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It's Saturday? What? Why didn't anybody tell me I missed Thursday?! DAMMIT JACKSON!

*ahem* So here's a belated Nintendo Download update for you all. First up is the Wii U, which received Spot the Differences: Party!, Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams, and Chronicles of Mystara. Breath of Fire II has finally found its way to the Wii U virtual console as well. Head past the jump for the full list of titles!

Every month, Club Nintendo offers a select handful of games redeemable by Coins, the currency on the site. You can earn coins by completing surveys and registering your eligible Nintendo games on the site, and then use them to claim rewards.

This month's game rewards all cost 150 coins each, a modest sum. Available from now until October 6th are Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again! and Art Academy: First Semester downloadable to your 3DS, and two classics for your Wii: the original Pilotwings for SNES, and the sequel to the amazing cult classic StarTropics, Zoda's Revenge: StarTropics 2.

What sounds appealing to you? I'd jump all over Zoda's Revenge if I hadn't already downloaded it the day it was brought to the virtual console. Are you interested in learning to draw? How about practicing your landing skills? What about working strategically through puzzles with mini Mario toys? Or is an amazing yet difficult NES adventure in your future? Let me know in the comments!


[Throwback Thursday is a series where we look back on games from the past in reviews, retrospectives, and more. We will have something every week for your retro enjoyment. You may even discover something new to love!]

Here we are with the next game, counting down to the 300th review! Last week, I reviewed the first game in the Sly Cooper franchise. While it might not have held up as well as I thought it would, after finally getting to play it almost 10 years after its release, I still really enjoyed the memorable characters and solid platforming experience, even though I had to deal with the tedious difficulty and rather short length. I gave the first game a 6 out of 10 because it was still a good game, but its poorly aged parts stick out like a sore thumb.

So then, what do I think of the second game, Sly 2: Band of Thieves for the PlayStation 2? I mean, all I read is that before the fourth game came out this year, the second game was the best game in the franchise, and pretty much every critic’s favorite game out of the Sly Cooper franchise. Well, I think differently about Sly 2. While I am honestly not going to rate this game as highly as every critic did a few years back, it is definitely better than the first game. It has a lot of good game design changes, but it is also held back by a lot of game design tedium. Why do I say such a thing? Read on to find out!

Summer of Covers is an effort started by Carlos Eiene of Insane in the Rain Music to raise $1000 for Child's Play Charity, along with your help. Every week, Eiene releases one new video game music cover every day, each from a different game series. This past week was 8-Bit week, featuring some of our favorite 8-Bit songs beautifully redone. We've already shared Ballad of the Windfish and Mabe Village from Link's Awakening with you, but you can head inside here to listen to every fantastic cover. Be sure to donate to Child's Play Charity, and subscribe to Insane in the Rain Music to stay updated on Summer of Covers' progress if you like Eiene's work! You can also head here to get a full list of every Summer of Covers song so far!

This next week is the last week for Summer of Covers, and it's ending with a wonderful conclusion: Credits Week! Stay tuned at Insane in the Rain Music for all the wonderful staff roll covers.

When the Nintendo 3DS launched at retail, it cost a whopping $249.99—that's as much as the Wii cost upon its release. As sales were slow, Nintendo sliced a handsome $70 off the price tag just months after its release in order to boost consumer interest, and sales started spreading like wildfire. To appease the early adopters, Nintendo introduced the "Ambassador Program," a program through which any 3DS bought and registered before the price cut would be credited twenty downloadable NES and Game Boy Advance games through the system's eShop.

With the recent announcement of the Wii U price cut, Nintendo fans are hoping that the Big N will introduce a similar program for early adopters of the console, but alas, the answer is no. Head past the jump for more.


[Throwback Thursday is a series where we look back on games from the past in reviews, retrospectives, and more. We will have something every week for your retro enjoyment. You may even discover something new to love!]

I am getting really close to my 300th review, and I wanted to do something different for it. I didn’t want to do an RPG special again since I want to do one for my 5-year special. I then looked through a list of games I wanted to play, and I came across the Sly Cooper franchise for Sony’s PlayStation 2 and 3 consoles. From what I have heard, this was always a very charming series. I was 12 or 13 when these games were coming out, and I skipped over them because I thought I was above the idea of playing a humanoid raccoon. I sadly missed over this gem of a series that has had a bit of resurgence as of late with cameo appearances in that terrible Playstation Move game and as a fighter in the underwhelming Playstation All-Stars. To lead up to the 300th review, I will be going over the four Sly Cooper games, making the recently released 4th game the 300th review.

Let us get started then with the first game, Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus for the PlayStation 2. Head past the jump to keep reading!

Bah, I'm done coming up with cheeky titles—you know this stuff by now!

Summer of Covers is an effort started by Carlos Eiene of Insane in the Rain Music to raise $1000 for Child's Play Charity, along with your help. Every week, Eiene releases one new video game music cover every day, each from a different game series. This past week was Mario week, highlighted by an incredible piano arrangement of 'File Select' and 'Dire Dire Docks,' from Super Mario 64. Head inside to listen to every fantastic Mario cover, and be sure to donate to Child's Play Charity and subscribe to Insane in the Rain Music to stay updated on Summer of Covers' progress if you like Eiene's work! You can also head here to get a full run-down of every Summer of Covers song so far!

This next week is 8-bit Week, so prepare for a nostalgiabasket of manly tears.

The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures is an upcoming game on Steam, focusing around the internet's one and only Angry Video Game Nerd. Styled after the NES games that the Angry Video Game Nerd loathes so much—though anyone looking at the game can tell it's more impressive than 8-bit—the game promises frustration, agony, the famous AVGN humor, and tons of fun.

James Rofle, the man behind the Angry Video Game Nerd, got to play The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures, and he says he loves it! According to Rolfe, The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures is "the best AVGN game to date." Head past the jump to see the trailer and hear what he had to say.

Rare is currently hard at work developing Kinect Sports Rivals for Xbox One and its new Kinect, and after completing the game next year, there is a possibility they may return to their golden days and develop a title in one of their classic franchises. Rare's Simon Woodroffe has told Official Xbox Magazine that the team already has plenty of ideas floating around for Perfect Dark, Conker, Viva Piñata, and Banjo-Kazooie, and later revealed that the team is eager to work on a Banjo project.

“When we launched Kinect obviously there was a big focus on ‘everything must be Kinect.’ Now it’s in the box, use it where it make sense, don’t where it doesn’t. It can be used in some really – not gimmicky ways, which is what I think you’ll see a fair amount of – but ways that actually really enhance the game. We’ve got some ideas for how to use it in the right way. ... We’ve got ideas for most older Rare IP, you won’t be surprised to hear. There’s quite a lot of desire to do that, and Viva Pinata, Conker… Banjo’s very popular internally, a lot of people want to do stuff with Banjo.

Head past the jump for more!


[Throwback Thursday is a series where we look back on games from the past in reviews, retrospectives, and more. We will have something every week for your retro enjoyment. You may even discover something new to love!]

Since I just mentioned Armikrog, Doug Tenapel’s upcoming adventure game, in my Blazing Dragons review, why not talk a little about this popular artist? For most gamers, Doug Tenapel is famous for the Earthworm Jim games in the 90s, some of the most memorable and popular games from the time of the Super Nintendo and Genesis. After leaving Shiny Entertainment, Doug Tenapel, along with a few other ex-Shiny employees, founded The Neverhood, Inc., and from what I researched, made only three games.

The first game was the cult classic PC adventure game, The Neverhood Chronicles, or The Neverhood for short. Didn’t sell well, but became a cult classic game that is now very expensive. The next game was named Skullmonkeys for the PlayStation. Didn’t sell well either, but it also became a cult classic that is now expensive online. The final game was called Boombots, a Power Stone-style fighting game for the PlayStation. As you can guess, it didn’t sell well, but from what I have seen online, it hasn’t become a super pricey game or a cult classic. Why? Out of all three games, why didn’t this one get the same response? It still has a lot of the elements of The Neverhood, Inc.’s past games like stop-motion Claymation and the trademark humor of the games. Let’s find out then why this little 3D fighting game is often forgotten by many gamers.

Many gamers who follow the Mother series know that Mother 3 when began its life in development, it wasn't on the Game Boy Advance. Actually, it wasn't even on the Nintendo 64, as many people believe, but you'll hear all about that in a moment. The truth is, Mother 3 has a long and interesting story behind its wobbly development process. Before its release in Japan, and subsequently the rest of the world nowhere else (though that may hopefully change soon), it was shown off as a Nintendo 64 game at Spaceworld '99 with this rockin' trailer. But development was tricky and the timing was, to put it lightly, not ideal, so the project was canned.

Recently, a conversation surfaced between Satoru Iwata, one of the game's co-producers and the current president of Nintendo; Shigeru Miyamoto, the legendary game designer who served as the game's second co-producer; and Shigesato Itoi, the creator and scenario writer of the Mother series. This conversation was originally posted nearly thirteen years ago—exactly thirteen years ago as of August 22nd—right alongside the announcement of Mother 3's cancellation in 2000. Finally, however, the interview has been translated into English and available to the public for our reading pleasure.

The three gents discuss several issues with the game, such as memory limitation, its timing against Project Dolphin (later dubbed the "Nintendo GameCube"), and more, so be sure to check out the interview after the jump!

Summer of Covers is an effort started by Carlos Eiene of Insane in the Rain Music to raise $1000 for Child's Play Charity, along with your help. Every week, Eiene releases one new video game music cover every day, each from a different game series. This past week was Kirby week, so the covers assuredly suck. Er... Wait, that's not right... Head inside to listen to every happy fluffy cover, and be sure to donate to Child's Play Charity and subscribe to Insane in the Rain Music to stay updated on Summer of Covers' progress if you like Eiene's work! You can also head here to get a full run-down of every Summer of Covers song so far!

Next week is Mario week, so get out the shrooms and get ready for a great time!


[Throwback Thursday is a series where we look back on games from the past in reviews, retrospectives, and more. We will have something every week for your retro enjoyment. You may even discover something new to love!]

Kirby's Dream Land 2, the direct sequel to the Game Boy title that started the franchise, sees Kirby returning to Dream Land to find Rainbow Drops that have been stolen by the evil Dark Matter, who has possessed King Dedede with an intent on conquering Dream Land. With the help of three new animal friends, Kirby sets out to find the Rainbow Drops to repair the Rainbow Bridges that connect the seven Rainbow Islands. The game builds upon its predecessor immensely, borrowing features from its console cousin, Kirby's Adventure. With some key differences to make itself stand out amongst its predecessors, Kirby's Dream Land 2 packs a charming little adventure into a small gray cartridge that many people are sure to enjoy.

I love large overarching plot and continuity as much as the next guy, maybe more, but some days it's best just to sit back and play a game with almost no story, or at least nothing too detailed, and to make up something of your own. I did this as a kid, playing games that I would probably never touch again if not for those old memories and making up my own convoluted plot for my own entertainment. Each time I lost or won and the game left an open space for my mind to fill in the gap of the story, I would, and I would create the best and worst plots you could imagine.

If you wanna see where I'm going with this, take a jump inside my nostalgia box and read on.

UPDATE: The event is starting in just a moment streaming on YouTube, of all places. I've embedded the stream after the jump!


Hyperkin, the makers of many gaming peripherals, accessories, and retro consoles, will be having a live-streamed event tonight on Google Hangout via VideoGameRescue.com about their newest and highly anticipated retro console, the Retron5.

The Retron5 plays classic game cartridges from the Nintendo Entertainment System, Famicom, Super Nintendo / Super Famicom, Genesis / Megadrive, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance all on one machine. The system itself will output the games via HDMI for the highest possible picture quality, and the new custom UI allows you to configure any controller to work for any game/system, save states, and custom options to improve the audio quality.

The link to the live stream will be shared shortly before the event begins, at which point I will update this article, so stay tuned. The event is scheduled to begin at 7pm PST tonight, just about an hour and a half from now. With Hyperkin teasing all summer that they'll announce the price and release date of the console before the end of summer, there's a big chance that's what this event is all about. Here's hoping!