New Additions to Nintendo Selects Line Announced

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Contributed by Ian McGraw

Virtual reality is the next big thing in gaming, and it’s starting to feel as if we’ll be seeing consoles for sale sooner rather than later. Oculus Rift is leading the way, but Microsoft’s HoloLens and Sony’s Project Morpheus have gained ground. Also, those two could have advantages because of their natural combination with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, respectively. But regardless of which system is the first to generate significant attention, one thing looks certain: we’re going to see racing games among the early releases for virtual reality.

This has been made evident by numerous lists of early planned games for virtual reality, though perhaps no title is as enticing as Project Cars. It’s an existing PS4 title that, according to Kotaku, could be getting adapted to the Project Morpheus. A straightforward version of exactly the same game on VR would be pretty sensational, as Project Cars is widely regarded as one of the better racing games produced in recent years. But there are also a number of specific steps that could be taken to make sure such an adaptation —- or any racing game on VR, for that matter —- would be truly sensational.

A Real Wheel

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Project Cars on PS4 actually supports play with various independently designed steering wheel controllers. However, it wasn’t a standard option that came with the game, and some players had trouble finding the right wheel or setting up the game with it. That’s fine for an ordinary console game, but once you strap into a racing car in virtual reality, controlling the action with a joystick is going to feel bizarre. Project Cars on VR needs a a standard steering wheel controller designed specifically for the game the way Nintendo produced a wheel for Mario Kart Wii.

Non-Urban Scenery

There are examples of non-urban scenery in various games that employ auto racing, but most serious racing games limit themselves to city-based tracks and specific racing venues. That’s all well and good, but VR gaming will be as much about atmosphere as activity, so any developers working on a new racing game ought to take inspiration from those few that go with rural and even exotic settings. In online casino gaming, for example, a popular game called Rush featured at Gala Bingo does more with these different settings than the bulk of Project Cars. While the term “rush” is meant in part to describe the quick nature of bingo game turnover, its racing imagery is centered on a country road with dense trees. This simple image alone should serve as inspiration for level creation in a VR racing game that should explore all kinds of tracks and scenes, rather than just the ones we’re familiar with.

Vehicle Prizes & Upgrades

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As mentioned, VR gaming will be about atmosphere and visuals, and that will place more emphasis on the actual cars than most any racing game ever has. Because of this, there needs to be a heavy focus on the ability to upgrade your vehicle, buy a new one, or even win a new one through competition. Fortunately, there’s some recent precedent for these ideas, as the PS4 game Driveclub focused a great deal on the culture of racing, rather than solely on the races. Incidentally, VR Focus recently previewed a new version of Driveclub being developed for virtual reality, and it was a pretty encouraging glimpse. So, perhaps this and the other ideas mentioned in this post will soon come to fruition.

The early looks at racing on virtual reality systems are pretty exciting. But by building in these elements, a developer could create a truly original title to address the best of the genre. At this stage, Driveclub for VR looks like a good candidate.

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An interesting haul this week. Not the greatest, but a few interesting bits in here, not the least of which is one of the three games which initiated “Operation Rainfall.”

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Wind-up Knight 2 for Wii U – As a clockwork knight, there is only one option not afforded to you in this relentless action-platformer: stopping. Click here for a trailer.

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Pandora’s Tower for Wii U – One of the darlings of Operation Rainfall, this role playing game tells of a young woman’s slow transformation into a fearsome beast, and the lengths the man she loves will go to in order to free her from her curse.

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Best of Arcade Games – Air Hockey for Nintendo 3DS – Weird… we’re back in “whoops” territory again.

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Best of Arcade Games – Bubble Buster for Nintendo 3DS – Same here.

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Garfield Kart for Nintendo 3DS – As an admitted Garfield fan, I reviewed this game for iPhone a while back. It was pretty good as a $1.99 download, all things considered, and is probably even better on Nintendo 3DS, but for a full retail price of $29.99? With Mario Kart 7 on the same platform? I’m admittedly less certain at the moment.

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I Love My Dogs – Demo Version for Nintendo 3DS – Sure, you love your dogs — who doesn’t? But do you love them enough to drop $24.99 on this title? Try the demo first to see!

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Paddington: Adventures in London for Nintendo 3DS – Professor Layton he isn’t, but you can still help this marmalade-loving storybook favorite become a true and proper “gentlebear” by completing various missions throughout the city of London (England, that is, not Ontario).

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Brave Tank Hero for Nintendo 3DS – Guns ‘n Roses never envisioned this — Paradise City has been invaded, and it’s up to you to engage the enemy in three different types of tank across 50 missions to take it back.

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

Activities

Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire – Get Shiny Rayquaza with Dragon Ascent – This rare, powerful Pokemon comes with a Mega Evolution to allow it to dominate its opponents. Find out how to get this addition to your ranks on the Nintendo Network before September 14th by clicking here.

Pokémon Shuffle Summer Special – Buy Jewels and Get Six More Free! – Until August 16th, purchasing six jewels with your Nintendo eShop funds will allow you to get another six for free. Find more details here.

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. “Second Star” Tournament – You know the drill: test your squad against the best in the world with the top scorers earning unique titles and bragging rights. The “Second Star” tournament runs from August 14th through 17th.

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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Some months back, I reviewed Retro City Rampage DX, a “top to bottom reworking” of the original Retro City Rampage that was released on the Nintendo 3DS. As noted there, I’m not normally into the open world crime genre, but this one actually managed to hook me in a way that games such as Grand Theft Auto have not.

Now the time has come for that love to be shared across virtually any non-mobile platform you can think of. The DX version is now available for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita with a triple cross-buy feature, while Steam users can enjoy a double cross-buy for PC and Macintosh. Meanwhile, the WiiWare version (which can be played in the Wii Mode of the Wii U console) has also been updated, and the Xbox 360 will receive its update later this month.

Fun fact: According to Vancouver developer Vblank Entertainment, there was also a limited edition retail version made for the PlayStation 4, but it sold out in one day.

To see what’s new in this version of the game, check out the following trailer:

Following are more platform-specific details:

PlayStation Users

The PS4, PS3 and PS Vita versions of ‘DX’ all sold together as one, 3X Cross Buy! With the 20% OFF PlayStation Plus launch week discount, you’ll get all three for $7.99 ($9.99 without Plus). That’s only around $3 for each platform, and much less than the original RCR’s $14.99 launch price! Owners of the original Retro City Rampage for PS3 and PS Vita can transfer their save games
to the new ‘DX’ version via Cross-Save. The new ‘DX’ version is a separate purchase, but keep in mind that with ‘DX’, you’re getting the PS4 version, a brand new Trophy set and new leaderboards. Owners of the original ‘RCR’ who transfer their save game to ‘DX’ will also earn a shiny elite star next to their score to show off on the leaderboards.

LAST CALL! The original ‘Retro City Rampage’ will be delisted from the PS Store and replaced with ‘Retro City Rampage: DX’ in order to avoid customer confusion. While ‘DX’ includes a mode to play the original ‘RCR’, if for some reason you would prefer the pure original, grab it before it’s too late. If you already own the original ‘RCR’, you not be affected by this. You will still be able to re-download it indefinitely, at any time. The delisting will only prevent new purchases.

PC/MacUsers

‘Retro City Rampage: DX’ will be a free update for owners of the original ‘RCR’ on PC/Steam/Humble Store. The PC and upcoming Mac versions are Cross Buy. The Mac version will be available for free to all who purchase or have purchased the PC version, and vice versa. Steam updates are automatic by default, but DRM-Free customers will need to login to their download page to grab it when it’s available.

Xbox 360 Users

‘Retro City Rampage: DX’ will be a free update for owners of the original version on Xbox 360, with all the HD bells and whistles! The only things missing are the remastered screen borders, due to Title Update size restrictions. It still contains the new borders though!

Note: This also marks the debut on Xbox 360 in Australia and New Zealand!

WiiWare Users

‘Retro City Rampage: DX’ will be a free update for owners of the original version on WiiWare. I greatly thank those loyal few of you who’ve showed your support by purchasing RCR on your Wii and Wii U consoles in ‘Wii mode’. This update makes the WiiWare version on par with the other systems, only missing HD video filters and zoom modes. It supports the Wii Remote, Classic Controller and Game Cube Controller, with an optional ‘shake’ gesture exclusive to the Wii Remote.

Note: This also marks the debut on WiiWare in Australia and New Zealand!

Nintendo 3DS Users

‘Retro City Rampage: DX’ is already available for Nintendo 3DS, but don’t worry! You’re not forgotten! Remember that an update will be coming alongside the *new* 3DS which adds support for the new buttons! I have no idea when that will be since the North American/European release date for the system hasn’t been announced, but it’s coming!

A lot of cool, interesting, and even free new additions to the Nintendo eShop today! Let’s get right into it!

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Tomodachi Life – Free Demo Version for Nintendo 3DS – For a time, playing the free demo version of Tomodachi Life was a fairly exclusive club. But now, everyone can partake in it! You can check out my review of the game here.

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Squids Odyssey for Nintendo 3DS – This came to Wii U a few weeks ago, so here is what I had to say then: “Another from the iPhone, where it was known simply as “Squids.” This one had promise, but I advocated caution when I reviewed it. I haven’t played it since that review, nor the Wii U version, but hopefully they managed to improve on some aspects, while others– such as draining my phone’s battery like nobody’s business– shouldn’t apply here. According to the press release, though, this version contains not only the original iPhone game’s content, but also SQUIDS Wild West and additional new content as well.”

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Bike Rider DX2: Galaxy for Nintendo 3DS – “Japan’s No. 1 platformer” has you take your bike on a tour of 12 zodiac-inspired planets with more than 90 stages. Power-ups will allow you to fly or turn you into a frog as you avoid such obstacles as lasers, spiked blocks, and giant whirlwinds.

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City Mysteries for Nintendo 3DS – Travel to New York, Paris, Moscow, and London as you search for more than 1,000 hidden objects! Each city also contains a sliding puzzle for you to enjoy, too.

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Glory of Generals for Nintendo 3DS – A turn-based strategy game set during World War II, spanning between 1939 and 1945 AD with 64 campaigns including the Western and Eastern fronts, North Africa, and Antarctica. Choose your side from one of 15 countries and rewrite history as you control any of your generals on the battlefield.

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Mysterious Stars: A Fairy Tale for Nintendo 3DS/Nintendo DSiWare – Have you already finished the last two connect-the-dot games in this series? Well, here’s a third for you.

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One Piece Unlimited World Red for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS – Available July 8th, play as your favorite Straw Hat crew members and engage in an episodic storyline based on the hit manga. When the going gets rough, you can call on some help from your friends (2-player on Wii U, 4-player on Nintendo 3DS).

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Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition for Wii U – “An action-platformer set in a magical, Mexican-inspired world,” Guacamelee! has proven popular on other platforms and is reminiscent of such titles as Metroid and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night in its open-ended, exploration-encouraging design. “Explore lively towns and dangerous temples, unlock new luchador powers and suplex some skeletons in this expanded version of the original game.” Plus, the developers at DrinkBox Studios are from right here in Toronto, so by playing this, you’d be supporting Canadian game development as well!

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Armillo for Wii U – As Armillo, the space armadillo, you’ll roll, jump, and boost through multiple worlds in this 3D action platformer which is said to mix the classic with the new. You can use the Wii U GamePad for Off-TV play and optional motion controls, or the Pro Controller for something a little more traditional.

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Mario Tennis: Power Tour for Wii U – This fan-favorite Game Boy Advance title allows you to play in singles or doubles action with a role playing twist!

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Bombing Bastards for Wii U – If it walks like a man and bombs like a man, then is it Bomberman? Well, not in this instance, but since the last Bomberman title was released almost four years ago, it seems that if Konami isn’t going to make more, then someone else will. 30 mazes spanning five worlds, each with their own boss, await you and up to four other friends, who can join in with the Gamepad, Wii Remotes, Pro Controllers, and/or Classic Controllers.

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Internal Invasion for Wii U – Guide Ro-bert through 50 levels with touchscreen controls to stop the infection deep within the body in this gravity-based platformer.

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Power Dice Solitaire Future for Wii U – Winning is as easy as a roll of the dice! Roll to create matching pairs, earning points for every successful match. But be careful; fail to make a match, and you’ll lose points instead!

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ZaciSa’s Last Stand for Wii U – A tower defense game featuring a unique art style as you build bots to protect your way of life in outer space.

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Karaoke Joysound – Full and Demo versions for WiiWare – What the–? A WiiWare game? Really? Well, up to eight players can participate in this karaoke game. The initial software purchase comes with a complimentary one-use six-hour ticket.

Nintendo eShop Sales

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Kung Fu Rabbit for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS – This game is 50 percent off until 9am PT on July 10th.

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Atlus games for Nintendo 3DS – From 9am PT on July 7th until 9am PT on July 21st, Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl and Etrian Odyssey IV: The Legends of Titan are on sale in the Nintendo 3DS eShop.

Price Reduction

Just Dance 2014 for Wii U – Beginning July 7th in the Wii U eShop, this title will be marked down from $49.99 to $39.99.

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

Remember the good times? Racing your friends online in Mario Kart DS, or visiting another person’s town in Animal Crossing: City Folk? Good times.

However, nothing lasts forever, and that includes the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. The first foray into online gaming for Nintendo that western fans were familiar with, it debuted shortly into the lifespan of the hugely successful Nintendo DS platform and continued on to the Wii, allowing Nintendo fans across the world to play, compete, and more. But on May 20th, 2014, Nintendo is shutting the service down for good.

Before anyone panics, though, note that this does not affect the more recent Nintendo Network, which is what the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U platforms run on– those will be fine and continue on as we look forward to such titles as Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros., among others. In addition, any non-internet related functionality such as single and local multiplayer modes in Nintendo DS and Wii titles should continue to work just fine. “The discontinued services include online play, matchmaking and leaderboards for many Wii, Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi games,” says Nintendo of America on their website’s announcement of the news.

“Online play for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS games will be unaffected (aside from the Wii mode on Wii U and Nintendo DS games on Nintendo 3DS family systems). Other online functionality, such as access to the Wii Shop Channel, the Nintendo DSi Shop and video-on-demand services, are also not affected at this time.” So that means you should, in theory, be able to continue buying up games from those respective virtual storefronts. Hopefully, at some point, Wii Shop-exclusive WiiWare offerings such as Contra ReBirth and Mega Man 9 will somehow be moved to the Wii U’s eShop for safe keeping.

As for in-game purchases, such as downloadable content for such titles as the WiiWare Mega Man offerings, 100 Classic Books, and certain Professor Layton titles, Nintendo says that functionality will continue to work for the time being as well.

For a list of Nintendo first-party titles that will be affected by this update, click here. For a more comprehensive, complete list that includes third-party titles, click here.

All told, it’s a sad day, especially for some titles which were more reliant on the service than others. Fortunately, there are still more great games to look forward to in the future, but for now, we should try to take a moment to give some old favorites one last spin online.

That is, unless Nintendo’s Virtual Console for the Nintendo DS includes the functionality through the Nintendo Network. If it does, then perhaps with any luck, they’ll have a way for us to transfer the data from our Nintendo DS cards to use there, too.

The Monolith Soft role playing game Xenoblade Chronicles has sparked no small amount of interest over the course of its existence. Wowing gamers with what the Wii was capable of in the right hands, the title soon became highly-anticipated in North America– which made Nintendo of America’s lack of plans to bring the title over following its success in Japan and Europe all the more crushing.

This led to the creation of “Operation Rainfall,” an effort to bring fans together (now a full-fledged gaming website) to convince Nintendo of America to bring this title (along with two others) to our shores. Whether it was the outpouring of support from fans or simply a part of some other strategy altogether, Nintendo did finally relent and released the game here.

However, the game did not see a widespread release. Instead, it was offered exclusively through GameStop in the United States and EB Games in Canada, as well as through Nintendo’s own website– unusual, given that they normally do not sell games directly there. Nonetheless, the retail-exclusivity combined with a relatively limited run wound up leading the already sought-after game to become even more desirable as the game’s accolades spread even further through word of mouth. As one might expect, this has led to the aftermarket price on previously-purchased copies to be driven up considerably.

stpustThat’s why it appears fortunate that, in some way or another, online Canadian video game retailer Video Games Plus Online has acquired some stock of the game. Not only do they have it in stock, but they claim to have it new. As seen in the ad at right, they state that the game comes “brand new factory sealed ‘Y’ wrapped,” and that this is “possibly your last chance to own this RPG masterpiece.”

Their asking price is $69.99 Canadian, a full $20 higher than the $49.99 the game originally retailed for. It seems to go for about that much new and used on eBay, though some sellers want considerably more– not to mention the need to contend with other bidders for the lower-priced copies. Interestingly enough, VGPlus’s own Amazon storefront is charging $20 more than their own website for some reason.

If you’re curious about what me (and my wife) thought about the game, you can check out my review here.

Thanks to Skeldare on the Penny Arcade Forums for the tip!

Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games – Available November 15th, Mario, Sonic, and all their friends (and a few foes) go for the gold in a number of Olympic events based on the 2014 Winter Games from Sochi. Aside from everything you could already figure out by reading the name of the game, there are new events and new control schemes, some of which take advantage of the Wii U GamePad. And for the first time ever, you can take the competition online!

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Zumba Fitness World Party – On November 19th, you can take your workout to Brazil, Hawaii, and beyond! With 40 high-energy routines, 30 calorie-burning dance styles, and a red-hot soundtrack, you can make your home workout into a globetrotting fitness adventure!

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Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW! for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS On November 19th, join Finn, Jake, and numerous others (with up to four players at once in the Wii U version) venture deep into Princess Bubblegum’s Secret Royal Dungeon, where the nastiest monsters and criminals are locked up. But could some of them have escaped, leading to the upswing in thefts and kidnappings which now plague the Candy Kingdom? If so, that means the entire Land of Ooo could be in danger!

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River City Ransom – Ryan’s girlfriend has been kidnapped by Slick, but with the help of his friend Alex, they’re going to get her back! This NES classic allows two players (via Download Play) to team up to free River City from Slick’s gang of underlings by improving their skills and using nearby weapons to bash some goons.

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Barbie Dreamhouse Party for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS Come on, Barbie, let’s go party! Available November 19th, you can experience life in the Dreamhouse with Barbie and her cast of crazy friends (up to four on Wii U) as they try to set right the mini-game infestation Raquel has accidentally set upon Barbie’s home.

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Hot Wheels: World’s Best Driver for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS Hot Wheels is leading the way with four-player fun as you pick a team, choose from one of 24 rides, and compete in 76 events to become the World’s Best Driver.

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Sonic Lost World – Demo Version for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS Eager to journey with Sonic to the world of Lost Hex, but haven’t been sure about putting down the money for this all-new style of Sonic game? Then good news! The demo version enjoyed elsewhere in the world is now available to download free to your Wii U and Nintendo 3DS! Be sure to check out both, if you can, as people seem divided about which one is the better of the two.

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Uncharted Waters: New Horizons – Set in the Age of Discovery, players choose from one of six characters, each with their own backgrounds and motivations, and set out to unearth treasures, recruit new members to your fleet, challenge adversaries to duels, and visit more than 130 destinations in this 1994 title from Koei.

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Frozen Olaf’s Quest – A new puzzle-platformer based on the new film from Disney will be available October 19th! Discover hidden collectibles and unlockable accessories as you guide Olaf the Snowman through 60 levels.

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Girls’ Fashion Shoot – Do you have what it takes to become both a successful magazine editor and a top fashion model? Design your own look from thousands of options, and show them off in your own magazine!

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Secret Mysteries in New York – When a politician is found murdered in a local park in 1920s New York, the police go to a young forensic scientist, Oscar Gaebelein, for help. But is it truly murder most foul, or does that simply mark the beginning of a more sinister plot?

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SENRAN KAGURA Burst – “A little violent, a little sexy, and a ton of fun!” Two storylines await as you find out that neither the girls of Hanzō nor Hebijo are all that they appear to be. Plus, you can customize your chosen ninja girl with dozens of combinations.

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World Conqueror 3D – Set during World War II, this strategy game gives you two modes to partake in– Conquest and Campaign– as you fight to claim 243 territories and 11 belligerent states with 40 military troops and 17 military cards through three periods and ten battles. And if you need a little more challenge, there are five different difficulty levels as well.

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Word Wizard 3D – It’s a collection of classic word games. Really, they don’t give you much more to go on than that.

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Deer Drive Legends – If you look carefully off into the distance, you can see it. Thought to have died out long ago, you spot the markings of the rare and elusive WiiWare title. Featuring a two-player alternating multiplayer mode, 30 animals, and even a tyrannosaurus boss battle, this nearly extinct creature can be yours as of November 19th.

“Your Favorite Gaming Friends” Sale – Beginning this week and running for the three weeks following, Nintendo is putting a number of Nintendo eShop titles featuring your favorite gaming friends on sale! This week, you can get The Legend of Zelda and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link on the Wii U or Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console for $3.49, $1.50 off the regular price. You can also get The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX from the Nintendo 3DS eShop for $3.99, two dollars off! Following weeks will feature Mega Man, Mario, and Donkey Kong, respectively. But which titles? Check back to find out!

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

We’re used to seeing the Nintendo 3DS get the lion’s share of the attention around here, but not this week! With the exception of the cross-retail/eShop release of Animal Crossing: New Leaf, this week’s Nintendo Download is all Wii U, all the time… except for one Wii Virtual Console title, which you can also play on the Wii U.

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This week’s headliner is the 1992 NES puzzle game Yoshi, which will be 30 cents on the Wii U eShop for a limited time when it comes out on June 12th. If you’re not already familiar with it by now, the goal is to match pairs of falling Mario baddies to eliminate them, or catch a whole batch between two halves of a Yoshi egg shell to hatch one of three differently-sized Yoshis. What an egg-citing way to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Famicom!

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This week, Super Mario Bros. 2 arrives on the Wii U Virtual Console. It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the game, so seeing it arrive on Wii U is great for me. However, it’s a little weird that it’s showing up not only before the first Super Mario Bros. (available on the Wii and Nintendo 3DS Virtual Consoles), but before it shows up on the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console as well.

Regardless, there’s better news about this release: If you’ve already bought Super Mario World for the Wii U Virtual Console, then you can get Super Mario Bros. 2 for half-price!

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It’s a double-dose of Rayman goodness today! First is the release of the free Rayman Legends Challenges App in the Wii U eShop, which allows players from around the globe to compete in daily and weekly challenges against each other and the game’s developers through several maps, including the Wii U-exclusive level Murfy’s Dungeon.

Second, Ubisoft has announced that the full game will be hitting the Wii U (and Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3) on September 3rd. Maybe that will be early enough in the month to avoid a full-on slaughter by Grand Theft Auto V two weeks later?

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This week’s Nintendo Download kicks off with the release of Toki Tori 2, an adventure game in which you use your stomps and whistles to influence the local wildlife in order to solve puzzles. It’s introductory price is $13.49 until April 19th, at which point the price will be raised to $14.99.

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Unlike last week’s Nintendo Download, most of what has been revealed today is actually available for purchase now. However, two titles are currently waiting for their release at retail on March 24th before appearing in the Nintendo 3DS eShop.

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To kick things off in this week’s Nintendo Download, let’s get the one and only console and Wii release out of the way.

With The King of Fighters ’98, you probably have a good idea by now of what to expect from the fifth installment of SNK’s answer to Street Fighter. At a cost of 900 Wii Points, this iteration brings with it 38 characters comprised of 12 teams, as well as two singles fighters. “Some minor changes include higher customizability, much to the fans’ rejoice, and better fighting mechanics.”

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castlevanialosmof

This week’s Nintendo Download kicks things off in style with the free downloadable demo of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate, which will be available at retail and in the Nintendo 3DS eShop on March 5th. Taking place a quarter-century after the events of the original Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, we get to see what this newly-rebooted universe has in store for such fan favorites of Castlevania lore as Trevor Belmont, Alucard, and of course, Simon Belmont, who may finally get his due.

For my thoughts on the game based on the demo presented at E3 last year (which may or may not be similar to this one [Update: It’s pretty much the exact same one]), click here.

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