The Nintendo Download – 4/28/2016 – The Free-to-Play Edition

Nothing especially huge has dropped this week — unless you count the absolutely enormous world of Xenoblade Chronicles — but there are two cool-looking free-to-play games available to try out this week. At that price, anything is worth a shot at least once, right?

Lost Reavers for Wii U – From Ancient Ruins and Medieval Castles to a Modern City, this free-to-play four-player co-op game is all about teamwork as you each pull together as one of four unique characters to retrieve treasures and return them to your extraction point.

The Deer God for Wii U – Oh deer! This side-scrolling adventure is all about survival, reincarnation, and karma as you find power-ups, test your platforming skills, and unlock secrets most ancient as you must live and survive as a deer.

Xenoblade Chronicles for Wii U – Shulk’s original adventure returns once again! Funny how after it took so long to get here, Nintendo of America is quickly re-releasing it in short order along with its sequel, huh? See where it all began with this Virtual Console re-release of the original Wii title!

Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS – This freebie has been out in the States for a month through a promotion we northern folks never got to partake in, but now everyone can download this free title and conquer 50 levels using the special abilities of 11 Minis. All you need to get started is any one amiibo figure!


Disney Art Academy pre-purchase for Nintendo 3DS – You can’t start learning to draw with Disney until May 13th (well, you can, but not with this title until it’s released), but you can pre-purchase it now and have it ready to go when the clock ticks down and the game is made available.

SEGA 3D Classics Collection for Nintendo 3DS – SEGA’s collection of 3D Classics is finally here! From previously-released titles such as 3D Sonic the Hedgehog to never-before-seen-in-this-part-of-the-world titles like 3D Power Drift, there is plenty to see here.

ASH for Nintendo 3DS – This turn-based role-playing game’s story is cast with an air of uncertainty as the royal army is deployed in absence of a king, leaving its leader to wonder the true intentions of the Magistrate.

Theme Shop on Nintendo 3DS

This week’s new themes are “Star Fox Zero : Space Battle,” “Shovel Knight Campfire Dream,” and “Plague Knight’s Theme.”

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

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)


Nintendo had something of a surprise Nintendo Direct today. Nothing earth-shattering, just an extended look at the upcoming Xenoblade Chronicles X.

Did I say “nothing earth-shattering”? Poor choice of words, as that’s essentially part of the premise of the game, which is gone over in greater detail along with other new features in the following video:

After this, the Nintendo Treehouse spent the better part of an hour showing off features of the game in the area around the ship. I didn’t get to see everything, as my appointment with a technician from Rogers Cable overlapped with the Treehouse portion of the presentation, but I got to see bits and pieces. Hopefully they’ll have it archived on their Twitch or YouTube channels soon.

If I may offer my own thoughts on what I did see: While I did enjoy the original game for the Wii, I admittedly did so in a more passive role, watching as my wife played and taking in the sights, sound, and story while she– the more experienced role playing game expert between us– handled the actual playing of the game, with me deferring to her for the gameplay aspect of the review. Then and now, with the New Nintendo 3DS XL release of Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, I’ve had twinges of wanting to give it a try, but I’ve been satisfied as a passive observer.

Xenoblade Chronicles X, however? Considerably less so– I want to immerse myself in this world. The Wii game was awesome, true, but this one just speaks to me on a much more personal level, reminding me in part of some RPG stuff I ran with some friends years ago. I love the premise of having an Earth city/spaceship on an uncharted alien world, and using various advanced technology to explore the landscape. Plus: Giant transforming robots. The Monado is cool and all, but I wasn’t quite feeling it the way I would running around in my own Transformer; that has the touch… and it’s got the power, yeah.

Sadly, there is no release date for this iteration yet. I imagine we’ll see that come the 2015 Electronic Entertainment Expo, if not a little later in the year and closer to launch. They may need something to help prop up their holiday release schedule, after all, since The Legend of Zelda for Wii U is no longer making a 2015 release a priority. On the other hand, would they be holding a Nintendo Direct for it if they were planning to release it later, rather than sooner? Hmm.

In any case, I’m keeping an eye on this one with ever-growing anticipation.

There aren’t a lot of new releases this week, but the ones that are here look pretty good nonetheless.


Xenoblade Chronicles 3D for Nintendo 3DS – Available April 10th, the role playing game which inspired a consumer uprising to have it brought to our shores for the Wii has made a much easier trip to the New Nintendo 3DS XL. Note the New, as this title is the first to be made exclusively for that particular iteration of the hardware. As Shulk, which you might have been introduced to in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS (if you didn’t get to play this game’s Wii release, of course), you’ll learn to master the powerful blade known as the Monado as you fight off robotic enemies in battles that mix real time action and RPG-style strategy. Check out a trailer here.


Etrian Mystery Dungeon for Nintendo 3DSMystery Dungeon games are roguelike action RPGs with randomly generated dungeons, and the small village of Aslarga is a hub for those seeking out that kind of adventure. Plus, when you get the game, you can get an accompanying Home menu theme for 99 cents and all five downloadable content packs for free until May 5th. Check out a trailer here.


Pokémon Rumble World for Nintendo 3DS – The latest in the Pokémon Rumble series features more than 700 Toy Pokémon, including some that can Mega Evolve. 80 stages are spread across 18 areas in this adventure as you battle and collect as many Toy Pokémon as you can. For a trailer, click here.


Runny Egg for Nintendo 3DS – Run, duck, and dodge as an egg looking for its stand at the end of each stage! Just be careful not to break the shell and spoil what’s inside!


Affordable Space Adventures for Wii U – Up to three players can enjoy the thrills of exploring space on a budget. Fly your Small Craft brand of spaceship to the famous alien planet of Spectaculon and have a look around! Check out the travel brochure (i.e. trailer) here.


WarioWare: Touched! for Wii U – 180 microgames help reinforce the notion that “Touching is Good” that launched the Nintendo DS. With Wario and his Mega Microgame$ crew by your side, how can you go wrong? Use the Wii U GamePad’s touchscreen and microphone to complete the challenges, then replay to top your best score!


Yoshi Touch & Go for Wii U – With the Wii U GamePad’s touchscreen, help Baby Mario and Yoshi get past enemies both airborne and grounded to find more babies, more Yoshis, and the stork who has to deliver them!

Theme Shop on Nintendo 3DS

New themes this week include Xenoblade Chronicles 3D: Mechonis and Xenoblade Chronicles 3D: Monado.

Nintendo eShop Sales (Prices in USD)

Super Spring Sale for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS – Until 8:59am PT on April 20th, get up to 30 percent off select games.


Tetrobot & Co. for Wii U – Until 8:59am PT on April 12th, this title is reduced from $9.99 to $2.99, 70 percent off.


EnjoyUp Games Sale for Wii U99Moves, 99Seconds, and Abyss are discounted until 8:59am PT on May 7th.


Joindots Games Sale for Wii U3D MahJongg, Gardenscapes, Jewel Match 3, and more are discounted until 8:59am PT on April 23rd.


WRC Official Game of the FIA World Rally Championship for Nintendo 3DS – Until 8:59am PT on April 16th, this title is reduced from $34.99 to $20, 42 percent off.


Snow Moto Racing 3D for Nintendo 3DS – Until 8:59am PT on April 16th, this title is reduced from $7.99 to $3.99, 50 percent off.


Heavy Fire: Special Operations 3D for Nintendo 3DS – Until 8:59am PT on April 23rd, this title is reduced from $4.99 to $0.99, 80 percent off.

Price Reductions


Watch_Dogs for Wii U – This title has been reduced from $59.99 to $29.99.


LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham for Wii U – This title has been reduced from $39.99 to $29.99.


Tri-Strip for Wii U – This title has been reduced from $29.99 to $19.99.


LEGO Ninjago: Nindroids for Nintendo 3DS – This title has been reduced from $1.99 to $1.49.


Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. “Four Score” 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 “Four Score” tournament runs through April 12. Opt in via the SpotPass feature for notifications on future tournaments. Good luck, agents.”

New Pokémon Shuffle Opportunities

Blastoise Competitive Stage – “Do your best in a competitive stage featuring Mega Blastoise, available to play until 10 p.m. PT on April 12. Players will be ranked based on the score that they receive on this stage. All those who place in the top 20,000 will be awarded a Blastoisinite, the Mega Stone needed to Mega Evolve Blastoise. You can attempt the competitive stage as many times as you like each day. For more info, please visit

Rayquaza’s Special Stage – “Rayquaza’s stage will be available to play until 11 p.m. PT on April 19. Rayquaza can only be caught through this special stage, so use this chance to catch it!”

Rayquaza’s Dragon Talon Skill – “If you catch Rayquaza, you will be able to use it as one of your own Pokémon. Rayquaza’s skill is Dragon Talon, which will give your attack 1.5 times the regular damage when you clear Rayquaza from the puzzle area.”

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

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!