Check Out the Play Nintendo: Kids Summer Tour

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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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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Nintendo of Canada has announced their upcoming Holiday Mall Experience, which will begin on Monday, December 8th in three cities across Canada and last until Sunday, December 21st.

There, Nintendo fans will have the opportunity to try out several of the hottest games from the past year, including Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Mario Kart 8, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, and Hyrule Warriors for Wii U. On the Nintendo 3DS side, there’s Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Mario Kart 7, Kirby Triple Deluxe, and Yoshi’s New Island to check out.

Plus, if you snap a picture of you and your friends playing at the Nintendo Holiday Mall Experience and post it to social media with the hash tag #NintendoCanadaHoliday, you’ll have a chance to win some branded Nintendo prizing. If you’re a lucky winner, then the Nintendo team will message your social media account directly.

The full schedule of locations, dates, and times is as follows:

Coquitlam, BC:

Coquitlam Centre, 2929 Barnet Hwy #1204

Hours:
December 8–12: 10am-9pm
December 13: 9:30am-9pm
December 14: 10am-6pm
December 15–19: 10am–9pm
December 20: 9:30am-9pm
December 21: 10am-9pm

Scarborough, ON:

Scarborough Town Centre, 300 Borough Drive

Hours:
December 8–13: 9:30am-9:30pm
December 14: 10am-8pm
December 15–20: 9:30am-9:30pm
December 21: 10am-8pm

Pointe Claire, QC:

Fairview Pointe Claire, 6801 Pointe-Claire

Hours:
December 8-12: 10am-9pm
December 13–14: 9am-5pm
December 15-17: 10am-9pm
December 18-19: 9am-9pm
December 20-21: 9am-5pm


Mario and Yoshi reunite to take on challenges new and old! And that’s just the tip of this week’s Nintendo Download iceberg!

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Yoshi’s New Island for Nintendo 3DS – Available at midnight on March 14th, 2014, Yoshi’s New Island is a new adventure for Baby Mario and his dino-pals as they venture through new locales and use new giant Eggdozers to find and save Baby Luigi. Can’t the poor tyke ever get a break?

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Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels for Wii U – If you thought Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze was too easy, then here is the side-scrolling platformer for you! Released in Japan as Super Mario Bros. 2 and later as Super Mario Bros. For Super Players in the Game Boy Color release Super Mario Bros. Deluxe, this brutally challenging sequel to the NES classic puts twists on nearly everything you know from the original, from Poison Mushrooms (for which certain websites are named) to Warp Zones that will send you backward instead of forward, and more!

Even if you’ve played this in Super Mario All-Stars, know that this version is actually even more brutal! Good thing the Wii U Virtual Console features Restore Points!

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Galaga for Nintendo 3DS – One of the all-time classic top-down space shooters, Galaga puts you into the cockpit of a space fighter with a secret! As the aliens attack in formation and capture your ship, your next ship can free the original, allowing the two to fight back together with twice the firepower!

On a related note, the now-closing ShiftyLook webcomic site has a complete Galaga story available for you to read. Enjoy it while it lasts!

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CastleStorm DLC for Wii U – New downloadable content is available for this late-2013 Nintendo 3DS eShop release: “All hail to ‘The Warrior Queen,’ the newest CastleStorm expansion. A new class of Viking Elite warrior is at your service and ready for your command as you lead them in a quest for revenge against the infamous Chief Ramhorn!”

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Madagascar 3 & The Croods Prehistoric Party Combo Pack for Nintendo 3DS – Whether you want to adventure with the animals of Madagascar or party down with The Croods in mini-games, this combo pack has you covered.

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Bubble Pop World for Nintendo 3DS – This match-three game requires a Nintendo 3DS Augmented Reality card to work. With that, there are 120 puzzle and arcade levels available for your enjoyment, along with eight underwater-based mini-games and the ability to create and share up to 128 of your own levels.

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Cube Tactics for Nintendo 3DS – This unique strategy war game has more than 25 tactical quests to engage in single player mode, or you can take on up to three opponents in online multiplayer.

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Lola’s ABC Party for Nintendo 3DS – Designed to teach the alphabet and words to children ages three to six, this title boasts easy-to-understand spoken instructions and is customized to the child’s learning pace as they learn about upper and lowercase letters, word recognition, and word construction.

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WAKEDAS for Nintendo 3DS – Group blocks of the same color together by simply dragging your finger across the screen in this puzzle game of more than 300 levels. If you find yourself stuck, you can get a helpful boost from the hint system.

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Nintendo eShop Sale: SteamWorld Dig for Nintendo 3DS – Until 9am PT on March 16th, this acclaimed title is 50 percent off. I missed it when it first came out, but have heard great things about it since, so I’m going to make sure to grab myself a copy! If you’re interested in a review, here is one my wife wrote not too long ago.

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Nintendo eShop Sale: Zen Pinball 3D, Marvel Pinball 3D, and Star Wars Pinball for Nintendo 3DS – Beginning at 9am on March 17th and lasting until 9am PT on March 31st, this Zen Studios sale features these three titles for 50 percent off in the Nintendo 3DS eShop.

For more information, screens, and videos on each of this week’s releases and sale items, click on the associated link above.

March Break is almost upon us, and Nintendo of Canada is celebrating with the Yoshi’s New Island Mobile Tour! Stop by the locations listed below, visit the Yoshi’s New Island-branded truck, and climb aboard for your chance to play and receive your very own Yoshi’s New Island key chain (while supplies last). The current list of stops is as follows:

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“More locations will be posted soon,” according to Nintendo, and you can keep up with them by clicking this link. In addition, they note that “some of the tour locations are at scheduled events, which may incur a small fee to participate,” so be mindful before going out of your way. Looking at the website, this currently seems to regard the Toronto event specifically.

Nintendo is running a special promotion from March 1st through March 31st that is of interest to new Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 3DS XL, and Nintendo 2DS owners– or those who have just been considering getting one.

Register your system along with one select game (Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins, Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7, or the upcoming Yoshi’s New Island) with Club Nintendo, and you’ll be eligible to receive a free download code for either Pokémon X or Pokémon Y, two of the system’s best-sellers.

Meet the requirements, and you should receive your code by April 30th, 2014. Don’t sit on the code for too long, however; they’re only valid through May 31st, 2014.

From Nintendo’s press release:

Pokémon X and Pokémon Y, the latest entries in the world-famous Pokémon series, offer a visually spectacular new Pokémon experience that brings the world of Pokémon, new Mega Evolutions and a host of new features to the Nintendo 3DS like players have never seen before. The games are currently available in stores and in the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS at a suggested retail price of $39.99. For more information about Pokémon X and Pokémon Y, visit http://www.pokemon.com/xy.

All said, it’s a good deal, and if you don’t already own one of the Nintendo 3DS family of handhelds, it’s an excellent enticement to buy now. With that said, I can only wonder if Nintendo will roll out a similar promotion for the Wii U– it’s the one that really needs it!

Everyone was waiting with bated breath to see what Nintendo would reveal in their next Nintendo Direct, the first one of the year 2014 and the first one since their ever-controversial financial report earlier this year. What was in store? Well, you can view it in its entirety above, or read on to find out!

An Assist Trophy no more! Things got off to a hot start with a new trailer for Super Smash Bros. which revealed a new character in the game that fans have long been hopeful for. Previously, director Masahiro Sakurai expressed concern that there wouldn’t be enough moves for a complete set, but it looks like Little Mac of Punch-Out!! fame has learned a few new tricks since contenders were being considered for Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

I knew that was no wrestling ring being shown off in previous trailers, and with the World Video Boxing Association logo now clearly displayed, its purpose is all too clear. Little Mac himself looks rather potent, too– he looks like he could end up being a favorite of competitive Smash Bros. players with his rapid close-range attacks and killer uppercuts, though his air game appears to be a little on the weak side. In any case, he should be fun to try out.

Super Smash Bros. is set to be released later this year; my money is on the holidays.

I never thought I’d see the day. The Mario Kart 8 announcement revealed not one, not two, but seven new racers: Bowser’s Koopalings! For the first time ever, Larry, Morton, Wendy O., Iggy, Roy, Lemmy, and Ludwig are all playable characters. I figured they used Bowser Jr. because it was easier to feature one, rather than seven. Seems they’ll have a harder time keeping them out of other games now, too. My only concern is whether they’ve come at the expense of other racers– still wanting R.O.B. and Funky Kong to come back over here.

Mario Kart 8 is on-track for a May 30th release.

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It’s been a while since Nintendo last said anything about bringing Game Boy Advance games to the Wii U Virtual Console, but today we got an update. Starting in April, releases will include Metroid Fusion, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, and Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3, with more to follow “every month.” I was sort of hoping for Super Mario Advance and Wario Land 4, personally, but this is a decent start… though to be honest, I’d much rather have the Super NES version of Yoshi’s Island. What’s the hold-up there? In addition, I hope we see Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, but mainly if Nintendo has a way to implement the eReader cards.

Bayonetta 2 has a new trailer showing off some new features as well, and is coming later this year.

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The latest from Monolith Soft, the enigmatic “X”, does not have its own separate trailer, unfortunately. Nintendo Direct did show new footage and revealed that “the game’s battle system is based on Xenoblade Chronicles for Wii,” and that “additional updates will be announced in the future.”

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A sequel to the recently-released eShop title, NES Remix (review coming soon), will be arriving on April 25th. This installment features a batch of new NES titles with new challenges, including Ice Hockey, Dr. Mario, the curiously renamed Mario Open Golf (previously NES Open Tournament Golf), Metroid, Kid Icarus, and some of my favorites: Super Mario Bros. 2, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, and Super Mario Bros. 3, among others still.

Like its predecessor, NES Remix 2 will be $14.99, but this one features an unlockable game as well: A full version of Super Luigi Bros., the left-scrolling, high-jumping Super Mario Bros. remix available in bits and pieces in the first game.

The last item on the Wii U front has no screens or video of its own, and is called Child of Light, an Ubisoft role playing game that will be available in the Wii U eShop for $14.99 on April 30th. Joined by her firefly companion Igniculous, Princess Aurora is out to fight monsters and solve puzzles in order to retrieve three sources of light from the evil queen.

Read on for the latest in Nintendo 3DS news!

Today, Nintendo posted a new surprise Nintendo Direct video to show us what games are to come for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U in 2014. As it turns out, there were not only some new announcements made, but some reveals of new games which are available as we speak. Here’s the video, followed by a rundown.

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The first part of the video revealed an all-new title coming in 2014, tentatively titled “Hyrule Warriors”. “A new game for Wii U developed by Tecmo-Koei that will feature the action-packed Warriors series set in the world of The Legend of Zelda“, says the press release, “[t]his is a separate project from the new installment of The Legend of Zelda series that is in development for Wii U by longtime series producer Eiji Aonuma and his team.”

I’ve never really played any of the Warriors games very much, so this seems like a good introduction to me. Besides which, I don’t mind seeing The Legend of Zelda spread its wings a little more beyond the core series (says the guy who loves Link’s Crossbow Training).

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Kirby: Triple Deluxe: The game is a side-scrolling platformer, but players can move Kirby to the background and foreground to dodge enemies and solve puzzles. Kirby can also use a new Hypernova ability, which powers up his inhale ability and enables him to suck up everything in his path. The game includes more than 20 different copy abilities, including four new ones created for this game. Kirby: Triple Deluxe also includes two new game modes: Kirby Fighters lets up to four players pick one of 10 copy abilities for their Kirby and then fight to see which is the most effective in battle. Dedede’s Drum Dash asks players to press buttons in sync with Kirby music while jumping and collecting coins. The game is planned for 2014.

I’ve seen people say this is a sequel to Kirby Super Star, but it’s looking less like that as we see more of it– at least, insofar as having a ton of smaller games in one package goes. Nonetheless, it’s good to see Kirby take advantage of the potential 3D background interaction where New Super Mario Bros. 2 did not. Kirby Fighters sounds fun, though I’m a little let down that Dedede’s Drum Dash is a rhythm game, mainly because I’m terrible at those.

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Yoshi’s New Island: The game launches this spring, and will be produced by Takashi Tezuka, the creative director of the original Yoshi’s Island for Super NES.

This one is a bit tough to get a pulse on. Nintendo hit on something special with Yoshi’s Island and have tried to replicate its success ever since, but have never been especially successful in doing so. Yoshi’s Island DS was decent, but unspectacular, and a bit on the hard side as well– and not simply “oh, I can’t do this” hard, but “keeping track of things in the gap between screens and across two screens at once kind of sucks” hard. That one didn’t have Tezuka’s involvement, but another did: Yoshi’s Story, an underrated game which didn’t set the world on fire. Tezuka produced that one as well, and while I enjoyed it quite thoroughly as a $10 Wii Virtual Console title, I can see how those who paid upwards of $50 or so might have felt a bit less satisfied.

Fingers are crossed here that this time, Nintendo finally figures out how to make the magic happen again.

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Chibi-Robo! Photo Finder: Everyone’s favourite helpful 4-inch-tall robot is back! This time Chibi-Robo has been tasked with helping a new museum get off the ground. Players are given silhouettes of needed objects, then use the Nintendo 3DS camera to find matching objects, known as NostalJunk, in the real world. Chibi-Robo will also help characters like superheroes and singing sponge-bears with various tasks, all while keeping an eye on his electricity reserves. The game also features community events called NostalJunk Challenges that focus on particular silhouettes, and give players opportunities to showcase their creativity and maybe earn a special outfit for Chibi-Robo to wear in the game. A demo will soon launch exclusively in the Nintendo eShop, with the full version landing on January 9, 2014.

I’m honestly not sure what to say on this one; Chibi Robo has a cult following (the “cult” part perhaps being why this latest entry is a Nintendo eShop release), but I’ve never really gotten to play one of the series. I have the Nintendo DS game kicking around somewhere after picking it up on sale a few years ago, but I’ve never had a chance to try it.

Suffice to say, I’m interested, but also wary– the AR-driven action worries me, as I wasn’t able to much with Spirit Camera.

Pokémon Bank and Poké Transporter: Pokémon Bank is software that lets players store up to 3,000 Pokémon from the Pokémon X and Pokémon Y games. Poké Transporter is an application that lets players take the Pokémon they’ve caught through the years and transferred into Pokémon Black and Pokémon White, as well as Pokémon Black 2 and Pokémon White 2, and transfer them into Pokémon X and Pokémon Y. Pokémon Bank and Poké Transporter launch December 27. Players can download a 30-day free trial version anytime between launch and January 31, 2014. Following the free trial, an annual usage fee will apply for Pokémon Bank. Anyone who accesses a Pokémon Bank box by September 30, 2014, will receive the Pokémon Celebi as a special gift.

Bringing all your Pokémon from one game to the next always struck me as slightly odd, at least in an in-world way. I certainly see the real-world desire and practicality of it, but in the games, isn’t catching everything part of the journey of your character? It just seems weird to me that Red (for example) would effectively go up to some new trainer one day and say “hey, why don’t you take all my Pokémon? I’m not using them.” But that’s probably just me thinking way too much about it.

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Bravely Default: A free demo of the game launches in the Nintendo eShop on January 2, but this is much more than a demo. It’s an exclusive story with hours of content not included in the main game. The full game launches in stores and in the Nintendo eShop on February 7 at a suggested retail price of $39.99. If players with the full game close their system while the game is active, they might gather additional warriors via the StreetPass feature, but they also earn Sleep Points for every eight cumulative hours of down time. Sleep Points can then be used during battle to change equipment, revive a fallen party member, heal or unleash attacks beyond the game’s usual damage cap. Players who don’t want to wait for their Sleep Points to refill have the option of purchasing SP potions in the Nintendo eShop to refill all three Sleep Points at once. Also launching February 7, a Collector’s Edition including the game, an art book, a soundtrack CD and 34 augmented-reality cards will be available via select retailers at a suggested retail price of $49.99.

I have absolutely nothing to add here.

Wait, that’s not true; it looks nice! But that’s really it.

Okay, that’s not it: This sounds like a really good demo for people looking forward to the game. Demos which add to the experience, rather than merely sample from a random part, tend to be kind of cool. That’s all.

Now, back to the Wii U!

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Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze: Veteran Cranky Kong joins playable characters Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong as companions for Donkey Kong. Cranky Kong comes with his own set of special moves that allow him to bounce off enemies and obstacles using his cane. Players who collect 100 bananas in a stage can execute a new move called the KONG-Pow, which turns all enemies on the screen into items. Now that Cranky Kong is setting off on an adventure, instead of overseeing the in-game shop as he did in the Donkey Kong Country Returns game, the aptly named Funky Kong will assist players by offering them items for trade in the game. The game launches February 21 in stores and in the Nintendo eShop.

I can’t look at Donkey and Cranky together without hearing the first verse of the Goof Troop theme song. Also, I’m glad to see Funky Kong is back! Now to cross my fingers that he’ll show up elsewhere, like perhaps in a certain racing game (along with a returning R.O.B.).

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Sonic Lost World: A new Nintendo-themed level is coming to the Nintendo eShop. Yoshi’s Island Zone is now available for free. Done in a Yoshi art style, the level has Sonic speeding through areas filled with pipes, coins, Shy Guys and Piranha Plants.

Wow, where was this during the marathon? Also, it went unmentioned in the press release, but a Zelda-themed downloadable content pack was also hinted at in the video. You can see Kotaku’s screencap of the teaser image above.

Beyond that, I have to wonder: Between the game’s similarities to Super Mario Galaxy and the Yoshi’s Island Zone DLC, could Sonic Lost World be part of an effort by SEGA to create a Mario/Sonic platforming crossover they previously said couldn’t be done?

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Wii Sports Club: Launching today, golf becomes the third sport added to the Wii Sports Club lineup, joining bowling and tennis. In a move not possible on any other system, golf asks players to place the Wii U GamePad controller on the floor in front of their TVs. Players can then use a Wii Remote Plus to swing at the ball on the ground, just as they would a real golf ball, enabling more precise control with each stroke. When they take their swing, the ball flies from the screen of the GamePad to the TV screen in one fluid motion. Wii Sports Club – Golf includes the nine-hole course from the original Wii Sports game, in addition to a newly developed nine-hole course based on Golf US Course, a Famicom game that Nintendo Global President Satoru Iwata helped develop more than 25 years ago. Wii U owners can play a free 24-hour trial of Wii Sports Club, which lets players sample all three sports. The trial offer is open to everyone, even to people who previously sampled the 24-hour free trial. A Club Pass for the full golf game, allowing unlimited access, can be purchased for $9.99. Boxing and baseball will be coming to Wii Sports Club in 2014.

Finally! I’ve been waiting for this one ever since they first showed the Wii U off at E3 a couple of years ago.

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NES Remix: Select parts from 16 classic NES games have been remixed with new challenges. For example, players might be tasked with completing a familiar Super Mario Bros. stage while running to the left. Or they might encounter a revamped level of Donkey Kong that allows them to play as Link from The Legend of Zelda series. NES Remix includes Miiverse compatibility, so players with broadband Internet access can show off their skills, complete with cool 8-bit stamps. NES Remix is now available exclusively in the Nintendo eShop for $14.99.

I’m eager to try this out and put my skills to the test. This is a pretty cool way for Nintendo to leverage their library of classic games, and I hear it’s surprisingly substantial, which is good, given the admittedly hefty price.

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Dr. Luigi: The Year of Luigi continues to deliver surprises, with a new title starring Mario’s green-clad brother. Much like the classic puzzle game Dr. Mario, Dr. Luigi requires players to line up colour-coded pills to destroy viruses. Dr. Luigi offers different skill settings and attacks in multiplayer games, and an original mode where the pills are, of course, L-shaped. The game comes with a Dr. Mario mode, Wii U GamePad compatibility and online play, so wannabe virus busters from all around the world can compete. Dr. Luigi launches exclusively in the Nintendo eShop on December 31 for $14.99.

This sounds like fun! I never did get Dr. Mario: Online RX, and I guess this sort of negates the need? That actually saddens me, slightly. Still, it’s funny to see Luigi follow his older bro into the pharmaceutical business, though Mario seems to show a touch more professionalism by not wearing his cap to this job. Also, a strange thing: The virus designs on the left are different, but in the playing field, they look just like the original three.

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Super Smash Bros.: Rosalina, who was introduced in the Super Mario Galaxy games for Wii and makes a surprise appearance in the new Super Mario 3D World for Wii U, will be a playable character, accompanied by her starry friend, Luma. The game will launch in stores and the Nintendo eShop on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS in 2014.

Oh, Nintendo, you are a dirty, dirty tease! In the Nintendo Direct video, this portion opens by making it look like Kirby might be joining Mario Kart, answering a plea for a full Nintendo roster of racers fans have had for years. But nope; Rosalina comes down to put the star warrior in his place pretty quickly, and reveals herself to be the latest addition to the Super Smash Bros. roster. Meanwhile, Daisy fans are left steaming.

That aside, I’m cool with this; I love Rosalina, though they seem to have gotten rid of that cool echo effect her voice had previously. She looks like she’ll be interesting to use, too, as she’s accompanied by Luma, who looks like he might act somewhat independently of the princess of the stars. One positive to take away from this is that if they do operate separately to a degree, that’s a good sign for the Ice Climbers, who people have been worried about being dumped due to trying to get the same rosters working on both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.

Incidentally, that intro… could Rainbow Road be a new stage to fight on?

With that, there’s just one more game left:

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Mario Kart 8: New playable characters include Rosalina and various “Baby” Nintendo characters, like Baby Mario and Baby Luigi. New course settings include an airport, the desert and high in the clouds, and vehicles include UFOs, four-wheel ATV buggies, standard karts and bikes.

Sigh, who keeps asking for the babies to come back? Were they tracked as widely-used in Mario Kart Wii? I just don’t get it– they’ve even made a Baby Daisy just for the series, but I don’t know of anyone who is that big a fan of the lot. I guess they must have their audience somewhere.

Between Super Mario 3D World and Super Smash Bros., plus being in the last two entries in this series, I don’t think Rosalina’s inclusion is much of a surprise any more. I am curious about the new UFO vehicles they mention, though. As for stages, the airport looks neat, but I hope we get more like the Shy Guy Bazaar and Piranha Plant Pipeline from Mario Kart 7— the ones which really brought the worlds of the regular Mario games to life.

That’s pretty much it, but that’s also plenty for now, wouldn’t you say? 2014 is looking pretty good!