March 2018 Nintendo Direct is a Smash Hit with Fans
Earlier today, Nintendo streamed a brand-new Nintendo Direct that revealed all sorts of new and renewed games coming to the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Switch.
The biggest announcement of all of these is that a new Super Smash Bros. title is coming to the Nintendo Switch in 2018. Is it an enhanced port of the Wii U/Nintendo 3DS game? Is it a full-fledged sequel? We don’t know! All we know is that there are some familiar faces, the addition of the Inklings (not as Mii costumes this time), and that they don’t have an official title for it yet, which would probably help answer at least some of that.
In terms of anything else that is specifically regarding Canada, there isn’t much — it’s all pretty general. Well, except for one thing.
Nintendo has announced the ARMS US & Canada Online Open Tournament. That’s right — we may be shut out of stuff like the Nintendo World Championships (unless you want to travel to one of the handful of U.S. locations to try your luck), but this one is open to a little northern hospitality.
Just don’t expect any time to warm up — this thing is going on right now, and you have until March 18th to participate in ARMS‘ Ranked Match mode and be a contender. The eight top-ranked competitors will then get to take part in the finals, streamed live from Nintendo of America headquarters on March 31st at 10am PT, which you’ll be able to view through this link. The finalists will not only receive bragging rights, but also a custom piece of artwork as well.
If you don’t have your own copy of ARMS, you may also be interested to learn that a new Global Testpunch will run from March 30th to April 1st.
So that’s the big stuff. If you missed the Nintendo Direct, you can catch it right here, and find more details in the press release below.
THE SUPER SMASH BROS. SERIES HEADS TO NINTENDO SWITCH IN 2018
Nintendo Direct Presentation Highlights Many Upcoming Games for Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo 3DS Family of Systems
VANCOUVER B.C., March 8, 2018 – During its latest Nintendo Direct presentation, Nintendo announced that the Super Smash Bros. franchise is coming to Nintendo Switch this year. The video also showcased more than a dozen upcoming games for both the Nintendo Switch system and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, with many of the featured games coming from third-party developers, including SQUARE ENIX, Capcom, Grasshopper Manufacture, From Software and Ubisoft.
“Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS are being propelled through 2018 with an energized lineup of games of all kinds,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “These games contain a solid mix of first-party franchises starring some of Nintendo’s most recognizable characters, acclaimed third-party titles and promising indies.”
To view the Nintendo Direct video in its entirety, visit http://www.nintendo.com/nintendo-direct. Some of the highlights revealed in the video include:
- Nintendo Switch Super Smash Bros.(working title): The Super Smash Bros. series comes to Nintendo Switch in 2018. The teaser trailer featured recognizable faces like Mario, Link and the Inklings from the Splatoon series.
- New Single-Player Expansion Coming to Splatoon 2: The first paid DLC is coming to Splatoon 2this summer. Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion adds a hefty new single-player mode that lets players play as new character Agent 8, an Octoling (!) with lost memories. The new single-player campaign features 80 missions, as well as new stories that shed new light on beloved characters. Players that complete the Octo Expansion campaign will unlock the ability to play as Octolings in multiplayer battles. While Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion launches this summer, players can pre-purchase the DLC starting today in Nintendo eShop to immediately receive Octo-themed in-game gear to use in battle right away. (The full version of the game is required to use DLC.)
- Major Splatoon 2Update: In April, Splatoon 2 is getting a major free update (Version 3.0) that contains 100+ new pieces of gear, more stages rolling out throughout spring (Piranha Pit, Camp Triggerfish and Wahoo World) and a new rank (Rank X). Rank X is an extreme rank, even higher than S+.
- Mario Tennis Aces: Unleash an arsenal of shots and strategies in all-out tennis battles with friends, family and fan-favourite Mushroom Kingdom characters. With up to four-player local (additional accessories may be required and are sold separately) and online* multiplayer, and a story mode that even includes creative boss battles, Mario Tennis Acesis one of the most robust Mario sports games yet. The intuitive and deep gameplay allows for exciting competitions in the living room or, really, anywhere using the power of Nintendo Switch. In Swing Mode, players can use their Joy-Con controllers like a tennis racket, swinging them to initiate the tennis swings in the game. Mario Tennis Aces launches exclusively for Nintendo Switch on June 22.
- Mario Tennis AcesPre-launch Online Tournament: More details will be revealed in the future, but a free Mario Tennis Aces demo is coming soon. For a limited time, players can try out online* tournament matches in the game before it launches. To participate, players just have to download the Pre-launch Online Tournament in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch.
- Kirby Star Allies: Kirby is coming to Nintendo Switch for the first time next week! As players make their way through the robust adventure, they will reach dream palaces where fan-favourite legacy characters can become Kirby’s Dream Friends. Eventually, more Dream Friends will be added to the game through free updates. The first such update hits March 28 and adds classic characters Marx, Gooey and character set “Rick & Kine & Coo” to the game. Kirby Star Allieslaunches exclusively for Nintendo Switch on March 16. A free demo for the game is currently available in Nintendo eShop.
- Octopath Traveler: Producer Masashi Takahashi from SQUARE ENIX revealed new details about the upcoming RPG, including the final game name, Octopath Traveler, two more main characters (Tressa the Merchant and Alfyn the Apothecary) and the ability to equip multiple jobs per character for use in battle. Octopath Travelerlaunches exclusively for Nintendo Switch on July 13. Octopath Traveler: Wayfarer’s Edition, a special edition bundle that includes a stylized pop-up book, a helpful cloth map, the Octopath Traveler: Sound Selections CD and a replica coin based on the in-game currency, launches the same day.
- Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, which originally launched for Wii U, is coming to Nintendo Switch. The new version includes new miniature courses based on various Kingdoms in the Super Mario Odysseygame. Also, anyone can play with a friend or family member by sharing a pair of Joy-Con controllers. While one player controls Captain Toad, the other can assist with things like turnip cover fire. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker launches for Nintendo Switch on July 13. A Nintendo 3DS version of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, which includes stereoscopic 3D visuals and touch-screen controls, also launches on July 13.
- Crash Bandicoot Crashes Nintendo Switch: Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, which includes remastered versions of the first three Crash Bandicootgames, launches for Nintendo Switch on July 10.
- Okami HD: The gorgeous and ethereal remake of classic action-adventure game Okamiis coming to Nintendo Switch. In the Nintendo Switch version of the game, players can use the touch screen in Handheld Mode or the Joy-Con motion controls in TV or Tabletop Mode to control the Celestial Brush to defeat enemies and solve puzzles. Okami HD launches in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch this summer.
- South Park: The Fractured But Whole: The South Park gang is back in an outrageously offensive superhero RPG adventure. And with Nintendo Switch, players can now drop into South Park anytime, anywhere. In addition to the main game, all of the game’s add-on content will be available for purchase. South Park: The Fractured But Wholelaunches for Nintendo Switch on April 24.
- Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido: Originally announced for Nintendo 3DS at last year’s E3, Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushidois also coming to Nintendo Switch! The action puzzle game finds players devouring conveyor-belt sushi, matching plates and then throwing them to defeat enemies. The basics are simple, but the gameplay is deep … and tasty! In the game’s multiplayer mode, players can even compete locally or online* against other players in intense matches. Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido launches for both Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS on June 8.
- DARK SOULS: REMASTERED: The remake of the genre-defining and beloved original DARK SOULSgame launches for Nintendo Switch on May 25. On the same day, an amiibo figure based on Solaire of Astora will also be released. By tapping this amiibo, the popular “Praise the Sun” gesture can be used with reckless abandon from the start of the game. (The gesture can also be obtained through regular gameplay.) Players who want to take the game for a spin can participate in a “network test.” The free network test launches in Nintendo eShop, and will allow players to download and play a part of DARK SOULS: REMASTERED before it launches to try out the gameplay and unique online features. More details about the network test will be revealed soon.
- Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes: When Travis Touchdown wanders into the game world, he goes on a rampage of epic proportions. The latest title in the cult classic No More Heroesseries contains a total of seven game titles, including an action game, racing game and puzzle game. By using another Joy-Con controller, two players can team up for co-op multiplayer action. Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes launches exclusively for Nintendo Switch this year.
- Little Nightmares: Complete Edition:From award-winning developer Tarsier Studios comes Little Nightmares, a charmingly horrific puzzle-platforming adventure. The Complete Edition contains the two haunting tales of Six and The Runaway Kid in one package. You can even tap the PAC-MAN amiibo figure (sold separately) to unlock the Pakku Mask when playing. Little Nightmares: Complete Edition launches on May 18.
- UNDERTALE: The million-selling role-playing game in which nobody has to die is headed to Nintendo Switch. Launch details will arrive at a later date.
- Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition: The definitive edition (it’s in the title!) of Hyrule Warriorsbrings together dozens of characters from the Legend of Zelda series in an over-the-top action game. The game launches for Nintendo Switch on May 18.
- ARMSUS & Canada Online Open Tournament**: Players who want to show off their ARMS skills will be able to enter the ARMS US & Canada Online Open Tournament, which takes place in the Nintendo Switch game’s Ranked Match mode now through March 18. The eight top players in these preliminary rounds will have an opportunity to move on to the online finals on March 31. The finals will be streamed live from Nintendo of America HQ at https://arms.nintendo.com/videos/.
- ARMSTestpunch: A new global Testpunch for the ARMS game, which lets Nintendo Switch owners try out select modes for free, will be running for three days starting on March 31. To participate, players just have to download the Testpunch in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch.
- WarioWare Gold: The frenetic WarioWareseries is back, and for the first time it’s on Nintendo 3DS! With 300 fast-paced microgames that can be controlled by pressing buttons, tilting the system, tapping the touch screen or using the microphone, WarioWare Gold is the biggest entry in the series. And for the first time, the game includes fully voiced characters. WarioWare Gold launches exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems on Aug. 3.
- Luigi’s Mansion: The original Luigi’s Mansion, which was a launch game for the Nintendo GameCube system in 2001, is coming to Nintendo 3DS. This remake has an updated look and new features, like a map that displays on the bottom screen and a boss rush mode. Luigi’s Mansionlaunches exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems this year.
- Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr.’s Journey: In this Nintendo 3DS remake of a classic Mario & Luigiaction RPG adventure, fans can replay (or play for the first time) Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story, one of the most critically acclaimed games in the Mario & Luigi series. It features new graphics and a new mode that tells the behind-the-scenes story of Bowser Jr. Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr.’s Journey launches exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems in 2019.
- Dillon’s Dead-Heat Breakers: Action meets tower defense in Dillon’s Dead-Heat Breakers. In this new game, players take on the role of armadillo ranger Dillon, who teams up with an animalized version of the player’s Mii character to help stop enemy invasions and save the post-apocalyptic frontier. Dillon’s Dead-Heat Breakerslaunches exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems in Nintendo eShop on May 24. A free demo for the game will be available to download on May 10.
- Detective Pikachu: Starting today, this new detective adventure game starring self-proclaimed “great detective” Pikachu is available for pre-purchase on Nintendo eShop and Nintendo.com. The game, as well as an extra-large Detective Pikachu amiibo figure (sold separately), launches on March 23. (The game is playable in 2D only.)
Remember that Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems feature parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about other features, visit https://www.nintendo.com/en_CA/switch/ or https://www.nintendo.com/en_CA/3ds/.
*Nintendo Account is required. Online services and features, including online gameplay, are free until the paid Nintendo Switch Online Service launches in September 2018.
**NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of US and CAN; high-speed internet required. Qualifier Period begins 3/8/18 at 5PM PT and ends 3/18/18 at 4:59PM PT. To participate, play at least 50 matches in Ranked Matchduring Qualifier Period (Ranked Match only available after you beat Grand Prix). Based on ARMS in-game ranking system and winning percentages during Qualifier Period, 8 Finalists and 4 Alternates will be selected to be available to participate in Finals to be held 3/31/18. Winner of Finals will get 1 color artwork (ARV $125). Other Finalists and Alternates will get 1 artwork (ARV $50 each). Odds of winning depend on no. of participants. Restrictions apply. Visit https://arms.nintendo.com/rules.pdf and https://arms.nintendo.com/fr/rules.pdf for additional details and full rules. Sponsor: Nintendo of America Inc.
About Nintendo: The worldwide pioneer in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Nintendo Switch™ system and the Nintendo 3DS™ family of portable systems. Since 1983, when it launched the Nintendo Entertainment System™, Nintendo has sold more than 4.5 billion video games and more than 710 million hardware units globally, including Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, as well as the Game Boy™, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS™ family of systems, Super NES™, Nintendo 64™, Nintendo GameCube™, Wii™ and Wii U™ systems. It has also created industry icons that have become well-known, household names, such as Mario, Donkey Kong, Metroid, Zelda and Pokémon. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo’s operations in the Americas. For more information about Nintendo, please visit the company’s website at https://www.nintendo.ca/.
March 3rd marks the first anniversary of the launch of the Nintendo Switch, and to celebrate, Nintendo of Canada is giving away a Switch! …plus one of every amiibo available.
That’s right, you can be the one to walk away with not only the hottest new handheld/console hybrid of this generation, but also a whopping 143 amiibo figures as well, so you can put that NFC reader right to work in hits such as Super Mario Odyssey, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Bayonetta 2, and more!
So, what do you have to do? Simple! Between now and March 16th, Nintendo wants to see how the Switch has inspired the way you play, and by using the hashtags #1YearWithNintendoSwitch & #NintendoContest at the beginning of a tweet (this is a Twitter contest, by the way, so sign up if you haven’t already), you can share with them your artwork, photos, or videos celebrating this occasion. For further details, click here.
On top of all that, Nintendo also has a variety of Nintendo Switch (and Nintendo 3DS) offers that are underway right now, and you can find out more about those right here.
This site is called “Mario’s Hat,” so it’s only natural that I talk a bit about the release of a game which actually stars Mario’s hat, right?
Super Mario Odyssey is now available for the Nintendo Switch, returning the 3D series to its roots by sending Mario on his way to collect numerous Moons throughout various sandbox-level Kingdoms. And of course, joining him on this new adventure is the Bonneter known as Cappy, who takes the form of the plumber (or ex-plumber; who even knows any more?) protagonist’s iconic lid, allowing him to pull off all sorts of cool moves.
“Super Mario Odyssey is the must-have video game for this holiday season,” said Reggie Fils-Aime, President and Chief Operating Officer of Nintendo of America. “Video game fans of all kinds will want to dive into this latest Mario adventure as soon as possible.”
Super Mario Odyssey can be yours for a suggested retail price of $79.99, but if you don’t already have a Nintendo Switch, then you may be in luck: A special bundle containing the console, two Mario-red JoyCon controllers, a download code for the game, and a special carrying case can be yours for $499.99. And if that’s not enough for you, three new amiibo figures of Mario, Bowser, and Princess Peach in their wedding attire are now available for $15.99 each, or as a set for $44.99.
You can learn more about Super Mario Odyssey, the aforementioned Nintendo Switch bundle, the related amiibo figures, and even find a download of the song “Jump Up, Super Star” by visiting supermario.nintendo.com/. And if you’d like to check out a review first, I’ll point you in the direction of USgamer, where my wife talks about it at greater length.
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.
On May 19th, Nintendo and Intelligent Systems are bringing Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia to the Nintendo 3DS family of handheld devices. Today, however, Nintendo of Canada has revealed that there will be more than one way to purchase the game.
In addition to the vanilla release, a Limited Edition bundle will also be available, with both hitting stores on the same day. Behold its contents:
In addition to a copy of the game itself, the Limited Edition bundle includes a hardcover copy of the Valentia Artbook; a Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia Sound Selection CD; a Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia pin set which depicts the characters of Alm, Celica, and fan-favorite Marth; and a reversible cover sheet which looks like the packaging for Fire Emblem Gaiden, the second game in the series and the Famicom game upon which this new release is based.
All this can be yours in the Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia Limited Edition Bundle, which will be carried at select retailers for a suggested retail price of $79.99 (versus $49.99 for the bare-bones version).
When scanned, these two will activate their own exclusive dungeons that grant heroes the opportunity to not only earn items, but also to further level up their armies through defeating bosses. Players can also select Mila’s Turnwheel from the overworld map menu to utilize these two characters in battle by sacrificing a portion of their health during combat. Doing so summons reinforcements to the field for one turn in the form of a computer-controlled illusory hero. What’s more, as Alm and Celica each grow stronger, players can save their stats to the respective amiibo so that the unit they summon grows in strength as well.
As it happens, though, Alm and Celica are not the only Fire Emblem amiibo to get in on the illusory action; all of the Fire Emblem characters featured in the Super Smash Bros. amiibo series can also be used to summon spectral visages of not only Marth, Roy, Robin, Ike, and Lucina, but the upcoming Corrin as well. Plus, if you so choose, any other amiibo you endeavor to use will also work with the game, though instead of calling illusory heroes of Mario or Link to the field (awesome as that would be), you’ll bring forth an additional monster to assist you on the field of battle — handy for when the odds are stacked against you.
Remember to mark your calendars, as May 19th is the day you’ll rally your troops for glory and honor. But in the meantime, if you’d like to read up a bit more on what Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is all about, you can check out the official website.
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.
While the Nintendo Switch is only a little over a month away from its release (don’t forget that if you’re in Toronto, you can play it early this weekend), Nintendo isn’t letting up on their Nintendo 3DS support any time soon.
For starters, there’s a new variant of the New Nintendo 3DS XL coming out on February 24th. Known as the “Pikachu Yellow Edition New Nintendo 3DS XL,” this lemony-hued device sports a picture of the popular Pokémon Pikachu across its lid, and will be available for #239.99. So if you’re in need of a Nintendo 3DS, this one’s sure to be a hit.
Whether you’ve got a Nintendo 3DS or are in the market for one, there are still plenty of new titles coming down the pipe from Nintendo themselves. Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World brings what is quite possibly the best game in the Yoshi series since the original Yoshi’s Island from the Wii U to the 3D handheld, and offers a variety of new features to boot. Playable Poochy, a Craft Yoshi Editor, and even some stop-motion animated videos are there to make this package all the more enticing for those who played the original and holdouts alike. An adorable new Yarn Poochy figure will also be available at launch, and if you’re still not convinced, there’s a demo in the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS right now.
Other releases include the Nintendo eShop-exclusive Tank Troopers on February 16th, Mario Sports Superstars and an accompanying series of amiibo cards (with one included with the game for a limited time) on March 24th, and the tentatively-titled Pikmin for Nintendo 3DS sometime later this year.
All this, and they didn’t even mention the new Fire Emblem announced last week. So while the Wii U has pretty much all but breathed its last, at least there will still be a bit more first-party love for Nintendo 3DS owners to look forward to throughout 2017.
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.
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 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)
Ori 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.
Paper 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!
Kirby: 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 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.
Deus 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.
Skylanders 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.
Super 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!
First and foremost in everyone’s mind is the launch of the Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition, which retails for $79.99 and comes with one controller (additional controllers are sold separately for $12.99 each) and comes with 30 games, which you can read about in further detail here.
Joining it will be the launch of the limited edition New Nintendo 3DS XL Solgaleo Laluna Black Edition, customized with artwork of both new legendary Pokémon from the upcoming Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon. The system, found exclusively at Best Buy and EB Games, will retail for $239.99 when it is released a week ahead of the games it’s designed to promote.
If you’re looking for another model, then you may be interested in Toys R Us’s sale on New Nintendo 3DS XL systems. Kicking off on Nintendo Day 2016 and lasting until November 17th, you’ll be able to save $20 on any version of that system type.
Elsewhere, there are amiibo sales aplenty kicking off on Nintendo Day 2016. Until November 17th, EB Games will have a sale where you can buy any two amiibo and get one Animal Crossing amiibo free. During that same time period, Amazon.ca will be discounting amiibo purchased through them by $6, while Toys R Us will have a “buy two, get one free” sale of their own.
Finally, if you can’t wait until Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon are released and want to hone your trainer skills in the meantime, Best Buy and BestBuy.ca will have $5 off of what are only specified as “great Pokémon games.”
Is that enough to make you feel like celebrating? I know I’ll be if I can nab an NES Classic Edition before my appointment with the gastroenterologist tomorrow!
It’s a cavalcade of classic Nintendo characters in the Nintendo Download this week, ranging from the land of Hyrule to Donkey Kong Island to the Mushroom Kingdom to Yoshi’s Island to Eagleland! And Shantae is here, too!
Hyrule Warriors Legends for Nintendo 3DS – This port of the Wii U classic features new characters from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, new heroes such as the crossbow-wielding Linkle, new story mode chapters, and more! Plus, if you purchase the “Legends of Hyrule Season Pass” for downloadable content, you’ll be able to use Ganondorf from The Wind Waker immediately and download the additional packs as they become available throughout the year.
Just be careful about downloading this if you don’t have a New Nintendo 3DS; I’ve heard various reports that say it doesn’t run very well on the non-New models.
Donkey Kong Country for Nintendo 3DS – The beast is back on the New Nintendo 3DS! Join DK and his sidekick Diddy on their first adventure to stop the Kremlings from stealing DK’s coveted banana horde!
Super Mario Kart for Nintendo 3DS – The one that started it all hits the New Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console, and brings what I personally believe to be the best Battle Mode in the series with it.
Earthbound for Nintendo 3DS – The cult classic role playing game from the Super Nintendo Entertainment System library lands on the New Nintendo 3DS at last! Join Ness and his friends in this adventure to stop the evil Giygas from destroying the world!
Japanese Rail Sim 3D Journey in Suburbs #1 Vol. 3 for Nintendo 3DS – In the third volume of the series, you’ll drive the distance from Minami Kariyasu Station to Yamada Station through the center of the Japanese archipelago.
Japanese Rail Sim 3D Journey in Suburbs #1 Vol. 4 for Nintendo 3DS – The fourth volume of the series takes players on a scenic journey from Yamada Station through Gifu prefecture to Hokuno Station.
Witch & Hero 2 for Nintendo 3DS – Take control of both the spell-casting witch and the dauntless knight once again — at the same time! Work in tandem to defeat your foes; just know that while the knight cannot be slain, the game is over should the witch meet her end!
Shantae: Risky’s Revenge – Director’s Cut for Wii U – The most popular game in WayForward’s Shantae series has been revamped to include high definition illustrations, a new Warp System, a Magic Mode Costume, and rebalanced gameplay.
Yoshi’s Story for Wii U – An underrated gem from the Nintendo 64 library, in my opinion. It may not be much for full retail price, but as a downloadable Virtual Console game, Yoshi’s Story is good. Join a group of differently-colored newborn Yoshis as they pursue Baby Bowser following his theft of the Happy Tree.
Infinity Runner for Wii U – This new entry in the running genre places you on board the largest spaceship ever made, the Infinity, as you flee for your life from the last of the werewolves.
Fire Emblem Fates – New DLC Map – Hidden Truths (1 and 2) – Two new maps which serve as a prologue to the games are now available for $4.49 USD, or you can purchase Map Pack 1 to get everything released through April 21st for less than you’d pay individually.
Nintendo eShop Sales (Taken directly from Nintendo’s press release; prices in USD)
- Nintendo eShop on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS
- Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D (Nintendo 3DS), Resident Evil Revelations (Wii U and Nintendo 3DS) and more games from Capcom are on sale until 8:59 a.m. PT on March 29.
- Epic Word Search Collection (Nintendo 3DS) and Word Party (Wii U) from Lightwood Games are on sale until 8:59 a.m. PT on April 4.
- Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley (Nintendo 3DS), Ninja Strike: Dangerous Dash (Wii U) and more games from Natsume are on sale starting at 9 a.m. PT on March 25 until 8:59 a.m. PT on March 31.
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Plankton’s Robotic Revenge (Wii U and Nintendo 3DS), and SpongeBob HeroPants (Nintendo 3DS) from Activision are on sale until 8:59 a.m. PT on March 30.
- Nintendo eShop on Wii U
- Suspension Railroad Simulator is more than 35 percent off (reduced from $7.99 to $5) until 8:59 a.m. PT on April 7.
- Life of Pixel is more than 50 percent off (reduced from $9.99 to $4.99) until 8:59 a.m. PT on April 11.
- Skylanders SuperChargers Portal Owner’s Pack is 50 percent off (reduced from $49.99 to $24.99) until 8:59 a.m. PT on April 1.
- Maze and The Perplexing Orb are on sale until 8:59 a.m. PT on March 31.
- Explody Bomb is more than 65 percent off (reduced from $.99 to $.59) until 8:59 a.m. PT on March 31.
- Adventures of Pip is 50 percent off (reduced from $14.99 to $7.50) until 8:59 a.m. PT on March 31.
- Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS
- Aqua Moto Racing 3D is 50 percent off (reduced from $7.99 to $3.99) until 8:59 a.m. PT on March 31.
- Jett Rocket II: The Wrath of Taikai is 25 percent off (reduced from $8.99 to $6.70) until 8:59 a.m. PT on April 14.
- Japanese Rail Sim Journey in Suburbs #1 is 50 percent off (reduced from $7.99 to $3.99) until 8:59 a.m. PT on April 7.
- Stella Glow, Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight and more games from ATLUS are on sale until 8:59 a.m. PT on April 4.
Mini Mario & Friends amiibo Challenge – Between March 25th and April 27th, purchase any amiibo from a participating retailer to gain an early access code that will allow you to play the latest Mini Mario game on your Nintendo 3DS or Wii U for free. Just tap any amiibo figure to get started!
National StreetPass Weekend: Spring Edition – From March 25th to 27th, get up to six StreetPass tags from across North America by stopping at a Nintendo Zone location with your system from the Nintendo 3DS family (i.e. Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 2DS, Nintendo 3DS XL, New Nintendo 3DS, New Nintendo 3DS XL).
For more information, screens, and videos for each of this week’s releases, click on the corresponding links above.
As if out of nowhere, Nintendo announced and showed a new Nintendo Direct on the evening of Thursday, March 3rd. Here it is in full:
I like how I hit things before, so I’m going to repeat that this time, with the post here focusing on the facts as we know them for the Canadian side (i.e. the prices we pay versus the States).
Star Fox Zero arrives for Wii U on April 22nd, and in two forms: the Nintendo eShop version for $64.99, and in a physical retail bundle with Star Fox Guard for $74.99. Star Fox Guard can also be purchased as a digital download from the Nintendo eShop for $19.99, and buying either game in the Nintendo eShop gives you a $10 discount to use towards the other game.
In anticipation of Monster Hunter Generations, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate will be $27.99 in the Nintendo eShop for 48 hours beginning at 3pm on Thursday, March 3rd.
Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation, the third path in which you don’t choose a side, will be available as downloadable content to either the Birthright or Conquest versions of the game on March 10th for $24.99.
With Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 announced, you can get the original Azure Striker Gunvolt game for $10.49 in the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS until June 1st.
While Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge will be available for early access free with the purchase of any amiibo from Best Buy, Amazon.com, and GameStop in the States, it doesn’t appear that Canada has any such deal going, and we’ll have to wait until April 28th to play this free Wii U and Nintendo 3DS downloadable title.
Huh… and that’s really it. Not a lot of pricing information going on here. If you want a full look at the press release for other details, head on over to the next page.
As for my own thoughts, you can find what stuck out most to me over at PoisonMushroom.Org.
After some teasing of various upcoming amiibo figure announcements, Nintendo of Canada has pulled back the curtain on a pretty good chunk of it. Leading off with the previously-announced Ryu, Roy, and R.O.B. in Famicom colors coming in March, they’ve also announced that a new wave of Animal Crossing amiibo will arrive in stores on March 18th, headlined by Rover, Kapp’n, and the duo of Timmy & Tommy, as well as a stand-alone Digby figure.
If that’s not enough Animal Crossing for you, another wave of Animal Crossing amiibo cards will be released, bringing the grand total to 300!
Returning to store shelves will be new shipments of Charizard, Greninja, and Lucario, who will arrive to help celebrate Pokémon‘s 20th anniversary.
When Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games arrives on the Nintendo 3DS on March 18th for $49.99, amiibo functionality will be includes there as well. However, perhaps due to the vast rosters on either side versus the number of amiibo available for either, only the title characters’ figures will be usable here.
The functionality here is rather curious, as the press release states “By tapping the Mario or Sonic amiibo figures to the New Nintendo 3DS system (or on a Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 3DS XL or Nintendo 2DS system using the NFC Reader/Writer accessory), players can boost Mario and Sonic’s outfits with that character’s power for the day.”
I’m guessing that there might be some sort of stats associated with clothing/equipment, but it’s hard to say for sure without more information about the game itself (I’m still crossing my fingers that it features an Adventure Mode).
Incidentally and interestingly, no mention is made of similar compatibility with the Wii U version.
The biggest news of the entire press release, however, came from the Wolf Link and Midna amiibo figure’s compatibility with The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD:
The retail version of the game will arrive on March 4th at a suggested retail price of $79.99, and it includes the aforementioned Wolf Link and Midna amiibo figure, which “currently” will be the only way to get said figure. Still, if Digby is any indication, the duo will likely strike out on their own before too long.
In any case, tapping the figure to the Wii U GamePad controller will open the 40-floor “Cave of Shadows” bonus dungeon, and according to GameXplain, awards the “Bottomless Wallet” (provided you already have the Giant Wallet) that holds 9,999 rupees upon completion. Plus, players can save their remaining hearts at the end of the Cave of Shadows to the amiibo, allowing them to use them to replenish their life energy inside the cave should one wish to try to beat their previous record.
Data stored to the Wolf Link amiibo will also be usable in the upcoming The Legend of Zelda game coming to Wii U later this year, but the specifics are being kept hush-hush.
Wolf Link isn’t the only one that works with The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD, though — Link and Toon Link from the Super Smash Bros. series can be used once per day to refill your arrow count, while Princess Zelda and Sheik will do the same for the player’s hearts. Those seeking a challenge, though, will want to seek out the Ganondorf amiibo — scanning his figure doubles the damage that Link will take. Stack that on top of the rumored Hero Mode, and you’ll find a challenge worthy of any truly great Hero.
Finally, Star Fox Zero has a release date of April 22nd confirmed. However, while amiibo compatibility is also reiterated, Nintendo has elected to keep its lips sealed on that particular matter for now — sort of an odd way to conclude a list of amiibo functionality announcements, one has to admit.
Just as on PoisonMushroom.Org, this year I’m trying something a little different with a holiday gift guide. Unlike that one, however, this one focuses solely on video games!
As I noted over there, you might have seen little links for Amazon pop up on some articles here. As I’m making literally nothing from ad revenue (and if you use an ad blocker for for any Nyteworks site, consider this my humble request that you turn it off — I do my best to stick with non-invasive ads to try to help keep the lights on, as it were), I try to get a little something from Amazon as well.
The way it works is simple enough: when you visit Amazon.ca through any link on this page and purchase something — even if it’s not the item linked — then I get a tiny percentage from any sale made during that visit if the item qualifies (there are a few which don’t, such as books). So say you click one of the links below, then go about whatever shopping you’d normally be doing on Amazon.ca? I’d get a part of that, and it would really help me out. And honestly? It would be nice to have that percentage, if only so I can do better when gift shopping for my niece and nephews or friends.
The setup is simple, as I list a top choice from 2015 for each category, some other selections, a choice bundle where applicable (or just a system in the Nintendo 3DS’s case), and some gift cards which may prove useful as well.
Super Mario Maker – For a Mario fan, this is the gift that keeps on giving. Create your own levels and put your amiibo collection to good use to unlock a wide variety of costumes for Mario, or go online and see what others have built. You can also run the gauntlet in the 10- and 100-Mario Challenges, wherein you’re given the specified number of lives to make your way through a number of randomly-selected stages.
Need the console? Check this out: Nintendo Smash Splat Special Edition Deluxe Set
Halo 5: Guardians – Master Chief’s latest adventure puts him right in the sights of another Spartan soldier who is out to capture him and his team.
Rise of the Tomb Raider – As a young Lara Croft tries to make sense of the phenomena she witnessed in her last outing, her father’s research sheds new light on things and sends her off on yet another adventure.
So, why are these two both highlighted? Because both are available in bundles with Rare Replay, a collection of 30 titles spanning the three decade history of the English developer. From Battletoads to Killer Instinct to the Banjo-Kazooie trilogy to Perfect Dark and many more, there is a lot to discover here, whether it be again or for the first time.
Need the console? Check this out: 1TB Xbox One Fallout 4 Bundle
Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection – The fourth and final installment in the acclaimed Uncharted series will be available this March; what better time to catch up on the first three adventures of Nathan Drake, remastered and featuring technical improvements and enhancements for your enjoyment.
Need the console? Check this out: 500GB PlayStation 4 Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection Bundle with Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
Fallout 4 – In this post-apocalyptic open-world game, see what life would be like had the world ended in the mid-20th century as you seek out survivors, recycle materials for your own survival, and style and profile in either a blue bodysuit or a set of Power Armor with the electronic Pip-Boy by your side. It also has a dog.
- Star Wars Battlefront
- Transformers: Devastation
- WWE 2K16
- NHL 16
- Batman Arkham Knight
- Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
- Minecraft Story Mode Season Pass Disc
Bonus/Re-releases: These releases are new, but the games themselves are not; they’re re-released with some minor modifications to run on newer consoles, though Back to the Future: The Game does now have the original voice of Biff, Tom Wilson, reprising his role.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D – For years, fans waited and pleaded for this game to receive a new release. This year, Nintendo answered with 3D visuals, better graphics, and other improvements to help this classic further stand the test of time.
- Yo-Kai Watch
- Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
- Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition
Need the console? Check this out: New Nintendo 3DS XL
Toys To Life
Skylanders SuperChargers – Mighty engines roar, turbo-charged for more in the latest iteration of the Skylanders series. Not only are this new breed of Skylander ready to put the pedal to the medal over land, sea, and air, but on Nintendo platforms, Bowser and Donkey Kong get into the action with new forms and figures that double as amiibo!
And that’s all for this year! Admittedly, this was kind of like pulling teeth, between how their website is set up and the selection specific to .ca, so I couldn’t include quite everything that I wanted here. If you do decide to do some shopping with them this year, I’d appreciate it very much if you could use any of the above links to access the site (or the links on PMO if you’re going for .com purchases). If this goes well in any sense of the word, then maybe I’ll revisit it next year.
The first Nintendo Direct since President Satoru Iwata sadly passed away has finally arrived, and what a whopper it was! One kind of gets the feeling that they’ve been holding things back these last few months with how jam-packed it was with all kinds of great news for Nintendo fans and owners. In case you missed it, check it out here:
Normally, I wouldn’t approach the program this way, but at the moment, I just have entirely too much to do to have time for a point-by-point breakdown like I usually do. Since I try to hew on the Canadian side of things first and foremost, I’m highlighting what Nintendo of Canada has shared in a press release in terms of specifics to this country. In other words, pricing.
The November 13th release of Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival for Wii U will retail for $79.99 and includes amiibo figures of Isabelle and Digby, as well as three amiibo cards. Standalone Animal Crossing amiibo figures are slated for release the same day. For what it’s worth, I got to check out the game briefly at Nintendo’s recent holiday event, and as an Animal Crossing fan, I rather enjoyed what little I got to see.
Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash info has been coming at a trickle recently, with the inclusion of Rosalina and Bowser Jr. in his Clown Car and using select amiibo figures as partners in online battles as highlights. This one comes out on November 20th at a price of $64.99.
Xenoblade Chronicles X comes out on December 4th (please look forward to my review) for $74.99, but those interested in the physical version can go into the Nintendo eShop now and download any or all of the optional four free high-speed data loading packs, which increase the speed of loading times in the game. For those getting the digital release, the packs come built-in.
Come January 22nd, Mario & Luigi return, as well as Paper Mario in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam. This title is going for $49.99, and you can use compatible amiibo to create powerful character cards to use in battle — and there are quite a number to collect, featuring images of Mario and company from across all their many games.
For those interested, you can find the full press release on the following page.
Update: And if you’re interested in what caught my eye over the course of the show, I’ve written it up over on PoisonMushroom.Org over the weekend.
As you may have heard earlier today, Nintendo of America has rolled out their release schedule for the remainder of 2015, and is it ever jam-packed with stuff to look forward to. Nintendo of Canada has just followed suit, and that’s naturally where our interests lie — particularly the suggested retail prices you can expect.
“Nintendo has games, amiibo and systems to satisfy all kinds of players, whether they’re looking for back-to-school gifts or getting an early start on their holiday shopping,” Nintendo of Canada’s General Manager and Senior Director Pierre-Paul Trepanier stated in a press release. “No one can match the quality or uniqueness of what Nintendo has to offer for the rest of 2015.”
So, what’s on tap for Wii U?
For starters, if you don’t yet have a Wii U, then Walmart has the answer for you come September 11th: The Super Mario Maker Wii U bundle, which comes with the Super Mario Maker game, Idea Book, and the 30th Anniversary Mario “Modern Colour” amiibo. The $329.99 bundle will then be available at other retailers across Canada after October 1st.
For those who already own the Wii U console, the game will also be available on September 11th for $69.99.
Speaking of Mario, a semi-new two-in-one disc containing both New Super Mario Bros. U and New Super Luigi U (click for my respective reviews) will be available at retail on October 16th for $74.99. Previously, the two games were sold separately at retail with both coming together in a special bundle with the Wii U console. Now, if it suits you, you can get both together in one package.
Also on October 16th, Yoshi’s Woolly World launches for $64.99, or you can get it in a bundle with the exclusive green Yarn Yoshi amiibo for $79.99. If you want more Yarn Yoshi amiibo in your life (and who doesn’t?), then the pink and blue versions will be sold at retail individually for $19.99 each, also on October 16th.
A little closer to Halloween will see the release of Koei Tecmo Games co-developed title Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water. This Nintendo eShop exclusive will be priced at $62.49, and beginning October 22nd, players can download and play the prologue and first two chapters for free, with the full version of the game available as downloadable content in the Nintendo eShop or the in-game menu.
Several of Nintendo’s heavier hitters don’t have prices yet, but you’ll find Star Fox Zero in stores on November 20th, Xenoblade Chronicles X on December 4th, and Devil’s Third on December 11th. Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival, its amiibo figures (Isabelle, Digby, K.K., Reese, Cyrus, Tom Nook, Mabel, and Lottie), and Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash are all still saddled with the more nebulous “Holiday 2015” release window.
On the subject of toys, Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition is slated for an August 30th release for $64.99, the special Nintendo amiibo-fied versions of Skylanders SuperChargers with the exclusive Turbo Charge Donkey Kong amiibo/Skylanders toggleable figures will be available for $84.99 on September 20th, and the LEGO Dimensions Starter Pack will make its debut on September 27th for $109.99, with additional LEGO Dimensions Level, Team, and Fun Packs available the same day for $29.99, $24.99, and $14.99, respectively.
On October 20th, things get musical on Wii U as Guitar Hero Live hits the stage for $109.99 and Just Dance 2016 shakes its booty for $49.99.
Indie games get some love as well, with Toronto-based 13AM Games releasing Runbow (complete with its host of fellow indie-gaming guest stars such as Shovel Knight) in the Nintendo eShop for $15.99 on August 27th, with those who downloaded the Nindies@Home demo back in June getting 15 percent off for the first month after launch. Speaking of Shovel Knight, the Nintendo eShop hit is coming to retail in October for $29.99 on both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.
Speaking of Nintendo 3DS, let’s shift our focus to that now. Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer arrives at retail for $44.99 on September 25th and comes with one complimentary amiibo card, while those who opt to download it from the Nintendo eShop at the same price will instead receive an exclusive Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer HOME Menu Theme. The rest of the 100 Animal Crossing amiibo cards will be released the same day, sold in packs of six for $6.99 per pack. Launching the same day is the long-awaited wireless NFC Reader/Writer accessory for $24.99, or you can get a bundle with the game and one card for $54.99.
The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes arrives on October 23rd for $49.99, with YO-KAI WATCH and Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon arriving on November 6th and 20th, respectively, neither of which being given a price yet.
Skylanders SuperChargers races onto Nintendo 3DS the same day as its Wii U big brother, September 20th, for a price of $79.99. This and the Wii version both include Hammer Slam Bowser and his Sky vehicle, the Clown Cruiser, to get you started with multiplayer racing action both online and off. Meanwhile, Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash will come bundled with a Chibo-Robo amiibo for the price of $49.99 on October 9th.
Now that we’re back to amiibo, here’s the news on the rest. More Super Smash Bros. amiibo are on the way with Mewtwo and the great Falco Lombardi hitting on November 13th and 20th, respectively, at a price of $15.99 each. The Mii Fighter 3-pack will also hit stores on November 20th for $44.99.
Finally, Yarn Yoshi has skipped straight past Super and gone into full-on Mega with the giant green Mega Yarn Yoshi amiibo. The biggest amiibo to date arrives on October 16th for the equally mega price of $59.99, Mega Yarn Yoshi features the same “Double Yoshi” ability in Yoshi’s Woolly World as his more diminutive counterparts, which allows players to add a second Yoshi to use at any point during a stage. Plus, if you’ve got a favorite Yoshi pattern, that can be saved to the amiibo as well.
It looks like it’s going to be quite a busy (and fun) year for the rest of 2015.
Sorry about the lateness on this one, but in case you missed it, Nintendo presented a “Nintendo Direct Micro” yesterday which brought a bunch of interesting news as we head into this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo. Check it out:
The highlights from the press release include a new Chibi Robo game for Nintendo 3DS called Chibi-Robo!: Zip Lash, which will have a bundle with a Chibi-Robo amiibo figure that can transform the character into Super Chibi-Robo in certain stages and help level the character up. Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure is coming to Nintendo 3DS on June 11, and features a combination of classic Dr. Mario and Dr. Luigi modes, as well as the new titular “Miracle Cure” which can clear away large swaths of viruses and pills all at once.
Late this year, Nintendo 3DS owners can get their hands on LBX: Little Battlers eXperience on August 21 and Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon this winter. Meanwhile, Bravely Second End Layer is officially confirmed for a North American release, though that won’t be until 2016.
As an aside, I’m still working on my review of Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition, but that hasn’t stopped Nintendo from releasing free additional content for it. “In addition to two extra free unlockable worlds in both the Puzzle & Dragons Z and Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition games, players can now start enjoying free weekly online distributions exclusively for Puzzle & Dragons Z.”
Moving on to Wii U, but not entirely away from Nintendo 3DS: Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games is coming in August 2016! Soccer and Table Tennis are in the Nintendo 3DS version, whereas Soccer, Rugby, and Beach Volleyball are on Wii U. There’s also a Golf event in one of them, along with new characters. The best part, in my opinion, is that they’re doing another Nintendo 3DS one after skipping out on that version for Sochi. In fact, that mode is why I tend to prefer the portable versions over their console big brothers.
On the full Wii U front, Nintendo showed off the above trailer for Bandai Namco’s Project Treasure and announced that Art Academy: Home Studio will be coming to the Nintendo eShop on June 25. Perhaps more exciting for the here and now, however, is the first free downloadable content for Splatoon: the new Port Mackeral map, the opening of Ranked Battle mode, and the N-Zap ’85 weapon, seen at the top of this article.
For those too young to remember, the N-Zap ’85 is based on the Zapper light gun peripheral which came with many a Nintendo Entertainment System upon its release in the United States in 1985. According to the Splatoon website, “The N-Zap 85 is a shooter with excellent ink efficiency and rapid-fire capability. Its attack power isn’t all that, but it’s fabulous at quickly charging up the Echolocator special weapon. Combined with Splat Bombs, this set caters to fighters who like to cover a lot of ground in battle.”
If it’s of any interest to you, the 2015 Nintendo World Championships kick off at 3pm PT on Sunday, June 14, but there will be pre-show broadcasts prior to the event. Also, while the full roster of games won’t be made known until showtime, “hopeful contestants can prepare to compete in the original The Legend of Zelda, as well as a mix of other Nintendo games.”
Finally, Nintendo is expanding its social media presence, and you can follow them on both Periscope and Snapchat under the username @NintendoAmerica, where they will have behind-the-scenes content before and during the Electronic Entertainment Expo, which runs from June 16 to June 18.
A month after the release of the Gold Mario amiibo figure, Nintendo of Canada has announced that the rumored Silver Edition is now officially on its way.
Whereas the Gold Edition was a Walmart exclusive in the States, Canada faced no such issues. This time around, it appears no one in either country needs to worry about retail exclusivity — issues of scarcity aside, you should theoretically be able to get one anywhere amiibo figures are sold, including Amazon.ca.
The Silver Edition Mario is compatible with all the same games that the other Mario amiibo figures (that’s Mario the character, not Mario the franchise, mind) are, including Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, as well as Mario Party 10 (review coming soon). While the functionality is largely the same, some have said that the Gold — and presumably the Silver as well — versions will actually allow you to use that color when utilized in Mario Party 10.
While the Gold Edition did a good job of reflecting Mario’s new power-up from New Super Mario Bros. 2, fans of that title might remember that it was actually Luigi who would turn silver at the touch of a Gold Flower. Fortunately, for the fans who care about such things, this figure at least appears largely faithful to the “Metal” version which debuted in Super Mario 64 and has gone on to appear as something of a separate character in his own right in various Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart, and other Mario titles.