Gaming

Video games: one’s escape from reality to become a hero and save the land from a dark malevolence, or weaving among banana peels, and green shells. The video game sector is a tens of billions of dollars industry spanning the globe and everything from portable consoles to powerful PCs.

Square Enix lets fans play demo of Kingdom Hearts III

Square Enix hosted a Kingdom Hearts III premiere in Santa Monica, California giving fans and the media a chance to try out the upcoming title. Staff who worked on the game were in attendance to speak to the crowd, while guests could sample cerulean-hued sea salt ice cream and snap selfies holding full-sized keyblades.

Posted by Kingdom Hearts on Friday, May 18, 2018

Two playable levels, Mount Olympus (from Hercules) and Toy Box (from the Toy Story franchise), were enough to satisfy cravings for this hotly anticipated title, but to also show off some of the unique mechanics that were developed to include more action and excitement. Development staff, including Executive Producer Shinji Hashimoto, were on hand to discuss some of these features.

Posted by Kingdom Hearts on Friday, May 18, 2018

Reception from those who played the game were positive, many enjoying the familiar menu commands, and added functionality of switching between two keyblades using the D-pad, keyblade transformation, Shotlocks, Attractions, and Links. Sora’s keyblade can transform and increase its attack depending on the world. In Toy Box, the Hyper Hammer can strike enemies quickly with a powerful punch; whereas Twin Yo-Yos can reach out and deal some serious damage. Shotlocks allows Sora to lock on and track multiple enemies at once. Using a specific combo, he can then hit each target sequentially. Attractions are similar to the rides found at Disney Parks around the world: Big Magic Mountain is a rideable train that chugs up and down like a roller coaster, akin to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Walt Disney World, except it launches explosive fireworks (something that doesn’t happen on the real ride). Finally, Links (formerly Summons) allows Sora to call forth other Disney heroes to help out in battle. Ralph, from Wreck-it Ralph, jumps into the fray and can build walls with cannons to take out any enemies in their line of fire.

Posted by Kingdom Hearts on Friday, May 18, 2018

Kingdom Hearts III is almost here, with an expected launch in 2018. Square Enix plans to reveal a specific date at this year’s E3 next month.

Kingdom Hearts III will be available on both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Source: Facebook, IGN

NES Classic Edition to relaunch in Canada June 29, 2018

Missed out on picking up an NES Classic Edition console when it almost two years ago? Well, Nintendo has heard you and on June 29th, 2018, the NES Classic Edition returns to store shelves in both Canada and the United States.

A miniature version of their original home entertainment system, the NES Classic Edition includes 30 games pre-loaded with a full-sized NES controller for the complete retro experience.

These game titles are:

  • Balloon Fight™
  • BUBBLE BOBBLE
  • Castlevania™
  • Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest™
  • Donkey Kong™
  • Donkey Kong Jr.™
  • DOUBLE DRAGON II: THE REVENGE
  • Dr. Mario™
  • Excitebike™
  • FINAL FANTASY®
  • Galaga™
  • GHOSTS’N GOBLINS®
  • GRADIUS™
  • Ice Climber™
  • Kid Icarus™
  • Kirby’s Adventure™
  • Mario Bros.™
  • MEGA MAN® 2
  • Metroid™
  • NINJA GAIDEN
  • PAC-MAN™
  • Punch-Out!!™ Featuring Mr. Dream
  • StarTropics™
  • SUPER C™
  • Super Mario Bros.™
  • Super Mario Bros.™ 2
  • Super Mario Bros.™ 3
  • TECMO BOWL
  • The Legend of Zelda™
  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link™

The demand for this console was huge and many retailers suffered shortages as they were snapped up as quickly as they were offered for sale. According to a Tweet from Nintendo of Canada, the NES Classic Edition is expected to be on sale through the end of the year.

The NES Classic Edition has a suggested retail price of $79.99 CAD

Sources: Nintendo, Twitter

Super Smash Bros. coming to Switch in 2018

Yesterday’s Nintendo Direct shared a lot of information many gamers were aware of: Mario Tennis Aces, Splatoon 2 content, and so on. However, host Yoshiaki Koizumi held onto the best at the end of the roughly half-hour presentation: Super Smash Bros. is coming to Nintendo Switch in 2018.

The clip picks up after the Splatoon 2 announcements, where two inklings square off in a messy paint battle, only for the screen to go dark. The inkling girl stops and looks up to see the Super Smash Bros. circular logo reflected in her eye as reflections of Mario and Link briefly appear.

Preceding the Super Smash Bros. clip, Nintendo unveiled some of their 2018 line-up for both the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS consoles. Titles include:

Nintendo 3DS

  • WarioWare Gold – August 3rd, 2018
  • Dillon’s Dead-Heat Breakers – May 24th, 2018
  • Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr.’s Journey – TBA 2019
  • Detective Pikachu – March 23rd, 2018
  • Luigi’s Mansion – TBA 2018

Nintendo Switch

  • Kirby Star Allies – March 16th, 2018
  • Okami HD – Summer 2018
  • Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido – June 8th, 2018
  • Octopath Traveler – July 13th, 2018
  • Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes – TBA 2018
  • DARK SOULS: REMASTERED – May 25th, 2018
  • Mario Tennis Aces – June 22nd, 2018
  • Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker – July 13th, 2018
  • UNDERTALE – TBA
  • Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy – July 10th, 2018
  • Little Nightmares: Complete Edition – May 18th, 2018
  • South Park: The Fractured But Whole – April 24th, 2018
  • Splatoon 2 version 3.0 update – April 2018
  • Super Smash Bros. – TBA 2018

Source: Nintendo

Nintendo to hold Nintendo Direct for 2018 3DS and Switch games

On Thursday, March 8th, 2018, Nintendo will hold another Nintendo Direct live video at 2:00 pm PST / 5:00 pm EST to announce upcoming titles for the Nintendo 3DS and Switch consoles in 2018.

You can watch the event live with the video feed below.

Source: Nintendo

KH3 trailers at D23 showcases new worlds, new song from Utada Hikaru

With D23 Expo taking place in Japan, the talk has focused around Kingdom Hearts III and if a new trailer for the title would drop. Square Enix and Disney surprised everyone with not one, but two teasers for Kingdom Hearts III.

The first video unveils a new world from Monsters, Inc., where Sora, Donald and Goofy, team up with Sully and Mike to scare children as they settle in for bed. Our protagonists even transform into these creatures, keeping inline with the rest of this denizens from this Disney comedy. There’s also additional scenes from the Toy Story and Tangled worlds, where Sora gets to showoff some of his new moves. Interestingly enough, some familiar faces from Organization XIII make a return.


Utada Hikaru is back for a new song, titled Oath. She also performed the theme songs for the previous games in the series with Simple and Clean in Kingdom Hearts and Sanctuary in Kingdom Hearts II. Visuals include scenes with Riku, King Mickey, Xemnas and old villains Maleficent and Pete.

Kingdom Hearts III is expected sometime in 2018 for both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Sources: YouTube [1, 2]

Vancouver added as stop on Final Fantasy concert 2018 tour

Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy

Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy at the Orpheum in 2013.

The immense universe of music from the Final Fantasy franchise returns to Vancouver for another performance of Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy on Friday, June 1st, 2018 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Led by conductor Arnie Roth, this 100-piece orchestra and chorus recreates the many themes, ballads, melodies and operas from more than 30 years of  this popular video game series. Complementing the live music are scenes from the Final Fantasy games, presented in HD, enveloping both the visual and aural senses.

Tickets for this single evening show go on sale at 10:00 am Friday, January 19th, 2018.

Vancouver is the only Canadian stop mentioned so far for 2018. Other cities on the tour include Kansas City, MO, Los Angeles, CA, St. Petersburg, FL, Portland, OR, Paris, France, Cleveland, OH, and San Francisco, CA.

Source: Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy

Nintendo Direct Mini unveils new games for 2018

Neku Sakuraba

Neku makes a return on the Nintendo Switch in The World Ends with You: Final Remix.

Nintendo kicked off 2018 with a brief Nintendo Direct video this morning announcing a bunch of upcoming titles for the Switch console.

After releasing a decade earlier on the Nintendo DS, The World Ends with You: Final Remix returns with improved graphics and an epilogue building on the existing storyline. Players can use the Joy Con controllers or the touch screen to interact with the game. This Square-Enix adventure is expected sometime this year.

The Pokémon x Tekken cross-over fighting game Pokkén Tournament DX gets two DLC packs this year. “Wave 1” includes Aegislash with Mimikyu and Mega Rayquaza as support Pokémon, while “Wave 2” includes Blastoise with Celebi and Mew for support. “Wave 1” is available January 31st, 2018, followed by “Wave 2” on March 23rd, 2018.

Kirby Star Allies brings everyone’s favourite pink ball onto the Switch with new abilities, including being an artist and using spiderwebs to capture enemies. Multiplayer functionality allows up to four friends to partake in the fun. Kirby Star Allies goes on sale March 16th, 2018.

Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition is getting the Switch treatment. In addition to the existing 29 playable characters from the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS versions, their levels and downloadable content, Link and Zelda can don attire from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Two players can play together sharing the Joy Con controllers in mobile mode. This title is scheduled for Spring 2018.

The ball is in your court with Mario Tennis Aces. Enhanced gameplay makes guessing an opponents next move far more formidable. A new story mode brings more ways to play, and challenging boss battles. This title is scheduled for Spring 2018.

It’s the epic story of survival in Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana. Adol barely makes it off of a sinking ship with his life and ends up on a deserted island. Enlisting the help of other survivors to build a camp and defend themselves from the vicious inhabitants of the island thru fast-paced battles. Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is expected in summer 2018.

New downloadable content for Super Mario Odyssey makes for balloon-popping fun! Upon completing the main story, a new mode called Balloon World appears with two modes: Hide It and Find It. In Hide It, players must hide balloons in various worlds for others to find. In Find It, the player must find balloons secreted away by others. This update becomes available in February 2018.

SNK HEROINES ~Tag Team Frenzy~ brings SNK’s famous idols together in a tag-team fighting game for the Nintendo Switch. Players can utilize special attacks and items to give themselves the advantage, making victory all the sweeter. This title is expected in summer 2018.

It’s payday! Pull of some expert pilferage with your friends locally or a world away with PAYDAY 2. Updated to take advantage of the Switch’s touchscreen and HD Rumble makes holdups that more sweeter. A new character exclusive to the Switch version introduces Joy, a Japanese hacker into the fray. PAYDAY 2 goes on sale February 27th, 2018.

Explore a forest and interact with its colourful flora and fauna in Fe. Advance through the forest by singing with the animals and plants to unlock its secrets; these songs come alive with feedback from the HD Rumble in the Joy Con controllers. Fe launches on February 16th, 2018.

In Celeste, Madeline must climb a mountain, using any terrain available, granted she has the stamina for it. Using her mid-air dash, Celeste can overcome obstacles in this dangerous environment. Adjust the difficulty by playing in Assist Mode, or unlock the B-side chapters for arduous adventures. Celeste launches on January 25th, 2018.

Source: Nintendo

Zelda symphony invades Vancouver like horde of Moblins

Fans filling the auditorium at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Fans filling the auditorium at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

The wildly popular The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses returned to Vancouver to delight fans of one of Nintendo’s popular franchises with an evening of music and magic. The concert was held at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, instead of the Orpheum (as in years past) on Thursday, November 30th, 2017. Attendees of all ages filled the auditorium, many in costume or decked out in their favourite Zelda gear to show their love for the games.

Energetic local conductor Kevin Zakresky kept the crowd engaged with his performances leading the orchestra, turning to the audience for cheers and applause. He even broke out the Wind Waker baton for a few of the songs.

Tour producer Jason Michael Paul started the evening off with opening remarks, including a statement that the concert would go on hiatus for 2018. He added that if we’d like to see the tour start back up again, fans would need to contact Nintendo to let them know there’s still a demand for it.

The journey back into the many worlds of Zelda began with the overture, a compilation of the themes and motifs of Link, Princess Zelda and Ganon. From there, we launched into heaving Great Sea from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. The calming music of the immersive Hyrule in the latest title, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild captivated the crowd. Images from the games were shown on a giant screen behind the orchestra, adding to the wonder and nostalgia. Other compilations included selections from the 3D classics The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, the renowned The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, the colourful The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Of course, there was also a reprise of additional melodies from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The evening concluded with a classic, the Ballad of the Wind Fish from The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. It was a beautiful way to finish off the concert.

Merchandise this year included a new tour shirt, updated poster, music books and a replica of the Wind Waker baton. As usual, the line for these goodies snaked their way up to the second level of the theatre.

Merch booth at the Queen Elizabeth theatre for the Legend of Zelda Symphony of the Goddesses #zeldasymphony

A post shared by Frederick Linsmeyer (@nephrus) on

Arby’s advertising wins over anime and gaming fans with their marketing

Arby’s joins the ranks of fast food companies with awesome social media campaigns (including Wendy’s sassy Twitter posts). The sandwich chain uses their food and packaging to recreate various pop culture scenes from video games, anime, television shows and more. Here’s a selection of some of their most recent anime and video game posts from Facebook.

InuYasha

Sit boy!

Posted by Arby's on Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Read the rest of this article…

Fire Emblem Heroes live-action trailer

Nintendo uploaded a live-action video promoting the new legendary heroes for their mobile device game, Fire Emblem Heroes. In the nearly three-minute long trailer the four legends, Ike (Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance), Lucina (Fire Emblem Awakening), Roy (Fire Emblem: The Blinding Blade) and Lyn (Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade), showcase their strength over various enemies, including a fearsome armoured swordsman.

While Ike, Lucina, Roy and Lyn already appear in the game, these four are special heroes and carry different weapons. Normally, Roy, as an example, is an infantry unit, but his special version changes him to a cavalry unit as he is mounted on a horse. He also wields the sword Blazing Durandal instead of the Binding Blade.

The four special heroes are available for summoning; though an in-game promotion lets you select one of these five-star heroes free; additional summons require orbs.

Fire Emblem Heroes is free to download on iOS and Android devices.

Source: Fire Emblem Heroes

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