Electric Playground and Nintendo Look Back at the History of Fire Emblem

With the release of Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia releasing in less than a week, Victor Lucas of Electric Playground has teamed up with Nintendo of Canada Communications Manager Andrew Collins and Johnny Millennium from “Happy Console Gamer” to look back at the history of Fire Emblem and the impact it’s had since arriving on the scene — all in just over twelve minutes!

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia will be available Friday, May 19th in both regular and limited edition bundles for the Nintendo 3DS.

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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On May 19th, Nintendo and Intelligent Systems are bringing Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia to the Nintendo 3DS family of handheld devices. Today, however, Nintendo of Canada has revealed that there will be more than one way to purchase the game.

In addition to the vanilla release, a Limited Edition bundle will also be available, with both hitting stores on the same day. Behold its contents:

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In addition to a copy of the game itself, the Limited Edition bundle includes a hardcover copy of the Valentia Artbook; a Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia Sound Selection CD; a Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia pin set which depicts the characters of Alm, Celica, and fan-favorite Marth; and a reversible cover sheet which looks like the packaging for Fire Emblem Gaiden, the second game in the series and the Famicom game upon which this new release is based.

All this can be yours in the Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia Limited Edition Bundle, which will be carried at select retailers for a suggested retail price of $79.99 (versus $49.99 for the bare-bones version).

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Also available May 19th will be the amiibo two-pack featuring figures of both Alm and Celica, which comes at the suggested retail price of $29.99.

When scanned, these two will activate their own exclusive dungeons that grant heroes the opportunity to not only earn items, but also to further level up their armies through defeating bosses. Players can also select Mila’s Turnwheel from the overworld map menu to utilize these two characters in battle by sacrificing a portion of their health during combat. Doing so summons reinforcements to the field for one turn in the form of a computer-controlled illusory hero. What’s more, as Alm and Celica each grow stronger, players can save their stats to the respective amiibo so that the unit they summon grows in strength as well.

As it happens, though, Alm and Celica are not the only Fire Emblem amiibo to get in on the illusory action; all of the Fire Emblem characters featured in the Super Smash Bros. amiibo series can also be used to summon spectral visages of not only Marth, Roy, Robin, Ike, and Lucina, but the upcoming Corrin as well. Plus, if you so choose, any other amiibo you endeavor to use will also work with the game, though instead of calling illusory heroes of Mario or Link to the field (awesome as that would be), you’ll bring forth an additional monster to assist you on the field of battle — handy for when the odds are stacked against you.

Remember to mark your calendars, as May 19th is the day you’ll rally your troops for glory and honor. But in the meantime, if you’d like to read up a bit more on what Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is all about, you can check out the official website.

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

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As if out of nowhere, Nintendo announced and showed a new Nintendo Direct on the evening of Thursday, March 3rd. Here it is in full:

I like how I hit things before, so I’m going to repeat that this time, with the post here focusing on the facts as we know them for the Canadian side (i.e. the prices we pay versus the States).

Star Fox Zero arrives for Wii U on April 22nd, and in two forms: the Nintendo eShop version for $64.99, and in a physical retail bundle with Star Fox Guard for $74.99. Star Fox Guard can also be purchased as a digital download from the Nintendo eShop for $19.99, and buying either game in the Nintendo eShop gives you a $10 discount to use towards the other game.

In anticipation of Monster Hunter Generations, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate will be $27.99 in the Nintendo eShop for 48 hours beginning at 3pm on Thursday, March 3rd.

Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation, the third path in which you don’t choose a side, will be available as downloadable content to either the Birthright or Conquest versions of the game on March 10th for $24.99.

With Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 announced, you can get the original Azure Striker Gunvolt game for $10.49 in the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS until June 1st.

While Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge will be available for early access free with the purchase of any amiibo from Best Buy, Amazon.com, and GameStop in the States, it doesn’t appear that Canada has any such deal going, and we’ll have to wait until April 28th to play this free Wii U and Nintendo 3DS downloadable title.

Huh… and that’s really it. Not a lot of pricing information going on here. If you want a full look at the press release for other details, head on over to the next page.

As for my own thoughts, you can find what stuck out most to me over at PoisonMushroom.Org.

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

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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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On Friday, February 12th, I had the opportunity to go out and see the newest entries in the Fire Emblem series, Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright and Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest, for myself. Actually, a lot of people had the opportunity to go see it, and for that, I apologize: I did not know it was open to those outside of the media, or else I would have posted about it here. By the time I learned this, I did not have the chance to do so; I can only hope that these pictures of the displays they had set up inside event will help make up for it.

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I have a bit of a confession to make here: my interest in new Fire Emblem games is kind of weird. Generally speaking, I’ve only been paying light attention to Fire Emblem Fates up until recently — enough to keep up, but not to go in with a thorough knowledge. For whatever reason, leading up to the launch of a new game, my interest is generally faint. That is, up until the final few weeks leading up.

For the last week or so, I’ve found myself with a serious craving to get my hands on this one. The same thing happened with Fire Emblem Awakening, which I loved as well. Going to this event has only stoked the fires further. Of course, I think the video for Corrin from The Final Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U Video Presentation helped a bit as well.

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Though I didn’t get to see very much overall (there are three games to this release, after all — the aforementioned, plus Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation), but I did like what I got to see.

One of the big changes I like the looks of is the alteration to your home base/barracks in “My Castle” mode. It’s more like a full home turf now that you can build up as you need and see fit, and there’s a handy element where you can switch the camera angle from a traditional top-down view to a 3D rendered view of the map. This carries over into the battles, too, as positioning is more important than ever, as the shifting view changes to reflect where you are on the map directly.

In a way, it kind of reminds me of what Dragon Quest XI is doing for the Nintendo 3DS, with 3D graphics on the top screen and a retro-styled top-down view on the bottom, though these instead shift from one to the other. Much as I’ve always liked the way they’ve done battle in the cutaways before, this new prospect excites me, especially as it seems you can now team characters up in new ways.

Another big change is the addition of a new sort of difficulty mode. Fire Emblem Awakening had the classic “lose a unit and they’re gone for good” option, but added another (which I preferred) that would revive fallen units as a battle concluded. Fire Emblem Fates includes both of those and adds a new “Phoenix” mode, which revives a fallen unit on the next turn. That sounds like a bit much for my tastes, but for those who value the story above all, it should be a handy option among some of them.

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Functionality with amiibo figures is pretty cool, too. Using any of the already-released characters from the Super Smash Bros. line of figures, you can basically “invite” them to see your castle, and they’ll give you different pieces of equipment on the first two visits. A third time will allow you to engage them in battle, and potentially recruit them to join your fold.

On the downside, there is no word at this time of any functionality with the Corrin amiibo. There’s no release date announced for those yet, though, so hopefully they’ll reveal something cool when the time comes.

Oh, and then there’s StreetPass, where you can visit other players’ castles to engage them in battle on their home turf. This sounds fascinating for the number of potential combinations that may arise as people build up their castles.

That’s all I really have to say about it from the limited experience for now. With any luck, I’ll have the opportunity to review at least one version of the game. Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright is supposed to play a little more traditionally, whereas Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest adds an extra hook in that you have to factor in resource management as well. Either way, it sounds like an intriguing prospect to take on for fans of the series!

Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright and Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest both release on February 19th, 2016 in the Nintendo 3DS eShop and at retail for $49.99, and purchasing one allows you to get the other as downloadable content for a reduced price of $24.99. A third branch, Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation, reveals what would happen if you chose neither of the previous paths, and will be available as downloadable content for $24.99 on March 10th, 2016.

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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Despite everything going on at the Electronic Entertainment Expo this week (you can find my thoughts on Nintendo’s Digital Event here), Nintendo has still brought a few interesting new surprises to the fore with the Nintendo Download this week.

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Earthbound Beginnings for Wii U – Before there was Earthbound, there was… Earth Bound? Outside of Japan, only the second installment of the trilogy was ever released until now. Rebranded “Earthbound Beginnings, you can now take a trip back to the year 198X and the town of Podunk as you join Ninten and his friends on their quest to aid the Queen of Magicant in this Nintendo Entertainment System prequel to the Super NES’s cult classic. Check out a trailer for it here, and cross your fingers that this means we’re that much closer to finally seeing a western release for Mother 3 (as the series is known in Japan), starring Lucas of Super Smash Bros. Brawl fame.

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Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones for Wii U – With the kingdom of Renais now in ruins, it is up to the siblings and royal heirs Prince Ephraim and Princess Eirika to restore their homeland to its former glory.

On a personal note, this was my first Fire Emblem and the one that got me into the series.

[email protected] for Wii U – Download and play demos for these unreleased indie games before 8:59am PT on June 22nd, and you’ll be able to save 15 percent off the purchase price when they’re released later this year!

Personally, I’ve got my eyes on Freedom Planet. So much more comfortable to play on the GamePad than on Steam, in my opinion.

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Fat City for Wii U – The five boroughs of New York City house 60 targets for your heists in this action-platformer. Fail, and your loved one may pay the price.

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Life of Pixel for Wii U – The eras of the Amiga, Super NES, Genesis, Commodore 64, Apple II, Game Boy, NES, Atari 2600, ZX Spectrum, and Master System are all revisited with numerous nods to many, many past classics throughout this action-adventure game.

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Solitaire Dungeon Escape for Wii U – The classic time waster is back with a purpose as you use a magical deck of cards to play variations on the game in order to rescue a princess from a dragon’s fortress.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS – Lucas is back, and he’s not alone — he’s brought some friends to the fight with him. Street Fighter‘s Ryu, Fire Emblem‘s Roy, and a variety of characters you can create yourself with Mii Fighter costumes are all available now, as are some new stages, such as the free Miiverse stage!

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Smash Controller for Wii U/Nintendo 3DS – Before, you had to own a copy of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS if you wished to use your Nintendo 3DS handheld as a controller for the Wii U title. With this purchase, you no longer have to have the game in order to use the system as a controller.

When I reviewed Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, one thing I pointed out was that you could only use the Nintendo 3DS as a controller in certain modes; I do not know if you can use it for all modes with this, however.

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Best of Board Games – Chess for Nintendo 3DS – Advanced artificial intelligence and challenges bring a little something extra to this take on the classic.

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Comic Workshop 2 for Nintendo 3DS – This title seems to expand upon the original with new refinements and features. If you’ve bought the original Comic Workshop, you can get this title for $5.99 USD.

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Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley – New Downloadable Content for Nintendo 3DS – For $1.79 CDN each, there are two new residents for you to woo.

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

  • Nintendo eShop on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS
    • Nintendo is celebrating its lineup at E3 2015 with up to 30 percent off select games for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. Fans can score deals on games related to some of the top franchises being featured at the show, including Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, LEGO, Just Dance and Yoshi. See all the games on the sale page. This offer runs until June 23 at 8:59 a.m. PT.
    • Pure Chess (Wii U and Nintendo 3DS) is 50 percent off (reduced from $7.99 to $3.99) until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 22.
    • Another World – 20th Anniversary Edition on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS is 60 percent off (reduced from $7.99 to $3.20) beginning at 9 a.m. PT on June 20 until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 27.
  • Nintendo eShop on Wii U
    • Knytt Underground and Stick it to the Man! from Ripstone are on sale until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 22.
    • psyscrolr is 30 percent off (reduced from $3.99 to $2.79) until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 23.
    • Arrow Time U is 50 percent off (reduced from $1.99 to $0.99) until 8:59 a.m. PT on July 2.
    • Paper Monsters Recut is 25 percent off (reduced from $7.99 to $5.99) until 8:59 a.m. PT on July 2.
    • Tilelicious is 33 percent off (reduced from $5.99 to $3.99) until 8:59 a.m. PT on July 2.
    • Gravity Badgers is 50 percent off (reduced from $4.99 to $2.49) until 8:59 a.m. PT on July 16.
  • Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS

Activities

  • Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. “Global Cup” Tournament – See how your Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. squad stacks up online in Nintendo’s Public Tournaments. Top players earn unique titles that are visible online and earn major bragging rights with their friends and around the world. The new “Global Cup” tournament runs from June 18 to June 24. Opt in via the SpotPass feature for notifications on future tournaments, and click here for more information about multiplayer tournaments. Good luck, agents!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From the full statement:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This week, it looks like we have a small-but-solid sampling of new releases, and a few good deals, too!

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Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker for Wii U – Available on December 5th, Captain Toad breaks out on his own in an adventure that follows and expands upon “The Adventures of Captain Toad” mini-games from Super Mario 3D World. My review is forthcoming shortly, but in the meantime, you can check out a trailer for the game here.

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Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric – Demo Version for Wii U – Opinions on this game since its release have been mixed, at best. Personally, I enjoyed the demo I played, but I’m currently unable to say whether this is the same one or not. Either way, now you have a chance to make the call for yourself before making the commitment. You can also view a trailer here.

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Fire Emblem for Wii U – As a series, Fire Emblem dates back a couple of decades in Japan, but in the west? Its first release was quite a bit more recent. You can now play the first title to be released in North America, training your armies and planning strategies to best your foes on the battlefield in this 2003 Game Boy Advance title. For a trailer, click here.

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Lode Runner for Wii U – As the de-Bombermanned Bomberman, lay through 50 levels of gold collecting, or create your own in this 1984 NES classic.

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Ultimate NES Remix for Nintendo 3DS – When NES Remix and NES Remix appeared on the Wii U, one thought was heard loud and clear: “Why isn’t this on the Nintendo 3DS?” But now the best of both are here in one package, and you can view a trailer for it here.

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Christmas Wonderland 4 for Nintendo 3DS – Holiday-themed mini-games abound in this puzzle collection.

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Disney Violetta: Rhythm and Music for Nintendo 3DS – Apparently someone named “Violetta” is Disney’s newest music sensation (this lack of knowledge is what happens when Family shows more reruns of Phineas and Ferb than new episodes), and now she has her own game on the Nintendo 3DS. Tap to the rhythm of her songs, unlock more with high scores, and test your Violetta knowledge in quiz mode.

Nintendo eShop Sales

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99Seconds for Wii U – Until 8:59am PT on December 26th, this title is reduced from $2.49 to $1.49, more than 40 percent off.

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Walt Disney Birthday Sale: To celebrate the birthday of Walt Disney, Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two for Wii U, Disney Planes on Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, and “other fun games” will be discounted until 8:59am PT on December 8th.

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Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan for Nintendo 3DS – From 9am PT on December 8th until 8:59am PT on December 22nd, this title is reduced from $29.99 to $14.99, 50 percent off.

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Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers for Nintendo 3DS – From 9am PT on December 8th until 8:59am PT on December 22nd, this title is reduced from $29.99 to $14.99, 50 percent off.

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AeternoBlade for Nintendo 3DS – From 9am PT on December 5th until 8:59am PT on December 19th, this title is reduced from $14.99 to $7.99, more than 40 percent off.

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AiRace Xeno for Nintendo 3DS – Until 8:59am PT on December 25th, this title is reduced from $2.49 to $1.69, 40 percent off.

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