Nintendo Direct Reveals New Luigi’s Mansion, Animal Crossing, and More

On Thursday, September 13th, Nintendo held its initially postponed “Nintendo Direct” presentation. In addition to several new game announcements, updates were provided for many previously-announced titles as well. If you’ve seen the video already, here is the most relevant information provided in terms of Canadian pricing and release dates.

In addition to further details about the soon-to-be-launched Nintendo Switch Online service, Nintendo revealed that those who opt to partake in the selection of Nintendo Entertainment System titles available through the service can now purchase special wireless NES controllers that attach to the sides of the Nintendo Switch console for recharging. This offer is available only to those who have a paid membership to Nintendo Switch Online, and you will get two controllers for $79.99. Pre-orders open on September 18th, and you can find more information about this offer here.

For those who haven’t yet made the switch to Switch, Nintendo is offering up one more bundle in addition to those previously announced. The Nintendo Switch Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Set will include the console, game (via download code), and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate branded Joy-Cons and a dock for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $449.99. Interestingly enough, while the game doesn’t release until December 7th, this bundle will be available on November 2nd — you just won’t be able to download the game until it’s officially released.

And that’s pretty much it for the Canada-specific details. If you haven’t seen the Nintendo Direct yet, you can view it right below, followed by Nintendo of Canada’s full press release.

NEW GAMES IN THE ANIMAL CROSSING AND LUIGI’S MANSION SERIES COMING TO NINTENDO SWITCH

Isabelle from the Animal Crossing Series
Will Also be a Playable Fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

VANCOUVER, B.C., Sept. 13, 2018 – In a new Nintendo Direct video presentation, Nintendo revealed that new games in two major Nintendo series are currently in development for the Nintendo Switch system. Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch(working title), a new main game in the Animal Crossingseries, andLuigi’s Mansion 3 (working title), will both come exclusively to Nintendo Switch in 2019. The video presentation also debuted a new Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Nintendo Switch hardware and software bundle.

The Nintendo Direct revealed a diverse lineup of games headed to Nintendo Switch, including a massive collection of classic FINAL FANTASYgames, an HD remake of the beloved Katamari Damacygame and adaptations of some best-selling card and board games like Carcassonne and Pandemic. If that’s not already enough, the Nintendo Direct also unveiled new details for Nintendo Switch Online, highlighted a solid selection of Nintendo 3DS games and revealed more details about previously announced Nintendo Switch games like Yoshi’s Crafted World, DAEMON X MACHINA and Mega Man 11.

“The announcements for Nintendo Switch keep coming,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “With the additions of new games in the Animal Crossingand Luigi’s Mansionseries, as well as a surge of new games from our development partners, there really is something for everyone in the ever-growing Nintendo Switch library.”

To view the Nintendo Direct video in its entirety, visit https://www.nintendo.com/nintendo-direct. Some of the highlights revealed in the video include:

Nintendo Switch

· Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch(working title): A new mainline game in the Animal Crossingseries – the first sinceAnimal Crossing: New Leafdebuted on Nintendo 3DS in 2013 – is slated for a 2019 release exclusively on Nintendo Switch.

· Isabelle Joins the Fight!: Taking a break from assisting mayors and just being an all-around lovely pup, Isabelle from the Animal Crossing series is joining the roster as a playable fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

· Luigi’s Mansion 3(working title): The next installment in the spooky series is currently in production and launching exclusively for Nintendo Switch in 2019.

· Nintendo Switch Online: With Nintendo Switch Online, members gain access to online play and Save Data Cloud backup in compatible games, the NES – Nintendo Switch Online collection of classic games with added online play,special offers and a smartphone app with features to make online gaming sessions more fun and engaging for supported games. In addition to Splatoon 2, more online games will support voice chat through the app, including Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, ARMS and Mario Tennis Aces. Nintendo Switch owners won’t automatically become members when the service launches on Sept. 18,so they will need to purchase an individual or family membership in order to continue enjoying their online play in compatible games. For pricing information, and to pre-order a 3- or 12-month individual membership from select retailers so you can be ready to go once the service launches, visit https://www.nintendo.com/en_CA/switch/online-service/pricing/. A free seven-day trial will also be available. At launch, 20 NES games, including Super Mario Bros. 3, The Legend of Zelda, and the newly announced Ice Hockeyand Pro Wrestling(available for the first time since its 1987 release) will be available to play, with more games added regularly.

· Nintendo Entertainment System Controllers: Playing NES – Nintendo Switch Online will feel even more authentic by using the new wireless Nintendo Entertainment System Controller, available for purchase exclusively for Nintendo Switch owners with a paid Nintendo Switch Online membership in the U.S. and Canada. This re-creation of the original, iconic NEScontroller comes in a pack of two for $79.99 and can be charged by attaching to a docked Nintendo Switch system. NES controllers will be available for pre-order on Sept. 18. For more details, visit https://www.nintendo.com/en_CA/switch/online-service/special-offers/.

· New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe: Up to four players can enjoy this revamped version of the classic Wii U launch game when it comes to Nintendo Switch on Jan. 11. Mario, Luigi and Toad return as playable characters, and are joined by Nabbit and Toadette, who can also turn into Peachette by getting a Super Crown, offering new ways for beginners to play together with friends and family. New Super Luigi U, the first platformer with Luigi in a starring role, will also be included in New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxeat no extra charge. Between both games, there are a whopping 164 courses to play. Mamma mia!

· Yoshi’s Crafted World: Play as an adorable Yoshi traveling through a world crafted from household items like boxes and paper cups in this new Nintendo Switch platforming adventure. After traveling through a perfectly constructed stage, players can start at the goal and journey back to the start on the “flip side,” the backside of the course, to discover secrets. Yoshi’s Crafted Worldlaunches on Nintendo Switch in spring 2019.

· Nintendo Switch Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Set: This upcoming Nintendo Switch bundle features the Nintendo Switch system – complete with Super Smash Bros. Ultimatebranded Joy-Con controllers and dock – and a download code for the Super Smash Bros. Ultimategame, all at a suggested retail price of $449.99. The Nintendo Switch Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Setlaunches on Nov. 2. (The download code for the game won’t be active until the game launches on Dec. 7.)

· FINAL FANTASY Extravaganza!: High-definition versions of some of the most beloved FINAL FANTASY games of all time are coming to Nintendo Switch. This includes FINAL FANTASY VII, IX and X / X-2HD Remaster, as well as the recently released FINAL FANTASY XII: THE ZODIAC AGE. This is the first time any of these FINAL FANTASY games has been released on a Nintendo system. Starting today, FINAL FANTASY XV Pocket Edition HD will be available to download in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch. In addition, three other games in the FINAL FANTASY universe will launch on Nintendo Switch in the near future: The leveled-up edition of WORLD OF FINAL FANTASY MAXIMA launches Nov. 6, Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon EVERY BUDDY! launches this winter and Nintendo GameCube co-op game FINAL FANTASY CRYSTAL CHRONICLES Remastered Edition with online multiplayer and no need for a link cable comes to Nintendo Switch in 2019. Kupo!

· TOWN (working title): GAME FREAK, the developer of the Pokémon series, has created a new RPG for Nintendo Switch. In TOWN, players must take up arms against invading monsters, all within the walls of a single village. TOWN launches for Nintendo Switch in 2019.

· Super Mario Party: In the newly revealed Sound Stage mode, up to four players can each shake a Joy-Con in rhythm-based gameplay, while the River Survival mode offers the series’ first four-player co-op. Plus, there’s 80 new mini-games, a single-player Challenge Road, the mini-game gauntlet Online Mariothon and much more. Super Mario Party launches for Nintendo Switch on Oct. 5 and is available for pre-purchase on Nintendo eShop and the game’s website beginning today.

· Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee!: During the adventure, players will be able to overcome obstacles with their partner Pokémon (either Pikachu or Eevee) using Secret Techniques. These are skills that only partner Pokémon can use, like chopping down trees, traveling across water or soaring in the sky. Both games launch exclusively for Nintendo Switch on Nov. 16. A bundle that includes a Pikachu and Eevee themed Nintendo Switch system and Joy-Con, a Pokémon: Let’s Go! game and the Poké Ball Plus controller will also be available on the same day.

· Katamari Damacy REROLL: “Na naaaaah na na na naaah na na naaaaah na na na na na naaaaaaaaah.” Fans of the groundbreaking Katamari Damacy game can hum its theme song at a moment’s notice. But new fans will be joining the chorus when an HD remaster of the classic game comes to Nintendo Switch, complete with HD Rumble, gyro control and multiplayer support with the Joy-Con controllers. Katamari Damacy REROLL launches in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch on Nov. 30, with the physical packaged version coming winter 2018.

· Asmodee Digital: With a literal Tabletop mode, tabletop gaming is a perfect fit for Nintendo Switch. To prove it, Asmodee Digital is bringing full adaptations of best-selling card and board games like Carcassonne, The Lord the Rings: Living Card Game, Pandemic, Munchkin and Catan to Nintendo Switch, starting this December.

· DAEMON X MACHINA: In this stylish action game first revealed at E3, the world and its inhabitants are on the brink of extinction. As a mercenary, players will pilot a powered suit called an Arsenal and face runaway AI. Defeat enemies and acquire parts that can be equipped on the fly or brought back to base to craft new armaments. Use additional tactics by changing between projectile and melee attacks or take the fight on foot to gain an advantage in battle. DAEMON X MACHINA launches for Nintendo Switch in 2019.

· Capcom Beat ’Em Up Bundle: Some of Capcom’s most classic arcade games like Final Fight, Captain Commando and Knights of the Roundare coming to Nintendo Switch with up to four-player local or online play. This also includes games that have never launched on home consoles before like Armored Warriors and Battle Circuit. The digital version of this bundle launches in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch this winter.

· Cities: Skylines: The acclaimed city-building game is available today in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch, which means players can manage resources, improve quality of life, energize businesses and stimulate growth anytime or anywhere.

· Sid Meier’s Civilization VI: When the acclaimed strategy game comes to Nintendo Switch on Nov. 16, it will do so with an exclusive four-player wireless LAN multiplayer mode.

· Mega Man 11: The Blue Bomber is back! Mega Man 11 rocks on Nintendo Switch on Oct. 2, with a free demo already available in Nintendo eShop. In addition, players will be able to unlock helpful in-game items for use in the full game by tapping the existing Mega Man amiibo figure, or a new Mega Man amiibo figure.

· Splatoon 2 Version 4 Update: Starting tonight, the first set of weapons in the Kensa Collection is coming to Splatoon 2as part of the new Version 4.0 update. These familiar weapons are painted with stylish monotone designs. In addition, significant new Splatfest changes are coming as part of this update. In early October, Version 4.1 will bring a new stage, new songs and more Kensa Collection weapon sets complete with new sub and special weapons. Check out the Squid Research Lab Tumblrfor more details.

· Mario Tennis AcesVersion 2.0 Update: After downloading a free update to the action-packed sports game on Sept. 19, players will have access to a new online co-op mode that lets players participate in time-limited missions with other players. Players who complete objectives while these missions are active will receive special outfits, characters with alternate color schemes and more. Also, be on the lookout for new upcoming playable characters like Birdo, Shy Guy, Koopa Paratroopa and Petey Piranha.

· Diablo III: Eternal Collection: The Nintendo Switch version of this classic action-RPG will send players on a journey through Sanctuary, where they’ll vanquish the armies of Hell and plunder powerful loot as one of the seven playable classes. Up to four players can adventure together via local or online multiplayer. The Nintendo Switch version of the game features the exclusive Legend of Ganondorf cosmetic armor set, compatibility with all amiibo figures and more. Diablo III: Eternal Collection launches Nov. 2.

· Starlink: Battle for Atlas: Do a barrel roll and defeat Wolf’s team in Star Foxmissions, exclusive to the Nintendo Switch version of the game. Starlink: Battle for Atlas launches for Nintendo Switch on Oct. 16.

· Two RPGs on the Way!: Fans who love playing role-playing games anytime and anywhere are in luck! The World Ends with You: Final Remix from SQUARE ENIX launches Oct. 12 and Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country – which is available for pre-purchase on Nintendo eShop starting today – comes to Nintendo Switch on Sept. 21 in stores and Nintendo eShop, or on Sept. 14 for owners of the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Expansion Pass.

· Warframe: New fans can join more than 38 million players for free-to-start co-op space-ninja action when Warframe launches for Nintendo Switch on Nov. 20.

· NBA 2K19: The highest-rated basketball simulation franchise returns to Nintendo Switch with NBA 2K19, now available.

· NBA 2K Playgrounds 2: Get ready to jam in the sequel to the smash-hit NBA arcade game, coming to Nintendo Switch this fall.

· Just Dance 2019: With Just Dance 2019 on Nintendo Switch, there’s no excuse for players to not get down to Camila Cabello, Bruno Mars and Cardi B. at home, in the middle of the park or even at the dentist’s office! Just Dance 2019 launches on Oct. 23.

· EA SPORTS FIFA 19: EA SPORTS FIFA 19 is fast approaching, and players can pre-purchase now so they won’t drop the ball when it launches for Nintendo Switch on Sept. 28.

· Team Sonic Racing: Gotta go FAST! Like, really fast. Team Sonic Racing launches for Nintendo Switch this winter.

· LEGO DC Super-Villains: Why so serious? Play as The Joker, Harley, Lex Luthor and the rest of the best of the worst in the new LEGO DC Super-Villains game, launching for Nintendo Switch on Oct. 16.

Nintendo 3DS

· Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn: The hit Wii game Kirby’s Epic Yarn is warping to Nintendo 3DS. Every stage in the original Wii version is stitched in, but this Nintendo 3DS version has some new features, like the ability to craft bigger yarn balls, summon bead-collecting wind and play two new modes featuring familiar faces King Dedede and Meta Knight. Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn is scheduled to launch for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems in 2019.

· Mario and Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr.’s Journey: One of the most acclaimed games in the Mario & Luigi RPG series is getting a remake on Nintendo 3DS. In addition to the game’s revamped graphics and refined gameplay, a new side story follows Bowser Jr. as he gathers an army, creates formations, supports his allies with an arsenal of moves and generally causes chaos (in the best way possible). Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr.’s Journey will prove two adventures are better than one on Jan. 11.

· Luigi’s Mansion: Two players who each own the game can team up to explore and capture ghosts in Luigi’s Mansion, a Nintendo 3DS remake of the classic Nintendo GameCube launch game. This new version of the game also features amiibo support. Tapping one of the four compatible amiibo will reveal where Boos are hiding and heal Luigi when he talks to Toad, among other bonuses. Luigi’s Mansion will haunt the Nintendo 3DS family of systems on Oct. 12.

· YO-KAI WATCH BLASTERS: Whether players throw their allegiance behind the Red Cat Corps or the White Dog Squad, YO-KAI WATCH BLASTERS lets players team up with friends locally or online to tackle the most action-packed battles in the series yet. A free “Moon Rabbit Crew” software update on Sept. 27 will add new missions, new areas to explore, new Yo-kai to befriend and new Big Boss Yo-kai. YO-KAI WATCH BLASTERS: Red Cat Corps and YO-KAI WATCH BLASTERS: White Dog Squad are now available for Nintendo 3DS.

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/.

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 4.6 billion video games and more than 725 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.com/en_CA.

Nintendo has announced twelve new additions to its budget line of Nintendo Selects titles, the successor to their previous Player’s Choice line of best-sellers.

On March 11th, four games each will be re-released for the Wii, the Nintendo 3DS, and Wii U at a price of $29.99 CAD. These include Super Mario 3D World, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Pikmin 3, and NES Remix Pack for the Wii U; The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Yoshi’s New Island, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, and Mario Party: Island Tour for the Nintendo 3DS; and Super Mario Galaxy 2, Animal Crossing: City Folk, Donkey Kong Country Returns, and Super Mario All-Stars for the Wii, which are also playable on the Wii U.

“Whether you just picked up a new Wii U or Nintendo 3DS system over the holiday season or want to expand your ever-growing game collection, Nintendo Selects are a great, affordable option,” Nintendo of Canada’s General Manager and Senior Director, Pierre-Paul Trepanier, said in a press release. “Not only are these games easier than ever to enjoy, but they also represent some of our highest-quality offerings in recent memory.”

Having had the privilege and pleasure to review several of these titles over the years, here are links to those relevant reviews:

In addition, I have an old review of Animal Crossing: City Folk that I’ll see about publishing ahead of this release.

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.

nyteworkspatreonbutton

amiibo_Timmy-and-TommyAfter 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.

3DS_MSROG_Pack-ShotWhen 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.

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.

nyteworkspatreonbutton

Another big week for Wii U releases, and though there’s almost nothing for Nintendo 3DS, it’s hard to ignore that the one non-demo title is an Animal Crossing spin-off.

WiiU_ExtremeExorcism_03

Extreme Exorcism for Wii U – When all else fails, it’s up to Mae Barrons and her unorthodox methods to exorcise a haunted house of its ghostly denizens. Check out the trailer here, and if you got the demo during the [email protected] trial period, you can save 15 percent off the purchase price until October 23rd.

WiiU_Starwhal_04

STARWHAL for Wii U – Touted as “the number one local multiplayer couch gaming experience featuring marine mammals in outer space,” up to four friends can take up the fight in an epic narwhal battle across the starry sky. Check out the trailer here.

WiiU_VC_IgnitionFactor_02

The Ignition Factor for Wii U – Take on the role of a firefighter and fight the engulfing flames before you with your choice of equipment as you try to rescue the people trapped inside these burning buildings.

WiiU_HoldYourFire_04

Hold Your Fire: A Game About Responsibility for Wii U – Most arcade shooters have you fire indiscriminately at anything that moves across the screen. Not this one! Loose one round at the wrong time, and you could take an innocent life — as well as your own!

WiiU_Beatbuddy_03

Beatbuddy for Wii U – The hand-painted environments are in tune with the soundtrack as you interact with it to solve puzzles and find new paths on the way to rescuing your friends.

WiiU_JobTheLeprechan_04

Job the Leprechaun for Wii U – 35 levels of monsters and puzzles await in this platformer as you collect all the clovers to open the way to the next room. Don’t worry, though; in addition to your magic hat, a cow and an elf will pitch in to help you with their own abilities.

WiiU_Nova111_04

Nova-111 for Wii U – Real-time action and turn-based adventure collide as you seek out lost scientists and try to fix space-time in this sci-fi adventure.

3DS_ACHHD_PAX_03

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer for Nintendo 3DS – All your friends from Animal Crossing need your help to make their homes fashionable. Not only can you rearrange furniture and decorations on the inside, but the outside as well — a series first! Plus, if you purchase the digital version through the Nintendo eShop, you’ll receive an “Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer: Your Office” HOME Menu theme for your Nintendo 3DS.

N3DS_MercenariesSaga2_01

Mercenaries Saga 2 – Demo Version for Nintendo 3DS – Not sure if this tactical role playing game is your cup of tea? Find out with this demo!

Theme Shop on Nintendo 3DS

This week’s new theme is “Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer : My Town”

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

—–

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

nyteworkspatreonbutton

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?

NOA_PackShot_SSM_2For 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.

WiiU_StarFoxZero_case_RSeveral 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 [email protected] 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.

YWW-amiibo-mega-4Now 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.

nyteworkspatreonbutton

The past week has been rife with confusion and frustration among Nintendo fans, particularly those wishing to take part of the company’s new amiibo figure initiative to the fullest.

Rumors have sprung up from various retail sources stating that certain figures, including Animal Crossing‘s Villager, Wii Fit‘s Wii Fit Trainer, and Fire Emblem‘s Marth would no longer be available following the initial shipment selling out. While it was known that the shelf life for certain figures would be indefinite, no one expected that they would be so very, very brief, especially going right into the holiday season.

Following contradicting statements, Nintendo (as a whole, not just one representative) has issued the following (final?) statement regarding the amiibo situation:

Some amiibo were very popular at launch, and it is possible that some amiibo in the United States, Canada and Latin America may not be available right now due to high demand and our efforts to manage shelf space during the launch period. Certain sold-out amiibo may return to these markets at a later stage. We are continually aiming to always have a regular supply of amiibo in the marketplace and there are many waves of amiibo to come.

It’s a hopeful albeit vague statement, one which still leaves several questions unanswered. On the bright side, this may very well be one of those cases where the court of public opinion comes into effect– in other words, time to tell Nintendo just what we want through social media, and hopefully influence future shipments of these desirable interactive nicknacks.

On Twitter, you’ll want to make your love of Marth, Villager, Wii Fit Trainer, or even any of the upcoming characters known to @NintendoCanada and @NintendoAmerica. A hashtag might be in order, if there isn’t one already. “#WeWantAmiibo”, perhaps (the fact “amiibo” isn’t supposed to be capitalized aside)?

On Facebook, you can (politely; you’ll get more flies with honey than vinegar, and all that) make your feelings known on Nintendo’s Facebook page as well as Nintendo of Canada’s version.

The two seem to share an Instagram as well. “Tag your Nintendo photos with #nintendo to be part of the story!” Do that with your saddest expression in front of a (Insert amiibo here)-less amiibo shelf– or, conversely, your happiest expression if you find one of the now-rare ones– and maybe add a tag for your favorite hard-to-find character, and maybe that will help tell Nintendo just how much demand there is for some of their unsung (but much beloved) heroes of pixels and plastic.

Nintendo’s amiibo figures may be stationary, but now is definitely the time for a movement!

Yesterday brought forth much confusion, disappointment, and anguish as Nintendo released a PR statement to sites such as Kotaku and Wired confirming that certain amiibo figures were done for only a matter of a few short weeks after being released to stores. This corroborated claims from Toronto retailer Video Games Plus that Marth from Fire Emblem, Villager from Animal Crossing, and Wii Fit Trainer from, well, Wii Fit would no longer be available in stores once the initial shipment had been sold.

Granted, Nintendo had long since made it known that certain amiibo would be available longer than others, but nothing was ever said about the first shipment also being the last– leading right into the holiday season, no less.

Matters would only be confused further by the emergence of the following screencap of an e-mail from one David Young, a PR representative from Nintendo of America, by way of the Twitter account of tournament organizers The Mushroom Kingdom Gaming League:

davidyoungemail

This contradicts what was said before, but between the rather unorthodox method of getting the news out, it emerging a day earlier (on a Sunday, no less) than the latter statement, and coming from an unusual source, I didn’t run with it in my initial report. NeoGAF and The Escapist seem to corroborate the legitimacy of the message, however, with the latter adding in a further subsequent update that “Nintendo has confirmed to us via email that no amiibos have been discontinued at this time, and the sold out figures will be restocked as soon as new stock is available. Marth, Villager, and Wii Fit Trainer fans rejoice!”

And rejoice is what we’d love to do, except that they then follow up with a report from GameSpot which echos the same PR statement we led off with yesterday, noting that this only furthers confusion as they await further comment from their Nintendo representative.

The bottom line is that Nintendo needs to address this, and pronto. Not in a PR statement to some websites, but something on their website, something that presents a final, definitive word that answers questions that they’ve been far too vague about with regards to this entire ordeal.

For starters, letting people know if certain figures are going to be pulled as much sooner than later as the first shipment. And if so, which ones? As it stands, it’s all guesswork now.

Some seem more likely to get the axe than others, but say… Captain Falcon? He’s practically as iconic to Super Smash Bros. as he is F-Zero for some people; where does he fare between the likes of a Mario and a Wii Fit Trainer?

Shulk from Xenoblade Chronicles is a store exclusive, but is he one and done as well? The same for Meta Knight– he’s a store exclusive, but he’s also tied to Kirby, who as far as we know is safe. As a result of that, is he granted greater weight than Shulk? Will Toon Link have the same staying power and numbers as regular Link?

Mega Man and Sonic were uncertain but most welcome additions, seeing as they’re third party characters. However, would whatever lengths Nintendo went to in order to license them ensure their longevity, or rush them towards the chopping block all the sooner?

Another concern that would be nice to have addressed, though I personally feel it is less necessary, is how forward-looking amiibo compatibility is. Villager, for instance– is he going to be compatible with whatever Nintendo is planning for Animal Crossing? Is that going to become some sort of elite club that only those who thought to grab Villager instead of Mario, Link, or Samus will be allowed into? The same question could go for any Fire Emblem character and whatever the company has planned for Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem?

There are simply too many questions and not nearly enough answers right now, and it smacks of trying to scare up further demand for the already popular figures– a game only scalpers are likely to win. If Nintendo really wants our money and to do well by us as consumers, I believe we should be allowed a greater amount of information than what they’ve given us so far. Hopefully we’ll see something a little more solid from them in the days to come.

The holidays just got a whole lot less happy for some Nintendo fans.

Following some rumors which had arisen over the past week from Canadian retailer Video Games Plus’s Twitter account stating that certain amiibo figures— specifically, Marth from Fire Emblem, the Villager from Animal Crossing, and the Wii Fit Trainer– were already being discontinued after less than a month of being on sale, Nintendo confirmed the allegations to Wired and Kotaku in a report published earlier today. There, the company stated that they do not plan to ship any more of several of the figures after the “initial shipment.”

From the full statement:

We will aim for certain amiibo to always be available. These will be for our most popular characters like Mario and Link. Due to shelf space constraints, other figures likely will not return to the market once they have sold through their initial shipment.

Making things worse is that the company apparently has no plans to clarify just which of the figures are on the short list, which is likely to leave a lot of people casting shifty looks towards any figure that isn’t a top-tier property from Nintendo– i.e. Mario, The Legend of Zelda, or Pokemon. As it is, aftermarket prices have already skyrocketed on some of the harder to find figures (I’ve never even seen the aforementioned discontinued figures outside of a Nintendo press event), and further releases will only raise more questions.

amiibo_littlemacsmSuffice to say, I think Punch-Out!!‘s Little Mac, F-Zero‘s Captain Falcon, and Kid Icarus‘s Pit seem like the most likely to hit the chopping block in the second wave. After that? Getting Mega Man and Sonic the Hedgehog felt like a miracle, but it may prove to be short-lived. Fire Emblem‘s Ike probably won’t last much longer than his predecessor, and retailer-exclusive Shulk from Xenoblade Chronicles probably won’t fare much better.

Mind, these are just predictions on my part. At this point, it’s all guesswork.

Naturally, a lot of fans who were interested in the figures are rather upset about this. Following their announcements as part of the Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U roster, I’ve noticed that Villager and Wii Fit Trainer in particular have seen upswings in their popularity based on their appearances in the games. For all the new fans they might have gathered, it seems the simple joy of owning a small figure of a favorite character has been dashed. I can’t imagine that this will please those hoping to obtain the figures for friends and family at anything resembling a reasonable price, either.

As for me, personally? This stings… a lot. I’ve been a lifelong Nintendo fan, growing up with many of their characters, and I’ve always wanted some sort of line of Super Smash Bros. toys or merchandise (a surprisingly rare thing). I knew I couldn’t buy all the figures right away, but to know that this is how it’s going to be… well, I’ve sort of given up on the whole thing. At least, as a completionist.

From Transformers to Mega Man to other things, I’ve gotten used to the idea that I can’t get everything, so that helps. Still, I had hoped that maybe there would be a chance with this one line, but no more. As it is now, I’m likely just picking and choosing carefully.

amiibo_megamansmHopefully I’ll be able to get Mega Man, of course (I did write the book on him, after all, never mind the website I run and how often I use him in the game). At the same time, I’m already considering it a strong possibility that it may never happen, or that if it does, it won’t be for a price I can easily afford. That’s more disappointing than if they’d never made him an amiibo at all.

Then, of course, there are the classic Nintendo characters. Though unannounced (shy of Nintendo saying they were making everyone), the very thought of having actual figures on my desk of Dr. Mario, Mr. Game & Watch, Duck Hunt, and of course, R.O.B. filled me with a certain glee that practically reached back to my childhood. As you can guess, they excitement has been considerably dampened by this news.

What should have been a great boon for Nintendo fans and merchandise collectors is now being shrouded by a dark cloud of disappointment. When Super Smash Bros. Brawl came out six years ago here in Toronto, the snow was nothing short of terrible. I remember well making the trek out into snow that went up to my knees to get the game the second it became available at midnight (and the subsequent attempt to get home, which took a good few hours). While I’m pretty sure there won’t be any midnight launches for these guys in the middle of a blizzard, I’m pretty sure that as I get older, my days of camping out for this stuff is over.

(I guess that’s reason enough to be thankful for pre-orders…)

Nintendo has been doing things of this nature for a while now; as Wired notes, they brought over the limited edition of Hyrule Warriors, only to limit it to a couple of hundred boxes sold exclusively at the Nintendo World Store in New York City– good luck to anyone else in North America. Meanwhile, the $20 GameCube controller adapter has been sold out and going for aftermarket prices of around $100, though word at least seems to indicate that more are on the way, so that’s some relief (whether it will be in time for Christmas, though? No one seems to know).

This has turned into more of an editorial/rant than I had planned, but… what can I say? The whole thing just disappoints me– that I, and others like me, never had a chance. At the very least, they should let us know which ones to go for, though as I noted above, there are some safe guesses to be made.

By the sound of things, Nintendo is doing well by amiibo. It’s just sad that it seems their fans may not be able to say the same, and hopefully they’ll come around and find a better way to market these. Otherwise, should the vast majority care about something they’ve got no hopes of getting shy of dealing with scalpers?