Fire Emblem Sacred Stones Now on eShop

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During all the craziness of E3 Nintendo snuck Fire Emblem Sacred Stones onto the Wii U eShop. This is a good opportunity for anyone wishing to brush up on their FE skills before Fire Emblem Fates comes out.

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To help get your weekend started.

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It’s a Wonderful Fantasy Life

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Fantasy Life has been around for a while at this point. It was released two years ago in Japan and has been available since October in North America. But for whatever reason, I just never got around to playing it. Last month, I finally sat down, broke open the cellophane, and started my life in Reveria (the world in which Fantasy Life takes place). 150 gaming hours later, I can say with confidence that Fantasy Life is one of my favorite 3DS games to date!

The game been called a mini-MMORPG and that is a pretty fitting description. Gameplay mainly consists of players being given quests to battle monsters, gather items and craft various objects. You can do this by yourself or hop online to enlist the help of other players. I initially thought I would very quickly get bored of chopping down trees or killing zombie pirates. But the game’s seemingly never-ending to-do list is a micromanaging gamer’s wet dream. Whenever I got tired of hunting monsters or crafting furniture, I took a nice relaxing break and just do a little fishing. Flexibility is what makes Fantasy Life so great, along with some pretty funny game dialogue and an amazing sound track. Fantasy also takes advantage of the Miiverse on the 3DS, a feature I wish more titles on the Nintendo handheld would utilize. There is something to be said about quickly jumping over to Miiverse to show off a top quality sword you just crafted or a tough monster you and your trusty pet took down.

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As much as I enjoyed Fantasy Life the game is not without some drawbacks. The main story can easily be completed in a few hours leaving much of the world unexplored. Keep in mind, the developers expect players to try out different jobs which through leveling up those jobs will lead you to areas the main story quests have you pass over. Also, the game offers little in the way of challenge unless you purchase the DLC add-on. Which brings me to my last complaint…

The game cost $39.99 USD. The DLC add-on cost $9.99 USD. It stands to reason that if the DLC cost one quarter of the total cost, it should have content equaling a quarter of that found in the original game. The additional main story quest is very short- mostly dialogue between NPCs, and the new area feels underused aside from gathering materials used in the new crafting recipes.

Complaints aside, I love this game. The only reason I’m not still playing it on a daily basis is because Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is calling my name. I’m sure the success of Fantasy Life will prompt Level 5 and Nintendo to release a sequel. Maybe when that happens, it will be released at the same time internationally.  I wouldn’t hold my breath though.

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You’re Welcome

Congrats! The week is almost over, and for most of us that means in couple days, you can do the same thing all over again. Don’t get too depressed though, because I bring to you this amazing/ridiculous music video from Korean girl-group member, CL! You’re welcome.

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So Tasty!

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With all the great 3DS games that were announced at E3 it is almost easy to forget that Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate will be headed to the US early next year. Anyone that stopped by the Capcom booth at E3 can tell you that Capcom has not forgotten about MH4U. Attendees that wanted a chance to play the new Monster Hunter had quite a wait ahead of them, but were more then welcome to take their photo with a “life-size” model of the game’s flagship monster Gore Magala or try out Monster Hunter Freedom Unite on the Playstation Vita.

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Monster Hunter 4 has been out in Japan since fall of last year and has sold over 4 million copies so the question of a sequel was never in doubt. In the west, Monster Hunter titles are less of a sure thing so fans were ecstatic over the announcement that the new installment would receive an international release. Much like Monster Hunter Tri and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate will be an updated version of the game released last year. Some of the new features include the addition of 2 new weapons, new monsters, new locations, a greater emphasis on platforming and online play via the Nintendo Network.

MH4U is scheduled to be released in fall 2014 in Japan and early 2015 in the US. There is no official word if the Wii U will also see and HD version of the game as was the case with Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate or if Capcom’s MMO, Monster Hunter Frontier, will make its way to US consoles. Dare to dream Hunters!

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It is like someone read my mind

While maybe not the best looking trailer to come out of E3, this one is high on my list of favorites. I live in L.A. and this new Dead Island 2 trailer warms the cockles of my jaded, kale-fed heart.

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Nintendo’s E3 Digital Event Recap

This morning Nintendo live streamed their “E3” presentation showcasing their lineup of exciting new games, most of which won’t be out until 2015. The presentation was peppered with shorts from the team at Robot Chicken in order to remind viewers just how much fun Nintendo is and hopefully distract you from the absence of any 3rd party developers and how fucking old everyone at Nintendo Japan is.

Some of the bigger news is the new open world Zelda game currently in development on the Wii U and Nintendo’s own line of Skylander-esque toys that will communicate with select Wii U titles. A new Yoshi and Kirby game are slated for next year both featuring a colorful, arts & crafts-style art direction. Also next year, an 8-player shooter with kids that turn into squids called Splatoon and Toad staring in his own puzzle platformer will eventually make their way to Wii U consoles.

Slightly less bigger news is Monolith Soft’s upcoming Wii U title has been officially announced as the next installment of the Xenoblade series, Palutena has been added to the roster of fighters in the new Smash Bros. game and Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire showed off some new “Mega Evolutions.”

Despite be a lackluster year for Nintendo, a new MarioKart, Smash Bros. and Pokemon game should be enough to make most Nintendo fans happy. Now let’s just hope Nintendo(Wii U) gets their shit together so they don’t end up being the next Sega Dreamcast.

PS Did anyone else think Link looked extra feminine in the upcoming game? I would be super impressed if the new hero of Hyrule was a heroine, but then I remember it’s Nintendo and I lower my expectations.

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