Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pre-Thanksgiving Update

Hey everyone, I figure it would be best to do this now before we get ourselves and the minions all knocked out by the latest mass-devouring of turkeys (the last time we did it was on Labor Day, not as interesting as I thought it would be).

First of all, I'm sure you are all aware that we posted the last of our New York Comic Con 2011 articles a couple weeks ago. Hope you all enjoyed them, and I hope for an even bigger output next time around. For now, our eyes drift toward PAX East 2012. We have not gone to PAX East since its inaugural year, and we hear the show has gotten much bigger since then. It should be fun times for us, and by fun I mean tiring, and by us I mean the minions. Any dev heading to PAX East should drop us an e-mail to set up a time to chat and stuff. Either that or we will find you. Still fun either way!

Moving on to the rest of 2011, we are glad to say we are bringing reviews back into gear, and once we get the ball rolling we should be able to get one out a week or so. Also, as much as I hate to say it, we will be putting in a score for future reviews. The 5 rating system (albeit with .5 increments) should not be taken as the final verdict; we continue with our statement to read the text rather than the number, as that should tell you what we really think. Reviewers do not just give their opinions in numbers...or do they? I'll need to research that.

Meanwhile, Game On: Let's Play and Third Rate Game Play are moving, slowly but surely. We have a unique trifecta of games in one episode followed by more of our Ocarina of Time 2D/3D playthrough to upload. Not to mention more GOLP episodes I have been sitting on for some time. Poor things. If all goes well, those should at least emerge online before year-end.

Those of you tracking us on Facebook or Twitter should have spotted that we posted an Unboxing video for an upcoming game, Cartoon Network Punch Time Explosion XL. We are glad to say that this game will debut our HD captures, and with that I provide a gameplay clip we made in our playthrough of the game. Expect a review within a week, provided our fresh turkey does not become sentient and diabolical or some other tragic but humorous event occurs.

Take care and make sure that cranberry sauce is not a Red Chu Chu in disguise!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

eShop Sales-Ratings: October 2011

The Nintendo eShop is Nintendo's online shop through the 3DS where people can download games from old Nintendo hardware, DSiWare games, and new download software specific for the 3DS. Because Nintendo does not disclose sales numbers, and developers are most likely barred from revealing them, we do not know how games are doing on the service.

But we might have at least a small hint.

After playing a game on the 3DS for over a hour, players are capable of rating these games via the eShop, and the totals are shown on each game page, showing up to five stars based on what the population thinks. At the very least, we now have minimum sales figures for the games, but with a very large disclaimer: these numbers represent the users who have done the following:

1) Purchased the game
2) Played the game for over an hour on the 3DS, and
3) Chose to rate the game on the eShop.

People who play the games on their DSi systems cannot rate games, nor can people who have not played the games for less than one hour. Since rating cannot be done outside of the eShop, some might have forgotten to or chosen not to rate said games. Also note that a rating does not necessarily correspond with a sale in the month in which it appears, only emphasizing the number of additional people who completed the above steps.

With that disclaimer in mind, let us take a look at how the games performed.


Free Apps
1/1 Nintendo Video 5536 24742
2/2 Pokedex 3D 4821 36285
3/3 Netflix 2447 16594

No surprises here. The three free applications were still in the same order, although the speed by which the Nintendo Video app was growing compared to Pokedex 3D was less than last month. I am skeptical that NV will surpass the Pokedex, which is still, to date, the most-rated item available for download in the eShop. With Hulu Plus emerging soon, we might be seeing a fourth item appear in the coming months.

Video Downloads
1 Thriller 43 43
2 Night of the Living Carrots 30 30
3 The Pig Who Cried Werewolf 8 8

Introducing Video Downloads, which are downloadable 3D videos which cost, so far, $2 a piece. The three videos here are all from DreamWorks and are Halloween-focused, so I doubt we will see these blowing up the charts here...that and they are not even close to an hour in length. What strikes me as odd is there was even as many votes on these as there were. Either way, the one video with the most rating and downloads was also the one unavailable on Nintendo Video. Coincidence?

Pre-eShop DSiWare*
1/1 Plants vs. Zombies 629 4252
2/2 Photo Dojo 510 3153
3/3 Inchworm Animation 407 2114
4/5 Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again! 361 2748
5/3 Cave Story 261 3052
6/6 Anonymous Notes Chapter 1 - From the Abyss 235 1577
7/7 Zenonia 222 1350
8/10 Mario Clock 193 1165
9/9 Bomberman Blitz 190 1281
10/11 GO Series: 10 Second Run 176 1015
11/12 Tetris Party Live 174 1173
12/00 Crystal Monsters 171 809
13/08 Shantae: Risky's Revenge 155 2066
14/00 Nintendo Countdown Calender 148 501
15/14 Army Defender 145 759
16/13 Pop Island - Paperfield 135 923
17/17 JellyCar 2 107 692
18/15 Soul of Darkness 96 691
19/00 Mario Calculator 79 272
20/00 Gangster 2: Kings of L.A. 76 236
21/18 Dr. Mario Express 72 652
22/00 Earthworm Jim 71 220
23/00 Pop Island 68 400
24/16 Dark Void Zero 61 683
25/00 My Farm 55 334
26/20 Extreme Hangman 54 478
27/00 Blazybloo: Super Melee Action Battle Royale 48 265
28/00 Touch Solitaire 48 365
29/19 Anonymous Notes Chapter 2 - From the Abyss 47 433
30/21 Arcade Bowling 47 314
31/00 Castle Conqueror 37 205
32/00 Paper Airplane Chase 36 263
33/00 My Exotic Farm 28 203
34/00 5 in 1 Solitaire 27 207
35/23 WarioWare: Snapped! 26 206
36/00 AiRace 25 169
37/22 GO Series: Defense Wars 20 156
38/00 Petz Dogz Family 18 69
39/00 Petz Kittens 13 51
40/00 A Topsy Turvy Life: The Turvys Strike Back 7 70

*This list consists of a selection of DSiWare games that released prior to June 2011 and does not reflect the actual rating listing of every previous DSiWare game released.

The top dozen games have barely shifted, with Plants Vs. Zombies at the top once more. Last month I introduced a number of older games into the list, and of them, Crystal Monsters from Gameloft sat at the top of those games, with 171 ratings. 17 of the 40 games had more than a hundred ratings in October, with JellyCar 2 being the last of those titles. A large number of Nintendo's "Biggest Movers" from September moved alright but not stupendously. The lowest-performer was Turvys Strike Back, with a paltry 7 ratings.

In terms of new games added to the list, these two games appeared in the Top Downloads list lately:

Faceez Monsters! 132
Glory Days: Tactical Defense 329

The former probably did well in sales due to the Halloween theme. I would not expect it to do well in the following months, but only time will tell.

Post-eShop DSiWare
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition**
12948 14627
2/3 Afterzoom 85 461
3/2 Let's Create! Pottery 80 192
4/5 Extreme Hangman 2 70 283
5/4 GO Series: Fishing Resort 64 125
6/7 Magical Whip 44 102
7/8 The Lost Town: The Dust 43 211
1001 BlockBusters 37 37
9/6 Go! Go! Kokopolo 28 124
Calculator 24 56
11/24 Break Tactics 24 37
12/12 My Asian Farm 22 64
Zoonies - Escape from Makatu 21 44
Crazy Hamster 19 39
Simply Minesweeper 19 19
Build-a-lot 18 56
Castle Conqueror: Revolution 18 18
Stratego: Next Edition 17 104
19/16 Make-Up & Style 16 98
20/14 Antipole 16 129
21/11 My Australian Farm 16 87
22/17 House M.D. - Blue Meanie 16 33
23/37 Escape Trick: Ninja Castle 15 20
24/13 Moto eXtreme 14 110
25/31 Trollboarder 14 31
26/23 Blockado - Puzzle Island 14 34
27/22 GO Series: Portable Shrine Wars 13 58
28/35 Hidden Photo 12 32
29/26 Farm Frenzy 10 45
30/19 Defense of the Middle Kingdom 10 26
31/47 Bugs 'N' Balls 10 10
32/48 Crystal Caves of Amen-Ra 10 10
33/20 Kung Fu Dragon 9 34
Furry Legends 8 8
35/42 Oscar's World Tour 7 14
36/29 Roller Angels 6 32
Go Fetch! 2 6 12
Halloween: Trick or Treat 6 6
39/18 Pro Jumper! Guilty Gear Tangent!? 5 75
40/27 Heart Spaces Euchre 5 37
41/30 Jewel Keepers: Easter Island 5 49
42/43 Play & Learn Spanish 4 11
House M.D. - Skull and Bones 4 4
44/32 Zimo: Mahjong Fanatic 3 22
45/41 Beach Party Craze 3 23
46/38 Boardwalk Ball Toss 3 18
47/36 Puzzle Rocks 3 8
48/34 DotMan 3 9
Academy Checkers 3 3
50/28 Puzzle Fever 2 31
51/45 Just SING! 80s Collection 2 5
52/46 B-Team - Episode 2: Ice & Venom 2 4
Gold Fever 1 19
54/44 Bridge 1 3
Delbo 0 28

** This game is freely available until February 2012.

No surprise that a massive chunk of gamers got their hands on Four Swords Anniversary Edition this past month, and as a result, it sits at the top of the list. It most likely will remain there for several months ahead, and as I mentioned last month, the game's February end should eventually reduce it from the top spot. With just under 13,000 ratings in a single month, it shows that there is certainly movement from gamers to get this from the eShop.

As for actual paid games, there was a steep drop. None of the games have had more than a hundred ratings this past month, and only 31 of those games had ten or more ratings. Delbo sits as the only no-rating game for the month. As for last month's debut games, GO Series: Fishing Resort did the best with 64 ratings, bringing the game above a hundred ratings. The other games did better than their debut month, but Bridge is still struggling, with a single rating in October. It currently sits as a the lowest-performing DSiWare game since the eShop launch.

New games were altogether mixed, with 1001 BlockBusters hitting the top with 37 ratings, followed by Simply Minesweeper with 19. The lower performers were House M.D. and Academy Checkers, though the latter did debut just before the end of the month. In terms of total ratings, Afterzoom, Extreme Hangman 2, and The Lost Town: The Dust sit at the top. I have not heard much from The Lost Town, so its height in ratings comes as a surprise for me.

Classic Games

1/9 Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins 1537 1618
2/1 Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX 1001 15453
3/2 Super Mario Land 639 9103
4/3 Kirby's Dream Land 431 3003
5/4 Donkey Kong 287 3606
6/5 Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge 238 513
7/8 Game & Watch Gallery 112 914
8/6 Mario's Picross 104 910
9/7 Gargoyle's Quest 91 441
Catrap 71 71
11/12 Pac-Man 53 100
12/10 Alleyway 49 634
Double Dragon 31 31
Baseball 30 156
15/11 Avenging Spirit 30 149
16/16 Tennis 14 152
17/13 Qix 14 184
18/15 Radar Mission 13 216
19/17 Fortified Zone 11 102
Burger Time Deluxe 9 9
Side Pocket 8 8
Golf 7 21

As predicted, Super Mario Land 2 succeeded to launch itself to the top of the charts after coming out at the end of September. While it has a bit longer to match up against the larger Classic Games, Kirby and Donkey Kong with 3000 a piece, it most likely will surpass them in the long-term. Matching its prequel might prove to be more difficult. Meanwhile, Link's Awakening remains the most rated game on the eShop which has never been free.

New releases this month were mixed, mostly on the low end. The top performer was Catrap, which came out at the beginning of the month and earned 71 ratings. Burger Time Deluxe and Side Pocket both hit less than ten ratings, but even then, they fared better than last month's Golf. Discounting new releases, Golf is the least rated Classic Game with 21 total ratings.

3DS Download Software
1/1 3D Classics: Excitebike* 780 18270
2/2 Let's Golf! 3D 281 1632
3/5 3D Classics: Twinbee 160 227
4/4 3D Classics: Urban Champion 131 532
5/3 3D Classics: Xevious 125 1026
Pyramids 55 55

*Available for free during June 2011

Surprisingly, Nintendo did not release a new 3D Classics game this month, but instead gamers got their hands on the second third-party 3DS Download Software: Enjoy Gaming's Pyramids. Unfortunately, it did not perform all too well last month, only getting 55 ratings, which was less than last month's debut game, 3D Classics: Twinbee. Word has been spreading about the game, so we will see if the second month fares better for the game.

Meanwhile, Twinbee did much better in ratings this month, pushing it as the second-highest 3D Classic. However, it is still less than half the total ratings of Urban Champion, which is a bit unnerving for some. As predicted, 3D Classics: Xevious surpassed 1000 ratings this past month. The chances for the other 3D Classics to reach that milestone is far-fetched, but Urban Champion is half-way there, regardless. Excitebike remained the most-rated original game software, with the game now hitting past 18,000 ratings; how much ratings were from actual purchases remains to be seen.

1/1 The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition** 12948 14627
2/13 Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins 1537 1618
3/2 Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX 1001 15453
4/3 3D Classics: Excitebike* 780 18270
5/4 Super Mario Land 639 9103
6/5 Plants vs. Zombies 629 4252
7/7 Photo Dojo 510 3153
8/6 Kirby's Dream Land 431 3003
9/11 Inchworm Animation 407 2114
10/12 Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again! 361 2748
11/8 Donkey Kong 287 3606
12/9 Let's Golf! 3D 281 1632
13/10 Cave Story 261 3052
14/16 Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge 238 513
15/13 Anonymous Notes Chapter 1 - From the Abyss 235 1577
16/14 Zenonia 222 1350
17/22 Mario Clock 193 1165
18/20 Bomberman Blitz 190 1281
19/23 GO Series: 10 Second Run 176 1015
20/24 Tetris Party Live 174 1173

*This game was freely available during June 2011.
**This game is freely available until February 2012.

It should not be of any surprise that Four Swords Anniversary Edition outperformed the other games in the list, being completely free. Other than that, Super Mario Land 2's appearance was welcome over Link's Awakening DX which continues to perform well. The only never-free 3DS Download Software on the chart is Let's Golf! 3D at 12. Most games on the list are DSiWare games, and that is to be expected.

In terms of new releases, we would have to go quite a bit further to hit the top new performer. Catrap was the most-rated new game with 71 ratings (ranked 39), whereas Pyramids took the second spot with 55 ratings (ranked 45). The top-performing video, Thriller, was 55, and the most-rated new DSiWare game (1001 BlockBusters) was ranked 58. All these out of a total of 126 products covered so far.

What's in store for this month? Well, FreakyForms: Your Creations, Alive! is already out, and the rest of this month's DSiWare releases are known on the US eShop. Classic Games are still hidden, and who knows whether another 3D Classic or third-party 3DS game will emerge this time around. We'll have to wait and see!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

NYCC 2011: Postmortem

Our adventure into this year's New York Comic Con was not exactly as peachy as we would have liked, but when is a convention not stressful? We were only able to attend the Thursday and Friday events for both economical and physical reasons, but we got a handful of videos and impressions to make for you all.


At last, just under a month after the event itself, we end our coverage with a postmortem discussion regarding our time at the show. We discuss games we played but did not film as well as games we wanted to film or play but could not.

We give our final impressions on games we played and on the show itself. We had quite a few places to improve, but overall, for the short time we were there, we believe to have done a good job.

As the year slowly closes, we look to PAX East 2012 with our weapons, or camera, drawn.

NYCC 2011: The Miscellaneous Montage

Our adventure into this year's New York Comic Con was not exactly as peachy as we would have liked, but when is a convention not stressful? We were only able to attend the Thursday and Friday events for both economical and physical reasons, but we got a handful of videos and impressions to make for you all.


Just under a month after New York Comic Con 2011 finished, we are winding down with a few more videos to finish off the event and look out into 2011's holiday season (which has already started, thank you, Modern Warfare 3).

This video is dedicated to the remainder of game footage we took over the course of the day-and-change we were at the convention. We talk about our impressions or thoughts on the games while we show clips of our scraps. We felt the footage shown here was not up to par with fitting into individual videos and put them together right here!

The games covered are as follows:
Resident Evil: Revelations
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3
Final Fantasy XIII-2
Rayman Origins (with some Just Dance 3)
Fusion: Genesis (out now on XBLA!)
Prototype 2

Stay tuned for our postmortem, in which we discuss final impressions and the games we did not even cover this year!

Monday, November 7, 2011

NYCC 2011: StreetPass NYC

Our adventure into this year's New York Comic Con was not exactly as peachy as we would have liked, but when is a convention not stressful? We were only able to attend the Thursday and Friday events for both economical and physical reasons, but we got a handful of videos and impressions to make for you all.


In our final run around the showfloor, we spotted a flag sporting a large AR Card symbol and the Statue of Liberty. Attached to that flag stood the founder of StreetPass NYC, Jordan White. While we were not capable of getting a full interview with him that instant (we DID interrupt his Super Mario 3D Land playtime and were heading out the door shortly thereafter), we did get a few quick comments on the show demos around as well as any particular activities being held by the group at New York Comic Con.

Speaking of the group, they are in fact having an event this Saturday in anticipation of the launch of Super Mario 3D Land. Funny how that was the game we caught him playing in the video. Watch and enjoy it in its brevity and candidness.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

NYCC 2011: Orcs Must Die!

Our adventure into this year's New York Comic Con was not exactly as peachy as we would have liked, but when is a convention not stressful? We were only able to attend the Thursday and Friday events for both economical and physical reasons, but we got a handful of videos and impressions to make for you all.


Microsoft's booth had its fair share of unique game experiences, and one of them was a new twist in the tower defense genre: Robot Entertainment's Orcs Must Die!

The point of the game is to prevent a horde of Orcs from getting into an open rift located at the end of the stage. In order to stop them, players place various traps along the path between the main entrance and the open Rift such as tar pits and arrow-shooting walls. Besides the traps, the player can use a crossbow and a sword to help whittle down any remaining Orcs that have survived the traps. Killing Orcs rewards players with money to set up more traps for the next wave of Orcs. This mix of strategy and all-out combat makes the game stand out from other defense titles. Not to mention the game has a sense of humor and comic art design throughout the adventure.

Orcs vs. Spike-Covered Log. I'm going with the log.

On the show floor, I managed to play through one of the game’s stages. Visually, the games runs smoothly and has a mixed art style between comical and serious. While I am not a huge fan of tower defense titles, I did enjoy placing the traps in places that would help weaken the Orcs so I could finish them from a distance with my crossbow. At times, though, I could mix things up and run in sword-swinging while the Orcs were getting stuck in tar and getting shot with arrows. Thank goodness you cannot die from your own traps.

Well, you have the give the Orcs credit, considering how easily they can die.

However, by the time the stage was completed, I felt the stage had lost its welcome and the hordes seemed very similar with just more Orcs rather than new types of Orcs. Also, I couldn’t find out how to upgrade any of the traps I had set down, which is a staple in tower defense genre. Based on what I played, this game aims to be more like an action based beat-em-up rather than a strategy filled tower defense. I only hope this becomes more balanced in later stages and includes new Orcs and traps. Then again, I did only play a single level early on, so the levels and enemies can only get more devious and innovative!

Orcs Must Die! is available right now on XBLA for 1200 MS Points and on PC platforms.
For more information, check out the game's official site.

NYCC 2011: Trials Evolution

Our adventure into this year's New York Comic Con was not exactly as peachy as we would have liked, but when is a convention not stressful? We were only able to attend the Thursday and Friday events for both economical and physical reasons, but we got a handful of videos and impressions to make for you all.


This past NYCC, Microsoft had a number of games showcased around its booth, including Kinect titles The Gunstringer and Just Dance 3 and upcoming titles Mass Effect 3 and Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary. Inside the main circle, however, there were three XBLA titles available to play, including newly-announced Fusion: Genesis (we have footage of that game to appear in our Miscellaneous Montage), Robot Entertainment's Orcs Must Die, and last but not least, RedLynx's Trials Evolution.

Trials Evolution is the sequel to the Summer of Arcade hit Trials HD, and from the time I had to try out the game, it has the same insanity of the original but with a bit more. Graphically, Trials Evolution is just as good as the original, but instead of the darker and enclosed locales, Evolution breaks free into the fresh and dangerous outdoors. The game ran at a super-smooth framerate, and the camera kept itself situated in such a way so as to accentuate each ramp's depths and every sharp turn within the newest escapade.

New locations, new obstacles, new tricks.

Controls are very smooth and should be very close to that of the original XBLA game, which made running through the obstacle course a constantly active experience. Players control not only the bike's speed but also the position of the rider, shifting forward or back on the crazy motorbike. This shifting of weight is what will determine whether the rider makes the jump or gets acquainted with the ground at many dozens of miles per hour. Of course, making those complicated jumps is altogether satisfying! The pull of Trials HD remains as potent as ever this time around.

I somehow doubt he is going to make it.

I did not get a lot of time to look further than a few levels, but from what I played, it was a delight and will certainly live up to Trials HD's style in some way. To see what I experienced, view the video below.

Trials Evolution has no clear release date, but we should expect it soon for XBLA.