With 3D Nintendo gaming arriving on the scene back in the late ‘90s thanks to the Nintendo 64 and then the GameCube in the early ‘00s, classic side-scrolling platformers took a back seat. Franchises such as Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong Country from the NES and SNES were no more.

At the time of the 64’s rise to fame, side-scrolling came to be considered as a limitation of gaming in the past, rather than a genre of its own. With the Wii console Nintendo had proven that side-scrolling platformers are truly a whole genre that can provide a unique and entertaining experience even today, in the world of 3D and HD.

With modern 3D graphical sprites moving in 2D or even sometimes 2.5D landscapes,Nintendo has used the Wii to reinvigorate the once forgotten genre. Let’s look back at some of the major Wii titles that contributed to the resurgence of side-scrolling platformers.

When the concept of this little article initially popped in my head it was a rather one-sided affair. I wanted to address excuses the industry may likely be rationalizing themselves with in order to not properly show support for the Wii U. However, as I was gathering some information to create this piece I came upon a rather interesting revelation: The Wii U fans need to stop creating excuses as well.

As a long time Nintendo fan I am well aware of how the industry has generally treated our ilk. I am aware that popular analysts like Michael Pachter have often predicted some not-so-great things for Nintendo and often times, Nintendo tends to prove those predictions wrong. I am aware that when you go around to most general purpose gaming news sites, you can see a clashing of multiple fanboyisms, in particular to loyalty on console brands.

Earlier in the week, Gabe Newell and JJ Abrams gave the opening keynote at the 2013 DICE Summit. Newell spoke about seeing if Abrams could make a Half-Life or Portal movie, but it turns out through this new partnership with Valve, Abrams is actually looking to make games and not movies. Abrams spoke to Gamasutra and stated that he was aware of the large gap between games and movies, and doesn't want to waste the potential of the medium. Here's some snippets from the interview:

One of the things that’s really appealing about working with Valve is that they’ve got great taste, and that we will have the ability to work with people and not impose what we do on them.
We’re not looking to make movies in the game space. We’re looking to make great games that take the strengths of what we know – characters, world-building, creating a sense of emotional connection – and trying ways to try to exploit that in the gaming space, which is a very different animal than movies and TV.

Abrams said that he’s seen plenty of movies that don’t quite make it because they ought to have been developed as TV shows, and vice versa, and that’s the kind of situation he wants to avoid. What do you think of this new partnership and the way it's looking so far? Sound off in the comments!

Every year, Metacritic rounds up the scores of every game by every publisher and averages them out, figuring out which publishers did the best job of consistently churning out high-quality content. While there aren't any awards, and it's based purely off of critical reception, they've been a good way to analyze shifts in the industry since starting in 2010. They've just finished putting together their list for 2012, and the number 1 spot, oddly enough, isn't either of the big three companies.

Hit the jump for a breakdown.

With Sony and Microsoft's new consoles rumored to be coming out this year, game publishers Activision, Take Two, and Ubisoft have been contemplating the development costs of video games, and, by extension, a possible increase in the price of games from the current $59.99. Take Two and Ubisoft CEOs Strauss Zelnick and Yves Guillemot believe that development costs won't increase dramatically, at least during the beginning of the next generation.

"We don’t have any reason to believe our development budgets will change significantly. If anything we have become – group-wide – much tighter in terms of how we spend our money." — Strauss Zelnick

"What we've said is that, for the first two years of those machines, the costs will not increase because we can use a lot of the engines that we've already created." — Yves Guillemot

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, on the other hand, expects prices to go up.

"This is my 22nd year doing this, and in every single console transition, we've seen an increase in development costs. Over long periods of time, it gets smoothed out, but I would say this is not a transition where that's going to be an exception. We're going to have to figure out how to take advantage of the unique capabilities of new hardware, and that requires new skills and investment in tools and technology and engines and so yes, that's likely." — Bobby Kotick

The fact that these people are even considering an increase in price shows that, at the very least, the technology of video games will become noticeably more powerful and complex. What are your thoughts on this?


I may be more of a Nintendo gamer than I am a PlayStation or Xbox gamer, and arguably a bigger PC gamer than any of the consoles, but even I know that blocking used games is going to be a console killer. We already know the Wii U doesn't do such things. I can attest to this because I own a used copy of New Super Mario Bros. U. Sure, maybe it only saved me $5, but that's still $5 I was able to put towards a pre-order for Pikmin 3. The fact remains that if this does happen, or if they attempt to do an "ultimate pass" for $100 which allows gamers to "unlock" unlimited used games, I tend to agree that the Wii U will reap the benefits of higher game sales since they will have the used game market all to themselves.

To be honest, I don't want any of the console makers to fail, so I just hope all these rumors (some dating a year old) just tend to be complete crap.


This week's Bonus Round focus's squarely on genre preferences. You might be surprised to see what genre's are mentioned as it's not necessarily what many would expect. As an example, one of the panel's favorite genres is Tower Defense! Of course while it's a nice debate above, what we really want to know is what your favorite genre is. Sound off in the comments and let the debates begin!

Remember when ONM teased us with a image about a new Wii U "horror" game? Well, we now know that tease was for Resident Evil: Revelations. We already knew this title was making it's way to the Wii U, but ONM contains 10 pages of all exclusive images and information. While we don't have access to those images yet, it's at least a bit more depth into the fact the Wii U is getting a quality port that all the other systems are getting as well. I was a rather big fan of the 3DS original title, and frankly I am looking forward to it's HD partner in crime. Revelations just felt like what Resident Evil is supposed to be.

The Wii U has been selling slowly in the few months since its release, and third parties have already been delaying and even canceling projects for the system entirely. According to a report from Mario Wynands, founder of Sidhe, developers at the D.I.C.E. convention last were only talking about projects they had cancelled for Wii U, rather than anything they were following through with. According to Wynands, the console is in serious trouble if these third parties keep jumping ship.

At DICE, nobody has been talking about the new Wii U projects they have started, only the Wii U projects that have just been cancelled. Platform is in serious trouble. Publishers and developers from the US, UK, France, Germany, and Australia mainly. Pubs and devs never recoiled from PS3 like they seem to be with Wii U (though this is anecdotal). There was always the confidence that the numbers would get there over time with PS3. I'm not sensing that with Wii U. I had a data point yesterday at lunch with a high budget Wii U game that was hoping to sell "millions" over time. It only managed "tens of thousands". It is one of the top rated games for the platform.

Head past the jump for a brief analysis.

Digital Foundry, a group of tech fanatics that specialize in analyzing technical fundamentals of technology and innovate digital possibilities, have taken apart Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed and decided that the Wii U version of the game is the best one. Digital Foundry honored the Wii U build for its reliable frame-rate and five person multiplayer.

Head past the jump to see why!

It's no secret that Call of Duty's sales have steadily declined year after year and Activision's Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg doesn't expect this pattern to change anytime soon, as he told investors.

"The Call of Duty franchise continues to set the bar for innovation and we expect the new Call of Duty game in development for 2013 to raise that bar even higher. There is increased volatility this year due to the ongoing console transition, which makes predicting the future more challenging than during normal years in the cycle. For Call of Duty, consistent with our past practices, we are planning for the mainline release in Q4 to be down versus 2012."

Of course this would be an easy to predict future seeing as the franchise is constantly claimed to be "Last year's model with a new coat of paint to seem new." Consumers don't want the same product year after year, but some are saying that the real reason is because of the current generation's long life cycle. Assuming the next Call of Duty were to release on next-gen consoles, sales could actually increase due to buyer's wanting to experience a next-gen FPS. Whether or not this theory holds water remains to be seen. 

After Nintendo Power closed down last year, buzz began building around a project to make a new Nintendo-focused magazine powered by journalists from various game sites; now, it's live. With writers from Destructoid, Brawl in the Family, and GoNintendo, the production values are high and initial impressions from readers have been very positive. You can either order issues digitally or in print, and pay for one at a time or get a year's subscription for much cheaper.

A digital issue will run you 4.99 USD, and while the print issue costs considerably more at 17.99 USD, it also comes with the digital issue free. The real deals, however, start with the subscriptions; a year's worth of digital issues costs 19.99 USD; a year of print costs 29.99 USD, and a combination of the two costs 39.99 USD. This may seem somewhat hefty, but when you do the math a print subscription comes out to just a little over two dollars an issue.

Are you planning on subscribing?

Were you expecting to mingle with some of your overseas friends when Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate launched later this year? Well, unfortunately you won't be able to unless they're visiting your country, as Capcom has confirmed to GameReactor España that Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate will be running on separate servers based on country.

"Japanese will play with Japanese, Americans with Americans and Europeans with Europeans."

This will prove quite upsetting for those who like to intermingle with other cultures, however it does have its own bright side. Players shouldn't experience any lag when playing online. Tri didn't have divided servers like Ultimate will and as a result players would experience extreme lag when playing with others from different countries.

Well it was only a matter of time. A Nintendo fan by the name of John Smith has started an online petition, ordering Ubisoft to bring back the original Wii U release date of Rayman Legends. The description states that mutliplatform availability is just fine, but delaying a complete game is unforgivable. As of this writing, the petition has garnered 6,475 signatures in the the few days since the delay was announced. You can sign the petition right here

Here's what the petition says in particular.

Fans have been patiently waiting for Rayman Legends for the Wii U since it was announced as a launch game since June of 2012, and for many it was going to be one of the highlights of the Wii U's launch due to the critical success of Rayman Origins. Legends was, and still is, being used worldwide as a major tool in showing the creative capabilities of the Wii U in stores.

The game has had a well-received demo released on the Wii U eShop, and it seems to be very close to completion, with a previous release date being announced less than a month from now.

But now Ubisoft has disappointed hundreds of thousands of their fans by delaying an almost completed game for a further seven months so Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of Rayman Legends lacking Wii U centric features can be released at the same time as the Wii U version.

For the full description, hit the jump.

Monolith Soft made a big splash last year, seemingly coming out of nowhere with the smash RPG, Xenoblade Chronicles. There's been a lot of hype surrounding their new trailer as well, and it's clear that they've swiftly become one of Nintendo's most valuable assets. However, they weren't always so close; it wasn't until last year that they set up a headquarters in Kyoto to be closer to the Nintendo HQ. Recently, they had an internal interview about the transition; it's an interesting insight behind the scenes of developers we otherwise know little about.

Jump inside to see what was said!