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Are you still going to upgrade to a New 3DS? photo
Are you still going to upgrade to a New 3DS?
by Chris Carter

When the New 3DS was announced, we held a poll asking you if you wanted to pick it up. 36% of you said "yes," 29% said "no," and 34% said "it depends on the exclusives." Now that Nintendo has debuted a bunch of news with its recent Nintendo Direct, did you switch your view?

So what's changed? Slight improvements for upcoming games like Majora's Mask and Monster Hunter 4 -- which basically involve faster boot times and a c-stick to control the camera. Also, Xenoblade Chronicles on 3DS actually has a release window, and the on-board amiibo functionality has been highlighted with games like Code Name S.T.E.A.M. Keep in mind though that an amiibo adapter is still planned for "non-New" 3DS units at some point (the current rumor is between amiibo waves 3 and 4).

On the negative side, the prospect has gotten worse for some, as it has been announced that there will be no AC adapter included, and the XL is the only model that's going to be released in the US.

With all this in mind, do you still want it, still hate it, or have you come around to it by now?

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I unboxed the New 3DS XL and tickled its sensitive nub photo
I unboxed the New 3DS XL and tickled its sensitive nub
by Bill Zoeker

After a Nintendo press event yesterday, I was sent home with a review unit of the New Nintendo 3DS XL. I figured it would be a good idea to record my opening of it so that I could share my trademarked cynical indignation with you all. So, sorry about that. But, you get to see what thing looks like right out of the box! Shiny toys!

It's a pretty standard package, with the glaring exception of the lack of an AC adapter. Nintendo gave IGN the predictable company line, "Rather than raise cost of New Nintendo 3DS XL by charging consumers for a component they may already own, we are giving them the option to only buy if they need an AC adapter."

Cool. You know, except that this device is an upgrade of an existing device, and people might want to sell the obsolete model. Not to mention, people who don't already own a compatible power plug will be praying there will be one in stock when they go to buy the New 3DS XL, and will probably get stuck with a shitty third-party knock-off.

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New Nintendo 3DS, amiibo, trailers: Everything you need to know from today's Nintendo Direct photo
New Nintendo 3DS, amiibo, trailers: Everything you need to know from today's Nintendo Direct
by Steven Hansen

Doozy of a Nintendo Direct today. Watch it above in full, or see our coverage below in summation, with all the key trailers rounded up. Highlights include: New Nintendo 3DS (just XL) release date and price, a special Majora's Mask themed 3DS, new Fire Emblem, reprint of the thought discontinued Marth amiibo, new amiibo waves (including a second set of Mario series amiibo), and Kirby being real cute.

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New Nintendo 3DS XL launches in North America this February photo
New Nintendo 3DS XL launches in North America this February
by Chris Carter

Nintendo has announced a February 13, 2015 release date and $199.99 price tag for the New 3DS XL in North America. All of the previously announced features are in, including the extra C-Stick control, speedier boot-up times, enhanced processing power, extra shoulder buttons, slightly longer battery life, a switch to micro-SD memory cards, NFC (for amiibo), and the face-tracking 3D system, to ensure "stable viewing at a wider angle."

It will launch with both a red and black model, and will still work with every previous 3DS game. Sadly, there is no word of a "smaller" 3DS model -- just the XL.

Nintendo will announce a way to transfer your data to the new unit in the "coming weeks." it will not include an AC adapter, but any adapter since the DSi will work. Um, okay Nintendo.

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Predicting Nintendo's next big crossover photo
Predicting Nintendo's next big crossover
by Kyle MacGregor

Somewhere on the slopes of Mount Nintendo there's an oracle that straddles a chasm wherefrom vapors emerge. She speaks in tongues, relying on an intern to interpret her enigmatic ramblings. The system has its misfires (this is how things get named Wii U, for example), but relying on these portents and premonitions has kept Nintendo in business for over a century.

In recent years, the oracle has spawned a number of bizarre crossover concepts, culminating in the creation of Hyrule Warriors, Pokkén, and Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition.

It's a fascinating trend, one I hope continues for a long time to come. Let's assume that it does. Let's make some wildly speculative predictions about what other mashups the future has in store.

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Updates on amiibo: Toys
Updates on amiibo: Toys"R"Us, discontinued figures, and more
by Chris Carter

The first bit of 2015 amiibo news is the juicy rumor that Toys"R"Us may be holding an "amiibo event" on the 15th, with rare figures such as Captain Falcon and Pit going on sale that day. According to this post, the retailer is holding stock until then, which is why you won't see any restocks on the shelves. Toys"R"Us has denied this after my inquiry, but anything could happen. If you're free that day and are amiibo crazy, think about giving the store a call, or at the very least checking online in the morning.

Having said all that, I strongly suggest you move all your current pre-orders at Toys"R"Us over to another location if possible -- as I've stated in the past, GameStop and Amazon are by far the best outlets for amiibo, since Target, Walmart, Toys"R"Us, and Best Buy have all had non-isolated cancellation issues. Speaking of Best Buy, our own Bill Platt informed me that his order of Captain Falcon was canceled, among other readers who had the same issue.

As far as discontinued news goes, a new Reddit AMA with a Nintendo rep has shed some light on the situation. According to the rep, the discontinued amiibo will operate similar to the "Disney Vault," where they will come back later. This semi-contradicts statements made in the past, so we'll see what happens. Wave 4 is said to launch "as soon as spring," and the 3DS amiibo reader is projected to release somewhere around Waves 3 and 4. When asked about retailer exclusives, the rep stated that "retailer exclusives will be around as long as stores put the money up for them." Awful.

So what are the cancellations? So far the rumors seem to indicate that in addition to Villager, Marth, and Wii Fit Trainer; Captain Falcon, Little Mac, and Pit are the next to be gone. In fact, they may be mostly gone already, hence Toys"R"Us holding stock. I have confirmed this with multiple GameStops in my area, but Nintendo continues to deny it. I sense a pattern.

In summation -- move over your pre-orders if you can from Toys"R"Us, and if you see the above six rare amiibo, you might want to pick one up. Also, the hilarious picture below kind of sums up the amiibo situation at retailers right now.

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Xbox dethrones PlayStation as porn console king, Wii grows 69.9% (nice)  photo
Xbox dethrones PlayStation as porn console king, Wii grows 69.9% (nice)
by Steven Hansen

Pornhub, which I am told by other people familiar with the webpage is a site for viewing adult, pornographic films, has released its statistical year in review. It's not as detailed on the videogame console side of things like last year's data, which we covered here deeply, but the infographics are still interesting, particularly as porn terminology is hilarious in the abstract.

Teen, lesbian, and milf all retained top search billing, for example, but "step mom" pole vaulted into the top 5 worldwide search terms (number 2 in the US) and "step sister" into the top 15 worldwide (the biggest ranking change, going up 53 spots in 2014), top 10 in the US.

Back to the videogame side, there's been a shift. The 2013 numbers attributed 55% of console porn viewing to PS3 users (compared to 39% on Xbox). 2014's numbers have Xbox at 45.7%, PlayStation at 40%. The Wii (8.2%), Vita (5%) and 3DS (1.1%) finish things off.

That marks a 69.9% increase in the Wii's market share, which is funny 'cause that's a sex number. Because these numbers are a percentage of a shared whole, it doesn't mean fewer PlayStation users are using their consoles for porn (plus, this is just data from one porn streaming service, of which I am told by people familiar with them there are many), but it is likely that a lot more Xbox users are using the service, which would account for their turgid, swollen numbers. 

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Nintendo has seemingly discontinued the original 3DS photo
Nintendo has seemingly discontinued the original 3DS
by Mike Cosimano

[Update: Nintendo's official response is as follows: "Nintendo has nothing to announce about the production status of Nintendo 3DS."]

We have reason to believe Nintendo of America has completely ceased production of the original 3DS model, based on information from retailers and Nintendo itself.

Originally, Nintendo had begun to wind down the availability of new 3DS units, relegating the Coral Pink 3DS to a Toys"R"Us exclusive. Since then, the Coral Pink 3DS has been quietly removed from the Toys"R"Us website. The Coral Pink unit is still available on Nintendo's refurbished storefront, but no such luck for any other 3DS model.

This persists through major North American retailers, such as Walmart, Target, and Best Buy. GameStop has listings for the original 3DS, but the site's store locator failed to find anything within a 100-mile radius. Local GameStop employees indicated to Destructoid that Nintendo had outright discontinued the system, and they would no longer be receiving new stock.

The 3DS is similarly hard to find in the UK, with both GameStop's UK website and GAME only showing 'new' results for the 3DS XL and the 2DS.

Nintendo's official website also lacks an option for a brand new, regular 3DS, instead pushing the various 3DS XL and 2DS bundles available.

3DSCapture.com, a fan-run site that produces capture boards for the 3DS, also believes the console has been discontinued, citing "The original model 3DS is no longer in production and new systems are becoming difficult to find" as the reason behind canceling its 3DS with pre-installed capture board service.

This news comes on the heels of Nintendo of Japan putting the 3DS and 3DS XL models out to pasture in anticipation of the New 3DS' release. At the moment, it is unclear if Nintendo is quietly doing the same in Western territories, or if there are other factors involved.

We've reached out to multiple Nintendo sources for comment, and will update this story as necessary.

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Toys
Toys"R"Us apparently canceling select Lucario amiibo orders...again
by Chris Carter

Back in December, Toys"R"Us canceled every Lucario amiibo pre-order (and some random Wave 2 or 3 orders). It sucked, because the figure is exclusive and they already took thousands of orders on them weeks before the cancellation. They seemingly made it right though as many orders were either re-instated a few days later, or customers were given a coupon to get a discount off the "$999.99" placeholder to avoid scalpers picking up the rest of the stock.

But according to multiple users the system seems to be having issues yet again, and some orders that were re-instated have been canceled for a second time. I was first informed of the problem by a reader on Twitter, who explained the situation. I asked if anyone else had the same issue, and three others chimed in via messages or DMs to inform me that their order was also gone. At the time of this writing, my order is fine, but I wanted to know more.

Investigating further, I checked into a few communities and it looks like it's not an isolated problem. I've contacted Toys"R"Us, but in the meantime if you are affected, contact customer service and find out what the deal is -- with their first cancellation debacle you could ask for a $25 giftcode. I'd also recommend jettisoning all of your Wave 3 pre-orders from Toys"R"Us to another company if possible.

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Review: Xeodrifter photo
Review: Xeodrifter
by Jonathan Holmes

A lot of the kids who grew up with Metroid, Super Mario Bros., and The Legend of Zelda are now older than than their creators were when those legendary Nintendo franchises were first released. Some of those kids are now videogame developers themselves. Jools Watsham of Renegade Kid is one example. He created Xeodrifter in five months, fueled by financial stress, time constraints, and a raw love of Super Metroid. You can read about his process here

Showing your Metroid DNA on your sleeve is a blessing and a curse. It instantly communicates to the relatively large Metroid fan base that your game was made for them. It also sets the bar incredibly high. Begging for a comparison to Super Metroid is a dangerous thing. As we saw with the reaction to Other M, a disappointed Metroid fan can be an intensely spiteful force. 

My guess is Xeodrifter won't inspire that kind of caustic reaction in the Metroid faithful. If it were an official Metroid game, it would rank near or above many of the other games in the franchise. As long as you go into it expecting something short and sweet, it's hard to imagine that Metroid fans will be disappointed. 

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Review: Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth photo
Review: Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth
by Kyle MacGregor

Some concoctions will leave you feeling sick to your stomach. You need look no further than Yukiko Amagi's culinary misadventures for proof of that. Other pairings seem to work far better than they probably should, like Atlus RPG fusion Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth.

The title blends two of the studio's prized franchises, Persona and Etrian Odyssey, unifying disparate types of role-playing games into a cohesive and complementary experience.

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Review: Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal photo
Review: Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal
by Chris Carter

While Sonic Boom on the Wii U has its issues, there are also some redeeming qualities. Co-op is enjoyable, the platforming is pretty fun, and the 2D sections aren't bad. With a few more months in the oven and more polish, it could have ultimately been a decent Sonic title.

Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the 3DS version of Sonic Boom. There's almost nothing redeeming about it.

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I gave away my best Pokémon photo
I gave away my best Pokémon
by Jordan Devore

For a couple months now, I've been thinking about getting rid of my Pokémon collection.

My favorite part of the series is catching 'em all and for years that motivation has fueled my interest in these games. I'm not into forming the ideal team, breeding Pokémon with perfect stats, or finding shinies. Just acquiring them -- all seven hundred of them -- one by one.

With Pokémon X, I finally did it. It took months of whittling down a giant list of absences in my Pokédex but thanks to in-depth online resources detailing locations and catch rates, an active community of online traders, and the ability to easily transfer old legendaries and stragglers from past titles, I did it. I earned a little crown in my National Pokédex signifying 100 percent completion. (Though, admittedly, I never bothered to get #719, Diancie. Whatever.)

Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire release this Friday and I thought it would be fun to start over. To work my way back up. But rather than let my Pokémon X save file go to waste, I decided to use the Wonder Trade feature extensively. It matches two players at random for a blind online trade and while most people exchange total crap, there are kindhearted folks who take pleasure in handing out rarities. I'm far from innocent, but I've given back on occasion.

Now, originally, my plan was to give away every last one of my Pokémon via Wonder Trade (excluding restricted Pokémon obtained from distribution events). I mindlessly made it to around 80 trades before realizing this was a bad idea and started questioning my sanity.

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Review: Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire photo
Review: Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
by Brittany Vincent

For a franchise that’s continually berated for remaining the same over the years, Pokémon is wildly successful, having pushed forward on its own, full speed ahead. It hasn’t needed to change much to sweep the nation with each new release, though some of the series’ newest releases have received criticism due to lack of content. Pokémon X & Y hit the 3DS in 2013, enticing us with gorgeous new scenery, brand new monsters.

However, X & Y, although introducing the new Mega Evolution element, were otherwise lackluster when it came to post-Elite Four content and seemed a bit of a step back feature-wise. Game Freak is remedying the situation by releasing a Pokémon game that's been celebrated as having a plethora of features and is a perennial fan favorite. Oddly enough, Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire feel like a much more complete experience than the original titles or X & Y.

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Super Smash Bros. is the most fun I've had fighting online photo
Super Smash Bros. is the most fun I've had fighting online
by Patrick Hancock

I love fighting games. Well, I love pretty much all competitive games, but fighting games are some of the most satisfying. Pulling off combos (or kombos), discovering new "tech," and watching the metagame develop are all super exciting! I've played and enjoyed plenty online: Super Street Fighter IV, BlazBlue, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, Divekick, Skullgirls, and even Smash Bros. Brawl.

But none of them have matched the enjoyment I've had in my short time playing Smash Bros. for 3DS online. Allow me to explain.

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Zelda: Majora's Mask coming to 3DS in spring 2015! photo
Zelda: Majora's Mask coming to 3DS in spring 2015!
by Kyle MacGregor

It's happening! It's finally happening!

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (my favorite game of all time) is making a return on 3DS next spring, Nintendo announced today to lead off its Nintendo Direct presentation. Best news ever!

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