| Wii Bad puns and video games since 1999. Sat, 23 Oct 2021 05:04:46 +0100 5 Sat, 23 Oct 2021 05:04:46 +0100 Metroid Prime 3 developer reveals scrapped open world plans

Early plans for Metroid Prime 3 featured a more open world and less-linear story, a former staff member at Retro Studios has revealed.

Bryan Walker, senior producer on Metroid Prime 2 and 3, said one concept would have seen Samus traverse environments in her ship in a "much more ambitious" way than we saw in the final game.

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]]> Mon, 04 Oct 2021 12:13:00 +0100 Tom Phillips
The 20 best Pokémon games of all time

Pokémon is more than just a series of core RPGs. Those are a major part of it, of course, but then so is the trading card game, and the anime, the movies, the cafés...

Even just within video games there's a huge range of weird and wonderful things to be played, from those legendary role-playing adventures, of course, to handheld recreations of arcade pinball, virtual photography expeditions, or edutainment CD-ROMs.

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]]> Thu, 16 Sep 2021 11:27:00 +0100 Chris Tapsell
Zelda: Skyward Sword - Empty Bottle locations: Where to get empty bottles explained

Empty bottles are useful items in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, because you can use them to carry around a variety of potions and other items.

There are five empty bottles in Skyward Sword and collecting them all will help you finish Link's quest. If you want to find them, however, you need to know the empty bottle locations.

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]]> Thu, 29 Jul 2021 11:15:00 +0100 Lottie Lynn
Zelda: Skyward Sword - Missing sister location: Where to find the missing sister explained

Finding the missing sister is one of the Gratitude Crystals side quests you can complete in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.

Completing this side quest will reward you with both five Gratitude Crystals and a very useful empty bottle, which you can use to carry a variety of potions and other items.

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]]> Thu, 29 Jul 2021 11:15:00 +0100 Lottie Lynn
Zelda: Skyward Sword - Party wheel location: How to get the party wheel for Fun Fun Island explained

Finding the party wheel's location is one of the Gratitude Crystals side quests you can undertake in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.

Completing this side quest will reward you with both five Gratitude Crystals and access to the Fun Fun Island mini-game, which, itself, can reward you with a Heart Piece.

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]]> Fri, 23 Jul 2021 14:52:00 +0100 Lottie Lynn
Zelda: Skyward Sword - Toilet paper and the haunted restroom: Where to find paper explained

The mystery behind the haunted restroom and its inhabitant's desire for toilet paper is one of the Gratitude Crystals side quests you can complete in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.

Unlike most of the Gratitude Crystals side quests, this one has two endings for you to choose from - do you give the Cawlin's letter to the haunted restroom or Karane?

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]]> Fri, 23 Jul 2021 14:20:00 +0100 Lottie Lynn
Nintendo leak reveals early Wii Remote ideas

Leaked images have revealed early ideas for Nintendo's iconic Wii Remote.

The concepts come from the same Nintendo "gigaleak" of information as many other recent revelations, as fans continue to sift through its treasure trove of data.

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]]> Wed, 21 Jul 2021 11:06:00 +0100 Tom Phillips
Zelda: Skyward Sword - Gratitude Crystals side quests, locations and rewards: How many Gratitude Crystals are there?

Gratitude Crystals are a type of collectible you can gather in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword after you find Kukiel and meet Batreaux for the first time.

You find these orange crystals by either completing Gratitude Crystals side quests or finding the Gratitude Crystals locations.

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]]> Tue, 20 Jul 2021 16:37:00 +0100 Lottie Lynn
Zelda: Skyward Sword - Find Kukiel: Where is Kukiel's location explained

Finding Kukiel is the first side quest you'll encounter in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.

Kukiel will go missing after you've completed the Skyview Temple and placed the Ruby Tablet within the Goddess Statue.

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]]> Mon, 19 Jul 2021 15:35:00 +0100 Lottie Lynn
Zelda: Skyward Sword walkthrough, story guide and tips

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword for the Nintendo Switch is a remake of the original game first released on the Nintendo Wii in 2011.

In Skyward Sword, you, of course, take the role of Link as he leaves his floating home of Skyloft to explore the surface world hidden beneath the clouds. Accompanied by the sword spirit Fi, you'll trek through a variety of dungeons in your quest to defeat a near-forgotten evil.

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]]> Fri, 16 Jul 2021 08:00:00 +0100 Lottie Lynn
Zelda: Skyward Sword - Adventure Pouch: How to upgrade the Adventure Pouch and the Item Check explained

The Adventure Pouch is a form of item storage unique to The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.

It ensures you can only bring a certain number of items on your adventure, which includes your shield and empty bottles. Thankfully, you can upgrade the Adventure Pouch.

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]]> Fri, 16 Jul 2021 08:00:00 +0100 Lottie Lynn
Zelda: Skyward Sword - Heart Pieces: Every Pieces of Heart location and Life Medals explained

Collecting Heart Pieces in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword will increase Link's health and help you survive the dangerous world of Hyrule.

You can also increase the health metre by earning Heart Containers and finding the two Life Medals.

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]]> Fri, 16 Jul 2021 08:00:00 +0100 Lottie Lynn
Zelda: Skyward Sword - Shield upgrades: How to unlock the Hylian Shield and the Wooden, Iron and Scared Shield explained

Shields in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword work differently when compared to ones in other Zelda instalments.

There must be room in your Adventure Pouch for your shield and there are three types to choose from - Wooden, Iron and Scared. Shields also have health metres and can be upgraded.

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]]> Fri, 16 Jul 2021 08:00:00 +0100 Lottie Lynn
Zelda: Skyward Sword - The Imprisoned boss battle strategies explained

The Imprisoned is one of two recurring bosses, alongside Ghirahim, which you'll have to defeat in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.

Your battles against The Imprisoned will always occur at the Sealed Grounds - the first place Link visits on the surface world - as it tries to make its evil way to the temple. It will break it's seal after you've completed the Lanayru Mining Facility, the Fire Sanctuary and defeat Bilocyte.

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]]> Fri, 16 Jul 2021 08:00:00 +0100 Lottie Lynn
Zelda: Skyward Sword - Ghirahim boss battle strategies explained

Ghirahim, the Demon Lord, is one of the two recurring bosses, the other being The Imprisoned, you'll face in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.

Like Link, Ghirahim is trying to find Zelda, but his intentions are definitely far more violent.

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]]> Fri, 16 Jul 2021 08:00:00 +0100 Lottie Lynn
Whatever happened to City of Metronome, the missing game by Little Nightmares developer Tarsier?

Downtown Los Angeles, 2005. A hot, bloated, extravagant E3, and everyone more excited than normal because it's new-console year. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Revolution (Wii) are all at the show, and anything labelled "next-gen" is stampeded. Perhaps that's how a group of Swedish students, with no publisher and no track record, manage to entice people to see their game.

But, there is something exciting about what they're doing. Their game is different, darker, and more off-beat than mainstream games usually are. It's set in a dark city of warped rooftops and gnarled horizons, a place run by a malicious Corporation and its mysterious world-building machine, powered, it seems, by the souls of children. Children sent back out to work in the city as mindless zombies dubbed metrognomes.

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]]> Sun, 11 Jul 2021 08:00:00 +0100 Robert Purchese
Skyward Sword is my favourite game and yes I have actually played other games

Skyward Sword is my favourite ever Zelda game and maybe just my favourite ever game. Clearly this is not a widespread notion, and I won't try to persuade you it's good if you don't already like it: Zelda fandom is a broad church, and I realise most people prefer the freedom to glide over to that mountain over there, or select mushrooms from a menu to drop in a pot. But Skyward Sword's whole vibe just works for me - as clear as a crush, as true as a laugh. Which is strange, because at first I thought it looked crap: too pale and twee, and there was this annoying shot in an early trailer of Zelda making a wet, adoring-anime-girl expression, beneath a fringe that looked like it'd been cut by a monk with a bowl.

But then I played the game, and it opens with the sight of two Loftwings flying to an island that floats in the sky. The music is lush and full and symphonic - even a bit Hisashi? A bit Laputa, a bit Nausicaa? - and then it goes quiet as we see Zelda, who begins to play a harp and sing. It's The Ballad of the Goddess (which is Zelda's Lullaby but backwards), and it's beautiful - sweet and true and somehow familiar, like a memory caught on the wind. And now I'm smitten. Actually her bangs look great. But she only gets two lines in before her Loftwing lands to take a letter to Link - her childhood friend, predictably asleep. A lazy link and a singing Zelda and an adventure that spilleth over with music and colour; with series-best dungeons and some brilliant bosses (the Koloktos fight!); with singing dragons and wiseguy moles and Moblins with animated nipple rings (?!). But also, with romance.

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]]> Sat, 05 Jun 2021 08:00:00 +0100 Omar Hafeez-Bore
The Queen's golden Wii is now up for sale - priced $300,000

The Queen's golden Wii is now up for sale on eBay - priced $300,000 (£216,000).

Nearly a decade ago, video games publisher THQ thought up a clever PR stunt for its latest Wii game, Big Family Games.

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]]> Wed, 28 Apr 2021 13:55:00 +0100 Wesley Yin-Poole
Music Week: A Hero's Journey

Next up in Music Week we're bringing you this lovely piece from 2011, all about the various leitmotifs that pull together a true gaming great.

London, October 2011. Thousands are crowded into the Hammersmith Apollo, one of the city's most famous theatrical venues, to hear a concert of music commemorating the 25th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda. It's an emotional night. Host Zelda Williams recalls how much the series she was named after meant to her growing up, and her voice audibly cracks at the memory. As Koji Kondo plays a delicate piano solo of Grandma's Theme from The Wind Waker, grown men can be seen dabbing their eyes. Kondo rises from his seat and the audience stands, too, applauding wildly, a number of them clad in the familiar green tunic, tights and pointed hat of their hero.

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]]> Mon, 08 Mar 2021 14:00:00 +0000 Chris Schilling
The Legend of Zelda turns 35 years old

Nintendo's beloved adventure series The Legend of Zelda has turned 35 years old.

Fans around the world celebrated the anniversary online this weekend, though Nintendo itself has remained silent.

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]]> Mon, 22 Feb 2021 09:33:00 +0000 Tom Phillips
After tens of thousands of attempts, Mario Kart fan finally pulls off Rainbow Road "ultra shortcut"

Getting good at Mario Kart involves learning all the shortcuts: the ones Nintendo hides just out of view behind trees or waterfalls, and which might give you a small edge on your rivals as the finish line nears. But there's another class of shortcut altogether - ones dubbed "ultra shortcuts" by fans keen to break Mario Kart as much as possible by performing crazy stunts Nintendo had never intended.

Ultra shortcuts require frame-perfect timing, or knowledge of hidden geometry which bestows weird effects. And while you can pull these off using tool-assisted gameplay, the holy grail has been to achieve them manually. It just takes practice, and many, many attempts.

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]]> Thu, 14 Jan 2021 16:38:00 +0000 Tom Phillips
How a visually impaired streamer hunts shiny Pokémon

Shiny hunting is a task only the most dedicated Pokémon players dare undertake. Shiny Pokémon are an incredibly rare phenomenon, identical to their regular counterparts in all but colour. In pre-internet times, they were nothing more than a playground myth, but nowadays self-confessed "shiny hunters" spend hundreds of hours hatching eggs to the extent they even have representation in the anime.

As with all things, many dedicated players livestream their hunts to legions of avid fans. Tony Olabode, better known on Twitch and YouTube as Saiyan4414, is one such streamer. He mostly hunts legendary Pokémon, which involves resetting the game after encountering the Pokémon for hours on end, because each time there is a 1/4000 chance for it to be shiny. It's a test of patience for any player, but for Tony, it's also a test of skill. Tony is partially sighted, so while he can see some shapes, he struggles to read the game's text and make out colours - especially when a shiny Pokémon doesn't look that different from its regular counterpart.

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]]> Mon, 02 Nov 2020 10:41:00 +0000 Ben Sledge
Shakedown: Hawaii coming out on the Wii and the Wii U

Here's something you don't hear often these days: the announcement of a port for the Wii and the Wii U. But that's exactly what Vblank Entertainment has done.

Open-world action game Shakedown: Hawaii, which launched in May 2019, will soon come out on the 14-year-old Wii and the eight-year-old Wii U - both on disc. Both versions include all of the currently released content and feature updates, designer Brian Provinciano said in a blog post, as well as the ability to play in 4:3 on your old CRT televisions.

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]]> Sat, 27 Jun 2020 13:59:00 +0100 Wesley Yin-Poole
Xenoblade Chronicles on Nintendo Switch sells double Wii original

The new Nintendo Switch version of Xenoblade Chronicles has doubled the game's original launch sales on Wii.

Monolith Soft's Definitive Edition re-release of the game debuted in first place within this week's UK boxed game charts.

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]]> Mon, 01 Jun 2020 11:29:00 +0100 Tom Phillips
Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition - how much of an upgrade is it?

In 2011, role-playing fans banded together to fight for the Western release of three games on Nintendo's Wii console - The Last Story, Pandora's Tower and Xenoblade. It was known as Operation Rainfall - and, astonishingly, it worked. All three games got English language releases but it was Xenoblade - renamed Xenoblade Chronicles in the West - that found the greatest success. Sequels followed for both Wii U and Switch, but now the original is back - remastered and updated for Nintendo's current-gen system. It's called the Definitive Edition, but just how much of an upgrade do you get?

Perhaps by default, the Definitive Edition delivers the best Xenoblade experience. It's using more modern rendering techniques, there's a fully remastered soundtrack, additional content and a revamped user interface. Technologically speaking, it's built on the same engine that delivered Xenoblade Chronicles 2 for Switch, with some minor graphical tweaks. First impressions are solid, but as it shares the same tech as the sequel, this also means that the game inherits some of its less impressive aspects, principally image quality. The game is rather soft, even compared to a typical Switch release.

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]]> Thu, 28 May 2020 11:56:00 +0100 John Linneman