Nintendo’s second ‘Classic’ console is better, but not perfect

When Nintendo announced that the already impossible to find NES Classic Edition was going out of production, there were two reactions: outrage that the company could introduce such a popular product and fail to meet demand, and curiosity — why would Nintendo kill off the most popular throwback console ever made? The official line is that it was never intended …

‘Sonic Mania’ is a wonderful balance of nostalgia and novelty

If you’ve played Sonic the Hedgehog on your phone, Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 in the last half-dozen years, you have Christian Whitehead to thank. In 2009, he created an unofficial proof of concept iPhone port of Sonic CD using a custom-built game engine — a project that eventually led to Sega hiring him to officially port Sonic CD, Sonic …

‘Metroid: Samus Returns’ plays like a modern classic

For a brief moment, a number floating in space overshadowed everything else during Nintendo’s E3 digital showcase. The announcement of Metroid Prime 4 heralded the return of a franchise that, with the exception of a single spin-off, had been dormant for seven long years. Less than an hour later, Nintendo dropped another announcement: A remake of the Game Boy’s Metroid …

Turn your smartphone into a Game Boy with Hyperkin’s Smartboy

The first of April has long been a day for practical jokes and silly pranks — and there’s no escape from April fools on the internet. Companies like ThinkGeek regularly announce fake products on April 1st, only to have customer demand push those jokes into production. It didn’t take long for companies to start using the prankster’s holiday as a …

This Japanese VR arcade put me inside ‘Mario Kart’

Back when Bandai Namco opened its first VR arcade in Tokyo last April, I was keen to check out its various HTC Vive-powered VR games. My first ride there would have been Gundam VR: Daiba Assault, just so I could get a taste of what it’s like hitching a ride on a Gundam’s hand. The problem was by the time …

The new ‘Zelda’ DLC is all about exploration and survival

The Nintendo Switch is a neat little console — but its debut was almost overshadowed by its flagship launch game: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The game was lauded as a long overdue evolution on the Zelda formula, and it deserved the praise, too — it’s an objectively excellent adventure game that brings the classic Nintendo franchise …

VR headsets could soon be half the size of the Oculus Rift

The digital worlds we see through today’s virtual reality headsets are amazing, but the goggles themselves leave something to be desired. Despite offering high resolutions and room-scale VR, the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are bulky, front-heavy devices. Wouldn’t it be better if they were smaller? Soon, they could be. Today at Augmented World Expo, Kopin revealed a new, 4K …

Nintendo’s ‘Arms’ has all the depth the ‘Wii Sports’ games lacked

For many, the Switch represents the Nintendo’s return to form. It’s the console that sheds both the name and the gimmicky motion controls that defined the Wii era of gaming. With traditional games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe leading the way, motion controls seem to be all but a thing of …

Nintendo’s 2DS XL doesn’t need 3D to be a solid handheld

Nintendo’s latest portable, the New 2DS XL, isn’t even out yet and people are already questioning its existence. Does the company really need another hand-held gaming console, especially with the recent launch of its hybrid Switch? For Nintendo, the answer is an obvious “yes,” based on the belief that consumers want a 2DS with the form factor of a 3DS …

‘Sonic Mania’ finally gives its lead character a unique special move

When Sega invited me behind closed doors to get an early look of Sonic Mania at GDC last month, I wasn’t expecting much. I’d seen the trailers and indeed, it looked like a grand homage to franchise, but I was surprised to find that the game is more than that. Mania doesn’t just bring players back to the 16-bit era …

Games like ‘Augmented Empire’ are why Gear VR needs a controller

If you’ve ever used a Samsung Gear VR before, you’ve probably found yourself awkwardly tapping the side of the headset to issue a command, or fumbling with its four-way touchpad to make a selection in a menu. This inelegant, embedded touch control is a necessary evil — a compromise that allows the headset to be a self-contained VR experience free …

Vive Studios’ ‘VR Sports’ is exactly what it sounds like

The unmitigated phenomenon that was the Nintendo Wii had an everlasting effect on any medium with motion controllers: If you have hardware that can track hand movements, it needs to have its own “Wii Sports” game. Enter Vive Studios latest virtual reality game, VR Sports — a light-hearted but surprisingly realistic-feeling ping-pong and tennis simulator. On March 15th, the game …

Playing all the games at Nintendo’s Switch event

We’ve touched the hardware and were left with some good impressions. But that’s only half of the equation: What about the games? Nintendo is offering several upgraded (and some brand new) titles for the Switch. While some depend on the new controller interfaces (Arms) and sharing aspects of the new console (1-2-Switch!), others, in classic Nintendo style, tap in our …

Nintendo’s Switch Pro controller is refined, but not perfect

Nintendo’s Joy-Con controllers for the Switch are wonderfully unique, but they might not be ideal for every situation. That’s why the $70 Switch Pro Controller exists — it’s meant for gamers who need a more traditional-feeling gamepad for titles like Ultra Street Fighter 2 and Super Bomberman R. It’s not exactly a surprising accessory, as Nintendo had a similar Pro …

‘Super Mario Run’ is just as much fun as we’d hoped

It’s no stretch to say that Super Mario Run (launching December 15th for iOS; an Android version will arrive next year) is one of the most notable mobile games in years. It’s Nintendo’s first real smartphone game and one of the only instances in which the company has developed a Mario game for non-Nintendo hardware. It’s the first of several …