Beginning today, Electronic Arts (EA) and Maxis are offering players who have suffered through SimCity's launch server issues with a free game download. This was announced by Maxis Genreal Manager Lucy Bradshaw on her blog, and the emails were sent out to gamers today, detailing how to get their free game.

"On March 18, SimCity players who have activated their game will receive an email telling them how to redeem their free game. I know that’s a little contrived -- kind of like buying a present for a friend after you did something crummy. But we feel bad about what happened. We’re hoping you won’t stay mad and that we’ll be friends again when SimCity is running at 100 percent." — Lucy Bradshaw

Be it little more than a nice little public relations ploy, it is still a nice treat, just like the Nintendo 3DS' Ambassador Program provided gamers who purchased the console before the price drop with something for their dedication. Likewise, dedicated SimCity fans get a little something. Which games can be chosen are after the jump.

In a relatively surprising announcement, Playstation Blog has revealed that Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two will be coming to the Playstation Vita later this year. The news itself is the bare-bones announcement with some promotional copy, so expect more actual details as we head into the E3 period.

This comes as a shock because The Power of Two was, by all definitions of the term, a flop. Despite releasing across all platforms from home consoles to computers, the game sold extremely poorly. So poorly, in fact, the the developer, Junction Point Studios, is now out of business.

The Power of Two was a real opportunity to improve upon the failings of the original Wii-exclusive Epic Mickey, but the game fell back into its old ways and was thus also critically unsuccessful. This seems like little more than a desperate attempt to bolster some more sales, but the Vita will not be the game's salvation. Come inside for PlayStation's full announcement.

It's been a while since any real news about the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut has come about. However, three months after the shooting, the International Association of Police Chiefs and Colonels held their mid-year meeting, and at that meeting, Colonel Stebbins revealed some more information about the shooter. Apparently, the shooter (whose name I won't mention) had a spreadsheet in his room; a 7-by-4 foot spreadsheet containing the names of dozens of past shooters, the weapons they used, and most importantly the number of people they had killed.

This is disturbing news, and it's understandable that it would have a profound effect on the cops who discovered it. According to one, the research was so thorough that it was like a doctoral thesis. For years, he had been assembling this information (the spreadsheet had even required a special printer) and collected guns to prepare for that day. Clearly, this was the work of a lunatic; only, some members of the police force see it a little bit differently. According to an anonymous veteran, 

This was the work of a video gamer...

More after the jump.

Lego City: Undercover has gotten some solid reviews, notching a solid 80/100 on Metacritic with a user score of 9.7 out of 10. For those of you that like to download everything, it's actually been available since yesterday. However, after talking it over with several people, it appears the download itself can definitely take awhile as the servers are getting strained with a lot of people going after this 22GB download. 

Hoping to nab it at retail? Have it pre-ordered? Well, there is a snag that I have confirmed with multiple sources, including all of my local shops. It appears many, if not most, retailers have had their shipments for the product delayed. Normally, game shipments for release days arrive a few days to a week in advance. There was a shipping error somewhere in the chain of command at Nintendo of America that has lead to the games actually arriving late. This means that the retail copy, and your pre-order of said copy, may not even arrive until the 20th. This was also an issue Nintendo had with Fire Emblem: Awakening... so someone needs to awaken their shipping department and get this mess sorted out.

Of course, Lego City isn't the only major game coming out this week. Tomorrow, Monster Hunter 3: Ultimate, which is a souped up HD version of Monster Hunter Tri with 50% more content, arrives on store shelves. I have confirmed with multiple retailers that they do have the product for the game already, so those pre-orders are safe. Of course, Capcom handles their own distribution. In any case, this is a big week for Wii U owners, because we have two stellar experiences - something many of us have been waiting for since day one. It should also be noted that The Wonderful 101 is now listed as "coming soon" on the eShop, suggesting that may be the next big title we can look forward to.

SXSW may have been last weekend, but we've still got a good week until the title hits our local stores and mailboxes. College may have gotten in the way of me sharing this story, but let me just say that if you're a fan of Luigi's Mansion back on the GameCube, you'll love Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon. Dark Moon is pure fun and its filled with that classic Luigi's Mansion gameplay, humor, and level design. So let's hop right into the demo!

Luigi's Mansion's much anticipated sequel is very nearly upon us now. The game was developed by Next Level Games, and in a recent interview with Polygon, the title's director Bryce Holiday revealed some of the inspiration behind Luigi's antics.

The humor found in Dark Moon was influenced by the well-known classic British Comedy program, Mr. Bean. Mr. Bean was portrayed by the comedian Rowan Atkinson, and his character as a "hapless fool and reluctant hero" was transferred over to Luigi's personality.

“Watching Luigi is kind of like watching a Mr. Bean episode. You know he’s going to get into trouble, but you’re kind of surprised about where it’s going to come from."

More of the quote can be found inside.

HarmoKnight is an adorable music game made by Game Freak, the developers of the Pokémon franchise, and though the Japanese fans have been enjoying HarmoKnight since September, we overseas have been waiting patiently for news of a release date. Thankfully, we finally have one!

If you really can't wait to try out HarmoKnight, there is a demo currently available in the North American eShop for free, but the game is only a week and a half away—it comes out on March 28th for both America and Europe! What's more is that a demo is coming to the European eShop in just a few days.

Have you been itching to try out HarmoKnight, or do you think it's another downloadable game on which you'll pass? Are the bonus stages based on Pokémon music enough to draw you in? Sound off in the comments!

Luigi's Mansion 2 is coming to the markets in just a matter of days. After 12 years of waiting for a sequel, fans are really looking forward to a high-quality followup that beats the original in every way it can, and it looks like that's exactly what we're going to get. In an interview with Kotaku, Bryce Holliday, director of Next Level Games—the studio developing Luigi's Mansion 2—has revealed that Luigi's Mansion 2 has been in development for four years—before the team even knew whether it was for Wii, 3DS, or Wii U. That means four years of trial and error, four years of planning, and four years of close collaboration with Miyamoto-san, so naturally, the game is going to be astounding.

"Then the game was about adding value. Because the first game was notoriously short. And Miyamoto himself would play the game even a year into development and say, 'No we need to keep adding more. Let's keep experimenting with new gameplay ideas.' So [there was] almost 16, 18 months of, I would say, prototyping phases of just let's just try a slide game, let's try ballooning, let's try different things with the vacuum. We threw away a lot, maybe enough to make another game, but it's that kind of commitment to experimenting that was trying to satisfy his need to add a lot of value to the game. And I think the multiplayer eventually ended up being that value-add component.

As we were experimenting, we had all the different mansions, and we wanted to make sure that all the mansions were up to a certain level of quality as well. That obviously takes a bit of extra time to do."

To some, this huge amount of work may seem insane, but to the genius that is Nintendo, this is how to create a perfect game. All things considered, Luigi's Mansion 2 is certainly going to be a fantastic follow-up to the 2001 cult classic, and one that's more than worth the wait.

Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem has become infamous among Nintendo fans for being a fantastic IP that never really amounted to much. Even though Silicon Knights was developing a sequel to the beloved GameCube game before their bankruptcy, they game presumably went down with the ship. But Eternal Darkness fans now have another reason to hope.

Even after Silicon Knights' bankruptcy, Nintendo has once again extended the trademark on the Eternal Darkness name. It's hard to tell exactly what this means—could a reboot be in order? Is Nintendo still going ahead with Eternal Darkness 2? Or is this just a company reasserting control of one of its franchises, despite no future plans? Whatever this may be, I'm sure many of you out there are looking forward to the continuation of the series in some form.

But I'm still left with one question... What if this is Retro Studios' secret project?

As you may have noticed from the last three weeks of no new entries in our Challenger Approaching series, the weekly feature here at Gamnesia is on a temporary hiatus. Chris London and myself are the two regular writers for the Challenger Approaching series, collaborating each week to bring you the best possible profiles for every beloved character we review, but recently the series has sadly fallen by the wayside.

The daily and overarching demands of the real world have overwhelmed us both and neither of us can devote the weekly time into the Challenger Apporaching series any longer, but quell your fears—it should be up and running full-throttle in just a few weeks. Until then, please bear with us while we plow our ways through the busy weeks ahead. We know those of you who enjoyed reading the series were disappointed to see it fall behind and are surely saddened to hear that this trend will continue, but it should brighten your day to know that we love the work as much as ever, tough work though it may be, and we can't wait to bring you these profiles regularly once more.

If you really can't get enough of the Challenger Approaching series, you can spend the coming weeks re-reading our thoughtfully-crafted past entries, and you can also be sure to bring up our articles or even Smash itself in the comments below—we'll be sure to answer any and all of your questions and thoughts. Certainly you should be sure to let us know who your favorite potential new fighter is, as well. If you're lucky, we may assemble a profile for your dearly beloved when we return.

Unbeknownst to many in light of the wonderful Nintendo World store, Nintendo conducts a lot of their US business from offices in New York City—Park Avenue, in fact, if you're nearby and would like to see the final days of their larger occupancy. The offices in New York are originally in charge of the Club Nintendo awards program, but with their recently-annoucned downsizing, the program will be moved to the pre-existing Redmond, WA branch, where most of the company's American localization takes place.

"Nintendo is keeping a facility and operations in New York. The Direct Consumer Communications (DCC) team is moving to Redmond headquarters to merge with our Network Business Department (NBD) to provide better digital offerings and services for consumers. Other Nintendo staff unrelated to DCC will remain in New York in a new office location close to the Nintendo World Store."
— Charlie Scibetta, NoA Spokesperson

This move will probably not affect your daily life, though it's sad to hear that a building with so much Nintendo history will no longer see the gorgeous light of the glowing GamePad screen day. They do, however, note that this move is in effort to improve the digital offerings of Nintendo of America, so as long as the Virtual Console finally gets the likes of Pokémon, Wario Land, and for the love of God some Game Boy Advance games, it seems like this move will be worthwhile.

In a recent interview with GameSpot, legendary Nintendo developer Shigeru Miyamoto revealed that when developing a game, his work first goes into the core gameplay, and then he decides what IP best suits the experience.

"Whenever I start working on something I always start with creating new gameplay. After that gameplay becomes more concrete, we look at which character is best suited to the gameplay. So I guess from my standpoint, the ideal situation would be that we’re creating an experience that’s so new and so unique that we can present it to consumers with a new character or IP in a way that would be easiest for them to really understand the concept and enjoy the gameplay. But it may also be that in some of those cases it makes more sense for it to involve some of the characters that are more familiar to our fans."
Shigeru Miyamoto

Now funnily enough, I can imagine that there are a lot of times when he breaks these rules. Surely when developing a New Super Mario Bros. game, the associated franchise is the first thought in development, rather than building a sidescroller. Similarly, I’m sure Skyward Sword began production as a Zelda game before they decided to slap Link onto a faceless dungeon-filled adventure game. But of course, for brand new types of games like the famously rebranded Kirby’s Epic Yarn, this kind of approach is completely unsurprising. It does make you wonder, though, just how many potentially great new IPs Nintendo’s thrown away over the years.

It has been a long wait for Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon. The original GameCube title came out back in 2001; now almost 12 years ago. Its sequel in Dark Moon was announced back at E3 in 2011, and now the much anticipated release is almost upon us.

The game launches on March 20 in Japan, March 24 in North America and March 28 for both Europe and Australia. To whet your appetite and keep you going for this final stretch, we now have a slew of new screenshots for you courtesy of the Nintendo 3DS Blog.

Come on inside for the gallery of goodness.

If you've stuck around with us since ZI, then you'll know I'm a big fan of the Persona franchise and its parent franchise, Shin Megami Tensei. Persona 4 and its remake, Golden, were without a doubt a big deal for me in that it changed how I look at games, characters, stories, and how I choose to develop my relationships with the physical people around me. But more on that in the future (or not).

Back in 2011 Persona 4 finally received its own anime called Persona 4 The Animation. P4tA followed the story of the original PS2 game as closely as possible while including some original ideas before it concluded in early 2012 and later received a final episode based off the game's True Ending. It was a great anime, albeit rushed at times. The story, humor, and characters were everything you'd expect from Persona 4 and it had me coming back each week for a new episode. 

But enough about me. I'm sure you all have your very own personal favorite anime/cartoon adaptations of video games and I want to hear what they are and why you love it so much. Are you a fan of Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, The Legend of Zelda's American cartoon, or Sonic X? Did you like Street Fighter II V but hate the American Street Fighter cartoon? Be sure to tell us in the comments! (Shows involving games as a plot device like Sword Art Online don't count)

UPDATE: The digital version of Lego City: Undercover takes about 22 GB of storage. No wonder an external hard drive is needed for the basic model! If you own the deluxe version of the Wii U, you might want to invest in an external hard drive pretty soon, considering the game's download size.

The reviews are starting to come in, and the general consensus is that Lego City: Undercover is the game us early Wii U adopters have been waiting for in a near barren past four months. I was a bit skeptical after Edge released their 5/10 review of the game, but my worries seem to have been in vain. I cannot wait to pick this game up next week and dust off the Wii U.

I say "pick up" the game for two reasons, the first being a personal preference to hard copies. The second reason would limit my buying decision to retail, even if I wanted digital. An external hard drive is required to download Undercover from the eShop, as evidenced by a listing in Nintendo's online store.

Although the rule may just apply to the basic model of the Wii U, there is no word if the premium model will carry the same cruel fate. Nintendo has yet to comment on the issue.

It may not be a true deal breaker for me, but to those of you who were determined to go completely digital this generation, you may need to pick up that hard drive sooner than you thought.

Does this affect your purchase plans? Sound off in the comments.