New Additions to Nintendo Selects Line Announced

Nintendo has announced twelve new additions to its budget line of Nintendo Selects titles, the successor to their previous Player’s Choice line of best-sellers.

On March 11th, four games each will be re-released for the Wii, the Nintendo 3DS, and Wii U at a price of $29.99 CAD. These include Super Mario 3D World, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Pikmin 3, and NES Remix Pack for the Wii U; The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Yoshi’s New Island, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, and Mario Party: Island Tour for the Nintendo 3DS; and Super Mario Galaxy 2, Animal Crossing: City Folk, Donkey Kong Country Returns, and Super Mario All-Stars for the Wii, which are also playable on the Wii U.

“Whether you just picked up a new Wii U or Nintendo 3DS system over the holiday season or want to expand your ever-growing game collection, Nintendo Selects are a great, affordable option,” Nintendo of Canada’s General Manager and Senior Director, Pierre-Paul Trepanier, said in a press release. “Not only are these games easier than ever to enjoy, but they also represent some of our highest-quality offerings in recent memory.”

Having had the privilege and pleasure to review several of these titles over the years, here are links to those relevant reviews:

In addition, I have an old review of Animal Crossing: City Folk that I’ll see about publishing ahead of this release.

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

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Contributed by Allen Rivera

While online multiplayer has existed in different ways over the past 20 years or so, it’s only more recently really taken hold of the console market. Basically, if there’s a way to include online options in a game, the developer is going to take advantage of that fact. This can lead to things as small as sharing photos and high scores from Super Mario 3D World to something more grand like taking on opponents the world over in Mario Kart 8. And it’s in really digging into the latter’s online multiplayer that led me to thinking about something: Nintendo has really gotten it right in this field.

To be blunt, a big reason for my patting Nintendo on its back has to do with not being forced to pay any money to play online. Their competitors, as you may know, ask you to pay a monthly fee to take advantage of their online networks. And to be fair to both Sony and Microsoft, subscribing to their networks has some sweet perks, such as free game downloads. Also, they do have more titles (read: first-person shooters like Destiny) that make sense when it comes to playing online against or with other players.

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Aside from the online options being free, Nintendo also seems to know what it’s doing by cutting out the nonsense that can come with playing against strangers on the Internet. That nonsense, of course, typically comes in the manner of name-calling, harassment, and overall awful behavior. This is not always the case, as gamers apparently have started self-regulating themselves when it comes to bigotry, according to The Daily Mail. Still, there’s another way to cut that out of games, at least in a vocal sense, and it’s simply eliminating the need/use of voice chat. This obviously cannot be done across the board, because some titles require you to speak with others to take on the mission at hand. However, you can minimize its use by simply removing it from certain titles.

In doing this, it’s understandable that some would think that the online community would suffer. This doesn’t need to be the case, though, and it’s been proven elsewhere that communities can prosper through simpler means. All you need, really, is a good moderating staff to ensure that those who cross the line will be dealt with in a reasonable fashion. And if the staff is friendly, that can result in creating a more welcoming atmosphere for the players involved. This is evident in the community-centric approach of online platform betfair bingo, where players are encouraged to interact with the game’s host/moderator and other players. Considering you can find thousands of people playing on the site at any given time—several thousand as of this writing—you have to imagine they’re doing something right.

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The lack of voice chat on the Wii U may soon change, though. As noted by Nintendo Life, the superb Super Smash Bros. for Wii U could have options for actually talking to other players in the near future. Whether this will come about as an update or through downloadable content remains to be seen.

What do you think about Nintendo’s approach to online multiplayer? Do you feel they’re doing the right thing by keeping it simple or should they begin implementing voice chat in their games?

As August draws to a close, Nintendo is looking past the end days of summer to bring us information on what to expect going into the 2014 holiday season.

Unfortunately, the big question on everyone’s mind– “When is Super Smash Bros. for Wii U coming out?”– remains unanswered, and as such, so too does the question of when the amiibo figures the game interacts with will be available. However, other release details have been afforded us, including the identities of the initial dozen– Mario, Peach, Link, Samus, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Pikachu, Kirby, Fox, Marth, Villager, and Wii Fit Trainer– and that they will each be priced at $13.99, with pre-orders available now.

On the subject of Super Smash Bros., however, those who register both the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U versions of the title through Club Nintendo will be eligible to receive Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS & Wii U: Premium Sound Selection, a soundtrack CD packed with music taken from and inspired by the games. It’s not quite what I had in mind on that front, but a welcome step up nonetheless, and more details about this offer are coming in the future.

Oh, and in a separate announcement, Nintendo revealed that Shulk from the Xenoblade Chronicles franchise would be a playable character in both games:

Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire for Nintendo 3DS will be available in both stores and the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS on November 21st. Not a lot was said, other than “Trainers will catch, battle and trade Pokémon as they immerse themselves into a grand tale that draws ever closer to the heart of the secrets behind Mega Evolution and the power of Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre.”

Just in time for Halloween, Bayonetta 2 (which also includes the first game and Nintendo cosplay options for the titular hero, of course) has a release date locked down for October 24th. “The game features over-the-top battles with wild weapons that take place in gorgeous set pieces,” notes the press release, and “a new snake transformation lets Bayonetta better navigate underwater.”

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker still has no release date, but those concerned about where to pre-order Hyrule Warriors from with regards to the pre-order downloadable content can rest a little easier: The details will come later, but all the costumes will be available to purchase in due time.

More immediately, though, “Nintendo plans to support the game for the long run with more content to help players expand their adventures even farther. That program kicks off when the game launches on September 26th. People who buy the game will receive access to a free download that adds a new mode, a new weapon, and the option to select music to add to the Hyrule Warriors experience.”

While Pokémon Art Academy will be available for Nintendo 3DS on October 24th, the Wii U eShop-exclusive version of Art Academy is still only slated for “2014.”

On December 5th, NES Remix Pack— a two-in-one retail disc containing both NES Remix and NES Remix 2 (click for my respective reviews) will become available. The price given is $29.99 with a caveat that the Canadian price could change, while the Nintendo eShop versions will remain available for $14.99 each. On a personal note, I wish they’d released the disc sooner– I’ve loved both games and having them stored on my Wii U console is handy, but the classically-styled box would just look so good on my shelf.

On a related note: Fans have demanded it, and now they’re finally getting it… sort of. That same day, Ultimate NES Remix hits the Nintendo 3DS and will be available in stores and in the Nintendo eShop, also for $29.99 (similarly subject to change). “The game features rapid-fire challenges and mashups from a selection of 16 of Nintendo’s finest 8-bit games. Regional online leaderboards will let players see how they stack up against others in their area, and Championship Mode offers a series of challenges from three different games.”

As the first NES Remix contains 16 different games and the sequel features a dozen, it should be interesting to see what the Nintendo 3DS version pulls together for its offering– especially if they’re both the same price.

Fantasy Life will be available for the Nintendo 3DS at retail and in the Nintendo eShop on October 24th– a day with growing significance, apparently. “Fantasy Life lets players become the masters of their destinies as choices they make help determine their own Fantasy Life. Players can easily change their Life Class at any time and experience how each offers a new perspective on the world. Local and online multiplayer options let friends share the adventure, the exploration and the bounty.”

That same day, a downloadable content pack for the game will also be available. “Origin Island offers a new area that is home to an ancient culture and powerful enemies, additional story content, new ranks to achieve in Life Classes, access to even more powerful equipment and two new varieties of pets to adopt: birds and dragons.”

In a bit of a surprise, today marks the beginning of the availability of Dedede’s Drum Dash Deluxe and Kirby Fighters Deluxe, expanded stand-alone versions of two mini-games featured in May’s Kirby Triple Deluxe. “This version includes five new stages and a new team battle feature. Players who already own Kirby: Triple Deluxe with StreetPass data will get bonus content in both downloadable games.” I spoke of the two versions included in my review, but I’ll go into further detail should I find myself in a position to review the stand-alone releases and their expanded features.

On the indie game front, Curve Digital’s Stealth Inc 2 is slated for a fall release in the Wii U eShop and promises a mix of puzzle solving, action platforming, and stealth, as well as a “two-player co-op mode, level editor, off-TV play and Miiverse integration.” Ronimo Games’ side-scrolling action strategy game, Swords & Soldiers II, comes to the Wii U this holiday season.

In October, a system update for the Nintendo 3DS will yield new themes that can change the background, icons and folders, music, and sound effects of the Nintendo 3DS’s Home menu, purchasable from a new Theme Shop added to the menu. More details are still to come in the future.

In addition to the games, Nintendo is offering some new bundles for newcomers as well. The Super Mario 3D World Deluxe Set will be released in mid-September and include the Wii U console with physical copies of Super Mario 3D World and Nintendo Land for a suggested retail price of $299.99. Meanwhile, Walmarts across Canada will offer a special-edition Wii U bundle starting September 25th that includes the console and physical copies of Mario Kart 8 and Nintendo Land, also at a suggested retail price of $299.99. “This exclusive bundle will be available while supplies last.”

On the portable side of things, Nintendo will be offering three new Nintendo 2DS bundles. For $129.99 each, you can get an Electric Blue, Crimson Red or Sea Green Nintendo 2DS system with a code to download Mario Kart 7 from the Nintendo eShop. The three bundles will be available beginning in early October.

Finally, there are more than 60 third party offerings to come across the various platforms, all summed up by this handy chart:

 

Publisher

Title

Release Date

Wii U

Activision

Skylanders Trap Team

October 5

BANDAI NAMCO Games America, Inc.

PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures 2

October 14

Disney Interactive

Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition)

September 23

Little Orbit

Penguins of Madagascar

November 25

Little Orbit

Disney Planes: Fire & Rescue

November 4

Mobot Studios

Paper Monster Recut

September

SEGA

Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric

November 18

Ubisoft

Just Dance 2015

October 21

Ubisoft

Watch Dogs

2014

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham

November 11

WayForward Technologies

Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse

2014

Nintendo eShop on Wii U

Ackk Studios LLC

Chromophore: The Two Brothers Director’s Cut

Q4

Arachnid Games

Ballpoint Universe: Infinite

Fall

ATLUS

Citizens of Earth

November 4

BeautiFun Games SL

Nihilumbra

Winter

Breakfall

STARWHAL: Just the Tip

Q1 2015

Curve Digital

Lone Survivor

Q4

Curve Digital

Stealth Inc 2

Fall

Curve Digital

The Swapper

Q3

Frima Studio Inc.

Chariot

Fall

Image & Form

SteamWorld Dig

August 28

KnapNok Games

Affordable Space Adventures

Q1 2015

Midnight City

Costume Quest 2

October 7

Midnight City

Gone Home

Q4

Natsume Inc.

Alphadia Genesis

2014

Nnooo

Cubemen 2

September 4

Nyamyam Ltd.

Tengami

Fall

Over the Moon Games

The Fall

August 26

Rain Games

Teslagrad

September

Ronimo Games BV

Swords & Soldiers II

Q4

Slightly Mad

Project CARS

2015

Turtle Cream

6180 the moon

Q4

WaterMelon

Pier Solar and the Great Architects

Fall

Nintendo 3DS

Activision

Skylanders Trap Team

October 5

Activision

The Legend of Korra: A New Era Begins

October 28

ATLUS

Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth

November 25

BANDAI NAMCO Games America, Inc.

PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures 2

October 14

BANDAI NAMCO Games America, Inc.

Saban’s Power Rangers Super Megaforce

October 28

BANDAI NAMCO Games America, Inc.

TENKAI KNIGHTS: Brave Battle

October 7

Capcom

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

Early 2015

EA

EA SPORTS FIFA 15

September

GameMill

Big Hero 6

October 28

Little Orbit

Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom

November 18 

Little Orbit

Disney Planes: Fire & Rescue

November 4 

Little Orbit

Penguins of Madagascar

November 25

Little Orbit

Winx Club: Saving Alfea

Fall

Majesco

Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appetit!

September 16

Marvelous USA (XSEED Games)

Story of Seasons

Winter

Natsume Inc.

Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley

October

SEGA

Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal

November 11

Square Enix, Inc.

THEATRHYTHM FINAL FANTASY CURTAIN CALL

September 16

Ubisoft

Petz Beach

October 14

Ubisoft

Petz Countryside

October 14

Ubisoft

Poptropica: Forgotten Islands

October 14

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham

November 11

 

Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS

ATLUS

Citizens of Earth

November 4

Big John Games

Cube Creator 3D

Q1 2015

Big John Games

Lionel Trains 3D

Q1 2015

Big John Games

Thorium Wars: Attack of the Skyfighter

August 28

Capcom

Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney Trilogy

Winter 

Choice Provisions

Woah Dave!

Fall

CINEMAX

The Keep

September

Goodbye Galaxy Games

Tappingo 2

September 4

Hörberg Productions

Gunman Clive 2

Fall

Inti Creates Co. Ltd.

Azure Striker GUNVOLT

August 29

Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc.

Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL World Duel Carnival

September 25

Nnooo

Blast ’Em Bunnies

Q1 2015

Renegade Kid LLC

Moon Chronicles (ep. 2)

Q4

Renegade Kid LLC

Treasurenauts

Q4 

Renegade Kid LLC

Xeodrifter

Q4

WayForward Technologies

Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse

2014


“Nintendo’s holiday offerings demonstrate a combination of fun franchises and great value,” said Nintendo of Canada’s vice-president and general manager, Ron Bertram. “With Wii U and Nintendo 2DS hardware bundles, classic names like Super Smash Bros., Bayonetta, and Pokémon, new IP like Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, and amiibo, everyone will find something to love about Nintendo this holiday season. Whether people are shopping for themselves or they’re prepping their gift lists, Nintendo has them covered.”

Finally, Nintendo has released the following trailer to highlight past, present, and future Wii U releases. Enjoy!

Earlier this week, Disney XD debuted an original Canadian video game television show titled Gaming Show (In My Parents’ Garage), and after catching the premiere, I’ve managed to dig up a little bit of info for you in case you happened to miss it.

In the spirit of past video game news and entertainment shows such as Video Power, Video & Arcade Top 10, and GamePro TV, Disney XD’s foray into the world of gaming features such segments as video game reviews, behind-the-scenes of game development, and even a bit of sketch-styled comedy.

Meet Gaming Show‘s ringleader Jesse; an avid gamer with an inquisitive mind who, along with his friends Julia and Ian, operates a DIY web series devoted to gaming and kid culture. Each episode takes place in the “ultimate mega gaming paradise” (a.k.a. Jesse’s parents’ garage) where the wacky trio hangs out, tests the latest video games, checks in with expert correspondents and shoots witty weekly news segments. The series provides insights into the gaming world as the cameras follow Jesse and the crew to some of the world’s biggest tech companies talking to experts about everything anyone ever wanted to know about gaming, from conception to the final touches.

“With Gaming Show we’ve used a unique filming format that promotes the newest gaming products and delivers a behind-the-scenes look at the industry designed specifically with kids in mind,” said Disney XD’s Director of Original Programming, Michael Goldsmith, in a press release. “Knowing that this topic is of huge interest to our audience, our goal is to create a show that speaks to them, not at them, through a variety of inventive segments. Plus, being at the pilot stage, we’re able to incorporate their feedback and create a series that is customized to their viewing tastes.”

The premiere episode includes a visit to Ubisoft’s motion capture facility for a virtual swordfight, a trip to Microsoft to check out “Project Spark,” and review of Super Mario 3D World. There are also guest appearances by RizenVisual and Amir Johnson of the Toronto Raptors, who doesn’t take kindly to the constant trash-talking by one of the hosts.

Gaming Show (In My Parents’ Garage) premiered at 7:30pm on Monday, April 21st (right before WWE Monday Night Raw, fortunately for me), and according to the Disney XD website, will have encore airings on Saturday, April 26th at 9:30am; Sunday, April 27th at 6:30pm, and Tuesday, April 29th at 8:00am. Once you’ve seen what they have to offer, you can then offer some feedback here, where you’ll then be entered for a chance to win a grand prize of an Xbox One console (provided by Microsoft) or one of ten secondary prizes of $50 gaming gift cards.

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

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

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

With the triple-threat of The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds and Mario Party: Island Tour for Nintendo 3DS and Super Mario 3D World for Wii U now available to take on the newly released next generation platforms of the PlayStation 4 from Sony and the Xbox One from Microsoft, the battle to claim consumers’ dollars this holiday season is now fully underway.

I took the opportunity at a recent media event to chat for a bit with Nintendo of Canada representative Matt Ryan about the company’s plans for the holiday season, and how they intend to move forward against their marketplace adversaries.

Mario’s Hat: Normally, when approaching the holiday season, there usually seems to be more of a leaning towards either the console side or the handheld side, but this year feels pretty well-balanced in comparison to previous years.

Matt Ryan: You’re right; sometimes it is more heavily weighted towards one side or the other. I think we have a good balance, with more Wii U titles this holiday season, but it’s Wii U’s turn, you know what I mean? The Nintendo 3DS has had its stronger holidays, this year it’s the Wii U.

On November 22nd, you’ve got Mario Party: Island Tour, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, and Super Mario 3D World coming out. Are you at all worried that you might be overloading that particular day with three big titles?

We just like that day for some reason. *laughs* The reality is we have a lot of product launches, but very few times have I seen three really big titles launch on the same day, because digital titles will launch when they launch, and sometimes they’ll overlap with a packaged game launch, but we just like that day, and we’ll see how it goes. We also have a lot of other products we need to launch, and there are things we haven’t even announced yet…

For this holiday?

Yes, those are things our operations and logistics department have had to think about. November 22nd is going to be a big day if you’re a Nintendo fan, no doubt.

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Up until a recent Nintendo Direct, you guys had a certain date set in December. First it was for Super Mario 3D World, then it swapped with Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, and then that got delayed. Is there any reason to no longer go with the December date for anything?

The reality with Donkey Kong is that it’s not ready; Retro’s going to put some more time into it, and we’re happy about that, and all the fans should be too, because we’re not going to put something out until it’s ready. I think the majority of the launches happen before December anyway, just because of the time of year, but there’s no real particular reason.

So there wasn’t any worry about Nintendo being in further competition with itself by releasing on that date? Rayman Legends was originally supposed to release around the same time (that Donkey Kong has been delayed to) this year, and it would have had the spotlight all to itself, which seems to be where Donkey Kong sits now.

I’m going to say “no, that’s not the situation”, because look at previous years when we launched Mario Kart and Super Mario 3D Land, both within four weeks of each other. So it’s not a matter of competing against ourselves, no; it’s a matter of Donkey Kong not being ready, so we’re going to give it some more development time to get it ready. Other than that, we have a lot of things launching already, so there’s just lots of choices this holiday.

Nintendo is in a unique position this year, as you’ve had a new console out for about a year, while Sony and Microsoft are just getting ready to launch their new consoles now. How do you think your lineup will fare against their launch lineups?

Like most years, we’re just going to be focused on us this holiday. We released the Wii U a year ago, and developers have had their opportunities to make games already for a year, with the devkits even earlier than that. So we’re going to see a lot of great games come out, no matter what time of year, just because of the life cycle and how far we are into it already. Our holiday will fare based on on how the Wii U, the Nintendo 3DS, and the Nintendo 2DS do, along with our software. That’s what we’re focused on; the industry is obviously going to change a little bit this holiday with some other consoles coming into the marketplace, but we’re going to focus on us. That’s what we do best.

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The growing concern about the Wii U is that if Nintendo doesn’t start bringing in big sales numbers after one year, the console is finished. Any thoughts on that?

This holiday, we’ve got games for everyone, and there’s a lot of them. And a lot of them are Wii U games, so it’s really going to be determined on how we see the sales of these games, but these are games you can only play on our system. You can only have Miis on our system, and Wii Party U will be exclusive to Wii U. Super Mario 3D World, some of the other games from third-parties like Sonic Lost World, you can only play that stuff on Nintendo. We think that’s going to help our situation with the Wii U for sure.

It’s also very early in the life cycle; I think there are some comments out there about Wii U’s performance, but when you’re comparing it against the Wii, you’ve got to realize that was a revolutionary change, and we’re just getting started with the Wii U. The GamePad is still that differentiating feature that we have on ours; it’s built to work with that system, and we’re pretty proud of that, so we’ve got a long way to go with Wii U.

There has also been some concern that several Wii U games aren’t really making unique use of the GamePad, outside of things like Off-TV play. Any thoughts there?

One of things people may or may not have noticed– on Super Mario 3D World, for example– is the person using the GamePad has a “reveal” option. So you can use your finger or stylus to actually rub on the screen in different areas, and it will make question mark blocks and other things appear that can help players play. It also becomes a strategic move, so there’s a little more than just the Off-TV play there. But not every game needs to make such use of it; sometimes just having Off-TV play is just as satisfying.

Going back to third-parties: Several have been vocal about the sales numbers of the Wii U, and not bringing their “A” game to the console as a result. Do you think this holiday season will bring in the numbers needed to attract them back to the system?

Our industry revolves around the fact that software sells hardware; great games are what people are looking for, and the bigger the install base, the more opportunities there are for any developer to get more games out. Are some of our titles this holiday hardware sellers? Definitely! Look at some of the options we’re giving people: We’ve got a new configuration for Wii U that comes with two games, New Super Mario Bros. U and New Super Luigi U. That’s going to attract more consumers to Wii U. We’ve still got some of the Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD bundles out there, so that’s moving hardware. We’ve just announced a Skylanders: Swap Force bundle with the Basic Set to get even more hardware out there.

We’re just going to keep doing that, so it’s up to third-party developers to develop for whatever system they want, but the install base is obviously going to continue to grow.

Alright, so let’s wrap up with this question: Any favorites among the games shown here today? (The titles featured at the event were Wii Fit U, Super Mario 3D World, Wii Party U, Sonic Lost World, Mario & Sonic at the Soichi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, Shovel Knight, Mario Party: Island Tour, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Pokemon X and Pokemon Y, and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies)

Just one?

Or two.

Okay, Super Mario 3D World, which I think has been so well-polished that it definitely stands out as my favorite this holiday because of little intricacies like being able to walk anywhere on the world map. That’s new, and that’s exciting; I don’t know why I like it so much, but it’s just cool to cut across, rather than follow the linear path.

Yeah, I’ve always wanted to do that.

Yeah, it’s cool. The cat transformation is awesome. There’s a really cool character enhancement, the Double Cherries, which we’ve just announced. It’s so incredible to throw a fireball with six Luigis at the same time and have them ricochet everywhere– I really enjoy that.

I’ve always really liked the Wii Fit series, so I love the trampoline activity in Wii Fit U, and I look forward to using the Wii Fit Meter and bringing that with me as well.

A special thanks to Matt Ryan and everyone at Nintendo of Canada for granting me this interview! For those interested, every title listed above (save for Shovel Knight) is available now in the Nintendo eShop and, with the temporary exception of Wii Fit U, at retail as well.

Super Mario 3D World – At midnight tonight, Nintendo’s biggest card for the 2013 holiday season will be played. I’ve given my hands-on impressions here and analyzed one of the more recent trailers here; now it’s just time to work on the review, which is already in-progress.

I can’t say too much yet, but I’m two worlds in, and the game is a lot of fun. There is a lot going on here.

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EDGE – Following Toki Tori, EDGE is the second of three games to come to the Wii U eShop. An award-winning retro-inspired platformer, 100 levels await as you take control of the cube and help it wind its way through to the end.

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Brawl Brothers – After three friends from their martial arts gym get abducted, it’s up to Rick and Doug (aka “Hack” and “Slash”) to take the fight to the enemy’s air fortress in this two-player beat-em-up for the Virtual Console.

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The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds – Return to the world of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past in this all-new adventure! The world may seem familiar, but upon a closer look, much has changed since the last time you set foot in this version of Hyrule. And with a new baddy out to restore the Prince of Darkness, Link will have to give chase into the mirror world of Lorule to set things right. This one will be available at midnight tonight, and you can read my initial hands-on here and my analysis of one of the game’s biggest features here.

I’ve been playing this one for the past few days as well, and it’s looking like it should scratch the itch that many fans of classic Zelda have.

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Mario Party: Island Tour – Another November 22nd midnight release, four players can connect wirelessly to take on the first Mario Party game for the Nintendo 3DS. Seven new game boards and 80 mini-games await, among other new features. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to play this one yet, short of a few demos, so the jury is still out on this one.

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Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destines “Turnabout Reclaimed” DLCDual Destines sees the return of fan-favorite Phoenix Wright to the role of attorney, but how did he come back? That’s the question this downloadable game answers as Phoenix not only fights for his own redemption, but the salvation of the accused killer… whale.

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Coaster Crazy Deluxe – Think you have what it takes to build the ultimate roller coaster theme park? Many passengers have many different preferences, but if you can manage them all, you might become a real roller coaster tycoon! Only not, because that term belongs to another game.

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The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths – Puzzles, traps, and more await as you guide the children Esteban, Zia, and Tao through China to find the local City of Gold.

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City Connection – Leave your mark around the world by painting the roadways of New York City and beyond, but watch out! After swiping all of that paint, the cops are right on your tail! Fortunately, a well-placed oil can will send them spinning out of control, clearing your path to victory!

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Christmas Wonderland 3 – Santa needs your help! Can you find all of the hidden objects, solve all the puzzles, and light all the lights in sequence to make sure everyone has a Merry Christmas?

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Jewel Match 3 – Magic, fantasy, and the evil that razed your homeland to the ground await as you venture through the 100 huge levels and three modes of this Match 3 game to restore order and keep the villains at bay.

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Ohno Odyssey – Action, puzzles, and strategy await as you venture through 35 gravity-defying physics-based levels to rescue the alien Ohnos and help repair their mothership.

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Hands On! Tangrams – Available for Nintendo DSiWare and in the Nintendo 3DS eShop, you’ll find six to eight hours of gameplay as you experience ten themed levels with 100 pattern puzzles based on the 18th Century Chinese geometric tile game.

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“Your Favorite Gaming Friends” Sale, featuring Mega Man – Mega Man’s first four adventures are on sale this week in both the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS eShops. Rather than the $4.99 each would normally cost, you can get them for $3.49 each until 9am PST on November 28th. How many times can you thwart Dr. Wily’s evil schemes?

That’s all for this week. As always, click the corresponding links above to learn more about each of this week’s releases, including screens, videos, and more information.

Yesterday, Nintendo ran a new (and somewhat abrupt) Nintendo Direct. Being largely preoccupied for most of that day, and a good chunk of today, I’m only now bringing this to you. Yes, it’s a bit late; my apologies.

Following are some highlights from the video above:

Nintendo 3DS

  • In December, a system update will come to the Nintendo 3DS which allows users to register their Wii U Nintendo Network IDs on the Nintendo 3DS, thus unifying their eShop accounts and balances, enabling the ability to purchase Wii U software with the remaining Nintendo 3DS balance, and vice-versa. Nintendo 3DS users without a Wii U will also be able to create a Nintendo Network ID for the first time, and this will mark the beginning of Miiverse on Nintendo 3DS.
  • YouTube is coming to the Nintendo 3DS this month, allowing users with broadband internet access to view their favorite videos on the top screen while continuing to browse on the bottom screen.
  • New characters are revealed for The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, as well as a new feature which allows you to engage in combat with the Dark Links of other players through StreetPass. The gold Nintendo 3DS XL bundle including the game will be available the same day as the regular release; they will be priced at $219.99 and $39.99, respectively.
  • Previously Best Buy-exclusive SpotPass content for Animal Crossing: New Leaf is now available at all Nintendo Zone locations, including the cat tower (November 15-28) and the rolling suitcase (November 29-December 12).
  • Additionally, a new Mystery Box for Super Mario 3D Land will be available through SpotPass beginning November 22nd.
  • In Mario Party: Island Tour, four Nintendo 3DS owners can participate through Download Play with just one cartridge. StreetPass allows for mini-competitions, and single players can tackle the 30 floors of Bowser’s Tower.
  • “The new Kirby game for Nintendo 3DS has a name: Kirby: Triple Deluxe. More information about the game will be announced in the future.”
  • A Collector’s Edition of Bravely Default will be available exclusively at select retailers alongside the regular version of the game on February 7th, 2014. The Collector’s Edition includes a copy of the game, an art book, a soundtrack CD, and 34 augmented-reality cards.
  • The final game in the second Professor Layton trilogy, Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy, launches in stores and in the Nintendo eShop on February 28th, 2014.

Wii U

  • Nintendo rolled a film reel highlighting several new features from Super Mario 3D World, including a “Luigi Bros.” version of the original Mario Bros. game for Wii U owners who have New Super Luigi U, special Captain Toad levels which challenge players to collect stars without jumping, new touchscreen and microphone interactions, speed run levels, mystery houses, a top-down shooter level with Boomerang Mario, a Mario Kart-styled stage (on foot!), and best of all, a fifth unlockable, playable character– Rosalina!
  • December 2nd will see a batch of eight new downloadable missions for Pikmin 3, containing four “Collect Treasure” stages and four “Battle Enemies” stages “with locations as varied as beaches, the inside of someone’s house during a party, a construction site, and a mysterious factory”, all for $4.99. One of the stages even features the return of Captain Olimar and Louie from the previous titles! A software update is required for the new missions, and those who get it will get one of each stage type for free.
  • New features coming to the Animal Crossing Plaza include stamps for customizing messages, a ranking feature for the results of polls, and the ability to register and interact with your town residents.
  • “After users perform a software update, they will be able to use the YouTube application to watch videos on the GamePad controller or search for YouTube content while another video is playing on the TV.”
  • Instead of the previously-stated February 1st release date, the full retail version of Wii Fit U will be available on January 10th, 2014.

And that’s everything for now! Of course, if you’re reading this because you can’t view the video, just remember to check it out when you get the chance– it’s the best way to appreciate a lot of this info, given all the clips.

While I might need to look over a list of upcoming games to be certain, I think I can safely say that Super Mario 3D World is the game I am most looking forward to this holiday season (followed closely by The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds). As a result, I wanted to take a moment to have a closer look at this latest trailer from Nintendo and share my findings with you.

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In the latest edition of Nintendo Direct, the company not only revealed a closer look at several of the games coming out this holiday season, but also revealed a previously unannounced title and an unfortunate delay. Following is a recap of the video (seen above) for those unable to view it by way of Nintendo’s press release.

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In a move many have been saying the company should make, yet few ever actually expected them to actually do, Nintendo announced today the release of the new Nintendo 2DS: A new, more cost-effective version of the Nintendo 3DS which dispenses with the somewhat controversial stereoscopic 3D and clamshell design in favor of a form which should be more appealing to– among others– children, and moreover, the parents who buy things such as video game systems for them.

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Though I had already played one level of Super Mario 3D World at Best Buy’s Nintendo Experience, it was still the first game I gravitated towards at Nintendo of Canada’s post-E3 preview event last week. Fortunately, thanks to the ability to drop in and out at any time, the fact someone was already in the middle of playing posed no problem at all (and I did ask if it was okay first, so no worries there).

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Earlier this week, Nintendo and Best Buy held the first of their “Nintendo Experience” demonstrations at select stores across the United States and Canada (the second one is this Saturday; click the link for more details). I wasn’t going to say much here, but since Nintendo of Canada were kind enough to send along some photos from one of the events, I figured I might as well talk about my own experience there.

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