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Square Enix @ E3 photo
Square Enix @ E3

Square Enix won't run up against Nintendo at E3


Damn straight
May 15
// Jordan Devore
Nintendo will hold its E3 2015 Digital Event at 9:00am Pacific on Tuesday, June 16. Square Enix had the exact same date and time in mind for its E3 2015 press conference. Uh, guys? Can we not? Thankfully, Square Enix budged. ...

Review: Stretchmo

May 15 // Chris Carter
Stretchmo (3DS)Developers: Intelligent SystemsPublisher: NintendoReleased: May 14, 2015Price: Free-to-play with microtransactions ($9.99 for everything) The way Stretchmo's microtransaction setup works is very confusing at first glance. Initially, you'll have access to a select few intro puzzles. After that, there's one 100 level pack for $4.99, three 50 level packs for $2.99 each, and the option to buy all of them for $9.99 upfront. If you buy each add-on individually, there's a small discount for purchasing more. My guess is that the series didn't perform as well as Nintendo would have hoped outside of Japan, so they want to give international players a chance to "get a taste" for a few bucks. Whatever the case may be, it's not a bad idea as it basically functions as a demo, outside of the fact that there is no way to sample individual packs. As for the game itself, it's pretty much business as usual outside of one new addition. Our heroes will have to solve various block puzzles and reach a predetermined goal (usually at the top of the heap) by pulling and pushing them into submission to create new paths to jump and cross. In this edition you'll have the power to "stretch," blocks on the side, which actually adds quite a bit of depth to the proceedings. You'll soon learn that blocks can be manipulated in a multitude of different ways from every single angle, creating some of the most taxing puzzles yet. Intelligent Systems also brought back the convenient zoom feature, as well as the effective 3D technique, which makes it very easy to move about each creation. Beyond that one new mechanic Stretchmo's gimmick is found in its various level packs, which all have a different theme and character. The 100 core levels are hosted by Mallo, and are actually the easiest of the bunch -- some of which are even remedial. If you enjoy the core Pushmo experience, I'd recommend picking them up, but they aren't anything special. [embed]292153:58540:0[/embed] Poppy is next in line, with items that are themed after real-life objects. While her 50-stage gauntlet has a bit of charm to it it's only marginally more difficult than Mallo's adventure, and I wouldn't say that it's essential in any way. Corin on the other hand kills it with the Fortress of Fun. This add-on brings in more gadgets, including full-on enemy characters to deal with. They remind me of the Sackbots from the Little Big Planet series in that they're crudely designed and only sport a base-level AI, but they're probably the most innovative addition to the series yet, because nearly every level is crafted around avoiding them and jumping on their heads. It adds a degree of twitch action that wasn't really present before. Papa is the last pack in the bunch, and his theme is old NES classics. You'll find levels designed around retro art like an 8-bit Mario head, much like the maps that so many players have created and shared on their own. This add-on however has the benefit of being the most difficult set of levels in the game, and when you add in the stretch ability, I'd be comfortable with making the claim that they're actually some of the biggest challenges in the entire series. For those who are interested, yes, Stretchmo still has a creation studio (that's enabled after you make one purchase). It can read QR codes just like the old iterations, and your gadget unlocks are tied directly to your progress in each pack. In other words, if you want enemies you'll have to buy Corin's levels, and so on. [embed]292153:58557:0[/embed] While all of this is generally pretty great, there are a few downgrades in comparison to the previous version. In particular, the Pushmo World Fair feature from the Wii U release is sorely missed. Although the idea of socially sharing your QR codes with one another is cool, I loved the ability to instantly jump in and casually browse through online creations, even if I didn't play all of them. I also miss the screen real estate provided by the GamePad, which has since spoiled me. Still, the new concepts presented in two of the level packs (Fortress of Fun and NES Expo) make up for it. If you've never given Pushmo a fair shake before, trying out the free stages in Stretchmo is a great way to start. While I'd generally recommend going the full mile and buying the whole thing outright, you can also just spring for the Fortress of Fun for a few bucks and come out on top. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Strechmo review photo
Sure, I'll push some mo'
Nintendo has been silently crafting some killer franchises over the years. While he may not light up sales as much as Mario, after four years, I'd consider Pushmo's Mallo to be a fully-fledged Nintendo character. Now he's back in his fourth game on the 3DS in the form of Stretchmo, which adopts a rather odd free-to-play scheme that essentially functions as a demo.

Splatoon photo
Splatoon

Nintendo is putting on another Splatoon Global Testfire event


Saturday May 23
May 15
// Chris Carter
During the last Nintendo Direct event, it was revealed that Splatoon would host a limited-run "demo" called the Global Testfire. It turns out that this demo was actually an online-only, specifically timed beta test of so...
Nintendo photo
Nintendo

Iwata says Nintendo's mobile strategy won't involve whale hunting


PETA's pleased
May 14
// Brett Makedonski
There's a predominant school of thought toward making money in the mobile gaming sector: Focus your attention on the people who are willing to spend exorbitant amounts. That is, make the majority of your cash from a small poo...
Nintendo Download photo
Nintendo Download

Nintendo Download: Mega Man May continues with Mega Man Battle Network 3


Also, Stretchmo
May 14
// Chris Carter
Mega Man May is still going strong in its second week, which will see the debut of Mega Man Battle Network 3 (Blue and White) on the Wii U Virtual Console. Also on the Wii U is Nihilumbra, Ultratron, Funk of Titans,...

Review: Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition

May 14 // Chris Carter
Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition (3DS)Developer: GungHo Online EntertainmentPublisher: GungHo Online Entertainment (JP) / Nintendo (EU, US)Released: April 29, 2015 (JP) / May 8, 2015 (EU) / May 22, 2015 (US)MSRP: $29.99 It's not just a checkmark on the side of a game box -- this 3DS package really is two full games in one. You'll get the traditional Puzzle & Dragons experience with Z, as well as a Super Mario Bros.-centric romp. But even the former feels like it was severely influenced by Nintendo, which is definitely a good thing. In the world of Z, Dragon Tamers roam the land in search of adventure, much like Pokémon Trainers. Hell, it even has the option to choose between a male and female protagonist, and the story starts off in your house with a conversation with your mom. It gets even more on the nose from there with a "D-Gear" instead of a Pokédex, and the presentation of red, blue, and green monsters as your first party members. Truth be told, despite how familiar this setup is, and how much the generic story drags at times, it's far more endearing than the gambling nature of the free-to-play mobile game. The events of the story are set in motion by a massive earthquake from the evil organization Team Rocket Paradox, but the world is more captivating than the actual characters or events involved -- odds are you'll be skipping a lot of dialogue. Thankfully, the creature designs in Puzzle & Dragons are interesting to fight and discover, as they look wholly unique, and even while battling static monsters with just a few animations on-screen the game still has a ton of charm. If you do happen to dig the story though, you'll quickly suffer a degree of disappointment, as it takes a backseat in favor of dungeon crawling and constant battling. [embed]291810:58494:0[/embed] Remember, the core principle is to match three orbs on a grid to damage your enemies. You'll drag and drop them on the bottom screen using your stylus, and said orbs will initiate attacks based on elements that you match. So for instance, a simple activation of three fire orbs will kick off a small fire attack from your appropriate party members, but a huge combo of red and blue will see a stronger counter from multiple party members. Matching more than three will also queue up more devastating attacks, and so on -- you've seen this before. Puzzle & Dragons does have a few nuances in place to differentiate itself though, like an active time gauge to keep you on your toes (allowing you to create combos while you're at it), the ability to target specific enemies with the D-pad, and a rock-paper-scissors mechanic with the elements involved. It also has a light amount of party building, as the best way to succeed is to diversify your setup to allow the most coverage in terms of orb attacks. Each character also has a super that can be used every so often, like a direct-damage power or an ability to change up colors of specific orbs. It's not incredibly deep, but there's some meat to it, especially when you pick up more characters and start making decisions on who to use, as well as who to upgrade, and who to sacrifice to make existing party members stronger. As it turns out, the Super Mario Bros. portion of the game is fairly remedial. If you've never played a match-three before or have children, you'll want to play this one first. It has the same basic gameplay, but with a new "story" that involves Mario and the rest of the Mushroom Kingdom, including the lovable Koopa Kids. As usual the plot is fast-tracked here, with Bowser once again capturing Peach due to the power of "mysterious orbs" from the P & D franchise. That swift pace carries on throughout the experience, and it's rather jarring to go from the sprawling Z to this.Remedial as it may be, it has some challenging spots, and it's still worth playing if you dig puzzle games. The thrill of building a party is still present, and although the world isn't all that engaging (it feels as lifeless as the first "New" game on DS), most Nintendo fans won't pass up the chance to fight and capture classic characters like Goombas or Piranha Plants. It's disappointing that the Mario part isn't as fleshed out, but it's more excusable when you add in the fact that the core Z experience is worth the price of entry alone.Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition isn't likely to wow anyone, but it's a pretty comprehensive package that would make a great gift to any match-three addict. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Puzzle & Dragons review photo
Two games in one
Puzzle & Dragons came out some time ago in 2012, and has since taken the world by storm. Although its origins started as a humble match-three puzzle game, GungGo Online cleverly added in slot machine-like addictive qualit...

Silver Mario amiibo photo
Silver Mario amiibo

Nintendo finally spills the official beans on the Silver Mario amiibo


Not exclusive
May 14
// Chris Carter
[Update: I am being told by a source at GameStop that Silver Mario will not be available for pre-order, and should be in-store on May 29 for purchase. "No replenishment" is the expectation being communicated to stores na...
Mario Virtual Console photo
Mario Virtual Console

New Super Mario Bros. returns on Wii U tomorrow


I'd like Elite Beat Agents, please
May 13
// Jordan Devore
In 2006, many of us were desperate for another 2D Mario game, and Nintendo finally came through with New Super Mario Bros. for the original DS. From what I remember, it was a good game. Perhaps not great, but certainly suffic...
Nintendo @ E3 photo
Nintendo @ E3

Reggie's body is almost ready for the return of the Nintendo World Championships at E3


Reggie stole my workout routine
May 13
// Alissa McAloon
If you've ever wanted to see Nintendo of America's president stuff bananas into his mouth or fall off of a Wii Balance Board, you're in luck. Nintendo is bringing back the Nintendo World Championships for E3 2015, and R...
Pushmo photo
Pushmo

The fourth Pushmo game is out in Japan, free-to-play


Interesting
May 13
// Chris Carter
The first three Pushmo games were pretty fantastic, and as of this week, Japan has another entry in the series. It's called Pushmo: Hippa Land, and it's a free-to-play release for the 3DS. No, it's not completely free -...
Splatoon commercial photo
Splatoon commercial

The worst part of the '90s are alive in this Splatoon commercial


Kidz Bop is better
May 13
// Jed Whitaker
The '90s had some terrible commercials, like for real. They often times had really cheesy or bad jingles, just like this new commercial for Splatoon. The only thing this is missing is a geeky kid with glasses covering a bull...
Marth photo
Marth

The Marth amiibo restock situation doesn't look good at GameStop either


Only a few per store
May 12
// Chris Carter
We've talked about it at length before -- the great Marth amiibo restock of May. Well, it doesn't seem all that great so far. Amazon was trickling out select orders through the day last Saturday (and were, for all intents and...
Nintendo photo
Nintendo

His body is (nearly) ready


Soon
May 12
// Kyle MacGregor
It looks like Reggie "Sweet Meats" Fils-Aime is gearing up for E3. Stay tuned. Nintendo of America [Twitter]
Yoshi photo
Yoshi

Yep, yep, Yoshi’s Woolly World still looks adorable


So many Yoshis
May 12
// Chris Carter
Is it possible for Yoshi's Woolly World to not be amazingly adorable? Across the adventure you'll have a chance to locate hidden "Wonder Wools," which unlock 50 different costume patterns for the lil' creature. To give ...
Fire Emblem photo
Fire Emblem

Fire Emblem if will have a 'Phoenix Mode,' also removes weapon limit


Also, nine save files
May 12
// Chris Carter
In addition to the whole "permadeath" thing, having a limit on weapon uses is one of the most taxing aspects of the Fire Emblem series. You have to constantly decide whether or not it's even worth attacking someone with ...
Nintendo photo
Nintendo

Nintendo unveils European release dates for the next amiibo waves


Yar, there be a shit storm a brewin
May 12
// Chris Carter
Nintendo of Europe has let the cat out of the bag in regards to the availability of European amiibo. The next wave involves Ganondorf, Palutena, Dark Pit, and Zero Suit Samus, which will debut on June 26. After that, Dr. Mari...
Club Nintendo photo
Club Nintendo

Club Nintendo slashes coin prices on physical stuff in the US


Go check it out
May 12
// Chris Carter
Club Nintendo is going away soon (on June 30 it will be completely dead), and the publisher seems to want to rid itself of all of its physical goods quickly. A bunch of items have been slashed in price to make way for a fire ...
Hotel Mario photo
Hotel Mario

Who wants to stay in this Super Mario-inspired apartment?


There's free Wi-Fi too
May 12
// Vikki Blake
Looking for a game-flavoured place to stay the next time you're in Tokyo?  This Mario-inspired apartment in Meguro, Tokyo - nicknamed (unsurprisingly) 'Mario World' - is stuffed with a veritable smorgsbord of Mario-...
Emulation photo
Emulation

The first commercial 3DS game's been successfully emulated


Don't get your hopes up just yet
May 12
// Joe Parlock
Emulation’s in a weird legal grey area that’s all kinds of fascinating to me. The actual bit of software designed to play ROMs is legal, but the BIOS file that makes it run? You usually have to acquire them throug...

This post explains the entire Mega Man Legends copyright situation

May 11 // Chris Carter
Oronamin C is a real beverage over in Japan, and is sold in the vending machines in the first Legends game. In addition, there are a few other copyrighted references. Now, here is the problem -- Sony apparently does not allow the modification of source code for a PSN classic. In other words, it needs to be the exact same release. So unless these issues can be solved by Capcom's legal team (or Sony drops the policy), a full-on PSOne Classic release for Legends 1 is not going to happen. Nintendo however, does allow the modification of code. If it was deemed a worth endeavor by both Capcom and Nintendo Mega Man 64 could feasibly be ported. In fact, the original code for 64 already has a few of these changes already. Other options suggested by Protodude include the release of the PSP version (untranslated), a PC port by Capcom, or a full remake -- all of which have a low chance of happening in my book. Whatever the case, I'd love to see it happen. There's plenty of hope for Legends 2, but maybe Capcom wants to deal with everything and release them both at the same time. For now, we wait. Regarding Mega Man Legends and Property Infringement [Rockman Corner] [Art from Walls4Joy] [embed]291931:58501:0[/embed]
Mega Man Legends photo
Wow, it's complicated
For years now people have been clamoring for the release of Mega Man Legends 1 and 2 on the PSN (or the Nintendo 64 version on the eShop, for that matter), but Capcom hasn't budged. We're one step closer with The Mi...

Nintendo NX photo
Nintendo NX

Iwata says no NX at E3


You'll have to wait until next year
May 11
// Laura Kate Dale
We already sort of expected this news, but here we go. In a recent investor meeting Satoru Iwata was pressed for specifics on whether we would see any mention of Nintendo's upcoming NX hardware at E3 this year. Surprising nob...
Nintendo photo
Nintendo

Nintendo talks region unlocking, no mobile games at E3, deal with Universal


Iwata continues to bend to trends
May 10
// Jonathan Holmes
A few interesting fan translations of a recent Nintendo Investor's Meeting hit the internet last night, but as always, we have to take them with a grain of salt until Nintendo's offical English transcriptions are released. Le...
Marth photo
Marth

That Marth amiibo restock may have already came and went on Amazon


Mash F5
May 09
// Chris Carter
When Nintendo announced the Marth amiibo restock for this year, I had a feeling it wouldn't end well. It was originally scheduled for April, then May, and now that the month is here, the publisher is still completely silent a...
Nintendo photo
Nintendo

Nintendo has shipped 10.5 million amiibo worldwide


Almost seven million came from NA
May 08
// Chris Carter
When people constantly ask about why there's so much amiibo coverage across the net, I always tell them -- "because there's a demand for it." Now I can prove my point with cold hard numbers, thanks to the recent Nintendo inve...
Nintendo photo
Nintendo

Nintendo plans to release 5 smartphone games in 2 years


No worries about rushed development
May 08
// Laura Kate Dale
A few months back Nintendo announced it was going to be moving into the world of smartphone development. Understandably, this caused many to fear that the company may be on track to start farming its franchises out into ill-f...
Nintendo Download photo
Nintendo Download

Nintendo Download: Mega Man May begins with Mega Man & Bass


Also, High Strangeness
May 07
// Chris Carter
Mega Man May is a go, and thanks to you guys, my choice of Mega Man & Bass is now available on the Wii U eShop. It's a Virtual Console release of the GBA version, which isn't ideal, but at least it will get it into t...

Here's everything from the Splatoon Nintendo Direct

May 07 // Chris Carter
[embed]291747:58462:0[/embed]
Splatoon Direct photo
The demo is out today
Nintendo just ran a Splatoon-centric Direct presentation, and it provided a ton of information on the soon-to-be-released shooter. First, to play ranked modes online, you have to reach level 10 (as was previously announced), ...

Nintendo photo
Nintendo

Nintendo is back to making a profit


Ninty's rolling in dough again
May 07
// Laura Kate Dale
Earlier this morning Nintendo released its results for the last financial year, ending May 31 2015, and we have good news. Nintendo is back to profitability! After several fiscal years of losses Nintendo is climbing back up a...
Nintendo photo
Nintendo

Nintendo and Universal team up for a real life Nintendo theme park


Nintendoland will actually be a thing
May 07
// Vikki Blake
Universal and Nintendo are joining forces to bring "spectacular, dedicated experiences based on Nintendo's wildly popular games, characters and worlds". Yup - there's going to be a Nintendo theme park. Yes. Really. The partne...






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