Wind Waker HD’s “Hero Mode” has no heart

Looking for a bit of a challenge when you play The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD this fall? Luckily, for the more advanced Hylians, Nintendo will be including an all new “Hero Mode” in the game.

“Hero Mode” promises to make the adventure a lot more difficult. First, enemies will inflict twice as much damage as in the game’s original mode. Secondly, hearts won’t be found scattered in tall grass or pots. Replenishing your heart containers will only be possible by collecting fairies or shards of hearts. I’ve played my fair share of Zelda titles, and I can honestly say that this sounds impossible, but I’m up for the challenge.

Take a look at the new mode’s debut trailer above. What do you guys think?

The sweet taste of Cloudberry Kingdom is just days away

Pwnee Studios has been hard at work, putting the finishing touches on one of the most intense platformers I’ve ever played. Cloudberry Kingdom is the perfect summer treat for anyone craving a chaotic sidescroller, set throughout obstacle-ridden worlds created by a level generation algorithm.

Today, Pwnee has announced the release date for the game, for each of its respective platforms:

Playstation 3 (PSN)      July 30th
Xbox 360 (XBLA)          July 31st
Steam                            July 31st
Wii U (eShop)                August 1st 

If you’re new to the game, there’s two brand new trailers posted here for you to get yourself up to speed. Above, you’ll get a glimpse at the main gameplay trailer. Below the break, check out the game’s opening cinematic.

Cloudberry Kingdom will cost just $9.99 (800 Microsoft Points), and I expect you all to buy it. Continue reading

Sonic Lost World racing to Nintendo platforms this October

Sega just debuted a brand new trailer for their upcoming Nintendo exclusive Sonic title, Sonic Lost World. The game returns the speedy hedgehog to familiar platforming territory, this time high in the sky on floating environments.

The new trailer also shows off the colored wisps that debuted in the Wii title Sonic Colors, which give Sonic different abilities.

Sonic Lost World will launch on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS on October 22.

IGN

Club Nintendo 2013 platinum and gold rewards announced

CN Rewards

Nintendo has finally gotten around to announcing their platinum- and gold-tier rewards for members of their Club Nintendo service, though a little later than usual.

Platinum members can select one reward: a 3-poster pack (comprised of artwork from Pikmin 3, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, and 8-bit Luigi), or a re-release of the OST from Majora’s Mask.

Gold rewards, which are also available to platinum members, include a choice of a 2014 desk calendar, or a free download of games like Super Smash Bros., Link’s Awakening, and Super Mario Land. Certainly a fair selection of rewards, especially considering it’s free!

For a complete list of all the prizes, check out Club Nintendo website, linked below.

ClubNintendo

Fan covers songs by Animal Crossing’s Kapp’n

If you’re familiar with Animal Crossing, you know all about Kapp’n and his beautiful singing voice. The lovable character is known for serenading you on your trips to and from the island. Thankfully, his charming tunes have been shown the ultimate form of respect.

YouTuber Randell covered two of Kapp’n's tracks, and believe it or not, they’re great! Take a listen above. I’m hoping we can get a full album out of this guy!

TinyCartridge

Star Fox 64 and Super Punch Out added as Club Nintendo rewards

Fox

A new month brings new digital reward offerings on the Club Nintendo website. Those looking to cash in their coins may be happy to know that N64 classic Star Fox 64 is now available on the Wii Virtual Console for just 200 coins — [insert "barrel roll" joke here]. If you’re longing for the 16-bit era, Super Punch Out!!, originally on the SNES, is available for 150 coins, also on the Wii Virtual Console.

On the Nintendo 3DS eShop, Donkey Kong is now available for 100 coins, along with Aura-Aura Climber.

Happy with the new downloadable rewards this month? Will you be redeeming, or saving those coins for some exclusive merch?

ClubNintendo

Jimmy Fallon kicks off post-E3 video game week

Fallon

Fans of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon are well aware of the talk show host’s passion for gaming. Fallon routinely showcases the newest in games and hardware on his NBC talk show.

This week, Fallon’s “Video Game Week” returns with an impressive lineup, featuring games that also appeared on the show floor at last week’s E3; titles like Watch Dogs, Game & Wario, and Super Mario 3D World to name a few. He’ll also show off titles from Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

To round out the game fest, musical guests for the week include performances by Zedd with special guest Foxes, Chvurches, and my personal favorites, Anamanaguchi.

For a look at this week’s schedule, click below the break. Will you be tuning in?

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Nintendo 3DS wins May as top-selling platform, thanks to Donkey Kong

Nintendo 3DS XL

Hot off the heels of their well-received E3 showcase, Nintendo has even more good news to embrace. Today, the house of Mario proudly announced that their Nintendo 3DS handheld sold more units than any other platform during the month of May, according to data from NPD Group.

The company has two of its newest titles to thank, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, ranking respectfully as the second and third highest selling games across all platforms — I picked up both myself. Of course, that impossibly hard to find limited edition Pikachu 3DS XL probably helped sales as well.

What’s even more impressive is that overall software sales of the Nintendo 3DS are up 60% from the previous year, clear proof that the handheld is just getting started. With games like Mario Party 3DS, Mario Golf: World Tour, Pokemon X, Pokmeon Y, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds headed our way, we can expect big sales to linger for quite some time.

To read Nintendo’s full press release, continue reading below the break.

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Cloudberry Kingdom: A perfect platformer conquers E3

Growing up, I never went out of my way to collect all the coins in Super Mario Bros., or made it a point to stomp on Goombas. For me, the joy of a sidescrolling platformer was to haul ass, making it from the starting point to the finish line as quickly as possible. There’s a sense of pride one feels after dodging a swarm of Bullet Bills, sliding under a ring of fire, and successfully clearing Bowser’s castle. After playing Cloudberry Kingdom, it’s clear I wasn’t the only one with that mindset.

CBKThe basic object of Cloudberry Kingdom is to speedrun to the exit as fast as possible, leaving every man for themselves. The levels are very short, the gameplay is fast, and the obstacles are plentiful, so you’ll need to carefully navigate to the end-point, avoiding spikes, fire, lasers, and of course, wide-open death pits.

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E3 2013: Xbox One vs. PS4 — Have you decided?

Xbox

There was something different in the air at this year’s E3, aside from the usual waves of day-old Axe deodorant. Mud went flying between Microsoft and Sony, each trying to 1-up each other in an attempt to compete for the bigger install-base when their respective consoles, the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, launch this holiday.

Monday morning, Microsoft left behind the TV and Fantasy Football talk to present their lineup of heavy-hitters, games including Dead Rising 3, Ryse: Son of Rome, Below, Titanfall, and Forza Motorsport 5. The company also confirmed a $499 MSRP holiday 2013 release, with the new mandatory Kinect One audio/video sensor included.

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Later that night, Sony took the spotlight, as fans were eager to learn more about the new PS4 console, and to finally see the hardware design. With a sleek and modern build and familiar controller design of the DualShock 4, Sony confirmed the console will launch this holiday for $399. The newest PlayStation Camera (replacing the under-utilized PS Eye from the previous generation) would not be included with the console, sold at $59 — the console price also does not include Sony’s PS Move motion controller. Exclusive PS4 games will include Killzone: Shadow Fall, The Order: 1886, Infamous: Second Son, and Knack.

I spent a good amount of time checking out the new hardware at the expo, and a few of the new games slated to debut with these next-gen platforms. I think each console will find a spot in the marketplace, though Microsoft needs to really sell just how great HDMI-pass through is, instead of beating the dead horse that is “SPORTS-SPORTS-SPORTS!” The graphics are stunning, though I’m still skeptical the mainstream casual gamer will be able to tell a stark difference between the current and the next-gen consoles. One thing is for sure, however: The Xbox One controller and DualShock 4 controller are both remarkably better than the previous generation. They don’t stray too far from their former iterations, but both feature tighter analog control, better button feel, and no squishy triggers. The DualShock 4 is comfortable and light in weight, while the Xbox One controller features vastly improved directional pads.

The next-gen market has become so split, where fanboys pledge their allegiance to their favorite consoles before they’ve even played a single game, and I totally get that. For the rest out there, it will come down to the software exclusives, and the extra features associated with each console. If you’re on the fence about which way to go, or you would like a side-by-side refresher course, take a look at this extensive chart below the break. Created by Deviantart user Yamamoto114, the chart gives a detailed look at differences and similarities between the Xbox One and PS4. Then sound off in the comments and let us know which way you’re going to go come this holiday.

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