May 17, 2013 | 10:35 a.m.
This post has been corrected, as indicated below. “Sonic Lost World,” the latest adventure to feature Sonic the Hedgehog, will be released exclusively to the Wii U and hand-held 3DS consoles, part of a multigame agreement destined to boost Sonic’s presence on Nintendo’s next-generation system, Sega and Nintendo have confirmed. Although a release date has not been set for “Sonic Lost World,” the title is said to be a new action platform game. More information about the game is expected prior to the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles during the week of June 11. Sonic will also topline another new title announced Friday, “Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games,” coming soon to the Wii U. Once intended to give Sega and its Genesis platform an iconic character to rival Nintendo and its famed Super […]
May 15, 2013 | 7:16 a.m.
Video gamers will soon have the opportunity to create their own superheroes for the DC Comics universe. Or turn Batman into a zombie. Or suggest Superman wear a pink cape and ride a unicorn. But don’t try to give Batman a gun. Some things will never change. This fall 5th Cell and Warner Bros. Interactive will release “Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure” for the Wii U, 3DS and PC. The latest in the Scribblenauts franchise looks to be an expansive, puzzle-based adventure that makes use of the heroes, villains and locations made famous by the worlds featured in the 75-plus years of DC Comics. And some of the not so famous, too. “For the first time in any game we have all the DC Comics characters,” said Caleb Arseneaux, a 5th Cell producer. “The entire roster — characters who appeared in […]
Feb. 14, 2013 | 1:35 p.m.
Nintendo declared 2013 to be the “Year of Luigi” on Thursday, putting Mario’s perpetual sidekick in the spotlight with several new game announcements. Addressing Nintendo fans by way of one of the company’s “Nintendo Direct” addresses, President Satoru Iwata donned a Luigi hat of his own, applauding the nearly 30-year-old character’s patience sitting in Mario’s shadow. “Luigi has appeared in many games since then, but most of them in a supporting role. And even though he has appeared in so many games, he is still timid after all of these years,” Iwata said, keying off more details about the upcoming 3DS game “Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon.” Set for release March 24, “Dark Moon” is the sequel to the original “Luigi’s Mansion,” which debuted alongside the GameCube in 2001. Nintendo mastermind Shigeru Miyamoto, in his first Nintendo Direct appearance, touted the […]
Jan. 23, 2013 | 1:06 p.m.
Nintendo’s Wii U launched in November with a new entry in the “Super Mario Bros.” series, but missing in action were some of the game makers’ top-flight brands, namely “Mario Kart” and its “Legend of Zelda” franchise. Nintendo is quiet no more on its plans for each series, and in announcing today Wii U editions for each, the company pledged that it would completely “rethink the conventions of ‘Zelda.’” What, exactly, does that mean for the series, which recently completed a 25th anniversary celebration? Nintendo offered a few hints, as producer Eiji Aonuma promised a game that would include some form of multiplayer option as well as more of an open-world design. “I’m referring,” Aonuma said in the latest installment of Nintendo Direct, “to things such as the player is supposed to complete the dungeons in a certain order. That you […]
Dec. 14, 2012 | 9:00 a.m.
Pick almost any year since 2005 in cinema, and it can pretty safely be labeled the year of the superhero. In much the same way, video games have been celebrating the year of the first-person shooter genre for at least half a decade. Despite the glut, not many of those gaming titles can make you cry, but “The Unfinished Swan” just might. The latter is from the perspective of a 9-year-old boy, one who just lost his mother and wants to make his father proud. His weapon? A magic paintbrush. It’s a moving narrative that is just one small part of a shifting conversation on the gaming landscape. Ever since Nintendo’s 2006 console the Wii and the explosion of the mobile and tablet gaming sector penetrated the market, the race has changed. Titles such as Telltale’s “The Walking Dead,” Thatgamecompany’s […]
Dec. 08, 2012 | 10:00 a.m.
Attendees and home viewers of the 10th edition of Spike TV’s Video Game Awards were treated to trailer after trailer for games that showcased new ways to shoot things, new places to shoot things and the post-traumatic effects of having shot lots of things. Yet despite the emphasis on blockbuster games that have yet to be released, this year’s Video Game Awards were ultimately a celebration of the little games that could. “The Walking Dead,” a serial title inspired by the Robert Kirkman comics, was named game of the year, upsetting a host of action/suspense titles such as “Assassin’s Creed 3,” “Mass Effect 3″ and “Dishonored.” Its publisher, the Bay Area’s independent Telltale Games, was declared studio of the year. Meanwhile, L.A.’s own Thatgamecompany received three trophies for its meditative, abstract game of exploration “Journey,” including best independent game and best PS3 game. […]
Nov. 21, 2012 | 6:00 a.m.
Shhh … listen. Nintendo’s new home console the Wii U has been out for about two days now, and if everyone gets really quiet you can probably hear someone somewhere fighting over whose turn it is to control the GamePad. The GamePad, of course, is Nintendo’s new controller, and it’s modeled after a touchscreen tablet. Sometimes, the images on the GamePad are the same as those on the television screen, but more often they’re not. At launch, Nintendo has promised more than 30 games that take advantage of this dual screen technology — some of these are available in stores, and some are for purchase in Nintendo’s online eShop. So what to play? Now that the launch-day lines are gone, peruse the below while your GamePad battery recharges. REVIEW: Wii U and its GamePad set a course for gaming’s future “Scribblenauts […]
Nov. 20, 2012 | 3:59 p.m.
“Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two” brings the animated Disney musical to video games. But does it go far enough in its merger of interactivity and song-and-dance? Developer Warren Spector would say no. Though the game opens with a rousing musical number sung by the game’s villain, with composer Jim Dooley (“Pushing Daisies,” “The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning”) and lyricist Mike Himelstein channeling Disney films of yore such as “Pinocchio” and “Mary Poppins,” the 12 or so songs of “Epic Mickey 2″ appear only during the game’s cinematic sequences. A player, in fact, can go hours without hearing one of “Epic Mickey’s” silly symphonies. It’s Spector’s hope that songs will eventually take on a much larger role in games than they do in “Epic Mickey 2,” which is now available for all major consoles. “What I told Disney is we’d […]
Nov. 17, 2012 | 5:00 a.m.
Nintendo’s Wii felt like a gaming revolution. Unlike its increasingly complex button-riddled competitors, the Wii’s controller was a magic wand. Simply stand and point, it seemed to be saying, and leave behind the burden of pressing a combination of Xs, Ys, squares and triangles. Since its 2006 release, it’s estimated to have put a spell on nearly 100 million users worldwide. In contrast, Nintendo’s high-definition Wii U console (sure to be in short supply this holiday season) feels less otherworldly and more bound to existing technology. The powerful system puts forth a valiant and ambitious solution to a video game quandary: How does a gaming console — that box tethered to a television by one of those unsightly, old-timey cords — survive in an era dominated by the intimate touch screens of smartphones and tablets? Simple: Join them. The Wii […]
Oct. 16, 2012 | 6:34 p.m.
CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK The launch of Nintendo’s newest console — the Wii U — is just about one month away. There is no questioning the system’s ambitions. By replacing one of the main controllers with what is essentially a tablet, the Wii U brings another monitor into the living room — it holds the promise of dual-screen gameplay and aims to transform the TV viewing experience. Nintendo this week is showing off aspects of the system and its games at a two-day press event at the W Hotel in Hollywood. The last time I was able to get some hands-on time with the Wii U was at E3, and while I left curious to try more, I went home with one nagging question: Would the system’s tablet-like controller — a GamePad that gifts its holder with an alternate view of the action […]