Archive for the ‘Nintendo’ Category

Interview: Ripstone on Pure Chess Wii U & 2DS/3DS release plans, cross-platform play, & more! (Part 2)

September 13, 2013


Coffee Beans
Last week, I published the first part of an interview I had with Ripstone’s Phil Gaskell regarding Pure Chess that will soon be heading to the Wii U and 3DS systems. In the first part of the interview, we covered whether Pure Chess has real-time online multiplayer, how many “Play By Mail” games the Wii U and 3DS versions will have compared to the PlayStation 3 version, and if either the Wii U or 3DS version would feature Trophies like what are in the PlayStation 3 version.

I also had the chance to ask what chess fans in general might enjoy about the game, and what features should appeal the most to them. You can read the first part of the it, “Interview: Ripstone on Pure Chess Wii U & 3DS – Trophies, Multiplayer, & More“, HERE.

Now, are there any plans on releasing Pure Chess outside of European and North American eShops, perhaps in Japan and Australia? Is there any plan to update the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita versions of Pure Chess to allow cross-platform play?

Brew yourself some coffee, and find out the answers to those questions and a few more, below!

The Brew
CoffeeWithGames (CWG): While Pure Chess is currently scheduled for release before the end of the year, being that Ripstone and VooFoo are both in the United Kingdom, will the game see a simultaneous release on both the European and North American eShops?
Phil Gaskell (PG): There are some internal processes that the games with go through at both NOE (Nintendo of Europe) and NOA (Nintendo of America) so we’ll be trying to keep the launches as close together as we can, but there may be a few days between.

CWG: Is there any plan on releasing Pure Chess Wii U and 3DS in Japan, or is it just currently planned for just Europe and North America (Australia too)?
PG: Right now the plan is to launch in Europe and North America. Translating the game into Chinese, Japanese, and other languages can take time so we’ll look at taking the game over into territories like Asia and South America later.

CWG: The pricing structure of the mobile version really offers chess players some awesome choices, will the Wii U and 3DS versions of Pure Chess have a tiered pricing structure like the mobile version, or will it just be the “COMPLETE GAME PACK” option when those versions launch?
PG: The Wii U version will feature a similar tiered DLC approach to the PS3 and PS Vita versions. So gamers can expect to get the basic fully-featured game for a great price, and will be able to download optional chess sets. We’re also exploring bundling options so we can offer the great value complete pack at some point too.

CWG: Is there any plan to update the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita versions of Pure Chess to allow cross-platform play?
PG: We thought getting the big console platforms to open up and agree to cross-platform play would be difficult. We actually found it incredibly easy when we spoke to Nintendo, but it’s going to be different from company to company. Sony are being equally open to the suggestion but as you can imagine, it’s a busy time there with the launch of the new console. We’re still discussing the feature with them and if they allow it rest assured we’ll patch it in.

Caffeinated Thoughts
While Ripstone is thrilled about the upcoming Wii U price drop and new 2DS system (as am I), I am glad to see Ripstone and VooFoo supporting both Nintendo systems with Pure Chess. The fact they approached Nintendo with the idea of cross-platform play, and Nintendo not only said yes to the Wii U and 3DS cross-platform play, but also yes for allowing it with the Android/iOS version I think is awesome and really surprised me. I have been hearing more of how Nintendo is really trying to change the way they work with developers on their systems and listen to feedback, and I think this is just one more big example of Nintendo moving forward in a positive way.

If you missed my Caffeinated Thoughts post on Pure Chess’ mobile version yesterday, you can read it HERE. While I will continue playing the mobile version, I do plan on buying the Wii U version of Pure Chess when it releases for the system, and I will probably at that point buy the Multi-Game Upgrade option for the mobile version.

If you want to enjoy the mobile version of Pure Chess until the Wii U and/or 3DS version releases, you can download Pure Chess for your Android/iOS devices:
App Store version, HERE.
Google Play store version, HERE.
Amazon App store version, HERE.

My Ripstone ID is CoffeeWithGames, for those of you that might enjoy playing chess matches online.

I would like to thank Ami and Phil at Ripstone for their time and helping me get this interview together. I hope that it helped bring some attention to Pure Chess in a fun way, perhaps even to some of you that didn’t know much/anything about it.

As always, if any of you have any questions about Pure Chess that perhaps weren’t asked/answered here, feel free to ask me in the comments below or by sending me an email at: Scott(@)CoffeeWithGames.com.

Questions
Are any of you surprised, as I was, that Ripstone found it “incredibly easy” when talking with Nintendo about getting the cross-platform feature implemented in the Wii U and 3DS versions?

If you haven’t tried out the mobile or PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Vita version of Pure Chess already, are any of you planning on buying Pure Chess for the Wii U and/or 3DS when it releases later this year?


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Call of Duty: Ghosts Trailer – Updated Wii U GamePad Version

September 12, 2013

Coffee Beans
Earlier this week, Activision released an “Official Call of Duty: Ghosts Single Player Campaign Trailer“.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with Call of Duty: Black Ops II on the Wii U, as you can see herehere, and here, and I’m looking forward to seeing how some of the changes, like sliding, in Ghosts might change up gameplay and strategy in online multiplayer.

While Call of Duty: Ghosts will be releasing for the PC, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on November 5th, I am most interested in the Wii U version of the game. Why?

Well, there are multiple reasons, but the biggest reasons are Call of Duty: Ghosts’ Wii U GamePad Off-TV Play feature, free online multiplayer, and the optional Wii Remote and Nunchuk controls for when my GamePad battery gets low.

I have updated the “Official Call of Duty: Ghosts Single Player Campaign Trailer”, to show how I will most likely spend the majority of my time playing the game, showing the trailer on just the Wii U GamePad.

Brew yourself some coffee, and watch my updated Wii U version below!

The Brew

If you watched the original trailer, and my Wii U version of Call of Duty: Ghosts’ latest trailer, you probably noticed I also updated the very end of it with some of the features Nintendo could use to help advertise the Wii U version of the game this holiday season.

While it is unclear still if Call of Duty: Ghosts on the Wii U will receive any DLC, being that I have never downloaded any DLC for any game (none that I can remember anyway), it isn’t a huge issue for me, even though I do hope Nintendo will help get any DLC for Ghosts to the Wii U as well.

Questions
Are any of you planning on buying Call of Duty: Ghosts when it releases this year, and if so, which version are you planning on buying?

Also, do any of you think Nintendo should use the Wii U’s “free online multiplayer” as a selling point for the system and games on it this holiday season, considering both the newer consoles will charge for online multiplayer?

You can pre-order Call of Duty: Ghosts from Amazon.com below, and get release day delivery by selecting “Two-Day Shipping” when checking out:

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Dear Mr. Iwata, Please fix this Nintendo of America problem…

September 6, 2013

Coffee Beans
There are some people in the video game industry that like to place all the blame for Nintendo’s current financial and Wii U situation on Mr. Iwata, the current CEO of Nintendo Company and now CEO of Nintendo of America as well. Some of those people deny that employees and management in other regions for Nintendo, like at Nintendo of America for example, might actually be part of Nintendo’s overall problem as well though.

There is currently one Nintendo problem though, directly related to Nintendo of America’s region, that I don’t think Mr. Iwata made and might not even be aware that the problem exists. At least, I don’t think he would have made this decision, based on one of his own more recent comments. It is a problem that Mr. Iwata now as CEO of Nintendo of America can hopefully address and get fixed though, for consumers and Nintendo investors.

What problem do I think Mr. Iwata as CEO of Nintendo of America should fix? Brew yourself some coffee, and keep reading to see!

The Brew
Dear Mr. Iwata,

When Nintendo launched the Wii U this past holiday season, it was first available in the United States. I was the first person to pre-order the Wii U at my local GameStop the day they opened up pre-orders on the system, and I have enjoyed my Wii U system and the games I have played on it so far.

What I don’t understand though is why Nintendo of America has made the decision to not have the Wii U console available for consumers to buy DIRECTLY at its MSRP from Amazon.com, the world’s largest online retailer.

If more and more U.S. consumers are doing holiday shopping online and shopping online in general, I think that Nintendo of America would have wanted the Wii U to be available DIRECTLY from the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon.com, during its first holiday season. Unfortunately though, it appears that an employee at Nintendo of America kept that from happening.

Amazon’s website for the United Kingdom sold the Wii U consoles DIRECTLY at launch, and still does. Amazon’s website for Japan sold the Wii U consoles DIRECTLY to consumers at launch, and still does. Amazon’s website for France sold Wii U consoles DIRECTLY to consumers at launch, and still does. Even Amazon’s website for Canada sold Wii U consoles DIRECTLY to consumers at launch, and still does.

A picture says a thousand words? Sometimes, this one is an example
of the current Wii U Amazon. situation though.

Amazon.com was the only major online retailer in the United States of America to not offer pre-orders or online purchasing of the Nintendo Wii U system this last holiday season. Still as of today (09/06/2013), Amazon in the United States does not DIRECTLY carry and sell the Nintendo Wii U to consumers at its MSRP. The Wii U system is only available from third-party vendors on Amazon in the U.S.A.

Even the new The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD Deluxe Wii U Console Set is not available for pre-order or being sold directly from Amazon.com in the U.S., but Amazon in Canada is now taking pre-orders on it.

Nintendo of America has now missed out on almost a complete year of Wii U sales and advertising on Amazon.com. Giving up basically an entire year+ of sales on the world’s largest online retailer in Nintendo’s most important home console region, before the other consoles have even launched this holiday season, doesn’t make common sense to me, much less business sense to me.

It isn’t just the Nintendo Wii U Amazon.com doesn’t carry and sell directly though, as the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS, and Nintendo Wii systems have not been carried and sold at their MSRPs directly by Amazon.com in the U.S.A. for almost the last 2 years. I doubt right now that even the new Nintendo 2DS will be carried and sold by Amazon.com when it releases next month. This also extends beyond just Nintendo’s consoles though, as Amazon.com does not even directly carry and sell the Nintendo eShop and/or Nintendo DSi/Wii Shop cards to consumers. What does this mean?

Sony has their PlayStation Network Cards and Microsoft has their Xbox LIVE  digital cards being sold on Amazon.com, and those digital cards from Sony and Microsoft have remained in the “Top 100” section of the “Best Sellers in Video Games” for more than a year now in most cases, helping both companies to sell digital content from their online stores. Nintendo hasn’t been doing that, for AT LEAST the last 2 years. Nintendo has apparently given up selling Wii U/3DS and Wii and DSi eShop cards to consumers on Amazon.com, and has therefore given up many digital sales that would translate from those cards being sold online.

Digital cards from Microsoft and Sony sold directly by Amazon.com ,
but not Nintendo eShop cards. Why?

Instead of grandparents, parents, husbands, wives, aunts, uncles, cousins, boyfriends, girlfriends, friends, etc., having the opportunity to buy Nintendo eShop cards as birthday gifts and holiday gifts for the Nintendo Wii U and Nintendo 3DS owners, Nintendo doesn’t give them a good option for that on Amazon.com. Instead of consumers being able to go to Amazon.com, finding a Nintendo eShop card at MSRP on somebody’s Wish List and buying it for them as a gift, Nintendo has completely given up that side of potential digital retail sales to its competitors, and that is very odd to me.

I think that Nintendo has seen how important digital sales can be, and how profitable they are as well. Which is probably why Nintendo is now doing many more Nintendo Wii U eShop promotions, such as the upcoming The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD early Wii U eShop download starting on September 20th.

So, why wouldn’t Nintendo of America and Nintendo in general have the Nintendo eShop cards on the world’s largest online retailer for consumers to buy? I think just as importantly though, if not more so, is if Mr. Iwata does not want to publish Nintendo developed games on the other consoles offered by Microsoft and Sony, then Mr. Iwata should make sure to keep Nintendo’s own consoles in front of as many consumers as possible.

Again, why would Nintendo of America, or even Nintendo in general, not want to have the world’s largest online retailer selling Nintendo systems directly to consumers at their MSRPs? It doesn’t make any sense to me, especially if we are concerned about the long-term future and profits of Nintendo overall.

Which the last point is why don’t I believe that you, Mr. Iwata, made the decision to cut ties with Amazon.com and not sell Nintendo systems in the U.S.A. directly from the world’s largest online retailer to consumers at the MSRPs, in what has been Nintendo’s strongest market for home consoles in recent years.

Mr. Iwata, you recently told ComputerAndVideoGames in an interview that you didn’t want to concentrate just on Nintendo’s short-term profits, but instead you are responsible for the long-term future of Nintendo as well. I would agree, and that’s why I’m writing this directly to you.

If cutting ties with Amazon.com and not selling Nintendo consoles and eShop cards was a decision for the immediate short-term finances, it MIGHT make some sense, depending on the reason(s) behind the decision. But, if you are the Nintendo employee that has decided to not actively sell Nintendo eShop cards on Amazon’s sites around the world though, can you please explain that decision?

Does not having all current Nintendo systems and Nintendo eShop cards sold directly to consumers at MSRPs by the world’s largest online retailer make sense for the long-term future and profits of Nintendo? I don’t think so, unless you think that Amazon.com isn’t going to be around in 5-10 years, or that fewer consumers will be spending money on online purchases.

Whichever employee at Nintendo decided to cut ties with Amazon.com and not have Nintendo’s Wii U and 3DS systems, and even the Nintendo eShop cards as well, sold directly from Amazon.com at their MSRPs, I think has done more financial harm than good for the company.

It makes no sense to me, with more and more consumers making purchases online, to have your most important region in recent years for home console sales, the United States, not offering the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS systems (and Nintendo eShop cards) directly from the world’s largest online retailer at their MSRPs.

The current President of Nintendo of America, Mr. Fils-Aime, is aware of the Amazon.com situation, though he did not provide any details as to why the United States of America is the only country where Amazon’s website does not directly sell Nintendo systems and Nintendo eShop cards at MSRPs to consumers, when he was asked about it last year.

If you, Mr. Iwata, were the one that made the decision to cut ties with Amazon.com before the Wii U launched and apparently shortly after the Nintendo 3DS launched, can you please explain to investors why you think this is a smart decision for the long-term future and profits of Nintendo? If you weren’t the Nintendo employee that made this decision, can you please let investors know which employee made this decision and have them explain why it was made?

If you didn’t make this decision and are going to try and fix it now that you are aware of it, contacting Amazon.com’s CEO directly, Mr. Bezos, might be the best solution to finding out what exactly happened and why.

Mr. Iwata if you can fix the current Amazon.com situation in the United States and get Nintendo systems and Nintendo eShop cards on the site, I’m guessing there would be thousands of consumers (if not millions) to add them to their Amazon.com Wish Lists and/or purchase them this holiday season as gifts. Maybe you can even take it a step further, and allow developers to sell eShop codes for their games directly on Amazon.com, like what Nintendo has done for some Wii Virtual Console games in the past.

So, in short:
Dear Mr. Iwata,

Please fix this Nintendo of America problem with Amazon.com and get Nintendo systems and Nintendo eShop cards sold directly from the site at MSRPs, for consumers and Nintendo investors.

Sincerely,
Scott Mullins

Caffeinated Thoughts
I don’t understand why Nintendo of America has apparently chosen to burn its console bridge with Amazon.com, especially considering they had a new console release last year. While Microsoft and Sony both have been using Amazon.com to promote pre-orders for their new consoles and games releasing this holiday season, and their digitial promotion cards remain in the “Top 100”, it seems like Nintendo of America is happy with consumers having fewer places to buy and see their products.

So, Nintendo of America had the worst Wii U launch ads, had the horribly run Best Buy E3 Wii U events speaking from experience, and doesn’t have Nintendo systems and Nintendo eShop cards being sold at MSRPs directly by the world’s largest online retailer?

Why? Maybe they need more coffee at Nintendo of America? Maybe they need to hire more staff? Maybe the staff needs to work less, and perhaps could use some vacation time? Whatever the case is, something seems off at Nintendo of America to me, and I’m not sure how aware of the situation Mr. Iwata is, being that he just became CEO of Nintendo of America this year.

Hopefully though, this issue will be fixed before this holiday season, and hopefully before the Wii U price drop later this month. If this is an issue you would like to see Mr. Iwata and/or management at Nintendo of America address, feel free to tweet this post to @Nintendo and @NintendoAmerica.

Questions
Do you think Mr. Iwata was the Nintendo employee that made this decision regarding the relationship between Nintendo of America and Amazon.com, or do you think it was another employee at Nintendo?

If you enjoy shopping online, as I do, do you think Nintendo of America should fix the problem with Amazon.com before this holiday season, or at the very least explain to consumers and Nintendo investors why Amazon.com is the only Amazon site (that I’m aware of) to not directly carry and sell Nintendo systems at MSRPs to consumers, only having third party vendors that do it?


Links to some Nintendo items sold on Amazon.com, but not DIRECTLY BY Amazon.com:


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Mutant Mudds Deluxe, easy enough for kids, hard enough for parents? One big difference between the PC and Wii U versions.

June 14, 2013
Not all images are from Mutant Mudds, but one is inspired by it.

Coffee Beans
Mutant Mudds Deluxe released today on the Wii U and is available to purchase from the eShop for $9.99. The game was developed and published by Renegade Kid, and has an ESRB rating of “EVERYONE” with “Mild Fantasy Violence” listed as content for parents and gamers to be aware of.

I purchased the PC version of Mutant Mudds last year when it released, and you can read some of my impressions of that version HERE. Bean 1 (our oldest son) started playing the PC version, after watching me play it, and considering his age he is pretty good at the game using mouse and keyboard controls.

I was planning on buying the Wii U version today so he could play it with a more standard controller and button layout (like what he’s used to with the Mario games); plus, I really enjoyed the PC version and wanted to play the new levels added to the Wii U version.

I saw that Renegade Kid was doing a contest giving away copies of the Wii U game. It was a drawing/art contest, but they even made it possible for a “non-artist” like myself to be able to enter, giving us an option to create a digital image or collage using existing images.

Did we win one of the contest giveaways? Brew yourself some coffee, and hit the jump to see the image I created (if you missed it already) for the contest, and a video of Bean 1 playing one of the levels in Mutant Mudds Deluxe on the Wii U!

The Brew & Caffeinated Thoughts
The image above was the one I created for the contest, using an image from Mutant Mudds as inspiration. Instead of having Max in it though, I decided to involve the Beans, and make it like they were sucked into Max’s world.

Yes, the Sacky Sit-Sits have taken the form of Bean 2, because he has inspired them with the muddy mess he makes along the way. Or, that was the idea, and Bean 1 has to clean up the mess while tracking down his younger brother.

Were we one of the winners though? We were!

Now, is Mutant Mudds Deluxe fun for the entire family, as the first image above says? Well, Bean 1 and I have both enjoyed our time with the game today. If you enjoy the platforming genre, or think you might enjoy the game, I do recommend you give this one a try.

Bean 1 was super excited to play it, and had been looking forward to the Wii U version after watching the trailer several times over the last week. Is Bean 1 any good at it? Here’s a video of him playing through the first level in Mutant Mudds Deluxe:


Some of the levels in Mutant Mudds Deluxe are easy enough for kids to complete on their own, as the first image says, but many are challenging enough to probably require the help of a parent. Bean 1 is able to finish some of the levels without trouble, as you can witness in the video above, but in other levels he does request help.

One big difference between the PC version of Mutant Mudds and Mutant Mudds Deluxe Wii U is the timer in each level. The PC version has a timer that just keeps track of how long it takes you to finish a level, so you can spend 10 minutes in the levels hopping around if you want. The Wii U version of Mutant Mudds Deluxe has a timer that counts down though, and when it runs out you have to start the level over (or, at the last check point).

Having the timer count down makes Mutant Mudds Deluxe like the original Super Mario Bros. games, where each level had a timer counting down and you need to reach the end before it reaches “0:00”. I think the timer might be a good thing though, as it might help Bean 1 to concentrate more on the task at hand of finishing the levels, but I’m not sure if it will be too challenging for him in some of the later stages.

Now, if Renegade Kid patches the Wii U version in the future, I think adding a “Timer Off” option, like turning off the check points is an option, might be a good thing to include.

Questions
Have any of you picked up Mutant Mudds Deluxe already, and if so, what do you think about it?
If you own a Wii U and haven’t purchased Mutant Mudds Deluxe yet, and perhaps have some questions about it, feel free to leave them below!

Animal Crossing: City Folk, how much has it been played? Official Nintendo Channel data report

June 11, 2013
Tom Nook should be used in Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U, he could rob
you of your health as he does of bells in the Animal Crossing games.

Coffee Beans
The Animal Crossing games seem to follow the Mario Kart games formula, that formula being where only one game from the series is released per console. Animal Crossing: New Leaf just released for the Nintendo 3DS in the U.S. this week, and is the first 3DS Animal Crossing game. Before jumping to the trailer for the new 3DS game, we’re looking at Tom Nook’s Wii outing.

Animal Crossing: City Folk released for Wii on November 16, 2008. The game was developed by Nintendo’s EAD studio, and it received an ESRB rating of “EVERYONE” with “Comic Mischief” listed as content for parents and gamers to be aware of.

If you own a Wii, or even a Wii U because of its backwards compatibility with Wii games, you can now get Animal Crossing: City Folk for under $20 as a Nintendo Selects title. How many hours might you expect from the game if you have never played it though? Brew yourself some coffee, and let’s take a look at the official U.S. Wii Nintendo Channel data to get an idea!

The Brew
Animal Crossing: City Folk now has approximately 456,147 U.S. Wii owners who have 38,477,386 Total Hours of game-play reported, with about 1,667 days possibly reported. The number of U.S. Wii owners with reported data has increased by just over 150,000 since July 2010, and over 80,000 since May 2011. The Total Hours reported have increased by over 15 million since July 2010, and over 9 million since the 2011.

City Folk players have averaged a total 84 Hours 22 Minutes “Per person” of play time with the game, which averages out to be 1 Hour 59 Minutes played per time reported. Its average reported “Per person” has seen an increase of 6 Hours 9 Minutes, from what was reported in May 2011.

Wouldn’t K.K. Slider be good in Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U?
He could have a guitar “smash” special move.

How does Animal Crossing: City Folk’s total hours “Per person” compare to other popular Nintendo Wii games? The 84 Hours 22 Minutes “Per person” actually makes Animal Crossing: City Folk one of the Wii’s most played games in that category. It has a higher reported average “Per person” than games like Super Mario Galaxy, Mario Kart Wii, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and even Super Smash Bros. Brawl!

How was the game received by critics and customers though? The game has a “professional” critic review score average of 73.54%, based on 48 reviews on GameRankings.com. Its customer review score average is currently an 82.70%, based on 288 reviews from Amazon.com for both the regular and Nintendo Selects listings of the game.

Caffeinated Thoughts
I have said before that I purchased Animal Crossing: City Folk because the bundle that included the Wii Speak microphone was discounted when I did, and I wanted the Wii Speak peripheral to use for The Conduit’s online multiplayer. I didn’t think I would really enjoy Animal Crossing very much, but was really surprised by it.

If Animal Crossing: New Leaf is anything like Animal Crossing: City Folk on the Wii, then it should provide you with many, many hours of game-play fun. You have the option to buy the 3DS game either in a digital format, or you can purchase a physical copy of it. There was even a recent post and discussion about this, Animal Crossing – the Digital Push, by a guy that doesn’t complete very many games.

If you haven’t seen anything on Animal Crossing: New Leaf, here’s the launch trailer for the game:

While the digital version might make sense for some, if you base your expected average play time with the new 3DS game, off of the Wii version’s reported data, getting a physical copy might make more sense. Why? Looking again at the average time City Folk has been played per session, it’s nearly 2 hours per session. I doubt I would care about having another game in my 3DS, if I’m dedicating so much time on one like Animal Crossing. This is the type of game, from my experience with it, that can take over your system and not leave the disc drive/cartridge slot for weeks at a time.

We haven’t played Animal Crossing on the Wii in a while, and as of now it’s in retirement on our game shelf, but Mrs. Coffee does get interested in it randomly, so I never know when it’s coming back out of retirement. Also, if you saw the image captions above, it’s because Nintendo revealed a new Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U character from the Animal Crossing games today in their E3 Nintendo Direct. I think K.K. Slider, Tom Nook, and even Brewster could be very interesting and fun characters for Super Smash Bros., and knowing how Nintendo is doing DLC in some games now, perhaps Super Smash Bros. will get DLC characters after it releases?

The Nintendo DS game released in 2005, and while the Wii released in 2006, City Folk wasn’t released on it until 2008. So, if you’re only a Wii/Wii U owner interested in the series, buying City Folk now might make sense when looking at the series’ release history. Seeing how much Animal Crossing: City Folk has been played and enjoyed by Wii owners though, makes me wonder if Nintendo will release an Animal Crossing Wii U title, sooner than later.

If you’re interested in winning The Humble Bundle 8 games, as mentioned in the data image above, simply like this post on Facebook, HERE, to get an entry!

Questions
Are you a Nintendo 3DS owner that has perhaps recently purchased Animal Crossing: New Leaf for the system? If you had never played the series before, what do you think about it?

If you own Animal Crossing: City Folk are you still playing it, or has it been retired to your video game shelf?

You can see Animal Crossing related games and products to buy from Amazon.com linked below:

Interview: Sniper Elite V2 Wii U – What about an eShop digital version, demo, and reasons to play this version?

June 9, 2013
Do armor-piercing rounds work on this, really?

Coffee Beans
Did you know that Sniper Elite V2 on the Wii U runs at a higher resolution than the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions, due to the Wii U’s hardware strengths? If not, you can read where Rebellion’s CEO and Creative Directory, Jason Kingsley, said it in the first interview about the game posted up last week, HERE.

Sniper Elite V2 released last month for the Wii U on May 21st, and it received an ESRB rating of “MATURE” with “Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language” listed as content for parents and gamers to be aware of. If you’re looking to buy the game, you should be able to find it now on sites like Amazon.com and in stores like GameStop.

What if you’re a Wii U Deluxe Set owner and like downloading your games to take advantage of the Deluxe Digital Promotion though? While there isn’t a Wii U eShop digital version yet, I did ask 505 Games about it, as well as if they are planning a demo for the game. Brew yourself some coffee, and read on to find out those details as well as what features Wii U owners might enjoy if they have already played another version of Sniper Elite V2!

The Brew
When I asked 505 Games if Sniper Elite V2 will get a Wii U eShop demo of some sort, their response was very straightforward like when I asked them about the DLC for the game.

They answered, “We currently do not have any plans for this.”

What about getting the full game on the eShop for purchase though, so Wii U Deluxe owners might be able to get the game and take advantage of the Deluxe Digital Promotion? The answer to this question wasn’t as clear.

I specifically asked, “While the Wii U version is having a physical retail release, is there a plan to make Sniper Elite V2 available to purchase from the Wii U’s eShop? If so, when can Wii U owners that perhaps like to buy their games digitally look at getting the game? June? July?

505 Games responded with, “We are currently discussing this.”, but didn’t clarify any further on it. So, being that it had been almost 2 weeks since I first asked about, I asked about it again to make sure there hadn’t been any change from the first answer. They responded that there is still, “No news about the Wii U Shop”.

Now, if you’re a Wii U owner and have perhaps already played another version of Sniper Elite V2 (or, have access to another version), what features might you find enjoyable and notice make a difference from the other versions? Being a Wii U and PlayStation 3 owner myself, this is something that I was interested in.

I asked, “If there are Wii U owners that have perhaps already played Sniper Elite V2 on another system, what GamePad features do you think they would really enjoy and notice make a big difference from the other versions?

Rebellion’s Mr. Kingsley, the CEO and Creative Director, answered this saying, “Well firstly there’s obviously the mirroring allowing the game to be played completely on the GamePad. This could be a big thing for gamers who don’t want to disturb partners sharing the TV, or want to try and play Sniper Elite V2 in bed! Being a fiercely adult game, the privacy aspect could be handy too if the player has children and obviously doesn’t want them to watch the game on the TV as they’re playing. I think above all though, the GamePad enhances the tactical elements of the gameplay to help you avoid open firefights as much as possible. Being able to now track the positions of traps and explosives, see your heart rate (important when making precision shots) and other subtle tweaks really help make the stealth and setting up the perfect shot more rewarding.”

The Wii U GamePad showing the weapons on the left/right side, with the map in the middle.

Caffeinated Thoughts
As for Mr. Kingsley’s response, being a parent with young children, I can greatly appreciate the Off-TV GamePad play. I have used it in many Wii U games, and find I often use it the majority of the time to play games if it’s an option. Even Bean 1 uses it for playing some Wii U games.

Personally, I think that having a demo of at least one level from the game would be a great way to let Wii U owners interested in the game (and who perhaps have already played another version of it), see how it plays and the benefits the GamePad adds to it. Sniper Elite V2 has a demo on Steam, so it would be nice to have an option to try the game out, especially considering many other Wii U games have demos available now.

If you missed the launch trailer for the game, you can see it below and some of the Wii U’s features mentioned:

I think having Sniper Elite V2 on the Wii U eShop from the first day it released, along with a demo, might have been the best way to get the game out and create a positive buzz for it, despite it lacking some of the content found in the other versions. The demo could have been tailored around a specific level that took good advantage of the GamePad quick weapon selection and enemy tracking features, as well as giving Wii U owners a good feel for the overall gameplay.

Questions
If you have played Sniper Elite V2 on the Wii U, what do you think about the game? If you have already played and beaten the game, do you know how many hours it took you from start to finish?

You can buy the different versions of Sniper Elite V2, from Amazon.com linked below:

Sonic and the Secret Rings, how much has it been played? Official Nintendo Channel data report

June 7, 2013

Coffee Beans
On May 17th, Nintendo announced they had made a deal with SEGA securing the release of the next Sonic the Hedgehog title, known as Sonic Lost World, as an exclusive title for the Nintendo Wii U and Nintendo 3DS systems. Sonic Lost World is said to be an “action platforming” game, which makes it the first Wii U Sonic game in that genre. Before looking forward at the Wii U’s first Sonic action platforming game though, let’s take a look at the Wii’s first action platforming Sonic game that was released over 6 years ago now.

Sonic and the Secret Rings was Sonic’s first retail outing on the Wii in the “action platforming” genre, the first of many though. The game was developed by SEGA of America, and released for the Wii on February 20, 2007. It received an ESRB rating of “EVERYONE” with “Cartoon Violence” listed as content for parents and gamers to be aware of.

If you own a Wii, or even a Wii U, you can find Sonic and the Secret Rings for under $20 now if you’re interested in the game. How many hours can you expect from Sonic’s first action platforming Wii game though? Brew yourself some coffee, and let’s take a look at the official U.S. Wii Nintendo Channel data to get an idea!

The Brew
Sonic and the Secret Rings has approximately 707,727 U.S. Wii owners who have 9,108,257 Total Hours of game-play reported, with about 2,295 days reported. U.S. Wii owners have averaged a total of 12 Hours 52 Minutes “Per person” of play time with the game, which averages out to be about 1 Hour 25 Minutes played per time reported. So on average, Wii owners spend about an hour-and-a-half with the game each time they sit down to play it.

How many hours have you played?

How does Sonic and the Secret Rings’ hours “Per person” compare to the other Sonic Wii games? Well, its average reported is actually the lowest out of all the retail Wii Sonic games in the “action” genre. It’s lower than Sonic and the Black Knight, Sonic Colors, and Sonic Unleashed.

What about critic and customer reviews for the game? Its “professional” critic review score average is 70.71%, based on 51 reviews on GameRankings.com. The customer review score average is currently a 62.72%, based on 125 reviews from Amazon.com.

Caffeinated Thoughts
The last Sonic game I purchased in the action platforming genre was Sonic Adventure, and I did purchase Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed for our Wii U this last December, and I have enjoyed my time with that game. I was a fan of Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast and really liked the game (could be nostalgia, but I enjoyed it for a number of reasons, one being the VMU usage).

While we have looked at the reported Wii data for several Sonic games over the last few years (herehereherehere, and here), this is the first report on Sonic and the Secret Rings, partly because of the recent Sonic Lost World Wii U news. If you haven’t seen anything on Sonic Lost World since it was announced, here is the reveal trailer for the game:

I am definitely interested to see how this game turns out, especially with Nintendo getting behind it enough to make it an exclusive for the Wii U and 3DS when it releases. I like the brightness and colors of the game seen in the trailer, as it somewhat reminds me of Sonic Adventures. Also, seeing what looks to be 2D/3D gameplay elements mixed together, has me interested to see how it all fits together.

Now, will Sonic Lost World remain as an exclusive for the Wii U and 3DS at least until a Wii U successor releases from Nintendo, or will it just be an “exclusive” for a limited time like other games have been in the past? I think that remains to be seen, but either way, I hope it turns out to be a great Sonic game. Also, for the sake of the game, hopefully it has a release date that is sooner than expected (June or July would be nice), and releases at least 2 months before the first 3D Mario Wii U title, so that it’s not competing against it for sales right away.

Are you interested in winning The Humble Bundle 8 games, as mentioned in the image above (the basic games, seen below)? If so, simply like this post on CoffeeWithGames’ Facebook page, HERE, to get one entry!

These games and soundtracks, Steam key(s) included!

Questions
If you played Sonic and the Secret Rings, what did you think about the game? Would you recommend it to Wii or even Wii U owners who might be interested in picking up a cheap Sonic game until Sonic Lost World releases?

If you consider yourself a Sonic fan (or, even perhaps not), are you excited about Sonic Lost World from what you have seen and looking forward to learning more about the game?

You can buy Sonic and the Secret Rings from Amazon.com below, as well as pre-order Sonic Lost World for the Wii U and 3DS:

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:

Fortune Street, how much has it been played? Official U.S. Wii Nintendo Channel data report

May 31, 2013


Coffee Beans
About 2 weeks ago, Matt from DigitallyDownloaded.net and I were exchanging some emails, and he inquired about the game-play hours for Fortune Street. It had been almost a year since I had last covered the game, and you can read the first Nintendo Channel data report on it, HERE. It has now been more than a year since I covered the game, so let’s take another look!

Fortune Street released in the U.S. for the Wii on December 5, 2011, with a MSRP of $49.99. The game was developed by Square Enix, and published by Nintendo for its U.S. release. It received an ESRB rating of “EVERYONE” with “Comic Mischief” listed as content for parents and gamers to be aware of.

A description for the game on the Nintendo Channel says, “Players race around the board trying to accumulate wealth and hit a target value while buying, selling and trading property with friends and family to see who can be the first to cash out. What appears at first to be a simple property-buying board game offers multiple levels of money-maximizing opportunity.”

The game has been out almost a year-and-a-half now, but how much has it actually been played? If you own a Wii or even now a Wii U, and skipped over Fortune Street when it released, how many hours might you expect from the game if you decide to buy it now? Brew yourself some coffee, and let’s take a look at the official U.S. Wii Nintendo Channel data to see how many hours Wii owners have reported playing the game, and what the average hours “Per person” are reported so far!

The Brew
Fortune Street now has approximately 22,186 U.S. Wii owners who have just over 450,000 Total Hours of game-play reported, with about 539 days reported. This is an increase of over 10,000 more U.S. Wii owners with game-play data reported for the game, and just over 300,000 more Total Hours of game-play reported, compared to when we looked at it last May.

U.S. Wii owners have averaged a total playing time of 20 Hours 25 Minutes “Per person”, which averages out to be about 2 Hours 36 Minutes played per time reported; at least according to the data from the Nintendo Channel. This means each session U.S. Wii owners are playing Fortune Street, they are putting over 2 1/2 hours into the game.

Are those supposed to be wheels of fortune in the top portion?

How does Fortune Street compare to other board game Wii games, in the reported average hours “Per person” section? Compared to the popular Mario Party games, Fortune Street’s reported average hours “Per person” is lower than both Mario Party 8’s and Mario Party 9’s, by about 5 hours. Compared to the Wii’s Monopoly games though, MONOPOLY and Monopoly Collection, Fortune Street has a slightly higher reported average “Per person”.

What about the critic and customer review averages for the game, have they changed much in the last year? Fortune Street’s “professional” critic review score average has increased slightly, now sitting at a 70.07% critic review score average, based on 28 reviews on GameRankings.com.

Its customer review score average has increased pretty significantly since last year though, and is now sitting at an 80.43%, based on 138 reviews on Amazon.com. The customer review score average has increased by nearly 15 percentage points and more than doubled the number of customer reviews in its average, compared to the last year.

Caffeinated Thoughts
If you have never seen any footage from the game, the trailer below might give you a decent idea of what to expect if you are familiar with board game video games:

Like last year, I still haven’t played Fortune Street, and with how much Bean 1 enjoys games with the word “Mario” in their titles, I don’t know if I would grab Fortune Street first, or one of the Mario Party games instead. I know they offer different game-play experiences, but from some of the customer reviews it seems that the Mario Party games are more suited for younger children, than Fortune Street is due to its learning curve.

I do find it interesting that Fortune Street has a higher reported average “Per person” than the Monopoly Wii games though, as those games should definitely have more name recognition here in the U.S. market, but perhaps the online multiplayer aspect in Fortune Street has really benefited the game.

If you are interested in a chance to win Psychonauts, Costume Quest, and Stacking, simply make sure you’re following me on Twitter, HERE; and tweet this post out using the Twitter button beneath the post (seen in the image below). Also, include the hashtag #FortuneStreetCoffee and tweet it to @NintendoAmerica as well. The winner has been announced, HERE.

Questions
Have any of you been playing Fortune Street consistently over the last year, and if so, do you know how your hours played compare to the average reported? If you play the game pretty consistently, how is the online community now? Is it easy to find an online game against other players, or is it better if you know people to play the game with?

Also, if you own a Wii U and Fortune Street for the Wii, do you think the game could benefit any in game-play because of the GamePad, if Square Enix was to port it over to the Wii U?

You can buy Fortune Street, and other board game Wii and Wii U (sort of) games from Amazon.com below:

Super Mario Galaxy 2, how much has it been played? U.S. Wii Nintendo Channel data report

May 30, 2013

Coffee Beans
E3 is right around the corner and while Nintendo won’t be holding their typical E3 press conference, they will be doing a Nintendo Direct for the Wii U on June 11th, and smaller conferences at E3 as well. The Wii U’s first 3D Mario game is supposed to be shown this year, and even be at E3 in playable form (maybe even at the Best Buy E3 Wii U demo stations?).

Before looking forward at the Wii U’s first 3D Mario title, with whatever trailer and news Nintendo shares at E3, let’s take a look at one of the Wii’s 3D Mario action/platforming games: Super Mario Galaxy 2.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 released for the Wii on May 23, 2010 with a MSRP of $49.99, and received an ESRB rating of “EVERYONE” with “Mild Cartoon Violence” listed as content for parents and gamers to be aware of. The game was developed by Nintendo’s EAD studio, like the original Super Mario Galaxy was as well.

If you own a Wii or Wii U and haven’t played Super Mario Galaxy 2, but are interested in it, how many hours can you expect from it? Brew yourself some coffee, and let’s take a look at the official U.S. Wii Nintendo Channel data to see how many hours Wii owners have reported playing the game, and the average hours reported so far!

The Brew
Super Mario Galaxy 2 now has approximately 660,796 U.S. Wii owners with over 23,000,000 Total Hours of game-play reported, with about 1,100 days reported. This is an increase of nearly 650,000 more U.S. Wii owners with game-play data reported for SMG2, than were reported when its data first debuted in May 2010.

The 23+ million Total Hours of reported game-play is more than half the time span of the world’s recorded history. If you’re not sure what that is, it means Super Mario Galaxy 2 has been played for more than 2,500 years worth of time.

From the Nintendo Channel data reported, U.S. Wii owners have averaged playing the game 35 Hours 28 Minutes, which averages out to about 2 Hours 2 Minutes played per time reported.

For some comparison, Super Mario Galaxy 2’s reported average hours “Per person” are now higher than the original Super Mario Galaxy’s, but lower than its 2D competitor’s, that being New Super Mario Bros. Wii. In short, based on the averages reported “Per person”, you can expect more replay value from Super Mario Galaxy 2, than the original Super Mario Galaxy.

How have the critic and customer reviews changed for the game since we looked at the game in May 2011? Well, Super Mario Galaxy 2 still ranks in the Wii’s “Top 10” games according to critics’ reviews averages on GameRankings.com, and its review score average is slightly higher now at a 97.35%, based on 56 reviews on GameRankings.com.

The game’s Amazon.com customer review score average has increased slightly as well, and is now sitting at a 92.85%, based on 400 customer reviews; compared with having 284 customer reviews in 2011.

Caffeinated Thoughts
Super Mario Galaxy 2 is not a game in our Wii/Wii U collection, and it’s one I still haven’t played. If we did end up getting it now, I would play it on our Wii U in the system’s Wii mode though, due to me trying to limit the disc drive use in our Wii.

If you have never seen any footage from the game, here’s a trailer for it that might get you interested, especially if you’re a fan of Luigi and are happy about the “Year of Luigi”:

Nintendo made the original Super Mario Galaxy, which released in 2007, a “Nintendo Selects” title in 2011. Surprisingly, or perhaps not knowing Nintendo recently, Super Mario Galaxy 2 has still not made it in the Nintendo Selects lineup of Wii games, and finding the game online for under $50 new, is a bit challenging on the world’s largest online retailer. Even GameStop doesn’t have the game available to be purchased new online. Which, makes me wonder if Nintendo is about to expand the Wii’s Nintendo Selects lineup of games, and add Super Mario Galaxy 2 to it? I don’t know, but I do find it interesting Amazon.com  and GameStop.com don’t currently have the game in stock to sell directly.

If you are a Wii U owner and didn’t own a Wii, you probably know by now that the Wii U is backwards compatible with Wii games (unlike the Xbox One and PlayStation 4?). So, if you haven’t played Super Mario Galaxy 2, you can play it on your Wii U if you have the proper Wii Remote and Nunchuk controllers.

I know many consider the Super Mario Galaxy Wii games to be the best looking games for the system. I think it will be interesting to see if the Wii U’s 3D Mario keeps the same graphical art style as those, and really shows what the system can do (I hope), or if Nintendo will change it up like what has been done with the Zelda games over the years.

I’m thinking the Wii U’s first 3D Mario game might even be titled Super Mario Universe, continuing off the “Galaxy” theme; but Nintendo could just throw a “U” on the end like they did with New Super Mario Bros. U, and call it Super Mario U. No matter what they call it though, I am interested to see the art style of the game and what direction they have gone with it.

While I’m thinking the setting will be more like the Super Mario Galaxy games, I kind of hope they do a throwback to Super Mario 64’s setting with Princess Peach’s Castle being where you run around and select levels from.

Now, if you want a chance to win Psychonauts, Costume Quest, and Stacking as the image above mentions, here’s what to do. Make sure you are following me on Twitter, HERE. Then, tweet out this post using the Twitter button beneath the post (seen in the image below if you’re not sure), and include the hashtag #SuperMarioGalaxyCoffee and tweet it to @NintendoAmerica. The winner has been announced, HERE.

Questions
Have any of you perhaps recently played and beaten Super Mario Galaxy 2, if so, what’d you think about the game? If you played the original SMG and SMG2, which one did you enjoy more?

Also, with Nintendo revealing the Wii U’s first 3D Mario action title in just a few weeks (12 days really!), is there anything you’re hoping to see from the game?

You can buy Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2, and a few other Mario related items from Amazon.com below!

If you’re interested in reading/seeing older data reports on Super Mario Galaxy 2, you can find them linked here, here, here, here, herehere, and also here.