Xbox One X Price and Release Date Announced

Microsoft made many announcements today at the 2017 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, California, but perhaps none was more anticipated than the final details regarding the progressively less-mysterious “Project Scorpio.”

Now known officially as the Xbox One X, the new console will be made available in all Xbox markets on November 7th, 2017, and will be priced at $599 here in Canada.

“Xbox One X was created to deliver uncompromised power, ultimate compatibility and design excellence,” the company said in its press release. “It’s both the most powerful and smallest console Xbox has ever built.”

Xbox One X (left), sitting alongside the Xbox One S.

Xbox One X (left), sitting alongside the Xbox One S.

The company went on to explain further what the newest iteration of the Xbox One platform offers:

Games play better on Xbox One X. The world’s most powerful console begins rolling out to all Xbox One markets starting on Nov. 7. With 40 percent more power than any other console, experience immersive true 4K gaming when paired with a 4K display, such as Samsung’s flagship QLED TV. Xbox One X makes your existing library even better, with better textures, smoother framerates and faster load times, even on a 1080p TV. Xbox One X also offers the ultimate 4K entertainment package with 4K Ultra HD for Blu-ray X and streamed content, HDR support for gaming and video, and Dolby Atmos support. Xbox One X will join the Xbox One family of devices and coexist alongside Xbox One and Xbox One S, and all Xbox One games and accessories are compatible.

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Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, would go on to announce that the lauded backwards compatibility the Xbox One features for Xbox 360 titles would be expanded further to include games from the original Xbox platform as well, beginning with Crimson Skies, and that they would look and play better than before on the Xbox One. Furthermore, “dozens” of games already available for the Xbox One will receive free updates to “take full advantage of the power of Xbox One X” by being enhanced to run in “true 4K,” including Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 3, Minecraft, Resident Evil 7, Final Fantasy 15, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands, and Rocket League.

“Xbox One is the only console system designed to play the best games of the past, present and future,” the press release states. “The Xbox One games and accessories you already own are compatible with Xbox One X, so if you’re an Xbox gamer, chances are you already have a library of games that will look and play better on Xbox One X.”

For more information about the Xbox One X, visit the official website.

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

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Earlier this week, Microsoft held their briefing for the 2016 Electronic Entertainment Expo. If you happened to see some of what was revealed through, say, my Top 5 Moments on PoisonMushroom.Org (or, you know, any of many other bigger outlets), then you know there was a lot of talk about not only games and playing across both Xbox One and Windows 10, but also numerous new hardware announcements as well.

Ah, but how much does it cost? When it comes to the Canadian dollar, that’s something you’ll have a harder time finding on a lot of the bigger sites. Fortunately, I’ve got you covered.

With a Holiday 2017 release planned, Project Scorpio is still too far off to have a price tag yet, but you’re going to need to add the price of a 4K Ultra High Definition television to it for it to matter. “Clearly, you can buy Scorpio, and if and when you decide you want to buy a 4K television to take advantage of the increased performance, obviously the console will be ready for you,” Xbox head Phil Spencer told IGN. Otherwise, you’re going to want what is being positioned as the cheaper Xbox One S instead.

So, how much is the Xbox One S? As always, it depends on what you want. A 500GB model can be had for $399 CAD, while a full 1TB goes for $449. If you want to go all-out with 2TB, then a limited launch edition version will be available “in select markets” for $499 CAD. All three models will go on sale in August 2016, and you can pre-order now.

Outside of the varying hard drive space, what your money will get you is a console that is 40 percent smaller in size and features an internal power supply. And while it won’t play games in 4K Ultra HD, that’s not an issue for Blu-ray movies and such content streamed from the likes of Netflix. Plus, if you’re someone who has a keen eye for copious amounts of colors, High Dynamic Range (HDR) support is also a part of the deal, to deliver “richer, more luminous colors in games like Gears of War 4.”

If you’re in the market for a new controller, Xbox has you covered there, too, with their new Wireless Controller. “We’ve enhanced comfort with a textured grip and introduced a sleek, streamlined design in white,” says the press release. “Added Bluetooth radio gives you easy wireless connection to your Windows 10 PCs and tablets.” Also available in August, this bad boy is $74.99 CAD — $10 more than the normal price.

Should you prefer something in the “Elite” category, a limited edition Gears of War 4 version of the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller has been developed in tandem with The Coalition and features a battle-weathered design with laser-etched claw marks, “telling the survival story of a confrontation with the Swarm.” These will be available for $249.99 CAD in early October, but are going to be very limited in quantity. Select retailers have already opened pre-orders.

Finally, Microsoft has opened up the Xbox Design Lab so that you can customize your very own controller in one of more than 8 million color variations, which consist of choices for the controller’s front, back, thumbsticks, Dpad, bumper/shoulder buttons, and ABXY buttons. A standard custom controller will run you $99.99 CAD. For $14.99 more, you can even get a laser engraving added that has your very own name, Gamertag, or special message across the bottom.

To close out, here are two (unnamed, I’m open to suggestions) designs I whipped up when I had a moment:

xboxdesignlab1 xboxdesignlab2

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 day before we left for Otakon, Nintendo held their “Summer Celebration and Media Showcase” for 2015. Those who have been following the site for a whole know that this is basically their smaller-scale Electronic Entertainment Expo showing for Canadian journalists who weren’t able to make it out to the big show in Los Angeles earlier in the summer.

Naturally, you couldn’t keep me away from an event like this. Writing about it until now, maybe (things have come up since; don’t ask), but I’ve been champing at the bit to go over what I got to play. Plus, I got to speak for a bit with Nintendo of Canada’s newest public relations representative, Andrew Collins, who you can meet in our video interview at the end of the column.

Now, without further ado…

Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash

This was admittedly not the first one I had my eye on, but it was the one with the shortest line when we got there, so I figured it was as good a place to start as any.

At this point, there’s admittedly not too much to say about it. The tennis graphics and Mario characters look great in high definition, and it plays well with traditional controls (I don’t know yet if the “New Play Control” style from Mario Power Tennis for Wii will be incorporated, but we can hope). However, the game seems really early on in development, or at least minimal in what it was showing, polished as it was. Only four characters were available — Mario, Bowser, Peach, and Toad — and only one power-up is available: the growth spurt-inducing Mega Mushroom, which allows you to cover a much greater portion of the court.

That said, this small peek is giving me hope that we’ll see a tennis game that has a bit more “Mario” to it than Mario Tennis Open did. While a fine game, it felt too much like tennis featuring Mario characters, rather than a true blending of the two. The incorporation of the Mega Mushroom here gives me hope, however.

Metroid Prime: Blast Ball

Here we come to what might be the most controversial title in Nintendo’s entire E3 lineup. Up front, I’ll say that I really don’t have any ill will towards this game: I remember Metroid Prime Pinball and have heard nothing but good about it, and I also remember going eight years between Super Metroid and the double-whammy of Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion. This doesn’t worry me at all.

That said, I was really hoping that the four-player cooperative game from Metroid Prime: Federation Force would be available, but all we got was Blast Ball. That said, it was kind of fun. Sort of like a futuristic American Gladiator-styled version of hockey or soccer, wherein teams of three use their weapons (rather than hockey sticks or their feet) to knock the big glowing ball into the opposing goal. Plus, there’s room for some roughhousing against the opposing team.

Overall, it was fun, but left me wanting to take part in the main course.

Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash

Another confession: I’ve never really gotten to play Chibi Robo before. I actually have the Nintendo DS game around here somewhere, picked up at Toys R Us for a song, but never had the chance to dig in.

That said, this is my kind of thing: a platform game with a focus on using a wire of some kind as your main way of getting around. That said, it’s not quite like Bionic Commando Rearmed or Super Castlevania IV in that regard, but feels unique unto itself. Certain common elements come into play, as you use Chibi-Robo’s power cord to pull on blocks and climb over obstacles, but again, it’s not quite the same. Not in a bad way, just a different way.

I look forward to playing more when it comes out. It doesn’t seem like it’ll be too challenging, but just fun to go through — sort of like Kirby Triple Deluxe. I adored that game, so if this is anywhere near as much fun, then we’ll be in for a treat.

Yoshi’s Wooly World

Nadia and I gave this later build of Yoshi’s Woolly World another go, this time with me taking up Player 2 as the red Yoshi (my preference — still hoping for a red Yarn Yoshi amiibo).

From what we got to play, not too much was different from last year, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The combination of new tricks and skills involving the yarn aesthetic with the gameplay of Yoshi’s Island — minus the crying baby, of course, has me feeling like this may just be the first truly worthwhile sequel to Yoshi’s Island. Of course, I’ve thought that before, though in those cases the games ended up trying less to be a successor to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System classic than just trying to be Yoshi’s Island — and typically coming up a bit short.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U – Ryu

Only in a world where Super Smash Bros. is already a thing is it so easy to get to play as this was. The game has already been out the better part of the year, but Super Smash Bros. for Wii U was on display with everyone available to play. Already familiar with most of the roster and returning characters anyway, I immediately went for the most curious new addition: Ryu from Street Fighter.

What I played of him was… interesting. He really feels like a combination of his Street Fighter self with the Smash Bros. style, and takes a bit of getting used to — more than one match can sufficiently provide, I’m sure. Still, my familiarity with him in his home series helped ensure that I wasn’t easily disposed of, but nor did I win the match — I just avoided getting completely throttled.

Call me intrigued. I definitely want to play as him more, and play against him as well. For the moment, I’ve been holding back as I try to determine what the best option for my budget is with all this new content — buying it piecemeal as I go along, or just saving up and buying the bundles. Decisions, decisions…

Of course, seeing as I like Ken a lot more than Ryu, I’d have gotten him Day 1 had he been an option.

Super Mario Maker

I came back to this one a few times, though unlike last year, I didn’t bother trying to make a level. Oh no, there will be time for that… time I fully intend to take advantage of to craft a masterpiece.

Ahem. That said, I did play a few of the built-in levels included in the demo. One which particularly fascinated me was a stage I had seen someone else try — and fail — to complete. It’s basically simply running straight for the goal and avoiding enemies with only just enough time to succeed. If you’re off by the slightest margin, you die.

I gave it a shot… and failed. This level was a Super Mario World-styled creation, complete with the moving “H” finish line tape at the end. However, unlike the original game, merely crossing the finish line isn’t good enough; you must break the tape, which is a little trickier to pull off.

I stuck to it, and by Goomba, I did it. Took me a couple of tries, but I was apparently the first one to succeed at it that day. Having to repeat the performance, I was able to do it again… eventually. I had more hits than misses, but at least I was still able to pull it off for the small crowd who wanted to see it done.

If I’m not mistaken, Super Mario Maker is the first game on this list to be released, with September 11th marked on the calendar. I, for one, cannot wait.

Star Fox Zero

As eager as I am for Super Mario Maker, there’s no denying which game was the Star of the show. The line was long, and the demo wasn’t any shorter, but the time came to stick it out and ensure that at least one barrel roll would be done at my hands before leaving that day.

And it wasn’t as easy as that! Well, the barrel roll might have been, but Star Fox fans, take note: this is not the Star Fox you grew up with, at least from a control standpoint. The basics are all there, but just about the entire controller shy of the directional stick has been remapped. I think the R trigger is your gun, and A converts your Arwing to robot mode (fun, that). But a lot of functions, such as turning and somersaulting and boosting and slowing down, are now mapped to the right analog stick. It’s not bad once you get used to it, but going in blind can leave you a little disoriented.

In fact, after flying through what was basically a thematic remake of the first level of Star Fox 64, I was still figuring things out. I ended up losing at the final boss of the area when — in all the hype surrounding the game — I’d forgotten one of the new features: using the GamePad screen to aim. Whoops.

All told, it was a blast, and I wish I could have played more (there was a neat space station stage to play as well). It wasn’t especially difficult, at least thanks to my veteran Star Fox experience, but I think they may be toughening things up this time around as well. For instance (and my memory may be off here), but previous installments would allow you to glide along the surface of the planet with no problems, whereas here I seemed to take damage. Maybe that’s just a mechanic to help differentiate the walker mode, but either way, it’s one more reason that this is not just the same old Star Fox.

The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes

It’s The Legend of Zelda, and you know what? It really is rad.

I wasn’t expecting too much here that I hadn’t experienced before with The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition and Four Swords Adventures (solo, that one), but I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun I had with it. I always enjoyed those previous four-player games, though I didn’t really get to play them with any more than one other player, so the loss of one count here didn’t really phase me. My wife, Nadia, took up a second Nintendo 3DS while Ian Flynn hopped on a third, and we chose unique outfits and got down to business.

Besides the stat-boosting outfits, the big difference maker is the whole totem pole mechanic. It doesn’t look like much in the videos, but in practice, it’s fun as you all have to work together — and occasionally swallow your pride if you end up stuck in the middle during a fight that requires a three-Link stack. Plus, you’re all sharing the same set of hearts this time, so watching out for one-another is more essential than ever.

Thankfully, with the wireless capabilities of the Nintendo 3DS (and freakin’ online), maybe I’ll finally get to experience one of these games the way they were meant to be experienced.

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam

Sadly, my time here was all too brief.

Well, not too brief, I suppose. I got to partake in the Toad hunt which teaches you different tricks that Mario, Luigi, and Paper Mario can do, and I got to engage in a boss battle against Peter Piranha as well. Fun stuff, but fairly typical for Mario & Luigi fare — which is of course already excellent.

Where I had to put things down was during the most unique part, the Papercraft Mario segment. Here, you have to tap the screen to a beat to charge up your army of Toads who will carry your folded Mariozord around the battlefield, charging into other foes and squashing them. Unfortunately, a leaky faucet has more rhythm than I do, so I never got past the charging stage. I’m certain I can do it in time, but time is not a luxury I had at that moment as I tried to squeeze in what I could between interviewing Mr. Collins and being shooed out the door.

On the bright side? At least the mechanics seem more solid than Paper Mario: Sticker Star, and it looks like the fun and personality may be back, too! With the team behind Mario & Luigi at the helm, I’m sure the Paper Mario crew are in good hands.

Yo Kai Watch

This was the one game I didn’t get to play. Well, this and Splatoon, but since I’ve already played and reviewed the latter, it was a deliberate choice.

Chat with Andrew Collins

Towards the end of the event, I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Andrew Collins, who is now serving the role previously filled by Mr. Matt Ryan at Nintendo of Canada. We talked about a variety of things, most of which involve the games which were on display at the event. Even though things were wrapping up, there was still a lot of noise pollution going on, so my apologies if everything doesn’t come through clearly. With that in mind, here are some highlights:

  • One needs to Metroid Prime: Blast Ball to truly appreciate it.
  • Adds that just because Metroid Prime: Federation Force is coming out next year, that doesn’t mean it’s the only version of Metroid they’re working on; likens it to the different branches of the Mario franchise, which had three very different games available on the show floor.
  • With The Legend of Zelda for Wii U delayed, rather than fill its void with another big heavy-hitter title, they’re focusing on releasing more of a variety of other titles.
  • The Yarn Yoshi amiibo bundle for Yoshi’s Woolly World is coming out in North America.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes will feature a single-player mode (involving the “rental” of two paper doll characters), but they’re keeping hush on most of the details for now.
  • Yo Kai Watch is a phenomenon in Japan; explains its concept of spirits found in everyday life. “Nice and family-oriented.”
  • The Yo Kai Watch TV show is coming over as well; details of Canadian airing are yet to be revealed.

And that’s it for this year’s event! Overall, I came away quite pleased with what was on display, and look forward to trying more of each of these titles in the future.

There will no doubt be more information and events to come as we progress through the year and into the holiday season, and I’ll bring you the latest News from the North as it happens!

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The buzz in the States for a couple of days now has been that if you go to Best Buy and pre-order two select titles (one of which needs to be Mario Maker), they will receive a special limited edition seven-button Mario Maker set for free when the game comes out:

bb7buttonset

Best Buy Canada had kept mum on the subject and wouldn’t respond to requests for comment, but a press release from Nintendo of Canada has revealed that the deal is valid here in Canada as well. The full list of eligible games won’t be revealed until June 7th and you have to order online (while quantities last), but you can find out which games qualify by checking this link.

smb30thpinThis of course comes in addition to the previously announced Nintendo Access Mario Maker events, wherein you can go to Best Buy to try out the game and, while supplies last, get a special Super Mario Bros. 30th anniversary pin, as seen at right. The full list of locations, dates, and times can be seen here.

Finally, there’s… well, pretty much everything else Nintendo has planned for the week beginning tomorrow. I’m still shaking off whatever bug bit me last night, so I hope it’s okay with everyone if I just paste Nintendo of Canada’s press release right here as it was presented to me.

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Nintendo’s E3 Events Bring the Show to You – Get the Schedule

                                                

Nintendo will showcase its 2015 and select 2016 software lineup this year at E3 and will kick off the video game trade show with insider access events that extend to fans following the show from afar. Our play-by-play reference guide below lets you track Nintendo’s live E3 coverage, the thrilling return of the Nintendo World Championships and special game sampling events, so you won’t miss a minute of the fun. We will continue to share information on future games and initiatives in the months ahead.

 

Sunday, June 14

 

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS & Wii U – New Content Approaching! 6.14.2015:

Tune in to a special Super Smash Bros. video presentation at 7:40 a.m. PT at http://e3.nintendo.com. Masahiro Sakurai will detail content arriving in the new update for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS & Wii U.

 

Nintendo World Championships 2015 Pre-Show:

A special installment of Nintendo Treehouse: Live will preview all the action of the Nintendo World Championships 2015. The show runs approximately 2:25-3 p.m. PT on http://e3.nintendo.com.


Nintendo World Championships 2015:

For the first time in 25 years, a Nintendo World Champion will rise. Eight winners from regional qualifying events will meet eight invited competitors at L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles for a multi-round Nintendo game competition, but only one will be crowned the 2015 Nintendo World Champion. Tune in to the main event 3-6:30 p.m. PT on YouTube, Twitch and at http://e3.nintendo.com. Listen in for additional announcements between matches. Los Angeles-area fans hoping to attend the competition can visit http://e3.nintendo.com for details about free tickets.

 

Tuesday, June 16

 

Nintendo Digital Event:

Get Nintendo news about upcoming games and experiences straight from the source via the Nintendo Digital Event online video program. Tune in to http://e3.nintendo.com at 9 a.m. PT for the live coverage.

 

Nintendo Treehouse: Live @ E3:

Watch Nintendo Treehouse staff live from the E3 show floor as they deliver in-depth coverage of Nintendo’s lineup, including live game play and appearances by Nintendo developers. This interactive show kicks off immediately following the Digital Event live stream at http://e3.nintendo.com and is scheduled to run daily throughout the show.

 

Wednesday, June 17

 

Nintendo Access: Mario Maker at Best Buy:

In celebration of the upcoming Mario Maker game for the Wii U, Nintendo and Best Buy have partnered to bring fans hands-on sampling events at 23 locations across Canada. Drop by 4-9 p.m. local time to play through levels in a variety of Super Mario Bros. styles. Everyone who plays the game will receive a button commemorating the 30th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. (while supplies last).

 

Also, when fans pre-order Mario Maker along with one other Nintendo title from a select list, they’ll receive a free limited edition Mario Maker seven button set. Check Nintendo.ca on June 17th for qualifying games. The seven button set will be included in the same shipment as Mario Maker. Offer available online only, while quantities last. 

 

Nintendo Treehouse: Live @ E3:

The second day of the Nintendo Treehouse: Live broadcast featuring more games and content not shown in our E3 booth is scheduled to begin at 9:55 a.m. PT. Watch live at http://e3.nintendo.com.

 

Thursday, June 18

 

Nintendo Treehouse: Live @ E3:

The final day of the show kicks off at 9:55 a.m. PT. Staff from Nintendo’s Treehouse will be joined by Nintendo game developers for last looks at our E3 lineup. Visit http://e3.nintendo.com to watch live, and then relive Nintendo’s E3 2015 show highlights.

 

Saturday, June 20

 

Nintendo Access: Mario Maker at Best Buy:

The second hands-on event for Mario Maker runs at participating Best Buy locations noon-5 p.m. local time. The Commemorative button offer applies, while supplies last.  Find a location near you at Nintendo.ca

 

Fans can follow all of Nintendo’s activities on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope and Vine. For more information about Nintendo at E3 2015, visit http://e3.nintendo.com.

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Following Nintendo’s previous announcement that the new Mario Maker for Wii U would be available to try out at Best Buy during the week of the 2015 Electronic Entertainment Expo, they have now announced which locations will be participating in the event.

Address City Province Postal Code
5111 Northland Dr NW Calgary AB T2L 2J8
G8 – 8180 11th St SE Calgary AB T2H 3B5
13924 – 137th Ave NW Edmonton AB T5L 5H1
9931 – 19th Ave NW Edmonton AB T6N 1M4
32900 South Fraser Way Abbotsford BC V2S 5A1
4805 Kinsgway Burnaby BC V5H 4T6
2220 Cambie St Vancouver BC V5T 2T7
#10 – 1580 Regent Ave W Winnipeg MB R2C 2Y9
11 Washmill Lake Crt Halifax NS B3S 0A2
100 Mapleview Dr E, Unit 2 Barrie ON L4N 0L1
745 Kanata Ave Kanata ON K2T 1H9
770 Gardiners Rd Kingston ON K7M 3X9
215 Fairway Rd S Kitchener ON N2C 1X2
1080 Wellington Rd S London ON N6E 1M2
#1 – 6075 Mavis Rd Mississauga ON L5R 4G6
480 Progress Ave Scarborough ON M1P 5J1
65 Dundas St W Toronto ON M5G 2C3
7850 Weston Rd Vaughan ON L4L 4M9
401 Blvd. Des. Galeries Quebec City PQ G2K 1N4
790 Montee des Pionniers Lachenaie QC J6V 1N9
460 Rue St Catherine O Montreal QC H3B 1A6
8871 De L’Acadie Blvd Montreal QC H4N 3K1
6728 Trans-Canada Hwy Pointe-Claire QC H9R 5J2

Each Nintendo Access will take place from 4pm to 9pm on June 17 and again on June 20 from 12pm to 5pm, all in local time. Plus, while supplies last, you’ll receive a Super Mario Bros. 30th Anniversary button just for playing.

Finally, if you’re interested in my impressions from playing the game after last year’s E3, you can find those here

Source: Nintendo

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Sorry about the lateness on this one, but in case you missed it, Nintendo presented a “Nintendo Direct Micro” yesterday which brought a bunch of interesting news as we head into this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo. Check it out:

The highlights from the press release include a new Chibi Robo game for Nintendo 3DS called Chibi-Robo!: Zip Lash, which will have a bundle with a Chibi-Robo amiibo figure that can transform the character into Super Chibi-Robo in certain stages and help level the character up. Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure is coming to Nintendo 3DS on June 11, and features a combination of classic Dr. Mario and Dr. Luigi modes, as well as the new titular “Miracle Cure” which can clear away large swaths of viruses and pills all at once.

Late this year, Nintendo 3DS owners can get their hands on LBX: Little Battlers eXperience on August 21 and Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon this winter. Meanwhile, Bravely Second End Layer is officially confirmed for a North American release, though that won’t be until 2016.

As an aside, I’m still working on my review of Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition, but that hasn’t stopped Nintendo from releasing free additional content for it. “In addition to two extra free unlockable worlds in both the Puzzle & Dragons Z and Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition games, players can now start enjoying free weekly online distributions exclusively for Puzzle & Dragons Z.”

Oh, and on that note, while I’m still doing my review, the Tiny Girl Tiny Games version is up now. Better still? You can win a copy if you enter before June 6!

Moving on to Wii U, but not entirely away from Nintendo 3DS: Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games is coming in August 2016! Soccer and Table Tennis are in the Nintendo 3DS version, whereas Soccer, Rugby, and Beach Volleyball are on Wii U. There’s also a Golf event in one of them, along with new characters. The best part, in my opinion, is that they’re doing another Nintendo 3DS one after skipping out on that version for Sochi. In fact, that mode is why I tend to prefer the portable versions over their console big brothers.

On the full Wii U front, Nintendo showed off the above trailer for Bandai Namco’s Project Treasure and announced that Art Academy: Home Studio will be coming to the Nintendo eShop on June 25. Perhaps more exciting for the here and now, however, is the first free downloadable content for Splatoon: the new Port Mackeral map, the opening of Ranked Battle mode, and the N-Zap ’85 weapon, seen at the top of this article.

For those too young to remember, the N-Zap ’85 is based on the Zapper light gun peripheral which came with many a Nintendo Entertainment System upon its release in the United States in 1985. According to the Splatoon website, “The N-Zap 85 is a shooter with excellent ink efficiency and rapid-fire capability. Its attack power isn’t all that, but it’s fabulous at quickly charging up the Echolocator special weapon. Combined with Splat Bombs, this set caters to fighters who like to cover a lot of ground in battle.”

If it’s of any interest to you, the 2015 Nintendo World Championships kick off at 3pm PT on Sunday, June 14, but there will be pre-show broadcasts prior to the event. Also, while the full roster of games won’t be made known until showtime, “hopeful contestants can prepare to compete in the original The Legend of Zelda, as well as a mix of other Nintendo games.”

Finally, Nintendo is expanding its social media presence, and you can follow them on both Periscope and Snapchat under the username @NintendoAmerica, where they will have behind-the-scenes content before and during the Electronic Entertainment Expo, which runs from June 16 to June 18.

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A couple of weeks ago, Nintendo proudly announced their plans for the 2015 Electronic Entertainment Expo, and headlining the announcement — in both Canada and the United States alike — was the return of the Nintendo World Championships after 25 years.

At the time, details were very sparse about the competition, particularly with regards to where the competitions would be held. About a week or so later, Nintendo revealed the information on their E3 website, noting that there would be eight cities where hopefuls could participate on May 30 for a chance to head to the finals at E3.

I hope you didn’t get your hopes up about entering. All eight cities are in the United States, with two of them being in California, so unless you’re taking a trip this weekend, you’re officially out of the running. (Note: I reached out to Nintendo of Canada previously to see if maybe there was to be Canadian participation, but with no reply by this point, it’s pretty doubtful.)

It’s a small world, after all, and one with no room for Canada, apparently.

This honestly stinks. More than that, this kind of hurts. Participating in the Nintendo World Championships has no doubt been a dream for many a Nintendo fan, one long out of reach by the passage of time and — let’s face it, even when they were happening, most of our parents were probably not going to make the trip necessary to reach one of the locations in which the qualifying rounds were being held. Of course, last time was arguably significantly easier, too — before, there were 30 locations, so that at least made things a little bit more feasible.

Honestly, I get it, at least to a degree — yes, a true “world” championship is probably not happening any time soon, especially on such short notice. But having the event headline your Canadian press release with no further information or indication that the entire Great White North is effectively persona non grata? That’s just needlessly getting everyone’s hopes up, and it stings. Of course, it also stinks for many a fan in the United States — really, if anything, they might have been able to salvage it with the initial announcement by saying “eight cities will be chosen; will yours be one?” or something that kind of lays it out on the line and allows expectations to be tempered while keeping the specific locations under wraps and maintaining hope.

So now, instead of looking forward to the event, there are probably more disappointed and upset fans than happy ones, and rightfully so.

In truth, the way things have been handled — from the abrupt announcement just over a month before the big show to holding the qualifying rounds on a single day of a single weekend in a paltry number of cities — just makes the whole thing appear rather rushed and slapdash. After 25 years, the fans deserve better and the event deserves better.

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For those who might be wondering, I don’t think Nintendo of America has some sort of vendetta against Canada (I’m sure there are some out there convinced otherwise after this). I can’t imagine a company that would put together the Super Smash Club just for us, or have their President and Chief Operating Officer announce it in the way that they did would do so.

Instead, it just feels like they came up with the idea far too late to make it all that it could be, and all that it should be. I plan to watch as the event unfolds, and I hope they still manage to do something special for it, but more than that? I hope that they decide to do it again, and this time give the world the Nintendo championships everyone truly deserves.

And maybe then they’ll let the entire world of Nintendo fans in on it.

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Nintendo has pulled back the curtain on their plans for this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, as amusingly revealed in the following video:

Everything kicks off on Sunday, June 16 in Los Angeles with the return of the Nintendo World Championships. It’s been 25 long years since the last one, but details are still to come on how to enter.

Following that is the Nintendo Digital Event, their online press conference that will begin at 9am PT on Tuesday, June 16. What surprise announcements await? We’ll have to tune in and see!

From there, it’s the return of “Nintendo Treehouse: Live @ E3”, which features developer interviews and coverage of Nintendo products directly from the show floor. More details about the specific times the unscripted live streams will take place are to be announced closer to E3.

Finally, Nintendo Access this year is all about Mario Maker at Best Buy (well, Super Smash Bros. is already out — what can you do?). For two days during the week of E3, participating Best Buy stores in Canada and the United States will have the upcoming Wii U title available for fans to try out (If it helps, I liked what I played of it). “The game lets players have fun with friends as they enjoy playing through levels in a variety of Super Mario Bros. styles.”

Further details… are available right now! The events will take place on Wednesday, June 17 from 4pm to 9pm and again on Saturday, June 20 from noon until 5pm (all times local). Better still, those who attend will receive a “sweet” 30th anniversary Super Mario Bros. pin… while supplies last, naturally.

For further updates, you can check back here or go straight to the source at http://e3.nintendo.com/.

Oh, and Reggie Fils-Aime fired Bill Trinen when he found a kid who can speak Japanese. Bill joined the company back in the 90’s when he helped work on The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and has been frequently seen at Shigeru Miyamoto’s side ever since. We’ll miss you, Bill.

Update: Reggie has apparently rehired Trinen, presumably after someone clued him in to child labor laws. Maybe next time, Reggie.

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Nintendo recently (well, sort of– long story) held an event for local Canadian outlets to try out some of the new and upcoming games which were shown off earlier this summer at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. As always, Mario’s Hat was there, and while I didn’t get to try out everything on offer, I did get to sample some of the juicier bits enough to provide some impressions.

Wii U

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Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Naturally, this was the big one for people to gravitate to, with two dedicated stations for playing it (the next-closest thing was three stations on which a number of demos were loaded). Better still, this opportunity presented an option not available at Best Buy: GameCube controllers, courtesy of the recently-announced adapter. The controllers themselves had seen better days, but they still did the job, as they felt more natural than my previous effort with the Wii U GamePad.

Also beneficial was the opportunity to go more than one round. The game feels closer to a midway point between Super Smash Bros. Melee and Brawl in terms of speed and competitiveness, and Mega Man is definitely going to take some getting used to. Despite the feeling that he’d fit me like a glove after watching him in videos, it’s proving to be a tight glove; he fits, but I still need more time to break him in, as some of his moves feel a bit more nuanced than I was expecting, mostly as a matter of timing.

Having heard how well he performed at the San Diego Comic-Con’s tournament, I gave Bowser a try next, and he seemed very, very slow to me; not as much in his basic movements, but more in his ability to perform special moves. But then, I’ve never been a big Bowser player, so that probably doesn’t help matters much.

I also tried Little Mac, but much like Mega Man, I think I’m going to need to spend more time with him before I really feel comfortable using him. I’m not sure if it’s me, or just a pattern among new challengers.

Finally, I went to my mainstay: Mario. Aside from having to deal with F.L.U.D.D. again (I’m eager to see what customization can do for me there), it was like coming home again. Much as I was eager to try new characters, I should probably have gone straight to Mario in order to form an opinion. Once we clicked again, things went a bit better for us. I didn’t always win, but I did feel like things were where they needed to be, and they felt good.

Some of the stages were pretty good, too. My favorite so far has to be the Punch-Out!! stage, though Dr. Wily’s castle, the Battlefield, the Fire Emblem arena, and others have felt pretty solid.

With a game containing as much content as this one, and with as little as what was available to us here, it’s hard to form a very complete opinion overall. Still, I have a very good feeling about this one. I don’t know if it will please the hardcore Melee fans, but whereas the Best Buy experience left me uncertain, I now fully and eagerly anticipate good times ahead.

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Hyrule Warriors

Have you ever played a game from The Legend of Zelda series, gotten a brand-new powered-up sword, and just wanted swathes of enemies to come after you all at once so you could simply tear them down with one mighty, enormous sword swing? It’s a feeling I’ve had all too often, and one that often feels like it goes unfulfilled.

Not so in Hyrule Warriors. Though no new sword power-up was required, it nonetheless provided that most desired sensation as I tore through huge platoons of enemy Bokoblins, sending them flying and falling left and right.

The demo gave a good sense of what to expect from the gameplay, offering three playable characters to choose from (Link, Zelda, and Midna), and one battlefield to run around on. Several objectives come up on the field, as you try to secure keeps and obtain items, such as the bombs which are hidden in a nearby cave (and which anyone seems to be able to use, throwing a volley with each press of the button). I only got to use Link and Midna, and while Link is great for cutting through enemies, Midna just manages to plow through them in the most joyful of ways. The end result is by and large the same, but the joys of getting there tend to differ.

It’s no secret that the ever-increasing focus on puzzles in Zelda have left me weary, and that I much prefer the action-oriented aspects of the series. Fortunately, Hyrule Warriors looks to be delivering on that in a big way (while still retaining some exploration and discovery elements) when it comes out at the end of September. At the moment, I think it’s the game on this list I’m most looking forward to– at least, that isn’t named “Super Smash Bros.,” and even that’s iffy at the moment.

All this, and I’ve yet to even touch the multiplayer.

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Bayonetta 1 and 2

I’ve never played Bayonetta. Not for any particular reason (not outside of “time” and “money,” anyway), it just never happened. So when I got to the carefully-positioned kiosk set away from all the others to have a look-see, I was presented with the question: “Bayonetta 1 or 2?”

I asked the difference, and was informed that the first game had a greater emphasis on exploration, whereas the sequel focused more on action. Well heck, I was on a loosely-defined sense of a schedule, so I decided to go for quick-n-satisfying action and leave exploration for when I could sit down with it.

That said, Bayonetta 2 is just so crazy and off the wall… I loved it. I can’t even begin to describe all the craziness here, though one recurring moment that sticks out in my mind is when I’d fight a foe, a meat grinder (or something) would pop up out of the ground, and as they tried to resist the pull of its conveyor belt, I’d kick them in– blood and bits strewn everywhere, though I’m not sure I’d describe it as exceptionally detailed gore, either.

Not for kids or the faint of heart, but very over the top, fluid, and fun. My kind of game, and it kind of reminds me of some of my favorite elements from Mortal Kombat, too.

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Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Aside from how any slight movement of the Wii U GamePad would adjust the camera, the Captain Toad levels in Super Mario 3D World were some of my favorite parts of the game, providing a fun mini-game-esque diversion from the main quest which still benefited you greatly if you were to succeed. The big question, however, is “can this work as a full-price retail game?”

The jury is still out on that one, though from what I could tell, the camera didn’t seem as sensitive to movement here, so that’s a plus. In any case, the puzzles herein seemed to have a greater level of depth as opposed to those seen in the full 3D Mario adventure. The more I see of it, though, and having played it in person, I’m really looking forward to the final game. It feels like at the right price, it might not win “Game of the Year,” but could nonetheless be a potential sleeper hit for Nintendo.

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Yoshi’s Woolly World

While Yoshi’s New Island was not by any means a poor game, it did feel a bit lacking– particularly as a fan of the original Yoshi’s Island, which the New installment did excruciatingly little to break away from. Simply put, it was like Yoshi’s Island‘s equivalent of Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels in terms of series progression (though clearly not in difficulty).

But from what I got to play, the spark I felt was lacking in Yoshi’s New Island felt like it was present in Yoshi’s Wooly World. It’s too soon to say for sure, but adding some of the ideas and aesthetic appeal from Kirby’s Epic Yarn to Yoshi’s world felt like it was the right progression for both. Included in that is the option for two-player action, which I engaged in with my wife, and which we both enjoyed.

Yoshi’s Story aside, it seems like follow-ups have tried to be like the original, and it’s worked to their detriment. Yoshi’s Wooly World, on the other hand, seems to break away from Yoshi’s Island‘s most iconic feature– the visual style and aesthetic– and grows from there. Hopefully it will end up proving to be the true sequel we’ve waited so long for.

Oh, and there’s no Baby Mario– that’s a big plus right there.

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Mario Maker

Below, you’re going to notice that I didn’t get to play several games at the event for different reasons, mostly being a matter of priority versus time, but also because some of them didn’t quite feel right to me in the hustle-n-bustle environment they were in.

I thought Mario Maker would be one of those games I’d rather just sit down with and just play around with until I hit my stride, but to my surprise, just watching others play it made me want to play it. Seeing how others were setting up blocks, enemies, and obstacles got the wheels turning in my own head, formulating my own ideas I just had to try myself.

That’s a surprising part of the appeal of Mario Maker, it turns out– it can draw a bit of a crowd, and spectators are all likely to have their own ideas of what should be in the game, or will wonder just what cockamamie design you’re trying to implement. And doing so is fun, too, be it as a spectator or as you’re designing the level yourself. The interface is rather simple, and you can perform on-the-fly testing as often as you need before turning your creation loose.

It’s like art meets game design, and just feels a lot more fun than your run-of-the-mill level editors that you find in other games. Level editors have been in Nintendo games for years, dating back to the likes of Excitebike and Wrecking Crew, but I can’t remember a time when they’ve felt as fun as this. Heck, one would think a Mega Man fan such as myself would leap at the opportunity to create my own levels in Capcom’s 2006 game Mega Man Powered Up for the PlayStation Portable, but I don’t think I ever got around to designing a single board. But I can’t wait to get more time with Mario Maker.

By the sound of things, we’ve only seen the tip of what the full game will offer in terms of design options, too. Early 2015 can’t get here quickly enough.

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Kirby and the Rainbow Curse

Much to my regret, chagrin, and other words indicating displeasure, I never got to play the highly-regarded Nintendo DS title Kirby’s Canvas Curse, one of the earlier, more innovative, and apparently best titles in the system’s early days. Fortunately, luck has smiled upon me as a sequel has been announced for the Wii U.

From what I can gather, this title plays much the same as its predecessor, though it trades out the earlier game’s paint-like aesthetic for one made to resemble colored clay. Using the stylus, you control Kirby (who is stuck in a ball form) and draw ropes, ramps, loops, and more for him to follow to reach new places and get past his foes.

Playing it, I can see where the reputation of the original came from, and I look forward to playing more in 2015.

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Mario vs. Donkey Kong

I didn’t get to play this one due to a lack of time/the overall busyness of the event. That said, it’s yet another in the Lemmings-style of Mario vs. Donkey Kong, rather than my preference, the Donkey Kong ’94-style that launched the series. That said, it certainly looked really nice on a high-definition television, and watching some people play did make me want to snatch the GamePad away and say “no, like this!”, so maybe I should give it another go when it comes out.

Project Guard & Project Giant Robot

Unfortunately, though these two were there, I didn’t have time to try them out. Admittedly, they were kind of low on my list, perhaps due to the hints that they’re both part of the upcoming new Star Fox title that are not yet fully formed. Still, people seemed to be enjoying them, and I do wish I’d gotten to try them. Alas, it was not to be… this time.

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Another game that was on hand, but I didn’t really get to try, as the environment didn’t really feel right for it (some games feel more like something I’d rather sit down with for a while, rather than form impressions in a really busy environment). Also, no time– maybe if there was more. Still, I’d love to give it a go when it comes out on October 24th, 2014.

Nintendo 3DS

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Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS

Okay, I’m going to be up front about this: I don’t like this one as much as the Wii U version. In fact, so far, I don’t think anyone I know has.

That isn’t to say it’s bad, however; I did enjoy my second time with the game since playing it at Best Buy back in June, and I even got to play a regular match this time. Really, I believe it all comes down to one simple thing that could very well make or break this experience.

Control customization.

In a game like this, a certain sense of immersion is key. You can’t stop to think about how you’re going to do what you need to do, you have to be able to do it instinctively, reflexively at a moment’s notice. I simply was not feeling that here.

It’s a very simple thing, one which can make or break a game, but one not afforded in the demo version that I was able to tell. The way the face buttons are mapped in this demo was counter-intuitive to me, or at least to my familiarity with the GameCube controls. I was able to adjust to them somewhat, but it took a more concentrated effort, and in the heat of a battle, it’s easy enough to lose yourself as well, which can wreck things.

I can’t say for certain, but if the final version allows me to remap the buttons, I think I’ll like the game a whole lot more. As it is, I saw the game again at a separate, more recent event, and ultimately passed it over for the Wii U version (and for Hyrule Warriors).

Fortunately, director Masahiro Sakurai is one of the best in the business– especially at Nintendo– for allowing various options and customization in his games, including Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Heck, that we’re even getting the option to use GameCube controllers in the Wii U version feels like a testament to that. So I do have confidence (and fingers crossed) that he will allow us to choose what feels right for us and go from there.

Until that point, though, I have a certain reluctance about this one. I’m sure it will be good, but will it be great?

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Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

I skipped on this one for two main reasons: 1) The frantic environment of the event isn’t really the type I like to play such games in, and 2) It was coming out so soon, anyway, that I figured it would be better to focus on other things at the show while I had time. In fact, I have my review copy now, so there you go.

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Fantasy Life

I didn’t really get a chance to give this a go, but it looks interesting. Another title I’d rather sit down with and get to know more personally, rather than meet-and-greet amidst talking to people and such.

Pokémon Art Academy

Okay, I know I said I wasn’t in the mood to do this there, but the Nintendo 3DS unit housing this demo was open while I was waiting for a shot at Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS. I gave it a shot, though I didn’t draw any Pokemon— instead, I drew a Goomba, to the amusement of some others around. Not bad, but I’d need to spend more time with it, even though the primary function seems to be teaching one how to draw Pokemon.

—–

During the event, I had the opportunity to speak with Matt Ryan of Nintendo of Canada, who noted that Super Smash Bros. “will be our biggest launch this holiday,” including the October 3rd release of the Nintendo 3DS game, and that the amiibo figures would be arriving day-and-date with the as-yet unspecified release date of the Wii U version. He also pointed out that another title that was absent from the show, Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Saphire, is also expected to do quite well in November, especially with the “more serious” Pokémon fan.

On a more personal level, Ryan notes that he is really looking forward to Hyrule Warriors. “Ever since I first saw that game, the graphics looked amazing. The gameplay and the physics of it all play really well.”

“While I haven’t played a lot of Dynasty Warriors, I have played, and it’s fun and I love that over-the-top action, like taking out the hordes of enemies. Splicing in The Legend of Zelda‘s look and feel, and the realm of Hyrule and the characters like Link and Zelda– it’s awesome. It’s one of the best-looking games I’ve seen on the Wii U.”

—–

Though I didn’t get to play everything, I came away with an overall positive feeling about (and from) the games Nintendo showed off at their post-E3 event. Some I need to spend more time with, and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS does give me pause, but it’s an overall strong lineup going into the holidays and beyond, and I can’t wait to experience more of it.

A huge thanks to the folks at Nintendo of Canada for having us to the event, and for taking the time to speak with us!

Nintendo isn’t going too heavy with new releases this week, but in light of the recent happenings at E3, they are amping up the nostalgia with numerous retro releases and sales!

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Pac-Land for Wii U – If you saw the video announcement of Pac-Man as a character in the next Super Smash Bros., you might have spotted a few scenes from this game included in the background. I never knew there was an NES port of this arcade game, but that’s what we’re getting today as Pac-Man travels through town and the countryside in this side-scroller, avoiding ghosts as he seeks to return a lost fairy to her home.

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Pac-Man Collection for Wii U – It’s three times the Pac as you play through Pac-Mania, Pac-Man Arrangement, and the original Pac-Man to gobble up all the dots on the maze-like board before the ghosts get you! Or switch over to Pac-Attack for a puzzling good time as you clear rows from left to right so Pac-Man can make his move.

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Soccer for Wii U – The USA, Great Britain, France, Germany, Brazil, Japan, and Spain all compete for the winning goal as you choose your opponents’ level of skill and the length of the match.

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Double Dragon II: The Revenge for Nintendo 3DS – With his brother Jimmy now on the side of good, Billy Lee is back as the Double Dragons seek out the Shadow Warriors to avenge the death of Marion. Nine levels await as you punch, kick, knee, and uppercut your way through gangs of thuggish teenagers, mutants, and ninjas. Hmm, it feels like they’re missing one more thing there… oh well.

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AiRace Xeno for Nintendo 3DS – The sequel to AiRace Speed (now on sale; see below) allows you to take control of one of three different futuristic jets as you race your way through nine adrenaline-fueled tracks.

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Van Helsing sniper Zx100 for Nintendo 3DS – Hunt vampires arcade-style with the help of the Nintendo 3DS’s gyroscope for motion-controlled aiming.

Nintendo eShop Sales

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Celebrate E3 with Featured Franchise Favorites for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS – Until 8:59am PT on Monday, June 16th, you can save up to 30 percent on top franchises being featured at E3, including Super Mario Bros., Sonic the Hedgehog, The Legend of Zelda, LEGO, Yoshi, and Pac-Man, including the two titles released today (see above)!

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Nicalis game sale for Nintendo 3DS – To celebrate the recent release of 1001 Spikes, select Nicalis games in the Nintendo 3DS eShop have been discounted until 9am PT on June 26th, including Ikachan, Cave Story 3D, NightSky, and VVVVVV.

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Inazuma Eleven for Nintendo 3DS – Until 9am PT on July 13th, this game is 50 percent off.

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Soccer Up 3D for Nintendo 3DS – Until 9am PT on July 16th, this game is marked down to $2.99.

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Resident Evil Revelations for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U – Until 9am PT on July 19th, this title will be 50 percent off.

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QubicGames game sale for Nintendo 3DS – Until 9am PT on July 2nd, select QubicGames games in the Nintendo 3DS eShop have been discounted until 9am PT on June 26th, including 2 Fast 4 Gnomz and AiRace Speed.

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

Nintendo has issued a reminder about their E3 programming that we reported here last month, but unlike before, there are now times and other details for tuning in, some of which is detailed in this handy, helpful graphic:

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Later today, June 10th, you’ll be able to tune in tp http://e3.nintendo.com/ at 9am PST/12pm EST for the Nintendo Digital Event, the new form of their usual press conference that will detail what we can expect from the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS throughout 2014 and beyond.

Immediately following that is “Nintendo Minute: Live @ E3,” a recap with even more information. Presumably, this will be on their website as well.

The Super Smash Bros. Invitational tournament will take place later in the day at 4pm PST/7pm EST, and you can tune in to that on Nintendo’s own TwitchTV channel.

Finally, during all hours of E3 that are not being occupied by the tournament, you can tune in to that same channel for “Nintendo Treehouse: Live @ E3,” where “members of Nintendo’s Treehouse will be live-streaming exclusive game demos from the Nintendo booth on the show floor. In addition to demos, Nintendo will deliver the latest game reveals, plus visits from developers like Shigeru Miyamoto.” It’s an unscripted three-day event that will air from June 10th through the 12th, “providing an insider’s look at the Nintendo experience at E3, filled with surprises and unexpected moments.”

Finally, for those specifically interested in something a little more localized, don’t forget about the Super Smash Bros. Smash-Fest demo event at Best Buy stores across Canada. Just click the link to see if there’s one near you that will be participating on Wednesday or Saturday.

Just under one month ago, Nintendo revealed its plans for E3: A “Digital Event” in place of their press conferences from previous years, ongoing live web coverage via Nintendo Treehouse: Live @ E3, a Super Smash Bros. Invitational tournament, and following up on last year’s Nintendo E3 Experience at Best Buy, the eagerly-anticipated Super Smash Bros. Smash-Fest @ Best Buy.

Upon the announcement of the latter, no dates, times, or locations were yet announced, but that all changes today as Nintendo has released the information. Players will have the opportunity to get their hands on the very same demo of Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U that will be seen at E3 on Wednesday, June 11th from 4pm to 9pm and again on Saturday, June 14th from 12pm to 5pm, local time.

“The four-player demo of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U lets players battle it out against one another using their favourite characters from fan-favourite video game franchises like Pokémon, Super Mario Bros., Mega Man, Sonic the Hedgehog, and The Legend of Zelda,” states the press release.

In addition to getting to play the game early, the first 25 attendees in line each day will score a rare gold Super Smash Bros. collectible coin. “There will also be lots of great deals in store and online, so be sure to check them out while at the event.” Plus, plenty of opportunities for StreetPassing!

The list of participating Best Buys is as follows, and appears to be different than those which held the event last year. You can also find the list by visiting Best Buy’s website, which may or may not be updated before the event.

June 11:

 

Province City Store Name Address Time
QC Quebec Quebec City 5401 Boulevard des Galaries 4-9pm
NS Halifax Halifax 11 Washmill Lake Drive 4-9pm
ON Mississauga Mississauga 1-6075 Mavis Rd 4-9pm
AB Edmonton Edmonton South 9931-19th Ave NW 4-9pm
ON Scarborough Scarborough 480 Progress Ave 4-9pm
AB Calgary Deerfoot Meadows 300-8180 11th st SE 4-9pm
MB Winnipeg Winnipeg 10-1580 Regent Ave W 4-9pm
AB Edmonton Edmonton North 13924-137th Ave NW 4-9pm
BC Vancouver Cambie 2220 Cambie St 4-9pm
ON Barrie Barrie 100 Mapleview Dr 4-9pm
ON Brampton Brampton 451-25 Peel Centre Dr 4-9pm
BC Surrey Surrey 2153-10153 King George Hwy 4-9pm
QC Montreal Marche Central 8871 De L’Acadie Blvd 4-9pm
ON Kingston Kingston 770 Gardiners Rd 4-9pm
QC Anjou Anjou 7200 Blvd des Roseries 4-9pm
QC Lasalle Lasalle 7077 Boul Newman 4-9pm
QC Pointe-Claire Pointe-Claire 6815 Trans-Canada Hwy 4-9pm
SK Saskatoon Saskatoon 20A-3310 8th St E 4-9pm
ON Kanata Kanata 745 Kanata Ave 4-9pm
ON Toronto Bay and Dundas 65 Dundas St W 4-9pm
ON London London 1080 Wellington Rd 4-9pm
BC Burnaby Metrotown 4805 Kingsway 4-9pm

 

 June 14:

 

Province City Store Name Address Time
QC Quebec Quebec City 5401 Boulevard des Galaries 12-5PM
NS Halifax Halifax 11 Washmill Lake Drive 12-5PM
ON Mississauga Mississauga 1-6075 Mavis Rd 12-5PM
AB Edmonton Edmonton South 9931-19th Ave NW 12-5PM
ON Scarborough Scarborough 480 Progress Ave 12-5PM
AB Calgary Deerfoot Meadows 300-8180 11th st SE 12-5PM
MB Winnipeg Winnipeg 10-1580 Regent Ave W 12-5PM
AB Edmonton Edmonton North 13924-137th Ave NW 12-5PM
BC Vancouver Cambie 2220 Cambie St 12-5PM
ON Barrie Barrie 100 Mapleview Dr 12-5PM
ON Brampton Brampton 451-25 Peel Centre Dr 12-5PM
BC Surrey Surrey 2153-10153 King George Hwy 12-5PM
QC Montreal Marche Central 8871 De L’Acadie Blvd 12-5PM
ON Kingston Kingston 770 Gardiners Rd 12-5PM
QC Anjou Anjou 7200 Blvd des Roseries 12-5PM
QC Lasalle Lasalle 7077 Boul Newman 12-5PM
QC Pointe-Claire Pointe-Claire 6815 Trans-Canada Hwy 12-5PM
SK Saskatoon Saskatoon 20A-3310 8th St E 12-5PM
ON Kanata Kanata 745 Kanata Ave 12-5PM
ON Toronto Bay and Dundas 65 Dundas St W 12-5PM
ON London London 1080 Wellington Rd 12-5PM
BC Burnaby Metrotown 4805 Kingsway 12-5PM

 

Last year, Nintendo did the unthinkable– twice over. Not only did they not host a press conference at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, but they invited fans around the United States and Canada to get in on the action with exclusive E3 demos at their local Best Buy.

This year, they’re not only repeating those successful experiments, but doubling down with some new events as well.

“We demonstrated last year that we are never afraid to reinvent a proven tactic or to break completely new ground if we believe it will provide the best experience for our fans, followers and partners,” said Nintendo of America’s president and chief operating officer, Reggie Fils-Aime. “So, whether you’re attending E3 in person or joining online, there’s an amazing lineup of games, experiences and events coming your way.”

To that end, four different experiences will be united under the banner of “Play Nintendo” for E3 2014.

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Following on the success of last year’s special E3 Nintendo Direct, the company is building on that approach with what they call the “Nintendo Digital Event.” Described as “a new kind of video program that will reveal and provide further detail about the gaming experiences on the way for Nintendo platforms in 2014 and beyond,” the Nintendo Digital Event will air at 9am PT on Tuesday, June 10th.

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The news doesn’t stop there, however. At E3 2014, the “Treehouse”– Nintendo of America’s Product Development department– will offer fans a deeper look at Nintendo’s biggest titles from the expo. Live and unscripted from Nintendo’s E3 booth, this new program will be streamed live during all the hours of the show with in-depth looks at their various game demos.

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Besides Mario Kart 8, which will already be released by the time E3 rolls around, the biggest title on the mind of many a Nintendo fan is Super Smash Bros. To commemorate the 2014 arrival of the new Nintendo 3DS and Wii U installments of the series, Nintendo is inviting 16 of the most skilled Super Smash Bros. players around to the NOKIA Theatre in Los Angeles for a Wii U Super Smash Bros. tournament. The tournament will be streamed live online, showing new characters clashing with existing favourites for the first time.

“More important than declaring a winner, however, this event is a celebration of all things Super Smash Bros., and a great way for new and veteran fans to take part in a tribute to this legendary franchise.”

Information regarding the 16 competitors, the identities of the announcers, and how the tournament can be viewed in person and via webcast is still to come.

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What could be better than watching the best of the best square off in the Super Smash Bros. arena? Playing it yourself, of course, and Nintendo is following up on last year’s successful Best Buy demos by letting fans get their hands on Super Smash Bros. on Wii U for the first time.

Incidentally, if they’re running with just the one game this year, hopefully that will help streamline things a bit– the wait to play one of last year’s four titles was absolutely killer. Maybe feedback from last year’s event will things go more smoothly– more kiosks, perhaps? One can hope!

No information is available yet as far as which Best Buy locations are hosting these Super Smash Bros. Smash-Fests, but I’ll keep you posted as soon as I hear anything.

Finally, we have one of the games I’m most looking forward to: The first new proper top-down The Legend of Zelda to be released since 2005.

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Ah, Mario & Luigi. I played the series’ original entry, Superstar Saga, and Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door at just about the same time. Superstar Saga didn’t quite win me over, due to some iffy timing issues and the tediousness of switching not only between brothers, but between their moves just to get around on the map. Meanwhile, The Thousand Year Door remains my favorite Mario RPG of all time.

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