It's finally here! In less than two weeks, the last of the Rainfall trilogy will cross the Atlantic. Or the Pacific. Depends on whether it's shipping from Japan or Europe, as both are involved...either way, we have a release date at last! On April 16th, Rainfallers or even just gamers who are looking for unique titles for the Wii are receiving the console's last hurrah. 

While reviews on the title have been mixed, I've seen people who consider it to be one of their favorite games. One thing I've come to appreciate about the Rainfall titles so far is the new experience they've provided, both good and bad, and I'll definitely be grabbing Pandora's Tower upon release. Are you?

The internet was abuzz last fall when Disney acquired basically everything attached to Star Wars; this included LucasArts, the studio behind the Star Wars games, among many others. While the titles have been hit-and-miss, there were still a lot of gamers who loved being able to experience one of their favorite franchises through video games. Now, according to Kotaku, the studio has been shut down.

I'm sure Disney will give us reasons for the closure soon, but for now we can only speculate. With both Star Wars: First Assault and Star Wars 1313 cancelled and 150 staff members laid off, hopefully there are some jobs open for a lot of experienced designers.

How do you feel about this sudden closure? Personally, I'm really disappointed. With all the bad and mediocre Star Wars titles out there, there are still so many that I enjoy. Not to mention Monkey Island, Indiana Jones, Day of the Tentacle...I'm going to miss LucasArts' work.

         

Rising indie developer AckkStudios is developing an upcoming game called Two Brothers, an action RPG designed to feel like a classic Game Boy game. We at Gamnesia had the chance to speak to Andrew Allanson, who served as the producer and leading composer and on the game's staff, about a wide variety of subjects. Areas of focus in this interview including the design of the game, challenges introducing gamers to Two Brothers' new ideas, and the relationship between plot and gameplay. Read the full interview to see why you should be as excited as we are excited about Two Brothers.

Well as pretty much everyone knows, the Wii U hasn't been doing great in the sales department, due to the console not having many high profile games. This could finally be coming to an end though as Nintendo of France confirmed that the Wii U sales have tripled due to the release of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. But that's not all, UK game retailers reveal that the Wii U sales in the UK have increased by 125% since the release of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. I really hope this is the turn around Nintendo needed.

Do you think this increase in sales will last? Tell us why or why not in the comments!

Deus Ex: Human Revolution may be two years old, but this still has to be considered a nice nod to the power of the Wii U. While the Wii U is certainly no PS4 or Durango, it's definitely a cut above the generation 7 consoles. Penny Arcade had a chance to sit down with Emile Pedneault, who is the director of the Wii U version of the game.

“Right now, this is the best-looking Deus Ex,” Pedneault said. “It's even sharper than the PC version.” While the game does look noticeably nicer than it did on 360 and PS3, I couldn't compare it to a high-end PC, and when I pressed Pendeault to be specific about performance differences, he would only say that the team has worked on adjusting the game's engine, and that the Wii U hardware “helped” with that task.

Of course, there is much more inside.

Get your 3DS handhelds ready because Atlus has confirmed that Shin Megami Tensei IV is coming to the North America this summer in both digital and retail forms.

Shin Megami Tensei is scheduled for a release next month in Japan and it's been a decade since Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne was released back in 2003 on the PlayStation 2. Can you believe it?

Shin Megami Tensei IV's official NA website is now open and pre-orders are already open across multiple websites such as GameStop and Amazon for those who want to reserve a copy as soon as possible. You might want to save up though, pre-orders list Shin Megami Tensei 4 at $49.99! Head inside for some more information from the press release.

The future of console gaming has been a huge topic for discussion lately amongst gamers and industry powerhouses alike. With the rise of mobile gaming and the success of Steam, many have wondered how long it will be before the generational cycle between consoles becomes a defunct process. Others, meanwhile, say that other areas of the market are a formidable new way to play, they won't make a dent in the success of classic consoles.

Peter Moore, Chief Operating Officer of EA, has said that console gaming is very much alive and well.

“The console business is still a core part of our business; it’s the majority of our business. The demise of console gaming is very premature as far as we’re concerned...

...We still have thousands of people focused on developing current-generation Xbox 360 and PS3 games, as well as people focused now on the next generation when that finally arrives. And so, people still want core games. People want to sit back in their living rooms, take advantage of their HD TVs, and and play fully immersive games like [Battlefield 4].” — Peter Moore

While there's a huge jump in his logic from saying "we still have developers" to saying "console gaming is going nowhere" as he does in his first sentence, he makes an important point that the console market is very much alive and well. But with the release of OUYA this June and the Steam Box sometime thereafter, how much longer will traditional consoles last? If the Nintendo 3DS can thrive the way it has been in the handheld gaming market despite the rising sales of iOS and Android games, I've got a feeling traditional consoles will be sticking around for a while longer.

What about you? Do you think console gaming is beginning to die out, or do think they will continue to thrive in the coming years? Get the discussion going in the comments below!

Ever wished you could play classic NES games on your new HDTV without worry about that awful, blurry picture? Well, the brilliant folks at RetroZone have, and they've decided to work on a solution. Bringing the classic NES up to modern standards begins with an HDMI output so that gamers can see every crystal clear pixel on modern screens. but it doesn't stop there—built in to these revamped NES consoles will be a mini-USB port for connecting the device to a PC and uploading your high scores to an online leaderboard. If you like the look of your classic NES, you're in for a sad surprise to hear that these rebuilt consoles are based on the smaller top-loading remodel released by Nintendo in 1993. These devices do not currently have a name, but they should be available for retail release some time in April.

While this news on a day like today may be something to raise an eyebrow at, I can assure you that these HD NES consoles are no joke. You can head over to the progress thread at NintendoAge for more.

We here at Gamnesia received an anonymous tip from none other than legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto today about the future of Nintendo and the IPs held by Rare. "Hello Gamnesia," Miyamoto begins his hand-written letter which arrived at our office today, "I come to you with news both good and bad."

Miyamoto proceeds to explain that due to fan demand, Nintendo has been interested in buying one or more IPs from Rare, a company that developed several great games in the golden days of its partnership with Nintendo. Of particular interest to Nintendo is Banjo-Kazooie, a fan favorite from the Nintendo 64 generation. Miyamoto explains that Nintendo had begun negotiations to buy the IP from Rare in order to develop the long awaited Banjo-Threeie for Wii U.

"Unfortunatelywe did not succeed." According to Reggie Fils-Aime, Microsoft said that the Banjo-Kazooie IP was simply "too valuable" to let go. Though unflinching in ownership of Banjo-Kazooie, Microsoft was open to other negotiations with Nintendo, and agreed to sell the Kinect Sports license for $40,000 plus a box of Pokémon cards. As gratuity, they threw in the license to Grabbed by the Ghoulies in exchange for a Holographic Mewtwo.

"While we are saddened by the loss of our animal friends, we look forward to the bright future ahead for Kinect Sports on Wii U" — Shigeru Miyamoto

There's been a lot of talk surrounding Epic and their Unreal Engine 4 as of late; it's the greatest thing to happen to games since Samus Rule 34 surfaced, apparently. Still, there's no denying that it makes pretty pictures. I just hope that they come up with some really interesting ideas to make the games powered by Unreal Engine 4. As shiny as their demos are, the subject matter of Epic's demos is never really all that engaging to me. There really is an impressive amount of detail here, though.

One of the biggest stories in gaming the last few days has been the official reveal of Metal Gear Solid V, a game which is being split into two parts; Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain, two separately announced titles that have finally been connected, with the former being a prologue for the latter. However, series creator Hideo Kojima hasn't said anything about when to expect these games. However,analyst David Gibson claims to have received information on the release schedule straight from Konami:

If this is true, that means we'd be getting Ground Zeroes in this next year, with The Phantom Pain potentially two years off. This raises a number of questions; if the games are really being released individually, will Ground Zeroes be a full-length game on the PS3, or a shorter download with replay value? If The Phantom Pain is really two years off, why haven't they announced a PS4 release? I understand keeping support for the PS3 going (Heck, look at how long they continued PS2 support) but it doesn't make sense to keep it off the next-gen systems.

What are your hopes and dreams for the Metal Gear Solid V releases? As long as Ground Zeroes isn't on Vita, I'm happy.

At this year's annual Game Developers Conference, Ben Foddy, creator of online hit QWOP, took to the stage during the "Indie Soapbox" and mused about how one could redefine the "free-to-play" model, proceeding to suggest two radical ideas. The first of these thoughts is called a "reward model," where gamers who are good enough at a game don't have to play. The second idea he threw around suggested you only pay for a game if you're absolutely horrendous at playing it.

Now, redefining how gamers pay for content is already radical enough, but while these models might be nice for smaller developers, big-time publishers would be hit hard if even just the top brass of players didn't have to pay. It seems to me a more encouraging model would be the absolute opposite of these ideas—one in which gamers can play the game for free until they get good enough. That way, more people are encouraged to try the game for free, and after getting enough time with the game to know if you want more, then you have the chance to pay. Of course, this is but my own brief musing, but it seems to me a pricing model like that would work better for the little guys, while being a little bit less harsh on the profits of the bigger corporations.

Do you think the gaming industry should redefine pricing models, or with platforms like Steam and the eShop, do you think having set, adjustable prices with frequent sales is the way to go? Would you like to see some companies push forward with the idea, or do you think it should be ignored altogether?

Power to the indies! Dan Adelman, Nintendo's liason with indie developers for the Nintendo eShop, recently made his way to Gamasutra for an interview detailing why and how Nintendo's recent strives to make developing for Wii U as "frictionless" as possible for indie developers can really make a difference. There are dozens of reasons why indie developers would like the Wii U, Adelman explains, among which are the following:

  1. As more and more developers work from home, Nintendo no longer requires developers to have a separate office space to obtain a development license.

  2. "Anyone from any country" can release their games on the North American and European eShops—developers are not required to have an address in a territory in which they wish to release their games.

  3. Developers set their own prices for games, their own times for sales, and can update and patch their games whenever they so desire.

  4. Nintendo is providing Unity 4 Pro to developers at no extra cost, meaning if a developer has a Wii U dev kit and is already building a game in Unity, porting (both ways) will be easy as pie.

There are plenty of other ways that Nintendo is trying to ease the transition for indie developers, as Adelman explains in greater detail in the original interview. Hopefully with this easy indie platform, we'll be seeing a lot more out of the eShop soon.

In a recent interview with Games Industry, former Activision, Disney and EA executive Mitch Lasky made the claim that consoles have "essentially lost the living room." It is an interesting thought, when you consider the prevalence of mobile and tablet gaming. Heck, a driving concept behind the Wii U is that it surrenders the living room when someone else wants to watch the TV while someone is gaming.

Even with the significant increase in portable gaming with the Nintendo DS and Sony's endeavors in the PSP and Vita, have consoles really lost the living room though? Looking at my set-up right now I see a room entirely based around the three consoles connected to the television. What do you think; are consoles losing the living room? Share your thoughts inside.

Following in the footsteps of fan creations like Pokémon Reorchestrated and Twilight Symphony, Nintendo fan Blake Robinson has put his best efforts forward to create Super Metroid Symphony, which takes 60 minutes of music from the SNES classic Super Metroid and beefs it up with a fantastic orchestral sound. Super Metroid Symphony is available on iTunes and Loudr, and while the album preview can be found alongside several other wonderful orchestrations on his YouTube channel, the full product of Blake Robinson's efforts can be purchased for just $9.99.