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3:00 AM on 01.20.2015

Review: Citizens of Earth

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...

Brittany Vincent


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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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Destructoid's most wanted games of 2015 photo
Destructoid's most wanted games of 2015
by Steven Hansen

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, AgentFinal Fantasy XV, Prey 2, God Hand 2, MediEvil 3, Bushido Blade 3. Man, it's going to be a great year!!!

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Destructoid Discusses: Are amiibo worth it?  photo
Destructoid Discusses: Are amiibo worth it?
by Dtoid Staff

According to at least one cursory analysis, Nintendo's amiibo figurines are a pretty big hit, going toe to toe with Disney and Activision's similar line of game-integrated figures. Pretty impressive, considering they barely do anything yet. The Link amiibo unlocks a new weapon in Hyrule Warriors, which undoubtedly helped it to sell well despite being relatively poorly sculpted. Some of the others unlock new outfits in Mario Kart 8, and all of the currently released amiibo can be used to help bring A.I. controlled opponents to life in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, but other than that they don't do anything.

Yet, news on the latest discontinued or re-continued or re-discontinued amiibo is rarely out of reach. A lot of people reading and writing videogame blogs care about these things. Even dropping a comment that says "Ah, why are their so many posts about amiibo on Dtoid I don't caaaare!" is a way of showing you care. Amiibo have gotten under people's skin, for better or worse. 

We asked a few of Destructoid's staff members to talk about their amiibo experiences thus far. From diehard collectors to reluctant customers, amiibo has had a interesting effect on our staff. Poor Kyle. Out of everyone here, he sounds the most like a guy who was court ordered into rehab.

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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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Toys
Toys"R"Us canceling Lucario amiibo orders
by Chris Carter

[Update: Toys"R"Us put pre-orders back up momentarily this morning, and I expect them to either be faulty or drop very soon. Try to re-pre-order if you want at your own risk!]

[Update 2: Now the retailer has taken off the listing entirely -- there's not even a "sold out" page. What a circus.]

The day the Lucario amiibo went on sale, I pre-ordered it. As in, weeks ago. Now Toys"R"Us is canceling orders, including mine. For reference, Lucario is exclusive to Toys"R"Us and you can't get it anywhere else. Huh?

I'm not alone it seems, as our own Brittany Vincent and Bill Platt have had their orders canceled too, as well as a number of readers out there who reached out last night. We are following up with both Nintendo and Toys"R"Us to see what the deal is. It's entirely possible that the latter wants people running into the store at the release date and buying add-on items. That's retail for you.

Between this, the holy trinity, and Rosalina pre-orders selling out in 30 minutes in the dead of night, this has become a total shitshow by Nintendo and the retailers involved, which chose to do exclusive amiibo in the first place. Why is it that Activision and Disney were able to sell millions of dollars worth of Skylanders and Disney Infinity toys near launch without a hitch?

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Review: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker photo
Review: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
by Chris Carter

From the moment I played the Captain Toad minigame in Super Mario 3D World, I thought to myself "this would make a great downloadable title." It seems as if Nintendo can hear my thoughts, because it did just that.

Priced at a budget level, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a natural expansion from the levels found in World, with more complex concepts and that same beautiful art style. It may not be enough to warrant full price for some, but for those seeking more Toad, it delivers.

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The Super Smash Bros. for Wii U challenges unlocking guide photo
The Super Smash Bros. for Wii U challenges unlocking guide
by Jonathan Holmes

Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U was released yesterday. If you've picked up the game, you've likely put a few hours into it already, though chances are a lot of that time has been spent on multiplayer. Sadly, there isn't too much content to unlock with Vs. matches alone. If you're looking to start digging into the rest of the game's content, this is the guide for you!

The challenges are numbered in an order starting from the upper left hand corner, going to the right and then down. If you need help with any of these specific challenges, let us know. I've gotten through about 71 of them myself, and would be more than happy to give you a few tips. That said, I could use a few tips myself. If you can show me how to beat the "Kirby's Crazy Appetite" Event on Hard, I will reward you with a hand drawn thank you card of the Misfits cover of your choosing. 

Note, a lot of trophies that are common in the Smash Bros. for the 3DS are now hard to get unlockables in the Wii U version. If you're content to have Sin and Punishment's Saki Amamiya on your handheld and not your home console game, you may be better off, as clearing All-Star with every character on Hard isn't something that just anybody is capable of doing. 

Good luck!

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Just how rare are some of Nintendo's amiibo toys at launch? photo
Just how rare are some of Nintendo's amiibo toys at launch?
by Chris Carter

While Nintendo provided me with the Link, Mario, and Kirby amiibo toys for testing with Super Smash Bros., acquiring the rest of the lot was completely up to me. So I decided to take a trip early this morning, survey any potential crowds, and see what I could get. I ended up nabbing the rest of the ones I needed, with some trouble.

I started off at GameStop (though there was a midnight release party there), and headed to Toys"R"Us, followed by two Targets and two Best Buy stores. Mario, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Link, Fox, Samus, and Pikachu were all readily available at all locations. Every store I went to (seven in total) had at least 30 units in stock for those characters. Peach and Kirby seemed more rare, but there were at least 15 units each. You should be good to go on all of the above for a few days if you can't get to the store this morning.

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Review: Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric photo
Review: Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric
by Chris Carter

As a character, Sonic gets a bad rap these days. No matter what is announced, I can practically hear the collective groaning from my desk. Like any popular franchise with consecutive releases, some of them are going to be good, some of them are bad.

Recent games like Generations and even Colors or Lost World were decent, and despite the bad apples, I'm generally hopeful good Sonic games still exist. Sadly, Sonic Boom is not one of them.

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Here's how Nintendo's amiibo figures work, and how they interact with Smash Bros. photo
Here's how Nintendo's amiibo figures work, and how they interact with Smash Bros.
by Chris Carter

Nintendo's long awaited foray into the toy market is here: the amiibo are ready for purchase, and the flagship game, Super Smash Bros., is right on the horizon.

While the toys look great in person and the setup is painless, so far the actual interactivity is underwhelming. Collector itch aside, I'd definitely recommend waiting until more compatible games are out before committing to any purchases.

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Review: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U photo
Review: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
by Chris Carter

Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS was everything I hoped it would be. It rekindled my love for the franchise after my group of friends and I lost interest due to Brawl, and I'm playing online more often than I would with most fighting games. In pretty much every aspect, the game is a success in my eyes, and it seems that sales agree.

But of course the main event is one that can be seen on a glorious television, with four (now eight) players all clamoring over some drinks and having a great time. In that regard, Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U might be the best iteration yet.

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Now's a nice time to buy a Wii U: Here's everything you should know photo
Now's a nice time to buy a Wii U: Here's everything you should know
by Steven Hansen

[Bumping this guide from July 2014 as-was in anticipation of Smash Bros. week, the holidays, and some new Wii U owners. The only good "Black Friday" deal for the console seems to be $360 from Best Buy with Smash, Donkey Kong Country, Mario 3D World, and Nintendo Land.]

Even if you must play all the Hot New Games, you don't need a PlayStation 4 or an Xbox One to do so until 2015. Enough of them are still releasing on PS3 and 360 this fall. The rest, on PC (and, for some of us, handhelds). 

With the recent release of Mario Kart 8 and the upcoming release of Super Smash Bros., you might consider buying a Wii U, though. 

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Review: Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack 1 photo
Review: Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack 1
by Jordan Devore

Mario Kart 8's first DLC pack has Link riding a horse-shaped bike called the Master Cycle. And, good lord, Mute City from the beloved but still dormant F-Zero series. Also, a track based on Excitebike with a killer remix. Are you even going to read this review?

Don't answer that. Let me have this moment.

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Review: Bayonetta 2 photo
Review: Bayonetta 2
by Chris Carter

Outside of Devil May Cry 3, Bayonetta is one of the finest action games of all time. The action systems were so clean, so precise, and so rewarding that it leaves pretty much everything these days in the dust.

Bayonetta 2 doesn't change a whole lot, and that's perfectly okay with me.

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