Fire Emblem is familiar to Nintendo fans far and wide, but few people have experienced the franchise first-hand. Fire Emblem is a series of tactical RPGs—a genre which can be described as an incredibly advanced game of chess. Players have a team of units, each with their own attributes and weaknesses, always having to think several moves ahead to gain the upper hand on a grid-based field of battle. Set in a fantastical world of medieval warfare, Fire Emblem games pit a small league of heroes against a greater force seeking to gain power and send the world into turmoil in its wake. With dozens of stats, weapons, and other combinations that can make or break a player’s success in battle, Fire Emblem is one of the most strategically sophisticated franchises to date.

Flaunting stunning visuals, a brilliant story, and magnificent gameplay, Fire Emblem Awakening takes the series to new heights in the definitive Fire Emblem experience and creates what is undoubtedly the best 3DS game yet.

Head past the jump to keep reading.

Upset that Destiny hasn't been announced for the Wii U or PC yet? Don't be, it could be coming to both platforms and more! The official website for Bungie's upcoming game Destiny has data that can be found in its coding from the pre-order page that directly refers to both the Wii U, PC, PS4, Xbox 720, and PS Vita as platforms for the upcoming title. There is no mention of Nintendo's handheld 3DS platform however.

Of course, this could just be there in case Activision asks them to bring it over to those platforms and so it may mean nothing at all. Or perhaps Bungie is anticipating a release on these platforms. Whatever it means, we here just hope that it means every home console owner will be able to experience Bungie's next big title when it launches in the future.

It's no big secret now that Aliens: Colonial Marines is a steaming pile of dogshit with a development cycle that is involving everyone pointing fingers at every else. Heck, reports can't even seem to agree upon the Wii U version and that hasn't even come out. Some say it's canceled, Sega says it's the best version there is, one points to another credited studio as handling the whole thing and creating a vastly superior performance. Of course, yet another report states the Wii U version is worse, with even poorer frame rate problems. Why am I not sitting back sending you all over the net to see these reports? Because it doesn't fucking matter. The game sucks. It's time to piss off and move on.

Of course, Marcus also goes into a little defense mode when someone called him out in response to his thoughts about a certain other "journalist", and he rather tastefully defends himself as he did back when the incident in question happened. Look, I may not always agree with how Marcus views everything, but at least I know he is going to tell me the truth as he sees it and he isn't going to beat around the bush.

There's no denying that the Wii U launch could have gone better than it did, but the system is particularly suffeirng in the United Kingdom. Many British retailers have been calling Nitnendo to create a new, more effective strategy for selling consoles. Wii U game sales have only accounted for 1.6 percent of overall game sales in the country, Rayman Legends and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge are no longer exclusive to the console, and Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, considered the launch a disappointment. UK retailers still have hope, however, that the system can recover. Jonathan Hayes of Tesco says the Wii U needs to catch "the public's imagination".

We need a killer app to drive sales, and a big marketing push to clearly communicate what Wii U is all about – it will probably be better to focus on the premium edition to do this.

Gurdeep Hunjan of Sainsbury added that Nintendo needs to restrategize.

A new strategy needs to be communicated and launched for Easter, the school holidays, the summer holidays and beyond.

More quotes can be found after the jump.

Bungie has been hard at work in their post Halo world, and they have been working round the clock on a new First Person Shooter franchise that they have high hopes to be at least a decade long affair. It's an "always online" shooter, but that far from tells anyone the complete story. Watching the video above gives you some great insight into their vision behind the game itself. The game is supposedly playable by all skill levels and is truly about bringing their dreams to life. No limits. The game is slated for the PS3, Xbox 360, and other next-generation hardware. Essentially this likely refers to the PS4 and Xbox 720. Unfortunately, the Wii U is probably going to miss out on what looks like the next fantastic creation out of Bungie. Destiny is exactly what I want to play. Be sure to hop inside to see all of the absolutely stunning artwork for the game.

Sony might not be able to compete with Nintendo's software, so why not smack-talk about it? Let's face it, we all know the PlayStation 4 is coming soon and we expect it to be announced this upcoming Wednesday. So what better way to get people excited for it than by smack-talking about Mario? 

"Oh, Yay, Another Mario Game." Step Up To PlayStation 2/20

Okay, that doesn't make too much sense considering people love Mario and none of Sony's IP's can even come close to rivaling it. But it does make you take notice that Mario games are in a somewhat overabundance and that you want something new. Something fresh. Preferably not another post-apocalyptic zombie shooter or adventure with Kratos. So the phrase "Oh, Yay, Another Mario Game." can be applied to some of Sony's own games/ideas since half of them are rip-offs of other ideas/games anyways. But despite this, I'm quite looking forward to the PlayStation 4 and Sony's next console despite the hideous controller. How about you? Are you excited for PlayStation 4?

While The Amazing Spider-Man came to home consoles in the middle of 2012, the Web-Slinger is planned to return on the Wii U with The Amazing Spider-Man: Ultimate Edition for the price of $40.

But what just makes this version of the game so "Ultimate?" Four on-disc expansions of course! The four expansions included are the Stan Lee Adventure Pack, the Lizard Rampage Pack, the Rhino Challenge, and the Oscorp Search and Destroy Pack. In addition, the game uses the GamePad as an Oscorp OsPhone, allowing players to access Spider-Man's cell phone to accept new challenges, navigate the city, and manage upgrades. Oh, and it supports off-TV play.

It originally gained a 69 (Xbox 360) and 71 (PlayStation 3) rating on Metacritic, not necessarily "bad" scores, but hopefully adjustments have been made to the game to make it sure it plays more effectively than its brothers.

Let's face it, ALIENS: Colonial Marines didn't exactly live up to all the hype and has disappointed many as a result, even SEGA. But SEGA apparently has a better reason for not liking the game. One Ex-SEGA Employee has taken to Reddit claiming that Gearbox, Colonial Marines' developer, used all of SEGA's funding to develop Borderlands instead. 

“Gearbox didnt care about the game, they spent the money from acm on the borderlands games. Look at the release of borderlands and when aliens was anounced, they had the other companies like timegate do the work. When they got the game back timegate had done a terrible job. When it came into sega it was shit basicaly. Gearbox only cared about fixing ‘progression blockers’ (things that stop a player from getting through a level) or crashes” 

Sounds like a lawsuit will be carried out if this is true. But of course it could just be an angry SEGA employee wanting to badmouth both Gearbox and TimeGate. This claim, however, is failry similar to another Reddit post claiming that TimeGate was responsible for basically making the game a piece of garbage.

It is the pointless circular debate that has plagued gaming for decades now: is story or gameplay what makes a game? Developers often make statements about focusing on gameplay, with the story coming later, because as Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto puts it, if you just want a good story “read a book or watch a movie.

Fans often get frustrated by how stories are treated as second priority by developers, but they must remember that games weren’t always, and largely still aren’t, plot driven. In the '70's and '80's what games there were existed for the sheer fun and thrill of playing.

As technology has advanced, so has the potential to weave stories into games, but never has either plot or even the gameplay alone been the determining factor of what makes or breaks a game. What gaming is about; what gaming has always been about, is the overall experience. It is the emotions that the players feel.

The Lego franchise has been known for its fun cooperative gameplay. Having a friend or family member drop in at any point in any level is a convenience the series has perfected, and the puzzles and humor are best experienced with a companion. From a galaxy far far away to Hogwarts to Middle-earth to Gotham, bringing a buddy to beat some bricks is the trademark of the Lego franchise.

Lego City: Undercover seems to be taking a different approach. The Wii U exclusive open-world adventure game, available this March, has been confirmed to not feature any multiplayer functions. The title has been listed as a a single-player experience, with no buddy cops to bring along on the case.

We're only a month away from launch, so it was unlikely they would unveil cooperative features so close to the arrival of the game. Yet, I'm still disappointed. I loved flying around Gotham with my little brother, taking down thugs, and retrieving the philosopher's stone with my cousin was just as enjoyable. I was looking forward to some buddy cop dynamics, but now that dream has ridden off into the sunset.

I'm still buying this game though. It looks awesome.

Are you excited for Undercover? Sound off in the comments!

Newsflash: there are some sexist pigs out there, a majority of them men. Time and time again the subject has been brought up, and now a study by Ohio University confirms what we've been told for ages. Jeff Kuzenkoff and Lindsey Rose set up three identical gamertags--one with a female voice, one male, and one silent--and played 245 online matches of Halo 3 to observe how the gamertags were treated. 

Jump inside for the results.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted  received rave reviews when it released back in the autumn of last year. Critics praised it as the best Need for Speed game in years, and the title became the seventh best selling game in the US in 2012. Now, Criterion Games and Burnout are bringing the game over to the Wii U, and the port will be releasing this March.

Alex Ward, the creative director at Criterion, has been interviewed recently concerning the newest version of the game. He believes the Wii U port of the title will be the definitive edition, using PC graphics and Miiverse integration. For the first time, we'll be able to see the power of Wii U at its fullest, going beyond the PS3 and 360 and competing with the looks of PC games.

Here's what Ward had to say.

“Well this is our first game on the hardware. We wanted to go back to like we used to be. If you know we’re doing the game, you know we’ve looked at the hardware and said, ‘What’s the best damned thing we can do on that?’ We’re going to support everything we can. We support Miiverse fully, online play.”

“Everyone wants to talk about this and that on the hardware, and it’s not as interesting to me. What’s really important is what we’re doing with the player experience. The games I’m playing on Wii U—Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros. U—what Nintendo, they just deliver excellent gameplay. It’s probably one of the big problems in the industry at the moment. Everyone—you guys—like to talk about specs and this and that. We’ve got to get back to just playing the game. And that’s what this game is about. It’s about a simple, fun experience. It’s not about 10,000,000 polygons and who does this and who does that.”

I'm happy the devs are working hard on Most Wanted on Wii U, and that they aren't solely going for flashy looks and shiny graphics. They realize the franchise is not an overly complex experience, but rather a fun one that's easy to enjoy. I can't wait to pick this game up.

I was looking forward to this game since it had been announced for Wii U. I love the Aliens franchise, and Gearbox Software's involvement with the game reassured me the game would be fantastic. I could not have been more wrong.

Aliens: Colonial Marines has received abysmal reviews over the past week, averaging a 44 on Metacritic, with the number of positive critic opinions on the game rounding out to a zero. The game is marred with graphical hiccups, suicidal AI, clunky controls, and unbalanced gameplay. The title's rocky development has come to light in recent days, with numerous studios throwing inconsistent efforts at the game, letting the responsibility of creating the game jump between devs over the past few years.

Overall, the game's arrival to the market could not have been more disastrous. In the fiasco of this week, rumors surfaced the game would be delayed indefinitely on the Wii U. However, those rumors seem to have been proved false. Sega's UK division has commented on the matter, saying the game is still on the way, but the release date has yet to be announced.

The Wii U version of Marines has been said to be the definitive version of the game, according to Gearbox. This could mean a significantly better product, such as Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge, but a port of a bad game can only go so far, as even Ninja Gaiden was marred by some of the original game's issues.

I could not be more disappointed. This was one of my most anticipated titles of the year, but now it has become a game to avoid like the plague. How do you feel about Aliens: Colonial Marines and the situation it is in right now? Sound off in the comments!

Nintendo's console business is faring pretty poorly right now. After selling fewer than 100,000 units last month and lower-than-expected sales through this past holiday season, Nintendo needs to play their cards more carefully, especially if its competitors are launching at the end of this year. Analysts agree that in order to push sales forward to sustainability, Nintendo really just needs games

"Great games, unique to the platform, would be a very good start." — Colin Sebastian, Baird
"Games, games, and more games. The relationship between key releases—primarily first-party titles—and hardware sales is especially clear in Nintendo's case. The sooner they get titles like Pikmin 3 and Wii Fit U on the console side and Pokémon games and titles like Animal Crossing: New Leaf on the 3DS side on store shelves, the better." — Lewis Ward, IDC

These analysts will hopefully be predicting a brighter future once Nintendo fully reveals their massive slew of Wii U titles at this year's E3. Michael Pachter, however, has made it clear that he thinks Nintendo simply can't recover. Do you have high hopes for Nintendo's future, or are you feeling a bit more pessimistic? I guess we'll have to wait until E3 to better assess the situation.

This is seemingly the one debate that never goes away even after consoles are released. It's still hotly debated who truly won the seventh console generation. The Wii had arguably the highest number of raw sales data and 20+ million game sellers world over, but the 360 had possibly the largest install base of "hardcore gamers", while the PlayStation 3 had arguably the best exclusive content. It's a debate for the ages that truly is something fanboys like to talk to about because they want to see their preferred medium end triumphant over the rest. Competition is good and healthy for the industry, and the better these consoles are the better it gets for gamers... that is, if gamers have the money to invest in all of these properties.

I, for one, am really looking forward too what Sony has cooking. While I have never been an avid PlayStation person, I can't deny that their games intrigue me. If they ever get the sequel to Shadow of the Collosus out the door, you can consider me a PlayStation 4 owner in its wake.