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As the first truly free to play, no pay for content later experience on the Wii U (though, not technically true, as it’s only free until the full game’s release) I was naturally excited to try out the Rayman Legends: Challenge App. It’s a single player online experience where you are competing in two different tasks each day, with a new challenge every day and an additional one every week in “randomly generated” levels.

It’s been a few days so I figure now is as good of a time as any to tell you just how great this experience is. 

Nintendo is known for making bold steps in the industry, but most of that has to do with the hardware they release. A handheld with two screens? That can’t possibly work! 150+ million sales later it’s shown that yes, it can. Motion controls and simplified controls! You’re crazy Nintendo. 99 million in sales later says that actually, no they weren’t. 3DS? No one likes 3D Nintendo! 30+ Million in sales over two years. Not too shabby.

Of course, the outlier right now is the Wii U, of which Nintendo hasn’t fully turned around yet, but let’s give them a bit of time to see how that plays out. History points to it being just fine in the end.

The industry itself is broken right now. Games that sell millions of units aren’t successful or wholly profitable. Every year the big three show up to E3 with many hopes and dreams on the line, only to be dashed when we see the next Kinect game, or see a spell book game with the PS Move, or an emphasis on cable television. Even the mighty Nintendo has faltered, with broken promises (E3 2011) and poorly targeted software (ending E3 2012 with Nintendo Land).

The time for rumors and speculation are soon to come to an end, as Microsoft has finally lifted the covers off of the reveal date for their all new system. According to Microsoft Spokesperson Larry Hyrb:

On Tuesday May 21st, we’ll mark the beginning of a new generation of games, TV and entertainment. On that day, we’ll be holding a special press event on the Xbox campus and we invite you to join us via the live global stream that will be available on, Xbox LIVE and broadcast on Spike TV if you are in the US or Canada.

On that day, we’ll share our vision for Xbox, and give you a real taste of the future. Then, 19-days later at theElectronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, we’ll continue the conversation and showcase our full lineup of blockbuster games.

We are thrilled to pull back the curtain and reveal what we’ve been working on.

A New Generation Revealed 

Xbox Campus, Redmond WA 
Tuesday, May 21st @ 1p ET/10a PT/17:00 GMT
So there you have it folks. What are you hoping to find out about the Next Xbox?

Despite the experts, analysts, and pundits all predicting a decent loss for Nintendo's final numbers in the last fiscal year, Nintendo was able to pull out ahead with a Net Profit of $71 million despite an overall operating loss of $366 million. For those that aren't educated on the difference between those two numbers, a lot of it has to do with how they are allocating their taxes. In essence, the Operating Losses could potentially be tied to eating some of the fiscal losses for the previous year, with a small allocation to potential costs in the next fiscal period.

Of course, that's all speculation. Still, you can have an operating loss yet still turn profit overall, but how you can come to these numbers is slightly above my pay grade (I haven't had an accounting class in 8 years). That being said, Nintendo is claiming the Wii U had a negative impact on income, while the Yen depreciating in March actually ended up being what caused Nintendo to be able to end the year strong with a profit gain. Cutting it rather close, Big N. More inside.

2001 introduced gamers to the wonderful world of Luigi's Mansion, a game which deviated from the traditional Mario scene and featured the younger, greener Luigi in the starring role. Twelve years later, Dark Moon has arrived, and introduces players to the Evershade Valley, where the wonderfully spry Professor E. Gadd has relocated in order to study ghosts in a closer environment. But when the Dark Moon is shattered and the playful ghosts start destroying the professor’s work, it's up to Luigi to get them back under control. Equipped with a handy new Poltergust and his signature brave face — or lack thereof — the other brother sets foot into five nearby mansions to restore the Dark Moon and tame the harum-scarum specters.

How does Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon hold up to its hype? Head past the jump to keep reading.

Both of these terms are important aspects to many video games, and have been almost since the dawn of gaming itself. Violence, in one way or another, is ever present in most of the games we play. Be it Mario stomping out Goombas, Link attacking well... anything, or killing virtual people in games like Call of Duty: Violence is an ever present part of the video game culture that we all enjoy on various levels.

Another intricate and ever more present aspect is story. It drives players to want to complete certain tasks, it gives motivation, and more importantly it can touch us on a personal level in a way that sometimes can't be conveyed in a movie.

Neither one of these aspects is required to create a compelling experience – as an example, something as simple as Minecraft is technically a video game and it doesn't rely on violence or story in order to create a fantastic product.

Toki Tori 2 has arrived on the Wii U e-shop this month, and man has it been a pleasant surprise. Having never played the original I wasn't exactly sure what I was walking into. When I played the alpha build on steam there was a slew of notable issues, mostly the lack of sound and lots of lag. In the Wii U final edition, both of these are corrected.

Toki Tori 2 is extremely simplistic from the moment you boot it up. So much so there are absolutely no tutorials or even a simple start screen. The GamePad will tell you the two basic moves (stomp and sing) and shortly into your first few minutes the only real text in the game appears... the game's title.

VGLeaks has been providing gamers with quite a bit of intrigue over the past few years, and they have a surprisingly good track record. Thus, when they announce something that goes against everything we've heard before, things get a little turbulent. According to the just-released Xbox Roadmap 2013, Microsoft is getting really ambitious with the release of the upcoming Xbox 360's successor. Head past the jump for all the juicy information!

Splinter Cell: Blacklist is heading to Wii U  on August 20 in North America, August 22 for EMEA territories and August 23 in the UK. Ubisoft continues to show a lot of support to the Wii U platform and for their sake I hope it starts to really pay off. I have never been a huge fan of the series, but I might be willing to give this game a go. Hope inside to see another screenshot, the official box art, and a gameplay walkthrough provided by the devs.

I struggled writing the title for this piece due to one major factor: I personally really like Mr. Iwata. I haven’t met the man, but from what we have seen publicly he is just very likable. He’s a CEO that cut his own pay when sales dipped. He’s very honest in an industry where many talk out their ass. He does developer interviews in Iwata Asks and spurred the Nintendo Directs – both of which I thoroughly enjoy and have been nice additions for the fans.

However, in many ways Iwata has a bit too much of Miyamoto in him. He’s a fine idea man with some nice concepts, but too often he finds himself apologizing for mistakes he has made. Grant it, he is pretty good at rectifying his own mistakes over time, but the fact he has continually made them is certainly a problem.


Rising indie developer AckkStudios is developing an upcoming game called Two Brothers, an action RPG designed to feel like a classic Game Boy game. We at Gamnesia had the chance to speak to Andrew Allanson, who served as the producer and leading composer and on the game's staff, about a wide variety of subjects. Areas of focus in this interview including the design of the game, challenges introducing gamers to Two Brothers' new ideas, and the relationship between plot and gameplay. Read the full interview to see why you should be as excited as we are excited about Two Brothers.

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?

Valve is perhaps the most beloved publisher / developer in the world right now, and for good reason. The constant influx of quality games, fabulous customer relations and a business model that does not feel like giving a blowjob to 500 pound rednecks named Buck in the back of a convenience store for games are all very positive things. However, Valve has set themselves up for the biggest backfire in the history of gaming, and it's called Half-Life 3.

Just today we have seen a new stream of rumors concerning the imminent announcement of Half-Life 3 (source), and I wholeheartedly expected my fleshy insides to tingle with excitement. Instead, all I felt was last night's leftover lunch becoming much less solid and much more brown. The truth of the matter is simple - Valve is pushing it. There's only so much teasing that the gaming community is willing to absorb, and giving the rapid (SEVERE UNDERSTATEMENT) decline in overall customer satisfaction with the industry, even the goodwill that Valve has amassed among its fans is starting to wear thin in this particular regard. However, that is not the crux of the issue, a "it's ready when it's ready" mentality is not necessarily a bad thing, and it won't matter once we have a release date and eventually sit down to play the game.

It's no secret by now that EA's support for the Wii U platform and the 3DS is practically non-existent going forward. That isn't to say they haven't released "any" games for the platforms, but it's well known they are keeping major franchises away from the systems previously and will continue to do so moving forward. Even games that were fully running and ready to go out to the production line, such as Crysis 3, were shelved due to Nintendo and EA essentially not getting along.

Lets set aside, for a moment, that EA has been making some questionable decisions in terms of how they are running their business. Let's also not place entirely all the blame on EA themselves. We will get into this in a moment, but Nintendo is responsible heavily for rifts with EA. However, the better question is, could we finally reach a point in the future where Nintendo and EA's relationship is just like what it is with Ubisoft? It always possible, and I have some sure fire steps that need to be taken on both fronts to make this a reality.

Do you remember the days when we only used one term to describe a console’s power? Twenty years ago, what people saw as “bits” were all that mattered and we could tell when one console was better than another simply by looking at the games. One needn’t any more insight than his own eyes to see that Donkey Kong Country was more advanced than the arcade’s Donkey Kong or that Sonic the Hedgehog could do more than Alex Kidd in Miracle World.

Fast forward to today and how do we compare consoles? Jargon. Twenty years ago, people didn’t debate the relative merits of a “Customized 6502 CPU” and a “Television Interface Adaptor Model 1A” because a system’s power could be easily described by marketers as “bits,” and every generation self-evidently doubled the power of the last. But those days, as you certainly know, are gone.

These ever-improving graphics were always one good reason to buy a console, but alongside visual improvements, each generation’s new technology brought us bigger and better ways to play our games. The new Mode 7 technology of the Super Nintendo, for example, allowed racing games like F-Zero and Super Mario Kart to take off, while the jump to 32 and 64-bit consoles allowed for full 3D gaming, which was a monumental advancement in its own right. During this time, advancements in technology went hand-in-hand with advancements in gameplay, but when the core fundamentals of a video game have reached their limits, companies look for other, less essential ways to improve the experience.

Head past the jump to keep reading!