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The Pokémon series of games has flourished for over a decade, with several diversions from the main path which have brought mixed success. Slap the name Pokémon onto a game and as long as you have adorable creatures which have both young and old chasing after them you will have a reasonable chance of selling a truckload irrespective of how the game plays.

One genre which the franchise has yet to dabble in is turn-based strategy, and the surprise here surely is how long it has taken rather than the fact that it has happened. Pokémon are a perfect pairing for a turn-based strategy game, but does Pokémon Conquest live up to the potential?

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Nintendo has made it clear that it is taking E3 2012 seriously, offering interested gamers the chance to get the latest info from LA via the web, YouTube, FaceBook and Twitter. In a press release, it was announced that:

“Nintendo will be using a mix of online, broadcast and social platforms to provide a steady stream of breaking news and announcements during the video game industry’s biggest annual trade show”.
 
“We don’t want anyone to miss the energy and excitement of this year’s E3 Expo,” said Cindy Gordon, Nintendo of America’s vice president of Corporate Affairs. “By offering different ways to tune in and follow all the Nintendo news, we aim to make fans all over the world feel like they’re right there with us at the show.”

The hub on the web is located at http://e3.nintendo.com, where there will be a live stream of the proceedings (no information about geographical restrictions announced). The US will have access to live TV broadcasts on the Spike TV and MTV2 networks commercial-free, while there will also be updates posted on YouTube, FaceBook, and Twitter. All this should make it easier for New Zealanders to follow the news when E3 kicks off in a couple of weeks.

via Gaming Examiner

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When I first read that Toyota has introduced DS connectivity to their vehicles, I thought they had gone and done what Nintendo failed to do with the Wii and offer some cool and useful connectivity features using the DS. Alas, while what they have come up with is definitely somewhat “cool”, it certainly isn’t going to make anyone rush out and buy a new Toyota and the required hardware.

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Toyota have introduced a new Satellite Navigation system in their vehicles with allows users to use the DS as a remote and enter a destination in the GPS system. The DS can display a map and sightseeing information, as well as saving “Favourite” locations. Miis apparently feature in the system, and real-time vehicle speed is also available on the DS when connected. Connectivity requires a bluetooth radio in the form of a game card.

The Sat-Nav system costs (and this is cool) around $3500, while the game card is priced at around $120. Somehow I don’t expect this pretty gimmicky system to fly off the Toyota parts centre shelves. >> via TG Daily

After posting their first ever recorded annual loss last month, Nintendo have announced price cuts for the DSi and DSi XL from May 20. The company’s loss was partly blamed on a stronger Yen compared to the Euro, as well as disappointing 3DS sales – the price of which will remain unchanged at an SRP of $169.99 USD (already down from the original launch price of $249.99 USD).

The DSi will fall from SRP $149 USD to $99 USD, while the XL version will cost $129 USD down from $169 USD. EB Games NZ sells the DSi and XL currently for $259 and $319 respectively, so if the same price cuts were to be proportionally applied to our region the new RRPs would be approximately $169 and $249. No official word on whether there will be any price cuts in New Zealand, but unlike the US, retailers here don’t seem to be moving a lot of the stock that they already have on hand, at least from what I see from local store shelves.

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Or more importantly, playing the Knife Trick mode. Lance Henrikson, the actor that played Bishop and had the memorable scene in Aliens by terrifying Hudson with his skill at five finger fillet, was approached by a user of the AVPgalaxy.net forums, who snapped this picture. The only thing I think that would make it better would be if Bill Paxton was involved, possibly complaining about his game being over.

iOS & Android
In what should come as a surprise to no one, a recent report by Flurry shows the increasing market share of both Google’s Android OS and Apple’s iOS in both the overall and portable gaming market in the United States.

Overall, there was no massive jump: iOS and Android comprised 5% of all gaming revenue in 2009, which jumped to 8% in 2010. However, it’s worth nothing that this growth came solely at the expense of portable gaming (the Nintendo DS and PSP, in particular), as console revenue share actually increased during this timeframe. So, to get a better idea of the effect of Android and iOS, Flurry also took a more detailed look at portable gaming in general.

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Have you ever considered what impact your gaming has on the environment? Don’t get me wrong. I’m no “Greenie”. I personally disagree with the Emission Trading Scheme (won’t make a jot of difference), and think Earth Hour is a waste of time. But I do recycle, and do make modest efforts to minimise waste and my “environmental footprint”.

So when I opened the 1500 Microsoft Points for Xbox LIVE that I purchased at a retail store, I was a little irked by the continued wasteful packaging that has plagued the Xbox 360 from the outset.

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Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs is a game I should have reviewed quite a while ago. But every time I saw my DS sitting on my desk or bedside table, I would turn away hoping that by simply ignoring it the game would vanish completely.

It isn’t a bad game mind you, just one meant for a slightly younger audience. Of course being interested in the Pokémon franchise in the first place always helps as well.

The Ranger series looks and feels a lot like the original Pokémon games, but with one major difference. You’re not a Pokémon Trainer anymore, but a Pokémon Ranger. There are no Pokéballs, and battles play out a whole lot differently.

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It has been an unbearably long time between drinks for fans of the excellent Golden Sun RPG series that graced millions of GameBoy Advance consoles in the early 2000s. Rumour after extinguished rumour, the Golden Sun finally rose again and those seeking a substantial quest in the world of Weyard are unlikely to be disappointed.

Golden Sun: Dark Dawn picks up the story 30 years after the Golden Sun event covered in the first two chapters of the game. Don’t worry if you haven’t played any of the earlier games – Dark Dawn will make sure that you are well informed by filling you in on the Golden Sun events piece by piece as you progress through the game in an often annoying “Previously on Golden Sun” fashion. Veterans of the series are likely to remember most of the past details, while the narratives are often of little significance for new players, so much of this serves very little purpose.

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That Dead Island trailer was something moving, to be sure, but only one gaming related video on the internet this week managed to make me feel all kinds of morose and wonder why I don’t keep a bottle of hard liquor in my kitchen at all times.

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Metropolis Street Racer confused and intrigued me. Project Gotham Racing just intrigued. PGR2 made me believe that online gaming on consoles could be a real thing. Geometry Wars made me glad to know that I wasn’t along in thinking retro games still had appealing factors. PGR3, PGR4, and the subsequent GW: Retro Evolved games were like a friendly nudge and a wink that said “we think it’s good, you know it’s good, stick with us; there’s more to see.” The Club made me hopeful that there were people interested in challenging the norms of the FPS genre. And Blur? Well, Blur was just cool. Thanks for the fun times, BC.