Ubisoft Toronto Charts New Course for Toys-to-Life with Starlink: Battle for Atlas
At the 2017 Electronic Entertainment Expo, Ubisoft Toronto presented their latest creation: A Toys-to-life title called Starlink: Battle for Atlas, which garnered some positive attention.
At E3 2018, they presented it once again, and this time, it was a showstopper.
Starlink: Battle for Atlas is an open-world game, but one that differs from most in that it’s a space saga in which you traverse different worlds through use of starships. In fact, it seems to be inviting several comparisons to another such game, No Man’s Sky, albeit far more positive ones. Whereas that game’s regions were generated in a procedural fashion, Starlink: Battle for Atlas does things the old-fashioned way, making them by hand in the game’s Snowdrop engine.
Players will be able to travel across the star system and venture down to the surface of seven different planets seamlessly, according to Ubisoft’s press release. There, they’ll find alien worlds “teeming with life” and “unique challenges” to overcome. “Players’ actions and choices will impact their journey and no two player experiences will be alike,” they promise, as enemies are said to react and fight back intelligently
But “No Man’s Sky, but better” isn’t the main hook for Starlink: Battle for Atlas. Rather, its primary draw is the one which immediately snapped me to attention when the game was first shown off last year, and that’s the aforementioned Toys-to-life aspect.
I’m admittedly a big fan of Toys-to-life in general, even if there are some specific executions of the concept I don’t care for as much. I’ve got Skylanders, Disney Infinity, LEGO Dimensions, and amiibo for days, and not nearly enough time to play with them all.
Unfortunately, the Toys-to-life bubble has seemingly burst. Disney Infinity is dead, and LEGO Dimensions is no better off. Skylanders seems to continue as a franchise with its Netflix cartoon series, Skylanders Academy, but the actual game portion of that is MIA as its star, Spyro the Dragon, seems to be returning to his roots. As for amiibo? Nintendo is still producing them with each new game, but their in-game functionality seems to largely be an afterthought at this point, as they never got that one key game they needed for a breakthrough. (But at least they still look cool.)
So with that in mind, what hope does Starlink: Battle for Atlas have in a genre that’s all but completely evaporated? An ambitious one, it turns out, as Creative Director Laurent Malville and his team believe that “innovation can really bring life back into this market.” As he tells GamesIndustry.biz:
We think that toys-to-life brought a lot of younger players into video games, and that was great. But we think as they grew up, the expectation grew with it. So for us, we didn’t want to do just another one like those games. It was important for us to innovate in this category. We didn’t want to innovate on just the toy itself – and we think we did do that – but also to innovate with the huge open world. We’re not talking down to the players. This is a big open world that you can spend time in.
Where Starlink: Battle for Atlas differs from other Toys-to-life games is by putting control of the toys right in your hands — literally. Each version of the game comes with a special Starlink controller mount (or a Joy-Con grip, in the case of the Switch version) upon which the Starship of your choice is placed. During gameplay (in real-time or while paused), you’ll be able to swap out different modular parts, from the wings to various parts that attach to them, and even the pilot, each granting you different weapons and capabilities.
What’s more, there’s no singularly specific way to attach parts. Maybe you think those wings would look better swept forward? Or perhaps you’re tired of bogeys coming up on your six and taking you by surprise, so you want a rear-facing gun instead? It’s all possible, and even a bit more, as Producer Matthew Rose tells CNET, “We never want to tell kids they’re being creative wrong.”
However, some people who would enjoy these Toys-to-life games just don’t care for the “toy” aspect so much. But Ubisoft has good news for you: You don’t actually need the toys to enjoy the game. While purchasing various toys will unlock digital equivalents within the game, as Rose tells Nintendo UK:
It was very important for us to be extremely player friendly in what we’re offering. We want people to buy the collectibles because they think the collectibles are amazing. The modular play gives you all these cool creative things to do and build. But we don’t want to force you into buying them. You can complete the entire game just with the starter pass. Even if you are a minimalist, you don’t want more stuff on your shelves, you can even get digital versions of all the parts. You can play the entire game digitally, which is something we’re really proud of.
So, that all sounds great on its own, right? But what exactly would make it a showstopper at E3 this year that wasn’t there last year?
See for yourself:
“We are excited to give players a deeper look at Starlink: Battle for Atlas, the first all-new property from Ubisoft Toronto,” Malville stated in a press release. “Starlink is a project born from the passion of our collective team, and the opportunity to work directly with Nintendo to bring Star Fox to our universe is a dream come true. We believe the Atlas open star system is a perfect playground for Fox to explore and hope players will too.”
“The team at Ubisoft Toronto collaborated closely with Virtuos on the Nintendo Switch version of Starlink: Battle for Atlas,” the press release explains. “The partnership allowed Ubisoft to push the Nintendo Switch version to new heights, and fully support handheld, tabletop and docked play.”
I’ll admit to a little bias here, as I’ve been waiting 25 years for a toy Arwing I could call my own, and now someone has finally answered the call. (Makes me wonder if I should press my luck for a Great Fox, but one thing at a time here.) This pushes me from “completely sold” on the game to “why can’t I play this now?”
But “now” is sadly not in the cards, as the game doesn’t come out until October 16th, 2018, when the game will be available for the Xbox One, the PlayStation 4, and of course the Nintendo Switch in a Starter Edition priced at $99.99. Included in all versions of the Starter Edition are the game, the Starlink controller mount for your console of choice, and a poster.
In addition, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions will also come with the following:
- Zenith Starship – includes modular hull and two Armor wings
- Mason Rana Pilot
- Shredder Weapon
- Flamethrower Weapon
- Frost Barrage Weapon
- Arwing Starship – includes modular hull and two Arwing wings, with laser cannon weapons and charge shot built in
- Fox McCloud Pilot
- Mason Rana Pilot
- Flamethrower Weapon
- Frost Barrage Weapon
- Digital versions of Zenith Starship and Shredder weapon
- Exclusive Star Fox mission content
That’s right — you’ll not only get everything that the other Starter Editions come with (albeit digitally in some cases, but still), but also the Arwing Starship, Fox McCloud Pilot figure, and exclusive Star Fox mission content.
Beyond the Starter Edition, there are additional sets of ships, weapons, and pilots available to purchase. Here’s how it all breaks down:
- Starship Pack (including one starship with modular hull and two wings, one pilot and one weapon): $39.99
- Weapon Pack (including two weapons): $14.99
- Pilot Pack (including one pilot): $12.99
It should be noted that all pieces are compatible, with a few small but expected exceptions: The Star Fox pieces will only work with the Nintendo Switch version of the game. So everything is compatible with it, and it’s compatible with everything else, but only so long as you’re playing it on Nintendo’s console.
And that’s pretty much it. October never looked so far away, but like any respectable Starship captain, I am ready for launch.
In the meantime, here are some renders, concept art, and screenshots for you to enjoy.
As if from out of nowhere, Nintendo of Canada has announced their plans for the long-awaited yet still upcoming online service for the Nintendo Switch, which will be known fittingly enough as “Nintendo Switch Online.”
The biggest news is that we finally have a date we can mark on our calendars to look forward to as the launch of the service approaches: September 2018. (Okay, so that’s less a “date” and more of narrowing things down to a specific 30-day period, but it’s still something.)
Arguably the key element that will be provided with Nintendo Switch Online is the ability to play numerous Switch games… well, online. “But wait,” you might be saying. “I can do that already! And I’m totally on the winning side of Raphael in the latest Splatoon 2 Splatfest! So what do I need this service for?” Well, Nintendo’s always made it clear that free online play in the games that support it will only be temporary at best, so the time is now ticking — enjoy it while it lasts.
However, the ability to continue playing online is but only one thing you get when you sign on. Nintendo has also previously stated that those who take part in the service will also not only get access to a selection of games from the Nintendo Entertainment System library, but also be able to play those with multiplayer elements online. To that end, “NES – Nintendo Switch Online” (as this element is officially called) will kick off with 20 games to partake in, with more added “regularly.”Previously announced games included Balloon Fight (huzzah!), Dr. Mario, and Super Mario Bros. 3. Those will be joined by Donkey Kong, Ice Climber, The Legend of Zelda, Mario Bros., Soccer, Super Mario Bros., and Tennis, while the remaining ten will be announced at a later date.
You may notice an outlier in this crowd of 2-player titles — The Legend of Zelda — and you might be thinking there’s no way to enjoy that game online, but you would be wrong. Not only can you allow friends to watch as you play through these classics in their single-player capacities, but you can even pass off control to them in case you get stuck — or simply want to relive the shared experience from days spent in front of the ol’ telly-vee.
And then we have the big one, the one I’ve been waiting to here announced: We’re getting a Save Data Cloud! This is great news in case anything were to happen to one’s Nintendo Switch console, which is probably statistically more likely than ever, given its handy portable nature. Now if you lose or break your Switch, all those hours spent completing Shrine puzzles and gathering Moons won’t all be for naught (to say nothing of if they release an Animal Crossing game for it — R.I.P., Little Iacon on the GameCube, you’ll forever be missed).
Oh, and if you get an additional Switch? You can apparently download your Save Data Cloud info to that, too.
Additional functionality will also be available to those with Apple and Android devices, as Nintendo will also be launching the Nintendo Switch Online App, which will allow Nintendo Switch Online users to engage in voice chat, online lounges, and more game-specific features such as Splatoon 2‘s SplatNet 2.
Sounds good, right? Now, how much would you expect to pay for a service like this? $100? $500?
Nope, not even close! Here’s how it all breaks down:
· One month: $4.99
· Three months: $9.99
· 12 months: $24.99
What’s more, unlike those comparable competing services, Nintendo Switch Online also features a Family Membership that costs $44.99 for a 12-month duration. With that, up to eight Nintendo Account holders will be able to make use of the service, even across multiple devices!
And if all that wasn’t enough? They’ve also got “Special Offers” in the works, but we’re going to have to wait for further details on that. Perhaps we could see some special Nintendo eShop discounts for members, similar to what Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus provide for theirs?
If you’ve still got questions about Nintendo Switch Online, be sure to check out the official website, and you may find some answers.
As promised back in January, Nintendo of Canada has released the new Nintendo Labo sets to retail. And this time, we have prices!
For $89.99 (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price), the Nintendo Labo Variety Kit contains all the materials necessary to construct the following Toy-Con projects (per the press release):
- RC Car: The RC Car is powered by vibrations in the Joy-Con controllers and can follow a path of reflective tape by using the IR Motion Camera in the right Joy-Con controller – it even works in the dark! Materials to build two RC Cars are included, so two players can race or battle each other!****
- Fishing Rod: Build a working rod and reel, and then go fishing on the screen of your Nintendo Switch console to catch a variety of exotic fish. You can also enter Aquarium mode – accessed via Toy-Con Piano – to view all the fish you’ve caught or even design your own colourful fish.
- House: Insert different blocks into your newly constructed House to interact with the adorable creature inside. Combining multiple blocks can unlock special features and mini-games, including an exhilarating mine cart ride!
- Motorbike: Rev the throttle of your Motorbike by twisting the right handle, just like the real thing! You can even create and race on tracks you design.
- Piano: Compose and record music using different octaves, reverb and sound effects – even cat noises!
Meanwhile, the $99.99 (MSRP) Nintendo Labo Robot Kit allows you to channel your inner Tony Stark on a whole new level by charging you with building a robotic suit, not from a box of scraps, but by building it from the box itself.
The robot suit — which you’ll actually be able to wear — includes a backpack and visor, allowing you to take control of the Megazord-sized (or Jaeger, or whatever giant mech you prefer) robot on your television screen. After customizing your big bad box bot in the Hangar and creating sound effects with your Toy-Con Robot in the Robo Studio, you’ll be able to enter Robot Mode and start smashing buildings to rubble and swatting UFOs out of the sky.
What’s more, a second Nintendo Labo Robot Kit and pair of Joy-Con controllers, you and a friend can take each other on in a battle of robo-dominance with a single Nintendo Switch system.
Finally, the $12.99 (MSRP) Customization Kit will allow you to further make these creations your own by providing colorful tape, stencils, and Nintendo-themed stickers to bling things out to your heart’s desire.
“As with anything we do at Nintendo, our primary goal with Nintendo Labo is to make people smile,” said Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Doug Bowser. “Whether you are a kid or a kid at heart, we hope the playful spirit of Nintendo Labo ignites imagination and creativity in people of all ages as they interact with Nintendo Switch in new ways.”
Coinciding with the launch of Nintendo Labo is a new contest for kids across Canada and the United States ages 13 years and up:
Winners will receive a Nintendo Labo prize package, which includes a Nintendo Labo kit, special jacket, and a signed framed certificate. You can learn more about the contest by clicking here.
Finally, the one and only Bill Nye (the Science Guy) recently took Nintendo Labo for a spin by creating his own custom-decorated RC Car:
You can see more from Nye, as well as other creations from social media influencers and Nintendo employees alike, by visiting the user-generated content (UGC) hub over the next few weeks.
For more information about Nintendo Labo, be sure to visit the official website.
If you live in Montreal and you’ve never seen the Super Mario Bros. movie — or you just want to see it again — then today is your lucky day! Or rather, April 25th will be your lucky day.
On that Wednesday, Drunken Cinema MTL at Bar Le Ritz PDB is presenting a showing of the motion picture that’s kept Nintendo off of the silver screen for the last 25 years while garnering cult followings that both riff and revel in the ridiculousness of it all.
It all goes down at 179 Rue Jean-Talon-Ouest, Montreal, Quebec H2R 2X2. The doors open at 7pm, while the screening begins at 8pm. The price is $7 at the door (“includes cards and props”), and you must be 18 or older to attend.
For more info as it comes (and to see some of the drinking games that will be involved), be sure to check out the event page on Facebook.
Thanks to Steven Applebaum of Super Mario Bros. The Movie Archive for the tip!
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.
This site is called “Mario’s Hat,” so it’s only natural that I talk a bit about the release of a game which actually stars Mario’s hat, right?
Super Mario Odyssey is now available for the Nintendo Switch, returning the 3D series to its roots by sending Mario on his way to collect numerous Moons throughout various sandbox-level Kingdoms. And of course, joining him on this new adventure is the Bonneter known as Cappy, who takes the form of the plumber (or ex-plumber; who even knows any more?) protagonist’s iconic lid, allowing him to pull off all sorts of cool moves.
“Super Mario Odyssey is the must-have video game for this holiday season,” said Reggie Fils-Aime, President and Chief Operating Officer of Nintendo of America. “Video game fans of all kinds will want to dive into this latest Mario adventure as soon as possible.”
Super Mario Odyssey can be yours for a suggested retail price of $79.99, but if you don’t already have a Nintendo Switch, then you may be in luck: A special bundle containing the console, two Mario-red JoyCon controllers, a download code for the game, and a special carrying case can be yours for $499.99. And if that’s not enough for you, three new amiibo figures of Mario, Bowser, and Princess Peach in their wedding attire are now available for $15.99 each, or as a set for $44.99.
You can learn more about Super Mario Odyssey, the aforementioned Nintendo Switch bundle, the related amiibo figures, and even find a download of the song “Jump Up, Super Star” by visiting supermario.nintendo.com/. And if you’d like to check out a review first, I’ll point you in the direction of USgamer, where my wife talks about it at greater length.
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.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, The LEGO Group, and TT Games have announced several new updates for LEGO Worlds that will treat you to some new tricks.
The first arrives just in time for All Hallows’ Eve, as Monsters invade the Worlds of LEGO!
This trip down to Monster Town will cost you $3.99, allowing you to partake in scary quests, face (and perhaps flee from) creatures most terrifying, and speed past haunted houses in ghoulish vehicles. Just watch out for delinquent zombies, who are only to happy to treat themselves to your plastic yellow flesh! You’ll have to be extra-tricky to scare them off so you can repair their damage as only a Master Builder can.
And of course, while Halloween may come only once a year, you can enjoy this Monster Pack year-round.
Incidentally, if you decide to go in on the Nintendo Switch version at retail for $39.99, you’ll receive the Monster Pack as well as the previously-released Classic Space Pack, whereas the digital version found for $29.99 in the Nintendo eShop has it available separately, and it’s available for purchase on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Steam versions.
Next up is a free update which allows you to create and film your videos with the new Camera Car:
One or two players can make use of the vehicle, creating original action scenes or remaking favorite film moments in LEGO style.
Other new features added are covered in this video:
Among the highlights detailed in the press release are The Planner, which allows players to use various materials and pre-built wall types to build their LEGO structures faster and easier than before, while other tools have been upgraded “significantly” so that players’ enjoyment will be maximized. Revised search functionality should help make the Discovery Menu easier to navigate, and new shapes in the Landscape Tool should help improve how players edit their worlds.
If you’re interested in more about the game itself, at least as it initially launched, be sure to check out my review here.
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.
October 9th, 2017 marks the fifth anniversary of Retro City Rampage, and to celebrate, Vancouver-based Vblank Entertainment is releasing a physical version of the latest iteration of the game, Retro City Rampage DX, for the Nintendo Switch.
This self-published release comes in two versions: The $29.99 (I think that’s in U.S. dollars) Standard Edition, which includes the cartridge and manual in a factory-sealed case, and the $44.99 limited Collector’s Edition, which features the same stuff as the Standard Edition, plus a keychain, soundtrack CD, 3D glasses, and reversible cover.
Unfortunately, despite being labeled a “retail” release, I’m not sure if either edition will be available at retail (I’m waiting to hear back on that). Pre-orders have gone live in Vblank Entertainment’s official online store, but the Standard Edition has already sold out at this time, leaving only the Collector’s Edition available to grab there as of this writing. They add that orders will ship worldwide (and the Nintendo Switch is region-free, so no worries there), and will be in stock later this month.
To be honest, I am loving what they’ve done with this set, and if money wasn’t tight at the moment, I’d be all over one of those Collector’s Editions. The manual is based on one of my all-time favorite games in Super Mario Bros. 2 (whose own anniversary happens to be October 9th — coincidence? Or deep cut?), while the reversible cover is based on the standard box art for the SEGA Master System — another thing which I’ve made no secret of my admittedly bizarre affection for, as this desktop wallpaper I made can attest.
And of course, the game (which is already available now in the Nintendo eShop for $14.99 CAD) is great, too — you can peruse my review of the Nintendo 3DS release to see what I think about that. Suffice to say, whereas Grand Theft Auto struggles to hold my attention for more than five minutes of anarchy, I felt much more at home with Retro City Rampage.
If that’s not enough for you, or you’re just looking for something a little easier on the wallet, Vblank has also begun making merchandise for the game:
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.
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.
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.
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.