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Since the announcement on Tuesday that Nintendo and DeNA are going to start developing mobile games together, everyone’s gotten a bit overexcited. Will it be a disaster? Will it be amazing? Will the world end? Well, probably not. At least, I hope not. While Rob got quite excited about the possible games that this could bring, I feel a little more cynical about what’s going to happen.
I don’t think we’re all doomed by any means. First party Nintendo games on their respective consoles will continue to be awesome because, well, they always are. There’s no need to worry on that front. However, I’m not so sure that the Nintendo/DeNA meeting of minds will really come to that much worthy of note from a gamer's perspective. The more important part is the business and financial side of things.
DeNA are best known for freemium games like their collectible card game, Rage of Bahamut, and oddly distracting and compelling titles like Tiny Tower. Plus, there’s the dabbling in franchises like Star Wars: Galactic Defense and that awkward thing with Godus that no one really likes to talk about any more. They’re all reasonably well made games but are they the stuff that legends are made of? Nope.
Instead, I think this partnership will produce gateway games. Games that are there to highlight the potential of Nintendo to people who don’t normally game. A lot of smartphone owners dabble in games on their phones, but wouldn’t necessarily own a console. Introduce the concept of Nintendo to them and when it comes to considering a console, the name is already in their heads.
Is that a bad thing? Of course not. More people enjoying themselves with games is always a good thing. There’s no need for snobbery. Games have developed to the point that, much like cinema, there’s something for all tastes now. Whether you want a quirky indie darling or a mindless but distracting five minute session of a Match-3 game, you’re covered.
Nintendo won’t be coming up with revolutionary ideas through DeNA’s output, but they might just give you the chance to play a Match-3 game with the faces of Mario, Luigi, and co, or enjoy a card game made up of other familiar faces. Maybe we'll even get to see a Tiny Tower style game with a tower full of Nintendo characters? It'll be shallow but cute.
Regardless, these titles will be the tasty morsels while you’re out and about, before you go home and settle in front of your Wii U and play Super Mario 3D World. You never know, even if you have no interest in mobile gaming, such a deal might just help support your love of console games instead.
Now that Nintendo has decided to throw their hat into the mobile ring, it's only a matter of time before we'll start seeing Mario and the gang on the App Store. And we're already well past the point where people make free-to-play jokes. But if you really think about it, there are actually a fair number of mobile games that could do well with a Nintendo coat of paint.
With that in mind, we've taken a look at DeNA's current catalog (as well as a couple games from other developers) to try and pair like with as close to like as possible. And we came up with a list of 14 combinations that could actually be pretty interesting once the Big N gets their hands on them.
By now most of the world has probably heard about the partnership between Nintendo and DeNA. While it's reasonable to be nervous about this prospect (free-to-play is still something of a slippery slope, and Nintendo's never really done it before), there's really nothing to worry about. In fact, there might even be room for some cautious optimism.
First of all, while Nintendo made it abundantly clear that they aren't going to be porting any of their games to mobile, there's a decent chance that resolve could waver in the future. Now I'm not saying it's a definite, but Nintendo did say that they'd never be bringing their IPs to mobile. And look at them now. So while they might be insisting that there won't be any ports, that tune could change.
Secondly, Nintendo hasn't been doing so great, financially [Editor's Note: Although they're a bit more optimistic about this year]. Assuming this partnership works out, the developer could stand to make quite a bit of money (everybody loves Mario, right?). If nothing else, the potential income from their new mobile library will let them keep making console/handheld games.
Nintendo has also stated that every single one of their properties and characters could potentially see their own mobile games. That's a pretty big back catalogue to pull from. Ignoring the obvious ones like Mario and Donkey Kong, because you just know they're a given, that still leaves all sorts of nostalgic goodies like Balloon Fight, Hogan's Alley, Excite Bike, Clu Clu Land, Gyromite, F-Zero, and so on.
But the biggest reason you shouldn't let any of this worry you is that Nintendo's current and previous games aren't going anywhere. No matter what comes out of this partnership - good or bad - none of it will invalidate the Nintendo games you already know and love.
DeNA and Square Enix have announced that FINAL FANTASY: Record Keeper is currently in development. The game is a combination of all of the past Final Fantasy games and allows players to relive their favorite moments from the series. You'll be able to build a team of classic characters such as Tidus, Lightning, and Cloud, and customize them with a ton of iconic gear, powerful spells, summons, and weapons. [Editor's Note: Hopefully it won't be another All the Bravest...]
"FINAL FANTASY: Record Keeper delivers the ultimate FINAL FANTASY experience for the dedicated and passionate fans of this franchise and we are excited to work with SQUARE ENIX to bring it to players worldwide this spring," said Shintaro Asako, CEO of DeNA West, in a press release.
FINAL FANTASY: Record Keeper is set to release in spring, but if you can't wait you can pre-register at FinalFantasyRecordKeeper.com to receive updates about the game and unlock special in-game characters including Tidus from FINAL FANTASY X.
DeNA and Marvel Entertainment have just released a trailer for the, Marvel Mighty Heroes. The brawler will pit super heroes against super villains from the Marvel universe - including classic characters such as Iron Man, Groot, Captain America, Star-Lord, Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, and Spider-Man. You'll get to develop your own team of super stars and even play against your friends in multiplayer.
"Building off of the success of Marvel War of Heroes, our first Marvel-licensed title, Marvel Mighty Heroes, is a fast and tactical battle game that will combine evolving Marvel stories with enthralling co-op and competitive multiplayer gameplay,” said Barry Dorf, Vice President of Partnerships and Alliances at DeNA. “Marvel fans and gamers alike will have the chance to create the ultimate team of Super Heroes and Super Villains to take on waves of enemies from the Marvel Universe.”
You can pre-register for the game on the Marvel Mighty Heroes site, and you'll get to vote for Hulk or Rocket to be a a free special hero at launch for a limited time.
Marvel Mighty Heroes will be free to download on the App Store soon.
It's called Transformers: Battle Tactics, and is a turn-based game that brings to bear the comic book story Combiner Wars and the historic Transformers Generations universe.
▪ Compete in live real-time PVP showdowns with players from around the globe while earning rare TRANSFORMERS characters, valuable resources, and prestige at the top of the leaderboards
▪ Collect iconic TRANSFORMERS characters while teaming up AUTOBOT and DECEPTICON characters side-by-side.
▪ Calculate strategic decisions by leveraging unique TRANSFORMERS character modes to take control of the battlefield in any situation and obliterate the enemy.
▪ Link TRANSFORMERS characters to create powerful Combiners to deal devastating damage in battle!
▪ Connect with friends to form leagues and seek advantage over the competition. Earn powerful rewards and placement at the top of the leader boards.
Transformers: Battle Tactics is available now for free (with optional in-app purchases).
Star Wars: Galactic Defense is getting its first in-game event called Attack on Echo Base. Fans of DeNA's tower defense game will be excited to battle through the snow and ice of planet Hoth. You'll be able to rank up on the leader
boards and earn increased experience, in-game currency and rewards during the event. There is also a special bonus wave on each level where you can score higher than ever and new characters to be used during the event.
Attack on Echo Base is only around for a limited time. You can check it out by playing from 1/28/15 through 2/2/15.
Download Star Wars: Galactic Defense on the App Store for free and join the fight.
Is it the kind of hell you want to check out? Read our Blood Brothers 2 review to find out!
Blood Brothers 2, DeNA's follow-up to the original Blood Brothers, is an intriguing card collecting / role-playing / strategy hybrid. There's seemingly a lot to take in at first, but with 148Apps' help, you'll soon be able to effortlessly smack away whatever your enemies lob at you. Have at it!
War Tactics for Novices
- Claim your gifts when you play the first time - You should receive some gifts when you first play Blood Brothers 2, including a quantity of gold, some rare commanders, and some blood sigils (the game's hard currency). These all come in extremely handy for the early portions of the game, so make sure to claim them! In fact, make sure to claim all your gifts every day. You don't acquire them automatically, and if they sit in your mailbox for too long, they'll disappear.
- Pay attention to the weapon triangle - The key to victorious battles in Blood Brother 2 is adhering to the weapon triangle. Mounted units trump archers, which trump swordsmen, which trump mounted units. If you're wielding a stronger weapon than your enemy, you'll do double damage. However, if your enemy has the stronger weapon, you'll have twice as much damage inflicted on you.
- Save your blood sigils - When you lose a battle or run out of stamina, Blood Brothers 2 offers you the chance to continue or recharge for blood sigils. Don't take the offer. Save your sigils for pacts, which are necessary for summoning strong commanders.
- Don't miss your chance for daily pacts - You're allowed to conduct a pact for new commanders at three points in the day: Dawn, noon, and twilight. If you miss a draw, you can't go back. You have to wait for the next window.
- Try not to let enemies get the first strike - Keep your distance from enemies when you're on the map screen. If a unit moves on you, they get the first strike. However, if you move on them, you get the first strike.
- Tap to select a commander, and swipe to use their skill - If your commander glows blue, it means they're ready to launch their special attack. Said attacks are usually best to save for strong enemies, however. Simply tap a commander's portrait to put them on the battlefield and execute normal attacks. If you'd like them to use their attack for that turn, swipe upwards when putting them on the field.
- Observe enemy details before choosing your commanders for a battle - You can take a look at enemy intel before starting a fight. Doing so lets you know what kind of enemies you're up against, how strong they are, whether or not they can be recruited, and most importantly, what weapons they're wielding. Always take a look at the facts, and choose your own troops accordingly.
Stay Alert, Stay Safe!
- Retreat to your base for healing - You can heal your units by retreating to your base. You regain hit points whenever you move out, then back in. Don't spam the trick, however: You only have a certain number of moves to achieve your goal in a level.
- Matching weapon-for-weapon will do in a pinch - Lacking the soldiers necessary to trump an enemy commander's weapon? No worries. Matching a foe weapon-for-weapon is acceptable, too. Just try very hard not to put yourself in a position where your weapon is weaker than your enemy's.
- Turns recharge tactics - Tactics are valuable because they let you attack enemies from a safe distance. Every turn charges your tactics, so use them strategically.
- Using tactics doesn't take up a turn - Utilizing tactics against the foe - the catapult, for instance - doesn't take up any turns. It's not a bad idea to save up tactics for boss characters. They can really soften up a fight, especially if you're hurting by the time you reach your final destination.
Have you missed the strategic battles of DeNA's dark RPG Blood Brothers? Fret no longer as you make your triumphant return to the world of Arnashia in Blood Brothers 2.
The game is set one century after the events in the original, and once again the world is threatened - and once again you must build an army to save it. You'll be able to train your soldiers, customize their gear, and learn new skills as you proceed through the campaigns or fight against your friends in PvP.
You can download Blood Brothers 2 for free on the App Store now. If you download the game during its launch week, you will also receive a unique in-game character and other special rewards.
The game is set one century after the first installment. You'll be building and recruiting your armies as you explore. Blood Brothers 2 will also feature ongoing weekly game events and strategic player vs. player (PvP). This time your friends will be able to join you in the quest to save the world.
“Blood Brothers was massively popular, spending seven consecutive months as a top 10 app on US Google Play’s top grossing chart,” said Kaz Kondo, Head of DeNA Studios West. “Having worked on the original, we know what fans liked most about the game. We want to deliver again the fast-paced RPG battles and iconic characters fans enjoyed, but we’re also introducing new art style and spellbinding adventure that will be fun and fresh for everyone.”
Blood Brothers 2 will be coming to the iPhone and iPad in 2015.