Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s Canadian Debut is Coming to Fan Expo

In case you missed it early yesterday, Nintendo released a new Super Smash Bros. Ultimate edition of Nintendo Direct that revealed a lot of new information about the game. If you haven’t seen the nearly half-hour video already, check it out here:

With 103 stages (more if you include the Battlefield, Final Destination, and Epic Battlefield variants), 900 music tracks that run for more than 28 hours, and an ever-increasing roster of characters that already features every previous fighter in the series, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is looking to live up to its name.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is one of the biggest games Nintendo has ever released,” said Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Doug Bowser. “Between all the iconic fighters, stages and music, it’s the largest video game crossover ever produced –- and nothing short of a Nintendo fan’s dream come true.”

What could be even better? How about getting to play it for yourself before release?

The game launches on Nintendo Switch on December 7th, 2018, but if you head out to Fan Expo Canada from Thursday, August 30th through Sunday, September 2nd, you’ll not only have a chance to try out Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for yourself at Nintendo’s booth, but you’ll also be able to play other titles including Mario Tennis Aces, EA SPORTS FIFA 19, and Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion.

Plus, if you’re an aspiring Pokémon Master, you’ll also want to get your hands on the new Poké Ball Plus controller that works with Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee!, which are both coming to the Nintendo Switch on November 16th.

Here’s the full schedule for visiting the Nintendo booth at Fan Expo Canada:

  • Thursday, August 30: 4:00 – 9:00 p.m.
  • Friday, August 31: 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 1: 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, September 2: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

If you’ve never been before (or just need a reminder), Fan Expo Canada is held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building, located at 222 Bremner Boulevard in Toronto, Ontario.

For more info on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, be sure to check out smashbros.com, and for more info on Fan Expo Canada, be sure to visit fanexpocanada.com.

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

  • 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 13Octopath 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 TrackerCaptain 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.

Nintendo 3DS

  • 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/.

Nintendo of Canada is bringing the fun this summer with the Nintendo 3DS and a whole lineup of games to try out as the Play Nintendo: Kids Summer Tour crosses the country starting in July and running until early September. There will also be play zones, meet ‘n greets with your favorite characters, and giveaways (while supplies last).

Games on tap will include the brand-spanking new Kirby: Planet Robobot (see my glowing review here), Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire, Mario Kart 7, Yo-Kai Watch, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, Super Mario 3D Land, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, Yoshi’s New Island, and New Super Mario Bros. 2.

Here’s how the tour breaks down when Nintendo comes to town:

Quebec Tour Dates:

  • Jul 1 @3pm-10pm: Dorval- Canada Day Celebration
  • Jul 2 @12pm-9pm: Montreal-Midway Fun, Place Bourassa*
  • Jul 3 @12pm-9pm: Montreal-Midway Fun, Place Bourassa*
  • Jul 9 @2pm-6pm: Montreal- Fete Des Enfants*
  • Jul 10 @2pm-6pm: Montreal- Fete Des Enfants*
  • Jul 15 @12pm-9pm: Montreal- Amusements Spectaculaires, TOHU Cité des Arts du Cirque
  • Jul 16 @12pm-9pm: Montreal- Amusements Spectaculaires, TOHU Cité des Arts du Cirque
  • Jul 17 @12pm-9pm: Montreal- Amusements Spectaculaires, TOHU Cité des Arts du Cirque
  • Jul 22 @11am-9pm: Granby- Mascot Festival
  • Jul 23 @10am-5pm: Granby- Mascot Festival
  • Jul 24 @10am-5pm: Granby- Mascot Festival

Ontario Tour Dates:

  • Jul 29 @11:30am-5pm: Toronto- Centreville Theme Park*
  • Jul 30 @11:30am-8pm: Toronto- Centreville Theme Park*
  • Jul 31 @10:30am-8pm: Toronto- Centreville Theme Park*
  • Aug 5 @12pm-6pm: Port Hope- OnRoute service centre
  • Aug 6 @8am-2pm: Port Hope- OnRoute service centre
  • Aug 7 @9am-3pm: Port Hope- OnRoute service centre
  • Aug 13 @11am-10:30pm: Toronto- York-Eglinton International Street Festival
  • Aug 14 @11am-7pm: Toronto- York-Eglinton International Street Festival
  • Aug 19 @7pm-11pm: Mississauga- Port Credit Buskerfest
  • Aug 20 @1pm-11pm: Mississauga- Port Credit Buskerfest
  • Aug 21 @1pm-7pm: Mississauga- Port Credit Buskerfest

BC Tour Dates:

  • Aug 31 @11am-11:30pm: Vancouver- PNE*
  • Sep 1 @11am-11:30pm: Vancouver- PNE*
  • Sep 2 @11am-11:30pm: Vancouver- PNE*
  • Sep 3 @11am-11:30pm: Vancouver- PNE*
  • Sep 4 @11am-11:30pm: Vancouver- PNE*
  • Sep 5 @11am-11:30pm: Vancouver- PNE*

The above comes from Nintendo of Canada’s website, where you can check back for the latest up-to-the-minute changes that may occur, including the possibility of more events.

Also, do note that the events marked with an asterisk have entry fees applicable, so be sure you’re ready to pay your way at the door.

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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From Thursday, April 28th through Sunday, May 1st, Nintendo of Canada is bringing the Nintendo Experience to the Erin Mills Town Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. In addition to getting to play Wii U and Nintendo 3DS titles such as Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Star Fox Zero, Mario Kart 8, Splatoon, and Super Mario Maker, you’ll also have the opportunity to meet and have your picture taken with Mario from 12pm to 4pm on Saturday, April 30th and earn a ballot for daily prize drawings and the grand and first prizes on May 1st!

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Source: Nintendo of Canada on Facebook

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

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

WiiU_MinecraftWiiUEdition_06

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

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

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

WiiU_MegaManBattleNetwork5

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

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

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

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

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

Theme Shop on Nintendo 3DS

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

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

  • Nintendo eShop on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Old school is cool this week, as we have a new Super Smash Bros. update bringing some retro love, a new game inspired by a classic SEGA Genesis series, and even an actual old school classic on the Virtual Console!

Freedom Planet for Wii U – First up is this indie-developed title inspired by the games of the SEGA Genesis era, most notably Sonic the Hedgehog. This isn’t just the Blue Blur in a new skin, however, as multiple characters bring unique abilities and combat skills to the fray in an all-new setting with a retro styled anime or Saturday morning flair. Plus, if you downloaded the Nindies@Home demo during E3 earlier this year, you can save 15 percent off your purchase until November 1st.

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Toto Temple Deluxe for Wii U – It’s a local multiplayer battle to become King of the Hill — or rather, King of the Goat, as players compete in teams or free-for-all to keep the goat on their head for the longest time. Check out the trailer here.

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River City Ransom for Wii U – One or two players take up the fight to free the city and local high school from the grip of gang leader Slick in this Nintendo Entertainment System classic. Beat up the bullies, grab the change they drop, and level up to face new challenges!

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The Rivers of Alice : Extended Version for Wii U – Alice enters a dream world whenever she falls asleep, and a leisurely world of artistic fantasy where she must face her fears awaits.

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Gemology for Wii U – There are two ways to play in this puzzler as you try to accumulate the biggest, best, and most gems!

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VoxelMaker for Wii U – The title of Adam Sandler’s movie Pixels was something of a misnomer, as the digital constructs within were formed by voxels, which are basically the 3D equivalent of pixels. Whatever you think of the movie, at least the models were pretty cool, and with this program you can create your own with variable light, shadow, and depth-of-field options!

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Pumped BMX + for Wii U – Compete in more than 500 challenges and use various combinations of authentic BMX tricks to reach the top of the leaderboards!

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS – Downloadable Content – In addition to a variety of new Mii Fighter costumes available to purchase, there is a free update which includes a Duck Hunt stage for the Nintendo 3DS version of the game and the ability to upload match highlights from the Wii U version to YouTube. Also available are new stages, including The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker‘s Pirate Ship for Wii U and Super Mario Maker for both.

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Chronus Arc for Nintendo 3DS – Quests, puzzle-filled dungeons, and danger awaits as Loka tries to solve the mystery of what happened to his teacher, Teth, and Geppel, the man who confronted them in a cave for the Chronus Fragments needed to prepare for the Time Rewinding!

Theme Shop on Nintendo 3DS

This week’s new theme is The Legend of Legacy : “The Chibi Adventurers.”

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

  • Nintendo eShop on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS
    • Citizens of Earth (Wii U and Nintendo 3DS) is on sale starting at 9 a.m. PT on Oct. 5 until 8:59 a.m. PT on Oct. 19.
  • Nintendo eShop on Wii U
    • Spy Chameleon and Rock ‘N Racing Off Road from EnjoyUp are on sale until 8:59 a.m. PT on Oct. 29.
    • Puzzle Monkeys is more than 60 percent off (reduced from $2.99 to $0.99) until 8:59 a.m. PT on Oct. 22.
    • Zumba Fitness World Party is 75 percent off (reduced from $39.99 to $9.99) until 8:59 a.m. PT on Oct. 12.
    • Midnight is 25 percent off (reduced from $1.99 to $1.49) until 8:59 a.m. PT on Oct. 22.
    • Don’t Crash is more than 30 percent off (reduced from $1.49 to $1) until 8:59 a.m. PT on Oct. 14.
    • Pixel Slime U is more than 30 percent off (reduced from $2.99 to $2) until 8:59 a.m. PT on Oct. 14.
    • Vector Assault is 20 percent off (reduced from $4.99 to $3.99) starting at 9 a.m. PT on Oct. 5 until 8:59 a.m. PT on Oct. 30.​
  • Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS

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

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

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The day before we left for Otakon, Nintendo held their “Summer Celebration and Media Showcase” for 2015. Those who have been following the site for a whole know that this is basically their smaller-scale Electronic Entertainment Expo showing for Canadian journalists who weren’t able to make it out to the big show in Los Angeles earlier in the summer.

Naturally, you couldn’t keep me away from an event like this. Writing about it until now, maybe (things have come up since; don’t ask), but I’ve been champing at the bit to go over what I got to play. Plus, I got to speak for a bit with Nintendo of Canada’s newest public relations representative, Andrew Collins, who you can meet in our video interview at the end of the column.

Now, without further ado…

Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash

This was admittedly not the first one I had my eye on, but it was the one with the shortest line when we got there, so I figured it was as good a place to start as any.

At this point, there’s admittedly not too much to say about it. The tennis graphics and Mario characters look great in high definition, and it plays well with traditional controls (I don’t know yet if the “New Play Control” style from Mario Power Tennis for Wii will be incorporated, but we can hope). However, the game seems really early on in development, or at least minimal in what it was showing, polished as it was. Only four characters were available — Mario, Bowser, Peach, and Toad — and only one power-up is available: the growth spurt-inducing Mega Mushroom, which allows you to cover a much greater portion of the court.

That said, this small peek is giving me hope that we’ll see a tennis game that has a bit more “Mario” to it than Mario Tennis Open did. While a fine game, it felt too much like tennis featuring Mario characters, rather than a true blending of the two. The incorporation of the Mega Mushroom here gives me hope, however.

Metroid Prime: Blast Ball

Here we come to what might be the most controversial title in Nintendo’s entire E3 lineup. Up front, I’ll say that I really don’t have any ill will towards this game: I remember Metroid Prime Pinball and have heard nothing but good about it, and I also remember going eight years between Super Metroid and the double-whammy of Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion. This doesn’t worry me at all.

That said, I was really hoping that the four-player cooperative game from Metroid Prime: Federation Force would be available, but all we got was Blast Ball. That said, it was kind of fun. Sort of like a futuristic American Gladiator-styled version of hockey or soccer, wherein teams of three use their weapons (rather than hockey sticks or their feet) to knock the big glowing ball into the opposing goal. Plus, there’s room for some roughhousing against the opposing team.

Overall, it was fun, but left me wanting to take part in the main course.

Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash

Another confession: I’ve never really gotten to play Chibi Robo before. I actually have the Nintendo DS game around here somewhere, picked up at Toys R Us for a song, but never had the chance to dig in.

That said, this is my kind of thing: a platform game with a focus on using a wire of some kind as your main way of getting around. That said, it’s not quite like Bionic Commando Rearmed or Super Castlevania IV in that regard, but feels unique unto itself. Certain common elements come into play, as you use Chibi-Robo’s power cord to pull on blocks and climb over obstacles, but again, it’s not quite the same. Not in a bad way, just a different way.

I look forward to playing more when it comes out. It doesn’t seem like it’ll be too challenging, but just fun to go through — sort of like Kirby Triple Deluxe. I adored that game, so if this is anywhere near as much fun, then we’ll be in for a treat.

Yoshi’s Wooly World

Nadia and I gave this later build of Yoshi’s Woolly World another go, this time with me taking up Player 2 as the red Yoshi (my preference — still hoping for a red Yarn Yoshi amiibo).

From what we got to play, not too much was different from last year, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The combination of new tricks and skills involving the yarn aesthetic with the gameplay of Yoshi’s Island — minus the crying baby, of course, has me feeling like this may just be the first truly worthwhile sequel to Yoshi’s Island. Of course, I’ve thought that before, though in those cases the games ended up trying less to be a successor to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System classic than just trying to be Yoshi’s Island — and typically coming up a bit short.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U – Ryu

Only in a world where Super Smash Bros. is already a thing is it so easy to get to play as this was. The game has already been out the better part of the year, but Super Smash Bros. for Wii U was on display with everyone available to play. Already familiar with most of the roster and returning characters anyway, I immediately went for the most curious new addition: Ryu from Street Fighter.

What I played of him was… interesting. He really feels like a combination of his Street Fighter self with the Smash Bros. style, and takes a bit of getting used to — more than one match can sufficiently provide, I’m sure. Still, my familiarity with him in his home series helped ensure that I wasn’t easily disposed of, but nor did I win the match — I just avoided getting completely throttled.

Call me intrigued. I definitely want to play as him more, and play against him as well. For the moment, I’ve been holding back as I try to determine what the best option for my budget is with all this new content — buying it piecemeal as I go along, or just saving up and buying the bundles. Decisions, decisions…

Of course, seeing as I like Ken a lot more than Ryu, I’d have gotten him Day 1 had he been an option.

Super Mario Maker

I came back to this one a few times, though unlike last year, I didn’t bother trying to make a level. Oh no, there will be time for that… time I fully intend to take advantage of to craft a masterpiece.

Ahem. That said, I did play a few of the built-in levels included in the demo. One which particularly fascinated me was a stage I had seen someone else try — and fail — to complete. It’s basically simply running straight for the goal and avoiding enemies with only just enough time to succeed. If you’re off by the slightest margin, you die.

I gave it a shot… and failed. This level was a Super Mario World-styled creation, complete with the moving “H” finish line tape at the end. However, unlike the original game, merely crossing the finish line isn’t good enough; you must break the tape, which is a little trickier to pull off.

I stuck to it, and by Goomba, I did it. Took me a couple of tries, but I was apparently the first one to succeed at it that day. Having to repeat the performance, I was able to do it again… eventually. I had more hits than misses, but at least I was still able to pull it off for the small crowd who wanted to see it done.

If I’m not mistaken, Super Mario Maker is the first game on this list to be released, with September 11th marked on the calendar. I, for one, cannot wait.

Star Fox Zero

As eager as I am for Super Mario Maker, there’s no denying which game was the Star of the show. The line was long, and the demo wasn’t any shorter, but the time came to stick it out and ensure that at least one barrel roll would be done at my hands before leaving that day.

And it wasn’t as easy as that! Well, the barrel roll might have been, but Star Fox fans, take note: this is not the Star Fox you grew up with, at least from a control standpoint. The basics are all there, but just about the entire controller shy of the directional stick has been remapped. I think the R trigger is your gun, and A converts your Arwing to robot mode (fun, that). But a lot of functions, such as turning and somersaulting and boosting and slowing down, are now mapped to the right analog stick. It’s not bad once you get used to it, but going in blind can leave you a little disoriented.

In fact, after flying through what was basically a thematic remake of the first level of Star Fox 64, I was still figuring things out. I ended up losing at the final boss of the area when — in all the hype surrounding the game — I’d forgotten one of the new features: using the GamePad screen to aim. Whoops.

All told, it was a blast, and I wish I could have played more (there was a neat space station stage to play as well). It wasn’t especially difficult, at least thanks to my veteran Star Fox experience, but I think they may be toughening things up this time around as well. For instance (and my memory may be off here), but previous installments would allow you to glide along the surface of the planet with no problems, whereas here I seemed to take damage. Maybe that’s just a mechanic to help differentiate the walker mode, but either way, it’s one more reason that this is not just the same old Star Fox.

The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes

It’s The Legend of Zelda, and you know what? It really is rad.

I wasn’t expecting too much here that I hadn’t experienced before with The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition and Four Swords Adventures (solo, that one), but I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun I had with it. I always enjoyed those previous four-player games, though I didn’t really get to play them with any more than one other player, so the loss of one count here didn’t really phase me. My wife, Nadia, took up a second Nintendo 3DS while Ian Flynn hopped on a third, and we chose unique outfits and got down to business.

Besides the stat-boosting outfits, the big difference maker is the whole totem pole mechanic. It doesn’t look like much in the videos, but in practice, it’s fun as you all have to work together — and occasionally swallow your pride if you end up stuck in the middle during a fight that requires a three-Link stack. Plus, you’re all sharing the same set of hearts this time, so watching out for one-another is more essential than ever.

Thankfully, with the wireless capabilities of the Nintendo 3DS (and freakin’ online), maybe I’ll finally get to experience one of these games the way they were meant to be experienced.

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam

Sadly, my time here was all too brief.

Well, not too brief, I suppose. I got to partake in the Toad hunt which teaches you different tricks that Mario, Luigi, and Paper Mario can do, and I got to engage in a boss battle against Peter Piranha as well. Fun stuff, but fairly typical for Mario & Luigi fare — which is of course already excellent.

Where I had to put things down was during the most unique part, the Papercraft Mario segment. Here, you have to tap the screen to a beat to charge up your army of Toads who will carry your folded Mariozord around the battlefield, charging into other foes and squashing them. Unfortunately, a leaky faucet has more rhythm than I do, so I never got past the charging stage. I’m certain I can do it in time, but time is not a luxury I had at that moment as I tried to squeeze in what I could between interviewing Mr. Collins and being shooed out the door.

On the bright side? At least the mechanics seem more solid than Paper Mario: Sticker Star, and it looks like the fun and personality may be back, too! With the team behind Mario & Luigi at the helm, I’m sure the Paper Mario crew are in good hands.

Yo Kai Watch

This was the one game I didn’t get to play. Well, this and Splatoon, but since I’ve already played and reviewed the latter, it was a deliberate choice.

Chat with Andrew Collins

Towards the end of the event, I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Andrew Collins, who is now serving the role previously filled by Mr. Matt Ryan at Nintendo of Canada. We talked about a variety of things, most of which involve the games which were on display at the event. Even though things were wrapping up, there was still a lot of noise pollution going on, so my apologies if everything doesn’t come through clearly. With that in mind, here are some highlights:

  • One needs to Metroid Prime: Blast Ball to truly appreciate it.
  • Adds that just because Metroid Prime: Federation Force is coming out next year, that doesn’t mean it’s the only version of Metroid they’re working on; likens it to the different branches of the Mario franchise, which had three very different games available on the show floor.
  • With The Legend of Zelda for Wii U delayed, rather than fill its void with another big heavy-hitter title, they’re focusing on releasing more of a variety of other titles.
  • The Yarn Yoshi amiibo bundle for Yoshi’s Woolly World is coming out in North America.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes will feature a single-player mode (involving the “rental” of two paper doll characters), but they’re keeping hush on most of the details for now.
  • Yo Kai Watch is a phenomenon in Japan; explains its concept of spirits found in everyday life. “Nice and family-oriented.”
  • The Yo Kai Watch TV show is coming over as well; details of Canadian airing are yet to be revealed.

And that’s it for this year’s event! Overall, I came away quite pleased with what was on display, and look forward to trying more of each of these titles in the future.

There will no doubt be more information and events to come as we progress through the year and into the holiday season, and I’ll bring you the latest News from the North as it happens!

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We’ve got a fairly decent lineup of games and content this week, with a promise of more “hardcore” content coming to the Virtual Console throughout August, starting now. So let’s get right to it!

Super Smash Bros. DLC for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS – In addition to a free update which gives you the K.K. Slider costume for Mii Fighters as well as new Community Tournament and Regular Tournament modes, you can now upload saved replays to YouTube. Want more? It’ll cost you, but Mii Fighter costumes are available, as are the Peach’s Castle and Hyrule Castle stages from the original Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 64.

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New Splatoon Update for Wii U – New modes include the Squad Battle, which allows players to create a squid squad with their friends and head into Ranked Battle modes together, and Private Battle lets two to eight friends throw down in customizable matches. Beyond that, there are new weapons, level cap increases, and more than 40 new pieces of gear. More is still to come throughout the Summer and Fall, too.

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Golden Sun: The Lost Age for Wii U – After the heroes of Golden Sun have been abandoned, it’s time for a new age as the world enters darkness. Use your psychic energy to shape the land and fell your foes before the original heroes can stop you as you try to safeguard humanity. Check out the trailer here.

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ONIMUSHA TACTICS for Wii U – Join the young Ogre Clan warrior Onimaru as he seeks to bring down the empire of Nobunaga and his Genma armies in this feudal strategy title.

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Astral Breakers for Wii U – Team up with or compete against a friend in this puzzle strategy game, or play solo if you would prefer. Either way, it’s up to you to save the universe by smashing spheres and racking up combos.

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Kung Fu FIGHT! for Wii U – Run, jump, and fight the bad guys to save the girl in this retro-styled action game.

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Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight for Nintendo 3DS – Experience a fully voice-acted new story with cutscenes and a fixed party, or revisit the original Etrian Odyssey 2 game with updated graphics and a full roster of classes. The choice is yours, and you can find a trailer for this one here.

Pokémon Rumble World Update Bonus for Nintendo 3DS – A new version of the game is now available, allowing you to visit a new area and gain bonus items. It gets a little complicated for a mere blurb, but you can find the details here.

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Best of Arcade Games – Brick Breaker for Nintendo 3DS – It’s basically Breakout with some extra options.

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Best of Arcade Games – Tetraminos for Nintendo 3DS – It’s basically Tetris… I think? Maybe a little too close to Tetris, as the link to the game’s page on Nintendo’s website no longer works as of this writing.

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Japanese Rail Sim 3D Journey to Kyoto – Full and Demo versions for Nintendo 3DS – Or it’s just me, and Nintendo’s website is messed up at the moment. As of this writing, I’m getting the “Whoops” page here, too.

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Jewel Quest 4 Heritage for Nintendo 3DS – “Whoops” again. If the links work again, you should be able to click right through and learn more, at least.

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PICROSS e6 for Nintendo 3DS – And four makes me think it’s them and not me. Pretty sure you can look up almost any picross game and get the gist of this one, though.

Theme Shop on Nintendo 3DS

This week’s new themes are “Aeternoblade” and “Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition.”

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

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

Activities

Art Academy: Home Studio Art Contest – For a chance to win a $20 Nintendo eShop Card code, just upload a time-lapse video of your work to YouTube by using the “Recordings” feature in Art Academy: Home Studio and tweet a link to the video to @NintendoAmerica with the hashtags #ContestEntry and #NintendoArtContest between 7am PT on August 6th and 5pm PT on August 20th. The contest is open to Canadians, excluding Quebec. For all the official rules, click here.

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

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Despite everything going on at the Electronic Entertainment Expo this week (you can find my thoughts on Nintendo’s Digital Event here), Nintendo has still brought a few interesting new surprises to the fore with the Nintendo Download this week.

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Earthbound Beginnings for Wii U – Before there was Earthbound, there was… Earth Bound? Outside of Japan, only the second installment of the trilogy was ever released until now. Rebranded “Earthbound Beginnings, you can now take a trip back to the year 198X and the town of Podunk as you join Ninten and his friends on their quest to aid the Queen of Magicant in this Nintendo Entertainment System prequel to the Super NES’s cult classic. Check out a trailer for it here, and cross your fingers that this means we’re that much closer to finally seeing a western release for Mother 3 (as the series is known in Japan), starring Lucas of Super Smash Bros. Brawl fame.

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Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones for Wii U – With the kingdom of Renais now in ruins, it is up to the siblings and royal heirs Prince Ephraim and Princess Eirika to restore their homeland to its former glory.

On a personal note, this was my first Fire Emblem and the one that got me into the series.

Nindies@Home for Wii U – Download and play demos for these unreleased indie games before 8:59am PT on June 22nd, and you’ll be able to save 15 percent off the purchase price when they’re released later this year!

Personally, I’ve got my eyes on Freedom Planet. So much more comfortable to play on the GamePad than on Steam, in my opinion.

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Fat City for Wii U – The five boroughs of New York City house 60 targets for your heists in this action-platformer. Fail, and your loved one may pay the price.

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Life of Pixel for Wii U – The eras of the Amiga, Super NES, Genesis, Commodore 64, Apple II, Game Boy, NES, Atari 2600, ZX Spectrum, and Master System are all revisited with numerous nods to many, many past classics throughout this action-adventure game.

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Solitaire Dungeon Escape for Wii U – The classic time waster is back with a purpose as you use a magical deck of cards to play variations on the game in order to rescue a princess from a dragon’s fortress.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS – Lucas is back, and he’s not alone — he’s brought some friends to the fight with him. Street Fighter‘s Ryu, Fire Emblem‘s Roy, and a variety of characters you can create yourself with Mii Fighter costumes are all available now, as are some new stages, such as the free Miiverse stage!

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Smash Controller for Wii U/Nintendo 3DS – Before, you had to own a copy of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS if you wished to use your Nintendo 3DS handheld as a controller for the Wii U title. With this purchase, you no longer have to have the game in order to use the system as a controller.

When I reviewed Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, one thing I pointed out was that you could only use the Nintendo 3DS as a controller in certain modes; I do not know if you can use it for all modes with this, however.

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Best of Board Games – Chess for Nintendo 3DS – Advanced artificial intelligence and challenges bring a little something extra to this take on the classic.

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Comic Workshop 2 for Nintendo 3DS – This title seems to expand upon the original with new refinements and features. If you’ve bought the original Comic Workshop, you can get this title for $5.99 USD.

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Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley – New Downloadable Content for Nintendo 3DS – For $1.79 CDN each, there are two new residents for you to woo.

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

  • Nintendo eShop on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS
    • Nintendo is celebrating its lineup at E3 2015 with up to 30 percent off select games for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. Fans can score deals on games related to some of the top franchises being featured at the show, including Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, LEGO, Just Dance and Yoshi. See all the games on the sale page. This offer runs until June 23 at 8:59 a.m. PT.
    • Pure Chess (Wii U and Nintendo 3DS) is 50 percent off (reduced from $7.99 to $3.99) until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 22.
    • Another World – 20th Anniversary Edition on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS is 60 percent off (reduced from $7.99 to $3.20) beginning at 9 a.m. PT on June 20 until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 27.
  • Nintendo eShop on Wii U
    • Knytt Underground and Stick it to the Man! from Ripstone are on sale until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 22.
    • psyscrolr is 30 percent off (reduced from $3.99 to $2.79) until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 23.
    • Arrow Time U is 50 percent off (reduced from $1.99 to $0.99) until 8:59 a.m. PT on July 2.
    • Paper Monsters Recut is 25 percent off (reduced from $7.99 to $5.99) until 8:59 a.m. PT on July 2.
    • Tilelicious is 33 percent off (reduced from $5.99 to $3.99) until 8:59 a.m. PT on July 2.
    • Gravity Badgers is 50 percent off (reduced from $4.99 to $2.49) until 8:59 a.m. PT on July 16.
  • Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS

Activities

  • Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. “Global Cup” Tournament – See how your Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. squad stacks up online in Nintendo’s Public Tournaments. Top players earn unique titles that are visible online and earn major bragging rights with their friends and around the world. The new “Global Cup” tournament runs from June 18 to June 24. Opt in via the SpotPass feature for notifications on future tournaments, and click here for more information about multiplayer tournaments. Good luck, agents!

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

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On the evening of April 1st, Nintendo opted to hold a Nintendo Direct. Knowing full well the date and the stigma which comes with it, they reassured everyone that this edition was “no joke,” and sure enough, they meant business!

If you haven’t seen it, here is the video in full:

And in case you don’t have the better part of an hour to watch it at the moment, here are the highlights as provided by Nintendo of Canada’s press release (accompanied by my own thoughts/commentary).

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amiibo Cards: A totally new form of amiibo is coming this fall! The first set of amiibo cards will be based on Animal Crossing characters and will be compatible with the Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer game. An NFC reader/writer peripheral for Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 3DS XL and Nintendo 2DS – which offers the functionality for scanning amiibo currently included in the New Nintendo 3DS XL system – will also launch the same day as the new Animal Crossing game.

My thoughts: Wow. Okay, given how scarce many amiibo figures are, the move to cards for something like Animal Crossing is probably a good one, but I can imagine there being some people upset that Isabelle isn’t getting her own little figure to sit on their shelves or desks. Still, without the draw of being toys, maybe these will be easier to come by?

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The Next Waves of Super Smash Bros. Series amiibo: On May 29, a new set of amiibo in the Super Smash Bros. series will launch, featuring Charizard, PAC-MAN, Wario, Jigglypuff, Greninja, Robin, Lucina and Ness. July brings Dark Pit and Palutena. And in September, Zero Suit Samus, Ganondorf, Olimar, Dr. Mario and Bowser Jr. will join the amiibo family.

My thoughts: At this rate, it looks like it’s going to be a year since they started releasing these before I can get to some of the ones I really want– Duck Hunt and R.O.B. among them. Strangely, that suits me fine. Of this lot, Nadia and I have our eyes on Charizard, Pac-Man, Lucina, Ness, Palutena, and Dr. Mario… and maybe Bowser Jr.

Play Classic Nintendo Games Using amiibo: With amiibo tap: Nintendo’s Greatest Bits, Wii U users can download the free application from the Nintendo eShop and tap any amiibo to unlock game-play highlights from select NES and Super NES games.

My thoughts: Apparently there’s no correlation between the amiibo and which game it unlocks, so you could have a Mario amiibo unlock Metroid sequences, for example. What might really suck is if the program chooses without regard for games you already own, and ends up taking a “slot” for something you’ve already played through.

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Yarn Yoshi amiibo: A new set of Yoshi amiibo figures made of actual yarn will launch later this fall along with the Yoshi’s Woolly World game. Tapping one of these yarn amiibo to the Wii U GamePad controller while playing Yoshi’s Woolly World will make another Yoshi appear in the game to assist the player. The Yarn Yoshi amiibo will be available in three colours: green, pink and light blue.

My thoughts: 1) Just when I thought amiibo couldn’t get any better… 2) No red? Now that’s disappointing… especially since that’s the color of Player 2! (Which is who I’d want to use in a 2-player game as a result.) 3) Does this mean the Super Mario series Yoshi amiibo figure I just got isn’t going to work with the game? Fiddlesticks…

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Splatoon amiibo: Launching simultaneously with Splatoon on May 29 are Inkling Girl, Inkling Boy and Inkling Squid amiibo figures. By tapping one of these amiibo to the GamePad, players can receive special missions to unlock weapons and gear.

My thoughts: Cool. Not much opinion here until I get the game, but the figures look neat.

More Mii Racing Suits!: On April 23, a new free downloadable software update to Mario Kart 8 will add support for nine more amiibo figures, including Mega Man, Sonic and PAC-MAN. Players can tap these amiibo to outfit their Mii characters in Mii Racing Suits themed to those amiibo characters.

My thoughts: Hmm, I may have to switch my Mii’s racing duds from Mario to Mega Man… but that Pac-Man outfit looks so good, too. Hmm…

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Mario Maker: The Mario Maker game launches exclusively for the Wii U console in September and easily lets users create their own Mario levels and share them online with people all over the world! Various activities related to the 30th anniversary of the Super Mario Bros. game are also planned throughout the year.

My thoughts: Wow, 30 already? It feels like just yesterday the series turned 25 and we got that Super Mario All-Stars release. Hopefully they pull out something big for this one… maybe an HD version? One can only hope…

In the meantime, it’s neat seeing some new enemies rendered in the Super Mario World style, among other neatness.

Splatoon: In addition to previously detailed single-player and online “Turf War” modes, action shooter Splatoon will feature a highly competitive “Ranked Battle” mode, which ranks and matches players based on their wins in 4-on-4 multiplayer matches. The super-fun and super-colourful game will also feature a “Battle Dojo.” In this mode, players can enjoy local 1-on-1 battles with friends. One player plays on the GamePad controller, while the other plays on the TV using a separate controller, competing to see who can pop the most balloons. Splatoon will launch exclusively for Wii U on May 29.

My thoughts: I’m eager to try this, but I’m having a hard time forming any real opinions otherwise until I get to.

200cc? 200cc!: Yes, that’s right: For the first time in the Mario Kart series, a 200cc racing class is coming to Mario Kart 8. Even faster than 150cc, the new high-speed class will work on all tracks in the game and makes braking an important driving skill. The new 200cc class will be offered as a free downloadable update on April 23 alongside the new paid DLC Pack 2 featuring three new characters, four new vehicles and eight new tracks.

My thoughts: No, no, no, nonono… oh lord, I saw where they were going with this in the video, and didn’t want to believe it, but here we are.

Okay, besides being free, this might be fun to try out, but I am honestly stretched to my limits by 100cc… the idea of seriously playing 200cc is unfathomable to me. As long as they don’t lock anything behind it, though– I’m looking at you, Mario Kart 9 and beyond– I guess I’ll be okay with it. If people are into it, more power to them. Just don’t go taking away chunks of game from me as a result, like in several previous installments.

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Nintendo 64 and Nintendo DS Games Hit the Virtual Console Service: Starting today, classic Nintendo 64 and Nintendo DS games are coming to the Virtual Console on Wii U. Today brings Yoshi’s Island DS for Nintendo DS and Super Mario 64 for Nintendo 64. While playing Nintendo DS games, the TV and GamePad combination will provide various options for dual-screen layouts, while all Nintendo 64 games that supported the Rumble Pack will continue rumbling away on Wii U controllers. Upcoming Virtual Console releases include WarioWare: Touched! for Nintendo DS on April 9 and Donkey Kong 64 for Nintendo 64 on April 16.

My thoughts: Ah, finally! As readers of Nintendo Force magazine may already well know, I’m actually surprised that New Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo DS doesn’t even appear to be on the radar yet, but I’m sure that one’s inevitable. As for Yoshi’s Island DS, you may remember from my Yoshi’s New Island review that I think it’s a more interesting game for those who have played the original, but not quite as well put together.

As for Super Mario 64, both it and Yoshi’s Island DS cost $9.99 USD to purchase, though as with other Virtual Console games, if you have it on Wii (which only applies to Nintendo 64 games, of course), then you only have to pay a small charge to upgrade– $2 USD in this case. That won’t be the case for Donkey Kong 64, which I’m surprised to see here at all– it was never released on the Wii Virtual Console for reasons only Nintendo knows.

You know, I never did finish that one… if the Wii U’s Virtual Console allows for Restore Points on Nintendo 64 games as well, I might give it another go. It might make all that collectathon stuff more tolerable…

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Yoshi’s Woolly World: The lovingly crafted new Wii U game launches this fall and overflows with numerous challenges and hidden secrets. In addition to the challenging Classic Mode, Yoshi’s Woolly World adds “Mellow Mode,” an additional mode that lets players of all skill levels play as “Winged Yoshi.”

My thoughts: This game just looks better every time I see it, and if what I played last year is any indication, this might just be the successor to Yoshi’s Island we’ve all been waiting for.

Shin Megami Tensei & Fire Emblem Crossover Project: The role-playing masters at ATLUS are developing a truly modern RPG, where everyday life exists alongside a secret world of fantasy that includes characters from the Fire Emblem series.

My thoughts:

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New Fatal Frame Game Coming to the U.S.: Fans that have been clamoring for a chance to play the latest game in the creepy Fatal Frame series will have their chance when it launches later this year for Wii U.

My thoughts: This has me intrigued, so long as it works better than the Nintendo 3DS iteration released some years back.

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Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer: This new game in the Animal Crossing series focuses on the decorating and home-designing aspects of the Animal Crossing games. Animals will ask players to design houses for them, and it’s up to designers-in-the-making to meet the animals’ requests by furnishing and decorating their homes. By tapping a new Animal Crossing series amiibo card to the New Nintendo 3DS XL system or NFC reader/writer accessory, players can design a room for that specific character on the card and scan additional character cards to invite those characters to visit. Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer will launch this fall.

My thoughts: Not much on the game yet, but I do hope they incorporate this method of organizing a room into the next main series installment, as it looks a lot more efficient.

BOXBOY!: From the platforming masters at HAL Laboratory, Inc., creators of the Kirby series, comes BOXBOY! The black-and-white charmer tasks players with creating, casting and hooking blocks to navigate more than 150 challenging stages. BOXBOY! launches exclusively in the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS tomorrow, April 2.

My thoughts: I don’t have a lot to say about this, except that I’m rather eager to try it.

A New Fire Emblem Game: For the first time in the series, the main playable character is not only a customizable avatar, but also the main hero or heroine of the game. Players must choose to take one of two major paths, resulting in two different experiences: the “Hoshido” side for a more traditional experience, or the “Nohr” side, which makes the story more complex and the difficulty level more challenging. The new Fire Emblem game will launch for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems in 2016.

My thoughts: It’s petty, but I’m not huge on the barefoot designs for the main characters. But then, it looks like you get to dress them up in different stuff later, so I’ll let it slide. Funny, given that in the last game, they barely had feet at all. All that aside, this looks really good, and I’m intrigued by the duality of it.

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Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition: Players get two gigantic, unique puzzle/RPG adventures when Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition launches on May 22. The two-in-one game can be pre-ordered starting today at http://puzzleanddragons.nintendo.com. For players who can’t wait until May 22 to play, a free demo for Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition will be available in the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS on April 30.

My thoughts: Why am I not playing this now?!

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Pokémon Rumble World: The latest action-packed adventure in the Pokémon Rumble series is free to download (with paid content) and features more than 700 Pokémon, all the way from the original Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue games to the recent Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire games. Square off against tons of these Toy Pokémon when Pokémon Rumble World launches exclusively in the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS on April 8.

My thoughts: The last one wasn’t bad, and this looks kind of neat. Perhaps even neater than that one. I’d like to give it a try, should it come my way.

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M.: An upcoming software update to Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. will add a fast-forward feature to drastically speed up enemy turns. In addition, a new online Public Tournament in honor of playable character Tom Sawyer called “Hijinks” launches today and runs until April 5.

My thoughts: In light of this update, I may hold back my review for the time being. Not that it was going to be especially timely anyway, but in any case, might as well review it at its best.

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New StreetPass Games: On April 16, two new StreetPass Mii Plaza games launch for $6.29 each, or $9.99 if purchased together. In Ultimate Angler, players visit the “StreetPass Islands” to try to catch more than 150 types of fish and legendary monsters with bait received from Mii characters via StreetPass. In Battleground Z, players receive items based on the hobbies of their Mii Plaza StreetPass characters to defeat a horde of zombies. A new paid service will also launch alongside these new games called “StreetPass Mii Plaza Premium,” adding features like “StreetPass Birthdays” and a new Mii character VIP Room for $6.29.

My thoughts: Every time I finally complete all my StreetPass puzzles, Nintendo releases a truckload of new ones and makes me want to cry. I’m still making my way through Monster Manor and making slow progress through Warrior’s Way, while I’ve finished the main parts of Mii Force and Flower Town and am simply dealing with the minutia. What I’m saying is that despite all of that, I’m a StreetPass addict and I want to play these, dang it.

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Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains: Based on the popular manga and anime, the Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains game features four-player local and online co-op game play and leaderboards as players take on the role of their favourite character to defend humanity from the giant Titans. In addition, the first two episodes of the hit anime series are now available to stream for free in the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS. Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains from ATLUS will launch exclusively in the Nintendo eShop for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems in May.

My thoughts: I’ve seen this around, of course, but never really watched it. Maybe this will provide a good reason to?

Xenoblade Chronicles 3D: A new trailer hones in on some of the mysteries of this epic role-playing game, the first game developed exclusively for the New Nintendo 3DS XL system. The game launches on April 10.

My thoughts: The original was cool, and I’ve little reason to believe this version will be any different in that regard. Meanwhile, my wife is champing at the bit to play this, and she doesn’t even have a New Nintendo 3DS XL… which means I’m probably not going to see it again for a while after this comes out, much like what happened with The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D (I’m working on it).

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Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS

New (DLC) Challengers Approaching!: As previously announced, Mewtwo will join the roster of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS as a downloadable character on April 28. For $6.29, players receive Mewtwo for both versions of the game. Club Nintendo members who have purchased and registered both versions of the game will receive a free download code for Mewtwo on April 15. In addition, fan-favourite character Lucas from Mother 3 is joining the all-star Super Smash Bros. cast in June. After a game update on April 15, Super Smash Bros. players can also purchase more costumes for their Mii fighters, including ones inspired by Mega Man X and Proto Man from Capcom’s Mega Man series.

My thoughts: The video referred to the Mii costumes as “Wave 1,” so I wonder if we’ll see more in the future… and if so, I wonder which characters we might see. Bass? Zero? MegaMan Volnutt?

Choose Your Own Super Smash Bros. Fighter: Starting today, Super Smash Bros. fans can visit http://www.smashbros.com to participate in a “Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot.” Fans can use this ballot to vote for which character they would like to see added to Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U as a playable character.

My thoughts: I imagine requests for Ridley and Princess Daisy will be through the roof, though I hear some people are voting for Son Goku (“Go ahead, throw your vote away!” –Kang). If I may be so bold as to make a suggestion, however…

Adventures of Pip from Tic Toc Games: When this pixel puzzle platformer launches this May in the Nintendo eShop on Wii U, players can use the GamePad exclusively to access inventory and quickly travel through the game’s world.

My thoughts: Looks neat.

Mutant Mudds Super Challenge from Renegade Kid: People who purchase the Nintendo 3DS version of this beloved muddy platforming sequel will receive the Wii U version for free (and vice versa!). Anyone that owns the original Mutant Mudds game will also receive a loyalty discount when buying Mutant Mudds Super Challenge. The game launches exclusively in the Nintendo eShop on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS this June.

My thoughts: The original felt really flat to me– nothing terrible, but nothing spectacular, either. As such, a harder version of the game doesn’t really do anything for me.

Don’t Starve: Giant Edition from Klei Entertainment: This acclaimed survival indie will launch this May with exclusive Wii U GamePad functionality and a special promotion – anyone that purchases the Wii U game will receive a free download code for the game that he or she can give to a friend!

My thoughts: It has a neat style, so I’m intrigued.

Octodad: Dadliest Catch from Young Horses, Inc.: Experience Octodad’s wobbly journey with family and friends in co-op mode, with two to four players controlling different tentacles. Octodad: Dadliest Catch flops his way into the Nintendo eShop on Wii U this summer.

My thoughts: I remember seeing stuff about this when it came out for the PlayStation 3, but I lack(ed) the hardware to try it. That said, it looks like my kind of game– enjoyably over-the-top and crazy.

“The world of amiibo is getting bigger, better and even more interactive,” said Nintendo of Canada’s senior director and general manager Pierre-Paul Trepanier. “And with existing amiibo support for games like Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart 8 and more, and upcoming support for Splatoon, Yoshi’s Woolly World and Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, amiibo continue to stretch the definition of the toys-to-life category.”

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All in all, a pretty good showing from Nintendo, I think. That said, while we still have two months until the 2015 Electronic Entertainment Expo, I’m not sure how well this will do to assuage fears about the Wii U in the meantime immediately following the announced delay of The Legend of Zelda for the system. Nonetheless, it looks like there’s still a lot to enjoy in the coming months ahead… and again, that’s without even taking E3 into account, which will no doubt provide our first look at a lot of titles.

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?

The past week has been rife with confusion and frustration among Nintendo fans, particularly those wishing to take part of the company’s new amiibo figure initiative to the fullest.

Rumors have sprung up from various retail sources stating that certain figures, including Animal Crossing‘s Villager, Wii Fit‘s Wii Fit Trainer, and Fire Emblem‘s Marth would no longer be available following the initial shipment selling out. While it was known that the shelf life for certain figures would be indefinite, no one expected that they would be so very, very brief, especially going right into the holiday season.

Following contradicting statements, Nintendo (as a whole, not just one representative) has issued the following (final?) statement regarding the amiibo situation:

Some amiibo were very popular at launch, and it is possible that some amiibo in the United States, Canada and Latin America may not be available right now due to high demand and our efforts to manage shelf space during the launch period. Certain sold-out amiibo may return to these markets at a later stage. We are continually aiming to always have a regular supply of amiibo in the marketplace and there are many waves of amiibo to come.

It’s a hopeful albeit vague statement, one which still leaves several questions unanswered. On the bright side, this may very well be one of those cases where the court of public opinion comes into effect– in other words, time to tell Nintendo just what we want through social media, and hopefully influence future shipments of these desirable interactive nicknacks.

On Twitter, you’ll want to make your love of Marth, Villager, Wii Fit Trainer, or even any of the upcoming characters known to @NintendoCanada and @NintendoAmerica. A hashtag might be in order, if there isn’t one already. “#WeWantAmiibo”, perhaps (the fact “amiibo” isn’t supposed to be capitalized aside)?

On Facebook, you can (politely; you’ll get more flies with honey than vinegar, and all that) make your feelings known on Nintendo’s Facebook page as well as Nintendo of Canada’s version.

The two seem to share an Instagram as well. “Tag your Nintendo photos with #nintendo to be part of the story!” Do that with your saddest expression in front of a (Insert amiibo here)-less amiibo shelf– or, conversely, your happiest expression if you find one of the now-rare ones– and maybe add a tag for your favorite hard-to-find character, and maybe that will help tell Nintendo just how much demand there is for some of their unsung (but much beloved) heroes of pixels and plastic.

Nintendo’s amiibo figures may be stationary, but now is definitely the time for a movement!

Yesterday brought forth much confusion, disappointment, and anguish as Nintendo released a PR statement to sites such as Kotaku and Wired confirming that certain amiibo figures were done for only a matter of a few short weeks after being released to stores. This corroborated claims from Toronto retailer Video Games Plus that Marth from Fire Emblem, Villager from Animal Crossing, and Wii Fit Trainer from, well, Wii Fit would no longer be available in stores once the initial shipment had been sold.

Granted, Nintendo had long since made it known that certain amiibo would be available longer than others, but nothing was ever said about the first shipment also being the last– leading right into the holiday season, no less.

Matters would only be confused further by the emergence of the following screencap of an e-mail from one David Young, a PR representative from Nintendo of America, by way of the Twitter account of tournament organizers The Mushroom Kingdom Gaming League:

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This contradicts what was said before, but between the rather unorthodox method of getting the news out, it emerging a day earlier (on a Sunday, no less) than the latter statement, and coming from an unusual source, I didn’t run with it in my initial report. NeoGAF and The Escapist seem to corroborate the legitimacy of the message, however, with the latter adding in a further subsequent update that “Nintendo has confirmed to us via email that no amiibos have been discontinued at this time, and the sold out figures will be restocked as soon as new stock is available. Marth, Villager, and Wii Fit Trainer fans rejoice!”

And rejoice is what we’d love to do, except that they then follow up with a report from GameSpot which echos the same PR statement we led off with yesterday, noting that this only furthers confusion as they await further comment from their Nintendo representative.

The bottom line is that Nintendo needs to address this, and pronto. Not in a PR statement to some websites, but something on their website, something that presents a final, definitive word that answers questions that they’ve been far too vague about with regards to this entire ordeal.

For starters, letting people know if certain figures are going to be pulled as much sooner than later as the first shipment. And if so, which ones? As it stands, it’s all guesswork now.

Some seem more likely to get the axe than others, but say… Captain Falcon? He’s practically as iconic to Super Smash Bros. as he is F-Zero for some people; where does he fare between the likes of a Mario and a Wii Fit Trainer?

Shulk from Xenoblade Chronicles is a store exclusive, but is he one and done as well? The same for Meta Knight– he’s a store exclusive, but he’s also tied to Kirby, who as far as we know is safe. As a result of that, is he granted greater weight than Shulk? Will Toon Link have the same staying power and numbers as regular Link?

Mega Man and Sonic were uncertain but most welcome additions, seeing as they’re third party characters. However, would whatever lengths Nintendo went to in order to license them ensure their longevity, or rush them towards the chopping block all the sooner?

Another concern that would be nice to have addressed, though I personally feel it is less necessary, is how forward-looking amiibo compatibility is. Villager, for instance– is he going to be compatible with whatever Nintendo is planning for Animal Crossing? Is that going to become some sort of elite club that only those who thought to grab Villager instead of Mario, Link, or Samus will be allowed into? The same question could go for any Fire Emblem character and whatever the company has planned for Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem?

There are simply too many questions and not nearly enough answers right now, and it smacks of trying to scare up further demand for the already popular figures– a game only scalpers are likely to win. If Nintendo really wants our money and to do well by us as consumers, I believe we should be allowed a greater amount of information than what they’ve given us so far. Hopefully we’ll see something a little more solid from them in the days to come.

The holidays just got a whole lot less happy for some Nintendo fans.

Following some rumors which had arisen over the past week from Canadian retailer Video Games Plus’s Twitter account stating that certain amiibo figures— specifically, Marth from Fire Emblem, the Villager from Animal Crossing, and the Wii Fit Trainer– were already being discontinued after less than a month of being on sale, Nintendo confirmed the allegations to Wired and Kotaku in a report published earlier today. There, the company stated that they do not plan to ship any more of several of the figures after the “initial shipment.”

From the full statement:

We will aim for certain amiibo to always be available. These will be for our most popular characters like Mario and Link. Due to shelf space constraints, other figures likely will not return to the market once they have sold through their initial shipment.

Making things worse is that the company apparently has no plans to clarify just which of the figures are on the short list, which is likely to leave a lot of people casting shifty looks towards any figure that isn’t a top-tier property from Nintendo– i.e. Mario, The Legend of Zelda, or Pokemon. As it is, aftermarket prices have already skyrocketed on some of the harder to find figures (I’ve never even seen the aforementioned discontinued figures outside of a Nintendo press event), and further releases will only raise more questions.

amiibo_littlemacsmSuffice to say, I think Punch-Out!!‘s Little Mac, F-Zero‘s Captain Falcon, and Kid Icarus‘s Pit seem like the most likely to hit the chopping block in the second wave. After that? Getting Mega Man and Sonic the Hedgehog felt like a miracle, but it may prove to be short-lived. Fire Emblem‘s Ike probably won’t last much longer than his predecessor, and retailer-exclusive Shulk from Xenoblade Chronicles probably won’t fare much better.

Mind, these are just predictions on my part. At this point, it’s all guesswork.

Naturally, a lot of fans who were interested in the figures are rather upset about this. Following their announcements as part of the Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U roster, I’ve noticed that Villager and Wii Fit Trainer in particular have seen upswings in their popularity based on their appearances in the games. For all the new fans they might have gathered, it seems the simple joy of owning a small figure of a favorite character has been dashed. I can’t imagine that this will please those hoping to obtain the figures for friends and family at anything resembling a reasonable price, either.

As for me, personally? This stings… a lot. I’ve been a lifelong Nintendo fan, growing up with many of their characters, and I’ve always wanted some sort of line of Super Smash Bros. toys or merchandise (a surprisingly rare thing). I knew I couldn’t buy all the figures right away, but to know that this is how it’s going to be… well, I’ve sort of given up on the whole thing. At least, as a completionist.

From Transformers to Mega Man to other things, I’ve gotten used to the idea that I can’t get everything, so that helps. Still, I had hoped that maybe there would be a chance with this one line, but no more. As it is now, I’m likely just picking and choosing carefully.

amiibo_megamansmHopefully I’ll be able to get Mega Man, of course (I did write the book on him, after all, never mind the website I run and how often I use him in the game). At the same time, I’m already considering it a strong possibility that it may never happen, or that if it does, it won’t be for a price I can easily afford. That’s more disappointing than if they’d never made him an amiibo at all.

Then, of course, there are the classic Nintendo characters. Though unannounced (shy of Nintendo saying they were making everyone), the very thought of having actual figures on my desk of Dr. Mario, Mr. Game & Watch, Duck Hunt, and of course, R.O.B. filled me with a certain glee that practically reached back to my childhood. As you can guess, they excitement has been considerably dampened by this news.

What should have been a great boon for Nintendo fans and merchandise collectors is now being shrouded by a dark cloud of disappointment. When Super Smash Bros. Brawl came out six years ago here in Toronto, the snow was nothing short of terrible. I remember well making the trek out into snow that went up to my knees to get the game the second it became available at midnight (and the subsequent attempt to get home, which took a good few hours). While I’m pretty sure there won’t be any midnight launches for these guys in the middle of a blizzard, I’m pretty sure that as I get older, my days of camping out for this stuff is over.

(I guess that’s reason enough to be thankful for pre-orders…)

Nintendo has been doing things of this nature for a while now; as Wired notes, they brought over the limited edition of Hyrule Warriors, only to limit it to a couple of hundred boxes sold exclusively at the Nintendo World Store in New York City– good luck to anyone else in North America. Meanwhile, the $20 GameCube controller adapter has been sold out and going for aftermarket prices of around $100, though word at least seems to indicate that more are on the way, so that’s some relief (whether it will be in time for Christmas, though? No one seems to know).

This has turned into more of an editorial/rant than I had planned, but… what can I say? The whole thing just disappoints me– that I, and others like me, never had a chance. At the very least, they should let us know which ones to go for, though as I noted above, there are some safe guesses to be made.

By the sound of things, Nintendo is doing well by amiibo. It’s just sad that it seems their fans may not be able to say the same, and hopefully they’ll come around and find a better way to market these. Otherwise, should the vast majority care about something they’ve got no hopes of getting shy of dealing with scalpers?