Wipeout: Create & Crash Review (Wii U/Wii/3DS/360): “Not a Total Wipeout”

Wipeout Create & Crash Logo

Wipeout has become quite the reality show on ABC over the past few years. Essentially being an Americanized version of the cult-hit “MXC” on Spike TV years ago, Wipeout brings together contestants to tackle absolutely insane obstacle courses with completely unexpected traps to dodge. Naturally, with a mixture like this, it was only a matter of time before the gaming industry tried to formulate this into game form. Wipeout: Create & Crash is the fourth installment in the Wipeout game series, but is it an obstacle course worth tackling or should you just avoid this “big balls” of a game?

Gameplay: 3/5

Wipeout’s gameplay is simple: you’ll run along a set path on the obstacle course, jumping and sliding past the traps that await you. You’ll take part in 12 episodes all based on specific themes, such as pirates, halloween, wintery scenes, prehistoric times and even your traditional classic Wipeout theme. Each episode has you running the gauntlet in four levels, the first and third being always being a specific course, the second being a mini-game (which I’ll explain in a bit) and the fourth being the Wipeout Zone, where you’ll face the most brutal of obstacles in the biggest spectacle possible. Controls are incredibly simple and straightforward that practically anyone will be able to pickup the controller and play. The camera is fixated behind the character’s back, always facing forward. You’ll move forward by pushing up on the analog stick and can take steps backward pushing the stick down. You never adjust the direction you’ll be facing and only push the stick left and right to change spots on a specific obstacle or when zip-lining to avoid obstacles on the sides. You’ll also be able to jump with the A button, duck with the B button and slide with the Y button.

Wipeout Create & Crash Gameplay 4

Before tackling an episode, you’ll be asked if you’d like to partake in a Daily Course Bonus Challenge. Once a day, you can participate in a single run through a randomly generated course for a few extra Ballsy Bucks. During episodes, I mentioned that there are four levels. The first level is a Qualifier Round, where you’ll be sprinting your way through a course as fast as possible. The second level is a mini-game where you’ll either have to shift lanes on the tracks to avoid incoming obstacles, or bounce on angled trampolines while avoiding getting nailed by an airborne obstacle. The third level is just like the Qualifier Round, only with less people in the standings. The fourth and final level of an episode is the Wipeout Zone, which is the grand finale. Here, you’ll be tested with the most challenging obstacles and start by being launched into the water and swimming your way to the start point. The course itself is always over-the-top with fireworks, flames and spectacles around. There are two difficulties you can play the game on: Normal and Black & Blue. Normal mode is basically “easy” mode, where if you fail an obstacle at a certain checkpoint 3 times, it’ll automatically advance you to the next checkpoint (but you do add 10 seconds to your timer every time you fall in the water). Black & Blue mode removes the “3 try” rule and makes you keep repeating an obstacle until you successfully pass it, no matter how much time you accrue on the clock. I highly recommend playing on Black & Blue mode off the bat as it gives the game a bit more challenge. Speaking of challenge, while the game is pretty easy, this year’s edition of Wipeout brings a huge improvement over last year’s “Wipeout 3”. The course designs are more demanding and imaginative than ever before, with some pretty crazy obstacles to dodge. When you get knocked into the water, you can press the B button to see an instant replay of your “wipeout”, with a few cinematic camera angles that try to replicate the feel of the show. These are ok, but often times the camera does a poor job of showing the “pain” of your mistake.

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Aside from the main episodes you’ll complete, there are a few more modes to explore. Wipeout Max is new this installment, where you’ll play through an endless amount of randomly generated levels that increase in difficulty. This is basically an endurance of how far you can get before a course becomes too challenging for you to beat. It’s a fun little mode that helps keep things interesting. However, the biggest addition to the game that’s the main selling point is the Course Creation system. For the first time in a Wipeout game, you’ll be able to become the mastermind of some truly devious courses. You’ll use your Ballsy Bucks to purchase themes based on the episodes you complete, at which point you can purchase and choose the layout of your choice to customize. Once selected, you will enter the course creator, where you can select between 6-12 adjustable obstacles depending on the layout you chose. Creating a course is incredibly simple to use that anyone can easily jump into and create something in literally minutes. You’ll use the D-Pad to scroll to each adjustable obstacle, at which point you can cycle through the variety of pieces to place, as well as the difficulty of each set of obstacles. There are 3 difficulties to cycle between, each with their own unique obstacles. Depending on how big the obstacle section is determines the type of obstacle you can place, such as a catapult, a straightaway with 8 wrecking balls, a spiral spinning cylinder, a zip-line trail and more. You can also test out each obstacle at their specific locations or just test run the entire course without any load times at all. The bummer with the obstacles of choice is that no matter which theme you choose, you can’t use the theme specific obstacles. So if you choose to make a course with a snow theme or a pirate theme, the obstacles will always be the same default choices.

Wipeout wouldn’t be Wipeout without a multiplayer mode (which is completely omitted on the 3DS version oddly). I mean, it is based on the TV show where contestants are competing against each other. The game’s multiplayer provides two modes: Party Mode and Trap Attack. Trap Attack gives players with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk the chance to run the gauntlet on the TV screen, while the player with the GamePad will see fixed camera angles of the course from the GamePad screen directly. The GamePad player can launch balls at the opposing player, as well as trigger specific traps to mess up the opponent and make them fall off the course. Party Mode is more the traditional multiplayer where players take turns running the course and competing for the #1 spot for the fastest time and of course, the Wipeout winner. It’s nothing great or overly engaging, but can provide for some solid fun with friends and some laughs as well.

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Graphics: 3/5

Wipeout: Create & Crash has a basic, fun art style to it, that’s certainly passable and pleasing on the eyes most of the time. However, there are some seriously wonky physics issues. Whenever your character gets knocked backwards, you’ll see them cycle through a variety of animations stuck in place, hovering over the ground. Get hit by a wrecking ball and you’ll see the character clip completely through the ball in slo-mo, then launch to the side. Then there are the balls being shot at you outside the course…except they literally appear out of nowhere in the distance when shot towards you. Another weird design are the water effects. When swimming in water, there’s almost no effect shown that your character is swimming in the water. Even when you fall in the water, the splash is incredibly minimal and is essentially flat textures layered over each other. Some unpolished issues aside, the level designs are pretty solid, with a decent amount of detail given to the obstacles. It’s not a bad looking game by any means, but an average one that’s hindered a bit by some wonky animations and visual effects.

Wipeout Create & Crash Gameplay 1

Sound: 3/5

Wipeout’s audio consists of an entirely appropriate soundtrack that provides the vibe of the TV show and themes of each episode. Commentary is provided by John Anderson and John Henson, with Jill Wagner providing additional lines. While they are the commentators of the show, they’re just not very entertaining or funny to listen to. John Henson’s lines in particular always fall flat and are just plain bad…almost like he’s trying too hard to be comical. Lame jokes aside, the sound effects are exactly what you’d expect of Wipeout nature, with over-the-top effects kicking in when being nailed by an object. The audio isn’t too bad and is solid overall, just don’t expect anything great here.

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Replay Value: 4/5

Wipeout: Create & Crash offers a solid amount of replay value, especially compared to the previous installments. While completing all 12 episodes will only take 2-3 hours to complete, there’s plenty of characters and gear to unlock. Additionally, each of the episodes has you aiming for bronze, silver and gold Ballsy Trophies, as well as additional objectives in each level. However, this year’s installment introduces the new Course Creation mode, which is where players will spend most of their time on. Using the Ballsy Bucks you earn in the game, you’ll unlock numerous obstacles and themes to build your own crazy courses with. Add in the new Wipeout Max mode that has you doing an endless endurance run of randomly generated levels until you fail and there’s some really good replay value. There’s no online mode to find here and sharing level creations is done in a very archaic method of swapping 14-digit generating codes.

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Overall Score: 13/20 = 6.5 out of 10

Wipeout: Create & Crash is without question, much better than last year’s Wipeout 3. It brings more content, more ideas and more creativity to the table. If you enjoy Wipeout games, you’d do quite well to give Wipeout: Create & Crash a look, especially with the Course Creation system that opens up a solid amount of game time. While it’s nothing great or memorable, what’s here is still an entertaining game.

PROS:

+ Fun gameplay

+ Course Creator is simple to use

+ Interesting course designs

+ Good amount of unlockables

CONS:

– Wonky physics

– Sharing created courses is dealt in an archaic method

– Commentary isn’t funny at all

– Some technical bugs

A special thank you to Activision for providing us a review copy for “Wipeout: Create & Crash”! Copy tested on the Wii U.

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

Curious to how our review system works? Check out the About section.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Review (Wii/360/3DS): “Ahh…Shell Shock”

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Over time, we’ve seen some stellar media franchises progress over the years. One particular franchise that’s had numerous changes has been the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Between it’s dark toned comic, chipper late 80s/early 90s cartoon, to the comic-based 2003 cartoon and now, Nickelodeon’s rendition that started in 2012, there’s no question we’ve seen the turtles in a variety of ways. However, if there’s one thing that fans of the franchise will remain fond of, it’s the video games that released in the early 90s. Whether it be TMNT: Turtles in Time, TMNT II: The Arcade Game, TMNT: Hyperstone Heist, TMNT III: Manhattan Project or even the 2003 TMNT game for the PS2/GC/Xbox, they’ve always been known for their downright fun, beat-em-up gameplay. Well, with a new media rendition comes a new game based on the latest cartoon. Developed by Magic Pockets and published by Activision, is the turtle’s latest return a radical one or should it stay in the sewers?

Story: 2/5

There’s one thing for sure: TMNT games are never really known for their story. However, if you plan on incorporating one, make sure it’s somewhat coherent. Unfortunately, TMNT’s story here mainly falls flat. The turtles are thrown into mischief as there’s a mutagen bomb that Stockman plans on detonating in NYC that will turn all its inhabitants into vile creatures. Fans of the show will instantly recognize characters such as Fishface, Dogpound, the blob known as “Justin”, Krang bots, Foot Ninja, Karai, and naturally, Shredder. The story is told through very brief cutscenes with minimal dialogue just to remind you there’s something to connect the player to the scenario. However, as opposed to the story being somewhat engaging, it’s very shoddily pieced together. It doesn’t help that the presentation of the story is downright poor and incredibly rushed. Even though it’s nice to see familiar faces return, the story is minimal and very subpar.

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Gameplay: 2/5

“Well, that was incredibly mediocre.“ Leonardo states this numerous times throughout the game, and it pretty much sums up the gameplay of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The game is designed as an old-school style brawler where you can choose between all four turtles on the fly, which is nice since you don’t have to wait to lose a life before choosing another character as had been done in previous TMNT games. This option gives you the chance to try out any of the characters during any point in the game. Yet while each turtle has their different variation of moves, they are very limited and the game becomes more of a continuous button masher. Each turtle has a basic attack move, a special attack, and a throw feature (along with jumping). The problem is that the moves and gameplay are incredibly repetitive. Each level is a series of areas where you need to defeat a horde of foot ninjas and Krang bots. Once destroyed, you continue on your path until you do it all over again. This continues until you complete the level.

TMNT 2013 Gameplay 5

There are 5 levels in TMNT and each level contains 3-4 sub-levels. Yet with the exception of the last sub-level on each level, you are basically attacking enemies until you complete the level. There are some minor collectibles that you can locate in order to gain more points, and pickup items such as throwing stars and smoke bombs, but they are pretty much useless in the game as you can just slash your way through everything. At certain moments, you can access your camera device to locate hidden doors. If you locate them, you can find additional mutagen canisters needed to unlock a mini-game (which is essentially the classic arcade game “Defender”, TMNT style) in the Extras area. The last sub-level is a boss battle that pits you against some of the main enemies from the TV show, such as Dogpound, Baxter Stockman and the Shredder. These boss battles deliver a change of pace and strategy, which was refreshing, but not enough to help ease the boredom that the game delivers. The game is also extremely short, taking only about 2-3 hours to complete, and in a way, I’m glad it was short because of how tedious it is. While you can co-op your way through the game on the Wii and 360, the 3DS is mysteriously missing this option, which is strange. I did enjoy the ability to upgrade each turtle by collecting orbs from defeated enemies and then using them to update your characters strength and move set, but most of the upgrades aren’t even needed to complete the story mode.

Once you do finish the game, other options become available to you, such as Time Attack and Survival Mode, but they are more of the same and offer nothing new to the experience. You can tell that the game is geared towards a younger audience based on the easy difficulty, and that Nickelodeon wanted to quickly put out a product that aligned with the popular show.

TMNT 2013 Gameplay 3

Graphics: 2/5

Let me start off by saying, the versions I am reviewing are the Wii and 3DS version, not the Xbox 360 (which is already an odd assortment of consoles they chose to develop for…omitting the PS3, Vita and Wii U). However, even for a Wii game 7 years into the console’s lifecycle, the visuals here are less than average. Washed out textures, incredibly blocky character models, stiff animations and lifeless, mundane environments round TMNT to be one of the most inexcusable visual games for 2013. The TMNT game that released in 2003 for the PS2/GC/Xbox looked next-gen compared to this…and that was 10 years ago! When I look at a 10 year old game and am immediately blown away by the comparison, it’s just plain sad. On the 3DS, it’s a bit more excusable and less ugly due to the condensed resolution. The only benefit visually is that the game runs quite smooth, with only a few rare instances of slowdown.

TMNT 2013 Gameplay 2

Sound: 2/5

Turtles games have relied heavily on energetic soundtracks to really engage the player during the beat-em-up fun, with the pinnacle soundtracks being Turtles in Time and Hyperstone Heist. What we have here is something that matches the tone of the show a bit, which is fine. Although there’s nothing memorable to leave the game humming too, it’s still serviceable background music that neither adds or detracts from the experience. The voice actors from the TV show reprise their roles, but they all fail to deliver any excitement to the game. Some of the line deliveries just don’t match the tone of certain scenarios and just feel stiff. For example, there’s a boss battle where April will keep shouting “keep it up guys, you’ve almost got him!” but I didn’t even hit the boss once yet. The boss battle lasts for about 5 minutes and she repeats it every 20 seconds…so do the math and it’s pretty nonsensical. Worse yet, occasionally some voices will be blown out while others will be much lower. Sound effects are pretty poor overall as well, feeling like stock sound effects for an amateur game development program.

TMNT 2013 Gameplay 4

Overall Score: 8/20 = 4.0 out of 10

When I heard there was a new TMNT game coming out, it was easy for me to get excited. Being a die-hard turtles fan, I’m always eager to play a new game in the series. However, what I was left with was an immensely rushed and pale imitation of the SNES/Genesis beat-em-ups from years past. What the game lacks is soul. It feels lifeless, generic and doesn’t have anything that the older TMNT games didn’t do better…in 1992 or even 2003. While I had the slightest mild enjoyment playing this game for the fact that it was a TMNT game, the game itself is just incredibly dull and unimaginative. The only thing going through my head as I played it was, “Ahh…Shell Shock”.

PROs:

+ Has the show’s intro

+ Turtles can be upgraded

+ 4-player co-op on Wii/360

CONs:

– Ugly visuals

– Awful audio mixing

– Subpar, rushed storytelling

– Unimaginative, bland levels

– Very spotty hit detection

– Too easy

– 3DS version omitted co-op completely

A special thank you to Activision for providing us a review copy for “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”! Copy tested on the Wii and 3DS.

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

Curious to how our review system works? Check out the About section.

The Economy Version of The Wii Heading to North America

Wii Mini Console

The Wii mini is finally arriving in the United States. Nintendo announced the economized version of the Wii will launch in the US for $99.99. Nintendo first released the Wii Mini in Canada last year, and followed with a UK debut this past March. The system is smaller than the original Wii, and comes bundled with Mario Kart Wii. Also included are a Wii Remote Plus controller and Nunchuk, both in red. Sadly, the system lacks some of the core features of earlier versions of the console.

First and foremost, it has no online functionality, so games are limited to local multiplayer options. Nintendo has also removed backward compatibility from the Wii Mini’s feature set, which let it leave out the GameCube gaming feature as well. Finally, the system lacks support for Wii component cables, taking away the ability to output video at a 480p resolution. The highest setting the system can display with be 480i. Is anybody in America going to purchase this system? Sound off below for your thoughts.

[Source – Nintendo PR E-mail]

Shin’ en’s “FAST Racing NEO” For The Wii U Promises “Next-Gen Visuals”

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Shin’en Multimedia is planning multiple Wii U projects for the upcoming year, and all signs point to a positive relationship between the developer and Nintendo. It’s been confirmed that a successor to WiiWare’s title FAST Racing League has finally been unveiled to a brief extent. Several tweets from the developer has now confirmed FAST Racing NEO for the Nintendo eShop will be coming to the Wii U with a brand new in-game engine. Today, only a basic announcement website has been launched with the above concept art, with a 2014 release promised. The title is being slated for mid-2014 with an emphasis on “next-gen visuals” according to the developers. This company stunned many when it created groundbreaking visuals on the original Wii with Fast Racing League. Fast Racing NEO will take advantage of Shin’en Multimedia’s second generation engine, and could see screenshots and videos of gameplay this week. For more news stay tuned.

[Source – Wii U Daily]

The Reality of Gaming and Negativity This Generation (and Next)

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Back in 2009, I was publishing monthly videos via my YouTube account, while working for a previous gaming website. One particular video that garnered much attention was a video I did discussing my thoughts on the gaming market at that time. The video was aptly named “Death of the Console Wars”. Though it got several thousand views, as well as numerous comments, I felt good posting it because it was my thoughts on everything I had experienced and known from my 20+ years of gaming. The video was a culmination of all the disgust and nonsense that was flooding the blogs and internet at that time between the so-called “Console Fanboy Wars”.

Obviously, let’s be honest, this past generation has been Microsoft and Sony neck-and-neck. In the video, I spoke very bluntly on why I buy all consoles and what my predictions were for all three of the major consoles. Fast-forward 4 years years later and it turned out to be completely on the mark. No, Michael Patcher need not worry, because I would need to be wrong numerous times while sounding overly-intelligent about marketing strategies, while at the end of the day I’m just really talking about video games and nothing even remotely important to all of our everyday lives.

In this video, I predicted how Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo would fare by the end of this generation, and, without getting into it, just check the figures and polls online and the results are roughly what I stated they would be. The point is I did that video because I was beyond disgusted with the super-fanatical stereotypical nerdy arguments and drama of 21st century expression. I had purchased the Xbox 360 back in November of 2005 and have never regretted the purchase. This system ushered me into the next generation. For the first time ever, my brother and I raced home and booted it up with excitement. We were told it would visually upgrade your original Xbox games, which was revolutionary at the time. Matter of fact, it’s still revolutionary, being that no other system, including the new X1 and PS4, can upgrade last-gen visuals. Wait, that’s right – they’re not backwards-compatible to begin with! Smart move guys, that way they can port more HD classic collections later on and charge for games we already bought years before. This equals extortion according to the FBI, but let’s not get off-topic.

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Having bought the 360, I purchased Call of Duty 2 and Condemned: Criminal Origins, and needless to say, we were blown away. The visuals and audio were nothing we had ever seen or heard before. Now this is 2005; just weeks before that I was still playing San Andreas on my PS2! The graphical jump coupled with this new “High Definition” technology in video games was astounding. Right out the box, we had HD Component cables, outputting 480p “DVD” quality, 720p, and 1080i, the standard with which TV channels are broadcast in today. Hooking up my iPod to the Xbox, I could stream my music and use it as a game’s soundtrack, which for a movie score fanatic like me was pure bliss. I won’t keep describing the numerous features we have all learned and experienced now or expect. A year later, the Playstation 3 launched and after much apprehensiveness, I decided to buy this mammoth of a system, despite its equally-large price. After leaving Toys ‘R’ Us $640 poorer (tax included), I was eager to race home. This large black console I knew had to be teeming with power if it costs this much, right!? I purchased Resistance: Fall of Man and Motorstorm, and was very content. Motorstorm showed visuals I had never seen before up to that point and was thoroughly excited to see the future of this console. Resistance didn’t wow with visuals, but it did please all in its great gameplay and intriguing story.

As 2007 came, I purchased a Wii, because I wanted this experience of new technology that the other systems weren’t doing, and I loved it. It’s great when each system offers a variety that you cannot get on the other two. I purchased Super Mario Galaxy and Resident Evil 4 Wii edition. Both were fantastic titles that went on to score very well and sell even better. By now, I had experienced all three systems in their early years, and what each one was technically capable of, up to that point at least. And now, here is where the heart of this story lies. Throughout 2006 to 2009, there was an outpouring of gamers who continuously spewed hate because of their particular stance on a gaming system. Every website imaginable had ridiculous columns about why each system was better. Now for the first time ever, “gamers” all of a sudden knew or cared about company stocks and marketing strategies, and using these in arguments about which is the better console. Even big websites, which I will not name, occasionally had articles laced with overtones of bias that would, on numerous occasions, start a list of internet comment wars about 21st-century nonsense.

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These articles/boards/comments would circulate throughout the gaming community, leading consumers who are “not in the know” to believe idiotic rumors, and some did not buy a certain console or tend to take a stance against a company because of what a friend of a friend said, or what www.$@$#.com believed. Now to me, this is all insane and I never encountered such a heavily-psychotic problem in the previous generations. I had a PS2 and Gamecube and a cousin with an Xbox and everything was all cool, the world kept spinning. By the time we got to 2009, I had realized the direction each company was going and I released this video speaking my mind on what I felt I could see coming down the road for all three. Now in 2013, I realized, as well as all of you, who had watched and commented that it was a correct assessment. Regardless, this console generation is finally coming to a close this fall. With the release of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, I had hopes that this drama would be a thing of the past; clearly, it’s not. Interesting, since this generation, both the PS4 and X1 are going to be so closely similar in specs and features and even appearance in some ways, that the differences between them are the most minuscule they have ever been in the previous generations. The Wii U shows the biggest difference between the three consoles.

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I purchased a Wii U in November of 2012, and have my own thoughts on Nintendo’s latest system and their marketing strategies. Regardless, I have never regretted my purchase, nor have I ever seriously taken anybody’s prediction that Nintendo was already TKO’d when the system just came out, literally 8 months ago. Nintendo has been in the business longer than Sony and Microsoft put together, and they didn’t become successful from having a enormous selection of mature-rated titles or a fully interactive online gaming community. They always come out swinging with their exclusive and creative titles that no other company can replicate. And I have no doubts that 8 months from now, the state of the Wii U will be at a much more prominent status than it has been placed in now.

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Sadly, ever since E3 2013, the fanboy rants have been growing to sizes of yesteryear. With Microsoft’s announced DRM policy (and its reversal), it gave Nintendo and Sony untold amounts of ammunition that is waning at a too-slow rate. I say this because once the Fall hits, all three crowds of extremist gamers will have to rant and rave. They will roar about a piece of cheaply-made plastic manufactured in China on an assembly line. They will then give reasons as to why they “hate” (yes, hate) the other company. I have said it many times before, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony DO NOT CARE WHETHER YOU LIVE OR DIE. They do not care whether you make your rent this month, or hospital bills, or lose your job. Mircosoft/Sony/Nintendo exec’s do not scour the internet messaging you on Facebook, asking “how is the family” and “how your old aunt with the heart condition doing”. They do not care about you. Their business is to generate a maximum profit each year by releasing content people that will flock to stores to buy. And there is nothing wrong with that; it’s business, pure and simple. However, when you hear this sort of “hero worship” or “company loyalty” among the gaming community, I can’t help but laugh and feel sad at the same time for them.

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I still today can’t figure out where this hate comes from. Whether some people simply can’t afford to buy multiple systems, and must create an imaginary world of hate in order to compensate for their tight income, I don’t know. All these years later and it’s still a great mystery as to why gamers/nerds/gaming journalists continue to spew hate and lunacy towards the X1, PS4, or the Wii U and all past-gen consoles. What is this passion and anger that comes from a subject so inconsequential in our everyday world? The subject after all is video games; it can’t be more infantile than that. I am 25 years old and I love playing video games and writing about my feelings on them, and the market as a whole too. However, even I realize that no matter how mainstream gaming becomes, it will always be looked on as an adolescent hobby where the only true facts are that money is spent in vast amounts each year by the consumer.

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The hate doesn’t have to be there this time, the rivalry should not be in our minds and spewing out. We are not sitting high above in an office working as an executive at any of these companies, we are merely a purchaser of their manufactured goods. And of course if you are someone who just prefers one over the other for specific reasons, that’s perfectly normal and acceptable obviously. Technology can be amazing at times, and in gaming, I do not think anybody should have the right or provocation to become enraged or angered by another piece of technology that nobody is forcing you to buy or not. I am a gamer and I love to game because it is a terrific pastime for me. I chose to purchase all three consoles because I work multiple jobs and monetary reasons would allow me to. More importantly, I chose to purchase all three because I can never see limiting myself to one or two, if not all three. If they all seem exciting in different aspects, and are all offering unique experiences in their own way, then why not?

Digital Sales for Nintendo are Growing Rapidly

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For those of you who watched the Nintendo Direct earlier today, you may have picked up on the fact that each and every title announced will launch in both retail and eShop venues at the same time. Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime stated, “We started this technological change last year, and since then its been starting to pay off tremendously. We have 15 Nintendo-published titles available, both physically and digitally [on the 3DS]. So far in 2013, of those 15 available in this format, 11 percent of sales have come through full digital downloads of those games. Certain titles have done even better digitally: Fire Emblem: Awakening digitally sold a third of its 240,000 units to date. Game sales for the handheld system are up 55 percent from last year across retail and online, with more than 20 million titles purchased since the system’s launch in early 2011.”

Fils-Aime also mentioned that the rate of 3DS releases are “going to be dramatically ramped up” over the next nine months. I would say this is a good time for Nintendo profit wise, with both a leading handheld device and a home console spewing money the right way thanks to digital purchases.

In my opinion, Nintendo has the advantage to become king of 2013 by gaining plenty of ground in the crucial months leading up to this Holiday season. The question is, will they succeed in besting Microsoft and Sony’s next gen consoles this fall? We shall see. For more news on Nintendo, the Wii U and 3DS, stay tuned to GamersXtreme, and as always, “Game On!”

Nintendo Shutting Down Some Wii Services in June

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When the Wii launched in November of 2006, the world took storm by its innovative take on gaming. Introducing something fresh and unique, motion gaming became quite the fad during that time. Over the months of its launch, Wii owners were able to access the Forecast Channel, News Channel and Message Boards so that you can share messages with friends. Honestly, there was nothing cooler than seeing your console’s disc slot illuminate with the neon blue lighting when you received a message.

Today, Nintendo made a statement that they will be shutting down some of those services.

We at Nintendo sincerely thank you for your continued patronage of our company’s products. We would like to inform you that a portion of the network services offered through the Wii console will be discontinued starting June 28, 2013. We apologize to those of you currently using these services, and ask for your understanding.

The following channels and features will be deactivated on June 28th:

– Forecast Channel
– News Channel
– Everybody Votes Channel
– Check Mii Out Channel
– Nintendo Channel
– Messaging between Wii friends on WiiConnect24

The Wii has been out of over six years now, but there’s no question the impact it made on the industry. We’ll sure miss that flashing blue light when getting a message on the console…

Does this affect you at all? Sound off in the comments below!

Wii U Will Get Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes

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Well both Nintendo and Lego fans can rejoice as Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes is coming to Wii U. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has announced today that the game will be launching onto the Wii U console this spring. Initially, the game had sold over three million copies at launch last summer for PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, DS, 3DS, and PlayStation Vita.

In addition to this, it is confirmed that DC Super Heroes will make full use out of the GamePad controller. The GamePad will be used as an interactive map that allows players to navigate through Gotham City as well as choose characters. Thankfully, the game is completely playable via the GamePad through “off-TV mode”.

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DC Super Heroes has players experiencing a plethora of famous fictional heroes, including Batman, Robin, Superman, Wonder Woman, and the Green Lantern. The objective is to save Gotham City from the evil Lex Luthor and Joker. Besides the new characters, DC Super Heroes lets gamers traverse new areas of Gotham City in a variety of vehicles, including the notorious Batmobile. The Wii U version will also feature upgraded gadgets and suits, as well as new abilities like flight, heat vision, and super breath.

It looks like Wii U fans will have another reason to be excited for this spring! For more news on this or any other topic, be sure to keep it locked onto Gamers Xtreme, and as always, “Game On!”

Club Nintendo Receives Some Fantastic Additions

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For those who are enrolled and participate in the Club Nintendo program, you will have a special treat coming to your Wii. For 200 coins, gamers will have the chance to purchase the original Paper Mario, which debuted on the N64 nearly twelve years ago. From my own perspective, Paper Mario was an amazing platformer/RPG. It fused together a perfect blend of RPG elements, combined with traditional platforming, creating a truly unique experience. If RPGs or Mario isn’t your cup of tea, then Nintendo has you covered.

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Another exceptional buy is Kirby Super Star for 150 coins. Releasing over sixteen years ago on the SNES, the game has not lost its nostalgia. The single-player adventure is fun and offers some of the best Kirby visuals to date for a side scroller. Kirby also offers a terrific local multiplayer mode for those of you who can remember back in the days where friends actually came over your house to play games with you side by side, rather than sending a text to jump online. Whether you are a Mario fan or Kirby fan, or both, the result is the same. You will be making a great decision to pick up at least one of these games and see the quality that was put into them. In doing that, you will also thoroughly enjoy the adventures offered by each. These two classic games are well worth the price of your coins, literally!

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If you are a fan of DSiWare, then fear not because Nintendo’s got you covered with two great titles. Metal Torrent is a fun shooter with online leaderboards, and varied game modes that are sure to keep you entertained. It can be downloaded from the Nintendo eShop via the Nintendo 3DS for $4.99. If you are a Club Nintendo member, you can purchase this for just 150 Coins. Another fun DSiWare title is Bird & Beans. Simple, yet fast paced and great as a pick-up and play, it’s a no brainer. Combine challenging gameplay and a $1.99 price tag or 100 coin price for club members and it’s an easy sell. Its worth mentioning that all four titles will only be available till March 10, so time is limited!

Nintendo Reveals List of Release Dates for Q1 2013

Nintendo has made a press statement today regarding the Wii U, 3DS and Wii releases coming in the first quarter of 2013. Here’s the list of games you can expect:

Wii U:

  • The Amazing Spider-Man: Ultimate Edition (March)
  • The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct (March 26th)
  • Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (March 19th)
  • The Croods: Prehistoric Party! (March 19th)
  • Need for Speed: Most Wanted (March 19th)
  • LEGO City: Undercover (March 18th)
  • Aliens: Colonial Marines (Q1)
  • Rayman Legends (Feb. 26th)

Wii U eShop:

  • BIT.TRIP Presents… Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien (Q1)
  • Puddle (Q1)
  • The Cave (Jan. 22nd)
  • Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage 2 (Feb. 7th)
  • Toki Tori 2 (Q1)
  • Zen Pinball 2 (Q1)

Wii:

  • The Croods: Prehistoric Party! (March 19th)
  • Kids Learn Pets and Vets Bundle (March 12th)
  • Pandora’s Tower (Spring)

3DS:

  • Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan (Feb. 26th)
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers (April 16th)
  • Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (March 19th)
  • The Croods: Prehistoric Party! (March 19th)
  • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate (March 5th)
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 3D (Feb. 12th)
  • Monster High Skultimate Roller Maze (March 13th)
  • NARUTO Powerful Shippuden (March 5th)
  • Brain Age: Concentration Training (Feb. 10th)
  • Fire Emblem Awakening (Feb. 4th)
  • LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins (April 21st)
  • Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon (March 24th)
  • Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity (March 24th)
  • Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (Feb. 12th)

3DS eShop:

  • Bloody Vampire (Jan. 31st)
  • Witch’s Cat (Jan. 31st)
  • Coaster Creator 3D (Q1)
  • Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D (Q1)
  • Finding Nemo: Escape to the Big Blue (Jan. 17th)
  • Deer Drive Legends (Jan. 17th)
  • Ikachan (Q1)
  • Guxt (Q1)
  • Tokyo Crash Mobs (Jan. 17th)
  • Fire Emblem Awakening DEMO (Jan. 17th)
  • Brain Age: Concentration Training DEMO (Jan. 24th)
  • ATV Wild Ride 3D (Q1)
  • Jewel Master: Cradle of Egypt 2 (March 19th)
  • Nano Assault EX (Q1)
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Shadow Wars (Jan. 24th)
  • Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell 3D (Q1)

DS:

  • The Croods: Prehistoric Party! (March 19th)
  • Kids Learn Animals Bundle (Feb. 26th)
  • Kids Learn Math and Spelling Bundle (Feb. 26th)
  • Kids Learn Pets and Horse Bundle (March 26th)