Nintendo Castle Articles over the Mario franchise and other Nintendo related stuff. Sun, 04 Dec 2022 06:45:08 -0400 Sun, 04 Dec 2022 06:45:08 -0400 Truly One of a Kind: Tinykin Review

Tinykin Game Logo

Walking the boundary between genres is a tense game for developers and artists alike. Err too much on one side, and you cheapen both experiences, making a potential pot of gold into a flop. Luckily for fans of Banjo Kazooie, Pikmin, and, strangely, Tony Hawk, there is a game out there that combines the best of all three games into a unique package: Tinykin.

Platforms: Switch, PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Windows, Steam [Reviewed]
Developers: Splashteam, Splashteam S.A.S.
Publisher: tinyBuild
Release: October 7, 2022
MSRP: $24.99

Press Copy provided by tinyBuild

Tinykin Gameplay

Tinykin isn’t revolutionary by any stretch of the imagination. In its simplest, most watered-down form, it is a 3d exploration adventure game. You gather Tinykin, who then help solve puzzles, but this does not grasp the fundamentals that make this game great. So, let’s start from the core. Accomplishing goals in an adventure game requires moving around. Some games are stiff in their execution of this mechanic, relying too much on gimmicks or slowing you down to pad content.

Tinykin Movement Controls

For the creators of Tinykin, this must have been a seriously fun challenge to overcome since the movement is both innovative and satisfying. You ride a bar of soap like a skateboard. Edges of level geometry can be ground to speed you up, and wires can be created using Tinykin that you can then ride across entire levels. The level design is set up in layers, sometimes vertical and sometimes not, that challenge you to take big leaping steps and then return to the details, looking under every newspaper tent and bookcase for collectibles you may have missed. It is intensely refreshing and profoundly fun.

You have skateboarding movement with Pikmin-style puzzle solutions, combined neatly with a huge collectathon that challenges you to use the tools put in front of you. All of this can fail if the presentation is not taken into account. Put simply, the presentation is a work of art in and of itself. Its cutscenes are reminiscent of cartoons from the 90s or point-and-click adventures like Day of the Tentacle.

Tinykin Movement

The music is subdued but optimistic, and in classic style, your Tinykin brethren will sing along with it as they carry items. This fits the theme as well as compliments the incredible visuals by not taking too much attention. While you may have seen the trope where people shrink and have adventures in a world that is suddenly huge, many attempts at this in gaming fail to take into account the various nooks and crannies that make big objects seem real. It’s impossible to summarize, but when you open a drawer, normally, you expect there to be something in there. In a game like Grounded with a similar theme, it’s empty, but in Tinykin, it’s not just full; you have to move stuff around to see it all.

Tinykin’s house setting seems real to me, but with modifications for gameplay that feel natural to account for the ins and outs of the story. The setting, vibrant colors, and charming but simple cast of characters, combined with satisfying and adorable sound design, ensure that the gameplay isn’t the only thing you notice even within the first hour of play.

Tinykin Forest Area

Taken together as a package, this is an unforgettable and adorable glimpse into a bright future for 3d adventure games. Many are understandably left disillusioned by similar games kickstarted into launch-day obscurity by bad team management and financial difficulties or, just frankly, bad game design. But you can find sincere comfort in the genre's future in this quirky little gem of a game. Pick this one up on sale or not, and you won’t regret it.


  • Great performance even in large world
  • Progression is fun
  • Movement is tight and addicting
  • World is fun to explore
  • Writing is cute and funny
  • Presentation is unique and beautiful
  • Level design is immaculate
  • Great music


  • Items are sometimes too well hidden
  • The next objective is often confusing
  • No combat (this could be a pro)



Excellent games have our official recommendation and are examples of what every game should strive to be. These games feature exciting gameplay, engaging stories (when applicable), intuitive controls and movement, polished and fitting presentations, and good value. Above all else, these games are truly fun to play.

Nintendo Direct September 13 Recap

Nintendo Direct September 13 2022 Recap

The latest Nintendo Direct presentation featured a few exciting game announcements, lots of trailers and information on previously announced games, and way too many farming simulators. A brand new Fire Emblem game is on the way, Pikmin 4 got announced after years of teasing, and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (BOTW2) got a name and release date. Check out a quick summary of the headlines and the full presentation below if you'd like.

  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is the name of the long awaited sequel to Breath of the Wild. We saw a quick trailer and got a release date: May 12, 2023.
  • The long teased Pikmin 4 was officially announced for Switch. We didn't see any gameplay, but a little teaser showing some of the landscapes was shown. The game will be coming sometime in 2023.
  • A new Fire Emblem adventure, called Fire Emblem Engage is coming to the Switch. It features both new and returning heroes like Marth and Celica fighting an evil entity known as the Fell Dragon. It launches on January 20, 2023.
  • A remake of the 2011 Wii game Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe is coming to Switch. This is a classic Kirby experience set on Planet Popstar and features up to four player co-op. It will be out on February 24, 2023.
  • Several new additions are coming to the Nintendo 64 library on Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion. They include Pokémon Stadium, Pokémon Stadium 2, Mario Party, Mario Party 2, Mario Party 3, Pilotwings 64, 1080° Snowboarding, Excitebike 64, and most excitingly, GoldenEye 007 with online multiplayer.
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass Wave 3 will be out before the end of the year and features tracks like Merry Mountain (Tour) and Peach Gardens (DS).
  • Bayonetta 3, which will release soon on October 28, got a new trailer that explains some of the lore of the new game.
  • A remake of the 2004 Gamecube game Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life is being remade in the form of Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life. It will feature various new gameplay updates and marriage candidates, and the ability to marry any candidate as any gender.
  • The beloved strategy game Factorio will be coming to Switch on October 28, and will even feature cross-platform co-op multiplayer.
  • The recent Zelda-like indie hit TUNIC will be getting a Switch release. You can grab it on the eShop starting on September 27.

There were many other games showcased in the presentation that didn't make the summary, so you can watch it in full if you want to check those out:

Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life is Getting a Switch Remake

Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life Switch

One of the announcements that excited me the most from the most recent Nintendo Direct was a remake of the 2004 Gamecube game Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life. Nearly 20 years later, you'll be able to play it as Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life on the Switch. It has an expected release date of Summer 2023.

Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life Switch

A Wonderful Life is my personal favorite entry in the series, and features several unique gameplay elements. The primary feature that makes this game distinct is the ability for the main character to age. The game is divided into chapters of in-game years, with the main character and his family advancing in life after every chapter. Changes occur with the town and villagers throughout the years as well.

If you are confused about why this is called "Story of Seasons" and not "Harvest Moon", you aren't alone. The original Harvest Moon series was developed by the Japanese studio Marvelous Interactive and published by Natsume in the west. Starting in 2014, Marvelous decided to publish their own games in the west, but Natsume owns the name "Harvest Moon". So Marvelous decided to continue making the series, but publishing under the name "Story of Seasons" in the west. Natsume then decided to start it's own farming-sim series using the name they owned, "Harvest Moon". And thus we have two different series of games and a lot of confusion.

Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life Switch

In addition to the name of the game, some other small naming changes will occur in the remake, presumably for copyright reasons. Some of the names of the characters will change slightly, like "Celia" to "Cecilia". While the core game is the same, some additional gameplay updates will be made as well, some of which include changes from the Special Edition version of the game on PS2. You'll also be able to marry any of the marriage candidates, regardless of your choice of gender.

This is one I'm really looking forward to, so stay tuned for more information and check out the trailer here:

Pikmin 4 is Announced After Years of Teasing

Pikmin 4 Logo Switch

Shigeru Miyamoto has been claiming that Pikmin 4 is in development since as early as 2014. He continued to mention it periodically through 2017. This coincided with the release of Hey! Pikmin on 3DS, so it's unclear if this was the "Pikmin 4" he was referring to. Regardless, five years after the last mention, we got our first official teaser of the game in the lastest Nintendo Direct.

The new trailer shows off very little and no gameplay, but we do get a few beautiful scenes of the new Pikmin landscape. We also now know that the game will be releasing some time in 2023. Check out the brief trailer below and stay tuned for more information as the game approaches its launch.

A New Fire Emblem Adventure is Coming to Switch in January

Fire Emblem Engage Switch

A brand new entry in the Fire Emblem series was announced during the most recent Nintendo Direct. Fire Emblem Engage is set in the land of Elyos and pits your team of heroes against an enemy called the Fell Dragon. The game features many brand new characters as well as Fire Emblem classics like Marth and Celica. The game will launch on Switch on January 20, 2023.

Here's the new trailer from the Nintendo Direct:

Debate-Themed RPG Reality Layer Zero Announced

Reality Layer Zero Title Screen

An indie game based around a hybrid between debate and card gameplay was recently revealed. Titled Reality Layer Zero, this game tasks you with the art of persuasion through the medium of cards. Story gameplay will revolve around debating NPCs to uncover information concerning an ominous note.

Though the game follows a fairly standard turn-based rhythm, players will be tasked with using their tactics to hone in on one of three types of energy. Logos, Pathos, and Ethos are the three resources, allowing you to fill up a gauge that then determines your progress towards victory.

Debate Card Game Reality Layer Zero

This debate card game RPG will focus on stacking energy, status effects, and combos that ultimately end in you cashing in and finishing the debate.

Detective Card Games Reality Layer Zero

Though information right now is rather sparse, the game will be coming to Steam and sometime in early 2023.

Reality Layer Zero Gameplay

You can also visit the website for Reality Layer Zero, or watch the full reveal trailer below.

Silicon Valley Simulator: Startup Panic Review

Startup Panic Logo

Startup Panic is a management game covering the rise of a startup company from a single person in their apartment to a multi-million world-spanning tech empire. Simulator and management titles have for years "game-ified" every aspect of life, so how well does Startup Panic match the realities of branching out from a potentially soul-crushing programming industry?

Platforms: Android, Steam [Reviewed]
Developer: Algorocks
Publisher: tinyBuild
Release: January 20, 2022
MSRP: $14.99

Press Copy provided by tinyBuild

Progress bars often rule the lives of tech industry employees, and so it is only fitting that it is similar in Startup Panic. Abstractified to an absurd degree, tasks are given to employees with ratings in 3 or 4 different categories. They then follow the progress bar and you receive a result based on your company traits and employee skill. It is a simple but potentially intoxicating loop if done correctly, where proper management of time and resources can result in victory over time.

Startup Panic Contract Priority

Yet, for most games that feature this level of micromanagement, they often receive a boon from their presentation. In terms of its aesthetics, Startup Panic falls short here. Music is repetitive and sounds are mildly grating even when the volume is lowered. Granted, they aren't abhorrent and this is well above playable, but for a game that revolves around dialogue boxes, progress bars, and button clicks, it is more annoying than it potentially needs to be.

Even though the game requires a keen eye for details, watching your employees work is akin to a screensaver. Often it is difficult to receive any sort of information from the part of the game that exists on roughly 75% of the screen. Otherwise, the art style is average. Pixel-art chibi employees roam the office and all portraits are very "indie". Considering the subject of the game, this is equally appropriate and derivative.

Startup Panic Market Share

The gameplay is lacking in general. Job postings are given a general description that, without tech knowledge, would be practically unreadable. It boils down to scanning for keywords that the game uses: "aesthetics," "usability," and others making decisions of employee priority relatively trivial. Others, though, are difficult to quantify and you end up failing the job because the information presented lacked clarity.

Startup Panic Upgraded Office Space

The gameplay loop can be addicting though for those who have the right mindset. After all, watching big numbers go even higher as a result of one's own actions is how many mobile games make their mark on the world. Games don't need to be complex, and complexity can sometimes make a game worse rather than better.

Many of the complaints against this game rely on the mechanic of motivation as their sticking point. But, there are many other mechanics that can be used to make this not an issue, and part of the fun is micromanaging employee stress levels to optimize performance. That is what a manager is supposed to do, after all, even if it does feel bad to send a stressed employee back into the fray.

Startup Panic Employee Training

If you look at what Startup Panic is at its core, it is a management game that relies on the interconnecting mechanics it presents to create a cohesive if repetitive, gameplay loop. A progress bar isn't fun on its own, but finding out the percentage bonuses, employee traits, and event timers to make a big number just a bit higher can be fun. Although I didn't find this loop compelling, I can easily imagine someone who would find it both very addicting. All this taken into account though, it could still definitely use some more background music tracks.


  • Runs well on low-end PC's
  • Progression is obvious and achievable
  • Cohesive gameplay loop
  • Easy to learn, hard to master
  • Writing is clear and funny


  • Hotkeys are confusing or clunky
  • Gameplay isn't exciting for most
  • Background music is repetitive
  • In-game job postings are confusing
  • Presentation and art style is lacking
  • Game can be dull at times




Good games are simply that: good. They are generally fun to play but might be lacking in longevity, replay value, or presentation. These games might be good buying decisions for some people, but not for others. Some otherwise great games may fall into this category if they are priced unreasonably high. The devil is in the details.

Want to know what this score means? Check out our Scoring Guidelines page.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Announced for Nintendo Switch

Xenoblade 3 Nintendo Direct Logo

At the end of today's Nintendo Direct, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was announced and several panoramic views of new and old environments were shown at length.

Xenoblade 3 Fields

Xenoblade Chronicles 3's new character cast was also teased. Characters will wield a variety of different and new weapons and abilities during their quest.

Xenoblade 3 Exploration

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 will be released in September 2022. View the full Nintendo Direct announcement below!

Mario Strikers is Coming to the Nintendo Switch

Mario Strikers Battle League Switch

During today's Nintendo Direct, a new Mario Strikers game was announced for the first time since 2007. Mario Strikers: Battle League brings soccer back to the Mario universe on Nintendo Switch. The main mode is a 5vs5 street style soccer game where combat, items, and penalties are allowed. There is also a local 4vs4 mode where up to eight players can compete on the same system. In addition to normal online play, there will also be an online club and league system.

Mario Strikers: Battle League will release on June 10, 2022 for an MSRP of $59.99. Check out the full announcement trailer below:

48 Remastered Tracks are Coming to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe as DLC

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass

During today's Nintendo Direct, a DLC pack was announced for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. The Booster Course Pass will include 48 remastered tracks from past games delivered in six waves. Each wave will include 8 courses and will release starting on March 18 through the end of 2023. All these courses will be remastered tracks from past games, including the mobile game Mario Kart Tour. In fact, it seems like it may be the case that all these courses will be coming directly from Mario Kart tour, which also features remasters of console game tracks.

The Booster Course Pack will cost $24.99 and includes all six waves for a total of 48 courses. However, those who pay for the the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack will have access to the DLC at no additional cost as long as they have a current membership. Only one member of an online party needs to own the track for everyone in the party to be able to play it online. All the tracks will be available to play in global online races regardless of the ownership status of the participants.

The first wave will be available on March 18, 2022 and includes Wii Coconut Mall, N64 Choco Mountain, and Tour Tokyo Blur, alongside five other tracks. Stay tuned for further information about the track lists of each upcoming wave!

A Wii Sports Sequel is Coming to Switch on April 29

Nintendo Switch Sports Release Date

During today's Nintendo Direct, a game was revealed that was expected five years ago but certainly not today. Nintendo Switch Sports is on the way and it's exactly what you think it is, a new iteration of Wii Sports. It's a pack of sports games that relies heavily on motion controls, now using the Joy-Con instead of 2006's Wiimote. The included sports are Soccer, Volleyball, Bowling, Tennis, Badminton, Chambara, and Golf (coming later).

Nintendo Switch Sports Release Date

If you were one of the 83 million owners of Wii Sports, you know just what to expect. Miis (or some weird iteration of them) competing in casual sports games using motion controls. All the sports can be played locally or online, including random matchmaking. Nintendo Switch Sports will come to Switch on April 29, 2022 with an MSRP of $39.99, or $49.99 for the physical version that includes a leg strap for soccer.

A Galactic Gem - Astroneer Review

Astroneer Logo

Astroneer has held a strange niche in the genre of space survival games since its release. Update after update, the game has become a truly unique experience, both by yourself and with others. The new Switch release has placed the spotlight back onto this one-of-a-kind crafting game, so let’s evaluate how well-earned that spotlight is.

Platforms: PC [Reviewed], PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Developer: System Era Softworks
Publishers: System Era Softworks, Gearbox Publishing
Release: December 16, 2016
MSRP: $29.99

A game in space should involve space travel as the norm, but Astroneer destroys that expectation very quickly by focusing on the environments and planets within the game. You can choose which planets to go to, but you cannot manually control the ship, which drastically changes the focus from an early point.

This is grating for some who expect the typical spaceship design and battling of a typical space game, but this is no typical game. The world you start on is a canvas that can be modified in any way you want using your terrain tool.

Astroneer Intro Quest

Is the canvas fulfilling though? The presentation is a mixed bag, since frequent glitches involving the terrain system can make travel frustrating at times. Yet, once the world is at least somewhat tame, excellent sound design and the colorful environments make every trip into the unknown a fascinating and relaxing sensory experience.

And, once exploration becomes less profitable, the average player can switch straight into a strange yet streamlined Factorio-esque management game. This builds off of and into exploration in a gameplay cycle that is extremely addicting. Vehicles make travel easier but present their own problems of fuel and preservation.

Astroneer Finding Research Items

A player’s first rover is still an immaculate and pure work of effort and exploration that changes the game completely. The chains of oxygen tethers are removed at the exact right point for a new player to get hooked onto the rest of the game. This is a great characterization of Astroneer: small but important steps that feel great and achievable to reach.

Although the late game can get dull, a long and exciting mid game and early game creates a sense of curiosity that, complimented by its presentation, makes every glitch in the terrain a forgivable offense. Yes, being bad at the game will kill you and it is unreasonably easy to be bad, but it leaves you with a desire to keep coming back no matter how many resources are lost on a failed trip.

Astroneer Inventory Small Printer

The multiplayer has always been a bit unstable, and long term sessions even with a small number of players will require 2-3 server restarts to keep everything stable. Yet, syncing between all players a world of infinite creativity that isn’t just blocks is a remarkable achievement and the option of multiplayer allows for cooperation that very few other games can create.

Overall, Astroneer is an addicting, yet unstable, glimpse into a unique survival genre. Stick with it for a full playthrough and you won’t regret it. And, hey, if that isn’t your thing, they did add small collectible pets in the most recent update, so there is that.


  • Unique presentation of space survival
  • Incredible progression system
  • Addicting with friends
  • Management and exploration gameplay together
  • Many creative options during play
  • Genuinely fun and relaxing


  • Unstable during multiplayer play
  • Difficult to run on many computers
  • Dying can feel terrible and unfair
  • Lack of compelling spaceship-based gameplay
  • Little late-game content




Great games are generally good buying decisions and are recommended for those with an interest in the genre. There might be a few flaws that detract from the gameplay, stories, controls, presentations, or value, but the game is still an enjoyable experience that justifies a full playthrough.

Want to know what this score means? Check out our Scoring Guidelines page.

All Aboard! - Unrailed! Review

Unrailed Title Screen

Unrailed! fills a niche much like other party games: hectic cooperation towards a greater goal. A train is moving forward, and you have to place the tracks as best you can in front of it. Obstacles, water, and other annoyances (such as your own teammates) block your path. How well does this simple formula hold up in the face of other similarly chaotic games?

Platforms: Steam [Reviewed], PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Developer: Indoor Astronaut
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment GmbH
Release: September 9, 2019
MSRP: $19.99

Unrailed is a methodical game for those who are skilled at its gameplay loop. From checkpoint to checkpoint, coordination is key and it is a true pleasure to learn the mechanics with a fresh crew of 4 people. A game like this requires the basic method of play to be solid to paint a good picture of the rest of the experience. Without a doubt, Unrailed excels at a sort of zen focus that many games strive for.

The music is incredible, fitting the visual art style in an indescribably positive sensory experience. Chopping trees and mining for ore to build your train tracks is a satisfying and rewarding experience from start to finish. Tunes fit certain areas better than most games, not to mention that they are great songs on their own. They are both catchy and varied, allowing for the laser focus of gameplay to take over even at the height of the melody.

Unrailed Forest Gameplay

Unrailed takes hints from games like Overcooked 1 and 2 by simulating the cooperation of an imaginary team while allowing for small hints of mischief to set in. However, it is much more relaxing to play at all times, which may or may not be a good thing for some. Unrailed is the perfect game for a chill afternoon which may or may not involve cheering in the mix.

Unrailed makes it plain that you are a team, and makes it much harder to get in someone's way. It happens just often enough that all players watch for it, but not enough to cause frustration which is a good balance to strike. Players have hitboxes that stop 1-wide areas from become traffic zones, but this also encourages players to use spare wood to create bridges that make production of tracks easier.

Unrailed Checkpoint Gameplay

Resources are doled out at a reasonable pace to encourage constant scarcity and production but also make sure players always see a solution. Although your tracks are theoretically only going forward into nothingness, you are accomplishing with every checkpoint reached and every record beaten making this game a great team-building exercise.

The game is simple, elegant, and yet has enough complexity to drive innovation in strategy and upgrade choices. Progression is short but impactful, and every single player will have an opinion on the next step based on their current job. This makes focused conversations a low-impact but high-fun experience.

Unrailed Singleplayer Bots

The game suffers perhaps from the simple artstyle and strange controls, but after 10 minutes of adjustment even the newest of the new players will grasp the controls and the concept. If I had 4 people in a room with nothing to do, I would break out this game without a second thought. This is an addicting social experience and must-have game for anyone with a remote interest in the party game genre.


  • Excellent visuals
  • Addicting and Rhythmic Music
  • Satisfying Presentation
  • Easy to learn
  • Great gameplay loop
  • Every action feels impactful
  • Methodical, focused, and mind-numbing
  • Low-conflict but high fun for parties


  • Controls are awkward at first
  • Artstyle is simplistic
  • Certain upgrades are unbalanced
  • Bot-based singleplayer is lackluster




Excellent games have our official recommendation and are examples of what every game should strive to be. These games feature exciting gameplay, engaging stories (when applicable), intuitive controls and movement, polished and fitting presentations, and good value. Above all else, these games are truly fun to play.

Want to know what this score means? Check out our Scoring Guidelines page.

Free Animal Crossing 2.0 Update Adds Nearly Everything Fans Asked For

Animal Crossing New Horizons Free Update

As was suggested in the most recent Nintendo Direct, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is getting a major update. The Animal Crossing New Horizons 2.0 update was detailed earlier today. It is bringing back a slew of fan favorite characters including Brewster, Kapp'n, and Katrina. Gyroids are also back with many customization options. Various new features are coming as well, here is the full list of them:

  • The Roost, a coffee shop run by Brewster, will be returning to the museum. Various island residents will spend time here and you can invite particular characters via their amiibo or cards.
  • The sailor Kapp'n is back and will offer you boat tours to various islands. These locations function like mystery islands but various new island types have been added.
  • Gyroids are back and can be dug up at random and planted on your island. There are many unique shapes and sounds and the colors are customizable.
  • Harv's Island will be getting a plaza of shops that is reminiscent of the City Folk plaza. Current characters like Redd, Saharah, and Kicks will have permanent shops set up here. Some new (to New Horizons) additions like Katrina the fortune teller and Harriet the hairdresser will also have shops here.
  • Cooking will be added and there will be DIY recipes for various meals. Ingredients like tomatoes, wheat, and potatoes can be grown in your garden and used in these recipes. Food can be consumed or used as decoration.
  • Various ordinances are back that you can set for your town. They do things like shift island activity towards the morning or evening or make it easier to get bells on your island.

Various smaller features like new furniture, expanded storage options, and other quality of life updates are also included in the free update. This will be the last major Animal Crossing update and comes out on November 5, 2021. Here's the full video with details:

In addition to the free update, there will also be paid DLC coming on November 5. It will essentially be an iteration of Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer for 3DS. The DLC is called Happy Home Paradise and will be available for $24.99 or included as part of the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack ($50/year).

The Happy Home Paradise DLC will have you join the Paradise Planning Team, which serves as an interior decorating service for various clients across a new archipelago. It has you completing remodeling and decoration request to build dream homes for various characters. You can learn various design techniques that can be carried over to the main game.

Sora from Kingdom Hearts is the Final Smash Ultimate DLC Fighter

Sora Smash Ultimate

In the final Super Smash Bros. Ultimate presentation earlier today, the final DLC fighter for the game was revealed. It will be the the highly requested protagonist from the Kingdom Hearts series, Sora. Sora will round out the Fighters Pass Vol. 2, which is available for $29.99 and also includes Min Min, Steve, Sephiroth, Pyra/Mythra, and Kazuya. It will also include Sora's stage from Kingdom Hearts, Hollow Bastion. Sora and the related stages and Mii Fighter Costumes will be released on October 18.

Final Smash Ultimate Fighter

Sora's moveset is based around his signature weapon, the Keyblade. He can also use a number of spells from the Kingdom Hearts series like Firaga, Thundaga, and Blizzaga. He is a light and floaty character with a very high jump. Sakurai claims that his moveset was made to be beginner friendly, unlike many of the recent DLC fighters.

The final DLC wave also includes a few Mii Fighter costumes, available for $0.75 each. They are the Octoling Wig and Judd Hat from Splatoon, as well as a Doom Slayer costume. A selection of Kingdom Hearts music and additional spirits are also included in this DLC.

Another huge surprise is that virtually every Kingdom Hearts game will be coming to Switch in some form in the near future. Three large HD collections, which comprise most Kingdom Hearts games, will be coming at an unknown date. They are KINGDOM HEARTS - HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX - Cloud Version, KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue Cloud Version, and KINGDOM HEARTS III + Re Mind Cloud Version. It should be noted that all these collections are cloud versions of the game, meaning they will be streamed from third party servers rather than be downloaded directly to your Switch, requiring a stable internet connection to play.

Sora wraps up three years of consistent news and updates for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It's been a long and exciting journey that will come to a conclusion on October 18. A total of 86 fighters from many series are playable in what might truly be the biggest crossover event in history. Although new content updates are ending, the game has a thriving competitive scene and will hopefully be enjoyed for many years to come.

Nintendo Direct September 23 Recap

Nintendo Direct September 23 Recap

This week's Nintendo Direct included a few exciting announcements and a plethora of trailers and release dates for previously announced games. Among the most exciting were a brand new 3D Kirby Game, new information for the long awaited Bayonetta 3, and Nintendo 64 games coming to Nintendo Switch Online.

There were plenty of other announcements in addition to these, and a little something for everyone. Here's a quick recap of all the significant announcements from the direct:

  • Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a brand new 3D Kirby game set in an abandoned world. It's coming to Switch in Spring of 2022.
  • Bayonetta 3 got a new gameplay trailer. Bayonetta has a new look and her newest game will reach shelves in 2022.
  • Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak is a large DLC expansion for the latest Monster Hunter game. It is a paid expansion that includes a new story and monsters. It will release summer 2022.
  • Splatoon 3 got a new gameplay trailer that showed off several new weapons and vehicles coming to the classic 4 vs. 4 turf war battles. The single player campaign will center around a species of Mammalians. The game will still release in 2022.
  • Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars is a new card-based RPG from Square Enix. It's a turn-based RPG with heavy Japanese themes. It launches on Switch on October 28, 2021 and has a free demo available now.
  • TRIANGLE STRATEGY is another upcoming RPG from Square Enix. They have incorporated many changes from recent user feedback and the HD-2D strategy RPG will lanuch for Switch on March 4, 2022.
  • Actraiser Renaissance is a remaster of the classic SNES game Actraiser. The HD version of this side-scrolling action game is now available for Switch.
  • Dying Light 2 Stay Human will be coming to the Switch as Cloud version. This means that it will require a constant internet connection so that it can stream to your Switch from external servers. It will release on February 4, 2022. It's prequel, Dyling Light: Platinum Edition is also coming to Switch on October 19, 2021.
  • DELTARUNE Chapter 2 is the next expansion in the DELTARUNE series that explores the Dark World. Known for it's fantastic mix of comedy and drama, this DLC comes in the form as a free update to DELTARUNE and is available now.
  • Animal Crossing New Horizons will get another free update in November. Full details of the content were not revealed, but we know that the popular cafe "The Roost" will return.
  • Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity will get its second DLC wave on October 29, 2021. It includes a new playable character duo, more stages, and a new story arch.
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will get its own direct on October 5. The final DLC fighter will be revealed, marking the end of DLC for the latest smash game.
  • Mario Party Superstars got its final two boards revealed. They are Yoshi's Tropical Island and Horror Land. The game will be released for Switch on October 29, 2021.
  • Castlevania Advance Collection is a collection of four classic Castlevania GBA games available now on the Switch eshop. They are Cirlce of the Moon, Harmony of Dissonance, Aria of Sorrow,and Dracula X.

There were several smaller announcements in addition to the above. If you are interested in them or the gameplay shown for various games, you can check out the Nintendo Direct in full here:

Bayonetta 3 Gets a New Gameplay Trailer and 2022 Release Confirmation

Bayonetta 3 Gameplay

Bayonetta 3 was first revealed nearly four years ago. In the most recent Nintendo Direct, we finally got a new trailer and confirmation that the game would be released next year, in 2022. It shows off gameplay footage for the first time and it looks like Bayonetta herself got a bit of a makeover. Here is the full trailer from the direct:

A New 3D Kirby Game has Been Revealed for Switch

Kirby and the Forgotten Land

One of the bigger surprises from the most recent Nintendo Direct was the announcement of a brand new Kirby game. It's called Kirby and the Forgotten Land and is the first 3D Kirby game ever. It's a 3D platformer that seems to take place in an abandoned, sort of post-apocalyptic land.

New 3D Kirby Game

As with any Kirby game, Kirby's signature copy ability is back and will let you take on the power of enemies by inhaling them and wearing their cap. This seems to be the primary way to engage in combat and solve various puzzles. This game will be released on the Switch in Spring 2022. Check out the full announcement trailer below.

Nintendo 64 Games are Coming to Nintendo Switch Online for a Higher Price

Nintendo Switch Online Nintendo 64

During the most recent Nintendo Direct, it was announced that Nintendo 64 games would be coming to the Nintendo Switch Online service. Recent patent documentation suggested that a new Nintendo 64 controller would be released, so this comes as less of a surprise. However, unlike the NES and SNES that are playable with the current online service, Nintendo 64 games will require a subscription to a more expensive service to be played. Details on the pricing for this have not yet been revealed. The service will be called Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack.

Nintendo Switch Online Sega Genesis

More surprisingly, select SEGA Genesis games will also be coming to this higher priced service. There will be new wireless controllers for Switch that reproduce the original controller for each console. Only Nintendo Switch Online members can purchase these controllers. They will retail for $49.99 each.

Nintendo Switch Online Controllers

As with the current library of NES and SNES games available with the basic tier of Nintendo Switch Online, each of these two consoles will get a Switch app which gives you access to the available library of games. The games are downloaded to your system and then emulated in the app. The emulators include the ability to create save states and rewind gameplay.

There is no release date for this new online service that includes access to both system libraries yet. There will be a wave of games for both system playable on release date, with more to follow. Here are the games we know about so far:

Nintendo 64 Launch:

  • Super Mario 64
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
  • Mario Kart 64
  • Star Fox 64
  • Sin and Punishment
  • Dr. Mario 64
  • Mario Tennis 64
  • WinBack
  • Yoshi’s Story

Nintendo 64 Upcoming:

  • Banjo-Kazooie
  • Pokémon Snap
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
  • Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
  • Mario Golf
  • Paper Mario
  • F-Zero X

SEGA Genesis Launch:

  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Streets of Rage 2
  • Ecco the Dolphin
  • Castlevania: Bloodlines
  • Contra: Hard Corps
  • Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
  • Golden Axe
  • Gunstar Heroes
  • M.U.S.H.A.
  • Phantasy Star IV
  • Ristar
  • Shining Force
  • Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
  • Strider

Aw, Rats: A Plague Tale: Innocence - Cloud Version Review

A Plague Tale: Innocence Logo

A Plague Tale: Innocence is in many ways an experience that transcends culture. Set in France, but translated into many different languages, and featuring a story that anyone can latch onto, there is something in this heart-wrenching story to appeal to every gamer willing to stomach its sometimes dramatic presentation. Recently, it was released for Switch using technology that allows players all around the world to stream to their console with a tiny download. Given how new this system is, how does it hold up compared to other methods of playing the game?

Platforms: Switch [Reviewed], PS4, Xbox One, Steam
Developer: Asobo Studio
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Release: May 14, 2019
MSRP: $24.99

Press Copy provided by Focus Home Interactive.

Starting with the game, A Plague Tale: Innocence is a pseudo-horror game but lacks many common horror tropes. There are few if any jump scares, but the game does manage to create an unearthly amount of tension using its unique presentation. Heartbeats that headphone users will hate, shaky voices that display true fear, and the slow crawl from colorful to gray create an atmospheric experience that is truly one-of-a-kind.

Characterizing this game is hard, but it ramps up quickly. There is a sudden, jarring shift from semi-historical medieval fantasy to an intense fight for survival in a world of unknowns. Even before this shift though, it is clear that something isn't right from the beginning.

The narrative and story are fantastic. Yet, they are also very bleak and a little hopeless. Stick it through though, and a dedicated player will not be lacking for emotional impact from this remarkably artful tale. I had the feeling all the way through the game that this was a game to be played to appreciate quality, but not necessarily for a super exciting experience. Take it slow, the game certainly encourages it.

A Plague Tale: Innocence Manor Village

The gameplay is primarily a stealth/exploration hybrid. You feel truly powerless at points, which is the feeling the game is trying to bring forth, and sneaking around is the perfect means to replicate that sort of visceral emotion. You have shockingly few tools at your disposal to do anything, again providing a sense of profound fear which serves to support the plot.

But, A Plague Tale: Innocence is an experience that is meant to be savored, so how well does the cloud version hold up under this lens of scrutiny?

The cloud version is shaky in its presentation of the original game. Although it is remarkably easy to set up and play, there are some issues. The frame rate skips a lot for a Switch game, and it is sometimes distracting to the overall experience. Also, the audio sometimes gets cut out, and there is a very small but noticeable input delay.

A Plague Tale: Innocence Gameplay

However, all of that pales in comparison to its biggest issue: the inconsistent resolution. While playing this game on a wired connection, the entire environment began to blend together as the resolution would change gradually based on the connection.

The world felt and looked muddy, and even when it was pristine, it didn’t look quite like the visual juggernaut of the base game. Considering the amount of darkness in A Plague Tale: Innocence, this alone would qualify this version as an inferior means of experiencing the game.

A Plague Tale: Innocence Infested Chapel

This variant of the game is easily carried onward by the quality of the original version, and despite the advantages of allowing for quick downloads, it definitely doesn't hold up well. Even so, taken as a whole, the game is remarkable because it is has a great story, excellent visuals, and provokes intense emotions in anyone. No port can ruin those things, despite how much this one may try.


  • Excellent visuals
  • Amazing audio presentation
  • Emotional story
  • Tense gameplay
  • Easy to start quickly because of the cloud functionality


  • Visually muddled
  • Poor framerate
  • Audio sometimes interrupted by breaks in connection
  • Extremely dark visuals accentuate problems




Great games are generally good buying decisions and are recommended for those with an interest in the genre. There might be a few flaws that detract from the gameplay, stories, controls, presentations, or value, but the game is still an enjoyable experience that justifies a full playthrough.

Want to know what this score means? Check out our Scoring Guidelines page.

Strive to Be Human: The Colonists Review

The Colonists Logo

Following in the footsteps of retro city-building titles such as Pharoah and Banished, The Colonists seeks to innovate this genre both thematically and stylistically. The Colonists features cute robots, a charming cel-shaded aesthetic, and a wonderful premise. But, the question still stands as to its place among the many city-builders being developed and released in the modern market.

Platforms: Switch [Reviewed], PS4, Xbox One, Steam
Developers: Codebyfire, Auroch Digital, Mode 7 Games
Publishers: Auroch Digital, Mode 7 Games
Release: October 24, 2018
MSRP: $24.99

Press Copy provided by Auroch Digital

Aesthetically, The Colonists is extremely charming. The robots who act as your citizens are curious, cute, and do a little dance whenever they're idle. While this is, obviously, really adorable, it also serves the purpose of showing you who's not working in a visually pleasing, yet subdued, way. There are many subtle aspects of the visual design that support this, and it doesn't stop there. This is also true of the audio design, and while it lacks some audio balance for the louder noises, that is very forgivable given the care that went into this aspect of the game.

Many of the best aspects of this game lie in its simplicity that slowly grows. While the average Factorio factory grows into a behemoth very quickly for those who aren't great at these types of games, The Colonists is a friendly introduction into the city-building genre. The tutorial especially is amazing considering the fundamentally complicated nature of this type of game.

The Colonists Settlement

Many of the specific gameplay mechanics of The Colonists are designed to complement the robotic nature of the settlers. Even the roads, the fundamental building block of a proper city-building game, are built-in specific parts that then become lines for the movement of goods.

The robots in the game will take goods from one area to the closest signpost, which will then be ferried away to the next one, and so on. The efficiency of this system is built into the design of every mechanic, but it can take some getting used to. For most city-builder players, the idea of not being able to place roads from anywhere on another road is heresy. But, once an astute player realizes that the layout of roads is a big deal for proper production, it becomes much easier to plan the city as a whole.

The Colonists Story

The Colonists forces the player to reconsider the conventions of this genre. It makes the normal production cycle of a city into a robotic machine that runs like clockwork even in the worst designed cases. The game is truly a pleasure to look at and play. The game is best described as bright and colorful, even in the way the game plays. It is remarkable that a city-building game has managed to create such a lively experience, despite the normally analytical nature of such a genre. Yet, somehow for The Colonists, it works.

The Colonists Exiting Rocket

That doesn't mean, though, that the game isn't improved by better player decision-making. This is quite the opposite of reality, as the better the player becomes at designing the city, the better it looks. While the idle dance begins as a cute spectacle, it quickly becomes a sign that displays its true purpose: a signal of an inefficient colony.

And yet, this cute colony builder is not without its flaws. Without a sufficiently large monitor close to the face of the player, the text and symbols that are extremely important become a muddled mess. The audio balance is off for many tasks such as chopping wood, and the HUD is a little complicated and overwhelming at first. Finding the important bits of info in such a large group of numbers and graphs is a nightmare.

The Colonists Radial Menu

This is especially true for the Switch port, which is made even worse by the comparably tiny screen of the Nintendo Switch. The various means of accessing buildings, checking resource numbers, and managing workstations are kind of a mess. But, that is a testament to how difficult it is to port a city-building title to a console, and not to the quality of the game. The framerate on the Switch is also not great, and gets much worse the more is going on. Considering the point of the game is to maximize productivity for your robot villagers, it becomes unplayable far too quickly.

All these things considered, The Colonists is still a solid and unique title in this genre and earns our official recommendation.


  • Charming, cute aesthetic
  • Visually unique
  • Innovative city-builder design
  • Satisfying gameplay
  • Excellent tutorial and introductory campaign
  • Lively and addicting to play


  • HUD is over-crowded and complex
  • Audio balance is poor
  • Text and icons are not easily readable
  • Bad framerate




Great games are generally good buying decisions and are recommended for those with an interest in the genre. There might be a few flaws that detract from the gameplay, stories, controls, presentations, or value, but the game is still an enjoyable experience that justifies a full playthrough.

Want to know what this score means? Check out our Scoring Guidelines page.

The Norse Are Back in Town: Viking Vengeance Review

Viking Vengeance Logo

Top-down action RPGs have seen something of a resurgence in recent years as titles such as Path of Exile and the recently announced Diablo 4 compete for a share in this genre of games. While many of these games lean into the grind that comes with this style of RPG, others, such as the recently released Viking Vengeance, attempt to make the base gameplay more interesting rather than exponentially extending content. But, does Viking Vengeance succeed at creating a compelling competitor to industry giants?

Platform: Steam [Reviewed]
Developer: Lowpoly Interactive
Release: April 8, 2021
MSRP: $19.99

Press copy provided by Lowpoly Interactive

Viking Vengeance Beach Gameplay

Viking Vengeance is an interesting case in the ARPG genre of forgetting fundamentals. This is true in almost every way, but, let’s start with the story. While the story is interesting premise-wise, the execution is faulty in nearly every category. Dialogue seems bland and contrived, the lore is forced on you, the voice-acting is poor, and the entire plot just seems incoherent. This is just one part of the whole game, but it is a perfect glimpse into the rest of the experience from the very beginning.

The gameplay is poor as well. While they attempt to innovate everywhere, they miss the mark in most of these areas. As an example, the execution system is a cool idea. When an enemy reaches low health, they can be executed for a bonus in currency or an extra bit of HP to help the player survive. If executions were fast, stylish, and useful for more than just restoring health, this would be a great idea. Imagine decreasing the health of a group of enemies with a single AOE attack and then executing them all to both look cool and also gain a real bonus in-game. Unfortunately, for most, if not all weapons, the execution animation is basically just a slow-motion attack with a bunch of extra gore attached.

Abilities are described in great detail to make them sound cool. But, these same abilities usually end up being extremely disappointing. Dashes are usually just moving faster to a particular point while disabling unit collision. This is, technically, a dash. But, at the speed these dashes go, it’s more akin to speed walking than actually dashing.

Viking Vengeance Death Screen

Many animations in these abilities seem unfinished, but they seem to do the intended effect just fine. In general, many similar titles reuse animations, or just splatter sound and visual effects to make a mediocre animation seem much better. Attacks in Viking Vengeance, however, seem genuinely wimpy compared to these other titles.

It is worth mentioning that Viking Vengeance is not a hoard game like Path of Exile or Diablo 3. Enemies are fewer but more powerful in general than the bosses are in these two examples. A proper build in Path of Exile can melt a boss in seconds, but your average enemy in Viking Vengeance takes a similar if not greater amount of time to kill just one of them.

The presentation, visually, is extremely muddled. When entering caves, the game becomes extremely difficult to see, and the player is expected to dodge falling rocks and fight spiders while this is true. The motion blur is oppressive when turned on, but can be turned off. Screen shake is similar in this way, and although they are both troublesome and the default, they get credit for patching in a way to remove them consistently.

Viking Vengeance Damage Hit Screen

The worst part visually of Viking Vengeance is the low-health screen flash. The screen cycles between essentially normal and a bloody, mangled, and visually harsh shade of red. This happens more than once during combat while low on health, and makes the entire ordeal of being low on HP in the first place extremely hard to stomach.

These are fairly basic concerns, but at a higher level, the color composition of Viking Vengeance is poor as well. The game cycles between fire, blood, and extremely dark rock textures. There are other things in the game, but the average player will be unable to pick them out visually because of the mess caused by these three highly contrasting themes.

So far here, I’ve been glossing over a very important detail, however. In most cases, this would be a side issue, but Viking Vengeance is, on a technical level, extremely performance-intensive, glitchy, and inconsistent. Sound-wise, the sliders for volume didn’t appear to change all of the sounds of a specific category on my machine. For example, one attack might be quiet or at the intended volume, followed by an execution that would remain at the default volume. In this case, that effect would be extremely loud.

Viking Vengeance Wotan

Although after the initial release, the developers appear to be cranking out bug fix after bug fix, it would take months at their current rate to be able to call the base game finished. That’s ignoring the poor design or lack of design given to multiple key areas of the game.

All of this being said, Viking Vengeance definitely has some things going for it. It features a small number of classes (2) with a high variety of playstyles based on weaponry and builds. A lot of care went into balancing abilities as well as designing builds, and it shows. Death is a setback for sure and requires that the player spend currency or restart an area to resurrect. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and while I would’ve personally preferred more checkpoints, this level of difficulty might be a good thing for those seeking a challenge.

However, the lack of any sense of polish, an abundance of technical problems, and the fact that the game just doesn’t feel great to play make this an easy title to avoid, at least for the time being.


  • Bold gameplay design decisions
  • Challenging overall
  • A small number of classes, but a high number of builds
  • Interesting aesthetic


  • Lacking presentation at best
  • Bland, incoherent story
  • Poor voice acting
  • Obstacles are difficult to see and dodge
  • Many harsh and unpolished sounds during play
  • Performance intensive
  • Glitchy
  • Poor animations
  • Deaths are overly punishing



These games are generally unmemorable. For the average gamer, they probably aren't worth your time or money. Significant flaws in gameplay or a serious lack of content make these games inferior. These games usually have some redeeming qualities and may be enjoyed by a niche audience, but don't get a recommendation from us.

New Nintendo Switch OLED Model Revealed

Nintendo Switch OLED Version

Nintendo has revealed a new version of the Nintendo Switch, branded as the OLED model. This new model of the Switch has several new features to accompany its release later this year.

Nintendo Switch OLED Screen Size

In addition to the advertised increased screen size, the OLED version of the Nintendo Switch will contain a number of other improvements, such as a LAN port on the dock, a new wide stand, improved audio, and double the storage (64 GB)

Nintendo Switch OLED LAN Port

As well as these new features, this new version of the Switch will sport an option for a stylish white color on the dock and joycons, as well as the standard Switch coloration of blue and red.

Nintendo Switch OLED Version Release Date

This new model of the Nintendo Switch will be released on October 8th, 2021 for $349.99 MSRP.

For more information, check out the video below.

New Smash DLC Character Kazuya Revealed

Kazuya Beam Attack

Kazuya, the fighter for Smash Bros. Ultimate who was recently revealed, received more details into his move set during a presentation by the director of Smash Bros. Ultimate, Masahiro Sakurai. This crossover character from Tekken was given the full rundown by Sakurai, as well as a release date.

Kazuya Smash Sleeping

Kazuya receives many of his special moves from the source material: Tekken. Although, many of his normal moves are adapted and sped up to suit the fast-paced nature of Smash Bros. His recovery in particular appears to have a sweet spot that deals a flashy killing blow to unaware opponents.

Kazuya Devil Fist Side Smash

His side special also has a hit-box that can knock opponents down and lead to follow-ups. His down special, complete with super armor, allows Kazuya players to grab their opponents from close range without fear of reprisal. Finally, his neutral special is a long-range beam attack that can be angled and goes through multiple opponents. His kit is complemented by an in-depth combo system based on the source material.

Kazuya Fighters Pass 2

Kazuya, as well as new Mii fighter costumes, a new stage, and a new spirit board, will all be released on June 29th. The Kazuya Challenger Pack will be released separately for $5.99 USD, but will also be available in Fighters Pack 2 for those who have purchased that beforehand.

The final DLC character (#11) in Fighters Pack 2 has been confirmed to be the final one as well, and is set to be revealed and available by the end of this year.

For more information, watch the reveal trailer and presentation below.

WarioWare: Get It Together! Revealed In E3 Direct

WarioWare Switch Logo

WarioWare: Get It Together! was revealed today during Nintendo's E3 Direct. Take control of Wario once again and tackle tons of hilarious, fast-paced minigames alone or with a friend in 2-player cooperative mode.

WarioWare Wario Toothpaste Minigame

WarioWare: Get It Together! will feature many returning characters from past Wario games, all under the head of a new Wario-led corporation.

WarioWare Ice Cream Licking Minigame

This new title in the series is available for pre-order today and can be purchased from the Nintendo Switch EShop for $49.99.

WarioWare Shooting Apples Minigame

WarioWare: Get It Together! will be released on September 10th, 2021 for the Nintendo Switch. Check out the trailer below for more information.

Metroid Dread Revealed During E3 Presentation

Metroid Dread Logo

Metroid Dread was revealed earlier today during Nintendo's E3 Direct as the next installment in the Metroid franchise. This game follows Samus as she explores and fights to unravel the secrets of a mysterious group of robots following her every move.

Metroid Dread Parry

Several old features will return to this game from Metroid: Samus Returns, including the ability to block and parry enemy attacks. There will also be many new upgrades and abilities, including the ability to slide under the terrain and through small gaps.

The most striking new feature revealed, however, was the addition of stealth sequences that are patrolled by robots that can hear and see Samus. Using your wits will allow you to outsmart these robots, who are otherwise completely immune to Samus's attacks.

Metroid Dread Samus

Metroid Dread will be released on October 8th, 2021 for the Nintendo Switch. For more information, check out the trailer below.

Storytelling Done Right: Spiritfarer Review

Spiritfarer Logo

Management games often struggle quite a bit with making games accessible to a wide audience. Animal Crossing, although only partially a part of this genre, has made it possible in recent years to make a game that is both deep and easily picked up by anyone. Spiritfarer proudly carries the torch of this tradition forward, but does it do the roots of the genre justice?

Platforms: Switch, PS4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC [Reviewed], Linux, Mac
Developer: Thunder Lotus Games
Release: August 18, 2020
MSRP: $29.99

Right off the bat, Spiritfarer thoroughly destroys previous conventions with its story and theme. You are the new ferryman of the dead, bringing the dead from their place of passing to the place where they step off into the greater afterlife. This is a risky approach to storytelling, but Spiritfarer does it exceptionally well by turning the focus from that stepping-off point to the stories of the individuals. You, as ferryman of the dead, will be listening to these lost souls and helping them to squash any last doubts before letting them go.

The individual stories, themes, actions, and dialogue with these characters that you are helping are exceptionally done. The writing is superb, and every character's arc is more than just a characterization of that person, but a look inward at the quirks that make us human. If you are buying this game for the story, you are not making a mistake.

Spiritfarer Boat

Spiritfarer's gameplay also draws together these themes. It mainly revolves around managing the needs of your boat and the people on it. For instance, certain characters desire certain foods, some of which must be cooked after acquisition. All the while, you'll find yourself moving from place to place upgrading and augmenting your ferry into something you can truly be proud of.

Progression takes the form of acquiring new villagers, as well as increasing the size of your ferry. By the end of the game, it will be quite the journey from one end of your ferry to the other, but each step of the way will be both satisfying and fulfilling.

Spiritfarer Fishing

Since you do have a ferry, you can travel between islands. But, the travel isn't boring. You can fish, build, weave cloth, and other such minigames to keep you occupied. The travel is nothing short of a masterpiece of management design, making each destination seem like a sidequest to the main journey. This main journey, the progression of the boat, is totally and completely created and maintained by the player.

Audio and visual design both suit a particular aesthetic but isn't dedicated enough to it to make anyone who isn't a fan of this aesthetic offended. This is a point in its favor, since this game is designed to be accessible, and makes it stand-above other games with similar aesthetics.

Spiritfarer Town

This game is, in a word, extremely wholesome. It tells an incredible story of redemption and rest and makes the entire experience of death seem less scary and more comfy. This is not only an incredible game but also an incredible story as a whole.

This game sometimes borders on monotonous in terms of its design but never crosses the line. It perfectly stands on that line between monotonous and relaxing, and revels in its balance. It is cute, charming, compelling, and earns an official recommendation from us.


  • Charming aesthetic
  • Relaxing management gameplay
  • Excellent presentation
  • Extremely wholesome story
  • Stories are short and never overstay their welcome
  • Characters are compelling
  • Great music


  • Could be considered monotonous by some
  • A bit overbearing in its message
  • Lacks some depth




Excellent games have our official recommendation and are examples of what every game should strive to be. These games feature exciting gameplay, engaging stories (when applicable), intuitive controls and movement, polished and fitting presentations, and good value. Above all else, these games are truly fun to play.

Want to know what this score means? Check out our Scoring Guidelines page.

A Souls-Like Rebirth: Ashen Review

Ashen Logo

Souls-like games are extremely hard to get right, and with masterpieces that define the genre becoming increasingly common, many titles struggle to make a niche for themselves in this group of games. In steps Ashen, and with unique ideas and even more unusual presentation, there is a lot to talk about regarding this cel-shaded souls-like.

Platforms: Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC [Reviewed]
Developer: A44
Publishers: Annapurna Interactive, Xbox Game Studios
Release: December 7, 2018
MSRP: $39.99

The comparisons to Dark Souls, however, leave for good once anyone with any knowledge in either game begins to play Ashen. Ashen is a much simpler, shorter, and more elegant experience. The game takes the dark atmosphere of Dark Souls and adds a heaping helping of comfort and light. It is hard to describe the experience of playing Ashen for the first time, but it is safe to say that it is an unforgettable experience that flips the aesthetic of Dark Souls completely without losing any depth.

Ashen is a much happier game, a game about rebirth rather than death. From the beginning, the game hits you with this feeling. The story supports this, being much simpler than the epic and highly detailed Dark Souls. But, it also begins to get deeper the more you play, supporting the idea that this world is arising into something new, not descending into undeath. In short, the story works well, even though it isn't as deep as other souls-like games.

Ashen Blacksmith Hitting Board

Presentation-wise, Ashen's sound design is probably its shining feature. The sound is clear, crisp, and clean. Every action has a unique feeling that represents it, and they are very satisfying to listen to while playing. Everything is exceptionally well-designed in that way, and it is a true pleasure to listen to. Visually, the game has a clear theme, and even though it takes odd stylistic choices such as removing faces, it does it well enough and coherently enough so as to draw the player in rather than scare them away.

Gameplay is where Ashen again takes a unique approach, and rather than making every level a trip in between bosses, it turns every boss into a gate into a new area, flipping the typical souls-like formula on its head. There are a limited number of bosses, but that isn't the appeal of Ashen. Rather, the building of a new home in the main town, the unlocking of new areas, and the exploration that comes with it, all combine to create a truly exceptional development in the souls-like genre.

Ashen Inventory Screen

That is not to say Ashen is flawless, however. Some areas are better designed than others, and some are just frustrating to get through. However, the most frustrating part of Ashen is actually the main appeal for some: the multiplayer. The so-called "passive multiplayer" that Ashen advertises serves to detract from the experience rather than add to it. I found myself when actually wanting to play with random people online, unable to do so for long. And, when I wanted to play with friends, I found myself disappointed by the lack of features available. For instance, players can't see each other's gear or skins, making it difficult to tell if that's actually their friend playing or just another random person.

I really wish Ashen had added a setting for turning off passive multiplayer, and also added a setting for inviting friends. One of these without the other doesn't work, and since the game is designed around this idea of multiplayer interactivity, it does seriously detract from the experience to rework this system.

Ashen Listener's Ridge View

However, the multiplayer isn't the main reason to play this game, despite the advertisement to the contrary, and the strength of the exploration, bosses, and game systems make Ashen an easy recommendation for anyone interested in this genre.


  • Excellent presentation, both in terms of visuals and audio
  • Coherent and masterfully developed theme and aesthetic
  • Extremely strong souls-like gameplay
  • Compelling exploration
  • Bosses are very fun
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Available on many platforms


  • Multiplayer is difficult to get used to
  • Gear and armor is client-side only
  • Some areas are frustrating to get through
  • Few bosses
  • Village-building could use more player interaction




Great games are generally good buying decisions and are recommended for those with an interest in the genre. There might be a few flaws that detract from the gameplay, story, controls, presentation, or value, but the game is still an enjoyable experience that justifies a full playthrough.

Want to know what this score means? Check out our Scoring Guidelines page.

Monster Hunter: Rise Released for Nintendo Switch

Monster Hunter Rise Loading Screen Splash Art

The highly anticipated game Monster Hunter: Rise is the next installment in the Monster Hunter franchise, and has been released for the Nintendo Switch.

Monster Hunter Rise Town

Monster Hunter: Rise takes players into a new ninja-inspired japanese-like world where they will fight many new and even more returning creatures from previous games. The game is fully cooperative and online, but does require a Nintendo online subscription to play in this way.

Monster Hunter Rise Cherry Blossom Trees

The 14 normal Monster Hunter weapons return to Rise, but with new skills, moves, and alternate abilities. In addition, mounts are now a permanent addition, as well as a Hookshot-like claw that lets players increase their mobility in and out of combat.

Monster Hunter Rise Shrine Ruins

Purchase Monster Hunter: Rise on the Nintendo eShop for $59.99 USD.

Fun in Fort Joy: Divinity: Original Sin 2 Review

Divinity: Original Sin 2 Ifan Logo

Divinity: Original Sin 2 is the long-awaited sequel to Divinity: Original Sin, and with the first game being heralded as a true masterpiece of RPG game design, the sequel had quite a bit to live up to. The hype is and was real leading up to its release, and it lives up to it in the best way possible.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Steam [Reviewed], Xbox One
Developer: Larian Studios
Release: September 14, 2017
MSRP: $49.99

Divinity: Original Sin 2 is, without spoiling anything, a masterpiece of RPG design. But, let's back up a bit. Visually the game takes a much more mellow approach to the color than the first one did. The first Divinity: Original Sin game was colorful and quirky, and this transfers over easily to the visual design. Bright, thematically appropriate color design made the first one a true joy to look at. As a microcosm of the entire game, Divinity: Original Sin 2 is more subdued and nuanced. The game is still presented colorfully, but there is a difference in the design.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 Exploration

Divinity: Original Sin 2's audio presentation is essentially flawless. Footsteps are fitting to the ground texture and are satisfying to listen to, the voice acting is superb, and the music is excellent. This is all not to mention that for the first time in my memory, the player can choose what instrument highlights their journey and battle music. This is an entirely new system it seems, and one that makes each playthrough truly unique.

In Divinity: Original Sin 2, the true pleasures of each playthrough are the RPG mechanics. This game takes a much more gradual approach to improvement than its predecessor. In the first game, powerful weapons and armor had to wait a while, and the default gear was often your best until a decent way through the game. This is not true in the sequel, as by the end of the first area you will be far more powerful, experienced, and skilled than when you started. That being said, the game is balanced around this progression, but think of it as more like a series of steps that walk you towards the climax of the game. With each step you get more powerful, acquiring more options in combat, but if you try to skip a step you will be punished.

Speaking of combat, Divinity's combat has always been unique. It combines aspects of XCOM's strategy with interactions between elements that are not seen in any other game. Poison will explode upon contact with fire, water can freeze, and this all serves to create a truly dynamic combat system. Encounters are well balanced and you feel like you are truly making decisions with every step forward. Do you equip a healing ring to help your team, or take raw stats instead? Divinity: Original Sin 2 revels in this sense of decision-making and player agency. Every bit of your character can be customized, but everything is also designed to make a first playthrough easy and immersive.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 Fort Joy

Immersion is the key aspect of Divinity: Original Sin 2 that sets it apart because in all other ways it is simply a top-down RPG, akin to Baldur's Gate or something similar. But, the writing is absolutely superb and draws you into the story from the first time you set foot into Fort Joy until the end of the game. There is nothing to collect that seems overly gamified, as it is a true character-driven objective-focused story with excellent writing that is augmented by the stellar performances of the voice actors.

I found myself gripped with that "edge of your seat" feeling until the end of the game. And, once I was done, I wanted to replay the game with different companions, each of whom has a special story to be discovered. The story is significantly darker and grittier than the first, but also more nuanced, as a sequel should be.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 Combat

Companions are important since the game is also fully multiplayer. Your party has 4 slots, and if you want, all of these can be filled by a player. It can be chaotic with so many people running around, but it's also brought to its fruition in combat where you will find yourself strategizing and working towards a goal with your friends or family. This is truly a special experience to be savored for as long as it will last

My biggest problem when playing this game was burnout. I wanted to play this game and nothing else for weeks because the story was that good. Every nook in Divinity: Original Sin 2 has a special secret, and the special secret of the RPG genre as a whole is that this game exceeds expectations to an absurd degree. I cannot recommend it enough, just remember to pace yourself.


  • Excellent presentation
  • Excellent music
  • Addicting RPG gameplay
  • Compelling, dark story
  • Challenging, well-built encounters
  • Combat is dynamic and fun
  • Available on many systems
  • Immersive world
  • Fully multiplayer


  • Game is divided into chapters that are long and can be a bit tedious
  • Quest book is hard to use
  • Game is very long, much like the first
  • Some classes and abilities are better than others




Excellent games have our official recommendation and are examples of what every game should strive to be. These games feature exciting gameplay, engaging stories (when applicable), intuitive controls and movement, polished and fitting presentations, and good value. Above all else, these games are truly fun to play.

Want to know what this score means? Check out our Scoring Guidelines page.

Airship Capitalism: Merchant of the Skies Review

Merchant of the Skies Logo

Merchant games have a long history, from the earliest days of gaming people have been interested in comparing prices and using that to turn a profit in a variety of settings. Merchant of the Skies is a perfect example of this genre being taken to its logical conclusion, and not by adding features, but by simplifying. It's time to find out if that strategy is worth pursuing!

Platforms: Steam, Switch, Xbox One
Developer: Coldwild Games
Release: July 30, 2019
MSRP: $14.99

Gameplay in Merchant of the Skies is varied, but at a base level, you move by, essentially, clicking where you want to go on a world map. You uncover this map over time by piloting your airship to new areas that are gradually revealed from objectives. When you click where you want to go, you then move in a straight line towards that floating island, burning fuel along the way to power your ship. Fuel costs money, and that drives your progress forward. This game is based on profit, as any good merchant game should be, so your goals are usually to get more money.

Merchant of the Skies Guild

Trading is the best way to get money. To simplify it, you check prices that you get from the places you've visited. By getting this information, you can then buy low in one place and sell high in another to turn a profit. This is less satisfying than it should be since essentially you are moving goods across a barren sky with very little to offer.

This is where the game begins to fall apart, since there's no combat there's no risk for making long trips other than losing a small amount of money from fueling up along the way. Without getting into early economics and their videogame counterparts, economies in most games require 2 related things: risk and loss. Players should have to take risks to move goods, acquire goods, and then get a payout. Loss supports risk since losing your goods feels bad but motivates you to either do the same to others or buy safer. Capitalism is high-risk high reward, and this is especially true in videogames.

Merchant of the Skies Map

While all of this is true, at least partially, for most games, it doesn't have to be this way. Some games decide to use time as a way to augment risk. Other games make travel take an abysmally long amount of time to move across the map, but importantly they give you things to do on the way that support normal gameplay. So, it feels bad to waste time (risk), but at least it wasn't a total waste. Game design-wise, Merchant of the Skies, fails to provide adequate risk for moving goods across the map. It's almost guaranteed that you will succeed, and while this feels good at first, it feels terrible to realize that your hard work was spent on a game where you cannot fail, you just succeed slower.

Merchant of the Skies Skill Tree

Some people might find satisfaction in this sort of "chill" game, but Merchant of the Skies actually requires a significant amount of focus to make the right decisions to optimize gameplay, which makes it not quite fit the niche of a game that you can play while attempting to relax.

This feels strange to say, but it almost seems that travel doesn't take long enough. I would've loved to see travel take a long amount of time, with little mini-games and other such resource gathering time-wasters to make the experience more enjoyable. This would make the journeys both fun and rewarding, even if you only make back what you spent on the materials you were transporting.

Merchant of the Skies Map

In addition to this, Merchant of the Skies only has 2-3 major mechanics. There's trading, which we've already discussed, but there's also quests and base-building. Quests seem hollow and uninteresting, and it doesn't take long before you repeat them, but this is also a fairly small portion of the game, especially in sandbox mode. Base-building is likely the most interesting part of this game since it serves to provide you with passive income and a goal to work towards. Even then, it's much better to play games that provide you with a permanent base to sell materials, upgrade, and otherwise personalize.

Presentation is lacking, since islands all basically look the same, have the same theme, and are very uninteresting. The giant carrots and flying turtles are nice additions but don't make up for the monotonous, mind-numbing, environments, or the same music that plays without fail every time you get to an island. The pixel art is also very simple, but this is a stylistic choice that doesn't negatively or positively affect the gameplay as a whole.

Merchant of the Skies Island

Merchant of the Skies does succeed in a few ways. For one, it has a charming overall aesthetic. The economy and trading are actually fairly fun to try to abuse. Also, there are a lot of clever ideas and cute art in the game. However, fundamentally, this is a game that you have fun trying to break, not a game that is genuinely fun to play, but that is still fun to be had. That being said, unless economy games are your specialty, Merchant of the Skies is a fundamentally disappointing experience.


  • Story is interesting
  • Charming aesthetic
  • Art is pleasant to look at
  • Maximizing profits is both satisfying and fun


  • Lack of a compelling economy
  • Travel is uninteresting
  • New ships and island upgrades are expensive and grindy to obtain
  • Lack of danger or risk
  • Monotonous music
  • Disappointing campaign




These games are generally unmemorable. For the average gamer, they probably aren't worth your time or money. Significant flaws in gameplay or a serious lack of content make these games inferior. These games usually have some redeeming qualities and may be enjoyed by a niche audience, but don't get a recommendation from us.

Want to know what this score means? Check out our Scoring Guidelines page.

Simple and Functional: Into the Breach Review

Into the Breach Logo

Into the Breach is an arcade-esque strategy game created by the developers of FTL (Faster Than Light). It is a short, simple rogue-lite with a unique take on tactical, grid-based combat. While it isn't the most complex in terms of its mechanics, it is still a breath of fresh air for this genre and takes a creative approach to seemingly solidified mechanics. But, how well does it hold up in the face of conventional roguelikes, as well as grid-based strategy games as a whole?

Platforms: Switch, Steam [Reviewed], Stadia
Developer: Subset Games
Release: February 27, 2018
MSRP: $14.99

I've already mentioned the unique nature of Into the Breach's gameplay. Games are separated into different runs. These runs reflect the different timelines that the player can go down, and every time your success will vary based on your performance in a number of categories. These range from success on a turn-by-turn basis to overall strategy during the run, since resources rescued from the islands you liberate will end up helping you upgrade your current mechs. But, beware, since only one pilot can carry over from run to run. This makes for an interesting dynamic since you will be tempted to layer experience on this pilot. But, since that pilot can only act once per turn, this is a clever trap.

Into the Breach Mines

That is how I'd characterize Into the Breach's game design: a clever trap. Initially, the game will seem simple. Save civilians and complete objectives, get stronger, repeat. The goal of Into the Breach is actually more similar to attempting to stop a snowball from rolling down a hill. It might seem small at first, but use your health wrong and don't deny enemy spawns and you'll have an avalanche on your hands.

Into the Breach does a great job of layering on these traps to make the game seem like something it isn't. Saving buildings will increase your health, but later on, enemies will likely destroy the grid in a single turn, as well as your mechs. This makes it more important to prioritize health and mobility, as well as deny enemy spawns, allowing you to tank hits for your buildings and then in turn use your superior tactics to defeat as many enemies as possible per turn. In the late game, damage against enemies is essentially meaningless.

Master the basics, and you'll soon be eyeing a high score above all else, saving as many civilians as possible to increase your success. This allows you to unlock different mech types and squads, increasing the variety of gameplay you experience.

Into the Breach Final Island

Compared to other grid-based tactical games such as Fire Emblem, Into the Breach is significantly simpler on the surface, but with surprising depth found in its core mechanics. Everything can be optimized, from upgrades to individual turns to which area to attack. Decision-making is everything, as it should be in a tactical game.

Presentation-wise, Into the Breach forgoes any attempt at making itself something it isn't. It is simple, clear, and satisfying to an absurd degree. Water is clear, enemy attacks are obvious, and environmental hazards are, you guessed it, very clearly visible. Music is simple generic background noise to help you think, and this is, to be fair, how it should be in a game like this.

Into the Breach Desert

After my first session of Into the Breach, I felt a calling to the game, analyzing every mistake I made so as to improve and try again. It nails the roguelike rhythm better than most conventional roguelikes, and it does so by making mistakes brazenly obvious and your successes incredibly fulfilling. You feel genuinely cool while playing Into the Breach, and while this feeling likely doesn't last past the first couple playthroughs, it is more mentally stimulating than I'd care to admit during this extended learning period.

Into the Breach Environmental Hazard

However, the game does lack a significant amount of content that many people expected from the studio in charge of FTL. It is simple, dynamic, and solid. But, it lacks a lot of the storytelling and random encounters of the studio's previous game. Despite that, this game is well worth the price and anyone even remotely interested in the genre will find a lot to love in this elegant tactical experience.


  • Simple, elegant gameplay
  • Visually clear
  • Tactically deep
  • Relatively Cheap
  • Lots of replay value


  • Mechanics take a while to learn
  • Not very much content, with a lot of potential for more
  • Underwhelming, but thematically fitting music




Excellent games have our official recommendation and are examples of what every game should strive to be. These games feature exciting gameplay, engaging stories (when applicable), intuitive controls and movement, polished and fitting presentations, and good value. Above all else, these games are truly fun to play.

Want to know what this score means? Check out our Scoring Guidelines page.

Heroic Role Reversal: Skul: the Hero Slayer Review

Skul: The Hero Slayer Logo

Skul: The Hero Slayer is a 2D pixel art roguelite adventure platformer created by indie company SouthPAW Games. While this may tagline may sound familiar to some, Skul: The Hero Slayer attempts to differentiate itself from the rest of this genre. But, does it succeed?

Platforms: Steam [Reviewed]
Developer: SouthPAW Games
Publisher: NEOWIZ Games
Release: January 20, 2021
MSRP: $19.99

Press Copy provided by NEOWIZ Games

Skul: The Hero Slayer might seem bland at first, but under the surface, Skul hides a surprising depth of game design. But, before evaluating the gameplay of Skul, let us first consider the presentation.

Skul: The Hero Slayer Forest of Harmony

In terms of audio presentation, Skul's audio is both fitting and satisfying. The bones that characterize a vast amount of the game's cast sound sufficiently hollow and weak, while the metallic sounds are a true pleasure to hear. Visually, the game's pixel art is genuinely beautiful. I haven't seen pixel art of this caliber since Duelyst's unfortunate demise. Animations are smooth and the colors are vibrant, making it a true visual masterpiece as far as games are concerned.

However, games that excel in their visual presentation are common, especially with a pixel art style. for instance, Dead Cells and the Binding of Isaac both create beautiful, dynamic pixel art that is both visually clear and a pleasure to look at. This sort of presentation is hard to get right, but many indie games, in particular, excel at and master it, and Skul is no exception.

Skul: The Hero Slayer Shop

Skul's gameplay is unique, combining the side-scrolling movement-based combat of Rogue Legacy with the hit stun of a fighting game. Hits that connect will send opponents into a brief state of vulnerability, allowing you to chain your attacks. Even so, there are often so many enemies that fighting by chaining hits is not only rare but also impractical. However, it is common enough that it makes the potential of landing a chain of hits infinitely more appealing.

Skul: The Hero Slayer Rookie Hero

Skul lures you into a sense that if you could only get better at dodging attacks, you could get through it so much faster. This feeling is not particularly rare among roguelites, and the sense of progression enables and augments this. However, the primary improvement comes from an increase in skill, and Skul leans heavily on this. For instance, learning you can teleport back to your base skeleton form's head is an important discovery. It optimizes your gameplay and increases your ability to perform flashy plays against unaware enemies.

Skul: The Hero Slayer Forest Intro

However, this sense of wanting to get better to avoid specific areas is not a pleasant one sometimes, especially if the areas are repetitive. This is where Skul's major flaw comes in. It is very fun to chain hits, dodge, and perform flashy combos against groups of enemies the first time. But what about the exact same room layout with the exact same items a second, or a third time? I found myself getting bored of these rooms fairly quickly, even with the variety of new classes and weapons made available by an NPC unlocked in the early game.

Skul: The Hero Slayer Hub

This is made worse by the bosses, who are repetitive damage sponges that can take hits for minutes at a time waiting for you to make a single mistake that ends your run. They are frustrating, un-fun, and truly annoying, especially after fighting them multiple times.

Progression in Skul is done by unlocking new merchants, items, and passive bonuses at the hub world. This is not an unusual method of progression, but it is also not a bad one and has shown itself to be a very solid approach many times for many different games. Although the bonuses are minor, they add up very quickly providing an addicting incentive to keep playing.

While Skul's gameplay may be repetitive, it is also extremely satisfying to make it further than before. But, while it is extremely solid, it fails to excel in the category that matters most: playability. Despite this, its strengths outweigh its weaknesses and earn it our recommendation.


  • Visually stunning pixel art
  • Smooth animations
  • Audio presentation is excellent
  • Weapons are unique and items nearly always have a niche
  • Progression is satisfying
  • Unique combo-based combat
  • Early game is well balanced


  • Late game can become a hassle
  • Early runs are repetitive
  • Bosses are truly annoying to fight
  • Punishing gameplay
  • Lack of enemy and stage variety
  • Player improvement can stagnate very quickly




Great games are generally good buying decisions and are recommended for those with an interest in the genre. There might be a few flaws that detract from the gameplay, stories, controls, presentations, or value, but the game is still an enjoyable experience that justifies a full playthrough.

Want to know what this score means? Check out our Scoring Guidelines page.

Tactical Combat Realized: John Wick: Hex Review

John Wick: Hex Logo

The John Wick series of action movies is famous for its dynamic, believable, and ridiculous, action scenes. John Wick: Hex is the videogame inspired by the movies, and takes a daring tactical approach to the series. But does it hold up in the face of the high standard of the movies?

Platforms: Nintendo Switch [Reviewed], PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, Steam
Developer: Bithell Games
Release: October 8, 2019
MSRP: $19.99

Press Copy provided by Bithell Games

John Wick: Hex, to summarize, is flawed but has its perks. The sound design is stellar, and everything is clearly labeled to make every move distinct and aesthetically pleasing. Visually, the game suffers from displaying the same few colors, but since these colors serve to display visual information to the player, this is understandable.

John Wick: Hex Combat

Most of the story in John Wick: Hex takes the form of dialogue over the gameplay, provided by the actual John Wick actors. Many of the most beloved characters from John Wick make an appearance in the story. This game has a highly prestigious cast and makes the experience significantly better by its inclusion.

With these things stated, it is worth mentioning that John Wick: Hex is, fundamentally, a tactical game with the player filling the shoes of a single man. It is okay to take such a revolutionary approach, and even better to add many flexible options to the game. For instance, One can throw their gun, attack in melee combat, and parry blows, all the while taking shots from other enemies. This is a dynamic system, but with the AI being as it is, and the bosses essentially being bullet sponges, it removes some of the novelty of such an interesting approach.

You will find yourself ducking behind cover, reloading on the fly, and otherwise making decisions every second of every turn. The key to this game is paying attention to the time at the top of your screen. This is, essentially, the turn order of the game, and your decisions take different times depending on what you choose to do. In addition to this, the loot and RPG mechanics flesh out the game to make it a thoroughly pleasant experience gameplay-wise.

John Wick: Hex Levels

John Wick: Hex, however, is not a perfect game. On the Switch, there are numerous issues, such as the user interface being clunky and the controls not particularly easy to understand. In addition to this, the text is unbearably small. This is understandable since the user interface would require a full redesign to contain all the essential information. Even still, from even a few feet away the text is hard to see, making your best option to play it in handheld mode.

John Wick: Hex, despite the high profile theme, relies on the ideas of other tactical top-down shooters before it, those being, most prominently, the XCOM series of games. While John Wick isn't fighting aliens, the grunts he fights might as well be. The AI in this game is a bit lacking, as enemies don't hear footsteps, barely recognize John Wick for the menace he is in the movies, and also are pitiful shots when engaged in combat. Not to say the game isn't hard, quite the opposite, but it is hard because of the inconsistent AI and not because of level design or other challenges.

John Wick: Weapons

This game feels strange to play since it is fundamentally a tactical game. However, the limiting of your options makes it hard to justify buying. In XCOM, you can throw grenades, shoot the cover, shoot rockets to destroy walls, and pick every loadout of every character. In John Wick: Hex, you are limited to one man and, usually, a pistol or SMG to fight enemies with nearly four times as much health as you. It ends up being a case of having to cheaply kill every enemy, making your gains in the game seem unfulfilling and unearned.

This isn't helped by the linear level design of nearly every map, as well as the clear objectives but lack of clear enemy locations in every map. This makes every level a case of trial and error to get to the end. John Wick: Hex feels rushed, with every single mechanic seeming just not quite fleshed out enough. Despite this, it deserves a look for anyone interested in the XCOM-style genre of games but feels overwhelmed by the customization options that come with them.


  • Story is interesting
  • Voice acting from genuine John Wick actors
  • Sound design feels complete and satisfying to listen to
  • Visually clear
  • Mechanically interesting
  • Challenging
  • RPG mechanics help spice things up
  • Available on many systems


  • AI is lacking
  • Lack of weapon variety
  • Text is so small as to be unreadable on a TV
  • Bosses are a grind to get through
  • Level design is linear and uninteresting
  • Lack of options in combat
  • Feels rushed




Good games are simply that: good. They are generally fun to play but might be lacking in longevity, replay value, or presentation. These games might be good buying decisions for some people, but not for others. Some otherwise great games may fall into this category if they are priced unreasonably high. The devil is in the details.

Want to know what this score means? Check out our Scoring Guidelines page.

Splatoon 3 is Coming to Switch in 2022

Splatoon 3 Logo

During the most recent Nintendo Direct, Nintendo revealed the newest entry in its squid and kid shooter series. Splatoon 3 was revealed, showing off a plethora of new weapons and a character creation screen for you and a new pet.

Splatoon 3 Screenshot

Tucked away at the end of the Nintendo Direct, the Splatoon 3 reveal came as a pleasant surprise to many fans of the franchise. This trailer shows a variety of new features, such as a bow weapon, new maps, and a new pet that is fully customizable.

While a current specific release date is unknown, it is slated for a 2022 release. Check out the full trailer for yourself below.

Pyra and Mythra Revealed as Next Smash Ultimate DLC

Pyra Smash Ultimate

An unexpected but welcome duo of characters is joining the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster as DLC. Pyra and Mythra are set to enter Smash Bros. Ultimate in March, joining Shulk in representing Xenoblade Chronicles. They are part of the Fighters Pass Vol. 2, the second wave of six DLC characters.

Mythra Smash Ultimate

They character duo appear to be able to switch back and forth between them but work as a single character, unlike characters such as the Ice Climbers. The switch is fast, and both have a specific move set that is unique to them. Other than this, very little was revealed in regards to specific moves.

We didn't get a specific release date, but Pyra and Mythra will be available sometime this March. Stay tuned for more information and check out the full reveal trailer below.

Animal Crossing and Switch Highlight Nintendo's Q3 Report

Nintendo Q3 Sales

One month after the end of a quarter, Nintendo releases a financial report that includes worldwide sales data for their consoles and games. This report is out for Q3, which took place from October 1, 2020 - December 31, 2020. This is typically the biggest quarter for Nintendo (and most companies) as it includes the holiday period.

The Nintendo Switch shipped a total of 79.87 million units to date. That's an increase of 11.57 million sold since last quarter. This puts it's lifetime sales at above the 3DS (75.94 million) and fast approaching the GBA (81.51 million).

Highlights for Q3 software sales include an incredible 31.18 million lifetime copies of Animal Crossing, with over 5 million in Q3 alone. This makes Animal Crossing: New Horizons the second best selling Switch game, just behind Mario Kart. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity had a strong launch with 2.84 million units shipped. Pikmin 3 Deluxe had a good launch as well, shipping 1.94 million copies in its launch quarter.

Here's the rest of the sales highlights:

Nintendo Hardware

  • Nintendo Switch total: 79.87m (+11.57m)
    • Nintendo Switch: 66.34m (+8.41m)
    • Nintendo Switch Lite: 13.53m (+3.17m)

Nintendo Software

New Software

  • Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity: 2.84m
  • Pikmin 3 Deluxe: 1.94m
  • Mark Kart Live: Home Circuit: 2.84m

Other Top Software

  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: 33.41m (+4.42m)
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons: 31.18m (+5.14m)
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: 22.85m (+1.75m)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: 21.45m (+1.71m)
  • Pokemon Sword and Shield: 20.35m (+1.33m)
  • Super Mario Odyssey: 20.23m (+1.24m)
  • Super Mario Party: 13.82m (+1.72m)
  • Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee: 13.00m (+0.51m)
  • Splatoon 2: 11.90m (+0.63m)
  • Luigi's Mansion 3: 9.13m (+1.30m)
  • Ring Fit Adventure: 8.68m (+2.84m)
  • Super Mario 3D All-Stars: 8.32m (+3.11m)

If you'd like to check out the full financial report for yourself, look here.

Descend Into Platforming Paradise: Downwell Review

Downwell Logo

Despite not being the biggest or longest game, Downwell amazed me on release because of its daring simplicity, enormous depth, and low price tag. But, does it live up to the hype even through 5 years of age?

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, iOS, Android, PC [Reviewed], PlayStation Vita
Release: October 15, 2015
MSRP: $2.99

Downwell is an unusual game that challenges conventions in the best way possible. While many platformers have you side-scrolling or ascending, Downwell has you descending down a dark and dingy well seeking fame and glory. For most games, this angle would be impossible. After all, if gravity takes hold then you have nowhere to go but down, limiting options for gameplay and removing player agency. But, Downwell solves this by giving the player the freedom to shoot downwards, jump on enemies, and otherwise slow their descent for extra bonuses, as well as extra risk.

Throughout your Downwell journey, you will receive upgrades, go to shops, unlock new palettes and styles, and get better after each run. But, every upgrade only serves to augment an already extremely fleshed out system in Downwell’s movement.

Downwell Opening Screen

Movement is extremely important for platformers, and if one gets it wrong, it can often spell doom for the game in question. Many platformers nowadays feature clunky, overcrowded controls with many actions for attacking and progressing. Downwell solves this problem by limiting controls to three main actions: move, jump, and shoot.

Downwell’s movement can seem sluggish at first, until you begin to experiment with it. As you play the game, you are mastering one of the most perfect systems of momentum I’ve ever encountered. Every jump feels inherently liberating, and as you master it it becomes second-nature extremely quickly.

Downwell Upgrades

As an added bonus, with every enemy you kill, you gain combo points that decay when you touch the ground. These allow you to restore health, increase your ammo count, and grow in power without finishing a level or buying an item. If you’re good enough, you can get a max combo with every level and restore life in order to extend your run. I cannot emphasize enough how important these combos are, as they are often the best way to increase your survivability.

Downwell Styles

If you’re just starting out, Downwell can seem intimidating because the combos are fast moving and sometimes luck-based, depending on enemy spawns and your ammo heading into an encounter. But, Downwell mitigates this by providing obstacles you can jump on that serve to delay the inevitable loss of combo and give your brain precious milliseconds to think.

Downwell Catacombs

When you first start out, a platform is a sign of safety. But, when you’re running around with a 20+ combo over your head, platforms are much more obstacles than they are places of asylum. Enemies become opportunities very quickly. It is in this way that Downwell subverts norms about platformers and roguelikes, and establishes itself as a genuine classic.

In terms of music, it is very thematic, but catchy. My least favorite track was world 2, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t fit the graveyard aesthetic. The world 1 music does extremely well at getting the player into a new run, which is good because you will be hearing it often. The general sound design and presentation are weaker than the music, with some sounds being harsh on the ears (The opening title screen is a good example). But, others, despite the pixel art arcade theme, are both clear in their message and a pleasure to listen to.

Downwell Game Over Screen

The art style of Downwell may be its strongest point. Enemies are clearly labelled so that even when you’ve never been to a world you can tell which ones will hurt you and which ones are combo food. The pixel art graphics are simple, as is the rest of the game, but this helps rather than hurts the fast-paced, chaotic experience. Visual clarity is extremely important in a game like this, and Downwell nails it. In addition to this, simple actions like entering a side room, freezing time, and taking damage are clearly given cues so that the player knows when they have happened. You never end a run thinking that the game cheated you, or that there was some weird mechanic you didn’t know about that caused you to make a dumb decision.

Downwell Aquifer

In my Downwell journey I never felt like I was fighting the game, I felt like I was working with it to pull off flashy, quick, and precise, moves. When I succeeded in getting a max combo, I felt really cool. There are very few games that I can legitimately say have done that to me. Despite that, I would never binge Downwell for hours/days at a time. This is a game that you pick up, play two or three times a day, and then put down. Give yourself time to slowly improve at the game, otherwise you may end up frustrated. Despite that, Downwell deserves a spot among the best as an exceptionally fun, simple, and interesting roguelike.


  • Movement is excellent, with just the right amount of momentum to feel liberating and fun
  • Plenty of Replay Value
  • Cheap
  • Short and Sweet
  • Challenging
  • Charming pixel art aesthetic
  • Available on many systems


  • Music can be repetitive sometimes
  • Only 3 or 4 color palettes are usable, the rest are borderline detrimental to the player
  • Movement can feel sluggish and unresponsive at first
  • Works better with a controller




Excellent games have our official recommendation and are examples of what every game should strive to be. These games feature exciting gameplay, engaging stories (when applicable), intuitive controls and movement, polished and fitting presentations, and good value. Above all else, these games are truly fun to play.

Want to know what this score means? Check out our Scoring Guidelines page.

Innovative Improvement: Rhythm Fighter Review

Rhythm Fighter Logo

Rhythm-based roguelikes are a rare breed of video game, but since the release and success of Crypt of the Necrodancer, they are becoming more and more common. Rhythm Fighter is one of these games, and while the comparisons between this and Crypt of the Necrodancer are valid, they don’t give either game proper justice. Rhythm Fighter may be similar, but it’s definitely no pushover.

Platforms: PC, Switch [Reviewed]
Developer: Echo Games
Publisher: Coconut Island Games
Release: May 27, 2020 on Steam, January 14, 2021 on Switch
MSRP: $14.99

Press Copy provided by Coconut Island Games

Rhythm Fighter gives the player the ability to attack, move, roll, and use items all in tune with the beat of a background song. The songs are different based on the level, and their strength varies anywhere from genuine masterpieces of electronic music to pleasant background songs. In short, the music is fantastic and adds to the experience rather than taking away from it. The songs also change dynamically based on whether you’re in a shop, or are finished with all the enemies in a room.

Rhythm Fighter

This system is far less intrusive than Crypt of the Necrodancer’s system, which both removes the disco lights on the ground and plays a heartbreaking sound upon a missed beat. Rather, in Rhythm Fighter, you are given very visual feedback as to your mistakes, with words above your character’s head showing you just how close to the beat you are.

This is a subtle change, but one that dramatically changes your mindset while playing. Rather than pointing out mistakes, the game rewards skillful play. For a roguelike, this is both rare and refreshing to see.

However, there is a downside to this, as sometimes it’s hard to notice when/how you lose health. Your health bar will disappear and you’ll be surprised when you look down and see yourself at 25% health. However, this isn’t nearly the biggest flaw the game has in its presentation.

While musically the game is nearly flawless, there are other ways that Rhythm Fighter distracts you from its experience. For one, the text is incredibly small, and while this isn’t an issue while you’re playing it on your Switch directly, when you switch to using it on a TV, it becomes almost unreadable.

Rhythm Level 2

Secondly, the default controls on the Switch version and, I suspect, in other versions as well, are very difficult to handle for a newcomer. They are weird, incorporating the shoulder buttons in strange, distracting ways that detract from the experience if it’s your first time playing. But, even if it takes some getting used to, these controls allow you to pull off cool combos, roll away, and then do it all again quickly and easily. The controls are, in short, very difficult to learn, but easier than most other roguelikes to master.

In my time playing this game, I got better quickly and my improvement seemed constant, but rewarding at the same time. It’s a weird feeling to describe when a roguelike hits that level of progression well, but Rhythm Fighter definitely does. While some people look for steep learning curves and difficulty in their roguelikes, Rhythm Fighter provides a very easygoing but rewarding experience for the majority of players. This is definitely worth analyzing and celebrating.

Rhythm Level 1

In addition to the rhythm-based elements of the game, Rhythm Fighter provides several innovations to the genre in the form of enemy-based minigames. For instance, a button-mashing minigame forces you to take a break from bobbing your head to the music and start slamming your thumb into the attack button. Another minigame forces you to time your attacks with the melody of the song rather than the beat. This requires you to listen to an entirely different section of the song than you’re used to. It catches you off guard for sure, but is also a welcome break from the mind-numbing rhythm of the beat.

These creative minigames are definitely a nice change of pace, and help break up the fun of the rhythm-based beat-em-up style gameplay that the game advertises.

Rhythm Button Mashing

The bosses show both the best and worst of Rhythm Fighter. For one, they do not necessarily have to attack in time with the beat. This makes them challenging but also frustrating. But, they are also thematically creative, and a good way of showing your progress in the game. Even so, this does not really cover up the fact that they are playing a very different game than you are.

In general, the game succeeds at what it intends to do. There are a few flaws in gameplay, but overall Rhythm Fighter is a solid game that any fan of Crypt of the Necrodancer, or roguelikes in general, will really enjoy sinking their teeth into.


  • Excellent music
  • Fun, rewarding gameplay
  • Great feeling of progression and improvement
  • Colorful, unique characters
  • Great item and weapon variety and balance
  • Unique art style
  • Roguelike map layout and time challenges add a feeling of urgency to standard gameplay


  • Strange control decisions detract from gameplay
  • Only one control scheme is usable with a controller
  • Text is far too fast and small to be readable on a TV
  • Bosses are frustrating, but rewarding




Great games are generally good buying decisions and are recommended for those with an interest in the genre. There might be a few flaws that detract from the gameplay, stories, controls, presentations, or value, but the game is still an enjoyable experience that justifies a full playthrough.

Want to know what this score means? Check out our Scoring Guidelines page.

Puzzling Presentation: Figment Review

Figment Logo

Short and sweet puzzle games have made significant progress in recent years towards perfecting the formula of charm. Cute characters, funny interactions, and stellar voice acting normally all permeate this genre. Figment steps in as a game that attempts to emulate such puzzling charm. It is cute, short, and relatively cheap. But, does it hold up in the face of other, similarly compelling puzzle games?

Platforms: PC [Reviewed], Playstation 4, Switch, Android, Xbox One, Google Stadia
Developer: Bedtime Digital Games
Release: September 22, 2017
MSRP: $19.99

In short, Figment is a mixed bag. In terms of gameplay, it attempts to emulate Bastion in its style and, to a lesser extent, its combat. Combat basically involves dodging every few seconds to avoid attacks while mashing the attack key. It can get more tactical, as certain enemies can only be hit after attacking. But, that is about as deep as it gets. Other fights attempt to augment the puzzles, but end up falling short because of the gratuitous hints given by Piper, one of the game's main characters. The main draw of this game, in terms of gameplay, is definitely its puzzle aspect.

Figment Lily Pads

The puzzles are not overly taxing, and not very mentally stimulating. For some, this may be a plus, but I found myself breezing through the game without much of a thought as to what I was doing. The game is intended to ramp up the puzzles, but throughout my playthrough I was never really challenged.

So, the game is easy, both in fights and puzzles. This may be a plus for some, and a minus for others. But, in general, if you're looking for fights as intense as Bastion, or puzzles as mind-numbing a Zelda game, then you're not going to be looking for Figment. There is some value in the combination of genres, but Figment doesn't excel in either genre and so they both end up detracting from the primary draw for the game: its presentation.

Figment Gate

To summarize the visual presentation: it's fantastic. Every level feels alive and filled with secrets. Every house has a resident, every tree has a theme. The levels are alive and create beautiful music in time with your actions. The characters all speak in puns or rhymes, and there wasn't a single level where I thought the theme was visually bad. There may not be many environments to play in, but the ones the game does present are done flawlessly.

The audio presentation, however, is as lacking as the gameplay. The voice-acting is fun at first, but quickly gets annoying. Piper, the bird who follows you around, is an especially poor case of this. Not only does she give unneeded hints, but also her voice is high-pitched and lacks any real character. The main character has a very strange voice actor, and tends to dismiss other characters, making him exceedingly unlikable. Other characters will sing and dance as they attack you, making this a stretch towards the charm I discussed earlier, but their songs are short, uninspired, and sometimes harsh on the ears.

Figment Tail

As you start the game, you will see the poor audio in action as soon as you step on a lily pad. The squish it makes made me visibly cringe. In addition to this, though, the squish those lily pads make is repeated as a sound effect throughout the game, making it even more annoying. Sound design is an important part of presentation, for any game, and where many games succeed, unfortunately Figment fails.

Story-wise, the game is okay. The characters are charming, or they would be if they had better voice work, and the progression is short, sweet, and says some interesting things about mental health. The game's message is clear, concise, and positive.

Figment Main Character

The game is good in many ways, but it is just that: good. There isn't a single area, except visually, where the game excels. However, the game does succeed in making a cute, short, and memorable game about mental health and overcoming trauma. Other games have tried to make similar strides towards understanding the human psyche and failed, but Figment succeeds, and that is worth celebrating. Get it on sale, you won't regret it.


  • Short and memorable
  • Fantastic visual presentation
  • Good music
  • Very relaxing
  • Positive message about mental health


  • Gameplay is repetitive and boring
  • Fights are uninspired and tedious
  • Puzzles are easy
  • Sound design is poor
  • Voice acting is not particularly good




Good games are simply that: good. They are generally fun to play but might be lacking in longevity, replay value, or presentation. These games might be good buying decisions for some people, but not for others. Some otherwise great games may fall into this category if they are priced unreasonably high. The devil is in the details.

Want to know what this score means? Check out our Scoring Guidelines page.

Mario Red and Blue Nintendo Switch Console Revealed

Mario Red Blue Nintendo Switch

Alongside a new trailer for Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury, Nintendo have revealed a new Nintendo Switch console variant. A Mario Red & Blue Nintendo Switch will launch alongside Super Mario 3D World on February 12, 2021. Pictured above, the new Switch features a red Switch, dock, and Joy Cons as well as blue plastic straps and a blue controller grip for the Joy Cons.

There will also be a Mario themed carrying case and a screen protector included in this bundle. The MSRP will be the standard $299.99 for the original Switch model. While it doesn't include a copy of Super Mario 3D World, those who buy will at least get the added value of the carrying case.

New Super Mario 3D World Trailer Showcases Bowser's Fury Content

Super Mario 3D World Bowser's Fury

After a quiet few months since the game was announced, we finally got some more information about the upcoming Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury. It came in the form of a two minute trailer that showed off a few interesting new things.

It seems that the premise of this expansion content, Bowser's Fury, will be to take on a gigantic enraged Bowser. To do this, it looks to require a large power-up that transforms Mario into an equally giant cat form. To make things more interesting, Bowser Jr. is in the mix, and may even be helping out Mario this time around.

Super Mario 3D World Bowser's Fury Cat Shine

There appear to be a few new collectibles exclusive to the Bowser's Fury portion of the game. While the base game has Green Stars and Stamps to collect, it looks like the collectibles in Bowser's Fury are cat themed. What appears to be a Cat Shine and Cat Coins make their debut in this trailer.

You can check out the full trailer below and see if you can pick up on anything we missed. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury is set to launch in one month on February 12, 2021. Stay tuned for further coverage and a complete set of strategy guides upon the release of the game.

Delve Into Addiction: Spelunky 2 Review

Spelunky 2 Logo

Roguelikes have made a lot of progress in the past few years towards level design that can compete with other, more conventional, games. Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether or not a roguelike is truly randomly generated. While all this is true, many roguelike developers have had one game in the back of their mind during the design process: Spelunky. Spelunky has always been a unique roguelike, relying on its strange, often obscure mechanics to carry it in a market that is bloated with platformers. However, Spelunky now has a sequel, and it easily bests the original, as well as many other roguelikes in the same genre.

Platforms: PC [Reviewed], Playstation Store, Switch (Summer 2021)
Developer: Mossmouth, Blitworks
Release: September 15, 2020
MSRP: $19.99

Spelunky 2 is, put quite simply, a gem among platformers. As with the first game, the gameplay loop is both challenging and addicting. Despite its ultra-hard, and sometimes, unfair perspective on platforming, Spelunky 2 features a wide variety of ways to ease the player into the experience. For example, most falls in world 1 can be avoided by correctly jumping or falling on the right block. Coupled with the sometimes extremely generous appearances of bombs and rope, it is often easier just to skip straight to the exit than it is to go through the level. That being said, it isn’t always the wisest idea to skip treasure. In this way, Spelunky 2 repeats the same decision making process over and over again: does one pick the easy path or the most profitable?

This decision making permeates every layer of this game. Let’s take a specific example of this in action: the whip. The front of the whip is easier to hit with, but requires a small delay, and in Spelunky 2 milliseconds can make the difference. A much harder strategy, but sometimes more effective, is using the back of the whip. Here, one can instantly pop bats and other enemies. But, if you miss, you must go through the full whip animation before you can try again. It also has a smaller bottom hitbox, meaning that sometimes it will miss enemies in strange places.

Spelunky 2 Screenshot World 2

This constant back-and-forth decision making is what makes Spelunky 2 so addicting. Did you die to a giant spider in the jungle of world 2? Well, if you had gone to the volcano maybe that wouldn’t have happened. Did you throw a rock to destroy a bone block to save a few seconds and it bounced down and hit you, causing a chain reaction that eventually cost you your life? Well, you could have just whipped that bone block. In this way, Spelunky shows you that your decision making is only valid when supported by your mechanics. And, Spelunky 2 is definitely not messing around when it comes to mechanics.

In terms of gameplay, the controls are responsive, tight, and easy to use, initially at least. While you are delving into Spelunky 2’s many worlds, you will make mistakes that will leave you stunned. For instance, holding items near a ledge will cause you to automatically drop them. This may seem unintuitive, and it is, but it also makes you watch your step even more when holding a valuable item, your pet cat, or a rock that might kill your friend. Just like everything in Spelunky 2, the learning curve for properly moving your character is steep. It is for this reason that we highly recommend using a controller while playing Spelunky 2.

Spelunky 2 Screenshot world 4

The music in Spelunky 2 is thematic for every level, and completes the experience. Despite the world 1 music being potentially the weakest (compared to the original), as well as the one you will hear the most, the music is extremely good. There is no sweeter feeling in the world than making it to a new level and hearing new tracks. It drives home your progression, and the upbeat nature of most of the songs makes it sound all the more triumphant.

Speaking of progression, most of that is made up of unlocking new skins for your character. However, there is no small amount of progression that comes from getting better at the game. Consistently making it to the second world of the game after two or three runs really makes you think: “How did I ever think world 1 was hard?” Then you die, then you die a few more times in world 1 and think “Oh, that’s how.”

Spelunky 2 Screenshot World 1

It is worth noting that there is a shortcut system built into the game, and after a while of playing runs from world 1 to 2, world 1 will seem trivial. So, it is nice to be able to skip world 1 and practice the harder levels.

There are other modes to Spelunky, such as the arena mode. However, these should be reserved for parties, as the AI is a bit chaotic, as well as sometimes end up making the game unwinnable by bombing out specific tiles. Not that this won’t happen in a game with your friends, it’s just that it is a lot easier to explain, and a whole lot easier to joke about. As it is, playing arena by yourself is a bit like playing Mario Party alone: unnecessary and slightly weird.

Spelunky 2 Screenshot Arena

As a final note, the online in Spelunky 2 is adequate. If both players have decent enough systems (this won’t be an issue hopefully when it comes out for Switch), and good enough internet connections, you can play with little to no lag. The multiplayer options do make the game slightly easier, as you can revive your friend after 1 level if they died, and it spawns them in with 4 health. However, Spelunky 2 could use a little more forgiveness, and so I found this made the gameplay more intense and strategic rather than easier.

If there was a flaw I could point out in Spelunky 2, it would be that it has too steep a learning curve for the average gamer. However, in general, the game rewards the curious with a deep, but non-intuitive, platforming experience. If you’re looking to learn, improve, and finally demonstrate your mastery over a genuinely challenging game, look no further than Spelunky 2.


  • Deep, challenging gameplay
  • Great music
  • Fun with friends
  • Responsive controls
  • Lots of replay-value


  • Mechanics seem odd and arcane at times
  • Not very beginner friendly
  • Multiplayer netcode has a tendency to hiccup when encountering poor connections




Great games are generally good buying decisions and are recommended for those with an interest in the genre. There might be a few flaws that detract from the gameplay, stories, controls, presentations, or value, but the game is still an enjoyable experience that justifies a full playthrough.

Want to know what this score means? Check out our Scoring Guidelines page.

Sephiroth from Final Fantasy is Coming to Smash Ultimate

Super Smash Bros Ultimate Sephiroth

Another fan favorite Final Fantasy character will officially be a member of the Smash Bros. roster. Sephiroth joins Cloud from Final Fantasy 7 as the next Smash Ultimate DLC Fighter. He can be purchased for $5.99 as part of Challenge Pack 8 or comes bundled with Min Min and Steve along with other unannounced fighters in Fighters Pass Vol. 2. He will be available starting December 22, 2020.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate Sephiroth

For those unfamiliar with Final Fantasy VII, Cloud is the main protagonist while Sephiroth is the primary antagonist of the game. This means that Sephiroth joins the growing roster of "bad guys" in Smash Ultimate.

Compared to Cloud, who is short and heavy, Sephiroth will be tall and light. His attacks don't pack quite the punch but they are faster and his sword, Masamune, has incredible range. In addition to his lengthy sword, Sephiroth will make use of various magic spells from the Final Fantasy series in his moveset.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate Sephiroth

Releasing alongside Sephiroth is a brand new stage in Smash Ultimate. Northern Cave, the location of the final battle with Sephiroth in Final Fantasy VII, is the setting for this new stage. Featured on this stage are the iconic Highwind airship and the all-powerful summons Meteor and Holy.

The release of Sephiroth also comes with new Final Fantasy music, with nine new trakcs being added to Smash Ultimate's growing soundtrack. This makes a total of eleven Final Fantasy tracks in the game.

If you are interested in learning more about Sephiroth's moveset and features, check out Sakurai's full presentation of the character below. Remember he launches on December 22, 2020 and stay tuned for more information on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and upcoming fighters.

Minecraft Steve is the Next Smash Ultimate DLC Fighter

Super Smash Bros Ultimate Minecraft Steve

Fans have been asking for it for a long time now, but no-one really expected them to do it. But alas, Minecraft's Steve is now a fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. For those unfamiliar, Steve is the name given to the default skin Minecraft character with the classic teal shirt and blue pants. Yup, that guy is coming to Smash.

His inclusion comes in the form of paid DLC as part of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighters Pass Vol. 2, which can be downloaded from the eshop for $29.99. He can also be purchased on his own for $5.99. His official release is October 13, 2020. Alongside the character will come a Minecraft themed stage called Minecraft World and seven music tracks from Minecraft.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate Minecraft Steve

As you might imagine, Steve will play quite differently than most Smash Bros. characters. His moveset is of course themed around his actions in Minecraft. When a match starts, he'll get a crafting table that can be moved around the stage. He can use this to craft different weapons (pickaxe, sword, axe, etc) of varying material and strength.

To gather the material for crafting, Steve can mine the ground or walls of any stage. The materials will correspond to the stage and spot on the ground. These can include wood, stone, iron, gold, redstone, and diamond. These will be mined quickly on a cycle and your materials are indicated in a ratio bar near your damage display.

In addition to crafting, the materials can be used to place blocks around the stage. These can be used to block out opponents or to simply move around. They can be broken by Steve or any other character fairly quickly and have different properties depending on material and stage position.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate Minecraft Steve

Steve's moveset also revolves heavily around the materials he gathers. He has a down-smash attack that uses an iron anvil that will consume iron materials. His other smash attacks use a piston to launch the opponent either to the side or straight up.

One of Steve's special attacks is a minecart that can be used as a quick horizontal attack. Steve can either ride the cart to smash into his opponent or leave it empty to scoop them up and trap them for a brief time. You'll need materials to craft rails for the minecart and can use redstone to give it a speed boost.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate Minecraft Steve

Most of Steve's basic moves include slicing and dicing with his sword and other crafted weapons. You can check out Sakurai's showcase of the character in full below for a more indepth look at his moveset and unique traits. There are of course a few extra touches like using the classic Minecraft bed when being put to sleep by Jigglypuff. And when Kirby swallows Steve, it will turn into a pink cube.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate Minecraft Steve

The new stage coming alongside steve is called Minecraft World. The stage has six different varients based on the biomes found in Minecraft. The biome will be random selected when the stage is picked. Each variant has different types of blocks and features various Minecraft structures in the background.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate Minecraft Steve

Steve's alternate skins also bring several other Minecraft characters into the game. These include the pictured Steve, Alex, Enderman, and Zombie skins.

Steve and his accompanying stage will be available to download on October 13. The Fighters Pass Vol. 2 also includes the recently released Min-Min as well as 4 other unannounced fighters. Stay tuned for more information on those fighters as they are revealed.

Super Mario 35th Anniversary Direct Brings Tons of Mario Games to Nintendo Switch

Mario 35th Anniversary Direct

Nintendo has once again surprised us with a new Nintendo Direct out of nowhere. This seems to be a recurring trend as of late. This one features some of the long rumored games and content coming in celebration of the Super Mario 35th Anniversary!

What should we expect from this surprising and exciting event? A ton of Super Mario Bros. main titles being brought over to the Nintendo Switch. Here's a recap of the new games coming in celebration of this anniversary:

  • Game & Watch Super Mario Bros. Edition: Remember the classic Game & Watch handheld systems? Now there's a brand new Super Mario Bros Edition in 2020. You can play the original Super Mario Bros. NES game along with the Lost Levels on the new physical system. It also has at least 35 little easter eggs to discover. It'll be physically released on November 13th 2020.
  • Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury: This main entry 3D Mario title from Wii U is getting a Switch port. There's some brand new content called Bowser's Fury that we don't know much about yet. There will also be online play in addition to local 4 player co-op. It has a release date of February 12th 2021.
  • Super Mario Bros. 35: This new online Super Mario Bros. has a brand new multiplayer twist, play with your friends and be the very first one to finish. Very similar to Tetris 99, you can play with 35 others online and sent enemies to their game as you defeat them on yours. THe last to survive is the winner. It'll be available on the eshop on October 1st 2020.
  • Mario Kart LIVE Home Circuit: Mario Kart with AR elements is exactly what we needed for this year. This is a physical product that allows you to build your own small circuit in your home. You can then use your switch to control small RC karts and for a mixed-reality experience. Available on October 16th 2020.
  • Super Mario All Stars: This collection of the original 2D Mario games first released on SNES in 1993 is coming to Switch. It's free on the SNES online app for all Nintendo Online subscribers starting today.
  • Super Mario 3D All Stars: This is the long rumored 3D collection we've been teased about this year. It features a Switch port of the first three 3D Mario games: Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy. The ports feature small optimizations for Switch (including 16x9 aspect ratio for Sunshine) and will arrive in digital and physical forms on September 18th 2020. However, it will be a limited release, only available to purchase until March 2021.

Take a look at the presentation in full below, it's a great one. Stay tuned for more Super Mario events planned in celebration of the 35th anniversary this year.

Nintendo Direct Mini August 26 Recap - Partner Showcase

Nintendo Direct Mini August 26

Nintendo is ready to showcase the best of their partners in this second Nintendo Direct Mini focusing on them. Third-party games are still the main focus, now we can see more of them and even some more surprises in the form of DLC. Let's do a quick recap of each announcement:

  • Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory: Rhythm will be your main tool in this game, including special abilities, featuring the most popular Disney songs and even boss battles against familiar villains. It even has a brand new movie theater that features scenes from previous games and a brand new local multiplayer! This title will be available on November 13th this year.
  • FUSER: This music mixing game has some of the most trending songs ever, including Blinding Lights and Dance Monkey! Be the best DJ and mix some music with your friends. The game will be available Fall 2020.
  • TAIKO NO TATSUKIN Rhythmic Adventure Pack: The new RPG adventure where you solve mysteries while rhythming your way through! A lot of characters will be available and over 130 songs to play! Available Winter 2020.
  • World of Tanks Blitz: Team with your friends in a 7 vs. 7 battle online. Assemble your crew and play with millions of players online, available now in the eshop.
  • Big Rumble Boxing Creed Champions: Experience the road of becoming a great boxer, a'la Rocky Balboa. The games features characters from a wide range of other franchises. Test your skills with your friends starting in Spring 2021.
  • COLLECTION of SaGa FINAL FANTASY LEGEND: A true classic RPG collection is on the way to Nintendo Switch! Navigate through your fantasy world with customizable characters and get to know the very first Final Fantasy games ever made. Available December 15th 2020.
  • Just Dance 2021: Featuring 40 new tracks, ranging from Billie Ellish to Dua Lipa! Team up with friends to kill the dance floor on November 12th 2020.
  • Puyo Puyo Tetris 2: Two iconic puzzle franchises are united for the second time. The game features different modes from competitive battle to a party mode to just have fun with Tetris. There's also a brand new Adventure mode with a story to follow with fun challenges. The game comes out December 8th 2020.
  • FINAL FANTASY CRYSTAL CHRONICLES Remastered Edition: Your favourite chronicles are being remasterd on Nintendo Switch. It features new dungeons and weapons and updated graphics. Available on August 27th 2020.

A variety of third party DLC was also announced, including:

  • Minecraft Dungeons Creeping Winter DLC: New weapons, armor, and much more content awaits. This DLC is coming next month, in September 2020.
  • Jump Force Deluxe Edition: This DLC adds more than 50 characters to choose from your favourite franchises. It's available for downlaod on August 28th 2020.
  • Captain Tsubasa Rise of New Champions: A brand new soccer arcade game is being added to the game, available on August 28th 2020.

Nintendo sure knows how to get the best out of any kind of showcase. Find out more in the Nintendo Direct Mini we have embedded in full below.

Pikmin 3 Deluxe is Coming to Nintendo Switch on October 30

Pikmin 3 Deluxe logo

Nintendo surprised us this month with the return of our little friends from the fan favorite Pikmin series. Now with even more features than the Wii U release, Pikmin 3 Deluxe was announced for Nintendo Switch!

Pikmin 3 was originally released on Wii U in 2013 showing us a brand new adventure with three new characters: Alph, Brittany, and Charlie. Now the Switch will be receiving a definitive version on October 30th of this year, featuring all Pikmin 3 content plus the DLC and more.

The trailer teased us with some of the new features, here's what we know so far:

  • Two Player Co-Op: you can use the help of a second player in your journey to divvy up tasks as you explore the huge world of PNF-404 that awaits!
  • New Adventures: play side-story missions featuring Olimar and Louie and all the DLC stages from the original release.
  • Gameplay Improvements: expanded exploration, enhanced targeting systems, difficulty modes, and more!
  • Piklopedia: wanting to know more insights about the Pikmin world? Get into this new encyclopedia full of unique perspectives on each creature you come across in the world of Pikmin.
  • Bingo Battle: if you want a more competitive multiplayer option than the co-op story, there's a new bingo battle mode. Face off in this bingo battle using all the characters featured in the game.
  • Mission Mode: online leaderboards are the focus here: each mission contains a particular goal. You can compare your times and rankings with your friends and others.

We have a rather short trailer, it's currently unknown if there are additional features coming to this remaster. Stay tuned for further news to find out. Pikmin 3 Deluxe will be released on October 30th for Nintendo Switch.

Second Summer Update is Coming to Animal Crossing New Horizons

Animal Crossing New Horizons Wave 2 Summer Update

A new summer update, released earlier than expected, has come to Animal Crossing: New Horizons. This update introduces a few new features and brings back the Dream Suite from New Leaf.

As we know, the previous summer update was released for Animal Crossing just a couple of weeks ago, reintroducing the mechanic of swimming to explore the sea and diving for sea creatures. Here is a glimpse of what you can find in this update:

  • Fireworks: Every Sunday in August you will be able to see an amazing fireworks show at night! Also, you can collect special festive DIYs that you can craft for yourself.
  • Dream Suite: A concept introduced in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, now you have Luna as your host, she will help you access different islands so you can explore the world!
  • Island Backup Restoration Service: Available on July 30, this will automatically upload island and user save data, for more information you can directly consult their website. This is a special version of cloud saving for
  • Free Fall Update!: They also announced an exciting new free update aimed to release this fall. It might be Halloween focused, as we saw it on the video.

Remember that this update will be available starting July 30th. You can watch the entire announcement in the Animal Crossing: Summer Update below. Stay tuned for more information for the fall update!

Nintendo Direct Mini July 20 Recap - Partner Showcase

Nintendo Direct July 20

Nintendo announced a surprise Nintendo Direct Mini a couple of days ago this time with a new twist: focusing on upcoming games from their publishing partners!

As we know, the last Nintendo Direct was a couple of months ago, showing us various first-party game information and DLC that was released the past few months, but now they want you to see that they have more variety and you can even see some familiar faces within their third-party games!

Here's a little bit about each announcement:

  • Cadence of Hyrule gets 3 new additional DLC packs: they range from bringing familiar characters to the game, to a completely new story content featuring a rather hard to forget character with new mechanics! A physical version is also planned to be released on October 23.
  • Rogue Company is a brand new multiplayer third-person shooter from First Watch Games. It features cross-platform and cross-progression!
  • WWE 2K Battlegrounds: let the fight begin! This upcoming professional wrestling game is coming in the form of a rather interesting new environments. It's planned to launch on September 18 of this year.
  • SHIN MEGAMI TENSEI III HD REMASTER: Atlus is ready to delight us with this brand new remaster of the cult classic game we all know, planned to arrive in spring 2021.

It was a rather brief 8 minute direct that featured only third party content. But there will surely be more first party announcements to come in the near future. You can watch the entire Nintendo Direct Mini below. Stay tuned for more announcements to come as the year progresses.

Swimming and Diving Update is Now Available in Animal Crossing New Horizons

Animal Crossing Diving Update

A new summer update is now available to download in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The version 1.3.0 update brings back the diving mechanic that was first introduced in New Leaf. After purchasing a wet suit at Nook's Cranny or through the Nook Shopping app, you'll be able to swim around your island and dive for sea creatures. There are a total of 40 sea creatures to find and they rotate out via time of day, time of year, and hemisphere. They can be donated to the museum and will appear in tanks alongside your fish.

Animal Crossing Diving Update

Pascal is back from New Leaf as well. You can find him while swimming about and he'll trade any scallops you find for mermaid theme DIY recipes. Gulliver will continue to appear washed up on beaches, but he will sometimes sport pirate themed clothing and give you new special rewards. There are also more items to spend nook miles on.

Additionally, another summer update is planned for early August. We don't know the details of what that will bring, but stay tuned for more information!

A New Paper Mario Game has been Revealed for Switch

Paper Mario Oragami King Screenshot

Out of nowhere a new Paper Mario game has been revealed. Nintendo dropped a trailer on Youtube to announce a brand new entry in the series, called Paper Mario: The Oragami King. A Paper Mario game for Switch has been long rumored to be in development, and it looks like those rumors were true (or just a rather safe guess). Paper Mario: The Oragami King will launch for Switch on July 17 with an MSRP of $59.99.

Paper Mario Oragami King Screenshot

As the title might suggest, the game has a clear oragami theme. The trailer suggests something about being folded up might bring out a sinister side in a paper character, as the oragami form of everyone shown seems to be pitted against you, including Princess Peach.

Paper Mario Oragami King Screenshot

The plot revolves around a quest to save the Mushroom Kingdom from the original character King Olly, the oragami king. True to Paper Mario games of the past, he's gone ahead and unearthed Princess Peach's Castle and moved it to a distant mountain. He's also recruited many of Bowser's minions and folded them up and pit them against you.

Luckily, it appears you'll have a few allies to help you out as well. King Olly's own sister, Olivia, appears to be on your team and may serve some sort of partner role for you. It seems that even Bowser, still in paper form, might be taking your side on this one. Mario will utilize one oragami ability, a pair of folded arms dubbed "1000-Fold Arms" that he uses to pull apart and bend the oragami world.

Paper Mario Oragami King Screenshot

An all new battle system is also presented. It appears to be turn based and ditches the sticker/badge mechanic all together. Rather, there is a layered circular battlefield that mario can manipulate to line up enemies and attack more at once. It's a more puzzle based approach that relies more on positioning than collecting attacks or utilizing partners.

Judging from the two minute trailer, it doesn't look like The Oragami King will be a true return to form of the original N64 title and The Thousand Year Door that many fans desperately want. However, it does seem to contain a little more depth in plot, mechanics, and scale that titles like Sticker Star and Color Splash lacked. Maybe this game will find it's home somewhere in the middle of the two styles, with the likes of Super Paper Mario.

It's a bit too early to tell, but the trailer gives us hope for a solid game at least. We won't need to wait long however, as the game will be launching in less than two months, on July 17. Stay tuned until then for further news and coverage. Here's the full trailer reveal:

Veritable Verticality - VVVVVV Review

VVVVVV Screenshot Switch

When it comes to 2D platformers, a lot of ground has been covered in the 40 or so years since home gaming became popular, particularly since the days of early personal computers. Most throwback games are styled on popular 8-bit games of the NES, not so much from the Commodore 64 and its brethren making up the PC scene at around the same time, but VVVVVV provides a stark and simplistic contrast that flips conventions upside down, literally. Inspired by classic PC titles such as Jet Set Willy, Terry Cavanaugh takes us to a time oft forgotten and shows us just how a change of perspective can broaden the scope of a game.

Platforms: PC, Xbox, Playstation, 3DS, Switch [Reviewed]
Developer: Terry Cavanagh
Release: November 17, 2017
MSRP: $9.99

VVVVVV Screenshot Switch

The primary mechanic of VVVVVV is how you can flip gravity instead of jumping, testing the player’s spatial awareness upside down on top of the normal perspective in order to navigate your way through creative obstacles. VVVVVV takes this core idea and explores every possible angle that comes with it, both directly and indirectly with numerous ideas presenting themselves even in one single screen. The sheer volume of possibilities that present themselves is ridiculous, but thankfully never overwhelming.

Many challenges are eased onto you bit by bit, before gradually escalating and eventually merging other ideas together to create even more unique layouts to navigate through. Nothing ever feels like it repeats itself, even if you do happen upon a similar challenge you took on before, thanks to the creative usage of all the combined elements coming together.

VVVVVV Screenshot Switch

As such, it does get rather difficult. This would normally lead to frustration at dying repeatedly, but the combination of ultra-responsive controls, generous checkpoints dotted about and the quick respawn time means you’re right back into the action faster than you can blink. Add to the fact that you only take on challenges on a room by room basis gives you time to digest things one at a time and a sense of relief once you do succeed each one.

There are some areas that go against this, particularly one multi-room trial that will truly test your skill and patience, but never in such a way that leads to things being unfair. Great care was put into the design to make sure nothing feels unreasonable whilst also pushing the player forward with an addictive sense of conquering each progressively escalating hurdle.

The plot to VVVVVV is deliberately simplistic, having its tongue planted firmly in cheek with how basic it is. You play as Captain Viridian with the goal of finding missing crew members of your spaceship after it suddenly gets hit by dimensional interference. The six missing members act as the goals for each of the game’s themed areas, with unique puzzles that distinguish them from each other. Scattered around are monitors with documentation that fleshes out the plot further, but are entirely optional.

The primary collectible are literal trinkets that are simply comforting and nice to look at. Adding to its quirky sense of humour is that every single room has a unique name, all named by Bennet Foddy of Getting Over It fame. Many are laced with pop culture references, meta jokes or even just silly gags. One such example is a room with the name “What lies beneath?” where if you decide to go one room below you find out it’s called “Spikes do!” and you immediately die to spikes.

VVVVVV Screenshot Switch

It’s rare to find a game that knows its identity so well and is designed so accordingly with the escalating challenges it presents. VVVVVV would be less of a game if its brevity meant it never overstays its welcome, less is more would easily describe the philosophy behind it. With its sharp design and even sharper wit, it’s hard not to recommend VVVVVV to any avid platformer fan.


  • Superbly designed
  • Brilliant sense of humour and knows it
  • Challenging without being frustrating
  • Doesn’t overstay its welcome


  • It is still short though




Great games are generally good buying decisions and are recommended for those with an interest in the genre. There might be a few flaws that detract from the gameplay, stories, controls, presentations, or value, but the game is still an enjoyable experience that justifies a full playthrough.

Want to know what this score means? Check out our Scoring Guidelines page.

Nintendo Direct Mini March 26 Recap

Nintendo Direct Mini March 2020

A couple of days ago, Nintendo dropped a new Nintendo Direct Mini by surprise. The 30-minute presentation highlighted some Nintendo Switch titles that will be released in the next few months. Highlights include Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition coming in May, the Borderlands and Bioshock getting collections on Switch on May 29, and the next Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC fighter being an ARMS character.

If you prefer, you can watch the presentation in full embedded below. Otherwise, here are some more headlines and details showcased in the Nintendo Direct Mini:

  • Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition is a port of the original Xenoblade Chronicles for Wii that will launch for Switch on May 29. The switch port features visual enhancements, remixed music, and an exclusive epilogue story.
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons is getting a small update that unlocks a seasonal even between April 1 and April 12. This Easter-themed celebration called Bunny Day features zipper and an egg hunt.
  • Pokemon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass got some details revealed. The legendary Pokemon Kubfu will be received by fighting at the dojo run by Mustard. The Tower of Two Fists will come in a Darkness and Waters form. After choosing which to challenge, your Urshifu will take on different forms.
  • Bravely Default II is a sequel to the 3DS's Bravely Default. The game is an epic RPG with a unique strategic battle system. It launches sometime in 2020, but a free demo is available on the eShop now.
  • Borderlands Legendary Collection will launch on Switch on May 29. It includes three games: Borderlands, Borderlands 2, and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.
  • BioShock: The Collection will also launch on Switch May 29. The package includes BioShock Remasterd, BioShock 2 Remastered, and BioShock Infinite: The Complete Edition.
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's sixth DLC character will come from the ARMS franchise. More information to come in June.
  • Burnout Paradise REmastered will release for the Switch sometime in 2020. It is of course a remaster of Burnout Paradise from a decade ago.
  • King's Bounty II is coming to Switch in 2020. Another entry in the King's Bounty series, the sequel continues the evolution of western RPG and is flush with new mechanics.
  • Ninjala is a free to play battle royale featuring 8 players. Each player is a ninja who must sprint accross the stage and use their arsenal of skills to battle and earn points. It releases on Switch in May.
  • Catherine: Full Body is a remake of the original Catherine game. The puzzle-adventure game with some mature themes and a romantically-charged story with release for Switch on July 7

There were some other smaller announcements in the direct as well. You can watch the full thing yourself for all the info. Stay tuned for more information on these titles and more.

Animal Crossing New Horizons is now Available in the United States

Animal Crossing New Horizons Screenshot

As of 12 AM EST tonight, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is officially released in the United States. It's now available for download from the eShop for an MSRP of $59.99. Available exclusively on Nintendo Switch, the latest Animal Crossing game puts you on your own deserted island that you can help grow into a bustling paradise. If you've never played an Animal Crossing game before, this is the perfect time to jump in. Stay tuned for our coverage and guides for the game in the coming days.

Fire Emblem's Byleth is the Next Smash Ultimate DLC Fighter

Byleth Smash Ultimate Screenshot

In a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate presentation earlier this morning, the fifth and final DLC character from the first Fighters Pass was revealed. It's Byleth from Fire Emblem: Three Houses. That's right, another Fire Emblem swordfighter. Although, as was shown off, Byleth will play a little differently from previous Fire Emblem characters and uses a variety of weapons.

Byleth Smash Ultimate Screenshot

Additionally, both the male and female versions of Byleth are playable. They function the same and can be toggled between via in-game costumes. A good portion of Byleth's moveset was shown off, including moves like the down-special that is slow and powerful but has super armor and an arrow attack that forces a commitment once charging begins.

Byleth Smash Ultimate Screenshot

In addition to the fighter, 11 new Fire Emblem music tracks and a new stage called Garreg Mach Monestary based on Fire Emblem: Three Houses has been added. A new set of spirits and a new classic mode route has also been added. Mii Fighter costumes based on Altair, Rabbids (Hat), X (Gunner), MegaMan.EXE (Gunner), and Cuphead (Gunner) are also coming. The Cuphead costume includes a Cuphead music track.

The first Fighters Pass containing 5 new fighters is now complete, including Joker, Hero, Banjo, Terry, and Byleth. A second Fighters Pass has been announced that will contain six new DLC fighters to be released one at a time through December 2021. No pricing has been revealed, but it is speculated to cost $29.99 based on the price of the first bundle. Fighters can also be purchased individually at a cost of $5.99 each.

Feeling Lucky? - New Super Lucky's Tale Review

New Super Lucky's Tale Logo Switch

We’re in an age were platformers are back in style. Mascots of old have made comebacks with the likes of Crash Bandicoot and Spyro coming back in full swing, and let’s not forget Mario with 2017’s amazing Super Mario Odyssey, but what of the newcomers? Playful Corp. have thrown their hat into the ring with Super Lucky’s Tale, originally releasing November 2017 on the Xbox One and now making its very welcome debut on the Switch where it feels right at home. Now dubbed New Super Lucky’s Tale, it’s an all-in-one package with no DLC in sight, you get everything all at once.

Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Switch [Reviewed]
Developer: Playful Studios
Release: November 8, 2019
MSRP: $39.99
Press Copy provided by Playful Studios

New Super Lucky's Tale Screenshot Switch

Right out of the gate, the charm this game has is made very evident. The bright, colourful worlds evoke an exceptionally friendly atmosphere that’s wholesome and thoroughly encouraging, you feel as though the adventure is yours to share with the titular fox Lucky as he travels through each world collecting Clovers for the Book of Ages to protect it from the evil cat Jinx. Along the way you confront Jinx’s motley crew of children, the Kitty Litter, who try to take the book back from Lucky for their own evil machinations. Each world is bubbly and detailed in their own unique ways, with themes ranging from an active farm full of hillbilly worms to a dry desert with peace-keeping yetis.

As you would expect from a 3D platformer, the controls are tight and very responsive, it is very uncommon to find yourself wrestling with them. Lucky’s abilities are very basic, with a tail swipe to attack and a burrow ability to grab coins underground as well as for surprise strikes against enemies when emerging above ground. When on ground that can’t be submerged, Lucky does a slide instead, and in the air he does a dive which has some degree of control. His skills all end here though, but they’re at least used creatively and differing context depending on surface or if airborne at least adds to his repertoire.

New Super Lucky's Tale Screenshot Switch

Each level is very creatively crafted, showcasing just how far a simple platformer can really go with its level designs. Levels come in several varieties, starting with the usual sprawling style familiar to fans of the 3D Mario platformers, as well as side scrolling stages, which can sometimes be autorunners. Mixed in between them are various smaller challenges, sometimes with timers or sliding puzzles but always consisting of cleverly hidden segments that require solid observation skills to locate. Each level is a joy to play, but it should be known that the difficulty never really gets too high. While creative, the game doesn’t really excel too much at anything in particular and feels somewhat safe at times.

Technically speaking, it’s amazing to see how little being on lesser hardware has affected the game, as the Switch is no doubt pulling well below the weight of even a standard Xbox One, let alone the Xbox One X. Visual differences are negligible, the art style carries the game so well that you’d really have to have side by side comparisons to even notice any difference. It performs solidly too, with no discernable drops in frame rate, though it should be noted that it never goes above 30 frames per second, while the Xbox One X can push the game up to 60. It should also be noted that the load times are rather hefty, with a particularly long one as the game is starting up.

New Super Lucky's Tale Screenshot Switch

New Super Lucky’s Tale is definitely a fun and joyous experience, but it might not tide over platforming fans looking for a challenge. The game is absolutely suitable for younger children and I reckon that was the intent. With each and every level, Lucky encourages the player with a heartwarming “C’mon!”, which I suspect was to give children the boost they need to keep on playing.

If you’re a parent wanting to give your child an introductory game to 3D space, there’s no doubt that New Super Lucky’s Tale will sit extremely well with them, and even saying that, the level of charm put into every detail will certainly win even some adults over despite the lower difficulty. It’s spirit pulls through above all else.


  • Very cute, friendly atmosphere, suitable for younger players
  • Tight and responsive controls
  • Negligible downgrade over other versions
  • Well designed


  • Fairly safe platformer, doesn’t set itself apart terribly well




Great games are generally good buying decisions and are recommended for those with an interest in the genre. There might be a few flaws that detract from the gameplay, stories, controls, presentations, or value, but the game is still an enjoyable experience that justifies a full playthrough.

Want to know what this score means? Check out our Scoring Guidelines page.

The Show Goes On - Skullgirls 2nd Encore Review

Skullgirls 2nd Encore Logo Switch

Skullgirls may not be familiar to Nintendo fans, as this is the first time the game has made it to one of their platforms. To give a brief rundown, the game originally came out in 2012 by Reverge Labs, comprising of professional BlazBlue player Mike Zaimont, artist Alex Ahad and animated by Mariel Cartwright. Initially published by Konami, which allowed composer Michiru Yamane to contribute to the music, it eventually had publishing conflicts led to the team having to disband and reform as Lab Zero Games in 2013, alongside Indiegogo crowdfunding to fund new characters and a complete re-release as Skullgirls Encore. Finally, in 2015, the game was expanded upon again with more content on Playstation 4 and PC, which is the version we now have today on Nintendo Switch.

Platforms: PC, Switch [Reviewed]
Developer: Reverge Labs
Release: October 22, 2019
MSRP: $24.99
Press Copy provided by Skybound Games

With the history lesson out of the way, how well does this fighter play? It doesn’t take long to realise how technically demanding the game is. Skullgirls is a highly technical yet rewarding experience that will have fighting game enthusiasts eager to delve into.

It boasts a wide range of techniques which can all be practised in an exceptionally extensive and robust training mode that allows you to go bit by bit through each mechanic until you feel confident to take on the world. It’s probably a bit overwhelming for absolute newcomers to the fighting genre though, you’re likely better off cutting your teeth on something else, but at least it’s accommodating to any skill level.

Skullgirls 2nd Encore Screenshot Switch

The game’s presentation is without a doubt the star of the show. The whole 1940’s aesthetic bleeds into the very soul of the game, from art deco menus, filmstrip transitions and “That’s a wrap!” upon each match ending. The art style as a whole invokes cartoons from the era, as well as a touch of Batman: The Animated Series, which also drew inspiration from the same sources. Even the music has an exceptionally jazzy mood to further sell the feelings of this fantasy 40’s world. Plenty of time and effort has gone into making the world feel alive and not one second of it has been wasted.

Talking about the presentation without bringing up the actual art and animations of the characters would be a crime though. Each character has been meticulously hand-drawn and animated with big, detailed sprites that put a lot of 2D game art to shame even today. The eclectic and colourful nature of each character is brought to life in their bold, exaggerated animations which are both a treat to look at and also convey a lot of visual information to the player, it’s truly not difficult to tell animations apart in the heat of battle.

The voice work is also top notch, with every character fulfilling their voice roles exceptionally well. Cristina Vee handled the voice direction, as well as primarily voicing Cerebella amongst others, which should be a familiar name to any Shantae fans among us.

Skullgirls 2nd Encore Screenshot Switch

Skullgirls has plenty of modes to keep you occupied, even in singleplayer scenarios. While you have your usual local and online play, the latter of which uses the excellent GGPO netcode to ensure as smooth an online experience as possible, there are various challenges to take on too.

As for the story, each character has their own unique story mode to take on as you fight your way to the Skull Heart. The CPU in singleplayer is exceptionally skilled, being able to pull off complex combos and other mechanics routinely and feels more like a human player than a machine, but is probably a little too complex for newcomers who haven’t got a grasp of all the mechanics yet.

Even so, it’s not entirely perfect, but that comes in part to the Switch rather than the game itself. Out of the box, the Switch isn’t best suited for fighting games. The Joy-cons don’t provide ideal conditions to play a fighting game, you really do need to get a Pro Controller at the least, or get one of various fightpads or even an arcade stick if you’re truly serious.

It should also be noted that in its launch state, Skullgirls is riddled with several audio bugs. Some are fairly minor, like repeating voice lines, but the single largest bug at the time of writing is the lack of voices in the story mode. It’s an advertised feature, and one that is present in the Playstation 4 and PC releases of 2nd Encore, so it comes off as a major slip-up on Switch. Fortunately the devs are aware and are working on it, so this section of the review will likely become redundant and we would hope so!

Skullgirls 2nd Encore Screenshot Switch

All in all, Skullgirls: 2nd Encore is an exceptionally passionate fighter that is sure to resonate with hardcore fans of the genre. It’s a little rocky for absolute newcomers, faring better for players who already have some experience already, but at least offers all the facilities to get better right out of the box. For people who are wanting to double dip for portability, you can’t go wrong with this version, though do be wary of using the Joy-cons.


  • Some of the best 2D animation in any fighter out there
  • Superb presentation
  • Incredibly technical with plenty of depth
  • Tough and challenging CPU for experts
  • Plenty to keep you occupied


  • Despite its best efforts, not that beginner friendly
  • Audio bugs at launch are distracting




Great games are generally good buying decisions and are recommended for those with an interest in the genre. There might be a few flaws that detract from the gameplay, stories, controls, presentations, or value, but the game is still an enjoyable experience that justifies a full playthrough.

Want to know what this score means? Check out our Scoring Guidelines page.

Rage Against the Arcade Machine - Fight'N Rage Review

Fight'N Rage Logo

Ever yearn for the days of the arcades? Dropping quarters into a beat 'em up machine repeatedly in an attempt to get one screen further? A time long since passed, what with arcades falling in favour to home consoles. But it is a time not forgotten and solo games developer Seba Games Dev is here to remind you of the quarter munching days in front of a glowing CRT cabinet with Fight’n Rage, a ridiculously faithful celebration of the tough as nails brawlers of the 90’s. Is this a fight worth your time? Or will it fall to the player’s rage?

Platforms: PC, Switch [Reviewed]
Developer: Seba Games
Release: September 26, 2019 (Switch)
MSRP: $19.99
Press Copy provided by Seba Games

Fight'N Rage Screenshot

Right off the bat Fight’n Rage makes it plainly obvious of its arcade inspirations, starting up with a boot screen reminiscent of a cabinet being rebooted and straight into the warm, bleeding glare of a monitor befitting of dark arcade. So much has been put into making this as authentic feeling as possible and none of it goes to waste. It’s so ridiculously 90’s that it hurts, but it’s a welcome punch to the gut in the wake of numerous 8-bit and 16-bit homages with little substance beyond the visual style.

As for the art itself, it bears similarities to imported anime at the time with very particular attention paid to the ladies (it’s frankly rather hilarious how ridiculous their animations are). The music is an adrenaline pumping heavy metal adventure from start to finish. The aesthetic may turn off some, as it is definitely not something that carried over into the 00’s, but considering how far you might have to go to relive some of that feeling, having it in the palm of your hands so easily is not something to be sniffed at.

Fight'N Rage Screenshot

Fight’n Rage’s gameplay is astonishingly simple. Y to attack, B to jump and A for specials. That’s it. Though it’s not a mindless brawler, as you can parry pretty much every attack, grab and throw enemies, bounce off them in mid-air to continue your combo and so on. There’s as much depth as you’re willing to put into it, though the standard combo then throw option goes pretty far, maybe too far.

While the combat is simple, it would have to be considering one of the game’s biggest strengths is the astonishingly large playable roster. You start off with three, Gal, F. Norris and Ricardo, but you can unlock almost every enemy there is in the game.

The sheer amount of options available doesn’t just end with your playable cast. The game’s visual options are very dense, allowing you to change between CRT and clean pixels, the amount of screen bloom and even changing it to grayscale if you’re so inclined. Additional modes can be unlocked as you play the game, some of which can be extremely challenging, and extra costumes for everyone. There’s probably too much to obtain though, as 100% will require playing through the various modes a ridiculous number of times. In fact, the repetitive nature of the game isn’t exactly going to keep people coming back for the unlockables unless you’re a truly die hard beat 'em up fan.

Fight'N Rage Screenshot

All in all, Fight’n Rage is a love letter to the arcade days, for better and worse. It’s pitfalls are all the things that make the arcades so frustrating, from harsh punishments for failure to scarce checkpoints. Some of it feels pointless, as you can get game overs which ultimately serve no purpose, as you have unlimited continues and you’re certainly not expected to cough up your pocket money to keep on playing.

The sheer dedication to the medium is still to be admired, but it might be a lot to put up with for a casual player. A lot of fun can still be had with the game, but unless you’re fine with putting up with the tedium of a lost era this might not be the game for you. An impressive solo effort, but an incredibly niche project that will no doubt have its fans within the community.


  • Gratuitously 90’s, goes all-in on the premise
  • Gorgeous visuals and animations
  • Rocking soundtrack sure to get your blood pumping


  • Probably too deep in the arcade roots with all the drawbacks included
  • Too specific a niche, but this can be a pro in the right person’s hands




Good games are simply that: good. They are generally fun to play but might be lacking in longevity, replay value, or presentation. These games might be good buying decisions for some people, but not for others. Some otherwise great games may fall into this category if they are priced unreasonably high. The devil is in the details.

Want to know what this score means? Check out our Scoring Guidelines page.

Untitled Review - Untitled Goose Game Review

Untitled Goose Game Logo Switch

This game is about a goose doing goose-like things. There really isn’t much else that needs to be said, it’s that straightforward. But the premise alone is utterly captivating, causing as much mischief in this quaint village as possible and making everyone’s lives miserable in the process.

Platforms: PC, Switch [Reviewed]
Developer: House House
Release: September 20, 2019
MSRP: $19.99
Press Copy provided by House House

Untitled Goose Game Screenshot Switch

Australian indie studio House House have struck gold with Untitled Goose Game. Every single motion the goose makes is absolutely charming, from the way it waddles to each and every honk it makes. And honk you shall do, as it has a dedicated button (because why not?) but also serves as one of the primary mechanics, used to draw attention to yourself but not get caught in the process. While you ultimately want to remain hidden, sometimes you do just want to harass whatever unfortunate human happens to be in the presence of the majestic bird. Another dedicated button is to flap your wings, but that mostly serves little purpose outside of very specific tasks, it’s mostly there to make you even more goose-like.

The goal of Untitled Goose Game is to complete a selection of tasks which eventually lead to opening up new areas. These tasks range from the mundane “steal certain object” all the way down to moving a specific person away from his post so you can drop a bucket on his head. They’re all brain teasers to some degree, making you think outside of the box and having those “aha” moments as you plot how to cause chaos with the objects around you. Some of these tasks have creatively Rube Golgbergian methods, while others are just simple but satisfying. It can drag on a bit when the humans start interfering with your master plans, leading to starting over, or when access to certain areas have you wait for the right conditions, but the charm of it all never makes it a major bother.

Untitled Goose Game Screenshot Switch

The presentation on display is sublime. The simplistic cel-shaded visuals give everything in the world a whimsical feeling, but nothing is so simple that they can’t clearly be made out. You know exactly when something is just a piece of the background or an object you can make mischief with. The game is mostly silent (outside of the constant honking you can trigger at will) save for cleverly managed piano tracks that only play once certain elements fall into place. Startle a villager and single notes play, being chased down by a surly guard and dramatic hammering of piano keys brings tension to the game, it all fits in so organically that it feels like the natural soundtrack to life.

Untitled Goose Game Screenshot Switch

Untitled Goose Game is a short but satisfying game, never overstaying its welcome. It does feel a little too short, but more objectives are presented to you after the credits roll to give you more to feast on. If you had to describe it, Untitled Goose Game is a mission-based stealth game with a lot of goosing around.



  • Simple and satisfying, it knows what it’s doing
  • Music woven cleverly into the gameplay
  • Lots of creative puzzles and solutions
  • Doesn’t overstay its welcome
  • You’re a goose


  • Still feels too short




Great games are generally good buying decisions and are recommended for those with an interest in the genre. There might be a few flaws that detract from the gameplay, stories, controls, presentations, or value, but the game is still an enjoyable experience that justifies a full playthrough.

Want to know what this score means? Check out our Scoring Guidelines page.

Dudes in Distress - River City Girls Review

River City Girls Logo Switch

It came as quite a surprise when it was revealed that WayForward was taking on the Kunio-kun franchise with their own unique spin, centering around two characters that most people in the west might not have heard of before. To most people, NES games like River City Ransom or Crash n’ the Boys are the most exposure they’ve had to this series, but it has extensively covered platforms from the Famicom all the way up to the Switch now. With WayForward now at the helm with their own take, now modernised with tough girl attitude, is this beat em up worth your time, or is it just another punk on the streets in need of a thrashing?

Platforms: PC, Switch [Reviewed], PS4, Xbox One
Developer: WayForward
Release: September 5, 2019 (Switch)
MSRP: $29.99
Press Copy provided by WayForward

River City Girls Screenshot Switch

First things first, as apparent with any WayForward title, is the presentation. This company has always prided itself on being the cutting edge in old-school, pushing 2D graphics even well into the 21st century. The overall pop art manga aesthetic just bleeds charm in every corner of the game’s very core, from it’s hand-drawn manga cutscenes all the way down to the meticulously animated 2D sprites. The energy pumping, upbeat soundtrack complements the visuals perfectly, breathing even more life into an already energetic game, helping you get in the mood to beat up thugs even more. It all goes a long way to improve the title further than its simple roots would suggest.

And simple it is, at its core it’s no different than fan-favourite River City Ransom, albeit with modern quality of life improvements. The basic gameplay loop is beating up waves of thugs as they appear, levelling up as you travel across River City and getting stronger as you do. The cash you gain from beating enemies and clearing quests is used to buy new moves or accessories to make you even stronger as the game progresses. If you find yourself struggling at first, keep at it, before long you will be as powerful as it gets, combining basic combos into elaborate special moves as you move deeper into the story.

River City Girls Screenshot Switch

As for the narrative and the world itself, it’s an interesting blend of the original Japanese canon and more commonly known western localisation. The main girls are unknown in the west unless you dig deep into Kunio-kun lore, being the girlfriends of Kunio (Alex in River City Ransom) and Riki (Ryan) who are both on a mission to rescue their kidnapped boyfriends, a nice little role reversal from the norm. First appearing in Nekketsu Koko Dodgeball Bu: Soccer Hen is Misako, a rough and tumble girl with a short temper, who sits alongside Kyoko, first appearing in Shin Nekketsu Koha: Kunio-tachi no Banka, ever energetic and excitable. They each play differently with different combos and special moves, though they share the same inputs as not to complicate matters. These two pair together exceptionally well, each one being the voice of reason to the other and constantly bouncing off amusing dialogue between them throughout the game.

The rest of the cast also take on their Japanese names and characters throughout the adventure, but are nonetheless introduced in a way that both suggests a prior history but without leaving the player in the dark should they not recognise them. Also sprinkled throughout are numerous Double Dragon characters, including a boss fight with Abobo, thanks to the license also being owned by Arc System Works, tying back to WarForward’s prior engagement with Double Dragon Neon.

River City Girls Screenshot Switch

It’s tough not to recommend this game, with its youthful energy threatening to escape from the confines of your TV and infect the world around it, but it’s not without its shortcomings. For one, if you aren’t a fan of retro beat em ups then I doubt there’s anything this game can convince you to change sides. It can be unforgiving at times, punishing the player for reckless actions like blindly attacking without thought for consequence. In singleplayer it can be somewhat frustrating, as dealing with larger mobs of enemies on your own can take a toll on your health bar. This was clearly designed with multiplayer co-op in mind and it really shines if you have a friend to play with, but it also lacks online functionality, something WayFoward’s prior Double Dragon Neon handled with no complaints.

River City Girls Screenshot Switch

There’s also a general lack of content once you beat the game, with only a loiter mode to clean up unfinished business and a new game+ mode to restart the game, carrying over stats, equipment, moves and money. Though you do unlock two new characters on the first clear, each with their own unique special moves. Lastly, a couple of the bosses fall completely flat, trying a little too hard to be unique with mechanics that don’t flow well with the rest of the gameplay. It’s an excellent game nonetheless, with charisma that exceeds well past the boundaries it sets for itself. With a buddy on tow it’s unfathomable amounts of fun, and even on your own there is still plenty in store for you.


  • Utterly gorgeous visual design
  • Superb music
  • Oozes with charm and humour
  • Uncommon old-school sensibilities


  • Maybe too old-school for some
  • Little to do once beaten
  • Some bosses are over designed




Great games are generally good buying decisions and are recommended for those with an interest in the genre. There might be a few flaws that detract from the gameplay, stories, controls, presentations, or value, but the game is still an enjoyable experience that justifies a full playthrough.

Want to know what this score means? Check out our Scoring Guidelines page.

Play With up to 8 Players Online in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing New Horizons Multiplayer

We got a litle bit of Animal Crossing: New Horizons news and footage in this week's Nintendo Direct. Rather than buying basic items and tools, being on a deserted island means that you'll be crafting them. This is done through gathering raw materials accross the island and the help of a little bit of Tom Nook magic.

Resident Services and Nook Miles (TM) were shown off in a little more detail. One of the new tools shown off was a vaulting pole. This tool will allow you to hop over narrow bodies of water without needing a bridge. And of course, weeds now serve a purpose: you can sell them to Tom Nook for some petty cash.

Multiplayer was also shown off once again, this time with a few new details. Up to four players can play together on the same island on a single system. Even more interesting, it seems that eight players can hop online (or locally with 8 systems) and all visit and play on the same island. Nintendo Switch Online is of course required for this feature.

You can check out the full trailer below. It's styled as a Nook Inc. infomercial and rather cute. The game will release next year, exclusively on Nintendo Switch, on March 20, 2020.

Luigi's Mansion 3 Gets Multiplayer Mode Called ScreamPark

Luigi's Mansion 3 ScreamPark

Luigi's Mansion 3 got a new trailer as part of this week's Nintendo Direct. It was rather brief, but we got to take a look at a few new areas of the massive hotel that Luigi's Mansion 3 will take place in. Most notable, we also got to take a look at the new multiplayer mode.

ScreamPark party mode, as it's called, pits a team of Luigis against a team of Gooigis. It supports two to eight players and can be played locally on the same switch system. Multiplayer game modes include capturing ghosts, collecting coins, and breaking targets. You can check out the full details in the trailer below. Luigi's Mansion 3 will be releasing on October 31, 2019.

Banjo and Kazooie Available Now in Smash Ultimate - Terry Bogard Coming Next

Banjo & Kazooie Smash Ultimate

Fans have been wanting Banjo & Kazooie in Smash Bros. since before the release of Super Smash Bros. Melee in 2001. Eighteen years later, we finally got confirmation that it was happening in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. We were promised a fall release date, but Sakurai has blessed us once again: Banjo & Kazooie are available right now (following the Nintendo Direct)!

The beloved DLC fighter duo comes alongside the Version 5.0 update of the game that also includes some balance updates, a new Home Run Contest mode, a few new Mii costumes, and of course Banjo & Kazooie's classic stage: Spiral Mountain. The update should install automatically if your Switch is connected to the internet.

The following are the new Mii costumes, with Undertale's Sans being of particular interest:

  • Goemon from Mystical Ninja Goemon
  • Proto Man from Mega Man
  • Zero from Mega Man X
  • Team Rocket from Pokemon
  • Sans from Undertale, including a new remix of MEGALOVANIA by Toby Fox

Terry Bogard Smash Ultimate

But that's not all! The next DLC Fighter (Fighter Pack 4) has also been revealed. Rather surprisingly, it's Terry Bogard from the classic SNK fighter Fatal Fury. Sakurai has long been a fan of SNK fighting games, so this inclusion seems to have a special place in his heart. Terry will be joining the rest of the (huge) Smash Ultimate roster this November.

Now that 4 of the 5 DLC fighters from the DLC pack have been revealed, it would seem that there is only fighter left to join the Ultimate roster. But not really, because Sakurai lovingly suggested that he wasn't done developing new fighters, and that there were more on the way in 2020. It seems your favorite gaming character could see the light of day in Smash Bros. yet. It should be noted that fighters after the first DLC pack will likely come at an additional charge.

Sakurai followed the Nintendo Direct by showcasing Banjo & Kazooie's moveset and their new Spiral Mountain stage. You can check out that entire presentation below, and then download the 5.0 patch to try it out for yourself.

Nintendo Direct Recap - September 4 2019

Nintendo Direct Recap September 4

Nintendo just held another Direct yesterday with plenty of reveals to tide us over for the rest of the year and beyond, both new and old. There was the usual mix of new details for already announced titles as well as brand new announcements to keep us anticipating the next few months and part way into 2020.

Without much ado, let us rapid fire list off each announcement one by one:

  • Overwatch Legendary Edition kicked off the presentation, coming October 15th. Motion controls were shown off, exclusive to the Switch release.
  • Luigi’s Mansion 3 was shown again, showcasing some of the areas in the game as well as a new 8-player mode called ScreamPark. It will release on October 31st, spooky!
  • Super Kirby Clash, a new free-to-start multiplayer game where you take on jobs with three other players to take on various challenges.
  • Trials of Mana is shown off again, now featuring English voice acting unlike the E3 reveal. The new gameplay style is shown off in particular, deviating from the overhead style of the original Super Famicom game.
  • Return of the Obra Dinn, critically acclaimed, stylish indie game is coming to Switch this fall.
  • Game Freak’s Town is shown again, now called Little Town Hero. Toby Fox of Undertale fame is confirmed to be working on the soundtrack.
  • Banjo & Kazooie is out right now in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, guh-huh! Terry Bogard from Fatal Fury takes the stage as the fourth Fighter’s Pass character for Ultimate too.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening has another showcase, with the full details of amiibo support being shown. Player customised Chamber Dungeons can be saved on any compatible Zelda or Smash Bros. amiibo to take to another copy of the game.
  • Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition has another reminder of its release on September 27th.
  • Now this is a surprise performance, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore is announced, with new story content and a brand new song added to the list. It releases on January 17th, with pre-load available right now.
  • Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise and a new version of the original game, Deadly Premonition Origins, are revealed one after the other. Origins is available right now, while the sequel is due for a 2020 release.
  • Divinity: Original Sin 2 - Definitive Edition is available for purchase on eShop right now.
  • DOOM 64 finally has its first re-release ever on November 22nd.
  • Rogue Company, a new IP from Hi-Rez Studios, brings 5-on-5 online shooter multiplayer in 2020.
  • Pokemon Sword and Shield gets four new reveals, including two new Pokemon and a camping mode to bond with your Pokemon.
  • Nintendo Switch Online adds SNES games to the roster, with 20 games right off the bat, including favourites like Super Mario World and games never before re-released like Stunt Race FX, full list shown below.

Switch Online SNES Games

  • Tetris 99 gets a new hardcore mode with Tetris Invictus, as well as new daily missions and a second wave of paid DLC with 2 player local play against the CPU. A physical package with all the DLC is due for release September 6th.
  • Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 has a new 2D retro events and a story mode with Mario, Sonic, Bowser and Eggman trapped inside a video game based on the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games.
  • Daemon X Machina has a new prologue demo out now where you can play the beginning of the game and have your save data carry over to the full release, coming out September 13th.
  • Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast comes to the Switch for the first time on September 24th.
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Complete Edition has another trailer, it will release on October 15th.
  • Assassin's Creed: The Rebel Collection is announced, with both Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Assassin’s Creed: Rogue bundled together. It will release on December 6th.
  • Dauntless, a free-to-play survival RPG, is due to come to Switch in 2020.
  • A montage of upcoming Switch games is shown, with Just Dance 2020, GRID Autosport, Farming Simulator 20, Ni No Kuni, NBA 2K20, Call of Cthulhu, The Outer Worlds, Devil May Cry 2 and Vampyr.
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons has a new trailer, showing off a multitude of new features, due to release March 20th 2020.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition gets a surprise reveal at the end of the Direct. New character models are shown and a new area is possibly teased at the end. It is due to release in 2020.

No other reveals were shown in the Direct, but it was immediately followed up by a special video from Sakurai showing off Banjo & Kazooie in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate ahead of their release (marginally).

New Mii Fighter costumes are shown off for:

  • Goemon from Mystical Ninja Goemon
  • Proto Man from Mega Man
  • Zero from Mega Man X
  • Team Rocket from Pokemon
  • Sans from Undertale, including a new remix of MEGALOVANIA by Toby Fox

Budget Model Nintendo Switch Lite Revealed for $199

Nintendo Switch Lite Turquois

A few months ago, a few rumors started to emerge about upcoming Switch models. At least one of the two rumored revisions has come to fruition: the Nintendo Switch Lite. As the name suggests, this will be a budget model targeted towards a younger audience and handheld players. In fact, this model doesn't feature detachable joy-cons or docking with a television, so handheld mode is the only way to play.

Other changes in hardware include a smaller screen size: 5.5 inches compared to the Switch's 6.2 inches. The device itself is a little smaller and lighter as well, coming in at 3.6" x 8.2" x .55". The original Switch has dimensions of 4" x 9.4" x .55". The new model is also unfortunately equipped with a bezel that is only slightly more attractive than the original Switch's.

The control layout is similar on the Nintendo Switch Lite, but the new device does not feature detachable Joy-Con. Rather, Joy-Con like controllers are permanently attached to the system. Perhaps the most exciting hardware change is the inclusion of a d-pad on the left side instead of a 4-button layout.

It's unclear if this device can be docked to charge (it won't come with a dock or HDMI cable), but we do know it cannot output over USB-C. Joy-Con controllers can be connected for table-top mode (although the flimsy little kickstand is gone). Otherwise, any game that requires the motion controls or IR sensor of the Joy-Con cannot be played. So long as a game is compatible with handheld mode, it can be played at the same resolution (with presumably the same performance) as the original Switch.

Nintendo Switch Lite Boxart

The system will come in three colors: grey, turqoise, and yellow. The Nintendo Switch Lite will retail for $199 while the original Switch reamins at the $299 price point. These three colors will be released on September 20, 2019. There will also be a limited time Pokemon Sword and Shield edition that will go for the same price starting November 8, 2019.

Is the 2009 Bogey Man Still Spooky? - Slender: The Arrival Review

Slender The Arrival Switch Screenshot

Slender: The Arrival was first released for PC back in 2013, a time when the Slenderman was all the craze. The game has since been released on a variety of consoles throughout the years, culminating in a release on Switch earlier this week. How well does this game hold up in 2019? Is the Slenderman even spooky anymore?

Platforms: PC, PS3, 360, PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, Switch [Reviewed]
Developer: Blue Isle Studios
Release: June 20, 2019 (Switch)
MSRP: $9.99
Press Copy provided by Blue Isle Studios

Slender The Arrival Switch Screenshot

This game is a sequel to Slender: The Eight Pages. If you're familiar with that game, the goal was quite simple: find eight notes scattered randomly through a spooky environment before the Slenderman gets you. It was a very popular freeware game in 2012, especially among Youtubers and streamers. Slender: The Arrival is the sequel to that game, this time with a bigger scope. However, most of the core gameplaay is the same: find objects and pick them up before getting caught.

In Slender, you play as Laruen searching for your childhood friend Kate after receiving some unsettling letters from her. Things get dark fast (did we mention this was a horror game?) and it's your goal to solve the mystery of what happened to your friend, meanwhile trying to stay alive yourself.

The game is plot-driven, but its plot is rather simple. Optional collectables and notes let you piece together more of the story as time goes on. The story is interesting enough, but is ultimately rather forgettable. I didn't really mind much though, because I didn't feel like the plot was actually very important to the goal of the game: to spook the bejesus out of you.

Slender The Arrival Switch Screenshot

That's what this game does a pretty solid job at. As you progress through a few different areas (each with fairly unique environmental changes), the Slenderman and his henchman come at you in increasingly more intense ways. You're only way to fight back is to run (you can briefly stun some enemies with your flashlight as well). Some might not like this mechanic, but I felt it contributed to the general feeling of helplessness that's important to a horror story.

The game is seperated into a few different chapters (which can be selected and replayed from the title screen), and there actually is a decent amount of variance in the objectives. You'll play as a few different characterse, sometimes during flashbacks or recordings. While the heart of the game is still finding objects and clues (the first chapter is pretty much just The Eight Pages), the sequel makes a plot out of it with a world that's worth exploring.

Slender The Arrival Switch Screenshot

The game is atmospheric, and presents some cool visual contrasts that I felt were worth snapping a screenshot of and admiring. The game is also presented through the lens of a camera. Most of the adventure happens at night or in the dark, so you're limited in visual range by a flashlight. I think both of these gimmicks contribute positively to the overall feeling of suspense and terror as you play.

Another aspect of the game that was good for the horror atmosphere was the audio. This game is of course best played in a dark room with surround sound. The music (very light and eerie), sound of footsteps, and the occasional horrific shriek and jumpscare all served the game well. I did try the game out in handheld mode for a bit, and while not ideal, the audio did still sound solid enough coming from the Switch's speakers.

Slender The Arrival Switch Screenshot

It's not all good though. While the game is atmospheric and was visually impressive on PC in 2013, the game looks seriously dated on Switch. In fact, the Switch version is inferior to even the Wii U release from a technical standpoint. Textures are bland and blocky. Objects render in and out at weird distances. The geometry of the ground often changes as you walk, which is particularly annoying and distracting.

In addition to the dated visuals, the game is full of bugs. I clipped out of bounds multiple times just walking along the boundary. Once you get out of bounds, it's very hard to get back in and more weird things happen. On multiple occasions I was forced to restart a level because of this, particularly in the earlier chapters of the game.

There were also cases of objects like fences and rocks that should be solid not having any collision detection. And while it may not be a bug, sometimes it felt as the way the monsters moved and followed you didn't follow a pattern or make sense, which presented a bit of an unfair feeling. Having a monster appear behind you and insta-kill after you've finished a level's objectives is spooky enough, but might not make for the best gameplay experience.

Slender The Arrival Switch Screenshot

I struggled for a while thinking about how I should "rate" this game. It's very dissapointing to see a Switch version that not only doesn't fix 6 year old bugs, but isn't even on par with previous releases on weaker consoles. While I did run into fewer issues as I progressed in the game, from a technical standpoint this game deserves a poor rating.

However, I kept thinking back to the purpose of the game. To scare you. It's really best played by horror fans in one sitting on a dark and dreary night. The bugs and visuals were a bit annoying, but they didn't ruin the horror experience for me (some of the bugs were creepy enough to add to it). It's a decent game for a good price. It's not "The Shining", but this game still plays in 2019, even if the Slenderman doesn't.




Good games are simply that: good. They are generally fun to play but might be lacking in longevity, replay value, or presentation. These games might be good buying decisions for some people, but not for others. Some otherwise great games may fall into this category if they are priced unreasonably high. The devil is in the details.

Want to know what this score means? Check out our Scoring Guidelines page.

Many Third Party Games Shown for Switch at E3 2019

Nintendo Switch Logo

As part of Nintendo's E3 Direct and E3 2019 as a whole, many third party games were announced and shown off for the Nintendo Switch. More Triple A games are making their way over to a Nintendo platform now than ever. It's certainly exciting to see. Here's a quick overview of third party games on the horizon:

  • Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch will release on September 20.
  • Disgaea 4 Complete+ was announced for Switch. It's coming this fall.
  • The Witcher 3: Complete Edition is coming to Switch in 2019. The port is behing handled by Saber Interactive.
  • No More Heroes III featuring Travis Touchdown will come to Switch in 2020.
  • Trial of Mana will come to Switch in 2020. It's a remake of Secret of Mana 3.
  • Collection of Mana is out now on the eShop ($39.99).
  • Alien Isolation will release in 2019 on Switch. Switch features like Gyro Aiming and HD Rumble will be implemented.
  • Empire of Sin is a brand new strategy game coming to Switch from Paradox Interactive. It will release in 2020.
  • Contra Rogue Corps is a new Contra game fro Konami. It'll launch on September 26.
  • Resident Evil 5 & 6 are coming to Switch this fall. They will join the numerous other RE games on the eShop.
  • New Super Lucky's Tale is a Microsoft-published 3d platformer coming to Switch this Fall.
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order is coming to Switch on July 19.
  • Panzer Dragoon, the rail shooter from Sega, is being remad and coming to Switch this holiday season.
  • DAEMON X MACHINA got a release date of September 13.
  • Dark Crystal published by Netflix, is coming to the Switch on August 30.
  • Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will release this November.
  • Dragon Quest XI S: Definitive Edition from Square Enix comes to Switch on September 27.

There were plenty of others (and lots of indies) announced for Switch and coming this year. Check out the full presentation above for all the trailers, footage, and announcements.

Animal Crossing New Horizons is Coming to Switch in March 2020

Animal Crossing Switch

The new Animal Crossing game for Switch has a name and a release date. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is coming to Switch on March 20, 2020. You might recall that the title was originally slated for Holiday 2019. However, Nintendo have stated that the game won't be ready, so they've decided to push back the release date until 2020.

In addition to a title and a date, we also got gameplay footage and more information on features in the new title. This time, you'll find yourself on a deserted island, curtosey of the Nook Inc. Deserted Island Getaway Package. You'll start out living in a tent, and work your way up through home expansions.

There seems to be an emphasis on gathering materials and crafting furniture yourself, with the help of Nook's workbench. You'll also be able to place furniture outside, for the first time ever. A "mileage" system was also introduced, which gives you rewards points for comleting tasks on the island that can be spent with Tom Nook.

Other new features include southern hemisphere support for the first time ever. This means that if you're living in the southern hemisphere (or just in a fun mood), there's an option that will line up seasons with your region. Another brand new feature is local co-op. At anytime, a friend can pick up a joy-con and join in on the adventure.

Check out the trailer and Treehouse Live footage for more information and gameplay features. We've got a bit of a wait, but stay tuned for more information on Animal Crossing: New Horizons, coming exclusively to Switch next year.

Animal Crossing New Horizons Screenshot

Animal Crossing New Horizons Screenshot

Animal Crossing New Horizons Screenshot

Animal Crossing New Horizons Screenshot

Animal Crossing New Horizons Screenshot

Animal Crossing New Horizons Screenshot

Animal Crossing New Horizons Screenshot

Animal Crossing New Horizons Screenshot

Animal Crossing New Horizons Screenshot

Animal Crossing New Horizons Screenshot

Banjo-Kazooie and The Hero from Dragon Quest are Smash DLC Fighters

Banjo Kazooie Smash Ultimate

During Nintendo's E3 Direct, two of the five DLC characters for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate were revealed. One of the announcements may have been a little more exciting than the other. That's right, after almost 20 years of fan request (and more realistically demand), Banjo-Kazooie is coming to Smash Bros. The trailer was a bit of a tease (check it out below), but put a smile on all of our faces.

If you haven't been around for long enough to expirience the masterpieces that were Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie, here's a bit of a refresher. At the peak of the 3D-platformer collectathon craze that was the late 90s, Rareware put out a pair of games featuring a bear and a bird. Since then, Smash players have been clamoring for the beloved duo to make an appearance in Smash. It looks like we finally got our wish.

Banjo Kazooie Smash Ultimate

The character will be released this fall. Alongside Banjo comes a new stage based on Spiral Mountain and a collection of music from the series.

Earlier in the direct, The Hero from Dragon Quest IX was also announced as a DLC character. The Hero's different forms will be available in the form of alternate costumes. This is the first Dragon Quest representative in Smash Bros., so it's exciting to see the series expanding to include such an array of franchises from different developers. The Hero will be this summer.

The Hero Dragon Quest Smash Ultimate

Alongside the already released Joker (from Persona, not Batman), these DLC characters sum to include three of five promised DLC fighters. If you already purchased the fighter pack, you can simply download Banjo and The Hero when they are released. Otherwise, you can purchase either or both individually. Stay tuned as other Smash DLC fighters are revealed.

Luigi's Mansion 3 E3 Trailer Showcases The Last Resort Hotel and Gooigi

Luigi's Mansion 3 Logo

One of Nintendo's featured first party games at E3 this year was Luigi's Mansion 3. We've got plenty of new footage and information from the direct and the Nintendo Treehouse Live that followed.

In this adventure, Luigi and his red-hatted brother set off to The Last Resort, a hotel rather than a traditional mansion. As it turns out, King Boo had some nefarious intentions and Luigi is left on his own. Well, not entirely. You'll once again receive help from Prefessor E. Gadd. Equipped with the Poltergust G-00, Luigi can use new moves like the Slam, Sunction Shot, and Burst.

Another edition to the series is Gooigi. He's a Luigi clone made of goo. You can swap to him throughout the game at your leisure (he has a weakness to water) or have a buddy join in for co-op. Each floor of the hotel has a different theme, and the game isn't mission based like previous entries in the series.

There's also an online/local multiplayer mode called ScareScraper. In this mode, up to 8 players compete to clear objectives and climb the floors of the ScareScraper.

Footage from the Treehouse Live event showcased a theme of movie sets throughout the hotel. After Luigi interacts with the camera, Gooigi takes over and plays out the events of a film on a set. It appears that warping to different areas of the hotel is done through CRT television screens. You can check out more gameplay from the Treehouse Live broadcast embedded above.

We didn't get an official release date, but the game is still slated for 2019. Stay tuned for more information and full coverage of the game as we come closer to release. You can also check out some official screenshots and media from the game below.

Luigi's Mansion 3 Screenshot

Luigi's Mansion 3 Screenshot

Luigi's Mansion 3 Screenshot

Luigi's Mansion 3 Screenshot

Luigi's Mansion 3 Screenshot

Luigi's Mansion 3 Screenshot

Luigi's Mansion 3 Screenshot

Luigi's Mansion 3 Screenshot

Luigi's Mansion 3 Screenshot

Luigi's Mansion 3 Screenshot

Luigi's Mansion 3 Screenshot

Luigi's Mansion 3 Screenshot

Luigi's Mansion 3 Screenshot

Get a Free Year of Nintendo Swith Online with Twitch Prime

Nintendo Switch Online Twitch Prime

Have a Twith Prime account? A new promotion allows you to get a year of Nintendo Switch Online free. Don't worry, if you already have a membership it'll be tacked on to however long is left on your current membership. To participate in this promotion, simply head over to the Twitch page. You'll be eligible for 3 free months right away. If you're still a Twitch Prime member, you'll be able to redeem an additional 9 months in 60 days.

For those unfamiliar, anyone with an Amazon Prime account can link their Twitch and Amazon accounts to get Twitch Prime. In addition to a free year of Nintendo Switch Online, Twitch Prime members get 1 free subscription to a Twitch channel of their choice a month. Free indie games and in-game loot are also frequently given out for Twitch Prime promotions.

Not only is this promotion awesome for Switch owners, but it sets a precedent that Twitch/Amazon and Nintendo are willing to work together on promotions like this, which could mean free games and items in first party Switch games in the future. We're not sure how long you'll have to redeem you're first 3 months, so act quickly if you're an Amazon Prime member.

Reggie Fils-Amie to Retire as President of Nintendo of America

Reggie retires

Reggie Fils-Aime, president and COO of Nintendo of America has announced his retirement. On April 15, Reggie will step down from his role to be replaced by Doug Bowser. He's leaving on good terms: in his heartwarming Twitter video he mentions a desire to retire and spend more time with family and friends.

Reggie started with Nintendo in 2003 and made his first public appearance at E3 2004. Since then, he's been a well loved leader and a meme generator. Whether you know him as The Regginator, Fils-A-Mech, or Mr. My Body is Ready, he'll surely be missed by all Nintendo fans.

He's leaving us in the rather capable hands of Doug Bowser, the current SVP of sales and marketing. Longtime Nintendo fans are likely familiar with Mr. Bowser, the only concerns are the terrible puns that we'll have to put up with for years to come.

Thank you Reggie, maybe now you'll have time to practice some Smash Bros.

Retro Studios Will Restart Metroid Prime 4 Development

Metroid Prime 4 Logo

We haven't heard anything about Metroid Prime 4 since the announcement took the world by storm at E3 2017. It seems like there's good reason for that. In a new video, Nintendo has announced that Metroid Prime 4 development hasn't been leading to the quality product that fans expect from the series. As a result, development will be completely restarted, now with Retro Studios at the helm.

What does this mean for anxious fans? Easily another 3-4 years before release. It's bittersweet though, because with Retro back on the project, we're virtually guaranteed another masterpiece. There's some concern that the team at modern Retro Studios aren't really responsible for the Metroid Prime trilogy, but there's plenty of core Metroid Prime team members still at Retro. Either way, Metroid Prime 4 is still coming, but it'll be awhile.

Piranha Plant and Smash Ultimate Version 2.0 is Here

Smash Ultimate Piranha Plant

The first major Super Smash Bros. Ultimate patch has dropped. Version 2.0.0 is now live with a few gameplay changes and character balances. These include changes to the Spirit Board and some minor bug fixes. Most notable is the release of the first DLC fighter, Piranha Plant. Early adopters of the game get him free (check your inbox if you registered your game with MyNintendo for a code) and others can purchase him for $5.99. It should be noted that he's not included in the Figther Pass.

For the first time ever, Nintendo has released detailed (kind of) patch notes for characters buffs and nerfs. It's expected that the game will continue to be balanced until all DLC has been released for the game, if it is to follow the same development flow of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. Stay tuned for more information on upcoming DLC, including Joker from Persona 5.

Joker from Persona 5 is Coming to Smash Ultimate

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Joker

The first of five DLC characters coming to the recently released Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has been revealed. During The Game Awards, the rather surprsing announcement that Joker from Persona 5 will be the first DLC fighter was made. This is a particulary interesting announcement, as Persona 5 is not currently available on a Nintendo platform. This has lead many to believe that that Persona 5 will eventually be announced for Nintendo Switch to promote both games.

In addition to Piranha Plant, which has been distributed for free to anyone who has already purchased Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and registered with My Nintendo, five more DLC fighters will release over the next year. Joker is the first of these, with four more to be revealed at a later date. They will be available to purchase for $5.99 each, or a Fighter's Pass which includes all fighters as they release is currently available for $24.99.

Ken, Incineroar, and Piranha Plant are Fighters in Smash Ultimate

Smash Ultimate Incineroar

The two new playable fighters revealed are Ken from Street Fighter and the Pokemon Incineroar. Ken is an echo fighter of Ryu and Incineroar is based on a professional wrestler.

Spirits are a new feature that replaces trophies form previous games. SPirits can be aqquired and equipped to fighters to power them up, similar to custom moves. Spirits are based on Nintendo and third party characters.

Local wireless and online play are of course a feature in Ultimate. Online matchmaking will be based on proximity and a preferred ruleset. For Fun and For Glory are no longer modes. Battle arenas serve as lobbies to play, spectate, and queue amongst friends. The Nintendo Switch Online App will be used alongside another video/screenshot sharing app called Smash World.

There will be at least 5 DLC packs coming in the future that each include a brand new fighter, stage, and music. They'll sell for $5.99 and be released through February 2020. Those who purchase the game before 1/31/2019 will get the fighter Piranha Plant a few months after the game launches for free.

September 13 Nintendo Direct Recap

September 6 13 Nintendo Direct recap

The sheer number of games presented in today's Nintendo Direct is almost overwhelming. We've already talked about Luigi's Mansion 3, Isabelle in Smash Ultimate, and a new Animal Crossing coming to Switch. But the direct was 40 minutes long and jam-packed with information.

Animal Crossing Switch Reveal

What about Game Freak's brand new RPG? Cities: Skylines, Civilization VI, and Settler's of Catan? Seven Final Fantasy games? Updates for Splatoon 2 and Mario Tennis Aces? A Smash Switch bundle? Release dates for several 3DS games? If you want all the details, you can watch the full direct below. Otherwise, here's our shortlist:

Luigi's Mansion 3 Logo

    • Luigi's Mansion 3 is coming to Switch in 2019. It's a brand new Switch game (name not final). That's all the information we have.
    • Animal Crossing is getting a new game on Switch in 2019 as well. It's a brand new title, but that's all the information we have.
    • Isabelle is coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as a playable fighter. She's not an echo fighter, she's got her own moveset. She joins villager as an Animal Crossing representative.
    • Nintendo Switch Online will launch on September 18. You'll need the subscription to play games online starting next week. It's $20 a year and you'll get to play some NES games with online components. There's even a set of of two NES controllers for Switch that snap-on like Joy-cons if that's your thing.
    • New Super Mario Bros. Uis getting a Deluxe version on Switch. It's got everything from the original game and New Super Luigi U and you can paly as Nabbit and Toadette as well.
    • Yoshi's Crafted World is the name of the Yoshi game announced last year. It's got a Paper Mario/Kirby's Epic Yarn type aesthetic and is launching in Spring 2019.
    • There's a bundle coming for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. For $359.99 you get the Switch (with decals on the dock and joy-cons) and a download code for the game.
    • Super Mario Party is launching October 5. All 80 of the game's mini-games are brand new.
    • TOWN is the new RPG from Game Freak (creators of Pokémon). The whole game takes place in the same village and has you defending said village from monsters. It's coming to Switch in 2019.
    • Civilization VI is getting a Nintendo Switch version. It's got LAN multiplayer and launches on November 16.
    • Cities: Skylines is out on Nintendo eShop right now!
    • Mega Man 11 is coming to Switch on October 2 and is compatible with both Mega Man amiibo.
    • Splatoon 2 is getting a Versino 4 update in October. New weapons, stages, and music are coming.
    • Mario Tennis Aces version 2.0 update is coming on September 19. Four new characters are playable: Birdo, Shy Guy, Koopa Paratroopa, and Petey Piranha.
    • Diablo III: Eternal Collection got a November 2 release date.
    • Starline: Battle for Atlas from Ubisoft features Fox, Falco, Slippy, Peppy, and Wolf. It's coming to Switch on October 16.
    • Seven Final Fantasy games are coming to Switch in the near future. FINAL FANTASY VII, FINAL FANTASY IX and X/X-2 HD Remaster, FINAL FANTASY XII: THE ZODIAC AGE, FINAL FANTASY XV Pocket Edition HD, WORLD OF FINAL FANTASY MAXIMA, Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon EVERY BUDDY!, and FINAL FANTASY CRYSTAL CHRONICLES Remastered Edition.
    • Kirby's Epic Yarn is getting a 3DS port in 2019.
    • Mario and Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey is coming January 11.
    • Luigi's Mansion 3DS remake will be available on October 12. It features two player local co-op.
    • YO-KAI WATCH BLASTERS is getting free update in the form of "Moon Rabbit Crew" on September 27.

That's not even all! There were plenty of smaller announcements, third party games, and footage worth watching. So go ahead and give this direct a watch, it was a good one!

Isabelle is in Smash Ultimate, Animal Crossing is on Nintendo Switch

Animal Crossing Switch Reveal

Sakurai is sure having a fun time with these Super Smash Bros. Ultimate reveals. Today's direct concluded with a a bit of a tease for Animal Crossing fans. Footage of Isabelle in the mayor's office suggested a new Animal Crossing game might be coming to Switch. Turns out that it was just Isabelle being announced for Smash. She's the newest fighter (not an echo) in what is definitely the most ambitious cross-over ever. Check out the trailer below to see her moveset and game footage.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Isabelle

Of course, Nintendo isn't so cruel to announce Isabelle without a new Animal Crossing game. Tom Nook cleared it up for us and confirmed that an Animal Crossing game is coming to Switch after all. That's basically all the information we've got, but we do know that it's currently slated for 2019. If the reveal was anything to judge by, it's going to be pretty too.

Luigi's Mansion 3 is Coming to Switch in 2019

Luigi's Mansion 3 Switch Logo

Nintendo opened today's Nintendo Direct with a rather unexpected announcement: Luigi's Mansion 3 is coming to Nintendo Switch. The title isn't final and a very brief preview was shown, but we know the game will be out in 2019. This is not to be confused with the remake of the original Luigi's Mansion, which is coming to 3DS and got an October 12 release date today as well. It'll probably be a while before we get anything else concrete, but stay tuned for our coverage of Luigi's Mansion 3!

The Nintendo Direct Has Been Rescheduled for September 13

Nintendo Direct September 6

The Nintendo Direct that was postponed last week has been scheduled for tomorrow. The direct was rescheduled due to the massive earthquake that struck Japan the day the direct was to air. The new time is exactly one week later, September 13 at 3 PM PT/6 PM ET. You can check it out on Nintendo's website and Twitch account.The direct will cover the same content as before, although a number of games (Civilization VI and Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles) have been announced that were likely going to be included in the direct. It'll be interesting to see if the direct has changed at all because of that. Either way, stay tuned for our complete coverage of the event tomorrow.

UPDATE: A Nintendo Direct is Coming September 6

Nintendo Direct September 6

Update: Due to a major earthquake in Japan, the Nintendo Direct has been postponed until further notice.

Original: As rumors from earlier this week suggested, we'll be getting a Nintendo Direct this week. Tomorrow, September 6 at 3 PM PT/6 PM ET. The presentation will air live on Nintendo's website and Twitch account. It should be about 35 minutes long and will cover upcoming 3DS and Switch games. I suspect will also be getting details about the Switch Online Service launching later this month, but we've been wrong about that before. You can catch the Direct live or check back afterward for our full coverage of the event.

August 28 Nindie Direct Recap

Into the Breach Switch

After last week's Nindie Showcase, we weren't expecting to get another so soon. Nevertheless, a new and rather lengthy Nindie Direct was broadcasted yesterday. Just as with the last broadcast, a few critically acclaimed indie games are making their way to the Switch, alongside some brand new titles. You can check out everything we learned or watch the broadcast in its entirety yourself below.

Into the Breach (pictured above), is a turn-based strategy from Subset Games. It was first released for PC earlier this year to critical acclaim and is now available on the Switch.

Hyper Light Drifter Switch

Hyper Light Drifter is coming to Switch on September 6 in the form of a special edition. Already a highly praised action/adventure, the Switch version will include never-before-seen outfits and weapons.

First seen in 2013, Towerfall is finally making its way to the Switch. The Switch version includes all available DLC, new game modes, and characters from Celeste. The game will release on Septemer 27.

In addition to the highlighted games, many more were detailed and given release windows. Below is a non-exhuastive list of what we can expect from Nindies in the upcoming months. The list includes games from both Nindie presentations and more.

  • The Messenger - August 30
  • Bastion - September 13
  • Wasteland 2: Director's Cut - September 13
  • Undertale - September 18
  • Light Fingers - September 20
  • Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP - October
  • Jackbox Party Pack 5 - October
  • Zarvot - October
  • Transistor - November
  • Levelhead - November
  • Bullet Age - November
  • Dragon Marked for Death - December 13
  • Desert Child - December
  • Treasure Stack - Winter
  • King of the Hat - Early 2019
  • Untitled Goose Game - Early 2019
  • Samurai Gunn 2 - Early 2019
  • Mineko's Night Market - Early 2019
  • The World Next Door - Early 2019

There's certainly no shortage of great Indies coming to Switch. Be sure to stay tuned as we review and provide coverage for most of these games to help narrow down the selection for you.

A Hat in Time is Coming to Switch with New DLC

A Hat in Time Switch

A Hat in Time from Gear For Breakfast has just been announced to be coming to Switch in the near future. The announcement primarily focused on new modes, a co-op update and the Seal the Deal expansion DLC, all of which are coming to PC on September 13th.

No other information regarding the Switch port has been revealed, but a trailer showcasing the new content has been given to us. Stay tuned for any further updates, including the release date for Switch.

Nintendo Indie Highlights from Gamescom 2018

Nindie Highlights 2018

Nintendo had a surprise indie highlights video for Gamescom showcasing a variety of new and previously announced indie titles coming to Switch from now up until early 2019. In order of appearance in the video, they are:

  • Night Call - 2019
  • Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom - November 6th
  • The Gardens Between - September 20th
  • Streets of Rogue - Winter 2018
  • Bad North - Available right now
  • Children of Morta - Early 2019
  • This War of Mine - November 20th
  • Moonlighter - Autumn 2018
  • Everspace: Stellar Edition - December 2018
  • Baba Is You - Autumn 2018
  • Slay the Spire - Early 2019
  • Windjammers - October 23rd
  • Windjammers 2 - 2019
  • Terraria - 2019
  • Prison Architect - Available right now, DLC to come Summer 2018
  • Morphies Law - Available right now

In addition to this, Baba Is You, Wargroove, The Gardens Between, Moonlighter, Night Call, Planet Alpha, Stick Fight: The Game, Unruly Heroes, Everspace: Stellar Edition and Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom are all playable at Gamescom for anyone in attendance. The highlights showcase can be watched below.

King K. Rool and Simon Belmont Revealed for Smash Ultimate

Smash King K. Rool

During today's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate direct, two new original playable fighters were revealed. Long time hopeful and Donkey Kong villian King K. Rool is joining the battle. In addition, Simon Belmont from Castlevania is also playable as a third party rep. Both these new fighters have been long anticipated fan favorites, so it's incredible to see them finally coming to Smash, especially after such a dramatic reveal.

Three new echo fighters were also revealed: Richter Belmont (echo of Simon), Chrom (echo of Roy), and Dark Samus (echo of Samus). All three of these characters will share very similar movesets to the character they are cloning with mostly visual differences. As a handy option to clean up the clutter on the fighter screen, echo fighters can also be displayed as alternates for their cloned characters.

Smash Simon Belmont

In addition to playable fighters, a few new stages were revealed. New Donk City Hall from Super Mario Odyssey and Dracula's Castle from Castlevania were headlined. A Monster Hunter stage was also briefly teased. The total number of stages, which will all be playable from the start, is 103. This doesn't include the Omega, Battlefield, and lack of stage hazard options that dramatically increase the number of possibilities.

For even more stage permutations, a new feature that allows stages to transform into another stage of your choosing mid-battle was shown off. You'll be able to pick two stages from the beginning (or choose random) and after a certain amount of time the stage will fluidly transform into another.

Smash Kappn

The number of music tracks in Smash 4 was impressive, but Smash Ultimate is kicking it up a notch. Over 900 tracks are included in the game, for a total of over 28 hours of music. There's a handy music manager that allows you to customize which songs play on which stage. You'll also be able to create playlists of songs that can be played at any time, even when the Switch is in sleep mode.

Some cool new items including a Banana Gun, Death's Scythe, Killing Edge, Bomber, Staff, Ramblin' Evil Mushroom, and the Rage Blaster. The detailed use of these items can be seen in the full direct. These are of course in addition to most items from previous Smash games that will be returning in Ultimate.

New Assist Trophies include Shovel Knight, Knuckles (Sonic the Hedgehog), Krystal (Star Fox), Rathalos (Monster Hunter), Zero (Mega Man), and the Moon (Majora's Mask). A new option allows nerfed versions of final smashes be charged and used on command as well.

Smash Game Modes

New game modes include Classic Mode, Stamina Battle, Squad Strike (Crews), Tournament Mode, Training, and Smashdown (Iron Man). There's a new training mode exclusive stage that shows knockback trajectories and has a rule in the background for measuring distances.

The direct was packed with a ton of new information, almost all of which is worth getting excited about. With nearly all the newcomers fans have been asking for, an incredible number of stages and music, and a bunch of new competitive and casual features, it seems like this really is the ultimate Smash Bros. game.

As always, stay tuned for further coverage of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which launches exclusively for Nintendo Switch on December 7. You can check out the direct in full below.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Direct is Coming August 8

Earlier today, during Melee Top 8 of EVO 2018, Nintendo teased us with a surprise announcement. We'll be getting a new direct for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on August 8, just three days away. The smash direct will air bright and early here in the U.S. at 7 a.m. PT or 10 a.m. ET. That's about all we know. It's pretty likely that we'll see a new character revealed and get information about a demo. Either way, stay tuned for our live coverage of the event Wednesday morning.

A Ball of a Time - Road to Ballhalla Review

Road to Ballhalla Logo

Roll a ball into a hole to win. Sounds simple, right? Well, not quite, as Road to Ballhalla showcases all the trials one little ball has to overcome in order to reach Ballhalla. Such a simple concept could’ve been a fairly standard and uninteresting affair, but Torched Hill have managed to embellish this game with so many nice little touches that it manages to stand out for itself. There is substance to its simplicity and it is not to be taken lightly.

Road to Ballhalla Screenshot

The core of Road to Ballhalla is so simple that it doesn’t take much to explain it. Rolling a ball is as simple as tilting the left stick, though you can use directional buttons if you so please. Holding down ZR gives you a little speed boost and that’s all you need for additional maneuverability. You roll your ball through each stage collecting orbs and dropping it off into a hole at the end of the level.

The complexity comes in the obstacles you have to navigate through to get your ball to the end of the stage. It starts off simple with damaging squares you must avoid and ramps up gradually with lasers, teleporters and other, even larger balls. The design of each stage is so tightly woven together as not to overwhelm the player too much as it gradually escalates the further you make your way through the game. Each obstacle is used in many creative ways that feels akin to the masters of navigational puzzle designs from Valve.

Road to Ballhalla Screenshot

If it was just a ball rolling game though, it would probably get rather dull, but the presentation manages to stand out with its own offbeat style. Minimal use of colour and an ambient soundtrack makes for a very chilled out experience, particularly with the audio tying into the activation of gameplay elements, thus syncing your actions to the music, further immersing yourself into the experience.

However, Ballhalla feels it necessary to spice things up with a dry cut sense of humour, with various messages dotted into the levels themselves offering quirky, deadpan commentary to the surroundings. These often lead to misdirection, leading the player astray, but you can’t help but laugh at your own misfortune for being daft enough to believe the game’s lies.

Despite all this, I can’t say the Switch port is all that perfect. There are significant loading times right from the get-go, with a 30 second wait just from booting up the game to reaching the pre-title logos. Each stage also has a long wait after being selected before being dropped off into the level.

It’s also very apparent that the game is running at a fairly low resolution, even in docked mode. It looks to be below 720p, which is very noticeable on a TV screen. It’s less so in portable mode, but still has visible aliasing. I can only assume that these setbacks were made to ensure optimal performance from the game, as everything performs extremely well otherwise.

Road to Ballhalla Screenshot

Road to Ballhalla is an extremely relaxed game on the surface, but the steadily raising tension from the puzzles and taunting from the commentary makes for a memorable time. It’s disheartening to see drops in resolution and lengthy load times, but they are preferable to sluggish controls and lowered frame rates so it was the right choice to maintain the gameplay that other platforms provide.


  • Responsive controls
  • Solid performance
  • Tightly designed
  • Good sense of humour


  • Tedious loading times
  • Low resolution




Good games are simply that: good. They are generally fun to play but might be lacking in longevity, replay value, or presentation. These games might be good buying decisions for some people, but not for others. Some otherwise great games may fall into this category if they are priced unreasonably high. The devil is in the details.

Want to know what this score means? Check out our Scoring Guidelines page.

Mechanically Minded - Iconoclasts Review

Iconoclasts Switch Logo

Attentive indie game fans may have no doubt noticed Noitu Love: Devolution which made its console and handheld debut in 2016 on the Wii U and 3DS, having previously been PC exclusive, and were probably looking forward to what Joakim Sandberg had next to offer. Having spent many years crafting and fine tuning his next project, Iconoclasts, it finally came out to the world in January this year. But only on PC and Playstation platforms, with no Nintendo release in sight.

Fortunately, there wasn’t too long a wait, as it was quickly announced to be hitting the Switch later in the year. Now the time has come and Nintendo fans can finally experience Joakim’s interpretation of a story driven Metroidvania.

Platforms: PC, PS4, Vita, Switch [Reviewed]
Developer: Konjak
Release: August 2, 2019 (Switch)
MSRP: $19.99
Press Copy provided by Bifrost Entertainment

Iconoclasts Switch Screenshot

Naturally, the first thing that is made apparent is by far the gorgeous visuals. Bright and colourful pixel art adorned with wonderfully animated sprites, it feels like a natural progression from the games of yesteryear, as if representing what could have happened if the Gameboy Advance line kept on going into the HD era. This isn’t trying to mimic the visuals of 16 or 32-bit systems, but a natural evolution of the 2D style.

The audio also fits in with the aesthetics, sounding like another evolution of the retro feel with more modern flairs. Every piece of music is fitting and the sound effects appropriate to each scene. No corners have been left unfilled from a presentation standpoint.

The gameplay is also very polished, with each action having the right amount of flexibility or heft depending on their purpose. You have a basic pistol to shoot, which can be charged for a more powerful blast, and a wrench to act as both a weapon and a tool.

Some elements take a little getting accustomed to, especially once you have to multitask between shooting and melee attacks. Fortunately they have both been double mapped onto the face buttons and shoulder buttons, so you can keep a charged shot active and still swing your wrench without letting go of any buttons. There are a few upgrades along the way, from bombs to electrically charging your wrench, but they are few and far between but each have multiple usages to keep from getting stale.

Iconoclasts Switch Screenshot

The primary design follows the Metroidvania template but with a few twists to it. Most of the level design is occupied with puzzles which need to be solved in order to progress or to dig up hidden goodies. All the pickups are for crafting abilities called Tweaks, rather than health and ammo boosts that most other Metroidvanias go for. These Tweaks range from increasing damage, detecting hidden secrets to taking a free hit from attacks. The bosses also take on a puzzle approach, with distinct phases in which you have to work out how to progress. There are traditional action based bosses too though, so you won’t be spoiled for variety.

The early hours of the game are fairly restrictive, locking you into specific areas until you push forward. But the game does open up as you advance, eventually becoming completely open once you’ve unlocked the fast travel system. The difficulty isn’t really up to par if you choose the standard option, but bumping it up to the harder option ought to satisfy. But if things are too hectic for you, there is also a casual option too and the difficulty can be changed at any point. Things can get a little too cryptic at times though, with some puzzles being unclear as to their solutions.

Iconoclasts Switch Screenshot

The biggest draw for Iconoclasts has to be its narrative, a strange thing to say for a Metroidvania. Some of you may recoil in horror at the idea, but it’s actually handled extremely well. Every one of the major characters feel like real people going through their own fair share of hardships.

Despite the initial colourful atmosphere the game lets on, the actual core of the story is actually quite dark, with many events coming off as rather grim and sometimes melancholic. It doesn’t ever pretend to be too above itself though, unlike some of the characters, as there are many quirky and humorous lines of dialogue dotted throughout the adventure.

At the end of the day, Iconoclasts is an extremely unique experience, taking influence from Metroid Fusion in particular. It might not necessarily be to everyone’s tastes, as it is generally more linear than what most Metroidvanias tend to offer. If you’re willing to get yourself invested in a character driven story in a world full of mystery even to people who are supposed to know it all in-universe, you should be in for a real treat.


  • Impeccable sprite designs
  • Superb handling
  • Strong, character focused narrative
  • Wonderfully polished
  • Quirky sense of humour


  • Too easy on standard difficulty
  • Sometimes too cryptic




Excellent games have our official recommendation and our examples of what every game should strive to be. These games feature exciting gameplay, engaging stories (when applicable), intuitive controls and movement, polished and fitting presentations, and good value. Above all else, these games are truly fun to play.

Want to know what this score means? Check out our Scoring Guidelines page.

Indie Metroidvania Iconoclasts gets a Switch Release Date

Iconoclasts Switch

Iconoclasts from Konjak and Bifrost Entertainment has just been announced for an August 2nd release date for Nintendo Switch. The indie Metroidvania title previously launched for Playstation 4, Playstation Vita and PC at the beginning of the year to critical acclaim. Added features new to the Switch release are a new easy mode for beginners and a boss rush mode, which will also be added to all current releases.

A trailer for the Switch release was also released, highlighting the new features. Stay tuned for our review and further coverage of the game.

Nintendo E3 2018 Impressions

Nintendo Switch

Another year of E3 has come and gone. Some cool new games were announced; gameplay and release dates were plentiful. Many members of the press, including myself, had the opportunity to demo some upcoming games on the E3 showfloor. These are my thoughts on Nintendo's E3 2018 presentation and lineup.

When Nintendo stopped doing a traditional press conference at E3 a few years back, it was met with some rather harsh critical reception. I was on board with that. After being wowed by a great presentation the first year, most fans began to prefer the Nintendo Direct presentations over live press conferences. It meant less awkward presentations, unnecessary guests, and overall fluff. Now it's all about the reveals and gameplay, and 2018 was no different.

The presentation this year involved a few new game reveals but mostly focused on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Pokémon: Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee to a lesser extent. We got lots of exciting news on the Smash front: every character is returning to Smash (including Snake!) and Ridley was revealed as a playable fighter. As perhaps the most requested character in the past twenty years, it's awesome to see another Metroid representative and a character as downright badass as Ridley.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate

My personal expirience playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on the show floor was great, albeit brief. I played in a "competitive" mini-tourney (which was really just free-for-all matches without items) that netted me 4 total 3 minute matches. I was going for the gold, so I didn't have a lot of opportunities to try out new techniques, but I did notice a few things.

My immediate observation when playing for the first time was that the game feels far more different from Smash 4 than I expected. While it certainly shares more similarities to Super Smash Bros. for Wii U than any other Smash title, it's definitely not a port. I played as Ness, who I mained in Smash 4, and his combo game clearly works a little bit different. I was missing some bread-and-butter combos that I would always get in Smash 4. In general, vertical movement seems to be much quicker and some basic defensive options like roll and shield seem to be nerfed quite a bit.

These changed mechanics in addition to directional air-dodging make the game feel a little bit faster. It seems like combo strings connect together more naturally and quickly, but people still live forever, perhaps even longer than before. The blast zones are the biggest they've ever been, and every character that I saw had a recovery that almost guranteed they could make it back to stage from the edge of the blast zones.

If you're a competitive Melee player like myself, it's not Melee. Don't go into playing Smash Ultimate thinking that it is. Rather, it feels like a natural evolution of Smash 4 that quickens things up and will make competitive play a little more exciting. With every character and most stages coming back, this will also be the best Smash game yet for casual play. Hopefully we'll see a robust story/adventure mode as well. Either way, I can't wait to get my hands on the game (again) in December.

Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu

When it comes to Pokémon, we got some new details and information, mostly in the followup treehouse live segments, but not anything too revolutionary. The pair of games had of course already been revealed and there weren't too many surprises from the presentation. We saw some new footage and learned that the Pokéball Plus controller would come pre-loaded with Mew at launch.

I also had the chance to play Pokémon: Let's Go Eevee for ten minutes using the new Poké Ball Plus controller. The demo was set in Viridian Forest and allowed me to battle trainers and catch wild Pokémon in that area. I also attempted to explore the menus and see what options were available there, but I was quickly told off by a Nintendo rep for that. I guess we aren't supposed to know how the menus work yet.

It was pretty awesome to see a bunch of different breeds of Pokémon running around the overworld in the forest. The game looks beautiful, if nothing else. But after catching three or four, I was rather bored of it. Keep in mind the entire demo was only 10 minutes long, so to be bored by perhaps the game's core mechanic in less than 10 minutes isn't a great sign. Catching Pokémon just seemed rather slow and mindlessly easy. Maybe there's further depth to the system when coming accross stronger wild Pokémon, but I'm not impressed with what I've seen.

Battling trainers felt a little more familiar and largely works just as it has in every Pokémon game to date. Nothing particularly new or exciting here, except for the pretty visuals. It's a solid system though, and one that Pokémon fans like myself know and love.

I understand that I'm not really included in the target audience for these pair of games, so it make sense that I have some gripes with the changed mechanics. I think players who came back to Pokémon for Go will love these games and it will give them a reason to buy a Switch. Long time fans of the series like myself will have enough to enjoy to tide us over until the core RPG hits in 2019.

Super Mario Party

Pokémon and Smash are huge titles, perhaps the two biggest system sellers Nintendo has to offer, but there wasn't a whole lot else to see from Nintendo at E3 this year. Super Mario Party and Fire Emblem were great announcements and both seem like they'll be solid entries, but aren't really heavy hitters or things that the general public will be too excited for. Fortnite and Dragon Ball FighterZ coming to Switch is great, but neither were suprises or new games.

Some DLC, indies, and the new giant robot mech game are pretty much everything left from the presentation and showfloor. We didn't hear anything about Metroid Prime 4, Animal Crossing (yet to be announced), or Pikmin 4, which was revealed to be in development five years ago. Pokémon and Smash were great and definitely worth getting excited for. But as a whole, Nintendo's E3 2018 can be best described as underwhelming.

Nintendo E3 2018 Recap

Super Smash Bros Ultiamte

Another year of E3 and another Nintendo presentation have come and gone. Between the official presentation, pre-E3 directs, and Nintendo Treehouse Live events, there was a lot to take in. Let's recap E3 so you know exactly what you can expect for the next year (mostly Pokémon and Smash Bros) on Switch.

Super Mario Party

  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is coming to Switch on December 7. We got plenty of gameplay details and footage and got to see some new fighters in action. Every fighter from past Smash games is making a return alongside Inklings and Ridley.
  • Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu and Let's Go Eevee are coming to Switch on November 16. New details about game mechanics and features were shown off. Pre-ordering the Poké Ball Plus will net you a free Mew.
  • Super Mario Party was announced for Switch. Tons of mini-games playable on a single joy-con. This game is going back to its traditional game board roots.
  • You can play Fortnite on Switch right now. The most popular game in the world is available as a free download on Switch and even supports cross-platform play with PC and Xbox.
  • Dragon Ball FighterZ is coming to Switch on September 28. It even supports single joy-con play for tabletop fights.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2 DLC was announced. The DLC is called Torna ~ The Golden Country and launches September 14. This DLC is included in the Expansion Pass.
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses comes to Switch next Spring. It's the next mainline Fire Emblem game and features the three main characters Edelgard, Dimitri, and Claude.
  • DAEMON X MACHINA was revealed for Switch. It's a mech action game from Kenichiro Tsukuda coming in 2019.
  • Hollow Knight is now available for Switch. The critically acclaimed Indie Metroidvania title from Team Cherry can be downloaded from the eShop as of Nintendo's E3 presentation.
  • Octopath Traveler is getting a free demo. Square Enix's game launches on July 13 and you can try the demo from June 14.

That was about it from Nintendo at E3 this year. You can check out the full presentation below if you'd like more details or are craving the Nintendo charm. Stay tuned for details and coverage on all of the games Nintendo announced and presented at E3 2018.

Dragon Ball FighterZ is Coming to Switch on September 28

DragonBall FighterZ logo

One surprise that went a little under the radar from Nintendo's E3 presentation was the reveal of Dragon Ball FighterZ on Switch. The anime fighter that came to PC and other consoles earlier this year will be seeing a Switch release on September 28. If you're a fan of fighting games (or Dragon Ball) and you've yet to play it, this will be the perfect opportunity. The game already has a strong competitive scene and has been one of the most succesful fighting games in years.

The Switch version will be compatible with single joy-con play, meaning you can play with a friend on a single switch in table-top mode. Other controller options and a robust online matchmaking system are of course available. If you're interested in pre-ordering the Switch version, you'll be rewarded with a copy of Dragon Ball Z: Super Butoden, originally a Japanese exclusive SNES game, for Switch.

Fortnite is Out Now on Switch

Fortnite Screenshot

As has been rumored for some time, Fornite is coming to Switch. In fact, as of Nintendo's E3 2018 presentation, the game is available to download and play for free. Fortnite is a battle royale that has taken the world by storm of the past year. The Battle Royale mode is free to play (with plenty of micro-transactions). The Swith version even supports cross-platform multiplayer with PC and Xbox One.

To the dissapointment of many, the paid Save the World mode is not coming to the Switch at all. While this mode is significantly less popular than the PvP Battle Royale mode, it has typically been included with past console launches. It should also be noted that while you can link your Epic Games account to continue progress from PC or Xbox One, PS4 players will not be able to link their accounts and play on the Switch. No cross-platform play is supported with players on Sony consoles.

The game has been downloaded over 2 million times in the past week, to give you an idea of how popular the game has become. If you've yet to try out the 100-player Battle Royale, this seems like a perfect opportunity. If you've already been playing on PC or Xbox, go ahead and give it a go on the Switch. It's free, after all.

Super Mario Party Announced for Switch

Super Mario Party Logo

Super Mario Party will be the next installment in the Mario Party franchise, coming to Switch later this year. The official release date is October 5, 2018. The game was one of the few first party titles revealed during Nintendo's E3 2018 presentation, where a brief trailer (below) was shown. Super Mario Party goes back to the series' roots and features a variety of boards jam-packed with 4-player mini-games.

A more classic approach to Mario Party gameplay has many long time fans excited. Recent entries in the series have strayed a little from the classic board-oriented dynamic that the party game series was known for. It seems that Nintendo has acknowledged this and is even giving the game a classic-style name. This will be the first Mario Party game to release on home consoles to not be numbered in its nomenclature.

Joy-cons appear to be the only controller compatible with the new game. While it makes sense to have single joy-con play be the primary option, as the game is the definition of local multiplayer, it does mean that us pro-controller users are kind of out of luck. You're going to need to fork out for an additional pair of (very pricy) joy-cons if you're trying to play four player on one switch.

During the tree house live presentation, we got around an hour of gameplay footage that make the game look promising. You can check those videos out below if you'd like. Stay tuned for more Super Mario Party coverage as we approach the October release.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Releases on Switch December 7

The new Super Smash Bros. game now has an official name and release date, as well as tons of new info regarding characters, stages, and more. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for Nintendo Switch will be bringing together every single character from every Smash Bros. game ever, as well as a few new faces too.

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A Lull in the Middle - The Fall Part 2: Unbound Review

The Fall Part 2 Unbound Switch Logo

The first entry in this trilogy, The Fall, was one of the first Wii U games we reviewed on Nintendo Castle back in 2014. I enjoyed that game quite a lot and had been looking forward to the sequel, which came to Switch and other platforms earlier this year. If you've yet to play the first game, you shouldn't bother with the second yet. Check out our review of the first and see if you're interested (the first game is now out on Switch) in playing the sequel.

Platforms: PC, Switch [Reviewed], PS4, Xbox One
Developer: Over The Moon
Release: February 13, 2018
MSRP: $16.99
Press Copy provided by Over The Moon

Just like the first game, most of The Fall Part 2: Unbound is a point-and-click adventure set in a rustic sci-fi world. It's very atmospheric and story-driven, which is why playing the first part of the game is so necessary to understand and enjoy the second. Unbound introduces a new combat system with more combat in general, but you should go into this game expecting a laid-back, dialogue-heavy, point-and-click puzzle game.

The Fall Part 2 Unbound Review

Unbound takes place immediately following the events of the first game. You're back in control of A.R.I.D., but actually spend more time inhabiting three other bots, known as The Companion, The Butler, and The One. The characters are developed well and have interesting backgrounds that you'll learn as you switch between each perspective. A.R.I.D. feels a bit less developed this time around, but she still shines a little while helping the other three bots find identity. All three bots are likeable, but I found The Butler to be the most interesting.

We praised the first part of this trilogy for an engaging story that left us wanting more. Now that I have more, I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. There's some interesting plot points and character development, but it does seem to be missing the sense of mystery and dramatic twist that the first game had. It was fine overall, but doesn't leave me dying to play part 3.

The Fall Part 2 Unbound Review

Gameplay itself can best be described as solid, but flawed. Point-and-click segments are rather slow, but that's not atypical of the genre. I found the returning "use your flashlight to observe" function to be a little bit buggy as well (this is the central action in the game). It sometimes wouldn't pick up or respond to objects at distances that it seems like it should. Not much has changed from the first game here.

There are essentially two types of combat in this game, and both are kind of boring to be honest. The first, when using A.R.I.D., plays a bit like a platformer. Enemies are defeated by shooting your gun (ammo is time-restricted) and jumping around to dodge. Some enemies can only be destroyed when they are certain colors. There's only one type of enemy you ever battle like this, which makes sense with the story but isn't very exciting.

The Fall Part 2 Unbound Review

The other type of combat is even more simple. Enemies (once again, all the same type) approach from the left and the right and you'll need to time left or right button presses to defeat them. Some enemies take multiple hits to defeat and some will dodge some of your attacks. It takes a minute or to to get the timing down, but is incredibly easy afterwards. It feels as though combat is once again pointless (a complaint I had from the first game) and it would make no difference if it was left out of the game entirely.

Puzzle solving, which boils down to figuring out what to click on next, is what moves the game along. There's some fun and creative puzzles with interesting solutions, but there's also a lot of rather unintuitive puzzles. A decent portion of the game will leave you clicking on everything in the area until the puzzle is solved. If you want that process streamlined a little, be sure to check out our Walkthrough.

The Fall Part 2 Unbound Review

There doesn't seem to be any Switch particular features of the game that are noteworthy, besides the occasional use of rumble. The game runs well in docked and portable mode, but it's rather slow moving and not visually intesive, so nothing less should be expected. We'll of course recommend the Switch version for portability's sake (and the nature of our content focus), but the game can be equally enjoyed on any platform. Waiting for a sale on PC might not be a bad idea for this one.

If you enjoyed the first entry in the series, definitely pick this one up as well. It isn't some legendary sequel that fixes all of the problems in the first game, but it does continue the story in an interesting way that is worth checking out. The three robots idea is rather fun and executed well. The voice acting and sci-fi atmosphere are once again solid. If you didn't love the first game or haven't enjoyed point-and-click games in the past, you might want to skip out on The Fall Part 2: Unbound.


  • Clean and fitting atmosphere
  • Lots of story to discover
  • Fun and well developed characters


  • No replayability
  • Combat is boring
  • Some unintuitive puzzles




Good games are simply that: good. They are generally fun to play but might be lacking in longevity, replay value, or presentation. These games might be good buying decisions for some people, but not for others. Some otherwise great games may fall into this category if they are priced unreasonably high. The devil is in the details.

Want to know what this score means? Check out our Scoring Guidelines page.

Smash for Switch E3 Invitational Roster Revealed

Smash for Switch e3 2018 invitational attendees

The roster at the Smash for Switch E3 2018 Invitational has been revealed. The lineup features 8 pro Smash players, 4 each from Melee and Smash 4. Melee's lineup will include Armada, Mang0, Plup, and Lucky while Smash 4's representatives are ZeRo, MkLeo, Abadango, and Mr. R. Nairo has revealed that he is a backup player, and we may see the appearance of a few other players that participate in festivities, but not the invitational tourney. It's interesting to note the lack of Mew2King and Hungrybox (no Reggie rematch). You can tune in to the invitational on the evening of June 12.

Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate is Coming to the Switch in the West

Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate Nintendo Switch Logo

U.S. Monster Hunter fans have been itching for a game on Switch since it was revealed that Monster Hunter Generations XX would be a Japan-exclusive release. The english version of the game, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, will now be making it's way to the Switch in the west. The official release date is August 28, 2018.

The game will be the same expanded version of the original Monster Hunter Generations (or X in Japan) that first released on 3DS in 2015. Not to be confused with the recently released Monster Hunter World, which remains exclusive to PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Check out the announcement trailer below.

Save Data Cloud Backup and More Revealed for Switch Online

Nintendo Switch Logo

Nintendo recently revealed a few new details about their upcoming Nintendo Switch Online Service. There's not a whole lot new to see here, but among the details is a confirmation that we'll finally get cloud backups for our saves... if you subscribe to the service. It'll run you $19.99 for a year or $3.99 month-to-month.

A new option for pricing is the family membership, which can be purchased for $34.99 per year. This membership is good for 8 Nintendo Accounts. This service will be necessary for online play in most Switch games (all first party), but not local multiplayer.

Nintendo Switch Online

We've known for a while that the subscription will include some monthly classic games, and it seems for now we'll only be getting NES games to start. There will be 20 at launch with more added regularly. These games will feature a brand new online multiplayer mode. These are the currently confirmed NES games:

  • Balloon Fight
  • Dr. Mario
  • Super Mario Bros. 3
  • Donkey Kong
  • Ice Climber
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Mario Bros.
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Soccer
  • Tennis

It also seems that Nintendo is serious about their Nintendo Switch Online App. They've reiterated that it will be the only way to use voice chat in online play. The online service will launch this September. After it launches, it will be required for online play on the Switch.

Splatoon 2 U.S./Canada Inkling Open 2018 Finals Recap

This past weekend, Nintendo held the Splatoon 2 U.S./Canada Inkling Open 2018 Finals to determine what team would be representing the U.S./Canada regions in the Splatoon 2 World Championships Tournament which will be held at E3 2018 this June. Keep reading after the break for more information on the results from this past weekend’s tournament.

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Nintendo Releases E3 2018 Plans and Schedule

It’s that time of year again. That’s right, E3 is coming up! We may only be ending April, but before you know it, June will be here, and so will E3 2018, coming June 12-14 this year. It's normal for Nintendo to announce their E3 plans around April or May each year, so it’s great to find out more about it now.

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Kimishima to Retire as President, Furukawa Assumes Role in June

Nintendo is getting ready for another transition of power. Announced today, current Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima will be stepping down from his role as of June 28, 2018. The next president who will be the sixth President of Nintendo will be 46-year-old Shuntaro Furukawa. Furukawa originally joined Nintendo in 1994, where he worked on global marketing and accounting in Germany for 10 years. He became General Manager of Corporate Planning Department in 2015, and joined the Nintendo Board of Directors in June 2016.

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TMNT Against Each Other in First Tournament-Style Splatfest

Turtle power! The “Heroes in a half shell” are getting their own Splatfest. Announced earlier today, the next upcoming Splatoon 2 Splatfest (or Splatfests, depending on how you look at it) will determine who the fan-favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle is. Through a series of three weekends next month, Raph, Leo, Mikey, and Donnie will be put against each other in pairs, making this the first ever tournament-style Splatfest.

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Major Splatoon 2 Update Inkoming tonight

During Nintendo’s most recent Nintendo Direct this past March, new details were released on Splatoon 2 and the big 3.0 update, at the time, aimed for late April. It was said to include over 100 new pieces of gear, new stages, Rank X, and Callie in Octo Canyon. Well, it’s time for that update to finally release! Keep on reading for more details regarding tonight’s big Splatoon 2 update.

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Super Smash Bros for Switch Invitational is Happening at E3 2018

Smash for Switch Invitational

Earlier this morning the Nintendo VS twitter account revealed Nintendo's plan for a Super Smash Bros Invitational Tournament at this year's E3 in Los Angeles. The tourney will feature top-talent from the competitive Super Smash Bros. community to be revealed at a later time. This follows the 2014 E3 invitational held in 2014 for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.

Additionally, the 2018 Splatoon 2 World Championships will also be happening at E3. E3 2018 happens June 12 - June 14. The tourney will be streamed live at Nintendo's E3 site. We'll also be there live-tweeting from the show floor, so be sure to follow us on Twitter to stay updated!

Ark Survival Evolved Announced for Nintendo Switch

Ark: Survival Evolved Switch

Earlier today at the Game Developer's Conference, Studio Wildcard announced that Ark: Survival Evolved is coming to the Switch. This comes shortly after news of a mobile version of the game after the success of the title on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Abstraction Games will be handling the port and claim that Switch owners will be getting the full console experience in both handheld and docked mode. The game will release physically and on the eShop in Fall 2018.

March 20 Nindies Showcase Recap

Nindie Presentation March 20

A number of new and lesser-known indie games were shown off at today's Nindies presentation for Switch. There weren't any huge groundbreaking announcements, but plenty of solid games were presented that are due for release this spring or summer. Perhaps the two biggest announcements were Mark of the Ninja Remastered and Banner Saga 3. Check out the full 11-minute presentation or a quick summary of announced games after the fold.

  • Mark of the Ninja Remastered is a remaster of the 2012 stealth action game from Klei Entertainment.
  • Banner Saga 3 is the final game in the Banner Saga trilogy; the first two games will also come to the Switch. The game is a story-driven RPG from Versus Evil.
  • LUMINES REMASTERED is an HD remake of the light and sound puzzle action game from Enhance Games. It will come to Switch this spring.
  • Just Shapes and Beats is described as a "musical bullet hell" game from Berzerk Studio. It features chiptune music and co-op multiplayer. It comes out on Switch this summer.
  • Reigns: King & Queens is a strategy game from Nerial and Devolver Digital. A local co-op multiplayer mode is exclusive to the Switch version, which launches this spring.
  • The Messanger is an 8-bit/16-bit action platformer from Sabotage and Devolver Digital. It features a speed-running mode and comes to Switch this summer.
  • Fantasy Strike is a fighting game from Sirlin Games that features local and online multiplayer. It will come to Switch this summer.
  • Pool Panic is an obscure twist on the game of pool, placed into many different settings. It features 4 player multiplayer and is coming to Switch this summer.
  • Garage from tinyBuild is a top-down shooter inspired by gritty VHS era B-movies. It comes to Switch this spring.
  • Light Fall is a platformer adventure with a twist: you can place your own platform. It's from Bishop Games and comes to Switch this spring.
  • Bomb Chicken is a platformer featuring an exploding chicken. From Nitrome, it comes out on Nintendo Switch this summer.
  • Pode is a co-op puzzle game from Henchman & Goon. It's inspired by Norwegian culture and launches on Switch this spring.
  • West of Loathing is a comedic western RPG from Asymetric. It launches on Switch this spring.
  • Bad North is a rougue-lite RTS with a viking theme from Plausible Concept and Raw Fury. It comes to Switch this summer.

Nindie Showcase Coming March 20

Nindie Presentation March 20

One thing notably missing from last week's Nintendo Direct was a focus on Indie games coming to Switch. This is being rectified, as an official Nindie showcasing is coming this Tuesday on March 20. The video will air at 9 AM PT / 12 AM ET. You can watch it live here, or stay tuned and we'll give you a full recap after the presentation.

Nintendo Switch Firmware Version 5.0.0 is Now Available

Nintendo Switch System Update

Overnight, Nintendo put out the latest significant system update for the Switch, Version 5.0.0. If your Switch hasn't already automatically updated itself, you can manually start the process by heading to "Settings", "System", and "System Update". While the update doesn't drastically change the OS, it does allow for adding friends via social media, immediate downloads of software purchased on PC, and recognizing Pro Controller grip colors. Check out the full patch notes for Version 5.0.0 after the fold.

The following are Nintendo's official patch notes.

  • Facebook and Twitter friends that also use Nintendo Switch can now be added through Friend Suggestions
    • Friend suggestions are based on the Facebook and Twitter accounts you have linked to your Nintendo Account
    • To view your friend suggestions, from the top left of the HOME Menu head to your User Page > Friend Suggestions
    • You must be 13 or older to use this feature
  • Select from 24 new ARMS and the Kirby series icons for your user
    • To edit your user icon, head to your My Page on the top left of the Home Menu > Profile
  • Digital software purchases made from a PC or smart device will start downloading sooner than previously, even if the Nintendo Switch console is in Sleep Mode
  • Filter News to view only unread news or news from specific channels
  • To keep the Parental Controls PIN private, the default method for PIN entry has been changed to entering using the Control Stick and buttons instead of the on-screen number pad
    • When prompted to enter you Parental Controls PIN, press and hold the + Button to change between input methods
  • Captured videos in the Album will be restricted by Parental Controls depending on the Restricted Software setting and Software Rating Organization
  • Using the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app, add specific software titles to your whitelist to exclude them from the console’s Parental Controls Restricted Software setting
    • Play-Time Limit restrictions will still apply even when the software title has been whitelisted.
  • Receive notification when pre-purchased software is ready to play
  • Nintendo Switch Pro Controller grip colors will now display in the Controllers menu
  • Resolved an issue that caused Play Activity to display incorrectly in the Profile section of your User Page

March 8 Nintendo Direct Recap

Nintendo Direct March 8

Last Thursday, Nintendo put out one of its world-famous Nintendo Directs. We've been hard at work reporting all of the news from the latest direct. If you'd like, you can watch the entire presentation below. For those that want the news in a more concise format, we've put together a recap to give you the big headlines and some important details about upcoming Nintendo Switch and 3DS games.

That's it for this Nintendo Direct, although it was pretty jam-packed. Click any of the links above for more information on what was announced and stay tuned for full coverage of all of these games and more!

South Park The Fractured But Whole Arrives on Switch April 24

South Park the Fractured But Whole Switch

In last week's Nintendo Direct, South Park the Fractured But Whole was announced for the Switch. The game first came to Xbox One, PS4, and PC late last year, and will be making it's way to Switch on April 24. If you couldn't tell by the title, The Fractured But Whole is known, just like the show South Park, for being outrageously offensive and crude. This will be South Park's first outing on the Switch since the self-titled game on Nintendo 64. Stay tuned for more information and coverage of the game.

Undertale is Eventually Coming to Switch

Undertale Switch

During this week's Nintendo Direct, we got brief word that Undertale was coming to Switch. That's about all we know. The release date is officially "eventually". This is a rather unexpected announcement, but the cult-classic is certainly a welcome addition to the Switch's library. We'll keep you posted about a real release date when we get one.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is Coming to Switch and 3DS

Captain Toad Tresure Tracker Switch 3DS

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker originally released in late 2014 for Wii U after spinning off of Super Mario 3D World. Now, a port of the game has been announced for both Nintendo Switch and 3DS. The Switch version of the game will also include new levels based around Super Mario Odyssey worlds and will launch on July 13. No such release date has been given for 3DS version, and it's unclear whether it will also contain those Super Mario Odyssey levels. The game will likely retail for $39.99 on both systems.

Splatoon Gets a 3.0 Update and Paid DLC this Summer

Splatoon 2 Octo Expansion

A new single-player campaign DLC is coming to Splatoon 2 on Switch. It's titled Octo Expansion and introduces over 80 single-player missions to the game. You'll play as Agent 8, an Octoling with amnesia. After completing the new campaign, Octolings will be playable in online multi-player. The DLC is coming this summer and will be available on the eShop for $19.99.

In addition to the paid DLC, which if pre-ordered unlocks some new gear immediately, a 3.0 update is in the works. It'll introduce over 100 pieces of gear and new multi-player stages. The three new stages are Camp Triggerfish and Piranha Pit from the original Splatoon and a new stage called Wahoo World.

The Splatoon 2 3.0 update will also add an additional rank to competitive play: "Rank X". It will of course reside above S+ in the tiered ranking system. The 3.0 update is coming this April. Check out the Nintendo Direct excerpt below for full details.

Mario Tennis Aces Will be Served on Switch June 22

Mario Tennis Aces Switch

A significant portion of this week's Nintendo Direct was dedicated to Mario Tennis Aces. The game will be arriving on Switch on June 22. Gameplay will largely resemble the Mario Tennis games of the past, but with a few extra modes and twists.

Zone Shots and Zone Speed will allow for the game to be slowed down temporarily for more accuracy and power in your shots or defense. Of course, this will cost energy and must be used in moderation. Other new trick shots like the Super Shot that can blast through an opponent's racket were shown off. The game will also feature motion controls à la Wii Sports Tennis. All of these bells and whistles can of course be turned off in favor of a more traditional tennis experience.

The game will also feature online tournaments that will dish out character unlocks and new outfits to the winners. There will also be one free pre-launch tournament announced at a later date. Stay tuned for more Mario Tennis Aces coverage and check out its dedicated section from the Nintendo Direct for further details.

Okami HD Launches for Nintendo Switch this July

Okami HD Switch

In this week's Nintendo Direct, a number of third party titles and ports were announced for Switch, many on a Nintendo platform for the first time. One such title that is no stranger to Nintendo platforms is Okami HD, a remaster of Okami which saw a Wii release in 2008. The game was beautiful and artistic when it first launched and is only aided by modern HD visuals. It should be noted that the game appears to be an eShop exclusive and won't be getting a physical launch. The game is set for release this July, so stay tuned for full coverage of Okami HD.

Okami HD Switch Artwork

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy Releases on Switch July 10

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Triology Switch

Originally a PS4 exclusive, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is now coming to Nintendo Switch. The game is a compilation of HD remakes of the first three Crash games: Crash Bandicoot, Cortex Strikes Back, and Warped that all launched on PS1 in the early 2000s. N. Sane Trilogy remains true to the original trilogy, but includes new graphics, remixed music, and the ability to play as Coco in all three games. It launches on July 10, 2018 on Switch, Xbox One, and PC. Stay tuned for more information and our review of the game in July.

Luigi's Mansion, Mario and Luigi, and Warioware are Coming to 3DS

Luigi's Mansion 3DS Logo

When Nintendo said that 3DS would keep getting support, nobody really believed them. After all, the same thing was said about the Gameboy Advance when the DS released and we all know what happened there. Yet, here we are, a full year after the Switch's release and we've got three new big game announcements for 3DS for 2018 and 2019.

Luigi's Mansion 3DS Screenshot

Perhaps the most unexpected announcement for 3DS is a remake of Gamecube classic Luigi's Mansion. Five years after the game's only sequel, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, 3DS owners are getting the original game. The game will largely stay true to the original, but the bottom screen will be utilized as a map and a new boss rush mode has also been added. We should see Luigi's Mansion on 3DS before the end of the year.

Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey 3DS

Another remake, to compliment the remake of Superstar Saga from last year, is coming from the Mario & Luigi series. Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey is coming to the 3DS in 2019. It's a remake of Bowser's Inside Story, which came out for the DS in 2009. It will feature the original game with updated graphics as well as a new "New Game+" mode from the persepective of Bowser Jr. After the release of this game, the only Mario & Luigi game not released for 3DS will be Partners In Time.

WarioWare Gold 3DS Screenshot

WarioWare Gold will launch on 3DS on August 3, 2018. It features 300 microgames (many from past games in the series) that use a variety of input methods. It also features voice-acting for characters, many of which are fan-favorites from past entries.

Stay tuned for more information and full coverage of Luigi's Mansion, Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey, WarioWare Gold and other upcoming 3DS titles. You can check out the full Nintendo Direct below for the reaveal trailers and gameplay footage.

Super Smash Bros. is Coming to Nintendo Switch in 2018

Super Smash Bros. Nintendo Switch

To close a rather eventful Nintendo Direct, a Super Smash Bros. game was revealed for Nintendo Switch. It's not clear if this will be an enhanced port of Smash 4 (for Wii U/3DS) or an entirely new entry. We do know that Inklings from Splatoon will be playable characters. The trailer also hinted at other standard Smash characters like Link (Breath of the Wild), Mario, and Samus. The game is currently planned for release sometime in 2018. Check out the reveal trailer below and stay tuned for more information.

A Nintendo Direct is Coming March 8

Nintendo Direct March 8

Rumors were floating around earlier this week, but now we know for sure that we're getting a new Nintendo Direct on March 8. It will stray from the usual schedule a little bit and instead air at 2 P.M. PT / 5 P.M. ET. The Nintendo Direct will feature information on upcoming Switch and 3DS games. It should also be roughly 30 minutes in length.

Nintendo also claims there will be an extended focus on Mario Tennis Aces, which is coming this Spring but doesn't have a definite release date yet. A rather odd choice to focus a direct on, but there's sure to be some other surprises tucked in as well. You can check out the Nintendo Direct site to watch it live tomorrow or just check back here after the fact and we'll get you caught up on everything you need to know.

My Nintendo Gold Coins can Now be Used on the Switch eShop

My Nintendo Gold Coins

Remember My Nintendo? It's Nintendo's reward program that gives back to loyal fans in the form of rewards, games, and discounts on software. You probably haven't heard much about it recently because for the past year, despite being able to redeem Switch games for Gold Coins, there have been no Switch rewards to spend the coins on. In fact, if you purchased games at launch, your Gold Coins even expire this month.

Thankfully, after a year of waiting, Switch owners can finally use their Gold Coins for something. As of March 5, 1 gold coin equates to 1¢ that can be used towards purchases on the eShop. You've probably already accumulated some Gold Coins from software purchases, but the whole system has been reworked and you'll now earn a little more for redeeming your software. For digital purchases, you'll earn 5% back in the form of Gold Coins; for physical purchases you'll earn 1%. A $59.99 digital purchase will net you 300 Gold Coins and a $59.99 physical purchase will net you 60.

My Nintendo How to Redeem Gold Coins

Digital purchases will reward coins automatically after a purchase (no coins are rewarded for redeeming codes), but you'll need to register physical cartridges by pressing + (options menu) while hovering over a game and navigating to "My Nintendo Rewards Program". Note that the cartridge must currently be in your Switch to redeem for Gold Coins.

For those of us that remember Club Nintendo, 60¢ back on a $60 purchase seems like a slap in the face. Buy 100 games, get 1 free! However, it's a little better than no rewards program at all and is a welcome addition after the complete lack of program for the Switch over the past year. If you've been waiting to redeem your physical games to get more coins, feel free to do so now, you'll get the full 1%. Remember that you've got one year from the original release date of a game to claim your coins, and you've got 1 year (to the month) after claiming your coins before they expire.

tinyBuild Announces Hello Neighbor and Five Other Indies for Switch

Hello Neighbor Art

tinyBuild Games, the indie developer/publisher studio that brought Mr. Shifty and Phantom Trigger to the Switch last year has just announced 6 more games for Switch. Headlining the lineup is Hello Neighbor, the stealth horror game that released last December on PC and Xbox One, albeit to rather poor critical reception. The rest of the list includes The Final Station, CLUSTERTRUCK, Punch Club, Party Hard, and Streets of Rogue. All six games will be releasing this year, more details can be found after the break.

The Final Station

  • Tentative Release: February 2018
  • MSRP: $14.99


  • Tentative Release: March 2018
  • MSRP: $14.99

Punch Club

  • Tentative Release: May 2018
  • MSRP: $14.99

Party Hard

  • Tentative Release: Summer 2018
  • MSRP: $14.99

Streets of Rogue

  • Tentative Release: 2018
  • MSRP: $14.99

Hello Neighbor

  • Tentative Release: 2018
  • MSRP: $39.99

Down and Dirty - SteamWorld Dig Review

Steamworld Dig Switch Logo

SteamWorld Dig has dug itself a nice following since it first released nearly five years ago, earning itself a sequel last year. This isn’t the first time the game has graced a Nintendo platform, launching as a 3DS exclusive and eventually making its way to the Wii U in 2014, nor is it the first time it has been on a handheld. However, the Switch release marks the first time it has come to a handheld in full HD. Is it worth grabbing your pickaxe once again?

Platforms: 3DS, PC, PS4, Wii U, Xbox One, Switch [Reviewed]
Developer: Image & Form
Release: February 1, 2018 (Switch)
MSRP: $9.99
Press Copy provided by Image & Form

You take control of Rusty, a steambot in a western themed steampunk world who is tasked with taking over his uncle’s mine after he passes away in a mining accident. With nothing but a pickaxe in hand, it’s up to him to rejuvenate the dwindling economy of Tumbleton by mining ore deep below the town whilst also discovering the secrets of the world below. The premise is basic, but the steampunk western theme is rather pleasing and sets a solid tone for the game, but it’s really the gameplay that will have you coming back for more.

Steamworld Dig Switch Screenshot

Your primary objective is to dig for ores of varying value to sell back at the surface and go right back down to find more ore. At a first glance this seems basic and trivial, but the more you dig and the deeper you go, the better the rewards become. It has a niggling sense of “one more trip down” with each journey. If you only did just this though, it would get tiresome, but fortunately there are many more layers to each journey. You have to pay attention to the paths you dig, as you can very easily dig yourself into a rut. With time, you can develop a good sense of what you should and shouldn’t do with the routes you dig.

Steamworld Dig Switch Screenshot

The overall design of each area is procedurally generated, which means no single playthrough will be the same. There are set designed caves within the mines, which contain various abilities to make traversing the mines easier on yourself. Eventually you will dig into new areas, which adds to a sense of discovery and prevents repetition from settling in.

Resource management is also crucial to your journeys, as you have a limited amount of fuel and water of which you need to see and power new abilities. Light fuel can be restored simply by resurfacing, but water can only be refilled from pools found underground. The money you raise from selling ore can be used on upgrades which make digging easier, so the game maintains a good cycle of mine, resurface, cash up, upgrade and repeat. You will have to retrace a lot of steps in the process though, made only marginally easier by purchasable teleport stations.

Steamworld Dig Switch Screenshot

Overall, SteamWorld Dig is a short game, but the randomly generated mines make it very replayable. While certainly an excellent game, it’s entirely up to you if you think it’s worth it. The Switch release doesn’t bring anything new to the table over the 3DS or Wii U releases, unless you really fancy having HD visuals on the go.

If you haven’t played it before, there’s no better time to start, but if this isn’t your first time in the mines then it’s not necessarily a must-have. Though, it really does suit portable play, considering it was already designed to be played that way in the first place, so if you never had it on a handheld system before then this is a great opportunity to get in on it.


  • Rewarding gameplay
  • Very replayable
  • Aesthetically pleasing


  • Somewhat short
  • Plenty of backtracking




Great games are generally good buying decisions and are recommended for those with an interest in the genre. There might be a few flaws that detract from the gameplay, stories, controls, presentations, or value, but the game is still an enjoyable experience that justifies a full playthrough.

Want to know what this score means? Check out our Scoring Guidelines page.

Nintendo Switch Online Service will Launch this September

Nintendo Switch Box

Nintendo recently revealed via Twitter that the Nintendo Switch Online service will be launching in September, 2018. The service was originally planned for a Fall 2017 launch, but a series of delays has moved that date to this autumn instead. Until September, Switch users can continue playing online multiplayer for free. After the service launches, most games will require a subscription to play online. No new information has been given about the service bar a launch month.

A subscription to the Nintendo Switch Online service can be purchased for $19.99 per year or $3.99 per month. The subscription will include online multiplayer in compatible Switch games, access to the Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app, a selection of classic games for free download, and deals in the Nintendo eShop. Users who opt to not purchase a subscription will still be able to connect to the internet on their switch to use video streaming services, register and manage friends, purchase from the eShop, and connect on social media. Everything we know about the service can be viewed on Nintendo's website.

Nintendo Switch Officially Surpasses Wii U in Lifetime Sales

Nintendo Switch Logo

Nintendo held a financial briefing earlier today that gave us a lot of insight hardware and software sales on Nintendo platforms. As the title suggests, it was revealed that the Nintendo Switch has officially surpassed the Wii U in total lifetime sales across all regions. As of the end of 2017, the Switch sold 14.86 million units compared to the Wii U's 13.56 million units. For comparison sake, the Switch has had 10 months on the market compared to the Wii U's 61.

Super Mario Odyssey Screenshot

Some interesting information was also given about software sales. Switch total software sales have now surpassed 50 million. Super Mario Odyssey, which released in October, has already sold 9.07 million copies and is now the highest selling game on Switch. The following seven games have already broken one million units on Nintendo's new hybrid console:

  • Super Mario Odyssey - 9.07 million
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - 7.33 million
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - 6.70 million
  • Splatoon 2 - 4.91 million
  • 1-2-Switch - 1.88 million
  • ARMS - 1.61 million
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2 - 1.06 million

As the report suggests, the Switch is selling at record-pace. Hopefully Nintendo can stay on top of the Switch stock situation and continues to deliver great games throughout 2018 and the lifetime of the Switch.

The Fall Part 2 Gets a February 13 Release Date on Switch

The Fall Part 2 Unbound Logo

The Fall Part 2: Unbound, an indie title from Over the Moon Games, is now set for release on February 13th on Nintendo Switch. The game is the second part in the trilogy and a sequel to the The Fall, which we reviewed on Wii U back in 2014. It's very exciting that the next installment in the series is finally coming to Nintendo Switch, because we really enjoyed the first game. A final price has yet to be revealed, but the prequel went for $9.99, so a similar price is to be expected.

The Fall Part 2 Unbound Screenshot

For those unfamiliar with The Fall, it's rather hard to explain exactly what to expect from the series, so perhaps the embedded trailer can assist with that. However, a point-and-click metroidvania style wouldn't be too far off the mark. The game centers around the artificial intelligence A.R.I.D. and focuses heavily on story-telling and aesthetics. I was also particularly impressed with the voice acting from the first game, and from the looks of the trailer, the sequel should boast equally impressive audio.

We'll have a full review of the game ready around launch time, so be sure to check back and see our thoughts if you're interested in A.R.I.D.'s story and the next chapter of The Fall.

Dark Souls Remastered is Coming to Switch May 25

Darksouls Remastered Logo

In the Nintendo Direct mini earlier this week, it was revealed that the long rumored Dark Souls port would finally be coming to Switch. Dark Souls Remastered is a resolution and frame rate-boosted version of the original Dark Souls from the folks at FromSoftware. It will also include the Atorias of the Abyss DLC and is a multiplatform title also coming to PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

The footage from the Nintendo Direct was rather brief and didn't reveal much more about the Switch version, but we do know that it will be launching on May 25. We also know that while it will support online play, it will not be cross-platform support. Check out some official art and the boxart below and stay tuned for more details on Dark Souls on Switch.

Darksouls Remastered Boxart Switch

Darksouls Remastered Artwork Switch

The Fast and the Furi-ous - Furi Review

Furi Screenshot Switch

Describing Furi in one sentence will not do the game any justice, as it is more than its outer shell suggests. At the most basic, it is a boss rush shoot-em-up combined with one-on-one close range combat sequences at certain sections of a battle. It is extremely challenging and not for the faint of heart, demanding the most from the player. Does the game live up to its furious moniker, or does it fall flat on its face?

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Nintendo Increases 2018 Lineup with Nintendo Direct Mini

It’s a new year, and with the 1-year anniversary of the launch of Nintendo Switch coming closer, it looks like Nintendo is hoping to continue the momentum from 2017 into 2018. After recently announcing that the Nintendo Switch became the fastest-selling video game system of all time in the United States within 10 months, Nintendo decided to release a surprise Nintendo Direct Mini this week. While it featured some games we already knew about like Kirby Star Allies, Super Mario Odyssey, and PAYDAY 2, the Direct also featured newly announced games including Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition, and DARK SOULS: REMASTERED. You can check out the full Nintendo Direct Mini below, or read through the text recap if you prefer. Which upcoming games are you most excited for?

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Bayonetta 1, 2, and 3 are Headed to Nintendo Switch

Bayonetta 3 Switch

At The Game Awards earlier this week, Nintendo was able to rake in a number of words, including Game of the Year for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. What's even more exciting was the announcement that Bayonetta 3 will be coming exclusively to Nintendo Switch and is currently in development. The game had not been previously announced, so it was delightful to hear that the Bayonetta series will continue to find a home with Nintendo. No information about a release date for Bayonetta 3 is currently known.

Bayonetta 2 Box Art Switch

As many would expect, another opportunity to play Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 for those that missed out on the Wii U bundle will be coming to Switch. Bayonetta 2 will be getting a port to the Switch, and the physical version will include a download code for the original Bayonetta (which is an eshop-exclusive). The games will release February 16, 2018.

If you'd rather go all digital, a rather wonky pricing system has been setup, but you'll be able to grab both games for a total of $59.99 either way. You'll have the option of purchasing the original Bayonetta for $29.99 and then adding the sequel for $29.99, or if you'd rather you can grab Bayonetta 2 standalone for $49.99, and then add the original for only $9.99.

With all three Bayonetta games coming to Switch and Bayonetta included as DLC in the latest Super Smash Bros. game, it seems that Platinum Games doesn't intend to look for another partner for the series and Nintendo will continue to publish the games. We're hoping for a 2018 release of Bayonetta 3, if we even have time to play given all the great games coming to Switch in the coming year.

Super Mario Odyssey Launches for Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Celebrates with New York Party

Super Mario Odyssey Launches

Super Mario Odyssey launches today and Nintendo celebrated with a get together in New York. They had dancing, music, and best of all - Mario! Super Mario Odyssey is sure to be a must have game for the Nintendo Switch. It takes place in New Donk City and brings with it Cappy, which is a hat that Mario can use to take control of many things. The game is out now for the Nintendo Switch and be sure to check out the press release below for more information...

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Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp comes to Smart Devices this November

During tonight's Nintendo Direct, new details were provided for the upcoming mobile Animal Crossing game, now titled Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. The 15 minute Direct offered insight into what to expect from your town, including projects to construct, bells to collect, and of course, customization options! New additions to this Animal Crossing game includes a Friendship Level with each animal in your town, as well as Leaf Tickets which can be used to get materials you are running low on.

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Animal Crossing Mobile Direct Coming October 24

Nintendo has been fairly quiet about the Animal Crossing mobile game coming to smartphones, but it looks like that is about to change. Announced via Twitter, the direct will be airing tomorrow, October 24, and will be focusing only on the mobile game. They’ve made it very clear that there will be no mention of Nintendo Switch or 3DS in the Direct, but doesn’t eliminate all possibility of it in the future.

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Super Mario Odyssey: What You Need To Know

In just one week, Super Mario Odyssey will finally be releasing on the Nintendo Switch. Originally featured as a brand-new 3D Mario game in the Nintendo Switch Preview Trailer on October 20, 2016 (One year ago today!), the game was officially unveiled during the Nintendo Switch Presentation 2017 this past January, as well as given a main focus of Nintendo’s E3 show this past June. Whether you’ve already preordered the game or are still unsure, why not take a peek at what this game has to offer?

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DOOM Coming to Switch November 10

DOOM, the critically acclaimed action game, is coming to Switch this November. First announced with a Holiday 2017 in the September 13 Nintendo Direct, the game lets you control the DOOM Marine in first-person, fighting off hordes of enemies and demons and protecting the Union Aerospace Corporation's research facility on Mars. The game will also include multiplayer with modes like Team Deathmatch, King of the Hill (with a moving hill), and Clans Arena.

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Vampire Comes Out Victorious in Latest Splatfest

Splatoon 2 Vampire Werewolf Splatfest

A winner has been declared in the latest edition of Splatoon 2’s Splatfest. This Halloween-themed Splatfest, which put Vampire against Werewolves, was held this past weekend on October 14 from midnight to October 15 midnight ET. While the results were super close like previous times, it was still very intense in-game against opposing teams. This time, Vampire came out as the winning team. Previous Splatoon 2 Splatfest wins were Team Ice Cream in the Splatfest demo from July, Team Mayo in August, and Team Flight this past September. Be sure to check out the full percentage breakdown of the teams down below. Also make sure to collect your Super Sea Snails if you participated in this Splatfest!

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Stardew Valley Comes to Nintendo Switch on October 5

Stardew Valley Switch

Finally, after what seems like forever, we've secured a release date for Stardew Valley on the Switch. The game was originally confirmed for the Switch in 2016, but until yesterday we were never quite sure when. However, the wait is now over. This Thursday, October 5, Switch owners will finally be able to play Stardew Valley at home and on the go. The game is even priced the same as every other console and Steam, with a U.S. price of $14.99. This is one of the most anticipated indies on the Switch and we greatly look forward to diving in again on the hybrid console; be on the lookout for our review!

For the uninitiated, Stardew Valley is a 2D farming/life simulator. It's styled after the older 2D Harvest Moon games, and plays every bit as well. It first released on Steam in February of 2016 and took the internet by storm. It's one of the most succesful indie games of all time and has sold over 3 million copies on Steam alone. Even more impressive is the fact that it was entirely created by a single developer: ConcernedApe. If you haven't given the game a try, now's the perfect chance! I promise you'll love it.

September 13 Nintendo Direct Recap

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Logo

This week's massive Nintendo Direct gave us details on a ton of new and previously announced Switch and 3DS games. Some highlights among these include a $379.99 Super Mario Odyssey Switch bundle for this holiday season, Doom and Wolfenstein coming to Switch, a demo for Project Octopath Traveller (available now), a release date for Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (December 1), and more details on Kirby Star Allies, which is coming to Switch next spring. If you weren't able to watch the direct when it aired, you can check out the entire presentation or text recap below.

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 13, 2017 – The next few months for Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS owners are going to be overflowing with a wide variety of first- and third-party games in wildly different genres. Or, to put in another way, the future for Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS owners is looking quite awesome. During a Nintendo Direct video presentation, Nintendo provided details for more than 40 games launching for Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems over the next several months.

Some of the highlights include details about key third-party games coming to the Nintendo Switch system like DOOM, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, L.A. Noireand Resident Evil Revelations, as well as the announcements of arcade classics coming to Nintendo Switch and a new Mario Party game for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems featuring 100 of the series’ top mini-games. The jam-packed video presentation also provided additional details for upcoming games like Project Octopath Traveler (working title) from Square Enix, Super Mario Odyssey and Xenoblade Chronicles 2.

“Momentum for Nintendo Switch is in full swing, and Nintendo 3DS continues its stellar run with a series of triple-A releases,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Between all the first-party, third-party and indie games coming to both systems, this is one of the most diverse lineups we’ve had in years. It’s a great time to be a Nintendo fan.”

To view the Nintendo Direct video in its entirety, visit Additional highlights for the games and systems revealed in the video include:

Nintendo Switch
  • Super Mario Odyssey: New information about Mario’s upcoming adventure was revealed during the presentation, including more story details, locations and modes. Additionally, a special hardware bundle that includes a download code for the game, Mario-themed red Joy-Con controllers and a special carrying case will be available at a suggested retail price of $379.99. Super Mario Odyssey lands exclusively on Nintendo Switch on Oct. 27.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2: This massive sequel takes place in the world of Alrest on the backs of giant Titans. The journey through the clouds begins when Xenoblade Chronicles 2 lands on Nintendo Switch on Dec. 1. Alongside the standard version, fans can also pick up a special edition of the game that includes a sound selection CD, a special metal game case and a 220-page hardbound art book at a suggested retail price of $99.99. A Nintendo Switch Pro Controller themed around Xenoblade Chronicles 2 will also be available on Dec. 1 at a suggested retail price of $74.99.
  • Project Octopath Traveler (working title): The producers of Bravely Defaultat Square Enix present a new RPG brought to life through a mixture of CG, pixel art and visual wizardry. Project Octopath Traveler launches worldwide in 2018. But fans can try out a free demo for the game in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch starting … today!
  • DOOM and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus: Bethesda Softworks is bringing the iconic DOOM and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus to Nintendo Switch. The fast-paced action of DOOM will hit this holiday season, while Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus launches in 2018.
  • Kirby Star Allies: Revealed at E3 2017, the first Kirby game for Nintendo Switch has some charming new tricks. By throwing hearts, players can recruit up to three enemies to become Kirby’s allies. Whether playing alone or with up to three friends**, mixing up abilities to create new powers is a big part of the fun. Kirby Star Allies launches exclusively for Nintendo Switch this spring.
  • Splatoon 2: Back by popular demand, the Kelp Dome stage is returning as part of a free software update on Sept. 15. A new stage called Snapper Canal and an extra-large Brella weapon called the Tenta Brella are coming in the future.
  • ARMS: A free software update that goes live today allows players to remap the game’s controls to the buttons of their choice, and adds the new playable fighter Lola Pop.
  • Fire Emblem Warriors: Originally seen in the Fire Emblem game for the Game Boy Advance system, fan-favorite character Lyndis (or “Lyn,” as all her companions call her) was announced as part of the sprawling cast of Fire Emblem Warriors. The action-packed game launches for Nintendo Switch on Oct. 20, also available as part of a special-edition bundle.
  • Arcade Archives: Some of Nintendo’s classic arcade games are coming to Nintendo Switch, starting with Arcade Archives: Mario Bros., which launches Sept. 27. Others, like VS. Super Mario Bros., VS. Balloon Fight, VS. Ice Climber, VS. Pinball and VS. Clu Clu Land are coming soon. These arcade games contain subtle differences that can’t be found in their NES counterparts.
  • Snipperclips Plus: Cut it out, together!: This expanded version of the original snipping-and-clipping puzzle game includes more than 30 new stages, new challenges and new features … and it’s coming to stores for the first time! Players who already own the original digital version of the game can purchase all the new content in Nintendo eShop as DLC for $9.99. Snipperclips Plus: Cut it out, together! launches on Nintendo Switch on Nov. 10 at a suggested retail price of $29.99.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: The open-world masterpiece from Bethesda Game Studios can be played anytime and anywhere on Nintendo Switch. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim launches on Nov. 17.
  • Rocket League: This new version of the popular rocket-powered sports-action game includes all the modes of the original, plus Nintendo Switch exclusives including Nintendo-themed Battle-Cars and customization items. Local wireless multiplayer*** will also be available when Rocket Leaguelaunches this holiday season.
  • Dragon Quest Builders: The hit fantasy game combines the fun of building with the combat of an action-RPG. The Nintendo Switch version will allow players to ride a Great Sabrecub in the game’s free build mode. The Sabrecub boosts players’ speed and grants them special materials by defeating enemies. Dragon Quest Builders launches this spring.
  • L.A. Noire: Rockstar Games is bringing L.A. Noire to Nintendo Switch on Nov. 14, including all of its downloadable content, new collectibles, detective suits with special abilities, a Joy-Con mode with gyroscopic gesture-based controls and new wide and over-the-shoulder camera angles. Plus, the hard-boiled game will include intuitive touch-screen controls for portable detective work.
  • NBA 2K18: With big game-play improvements and stunning graphics, NBA 2K18 will be a slam dunk for sports fans when it launches on Sept. 15 in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch and in stores on Oct. 17.
  • EA Sports FIFA 18: The most immersive, social and authentic soccer game out there can be played anywhere on Nintendo Switch. FIFA 18 launches on Sept. 29.
  • WWE 2K18: To complete the trifecta of awesome sports games that can be played on the go, WWE 2K18 is also coming soon to Nintendo Switch. Launch details will be announced at a later date.
  • Lost Sphear: This modern take on traditional RPGs from Square Enix is coming to Nintendo Switch on Jan. 23.
  • Sonic Forces: Join the uprising by fighting back as Modern Sonic, Classic Sonic or one of many custom Hero Characters players can create in Sonic Forces, launching on Nov. 7.
  • Resident Evil Revelations / Resident Evil Revelations 2: The Nintendo Switch library will get two creepy survival horror classics when Resident Evil Revelations and its sequel, Resident Evil Revelations 2, both launch on Nov. 28.
  • Flip Wars: Fans that are enjoying the multiplayer fun of Flip Wars can enjoy a free update soon. Once downloaded, the update adds a new stage, new mechanics, local wireless multiplayer, Class Matches and a new online* battle mode.
  • Morphies Law: Players can change their size to change their powers in Morphies Law, a local and online* team-based multiplayer shooter launching first on Nintendo Switch as a console exclusive this winter.
  • Arena of Valor: Explore and command a roster of more than 35 fearless heroes in this free-to-start multiplayer online* battle arena game. With roles like Tanks, Assassins, Mages and Warriors, build a powerful team with friends to crush opponents in real-time battles. The Arena of Valor beta test version will be available for free this winter.
  • Nindies! Nindies! Nindies!: Dozens of indie games are coming over the next few months. These include the underground platforming action of SteamWorld Dig 2 and the golf-RPG Golf Story in September; the four-player** action game Nine Parchments and combo-based puzzle game Battle Chef Brigade this holiday season; randomly constructed sequel Super Meat Boy Forever in 2018; and tactical RPG Tiny Metal launching in the future.
  • The Legend of Zelda Champions: Four amiibo figures based on the Champions from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Daruk, Mipha, Revali and Urbosa – launch in stores on Nov. 10 (sold separately). Tapping these amiibo while playing the game will summon special headgear for Link based on that Champion’s Divine Beast. Additional functionality for these amiibo will be revealed in the future.
Nintendo 3DS
  • Pokémon Ultra Sun / Pokémon Ultra Moon: The new games feature customizable main characters who embark on a new adventure. An untold story unfolds on a grand scale, where the Legendary Pokémon that steals light, Necrozma, has transformed into two new forms: Dusk Mane Necrozma, who took over Solgaleo, and Dawn Wings Necrozma who took over Lunala. Fans who purchase and activate**** the game by Jan. 10 can get a special gift Rockruff, who will evolve into a Dusk Form Lycanroc, new to the world of Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon. Fans who download the digital version of Pokémon Ultra Sun or Pokémon Ultra Moon by Jan. 10 will receive 12 Quick Balls. Finally, a cool Poké Ball-themed New Nintendo 2DS XLsystem will launch separately two weeks prior on Nov. 3.
  • White + Orange New Nintendo 2DS XL: On Oct. 6 the White + Orange edition of the New Nintendo 2DS XL system will launch in stores at a suggested retail price of $149.99.
  • Mario Party: The Top 100: For the first time, 100 of the top mini-games from the console Mario Party games can be played on a hand-held system. Mario Party: The Top 100 supports local Download Play, so up to four players who each own a Nintendo 3DS family system can enjoy the game together with only one game card. Take a tour through all the mischief, magic and memories the series has to offer when it launches on Nov. 10.
  • Kirby: Battle Royale: Kirby is about to enter a tournament against his toughest rival yet … himself! The pink puffball’s new game offers a variety of ways to fight in both single- and multiplayer modes. Kirby: Battle Royalelaunches on Jan. 19. Fans can head to to celebrate Kirby’s 25th anniversary and vote for their favorite copy ability!
  • LAYTON’S MYSTERY JOURNEY: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy: Katrielle Layton, daughter of the famous Professor Layton, is on the case! Detectives-in-the-making that play the game on a Nintendo 3DS family system will receive an exclusive in-game Flora costume. The game launches on Oct. 6.
  • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions: When the game launches on Oct. 6, players will be able to use the new Goomba and Koopa Troopa amiibo – or the existing Boo amiibo – to get additional stamp sheets that offer items in both of the game’s modes. More information about amiibo compatibility will be revealed in the future.
  • YO-KAI WATCH 2: Psychic Specters: With new content and features, YO-KAI WATCH 2: Psychic Specters is the definitive version of YO-KAI WATCH 2. The game launches on Sept. 29, but anyone that owns any version of YO-KAI WATCH 2 can download a free “Oni Evolution” software update starting Sept. 14. It adds the Yo-kai Watch Psychic Blasters mode with additional bosses to battle against, the chance to befriend new Yo-kai and more. This update is also required to transfer save data from YO-KAI WATCH 2: Bony Spirits and YO-KAI WATCH 2: Fleshy Souls to the YO-KAI WATCH 2: Psychic Specters game.
  • Minecraft: New Nintendo 3DS Edition: Fans of Minecraft will have another way to play the hit creation game when it comes to New Nintendo 3DS systems. This portable version of the game comes with Survival and Creative modes, five skin packs and two texture packs. Minecraft: New Nintendo 3DS Edition launches in Nintendo eShop today. The packaged version will launch at a later date.
  • The Alliance Alive: Nine characters’ paths will converge in this old-school RPG from role-playing powerhouse ATLUS. The Alliance Alive launches in early 2018.
  • Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology: The gorgeous launch edition of Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology will include a collector’s box with an art book and decal sheet. Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology launches for Nintendo 3DS in early 2018.
  • Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth: Starting today, fans of the Etrian Odyssey series can download a free demo for Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS before the game launches this fall.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux: When Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey returns on Nintendo 3DS in early 2018, expect it to do so with new story content, additional endings, a new dungeon to explore and enhanced graphics.
  • Two New Games, Two Beloved Series: The next game in the Ace Attorneyseries, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, launches in November. The action-packed Fire Emblem Warriors game launches Oct. 20 for New Nintendo 3DS systems only.

Doom and Wolfenstein II are Coming to Nintendo Switch

Doom Logo Switch

During the Nintendo Direct that aired earlier this week, we got news of many first and third party games that were coming to the Switch in the next few months. Chief among these are two new Bethesda titles that will be getting the Switch treatment: Doom and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. The games will be joining the previously announced Skyrim Special Edition, which got a release date of November 17. Doom (2016) will be releasing this holiday season, while Wolfenstein will be available in early 2018.

Doom Boxart Switch Wolfenstein Boxart Switch

It's great to see a major third party developer like Bethesda having faith in the Switch and bringing great games to the system. It's the first time the trio of games have been available on a Nintendo console, and more importantly: these games can now be played anywhere with complete portability! Let us know which of Bethesda's games you're most excited to play on the Switch!

45 Minute Nintendo Direct Will Air on September 13

Nintendo Direct September 13

Nintendo of America reaveled via Twitter this morning that we'll be getting a new Nintendo Direct on Wednesday, September 13. The direct will air at 3 P.M. PT/6 P.M. ET and you can watch it here. It will focus on the Nintendo Switch and 3DS games that will be releasing before the end of the year. The direct will last a lengthy 45 minutes, so expect lots of great footage and details for quite a few upcoming Switch and 3DS games.

A few games that you can expect to see (but aren't confirmed) are Super Mario Odyssey, Fire Emblem Warriors, Metroid: Samus Returns, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions, and Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. There's sure to be an array of 3rd party and indie related annoucements as well. It's probably safe to assume that we won't be getting any huge new reveals, but rather new details and release dates for already revealed games. Stay tuned on Wednesday for full coverage of this Nintendo Direct!

Marking the Return Part 3: Storming the Castle

Nintendo surprised us all at E3 by announcing Metroid Prime 4, but they surprised us even more with the reveal of the Metroid II remake everyone in the Metroid community has been clamoring for. But why exactly is it that fans desired a remake to begin with? And is MercurySteam really up to the task?

We at Nintendo Castle have taken these considerations into account and put the original Gameboy outing up to the pedestal. We also had a look to see just what fans themselves wanted from a remake with the oft-praised and controversial Another Metroid 2 Remake. Finally, we put MercurySteam to the test and analysed their first Metroidvania styled effort with Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate, to see if they’re really up to the task.

Over the next few months, we hope to take you on a trip down memory lane, or maybe even your first ever exposure to this often forgotten classic amongst its newer, more well received peers. We will be marking the return of Samus, have you?

Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this series!

Part 3: Storming the Castle

In the finale to our little retrospective, we tackle MercurySteam’s only other crack on the Metroidvania genre with the interquel title they crafted during their brief tenure with the Castlevania series, Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate. If you’re unfamiliar with the sub-series, considering this was the only one released on a Nintendo platform, it acts as a series reboot with a new Belmont taking front stage, Gabriel. Their games have received mixed reception, largely for feeling so disconnected to the rest of the franchise, but never quite recieving any major negative reception (besides Lords of Shadow 2, which was met with rocky development and poor management from Konami).

Mirror of Fate was an attempt at the gameplay style that one other Castlevania title, Symphony of the Night on the Playstation, helped to coin the term “Metroidvania”. Nintendo fans will best know this style of Castlevania from the various portable entries on the GBA and DS. MercurySteam made a blend of this style with their combat heavy Lords of Shadow gameplay to make a weird combination with generally mixed results. Some elements shine, whilst others are just a miserable pile of secrets. But enough talk, have at you!

The game starts with a familiar name, Simon Belmont. For a series reboot, it’s interesting to see the new takes on established characters, but sadly Simon is fairly generic. But to mix things up, the game switches between characters with major story beats. After Simon comes Alucard, fan favourite son of Dracula, and then Trevor Belmont.

While these are recognisable names, MercurySteam did some peculiar things with their new incarnations. Firstly, Trevor is Simon’s father in this universe. Odd, but acceptable. However, the biggest head-scratcher is the decision to make Trevor become Alucard. The ending of the original Lords of Shadow had Gabriel become Dracula, with his son being Trevor, so it’s all a weird web of mysteries that frankly isn’t worth getting entangled in.

Gameplay fares much better, with the combat system of Lords of Shadow being replicated in 2D. It’s not immediately intuitive, as there are only two planes of which to fight in, but it steadily evolves with time as gaining levels unlocks new moves to use. Previously tough enemies become fodder for your expanded movesets near the end of the game and there’s a surprising amount of depth to it all. Sadly, it’s all optional, as flailing your whip, dodging and blocking suffices for all but the most stubborn of foes.

The physics feel a little floaty and imprecise, something other Castlevania games don’t suffer from. Hit detection is also another peculiar aspect. While your attacks will often hit the mark, incoming attack hitboxes don’t quite feel as they look. It’s sometimes possible to take a hit from what looks like nothing, as the hitbox was still active when the attack itself appeared to have ended.

Design of the world is fairly straightforward, following the same patterns you would expect from Castlevania. Familiar sites include an abandoned village, a cathedral and the clock tower, but a lot of the locales are just either underground or in typical castle halls. There is the theatre and the laboratory that are unique though. Actual map design is a little more questionable, as the game really does try to funnel you forward. You rarely ever backtrack, and when you do it’s often much easier to use the conveniently placed warp points.

The narrative structure of segmenting the map with story chunks instead of one continuous world means most exploration for missed items is done through the chapter select, which comes off as rather jarring. Ultimately though, it’s cleanly designed and never feels like there’s much empty space.

Mirror of Fate starts off fairly rocky, Simon just doesn’t have much to offer. He doesn’t get as many fun and unique abilities compared to Alucard and Trevor. But as you go further in and get to play as Alucard, you do get some fun abilities to play around with. Trevor combines elements of both, though without supernatural abilities like Alucard, and feels like what Simon could have been. But Simon is forever locked to early game abilities and never has the opportunity to double jump or dash, making him the least exciting character to play as.

All in all, it’s not a terribly exciting game. It doesn’t really share much in common with prior Castlevania games thematically, which the Lords of Shadow series as a whole suffers from. Characters aren’t bombastic enough, you won’t find any scenery chewing performances here. The music, an aspect Castlevania is renowned for, takes the realistic film score style, with similar sounding tracks playing throughout the whole game. It’s very dark and gritty, with muted tones littered throughout.

But in the end, it’s not a bad game. It’s inoffensive and still tightly put together. The issues comes from the direction taken, which Konami agreed to and left the studio to their own devices. Being different isn’t necessarily bad, just be prepared to accept that this isn’t what you may remember from Castlevania games of yore.

Nindies Showcase Video Presentation coming August 30

Get ready for some more indie news! In a surprise announcement today, Nintendo announced via their Twitter a Nindies Showcase coming this Wednesday. While there are still many great indie games coming to Nintendo Switch, there is apparently still more to announce! There should probably be a mix of news in this showcase between games that have previously been announced, as well as unannounced games that should be a surprise to us. Whatever may happen, be sure to check out the Nindies Showcase Summer 2017 to get all the latest news. This video presentation will be later this week on August 30 at 10am PT (1pm ET). What announcements are you hoping to see in this?

Walmart Exclusive Splatoon 2 Switch Bundle is Coming to the States

Splatoon 2 Bundle US

If you've been holding out on purchasing a Switch and the excellent Splatoon 2, we've got some good new for you. Starting September 8, a Splatoon 2 Switch bundle is headed to the United States. The bundle will include a Switch with pink and green joycons, a download code for Splatoon 2, and a Splatoon 2 carrying case. The whole package will retail for $379.99. While it's great that we're finally getting this bundle, it's a little late and will also be exclusive to Walmart. We can probably expect a few more bundles as the holiday season approaches.

Flight and Invisibility Will be Pit Against Each Other in the Next Splatfest

Splatoon 2 Splatfest Splatoon and Invisibility

The next Splatoon 2 Splatfest was revealed in a tweet from the Nintendo VS. Twitter account earlier today. This next battle pits two super powers against each other: Flight and Invisibility. The Splatfest will be taking place between September 1 and September 2. You can check out the booth in Inkopolis Square to pledge allegiance to either team and pick up your Splatfest tee when it is available. So what'll it be: flight or invisibilty?

Two Jackbox Party Packs are Coming to Switch August 17

Jackbox Party Pack Switch

The lovely folks over at Jackbox Games, of The Jackbox Party Pack fame, have just announced that two more of their party packs will be coming to Nintendo Switch. The Jackbox Party Pack and The Jackbox Party Pack 2 will be joining The Jackbox Party Pack 3 on the system. What a mouthful. Both packs include five games a piece, among these games are YOU DON'T KNOW JACK, Drawful, Fibbage 2, and Word Spud. The two compilations will be coming to the eShop on August 17. Just add friends.

A Samus Edition New 3DS XL Will Launch Alongside Samus Returns

Samus Edition 3DS

In case you somehow still thought that Nintendo was going to abandon the 3DS, they've just announced another new edition. A Samus Edition New 3DS XL will launch alongside Metroid: Samus Returns this fall. The system will be coming to both North America and Europe on September 15. It will presumably be priced at $199.99, but good luck finding at that price before the scalpers do.

Samus Edition 3DS

Resident Evil Revelations 1 and 2 are Coming to Switch This Year

Resident Evil Revelations Switch

Last week, we heard that Capcom was preparing more titles for the Nintendo Switch after a very positive release of Ultra Street Fighter 2. The first of these is the annoucement that Resident Evil Revelations 1 and 2 are coming to the Switch. A physical cartridge version of Resident Evil Revelations that includes a download code for the sequel will retail for $39.99. If you prefer to go all digital, both games can be purchased individually from the eShop for $19.99 each. The pair of Resident Evil games on the switch will be ready for release in late 2017.

This is exciting news, especially considering that recent Resident Evil games have been skipping Nintendo consoles, most notably Revelations 2 until this point. Resident Evil Revelations originally launched as a 3DS exclusive back in 2012. It received much praise, and went on to receive an HD version that came to the Wii U alongside PC and other consoles. Revelations 2, which came out in 2015, never saw a release on Nintendo systems until the Switch. At $39.99 for the whole series, it'll be hard to pass up on these two. Now how about a Resident Evil 4 remake for the Switch? Pretty please?

Shifty Station Revealed for Splatoon 2 Splatfests

Splatoon 2 Shift Station

If you're a Nintendo fan with a Switch, there's a good chance you've spent most of your free time the past couple weeks playing Splatoon 2. You're probably also aware that there is a Splatfest coming up this Saturday that pits mayonnaise and ketchup against each other. Well, Nintendo has just revealed a new stage that is playable exclusively during Splatfests. It's called Shifty Station and can be seen pictured above. The stage will be slightly altered for each Splatfest and will make it's debut this Saturday, so make sure to check it out.

Marking the Return Part 2: Exploring Another Metroid 2 Remake

Nintendo surprised us all at E3 by announcing Metroid Prime 4, but they surprised us even more with the reveal of the Metroid II remake everyone in the Metroid community has been clamoring for. But why exactly is it that fans desired a remake to begin with? And is MercurySteam really up to the task?

We at Nintendo Castle have taken these considerations into account and put the original Gameboy outing up to the pedestal. We also had a look to see just what fans themselves wanted from a remake with the oft-praised and controversial Another Metroid 2 Remake. Finally, we put MercurySteam to the test and analysed their first Metroidvania styled effort with Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate, to see if they’re really up to the task.

Over the next few months, we hope to take you on a trip down memory lane, or maybe even your first ever exposure to this often forgotten classic amongst its newer, more well received peers. We will be marking the return of Samus, have you?

Check out Part 1 and Part 3 of this series!

Part 2: Another Descent

Last time we left off with one of the lesser played entries in the Metroid series, which many felt was deserving of a second chance. With the successful reimagining of the original game with 2004’s Zero Mission, people were outright demanding that Nintendo do the same with Metroid II. For the longest time Nintendo declined it the chance, so fans took it upon themselves to have a stab at remaking it themselves.

Many projects spawned after Zero Mission, with one of them humorously jabbing at the fact by dubbing the project “Another Metroid 2 Remake”. However, projects died, people realised they couldn’t manage making a game of their own and the idea slowly faded into obscurity, except for Another Metroid 2 Remake. Come August 6th 2016, Metroid’s 30th anniversary, it became the only Metroid II fan project to actually see a 1.0 release. Was the dedication to the cause worth it? Or is it something to ignore like the rest of them?

Of course not.

Without sugar coating it, Another Metroid 2 Remake (shortened to AM2R for simplicity’s sake) defines what a remake should be in the same vein as Zero Mission did 12 years prior. It’s phenomenal that such a feat was accomplished by (almost) one man, Milton “DoctorM64” Guasti, with such high quality and attention to detail. The project started some time in 2005, as outlined in Milton’s first blog post, before becoming public in 2008. It initially started out very much like a Zero Mission inspired affair, but eventually evolved much past that. Milton spent over ten years working on AM2R and the level of polish makes it truly shine.

Despite the sheer dedication and love for his work, not everyone was delighted by the game. A mere day later Nintendo’s legal council issued a copyright claim on download hosts. Being the internet, the game was up and nothing could really stop it. Undeterred, Milton produced a 1.1 patch for the game, but was ultimately sent a full cease and desist in September. Despite the controversy, and the sudden hate Nintendo received for their actions, Milton encouraged fans not to be angry and instead support Meroid II in the hopes Nintendo would produce their own remake (which they now have with Samus Returns).

With the history lesson out of the way, let us go about describing the game itself. Us saying it is a phenomenal fan contribution alone won’t cut it, so we shall explain just why this project is so important to the Metroid community and why it is worth your time to try it out for yourself.

First and foremost, the sheer visual overhaul is completely obvious from the get-go. Comparing 1991 Gameboy tech to a 2016 release is just incomparable. All the technical setbacks the Gameboy brought with it are gone. Repeating tilesets and rooms have long since gone, each area now feels completely unique and totally recontextualised. Metroid II simply had “Phase 1”, “Phase 5” and so on, but AM2R makes areas out to be hydro stations, robot factories and a dense technological monolith dedicated to Chozo society. New areas have even been added to the fray, meaning there are new experiences for people who played the original. The map has been redesigned while still using the same basic framework, with previous overlaps being completely removed with a more sprawling map to explore.

Naturally, the music has had a complete overhaul, which is a sigh of relief as the Gameboy outing had a distinct lack of memorable music to speak of. Inspired heavily from the Metroid Prime series, the music has a much more mature and atmospheric flavour. A fine example would be the Golden Temple theme, going from a somewhat hokey, disjointed jumble of notes into a grand Chozo Ruins inspired epiphany. The music also evolves as you progress, particularly the main tunnel theme which grows more complex as you travel deeper into SR388.

AM2R’s gameplay takes many cues from Zero Mission, with fast and responsive controls granting the player a lot of freedom in movement, a very important feature for the genre. It’s possible for players to climb up a single wall by repeatedly jumping off its surface, making sequence breaking an easy feat for veterans. Many aspects of the original have been greatly fixed, like the sluggish Spider Ball and clunky Space Jump, to the point where they are no non-issues.

The design is a major focus too, as nothing feels tacked on. The fact that many newer power-ups such as the Power Bomb have been effortless integrated into the experience without breaking the design or balance is a marvel to behold. The whole experience has been rebalanced to accommodate these new features. One such rebalance would be the Metroid encounters, which were typical shoot and dodge affairs before but now provide a significant threat this time around, especially as the Metroid evolve and grow stronger.

Most importantly though is the feel. Metroid has a long history of underlying themes told through subtext, with either visual cues playing a part or the scan logs from Prime. AM2R features a large number of areas having distinct visual flairs to tell the player that something is coming up ahead, or something already happened. Scan logs also plays a part, automatically being unlocked when stepping into a new area instead of being manually hunted down like in Prime. Much like Prime, this gives the player a lot of optional flavour text to read over if they wish to, but it completely ignorable for those who aren’t interested.

There is no doubt that AM2R is a passion project that lives up to the games it looks up to, even surpassing some of them. It’s a shame it couldn’t be seen that way on an official level, but Nintendo has their reasons and are providing their own take on a Metroid II remake. We should all be happy that we have at least one excellent remake to play with AM2R if Samus Returns fails to live up to expectations, but if it does succeed then it can only be win/win. It isn’t difficult to locate the 1.1 release of AM2R, as once something is on the internet it is always on the internet, and fans have taken it upon themselves to reverse engineer the game to make unofficial patches of their own.

AM2R stands as a testament to the Metroid community’s love for the franchise and should at least be looked at if you are a die-hard fan. But what of Samus Returns? Can MercurySteam pull off a true Metroid experience? Well, they once had a go at another franchise which is synonymous with Metroid in crafting the Metroidvania genre. Next month we shall have a look at Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate to see just what the Spanish team had up their sleeves.

Splatoon 2: What You Need To Know

Splatoon’s sequel, Splatoon 2, is arriving in stores tomorrow! It has already been a little over two years since the original game release for Wii U, and now those who missed out on the game can get it on Nintendo Switch. However, you may not be entirely sure about getting this game, whether you played the original game or not. Well fear not, because we’re here to help you, to tell you all you need to know and more about Splatoon 2 for the Switch.

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Flip Wars Gets a Release Date of August 10

Flip Wars, the new Nintendo Switch game originally titled Project Mekuru, will be getting its North American release next month. This new game will pit up to 4 players against each other in order to dominate as much of a board as they can while opponents can ‘flip’ their color. There will also be plenty of power items to help you gain victory, including a speed boost and an item that gives you invincibility. You can fight in different modes including a ‘most panels’ mode and a ‘last-man standing’ mode.

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Nintendo's Plans for SDCC 2017 Revealed

In one week, many Nintendo fans in the San Diego area will have their chance to try out some of the upcoming and already released Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS games at San Diego Comic Con 2017. At this year’s SDCC, which will be held July 20 through July 23, Nintendo will have demos for everyone to try including ARMS, 1-2-Switch, Super Mario Odyssey, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, Miitopia, Hey! PIKMIN, and plenty of other awesome games as well.

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An Apologetic Take on the Cease of NES Classic Production

NES Classic

If you’ve been following gaming news at all recently, you’re probably familiar with the NES Classic. For those who aren’t, Nintendo put out a miniature version of the NES that came preloaded with 30 classic games, including most of Nintendo’s biggest hits, and a controller in late 2016. The whole package retailed for $59.99. While you’ve probably heard of it, there’s a good chance that you don’t currently own one, even if you were willing to buy it. Well, the Big N is at it again, this time with the SNES Classic.

SNES Classic

Very similar to its NES counterpart, the Super Nintendo mini will come preloaded with some excellent classic games and launch this holiday season. If you haven’t yet heard of it, you can check out an article with more details here. Nintendo has also confirmed that, like the NES Classic, the SNES Classic will only be available for a limited time. They don’t intend to continue production after the 2017 holiday season.

That’s where the controversy starts. There was a huge demand for the NES Classic, probably because you got an HDMI ready console, a controller, and 30 great games for the price of a single AAA game today. This demand was seriously underestimated by Nintendo. Pre-orders were sold out in minutes and scalpers had a field day. If you still want to pick one up, don’t expect to pay less than $200 on eBay. Because of this unexpected demand, Nintendo continued to produce the console into the early months of 2017, but they still only scratched the surface of meeting demand.

Then, well before everyone who wanted one was able to pick one up, Nintendo revealed that they had ceased production and would no longer be stocking shelves with NES Classic Editions. As you might expect, people were outraged. They couldn’t believe that Nintendo would stop producing a money-printing machine in the midst of its popularity. How could they be so stupid?

Well, here’s the thing. The NES Classic was only ever going to be a limited edition holiday product. I’ll admit that this might not have been as clear as it could have been when announced, but it was never going to be a long-term member of Nintendo’s console lineup. I think it’s reasonable to suggest that Nintendo should have at least continued production until they stopped selling out the moment they restocked, but there’s something else you’ve got to realize: Nintendo really couldn’t have made that much money from the NES Classic.

SNES Classic

Think about it for a minute. The whole package sold for $59.99. It included a console, a controller, an HDMI cable, and 30 games. If we just take into account the price of the games, then they are effectively priced at $2 a piece. Nintendo almost never charges less than $6 for NES games on Virtual Console, meaning they made far less than they would if they sold each of the 30 games individually on the Virtual Console.

Now, they probably wouldn’t be able to sell each of those 30 games for $6 to everyone that bought an NES Classic. But the price of the NES Classic didn’t just get you the games, it also got you the console, which of course is much more expensive to produce than the NES games that have been available for 30 years now.

Between the console, controller, and HDMI cable, Nintendo couldn’t have been making much of a profit. If we lowball an estimate for producing the electronics at $20, and we assume they are being sold to retailers for $55, Nintendo only nets $35 per unit. This is ignoring other costs, like packaging, taxes, and shipping physical units. We’ve also got to consider that the 30 included games on the NES Classic were not all first party. This means that there are licensing fees associated with re-releasing third party games, which could be quite significant. There are also research and development costs before production that must be considered.

We don’t really know the exact profit margins or all of the hidden costs with the NES Classic, so I’ll stop attempting to guess at them. We can however, considering the many associated costs with the mini console, conclude that Nintendo wasn’t really printing money with the system. I highly doubt they took a loss and I’m sure they even got a nice boost in revenue. But let’s not pretend like the console was raking in the dough.

SNES Classic

Consider this: Nintendo can make significantly more profit, probably nearly double, by selling a single Wii U or Switch game. So then I ask: why would they continue to focus their time and resources on the less profitable NES Classic after holiday season?

It was not coincidental that the cease of production on the NES Classic was so close to the release of the Switch. Nintendo released a great system in the NES Classic, and it far exceeded their expectations. It was a great product to raise awareness about Nintendo games prior to the release of their new console. Now that Switch has been released, the company has bigger fish to fry.

If Nintendo were to continue producing NES Classics after the release of the Switch, they would be competing with themselves for time and resources. We’ve got to remember that this company is producing and shipping millions of units in a very short period of time. It might seem easy to suggest that Nintendo just tell the manufactures to “make more”, but it often isn’t that easy. We’ve recently heard that Nintendo is even competing with Apple to even get materials to produce the Switch.

Considering the scarcity of the Switch, I’m quite happy that the company didn’t try to juggle both. Now that they’ve put out a new console, all their efforts should be focused on providing a smooth experience for that. When they sell a Switch, they are selling a system that will continue to bring in far greater revenue for years to come. When they sell an NES Classic, they make a one-and-done small profit.

SNES Classic

Now, I’m not going to pretend that Nintendo is a perfect company. I just like playing their video games. I’m not afraid to call them out when they do silly things, which they do plenty of. I think they should have been more prepared for the launch of the NES Classic. They have a history of scarcity at launch that is beyond frustrating and needs to be resolved. Considering the data they have from the NES Classic, Switch, amiibo, and all the many collector’s editions that sell out immediately, Nintendo have no excuse not to be prepared for the launch of the SNES Classic. I sincerely hope that they are prepared.

But when they decide not to produce any more SNES Classic after the end of 2017, which they’ve already confirmed is the plan, then I won’t complain. They’ve advertised this as a limited time item (another thing they could have been a little more clear about with the NES Classic). It doesn’t make sense to continue to produce the console when they’ve already put out their latest generation console that deserves their full attention.

Now, please excuse me. I need to mash F5 until September if I want any chance at beating those nasty scalpers to my SNES Classic.

Splatoon 2 Direct Recap, Everything You Need to Know

Splatoon 2 Logo

Earlier today, Nintendo streamed a special Splatoon 2 themed Nintendo Direct. It detailed many already confirmed game modes like Turf War, Salmon Run, League Battles, Splat Zones, Tower Control, and Rainmaker. The direct also delved a little deeper into the world of Splatoon, showcasing some of the gear and clothing as well as the colorful folks who will sell it to you. We also caught news about the first Splatfest and a few more details about SplatNet 2, the mobile app that will allow voice chat.

We also received confirmation that Splatoon 2 will get a steady stream of free DLC and updates for the first year after release. In addition, period Splatfests, the first of which is July 15, will be held for at least two years after the game launches. The game will be releasing world wide on July 21. If you're interested in a more in depth look, check out the full Splatoon 2 Direct and press release below.

REDMOND, Wash., July 6, 2017 – With the Splatoon 2 game launching exclusively for the Nintendo Switch console in just a couple of weeks, Nintendo partnered with the renowned Squid Research Lab to provide a refresher on some of the new and returning features coming to the squid sequel. The special Nintendo Direct presentation highlighted many of the game’s new features, new weapons, new locations and, most importantly for all the fashion-forward cephalopods out there, its fresh new styles. The video also touched on SplatNet 2, the new service for mobile devices that displays information about Splatoon 2 like stage schedules, gear and stats. SplatNet 2 is part of the Nintendo Switch Online mobile app launching on July 21, which lets players send multiplayer invites to their friends via social media, as well as enables the use of voice chat in battles.

Splatoon 2 is a huge, robust sequel to the original Splatoon,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Fans that played and loved the first game will have plenty of new stuff to enjoy, while the game is also a great introduction for players new to the colorful and stylish series.”

Before the game launches on July 21, Nintendo Switch owners can dive into the fun with the Splatoon 2: Splatfest World Premiere demo. This special Splatfest will happen July 15 from 3 to 7 p.m. PT. Players just have to download the free demo in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch and choose a team before the Splatfest begins. The demo can be downloaded early before the Splatfest goes live, starting later today.

To view the Nintendo Direct video in its entirety, visit Some of the highlights revealed in the video include:
  • Custom Style: In Splatoon 2, Inklings can be customized to fit the player’s taste. Things like eye color, hair style and skin tone can all be adjusted when creating a character. And this doesn’t even mention the fresh new gear like shirts, shoes and hats that can also be equipped. Since two years have passed in the world of Inkopolis, many styles have been upgraded so no one is caught splatted in something that is “so 2015.”
  • Galleria: To find all these hot new fashion trends, players just have to make their way to the Inkopolis Galleria. This row of popular gear and weapon shops is where all the cool kids and squids hang out. In Ye Olde Cloth Shoppe, a jellyfish named Jelfonzo will help players obtain T-shirts and jackets. A spider crab named Bisk runs the shoe shop Shella Fresh, while Flow the sea slug helps players at the headwear shop Headspace. Weapons can be picked up by stopping by Ammo Knights, run by the knowledgeable horseshoe crab Sheldon. And who doesn’t love food? Inklings can grab a bite at Crusty Sean’s dive to get more points and in-game currency from battles.
  • Gear: Equipping gear in Splatoon 2 will give players special abilities. Each piece of gear has certain abilities, and there are even additional abilities that appear as players use the gear more and more in battle. By speaking to Murch, a sea urchin (naturally), players can freshen up their gear with abilities that reduce ink consumption or help them move faster – some will even decrease respawn time! There is a wide variety of abilities in the game, so selecting the right one to use could make or break the battle.
  • Fresh Features: Some additional features coming to Splatoon 2 include a handy menu that lets players change the sensitivity of the controls separately for TV and Handheld mode, amiibo functionality and the ability to post drawings directly to social media. By tapping a Splatoon series amiibo figure, players can save control settings, gear and weapon loadouts, and nicknames to any Splatoon amiibo figure. New Splatoon series and legacy Splatoon amiibo are all compatible with Splatoon 2 and can also reward players with exclusive gear when tapped. (The game saves data on the amiibo figure, which can hold data for one game at a time. The game, system and amiibo are sold separately. Visit for details about amiibo functionality.)
  • Turf War: Turf War, which finds two teams of four battling to ink the most turf, makes its grand return in Splatoon 2. There are all kinds of different stages in the game, ranging from city streets, a sports club, an academy and even a BMX track. Different stages have different environmental hazards, so players will have to work together to figure out the best strategy.
  • Ranked Battles: Every two hours, the three Ranked Battle modes rotate, offering something new to play. The three modes are Splat Zones, which finds teams fighting for control of Splat Zones placed on the stage; Tower Control, a fast-and-frantic mode in which players ride a moving tower; and the chaotic fun of Rainmaker. By winning a Ranked Battle, players increase their rank in each mode. Ranked Battles can be played online*. The modes in Ranked Battle can be played in local multiplayer** in Private Battle.
  • League Battles: League Battles allow players to form a team with friends, fight alongside them and battle their way to the top of the charts. There are two ways to join in these 4-on-4 battles: Players can enlist one other friend to form a pair and be matched with another pair, or connect with three friends to form a four-squid team. Once teams are created, players compete in Ranked Battle modes to aim for a top ranking.
  • Salmon Run: This new local- and online-multiplayer mode* to Splatoon 2finds up to four players** working together to defeat bosses and collect Power Eggs in a limited amount of time. Each match in Salmon Run lasts for three waves, with players having to collect a select number of Power Eggs to advance to the next wave – oh, and at least one player on the team has to stay alive. This last part might be tough since the stage is overrun by Salmonid enemies and giant bosses, each with their own weakness. Salmon Run is a frantic multiplayer mode that can be played locally with friends at anytime and is also available to play online at designated times, just like Splatfest.
  • Single-Player Adventure: Oh no! Callie (of the famous Squid Sisters) has disappeared! Of course, there’s no need to panic. Players can just hop into the game’s single-player adventure to ink their way through a variety of creative obstacles, monstrous bosses and devious Octarians. This single-player mode is also a great way to learn the basics of the game and try out different weapons.
  • So Many Ways to Play!: Splatoon 2 can be played in so many different ways, including TV Mode, Handheld Mode and Tabletop Mode, as well as online* or local multiplayer**. And not only are the game-play options numerous, but the jam-packed sequel can be played anywhere!
  • Main Weapons: In Splatoon 2, weapons come in sets of three: a main weapon, a sub weapon and a special weapon. There are many different types of main weapons, from long-range weapons to short-range ones. Some new (wonderfully named) weapons introduced in Splatoon 2 include the Clash Blaster, Flingza Roller, Goo Tuber and the Dapple Dualies.
  • Sub Weapons: In addition to inking and attacking, many sub weapons will help players with other abilities, such as defending from attacks or revealing enemy positions. The new Autobomb, for example, will find an enemy and automatically follow them, while Toxic Mist, well, is exactly how it sounds! It fills the surrounding area with a poisonous mist, reducing the ink of opponents who dare step in its range, as well as making them move slower.
  • Special Weapons: All the special weapons in Splatoon 2 are new! Some of the weapons making their debut are the Tenta Missiles, the Inkjet, the Sting Ray and the Baller, which lets players roll up walls in an explosive hamster ball. Special weapons can be used once a player’s special meter is filled.
  • Post-Launch Updates: Like the first Splatoon, Splatoon 2 will see a continuing rollout of updates to the game. These updates will take the form of new weapons, like the umbrella-shaped Brella, new gear and additional stages.
  • SplatNet 2: When the Nintendo Switch Online app* launches for mobile devices on July 21, players will also have access to SplatNet 2. This Splatoon 2-specific service helps players stay in touch with Inkopolis even when they are away from their Nintendo Switch systems! SplatNet 2 displays information like stage schedules, gear and stats, and even lets users view their lifetime inkage, a feature that shows how much turf a player has inked compared to real-world places. The Nintendo Switch Online app allows users to invite other players to join Private Battles, League Battles, Salmon Run and Splatfest Battles, as well as communicate with those players using voice chat. (A compatible mobile device and persistent internet connection are required. Data charges may apply.)
  • Splatfests: While content updates for Splatoon 2 will last around a year, more limited-time Splatfests for the game are planned for the next two years. To kick things off, a free demo to try out the first Splatfest for Splatoon 2 is going to be held on July 15 from 3 to 7 p.m. PT. Players just have to download the free demo in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch and get ready to decide if cake or ice cream is their dessert of choice. To prepare in advance, the demo can be downloaded early before the Splatfest goes live, starting later today. Once downloaded, players can start the demo to vote for their team, and even visit the in-game mailbox to create and share drawings in support of their team.
Splatoon 2 launches exclusively for Nintendo Switch on July 21. For more information about the game, visit

Remember that Nintendo Switch features parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about other features, visit

*Nintendo Account is required. Online services and features, including online gameplay, are free until the paid Nintendo Switch Online service launches in 2018.

**Additional games and systems are required for multiplayer mode; sold separately

The First Splatoon 2 Splatfest Will be Held on July 15

Splatoon 2 Splatfest Cake Ice Cream

During today's Splatoon 2 Direct, the first of many Splatfests for Splatoon 2 was announced. This time, it'll take place before the release of the game. On July 15 from 3 PM PT - 7 PM PT anyone can try out the World Premiere Splatfest. If you live in Europe, the time is shifted to a more reasonable hour: the event starts at 6 PM CEST. Make sure to download the demo from the eshop anytime before the demo if you want to participate in the event!

Like the first Splatoon, Splatfests in Splatoon 2 will pit two related things against each other. The theme of this Splatfest is Cake vs. Ice Cream. Players will need to choose a side before participating in what is usually 24 hours of Turf War battles. You'll be matched with teams that made the same choice as you and when all is said and done members of the winning team will be rewarded with in-game items. Team winners are determined by a combination of win percentage and popularity.

If you have a strong opinion about the premiere birthday treat or just want another chance to try Splatoon 2 or Splatfests before the game releases on July 21, make sure to tune in for the Splatfest. And if the whole idea sounds rather juvenile to you, hear me out when I say that Splatfests were the highlight of the original Splatoon for me. Give them a try, and happy splatting!

Splatoon 2 Nintendo Direct to Broadcast on July 6

Splatoon 2 Logo

After the launch of ARMS last month, the next big Nintendo title coming to Switch is Splatoon 2. We’ve heard quite a lot about this game since it was revealed back in January, but it looks like we’ll get one more burst of information this Thursday. On July 6 at 7 AM PT/10 AM ET Nintendo will air a Splatoon 2 direct. This direct will likely be rather short, probably 8-15 minutes in length, and give us some last minute details on the upcoming game. Splatoon 2 will launch globally on July 21, 2017.

There’s a little bit of speculation about what might be revealed during the direct. It’s unlikely that we’ll see any large new game modes, but they are always a possibility. We’ll probably get some info and footage on a few new maps and weapons. We still don’t know everything there is to know about the social app that will facilitate voice chat, so more details on that seem reasonable. Finally, we might even get news of a second testfire, one that is a little bit closer to launch date. That should give Nintendo time to ensure that the servers will be up to par and give Switch owners another opportunity to see if the game is for them. If you can’t watch live on Thursday, make sure to check back and we’ll let you know everything that happens during the direct.

SteamWorld Dig 2 is Coming to Switch Late Summer or Early Fall

SteamWorld Dig 2 Logo

We've known that SteamWorld Dig 2 was coming to the Switch before any other console for some time now. It was pegged for 2017 when announced, but the kind folks over at Image & Form have narrowed down the release window. The game is "pretty much finished now", and will be released in a few months after a final polish. This means that the game will land on Switch during the late summer or early fall. It will release shortly after on PC and PS4. The game will not release for Wii U, as Image & Form believe that the Switch has replaced it at this point.

We've been fans of the SteamWorld series since the launch of the first game back in 2013. You can read our very positive reviews of SteamWorld Dig and SteamWorld Heist on Wii U if you want to know a little more about the series. It's very exciting that SteamWorld Dig 2 will be out on Switch so soon. Expect a full review preceding the launch, and stay tuned for a final release date and more details!

Marking the Return Part 1: A Metroid II Retrospect

Metroid II Return of Samus

Nintendo surprised us all at E3 by announcing Metroid Prime 4, but they surprised us even more with the reveal of the Metroid II remake everyone in the Metroid community has been clamoring for. But why exactly is it that fans desired a remake to begin with? And is MercurySteam really up to the task?

We at Nintendo Castle have taken these considerations into account and put the original Gameboy outing up to the pedestal. We also had a look to see just what fans themselves wanted from a remake with the oft-praised and controversial Another Metroid 2 Remake. Finally, we put MercurySteam to the test and analysed their first Metroidvania styled effort with Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate, to see if they’re really up to the task.

Over the next few months, we hope to take you on a trip down memory lane, or maybe even your first ever exposure to this often forgotten classic amongst its newer, more well received peers. We will be marking the return of Samus... have you?

Check out Part 2 and Part 3 of this series!

Part 1: The First Descent

Metroid on the Nintendo Entertainment System was a cult hit, captivating many players with its dark atmosphere and unconventional game design. No longer must you rush from one level to the next, but the world was your oyster as you traversed through tunnels and discovered their secrets. When it came time to produce a sequel, the immensely popular Game Boy was a no brainer. So in 1991, the world was introduced to Metroid’s first portable outing, and the only one for another 11 years, Metroid II: Return of Samus.

Metroid II Return of Samus

Metroid II is often called out as the black sheep of the series (at least for a long while anyway, but that’s another story). Fans have been asking for a remake ever since Zero Mission, a remake of the NES original, was brought to the world in 2004.

Why exactly did people desire a remake, was the original no longer up to par? Since Super Metroid revolutionised the series, and was partially responsible for the genre now known as Metroidvania, yes. Super Metroid ended up superseding all the games that came before it, bringing a slew of new abilities and mainstays to the franchise.

But Metroid II can’t be all that bad, can it? To answer this, we will need to dig deep into the caves of planet SR388 once more to see just how much has changed over the years. The mission, hunt down and destroy all Metroids.

Metroid II Return of Samus

The game begins with Samus landing onto the surface to an upbeat and adventurous tune. The planet is rife with wildlife, but they’re mostly passive and make little attempts to attack Samus. One way leads to a dead end blocked by lava, so there is only one other direction to take. As you plow through, suddenly the wildlife thins, there’s nothing in your way. But eventually, you meet another dead end, and a Metroid. But instead of the iconic jellyfish headsuckers it mutates into a more armoured form.

This is the major change brought in for the sequel, Metroid evolution. There are now new forms of Metroid, Alpha, Gamma, Zeta and Omega; which don’t attack like they did in the first. Sadly, due to technical limitations of the Game Boy, all of them boil down to dodge and shoot. Even the most threatening of new evolutions just have different movement patterns and increasingly more missiles you need to pump into them.

Alas, the game still does a wonderful job conveying just how threatening the Metroids are supposed to be, wildlife scatters away from their nests and husks of the familiar and iconic form indicate that one or more are nearby. However, Samus as an avatar is fairly overpowered, being able to tank hits from them pretty easily. Defeating a Metroid causes a counter to clock down, which goes a little haywire in the corner to direct your attention to how many remain. The more Metroids you defeat, the more lava is removed to push you further into the planet.

Metroid II Return of Samus

Despite most people’s impressions of Super Metroid, Metroid II was actually the first to bring some iconic abilities to the table, such as the Plasma Beam, Space Jump and selectively used Spider Ball. But their usage isn’t exactly well executed. The Spider Ball is slow and clunky, sometimes not reacting to the player’s input because you were a pixel or so off actually being able to climb in the direction you want. The Space Jump is also a bit awkward, having an unclear input window to jump again in midair.

Metroid II is also the birthplace of the iconic shoulder pads on the Varia Suit, as the black and white display of the Game Boy meant they couldn’t just change the colour like before. Much like the original game, beams override each other upon collection. While there is a small hub containing all the beams to be collected at your leisure, it is unnecessary in the end as the Ice Beam is all you will really need to use throughout the whole game.

But one element that Super Metroid brought with it that prior entries could really have used was the in-game map. Metroid II can be awkward to navigate without the use of an external one. While it is certainly better than the original NES game, as it funnels you into distinct areas, demanding you defeat a certain number of Metroids before allowing further progression, it still isn’t perfect. Many rooms and tilesets end up being reused due to memory limitations on the Game Boy, which can be confusing to the player if they get lost. The map also has numerous areas that overlap with other spots, an oversight of the developers maybe?

Metroid II Return of Samus

Atmosphere is definitely one of the series’ highlights, and Metroid II does its best to deliver it. While many games, including the original, use music to evoke atmosphere, Metroid II is restricted yet again to the hardware it was built for. There are some noteworthy musical tracks, like the initial theme playing when you first start playing, but an awful lot of the soundtrack devolves to seemingly arbitrary beeps and boops. These just sound impactless and will likely get drowned out as background noise. However, you do get audible notification of accessing a new area, even if it’s just a short sequence of notes segueing into the next set of beeps.

Despite all this, the level design still conveys a message. As mentioned earlier, wildlife thins out as you enter Metroid nests, and the deeper you go into the centre of SR388 the fewer life forms appear and the stranger they become. Eventually, as you reach the final crawl, life almost seems to come to a complete stop. This shows just how much of a predator the Metroid are. This unfortunately makes recharging on health and missile an absolute chore, having to backtrack to recharge stations or grind it out on what little enemies there are in the current area.

With the majority of the Metroid exterminated, Samus finally reaches the Metroid Hive. Nothing persists here, it is devoid of all life except for Metroid. As you first climb in a lone Metroid egg makes itself apparent and the counter, which at this point used to show but one, rises. The iconic larval form we all know and love finally become present, having only just hatched. The Ice Beam is actually a necessity to defeating them, but the game is fortunate enough to have one last chance to pick it up just before entering the hive. Once defeated, there is only one last hurdle to overcome, the Metroid Queen.

The Queen is easily the hardest encounter in the game, having the highest missile total to defeat. She hits hard and fast, only getting faster the more she is hurt. There is a trick to defeating her though, if missile are shot into her mouth as she lunges her head towards you she can be stunned. You have two options to defeating her, either pump her up full of missiles (the boring way) or stun her with her mouth open and climb inside her as a Morph Ball and lay bombs in her stomach.

With the final challenge overcome, only one thing lies in wait, the Metroid egg from earlier. Instead of destroying it though, it hatches before your eyes and implants on Samus as if she is the mother. It follows you lovingly as you climb out of the hive towards the surface, breaking apart crystals that block your way. This is a rather sweet ending to story of destruction, showing mercy to an infant Metroid rather than killing it on cold blood. It’s still heartwarming, even after all these years.

Metroid II Return of Samus

As a whole, Metroid II hasn’t aged all that well. It isn’t surprising why a remake was demanded for so long. It controls well enough, but precise inputs are very hard to execute. It is much easier to play than the original game, but newer entries only superseded it, making it even harder to return to. Overall, it is still surprisingly playable. You have to approach it with a specific mindset though, and with a map on hand. It’s a quaint journey that can be revisited to check out just how things once were. But it would take take a dedicated fan to want to reimagine this journey to modern standards. Join us next month as we analyse the unofficial return to SR388 in the remake that could have been.

Super Nintendo Classic Will be Available this Holiday Season for $79.99

SNES Classic NA

It's been rumored for some time now, but Nintendo has finally announced that they will be putting out a Super Nintendo Mini for this holiday season. It's official title (at least in America) is the Super NES Classic Edition. It will be coming out on September 29 and features 21 excellent games. Seriously, the line-up is killer, you can check it out below. Among many greats (Super Mario RPG, Super Metroid, EarthBound, etc.), is the never-before-released Starfox 2. It will retail for $79.99 and include the console (pre-loaded with 21 games), an AC adapter, an HDMI cord, and two controllers with 5 ft cords.

SNES Classic Europe

It's not a secret that Nintendo couldn't keep up with the NES Classic demand last year, so people are obviously skeptical about whether or not they'll even have an opportunity to pick the SNES Classic up. Nintendo have promised that they will produce more than the NES Classic, but your best chance at getting a hold of one without dropping a few hundred dollars is to pre-order as soon as it's an option. Europe and Japan are also getting their own version of the mini Super Nintendo, which feature form factors and color schemes to match the original console. If you're still not convinced that you want this console, check out the seriously amazing list of games below.

SNES Classic Japan

  • Contra III: The Alien Wars
  • Donkey Kong Country
  • EarthBound
  • Final Fantasy III
  • F-ZERO
  • Kirby Super Star
  • Kirby’s Dream Course
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  • Mega Man X
  • Secret of Mana
  • Star Fox
  • Star Fox 2
  • Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
  • Super Castlevania IV
  • Super Ghouls ’n Ghosts
  • Super Mario Kart
  • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
  • Super Mario World
  • Super Metroid
  • Super Punch-Out!!
  • Yoshi’s Island

Stay tuned for more information on the Super NES Classic and how you might be able to claim one for yourself

Salmon Run is the Co-op Mode that Splatoon 2 Really Needed

Splatoon 2 Salmon Run Screenshot

We've known about Salmon Run in Splatoon 2 since the April Direct, but we haven't seen much of it since the initial reveal. Luckily, Nintendo had Salmon Run available to demo at E3 this year and we got a chance to try it out. My time with the game was rather brief, but I'd like to share my impressions nonetheless.

For those unfimiliar, Salmon Run is a new local/online co-op mode in Splatoon 2 that can most easily be described as a zombie/horde mode. The mode is PvE for 2-4 players and features a horde of enemies that will continually spawn on the map. Defeating a bunch of enemies will be necessary to survive, but it won't mean anything unless you also complete the mission of each round: collect enough gold orbs and bring them back to a central basket.

Splatoon 2 Salmon Run Screenshot

Golden orbs can be gathered by defeating larger boss enemies and must be schlepped one-by-one to the basket. The number of orbs you'll need to gather as well as many other variables (difficulty and number of enemies and bosses) depend on how many rounds you've completed and what difficulty you've got the game set to. The demo we tried was a measly 5%, but you can crank it all the way up to 200% which is borderline impossible to complete.

Of course, you'll also be working against a timer. You'll fail a round if the timer runs out and you haven't collected enough orbs or if all of your team dies. Living team members do have the option to save downed comrades, so it's not the end of the world if you bite the bullet at the hands of the salmon-like creatures. The ability to team save adds an extra level of depth and allows some team members to play aggresively while others are more conservative and hold back to heal. Even in our short time with the demo at 5% difficulty, the healing feature saved my team more than once.

Splatoon 2 Salmon Run Screenshot

When the mode was initially revealed, I was very optimistic. The original Splatoon game was excellent for a lot of reasons, nearly all of which seem to be coming back in Splatoon 2. However, local play and co-op was completely awful. The Wii U only supported 2 players at once, one on the TV and one on the gamepad, and it ran choppy at best. Local play just wasn't fun, which meant that most of my time with Splatoon was spent playing against strangers in PvP.

Salmon Run, however, looks to bring an excellent option for local play and co-op. I'll finally be able to play Splatoon with my buddies locally, and we can work together. Communication will clearly be key as the difficulty ramps up in this mode, and I'll be able to do that without using the silly little app that Nintendo seems so keen on pushing. I think an option for local play is vital to my enjoyment of a shooter, and Salmon Run will provide just that.

Splatoon 2 Salmon Run Screenshot

Although I'm quite excited for this mode, I do have a complaint: there seems to be a lack of an option to play split-screen. Although the Switch is growing in popularity and I'm sure more and more of my pals will pick one up, I'd like the option to play split-screen on my TV with my friends who don't own the Switch. This seems like a no-brainer, and I hope I'm surprised by an announcment that this is in fact a feature with Salmon Run.

I didn't get a whole lot of playtime in with Salmon Run, but I did really like what I saw. I'm looking forward to playing locally with my friends and seeing how far we can push horde mode. With the addition of Salmon Run, Splatoon 2 should have a killer single player, online, PvP, PvE, and local co-op. What more could we ask for (besides split-screen, of course)?

Splatoon 2 Salmon Run Screenshot

If you're looking for more Salmon Run footage, check out the following from Nintendo Treehouse at E3.

Splatoon 2 Salmon Run Screenshot

Splatoon 2 Salmon Run Screenshot

Splatoon 2 Salmon Run Screenshot

Splatoon 2 Salmon Run Screenshot

Splatoon 2 Salmon Run Screenshot

Super Mario Odyssey E3 Impressions and Demo Footage

Super Mario Odyssey Logo

Nintendo's biggest showing on the E3 show floor this year was undoubtedly Super Mario Odyssey. The game is the staple release for Switch this holiday season, so it makes sense that the Big N's E3 presentation pivoted around the new flagship Mario game. I got a chance to try out the demo out E3 this year, so I thought I'd share some of my thoughts as well as 20 minutes of footage that showcases both the New Dong City and Sand Kingdom worlds from the full game.

After waiting in line for about two hours and watching many others play through the demos, I finally got a chance to play Super Mario Odyssey. The Nintendo rep introduced the controls and the two world options. After watching the overwhelming majority of people who were a little quicker to get in line than me try out the enticing New Dong City, I settled for Sand Kingdom. I figured I'd be cool and different or something.

I began my time with the demo by confirming Mario's movement options. All the expected ones are there: triple jump, long jump, crouch jump, side jump, etc. I also messed around with some of the new options, namely Mario's roll and hat throw. You're able to throw the hat at pretty much anytime, whether you're in the air or firmly planted on the ground. I also quickly tried out throwing my hat at some Bullet Bills in an attempt to animate them, as seen in recent trailers. This worked just as expected. In Bullet Bill form, you can't change your position on the y-axis and you'll immediately transform back to plain old Mario when you run into an obstacle. I suppose this prevents simply using a Bullet Bill to zip to the end of a world.

Super Mario Odyssey Screenshot

It was stunning to see a Mario game this pretty. Super Mario 3D World was a good looking game, but Odyssey is a whole step above that. The worlds and environment are beautiful and the characters and objects are colorful and vivid. Also, can we talk about this new theme song, One-Up Girl? The first Mario song with vocals is so darn catchy. I must have heard it a dozen times while on the show floor, but I'm still not tired of it yet.

It's hard to make judgements about about gameplay and level design when you only have 20 minutes to play the game, but I'm very pleased with what I've seen and played so far. It's been awhile since the last sandbox Mario game, so Odyssey definitely has large expectations to live up to. With that said, I think fans will be very satisfied. The seems to take everything that was great about Super Mario 64, Sunshine, and the Galaxy games and create something entirely new.

Super Mario Odyssey Screenshot

I've been digging deep and trying to think about things that I wasn't pleased with after trying out the demo. I'm coming up empty. Everything I saw was delightful and indicative that the next superb Mario game will be Super Mario Odyssey. I'll have to wait until the game is out before making a final judgement, but it's looking like this will be a must-buy for Switch owners. Super Mario Odyssey is coming exclusively to Switch on October 27, so stay tuned for complete coverage!

ARMS is Now Available Worldwide

ARMS release

Today marks the worldwide release of Nintendo's latest Switch game. The new IP ARMS is now available worldwide. The game is fighting game that features fighters with flexible arms. We've begun work on ARMS content like our ARMS walkthrough and other ARMS guides. Stay tuned for continued coverage as we uncover all of the secrets and features of ARMS!

Yoshi on Switch was Revealed at E3 and is Coming Next Year

Yoshi Switch Screenshot

Joining the recently announced Kirby switch game, it looks like we'll also be getting a new Yoshi game on the Switch. A trailer was shown off during Nintendo's E3 direct that can be seen below. Like Kirby, not much is known about this new Yoshi game, but we do know that it won't see release until 2018. We also know that the game is an action platformer (not much of a surprise) that features a world that can be flipped back and forth for a different expirience. You'll also be able to play with a partner in 2 player co-op on the same console. Stay tuned for the latest news about this new Yoshi adventure!

A Kirby Game is Coming to Switch in 2018

Kirby Switch Screenshot

During Nintendo's E3 direct, we got a first look at a new Kirby game for Switch. We didn't get a final name, release date, or many other details, but we do have a trailer and a few pieces of interesting information. First off, the game won't be ready until 2018, so don't expect to be playing too soon. But when the game does eventually launch on Switch, you'll be able to recruit enemies to help fight along side Kirby. The game will also feature a 4 player co-op mode. More information on Kirby and his latest shenanigans on Switch is sure to come, so stay tuned for more news. Until then, check out the trailer below.

Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga is Being Remade for 3DS

Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions

During Nintendo's Treehouse Live presentation following the E3 direct, two new 3DS games were revealed. The first was a remake of Metroid II in the form of Metroid Samus Returns. The second was a remake of the first Mario & Luigi game for GBA, Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga. The 3DS remake will be called Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions (we know, the name is a mouthful). The Bowser's Minions mode of the game retells the original version from a different perspective: Bowser's team of baddies. The game is essentially two adventures in one and will launch exclusively on 3DS this October 6.

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions will also feature amiibo support. Two new amiibo will launch for the game, a Goomba amiibo and a Koopa Troopa amiibo. Superstar Saga was one of my favorite GBA games and the game that introduced me to the Mario & Luigi series, so it's got a special place in my heart. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing it revived on the 3DS and hope that it can live up to its name!

A Metroid 2 Remake From Nintendo is Coming to 3DS

Metroid Samus Returns

Nintendo fans were very surprised that after the much welcomed Metroid Prime 4 announcement from Nintendo's E3 direct, there was still more Metroid to reveal. During the treehouse presentation following the direct the treehouse team revealed that the 3DS would also be getting a metroid game, Metroid Samus Returns. The game is a remake of the 1991 Gameboy title Metroid II: Return of Samus. However, Samus Returns will feature a great deal of new content and won't be a strict remake. The game is coming sooner than one might expect, with a release date of September 15, 2017.

It's very exciting to see a great Samus Aran adventure get remade and rather refreshing to see another 2d (more like 2.5d) Metroid game. After many years of dissapointment from Metroid fans, it looks like things are starting to turn around. What's more, the game will feature a $49.99 collector's edition that includes a soundtrack and will launch alongside two new amiibos. Make sure to check out the trailer below and stay tuned for more news on Metroid Samus Returns.

Super Mario Odyssey gets an October 27 Release Date

Super Mario Odyssey

During Nintendo's E3 presentation we finally got a release date for Super Mario Odyssey. The game will come exclusively to Nintendo Switch on October 27, 2017. This is a pleasant surprise, as many expected that we wouldn't see the game until mid-November, shortly before black friday. In addition to the release date, a new trailer was also shown off. You can check it out below.

We got to try out Super Mario Odyssey on the show floor, and we were very impressed. The game is very polished and fans of both Super Mario Sunshine and Mario Galaxy will be satisfied. Make sure to stay tuned for more Super Mario Odyssey and E3 2017 coverage!

Rocket League is Coming to Switch this Holiday Season

Rocket League Switch

As revealed in Nintendo's E3 2017 press conference, Rocket League will be coming to Nintendo Switch. A solid release date is yet to come, but we'll see the game before the end of the year. What's more, it will feature cross-platform play, so you'll be able to play with friends on various other platforms. Switch owners have been anticipating and asking for Rocket League since the Switch launched, so it's very exciting to see that it is finally coming. Stay tuned for more news on Rocket League and hopefully more details on the Switch version.

Metroid Prime 4 is Coming to Nintendo Switch

Metroid Prime 4

We didn't see much, but we did get confirmation that Metroid Prime 4 is in development for Nintendo Switch. A developer wasn't confirmed, but it's probably safe to assume that this was the project that Retro Studios have been working on. We'll probably be waiting a little while before we get more news, but the teaser to tide us over was more than enough to bring the hype. We can probably expect the game to release in late 2018, but 2019 certainly isn't out of the question. Stay tuned for more news on Metroid Prime 4.

Mario Plus Rabbids Officially Confirmed at Ubisoft's E3 Press Conference

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

It probably won't come as a suprise to many at this point, considering the game has been rumored for months and assests were leaked a few weeks ago, but Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was officially revealed during Ubisoft's E3 press conference. The game combines the universe of Ubisoft's Rabbids and Super Mario in a turn-based combat RPG. The game will launch exclusively for Nintendo Switch on August 29, 2017. Check out the reveal trailer and a behind-the-scenes featuring Miyamoto below.

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle will feature 8 playable characters: Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, and the four Rabbid versions of each. There will be a total of four playable worlds each filled to the brim with puzzles to solve and enemies to defeat. A co-op mode will allow you to take the game on with friends and there will be three difficulty options to choose from. Combat is based on a grid system and requires you to seek out enemies hiding behind a variety of obstacles.

Stay tuned for more information on Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle and everything else coming to Switch throughout E3.

Upcoming ARMS and Splatoon 2 E3 Tournaments Detailed

With June beginning today, we are officially in E3 month. There are only twelve days left until Day 1 of E3 2017, as well as the Nintendo Spotlight: E3 2017 video presentation. As well as this, Nintendo has also announced the 2017 Splatoon 2 World Inkling Invitational and the 2017 ARMS Open Invitational tournaments during the first two days of E3. For more information on these events, continue reading on.

These will be the first ever tournaments of these games since ARMS will be releasing the Friday of E3 week, June 16, and Splatoon 2 will be releasing on July 21, both games for Nintendo Switch. Today, Nintendo released additional information for these two tournaments including start times, commentators, players, and what modes will be played in the tournaments for the games.

The 2017 Splatoon 2 World Inkling Invitational will be held on June 13 at 2:30 PM PT (5:30 PM ET) and the 2017 ARMS Open Invitational will be held on June 14 at 3:30 PM PT (6:30 PM ET). Be sure not to miss the action on Nintendo’s stream channels on YouTube and Twitch, and be sure to find more information on Nintendo’s schedule at E3 2017 through their E3 website. Also be sure to take a look below for the full press release about these tournaments.

Nintendo details Splatoon 2 and ARMS E3 tournaments

Nintendo is bringing some incredible social, competitive tournaments to this year’s E3 video game trade show. Over the course of two days, fans around the world can watch online as both pros and amateurs compete for glory in the Splatoon 2 and ARMS games, which can only be experienced on the Nintendo Switch console. Fans can watch all the action at, as well as on Nintendo’s YouTube and Twitch channels.

“Splatoon 2 and ARMS are games that lend themselves perfectly to tournaments, and E3 is an ideal venue to bring people together to compete,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “These friendly tournaments will highlight the fun, competitive nature of these games and the Nintendo Switch hardware for people at home and on the show floor.”

2017 Splatoon 2 World Inkling Invitational – Tuesday, June 13, Approximately 2:30 p.m. PT

For the first time ever, competitors from four different global regions will compete for world dominance in Splatoon 2. The four four-person teams – “Deadbeat” from the United States, “Dynameu” from Japan, “Rising Moon” from Europe and “Blue Ringed Octolings” from Australia/New Zealand – defeated their rivals in local tournaments that occurred in recent months.

During the show in Los Angeles, teams will battle in a round-robin Turf War tournament that will decide seeding for the next round. All teams will play one another and get a chance to scope out their opponents’ strengths and weaknesses. In the next round, teams will battle in the game’s Ranked Battle modes. The semifinal stage will be a best-of-five battle, while the championship will be best-of-seven.

The winning team of the live-streamed tournament will win global bragging rights and will have their names engraved on a sweet Splatoon 2 trophy. Announcers for the Splatoon 2tournament will be avid Splatoon player, Nintendo fan, athlete and broadcaster Jordan Kent, Ashley Esqueda of CNET and the Nintendo Treehouse’s Eric Smith.

To help kids and squids get the most out of all the tournament action, prior to E3 Nintendo will release video content highlighting the tactics, strategies and storylines behind competitive Splatoon play.

2017 ARMS Open Invitational – Wednesday, June 14, Approximately 3:30 p.m. PT

This live-streamed ARMS competition will pit four expert competitive gamers from the fighting game community against E3 attendees who qualify during the event. E3 attendees can visit the Nintendo booth between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. PT on Wednesday, June 14, for a chance to win a spot in the finals. The top four competitors will be selected to face off against four pro competitive gamers.

The eight tournament participants will do battle until a champion emerges to win the coveted 2017 ARMS Open Invitational championship belt. Announcers for the tourney include Super Smash Bros. broadcasters D1 and VikkiKitty. The participating pro players are Alex Valle of Street Fighter fame; Kelsy Medeiros, aka SuperGirlKels, a professional Super Smash Bros. for Wii U player hailing from Canada; acclaimed Super Smash Bros. player Daniel “Tafokints” Lee; and French Super Smash Bros. player Marie-Laure “Kayane” Norindr, one of the world’s most decorated professional female fighting game players in history.

For more details about Nintendo’s tournaments at E3, visit

Switch Paid Online Service Pushed to 2018, Priced at $19.99 Yearly

Nintendo Switch Logo

Seemingly out of nowhere, Nintendo has released a few more details about their upcoming paid online service that will be required to play online games on the Switch when it launches. We don't have all the details yet, and we still haven't heard anything about Virtual Console, but I imagine we'll know more after E3 rolls around in a few weeks. The two most noteworthy details are that the paid service has been pushed back to 2018 and that it will cost $19.99 per year.

The new Webpage detailing the service also mentions that among the games that can be downloaded as part of the subscription are Super Mario Bros. 3, Balloon Fight, and Dr. Mario. Kotaku has also been able to confirm that contrary to an earlier statement, subscribers will be able to play all games available as long as they subscribe, and the free games will not expire after a month. If you're interested in trying the service out before commiting to a yearly subscription, you can purchase 1 month for $3.99 or 3 months for $7.99.

RUMOR: Mario Plus Rabbids Kingdom Battle Leaked

Note: The information in this article has been leaked or rumored, and not officially confirmed.

We’re almost at the three months mark since the launch of the Nintendo Switch, and it appears that Nintendo still can’t keep some of their projects a secret. This project, a mashup between the Mario and Raving Rabbids universes, has been a rumor for quite some time now, dating back to November 18 of last year. Be sure to keep reading for more details on the rumored game, as well as some key details about the game.

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Monster Hunter XX Nintendo Switch Version Announced

Monster Hunter XX Logo

Update: Capcom has released a trailer that can be found at the end of this article.

To the surprise of many, Capcom has announced that they are bringing Monster Hunter XX (pronounced "double cross") to the Switch in the form of Monster Hunter XX Nintendo Switch Ver.. Monster Hunter XX is the upgraded version of Monster Hunter X (known as Monster Hunter Generations in the west) that released for New 3DS in Japan a few months ago. So far, both the New 3DS and Switch versions of Monster Hunter XX are only confirmed for Japan, but it is very likely that the game will come to the west, presumabley called Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, shortly after it is released in Japan. Further details about the game will be announced during the Monster Hunter Championship 2017 this weekend.

No details are currently known about a release date or exactly what the Switch version will be. It could simply be an HD version of the New 3DS release, but it also has the potential to bring new content to the table. Either way, this is big news for the Switch because Monster Hunter is a system seller, especially in Japan. Stay tuned this weekend and in the future for more information about Monster Hunter XX.

ARMS Direct Shows Off Fighters, Mechanics, Online, and More

ARMS logo

Earlier today, Nintendo put out an ARMS focused Nintendo Direct that gave us a ton of new information about the upcoming Switch game. Details were given on a number of new characters like Kid Cobra and Twintelle. Details about the mechanics and gameplay were also revealed alongside plenty of new footage. A number of different versus modes including Team Fight, V-Ball, Hoops, and 1-on-100 were also shown off.

Some of the online features of ARMS were also detailed during the direct. Switch owners can either choose to play in Party Matches or Ranked Matches, depending on how competitive they are feeling. Party Matches feature a lobby of up to 20 players that can all battle each other in a number of versus modes. Ranked Matches will be limited to 1-v-1 battles whose outcomes affect the players' ranks.

ARMS Global Testpunch

Following in the footsteps of Splatoon, ARMS will feature a free demo in the form of a Global Testpunch throughout May 26-28 and June 2-4. ARMS will also feature free content updates after the game is released to add value to the experience. ARMS will release exclusively on the Nintendo Switch on June 16. Check out the full press release and Nintendo Direct below.

Following the ARMS section of the direct, a single player mode from Splatoon 2 was also shown off. So far, the campaign is looking similar to the first game. This hero mode features the Squid Sisters and a grand search for Callie (with the help of Marie). Check out the trailer:

Nintendo Unleashes a Barrage of Details for the New ARMS Game for Nintendo Switch

New Trailer for Splatoon 2 Single-Player Mode Also Debuts

REDMOND, Wash., May 17, 2017 – Nintendo premiered a new Nintendo Direct video presentation all about its upcoming ARMS game for the Nintendo Switch console – with a little surprise from everyone’s favorite Inklings in the Splatoon 2 game as part of a bonus trailer at the end. ARMS was created by many of the same team members that developed the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe game for Nintendo Switch, promising the same level of polish and competitive action as the hit racing game. The Nintendo Direct video detailed many new features about ARMS, including key characters, attributes and the game’s numerous multiplayer battle modes, as well as information about a free Global Testpunch demo for the game that starts at the end of May.

“With games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, ARMS and Splatoon 2, the next few months will be a summer of social competitive gaming on Nintendo Switch,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “This Nintendo Direct presentation offered great reasons why ARMS is perfect for players of all ages, whether they are familiar with fighting games or not.”

To view the Nintendo Direct video in its entirety, visit Some of the highlights revealed in the video include:

  • Combat Customization: After selecting a character, players will have the opportunity to equip two ARMS, one on the right and one on the left. These ARMS range from standard fists to things like boomerangs and missiles, offering a wide variety of close- and long-range attacks, as well as offensive and defensive options.
    • Types – Dozens of ARMS can be selected in the game, each with its own special power and handling ability. Different types range from the Toaster, which unleashes a flaming punch, to the Tribolt, which shoots three bolts horizontally. Some ARMS even boost defense, like the Guardian, which can be used as a shield.
    • Attributes – There are seven different ARMS attributes in the game, each with its own specialty: Fire, Electricity, Wind, Ice, Stun, Explosion and Blind. Different ARMS have different attributes, so it’s a good idea to mix and match for a strategic advantage.
    • Weight – When equipping the many different types of ARMS, weight is an important factor in determining performance. Weight affects momentum, so players have to keep this in mind when selecting ARMS. Stronger ARMS are more powerful but slower, while multi-hit ARMS are quick but have lower individual power. Punches can even run into each other while fighting, with the heavier ARMS knocking the lighter ones away.
    • Upgrade ARMS – As players fight through ARMS, they will rack up hard-earned in-game currency for use at the ARMS Getter, where players can use their skills to earn new ARMS and the ability to upgrade previously owned ones.
  • Versus Mode: ARMS is filled to the brim with fun modes that offer a variety of ways to challenge other fighters.
    • Fight – In this main multiplayer* mode, two fighters battle against each other one-on-one to claim victory. During the fight, bombs and other healing items drop in, adding some strategic options to the proceedings.
    • Team Fight – In this mode, two players are attached by strings and must team up to battle another team of two. Attacks can hit allies, so watch out for friendly punches!
    • V-Ball – Similar to volleyball, but much more awesome. V-Ball is a sport that involves knocking an explosive ball into the opponent’s court.
    • Hoops – Grab opponents and shoot them into the net (or even dunk them for extra satisfaction) in this hard-core game of ARMS-style basketball.
    • Skillshot – Break as many targets as possible using the versatile powers of ARMS.
    • 1-on-100 – Defeat 100 enemies in a row, one at a time, in this progressive battle mode.
    • ARMS Test & Training – In Test mode, players can try out randomized ARMS combinations, while Training lets them practice a number of varied drills.
  • Multiplayer* Gaming: Playing with friends either locally or online is easy when using one of the various multiplayer modes in ARMS.
    • Grand Prix – Win 10 straight matches in Grand Prix and players will face a final opponent to be crowned the ARMS champion. (This mode is played locally with one or two players.)
    • Party Match – By connecting the Nintendo Switch console to the internet, players can battle with up to three other ARMS players at a time that are in the same lobby as them. One lobby can hold up to 10 systems, but with up to two players per system, 20 players can potentially get together in the same lobby.
    • Ranked Match – In this time-honored coliseum, players compete online in 1-v-1 battles. By winning a match, a player’s rank goes up, while, conversely, losing will make that rank go down. While waiting to play a Ranked Match online, players can participate in any other mode to pass the time (and tighten up their skills).
    • Local Wireless Mode: When playing in Local Wireless mode, up to eight players with eight separate systems in the same room can gather in an in-game lobby and battle up to three other players at a time like in Party Match.
  • ARMS Update: In the future, Nintendo will release free software updates that add new fighters, stages and ARMS to the game. These free updates will occur after the game launches, so watch for additional details!
  • Global Testpunch: Like Splatoon 2 and Splatoon before it, ARMS is offering free trial periods to try out the game and get a taste of what it’s like before launch. But instead of a Global Testfire, these free demos will naturally be called the Global Testpunch. The first blocks of time will be allocated throughout the weekend of May 26-28, and the second blocks on June 2-4. To participate, simply download the free Global Testpunch demo in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch before the trials begin. Check for updates about specific timing.
  • Characters: Over the course of the Nintendo Direct presentation, the 10 key playable fighters in ARMS were unveiled. Each with his or her own fighting style, the game’s playable characters are full of personality.
    • Spring Man – This passionate fighter’s bouncy hairstyle might look fake, but his passion for fighting is definitely real.
    • Ninjara – Using his nimble movements and ancient ninjutsu, Ninjara can disappear and warp somewhere else even in mid-air or when guarding.
    • Master Mummy – As the only character that can restore health while guarding, Master Mummy is a force to be reckoned with.
    • Min Min – With her ramen noodle arms, Min Min’s spin kick and throws are deliciously powerful.
    • Kid Cobra – A fan of selfie sticks and livestreaming, this hip fighter pounces on opponents with a charged-up dash.
    • Ribbon Girl – Possessing next-level jumping skills, Ribbon Girl violates the laws of physics with her unbeatable power.
    • Helix – Who is Helix? He’s an experiment gone wrong, that’s who. His springy body lets him move in unpredictable ways.
    • Mechanica – This mechanical genius dons a homemade power suit that can hover above the competition.
    • Byte & Barq – Two fighters in one! This robot fighter and his robot canine companion battle together to unleash devastating combo attacks.
    • Twintelle – As an A-list actress, Twintelle uses her celebrity status to render her opponents utterly star struck as she walks the red carpet to victory.
Splatoon 2
  • Splatoon 2 Single-Player Mode: At the end of the Nintendo Direct presentation, a new trailer for Splatoon 2 debuted, showing off the game’s single-player mode. In a shocking twist, Callie – of Squid Sisters fame – has gone missing and her right-tentacle squid Marie tasks the player to search for Callie and the Great Zapfish. Players can use different weapons in single-player mode to overcome obstacles, defeat enemies and take down towering bosses – weapons like the Roller, Slosher, Splatling or the new Dualies. The single-player mode is designed to teach players tips and tricks that they can then use in multiplayer. For more on the Squid Sisters, check out the Squid Sisters Stories here.
ARMS launches exclusively for Nintendo Switch on June 16. For more information about the game, visit Splatoon 2 launches exclusively for Nintendo Switch on July 21. For more information about the game, visit

A.K.A. Mr. Crashy - Mr. Shifty Review

Mr. Shifty Review

Mr. Shifty is a top-down brawler that is largley inspired by 2012's Hotline Miami. Its Switch launch has received quite a bit of media attention, largely due to some overwhelming performance issues. Although these issues are very prevalent and will be detailed in this review, Mr. Shifty shouldn't be written off completely. With publisher tinyBuild promising a performance patch for the Switch version in the near future, it's worth examining this game and it's potential on the Switch.

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New Nintendo 2DS XL releasing July 28

In a very surprising announcement, Nintendo has just announced a new variation of the Nintendo 2DS, the New Nintendo 2DS XL. This new system joining the 3DS system family will be mostly similar to the original 2DS, but will be adding certain elements from the New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL such as larger screens, the c-stick, and amiibo compatibility built-in. Currently, the New Nintendo 2DS XL will only be releasing in black/turquoise, but more color options will probably be coming in the future. The New Nintendo 2DS XL will be releasing for $149.99 on July 28, the same day as Hey! PIKMIN and Miitopia release for 3DS. Will you be picking one up? Be sure to check below for the trailer and press release.

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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: What You Need To Know

Mario Kart 8 Dexlue

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is speeding onto Nintendo Switch this Friday! With all the content in this version of the previous Wii U game, is it still worth buying? We have a full rundown of the new (and old) features and content headed to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, to hopefully convince you of getting this game.

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It's Still Goo-d - World of Goo Review

World of Goo Review

Despite being a huge fan of Little Inferno and thoroughly enjoying Human Resource Machine, I've somehow only just played World of Goo for the first time. The game was originally developed by 2D Boy for Wii and PC back in 2008 and was greeted with praise from critics and players alike. Now that Tomorrow Corporation (2D Boy's sort-of succesor) has published the game for Switch, I'm finally able to see if the game lives up to the hype... 9 years later.

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Nintendo Direct April 12, 2017 Recap

In last week’s Nintendo Direct, a new format was introduced, as well as a fair look at the upcoming games for Nintendo 3DS and Switch. While most of the games featured in the Nintendo Direct were new looks or new features being shown off, we did get a good amount of release dates for some of those games, while others got a “2017”, “Holiday 2017”, “Summer 2017”, or “Fall 2017” release timing.

Some of the games featured included the new Pikmin game for 3DS which is now titled ‘Hey! Pikmin’, Kirby games for 3DS, Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and a whole ton of indie games. While we did get that info, the Direct focused mainly on two upcoming Nintendo Switch titles, ARMS which now has a release date of June 16, and Splatoon 2 which now has a release date of July 21. Be sure to check out the press release and full presentation down below.

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The More the Merrier - The Jackbox Pary Pack 3 Review

Jackbox Party Pack 3 Review

The team over at Jackbox Games must be doing something right, because when I had people over to try out The Jackbox Party Pack 3 on Switch, it seemed like I was the only one who hadn't heard of the game. I'm sure the excellent integration for Twitch streaming that is built is partially to blame for that. Even though all of the games were new to me, it only took a few minutes before I had each of them down and was having blast.

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As Hot as Ever - Little Inferno Review

Little Inferno Review

I quickly fell in love with Little Inferno after first playing the game on Wii U back in 2012. When I head I would have a chance to revisit it on Switch in 2017, I was excited to see how the game had aged. I'll be very blunt and say that Little Inferno seems like it should be the most boring title ever released. But the game somehow manages to take a simple concept (burning things in a virtual fireplace) and turns it into a delightful and engaging expirience.

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Salmon Run and July 21 Release Date Revealed for Splatoon 2

Splatoon 2 Salmon Run

More details on the upcoming Switch sequel Splatoon 2 were revealed in today's Nintendo Direct. You can catch the entirety of the footage below, but it mainly features the new game mode Salmon Run. Salmon Run is a PvE Zombies-like game mode where a team of 4 inklings are tasked with defeating waves of Salmonid creatures. Playing Salmon Run will give players rewards, mostlikely gear and weapons. We also finally got a release date for Splatoon 2: July 21 in North America.

In addition to the new game mode, new amiibo were shown off for Splatoon 2. A new Inkling Girl, Inkling Boy, and Inkling Squid were shown off and will launch alongside the game on July 21. Player can befriend the amiibo in-game to save their favorite sets of gear and weapons. Splatoon 2 will also be compatiable with all previously released Splatoon amiibo.

New Footage of ARMS Reveals a June 16 Release

ARMS 4 Player

During today's Nintendo Direct we got a few new details about the upcoming fighting game ARMS. New fighter Min Min was shown off in detail fighting against Spring Man. Min Min has a dragon arm that can charge a lazer attack and Spring Man gets a special boost when he drops low in health. Most importantly, we also got a release date. ARMS will launch exclusively on Nintendo Switch on June 16, 2017.

Weapons in the game come in various classes. Some of these classes include Glove Type, Curve Type, Multi-Shot Type, Heavy Type, and Wind Type. Each weapon will also have a specal elemental based attribute that include the types Fire, Electric, Ice, Explosion, Stun, Blind, and Wind. Additionally, it was revealed that you'll be able to play in 2 vs. 2 four player battles alongside the standard 1 vs. 1 battles. Stay tuned for more information on ARMS and the Nintendo Switch.

Nintendo Direct Featuring ARMS and Splatoon 2 Coming April 12

Nintendo Direct April 12

The time has come once again for another beloved Nintendo Direct. We weren't sure if we'd get another before E3 2017, but it look likes the usual early April direct has been confirmed. The direct will air on April 12 at 3:00 p.m. PT/6:00 p.m. ET. The direct will features games and announcements for both Nintendo Switch and 3DS, but the focus of this direct will be on the upcoming Switch games ARMS and Splatoon 2. You can watch the full direct on Nintendo's website when it goes live on the twelfth.

I wouldn't be expecting any major new game announcements, especially with E3 right around the corner. Alongside new trailers and gameplay footage, we will likely get release dates and price confirmations (almost definitely $59.99) for both ARMS and Splatoon 2. There likely won't be much else shown, but we might get more details on the upcoming 3DS game Fire Emblem Echoes and possibly some announcements for 3rd party or indie Switch games. Stay tuned for a full recap following the direct on the 12th!

Cave Story Gets a June 20 Release Date on Switch

Cave Story+ Logo

We first found out that Cave Story was coming to the Nintendo Switch when Nicalis tweeted a revealing image in January. Now, we've got official confirmation that Cave Story+ is the version of the game to be released. Like The Binding of Issac Afterbirth+, Cave Story+ will be getting both a digital and physical release on June 20. As such, the game will be a little more pricey than other versions of Cave Story, coming out to an MSRP of $29.99. Cave Story was first released as freeware for PC in 2004 and has since released on a wide number of platforms, so this might not be the first time you've been able to play it. Nevertheless, it's always good to have another platform option and to see developers add more games to the rapidly-growing Switch library.

Cave Story+ Boxart

The Fall Part 2: Unbound is Coming to Nintendo Switch in 2017

The Fall Part 2 Logo

Remember The Fall from Over The Moon Games? You might have played it on Wii U back in 2014. We even gave it a great review score. Well, after three years of development, Over The Moon has announced that next part of the game, The Fall Part 2: Unbound will be coming to the Switch. The game will release sometime in 2017 on Nintendo Switch as well as Xbox One, Playstation 4, PC, Mac, and Linux. You'll notice that Wii U is missing, so if you want to play this game on a Nintendo Console you'll need to invest in a Switch.

The Fall Part 2 Screenshot

When The Fall released in 2014 it was revealed that the full game would be released as a trilogy in three different parts (think seasons of The Walking Dead). The Fall Part 2: Unbound is the next entry in the trilogy and continues the story of the abandoned Artificial Intelligence ARID. The developers describe the gameplay as Metroidvania meets Point-and-Click, which we can confirm based on the first episode. The first part also featured one of the most engaging stories in indie gaming, so The Fall Part 2 will definitely be a game to consider picking up for Switch.

The Fall Part 2 Screenshot

The Fall Part 2 Screenshot

The Fall Part 2 Screenshot

The Fall Part 2 Screenshot

The Fall Part 2 Screenshot

Splatoon 2 Global Testfire Times Announced

The times for the Splatoon 2 Global Testfire have now been announced. Just like the original Global Testfire for Splatoon before it released in 2015, Nintendo has confirmed that Splatoon 2 will receive similar treatment. There are six one-hour time slots that will be available for you to test out the game. Before you can do this, you'll need to download the Splatoon 2 Demo from the Switch eShop.

Here are the times:

  • March 24 | 12 - 1 p.m. PT
  • March 24 | 8 - 9 p.m. PT
  • March 25 | 4 - 5 a.m. PT
  • March 25 | 12 - 1 p.m. PT
  • March 25 | 8 - 9 p.m. PT
  • March 26 | 4 - 5 a.m. PT

You'll be able to participate in one or all of the above events. With the number of users likely to get online at the same time, this will surely put Nintendo's servers to the test and ensure that they are ready for the launch of Splatoon 2. The game is coming to Nintendo Switch this summer: will you be picking it up?

Nintendo Switch is Officially Available in North America

It's now March 3 in North America, which is very significant for Nintendo fans. Nintendo's latest home (and portable) console, the Nintendo Switch is now officially able for purchase. Alongside the system you'll be able to pick up The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, 1-2 Switch, Super Bomberman R, and a few other Switch Games. This is a very exciting time and Nintendo Castle is happy to continue to provide full coverage of the Switch over the launch period and into the future. Expect plenty of news and reviews from our team and most importantly: enjoy your Switch!

Nintendo Switch Nindies Showcase Coming February 28

Many Nintendo fans are eager for the arrival of the Nintendo Switch as well as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and other games at the end of this week. With the Switch releasing this week, Nintendo has decided to have a showcase to show off some of the upcoming Nindie games coming to Nintendo Switch, and hopefully some release dates for those games. We can only hope we can see games like the upcoming Yooka-Laylee shown off in this presentation, since it was previously moved from Wii U to Switch. Keep reading on for more Nindie information before the Switch launch.

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Snipperclips Will be Releasing on March 3 as a Launch Title for Switch

Snipperclips Logo

When Nintendo announced Snipperclips - Cut it out, together! during the Switch presentation, we didn't think it would be at the top of our must-have Switch games list anytime soon. But after the Treehouse team showed the game off a little more (check out the full video below) we quickly fell in love with it. What's better, we just got word that Snipperclips will now be a launch title for the Switch. Starting on March 3, you'll be able to download Snipperclips from the eShop for $19.99. The game is a couch co-op title that features playable shapes that you and up to three partners need to cut up in order to accomplish a variety of simple goals. You can check out a gameplay video that shows off this concept in much more detail below.

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Fast RMX and Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove are Now Launching with the Switch

Fast RMX Screenshot

Although we now know that there won't be a virtual console ready for the Switch's launch on March 3, we do have confirmation that two indie titles will be ready for release alongside the Switch. These two titles are Fast RMX from Shin'en and Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove from Yacht Club Games. As soon as you get your hands on the Switch (if you're not too busy playing Zelda), you'll be able to download these two games from the eShop. The status of a physical release is not yet known for either title. Fast RMX will be priced at $19.99 and Treasure Trove will run you $24.99.

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Splatoon 2 Brings Backs the Global Testfire Event

With the Nintendo Switch releasing worldwide in less than 3 weeks (18 days for those counting), more and more information gets out as we get closer to the big day that is March 3. Even games not releasing at launch like Splatoon 2 is getting more info! As announced by Nintendo yesterday, Splatoon 2 will be bringing back the Global Testfire, a downloadable demo that can be played at certain times to test out Splatoon 2. The original Global Testfire for Splatoon was held the weekend of May 8-9, 2015, as well as May 23, 2015, just a few weeks before the release on May 29, 2015.

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Nintendo Will Run a Switch Ad at the Super Bowl

Switch logo

Nintendo seems to be quite serious about marketing for their new Switch console. Today Nintendo released a 30 second advertisement (and an extended version) featuring the Switch and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild that will run during this weekend's Super Bowl LI. The Super Bowl is the most watched event on American television, often breaking 100 million live viewers, and a 30 second ad costs $5,000,000 to air. This investment shows Nintendo's commitment to rectifying the poor marketing mistakes made with the Wii U and will hopefully be well received by the Super Bowl's massive audience.

Here's the 30 second ad featuring Breath of the Wild:

Here's an extended version that won't run during the Super Bowl:

More Info Announced for Upcoming 3DS Games

With the Nintendo Switch releasing in almost one month and the Wii U receiving its last big first-party title being The Legend of Zelda, Breath of the Wild, it’s only appropriate that the 3DS gets some love too. In a recent press release, Nintendo of America announced new information previously announced titles such as Mario Sports Superstars and Tank Troopers, as well as even more.

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Tomorrow Corporation is Releasing 3 Games on Switch at Launch

Tomorrow Corp Switch

Earlier this week we got word that Nicalis will be bringing three of their games to the Switch, including The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth + at launch. Once of my favorite indie developers, Tomorrow Corporation, are following suit and also bringing a trio of their games to the Switch. World of Goo, Little Inferno, and Human Resource Machine are all confirmed digitally for the Switch eShop. What's more? You'll be able to play all three of these games on March 3, the day that the Switch launches worldwide. All three of these games are worth your time (Little Inferno is one of my favorite indie games ever) and they'll even include a Switch exclusive soundtrack mode with each game. The Switch launch lineup is getting more robust each day, so make sure to stay tuned for more news on the Switch launch and indie games.

Why I'm not making the 'Switch'

Nintendo Switch

I wish to preface this article by saying there’s nothing I find wrong with the Switch. It looks like a fantastic console, and I can’t wait to get my hands on one. If you want to get a Switch at launch, by all means do so. This article is just my personal reasons on why I won’t be buying one at launch.

It has been said countless times before, software sells hardware. You need to have the games in order to sell the consoles. The launch lineup for the Switch is just void of any serious exclusives. The only launch game actually worth getting is Breath of the Wild, however this isn’t a console exclusive. The Switch has been confirmed to offer a slightly better experience in Breath of the Wild in the form of better background sounds, and it renders at 900p instead of the Wii U’s version being at 720p. For the most part, however, both versions are identical.

The remaining launch titles are:

Just Dance 2017 (Not an exclusive, already released on other consoles October 2016)

Skylanders: Imaginators (Again, not an exclusive and also launched in October 2016)

The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ (Also not an exclusive and released on Steam in January 2017)

Super Bomberman R, which is an exclusive, and I do have to admit it does interest me, as I do like Bomberman, but it’s not enough to get me to buy a console.

Then, we have 1-2 Switch, which can be equated to Wii Sports or Nintendo Plaza. It’s just a game that demonstrates what the hardware is capable of, but leaves no lasting gaming experience. It’s essentially a party/gimmick game.

Nintendo Switch

None of these games make me want to run to my local store and purchase another gaming console, when I still have games I haven’t played on other consoles. Now, on the plus side, there are a lot of great games that Nintendo has shown will release on the Switch. By the looks of things, we’ll get one great game per month. Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2, Fire Emblem Warriors, and Super Mario Odyssey are all games that will release this year.

This will make for a great lineup just a years’ time, but just like with the Wii U, the game that people will be playing most after launch is The Waiting Game. Personally, I would rather have seen Nintendo wait until November to release the Switch, so that all of these games could be launch titles, which would be the best launch lineup in history. Sadly there’s not much on offer at launch.

Nintendo Switch

Another reason for my decision to wait on the Switch, is the overall user-interface and operating system. At launch, a lot of times the console isn’t the best it can be. This was shown through updates to the Wii U that brought about the quick-launch menu to bypass the home screen and go right into playing a game. It even took the 3DS a few months after launch before it received an update for the eShop. Now, the Switch will have an eShop at launch, but there are still unknowns with the overall operating system.

We do know that Nintendo is not going to carry Miiverse over to the Switch, but many people are wondering what it will be replaced with, if it is going to be replaced at all. New information is coming out each day, and I’m sure by the time the console is launched, we will have the missing pieces, however, I still think it will be an easy decision to wait for the optimization updates. To be honest, the early user-interface doesn’t really bug me much at all, as I sometimes like to see how a console grows and develops through its life-cycle, but I also like an already optimized experience as well.

Finally, I’m just not looking to buy a new console at this exact moment in time. Before the 3DS came out, I was already looking to buy a new DS. I had heard the rumors of a new glasses-free 3D DS, so I decided to wait for a year to see if they were true, and I’m glad I waited. The 3DS did have the same software trickle issue, but by the end of 2011 there were some fantastic games for the 3DS, just like there will be for the Switch.

The main point is, I’m personally not ready for a new console. My Wii U has hardly seen any use since its release, and I really regret not using it more. Another part of the issue for me, is that I just don’t have the time to dedicate to serious gaming as I had a few years ago. It would not make sense, therefore, for me to purchase another console at this moment in time.

Nintendo Switch

Now before I wrap things up, allow me to get serious here. If the fact that not every game will be 1080p 60fps turns you away from the Switch, do us all a favor and go build a PC. Gaming is not all about framerate and resolution, it’s about the overall experience, and I know the visuals can heavily add to that, but at one time, all of us were able to get lost in Nintendo 64 and PlayStation 1 games. I don’t buy a console for the hardware specs, I buy it for the gaming experience that I can only enjoy on that console.

At the time of launch, the Switch isn’t able to offer a solid gaming experience. I may get envious of other people with a Nintendo Switch, but hopefully by holding out, I’ll end up happier. There’s also the chance I could be horribly wrong and wish I had purchased the Switch at launch, in which case I would be completely ok with that. I want the Switch to be as successful as possible, however from a personal standpoint, I see no reason to buy it at launch.

Fire Emblem Heroes is Coming to iOS and Android February 2nd

Fire Emblem Heroes Logo

Alongside a brand new 3DS entry, an upcoming Switch release, and Fire Emblem Warriors for Switch and New 3DS, a new mobile Fire Emblem game is also on the radar. On February 2, 2017 iOS and Android users will be able to download Fire Emblem Heroes for free. This new smartphone expirience is Nintendo's 3rd (or 4th, if you count Miitomo) plunge into the mobile market with a major franchise, following Pokémon GO and Super Mario Run (which is coming to Android in March).

Gameplay of Fire Emblem Heroes focuses on the summoner (that's you) building an army of units and engaging againt enemies in battle. As with most strategy RPGs, expirience is gained after each battle that will make your heroes and army stronger.

Unlike Super Mario Run's strategy of a fixed price point, Heroes will monetize through micro-transactions. For a currently unknown price (or through in game grinding) you'll be able to purchase orbs that allow you to gather more in-game characters known as heroes. The heroes are Fire Emblem characters that come from a wide range of games in the series.

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia Hits 3DS on May 19

Fire Emblem Echoes Logo

During last night's Fire Emblem Nintendo Direct, a number of new Fire Emblem titles were announced. One of them was Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia which is coming sooner than you might expect. The game will launch on 3DS on May 19, 2017. The game is inspired by the Japenese exclusive Fire Emblem Gaiden, which was the second game in the series that was released in 1992 for the Famicom.

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Nicalis is Bringing 1001 Spikes and Cave Story to Nintendo Switch

Nicalis Games Switch

Update: Nicalis deleted their tweet. It's very likely that they weren't supposed to show off the UI of the Switch under a Non-Disclosure Agreement with Nintendo and that the games are still coming.

Nicalis, who are bringing The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth + to Switch at launch, teased us a few minutes ago on Twitter with a picture of 1001 Spikes and Cave Story on the Switch UI. Although they haven't technically officially confirmed the games, they might as well have, they are pretty much guaranteed to be coming at this point. No details about release dates have been given, but it's safe to assume they will release close to launch, as these games have been finished for years. The tweet included the above screenshot, showing off a few new features of the Switch UI. It looks like , and the text "Isaac was lonely so we brought a few friends to keep him company. #NintendoSwitch".

Fire Emblem Warriors is Coming to Switch and New 3DS Fall 2017

Fire Emblem Warriors Logo

During the Nintendo Switch presentation, it was announced that a Dynasty Warriors and Fire Emblem crossover titled Fire Emblem Warriors would be coming to the Nintendo Switch later this year. A new trailer was shown in the Fire Emblem direct yesterday, alongside the information that the game is coming to both the Nintendo Switch and New 3DS. The game is expected to release during Fall of 2017. I thoroughly enjoyed Hyrule Warriors on Wii U, so I look forward to seeing what Fire Emblem Warriors has to offer. You can check out the brief trailer below. If you're interested in the other Fire Emblem news, check out a full recap of the direct.

Fire Emblem Nintendo Direct Recap

Announced earlier last week, Nintendo’s Fire Emblem Direct revealed a lot of exciting Fire Emblem information. Some of the expected things shown off include the upcoming Fire Emblem Heroes smartphone game and Fire Emblem Warriors for the Switch. Surprises include new Fire Emblem amiibo, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia for 3DS, Fire Emblem Warriors also coming to New 3DS, and the announcement of a mainline Fire Emblem game coming to the Switch next year. Be sure to watch the Direct below, and check out the full press release as well.

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Nintendo Switch Presentation Recap and Summary

Switch Presentation

Thursday night's Nintendo Switch presentation shed some light on Nintendo's upcoming console and introduced a number of new games to look forward to throughout 2017. We found out that the Switch will launch March 3 and cost $299.99. The two options for console bundles will include the tablet console and a dock, two Joy-Con controllers (with color options), and everything else you need to get it running, but no pack-in game. We got a look at the launch line-up that includes the Wii Sports-esque 1-2-Switch and the stunning Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Keep reading for more details on software, a press release, and to watch the presentation in full.

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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is Coming to Nintendo Switch on April 28

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Logo

The Mario Kart footage that was shown during the Switch reveal a few months back raised more questions than it answered: was this a Mario Kart 8 port? Did the ability to hold two items mean that it was a sequel to Double Dash? Would there finally be a proper battle mode? In a trailer released after the Nintendo Switch presentation, we finally found out that the footage we saw was Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which will be coming to the Switch on April 28, 2017. The game is not a sequel, but rather a port of Mario Kart 8 that includes all DLC and is enhanced with a number of new features. This will surely be the definitive version of the game, but whether it will be worth the likely $59.99 upgrade remains to be seen. You can catch more details alongside a trailer and screenshots after the break.

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Splatoon 2 Announced for Nintendo Switch: Coming Summer 2017

Splatoon 2 Logo

We first saw some footage of Splatoon running on Nintendo Switch during it's reveal at the end of 2016, but Nintendo has finally shed a little more light on what we saw. Although many thought the game would simply be a port of the Wii U version of Splatoon, it was revealed during the Nintendo Switch presentation that Splatoon 2 will be launching as a sequel on the Switch. No hard release date has been given, but the game will release sometime during the summer of this year. The game features a whole new set of maps, weapons, and inklings alongside other new features. Keep reading for more details, a trailer, and plenty of screenshots.

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Super Mario Odyssey is a Sandbox Mario Adventure Coming Holiday 2017

Super Mario Odyssey Logo

The latest Mario game that we got a sneek peek at during the Switch reveal last year has finally been shown off in full. Super Mario Odyssey is a sandbox Mario game to the tune of Super Mario 64 or Super Mario Sunshine. This is very exciting news; Sunshine came out on Gamecube 15 years ago and we haven't seen a game quite like it since. Many were hoping that we would see this game on March 3 alongside the launch of the Nintendo Switch, but it looks like we'll have to wait quite a bit longer. The game will release during the Holiday 2017 season (traditionally this means the third week of November). The game will almost definitely have a MSRP of $59.99, but nothing official has been revealed. Check out the trailer, more details, and a ton of screenshots below!

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Nintendo Switch will Release March 3 for $299.99

Switch Box

During the Nintendo Switch Presentation on January 12, we were finally given a release date and MSRP for Nintendo's upcoming console, the Nintendo Switch. The console will launch worldwide on March 3, 2017 for a suggested retail price of $299.99. The MSRP is up to retailers in Europe and will run 29,980 yen in the Japanese market. This price is in the ball park of what we were expecting, although many were hoping for a $249.99 price point to better compete with Sony and Microsoft.

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Nintendo Switch Presentation Coming This Week

It's almost time. Originally announced in October, the Nintendo Switch Presentation 2017 is coming this Thursday, January 12 (may differ depending on where you live). The highly anticipated presentation will offer a look at some of the games currently in development for the Switch, as well as an announcement of launch date and price for it. The presentation will be broadcast on Nintendo's Twitch Channel, as well as on their YouTube Channel, and will take place at 11PM EST (8PM PST) from the Tokyo Big Sight in Japan. Continue reading for more information regarding Switch happenings and events.

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Full Steam Ahead - SteamWorld Heist Review

SteamWorld Heist Logo

SteamWorld Heist made it's debut on 3DS in 2015 as Image & Form's second entry in the SteamWorld franchise. Since then, and HD version of the game has released on Wii U and many other platforms. Unlike SteamWorld Dig (an excellent game in its own right), SteamWorld Heist is a turn-based strategy action adventure. Along with a new genre and gameplay, Heist features a whole new cast and despite existing in the same universe as it's predecessor, is a whole new experience.

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Worth More Than Half - Shantae: Half-Genie Hero Review

Shantae: Half-Genie Hero

Once again, the crew at WayForward have come forward with another title in the Shantae series, which has been gained a lot of traction lately. Originally pitched to the public via Kickstarter in September 2013 and successfully hitting its goal, it took its time in the oven. Finally having hit the world little over three years later, has the wait been worth it?

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Super Mario Run Gets a Release Date

Super Mario Run

Nintendo’s biggest mascot is finally going mobile. Last month, Nintendo finally announced the release date of Super Mario Run for iOS to be December 15, 2016, after it was first revealed back in September with a release date of Holiday 2016. In the game, Mario continuously runs, and you must control when Mario jumps, including how he jumps, and the height of his jump. This is a change in the Mario series, as you usually entirely control him. There are also two other modes including Kingdom Builder to build you own Mushroom Kingdom, and Toad Rally, which is sort of like ghost mode in Mario Kart.

You can download the game for free when it releases, but you can only play a few of the levels. In order to play the full game, you must make a one-time purchase of $9.99 as an in-app purchase. While the iOS version is releasing this month, an Android version is apparently in the works, coming next year. Will you be getting Super Mario Run? You can check out the website here, and the introduction video down below.

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Nintendo Announces Nintendo Switch Presentation 2017

Looks like Nintendo doesn’t want to keep us waiting! In a surprise announcement to financial analysts today, Nintendo officially announced the Nintendo Switch Presentation 2017, a livestreamed event to reveal major information about the upcoming Nintendo Switch platform. Just revealed on October 20, the Nintendo Switch is Nintendo’s next home gaming console, to be a hybrid so you can play on your ‘home console’ on the go. The 2017 Presentation will reveal key info, such as a release date, pricing, and games currently in development for the hardware. While this presentation is still a few months away on January 12, it is nice to know when we will be learning many new things about the Switch again. Check below the article for the full announcement by Nintendo.

Nintendo reveals plans for Nintendo Switch presentation

In a presentation to financial analysts today in Tokyo, Nintendo Co., Ltd. president Tatsumi Kimishima announced that major details regarding the company’s new Nintendo Switch home gaming system will be shared at the Nintendo Switch Presentation 2017. This will be an event for invited media, financial analysts and trade partners in Tokyo that will be globally livestreamed on Jan. 12, U.S. time. The presentation will include the launch date and pricing for Nintendo Switch, as well as a look at the lineup of games currently in development.

Kimishima also announced that Nintendo Switch sampling events for invited media, partners, and consumers will take place in the U.S. and Europe after the presentation at later dates. There will be opportunities for the public to participate in other hands-on events around the same time, details of which will be announced later.

The exact time of the Nintendo Switch Presentation 2017 will be announced through Nintendo’s social media channels in the coming weeks. Last week, Nintendo Switch was first revealed in a video, available at

For more information about the company’s financial results in fiscal first half, please visit

A First Look at the Nintendo NX: Nintendo Switch Officially Revealed

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo just revealed the Nintendo NX, which can be seen above. The official name is the Nintendo Switch. As you can see - this confirms the hybrid style system. You can play it at home or on the go. The console seemingly un-docks from a base and can be taken anywhere. The console appears similar to the Wii U GamePad when not docked. For more information, check out the press release below and be sure to watch the embedded reveal video...

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The NX Is Finally Getting Revealed

After many years of waiting, Nintendo will officially be unveiling their next gaming platform, currently known under the codename of "NX", tomorrow. The announcement comes after several months of leaks and rumors, as well rumors that this would be the week of the reveal, which we now know is true. Keep reading on for what you should know about NX before tomorrow.

Several years have passed since Iwata first announced the beginning of a new project back on January 31, 2013 during Nintendo's Third Quarter Financial Results Briefing. Iwata first mentioned this project under the codename "NX" on March 17, 2015 during the Nintendo and DeNA Business and Capital Alliance announcement. Since then, many different rumors, leaks, and speculation have come about, with many of the "leaked NX prototypes" turning out to be fake.

But tomorrow, we will finally know what the NX is. Rumored to be in tomorrow's 3 minute announcement will be the final name of the NX, what the NX looks like, what it does, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on NX. Whether or not this is true, we will have to wait and see.

Be sure to catch the preview trailer for, "Nintendo's next home gaming system" (as said on Nintendo's website) tomorrow at 7AM PT (10 AM EST), and watch as a new chapter in Nintendo's history unfolds.

Run Time Error - Human Resource Machine Review

Human Resource Machine Logo

Remember Little Inferno from the Wii U's launch back in 2012? It was the first indie I played on Wii U and it remains to be one of my favorites. Despite being entirely unorthodox, it had everything I never knew I wanted from a game. The developers (who also had their hands in the excellent World of Goo), Tommorow Corporation, has finally put out another game: Human Resource Machine. Did it live up to hype after their history of stellar games? Probably not. But we thought it was pretty fun anyway.

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Does it Make the Cut? - Severed Review

Severed Logo

Drinkbox Studios have opted to take a different direction for their latest game. Traditionally preferring to make 2D sidescrolling platformers such as Guacamelee, Severed is first person dungeon crawler with almost entirely touch based controls. This may like an eyebrow raiser, but Drinkbox have managed to make a very noteworthy example for how touch controls should be handled.

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A Quirky RPG Masterpiece - Earthbound Review

Earthbound Logo

Earthbound hit shelves in North America for the first time during the Summer of 1995. Although the game was some what of a commercial failure in the United States (probably due to botched advertising attempts), the adventure is now a cult classic and is commonly regarded as one of the greatest RPGs of all time. The game is now available via virtual console on 3DS and Wii U, and it's fine time we review it.

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Evolution or Paradox? - Noitu Love: Devolution Review

Noitu Love Devolution Logo

Time for a little history lesson. In 2006, Joakim Sandberg made a little PC game called Noitu Love (those with keen eyes have no doubt noticed what it spells backwards). It was a short little platformer, but ultimately didn’t break any molds. Instead of giving up on the idea, Joakim instead made a drastically different sequel in 2008 titled Noitu Love 2: Devolution, also for PC. There was an attempt to bring the sequel to the Wii in 2010 with Golgoth Studios, but that never came to pass. Fast forward to today and MP2 Games has brought it to both 3DS and Wii U as just Noitu Love: Devolution with exceptional results.

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Shovel Knight's Next Free Expansion Pack is Coming in 2017

Shovel Knight Specter of Torment

It's been quite a while since we've seen any Shovel Knight news, given that the game was released over two years ago. However, developer Yacht Club Games has decided that now is the time to reveal the second of three promised Shovel Knight expansions: Specter of Torment. Following last year's Plague of Shadows release, Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment will feature an entirely new campaign with a new playable character: Specter Knight. The expansion will be free on all platforms and is set to launch during the Spring of 2017.

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Wonderfully Confusing - Axiom Verge Review

Axiom Verge Screenshot

In 2010, Thomas Happ began work on a passion project in his spare time inspired by cult favourites like Metroid and Bionic Commando. Initially intended to release in 2013 for Xbox 360 and PC, it eventually launched in 2015 on Playstation 4 and PC. After around a year of negotiation and finding assistance from Blit Works, it makes its way to Wii U this year to the excitement of many Metroid fans. But does it hold up to expectations?

Platforms: PS4, PC, Vita, Wii U [Reviewed], Xbox One
Developer: Thomas Happ Games
Release: September 1, 2016
MSRP: $17.99
Press Copy provided by Thomas Happ Games

Straight off the bat, moments after starting the game, the Metroid influence is very clear. The visuals feel like an evolved NES Metroid style, the music is alien and oppressive, you even go left to pick up your first power-up. The early game is fairly straightforward and eases you into the game’s mechanics, introducing new elements that distance it slightly from the Metroid formula. Things are very promising as you keep pushing forward. Eventually though, things might start to get a little abstract.

After a few areas your objective becomes unclear, you are likely to find yourself lost trying to find where to go next. The map layout certainly doesn’t help you work out where to go and there aren’t many clear destinations. You really are on your own in trying to find your way around, with plenty of cryptic secrets dotted around the map. Backtracking becomes a chore too, as you will be all over the place even with the intended progression. Despite that, you are free to tackle things in any order you’re capable of doing with your current arsenal.

Axiom Verge Screenshot

Once you do find your way around though it’s a wonder to explore, as new abilities open up more areas of the world with lots of variety. However, there is an overabundance of weapons for your gun in the game, many of which don’t hold much purpose. Some weapons are most useful against specific enemies, but don’t be too surprised if you start picking favourites to stick to.

The story isn’t too much to write home about, being deliberately laced with mystery with more questions than answers. Various notes dotted throughout the game shed light on the situation, with backstory and lore to flesh out the world. Some secrets feel a little too secretive, often making you wonder how you’re supposed to work it out, but a lot of it does eventually come together. Some secrets require secret codes which are hidden in some of the notes, which are perhaps the most cryptic element of the game. There are also a variety of secret worlds which the locations to are randomly generated with each playthrough, which further adds to the confusion.

For Wii U specific features you can have the map always present on the Gamepad screen, select weapons on the fly and even tinker with a few visual settings. It isn’t much and doesn’t necessarily make it a definitive version, but they’re welcome nonetheless.

Axiom Verge Screenshot

Axiom Verge does a lot of very clever things but ultimately falls short of being a masterpiece through its lack of clear cut direction and too much padding. It’s a shame considering that when it’s good it really does excel. It sorely needs a redesigned map to better guide the player through in a logical manner.


  • Tight controls
  • Very atmospheric
  • A solid challenge


  • Confusing design
  • Overemphasis on backtracking
  • Excessive weapon selection




Great games are generally good buying decisions and are recommended for those with an interest in the genre. There might be a few flaws that detract from the gameplay, stories, controls, presentations, or value, but the game is still an enjoyable experience that justifies a full playthrough.

Want to know what this score means? Check out our Scoring Guidelines page.

September 1 Nintendo Direct Recap

Nintendo Direct

A few hours ago, Nintendo aired its first Nintendo Direct in quite some time. This direct was 3DS-focused and provided information on a number of upcoming 3DS games as well as introduced a few new games into the mix. Among the highlights of the Nintendo Direct were the revelations of the Super Mario Maker and Pikmin games coming to 3DS. Other news includes a new trailer for Pokemon Sun and Moon, details on Yokai Watch and Dragon Quest VII, Mario Sports Superstars and Mario Party Star Rush, a new free update to Animal Crossing: New Leaf that adds amiibo functionality, further information on the Nintendo Selects range of products, and a variety of 3rd party, Indie, and amiibo news. You can watch the presentation in full and read the official press release below.

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A New Pikmin Game is Coming to 3DS in 2017

Pikmin 3

A new Pikmin game for 3DS was announced earlier today during the Nintendo Direct. The game differs from the 3 console Pikmin releases thus far in genre, this new game being a side-scrolling adventure game. It's been described as a fast-paced puzzle side-scroller with traditional Pikmin elements. The different colored Pikmin will still have unique abilities and immunities. However, it appears that Olimar will be in control of far less Pikmin at once and most of the real time strategy aspects of the game are gone.

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Super Mario Maker is Being Ported to the 3DS

Super Mario Maker Logo

During today's 3DS-focused Nintendo Direct presentation, a port of the Wii U game Super Mario Maker was revealed for the 3DS. Super Mario Maker 3DS will feature all the course creation tools available in the Wii U version, bar the mystery mushroom costumes. You'll unfortunately not be able to share the courses you create online (although a select number of online Wii U courses will be playable), as Nintendo has elected to focus this version of the game on local and more intimate course sharing. This means that courses can be shared from 3DS to 3DS and through Streetpass. The game will release on Decemeber 2, in time for the holiday season.

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A Special 3DS Exclusive Nintendo Direct is Scheduled for September 1

Nintendo Direct September 1

The Nintendo NX will not be revealed during this event! Nintendo wanted to make sure that that was very clear. Rather, a Nintendo Direct has been scheduled for September 1 that will focus on 3DS titles leading into the holiday season and final quarter of the year. Expect (but don't quote me on this) details on many upcoming RPGs like Yokai Watch, Dragon Quest VII, and, of course, Pokemon Sun and Moon. The 3DS Direct begins at 7 a.m. PT (10 a.m. ET). This will be the first direct in some time, so make sure to tune in on Thursday or check back on our homepage for the details from the direct.

Gaming Reinvented is Hosting a Writing Contest That Could Land you Free Games

Gaming Reinvented

How would you like to win $200 worth of games of your choice? Our friends over at Gaming Reinvented are hosting a writing contest that might just land you that prize. All you need to do is write an original gaming related piece of content. This can be anything from articles, news stories, guides, walkthroughs, or other creative works. After joining the forums and submitting your piece, owner CM30 will judge your piece based on quality of content and the presentation of your writing. Make sure to check out the FAQ if you've got any other questions and you can see the full directions for submitting below.

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Metroid Prime: Federation Force: What You Need To Know

Today, Metroid Prime: Federation Force released for Nintendo 3DS. The game was revealed with the 'Blast Ball' gamemode during the Nintendo World Championships 2015, and officially announced during the Nintendo E3 2015 Digital Event on June 16, 2015. Still not sure if you'll want to buy it? Look no further! Keep reading on for a full guide on what is in store for the game.

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Metroidvania Indie Axiom Verge is Finally Coming to a Nintendo Platform

Axiom Verge

Ah, Axiom Verge. The Metroidvania indie that received critical acclaim after it's release on Playstation 4 and PC early last year. The game features Trace, your average-joe scientist who gets thrown into a world of side-scrolling space exploration. The eerie, lonely, 2D worlds packed with over 60 power-ups and dozens of monsters screams "Metroid". After the release of AM2R earlier this month, fans are hungrier than ever for a classic Metroid expirience. According to staff member Jonathan whose tried the PC vesrion, Axiom Verge will curb their hunger. What's more? It's now headed to Wii U.

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Fan-made AM2R Unofficially Celebrates Metroid's 30th Anniversary

Another Metroid 2 Remake Logo

It seems that another Metroid anniversary has come and gone with no official recognition from Nintendo. Despite this, Metroid fans march on and the lovely team behind the Metroid II meets Zero Mission fan-game Another Metroid 2 Remake have officially released the game. 8+ years in the making, "AM2R" is a complete remix of Metroid II: Return of Samus and features new Zero Mission-inspired graphics, a beautifully remixed soundtrack, tight controls and mechanics, and new areas to explore. The game is available as a free windows download and seems to run flawlessy.

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The Legend of Kusakari Lanuches on 3DS on August 25

The Legend of Kusakari Logo

Australian publisher Nnooo recently announced a release date for The Legend of Kusakari. The game has been out for a while in Japan, but is now getting an international release on August 25 in North America, Europe, and Oceania. The Legend of Kusakari is a Zelda-inspired game (just look at the logo) that tells the tale of a young boy named Shiba Kari whose sole purpose in life is to cut grass and clear fields. As Shiba, you'll advance through 50 levels by cutting grass, solving puzzles, and staying out of the way of the ongoing conflict. The game will be launching exclusively on the 3DS eShop. Check out the trailer and other assests for hte game below and check back for our review and more information for The Legend of Kusakari near the end of the month.

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An Official "Mini-NES" Will Hit Shelves this Holiday Season

NES Classic Edition

Nintendo revealed via a press release earlier today that they'll be launching a new piece of hardware in time for this holiday season. The NES Classic Edition is a miniature version of Nintendo's iconic first system, the Nintendo Entertainment System. The system comes with a NES classic controller and 30 pre-installed games. The console will set you back $59.99 and additional controllers will be sold for $9.99. It should be noted that physical NES cartidges will not fit in the mini-system and that no additional games will be released any time in the future.

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Final Splatfest Announced for July 22

It has come to that time, the arrival of the final Splatfest in Splatoon. This past week, Nintendo tweeted out the theme for next Splatfest, also announcing that it will be the final one. This theme comes after the end of last Splatfest, when Marie’s team, the Night Owls, won against the Early Birds. This led to some interesting dialogue between the two sisters, stating that the next Splatfest, they would be playing for keeps. Now fans will have to come to one of the hardest decisions, Callie or Marie.

Fans have also been receiving an email where they can vote for their favorite stage to be selected as the final stage for Splatfest. Players can begin selecting their team for the final Splatfest on July 4 at 7PM PT (10PM EST) and voting for the maps will end July 12. After that, the final Splatfest will begin on July 22 at 2AM PT (5AM EST) and will conclude on July 24 at 2AM PT (5AM EST). Who’s side will you be on?

Splatfest In Progress For June 25: Night or Morning?

It's that time again, time for another Splatfest! Splatoon is bringing a new Splatfest today, the fifteenth for North America, asking when you're awake. This Splatfest will be pitting players between the two teams, the Early Birds and Night Owls. The Splatfest began June 24 at 9PM PT (June 25 at midnight EST) and will continue until June 25 at 9PM PT (June 26 at midnight EST). Be sure to go vote on which team you'd like to be on, and play some matches! Will you be a Night Owl or an Early Bird?

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - First Impressions

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

Disclaimer: The author has pledged towards the Kickstarter campaign for this game at a value of $60.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a spiritual successor to Koji Igarashi’s Castlevania titles, which initially broke the mold on the classic series and expanding the genre now dubbed “Metroidvania”. Unfortunately, due to Konami’s ever growing disdain towards the video game industry, no game has been released since early 2014, and Igarashi’s last title was in 2010. Due to high fan demand and a great desire from Igarashi, an exceptionally successful Kickstarter campaign was launched in May 2015. The campaign broke expectations by over ten times effectively doubling its budget after publisher funding is taken into account.

Fastforward to today and the game has progressed tremendously after just one year of development. Bloodstained was briefly shown during the Microsoft E3 press conference and a playable demo was at the Microsoft booth for anyone to play. Backers for the $60 tier and higher got access to the same demo for Windows only. While it won’t necessarily be indicative of the Wii U version readers may be getting, or even the final product as a whole, it still shows how the game is progressing.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

The first thing you may want to know is how it feels to play. As a personal major fan of Igarashi’s Castlevania titles, this was on the forefront of my mind. Instinctively, the first thing I did once I opened the first chest and received a sword was to try seeing just how quickly I could attack. Suffice to say, my muscle memory from prior Metroidvanias was satisfied, as I could cancel out attack animations by landing from a jump and immediately jumping again to repeat the process. It was quick and responsive. Jump physics feel right at home too, our protagonist, Miriam, glides through the air with the same grace that Alucard did back in 1998. The animations are fluid as well, no doubt benefiting from the 3D models now instead of having individual sprites being drawn for each frame.

The game’s “gimmick” is the collection of shards from specific enemies which will be dropped occasionally. These shards, once collected and equipped, perform various effects from direct magical attacks to passive boosts in stats. It’s comparative to the two Castlevania “Sorrow” titles, Aria and Dawn, with this system very closely resembling the soul pickups from those two games. The map is also hiding several secrets, unlocking new little areas for new items. In fact, in order to progress you actually have to use a newly picked up ability to solve a small contextual puzzle, it’s all rather clever.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

The game is also impressively good to look at. The ship is very dark and decrepit and the brighter colours from Miriam, attack effects and other elements stand out from the background very clearly. It’s hard to actually miss visual details unless they were intended to be hidden. One minor nitpick is that the item pickup and enemy name icons are rather small, it’s easy to miss them entirely unless you know they’re there.

On a performance level, it’s a little rough on the edges. There are some acknowledged bugs with this particular demo which the devs are working on, such as resolution quirks on certain machines and sound cutting out. One particular bug I bumped into, which may largely be down to my PC not quite meeting the recommended specifications, was the game suddenly freezing when the ocean was present, but it would always resume again after a few seconds. All things being said, it performed quite admirably. The frame rate was stable and I couldn’t detect any dropped inputs. Given that there is still one more year until the target release window, there is still plenty of time to nail the bugs down.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

LEGO Dimensions Adds More Expansion Packs To The Roster

Earlier this month, LEGO Dimensions, the game which has brought many different franchises to the world of LEGO, announced new expansions packs that will be arriving later this year. Previous expansion packs have already brought the worlds of The Simpsons, Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, Portal, The Wizard of Oz, and many more franchises to the LEGO universe. This September, 16 new expansions packs will be headed to stores for the game, including Teen Titans Go!, Knight Rider, Gremlins, Harry Potter, and Adventure Time. Players have been able to mix favorite characters into different universes for a fun experience, with these 16 being added. These new expansions packs will release September 27, 2016, will you be picking any up? Keep reading for the full press release, as well as a trailer for the upcoming packs.

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games and The LEGO® Group today announced the expansion of LEGO® DIMENSIONS, the LEGO toy and videogame hybrid, with more blockbuster franchises and even bigger gameplay possibilities. New expansion packs broaden the complete selection to 30 of the world’s most popular entertainment brands allowing players to customize their experience by mixing and matching favorite characters and universes with full compatibility. Game features adding to the fun are all-new, four-player competitive Battle Arenas, a first for LEGO videogames, as well as Story Packs, which provide deep, story-driven gameplay around the biggest theatrical releases and include a fresh LEGO brick building experience.

LEGO Dimensions packs based on 16 new entertainment properties will begin launching on September 27, 2016 with the GhostbustersStory Pack, Adventure Time and Mission: Impossible Level Packs,Harry Potter and Adventure Time Team Packs, and The A-Team Fun Pack. Additional expansion packs based on other highly anticipated films Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and The LEGO®Batman Movie and wildly popular properties The Goonies, Sonic The Hedgehog, Teen Titans Go!, LEGO® City Undercover, Knight Rider, The Powerpuff Girls, Gremlins, Beetlejuice and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial will be released in product waves stretching into summer of next year. All expansion packs provide players with continued compatibility to use everything from waves 1-9 interchangeably, anywhere throughout the game. And no new starter pack is required, as all new packs will simply enhance the LEGO Dimensions Starter Pack game and work with the existing LEGO Toy Pad.

“We’ve built upon the existing LEGO DIMENSIONS Starter Pack to expand the gameplay possibilities with entirely new LEGO experiences that can’t be found anywhere else,” said Tom Stone, Managing Director, TT Games. “We can now provide players with even more customization and mash-up opportunities, and all are compatible with the existing game and packs. Battle Arenas also introduce a fun new way for friends and family to join the action together and battle as favorite characters, which is an exciting innovation for LEGO videogames.”

“LEGO DIMENSIONS is a significant part of our LEGO videogames portfolio, and we are excited to offer fans many more iconic entertainment franchises combined with new, enhanced ways to play,” said David Haddad, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “TT Games continues to innovate and expand the game experience, which gives players breakthrough digital and physical gameplay with an amazing amount of world-class entertainment properties connected together.”

“We are excited to continue our partnership with TT Games and WBIE and bring even more characters to life through LEGO DIMENSIONS,” said Niels Jørgensen, Vice President, Digital Games for the LEGO Group. “The videogame has allowed our fans to extend their LEGO play experience in a whole new way and the new expansion packs will create even more play possibilities through exciting properties.”

All-new Battle Arenas will offer first-to-LEGO videogames competitive split-screen local gameplay for up to four players. LEGO minifigures included in the wave 6 through 9 expansion packs will come with special, golden Toy Tags which unlock a Battle Arena within the Free Play Adventure World of the corresponding entertainment brand. Each Battle Arena has four different gameplay modes and comes with its own traps, special powers and interactive environments that make every battle arena unique.

The Ghostbusters Story Pack, based on the upcoming film, will provide a complete movie-based gameplay experience with six puzzle-packed levels and new LEGO Gateway bricks that allow players to build Zhu’s Chinese Restaurant atop the LEGO Toy Pad. It will also come with a buildable Abby Yates LEGO minifigure with Proton Blaster and 3-in-1 buildable Ecto-1 which can be rebuilt into the Ectozer and The PerfEcto. The pack unlocks “Rip,” a new Toy Pad mode allowing players to tear open an alternate universe. In this mirror world, players have the ability to solve puzzles and affect objects and other items in the primary universe. And like all gold-tag minifigures purchased, Abby Yates provides access to a new themed Adventure World with its own unique Battle Arena. The Ghostbusters Story Pack is just the first of this new exciting pack type, with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, based on the highly anticipated theatrical release, still to come later this year. The LEGO DIMENSIONS packs will be the exclusive construction toy offering this holiday for the exciting expansion of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World.

Story Packs also expand the Starter Pack story with deeper gameplay. In the game’s storyline, the evil Lord Vortech has hidden portions of his powers around the LEGO Multiverse. As players progress through Story Pack levels, they can unearth and tap into Keystone Runes to use Lord Vortech’s powers against him through all-new Toy Pad modes.

Developed by TT Games and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, LEGO DIMENSIONS is now available for PlayStation®4 and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment systems, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and the Wii U™ system.

Nintendo Announces the Play Nintendo Tour 2016

In the previous years, Nintendo of America has hosted mall tours that tour around different malls across the country, showcasing best selling and some new Wii U and 3DS games. Nintendo will be continuing their tours, this time with the Play Nintendo Tour 2016. This upcoming 12 city tour will be going to different malls with select 3DS and Wii U games to try out, and with different prizes for fans. Continue reading for more on this year’s Nintendo mall tour.

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An Update Given on Playtonic's Yooka-Laylee

Back one year ago in May of 2015, Playtonic Games, a newly formed studio made up of former Rare employees, launched the Kickstarter for their new game, Yooka-Laylee. Many fans showed their support by backing the Kickstarter campaign, wanting a great 3D platformer. The Kickstarter ended the next month with a total of 73,206 backers and a total of £2,090,104. Since then, multiple updates have been given out, and now, the next big update on the game has been released. Keep reading for more on the current progress of Yooka-Laylee.

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Nintendo Reveals Streaming Schedule for E3 2016

It's that time of year again! Yes, that's right, E3 time! E3 2016 is just about a week away, and a few days ago, Nintendo revealed their streaming plans for this year's E3. E3 2016 will be held June 14-16 this year, with major announcements expected from other companies and developers. Keep reading on to check out what Nintendo's plans for this year's E3 will be.

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The Wii U: An Unliked Hero

The Wii U: An Unliked Hero

As we are well aware, the NX is supposed to launch in March of 2017. This console was hurried to the production lines following the rather lackluster performance of the Wii U, but was the Wii U really that bad? Read after the break to find out what I think of the Wii U...

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Costume Party vs. Fancy Party Splatfest Set for May 14

Splatoon is getting yet another Splatfest! Announced earlier last week, Splatoon players will be able to compete in the 14th Splatfest for America, Europe, and Japan, with the theme being a costume party or a fancy party. This Splatfest's theme is being tied in with Nintendo's first mobile app, Miitomo, which is currently featuring, "Would you rather go to a fancy party or a costume party?" as the Everybody Answers question. Keep reading for more on the upcoming Splatfest.

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New Splatoon amiibo Wave Announced

Earlier today, Nintendo announced a whole new bunch of Splatoon amiibo, coming this July. The new amiibo include a purple haired Inkling Boy, a green haired Inkling Girl, an Orange Squid, as well as two amiibo of the Squid Sisters themselves, Callie and Marie. Keep reading for more on these new amiibo.

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More Details On NX, Mobile Plans, E3 2016, And More

This past Wednesday, Nintendo once again held another financial briefing for the fiscal year which ended in March 2016. During this financial briefing, Nintendo discussed many things, such as how the current sales is, and a look forward toward the future regarding certain things. Keep reading for more information on Nintendo's upcoming plans for the future.

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Spongebob Splatfest Announced for April 23

In a suprise announcement recently, Nintendo announced the theme for the next Splatfest, being held next Saturday on April 23. Following the Transformers Splatfest, this will be the second 3rd party Splatfest, this time, for Spongebob. Nintendo and Nickelodeon are teaming up together to bring this Splatfest. The Spongebob Splatfest will be held from April 23 at 6AM PT (9AM EST) and go until April 24 at 12PM PT (3PM EST). It will be the first Splatfest that North American and European players can be matched together. Voting is already underway, so go vote! Are you Team Spongebob or Team Patrick? Keep reading for the official press release.

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Worth the Risk? - Shantae Risky's Revenge Director's Cut Review

Shantae Risky's Revenge Screenshot

In 2010, WayForward celebrated their 20th anniversary in the games development market. As celebration, they released the sequel to their 2002 Game Boy Color cult classic, Shantae. Shantae: Risky’s Revenge was released exclusively on the then new DSiWare digital storefront and was met with mass acclaim. Fast forward to 2014 and WayForward ported it to PC as an enhanced “Director’s Cut”. Last year, marking their 25th year in games, it was ported to Playstation 4 and now this year to Wii U. Is this release worth your time though? If you own the DSiWare version on a DSi or 3DS system, yes, actually. While it’s mostly small traversal changes that have been made, these alone negate a lot of backtracking the original release suffered from. As for new players who’ve never played a prior title, this title has enough to offer to make it worth playing.

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Miitomo and My Nintendo Launch March 31

The wait for Miitomo and My Nintendo in the US is almost over. Nintendo announced today that Miitomo, their first mobile application, will be launching this Thursday, March 31, alongside My Nintendo, the new rewards program as a replacement for Club Nintendo which closed down back in June 2015. In addition to this, those who preregister for Miitomo before March 31 at 1AM PT (4AM EST) can earn My Nintendo Platinum Points to get rewards once My Nintendo launches alongside Miitomo. Keep reading for the press release, and check out Miitomo here, and find out more about My Nintendo here.

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Not Quite Guitar Hero - Inside My Radio Review

Inside My Radio Logo

Rhythm and music games in the past have mostly fallen into a handful of categories, think Guitar Hero, Dance Dance Revolution, or Rhythm Heaven. Inside My Radio seeks to stray from the formulaic status quo of music games by emerging a a rhythm-driven platformer. It reminds me of Bit. Trip Runner meets Thomas Was Alone. The game comes from indie developer Seaven Studio and recently hit the Wii U eShop following it's release on PC, Xbox One, and Playstation 4.

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Monster Hunter Generations is Coming to the West this Summer

Monster Hunter Generations Logo

Known as 'Monster Hunter Cross' in Japan when it release last November, Monster Hunter Generations is now the official title for the western port. Following last year's release of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, Generations is the next main series adventure in Capcom's Monster Hunter franchise. The game will boast the most customization options of any iteration to date as well as plenty of new weapons, items, and monsters. The game will be exclusive to the 3DS and is planned for release sometime during the summer of 2016.

Owners of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate that have a save file of the game on their 3DS will unlock exclusive content in Monster Hunter Generations when it launches. Additionally, MH4U will be available at a large discount on the 3DS eShop for the next 48 hours to celebrate this announcement: it'll only set you back $19.99. If you've never played a Monster Hunter game and even if you're not so sure Monster Hunter is for you, we'd definitely recommend picking up MH4U at this price. It's a great entry point for the series and boasts hundres of hours of gameplay. Check out the full press release, trailer, and assests for Generations, below.

Monster Hunter GenerationsTM Announced for Nintendo 3DSTM

Most Customizable Monster HunterTM Experience Ever Coming Summer 2016 in the West

SAN FRANCISCO — March 3, 2016 — Capcom, a leading worldwide developer and publisher of video games, announced Monster Hunter Generations™ for the Nintendo 3DS™ family of systems during today’s Nintendo Direct broadcast. Coming in summer 2016, and initially released in Japan as Monster Hunter X, the western release of Monster Hunter Generations is the newest installment in the popular action RPG series, which has sold more than 36 million units worldwide. It is the most customizable Monster Hunter™ experience to date, and serves as a fitting tribute to the last decade of the series. A blend of brand new areas and monsters join returning fan-favorites which have been updated and adapted to the latest generation of gameplay.

In Monster Hunter Generations, players take up the esteemed role of a hunter, seeking out and vanquishing a variety of colossal creatures throughout the world. Players can earn Zenny and collect resources that can be used for crafting powerful weapons and armor which are styled after the monsters they have defeated. On their journey, players must defend each of the game’s four villages from the threat of major new menaces known collectively as the Fated Four.

This latest installment marks the debut of new gameplay mechanics such as Styles and Hunter Arts which allow players to create the most custom, personalized playstyle of any Monster Hunter game yet. Players can choose from four distinct combat Styles, like Aerial which adds the ability to attack and mount monsters from mid-air. With the introduction of devastating new attack skills and power-ups known as Hunter Arts, the action looks more visually striking than ever before on Nintendo 3DS.

For the first time in the series, players will have the ability to now play as a Felyne themselves in the new Prowler Mode. In this mode, there are even more adventures to be had in unique quests playing either as a Felyne alone or with up to three other companions in group quests. With hundreds of quests in store for hunters and Felynes, there are tons of challenges to tackle in the solo adventure, and also multiplayer quests via local or online play, opening up the epic world of Monster Hunter to players of all levels.

As part of the Nintendo Direct today, it was also announced that Monster Hunter Generations will feature a unique armor set based on Marth from the tactical RPG series Fire Emblem. Fans can look forward to this and more collaborations with popular series for special themed gear for both hunters and their custom Felyne support partners known as Palicoes.

Monster Hunter Generations Artwork

Monster Hunter Generations Artwork

Monster Hunter Generations Artwork

Monster Hunter Generations Artwork

Monster Hunter Generations Artwork

Monster Hunter Generations Artwork

Monster Hunter Generations Artwork

Monster Hunter Generations Artwork

Monster Hunter Generations Screenshot

Monster Hunter Generations Screenshot

Monster Hunter Generations Screenshot

Monster Hunter Generations Screenshot

Monster Hunter Generations Screenshot

Monster Hunter Generations Screenshot

Paper Mario Color Splash is the Wii U's Paper Mario Adventure

Paper Mario Color Splash Logo

During the Nintendo Direct that aired earlier this afternoon, Nintendo rather oddly snuck in a seemingly big game announcement: Paper Mario Color Splash for Wii U. It looks to be the next Paper Mario adventure, headed for Wii U in 2016. We were only shown a minute or two of footage, but it's pretty clear that the game is looking to fall closer in line with Paper Mario: Sticker Star than the beloved early iterations of the game.

Paper Mario for Nintendo 64 and it's sequel, Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door on the Gamecube were praised for their unique humor and RPG goodness. Although Sticker Star, the most recent Paper Mario entry for 3DS, might have been a solid entry in some other game series, it failed to satisfy the demands of Paper Mario fans. It lacked key components of previous Paper Mario games: unique characters, expirience points, and a partner system.

It's too early to completely disregard Paper Mario Color Splash as a simple sequel to Sticker Star, but the footage we saw didn't leave us with much hope. It's dissapointing that a "true" Paper Mario sequel might still be years away, but Color Splash may turn out to be just fun enough to tide us over. Watch the footage yourself and check out the assests below.

Paper Mario Color Splash Screenshot

Paper Mario Color Splash Screenshot

Paper Mario Color Splash Screenshot

Paper Mario Color Splash Screenshot

Paper Mario Color Splash Screenshot

Paper Mario Color Splash Screenshot

Paper Mario Color Splash Screenshot

Paper Mario Color Splash Screenshot

Paper Mario Color Splash Screenshot

Paper Mario Color Splash Screenshot

Nintendo Direct March 3, 2016 Recap

Earlier today, Nintendo hosted their first (Second counting the Pokemon Direct last week) Nintendo Direct of 2016. The main focus of this Direct was on Wii U and 3DS games releasing through summer 2016. Some of the games included in this Direct were updates on games like Star Fox Zero, Splatoon, and Super Mario Maker, as well as introductions of new games such as Paper Mario on the Wii U and a new entry to the Rhythm Heaven series. Keep reading below for the full press release of the Direct, and to watch the Direct. Be sure to check back here at NintendoCastle for more updates on these exciting games!

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More 3DS, Wii, and Wii U Games Added To Nintendo Selects

Just recently, Nintendo has revealed twelve new games being added to "Nintendo Selects". Nintendo Selects are games that have sold really well and have a lowered price to get players to get them. Nintendo Select games are sold for $19.99 instead of their normal retail price, which will get many more people to buy it. Some of the new games being added to Nintendo Selects on March 11, 2016 include Pikmin 3, Super Mario 3D World, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Yoshi's New Island, and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D. You can check out the full press release below. Also be sure to visit the Nintendo Selects website.

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Nintendo Accounts Are Ready, Miitomo Preregistration Begins

Back in October of 2015, Nintendo first reavealed their new venture into the world of modern day gaming. During Nintendo's Financial Results Briefing on October 29, 2015, Nintendo officially revealed they would have a new account system, called "Nintendo Account". Nintendo Account connects all of your gaming platforms (Wii U, 3DS, smartphone, PC, etc.) and have a new membership service as the replacement for Club Nintendo, called "My Nintendo". Keep reading for more information on Nintendo Account and Miitomo.

Further, Nintendo's mobile plans were revealed at the briefing as well. Nintendo plans to have five mobile titles to be released by March 2017. One of those titles is Miitomo, a game in which your Mii asks you and your friends questions or, "friendly conversation starters" so you can interact more. It is sort of like Tomodachi Life from the 3DS.

On February 3, 2016, Nintendo gave more information before the beginning of Miitomo and Nintendo Account. Nintendo said that Nintendo Account registration and Miitomo preregistration will begin on February 17, 2016. Anyone who preregisters for Miitomo before launch will get a special bonus on My Nintendo in the future.

Nintendo Accounts are officially ready to be signed up for, which you can check out here. Miitomo preregistration has also begun, which you can preregister for here. You can also check out the slides from the October 2015 Financial Briefing, or keep reading on for the full February 3 press release from Nintendo. Are you getting a Nintendo Account or Miitomo?

Nintendo outlines launch plans for first mobile app Miitomo

Nintendo's first app made exclusively for smart devices, Miitomo, will launch in North America in March for both iOS and Android phones and tablets. Today, Nintendo outlined the steps that fans can take to be among the first to get in on the social fun.

Starting Feb. 17, people will be able to pre-register for Miitomo by signing up for the new Nintendo Account service using their existing email, social media accounts or current Nintendo Network IDs. People who pre-register will be among the first to be notified about the availability of Miitomo when it launches in March. Nintendo will offer a special Miitomobonus to anyone who signs up for a Nintendo Account between Feb. 17 and launch. Miitomo is a social experience that uses Nintendo's Mii characters, which first debuted on the Wii console, to engage friends in a lighthearted and welcoming environment. Users can spark fun conversations and learn more about each other by answering questions such as "What song has been stuck in your head lately?", "Do you believe in aliens?", or even "If you saw a nose hair sticking out of your friend's nose, what would you do?" Users can also easily take and share photos featuring their Mii with the Miifoto feature. Nintendo's new My Nintendo rewards program will launch alongside Miitomo in March, and will be able to connect with the app.

"Miitomo is a uniquely entertaining mobile experience that only Nintendo can deliver," said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America's Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing. "Featuring Mii characters, users will be able to interact with their friends in an entirely new way that transforms communication into a form of play."

Launching alongside Miitomo in March, My Nintendo aims to become much more than a traditional rewards program. It is a more comprehensive service that rewards users for interacting with Nintendo products and services in a variety of ways. Miitomo users with a Nintendo Account will be able to take advantage of My Nintendo to enhance their experience.

Including Miitomo, Nintendo plans to release approximately five smart device applications by the end of March 2017. More information about Miitomo, Nintendo Account and My Nintendo will be available on in the coming weeks.

Inside My Radio is Coming to the Wii U eShop on February 25

Inside My Radio Wii U

French developer Seaven Studios announced that the rhythm-driven platformer Inside My Radio would be launching on the Wii U eShop in North America and Europe on February 25. The game was built from a demo created during the French Game Developers Competition Ludum Dare#23 and has since grown to full-fledged EDM adventure. The game sets you as a rad-looking green LED trapped inside boombox that blasts electro, club, and disco tunes. After a succesful PS4 launch last month, Inside My Radio will be debuting on Wii U next week and will set you back $14.99. Check out the trailer below.

Pokemon Red vs. Blue Themed Splatfest Announced for February 20

Pokemon Red or Blue Splatfest

It's that time again, time for another Splatfest! Nintendo revealed on their Twitter yesterday that the next Splatfest will be about Pokemon! This time, you will be able to choose which side you want to be on, based on Pokemon Red or Blue, whichever you prefer.

This Splatfest will be taking place simultaneously around the world at the same time, unlike the previous events that have had different themes for each region. You can start getting your gear ready and vote for which team you want to be on in Inkopolis Plaza, voting has already started! The next Splatfest will be running from February 19 at 10PM PT (February 20 at 1 AM EST) through February 20 at 10PM PT (February 21 at 1 AM EST) Which team will you be on?

Final Smash Bros. Wii U/3DS DLC Coming February 3

Last night, Nintendo revealed the release date of the final batch of Mii Fighter costumes, as well as the release date of the final DLC characters and stage for Super Smash Bros. Wii U/3DS. This will be bringing and end to the Smash Bros. DLC and Mii Fighter costumes. Keep reading on for more information about what's to come!

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Splatoon's Final Stage Ancho-V Games Enters Rotation

Splatoon Ancho-V Games

Nintendo has confirmed that Ancho-V Games, the last in a series of free DLC maps released in Splatoon, is entering the rotation tonight at 6 P.M. PST (9 P.M. EST). The newest stage features an office theme complete with desks and fans that allow players to manually raise platforms. The total number of maps available in Splatoon is now 16 after the inclusion of Ancho-V Games. It'll be rather sad to see the DLC stream come to a stop, but Splatoon now stands as a content packed and refined gem, a claim that would have been a stretch at release.

Game of the Year 2015 Awards

Game of the Year 2015

2015 has been an interesting year for Nintendo gamers. Both the 3DS and Wii U saw less games than expected with the delays of titles like StarFox Zero and the new Legend of Zelda for Wii U. However, with games like Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, Splatoon, and Xenoblade Chronicles X along with countless excellent eShop titles this year, we've gotten more than enough to keep us busy. This year we gathered a panel of seven staff members that voted on their favorite games across seven categories. Without further ado, the presentation of these accolades.

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Two Heads are Better Than One - Totem Topple Review

Totem Topple Logo

Totem Topple is a vertical tower defense game centered around building a totem poll and protecting it from an endless stream of evil and rotating enemies. The entire game was built in less than 24 hours during the King game jam in January. Since the initial build of the game, it has been polished and was recently released on Wii U.

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Bayonetta and Corrin Join the Fight in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS

In a special Super Smash Brothers Nintendo Direct today, the last of the Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS DLC was revealed. The two new fighters that will join Cloud in the future are Corrin from the upcoming Fire Emblem Fates and the titular character Bayonetta. Cloud and his accompanying stage Midgar is currently available for purchase (along with the 1.1.3 update): priced at $5.99 for one version and $6.99 for both.

The two final fighters, Corrin and Bayonetta will be tentatively released February 2016. A variety of Mii Fighter costumes will also be released in the near future, including costumes for Geno, Knuckles, and Tails. Keep reading for a full press release and a video of the entire presentation, it's worth a watch.

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Super Smash Bros. Final Video Presentation Coming December 15

During the last Nintendo Direct Presentation, it was announced that Cloud would join the Smash 4 roster and that there would be one final dedicated video presentation for the game. Nintendo of America revealed that the presentation will be streamed on December 15. It's likely that the last of the DLC content as well as any selected fighters from the ballot that ended in October will be revealed during this presentation. It's sure to be an exciting reveal as characters like King K. Rool, Inkling, and Shovel Knight fight for a spot on the roster. Make sure to tune in on Tuesday to catch the entire presentation or check back here afterwards and we'll catch you up!

Minecraft for Wii U Officially Announced, Coming December 17

For years, many have wanted Minecraft to arrive on Nintendo platforms, and today, that wish was granted. Many people like myself have wanted Minecraft, and now it is officially headed to Wii U next week! The popular building block game already on most platforms such as PS4, Xbox One, PC, smart phones, and many other consoles will now be on a Nintendo platform for the first time. Keep reading after the break for more information on Minecraft: Wii U Edition!

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Yacht Club Games Gives an Update on the Shovel Knight amiibo

Shovel Knight Amiibo

Earlier tonight, Yacht Club Games, the creators of Shovel Knight, revealed upcoming plans of the new Shovel Knight amiibo. The Shovel Knight amiibo, originally first shown at Nintendo's Nindies @ Night event back in August, will be compatible with Shovel Knight on Wii U and 3DS. Using the amiibo, you can customize a Custom Knight, and even unlock Co-Op mode on the Wii U version. The amiibo has been revealed to be releasing in the US on January 8, 2016 for price of $12.99. For the full update and more information on the amiibo, you can check it out right here. Will you be buying a Shovel Knight amiibo? You can also check out the new Shovel Knight amiibo preview video after the break.

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Terraria Comes to Nintendo 3DS December 10

Terraria 3DS

Terraria, a popular 2D Minecraft-like game, is finally headed to Nintendo! The game, developed by Re-Logic has been confirmed today by 505 Games, the distributor of the game, on Twitter. Terraria first released in 2011, and is now finally going to be on a Nintendo platform. 505 Games also confirmed that the Wii U version of the game is still on the way, hopefully to come some time soon. Are you excited for Terraria? You can check out the new trailer for the 3DS version of the game after the break.

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FAST Racing Neo is Releasing December 10 on Wii U

FAST Racing Neo

One of the most anticipated Wii U games is almost here, FAST Racing Neo! FAST Racing Neo is Shin'en Multimedia's attempt at an F-Zero game, which has made many fans excited for this game. Shin'en Multimedia announced on Twitter that the game will be releasing next Thursday, December 10. There has not been a new F-Zero game since 2003's F-Zero: GP Legend, and Nintendo has not announced anything on a new F-Zero game in the future. FAST Racing Neo will be available on the Wii U eShop next Thursday for a price of $14.99. Will you be buying FAST Racing Neo when it releases?

Image and Form Announces Release Date of SteamWorld Heist

Steam World Heist

The wait is almost over! Image & Form's sequel to SteamWorld Dig, SteamWorld Heist has been announced to be releasing next Thursday, December 10. The game, originally revealed on September 16, 2014, takes place sometime after SteamWorld Dig in a place where, "a cataclysmic event has shattered the planet and forced its population into steam-driven spaceships." SteamWorld Heist will only be launching on 3DS this year, but hopefully with other platform versions coming next year. The game will cost $19.99, but is 10 times bigger than SteamWorld Dig. Are you excited for SteamWorld Heist?

Mahi Mahi Resort is Coming to Splatoon Tonight

Splatoon is never lacking new content being added to the game, especially with the new gear, weapons, and stages being added. During the November 12 Nintendo Direct, Nintendo revealed two new stages being added to the game soon: Museum d' Alfonsino and Mahi Mahi Resort. Nintendo announced via Twitter yesterday that the second map, Mahi Mahi Resort would be added to the map rotation tonight at 6PM PT (9PM EST). This will be the 9th downloadable stage, and 14th stage overall. Are you excited for this new map? You can check out some screenshots of the new map after the break.

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Nintendo Direct November 12, 2015 Recap

This past Thursday, November 12, Nintendo hosted their first Nintendo Direct in a few months, as well as the first Nintendo Direct since the passing of company president Satoru Iwata. As this was the first Nintendo Direct in quite a few months, many big announcements were predicted to occur, which they did. A multitude of games were either revealed or had more information given, including The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD, a small glimpse at Zelda for Wii U, Star Fox Zero, Hyrule Warriors: Legends, and many other games too! What games are you excited for? Keep reading for a look at the full press release, as well as the Nintendo Direct itself.

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Cloud from Final Fantasy VII is Coming to Smash 4 as DLC

Much to the surprise of viewers and fans, Nintendo announced at the end of yesterday's Nintendo Direct that Cloud from Final Fantasy VII is coming to Smash 4. Cloud wields an enormous and powerful sword that serves as the basis of his move set. He marks the fifth third-party character playable in Smash 4, along with Sonic, Mega Man, Pac-man, and Ryu.

New Stages and Mii Costumes will accompany the newest fighter. No details on the date or pricing of the DLC character were given, but a Smash-focused presentation, the last of its kind, will be streamed in December. Stay tuned for more information on Cloud and check out his entry trailer below!

Nintendo Badge Arcade Released in US

This past Tuesday, Nintendo announced via Twitter that the Nintendo Badge Arcade, previously released in Japan already, has been added to the 3DS eShop in the US and Europe. The Badge Arcade is a free application which lets you earn badges that you can use and place on your Nintendo 3DS home screen icons to decorate it through a crane game. Badges you can earn include badges of inspired by the Zelda, Mario, and Animal Crossing series. You can pick download it now in the 3DS eShop, but be careful- you have a limited number of free attempts, but have to pay $1 to earn five additional plays. You can also check out the website for the game to find out more about it here.

Nintendo Direct Presentation Announced for November 12

The next Nintendo Direct, Nintendo's direct-to-viewer news stream about upcoming games and products, will be broadcast on November 12 at 2 P.M. PST (5 P.M. EST). The last Nintendo Direct presentation was during E3 and before the passing of the company's former president, Satoru Iwata. You can expect to see Tatsumi Kimishima, the current President of Nintendo, to make an appearance in this Nintendo Direct. Tune in on Thursday and check back here for full coverage of the announcements. What are your predictions?

Where in the world is Nintendo's Quality of Life Sensor?

Nintendo just had their investors meeting, and while some good news was dropped on the progress of mobile development and the Nintendo NX, there was a distinct lack of mention of a certain piece of hardware that Nintendo has been hard at work on: their Quality of Life sensor. Not a single investor asked a question about it, and Nintendo did not reveal any new information on it, despite initial reports claiming a March 2016 release.

Read after the break to learn more about what the sensor is supposed to do, and what we can expect from Nintendo regarding the sensor

The Quality of Life sensor that Nintendo is working on is different than anything currently imbedded in your smartphone or smartwatch. It doesn’t track your activity, but rather the lack of it; specifically sleep. Yes indeed it does see you when you’re sleeping, and it does know when you’re awake, but it isn’t Old Saint Nicholas.

One of the key features of their sleep sensor is that you don’t have to interact with it in any way or wear it, which is what is required from a lot of current health devices. In fact, when I first got my phone, I tried to use the health applications fairly actively, however, it soon became a hassle to log everything I was eating; there was a lack of convenience, which is a problem Nintendo is actively trying to solve.

Does the silence mean that Nintendo has pushed their Quality of Life sensor aside for a stronger focus on video-games? While we can only speculate this, my personal stance on this is that they have not sacrificed anything in their company to work on this. Nintendo, being a large company, is able to dedicate people to work on specific projects. It would be unlikely, and silly, for them to pull people from the QoL team and re-allocate them to the Pikmin 4 team.

I think the silence is specifically there to shift our focus away from the sensor and more towards their gaming consoles, which is what they desire to sell more of at the moment. The two markets for games and health devices could not be more different, which could be why Nintendo is not trying to talk about it amongst video-games, but may talk about it on its own at a later point in time. We are in fact still due for a new Nintendo Direct sometime later this year.

If you recall a while back, Nintendo was working on a Vitality Sensor that would work in conjunction with the Wii, and probably with Wii Fit. This product never made it to the market, which has some people skeptical about the QoL sensor, however, last year Iwata said that the reason the Vitality Sensor never made it to the market was specifically because people had to interact with it in some way shape or form.

Some of the neat technologies in the QoL sensor include a non-contact radio frequency sensor, which will probably be able to track everything about your sleep including your movements. Using a microphone it will track the noises that occur around you and possibly from you while you sleep. It may even be able to track your heart rate without being in direct contact with you, which is pretty revolutionary.

One of the patents regarding the sensor includes a projector to project messages onto your ceiling, again showcasing the fact that you do not need to interact with the device. The device is also capable of detecting your emotions, and it even has one of those new-fangled alarm systems where when it’s time to wake you up, it actually wakes you up, unlike those times where your smartphone fails to do the job.

Overall, while there is no news regarding the sensor, there is more than likely no need to panic. Nintendo hasn’t even attached a name to the sensor yet, and so far, they haven’t responded to me on twitter over my suggestion of Wii Sleep. In any case, we should hear some news regarding the device soon, and I can tell you it is going to be worth purchasing, as sleep is one of the single most important factors affecting your daily life.

Nintendo hit the nail on the head with this one. Will it be coming in March 2016?. The window for that time of release is getting smaller and smaller. However, Nintendo has proven that nothing is impossible, so maybe we will see it come sooner than we expect.

Nintendo Investor Briefing: Nintendo Going Mobile, New Account System Detailed

Nintendo has once again held their semi-annual Corporate Policy and Investor Briefing last night, and it did once again contain some new and interesting information. During this meeting, some data was given showing that their sales are improving, and that amiibo are making lots of profit for them, as well as hits like Splatoon and Super Mario Maker. Check out what else was revealed at the briefing after the break!

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Super Mario Maker is Getting an Update November 4th

We've already seen Nintendo giving Splatoon many updates, whether it be adding new weapons, stages, or a bug patch or nerf patch. Well, it looks like it is time for Super Mario Maker's turn. This Wednesday, Super Mario Maker will be getting a new update bringing not one, but five new things to the game. Keep reading to find out more!

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North America's 7th Splatfest Begins 10/30, Ninjas vs. Pirates

Nintendo revealed via Twitter recently that the next Splatfest in the U.S. will be Pirates vs. Ninjas. This next Splatfest will be during Halloween weekend, so while you're not trick-or-treating, you can go play some Splatfest! It will be beginning this Friday, October 30th at 9PM PT (Saturday, October 31st midnight EST). Which side will you be fighting for?

Octodad: Dadliest Catch Gets a Release Date for Wii U

Octodad: Dadliest Catch, an indie game that many have been waiting for to arrive on Nintendo platforms, now has a release date for Wii U. The game, developed by Young Horses Inc, has been announced on Twitter to be releasing on this Thursday, October 29, for North America and Europe. In addition to this, they also revealed in the tweet that the game will be on sale for 20% off until November 5. Will you be buying this game? You can check out the website for the game here.

New Splatoon Patch Being Released Next Week

Along with the multitude of new stages and weapons Nintendo has been releasing for Splatoon, there have also been a few updates to fix up bugs or glitches, weapon balance, etc. Yesterday, Nintendo announced that Splatoon would be getting a new update. The new update, version 2.2.0 will mostly be including weapon adjustments and adjustments to certain stages and modes. The update will be releasing this Tuesday, October 20, so be sure to update if you want to continue playing online. Keep reading to check out the list of changes which you can also check out here.

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Faster Than Sonic? - Freedom Planet Review

Freedom Planet Review Wii U

Although you might not be able to tell from the name, Freedom Planet is as inspired by Sonic the Hedgehog as games get. Originally developed for PC as a SOnic fan game, Freedom Planet has since evolved into a full fledged adventure of it's own with unique characters, plot, and level design. Although the concept of a high-speed 16-bit platformer might already be quite familiar, don't let that dissaude you. Freedom Planet is truly a unique—and surprisingly refreshing— expirience.

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Amiibo: We Donand#8217;t Need Them, We Canand#8217;t Find Them, and We Canand#8217;t Afford Them

Amiibo Logo

The screen on your phone lights up your face displaying the time; 10:00am. The doors to Toys”R”Us open, and they explain that everything will be done in an orderly fashion. You are allowed to grab one of each amiibo per customer. You wait in line, peering over the shoulders of the people in front of you to ensure the amiibo you are after are still on the table, and you didn’t waste your Friday morning. Slowly, but surely, you approach the table. Five people can go at a time they say. Suddenly, it’s your turn, and you get to go to the table to snatch your precious collectible figure. I personally know of one person who had to experience this traumatic event. Me. Typically, I have a love/hate relationship with everything Nintendo does, and this is no exception. While I love that I can collect these little figures and display them, I hate everything else about them.

Mario Kart 8 Master Cycle

For starters, they don’t really add as much to any game as Nintendo might claim they do. In Super Smash Brothers for example, all they can do is function as superior computer players that you can customize. If you really wanted tough competition like this, you could easily just go online. On top of that, you may only be limited to fighting super tough Mario amiibos. Who even plays as Mario in competitive events? In Hyrule Warriors, the two different Link amiibos give you extra weapons that you didn’t really need to complete the game. It’s essentially DLC for $12.99, with a neat figure to look at in your spare time. Everything that can be done with an amiibo is already in the game. It’s locked content that you can’t access without this little toy. Nintendo essentially wants you to pay $12.99 to unlock it.

The good news is, is that one amiibo can still work with every game that is compatible with it, as long as you buy those games. If you have 5 amiibo compatible games, this means you paid about $2.60 for the DLC per game. I have no issue with spending money on DLC, but the majority of it adds nothing to the gameplay. In Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, you earn tokens each day that you connect your Shulk amiibo via NFC to the game, which can then be used to collect little in game goodies. It’s nice if you already had the Shulk amiibo, but otherwise pointless.

Lucina Amiibo

I’ve hinted at the fact that amiibo are nice collector’s items if you can find them. Yes, the phrase, “While Supplies Last,” will haunt me for ages. There are too many amiibo figures that I wanted that I never purchased or preordered in time, and now likely never will be able to purchase them. If you wanted a Lucina amiibo, you had a very small window to preorder one. If you missed that, now you have to pay around $50 for one.

Recently, the preorders for wave 5 went up only about two weeks before release, and even then, some sellers, such as Amazon, didn’t open up for preorders, but opted to instead open up direct sales for the amiibo one at a time late in the day of the launch day Friday. This was actually really convenient for those who had to work in the morning and may have missed the launch and the preorders. Before going to Toys”R”Us, I actually went to Target and Walmart which had opened an hour before, and every wave 5 amiibo was sold out. The quantity demanded far exceeds the quantity supplied. These amiibo are not supposed to be special limited edition collector’s figures, they’re supposed to be figurines that add decent gameplay features.

Ganondorf Amiibo

Furthermore, most of the quantity supplied winds up in the hands of scalpers. For those unfamiliar, a scalper is someone who will buy something of limited stock with the sole intent of reselling if for a higher price. I do have experience on both ends of scalping. Yes, people of the internet, I have scalped before, and I likely will again if the circumstances are right. Sadly, amiibo are not fully controlled to avoid scalping to the high degree that they are being scalped.

Early on in the life of amiibo, there would be people who would order hundreds of the same amiibo at a time for one purpose: to resell them at a higher price by controlling the amount that came into the hands of the normal people. I have never scalped like that, but only in passing in stores after everyone else already had a chance to preorder or buy what they wanted if they desperately wanted it. There is no way to control scalpers, and they will continue to charge sometimes obscene amounts for these little figures, that again, do not add much to the gameplay. Nintendo has done their best in recent launches to control scalpers, as have retailers, however Nintendo has not worked to restock the amiibo that are high in demand but low in supply; it’s as if they enjoy the scalping and the competition to purchase them.

Yoshi and Link Amiibo

Flash back to E3 2014; Nintendo was announcing these little figurines of their game characters. “Amiibo,” they were called. What a cheesy name, but Nintendo made us want them, rather, need them by showing the intro to Super Smash Brothers Melee. They were supposed to be these great little things to show and display and use in conjunction with various games to enhance the gameplay. What did we get in the end? Deformed figurines that add almost nothing to the gameplay, can’t be found in stores, and can’t be afforded online once you miss their initial run. You can’t help but hate them. With that said, if you need me, I’ll be waiting outside Toys”R”Us for the Yarn Yoshi amiibo.

Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival Release Date, Details on amiibo Releases

This past week, Nintendo of America revealed the release date of Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival, as well as some new information on some of the upcoming Animal Crossing amiibo, on Twitter. Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival has a release date of November 13 and will be releasing in a bundle which includes an Isabelle and Digby amiibo, as well as three amiibo cards for a price of $59.99. Take a look after the break to see what else is in store!

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AVGN 2: ASSimilation Gets A Trailer, Coming This Winter

The trailer for FreakZone Games's "AVGN 2: ASSimilation" has gotten a new trailer to showcase some of the new things coming to the game including a new armor system, new bosses, and tons more. Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures 2 was first revealed at SGC 2015 back in July of this year, as well as the fact that they would try and get the game on Nintendo platforms again. Are you excited for the sequel? AVGN 2: ASSimilation will be releasing this winter, you can check out the trailer after the break.

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A Spooky Indie Experience - Extreme Exorcism Review

Extreme Exorcism Review Wii U

Since the rise in popularity of independent developers during the last generation, games similar in gameplay and style to Exorcism Extreme have been plentiful. A simple gameplay idea suited well for multiplayer settings and parties, accompanied by basic environments and pixel art is able to flourish in the indie environment. Extreme Exorcism jumps on this train with its fun and crazy bouts of gampelay; and it's not half bad.

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Smash for Wii U and 3DS Version 1.1.1 and Stage DLC Released

The latest update for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS, Version 1.1.1, was released earlier today. The Super Mario Maker Stage that was revealed a while back as well as the Pirate's Ship stage from Brawl [Wii U], the Duck Hunt stage from Wii U [3DS], a variety of Mii costumes, as well as balance patches were included in the update. The Super Mario Maker stage features a different layout every time it's played and four different Omega forms. This is the fourth wave of DLC that has been released since the release of the game. You can check out pricing information after the break.

  • Super Mario Maker Stage - $2.49 (single); $3.49 (bundle) [Wii U and 3DS]
  • Pirate's Ship Stage - $1.99 [Wii U]
  • Duck Hunt Stage - Free [3DS]
  • Mii Costumes (Monster Hunter, Toad, Business Suit, Fox, Captain Falcon, and Viridi): $0.75 (single), $1.15 (bundle) each; $5.25 (single), $8.05 (bundle) for all [Wii U and 3DS]
  • All Content - $7.74 [3DS]; $9.73 [Wii U]; $13.53 [Wii U and 3DS]

Nintendo Announces Delay of Star Fox Zero to 2016

In a new announcement last night via Facebook about Star Fox Zero, a message from Mr. Miyamoto revealed that Star Fox Zero has been delayed. The game, originally expected to be released on November 20, will now be expecting a Q1 2016. It appears that the delay is mostly from, "a little more time to work on areas such as the unprecedented discovery that we want players to experience in the game by using two screens, and further polishing the level designs and perfecting the tone of the cut scenes." Do you think this delay is for the better or for the worse?

Hammerhead Bridge Map Added to Splatoon Map Rotation

Earlier yesterday, Nintendo announced via Twitter that a new map, called Hammerhead Bridge, would be the next map added to Splatoon later that night. The map released last night at 7 PM PT (10 PM EST) and is the seventh map added since Splatoon's release in May, and the twelfth map overall. You can go check it out in Splatoon when it's part of the rotation, whether in Turf Wars or Ranked Battle. Take a look below for some screenshots of the new map.

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Nintendo Announces New President For Company

Earlier today, Nintendo has officially announced who would be Nintendo's new president. Tatsumi Kimishima, a new face to many, will be taking over Iwata's position at Nintendo as President. Kimishima will be Nintendo's first president since the death of Satoru Iwata back in July of this year. Check out more on Nintendo's new president after the break.

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Super Mario Maker Stage Comes to Smash for Wii U and 3DS September 30

Smash 4 Logo

Update: A listing on the official Smash Bros site confirms that the stage will be paid DLC, available for one system at $2.49 or as a bundle for $3.49.

In a rather surprising announcement, a Super Mario Maker Stage is coming to Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS. The stage will feature the unique mechanic of being different every time you play it. The hand that is featured in Super Mario Maker will make an appearance to create a new stage and fix any broken blocks while you're brawling. The stage will arrive to both versions of the game on September 30, it is currently unknown whether it will be released for free. the stage will cost $2.49 for one system or $3.49 for both. Check out the trailer below for full details.

Next U.S. Splatfest Begins September 19, Science Against Art

The next Splatfest for North America has officially been announced, and it pits science against art! This Splatfest will bring two very interesting subjects, and put them up against each other to see which side will be the winner this time. This will be the fifth Splatfest for the U.S, and will begin next Friday, September 18 at 9PM PT (September 19 at 12 midnight EST). Which side will you be splatting for?

New Wii U Bundle Includes Mario Kart 8 and DLC

Mario Kart 8

A great new deal for future Wii U owners is coming to the North American market. Nintendo has recently announced that a Mario Kart 8 Wii U Bundle will be available for the price of $299.99 that includes a 32gb Wii U, a digital copy of Mario Kart 8, and an eShop card to download both sets of Mario Kart 8 DLC. This news likely comes in anticipation of Super Mario Maker getting a release later this week. Check out the full press release and an image of the product below.

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Free September DLC Pack Available in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

As of September 4th owners of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate across the globe will be able to download the monthly DLC pack for September. As always, these monthly doses of extra Monster Hunter are free of charge and add a variety of new content to the game. This month's pack includes 12 new quests, 1 new weapon, 1 new armor set, 1 new Palico equipment set, 1 Bonus Palico, 1 guild card background, and 6 guild card titles. This DLC can be accessed from the MH4U title page under "DLC". Keep reading to see this month's trailer.

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Pikmin 4 is in Development and Almost Finished

In a July interview with Eurogamer, Pikmin developer and legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto revealed that the next Pikmin game is well into development. Miyamoto says that the team is always working on the next Pikmin game and that Pikmin 4 (title not final) is actually close to competition. It's unclear whether Pikmin 4 would be coming to the Wii U or the mysterious NX platform; no further details have been revealed at this time. Check out below for Miyamoto's official statements from the interview.

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Two Hands Up! - Gunman Clive HD Collection Review

Gunman Clive HD Collection Review

Ever wonder what it would be like to merge the gameplay of Mega Man and Donkey Kong Country? Ever dream of gunslinging your way through the faces of evil in the form of robbers, robots, and ...ducks? Gunman Clive HD Collection let's you live this reality by combining two great 3DS indies into one package on the Wii U. Gunman Clive and Gunman Clive 2 hit the big screen in 1080p and 60 frames per second.

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Nindies@Night Recap, Shovel Knight amiibo Officially Revealed

Last night in Seattle, Nintendo hosted a Nindies@Night event at the EMP Museum to showcase the latest on indie games, as well as give some announcements for some of them. Some games shown off last night include Graphite Lab's Hive Jump, as well as Kerbal Space Program for the Wii U. You can keep reading after the break for more information about the Nindies@Night event.

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Minecraft: Story Mode Supposedly Heading to Wii U

Many fans of the game Minecraft have been waiting for the game to arrive on Wii U. This may be our first step into the full game on Nintendo- Minecraft: Story Mode by Telltale Games will apparently be headed to the Wii U, along with many other platforms.Take a look after the break for more information on this, as well as a trailer for the game.

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YouTube Gaming Has Officially Launched

YouTube Gaming, the long awaited competitor to Twitch, has finally been launched today. The new gaming service allows gamers to easily find the games they want to watch, as well as the channels they want to watch, and the livestreams they want to watch. Check out more on YouTube Gaming after the break.

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Nintendo Reveals 2015 amiibo and Games Lineup

Today, Nintendo has put out a release calendar for upcoming games and amiibo for the rest of 2015. Some new information we got today includes official box arts for several games, release dates for amiibo, as well as some release dates on games such as Star Fox Zero. What games or amiibo are you excited for coming out later this year? You can check out the full press release and some of the new things revealed after the break.

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Gunman Clive HD Collection Coming to Wii U eShop September 3rd

Two of the 3DS's best Indie offerings are coming to Wii U in a single HD collection later this year. Gunman Clive HD Collection is set to release on the eShop September 3rd. Both western side-scrollers, Gunman Clive and Gunman Clive 2, received praise when they came out on the 3DS starting January 2013. The HD Collection will features both games running at 1080p and 60 frames per second and will be prices at $3.99. Check out the trailer below!

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2DS is Getting a Price Cut to $99 in the U.S.

The entry level system in the 3DS family of portable consoles, the 2DS, will be getting a price reduction in the U.S. Previously given a MSRP of $129.99, the console is now valued at $99.99. Even better, the digital version of Mario Kart 7 will still be bundled with the console. The 2DS is a unique portable system that does not fold at the middle and lacks the 3D feature. The console will still play all 3DS and 2DS games and connect to the internet. The 2DS is the best way to play the excellent 3DS library on a budget.

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New Map Being Added to the Splatoon Map Rotation Tomorrow

Once again, another new map will be added to Splatoon tomorrow night. The new map, announced over Twitter and first shown in the Stay Fresh trailer, Flounder Heights, will become the eleventh map overall, and will be the sixth map added to Splatoon since its release. Flounder Heights will be added to the map rotation tomorrow night, August 20th, at 7PM PT (10PM EST). Are you excited to try out the new map? You can see more screenshots from the new map and check out the Stay Fresh trailer after the break.

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Yo-Kai Watch Launches in North America on November 6

Yo-Kai Watch

It has been revealed that the hit Japanese 3DS title Yo-Kai Watch will be localized and launch in North America November 6. Yo-Kai Watch is an RPG that involves befriending the Yo-Kai of Japanese folklore, who are invisible and mischievous creatures, and using them in battle. Following it's large success in Japan, the game has already received a sequel (with another coming) and a few spin-off games alongside merchandise and a television show. Check out the press release detailing the announcement below!

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Fourth U.S. Splatfest Starts August 28th, Autobots vs. Decepticons

The fourth North American Splatfest has been revealed by Nintendo of America today via Twitter. The theme is what is very interesting, Transformers, with Team Autobots up against Team Decepticons. You can hopefully be able to choose which side you want to be on soon, in preparation for the Splatfest that will be starting on August 28 at 9PM PT (August 29 at 12 midnight EST) and will last 24 hours. Which side are you on? You can check out some screenshots of what this Splatfest should look like after the break.

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Super Mario Maker amiibo Costumes Leaked, Potential Tingle amiibo?

We are just about 3 weeks away from Super Mario Maker's release for Nintendo Wii U on September 11, 2015, and tons of amiibo costumes in the game are already being leaked. One of these leaks may even show off an unannounced amiibo we may be getting in the future. Keep reading after the break for more information on this!

For those who don't know, when you tap an amiibo into Super Mario Maker, you can give Mario a costume of an amiibo, like Donkey Kong, Link, or Wii Fit Trainer. A user on Google+ by the name 'Tentai Hentaclez' has put up pictures of the amiibo costumes for Rosalina & Luma, Toon Link, Pac-Man, and Mega Man, which you can check out here. Another user, this time, on Miiverse named Dalagonash, who is the community manager for Nintendo UK, has taken an in-game screenshot of what appears to be the amiibo costume for Silver Mario.

Finally, another image has leaked, this time, via Twitter user MarioFan1, showing off a possible Tingle amiibo costume in Super Mario Maker. What makes this really interesting is that we have not seen a Tingle amiibo, so could this be an unannounced amiibo or is there an alternate way to unlock costumes? The image of Tingle was eventually found on Miiverse, verifying that this is real, but we still don't know if there will be an amiibo for him.

Are you excited for Super Mario Maker and for the many amiibo costumes? You can check out the official site for the game here, and you can preorder the game now before it's release on September 11. You take a look at all of these images of the leaks below.

Rainmaker, a New Ranked Battle Mode is Coming to Splatoon 8/14

Splatoon Rainmaker Mode

Splatoon is getting a new Ranked Battle Mode later today - Rainmaker. The new gameplay is an interesting twist on Capture the Flag and tower control. Each team makes a dash for the Rainmaker, a powerful weapon that acts like an Inkzooka for it's wielder. A brave team member must then charge into the enemy base with the Rainmaker to win a match. The new Ranked Battle Mode will enter the rotation starting 7 P.M. PT in North America.

September Amiibo Releases Announced, More Exclusives Along The Way

Nintendo has released the dates that some of their already announced amiibo will be hitting store shelves. This new wave of amiibo will be releasing September 11, 2015, which includes Zero Suit Samus, Olimar, Super Mario Bros. 30th Anniversary Mario amiibo, Bowser Jr, Dr. Mario, and Ganondorf. Details for the modern edition of the 30th Anniversary Mario amiibo will be launched in the future. You can find out some more about the future amiibo after the break.

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Mega Man Legacy Collection Coming to 3DS Early 2016

Mega Man Legacy Collection is an upcoming release that features the original six 8-bit Mega Man games as well as a variety of Mega Man content including high-resolution artwork, music and a new Challenge Mode. The collection is coming to the 3DS in early 2016 following the August 25th release of the Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC digital versions. The digital version will be priced at $14.99 / €14.99 / £11.99 and will be followed by a physical release on 3DS, Xbox One, and Playstation 4 ($29.99) in early 2016. Stay tuned for more information on this remastered retro collection.

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Mighty No. 9 Likely Delayed Until 2016

Mighty No. 9 launched as a kickstarter campaign last year promising a re-imagined spiritual successor to the popular Mega Man franchise. Although originally slated for April 2015, the game's release was pushed back to September 15, 2015. It now appears as though the game will not be releasing until 2016. Although not confirmed by the developer Comcept themselves (likely to protect another ongoing Kickstarter they've started, Red Ash) Game Informer claims to have insider knowledge that the game won't release until next year. What are your opinions on the development of Mighty No. 9 since it's kickstarter launch?

Third U.S. Splatfest Starting August 7th and Pits Marshmallows Against Hot Dogs

The latest North American Splatfest has been announced via the Official Splatoon Tumblr. Starting on August 7th at 9 P.M. PT and continuing for 24 hours, users will be able to join either Team Marshmallow or Team Hot Dog. To get involved with the Splatfest, pledge your allegiance to a team by registering at a booth in the in-game Inkopolis. Make sure to show up on August 7-8 to represent your favorite camp fire food. Stay fresh!

Smash for 3DS and Wii U Update Coming July 31; Includes Stage and Mii Costume DLC

As confirmed in the past few days by Nintendo Japan's Twitter, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS will be receiving an update on July 31 with new content available for purchase. Tourney Mode will allow players to compete to earn points over a certain amount of time and participate in private and public tournaments. Replay Upload works similar to Mario Kart 8 in allowing you to upload your replays directly to Youtube via a Google Account. These two features are available for free. Two new stages will be returning from Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 64: Peach's Castle 64 and Hyrule Castle 64. Stages will be available for $1.89 on one console or $2.99 on both Wii U and 3DS.

A selection of new Mii Fighter costume have also been confirmed, with more promised for tommorow. Chrom for Swordfighter (Fire Emblem: Awakening), King K. Rool for Brawler (Donkey Kong Country), Bear Suit for Gunner, Flying Man for Brawler (Mother), and Lloyd Irving for Swordfighter (Tales of Symphonia) will all be available for purchase on 7/31. Stay tuned for more information on the update tommorow!

Major Splatoon Update Out August 5th Includes Private Matchmaking and New Level Cap

Splatoon Update August 6th

As promised at the launch of Splatoon private matchmaking and new gear will be made available in a major update on August 5th. Two private matchmaking modes including Squad Battle which lets players make squads of 2-4 players and play Ranked Battle modes against other teams and Private Battle which allows completely private game rooms with lots of customizing options. The new update also includes a level cap increase from 20 to 50, a rank cap increase of A+ to S+, and new weapon types and gear. Check out the full press release below and stay tuned for more information on future content!

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Another Splatoon Map Coming Tomorrow

It sure seems like Nintendo is keeping up their word about post-launch content in Splatoon. Another map will be added to Splatoon tomorrow night, Camp Triggerfish, which we have already seen several times before. Once the new map is added to Splatoon tomorrow night at 7PM PT (10PM EST), there will be a total of 10 maps to play on in Splatoon. Are you excited for Camp Triggerfish? You can check out some pictures of the new map after the break.

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Nintendo Teams Up with Facebook For Super Mario Maker's Launch

Nintendo is partnering with Facebook for Facebook employees to make a new level in Super Mario Maker. Facebook employees will apparently be competing against each other to have their own map as a bonus level in Super Mario Maker, once the game is released. You will be able to see behind the scenes footage of the Facebook employee competition on Nintendo's Facebook page sometime in the next few weeks. Hopefully the winning level will be a good one. You can check after the break for the full press release.

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Project Cars Officially Cancelled For Wii U

Project Cars, a racing simulator game, has officially been cancelled for the Nintendo Wii U. Delayed multiple times, this game finally released on PS4, Windows (PC), and Xbox One back in May. Most problems with the Wii U version came from the framerate not doing as well as it was on the other versions. Before E3 2015, the developer of the game, Slightly Mad Studios, said that they were hoping for Nintendo to announce their "NX" at E3 2015, which they did not. With that in mind, Slighty Mad Studios has finally cancelled the Wii U version, stating, "It is simply too much for Wii U." Hopefully we will see the game hit Nintendo NX in the future.

FreakZone Games Announces AVGN Adventures 2

FreakZone Games, the geniuses behind Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures have officially announced Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures 2 at SGC 2015. The original hit, Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures was based off of James Rolfe's YouTube channel character, the Angry Video Game Nerd, which you can check out here. You can find out some more about the game after the break.

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Two New Weapons Releasing in Splatoon Tonight

Splatoon has had many new maps added recently, and many new weapons, as well as new modes. Now, two more new weapons are arriving later tonight! They are the N-ZAP '89, and the Octobrush. The N-ZAP '89 includes Sprinkler as the sub-weapon, and Inkstrike as the special weapon, while the Octobrush is a new brush that comes with Squid Beacons as the sub-weapon, and Kraken as its special weapon. These two new weapons will be arriving tonight at 7PM PT (10PM EST). Are you excited for these new weapons? You can check out some images of these new weapons after the break.

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President of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, Passes Away at Age 55

Rest in Peace to the president of Nintendo himself, Satoru Iwata, aged 55. If you are reading this right now, yes, it is true that Iwata has sadly passed away. Iwata has passed away, "due to a bile duct growth." He had to skip going to E3 2014 due to medical issues, which it was later revealed that Iwata was undergoing surgery for a tumor in the bile duct. Iwata passed away yesterday, July 11, 2015. Many people are already mourning his loss on Twitter, including Sakurai himself, the director of the Super Smash Bros. series. Iwata will certainly stay in all of our hearts, and he will surely be missed. RIP Satoru Iwata. You can check out the official statement from Nintendo on Iwata's death here.

Splatoon Will be Adding Moray Towers to Map Rotation

Splatoon - Moray Towers

Following the announcement of the Second North American Splatfest, Nintendo of America has confirmed that a new map will be entering the Splatoon map rotation later today: Moray Towers. The Map will be joining 8 others already available and feature a number of narrow pathways. Moray Towers will be available starting July 10th at 7 P.M. PT (10 P.M. ET). Are you enjoying the frequent content updates since the release of Splatoon?

Splatoon's Second North American Splatfest Announced for July 17th

North American Splatfest 2

Following the very successful last week that featured Cats and Dogs (congratulations to Team Dog for the win), Nintendo of America has announced via Twitter that the second North American Splatfest will be held from July 17th (9 P.M. PT) to July 18th (9 P.M. PT). Splatoon players will have to choose between two popular summer attractions of Roller Coasters and Water Slides, and then be willing to defend their choice against the opposing team all day by way of Turf Wars. Make sure to turn on Splatoon on July 17th to climb the ranks and support your team!

The Binding of Issac: Rebirth is Coming to Wii U and New 3DS July 23

As revealed by developer Nicalis on Twitter, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth will be launching on the New 3DS, Wii U, and Xbox One on July 23rd. Originally slated for a 3DS release back in 2012, Nintendo did not pass the game on it's content review on account of religious content. It seems Nintendo has had a change of heart, so this definitive edition of The Binding of Isaac will be hitting Nintendo platforms for the first time! July 23rd is the North American release date, stay tuned for news on a European launch!

Prototype of a Nintendo and Sony Collaboration Console Found

Back after Nintendo had already made two consoles, the NES and SNES, Nintendo was working with Sony to try and create a console collaboration with them that would be an SNES with a CD-ROM drive, called the Playstation. However, for unknown reasons, Nintendo left their partnership with Sony to instead collaborate on a console with Philips, which would then of course lead to the infamous Philips CD-i. You can continue reading for more info on this after the break, as well as for pictures of this prototype, as well as a video of it.

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Shovel Knight is Coming to Retail Later This Year

Recently revealed by Yacht Club Games earlier this week, Shovel Knight will be getting a retail release later this year. The popular 2D side scrolling game has already been released on multiple platforms such as Steam, Wii U, 3DS, PS4, and Xbox One, but not retail until later this year. Shovel Knight will be releasing retail on all of those platforms, except for PC, which is only for Europe. It will be releasing in stores for a price of $19.99 on October 13, 2015 for North America, and October 16, 2015 for Europe. Will you be buying Shovel Knight later this year if you don't have it yet? You can preorder the game now on Amazon, GameStop, and Best Buy.

Splatoon's Tower Control Mode Releases Tomorrow

Nintendo has revealed via their Twitter this morning that a new mode will be coming to Splatoon tomorrow night. This mode is the Tower Control mode, which is a ranked battle we first found out about during the Splatoon Direct. The new mode will be available to play tomorrow night at 7PM PT (10PM EST). There will also be a Nintendo Treehouse: Live to show off Splatoon's Tower control later today at 3PM PT (6PM EST). Are you looking forward to the new mode? You can check out a preview of the new mode after the break.

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Splatoon Update Coming Out Next Week

Splatoon will be receiving its first sort of balance patch, like Smash Bros, soon. The update will be coming out before the first North American Splatfest that is on next Saturday, July 4, so there can be balance fixes and fixes to Splatfest as well for the big event. You can check after the break for update notes on Splatoon's 1.3.0 update, releasing July 1 in Japan and June 30 in North America. Will you be playing at Splatfest?

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Nintendo Zone Viewer Server Has Been Discontinued

Nintendo has announced that the Nintendo Zone Viewer application on Nintendo 3DS systems will be ending. Originally announced in October of 2008, Nintendo Zone was for Nintendo DSi systems to get original content exclusive to the area. The Nintendo Zone Viewer application was already on Nintendo 3DS systems when you got one, and was used to view exclusive 3D videos, upcoming previews, video game trivias, and even more exclusive content. You can check after the break for the full service update of Nintendo Zone Viewer and information on its discontinuation.

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New Details on Fire Emblem Fates Revealed

Nintendo has revealed news details on the upcoming Fire Emblem game, Fire Emblem Fates, which has just recently released in Japan today, and will be releasing in North America and Europe later on in 2016. You can continue reading after the break to see some new information on the game.One of the big things in this is that they have decided to include same-sex marriage in this new Fire Emblem game.

Unlike Nintendo's Mii simulator game released last June, Tomodachi Life, Fire Emblem Fates will include same-sex marriage in both the Conquest and Birthright editions of the game. However, fans will need to purchase the Conquest edition for a relationship between two male characters, or the Birthright edition if they want a relationship between two female characters.

Adding onto this, Nintendo said, "We believe that our gameplay experiences should reflect the diversity of the communities in which we operate and, at the same time, we will always design the game specifications of each title by considering a variety of factors, such as the game's scenario and the nature of the game play." "In the end of course, the game should be fun to play. We feel that Fire Emblem Fates is indeed enjoyable to play and we hope fans like the game."

A new Iwata Asks has also been put out recently about Fire Emblem Fates. New details such as the storyline, the enemy/ally relationship, and also the fact that the previous Fire Emblem game, Fire Emblem Awakening, had meant to be the last in the series. You can check out the full Iwata Asks on Fire Emblem Fates here. Are you excited for the new edition to the Fire Emblem franchise? Fire Emblem Fates will be releasing next year in 2016 for North America and Europe.

Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam Combines Mario and Luigi and Paper Mario in 2016

An interesting twist on both the Mario & Luigi and Paper Mario franchises was introduced today in the form of Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam. The game features Mario & Luigi teaming up with their paper forms. New features include rhythm-based giant papercraft battles and using Paper Mario's unique ability and attributes to solve puzzles. The game will come to 3DS in the Spring of 2016. Click Read More to check out the official trailer and artwork!

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Metroid Prime: Federation Force and Blast Ball Coming to 3DS in 2016

Although it may not be the Metroid Prime sequel we were hoping for on Wii U, the Blast Ball that was showcased at the Nintendo World Championships turned out to be a new Metroid game, Metroid Prime: Federation Force. The game features a 4-player co-op adventure, with Blast Ball as a 3-on-3 mini game option. The game is being developed by Next Level Games, and will be available in the first quarter of 2016. Check out after the break for more information, a trailer, and all of the released assets!

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More Details On Super Mario Maker Revealed During Digital Event

During Nintendo's E3 Digital Event today, more details were revealed about Super Mario Maker. Nintendo already showed more gameplay of the game the other night as the final game of the Nintendo World Championships 2015. You can read about some new features in Super Mario Maker and check out the new trailer for the game after the break.

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Star Fox Zero Is Coming to Wii U this Holiday Season

Nintendo opened it's Digital Even at E3 this year by showcasing the previously announced Star Fox Wii U game. Star Fox Zero takes on the traditional dogfighting style gameplay and features familiar characters like Fox, Falco, Peppy, and Pigma. Although it plays similarly to Star Fox 64, Star Fox Zero will be a completely new adventure. The game features 1-2 players, is co-developed by Platinum Games, and will be available this holiday season. Hit the jump for a trailer, screenshots, and more information.

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Nintendo Digital Event Recap from E3 2015

Nintendo has once again hosted their Nintendo Digital Event for E3 like last year, bringing exciting announcements for new games, and some games we already knew about. This year, they mainly focused on Wii U and 3DS games to release this year, and in early 2016. Some games include Super Mario Maker, Star Fox Zero, and Yoshi's Woolly World. For a look at some of Nintendo's announcements during the Digital Event this year, you can see the press release and the full footage of the Digital Event after the break.

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EarthBound Beginnings Announced as a Mother 1 Western Port for Wii U eShop

Announced earlier today during the Nintendo World Championships 2015, the original Mother game that was previously a Japanese Famicom exclusive will be transalated and brought over to the west as a Wii U eshop exclusive. This came as a huge surprise and to much delight of western Mother and Earthbound fans. Earthbound Beginnings will arrive on the Wii U eShop in North America tonight at 9 P.M. EST. Click Read More for the launch trailer.

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New Content Revealed for Super Smash Bros.

In a Smash Bros. presentation today by Masahiro Sakurai, new content was revealed for Smash Bros. including more characters, stages, amiibo, and new features. Two characters that were leaked yesterday were announced today, Roy and Ryu. New stages like Suzaku Castle and returning stages like Dreamland were also revealed. You can check after the break for the full scoop and for the video of the Smash Bros. presentation.

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Ryu, Roy, Dreamland 64 and More Leaked for Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS

Although a few song files that hinted at the release of Street Fighter's Ryu and Fire Emblem's Marth as Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS DLC was datamined months ago, the most recent patch released today in Japan all but confirms them. Twitter User RandomTBush has released the high quality renders, artwork, trophies, videos, and special moves that accompany the upcoming DLC characters. Check out the rest of what was revealed after the break!

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Splatoon Gets Another New Map Tonight

Nintendo has revealed today that a new map will be added to Splatoon tonight, via the Nintendo Twitter. This new map, called Kelp Dome, which consists of a maze inside a dome, as well as a grated walkway above the ground. The Kelp Dome map in Splatoon will be added tonight at 7PM PT (10PM EST) like the most recent update. Are you excited to play Kelp Dome tonight or in the future?

SEGA Reveals New Sonic Boom Game for Nintendo 3DS

Today, the SEGA team has officially revealed a new Sonic Boom game, called Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice. With this suprising news, comes some unsurprising news, Big Red Button will not be developing the game. Confirmed on the Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter, Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice will be developed by Sanzaru Games, unlike the past two Sonic Boom games that were made for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. Are you excited for the new game? Do you think Sanzaru Games will do a better job than Big Red Button? You can check out the official reveal trailer after the break.

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Lucas and Miiverse Stage Coming Soon to Smash Bros. 3D and Wii U

We've known since October about a Miiverse stage coming to Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and we've known since April that Lucas will be joining both versions as DLC. Today, Sakurai officially confirmed the release date of both the stage and Lucas on Miiverse. They will be arriving at 8 AM PT (11 AM EST) on Sunday, June 14, the Miiverse stage as a free add-on stage in the update, and Lucas, priced at $3.99 for seperate versions, and $4.99 on both versions. Also coming out in this new update will be Splatoon Mii Fighter costumes for your Mii to wear. Are you excited for Lucas? You can check some screenshots of Lucas, the Miiverse stage, and the Splatoon Mii Fighter costumes after the break.

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New Weapon Arriving Tonight on Splatoon

Splatoon's developers have already promised post-launch content after the game releases. Now, a new weapon, the Inkbrush, will be arriving in Splatoon tonight. This weapon will be a type of roller and will come with Sprinklers as the bomb, and Inkstrike as well. The latest DLC before this was a new weapon, a new map, and a new mode. Now, the Inkbrush arrives tonight at 7PM PT (10PM EST). Will you be trying it out tonight? You can check out some screenshots of the Inkbrush in-game after the break.

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Splatoon Adds New Map, Weapon, and Mode

Nintendo has already revealed in the past that Splatoon would be getting post-launch DLC added onto the game. In their Nintendo Direct Micro yesterday, Nintendo revealed that the first DLC would be launched later that night at 7PM PT. The update included the new weapon, the N-Zap ‘85, the first new map for multiplayer, Port Mackerel, and the unlocking of the multiplayer mode, Ranked Battle, starting off with Splat Zones. For those that don’t know, Splat Zones is the mode where two teams fight for a certain zone of the map. You can check out some previews of the new weapon and the new map after the break.

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Nintendo Direct Recap for June 1, 2015

In a surprise Nintendo Direct Micro yesterday, Nintendo revealed more details on great games coming out in the future for Wii U and 3DS. Even though E3 2015 is right around the corner, Nintendo still revealed some games in Nintendo Direct, so they are probably getting the big stuff ready for E3. To see what was revealed, including more information for E3 2015, and new Wii U and 3DS games, click read more.

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Splatoon: What You Need To Know

With the release of the upcoming third-person shooter game for Wii U, Splatoon, which has already arrived in stores in Japan, and is arriving in stores tomorrow for North America and Europe, you still may be on the verge of buying the game. So should you get the game or not? You decide for yourself! Find out tons of details about the game after the break.

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Nintendo Indie Humble Bundle Revealed

This past week, Nintendo and Humble Bundle revealed the "Humble Nindie Bundle" for purchase on Humble Bundle. For those who don't know, Humble Bundle is a site that distributes a series of online games together, in bundles. This is the first time that Nintendo has had a Humble Bundle, and hopefully there will be more in the future. You can find out more information about this bundle after the break.

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Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Stretch Goal Reveals Wii U Port

In case you haven't heard, a few weeks ago, a former producer of Castlevania revealed a new game, called Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. The former producer, Koji Igarashi, revealed hints through the website leading up to the launch of the Kickstarter on May 11, as well as letting people choose sword or whip.. Bloodstained has already been revealed to be, "an exploration-focused, side-scrolling platformer featuring RPG and crafting elements."

When the Kickstarter launched, the game passed 1 million dollars within the first ten hours, and met its goal of $500,000 within the first four hours. A recent stretch goal for the game, reaching $2,750,000 funded IGA's Biggest Castle. Next, once the stretch goal of $3,000,000 is made, a Wii U port of the game will be added. Will you be funding this project? You can check out the Kickstarter for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night by clicking here.

Tile Swapping Fun... For a While - Tilelicious: Delicious Tiles Review

Not without controversy, the eShop is growing home to more and more clones of mobile games. There are already four clones of Flappy Bird and a host of other cheap, simple games that are typically played on smartphones and tablets. Tilelicious isn't a direct clone of 2048, but it's very similar in nature and draws much inspiration from it.

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Nintendo Reveals Nintendo World Championships Qualifying Locations

In the Nintendo E3 2015 promo video, Nintendo announced the return of the Nintendo World Championships for the first time in 25 years. Today, Nintendo revealed the eight locations of the qualifying for Nintendo World Championships 2015 on Saturday, May 30. You can check out the full announcement on their website. You can also check the eight locations for the qualifying taking place on May 30 after the break.

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Nintendo Reveals E3 2015 Plans

Nintendo has finally revealed their plans for E3 2015 this June after months of speculation. Finally showing off what they have in store this year, Mega64 once again took to help Nintendo make their E3 promo, though, not being in it this year.

This year, Reggie, as well at Bill Trinen were featured in the promo. Some big news included the reveal that Nintendo would once again be doing a Digital Event on Tuesday, June 16, as well as an "extended" Nintendo Treehouse Live @ E3, featuring, "even more games and guest appearances by developers." Nintendo has also revealed that Mario Maker would have demos at Best Buy locations for fans to try out on Wednesday, June 17, and Saturday, June 20. What is probably the biggest news, is the announcement of the return of Nintendo's World Championships, for the first time in 25 years. Fans will be able to play it for a chance to compete against others, with qualifying competitions on May 30, and more details to come in the future. So what do you think? Are you ready for Nintendo at E3 2015 this year? You can check out the full promo for Nintendo at E3 2015 after the break. You can also check out the official Nintendo E3 site for more updates in the future.

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Nintendo Announces Partnership with Universal Theme Parks

In a suprising announcement this past Thursday, Nintendo has finally announced a partnership with the parks and resort company, Universal, finally giving fans what they have wanted for a long time. The deal will bring some of Nintendo's most popular flagship characters and series to life in Universal Theme Parks around the world. This includes from Nintendo characters walking around the park, to Nintendo themed rides, like rollercoasters, or anything for that matter. This announcement came as quite a shocker, and as an excitement to many people. You can check out the full press release after the break.

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Nintendo's Financial Briefing Results Come In

This past Thursday, Nintendo held their annual financial briefing, talking about the company's marketing and business plans from the past year, as well as talking about the future of Nintendo's games. One highlight from their financial briefing is the sales of some of the most popular 3DS games, showing the sales continuing to grow. Some of these games include Mario Kart 7 at 11.7 million sales, Super Smash Bros. 3D at 6.75 million sales, and Pokemon X and Pokemon Y, together at 13.85 million sales.

Nintendo also reconfirmed some of the previously announced Wii U games, coming out during the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2016, with games like Splatoon releasing at the end of this month, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Mario Maker, Project Giant Robot, Star Fox Wii U, and a few others too. Keep reading for more information from the financial briefing after the break.

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Disney Infinity 3.0 Officially Revealed, Star Wars Joins In

Disney Infinity has just revealed a video showing what new characters and playsets will be available in Disney Infinity 3.0. There have been rumors and speculation about who would join the game, and some are actually correct. Star Wars characters including Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano, Obi-Wan, Darth Maul, and Yoda will be joining the lineup of Disney Infinity, as well as characters from Tron: Legacy, Frozen, and Mulan. Disney Infinity 3.0 and these characters are set to release later this fall, before the new Star Wars movie comes out. Will you be picking any of these up? You can check out the official announcement trailer after the break.

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Yooka-Laylee Officially Revealed, Kickstarter Launched

Playtonic Games, the studio made up of former Rare employees, such as Grant Kirkhope, Chris Sutherland, David Wise, and many others, have officially revealed the new game they are making. Yooka-Laylee, previously known as Project Ukulele, will be a 3D platformer, staring the chameleon, Yooka, and the bat, Laylee. Pictures of the two characters have also been put up, as well as a sample of some of the music, loads of screenshots and gameplay videos, as well as a Kickstarter.

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You Can Now Purchase Mewtwo for Smash Bros!

Here's some nice news to those that either didn't buy both versions of the latest Smash Bros. game, or forgot to register them on Club Nintendo, Mewtwo is now available in the Super Smash Bros. DLC shop! Players who did not receive Mewtwo through Club Nintendo can now buy the returning Pokémon fighter for $4.99 for both versions, or $3.99 for seperate versions. More DLC characters will be joining the latest Smash Bros. installment thanks to the Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot, as well as Lucas coming in June. Will you be buying Mewtwo?

amiibo Tap Wii U Application Coming April 30th

amiibo Tap: Nintendo's Greatest Bits, the amiibo based Wii U application, will be headed to the console very soon! The application, which lets you unlock gameplay highlights from selected NES and SNES titles. If you tap an amiibo onto the gamepad, you will get a random game from either of the systems to try out for three minutes. The new application has already released in Japan, and will be headed to American and European Wii U's this Thursday, April 30. Are you excited to try out the application? You can check out the Japanese release trailer of amiibo Tap after the break.

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Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack 2 Out Now, 200cc Update Alongside

The long awaited Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack 2 has been released today. The new DLC that you can buy from the Nintendo eShop for $7.99 includes 3 new characters, 8 courses, and some new vehicles. Alongside the DLC comes the free 200cc update, adding the new mode for faster and more exciting racing action. You can look at the Mario Kart 8 4.0 patch notes after the break.

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Sales of Nintendo Systems up Nearly 60 Percent in 2015

Nintendo Logo

Nintendo has just released US sales data for 2015 so far and it is looking well for them. Nintendo 3DS sales have increased roughly 80 percent over sales during the same time period of 2014 with Wii U sales up more than 20 percent. Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS has continued to sell well with 110,00 for the 3DS version in its sixth month on the market. Newly released Mario Party 10 sold nearly 290,000 units in the first two weeks. Check out more information in the press release after the break...

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Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack 2 Tracks Revealed

This past week, Nintendo has finally unveiled the 8 courses coming in Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack 2. There will be four new courses and four retro courses. The new courses will be Animal Crossing, Big Blue from F-Zero, Super Bell Subway, based off of the Super Mario 3D World powerup, and Wild Woods. The returning courses include fan favorite Baby Park from the GameCube, Cheese Land from Mario Kart Super Circuit on the GameBoy Advance, Neo Bowser City from Mario Kart 7, and Ribbon Road from the GameBoy Advance.

The DLC Pack 2 also brings characters Isabelle, Villager, and returning character Dry Bowser, as well as more vehicles. Alongside the DLC will be a free update to Mario Kart 8, adding the new 200cc racing mode, and more Mii racing suits to be unlocked from tapping amiibo in, including characters like Pac-Man, Rosalina and Luma, Bowser, and Mega Man. Don't miss the Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack 2, coming out April 23 for $7.99, unless you already prepurchased it, or alongside Pack 1, and don't miss the free update coming out the same day. Will you be buying the new DLC? You can check out an overview trailer of the DLC after the break.

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Kickstarter Launch Date for Project Ukulele Revealed

Playtonic Games, the studio made up of former Rare employees, has recently announced an update on their awaited game, Project Ukulele. At EGX Rezzed this past March, they showed many things, such as in development screenshots of the game, information regarding gameplay and collectibles, and an announcement of a Kickstarter for the game. The update they announced via Twitter is an image saying, "Coming soon to to Kickstarter on May 1st!" Are you excited for Project Ukulele and will you help fund the Kickstarter? Stay tuned for more news in the future on Project Ukulele.

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A New RPG Experience, Monster Hunter Stories, is Coming to 3DS

In a rather unexpected announcement at Monster Hunter Fest '15 Finals in Japan Capcom has revealed an up and coming RPG in the Monster Hunter series. Monster Hunter Stories will venture from the traditional Monster Hunter formula and feature a cartoon graphic style and RPG mechanics. Very little is known about the game so far, but we do know it has been in development for five years and you can catch the cinematic trailer after the break. Monster Hunter Stories is scheduled for a 2016 release in Japan and will probably head to the west soon after, stay tuned for more information.

Masahiro Sakurai Still Has Shoulder Problems After Smash Bros 3D/Wii U

The director of the Super Smash Bros. series of games is still having shoulder problems after the newly released games in the franchise, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS, as he revealed in his column in the Weekly Famitsu. Two years ago, Sakurai revealed that he had calcific tendinitis in his right shoulder, and it appears he is still having problems. He also said how if he plays a game that involves button mashing, his arm would give out in ten minutes. You can check out more about Sakurai's pain and issues with his arm here.

Big John Games Reveals Targeted Date for Cube Creator 3D

Indie studio Big John Games has revealed the targeted release date for their 3DS Minecraft-like game, Cube Creator 3D. The studio yesterday revealed on their Twitter page that they are targeting a release of Cube Creator 3D on Thursday, April 23. The release date could be changed in the next few days, but they are hoping to release it on that day! The game features a survival mode to fight, explore, and create what they want to! While the game is still not out yet, you can still go to the Nintendo eShop now and download the Cube Creator 3D demo. You can watch the trailer for Cube Creator 3D after the break.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Coming to Wii U?

The popular franchise of Call of Duty could once again be heading to Wii U. This rumor is based on a NeoGAF member who found out it is possible to link your Nintendo Network ID on the Call of Duty website. Once you make your account on the website, you can link your account to either Xbox Live, Playstation Network, Steam, or your Nintendo Network ID. Let's hope that this is true and that Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is coming to Wii U in the future, unlike the last Call of Duty game, Advanced Warfare. Do you think the game will be headed to Wii U? We may possibly find out on April 26 in the world reveal of the game. You can check out the official teaser trailer and the image showing the accounts you can link to your Call of Duty account after the break.

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LEGO Introduces Their Toys-to-Life Product Line

Earlier today, LEGO introduced the world to their own product line of toys-to-life figures, called LEGO Dimensions. Toys-to-life has become a popular idea as of lately, as shown in Disney Infinity, Skylanders, and especially amiibo, so it makes sense that LEGO is jumping along as well. It is not clear as to how the LEGO figurines interact with the game, but it could possibly add new characters, new levels, among many other things. We will hopefully find out more in the future. It appears that The Wizard of Oz, Ninjago, Back to the Future, and many more themes will be tieing into the game, so there should be a big variety. You can preorder the game for Nintendo Wii U, as well as Playstation 4, Xbox One, Playstation 3, or Xbox 360 on the game's Amazon page for $100, and it will release on September 27, 2015. Continue reading after the break for the official LEGO Dimensions announcement video and for some of the expansion packs.

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Code Name: S.T.E.A.M Update Enhances Enemy Turn Speed

An update for Code Name: S.T.E.A.M first announced in the Nintendo Direct on April 1 has released today, which adds a fast-forward button to the enemy turn to speed it up. The update is available to users who already own Code Name: S.T.E.A.M either physically or digitally, and the update is free, but requires 27 blocks on your 3DS system. Check after the break for the official notes of the update, plus the update video for more information!

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New Footage Shows Off 200cc vs 150cc on Piranha Plant Slide in Mario Kart 8

A new video by Nintendo features the difference in speed between the 200CC and the 150CC on the Piranha Plant Pipeway course in Mario Kart 8. The video shows a major difference between how quick 1 lap was finished in both of the versions of the game. Are you excited for the big 200CC Mario Kart 8 update? The update releases on April 23, which is not too far away. You can check out the video highlighting the difference in the 150CC and 200CC after the break.

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Terraria on Nintendo Finally Coming?

Terraria, the Minecraft-like Indie game by Re-Logic could finally be hitting the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. After rumors of Terraria coming to the 3DS and Wii U back in January of this year when a Wii U and 3DS listing of Terraria was found on Gamefly, the rumor seems to have a bigger chance of becoming real. This time, the USK (Game rating service in Germany, like the ESRB) has given a rating to Terraria on 3DS and Wii U. Could we be seeing an official announcment coming soon? We'll hopefully see soon. You can check out the rating on the USK website.

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RUMOR: Meta Knight amiibo Restock this Summer?

A new rumor has emerged involving the Best Buy exclusive Meta Knight amiibo. It originally released on February 20, alongside the new Wii U game, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse. This new rumor, comes from a well trusted Best Buy employee on Reddit claiming, "Best Buy is actually planning a summer restock with no firm date yet established." This would come as a help to many fans looking for the Meta Knight amiibo, as it quickly came and went, just like Marth, Villager, and Wii Fit Trainer of wave 1, of which, Marth will be having a restock in May. Do you think this is true? You can check out the Reddit thread here.

5 Characters Joining Smash Bros. From the Fighter Ballot?

Disclaimer: This cuold very be an error or coincidental speculation. Nothing has been confirmed.

It appears that five fighters could join the battle as DLC in the future. Thanks to the Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot, those five characters could be chosen from the top picks on that. This rumor comes from the official Smash Bros. website, where if you go to the bottom of one of the characters pages, and move to the boxes all the way on the right, you can see Pac-Man, Mii Fighters, ???, Mewtwo, and then 5 blank boxes. Who could we see joining the battle? Plenty of Indie studios such as Wayforward of Shantae and Team Meat of Super Meat Boy are already pushing their characters to join the battle, and are saying that it would be awesome to see that happen to their characters! Who do you want in the battle? You can go and vote for who you want to join Super Smash Bros. at the Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot site. Check out the picture of the rumor in question after the break!

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AVGN Adventures hits Wii U

The Nerd himself, the Angry Video Game Nerd finally has a game on a Nintendo console! The infamously hard game, Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures, has finally hit the Wii U this past Thursday. The rage-inducing 2D platformer brings together different elements from the Nerd’s episodes of his show on YouTube. You can adventure on as the Nerd himself, Mike Matei, one of his friends, or a few other people. If you want to try and beat (or get as far as you can) in this game, you can head on over to the Nintendo eShop on the Wii U to buy the game for $9.99, or just wait until it releases on the Nintendo 3DS in the future. You can check out James’s (The Nerd's) Youtube channel here. Check out the AVGN Adventures launch trailer for Wii U after the break.

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Free April Monthly DLC out for Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

The newest free DLC pack for the month of April is now available to download in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. The theme of this month's pack is Super Mario Bros. and Sonic the Hedgehog, gear for your Palico is available accordingly. This pack includes 14 new quests, 2 new weapons, 3 complete armor sets, 4 Palico weapons, among many other goodies. You can download these as well as the March DLC (Legend of Zelda theme) from the DLC menu in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate on 3DS. The free monthly DLC packs will continue to e available on the first Friday of every month. Continue reading for the trailer and full press release.

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Nintendo Direct Recap for April 1, 2015

Did you miss out on the plethora of exciting news that was revealed during the Nintendo Direct earlier today? We've got plenty of great games and content coming our way over the next few months with DLC for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS and Mario Kart 8. New details on games we haven't heard about in a while like Yoshi's Wooly World and Fire Emblem for 3DS have also been announced. We've also got news of more amiibo on the way, including cards and plushes rather than hard plastic amiibos. For a breakdown of everything we learned today, click read more.

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Mario Kart 8 2nd DLC Pack Coming April 23 Along With 200cc Races

In the Nintendo Direct earlier today we got news that the 2nd Mario Kart 8 DLC pack originally scheduled for release in May will now launch April 23. This pack features 3 new racers, four new vehicles, and 8 new tracks many of which sport an Animal Crossing theme. One of the eight courses is an Animal Crossing course that will change between the four seasons each time it is raced on. Also announced today for the first time in Mario Kart history is the introduction of a new engine class, 200cc, to the lineup. 200cc will allow for even faster races for those who have mastered 150cc. Last but not least, Mario Kart 8 will now support many more amiibo that add costumes to Mii racers.

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Splatoon Launches May 29 Featuring Ranked Mode and Battle Dojo With amiibo

We've been aware of a single player and online 4-on-4 player battles ("Turf Wars") in Splatoon, but two more game modes were detailed in the Nintendo Direct earlier today. The Battle Dojo is Splatoon's local multiplayer experience that offers 1-on-1 battles where one player uses the gamepad and features slightly different win conditions. More experienced players of level 10 or above will also have access to Ranked Mode, which is a more competitive mode that pits you in 4-on-4 battles with similarly ranked players around the world. It was also announced that there will be three Splatoon amiibo that offer unique gameplay experiences.

Lucas Joins the Battle! Available as DLC in Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS this June

In the Nintendo Direct earlier today, Lucas was unexpectedly confirmed as DLC for Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS. Joining his pal Ness from the Mother series, Lucas returns as a veteran from Brawl and will be available as a paid download in June. You can check out his trailer after the break. Nintendo have also opened up a poll where you can vote on the next newcomer DLC for Smash Bros. which is available here.

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Is it as Enchanted as it seems? - Trine: Enchanted Edition Review

Before now, Wii U owners only had access to Trine 2. However, Frozenbyte have taken the opportunity to remaster the original game using the improved engine of the sequel and it has a much welcomed Wii U release to go with it. But the question is, after playing Trine 2, is its predecessor worth the time?

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"You Are The Winner! Go You!" Is WayForward's Latest Project

Wayforward's latest original adventure was announced today - "You Are The Winner! Go You!" will be arriving later this fall and will be coming to all platforms, including Wii U and 3DS. YATWGY will feature a brand new technology courtesy of WayForward, "PlayForMe". PlayForMe makes it easier for anyone to play the game, as you no longer have to defeat enemies, collect coins, or even press any buttons, PlayForMe does it for you! If you're just as excited as us for this new adventre, you can read more about it after the break!

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Nintendo Partners with DeNA to Bring Their IP to Smartphones

In a somewhat surprising news Nintendo has announced a partnership with Japanese mobile software giant DeNA to establish a new infrastructure and membership system across all platforms (3DS, Wii U, NX, PCs, Smartphones, Tablets, ect.) and bring their IP to the mobile market. The two companies are now heavily invested in each other with Nintendo being a 10% (and the 2nd largest) shareholder of DeNA. The two companies plan to work together to bring this connected membership program (which will replace Club Nintendo) and the first smartphone games to the market by the end of the year.

Nintendo have told skeptics not to worry about a complete transformation into a software company, as their main focus will still be on their own hardware and making quality software for it. They've also said that all mobile games will be completely new software, and they won't be porting games from their own hardware. In fact, they've also very vaguely announced that they're working on a new piece of hardware codenamed "NX" that will be revealed in 2016. Very little is known about what platforms the first games will be released on and which IP Nintendo will bring to the mobile market. Stay tuned for more information and hit the break for the full press release!

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More Details On Project Ukulele Revealed

New details on the Playtonic Games platformer, Project Ukulele, has been revealed at Rezzed. The team over at Playtonic Games has revealed new details on the game, such as gameplay, music, and first looks at the world the game will take place in. They have also announced that there could possibly be amiibo support in the future, and that there will be a Kickstarter starting later on in May 2015. Finally, the official Playtonic Twitter account answered the fans question as to why the heroes in the game weren't shown today, simply stating, "we did. Didn't you see them?". You can also chat with others about the new game in the Playtonic Games forums. Take a look at some 'screenshots' of the game, and more info on the game after the break.

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Netflix is Now Available on NES

...and we're only sort of joking. Although you won't be able to load the popular video streaming service on to your own cartridges, a team at Netflix has gotten a version of Netflix to run on the 30 year old console. The developers came up with the idea during the Netflix Hack Day event. You can check out the footage below to see the intro of "House of Cards" running in not-so-HD on the NES.

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New Splatoon Footage Shows Off Paint Roller

A short video has been put out by the developers of Splatoon showing off the paint roller item. The Paint Roller is just one of many paint-based weaons you'll be able to weild in the latest arena shooter from Nintendo. As seen in the footage below, the Paint Roller allows you to cover large areas of the arena with paint at once, or roll over/flick paint at your enemies for a kill. Splatoon is out in North America this May. You can check out the new footage after the break.

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Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy Plus Review

The latest 3DS title (optimized for New 3DS) from Bandai Namco Games is a re-release of the 2011 3DS game of the same name (itself being a remake of the PS1 Ace Combat 2), bar the "plus". The latest dog fighting adventure features several improvements over the previous installment including enhanced controls and amiibo support.

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Free March Monthly DLC out for Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

The first of many free monthly DLC packs for Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is available courtesy of Capcom. This pack is DLC themed and features 14 new quests, 11 new weapons, 8 armor sets, among much more. Included in this pack is also the two winning designs from the Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Weapon Design contest: Clockwork Insect Glaive and Emperor’s Speech Hunting Horn. The Monster Hunter Caravan Tour also kicks off today at PAX East in Boston. You can check out the DLC trailer and full press release after the break!

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WayForward Celebrates 25 Years with Huge Discounts

In celebration of it's 25th anniversary, developer WayForward is hosting a sale on a number of it's recent releases, many of which are on Nintendo platforms. The sale offers both 3DS and Wii U games at 25%-75% off their normal price. Among the discounted games is the excellent Shanatae and the Pirate's Curse and Mighty Switch Force. You can check out the full press release after the jump.

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A Classic Zombie Adventure - Zombie Incident Review

A little bit of history is needed for this title. Zombie Incident was developed in 2011 for the MSXdev'11 competition, in which it won first prize. The competition was to develop a game for the MSX, a computer popular in Europe and Japan in the 1980's. Fast forward to today and the game has been spruced up a little and put up for 3DS download, though the original MSX ROM can still be downloaded (as well as a proper cart that can be played on actual MSX hardware).

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Golden Mario amiibo Coming Exclusively to Walmart March 20

The recently rumored Gold Mario amiibo has been confirmed for the U.S. today by Nintendo of America. The Gold Mario amiibo will be available exclusively at 3,000 Walmart stores in the U.S. in time for the launch of Mario Party 10 on March 20. This special edition gold color is purely an aesthetic, it will register to every supporting game as either of the other two Mario amiibo would. You can check out the full press release and a purchase link after the break...

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Here's the Most Difficult Super Mario World Level Beaten

A romhacker known as Pangaea Panga has spent the last 3 years creating and beating what is undoubtedly the most difficult Super Mario World level ever created. Item Abuse 3 is the third in a triology of insanely difficult custom Super Mario World levels that feature humanely impossible uses of items such as the the cape, shells, yoshis, and keys. The completion of the level was a Tool Assisted Run, meaning it was slowed down frame by frame and used a number of other techniques a total of 78,160 tries to complete. You can see the completion of the level by it's creator as well as a download link after the break...

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Zombie Incident to Arrive in European 3DS eShop February 26

Coder Child's latest release for 3DS, Zombie Incident, will be making it's way to the European eShop on February 26. Zombie Incident was designed with an early-80's retro 8-bit feel to be played on MSX systems. The game pits you as the a young heroine explores a mysterious, beast-clad citadel in search of 8 golden stars. The game will has a tentative release date of March 5 in the U.S. and will be priced at £2 and $2 as a 3DS download. To see a full list of features and a trailer, click Read More!

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Release Date Revealed for Yoshi's Woolly World?

Originally shown at E3 2014, Yoshi’s Woolly World, a new Yoshi game for Nintendo Wii U, was given a release date of, “the first half of 2015”. It has recently not been shown in any Nintendo Direct, even the Nintendo Direct on January 14, focusing on Spring games for Wii U and 3DS. Nintendo may have given a release to it on their games guide list. According to Nintendo's game guide listing by release date, Yoshi's Woolly World will supposedly be arriving on July 31, 2015. While we have yet to find out if it's true, looking at the date, the end of July is still far away. But, if it is releasing then, there is a good chance it will be at E3 2015. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too much longer until we hear more about it!

Custom amiibo Maker has amiibo Sold Through Toys R Us

It has recently been revealed that Toys R Us will soon be selling custom made amiibo by Evilos Art. Evilos, who creates and sells custom amiibo, has made many great customs in the past, such as Cosmic Mario, Metal Mario, and Cosmic Samus. As said in a recent Amiibo Inquirer article, "A historic move by a major corporation like this, and could have a huge impact on custom sales in the future. According to the article, negotiations are in the final stages, and details such as styles, availability, and pricing are yet to be known. When they go on sale, don’t be late and order fast!

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse: What You Need To Know

The next game in the Kirby franchise, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse for Nintendo Wii U, has officially released today! If you are on the edge of buying it, and need a little more convincing, or you are already planning to purchase it, here is what you need to know about the game. Look at the details of the game after the break!

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Star Fox on Wii U Will Feature Motion and Analog Controls

The long awaited entry in the Star Fox franchise is coming later this year, and there is supposedly going to be two different types of control, motion control and analog stick control. As stated in the latest magazine of Game Informer, "Fox will be able to fly his Arwing and seamlessly transform into a tank during certain sequences. Pilots can control the game either with their GamePad's analog sticks or motion control." Let's hope this is true and that Star Fox U isn't too far off from now!

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Nintendo Investor Meeting: Amiibo Cards and More Coming

Nintendo held their annual investors meeting on Monday; which you can check that out here. In their meeting, Iwata gave more information on the future of amiibo. As said in the past, Nintendo are still hard at work on creating amiibo cards, which will hopefully release later this year. He stated that it will be useful for those wanting to use amiibo that are not in production anymore. Check out the rest of the announcements after the break!

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Banjo Kazooie Spiritual Successor Revealed, David Wise on Board

A group of former Rare employees have recently announced that they've joined together to form the independent studio Playtonic Games. Their first project, Project Ukulele, will be the spiritual successor to Banjo Kazooie that we've all been waiting for. EDGE Magazine reports that the studio is looking to expand its staff to 15 members. It's also been announced that the three Rare legends David Wise, Steve Burke, and Grant Kirkhope will be on board to compose the game's music. You can check out some concept art after the break.

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Latest Code Name STEAM Trailer from Nintendo of America

Nintendo of America has released a new trailer for Intelligent System's upcoming 3DS release Code Name S.T.E.A.M. The trailer features Abraham Lincoln along with new gameplay and an awesome civil war tune. Code Name S.T.E.A.M. is a brand new Nintendo IP set to launch on March 13, 2015 in North America. You can watch the newest trailer after the break...

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Legend of Kay Anniversary Edition Coming to Wii U and PC

It was confirmed earlier today that the 2005 Puzzle-Platformer Legend of Kay for Playstation 2 and Nintendo DS would receive an 10th Anniversary Edition coming to Wii U and PC. Nordic Games verified that the listing first seen on Amazon Germany was correct, but they don't want to reveal any additional platforms at this time. Amazon U.S. has the release date set for May 29, 2015. Legend of Kay features a young cat warrior Kay and his quest to save his homeland from an army of Gorillas and Rats.

Spin the Bottle: Bumpie's Party and Knytt Underground 50% Off Until 2/26

In anticipation of the upcoming Affordable Space Adventures on the Wii U eShop, KnapNok Games and Nifflas have teamed up to offer there two previous games at a 50% discount price until 2/26/2015. Spin the Bottle: Bumpie's Party and Knytt can each be downloaded for just $5.99 (€3.99). This promotion is to get you ready for the unique gameplay styles offered by both developers that will be combined in the future release of Affordable Space Adventures. Hit the jump for a full press release and more information.

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This Curse is a Blessing - Shantae and the Pirate's Curse

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse is WayForward's newest game in the title character's series, with another game on the way after a successful Kickstarter campaign. First announced back in November 2012 as a feature article for Nintendo Power's final issue, it spent two more years in gradual development before finally hitting the US last October and February 2015 in Europe. It is the first in the series to take on a "Metroidvania" style of gameplay, in which the world is open to the player with areas cut off based on what powers and abilities you have unlocked. The game feels like the perfect hybrid of Metroid and Zelda, with a map style similar to Super Metroid sprinkled with dungeons across the world.

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Nintendo Castle's Games of the Year 2014 Awards

Hello there! Welcome to Nintendo Castle's Game(s) of the Year Awards 2014. A panel of 4 staff members nominated and voted on their favorite games of the year in a total of 4 categories: Favorite Handheld, Favorite Indie, Favorite Music, and Game of the Year. While these games reflect an aggregate opinion of Nintendo Castle's staff, we do not claim these games to be the subjectively best games produced this year. These awards aren't to be taken to seriously, they're just a fun overlook of the games the staff members enjoyed playing most this year. Without further ado, here are the winners of Game of the Year Awards 2014!

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Super Luigi Bros. Fan Fiction Contest; Win 1 of 3 HQ 2015 Calendars!
Our friends over at Super Luigi Bros. are hosting a fan fiction writing contest until 12/17/2014. Three winners of the contest will each receive a high quality Super Mario Bros. 2015 Wall Calendar from Abrams Books. Contest entry details can be found below.
How to enter:
  • Write a Super Mario fan story of 500 words or more. Can be relating to any characters or places from the Mario universe, doesn't have to include the main man himself. Send your story to luke[at]classic-marion[dot]net
  • Like us on Facebook (we'll contact winners through facebook for delivery address, if entrant is under 16 we will contact parent/guardian of entrant for delivery address)
For more details makes sure to check out the full Mario Calendar Contest Giveaway on Super Luigi Bros.

Pokéball Insider Joins the Fight!

If you've been following us on Social Media, you know that we've had a Pokémon site in the works for some time now. The site is now ready, just in time for the launch of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire! Pokéball Insider will cover News, Walkthroughs, Guides, Articles, Media, and more on Pokémon, just like Nintendo Castle does for other franchises. Make sure to check the site our here, we're even doing a pretty cool Pokémon giveaway! We'd like to thank you for your continued viewership, and don't worry, after things get settled with PBI a few pretty big things will be coming to Nintendo Castle, stay tuned!

Episode 2 of The Fall to come in Fall 2015
It was revealed earlier today via Miiverse that sales from The Fall: Episode 1 (review) have earned enough revenue to fully fund Episodes 2 & 3. Development of the next entry has already begun development and will arrive on the Wii U eShop next autumn. The team at Over The Moon games is currently working on the EU/AU Wii U versions of the game (with an expected November release) and porting the game to PS4 and Xbox One. Hit the jump for a full press release.
Hey there! A short and sweet note from John and I to you. We've been getting lots of questions about the future of The Fall, and want to make sure that you know, that the next episode of "The Fall" has been fully funded and will be released in early Autumn 2015. From John: " It was always our goal to find a way to make them, even if our sales were almost non-existent, but thankfully we've had enough interest that making them will be easy." John and the team are working on the next chapter of Arid's story, and we'll be updating you here are we have more to share. Until then, we're still working on our WiiU EU/AUS launch (fingers crossed for a November release) and porting to the XBOX One and PS4. Lots on the go!
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Here's a list of Music Tracks coming to Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
It was recently confirmed that Super Smash Bros. for Wii U will feature over 400 music tracks! Staff member Komodo_Zero has taken the liberty of compiling a list of known Music coming to Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, which will continue to be edited until release. The spreadsheet includes a plethora of information on each track (name, composer, series,) and a link to listen to each track. Click here to see the list. Disclaimer: Most tracks are inferred after being heard in pre-release footage of the game, and aren't actually confirmed. If you don't want to miss anything that happens in the world of Nintendo, use social media to follow us on the following outlets:
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Over 50 Features Detailed for Smash Bros. for Wii U!

Earlier today the Smash Bros Wii U direct revealed 50 "fun facts" about Smash Bros. for Wii U, a lot of which was brand new information. Highlights include 8-player Smash, Mewtwo as a playable character, and Ridley making a guest appearance. Watch the video above or read the full press release after the jump.

Today Nintendo unleashed a deluge of information about its upcoming Super Smash Bros. for Wii U game, including an eight-player mode, the ability to build and share custom stages and an exclusive soundtrack offer. Nintendo revealed these and many more details in a live-streamed video announcement. To view the video in its entirety, visit

'€œSuper Smash Bros. fans got a full look today at the unbelievable variety of options and surprises that await them in the Wii U version of the game,'€ said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America'€™s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. '€œMillions of fans around the world already can'€™t get enough of the Nintendo 3DS game, and we want the Wii U version to build on that momentum.'€

Some of the topics covered in the video include:

8-Player Smash: In a major first for the franchise, a special mode lets eight players fight simultaneously in local multiplayer. This option appears only in the Wii U version, and lets players compete on even larger stages to accommodate all the characters.

amiibo Figures: When a player touches an amiibo figure to the Wii U GamePad, the character joins as a '€œfigure player.'€ The amiibo figures can gain levels to become stronger and add equipment as they gain experience through battling. Players can have amiibo fight one another, and amiibo will bring you presents from the battles they fight in.

Custom Stage Creation: The touch screen of the Wii U GamePad makes it easier than ever for players to build their own stages and eventually share them with friends and other players around the world using broadband Internet access.
Controls: Players who own the Nintendo 3DS version of the game can use their Nintendo 3DS systems to control the action on the TV screen, in addition to the many other control options available.

Importing Fighters: Fans of the Nintendo 3DS version of the game can immediately benefit from the fruits of their smashing labors. Players can import custom Nintendo 3DS fighters to the Wii U game, along with their customized equipment, costumes and hats.

Special Soundtrack Offer: Everyone who buys both the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U versions of Super Smash Bros. and registers both games on Club Nintendo by Jan. 13 will receive a two-disc soundtrack of music from the games.

Mewtwo: Like the soundtrack, this series veteran fighter will be made available as free downloadable content in spring of 2015 for anyone who buys both versions of the game.

Modes: The Wii U version of the game offers many new modes and different ways to play that keep players coming back for more:
Smash Tour: World Smash is a fighting party game that looks like a board game. Players use items, spin a wheel and advance around the map. Up to four players can compete at once as they navigate the board and gain fighters and power-ups they can use in a final battle.
Special Smash Mode: Players can customize battles with unique parameters.
Coin Battles: Players compete to collect coins from other players.
Stamina Matches: Players fight until their hit points reach zero.
Classic Mode: One or two players fight through a series of battles and advance as long as they survive. Many random events can shake things up, and players can adjust the intensity settings. The more difficult the game, the greater the rewards.
All-Star Mode: Like in the Nintendo 3DS version, opponents appear in chronological order. Only this time, the newest fighters appear before the older ones, and two players can battle through this mode together.
Event Mode: One or two players take on set character- and theme-based battles. Clearing stages helps players see the way forward.
Masterpieces: This menu gives players a peek into the past lives of some of the Super Smash Bros. characters. Players can play cut-down versions of the characters'€™ greatest games.

Stages: The Wii U game offers more stages than any game in the series. The expanded Big Battlefield makes its debut in addition to the traditional Battlefield Stage. The Great Cave Offensive, based on the underground labyrinth found in Kirby games, challenges players to avoid potentially lethal danger zones '€“ or throw their opponents into them. The Jungle Hijinxs stage, based on Donkey Kong Country Returns, lets players fight in the foreground and background. Blast barrels shoot players from front to back and vice versa.

Tunes: The game includes hundreds of music tracks, songs and jingles that players can listen to and settings to customize what music plays during game play. Players add songs to their library by collecting CDs that appear while smashing or after completing challenges.

Movies: When players clear Classic or All-Star modes, they'€™ll be treated to a brief movie featuring whichever fighter they used. Every fighter has a movie, so it'€™ll be a challenge to view them all.

Ridley. Yes, Ridley: Fans have been clamoring for Ridley to appear in a Super Smash Bros. game for a while, and now they'€™re getting their wish. But true to form, Ridley appears in an unexpected way. Players will find him in the Metroid series-inspired Pyrosphere stage, but he does more than just hassle players. If one player attacks Ridley enough, Ridley will join that fighter'€™s side and attack others. Players (including the one on Ridley'€™s side) can KO Ridley to earn a point toward the match result total. And if Ridley consumes enough energy, he will become Meta Ridley and all the more vicious.

Characters: The Wii U version offers 40 characters and the use of Mii characters from the start. Each character'€™s moves match those found in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, so players who hone their skills in the portable game will have an edge over opponents in the console version of the game.

If you don't want to miss anything that happens in the world of Nintendo, use social media to follow us on the following outlets:

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Yoshi Circuit Makes a Return for Mario Kart 8 DLC
Nintendo of Japan confirmed that one of the 8 tracks coming to the November 2014 Mario Kart 8 DLC will be Yoshi Circuit. Above is footage of the track running in Mario Kart 8. Yoshi Circuit debuted as a track in Mario Kart Double Dash!! for Gamecube. Will you be picking up the first wave of Mario Kart 8 DLC? If you don't want to miss anything that happens in the world of Nintendo, use social media to follow us on the following outlets:
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Project Cars Delayed Until March 2015 on All Platforms
Update: It's now been confirmed that Project Cars will release on March 20, 2015 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. There's no mention of when the Wii U version will release. Slightly Mad had this to say:
Our goal has always been to deliver a landmark title that encompasses the wishes and desires of racing fans from all around the world. Something with features and content powered by the community that provide a truly unforgettable and pioneering experience. Whilst a tough decision to make, the change in release date allows the game the greatest chance of success and visibility, and the opportunity to polish the game even further to the high standards that both ourselves and our community demand and expect. We're eager for you all to see what we've been working on in just a few months.
Original Article: A NeoGaf post suggests that Project Cars, originally to be released next month on PS4 and XB1 and next year on PC and Wii U has been pushed to March 2015 on all platforms. This piece of information has apparently been posted on the Project Cars backer forum and we should expect a press release later today, assuming this is true. We'll keep you updated on that. While many will surely be disappointed of the news, Nintendo fans might find comfort in the new level playing field that the Wii U version of the game will have. Here's a snapshot of the revealed information:
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Nintendo Castle Top Ten Music Tracks: Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS Top Ten

With the release of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS today, which we're no doubt certain you are all either already enjoying or will be so shortly, we figured it was time we looked into one aspect that we're very excited about in the latest all-star brawler. The music. Despite having only two tracks per stage, there is still a wide variety of music on display. Even with all of the returning tracks, of which there are plenty, there is still a wide variety of new and remixed tracks that is sure to please fans of each respective series. Without further ado, Nintendo Castle presents to you our top ten picks of the music library the game offers.

10. Bath Time (Vocal Mix)

Sometimes you just need a simple, catchy tune to bop your head to. Bath Time is an unusually quirky song, it wasn't particularly spectacular in the original Nintendogs or its follow-up on the 3DS. However, Masato Coda managed to turn a simple tune into an upbeat bundle of fun (like any good puppy, as a matter of fact!). We chose the vocal version with RiRiKA purely because her contribution makes it even more catchy, despite Sakurai's claims that the vocal version isn't the best to fight to.

9. Ground Theme / Underground Theme

The Mario series has always been best suited to peppy jazz, this track is no exception to that. Filled with the bounce you'd expect, the song suddenly shifts gears when heading below ground. The sudden shift into swift metal is unexpected yet wholly appreciated (especially the brief moment where it adds the castle theme into the mix). Despite the two-toned duality, every fits together neatly.

8. Smiles and Tears

It's very easy to both smile and shed a tear to this piece, being one of the more emotional songs from Earthbound. People who've played the game from start to finish will no doubt be filled with emotions ranging from happiness to sadness, just like the title suggests. This song is simply beautiful, and it goes along with perhaps the most stunning looking stage in the game too.

7. Wrath of the Reset Bomb

2012's Kid Icarus: Uprising boasted some of the year's best music. One of the better tracks in the game get's its much due return as-is in the game, but the Reset Bomb stage has its own re-orchestration. This is a very transitional song, as per the ever changing nature of both the original game and the stage itself, as it transforms over time. This song keeps you on your toes just as much as playing Super Smash Bros. does.


Ever a classic piece of music, being featured in every Super Smash Bros. game since Melee. Not content with simply being a rock heavy track, electronic undertones are pumped into the song adding even more adrenaline to the beat. This being the main track in possibly one of the more impressive stages in the 3DS version of the game means you will likely be coming back for more, time and time again.

5. Ballad of the Goddess / Ghirahim's Theme

This is a very unexpected hard rock version of Ballad of the Goddess but thankfully doesn't go too overboard with the guitars, still having a heavy focus on the backing orchestra. Considering the recent release of Hyrule Warriors, we shouldn't be too surprised at a rock-based Zelda track, but Ghirahim's theme was not represented in it's soundtrack. This makes up for it, as the electric guitars really accentuate his theme well.

4. N's Castle Medley

The Unova Pokemon League was an unexpected stage choice for the 3DS version of the game, having a strong focus on the endgame reveal of N's Castle. Several themes are portrayed in this stunning mix, including a nice surprise mix of Pokemon Black and White's ending theme. It's a suitably grand collaboration of tracks that doesn't fail to impress.

3. Mega Man 2 Medley

It's no surprise that this is so high on the list. Mega Man is known for its incredibly catchy and memorable tunes. Represented here is the title theme and the often remixed fan favourite, Wily's Castle 1. The heavy metal, crunchy guitar is easily the focus, despite being the backing track. You could easily say that it's rock, man (I apologise).

2. Gerudo Valley

Where do we start with this one? Quite possibly the most memorable track from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time made even better? The song teases you at multiple instances, holding back the grander moments until they're most appreciated. All of this while maintaining a steady fast beat. No instrument is wasted here, each playing a role in creating a song you wouldn't be too surprised to hear alongside Flamenco dancing. So if this is an outstanding piece of work, what could best it?

1. Menu (Melee) Ver. 2

How can a menu theme be remixed and turned into something this grand? How does this manage to outshine even the main theme for Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U? A testament to how great the song both originally was and how masterfully it has been remixed, this is easily our favourite track in the 3DS version of the game (and no doubt in the Wii U version too). This song is Smash Bros., without a doubt. Headlining as the credits theme from the very first game, turned into the main theme to Melee and now besting even the native Final Destination theme, well done.

These are only our picks, and even then there were some we had to cut out. Do you have your own favourite tracks? Agree or disagree with our choices? Don't hesitate to share with us!

Wii U Firmware Version 5.2.0 is now Available for Download
The latest update to the Wii U firmware is now available in all regions. With this update comes folders, which allow you to organize your downloaded applications in any way you'd like, with custom titles and colors. Other improvements include access to the Download Management app from the Home Screen and overall system stability. Hit "Read More" for a full list of new features.
Version 5.2.0 U, available via an Internet connection, includes the following improvements: Changes to the Wii U Menu: Folders can now be created in the Wii U Menu to hold and organize software icons A Download Management icon has been added to the Wii U Menu Changes to Quick Start Menu: The Quick Start Menu will now display when the Wii U is powered on from the Wii U GamePad TV Remote Options have been added to Power Settings that allow users to hide certain software from the Quick Start Menu Changes to the HOME Menu: The design and layout of the HOME Menu has been updated Changes to the Nintendo eShop: Disabled usage of characters not used when redeeming Nintendo eShop cards (O, I, Z, etc.) Improvements to system stability and usability: Further improvements to overall system stability and other minor adjustments have been made to enhance the user experience
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U Craft, a Minecraft Clone from Nexis Games, is Coming to Wii U
Although we've known a Minecraft clone was in the works for Wii U eShop, it's now been revealed that the developer behind it is Nexis Games. The company behind very dissapointing title Brickblast U and the promising Dance of the Damned hopes to have this monster of a clone up on the Wii U eShop before Christmas. This news comes shortly after Microsoft's acquisition of Minecraft, sealing the deal that it won't be coming to Wii U. If you don't want to miss anything that happens in the world of Nintendo, use social media to follow us on the following outlets:
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Australia and New Zealand are Getting the New 3DS and XL this November
To the surprise of many, Nintendo of Australia announced that the New 3DS and New 3DS XL systems will launch in Australia/New Zealand on November 21, 2014. Prices for the new system are $219.95 AUD for a White New 3DS or $249.95 AUD for a Metallic Blue or Black New 3DS XL. The systems will launch in Japan this October, but North America and Europe won't see them until 2015. The systems will be avaiable to play at PAX Australia later this year. Hit the jump for the full Nintendo Direct.
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Here's the Current Super Smash Bros. for 3DS Tier List
Note: It's very early to know if this tier list is accurate. Please take the order with a grain of salt. In the competitive Smash Bros. community, there exists tier lists to organize which characters have an advantage against others in competitive settings. Super Smash Bros. for 3DS has been out for a few weeks in Japan, and competitive players have put together a tier list of the best and worst characters. While this doesn't affect those who casually play the series, those who participate in tournaments and competitions will have a hard time winning with a low-tier character. Is your favorite character high on the tier list? Let us know below. If you don't want to miss anything that happens in the world of Nintendo, use social media to follow us on the following outlets:
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Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is Getting Animal Crossing and Sonic Content
As part of the Tokyo Game Show this past week, Capcom revealed a couple new partnerships featured in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate on 3DS.
In Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, players are accompanied by Felyne AI comrades which feature their own in-depth customization options including armor, weapons and skills. As recently announced, players will be able to outfit these Felyne partners as the lecture-loving mole Mr. Resetti and canine secretary Isabelle from Animal Crossing, or the world's fastest hedgehog Sonic. Players will also be able to hunt and drum like a pro with the Taiko Drum Master Hunting Horn weapon.
What do you think of these rather interesting combinations? If you don't want to miss anything that happens in the world of Nintendo, use social media to follow us on the following outlets:
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B-Dasher Revealed for Mario Kart 8's First DLC Pack
Nintendo UK revealed on Twitter today that the B-Dasher is one of the new vehicles in the first Mario Kart 8 DLC pack, available this November. The B-Dasher is a high speed kart that made it's debut in Mario Kart DS. The two confirmed vehicles for the first DLC pack are the Blue Falcon and B-Dasher. The 2 DLC Packs are avaiable for pre-order on the eShop right now ($11.99) and will be released this November and next May respectively. If you don't want to miss anything that happens in the world of Nintendo, use social media to follow us on the following outlets:
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Shockingly Fun! Teslagrad [Wii U] - Review

Teslagrad Screenshot

Teslagrad from Rain Games can best be described as an atmospheric, metroidvania, puzzle-platform in the style of Limbo. A big jumble of genres for a small indie game, but each is an important ingredient in the delightful indie stew that is Teslagrad on Wii U.

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We're Giving Away 3 Smash Bros. 3DS Demo Codes on Twitter!
We're giving away three free codes for the Super Smash Bros. 3DS early-access demo away on our Twitter account. All you have to do is follow us and retweet any of the tweets we've sent out about it. We're giving away codes at 300, 400, and 500 followers or by Sunday night, whichever comes first. It'd also be awesome if you'd like us on Facebook and joined our forums as well, but you don't need to to win a code. Good luck, we'll DM the winners on Twitter!

Spikey Walls Arrives on the Wii U eShop September 18
Just a few weeks ago developer RCMADIAX announced that he'd be bringing the Flappy Bird clone Spikey Walls to Wii U. It looks like it'll be coming earlier than expected and arrives on the eShop on the 18th of September with a price tag of $0.99. Flappy Bird took smartphones by storm earlier this year when it exploded into popularity. Make sure to stay tuned for our review of the game closer to release, and we'll let you know if this paid version of a free smartphone app is worth your time on Wii U. Hit the jump for some footage of the game. If you don't want to miss anything that happens in the world of Nintendo, use social media to follow us on the following outlets:
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Here's 10 Awesome Kickstarters Coming to Wii U
The indie and crowd-funding scene has been bursting at the seam with activity and the promise of excellent games as of late. Some awesome Kickstarter games like Shovel Knight and The Fall have already made their way onto the Wii U eShop, and have shown just how successful the platform can be. Here's ten more Kickstarters that have been 100% funded and will be coming to the Wii U eShop before the end of 2015. Note: Click the title of the game to visit the Kickstarter page for full details.
Mighty No. 9
Classic Japanese side-scrolling action, evolved and transformed by Keiji Inafune, an all-star team of veteran Mega Man devs...and YOU! Mighty No. 9 is a modern tribute to Mega Man, from many of the creators, comcept USA brings Mighty No. 9 to Wii U Spring 2015.
Journey through unforgiving dungeons in this 90's inspired action-adventure, where a young hero rises to prevent a war of the elements. Inspired by the Legend of Zelda, Midora from Epic Minds will launch on Wii U November 2014.
Hence Forth, Alicia
A '90s-inspired Metroidvania RPG about a young wizard on her journey to stop a Spirit from consuming her homeland. Hence Forth, Alicia by Alonso Martin will be out on Wii U in the first half of 2015.
The Deer God
The Deer God is a breathtaking 3d pixel art game that will challenge your religion and your platforming skills. This atmospheric platformer from Josh Presseisen is coming before 2014 ends.
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero
A Belly Dancing Hair-Whipping HD adventure from WayForward: makers of Ducktales Remastered, Adventure Time, & Contra 4! This platforming sequel will be out for Wii U by the end of 2014.
A story-driven action/stealth sidescrolling RPG with a fresh new vision of cyberspace. Dex by Dreadlocks will be hitting the Wii U a few months after PC release, before 2014 ends.
Hex Heroes
Party RTS for all ages on Wii U. 4 players on the TV team up with 1 on the gamepad to build, fight, strategize & win! This game features cameos from many games listed above and Prismatic Games will launch it during the first half of 2015.
Soul Saga
A love letter to J-RPG classics from the Playstation era like Final Fantasy, Breath of Fire, Suikoden, and Persona. Soul Saga from DisasterCake should arrive on Wii U by the end of 2014.
Lobo is an action platformer with an emphasis on item collection and exploration. Taking on the role of Mutt, a naive and unlikely hero, players will run, flip, and dropkick across 9 unique, interconnected worlds. Developed by James Guy, Lobodestroyo pays homage to 90's Rare collect-a-thons and will be out before the end of December, 2014.
Hive Jump
A sci-fi action platformer for 1-4 players blending run-and-gun gameplay with strategic campaigns. Graphite Lab will bring this 2D shooter to Wii U during the second half of 2015.
Let us know what your most anticipated game from the list above is in the comments! There's plenty of more Kickstarters coming to Wii U, make sure to check Nintendo Castle often for the latest on Indie, eShop, and Kickstarter games. If you don't want to miss anything that happens in the world of Nintendo, use social media to follow us on the following outlets:
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Control Your Own Block Army! - Cubemen 2 [Wii U] Review

Cubemen 2 Screenshot

Cubemen 2 is the latest strategy/tower defense entry on the Wii U eShop. The game boasts seven unique modes and a campaign and online (cross-platform) multiplayer. It also features achievements, online rankings,leaderboards, and a custom level-builder. Read More to find out if it's worth the $7.99 price tag.

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The Fall [Wii U] - Review

The Fall Logo

The Fall is the first entry in a triology of action/adventure atmospheric puzzle games developed by Over the Moon. It's set in a dark, distant sci-fi universe and is story driven and eerie throughout. The game is certainly a welcome addition to the Wii U eShop, hit the jump to find out why.

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SteamWorld Dig is Now Available on the Wii U eShop
SteamWorld Dig is now available to download on the Wii U eShop. Image & Form's mining platform adventure is priced at $9.99 and well worth your money. The game features a robot named Rusty who must save the old western town of Tumbleton through mining. You can read our full review of the game here. If you don't want to miss anything that happens in the world of Nintendo, use social media to follow us on the following outlets:
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Shut The Box [Wii U] - Review

Shut the Box Screenshot

Developer RCMADIAX is hard at work pumping out Wii U exclusive eShop games. Shut the Box (based on the board game) is his third and latest game this year. The game is only $0.99, which is currently the cheapest on the eShop. Even a cheap game needs justified though, you'll have to keep reading to see if Shut the Box made the cut.

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Two New Mario Kart 8 DLC Packs Scheduled Within 9 Months
According to the offical Nintendo UK Online store, Mario Kart 8 will be getting two paid DLC packs schedule for November 2014 and May 2015 respectively. Each pack features three new characters, four new kart parts, and two new grand prixes. The packs will retail for $9.99 and buying both of them will get you 8 different colored Shy Guy's and Yoshi's. Click Read More for details on the packs. The first pack is Legend of Zelda X Mario Kart, which features Link, Tanooki Mario, and Cat Peach as drivable characters. It features the Blue Falcon from F-Zero as one of four kart parts. It will include two new grand prixes, with a new F-Zero track and Wario's Gold Mine from Mario Kart Wii. It will be available in November 2014. The second pack is Animal Crossing X Mario Kart, which will feature Animal Crossing Villager, Issabelle, and Dry Bowser as drivable characters. It too will include eight new tracks (including Animal Crossing themed ones) and four new vehicle parts. Stay tuned for more infromation! If you don't want to miss anything that happens in the world of Nintendo, use social media to follow us on the following outlets:
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The Fall Arrives on the North American eShop Today
Set in a dark, distant sci-fi universe, The Fall is about ARID, an artificial intelligence on-board a futuristic combat suit. One day, she is activated to find that the human pilot of the suit is unconscious and in desperate need of medical help. ARID's directive is clear - take her pilot towards medical attention. However, as she struggles to take control of the suit and help her non-responsive friend, she finds herself in a unique and bizarre situation that will cause her to question her rigid relationship to her various protocols and ultimately her self understanding. The Fall is a unique blend of traditional adventure game puzzles and action, mixed together nicely and set in a world rich with atmosphere. Players of The Fall will find themselves, thinking, exploring, and sometimes fighting with the world and its unusual inhabitants.
The Fall, developed by Over the Moon is now evailable in the North American Wii U eShop. The game is currently being sold for $9.99, and looks to be an excellent addition to your library. Click Read More for more information and stay tuned for our review of The Fall later this week. The game features:
    An excellent story - Set in a rich, atmospheric world, that explores interesting ideas surrounding rigidity and protocol.
    A fresh mix of genres - The Fall integrates point and click adventure games, platformers, and shooters into a very unique experience. Drawing equal inspiration from games like Super Metroid and Monkey Island, The Fall is humbly inspired by the greats that came before it.
    Gameplay and story integration - Players solve fun and creative adventure-style puzzles, and organically find solutions that imply a larger narrative.
    A full voice cast - With a unique female protagonist.
    Gorgeous artwork - The Fall's focus is on atmosphere and exploration, and boats a beautifully polished world to support that feeling.
    Episodic - succinctly told in 3 acts. The first episode boasts a solid 3 hours of play-time, if not more.
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Here's 3 New Bayonetta 2 Videos
A few new videos of Bayonetta 2 have emerged online, coutresy of NintenDaan. The videos show off opening cut scenes, walking around, and attack sequences. Bayonetta 2 is being developed by Platinum Games as a Wii U exclusive. The game will come packed with an HD port of the original Bayonetta, and will launch in October 2014. Hit the jump for a few more videos.
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SteamWorld Dig [Wii U] - Review

Steamworld Dig Logo

What's with all these digging games lately? Mining too. I thought I'd taken all the digging I could handle between Spelunky, Terraria, and Shovel Knight, but man was I wrong. SteamWorld Dig still manages to break ground (see what I did there?) on the Wii U eShop.

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New Leak Possibly Reveals Entire Super Smash Bros. 4 Roster and Stages
A recent leak from anonymous members of 4chan has taken the Super Smash Bros. community by storm. The leak showcases all characters and stages from the 3DS version of the game, as well as five more characters to be added as DLC. It suggests that the roster includes the dog from duck hunt, Wario, and Dr. Mario among others who have yet to be officially revealed. Although people spend a lot of time creating fakes and mockups regularly, this leak is widely considered to be legitimate, as images revealed after it confirm. Check out the leak by clicking Read More.
Do you think this is real? Are you happy with the roster and stages it presents? Let us know in the comments!