June 10, 2014 | 11:19 a.m.
Nintendo, amid the news Tuesday of new games coming to its Wii U console for its beloved “Zelda” and “Star Fox” franchises, took a bold step away from tradition. Princess Peach, the oft-kidnapped damsel in distress at the core of its “Super Mario Bros.” series, received an apology. “Hey, look, I’m sorry about kidnapping you 80+ times, but my bad,” said a cartoonish, clay-like rendition of Nintendo’s main villain Bowser. Peach said nothing, offering the sullen bad guy little more than a cold shoulder as she swiped his last doughnut. Bowser’s response to such non-regal behavior? “I deserved that.” Who can blame her? One of Nintendo’s most formidable characters, with a jumping and gliding ability most of her non-dinosaur male pals could never muster, Peach has often been relegated to the role of the hostage. Yet time and time again over the course of a […]
Nov. 27, 2013 | 2:03 p.m.
This month saw the release of two high-end home video game consoles from Sony and Microsoft. But competitor and long-standing game powerhouse Nintendo has a surprisingly effective countermove: cats. Yes, cats. The Italian caricatures of Mario and Luigi, who may be the closest thing the video game medium has to a Mickey and Minnie when it comes to brand awareness, have returned in the Wii U exclusive “Super Mario 3D World,” now with the ability to morph into feline form. It’s one tweak among many, and it turns out that putting paws on the plumbers more than livens up a trusty formula. Mario and Luigi now chase rabbits, climb trees and attack enemies with claws out, a number of seemingly small design changes that when taken as a whole results in one of the more inventive Mario adventures. Like the […]
Aug. 01, 2013 | 12:30 p.m.
PERSPECTIVE It’s been a difficult week for Wii U fans. First came word that players will not be able to take advantage of the online multiplayer functionality for the upcoming “Batman: Arkham Origins.” Then there’s the matter of sluggish sales for the console. Nintendo unveiled in its latest earnings report that the Wii U continues to have a “negative impact on Nintendo’s profits,” with only 3.6 million units sold worldwide since its release late last year. Earlier reports had Nintendo hoping to be well above 5 million units sold of the Wii U by this point — the company laid the blame for the slow start on the release of “few” first-party titles for the console. But amid all the woeful reports there is still reason for optimism. The Wii U undoubtedly has suffered from a lack of software — […]
April 17, 2013 | 4:20 p.m.
A new “Legend of Zelda” series video game is on the way for the Nintendo 3DS hand-held console. The game, set in the world of “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past,” was among more than a dozen new releases Nintendo announced Wednesday for the 3DS and Wii U consoles. Among the upcoming games are a new “Yoshi’s Island” installment, a new “Professor Layton” game and “EarthBound,” a fan favorite role-playing game that debuted on the Super NES in 1995. The new Zelda game, slated for launch this holiday season, aims to utilize the console’s 3-D abilities, allowing Link to “become a drawing and move along walls,” according to Nintendo’s news release. Players can download a video of the game from the Nintendo eShop for Nintendo 3DS. Check out some gameplay around the 36-minute mark in the Nintendo […]