Giftamania 2016 (Updated)

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

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

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

Xbox One

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wii U

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

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

Nintendo 3DS

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

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

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

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

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

PlayStation 4

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

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

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

Multiplatform

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other

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

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

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

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

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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.

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

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Earlier today, a friend of mine approached me with what I found to be an interesting but not uncommon conundrum. New to the world of Nintendo 3DS by way of the New Nintendo 3DS XL, he professed to be out of the loop where must-play games are concerned, specifically those from the Nintendo eShop.

With a long internet-less trip coming up in a week and about $50 to invest into this new venture, he noted that the Nintendo eShop itself was cumbersome when it came to finding good titles, and wanted to know what I had to recommend. After a month and a half of ownership, he’s already invested in some prime choices in the forms of Gunman Clive and its sequel (which I maintain to be the best values on the entire eShop if you like platformers), Mighty Switch Force (which I reviewed here) and its sequel, and one of the Phoenix Wright games.

So, what does that leave? Lots! However, there are a few restrictions to this list. First, there are no racing games (he prefers to race people in person) and no first person shooters– which is fine, as I rarely play those enough to offer a solid opinion on any existing ones, anyway (unless you count Steel Diver: Sub Wars). On that note, second is that I am by and large recommending games I’ve played myself and have personal experience with, so no hearsay here. Finally, no Virtual Console or retail titles, because I trust he has a decent idea of what’s good and what isn’t from those catalogs.

Starting off, we’ve got one he brought up and was curious about…

vvvvvv01VVVVVV by Nicalis – $7.99

With graphics inspired by the Commodore 64, VVVVVV is a very challenging, but very fun game. Though it looks like a regular platformer, the catch is that your character cannot jump to avoid the many spikes and obstacles which litter the space station he’s trapped in. However, what he can do is invert his personal gravity at any time he has his feet planted on the ground, allowing for ceiling-walking and some funky acrobatics. The game is all about trial and error; fortunately, with limitless lives and frequent checkpoints, you can try as many times as you need to get it right.

For my full review, click here.

gameplay_2aNightSky by Nicalis – $9.99

As long as we’re talking about games by Nicalis, here’s another I’ve rather enjoyed. I find NightSky to be a relaxing game, something you might play before going to bed for the night. You’re in control of a sphere, and you have to use your weight and momentum to advance from one section to the next. There are “no enemies, no bosses, and no violence” here: Just you and your destination, along with your desire to reach it. Despite that, it nonetheless manages to feel intelligently designed.

You can find my full review of it here.

3DS_DRWLastRanger_022013_Scrn07Dillon’s Rolling Western: The Last Ranger by Nintendo – $10.99

One of my favorite new franchises to come out of Nintendo is Dillon’s Rolling Western, a mix of tower defense gameplay with some action-role playing game elements. The Last Ranger is the second game in the series, but I nonetheless recommend it as the starting point for anyone who is interested, as it pretty much features everything the first had and then some. The only reason to go back to the first– which is a great game in its own right, don’t get me wrong– is if you either desire more content after finishing the sequel, or you’re eager to follow the story the whole way through.

You can find my full review of the game here.

steamworld_2SteamWorld Dig by Image & Form – $8.99

This is kind of an odd inclusion on my list, as I’ve not actually played this game– the Nintendo 3DS version, that is. I have played the Wii U version, however, which is for all intents and purposes the same game. This Metroidvania-ish title takes you further and further underground as you use your tools to forge your own path in subterranean worlds, discovering secrets of a lost past. Better still, the worlds are randomly generated, adding to its replay value upon completion.

For my full review– you guessed it– click here.

retrocityrampageRetro City Rampage: DX by Vblank Entertainment – $9.99

I’m not a huge fan of the Grand Theft Auto style of sandbox crime spree gaming. Despite that, I found myself rather enjoying this NES-styled demake that was once known as “Grand Theftendo” in another life. You’re still a criminal in an open-world sandbox, but the world itself is constructed of numerous amusing and sometimes clever references to movies, television shows, and video games from the 80’s and 90’s. Plus, the characters and story are so wildly over the top that the whole package just works.

My full review can be found here.

zenpinball3dZen Pinball 3D by Zen Studios – $6.99

If you’re into pinball, or even just miss the days when every skating rink and pizza joint seemed to have a table, this is the game for you. The tables are well crafted, and enhanced by the 3D effect of the Nintendo 3DS enough to feel as close to playing the real thing as you can possibly get on a handheld device. Zen Studios must be doing something right, as they’ve released a console sequel and a long line of additional tables and versions.

In fact, the Nintendo 3DS also has a Star Wars version for $6.99, and there is a Marvel Comics version for $7.99, which also has a free demo. That said, I’ve only played the original, but since you can try it for yourself at no cost, it’s hard to go wrong.

For my review of the original, click here.

Pushmo2Pushmo by Nintendo – $6.99

There is something that’s just so pure about Pushmo, one of the best values in the Nintendo eShop. A puzzle platformer of sorts, you’re basically charged with sliding out pieces of giant, 3D pixel art in such a way that you can make it to the top to rescue the child that’s trapped there. It’s low-pressure, and you can even skip a puzzle and come back to it later if that’s what suits you. And should you tire of the 200 puzzles that are included in the base game, you can even create and share your own through QR codes.

A sequel is also available for the Nintendo 3DS in Crashmo, but that one’s a little more complex, so it’s probably better to start off with the original.

My full review of Pushmo can be found here.

WiiU_Shovel_Knight_gameplay_2Shovel Knight by Yacht Club Games – $14.99

For those who grew up in the heyday of the Nintendo Entertainment System, Shovel Knight is like a return to that period in gaming. I dare even say that had development for the platform not ceased in the early 90s, this title feels like what would have eventually been made had developers just kept going. It mixes elements cherry-picked from all manner of classic titles, from Mega Man to DuckTales to Super Mario Bros. 3 to Zelda II: The Adventure of Link and more, in a way which feels perhaps less derivative and more evolutionary.

More than just a simple game which tries to cash in on the retro-style craze, this game truly has that “it” factor that makes it feel genuine. It’s cliché, but playing Shovel Knight really did make me feel like a kid again, playing a brand-new NES game for the first time.

My full review for this one belongs to Nintendo Force, but I will share that I gave it a 9.5 out of 10. This game succeeds in what it set out to do, and then some.

azurestrikergunvolt001Azure Striker Gunvolt by Inti Creates – $14.99

Capcom may have seemingly given up on the Blue Bomber, but that hasn’t stopped developer Inti Creates from making more Mega Man games. At least, that’s what a first impression will tell you, as Azure Striker Gunvolt does bear similarities to the Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX developers’ previous work. But while there is a surface resemblance to be noted, Gunvolt differs more as you dig beneath the surface, bringing its own style and substance to bear as you play. One thing is for certain, though: Inti’s hunger for providing a challenging experience is definitely the same as it ever was, at least when you square off against one of the uniquely-powered bosses.

Like Shovel Knight, my full review belongs to Nintendo Force. However, in addition to my 8.5 rating, I can direct you to James’ review on The Mega Man Network, where he also touches on the last item on my list…

MightyGunvolt001Mighty Gunvolt by Inti Creates – $3.99

Originally a freebie with the purchase of Azure Striker Gunvolt, Inti Creates has gone on to release this title on its own in the Nintendo eShop, complete with some downloadable content. Whereas their Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX experience was apparent in Azure Striker Gunvolt, so too is their experience developing Mega Man 9K and Mega Man 10 apparent in this very similar-looking retro-styled title. While much simpler to learn than Azure Striker, Mighty Gunvolt features three playable protagonists– Gunvolt, Ekoro from the Japan-exclusive Gal Gun, and Beck from the upcoming Mighty No. 9— each with their own weapons and abilities, like you do.

So those are the top ten Nintendo 3DS eShop releases I can best recommend from personal experience– not counting Virtual Console or retail releases, of course. That said, there’s still the matter of the $50 budget to deal with, of course. So to fit within that limitation, my picks would be:

  • Shovel Knight – $14.99
  • SteamWorld Dig – $8.99
  • Pushmo – $6.99
  • NightSky – $9.99
  • VVVVVV – $7.99

Strictly speaking, that comes out to $48.95 (in U.S. dollars, as per the Nintendo website), leaving $1.05 to spare. It provides a nice bit of variety, and lots of value for your gaming dollar. Of course, if you’re not so strict about adhering to the $50 limit and are willing to go over a little, then you could easily slot something else into the spot I placed VVVVVV in.

But with these ten games, it’s really hard to go wrong.

It’s been a long time in coming, but finally, Nintendo is allowing for some form of cross-platform purchasing, where purchasing a game available for both the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS on either platform will get you the other version for free! So far, it’s only for two of this week’s releases, but at least it’s a start. Let’s hope they find a way to do the same with Virtual Console titles soon, eh? Of course, that begs the question of whether they’d ever allow it to work retroactively on older purchases, but that might be getting ahead of ourselves.

WiiU_SkyKid_03

SkyKid for Wii U – You might remember this guy from the now-defunct ShiftyLook webcomics, or their Mappy online cartoon series, each offering a drastically different portrayal. In either case, this is where he came from: A side-scrolling shooter for one or two players in a World War II-ish air battle.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS – The first of the two cross-platform purchases available today (click here to see how that works), this installment of the series not only allows you to lead Mini-Mario toys to the goal, but to create your own stages to share and earn star “tips” which allow you to purchase more parts for further building.

OlliOlli for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS – The other cross-platform buy today offers one-life skateboarding gameplay with “more than 120 tricks and grinds across 50 deviously crafted levels and 250 challenges.” Complete all the challenges, and you’ll unlock the RAD Mode for super-skilled players who want to make their way to the top of the leaderboards.

Proun+ for Nintendo 3DS – Available now for an introductory price ($5.99 USD, no CAD price given), Proun+ takes you through the world of modern art as a ball racing along a pipe while dodging obstacles at one of five different speeds with a jazz-rock soundtrack.

Azure Striker GUNVOLT Demo and Update for Nintendo 3DS – This spiritual successor to the Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX series arrived late last year, but now features a demo and an update which adds a boss rush mode and New Nintendo 3DS XL functionality, among other tweaks and fixes. If you’re playing the demo, you can also transfer your progress when you get the full version.

N3DS_BestofCasualGames_01

Best of Casual Games for Nintendo 3DS – Four games– Zuma, Hidden Object, Match-3, and a time management game– are brought together as you travel Europe to acquire puzzle pieces.

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Hollywood Fame: Hidden Object Adventure for Nintendo 3DS – An “enthralling” story accompanies hidden object gameplay as you seek out more than 250 objects and characters to become a star.

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Zombie Incident for Nintendo 3DS – The great citadel Hamartia has become the symbol for human sin, and its day of reckoning has arrived. Your job is to explore the citadel, find the eight golden stars, and get out of there!

Nintendo eShop Sales

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Tengami for Wii U – Until 8:59am PT on March 12th, this title is reduced from $9.99 to $4.99, 50 percent off.

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Master Reboot for Wii U – Until 8:59am PT on April 1st, this title is reduced from $14.99 to $7.49, 50 percent off.

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DartsUp, Rock Zombie, and Spy Chameleon for Wii U – These EnjoyUp games are on sale until 8:59am PT on April 2nd.

WiiU_Ping1.5+_gameplay_01

Ping 1.5+ for Wii U – Until 8:59am PT on April 2nd, this game is reduced from $4.99 to $2.99, 40 percent off.

WiiU_TheLetter_gameplay_03

The Letter and Mazefor Wii U – These TreeFall Studios games are on sale until 8:59am PT on March 13th.

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Space Lift Danger Panic! for Nintendo 3DS – Until 8:59am PT on March 20th, this title is reduced from $2.99 to $1.99, 33 percent off.

n3ds_wakedas_03

Wakedas, Witch & Hero, and World Conqueror 3D for Nintendo 3DS – These Circle Entertainment games are on sale until 8:59am PT on March 26th.

dartsup3d

Darts Up 3D for Nintendo 3DS – Until 8:59am PT on April 2nd, this game is reduced from $2.99 to $1.49, 50 percent off.

N3DS_Aeternoblade_04

AeternoBlade for Nintendo 3DS – From 9am PT on March 6th until 8:59am PT on March 27th, this title is reduced from $14.99 to $4.99, 66 percent off.

Theme Shop on Nintendo 3DS

New themes this week include Kirby: Craft-Paper Party, Kirby: Sweet Gourmet Race, Kirby: Stripes and a Smile, and Azure Stiker Gunvolt: Sumeragi 7.

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

Wow, what a week for the Nintendo Download, with numerous big titles to check out. Lots of great stuff here, so let’s get to it!

WiiU_SteamworldDig_03

SteamWorld Dig for Wii U – This title made a big splash on the Nintendo 3DS to great critical reception, and is now available on the Wii U. Join Rusty on his journey to save a town in need by exploring an underground world of secrets, treasures, and adversity with use of the Wii U GamePad to display the map and interface elements, or for Off-TV Play. Check out a trailer for the game here.

WiiU_TheFall_02

The Fall for Wii U – “Super Metroid meets Monkey Island.” The first part of a trilogy, this game combines action and adventure game puzzle elements as you explore an alien world as ARID, the artificial intelligence of a high-tech combat suit determined to save the unconscious human dwelling within it! Click here for a trailer.

WiiU_DonkeyKongJrMath_03

Donkey Kong Jr. Math for Wii U – It’s a mystery to some why this is even being released, or why Nintendo is charging $5 for it. Perhaps it’s to get some sort of tax write-off for “educational” software? It’s hard to say, though Nintendo is marketing it as “perfect for younger players who are looking for a fun and easy way to develop their math skills!”

WiiU_MegaManX3_03

Mega Man X3 for Wii U – The final Mega Man release to hit the Wii U Virtual Console in August, this third installment in the Mega Man X series– itself previously not released alongside its predecessors on the Wii– sees X out to determine why Dr. Doppler’s antivirus has suddenly failed to prevent their fellow Reploids from going Maverick. Of particular note is that this title marks the first playable appearance of X’s extremely powerful Maverick Hunter partner Zero. You can also customize X’s armor upgrades with special super-upgrade chips, and also acquire four different Robot Ride mechs to help take on the legions of Mechaniloids standing before you.

You can check out a trailer for the game here.

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Azure Striker Gunvolt with Mighty Gunvolt for Nintendo 3DS – Developed by Inti Creates, whose previous works include Mega Man 9 and 10, the Mega Man Zero series, Mega Man ZX series, and even the Super NES Mega Man X games, this new platforming adventure carries many of the hallmarks of what made those games great while introducing a new cast, world, and gameplay elements all its own.

Purchase it before November 28th and receive a free bonus download of Mighty Gunvolt, a classic style platforming adventure in the style of the NES Mega Man games featuring Gunvolt and Beck from the upcoming Mighty No. 9, as well as Ekoro from the Japan-exclusive Gal☆Gun.

Both games come out in the Nintendo 3DS eShop on Friday, August 29th, but you can check out our review over on The Mega Man Network. You can also view a new English trailer for the game here.

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Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney for Nintendo 3DS – What happens when an expert investigator joins forces with an ace attorney? A cross-examining crossover adventure to unlock the mysteries of the magical city of Labyrinthia, that’s what! This battle of wits will be available starting at 12am ET on Friday, August 29th. In the meantime, you can view a trailer for the game here.

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Thorium Wars: Attack of the Skyfighter for Nintendo 3DS – Though the Thorions were thought defeated and humanity could return to a peaceful existence, the fearsome war machines returned a generation later to wreak havoc anew and wipe out what remains of humanity. Piloting one of three different Skyfighter craft, it’s up to you to take the fight to them and protect the human colonies. Click here to view a trailer for a better look.

And an aside, if I may: The music in the trailer really reminds me of Wing Commander.

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Outback Pet Rescue 3D for Nintendo 3DS – You’ve probably seen this game a dozen times in the Nintendo eShop by now– it sure feels like I have. It’s up to you to bring the animals of Australia’s outback back to good health, both by treating them on-site or bringing them back to your station in your Jeep. Kangaroos, koalas, numbats, wombats, dingoes, wild horses, and more (oh my!) are among the animals you’ll treat and nurture, and you can even use Play Coins to add to your in-game currency, allowing you to do such things as expand your work station.

Nintendo eShop Sales

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Capcom sale – Select Capcom titles for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U are up to 60 percent off, including Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara, DuckTales: Remastered, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, Resident Evil Revelations, Street Fighter II: The World Warrior, Street Fighter II’ Turbo: Hyper Fighting, Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers, and Street Fighter Alpha 2 on Wii U, and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, Resident Evil Revelations, Resident Evil Mercenaries 3D, and Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition for Nintendo 3DS.

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Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo for Nintendo 3DS – From 9am PT on September 3rd through 8:59am PT on September 24th, this game will be marked down from $7.99 to $3.95, 50 percent off.

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Soccer Up 3D for Nintendo 3DS – Until 9am PT on September 17th, this title will be marked down to $1.99 from $6.99, 71 percent off.

Price Reduction

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Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist for Wii U – Starting September 1st, this title will be reduced from $39.99 to $19.99.

Coming Soon

Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight for Wii U – Coming September 1st, which is an odd date for a Virtual Console release.

Nobunaga’s Ambition for Wii U – Coming September 4th, which makes a bit more sense.

On top of all that, the new Mario Kart 8 Mercedes-Benz update is now available.

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