Nintendo 3DS

Welcome to the Doldrums of April! This is one of those black hole weeks, where all of the good video game releases seem to have been sucked onto other dates. For instance, this Tuesday was a wasteland, but on April 19 you'll get Mortal Kombat, SOCOM 4, and Portal 2. Holy video game overload, Batman! You'd think publishers would want to space these out a bit more. So you know, you have that busy week of gaming to look forward to.

So instead of dissecting that Alaskan hunting game which is completely Sarah Palin-free, Rob Manuel takes us into the world of indie games and Leah Jackson, freshly returned from MLG Dallas, takes us to the land of competitive eSports. We also talk about the news and goings on in your favorite industry. Check it out. You'll see.

Feedback -- Indie Games & MLG Dallas 2011 Highlights »

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LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game

Avast ye, landlubber. Hear now a salty tale of golden doubloons, Davey Jones' locker and multi-colored plastic bricks! Arr! Lego: Pirates of the Caribbean preview, ahoy! Here there be an early look at this video game, from our favorite Pirate-ess, Nikole Zivalich:

"The core gameplay mechanics from any LEGO game are still there. Gamers will be rewarded for exploring, there are plenty of items to collect, and the drop-in drop-out local co-op returns as well. What makes this game stand out is the Pirate cannon the developers were allowed to work with. There was a lot of effort into making it feel "piratey” with audio and ambiance."

Read the rest of Nikole's LEGO: Pirates of the Caribbean preview!

By Dennis Scimeca

Taking the 3D out of Nintendo's 3DS

When I first saw the Nintendo 3DS at E3 2010, I was overcome by the “wow” factor. I don’t know if anyone truly believed that Nintendo had mastered glasses-free 3D technology. But as the girls with the 3DS units tied to their belts lined up at the back of the theater, and the audience moved through the queue to view the demo units, we were made believers.

Now that we’ve rubbed the stars out of our eyes, astonishment has been replaced by the observation that 3D visuals are neat, but not necessarily impressive. The novelty has worn off a bit, and it’s also becoming clear that the 3D visuals don’t actually factor into the gameplay mechanics of any launch title for the 3DS. Nor shall they factor into the gameplay mechanics of any 3DS title on the immediate horizon. In fact, we may never see a title where they do. Not from Nintendo, anyway.

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How To Break The Nintendo 3DS's 16 Character Limit On Streetpass Greetings

Along with playing 3D games, the Nintendo 3DS allows you to broadcast a status update to anyone you Streetpass or add as a friend.  Pretty cool, right? The downside: The most you can post is 16 characters -- a weird decision on Nintendo's part, to be sure. Attack of the Show producer Scott Moschella has fixed the problem, however, with a cool web-based workaround.

Here's how it works: You use your computer or smart phone to navigate to 3DStxt.com, fill in the field with your important, long text message, and the site will spit out a URL of exactly 16 characters. Type that URL into your 3DS, and save it as your 3DS "greeting." Then, anyone who Streetpasses you or is on your friend's list will see your URL. If they enter that into a computer or smart phone, they can read your longer message and respond in a comment.

Hopefully, Nintendo will lift the 16 character limit soon, and even if they don't, when the internet browser is added, Moschella's service will be a lot more useful.

The free-to-use service is bare-bones at present, but Moschella assures me he's adding new features like custom URLs and more in the coming days. So check it out and let us know how it works for you.

Rayman 3D

Here's a review of a new Nintendo 3DS game: Rayman 3D! Wait, did I say "new?" I misspoke -- the game is new in that it's entirely in 3D, but according to our reviewer Jason D'Aprile, Rayman may look familiar:

"We appreciate Ubisoft for throwing out some kind of gaming personality. Rayman 3D, however, is definitely not the resurgence of the company’s awesome, limbless icon that players were hoping for. This is a straight port of Rayman 2: the Great Escape, an 11-year-old game first released on the N64 and Dreamcast, and since released on many other platforms."

That having been said, it's still a worthwhile game. Check out the entire Rayman 3D review.


Nintendo 3DS

Updated: 12:42 PM EST: It is always best to be skeptical of British tabloids, especially when they're reporting on video games. In spite of The Sun's claims of "record return levels," British retailers say they've received very few requests for returns of the Nintendo 3DS handheld console. GAME told MCV that is has received "fewer than five" returns, while mega-retailer HMV reports no returned 3DS systems. HMV issued a statement saying:

"Contrary to a report in today's media - which has since been corrected - we would like to make clear that we are not aware of any manufacturing fault with the 3DS console - which we have seen huge demand for, and that we have not issued any refunds for it and nor are we doing."

Orignal Story:

British tabloid The Sun is reporting "furious users" and "record return levels" of the Nintendo 3DS in the U.K.

Since the release of the 3D handheld, some gamers have reported headaches when playing with the device, and apparently some British folks are not only having headaches, but are also having trouble getting full refunds of the purchase price of the device from some retailers.

Overall, The Sun's report seems misleading. The article mentions "record return levels" but doesn't offer any evidence of these records, and in fact goes on to quote Nintendo as saying returns are "in single figures per retailer." Also, The Sun reports that "thousands" of gamers have headaches and dizziness, presumably from the device, without offering any actual backup of that statement. Plus, British tabloids are notorious for overly sensationalizing stories.

Source: The Sun

All of the best people are following Steve Johnson's twitter feed. Also, email me if you wanna.

Videogame Deathmatch Nerdfight: Steve Loves Mario and Nikole Loves Zelda Edition

Today’s Videogame Deathmatch Nerdfight pits two iconic Nintendo franchises against one another. Mario meets Legend of Zelda in a no-holds-barred battle for the hearts of gamers everywhere. Stephen Johnson is defending the honor of the great Mario, and Nikole Zivalich is reppin’ Link in the Legend of Zelda. Hopefully they'll still be friends when all this is over.  

Steve: I’m going to try to keep my temper for this Nerdfight. I’m not going to threaten to punch anyone, and I’m not going to kick anything. No more holes in the wall of my apartment. But come ON; Mario is the most iconic figure in video game history. Zelda is nice and all, but seriously, this is MARIO we’re talking about, and Mario deserves respect and reverence. Mario is a household name. Every Mario is more awesome than every other game. Mario games have been the god-standard, double-plus top of gaming since the freakin’ 1982.  Mario is universally recognized as the face of video games. There is no other franchise fit to kiss Mario’s overall-clad ass. Mario IS video games. 

Can Nikole hold out? Read more and see!

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Super Monkey Ball 3D

G4 has a twofer of Nintendo 3DS reviews for ya. Just in: Thoughtful evaluations of Bust-a-Move Universeand Super Monkey Ball 3.

While neither game is a gotta-have-it title, both have impressive 3D visuals, and really, isn't that why you wanted a Nintendo 3DS in the first place?

Here's a taste of our Super Monkey Ball 3 review.

"Fans of monkeys in balls will know just what to expect here. Given the slim pickings for the 3DS, this isn’t the worst choice for your launch title library, but it’s clear that Sega cut a few corners to get the game out with the system."

And a little bit of our Bust-A-Move Universe review:

"Aside from the lack of multiplayer, Bust-a-Move Universe is a fine example of the game. Admittedly, if you already have any of the other versions, the mere addition of shiny 3D visuals is hardly a reason to purchase yet another copy. If you’re hunting for a good puzzler specifically for the 3DS however, this is it."

Fallout: New Vegas Collector's Edition

This Week in Game Deals: April 3rd-April 9th

CheapyD at CheapAssGamer.com scours both the online and offline world for the best deals on video games, and to help out your wallets, we're bringing his weekly recap to you!

Best Buy (and Amazon) throws in a $50 gift card with the Xbox 360 4GB console.

GameStop kicks off their Power Saver Sale featuring Fallout New Vegas for $20 and many other deals.

Kmart drops Homefront to $39.99.

Target runs a buy 2, get 1 free sale on select games and accessories.

Toys R Us includes a $10 gift card when you buy select $39.99 3DS games. They will also sell you NBA 2K11 for $7.99 with the purchase of MLB 2K11.

Visit CAG for more details and the rest of this week's Sunday ad deals.

Best of the Rest

Follow Cheap Ass Gamer on Twitter at videogamedeals and ukgamedeals.

Nintendo's Weekly Download: Super Bonk, Absolute Baseball

This week's downloads from WiiWare and DSiWare include Super Bonk, a much beloved (by me, at least) Super Nintendo game as well as some Absolute Baseball for you sporty dudes out there. Check out the entire release below the "Read More" tag.

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Nintendogs and Cats 3DS Review Verdict: Adorable Goes 3D

You need to know a few things about me before we get started: one, I don't do cute. I may be a girl, but that doesn't predispose me to liking pink things, bows, or glittery picture frames proclaiming that I'm "Best Friends" with someone. Two, I'm generally tough. A few weeks ago, we were having a foot race here at the office (like we do) and I sprained my ankle. Instead of crying like a little b#%ch, I filled my trash can with a bunch of ice from the break room fridge, put my foot in it, and went on with my day. I also once punched a hole in a wall just to prove a point. That's how I roll.

Now, having said all that, I am in love with a virtual dog named Lil' Idiot. Lil' Idiot and I go on walks together, play in the park, participate in frisbee competitions, and go out for tea with our other doggie friends. I've dressed her in a yellow collar and put blue bows behind her ears. I adopted a kitten named Gary Jones, so that Lil' Idiot would have a friend to play with when I'm not around.

In short, Nintendogs and Cats has turned me into a total p*^#y, and I'm ok with that.

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Mario stands tall as an icon of the video game industry, although sometimes it seems like North American has co-opted the guy and made him an honorary citizen. Nintendo has been very forgiving, even though we made the entirely forgettable (and so laughably bad that now it's enjoyable) Super Mario Bros. movie, and the Super Mario Bros. Super Show! He's nearly right up there with Mickey Mouse and Superman, even though he's truly Japanese.

So how strange is it that we're pitting him against something as American as John Madden and his ginormous football franchise? That game has the words National Football League in the title every year, so you're playing around with some of the very foundations of American culture while you're at it. A Videogame Deatchmatch that puts a Japanese gaming legend up against the legendary American football franchise? Seems crazy. And it is.

I'll admit right here that I back Mario in this Nerdfight, and I'm pretty sure he's going to trounce Madden like the Carolina Panthers got pwned last year. But Mike takes the ball and runs with it, making a few things personal in the process. Read on to see how this Nerdfight goes, and why Mike is off my Christmas card list. Plus, don't forget to vote right now and see if pigskin can beat plumber!

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By now you've either picked up a Nintendo 3DS, plan on picking one up, or want nothing to do with the thing at all. What category do you think we fall into? We've been checking the system out for a couple of weeks now, and Feedback is ready to tell you exactly what we think about it., in every dimension available to us. Which is technically four, if you cound time. Right? I don't know. I'm not Einstein.

We also delve into the world of WWE All-Stars, talk about Tiger Woods and his swinging ... in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters. We also answer your questions, talk about the news, and generally just devolve into gaming mayhem. You know, the same thing we do every week on Feedback. Join host Adam Sessler, along with guests Matt "I Bought A 3DS" Keil, Mike "Sign Me Up For Sweaty Men" D'Alonzo, and Dana "Check Out My Sexy Sick Voice" Vinson as they talk about the issues you want to hear about.

Feedback -- Nintendo 3DS Wrestles WWE All Stars »

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Fez creator Phil Fish won't be making any games for Nintendo's WiiWare anytime soon. During an interview with Destructoid, Mr. Fish mentioned how many classic Nintendo games inspired him. He cited Zelda and Super Metroid as inspiration. But don't confuse his admiration for Nintendo's past with the chance he wants to develop a game for Nintendo's current console, the Wii. Keep reading to see Mr. Fish's strong words on the issue.

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E3 2010: Nintendo 3DS Images

In spite of the reported sales success of the Nintendo 3DS handheld, Nintendo says the next console the company releases won't be in 3D.

Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime said in a recent interview with CNN, "Glasses-free is a big deal. We've not said publicly what the next thing for us will be in the home console space, but based on what we've learned on 3D, likely, that won't be it."

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