Archive for the ‘Miiverse’ Category

Interview: Sniper Elite V2 Wii U – What about the DLC and Miiverse updates?

June 4, 2013
Excellent sniping spot! Behind the planes, behind a tank, and behind sandbags!

Coffee Beans
Sniper Elite V2 released a few weeks ago for the Wii U, and the description for the game on the Wii U’s eShop says, “You are elite US sniper, Karl Fairburne, sent behind enemy lines into besieged Berlin during the final moments of World War II. You uncover a horrifying plot which threatens to kill millions of civilians throughout Western Europe, and which would irreversibly change history as we now know it. Make every single bullet count or the world dies with you.”

If you don’t know, the game was originally developed by Rebellion and published by 505 Games for the PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 last year. The Wii U version currently has a MSRP of $59.99, and received an ESRB rating of “MATURE” with “Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language” listed as content for parents and gamers to be aware of.

I reached out to Rebellion and 505 Games with some questions about Sniper Elite V2 on the Wii U, such as will the game be updated to allow in-game pictures to be posted to its Miiverse community? Also, what about the DLC for the Wii U version? I did receive answers to these questions about the game, and a few more as well, so brew yourself some coffee and hit the jump to learn more about Sniper Elite V2 for the Wii U!

That’s not a camera lens view, and I doubt they would say “Cheese!”

The Brew
First up, Sniper Elite V2’s Miiverse community is active. Right after the game released, I saw some comments about players not being able to take in-game pictures and post them to the Miiverse community, as well as some Wii U owners wondering if the game will receive the DLC found in the other versions of the game released last year.

I asked specifically about the free multiplayer expansion pack that the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions have, and if there is any plan to make the DLC and online multiplayer mode(s) available for the Wii U version.

505 Games’ answer was very straightforward about the DLC. They said, “We currently do not have any plans for DLC.”

Some Wii U owners might not be happy about it, but many of those who have the game and are active in its Miiverse community really seem to be enjoying it, even despite it not having the DLC and multiplayer modes. Here are a few examples:

What about updating the game to make the Miiverse in-game picture functionality work though, like basically every other Wii U game? This question (along with the next) was sent directly over to Rebellion, and their CEO and Creative Director, Jason Kingsley, answered it with: “With the game just launched, it’s probably a bit early to talk about updates or new content yet!”

So, until the game is updated to take advantage of the Miiverse feature for in-game picture posting (or, if it never is), Wii U owners will have to draw their own Sniper Elite V2 X-Ray Kill Cam shots to share with friends and other Wii U owners, to show the cool effect from the game. Some have already done so, as you can see in the two images below.

Drawn by hand on the Wii U GamePad!

While Sniper Elite V2 on the Wii U might be missing out on some of the content found in the other versions, I did ask which version the Wii U port was based off of and if the Wii U version looks and runs better than the other console versions.

Mr. Kingsley replied, “We can’t really go into specifics, but all versions of Sniper Elite V2 are running off our powerful in-house engine – Asura – which is very adaptable. We even use it to power our mobile games. The game also runs at a higher resolution on Wii U than it does on Xbox 360 and PS3 due to the platform’s hardware strengths.”

Mr. Kingsley’s statement about the Wii U version running at a higher resolution does seem to be backed up by some in the Miiverse community, and from at least one comment it seems the Wii U version does not have a screen tearing issue found in the PlayStation 3 version; or, at least not as bad/noticeable.

Caffeinated Thoughts
I can sort of understand Rebellion not including the online multiplayer in the Wii U version, because the online community would probably be small (and it’s apparently almost non-existent now in the other versions from what I have read). I do think that Miiverse can help solve some online community aspects in games though, with players finding other Wii U owners to hop into online matches from Miiverse.

While they don’t have any plans to release the multiplayer, co-op, or DLC for the Wii U version right now, I am glad to know that Rebellion took the time to make the Wii U version run at a higher resolution.

If you missed the trailer for the Wii U version of Sniper Elite V2 released a few weeks back, you can see it below:

The day the Wii U trailer was released, I received a message from a friend who had not seen the trailer, and didn’t even know that Snipe Elite V2 was releasing on the Wii U. I found his message and the timing of it pretty ironic. Why did I find it ironic?

His message said that he was, “playing a cool Xbox game right now…V2 Sniper Elite.” Again, he had not seen the Wii U trailer, and we had not discussed the Wii U version prior to him messaging me. He described the game in the message as, “Tenchu Stealth Assassins meets Call of Duty“, and while I haven’t played Sniper Elite V2 I have played the other games he mentioned.

From some of the footage I have seen of the game and some of the comments I have read about the game since I received the message, I think his description of Sniper Elite V2 seems like a very good way to describe the game.

I have not played the game, but I am interested in it, and I think I would enjoy the Off-TV play feature the most from what I know about it on the Wii U. I do hope that Rebellion/505 Games at least take the time to update the Wii U version to take full advantage of Wii U specific features though, such as posting in-game images to its Miiverse community, and perhaps even adding alternative and custom control options to the game.

Questions
Have any of you had a chance to play Sniper Elite V2 on the Wii U, and if so, what do you think about the game? If you have played another version of the game, as well as the Wii U version, do you like the GamePad controls and the way they are implemented in the game?

You can order Sniper Elite V2 for the Wii U from Amazon.com below:

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STAY CALM! Wii U’s Miiverse details before launch, & all Wii U features and functionality ready at launch? Nintendo’s Bill Trinen and Scott Moffitt

October 27, 2012

Coffee Beans
Do you still have questions about the features and functionality of the Wii U?

There is now less than a month (21 days left, as of today!) before US shoppers can grab the Wii U from store shelves, and run home to play it. Nintendo of America just had another Nintendo Direct conference this week, on Thursday, that detailed games for the Nintendo 3DS system, but it provided no new information about the Wii U system or games for US consumers.

How does Miiverse work? What about the Wii U’s eShop games and details? Does the Wii U video chat feature function like the Wii Speak Channel? How about Wii U online multiplayer details? Will every Wii U system feature and functionality we know about be ready when the system launches?

These may be some questions about the Wii U you’re wondering about, as I am myself.

Brew yourself some coffee, and hit the jump to listen to Nintendo of America’s Bill Trinen’s statement about Miiverse being covered in “more detail”, and Nintendo of America’s EVP of Sales & Marketing Scott Moffitt’s response about the Wii U having all features and functionality “right at launch”!

The Brew
Here’s the video:

Nintendo’s Bill Trinen said at the Wii U Preview event in September, “…we’re gonna go into more detail on Miiverse in New Super Mario Bros. U and other games, as we get closer to launch.”, and apparently I can’t edit videos and type fast enough, because Mr. Iwata confirmed to investors over night that more details on Miiverse will be happening before the system launches, through a Nintendo Direct.

Time stamp on first video upload, hours before initial news was even known in US.

As for all of the Wii U’s features and functionality, Nintendo’s Scott Moffitt’s quote I was concentrating on in the clip was, “Making sure the system has all of its features and functionality right at launch.” The clip was taken from an interview he did with GamerLive.TV. (I believe GamerLive.TV has now shut down either temporarily, or maybe permanently; but make sure to check out their site and the rest of their Scott Moffitt video interviews on their YouTube Channel.)

Caffeinated Thoughts
For me, hearing Scott Moffitt say Nintendo learned from the 3DS’ launch that having all system features and functionality ready at launch is important, or to quote him directly again, “right at launch” with the Wii U, gives me hope that the Wii U will be 100% up and running on November 18th when it releases.

With the Wii, it took about 7 months in the US before the system had its first online multiplayer game, and the 3DS didn’t get the Netflix or the Nintendo Video services added to the system until a few months after it originally launched. I really do hope that Scott Moffitt is correct that Nintendo now understands how important it is to have everything ready when the system launches, and not weeks or months later; or, even years, like voice chat on the Wii took.

Nintendo has not started running Wii U advertisements in the US that I’m aware of, though they have in Europe. I’m thinking that perhaps they will detail all of the Wii U system’s features and functionality before they start TV advertising here in the US, which I imagine will start by the beginning of November at the latest. So, perhaps this Thursday, November 1st, we get another Nintendo Direct detailing Miiverse, online multiplayer, eShop, and other features and functionality that will be ready when the Wii U launches?

Perhaps this is when we learn that New Super Mario Bros. U will have online multiplayer? I know, I know, maybe that’s a little wishful thinking on my part?

Questions
Are there any questions that Nintendo hasn’t answered about the Wii U yet, that if answered would help you make a decision on trying to hunt one down on November 18th?

Are any of you perhaps on the fence, with the system already pre-ordered, but nervous that the details won’t come before the system launches, or that all the features won’t be ready at launch?

Check out Wii U related games below:

New Super Mario Bros. U to have online multiplayer? "Online Interactions Not Rated…"

October 15, 2012

Coffee Beans
Will New Super Mario Bros. U have some form of online multiplayer?

New Super Mario Bros. U will be releasing with the Wii U on November 18th, just over a month away now. Nintendo has not really detailed the Wii U’s online features, and hasn’t even really confirmed which Wii U launch games will feature any sort of online multiplayer, yet. We do know New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land, both Wii U launch titles, have Miiverse functionality; but Miiverse details have not been fully discussed by Nintendo either.

At the Wii U Preview on September 13th, Nintendo showed off two new game modes in New Super Mario Bros. U for the first time, those being the Boost Rush Mode and Challenge Mode. So, Nintendo had kept two new modes in New Super Mario Bros. U under wraps until the Wii U event, and nothing was said if either of those modes would have an online multiplayer function.

Why do I think New Super Mario Bros. U might have a form of online multiplayer, outside of just Miiverse communication? Brew yourself some coffee, and let’s take a look!

The Brew
Look at the two boxes for New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land in the image above. Do you notice anything significantly different between the them? If not, take another look.

So, why would one box have the text, and not the other if it is just talking about Miiverse? At the Wii U Preview event in September, Nintendo’s Bill Trinen said of Miiverse, “…we’re gonna go into more detail on Miiverse in New Super Mario Bros. U and other games, as we get closer to launch.”

Again, we know that both New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land have Miiverse functionality, according to Nintendo representatives’ statements and the official Nintendo fact sheets for both games:

If you are still haven’t spotted the difference on the boxes, look to the right of the ESRB’s “E” logo on NSMBU’s box. The small black text next to the ESRB rating says, “Online Interactions Not Rated by the ESRB“. Not just in English, but also in Spanish beneath it, “Les échanges en ligne ne sont pas classés par l’ESRB”.

The image below will show it more clearly than the image above:

Why does New Super Mario Bros. U’s box have that extra text, but Nintendo Land’s box doesn’t? The fact sheets for both game specify Miiverse functionality, so if the text is only for the Miiverse functionality in New Super Mario Bros. U, is it a lot different from what is being offered with Nintendo Land’s Miiverse functionality?

Caffeinated Thoughts
I think it’s interesting that both games feature Miiverse, and both boxes have the Nintendo Network logo on them, but only the NSMBU box has the text specifically about online interactions. Perhaps the Miiverse interactions allowed in New Super Mario Bros. U will be different from those allowed for Nintendo Land? Maybe Nintendo is trying to change the standard “online multiplayer” lingo, to a Wii U console specific “Online Miiverse” lingo for future marketing reasons?

If you haven’t seen any footage of New Super Mario Bros. U or Nintendo Land, you can see trailers for both games below:

Knowing how Nintendo has been pretty careful with what they are saying about the Wii U and even certain games being developed for it, gives me slight hope that they are preparing one last big Wii U online detail reveal. I hope they detail the key features of the system such as Miiverse, multiplayer, patching, eShop prices, accomplishments, the friend code situation, and things like video chat and voice chat features.

Having games to demonstrate the online functionality live, or even in a pre-recorded video, like New Super Mario Bros. U, I think would help cement buyers’ decisions, and perhaps even make the console more appealing to gamers currently sitting on the Wii U fence.

I hope that New Super Mario Bros. U features some form of online co-op, or even a Mario platforming multiplayer battle mode of some sort. Even if it doesn’t though, I already have NSMBU pre-ordered (for Bean 1), so we should be playing it together as a family this holiday season at the very least, and maybe even with some of you if there is online multiplayer of some sort in the game.

Questions
Do you think that Nintendo has perhaps kept online multiplayer for New Super Mario Bros. U a secret this entire time, waiting to tell us all about it when they detail more of the Wii U’s online capabilities and Miiverse features within the next few weeks? If you haven’t decided on buying a Wii U system yet, would New Super Mario Bros. U having online multiplayer help you make your decision?

Are there any Wii U online features that could still be revealed, helping to push you toward getting the system if you still aren’t sure about it?

If you are interested in either New Super Mario Bros. U or Nintendo Land, you can see links for them below: