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Nintendo 3DS available to Japanese Hipsters in February

The Nintendo 3DS will be available in Japan on February 26, 2011 for 25,000 yen ($300). That may seem like a lot of money, but look how much these colorfully dressed people like it! North America and Europe will see 3D in March, but no price announced.

Sadly, in the demonstration of Super Street Fighter IV, someone still picked Ken, showing the portable version of the game is not immune from the malady that affects its console brethren. I guess it doesn’t matter if you’re on XBox Live, or PSN, or on a fantasy colorless street in Japan, people still pick Ken all the time.

In the image at left, you can see the 3DS final design has the larger widescreen for the top, an SD card slot on the side, the addition of a “home” button below the touch screen between select and start. The SD card slot isn’t just for holding pictures, 3DS will have a fully functional Virtual Console that will be able to download classic Gameboy, Gameboy Color, and Gameboy Advance games.

You’ll also be able to make a Mii for your 3DS, but I didn’t see anywhere if you can import them from your Wii. You can automate the process by taking a photo of yourself and then letting the 3DS decide on a Mii that looks like you.

Here is some more gameplay footage:
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Powet Alphabet: S is for 16-bit

Since the alphabet is the building block of our language, the Powet Alphabet is the building block of what makes us geeks.
The sixteen bit era of video games is considered by many to be the bridge between the past and modern eras of video gaming, and there were two kings of the ring: Nintendo’s Super Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega’s Genesis. Though there were more powerful systems that sprang up around the time, it would be these two that would outlast and outperform all of them, thanks to their accessibility. This was due not only to the technologies that the two systems boasted under the hood, but also with the library of games that were released for the two. It also gave rise to some of those most heated fanboy wars of our hobby. If you think system wars are bad now, you should have seen how bad it was during the 16-bit days, especially when system manufacturers were openly taking pot shots at each other. However, it was pointless for fanboys of both systems to argue with each other, as both systems not only had an equally impressive library of games (even if many multiplatform releases on the Sega Genesis tended to have inferior audio and visual quality to their SNES counterparts), but they outlasted and outsold the more powerful systems that sprang up around the same period. Click below to take a look back at one of gaming’s most exciting eras.
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Lost Classics: Final Fantasy IX (PS1)

ff9Out of all the Playstation 1 Final Fantasy games, Final Fantasy IX is perhaps my least favorite, although for old school fans, it’s perhaps the most memorable. While VII and VIII took the series in new directions with more futuristic settings and new gameplay mechanics, FF IX put an old school spin to the series modern look. While the game’s plotline seems more slapstick and cartoonish than the previous FF titles (and this is the main gripe I had with it), it’s still a good dedication to FF fans who may have felt alienated by the more recent entries in the series. With FF XIII hitting stores this past week, what better time to flashback to this blast from the past.
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Maximum Letdown: Final Fantasy Mystic Quest (SNES)

ffmysticquestFF XIII hits stores this week. It’s the first FF game to go multiplatform on day one, hitting both Xbox 360 and PS3. Like its predecessors, it will no doubt do huge numbers and will be nominated for many a year-end reward. Is it any wonder? Ever since FF VII, Final Fantasy has enjoyed the mainstream success reserved for American games like Halo, Grand Theft Auto, and Madden. However, during the franchise’s 16-bit it wasn’t always this way. Final Fantasy, along with RPGs in general, had a hard time getting over with an audience that was used to fast-paces sports, action, and fighting games. So to that end, Square theorized that maybe, it’s flagship RPGS were simply too hard for American audiences. So to that end, they released Final Fantasy Mystic Quest. It was aimed at people new to RPGs, so Square decided to ‘dumb it down’ a bit. Problem was, that it ended up getting so dumbed down that it got to a point where it actually insulted the intelligence of the RPG newbies whom it was aimed at.
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Powet Alphabet: P is for Playstation One

Since the alphabet is the building block of our language, the Powet Alphabet is the building block of what makes us geeks.

When Sony entered the market as a console manufacturer, they began a whole new era of gaming, and much of it was due to the rise of disc-based gaming. Disc based systems at the time were becoming more commonplace due to CDs being easier and cheaper to manufacture. Since they could hold more information than floppy disks and cartridges, it was easy to see why they were becoming increasingly attractive to developers. Even before the Sony, there were already several disc-based systems on the market, although few of them fully utilized the potential of the added storage space and horse power of the medium. The Sega CD for instance, was merely an add-on to the Sega Genesis. Most of its line up either consisted of amped-up versions of Sega Genesis titles, arcade ports, and interactive movies. such as the controversial Night Trap. The Super CD, an add on for the Turbographix-16, had a slightly more impressive lineup (including the highly sought after Dracula X), but it never made it beyond the borders of Japan. The 3DO, which was a standalone system, carried many of the interactive movies that graced the Sega CD, and it also boasted arcade-perfect ports of games such as Samurai Showdown and Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo. However, its high price tag prevented it from making a huge impact in the marketplace. The Phillips CD-I, just plain sucked.

Around the early 90s, Nintendo wanted to jump into the CD gaming market. Originally, it was Sony who would help them develop the technology that would power the new system. Sony was of course no stranger to gaming. Under the name Sony Imagesoft, they developed and published several games for their soon-to-be competitors (in fact, you may have even seen a couple of them as Lost Classics). However, the deal would fall through due to lawsuits on both sides, and Nintendo opted to go with Phillips instead. That deal would also fall apart, and Nintendo would eventually abandon the concept of a CD based gaming system altogether in favor of cartridge-based the Nintendo 64. It’s because of this reason that many suspect that the Playstation is what Nintendo’s CD system would have been. Regardless of weather or not that rumor was true, it was ironic that Sony, the people slated to work with Nintendo on their new hardware, instead usurped their place as top dog console manufacturer.
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Final Fantasy IV: The After coming to the Wii

Final Fantasy IV: The After

“Final Fantasy IV: The After” or “The After Years” as it will now be known, is coming to the Wii. What is this game? Final Fantasy IV: The After – Return to the Moon is a direct sequel to Final Fantasy IV, the greatest game ever made, which was previously available only to Japanese cell phone users. Many North American fans have been wanting to get this game, but unable to even imagine a mechanism by which we might get it, but Siloconera has done a bit of sleuthing and found an ESRB entry for the game stating it will be released on the Wii by Square Enix.

Not much else is known about the North American release of this game. Will it be it’s own title, a Wii Ware game or on the Virtual Console? Any of those could fit so far as I can figure, but I’m just extremely glad that we’ll actually be getting this game. The cell phone game was released in monthly installments, though it’s too early to tell if we will be getting this game all in one shot or in similar pieces.

kain_screenshotA quick look at this game’s graphics show it to be nearly identical looking to it’s 1991 predecessor. The story follows the events of the original game by some 17 years with many character having aged, being descendants of original characters, or being secondary characters we’re getting more of a showcase on. For example we have characters like Palom and Porom all grown up, Cecil’s son, and even character’s like Luca, the daughter of King Giot.

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Lost Classics: Ehrgeiz (PS1)

Man, Square sure diversified after leaving Nintendo….oh wait, I said that last week didn’t I? Anyway, this fighting game (and collaboration with Namco and Dreamfactory) was as far away from the company’s RPG roots as it gets. It was also a departure from other fighting games around the time as well. Characters are allowed full 3-d movement, and don’t even have to face each other, not unlike Capcom’s Power Stone. The arenas contained interactive elements such as destructible crates that can be used as weapons. However the arenas are a bit on the small side, and the camera doesn’t track as well as it should sometimes. Even so, it’s still a fresh and fast-paced approach to the fighting game genre. The story (as with a good majority of other fighters) is that some mysterious conglomerate is holding a fighting tournament, and fighters from all around the world arrive to compete. Okay, so the story isn’t that original, but the characters are. On the surface, they look like your usual Tekken/Virtua Fighter archetypes, but their physical features and backstories make them something else. For instance, Ken ‘Godhand’ Mishima may look like your average fighting game main character, but he was a former assassin whose arm was replaced with a canon. Lee Shuwen may look like your typical old man kung-fu master, but he is suffering from a reverse aging disease. Not only do you get to play as these guys, several characters from a little known game called Final Fantasy 7 are also among the cast! Why would you want to play as any of the original yahoos, when you can play as Sephiroth?

Beside the main game, there are several minigames that can be played as well. There is a racing game and a board game, but the one you will be spending the most time with is the dungeon mode. Here, you take control of an archelogist as they explore a seemingly endless dungeon. Not unlike Diablo 2, you go through the dungeon building stats and gaining items and weapons to help you on your journey. The dungeons are even randomly generated, making the experience different each time.

Ehrgeiz may not have been be Street Fighter, but it introduced several unique concepts that were further refined in other games. The original disc has gone out of print, and was never re-released as part of SOny’s ‘Greatest Hits’ line. Thankfully, Japanese PS3 owners can purchase it at the PSN store, so hopefully this game will be available in the US PSN store as well. Gamers deserve a second chance to experience this classic, if for no other reason than the fact that gamers can control Sephiroth and his planet-destroying awesomeness.

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Final Fantasy IV DS Lite Accessory Set Contest Results

Final Fantasy IV DS

Check out the review of this game.

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