I'll be honest; I wasn't especially excited to play a game aimed at young girls. But I had more fun with My Style Studio: Hair Salon than I expected. To see why I liked it, and my girlfriend's best guess as to whether a little girl would like it, read my review of My Style Studio: Hair Salon.
If you want to know anything about Nintendo's upcoming Super Smash Bros. game, the latest Nintendo Direct gives gamers 39 minutes worth of information on the characters, moves, items, and online multiplayer of the game. A lot of it isn't that meaningful to someone like me with only a passing familiarity with the series, so I'll just mention a couple of highlights.
The 3DS version of SSB will come out this summer, but the Wii U version won't come out until winter. This could blunt some of the power of the game as a Wii U system seller. The 3DS version will also have a mode not available on the Wii U. Levels for the two versions will, for the most part, be entirely different (the cutest level I saw was a Nintendogs one for the 3DS, but the best-looking levels, are, of course, on the Wii U).
If you want to play online on the Wii U, Nintendo is recommending you invest in a Wii U LAN adapter, which give you better Internet speed than a wireless connection.
Nintendo promises to try and prevent bad online behavior such as frequent dropping or repeatedly targeting an individual with temporary bans. You can also get a short-term ban for baseless reporting of other players.
The game has a new sort of ranking tied to the number of players who have been less successful than you. Your skill level will be used in matchmaking, so if you're a long-time SSB fan, you'll never have to deal with a lightweight like me.
In 2013, the Arkham series was brought to the 3DS and PS Vita. The game worked so well on a small screen, the publisher decided to port it to home consoles. Does this maximized version of the minimized version of the Arkham formula succeed? Read my review of Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate - Deluxe Edition and find out.
Nintendo has announced a Nintendo Direct live video tomorrow entirely devoted to the Wii U and 3DS versions of Super Smash Bros. This is one of Nintendo's most highly anticipated games, and we will hopefully know a lot more tomorrow, including, one hopes, the launch date.
You can catch the Direct live April 8 at 3 pm Pacific Time on Nintendo's YouTube channel, or watch it anytime after that.
I used to be halfway decent at chess, but that was decades ago, so I can't review Pure Chess from the point of view of a chess master. But if you want to know how well it functions as a video game representation of the classic board game, read my review of Pure Chess..
In a preemptive attempt to forestall future controversy, EA executive Peter Moore has apologized for all the Wii U insults EA employees plan to make in the coming years.
"It is exhausting to continually have to apologize for uncalled-for insults and general snottiness from the EA family, as well as deal with the remarks of anonymous sources. Since there seems to be no way to keep EA employees from taking potshots at Nintendo's console, I would just like to say, in advance, that descriptions of the Wii U as a broken alarm clock masquerading as a game console, or as something better flushed than played, or as something that doesn't even make a decent door stop, in no way reflects the opinions of EA, no matter how much it appears to. We respect Nintendo deeply, and deny in advance that we dream of dancing on the company's grave. I hope we can move on now."
IGN reports that this could be the last year Satoru Iwata is the CEO of Nintendo. Pulling information from a report in Nikkei, they say that Iwata's investor approval rating has dropped from 92.9% in 2011 to 77.3% last year. This could be an issue in June, when the shareholders hold a vote on whether to keep Iwata.
With the inability of the Wii U to gain traction and this year's huge sales-forecast drop, it's unlikely Iwata's approval has held at 77%. If he goes, it's anyone's guess what Nintendo will do next.
According to Google translate, Nikkei describes Iwata's travails as both his "spring of melancholy" and his "June of ordeal."
Will Electronic Arts ever tire of trashing the Wii U? Apparently not. The company has added another to its collection of cheap potshots with a series of unfunny tweets, deleted after being captured by Kotaku , mocking Nintendo's home console. These include, "Frostbite now runs on the #WiiU since it is the most powerful Gen4 platform, our renderer is now optimized for Mario and Zelda."
For those who don't recall, Frostbite is an EA game engine that the company said could not run on the Wii U because it lacked power, only to later announce it could run on smartphones.
There is a popular theory that EA turned on Nintendo after the company wouldn't contract them to run it's online system. But often, as in this case, an equally likely theory is that EA employs a lot of bratty 12-year-olds.
UPDATE: EA's Peter Moore has apologized to Nintendo, describing the Frostbite tweet as "unacceptable/stupid." It's easy to apologize Pete, but what is it about EA's corporate culture that makes them feel so free to trash Nintendo over and over again?
Up until now, the Wii U Virtual Console has been like the Wii Virtual Console with less games, but that changes in April, as the Wii U gets something the Wii never had; Game Boy Advance games.
The first games arrive on April 3, with the brilliant RTS Advance Wars, the brilliant RPG Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, and Metroid Fusion, which I've never played but which I'll assume is also brilliant.
Through the rest of April, Nintendo will release Kirby & The Amazing Mirror, WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$!, Super Mario Bros. 3, F-Zero: Maximum Velocity, Golden Sun, and Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3.
These old games should help tide Wii U owners over as they impatiently wait for the release of Mario Kart 8 in May.