Culture
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See Nintendo's controllers evolve in this slick animation

Nintendo has made six consoles since 1983, each with a distinctive controller. One constant through all these years, as you can see in this .gif from Gadgetlove, is the plus-shaped directional pad. The Intellivision sported a circular, 16-direction pad but the overall ergonomics of the controller put many users off, especially next to the simplicity of the Atari VCS' joystick. So when the first Nintendo Entertainment Systems arrived in the United States, some here were skeptical of a system which had no stick to control. That skepticism swiftly vanished. Another constant? A button labeled "A." The B button was an unlabeled red button next to A on the GameCube, and was then the trigger on the underside of the Wii Remote, before returning on the Wii U GamePad. Otherwise, it too...
News
53 Comments

2014 in review: The year's must-play handheld games

At age 25, I'm starting to feel a little old. It's not because I'm already a couple years into my career with college memories fading fast, or that weddings and baby showers are events I frequently attend. It has nothing to do with the fact that I now consider myself a master of cooking sort-of-alright things that are sometimes OK to eat. No, it's because I can barely get hooked on console games these days. The demand of pouring time, hour after hour, in one spot seems archaic to me. If I'm curling up in bed, or more embarrassingly, nodding off on the couch, I'm probably about to drool on my Nintendo 3DS or PlayStation Vita. If I travel anywhere, it is imperative for me to pack my purse with both. Handhelds aren't my quick fix anymore — they're a source for some of the best games...
News
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Majesco, deeply troubled, infused with $6 million from investors

Majesco Entertainment, the financially troubled video game developer and publisher, secured $6 million in funding from "certain accredited investors," the company announced today. Of the total funds, "approximately" $1 million is available now. The balance will be placed in escrow and disbursed later, pending conditions like stockholder approval. The investors purchased Majesco sock shares at $0.68 per unit. As of this writing, Majesco's shares are trading at $0.59 per share on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Majesco, the publisher of games like Zumba Fitness series, has faced financial difficulties throughout the last few years. In March 2013, Nasdaq gave Majesco 180 calendar days to raise its stock price or face delisting if it remained below $1 per share. In August 2013, Majesco...
News
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Report: Nintendo eyeing shape-shifting LCD screens from Sharp

Nintendo is looking to buy "free form" LCD screens from Sharp, the Japan Times reports. According to the publication's sources, Nintendo could use the technology to power the successor to the Nintendo 3DS handheld or a sleep mapping device. Nintendo unveiled the sleepy, health-focused product in October as part of its QOL or "quality of life" platform. As The Verge reported in June, Sharp's display technology rearranges circuitry throughout the display allowing for screens in shapes that break from the traditional rectangular shapes of smartphone and TVs. As you can see in the image above, Sharp's reveal focused on the ways car manufacturers could use the displays. Nintendo revealed a new Nintendo 3DS in August of this year that sports a second stick and shoulder buttons. For more on...
News
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Bandai Namco changes its name for the second time this year

Bandai Namco Holdings' board of directors made another name change official today: As of April 1, 2015, 20 company subsidiaries will be rebranded from Bandai Namco Games to Bandai Namco Entertainment. "With the advance of technology and diversification of user preferences, the Group has expanded into new products and service domains that extend beyond its previous game business domain," a press release (PDF link) announcing the change explains. You can see the subsidiaries affected in the image below. This is the second name change for the company this year. In February, the parent company rebranded from Namco Bandai Games to Bandai Namco Games. Bandai Namco's latest decision is not without precedent. In January 2007, on the same day that Apple revealed the original iPhone, the...
Video
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This is what happens when you combine Devil May Cry, Street Fighter and Monster Hunter

Capcom made two big announcements in the last two weeks, and both will trickle down into Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate next year. As you can see in the trailers above and below, characters from Capcom's Street Fighter 2 (above) and the Devil May Cry series (below) will join the roster of monster hungry travelers. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is slated for an "early 2015" release on Nintendo 3DS. At that point, you'll also be able to play as Link, Mega Man and Samus. For more on Capcom's recent announcements, be sure to read Polygon's coverage of Street Fighter 5 and the two Devil May Cry games coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Culture
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Watch Mega Man confuse and destroy these kids

Way back in the 1980s, Microsoft was a software company and everybody put their cassette tapes in a Sony Walkman. It was a simpler time, when kids the world over walked to school every day uphill, both ways, and liked it. They didn't have fancy smartphones and next-gen consoles. In 1987, they had 8-bit graphics and games like Capcom's Mega Man. The folks over at the React YouTube channel decided to play show and tell using Capcom's blue-clad, pellet shooting star on the original Nintendo Entertainment System. Press play above to watch several earnest teens grab a rectangular controller with two whole buttons (four if you count the depreciated Start and Select buttons) and take on hordes of never-ending enemies. "It's just death at every corner," says Josh, who isn't wrong. They...
News
25 Comments

Does this ad show a new Wii U GamePad? (Update)

A couple of overseas advertisements have Wii U fans wondering if they've seen a new design for the console's GamePad, or if it's simply a prop or optical illusion. The image that has everyone's attention is above. It's in a spot for Mario Kart 8, airing in Japan and the U.K. The out-of-focus shot lasts about one second, at the 0:05 mark. It appears to be a different GamePad design — larger screen with a thinner bezel, so thin, in fact, that it would seem it ditches the little-used camera. There also appear to be grips projecting from the underside of the GamePad. Others suggest that because it is out-of-focus, the blurred light from the GamePad makes its screen look bigger and distorts other features. The Wii U does not support multiple GamePads. In March, Nintendo's Shigeru...
Interview
7 Comments

The man behind Nintendo's musical masterpieces

Koji Kondo has made some of the most iconic music in all of pop culture, let alone all of video game history. You can probably hum many of his most popular songs, like, say, anything in Super Mario bros. or The Legend of Zelda. He composed the soundtracks for each of those games and their respective series until and including Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. His work has appeared in modern classics like The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and Super Mario 3D World. "Illustrious" doesn't even begin to cover Kondo's career in game music. Bathtub creativity The renowned composer told us by phone that most of his best ideas come from the most unexpected places. "When I'm thinking of the main theme — the melody and the main theme of any game, I don't really come up...
News
29 Comments

Retro City Rampage is never getting a Wii U port. Here's why.

In candid language, the creator of Retro City Rampage has explained why he will not port the game to Wii U. The time required to create a Wii U version of the game would result in something that is "95 percent identical" to the version launched on WiiWare in early 2013, Brian Provinciano said. Thanks to the Wii U's backward compatibility, WiiWare titles are playable on the console in its Wii mode. And while it's a standard-definition game, Provinciano says Retro City Rampage's resolution is 240p anyway, reasoning that its pixelated top-down landscape would look much the same in high-definition. "Wii code cannot be simply put on Wii U with the push of a button," he writes. "It's different architecture, a different SDK/API, with different platform requirements. Developers must deal with...
News
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Nintendo will release Abe Lincoln, Kirby and Yoshi in 'the first part of 2015'

At least four games will be released for Nintendo systems in "the first part of 2015," according to a press release from the company today. "More great games are coming for Nintendo systems in the first part of 2015, including Splatoon, Yoshi's Woolly World and Kirby and the Rainbow Curse for Wii U, and Code Name: STEAM for Nintendo 3DS," the press release reads. Nintendo previously indicated that Splatoon would be released in Q2 2015 and that Yoshi's Wooly World would hit in the first half of 2015. Kirby and the Rainbow Curse and the Lincoln-infused Code Name: STEAM were previously announced as 2015 releases. Nintendo didn't specify how many parts it's breaking 2015 into, so we've contacted the company for clarification and will update this article with more information as we...
News
12 Comments

Nintendo's amiibo toys now being supported by third-party games

Nintendo isn't the only company that will support its new line of amiibo figures in games like Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart 8. Third-party publisher Bandai Namco is also supporting the NFC-powered toys in at least one of its games, One Piece: Super Grand Battle! X. The new issue of Shonen Jump magazine shows that the Nintendo 3DS game based on One Piece will include new Nintendo-themed costumes that can be unlocked with amiibo. Luffy can dress up like Mario and Luigi using their respective amiibo, while Sanji gets a Fox McCloud costume and Zoro gets a Link costume. One Piece: Super Grand Battle! X was released in Japan on Nov. 13. Nintendo released the New Nintendo 3DS, which features a built-in NFC reader to support amiibo, in October. A stand-alone NFC reader accessory will be...
News
43 Comments

Nintendo says its less popular amiibo toys may not be discontinued, after all

Despite previous reports, Nintendo may not discontinue production of some of its less popular NFC-powered amiibo figurines, a representative from the company told Polygon. Nintendo revealed the $12.99 toys at E3 2014. The toy-like figurines are designed to interact with games that include Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. Earlier this week, a Nintendo spokesperson said that the company planned to make its "most popular" amiibos constantly available. However, because of "shelf space constraints, other figures likely will not return to the market once they have sold through their initial shipment." Nintendo has since softened its "likely" stance, telling Polygon that figures could return. "Some amiibo were very popular at launch, and it is...
News
13 Comments

Theatrhythm will tackle Dragon Quest next

Square Enix will release a new Theatrhythm game, this time focusing on Dragon Quest, for Nintendo 3DS, the company recently announced. The Theatrhythm series combines characters from different games within a single franchise in a musical adventure. Players tap out famous tunes from various games using touch controls. Both games previously focused on Final Fantasy, which makes acclaimed role-playing series Dragon Quest a logical followup. Few details have been revealed about Theatrhythm Dragon Quest. According to Siliconera, it's expected to launch in Japan on March 26. A Western release date has not been announced. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy launched in 2012 for Nintendo 3DS, while a follow-up, Curtain Call, was released earlier this year. In an interview with Polygon, Square Enix...
News
8 Comments

Record Breaker is Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2’s expanded version for 3DS

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker — an expanded port of tactical role-playing game Devil Survivor 2 for Nintendo DS — will launch for Nintendo 3DS in early 2015, Atlus announced today. Devil Survivor 2 is set in Japan, where demons threaten to destroy everything. Record Breaker adds fully voiced dialogue and almost twice as much content as the original game. It will include a new plot that expands on the ending of the original game, as well as a new character; players will be able to skip to the new content immediately. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker will be available for $49.99. For more on the game, check out the trailer above.
News
30 Comments

New Legend of Zelda Wii U footage analyzed, secrets revealed in this 23 minute deep dive

Nintendo shared an extended look at the upcoming Zelda title coming to the Wii U during the recent Game Awards ceremony, but actual details about the game are still scarce. This 23-minute video from GameXplain enhances the footage and wrings just about every possible detail possible out of what was said or hinted at, and then goes on to speculate about all sorts of aspects about the game. It's a fun conversation piece, and is essential viewing if you must think about and discuss every aspect of a game that's still likely a long way in the future, but it's also somewhat exhausting. This is speculation mixed with guesses based on a very small bit of information, but the amount of time that went into tearing apart every single bit of data in the promotional presentation has to be...
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