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July 2011

Make Eggs, Throw Eggs, Call It Art

Make Eggs, Throw Eggs Yoshi and Baby Mario made a magnificent team in Yoshi's Island for the Super NES (provided that Baby Mario wasn't knocked off of Yoshi's back, of course), and Deviantartist Lawlzy has done an exquisite job capturing the two heroes as they march their way towards Kamek and Baby Bowser at the end of World 6 in order to rescue Baby Luigi.  Yoshi's Island has always been one of those games that you cannot play without smiling, and this piece of artwork understands that truth completely.  You also can't look at this piece, "Make Eggs, Throw Eggs", without grinning from ear to ear.  Be sure to notice Poochie in the background along with an assortment of island locals.  How long has it been since you last played Yoshi's Island?  Too long, I bet.  Why not take the rest of the day and go fix that?

Rock-Men Prepare To Rock, Mega Man Style

The music of Capcom's Mega Man franchise is immensely catchy and fun, so it's only natural that musicians worldwide have enjoyed remixing and rearranging it.  To that end, we shouldn't be surprised when Capcom's own sound team wants to get in on the fun.  We've heard official remix albums from the company before, but the upcoming We Are Rock-Men album sounds like it'll be the best yet.  Check out this sample, for instance.  Isn't that the most rocking version of Dark Man's fortress theme from Mega Man 5 that you've ever heard?  The album is due out on September 21 in Japan for ¥2,100 and will feature fifteen tracks from the Mega Man and Mega Man X franchises.  Here's hoping that this one makes it overseas eventually.  It sounds as if the Rock-Men live up to their collective name.

(via The Mega Man Network)

Power Button - Episode 57: The First 3DS Price Cut Is The Deepest

Power ButtonNintendo reacted to underwhelming sales of its new 3DS handheld system this week by announcing an impending price cut due to take effect August 12 worldwide.  The new cost?  $169.99.  To ease early adopter's miffed minds, the company will give everyone who logs into its 3DS eShop prior to that date twenty free classic games from its beloved library.  On this week's episode of Power Button, Brad Hilderbrand and I discuss what this all means to Nintendo, to you, and to Sony.  After all, the competition is gearing up to launch its PlayStation Vita.  We wrangle the issues and declare whether or not the 3DS is a smart purchase at this lower price.  Prepare for forty-seven minutes of analysis!  Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, or subscribe via iTunes, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach all three of us via  and you can even follow all of us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons, @aubradley84, and @JoeyDavidson or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton.

Power Button - Episode 57: The First 3DS Price Cut Is The Deepest

Weekly Poll: Well, That Was Fast

Weekly Poll for 7-18-2011There's plenty of disappointment out there towards Capcom regarding the cancellation of Mega Man Legends 3 for the Nintendo 3DS.  I think we've been around and around on this one enough, so I'll just point you towards Episode 56 of Power Button if you'd like to hear my complete thoughts on the matter.  For the record, while I wasn't especially interested in the game, I'm sorry to see it go for the sake of all of the Legends fans out there.  Maybe some future iteration of Capcom management will revive the title down the line. 

Speaking of the 3DS, with the upcoming price drop on the way, plenty of opinions are floating around out there.  Where do you fall on the spectrum?  Are you ready to buy a 3DS now that it's going to be $170?  Are you disgusted at paying the so-called "early adopter tax"?  Are you looking forward to the twenty free games that Nintendo will give to all existing 3DS owners?  Let's hear your thoughts.

Nintendo 3DS Price Drops To $170 In August; Current 3DS Owners Entitled To Free Games

Nintendo 3DSIt looks like all of those Canadian price drops of the Nintendo 3DS meant something after all.  Nintendo is turning to Plan B in the quest to jump start sales of its 3DS system by dropping the price of the product from its current $249.99 (which it has cost since its March debut) down to $169.99 effective August 12 in North America and down to ¥15,000 in Japan (Europe will get a similar cut around the same time).  This will certainly... whoa, whoa, whoa, hold on a minute!  What about all of us who bought into this whole 3DS thing just four months ago?  Are we just out $80 for our troubles?  This is the Virtual Boy all over again!  Why, the only way that Nintendo could make things right is to offer a bunch of free games to current 3DS owners, but that is highly unlik-

Nintendo is looking to reward early adopters of 3DS, or at least incur a last-minute sales burst before $80 (that's over 30 percent!) comes off the system, bringing it down to $170 on August 12. Those who own a 3DS and connect to the Nintendo eShop before 11:59PM EST on August 11 will be automatically enrolled into the "Nintendo 3DS Ambassador" program.

3DS ambassadorial duties mostly involve playing a bunch of free games. The status grants you access to 10 free NES Virtual Console games on September 1 before their general release (these include The Legend of Zelda, Balloon Fight and Ice Climber), along with 10 more Game Boy Advance Virtual Console games. The GBA games -- like Yoshi's Island, Super Mario Advance 3, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Metroid Fusion, WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames and Mario vs. Donkey Kong -- will not be available to anyone else. Is all that enough to ameliorate early buyer's remorse?

Those are all damn good games and I'd love to have them on my 3DS.  Buying them all separately on the 3DS's Virtual Console service would cost... let's see... five dollars times ten Nintendo Entertainment System games plus let's assume four dollars times ten Game Boy Advance games... $90.  Short of sending out refund checks, this has to be the best way to fix the customer goodwill issue that this price drop will certainly create.  However, I think everyone involved has learned a valuable lesson here.  Nintendo has learned not to price its new hardware so high during tough economic times, while customers have learned not to be an early adopter when new hardware is priced just slightly outside of reasonable (unless a new Super Mario game is available at launch, of course, as then no price is too high).

Akuma Lurks Inside Street Fighter IV Volt

Street Fighter IV Volt

Capcom is playing the paid upgrade game on Apple's iOS platforms as well as home consoles by releasing the superior Street Fighter IV Volt against the now-obsolete Street Fighter IV.  However, in an appreciated bit of fairness that is worth a mention, there are some secret unlockables waiting for iPhone/iPad owners who own both versions of the game.  Fire up the legacy Street Fighter IV with Volt also installed and the paid downloadable content — original Street Fighter II music and bonus costumes for Ryu and Chun-Li — will unlock for free.  Better yet, it's possible to easily unlock Akuma as a playable character in Volt provided that the original game is still on the iOS device.  Via GameFAQs, here's the secret code to make it happen:

  1. Start Arcade mode, your cursor will be on Ryu. Tap to make costume select come up, then hit back.
  2. Select Able. Tap for costume select. Hit back.
  3. Select Guile. Tap for costume select. Hit back.
  4. Select Cammy. Tap for costume select. Hit back.
  5. Select Ryu. Tap for costume select.
  6. Akuma should now pop up and be a permanent selectable character.

Normally Akuma can only be unlocked by completing the Arcade mode with all seventeen playable characters without losing a single match or playing one hundred multiplayer matches.  These methods take a lot of skill and/or time, so it's nice for Capcom to include a little shortcut for loyal fans who have already paid once to play Street Fighter on the iPhone and iPad.  With as much heat and scorn that we've all been throwing at Capcom lately for some greedy and unpopular decisions, it's nice to be able to spread a little praise around for a change.

Another 3DS Game Disallows Deletion Of Saved Data

Pac-Man and Galaga DimensionsUPDATE: Namco Bandai has announced that despite its earlier confirmation that save data is uneraseable, it is possible to reset save data.

Just as we've moved past Capcom's heavy-handed decision to prevent players from wiping a copy of Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D for the Nintendo 3DS clean, Namco Bandai has picked up the torch and run with it by including similiar dysfunctionality in its new 3DS release, Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions. Just as with Resident Evil, we're looking at a game that does not allow high scores to be reset and keeps Achievements etched in stone. Here's Chris Kohler at Wired trying to get to the bottom of the problem:

As near as I can figure, having pored through the game and its documentation, Dimensions doesn’t have a high score table. Once you set a new high score, it’s written to the cartridge and all records of your previous high scores are gone forever. This is a total kick in the dots. I want to be able to see my progress: By how much did I obliterate my previous personal best? Are my scores hovering around a certain number? Are there any outliers? I can try to remember this in my head, but why should I have to? Keeping track of high scores is so trivial that even the first Pac-Man was able to do it in 1980?

This deficiency also means you can’t share your cartridge. What if I wanted to have a high-score competition with a friend, passing the 3DS back and forth? What if two people wanted to play the game and have their personal scores on the record? On that point, I’ve looked all over, even going so far as to ask a Namco Bandai representative, and it doesn’t seem like there’s a way to erase the game data.

Once again it seems that the used game market is under attack with pseudo-DRM that makes playing a used copy a diminished experience. If you don't care about tracking your high scores then this isn't much of a problem, but the considering that the entire point of score attack games like Pac-Man is to beat your own previous record, not allowing the resetting of save data seems like a kick in the power pellets. GamePro's Pete Davison sums it up:

There's no good technical reason for save data to be unerasable on the 3DS -- the system's game cards use EEPROM or flash memory to store information, both of which are rewritable. And data which is saved directly to the 3DS' own system memory must be erasable by design. Therefore, the only conclusion we can really reach is that adoption of this "permasave" system is a means to combat used game sales.

This may seem like a minor issue to keep harping on, but there's a very good reason to keep awareness raised when it comes to undeletable save data. The video game industry is starting to flirt with this idea and see how it works when forced on the market. If we don't speak up and express extreme dissatisfaction now, it's only a matter of time before every publisher is doing it and the idea expands beyond mere high scores to games where resetting the save data is not only preferable, but basically required when it comes to playing a used copy. We let Project Ten Dollar and creeping downloadable content prices slip by, but perhaps the community can still make a point with this one.

Destroy All Robots With Free Robokill

RobokillThe robots will eventually rise up and destroy our civilization.  This is a known fact.  I have seen our terrible future and it ends with a steel foot trampling our children.  However, you can try to fight back if you want, and if you hurry then you can rebel against the mechanical threat for free.  As announced first on Power Button last week, from now through Friday you can take the fight to the robots with a free download of the iPhone game Robokill from Wandake and Sourcebits.  As you may recall from previous podcast chatter, Robokill is the twin-stick[less] shooter in which players attempt to liberate Titan Prime from a cadre of murderous robots.  It's a fun diversion and at a price of zero it's really hard to go wrong with it.  Give it a try before the metal ones come for you and the ones that you love.

Nintendo 3DS Price Cut On The Way In Canada

Walmart flyerCanadians who have been waiting for the price of the Nintendo 3DS to drop before picking one up may want to get to Walmart in the next week where the cost of buying into Nintendo's 3D revolution is rolling back by about fifty dollars through at least August 2.  I only mention this because the timing of this price drop comes right on the heels of yesterday's madness regarding calling a temporary halt to 3DS sales.  The Internet conspiracy brigade was certain that the Amazon action meant that the 3DS was on its way out for some reason.  Now Walmart is dropping the price in what some could assume is a way of clearing out existing stock.  I still don't believe that these are signs of some kind of impending 3DS revision or change in strategy, but if another major retailer does something unexpected with the 3DS this week, I may have to be fitted for a foil hat of my own. 

(via VisionaryLight) Offering Another One Day Sale

Buy somethin' will ya!It's time for another game-centric round of's Gold Box and Lightning Deals with a variety of titles on sale at various times during the day for one day only.  Today's primary deal is 67% off Brink for the Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360, and PC (it's selling for a mere $19.99), while other games on offer include the latest Transformers adventure, something new from Star Wars, a little Bulletstorm, a fighting game, a fitness game, and much more.  Head on over to see everything on sale today.  Every purchase you make via the green link here goes to help support PTB, so if you pick up something for your summer gaming needs, then we both benefit.