The British retail monitor Chart-Track has revealed that the release of Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U has given the console a sales boost of 666%, most of it due to purchases of Nintendo's Mario Kart 8/Wii U console bundle. The game itself debuted at number 2 on UK videogame sales charts, behind Watch Dogs, which is scheduled to come to the Wii U at a future, unannounced date.
This is the strongest debut of any Wii U game since the console launched, according to CVG. It's very good news for Nintendo, but will it be enough to pull the console out of its perpetual sales doldrums?
Apparently a lot of Super Smash Bros. fans feel the best controller for playing the game was the one that came with the GameCube. In anticipation of the upcoming Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Nintendo has tweeted that they will be coming out with an adapter that will let you plug your GameCube controllers into your Wii U. The adapter attaches to the Wii U via USB.
This comes shortly after an announcement that Nintendo has teamed up with accessory maker PDP to make the "GameCube Controller-inspired" Wired Fight Pad for the Wii and Wii U. This controller plugs into the Wii remote.
It's wryly amusing that Nintendo is relying on nostalgia for the controller of one of their least successful consoles in order to engage owners of the struggling Wii U, but for fans of the controller, it's a happy day.
A few days ago, two indie game development companies, Hullbreach Studios and Cthulhi Games, told NintendoLife that they were going to revive Sadness, a game announced years ago for the Wii that in spite of an intriguing live-action trailer and press interest went into development hell and never game out.
While the original Sadness was a 3D game that planned to extensively use the Wii remote in ingenious ways, allowing players to do things like chase rats with a torch, the planned revival would be a 2D Wii U game with different game mechanics, leading to the question of what, exactly, was being revived beyond a vague premise.
It turned out though that the developers spoke too soon. They didn't have the rights to Sadness, and they just told NintendoLife that four different studios are currently bidding on those rights, and they have dropped out. So Hullbreach/Cthulhi will not be making Sadness, although they apparently will be making the game they teamed up to make under some other name, leading once again to the question of why they ever bothered with Sadness at all.
There is no word on who is bidding on the game, nor on why anyone is bidding on a failed attempt at a game that never achieved the level of fame of other development-hell titles like Duke Nukem Forever.
If someone really wants to make Sadness as it was originally billed, with a lot of gesture gaming, I think that would be great, but I would be surprised if anyone is planning on making a Wii remote-heavy game for the Wii U, and I find it unlikely that Sadness will really ever come out at all. If this were a movie, all this sudden interest would be because someone discovered a treasure map was hidden in the Sadness code, and that makes more sense than any other explanation I can think of.
When playing movie-licensed games, the quality of the movie rarely reflects the quality of the game. But LEGO The Hobbit comes across as a pretty sincere attempt to recreate the movies; mood. Which is a problem if you think the movie's were an inexcusable epic-ification of a sprightly adventure story. Which leads directly to my review of LEGO The Hobbit.
Ubisoft, whose initial strong commitment to the Wii U has eroded due to disappointing sales, has announced that they will have no Wii U or 3DS Games at this June's E3.
Does this mean Watch Dogs, which will come out for the Wii U several months after coming out for everything else (pretty much guaranteeing poor sales) will be the last Ubisoft Wii U game? It's hard to say. If the console gets enough of a sales boost through upcoming Nintendo games like Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. Wii U, perhaps Ubisoft will recommit to the console, but for now it's unlikely Nintendo will get any more love from Ubisoft.
There has been a flood of info on the upcoming Hyrule Warriors this week thanks to an article in the Japanese game magazine Famitsu (ZeldaInformer has a summary and scans of the magazine) and to the opening of an official site with a nice gallery of screenshots.
The game, which combines Zelda characters and monsters with Dynasty Warriors gameplay, follows the Zelda tradition of Link saving a kidnapped Princess Zelda, this time taken by buxom witch Shia.
There will be multiple playable characters, a two-player mode where one player gets the TV and the other the gamepad, and weapon upgrades. The game is 70% finished, will be playable for attendants of E3 this June, and ships in Japan August 14.
The game is being co-developed by Omega Force, who are known for the Dynasty Warriors games, and Team Ninja, known for the Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden series. It is being produced by Nintendo's own Eiji Aonuma, who has been a key part of the Zelda franchise for the last 15 years (he is directing the still-unrevealed next entry in the series).
I'm really intrigued by Hyrule Warriors. It will be interesting to see how Link and friends/enemies fits into the over-the-top Dynasty Warriors formula. And the talent behind the game promising something more impressive than what I first expected.
The Internet has been awash in the usual "leaks" that consist of a typed list of games someone thinks or hopes will be announced at E3, poorly designed to look like official documents. Several have come out purported to be from Nintendo, naming the next Zelda game and promising a new Star Fox.
None have been worth pointing out, but I have to highlight this very amusing leak parody posted on Reddit, which includes the promise of Halo 4 on the Wii U and Bayonetta 3 on the SNES.
We can only hope that Nintendo's actual announcements will be half as exciting.
This is the month of Mario Kart 8, but oddly enough, I think I'm more excited by the little indie game Stick It to the Man. But then, I've always been a sucker for old-school adventure games, and in part, that's what this is. To see why I like it so much, read my review of Stick It to the Man.