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June 2014

E3 2014: GameCube Controller Adapter For Wii U Priced, Dated

GameCube controller adapter for Wii UIf you're eager to play the upcoming Super Smash Bros. for Wii U with an old fashioned Nintendo GameCube controller, then you're in luck.  While Nintendo had previously shown an adapter that allowed the classic GameCube controller to connect to the Wii U, we had no idea how much the gizmo would cost or when it would be available.  Today Nintendo of America clarified a few things about the accessory and set a reasonable cost of $20 for it.  However, if you're long since divested yourself of GameCube controllers or just need to pick up some extras for Smash, then your best bet would be to pick up the special Smash bundle for $99.99 which includes Super Smash Bros., the adapter, and a single GCN controller.  Individual controllers will also be available for $30, but your old controllers will work just fine.  Wavebirds, too!  It's all available to buy when Smash launches this holiday season.  If your Smash skills revolve around the GameCube controller, then you won't be left out in the cold or have to learn how to use a Wii remote to play. 

It's a smart move on Nintendo's part to offer these adapters and controllers even if the GamePad and Pro controllers offer enough buttons in a comfortable design comparable to the GCN controllers.  It would be all too easy an excuse for naysayers to proclaim "I need my GCN controllers to play Smash, so I'm not buying this new one!" and be done with it, but the company has anticipated that reaction and cut it off at the pass.  I don't know if I'll pick one of these up considering that I'm comfortable with the idea of using the GamePad, but I'm prepared to buy an adapter if I change my mind.  It's great to keep one's options open!


E3 2014: Capcom Planning More Virtual Console Releases

Mega Man 7Capcom may not be developing any new games for Nintendo's Wii U, but the company is bringing a lot of its classic games from the Nintendo Entertainment System and Super NES libraries to the console's Virtual Console service as well as a number of Game Boy Advance titles.  Mega Man X3, Mega Man 7, Mighty Final Fight, Demon's Crest, Breath of Fire, Mega Man Battle Network, Mega Man Zero, Street Fighter 2010, and many more are all on the way before the end of the year.  Here's the full list for the North American and European territories from Capcom's own blog:

  • North America
    • Breath of Fire (Wii U)
    • Demon's Crest (Wii U)
    • Gargoyle's Quest II (3DS, Wii U)
    • Mega Man 5 (Wii U)
    • Mega Man 6 (Wii U)
    • Mega Man 7 (Wii U)
    • Mega Man X3 (Wii U)
    • Mega Man Zero (Wii U)
    • Mega Man Battle Network (Wii U)
    • Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge (Wii U)
    • Mighty Final Fight (3DS, Wii U)
    • Street Fighter 2010 (3DS, Wii U)
  • Europe
    • Breath of Fire (Wii U)
    • Demon's Crest (Wii U)
    • Gargoyle's Quest II (Wii U)
    • Mega Man 5 (Wii U)
    • Mega Man 6 (Wii U)
    • Mega Man 7 (Wii U)
    • Mega Man II (3DS)
    • Mega Man III (3DS)
    • Mega Man IV (3DS)
    • Mega Man V (3DS)
    • Mega Man Xtreme (3DS)
    • Mega Man Xtreme 2 (3DS)
    • Mega Man X3 (Wii U)
    • Mega Man Zero (Wii U)
    • Mega Man Battle Network (Wii U)
    • Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge (Wii U)
    • Mighty Final Fight (Wii U)
    • Street Fighter 2010 (Wii U)
  • Dates TBD
    • Mega Man Zero 2
    • Mega Man Battle Network 2
    • Mega Man Battle Network 3

There's plenty to like here and lots to keep you busy.  All of the classic Mega Man games and Mega Man X3 are highly recommended, but while the Battle Network and Zero titles have large fan bases, they've never really been my thing.  Mighty Final Fight is a cutesy take on the famous brawler that hasn't been seen since it was adapted for the Game Boy Advance in 2006 that I also suggest you try.   While it would be nice to see new entries in these franchises for Nintendo hardware, bringing back classic games like these for additional exposure and introductions to new audiences is fantastic and I'm glad to see Capcom embracing the Virtual Console service.  More publishers should follow this example.


E3 2014: Mirror's Edge Is Coming Back, So Be Happy!

Me2Fans of last generation's Mirror's Edge from Electronic Arts and DICE have something to be happy about today as the long-awaited sequel/reboot was shown in a rough, early conceptual form at EA's annual E3 press conference.  The Edge team went back to the basic formula that made the original game so unique to further refine the parkour movement and better focus on protagonist Faith's combat abilities.  Now she can use speed and momentum better to her advantage rather than just yanking guns out of enemy hands.  Take a look at this video of the early conceptual footage and listen to some of the developers talk about the vision for the next Mirror's Edge.

I figured that this announcement would be just about universally appreciated, but the Internet is not so easily pleased.  There's plenty of anger and frustration out there because EA/DICE isn't further along with the game and dared to show it in such a rough, early form.  Personally, I'm overjoyed that we have a developer and a publisher comfortable enough with their project that they feel confident in showing the public very early footage that we typically do not get to see.  No, you won't be playing Mirror's Edge 2 (or whatever it's called in the end) this year.  So what?  They're working on it.  As far as I'm concerned, the developers can take all the time they need to get it right.  No rush!  I know we live in a culture of instant gratification, but being angry that a game shown at a trade show press conference isn't close to complete is ridiculous.  Would these angry people rather that EA show us nothing and continue to deny that the game is in development?  That's how these things usually go.  Consider Sony and Team Ico's The Last Guardian and how it's been kept under wraps so tightly that there's legitimate doubt as to whether or not it's still an active project.  People complain about that lack of exposure and they complain when we're shown that a project actually exists.  I swear, some people are just never happy. 


Power Button Presents Kombo Breaker At E3 2009 - Episode 2

Power Button Presents Kombo BreakerStep back in time with a classic episode of my previous podcast, Kombo Breaker, with a trip to E3 2009.  This episode features me, former Power Button co-hosts Brad Hilderbrand & Joey Davidson, and Glenn Gamble then of Terminal Reality as well as assorted Kombo staffers who wander in and out during the show discussing the events of the June 1, 2009 press conferences from Microsoft, Electronic Arts, and Ubisoft.  We discuss Project Natal, Splinter Cell: Conviction, Alan Wake, Halo 3: ODST and Halo Reach, Metal Gear Solid: Rising, Dante's Inferno, The Saboteur, Rabbids Go Home, and James Cameron's long monologue about Avatar among other things.  Recorded late at night in one of the Kombo hotel rooms, you can hear the energy that happens when everyone got together in the same room.  I have amazing memories of my time and work with this team and it's a shame that everyone's moved on to other things.  I miss working with them.  If you want to know what happens next after this episode, Episode 3 was re-released some time ago, so be sure to check that out if you're hungry for more 2009 coverage.  For E3 2014 coverage, stay tuned to Press The Buttons all week and watch for the planned traditional E3 joint podcast episodes with the EvilCast crew.  Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton.


Twenty Minutes Of Zelda OverClocked ReMix Goodness

Helmasaur KingDo you know what your day needs?  It needs a twenty-minute long remix of the soundtrack from Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.  Entitled "Unsealed", this OverClocked ReMix selection created by Christophe Blondel spans every piece of music from the famous Super NES and Game Boy Advance title arranged into a rock jam with powerful guitar lead and a driving drum beat.  It's just the thing to liven up a dull day and put you in that Hyrule state of mind all over again.


Shy Guy, Toad, And Evil Luigi In The Mario Kart 8 Spotlight

Evil Luigi in Mario Kart 8Nintendo's Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U allows players to directly upload a console-generated "greatest moments" highlights reel for each race and I've started experimenting with the feature.  I've added four videos of my Mario Kart antics for your enjoyment here.  Watch as Toad dismantles the competition, Shy Guy proves there's more to him than just the mask, and Luigi's evil glare shoots daggers at those who dare oppose him.  There's plenty more to come as I play through more of the game, but for now here are some 50cc class highlights from the Star Cup and Special Cup.


The Walking Dead Coming To Zen Pinball 2, Pinball Fx2

The pinball wizards at Zen Studios have done wonderful things with licensed tables based on the Marvel and Star Wars universes, but now the company is tackling a new franchise.  Later this summer we'll see the release of a new table for Zen Pinball 2 and Pinball Fx2 based on The Walking Dead game from Telltale Games.  This is a pinball table based on a video game based on a television show based on a comic book.  This rabbit hole goes very deep.

The Walking Dead pinball table features choice-driven gameplay across each of Season One’s five episodes, along with original story dialogue from the award-winning cast.  Scenarios include choosing who to save and who to leave behind in a walker attack, solving problems and raising morale within the group, searching for food and supplies, acquiring important tools, and navigating through the herd amidst an oncoming walker breach. Check out the trailer below to see the new table in action!

I'm not a fan of the Walking Dead franchise, but I do love Zen's products, so I'm going to have to play this table even though I'll have no idea what's going on at first.  It'll be available across Zen's pinball platforms on consoles, PC, and mobile devices, so there'll be plenty of ways to try it.  I can hear my podcast co-host and pinball competitor Blake Grundman salivating from here.


Adopt A Troubled Peripheral Today With "Mario's Orphans"

Nintendo GameCube peripheralsNintendo has a knack for cranking out interesting, bizarre, and pointless peripherals for its game systems.  Some add-ons are better than others (and there's an episode of the Power Button podcast that focuses on this topic), what what's really strange about Nintendo's track record for accessories is that they don't necessarily support them for very long.  You have to admire that strange mixture of optimism and abandonment.  Jeremy Parish at USgamer has taken a look at what he calls "Mario's Orphans": Nintendo peripherals sent to die such as the four-player adapter for the Game Boy, the Wii Speak microphone (which truly is stone dead now that the service driving it has ceased to be, and I'd just like to brag that I predicted that back in 2008), the Super NES mouse, and the GameCube broadband adapter.

While Microsoft was making a splash with Xbox Live, and Sony was exploring online through games like SOCOM and Monster Hunter, Nintendo made its own inroads onto the Internet with GameCube. No, just kidding. They released a peripheral that basically just supported Phantasy Star Online.  

Well, technically, the Broadband Adapter also supported a trio of Nintendo racing games, but strictly for local play on a closed network. Only Sega (and Chunsoft with a single Japan-only release called Homeland) managed to get GameCube online in a compelling way, and even then that was just to give a little extra life to a Dreamcast RPG. If that system hadn't gone the way of the dodo, the Broadband Adapter would have been completely pointless. In this case, Sega literally did what Nintendon't.

There's no mention of the DK bongo drums which worked with the Donkey Konga series and Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, but of all the limited support accessories in my collection, the drums are definitely the largest.  Then there's the Action Pad dance mat for Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix, the GameCube's microphone that plugged in through the console's memory card slots, and the Rumble Pak for the Nintendo DS which was rendered pointless once the DS series was redesigned to remove the secondary data slot.  Nintendo even went the extra mile to remove Rumble Pak support from some DS games that worked with the accessory in other territories once the DSi branch became the defacto available DS.  That's just adding insult to injury.


Mortal Kombat X Coming In 2015

Series mastermind Ed Boon revealed the announcement trailer for the upcoming Mortal Kombat X this morning.  Check out this quick look at Scorpion and Sub-Zero beating the stuffing out of each other.  The game is coming in 2015 for the Sony PlayStation and PlayStation 4 as well as the Microsoft Xbox 360 and Xbox One, and that's basically all we know for sure, although the trailer suggests the return of the x-ray attacks from the previous game in the series.  Short tease, get the fans hyped, cue the unsubstantiated news that assumes all sorts of things in the name of quick page hits.  Cynical?  Sure, but we've seen it all before time and again.  Still, this trailer is a neat showcase of the basic Mortal Kombat experience.  I want to see more, but I'm happy to wait for concrete details rather than leap to conclusions.  In the meantime, hey, cool trailer.