March 2018 Nintendo Direct is a Smash Hit with Fans
Earlier today, Nintendo streamed a brand-new Nintendo Direct that revealed all sorts of new and renewed games coming to the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Switch.
The biggest announcement of all of these is that a new Super Smash Bros. title is coming to the Nintendo Switch in 2018. Is it an enhanced port of the Wii U/Nintendo 3DS game? Is it a full-fledged sequel? We don’t know! All we know is that there are some familiar faces, the addition of the Inklings (not as Mii costumes this time), and that they don’t have an official title for it yet, which would probably help answer at least some of that.
In terms of anything else that is specifically regarding Canada, there isn’t much — it’s all pretty general. Well, except for one thing.
Nintendo has announced the ARMS US & Canada Online Open Tournament. That’s right — we may be shut out of stuff like the Nintendo World Championships (unless you want to travel to one of the handful of U.S. locations to try your luck), but this one is open to a little northern hospitality.
Just don’t expect any time to warm up — this thing is going on right now, and you have until March 18th to participate in ARMS‘ Ranked Match mode and be a contender. The eight top-ranked competitors will then get to take part in the finals, streamed live from Nintendo of America headquarters on March 31st at 10am PT, which you’ll be able to view through this link. The finalists will not only receive bragging rights, but also a custom piece of artwork as well.
If you don’t have your own copy of ARMS, you may also be interested to learn that a new Global Testpunch will run from March 30th to April 1st.
So that’s the big stuff. If you missed the Nintendo Direct, you can catch it right here, and find more details in the press release below.
THE SUPER SMASH BROS. SERIES HEADS TO NINTENDO SWITCH IN 2018
Nintendo Direct Presentation Highlights Many Upcoming Games for Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo 3DS Family of Systems
VANCOUVER B.C., March 8, 2018 – During its latest Nintendo Direct presentation, Nintendo announced that the Super Smash Bros. franchise is coming to Nintendo Switch this year. The video also showcased more than a dozen upcoming games for both the Nintendo Switch system and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, with many of the featured games coming from third-party developers, including SQUARE ENIX, Capcom, Grasshopper Manufacture, From Software and Ubisoft.
“Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS are being propelled through 2018 with an energized lineup of games of all kinds,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “These games contain a solid mix of first-party franchises starring some of Nintendo’s most recognizable characters, acclaimed third-party titles and promising indies.”
To view the Nintendo Direct video in its entirety, visit http://www.nintendo.com/nintendo-direct. Some of the highlights revealed in the video include:
- Nintendo Switch Super Smash Bros.(working title): The Super Smash Bros. series comes to Nintendo Switch in 2018. The teaser trailer featured recognizable faces like Mario, Link and the Inklings from the Splatoon series.
- New Single-Player Expansion Coming to Splatoon 2: The first paid DLC is coming to Splatoon 2this summer. Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion adds a hefty new single-player mode that lets players play as new character Agent 8, an Octoling (!) with lost memories. The new single-player campaign features 80 missions, as well as new stories that shed new light on beloved characters. Players that complete the Octo Expansion campaign will unlock the ability to play as Octolings in multiplayer battles. While Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion launches this summer, players can pre-purchase the DLC starting today in Nintendo eShop to immediately receive Octo-themed in-game gear to use in battle right away. (The full version of the game is required to use DLC.)
- Major Splatoon 2Update: In April, Splatoon 2 is getting a major free update (Version 3.0) that contains 100+ new pieces of gear, more stages rolling out throughout spring (Piranha Pit, Camp Triggerfish and Wahoo World) and a new rank (Rank X). Rank X is an extreme rank, even higher than S+.
- Mario Tennis Aces: Unleash an arsenal of shots and strategies in all-out tennis battles with friends, family and fan-favourite Mushroom Kingdom characters. With up to four-player local (additional accessories may be required and are sold separately) and online* multiplayer, and a story mode that even includes creative boss battles, Mario Tennis Acesis one of the most robust Mario sports games yet. The intuitive and deep gameplay allows for exciting competitions in the living room or, really, anywhere using the power of Nintendo Switch. In Swing Mode, players can use their Joy-Con controllers like a tennis racket, swinging them to initiate the tennis swings in the game. Mario Tennis Aces launches exclusively for Nintendo Switch on June 22.
- Mario Tennis AcesPre-launch Online Tournament: More details will be revealed in the future, but a free Mario Tennis Aces demo is coming soon. For a limited time, players can try out online* tournament matches in the game before it launches. To participate, players just have to download the Pre-launch Online Tournament in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch.
- Kirby Star Allies: Kirby is coming to Nintendo Switch for the first time next week! As players make their way through the robust adventure, they will reach dream palaces where fan-favourite legacy characters can become Kirby’s Dream Friends. Eventually, more Dream Friends will be added to the game through free updates. The first such update hits March 28 and adds classic characters Marx, Gooey and character set “Rick & Kine & Coo” to the game. Kirby Star Allieslaunches exclusively for Nintendo Switch on March 16. A free demo for the game is currently available in Nintendo eShop.
- Octopath Traveler: Producer Masashi Takahashi from SQUARE ENIX revealed new details about the upcoming RPG, including the final game name, Octopath Traveler, two more main characters (Tressa the Merchant and Alfyn the Apothecary) and the ability to equip multiple jobs per character for use in battle. Octopath Travelerlaunches exclusively for Nintendo Switch on July 13. Octopath Traveler: Wayfarer’s Edition, a special edition bundle that includes a stylized pop-up book, a helpful cloth map, the Octopath Traveler: Sound Selections CD and a replica coin based on the in-game currency, launches the same day.
- Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, which originally launched for Wii U, is coming to Nintendo Switch. The new version includes new miniature courses based on various Kingdoms in the Super Mario Odysseygame. Also, anyone can play with a friend or family member by sharing a pair of Joy-Con controllers. While one player controls Captain Toad, the other can assist with things like turnip cover fire. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker launches for Nintendo Switch on July 13. A Nintendo 3DS version of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, which includes stereoscopic 3D visuals and touch-screen controls, also launches on July 13.
- Crash Bandicoot Crashes Nintendo Switch: Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, which includes remastered versions of the first three Crash Bandicootgames, launches for Nintendo Switch on July 10.
- Okami HD: The gorgeous and ethereal remake of classic action-adventure game Okamiis coming to Nintendo Switch. In the Nintendo Switch version of the game, players can use the touch screen in Handheld Mode or the Joy-Con motion controls in TV or Tabletop Mode to control the Celestial Brush to defeat enemies and solve puzzles. Okami HD launches in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch this summer.
- South Park: The Fractured But Whole: The South Park gang is back in an outrageously offensive superhero RPG adventure. And with Nintendo Switch, players can now drop into South Park anytime, anywhere. In addition to the main game, all of the game’s add-on content will be available for purchase. South Park: The Fractured But Wholelaunches for Nintendo Switch on April 24.
- Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido: Originally announced for Nintendo 3DS at last year’s E3, Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushidois also coming to Nintendo Switch! The action puzzle game finds players devouring conveyor-belt sushi, matching plates and then throwing them to defeat enemies. The basics are simple, but the gameplay is deep … and tasty! In the game’s multiplayer mode, players can even compete locally or online* against other players in intense matches. Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido launches for both Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS on June 8.
- DARK SOULS: REMASTERED: The remake of the genre-defining and beloved original DARK SOULSgame launches for Nintendo Switch on May 25. On the same day, an amiibo figure based on Solaire of Astora will also be released. By tapping this amiibo, the popular “Praise the Sun” gesture can be used with reckless abandon from the start of the game. (The gesture can also be obtained through regular gameplay.) Players who want to take the game for a spin can participate in a “network test.” The free network test launches in Nintendo eShop, and will allow players to download and play a part of DARK SOULS: REMASTERED before it launches to try out the gameplay and unique online features. More details about the network test will be revealed soon.
- Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes: When Travis Touchdown wanders into the game world, he goes on a rampage of epic proportions. The latest title in the cult classic No More Heroesseries contains a total of seven game titles, including an action game, racing game and puzzle game. By using another Joy-Con controller, two players can team up for co-op multiplayer action. Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes launches exclusively for Nintendo Switch this year.
- Little Nightmares: Complete Edition:From award-winning developer Tarsier Studios comes Little Nightmares, a charmingly horrific puzzle-platforming adventure. The Complete Edition contains the two haunting tales of Six and The Runaway Kid in one package. You can even tap the PAC-MAN amiibo figure (sold separately) to unlock the Pakku Mask when playing. Little Nightmares: Complete Edition launches on May 18.
- UNDERTALE: The million-selling role-playing game in which nobody has to die is headed to Nintendo Switch. Launch details will arrive at a later date.
- Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition: The definitive edition (it’s in the title!) of Hyrule Warriorsbrings together dozens of characters from the Legend of Zelda series in an over-the-top action game. The game launches for Nintendo Switch on May 18.
- ARMSUS & Canada Online Open Tournament**: Players who want to show off their ARMS skills will be able to enter the ARMS US & Canada Online Open Tournament, which takes place in the Nintendo Switch game’s Ranked Match mode now through March 18. The eight top players in these preliminary rounds will have an opportunity to move on to the online finals on March 31. The finals will be streamed live from Nintendo of America HQ at https://arms.nintendo.com/videos/.
- ARMSTestpunch: A new global Testpunch for the ARMS game, which lets Nintendo Switch owners try out select modes for free, will be running for three days starting on March 31. To participate, players just have to download the Testpunch in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch.
- WarioWare Gold: The frenetic WarioWareseries is back, and for the first time it’s on Nintendo 3DS! With 300 fast-paced microgames that can be controlled by pressing buttons, tilting the system, tapping the touch screen or using the microphone, WarioWare Gold is the biggest entry in the series. And for the first time, the game includes fully voiced characters. WarioWare Gold launches exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems on Aug. 3.
- Luigi’s Mansion: The original Luigi’s Mansion, which was a launch game for the Nintendo GameCube system in 2001, is coming to Nintendo 3DS. This remake has an updated look and new features, like a map that displays on the bottom screen and a boss rush mode. Luigi’s Mansionlaunches exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems this year.
- Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr.’s Journey: In this Nintendo 3DS remake of a classic Mario & Luigiaction RPG adventure, fans can replay (or play for the first time) Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story, one of the most critically acclaimed games in the Mario & Luigi series. It features new graphics and a new mode that tells the behind-the-scenes story of Bowser Jr. Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr.’s Journey launches exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems in 2019.
- Dillon’s Dead-Heat Breakers: Action meets tower defense in Dillon’s Dead-Heat Breakers. In this new game, players take on the role of armadillo ranger Dillon, who teams up with an animalized version of the player’s Mii character to help stop enemy invasions and save the post-apocalyptic frontier. Dillon’s Dead-Heat Breakerslaunches exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems in Nintendo eShop on May 24. A free demo for the game will be available to download on May 10.
- Detective Pikachu: Starting today, this new detective adventure game starring self-proclaimed “great detective” Pikachu is available for pre-purchase on Nintendo eShop and Nintendo.com. The game, as well as an extra-large Detective Pikachu amiibo figure (sold separately), launches on March 23. (The game is playable in 2D only.)
Remember that Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems feature parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about other features, visit https://www.nintendo.com/en_CA/switch/ or https://www.nintendo.com/en_CA/3ds/.
*Nintendo Account is required. Online services and features, including online gameplay, are free until the paid Nintendo Switch Online Service launches in September 2018.
**NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of US and CAN; high-speed internet required. Qualifier Period begins 3/8/18 at 5PM PT and ends 3/18/18 at 4:59PM PT. To participate, play at least 50 matches in Ranked Matchduring Qualifier Period (Ranked Match only available after you beat Grand Prix). Based on ARMS in-game ranking system and winning percentages during Qualifier Period, 8 Finalists and 4 Alternates will be selected to be available to participate in Finals to be held 3/31/18. Winner of Finals will get 1 color artwork (ARV $125). Other Finalists and Alternates will get 1 artwork (ARV $50 each). Odds of winning depend on no. of participants. Restrictions apply. Visit https://arms.nintendo.com/rules.pdf and https://arms.nintendo.com/fr/rules.pdf for additional details and full rules. Sponsor: Nintendo of America Inc.
About Nintendo: The worldwide pioneer in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Nintendo Switch™ system and the Nintendo 3DS™ family of portable systems. Since 1983, when it launched the Nintendo Entertainment System™, Nintendo has sold more than 4.5 billion video games and more than 710 million hardware units globally, including Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, as well as the Game Boy™, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS™ family of systems, Super NES™, Nintendo 64™, Nintendo GameCube™, Wii™ and Wii U™ systems. It has also created industry icons that have become well-known, household names, such as Mario, Donkey Kong, Metroid, Zelda and Pokémon. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo’s operations in the Americas. For more information about Nintendo, please visit the company’s website at https://www.nintendo.ca/.
March 3rd marks the first anniversary of the launch of the Nintendo Switch, and to celebrate, Nintendo of Canada is giving away a Switch! …plus one of every amiibo available.
That’s right, you can be the one to walk away with not only the hottest new handheld/console hybrid of this generation, but also a whopping 143 amiibo figures as well, so you can put that NFC reader right to work in hits such as Super Mario Odyssey, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Bayonetta 2, and more!
So, what do you have to do? Simple! Between now and March 16th, Nintendo wants to see how the Switch has inspired the way you play, and by using the hashtags #1YearWithNintendoSwitch & #NintendoContest at the beginning of a tweet (this is a Twitter contest, by the way, so sign up if you haven’t already), you can share with them your artwork, photos, or videos celebrating this occasion. For further details, click here.
On top of all that, Nintendo also has a variety of Nintendo Switch (and Nintendo 3DS) offers that are underway right now, and you can find out more about those right here.
Nintendo of Canada has issued a press release announcing that according to a report from the market research firm The NPD Group, the Nintendo Switch has become the fastest selling home console in the history of Canada, its sales “the strongest for the first 10 months of any video game system in Canadian history.”
Prior to this, the record was held by none other than Nintendo’s Wii console.
“The response that the Nintendo Switch has received from Canadians has been nothing short of spectacular,” said Nintendo of Canada’s General Manager and Senior Director, Pierre-Paul Trepanier. “We’re thrilled to have seen such record-breaking momentum in 2017.”
Titles such as The Game Awards’ Game of the Year winner The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and runner-up Super Mario Odyssey have helped keep the platform at the forefront of consumers’ minds throughout 2017, and Nintendo promises more titles are on the way to help further bolster their catalog, including Kirby Star Allies, an as-yet untitled game starring Yoshi, and the recently announced Mario Tennis Aces, as well a new release of Bayonetta 1&2.
The news mirrors a recent report from CTV about the Nintendo Switch reaching a similar milestone in the United States and Japan, tallying up more than 10 million sold worldwide by mid-December. They also note that the Switch’s predecessor, the Wii U, sold 7.3 million units over its first 10 months, and only reached 13.56 million by the time Nintendo pulled the plug on its production in January last year. At the current rate, they believe that the Switch will at the very least match that number come March 2018.
As for the competition, CTV also notes that Sony, whose PlayStation 4 sold 14.4 million in its first year, has yet to post any holiday sales figures. Meanwhile, Microsoft has seemingly been reluctant to share their sales figures following Sony taking the sales lead in 2014. However, the release of their mid-cycle upgrade and most powerful gaming console in history to date, the Xbox One X, could potentially give them something to talk about.
Following a “surprise” Nintendo Direct Mini last week, Nintendo sat poised to make another announcement today with only less than a day’s notice. But unlike last week’s feature, which focused on video games, today’s announcement feels like the company is returning to an earlier point in its history from before they became the gaming giant they are known as today.
Incidentally, despite the headline, I suppose the amiibo line could also be seen as a return to making toys, but something about this seems more evocative of innovations such as Ultra-Hand and the Nintendo tumbler puzzle/”Ten Billion Barrel” than their figurines. See for yourself:
“Make, Play, and Discover” are the themes driving Nintendo Labo, a series of do-it-yourself (DIY) kits which change how one can interact with their Nintendo Switch. Each kit includes modular sheets of cardboard which can be folded into what Nintendo calls “Toy-Cons,” which can house the Nintendo Switch and its Joy-Cons in various ways. “As you build, you will have fun discovering how the technology works, and might even invent new ways to play with each Toy-Con!” says the press release.
For example, you can build a functioning 13-key piano that brings your musical creations to life once the Nintendo Switch console and Right Joy-Con controller are inserted. As you play, the IR Motion Camera in the Right Joy-Con detects which keys are pressed and translates them into unique notes that are heard through the console. You can even take control of your very own motorbike by constructing a functioning set of handlebars, with a Joy-Con inserted in each side and the Nintendo Switch console cradled in the middle. Simply hit the ignition button, turn the right handle to engage the accelerator and watch your adventure unfold on the Nintendo Switch screen, as you race to new destinations.
“Nintendo Labo continues our longstanding mission of making people smile by surprising them with new experiences,” said Nintendo of America’s President and COO, Reggie Fils-Aime, in the press release. “It is an exciting evolution of the Nintendo Switch platform – one designed to inspire curiosity, creativity and imagination in people of all ages.”
Two kits will kick off the line on April 20th, the “Variety Kit” and the “Robot Kit”. Via the press release:
- Toy-Con RC Car: Insert the Left and Right Joy-Con into your newly built RC Car and control its movement using touch screen controls on the Nintendo Switch console. The HD Rumble feature in the Joy-Con controllers will cause vibrations that move the car in the direction you choose. Materials to construct two RC Cars are included.
- Toy-Con Fishing Rod: Construct the Fishing Rod with an active, rotating reel that is attached by string to a cradle holding the Nintendo Switch console. Catch one of many exotic fish shown swimming on the Nintendo Switch screen by casting your Fishing Rod and unwinding the reel to lower the hook. Once you feel a vibration from the Joy-Con inserted in the reel, you must tug the Fishing Rod upward and crank the reel quickly to try and complete the catch!
- Toy-Con House: By inserting various assembled blocks into openings in the sides and bottom of the House, you can interact with, play games with and feed a cute creature on the front-facing Nintendo Switch screen. Each differently shaped block is detected by the IR Motion Camera on the Right Joy-Con inserted on top of the House.
- Toy-Con Motorbike: Insert each Joy-Con into an assembled set of handlebars to drive a motorbike on the Nintendo Switch screen. Pressing the ignition button starts the engine, while twisting the right handle activates the throttle. Leaning your body or turning the handlebars left and right controls the motorbike.
- Toy-Con Piano: After assembling a beautifully crafted 13-key piano and inserting the Nintendo Switch console and Joy-Con, you can experiment with your own musical creations by pressing different keys. You can even insert different assembled knobs to create new sound effects and tones!
- Toy-Con Robot: Create a wearable Robot suit, and insert the Left and Right Joy-Con into the designated slots on the backpack and visor to assume control of the robot, which is shown on the TV when the Nintendo Switch console is docked. Enjoy a variety of fun game-play experiences, including Robot mode, in which you can destroy in-game buildings and UFOs.
Interestingly enough, one has to wonder if the Robot Kit didn’t manage to somehow spring out of the “Project Giant Robot” game that Nintendo was working on for Wii U, but confirmed as cancelled last year.
No Canadian pricing has been announced yet, but in the States, the Variety Kit will be priced at $69.99 USD, while the Robot Kit will go for $79.99 USD. Most big first-party Nintendo Switch games have been priced at $59.99 USD, which has translated to $79.99 CAD (going by listings on their website), so hopefully that gives us some idea of what we’ll be paying when they’re released here. For more information, be sure to visit the official Nintendo Labo website.
Nintendo of Canada, in conjunction with Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc., have announced a new licensing partnership that will kick off at Build-A-Bear Workshops across the United States, the United Kingdom, and of course, Canada.
“Bringing beloved characters like Mario, Yoshi and Bowser to Build-A-Bear aligns our shared goal of engaging kids and families in fun and new ways,” said Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Tom Prata. “Now, even the youngest member of the family can interact with Nintendo by creating their own powered-up furry friend.”
Indeed, fans of the Mario series will be able to create their very own 16-inch Mario Bear ($28*) or Yoshi ($25.50*), or a 15-inch Bowser ($35*). They can be further enhanced with sound chips that play the Super Mario Bros. theme song or five distinctly Koopa Kingly sounds from the maw of Bowser himself ($7 each*).
Other options include a pre-stuffed plush of Toad ($10.50*), the option to dress a bear in two-piece Princess Peach or Luigi costumes ($16 each*), or deck them out in a red Super Mario branded hoodie with a picture of Mario and Yoshi on the front ($10*). You can also top them off with a three-piece set of Super Mario wrist accessories that includes a Super Star, Super Mushroom, and Yoshi Egg ($8.50*).
“Super Mario is a classic game franchise many of our Guests know and love, and we’ve had a lot of fun bringing these characters into furry friend form,” said Build-A-Bear Workshop chief product officer Jennifer Kretchmar. “Like Build-A-Bear, Nintendo’s characters appeal to everyone, so we couldn’t wait to team up for the first time and offer another way for Guests to enjoy the timeless brand.”
To get a better look at everything that’s available and even order online (Bowser is only available in select stores and online), check out Build-A-Bear’s page here. To find your nearest Build-A-Bear Workshop, click here.
* Build-A-Bear Workshop doesn’t appear to have a dedicated Canadian website, but it did recognize that I’m in Canada, and these are the prices displayed when visiting.
Anyway, it was only about two short months ago when Nintendo announced that they would be following up the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition last holiday season with a Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition this Fall, featuring 20 games from their successful 16-bit platform’s iconic video game library, as well as one phenomenal extra in the form of Star Fox 2, the never-released sequel to the Super NES original (also included, as well as the first re-release of the similarly Super FX Chip-powered Yoshi’s Island).
Pre-orders opened in the dead of night earlier this week, and were literally sold out within minutes. Nintendo’s announcement indicated there would be higher production numbers for this iteration, but the inability to acquire a pre-order through crashing sites, small numbers in-store, and even having the items ripped right out of their online carts as they enter their payment info has left faith in that statement rattled at best.
For my part, I checked the sites listed on Nintendo’s own Super NES Classic page, where they said pre-orders were “now available” at Amazon.ca, BestBuy.ca, and EBGames.ca, but none of them had any listings at all for the console when I checked — not even to say that they were sold out. Meanwhile, my local EB Games denied they were doing pre-orders at all, even that same day… up until I checked back and they were all spoken for.
Suffice to say, it’s not painting a pretty picture for those hoping to make good where their 8-bit dreams were dashed, but at least it sounds like stores will be getting extras on launch day.
And then there are those Nintendo fans who live in the province of Quebec, who aren’t getting the fast-moving mini-machine at all, and not just because the first round has been snatched up.
According to anonymous Montreal-based employees of EB Games who spoke to Vice’s Motherboard site (via USgamer), September 29th is going to come and go without any trace of the Super NES Classic Edition arriving at retail. A 2009 requirement for games sold in the province to be translated into Quebecois French if they’re available in French elsewhere in the world, and it’s a little more complicated than just taking a ROM from France and dumping it in, thanks to differences in format.
One employee elaborates that it’s two unnamed games in particular that are causing the holdup.
It’s easy to understand why Nintendo fans in Quebec might be upset by this, as Nintendo of Canada gave no indication in their initial press release nor on the aforementioned official web site that they would be the exception to the release. More recently, they told Motherboard by e-mail “Nintendo considers a number of factors when deciding which markets to launch its products in, but we do not discuss details about our distribution plans.”
It could be said that the folks in Quebec are in the same boat as a lot of us, but while they might have had a chance of ordering online and effectively “importing” one (I’m not sure how that works there), they’ll unfortunately have to travel beyond their borders if they want to line up at the crack of dawn just to have a chance of getting a Super NES Classic of their very own on launch day.
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.
I feel like I should make one thing very clear from the outset: I am NOT a fan of how Nintendo handled the NES Classic Edition. The holiday product that helped fill the gaping hole in their holiday lineup was produced in astoundingly short supply, with the majority of the units seemingly winding up in the hands of scalpers who were able to — pardon the expression — game the system through hacks, bots, and other means.
As far as I know, I’m the only person among those I know offline as well as on who even owns one, and even that only occurred thanks to the generosity of an EB Games employee who graciously allowed me to take the one he’d set aside for himself, after I’d waited 41st in line on a shipment of 40 units on launch day in the hopes something wouldn’t pan out for someone in front of me. I do hope he was able to get one for himself later, as quantities and further shipments were all big question marks, never mind the prospect of pre-ordering. EB Games, owned by GameStop, a company that’s downright notorious for the way it pushes pre-orders, couldn’t even offer pre-orders on this thing.
But friends and family who were interested wound up disappointed, and ultimately opted to just forget about the idea of ever owning one.
Even managing to acquire one myself through what I’ll gladly call a miracle, I was severely disappointed and even angry. Disappointed and angry for others who were interested in this one little grey box which promised to recapture moments from their childhoods and possibly even share that magic with their own children.
But beyond the short supply of NES Classic Edition consoles were the controllers. If the NES Classic Edition was gold in terms of rarity, additional controllers were rarer than platinum. At launch, the EB Games I went to — who had a veritable wealth of the units compared to most places — only got three of the additional controllers. Three. That means fewer than one in every ten people who got an NES Classic Edition could even play the assortment of 2-player games included — at least, without partially disassembling their Wii Pro Controllers, anyway.
By virtue of being compatible with the Wii and Wii U Virtual Consoles through attachment to the Wii Remote should have meant there would be more of them produced than the console they were marketed with. Instead, I’ve yet to visit a store which saw any since launch day, if at all.
In the end, I believe that for most people, the NES Classic Edition equals disappointment. Even for me; part of my intent of getting one was to be able to take it on the road with me to Otakon and other places to play in our hotel room, or even to some friends, maybe share it with the in-laws. Instead, I’m afraid to take it outside of my home for fear that if anything happens to it, that’s that.
That is not how you enjoy a product.
Which brings us to today. Only a few months after Nintendo announced that they were discontinuing the product and revealing that it was apparently never meant to be a long-term proposition like its contemporaries in the market, they have announced a successor that many felt would follow — that is, if Nintendo didn’t create an NES Classic Edition 2 or even just release another batch of the original for the holidays.
Hearing that the Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition (or Super NES Classic for short) is coming this fall is enough to make one wince — my own knee-jerk reaction when my wife told me the news was something along the lines of “**** off”. But my cursing might have been a bit hasty, as digging deeper than the headline reveals Nintendo may have learned some lessons from before, and will hopefully be working harder to avoid disappointing their fans and consumers so immensely this time around.
While the Super NES Classic is arriving in the fall once again, this time it’s much earlier: September 29th, 2017, roughly a month and a half sooner than the more holiday-oriented November 11th “Nintendo Day” they released the NES Classic on last year. Hopefully the added time will work out, as Nintendo has told Kotaku that they intend to ship them through the end of the calendar year, giving us a much clearer time table for acquiring one than before.
What’s more, they note that while they won’t provide specific numbers, they will be shipping “significantly” greater quantities than they did for the NES Classic. The official website even states “Retailer info coming soon!” at the bottom, which I believe is already an improvement over the situation leading up to the launch of the NES Classic.
“While many people from around the world consider the Super NES to be one of the greatest video game systems ever made, many of our younger fans never had a chance to play it,” said Nintendo of Canada’s General Manager and Senior Director, Pierre-Paul Trepanier, in a press release. “With the Super NES Classic Edition, new fans will be introduced to some of the best Nintendo games of all time, while longtime fans can relive some of their favourite retro classics with family and friends.”
The cost for the unit will be $99.99, but the contents will differ somewhat. In addition to the console itself, loaded with 21 games versus the NES Classic’s 30, there will be a USB charging cable with AC adapter and an HDMI cable included, as well as two controllers. Nintendo has not mentioned selling these separately, however, but the second controller is probably what balances out the reduction in the number of games. As modders have shown, the NES Classic could hold many more games than what came pre-installed, and the same probably holds true here, but Nintendo has a value prospect they like to maintain for their titles.
As for the games, a second controller is arguably of more use in the batch included here:
· Contra III: The Alien Wars
· Donkey Kong Country
· Final Fantasy III
· Kirby Super Star
· Kirby’s Dream Course
· The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
· Mega Man X
· Secret of Mana
· Star Fox
· Star Fox 2
· Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
· Super Castlevania IV
· Super Ghouls ’n Ghosts
· Super Mario Kart
· Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
· Super Mario World
· Super Metroid
· Super Punch-Out!!
· Yoshi’s Island
The quantity may be smaller here, but the significance is unmistakably larger. While all of the NES Classic games appeared on one Virtual Console or another across the Wii, Nintendo 3DS, and Wii U, three titles here never have. Well, sort of.
Yoshi’s Island was a part of the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador Program, as well as a part of the Virtual Console library proper on the Wii U — but only the Game Boy Advance version, whose audio and resolution is generally regarded as inferior to the Super FX Chip-powered original release on the Super NES.
The Super FX Chip is the key to what makes this collection so significant, as games which used it were never released on the Virtual Console. That includes the original Star Fox, whose soundtrack greatly outdoes those of any subsequent release in the series, in my opinion. I’ve long waited for Nintendo to overcome whatever hurdle might have been preventing it (or to just remake it), and if this is how they do it, I’m all in.
Sweetening the pot is the unthinkable: Star Fox 2. When Nadia told me that this was included on the Super NES Classic, I immediately went from “**** off” and thinking “not this again” to “Day One, must have.” Though elements were cribbed to varying degrees of success (Star Fox Command just didn’t work for me, thanks to its controls), this game has never seen an official release, despite having been finished literal decades ago — which is also how long I’ve been waiting for this opportunity.
Sadly, one game I had hoped would be alongside its Super FX siblings is Stunt Race FX. It’s not the only classic “missing” from this collection, though, as my wife points out over on USgamer, so hopefully we’ll see a Super NES Classic Edition 2 someday that helps fill in a few gaps.
As for the two controllers, they’ll be usable in nine of the 21 titles featured here: Contra III: The Alien Wars, Donkey Kong Country, Kirby Super Star, Kirby’s Dream Course, Star Fox 2, Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting, Super Mario Kart, Super Mario World, and Secret of Mana, which unfortunately looks like it’s been left a little short due to the game originally supporting three players.
Only time will tell if Nintendo has truly managed to remedy where the NES Classic Edition fell short of hopes, dreams, and expectations when the Super NES Classic Edition is released in just a few short months. But clearer communication about the duration of the product, a pack-in solution to the second controller issue, promises of greater quantities, and a selection which goes beyond warmed-over Virtual Console releases shows a lot of promise, and may even get a few people who shrugged off the existence of the original to take a look.
As for me? Well, I’ve got an early day ahead of me on September 29th, so I’ll say I’m glad the weather will be warmer than the last time I did this song and dance. And maybe this time, I’ll even be able to get a spare, just in case, so I can take one with me without worry or fear.
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.
The Nintendo Switch has been selling hot and fast ever since its early March release, so there’s a possibility you may not have one yet. Whether that’s the case, or you just want to try out the hottest new games on the new on-the-go home console, Nintendo of Canada has just the news for you.
Throughout the summer of 2017, fans across Canada will have the chance to take part in the Nintendo Switch Play Together events featuring 1-2-Switch, Snipperclips – Cut It Out, Together!, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, ARMS, and eventually Splatoon 2, once it’s been released on July 21st. Other activities for visitors include snapping pics at the themed Photo Walls, competing in the Competition Zone for prizes, getting to grab some Nintendo goods (while supplies last, of course), and on Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm to 4pm*, meet Mario or Luigi!
Lucky participants will also score a Nintendo Switch Play Together prize pack, which includes a Nintendo Switch system and one copy each of ARMS, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2. Full contest rules and regulations can be found here.
Here is the full schedule as it currently stands:
|June 25||Vancouver, BC||Greek Day on Broadway|
|July 1||Surrey, BC||Canada Day Celebrations [Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre]|
|July 1 – 3||Toronto, ON||Redpath Waterfront Festival|
|July 7 – 9||Montreal, QC||Montreal Comiccon+|
|July 7 – 16||Calgary, AB||Calgary Stampede+|
|July 15 – 23||Montreal, QC||Mondial des Jeux+|
|Aug 2 – 6||Lévis, QC||Festivent Ville de Lévis+|
|Aug 11 – 13||Montreal, QC||La Ronde+|
|Aug 18 – Sept 4||Toronto, ON||Canadian National Exhibition (CNE)+|
|Aug 19 – Sept 4||Vancouver, BC||Pacific National Exhibition (PNE)+**|
*Mario/Luigi schedule subject to change. 12-4pm is approximate timing and does not include breaks.
** Closed August 21 and 28
+Require general ticket purchase to events for access to grounds.
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.
Back in February, I brought you word that the Real Escape Game “Defenders of the Triforce,” based on Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda franchise, would be coming to Canada. Unfortunately, at the time, that and the cities that would play host to the game were all that was known — no dates or any other info.
In the interim, it seems that Nintendo and Secret City Adventures’ contest of wits has crossed our border and begun. I was just recently informed that while some events have already taken place, there are still several more to come in the days ahead. Here is what the schedule looks like:
– Montreal (in French; the English version just wrapped up – June 14th to 16th)
– Edmonton (June 23rd to 25th)
– Calgary (June 30th to July 2nd)
– Vancouver (July 5th-9th)
So if you live in one of those cities, then there’s still time to take part! And if you’re so lucky as to still have this event to look forward to, then I have even better news: The kind folks of Secret City Adventures who reached out to me have told me that you can now use the code MARIOHAT25 in order to save 25 percent off the cost of your admission! A discovery such as that is surely worthy of one of these, is it not?
Also, it’s dangerous to go alone, so maybe take friends?
For more information about “Defenders of the Triforce,” be sure to visit the official website.
With the release of Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia releasing in less than a week, Victor Lucas of Electric Playground has teamed up with Nintendo of Canada Communications Manager Andrew Collins and Johnny Millennium from “Happy Console Gamer” to look back at the history of Fire Emblem and the impact it’s had since arriving on the scene — all in just over twelve minutes!
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia will be available Friday, May 19th in both regular and limited edition bundles for the Nintendo 3DS.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild marks the beginning of a new era for the series. It’s the first game of the series to be released on Nintendo’s much-anticipated and hotly-selling new machine, the Nintendo Switch, and presents players with an open world Hyrule the likes of which they’ve never seen before, with an enormous world to explore. It also marks a new field of exploration in a mainline Zelda title: Downloadable content.
Nintendo has previously announced that they will be releasing two DLC packs which can only be purchased together in a bundle for $28.19, with the first releasing this Summer and the second during the holiday season. Details about what they would contain have been vague up until recently, when the company pulled back the curtain on the first pack, which is known collectively as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – The Master Trials.
Breath of the Wild is by no means an easy game, but thanks to frequent auto-saves and the ability to initiate saving data yourself, being knocked six feet under by an overwhelming foe doesn’t provide an unbearable setback. With that said, the new Hard Mode introduced by this first DLC pack will up the ante even further as you march into combat, with not only an increase in the colored “ranks” of the enemy (such as red Bokoblins becoming blue), but also the presence of higher-ranking foes where there were none in Normal Mode.
What’s more, Ganon’s minions are not only stronger, but have more keen senses that will make them more difficult to sneak up on. If that wasn’t enough, then know that they need to be dispatched quickly, or else their health will regenerate, making any sort of battle of attrition lean automatically in their favor. Hope you’ve packed plenty of kabobs.
On top of all that, there are now floating planks carried by balloons found at various points across the skies of Hyrule. Should you reach them successfully and topple the foes riding them, you’ll be able to collect treasure.
The other portion of content for which the pack seems to be named is called “The Trial of the Sword” (previously known as the “Cave of Trials Challenge,” which sounds like something Hyrulians would watch if they had TV). In this, Link starts off as naked as the day he woke up (read: undies) with no armor or weapons, and must fight one wave of enemies after the next. After defeating all the enemies in one room, he can proceed to the next, with a total of around 45 to complete.
Link’s prize for conquering this test is nothing to scoff at, either. The greatest issue players have taken with the game has been the fragility of weapons, with even the mighty Master Sword requiring the occasional cool-down period. But best the Trial of the Sword and the Master Sword will see its true power awaken, allowing it to always be in its glowing powered-up state.
The next mode seems like something that should have been there at the start. In the Hero’s Path Mode, your every step will be documented and their path marked in green on the map, tracking the last 200 hours of play time. A slider will allow you to track where you’ve been on a timeline, and even those who have already poured in numerous hours will be able to see where they’ve been, allowing players to figure out where they’ve been and where they need to go in order to discover the world’s many secrets.
Last, but not least, we come to the in-game swag. Arguably the most useful will be the Travel Medallion, found in a treasure chest somewhere in the game world, which allows players to conjure one new temporary travel point at a time wherever they’re standing upon using it. Having done so, Link will be able to transport back to that point at any time, not unlike the points found at the many Shrines in the game.
With the discovery of the Korok Mask, Koroks will be easier to find than ever as it will shake when worn if a Korok is hidden nearby. Other wearables to discover include equipment themed after fan-favourite characters and games, including Midna, Tingle, Phantom, and Majora’s Mask.
On top of all this, a free software update that is now available provides players with their choice from nine audio languages [Japanese, English, French (France), French (Canada), German, Spanish (Spain), Spanish (Latin America), Italian and Russian] and a different language used on-screen. If you’re interested in enabling this feature in the Wii U version of the game, you’ll need to visit the Nintendo eShop and download a Voice Pack.
All of the above will be available for both the Nintendo Switch and Wii U versions of the game alike, while details on the actual release date and the specifics of the second pack’s contents are forthcoming.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia will soon be released on May 19th, and Nintendo of Canada has outlined their downloadable content strategy for the game. Beginning the same day the game launches, there will be five individually-priced DLC Packs containing 22 pieces of content, such as characters, maps, items, and dungeons. Alternatively, you can opt in to the Season Pass and get it all at one reduced price.
A press release from Nintendo of Canada breaks the content down like so:
· DLC Pack #1 – Fledgling Warriors Pack (May 19, $11.29, three pieces of content): Ideal for early- to mid-game adventurers, this pack includes a new dungeon (The Astral Temple) and two new maps, great for gaining more items, money and experience points.
· DLC Pack #2 – Undaunted Heroes Pack (May 25, $14.09, three pieces of content): In addition to a new dungeon (The Inner Sanctum), this pack also includes two challenging news maps that stronger, more seasoned heroes will want to tackle.
· DLC Pack #3 – Lost Altars Pack (May 25, $21.19, 10 pieces of content): The mysterious dungeons included in this pack hold the power to upgrade characters to exclusive classes that don’t appear in the main game.
· DLC Pack #4 – Rise of the Deliverance Pack (June 1, $18.39, four pieces of content): Discover the previously untold history of Valentia in this Prologue pack. Complete with new story content and additional voice acting that details the rise of the Deliverance in Zofia, this collection of challenging maps includes new support conversations between selected heroes, as well as the ability to take command of a character players won’t be able to control in the main game.
· DLC Pack #5 ($8.49, two pieces of content): More information about this final DLC pack will be revealed in the future.
While you can purchase each pack — or even just the contents of each pack — individually, the best value appears to be the Season Pass that will be available alongside the game on the May 19th launch for $63.59, a savings of more than 30 percent versus buying them piecemeal.
In addition to all of this, there will also be free downloadable content available for a limited time after the game’s launch, the first of which is a free gift from the goddess Mila that you can obtain by playing the game.
Just in case you missed it, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia launches for the Nintendo 3DS on May 19th, and there will even be a special limited edition bundle available on that day for $79.99. There will also be an amiibo two-pack featuring Alm and Celica available that day for $29.99.
Though Nintendo has new hotness on their hands with the Switch, they’re not done with the Nintendo 3DS just yet. Or at the very least, not with two-thirds of it.
The company has just announced with the following trailer that a new version of the handheld called the New Nintendo 2DS XL will be available this summer:
Like the original Nintendo 2DS, the New Nintendo 2DS XL features all of the same functionality you expect from a member of the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, but for one: Stereoscopic 3D visuals. Unlike the original Nintendo 2DS, this version features a lighter clamshell design, as well as the amenities of the New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL, including a built-in amiibo reader, additional ZL and ZL shoulder buttons, a C-stick for enhanced controls, and of course, XL screens that are 82 percent larger than those found on the original Nintendo 2DS.
On top of all that, the New Nintendo 2DS XL also boasts a faster processor speed, which will presumably allow it to play the Virtual Console titles from the Super Nintendo Entertainment System library available in the Nintendo eShop, as well as games that are exclusive to the New Nintendo 3DS, such as Xenoblade Chronicles 3D. That said, Nintendo has not explicitly stated in their trailer or press release that they’ll work, though it seems like a safe bet.
The New Nintendo 2DS XL will launch alongside new releases Hey! PIKMIN and Miitopia on July 28th at a price of $199.99. For more details, visit the official website.
On May 19th, Nintendo and Intelligent Systems are bringing Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia to the Nintendo 3DS family of handheld devices. Today, however, Nintendo of Canada has revealed that there will be more than one way to purchase the game.
In addition to the vanilla release, a Limited Edition bundle will also be available, with both hitting stores on the same day. Behold its contents:
In addition to a copy of the game itself, the Limited Edition bundle includes a hardcover copy of the Valentia Artbook; a Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia Sound Selection CD; a Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia pin set which depicts the characters of Alm, Celica, and fan-favorite Marth; and a reversible cover sheet which looks like the packaging for Fire Emblem Gaiden, the second game in the series and the Famicom game upon which this new release is based.
All this can be yours in the Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia Limited Edition Bundle, which will be carried at select retailers for a suggested retail price of $79.99 (versus $49.99 for the bare-bones version).
When scanned, these two will activate their own exclusive dungeons that grant heroes the opportunity to not only earn items, but also to further level up their armies through defeating bosses. Players can also select Mila’s Turnwheel from the overworld map menu to utilize these two characters in battle by sacrificing a portion of their health during combat. Doing so summons reinforcements to the field for one turn in the form of a computer-controlled illusory hero. What’s more, as Alm and Celica each grow stronger, players can save their stats to the respective amiibo so that the unit they summon grows in strength as well.
As it happens, though, Alm and Celica are not the only Fire Emblem amiibo to get in on the illusory action; all of the Fire Emblem characters featured in the Super Smash Bros. amiibo series can also be used to summon spectral visages of not only Marth, Roy, Robin, Ike, and Lucina, but the upcoming Corrin as well. Plus, if you so choose, any other amiibo you endeavor to use will also work with the game, though instead of calling illusory heroes of Mario or Link to the field (awesome as that would be), you’ll bring forth an additional monster to assist you on the field of battle — handy for when the odds are stacked against you.
Remember to mark your calendars, as May 19th is the day you’ll rally your troops for glory and honor. But in the meantime, if you’d like to read up a bit more on what Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is all about, you can check out the official website.
Really quick rush post here, as I only got word this morning (after I collapsed asleep following a night of stomach turmoil). Directly from the press release:
STRANGER THINGS STAR AND NINTENDO SUPERFAN FINN WOLFHARD
KICKS OFF NINTENDO SWITCH SALES AT TORONTO MIDNIGHT LAUNCH
At midnight on March 3, sales of the highly-anticipated Nintendo Switch will officially launch in Canada – and Finn Wolfhard, one of Nintendo’s biggest fans, will join the celebrations in Toronto.
The Canadian actor currently stars as Mike Wheeler on the series Stranger Things; season two of the Netflix hit will debut on October 31 of this year. The 14-year old will also appear in a new film adaptation of Stephen King’s It, opening September 8. And he’s a die-hard Nintendo fan. To kick-off the launch, Finn will join legions of Nintendo fans lining up to purchase a Nintendo Switch at EB Games at Yonge-Dundas Square. At midnight on March 3, Finn will cut the ribbon to officially welcome shoppers into the store. And rumour has it that he’ll be joined by a certain mustachioed plumber.
Nintendo Switch is a breakthrough home video game system that not only connects to a TV at home, but also instantly transforms into an on-the-go handheld using its 6.2-inch touchscreen. For the first time, players can enjoy a full home-console experience anytime, anywhere. On a scale from one to ten, excitement levels are at Eleven.
Who: Finn Wolfhard (star of Netflix’s Stranger Things and Nintendo superfan)
Where: Yonge-Dundas EB Games
267 Yonge Street
When: March 3, 2017 at 12:00 a.m. (midnight)