Review: Angry Birds (Android)

Angry Birds
Platform: Android
Reviewer: NintendoWiiBoy
Date: June. 21, 2011

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Doctor Lautrec JP launch trailer

I can’t wait for this game to come out later. It is true that the game was inspired by the Professor Layton series, but it looks like it has a chance to stand on its own two feet. I can’t wait to give this game a try. I’m sure we’ll hear about a release date soon enough.

Star Fox 64 3D controls trailer

Holy crap the game looks totally amazing on the 3DS. The gyroscope controls will also be really intuitive, just like they are in Ocarina of Time 3D which I have been playing a ton of! Too bad we have to wait until September 11th to get our hands on this awesome looking remake for the 3DS! 😀

Review: Yoo Ninja (Android)

Yoo Ninja
Platform: Android
Reviewer: NintendoWiiBoy
Date: June. 21, 2011

Yoo Ninja Pic
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New York Times: In-Game advertisements coming to Xbox 360

From New York Times:

With Xbox’s New In-Game Advertising, Engagement Is the Goal

Users of Microsoft’s popular Xbox Kinect gaming console will soon be able to use voice and motion commands to interact with advertisements while they are playing their favorite game or watching a video.

On Tuesday, Microsoft is set to announce a new suite of advertising tools, called NUads, short for natural user-interface ads, that will let users interact with advertising on the console dashboard or embedded in games and other video content. The ads use the same voice and motion control developed for the company’s Kinect game console, which it introduced in time for the 2010 holiday season.

The new ads are intended to help advertisers keep the attention of Xbox users in a way that traditional television advertising does not.

“When you have highly interactive people and a passive medium, they are interacting with their phone or their laptop while watching TV,” said Mark Kroese, the general manager of the advertising business group at Microsoft. The new ads, Mr. Kroese said, “create a natural way for the user to engage with the TV.”

At least one advertising agency seems to agree.

“The new ad units really epitomized the level of engagement that everyone is working towards,” said John M. Lisko, the executive communications director of Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles, part of the Publicis Groupe. Mr. Lisko said the agency had successfully advertised on the Xbox console in the past and was “absolutely considering” the new capabilities. “You can text, you can tweet, you can vote,” he said. “That’s phenomenal.”

Using voice commands, gamers will be able to send messages about an ad to a social networking site like Twitter by saying “Xbox Tweet.” Advertisers who want to send more information about a product or promotion associated with a campaign can prompt Xbox users to say “Xbox More,” which will send users an e-mail with the information they wanted.

For advertising tied to events like television shows, advertisers can prompt a user to say “Xbox Schedule” and the system will send a text message reminder to the user’s mobile phone. Similarly, advertisers can prompt users to say “Xbox Near Me” and a map to the nearest retailer will be sent to their mobile phone. Finally, advertisers can prompt users to vote on a topic by asking the user to wave their hand in front of the console and select their favorite pizza topping, superhero or clothing brand.

The new advertising options will be presented on Tuesday to advertisers at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, an annual conference for advertisers and marketers. Consumers will begin to see the new features in the spring of 2012.

The new ads will be simple for marketers to deploy since they can use the same commercials they would use on television.

“What we’re seeing now is a technology environment where marketers can deliver more sophisticated ads and they don’t have some of the hurdles that in-game marketers and in-game publishers had,” said Paul Verna, a senior analyst at eMarketer. “It’s a level of interactivity that suggests more possibilities than we’ve seen up until now.”


Valve interested in Onlive, their games might appear on service

Far from spurning OnLive as a worrying threat to his Steam business, Valve boss Gabe Newell “really likes” the games-on-demand service. At least, that’s according to OnLive.

The Cloud gaming company has told CVG that it has engaged in “conversations” with Valve boss Gabe Newell about working more closely together, and that it considers the exec and his business as “friends”.

And that’s not all – Valve has even given the California-based start-up advice on what to include in the future feature set of its service.

“Gabe and his team really like what we’re doing,” said OnLive VP of Engineering Joe Bentley. “I can’t go into specifics of any conversations we’ve had but we have had conversations with everybody in the industry. They really dig OnLive. Gabe is a funny guy because he’s really not competitive – very similar to Randy [Pitchford]. He sees us a complementary in a lot of different ways.

“If you get to know Valve as a company, Steam was something that they just had to do because nobody else was handling a decent digital distribution model. Gabe and his team’s hearts are really in making games like Portal 2 and so forth. If you see where Portal 2 is, it’s on every other platform.

“If Gabe was so intent on Steam’s dominance he would make it exclusive on Steam, but that’s not what he is. He’s about making the best quality games out there.

“He’s really fascinated with our features and given us a lot of suggestions, they’ve got similar features coming out and we’ve chatted about really innovative ideas. I regard him and the company as friends. Sure we’re going to have other people doing similar things, but the industry is big enough. We’re only a 200 person start-up, we don’t need to own it all, there’s something for everybody.”

OnLive showed its service off on a range of mobile devices at E3 earlier this month, including iPad. Bentley showed CVG how the company’s controller will soon sync wirelessly with most popular tablets on the market. (See below for a video of OnLive CEO Steve Perlman demonstrating the tech in Los Angeles.)

Bentley told us: “For me, Steam can’t really take their game to that mobile level… Gabe [Newell] walks around with his iPad so he sees OnLive and maybe thinks about how he can get Portal out to the world to the mobile market without compromises.”

UK gamers can already sign up to OnLive ahead of its launch .

BT has the exclusive rights to bundle OnLive together with its broadband service offerings in the UK, although customers will also have the option to order directly from OnLive to run over any UK ISP.


Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D get!

So after a lengthy time at Target, I walked away with my first ever copy of Ocarina of Time. I have never played through the whole thing before, having only played with Epona for 5 minutes or so. Looking forward to finishing a Zelda game for the first time ever!

More hope for Xenoblade in the US

I do not know if you’re going to like it. I do not know if you all will even understand what it means. But here goes.

First off: LINK to US Patent and Trademark Filing on Monado. This is a mark owned by Nintendo that was filed a good while ago. In fact, Nintendo has gone through a good number of hoops with this trademark filing. If you scroll down, you can see the procedural history. The first thing that stood out to me was this:

Current Status: A third request for extension of time to file a Statement of Use has been granted.
Date of Status: 2011-06-15

Yep, that approval just happened today. In short, Nintendo has filed its trademark and has gotten all of its ducks in a row. There is just one filing missing from having the Trademark enter the principle register. They filed their third request for an extension on the 10th, and it was accepted on the 15th of this month. This is a good thing because Nintendo is not letting this mark die. Failure to file an extension = abandonment of the mark.

What does this mean to me the gamer?
First off, there is no similar filing for the name “Xenoblade.” That isn’t to say this cannot happen in the future. It does not mean you can go make a filing in the principle register (for $335 plus attorneys fees) for a trademark on Xenoblade — Nintendo would just laugh at you in court and win because they’ve had prior use of it for over a year now. But this could mean that the game might actually be released as “Monado, Beginning of the World” here in the USA. It might not be, but the door is still open.

Second, a lot of you are probably wondering what a “Statement of Use” is. Believe it or not, it’s actually very simple: the Patent and Trademark office needs to see some use of the mark in commerce (such as advertisements, in stores, etc) before registration for the mark will be complete. So Nintendo is at least keeping the Monado mark alive, and once it is used in commerce it will officially be a part of the principle register with all of the rights etc. that having a trademark allows. Well, that, or Nintendo is enjoying spending the $115 filing fee + attorney fees for each extension just to taunt America.

What else do I need to know?
Just to be debbie downer for a second: anyone needing to file a Statement of Use after after receiving a Notice of Allowance (an acknowledgement by the USPTO that the filant has a “bona-fide good intention to use the mark in commerce” but has not done so yet) may file a maximum of five extensions of time to file a SoU. Each extension is for 6 months. That means Nintendo has a one and a half year window to use Monado in commerce before it abandons the mark by operation of law. So we could be looking at a release as late as December 10, 2012…if at all.

Also, don’t read too much into the big bunch of language under “Goods and Services.” That’s just part of the gamut of language that’s required by Nintendo to cover their bases for how they’re planning on using the mark.

Finally, if you look around the page and at the documents that have been filed you’ll see that ongoing effort is listed as “product or service research or development.” That could mean any number of things, but in the video game universe I’d wager that it is Nintendo’s way of telling the USPTO that the game is still in development. Notice the “or”s.

TL;DR: So there you have it. This is as good of confirmation as you’re going to get that Monado, Beginning of the World/Xenoblade is alive in North America. Of course, that does not necessarily mean that it will be released.

Well that’s really good to hear that the game will come here. I don’t know why people thought they would reveal it at E3; Nintendo will probably reveal it at their next conference in the Fall. At least I probably won’t have to spend an arm and a leg to import from Europe. ^_^

Source: IGN Forums

Let’s Play Trine Part 1

I have finally got around to uploading part 1 of my Let’s Play of Trine. I was able to get this game through Steam for $4.50 and it is quite good for the price I paid. It was a challenging game at times but I am just not that great with keyboard controls for platformers. This is part 1 of 22, so I will be uploading another part each day (as long as I don’t forget about it, which I have for the over the past 5 days or so). So enjoy.

Sony working on equal amounts of Vita and PS3 games

From CVG:

Sony has told CVG that the number of titles being created for PlayStation Vita roughly matches PS3’s production pipeline – a step change in focus since the PSP days.

Speaking before E3, Sony’s head of WorldWide Studios Suhei Yoshida told us that the company’s decision to concentrate much more on PS3 software than PSP titles was a “mistake” and hurt the handheld.

However, he asserted that it wasn’t an error Sony would be making twice.

“We are doing about the same number of titles [on Vita as on PS3] so that means a lot,” he stated. “One of the things we didn’t do to well to support PSP was that right after PSP came out we moved on to working on the PS3 launch titles.

“So we shifted too much resource out of PSP so after a couple of years the PSP support when quickly down.

“We tried to back it up a couple of years ago but there was a time where we were not offering enough PSP content. So going forward we do not want to make the same mistake so we always look at the balance that we are doing in support of both PS3 and NGP.”