Games That Should Be Considered for Nintendo Switch

Written by Darrel Scott; edited by David Oxford

Many gamers would say that Nintendo has fallen behind Sony and Microsoft when it comes to major console gaming in the past decade or so. While there are legions of hardcore Nintendo loyalists out there, the Wii and Wii U simply weren’t as powerful as the latest Xbox and PlayStation devices. But if there’s one clear advantage that remains with Nintendo, it’s the company’s ability to tap into nostalgia and build on games that people grew up with.

So far, the new Nintendo Switch is looking like an interesting play. Sales for the new console are reportedly off to a phenomenal start, and it seems that the experiment is paying off. Gamers appreciate the idea of a console that essentially doubles as a mobile gaming device, and Nintendo appears to have executed the concept pretty well.

Another reason the Switch seems to be performing well is related to the aforementioned ability to tap into nostalgia. Among the console’s best launch titles, players can find new games for the likes of The Legend of Zelda and Bomberman, two beloved franchises that have been off the shelves for quite some time. These aren’t the only good games you can play on the Switch, but it stands to reason they’re helping to drive sales.

With that said, here are a few more games Nintendo might be wise to explore for the Switch, both from its own past and to get at gamers’ nostalgia in general.

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Super Mario RPG

There will be plenty of Mario-related games that come out on the Switch, but Nintendo would still do well to reboot this underrated classic. Those who played Super Mario RPG (on Super Nintendo Entertainment System and Wii Virtual Console) know that it still stands as one of the most entertaining role playing games of all time. In fact, just last year an article emerged expressing that in 20 years, few Nintendo games have lived up to this one. Throw in the fact that an RPG is one of the easier genres or formats to flip seamlessly between mobile and console gaming, and this seems like a no-brainer.

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GoldenEye 007

Shooters are tricky on a device like the mobile component of the Switch. This iconic first person shooter was actually rebooted to somewhat mediocre effect for the Wii a few years ago, but a new flagship Nintendo device without a fresh attempt at resurrecting GoldenEye’s glory just seems like a shame! Plus, it could pave the way for a new generation of James Bond games, which have always been fun.

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X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse

In a way, it feels like the year of Wolverine (thanks to Hugh Jackman’s final film as the legendary Canadian hero). Still, despite the recent surge in popularity we haven’t seen a major Wolverine game in quite some time. Some of the most recent games starring the fearsome mutant are online slot reels that are more fun than you might think. These casual web games are actually considered to be among the most popular and entertaining around, and frequently adopt characters and series from popular entertainment, with the result that there are currently multiple Wolverine– and X-Men-related games in circulation. X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse was a classic platformer for the SNES back in 1994, and could be a great candidate for an update to the hybrid mobile and home console.

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Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Blue Version

Pokémon is more relevant than ever thanks to the explosive popularity of Pokémon GO, and Nintendo ought to go ahead and capitalize. Brand new versions of the original games, with better graphics and perhaps slightly more complex gameplay, would be a wonderful surprise. These games could work well on both mobile and console modes, and it’s hard to imagine this being anything but a major seller for the Nintendo Switch. It’s hard that there’s never been a proper Pokémon game for consoles (outside of titles like Pokkén Tournament and Pokémon Snap), but there are rumors that Game Freak might be looking to develop a new Pokémon game for the Switch, although it’s still far too early to know any details.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The Turtles are also riding a wave of popularity with a younger generation but older fans probably still have fond memories of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games from the ’90s. These arcade brawlers recall a time when Nintendo dominated the console market and arcades were filled with the sounds of clinking quarters and the smell of stale pizza. While not exclusive to Nintendo, the Switch is perfectly suited to make the most of the iconic arcade gameplay and help acquaint a new audience with the older games starring the heroes in a half shell.

The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Mario’s Hat or any of Nyteworks’ staff.

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Update: Added Dead Rising 4 and LEGO Dimensions expansion packs.

With apologies to Maffew, as well as everyone else for not getting this up a little sooner as I’d have liked.

Following is a quick list of titles and things good for grabbing as gifts for the gamer in your life this holiday season. Mind, these come as my own personal recommendations, and don’t account for everything, including some “obvious” picks (such as Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Final Fantasy XV, and Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon). Everything here has been released in some form or fashion since Christmas 2015.

Xbox One

killerinstinctdefeditionXbox One S – Your mileage may vary on this one; if you or the intended recipient don’t own an Xbox One already, then this is the way to go. If you/they are planning on getting a 4K TV in the next year, however, then you might want to wait for Microsoft’s Project Scorpio — or at least more details about it — to emerge.

Killer Instinct: Definitive Edition Originally introduced in 2013, the revival of Killer Instinct has finally reached completion after three “seasons” of releases. While I only reviewed the first season, much more content has been made available since then, including new guest stars from Halo, Gears of War, and Battletoads! What’s more, you can now get everything in one complete package at retail with the Definitive Edition, which also includes a soundtrack CD and code for a gold Gargos skin. Now that’s what I call an Ultra Combo! (Also available on Windows 10 via Play Anywhere with Xbox One)

Forza Horizon 3 This open-world driving game is great for relaxing, but also provides plenty of excitement as you partake in various races, challenges, and even hunts for classic vehicles. Sync up your own custom soundtrack (or use one of the stations in the game) and hit the road — as well as the plains, beaches, and anywhere else you can think to drive! (Also available on Windows 10 via Play Anywhere with Xbox One)

oriblindforestdefeditionboxOri and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition (Review Pending) – Alongside Killer Instinct, this was one of the games which made me want an Xbox One in the first place, and I haven’t been disappointed. This Metroidvania-styled platformer has a beautifully eerie presence a surprising degree of emotion as well. I was saving this to say in my already long-overdue review, but to me, Ori feels like the perfect mascot for the Xbox One, and deserves to be adopted as one. Plus, for the price, how can you afford not to try it? (Also available for Windows via Steam)

ReCore (Review Pending) – From some of the creative minds who brought you Mega Man and Metroid Prime comes this mysterious tale from another world. As Joule Adams, you’re tasked with exploring the planet of Far Eden and finding out what happened to those who were supposed to colonize it for mankind’s survival. But while you seem to be the only human around, you’re not alone — a group of Corebots use the special abilities granted by their customizable frames (such as the “dog,” Mack) to assist you throughout this third-person adventure that feels in some ways like a mix of Mega Man Legends and Metroid Prime, coupled with its own unique elements as well. (Also available on Windows 10 via Play Anywhere with Xbox One)

Quantum Break (Review Pending) – Yeah, I know — I’m juggling a lot of balls in the air here (and yes, it’s driving me nuts). This is an extremely story-oriented third-person shooter with some interesting characters and some content that’s set up like an actual television serial interspersed with the game’s chapters. If you’re cool with a game you watch as or more often than you play, then this one’s definitely worth a look. (Also available on Windows 10)

Xbox Design Lab – The Xbox One Wireless Controller is one of my favorite controllers to come around in some time, with a comfortable feel and a Dpad that’s not only finally worth a damn, but pretty dang good in its own right! So what could make it better? How about your own choice of color scheme, and maybe a laser-engraved message as well? This holiday season, you can give a custom Xbox Design Lab controller as a gift by purchasing a code which the recipient can then redeem to make the controller of their dreams (and 14-day shipping is free!).

Dead Rising 4 – This late arrival to stores and this list alike is a must-own this holiday season for its Yuletide setting alone, but for fans of beat ’em up-styled gameplay, the latest adventure of Frank West really hits home.

Wii U

papermariocolorsplashboxPaper Mario: Color Splash After Paper Mario: Sticker Star, I thought that the magic of the series I loved might never return. Imagine my surprise when Nintendo took such great strides towards a return to form just one installment later! While still not quite on the level of the masterpiece that is Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, this lite-RPG adventure is a great choice for all ages.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD Nintendo’s next console, the Switch, isn’t destined to join us until March of next year, and the Zelda title designed to bridge it and the Wii U, Breath of the Wild, may take even longer still. In the meantime, they’ve updated the game which bridged the GameCube and the Wii with improved visuals and other features, including amiibo support! Get the game with the Wolf Link w/Midna amiibo, and you can begin prepping it to join you in the next Zelda adventure, whenever it may come!

Nintendo 3DS

kirbyplanetrobobotboxKirby: Planet Robobot Simply put, this is a must-have for any Nintendo 3DS owner. To say anything more would simply diminish it; if you or someone you know hasn’t played it, then rectify that immediately (or at least come the holidays).

Azure Striker Gunvolt: Striker Pack This spiritual successor to games such as Mega Man Zero really brings the thunder — or the lightning, at least! And with the recent release of Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 in the Nintendo eShop, you can now get both chapters together on a single game card at retail!

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam It’s a crossover no one knew they wanted — or was even possible! Establishing the Paper Mario series as a separate entity (well, even more so), Nintendo’s two long-running Mario role playing game series collide as denizens of the Paper world are released into the regular Mario world, and chaos ensues! This one is definitely a “cut” above!

Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice While the original Sonic Boom games did little to endear the world to this iteration of the franchise, Fire & Ice is a much better second go. With humorous writing and voice acting that’s in keeping with the Sonic Boom cartoon and the addition of Amy Rose to the playable character roster, Fire & Ice doesn’t excel, but it is comfort gaming at its finest.

Project X Zone 2 Let’s get crazy! This turn-based strategy game brings together characters from several of SEGA, Capcom, Bandai Namco, and Nintendo’s top titles for a fan service smorgasbord! Even if you don’t know all the characters involved (and the odds are pretty good that you won’t know everyone), don’t worry — you’ll probably find yourself wanting to check out some new games by the end of it. Heck, I never had any interest in SEGA’s Yakuza before, but now I can’t wait for Yakuza 0 to arrive on PlayStation 4 early next year!

PlayStation 4

dragonquestbuildersboxPlayStation 4 Pro – Speaking of PlayStation 4, if you’re interested in 4K gaming or virtual reality with PlayStation VR, then this is the model to look into. Just know that while it can stream 4K video, it won’t play Ultra HD Blu-ray discs.

Dragon Quest Builders Part of Minecraft‘s strength is its go anywhere, do anything you want freedom. However, if you’re interested in a game which captures the building and resource mechanics while providing you with a bit more of a purpose, then this alternate timeline sequel to the original Dragon Quest ought to be right up your alley.

Ratchet & Clank This latest release in the long-running PlayStation-exclusive franchise combines what made the original game great with a bit of added flair from the motion picture release, turns it on its head, sprinkles in some elements from other installments, and provides an experience great for longtime fans of the series and newcomers alike. And given that the film (which is based on the original game, with this being based on that) didn’t quite set hearts aflutter while the game was a number-one bestseller, it’s probably safe to say that if you have to choose between the two, going with the game is probably the best choice.

Multiplatform

deusexmankindboxartDeus Ex: Mankind Divided (Review Pending) – The Canadian Video Game Awards 2016 winner for Best Console Game, Best Game Design, Best Narrative, Best Performance, and oh yeah, Game of the Year. As Adam Jensen, you’re a cybernetically-enhanced human (though you didn’t ask for this) who is putting his myriad tools to good use as you make the decisions you think will best see you through to victory. Lethal or non-lethal weapons? Employ stealth, or go in guns blazing? These choices and many more are yours.

Rise of the Tomb Raider 20 Year Celebration (Review Pending) – For as iconic a figure as Lara Croft has been for the industry over the years, this installment follows in the footsteps of its predecessor by being decidedly not for children — or the faint of heart. It’s definitely an intense game that will keep you on the edge of your seat, and some parts can be pretty gruesome as well. That said, the original version came to Xbox One last year, but 20 Year Celebration throws in all the extra content that has been released since then, including some additional skins (such as a Retro Lara for a nostalgic kick), a co-op mode, and an Extreme Difficulty mode. On PlayStation 4, it’s also one of the first games to take advantage of the HDR features and 4K resolution provided by the Pro version, as well as a chapter playable in PlayStation VR.

WWE 2K17 The latest installment in 2K Games’ long-running sports entertainment adaptation is opting for a little more of a sim flavor this year. Create your own Superstars and events, alter others, and have the full run of Raw, Smackdown, and the rest of the shows WWE brings to a worldwide audience every week.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan On the half-shell, they’re the heroes four; in this day and age, who could ask for more? This IDW Comics-styled game is all about teamwork, whether you’re working with friends or strangers in online multiplayer, or managing all four green teens yourself.

skylandersimaginatorsboxSkylanders Imaginators Continuing the ever-growing theme of player-created content, this year’s Skylanders title allows you to create your very own Skylander called an Imaginator. They come in all different types, and become more powerful when one of the new Senseis shows them their moves. Plus, if you get the PlayStation 4 version (though it should come to the others next year), you can also get Skylanders of Spyro’s old pal, Crash Bandicoot and his rival Dr. Neo Cortex.

LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens “Chewie… we’re home.” These words from Han Solo reflect the feeling of this LEGO title as the series gets back to its roots, but with some new tricks as well. And it just feels so right.

Mega Man Legacy Collection Released as a digital download for Steam, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 late last year, this collection of the Blue Bomber’s six Nintendo Entertainment System adventures (and all the gobs of additional related content included) not only arrived on the Nintendo 3DS earlier this year, but at retail for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 as well. Plus, if you go for the physical Nintendo 3DS version, you can also add an exclusive gold Mega Man amiibo figure to your collection!

Mighty No. 9 This spiritual successor to Mega Man comes with a pretty severe caveat, as the game has been very divisive: If you or someone you know wants a challenge, then this one may deliver. That said, it’s best to look around and see if you can find a good bargain on it to keep your bets safe. Think of this one as “stocking stuffer” material, or consider trying the free demo first. Oh, and be careful about getting the Wii U version — that one apparently suffered from some pretty nasty hardware crashing issues, and I’m not sure if they ever got all those fixed.

LEGO Dimensions Sonic the Hedgehog Level Pack – The toys alone are cool enough, but getting to use them in a game which does a pretty good job of marrying the LEGO and Sonic styles of gameplay is even better.

LEGO Dimensions Gremlins Team Pack – Based on one of my favorite holiday movies, exploring the town of Kingston Falls during the snowy holiday season makes this a perfect holiday gift for anyone who owns (or will soon own) LEGO Dimensions.

Other

supermarioadventuresSuper Mario Run Though this game is available now, you won’t be able to buy it in stores. However, as it commands a $13.99 price tag, an iTunes gift card or two for the intended recipient may not be the worst idea. Just remember that it launches as an iOS exclusive, while the Android version comes sometime later.

Super Mario Adventures This recently republished collection of the comic which originally ran in Nintendo Power magazine 25 years ago is, for many, one of the definitive pieces of Mario fiction (outside of the games, that is). A loose adaptation of Super Mario World, this also includes an additional chapter which loosely adapts Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins and gives us the origin of Wario. Sadly, the 14th and final installment was not included; thankfully, it was a standalone story, so the rest of the book holds up quite well on its own otherwise.

NES Classic Edition and NES Controllers – Good luck finding either of these! Even if you’re not interested in this plug ‘n play collection of 30 classic games for yourself, you’re almost guaranteed to know someone who is, so if you see one in the wild — grab it! And if you happen to come across the even rarer controller, a replica of the original NES input device, consider that it also works with some games (pretty much anything a sideways Wii Remote would) on the Wii and Wii U!

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you’re interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.

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I realize this is coming a bit late for some of you, but I only just learned about these events myself before posting about them here, so I apologize for any inconvenience.

PlayStation Canada is promoting a number of Call of Duty: Black Ops III launch events at EB Games locations around the country to take place on November 5th and November 6th, depending on the location. Details are as follows, accompanied by links to each event’s Facebook page:

Call of Duty: Black Ops III Launch Event – Saskatchewan

Thursday, November 5 at 10:00pm in CST

  • Midtown Plaza, 201 First Avenue South, Suite 63

Call of Duty: Black Ops III Launch Event – British Columbia

Thursday, November 5 at 8:00pm in PST

  • Guildford Town Centre, 2695 Guildford Town Centre, Unit 2264, Surrey
  • Metropolis at Metrotown, 4700 Kingsway, Unit 1159, Burnaby

Call of Duty: Black Ops III Launch Event – Alberta

Thursday, November 5 at 9:00pm in UTC-07

  • Sunridge Mall, 2525 36th Street NE, Space 122, Calgary
  • Clareview Shopping Centre, 13740 40 Street NW, Edmonton
  • Clearwater Landing, 19 Riedel Street, Unit 105, Ft. McMurray
  • Southgate Centre, 11100 51st Avenue, Edmonton
  • Southpointe Common, 400-5001 19 St, Red Deer
  • Parkland Mall, 4747 67th Street, Unit 404, Red Deer
  • Gateway Towne Centre, 104-10902 105 Avenue, Grande Prairie
  • West Edmonton Mall, 8882-170 Street, Unit D106, Edmonton
  • Chinook Centre, 6455 Macleod Trail SW, Space 52, Calgary

Call of Duty: Black Ops III Launch Event – Atlantic Canada

Friday, November 6 at 12:00am in UTC-04

  • Mt. Pearl, 10 Merchand Drive, Unit C4, Bldg. C2, Mount Pearl, NF
  • Avalon Mall, 48 Kenmount Road, St. John’s, NF
  • Mic Mac Mall, 21 Mic Mac Blvd., Unit 167, Dartmouth, NS

Call of Duty: Black Ops III Launch Event – Manitoba

Thursday, November 5 at 10:00pm in UTC-06

  • St. Vital Centre, 86-1225 St. Mary’s Road, Spaces 129, Winnipeg

Call of Duty: Black Ops III Launch Event – Ontario

Thursday, November 5 at 11:00pm in UTC-05

  • Vaughan Mills Mall, 245-1 Bass Pro Mills Drive, Vaughan
  • Bramalea City Centre, 25 Peel Centre Drive, Space 253B, Brampton
  • Oshawa Centre, 419 King Street West, Unit 2222, Oshawa
  • Lime Ridge Mall, 999 Upper Wentworth, Unit 250A, Hamilton
  • Square One Shopping Centre, 100 City Centre Drive, Unit 2-115, Mississauga
  • Yorkdale Shopping Centre, 3401 Dufferin Street, Unit 181A, Toronto
  • Orleans Centre, 3890 Innes Road, Unit 5, Ottawa
  • Scarborough Town Centre, 30 Borough Drive, Unit 021, Scarborough
  • 267 Yonge Street, Toronto

Call of Duty: Black Ops III will take you into a dark, gritty future where a new breed of Black Ops soldier emerges. Are you ready for your mission?

Get ready for a world where cutting-edge military robotics define warfare. #BestPlacetoPlay

Call of Duty: Black Ops III will be released for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PC on Friday, November 6th, 2015.

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you’re interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.

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After the X15 Media Showcase, Nadia and I had the opportunity to check out the newest release in the Skylanders series, Skylanders SuperChargers. And with the game coming out this we– wait, it’s coming out tomorrow?! Since when do games come out on a Sunday?!

Okay, I’m told that this is apparently what Skylanders has been doing for years… as well as Disney Infinity, and apparently even LEGO Dimensions. No guesses as to why, but I’m assuming it has something to do with the toys.

Ahem. So on the eve of the release of this game, I figured now was as good a time as any to share my thoughts on what I’ve seen. I don’t have a copy of my own yet, though I’m expecting a review copy sometime for the November/December issue of Nintendo Force magazine.

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One thing to make clear is that it should be no secret that I like toys. I own a ton, I’ve reviewed a good few, and I hope to indulge in more for many years to come. That said, I’ve not had a chance to properly get into one of these “toys to life” styled games, but I’ve long thought what Skylanders is doing is pretty cool, and I’ve enjoyed the little bit I’ve seen and been able to dabble in.

One of the cool parts is how creative many of the characters are, enough that it’s generally pretty easy to find a guy that you like to be your “in” to the whole concept. From what I can tell, the stories don’t tend to focus on specific player characters, allowing you to use whoever you like without missing a beat. With each previous iteration I’ve looked over, I’ve found a number of characters who look like a lot of fun.

That said, in what might be considered a masterstroke, player initiation may be easier than ever this time for Wii U, Wii, and Nintendo 3DS owners with the inclusion of Nintendo’s own Bowser and Donkey Kong as playable characters.

SSC_Bowser-2

Not only does the familiarity of the characters help ease one into this strange new world, but it’s done with a style I love. The game really seems to play up the whole “toys” thing, not just in how they appear on-screen (DK’s texture, for instance, has more of a molded look than a real fur-like aesthetic), but also the way they’re presented. Decked out in special attire and gear as “Turbo Charge Donkey Kong” and “Hammer Slam Bowser,” they are reminiscent of so many figure variants released in various toy lines over the years, from Battle Armor He-Man to Cyber Samurai Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They even have their own brief bios, much like what you see on the back of Transformers packaging nowadays:

Turbo Charge Donkey Kong is joining the Skylanders in their fight against Kaos with a barrel full of powerful moves!

Hammer Slam Bowser is ready to battle alongside the Skylanders and pound down evil with his mighty hammer!

Their various moves in the game are also centered around their histories, with Bowser able to call upon a pack of Koopa Troopas to sic on his foes. Meanwhile, one of Donkey Kong’s moves features some falling girders from the original Donkey Kong arcade game, but the bulk of his moves involve his barrels, and to me, that’s awesome. Really, DK doesn’t fight with barrels nearly enough, so this is a nice change.

The core gameplay feels like a fairly standard 3D beat ’em up, though if you’ve got a character with ranged attacks, that’s obviously less beating and more shooting. While DK has been playable in the 3D space before, it was never quite like this, while this is pretty new territory for Bowser. However, smacking foes around is only part of the game this time around.

SSC_Barrel-Blaster-2

Each year, Skylanders brings with it a new gimmick. The second year was giants, the third had characters who could swap top and bottom halves to gain new powers, and last year featured trapper specialists who could capture baddies and bring them over to the good side. While those figures are all still compatible with the new game, this year’s gimmick revolves around vehicles.

Like G.I. Joe, this year’s Skylanders are there, fighting for freedom over land and air… and sea, too! The new guys, including DK and Bowser, come with their own vehicles which specialize in one of the three terrains as needed, and you can mix and match characters (even older ones!) with the different rides. Bowser comes with the Clown Cruiser and Donkey Kong has the Barrel Blaster (seen driven by Bowser above), while others have their own rides, too, including the pretty cool Spitfire and Hot Streak, who takes their place in all other versions (and will hopefully be available separately). (Another, Super Shot Stealth Elf, is available in all Starter Packs.)

However, if you match a character to their own personal ride, such as Bowser to his Clown Cruiser, you’ll be able to “SuperCharge” the vehicle for more power and abilities. For Bowser, this results in a Clown Cruiser which looks more like one of his fleet of airships (seen below), while pairing DK with the Barrel Blaster adds rocket boosters and brings Diddy Kong in on a sidecar to help man the cannons.

SSC_SuperCharged-Clown-Cruiser-2

That said, what I played of the vehicle portions was kind of a mixed bag. Aerial portions featured an “up is up and down is down” movement style, which I was still able to overcome despite my preference for the opposite. While it sounds like you can toggle those before a race, the same can’t be said for driving on land. On straightaways, it’s great; there’s a bit of Mario Kart-ish drifting, boosting, jumping, and even item usage.

However, when you come to an arena, things get a bit… strange. I had a difficult time steering just how I wanted to, as it no longer uses standard car controls, or from what I could tell, even something like overhead racing games (R.C. Pro-Am, Off Road, etc.). It was an odd transition, and one that the children they had test it reportedly took well to, but it seems that adults like myself have a tougher time adjusting. It’s not impossible — I was able to complete the sequence — but it does run a bit counter-intuitively, and there were no plans to allow other options when I spoke to the representatives.

Incidentally, the Wii and Nintendo 3DS versions (titled Skylanders SuperChargers Racing, which come with Hammer Slam Bowser and his Clown Cruiser) will be focused on the racing, while the Wii U version (with Turbo Charge Donkey Kong) will be the full-fledged game, with beat ’em up fun and all that goes with it.

superchargersSet1 superchargersSet2

As for the toys themselves, they’re great — better than my lousy pics above of the lot we got to see can convey. There are no points of articulation or any normal action figure gimmicks — these are figurines that make up for a lack of play features outside of the game with some nice painted detail instead. While I’ve always liked having at least some posability to my figures, I won’t lie — I’d have killed to get these when I was a kid, and in the cases where I had Mario figures that weren’t posable, I was able to make do.

That said, the Bowser and Donkey Kong figures do have some added functionality. With a quick turn of their base, they go from being Skylanders figures to amiibo, able to work with the games that correspond with previous Bowser and Donkey Kong releases. Given my collection currently features neither, they’ll make a most welcome addition.

The vehicles are cool as well, with some nice metallic detailing and paint apps. Unfortunately, they don’t interact with the figures outside of the game, so Bowser can’t ride in his Clown Cruiser, and so on; they’re sort of like those toys where you might have a driver-less Flintmobile from The Flintstones (for example) in that regard. That said, the ground vehicles do have working wheels, so you can race them as you would any toy car, and that’s a pretty neat touch.

Oh, and there is one downside to the vehicles: they’re only available in their standard modes, rather than the cool “SuperCharged” formations. It’s to be expected, yet a pity all the same that such cool designs must stay on the television screen.

darkversiondkbowser

As with Skylanders Starter Packs in years past, there will also be Dark Editions, including for the Nintendo versions. These are available on all platforms except for the Nintendo 3DS, which is unfortunately left out. The Dark Editions feature different sets of figures, including distinct (that is, the game reads them differently) versions of the characters included (so you can’t mix and match your regular and Dark Donkey Kongs and Barrel Blasters). There is also an additional Kaos trophy, which is “the only way to unlock special Kaos gameplay content.”

It’s a tough call. While I like the “dark” thing and all (and have my fair share of black repaints), I think I prefer the more colorful versions of the characters. Both look great, it’s just a personal preference thing here.

SSC_Clown-Cruiser-2

I’m not going to lie: from what I’ve seen and played, and with Star Fox Zero and The Legend of Zelda bumped out of 2015, this is one of the Wii U games I’m most looking forward to getting my hands on.

Skylanders SuperChargers will be available in Standard Edition on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Wii U for $84.99, while the Dark Edition will be available on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Wii, and Wii U for $124.99; Skylanders SuperChargers Racing is available for Wii and Nintendo 3DS for $84.99 and $79.99 each, respectively, beginning September 20th. You can find more information on the game at the official website.

Edit: Updated the text to reflect the different titles for the distinct Nintendo 3DS and Wii versions.

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This week has some rather impressive offerings going for it, all told. It still skews Wii U-heavy, but considering how things have been on that front, that’s not so bad.

WiiU_YearWalk_02

Year Walk for Wii U – Use the GamePad screen to study a mysterious folklore encyclopedia while solving tactile puzzles using its motion controls. Check out the trailer here.

WiiU_SkylandersSuperchargers_03

Skylanders SuperChargers Portal Owner’s Pack for Wii U – Available September 20th: You’ll need a Skylanders portal to play this, but with that and the digital versions of Instant Spitfire and Instant Hot Streak, you’ll instantly be on your way towards stopping Kaos from wreaking havoc on the world of the Skylanders. Collect the 40+ figures and vehicles released under the Skylanders SuperChargers banner to take the attack to land, sea, or air! However, you’ll want to keep an eye out for the Wii U Starter Pack, which includes the exclusive Turbo Charge Donkey Kong figure. Click here for the trailer (assuming they ever set it to public).

WiiU_CarBattlerJoe_02

Car Battler Joe for Wii U – Just as his father was before him, Joe Todoroki wants to become a Car Battler in this Game Boy Advance title. Customize your ride, sign up for jobs, take on missions, and win in tournaments as Joe explores the dangerous roadways surrounding his village.

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Defense Dome for Wii U – Described as “a throwback to classic arcade-style shooters of the 1990s,” you’ll use the Wii U GamePad to lock on to enemy missiles with your scope and launch counterattacks while the television gives you a look at the bigger picture.

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Rock ‘N Racing Off Road DX for Wii U – This classic arcade-style off road racing game for up to five players features several modes, a wide variety of tracks, and “loads” of rock ‘n roll music.

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Zombie Defense for Wii U – Stop the zombies on their approach in this real time strategy/tower defense game with two modes and 35 deadly missions.

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Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS – This free downloadable content for Shovel Knight places you in the role of Plague Knight, “the addled alchemical master of disaster,” in his own adventure! Get new relics, explore a new story, and take on levels tweaked to Plague Knight’s own unique abilities.

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SENRAN KAGURA 2: Deep Crimson for Nintendo 3DS – This 2.5D side-scrolling brawler is definitely not for all ages. Rated M for Mature, one or two players work to control two of 12 characters in this clothes-ripping free-for-all.

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The Legend of Legacy – Demo Version for Nintendo 3DS – Available September 22nd: Before the latest role playing game from Atlus is released on October 13th, see if unraveling the mysteries of Avalon’s past is for you in this free demo.

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This week’s new themes are “Pokémon: Dancing Pikachu,” “Pokémon: Pikachu’s Cry,” “Pikachu Bundle: Dancing & Cry,” and “Pokémon 151: Mewtwo.”

Nintendo eShop Sales (Taken directly from Nintendo’s press release; prices in USD)

Permanent Price Reduction (Taken directly from Nintendo’s press release; prices in USD)

Activities

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. “Red Badge” Tournament – Compete in Nintendo’s Public Tournaments to see how your squad rates and, if you’re one of the top competitors, earn a unique title that is visible online and gives you bragging rights. This one runs until September 20th.

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For more information, screens, and videos for each of this week’s releases, click on the corresponding links above.

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Contributed by Allen Rivera

While online multiplayer has existed in different ways over the past 20 years or so, it’s only more recently really taken hold of the console market. Basically, if there’s a way to include online options in a game, the developer is going to take advantage of that fact. This can lead to things as small as sharing photos and high scores from Super Mario 3D World to something more grand like taking on opponents the world over in Mario Kart 8. And it’s in really digging into the latter’s online multiplayer that led me to thinking about something: Nintendo has really gotten it right in this field.

To be blunt, a big reason for my patting Nintendo on its back has to do with not being forced to pay any money to play online. Their competitors, as you may know, ask you to pay a monthly fee to take advantage of their online networks. And to be fair to both Sony and Microsoft, subscribing to their networks has some sweet perks, such as free game downloads. Also, they do have more titles (read: first-person shooters like Destiny) that make sense when it comes to playing online against or with other players.

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Aside from the online options being free, Nintendo also seems to know what it’s doing by cutting out the nonsense that can come with playing against strangers on the Internet. That nonsense, of course, typically comes in the manner of name-calling, harassment, and overall awful behavior. This is not always the case, as gamers apparently have started self-regulating themselves when it comes to bigotry, according to The Daily Mail. Still, there’s another way to cut that out of games, at least in a vocal sense, and it’s simply eliminating the need/use of voice chat. This obviously cannot be done across the board, because some titles require you to speak with others to take on the mission at hand. However, you can minimize its use by simply removing it from certain titles.

In doing this, it’s understandable that some would think that the online community would suffer. This doesn’t need to be the case, though, and it’s been proven elsewhere that communities can prosper through simpler means. All you need, really, is a good moderating staff to ensure that those who cross the line will be dealt with in a reasonable fashion. And if the staff is friendly, that can result in creating a more welcoming atmosphere for the players involved. This is evident in the community-centric approach of online platform betfair bingo, where players are encouraged to interact with the game’s host/moderator and other players. Considering you can find thousands of people playing on the site at any given time—several thousand as of this writing—you have to imagine they’re doing something right.

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The lack of voice chat on the Wii U may soon change, though. As noted by Nintendo Life, the superb Super Smash Bros. for Wii U could have options for actually talking to other players in the near future. Whether this will come about as an update or through downloadable content remains to be seen.

What do you think about Nintendo’s approach to online multiplayer? Do you feel they’re doing the right thing by keeping it simple or should they begin implementing voice chat in their games?

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The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back, thanks to a new life given by new owner Nickelodeon. There’s a great new cartoon, an accompanying toyline, an unrelated but nevertheless good new comic book from IDW, and an upcoming film produced by Michael Bay which leads to cringing whenever something is said about it.

Well, you can’t win them all.

Naturally, a revival wouldn’t be complete in this day and age without a new video game to go with it, and that’s where Activision steps in.

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