All posts by silvershadowfly

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Hyrule Warriors Review

The Legend of Zelda mixes its Hyrulean roots with the intense, frenetic nature of Dynasty Warriors in a new mash-up title from Koei Tecmo and Nintendo. But through its addictive gameplay and impressive visuals, the traditional Zelda atmosphere seems to get a little lost in the fray.

As a long-term fan of the Zelda franchise, it’s possibly a foolish thought to believe Hyrule Warriors would offer a similar “It’s dangerous to go alone, take this!” Zelda vibe, but as a spin-off the battle-intensive, capture-the-keep title features some truly glorious moments. While it may not be to everyone’s cup of tea, particularly those who love to pour over old maps of Hyrule and discover every puzzle detail after studying the timeline rigorously, the game’s best moments come from the ridiculously good-looking move sets and combo attacks. And having never played a Dynasty Warriors game before, I was pleasantly surprised at the quick learning curve, despite its tenacity to overwhelm newcomers.

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The blue-haired beauty Lana steps up to fight with her magical tome.

Featuring a new storyline between the white sorceress Lana and her dark counterpart Cia, Hyrule Warriors ventures into three different eras in the Zelda franchise – Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword. Due to Cia’s jealousy of Link and Zelda’s blossoming relationship, the sorceress becomes corrupt when a deep-seated evil takes root in her heart and is persuaded to open the Gate of Souls. In an attempt to recover the two remaining Triforce shards, Cia wages war on Hyrule with staple enemies from the series against the forces of light.

With 18 playable levels from Hyrule Field to the harsh Gerudo Desert, players will find an abundance of Zelda references in the game. Taking up a battle stance in Legend mode with a choice of three difficulty levels will let players explore the dramatic storyline, while Adventure mode can grant perks such as heart containers and special unlockable weapons. It’s in these extra elements – hunting the gold skulltulas, bombing rocks to uncover chests, and obliterating a keep full of enemies with a powered-up hookshot – that allows Hyrule Warriors to flourish as a love letter to the Zelda franchise. But it’s precisely due to the chaotic gameplay that players can never truly revel in their discovery.

If you’re new to Dynasty Warriors gameplay it’s easy to feel just a little out of your depth. The fast-paced style doesn’t lend itself particularly well to those who love to explore, so when it’s a choice between the lustrous golden skulltula appearing after 1,000 KOs and the allied base falling, you should know where your allegiances lie. But just before you get to East Boulder Keep, Argorok, or Gohma, there’s a patch of grass. It’s small, possibly only ten mere tufts, but there’s an instinctive feeling rumbling in your gut – the need to landscape. It doesn’t help there’s an achievement medal up for grabs on professional landscaping, nor does it help that so many Hylian Captains, Impa, or Midna needs saving. It’s just you versus those tufts of grass. But at least you can grab a few power-ups or special attack shards before you hypothetically fail the mission. It’s perilously frustrating yet addictively fun.

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The moon is still creepy years after its appearance in Majora’s Mask, but calling it down is erm, out of this world.

Aesthetically, Hyrule Warriors is gorgeous to fix your eyes on. The attention to detail on characters such as Link and Zelda is paramount in HD quality. But with considerable style comes a drop in swordplay accuracy. Boss enemies such as King Dodongo, Gohma and Manhandla suffer from physical woes. When repeatedly hacking and slashing at the enemy target to diminish their weakness gauge, playable characters can be knocked off-balance or even slip through a leg, chin, or belly and still miraculously land attacks on the enemy.

Other similar issues arise when trying to L-Target onto field enemies such as Stalmasters, Poes, Lizalfos, Moblins, and Darknuts. Throughout all four modes – Legend, Free, Adventure and Challenge – players will come across these mid-boss enemies, which are, deservedly, some of the best enemies to face against in the game. Unlike Stalchildren and Bokoblins, the mid-bosses require more thought than a simple slash from your chosen weapon. It’s the perfect time to whip out those combo attacks you’ve religiously learnt through badge crafting and test out the available power-ups.

But when a large amount of mid-bosses group together, fireballs are hurtling towards you, and a Hylian Captain just won’t stop screaming in the distance, the button bashing countdown clock begins and the L-Targeting becomes disorientating. Attacking becomes as mindless as many of the enemies. And it’s at these moments players may begin to realise their battlefield magic potions have a bit more kick to them than they had first thought.

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No time for bosses, better to hunt those gold skulltulas!

As a frenetic game, Hyrule Warriors often suffers from text lag within the game’s coding. During missions, players must frequently carry out story-specific events such as luring enemies into a magic circle, or halting boulder attacks to the allied base. Particularly prevalent when replaying missions, significant lag occurs when capturing a keep on the mission agenda before you’ve been given said in-game mission. Though players can merely leave and re-enter the keep for the mission’s success, it’s wearisome when the game relies heavily on replaying levels to unlock characters, weapons, or skulltulas.

Though the game slips into a tedious hack-and-slash title and takes a hit from occasional lags, Hyrule Warriors is furiously addictive and throws as many Zelda references into the playing field as it does enemies. And hey, listen, it’s not every day you get to play as the evil Ganondorf.

8/10

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Master Cycle Revealed As New Vehicle For Mario Kart 8’s First DLC Pack

Nintendo has revealed a new vehicle for Mario Kart 8’s first DLC pack, which is due for release next month. Joining previously announced vehicles such as the Blue Falcon and the B Dasher, the Master Cycle will give bike-users a much-needed boost on the track.

Mario Kart 8 fans can purchase the first DLC pack via the Nintendo eShop or the Nintendo Online Store. Due in November, the Zelda x Mario Kart 8 pack will contain two new cups with 8 new courses, three characters including Link, Tanooki Mario and Cat Peach, as well as four new vehicles. Check out Link on the new Master Cycle above, along with a new image of Animal Crossing’s Isabelle and villager in their chosen karts.

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Capcom Announces Monster Hunter 4G Has Surpassed 2 Million Shipments In Japan

Monster Hunter 4G has surpassed 2 million shipments in Japan according to Capcom. The publisher announced in a press release today that the open-world action game had shipped more than 2 million units in the region, which included sales from digital eShop cards and the Nintendo eShop, in just five days. It’s a monstrous success for the game as Capcom hopes to level with Monster Hunter 4’s – the previous instalment on the 3DS – sales of 4.1 million units.

Bundled with the New Nintendo 3DS, it was clear Monster Hunter 4G was going to storm the Japanese charts this week, deserving its chart-topping position. In total, the Monster Hunter franchise has now sold more than 31 million units worldwide. But to celebrate the continuous growth of the series, Capcom will also hold new events for the game, including “KariCon – Let’s Go Hunting with MH4G” taking place in five cities across Japan. Additionally, Monster Hunter Festa ’15 will begin in January 2015. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate will release for North America and Europe early next year.

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Japanese Charts: New Nintendo 3DS & LL Sells 234k, Wii U Sells 6k

This week’s Media Create sales are now in from Japan. As expected Monster Hunter 4G – or Monster Hunter Ultimate as it’s known in the west – has soared to victory, pulling in just short of 1.5 million copies. Earlier, Capcom announced in a statement to the press that the action RPG has surpassed 2 million copies for shipment in the region, which includes downloadable sales via the eShop. An unsurprising chart topping position for Monster Hunter 4G, while Super Smash Bros drops into second with a further 76k in sales.

The New Nintendo 3DS and LL models, released in Japan last weekend, have sold a total of 234k in units. As we reported earlier today, sales of the New Nintendo 3DS LL were almost three times larger than the standard new model according to Famitsu sales tracker data. Media Create records the standard New Nintendo 3DS at 70k compared to 164k for the LL.

Despite the new models launching, Nintendo 3DS & LL sales were boosted slightly to 27k in comparison to last week’s figures, while the Wii U steadily declines to 6k. You can view the top 20 software and hardware Japanese charts below.

Software Sales (followed by lifetime sales)

  1. [3DS] Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate – 1,446,289 (New)
  2. [3DS] Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS – 76,392 (1,557,829)
  3. [3DS] Yokai Watch 2: Ganso / Honke – 57,583 (2,712,909)
  4. [PS3] Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix – 21,158 (106,093)
  5. [PS4] FIFA 15 – 16,719 (New)
  6. [PS3] FIFA 15 – 16,149 (New)
  7. [PS4] Driveclub – 8,620 (New)
  8. [PSV] Danganronpa: Another Episode – 7,184 (93,113)
  9. [3DS] Nazotoki Battle Tore! Densetsu no Makyuu o Fukkatsu Saseyo! – 6,106 (102,905)
  10. [PSV] The Legend of Heroes: Sen no Kiseki II – 5,021 (102,905)
  11. [PS3] The Legend of Heroes: Sen no Kiseki II – 4,330 (79,473)
  12. [PSV] FIFA 15 – 4,253 (New)
  13. [3DS] Forbidden Magna – 4,247 (27,497)
  14. [PS3] Destiny – 4,160 (105,296)
  15. [3DS] Dragon Quest X Online – 4,151 (105,296)
  16. [Wii U] Mario Kart 8 – 3,996 (686,763)
  17. [3DS] Yokai Watch – 3,170 (1,284,799)
  18. [PSV] Ar nosurge Plus: Ode to an Unborn Star – 3,157 (12,398)
  19. [3DS] Yoshi’s New Island – 2,906 (194,510)
  20. [Wii U] Fatal Frame: Oracle of the Sodden Raven – 2,710 (37,320)

Hardware Sales (followed by last week’s sales)

  1. New 3DS LL – 164,756 (N/A)
  2. New 3DS – 70,050 (N/A)
  3. 3DS LL – 19,727 (16,130)
  4. PlayStation 4 – 11,697 (7,350)
  5. PlayStation Vita – 8,561 (13,510)
  6. 3DS – 7,340 (6,360)
  7. Wii U – 6,309 (7,805)
  8. PlayStation 3 – 4,954 (5,365)
  9. Xbox One – 809 (1,062)
  10. PlayStation Vita TV – 737 (922)
  11. Xbox 360 – 97 (80)
  12. PSP – 67 (84)
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Pokemon Global Link Will Undergo Maintenance Between November 13 – 21 To Add New ORAS Features

The Pokemon Company International has confirmed that the Pokemon Global Link will be undergoing maintenance between November 13 to 21 in order to make way for the newly announced features for Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby. As we reported yesterday, the new remakes – which are scheduled for release in late November – will showcase new Mega-Evolved forms for two legendary Pokemon: Latios and Latias. Alongside these two new reveals, players can soar into a new perspective after the main storyline and capture rare Pokemon in new secret Mirage locations.

Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire will feature a new league inside the Global Link, so players can battle with their specially caught, hatched, or gifted Pokemon in this area. The ORAS league will co-exist with the Pokemon X & Y league in the Global area after maintenance has been undertaken. Also featured on the Global Link is the ability to share your secret bases with others across the world, as well as in-game photos from Pokemon contests. Please be aware that if you are looking to use the Global Link during November 13 to the 21, you will be unable to do so.

 

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Nintendo Updates Official Smash Bros Website With New Amiibo Information

Nintendo has updated and added more information on how the upcoming Amiibo models will work in conjunction with Super Smash Bros for Wii U. The game’s official website now lists a handy guide on exactly how your trusty figure player will take form in the upcoming brawler. Given Amiibos are still shrouded in mystery, particularly the 3DS version which requires a peripheral device, it’s a neat section to brush up on your figure player knowledge.

As Sakurai announced in one of his many daily Miiverse posts, your selected Amiibo can be brought into the game by selecting the NFC icon on the bottom left-hand corner of the Wii U GamePad. This will then magically transform your Amiibo trophy into a Figure Player, which is able to level-up and fight on its own within Smash Bros. So that means the more you let your Amiibo fight, the quicker it will increase its level to the maximum of 50, allowing for much greater attack and defence stats.

According to the guide, Amiibo Figure Players will be able to take up new battle tactics the more they fight against stronger opponents, plus they’ll even bring you presents such as gold and custom parts, which can then be “fed” to your Amiibo for stat gains. You can check out all of the Amiibo features in Nintendo’s guide, here. A snippet of the guide can also be found below:

The maximum level for an FP is 50. A figure player’s levels will increase even faster if you take it to a friend’s house to play or let it fight against other FPs.

Feed equipment you pick up in the game to your figure players to raise their attack, defence and speed. You can also give a figure player up to three abilities by feeding it equipment with special attributes, and you can customise your FP’s special moves as you do with other fighters in Custom mode.

Figure players can fight on their own and will grow in ability. Depending on how they’re taught and raised, the capabilities and even the personalities of figure players will change, making each amiibo uniquely your own.

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New Nintendo 3DS & LL Models Reportedly Sold 230k On Launch Weekend In Japan

The New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS LL has reportedly sold more than 230k during its launch last weekend in Japan. According to Japanese sales tracker Famitsu, the New Nintendo 3DS LL – which was bundled with Monster Hunter 4G – sold almost three times more than the regular-sized 3DS, which includes the fancy faceplates and alternatively coloured buttons.

Figures for the new regular-sized 3DS came in at 61,151 units sold, while the 3DS LL clocked in with 172,332 units sold – accumulating 233,483 as total number of units sold. Interestingly, sales for Monster Hunter 4G came in at a whopping 1,617,949 total units sold. Official numbers will come through later today via Media Create, but there’s certainly a large hunger for new handheld hardware in Japan.