The newest game in the Legend of Zelda series, subtitled Tri-Force Heroes, is the eighteenth game in the series since its inception 29 years ago. Link has come a long way since that first adventure (well, they’re all different incarnations of Link, really), and now we have three Link characters all playing cooperatively together in the same adventure. Does it work well? I don my green Hylian garb, grab my bow, bombs, boomerangs, (Ed: And my axe!) and master sword, and head out into the Drablands to see what’s up.
Harvest Moon is a tricky story. The games were developed in Japan by Marvellous Entertainment, but while originally translated and localized by Natsume, is currently localized by XSEED Games (and by Rising Star Games in Europe). The problem, however, is that the name “Harvest Moon” is held by Natsume, not XSEED. So while XSEED continues to localize Marvellous’ Japanese games under the title “Story of Seasons”, Natsume and Rising Star continue to make games using the name Harvest Moon. So, to be clear, the newest game in the series, The Lost Valley, is not strictly part of Marvellous Entertainment’s main Harvest Moon series because Marvellous Entertainment had nothing to do with it, even though it shares many gameplay elements with the original Harvest Moon series. It makes sense, therefore, to analyze and review this game based not on the original Harvest Moon series, but as its own entity with the same name. Confused? Never mind. Let’s just farm through this review to see what kind of crops we reap.
Anyone who has seen or played Fantasy Zone will instantly recognize the insanely cute graphical stylings of an insanely difficult game (one of the few games that belong to a genre called, appropriately, “cute-’em-ups”). It has a long and very checkered history, with ports onto almost a dozen different platforms, including the Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Megadrive, and of course, an appearance in video arcades. The 3D release of this game has now been released on the 3DS, and I get cute to bring this review to you.
Codename S.T.E.A.M. is a new, turn-based, tactical action game for the Nintendo 3DS. The game is set in a Steampunk Victorian age during an alien invasion of the planet, and it’s up to your team of S.T.E.A.M. agents to save the day. Can you muster up the…you know…smoky stuff?
OlliOlli is a 2D sidescrolling skateboarding game where you have to perform skateboard tricks for sick and gnarly scores. The name of the game, obviously, comes from the name of the skateboarding trick, the Ollie, and you have to make your way across various bits of urban jungle in search of the best scores and the grooviest moves. I don my helmet and kneepads, grab my board, and prepare to gleam the cube.
Space Invaders was released in video arcades to an unsuspecting world in 1978, and remains to this day one of the most iconic symbols of video gaming. It was followed shortly thereafter by Galaxian and Galaga, and these games set the mould for the “aliens attacking in formation” style of shoot-em-up (or shmup for short). Titan Attacks is a game in that vein, but with a slightly more modern spin on it. I take on the alien hordes in my tank, and risk certain death by incoming alien.
New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the 3DS is the direct sequel to New Super Mario Bros. on the DS. More Mario is never a bad thing (I’ve heard it nosed about that Mario has the most appearances in numbers of video games EVER, but it’s pretty much a case of  for that), and games in the proper numbered series are always well anticipated. This time around, the challenge is less on hunting down an errant princess than on collecting as many coins as you possibly can. And you’ll need a lot.
Sports video games are a very popular genre, and anything that features the great mascot of gaming himself—Mario—is bound to triple anything’s popularity. So surely combining the two would make for unstoppable games, right? I see whether putting Mario and “tennis” together works out as well as we’d hope.
How do you replicate the success of the most popular handheld console since the beginning of time? With the current revolution in mobile gaming, is there still a place for a dedicated handheld games console? And how do you manage to create something innovative enough to, once again, attract instant, unabashed curiosity and interest from both core and casual gamers alike? No doubt these and many other questions were asked, dissected, and pondered over by Nintendo on the road to formulating a concept for the eventual successor the Nintendo DS. The answer to those deliberations will soon be lining shelves here in South Africa and contains Nintendo’s response to the aforementioned questions, which is quite simply, stereoscopic 3D…without the need to sport a pair of aesthetically poorly designed, over-priced glasses. There is of course much more to it than that, but without a doubt, the wow-factor here is rooted firmly in the realm of the 3rd dimension.
I’ve been privileged to attend the Nintendo 3DS pre-launch event on Thursday at Montecasino courtesy of Onelargeprawn and the Core Group, where I’ve been able to finally get my hands on one of the most anticipated pieces of tech that doesn’t have the word “Apple” plastered over it. I’ve since done my utmost to try and separate my impressions of the device from the rather loud (and decidedly impressive) pomp and circumstance that accompanied the event, but subsequently found that my impressions have remained largely unchanged. In short, I want the 3DS and I want it now. Read my thoughts after the jump.