Most Recent: Wii U

Insert Quarter: A Brief History of Platinum Games


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 |

New trailer shows off the enhancements added to Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD

Nintendo isn’t just slapping a new coat of paint on The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD and calling it a day, the consolemaker also plans to add a number of new features to the upcoming remake.

Because Twilight Princess is getting a Wii-to-Wii U upgrade, the biggest addition to Twilight Princess HD is obviously Wii U GamePad support. Players will now be able to use the touchscreen to access their inventory and a map, as well as hop into the game’s Miiverse Community to use any Miiverse Stamps they find. If you prefer, the GamePad’s second screen can alternately be used for Off-TV Play.

Other changes will make the game both easier and harder. A new Ghost Lantern item was added to help make the search for Poes a little easier, while Hero Mode will (optionally) make things considerably tougher for Link. But Hero Mode will do more than just make the game a little harder:

Hero Mode, a challenging new mode, can also be selected when starting a new game. In this mode, Link will take double the normal damage and there are no heart drops. In addition, if Link finds Rupees in a treasure chest while his wallet is already full, Rupees will no longer be returned to that chest. Players are also less likely to reach the limit of their wallets, as they have been modified to hold more Rupees.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD will be released for the Wii U on March 4. And don’t forget, Nintendo previously showcased the Cave of Shadows challenge mode they’re adding to the game.

Posted in News, Wii U | Tagged

Rumor: Mother 3 (AKA EarthBound 2) will finally be released in US and Europe this year

mother3-boxHold on to your hats, Eurogamer has some good news for fans of the EarthBound franchise. According to Eurogamer’s Tom Phillips, Nintendo will likely release Mother 3 (also known as EarthBound 2) in the US and Europe later this year.

Phillips originally began chasing the Mother 3 rumors on Twitter and Reddit, but Eurogamer’s own sources within Nintendo eventually vouched for their accuracy. According to these insiders, Nintendo wants to release Mother 3 on the Wii U’s Virtual Console in North America and Europe to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its launch on the Game Boy Advance in Japan.

Momentum for a Mother 3 release in the West has been building since Nintendo added EarthBound Beginnings to the Wii U’s Virtual Console last June, ending its 26 years of Japanese exclusivity. While I’m hopeful that Nintendo may finally make Mother 3 available for English-speaking fans, it’s important to remember that this is still just a rumor.

Posted in News, Wii U | Tagged

Nintendo Download: Resident Evil 4 Wii Edition, Shutshimi, Typoman demo, more

residentevil4boxResident Evil 4 is getting yet another re-release as Capcom added Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition to the Wii U eShop today. Leon Kennedy’s search for the President’s daughter should be playable with the Wii U GamePad (though Nintendo didn’t mention it in their announcement), and it also includes the Ada Wong-starring “Separate Ways” campaign. Just watch out for those zombies.

Also available to download on the Wii U today is Shutshimi, a shooter that stars “a musclebound fish with memory problems.” I guess it’s a good thing that each level is only ten seconds long.

Finally this week, in case you missed it last year, a demo of the excellent Typoman is now available to download on the Wii U eShop. If the trial version of the title piques your interest, you can upgrade to the full game for a discounted price for the next two weeks as Typoman is 15% off until February 18.

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

Posted in 3DS, News, Wii U | Tagged

WB Games and TT Games will release Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens on June 28

WB Games has announced the Lego Star Wars series will make its triumphant return this Summer with the release of Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens on June 28. The game will include a Lego-ized retelling of the latest entry in the Star Wars saga, while also offering levels built around the events that happened after the end of Return of the Jedi.

The Lego Star Wars series has sold 33 million copies since making its debut on the PS2 in 2005, but developer TT Games still has new ideas in store for The Force Awakens. These new features will include “intense Blaster Battles,” aerial dogfights (in outer space and ground-based arenas), and the “Multi-Build” system, which will allow players to choose from multiple building options to advance in the game.

Players will get the chance to visit Jakku and Starkiller Base in Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as well as take control of Resistance and First Order fighters like Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron, Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, BB-8, Kylo Ren, General Hux, and Captain Phasma. Finally, PS4 and PS3 players will receive bonus content for the game including a Droid Character Pack and Phantom Limb Level Pack. More details on those add-ons will be announced at a later date.

Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens will, not surprisingly, be released for the 3DS, PC, PS3, PS4, Vita, Wii U, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

Posted in 3DS, News, PC, PS3, PS4, Vita, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged

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


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 |

Bayonetta and Corrin will be available to download for Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U this week; See them battle it out in a new trailer

The final downloadable characters for Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U, Bayonetta and Corrin, will be available to download from the Nintendo eShop on February 3. But if you want to get a sneak peek at the two fighters in action, then be sure to check out this new gameplay trailer from Nintendo UK.

Both characters will be available in several different packages. Corrin will be priced at $4.99 (or $5.99 to receive access to the character on both the 3DS and Wii U), while Bayonetta is slightly more expensive ($5.99 individually or $6.99 on both platforms) as she comes bundled with the Umbra Clock Tower stage.

And speaking of the Umbra Clock Tower, Nintendo UK uploaded a second new gameplay trailer that takes place on Bayonetta’s home turf. It’s been embedded after the break. (more…)

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

Michel Ancel talks about the future of Beyond Good & Evil 2 with Tim Schafer

In his spare time, Double Fine’s Tim Schafer also hosts Devs Play, a webseries where he invites developers to visit the Double Fine office to play their classic games. Michel Ancel, the creator of Rayman, recently closed out the second season with an in-depth discussion of Beyond Good & Evil. Naturally, Schafer (and his co-host, Greg Rice), couldn’t resist asking about Beyond Good & Evil 2.

As usual, Ancel tried to steer the conversation away from the long-in-development sequel, but he did admit that the pressure to live up to the reputation of the first game is substantial (the exchange starts around the 48-minute mark):

Michel Ancel: We did a nice trailer for Beyond Good & Evil 2…

Greg Rice: What can you say about Beyond Good & Evil 2?

Tim Schafer: Yeah, tell us everything we should know about Beyond Good & Evil 2.

Michel Ancel: Um… maybe we could continue playing Beyond Good & Evil 1. That’s the problem, [we have] no choice. [Beyond Good & Evil 2] has to be great. When we started [Beyond Good & Evil] there was not that much pressure. The crazy thing is that [Beyond Good & Evil] was really not that successful and nobody talked about the game. And Miyamoto talked about the game at E3 and wasn’t very happy. […] And now, year after year, more and more people are talking about [Beyond Good & Evil 2].

And towards the very end of the episode (at 1:07), Ancel admits that Beyond Good & Evil 2 is still in the works:

Tim Schafer: You’re still in the headspace of this game because you’re making a sequel right. You’re thinking about [the Beyond Good & Evil] world still.

Michel Ancel: Yeah, but it’s difficult because it’s hard for me to redo the same game two times. I don’t know how you’re going to manage that for Psychonauts 2.

Beyond Good & Evil 2 was first revealed during Ubisoft’s Ubidays event in 2008. Ancel has spoken about the game a handful of times since then, but it looks like we’ve still got a very long wait ahead of us… if it ever comes out at all.

Posted in News, PC, PS4, Wii U, Xbox One | Tagged