Capcom Vancouver Packs It in for Puzzle Fighter

After only five months since its release, Capcom Vancouver has announced that it will be shutting down its Puzzle Fighter game for iOS and Android mobile platforms.

Those who still wish to give it a shot can download it for free until July 1st, with the servers being shut down at the end of that month (July 31st). In the meantime, players are going to be gifted with 10,000 gems, the in-game currency, as well as new characters (Dr. Wily, Regina, and Ada Wong) and levels (Darminor and Uroboros Laboratory) that have been or will soon be released in the wake of this announcement. Plus, if you still have any in-game currency you’ve purchased, that’s still valid, though further purchases have officially ceased.

Oh, and if you’re interested in listening to the game’s soundtrack for free, check it out streaming on SoundCloud.

The reason given for the shutdown of the game given by Capcom employee Jeffery Simpson over on the Capcom-Unity blog is so that the studio can turn its focus towards further installments in the company’s flagship Dead Rising games. “As huge fans of Puzzle Fighter ourselves, the team here at Capcom Game Studio Vancouver is proud to have created a new version of the game that’s unique and enjoyable,” he said as he thanked those who supported and enjoyed the game.

This comes in the wake of news earlier this year that Capcom had laid off around 30 percent of the studio while reducing the scope of the next entry in the Dead Rising series. As part of their statement, Capcom notes that the studio was continuing to support Puzzle Fighter.

Source: Capcom-Unity, via USgamer

While today marks the day that the general public can get their hands on the Nintendo Switch before its March 3rd release, Nintendo of Canada was kind enough to allow the media (and some guests) the opportunity to do so just a couple of days prior.

From start to finish, it was quite the experience, and while there are still questions left unanswered in the month and some change we have left before the product goes on sale, it was nonetheless enlightening in other ways. Following are the impressions of what games I was able to check out at the event. Plus, I got to play the games in a variety of different ways, thanks to the Switch’s various control schemes, so I’ll talk about those as I go, too,

(Plus, if you’re not familiar with some of these titles, most have trailers you can view by clicking on the respective header.)

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Sonic Mania

This was my first stop as soon as I went through the doors. It almost felt like some sort of blasphemy to make a beeline straight for a SEGA game as the first title I’d play on Nintendo’s newest system, but my inability to do so in the six months’ worth of events since the game’s announcement was no doubt a major contributor — I’ve already had the special edition on pre-order for months.

Anyway, it was good, and felt just like classic Sonic to me. Maybe there’s a slight difference that someone more dedicated can point out, but compared to all of SEGA’s previous efforts to go back to the Blue Blur’s roots, this unquestionably comes the closest.

Unfortunately, the demo available here was the earlier one, so no Mirage Saloon or Knuckles gameplay to enjoy. Still, it was fun to play through a revamped Green Hill and the new Studiopolis Zone, and try to figure out the new Drop Dash, which is probably the trickiest standard move Sonic’s ever had.

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For this title, I was given the right Joy-Con controller, which is an aspect of the Switch I’ve been wary of since it was first teased late last year. My worry stemmed from the fact that the analog stick is set so far in on the controller that I feared it would be uncomfortable to use, thus making it the “loser’s” controller in any battles of who-uses-what when getting ready to play — sort of like the junky third-party controller no one wants to use.

I’m happy to say my fears were completely unfounded! I suppose it owes to the small size of the Joy-Cons in general, but it wasn’t problematic for me at all. I imagine it’s going to vary depending not only on the size of the hands the person using it has, but perhaps also on the game, since I didn’t really need to use any of the shoulder buttons either. Still, for a test run, I found myself quite pleased (and relieved).

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Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers

And here we have another old friend. As The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild had a queue (complete with tickets handed out for what time to come back in order to play), I had to find some other way to occupy my time — at least until my plus-ones Ian and Aleah finished their turns on Zelda. So why not see what the World Warriors are up to?

This is pretty much Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, with two “new characters” added: Evil Ryu and Violent Ken, who are less new characters and more recolors with some added moves (Ken has some sort of teleport, I think?). Much as I’m fine with them stopping there, part of me wants to see “Cranky Dan” step up at some point in the series.

I was at a disadvantage here, as I typically remap my controller in these games to have my Light/Quick moves on the shoulders, but I was still able to hold my own quite well (not that I’m a pro or anything). Basically, it felt just like Street Fighter II should, and you can even change the visuals from the UDON-rendered high-definition graphics to the vintage pixel art.

While it’s a shame that Nintendo isn’t getting something fresher — which can’t be helped in the case of Street Fighter V, what with Sony helping fund that one — I’m nonetheless glad to see this one arrive back in the family of consoles which helped make it big. I got the Xbox 360 version years ago, but found it nigh-unplayable due to that controller’s Dpad.

Speaking of which…

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While I’m pretty sure that you can technically play the game with the Joy-Cons, that’s not likely going to cut it for any serious player of the genre. Fortunately, for this one, they had the Switch Pro Controller on hand.

Let me tell you, using this controller was an absolute joy, and makes me all the more disappointed they weren’t available for pre-order when I went to put money down on the system. While it shares the name and general shape of the Wii U Pro controller, I’ll be honest: Try as I might, I could never quite get completely comfortable with that one. Something about it was just a bit off to me, particularly when it came to games better played with the Dpad.

This, however, was a joy to hold and worked flawlessly — at least, for all intents and purposes of playing Street Fighter. The Xbox One controller has been my favorite for this generation, but the Switch Pro Controller felt just as good to me — maybe even a little better (I may have to conduct a more direct comparison sometime).

Let’s just hope these aren’t as hard to come by as the controllers for the NES Classic Edition — I still haven’t been able to find one (in fact, one store told me that while they got more of the systems in since launch, they never got any more of the controllers — damn).

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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

After regrouping with Ian and Aleah, we decided to get in (the much shorter than Zelda‘s) line for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Four stations were set up, each featuring a different game mode and a different way to play the Switch. The combination of a need for multiplayer, a new Battle Mode to check out, none of us having played the Switch in “handheld” mode yet, and a diner scenario that was right up my alley all came together perfectly in one quadrant.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe takes the best game in the series in quite some time and adds even more characters (though unfortunately, still no return of R.O.B. from Mario Kart DS), more items (the return of the Super Feather!), Double Dash!!‘s ability to carry two items at once, and best of all, the return of the traditional Battle Mode with new and returning arenas!

There were four of us playing (someone else joining the three of us), and while I’m not sure which stage they picked, I lucked out in the roulette and we played a remake of one of the courses from Super Mario Kart, aka “the best Battle Mode in the series” in my opinion. Realistic looking balloons were strapped to our karts and we raced around, trying to destroy each other and eight computer-controlled competitors. I came in second place, beaten out only by Aleah.

It felt like coming home… albeit a bit more crowded. I hope that there’s a way to play in smaller groups with just your friends and no computers.

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The way we played, as mentioned, was in the Switch’s handheld mode — no dock connecting it to a television, and the Joy-Cons fastened to the side.

To be honest, this probably ended up my least favorite way to play. The combined Switch just didn’t feel as good in my hands as the larger Wii U GamePad, probably hewing a little closer to the XL versions of the Nintendo 3DS, only not. It’s kind of hard to explain, but I think supporting the weight of the full unit and the small size of the Joy-Cons just didn’t rest comfortably in my hands; I think the lower corners were mildly digging into my palms, and I don’t have particularly large hands.

I don’t know that it will be particularly detrimental for me in the long run, though; I have a tendency to rest a Nintendo 3DS against my chest when I play (usually when sitting back or laying down), a luxury I didn’t really have here. I have a feeling it will feel just right for me then, but until I can try it like that, it remains a mystery — though one that will be solved in about 36 days.

That said, the ability to play as it sits separate from the Joy-Cons on its little kickstand should help as well.

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The time on my ticket arrived, and I finally got to play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for the first time. I didn’t get to make it out to the Electronic Entertainment Expo last year, and while Nintendo of Canada normally brings some of that fun up here for us to try out, that didn’t happen last year.

In the interim, Breath of the Wild has been occupying this weird sort of space in my mind, a limbo where I didn’t really associate it as a Wii U title (what with all the buzz that it would be available on the then-titled NX), but without knowing what the NX was until recently, not forming a strong association there, either. It’s just been an island unto itself in my mind.

That said, playing it here has certainly helped it take root in my mind as a Switch title. I only got to play for 20 minutes, and while they encouraged us to speed through the story bits, they still managed to take up a chunk of time nonetheless. Still, I did alright, I think, by raising some towers from one destination before things reset.

Exploring the world reminded me a bit of Xenoblade Chronicles X, which I largely enjoyed despite the combat not quite fully clicking with me. Fortunately, that’s not an issue here, as the more familiar Zelda-styled controls brought everything together. I feel like this might just be the Zelda game that I’ve been waiting so many years for, but only time will tell if that’s the case for sure.

Still, if they’re using the original Nintendo Entertainment System classic as a source of inspiration? I think I’m going to be in for a really good time.

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For this title, I got to use the Joy-Con grip to start. I think it’s a little lighter than the Pro Controller, and it felt just as good. Of course, I wasn’t using the Dpad except to help toggle a few menus, if I remember right, so it’s a very different scenario. I was quite pleased, and if you can’t find a Pro Controller right away, there’s no need to immediately panic, as the games that it’s best for aren’t slated to be available at launch anyway. But that aside, they feel quite similar.

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Midway through the demo, I was allowed to snap the Joy-Cons into the Switch and go to handheld mode, which I was willing to give a second chance… except they had us wearing headphones to hear the sound, and however they were hooked up, it wasn’t coming through in handheld mode. Couple that with the distraction of an enthusiastic MC up on stage, and I returned to the television.

However, in doing so, I opted to keep the Joy-Cons unplugged and go at it Wii-style, like in Twilight Princess. It felt pretty good — better, even, given the greater number of buttons to take advantage of and no cord to worry about, allowing for a more relaxed posture with the separate halves. Even so, I can see why some people might still prefer to use the Joy-Con grip to play, but it’s still a nice option to have available.

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Splatoon 2

Ah, Splatoon… now that’s a name I’ve not heard in a long time.

Okay, that’s a total lie: I’ve heard it quite a bit since its release, especially with Aleah’s affinity for it, but I’ve unfortunately not had much time to play since then. As rusty as I was, in the two rounds I got to play, I opted for familiar weapons I did okay with before: The Splat Roller in the first round, and the Splat Charger in the second. The Roller also had a new secondary weapon, a sort of curling puck that spreads ink and bounces around off of walls and such, but drains your reserves pretty quickly.

A new weapon featured was a twin pair of pistols, which I understand are for more “aggressive” play. Part of me wonders if I should have tried those out. Either way, I got one loss and one win, but sadly, I think I was the lowest score for both rounds. At least I took a few of the other guys with me.

Tilt controls for high and low aiming return, which I found fairly handy — while I was resistant at first, I’m probably better with those than twin-sticks. Unfortunately, there is no more second screen, and while you can still pull up and map and leap to different points on the map, doing so now leaves you vulnerable, so best to be quick about it.

Incidentally, I forget which controller I used here — I think it was either the Pro or the Joy-Con Grip, so either way, see above. It worked well here.

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1-2-Switch

Now how could a coupla former NC boys resist a game that has you milking cows and slapping leather in a quick-draw contest? Ian and I waited in line to try 1-2-Switch, and were joined by a third gentleman in the closed-off booth for the demonstration. Ian had a little trouble with the foam cowboy hats, but fortunately for me, I brought my own.

The first round had us both squeezing two of the buttons on the shoulders of a single Joy-Con as we made steady pulling motions downwards to milk a cow. When the controller stopped vibrating, we’d release the buttons, raise it up, and repeat the process until one of us had squeezed out more milk — all while staring the other in the eye, as per the spirit of the game, if not the rules.

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For the second contest, Ian tagged out to the other gent, and we had to move our respective Joy-Con like a box with balls inside, trying to guess how many are in there. I was the victor, albeit with one off, though that was my fault — I felt the extra sensation of the ball hitting the side, but the delay made me think it might be something else.

That said, this and the milking game made me a believer in the high-definition rumble Nintendo spoke of when they went over the Switch’s features. I don’t know if many developers would use it to its fullest potential, but I was nonetheless impressed by how vividly and — for lack of a better term — accurate (I’ve never actually milked a cow; never even touched an udder) things felt. As rumble goes, it’s basically like the difference between digital controls and analog.

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Finally, the time came for Ian and I to kill each other by seeing who could draw their gun — i.e. the Joy-Con — the quickest and firing when the command was given.

First time out, I lost, though I maintain it’s because the wrist strap covering wasn’t properly secured. I wanted another go, and got one as Ian tagged out. While I feel that the reason I believe I lost before was validated by taking the other guy out in less than a second (he shot the ground, apparently; the game even measures the angle at which you fire), I still hope for a rematch with Mad Dog Flynn.

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ARMS

Next up, Ian and I checked out the ARMS arena. We got to choose our characters (I went with the girl in power armor seen above), we chose how to equip each arm (one option I went with was a boomerang fist), took in a quick tutorial, and we were off!

While there are some obvious comparisons to be drawn to the likes of Punch-Out!! or Wii Sports Boxing, this is a very different game. For one thing, I don’t know that dashing, jumping, and grabbing have any place in Little Mac’s world (then again, some of those other challengers do play dirty), and the motion controls feel overall more precise than in Wii Sports‘ offering.

The game was a lot of fun, and the overall aesthetic reminds me a bit of Splatoon in some ways, not the least of which being the bright colors and characters. There’s a lot more movement involved than in Punch-Out!! — you basically have the run of the entire arena — and it just feels involved in an altogether different way, as the types of moves you perform with the two Joy-Con feel more varied.

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Snipperclips – Cut it out, together!

When I first heard about this game, my interest was minimal, and so was Ian’s. As it happens, though, I caught what the game was all about on Nintendo’s Treehouse at the Switch unveiling earlier this month, and I just had to try it. After a bit of persuasion, he joined me at a table where the Switch was resting on its kickstand as we each took a Joy-Con and got ourselves situated.

Basically, you’re provided with a series of challenges and have to use teamwork in order to solve each puzzle. This ranges from filling in a dotted line silhouette to getting a pencil to a pencil sharpener, putting a basketball through a hoop, moving a wheel along a rail to a race car, and popping all the balloons in the room. To do this, you need to twist your characters the right way and work together to achieve your goal.

For instance, the characters’ bodies don’t have arms and are relatively flat, so to be able to hold the basketball, one character can snip away at part of the other to form a cup-like curve that can better hold the ball. With the balloons, one trims the other’s body until there’s a point capable of bursting them, and so on.

We solved the five or so puzzles put before us, and while I’m still a believer, I think Ian might be, too. It’s a game I look forward to seeing more of, for sure.

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Also worth noting is that this time, I got to take up the left Joy-Con, and to my surprise… I think I prefer the right one more! It wasn’t bad or anything, but before using any of them, I thought this would be vastly preferable to using the right one, and to me, it’s not.

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Super Bomberman R

Another game Ian and I tried was Super Bomberman R, the long-awaited return of a classic franchise, provided that the guys running it down don’t muck it up with microtransactions as so many across the internet currently fear.

Unfortunately, neither of us have much in the way of experience with Bomberman, and we were put into a four-player battle against two computer opponents. We were pretty soundly throttled, which led to us having to sit on the sidelines, throwing bombs at the computer until someone lost or we successfully blew up one of them, which allowed us back in (but only briefly, because we both suck at this).

The stage didn’t help matters, either, as there were these covered areas that you can’t see into very well. Probably great for veteran Bomberfans to plot strategies with, but not so much for newcomers, perhaps. On top of all that, I think they went around six to eight rounds before things were done.

It’s good to see Bomberman back, but I feel like I need some training — maybe in single-player — before taking that on again.

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Puyo Puyo Tetris

I’ve never been much of a Puyo Puyo player, but I’ve always enjoyed Tetris. Fortunately, for this game, you don’t have to be a fan of both to have a good time! I can’t speak for Puyo Puyo, but if it’s like the Tetris portion, then it’s just like what you’ve always known (well, sort of — Tetris has the modern rules in place, of course, such as quick-drop and holding pieces).

The most fascinating part of what I got to play, however, was that two players going head-to-head can play different games. So while I was playing Tetris, my opponent was playing Puyo Puyo — no switching around (ha) or anything. But if one of us scored well, such as my getting a double, triple, or Tetris, then extra blocks would rise from the bottom of his playing field, and vice-versa.

It’s a neat way of bringing the two different games together, and should make for some interesting challenges.

And that was the last game I got to try (though I did take one more run at Sonic Mania before leaving). While there are still questions to be answered about Nintendo’s latest platform, I can at least say that I now sit here before you with confidence in what we have seen.

Finally, to close out, here are some pics from the event:

mariokartdinerClockwise from left: Ian, Aleah, David, and fellow visitor play Mario Kart 8 Deluxe‘s Battle Mode on the Switch’s handheld configuration.

mariokart8deluxe1 mariokart8deluxe2 mariokart8deluxe3Ian rides in Mario’s kart. David rides in Mario’s kart. David runs over Ian in Mario’s kart.
There’s probably a moral here. Somewhere.
(First pic courtesy of Aleah Baker)

snipperclipstableClippersnipping intensifies. (Picture courtesy of Ian Flynn)

splatoon2statueAleah is just squidding around with an old friend. (Picture courtesy of Aleah Baker)

switchzeldaarea1switchzeldaarea2Where Legends become real and the wild breathes.

switchatswitcheventThe star of the show!

switchmarioodysseyAnd finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: Mario’s Hat wearing Mario’s hat!

You can find more pictures from the event at Nintendo of Canada’s Facebook page (and they’ll probably have more from the public event later today soon as well).

Also, if you’re interested in the impressions Mr. Ian Flynn was left with after some time with the console, keep an eye on BumbleKing.com for the games, and the BumbleKast for his thoughts on the hardware itself. (And anything he says about not swapping insurance info after the kart incident is a lie; he just needs to learn how to take better care of Bob-ombs is all.)

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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In Toronto on Thursday, August 25th, Microsoft held their media showcase event, X16. And if you’re wondering why I’m only talking about it now, or where I’ve been for the past month for that matter, then I would like to kindly direct your attention over here.

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend and take in a good many games coming and already available for Xbox One and Windows 10; some familiar, some new, and many Canadian. Admittedly, I was disappointed that the recently-revealed Sonic Mania wasn’t there, but there was enough going on to sufficiently distract me from that.

“The growth of our annual Media Showcase event has been truly incredible,” said Craig Tullett, Senior Marketing Director for Microsoft Canada “What started out as a small event for a handful of media 16 years ago has transformed into a full day celebration for the Canadian Xbox community. This year is especially exciting for us, because we’re showing more Canadian content than ever before. With new titles from AAA studios like The Coalition and Capcom Vancouver and an array of Canadian independent developers, we’re proud to be showcasing world-class innovation from our own backyard.”

Here’s a quick look at what I got to take a quick look at, along with some brief thoughts.

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As I arrived, only one game (besides Sonic Mania) was on my mind first and foremost: Scalebound. But since that wasn’t there either, I immediately set out to find my runner-up from this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, ReCore.

From what I’d heard through those who had played it on the E3 showfloor, the combination of Mega Man producer Keiji Inafune and the developers behind Metroid Prime brought something which reflected qualities of both. The game played well for the short time I had with it, though I did get stuck at one point before calling it a day. All in all, I enjoyed that brief time with it, but decided to wait to be able to sit down with it and play it more fully — something I now have a review copy for as I prepare to cover it for The Mega Man Network, so keep your eyes peeled over there for a review soon (but not too soon — I only just got it).

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Speaking of Inafune, I was always interested in trying one of the series he launched during his days working at Capcom, Dead Rising. I missed out on the original because I had no high definition television at the time, making the text impossible to read (seriously, what is with developers using ever-smaller text in newer games?). Following that, I never quite managed to make it happen, even after getting an HDTV, but maybe the time is nigh to rectify that.

deadrising4propWhile re-releases of the first two games are coming out today (huh, go figure) and later this month, what I got to sink my teeth into was Capcom Vancouver’s Dead Rising 4, which features a lovely holiday theme and will be fittingly released on December 6th.

I didn’t get to do too much before I had a scheduled meeting to attend, but I did get to have some fun trying out some different weapons on the snow-covered streets of Willamette, Colorado. I made my way to the firehouse, where troops were nailed to the wall and I could have Frank make goofy faces while taking selfies.

The best part, though, had to be donning the almost Iron Man-like exo-suit of powered armor that allows you to plow through crowds like a hot knife through undead butter. Picking up and tossing around large, heavy objects was pretty cool, too. I might have to take a closer look at this one during the winter months — if nothing else, I appreciate the seasonal appropriateness.

Side note: I’m about as sick of zombies as anyone, but Dead Rising has always been that one little thing I’ve been willing to make an exception for if the opportunity arose.

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The GamesCom 2016 demo of Final Fantasy XV was on hand, and while I didn’t get a chance to play it, my wife did. You can find her thoughts on it at USgamer, and though I didn’t get to play it personally, I will say this: It’s the most interested I’ve ever been in playing a mainline Final Fantasy game.

Rather than turn-based combat, the comparison Nadia gave me was more along the lines of something like Xenoblade Chronicles X, which I suppose is good enough for me. I still prefer something more direct, but I might be able to work with this. Maybe we’ll find out when it comes out on November 29th (unless it gets delayed again).

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I haven’t played a lot of Tekken, but Tekken 7 caught my eye at E3, if only because I thought it was the long-awaited Tekken X Street Fighter. No such luck, but Akuma was on full display as a playable character. He played familiar, yet differently, and I could imagine him being a good sort of introductory character for someone like me who knows Street Fighter pretty well but has a lot to learn when it comes to playing Tekken.

HaloWars2MultiplayerDefendTheBase

I love a good strategy game, but I’ve mostly played turn-based strategy. As such, I’ve always wondered if something like Halo Wars would be right for me. It wasn’t until very, very late in the Xbox 360’s lifespan that I learned there was a demo I could try, but the system died after I downloaded it but before I got to play it — and there was no PC version available. So when a sequel was announced, well, that immediately caught my interest.

343 Industries and Creative Assembly are not only producing a follow-up, but they’re also bring it — and the original — to PC as well. I had the opportunity to sit in on a demonstration of the game as developers explained about the story and other new features. It looked fairly intuitive and fun, especially the way the new bases and equipment moved in and unfolded, and I’m eager to sit down and try it out for myself.

Granted, there were demos available there, but this is the kind of game I’d want more time to toy with than I was afforded at the event — especially with other stuff to see. It sounds like I may have another crack at it before the February 2017 release date, but we’ll see how that goes. In the meantime, since Halo Wars was recently available for free through Xbox Live Games with Gold, I’m going to try to get some practice in.

ForzaHorizon3_StreamCross

I tried Forza Motorsport 6, and for whatever reason, it didn’t quite grab me. It was very cool and realistic, but something about it didn’t quite mesh.

Seeing Forza Horizon 3 and its more open world and open (and off) road experiences, though, piqued my attention at E3 — especially after reading Jaz Rignall’s impressions on USgamer. Better still, the very same demo was available here!

In brief, you start with a bit of street racing in the Australian Outback, and after a bit of racing, a cutscene triggers as the group you were a part of intersects with another racing group of off-road trucks. After moving on down the beach and racing across the waves, the final leg of the demo features a… I don’t want to look like an idiot by saying dune buggy and being wrong, but an off-road vehicle of some kind, at any rate. You take the wheel of this vehicle and race a Jeep that’s suspended by a helicopter with a seemingly inept pilot (or maybe they find the Jeep driver equally as punchable as I do, so why not run him into a few trees?).

All in all, I had a blast with the demo, and am happy to have received a review copy to check out as well, so please look forward to that soon.

As an aside, there were two types of control schemes set up for the game: A regular Xbox One controller, and a steering wheel controller. For what it’s worth, I found the steering wheel unwieldy and difficult to use, as there seemed to be a disparity between the amount of tactile feedback provided by it versus what it seems should be provided based on what’s on-screen. I prefer the standard controller here.

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Finally, I ran into Shane Luis from the terrific Rerez YouTube Channel as he was also checking out Forza Horizon 3, and we chatted for a few minutes, during which time he pointed Nadia and I to an indie game called Flinthook. And I’m glad he did, because that’s a fun little game featuring randomly-generated spaceships as you use your chainhook to get around and various weapons to take on those who would thwart your pirating schemes.

I hope to see more of this fun creation of Montreal’s Tribute Games before too long, but right now, it’s sitting with a 2017 release date. For now, I’m just disappointed that the nice little card-flyer I got with details of the game hadn’t been ruined in our rainy efforts to get home.

There were other games available to play there beyond these as well, including Everspace, Steep, Outlast 2, and the creepy We Happy Few. I wanted to play Cuphead again, but the impenetrable line forbade it. I’m kind of lousy at third-person shooters, so I passed on Gears of War 4, and I still need to play my Director’s Cut of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, so I left Deus Ex: Mankind Divided alone for now. As much as I enjoyed Dragon Ball XenoVerse, I’m behind on my Dragon Ball viewing, so I didn’t touch the sequel for fear of spoilers. Plus, time was a factor for these as well.

Still others on display included Minecraft, Killer Instinct Season 3, and Batman The Telltale Series — all of which I have here at home, so I saw no point in bothering.

All told, it was a fun time — which was good, because I apparently overdid it and basically collapsed back into bed sick when I got home. Nonetheless, I and other Xbox One games have plenty to look forward to in the coming weeks and months.

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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A pretty good batch of releases this week, including a couple of dig-lightful titles and a surprise release from Nintendo themselves:

Rhythm Heaven Megamix for Nintendo 3DS – Over 70 rhythm games have been collected here, from the series’ Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, and Wii installments to all-new games. Can you reach Heaven World?

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Mega Man 7 for Nintendo 3DS – The Blue Bomber is back — and so is Dr. Wily! If you’ve finished the Mega Man Legacy Collection (or the Virtual Console releases) of the six Nintendo Entertainment System classics, then this is the obvious next step as the original Mega Man sets out on a Super NES adventure.

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Gunslugs for Nintendo 3DS – You’ve only got one life to live in this Roguelike-inspired game of running, jumping, and shooting. Fortunately, you can find more heroes to join you and Voodoo priests selling Continue statues to prolong your journey to the gates of Hell itself.

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The Legend of Dark Witch 2 – Demo Version for Nintendo 3DS – Uncertain about whether this action-adventure is for you? Find out by trying out the new demo version!

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Terraria for Wii U – Dig, fight, build, and explore your way through this world filled with hundreds of enemies and giant enemy bosses. Craft your own weapons and armor, and share the adventure online and locally! (In short, it’s a lot like a 2D version of Minecraft.)

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Super Paper Mario for Wii U – The two-dimensional plumber must cross several more dimensions in order to find the Pure Hearts capable of countering the Chaos Heart which threatens to suck all dimensions into the Void! Fortunately, Mario’s not alone — Luigi, Princess Peach, and even Bowser are on hand to help out, each with their own unique abilities.

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Drill Dozer for Wii U – Join Jill and her trusty, powerful, and upgradeable Drill Dozer as they pursue the Skullker gang across pits, up lifts, and more to retrieve the stolen Red Diamond in this Game Boy Advance classic.

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Run Run and Die for Wii U – As a penguin who has awakened in a dark laboratory, you must do one thing: run. 24 levels of robots, bombs, spikes, and impossible jumps stand between you and freedom, and you’ve only got a single button to guide you through.

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Twin Robots for Wii U – Alone or with a local co-op partner, guide two imprisoned robots through 28 levels to freedom.

Activities

Nintendo Badge ArcadeThe Legend of Zelda machines are celebrating the reveal of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild this week, and from June 16th to June 22nd, you can get two free plays every day! Learn more at http://badgearcade.nintendo.com/.

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

  • Nintendo eShop on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS
    • Save Up to 40 Percent on Select Digital Games – Nintendo is celebrating E3 2016 by offering fans big savings on select digital games in top franchises, including The Legend of Zelda, Pokémon and more classic series. This also includes the original BOXBOY! game to get fans prepared for the just-announced sequel. As an added bonus, My Nintendo members can get an additional 10 percent off the sale price on select games*. Customers can shop the sale at http://e3.nintendo.com/sale/ or on Nintendo eShop on their devices from June 14 at 11 a.m. PT to June 21 at 8:59 a.m. PT.
      • *My Nintendo members must link their Nintendo Account and their Nintendo Network ID prior to purchase and before 5:59 a.m. PT on June 21 to be eligible for the additional 10 percent discount. Members must have accessed Nintendo eShop on their device at least once prior to purchase.
    • Mutant Mudds Super Challenge (Nintendo 3DS and Wii U), Xeodrifter (Nintendo 3DS and Wii U) and more games from Renegade Kid are on sale until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 30.
    • Island Flight Simulator, Secret Agent Files: Miami and more games from Joindots are on sale until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 23.
    • The Peanuts Movie: Snoopy’s Grand Adventure (Nintendo 3DS and Wii U) is on sale until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 21.
  • Nintendo eShop on Wii U
    • Wheel of Fortune, Legend of Kay Anniversary and more from Nordic Games are on sale until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 30.
    • Word Party is 25 percent off (reduced from $19.99 to $14.99) until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 30.
    • Paranautical Activity is 50 percent off (reduced from $9.99 to $4.99) until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 30.
    • Canvaleon is more than 25 percent off (reduced from $6.95 to $4.95) until 8:59 a.m. PT on July 14.
  • Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS

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

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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Still don’t have a Nintendo 3DS XL, or you’re just a huge fan of the Monster Hunter series, then there is good news heading your way!

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Nintendo of Canada has announced that pre-orders will be open “soon” for the new Nintendo 3DS XL Monster Hunter Generations Edition. The system will retail for $239.99, and be available through Amazon, Best Buy, EBGames, Videotron, and as an online exclusive from Walmart.

Unlike some versions of the Nintendo 3DS XL, this one does include an AC adapter, but the eponymous game is not included.

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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You may know a Hadoken from a Shoryuken, but do you think you’ve got what it takes to stand toe-to-toe with the best Street Fighter (player)s in Canada?

If so, then you’ll want to pre-register before March 23rd for the Cineplex World Gaming Canadian Championships 2016, where the new Street Fighter V is the game of choice and there are over $25,000 in prizes to be won. “We’re giving players of all skill levels the chance to take part in our free online qualifiers and to earn a spot playing on the big screen at one of 24 Cineplex locations across Canada,” according to the website.

Online qualifiers begin on March 24th and run through April 17th, with the regional finals taking place on May 1st and the Canadian Championship being held at the Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto on May 29th. There, the finalists will compete for all the glory in a best of three, double-elimination format to take home the gold (or whatever they award the champion as a sign of their victory).

Registration is free, so if you think you’ve got what it takes, then show ’em what you’ve got!

Source: Capcom Unity

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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Some Mega Man, a bit of Bravely Default, and a classic-styled game headline this week’s releases.

Star Ghost for Wii U – Former Rare and Retro Studios developer Rhys Lewis and composer David Wise team up to bring this procedurally generated shoot ’em up exclusively to the Wii U eShop.

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Mega Man Battle Network 6: Cybeast Falzar and Mega Man Battle Network 6: Cybeast Gregar for Wii U – MegaMan and Lan are back for their final adventure against the viruses and dark denizens of the net! But with Cybeasts Gregar and Falzar fighting for dominance, will there be anything left to save? For more details, check The Mega Man Network.

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Grumpy Reaper for Wii U – Mow the lawn to find the keys before Death’s granddaughter can unlock the gates of the underworld! It’s just crazy enough to work!

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Jewel Quest for Wii U – Test your Match-3 skills across 72 game boards.

Rhapsody – Music & Radio for Wii U – This is a weird one. No screens among the assets, and the page is a dead-end. Perhaps this was added by accident?

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Word Puzzles by POWGI Demo Version for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS – Unsure if the puzzles of POWGI are for you? Find out with this free demo!

Blast ’Em Bunnies for Nintendo 3DS – In this endless shooter, you must defend your rabbit burrow with a variety of wild produce-powered weaponry!

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BRAVELY SECOND: END LAYER DEMO The Ballad of the Three Cavaliers for Nintendo 3DS – Get a free taste of Square Enix’s sensational sequel with this free demo of the role playing game that features an adventure not found in the main game!

New DLC

Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation, the third path of the game, is now available as downloadable content to those who own either Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright or Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest, and can be accessed at the Branch of Fate moment of the game by selecting “Refuse to Choose a Side.”

Theme Shop on Nintendo 3DS

This week’s new themes are Fire Emblem Fates : Two Kingdoms, Blast ’Em Bunnies : Zombies, Blast ’Em Bunnies : Western, Blast ’Em Bunnies : Ninjas, Blast ’Em Bunnies : Luchadors, and Blast ’Em Bunnies Bundle.

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

Permanent Price Reduction

The previously announced new additions to the Nintendo Selects line are now available at their new price in the Nintendo eShop. Click here for further details.

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

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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A nice loadout today, even though the biggest names on the list won’t be available until tomorrow. But, as seen in the banner, at least we finally have some releases to the Wii U Virtual Console that are long overdue — I was wondering if they’d ever arrive!

Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright for Nintendo 3DS – Available February 19th: Choose the family you were born to in Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright, and take on the corrupted Nohr kingdom alongside the family you never knew!

Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest for Nintendo 3DS – Available February 19th: Choose the family you were raised by in Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest, and fight for change from within the misguided Nohr kingdom.

Fire Emblem Fates: Map Pack 1 for Nintendo 3DS – Available February 19th: 11 additional maps and bonus content are yours to be had with this downloadable content pack. Gain new insight into your allies and revisit some familiar faces from Fire Emblem Awakening. The first map is free, but additional maps will come weekly until April 21st, and those who purchase Map Pack 1 will receive it as it’s released.

Project X Zone 2 for Nintendo 3DS – Heroes from Capcom, SEGA, Namco Bandai, and even Nintendo come together in this multiverse-spanning strategy game. You can find Nadia’s review of it at USgamer (mine is coming soon in Nintendo Force magazine).

Musicverse

Musicverse: Electronic Keyboard for Nintendo 3DS – Make and store up to 128 musical creations, which you can then share across Miiverse, Twitter, and Facebook!

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Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos for Wii U – Following the failure of his servant, the Jaquio, Emperor of Darkness Ashtar has begun putting his own plans into motion. Fortunately, Ryu Hayabusa, the last of the Dragon Clan and wielder of the legendary Dragon Sword, is here to put a halt to his schemes!

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Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom for Wii U – In this prequel to Ninja Gaiden II, Ryu has been framed for the death of a colleague, and is out to find the true culprit!

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Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones for Wii UBimmy and Jimmy (link Not Safe For Work) team up as they search for the kidnapped Marion and the mysterious Sacred Stones across the world.

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TAP TAP ARCADE for Wii U – Two bucks (USD) for two of RCMADIAX’s most popular games: a lane-changing top-down racer and a Flappy Bird clone.

Theme Shop on Nintendo 3DS

This week’s new themes are the “SEGA Dreamcast Theme,” “Pokémon: Champion Steven,” and on February 19th, Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright and Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest.

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.

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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“Fans of role-playing games have just received a boost to their excitement stat,” stated Nintendo of Canada’s General Manager and Senior Director, Pierre-Paul Trepanier, in a press release. “Nintendo platforms have always been home to high-quality RPGs, and with even more games launching in 2016, this trend is set to continue in a big way.”

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Kicking things off is the announcement of the Fire Emblem Fates Nintendo 3DS XL system, which will retail for $239.99 and features art inspired by the game adorning the lid of the handheld. It launches on the same day as the latest entries in the Fire Emblem series, Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest and Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright, which will be available on February 19th for $49.99 each.

Upon completing Chapter 6, players can then download the other version of the game for half the normal price — just $24.99. A third path in which the hero does not side with either faction will become available on March 10th as downloadable content, also for $24.99 to those who already own either Birthright or Conquest.

Alternatively, there will also be a special edition which includes all three versions on a single game card, as well as an artbook and a pouch for your Nintendo 3DS XL, all for a suggested retail price of $99.99.

The same day the game launches, the first of a series of further downloadable content will also be available in the form of new maps. These can be purchased individually for an undisclosed sum, or all together as Map Pack 1, which will be available at a collective discounted price of $22.49 once they’ve been released.

Bravely Second End Layer Collector's Edition

Fire Emblem isn’t the only one having fun with special editions, as Bravely Second: End Layer will arrive on April 15th with its own Collector’s Edition. Included in this package, which does not yet seem to have a price, are a 10-song original soundtrack, a 250-page deluxe art book, and of course, the game itself.

Prior to the game’s launch, a free demo will be available in the Nintendo eShop for Nintendo 3DS. Much like the first game, this demo tells a story unique from the full game, complete with new jobs and areas to explore. What’s more, any StreetPass tags and bonuses you acquire in the demo will be carried over to the main game.

Rounding things out with considerably less info are Final Fantasy Explorers on January 26th, Project X Zone 2 on February 16th (with a demo coming beforehand), the original three Pokémon games will arrive on Virtual Console on February 27th, and Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past and Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King will launch this summer and further on this year, respectively.

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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Wow! Nintendo’s really picking up steam as the year rolls on — we have quite a bountiful batch of beauties for the Wii U this week, and while Nintendo 3DS doesn’t have as much going on, it’s still got one pretty good showing.

Minecraft: Story Mode – Episode 1: The Order of the Stone for Wii U – Wow, when it rains, it pours. Just over a month after Minecraft came to Wii U, now Minecraft: Story Mode has followed. While the original Minecraft has no story to speak of, this point-and-click style adventure from TellTale Games tries to make up for it by weaving an episodic tale where you guide Jesse to EnderCon, where he hopes to meet Gabriel the Warrior but discovers something is amiss. “You will drive the story through the decisions you make: What you say to people (and how you say it) and what you choose to do in moments of thrilling action will make this YOUR story.”

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Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 for Wii U – While Minecraft: Story Mode looks cool and all, this is the real highlight for me. Super Mario Advance 4 is an enhanced Game Boy Advance version of the already enhanced version of the Nintendo Entertainment System classic Super Mario Bros. 3 that was in Super Mario All-Stars for the Super NES. Still with me? What sets this version apart is the inclusion of e-Reader levels: a number of levels that were originally accessible only by scanning cards through the GBA’s e-Reader device (many of which never made it to North America), featuring all kinds of new ideas and content, as well as stuff from previous Mario titles, from the giant turnips of Super Mario Advance to the Super Feather’s cape from Super Mario World. In short, it’s perhaps the ultimate version of what was already considered by many to be the best game of all time.

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Zack & Wiki: Quest For Barbaros’ Treasure for Wii U – This Capcom title for the Wii is typically regarded as an overlooked classic. Those who played this swashbuckling adventure generally loved it, but unfortunately, it didn’t reach a wide enough audience to keep things going. But now it’s got a second chance at life — will you join Zack and Wiki on their quest to become the greatest pirates who ever lived?

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A World of Keflings – Demo Version for Wii U – Not sure if you’re ready for an extended stay in a world of Keflings? Find out with a quick visit courtesy of this free demo.

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Brunswick Pro Bowling for Wii U – The Brunswick brand seems to get as much — or more — emphasis than the actual bowling in this game. Career Mode allows you to compete in tournaments while Rival Challenges allow you to earn currency to purchase all sorts of authentic Brunswick bowling equipment, as well as power-ups such as the Bomb Ball which detonates for an automatic strike. Up to four players can play and earn up to 200 achievements.

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Cube Life: Island Survival – Demo Version for Wii U – Sure, the Wii U has Minecraft now, but is that not enough for you? Look into this genre-alike title with a free demo to decide if this is the “more” you want or need.

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SKEASY for Wii U – This looks like the Wii U answer to Ski Free for Windows, but without any sign of the abominable snowman (from the description or screens) to impede your progress towards the high score.

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Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam for Nintendo 3DS – This one comes out in the Nintendo eShop at 9pm PT on January 21st, and unfortunately, I won’t have a review ready in time for release as I’d hoped. I will say that I’ve been thoroughly enjoying it for the most part (and the parts that I didn’t simply required some new perspective), but the main reason the review won’t be ready in time for release? My wife has been hooked while playing the game for her own review at G4, which ought to be ready tomorrow. Hopefully then I can get my hands on it for long enough to have it up soon after!

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PET INN 3D for Nintendo 3DS – 16 breeds of cats and dogs and 14 mini-games await as you manage a pet hotel in this simulation.

Theme Shop on Nintendo 3DS

This week’s new themes are “SEGA SG-1000” and “Animal Crossing: Winter Frolicking.”

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.

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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Some interesting news has come out of Capcom Game Studio Vancouver, or Capcom Vancouver for short. The developer formerly known as Blue Castle Games, responsible for both Dead Rising 2 and Dead Rising 3, has announced that they are teaming up with Epic Games in order to use Unreal Engine 4 in upcoming projects.

“We have some ambitious visions for where we want to take our next games and while our previous proprietary engine served the needs for the projects at the time, shifting to Unreal Engine 4 delivers the right tools for our future direction,” Joe Nickolls, Studio Director of Capcom Game Studio Vancouver, said in the press release. “Not only will we be developing on a powerful and versatile platform, we’ll also work closely with the team at Epic to maximize the capabilities of the latest and greatest technology. Using this industry leading engine also allows us to quickly integrate new talent onto our projects so that we can focus on pioneering new world class entertainment.”

As to the exact nature of these upcoming projects? Capcom Vancouver is keeping mum for now, though it seems they are interested in bringing some new folks on board who have “the desire to create incredible new gameplay experiences” to help out with these new projects in “a variety of development positions.” Naturally, those familiar with the popular game engine are of particular interest to the group.

If this sounds like something you’d be able and interested in taking a part in, then head over to CapcomVancouver.com for more details, such as the positions they’re looking for.

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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Nintendo Day is November 20th; see how they’re celebrating below.

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Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash for Wii U – Available November 20th, you can play against the computer, against people online, or train an amiibo to take to the court with you. Jump shots give you an added advantage, while Mega Mushrooms help you dominate the court in Mega Mode. Or you can play a more traditional, streamlined experience as well.

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Typoman for Wii U – This 2D puzzle platformer is exclusive to the Wii U, and puts you in the role of HERO, who must make his way through a world where word knowledge is key to survival as you use it to change the environment around you. If you have the [email protected] demo, you can save 15 percent off your purchase until December 19th. Check out the trailer here.

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Super Street Fighter II Turbo Revival for Wii U – Oh, wow. Pardon me for editorializing here a bit, but they decided to release the Game Boy Advance port of Super Street Fighter II on the Wii U’s Virtual Console? Checking the link, I can’t see any reason to recommend this over the Super NES version of Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers for Wii U. If the “Turbo” in this one’s title is any indication, then you’re trading 2-player and six buttons on the Super NES for four buttons and the possibility of Akuma showing up on GBA.

Really, why not just release Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix on Wii U instead? Anyway, there’s a little more to it than that, and you can read about it here.

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Lucentek – Activate for Wii U – Fight enemies, solve puzzles, and even turn into a spaceship and a hovercraft to pass obstacles and reset all the mainframes to thwart the alien invaders.

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Totem Topple for Wii U – Sporting a “unique, vibrant art style inspired by Native American culture,” this vertically-oriented tower defense game features dynamic artificial intelligence and an advanced upgrade system for complex strategic play.

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ZaciSa’s Last Stand – Demo Version for Wii U – Not sure whether this space-based 2D tower defense case is for you? Try before you buy with this demo!

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Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon for Nintendo 3DS – Available November 20th, you must join up with a variety of Pokémon to explore these randomly-generated dungeons and battle alongside Legendary and Mythical Pokémon to save the world.

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Family Fishing for Nintendo 3DS – Arcade-style mayhem and competitive, frenetic fishing are the name of the game as you and your kinfolk head down to the the lake and try to hook the best score.

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I Love My Pony for Nintendo 3DSMy Little Pony, this ain’t. Training, competition, and activities are all par for the course as you care for your pony and take part in a “captivating” story.

Theme Shop on Nintendo 3DS

This week’s new themes are the SEGA Saturn Theme and until December 6th, you can get a Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon Bonus Theme free when you purchase the Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon game in the Nintendo eShop.

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.

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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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.

Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon is available on November 20th for $49.99, and while you can play as one of 20 Pokémon, the entire roster of 720 are available to meet and encounter throughout.

Finally, this isn’t Canada-specific, but fans of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/Nintendo 3DS will want to stay tuned for a special video presentation in December.

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.

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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Okay, so since last week’s slightly-different setup seems to work well for everyone, that’s how we’ll be going forward!

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Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition for Nintendo 3DS – A bit of puzzle, a bit of role playing game adventure, and for good measure, a bit of Mario on the side! I’m not 100 percent sure on this, but I don’t think it’s available until midnight tonight.

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Samurai Defender for Nintendo 3DS – Set in the Warring States period of Japan, this simple defense-type game has you defend the castle from approaching enemies. Earn coins to gain new schemes to thwart your foes!

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Swords & Soldiers II for Wii U – Take command of the ranks of Vikings, Persians, or Demons as you conquer the lands of the campaign mode or your friends in multiplayer! Check out the trailer here.

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Mega Man Zero 2 for Wii U – Zero is back, once again joining forces with the Reploid resistance to oppose the forces of Neo Arcadia. But it seems that the new resistance leader Elpizo might have more than just protecting everyone in mind…

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SUPER E.D.F. Earth Defense Force for Wii U – Take control of the special mechanized XA-1 fighter against the mysterious alien forces of AGYMA as you protect the Earth in this Super Nintendo Entertainment System shoot ’em up.

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Blocky Bot for Wii U – Test your 3D platforming skills and reflexes as you guide Blocky Bot through worlds of robots, ninjas, wizards, and even a box of robotic French fries!

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Journey of a Special Average Balloon for Wii U – Collect coins and dodge enemies to gain rainbows and treasure chests in this arcade-style adventure game. You can also bring a friend along to compete or cooperate, or even enter a slingshot gallery with the aim of popping as many balloons as you can!

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Shapes of Gray for Wii U – The levels are only seconds long, but each contains a unique combat puzzle challenge as you make your way further and further down.

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Shiny the Firefly – Demo Version for Wii U – Unsure if helping Shiny find his baby fireflies is for you? Then give this free demo a shot!

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Stone Shire for Wii U – You’re a dwarf with a pickaxe and a sense of curiosity, and this is yet another attempt to capitalize on the popularity and style of Minecraft. “The only goal in this world is what you make of it.”

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Vector Assault for Wii U – This dual-stick shooter pits you against an army of invaders in the hopes of sending your score ever higher as they become ever faster. There are multiple game modes and levels to compete in for a spot on the online leaderboards, and you can also play cooperatively with a friend in local multiplayer.

Theme Shop on Nintendo 3DS

New themes this week include Swapnote: Nikki and Friends”… and that’s it. But hey, more Nikki! Just a shame the program it’s associated with is all but shut down.

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.

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megamantributeFinally… after months in the making, it’s come down to this.

After appearing on The Power Button podcast to discuss Nintendo comics, Archie’s Sonic the Hedgehog comics, and UDON’s many video game comics and things (the latter two with Archie writer Ian Flynn and UDON Director of Publishing Matt Moylan, respectively), the three of us have all come together to talk about the blue bond which connects us all: Mega Man.

And oh, what a time we had! About two hours’ worth of content, apparently, as we discuss not only the games, but the upcoming Mega Man/Sonic the Hedgehog crossover event, “Worlds Unite,” what UDON Entertainment is up to, what it will take to get a dedicated Mega Man X comic up and running, what’s in store for the Mega Man 4 comic book story arc, and more… including audience-submitted questions! “At five people,” host Matthew Green notes, “it’s our largest podcast panel ever.”

To listen in, you have several options from which to choose: You can download it directly from Press The Buttons or just listen on the page itself. You can also nab it from Stitcher, subscribe on iTunes, or just go the RSS route.

When you’re done, feel free to e-mail the guys or leave a message after the beep at (720) 722-2781.