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The Legend of Zelda Tri-Force Heroes Preview July 5, 2015

Posted by Maniac in Previews, Site Videos.
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A few weeks ago, I managed to get some hands-on time with The Legend of Zelda: Tri-Force Heroes on the Nintendo 3DS while waiting in line at Best Buy to demo Super Mario Maker.  The game had been announced just a day earlier during Nintendo’s E3 2015 Press Event, so it was quite a shock to be able to get some hands on time with such a new game, but I’m happy that I was lucky enough to preview it, because as a die-hard 3DS enthusiast, I’m always glad to see whenever Nintendo decides to innovate on my favorite handheld platform.

Just be aware, this is a preview of the game’s multiplayer mode.  Tri-Force Heroes can be played either alone or in a three-player cooperative mode, and Nintendo had three demo units of the game playable during the event.  Given how the demo units were set up, I couldn’t tell if the games were being played in a true local wireless multiplayer mode, online, or through some wired connection intended for 3DS development kits, but there was absolutely no latency during gameplay, and trust me, that’s a very good thing.

When you boot up the game, you are asked to pick a costume which would determine your weapon and item loadout.  I don’t know if costumes get unlocked as you play the game, or you will be able to choose any costume you wish from the first moment you start to play when the finished game hits shelves, but there was a lot of costume variety available to us in the demo.  I chose to wear the default Link garb, but one of my teammates chose an outfit which allowed for them to fire three arrows at once from their bow.  After choosing their outfits, all three players vote on which level you want to play, and the game selects the level based on the votes.  About ten levels were playable for the E3 demo, and my team chose to play the forest level.

When you first start the game, you’ll immediately notice how similar the game’s art style is to other Zelda titles.  I heard a pretty direct comparison of Tri-Force Heroes’ art style to the 3DS game The Legend of Zelda : A Link Between Worlds, but honestly the game reminded me a lot of The Legend of Zelda: Four Sword Adventures on the GameCube.  Given that this is a cooperative multiplayer game, that might have been what Nintendo was inspired by when designing this title, but that’s just my opinion.  I would try to describe the game’s art style for you, but I thought it would be a lot more appropriate to show you some footage of actual gameplay.  So, take a look and see for yourselves, and apologies in advance for the glare.

True to Zelda’s roots, levels would not be restricted to just a focus on combat, some sections of the game were puzzle oriented.  A particular puzzle required all three players to stack on top of each other like a totem pole to hit a target.  In this totem mode, only the player on the bottom could walk and only the player on the top could attack.  When each section was completed, all three players would stand on opposite sides of a glowing triforce to signify they were done, and then the next part of the level would load.  Many puzzles required the three teammates to be in perfect sync, so communication among my group was essential to completing the level.  This is fine for games played in local wireless mode, but I have no idea how communication will work for games played online.  To complete some puzzles, complex commands have to be given in short order.  It would be nice if Nintendo would allow voice chat with the 3DS microphone during online games, but Nintendo might be against that decision for privacy reasons.

Each level in the demo made up of several short sections and the ones we played were pretty short.  On average, my team was completing each section in less than a minute, and then moved on to the next one.  I would say it took us no longer than five to ten minutes to complete the entire forest level, but it might take longer for less seasoned players to complete it.  This was probably due to the fact that this game was designed to be played while on the go, so they decided to offer lots of levels, but with each level presenting a short experience.  All three players share a single health bar, so if one of your teammates gets injured or falls of a cliff, you better start looking for hearts while they respawn.  If the group health bar completely depletes, you’ll have to replay the entire section of the level until you get it right.

All in all I had fun playing this game, and I’m glad Nintendo decided to let people preview it during their Best Buy E3 event.  My group was made up of a seasoned Zelda veteran, a player who has only completed the original NES classic on their 3DS, and a person with no Zelda experience whatsoever, and we were able to get through our level without losing all of our lives.  I can’t wait to see if Nintendo decides to offer a demo for this game on the Nintendo eShop, because I would download it in a heartbeat.

So those are my thoughts based on the time I was able to spend playing the game.  Apologies for not having this on the site sooner, but the Fourth of July weekend had put me behind by a few days of work.  Don’t forget, you can watch our preview of Super Mario Maker here.

REMINDER: You Can Play All Playstation 1 Discs on All Playstation 3 Systems July 3, 2015

Posted by Maniac in Game News, Site News.
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As we go into the July 4th Weekend here in the US, I wanted to remind old school gamers who still have PlayStation 1 game discs collecting dust that they can play their PS1 discs on their PlayStation 3 systems.

The reason why I’m bringing this up is because I was watching a Twitch stream of a Final Fantasy game several weeks ago, and one of the users on the stream lamented the fact that he had so many good PS1 games on disc, but he didn’t want to go through the hassle of bringing his PS1 out of storage to play it.  When I told him that he could play his PS1 discs without much issue on his PS3 he simply didn’t believe me, even though I was able to successfully play PS1 discs on a myriad of different PlayStation 3 models up to that point.

Now I know that a lot of PS3 owners think that only the original model PS3s can play PlayStation 1 games, but that is not the case.  You can usually tell a first generation PS3 by the fact that it uses a original case design, denoted by four USB ports on its front and “FAT” style casing, but in actuality, what makes those units special is not that they can play PS1 games, but the fact that they can play PS2 games.  I’ve tested PS1 games on as many model PS3 units as I could find, that includes not only the original model “Fat” PS3 systems, but also the second generation “slim” models, and the new “super slim” models which feature a sliding top for its Blu-Ray Disc drive, and I’ve been able to play PS1 games on all of them.

You’re probably wondering if you can play PS1 games on your PS3, how can you create a save game if the PS3 has no slots for PS1 Memory Cards?  Well, you can create virtual PS1 Memory Cards on your PS3’s Hard Drive.  Just create a virtual PS1 Memory Card from the PS3’s XMB menu, and assign it to Slot 1 by pushing the Triangle button once you have the Memory Card highlighted.  You can have a maximum of two virtual Memory Cards assigned to virtual slots (because the PS1 only had two Memory Card slots), but as far as I can tell you can create all the virtual PS1 Memory Cards you want until your PS3’s Hard Drive becomes completely full.  As long as a Memory Card has been assigned a slot, it will automatically be loaded when you play your PS1 game.

If you would prefer to use your own PS1 Memory Card’s data, Sony did manufacture a Memory Card adapter for the PlayStation 3 several years ago.  The adapter will accept any PS1 or PS2 Memory Card, and while it was not designed to actively save or load any data during gameplay, the adapter will allow you to copy all of the data on the card to the PS3’s Hard Drive using your Dual Shock 3’s USB charging cable.  Sony isn’t making these adapters anymore, so finding one may be a bit difficult if you don’t already have one, but you could probably find them at a secondhand game store or just borrow a friend’s adapter.

By default, the PS3 will have a feature called “image smoothing” enabled while playing PS1 games, but if you have graphical issues while playing, you can disable that feature by pushing the PlayStation button on your PS3 controller.  Don’t worry too much about image quality, the PS3 will upsample PS1 games to 1080p.  Some PS1 games (including Final Fantasy VII) may not be compatible with the Dual Shock 3’s analog controllers, but some PS1 games are.  If you’re having issues controlling a PS1 game that you know supports the analog stick, you can also tweak your analog stick’s analog/digital settings .by pushing the PlayStation button on the Dual Shock 3.  If your game supports rumble and you have a rumble equipped PS3 controller, you should notice rumble will work seamlessly.

iOS 8.4 Released June 30, 2015

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Apple has just released a major update for any personal devices running iOS 8. iOS 8.4 includes, among minor bug fixes, a major update to the iOS Music app, enabling access to the new Apple Music service.

iTunes users who update to iOS 8.4 are eligible for a free three month trial of the Apple Music service.

FAIL: Why Terminator 3 Has a Broken Ending June 29, 2015

Posted by Maniac in Site Videos.
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Apologies for this particular item not being about a gaming related topic but darn it there have been a whole bunch of Terminator games made in the past twenty years, so I figured this is close enough.

I was a huge fan of the Terminator movies up until the release of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines was released in the early 2000s. Then I saw that horrible film and thought it was so badly written that I haven’t seen a new Terminator movie since. But then I discovered Terminator 3‘s ending is not only bad, but it’s fundamentally broken with a plot hole big enough to drive a semi truck through.

So what is wrong with this ending?  Let’s watch the video and find out.

The Sprint Season 2 Now Online June 24, 2015

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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A documentary series showcasing the ongoing development of the upcoming Xbox One exclusive game Halo 5: Guardians has just released its second season online.

The first season of The Sprint focused on the difficult process to get the game ready for game’s multiplayer beta test. This season focuses the road to E3 2015, and all the difficulties in getting the game ready for the world’s biggest trade show.  That not only includes showing the difficult process of game development, but also the amazing work that goes into the game’s digital actor performance. That alone makes this series worth watching.

While you can watch the entire series on your PC or Xbox One console using the Halo Channel app, 343 Industries and Microsoft were good enough to release the entire season online for all to see. Enjoy.

Halo 5: Guardians is coming October, 2015 exclusively to the Xbox One.

Sunset Overdrive DLC Goodies Being Distributed on Xbox Live June 23, 2015

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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If you’ve ever played the Xbox One exclusive game Sunset Overdrive before Monday, check your Xbox Live messages on your console right now.

Microsoft is distributing download codes for some free DLC to anyone who has played Sunset Overdrive.  That includes anyone who may have downloaded the game and played it during a free Xbox Live weekend or anyone who borrowed the game and played a friend’s copy.

If you are an eligible player and want to see if you’ve got the content, just check your private messages on your Xbox One, and you should find a free download code for the content in one of your messages. Thankfully, Microsoft offers anyone with a valid download code in their Xbox Live messages the option to automatically redeem it without having to manually re-input the code. The DLC codes unlock some exclusive clothing and weapon options in the game.

Sunset Overdrive is out now exclusively on the Xbox One.

Batman: Arkham Knight Launch Trailer June 22, 2015

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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The highly anticipated multiplatform title Batman: Arkham Knight launches tonight at midnight. To celebrate the release, the game’s developers just released this awesome launch trailer.

Just be aware, if you didn’t want to know who Batman would be fighting in this game, or what allies of his would be helping him, you might want to give this a miss. Never forget the game’s tag line, this is how the Batman dies.

Batman: Arkham Knight launches tomorrow on the PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

Halo 5 Warzone E3 2015 Hololens Experience June 19, 2015

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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The guys over at Microsoft and 343 Industries paired up to do something pretty special at this year’s E3. Before players would get the chance to preview Halo 5‘s Warzone gameplay, they would get the chance to walk a set they enhanced with the Microsoft Hololens. Take a look and see for yourself what these things can do.

Talk about immersive. I have no idea how they could use this technology outside of the E3 event, but it sure works well for projecting 3D objects in real space.

Halo 5: Guardians is coming October 2015 exclusively to the Xbox One.

Super Mario Maker E3 2015 Best Buy Preview June 18, 2015

Posted by Maniac in Site Videos.
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Nintendo was hosting demos of Super Mario Maker on the Wii U at Best Buy locations all over the country.  Maniac decided to take a look at this game, and talk with the people who came to demo it.  The developers had set up some great premade missions before the event, so we got the chance to play some Super Mario Bros levels that nobody had ever seen before.  How did we do?  Take a look for yourselves.

Super Mario Maker is coming exclusively to the Wii U.

World of Final Fantasy Announced June 16, 2015

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Last night, Sony showed the first trailer for this all new Final Fantasy title, called World of Final Fantasy, just before premiering the trailer for Final Fantasy VII Remake. We don’t really know that much about this title just yet, but Square Enix showed the trailer again earlier today at their E3 Press Event and gave some further information about the title. The game’s director said that this game is intended to be the type of game that will have a broad appeal across gaming. They promise this game can be enjoyed by adults and their children as well as RPG fans from all levels of experience.

World of Final Fantasy is coming to PS4 and Vita in 2016.

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