Giftamania 2016 (Updated)

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

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

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

Xbox One

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wii U

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

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

Nintendo 3DS

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

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

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

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

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

PlayStation 4

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

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

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

Multiplatform

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other

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

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

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

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

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

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

3DS_MegaMan7

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

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

N3DS_LegendofDarkWitch2_01

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

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

WiiU_SuperPaperMario

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

WiiU_drilldozer

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

WiiU_RunRunandDie

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

WiiU_TwinRobots

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

Activities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MegaManBattleNetwork6

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

WiiU_GrumpyReaper_02

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

WiiU_JewelQuest_02

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

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

N3DS_WordPuzzlesbyPowgi_03

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

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

N3DS_BravelySecondEndLayerDemoTheBalladofThreeCavaliers_02

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

New DLC

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

Theme Shop on Nintendo 3DS

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

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

Permanent Price Reduction

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

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

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

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It’s Mega Man’s 28th anniversary today, so Capcom and Nintendo are celebrating in style! Plus, Minecraft is finally on the Wii U and Super Smash Bros. has been updated! All this, and a few pretty good sales going on, too!

WiiU_MinecraftWiiUEdition_06

Minecraft: Wii U Edition for Wii U – Mojang’s digital building-block phenomenon finally comes to the Wii U, and it’s bringing some added bang for your buck in the form of additional content packs which have proven popular previously. Find out more about this release here.

Temple of Yog for Wii U – This rogue-like role playing game calls upon you to use the Wii U GamePad controller to look between the worlds of Light and Shadow as you make your way through the linked dungeons.

WiiU_MegaManZero4_02mh

Mega Man Zero 4 for Wii U – Zero is back for his final adventure as Dr. Weil has seized control of Neo Arcadia, sentencing “Maverick” Reploids who oppose him to death. Meanwhile, he’s not looking upon the humans who are trying to escape too kindly, either! Fortunately, you can now choose between Easy and Normal modes to affect both difficulty and weather conditions, giving Zero a better chance than ever of putting an end to the threat of Dr. Weil for good!

WiiU_MegaManBattleNetwork5

Mega Man Battle Network 5: Team Colonel/Mega Man Battle Network 5: Team ProtoMan for Wii U – Will you choose to ally yourself with longtime friendly rival ProtoMan.EXE, or mysterious newcomer Colonel? As in Mega Man Battle Network 4‘s twin versions, the core story is the same as Dr. Regal and his Nebula forces have overtaken SciLab, but many of the characters you’ll encounter and Battle Chips you’ll acquire will differ between the two.

WiiU_IslandFlightSimulator_05

Island Flight Simulator for Wii U – Three planes, 12 islands, and arcade action await as you take on all sorts of lucrative and illegal assignments from shifty clients. Are you willing to take the risk necessary to finish over a hundred missions?

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS downloadable content – Cloud Strife of Final Fantasy VII fame has made his way to the battlefield of Super Smash Bros., and he’s bringing the city of Midgar with him! Find out more details about him, as well as the new Mii Fighter Chocobo hats and Geno costume from Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars here.

N3DS_TheDelusionsofVonSottendorf_02

The Delusions of Von Sottendorff and His Square Mind for Nintendo 3DS – Baron Von Sottendorff is stark-raving mad, and trapped in a grid drawing of his mansion generated by his very own mind. Can you help him regain his sanity in this puzzle-strategy game, or will you lose your own in trying?

N3DS_LegendofDarkWitch2_01

The Legend of Dark Witch 2 for Nintendo 3DS – Simple enough to learn, but challenging enough for those who seek to master it. Eight stages of adventure await as you gain technical skills and acquire forbidden items.

Theme Shop on Nintendo 3DS

This week’s new themes are The Legend of Dark Witch – Blad Theme, The Legend of Dark Witch – Klinsy Theme, The Legend of Dark Witch – Sola Theme, and “SEGA Hi-Tech Theme.”

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

  • Nintendo eShop on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS

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

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

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The first Nintendo Direct since President Satoru Iwata sadly passed away has finally arrived, and what a whopper it was! One kind of gets the feeling that they’ve been holding things back these last few months with how jam-packed it was with all kinds of great news for Nintendo fans and owners. In case you missed it, check it out here:

Normally, I wouldn’t approach the program this way, but at the moment, I just have entirely too much to do to have time for a point-by-point breakdown like I usually do. Since I try to hew on the Canadian side of things first and foremost, I’m highlighting what Nintendo of Canada has shared in a press release in terms of specifics to this country. In other words, pricing.

The November 13th release of Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival for Wii U will retail for $79.99 and includes amiibo figures of Isabelle and Digby, as well as three amiibo cards. Standalone Animal Crossing amiibo figures are slated for release the same day. For what it’s worth, I got to check out the game briefly at Nintendo’s recent holiday event, and as an Animal Crossing fan, I rather enjoyed what little I got to see.

Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash info has been coming at a trickle recently, with the inclusion of Rosalina and Bowser Jr. in his Clown Car and using select amiibo figures as partners in online battles as highlights. This one comes out on November 20th at a price of $64.99.

Xenoblade Chronicles X comes out on December 4th (please look forward to my review) for $74.99, but those interested in the physical version can go into the Nintendo eShop now and download any or all of the optional four free high-speed data loading packs, which increase the speed of loading times in the game. For those getting the digital release, the packs come built-in.

Come January 22nd, Mario & Luigi return, as well as Paper Mario in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam. This title is going for $49.99, and you can use compatible amiibo to create powerful character cards to use in battle — and there are quite a number to collect, featuring images of Mario and company from across all their many games.

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

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

For those interested, you can find the full press release on the following page.

Update: And if you’re interested in what caught my eye over the course of the show, I’ve written it up over on PoisonMushroom.Org over the weekend.

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

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Mega May wraps up with a surprise bang, among other cool releases.

WiiU_Splatoon_01

Splatoon for Wii U – Available May 29, but you can check out my review right now. Challenge friends and strangers alike in 4 on 4 Turf Wars online, or unlock the secrets of Octo Valley on your own! Check out the trailer here.

WiiU_DontStarveGiantEdition_05

Don’t Starve: Giant Edition for Wii U – You help a guy out, and then he tosses you out into the wilderness to survive on your own. Typical. Science, magic, and other creepiness await in the randomly generated world, and there are no extra lives here — death is permanent. Fortunately, you can share the adventure thanks to a special launch promotion that gives you a second code to gift to a friend! Check out the trailer here.

MegaManBattleNetwork4RedSun

Mega Man Battle Network 4 Blue Moon and Mega Man Battle Network 4 Red Sun for Wii U – This is where the Mega Man Battle Network series really tries to do something new, particularly with the two-versions strategy. Both games have the same core plot line, but the various stages and bosses between those portions are not only different between versions, but also change with each New Game + playthrough! Plus, Battle Chips and other items differ between versions as well.

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Mega Man Zero 3 for Wii U – A surprise addition to the roster to wrap up the Mega May lineup, Mega Man Zero 3 is my personal favorite of the series. In truth, it probably most closely resembles the Mega Man X series with this installment, too, so there may be a correlation. The evil Dr. Weil has returned to Neo Arcadia with the legendary Reploid Omega, and it seems he may have the key to the missing part of Zero’s mysterious past.

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Rival Turf! for Wii U – Six stages of 90’s-style Super Nintendo Entertainment System brawling await you, on your own or with a friend — or you can take each other on instead!

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Baila Latino for Wii U – Up to four players of all ages can enjoy the 20 American Latin songs included in this dance fitness game.

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SDK Paint – Demo Version for Wii U – Unsure if the life of a 2D painter and a 3D modeler is for you? Then try the free demo first!

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GLORY OF GENERALS THE PACIFIC for Nintendo 3DS – Four battlefields, 64 campaigns, 105 world famous generals, and over 300 terrains await you in this strategy game as you make your way from soldier to marshal. Plus, if you have the prequel, you can earn a bonus as a veteran commander.

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G.G Series WONDERLAND for Nintendo DSiWare and Nintendo 3DS – Who would have imagined anyone would make a vertically-scrolling shooter out of Alice in Wonderland? But here we are, as you shoot and bomb your way to go down the rabbit hole.

Theme Shop on Nintendo 3DS

New themes this week include “Mighty Switch Force!,” “Pokémon Shuffle,” “Pokémon: Mega Charizard X,” “Pokémon: Eevee Collection,” and as of May 29th, “Splatoon: Fresh Squid.”

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

  • Nintendo eShop on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS
    • Transformers Prime (Wii U and Nintendo 3DS), The Amazing Spider-man 2 (Wii U and Nintendo 3DS) and more games from Activision are on sale until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 4.
    • 1001 Spikes (Wii U and Nintendo 3DS) is 50 percent off (reduced from $15 to $7.49) until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 18.
    • Color Zen (Wii U and Nintendo 3DS), Color Zen Kids (Wii U and Nintendo 3DS) and more games from Cypronia are on sale until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 30.
    • Luv Me Buddies Wonderland (Wii U and Nintendo 3DS) is up to 48 percent off (reduced to $12.90) until 8:59 a.m. PT on July 31.
  • Nintendo eShop on Wii U
    • Zumba Fitness World Party is 75 percent off (reduced from $39.99 to $9.99) beginning at 9 a.m. PT on June 1 until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 8.
    • Fit Music is 56 percent off (reduced from $29.90 to $12.90) until 8: 59 a.m. PT on July 31.
  • Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS
    • Crash City Mayhem is 75 percent off (reduced from $19.99 to $4.99) beginning at 9 a.m. PT on June 1 until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 8.
    • Cave Story, VVVVVV and more games from Nicalis are on sale until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 18.
    • Monster Combine TD is 35 percent off (reduced from $3.99 to $2.59) until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 25.

Price Reduction (Taken directly from Nintendo’s press release; prices in USD)

  • Nintendo eShop on Wii U
    • Shuttle Rush is reduced to $3.99 (from $7.99) beginning at 9 a.m. PT on May 28.

Activities

Best Buy StreetPass Event – We may not get to partake in the Nintendo World Championships, but that isn’t stopping Nintendo from holding a StreetPass event to commemorate the occasion anyway. This event takes place from May 29 to May 31 exclusively at all Best Buy locations, where you can bring your Nintendo 3DS to “enhance StreetPass-enabled games you already own,” including such titles as Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Saphire. Plus, there’s the opportunity to gain more Puzzle Swap pieces and fill out other StreetPass Plaza games, too.

Pokémon Shuffle Update – A new update to the game brings new stages and features, such as the “Super Catch Power” that makes catching ’em all easier than before. Among other improvements are “How Hearts Accumulate, Checking Out Pokémon, and Combo Numbers Shown Longer,” which I’m sure means more to someone who has actually played the game. More details are available here just the same, though.

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. “amiibo Agent” Tournament – The next Nintendo Public Tournament for Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is running now until May 31, and you can find all the details about it here.

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

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So, here’s a question for you: Would anyone miss this feature if I discontinued it?

The truth of the matter is, as much as I’ve streamlined the process, this is still pretty time consuming (it’s probably one of the more in-depth articles to cover what’s new every week that you’re likely to find– I even talk about the stuff Nintendo doesn’t in their press releases), and the only reason I kept doing it after ceasing the Xbox and PlayStation deals was because I still had some fun with it, primarily talking about new Virtual Console releases. Unfortunately, I’m not enjoying it as much as I used to and I think the time would be better spent getting more reviews up faster. But… I really don’t know if anyone particularly cares to read about it here.

If there’s no interest, I’ll probably just hang it up soon, maybe talk about the occasional release of interest as it comes. But not just yet; stopping during “Mega May” would just feel all sorts of wrong to me, even if I’m also covering those games specifically over on The Mega Man Network.

In other words, if you’ve any feelings about it one way or the other, you have until the end of the month to make them known. If people still want it, I’ll gladly keep it up.

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Splatoon Global Testfire for Wii U – Before the game goes on sale on May 29, get a taste of the Turf War in this free demo. You can play with others online in four-on-four matches, but only during certain times “designed to accommodate people around the world”:

– Friday, May 8, 8-9 p.m. PT
– Saturday, May 9, 4-5 a.m. PT
– Saturday, May 9, Noon-1 p.m. PT

In addition, you can buy the game now and preload it to your Wii U console so that, with a small update when the game is officially released, you can start playing immediately.

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High Strangeness for Wii U – Drawing inspiration from 8-bit and 16-bit adventure and role playing games, you must switch between the style of both generations alongside your feline companion to solve a multi-layered mystery. Check out the trailer here.

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Mega Man & Bass for Wii U – Originally developed for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (well, it’s Japanese counterpart, the Super Famicom), the Game Boy Advance port of the title is the only way you can play it in English. For the first time in the series, you can choose between Mega Man or Bass, who eschews charge shots for rapid-fire, multi-directional blasts of energy. He can also join forces with his robotic wolf, Treble, to fuse into a flying armored form. As either character, it’s up to you to hunt down and stop King before he can raise a robot army to overrun humankind!

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Metal Marines for Wii U – This real-time strategy game from the Super NES library puts you in the role of commander of the allied Colonies. Take charge of the Metal Marines as they face down Zorgeuf and his empire to determine the fate of the nations.

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Trine Enchanted Edition Demo Version for Wii U – Check out this free demo, and if you like what you see, maybe you’d be interested in partaking of the deal featured below?

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Zen Pinball 2 – New downloadable content for Wii U – As usual, I’m in the dark as to what this actually entails.

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Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker for Nintendo 3DS – You’re stuck on a world that’s on the brink of extinction, but your friends have found a way to fight back against the invaders who brought it to this point. Two free pieces of downloadable content are also available to help you in your fight, with more on the way. Check out a trailer here.

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Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition for Nintendo 3DS – If you can’t wait to get your hands on this game, you can purchase it now and preload it on your Nintendo 3DS. Then, with a small update upon its release, you’ll be able to start playing right away. What’s more, “those who purchase the game in the Nintendo eShop between now and 11:59 pm PT on May 31 will receive a free Immortal Dragon Relic Present Code! The relic will be available when the game launches.”

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Bloo Kid 2 for Nintendo 3DS – Five worlds, nine levels, brutal bosses, and lots of secrets are promised in this 2D retro-styled platformer.

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Johnny Dynamite for Nintendo 3DS – Contrary to the name, it doesn’t appear that this is a part of the same ultra-hard Johnny series of games from UFO Interactive that are on sale below. This puzzle strategy game features 54 levels and a level editor so you can create and share your own. Check out the trailer here.

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The Legend of Dark Witch Demo Version for Nintendo 3DS – Unsure about committing to the dark side? Try before you buy!

Nintendo eShop Sales (Prices in USD; each sale begins at 9am PST and ends at 8:59am PST on the dates provided)

Trine Series Fan Discount for Wii UTrine Enchanged Edition and Trine 2: Director’s Cut are each up to 50 percent off until May 28th. If you own either game, you’ll receive an additional 20 percent off the other during the sale period.

Puddle for Wii U – Until May 14th, this title has been reduced from $7.99 to $1.99, 75 percent off.

Dolphin Up for Wii U – Until May 14th, this title has been reduced from $3.99 to $2.99, 25 percent off.

GravBlocks+ for Wii U – Until May 17th, this title has been reduced from $4.99 to $2.50, 49 percent off.

SteamWorld Dig for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS – Until May 21st, these titles have been reduced to $4.49 each, up to 55 percent off.

Angry Birds Star Wars for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS – Until May 11th, these titles are 50 percent off.

Brunch Panic, Kami, and Sweet Memories – Blackjack for Nintendo 3DS – These Circle Entertainment titles are on sale until May 28th.

Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth for Nintendo 3DS – From May 11th until May 25th, this title has been reduced from $49.99 to $39.99, 20 percent off.

Aqua Moto Racing 3D for Nintendo 3DS – Until May 14th, this title has been reduced from $7.99 to $3.99, 50 percent off.

Zombie Panic in Wonderland DX for Nintendo 3DS – From May 9th until June 9th, this title has been reduced from $8 to $4.99, 37 percent off.

Price Reductions

Hello Kitty Kruisers for Wii U – Beginning May 8th, this title is reduced from $19.95 to $9.99.

Balloon Pop Remix, Johnny Hotshot, Johnny Impossible, and Johnny Kung Fu for Nintendo 3DS – These titles are reduced from $4.99 to $2.99.

Samurai Sword Destiny and Zombie Slayer Diox for Nintendo 3DS – These titles have been reduced from $5.99 to $2.99.

Disney Frozen: Olaf’s Quest for Nintendo 3DS – This title is reduced from $29.99 to $19.99.

Scarygirl Illustration Kit for Nintendo 3DS – This title is reduced from $5.99 to $2.99.

Tangram Attack for Nintendo 3DS – This title is reduced from $2.99 to $1.49.

Events/Activities

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M “Watt’s Up?” 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 “Watt’s Up?” tournament runs from May 8 to May 10. 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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megamantributeFinally… after months in the making, it’s come down to this.

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

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

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

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

Twas the week before Christmas, and all through Nintendo eShop; lots of games were stirring, as was Zero’s big blonde mop.

Okay, so this year is clearly not the year for doing poetry. Moving right along…

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Mega Man Zero for Wii UMega Man is 27, and to celebrate, Capcom has released the game that will make people never want to play another Mega Man game again! Okay, so this one is honestly not bad– just very challenging and very unforgiving, perhaps more than any other game in the franchise. Fortunately, features such as Restore Points and even custom-mapped controls may mitigate the difficulty enough to give anyone a fair shot.

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Natsume Championship Wrestling for Wii U – Twelve wrestlers compete as you play solo or with up to four players in exhibition, tag team, and round robin matches.

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99Moves for Wii U – Following 99Bullets and 99Seconds, the saga continues as you must fight to survive with just 99 movements.

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Art of Balance – Demo Version for Wii U – Curious about the balancing arts, but aren’t sure of a full investment? Try out this free demo!

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BLOK DROP X TWISTED FUSION for Wii U – Guide the GoGo to the finish in 50 levels of block-clearing puzzle action.

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Cake Ninja 3: The Legend Continues for Wii U – Waaaait a minute. You’re not fooling anyone, Cake Ninja! Those are clearly some sort of fruit! Watermelons, even! Why, if anything, that would make you some sort of a… and I lost my train of thought.

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Meme Run for Wii U – Run to gain swag points as you attempt to join the Illuminati.

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Plenty of Fishies for Wii U – Up to five players compete as you eat smaller fish to become bigger. Go for the highest score!

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TOSS N GO for Wii U – A 99 cent title, you can play against a friend or the computer as you roll dice and bank your points at the right time, or else lose out.

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Asterix The Mansions of the Gods for Nintendo 3DS – 16 game modes and two levels of difficulty await as you play “the only official Asterix: The Mansions of the Gods” game with all the iconic characters of the comic.

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Cube Creator 3D – Demo Version for Nintendo 3DS – Not sure about this Minecraft-alike? Put aside all doubts by checking out the free demo!

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Fairune for Nintendo 3DS – Unlock the three ancient statues to seal away a mysterious menace forever in this retro-styled role playing game.

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I Love My Horse for Nintendo 3DS – So nice, they had to release it twice?

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League of Heroes for Nintendo 3DS – The adventure never ends as you level up and customize your characters for the journey ahead.

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Mes Comptines for Nintendo 3DS – Kids can sing along with the 17 children’s songs featured in this collection.

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Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3D for Nintendo 3DS – This prequel to the Metal Gear saga is now available to download in the Nintendo eShop. If you’re not sure about it, there’s even a free demo to try out.

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Toys Vs. Monsters for Nintendo 3DS – Boasting 20 hours of entertainment, your goal in this strategy game is to form an army of toys to take on the monsters who wish to dwell in your dreams and imagination.

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Urban Trial Freestyle – Demo Version for Nintendo 3DS – Not sure if you can hang well enough to make good on your investment in this game? Download the free trial version and find out for sure!

Nintendo eShop Sales

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Mega Manniversary Sale – Until 8:59am PT on December 22nd, celebrate the 27th anniversary of Mega Man by saving 50 percent on Mega Man II, Mega Man III, and Mega Man IV for Nintendo 3DS, as well as Mega Man 5, Mega Man 6, and Mega Man 7 for Wii U.

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Little Orbit games for Nintendo 3DS and Wii UArt of Balance, Nano Assault Neo, and more are on sale from 9am PT on December 16th until 8:59am PT on January 14th.

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SteamWorld Dig for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS – Until 8:59am PT on January 1st, this title is 50 percent off. Check out my review of the Wii U version of the game here.

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Little Inferno for Wii U – Reduced from $9.99 to $4.99 (more than 50 percent off) until 8:59am PT on January 1st.

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Nicalis games for Nintendo 3DS1,001 Spikes, VVVVVV, and more are on sale from 9am PT on December 19th until 8:59am PT on January 5th.

More: – Check out this page (at the bottom) for more price drops on other games.

Coming Soon:

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Duck Hunt for Wii U – Coming December 25th, this classic from the Nintendo Entertainment System helped launch the system into millions of homes across North America alongside Super Mario Bros. Following the dog and duck resurfacing in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, you can make the Wii Remote your Zapper and take on challenges of bringing down one or two ducks at a time (for added fun, a second player can take control of the ducks with another controller). Fail, and the infamous dog will laugh right in your face! A third mode also allows you to take aim at non-living targets as you blow clay pigeons out of the sky.

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

supermetroidboxOnce more, the Power Button podcast crew of Matthew Green and Blake Grundman saw fit to have me sit among their ranks as the subject of the week turned to everyone’s favorite way to revitalize a flagging franchise: Reboots!

The three of us had quite a few ideas for games we’d like to see rebooted, and in some cases, just how we’d like to see them rebooted as well. The list is vast and varied, running the gamut of Mega Man (not suggested by me, believe it or not) to Donkey Kong to Ice Climber to Metroid to Battletoads, and even to Bubsy. Plus, at the top of the whole thing, we talked about the recent Sonic Boom and how that’s not a reboot, per se, and just why a reboot wouldn’t work for the Blue Blur anyway.

As always, you can get the episode from Stitcher, nab it on iTunes, go with the RSS feed with the podcast aggregation software of your choosing, or you can just download it or listen to it on the Press The Buttons website itself. The Power (Button) of choice is in your hands!

Oh, and for those wondering? We’ll be talking more video game comics with some special guests real soon. That’s right– they had me back for more! So please, give it a listen, and feel free to leave comments! Heck, there’s even a hotline at (720) 722-2781 if you want to yell at me or something.

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

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

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

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

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

You can check out a trailer for the game here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nintendo eShop Sales

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

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

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

Price Reduction

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

Coming Soon

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

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

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

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

adventuresofsupermariobros3I recently had the privilege/opportunity to appear on Matthew Green’s Power Button podcast over at Press The Buttons, something of a rarity for me as I generally don’t get to do podcasts. In fact, I might have been on sooner were it not for a little bit of miscommunication between us– Matthew thought I meant it in some sort of Hollywood “I don’t ‘do‘ that” sort of way, when the truth is that I’ve tried, but for one reason or another– lost files, tossing the segments I was in aside, etc.– I’ve just never really gotten to actually do them, at least in a way that presents any evidence.

Heck, The Mega Man Network used to have a podcast series, and I don’t think I got to appear on a single one. Life is strange like that.

But no more! I got together with Mr. Green and, when he wasn’t looking, Mr. Blake Grundman, and the production actually made it to air! …web! Whatever the term might be. It’s on Stitcher and iTunes, and there are a few other ways to check it out that you can find on Press The Buttons, including listening to it directly from the site itself.

This episode, titled “The Video Game Cartoon Express Action Zone Adventure Power Hour With David Oxford” (or maybe just “The Video Game Cartoon Express Action Zone Adventure Power Hour,” but I kind of like it the other way), sees the lot of us talk about a variety of cartoons and television shows whose origins lie with the world of video games: The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm (and the tie that binds them), Donkey Kong Country, Captain N: The Game Master, The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, The New Super Mario World, Video Power, and more– including just a bit of exclusive information on Ruby-Spears’ Mega Man cartoon show as well.

All that, and we only scratched the surface of all the video game cartoons out there!

So I hope you’ll give it a listen, and with any luck, maybe I’ll even be invited back sometime and we can discuss this topic (or others) a bit more. Until then, thanks to Matthew and Blake for having me!

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.

This week has a surprising number of good games going for it. At least, I think it does…

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Street Fighter Alpha 2 for Wii U – It’s amazing this game was ever released on the Super NES. Experience the entry which introduced the world to such techniques as Quick Move Reversals, Alpha Counters, and the Custom Combo System, as well as bringing Dan, Akuma, and M. Bison to the forefront of the action, where they are joined by Rolento, Gen, Sakura, Dhalsim, Zangief, and more.

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Swords & Soldiers for Wii U – The aforementioned “I think” about the quality of some of this week’s releases applies here. I reviewed this one a while back for the iPhone, where it came as a highly recommended title. You can read that here, and hope that the same level of care and quality carried over to the Wii U version.

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Squids Odyssey for Wii U – Another from the iPhone, where it was known simply as “Squids.” This one had promise, but I advocated caution when I reviewed it. I haven’t played it since that review, nor the Wii U version, but hopefully they managed to improve on some aspects, while others– such as draining my phone’s battery like nobody’s business– shouldn’t apply here. According to the press release, though, this version contains not only the original iPhone game’s content, but also SQUIDS Wild West and additional new content as well.

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Fit Music for Wii U – It’s fitness! It’s dancing! “Each section offers all the typical phases of the workout with warm-up exercises, an intensive training phase and a final relaxation phase.”

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Mega Man V for Nintendo 3DS – The fifth and final game from the Classic Mega Man series to grace the original Game Boy, the series goes out with a bang by offering an all-new adventure against all new bosses and other foes. When Mega Man’s Mega Buster proves ineffective against the attack of the Stardroids, Dr. Light gives the Blue Bomber’s attack a little extra punch– literally. With the new rocket-punching Mega Arm, Mega Man takes off to the eight planets (mind, this is before Pluto was declassified) to put a stop to their conquest. And he’s not alone: In addition to Rush and Eddie, Tango the Robocat makes his debut!

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Alien on the Run for Nintendo 3DS – Full and demo versions of this title await in the Nintendo eShop. Ever think Earthlings are the only ones who have to worry about UFO abductions? Delude, an alien from another planet, would like to argue that point with you. He’s been taken from his home planet, and must dive into and take down the tractor beams he finds in the UFO’s 17 levels to get back home.

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Turtle Tale for Nintendo 3DS – It’s classic-style 2D platforming action as Shelldon the turtle defends his island home from Captain O’Haire and his gang of Monkey Pirates. Venture through five unique areas to win the day and make those pirates set sail for good!

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Lost Treasures of Alexandria for Nintendo 3DS/Nintendo DSiWare – A Match-3 game with a story about perfectly-formed metal spheres from Africa dating back over a million years.

Nintendo eShop Sales:

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Darts Up 3D for Nintendo 3DS – Until 9am PT on June 11th, this title is 67 percent off.

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Classic Games Overload for Nintendo 3DS – Until 9am PT on June 2nd, this title is $10 off.

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Joindots – Until 9am PT on June 5th, select Nintendo 3DS games from Joindots will be on sale, including 3D MahJongg, Funfair Party Games, and Gardenscapes.

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Blok Drop U for Wii U – Until 9am PT on June 4th, this title is 25 percent off.

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AeternoBlade for Nintendo 3DS – From May 23rd to 9am PT on May 26th, this title will be on sale (no specifics are given).

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

Lots to see in the Nintendo eShop this week, including a late-coming Wii U retail title, a HAL Labs classic, and the next “Mega May” release!

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Wii Party U for Wii U – Beginning May 16th (for reasons…?), the latest game from the creators of the Mario Party series and Wii Party arrives in the Wii U eShop. With the Wii U GamePad and Wii Remote Plus controllers, there are numerous board and mini-games to try out in this package.

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Scram Kitty and His Buddy on Rails for Wii U – As Scram Kitty offers you advice and feedback through the Wii U’s GamePad, you take control on the big screen as you glide along the glowing rails of the space station and past its numerous hazards, all while taking down the rodent infestation in this mix of 360 degree platforming and 2D shooter action.

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Adventures of Lolo for Wii U – Before there was Kirby, HAL gave us Lolo and Lala (who would live on in tweaked forms in the tough cream puff’s own adventures). Lala, the love of Lolo’s life, has been kidnapped by the devilish King Egger and taken away to his great fortress. Lolo takes the fight to Egger, facing down his army of enemy forces by using the blocks found throughout the castle to his advantage, trapping some enemies and defending against others.

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Color Zen for Wii U – Touting itself as a new kind of puzzle game, Color Zen wants you to plug in your headphones, relax, and immerse yourself as you try to find your way through its abstract world of colors and shapes. “There are no points or penalties for failure; just an abstract world of color to move through at your own pace.” 460 levels are included, with more promised.

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Mega Man IV for Nintendo 3DS – Speaking of classics, this was the only Mega Man title I had on the Game Boy for years, and it remains one of the best on the platform. Wily has taken over the robots of the World Robot Expo, including some familiar faces, and it’s up to the Blue Bomber to put an end to their rampage. But before he can get to Dr. Wily, he must face the newest in the line of Mega Man Killers– Ballade!

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Moon Chronicles for Nintendo 3DS – Renegade Kid’s award-winning scifi first-person shooter is back, and now it’s been remastered in 3D. Running at 60 frames per second, intuitive touchscreen controls help immerse you in the atmospheric adventure.

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ARC STYLE: Baseball 3D for Nintendo 3DS – This full-scale baseball game is designed so anyone can jump in and enjoy it. It includes three modes: Tournament, Exhibition, and Custom, and there are seven teams to face. You can even create your own custom players, including their name and appearance, aided by the Nintendo 3DS’s camera.

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Candy Match 3 for Nintendo 3DS – A match-3 game. There’s literally nothing more to say about it, except that you can also match-4, match-5, or match-6 candies for added bonuses.

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Deep Sea Creatures for Nintendo 3DS/Nintendo DSiWare – Aboard your submarine, it’s your job to dive into the depths of the ocean, discover new creatures, and bring them back to shore with you. There, you can arrange them in your aquarium for their maximum benefit, and in time, they’ll even begin to reproduce!

Sales:

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Big John Games Sale – Until 9am PT on June 5th, select Big John Games for the Nintendo 3DS will be discounted, including Smash Bowling 3D and Big Bass Arcade No Limit.

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Atlus Sale – Beginning at 9am PT on May 19th and ending at 9am PT on June 2nd, select Atlus games for Nintendo 3DS will be at “their lowest prices yet,” $14.99, including Code of Princess and Shin Megami Tensei IV: Devil Survivor Overclocked.

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