Kit & Culture

Are you looking for wicked info on all the new gaming consoles & peripherals out there, but don’t know where to start? Or maybe you want to get your game-on with some cool collectables, figurines, gadgets, cheat guides, gamer art, or even fan-boy/girl wearables like Gamer Tees or Accessories.

Well, look no further than Guru’s “Kit & Culture” section which is jam-packed with the latest and greatest Gamer Gear  and Collectibles around...

Guru checks out Nintendo’s Wii U...

Well, it’s official! Nintendo’s sequel to their hugely popular Wii console is on its way! Nintendo have finally unveiled their next-gen console and it's going under the mysterious title Wii U. It might sound a bit odd, but Guru’s sure it’ll grow on us, just like the good old Wii did. We also have confirmation that Wii U will be a High Def console (so it’ll have stacks more power under the hood), and that it will be backwards compatible with original Wii games and accessories. This means you’ll still be able to enjoy your fave Wii titles, the way they were originally intended to be played. Anyway, the finer details are still a bit sketchy, but we do have some actual pics of the prototype console below. As you can see, the system itself looks a little like the original white Xbox 360. However, it’s the funky control system that’s sure to raise a few eyebrows.

Touching the Controller…
Guru always suspected that Nintendo's next control system might have DS-styled Touch Screens and guess what? He was right on the money! Once again pulling it outta the bag when it comes to innovative control methods, Nintendo haven't disappointed! Resembling a beefed-up, high tech version of THQ’s uDraw Game Tablet, this new Touch Screen based control method is sure to add new layers to players’ gaming experiences.

While the unit itself looks quite large, Guru has it on very good authority that it’s extremely light and comfortable to hold. It’s amazing what Nintendo have packed in, as their Tablet Controller sports both conventional controls (Dual Analogue Sticks, D-Pad, Shoulder Buttons etc.), as well as, a nifty 6.2 inch Touch Screen. It's also backwards compatible with Wii Motion controllers, and incorporates a Web Cam for video calls - cool!

Interacting with Games in totally New Ways…
So in real terms, what does this all mean for you? Well, just think about the possibilities that this controller opens up for gamers. Players will be able to draw on the Touch Screen and display their creations on their TV.

Not to mention, the screen is big enough to actually play games on, so if you’re gaming and someone wants to watch TV, you can continue playing using the 6.2 inch screen as your display.Games can also interact using the controller’s in-built Gyro Sensor giving players new views, and can easily display Inventory Items or Maps. It’s going to be truly awesome seeing the different ways that this controller can be used to interact with games…

This thing is a totally funk-a-delic and Guru can't wait to get his hands on it. As soon a she does, you'll be the first to know so be sure to Stay Tuned to G@MER4Kids as Wii U will be released here later this year...

Guru looks at the Ultimate Game Guide to the Pokemon Experience of the Year...

With October drawing closer (and the impending release of Pokemon Black & White Version 2 on the 11th) Pokemon Masters and Novices alike need to start prepping for a return trip to the Unova region where they'll be exploring a gigantic gameworld, capturing and training all manner of Pokemon, as well as, showing off their Battling skills against other Trainers and Gym Leaders alike. IT'S GONNA BE FREAKIN' AWESOME!!!

If you wanna be sure to have all the info, maps, and secrets ready for when the game releases, the best way is to score yourself 'The Official Pokemon Unova Strategy Guide: Volume 1' for Pokemon Black & White Version 2. This brilliant tome comes in two flavours - the standard version and an unbelievably wicked hardcover Collector's Edition - and is basically the Enchiridion (Adventure Time reference, for those in the know) for all you Pokemon trainers out there.

Within its magical pages you'll find a complete walkthrough of the games, including essential details on the new Gyms, Trainers, and challenges you'll face. There's even tips and tricks for evolving Pokemon, a fantastic poster map of Unova, and a sneak peek at post-game surprises! All in all, 'The Official Pokemon Unova Strategy Guide: Volume 1' is a must read for anyone who wants to become a Pokemon Legend in the latest game. It gets two big thumbs up from the Game Guru!!!

Guru checks out the awesome R2-D2 & C3-PO Star Wars inspired Xbox 360…

 It probably comes as little surprise to readers that Guru’s a rabid Star Wars fan… granted he prefers “old school” Star Wars (Eps. IV to VI), but he’s more than happy to lap up the next-gen stuff like Clone Wars and Episodes I to III and when it comes to Star Wars videogames, it’s no secret Guru’s a little biased. But in all of his days Guru’s never seen anything as awesomely cool as this brilliant Xbox 360, which has been created to coincide with the release of Kinect Star Wars!

This thing is not only off the hook, it actually rips the hook off the wall and leaves a massive gaping hole in the brickwork!!! Inspired by the iconic droids (that’s “robots” for the uninitiated) R2-D2 and C3-PO, there’s little doubt that this console looks the bomb! The slimline Xbox 360 and Kinect sensor come in a crisp white, with the console sporting funky navy blue markings ripped straight from R2-D2’s body. It looks utterly spectacular, but it doesn’t end there… The bundle also comes with the new Kinect Star Wars game and a fantastic shiny gold, blinged-up controller based on R2’s buddy C3-PO. Not only does this controller sparkle, but it also has multi-coloured wire detailing, just like 3PO has on his robo-belly.

Hands-down this is the coolest Star Wars collectible Guru’s ever seen. It’s a must have for all you hardcore Star Wars fans out there – it’s truly incredible!

PS Vita is here and handheld gaming goes truly Next-Gen...
OMG!!! It's all true! Sony's super-charged PSP code-named Vita is here, and it's burning a hole in Guru's hot little hands. As far as specs go, this baby kicks the butt of every other handheld console out there! Guru is totally blown away by Sony's shiny black beast. It's like a Porsche, tons of power to burn, a huge list of features, and a sleek futuristic look that belongs in a blockbuster sci-fi flick.
There's little doubt that Vita’s got what it takes in the looks department. It’s like the supermodel of handhelds, but in this case, it’s not all lighting, smoke, and mirrors. Vita’s beauty is anything but skin deep, and when you scratch below the surface you’ll discover a wild gaming animal that wants to unleash a crazy set of features that gamers have only been dreaming of… Just check this out!

Twice as Touchable…
The Vita sports a crisp and vibrant multi-touch 5-inch OLED display on the front of the unit and a unique multi-touch pad on the rear, making it twice as touchey as the iPod Touch, iPad, or Nintendo’s DS range.

Dual Analogue – the way to go…
Finally, gamers get what they’ve been asking for! Dual Analogue Sticks for PS3 style control of handheld games – it’s awesome!!!

Awesome Oval…
Vita’s slick design is called Super Oval and it fits confortably in the hands for extended gaming sessions. The Oval incorporates everything you’ll ever need to play games, surf the web, or mess around with multimedia.

Truly Connected…
Wanna get online? Connect, chat, and play with friends? Well Vita offers both Wi-Fi and 3G network connectivity. Additionally, all games will have a virtual space called “LiveArea” where players share all the fun and excitement with others.

Twin Cam…
Two Cameras for twice the fun. Vita has front and back mounted cameras which can be utilised in games like Invisimals.

Feel the Motion…
Still not enough gadgets under PS Vita’s hood? Well try adding a trio of motion sensors, a gyroscope, accelerometer, an electronic compass, and a flash-based memory card system for the games software.

In a single word the PS Vita is absolutely brilliant - stay tuned to "Discs & Carts" for reviews of the Vita games coming soon...

Guru can’t believe his eyes… awesome glasses-free 3D is a reality...

It absolutely stuns Guru, how Nintendo continuously pull out ripper ideas from their magical bag of tricks, and then turn them into reality!!! When they first announced a glasses-free 3D handheld games console a little over a year ago, many thought that the company had gone totally nuts. The good news is, they haven’t. In fact, Nintendo have surpassed expectations, delivering the 3DS as promised and it’s an impressive sight to behold!

I’m happy to say that Guru’s holding one in his hot little hands right now, and the 3D effect produced by the system is nothing short of amazing! To Guru’s eye, it appears as if the visuals have been given a huge boost in quality, which combined with the 3D effect (which can be controlled with a slider), makes for some wicked eye-candy. Thus far, Guru has petted his furry friends in Nintendogs+Cats, created his virtual self using the brilliant MiiMaker, took some crazy 3D pics, and played around with some of the AR (Augmented Reality) Games, which use special AR Cards included with the console. There's also a bunch of online/wireless features and an all new Nintendo eShop to purchase download titles - way to go Nintendo! Guru’s convinced this is a great leap forward for the DS and he just can’t wait to play all the games – 3DS is totally awesome!!!

Guru checks out Apple's iPad the latest, greatest way to game...

Guru’s been hearing lots of rumours lately about Apple trying their hand at a videogames console. While nothing’s been confirmed (and probably won’t be until it’s sitting on the shelf at your local Apple Store), it seems quite likely when you consider that developers are going crazy over the iPad, Apple’s latest creation (think a jumbo sized iPod Touch, and you’ll get the picture). Not to mention that iPhone and iPod Touch have been taking over a huge slice of the action when it comes to handheld gaming.

Recently, Guru’s good mate Vispi over at Apple, shot across an iPad so he could run it though its paces over several weeks. Guru’s gotta say that it was “love at first sight”, especially once he cranked up some of the awesome games!    

Got Game…If there’s one thing that Apple are good at, it’s creating sleek, sexy gadgets and making things so user friendly, that even a monkey could use them. Downloading games to iPad is a breeze and players will be very surprised at the price-point of games in comparison to those on console or handheld. There’s absolutely tons of them too, not to mention, you can play almost all of the existing iPod Touch and iPhone games. Better still, the iPad has the ability to blow them up so they fit the larger screen perfectly.

Some of the gaming highlights Guru experienced on his iPad adventure included greats like:

Plants vs. Zombies HD
A castle defence strategy game with loads of wacky humour. Stop those nasty zombies getting in your house and eating your brain, using a variety of plants!

Bit. Trip Beat HD
This is “old school” gaming with a new millennium twist. It’s basically a beefed-up version of Pong, where players must hit beats to create retro 8-bit tunes – wicked!

Monsters Love Gum
Crazy 4-way multiplayer action along the lines of Hungry Hungry Hippos. It’s fast, furious, and fantactic fun with friends!

World of Goo
Build wildly wavering structures out of goo to help the little blobs make their way to the exit. It’s challenging, addictive, and a whole lotta fun!

Mirrors Edge
It’s a side-scrolling, urban free running game that sees players avoiding all manner of obstacles. The two-player vs. mode on a single iPad works an absolute treat!

Other Cool Stuff…Once you add the ability to listen to music, surf the net, watch flicks and trailers, not to mention, read iComics, iBooks, and iMags; there’s little doubt that iPad totally ROCKS!
Guru absolutely loved playing around with iPad, it really was a good alternative to a handheld console, especially if you're looking for a bunch of other features too – it’s awesome stuff!!!

Guru checks out Bluemouth's cool Batarang Controllers…
DA-NA, DA-NA, DA-NA, DA-NA… BATMAN!!! Bluemouth have really been pulling it outta the bag recently with some totally awesome gaming kit that’s perfect for all you fan-boys and fan-girls out there. Not only do these accessories look cool, they’re top-notch quality too, so you can add some bling to your games system without compromising control or functionality.

The latest to make the cut, is a must for any superhero or comic-book fan! To co-incide with the latest Batman videogame, Bluemouth are releasing two Batarang Controllers – a wired one for Xbox 360 and a Wireless one for PS3. Both look amazing, with the Xbox version sporting a slime green glow, while the PlayStation goes for a hellish red hue. To top it all off, the PS3 Batarang Controller even includes motion sensing tech, making both these controllers a great buy for Batman fans, and a perfect addition for your gaming Utility Belt!!!

If you want to get into the Game, these are for you...

The original Tron film was a true cult classic which transported the audience inside a videogame. The new high-tech sequel Tron: Legacy is a blockbuster too, and so the guys at Razer decided to whip-up this uber-cool gaming kit for all you Tron fans out there. Sporting highlights of the luminescent blue glow that's the flick's trademark, and sleek, futuristic designs this collection of mouse, keyboard, and mouse pad are to die for!

The tech under the hood is impressive too. While the mouse looks like it blasted out from one of the light cycle sequences from the film, it also has impressive specs like a 5600dpi laser, 7 hyperesponse buttons, and a long braided cable. The keyboard is also swish, featuring Tron-styled lettering, a detachable modular keypad, media jacks, and fully programmable Chiclet Keys.

All in all, this is some of the most impressive kit Guru's seen in ages. So if you're in the market for a mouse or keyboard, here's a wicked combo that's worth checking out!!

Turtle Beach Headsets
They’re so good they’ll bring tears to your ears…

Guru’s mates at QVS have brought the highly acclaimed Turtle Beach “Ear Force” series of gaming headsets to Australia. These award winning headsets are top-notch, offering some of the best gaming performance available. Often a neglected piece of essential gaming kit, quality headsets can deliver a full-blown surround sound gaming experience for players, at the fraction of the price of a typical speaker set-up.

Recently, the guys at QVS sent the Guru two of their best headsets so he could take them through their paces (thanks Lisa) – the X41 for Xbox 360 and the PX21 for PS3. Guru’s gotta say, he had a whole lotta fun cranking them up and letting loose in the game arena.

The X41 is a top-of-the-line wireless headset, so gamers don’t have to worry about cables once the unit has been set up. It offers 7.1 channel Dolby surround sound and the sound is loud, crisp, and clear. They’re so good, you’ll be able to pinpoint the direction of sounds, adding more realism to the games you play. Also, you can use them for Xbox Live chat.

The PX21 is also a great contender, offering strong, crystal-clear stereo sound and chat capabilities. The beauty of this headset is that it’s USB, so it can be used on Xbox 360, PS3, or PC/Mac when playing videogames. Additionally, you can adjust the chat and game volume from a nifty little control box.

All in all, both these “Ear Force” headsets are awesome! They each offer quality sound, great bang for buck, and most important of all, they’re confortable to wear. Guru gives them his big stamp of approval – the X41 and PX21 totally rock!

Guru checks out Bluemouth’s cool kit for your 3DS…

So… you’ve just got a shiny new 3DS! You’re all excited, you’ve just charged the baby up and you’re ready to play your first game, right? WRONG!!! You see, your little brother or sister saw your sparkling new toy sitting on the table, they’ve grabbed the cord and… oh well, you know the rest… SMASH!!! That sinking feeling in your stomach… NNNNOOOOOOOOO!!! It couldn’t be any worse, could it? Well, Guru’s here to tell you it can! You could’ve dropped the thing yourself! So save yourself some heartache and “dress your DS for success!”

Just take a peek at this cool kit from Bluemouth. There’s everything from cases and screen protectors, to full accessory sets that’ll add some extra bling to your 3DS, and give it some added protection too. Here are some of Guru’s faves – you’ve just gotta check ‘em out!

3DS Expedition Case
It’s funky & chunky with rubbery goodness, it can also hold 6 carts & 2 styluses!

3DS Core Starter Kit
A great place to start! A groovy flip-style case, screen protectors, ear buds, car charger, & a couple of styluses – brilliant!

3DS Explorer Starter Kit
All the accessories listed above, but with an uber-tough, zip-up case that’s near indestructible!

Is the Force strong with this funky Wii-mote attachment?
If you’re going to play cool Star Wars videogames like Force Unleashed II and LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars on your Wii, why not enhance the whole experience by checking out this wicked attachment for your Wii-mote?

Not only does this thing look like Darth Vader’s own Lightsaber, but it also lights up with the Dark Lord’s signature evil red glow. Just pop your Wii-mote into the handle and you’re ready to take a walk on the Dark Side, for some totally exciting Jedi duels!

youDRAW, wiiDRAW, iDRAW with uDRAW!!!
Guru gets his Art-on with this wicked Wii add-on…

It’s been ages since Guru’s been really excited about Wii hardware. While motion controls were a big deal when Wii first launched, now Xbox 360 has Kinect and PS3 has Move, so the whole motion gaming experience isn’t exclusively a Wii thing anymore. It’s very much a matter of “been there, done that”, so Guru’s been searching around for the next big thing.

The good news is that it’s here, and it’s gonna deliver a brand new experience that’s unique to Wii. It comes in the form of the uDraw GameTablet, a new controller that works very much like the touch screen on a DS. The only difference being, that what you draw on the GameTablet appears on your TV screen. This is a completely unique way to interact with your Wii console, and the brainiacs at THQ Australia who came up with the idea, should be congratulated! Basically, the Wii-mote slots into the left side of the Tablet. A touch sentitive draw area takes up most of the top side of the unit, and there’s a special Stylus to use while drawing and controlling the on screen action – cool!

The Games…At launch there are going to be 3 titles which will be available to use with uDraw, but you can expect heaps more titles in the near future. uDraw Studio comes bundled with the GameTablet and offers a slew of creative tools for all you budding artists out there. You can change the material you’re drawing on (paper, cardboard, concrete, etc.), what you’re drawing with (pencil, airbrush, chalk, marker, etc.), and make all sorts of changes to colours, textures, and effects. It really is lots of fun, and just think about all the trees you’ll save by not wasting paper! The other two titles in the line-up are Pictionary which is great when family and friends are around, and a wicked little puzzle and platforming adventure called Dood’s Big Adventure.

Think of the Possibilities…Guru spent an afternoon playing around with uDraw, and he’s gotta say it’s some of the best fun he’s had on Wii. The Stylus and GameTablet combo work a treat when drawing or doodling, and work well with games too. Going forward, Guru expects we’ll see stacks of “How To Draw” titles (imagine how cool learning to draw comics or manga would be!), not to mention, a bunch of virtual colouring books. All in all, uDraw is a creative new way to play on your Wii, and is a must for anyone who wants to get their art-on – Guru gives it two BIG thumbs up!!!

Is this the ultimate wireless controller for PS3?

The guys at Bluemouth Interactive have been bringing in 3rd Party gaming peripherals into OZ and NZ for a while now, but this has to be their best controller yet! In addition to looking way cool, the Pro Elite PS3 Controller feels great in your hands and has a few nice touches which raise it above the competition.

Basically, they’ve taken the best features of the current wireless Xbox 360 and PS3 controllers and fused them together into an awesome gaming hybrid. It’s pretty much the ultimate wireless PS3 controller, with textured grips, back-lit buttons for night time play, recessed XB 360 style thumb-sticks, and nicely positioned shoulder buttons that have an anti-slip lip on the L2 and R2 buttons. Throw in Dual Rumble and SIXAXIS compatibility and you’ll find yourself in Gamer’s Heaven!