Coffee Shop! Online Wii U deals – save 20%, or more!

August 30, 2013

Coffee Beans
I told a friend back in June who was interested in the Wii U then, that I thought a price drop would happen for the system pretty soon and I would wait a little while to see what Nintendo would do. So, earlier this week when Nintendo announced the Wii U Deluxe Set is getting a new MSRP of $299.99 starting on September 20th, I was glad to see it happen and immediately told my friend about it.

The Wii was hard to find in many locations for nearly 2 years after it released, and because it was selling like hot coffee on a cold winter’s day, the prices of many first party Wii games rarely dropped below their MSRPs. Even now, some Wii games have their original MSRPs of $49.99.

The Wii U has been struggling with its monthly sales compared to the other consoles, since January of this year. The biggest beneficiaries of this unfortunate situation for Nintendo though, are the consumers. The Wii U hasn’t even been out a year yet, and already many Nintendo published Wii U titles are seeing some significant discounts off their MSRPs.

If you currently own a Wii U, or plan on getting one soon (like The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD Wii U Deluxe Bundle), hit the jump to see some current Wii U deals on games and gear that are at least 20% off their MRSPs/List Prices!

The Brew
First up, if you own a Wii U and have been interested in grabbing New Super Mario Bros. U, you can currently get it for $44.31 with free shipping, HERE, which is a savings of 26% from its MSRP.

If you are even a little bit interested in Call of Duty: Black Ops II for the Wii U, I highly recommend it. The online community is still active, and I don’t have issues finding regular Team Deathmatch battles to hop in. Amazon.com currently has Black Ops II for the Wii U on sale for just $37.96, HERE, with free shipping. Just make sure to check the “More Buying Choices” section on the right side of the page and look for Amazon there, otherwise you will currently be buying the game from a third party vendor on the main page, and the order will be “Fulfilled by Amazon” instead. It is cheaper by nearly $10 that way right now though, if you don’t mind purchasing from a third party vendor.

For Disney fans that might have recently purchased a Wii U, Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two is on sale from Amazon.com for $25.24 with free shipping.

Fighting fans have two deals to pick from on the Wii U right now:
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Wii U is currently on sale for only $19.77, a 50% discount, HERE! Like Black Ops II, check the “More Buying Choices” to make sure you are getting it directly from Amazon, unless you don’t mind buying it from a third party vendor.
The second fighting game Wii U owners can buy at a discount of more than 20% right now is Injustice: Gods Among Us. The game is currently discounted almost 30% on Amazon.com, HERE, and is selling for $43.23 with free shipping.

Do you enjoy hunting? Have you ever wanted go monster hunting? If so, you might want to check out Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on the Wii U. I actually own the game, just haven’t opened it yet. It will probably be played for one of the CoffeeWithGames Game Nights in the future, and I’m looking forward to hunting some more monsters. You can currently save just over 20% off Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate’s MSRP of $59.99, HERE.

If you’re not super, super, super cheap like I am, you probably will want to protect your Wii U’s GamePad sooner, rather than later. You can currently get the Blue Wii U GamePad Nerf Armor protective case on sale for just $12.97, which is 35% off its MSRP of $19.99, HERE.

There are currently two Wii U eShop games on sale, both more than 20% off their eShop list prices.

I have played and beaten Trine 2: Director’s Cut on the Wii U, and really enjoyed my time with the game. The game is currently on sale for just $7.99! You read that right, you can purchase Trine 2: Director’s Cut for just $7.99! Trine 2 was an eShop launch title available when the Wii U launched last November, and has an eShop list price of $19.99.

If you are trying to do the math on that one, it’s a savings of about 60% off its eShop list price. Here’s a trailer for Trine 2 on the Wii U, if you’re wondering what the game is like:

Nano Assault Neo is the other Wii U eShop game on sale right now, and you can currently buy it for just $6.99. It has an eShop list price of $9.99 regularly, so it is currently discounted about 30%. I haven’t played Nano Assault Neo, but like Trine 2, it LOOKS very well done on the graphical side.

If you aren’t aware of what Nano Assault Neo looks like, here is the trailer for it from the Wii U eShop:

Questions
While I can easily recommend Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Trine 2: Director’s Cut at their prices, are there any Wii U games you would recommend at their current prices (or, maybe not)?

I have some funds in my Wii U eShop account and am interested in Nano Assault Neo, but I’m not sure I would enjoy the genre, as I haven’t really played the games in it before. If you own Nano Assault Neo on the Wii U, is it a game you recommend to other Wii U owners?

What’s a birthday without a gift? CoffeeWithGames turns 4!

August 30, 2013
CoffeeWithCupcakes…coming soon? Maybe in my stomach.

Coffee Beans
What’s a birthday without a gift? If you have been wondering if my coffee supply ran out and I went into a deep sleep because of it and that’s why I haven’t been posting, I can say that has not been the case! I have been doing some CoffeeWithGames related things behind-the-scenes, even though I haven’t been posting.

At the end of June, I decided to get all of the Nintendo Channel data I had recorded during the final week (EVERY. SINGLE. WII. GAME!), before Nintendo took the Nintendo Channel offline, into a nice spreadsheet form. I spent my spare moments doing that for about 3 weeks, from late June and into July.

I have enough game-play data recorded from Wii games, that I could continue doing the Nintendo Channel data stories for another 10 years, at my usual pace. While I can tell you the Wii’s most played game in the United States, as well as the Wii’s least played game in the United States, I have decided to refocus and change the type of consistent content I deliver.

Instead of focusing just on past Wii games, CoffeeWithGames will now focus on more current games and systems. Here are a few things CoffeeWithGames will be doing on a more regular basis now:
1) Reviews! Reviews will now be happening on a more regular basis, and game reviews will have a slight twist from the normal method most sites use when reviewing games today.
2) Interviews! I have done interviews randomly in the past, but not on a regular basis. There will now be at least one interview a month (that’s my goal), either from developers, publishers, or people within the industry.
3) Videos! I enjoy creating and editing videos. I’m a bit detail oriented (see: OCD) when it comes to things though, and can spend way too much time editing and creating content (not just game related). So, I will now do more standard gameplay videos now of games I’m currently playing, and/or that the Beans are playing like what I did with Mutant Mudds Deluxe.
4) Opinion pieces! I don’t do these often, but I am looking to change that. An example of what these may be like, would be what I wrote about and wished for the first Wii U update to fix, before the first system update was released.
5) Coffee Shop! I browse Amazon.com pretty much every single day, for a number of reasons. One, is checking for any incredible deal I might not be able to pass by, another is more data related. So, I will be doing more Coffee Shop posts to share games deals, at least once a week.
6) CoffeeWithGames Game Nights! I enjoy playing games online. Call of Duty: Black Ops II is my most played Wii U game because of the online multiplayer. Instead of just playing by myself though, I will now try and schedule at least on CoffeeWithGames Game Night a month, and announce what game I’ll be playing and when about a week in advance. Hopefully, this will make it easier for some of us game together, and of course, recording the footage and doing a video of it might be possible as well.

While these things should provide a decent amount of content each month, there will also still be the random pieces from time-to-time like the “Critics vs. Customers!” pieces, Sales Ranks Analysis pieces, and maybe even the random Grounds for Celebration! piece(s) will make an occasional return.

Now, what about that birthday gift? Hit the jump and keep reading to find out!

The Brew
While I mentioned in the section above what I plan on doing moving forward with CoffeeWithGames, here is some history and things about (and, because of) CoffeeWithGames that have happened over the last 4 years since I started it:

  • Including this post, I have published 716 posts on CoffeeWithGames in the last 4 years. Considering reviews and general news haven’t been regular features around here, I don’t think that’s too shabby for mostly original content. It works out to be about 180 pieces a year, and about 15 posts a month on average.
  • I believe I have typed every, single, word written in the posts on CoffeeWithGames, and not done a “copy/paste” of them. When I originally started using Blogger, trying to “copy/paste” text would mess up the font type and size in posts, and so 4 years ago I just started typing each and every post fresh, and have continued. I do use other posts as examples, but never copy/pasting actual text. I’m still not sure if the “copy/paste” issues have been resolved, as it’s not something I even try now.
  • Almost every single photo, in every single post I have done for at least the last 2+ years (maybe longer), was edited and/or created by me in some fashion. I try to not only keep the content original, but also the images when I can. This means I have probably edited and created well over 200 images for the site that have been published, and many more that have been edited or created, but never used.
  • Because of my coverage of one game in particular, not just on CoffeeWithGames, but a number of sites, I was contacted by the developer/publisher and asked if I would be interested in helping them when they were porting the game to the mobile platforms a few years after it originally released. Not only was I able to provide them feedback and help provide them footage of particular things they needed, I was also fortunate enough to get my name put in the credits!
  • When I originally started doing the Nintendo Channel data stories, I would take the pictures of the data by standing in front of my television with a digital camera. I originally bought a video capture device, not to actually capture gameplay video, but instead to use it for recording the data from the Nintendo Channel. Data nerd? The image quality definitely changed, for the better though, and I have enjoyed using the video capture devices.
  • I have been contacted by developers because of my coverage on certain games and topics, sometimes “off-the-record”. Even when the discussions haven’t been “off-the-record”, I rarely published them, as I enjoy communicating with developers and enjoy them not having to be concerned about a site flaming out something they did/didn’t say.
Now, what about that birthday gift? As many birthday gifts probably are (and should be!), this one is a surprise, and I’m giving it away. What do you need to do though, in order to to be entered to receive this birthday gift? Simple, join the party! Do so by leaving a comment on this post and let me know what you have (and, perhaps haven’t) enjoyed on CoffeeWithGames over the last 4 years, and what new features you’re looking forward to the most!
I’ll give this post about a week for comments and feedback, and then draw a winner who follows the guidelines later next week.
Question
Did any of you do a double-take when you saw this post pop-up, and then the new look for the site?

CONNECT WITH COFFEE!

Dear Nintendo of America…

June 29, 2013

Coffee Beans
Do you see that image above? It’s an image Nintendo of America just included in an email to everybody signed up to receive promotional emails from them, and this email was specifically for the Wii U. It is titled, “Wii U Games, offers, and news for you“, and I’m glad to see Nintendo of America actually promoting the Wii U. There’s just one problem I have with it…

Do you see what is wrong with that image above? If not, take a look at the image below, as it currently appears on their Club Nintendo site, and see if you can spot it (same exact spot).

Why don’t they like the Y button?

Now take a look at the image below that I have edited in an attempt to fix the one(s) above, using sub-$100 photo editing software. This is how the image should appear.

As it should appear, unless they’re trying to promote the GamePad with a 3D display like the 3DS?

I’m not a billion dollar corporation. I don’t blog for a living. I’m not a professional photo editor, have never taken an art course, and am pretty slow when it comes to editing basic things in Photoshop. BUT, the fact I spotted that image error, makes me wonder how quickly they throw things together at Nintendo of America without proofreading them?

 Perhaps, just perhaps, the employee(s) who edited it and put the email together just didn’t have enough coffee during the day? THAT, I can understand (sort of).

So, in short:
“Dear Nintendo of America,

Please fix the first image above as it is currently seen on the Club Nintendo site (http://club2.nintendo.com/clubn-vc-promo-0613/), and please proofread emails and double check images before possibly sending them out to millions of Nintendo fans.

Thanks,
Scott”

Questions
Did anybody else, perhaps non-artist or non-graphic designer like myself, notice that error in the image? Would anybody like to donate me a few billion dollars?

Here is a newer version of the software I used to fix Nintendo of America’s bad Wii U GamePad image:

It’s Official – Wii’s U.S. Nintendo Channel, Forecast Channel, News Channel & more taken offline.

June 28, 2013
The message you get now when trying to access the Nintendo Channel.

Coffee Beans
If you have read stories around here over the last few years, chances are you have probably seen my data report stories on Wii games. I would gather information from the Wii’s Nintendo Channel, and then create images with the reported play-time on games that showed things like average times played and total hours played. You can even read a data report I did on the Everybody Votes Channel, HERE.

Well, as of now, the Nintendo Channel (seen above), Forecast Channel, News Channel, Everybody Votes Channel, and Check Mii Out Channel have been taken offline on the Wii, to never return again. Perhaps Nintendo will release a News and Weather app on the Wii U, but I doubt they will ever release a Nintendo Channel app that shows play-times of Wii U and Wii games, because that data could provide hints of sales numbers for games as well.

You can see the how the other Wii Channels now appear if you attempt to visit them, in the image below.

Click to enlarge

Caffeinated Thoughts
I have used the Nintendo Channel almost weekly, for the last 3+ years. Even weeks and months when I didn’t post data reports, I would record the data for my records (data nerd). Seeing the Nintendo Channel services discontinued is the biggest disappointment for me out of all the Wii Channels discontinued. There were some newer Wii games I was hoping to get to report on, like Pandora’s Tower, but due to the Nintendo Channel service being stopped that data will now most likely never be known.

While we used the Forecast Channel, Everybody Votes Channel, Check Mii Out Channel, and News Channel, none of them were used anywhere near as much as the Nintendo Channel in our house, and some of them hadn’t been used regularly in years.

The Nintendo Channel was by far my favorite Wii Channel and not just because of the data, but also because Nintendo started things like Nintendo Week on it and it provided a good way to watch trailers of new games coming out as well.

Questions
Did any of you use a Wii Channel (or two) regularly, and perhaps will be disappointed now that these Wii Channel services have been discontinued?

Did all of you know that the Wii Channels in the U.S./Western market were being taken offline? I didn’t see any sites really report on them being discontinued in the U.S., but I did see it mentioned for Europe and Japan.

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:

Announcing the CoffeeWithGames Twitter contest winner…

June 3, 2013

Coffee Beans
Did you miss all the posts in May that showed how you could enter for a chance to win Psychonauts, Costume Quest, and Stacking? If so, starting in the middle of May I included in some of my regular Nintendo Channel data posts a way to enter to win the games, by simply using Twitter and tweeting out each post @ a company, and including a post specific hashtag in it as well.

From my count, there were seven chances to enter the giveaway (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7), but even with multiple opportunities to enter, only one person really took advantage of multiple chances to enter.

Congratulations to Jeremy on winning, and a big thanks to him for the multiple tweets and entering the contest! Jeremy is a regular around here (who even won the 2 years’ worth of coffee a few years back), and you can follow him on Twitter, HERE!

If you missed out on entering this giveaway, make sure to keep an eye (or two) open for ways to enter to win more game giveaways, in the very near future!

If you didn’t enter the contest, and are interested in the games, you can see see them on Amazon.com below: