheer

This expansion to The Sims 3 is a wholesome experience for fans of the series looking for a bit of festive cheer.

Review: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale a must-have for Sony fans

Sony’s crossover fighter is a highly entertaining fighting game experience worth checking out.

Review: ZombiU has annoyances, but still scares you silly

Wii U owners get a delightfully frightening game with ZombiU. It’s great to see a return to form for survival horror.

Review: Breaking Dawn Part 2 is Twilight at its most tolerable

This may be the least annoying movie in the Twilight series, but that doesn’t mean it’s any good.

The Walking Dead recap and review: 'Hounded' brings us the collision we've all been waiting for

We’re treated to one of the most exciting episodes of The Walking Dead yet.

Review: Nintendo Land is a shining example of a launch title

This is a prime example of both a console pack-in and a mini-game collection done right. Cheers to Nintendo Land for being way cooler than Wii Sports.

Review: New Super Mario Bros. U is classic platforming, with an HD coat

Mario makes his HD debut in prime fashion, delivering a great 2D platforming romp appropriate for Wii U owners.

Review: Lego Lord of the Rings is precious stuff

Lord of the Rings fans, here’s your stellar Lego game. Enjoy it for all of its awesomeness.

Review: Hitman Absolution is deadly, clean and precise

Agent 47 is back in one of the most memorable entries in the Hitman franchise to date.

Review: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale Vita makes portable brawling a powerful reality

This Sony-branded fighter is just as fun on the Vita as it is on the PlayStation 3.

Review: Rise of the Guardians the movie stands above traditional mushy Holiday fare

If you’re looking for a great holiday flick, Rise of the Guardians delivers the goods.

Review: Red Dawn is what Homefront should have been

Great characters and awesome action make this film a fun watch for moviegoers.

Review: Life of Pi shows beauty, says too much

This movie may not be all that memorable, but it’s certainly a visual treat.

Review: Pid is a beautiful yet underwhelming puzzle platformer that's easy to adore and difficult to enjoy

This puzzle platformer is amazingly lovely to look at. It’s just not very fun to play.

Review: Tank! Tank! Tank! is repetitive but rambunctious fun! fun! fun!

It may get a bit monotonous, but this Wii U launch title is still worth checking out.

Review: Transformers Prime – The Game provides good fan service, but motion controls get in the way of the fun

If you’re a Transformers Prime fan, the recent Wii adaptation may be for you. Just expect a lot of Wiimote waggle.

Tags: Reviews, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Hitman: Absolution, The Walking Dead, Movies

By David Sanchez

Adventure Time demo now available on Nintendo eShop

Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd you steal our garbage? on 3DS and DS Image / Screenshot





If you've been on the fence about the new Adventure Time game for the DS and 3DS, starting today, you'll be able to try the game out in a playable demo. The demo can be downloaded directly from the Nintendo eShop.

We reviewed the game, and really liked it. It's not perfect, but if you're an Adventure Time fan, you're probably going to love it. Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d you steal our garbage?!! features a whacky storyline involving the quest to reclaim Finn and Jake's stolen garbage across the Land of Ooo.

Once you play the demo, you can pick up the DS or 3DS version, as it's available in stores.

Tags: Adventure Time, 3DS, DS, Demo, Nintendo

By Mike Splechta

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