It's no secret that the modern gaming market is a lot less stable than it was a few years ago. I was hoping to write a lengthy editorial on this very subject, but the brilliant minds at CleverNoobs have just done so in video form! This feature takes an in-depth look at the gaming crash of 1983 and the parallels between it and today. Discussing the effects of DLC, online gaming, and retooling old games, CleverNoobs explains why the current market is in a state of upset and what we can all do to try to avoid it—and even why a crash may ultimately be a good thing. CleverNoobs has done a wonderful job at explaining the state of the industry, and as educated gamers, this is an essential video to watch.

Donkey Kong is a huge cornerstone in video game history. It gave birth to one of our most iconic video game characters, Mario, and is still played quite a bit today; more than any other arcade game I can think of aside from other iconic titles like Pac-Man. However, while Donkey Kong himself also grew to be quite famous, there was another character in the game oft forgotten--Pauline. Enter Mike Mika, a man who plays a lot of games with his three year old daughter. When she found out that she couldn't play as Pauline (the way that she could play as the princess in Super Mario Bros. 2) he decided to cheer her up and spent the night hacking the game. This may not be the most difficult or impressive hack, but it's definitely one of the sweetest.

We mentioned the indie platformer A Hat in Time a few weeks back; if you're subscribed to MechaBowser's YouTube channel, you'll notice that he frequently uploads videos showing progress made in the game's development. He recently added one showing how the hookshot will function, as well as some of the HUD and what appears to be a new hat; he also reminds us at the beginning that the game is still extremely early in development. This means that there are several changes and tuning-ups to be made; personally, I hope the camera is modified before release. The hookshot is the real star of the show, though, and it seems to function pretty nicely already. What do you think?

Remember that cute little Pikmin video that kicked off Nintendo's E3 last year? Well, according to an interview with Miyamoto at Polygon, it was only a test for much bigger plans. For a while now, they've been considering how well a series of animations based around the Pikmin franchise would fare; so far, there are no plans to make a full animated series, but instead Miyamoto said the primary focus was to create a series of short videos with the feel of four-panel comic strips.

It's an interesting idea, and one that they plan to launch before the release of Pikmin 3 later this year to build hype. So far there are no plans to sell them, but if they do it'll be through the eShop for 3DS viewing. None of the videos have been shown publicly yet, but Miyamoto previewed it during the interview. 

For a description of the short, hit the jump!

Shigeru Miyamoto sat down with some folks at the New York Times to talk about the gaming industry. It's a short interview, but it covers a few key principles. For starters, Miyamoto isn't too worried about the slow Wii U sales right now, though he would love to see a little bit of momentum. However, one particular aspect of the interview seems to be getting some interesting conversations going. Of course, this revolves around the prospect of online gaming.

Q. What’s most exciting to you about video games right now?
A. For a long time at Nintendo we didn’t focus as much on online play because for many years doing so would have limited the size of the audience that could enjoy those features. But certainly now we see that so many people are connected to the Internet. It opens up a tremendous amount of possibilities.

More inside.

Pandora's Tower is the third and final game highlighted by the Operation Rainfall movement, all three of which were released to huge success in Japan while having little to no chance of localization. After testing the waters with Xenoblade Chronicles and further fanservice with The Last Story, Pandora's Tower is finally being released to western audiences. In fact, some locations have already gotten their hands on it. Knowing very little about the game, this trailer has already convinced me to cave—the visuals, the music, the voice acting, and more are absolutely stunning, and the plot and themes are no child's turf.

Even if you have no interest in Pandora's Tower, I strongly recommend you give the trailer a watch. It's very powerful and only takes two minutes of your time—and who knows, maybe it will convince you to buy a great new game.

SimCity's launch has been extremely shaky, to put it mildly. Some claim its the worst video game launch of all time; but either way, things sure have been troublesome. The critical consensus on SimCity thus far is that it's a good game, if it works. Getting it to work being the key factor.

SimCity has been struggling with back-end server issues, to such an extent that EA even halted advertising on the game. The good news is that huge strides are being made in improving the underlying issues. The number of players in the game has now doubled; server response is 40 times faster; and server down times have been reduced.

For the full progress report, straight from the blog of Maxis' Lucy Bradshaw, read on.

Excited about Mega Man's 25th Anniversary? A few months ago, Capcom announced its plan to bring the first six Mega Man titles to the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console, and with the third game in the franchise coming in three days, it's great to see them give the classic Mega Man its proper due in light of recent fan outcries. Mega Man 3 will be available on Nintendo 3DS' Virtual Console service starting March 14th, while the fourth, fifth, and sixth entires in the famous series will be released in the following months.

What's more is that Capcom plans to release digital versions of the soundtracks to each of the six original Mega Man games. Barring this treatment plus a series reboot, this is just about the best possible time to be a Mega Man fan.

A few months ago, Vicarious Visions posted an image on Facebook of their team hard at work. What they didn't realize was that in the background, a large poster of a redesigned Crash Bandicoot could be seen quite clearly. After several commenters pointed the poster out, Vicarious Visions took the image down, which tells the keener viewers out there that this may not be the leftovers of a scrapped Crash Bandicoot reboot—this may be the beginnings of a new era for the orange menace.

Crash Bandicoot was originally designed as Sony's answer to Mario and Sonic, but in recent years, he has dropped off the map. But now, a countdown page has popped up and since been retracted, saying "HE'S BACK!" Boasting the logos of Vicarious Visions, the team that leaked the first image, and Activision, their parent company and owners of the Crash license, alongside Crash Bandicoot's immediately recognizable green eyes, it's quite clear that the creator of this page is just itching to unveil Crash Bandicoot's brand-new multiplatform adventure.

The fact that this website was quickly taken down further implies that Vicarious Visions mistakenly revealed something they had hoped to keep secret. Now that the news is out, the only question is when we'll see the full details of Crash and his glorious return.

Update: a user on NeoGAF has noticed a remarkable similarity between the wooden texture in this image and the wooden texture found here. While this doesn't disprove the legitimacy of this image, it certainly doesn't do it any good. When asked about the poster on the wall, Vicarious Visions co-founder Guha Bala seems particularly evasive, so there very well could be something in the works. But then again, there might not.

Let's be honest with ourselves. Sometimes we just come across something that we love deeply with all our heart, be it DoA Xtreme Beach Volleyball or DDR , but feel heavy guilt inside because we feel it makes us seem like less of a man/woman, or perhaps more of a pervert, than we perceive ourselves to be. We'd prefer not to be caught indulging in our little guilty pleasures.

I have encountered such a case of late. I enjoy a lot of action games like God of War and Devil May Cry, two games that I'm not ashamed to play because no one would look at me differently for doing so. However, I was recommended a game a while back called Atelier Meruru, a game which I am ashamed to play because of how cutesy and girly it is (combat is great for people who like classic JRPG's though!). I'd rather be caught watching provocative videos than playing this in all honesty. But it's just so addicting I can't put it down, I once went 7 hours playing it without realizing it while thinking only 1 hour, 2 hours at the most, had passed, and have even ended up playing the next Atelier game, Ayesha, because of it. The series officially has me hooked.

But of course I'm not alone in this, we all have one thing we're ashamed to admit we love will all ours hearts, (Bronies are apparently exempt from this) so I'd like to know. Now that you what my guilty pleasure is when it comes to video games, what's yours? If you don't have a guilty pleasure, then what's the closest thing you have to one?

This past week many Texas locales, and apparently people from New York, Japan, and South Korea, were treated to a free to the public Nintendo hosted event called SXSW (South by South-West). It was a chance for many to play unreleased Nintendo games, cosplay, meet other gamers, indulge in their own culture, and meet the greatest Power Ranger ever (This is true).

I live in Texas and so of course, SXSW was on my list of events to attend and I was not disappointed. I even walked away with a few goodies, but I'm here to talk about the games. Each day this week I'll be sharing my experience with each demo I played along with my thoughts on the games. Today's topic? Unless you missed the title, then you'll know it's Pikmin 3!

Did you pre-order Pandora's Tower on Chances are you've been told that the game has been "delayed" till the later half of April with an expected arrival date of April 22nd through the 26th via the following e-mail.

We have received new release date information related to your pre-ordered video game in the order you placed on ????? XX, 2013 (Order# XXXXXXXX). The release date for the video game listed below has been changed by the publisher, and we want to provide you with a new delivery estimate based on the new release date:

For those unaware, the March 26th release date of Pandora's Tower was never a confirmed release date, but merely a popular placeholder date that many retailers chose to use. The current release date retailers are now using for Pandora's Tower has been changed to April 16th, 2013.

Michael Pachter is known, as he acknowledges in this video, to have a pretty poor reputation with Nintendo fans but he isn't going to back down because of it. Pachter is always going to speak his mind, and yes, as some point out, ignore some key questions such as the 3DS' success in Japan. He does have a few good points covered in his latest Pach Attack however. 

For starters, Nintendo would definitely sell more software units in truck loads if they didn't restrict to their own hardware. They could dominate the mobile smart-device market and would easily have some of the best selling software every single time on the competitors consoles. He feels Nintendo won't leave the hardware business even if it's not very profitable because it's what they have always done. They will continue to do it, and he admits they can afford to continue to do it for 50+ years if they want.

With Iwata being a bad CEO, it comes down to the decisions the last two years. There are some counter arguments of course to the claim that he's a bad CEO. Take the peak all-time high of Nintendo's stock - that also happened under Iwata's watch. It also was inevitably going to crash because that's the nature of the game business. It's true Nintendo probably doesn't make that much profit off their hardware - but they are notorious for keeping a price on a product for several years. Wii U will probably sit around $300 USD for at least 3 or 4 years before they slice it. While some of you may feel that's a bad decision, if the console is selling well there is no reason to drop it. This also ignores how Nintendo fundamentally feels the focus of the industry is on the wrong aspects, and they stick with their hardware to prove that point. Without Nintendo hardware, you would lose a lot of innovations. 

Have you ever wondered why the tree in Ocarina of Time's Lake Hylia has a wolverine-like scratch on it? Have you ever wondered why in Super Mario Galaxy 2's Shiverburn Galaxy there are mysterious stalkers watching you from afar?

Perhaps you even, like me, spent hours wondering why there was a Green Thwomp imprisoned in Mario Kart 64's Bowser's Castle. Maybe he was sick and in isolation, or maybe there was some racial exclusion going on.

The Nintendo world is full of mysteries that remain unexplained, and many of them will continue to be enigmas. In this feature from Marc Zablotny of Official Nintendo Magazine seven unsolved Nintendo mysteries are given some spotlight. While there may not be answers to them, Zablotny at least gives us everything we know about these Nintendo mysteries.

Be sure to let us know some of your other favorite mysteries from the world of Nintendo. I've always wondered why that item box in Yoshi's Valley of Mario Kart 64 is half disappearing into the ground unlike any of the other boxes.

Dragon Quest fans in the west have been getting by on measly news of specs and trailers in recent times, without any knowledge of whether Dragon Quest X will be localized. While the game has been out on the Wii in Japan since August, the Wii U version doesn't hit shelves until March 30.

Today we get a nice first look at the box for the Wii U bundle of the game. With the Monster Hunter edition of the Wii U, there sure are some nice package deals going around for the Wii U.

This bundle, obviously Japanese exclusive, contains a Deluxe Wii U console, a Pro Controller, the game itself, a ¥1000 pre-paid card to be used in-game, and five Super Energy orbs that double XP and gold collected for 30 minutes each within the game.

To see the Wii U Bundle box art in its full glory, as well as the actual game case, come on inside for the gallery.