Wii News

Hanabi Festival returns to Europe with Castlevania: Rondo of Blood

Nintendo of Europe is bringing back the Hanabi Festival, its occasional celebration of import games, starting March 12 -- and it's bringing what might be the most anticipated import Virtual Console game ever (by us). Castlevania: Rondo of Blood is among the small lineup of games to be released in Europe as part of the Festival, along with Milon's Secret Castle and Lode Runner, both for NES, and Ironclad for Neo Geo.

We aren't entirely certain from the wording, but the announcement mentions Castlevania, and then says that the other games will "continue in the following weeks." So it's pretty likely you're going to be able to buy Rondo of Blood tomorrow. Happy Hanabi Festival!Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

Majesco cooks up Crafting Mama for DS

Almost a year ago, a trademark for "Crafting Mama" was spotted. It's now being put to use, as Majesco has announced, well, Crafting Mama for DS. In her latest endeavor, Mama will occupy her seemingly endless time with a new task: arts & crafts.

In a series of 40 projects, players will create things like birdhouses, quilts, kaleidoscopes and adorable new aprons for Mama to wear, as well as Mama dolls. Of course, these creations will all be realized through the familiar touch-based minigames, played alone and in multiplayer, which so many of us have grown to love in the utterly populous Cooking Mama game franchise. It's kind of crazy that a company can announce a game about making quilts and birdhouses, and we can already pretty much imagine how to play it!

Majesco plans a fall 2010 release for Crafting Mama, but we suspect the publisher is at least considering bumping that up a bit.Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

Green Day: Rock Band releases June 8 worldwide

That's right, folks -- Harmonix has just revealed that Green Day: Rock Band will be available for all come June 8 on Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii. Up to 6 players (3 mics; 3 instruments) will progress through the career of the trio, unlocking collectible images (more than 100, apparently) and some 40 minutes of "rare and unreleased" footage from interviews, outtakes and performances along the way.

As alluded to above, GD:RB will also sport the same vocal harmonizing feature that made The Beatles: Rock Band such a delight for mic hogs and comes loaded with 47 Green Day tracks, including "Brain Stew," "Jaded," "Hitchin' a Ride," "American Idiot," "Wake Me Up When September Ends" and "Boulevard of Broken Dreams."

Oh, and if you're looking to export these tunes, worry not: all 47 tracks are fully exportable to a console hard drive and playable in Rock Band, Rock Band 2 and the recently announced Rock Band 3. The export fee is $9.99 via Xbox Live or PSN. The export features is not available for the Wii system. Additionally, if you've picked up the six Green Day tunes already available as DLC, you can play them in the new game with added harmonies, "unique" visuals and more "exclusive archival material."

Green Day: Rock Band will be available as a standalone game for Xbox 360 and PS3 for $59.99, while Wii owners will get a bit of a price break at $49.99. A special edition Green Day: Rock Band Plus will also come to Xbox 360 and PS3 for $69.99 and includes fancy packaging, an "export" feature (we assume, a voucher to export the disc tracks to the hard drive) and the six previously released Green Day DLC tracks.

Update: The GameStop pre-order bonus for the standalone game is an export voucher (for Xbox 360 or PS3). Essentially, pre-order GD:RB from GameStop, and you can export all 47 tracks to your console hard drive for free. Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

Ubisoft prepping short film, a Ghost Recon: Future Soldier prequel

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Ubisoft will release a short film ahead of the release of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. The film will be helmed by Francois Alaux and Herve de Crecy, the duo that just won an Academy Award for their short film Logorama. We're assuming the Ghost Recon film won't be quite as cheeky. The short, which will serve as a prequel to Future Soldier, will be a 20-minute live-action film, reportedly with a budget between $8-10 million. It's being written by Tim Sexton, co-writer of Children of Men.

The project is in line with Ubisoft's ongoing strategy to expand its scope of media to include more than just video games. Last year, the company released the Assassin's Creed: Lineage short film series to promote Assassin's Creed II. Later in the year, Ubisoft Montreal's Yannis Mallat envisioned a future where Ubisoft crafts films and games using the same assets, which is precisely what it did with Lineage. Given the talent and financial backing behind the Future Soldier film, it looks like Mallat's future could be a bright one.

[Via Big Download]Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

LukPlus looking for Coropata publisher at GDC

If you're reading this and you're in charge of business development for a game publisher, and if you're at GDC -- as unlikely as all that is -- please go talk to LukPlus. According to Siliconera, the publisher has a meeting room at the convention, and is actively working to find a North American publisher for its cute DS puzzle game Coropata.

We sampled Coropata at TGS and found it charming, and we'd appreciate the opportunity to do things like buy it in a store and read all the text. We admit that a cutesy, anime-style puzzle game similar to The Incredible Machine may be somewhat of a niche interest, though.Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

Eminem & Jay-Z all mixed up in new DJ Hero DLC pack

Scr-scr-scratched through all of DJ Hero's tracks? Activision has announced a new DLC mix pack featuring Renegade Edition headliners Eminem and Jay-Z. The collection is scheduled to drop on Xbox Live, PSN and Wii this month and includes:

  • "Shake That" by Eminem mixed with "Show Me What You Got" by Jay-Z
  • "Without Me" by Eminem mixed with "Encore" by Jay-Z
  • "Can I Get A..." by Jay-Z mixed with "Lose Yourself" by Eminem

The new tracks will be available on March 18 on Xbox Live for 640 ($8) and March 25 on PSN for $7.99. The tracks will not be sold separately for Xbox 360 or PS3. Each track, however, will be available for the Wii version on March 25 as a downloadable single for 300 Wii Points ($3); $9 for all three.Permalink | Email this | Comments

Reggie: Nintendo not 'thinking seriously' about next console yet

In a Forbes interview, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime gave the impression that a new home console from Nintendo is still in the distant future.

"The way we approach that innovation," he said, referring to Nintendo's innovative "jumps" (like the Wii), "because we have hardware developers working side by side with software developers, is that when the software developer comes forward with an idea that can't be executed on the current platform, that's when we start thinking seriously about the next system. We're not there yet, from a Wii perspective." Of course, E3 is still a few months away.

Satoru Iwata recently commented that a Wii successor would "need something new" in addition to HD graphics to be worthwhile, and Fils-Aime, who has previously, "forcefully" denied plans for an Wii HD model, echoed this sentiment. "So when people talk about high definition for the Wii console, our feedback is that that by itself will not create a brand new experience. Therefore, we're not interested. What we have to push for are groundbreaking new experiences. Technology has to enable it, not to be a means all by itself."

[Via Edge]Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

Will Wright on the Wii's toy-like sensibilities

Speaking to IndustryGamers in a pre-GDC interview, industry veteran Will Wright shared his thoughts on the Wii and where it fits in the current video game market. According to Wright, the Wii offers an experience that is "clearly different than the Xbox or the PlayStation." Specifically, he stated that the Wii differs from its console brothers in that it doesn't generally cater to long, in depth experiences. Rather, said Wright, the Wii offers "fun toys to pick up and start playing in five minutes." He added, "It really is more into what I would call the toy market."

Elaborating, Wright said that all consoles will have a "specifically defined niche" and that Nintendo actively decided to approach the Wii in a different way. He stated that Nintendo opted not to directly compete with the hardcore sensibilities of FPS-heavy consoles like the Xbox 360. "I think it's kind of cool that they decided to go off and find a different sandbox to play in," said Wright, "I think it's been very good for the industry."

Hit the source link for more excerpts from the interview.Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

EA Sports Active 2.0 coming this fall to Wii, PS3 and iPhone

EA Sports' "Season Opener" event at GDC contained one major announcement for the developer's bevy of franchises: EA Sports Active will receive the sequel treatment this Fall with EA Sports Active 2.0 (working title), an updated version of the exergame for the PS3, Wii, iPhone and iPod Touch platforms. The console versions of the game will come equipped with two motion sensors and a heart rate monitor the player can strap to their arms and legs.

User information in this new game can be shared over an online social network, allowing fellow players to keep track of how frequently you've been skipping out on your demanding workout regimen. EA Vancouver is reprising its role as developer for the title. We'll let you know when we hear more about 2.0 -- like, for instance, why the game is apparently skipping out on launching on the 360.Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

Flip's Twisted World team spins a dev diary

Flip's Twisted World is a rare third party game that sets to do something original for the Wii. Yet strangely, it's gone almost completely unnoticed. While platformers are a dime a dozen, Flip's gravity-twisting gameplay offers a unique spin (get it?) that deserves a look. The "gimmick" at the heart of Flip's Twisted World is the player's ability to "flip" the world at whim, turning floors into walls, ceilings into floors, and more.

Majesco has released a dev diary for Flip's Twisted World that better explains its gameplay. It's easy to make comparisons to Super Mario Galaxy, but that's not really a bad thing, is it? Flip's Twisted World comes out on Wii this April. Permalink | Email this | Comments