Lost Heroes; New Screenshots!

Yes, some new screenshots of the 3DS game Lost Heroes!  I don’t really have much to say about this one due to a bit of a lack of interest in the title, so enjoy the screenshots:

The screens were originally by Famitsu by the way.

It looks like a pretty decent game from the screenshots above, although I have no idea how anything of it works or what the menus and text mean, so I’ll withhold judgement until there’s footage of the game in English.

Wario Land 2 eShop Trailer

To promote the game’s rerelease on the 3DS eShop recently, Nintendo have made this new trailer for the classic platformer/puzzle game Wario Land 2.  It makes the game look as good as you’d expect and might encourage the odd person who was otherwise neutral to it to give the game a go, and it can be seen here:

It’s apparently a pretty good game, so I guess it’s wise to go ahead and buy it if you want to play an interesting Game Boy Color game on 3DS and try out one of Wario’s lesser known adventures.  What do you think of Wario Land 2, and have you bought the game on the eShop?

Buy New Super Mario Bros 2 Digitally, get Double the Club Nintendo Coins!

Getting people to buy games digitally for the same price as in store is a pretty tough sell.  But it looks like Nintendo have found a minor incentive to try and fix this problem, by offering double the Club Nintendo coins for anyone who buys New Super Mario Bros 2 as a digital download rather than a boxed retail game!

Yes, whereas buying it from a shop and registering it with Club Nintendo will get you the standard 50 coins, buying it from the eShop will get you 100 coins instead.  Useful if you want those more expensive rewards Nintendo someones put up on the service for a limited period of time.

Here’s a picture of the deal on Nintendo’s official page for it:

Of course, there is a catch of sorts, to get either of the deals for registering the game you’ll need to register is by the 20th September, so you’d better be ready to buy it on launch day or fairly after and register it within two months.  But that’s hardly unlikely for most people, is it?

Still, seems like a good deal, although I have to say I’m probably not going to take Nintendo up on this offer.  Why?  Well Nintendo of America and Japan have said the deal’s taking place in their versions of Club Nintendo, but there’s no word of Nintendo of Europe’s plans in regards to the matter, at least that I know of.  And more importantly, I’m not sure I really like the idea of having a game limited to only one console, it’s kind of conveniant to be able to carry it around and play it on any 3DS console you come across.

But is anyone else potentially interested in the offer of buying a digital version to get 100 coins for Club Nintendo rather than 50?


New Super Mario Bros 2; More Footage from official site!

And in case you’re wondering, this spoils a ton of the game, showing off all kinds of different levels from various points in the adventure.  First off, we have a general trailer for power ups:

Okay, I technically spliced together about six different mini trailers and add title images and music for the video, but the footage is from the official website. There are some pretty ‘interesting’ level designs in this one:

For example, this is a water themed castle where Mario and Luigi have to dodge a ton of Grinders moving around on rails and jumping up out of pits.  Reminds me quite a bit of the Forest Fortress from Super Mario World.

A sky level.  Seems to be using a new foreground tileset here, as well as a new background not seen in either New Super Mario Bros for DS or Wii.  Not much to say, some of these areas do seem to have Hammer Bros in though.

Mario on some lifts in a Mushroom level.  It looks like it mixes the SMW mountain background with a cloudy sky one.

A tower where the lava rises to try and kill Mario.  It looks to be extremely difficult with all kinds of precision jumps, spikes and lots of net climbing, and it’s the first level the person playing had to use the Gold Leaf/invincible Tanooki Suit on.

Reminds me of Toxic Tower from Donkey Kong Country 2:

And it also has lots of Rocket Engines set up to burn Mario!  Oh, and while you can’t see it in the still image, those nets are moving around. In other words, this is a level which will give many, many people lots of trouble.  The whole game is turning out to be pretty brutal!

This one just shows the gold items (except the Flower oddly, which is classed under ‘returning’ items on the official site despite being new).  Some interesting things can be seen here too:

Chain Chomps!  Yes, these are confirmed as returning enemies via this trailer, and they look pretty much like they do in the rest of the 2D platformers.

Mario rides a gold Lakitu cloud.  These leave coins behind them and seem to go pretty fast too.  Also, seems like we’ve got a new foreground and background here.

The SMW style ice level with all the slopes from an earlier video.  Looks a lot like ‘Awesome’.

Tilting Mushrooms in another part of the level with the lifts. Again, the background is new, and this time they seem to have mixed the ice and mushroom ’tilesets’ together to make the level.

An underwater gauntlet, seem earlier.  It’s the one with all the spikes, meaning the hard room you saw in an earlier post was probably slightly earlier in this very level.

And here’s the co-op trailer, with hilarious unfitting music!  It’s much shorter than the others, so not as much new stuff to discuss I’m afraid.  However, here’s what I did find interesting:

A colourful bonus area.  Looks pretty cool, and again seems to have a new background.

This sand cave shows where you can bounce off another player’s head to reach a P Switch.  This one makes coins appear, but others might open new paths and such.  See, there is a reason for making characters in multiplayer solid unlike in Donkey Kong Country Returns or Rayman Origins!

Mario and Luigi fighting Reznor.  As you can see, they still shoot fire and the bridge still collapses, it’s just much slower.

Next up, here’s the new coin rush ‘trailer’:

Again, it’s very short so there isn’t a whole lot to see in this video, but there are still some interesting new things to comment on.

More of the bridge level.  Not sure what’s with the design here, it looks kind of… strange to say the least.  And why is it all bright orange?

End of level screen.  Of note is the word ‘Mushroom Pack’, does this mean there are different packs of levels with different themes?  Will world 2’s coin rush segments be called ‘Desert Pack’ or something?  How about a castle or ghost house only set?

Finally, there’s the world themes trailer:

It’s… pretty long.  And gives plenty of info about worlds 1 to 3.

One way gates return.  Not the most exciting development, but the level here looks pretty cool.  I like how it seems you go underground mid way through a grass level and can see the background above the ‘dirt’ line.

Platform riding will be in world 2.  I think this whole level might take place on an abandoned and broken up series of bridge ruins.

See what I mean?

Mario falls down a narrow shaft, presumably into a pyramid.

Did you know the forest and water worlds are one and the same this time around?  Yes, this takes place in world 3 not 4 or 5.

Bloopers get shot out of horizontal pipes now.

All in all, that’s a lot of new screens, videos and info about New Super Mario Bros 2 there, and the game seems to be getting more and more interesting with every new piece of information.  Are you excited for New Super Mario Bros 2?

Is Nintendo planning to buy Rare?

Oh yes, it’s one hell of an interesting rumour this time around, one which has set much of the internet on fire since it was first mentioned.  Basically, it’s that Nintendo are planning to buy Rare (the whole company) to get ownership of all their IPs, and have Retro Studios working on a new Banjo Kazooie game in anticipation of this moment.

Want more of this?  Better hope the rumour’s true…

In case you think I just made that up and need a source, check here:

So is it plausible?  Well, my guess is no based on a wide variety of different factors, but if you need some reasons why I don’t believe it to be true, here they are:

1. Retro Studios turned down Grant Kirkhope.  Not sure if you remember this news from a while back, but wouldn’t this be an extremely moronic move by them if they really were working on a new Banjo Kazooie game?  Turning down the original series main composer, the person responsible for near enough every memorable bit of the original series soundtrack?  I suspect that if this rumour really had some accuracy to it that Retro would be trying their utmost hardest to fit Mr Kirkhope on their music team.

2. Nintendo already had the opportunity to buy Rare.  You know, back in the old days when the buyout first occurred?  They didn’t decide to buy the studio then for whatever reason and that was right after a whole bunch of high selling games were released and when every new title the team was working on was getting 90%+ ratings across the board.  Why would they buy the studio now when most of their once beloved series have been driven into the ground and most of their best employees have long moved to greener pastures?

3. Why would Retro Studios be working on a game they couldn’t legally publish at that point in time?  I mean, it does sometimes happen (remember how Commander Keen was once ‘Dangerous Dave in Copyright Infringement’ and was meant to be a Super Mario Bros game for the PC?) but generally studios don’t make games they can’t release for simple business reasons, it’s pretty much wasted time and money if they fail to get the IP.

4. Wouldn’t just buying Banjo Kazooie be cheaper than buying Rareware as a whole?

However, while those reasons do suggest this rumour is just completely wrong in every way, it’s not as easy as just saying the above and concluding the whole thing is completely false.  For example, I could still potentially counter the above points by saying:

2. Rare were being sold at a high price in the buyout era due to their previous successes, and now with less of the talent working there and a recent string of mediocre games the price might be low enough for Nintendo to consider buying the company.

4. Perhaps Microsoft are only willing to sell Rare as a whole rather than individual series.  Not sure why, but the possibility exists.

One major point hasn’t been considered yet though, and this could potentially be what proves the rumour wrong.  Why would Microsoft want to sell Rare?  The very purpose of buying the company was to pull the rug out from under Nintendo and stop them getting all the high quality second party games they had access to in the SNES and Nintendo 64 eras, they wanted to avoid having to compete with series like Banjo Kazooie and Perfect Dark.  Selling the company back for any price would pretty much be giving Nintendo the perfect weapon to sell a good ten million more copies of a Rare franchise game, one which do the same for the Wii U as Donkey Kong Country Returns did for the Wii.  Would Microsoft want to take the chance and let Nintendo have a ton more hit games under their belt?  And that’s something I’m not sure they’d allow.

Either way, this rumour is exciting stuff.  If Nintendo really did buy Rare and give their franchises to teams like Retro Studios, then we’re certain to get a whole ton of fantastic new games as a result of this.  Maybe even Banjo and Kazooie as playable in Super Smash Bros 4?  But alas, it seems like the rumour might just be the usual pack of lies supplied by so called ‘insiders’.

What do you think?  Is Nintendo planning to buy Rare and make a proper Banjo Kazooie sequel with Retro Studios as developer?