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Mark Rein has been coming off, for lack of a better word, as a complete douchebag lately. First, he was asked directly about Unreal Engine 4 on the Wii U. Specifically, it was pointed to him as Will UE4 Run on the Wii U. His response? A definitive no, with lots of laughter from him and his colleagues, followed by a complete degrading of the system and comparing it to the 360 and PlayStation 3. Sure, hardware-wise I understand, but if it won't run on the Wii U so be it. Might be a harsh way to say it, but fine, I've accepted it. IGN followed up with him to clarify the Wii U remarks. His response? More laughter, and classifying the Wii U directly as not being a next-generation console. Now, we have this:

“You heard the stupid gaffe yesterday about the Wii U,” he said. “If someone wants to take Unreal Engine 4 and ship a game on Wii U, they can! If they wanna ship an Unreal Engine 4 game on Xbox 360, they could make it happen.” While that game might not look as pretty as it would on a “true” next-gen console, the new engine is scalable to a variety of platforms, including mobile.”

More inside.

Grant Kirkhope is one of the industry's most beloved composers, creating the soundtracks for many famous Rare titles, including GoldenEye 007 and Banjo-Kazooie. After heading our way for an exclusive interview and being listed in the Classic FM Hall of Fame, Grant Kirkhope made his way over to Guest Grumps, where he shared some information on his days at Rare and revealed one of his greatest wishes for the future of the Banjo series.

“I keep wishing that all the ex-Rare staffers would just get together and form a company, and go to Nintendo and say ‘give us the money. We’ll make you Banjo 3 for the Wii U’ or whatever. Just make Banjo 3 like it should have been made back then and it would be great, and it would be great on Wii U, and all the ex-Rare guys would be together again all happy and kissing each other. I just keep thinking we should just give it a try.” — Former Rare Composer Grant Kirkhope

Though a Banjo game on 3DS instead of Wii U is still a possibility, for Banjo 3 to ever show up on Wii U, Nintendo would have to do some ground work with Microsoft to buy the IP off of them. So while Banjo 3 the way Kirkhope would like to see it is not likely to happen any time soon, I have no distaste for the idea of the old Rare staffers getting together to form a new development company. Even if they can't bring us Banjo, I'm sure we'd all love to see their creative drive back in action again.

OUYA is an upcoming game console running on a custom-built version of the Android operating system. The console was crowd-funded via Kickstarter, and OUYA, Inc. has since been working hard to get the console ready for launch. Those who backed the console in its early Kickstarted phase should be receiving their consoles soon, while OUYA will be available to everyone else at retail starting June 4th for the low price of $99.

In other OUYA news, alongside the previously-announced NES and SNES emulators that will be launching for the console, OUYA, Inc. will be licensing emulators for several other consoles, such as Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Color, SEGA Genesis, Atari 2600, and plenty more. These emulators have no announced price as of yet, but you can expect more news to come soon.

The future of the Darksiders franchise has been in limbo ever since the bankruptcy of its publisher, THQ, and the closure of its developer, Vigil. Recently we've even seen the removal of Darksiders from the Wii U eShop due to what is seemingly licensing issues with selling THQ products.

The Darksiders franchise remains unpurchased; however, in the closure of Vigil many of the developers headed over to new positions within Crytek USA. The news has now broken through Destructoid that the original Darksiders developers from Vigil now intend to buy the IP as Crytek USA, so the franchise remains with its creators. More inside.

Its no doubt that the Wii U as a system has delivered on what it promised. It has HD, the most power we've ever seen in a Nintendo console; and plenty of potential in the GamePad. What is has lacked; however, is the promised third-party support, truly killer software and a solid marketing campaign.

As a massive Nintendo fan, the above goes without saying as I am yet to pick up a Wii U myself due to a rather mediocre launch period. A passionate fan has written an open letter to Nintendo airing many of these grievances over at Polygon. Come inside for the letter.

Nintendo 3DS Artists will be pleased to learn that Colors! 3D will be launching an update on the eShop as of April 5th. The update is, thankfully, free. Collecting Smiles, the developer behind the title, has also announced that they will be giving away a Wii U in celebration of the update.

For more details on whats in store for the update come on inside.

Imagine an art show completely dedicated to Pokémon. Well, you don't need to imagine any more because Battle City is exactly that. From Steve Black Jr. The Battle City art show is coming to Milwaukee in August. Check out the video for more details and visit Kickstarter to show your support.

Mark Rein certainly has lost almost all trust (if he had any) with the Nintendo faithful. Early we posted about how Unreal 4 would not be coming to the Wii U. It was presented in a way that many took offense too, so IGN actually stuck their heads out to ask Mark Rein to clarify his Wii U response:

Still laughing, “I just laugh at the question…Unreal Engine 4, we’re not PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, or Wii U. It’s next-gen technology. That’s what we’re aiming for.”

“The truth is, if a developer wanted to take an Unreal Engine game and put it on Wii U, they could. Unreal Engine 3 is kicking ass on Wii U. The best games on Wii U are made on our technology. What more do you want from us?”
So there you have it. He doesn't consider the Wii U to be more powerful than the PS3 and the 360, and thus not really a next generation console. Still no clarification on remarks last year that it was scalable enough to be on mobile devices.

You've probably heard the question before, but are games art? From a development aspect, yes, but it's more of an applied art like pottery than actual art. They are a product first and foremost and we rarely look at the artistic nature that went behind its production, but we're talking about games that are art first and games second.

Games like Grand Theft Auto, Lollipop Chainsaw, and even Splatterhouse aren't games we look at and immediately think "That's art!" But we don't necessarily look at more fantasy oriented games like Final Fantasy, Disgaea, and The Legend of Zelda and think the opposite. It's usually those standout games that try to look beautiful in a new way gamers aren't accustomed to, be it in its visuals or the way it delivers its story and gameplay, that make us view it as art like Journey and Okami.

I recently completed my first playthrough of El Shaddai, an easily underrated (and hard) game, and it's probably the only game I've played that's even close to being "classic art," next to Okami of course. Like a lot of classic art it focuses on religion, being almost completely based off The Book of Enoch, while taking many creative liberties to create a unique experience, but I'll talk about that more in a future article. But I want to know, what do you think makes a game art and what is your favorite "Art Game?"

Well, the Wii U won't be doing too hot for 3rd party games a few years from now. Unreal Engine 4, which was apparently so scalable they could run it on phones and tablets... will not be Wii U bound. From Epic co-founder Mark Rein:

Will UE4 run on the Wii U?

“Hahaha no.” Rein said, with expert comedic timing. The room erupted with laughter. As the laughs died down, Rein continued: “I mean, sorry, it’s not really a correct answer. We’re not… we have Unreal Engine 3 for the Wii U. Right? And Unreal Engine 3 is powering all kinds of amazing games, still lots of games are being made with Unreal Engine 3. We announced today about a new Unreal Engine 3 license. Unreal Engine 3 doesn’t disappear because of Unreal Engine 4. But our goal for Unreal Engine 4 console-wise is next-gen consoles. That’s really what our energies are focused on. If you want to make a Wii U game, we have Unreal Engine 3, and it’s powering some of the best games on the Wii U already.

“Nothing controversial, guys,” he jokingly chided.
More on what this means inside.

I've been waiting days to cover this story because I wanted to better frame my approach. See, 3.4 million copies of a game are some pretty lofty numbers. Sure, maybe that's a poor number for say, a console Zelda release, but it's still a profitable number. Tomb Raider's original popularity may never be matched, but since the 90's the franchise has been pretty pathetic in sales numbers, failing to even top 1 million.

In comes a highly touted and well reviewed reboot of the whole franchise. It moved 3.4 million physical copies across all platforms, the most the series has moved since the 90's. In addition, if you add digital sales, you're likely looking at a number north of 4 million total sales. That ranks it as the 3rd best selling game in the series and probably when it's all said and done, potentially the 2nd best. That, to me, seems like a very successful reboot. The fans are raving, the critics are raving, people bought the product, and things seem fine.

Until we find out that Square lost money on the project. So much so they themselves called it a failure. So, what's wrong?

Vigil's acclaimed Darksiders II is slated to be unavailable for digital download in Europe come the end of March. The Nintendo Channel states that the title will no longer be available on the European Wii U eShop from March 31.

For those who have already purchased the title, the feature to re-download the game will remain available, but no new purchases will be possible. The reason behind this sudden development remains unknown and open for speculation at the current time.

Vigil games is now defunct, and the Darksiders franchise is currently in limbo following the closure of THQ. The series is still pending any prospective buyers, so perhaps this absence from the eShop will smooth over once the franchises sees some ownership stability.

Miiverse has been one of the Wii U's bright spots, but it certainly has room to grow. Thus, Nintendo is growing it as much as they can very soon in an update. Here's a brief summary, courtesy NeoGAF:

  • Players will be able to send and receive comments in-game.
  • Players will be able to see 'Yeahs' in-game.
  • They can follow users, and see who users are following in-game.
  • Users will be able to launch games from Miiverse Posts
  • Launch buttons on Miiverse posts can contain program arguments, so it will be possible to boot directly to a certain level or menu in a game
  • Can work with online datastore for additional functionality
  • Mizuki posited the potential application of level editing and sharing via Miiverse; 
  • envisions a game where users bring the game to life (sounds very LBP)
  • User Sub-Communities (like Mario Kart 7's) are coming to Miiverse
  • Can be used to organise and hold tournaments
  • First game to use them is Wii Fit U
  • Nintendo is canvassing developers for anything else they'd like to see in the API
  • Hell to the yeah. Thoughts?

    New details from Atlus on Shin Megami Tensei IV have emerged, some being expected and some being new to the franchise. Players will once again be able to befriend demons like before and they will become stronger through battles, sometimes evolving once they reach a certain level such as Pixie evolving into a High Pixie. This process of evolution is called 'High Level Up.'

    Demons can learn new skills by leveling up and demons will be able to teach the player new skills with the 'Whisper Event' feature. The event will occur over time as you level up your demons and it's best to use this for more attacks to attack more enemy weaknesses for extra turns.

    Shin Megami Tensei IV is set to hit Japan on the Nintendo 3DS on May 23rd and it will feature over 400 demons to befriend and use in battle.

    No surprise to those who completed Virtue's Last Reward only to receive a shocker of an ending, Zero Escape 3 will take place between 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors and VLR. 

    Zero Escape director, Kotaro Uchikoshi, made this piece of knowledge known with Siliconera during one of their interviews. Uchikoshi has also written Ever 17: Out of Infinity, one of the best Visual Novels you can possible play, even by today's standards.

    If you've yet to play any of the Zero Escape games, now would be the best time to do so. The story is amazing and is bound to take many by surprise, we even gave VLR a 5/5 because it was so good that we couldn't help but complete every ending, almost 30 in total.