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10:30 PM on 04.15.2015

Mewtwo in Smash Bros. for the Wii U and 3DS is on the juice

A new era of Smash Bros. has arrived. Speculation about who's going to be next icon to join the all-star roster can become a daily part of our lives again. Starting today with the original uber-Pokémon Mewtwo, the age ...

Jonathan Holmes



Bandai Namco officially announces Project X Zone 2 photo
Bandai Namco officially announces Project X Zone 2
by Chris Carter

Back in 2013, Capcom, Bandai Namco, and Sega teamed up to give us a healthy serving of fanservice in the form of Project X Zone for the 3DS. Our own Kyle MacGregor called it a "love letter from Japan," and I think that's a pretty spot-on statement.

At Bandai Namco's Global Gamer Day event in Las Vegas it's announced a sequel, titled Project X Zone 2. It will once again unite the three studios' properties, and the franchises revealed so far include Sakura Wars, Tekken, Devil May Cry, Mega Man X, Yakuza, Virtua Fighter, .hack, Strider, Shinobi, Soul Calibur V, and Resident Evil.

Monolith Soft is developing the 3DS-exclusive and will release it this fall. Yes, it is also releasing in the West!

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Review: Pokémon Rumble World photo
Review: Pokémon Rumble World
by Chris Carter

Nintendo has been dipping its toes in the water of DLC and free-to-play with mixed results. Although it has done a great job creating worthwhile add-ons that don't feel like rushed day-one cash grabs, the whole amiibo situation has caused a lot of problems, mostly due to rare figures that sell out in seconds, locking out content behind impossible-to-obtain toys.

Free-to-play worked out great for Nintendo with Rusty's Real Deal Baseball and Steel Diver: Sub Wars, but Pokémon Shuffle was far too stingy with the ability to let people play the game. While Pokémon Rumble World essentially distills into a mindless hack and slash, it also hosts a fair free-to-play scheme.

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Review: Etrian Mystery Dungeon photo
Review: Etrian Mystery Dungeon
by Chris Carter

Mashups are often born purely for fanservice-related reasons, and as you can probably guess, the results are mixed. For instance, it would be tough for an RPG developer to make an action game based on two different puzzle properties, but odder mixes have been done in the past.

With Etrian Mystery Dungeon, it feels like a match made in heaven. Spike Chunsoft and Atlus have been making RPGs for what seems like a lifetime, and Etrian Odyssey is basically a Mystery title already strictly in terms of its dungeon crawling emphasis.

As one would expect, it mostly works out even if the formula is a bit dated.

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Review: Wave 4 amiibo Shopping photo
Review: Wave 4 amiibo Shopping
by Chris Carter

Yesterday, Nintendo unleashed hell on earth pre-orders for Wave 4 amiibo figures. The current lineup includes Robin, Lucina, Ness, Pac-Man, Charizard, Wario, Jigglypuff, Greninja, and three Splatoon flavored toys.

As someone who follows this craze partially for reporting purposes and in part due to personal interest, it was the absolute worst day yet for amiibo fans.

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Who would you elect to be the next Smash Bros. DLC character? photo
Who would you elect to be the next Smash Bros. DLC character?
by Jonathan Holmes

Nintendo's April Fools Nintendo Direct was no joke. While there wasn't a whole lot there that would interest people who aren't existing fans of the publisher, there was something for just about everyone who already enjoys Nintendo's brand of game design. It announced new modes and costumes for Mario Kart 8, new StreetPass games, re-confirmed the Fire Emblem/Shin Megami Tensei crossover, showed off a new amiibo card-focused Animal Crossing title, promised a patch to help make Code Name STEAM a lot more fun, teased the localization of Fatal Frame V, and all while jamming an amiibo into every open orifice while laugh/crying until the veins in their heads and necks exploded in to a cascade of blood

Figuratively. 

As great as that all sounds, many would likely tell you that the presentation peaked early with the multiple Smash Bros. announcements. Mewtwo will join the game as DLC in just two weeks. Mii characters are getting new costumes based on Xenoblade, Majora's MaskMega Man X, and more. Lucas will be available for purchase as DLC in June. To top it all off, we can now vote for who we want to see appear in the game as DLC in the future. Nintendo made it clear that our votes will not be the only thing that determines how the Smash Bros. roster will continue to grow, but just knowing that the potential for more of our favorite characters to join the fight has much of the internet freaking out, present company included.

Here are a few of the characters that we'd love to see as Smash Bros. DLC. 

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Xenoblade Chronicles 3D is a bare-bones port of a fantastic game photo
Xenoblade Chronicles 3D is a bare-bones port of a fantastic game
by Chris Carter

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 release however and GameStop constantly jacked up the price over time, leading to a large number of fans who never got to experience it.

Hell, even today the Wii version goes from anywhere to $60 used to $100 new. That all changes in April with Xenoblade Chronicles 3DS, a $40 portable edition that will completely do away with the rarity of the experience.

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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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