Mario’s Back

Mario Land 3DSHappy Monday all – here we are at the start of another week and I thought we would start out easy with some news about one of the oldest gaming franchises still running today. Mario, one half of the Super Mario Brothers (did Luigi ever get annoyed that the whole plumbing business was named after his brother?), has been on the go since appearing in Donkey Kong in the early 1980s, and he is still going strong.

His latest outing is on the Nintendo 3DS, and the website for Super Mario 3D Land has just been unveiled. The site promises that the game will have “incredible depth, making it easier to judge the location of enemies and blocks, but also allowing it to be crammed full of amazing all-new puzzles and obstacles that just aren’t possible in 2D”.

I know 3D is just a gimmick for many people – at least when it comes to televisions, but I think gaming is one of those areas where there’s real potent ion to develop this. It’ll be interesting to see how Super Mario 3D Land does when it arrives on the 18th of November.

Here’s the press release, check out the links within for more information.

Mario’s pulled a classic suit out of hiding, has new actions and much more – come on over and see!

Mario’s back, but this time there’s a twist in the ‘tail’ – enjoy classic action, brand new worlds and challenges – and all in 3D, in Super Mario 3D Land!

That big meanie Bowser has nabbed Princess Peach again and our ‘stache owning hero is the only one who can save her. But this time around Mario has an old favourite suit to don once more, additional power-ups, and new moves to unleash on his quest to save the princess – and by golly he’s going to use them!

Want to know more about the adorable return of Tanooki Mario? Desperate to check out our hero’s new abilities? Thirsting for some snazzy screenshots, artwork and videos from this vibrant new Mario excursion?

If the answer’s a resounding, ground-pounding, “Yes!” then jump ‘n’ run over to our newly-opened SUPER MARIO 3D LAND teaser website – and don’t forget to check back in the coming weeks as we’ll be unveiling more exciting details on this technicolour feast of a 3D platformer!

SUPER MARIO 3D LAND will be in shops from the 18th of November, only on Nintendo 3DS.

Nintendo launches 3D games trailers on the 3DS

Nintendo 3DSGood afternoon geeks – I hope you are ready and raring to go for another week. Today we have a bit of news for you, sent to us by Nintendo. If you’re the proud owner of a Nintendo 3DS and want to see more 3D content, this may be of interest to you. The press release begins below.

Nintendo is giving you the chance to download seven free 3D game trailers exclusively through the Nintendo eShop, showcasing some of the latest games arriving soon for the Nintendo 3DS™. Trailers for upcoming titles, including Mario Kart™ 7, Luigi’s Mansion™ 2 and Super Mario 3D Land™ will be available to download from the Nintendo eShop from today for a limited time only.

The trailers showcase some of the most highly anticipated games launching on Nintendo 3DS over the next couple of months and star some of Nintendo’s most famous heroes; Mario, Luigi and Pit all making an appearance. Other game trailers available to download include Paper Mario™, Mario Tennis™, Kid Icarus™ and Animal Crossing™.

The Nintendo eShop gives Nintendo 3DS owners access to a vast array of new exclusive 2D and 3D content, including a free downloads of the Pokédex™ 3D, and the ability to download original 3D software, 3D Classics, Game Boy™ and Game Boy™ Color “Virtual Console™” games and an extensive library of Nintendo DSiWare™ titles. New content is added every Thursday so make sure you check back regularly.

If you haven’t performed the recommended system update yet and want to download the new trailers, simply start the “System Settings” from the Home Menu, select “Other Settings” and scroll the page right to select “System Update.” Once updated enter the newly downloaded Nintendo eShop and download the free trailers from today.

Don’t forget that you can also play most of the 1000 Nintendo DS™ and Nintendo DSi™ games on your Nintendo 3DS, due to its backwards compatibility. The Nintendo 3DS also features parental controls that let parents manage the content their children can access. For more information about these and other features, visit http://www.nintendo3ds.co.uk

For more information, please visit http://www.nintendo.co.uk/

I’m really impressed with the 3DS, especially since it creates that 3D effect without the need for glasses. It’s great to see that Nintendo are stepping out from pure gaming to 3D trailers… I wonder, is there hope for a portable 3D movie player at some point?

Wii Sports Table Tennis Bat Custom Controller

Nintendo‘s Wii is a marvellous piece of kit. What it lacks in graphical grunt it makes up for in innovation. Its accelerometer controlled gameplay gives an experience that Microsoft and Sony are only just catching up with now (or are they surpassing Nintendo? … discuss).

The first Wii game I played was tennis, and I was impressed with being able to swing the controller as if actually swinging a racquet. It didn’t take long for enterprising companies to make add-ons that make the controller look more like the item being imitated… even if they don’t actually add any new functions. The problem is that, often, the addons feel a bit flimsy and all look like they’re made from the same bland white plastic.

I was interested to read about a Wii Table Tennis bat the other day. Nothing groundbreaking here, is there? Well this isn’t your usual addon – it’s a bespoke controller that, according to Paul Govan, looks like the real thing, has a similar weight distribution, and really makes you feel connected to the game in a way using the normal Wiimote just doesn’t.

It makes me think there must be other bespoke controllers that would be cool to have… how about a Wii version of this lightsaber (as opposed to the rather poor effort that’s currently available)? Or there’s already a couple of addons to simulate holding a rifle… how about embedding all the control gubbins in this replica Pulse Rifle from Aliens? If you can afford to buy one to customise, that is!

The Wii Sports Table Tennis bat looks like a great piece of kit and while I wouldn’t want to be buying a full control system for every game I own, it’s good to see a company thinking about how they can bring a slightly different approach to motion-controlled gaming.

Head on over to GamePeople.co.uk to read Paul Govan’s initial thoughts, and don’t forget to tell them who sent you :)

VirtualNES: Reliving Childhood Memories

Super Mario BrothersRemember when the height of gaming technology was parallax scrolling? Or when you thought sound with three or four channels sounded absolutely amazing? How about when you had to use your imagination a bit because the graphics weren’t exactly photo-realistic?

My high-school years were around the same time as the Sega Master System and Nintendo Entertainment System were bowing out to be replaced by the Megadrive (Genesis for our overseas friends) and SNES (or Super Famicom). While I started off as a Sega follower, I eventually switched over to Nintendo. Ah, those were the days… “My console’s better than yours”, “Sonic sucks”, “Who wants to play as a plumber?” and so on.

There’s a big ROM scene, where you can download the cartridge data and play those old games on an emulator, but what if you’re at work, at an Internet cafe, or just don’t want to spend the time downloading and/or setting up the games? VirtualNES (vNES) offers the chance to play some of the original Nintendo Entertainment System games in your browser: no emulator required, only Java.

There’s an impressive array of games on the site too – the original Super Mario games, and I’ve just spent a frustrating ten minutes trying to pilot a sub in The Hunt for Red October. There’s even Alien3, which I thought was only a SNES game, but there you go.

If you’ve got some time to kill, or just want to reminisce about your gaming childhood, check vNES out and see what you can find.