This isn't clickbait. This isn't some article cashing in on hypothetical fan art of an Xbox turning into Megatron or a post about those awesome Mega Drive/PlayStation Transformers. This is my life, you fools. I've spent time ...
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker launched its amiibo compatibility this week, and I've found a new reason to revisit the game. It's as simple as adding in a "Hide-and-Seek" mode, enabled by tapping the newly minted Toad amiibo to the GamePad as you're selecting each stage.
After a quick tap the minigame will start, tasking you to find a "Pixel Toad" while playing the level as normal. All you have to do is locate it and tap it on the GamePad to complete the extra mission. Hide-and-Seek will work with all three core episodes, but it is not compatible with the bonus stages. After finding the Pixel Toad, you'll earn a new stamp in your notebook for that page.
I haven't enjoyed the past few console editions of Mario Party. I felt like 8 was rushed to the Wii as an excuse to show off the technology, and it ended up being a generic waggle-fest that was a stark drop in quality compared to 7.
I never could have predicted that 9 would be even worse, introducing the new vehicular-based progression system (also known as "the car"), which tied every player to each other and forced them to ride along together on maps.
Mario Party 10 on the Wii U keeps that same format sadly, but improves upon a few other aspects of the experience. It's just not enough to return the franchise to its former glory.
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.
Our Mario Party 10 review is coming next Monday, but for now, I can talk about select elements of it. After weeks of speculation on the supported amiibo for the newest franchise entry, I've narrowed it down by way of an in-game menu.
It looks like Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad, Yoshi, Wario, Rosalina, Donkey Kong, and Bowser are supported at this time. That means Toadette, Daisy, Waluigi, and Spike are not supported yet even though they are technically in the game, and we haven't heard anything back from Nintendo about the matter. Wario is going to be in Wave 4, so at the moment he's completely unplayable -- odds are a lot of you don't have a Rosalina either. As a reminder, you can use your old Smash figures, you just need to delete your Smash data.
So what can you do with the things? For starters, one of the three core game modes (amiibo Party) requires at least one amiibo to even unlock, so there's that. For supported amiibo, you can scan them in once per day to unlock extra accessories for said mode, and for every other figure (such as Mega Man, Sonic, and so on), you can play a scratch-off ticket that earns you more Mario Points, the currency of the game.
Mario Party 10 is easily the most aggressive use of the amiibo feature yet.
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.
Two of James Montagna's most well known games are Adventure Time: Hey Ice King Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?!!and Wonder Momo. These games sold because of their characters. Wonder Momo had built up a strong following through her comic strip on Shifty Look, and Adventure Time was a worldwide merchandising phenomenon by the time it first hit the market.
I'd imagine designing a game that features beloved characters must be a double-edged sword. Expectations are higher, but so are potential for sales. The pressure is on to design something that does justice to the source material, but on the other end, its the source material that will inevitably be the star of the show, not the design decisions.
Maybe that's why James has designed his first "solo project" on videogame consoles to be something almost completely abstract. The only literal depictions of in-game characters coming form virtual "marquee art" that appears on the side of the screen. All the action takes place between on a field of simple flashing lights. That's just one of the ways Dot Arcade hearkens back to a day long before Montagna was even born, when electronic games were more analog than digital, where actual light bulbs worked as individual "pixels" and the language of videogames as we know it was still largely unwritten.
It's a little hard to believe Dot Arcade is real, but according to James, "The game is actually finished. It's ESRB rated, and completely Nintendo Lot Check approved -- I just have to decide the release date and let Nintendo know when to pull the trigger."
[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.
Let's take a quick look at the history of videogames with clay-based graphics. Skullmonkeys is a one-off that most people don't even remember. The ClayFighter series has been dormant since the N64 days. Armikrog has been in development hell for years. That clay-based Loco Roco game for the PlayStation 3 never happened. Maybe worst of all, Dominique Pamplemouse is not yet a million seller. What the heck, guys!?
Looking at how few clay-focused games have made it to the market makes Kirby and the Rainbow Curse an even more interesting part of Nintendo's overall strategy. It's both safe and risky at the same time. This is not Kirby's first foray into the world of arts and crafts, and Nintendo has toyed with the idea of clay graphics before. The cover art for the first and last issues of Nintendo Power were made from clay, and a lot of the promotional material from EarthBound used clay models. It's clear that Nintendo has been toying with clay for a while, but Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is the first time it has finally gone all the way clay.
Over the past week, I've spent I don't know how many hours trying to get through the new DLC in Hyrule Warriors. Even if I did know, I wouldn't say. A lot. Way too many.
To access certain levels, you'll need to use a Deku, Goron, or Zora mask on the Termina Adventure map. Sounds neat, except it's set up such that you have to beat one level to get a mask that can let you reach another mask to obtain the mask you really wanted all along (x10). Then and only then can you make real progress toward stopping that danged moon from crash landing.
The levels themselves are, at times, absurd in their difficulty. New mission types place you in a heated race against A.I. warriors to take keeps, or collect rupees, or rack up KOs. It's you and you alone against their posse which just so happens to include boss monsters because no one said this was going to be a fair fight. I hope most of your characters are sufficiently leveled.
Anyway, enough talk. I managed to nab the last of the Majora's Mask DLC outfits last night and some are downright hilarious. Others, horrific. What's best in life? Darunia wearing a Goron mask.
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.
It's going to be hard to choose with everything on offer, but here's something to make it easier. As a general rule I'm going to skip over the Wii games that aren't directly compatible with the Wii U's interface, with one exception.
The Fifth Element came on TV the other day, and it really got me thinking about mise-en-scène versus characterization. It’s one of my absolute favorite movies, and is an exemplar of sci-fi in cinema without being too derivative of other works. The grittiness of futuristic New York, the contrast between earthtones and bright colors in the costume and set design, and the excellent choreography of the action scenes come together to make a great movie.
What’s a movie though without characters that entertain, blossom with personality, and can be empathized with? Would The Fifth Element be as entertaining without the bluster of Bruce Willis, the innocent sexuality of Milla Jovovich, or the ridiculous Chris Tucker as Ruby Rhod? Can well-crafted artwork, concept, and background come together to make a good production regardless of the characters within it? Those are the questions that Citizens of Earth brought to mind.
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.
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.
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.
Ugh. Mondays, am I right? They're a day that people don't like because you have to do stuff and things after (maybe) not having to do those things, you know? Lame. Let's turn our frowns upside down and instead talk about something positive: videogames we are real keen on playing this year.
2015 can't be any worse than 2014, where most of our most anticipated games ended up not coming out at all. Plus, there's Metal Gear and Persona to look forward to. And all those games that got pushed into 2015 like Batman and The Witcher. And cool stuff like Hyper Light Drifter and the full release of Invisible Inc and that waifu bartending game.
Plus The Last Guardian, Half-Life 3, Agent, Final Fantasy XV, Prey 2, God Hand 2, MediEvil 3, Bushido Blade 3. Man, it's going to be a great year!!!