Most Recent: DS

Insert Quarter: A Brief History of Platinum Games

insertquarter-header

Insert Quarter is our showcase for some of the best and most interesting writing about video games on the Internet.

Platinum Games plans to release Star Fox Zero, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan, and Nier: Automata in 2016. That’s a lot of games for one studio to handle, but after celebrating their tenth anniversary this year, they’ve clearly earned our trust.

Eurogamer’s Rich Stanton goes a step further and makes the case that Platinum Games might be the best Japanese developer working today. He believes the company’s unbroken string of classics (including MadWorld, Vanquish, Bayonetta, and The Wonderful 101) is nearly unmatched and that their fierce independent streak will always produce interesting results. You gotta admit, it’s kind of hard to argue with him:

[I]n recent years, Platinum Games has positioned itself as a standard-bearer for the Japanese industry, adopting the slogan: “Taking on the World as the Representative of Japan.” President and CEO Tatsuya Minami unpacked this, in a post to celebrate 10 years of Platinum Games. “Japan used to lead the worldwide video game industry, but we can’t help but feel that it has lost some of its vitality in recent years. Yet we are using this state of affairs to motivate and inspire ourselves […] We will keep up our fighting stance.”

The full article is available for your perusal at the Eurogamer.

Posted in DS, Insert Quarter, PC, PS3, PS4, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One |

Nominate your favorite game for the World Video Game Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016

worldvideogamehalloffame

The International Center for the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG) at The Strong Museum is once again seeking nominations for its World Video Game Hall of Fame. The Class of 2016 will be announced on May 5, but the museum will solicit suggestions from the general public until February 29. Anyone interested in nominating their favorite game should visit the Hall of Fame’s website, and they should also keep the selection criteria in mind:

  • Icon Status: The game is widely recognized and remembered.
  • Longevity: The game is more than a passing fad and has enjoyed popularity over time.
  • Geographical Reach: The game meets the above criteria across international boundaries.
  • Influence: The game has exerted significant influence on the design and development of other games, on other forms of entertainment, or on popular culture and society in general. A game may be inducted on the basis of this criterion without necessarily having met all of the first three.

Six games were selected for induction in 2015 (Doom, Pac-Man, Pong, Super Mario Bros., Tetris, and World of Warcraft), and a similar number of titles will likely make the cut in May. That means nine games from last year’s shortlist failed to be inducted (Angry Birds, FIFA International Soccer, The Legend of Zelda, Minecraft, The Oregon Trail, Pokemon Red/Blue, The Sims, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Space Invaders), but they’ll likely be at the top of the suggestion pool again this year.

This year’s finalists will be chosen by an internal advisory committee from the ICHEG, and will be revealed to the public on March 29. The new class of inductees to the World Video Game Hall of Fame will be selected by an international selection committee made up of journalists, scholars, and other individuals familiar with the history of video games and their role in society.

Posted in 3DS, DS, Mobile, News, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, Retro, Vita, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One |

Nintendo Download: Final Fantasy Explorers, FF Tactics Advance, Lego Avengers, more

finalfantasyexplorersYou’ll find a double shot of Final Fantasy in this week’s Nintendo Download as Final Fantasy Explorers is now available to download for the 3DS and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance has made the jump to the Wii U.

Ditching the turn-based format of most Final Fantasy games, Final Fantasy Explorers is an action RPG for the 3DS that asks players to slay massive monsters while taking control of the franchise’s most famous faces. Players will also be able to choose from more than 20 jobs and summon eidolons like Ifrit and Bahamut. Over on the Wii U, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance joins the Virtual Console and reintroduces players to the land of Ivalice in a strategic RPG originally released for the Game Boy Advance in 2003.

Another dynamic duo of games flew onto the Nintendo eShop this week with the release of Lego Avengers for the 3DS and Wii U this week. WB Games and TT Games turned to the Marvel Cinematic Universe for their latest Lego game, adapting six of the films from the sprawling saga: Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Avengers: Age of Ultron.

More information about all of these games (and a few other new releases) can be found after the break. (more…)

Posted in 3DS, DS, News, Wii U | Tagged ,

Nintendo Download: Xenoblade Chronicles X, Pokemon Picross, Dementium Remastered, more

xenobladechroniclesx-header

After a year of surprising new games (Splatoon, Super Mario Maker) and surprising delays (The Legend of Zelda Wii U, Star Fox Zero), Nintendo is finally ready to close out 2015 with what might be their biggest game for the Wii U yet… Xenoblade Chronicles X. The open world sci-fi adventure is packed with mechs, aliens, space battles, and the near extinction of the human race. And that’s just the beginning… the planet of Mira holds many surprises.

Try to forget about next week’s release of Devil’s Third, it causes havoc with my whole intro.

The 3DS eShop is home to a handful of interesting games this week as well. Nintendo is merging their Picross series of picture puzzle games with Pokemon this week in Pokemon Picross. Players will be able to tackle 300 standard puzzles, a “significantly” more difficult Advanced Mode, and Daily Training puzzles. On the opposite end of the cute and cuddly scale is Dementium Remastered, an enhanced remake of Renegade Kid’s first-person horror title.

Finally this week, we swing back around to the Wii U for the release of Trauma Team, a surgery sim from Atlus, and the first third-party Wii game to be added to the Wii U eShop.

More information on all of these games (and a few other new releases) can be found after the break. (more…)

Posted in 3DS, DS, News, Wii U | Tagged




Nintendo Download: Tiny Galaxy, Blaster Master, Airport Hero Narita, more

nintendoeshop-header

Six titles were added to the Nintendo eShop today. In no particular order, they are…

  • Tiny Galaxy (Wii U) is a side-scrolling platformer that takes place on a variety of planets of different size, each with its own gravity and rotation.
  • Blaster Master (Wii U) is a beloved NES side-scroller that is now available on the Wii U’s Virtual Console for the first time.
  • Airport Hero Narita: I Am An Air Traffic Controller (3DS) is an air traffic controller sim.
  • I Love My Dogs (3DS) is a pet ownership sim.
  • G.G. Series: Score Attacker (DSi) is a vertically-scrolling space shooter.
  • G.G. Series: Vector (DSi) is a falling block puzzler.

More information on all of these games can be found after the break. (more…)

Posted in 3DS, DS, News, Wii U |

Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata dies at age 55

20110426-3ds_iwataIt’s a sad day today, as Nintendo has announced the death of President and CEO Satoru Iwata due to a bile duct growth. He was 55 years old.

“Nintendo Co. Ltd. deeply regrets to announce that President Satoru Iwata passed away on July 11, 2015 due to a bile duct growth,” was the company’s only statement to the public. In the hours since the news was released, Nintendo of America posted the following message to Twitter and Facebook: “In remembrance of Mr. Satoru Iwata, Nintendo will not be posting on our social media channels today.”

Iwata had been with Nintendo since the 1980s, starting out as a programmer at HAL Laboratory (where he worked on Balloon Fight and EarthBound, among others), before reaching the level of CEO in 2002. The executive also had a close relationship with Nintendo’s devoted fans. He regularly made appearances at industry events, hosted Nintendo’s monthly Nintendo Direct videos, and conducted Iwata Asks, a regular interview series in which he would talk to the developers of Nintendo’s games. Iwata had been battling this illness for several years, missing last year’s E3 Expo due to a surgery. But he made his final public appearance as part of this year’s Nintendo Digital Event @ E3 just last month.

Above all, Iwata was a principled man in an industry that’s dead set on nothing but making money and treating customers like cattle. When Nintendo failed to reach its financial projections in 2013, Iwata voluntarily cut his salary in half for the next five months.

There is no word yet who will be named Nintendo’s next President and CEO, though it will be extraordinarily difficult to replace a man like Iwata.

Posted in 3DS, DS, News, NX, Retro, Wii, Wii U |

Nintendo Download: Art Academy Home Studio, Star Fox Command, Mario & Luigi Partners in Time, more

nintendoeshop-header

Indulge your artistic side this week on the Wii U eShop with Art Academy: Home Studio, which offers 30 new art lessons to paint and draw with the Wii U GamePad. Players will be able to share their masterworks through the Miiverse, and even upload time-lapse videos to YouTube. Elsewhere in this week’s Nintendo Download (but still sticking with the Wii U) is Never Alone, an “atmospheric puzzle platformer” developed in collaboration with an Alaska Native people.

Also available the Wii U eShop this week are a pair of DS re-releases. Star Fox Command adds a touch of strategic plotting to the space shooting, while Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time adds time travel to the plumbing duo’s portable RPG series.

More information on all these games (and a bevy of new DSiWare titles) can be found after the break. (more…)

Posted in DS, News, Wii U |

Nintendo Download: Lego Jurassic World, Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure, more

legojurassicworld-header

When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth!

Welcome to this week’s Nintendo Download, where Lego Jurassic World will soon be available on the 3DS and Wii U. The game, which recreates all four Jurassic Park films using Lego bricks, will be available through the 3DS eShop and the Wii U eShop beginning tomorrow, June 12. In case that wasn’t enough dinosaur adventuring, Jurassic World will open in theaters tomorrow as well (or tonight, if you’re willing to brave the crowds).

Also available this week, today actually, is Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure for the 3DS. All your favorite Dr. Mario modes, including classic style, Dr. Luigi style, and Virus Buster mode, will be included. And new power-ups called Miracle Cures can eradicate the germs like never before.

Finally this week, a pair of 3DS titles from Arc System Works are now available to download. Ninja Usagimaru: The Gem of Blessings is a side-scrolling platformer while Swords & Darkness is a medieval 2D brawler.

More information on all of these games (and a few more) can be found after the break. (more…)

Posted in 3DS, DS, News, Wii U | Tagged ,