The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD Articles RSS Feed | The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Games for Grandparents and Grandchildren: Old Dogs Can Learn New Tricks Tue, 03 May 2016 06:16:58 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

“I just don’t understand those, whatchamacallit? Damgummed vidja games you play. They don’t make any blasted sense to me.”

One of my grandparents once told me something not too far removed from that sentence. My cousin and I were sitting down playing my brand-new copy of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker on my still shiny, purple Gamecube. (Oh yeah, I am going wayyyy back to 2002.) My cousin and I did our best to explain video games to the bewildered, older person, but our eleven-year-old selves couldn’t convince the grandparent that games were anything other than the preconceptions they held.

You tell those young whippersnappers!

You tell those young whippersnappers!

Just fourteen years later, I have met several grandparents and older adults who either play video games with their younger family members or have expressed an interest in the idea. With that in mind, here's a list of somewhat recent titles that might be starting points for grandparents who want to play games with their grandchildren. Who knows? Maybe you will be playing one of these games and it will catch your grandparent’s eye like no Bingo game ever could.

This is a varied list. Some of these games will be more difficult to play than others, and some of these games are aimed more at mature players than others. I've included descriptions with each entry so you have an idea of what the game is before scurrying off to entice your victim loved one to play.

Let’s get started!



Available on Steam, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360.

Can two players play at the same time?  Yes 

Control complexity?  Minimal

Juju is an extremely cute platformer ( a game where you navigate obstacles and collect floating, shiny things) starring a pink panda bear and his best friend Peyo, who just so happens to be an anthropomorphic snake. (Because video games okay?) Juju and Peyo get into some trouble and wind up releasing an evil bat that kidnaps Juju’s dad and places some dark magic on Juju’s home forest. It’s up to Juju and Peyo to save the day!

The gameplay is almost as simple as the plot for this one. Players control their choice of the two characters, and their partner controls the other. Players navigate levels filled with obstacles, enemies, and tons of floating, shiny objects to collect! The game goes out of its way to entice newcomers to play. The character of Peyo has skills Juju does not, and he is also less targeted by enemies, allowing his player to simply enjoy the game.

The controls in Juju are also simple. You control your character and have buttons to jump and perform an attack. There are five buttons used at most, making this ideal for all newcomers.

Juju’s novice-friendly design makes it a great choice for either enticing grandparents or younger grandchildren. If you want more information about the game, I actually wrote a review about it here! (Shameless self-promotion for the win!)


Yoshi’s Woolly World  

Available on the WiiU.

Can two players play at the same time?  Yes

Control complexity?  Minimal

Much like the aforementioned Juju, Yoshi’s Woolly World is a platformer where you navigate obstacles, defeat enemies, and collect shiny objects. What separates the two is the degree of difficulty and art style. The world of Woolly (the full title is a mouthful) is presented as living yarn, and yes, it is as adorable as it sounds. The art style makes the game appealing to players of all ages and can bring a smile to the face of the most cynical of players, such as myself.

The cute is strong with this one.

Players have the options of four different controllers for playing this one. You have the option of the Wii U Gamepad, the Wii U Pro Controller, the Wiimote, and the Classic Controller. As with Juju, there are essentially five buttons used in gameplay. When playing with another person, both people can also use different controllers, depending on their preference.  


Woolly is also more difficult than Juju. If Juju’s difficulty was rated at a 1 on a scale from 0-10, Wooly would fall somewhere between a 2 or a 3. Just something to keep in mind for newer players. The game allows two people to play simultaneously, so grandma can help you snag all of those collectibles!


Katamari series

Available on Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.

Can two players play at the same time? Depends on the game from what I can gather. 

Control complexity? Moderate

The Katamari series is an example of simplicity done beautifully. The objective of the game is to roll around large environments and collecting everything into a large ball of, well, everything. There is some story about replacing the stars, but all you need to know is you can collect virtually anything into your giant roving ball of objects. It’s a game that is simple to grasp and enjoy.

Here’s the game in action.


The controls are slightly more demanding than the previous titles mentioned, but they don't take long to become comfortable. The controls are similar to controlling the treads on a tank. If you want to go forward, you move both sticks forward. If you want to turn, you push the stick forward on the side you wish to turn. It's slightly more complicated, but not enough to completely alienate people. You can see more of the controls here.

Guitar Hero and Rock Band  

Available on Playstation 3&4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One

Can two players play at the same time? Two and more!

Control complexity? Depends on your difficulty and instrument, but minimal to difficult.

The Guitar Hero and Rock Band series are unique as they can provide an enjoyable experience for newcomers and experts alike. The Rock Band games have modes where you cannot fail, and instead, can simply enjoy the music and your attempts to play it. If your grandparents don’t have the dexterity for the guitar, let them beat the drums to death. If drums aren’t their thing, give them a mic and have them wail to the classics they know and love!

The controls complexity depends on the difficulty you decide to play. Each difficulty adds a new button for the guitar and drums. For singing, it makes some notes harder to hit and adds more difficult pitches and sections. There's a reason these games have become hit party games though. There is a difficulty level for all players to enjoy!

With a large library of songs included with the base game and a huge selection of songs available to download, there’s bound to be some songs your grandparents enjoy. These games can provide an evening of fun for the whole family to enjoy. Before you know it, you’ll have a garage band and participate in the local battle of the bands.

 It may or may not make your grandmother a badass metalhead.


Mario series

Available on the WiiU

Can two players play at the same time? Two and more!

Control complexity? Minimal

Gaming’s most iconic mascot has been the star of countless games that have entranced beginners and veterans alike for years. His newest games are no different. The newest titles on the WiiU are a step up in difficulty from the prior entries on this list, but they also have various modes for beginners and support for more than two players. Now grandma and grandpa both can get in on quashing Bowser’s plans!

 The Mario series is one of the longest-running and most iconic game franchises of all time, yet has managed to retain its charming simplicity throughout all of the years. The controls are simple to learn and easy to master, using six buttons at the most. The challenge comes not from the controls but being precise. However, the series has always been friendly for newcomers and remains welcoming to all.


Super Smash Bros

Available on the Wii U

Can two players play at the same time? Two and more!

Control complexity? Moderate

Now this might be a confusing entry. The Smash series is known for its depth, and the skill displayed by pros at tournaments is mindboggling. The game still remains inviting for newcomers. I have hooked several unbelieving friends with a few rounds of Smash. The game is more complicated and has more controls than some entries here, but it remains a simple one to learn and enjoy.

This is easily the most complex game mentioned here in regards to controls. The game only uses about eight buttons (no matter which of the four controllers you choose to use), but there are multiple uses for many moves tied to these few buttons. Despite that, the game remains a frantic and enjoyable experience, even if you aren't sure exactly what is going on onscreen (which is me when playing most fighting games).

With all of the sheer chaos occurring onscreen, you may not be exactly sure what just happened, but you know it looked awesome and can’t wait to continue playing. The game allows up to eight people to play, and players can customize the amount of zaniness in matches and adjust things accordingly as needed. Just don’t complain when Great-grandma Anita wipes the floor with you.


Madden games

Available on anything. These games are literally available everywhere on every platform.

Can two players play at the same time? Two and more!

Control complexity? Moderate 

Now before you question this choice, hear me out. During some summers, I would visit my cousin, and we generally ending up playing video games. One day my uncle expressed interest in playing. Giddy with excitement, we naturally started him with the worst possible choice, Mass Effect. He called defeat with a few short, but oh so hilarious, minutes.

Next, we tried Call of Duty, he fared a little better, but he could not grasp the concept of operating two joysticks simultaneously. After my cousin met many a death at the hands of his dad’s grenades, we admitted defeat. My uncle then laid his eyes on Madden and being the football fanatic he is, asked to give it a whirl. My cousin and I decided it couldn’t be any worse than the other games, so we gave it a shot. We have regretted it ever since.

My uncle’s knowledge of football outweighed his lack of gaming skills, and he managed to defeat us over and over again. Things got to the point where he was asking us to play him because he wanted to try more advanced tactics.

I mention this story because you never know which games newcomers will do well when first introduced to gaming. If your grandparent has any interest in football, give Madden a shot. The controls are relatively simple, and the commands are usually posted on the screen for quick reference. Plays are assigned to a button so you know which play you are picking. Actions such as running, stiff-arm, and juking are all tied to individual buttons which are usually displayed before the ball is snapped. Each receiver is also assigned a button, so you know which receiver you are throwing the ball to with every play. 

You can also play the game together on the same team to help ease newcomers into the game. It’s a great idea for those who love sports, and an excellent starting point for the world of games.


There are plenty of games grandparents can play with their grandchildren, or can be used to entice your grandparent to give the world of gaming a shot. Star Fox Zero for the WiiU has an invincibility mode for newcomers. Pikmin 3 for the WiiU allows two captains to cooperate and attempt to salvage their spaceship to escape a hostile planet. Rocket League is a more advanced title, but for those who want a challenging and entertaining cooperative experience, look no further. For the truly awesome grandparents, look into Portal 2 for some cooperative, puzzle-solving goodness!

All of these titles I’ve mentioned are barely a drop in the ocean of family/grandparent-friendly games available.  Give these titles a shot, and see what happens. You never know. Maybe your grandparents have mad player skills waiting to be unleashed! After all, I can count the number of times I have beaten my uncle in Madden on one hand. Do not underestimate your opponent!

Do you have any games you play with your grandparents or grandchildren? Let us know in the comments below!


Rewind Review - The Legend of Zelda: the Wind Waker Fri, 09 Oct 2015 02:30:01 -0400 David Fisher

Week 9 of the Legend of Zelda Rewind Review is upon us, officially landing us at the halfway point of this beautiful - and beloved - Nintendo series! Last week we looked into the travesty that was Four Swords on the Gameboy Advance, but this week we will be looking at a much more... colorful Zelda title. I'm of course talking about The Legend of Zelda: the Wind Waker on the Nintendo Gamecube!

As with all Rewind Reviews, The Legend of Zelda: the Wind Waker will undergo a review process through the eyes of a modern critic. No nostalgia glasses, no excuses, no rationalizing hardware limitations, and no sparing myself from angry fans and readers. Nothing will excuse this game from anything that we - as modern gamers - would expect to see in the genre today.

Of course, no Rewind Review would be complete without considering remakes or remasters! As such, this Rewind Review will also briefly look at features of the Wii U HD remake. With that said, let's command the wind and sea in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker for the Nintendo Gamecube and Wii U!

The Plot

The Legend of Zelda: the Wind Waker starts out much like several other Zelda titles: Link is asleep. In fact, we do not get our first glimpse of our cartoonish hero until his sister - Aryll - wakes him up at Aryll's Outlook. It is here that we learn that it is Link's birthday, and he has now turned the age of the hero of legend - this alluding to Ocarina of Time's Young Link.

As per Outset Island's traditions, Link trades in his islanders clothes for the ceremonial Hero's Tunic. It is not long after this, however, that Aryll spots a girl being dropped by a giant bird that was being chased by pirates. At his sister's request, Link saves the girl, but the bird returns and mistakes Aryll for the pirate leader - Tetra.

After bargaining with the pirates, Link sets off for the Forsaken Fortress to save his sister. His mission fails, and he proceeds to go on an adventure with a talking boat known as The King of Red Lions to become stronger and save his sister from the clutches of Ganon.

Link's farewell is perhaps one of the most touching moments in The Legend of Zelda, and makes the player sympathise with many of the characters

Wind Waker marks the return of the unlikely hero version of Link, the Hero of Winds having no 'chosen hero' trope to back him up this time around. Instead his desire to become the hero is fueled by his love for his sister, and his choice to protect his friends. In fact, I'm almost certain that this is the only title where a character explicitly says that "Link is not the hero we were searching for".

It is a heartwarming little story that is much more fleshed out than previous Legend of Zelda titles, and as such I would actually rank it among one of the best stories in the series (although it is far from being the best).

The Gameplay

The Beautiful

The Wind Waker follows in the steps of Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask before it, providing a 3D Legend of Zelda environment that near-mimics the previous games. This is to be expected as the 3D Legend of Zelda titles (as well as the 2D titles, in a sense) follow the formula of the best-selling Legend of Zelda for either genre to the dot. That means that Z-targeting (now L-targeting) returns, as well as puzzles in 3D space, and a focus on combat over dungeon crawling.

Wind Waker's L-Targeting system now uses an arrow over the enemy's head instead of the crosshairs seen in the N64 titles

While this could be considered stale, it really isn't. There was nothing wrong with the 3D Legend of Zelda formula in 1998, and there's still no problem with it now. However, Wind Waker has made some improvements to the battle system to keep things fresh.

The first addition is the counter-attack system. In The Wind Waker, Link can leap, roll, or side-step enemy attacks at the touch of a button - the A-button to be precise - before counter attacking. In a sense this makes the combat in The Wind Waker much easier as Link is nearly invincible so long as the A-button is pressed in a rather forgiving amount of time. However, mixed in with Link's beautifully choreographed attacks and the tradeoff is a well-received fast paced battle system that functions better than the robotic sword-and-shield dance presented by Ocarina of Time.

Link parries a Darknut's strike from above in this beautiful screenshot

The game also provides interesting new thematic items and weapons to Link's arsenal. One such item is the Deku Leaf which allows Link to glide around at the mercy of the wind. Another item is the Grappling Hook (right) which allows Link to latch on to various areas to swing across gaps in true pirate fashion.

The Wind Waker HD also provides many improvements to the gameplay and narrative structure. While these features don't entirely change the experience of the game, changes such as the added Hero Mode, making timed quests more lenient, and making travel easier. For a full list of changes you can find out more in this NeoGAF thread by Nyoro SF.

The Bad

The game's titular item, the Wind Waker, is perhaps the most poorly designed music-item in the Legend of Zelda series. Why? Due to its nature of being a conductor's baton, the player must wait for the metronome at the top of the screen to hit the center before the next direction can be selected. At best this is a minor inconvenience, however, if one is unable to remember commands quickly then it can result in the player having to restart the process over again. This is - of course - only a minor problem, but it is one nonetheless.

Then there's the main problem with the game: the boat. While sailing might seem like a fun concept on paper, spending half an hour trying to get from one side of the map to the other is not. Even after getting the Ballad of Gales you will still be spending at least 5-10 minutes to get to any destination on the map - especially for those at the top-left part of the Sea Chart.

Furthermore, the Great Sea is just what you would expect. Water. Lots of it. In fact, you can literally leave your game running, grab a bottle of... something... and drink it long before your boat runs into anything. The AI of the aquatic enemies is also so terrible that you can do so without fear of Link dying.

I see seas of blue... Skies of blue... My mast is sort of blue... Oh god there's so much blue... and I think to myself: "Oh, please someone help me!"

What can make this worse? The main quest requires you to use the boat to go to seven out-of-the-way islands to find Triforce Charts which you need to pay hundreds of rupees to translate, then sail to another middle-of-nowhere forsaken island to drag it up from the bottom of the sea. It's a painstaking task that makes the later half of the game too tedious to play again.

While The Wind Waker HD added the Swift Sail to speed up sailing, and removed several Triforce Charts from the mix, it doesn't make enough of a difference to warrant the empty space that is the Great Sea. Considering that the Swift Sail is obscurely hidden at the Auction House as well, it's not that much of an improvement.

The Presentation

This game is beautiful. Whether you pick up the Gamecube or Wii U version of the game, either title will present a certain form of beauty that you can't find in any other Legend of Zelda game to date. I will note, however, that the Wii U version and the Gamecube version have different visual styles due to the lighting and texture changes. While the original game had a more cartoonish style to it, the Wii U version seems almost like a remake of the game using porcelain models instead of pastel drawings.

Don't take my word alone for it though. Here's GameExplain's side-by-side comparison for good measure:

Wind Waker's characters are memorable. Their designs and over-the-top personalities staying with the player long after completion

One thing I would like to point out in particular is the character design in this game. I found that this game - more than previous titles - really highlighted personality traits through the overall silhouettes and details of each character model. Thanks to the cartoon style, the characters also have a ridiculous amount of emotion portrayed in both body language and facial expressions. While this would seem to take away from more serious scenes, it actually works quite well in those as well. It almost feels like you're playing a cartoon.

As for the music, The Wind Waker's irish-inspired soundtrack is a perfect match for the nautical voyages Link takes part in during his journey. Coupled with more dramatic numbers such as [SPOILERS] the King of Red Lions death theme [END OF SPOILERS] it makes for perhaps my favorite soundtrack in the series thus far.

You can check out the beautiful soundtrack for yourself in the YouTube video below:

The Verdict

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker helped the Zelda series make a successful transition to the Gamecube. While the graphics may have disappointed some players at the time since they were expecting something closer to that of the tech demo at Space World 2000, it nevertheless is a beautiful game. The music really brings out the personality of the game, and the art style makes characters pop out in a way that they can't in more serious Legend of Zelda titles.

That said, it has a few mechanical flaws. The Triforce quest, the sailing, and several other minor flaws prevent the otherwise beautiful game from surpassing the fame that Ocarina of Time presented its players with. However, if this is the first Legend of Zelda title you play, I can imagine it will stay with you as a favorite for a long time to come.

As such, The Wind Waker gets an 8/10 for executing the 3D Legend of Zelda formula well, but falling short on a few technical details.

And that's it for Week 9 of the Legend of Zelda Rewind Review! Be sure to check back on this article or the GameSkinny front page next week for future reviews, as well as swords and sorcery action as we make our way from the original 1986 release of The Legend of Zelda on the NES to the 2013 release of A Link Between Worlds on the 3DS!


Reviews in this Series:

The 7 parenting skills I developed by being a gamer Mon, 20 Jul 2015 08:32:24 -0400 The Soapbox Lord


It’s interesting what parallels that one can correlate between parenting and gaming after some thought. While there are other parenting skills gaming has influenced and sharpened, I found these the most interesting and important. Now if you’ll excuse me, I probably have some fingerpainted dogs to clean off the walls…


Loving Something that Isn’t Perfect


We all enjoy games, but we know there is no such thing as a perfect game. It is impossible. Every game is flawed in some way. While we may be able to overlook the flaws even the greatest games have, some of gamers even enjoy games that have issues. We know they are far from perfect and they have issues, yet we still love them and hold them dear to our hearts. Now how in the world can that apply to parenting? Rather easily, it turns out.


The most important thing you can do as a parent is love your child. You could provide your child with everything they could ever want or dream of, but without loving them, they would not be content with their life. While there are other important skills tasks you have as a parent, few come close in importance to loving your child.


A parent’s love is dumbfounding, terrifying, and stronger than adamantium. However, children are far from perfect. Hell, kids are basically little adults with no life experience. They will make mistakes, they'll have 'bugs', and they'll frustrate you sometimes. The thing is, no matter what our children may do, we parents will continue to love our children; just like we gamers will continue to cherish our flawed, but enjoyable games.


Organization is Awesome


I tend to be a bit anal with some things. My movie, music, and game collections are all alphabetized. I have also somehow organized my colossal Steam and libraries by genre. No easy feat, I assure you.


I have also organized my book collection as well as my shoes, clothes, and my MMO inventories, and our Guild Bank, and you get the idea…. Having games organized allows you to easily find the game you just have a hankering to play, otherwise you are stuck rummaging through a pile of assorted games with no clue as to where that elusive game is! I've learned a thing or two about organizing damn-near everything.


As a parent, being organized is a must for everyday life as well as when you want to go somewhere. Organized clothes ensures you aren’t dressing your child in winter clothes in the heat of summer (you’d be surprised what happens when you aren’t awake yet). Having your child’s toys organized allows you to easily lay hands on that particular toy when they ask, “Where’s my favorite action figure block?!” While it may not always be easy, staying organized is a great skill for parents and gamers alike.


Ignoring the Haters and Dealing with Bullies


Like many people, I have had my fair share dealing with bullies, harassers, and those mean-spirited haters. Thankfully, dealing with people like this will allow me to help my daughter when she encounters these toxic creatures. While I hope and pray she won’t encounter them, it seems an inevitable passage of life we all must face.


We’ve all been there before. Playing our favorite game when someone decides to take it upon themselves and be the ugliest person they can be, usually in the form of sexist, hateful, and derogatory remarks.


Believe it or not, dealing with these people online helps determine how you will deal with similar people in real life. The exposure to meanies and bullies online will help you to deal with future incidents in a positive manner, and help you teach your kids how to rise above the negativity.


Shrugging Off Critics and Their Unwanted Advice


I’m convinced the moment you become a parent you gain an invisible bulls-eye for unwanted advice and criticism. I am all about useful, helpful, and constructive advice, but useless and hyper-critical advice from random strangers or even people you know? No thanks, mate.


Once I was walking towards my daughter with a bag of chips I was snacking on in hand. Someone told me, “Don’t feed that baby chips!” The joys of parenting! Thankfully, due to countless backseat gamers, I know how to shrug off this sort of uninvited backseat parenting.


The above story is probably also familiar to anyone who has ventured into the realm of online multiplayer. How many times have you been minding your own business fulfilling the role of your character only to receive criticism? “Why are you going top with Jinx?!” “Don’t use your abilities yet!” "Don't heal that baddie!" And so it goes.


While some of the things said online might be more akin to harassment and bullying (which we will get to), a lot of it is in a similar camp to the unwanted, not very helpful advice. By being constantly exposed to it, you learn how to deal with, ignore, deflect, or whatever it is you do. The important thing to remember is to not let it get you, either when playing games or parenting.    


A Willingness to Try New Things


As a parent, it can be difficult to get your child to try new things. “It looks gross! I don’t like the way it smells. This place is different!” And so on. Kids can be very picky, especially when it comes to food. Thankfully, my daughter is a miniature vacuum cleaner at the moment and rarely finds something she will not eat. (I hope I didn’t just jinx myself.) As parents, we want to ensure our child experiences things they might not otherwise. Great things can arise when you leave your comfort zone. Variety is the spice of life after all.


Fellow players also know how important trying new things can be. Some of my favorite games include Spec Ops: The Line, To the Moon, and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. All three games are drastically different and stretch across multiple genres. Without being willing to try something different from my usual taste, I would have probably never played these amazing games. How many times have we played a game we thought was strange because our friend or a critic we respect recommended it?


By trying new things, we allow ourselves to be open to a wide variety of experiences and whatever may follow. Sure, you can play the same yearly iterations of Madden and Call of Duty, but you miss out on great games such as Brothers, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, Transistor, and Bayonetta.


By being a gamer who embraces variety and is willing to try a wide variety of titles, I know the importance of variety and hope my daughter will grow up appreciating variety as well. Hopefully she will never be a picky eater too! 


A Thrifty Gamer is a Thrifty Parent


If you play games, chances are you are a bargain hunter, even if only a small amount. We are always hunting for deals and steals in order to play as many games as possible for as little money as it takes. Steam Sales, Humble Bundles, bargain bins, and yard sales are just some of the tools in our repertoire we use to get those cheap deals! (I even wrote a guide on how to be bargain gamer for consoles.) Many players shop smart, are frugal, and know how to do as much research as they can to find the best deal possible.


Having a child can be quite expensive. Car seats, beds, clothes, diapers, and the many other necessities add up quick. However, being a thrifty gamer absolutely transfers into being a thrifty parent.


I could buy that brand-new Graco carseat for $300 (these things are expensive), or I can get this other one someone returned, in like-new condition, for only $100! I have found myself constantly calculating the cost of individual wipes, diapers, and more in an effort to make the best buy and stretch my funds as much as possible. My constant bargain-hunting for games has allowed me to find great deals on things for my daughter. Stay thrifty my friends! 


Patience is a Virtue


One of the most important qualities you can have as a parent is patience, especially with younger children. Kids are curious and will get into EVERYTHING. It’s just a fact of life. You can turn your back for an instant and turn around to discover your child has fingerpainted animals on all of your walls. While kids will always do things they are not supposed to and they will disobey, we still must remain patient with them.


Anyone who has played any game has had to learn patience. Those of us who grew up playing the frustratingly difficult games of the NES generation know what I mean. Most games require some degree of patience in order to be successful. Players who are fans of notoriously difficult games such as Super Meat Boy and the Souls series, among many others, are well acquainted with our friend patience. Now if you are constantly breaking your controller in frustration, you might want to work on that… 


I have been playing games for my entire life so far with no end in sight. Over the years of playing games, I have learned many things about myself and the way I experience media, as well as what genuinely affects me on an emotional level (among countless other things). I recently discussed the benefits kids acquire from playing games.


Now imagine my surprise when I realized all that time playing games has actually taught me to be a better parent. Crazy, eh?


Believe it or not, there are certain skills you can develop by being a member of the gaming culture at large. While not all of these develop strictly from playing games, per se; they are all interconnected and have developed in some way through the years due to my time with games and the culture. So, how can your game time now possibly translate to being an awesome parent later? Let’s find out!    

Zeldathon seeks to raise $150,000 for charity: water Sat, 20 Jun 2015 10:48:36 -0400 SwordandSorcery

Organizing a game marathon to raise money for charity is a pretty neat idea, and has been used successfully in the past. Zeldathon, a Zelda game marathon organized by Matthew Moffit (SuperMCGamer), is a bi-annual event, and the most recent one started yesterday at 4 PM EST. 100% of the proceeds go to a charity chosen prior to the event.

There are specific "unlock goals" that are set at certain monetary intervals. Every time a specific monetary interval is reached (say, $8,500), a new game is unlocked that will prolong the stream. There are even non-game unlock goals that occur more regularly, such as the chance to name Link when the group of friends involved starts a new file, as well as remake and hard mode unlock goals.

This year's proceeds will go to charity: water, a group that helps provide clean water to the millions without access to it, and the Zeldathon team hopes to raise $150,000 dollars through their marathon live stream. Check out the stream here, and consider donating to help the cause!

Why I love my Wii U more than my Xbox One and PlayStation 4 Tue, 02 Jun 2015 09:46:13 -0400 Michael Slevin

I love Nintendo. Ever since I could pick up a controller and play a video game I have loved Nintendo.

I feel like this is a common sentiment. Most of us grew up playing Nintendo consoles. At one point or another, we all loved the games that they made.

The Wii U, more than any other Nintendo console, has been incredibly divisive. Despite having what many regard as a strong library of first-party titles, the Wii U has struggled to get off the shelves of retailers.

Around this time last year, many heralded Mario Kart 8 as the potential savior of the console's abysmal sales numbers. It was not.

Then, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U came out several months later, receiving universal praise and being heralded as Nintendo's ace in the hole. It was not.

And then came the realization that the Wii U will not succeed. It will more than likely be the worst-selling Nintendo console, making the GameCube look like a commercial success in comparison. 

Is this good for the games industry? No, it is not. Does that mean we should pout? Absolutely not. Let's enjoy the Wii U while it lasts, and celebrate it for its often ignored accomplishments.

Which leads me to my bold proclamation: I love my Wii U more than Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

The Wii U is fun.

I have had as much fun with my Wii U as I have with any other console that I have owned. Whether it is playing 8-Player Smash with 7 of my friends in Smash Bros. for Wii U, or exploring the incredible Mario Kart 8 DLC packs with my friends, I have made great memories with my Wii U.

(Image from

The Wii U's library of games also kept me coming back. You know the feeling when you are at school or work, and you continue to think about how you cannot wait to get home and keep playing an awesome game? 

I have that feeling constantly with my Wii U

When playing Super Mario 3D World, I could not wait to get home and continue to collect every stamp, every yellow flag, and every star. 

When The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD came out, I was ecstatic. I had fond memories of playing Wind Waker on GameCube, but it had been over a decade since I had experienced Nintendo's sea-faring triumph. I now had a reason to play Wind Waker again.

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It. Was. Awesome. I couldn't wait to get home and continue my journey, sailing from island to island. Was it a remake? Yes. Did that in any way affect how much fun I had playing Wind Waker HD? Absolutely not.

Honestly, the only time I've felt this way with my Xbox One was with Sunset Overdrive. No other titles have grabbed me the way that Wii U's best offerings have.

Big things and small packages

And then there are the smaller titles that took me by surprise. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Hyrule Warriors, and Pikmin 3 are just a few.

These were some of the games I didn't think I would love, but fell absolutely head over heels for. Captain Toad is endearing, cute, inventive, and incredibly fun. Hyrule Warriors, while not a main series Zelda game, is a fun and action packed departure from Zelda's normal makeup. And Pikmin 3 is an incredibly underappreciated title within the Wii U library.

If I could turn back time...

The final reason that I love my Wii U is because I got to experience some Nintendo classics through Virtual Console. I know this isn't really fair, but my experiences with Fire Emblem, Super Mario World, F-Zero, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past were all on the Wii U.

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I now love these games, and I'm glad the Wii U gave me the means to experience these incredible games. I can see how someone who has already played these games couldn't relate. However, I am young, and I didn't get to experience these masterpieces when I was growing up. 

I know that the Wii U doesn't have much third-party support. I know we are still waiting for Zelda Wii U. But I have enjoyed my time with the Wii U, more so than my Xbox One, and several other consoles that I have owned. And after all, isn't gaming about having fun and great experiences with the games you are playing? 

If that is the case, then I have had as much fun and as many great experiences with the Wii U as I have with any console I have ever owned.

The Top 10 Games on the Wii U So Far... and What is Coming Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:44:11 -0400 NorthwestGamer

To this date, the Wii U has not exactly had a successful run, and there is no obvious reason for it. The console has some great games, the gamepad, and it is not too expensive.

This might have something to do with it being targeted at casual gamers and not offering huge improvements over the Wii; most casual gamers are okay with settling for the Wii for cheaper. It also might be that fact that most gamers buy just one console, the largest audience right now is in first-person shooters, so most people lean towards Xbox or PlayStation.

Many of you might not know it, but there has never been a better time to buy a Wii U. The big question right now is "Will Mario Kart 8 save the Wii U?" and, if not Mario Kart 8, then "Will the new Super Smash Bros. save the Wii U?"

While this might seem far-fetched, many people, including myself, will be buying a Wii U just for those games. In fact, I have already preordered Mario Kart 8, and I have not bought my Wii U yet... I should probably get on that.

Top 10 Games on the Wii U

Anyways, for all of those people who are about to enter the Miiverse with a brand new Wii U, you may want to know what other games you have been missing out on. So, without further ado, I bring you the top 10 games that are out for the Wii U.

10) LEGO Marvel Super Heroes

LEGO Marvel Superheroes

This will not be a new game for those coming from other consoles, but LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is one of the best installments in the LEGO series to date. Released on a total of 9 platforms, the Wii U version of this game was in no way a cheap port and, being a family-friendly game, I am not surprised.

That is what the Wii U is all about, being able to take a game and have a large group of people, of all ages, have a great time. The LEGO series has always fit that theme perfectly, providing great cooperative and single-player gameplay. With around 150 player-controllable super heroes from such a fantastic lineup, it is hard to resist the pull of Lego Marvel Super Heroes.

Even though it is such a cross-platform series, I would say the Lego games are most significant on the Wii U because it matches the audience perfectly. The Wii U is designed to be enjoyed by people of all ages, just like the Lego games.

9) Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

While Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate has been a fairly popular game in North America and other areas of the world, nothing comes close to measuring up to the astounding popularity the franchise has received for the Japanese version.

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is an action-roleplaying game available on both the Wii U and the 3DS, with the option to transfer your save data back and forth between the two versions. The versions are generally similar, with the main differences being the improved graphics and online capabilities of the Wii U version.

This game has had a huge impact on RPG gamers for the Wii U. Nintendo already has games like Zelda to bring in RPG lovers, but a game like Monster Hunter brings in that crowd that favors the action-RPGs.

8) Batman: Arkham City - Armored Edition

Batman: Arkham City - Armored Edition

"Its a bird! It's a plane! It's su- ... oh wait." 

Batman's Arkham series has been a hit since the beginning. While Arkham Origins may not have had the success of its predecessors, Arkham Asylum and Arkham City were undeniably great, and Arkham Knight looks like it will return to being that way. 

Generally, Arkham City is considered the best game in the series and Wii U fans rejoiced when the Dark Knight came riding on over to the platform. This version of the game also comes packaged with a Battle Armored Tech mode, all the content of the original, and more bonuses.

This installment in the Arkham games made a big impact to Wii U gamers because it was the first of the series to make it to a Nintendo console after it predecessor, Arkham Asylum, excluded Nintendo.

7) CastleStorm


CastleStorm has released for a multitude of platforms; however, for whatever reason, it has had the best reception on the Wii U. The game is a side-scrolling tower defense game that released for the Xbox 360 first and was then ported to different platforms throughout 2013.

This game does have quite a few kinks, but the overall gameplay makes it so that you can still have a great time with this game. This game is similar to a lot of flash games online, but just taken into more depth and developed as a full, paid game.

Just like Lego Marvel Super Heroes, CastleStorm is more significant on the Wii U that any other console because it is a casual game on a console that caters to casual gamers.

6) Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Director's Cut

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is another game that got a rerelease for the Wii U and, like Arkham City, they didn't screw it up (unlike Deus Ex: The Fall). The Director's Cut version that was made for the Wii U is the same version that was released for PC.

Human Revolution was, in almost every way, a complete success and is one of the few games of its kind available for the Wii U. For this reason, it is one of the top games to check out for the Wii U. It may be more designed for the other consoles, but Deus Ex is just as good on the Wii U and does not have much competition on the console.

5) Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Tropical Freeze just released less than 2 months ago and has been a huge success. It is the newest installment in the Donkey Kong Country games and, as always, Nintendo has done a wonderful job. 

Beautifully presented for the first time in HD, thanks to the Wii U, Tropical Freeze will be a blast for Donkey Kong veterans and newcomers alike. If there is any place that Nintendo never disappoints, its in their platformers, and this game is no exception.

Along with other Nintendo classics, such as the Mario games or Zelda games, Donkey Kong has always come stomping in with his own successful game every generation. From the original, Donkey Kong, to this famous series, Donkey Kong Country, there was definitely a very positive impact made by Tropical Freeze's release.

4) Pikmin 3

Pikmin 3

For some reason, I have always felt like Pikmin has been the forgotten series and I have no idea why. They are spectacular games, but they always seem to be one of the series that people haven't heard from. Too often do I hear, "oh hey, that's the guy from Super Smash Bros.!"

Don't get me wrong, Super Smash Bros. is a great series, but how have people not seen Olamar, or at least the Pikmin, before? For those of you who are big Super Smash Bros. fans and enjoyed throwing Pikmin, try the actual Pikmin games, you will enjoy throwing Pikmin even more.

In the past, Pikmin has not has as much of an impact as I would hope for, so hopefully this Wii U installment will turn the tables. It is certainly deserving of some attention.

3) Rayman Legends

Rayman Legends

I don't know if I'm the only one, but, when I saw a Rayman game for the first time, I could not believe it was successful. I don't know why, but for some reason the whole style and idea seemed like something that wouldn't work to me.

Wow, did those developers prove me wrong. This game was designed so well, they managed to take an idea that most companies would butcher and turn it into a work of art. The gameplay, the style, the environment, everything about this game is beautiful and should be on everybody's list.

2) The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD

Wind Waker HD

There is not much to say about this game other than "they didn't screw it up." The original Wind Waker  was a beautiful game. It may not have been on the same level as its predecessor, Ocarina of Time, but that doesn't change the pure quality of Wind Waker.

Too often do these HD or anniversary remakes get rushed, but Nintendo is not a company known for mistakes like this. Whether you have played the original or not, Wind Waker is a work of art for anybody who has any interest in action RPGs.

Just like Ocarina of Time 3D was for the 3DS, this game is a huge milestone for the Wii U. One thing gamers love is the games that they grew up on, and beautiful HD remakes, such as this, can really put those memories into a whole new light.

1) Super Mario 3D World

Super Mario 3D World

Nintendo never ceases to amaze me with how they keep on delivering with the Mario games. A fat, Italian plumber with no in-depth universe and a very basic plot that never gets old. Somehow, they keep doing it.

Not only do they keep making great games of their classic style, this time New Super Mario Bros. U, but they keep introducing new series' that are great. For the Wii it was Super Mario Galaxy, one of the best games of the console. This time, it's Super Mario 3D World.

Not only has Nintendo delivered a great new Wii U game, but they also have brought a 3DS counterpart that is just as good, Super Mario 3D Land. If there is any game, currently available, that you buy the Wii U for, then it should be this game.

I don't know what they have planned next, but I do know that, for now, this could be regarded as the defining game of the Wii U. With no prequels, this truly shows that, this many years later, Nintendo still has many aces up its sleeve.

Big Upcoming Titles

Along with the stellar lineup that the Wii U already has, several big new titles will be arriving soon. The future of the Wii U sure looks bright, let's hope that these games can bring a little more popularity to Nintendo's home console.

Mario Kart 8 - May 30, 2014

I may be getting a little ahead of myself, but I believe that this game will take Super Mario 3D World's #1 spot after it releases. This may be an exaggeration, it would not be easy to dethrone Super Mario 3D World, but let's keep in mind that Mario Kart is always one of the, if not the biggest game of each Nintendo console.

Mario Kart 7 was, in my opinion, a better installment than both of the last-generation Mario Kart games, Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart DS. Some new, game-changing features, such as kart customization, bring the series to a new era and Mario Kart 8 will follow that trend.

This game is likely to be the most significant Wii U release to date. The Mario Kart series has been a staple series for Nintendo with, in my opinion, not a single bad game. Get your karts ready and expect a lot from this new racer.

Super Smash Bros. (Wii U) - Q4 2014

It's Super Smash Bros., need I say more?

Okay, maybe some of you would like to hear more. This generation, for the first time ever, Super Smash Bros. will be coming to both the console and the handheld. Currently the title for both of them is just Super Smash Bros., with no announced subtitle. I assume at some point a subtitle will be added, but it could be like the new Tomb Raider or Thief.

The 3DS version of the game will be releasing this summer and the Wii U version will be releasing this winter. Both versions host the same character line-up, and it is an impressive lineup. New details are coming out all the time, so keep up to date!

Similarly to Mario KartSuper Smash Bros. has had a flawless record. The series has not run as long as the Mario Kart series, but with the series finally crossing to DS we might be able to expect some extra work put into this fighter.

Watch Dogs - Q4 2014

As some of you may know, Watch Dogs is releasing next month; however, it will be having a delayed release date for the Wii U (well, more delayed, seeing how the original release was delayed, too). 

Most people's first reaction to a game like Watch Dogs is, "it's like Grand Theft Auto." People did the same thing with Sleeping Dogs and I understand it. While there are other successful games of the genre, Grand Theft Auto does have quite the oligopoly.

Regardless, Watch Dogs is in many ways not like Grand Theft Auto. The main subject of this game is the hacking, which enables Aiden Pearce, our protagonist, to tap into different devices. This includes pedestrians' cellular devices.

So what make Watch Dogs stand out from some of the GTA competitors? A lot of these games fail to have the same attention to detail that Rockstar provides. From what we have seen so far, Ubisoft's Chicago is going to be one of the most detailed, content-heavy open-world games in the genre. Also, do not forget that Grand Theft Auto, and most of its competitors, are not on the Wii U. Ubisoft has gone the extra mile and taken the monopoly of the genre for Wii U.

Hyrule Warriors - 2014

This game could go one of two ways. It is a spinoff of the Legend of Zelda series that features a hack 'n' slash, dungeon-crawler style gameplay. I have only seen a limited amount of gameplay, but think Kingdoms of Amalur with a lot more funding. 

The reason I say this game could go two ways is basically just that it's a spinoff. There have been a lot of really good spinoffs, but there have been about 5 bad ones for every good one; however, having said that, Nintendo has a good track record with spinoffs and not butchering a series. You could pretty much say every Mario series is a spinoff of the original game. Look at Mario KartMario PartyMario GolfMario Tennis, and many others.

The last big spin-off in the Zelda series would probably be Four Swords, which just recently was offered free on 3DS. Bringing the Zelda universe to a new genre could bring in a whole new audience to the Wii U.

Bayonetta 2 - TBA

If the Mario Kart and Zelda games aren't the kind that pull you to Nintendo's consoles, then you might be interested in Bayonetta 2. The original Bayonetta released to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, but not the Wii. Now, the tables have turned and Bayonetta 2 will be available exclusively on the Wii U.

For many Bayonetta fans, this might be the final push you need to go out and buy a new Wii U. The game will still be developed by Platinum Games, but this time Nintendo will take over publishing duties. Sega is still part of the process, but they have been labeled as the "advisor."

This game has the potential to make a huge impact on the Wii U. By making that transition from an Xbox and PS3 game to a Wii U exclusive could bring its audience with it. Who knows how many die hard fans will be buying Wii Us when this game releases.


Okay, so the Wii U has not had the best sales record, and there is no guarantee that it will improve; however, I feel, and really hope, that it will. With the library of great titles constantly expanding how can people continue to resist? I will be heading out any day to grab my Wii U in time for Mario Kart 8, are you with me?

The Hero of Time or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Nintendo. Tue, 17 Dec 2013 14:55:20 -0500 Red Blue Yellow

In Gamestop a month ago, I casually perused the walls for unique experiences (while avoiding the stacks of last year's Madden and Call of Duty titles, abandoned like a Christmas puppy that became too much for a family to handle).

But as I've entered into adulthood with its responsibilities, I've grown a little colder. Thoughts like "Why do I even bother coming here?" are frequent as I become more and more jaded with the titles being pumped out on the regular since my childhood; recently released Intellectual Properties masquerading as new and fresh titles only to be a rehash of gameplay and stories originally provided by past greats like God of War or Grand Theft Auto.

A quick glance out the glass window of the small shop to the cold outdoors, whether it be to wish myself back to a time where I could actually be excited about a new release again or to avoid the brazen attempts of the clerk to nail me for a pre-order, reminded me that the holidays were right around the corner. I should be cheery and jolly. Is it possible that I've just simply grown out of being a gamer and evolved into something else?

Song of Time

There was a strong magic in the air, something that really only happens once in your lifetime unless you relive it through other children.

Before heading out of the store I noticed a very special box.

Wrapped up in gold and black stood the Wii U Deluxe Version with Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD. Don't get me wrong, I was brought up on Ocarina of Time. I've played the thing from start to finish countless times while reliving grade school all-nighters: struggling with the infamous Water Temple, trying to get that hard-to-reach Skulltula, which one of the many damsels in distress we'd choose if we were the Hero of Time... It was a special time for my friends and I, discovering courage and puberty and wishing we could make that final blow to Ganon's face. There was a strong magic in the air, something that really only happens once in your lifetime unless you relive it through other children.

Wind Waker was released some time later when I was in high school and despite the hardcore fan's initial distaste in the cel shading art direction, I felt it was a true successor of OoT. There are many moments in this game where the characters directly reference the events of OoT and while it doesn't really have the same feel, it is a fantastic exploratory experience completely on its own. While it doesn't have the same fan clout as OoT, Wind Waker was still a classic to me.

So when present day me (Adult Link?), saw that shiny Wii U with Hyrulian etchings curling down the edges of the GamePad, my Child Link screamed out through the past. Something just awoke in me then, and within 5 minutes I had brought it off the wall, swiped my card and was walking out of the store. 

Triforce of Wisdom

What had I done?

Surely this wasn't a simple impulse buy. I'm a man of research and scrutiny. With the excitement swirling around the Xbox One and the Playstation 4, I still avoided purchasing either. I'm not comfortable buying any game unless there's a sale since if I bought all the games I've been disappointed with recently at full price I'd be needing a shrink and probably a new girlfriend. I've read the reviews. As of the writing of this article, the Wii U library is a little lacking for a "next gen" console that released over a year ago. 

Maybe I'm just a big Zelda fan. Maybe I love collectibles. Maybe I love scaring my roommates away by showing them my made-up language scribbles on my Ipad-esque controller. I like to think otherwise, or at least try.

Unexpected Windfall

I'd been staring at the box on my floor for a while. I began to question that magic in the store and considered sitting on the limited edition Wii U and flipping it for a profit. After all that Pikachu 3DS that released earlier this year was selling for a pretty penny.


I'm not sure why I opened the box but I did.

I plugged that sucker in and loaded it up. I must say, everything from the menu music to the Wii to Wii U transfer process was a delight. Nintendo has an unexplainable quality in their products that have fascinated me ever since I was a kid. And hot damn, look at that Hyrulian design!

Nintendo has fully integrated into the online world and although things like the MiiVerse and WiiTV have been largely overlooked by reviewers, I found that I enjoyed them. The MiiVerse is sort of a social network for Nintendo fans, allowing you to draw stuff on your GamePad and post it to the community. You can also link up the GamePad to your TV to control volume and power settings all with one remote, which is a great quality of life improvement for me. I also feel that while the library needs to stretch it's legs, Nintendo has an impressive lineup for 2014. You can guarantee that Smash Bros will sell consoles as it has done in the past. Until then I've thoroughly enjoyed Wind Waker HD, Rayman Legends, Super Mario 3D World and Wonderful 101 while seriously looking forward to the expansion of the Virtual Console.

I understand that Mario and Zelda and Donkey Kong games are just as formulaic as God of War or Call of Duty or their respective clones. It's all about presentation, though. The PS3 and Xbox 360 lacked the kind of presentation and feel of the Wii U: That family friendly, warm fireplace feel. 
There's a certain kind of quality to be found in a Nintendo console and I do appreciate a product that does not have a reputation for Red or Yellow Rings of Death. Maybe it's my Child Link reaching out to me, hoping that I can resurrect some of those same feelings I had during my first playthrough of Ocarina of Time.

This holiday season I won't have a bitter taste in my mouth

I will instead choose a simpler path. One without chain lightning, ammo upgrades, or slaughtering alien hordes. I am a thorough believer that based on what I've seen from the NES, SNES, N64, Gamecube, Wii, and Wii U, Nintendo is capable of continuing of carrying on that special something throughout the ages, just as they always have. The heroes of time. At least, my time.

Happy Birthday Wii U - What An Interesting Year Mon, 18 Nov 2013 23:06:35 -0500 Courtney Gamache

Today we get to celebrate the first birthday of the North America's launch of the Nintendo Wii U. There's been good, bad, and ugly moments of the Wii U, and today I'm here to celebrate them with you.

The Good

Since the release of the Wii U, many more games have hit the shelves than we would have ever expected. There's been a remake of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker in HD that made some differences from the GameCube edition.  As well, we've seen a new edition of Super Smash Bros announced to hit shelves in 2014.

The Bad

Aside all of this good with new games and such, there's also a bit bad that comes along with any console. It's been told that, unfortunately, the Wii U won't sell beyond 30 million, if it's even able to sell that much. It's a bit saddening that the console won't sell beyond that measure, but also foreseeable.

The Ugly

With any console, there are gonna be bad moments that have hit the news, and the Wii U is no exception. The introduction of Wii Karaoke U has proven to be one of the uglier moments with the console and games. It's well-known that the game featured uncensored content with profanity words in lyrics. This is pretty terrible, since the younger crowd is seen playing the Wii U.

In addition, there are more recent rumors of a Wii U hardware malfunction involving overheating and a possible hardware downgrading. This is devastating for any console, especially when close to a year anniversary of launch.

I would say we've had a very interesting year with the Wii U, and I can't see what will form in the years to come. All I know is that, the Wii U isn't done yet with improvements and games, so we can expect much more!

More Classic Nintendo Games Coming to the Wii U? Thu, 24 Oct 2013 22:37:27 -0400 J Nicole Miller

With the recent success of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, it’s no surprise that Nintendo is considering the idea of re-releasing other favorite titles in high definition for the Wii U. These games would be part of the rumored “ReUmagined” series.

Shigeru Miyamoto, however, wants to make it clear that the company will not simply be improving the visual aspects of the games. Should the company go ahead with these plans, they will be implementing the use of the GamePad and other new variations to bring gamers a new way to experience classic titles. Supposedly, the “ReUmagined” series will be bringing seven N64 titles to the Wii U, including Super Mario 64.

Personally, I would be incredibly excited to see this happen. I’ve been dying to play Wind Waker in HD, and I can think of quite a few Nintendo 64 games that I’d also like to play in high definition. What about you guys? Are there any games that you’d like to see rereleased in HD for the Wii U? Personally, I’m quite partial to the idea of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask HD. That would pretty much make my life.

Wind Waker Helps Selling Wii U? Tue, 24 Sep 2013 12:46:59 -0400 Courtney Gamache

Nintendo claims that with the help of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, they'll be able to sell more Wii U consoles. This is no surprise, since The Legend of Zelda is one of the largest video game series in the world, and Wind Waker is being re-made in HD. Fans will go crazy for this game, and Nintendo will giggle with glee.

How did Nintendo figure out this news?

Product manager Roger Langford discovered that Wind Waker HD will be one of the first Zelda games for the new generation of gamers. Many might know about the past games, but they won't have first-hand experience with them. With this news, Nintendo figured it would be the "perfect time" for Zelda fans to discover the Wii U. With the remake of Wind Waker, Nintendo is hoping the title will match up to the success that Ocarina of Time received on the 3DS.

A great feature that will help sell Wii U consoles is the Wind Waker edition of the Wii U. Many people enjoy these collector editions of consoles, and the Zelda games are very popular. Featured in the Wind Waker edition of the Wii U is a digital copy of Wind Waker HD, and a GamePad decorated in Hylian symbols and script. For that edition it costs $299. For those gamers who already own a Wii U they may purchase a physical copy of Wind Waker HD on October 4th.

Do you think it's very plausible that Nintendo will sell more Wii U consoles under this edition? Are you planning purchasing this console, or the game? Share a comment below with your prospective Wii U Wind Waker adventures!

GameSkinny Rountable Podcast Episode 13: HD Remakes Sun, 08 Sep 2013 05:04:00 -0400 GSRoundTable

With the announcement of the new The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD Wii U bundle, the Roundtable turns its cannons onto an emerging trend within the gaming industry.

This week GaryErnestoLui Reilly, and Stephanie discuss the pros and cons of the recent influx of HD Remakes/HD Re-releases of games that seem to be saturating the market.

On one hand, it is awesome to see fan favorite games popping up again. Whether the old system has become obsolete, developers have added new content, or gamers just want some good old-fashioned nostalgia, these games have made a solid and vocal niche in the market very happy.

This group of gamers are speaking with their wallets as well. Multiple Kickstarters have been launched and completely funded with the promise of seeing old favorites on the screen again. Many games have appeared on online market places which allow gamers to find and download these retro games with ease, and without needing a brand new emulator.

For example, Nintendo has been on the forefront re-releases, transferring many older games to newer systems, or their Wii U emulator which re-releases older games at very fair prices, ranging anywhere from 30 cents to ~$4-5 for other classic titles.

Unfortunately, all this good news comes at a price. A full title price, to be precise. Some games that are relatively new, are being re-released at the price of new release titles. Many with little to no discernible new content apart from updated graphics.

Gamers have been quick to call out these developers as either milking a franchise, or merely using it as an easy paycheck from devoted fan bases. Games that haven't even broken 5 or 10 year anniversaries are seeing HD releases or bundles at outrageous prices.

Many feel that their passion and loyalty are being taken advantage through cheap re-releases of popular games. Others argue that these HD remakes offer something new, or bring old games back into popularity.

It is still a divisive topic, that has many gamers arguing with more than just their wallets. Chime in below in the comments. Do you think HD remakes are good or have they become a pain?

Thanks for watching! Next week we will talk about the cinematic masterpieces that are video game movies!

(This week's write up brought to you by the lovely man in the thumbnail, Lui.)

Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker HD Pre-Order Goodies Wed, 28 Aug 2013 22:40:48 -0400 Courtney Gamache

As with almost all new games coming out, if you pre-order the game you'll be lucky enough to receive some sort of bonus material or content. This shines through with The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD. Not only can you receive bonus material, but if you purchase the limited edition Wind Waker Wii U console edition, you'll be in for a treat.

Pre-Order Bonuses and Bundles

If you order The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD through GameStop, you'll have the chance to order the limited edition bundle. Included is of course the game, but you'll also get your hands on a Ganondorf figurine. Any Zelda fan would be lucky and happy to get their hands on this merchandise.


What about that Wii U Limited Edition Bundle?

Along with the really cool bundle from GameStop, if you buy the Wii U bundle of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, you'll also get your hands on some goodies. Exclusively sold at GameStop is the Wii U edition including a Black Wii U 32 GB console and The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD Wii U GamePad.

Also included is a digital version of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD and a digital copy of The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia. For those of you unfamiliar with Hyrule Historia, it's a great encyclopedia type book that has many facts about Zelda and sketches. It would complement the bookshelf of any gamer.

Well there you have it Zelda fans. On September 20th you can start ordering the special Wii U edition, so don't miss your chance on these great goodies!

Nintendo Drops the Price of Wii U Wed, 28 Aug 2013 12:16:20 -0400 Max Jay

IGN reports today that Nintendo announced that their newest home console will be getting a price cut effective September 9, 2013.

The Deluxe Wii U will be cut from $349.99 to $299.99 likely due to its less-than-stellar sales amid the excitement of a new console generation.

The price drop will also apply to a Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD Bundle - also retailing for $299.99. For your money you'll receive the Deluxe Wii U with a Zelda themed controller and, of course, the game. You'll also be able to get your hands on a digital version of Hyrule Historia, the Zelda history book.

The announcement was made at the same time as Nintendo announced their newest handheld, the 2DS. You can read up on that announcement if you click here.

Sony's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One will launch later this year for $399 and $499 respectively.

Is this enough to make you go out to buy a Wii U, or is it too close to the release of two brand new consoles? Sound off in the comments down below and maybe one day, when theres another price drop I'll invite you over to play some of the new Smash Bros. on the Wii U!

Wii U Drops to $299 on September 20 Wed, 28 Aug 2013 12:20:14 -0400 Synzer

Nintendo of America tweeted recently that the Wii U Deluxe suggested retail price will be lowered to $299, from the original $349, on September 20 of this year. In addition, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD will be launching earlier, also on September 20. To top it all off, there will be a bundle of the Wii U and the Wind Waker on the same day for only $299!

Let the Wind take you

If you don't have a Wii U yet and was thinking about getting one, this is the time to do it. This deal is fantastic, as you are basically getting the game for free. Legend of Zelda has always been a popular series and The Wind Waker is a personal favorite of mine. It was originally released on the Gamecube and has a unique art style compared to the rest of the series. The improved graphics and extra features make this one an obvious choice in my book.

Trust me. You want this.

Nintendo's not done yet 

This news, plus other big titles still on the horizon, including Super Mario 3D World and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical freeze, gives you plenty to get excited about. It seems Nintendo still wants to compete, and what better way than to lower the price of a console and have good deals? Plus, there are still classics on the virtual console that may be hard to get anywhere else, such as my personal favorite, Earthbound. What do you think about this news and does it entice you to think about picking up a Wii U? Tell us in the comments section below.

Who Killed the Wii U (Hint: It Was Nintendo) Wed, 14 Aug 2013 12:53:53 -0400 Max Jay

The Wii U was announced during Nintendo’s E3 2011 press conference. I vividly remember watching the conference, with dumbfounded slackened jaw, thinking:

“This is the worst reveal ever.”

That is what killed the Wii U - that and the continually poor support for the already dated console.

**Look what you did! LOOK AT IT!**

It was dead before it even began, and the poor jaded Nintendo fans of the world (myself included) are continually left to pick up the shattered pieces of our childhood as Reggie Fils-Aime River-dances on them as stacks of Wii cash simultaneously dribble out of his causal blazer. What was the first issue though? Was it the fact that the Wii U was just embracing the prospect of HD, making it a generation behind? Or maybe it was the lackluster lineup of games. No.

It was the reveal of that god-forsaken controller.

When Nintendo infamously unveiled the new system, they decided all they needed to do was show the nifty new iPad-esque controller. What a marvelous idea Nintendo! Let’s explore how that pre-E3 business meeting went.

**"How much money do I have? More than you, bitch!"**


Several Nintendo executives sit around a table, smoking illegal Cuban cigars and making fun of orphans. Enter Reggie Fils-Aime (super rich, hates kids, great hair).


So gentlemen: It’s time to reveal the Wii U!


Yes, but let’s highlight the nifty iPad we have for a controller.


Great idea bro! But lets make sure to be really confusing about it.


Absolutely, there’s no way we would want the general consumer to understand that this is a new console, we want them to think it’s just a new controller for the Wii!


That goes without saying, Executive 2. So we’ll just say in passing that it’s a new system rather than showing a prototype box or anything that really convinces anyone that were doing something new.


Right! Then, we’ll show almost no games except for some weird bird demo that may or may not be pre-rendered while claiming that it’ll be more powerful than the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.


Truly inspired Executive 1! Then, to just make everyone’s inner children writhe in excruciating pain; let’s show a really cool demo for a Zelda game in HD, and then never announce it ever. EVER. 

The three CACKLE loudly as they dance around the table made of endangered Redwoods and perform weird Satanist rituals.


**Charts - doesn't bode well.**

Wow - truly riveting stuff.

In reality it was likely nothing like that (who knows though – it could have been). Nintendo was trying to capture an audience that had long abandoned them: The “Core.” But rather than showing a piece of hardware, they showed a controller and gave us a handful of empty promises. Instead of inspiring the confidence they so needed, it alienated and confused their casual market while simultaneously frustrating their long-time hardcore fans.

The Nintendo hardcore haven’t seen a true Mario game, or a Zelda game (yeah we have The Windwaker HD but that’s not a new game) and we all know those are the big sellers. Meanwhile the casual market isn't willing to shell out the money for a new system when they don't really understand what it does differently. The only thing Nintendo has really done at this point is finally open the door on the new Smash Bros. game and say some cool stuff is coming. Now, I'd bet my firstborn that Nintendo will see a sales spike following the release of Smash, but it won’t be nearly enough to boost the company to its former glory.

**That landfill is entirely full of extra Wii U's and old copies of that ET Atari game.**

Nintendo has let its fans flounder in a way – waiting with bated breath for an actual announcement that never really happened. Instead of delivering when they had the chance, they skipped this year’s E3 entirely and allowed EVERYONE to have their full attention on the true next-generation of consoles - which has since taken over the internet. Sure, Nintendo has announced their presence at Gamescom, but have they fallen too far into obscurity to reclaim a considerable margin of the market?


Nintendo let themselves slip behind the industry in terms of technology and design. They are just discovering the wonders of HD, they have almost no third party support due to their poor sales and dated infrastructure and they have no viable online presence to speak of**. Nintendo has always said they won’t allow the industry to dictate what they are to focus on, but that’s how it works. It may be annoying that some of the same games come out every year, and every first-person shooter plays almost exactly the same as the last, but that is where we are right now. We can only hope that the upcoming changes in the generation open up new possibilities - but that's an article for another day.

**One of four isn't bad - it's downright terrible.**

Even so, there is something to be said for the company refusing to participate in the industry antics. I think a lot of gamers respect it (I sure as hell do), and would gladly buy a system had there been anything to draw them in. Unfortunately Nintendo is leaving their adoring fans with nothing to look forward too aside from a new Smash and a Mario Kart game (which is beautiful, but essentially the same as every other Mario Kart game). We don’t see a cool new Metroid game, and they have Retro Studios (creators of the visionary Metroid Prime series) working on the same Donkey Kong game over and over. It’s a fumbling attempt to sell units but looks to the gaming majority like absolutely nothing.

In all honesty I do see value in the system, but it needs first and third party support to really help it grow. I’ll even probably pick it up to play the new Smash, seeing as it is one of my favorite series of all time, but that’ll probably be all I do with it until some better exclusives come out.

**"Hope." - President Barak Obama. "Change." - President Optimus Prime (circa 2028)**

With any luck Nintendo will bring a doubly intense showing at Gamescom and hopefully start putting some Band-Aids (or their adhesive bandages of choice) on the festering, open wounds they’ve made for themselves. You can bet your favorite piece of gaming memorabilia that I’ll have some predictions within the next week or so after some more information comes out. But until then check out my PlayStation Vita predictions for Gamescom right here.

Do you think Nintendo will be able to pull out of their never ending pre-launch funk, or are they forever damned to reside within the margins of the industry? Sound off in the comments down below and maybe I’ll absolutely demolish you in the new Smash when it comes out - providing the online play isn’t slow and glitchy of course!


**Can anyone explain to me how Nintendo's online friend code thing works? I have legitimately no idea.

Pre-order The Wind Waker HD For Less On Amazon And Walmart Tue, 30 Jul 2013 01:35:26 -0400 Jamie K

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD is now available for pre-order, which is a remake of the older GameCube version. Although this upgraded game will be available to pre-order at many stores, Amazon and Walmart in particular are offering a special price of $49.99 (and $49.96, Walmart).

 The new version will feature updated graphics as well as: 

  • Discover Miiverse messages that wash up in various locations—it’s like finding a message in a bottle. You'll be able to you can connect with others over Miiverse.
  • Take on a more challenging difficulty level.
  • Manage your inventory and view maps on the Wii U GamePad controller.
  • You can play the game right on the Wii U GamePad

Shigeru Miyamoto explained that they "made a number of different improvements". It does seem like this Wind Waker version is better given that it has been 11 years, and the upcoming version will feature 1080p graphics. 

Miyamoto also added when talking to GameInformer:

"I think the previous game, the length and the player pacing of it was something we thought we could improve on..."

The game is slotted to come out December 31, 2013, and most other sites are charging $59.99 so you better take this opportunity to save while you still can!

Reilly's Nintendo Experience Fri, 14 Jun 2013 00:42:23 -0400 Reilly C.

The Nintendo Event, for those that don't know, is an event set up by Nintendo to show off four games not yet released but were demoed at E3.  This is to give the public a small taste of an E3 they may not be able to attend.  The games they had out were Mario Cart 8, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD and Super Mario 3D World and I was interested in seeing Wind Waker HD.  But when I got there, the whole situation soured like old milk.

Here is a quick summery of my 2 hours spent there:

I stood in a line, watched some kids enjoy playing with a Kinect, chatted with people, stared at other games and had an employee tell me I was not going to get to play the game because everyone's turn was taking so long and that I should come on another day.

Wait, what?

Despite me needing to actually work this whole event into a my schedule a few weeks in advance, I was mad that there was not more thought put into the idea that maybe people would be psyched to play unreleased Nintendo games.  How hard is it for a company like Nintendo to have enough pull to get four monitors to play four different games?  I mean, they most likely could have just asked and gotten at least one other TV in the game section.

I know Nintendo owes me nothing and they are doing this to be nice but it just felt really unorganized and as though they had no idea how to respond to a large influx of people showing up.

There was a glimmer of fun through the black void of this never moving line.  I got to talk to two rather rad guys in line about E3!  Yup, my enjoyment came from ranting with two other guys about Xbox One verses the PS4, what games got them hyped, Nintendo and more.  Smart guys with great opinions and I really enjoyed that time.

Like I said, after a while I just called quits and left to get some frozen yogurt with everyone.  I had moved maybe 20 feet in my two hours in line.  I was not getting to play anything that day, I accepted that fact, and I stopped caring.

It is sad I could not play anything that day and even worst is that it was a waste of time.  I could have been watching E3 and writing articles but I wanted to get something special by going to this event!

Hopefully this is not the same for everyone else attending the event.  Let me know if you had fun or what you might have played.

Bonus Picture: My wife and friend having fun in line.


Nintendo (In)Direct Wed, 12 Jun 2013 20:01:32 -0400 Max Jay

Unlike past E3 events, Nintendo decided to opt out of having a big press conference this year. In lieu of that, they did one of their Nintendo Direct videos to show off some of the big guns they have coming for the next year. 

Unfortunately, I don’t think their plan worked. Nintendo didn’t really have anything to show, and sadly, the once-upon-a-time giant of the video game industry has been completely left out of third party plans. Yet even with the somewhat flaccid presentation, Nintendo managed to get me and some other long time fans excited about what they have to offer.

(Sort of)


Games like Wind Waker HD and Super Smash Bros. are totally worth the price of the box to a lot of fans. Showing gameplay and trailers for these was the smartest thing Nintendo could have done. But still, we didn’t see a new Zelda for the Wii U (though A Link Between Worlds seems amazing), and being that something is most definitely in development it would have been a huge vote of confidence just to see a teaser.

Yes, I know a new Mario was shown. I loved 3D Land and have the utmost confidence in EAD Tokyo, but I would have much rather seen a new Mario game more in the style of Galaxy but with some next gen twists.Could you imagine a Mario game with an expansive city-like overworld? I love the classic overworld for previous Mario games, but Nintendo has been playing it safe for too long and the industry is largely dependent on innovation.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Nintendo as a company: Their games are always great (except you, Metroid: Other M) and they’re great to play with family, or even in groups at parties. I must have spent 200 hours playing Smash Bros. Brawl in college and I directly attribute it to some less that great test scores in my sophomore year. But it goes to show you that Smash and Mario Kart 8 the only game for the Wii U that I was really excited about: They’re the only games that change.

Mario still jumps, Donkey Kong still runs and Wii Fit still makes lazy people feel like they are losing weight without helping them lose weight.

Variety is the spice of life Nintendo, we need more! Sure, Skyward Sword changed things up a bit, but I see to remember Miyamoto saying something about “drastically changing up the Zelda formula” in the past, and I didn’t really see that in Skyward Sword. Honestly the only game they featured during Nintendo Direct that seemed to truly be evolving was Pokémon X and Y. (Pun most definitely intended.)

This is the grossest three-way ever.

Best Buy Bonanza

In addition to their Nintendo Direct video, Nintendo had demos around the country where lay-people that couldn’t go to E3 had a chance to play four of their upcoming games; The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Super Mario 3D World and Mario Kart 8. I dragged myself away from the E3 coverage to head to a Best Buy that I wish were closer to check them out.

You all look the same to me...

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

The game is aptly cartoony, brightly colored and all around good looking. I wish someone could tell me why we need it. We had this game on the SNES in 1994, then several sequels, two of which was released within the few years.

They added some little quirks and tried to make it more co-op friendly, but as fun as it looks, it was the same game we’ve seen. There’s no reason Retro, the masters behind the visionary Metroid: Prime series, should be forced to pump out Donkey Kong game after Donkey Kong game.

Seriously amazing guys. Really.

Mario Kart 8

Mario Kart stole the show. I can’t express well enough how smooth and beautiful this game is to the point where I will buy a Wii U just to play it.

While the new vertical riding doesn’t change the game, it provides a degree of excitement to the formula that is a welcome addition to the world of Mario Kart. The switch to HD and pumping the refresh rate up to 60fps literally made the game more fun. Out of all four of the games there it was the only one to drop my jaw (I’ll get to Wind Waker, calm down).


Super Mario 3D Word

While I saw the two games above, this is the only one I actually got to get my hands on.

It’s an interesting blend of Super Mario 3D Land and New Super Mario Bros. U. The new cat suit is kind of adorable and adds some depth to the pacing of the game by giving you a melee attack other than jumping on dudes, unfortunately there were no other power-ups in the demo for me to get my weird gloved hands on.

One thing that bothered me in the multi-player was how far the camera panned out; it made it difficult to keep track of your character and legitimately distracted me from the game. I'd imagine that when playing single player the camera will pull in and probably feel a little more personal. At the end of the demo though, like Donkey Kong, the biggest problem with this is we’ve played this game; it was called Super Mario 3D Land and it came out a while ago.

The best things in life are Zelda.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD

Criminal is what this is. No one at the event signed up to play Zelda. It was easily the most interesting game there (except for maybe Mario Kart, with which I fell in love). Shame on you, America. Shame on you.

Nintendo is an amazing company with a rich history of innovation and industry dominance. I can’t pinpoint a time where both of those principles fell by the wayside for the big N, but it’s certainly happening. It’s so rare to find Nintendo pushing any boundary, and their commitment to making the Wii a standard definition console has put the Wii U a generation behind in terms of power.

I find myself longing for a world where Nintendo is a third party developer and I can boot up my Xbox or PlayStation to play the newest Zelda title that doesn’t make me feel like I’m a 4-year-old playing with letter blocks.

What did you think about Nintendo’s E3 showing? Were you disappointed or was Smash Bros. alone enough to blow your mind? More importantly: How did you like my Nintendo Direct puns? Sound off in the comments down below and maybe I’ll hand feed you grapes like those fat Roman dudes in old cartoons.

Nintendo's E3 All About The Gaming Experience, Or How Survive With No New Hardware Wed, 12 Jun 2013 01:22:38 -0400 TidusLives

This year's E3 has been a bit...shall we say "unconventional" for the folks over at Nintendo. Unlike their competitors at Sony and Microsoft, who are essentially using this year's show as a platform to premiere all that their new systems have to offer, Nintendo is a year ahead of the curve, as it was at last year's convention that the company unveiled their 8th Generation console, the Wii U. But while being ahead of the game certainly has its perks, it doesn't necessarily ensure victory. 

While the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 duke it out for the unofficial "best in show" title of this year's E3, and perhaps more importantly for momentum going into this year's Holiday season, the Wii U has been largely overshadowed. In short, the console is promising, albeit old news. In an effort to combat this stigma on the system, president of Nintendo America, Reggie Fils-Aime, directed gamers away from this year's emphasis on newer, better hardware with a simple three letter mantra: "Play the game." 

That's a nifty little saying, Mr. Fils-Aime, but what are we supposed to make of this credo? 

In short, what Nintendo is trying to say to its consumer base, to the world at large, is that the proof of the Wii U's capabilities is in the proverbial pudding. Though the company may not have any new gadgets to compete with the excitement over Sony and Microsoft's respective new products, its current 8th Gen console has already slowly been accumulating games that show off its prowess.

Fils-Aime even took a jab at the ongoing controversy over the issue of game-sharing and downloadable content on the new generation of systems that characterized his competitor's press releases. "What type of magic box is going to play my game? Can I get it through hard copy or download? When can I get it? These questions are secondary," said Fils-Aime declared. "What matters is how you feel when you play a game." A rather common sense, but nonetheless rousing sentiment, to say the least.

Immediately following this quasi-call to arms, Nintendo developers took the stage revealed plans for some upcoming entries in the Wii U catalog like The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HDSuper Smash Bros Wii U, and Pikmin 3. Along with this promising stable of titles, Nintendo also reminded the audience of the major third-party releases coming to the Wii U, such as Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag and Batman: Arkham Origins. Though the U has received some criticism for its lack of titles so far into its lifecycle, this combination of Nintendo exclusive and multi-platform titles will almost assuredly relieve some of the pressure on the system.

So, despite its lack of new hardware, Nintendo will make it through this year's E3.

The question now, however, is at what cost? True, the Wii U's set list of "coming-soon" titles is formidable; but will the excitement generated from these games be enough to entice a gaming world that's already glued to the melodramatic power struggle going on between the Xbox One and the PS4?

Fils-Aime made a good business move yesterday during his speech: when you don't have anything up your sleeves, lean on what you have going for you, which, in this case, is Nintendo's unique gaming experience. What Nintendo doesn't have going for it, however, is momentum. As promising as it is, the Wii U has seemingly underperformed thus far, and that is something that neither Nintendo, nor we, the gaming world, can ignore. With that in mind, "Play the game" functions both as an energizing battle cry for gamers to rally around the system, as well as an enervated plea for them to stick with the U. 

Obviously I can't say which way the Wii U will go during this gaming cycle. Like its predecessor, it very well could be the most financially successful of this generation's consoles. Or, on the other hand, it could be the biggest flop since the Dreamcast. Only time will tell, of course, but until this drama plays itself out, at least we have the promise of some great new games on our hands!