Thursday, August 11, 2005

More to come from Nintendo

I'm sure a lot of people have packed away their GameCube already. I'll be honest, if it wasn't for the fact that I really like Nintendo, I would have thought they dropped off the face of the earth. But fear not my friends. Nintendo still has plenty up it's sleeves this year and it should all be starting very soon.

The first little gem that we can all look forward to very soon is a Press Conference. Nintendo has scheduled a 60 minute press conference in Germany on August 17th. The title of the press conference is 'Expand the Definition of Gaming'. This is Nintendo and we all know how mysterious Nintendo loves to be, but my hope is that they get on the ball and release some concrete Revolution information. A look at the new controller would definitely be buzz worthy and give Nintendo some much needed publicity.

The next thing everyone needs to look forward to is Nintendo's first DS seller. This is (in my opinion, and from what I've heard, many other's opinions as well) the first game coming out for the Nintendo DS that will actually sell systems. I'm talking about, of course, Nintendogs. Those who haven't heard of Nintendogs see the name of a really stupid game but those who have played it will tell you very different. This game sold millions of systems in Japan when it was released in March and I can definitely see the same thing happening here. What do you do? Why, you raise a dog silly. It's a simulation game and it looks absolutely stunning and fun. Sound childish? Ya, I'm sure the kids will love it. I'm sure the girls will fall all over it. But I, too, am definitely looking forward to this one. Head over here if you want to check out some videos and more information. Keep your eyes peeled as the game is set to drop on August 22nd in 3 flavors, each with different breeds of dogs.

September is another slow month for Nintendo, but hopefully no one will care because they will have the buzz about the Revolution going through their heads and Nintendogs to play. Bright and early in October, though, Pokemon XD for the GameCube will give us all something to do. Nintendo is saying this is the first real RPG Pokemon game for the GameCube but I don't see much difference in Pokemon coliseum. But this should prove to be a great game none the less. You will be in another dimension trying to capture and revive all the dark pokemon. This should be out in the US on October 3rd.

Rumors surround the release of the next two games I will be talking about. There really hasn't been anything conretely released from Nintendo to say exactly when these games are coming out. Late October seems to be a good estimate because Nintendo's WiFi connectivity for the DS has been rumored to be out around the end of October. With WiFi connectivity on the DS, a whole slew of new options opens up for developers. Games can be played with anyone, anywhere, as long as they are written to go online and that the DS is played near a hotspot. Nintendo is doing a lot of work to make sure that this all goes flawlessly. For those without a wireless router, Nintendo is even planning to release a USB adapter that will let your DS piggy back on the internet connection your PC has. WiFi is going to be great and I really can't wait for it.

But what good is WiFi if you don't have any games to play on it? How about Super Mario Kart DS? One of two official Nintendo games announced to use the WiFi connection. Mario Kart DS will allow players to link up with up to 8 players with only one cart. Now this feature on the GBA was kind of gimmicky and only allowed for a very limited play selection, but it's nice to be able to test it out for free. There will be over 30 tracks that have been taken from all the various Mario Kart games. From the original all the way to the newest GameCube game as well as some brand new tracks. Best of all is that you will be able to play your buddy down the street, or your cousin who lives 3 states away. It's Mario Kart online folks. What more do I need to say?!

The second WiFi game coming out for the DS is what I personally bought a DS for. I knew the game was coming and I didn't care how long I had to wait. Well, the wait is finally almost over for Animal Crossing DS. Any true fan of Nintendo knows how great Animal Crossing was. For those who don't know, Animal Crossing is a very unique 'Life Simulator' for the GameCube. The graphics were nothing to brag about and it was definitely one of those games you never wanted your friends to see you playing, but it was fun as hell. What made it most fun was how open ended it was. You could do whatever you wanted. Design clothes, talk to neighbors, dig for treasure, fish, catch bugs, write letters, leave messages for other human players in your town, and a lot more. One of the things that made is so fun was that the town really felt alive. Animal Crossing used the internal clock of your GameCube to see what should be happening. When it was night time, it was dark outside. In the winter, there was slow on the ground. On Halloween, there was something special going on in Town Square. There were plenty of days and times where things only happened then. And there was so much to collect. It was definitely one of the first and only games I played every day for more than a month and didn't get sick of it. So what's so special about Animal Crossing DS? I'll give you a couple of examples. The smallest one, the graphics have been improved. Graphics meant nothing to this game but it's still nice to know they polished some things up. Your town is portable. Animal Crossing is one of those games you can play for hours or for minutes. It just seems more natural that you can take it where ever you want and pick it up for a couple of minutes or for a few hours. You have a touch screen! No more console controller input for typing messages and letters! The second screen is used for the sky. The only time you saw the sky in the GameCube version of Animal Crossing was in a reflection in the lake. Now you should be able to see balloons let go by other people, the stork delivering the mail, and they've even mentioned being able to see the stars at night and being able to make special constellations that are only seen from your town. There's also a bigger store in this version that adds on a place where you can design and change your hairstyle. No longer will you need to always wear your hat. I repeat, this is the game I bought the Nintendo DS for and I am counting down the days until it's release and until I can play online. Thank you Nintendo!

This would be enough for me, but I have more. The GameCube isn't out of it yet. The Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess is set for release in mid-November. The game everyone has been waiting for since before the GameCube was released is coming and it's not very far away. I loved The Wind Waker. The graphics were crisp and I really didn't care that it was cell shaded. But this game looks just amazing. It seems like Nintendo raises the bar with every Zelda game they release and this one shouldn't be any different. This game will look and play much darker than the last Zelda game. There isn't a lot of information on what kind of new things the game will introduce, but we do know that Link will be able to transform into a werewolf somewhere in the game. It should be fun.

Now, I could talk about other things. Things that aren't really that super duper but will probably be a lot of fun. Like Mario Baseball. Looks like a fun game to play but I'm not waiting for it or anything. The point of this article is simple. Nintendo isn't out of it yet. Nintendo still has what they do best, make great first party games. And with all the new Nintendo games coming out by the end of this year in addition to all the new Revolution information that should be coming soon, this should be prime time for Nintendo Fan-boys like myself to start drooling.


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