Code Geass: Revival and Season 3 announcement?

Upon its 10th anniversary since its release the mecha anime that spanned two seasons and 50 episodes, Code Geass, was revealed at a special event at the Maihama Ampitheater in Chiba to be continuing its story.

‘Code Geass: Lelouch of the Ressurection’ which is a play on words from the original ‘Lelouch of the Rebellion’ takes place seven years after the events of its previous series. This then puts into place all the theories people have had about…

*SPOILER ALERT*

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Lelouch’s death. Is he still alive? Will someone else like Suzaku have taken his place and which characters will be returning such as the Area 11 terrorists, Jeremiah Gottwald and C2? The image above is supposedly a teaser for the new series so maybe we will see these characters once again. No format for how the series will pan out has been annoucned yet.

What will also stand out in the series revival is whether mechanoids will be used as much, whether there will be war waging or any bizarre god powers being used by whoever.

It was also revealed that due to its anniversary the first two seasons will be condensed down into three theatrical movies. This will help bring everything up to speed with viewers if they haven’t seen the series yet and helps familair fans plough through quickly. The first of these will premire in January 2017.

If you have never seen the series before it is about Lelouch Lamperouge whose mother, a member of the royal Britannia family, was gunned down. The original story takes place seven years from those events where Lelouch is at school but once encrypted with an anime eye power which lets him control people to do whatever he wants once, he then vows to take vengeance on whoever killed his mother.

He leads as his anonymous alias ‘Zero’ a group of rebellions or ‘terrorists’ whose land of Japan has been taken over by the Britannia empire and renamed Area 11. Lelouch’s childhood bestfriend Suzaku works as a mecha soldier for the empire yet Suzaku has no idea about Lelouch’s alter ego. Lelouch also wants a better life for his sister Nunnely who in the incident of his mother’s death was turned blind and reduced to a wheelchair.

The series’ were full of mecha battles and hypocritical statements…some better than others. It had a killer stroyline, decent filler episodes, a lot of fan service and an array of memorable characters.

Code Geass happens to be my favourite anime series so I look forward to whatever comes next, even if the second season ended brilliantly.

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Nintendo NES Classic Mini: The hype train keeps on chugging

There’s nothing I love more than seeing people rekindle their love with the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) or people experiencing it for the first time. The NES was released in 1985 following the success of the Famicom in Japan in 1983. The console launched with titles such as Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt which would go on to be well associated with the console. 30+ years later we see a console old and new with 30 ‘classic’ games on it. You’d think I would be over the moon…is all what it seems?

Nintendo don’t half know how to force retro onto us as they remaster there games or transport them onto each console one way or another. This can turn people away from the big N as they are still riding on the same old titles…then again HD remasters on modern consoles is practically the same. It is an easy money making ordeal as people loved the NES and giving people the opportunity to play it in an ‘easier’ way is appetising. I can see this leading the way for other retro inspirations. We have also seen a Mega Drive replica brought into stores but this was not made by Sega. So…

What is the new ‘NES Classic Mini’?

Well it is a new usb console with HDMI input and 720p playback. Oh yeah it also looks like a NES but smaller than your average large phone. The console comes with one NES controller replica which indeed looks exactly like the original in every shape and form besides one little tiny baby thing…the lead is so so short, a lot shorter than the original. You will have to bring your TV a hell of a lot more forward or push your sofa in the opposite direction if you want that chilled out feeling. The console only comes with one controller and to get another you will have to pay out. You cannot connect an old NES controller due to them both having different inputs.

You can play the games on the console in three different formats which include CRT and 4:3 as well as your more modern picture. The gameplay is nice and is a decent move-on from the Wii U which will no doubt have more ease when playing as less buttons and less space. My personal favourite is the CRT due to its authentic original feel of NES gameplay like an original vinyl making that crisp sound as it starts playing. The console features 30 games that Nintendo deems ‘classic’ which are by majority, their titles. This is understandable due to ownage rights and the amount that it would cost to pay companies for such games.

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This does leave a bit of disappointment that I cannot play DuckTales or any other classic Capcom Disney titles or even Batman or Warner Bros. titles. We could spend hours debating what should and shouldn’t be on the console. A couple we could debate is that we have Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest but not many sequels for other games and there is Super C and not Contra or the first Double Dragon. We have Bubble Bobble, Dr. Mario and Pacman but we have no Tetris…which was a phenomenal game on the system.

What else do we have that’s abscent? Jackal, Ice Hockey and TMNT as a couple. Battletoads is liscenced under Rare for Microsoft so that is written off. However, at the end of the day the list that we do have has some impressive games. It leaves open the question that if they released a second would it just be full of sequels to Castlevania and Mega Man series’. This idea then makes it seem that the next format we will have will probably be (hopefully) a Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) model. Maybe we could just get a console full of some god awful NES titles.

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The possibilities of modern gaming and the amount of NES titles on the Wii U Virtual Console leave further questions to why there aren’t more than 30 titles on the console. The idea of usb support is obvious as to why such adding of games would not be done to Nintendo because who knows what roms and hacks would be added, and we couldn’t possibly have that. Not like it ever stopped anyone on the original NES.

I think the most bizzare event in this is that for a console that has been retailing just over £50, why now it is sold out are people desperately paying hundreds of pounds/dollars (highest I’ve seen £200 in UK) for this machine? It’s going to be back in the shops soon so why are people so desperate to grab something which content you can play be many other means? We have Wii U, GameBoy Advance, the originals and emulators. It is easy to be patient and obtain these games many other way. For me personally it is nice to want one, but, as a collector I’m not going to rush out to buy it. At the end of the day there’s a lot of extortinate selling of items online whenever there’s something everything wants.

When it comes to the NES you’re going to get different types of people. If you’re a collector obviously you will want this console for said purpose but, also you will most likely have an original NES so can collect the other games you desire. If you’re wanting to get into retro titles and more into retro gaming, or get a child into it, then this is to be honest…perfect. It has some of Nintendo’s best of the best and for its price it is too good to miss.

With less complaining what do you get with this console? You are greeted with a screen that has Mario and Luigi and remnants of other games. You have taken to a menu which has a reel of all thirty titles and some options including which format you want to play in. It’s very Nintendo and very chilled and simplistic. What is a big feature is that after playing the games you are given FOUR not THREE, FOUR game saves. We’re moving up in the world and this is good if you have a few people in your household wanting to play the console. The original NES didn’t have save files so this is another sweet taste of modern freedom.

One of the best parts however and I really mean this, is that with games like Startropics and I guess The Legend of Zelda these days is that you need the manual to play them. Well the console has a QR code that you can scan onto your phone and download the manuals onto there. It’s those little gems that make everything better.

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What’s most important is that it plays well and it has many great games on it whether there’s disadvantages to the system, peripherals or exploitation from other sellers.

Finally, if you played the NES 25-30 something years ago and want to play specific games from your childhood, then I suggest getting a retro console that caters for multiple consoles and at a cheaper price for its content. Such examples are the Retron5 where you can play most retro titles from the NES onwards and then choose what you want. (Not sponsored)

If you love Nintendo and collecting then this is the console for you because it’s another gem for your collection. With its HDMI output and great framerates it ain’t bad at all. It is important that both American and Europe did get some different titles to Japan. If you’re wanting to get into retro gaming or want to get your child into your beloved games, then this is the perfect start as it is simple and straightforward and there are enough save files for all the family. To be fair with its price and when it comes back in stock it’s not like it would cost so much to buy two.

From someone in my position as a collector it isn’t something I would run out and buy because I also have the Wii U and Nintendo still needs to make its money on its eShop so obviously there are other virtual games. There are some things that could be improved and once again with Nintendo marketing could have been handheld better. Just make more, extend that controller and don’t make people feel ripped off. It’s a nice idea and opens up many windows for the future of bringing retro back to our homes.

 

Pokémon Evolutions: The kid in you is calling

If you’re like me, a kid who grew up in the late 90’s and early 2000’s then at some point in that time you probably owned Pokémon cards and heck…some of you might have actually played the game! Well remember getting those Base Set cards and aspiring for Charizard, Mewtwo, Blastoise and Venasaur? Well guess what…you have a second chance.

Pokémon X & Y: Evolutions is the final trading card game (TCG) set from the X & Y series of cards and is practically the series as a whole coming together full circle in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of Pokémon. It released yesterday (November 2nd) and should hopefully be hitting the shelves in the UK soon.

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Another 20th anniversary set was released a couple months back called the ‘Generations’ set. This include a ton of EX and full body art cards. Most Pokémon cards range from £3-3.80 whereas Generations was £5 retail value. This meant getting the Elite Trainer Box was a way better bargain and you usually got great looking pulls. The box featured two throwback cards which were Tauros from the Jungle series and Slowpoke from the Fossil series.

What makes Evolutions different is that the large majority of cards are remakes of the original base set with certain elements of the cards given a little boost. Certain placements of the Pokémon on the cards may have altered as well as with the Staryu card it appears Staryu isn’t directly in the middle. Not all the cards have been re-published however, as some that you would expect or hope for are still mega ex cards like Blastoise. Pidgeot also gets a fair few EX cards along with Charizard and Mewtwo. There will be a Mega Slowbro card and Break cards are continuing featuring Pokémon such as Machamp and Ninetails.

All other cards are back to their classic style such as the energy cards and the holos are reminiscent to that of the Wizards of the Coast packs. The only real difference is that there are better attacks and damage points to compete with modern matches and the card layout is a bit more polished. All levels remain the same as before however.

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Who had a shoebox full of swaps?

That fatty Pikachu (probably one of my first cards) is back in the set and there will be two special booster boxes with confirmed cards and these will be a Pikachu and Mewtwo set. This is a lot like the Pokémon Base 2 theme sets. There will also be elite trainer boxes featuring the starter Pokémon evolutions on the cover.

Brock and Misty have full trainer card artwork and so it is trying to mingle in the three factors of Pokémon we all know and love: the games, anime and cards. This new set will also feature old promo cards such as flying Pikachu, Surfing Pikachu and the strange Imakuni?’s Doduo (finally in English).

If you have been wanting to get back into Pokémon cards or Pokémon in general and the nostalgia is exceedingly great then I do recommend purchasing these cards for old times sake. Certain card distribution websites do sell 36 card booster sets for just under £100.00 and economically that does work out better.

Oh and one more thing…you can get the original holo Charizard card with updated card features such as HP.

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Notice anything different?

It wouldn’t surprise me if the Pokémon Company decided to re-release other series’ such as Rocket or Gym Leaders. Stay tuned for more! Each pack contains ten cards and will feature either Mega Blastoise, Mega Charizard Y, Mega Venasaur or Raichu on the cover. If you did want to compete I would suggest picking up earlier packs…especially some crafty trainer cards.

Animal Crossing New Leaf: Welcome amiibo – Four years on and still k.k. kicking

For a series which could have been ready for a new title has seen an expansion to one of its most popular games. Animal Crossing: New Leaf has been one of the most beloved handheld games behind the Pokémon series and finally it is receiving amiibo support after showing success with it in its other two titles: amiibo Crossing & Happy Home Designer. 

The Nintendo Direct started off with a hippie/Cheech & Chong looking figure (Hisashi Nogami) who has been represented in the game as a dog called Harvey. Set in a picturesque autumn forest. Welcome amiibo was the main point of this Direct and it is now available on the eShop! Harvey was joined by beloved artist K.K.Slider.

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How it will work is with the New 3Ds, you have your system ready and place the amiibo on the bottom screen. With the 3DS, XL and 2DS you will use the NFC reader from Happy Home Designer and place the cards and characters on there. Make sure the NFC reader is kept close to the 3DS/2DS when doing it.

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Wisp is now back in the game and if you rub a lantern they will appear. 50 animal crossing villagers are returning to the game such as Rex, Carrie, Ketchup, Wade, Boris and Sylvia and will be installed through new cards. Wisp will be replaced by one of these characters who you can then ask to move into your village.

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In the game there is now space for RV’s which the new villagers travel in. Inside you can purchase any item you like and these cannot be purchased in the shops. The way you buy them however is with Meowcoupons. These are environmentally earned and are a mutual exchange of wealth (you thought you owned everything huh).

However, as you are buying lots of new items, there is now more storage which you can access at any time. This is through Tom Nook and is called the secret storage or an invisible closet. You can now organise your furniture with the Happy Home Designer mechanic which should make designing a lot easier. This also means you can order giant furniture!

For regulars of the game who like playing with people and friends, if you don’t like what people are saying you can now turn off the chat. You also don’t need to talk to any Kappa’s and can go home straight away! It’s all about that better experience for everyone.

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If you haven’t played in a while (and not kept up with your mayor duties shame on you) you can now sell your town! This way you don’t have to start fresh and stubborn as he may be, Tom Nook should give you a hefty amount of bells for your expense.

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You can still invite more characters into town believe it or not such has those from the four amiibo card series’ which means you can select who you want in your town but, they won’t be arriving in RV’s. You can ask them to stay though. If you want to be more intimate with your villager friends you can now take selfies with them and change how the look and their expressions. It really is the game that keeps on giving and is increasing more and more adorable.

 

Animal Crossing characters aren’t the only ones in the game, now there will be Sanrio, The Legend of Zelda and Splatoon members! These are through the Sanrio amiibo cards (loving that Hello Kitty merch), Splatoon amiibo and all and upcoming Legend of Zelda amiibo. You can meet Epona, pig Ganon and Wolf Link in the game and even get clothing from the game including a Breath of the Wild tunic. I know I’ll be dressing my character and house in all the TLOZ merch I can get.

Callie and Marie will both be in the game as well as squid characters! The amount of stuff is now overwhelming. Finally it looks like there will be mini games including an Animal Crossing Puzzle League like the Pokémon game. It’s a bit of a Candy Crush style game.

I hope you’re as excited as I am for all this Animal Crossing content which you can now download from the eShop!