The Nintendo Download – 10/15/2015

Mario and Yoshi, together again! …sort of.

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Yoshi’s Woolly World for Wii U – Coming October 16th, Yoshi has traded in the crayon look for wool and yarn. Does it finally recapture the spirit that made Yoshi’s Island such a classic? Well, from what I’ve played, it just might! Hopefully I can tell you for sure soon!

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New Super Mario Bros. U + New Super Luigi U Bundle for Wii U – Also coming October 16th: I’ve said a ton about New Super Mario Bros. U, and a fair bit about New Super Luigi U as well. Now both are together in one pack for one price — the best of the New Super Mario Bros. series and the unique DLC are definitely worth looking into.

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Final Fight One for Wii U – According to Cygnus Destroyer’s recent review, this is one of the best versions of Final Fight you’re likely to find. If you’re only familiar with the Super Nintendo Entertainment System version, this one has an extra stage not found there, an extra character in Guy, plus new cutscenes and other extra content, making the battle to rescue Mayor Mike Haggar’s daughter from the Mad Gear gang of Metro City just a bit more intense.

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Momonga Pinball Adventures for Wii U – The momonga village has been razed to the ground, its people missing. Momo was found in the outskirts and healed, and must now face the evil owls who wrought this carnage in a pinball-styled adventure.

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Ninja Strike: Dangerous Dash for Wii U – Choose one of five different ninjas, then run, fly, and slash your way through enemies to retrieve stolen treasures and claim victory!

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Rakoo & Friends for Wii U – Up to five players can help Rakoo find that special someone as he searches through 45 levels of running adventure in this cartoon-styled game.

Crunchyroll for Wii – A WiiWare update? How unusual. This free app allows you to view shows from Japan such as Naruto Shippuden, One Piece, and Sword Art Online. Go premium (there’s a free 14-day trial) to watch the shows ad-free, and see new episodes an hour after they air in Japan.

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SmileBASIC for Nintendo 3DS – Learn BASIC and program your own game with this app!

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The Magic Hammer for Nintendo 3DS – Customize your character in this action role playing game and explore an open world containing towns, boneyards, and more. Team up with a friend in co-op to increase your odds of survival.

Theme Shop on Nintendo 3DS

This week’s new themes are “SEGA Game Gear,” “SEGA Genesis,” and “Chibi-Robo & Friends.”

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

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Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer is featuring SpotPass distribution of a new character: Louie, a fan of the Mushroom Kingdom, whose home design whims can net your catalog some new and unique items. He’s available for a limited time only, so don’t hesitate to check the in-game Nintendo 3DS on the second floor of Nook’s Homes and take him on as a client!

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

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As you may have heard earlier today, Nintendo of America has rolled out their release schedule for the remainder of 2015, and is it ever jam-packed with stuff to look forward to. Nintendo of Canada has just followed suit, and that’s naturally where our interests lie — particularly the suggested retail prices you can expect.

“Nintendo has games, amiibo and systems to satisfy all kinds of players, whether they’re looking for back-to-school gifts or getting an early start on their holiday shopping,” Nintendo of Canada’s General Manager and Senior Director Pierre-Paul Trepanier stated in a press release. “No one can match the quality or uniqueness of what Nintendo has to offer for the rest of 2015.”

So, what’s on tap for Wii U?

NOA_PackShot_SSM_2For starters, if you don’t yet have a Wii U, then Walmart has the answer for you come September 11th: The Super Mario Maker Wii U bundle, which comes with the Super Mario Maker game, Idea Book, and the 30th Anniversary Mario “Modern Colour” amiibo. The $329.99 bundle will then be available at other retailers across Canada after October 1st.

For those who already own the Wii U console, the game will also be available on September 11th for $69.99.

Speaking of Mario, a semi-new two-in-one disc containing both New Super Mario Bros. U and New Super Luigi U (click for my respective reviews) will be available at retail on October 16th for $74.99. Previously, the two games were sold separately at retail with both coming together in a special bundle with the Wii U console. Now, if it suits you, you can get both together in one package.

Also on October 16th, Yoshi’s Woolly World launches for $64.99, or you can get it in a bundle with the exclusive green Yarn Yoshi amiibo for $79.99. If you want more Yarn Yoshi amiibo in your life (and who doesn’t?), then the pink and blue versions will be sold at retail individually for $19.99 each, also on October 16th.

A little closer to Halloween will see the release of Koei Tecmo Games co-developed title Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water. This Nintendo eShop exclusive will be priced at $62.49, and beginning October 22nd, players can download and play the prologue and first two chapters for free, with the full version of the game available as downloadable content in the Nintendo eShop or the in-game menu.

WiiU_StarFoxZero_case_RSeveral of Nintendo’s heavier hitters don’t have prices yet, but you’ll find Star Fox Zero in stores on November 20th, Xenoblade Chronicles X on December 4th, and Devil’s Third on December 11th. Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival, its amiibo figures (Isabelle, Digby, K.K., Reese, Cyrus, Tom Nook, Mabel, and Lottie), and Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash are all still saddled with the more nebulous “Holiday 2015” release window.

On the subject of toys, Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition is slated for an August 30th release for $64.99, the special Nintendo amiibo-fied versions of Skylanders SuperChargers with the exclusive Turbo Charge Donkey Kong amiibo/Skylanders toggleable figures will be available for $84.99 on September 20th, and the LEGO Dimensions Starter Pack will make its debut on September 27th for $109.99, with additional LEGO Dimensions Level, Team, and Fun Packs available the same day for $29.99, $24.99, and $14.99, respectively.

On October 20th, things get musical on Wii U as Guitar Hero Live hits the stage for $109.99 and Just Dance 2016 shakes its booty for $49.99.

Indie games get some love as well, with Toronto-based 13AM Games releasing Runbow (complete with its host of fellow indie-gaming guest stars such as Shovel Knight) in the Nintendo eShop for $15.99 on August 27th, with those who downloaded the Nindies@Home demo back in June getting 15 percent off for the first month after launch. Speaking of Shovel Knight, the Nintendo eShop hit is coming to retail in October for $29.99 on both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.

Speaking of Nintendo 3DS, let’s shift our focus to that now. Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer arrives at retail for $44.99 on September 25th and comes with one complimentary amiibo card, while those who opt to download it from the Nintendo eShop at the same price will instead receive an exclusive Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer HOME Menu Theme. The rest of the 100 Animal Crossing amiibo cards will be released the same day, sold in packs of six for $6.99 per pack. Launching the same day is the long-awaited wireless NFC Reader/Writer accessory for $24.99, or you can get a bundle with the game and one card for $54.99.

The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes arrives on October 23rd for $49.99, with YO-KAI WATCH and Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon arriving on November 6th and 20th, respectively, neither of which being given a price yet.

Skylanders SuperChargers races onto Nintendo 3DS the same day as its Wii U big brother, September 20th, for a price of $79.99. This and the Wii version both include Hammer Slam Bowser and his Sky vehicle, the Clown Cruiser, to get you started with multiplayer racing action both online and off. Meanwhile, Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash will come bundled with a Chibo-Robo amiibo for the price of $49.99 on October 9th.

YWW-amiibo-mega-4Now that we’re back to amiibo, here’s the news on the rest. More Super Smash Bros. amiibo are on the way with Mewtwo and the great Falco Lombardi hitting on November 13th and 20th, respectively, at a price of $15.99 each. The Mii Fighter 3-pack will also hit stores on November 20th for $44.99.

Finally, Yarn Yoshi has skipped straight past Super and gone into full-on Mega with the giant green Mega Yarn Yoshi amiibo. The biggest amiibo to date arrives on October 16th for the equally mega price of $59.99, Mega Yarn Yoshi features the same “Double Yoshi” ability in Yoshi’s Woolly World as his more diminutive counterparts, which allows players to add a second Yoshi to use at any point during a stage. Plus, if you’ve got a favorite Yoshi pattern, that can be saved to the amiibo as well.

It looks like it’s going to be quite a busy (and fun) year for the rest of 2015.

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Once again, Nintendo came out of nowhere to surprise everyone with a new Nintendo Direct, as seen above. Much like the two most recent editions, this one also focuses on a specific upcoming title: Mario Kart 8. Furthermore, they do so with the same sense of fun and wackiness that we’ve come to expect from their updates.

“Everyone loves Mario Kart,” said Nintendo of Canada’s vice-president and general manager, Ron Bertram, in a press release. “It’s a franchise that brings people together for fun at a family gathering, a frenzied race against friends or just an afternoon break at the office. The numerous new features of Mario Kart 8 make this the most ambitious version yet, and one that will have players of all skill levels racing for the checkered flag.”

From the press release, here are some of the highlights of the video, accompanied by my own thoughts/observations. Of course, you’ll still want to watch the whole video through for yourself, if only because the game is gorgeous.

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Mario Kart 8 Wii U Bundle: People who don’t yet own a Wii U system will find it easy to get in on the action. On May 30, Nintendo is releasing the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Set bundle that includes a Wii U Deluxe Set system, a Mario Kart 8 game, a red Mario Wii Wheel accessory and a red Mario Wii Remote Plus controller, all at a suggested retail price of just $349.99.

About a week ago, news broke that Europe was getting a variety of bundle options for Mario Kart 8, and we were wondering if we would see any of them here. Well, we’re seeing an option, at least, and it’s a nice one, but it pales by comparison to what our fellows across the pond are seeing.

As snazzy as the red Wii Remote Plus and Wii Wheel are, they’re also getting the official player’s guide from Prima, a cool GamePad protector, and even a hat. Better still, they can choose between “Team Mario” and “Team Luigi” versions.

They also have software bundles, including the game, a Bullet Bill t-shirt, a Mario keychain, and a Blue Shell figurine. I imagine the casual consumer will never know otherwise, but for fans who keep a close eye on Nintendo in a digital age where things like this are no longer a secret from country to country, it does sting a bit.

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Get a Free Digital Game: People who buy Mario Kart 8 and register the game with Club Nintendo before July 31 will receive a free Nintendo eShop download code for an additional Wii U game. Players can grow their Wii U digital game collections by choosing from one of these well-received Wii U games: New Super Mario Bros. U, Pikmin 3, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD or Wii Party U. That’s a two-for-one deal featuring some of the all-time great Wii U games. This offer also applies to people who get the game in the Mario Kart 8 bundle or digitally in the Nintendo eShop.

Another cool deal for consumers, no matter how they get Mario Kart 8. And these are some great games, too; you can find my reviews for New Super Mario Bros. U and Pikmin 3 here and here, respectively. As for The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD and Wii Party U, I’ve not managed to review them yet, but both have been quite enjoyable from what I have played (I’m honestly enjoying Wind Waker HD more than I did the original).

But, once again, it pales compared to what Europe is getting: Ten games to choose from, versus our four. In addition to what will be available to us, they also have a choice of Nintendo Land, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Wii U version), Game & Wario, The Wonderful 101, Sonic Lost World (Wii U version), and Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. “It’s worth noting that most of that list sits among the very best of Wii U’s lineup,” says Official Nintendo Magazine.

I might be able to understand why Nintendo hold back on the physical side of things when it comes to bundles, given the logistics of physical goods (production, packaging, shipping, etc.), but the Wii U doesn’t exactly have much ground on its competition at the moment, so why hold back on the digital side?

Online Multiplayer: Up to 12 players can race together online in four different multiplayer modes, as long as everyone has a broadband Internet connection. Like to trash-talk your friends while you’re preparing for a race? You’re in luck! Mario Kart 8 lets players chat with one another in the lobby area using the Wii U GamePad microphone or text phrases as they wait for their friends to join. Players also can create public or private tournaments for which they specify the day of the week, the time and the rules. Per tradition, players will be able to race against ghost data from friends or even the top 10 worldwide racers. They can try to beat them or just pick up a few tips and tricks from studying the best. If you beat the development team’s ghosts, you’ll get cool stamps for use in Miiverse posts.

Multiplayer is what makes the Mario Kart world go ’round, and online options (along with local) make it even better. With the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection soon to be kaput (rendering Mario Kart DS and Mario Kart Wii‘s online modes null and void), the timing is good to nudge people towards the next generation.

Perhaps the most impressive part, though, is voice chat. Too bad it’s only for the lobby area, though, but still– it’s more than some expected from Nintendo, even with the equipment for it built right into the GamePad.

Mario Kart TV: As previously announced, players can watch their highlight racing reels, rewind them, play them in slow motion or upload them to Miiverse. They can watch the world’s most popular highlight reels and comment on them. But players with Google accounts can also upload their reels directly to their YouTube channels.

This is pretty big. Microsoft and Sony have already boasted similar features for their respective platforms, and while it would be nice if this were implemented at the Wii U’s console level, it’s still great to have an option to upload your videos straight to YouTube. My only concern is how well it deals with those of us who haven’t bought into Google’s “one username for everything” ideal.

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New Items: Items are what make Mario Kart games so balanced. No matter how skilled racers are, they’re just a blue Spiny Shell away from disaster. A well-timed item can also turn defeat into victory in an instant. The new Super Horn blows away all other items – literally. Sounding the Super Horn issues forth a sonic shock wave that blasts away everything in the vicinity, including other drivers, Red Shells and even blue Spiny Shells. It’s a potent asset, especially for drivers trying to maintain their lead. Mario Kart 8 also introduces the Crazy Eight, a swirl of eight different items that lucky players can use one by one.

One issue people took with Mario Kart Wii is how unbalanced item distribution seemed. When there were only eight racers in previous games, the bottom part of the rankings generally got items to help them catch up and do nasty things to the other racers– lightning bolts, blue Spiny Shells, etc. With Mario Kart Wii, they added four more competitors to the races, but it seemed like the item draws were still the same… but with a much bigger bottom part of the rankings. Hopefully they’ve balanced that out a bit here.

The Super Horn sounds like a really positive addition, though. For too long, racers in the lead were left with little to defend their positions, and were nigh-helpless against the blue Shells. And yes, I’ve heard the trick where a precisely-timed Super Mushroom speed boost can help you to dodge, but that’s rarely useful when a) You usually don’t get Super Mushrooms when in first place, and b) there are so many things (such as lightning bolts) that can take that Super Mushroom away from you if you don’t hurry up and use it.

Now, if we can just learn that the computer is less likely to gang up on you with lightning bolts, POW blocks, and blue Shells every time you’re about to unlock something, we’ll really be cooking.

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New Racers: Two new playable female characters make their debut appearances in Mario Kart 8. New heavyweight driver Pink Gold Peach glows with a golden light and makes a nice counterpart to Metal Mario. Baby Rosalina shows up for a play date with other Baby characters. As in past Mario Kart games, players can again choose to play as their Mii characters, which rounds out the field of racers to an even 30.

Ugh, this was the worst part of the entire thing for me. I’m fine with the Mii, don’t get me wrong; I love using mine in games such as this, and I was both disappointed to be unable to unlock it in Mario Kart Wii and filled with joy to do so in Mario Kart 7 (where it was also the only character I was able to unlock).

It should be no secret by now that I’m a big fan of Mario— the games, the world, the characters, and there is absolutely no shortage of characters that I would have loved to see included in this game. Several have already been included previously, such as Funky Kong, Dry Bones, Birdo, Diddy Kong, King Boo, Wiggler, Bowser Jr., even Koopa Paratroopa, to say nothing of my favorite from Mario Kart DS, R.O.B. (who admittedly didn’t originate in Mario, but has precedence. And I don’t miss him for his stats– I just love R.O.B.), and seeing so many absences this time is nothing short of disappointing.

Sure, we have some new inclusions like the Koopalings now, who are most welcome, but it’s always crushing to see one of your favorites kicked off the roster for no apparent good reason (just ask Super Smash Bros. fans). After all, a good chunk of the fun in games such as this is picking out a favorite character from another game and getting to race as them.

Metal Mario is a weird inclusion to begin with, since Mario is already there. At the same time, there is a precedent for this, seeing as Metal Mario has been treated as something of a rival character in numerous games. But did we really need a Peach equivalent? As a separate character, no less?

Metal seems more like it should be a power-up, or even a type of game mode, rather than a series of characters. Why not give everyone a Metal mode? (Wario even has one from Super Mario 64 DS.)

Then there are the babies. Baby Mario and Baby Luigi were just tolerable, especially seeing as they did adventure with their adult counterparts in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time. By that same token, one could understand Baby Peach. But why Baby Daisy? And now Baby Rosalina? Neither of them ever existed in any media as babies prior to appearing in Mario Kart games, and I’ve never seen anyone asking for more babies. At the very least, Baby Bowser would make more sense, having been in Partners in Time and every single Yoshi game.

On the same note as before, why not just have a Baby mode, then? Make everyone a baby there! I just don’t see why they need to keep making more as “new” characters and squeezing more interesting options out of the picture. And just think: People have been begging Nintendo to include characters from other franchises, yet they refuse to budge. But more babies? “You got it!”

Sigh. On the bright side, at least Waluigi is back (Wah! Waluigi’s number one!), and I can still hope R.O.B. will return in Super Smash Bros.. For now, my fingers are crossed that a) Maybe Nintendo will give Mario Kart 8 some downloadable content (I would so, so very gladly pay for classic courses like Kalamari Desert and for other characters to return), and b) “Mario Kart 9” doesn’t bloat the baby roster even more.

Okay, I realize that I’ve sounded pretty jaded throughout this entire piece. While some things about Mario Kart 8 have disappointed me, I’m still really looking forward to it. The graphics are gorgeous, the music sounds top-notch (seriously, play the video at the top here for some of that), and the anti-gravity mechanic looks like fun. Despite my grievances, I still expect to have a blast playing this.

Some things just feel right: The Nintendo Entertainment System’s legendary pack-ins were Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt, while the Super NES came with Super Mario World. Other Nintendo consoles have adopted the Bros. as their pack-in later in their lifespans in the years since, and now the Wii U is joining them.

Today, Nintendo of Canada has put those rumors to rest by announcing that as of November 1st, consumers will have the option of purchasing a new Wii U “Mario & Luigi” Deluxe Set. For $299.99, you get the black 32GB version Wii U console with a GamePad controller, and both New Super Mario Bros. U and New Super Luigi U on one disc. Also contained on the disc are some bonus videos, the contents of which have yet to be revealed.

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You’ll also have the opportunity to take part in the Wii U Deluxe Digital Promotion, which gets you ten percent back in points on purchases you make from the Nintendo eShop, which are then converted into credit in $5 increments.

“Mario and Luigi are two of the biggest heroes in video games,” said Nintendo of Canada’s Vice-President and General Manager, Ron Bertram, in a press release. “This new Wii U configuration gives people instant access to not one, but two of the most well-received Wii U games. It’s another example of the tremendous value and variety that Nintendo is offering consumers this holiday season.”

The previous pack-in, Nintendo Land, is certainly a fine game, but one might argue that it isn’t quite what the Wii U needs to help move units. As a separate game, then, one must then ask whether it’s worth $60 to enjoy– or at least, that used to be the case. According to Engadget, Nintendo Land is also seeing a price drop to $30, a much better value– especially to those who feel uncertainty.

In my personal opinion, all three are great games, though I have to admit I have a tendency to lean a little more towards Mario and Luigi as preferences go (save for where Balloon Trip is concerned). To see what I think of each, though, check out my review for Nintendo Land here, the mega-review for New Super Mario Bros. U here, and New Super Luigi U here.

newsuperluigiuboxartOutside of Nintendo’s announcement regarding their exclusive partnership with SEGA, perhaps the most surprising news to come out of today’s Nintendo Direct was about New Super Luigi U.

Previously announced as a downloadable content add-on for New Super Mario Bros. U, they would later reveal that it would contain 82 new stages spread across the map of New Super Mario Bros. U, featuring Luigi with his higher jumps and more slippery movements. Today, Nintendo announced a release date of June 20th and a price of $19.99 for the title, along with some other new details.

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Following on the previous announcement of downloadable content for New Super Mario Bros. U, today’s Nintendo Direct has provided new information about New Super Luigi U.

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357px-LuigihattipEarlier today, Nintendo of America (and Europe, and Japan) ran a new “Nintendo Direct” video, which you can find here. Over the course of the video, we were updated on a number of upcoming titles, but several previously-unannounced titles were revealed as well.

Perhaps the biggest news of the show, however, was that 2013 would mark “The Year of Luigi.” We already knew about the upcoming release of Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon for the Nintendo 3DS, but Nintendo seems keen on giving the younger Mario Brother the spotlight with a number of upcoming new releases, whether they feature Mario or not.

What follows are several of the announcements, accompanied by my own thoughts on each and screens (where available).

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When it comes to video game deals and purchases, Old Navy is probably not the first store that comes to mind. But come Black Friday Saturday on November 24th, it could very well be the place to be for those seeking to get a free Wii U or a copy of New Super Mario Bros. U.

If you visit Old Navy on that Saturday (it’s a Black Friday deal in the States, but they’re letting us in on it, too), you can get a game card for a chance to win one of 1,000 new Wii U consoles (the Basic Set, going by the pictures) by entering a code on this website. And there’s no purchase necessary!

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It’s been a while since we last caught up with Matt Ryan from Nintendo of Canada. However, the opportunity arose at the recent Nintendo Holiday 2012 event, and though our time was shorter than usual, I tried to get in as many questions as I could within the allotted span.

Now, without further ado:

Mario’s Hat: Can you use the Wii U Pro Controller for New Super Mario Bros. U? I know some people with larger hands have had complaints about being forced to use the Wii Remote* sideways in New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

Matt Ryan: Not that we’ve announced, or that they’ve told me. All we’ve announced so far are that the GamePad and Wii Remote are how you play New Super Mario Bros. U.

* Note that only one GamePad can be used on Wii U launch titles, so that only provides a solution if one plays in single-player mode.

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Recently, Nintendo of Canada held their Holiday 2012 preview event to allow members of the press to become a little more familiar with the variety of product offerings which Nintendo and their third-parties will be offering this holiday season for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.

While I did spend a little time with the latter, most of my focus was on the upcoming Wii U. That said, I can say that Crashmo is looking like a great sequel to the already-stellar Pushmo, and Fluidity: Spin Cycle is looking like a great follow-up to the original WiiWare title.

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Talk about this BK Crown promotion at Burger King has been buzzing for a little while now, but as we head into November and the release of the Wii U on November 18th, Nintendo is getting the hype machine rolling by offering Activity Boxes and toys inside of the Burger King Kids Meals.

Read on to get a look at everything available and what each item does. Click to enlarge the images.

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While New Super Mario Bros. 2 felt a little flat as far as scenario goes, New Super Mario Bros. 2 stands to liven things up a little. We got a taste of this from the latest issue of Game Informer, with new lands tied together in a fashion most reminiscent of Super Mario World, and Wednesday’s Wii U editions of Nintendo Direct have brought even more information to light.

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In addition to the launch date and price of the Wii U, Nintendo has also revealed a list of games which are planned to be released during the “launch window” of November 18th, 2012 through March 31st, 2013. However, the only games confirmed to be available on the Wii U’s launch day so far are Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros. U.

According to Kotaku, Wii U games will cost $59.99, the same price as most other high-definition, current-generation titles. Of course, I imagine that as usual, certain titles can be priced lower as “value titles” or for other reasons.

Below, you will find a list of publishers and what they are aiming to bring to the table during the Wii U launch window.

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For those interested in learning more about the Wii U, Game Informer‘s new issue (pictured above) has exclusive coverage of Nintendo’s upcoming game console for all to read. In addition, they are also hosting a month of exclusive stories and videos on GameInformer.com. Following is a bit of what the issue contains.

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Our coverage of Nintendo of Canada’s post-E3 event from Toronto has now concluded. If you’re just now finding the site or simply want a quick reference to find one of the articles, then this post is for you!

Two other games were also available at the event, but I unfortunately did not get to spend much, if any, time with them: Batman: Arkham City – Armored Edition and ZombiU, both for the Wii U. From what I saw, both looked impressive, and the short time I had with Batman was fun, but not quite enough to form a full impression from. Plus, not having played the releases on the other platforms for which it’s available, I could probably not offer a very thorough impression.