With the release of Hyrule Historia so fresh in our minds, it’s wonderful to see the stellar guide to Hyrule’s past and present garnering so much attention. To tack on to the string of good news for the book, it has been recognized by Alex Carr, a books editor at Amazonblogs, as “One Legend to (Hy)Rule Them All.”
Today is a great day for video game fans in the United States: after over a year, the fervently anticipated and debated The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia is at last available in English (and, as of this writing, it’s currently #1 on our bestseller list in all of Books). Originally released in its native language in Japan, the oversized tome—a love letter to Hyrule, the fictional realm where much of the series takes place—was sought after, imported, scanned, and pored over worldwide by fans. At last, here it is in all its translated glory—fret not, Zelda fans. This one is worth all the hype. —Alex Carr, Amazon
It’s wonderful to hear companies like Amazon sing such high praise for this kind of quality material. While more devoted fans of the series no doubt recognize the caliber of this release, it’s surprising to see the efforts put into it by Dark Horse and Nintendo so widely appreciated. On the cusp of its success, hopefully Nintendo will begin to increase fan-gratifying efforts like these. If you’d like to read Alex Carr’s full review of Hyrule Historia, you can do so here.
The Zelda Reorchestrated team has yet to announce a date for the album's digital release, but you can subscribe to the Twilight Symphony mailing list to find out as soon as one is announced.
Past the jump, you’ll find a full review of Twilight Symphony followed by a closer examination of the tracks and Zelda Informer’s exclusive preview of this incredible album. Without further ado, let’s begin!
Jonathan Toyad of GameSpot has created an introspective on our favorite blue robot. In the video, he not only explains the history of the franchise and provides a great retrospective, but he explains why Mega Man became so popular in the first place and and managed to stay relevant throughout the years. Toyad takes a look at its bright, careful graphics and memorable tunes, among many other contributing factors. If you’re love the Blue Bomber or interested in getting started with the franchise, this video is a great way to spend ten minutes.
This review contains slight spoilers in the “Story” and “Music” sections. To read a spoiler-free version of this review, click here.
You’ve seen the First Impressions and the Progress Report. Now, after finishing the game, I’m here to bring you a definitive review of Paper Mario: Sticker Star, one of Nintendo’s newest big releases for the 3DS. Paper Mario: Sticker Star is not as deep as its predecessors, nor does it attach itself to the player as well, but Sticker Star is one of the most fun games released on a Nintendo console in a long time—perhaps even more entertaining to play than some of the earlier Paper Mario titles. Head past the jump to read the decisive review of Paper Mario: Sticker Star
It’s no secret the reception of ZombiU has had the appearance of a mixed bag. User reviews have scored the game, generally, significantly higher than the critical reviews. I was reading a piece thrown together at CoffeeWithBeans which examined the ZombiU fiasco first hand. The person who wrote the piece has completed ZombiU using 34 survivors and completed it in 24 hours, 40 minutes, and 10 seconds.
The reason such things get listed of course is to prove he actually beat the game. In the end, he tends to lean towards the customer side of things, but that’s really just one side of the whole story here. For those wondering, ZombiU has a GameRanking score of 77.22% based on 45 reviews (making it the 13th best Wii U title on the site… 13th!) and a 77 out of 100 on MetaCritic based on 62 reviews. Meanwhile, at Amazon it has a 4.5/5 rating based on 37 customer reviews while the game is north of 88% on Nintendo’s Wii U eShop ratings with over 2,000 people chiming in.
As you can see, the averages are extremely far apart. The worst part is what CoffeeWithBeans pointed out… that many of the critics reviews lack completion of the game, and some contain information that is outright wrong. I wont name specific sites, but they are pretty popular and well known entities that gamers place faith in. In fact, to date the only critical review that can be confirmed to have reached a completion in the game is Kotaku, who posted a screenshot of their playtime and survivors used. This leads a grander issue: Review Standards.
Last time in Musical Musings, we launched the series by taking a look at what made some of the earlier songs in Zelda games so great. Each time, Musical Musings explores three great songs, be they originals or remixes, and examines a crucial part of why we love our favorite games so damn much. This week is all about the fans and remixes recorded with live instruments. Electric, acoustic, and other beautiful covers grace this installment of Musical Musings, so head past the jump to hear some fantastic remixes of some of the best songs in gaming.
Paper Mario: Sticker Star is a game that starts out thoroughly underwhelming. Boring, even. Though the game does not get much better, per sé, in its later stages, it certainly becomes more entertaining. The verdict of my first impressions was that though a perfectly capable game in its own right—one of the 3DS’ current best titles, even—Sticker Star doesn’t shine in the wake of the last three Paper Mario titles.
The basis of this remains true: it is not as good. Every critical part of my brain recognizes that each of its predecessors surpasses Sticker Star in gameplay and story. But damn it all if this game isn’t outrageously fun.
Head past the jump to see a brief synopsis of how my thoughts have changed since last time.
I will make no secret here that my love for the Assassin’s Creed series runs deep. Take that for what you will, but as a fan of the series it probably adds a small bit of bias into the mix. Still, Assassin’s Creed III is not a flawless experience, though that is sort of the perfect word to describe what the game is: an experience. Whether or not it’s one worth your time will be highly dependent on the sort of gamer you are.
Assassin’s Creed III shows both the sheer scope of the series, mixed in with a bit of actual historical context, along with one of the best third party “ports” on the Wii U. We might as well get this out of the way right now: The game runs just as well on the Wii U as the other systems, both in single player and multiplayer. There are no noticeable frame rate issues, the graphical fidelity was not compromised, and in general the game is what it was intended to be when compared to any other version. So, Wii U fans can rest easy knowing that in Assassin’s Creed III they are getting the same quality everyone else got.
Still, that’s not what you readers want to know right? No, you want to know if this game is a game for you, and more importantly, if you’re new to the series, if it works well as an entry point.
Nearly six weeks ago now, I attended the Symphony of the Goddesses in Boston, Massachusetts, and at risk of sounding cliché, I can truly say I remember the night as though it were yesterday. This is due in part to the wonderful friends with whom I shared the experience, but our evening out isn’t what matters here. What matters here is the concert itself, and let me tell you, I’ve never seen anything like it.
Symphony of the Goddesses, for those unfamiliar, is a fully orchestral retelling of the history of Hyrule. Symphony of the Goddesses builds off the program established by the 25th Anniversary Symphony, introducing new tracks and an all-new cinematic component to compliment the music.
Head past the jump for a look at the program and more details about the incredible night.
So I’ve had a morning to fool around with what the Wii U offers as a system, and to say it’s definitely something I’ve never experienced before is selling it short. Unlike when the press initially got the Wii U I was able to mess around with everything: Online play, MiiVerse, the internet browser and more. The only thing that isn’t working right now out of the box is Nintendo TVii, but with Netflix, Amazing Video, and Hulu Plus all working we can all definitely afford to wait a few extra weeks for the extended On Demand service.
Out of the box, let me tell you that setting up the Wii U does take time. First, if you want online features, you will have to do a System Update, and how long it takes to do that update can vary. In general, it’s a 4 to 5 GB update, so for those with 5 GB limits on their monthly usage you may want to find a WiFi hotspot or use your neighbors internet. It will take awhile to download such a massive update, but in my opinion the update is essential. The updates don’t stop there: I had to update Netflix before use and yes, when I popped in Assassin’s Creed III I had to update that game as well. While that’s normally not a big deal, after 2 hours of updating features it did seem a bit annoying.
Full review after the jump.