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Nintendo Consoles News

Nintendo: amiibo sales nearly equal to Super Smash Bros. for Wii U's 710,000 units

18 comments Leo Chan - 11:28am (PST) Like Share

Guess amiibos really are that hard to keep in stock

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Super Smash Bros. for Wii U would prove to the third best-selling title in the U.S. last month by the NPD Group's reckoning, bested only by Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Grand Theft Auto V's fine return to the charts. Nintendo confirms that Super Smash Bros. for Wii U scored nearly 710,000 units in sales during its first 10 days on the market.

What's more, Nintendo is also claiming that sales for its amiibo NFC-enabled figurines are "approximately equal to sales" of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U "so far." According to the console giant, the top three amiibos from the wave one release are:

  1. Link
  2. Mario
  3. Pikachu

You'll note that none of these are the amiibos which several retailers, including GameStop, have reason to believe will be discontinued after selling through their initial stock: Marth, Wii Fit Trainer, and Villager. For its part, Nintendo has only offered questionable reassurance that the hard-to-find amiibos may yet return to markets like the U.S., Canada and Latin America "at a later stage."

 
 

November NPD Number Crunch: Xbox One outsells PS4 for the first time since last December

3 comments Leo Chan - 6:01pm (PST) Like Share (2)

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare tops charts, while GTAV returns to the top ten

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Despite November witnessing the official launch of several major gaming titles across all platforms, the NPD Group earlier today confirms that industry sales in the U.S. still ended up falling 11 percent year-over-year to $2.41 billion USD. What's more, November 2014 marked the first time since the launch of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles that hardware sales actually fell ($1.10 billion compared to $1.31 billion in November 2013). On the plus side, monthly software sales didn't suffer from a similarly drastic drop for a change, sliding just one percent year-over-year to $1.09 billion.

Now the part you're probably more interested in: did the Xbox One manage to beat the PS4 in sales last month like Microsoft boasted? While NPD's monthly report card failed to provide unit sales numbers as usual, Microsoft already announced that the Xbox One managed to reclaim the crown for best-selling console hardware in both the U.S. and U.K. during November. The Xbox One will ring in a fine anniversary for the last time it outsold the PS4, assuming the console can keep the momentum through this December. MIcrosoft also confirms that Xbox One software outsold those for the PS4 in November, making for a record-setting month for the number of Xbox Live users.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare perhaps predictably topped the industry charts on the software front for November, though interestingly the best-selling platform for Activision's latest CoD entry would prove to be the Xbox 360. Grand Theft Auto V also makes a triumphant return to the NPD software top ten thanks to the high-definition re-release of Rockstar's record-setting game on PS4 and Xbox One, with the PS4 version selling the best.

Nintendo also made a fine showing for itself with no less than three titles on the NPD software top ten. You'll never ever guess what their bestselling game in November was (honest!), but you may be interested to learn that Pokemon Alpha Sapphire was the better selling Generation VI game, outpacing even Ubisoft's Far Cry 4. Guess you can't have too much water in Hoenn after all. Speaking of Ubisoft, Assassin's Creed: Unity still managed to land in ninth place in spite of its technical woes.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection meanwhile barely squeezed into the charts, highlighting another platform exclusive title which managed to make NPD's software top ten.

 

November 2014 Top Ten Software Sales
  Game Publisher Platform Release
1. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Activision PS4 / Xbox One / PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC 11/2014
2. Grand Theft Auto V Rockstar PS4 / Xbox One / PS3 / Xbox 360 11/2014
3. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U Nintendo Wii U 11/2014
4. Madden NFL 15 Electronic Arts PS4 / PS3 / Xbox One / Xbox 360 08/2014
5. Pokémon Alpha Sapphire Nintendo 3DS 11/2014
6. Far Cry 4 Ubisoft PS4 / Xbox One / PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC 11/2014
7. Pokémon Omega Ruby Nintendo 3DS 11/2014
8. NBA 2K15 2K Games PS4 / Xbox One / PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC 10/2014
9. Assassin's Creed: Unity Ubisoft PS4 / Xbox One / PC 11/2014
10. Halo: The Master Chief Collection Microsoft Game Studios Xbox One 11/2014

 

 
 

Theatrhythm expands past Final Fantasy, Square Enix announces Theatrhythm Dragon Quest

5 comments Rory Young - 10:47pm (PST) Like (2) Share

Dragon Quest it is and what a glorious choice they made

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Square Enix had previously announced that they planned to expand their Theatrhythm franchise past Final Fantasy. The success of the original title and its Curtain Call follow-up must have been persuasive, because less than a year after Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call's release in Japan and just months since its release in the west, Square Enix has announced the next series to be released. I'm excited to announce Theatrhythm Dragon Quest.

Yes, a franchise near as popular as Final Fantasy has been chosen (though perhaps not as popular in the west), with just as astounding a soundtrack to boot. The musical game will likely include a ton of tracks from the main franchise, as well as the Monsters, Mystery Dungeon and Slime spin-off series. Perhaps it will even dabble in the anime series. Still, nothing will compare to those grand, cheerful epics of the big main franchise games that defined JRPGs for years to come.

Theatrhythm Dragon Quest is schedule for release in Japan starting March 26, exclusively on the Nintendo 3DS. Speculating a bit on a western release, Final Fantasy Curtain Call was launched in April in Japan and then September in the west. With a Japanese launch in March, we can cross our fingers for a pre-holiday season launch! That's if we're lucky.

The only question to ask is, after Final Fantasy and now Dragon Quest... what comes next?

 
 

See new 'Legend of Zelda' open world gameplay on Wii U, now with more GamePad

19 comments Lydia Sung - 9:22pm (PST) Like Share (2)

Nostalgia hits like a truck

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So we already know to expect The Legend of Zelda next year for Wii U, and tonight, Nintendo treated everyone who tuned into The Game Awards 2014 to some world premiere gameplay. If you like horses, this is going to be a real treat.

Shigeru Miyamoto and producer Eiji Aonuma guide us on a little adventure using the console's GamePad, essentially showing off the sheer size of the new Zelda game. At one point, Miyamoto points at different spots on the map and asks how far Link is.

Horseback combat also appears more streamlined, not to mention individual movement. Dig that dismount.

 
 

Philips reaches licensing agreement with Nintendo, resolving patent dispute

8 comments Leo Chan - 10:56am (PST) Like Share

Lawsuits across four regions terminated as a result of reaching settlement

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Philips Electronics confirms it is no longer embroiled in a patent infringement dispute with Nintendo over the motion and gesture-tracking tech in the console giant's gaming hardware like the Wii and Wii U. The Danish technology company has reached an agreement with Nintendo today where both companies will henceforth cross license each other's patent portfolios.

While Philips did not reveal any financial details concerning its settlement, the company will drop patent infringement proceedings against Nintendo not only in Britain where it had already won its patent infringement case back in June, but Germany, France, and the U.S. as well. Indeed, this represents all four jurisdictions where Philips had previously filed complaints against Nintendo.

 
 

Pokemon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire sell over 3 million copies over 3 days

23 comments Leo Chan - 11:12am (PST) Like (2) Share

Not quite Pokemon X & Y's levels, but Europe hasn't hit the new Hoenn train... yet

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In case there was any doubt at this point in Pokemon's life, Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire sold pretty darn well right out of the gates. Nintendo confirms that Game Freak's latest pair of Pokemon titles for the 3DS achieved sales of over 3 million units across the U.S., Japan, Australia and South Korea.

Japanese sales accounted for roughly half the combined total at 1,534,593 units, with the three global regions making up the current remainder over the course of three days (Nov. 21st to 23rd). Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are officially the fourth set of 3DS titles that scored launch weekend sales of over one million units in Japan, joining the esteemed ranks of Monster Hunter 4, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, and... Pokemon X and Y.

Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire's launch weekend sales unfortunately didn't quite reach the record-setting levels of Pokemon X and Y back when they hit last year, but it's worth noting that this year's flagship Pokemon entries have yet to launch in Europe.

 
 

Neoseeker's Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Nintendo 3DS

24 comments Rory Young - 7:29pm (PST) Like Share (1)

What games would your typical everyday 3DS owner want? All of them

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There's truly no greater gift for a gamer than a Nintendo 3DS. It's the one-size-fits-all platform, offering excellent experiences for gamers of all shapes, colors and genre preference. Take it with you on the go or dive into bed and play by LED light, the 3DS is the Swiss army knife of video games. That's also what makes it so hard to choose a 3DS game for a 3DS owner -- there's such variety! This holiday gift guide will try to provide a wide look at titles for the 3DS, but keep in mind that there's really no bad choice here.

Lucky for us 3DS owners, we've escaped another year without having to upgrade our hardware. The 2DS debuted over a year ago, a smart option for new 3DS investors, but old hat 3DS players can hold strong until 2015. The New 3DS, a backwards compatible handheld with more power, has been released in Japan but has not reached western shores. That's likely for the best, as there aren't many games that use the new hardware. Don't worry about that for now though, but do expect a potential upgrade come 2015. If you're the sort of person that loves to buy new hardware as it launches then maybe skip buying a brand new 3DS this holiday season. Just wait for the New 3DS in 2015.

As for notes about software, please be aware that the 3DS big flagship holiday release, Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire, won't be available until November 21 (Nov. 28 in Europe). Otherwise, the rest of 2014 only has a few smaller releases, including nostalgic mini-game compilation Ultimate NES Remix (Dec. 5) and the 3DS ultimate adventure collection, Phoenix Wright Trilogy (Dec. 9). In 2014, however, the spring holds the release of big titles like The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Story of Seasons, and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate.

It's as good a time as ever to be a Nintendo 3DS owner. There's such a wonderful and affordable back-log of games to play and as you're about to see a horde of new titles from 2014 worth picking up as well. Have a happy 3DS holiday, everyone.


Nintendo 3DS - For Adventurous Hearts

Pokemon Omega Ruby / Pokemon Alpha Sapphire (Available starting November 21)

If the only reason to buy a Nintendo 3DS was the annual or bi-annual release of a Pokemon game, then it would be worth it. Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire, the two versions of a modernized Pokemon remake, add features like flying, hideouts and a good amount of new Mega Evolutions. If you don't know about Mega Evolutions, think about a normal Pokemon... only Mega. Mega Pokemon. It's self-explanatory. Hoenn, the region of the new games, is a cult favorite and is certain to be hugely popular no matter what. Pokemon is bigger than its own games, anymore -- it's a cultural event for handheld gamers.

  • Who it's for: Collectors, pet lovers, Pokemon battlers, on-the-go gamers, all-ages, traders, the very best like no one ever was, happy people that love to feed cute animals cupcakes
  • Also consider: Pokemon X, Pokemon Y, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Fire Emblem: Awakening

Super Smash Bros. 3DS

It was only a matter of time before Super Smash Bros. came to handheld devices. Luckily a perfect storm came together where a Super Smash Bros. for Wii U alone might not be profitable enough and the 3DS' online functionality reached a point where it is reliable enough for Wi-Fi fighting. Thus became Super Smash Bros. 3DS. With a huge roster and controls that any gamer, young or old, can have fun with, this is the 3DS fighting game to get. Did I mention it has online matches? That's just the bee's knees.

  • Who it's for: Fanfic writers, those looking for a good Sonic game, competitive brawlers, eSports, online gamers, those who can't play more complicated fighting games
  • Also consider: Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition, Mario Kart 7, Mario Party: Island Tour

Azure Striker Gunvolt

Keiji Inafune isn't making Mega Man anymore, but he is hard at work making intense side-scrolling shooters. Azure Striker Gunvolt mixes that Mega Man side-scrolling with more plot-heavy Japanese shooters,  along with gameplay bordering on SHMUP action. Did I mention that it comes from the developers of the Mega Man Zero franchise? That should be enough to persuade most retro shooter fans to join in the fun.

  • Who it's for: Mega Man fans, those unwilling to wait for Mighty No. 9, 
  • Also consider: Shovel Knight, Cave Story, Mutant Mudds

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse

I've always seen Shantae as a mix between the classic Aladdin 2D side-scroller, Mega Man, and Donkey Kong Country, but really there's any of a dozen games Shantae takes inspiration from. Despite the number of influences, this 2D side-scroller is a beast of its own, featuring genie Shantae as she fights and adventures through level after level of action. Co-opting several gameplay features from developer Wayforward's Mighty Switch Force, this may be Shantae's best game yet.

  • Who it's for: Assassin's Creed fans angry at the lack of pirates this year, fans of shooter/platformer hybrids, fans of Kickstarter darlings, 
  • Also consider: Shovel KnightCastlevania: Lord of Shadows - Mirror of Fate, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, Mighty Switch Force

Nintendo 3DS - For Clever Minds

Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney

Let's just go over this step by step. Professor Layton? He's in there. Phoenix Wright? He's in there too. Their supporting casts? Included. Are they facing off in a non-canon dramatic story? Yes. Are both their franchise's specific puzzles and adventure game modes included in the game? Yes! Then why are we even sitting here. This is a meeting of two of the best franchises on the 3DS in what might be the best game from either franchise. It's that good.

  • Who it's for: EVERYONE! Seriously, Professor Layton AND Phoenix Wright? Go, go now!
  • Also consider: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies, Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy

Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy

Yes, a second Professor Layton title on our holiday guide. That's only because there wasn't a third Professor Layton game released in 2014, because it would absolutely be on this list as well. Unfortunately, Azran Legacy is the last in the series and so it won't be on our gift list ever again. That means that if you want some of the most warm, fun and brilliantly put together puzzle games on the 3DS, this is your last chance.

  • Who it's for: Gentlemen, sudoku addicts, Disney and Pixar fans, Miyazaki fans, puzzle nerds, probably best if Luke just sits this one out
  • Also consider: Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask, Virtue's Last Reward, Ghost Trick

Bravely Default

In a world where traditional fantasy RPGs are a near-extinct genre, Bravely Default proves that these types of games can't just be made -- but rather thrive. Aping and to a degree parodying Final Fantasy games, Bravely Default itself becomes the new franchise to watch if you want fantasy RPGs with turn-based combat and jobs. It does fall victim to the genre's own tropes, but if you hunger for that type of game then there's really no other option.

  • Who it's for: RPG traditionalists, story-mongers, roleplayers, those with 100+ hours free on their schedule
  • Also consider: Tales of the Abyss, The Keep, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team

Inazuma Eleven

It's sad, but Inazuma Eleven may be the best true RPG to launch on 3DS this year. No hate to Bravely Default, but Inazuma Eleven is true to those fundamental RPG storytelling and gameplay mechanics in ways modern games just can't manager. That's in large part because it is a classic RPG, re-released for the 3DS this year. Okay, so it's a bit odd that it's a soccer RPG, but trust me as soon as you're into the action and recruiting new club members it feels perfectly at home for RPG fans.

  • Who it's for: RPG fans, sports fans, growing-up story fans, fans of The Goonies, hooligans
  • Also consider: Mario Golf: World Tour, Inazuma Eleven Go: Shadow, Mario Tennis Open

Nintendo 3DS - For Creative Hands

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call

Final Fantasy music is beautiful. You'd be hard-pressed to find a franchise that consistently delivers the best soundtracks in gaming with every release in the series. It's an absolutely brilliant decision by Square Enix to create a rhythm game franchise and kickstarting it with Final Fantasy themes. In the future they might do other soundtracks, but for now it's just Final Fantasy. And with Curtain Call there's more Final Fantasy music to play through than before, so how can that be bad?

  • Who it's for: Orchestras, Zidane, music fans, rhythm game addicts, fans of Final Fantasy, those who used to be fans of Final Fantasy until Final Fantasy XIII made them cry forever
  • Also consider: Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, Elite Beat Agents, Rhythm Heaven, HarmoKnight

Pokemon Art Academy

Learning to draw is tough. Having a game that helps you learn to draw is awesome, but sometimes even that isn't good enough to keep a player's attention. However, if you add in Pokemon and tutorials to draw and paint said Pokemon, then it becomes a whole lot interesting. Plus, who among us hasn't drawn their favorite Pokemon in the corner of their notebooks while they're bored before? Those people, I'm certain, do not exist.

  • Who it's for: Artists, aspiring artists, doodlers, folk who pretend to have artistic talent but don't like me, Pokemon nuts
  • Also consider: Art Academy: Lessons for Everyone!

Fantasy Life

Where Animal Crossing: New Leaf owned the social gaming and simulation category last year, Fantasy Life is following in its footsteps in 2014. Harvest Moon and not-Harvest Moon (it's complicated) aren't where they need to be, so Fantasy Life is stepping in. Best of all, it's from Level-5, that studio behind Professor Layton, Ni no Kuni and Inazuma Eleven, which means it's got style in droves. It has its issues, for sure, but you could do worse if you're a slice-of-life/simulation fan. It's just a bit more fantasy-themed than modern life.

  • Who it's for: Escapists, roleplayers, Animal Crossing fans, casual players, all ages, crafting fans
  • Also consider: Havest Moon: A New Beginning, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Disney Magical World, Rune Factory 4

Color Zen

There's just something relaxing and rewarding about connecting colors and shapes. It's like coloring inside the lines, or playing operation without making the annoying buzzer go off. Mix in some chill music while you connect those shapes and colors, as well as a level difficulty curve that feels clever rather than burdensome, and Color Zen is one of those surprise downloadable titles that makes you so quickly understand why the 3DS is such a perfect device for certain experiences.

  • Who it's for: Color lovers, puzzle lovers, folks who love relaxing games
  • Also consider: Pushmo, Picross e4

Unfortunately for bundle hunters, it doesn't look like Nintendo is going out of their way to offer anything new this holiday season. Folk will have to look out for older bundles for The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Super Mario 3DS Land or assorted others. Keep in mind these are likely to be rare and potentially pricier than stand-alone handhelds.

Nintendo, rather than bundles, will be offering a couple of special edition 3DS handhelds with fancy colors and artwork on the covers. Here's what Nintendo's got for holiday 2014 in terms of 3DS offers and note again that they do not include a game bundled with them:

  • Nintendo 3DS XL Super Smash Bros. Edition - $199.99 - Coming in either red or blue, these 3DS XL handhelds feature the Super Smash Bros. logo and artwork of the full roster on the cover.
  • Nintendo 3DS XL NES Edition - $199.99 - Themed after that iconic Nintendo Entertainment System controller, the NES edition of the 3DS XL is a glory to behold and a must-have for any retro gamers looking for a new 3DS XL this holiday season.
  • Nintendo 3DS XL Persona Q Edition - $199.99 - A stylized 3DS XL with a blue diamond pattern on the front with art designed to make the handheld appear to be a book -- the LeGrimoire du Coeur to be specific. Does not include Persona Q. Exclusive to GameStop.

As mentioned earlier, Nintendo is likely to release upgraded 3DS hardware in 2015. The standard 3DS and the XL are both excellent gift ideas, but if there's an option to hold off until next year to buy the handheld then try to wait for the New 3DS. It will be backwards compatible!

Thanks to everyone who took the time out to read through Neoseeker's Nintendo 3DS gift guide for 2014. If you seen an omission that absolutely cannot stand, please leave a comment potentially snowballing into a mob which I'll tyrannically censor until overthrown ending with the game finally included in the list.



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Neoseeker's Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Wii U

21 comments Rory Young - 3:17pm (PST) Like (1) Share

Here's our guide to the best games, DLC and bundles to pick up for the Wii U

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2014 is nearing it end and the Wii U has seen its best year yet since launching in 2012. The system has seen its largest game release in Mario Kart 8 and is expecting to perform even stronger with the upcoming launch of Super Smash Bros. Wii U.  Nintendo is slowly building its platform back up to a competitive state, though the early damage may continue to prevent it from reaching the numbers that the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are seeing. 

The price of the Wii U's slow start will be apparently on this year's list. Third parties have all but abandoned the Wii U, refusing to port their games to the less powerful and less profitable platform. The exception to this, however, is in downloadable titles. Nintendo is reaching out to independent and small studios to publish their downloadable games in larger quantities than ever before. It help having a system with an online storefront!

Even without third-party support, Nintendo's Wii U continues to be a platform where gamers can have experience they won't find anywhere else. The  Wii U is still the home of Mario, Samus, Link, and Donkey Kong. A new The Legend of Zelda title has been announced for 2015. Super Smash Bros. will be released in less than a week. Amiibo figures will start arriving by the end of the month. Plus, with several great and affordable bundles for the holidays, the Wii U is a great option for families in 2014.


Wii U Exclusives

Mario Kart 8

The Wii U's biggest launch yet is the eighth title in the well known Mario Kart franchise. Mario, Peach and all of the Mushroom Kingdom's friends and enemies have gathered to do what they do best -- race each other in undersized go-karts! Featuring online-play of up to twelve people from around the world, a first for the franchise on console, as well as 4-player local racing Mario Kart 8 is the best social game for the Wii U in 2014.

  • Who it's for: Nintendo faithful, families of all ages, those new to video games, the highly competitive, retro nerds, Italian plumbers
  • Also consider: Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, Need for Speed: Most Wanted U

Bayonetta

Bayonetta's back, Nintendo having saved the bespectacled witch from gathering dust on the shelf and fronting Platinum Games the cash to make a sequel. While Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. Wii U will be garnering much of the family-friendly attention this holiday season, it's Bayonetta 2 that's collecting most of the top rating. Intense, fast-paced action against larger-than-life enemies as heaven and hell battle as they always do. Even for all of it's beautiful visuals, it's Bayonetta's fun characters and surprisingly earnest story that's certain to capture the hearts of Wii U gamers this holiday season.

  • Who it's for: Librarians, Devil May Cry fans, adrenaline junkies, single-player aficionados
  • Also consider: Bayonetta (now also out on Wii U), The Wonderful 101, Hyrule Warriors, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge

Hyrule Warriors

When Nintendo and Koei Tecmo announced a partnership for Omega Force and Team Ninja to build a hybrid Dynasty Warriors and The Legend of Zelda title, the collective Nintendo fanbase's jaw dropped. Hyrule Warriors lets players select from a number of heroes and fight entire armies almost single-handedly. Never has a game brought players into such a large Hyrulian war of epic scale. After playing, it'll be difficult for players to go back to normal Zelda games without the craziness that Koei Tecmo adds to the experience.

  • Who it's for: Dynasty Warriors fans, action lovers, Zelda lovers, all audiences and all ages, aspiring generals
  • Also consider: Bayonetta, Bayonetta 2, Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

It's not just Mario Kart that Nintendo brought back for a sequel. After Donkey Kong Country Returns found success on the Wii and 3DS, Retro Studios was put to work on a true sequel and not just a remake. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is that game, offering 2D platforming focused on quick movement and lots of fun enemies to battle or avoid. Certainly players will want to collect as many bananas as possible, too, but only Donkey Kong himself believes it's required.

  • Who it's for: Monkies, platformer fans, retro fans, 
  • Also consider: Rayman Legends, New Super Mario Bros. U, Mutant Mudds Deluxe

Upcoming Exclusives

Super Smash Bros. Wii U - November 21

It's almost here. The biggest launch of 2014 for the Wii U. It has been years in the making and if there's one game to buy for Nintendo's console this year -- this is it. Super Smash Bros. Wii U has a huge roster full of Mario's friend and enemies, as well as a good selection of new faces like Mega Man and Pac Man. With fully functional online play and what must be a dozen different modes and mini-games, Super Smash Bros. is the game to play with friends, is the game friends will want to play. This friendly fighting game may be highly competitive, but it's still just as fun for those new to the game as those long-tenured.

  • Who it's for: Punchers, kickers, fighters, lovers, family, friends, all-ages, perfect for small parties
  • Also consider: Mario Kart 8, Wii Party U, Injustice: Gods Among Us

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker - December 5

Everyone's favorite mini-game from Super Mario 3D world has received a promotion. Nintendo has built a full game out of Captain Toad's adventures searching for treasure in complicated 3D puzzle worlds. As Captain Toad, the player will need to guide themselves through tunnels, across bridges and across all sorts of obstacles searching for elusive diamonds, gold and other treasure. Be careful though, because the treasure is often guarded by the typical Mushroom Kingdom villainy, as well as assorted traps, too!

  • Who it's for: Fungus, Indiana Jones, more casually-minded gamers, completionists, adventurers
  • Also consider: Pushmo World, Super Mario 3D World

Downloadable Wii U Games

Shovel Knight

For those excited by Nintendo's dedication to releasing games that have plenty of nostalgia, but miss actually playing those classic games then Shovel Knight is for you. Shovel Knight is a 2D platforming action game with heavy inspiration from Mega Man, Super Ghost and Goblins, and yes even Super Mario Bros. It's built from the ground up in classic, beautiful pixel art and it's an absolute joy to play -- mixing all of the nostalgic gameplay of yore with modern polish and information clarity.

Child of Light

Ubisoft's experiment into smaller projects started with this absolutely beautiful RPG. Child of Light is an inspired fairy tale where the player joins Aurora as she faces a near-death situation and must fight through a mysterious land to rejoin her father, garner her powers, and face her deepest fears. Child of Light is a nice reminder that in the midst of all of these huge AAA games, Ubisoft also puts together titles that are small, touching and meaningful.

1001 Spikes

Where Shovel Knight goes out of its way to create a platformer celebrating all that was fun and exceptional about retro games, 1001 Spikes goes out of its way to remind us of the pain those titles also contained -- pain that was a fun in its own way. This 2D platform is all about conquering obscenely challenging levels through quick reflexes and memorization. Originally named after the number of lives the player had to complete the game, it's now a relief to say that there is no life cap anymore. People ran out of the 1001, so they changed it.


Exclusive DLC

Mario Kart 8 "The Legend of Zelda DLC": Mario Kart 8's first major DLC release adds two three playable characters in Link, Tanooki Mario and Cat Peach. That's just the start of it, however, as the pack's true heart lies in its eight brand new tracks which are split into two different cups -- the Triforce Cup and Yoshi's Egg Cup. For karts have also been added to the pack, which at this point is just icing on the cake.

Hyrule Warriors "Master Quest Pack": Hyrule Warriors' first of four DLC packs adds additional value to the already outstanding Hyrule Warriors core experience. With the Master Quest Pack players can use Epona, Link's favored steed, as a weapon for the hero in a green tunic. There's also five additional story chapters that pain a different picture of the game's ending, as well as additional content to keep the action moving. The next DLC pack, the Twilight Princess Pack, will be released in November.


Finally, to wrap things up, let's go over what Nintendo will be offering in terms of bundles this holiday season. After all, nothing's better than waiting for the holiday to buy a brand new console like the Wii U, since they all come with cheaper prices and bundled-in games or peripherals. Nintendo hasn't let potential Wii U owners down, offering two brand new bundles this year:

  • Super Mario 3D World Wii U Deluxe Set - $299.99 - Includes the standard Wii U Deluxe Set box with the console and the Wii U GamePad. To add value to the box, however, will be two additional games at no charge. Super Mario 3D World and Nintendo Land are both included.
  • Mario Kart 8 Wii U Deluxe Set - $299.99 - Includes the standard Wii U Deluxe Set box which includes both the console and the Wii U GamePad. In addition, both Mario Kart 8 and Nintendo Land will be included at no additional charge.
  • Super Smash Bros. Wii U+ GameCube Controller Bundle - $99.99 - The Wii U's GamePad is quite bulky and the Nintendo Wii's controllers are rather flimsy, so what's a competitive Super Smash Bros. gamer to do? Why not play with the GameCube controller, which Nintendo has created a bundle for. The package includes the game, a controller, and an adapter for up to four GameCube controllers. Yes, your old controllers will work with it too!

Hopefully everyone is able to find great deals on the games and consoles they're looking forward to this holiday season. Look forward to more platform-specific holiday guides throughout the week, followed by a more cost-focused guide to Black Friday sales next week. Cheers, and happy holidays!



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Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire to feature space battles?

35 comments Rory Young - 9:46pm (PST) Like Share

The question now becomes what Pokemon can survive in space?

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The latest issue of the Japanese magazine CoroCoro has leaked online and while there aren't any new Mega Evolution reveals yet, there is something very interesting. One of the pages, folded out even, features a battle between Mega Reyquaza and Deoxys. It's not the combatants that matter here, however. It's the setting. The two are going full out in SPACE. They have left to atmosphere for their duel. Is Pokemon going to have its first space battles soon?

The question we're all asking ourselves is whether we can trust this image. It is a big piece of custom art, obviously. What we could be seeing is just a teaser for the anime or an upcoming movie. However, upon closer examination there's a small square screenshot featuring the exact same space background. A screenshot that could only imply that Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire are indeed going into space.

What does this really mean? Maybe it's just a funny fake background in a gym that uses holograms for it's fields of battle. I'd like to hope that flying around on Pokemon will provide the opportunity to fly into space. We'll see, we'll see.

Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire are planned for release on November 21 exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS. European 3DS owners will unfortunately have to wait an extra week when the gam releases on November 28 there.

 
 

Codename: STEAM hits Nintendo 3DS in Spring 2015, check out the new trailer

8 comments Lydia Sung - 5:15pm (PST) Like Share

European release confirmed for May 2015

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Nintendo revealed today that Codename: STEAM, the upcoming handheld strategy title from Intelligent Systems, will be released to 3DS by Spring 2015. When exactly will it be coming next spring? No idea, but at least the season has been confirmed. Europeans, on the other hand, will be getting the game next May.

In addition to the announcement, Nintendo also released a new trailer this morning during their Nintendo Direct event, essentially highlighting Codename: STEAM's combat. The concept is a hybrid of turn-based strategy with third-person shooter, while integrating a wide cast of characters -- including Abraham Lincoln. Yeah, you read that right.

Codename: STEAM was first revealed during E3 in June.

 
 
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