Category Archives: 3DS

Feature: E3 2015 Sunday Recap

The Nintendo World Championships and Bethesda start things off strong.

E3 may not technically begin until Tuesday, with most people calling Monday “Day 0,” but Sunday seemed to start off the celebration of all things gaming for this writer with Nintendo and Bethesda bringing some interesting guns to the start of the show.

Nintendo kicked things off with a 20 minute Smash Bros. presentation that saw 2 new fighters added: Roy from Fire Emblem and Ryu from Street Fighter. There was a leak that took the wind out of those announcements, but it didn’t make Ryu’s well-executed inclusion any less important for the Smash series. Also included in the announcement were new stages like Sakura Castle from Street Fighter II, a ton of new music, some new Mii Fighter costumes, and more. Overall it was a pretty packed 20 minutes with something you would have expected to be saved for Nintendo’s proper Digital Direct coming Tuesday. It kinda makes you wonder what they still have up their sleeve.

Then came the Nintendo World Championships 2015 event where 16 competitors played through a gauntlet of Nintendo games to be crowned the first Nintendo World Champion since 1990. Overall the event could have used some work, namely on the identifying who was who during the gameplay front, but the World Premiere of Blastball was interesting. In this new game, you’re in a futuristic looking mech that shoots around a giant death-ball, trying to get it into the opposing teams goal. It’s like Soccer (sorry, football) meets Metroid Prime in some really neat ways. It doesn’t look to be the biggest game of the show, but it’s always nice seeing something debut like that. But once Super Mario Maker was revealed, all the nitpicks and other surprises went down the drain. This was easily the best way to demo the game: have some of Nintendo’s finest create specifically tailored levels and have expert speedrunners try their hand at them. It made for a thrilling show filled with twists, laughs, and a whole lot of childish glee.

My favorite E3 moment thus far from the Super Mario Maker segment.

Bethesda came out for their first ever show, and overall I don’t think it was that great. Before you take the pitchforks to me, let me explain.

Doom was doing absolutely nothing for me. The atmosphere of the game just doesn’t strike any sort of a cord that I relate too, the visual design was all around unimpressive, and the action just seemed more exhausting than exhilarating. If it wasn’t for Snapback (or as I call it, Super Doomio Maker), a whole new style of modding tool for Doom, I would have passed the whole game off as “Just not for me” and moved on. At least that last bit got me excited.

I’m sorry, but Battlecry just looks awful. The visuals were drab, despite their attempt to inject color into it. The animations were janky as hell. And overall I just got the feeling that this was going to be some Team Fortress 2 meets a MOBA as produced by an independent team of 5 people kind of project, only it was being given it’s own studio by Bethesda. It just… Nope. Don’t think so.

Elder Scrolls Online is just not working for me on a conceptual level, so nothing there was interesting.

There was an announcement for Elder Scrolls: Legends. This is a new free-to-play trading card game that runs on PC and tablets and boasts a trailer that was almost identical to Blizzard’s original Hearthstone trailer. In fact, the whole project sounds like an attempt to cash in on the Hearthstone name, and I don’t know about you, but I’ve only got the funds to dedicate to one money-sucking card game.

Speaking of trying too hard to be Blizzard, Bethesda also announced “Bethesda.net,” a new service that will be your go-to source for “all things Bethesda.” Sounds exactly like Battle.net, the client that Blizzard uses to house all of it’s games. I’m always leery about having another dedicated publisher program on my computer, especially after Ubisoft’s ill-conceived uPlay initiative.

So, my saltiness on Doom not withstanding, that was a pretty bad press conference. That was until Fallout 4 happened. If anybody manages to beat that in-depth look at the insane features planned for that game, we’ll have one of the best E3’s in a long time. Total weapon and armor customization, building your own settlement piece by piece, an insane looking story, second-screen gimmicks. This game has it all, baby. The overall presentation was a bit bloated, but I came away from it feeling that I have a most anticipated game of E3 before the show technically even begins. We’ll see what else everybody is bringing, but man. Fallout fucking 4.

What did you think of the opening round of E3 information? Are you excited to see what everyone else has to offer, or did Fallout 4 give you everything you will ever need?

News: Nintendo Direct Micro: 6.1.2015 Summary

In case it went by unseen. You know. ‘Cause it’s small.

by Randy Marr

Nintendo of America put out another one of their famous digital directs today, focusing on a few surprise announcements for all sorts of fans. Here’s a breakdown of the content for those who don’t feel like listening to Micro-Bill Trinen’s voice:

  • Chibi-Robo ZipLash – If you’re not familiar with the Chibi-Robo franchise, it’s not surprising. It’s not exactly a storied franchise. And this new game plays nothing like the originals. Where the first few Chibi-Robo titles had you running around a house as a micro-sized robot fixing and cleaning, this new title has you whipping your little plug tail around and defeating other robots. It honestly looks like a little Castlevania meets Kirby mixture starring the most adorable little robot overlord.
  • Dr. Mario Miracle Cure – It’s really just more Dr. Mario, with Dr. Luigi thrown in, but there’s online and local multiplayer with some new items thrown in. It’s nothing terribly new, but I’m always a sucker for the series.
  • Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon – It looks exactly like the previous Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games. If that’s your thing, great, if not, I don’t see how this’ll convince you otherwise.
  • Mario and Sonic at the Rio 2016 Games – More and more, I think about picking up one of these Mario and Sonic titles. This game may hit the tipping point where I finally pick one up. Especially if the series holds true to the same awesome soundtracks that they have in the past.
  • Art Academy: Home Studio – This appears to be another title where folks can mimic real world art tools to create custom drawings on their Wii U gamepad. What’s unique about this version is it features the ability to record time-lapse videos and upload them to YouTube.
  • Project Treasure – This game was announced at an earlier Nintendo Direct, but we got our first look at it in during the Direct. You can watch the full trailer here and laugh along.
  • LBX: Little Battlers Experience – They made a lot of assumptions about my familiarity with the brand during the Direct, but this apparent kids cartoon tie-in features the ability to customize tiny robots and fight them out. It looks like it could be a new entry in the Custom-Robo series, and I would never know the difference.
  • Bravely Second: End Layer – Another terrible name for the second entry in the Bravely Default franchise. It looks like more of the same in all the right ways. If the first game tickled your fancy, you’ll probably be happy to see more of the deep and engaging combat coming your way.
  • Finally, there were some details revolving around updated content for Splatoon and Puzzle and Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition x Puzzle and Dragons ZSplatoon received a new weapon called the N-Zap ’85 that resembles an NES Zapper. There’s also a new map that was added to the rotation of regular play, and Ranked Battle was finally opened for everybody over level 10 in-game. For Puzzle and Dragons, there’s a bunch of new content including weekly challenges available in-game.

What excited you the most, if anything? It was a light show, but let’s hope it’s just a sample of what we’re going to get at E3.

Nintendo Treehouse Live 9/12 Breakdown

Nintendo shows off Smash Bros. and more.

The Nintendo Treehouse team has been doing a stellar job showing off games this year. They started at E3 with presentations that lasted all day showing off all sorts of new games for fans of Nintendo products. They also showed up at New York Comic-Con to run challenges using these new games and to host a Smash Bros. for 3DS tournament. Today they returned to show off a bunch of updates to those E3 titles, and to show off the final build of Super Smash Bros. for 3DS.

The first thing they showed this morning was Captain Toad. The adorable little title stars the titular Captain Toad and his adventures to find stars and diamonds in these miniature levels. Folks who played Super Mario 3D World on Wii U Will remember the occasional level featuring a similar premise. This game is those levels blown up into a full fledged title. Captain Toad is set to release later this year.

Next, they showed off NES Remix on the 3DS. NES Remix was a great title on the Wii U, and it looks just as fun on the 3DS. This time, the game features much needed online leaderboards. If you haven’t checked it out yet, I recommend looking forward to the 3DS release.

Mega Man 7 was played for a little while, showing off some of the Virtual Console service. It’s Mega Man 7 so there’s not much to say, other than it’s a good game and it’s available now on the Wii U Virtual Console.

After spending too much time on that, the Treehouse gang showed off some Hyrule Warriors. That game still looks bonkers. Watching Ghirahim cut through entire chunks of armies with that cool looking magic is awesome. It’s that ability to play as my favorite Zelda villains that really is selling me on the game.

The game appears to be an enormous power fantasy, but I worry it gets more repetitive than power happy. I’ve never played one of these newfangled Dynasty Warriors titles, so I really have no idea what I’m in for. I will say that the couch co-op will allow me to play with my husband, which will help me get through any game. *cue sappy music*

There are a lot of modes, including Adventure Mode, and a new Challenge Mode, which will come to the US version of the game care of a day one patch. Adventure Mode has players using the original NES Zelda map to select various challenges that they must then complete in Hyrule Warriors. Challenge Mode is like that, but with the challenges amped up and without the NES Map.

Bayonetta 2 was next, and oh what a delight that game is going to be. It’s all the action of Bayonetta with a brand new adventure and set of weapons. I’m currently in love with the Nintendo costumes adding more variety to the gameplay and weapons. I’m not going to go into too much detail because we just had a Bayonetta Direct, so go watch that if you want to know more.

They showed off the Multi-player mode as well. The online-only feature has two players playing to defeat challenges and competing to get a better score than your other player. It’s all about co-op with a versus twist, and allows players to show off for each other and bet halos against each other.

Next, the Treehouse gang showed off Fantasy Life, which was made by Level 5 (the fine team behind Professor LaytonNi No Kuni, and more). This game looks to have that typical charm you would expect from them. It’s bright, cheerful, and looks to be simplistic while hiding a certain depth. I don’t know that I”ll have time to pick it up, but it looks cute enough to check it out for a co-op experience.

Then came the Smash Bros.

It looks like they’re not going to reveal anything here so I’m going to call this article here. It’s Smash Bros. footage that you’re welcome to watch on their stream for the rest of the day.

What do you think of the games Nintendo showed? Excited for anything in particular?

 

Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire Announced

GameBoy Advance games being remade for 3DS, releasing worldwide in November.

This November, Groudon and Kyogre return to Pokemon in Pokemons Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Today’s announcement was little more than a teaser trailer, but history has shown that we’ll probably see something coming up on Japan’s Sunday morning Japan show in the next couple weeks. Or maybe this’ll stay hidden until E3, who knows anymore with Nintendo. It could be a Pokemon Direct coming next week, as far as anybody can tell. What we do know is that these GameBoy advanced classics, released roughly 10 years ago, are going to be given the 3DS treatment. Hopefully we’ll also see the return of The Pokewalker or at least Pokemon that follow behind you, like in 2010’s update of Pokemon Gold and Silver, HeartGold and SoulSilver.

Any excitement out there for this Pokemon announcement? Any fond memories of Ruby and Sapphire you wanna share? The comments below sound like a great place to do that.

Super Smash Bros. Direct informs, impresses, and delights.

Release windows! Stages! Characters! Items! Masahiro Sakurai used Substitute!

Whew! I’m still catching my breath after that last Smash Bros. Direct. Or maybe it’s time to get back to the gym. Probably both. Here I’m going to provide a breakdown of what was seen and heard, and for impressions you’ll want to wait for our upcoming, and first, podcast! But until that get’s recorded, here’s the news!

First off, and probably most importantly to most people, the release date. If you don’t want to be spoiled and just want that release window, stop after this. The Smash 3DS will be released this summer, and the Wii U version will be released this winter. No actual date’s confirmed, but if I were a betting man I’d narrow this down to late August and early to mid-December.

Technically, on the 3DS, the game will run at 60 fps even in with your 3D slider on. Things like assist trophies and Pokemon will be slowed down to 30 fps to help maintain the characters. I’m not sure how exactly this’ll look in theory, but odds are it’ll look fine.

It was confirmed once more that both games have the same roster, but the stages will be different between the 3DS and and Wii U. During this segment, it was also revealed that what was once thought to be two different Animal Crossing: City Folk stages (or two different looks) are actually one stage that sort of packs up and travels from the village to the city.

As for the music between the games, there are two songs per stage on 3DS, similar to Melee. Meanwhile, the Wii U version will see the return of “My Music.” This feature allows players to select the regularity of which they’ll see songs assigned to each stage. Shown in the screenshot were an arrangement and original version of the Ballad of the Goddess from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, as well as a number of tracks returning from Smash Bros. Brawl.

There will apparently be some sort of connectivity feature between the 3DS and Wii U, but the Direct was not the time to discuss them, apparently.

Here’s a breakdown of stages that were shown off:

For the 3DS!

  • Reset Bomb Forest – Kid Icarus Uprising
  • Super Mario 3D Land – Super Mario 3D Land
  • Spirit Train – The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks – This time they showed more platforms in the form of side-cars that link up with the train.
  • Gerudo Valley – The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D – The Twinrova twins were shown icing and flaming up the stage.
  • Arena Ferox – Fire Emblem: Awakening – The stage morphs like Castle Siege in Brawl, but it looked more seamless. Many different morphs have been shown thus far.
  • Tortimer Island – Animal Crossing: New Leaf – As was shown in the Pic of the Day, the stage has many randomizing aspects to the layout each time you play it. The music playing during this segment was from Tortimer Island’s mini-games in New Leaf.
  • Living Room – Nintendogs – Appears to have some random platform arrangements, or transforms at some point.
  • Prism Tower – Pokemon X and Y – Reminds me of Halberd with it’s travelling.
  • Rainbow Road – Mario Kart 7 – F-Zero style level.
  • Find Mii – Find Mii I and II – This stage was finally seen in action. Looks very simple but with a stage hazard boss in the demon that kidnaps Mii’s. Hopefully Mii’s will be pulled from your system.
  • Balloon Fight – Balloon Fight. Finally! I always thought this game made a perfect Smash level. Notably: the sides don’t knock you out, but wrap around, like in the original Balloon Fighter. The only way out is up or down.

    Watch Peach
  • Smash Bros. Melee’s DK Jungle refuses to die with dignity and continues to torture us with rushing rapids.

Wii U Stages:

  • Mario Galaxy – Mario Galaxy – Friggen gorgeous. Falling starbits!
  • Pyrosphere – Metroid Other M – Ridley’s shadow shown as a “boss.” Does this deconfirm him from playable? I think so, but it’s up for speculation!
  • Town and City – Animal Crossing: New Leaf – Travelling stage.
  • Boxing Ring – Punch-Out!! – This stage has two designs.
  • Pilot Wings – Pilot Wings – Still looks like a new Pokéfloats to me!
  • Skyloft – The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
  • Windy Hill – Sonic and the Lost World
  • Garden of Hope – Pikmin 3
  • Wii Fit Studio – Wii Fit – The stage morphs with different balance board platforms.
  • Palutena’s Temple – Kid Icarus: Uprising – This is the new Hyrule temple
  • Halberd is back from Brawl, and now in HD!

Also shown was the Wily’s Castle stage from Mega Man 2. The Yellow Devil that we’ve seen before is a combination Boss and goal. Defeat him by attacking his only vulnerable spot, his eye, and he blows up on your foes.

 

Up next, Smash Bros. Director, Masahiro Sakurai, discussed online play!

Both the Wii U and 3DS have online multiplayer. Sakurai warned that you should have a good connection! Use the LAN adapter for your WiiU (if you can find one!)

Playing with Friends recreates the local multiplayer, so there’s no real surprises there, but there’s a few new modes for playing with anyone. “For Fun” allows for all stages except for Final Destination and items. It’ll only record your wins. “For Glory” is Final Destination only, no items, allows for 1v1 matches, and records wins and losses.

One very interesting detail shown off was that every stage now has a Final Destination form. This mixes up the standard Final Destination by allowing for more scenery and music to be played. This’ll be great for the FD-only lovers out there.

There was also some talk of banning people, so long story short, don’t be a dick.

There’s a new rank system called “Global Smash Power.” It’s still vague on how you increase your stat, but your score is the number of people you’re better than.

Items got their own feature, so here’s a list of what was shown! (This presentation was accompanied by an arrangement of the barrel rocket music from Donkey Kong Country Returns!)

  • Beam Sword looks great
  • Bumper
  • Smart bomb
  • Motion sensor bomb
  • Pow block
  • Beetle
  • Fire Bar looks like a length-decreasing sword
  • Back Shield protects your back
  • Bombchu does what you think
  • Fairy bottle heals
  • Ore Club is another melee weapon that can make a whirlwind
  • X-bomb
  • Hocotate Bomb (Does this mean Olimar has a new final smash?)
  • Rocket belt recovery from Pilot Wings
  • Steel Diver submarine gun that shoots torpedoes.

Assist Trophies! Or: Who didn’t make the cut!

  • Samurai Goroh
  • Andross
  • Devil!
  • Knuckle Joe
  • Saki Amamiya from Sin and Punishment.
  • Lyn
  • Nintendog!!!!
  • Waluigi
  • Dr. Wright
  • Skull Kid flips the screen upside-down.
  • Mother Brain shoots with a laser.
  • Midna battles foes and throws ‘em
  • Ashley does… something with a cloud of magic smoke?
  • Dark Samus attacks with a variety of moves.
  • Chain Chomp is exactly what you think it is.
  • Isabelle feeds fruit to whoever freed her.
  • Elec Man shows up to stun your foes.
  • Color TV Game 15 – This is essentially pong.

Pokémon! In this we learned that Master Balls holds legendary Pokémon!

  • Arceus meteor smashes from a range.
  • Meowth
  • Electrode
  • Eevee is adorable
  • Staryu
  • Metagross
  • Fennekin uses PK Fire
  • Meloetta throws music orbs I guess
  • Gogoat can be ridden
  • Entei
  • Deoxys
  • Palkia flips the stage
  • Kyruem freezes on both sides
  • Victini is…adorable?
  • Kaldeo uses his horn to cut up foes.
  • Xerneas makes.. pretty colors happen? I guess.

A lot of information was given on returning characters and new characters, so here’s kind of a quick and dirty breakdown of what we saw:

Samus and Zero Suit Samus are separated – Samus’ Zero Laser no longer drops her armor. In fact, there are no more transformation characters at all.

Instead, Zero Suit Samus zeroes in! Now she’s got some sweet space-heels that turn her into the closest thing to Bayonetta we’re getting in this game (Unless we get Bayonetta! Finger’s crossed!)

Zelda’s Phantom Slash looks like more unnecessary power and defense for Zelda who can already dflect attacks.

Sheik is going solo, now with Burst Grenades seem to work like Snake’s grenades in Brawl. Sheik also has a Bouncing Fish move, which is a heel kick.

Kirby has a new hammer technique: Hammer Flip. It’s a charge to his previous hammer ability: like Roy, it can hurt him. He also has a new final smash: Ultra Sword, from Kirby’s Return to Dreamland.

DeDeDe is more expressive and throws only gordo’s instead of waddle-dees.

Lucario is back with more powerful Aura attacks that build when he’s damaged. Charge his aura too much and it can backfire on you when you try to recover. And now he has a Mega Form (unclear, but likely his Final Smash). His aura attacks are always max damaged.

Olimar, shown with a new Pikmin music track, can only have 3 Pikmin, but they are in order. Red, yellow, blue, white, purple. Reduced numbers means easier management, visually, and knowledge of number is easy. Recovery move is now winged pikmin but more pikmin means heavier. Interesting.

Pit has lost his gliding mechanic. However, his Power of Flight is a great recovery move. His new Final Smash is now the 3 sacred treasures which looks ridonkulous. It’s like Triple Finish with a PK Starstorm chaser.

Yoshi struts his stuff over the new Smash. He now stands upright, and is the most gorgeous shade of green. His video also comes with a great Yoshi’s Island arrangement.

New characters!

Roslaina and Luma, featured with an amazing carnival themed arrangement of the Cosmic Observatory theme, return with a breakdown of Luma’s separation mechanics. Still looks like it’ll be a handfull to master, but very rewarding when you do. Starbits is their side special, shooting an array of starbits. Looks to have great cancellation potential for charging enemies. Up special is the Launch Star recovery. Down special is Gravitational Pull (have ya makin’ a fool out of yourself on the dance floor), which can render shots ineffective. Power Star final smash shoots stars EVERYWHEEEERE!

Little Mac, featured with a power ballad Punch-out theme, has great ground game. But in the air he is physically weaker and is as clumsy as all get out. His Rising Uppercut is a terrible recovery with great attack power. Slip counter makes it look like he’s been hit, then counters. Giga Mac is basically Giga Bowser for his Final Smash. There’s a Wire Frame Mac costume change, calling back to the original Punch-Out!! arcade machine.

Villager, shown with an arrangement of Kapp’n’s Sea Shanty, has SO much pocketing. He can even pocket Zelda’s new Phantom Armor! His side special is Lloid rocket, which looks to have some great horizontal recovery. Up special is Balloon Trip, which appears to be a great recovery move save for it’s fragility. His Down Special is Timber, where you plant a tree and then chop it down onto your foes. And finally we see his Final Smash: Dream Home! He pays off Nook and kin to build a house on top of his foes!

All you need to know about Mega Man is his Final Smash:

Dat Mega Man Volnutt!

Wii Fit trainer has a Deep Breathing ability that chargers her powers, and Sun Salutation is a projectile that can be saved like Samus’ power canon. Combining the two is a great combo!

Custom Move Sets were also discussed. You can’t use them online with strangers, but you can customize the way abilities work to change fighters up. Changes shown include: A giant Mario fireball that persists past contact, a straight firing fireball, a circling Pit arrow, charging Marth, a flaming uppercut from Mario, Kirby’s ice breath, and DK getting invincible armor for his headbutt. It looks like it might break balance, and probably won’t be allowed for competition, but it looks pretty neat none the less to change up less-desired aspects of moves!

New Game Mode: Smash Run

Solely for the 3DS, Smash Run is like an adventure mode in a giant level that up to 4 people can partake in. It features enemies and elements from multiple games including Donkey Kong Country Returns, Pokemon, Mario, Kid Icarus, Pikmin, and Brawl’s Subspace Emissary story mode. it’s a 5 minute run through a dungeon to collect power-ups that you then take to a big fight at the end with your foes. It looks pretty nuts!

Finally, because no Smash presentation would be complete without new announcements, a new trailer showing Charizard and Greninja was shown. Charizard is now sans the Pokemon Trainer and his alternate compatriots, and Greninja is a brand new fighter. WIll we see a grass type to top it off? We’ll see…

Finally, there’s a host of new screenshots showing even more details that weren’t in the Direct, so check those out here!

Now that was a -lot- of information, and that wasn’t even really any impressions of it. As I mentioned at the start, I’m saving that for an upcoming podcast, so stay tuned!

Nintendo Direct 2/13/2014 in Review

A solid lineup through Spring.

Today, Nintendo released a poor-quality stream on their website that was fortunately being mirrored on YouTube featuring a full run of the games coming to their systems within the next few months, and then some. If you want to watch the full thing, go ahead and just go here, but if you wanna skip to the good parts, let’s start here:

Little Mac from Punch-Out!! made his Smash Bros. debut in Brawl as an Assist Trophy; an item that has various Nintendo characters show up to lend a hand. But this time he’s punching through to the full-fledged roster, and looks to add his unique brand of pugilism to the growing ranks of Smash

A few things to note from that trailer include his Final Smash, where he “Hulk’s out” into a giant brute, similar to Bowser’s Final Smash in the last game. Also, it would appear that he can deliver a (near) one-hit K.O. with a charged up power meter, which sounds to be an interesting mechanic. And finally, what I once called The Arena is actually now a fully-fledged Punch-Out!! stage, so that’s neat!

You catch more awesome screenshots of Little Mac in action over at the Smash Bros. website.

Next we has Mario Golf World Tour for the 3DS. It looks neat, overall. I haven’t had a good golf game since Pebble Beach for the SNES, but then I never tried the Mario Golf series. I liked last year’s Mario Tennis so much that I’ve thought about picking it up, but honestly I’m not sure what’s there to get me into it. We’ll have to see how that shapes up, but it’s still a ways down the road, releasing on May 2nd.

Kirby’s Triple Deluxe (I see what you did there, Nintendo) looks to be the exact kind of Kirby game that I love, so I know that will a day one purchase for me. But I’m a fan of the puff ball, and mad collectibles, so I was pretty much drawn to this game like a moth with pyrophilia to a very sexy flame.

Next is Yoshi’s New Island. It’s so adorable, I can’t even tell you. So I’ll just show you!

There was a new Steel Diver game announced for the eShop on 3DS. It’s a first-person sub-shooter, but it honestly looks about as fun as playing Battleship with the comatose. I wasn’t a fan of the previous Steel Diver, and this one just doesn’t look to be doing anything for me as either. At least the price point is right; there’s a free version that’s basically a glorified single player demo with the full-on multi-player.

The original feed for the Nintendo Direct kept cutting out around “Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball” so I had to go back and re-watch it. I’m still not sure I understand the business model here. Apparently you can play a variety of mini-games based around baseball, including just rapidly being pitched by a monstrous half-man, half-pitching-machine demon. Once you beat the main “Bait and PItch” game, you then can buy other games with real world money, but you can haggle him down to cheaper prices through in-game mechanics? I don’t know how I feel about this whole thing. It’s weird.

Pokemon Battle Trozei is coming out. It’s a game with Pokemon in the title so I’m sure it’ll do fine. It’s actually a puzzle game, but it’s not the Pokemon Pinball sequel I’ve been waiting for. Here’s a trailer:

There was a showcase of the character Emmy from the Professor Layton series leading up to the next game, Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy, which is coming out at the end of this month on February 28th. Time to catch up on the acclaimed series if you’re like me and you keep forgetting you own it!

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate will be coming out sometime in 2015 so let’s just leave that there for now. It’s Monster Hunter.

Weapon Shop is another game from the Level 5 series where you manage a weapon shop inside the world of a typical JRPG. It sounds neat, but I already played Recettear, so I don’t know how this holds up against it

Inazuma 11 is a JRPG tactical soccer game. I got nothing. This sounds positively insane. It’s an eShop exclusive so keep an eye out there.

Then there’s the Indie Developer blow-out. Treasurenauts is the spiritual sequel to Mutant Mudds, one of my favorite eShop games. Moon Chronicles is a remake to the underappreciated gem Moon. I’m glad that’s getting a 3DS buff. Shovel Knight and Thousand and One Spikes are both hardcore old-school style games that appear to want to rely on nostalgia and modern gameplay to hit solid games out of the park. Retro City Rampage is already out so go check that out if you like the original GTA games.

Ubisoft has a new game coming out for Wii U’s eShop called Child of Light. It looks like an RPG with some gorgeous art and interesting gamepad mechanics. The trailer shows off a pretty slow-paced game, though, so I’d hold out for proper reviews to take a look at that. It’s available in April.

There’s also going to be a sequel to the neat treat that was NES Remix. Volume 2 will feature more notable games like Super Mario Bros. 3, Kirby’s Adventure, and Metroid, all remixed and revved up for new gameplay bites. There’s also going to be Super Luigi Bros. built in; a mirrored version of the original Super Mario Bros. starring Luigi. The trailer hurt my brain.

Starting in April we’ll be seeing GBA titles on the Wii U eShop, which is a little strange. You would think we’d see them on 3DS? But anyway, they’re looking at releasing Metroid Fusion(!), Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga(!), and the inferior GBA port of Yoshi’s Island.

Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze got a new trailer. Here ya go:

Those owls are jerks and I love them.

Then there’s some new Mario Kart 8 footage. I’m incredibly excited for this, and even more so now that we have some new Karters:

And finally a new trailer for the sequel to one of my favorites, Bayonetta 2.

There was some great footage of the new Monolith Software game coming to Wii U. Still no name, but it looks to be the spiritual sequel to Xenoblade Chronicles on Wii. It’s a damn fine looking action JRPG that puts Final Fantasy to shame with it’s style and substance. Xenoblade was one of the Wii’s best games and last generation’s best RPG’s, and the new one seems to be shaping up down a similar path.

So as you can see, Nintendo has a pretty solid line-up this spring. The Wii U could use some more as Bayonetta, the Monoloth Soft game, and Smash are slated for later this year. But we still get some hard hitters in Donkey Kong Country and Mario Kart, not to mention all the Indie goodness coming down the pipeline.

But what are you most excited for, besides Smash, of course? Feel free to pop a comment below.

Smash Bros – The Next Generation: Mega Man

The Blue Bomber Drops In

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When Smash Bros. for Wii U and Smash Bros for 3DS were announced, It was a shocker at the end to see that Mega Man had joined the ranks! It was mostly a surprise to me for 3 reasons:

1. I was hesitant to believe we’d ever get a 3rd party character again, save for -maybe- Sonic.

2. There’s an increasing mountain of evidence that suggests that Capcom really doesn’t care to continue Mega Man games, perhaps out a deep seeded grudge against Keiji Inafune, the character’s creator. #tinfoilhats

3. and because I was almost positive that if Capcom could throw anything into the ring, it’d be Ryu’s headband. Being a fighting-game character, easily transferable to the Smash style (Spam B for Hadoken, up+B for Shoryuken, etc.), and because he’s just more popular right now, especially for Capcom.

Mega Man takes out the rage of thousands of scorn gamers out on Fox. Poor fox.
Mega Man takes out the rage of thousands of scorn gamers out on Fox. Poor fox.

So I’ll admit, I was surprised to see Mega Man. But I’m absolutely happy with the way we got him. His move set just makes perfect sense. I think any of us would have predicted using boss moves for his special attacks, but the using them for his regular attacks never would have occurred to me. And the fact that his buster blasts are his -normal- attack, and a charged shot is his smash? Brilliant! Just brilliant! I’m absolutely thrilled to have him along for the ride.

Hot steppin' it.
Hot steppin’ it.

The obvious question is what do we do with Mega Man? Where does he fit into single player? What does he bring with him in terms of trophies/stickers/assist trophies/music? Well those are mostly all things I discuss in separate posts, but I did want to touch on two things: his final smash and a potential alternate costume.

Samus already has a screen-tall hyper beam, so it’d probably be weird to try and just bring that in for Mega Man, so what else can he do? Looking at other Mega Man appearances in fighting games, we can see Hyper Mega Man from Marvel vs. Capcom 2. He could don his canine companion as armor for the Power Rush Adapter armor, allowing him to go invincible with a unique pool of unblockable, unstoppable moves. Or perhaps the ultimate Final Smash for Mega Man would be that using it releases Mega Man Legends 3 onto your 3DS.

That was me when Mega Man Legends 3 was announced.

I’m not going to lie, I’m totally happy with this Mega Man, but I wanted the Mega Man Legends version. He was even fairly recently featured in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, and was a rather unique fighter. Would have loved to see something like that come back. Oh well.

Everybody jump now!
Everybody jump now!

For alternate costumes, I think Mega Man’s silence is going to be golden. It allows us to technically give him any appearance we want. Now, If I had to guess, I’d say his alternate palette swaps are going to be indicative of other Robot Masters (a red and yellow Gutsman style, a white and pink Cutman style, etc.) I’m just saying we have options there. If we did do an alternate costume, Proto Man and Bass are kind of the two obvious choices, but again could be made due in a palette swap. I’m thinking this is where Ryu could get his points, and Mega Man dressed as Ryu would be the costume. I think it’d be neat, and you could even throw in a classic “SHORYUKEN!” for the uppercut move that Mega Man has!

"It's Mega Time!"
“It’s Mega Time!”

We shall see what the future holds for Mega Man, but so far I’m pretty excited. Thoughts? Comments? General rantings of the lamentably insane? Please, feel free to write/type/scrawl with a plastic fork into the boxes below!

Smash Bros. – The Next Generation: Luigi

That Green Guy

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The Year of Luigi finally paid off for Smash fans who got a few glimpses at one of the original 12. Everybody’s favorite second/green banana Luigi will once again be gracing us with his uhm… Well he certainly is unique, isn’t he?

"Yayayayayayaa!"
“Yayayayayayaa!”

What few screenshots we’ve seen display nothing terribly new. I doubt we’ll see any ghost vacuums or big hammers… Just the usually unusual manner in which we’ve grown accustomed to watching Luigi rocket across the stage just because. He’s even got his really weird taunts still!

"Bang bang!"
“Bang bang!”

Really, nothing about Luigi bothered me, so I’m not sure what’s left for him to do other than to come back and stand his guard. His Final Smash in Brawl was really awkward, albeit strangely fitting. It wasn’t terribly useful, though, so maybe we’ll see a change up there. I’d mimic the sequence of Luigi trying to capture a ghost from Luigi’s Mansion, allowing the player to drag Luigi all over the stage and just blasting anyone that he hits.

"So long!"
“So long!”

If alternate costumes become a thing at some point, it might be found that Luigi’s a bit of a hard guy to dress. His Super Mario Strikers outfit is neat, but doesn’t really capture that “Luigi” feel. The only really decent reference I could think of was The Mysterious Mr. L. If we’re being honest here, Sakurai-san seems content to make Luigi the poster boy for randomness, and so I think if we got any kind of alternate costume for him, there’s no way we’ll see it coming.

That Guy in Green is back, and looks as awesome as ever! What changes would you make for our new Smash games? I’d love to hear your thoughts on our venerable viridian veteran below!