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On its blog today, Sega reaffirmed that their latest entry in the All-Stars Racing franchise is indeed coming to Nintendo's popular handheld. The game is planned to hit Europe on February 8th, and North America on the 12th, and when it does, it will have a few new features along with all the content the consoles had. It will have eight-person download-play multiplayer and StreetPass challenges added to the standard game, and includes the two new characters from the console version; real NASCAR racer Danica Patrick, and Wreck-it Ralph, from the incredibly well-marketed Disney movie that came out earlier this year. 

Are you interested in picking up the portable version?

According to Emily Rogers, Retro Studios will have a demo ready for its next big project during E3. It's still unclear what this project might be, but it could very well be sequel to Donkey Kong Country Returns, or another installment of the Metroid series. Retro also collaborated with Nintendo on the development of Mario Kart 7, and since it was a very well received game, it might very well be that they are also working on the upcoming Mario Kart U.

Personally, I'm all in for a Donkey Kong sequel, but I'd like it to be a platformer like Donkey Kong 64. I think it has a lot of potential, and I just love Donkey Kong 64. It was one of the games that defined my childhood, so a spiritual sequel to it would be great. I'd be really surprised to see a brand new IP, but time will tell.

Sniper Elite V2, a unique shooter by Rebellion, is being ported to the Wii U. It's already on the PS3, 360, and PC, and though it's received mediocre reviews so far, Rebellion is hoping that the Wii U's gamepad is going to revitalize the potential of the title.

“Sniper Elite is just the kind of mature game that is perfect for the different mechanics of the Wii U. It’s been a challenge to get it right, but thanks to our team and the fantastic support of our partners at 505 Games we believe we’ve brought the unique gameplay to a whole new platform.”

So says Jason Kingsley, CEO of Rebellion. Have any of you had some time with Sniper Elite V2? Do you think the Wii U's actually a good remedy for this struggling game?

This is impressive. Remember that Nintendo Direct from weeks back? It was pretty cool. We saw a lot of awesome games and clips, one of them being a video behind the scenes of Bayonetta 2's development. With all the buzz around the exclusive acquisition of this decidedly mature series, Platinum was eager to show just how well the transition to a Nintendo console was going. The video ended with this shot of a monster slashing right at us, scaring those weak of heart.



Well, it turns out that clip wasn't computer generated; that's right, those are the real time graphics of Bayonetta 2--at this point in time, anyway. Who knows what it'll look like at launch! Somehow I'm getting even more hyped over this game. I really have to grab the original Bayonetta to prepare myself.

A Picture of the Wii U and GamePadThe negative sentiment towards the Wii U from certain parts of the industry may never cease, but this time around, Digital Foundary's analysts are able to back up their claims due to the recent discoveries that show the exact build of the Wii U's GPU. While there are still some mysteries in the customly built chip, what we needed to know for its maximum capabilities is now understood. Hop inside to see exactly what the conclusion is that leads them to state rather plainly the Wii U isn't next-gen.

Iwata Asks is a recurring segment in which Nintendo President Satoru Iwata interviews game developers about their values and the development process behind specific games. The latest episode featured the developers of Fire Emblem: Awakening, detailing their thought process behind the evolution of the support system to a marriage system, as well as what their goals were in staying true to the essence of Fire Emblem.

The most interesting factoid to gather from this discussion, however, is the idea that Fire Emblem should break its focus on medieval militias and instead tread ground in more modern war tactics with a tinge of fantasy. This proposal was then taken in an even more drastic direction with the idea that the game could take place on Mars, which was later shot down.

Nintendo is well versed in the ways of outer space, but never before have they explored non-fictional extraterrestrial planets in their games. The idea of a tactical RPG taking place on Mars is an incredibly appealing one no doubt, but Fire Emblem is well-grounded in its medieval setting, and I'm ultimately glad they didn't break that mold for a more science-fictiony game. Do you hope Nintendo looks back at this discarded idea to create an entirely new franchise, or do you think this concept should lay dead?

It's no secret that the hit 3DS title, Resident Evil: Revelations is coming to home consoles and PC later this year—but don't expect it to be just a simple port of the 3DS version. According to Revelations Producer Masachika Kawata, Resident Evil: Revelations Unveiled Edition has been given 5.1 Surround Sound and the gameplay has been tweaked and fine-tuned to make it more than a simple port.

“It’s definitely not just a direct port. Not only have we improved the graphics up to HD standard for home consoles and designed it for 5.1 Surround Sound, as well, but we’ve fine tuned and retuned the gameplay, made a lot of nips and tucks here and there, so it’s certainly an improved experience.”

Accompanying this statement, it was revealed that the decision to port Revelations to home consoles was made in the wake of the 3DS release due to overwhelmingly positive feedback from the fans and critics. Kawata also credits Revelations' success due to it feeling like classic RE gameplay that was easy to pick up and play.

Are you looking forward to the next entry in the Castlevania franchise? While it won't be long before Mirror of Fate hits the Nintendo 3DS, don't be surprised if it eventually makes its way to HD platforms. Konami already has an HD version ready and waiting, according to Konami's UK studio boss David Cox.

”We created everything in high definition – all the textures, all the levels, high-poly models, everything – and we kind of shrunk it all down into the 3DS.”

“Then we lost bones from characters, you know, we dropped the resolution of the textures and everything to make it fit. At MercurySteam we have an HD version of the game sitting there in a computer somewhere.”

“We want as many people to play it as possible. Obviously we have an exclusivity deal with Nintendo right now though and they’ve been very supportive of the product.”

Nintendo's exclusivity deal with Konami will probably last little more than a year, but for the time being, the title looks sure to please fans waiting for the next side-scrolling adventure from Konami's hit franchise. So let us know, will you be picking up Mirror of Fate when it comes out for the 3DS? Or will you be waiting till Nintendo's exclusivity deal with Konami ends so you can play it on the big screen? Let us know in the comments!

Watch out, Fire Emblem fans! The highly Anticipated Fire Emblem Awakening just received a shipment delay at a great deal of retailers in the U.S. The delay was the result of a shipping error, but numerous retailers suspect the game to be on store shelves later in the week. 

Best Buy claims that they don't expect Fire Emblem Awakening to be on store shelves until Wednesday this week, while GameStop doesn't expect the game to be on store shelves until Friday. Amazon has noted that the game was also delayed, and so no copies will be shipped for a few more days. My local GameStop has said that there is nothing to worry about and any pre-orders made are still valid and if you want to try your luck you can try getting the art book right now, free of charge.

Luckily, this delay only accounts for the physical copies of Fire Emblem Awakening. The game is available right now on the Nintendo 3DS eShop for download for those who can't wait any longer. It's an amazing game, so be sure to check it out!

AckkStudios has been working for a while on their GameBoy-styled RPG, Two Brothers. Two Brothers, the story of an inventor seeking to bring color to a monochromatic world, is coming some time this year to the Wii U eShop, alongside iOS, Xbox 360, and several other platforms. Two Brothers is nearing completion, however, and as all developers do, AckkStudios is planning to begin work—or resume it, rather—on a brand new game codenamed Project Y2K. AckkStudios began work on the game before Two Brothers' development had even begun, and it was put on hold in order to finish the smaller, retro-styled project.

Project Y2K is a 3D RPG in development exclusively for the Wii U. The story, which has now been completely finalized, takes place in the year 1999, beginning on January first at exactly 12:02 AM. Project Y2K also has a completed graphics and gameplay engine, which you can get a glimpse of to the left, as well as plenty of concept art. In addition to all this information, the original blog post and its teasers contain hashtags such as "#Space," "#Fourth Dimension," "#Double Slit Experiment," and "#WomanMadeofPlastic." Another teaser also shows off a demo of the game's soundtrack, with the caption, "viewing Earth from far away..."

I don't know what exactly this is shaping up to be, but I know that like it. What do you think of all this?

The console development process never stops. Even before the Wii U was released, the minds over at Nintendo were already spinning about what they wanted to do next, both for home consoles and handhelds. During a recent Nintendo shareholder's meeting, Iwata had this to say on the development:

"Last year we also started a project to integrate the architecture for our future platforms. What we mean by integrating platforms is not integrating handhelds devices and home consoles to make only one machine. What we are aiming at is to integrate the architecture to form a common basis for software development so that we can make software assets more transferrable, and operating systems and their build-in applications more portable, regardless of form factor or performance of each platform. They will also work to avoid software line-up shortages or software development delays which tend to happen just after the launch of new hardware. Some time ago it was technologically impossible to have the same architecture for handheld devices and home consoles and what we did was therefore reasonable. Although it has not been long since we began to integrate the architecture and this will have no short-term result, we believe that it will provide a great benefit to our platform business in the long run."

Basically, Nintendo is planning to make it easier to share assets between future handheld and console games, which would vastly expedite the development process of certain cross-platform series such as New Super Mario Bros. Nintendo is hoping that this system will prevent the "droughts" of content that the Wii U and 3DS have experienced.

How would you like to see this system implemented?

Charity Guy

Cody Thompson is trekking over 3,000 miles across the US to raise money for Child's Play, a gaming industry charity that gives toys and games to children in need. The path has been in the planning process for months, and Thompson will be traveling across  North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. He's currently raising money here, planning to raise $8,000 for the journey, while anything remaining will go to the organization. The hike should take roughly eight months.

 Cody is also a devoted gamer, and he's taking his 3DS along for the journey, planning to pop it open every night after a long day of hard work. Imagine all of the Play Coins and Streetpasses he's going to accumulate over the eight month endeavor!

IGN interviewed Thompson on his incoming escapade. Here's what he said on the subject.

“I’ve spent months on the planning, now I’m a few weeks out from setting off, so it’s a good time to start talking about this and raising some funds for Child’s Play. I’m seeking about $8,000 to fund the costs of the journey and everything else is for the kids. The sky’s the limit. But however much I get, I’m doing this." — Cody Thompson

For the rest of the interview hit the jump!

With all the doom and gloom surrounding analysts' take on the low sales of the Wii U, it's easy to get angry at analysts or even worried for Nintendo's future. I, for one, think all the Wii U needs is an increased advertising push and a slew of terrific content, and we already know we'll see the latter later this year. But in the wake of the professionals treating the Wii U's situation like the Vita's was, Rob Fahey of GamesIndustry has published an article forecasting Nintendo's bright future with the console.

"Nintendo has a lot of work to do on Wii U, but we’ve been here before – it had a lot of work to do on the 3DS as well. While 3DS’ price cut helped a great deal, much of the real work was done through significantly improving and bulking out the console’s software line-up, and a similar process is underway with Wii U. One need only look to the rapt response which the recent Nintendo Direct broadcast received from media and Nintendo fans alike to see the truth of Nintendo’s situation. This is a software company at heart. Its consoles are enabling hardware for its software, and as such, they sell in parallel with major software launches. Of course, this is a valid argument in favour of Nintendo’s ultimate destiny outside the hardware market entirely, but for now, the company isn’t willing to give up that level of control – and for now, it doesn’t look like it needs to. I don’t expect Wii U to match the success of Wii, in the medium or long term – but equally, I don’t count myself among those who expect it to be Nintendo’s last console. Sentiment is negative right now, but fundamentals aren’t, and for a business like Nintendo, it’s the latter that counts."

For the full article, click here. Are you in the same boat as Rob and myself, or do you think that Nintendo needs to take more drastic measures to lock in the future success of the Wii U?

The rumor train just keeps rolling! According to Clever Noob user TSA_383, patch 1.05 is set to radically shift the Mass Effect formula.

TSA_383 claims to have found data in the patch to back up the following description of the new "Reckoning" DLC:

"The day of reckoning is nigh! The Reckoning Multiplayer Expansion brings six new never before seen co-op story missions to the game and new co-op gameplay modes. It provides four new maps to conquer and hazard variations of the Earth maps. It also enables reinforcement packs that offer new kits for the salarians, krogans, humans and volus. In-game reinforcement packs now include three new weapons (Chakram Launcher, Blood Pack Punisher and Adas Anti-Synthetic Rifle)."

So far, this leak has gotten no official confirmation or denial from BioWare, so I make no claims that this rumor is valid; however, if it does turn out true, then gamers everywhere will be able to cooperatively play a few story missions with friends and family. I'm a big fan of co-op gaming, so I'm hoping that this ends up being true.

What do you think of this rumor? True? Fake? Amazing?

JP Mangalindan, the writer for CNN Money known for having the most kickass name ever, just wrote a short piece on the Wii U's struggle after launch. It's pretty insightful, critical in a fair way, and makes some good points. He starts by saying that the issue isn't with the system itself; he got some hands-on time with it and was very impressed. However, he knows business, and thinks he's figured out how to help turn sales around for the big N.

Jump inside to see what he said.