Online gaming publication Eurogamer has awarded the fantastic Super Mario Galaxy for the Wii as the game of the generation. The publication says that the game could well be the pinnacle of Mario’s career as there’s the unmistakable sense of a great idea reaching its fullest, and perhaps final, expression. Mario’s iconic adventure was released back in 2007 and received incredible reviews upon release. The game currently has a Metacritic score of 97 which puts it inline with its brilliant sequel, Super Mario Galaxy 2.
The sense of creative freedom is unparalleled. Once Mario’s designers had kicked themselves free of gravity and were swimming amongst the stars, they found that space allowed them to do anything they wanted. And so they did anything they wanted. Manta-ray surfing on a stiff little tube of twisting water? A marriage of crazy golf and pinball that hangs, stoically, above a black hole? Why not have an asteroid serving as the roost for a towering three-legged robot, and another that’s home to an enormous molten octopus, too? Why not lay on hollow planets, glass planets, planets like deserts and planets like desserts? Why not throw in a video game joke that’s been three decades in the construction: an ice level that comes with a lava level clamped to its back?
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Online gaming publication Eurogamer has joined EDGE magazine in saying that the Wii U is the best choice of console this Christmas. The publication points to Super Mario 3D World as a prime reason to own the struggling console along with The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD and Pikmin 3. Whether these opinion pieces will be enough to change the fortunes of the failing console once the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One launch remains to be seen. Still, it’s certainly nice to have some good coverage for once.
Inject a little Tokyo EAD magic into that back catalogue and it’s hard to deny that the Wii U’s line-up eclipses those of the Xbox One and PS4 – and so it should after its lengthy headstart. Is it enough to turn the tide, though? That’s a harder ask, but there are at least signs that Nintendo’s beginning to push the console in the right direction.
Nintendo is supporting indie developers like never before at Eurogamer Expo 2013 with a special zone showcasing some of the best indie talent to grace Nintendo’s current consoles.
The developers of indie games Q.U.B.E: Director’s Cut, Scram Kitty and his Buddy on Rails, Tengami, Coaster Crazy Deluxe, Knytt Underground, Putty Squad and Steam World Dig will attend Eurogamer Expo alongside Nintendo. There will also be nine brand new games available to play including the first playable Wii U demo of Tengami. Indie games available on stand include:
- Q.U.B.E: Director’s Cut
- Scram Kitty and his Buddy on Rails
- Knytt Underground
- Coaster Crazy Deluxe
- SteamWorld Dig
- Shantae & the Pirate’s Curse
- Retro City Rampage
- Putty Squad
Based on 14 critics, Ubisoft’s Wii U-exclusive game, ZombiU, currently holds a 72/100 on Metacritic. Eurogamer praised the game for ‘taking a new path,’ and awarded it with a 9/10. Although Destructoid said ZombiU is awkward, ugly and often nonsensical, it awarded the game with an 8/10.
Greg Miller, the executive editor of IGN PlayStation, said ZombiU‘s controls are ‘clunky, melee combat is annoying, and the game doesn’t look good,’ and gave it a 6.3/10. GameSpot said ZombiU has an ‘uninteresting world and dull combat,’ and gave the game a 4.5/10 – its lowest score yet.
ZombiU can be purchased in North America via the Nintendo eShop for Wii U and/or at retail.
Eurogamer have revised their headline that claimed Sega said Wii U graphics are on-par with current generation consoles. Now they make it clear that developer Sumo Digital was actually referring to the graphics of the Wii U version of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, rather than the Wii U console’s graphics. Eurogamer apologizes for the confusion that the original article has caused.
Eurogamer’s Revised Headline: Sega: Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed Wii U graphics on-par with PlayStation 3 version, “maybe even better”
UPDATE: We’ve updated the headline of this article to better reflect the content of the story. Sega was referring to the visuals of Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed on Wii U compared to the visuals of the other versions, not the graphics capabilities of the Wii U itself. Sorry for the confusion this has caused.
It was recently reported that Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed developer Sumo Digital said Wii U graphics are on-par with current generation consoles. This claim was actually stated by Eurogamer, not the developer. When Sumo Digital was talking about Wii U graphics, it was in fact referring to the Wii U version of Sega’s upcoming racing game, which is graphically “on-par” with current generation consoles or “maybe even better.”
Eurogamer’s Headline: Sega: Wii U graphics on-par with PlayStation 3, “maybe even better”
Eurogamer’s First Sentence: British developer Sumo Digital’s new Sonic racer is graphically “on-par” with current generation consoles – “or maybe even better”, according to publisher Sega.
Update: Eurogamer Apologizes For Misleading Wii U Graphics Headline
Eurogamer weren’t particularly enamoured with New Super Mario Bros 2 for the Nintendo 3DS. The publication believes that the New Super Mario Bros series has now become a factory-made annual franchise which is sorely lacking creativity and originality. Here’s a few choice extracts from their review.
The shocking thing isn’t that Nintendo’s Super Mario series – once the byword for creativity, a sacred cow of game design that could reliably be expected to change everything, every time – has become one of those factory-made annual franchises. It’s that the developers working under Shigeru Miyamoto at the company’s Kyoto headquarters – the team that made this latest outing on 3DS – is now the reserve squad.
He hops and bops through retreads and remixes of his 2D heyday to a recognisable, jaunty tune, occasionally flashing a gimmick to earn the disingenuous prefix of the game’s title – but it’s Tokyo’s Mario that’s really new. Like its predecessors on DS and Wii, and surely like the Wii U version that will appear in a few months’ time, New Super Mario Bros. 2 is an old dog doing old tricks.
But the problem is that it’s not one of a dozen such new ideas in New Super Mario Bros. 2. It stands alone, exposed, and as such starts to look like a gaudy distraction from the sad truth: with this series, Nintendo is overworking one of the all-time great game designs to the extent that it’s starting to wear thin. This is a high-quality game by anyone’s standards, but that doesn’t change the fact that I spent a good deal of my time playing it feeling blasphemously bored.
Eurogamer recently went hands-on with Wii U. During their trial, the Wii U GamePad’s image did not lag behind the television screen and, as a matter of fact, Wii U’s controller rendered faster than the TV. Eurogamer claims that the Wii U GamePad’s connectivity with the TV is significantly better than the PlayStation Portable’s “heavily buffered Remote Play feature.”
“Latency also factors into the equation when using any wireless device, and memories of the PSP’s heavily buffered Remote Play feature have us hoping for a significantly reduced delay between the higher and lower screens. Fortunately, we’re pleased to find that latency here is impossible to pick out without some exacting method of measure. In testing the difference, we find results that completely subvert our expectations here; in instances where gameplay is mirrored between the two, the GamePad screen actually renders the image 116ms before the 50-inch LG screen does.”
Sonic games of recent times have unfortunately never had the same amount of critical praise lavished upon them as Sonic games of the 16 bit era. Takashi Iizuka from the Sonic Team attempts to explain why.
How do you feel when you read old-school Sonic fans slagging off the Sonic franchise and what it’s become?
Takashi Iizuka: The fundamentals of both games, the 3D Sonic or the 2D side-scrolling games, are the same. Sonic is all about the speed and the platforming. It just comes down to how the gameplay differs when you’re playing in 3D and 2D side-scrolling.
I understand there are differences in the ways users interpret the 3D side than the fans who particularly like the 2D classic side of the game.
This is why we’re releasing two different types of Sonic games this year – to please the 2D classic fans who have been playing from the Genesis [Mega Drive]. Sonic 4 is more for those fans.
There are also fans who like the 3D Sonic games which have been released in the past couple of years. Sonic Colours is probably more for the users who appreciate the 3D side of Sonic.
But how do the negative comments make you feel? Do you ignore them?
Takashi Iizuka: It’s more that those fans are not positive towards the recent 3D Sonic games because we’ve been releasing only 3D Sonic games in the past couple of years.
It’s hard to please both 2D and 3D fans at the same time, in the same title for instance.
This is why the team decided to release two different types of Sonic games. It’s always hard to dodge every negative perception or make everybody happy with just one title. So we’re giving two options to the users.
- Takashi Iizuka, Sonic Team
Sony’s president of Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida has informed Eurogamer that he would prefer Japanese gamers to show more interest in so called ‘next gen’ gaming rather than the novelty products showcased for Wii.
If it continues that way forever, it’s not a good thing for us. But I’m saying what Microsoft is offering and what we are offering are closer, compared to what other platforms are offering. Because of that commonality, the new games coming out on 360 and PS3 help to get consumers more interested in this generation of gaming.