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9:40 AM on 03.25.2015

Xenoblade Chronicles 3D is a bare-bones port of a fantastic game

Xenoblade Chronicles pretty much blew me away back in 2012. Fans had been clamoring for a localization for over two years, and due to an add partnership between Nintendo and GameStop, we got one. It was a rather limited relea...

Chris Carter



Fire Emblem amiibo support for Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. doesn't add much photo
Fire Emblem amiibo support for Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. doesn't add much
by Chris Carter

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is out, and you can read the full verdict here on the core game. Of course, where there is amiibo functionality to be covered, I'll be there.

Right now, Code Name supports four total figures -- Marth, Ike, Robin, and Lucina. As of this week only the former two are actually out, with the latter pair launching in April. As such, I'll be covering Marth and Ike here, and cover Robin and Lucina at a later date.

Got it? Good.

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Sega brings back OutRun with style for the 3D Classics Series photo
Sega brings back OutRun with style for the 3D Classics Series
by Alessandro Fillari

One of the great things about Sega's ongoing 3DS Classics series is that it allows retro games from the publisher's past to find a new audience. And given its rich and diverse history of quirky and fan-favorite titles, there's plenty to remaster for quite some time.

One of the upcoming remasters is Sega's legendary racing title OutRun. Though it was already released overseas last year, western audiences are finally able to get their hands on the title on March 12 (that's tomorrow!).

But before you do, why don't you take a minute to learn just what went into this port. I managed to get some hands-on time with the remaster, along with a quick chat with Sega producer Yosuke Okunari, who had quite a lot to say about its transition to new hardware.

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Review: Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. photo
Review: Code Name: S.T.E.A.M.
by Kyle MacGregor

Nintendo has created some of the most bizarre intellectual properties in the medium, but the latest strategy game from Intelligent Systems (the studio behind Fire Emblem and Advance Wars) may be among the strangest. The adventure follows Abraham Lincoln and a crack team of agents conscripted from American folklore and classic literature on a mission to repel an alien invasion.

What's more, the Nintendo 3DS game is set in a steampunk universe. Meanwhile the art direction draws inspiration from the Golden Age of Comics. It's an extraordinary pastiche, to say the least. However, despite its originality of the concept, Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. never quite lives up to the intrigue one might expect, given the project's pedigree and fascinating pool of influences.

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Samus wants to be in Shovel Knight photo
Samus wants to be in Shovel Knight
by Jonathan Holmes

When we last checked in with Samus, she was trying to score an interview with Tim Rogers, co-creator of Videoball. Despite the fact that she's been appearing in videogames for over 25 years, he still didn't know who she was. That wouldn't have bothered her at all under normal circumstances, but life hasn't been too good to Samus lately. Nintendo stopped celebrating her birthdays. She hasn't had a game of her own since 2010. Kids today don't know why she can't crawl. It's gotten so bad that she's been forced to share a house with a washed up former last boss and a deceased painting instructor from public television

It makes sense that she would turn to Sean Velasco, co-creator of Shovel Knight, for aid in this time of crisis. He and the team at Yacht Club Games recently announced plans to help Battletoads hop back into the spotlight, after having been shunned by their makers for even longer than Samus has. On top of that, plenty of fans have been asking Sean and company to allow Samus to be a special guest character in Shovel Knight on Nintendo consoles, and Yacht Club is known for making its fans happy.

While he knew that the fans wanted Samus in Shovel Knight, I don't think Sean expected to have the real live Samus Aran approach him about a cameo, but who better to represent Metroid fans than the star of the series herself? After watching this video a few times, I'm still not sure if Sean went for the idea or not. The only thing I know for sure is, Sean has some pretty awesome ideas on how a Shovel Knight Vs. Tingle boss fight would work. He told me all about it after Samus cleared out. As much as I love Samus, I think Tingle might be the right choice on this one, assuming that Shovel Knight ever ends up with guest Nintendo character at all. 

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Review: Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars photo
Review: Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars
by Darren Nakamura

A little more than four years ago, Nintendo released Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem! on the original DS. It continued the series' focus on the miniature Mario robots, to the chagrin of fans of the platforming in the original. In our review, Jonathan Holmes said "It didn't make me feel much, or think much, or have much of a memorable effect on me at all."

Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars plays the same as Mini-Land Mayhem!, but with a few new features. It remains a puzzle game that acts as filler; it can be picked up and played just as easily as it can be put down and forgotten.

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Review: Ironfall: Invasion photo
Review: Ironfall: Invasion
by Chris Carter

Developing a Gears of War-like cover shooter for Nintendo 3DS is unconventional, but that's just what VD-Dev did with Ironfall: Invasion. Featuring both local and online multiplayer, as well as an 11-stage campaign, the project seems fairly ambitious for the handheld, and as you'd expect, there are mixed results.

While multiplayer turned out well enough, the campaign is a mess.

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Etrian Mystery Dungeon is a quirky spinoff in line with series legacy photo
Etrian Mystery Dungeon is a quirky spinoff in line with series legacy
by Alessandro Fillari

Over the years, Atlus has become one of the more endearing presences in gaming. One thing fans appreciate is its tendency to switch things up. The publisher has a handle on the niche gaming scene, and it's reassuring to know that it recognizes when to branch out and try new things. With the upcoming spinoff for the Etrian Odyssey series featuring a partnership with Chunsoft, Atlus has got its eye on trying something a bit different with its favored dungeon crawler.

Moving away from the first-person view from past titles, Etrian Mystery Dungeon blends the two series' specialties together to make a nice mix of hardcore RPG action with roguelike dungeon exploration. During a special hands-on session with Atlus, I got some time to experience what EMD has to offer. Though the perspective has changed, the spirit of the series remains.

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The hunt is on for the Meta Knight amiibo, here is what I found photo
The hunt is on for the Meta Knight amiibo, here is what I found
by Chris Carter

[Update: Get this. One amiibo hunter is reporting that you can get $5 off any Wii U or 3DS game nationwide if your store does not have Meta Knight in stock. Even if your store denies you, it doesn't hurt to ask!]

Today, Best Buy has opened their doors across the country and welcomed amiibo hunters. Well, they're only welcoming a select few of them of course, because stock is universally low for their exclusive Meta Knight amiibo.

As I've done with a few major amiibo launches, I made a stop at a few Best Buy locations today to gauge their stock at retail, and it seems about on par with the rest of the exclusive releases.

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Review: Pokémon Shuffle photo
Review: Pokémon Shuffle
by Chris Carter

Nintendo takes on the world of microtransactions with Pokémon Shuffle. What could go wrong?

A lot. 

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Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker is devilishly difficult, set for release on May 5 photo
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker is devilishly difficult, set for release on May 5
by Alessandro Fillari

What a busy year this is going to be for Atlus. With the release of Persona 5 in the coming months, there are a lot of expectations for what's ahead with the Shin Megami Tensei franchise. In order to keep fans satiated till then, the publisher is offering another dose of MegaTen with a revisit to another much-loved title.   

Just last month, Atlus released the follow-up to Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 in Japan. As an updated version of the Nintendo DS's Devil Survivor 2, the new 3DS release will have players re-experiencing the events of the original game along with a new story to unfold. Though fans in the west were left wondering about the fate of its release on this end, all we got was a vague confirmation that it was coming with no concrete date set.

Fortunately during a special hands-on session hosted by Atlus, the publisher has now revealed plans for the western release of Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker on May 5, 2015. Now on a new system, this ultra-quirky and devilishly difficult take on the MegaTen formula will get players to experience Devil Survivor 2 in a fresh way.

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Review: Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy+ photo
Review: Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy+
by Chris Carter

Japanese publishers have some truly confusing localization titles sometimes. In 2011, Namco Bandai released Ace Combat: Assault Horizon for the PS3 and Xbox 360. It was a grittier take on the franchise that added real-world complexities to the established fictional formula, released to mixed reception.

For some reason in that same year Namco Bandai also dropped Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy (the legacy is important, you see), which was basically a remake of 1997's Ace Combat 2 for the Nintendo 3DS. Now they've added a "plus" on the end and added amiibo support.

It still has nothing to do with Ace Combat: Assault Horizon.

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The hunt is on today for the Majora's Mask New 3DS XL, here's what I found photo
The hunt is on today for the Majora's Mask New 3DS XL, here's what I found
by Chris Carter

[Update: Target seems to have some extra stock online from dropped pre-orders. Check now (try the mobile link too) and throughout the day to see if anything pops up. GameStop is also taking orders on a $250 bundle with the game and Majora's Mask-themed New 3DS.]

Another big videogame product launch, another retailer hunt from yours truly.

This morning the New 3DS XL debuted across the country in the US, and thousands of fans are looking to get their hands on the coveted Majora's Mask 3DS. As many of you know it sold out in minutes in-store at GameStop, and online at Best Buy, among other stores. I got word that select stores would be getting shipments in this morning, so I headed out to three Targets, one Best Buy, and called many more locations.

The verdict? Unless you're in a rural area, your chances of getting one are very slim, even if you go at opening. All of the stores I contacted obtained three to four, and sold out immediately after the doors opened. According to one shop, customers waited outside the night before to snag one of the three of its stock.

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Very Quick Tips: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D photo
Very Quick Tips: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D
by Chris Carter

Majora's Mask may have problems, but the three-day cycle concept is not one of them. While some people didn't like the fact that they had to "start all over" after the cycle repeated, that's not really the case.

You get to keep all your key items, you can store your Rupees in a bank and get them back right away, and there's an easy method to ensuring that you have all the time you need for dungeons.

Let's take a look.

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Review: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D photo
Review: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D
by Chris Carter

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is unlike any other Zelda game in the series. For instance, there's no sign of the franchise's classic villain Ganon, and no Zelda outside of a quick flashback reference.

It's also a decidedly darker affair, with strong themes of depression, anxiety, and general angst due to the impending end of the world. Heck, there's even straight-up voyeurism quest and the assumption of dead people's identities.

Majora has a lot of really cool ideas, and most of them are augmented by the slight upgrades found in Majora's Mask 3D.

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Guide: Where you can import amiibo, and where you can find rares photo
Guide: Where you can import amiibo, and where you can find rares
by Chris Carter

Unless my Meta Knight pre-order is screwed up by Best Buy, I'll have every existing amiibo on-hand by next week. A lot of people have asked how I'm so successful at getting some of the rarer figures, and the answer is "helping out a lot of friends, and getting help from friends."

But there are a lot of ways to procure them. Here are a few that will allow you to sidestep scalpers on eBay.

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