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What makes Nintendo tick? Is it like the beautiful pendulum swing in Mario 64's Tick Tock Clock? Why allude to that? 

Last time, we looked at what Nintendo did to make some successful, innovative content in the past. We saw that their interest in non-specifically Japanese things and slightly Western things helped them achieve creative, mainstream success. We also questioned whether "modern Nintendo" was a little too invested in technology in creating new, innovative hardware and software. …Are they? The former and latter styles of innovation say something about Nintendo's philosophy. For an answer on what makes Nintendo "tick," let's discuss the Wii and Nintendo 64 years…

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!

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag has had the curtain lifted today and despite some early leaks we have learned a heck of a lot about the experience today. For starters, it will be coming to all available consoles including the PlayStation 4, which will feature some exclusive content (which is par for the course) and enhanced visuals over the PS3, 360, and Wii U versions of the game. However, knowing what platforms it comes on is far from what all of you are wanting to hear about right?  Right, so head inside to get the full scoop.

Recently we had the pleasure of interviewing Grant Kirkhope, a sound designer best known for his work on the soundtracks to Rare titles from 1996 to 2008. Grant Kirkhope has since been nominated for several awards in composition for his more recent work on Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, which has gained him some recognition in the film industry, though many retro game fans still recognize him today as one of the geniuses behind games like Banjo-Kazooie, Perfect Dark, Viva Pinata and GoldenEye 007.

During the interview, we discussed several aspects of his career and life, such as the closure of 38 Studios, Microsoft's acquisition of Rare, "Mingy Jongo," the current state of the gaming industry, and of course Mr. Kirkhope's methods, opinions and future in sound design and soundtrack composition. Head past the jump to read all about it!

February 20th brought Sony fans one of the most significant days in years, and it brought us over five pages of new content. In the stream of news, some of you readers have surely missed a few stories, so we've decided to compile every piece of PlayStation 4 news from the last two days into one convenient list. Check out the video above to see Sony's great summary of the announced software, and head past the jump to catch up on all your PlayStation 4 news! (Or check out a three-minute summary satire for a good laugh)

A long time ago, some time in 1992, someone at Nintendo thought it would be a good idea to stay after regular work hours and 'work up some fun' in the office and among employees. By this, I don't mean kinky fun, but rather the kind that leads to organic, masterful come-up-from-behind games. Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening started out as a Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past port for the Game Boy, but the freedom of the working context allowed the team to turn the game into an original project.

And original it was. Dubbed in Japan Legend of Zelda: Dream Island, the game was written before Koizumi ever ventured into the markedly dramatic territory of Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. No, Link's Awakening was rather a representation of interesting developments at Nintendo HQ. One where, despite the rigorous expectations of a Japanese task force, projects were formed on the basis of an up-and-coming company, a company of passionate developers and designers with a certain creative flow...

At tonight's PlayStation meeting, the PlayStation 4 was officially announced. Shedding its codename "Orbis," PlayStation 4's announcement followed loads of corporate jargon that essentially says "gaming is fun." The focus of much of the speech is "new ways to play," so it will be interesting to see what they mean as the night goes on. As more news is made clear, you'll be able to find it here on Gamnesia.

When the Toki Tori 2 team reached out to us it was a bit of a surprise. It's not that we haven't had prebuild copies of games before, or that we don't attend press events to provide previews. It's just a rarity to see a company reach out to lesser known entities to build interest for their game.

Toki Tori 2 arrives next month on the Nintendo Wii U eShop and we were fortunate enough to spend roughly an hour and a half with a preview (alpha) build of the game so we can give you all the nitty gritty on what to expect come next month.  

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.

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.

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.

Super Smash Bros. is any Nintendo fan's dream game. From characters to stages, to music, to everything else, Smash is the ultimate celebration of Nintendo's past and present. But what about Smash's future? That's what Challenger Approaching is all about.

Every weekend, Chris London and I will present our thoughts on new characters, stages, items, and anything else for the next installment in the Super Smash Bros. series. Here at Gamnesia, we assemble an in-depth profile for every character we suggest. For this entry in this ambitious series, we've assembled a profile for Mewtwo, the legendary clone Pokémon. But don't think our analysis stops at just the character—there's plenty more to be seen. Head past the jump to see why Mewtwo has earned a spot among Nintendo's finest in the next game's roster and what his inclusion would do for the next Super Smash Bros.

With its expansive world, beautiful visuals, immersive battle-system, compelling story and hundreds of hours of gameplay, Xenoblade Chronicles wasn’t just one of the best games on the Wii, but one of the best games of all time. It should come as no surprise then that there’s a tremendous amount of excitement building about Monolith Soft’s next project.

At last month's Nintendo Direct presentation a short teaser trailer was released from Xenoblade’s developer of their upcoming Wii U RPG that is currently in development. All it took was that one brief minute-long teaser to get fans speculating about this new title, and we at Gamnesia just can’t miss out on the fun.

Above is our first real look at the PlayStation 4 controller, which should be set to reveal itself on February 20th. The controller definitely appears to be a bit clunkier, which for my money is a positive after the massive hand cramps the original DualShock controller always gave me (thankfully, third party controllers exist). It confirms that there will be a touchpad included, though what possible uses that entails is beyond me. In theory, similar functions to the Wii U's GamePad are possible in some regards, but unless that touchpad eventually became a touchscreen (this is an earlier model of the dev controller) it's doubtful it's close to as useful in the traditional sense.

It's also noticeable that they are playing with the joystick design. They definitely looked like deformed areas of a female body part, but how comfortable they are to use is a different story. What that light is on the top part is a total mystery. It could simply be a motion tracker, which effectively kills Move and allows for the same functionality. This also means of course that yes, that's a real PlayStation 4 dev box, which is also a first for the public. With this information confirmed, it only leads many to suspect all the leaked specs, rumors, and other features to be true, since clearly developers are leaking stuff like crazy when something like this gets out prior to the public acknowledgement that this stuff even exists. Five days and counting. Thoughts?

Just this week the news broke that a new Pokémon title will be coming to the Wii U; however, the announced Pokémon Scramble U is nothing more than the next installment of the downloadable Pokémon Rumble spin-offs.

The franchise has dominated handheld gaming for decades, but gamers still wait for Pokémon to really embrace home console gaming. Six Generations into the series and it really is time because the Wii U is the perfect home console for Pokémon to make an impact on.