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Nintendo photo
Nintendo

Is global voice chat finally coming to Nintendo consoles?


Patent hints at new external device
Aug 27
// Vikki Blake
Nintendo may finally be introducing voice chat to its hardware. Though it's unclear if this relates to current or upcoming systems, Nintendo has filed a patent for an external device designed to enable in-game voice chat. 
Kerbal Space Program photo
Kerbal Space Program

Kerbal Space Program is landing on Wii U


Landing, crashing, burning up in orbit
Aug 27
// Joe Parlock
Kerbal Space Program, a game about planning out a really complex space mission only to make an innocent astronaut drift endlessly in the dark, cold void of space, is coming to the Wii U. The trailer uploaded by Nintendo is a...
amiibo photo
amiibo

Walmart's selling the Marth amiibo at a 115 percent mark-up


$27.99, and MSRP is $12.99
Aug 26
// Brett Makedonski
This is rather unusual. We're accustomed to scalpers selling rare amiibo for far more than their retail price, but now Walmart's getting in on the act. Yes, it seems the world's largest private employer is price gouging for N...
Nintendo photo
Nintendo

Which of these upcoming Nintendo games are you most excited for?


For me, it's Star Fox Zero
Aug 26
// Chris Carter
There's a bunch of cool-looking games in this updated "road map" that Nintendo sent us a few days ago, but all in all, I'm mostly stoked for Star Fox Zero, which is now set for a November 20 release. The Star Fox series ...
Splatoon photo
Splatoon

Splatoon's soundtrack is two discs, features 61 tracks


'Splatune'
Aug 25
// Chris Carter
Man, the official Splatoon soundtrack sounds amazing! First off it's called "Splatune," which would be reason enough to buy it, but it's 61 whopping tracks. That includes 37 full songs, 14 sound effect tracks, and 10 "ji...
amiibo photo
amiibo

This surreal Super Mario Maker commercial is worth a quick watch


Also, an amiibo trailer
Aug 25
// Chris Carter
If you ever wanted to watch a Dave Franco stand-in briefly play Super Mario Maker, while his world is depicted in a creepy surreal manner in front of him, this trailer is your huckleberry. Even though it is a commercial, it ...
amiibo photo
amiibo

Who wants a closer look at the Animal Crossing amiibo?


(a)Me(bo)
Aug 24
// Brett Makedonski
We've seen a fair amount about Animal Crossing and amiibo, but a lot of it has to do with the first use of amiibo cards. Well, when both Happy Home Designer and amiibo Festival release, they'll also get so...
New Patent photo
New Patent

Nintendo files patent for first sales-less console (Fauxclusive)


No, this is not a joke about the Wii U
Aug 24
// CJ Andriessen
The discovery of two new patents filed by gaming giant Nintendo earlier this year may give us a peek into the future of the company. The first, as reported on Saturday, is for a disc-less home console. The second patent, whic...
Fatal Frame Wii U photo
Fatal Frame Wii U

Fatal Frame Wii U is an eShop exclusive in North America


'Free-to-start'
Aug 24
// Jordan Devore
Fans speculated that Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water would be a digital-only release on the Wii U eShop in North America. Unfortunately, they were correct. Nintendo confirmed its launch plans (October 22, $49.99) in a 2015...
amiibo photo
amiibo

Mii Fighter 3-pack, Mewtwo, and Falco amiibo dated


All in November
Aug 24
// Chris Carter
Nintendo has shared some news with us in regards to some upcoming amiibo dates, which is always great. The Mii Fighter 3-pack will arrive on November 1, priced at $34.99. Additionally, Mewtwo will launch on November 13, and F...
Star Fox Zero photo
Star Fox Zero

Star Fox Zero box art revealed, with no Platinum Games logo


Bayonetta 2 didn't have it either
Aug 24
// Chris Carter
Star Fox Zero's official box art has been revealed, and people are pissed. Can you guess why? Take a look at the box in the gallery below. Yep, Platinum Games, who is co-developing the title with Nintendo EAD Group No. 5...
Nintendo photo
Nintendo

Damn you Nintendo! A Mega Yarn Yoshi amiibo exists


I mean...just...
Aug 24
// Chris Carter
Nintendo of Europe just tweeted out the existence of a "Mega" Yarn Yoshi amiibo, which is set to launch in the region on November 27. Damnit. As a general rule, I'm done with hunting down amiibo. If one happens to cross my pa...
Splatoon photo
Splatoon

Europe's next Splatfest has a decidedly theatrical slant


Singing, dancing, & all-around theatrics
Aug 24
// Laura Kate Dale
While we wait for Europe's next Splatfest to start on August 29, we now know that it's not going to share North America's robotic battle theme. Say goodbye to Autobots vs. Decepticons -- Europe's next Splatfest will be Singin...
Nintendo photo
Nintendo

Nintendo patents console without a disc drive


Speculation, ho!
Aug 22
// Kyle MacGregor
Nintendo just filed a patent application for a home console without an optical disc drive, which might indicate the company plans to forgo physical media with its upcoming system, codenamed NX.  Or it could mean nothing....
Mario Maker shmup photo
Mario Maker shmup

Now there's a shoot-'em-up in Mario Maker


Super Shmup Bros.
Aug 21
// Jordan Devore
Super Mario Maker isn't out until September 11 and I'm already feeling inadequate. At this rate, any level I dream up will pale in comparison to what we're seeing on YouTube. I'll give it my best anyway. The folks at GameXplain have crafted a shoot-'em-up level called Super Shmup Bros. and it's another neat example of how powerful the creation tools are in the right hands. Wings for everyone!
3DS demo event photo
3DS demo event

Best Buy holding a special 3DS demo event tomorrow


Get the list here
Aug 21
// Chris Carter
If you've always wanted to try out Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, or LBX: Little Battlers eXperience, now's your chance. Tomorrow at select Best Buy locations from 11AM to 2PM (local), you'll be able to t...
Pokken Tournament photo
Officially official
Pokken Tournament is the talk of the town -- the only issue is that basically everyone outside of Japan can't play it. Until 2016 that is, as Nintendo has just announced that Pokken is coming to the Wii U worldwide next...

Mario Maker level photo
Mario Maker level

This Mario Maker level plays like a Metroid game


Metroid U
Aug 20
// Jordan Devore
Between Metal Gear Solid V and Super Mario Maker, my schedule for September is Chinese-buffet full. Both games are going be huge time sinks. They're also tons of fun to watch pre-release. Take this level created by&...
Splatoon photo
Splatoon

Splatoon is getting the 'Flounder Heights' map today


For free of course
Aug 20
// Chris Carter
Today at 7PM Pacific, a new map will join the rotation in Splatoon -- Flounder Heights. I really like the vertical feel to it, and I dig the urban aesthetic. All things told it reminds me of one of my favorite Call of Du...

Nintendo Download: 3D Gunstar Heroes

Aug 20 // Chris Carter
If you missed last week's edition, here it is. As for what I'm getting, I'll stick with 3D Gunstar Heroes. For those who are interested, sales are going on for both the Wii U and 3DS.  
Nintendo Download photo
Also, Advance Wars 2
We're only a few weeks away from the launch of Super Mario Maker, but for now we'll have to make due with the eShop. This week, the Wii U is getting Crab Cakes Rescue, Factotum, Mortar Melon, Woah Dave!, The Bridge, and ...

2DS photo
2DS

Nintendo drops 2DS to $99.99 MSRP


Holy guacamole
Aug 20
// Chris Carter
The 3DS is a beautiful system. Although I wouldn't normally spring for so many updates, I've gradually moved over to the XL, picked up the Circle Pad Pro, and eventually, upgraded to the New 3DS XL. My wife is enjoying all th...
Yo-kai Watch photo
Yo-kai Watch

Yo-Kai Watch launches in the west in November on 3DS


No longer 2016
Aug 19
// Chris Carter
The original Yo-Kai Watch was originally supposed to be released in 2016, but Nintendo bumped it up recently to "Holiday 2015." Now we have a firm release date courtesy of Nintendo of America -- November 6. Lev...
Hyrule Castle photo
Hyrule Castle

This LEGO rendition of Hyrule Castle is a work of art


Complete with characters on the scene
Aug 19
// Chris Carter
It's crazy to think how far people have come in the arena of LEGO construction. As a kid I kind of just make these straight towers, that I'd often use as swords until they slowly broke apart (Lincoln Logs for life). Now, peo...

3D Gunstar Heroes revitalizes Treasure's debut action title

Aug 19 // Alessandro Fillari
Released towards the end of the Sega Genesis' life in 1993, Gunstar Heroes was Treasure Co.'s first title, and it was certainly a hell of a debut. While it quickly became a favorite among action fans and gaming press, it mostly went under the radar for many Genesis owners. Though the spotlight was on the release of the upcoming Sega Saturn, Gunstar Heroes still managed to become a cult hit among hardcore gamers. But over the years, it's cemented itself as one of the Genesis library's most loved and sought after titles, and even saw a sequel in Advance Gunstar Heroes for the GBA. This made it a prime candidate for the remaster treatment in Sega's 3D Classics series. Speaking with producer Yosuke Okunari, he spoke at length about the respect and admiration they have for the hectic and punishing action title."This was Treasure’s debut game. Everything they ever wanted to do, but couldn’t up until then, is poured into and represented in this game," said the producer while reflecting on the title's legacy. "The game’s volume and difficulty balancing is really spot on in my opinion, and you can feel the passion of the original dev team when you play the game even now. Their follow-ups, Dynamite Headdy and Alien Soldier, were really good games in their own right, and while the games' volume and difficulty were appropriate for its own day, they might not stand up so well in modern standards [In regards to difficulty curves]."Taking place in in a world where a massive army of mercenaries are seeking world domination, it's up to a family of crime-fighters known as the Gunstars to stop them. With the evil Colonel Red (called Colonel Grey in Japan) having acquired four powerful gems to power a massive robot capable of conquering the world, the brothers Gunstar Blue and Gunstar Red have to put a stop to the army's evil plans, all the while finding the whereabouts of their missing brother, Gunstar Green.Unfortunately for me, I missed out on Gunstar Heroes back in the day. While most of my attention was on titles such as Streets of Rage, Mortal Kombat, and Sonic, this one totally slipped past me. It sucks, because my seven year old self would've lived for this type of game. In similar style to Saturday morning cartoons or Japanese anime, the action and tone of the story is extremely over-the-top and takes place in episodic order, allowing you to go about clearing the game in anyway you want.For the uninitiated, Gunstar Heroes blends together high-octane shooting with some light-brawler action set across a series of unique and challenging levels. In the vein of classic side-scrolling shooters such as Contra, two players can utilize a variety of weapons, ranging from close-range flamethrowers, energy beams, and homing lasers. Moreover, players can even select aiming modes with Free-Aim (moving and shooting) or Fixed-Aim (stop and shoot), to suit their play styles. Even at close range, the Gunstars know how to handle themselves. Unlike the Contra guys, the Gunstars can throw, kick, and dive attack enemies that get too close for comfort. Utilizing all these skills is quite easy, and you'll be able to kick ass with ease.I was pretty blown away by the performance of 3D Gunstar Heroes on the 3DS. The original was quite an achievement on the Genesis, and seeing it in action in 3D is a trip. The visuals in the game use a number of graphical tricks and gimmicks that made the action really pop, and the 3D option really does a lot to enhance those aspects of Gunstar's visual design. Some bosses even have some quasi-3D animations and visuals, which was extremely impressive back on the Genesis. With 3D Gunstar Heroes, the overall performance is rock solid. Even with the 3D enabled, I was blasting enemies with screen-filling weapons and watching foes rush the screen with no drops at all. The folks at Sega saw porting over Gunstar Heroes as a major challenge, and actually put it off until they had more games under their belt."When we went about these Genesis 3D conversions, back when we first got the project off the ground, we thought that if we could get Gunstar into what we considered ideal 3D, then there was no way it wouldn’t be a good game," said the producer. "However, we knew that we had to wait until the development team had the experience needed to go about converting the sheer number of stages and all the odd perspectives the game used. In three years, M2’s team has worked on 13 titles (and then some), and they were finally ready to handle Gunstar since they now had the speed and skills to pull it off."Of course, one of the most admired aspects of Gunstar Heroes is its unique power-up system. While you select a core weapon at the beginning of each mission, power-ups acquired while out in the field will act as modifiers to your main weapon. For instance, using the lightning gun with the chaser power-up (green homing laser), it turns the lightning weapon into a homing laser that targets nearby enemies and clings to them until death. The weapon combos get pretty gnarly as you switch things up, and each combo changes the gameplay and strategies up considerably. In keeping with its focus on challenge, the original game only allowed core weapon selecting before the beginning of a mission. This design was to ensure players would commit to a weapon and stick with it for the level. Unfortunately, it was very often players would choose poorly and be stuck with an ineffective weapon for a level that may call for something more versatile. While many of the more skillful gamers could make it work, most players would often have to restart and pick a better weapon. This was one area the developers at Sega wanted to improve upon. With the addition of the brand new 'Gunslinger' mode, players can now switch between core weapons on the fly. While many hardcore fans might find this a bit sacrilegious, the developers had a lot of discussions about the new mode, and even took some inspiration from other titles from Treasure's library. "In Gunstar Heroes, there’s a lot of weapons, but the opportunity to change weapons is somewhat limited, so sometimes you get all caught up in using that one combination you like," said Okunari while discussing their work on Gunslinger mode. "It’s possible that people just never had the leeway to try different weapons or control modes. But by using Gunslinger Mode, you can now try a different weapon combination on that boss that used to give you a hard time back in the day, and you might find that you can beat them a lot faster. It’s a chance to try playing the game the way the developers originally intended. This does have the impact of lowering the difficulty. The 3DS’s controls are different from the Genesis, and we want people who played games back but maybe not so much now to be able to have fun with it. The gamers back then are probably more or less the same age as me, and they might not have the same skills they used to, you know?""This is something we can say for all the ports, but the SEGA 3D Classics development team were all fans of the games back when they were released. We know what makes these games good, so we didn’t need all that much time to figure out what sort of support features a person needs to play the game in today’s world," continued the producer. "The core of Gunslinger mode comes from a sequel made by the same development team called Alien Soldier, a game with a bit of a cult following that was only released in Japan and Europe. The key lies in this game. In Alien Soldier, you can choose from a number of weapons and control modes at will right out the door."Thankfully, I can say that the new mode is in keeping with the core Gunstar experience. The game was still tough as hell, even with the extra room to experiment and adapt to challenges with the weapon switching. I was pretty impressed with how well balanced the game is. Even with the larger arsenal, the enemies still can overwhelm and outmatch the player. I'm more than certain fans of the original will find a lot to like with Gunslinger mode. With the increased access to weapons, you'll be able to get to core of what Gunstar Heroes is about without much hassle.All in all, I have to say that 3D Gunstar Heroes is a pretty stellar port of the original. While I'm still kicking myself for missing out on this one back when I was a kid, I still managed to recall those days of wonder and excitement while spending some time with this installment. I feel as though this entry will bring in a lot of new admirers to the series. In many ways, Treasure was ahead of the curve when it released this title, but not that many people realized it. Thankfully, 3D remastering has done the original justice, and it'll give new players curious about this cult favorite the chance to give it a shot. But take heed: all the hype about this title's challenge was not exaggerated one bit. Be ready for this one.
Sega 3D Classics photo
Lock and Load on August 20
It's been pretty wild re-experiencing many of these past titles in Sega's 3D Classics series. In the last few months, we managed to get 3D remasters of several games that have defined Sega's legacy as one of the most famous g...

amiibo skins photo
amiibo skins

Sonic, Splatoon, Pit amiibo costumes surface in Super Mario Maker


amiibo skins
Aug 19
// Steven Hansen
[Update: more pictures are available in the gallery below, like Waluigi.] It's no surprise that the sprawling Super Mario Maker supports Nintendo's amiibo toys -- we saw Wii Fit Trainer show up in-game a few months ago. All t...
Picross 3D photo
Picross 3D

Japan is getting a sequel to Picross 3D, with amiibo support


Nice
Aug 19
// Chris Carter
Picross is a series you don't hear about too often, but it has a rather loving fanbase. You're about to get some love back in the form of a new game, which is heading to the 3DS in October in Japan. Set to debut on the first of the month, it will launch for 3,000 yen, and will be available both digitally and physically. Hopefully it arrives overseas!
Get 200 amiibo photo
Get 200 amiibo

Unofficial 'amiiqo' can save amiibo data without buying the toys


Nintendo not pleased
Aug 18
// Steven Hansen
People are varying degrees of upset over Nintendo's not-unexpected decision to lock content -- even if it's mainly costumes and the like -- behind amiibo pairing. The "amiiqo" is an okay answer to these complaints. The compl...
Link Nendoroid photo
Link Nendoroid

Oh my goodness the Link Nendoroid has custom masks!


Another amazing Nendoroid
Aug 18
// Chris Carter
Another week, another Nendoroid I want. This time, Good Smile Company has a new Majora's Mask 3D style Link, complete with his standard getup, and an array of masks from the game. You'll find accessories like the Bu...
Splatoon photo
Splatoon

The next Splatoon Splatfest is Autobots vs. Decepticons!


August 28 through Aug 29
Aug 18
// Chris Carter
Uh, wow. While the previous Splatoon Splatfests were all good fun, this one actually interests me on a whole new level. Nintendo has teamed up with Hasbro for an "Autobot versus Decepticon" event! Your ink will match the colo...

Super Mario Maker is more fun than I initially thought it would be

Aug 18 // Chris Carter
Super Mario Maker starts in the best way possible -- a miniature creation tutorial featuring the first Super Mario Bros. After jumping across an impossible-to-make gap, you'll have the option to "finish the course," and bring Mario to the safety of the goal flag. Objects are located at the top, and it's very easy to use the stylus to create platforms, Question Mark Blocks, enemies, and hazards. Putting wings on enemies, piranha plants inside pipes, and items inside of blocks is also as easy as dragging it on top of said item. You can also tap or drag to clone the last-used item, which is useful for dropping tons of blocks. There's a lot of personality present, especially with the auto-tuned voice that notes item placement, cutely shouting out things like "block! block block! block block block block!" to the tune of the classic Mario theme. Maker even has its own tutorial character named "Mary O." who functions as a Power Line Expert of sorts, complete with a headset. I love little touches like this. The way amiibo support works is by adding characters to a roster with a GamePad tap, which will allow players to change into new cast members when touching a Mystery Mushroom. Each character has a special emote with the up d-pad button (for example, Pac-Man will raise a piece of fruit) -- most of the ones I've seen so far also have their own sound effects, and if you're hit, you'll transform back into Mario. Here's a full list of compatible amiibo.  Changing your "theme" (such as above or underground in the first Mario game, or even a new series entirely) is as easy as pressing a button, and only takes a few seconds. It's awesome seeing a stage change from the retro style to the "New" visuals instantly. It's also important to note that more tools only open up "over a series of days, as you continue to create in the game," and only 12 are available right away -- Nintendo notes that this is so you aren't overwhelmed but I don't really buy into it (hence my lingering issue). Expect thoughts on how this scenario plays out in the coming weeks. In terms of modes, you'll start off in the editing portion, but you can also access a challenge mode of sorts that limits your lives, and "Course World," which is a full online hub that allows you to play, star, download, and comment on levels. I love how Nintendo has this mode laid out, as you can clearly see the entire level by way of an icon in the hub menu, giving you an idea of whether or not the stage is up your alley before you even play it. You can also sort by rating and filter "up and coming" levels if you wish, and each map only takes roughly five seconds to load. There's tons of levels available right now for reviewers, so I'll be able to provide some thoughts on how the hub works at a later date. I don't want to spoil too many secrets, so expect our review in early September ahead of the September 11 launch of Super Mario Maker.
Super Mario Maker photo
First hands-on with the retail edition
Although I haven't been super excited for Super Mario Maker based on the initial pitch, we've slowly been drip-fed more and more information over the past month or so, and some of it looks intriguing. Now, I've had the chance to play the game myself, and left pretty satisfied outside of one lingering issue.


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