Archive for the ‘Ubisoft’ Category

FPS Friday! How much has Red Steel 2 been played? Official U.S. Nintendo Channel data report.

April 13, 2013


Coffee Beans
Last May, we looked at how many hours had been reported playing Red Steel 2 by U.S. Wii owners, with more than 2 years’ worth of data reported.

Red Steel 2 was released as a Wii exclusive on March 23, 2010 in the U.S., and can still be found to buy, new or used, on many different sites. If you own a Wii, or even Wii U, and are interested in Red Steel 2, you should know the game requires a Wii MotionPlus accessory to play though. As for content to be aware of, Red Steel 2 received an ESRB rating of “TEEN” for “Animated Blood, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence“.

A description for the game on the Nintendo Channel says, “Embody a lonesome fighter, a man of few words with a shaded past full of mystery. Face various, and increasingly strong, enemies and defeat challenging bosses in epic and intense fights. Visit a remote mixed metropolis in the middle of the American desert, where Eastern and Western culture have been smashed together: Caldera.”

About how many U.S. Wii owners have game-play data reported for Red Steel 2 through the Nintendo Channel, and how many hours have they reported playing the game since it released over 3 years ago? Brew yourself some coffee, and let’s take a look!

How many hours did you play?

The Brew
Red Steel 2 now has approximately 75,407 U.S. Wii owners with game-play data reported through the Nintendo Channel, which is just over 8,800 more players with data reported than last year, now with 1,112 days possibly reported.

The game currently has 759,283 Total Hours of reported game-play, which is an increase of 97,308 Total Hours since the report last year. Its average reported “Per person” has increased slightly by 7 minutes, and is now sitting at 10 Hours 4 Minutes “Per person”. The average time spent playing the game each time/session reported, is about 1 Hour 45 Minutes.

The game’s “professional” critic review score average is now slightly lower than it was last May, currently sitting at 80.50% based on 48 reviews from GameRankings.com. While the critic review score average is slightly lower since last year, the customer review score average has increased slightly. The game’s customer review score average is now 88.08%, now based on 89 customer reviews between both SKUs of the game.

Caffeinated Thoughts
When I wrote the piece last May, I said, “Have I played Red Steel 2 yet? No, but I may be making a trip to my local Game Stop store today, where I originally reserved Red Steel 2.

I did end up buying Red Steel 2 the day of the post last May, and I completed the game last June. My game-play data record for Red Steel 2 on the Nintendo Channel shows my play-time as 13 Hours 46 Minutes, over 6 times. From my rough math, this means I spent about 2 Hours 17 Minutes each time I played the game, until I beat it. While I enjoyed my time with Red Steel 2, I’m actually still a bigger fan of the original Red Steel, as I enjoyed the levels and game-play mechanics (even though not perfect) more in the original.

If you have not seen any footage of game-play from Red Steel 2, the video below is of a partial mission in the game from the Nintendo Channel:

I’m glad Nintendo made the jump to HD with the Wii U, and enjoy having an awesome feature like Off-TV play with the Wii U GamePad now, but I think it’s a shame the video game market won’t likely see another game like Red Steel or Red Steel 2, because of traditional controllers being more standard now.

If Ubisoft was to update the original Red Steel for the Wii U though, perhaps with HD graphics, online multiplayer, and optional GamePad and Wii Remote controls (like what Black Ops II offers), it would probably be a day one buy for me.

Questions
Have any of you played and perhaps beaten Red Steel 2 in the last year? If so, what did you think about the game?

If you played the original Red Steel and Red Steel 2, are you perhaps like me, being that you enjoyed the original more? Also, would any of you be interested in a Red Steel HD remake, or maybe just a new Red Steel 3 for the Wii U if Ubisoft were to do it?

You can see links for Red Steel and Red Steel 2 on Amazon.com below:

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ZombiU’s first patch is live! (Opposite of zombies in the game?)

March 27, 2013
ZombiU menu showing old version number, and new post-patch version number.

Coffee Beans
ZombiU released with the Wii U on November 18th, and it was the first Wii U retail game I purchased with our console on launch day. I really enjoyed my first play-through of ZombiU, and disagreed with some of the early “professional” critic reviews of the game, that I found lacking basic information and the reviewers failed to answer simple questions (still). While I didn’t experience any game-breaking bugs or glitches in my first play-through of the campaign, I do know some Wii U owners that did (my neighbor being one of them).

If you experienced any of the game-breaking glitches in ZombiU, perhaps you have been waiting and hoping for a patch to fix some issues. As the title tells you, the first ZombiU patch is now live (at least in the U.S.)!

If you want to see how long the ZombiU patch took me to download and install, the patch size, as well as a few fixed issues, then grab your cup of coffee and hit the jump!


The Brew
ZombiU’s first patch apparently does fix the nursery glitch (mentioned here & here). The nursery glitch was probably the most famous (or, infamous?!) ZombiU bug/glitch, at least one that caused players to have to start completely over.

Other than fixing the nursery glitch though, there have not been any official patch notes released yet, letting us know what exactly has been fixed.

Since there are not any patch notes telling us exactly what the patch addresses (and doesn’t), here’s a list of ZombiU bugs and glitches that I’m aware of, and what has/hasn’t been fixed:
1) Nursery Glitch – Mentioned fixed with patch (Mission 12 below).
2) Supermarket Glitch – Mentioned fixed with patch.
3) Arena Glitch – Said to be fixed (Mission 14) below.
4) Falling through level/map in certain areas. – Not known if fixed.
5) Missing gas canister – Said to be fixed (Mission 13) below.

*Update: I had reached out to Ubisoft when writing this post, to see if they could provide an “official list” of what the patch fixes, and I just received a response. Here’s a list from a Ubisoft representative of the issues the patch addresses:
.       On Mission 12, in the Nursery MAP, the interaction with the door in the basement of nursery was missing at rebirth if specific steps were followed.
.       On Mission 13, in the Gas Station MAP, a Mission object that is mandatory to complete the objective was missing if specific steps were followed.
.       On Mission 14, in the Circus MAP, if the player died right after recovering his Backpack, and rebooted the Wii U console, the objective was not updated.
.       On Mission 15, in the Bunker MAP, the Panacea disappeared after the Player died while downloading it. However the objective remained the same (download Panacea).
.       On Mission 10, in the Tower MAP, the Objective “Secure landing site” was not validated if specific steps were followed.
.       On Mission 15, in the Bunker MAP, if specific steps were followed, the Player might get stuck in the Bunker after he took Doctor’s eye / Panacea because a Ladder disappeared.
.       On Mission 16, in the MAP Safe House, the iron curtain in the Safe House lacked of collision during Mission 16. This Bug could lead to a scoring exploit on leaderboards.
.       In the Safe House MAP, the Player saw a placeholder text when he dragged & dropped an item from the Blue Box to his holsters following certain steps.
.       On Mission 12 or 15, in the Nursery MAP, the game crashed if the Player burned the Zombi Nurse while she died.
.       Zombies animations transitions.
.       Online messages spawned in the first section of the MAPs.
.       Scanner’s start volume.
.       Uplay cricket bat Cast Shadow has been removed.
.       Optimizations of the framerate

Once I see what the patch addresses, either from official patch note(s) released, other gamers playing and confirming issues fixed, or from when/if I play through the game again, I’ll update the list above appropriately.

If you’re concerned the patch might be a few GBs and take up precious HDD space, don’t worry! The image below shows the ZombiU patch size, and how much room the “Update Data” requires:

Only 18 MB, so not a large patch compared to other Wii U games’ patch sizes.

Caffeinated Thoughts
I have written a few different times about my experience(s) with ZombiU, which you can read here, here, and here. If you were concerned with some of the early “professional” critics’ reviews of ZombiU, I would suggest you take a look at my “Critics vs. Customers! ZombiU reviews, or zombie reviewers?” post from December.

There’s a phrase that’s pretty popular for when people are late to events, “Better late than never!”.

I think this phrase can be applied to ZombiU’s first patch. With Nintendo of America just releasing the new Wii U ZombiU Deluxe Set (includes Nintendo Land via download, ZombiU and the Wii U Pro Controller), I’m glad to see that Ubisoft did get a patch out for the game resolving at least one issue in it. Hopefully the patch addresses the other bugs/glitches I mentioned above, and again, I will update that list when it is confirmed what exactly the patch fixes.

Questions
Did any of you experience glitches in ZombiU, and perhaps not finish the game because of them? If so, which bugs/glitches did you experience, and now that a patch has been released for the game will you be trying to beat the game (again)?

If you held off on buying ZombiU because of the reported bugs and glitches, does the fact the game has been patched make you more likely to buy it now?

You can purchase the new Wii U ZombiU Deluxe Set from GameStop.com, or the game itself from Amazon.com, both linked below:
  

Critics vs. Customers! ZombiU reviews, or zombie reviewers?

December 18, 2012

Coffee Beans
Do you like zombies? Do you not like zombies? Do you feel like a zombie when you wake up, and generally throughout the day?

ZombiU released for (and with) the Wii U on November 18, 2012, basically as a brand new IP. The game was developed and published by Ubisoft, and received an ESRB rating of “MATURE” with “Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language” listed as content for gamers and parents to be aware of. It released with a MSRP of $59.99 in the United States, and can be purchased either via a physical retail copy from stores, or a digital “copy” through the Wii U’s eShop.

With a full month of “professional” critic reviews and customer reviews for ZombiU to look at now, and having completed the game myself, is ZombiU a Wii U title you should play (if, you are of age)? Have Wii U owners agreed with the “professional” reviewers on ZombiU? Brew yourself some coffee, and let’s take a look!

How a zombie smiles, before reading reviews of ZombiU?

The Brew
While reviews for the game were under an embargo, GameSpot “leaked” their ZombiU review in a professional fashion (see: sarcasm) a few days early by publishing it on their site, then removing it. The damage was already done though, and their review score quickly spread around different message boards and video game websites.

The first “professional” review scores for ZombiU started being published on November 18th, the day the Wii U launched and the day the ZombiU review embargo was lifted. ZombiU currently has a “professional” review score average of 77.09%, based on 43 reviews on GameRankings.com. Its MetaCritic.com Metascore is currently 77 out of 100, based on 61 critic reviews.

What about customers though? What have gamers, perhaps like myself that ignored the early reviews, who have played the game thought about it? ZombiU currently has a review score average of 92.77%, based on 36 customer reviews from Amazon.com. The game had a review score average of 88.43%, based on 2,149 gamer reviews directly from the Wii U’s eShop rating.

ZombiU’s eShop ratings.

Note: All of the review scores for ZombiU were captured around 4:00PM EST on December 18, 2012.

Caffeinated Thoughts
I chose to not read most ZombiU reviews, until I finished the game. I didn’t want to see “problems” with the game before playing it for myself, and I was also afraid some of the reviews might have contained spoilers, so I didn’t want to read or see anything that might have given something away in the game.

One average is a C, one an A, depending on the grading scale.

After I completed the game, I decided to read the “reviews” of the game and see what some of the problems were, and what did I discover? Apparently, the problem many early “reviewers” of ZombiU had is they were too busy to finish the game (see: complete it), before slapping a score on it. Apparently, the proper way to “review” games these days is to watch a few trailers, read a few impressions of it, play it for maybe an hour; then decide if you want to go positive or negative in the “review” and stick with it.

What “reviews” of ZombiU contain either outright incorrect information, or show the “reviewers” apparently didn’t finish the game? Here’s my short list, for now. IGN. Nintendo Life. Game Informer. Then there is Game Spot’s reviewer, who went into the game knowing (I guess) it is a survival horror title, but thinks it should have been an action game instead? GameSpot’s reviewer though, and many others, did seem to like ZombiU’s multiplayer options, which Mrs. Coffee and I did try out one evening together.

Here’s a video of Mrs. Coffee and I playing ZombiU’s local multiplayer. Mrs. Coffee was using the Wii U GamePad to place zombies around the map, and I was the survivor running around with the weapons, trying to survive for as long as possible:

Is the audio synced up correctly? It seems off on YouTube, but right in my player. Feedback?

I just don’t understand reviews having incorrect information, as two of them above do, and leaving that incorrect information published. Perhaps the sites were taken over by zombies? I contacted both sites with reviews containing incorrect information. One site didn’t want to address a larger problem with their “review”, and chose to leave incorrect information published; the other site apparently didn’t care their “review” contained bad information and has left it published as well. Then, one of the reviewers hasn’t answered a simple question about the game that he was asked, “How long did it take you to complete it so I have an idea?

ZombiU gives you that information. The game tells you how many hours (and minutes and seconds) it takes you to finish the game, and how many survivors it takes you to finish the game as well. Kotaku’s Stephen Totilo is the only reviewer of ZombiU I am currently aware of that provided the number of hours it took him to complete the game, and the number of survivors it took him to get through it. His review of ZombiU is HERE.

My “Playtime” and survivor count.

As for myself, I completed ZombiU in 24 hours, 40 minutes, and 10 seconds according to my game’s “Playtime”, and it took me 34 survivors to complete the game. I have many ex-survivors wandering the streets, sewers, and general areas of London still, so please add my Nintendo Network ID of Coffees to your Wii U friend list if you want more zombies wandering around your ZombiU game.

Should you play ZombiU, if you are above the recommended age? I recommend giving the game a try. Whether that is buying it, renting it, or borrowing it from a friend (my copy is currently loaned out right now actually). I think you will enjoy the game if you don’t go in expecting a FPS game, or an action game, and understand that the melee combat is designed, I believe, to keep you on your toes. You shouldn’t expect to get 100 hit zombie combos in the game, and understand that ammunition for guns is scarce. Many of my hours playing were spent exploring different areas in the game. There are small alternate paths in a few areas that you may miss if you are just running through the game, and sometimes those areas contain weapons and ammunition, and even story pieces. I believe exploration is encouraged in the game.

So, based on the review averages for the game so far, I side more with the “customer reviews” averages than the “critic reviews”. I think ZombiU is another perfect example of why there should be basic video game review standards on sites, as I have written about in the past.

Questions
Did any of you perhaps not purchase ZombiU, because of the early reviews on the game? If you have played ZombiU, what do you think about the game?

If you have played and beaten ZombiU, how many hours and survivors did it take you? Also, have any of you attempted to beat Survival Mode yet, and possibly completed it?

You can purchase ZombiU below from Amazon.com, and find out how long you will survive!

Read other Critics vs. Customers pieces here and here.

Rabbids went home? Rabbids find a new home! Rabbids Go Home data report.

November 15, 2012


Coffee Beans
The Rabbids will be finding a new home this Sunday in North America, when the Wii U launches and they start invading the console through Rabbids LAND; but the Rabbids have had a home on the Wii for the last several years.

Rabbids Go Home was released on November 3, 2009 for the Wii, at a MSRP of $49.99. It was the Rabbids’ first comedy-adventure, according to Ubisoft, and players helped the Rabbids collect junk in their attempt to make a ladder of sorts, to the moon. The game was developed by Ubisoft Montpellier, and received an ESRB rating of “EVERYONE 10+” with “Cartoon Violence, Crude Humor, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Tobacco Reference” listed as content for gamers and parents to be aware of.

How many U.S. Wii owners have reported playing Rabbids Go Home, and how many hours have they reported trying to help the Rabbids get home? Brew yourself some coffee, and let’s take a look!

Data for U.S. Wii owners.

The Brew
Rabbids Go Home now has approximately 126,679 U.S. Wii owners that have reported playing the game, with 1,105 days possibly reported. The players have reported over two million total hours of gameplay, 2,109,568 hours to be exact, since the game released as the image above shows. The average play-time reported is 16 Hours 40 Minutes “Per person”, and the average time spent playing the game per day/time is about 1 Hour 41 Minutes.

Rabbids Go Home has the highest average hours reported “Per person” out of all the Rabbids Wii games with data reported, which means that if you’re looking to get the most hours of gameplay out of a Rabbids Wii game, this is probably the one to go with. (The other Rabbids Wii games with data reported are Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 and Rayman Raving Rabbids TV PartyRabbids Lab doesn’t have enough hours reported yet, so an average “Per person” does not show up.)

How was the Rabbid’s first comedy-adventure received by critics and customers? The game has a professional critic review score average of 79.02%, based on 33 reviews on GameRankings.com. It has a customer review score average of 71.37%, based on 51 reviews from Amazon.com.

Caffeinated Thoughts
I did play Rabbids Go Home, but I didn’t beat it. Back in January 2010, I started a game rental service through a local video game company that was open, Gamer Doc, and rented the game for about a week. School was just starting up and I didn’t keep it long enough to beat though, but I checked my reported time with the game and put nearly 15 hours into it before returning it. Based on my play-time with it and the reported overall average “Per person” I guess I was closer to finishing it than I knew!

If you have never seen what type of gameplay Rabbids Go Home provides, the trailer below should give you a decent idea.

I enjoyed my time with the game, even though I didn’t finish it. Being that I was (and am) a fan of the Raving Rabbids Wii games, I was glad to see Ubisoft try something new with the Rabbids outside of the mini-games/party games the Rabbids had become known for at the time.

The Wii U is launching in just over 2 days, and Rabbids LAND is still on my short list of Wii U games to buy day one, because we enjoyed the Rabbids Wii games so much. If you haven’t seen the a trailer for Rabbids LAND on the Wii U, the trailer below is one Bean 1 likes to play from the Nintendo Channel and will give you an idea of what to expect with the Rabbids using the Wii U GamePad.

Questions
Did any of you play Rabbids Go Home, and help the Rabbids complete their mission to go home?

Are any of you planning on joining the Rabbids when they invade their new Wii U home with Rabbids LAND?

Check out some Rabbids Wii, 3DS, and Wii U games below:

Coffee Bean Counting: Which launch Wii U Ubisoft game(s) are you interested in?

November 8, 2012

Coffee Beans
Which Wii U third party publisher will have the most games when the system launches on November 18th? From my count, Ubisoft. As of now, Ubisoft will have six games available to purchase when the Wii U releases, with a few more games being published for the system before the end of March 2013.

The last Coffee Bean Counting poll ended last week, and which Ubisoft Wii U launch title had the most votes? Brew yourself some coffee, and let’s take a look!

The Brew
This Coffee Bean Counting poll ran from October 23, 2012 through October 30, 2012. The poll question, games to choose, and results can be seen below.

Which launch Wii U Ubisoft game(s) are you interested in?
Assassin’s Creed III                               17.65%    (15 votes)
ESPN Sports Connection                        1.18%      (1 votes)
Just Dance 4                                         37.65%    (32 votes)
Rabbids LAND                                       8.24%      (7 votes)
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013           2.35%      (2 votes)
ZombiU                                                 33%        (28 votes)

If you like charts, bar or pie, you can see the results in chart form below:

Caffeinated Thoughts
So, the results might have been slightly skewed, because the Just Dance series has a large following and my “What is the most played Just Dance Wii game?” post made its way to the Just Dance Facebook page, and I noticed shortly thereafter the poll had increased greatly on that game. While Just Dance 4 definitely got many votes after the post hit the Facebook page, ZombiU kept chomping at its heels and I thought toward the end that it might overtake it…perhaps if I had left the poll running through Halloween!

What launch Wii U Ubisoft games am I interested in, and did I vote for? I voted for Assassin’s Creed III, Just Dance 4, Rabbids LAND, and ZombiU.

I played and beat the original Assassin’s Creed, but haven’t played the series since that game, and the setting and time-frame for Assassin’s Creed III has me interested in the game. I have never played a Just Dance game, but seeing how Just Dance 4 on the Wii U uses the GamePad for certain modes I think could be a lot of fun for the non-gamers, and I like the fact you can stream the game to the Wii U GamePad as well. Rabbids LAND has me very interested, because of Ubisoft’s history of Rabbid games on the Wii, and I think Rabbids LAND could be the best “party game” for the Wii U’s launch, and maybe even a while after. I think ZombiU looks like it is making great use of the Wii U GamePad for different gameplay elements, and I’m really looking forward to playing the game.

As for ESPN Sports Connection, I have watched the trailer for it a few times, and it may be a game that I understand (and enjoy) a bit more if I have hands-on time with it, but there are a few elements that I didn’t quite understand what they were trying to show in the trailer, such as the use of the GamePad as a golf caddy and the drawing on the GamePad in the football game. While I understand how drawing on the GamePad in the football game can make sense, I’m not exactly certain how the football game in it will play out. I may have to try and rent this over a weekend, and see if perhaps Bean 1 and the rest of us can enjoy some of the games together.

Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013 might be a game I should have voted for, especially if I eat a lot over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays! I haven’t exercised on a regular basis in a long time, even with Wii Fit in the house, so I’m not sure if a game will properly motivate me right now for it; but I am glad to see this type of game getting released and I do hope those that buy it get great use out of it, and potentially develop a healthy lifestyle with it.

Questions
Which launch Wii U Ubisoft game(s) are you interested in?

Are there any Ubisoft Wii U games that have been announced, such as Rayman Legends, but won’t be ready at launch that you are interested in; or even other Ubisoft games you would like to see make it to the Wii U?

You can see and pre-order the Ubisoft Wii U launch titles on Amazon.com below:

What is the most played Just Dance Wii game?

October 22, 2012

The Roast
The first Just Dance game released on November 17, 2009 for the Nintendo Wii. The game did not receive a typical professional review score average that would make you think it would become one of the best selling Wii games, but apparently many consumers ignored the “professional reviews” and bought the original Just Dance in droves. It has sold millions of copies and its success helped form a new major franchise for Ubisoft, with at least one new game for the series each year, since the original released.

In January this year, Ubisoft announced that since the series launched, it had sold more than 25 million copies. The Wii has had at least 8 games from the Just Dance series, from my count:

Another Just Dance title is releasing this Tuesday, Just Dance: Disney Party.

Which Just Dance game has become the Wii’s most played “Per person” and also has the most total hours of gameplay reported, with so many titles for Wii owners to choose from? (Hint: It’s not Just Dance 4.) Brew yourself some coffee, and let’s take a look!

Will you be dancing with Just Dance 4 on the Wii U?

Coffee Beans
Just Dance 2 is the Wii’s most played game from the Just Dance series, according to the average hours reported “Per person” and also the total hours reported on the Nintendo Channel for all of the Just Dance games.

Just Dance 2 was released on October 12, 2010 with a MSRP of $39.99. The game was developed by Ubisoft Paris, and received an ESRB rating of “Everyone 10+” with “Lyrics, Mild Suggestive Themes” listed as content for gamers and parents to be aware of.

The data shown in the image below is for the gameplay hours reported from U.S. Wii owners, with 734 days possibly reported.

Information reported from U.S. Wii owners.

The Brew
Just Dance 2 now has approximately 453,768 U.S. Wii owners that have reported playing the game through the Nintendo Channel, which is about 160,000 more Wii owners that have reported data for the game since last year’s report.

Just Dance 2’s reported average play-time is 12 Hours 55 Minutes “Per person”, with the average time played per day/session being about 1 Hour 7 Minutes. This means each time reported dancing session is lasting just over an hour. The game’s reported average is 12 Hours 55 Minutes “Per person” as the image above shows.

How has the game been received by critics and customers? The game has a “professional” critic review score average of 77.25%, based on 16 reviews on GameRankings.com. Just Dance 2 has a customer review score average of 90.22%, based on 1,097 reviews from Amazon.com.

Caffeinated Thoughts
While I still have not played any of the Just Dance games, I have found it interesting to see the series continue to be so successful, and I enjoy seeing how Ubisoft has marketed the series and expanded it to the other consoles as well. Seeing Just Dance 2 being the most played game of the series on the Wii though, I do find interesting because it wasn’t the first game in the series on the Wii.

The 5,863,176 Total Hours reported for the game are equivalent to dancing for about 244,299 days, straight. That would be dancing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for just over 669 years. I think that would make for the longest “Just Sweat It Out” session!

Just Dance 4 was just released on October 9th for the PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360. The Wii U is not yet out (less than a month now!), but Just Dance 4 is scheduled to release 5 days before the system, on November 13th. The trailer below is for Just Dance 4, and promotes how the Wii U GamePad’s streaming function will work.

Just Dance 4 on the Wii U currently has a MSRP of $49.99, which is $10 higher than the PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360 versions of the game. The game is releasing with three exclusive tracks for the Wii U version, as well as the Wii U exclusive Master of Ceremony and Puppet Master modes, and the ability to play Just Dance 4 off of just the Wii U GamePad.

I just wonder if the $10 price difference is going to be adjusted before launch, and make a big difference for fans of the series; or if it will make for the first Just Dance title to release at $49.99, and perhaps future Just Dance games will continue to release at that price as well?

Questions
Have any of you played Just Dance 2, and helped it become the Wii’s most played Just Dance game in at least the U.S., passing the original? Have any of you played all of the Just Dance Wii games by any chance, and if so, do you have a favorite game from the series?

If you’re a fan of the Just Dance series and planning on buying a Wii U, do the extra Wii U modes in Just Dance 4 and the option to play off of just the Wii U GamePad make you likely to buy the game?

You can see games from the Just Dance series linked below:

You can read older data reports on Just Dance, Just Dance 2, and Just Dance 3: here, here, and here.

Time for rabid Rabbids on Wii U? Time for rabid Rabbids on Wii! Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 Data Report

October 18, 2012


Coffee Beans
Are you looking forward to Rabbids LAND on the Wii U? Did you play any of the Rabbids games on the Wii? We’re taking the plunge, and looking at one of them today!

Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 was released for the Wii on November 13, 2007 in the U.S., and was developed by Ubisoft Paris. It released with a MSRP of $49.99, and received an ESRB rating or “EVERYONE 10+” with “Cartoon Violence, Crude Humor” listed as content for gamers and parents to be aware of.

How many U.S. Wii owners have reported playing Rayman Raving Rabbids 2, and how many hours have they reported being Rabbid rabid? Brew yourself some coffee, and let’s take a look!

The Brew
Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 has approximately 337,017 U.S. Wii owners that have reported playing the game through the Nintendo Channel, with 1,798 days possibly reported. The players have reported 4,640,386 Total Hours of gameplay since the game released, almost 5 years ago now. The total average play-time is 13 Hours 46 Minutes “Per person, with the average time played per day/session being about 1 Hour 29 Minutes.

How was the Rabbids’ second Wii outing received by critics and customers? The game’s “professional” critic review score average is 67.71%, based on 27 reviews on GameRankings.com. It has a customer review score average of 82.29%, based on 122 reviews from Amazon.com.

I forgot my carrot juice.

Caffeinated Thoughts
I am really looking forward to Rabbids LAND on the Wii U. The original Rayman Raving Rabbids was a day one purchase with our Wii system. Why? Mrs. Coffee. Growing up, she took a liking to rabbits and the original promotional videos of Rayman Raving Rabbids really caught her attention, and the humor in them helped sell her (and me) on giving the game a try. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from it, but I think the original game had some of the best uses of the Wii Remote and Nunchuk in the launch titles for the system. The Rabbids dancing mini-games were the family favorite in the games, and provided us with many hours of fun.

I personally enjoyed the first-person rail shooting mini-games in the first game a lot, and I was excited to see Ubisoft try new things with the sequel’s first-person rail shooting mini-games. They filmed real life city locations for the rail shooting mini-games in Rayman Raving Rabbids 2, and put the Rabbids in those locations. If you want to see what the first-person rail shooting (real life location) Rabbid mini-game looks like, watch the first video below.

Being that we are now pretty big fans of the Rabbids and own three of their Wii games, I really am expecting Rabbids LAND for the Wii U to be fun and funny, and I’m also expecting it to use the GamePad in some of the most unique ways out of all the launch games. If you haven’t seen any promotional videos for Rabbids LAND on the Wii U, the second video is a short trailer for that game.

(If you are looking for the Wii U console giveaway details, you can find more information about it HERE!)

As for the average reported for Rayman Raving Rabbids 2, because our average is about 30 hours higher than the average reported, it makes me think most Wii owners used this as mainly a party game and would pull it out occasionally to play with friends and family, instead of playing through the majority of the mini-games and attempting to get high scores in them as we would did.

Questions
Did any of you play Rayman Raving Rabbids 2, or any of the other Rabbids games on the Wii? If so, do you have a favorite game from the series, or perhaps a favorite mini-game?

Are any of you looking forward to Rabbids LAND on the Wii U?

Check out the Rabbids related games below:

Amazon & Target leak Wii U games release dates? Wii U to release same day in US & UK?

September 13, 2012


Coffee Beans
In just under 12 hours now, Nintendo of America will be holding their Wii U press conference and all speculation as to the system’s release date, price, and launch games should be put to rest. Yesterday, as I was writing my, “Wii U – Caffeinated Predictions, Thoughts, & Wishes” post, I was doing research and checking a few sites to see if any had changed release dates early, and I was checking for any Black Ops II information that might have been leaked early.

I predicted in my post that went up this morning a Wii U release date of October 28, 2012. I mentioned in the post and prediction I had done some “investigative work” that helped me reach that conclusion, and when I was researching yesterday I spotted the same release date, for three separate Wii U games, on two different retail sites.

What Wii U games have been listed with new release dates that aren’t apparently just place-holder release dates, perhaps giving us a clue to when the console will release in the US and the UK? Brew yourself some coffee, and let’s take a look!

The Brew
First, Amazon.co.uk has Tank! Tank! Tank! listed on their site, still, as releasing on November 1, 2012. The site says, “This item will be released on November 1, 2012.” Is it just a default place-holder date though? I don’t think so, for a few reasons. Tank! Tank! Tank! isn’t the only Wii U game I spotted on Amazon.co.uk with a release date listed. Two other Wii U games, Rise of the Guardians and Ben 10 Omniverse, also have release dates listed, but they are not listed for November 1, 2012. They are listed as November 23, 2012 and November 30, 2012, respectively.

You can see a screenshot of Tank! Tank! Tank!’s Amazon.co.uk page in the image below:

The one common factor between the three Wii U games listed on Amazon.co.uk with different release dates is the publisher, Namco Bandai.

The other retail site that had November 1, 2012 listed as a release date was Target.com. Except on Target.com, they had/have two Wii U titles listed with a release date of November 1, 2012. Those Wii U games are Just Dance 4 and Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012. You can see images for both of those games with the dates listed in each below:

Both the Wii U games on Target.com are being published by Ubisoft, but on other sites have apparent place-holder release dates as December 31, 2012.

Caffeinated Thoughts
I think its very interesting that two separate sites, in two different countries, have the same release date of November 1, 2012, but on three different games. If it was a simple place-holder date just from a publisher, I wouldn’t expect Ubisoft and Namco Bandai to use the same place-holder date, as December 31, 2012 has been the default place-holder apparently being used by most retailers, probably as instructed by Nintendo.

I based my October 28, 2012 Wii U release date based on the history Nintendo has with releasing consoles on Sundays, but seeing a game like Just Dance 4 which will already be out for the other consoles having a release date for November 1, 2012 makes me wonder. Will Nintendo break their history of releasing consoles on Sundays in the US, and instead release the Wii U on a Thursday, that Thursday being November 1, 2012?

I guess we will find out in a few short hours, and I’m going to brew some coffee as sleep will probably be rare the next 24 hours for me.

Questions
Do you think from the date on Amazon.co.uk and Target.com for three Wii U games being the same, that the Wii U console will be releasing on November 1, 2012 perhaps in the US, and the UK?

Also, are any of you staying up for the Japanese Wii U information tonight, and will any of you be attempting to watch the Nintendo of America Wii U conference in the morning?

President Obama, Space Camp, & Six Flags Fun Park? How they are oddly connected.

August 20, 2012


Coffee Beans
     Bankruptcy, Six Flags Fun Park, President Obama, and Space Camp?

     Just about 2 weeks ago, I put together the story, “Curiosity Inspired – Space Camp Hours Report“. After I posted the story, a former developer who worked on the game saw the story and sent me an email. While the developer will remain anonymous, they were glad to see coverage on the game and wanted to share information on the “…background on the development process, and also why the game dropped with zero marketing…”.

     How are Space Camp, Six Flags Fun Park, and President Obama connected? What decision by President Obama is given as a reason to have possibly “killed all the synergy” around the Wii game Space Camp? What about bankruptcy? Brew yourself a fresh pot of coffee, and read the email below to find out!

The Brew
     The former 7 Studios developer said, “OK, so back in mid to late 2008, 7 Studios was finishing work on Six Flags Fun Park for DS and Wii, published by Brash Entertainment. Brash had a lot of problems and ended up going out of business right when SFFP was supposed to release. The DS version made it to store shelves — with zero marketing — but the Wii title didn’t. It had been approved by Nintendo for North American release and the discs, manuals and boxes were all printed and ready to go, but Brash went under before they could actually ship the game to distributors.

So we were all pretty bummed that this Wii game that we’d worked on for a year and half or so, and were pretty happy with, would never see the light of day. At the time our main LA office had only one other project, Scratch: The Ultimate DJ, published by Genius, so we were looking for other games.

We ended up signing the deal with Activision to make Space Camp. It was a very short development cycle, something like 4-5 months, with a small DS team and a small Wii team. How were we able to get a console title done that quickly? We re-used as much of Six Flags Fun Park as we could.

If you check videos on YouTube of Space Camp and SFFP you can see that the interface, engine, even many (maybe even a majority) of the minigames are identical. At the time we weren’t too concerned as the DS version of SFFP got no marketing, and the Wii version was never released, so we were still shipping what was effectively a brand-new game for consumers.

When the Space Camp game was signed, if I remember correctly there was an expectation that President Obama was going to work with NASA and announce a new push for another US moon landing. The plan was that Space Camp would ride the wave of publicity around that and we’d be part of the marketing push for both NASA and the real Space Camp — Activision had licensed their logo and possible new mascot.

Unfortunately due to the economy the President backed off on these plans, which killed all the synergy around the project. My understanding was that Activision had never planned to spend a ton of marketing money on the game, mostly seeking a cheap tie-in to the existing hype which never panned out. So it shipped and disappeared. The office responsible for publishing the game was Activision Minneapolis, which at the time was tasked with publishing the company’s low-budget ‘value’ titles.

The really funny thing is that as we were working on Space Camp, Ubisoft bought the Six Flags Fun Park project from Brash as part of Brash’s bankruptcy proceedings. They shipped the existing boxes, which were released to stores in March 2009, just two months before Space Camp! Ubisoft also had us make a version of SFFP for Europe, Fun Park Party. Apparently SFFP did well enough to justify another print run, but 7 Studios wasn’t able to work on that directly as we were purchased by Activision.

So that’s the story of Space Camp, and the related story of Six Flags Fun Park. Overall the team was proud of what we were able to accomplish on both games, in terms of what we could do with the time and resources we had, and it’s always been disappointing that factors out of our control (Brash’s bankruptcy, the backtracking of the new moon project) led to both titles underperforming.

Unfortunately 7 Studios didn’t ship another title. The Scratch lawsuit happened shortly after we were purchased by Activision. After that we did prototyping and development work on console and iPhone, and we helped out with some tools and the downloadable demo for DJ Hero 2. Then in Spring 2010 Activision shut down their music/rhythm game division and that was the end of the studio.”

Caffeinated Thoughts
     I was glad a developer was willing to share feedback and an inside story on the development for Space Camp, and Six Flags Fun Park, giving us a small inside look of why certain decisions were made. They did say that, “…there may be a few minor errors…” in the story, but that they had fact checked dates to backup things from memory, and I did look at release dates and other information as well to make sure we were providing accurate information.
     I personally found it interesting that Activision gambled on a new Moon mission being promoted by President Obama, even going as far as possibly getting licenses from NASA and the real Space Camp, but then not being able to move forward with their use because of President Obama’s decision to not move forward with a new Moon mission; funding instead went to the Mars mission I believe. I can already see a political attack ad being formed, “Obama destroyed the video game industry, and your children’s entertainment by cutting NASA’s Moon funding!”.
     As for Brash Entertainment, the original publisher of Six Flags Fun Park, and how it came and went so quickly in the video game industry, here is a great piece on the company and its failure: “Brash fallout a cautionary tale“.

     Now, let’s say you are in a store and you stumble upon Six Flags Fun Park and Space Camp, both at a great bargain price. How do you decide which one to try?
     Well, I asked the developer and this is what they said, “I can’t recommend one over the other, it really depends on the player. If someone is really into NASA, they should go for Space Camp. If they like carnival games, they should go for SFFP. I think SFFP has more content overall than Space Camp does. In terms of the single-player story, Space Camp starts better but gets grindy near the end, while SFFP starts slow but has some really cool moments near the end.”

Questions
     Have any of you played Six Flags Fun Park and/or Space Camp? If so, what did you think about the games?
     Also, what did you think of the story behind the games, and how they both came about? Did you find any details perhaps odd, hilarious, or just outrageous?

You can see links to Six Flags Fun Park and Space Camp below:

Did Wii Owners Enjoy Red Steel 2? What Do the Hours Say?

May 29, 2012

Coffee Beans
     Red Steel 2 has been out on the Wii for more than 2 years now. It was developed by Ubisoft’s Paris studio, and published by Ubisoft. The game did have a U.S. commercial for advertising, I believe two actually, and the game released with two versions being available for purchase.
     One was the software only version for $49.99, and the second version was $59.99 and included a Wii MotionPlus unit which is required to play the game. Both versions have seen big price drops since they released, like most games do. The software only version can now be found for under $20 where available, and the Wii MotionPlus bundled version, while harder to find directly from retailers, can be found for around $30.

     Did Wii owners enjoy Red Steel 2? What do the reported game-play hours for the game show, and can we draw any conclusions? Let’s take a look!

The Brew
     Red Steel 2 now has approximately 66,540 U.S. Wii owners that have reported game-play data with 797 days possibly reported, which is 21,951 more players having reported data since March 28, 2011.
     Red Steel 2’s 661,975 Total Hours of reported game-play is an increase of 232,950 Total Hours since last year’s report, and the game’s average play-time per day/session is now 1 Hour 47 Minutes.
     The game’s “professional” review score average has not changed since last year, and remains at 80.62% based on 47 reviews on GameRankings.com. Red Steel 2’s customer review score average on Amazon.com has changed though, and there are now 18 more customer reviews than last year. The customer review score average is now 87.53%, based on 77 customer reviews between both versions of the game listed.

Caffeinated Thoughts
     So, did Wii owners enjoy Red Steel 2, and can we conclude anything from the reported game-play data with another year added to it?
     I think we can safely say from the reported game-play data, mainly the game’s average play-time reported as 9 Hours 57 Minutes “Per person”, it appears that the majority of Wii owners still enjoy the game enough to complete it once, but are not beating it a second time.
     If the U.S. Red Steel 2 players were beating the game at least twice, I would expect the reported hours “Per person” to be averaged more around “15 Hours”, as some of you have commented in the past the game offers about 10 hours of game-play on the first play-through.
     Perhaps Red Steel 2 has more hours averaged in other countries, showing it is played more often in those countries, and Dexter might be dropping Canada’s reported hours in the comments below that we can look at.

     Have I played Red Steel 2 yet? No, but I may be making a trip to my local Game Stop store today, where I originally reserved Red Steel 2. I believe I still have $5 on the game and I might just pick it up today, only a few years late. After all, better late than never though, right? If I can get around 10 hours of game-play out of it for around/under $20, and enjoy the Wii MotionPlus controls, I think that’s a pretty good deal.
     Before Red Steel 2 released, and being a fan of the original Red Steel, I put together three videos and posts all under a “What Red Steel 2 should keep from the original Red Steel” title. They showed some of the things I enjoyed from the original game and am hoping Red Steel 2 has, and if you missed those videos you can see them below:

     If I end up getting Red Steel 2 today, or not, I will make it known in the comment section below.

Questions
     Did any of you perhaps get Red Steel 2 in the last year, and beat it? If so, do you remember about how many hours it took you from start to finish?
     If you purchased Red Steel 2 soon after it released, and would recommend it to other Wii owners, have you completed the game more than once by now?

If any of you are interested in Red Steel 2, or even the original Red Steel, you can see links to the games below on Amazon.com: