Snipperclips Releasing Day 1 with Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch hype is real, and with only 7 days to go until launch, information is finally set and stone with more game launches. Nintendo’s co-op eShop title called “Snipperclips – Cut it out, together!” has been confirmed to launch on March 3rd, 2017 for $19.99. This title has players working together to solve puzzles by clipping each other into specific shapes and objects. While the game is being touted as a co-op game, you will be able to play the game solo as well.

There are three game modes in the full version: World mode, Party mode, and Blitz mode. World mode will be the core campaign mode for the game, that’s for both single and co-op play. Party mode and Blitz mode are for two to four players, with Party mode being more the puzzle-solving focus, and Blitz mode being a more frenetic approach.

On release day, there will also be a demo available to download from the Nintendo eShop. This exclusive Switch title certainly looks creative and we certainly can’t wait to get our hands on it. Check out the video from the Nintendo Treehouse NYC event last month below to see this creative game in action.

[Source – Nintendo Press Release]

Jett Tailfin Review (Wii U): “Giving Your Wii U a Fishy Smell”

Jett Tailfin Logo

When the Wii U was approximately 5 months away from releasing, there was an article I covered showing the potential possibility of how the Wii U game box arts would appear. While the box arts ended up not becoming that design (which was awfully too similar to Wii box arts anyway), the game that was shown for the box art was Jett Tailfin. At the time, there was little to no information about the title, other than the possibility of the game being a launch title. Approximately 21 months after the system’s launch, developer Hoplite Research’s title is now on Nintendo’s latest console as a digital-only game, no longer releasing in retail. Is this fish worth biting into or is it best left as shark food?

Jett Tailfin is a family-friendly underwater racing game akin to Mario Kart, where you race along coral reefs, pirate ships and Atlantis, using items against opponents as you go for the gold. The story to Jett Tailfin is simple, but there to carry the reason for the races and introduce some of the characters. Basically, Jett is challenged to showing off if he has what it takes to be the fastest fish around. Apparently, there’s a rival that Jett’s friends aren’t fond of, so it’s up to Jett to show off that he can beat him in races. It is clichéd but it’s still an effort to bringing together some semblance of a story. Regardless, it does fall flat and feels incredibly tacky. Realistically though, you’re not playing this to experience an intricate story…you’re here to race.

Jett Tailfin Gameplay 1

Jett Tailfin is a racing game at heart, and the concept of underwater racing (as fish) definitely sets it apart from a majority of racing titles out there. Unfortunately, what sounds good on paper isn’t executed as well in this game. The first main issue resides within the controls. Racing games need a specific precision to them, and while Jett Tailfin doesn’t overly demand precise movement, it feels like you’re maneuvering a tank underwater as opposed to a nimble fish. You’ll collect items to fire away at other racing fish, whether it’s electric eels, blowfish or octopus. Using the items feels absolutely pointless and has barely any indication of whether you’ve hit someone or not, other than the emotionless taunt your character says. When an item is fired at you, you can press either left or right on the D-Pad (which is displayed on-screen) to “dodge” the attack. I use the term loosely because this mechanic is tremendously finicky and feels very cheaply utilized. For example, every time you’re about to be attacked and the dodge button appears, you’ll press it and it’ll turn green to show you succeeded in pressing it. However, there will be absolutely no animation to indicate a dodge, making you take the hit without the hit actually affecting you. There’s no satisfaction or “feel” to dodging attacks or incoming obstacles. During races, there will be other sea creatures to avoid, such as jellyfish, stingrays and sharks that can eat you (giving opponents a few seconds to pass you). The sense of speed is pretty decent, especially when going through jet streams. Jet streams will make you boost at insane speeds and you’ll get a solid feel of that. You can even fill up your own boost meter by swimming through air bubble vents. The problem with how this is handled though is that the camera attempts to zoom in a bit much and actually becomes nauseating to follow. However, even when not boosting, the camera can get really out of whack and obstructed. Several occasions it’s either too close up the fish’s rear end, while there are other times the camera gets caught on objects.

"Under the sea"...lies this overpriced game.

“Under the sea”…lies this overpriced game.

When you’re not tackling the game’s campaign, you can either do single races playing as a variety of Jett’s friends on any of the 16 courses, or you can bring your friends in for some 4-player multiplayer action. There’s nothing out of the ordinary here, and quite frankly, since the game is quite a chore to control, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want them to endure the exercise in frustration. You can use the GamePad and the Wiimote, but there’s no Wii U Pro Controller, Wiimote with Nunchuk combo, or Wii Pro Controller support at all. With the GamePad, the game is entirely playable with Off-TV support. The button layout on the other hand is far from comfortable or ergonomic. Generally, racing games use the left and right triggers to accelerate and brake (on the Wii U, it would be ZL and ZR buttons). Instead, the developers have mapped the accelerate button to R and the brake button to L. This forces you to place your fingers at the very top of the GamePad as opposed to comfortably (and logically) resting them on the back triggers (ZL and ZR). The speed boost and item use buttons rest on the triggers instead, which would feel more suitable as either face buttons or even the L and R buttons. Interestingly, navigating the main menus require input on the touch screen with the GamePad, yet the manual states you can use the buttons and D-Pad/Analog Stick to navigate which isn’t the case.

Visually, Jett Tailfin looks like an early Wii game with an HD coating of paint on it. Originally released for iOS devices, the visuals have transitioned to a bigger screen. Environments look somewhat decent honestly, with water reflecting from the surface to the bottom, as well as other underwater objects (such as pirate ships and coral reefs) within the tracks. Texturing seems to be a mixed bag, with some being ok, while others being washed out. All the sea creatures on the other hand look amateurishly designed, with modeling that looks like an early PS2 era game. Animations are also sluggish and stiff, with the fish turning sometimes with zero animation. Framerate tends to be erratic, going from occasionally smooth to commonly rough. It’s playable, but shifts in framerate far too often that it becomes annoying to deal with. Also, if you’re looking to post screenshots on the Miiverse, here’s the kicker: you can barely do so once during every play session. If you hit the Home button, the screen usually freezes at the moment in time in case you’d like to screenshot it. In Jett Tailfin, if you hit the Home button once, that’s the only time you can post the screenshot. Even if you didn’t post your screenshot, went back to gameplay, then hit the Home button again cause you had a better screenshot to capture, you will not be able to post it. This aspect is incredibly broken. Audio wise, the soundtrack is awfully generic and unmemorable, doing absolutely nothing to enhance the experience. Voice acting is also atrocious, with Jett shouting the same annoying thing over-and-over when boosting through tracks. Even all the other characters deliver zero emotion in their lines and sound like bored drones. The sound effects are kept to a bare minimum and feel like stock effects, with no ambiance effects either. While being underwater is normally quiet, you’d hear the water moving around you or muffled moving objects. In here, you’ll never hear that. You’ll only hear the bubbles that appear in the area or when turning occasionally. There’s nothing in the audio department that enriches the experience by any means.

Cluttered HUD on GamePad with the map overlapping the position and lap...not to mention the in-your-face camera.

Cluttered HUD on GamePad with the map overlapping the position and lap…not to mention the in-your-face camera.

After being announced for the Wii U approximately 2 years ago and making its way to the console, it’s a shame to say that the development cycle has not been kind to it. The worst offender is the fact that while the iOS version is only $1.99, the Wii U version is going for a whopping $34.95 on the eShop. This is borderline nonsense and looks like a game that should cost no more than $10 (and even that’s a bit much). There’s not even a physical copy for the game so the rationality to even charging this much makes no sense. Mediocre visuals, dull audio, grating voice acting, horrendous controls, and subpar, glitchy gameplay result in Jett Tailfin to be an overpriced fishy title that’ll stink up your Wii U. Want to go to a lobster dinner or maybe some all-you-can eat sushi? Use the $35 for that instead.

Overall Score: 3.0 out of 10 = DON’T BUY IT!

A special thank you to Hoplite Research for providing us a review copy for Jett Tailfin!

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The Letter Review (Wii U eShop): “Return to Sender”

The Letter Gameplay 5

When it comes to the Wii U, there’s no doubt that Nintendo has been very open to indie developers bringing their titles to the platform. There are numerous occasions where indies stand out more than AAA titles, bringing unique experiences to players. Developer Treefall Studios has brought us The Letter, a first-person horror adventure title, for the Wii U eShop. Is this a letter worth opening or should it remain sealed?

The Letter has you controlling Michael Kennedy, a young boy who finds himself in a dark room with no one in sight. He is left letters by his father, whom appears to have been murdered. The object of the game is to find all the hidden clues and letters so that Michael can discover the truth about his father. However, by the time you reach the game’s finale, the plot takes the ultimate “are you freakin’ kidding me?!” twist that should never ever be used in any form of storytelling. While I won’t spoil it for those that actually want to see it for themselves, it’s going to infuriate you beyond belief.

Why is the letter on the left unaffected by the darkness and lit up perfectly bright?

Why is the letter on the left unaffected by the darkness and lit up perfectly bright?

Gameplay is incredibly simplistic in The Letter. You’ll be using the analog sticks to move and look around with the flashlight, while you’ll jump with the B button and interact/collect items in the environment with the A button. If you want to, you can shut off the flashlight…but there’s really no purpose to doing that at all. The look controls are automatically inverted (which many have complained about but I’ve personally always played with inverted y-axis) and there’s no way to change it for those who don’t prefer invert. You’ll explore 5 areas containing clues as to the whereabouts of Michael’s father, but there’s not a whole lot to explore. As a matter of fact, you’ll be exploring this game for a matter of 10-15 minutes…and then it’s over. Yep, that’s all. There’s zero horror, zero action, and zero intensity. There are no enemies in the game and there’s nothing even coming after you to keep you a bit on your toes. You’re just wandering around each area, finding the objects and then moving on. Once the game is over, it’s over. There’s no replay value and nothing to go back for. If you go back to replaying it, it’s actually to try to get a bit more out of your two bucks (or 50 cents if you got it on sale recently), to see how fast you can speed-run it, and/or to show it to your friends and see their reaction(s) when playing through it. A horror game has to have an atmosphere that sends the player chills or even someone/something coming after you to add a bit of tension, but instead you’re left mindlessly exploring dead areas.

Speed Limit 33? Voting for elected officials based on their first names? Oh boy...

Speed Limit 33? Voting for elected officials based on their first names? Oh boy…

Visually, the game looks like something we’d see from a Windows ’95 game, and that’s clearly not a compliment. Objects are poorly designed with some serious scaling issues. In the first room, there’s a hidden letter that is massive on the floor and the best part, is purely visible in a pitch black room with your flashlight off. The teddy bear that’s littered around in the game doesn’t even look like a teddy bear, with what looks like a black sensor bar for its mouth and eyes. Toward’s the game’s finale, you’ll come across lounge chairs with fruit on it…the chair looks like it would be too big for even Bigfoot while the fruit and the plate it’s on itself are absurdly small. Even the texturing looks a bit uneven, with a roughness to it that when attached to a corner of an object, you’ll clearly see wasn’t polished. The text that appears on-screen even looks beyond dull. The main menu looks incredibly generic and boring, with an immensely low-res image of an envelope. I guess the one thing going for the visuals is that it runs without an issue. Oh, and if you’re looking for off-TV play, scratch that off the list, it’s not available for use here at all. As a matter of fact, there’s no GamePad use what-so-ever, other than it being a black screen.

Audio wise, The Letter has a soundtrack that really does not fit the game at all. For a horror game, atmospheric tracks really do a game wonders. In The Letter, we are provided music tracks in MIDI form that really do nothing but entirely detract from the game’s experience. Aside from the atmospheric, ominous track played in the second area, the tracks either have you scratching your head as to whether it’s supposed to scare you or grate you. Even the game’s title screen theme sounds too calming to get you into the spirit of what awaits. Sound effects are minimal as well, with nothing heard other than an occasional voice to try and creep you out (never does though) and the tone played when you collect an object.

This lounge chair would be too big for even Bigfoot himself...it's outrageously scaled.

This lounge chair would be too big for even Bigfoot himself…it’s outrageously scaled.

Nintendo has been very welcoming with open-arms to indie developers to bring their games to the Wii U, but something went very wrong in their quality assurance department to let this project release in the eShop at the state it’s in. What we’re left with is a “finished” product that’s a slap in the face to gamers. The scariest part about The Letter is how it was even accepted to be released on the eShop. Short, boring, monotonous, dull, and the biggest middle-finger ending to the player, The Letter should remain unopened.

Overall Score: 1.5 out of 10 = Don’t buy it!

A special thank you to Treefall Studios for providing us a review copy for The Letter! Review based on version 1.0.

Enjoy our review? Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter: @GamersXTREME for the latest in gaming news and reviews.

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Super Toy Cars Review (Wii U eShop): “RC Pro Am Not”

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Remember the days when we were younger, with a room full of toys (unlike today’s era that strictly relies on iPods and iPads), getting creative and using our imagination? A majority of us would love to play with Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars and pretend to race them through an obstacle-filled room. Spanish indie developer Eclipse Games has taken an old-childhood pastime and crafted it into a frantic car-combat racing game. Is this title worth your time or should this stay locked up in the toy box?

Super Toy Cars provides players with a Career mode, consisting of 8 circuits (which are in the shape of a toy block) with 6 events in each. The events are all varied, between your standard Races, to Time Trials, Time Attack, Evade, and Elimination modes. This helps keep events fresh and prevents the career from becoming too repetitious. Throughout events, you will earn credits (based on the position you place) that can be used to either unlock better vehicles or even upgrade them. Upgrading will allow your vehicle to improve its top speed, acceleration, handling, weight, drifting and boost stats. There are 16 vehicles to choose from, ranging from cars that are all about speed to those that are pertained more towards drifting. The AI during the events can be quite challenging, making you work for earning 1st place in each event.

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When you’re not going solo, you can gather 3 of your buddies or family members to play some 4-player competitive multiplayer. You’ll be able to choose from any of the game’s 12 tracks across 4 environments or any of your custom created tracks (more on that below). Multiplayer works just like the single player, adding more fun into the mix knowing that you’re going up against people you know. In particular, it’s more of a highlight when playing your own tracks in multiplayer to show off your creativity skills and see how other people like the track. Also, all the vehicles are already unlocked for multiplayer, which is a nice feature so that no one is restricted to the car of their choice. The game is strictly a local multiplayer affair and has no online mode. Leaderboards are on their way via patch update but was not available at the time of this review.

When it comes to racing games, the Wii U has a plethora of options to use. Whether it be the Wiimote, Wii U Pro Controller or GamePad, you have options to choose from. However, the strangest omission for a racing game on the Wii U is the lack of any motion-steering. Not even the Wiimote has motion steering and oddly controls holding the remote vertically instead of horizontally. Also, steering in general feels wonky due to the physics. It’s a bit loose turning vehicles and they’ll get caught on an object far too easily. Thankfully the game auto-respawns you the moment that you get caught in an object, but it still becomes frustrating as to how easily and often this occurs. You can even drift in the game, but that rarely feels natural enough to rely on. Most of the time you’ll find yourself really slowing down to a halt or colliding into a wall unintentionally when drifting. On the track, you’ll be able to pick up items to use against opponents. These can range from lock-on missiles, to oil spills and mines, to even shooting an 8-ball to crush your opponents. The weapons are actually all quite useful and balanced well, without anything feeling overly powerful.

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One of the more appealing features in the game is the Track Editor mode. In this mode, you’ll be able to fully create a track to your liking. The default track always starts as an oval, and you’ll be able to use the GamePad screen with the stylus to move track points around, creating curves and zig-zags on the track. You can scale the track as well, making it wider or narrower depending on what you’re aiming for. Then you can litter your track with household objects and toys as obstacles or as walls along your track. You can even change the track background to be either the streets, a baby’s room or the kitchen. It’s a great feature to have in the game that will certainly add replay value. On the flip side, there are 3 main gripes with the track editor: lack of sharing tracks online, the text was incredibly tiny to read on the GamePad, and the lack of a tutorial. There’s not even any info on what the tools are in the game’s digital instruction manual. It will culminate to players just testing out what everything does.

Visually, Super Toy Cars is a fairly decent looking game. The environments are littered with household objects and toys that are nicely crafted, with some solid lighting effects as well. The backgrounds to the environments however look far less detailed and are quite blurry. The framerate is fairly stable throughout a majority of the experience, with only few instances of it dropping but nothing major or too noticeable. Although, the visuals can be buggy, with cars driving through objects instead of colliding with them at times. Also, when testing out a track in Track Editor mode, if you drive off the edge of the map, your vehicle will just free fall into the grey oblivion of nothingness. Another buggy scenario was when a car respawned on me, it resulted in my car launching high into the air doing flips. While that’s quite comical, that also resulted in losing an Elimination event. If you’re looking to use Off-TV play with the GamePad, I’m sorry to disappoint you but that won’t be an option at the moment. In single player, the GamePad screen shows the action happening on the TV, just without a HUD (except for the map) and zero audio. In multiplayer, the GamePad is strictly a black screen, displaying absolutely nothing. At the time of this review, the developers have stated they’re most likely adding that feature in the near future, so there’s still hope. Audio wise, the soundtrack is appropriate and accompanies the game pretty well. The car sound effects on the other hand are very mundane. They sound muffled and lifeless. There was even a few times where the game’s sound effects vanished mid-race and then reappeared again.

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Issues aside, Super Toy Cars is a fairly decent indie racing game on the Wii U but needed a bit more polish. What’s here is a somewhat enjoyable, yet flawed experience. There’s a good amount of content and the track editor is certainly a highlight, but the car physics are wonky and need some more fine-tuning (especially drifting). That being said, for $6.99, it’s not a bad game, but rather one that needed a little more time on the production line. If you’re in the mood for a car-combat racing game and have done everything there is to do in Mario Kart 8, or really want to get creative creating tracks to versus your friends on, give Super Toy Cars a shot. Just be prepared to deal with some cumbersome physics.

Overall Score: 6.0 out of 10 

A special thank you to Eclipse Games for providing us a review copy for Super Toy Cars! Review based on version 1.0.

Enjoy our review? Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter: @GamersXTREME for the latest in gaming news and reviews.

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Big Bass Arcade: No Limit Review (3DS eShop) – “A Cheap Flop”

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The Nintendo 3DS’s eShop platform seems perfect for delivering more casual, bite-sized games, and there’s certainly been no shortage of these since its inception. For those looking for a quick pick-up and play fishing game, there’s Big Bass Arcade: No Limit by Big John Games. The third in their line of fishing simulators for the Wii and DS, they’ve now taken the leap to the 3DS platform with 3D graphics and expanded gameplay mechanics. But is it worth playing, or should you throw this one back?

The basic premise of the game is – no shocker – selecting different locations (or levels) to fish in, moving your boat to find a good fishing spot, and trying to catch the biggest fish you can. The gameplay itself is probably best described as a grab-bag of mini-game concepts, and you may feel like you’re playing several separate games during even a single round of Big Bass Arcade. First, you need to position your boat in a spot where the fish are biting – but this is done by simply moving your boat left and right along a single axis. An arrow will change color from red to yellow to indicate how the fish are biting – the yellower, the better. Once you pick a spot, you use a power meter like those found in so many golfing games to determine how far you cast your line. Pressing the A button will start the meter, which will bounce between low power and full, and another press will lock it in and cast your line. From here, you need to start reeling in your line to lure nearby fish. An audio cue from the game’s announcer will let you know when a fish is close – and once he hooks on, the most intense portion of the gameplay begins. You need to keep reeling in the fish with enough strength to fight it, but the more the fish struggles, the more your tension meter will fill up. Pull too hard, and your line will break. Give too much slack, and the fish will get away. This hectic element is further exacerbated by an overlapped quick time event element. All the while you’re trying to reel the fish in, the announcer will require you to press one of four directions on the D-pad (or swipe that direction on the screen) to keep fighting your hooked fish. Once the fish gets close enough to your boat, you can press or swipe up to capture him. If you’re successful, the game will record the weight of your fish, and the gameplay starts over.

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This is basically how the game’s Free Fish mode plays out, and while the controls aren’t bad by any means – you can use the 3DS’s buttons or the touch screen to play – the gameplay does get repetitive pretty fast; for all the variety it offers, there’s very little cohesion between the gameplay elements. It can at times feel like someone is standing nearby, throwing you some new game to play every time a new thing happens, and it’s pretty jarring. There’s no sense of accomplishment once you figure the game’s controls out, though – it’s more like a barrier for entry than an element to master, so it comes down to the game’s different play modes to keep you engaged. It’s also no contest that the Wii version in the series has the best controls – the WiiMote’s motion controls make the game much more immersive, but Big John could only do so much with the 3DS platform.

However, Big John Games placed a surprising sense of progression into the game, as you’ll need different types of lures to catch different types of fish, and you’ll unlock additional lures by completing certain challenges in the game, such as catching a certain number of fish or an especially large fish from one breed. It’s actually a nice way to promote replay value, and it’s a good addition to the game. You’ll also need to complete a specific challenge to unlock the game’s tournament mode, so if nothing else, Big John made sure to set some goal for players to reach for.

Big Bass Arcade includes several gameplay modes to keep you busy with, aside from the previously-mentioned Free Fish mode, which allows you to fish for as long as you want with no restrictions. The game includes three challenge modes, requiring you to fish under certain conditions. No Limit has you catching as many fish as you can within the time limit, Bass Only will only credit you for any Bass that you catch, and Catch ‘Em All – coincidentally sharing Pokemon’s motto – similarly has you trying to catch every type of fish present in the stage, and while Red could take his sweet time, you only have 10 minutes to accomplish the feat. Catching 20 lbs. Of Bass in the Bass Only challenge will unlock the game’s Tournament mode, which sees you trying to score higher than your AI opponents by catching bigger and more uncommon fish. Each of these modes puts a spin on the game, but it boils down to the same simple gameplay concepts in each one, so the variety present is minuscule at best.

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It’s also worth noting that the game’s tutorial would be better described as a brief, in-your-face instruction manual. Rather than introducing gameplay elements to you at a slow, comfortable pace, the tutorial throws every single control at you one after another with no chance to test it until you’ve read through the whole thing. Given how simple the game is, it’s not even like the tutorial does much for the player, but the format it’s present with serves to confuse rather than teach. It’s still worth a quick look to acclimate yourself with the controls, but aside from that, it leaves a lot to be desired.

The game’s audio-visual details are actually its best and worst qualities. The game’s graphics are surprisingly decent for a downloadable game; fish show a surprising level of detail in their movements and behaviors; your lures behave like you’d expect, even down to tassels and flyaways moving and spinning as they glide through the water. Textures and other details in the graphics are competent, and overall it’s more than you’d expect in an eShop game. The 3D is also done quite well, and gives you a real sense of depth; you’ll feel how far your cast your line, and the water has a real sense of volume when looking around. However, one area that isn’t nearly as good is the game’s audio. The game’s soundtrack consists of only a few simple tracks – a repetitive guitar ditty at the menu screen, a string-plucker while fishing, and an aggressive electric guitar track when catching a fish. All of these songs are just a few seconds in length and play on a loop, and are mind-numbingly repetitive. Then there’s the sound effects; it’s not all bad, as the splashing noises when your lure hits the water are crisp and clear. Once you get a bite, though, the game’s sound effects devolve into childish, cartoony noises that are a complete departure from the rest of the game’s tone. You’ll hear uncharacteristically-deep swooshing noises as your tiny minnow struggles in the water, silly bumper noises as the fish rebels against you, and a high-pitched sound effect straight out of Looney Toons when your line is about to break. Finally, the game’s announcer speaks in an unsettling, creepy, quiet tone, and while I’m sure Big John was going for an announcer that makes you think of a relaxing day on the lake, his tone comes off as less fishing buddy, more Jason. There’s also a lack of variety in his speech – there’s pretty much just one thing he says for each gameplay event. As soon as you hear “he’s getting close…!”, you’ll know a fish is chasing your lure, as soon as you’re over that chill going down your spine. I see what the developer was going for, but a little foresight in their audio department would have done a lot for the game, making it an upshot rather than an anchor.

Big Bass Arcade 1a

Big Bass Arcade: No Limit tries to take the previous games in the series further, but in the end, contrary to its name, it comes off as a very limited experience. Gameplay is a repetitive jumble of mini-game concepts, the different challenge modes do little to expand on the game’s premise, and the sound effects are a major negative on the game’s experience. There are some positives to out-weigh the negatives, but the fact remains that there are better fishing games out there – even No Limit‘s predecessors. Unless you’re desperate for a 3D fishing experience on the go, it’s best to look elsewhere.

Overall Score: 5.5 out of 10 = Wait for a price drop…

A special thank you to Big John Games for providing us a review copy for Big Bass Arcade: No Limit!

Enjoy our review? Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter: @GamersXTREME for the latest in gaming news and reviews.

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Cubemen 2 Makes Its Way to the Wii U, Cross-Platform Play with All Versions

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A few months ago, we had the opportunity to review an excellent RTS indie title called Cubemen 2. Today, 3 Sprockets has partnered with Nnooo and Nintendo to bring their title to the Wii U. The best part…the game will have full cross-platform online play with the PC, Mac and iOS versions! Here is the full press release:

In a world first for an indie game on a Nintendo platform, Nnooo is bringing cross-platform multiplayer and user generated content to the Wii U system with the hugely successful Cubemen 2. Cubemen 2 is a fast-paced 3D strategy game in which the player controls an army of Cubemen, using them to battle against enemies in a range of modes. Players will be able to enter online matches and create and share user-generated levels regardless of which platform they are using. Players on the Wii U version will be able to battle against other players who own the game on Wii U, PC, Linux®, Mac® or iOS device.

“I’m really proud to be able to announce this,” said Nic Watt, Creative Director at Nnooo. “We’ve spent the last few months working with both Nintendo and 3 Sprockets, the game’s developer, to make this a reality. Cubemen 2 is an amazing game and a great fit for Nintendo players. We can’t wait to see how creative they are, whether in tactical multiplayer online or in the new levels they build.”

Cubemen 2, a top-selling Steam® and iOS game, can be played in single player mode or with up to 6 players in online solo or team battles against other players or AI. Players will also be able to create and share their own levels using the game’s built-in level editor. Wii U players will have access to all user-generated levels created on other platforms since the release of the game. There are currently over 4,000 user-generated levels to play. The game also includes specific level themes, customisable Cubemen skins and a global ranking system.

“We’re excited to be working closely with Nnooo and Nintendo to bring a new dynamic to a Nintendo platform,” said Seon Rozenblum, Director of 3 Sprockets. “We’re bringing the gaming community together, offering true cross-platform play and user generated content across multiple platforms and devices and we are ecstatic to be including the Wii U in our lineup for Cubemen 2.”

Cubemen 2 also marks another milestone for Nnooo, being the first game they have published from another developer. According to Bruce Thomson, Nnooo’s Business & Marketing Director, “Publishing has always been part of our long term plan. We’ll be identifying games we think fit well on the platforms we develop for and working with the developers to bring the games to some or all of these platforms. Our recent funding from Screen NSW has helped us to combine indie game development and publishing under one roof.”

TNT Racers: Nitro Machines Edition Coming to Wii U in September

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Last year, an indie combat-racing title known as TNT Racers hit the PSN, XBLA and WiiWare. On September 26th, TNT Racers: Nitro Machines Edition will be hitting the Nintendo eShop on Wii U. German developer Keen Games will also be publishing the title, marking their first title they’ve self-published.

TNT Racers: Nitro Machines Edition will contain:
· 2-4-player multiplayer
· 3 game modes
· 4 tournament modes
· 5 speed categories
· 16 pick ups
· 16 car types
· 26 race tracks
· 75 challenges
· online leaderboards
· weather effects
· Shadow Race mode

Here is what was stated from the press release:

TNT Racers: Nitro Machines Edition is a battle-racing game in the tradition of classics like Micro Machines or R.C. Pro-Am. It supports single player as well as two, three or four players in front of the Wii U. The race tracks are shown in colorful 3D, the camera following the cars in an isometric view, from behind and above. Players who fall back far enough to vanish from the screen instantly lose the round. Yet, losers aren’t done playing: They can continue to harass their opponents. Players pushed off the screen return as shadow cars able to cause mischief with traps and extra weapons.

“We think the Wii U is a great platform – and are pleased take our first steps in self publishing with the support of our friends at Nintendo. We are confident that the enhanced Nitro Machines Edition of our popular racer will be entertaining for Nintendo fans everywhere,” says Jan Joeckel, Managing Director of keen games.

TNT Racers: Nitro Machines Edition will be available on September 26th for $7.99 on Wii U eShop. Are you interested in the title? Sound off in the comments below!

[Source: Press Release]

Nintendo Download 7/18/13: “Earthbound” Bound for Wii U, “Shantae” for 3DS, “Puddle” Sale

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It’s that time of the week again, where Nintendo console owners can look forward to new eShop and VC games. This particular week has a VC game that many have been clamoring for, Earthbound! Although, the price is a bit higher than normal SNES games, going for $9.99 instead of $7.99. Here’s this week’s full list:

Wii U eShop:
Earthbound (SNES VC)

Wii U Sale:
Puddle (Now $4.49 until 12pm EST August 1st)

3DS eShop
– Shantae (GBC VC)
– The Denpa Men 2: Beyond the Waves Demo Version
– Attack of the Friday Monster: A Tokyo Tale
– Robot Rescue 3D
– Undead Bowling (Full Game & Demo)

[Source: Nintendo PR E-mail]

Developer Interview with Frozenbyte: “Wii U is a truly powerful console”

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The Wii U has been out for over half a year now and we’ve seen some truly strong indie titles hit the platform, with many more to come. One of the launch indie titles was Trine 2: Director’s Cut (which was the enhanced and ultimate version of Trine 2) that graced the console day one. I had the opportunity to speak with Julius Fondem, the Marketing Manager over at Frozenbyte, about their experience developing for the Wii U, as well as a bit of info about their new upcoming game, Splot.

Marcello: First off, thanks for taking the time to provide us an interview Julius. It’s been quite some time since Trine 2: Director’s Cut was released for the Wii U. How did you guys go about choosing to bring Trine 2 to the console? Did you guys approach Nintendo or did they approach you?

Julius: No problem, it’s my pleasure! Nintendo approached us before Trine 2 was released and asked us if we were interested in developing something for their upcoming console. We showed them Trine 2 and they definitely wanted to see it on Wii U. We were impressed with the hardware they were planning, and everything went very naturally from there.

Marcello: Trine 2: Director’s Cut is by far, one of the best looking games available on the Wii U. I did notice the visuals were crisper than those on the PS3/360. What was it like developing for the Wii U? Is it more powerful than the public seems to believe?

Julius: We have really enjoyed working with the Wii U hardware. It was rather easy to port our modern proprietary engine to it, and it does pack the punch to bring to life some really awesome visuals. The Wii U is a very modern console with a lot of RAM which helped us out a lot during development. The hardware capabilities have improved quite a lot from the original Wii, and the Wii U is a truly powerful console. The console is definitely more powerful than the Xbox 360 and PS3.

Marcello: Roughly how long did it take to develop Trine 2: Director’s Cut for the Wii U?

Julius: We started developing Trine 2 for Wii U in early 2012 so a bit under a year, all in all.

Marcello: Will we be seeing the three heroes return in the near future for another quest in Trine 3?

Julius: We here at Frozenbyte have great love for the franchise and definitely want to see the three heroes make a return.

Marcello: Were there any differences bringing your game to the Nintendo eShop compared to the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade? If so, what were some of them?

Julius: With the eShop, Nintendo has made it easy to approach and open for indies which is awesome. Nintendo allows us to self publish our games, updating our game is free of charge, and the eShop is still so fresh that we have great visibility there.

With PSN and XBLA, it used to be that you had to have a publisher to publish your games (i.e. no self publishing) and updating the games cost a significant amount. Also, these platforms used to regulate things more than the eShop.

Now however, Sony has changed their game up quite a bit, making self publishing a reality for indies and making the platform a lot more approachable, which we really appreciate. As for XBLA, similar rumors have been circulating around recently but we don’t know enough to comment on that. .

Marcello: Now you guys are currently working on a new title called “Splot”. Could you describe a bit about the upcoming title?

Julius: Splot is a cartoony platformer with emphasis on simple controls and competition. In Splot you control an alien named Splot who has crash landed onto a foreign planet. You guide him through levels by jumping around avoiding perilous obstacles and hazards, while trying to save your lost brethren. Splot is coming out at a later date on iOS, Android, and computer platforms.

Marcello: How was your relationship working with Nintendo? Would you be working to bring future titles to the Wii U (such as Splot)?

Julius: Working with Nintendo is great. They are extremely supportive towards us (and I’ve heard similar words from other indies) and communicating with them is very easy. We appreciate this a lot.

We would definitely want to bring our future titles to the Wii U. With Splot though the situation is a bit more complex as the technology we’re using isn’t the same as for Trine 2: Director’s Cut, so there’s a lot of technical work in getting Splot running on “high end” consoles like the Wii U. We are pushing as hard as we can to get Splot out on iOS, Android and computer platforms first. Depending on Splot’s success, we’ll see about other platforms. So, we haven’t decided on the Wii U for Splot yet, but it is something we’re considering.

Marcello: Thanks for your time Julius. I look forward to seeing more about Splot and other future titles Frozenbyte releases!

Enjoy the interview? Be sure to follow us on Twitter: @GamersXTREME and Facebook!

Aqua Moto Racing 3D Splashes to the Nintendo 3DS eShop this Week

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Back in the days of the N64, Nintendo developed a big hit for the system’s launch, Wave Race 64. Fast forward to 2001 and Nintendo launched their Nintendo GameCube with the sequel, Wave Race: Blue Storm. Since then, we have yet to see a single new Wave Race (hint, hint Nintendo).

Thankfully, developer Zordix AB has decided to quench that by providing their mobile game Aqua Moto Racing to the 3DS. The game has realtime water physics and will also have local multiplayer. No price has been announced yet but it will be hitting European eShops this Thursday and later for North America. In the meantime, check out the trailer below for Aqua Moto Racing 3D!