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Happy 130th Birthday To Nintendo!

1566899686873.png“Otanjoubi Omedetou” to the big ‘N’ themselves – Nintendo! Initially founded in September of 1889 as ‘Nintendo Koppai’ by Fusajiro Yamauchi, they began their long and successful run as a playing card company making ‘Hanafuda’ cards (translation: flower cards) which are used to play a number of different card games in Japan.

In 1947, Fusajiro stepped down to be replaced by his grandson Hiroshi Yamauchi who successfully moved the company’s (now many) products into the international market. In 1963, they changed their name to Nintendo Co. ltd and began to diversify from their playing card heritage with such unusual and somewhat outlandish things as – taxi services, television networks, and (yep, really) love hotels!!

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It wasn’t until the 1970’s that Ninty became the company we now know and love – the family friendly video game giant that has given us such wonderful gaming delights as the Legend of Zelda series, Metroid, and of course the Super Mario Bros games. They have successfully held their head up over the decades through stiff competition from major console manufacturing companies – Sega, Microsoft and Sony, and their current hybrid console – the Nintendo Switch is resolutely outselling the competition on a month to month basis. Happy Birthday Nintendo.

 

Mario, Zelda and Metroid are copyright: Nintendo.

 

The Week In Geek… With Precinct1313

Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another episode of The Week In Geek, where we love to share our favourite, Comic Book, Video-Game, and Cult Movie news for your perusal and pleasure. And so once more unto the geek dear agents, once more…

Happy 40th Birthday Judge Dredd…

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Not only did the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic – 2000AD reach it’s 40th anniversary milestone this year, but this month also brings us four decades of ol’ stony face himself, grim lawman of the future, the inimitable Judge Dredd. That’s right fellow fans of fantastic fiction, the UK’s biggest ever comic book star has been busting perps and incarcerating crooks for a fantastic forty years!

Dredd made his first appearance in prog #2 of 2000AD in March 1977, created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra, and became an instant hit with UK comic book fans, finally we had a character who could stand toe to toe with his American peers. Like many stories emanating from 2000AD, Dredd was an extreme satire of British culture and politics, often taking these themes to ridiculous extremes (though possibly not so extreme, considering the unfortunate direction that the UK has taken in the past year)

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Dredd is the most infamous of the Judges who patrol the future city of Mega City One, riding his Lawmaster motorcycle through it’s mean streets and conferring justice utilising his Lawgiver sidearm. Judges literally are the law… judge, jury and executioner, dispensing justice as they see fit with complete autonomy, save their Book of Law. Dredd is one of the (very) few characters to have become successful outside of the British isles, and has always served as a harsh parody of how the world could end up lest it reins in it’s inherent fears and prejudices. Happy Birthday Joe, here’s to another 40!

 Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Hailed As “Greatest Game Of All Time!”

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Nintendo’s new hybrid console “The Switch” is now amongst us (well, at least the lucky few who pre-ordered the device, such is the way with new Nintendo machines… unfortunately!) and with their new machine comes a brand new entry in their (arguably) most popular series… Zelda, and the gaming media is going crazy for it!

Currently sitting with an astonishing ’98’ overall rating on Metacritic, it seems the professional game reviewers can’t get enough of Ninty’s magnum opus… with even the notorious, critically harsh gaming magazine, Edge giving it an incredible ‘100’ rating, that’s right… Edge!! 

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The Legend Of Zelda is an action RPG originally released on the Nintendo Famicom in 1986, designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka. The series protagonist is a small elven boy named Link, who, at the start of virtually every game would be roused from slumber and tasked with saving Princess Zelda and the kingdom of Hyrule, from the evil shenanigans of chief antagonist, Ganon.

What makes Breath Of The Wild so different from it’s forebears though, is it’s abandoning of specific gaming tropes from previous iterations, the impressively vast world is entirely open to you from almost the get go, no slingshots, boomerangs or bombs holding you back from unlocking new areas, like earlier incarnations of the game. The physics are astounding, the graphics are gorgeous,with a rousing soundtrack and an infinite things to do, maybe this is the greatest game of all time.

Why not join us next time friends, for more Week In Geek…

The Week In Geek… With Precinct1313

Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another episode of ‘The Week In Geek’ where we love to share our favourite Comic Book, Video-Game and Cult Movie news for your perusal and pleasure… and so once more unto the breach dear readers, once more…

Nintendo Switch Release Date And Launch Games Announced…

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You know, I have always been more of an Xbox than a Nintendo (and previous to Microsoft’s beast of a console, I was a SEGA… in fact I still am.) But the one thing I have always loved (and bought) were Nintendo’s handhelds. I have owned virtually every portable device they have launched since the classic Gameboy in 1989, which is why I am genuinely excited for the Switch, Nintendo’s first hybrid console.

The Nintendo Switch is the incoming flagship console from the legendary Japanese gaming giant, which effortlessly combines home and portable play into one very cool package, and I want one… right now! Set to be released worldwide on March 3, 2017 at a very reasonable £279.99 ($299.99) with a strong launch line up that includes – Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, Dragon Quest XI, and Skyrim (that’s right folks, a portable version of Bethesda’s classic RPG… there goes my life.) 

Geoff Johns And Dr Manhattan – Dream Team…

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DC Entertainment’s President and comic book author extraordinaire Geoff Johns is returning to writing comics again this year, and has (heavily) hinted that he may be exploring the intriguing connection between Watchmen and the DC Universe. In a series of tweets Johns has confirmed his return to his oeuvre, with an accompanying image of Watchmen’s Dr Manhattan. Johns’ last comic authorship was last May’s “DC Universe Rebirth #1” in which he eluded that the electric blue super-human may have had a hand in creating the rebooted Rebirth timeline.

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The highly enjoyable one-shot also portrayed Batman discovering the iconic blood spattered smiley badge from Alan Moore’s groundbreaking 80’s mini-series, in the Bat Cave! Hold on tight dear readers, for this promises to be one hell of a wild ride!

Constantine Set To Return, In Animated Form…

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Everyone’s favourite chain smoking, mystical, demon fighting anti-hero – John Constantine is set to return to the small screen in a new CW animated series. Following on from his fantastic (yet criminally short lived) NBC live action show, the new animation will find Constantine actor Matt Ryan reprising his role in voice over form and is being produced by Greg Berlanti. We were honestly hoping for another live action depiction of the magical man of mystery, but I guess an animated rendering is better than no return at all, plus CW’s animated Vixen series has been rather wonderful, so all the signs point to this being equally as great.

Why not join us next time friends for more Week In Geek!

The Week In Geek… With Precinct1313

Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another episode of ‘The Week In Geek’ where we love to share our favourite Comic Book, Video-Game and Cult Movie news for your perusal and pleasure.

NES Mini Launches, And Instantly Sells Out…

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In This Case N.E.S. Obviously Stands For ‘Non Existent Store-Wide!’

Nintendo’s classic grey box made a comeback this week with the release of the NES Classic Edition, a cute mini version of their hit 80’s home games console, replete with 30 built in games and a reproduction of the original controller… and instantly sold out worldwide!

Demand has been extremely high for the retro beast and Nintendo manufacturers are currently producing more as we write this post, though for some fans the wait might be too long, as the titchy console (which retails for £50 here in the UK) has been selling for ridiculous amounts on E-Bay, with people paying 4 to 5 times the RRP. Luckily us Precinct1313 dwellers are SEGA fans, and already have our mini Megadrive (known as the Genesis in the US) console… which actually comes with 80 games built in!

We Can ‘Harley’ Wait For Ms Quinn’s Solo Movie…

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The Clown Princess of Crime, Harley Quinn, was a huge hit this year at the box office as an integral part of DC’s ridiculously fun Suicide Squad movie, in fact Margot Robbie’s performance was so highly rated that DC and Warner Bros almost instantly announced her own solo movie would be coming ‘at some point.’

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“But Of Course I get My Own Movie, I Mean If It’s Good Enough For Wonder Woman, Right?”

Well technically not solo, as DC are lining up a veritable cadre of female comic book characters to star alongside the Mischievous Minx of Mayhem, as we reported some time back, possibly including such luminary legends as Batgirl, Black Canary and Poison Ivy. To help cement the fact that the movie will hopefully begin production soon, it’s been announced that scripting duties have been given to Christina Hodson. Hodson is known for her highly sought after screenplays that include soon to be filming, female led Sci-Fi actioner ‘The Eden Project’ and psychological thriller ‘Shut In’.

(Update: It’s now been confirmed by Suicide Squad director David Ayer that the scripting will be undertaken by Geneva Dworet-Robertson, and the movie will also star Catwoman and Poison Ivy, better known together as the ‘Gotham City Sirens’.)

Justice League Of America’s Full Line-Up Is An Eclectic Enigma…

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This Is The Greatest Line Up Of JLA Members Since The Keith Giffen Classic 1980’s Series Justice League International

Not since the halcyon heroes of the 1980’s JLI has a roster for the world’s greatest Super-Team been so… damn cool! Justice League International has always been my favourite version of DC Comics’ beloved team of MetaHumans.

I much preferred the quirky line up of characters, Blue Beetle (the Ted Kord variant, not the current version) and Booster Gold were standouts in the team… essentially they were lovable Superhero screw ups, C-list at best, to begin with, but advanced through those ranks to A listers in a very short amount of time indeed, thanks to great writing, fantastic character arcs, and an endearing slapstick style humour.

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Justice League International, The Greatest line Up Of Leaguers Since… Forever!

The new JLA line up includes some classic heroes you expect to be included, such as The Batman and Black Canary, but then throws caution to the wind with lesser knowns like The Ray and former villain Killer Frost!  Definitely the most intriguing and exciting addition is ‘The Main Man’ himself, Lobo, back to his original arse-kicking alien bounty hunter self, after ditching the (rather terrible) New 52 version. Justice League of America Rebirth will be available in February 2017, brought to you by those ceaseless creators of cosmic comic book craft; Steve Orlando and Ivan Reis.

Why not join us again next time friends, for more Week In Geek!

Nintendo Legend Satoru Iwata Passes Away

Ninty 1Satoru Iwata, chief executive of legendary games company Nintendo, has sadly passed away at the age of just 55. Mr Iwata had been battling cancer and underwent surgery last year before resuming his duties after a brief recovery period. Mr Iwata was a highly respected figure in the Japanese gaming scene and was the driving force behind some of the company’s most popular hardware

Satoru Iwata shows off the 3DS at a Nintendo press conference

Satoru Iwata shows off the 3DS at a Nintendo press conference

Mr Iwata successfully drove the sales of Nintendo’s handheld and home consoles and under his leadership the Nintendo DS became the best selling handheld games machine in the world when it first was released in 2004. Two years later he helmed the launch of the Nintendo Wii, which became one of the fastest selling home consoles in history, attracting gamers and non-gamers alike with its innovative motion controls and accessibility.

Mr Iwata started out originally as a programmer in a Nintendo subsidiary, and steadily worked his way up through the ranks, becoming Nintendo’s fourth President in 2002. I have been a gamer since I was nine years of age and even though when I was growing up was more of a fan of Ninty’s rival Sega, have always had an admiration for Nintendo, who have given the world some of the most iconic characters of all time. Very sad news, our thoughts go out to his family at this time.

Euro Gamer Expo 2014

Greetings readers, on Sunday 28th of September, I went to the Euro Gamer Expo held at Earls Court, London. Euro Gamer is the UKs biggest gaming exhibition, showcasing all the biggest games from the largest developers. It runs for 4 days starting on the 25th and ending on the 28th, I was only able to make one day, believe me one day is NOT enough time to explore everything there, I felt like I only scratched the surface, but it was a very enjoyable day out nonetheless! Euro Gamer floor   One of the first things  I saw upon entering the building was a game being played on a SNES, yes that’s right, a Super Nintendo Entertainment System which launched in the UK on 11th of April 1992. The game being played was Super Mario Kart where the crowd were given a chance to try and beat the world record time of 0’57″90 for 3 laps on Mario Circuit 1 set by Sami Cetin on Christmas Day 2013. I saw a number of people play, but sadly not coming anyway near to that time. Mario 1

Sami Cetin (right) and a member of the audience.

Next I went and queued for entry to the Nvidia booth, Why? Oculus Rift of course! And to try out some 4k gaming. For any one wondering I did ask one of the guys in charge of the booth what the system specs are for running a Oculus Rift, I was surprised (and glad) that you don’t need to have a super computer, he didn’t give full specs needed but he said the computers that they have to demo on are very overkill and started to try and sell me a new Nvidia graphics card saying that that are all Oculus Rift ready etc… etc… etc… (I just wanted to use the thing!)

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I must say that no amount of written word can really describe what it’s like to use, but I’ll try. The game that we played was Eve Valkyrie, a space sim game very much like Freelancer, or Wing Commander, and it was a 1 on 1 dog fight. When I put the Oculus Rift on I was amazed! It was if I was sitting in the cockpit of the fighter, I look down and see a body, look left and right and you can see out of the side windows, you could even turn a full 180 degrees if you wanted to take a look out of the back window. The fight took place in an area with two capital ships, a large gas giant and a large asteroid belt in the middle of the map. I saw my opponent first and zeroed in using my ships dual Gatling guns, but the auto-aim was on and it was BAD! It seemed to fired AT the enemy ship and not in front of it, I didn’t have time to turn it off so I had to make do. (I prefer it off as that is what I’m used to in my space sim games). IMAG0176

That’s not me playing by the way!

The missile lock on worked by you using the Oculus Rift to keep the target ship in view, if you can turn your head to see the ship you can keep a lock on, as my opponent discovered much to my delight and I ended up winning my dog fight! I wished I could have taken the Oculus Rift home with me, but sadly no.

Next I went to the Destiny booth, I still hadn’t played the game at this point so I thought it worth the small queue of 20 mins, and also the Call of Duty line was at a 120 minute wait at this point, and the Destiny booth was right next to the Sony stand where they were getting the crowd to take part in a football tournament, I’ll be honest and say that football is not my thing, so if the game is good or not I can’t really say, however one guy who lost 5 – 1  completely “rage quit” the game and stormed off in front of everyone, making the Destiny queue somewhat entertaining!

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Nearly my turn!

When I got to play the game I was very impressed with the graphics, I normally am not too fussed with graphics as it’s 2014 and graphics really don’t have much of an excuse to be poor in a triple ‘A’ game, but the attention to detail could not be faulted, from the rock textures and the weapons, all were of a very high quality, the ‘sky box’ is stunning, it even has slight animation to it, in 99% of games it’s static and most developers hope you don’t look at it to much, but Destiny is beautiful! I wasn’t paid to say that, honest! (I did get a free t-shirt mind!)

The game that took place was a multiplayer match, 6 v 6, on a map that I must say seemed small for 12 players. It was a game type where you had to capture 3 control points to earn points for the team. The gameplay was competent it felt like I was playing… well… Halo, but re-skinned. The gun play was good, the hit detection was good, it looked good… I don’t really know what else to say about it, maybe I was expecting more from it, but it really was like playing Halo, that’s not a bad thing, but to me it shows Destiny was not breaking any new ground. The match lasted 15 minutes and it was a fun time, sadly my team lost, due to no fault of mine! (honest!)

 Next off to the indie section…

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There were a lot of games to try out, first up was a game called Mutiny! This was a game where 8 players had to defend a ship that they were on from other pirates that came in waves, the aim was for players to collect as many coins as possible by killing enemies that tried to board your ship, boarding the attacking pirate ships, or by smashing barrels. The player with the most coins became the captain. The captain is a lot more powerful than the other players … but can also attack other players!, when that happens the other players can mutiny to kill the captain making whoever has the next largest amount of coins captain. The game is both Co-op and VS at the same time, VS to become the captain, and Co-op to defend your ship, if the ship takes to much damage then it’s game over. There was a lot happening on screen, that and the game’s ever changing isometric camera view made it very hard keeping an eye on where your character is on screen, and if you fell into the sea, best of luck getting back on the ship again. The game is in very early beta and I’m sure that these issues will be eventually sorted. Overall a very enjoyable game! Well worth a look at http://www.hiddenarmada.com/.

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Next up was Gratuitous Space Battles 2, I’m really looking forward to this game coming out, I  liked the original game, and the sequel is adding even more to it! The game is a space battle simulation, first off you begin making the ships for your fleet, you drag and drop ship components (weapons, engines, armour plate etc…) on to a ship model to your heart’s content, there are fighter, corvettes and battleships available to make. In GSB2 however you can also change the look of your ship by adding wings and other parts to make the ships look unique. After you have made your ships you are taken to an overlay of the battle, here you make your formations, and set orders that will be carried out in the battle, as soon as you click the start button, you can sit down and watch the battle unfold, you can’t directly take control of the ships when the battle has started though).

The GSB2 Teaser

The space battles have also undergone some massive improvements in graphics, the lighting effects are some of the best that I have seen in a game for a quite a while, also the game has moved from pure 2D to now including a good number of 3D elements. The game is due out later on in the year. For more information take a look at the game’s web site: http://positech.co.uk/.

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Big Pharma

Next up Big Pharma, in this game you make pharmaceuticals, the way the game plays kind of reminds me of the ‘Theme’ games especially Theme Hospital, the colour palette and the look of the game is spot on, but instead of giving the drugs to patients in this game you MAKE the drugs to sell on to hospitals. There is also a moral issue to choose from, do you sell the drugs to make a ton of money, or do you sell at a loss to help as many people as you can. The game was in very early beta, in fact this was the first time we have seen some thing playable. From what I played, it was a very competent tycoon game, so if you’re into these sorts of games then it’s worth keeping an eye on. The release date is set to be May 2015. The game web site can be found at http://www.bigpharmagame.com/.

There was a lot more that I wanted to play, I really wanted to get on to Dragon Age Inquisition, but when I went to get in to queue I was turned away because they were closing for the day! Also Battlefield Hardline was there, that I wanted to play that as well… and yes, some guy did ask them if the game will be playable at launch this time, to which the response was yes … I’ll believe that when it happens!

Thank you for taking the time to read this post, your support means a lot to me! My next convention will be at MCM Comic Con at Royal Victoria Dock, London on the 24 – 26 October 2014, I’ll only be attending on the 26th mind.

Thanks for reading folks!