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The Luigi Code
Nintendo, perhaps feeling lonely after much of the fury over “Wii,” is now trying to hitch on to the DaVinci Code meme, with its own little puzzle, “The Luigi Code.” The “news” article promises E3 secrets, if only the reader can crack the code. The page leaves oddly capitalized letters interspersed within the document, a big clue to the nature of the code right there. Of course, impatient readers can just head over to Infendo, and get the cracked code. Not since “A Christmas Story” has a decrypted message not lived up to the hype.

Read More | The Luigi Code
Read More | Solution at Infendo.com

Gallery: The Luigi Code


Mother 3Import video game store NSCX has posted a fairly lengthy import review of the Japanese release of Mother 3 for the Gameboy Advance; the Mother series has been elevated to almost mythical status among Nintendo fans, in part because of its strange release history, and in part due to the offbeat and unique nature of the gameplay of the one Mother game to be released in the US to date, Earthbound for the Super Nintendo. Mother 1 was originally released in Japan, and plans were made to translate the game for release in the US as Earthbound. This never happened, since the game was put on hold. The “sequel” to the game, Mother 2 would eventually become Earthbound in the US. Mother 3 would be eventually announced for the Nintendo 64 in 1996. While the game would be eventually cancelled for the Nintendo 64, the Japanese release has just recently shipped, making almost a ten year gap between the game’s announcement and availability. The fact that Earthbound has been considered by many to be one of the top RPGs for the Super Nintendo, combined with the horribly spotty release history for the other Mother games makes the release of Mother 3 a highly anticipated event.

However, NCSX found that the actual release fails to live up to the hype. Graphically, they find the game to be lacking. While the series has never really been known as a graphical powerhouse (even for its time), NCSX complains that the graphics do not age well, and particularly do not take advantage of the Gameboy Advance’s capabilities. Gameplay, also, is largely the same as the previous releases, which is somewhat to be expected as with all sequels. However, NCSX’s biggest complaint seems to be in the amount of expectation laid upon the game and the result, which seems to be the Nintendo 64 version translated into 2D. Perhaps it is part of the mythic status that has been laid upon the series, but the story also was found to be lacking, and without inspiration. It may be that given the long development time and the amount of anticipation built up, there would be no way for this release to match the hype, but at least in NCSX’s eyes, it still fell short of reduced expectations.

Update: A more positive preview is available from 1up.com

Read More | NCSX.com

Gallery: Mother 3 Import Review

PS3There’s no doubt that the PlayStation 3 will be in high demand at this year’s E3, but rumor has it that there will be limited hands-on access to the new console.  In an effort to soothe concerns, Ryan Bowling of Sony Computer Entertainment America explained that they “. . . are expecting big queues to see the PlayStation 3 and so will be taking great care to manage the crowds in the best way possible. All press will certainly have no problems seeing everything we are showing. This year is going to be huge for us. Not just in terms of what we’re showing, but in the major announcements we have planned.”  I think the biggest announcement that most gamers are likely to want at this juncture is a firm ship date of the PS3, as well as list prices that are palatable.

Bearing that in mind and with Nintendo planning a large production at E3 in regards to the Revolution, is there a chance they’ll steal Sony’s thunder?  They’ve already admitted that their hardware will be underpowered in relation to the Xbox 360 and PS3, yet it doesn’t seem to concern Nintendo execs in the slightest.  That seems a bit strange when you consider how much marketing muscle has been flexed in the past by Sony (and Microsoft), in regards to hardware specs, speed, and sheer power.  Nintendo is taking a different approach and has been for some time.  By all appearances they blend quietly into the background, yet they’re obviously doing something and doing it right.  To get an idea of how right, we’ll do a quick comparison of Sony and Nintendo’s bottom lines (as of March 2005) after the jump.

Read More | SPOnG (rumor)

Click to continue reading Will Nintendo Steal Sony’s Thunder At E3?

Gallery: Will Nintendo Steal Sony’s Thunder At E3?

According to Reuters, Nintendo has reported a 97 billion yen profit for 2005/6. This is a 27% increase over their projected profit of 75 billion yen, and represents and 8% increase from last year’s 87.4 billion yen.

Nintendo credits favorable exchange rates and the incredible success of the Nintendo DS for its profit increase.

Read More | Reuters

Gallery: Nintendo Reports 97 Billion Yen Profit

Super Mario

Mario, Bowser, and the Princess have officially acheived iconic status. We mean, you just know that once you get your own postage stamp, you have certainly made it. Over in the Land of the Rising Sun, a bunch of Super Mario Bros. characters from the 1980s hit will all get their own 80 Yen stamps. Expect to see them released in Japan at the end of May.

Read More | Vision Inc (Google Translated)

Gallery: Mario Gets His Own Stamp

New Super Mario Bros

Nintendo launched their preview site for the New Super Mario Brothers game for the Nintendo DS, and it came with some bad news. According to the site, the official release date for the game is now May 21, 2006, a week’s delay from the last announced date. EBGames.com still has the game listed as coming in on May 15, 2006, but gamers can expect that to change. Nintendo softens the blow somewhat by offering some desktop wallpapers for download on the site.

Update: The official site release date has been changed back to May 15, 2006.

Read More | New Super Mario Bros.

Gallery: New Super Mario Brothers Delay:


Nintendo recently launched the preview site for their upcoming Strategy/Pinball/Microphone game Odama. The site currently features a short trailer highlighting gameplay and some of the unique features in the game, as well as some downloadable wallpapers. The gameplay looks very…unique, and features some of the wry humor that Yoot Saito is known for.

Both Gamespot and IGN have previews of the game from last November, hopefully we’ll see some updates before the game hits retail on April 10.

Read More | Odama

Gallery: Gamecube Odama Site Launched

Description The Wall Street Journal has put together a great article featured in this weekend’s paper. The article’s subtitle is as follows:

Videogames are reshaping the entertainment business. But the moguls who make them are still largely unknowns. Our look at how the game is played.

The article looks at everyone from “The Game Gurus” like Shigeru Miyamoto to “Hardware Heavies” like Ken Kutaragi to “Entertainers” like Peter Jackson to “Team Players” like Tony Hawk. I’d highly recommend checking out the article - you have to been a subscriber to see it online. Otherwise, run out and grab a copy of this weekend’s paper starting tomorrow. Oh, you may learn about news issues outside of the video game world as well!

Read More | WSJ.com

Gallery: WSJ: The Power Players

Earlier today, Gear Live reported that the Nintendo DS would be receiving a new Opera-based browser along with a TV tuner. One of our readers just sent us this video, which shows the new browser and TV tuner in action. Do know that the tuner will only be available in Japan due to the type of broadcast signal it picks up. The browser takes advantage of the dual screen of the DS, giving a full perspective of the web page it visiting on the bottom screen, with a draggable magnifying area that allows you to take a closer look at any section, which is then displayed on the top screen. The video, playable above, is in Japanese.

(Thanks Phil!)

Read More | Gear Live

Gallery: VIDEO: Nintendo DS Browser and TV Tuner In Action

New Super Mario Bros.

A bunch of new screenshots of the yet-untitled New Super Mario Bros. Nintendo DS game have surfaced. I tried the game at last year’s E3 and honestly wasn’t very impressed. Of course, E3 ‘05 was a while ago so hopefully the game’s much better now. And hey, we’re talking about Nintendo here. Head on over to Kotaku for a host of more images.

Read More | Kotaku

Gallery: New Super Mario Bros. Screen Shots