Best Buy, Nintendo team up for 3DS SpotPass

Good news for 3DS owners: Retail giant Best Buy and Nintendo of America are teaming up to bring you SpotPass downloads and features to your 3DS. The goodies start June 7th (the same day as Nintendo’s E3 conference) and one day after the June 6th system update which brings 3DS owners the long awaited eShop, as well as other things.

Personally, I’m really glad to see this. I was worried SpotPass would go the way of WiiConnect24 (i.e., no where). This is certainly good to hear! Let’s hope we see more of this kind of thing in the future.

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Press release:

Nintendo and Best Buy to Bring Custom Downloadable Content to Nintendo 3DS Owners

Nintendo 3DS Will Connect Automatically to Best Buy Wireless Hot Spots

REDMOND, Wash. & MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Nintendo and retail partner Best Buy are collaborating to give Nintendo 3DS™ owners customized, automatic wireless access at some 1,000 select Best Buy store locations nationwide beginning June 7. Once connected, the service will provide access to a variety of fun content via the system’s built-in Wi-Fi functionality, including the new SpotPass™ feature. The Best Buy service will also include exclusive offers as well as additional entertainment content such as gaming extras and movie trailers. Nintendo 3DS, which lets people see 3D visuals without the need for special glasses, launched March 27 at a suggested retail price of $249.99.

“Nintendo 3DS turns the page in portable gaming not just because of the stunning, glasses-free 3D visuals, but also in the way it keeps people connected to their friends, their games and their world,” said Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. “Best Buy provides a firsthand look at the platform with experts to help people understand everything it offers.”

“We want our customers to fully tap into the potential of their Nintendo 3DS device, so we’re pleased to offer free access to special Wi-Fi and SpotPass content in-store,” said Chris Homeister, senior vice president of entertainment for Best Buy. “As a retail partner for SpotPass, this is another way that we’re delivering best-in-class gaming experiences at our stores across the country.”

Remember that Nintendo 3DS features parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about this and other features, visit http://www.nintendo3ds.com.

Portal 2 Review

For anyone who plays games, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of finishing a highly anticipated game with pure satisfaction. Portal 2 is that kind of game. I’m lucky enough to have it be my first Gamer Theory review.

Portal 2 is the sequel to Valve’s critically acclaimed Portal, which was included in 2007’s The Orange Box. For the unfamiliar, Portal was a bold experiment which called for players to create “portals” on the sides of walls and objects. Taking control of the silent protagonist, Chell, these portals allow the player to go through one portal entrance and reappear through the exit in a series of mind-boggling puzzles that rely on things such as moving boxes, pressing buttons, and using momentum to fly through portals to get to out of reach places. It was a game like no other. It was a short game, but oh-so-sweet. It was bold in concept, simple in gameplay, and very innovative and ambitious. In 2011, Valve’s little gaming experiment grows up as a fully loaded game, and one of the best experiences of the year.

The game is divided into two campaigns: a traditional single player experience and a cooperative campaign. The single player game is set decades after the events of the first game. It starts off strong with an interesting, mysterious setting and a witty new character named Wheatley to complement the return of everyone’s favorite villainess, GLaDOS, the computerized mainframe that controls Aperture Science. The character development is simply superb, and the writing exquisite. You’re not going to want to part with these characters after the game is over. The single player levels will start off familiar to veterans of the first game, but as you progress, the masterminds at Valve continually throw curve balls as you’re introduced to new game-changing elements. From light-beam bridges you must send through portals to mysterious gels that make you bounce or glide very fast, they really pushed their creativity. This package is beautifully presented through superb art, charming characters, and an engaging story. The puzzles can be extremely difficult, but never overly frustrating (although I would be lying if I said I never once shut the game off for a breather from this mentally taxing title).

What I call "light-beam bridges"

The co-op mode puts you and one other friend in control of Atlas and P-body, two silly robots you’re probably going to take quite the liking-to. The co-op game is arguably more creative than the single player game. The developers continued to flex their cerebral cortexes with their seemingly bottomless pool of ideas to make one of the most unique cooperative experiences to be found anywhere. The devious puzzles will definitely have you and your partner scratching your heads, but that’s okay, because while you’re trying to wrap your head around a new test chamber, you can occupy yourselves with the gestures you gain as you progress through the co-op mode that help express yourself to your partner. This is helpful for those lacking a microphone. Additionally, you can buy more gestures and hats via DLC (a hit or miss with fans).

Atlas (right) and P-body (left)

One final thing I want to mention is Valve’s platform agnostic approach they created for this game. PlayStation 3 owners can link their Steam account to their PlayStation Network account and have full access to their Steam friends list right from the PS3. Additionally, this means PS3 owners can play co-op with PC and Mac gamers. Now here’s the best part: included with every PS3 copy of the game is free access to the PC/Mac version of the game and cross-platform synchronization. Good deal, no? Xbox 360 players, unfortunately, are segregated in this arrangement, and can only play online with other Xbox Live users, so it wasn’t the perfect blessing.

And there you have it. Portal 2. I’m a fan, and hope you will be, too. Make sure you put this at the top of your lists, newcomers and veterans alike (although newcomers really, really should go play the first one beforehand).

5 out of 5 stars

Greetings, Gamer Theory!

Hello everyone!

My name is Zach and I have been selected to be a writer for Gamer Theory (which I have been told isn’t too far away from launching!).

This is an exciting new venture for me so I hope you guys can bear through any potential growing pains as I become adjusted. There are fun, new things in store for Gamer Theory, so I hope you’re looking forward to its launch as much as we are.

Personally, I’m hoping to bring my own personality to the table to help create a great atmosphere for video game fans and deliver various news, reviews, and features that will be interesting enough to make Gamer Theory a stop in your daily Internet commute.

Here’s to what’s to come!