Check Out the Play Nintendo: Kids Summer Tour

Nintendo of Canada is bringing the fun this summer with the Nintendo 3DS and a whole lineup of games to try out as the Play Nintendo: Kids Summer Tour crosses the country starting in July and running until early September. There will also be play zones, meet ‘n greets with your favorite characters, and giveaways (while supplies last).

Games on tap will include the brand-spanking new Kirby: Planet Robobot (see my glowing review here), Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire, Mario Kart 7, Yo-Kai Watch, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, Super Mario 3D Land, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, Yoshi’s New Island, and New Super Mario Bros. 2.

Here’s how the tour breaks down when Nintendo comes to town:

Quebec Tour Dates:

  • Jul 1 @3pm-10pm: Dorval- Canada Day Celebration
  • Jul 2 @12pm-9pm: Montreal-Midway Fun, Place Bourassa*
  • Jul 3 @12pm-9pm: Montreal-Midway Fun, Place Bourassa*
  • Jul 9 @2pm-6pm: Montreal- Fete Des Enfants*
  • Jul 10 @2pm-6pm: Montreal- Fete Des Enfants*
  • Jul 15 @12pm-9pm: Montreal- Amusements Spectaculaires, TOHU Cité des Arts du Cirque
  • Jul 16 @12pm-9pm: Montreal- Amusements Spectaculaires, TOHU Cité des Arts du Cirque
  • Jul 17 @12pm-9pm: Montreal- Amusements Spectaculaires, TOHU Cité des Arts du Cirque
  • Jul 22 @11am-9pm: Granby- Mascot Festival
  • Jul 23 @10am-5pm: Granby- Mascot Festival
  • Jul 24 @10am-5pm: Granby- Mascot Festival

Ontario Tour Dates:

  • Jul 29 @11:30am-5pm: Toronto- Centreville Theme Park*
  • Jul 30 @11:30am-8pm: Toronto- Centreville Theme Park*
  • Jul 31 @10:30am-8pm: Toronto- Centreville Theme Park*
  • Aug 5 @12pm-6pm: Port Hope- OnRoute service centre
  • Aug 6 @8am-2pm: Port Hope- OnRoute service centre
  • Aug 7 @9am-3pm: Port Hope- OnRoute service centre
  • Aug 13 @11am-10:30pm: Toronto- York-Eglinton International Street Festival
  • Aug 14 @11am-7pm: Toronto- York-Eglinton International Street Festival
  • Aug 19 @7pm-11pm: Mississauga- Port Credit Buskerfest
  • Aug 20 @1pm-11pm: Mississauga- Port Credit Buskerfest
  • Aug 21 @1pm-7pm: Mississauga- Port Credit Buskerfest

BC Tour Dates:

  • Aug 31 @11am-11:30pm: Vancouver- PNE*
  • Sep 1 @11am-11:30pm: Vancouver- PNE*
  • Sep 2 @11am-11:30pm: Vancouver- PNE*
  • Sep 3 @11am-11:30pm: Vancouver- PNE*
  • Sep 4 @11am-11:30pm: Vancouver- PNE*
  • Sep 5 @11am-11:30pm: Vancouver- PNE*

The above comes from Nintendo of Canada’s website, where you can check back for the latest up-to-the-minute changes that may occur, including the possibility of more events.

Also, do note that the events marked with an asterisk have entry fees applicable, so be sure you’re ready to pay your way at the door.

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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From Thursday, April 28th through Sunday, May 1st, Nintendo of Canada is bringing the Nintendo Experience to the Erin Mills Town Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. In addition to getting to play Wii U and Nintendo 3DS titles such as Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Star Fox Zero, Mario Kart 8, Splatoon, and Super Mario Maker, you’ll also have the opportunity to meet and have your picture taken with Mario from 12pm to 4pm on Saturday, April 30th and earn a ballot for daily prize drawings and the grand and first prizes on May 1st!

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Source: Nintendo of Canada on Facebook

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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It’s a cavalcade of classic Nintendo characters in the Nintendo Download this week, ranging from the land of Hyrule to Donkey Kong Island to the Mushroom Kingdom to Yoshi’s Island to Eagleland! And Shantae is here, too!

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Hyrule Warriors Legends for Nintendo 3DS – This port of the Wii U classic features new characters from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, new heroes such as the crossbow-wielding Linkle, new story mode chapters, and more! Plus, if you purchase the “Legends of Hyrule Season Pass” for downloadable content, you’ll be able to use Ganondorf from The Wind Waker immediately and download the additional packs as they become available throughout the year.

Just be careful about downloading this if you don’t have a New Nintendo 3DS; I’ve heard various reports that say it doesn’t run very well on the non-New models.

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Donkey Kong Country for Nintendo 3DS – The beast is back on the New Nintendo 3DS! Join DK and his sidekick Diddy on their first adventure to stop the Kremlings from stealing DK’s coveted banana horde!

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Super Mario Kart for Nintendo 3DS – The one that started it all hits the New Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console, and brings what I personally believe to be the best Battle Mode in the series with it.

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Earthbound for Nintendo 3DS – The cult classic role playing game from the Super Nintendo Entertainment System library lands on the New Nintendo 3DS at last! Join Ness and his friends in this adventure to stop the evil Giygas from destroying the world!

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for Nintendo 3DS – Enjoy a scenic journey through the Gifu prefecture as you use simple controls to guide a train from Minoshi Station to Minami Kariyasu Station.

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Japanese Rail Sim 3D Journey in Suburbs #1 Vol. 3 for Nintendo 3DS – In the third volume of the series, you’ll drive the distance from Minami Kariyasu Station to Yamada Station through the center of the Japanese archipelago.

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Japanese Rail Sim 3D Journey in Suburbs #1 Vol. 4 for Nintendo 3DS – The fourth volume of the series takes players on a scenic journey from Yamada Station through Gifu prefecture to Hokuno Station.

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Witch & Hero 2 for Nintendo 3DS – Take control of both the spell-casting witch and the dauntless knight once again — at the same time! Work in tandem to defeat your foes; just know that while the knight cannot be slain, the game is over should the witch meet her end!

Shantae: Risky’s Revenge – Director’s Cut for Wii U – The most popular game in WayForward’s Shantae series has been revamped to include high definition illustrations, a new Warp System, a Magic Mode Costume, and rebalanced gameplay.

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Yoshi’s Story for Wii U – An underrated gem from the Nintendo 64 library, in my opinion. It may not be much for full retail price, but as a downloadable Virtual Console game, Yoshi’s Story is good. Join a group of differently-colored newborn Yoshis as they pursue Baby Bowser following his theft of the Happy Tree.

Infinity Runner for Wii U – This new entry in the running genre places you on board the largest spaceship ever made, the Infinity, as you flee for your life from the last of the werewolves.

New DLC

Fire Emblem Fates – New DLC Map – Hidden Truths (1 and 2) – Two new maps which serve as a prologue to the games are now available for $4.49 USD, or you can purchase Map Pack 1 to get everything released through April 21st for less than you’d pay individually.

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

Activities

Mini Mario & Friends amiibo Challenge – Between March 25th and April 27th, purchase any amiibo from a participating retailer to gain an early access code that will allow you to play the latest Mini Mario game on your Nintendo 3DS or Wii U for free. Just tap any amiibo figure to get started!

National StreetPass Weekend: Spring Edition – From March 25th to 27th, get up to six StreetPass tags from across North America by stopping at a Nintendo Zone location with your system from the Nintendo 3DS family (i.e. Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 2DS, Nintendo 3DS XL, New Nintendo 3DS, New Nintendo 3DS XL).

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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Contributed by Ian McGraw

Virtual reality is the next big thing in gaming, and it’s starting to feel as if we’ll be seeing consoles for sale sooner rather than later. Oculus Rift is leading the way, but Microsoft’s HoloLens and Sony’s Project Morpheus have gained ground. Also, those two could have advantages because of their natural combination with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, respectively. But regardless of which system is the first to generate significant attention, one thing looks certain: we’re going to see racing games among the early releases for virtual reality.

This has been made evident by numerous lists of early planned games for virtual reality, though perhaps no title is as enticing as Project Cars. It’s an existing PS4 title that, according to Kotaku, could be getting adapted to the Project Morpheus. A straightforward version of exactly the same game on VR would be pretty sensational, as Project Cars is widely regarded as one of the better racing games produced in recent years. But there are also a number of specific steps that could be taken to make sure such an adaptation —- or any racing game on VR, for that matter —- would be truly sensational.

A Real Wheel

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Project Cars on PS4 actually supports play with various independently designed steering wheel controllers. However, it wasn’t a standard option that came with the game, and some players had trouble finding the right wheel or setting up the game with it. That’s fine for an ordinary console game, but once you strap into a racing car in virtual reality, controlling the action with a joystick is going to feel bizarre. Project Cars on VR needs a a standard steering wheel controller designed specifically for the game the way Nintendo produced a wheel for Mario Kart Wii.

Non-Urban Scenery

There are examples of non-urban scenery in various games that employ auto racing, but most serious racing games limit themselves to city-based tracks and specific racing venues. That’s all well and good, but VR gaming will be as much about atmosphere as activity, so any developers working on a new racing game ought to take inspiration from those few that go with rural and even exotic settings. In online casino gaming, for example, a popular game called Rush featured at Gala Bingo does more with these different settings than the bulk of Project Cars. While the term “rush” is meant in part to describe the quick nature of bingo game turnover, its racing imagery is centered on a country road with dense trees. This simple image alone should serve as inspiration for level creation in a VR racing game that should explore all kinds of tracks and scenes, rather than just the ones we’re familiar with.

Vehicle Prizes & Upgrades

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As mentioned, VR gaming will be about atmosphere and visuals, and that will place more emphasis on the actual cars than most any racing game ever has. Because of this, there needs to be a heavy focus on the ability to upgrade your vehicle, buy a new one, or even win a new one through competition. Fortunately, there’s some recent precedent for these ideas, as the PS4 game Driveclub focused a great deal on the culture of racing, rather than solely on the races. Incidentally, VR Focus recently previewed a new version of Driveclub being developed for virtual reality, and it was a pretty encouraging glimpse. So, perhaps this and the other ideas mentioned in this post will soon come to fruition.

The early looks at racing on virtual reality systems are pretty exciting. But by building in these elements, a developer could create a truly original title to address the best of the genre. At this stage, Driveclub for VR looks like a good candidate.

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Before we dive into this week’s new titles, there is some interesting news if you plan on downloading Super Smash Bros. for Wii U:

Starting now, Wii U owners can pre-purchase Super Smash Bros. for Wii U directly from the Nintendo eShop or by purchasing a download code for the game from participating retailers. At the time of pre-purchase, much of the game’s data will be pre-loaded to the purchaser’s Wii U system if it is in Standby mode. As soon as the game releases in the Nintendo eShop at midnight Eastern time on Nov. 21, the final data needed to unlock the full game will automatically download.

This includes those who have pre-ordered the game through Nintendo.com.

With that out of the way, it’s another week jam-packed full of cool and interesting titles. Let’s have a look!

Mario Kart 8 Downloadable Content Pack 1 – Not mentioned in the press release for this week is the first batch of downloadable content for Mario Kart 8 that was revealed a couple of months back. This pack contains three new characters in Tanooki Mario, Cat Peach, and Link from The Legend of Zelda, four new vehicles (including F-Zero‘s Blue Falcon, the Tanooki Kart, Mario Kart DS‘s B-Dasher, and Link’s Master Cycle), and eight new courses (Yoshi’s Circuit, Ice Ice Outpost, Wario’s Goldmine, Dragon Driftway, Excitebike Arena, Classic Rainbow Road from Super Mario Kart, Mute City from F-Zero, and Hyrule Circuit from The Legend of Zelda).

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Mario Kart: Super Circuit for Wii U – This week’s Game Boy Advance Virtual Console title is perhaps the most overlooked of the Mario Kart series. Released in 2001, this is the third in the series and the first to include the wide variety of bonus courses we’ve come to expect today, as ranking first in each cup will unlock all of the courses from the original Super Mario Kart. You can find a trailer for this one here.

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Tengami for Wii U – Striking visuals, haunting music, and unique gameplay await as you in the fold and slide the beautifully crafted Japanese world of Tengami to solve puzzles and discover secrets. Check out the trailer here.

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A World of Keflings for Wii U – As your Mii, you can help the tiny Keflings harvest resources, construct buildings, and create a thriving kingdom. Check out the trailer here.

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Xavier for Wii U – Xavier is out to become an adult in this prehistoric side-scroller, and you can help! Overcome obstacles, find treasures, and defeat those standing in the way of Xavier becoming a man!

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Flowerworks HD: Follie’s Adventure – Demo Version for Wii U – Show the gnomes who’s boss as you gather your scattered Flowerworks seeds in this free demo.

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Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric for Wii U – One player can go it alone, two can form a co-op team, and even four can unite for a special “Team Challenges” mode as Sonic, Tails, Amy, and Knuckles set out to stop not only Dr. Eggman, but new villain Lyric in this 3D adventure. You can also link up with the Nintendo 3DS game, Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal (seen below) to unlock special upgrades. Check out the trailer here.

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LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS – DC’s greatest heroes and villains must unite to stop Brainiac and set right his latest scheme: Using the power of stolen Lantern Rings to shrink down and capture various worlds! Check out the trailer here.

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As usual, the game is also on the Nintendo 3DS.

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Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal for Nintendo 3DS – Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and newcomer Sticks the Badger must team up to free Amy from the clutches of Lyric! Play the main adventure, enjoy the StreetPass collectibles mini-game, and unlock special upgrades for Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric. Check out the trailer here.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Danger of the Ooze for Nintendo 3DS – Shredder and the Kraang are up to trouble again as they plan to use Super Mutagen to create an unstoppable army. This “Metroidvania”-styled game is a must-play for fans of the fab four. Check out the trailer here.

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Tetris Ultimate for Nintendo 3DSTetris is back with six new game modes and a new Nintendo 3DS-exclusive challenge mode.

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Pokémon Trading Card Game for Nintendo 3DS – It’s the Pokemon trading card game, but as a video game! It’s probably worth noting to newer fans that this originally came out for the Game Boy Color in 2000, and is going to be lacking a lot of the newer Pokemon and content added to the physical card game in the past decade and a half. Still, you can check out the trailer here, and if you do get it, you’ll also receive a free download code for the Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire Special Demo Version.

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Castle Conqueror Defender for Nintendo 3DS – Take on 10 campaigns consisting of five levels apiece, or see if you can survive for 20 days in glory mode. Either way, you must defend your noble land from the oncoming barbaric invaders!

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European Conqueror 3D – Demo Version for Nintendo 3DS – Experience the strategic elements of this World War II-themed game with a free demo version.

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I’ve Got to Run: Complete Edition! for Nintendo 3DS – Six distinct modes await as you attempt to guide Roy the Marshmallow Boy through an ever more difficult series of challenges in this autorunning platformer.

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PICROSS e5 for Nintendo 3DS – The fifth game in the series brings all-new challenges, but also tutorials and rule options to allow newcomers an easier time diving in.

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Scarygirl Illustration Kit for Nintendo 3DS – “An easy, fun, and powerful vector illustration and animation program that lets you create your own MP4 movies and share them with the world!” Bunniguru guides you through an intuitive interface, and you can even export illustrations to an SD card in jpg or svg formats, and movies in MP4 format.

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Winx Club Saving Alfea for Nintendo 3DS – Six playable characters with two forms apiece are at your disposal as you take on 32 replayable puzzle-platforming levels with 10 interactive objects.

Nintendo eShop Sales

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BIT.TRIP Presents…Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien for Wii U – From 9am PT on November 14th until 8:50am PT on November 24th, this game will be reduced from $14.99 to $4.99, more than 60 percent off.

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Abyss for Wii U – Until 8:59am PT on December 4th, this game will be reduced from $1.99 to $1.49, 25 percent off.

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Chubbins for Wii U – Until 8:59am PT on November 20th, this game will be reduced from $3.99 to $2.99, 25 percent off.

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European Conqueror 3D for Nintendo 3DS – Until 8:59am PT on November 27th, this game will be reduced from $3.99 to $2.79, more than 60 percent off.

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Darts Up 3D for Nintendo 3DS – Until 8:59am PT on December 4th, this game will be reduced from $2.99 to $0.99, more than 60 percent off.

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Soccer Up 3D for Nintendo 3DS – Until 8:59am PT on December 4th, this game will be reduced from $6.99 to $1.99, more than 70 percent off.

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

Sometimes it’s about quality, rather than quantity. What that means is that while this week’s Nintendo Download is small in number, many of those titles are still quite good! And with Mario Kart 8 leading the pack, it’s hard to say if people will be paying attention to much else.

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Mario Kart 8 for Wii U – I’m not even sure what to say about this one here that I wouldn’t be saying in my review, so I’ll just say to keep an eye out here for that.

But beyond that, I want to remind you of the special offer mentioned here before, wherein purchasing Mario Kart 8 at retail or in the Nintendo eShop allows you to download either New Super Mario Bros. U, Pikmin 3 (these two links are to my reviews), The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, or Wii Party U (these two go to product pages; I’ve not reviewed them, but have enjoyed what I’ve played of them). Full promotion details can be found here.

Also, be sure to check back for Weekly Deals tonight/tomorrow: There might be some good offers for going the retail route, and you can score an even better deal.

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Ittle Dew for Wii U – Puzzles and exploration await Ittle Dew and her sidekick, Tippsie, as they embark on an adventure across a strange island filled with loot and bizarre inhabitants.

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Klonoa: Empire of Dreams for Wii U – The Emperor Jillius has outlawed dreaming, and found guilty of breaking the law is none other than Klonoa, who must now traverse 40 levels of puzzles, items, baddies, and confrontations against four nightmarish monsters with his friend, Huepow, in tow. Their objective: To win back Klonoa’s freedom and restore dreams!

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Gravity Badgers for Wii U – Join Captain T Bayback as he ventures into the darkness of deep space in this physics-based puzzle game to rescue his friends, family, and the universe itself from the deadly Evil Honey Badgers, aka the Hellsett.

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Luv Me Buddies Wonderland for Wii U – A colorful world of adventure awaits as you join this gang of puppets for some mini-game fun and adventures designed for young children.

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Mega Man Xtreme 2 for Nintendo 3DS – It’s the final game of “Mega May” as X returns! But this time he’s brought back-up in the form of the Special-A Class Maverick Hunter Zero and the duo’s new Navigator, Iris from Mega Man X4! Set prior to the events of that game, Mega Man Xtreme 2 follows the more traditional style of Mega Man Game Boy games by remixing the enemies and levels, rather than the straight “demake” ports seen in the first Xtreme.

X and Zero each take on an assortment of four Maverick levels and new boss characters, and can join forces in the final mode, marking the first and only time Zero has taken these guys on head-to-head! And with Zero bringing his trusty Z-Saber along for the ride, his style provides the most unique gameplay of any of the Game Boy Mega Man titles!

Nintendo eShop Sale

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Pushmo and Crashmo for Nintendo 3DS – To celebrate the upcoming release of Pushmo World for the Wii U, Nintendo is offering the first two games of the series for 33 percent off each until 8:59am PT on June 13th. I gave the original five stars and highly recommend checking it out.

Price Reduction

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LEGO The Hobbit for Wii U – Beginning June 2nd, this game will be reduced in price from $49.99 to $39.99 in the Nintendo eShop.

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

Everyone was waiting with bated breath to see what Nintendo would reveal in their next Nintendo Direct, the first one of the year 2014 and the first one since their ever-controversial financial report earlier this year. What was in store? Well, you can view it in its entirety above, or read on to find out!

An Assist Trophy no more! Things got off to a hot start with a new trailer for Super Smash Bros. which revealed a new character in the game that fans have long been hopeful for. Previously, director Masahiro Sakurai expressed concern that there wouldn’t be enough moves for a complete set, but it looks like Little Mac of Punch-Out!! fame has learned a few new tricks since contenders were being considered for Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

I knew that was no wrestling ring being shown off in previous trailers, and with the World Video Boxing Association logo now clearly displayed, its purpose is all too clear. Little Mac himself looks rather potent, too– he looks like he could end up being a favorite of competitive Smash Bros. players with his rapid close-range attacks and killer uppercuts, though his air game appears to be a little on the weak side. In any case, he should be fun to try out.

Super Smash Bros. is set to be released later this year; my money is on the holidays.

I never thought I’d see the day. The Mario Kart 8 announcement revealed not one, not two, but seven new racers: Bowser’s Koopalings! For the first time ever, Larry, Morton, Wendy O., Iggy, Roy, Lemmy, and Ludwig are all playable characters. I figured they used Bowser Jr. because it was easier to feature one, rather than seven. Seems they’ll have a harder time keeping them out of other games now, too. My only concern is whether they’ve come at the expense of other racers– still wanting R.O.B. and Funky Kong to come back over here.

Mario Kart 8 is on-track for a May 30th release.

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It’s been a while since Nintendo last said anything about bringing Game Boy Advance games to the Wii U Virtual Console, but today we got an update. Starting in April, releases will include Metroid Fusion, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, and Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3, with more to follow “every month.” I was sort of hoping for Super Mario Advance and Wario Land 4, personally, but this is a decent start… though to be honest, I’d much rather have the Super NES version of Yoshi’s Island. What’s the hold-up there? In addition, I hope we see Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, but mainly if Nintendo has a way to implement the eReader cards.

Bayonetta 2 has a new trailer showing off some new features as well, and is coming later this year.

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The latest from Monolith Soft, the enigmatic “X”, does not have its own separate trailer, unfortunately. Nintendo Direct did show new footage and revealed that “the game’s battle system is based on Xenoblade Chronicles for Wii,” and that “additional updates will be announced in the future.”

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A sequel to the recently-released eShop title, NES Remix (review coming soon), will be arriving on April 25th. This installment features a batch of new NES titles with new challenges, including Ice Hockey, Dr. Mario, the curiously renamed Mario Open Golf (previously NES Open Tournament Golf), Metroid, Kid Icarus, and some of my favorites: Super Mario Bros. 2, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, and Super Mario Bros. 3, among others still.

Like its predecessor, NES Remix 2 will be $14.99, but this one features an unlockable game as well: A full version of Super Luigi Bros., the left-scrolling, high-jumping Super Mario Bros. remix available in bits and pieces in the first game.

The last item on the Wii U front has no screens or video of its own, and is called Child of Light, an Ubisoft role playing game that will be available in the Wii U eShop for $14.99 on April 30th. Joined by her firefly companion Igniculous, Princess Aurora is out to fight monsters and solve puzzles in order to retrieve three sources of light from the evil queen.

Read on for the latest in Nintendo 3DS news!

Today, Nintendo posted a new surprise Nintendo Direct video to show us what games are to come for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U in 2014. As it turns out, there were not only some new announcements made, but some reveals of new games which are available as we speak. Here’s the video, followed by a rundown.

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The first part of the video revealed an all-new title coming in 2014, tentatively titled “Hyrule Warriors”. “A new game for Wii U developed by Tecmo-Koei that will feature the action-packed Warriors series set in the world of The Legend of Zelda“, says the press release, “[t]his is a separate project from the new installment of The Legend of Zelda series that is in development for Wii U by longtime series producer Eiji Aonuma and his team.”

I’ve never really played any of the Warriors games very much, so this seems like a good introduction to me. Besides which, I don’t mind seeing The Legend of Zelda spread its wings a little more beyond the core series (says the guy who loves Link’s Crossbow Training).

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Kirby: Triple Deluxe: The game is a side-scrolling platformer, but players can move Kirby to the background and foreground to dodge enemies and solve puzzles. Kirby can also use a new Hypernova ability, which powers up his inhale ability and enables him to suck up everything in his path. The game includes more than 20 different copy abilities, including four new ones created for this game. Kirby: Triple Deluxe also includes two new game modes: Kirby Fighters lets up to four players pick one of 10 copy abilities for their Kirby and then fight to see which is the most effective in battle. Dedede’s Drum Dash asks players to press buttons in sync with Kirby music while jumping and collecting coins. The game is planned for 2014.

I’ve seen people say this is a sequel to Kirby Super Star, but it’s looking less like that as we see more of it– at least, insofar as having a ton of smaller games in one package goes. Nonetheless, it’s good to see Kirby take advantage of the potential 3D background interaction where New Super Mario Bros. 2 did not. Kirby Fighters sounds fun, though I’m a little let down that Dedede’s Drum Dash is a rhythm game, mainly because I’m terrible at those.

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Yoshi’s New Island: The game launches this spring, and will be produced by Takashi Tezuka, the creative director of the original Yoshi’s Island for Super NES.

This one is a bit tough to get a pulse on. Nintendo hit on something special with Yoshi’s Island and have tried to replicate its success ever since, but have never been especially successful in doing so. Yoshi’s Island DS was decent, but unspectacular, and a bit on the hard side as well– and not simply “oh, I can’t do this” hard, but “keeping track of things in the gap between screens and across two screens at once kind of sucks” hard. That one didn’t have Tezuka’s involvement, but another did: Yoshi’s Story, an underrated game which didn’t set the world on fire. Tezuka produced that one as well, and while I enjoyed it quite thoroughly as a $10 Wii Virtual Console title, I can see how those who paid upwards of $50 or so might have felt a bit less satisfied.

Fingers are crossed here that this time, Nintendo finally figures out how to make the magic happen again.

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Chibi-Robo! Photo Finder: Everyone’s favourite helpful 4-inch-tall robot is back! This time Chibi-Robo has been tasked with helping a new museum get off the ground. Players are given silhouettes of needed objects, then use the Nintendo 3DS camera to find matching objects, known as NostalJunk, in the real world. Chibi-Robo will also help characters like superheroes and singing sponge-bears with various tasks, all while keeping an eye on his electricity reserves. The game also features community events called NostalJunk Challenges that focus on particular silhouettes, and give players opportunities to showcase their creativity and maybe earn a special outfit for Chibi-Robo to wear in the game. A demo will soon launch exclusively in the Nintendo eShop, with the full version landing on January 9, 2014.

I’m honestly not sure what to say on this one; Chibi Robo has a cult following (the “cult” part perhaps being why this latest entry is a Nintendo eShop release), but I’ve never really gotten to play one of the series. I have the Nintendo DS game kicking around somewhere after picking it up on sale a few years ago, but I’ve never had a chance to try it.

Suffice to say, I’m interested, but also wary– the AR-driven action worries me, as I wasn’t able to much with Spirit Camera.

Pokémon Bank and Poké Transporter: Pokémon Bank is software that lets players store up to 3,000 Pokémon from the Pokémon X and Pokémon Y games. Poké Transporter is an application that lets players take the Pokémon they’ve caught through the years and transferred into Pokémon Black and Pokémon White, as well as Pokémon Black 2 and Pokémon White 2, and transfer them into Pokémon X and Pokémon Y. Pokémon Bank and Poké Transporter launch December 27. Players can download a 30-day free trial version anytime between launch and January 31, 2014. Following the free trial, an annual usage fee will apply for Pokémon Bank. Anyone who accesses a Pokémon Bank box by September 30, 2014, will receive the Pokémon Celebi as a special gift.

Bringing all your Pokémon from one game to the next always struck me as slightly odd, at least in an in-world way. I certainly see the real-world desire and practicality of it, but in the games, isn’t catching everything part of the journey of your character? It just seems weird to me that Red (for example) would effectively go up to some new trainer one day and say “hey, why don’t you take all my Pokémon? I’m not using them.” But that’s probably just me thinking way too much about it.

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Bravely Default: A free demo of the game launches in the Nintendo eShop on January 2, but this is much more than a demo. It’s an exclusive story with hours of content not included in the main game. The full game launches in stores and in the Nintendo eShop on February 7 at a suggested retail price of $39.99. If players with the full game close their system while the game is active, they might gather additional warriors via the StreetPass feature, but they also earn Sleep Points for every eight cumulative hours of down time. Sleep Points can then be used during battle to change equipment, revive a fallen party member, heal or unleash attacks beyond the game’s usual damage cap. Players who don’t want to wait for their Sleep Points to refill have the option of purchasing SP potions in the Nintendo eShop to refill all three Sleep Points at once. Also launching February 7, a Collector’s Edition including the game, an art book, a soundtrack CD and 34 augmented-reality cards will be available via select retailers at a suggested retail price of $49.99.

I have absolutely nothing to add here.

Wait, that’s not true; it looks nice! But that’s really it.

Okay, that’s not it: This sounds like a really good demo for people looking forward to the game. Demos which add to the experience, rather than merely sample from a random part, tend to be kind of cool. That’s all.

Now, back to the Wii U!

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Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze: Veteran Cranky Kong joins playable characters Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong as companions for Donkey Kong. Cranky Kong comes with his own set of special moves that allow him to bounce off enemies and obstacles using his cane. Players who collect 100 bananas in a stage can execute a new move called the KONG-Pow, which turns all enemies on the screen into items. Now that Cranky Kong is setting off on an adventure, instead of overseeing the in-game shop as he did in the Donkey Kong Country Returns game, the aptly named Funky Kong will assist players by offering them items for trade in the game. The game launches February 21 in stores and in the Nintendo eShop.

I can’t look at Donkey and Cranky together without hearing the first verse of the Goof Troop theme song. Also, I’m glad to see Funky Kong is back! Now to cross my fingers that he’ll show up elsewhere, like perhaps in a certain racing game (along with a returning R.O.B.).

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Sonic Lost World: A new Nintendo-themed level is coming to the Nintendo eShop. Yoshi’s Island Zone is now available for free. Done in a Yoshi art style, the level has Sonic speeding through areas filled with pipes, coins, Shy Guys and Piranha Plants.

Wow, where was this during the marathon? Also, it went unmentioned in the press release, but a Zelda-themed downloadable content pack was also hinted at in the video. You can see Kotaku’s screencap of the teaser image above.

Beyond that, I have to wonder: Between the game’s similarities to Super Mario Galaxy and the Yoshi’s Island Zone DLC, could Sonic Lost World be part of an effort by SEGA to create a Mario/Sonic platforming crossover they previously said couldn’t be done?

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Wii Sports Club: Launching today, golf becomes the third sport added to the Wii Sports Club lineup, joining bowling and tennis. In a move not possible on any other system, golf asks players to place the Wii U GamePad controller on the floor in front of their TVs. Players can then use a Wii Remote Plus to swing at the ball on the ground, just as they would a real golf ball, enabling more precise control with each stroke. When they take their swing, the ball flies from the screen of the GamePad to the TV screen in one fluid motion. Wii Sports Club – Golf includes the nine-hole course from the original Wii Sports game, in addition to a newly developed nine-hole course based on Golf US Course, a Famicom game that Nintendo Global President Satoru Iwata helped develop more than 25 years ago. Wii U owners can play a free 24-hour trial of Wii Sports Club, which lets players sample all three sports. The trial offer is open to everyone, even to people who previously sampled the 24-hour free trial. A Club Pass for the full golf game, allowing unlimited access, can be purchased for $9.99. Boxing and baseball will be coming to Wii Sports Club in 2014.

Finally! I’ve been waiting for this one ever since they first showed the Wii U off at E3 a couple of years ago.

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NES Remix: Select parts from 16 classic NES games have been remixed with new challenges. For example, players might be tasked with completing a familiar Super Mario Bros. stage while running to the left. Or they might encounter a revamped level of Donkey Kong that allows them to play as Link from The Legend of Zelda series. NES Remix includes Miiverse compatibility, so players with broadband Internet access can show off their skills, complete with cool 8-bit stamps. NES Remix is now available exclusively in the Nintendo eShop for $14.99.

I’m eager to try this out and put my skills to the test. This is a pretty cool way for Nintendo to leverage their library of classic games, and I hear it’s surprisingly substantial, which is good, given the admittedly hefty price.

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Dr. Luigi: The Year of Luigi continues to deliver surprises, with a new title starring Mario’s green-clad brother. Much like the classic puzzle game Dr. Mario, Dr. Luigi requires players to line up colour-coded pills to destroy viruses. Dr. Luigi offers different skill settings and attacks in multiplayer games, and an original mode where the pills are, of course, L-shaped. The game comes with a Dr. Mario mode, Wii U GamePad compatibility and online play, so wannabe virus busters from all around the world can compete. Dr. Luigi launches exclusively in the Nintendo eShop on December 31 for $14.99.

This sounds like fun! I never did get Dr. Mario: Online RX, and I guess this sort of negates the need? That actually saddens me, slightly. Still, it’s funny to see Luigi follow his older bro into the pharmaceutical business, though Mario seems to show a touch more professionalism by not wearing his cap to this job. Also, a strange thing: The virus designs on the left are different, but in the playing field, they look just like the original three.

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Super Smash Bros.: Rosalina, who was introduced in the Super Mario Galaxy games for Wii and makes a surprise appearance in the new Super Mario 3D World for Wii U, will be a playable character, accompanied by her starry friend, Luma. The game will launch in stores and the Nintendo eShop on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS in 2014.

Oh, Nintendo, you are a dirty, dirty tease! In the Nintendo Direct video, this portion opens by making it look like Kirby might be joining Mario Kart, answering a plea for a full Nintendo roster of racers fans have had for years. But nope; Rosalina comes down to put the star warrior in his place pretty quickly, and reveals herself to be the latest addition to the Super Smash Bros. roster. Meanwhile, Daisy fans are left steaming.

That aside, I’m cool with this; I love Rosalina, though they seem to have gotten rid of that cool echo effect her voice had previously. She looks like she’ll be interesting to use, too, as she’s accompanied by Luma, who looks like he might act somewhat independently of the princess of the stars. One positive to take away from this is that if they do operate separately to a degree, that’s a good sign for the Ice Climbers, who people have been worried about being dumped due to trying to get the same rosters working on both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.

Incidentally, that intro… could Rainbow Road be a new stage to fight on?

With that, there’s just one more game left:

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Mario Kart 8: New playable characters include Rosalina and various “Baby” Nintendo characters, like Baby Mario and Baby Luigi. New course settings include an airport, the desert and high in the clouds, and vehicles include UFOs, four-wheel ATV buggies, standard karts and bikes.

Sigh, who keeps asking for the babies to come back? Were they tracked as widely-used in Mario Kart Wii? I just don’t get it– they’ve even made a Baby Daisy just for the series, but I don’t know of anyone who is that big a fan of the lot. I guess they must have their audience somewhere.

Between Super Mario 3D World and Super Smash Bros., plus being in the last two entries in this series, I don’t think Rosalina’s inclusion is much of a surprise any more. I am curious about the new UFO vehicles they mention, though. As for stages, the airport looks neat, but I hope we get more like the Shy Guy Bazaar and Piranha Plant Pipeline from Mario Kart 7— the ones which really brought the worlds of the regular Mario games to life.

That’s pretty much it, but that’s also plenty for now, wouldn’t you say? 2014 is looking pretty good!

Nintendo of Canada is bringing out its holiday best for 2013 as it plans to host events at malls across Canada. Unfortunately, the lineup of malls isn’t as big as the lineup of games they’re bringing, but if you’re able to make it, you’ll find them at the following locations on the corresponding dates:

  • Toronto, ON
    Square One: Nov 25 – Dec 8
    Toronto Eaton Center: Dec 9 – 15
  • Vancouver, BC
    Metrotown: Dec 2 – 29
  • Montreal, QC
    Carrefour Laval: Nov 25 – Dec 8

There, the following games will be available to try out:

If you are a member of Club Nintendo, a rewards program for Nintendo customers in Canada as well as the United States, then you should know by now that the Club year has ended as of June 30th, and if you’ve registered enough games and filled out enough surveys to qualify for Gold (300 Coins) or Platinum (600 Coins) status, then you are now able to select one free gift at no cost (of real money or Club Nintendo Coins) to you– and that includes free shipping!

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