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Slender: The Arrival stalks ratings for PS4, Xbox One, Wii U

You can't escape Slender Man. Even if you unplug your old consoles and huddle under stronger machines, you're still not safe. That's what new ratings from PEGI (Europe's content rating board) suggest anyway, as a 12-and-up grade has been assigned to Slender: The Arrival's sudden appearance on PS4, Wii U and Xbox One.

Release dates included in the ratings range from October 23 to October 24, which seems ... wrong, given the current-gen port's absence from Europe's digital marketplaces. Majesco Europe Limited is listed as the The Arrival's publisher in each content rating however, so at least that part reflects reality.

Brave souls can also venture into The Arrival's creepy woods on PS3, Xbox 360, PC and Mac, but we propose joining our cowardly sanctuary under the bed, where we're definitely safe and none of life's monsters can ever get us. Well, except for the one that lives down here ...
[Image: Midnight City]

Super Smash Bros. Amiibo figures are part trophy, part protégé

Nintendo is getting into the figurine game with a lineup called "amiibo" (disregard for capitalization included). Set to cooperate with several different games, most prominently this holiday's Wii U version of Super Smash Bros., the Amiibo statues capture the company's fanciful characters in a cute, tangible form. "Capturing" might be too strong a word, though, because it implies more fiction than there really is.

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How Nintendo rolls in 8-player Super Smash Bros.

Moments before attendees grabbed the controllers at a Super Smash Bros. press event, held in a hotel in San Francisco on Thursday evening, Nintendo had a pristine setup (above) aimed at 8 connoisseurs of clash. The configuration - 1 Wii U, 8 wired special-edition GameCube controllers, a token Gamepad and two controller adapter hubs – illustrates just one of the many options you have to exceed the traditional fight between 4 players when the game comes to Wii U on November 21.

Each of Nintendo's GameCube adapters supports 4 controllers – add in another adapter and you open the possibility of 8 active, wired players. The adapter itself plugs into 2 USB ports simultaneously, so you'll be taking up all 4 of the Wii U's ports (2 on the front and 2 on the back) if you try to mimic this setup. If you have external storage hooked up already, you can also lessen the load via a powered USB hub.

The result, though, is a responsive Smash Bros. experience which serves the true challenge of 8-player mode: finding out where the hell you are in all that delirious chaos.

Watch Nintendo's awkward Amiibo primer for Super Smash Bros.

Image If you can ignore the obnoxious camera sway, the kids who sound like thirtysomething actors on a CBS sitcom and everything about its clumsy plot, this Amiibo introduction video is a solid primer on the basics of Nintendo's upcoming figurines. [Image: Nintendo] ... Continue Reading

How 8-way fights work in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Super Smash Bros.' 4-player fights have been chaotic but properly described by subtitles like Melee and Brawl. With the introduction of 8-player fights in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, though, those fights are going from brawl-ish to downright riotous. How will 8-ways in Smash Bros. for Wii U even work? The official Smash Bros. website offers up a handy guide for octuple pounding.

First and most importantly, only certain stages are available for 8-way fights. Screenshots show a Super Mario Galaxy stage, the Xenoblade stage seen in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, the Earthbound stage, and the Kid Icarus desert scene. The site does not specify if these are the only stages available for 8-player fights.

Those fights are restricted to Stock (set number of times you can be knocked out) and Time (knock out as many players before the clock runs out) settings. Players can split into as many as four color-coded teams of two as well.

How will these fights control? Players can use as many as eight Nintendo 3DSes or eight Gamecube controllers, but there are some restrictions. Only seven Wii remotes or Wii U Pro controllers can be used simultaneously, and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U only supports a single tablet GamePad. Plan those Smash parties accordingly.
[Images: Nintendo]

Retro RPG Pier Solar HD out for Wii U on November 6


The Wii U version of WaterMelon's classic-styled JRPG Pier Solar HD will hit the eShop on November 6, suffering a brief delay after its recent cross-platform launch.

Tracing its origins back to a Sega Genesis homebrew release in 2010, Pier Solar later transitioned to modern platforms thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign. Pier Solar premiered for the PlayStation 4 and PS3 in September, arriving alongside releases for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Ouya.

Pier Solar HD boasts stylish art and turn-based combat that recalls the 16-bit RPG era. A release for the Xbox One is also in the works.

[Image: WaterMelon]

35 minutes of Smash Bros. Wii U facts and fights



Today, Nintendo broadcast thirty minutes of Smash Bros. Wii U action for the world, revealing fifty facts about the upcoming game. While a good portion of the Nintendo Direct episode was reiterating information we've already learned about the anticipated game, there were a handful of announcements – such as the reveal of an offline 8-player mode.

Other information revealed included notes on the Wii U game's soundtrack, which Nintendo announced would feature original music, "almost all" of the tunes from the recently released Smash Bros. 3DS and tracks from the history of games associated with the fighters.

In the spirit of catching them all, Nintendo also revealed that owning both the 3DS and Wii U versions of Smash Bros. give players access to Mewtwo as a playable fighter. The classic Pokemon character is scheduled to be available for download in Spring 2015.

For more Smash Bros. and to hear the most excitable announcer in history, watch the video above.

Up to 8 players brawl in Super Smash Bros. Wii U

According to today's Nintendo Direct stream, when Super Smash Bros. hits the Wii U it will boast "the highest quality visuals" the series has ever seen running at 1080p resolution and 60 frames per second. That's a good thing too, as you'll need those extra pixels to contain the game's simultaneous 8-player brawls.

The inclusion of an 8-player Smash mode comes with two caveats: 8-person melees are only available when playing offline and not all stages are eligible for that many combatants. Instead, the game features specially-designed, extra large stages to accommodate all those fighters. As you can see from the Nintendo Direct archive video below the break, even these designated stages quickly grow very chaotic when eight fighters are duking it out.

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Joystiq Discussion: Will you get a new console this fall?

One year later and the current crop of gaming machines are looking a whole heck of a lot different than they did in the fall of 2013. Mealy launch exclusives like Knack, Ryse and Nintendoland are distant memories. Now the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Wii U are cooking with gas. Sony's got heaters like Infamous: Second Son, Xbox One's got freaks like D4 alongside bruisers like Forza Horizon 2, and Wii U has heavyweights like Mario Kart 8 and weirdoes like Bayonetta 2 backing it up.

The question now is: Is that enough? If you haven't taken the plunge yet, have any of the new machines sufficiently convinced you? Are you considering adding a second new console to your living room domain? Or have you walked away from the console world for good? Take the poll then take to the comments to discuss.


[Images: Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft]

New Nintendo eShop releases: Bayonetta 2, Fantasy Life, Aria of Sorrow

It's a busy week on the Nintendo eShop, with PlatinumGames' inimitably stylish action game Bayonetta 2 premiering on the Wii U while Level-5's RPG Fantasy Life leads the charge on the Nintendo 3DS.

Players who purchase Bayonetta 2 on the eShop will additionally receive a copy of the original Bayonetta for free starting this week. Other Wii U games premiering today include Ubisoft's Just Dance 2015, Activision's karaoke sim The Voice, and a Virtual Console port of Konami's 2003 Nintendo DS platformer Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow.

Over on the 3DS side of the eShop, Nintendo's instructional app Pokemon Art Academy and WayForward's exploratory platformer Shantae and the Pirate's Curse headline a selection of 10 new games. 3DS owners may also want to check out Detune's portable synthesizer KORG DSN-12, Bandai Namco's Power Rangers: Super Megaforce, and Activision's The Legend of Korra: A New Era Begins.

Nintendo additionally teased next week's Virtual Console lineup, revealing that Capcom's ghoulish side-scrollers Demon's Crest and Gargoyle's Quest 2 will launch alongside Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land on October 30. Hit the jump below for a full list of this week's featured releases.

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Race around Yoshi's Circuit in Mario Kart 8 DLC video

Mario Kart 8's first paid DLC pack will feature the return of a track from previous Kart games, Yoshi's Circuit. Racers can catch a glimpse of the Double Dash and Mario Kart DS track in the video provided by Nintendo of Japan after the break. The trailer also shows off some of the additional goodies players will receive when they pick up the add-on content pack, such as the Cat Peach, Tanooki Mario and Link racers.

It also features the multi-colored Yoshis available to those that buy both the first and second DLC pack. The DLC packs are $8 individually and $12 when purchased together. The first pack will also include F-Zero's Blue Falcon vehicle, Mario's B-Dasher kart and a special Master Cycle based on The Legend of Zelda series. The DLC will launch next month, followed by the second, Animal Crossing-themed pack in May 2015.
[Image: Nintendo]

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Hyrule Warriors to Link up with Amiibo figure

An Amiibo figure slated to launch alongside Super Smash Bros. for Wii U next month will also be compatible with the recently released Wii U brawler Hyrule Warriors, Nintendo of America announced today.

Players who purchase Super Smash Bros. for Wii U's Link figure can register the Hylian hero with Hyrule Warriors, presumably after a software update. No further details regarding Hyrule Warriors' Amiibo functionality have been announced, but Nintendo notes that more information will be available as Super Smash Bros. for Wii U approaches its North American launch on November 21.

[Image: Nintendo]

Demon's Crest, Gargoyle's Quest 2 invade eShop on October 30

Capcom will resurrect a pair of demonic platformers from its back catalog next week with the launch of Demon's Crest and Gargoyle's Quest 2 for the Nintendo eShop.

Both games star Ghosts 'n Goblins series antagonist Firebrand, and both feature side-scrolling action bolstered by action-RPG elements. Firebrand navigates an RPG-like overworld in between difficult platforming sequences in 1992's Gargoyle's Quest 2 for the NES, while the 1994 SNES series finale Demon's Crest takes a more open-ended approach, challenging players to return to previously-explored levels as they uncover hidden items and pursue multiple endings.

Capcom's upcoming eShop re-releases will premiere at a significant discount compared to their current aftermarket prices. Cartridge-only copies of Demon's Crest are hovering around $100 on eBay these days, and Gargoyle's Quest 2 is approaching $70. 3DS and Wii U owners get Gargoyle's Quest 2 for $4.99 next week, and Demon's Crest will hit the Wii U eShop exclusively for $7.99.

(For the record, I sold my cartridge of Gargoyle's Quest 2 for $10 and complete-in-box (sob) copy of Demon's Crest for around $20 years ago. I regret my mistakes.)

[Image: Capcom / VG Museum]

Editor's Note: We Are Always Fighting

We are always fighting.

The first video game I ever played, Space Invaders, rendered fighting in a sickly green hue, with squid-like aliens descending down the bulbous surface of a beige monitor. As much as I admired their patient and orderly see-saw attack pattern on our planet, it made it easy to blow them away from below. You see, it's not about the violence, but timing and pattern recognition.

My other starting game was some kind of Mad Libs program, which accepted a list of nouns and verbs and then spat out a boring or comical story, depending on how creative your input was. The key to playing this game well, I determined, was baking a well-timed "pie" into the plot. The archer reaches into his quiver and removes ... a pie! Help, the sheriff's been shot in the pie! The crowd sucked the air out of the room as the boxer fell to a critical blow from his opponent ... the PIE. You see, a video game lets players control (and probably ruin) the story.

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Thursday's Nintendo Direct is all about Wii U's Smash Bros.

Nintendo is hosting a new livestream event on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. EST (3:00 p.m. PST), and this one is focused on Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. The publisher says it will reveal "50 new things" for the game, which will launch on November 21.

It's possible the latest announcements for the fighting game will include the level editor and board game mode mentioned in an Amazon listing late last week. Thursday's Nintendo Direct may also show off poses for trophies in the game, which Game Director Masahiro Sakurai noted in a Miiverse post over the weekend. We're nearly one month out from our review of Super Smash Bros. for 3DS, which praised the fighter as "a game that every 3DS owner should play."

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