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Handheld Games Articles

NVIDIA Shield Review
NVIDIA is coming into a “touchy” market with the Shield and its beefy controller. How does it fare?

Fanatec Porsche 911 Turbo S (CE) Review
In the realm of racing games there are few challengers to the top seat of racing wheels; the Fanatec 911 Turbo S is the latest, packing 900 degree turning a 6+1 shifter and a full pedal set.

Handheld Games News

Pokémon Shuffle Mobile coming to iOS and Android devices, mobile match-3 goodness later this year

5 comments Maxfield Navarro - 1:04pm (PST) Like Share

For Pokémon fans looking to move from matching candies to matching faces

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Pokémon Shuffle, one of Nintendo's first ventures into the free-to-play gaming realm, is coming to iOS and Android devices under the title Pokémon Shuffle Mobile later this year. The original Pokémon Shuffle was originally released on the Nintendo 3DS eShop in February of this year and has proved rather popular since, getting over a million downloads worldwide in the few weeks after its launch. By mixing traditional match-3 elements with fundamental features of the Pokémon series like mega evolution and type advantages, Nintendo's made what's likely one of the most addicting titles to hit handhelds in years.

The most important thing about Pokémon Shuffle Mobile is that it is free-to-play and it is meant for pick-up-and-go gamers. In each game players are given a limited number of moves used to mix and match cute Pokémon faces -- provided the Pokémon has been collected by the player -- to attack the enemy with. Matching more than three icons gives the attack more power. Pokémon's famous 17-type classification system of course comes into play in the title, allowing players to develop strategies instead of rushing headfirst into battle with any creatures that have been collected.

On the Nintendo 3DS games played were limited and could be refilled through StreetPass interactions, jewels that are obtained rarely through in-game deeds, microtransactions, or simply waiting thirty minutes. Android and iOS players will assumedly only be able to refill through the latter two or three methods, similar to other titles of the free-to-play genre such as Candy Crush, but Nintendo is new to the medium so anything could happen.

With titles such as the original Shuffle and Pokémon Rumble World on the Nintendo 3DS, the gaming giant seems to be taking quite a few progressive steps towards the mobile market and Shuffle is arguably the biggest one of them all. Provided that everything goes as well as the free-to-play expeditions on the handheld, introducing Pokémon Shuffle Mobile to a generation of gamers looking for quick entertainment might be just the first push towards creating a serious mobile gaming library full of Nintendo series and characters. It's the perfect game to play on the car ride to the grocery store or while waiting for dinner at a take-out restaurant.

Though Pokémon Shuffle Mobile is not yet available, interested gamers will be able to download it for free starting later this year on Google Play for Android devices and the iTunes App Store for iOS devices.

 

 
 

Launch trailer for The Great Ace Attorney's July 9 Japanese release, no localization yet announced

9 comments Rory Young - 12:52pm (PST) Like Share

Don't you dare keep this one Japan-only too, Capcom!

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Damn it all, Capcom! Why do you do this to us? The Great Ace Attorney, a loose translation of the Japanese title Dai Gyakuten Saiban: Naruhodō Ryūnosuke no Bōken, is coming up on its July 9 launch in Japan. Yes, that's the latest tile in the Ace Attorney franchise, though you won't see Phoenix Wright or Miles Edgeworth in this one. This one's set in feudal Japan and starring Ryūnosuke Naruhodō, his last name a pun on "I See!" Time travel probably isn't out of bounds for the franchise though. But back to the point -- here we are so close to the Japan launch and Capcom still hasn't announced a western localization. Damn it all, Capcom!

I'll be honest, the launch trailer for The Great Ace Attorney isn't likely to be very enticing to western audience. I'm not really posting this one for us all to watch and get hyped. I'm posting it because apparently Capcom needs quite a bit more pushing before they'll localize the damn game and if one more news post can help with that then I'll do my best for the cause. Remember, Capcom didn't even release Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth 2 in the west, because they're freakin' jerks. I'm crossing all of my fingers that The Great Ace Attorney won't also miss a localization, but you really can't trust Capcom with these things these days.

The trailer itself focuses on introducing each of the major characters in the game, spinning up a bit of the classic investigative intrigue with a tease of the game's first murder, as well as showing plenty of that classic Ace Attorney personality. Unfortunately there's quite a bit of text and very little movement in the trailer. 3DS gameplay doesn't translate very well into a big, high-resolution launch trailer, so they spend a lot of their time dropping unmoving concept art on-screen and adding the Japanese voice-over on top of it. I'm sure it's great if you know Japanese.

Dai Gyakuten Saiban: Naruhodō Ryūnosuke no Bōken, loosely translated as Great Turnabout Trial: The Adventure of Ryūnosuke Naruhodō and known in the west as The Great Ace Attorney, will launch in Japan on July 9. The 3DS exclusive adventure game has yet to have a localization for other regions announced. It may not be localized at all. Make sure to message Capcom via their social media channels that we want more Ace Attorney here, because we do. And Capcom won't do it unless we make them!

 
 

Dragon Ball Z Extreme Butoden's 2D fighting hits 3DS on October 20, built by Arc System Works

3 comments Rory Young - 11:28am (PST) Like Share

The more 2D Dragon Ball fighting action, the better

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Bandai Namco has announced the localization of 2D fighting game Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden, a 3DS title throwback to the 1v1 fights of classic Dragon Ball Z fighters. It has been a while now since the last Dragon Ball fighting game came to a Nintendo handheld, as Dragon Ball Kai: Ultimate Butoden was released in 2011 and its developer closed its doors a few months later. Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden, however, has a new pedigree that'll be hard to dismiss

Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden's gameplay is being handled in partnership with Bandai Namco in Japan, which considering they've been working on Dragon Ball for forever now is no small thing. The other partner, however, is someone everyone might be familiar with. Guess who? Arc System Works, the team behind Guilty Gear and BlazBlue. The team pumping out the best fighting game visuals and action of our times. I'd say that's worth being excited about.

Bandai Namco's VP, Eric Hartness, provided the following statement in which he managed to mention the title "Dragon Ball" no less than four times in two sentences:

"The Dragon Ball Z franchise continues to delight gamers around the world, most recently with this year’s release of Dragon Ball Xenoverse. Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden lets players take Dragon Ball on the road while delivering a tight and engrossing fighting game experience developed by one of the most respected 2D fighting game developers in Japan."

The game will feature 20 playable fighters, 100 support characters, and all of the awesome Dragon Ball Z abilities and match-ups that fans would expect. 

Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden will be released in North America on October 20 exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS, coming to Brazil on October 23. It'll be available as both a retail box and a digital download, so no stress there. Good on Bandai Namco for keeping the Dragon Ball Z games coming westward as often as possible. We were raised on this stuff!



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Neoseeker's Best of E3 2015 Awards: Other

1 comments Rory Young - 1:10am (PST) Like Share

Games that deserve as much attention as any of the larger genres

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Unfortunately, as is the nature of our industry, not every genre can be packed full of new games every year. Not to mention afford packing them all to E3, or to get a PR company to book appointments with the press. I'm basically trying to say that there's only so many games out there and even less that we can make the time to see. As a result, these genres can be hard to fill out award categories for. Nevertheless, I think it's important to recognize these genres and their excellent games if we can.

Music, fighting games, casual experiences and puzzle titles are all better deserving of our attentions at E3. I apologize sincerely for not searching out any more titles that potentially deserved to be added to our nominations. I tried very hard to organize as many E3 games as possible for further inspection, but there's only so much I can do. Hopefully this post does enough justice to each genre and title and calls more attention to them as they deserve

Cheers, as here are the wayward categories for Neoseeker's Best of E3 2015 awards:

Music

  • Guitar Hero Live
  • Welcome to Mars VR Demo
     
  • Rock Band 4 - Winner

Casual

  • Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival
  • Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer
     
  • Dreams - Winner

Puzzle

  • Lara Croft Go
     
  • Wattam - Winner

Fighting

  • Street Fighter V - Winner

Sim

  • American Truck Simulator
  • Fallout Shelter
  • Planet Coaster
     
  • Anno 2205 - Winner

Congratulations to all of our nominees and winners for each category in Neoseeker's Best of E3 2015 awards. Make sure to check out all of our Best of E3 Awards as they're posted. 



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Neoseeker's Best of E3 2015 Awards: Strategy

16 comments Rory Young - 3:24pm (PST) Like Share

Each nominee's pick has been precisely calculated

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Man, I know. I know, okay! Most of the nominees in Neoseeker's Best of E3 2015 awards are better placed in more specific genres, like Tactical RPG or even just straight up RPG. We're using Strategy as an umbrella genre here. Admittedly, it's difficult to determine a game's strategic depth and value from an E3 demo and as a result these games' more approachable elements tend to help their case for the award. That shouldn't cloud the fact that there are some amazing games coming down the line for the strategic and tactical mind.

In the same way that Shooters tend to be heading to space to create unique experiences, so do Strategy titles seem to be flooding towards fantasy world. At least in 2015, they seem to be flooding towards fantasy. Strategy titles have a long history of broaching all manner of different worlds, from Blizzard's fantasy and and sci-fi settings to Total War series of more reality-tempered titles. It's amazing just what kind of settings a Strategy title can fit into, so long as the camera go float overhead and an army of units can do battle. The breadth and tone of the nominations this year show just how varied the genre can be. Which is probably why it's so exciting to see the genre having a resurgence.

Here are the nominees and our winner for Neoseeker's Best of E3 2015 awards in the Strategy category:

The Behemoth's Game 4 - Nominee

This game is so hot that The Behemoth hasn't even risked giving it a name just yet for fear of the resulting mind explosion that could wipe out the earth. Game 4 is this, uh, very Behemoth tactical game where the planet has been struck by a giant, evil, stuffed bear thing, turning the world over into hexagon panels. The bears blood then turns everything super crazy and a little bit evil and insane, or maybe it was just like that before and we were looking for an opportunity to show our true colors. The story begins with Horatio, a blueberry farmer protecting his son from marauders just as a bear-blood storm. Ah, Behemoth.

While Game 4 wasn't shown heavily at E3 this year, since The Behemoth was in part attending to announce Castle Crashers Remastered, they did have a bit of new stuff that made us extra excited. Game 4's co-op action was unveiled during an Xbox stream! Game 4 alone, with its cupcake healers and cyclops soul-binding, deserves a nomination here, but the co-op showcase at E3 specifically made us very happy that these guys are continuing to make such awesome, hilarious games.

Bedlam - Nominee

I originally had nominated Total War: Warhammer here, just because Creative Assembly's trailer was righteous and they had Tears for Fears. Then I stumbled on Bedlam's big new trailer and I am so happy that I did. Skyshine Games launched a Kickstarter for Beldam back in September 2014, picking up about $160,000 in funding the make their tactical game. Since then they've been putting their heads to the grinder putting the game together, with E3 being the big reveal of their efforts. Spoilers, it looks awesome.

Bedlam is a post-apocalyptic, grindhouse, over-the-top tactical game filled with mutants, cyborgs and bloody bits of exploded enemies. The impression I get is it's XCOM if the dial was turned up to eleven. Sure, it's very indie and there's only so much a small team can do with two years of development and less than $200,000, but in the end it's important to remember what really matters. A cool idea followed-up by capable, passionate people can become as awesome of a game as any other.

XCOM 2 - Nominee

"We found out most players lost their first XCOM playthrough," said the sadists. This is the foundation with which XCOM 2 is built on -- that humanity lost the alien invasion in the original XCOM game. Luckily a resistance has been formed and XCOM 2 will see humanity trying once more to throw off the alien tyrants in control of the planet. The entire game has been rebuilty with a ton of new content, new classes, but mostly XCOM 2 will offer something fans wanted more than anything else -- more XCOM.

At E3 XCOM 2 gameplay was shown fully. Players got to see new classes, new enemies, exciting features like concealed attacks, procedurally generated maps and secondary mission objectives. All of the mechanics that XCOM fans loved and loved to hate remain, especially perma-death and no linear storytelling. While XCOM doesn't necessarily make for a particularly exciting E3 demo, as XCOM's strength comes in the investment that comes as part of dozens of hours in the world, there's no doubt in my mind that XCOM 2 will be a part of much bigger award discussions when the full game launches.

The Banner Saga 2 - Nominee

The Banner Saga was one of those first wave of Kickstarter-funded projects that proved how meaningful crowdfunding could be to important projects. Not only did the title provide an excellent tactical experience, but it created a new mix of RPG mechanics and tactical play told in this really mature and poignant story of struggle and survival. Did I mention it had one of the most striking and beautiful artistic styles games, period? There was never a doubt that The Banner Saga 2 wouldn't be far behind the first title, but there were questions about how hyped fans should get over an even more polished experience.

A playable build of The Banner Saga 2 was at E3 and it impressed everyone who touched it. It quite literally picks off where the first title ended, so anyone hoping to just jump in with the second game better do themselves a favor and go back to the start. Stoic isn't planning on redoing the foundation laying that, well, all other franchises like to do with every game in the series. The Banner Saga 2 keeps the caravan moving no matter what may come  or what may pass, and that statement has several important meanings that make up the entire reason this game is an automatic nomination here.

Fire Emblem Fates - Winner

Fire Emblem's resurgence with the release of Fire Emblem Awakening (what an appropriately meta name, in retrospect) is evidenced by the energy surrounding the announcement of Fire Emblem if and its renaming to Fire Emblem Fates for western audiences at E3. The way that Fire Emblem is able to layer its storytelling, establishing such wonderful characters as a means of connecting the player to the political intrigue and world-changing epic storylines, is unmatched in RPGs these days. It hearkens back to classic titles like Suikoden and Final Fantasy Tactics. It warms my jaded heart.

Nintendo provided a great introduction to Fire Emblem Fates at E3 2015, with two thirty-minute demos livestreamed to the world in addition to the latest trailer shown during their Nintendo Direct. As expected the new roster of characters is just as exciting to meet as Fire Emblem Awakening's. The gameplay and its mix of different classes and rock-scissors-paper tactics looks sharp and as fun as ever. Fire Emblem Fates is absolutely our most anticipated Nintendo 3DS game in development and for good reason.


Congratulations to all of our nominees and to Fire Emblem Fates for winning Neoseeker's Best of E3 2015 award in the Strategy category. Make sure to check out all of our Best of E3 Awards as they're posted. 



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E3 2015: Mario & Luigi meet Paper Mario, joining forces in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam on 3DS

27 comments Rory Young - 3:49pm (PST) Like (1) Share

Just please no stickers

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Let me introduce everyone to my new jam. Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, that is. One of Nintendo's big 3DS reveals during their Nintendo Direct keynote for E3 2015 was this awesome RPG which sees to mixing of both the Paper Mario and the Mario & Luigi series. Technically, Paper Mario and friends will be bursting out a book and joining the world of Mario & Luigi, meaning that the game will be close to that franchise than Paper Mario's. Expect it to use a ton of Paper Mario-inspired tricks for gameplay, though. Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam is tentatively planned for release on 3DS in spring of 2016.

For those familiar with both series, it's probably more accurate to say that this 3DS game is more of a meeting of Mario & Luigi: Dream Team and Paper Mario: Sticker Star. A lot of the gameplay shown from the trailer seems like a mix of those two games, rather than a throwback to any of the classic titles from either franchise. Some might say that's disappointing, as both series definitely started of on their strongest foot so to speak. I say that as long as we're getting any continuation of either series, it's all good. I just like seeing Nintendo continuing to make Mario RPGs.

Heck, you can't even call the game entirely an RPG. There's a fair bit of 3D action gameplay going on too, which isn't necessarily odd for either series. They've dabbled their toesies in action-RPG territory before. And calling it an action game is kind of a misnomer. What it means is that the game has unique 3D puzzles and fun that don't really fit into the RPG category. It opens the door for zaniness, which is really what Mario RPGs are all about in the first place, right? Thing like making a giant "papercraft" Mario and how you charge it with dancing and fight other papercrafts. I don't know, man! Bowser decided to turn paper things into war machine papercrafts. He's Bowser. He's crazy.

I love both Mario & Luigi and Paper Mario, though probably Paper Mario more than the other and I really like them on console more than on handheld. Frankly, I don't think the handheld games in either series have been great recently. The hope is that Nintendo's just bee figuring itself out in terms of handheld Mario RPGs and that this will be them hitting their stride. Though at the same time one could say this is just their next silly gimmick, because Nintendo loves to force ideas without much depth much further than they deserve. I'm crossing my fingers, fellas.

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam will be coming out exclusively on Nintendo 3DS in the spring of 2016. Expect more details in the weeks and months to come.

 
 

Square Enix E3 2015 Press Conference Livestream and Chat: All over!

217 comments Rory Young - 9:19am (PST) Like Share

Updated: Stream over, highlights include Just Cause 3, Kingdom Hearts 3 and Project Setsuna

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The second E3 press conference of the day is Square Enix, and the last one before the E3 show floor opens up to the public! The gauntlet that started lat Sunday night will finally reach its conclusion and we'll be able to take a breather. Square Enix has no intention of letting us rest, however. Starting at 10:00AM Pacific Time, almost immediately after the Nintendo E3 press conference, Square Enix will take the stage to talk about all of their exciting games coming in 2015 and onwards. They've already shared surprises at both Microsoft and Sony's events, but you can count on them having some more here.

What games can we expect? How about we split them into two groups: western-made games and Japanese-made games. On the westward front, you can expect titles like Just Cause 3, Hitman, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Rise of the Tomb Raider. Moving on to the Japanese reveals, we can certainly expect Final Fantasy XIV's Heavensward expansion, Final Fantasy XV, and even Final Fantasy VII's newly announced remake. Add on Star Ocean's recently announced sequel, Kingdom Hearts III and Dragon Quest Heroes, and it's a wonder they'll fit everything in before E3's show floor opens. 

Tune into the Square Enix livestream embedded below, starting at 10:00AM Pacific Time, and make sure to join in on the live chat we have as well. It's directly tied into the Neoseeker forums, so every chat comment is also a forum post. It's like we're creating our own Neoseeker live blog. I hope everyone's having a great E3 so far and that Square Enix only makes it better. Cheers and have fun, everybody!

 
 

E3 Press Conference Schedule: From Bethesda to the PC Gaming Show

7 comments Rory Young - 6:11pm (PST) Like Share

More video game hype than ever before

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Welcome to E3, everyone! In less than five hours, Bethesda will kick off the festivities by holding their first ever press conference. It'll mark the beginning of a roller coaster of E3 hype as dozens of new games are announced, hundreds of previously revealed games are shown, and thousands of gamers gather together in the Los Angeles Convention Center to give praise to the biggest industry event of the year. It has finally arrived, so hold onto your butts and make sure to bookmark this press conference schedule. I've got the full press conference schedule starting from Bethesda tonight until AMD's PC Gaming Show on Tuesday evening and all of the big events in the middle.

I'll also be listing some of the games, rumored or confirmed, that are planned for each of the events. Odds are they'll only be a small sampling of the many titles each publishers will be showcasing at their events, but it should give a hint at what to expect from each event. As if anyone needed any more hype. There are eight shows in total, with four running on Monday. That day will be my death, I'm certain. 

E3 2015 Press Conference Schedule

Sunday, June 14

Monday, June 15

Tuesday, June 16

An unbelievable line-up of shows with already an unbelievable line-up of games. But the best news is that very few of the publishers have announced their press conference line-ups. In fact, only Ubisoft and Electronic Arts have really talked about that at all. The rest have kept secret every single game they've been planning on showing. There's a lot of buzz going on behind the scenes about games that haven't yet been announced. If you think the leaks have been great, just wait for what's still left to show.

I'll have a thread going up prior to each press conference with the stream and a live chat, so make sure to stick around Neoseeker for all of the fun. That includes the Bethesda event going live later this evening. Have a great E3, everyone.

 
 

Blast Ball, first-person 3DS multiplayer robot soccer, unveiled during Nintendo World Championships

4 comments Rory Young - 4:13pm (PST) Like Share

Methinks Blast Ball needs more squids and kids

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Surprise number two has come out at the Nintendo World Championships. For the second round of the event, Nintendo pulled out an all-new game for players to compete in. Introducing Blast Ball, a first-person multiplayer sports game featuring robots shooting a ball with laser blasts. The game is made for 3DS and the mode we watched was 3v3. Any media is currently unavailable for the game, so further details are hard to come by. I'm betting we'll definitely hear about it by Nintendo's press conference at 9:00am on Tuesday, June 16 if not later today.

Blast Ball, from the gameplay we watched during the Nintendo World Championships, puts each individual player in control of a mech with a large blaster laser on their arm. The game, while entirely in first-person, controls the aiming process entirely for the player. They'll stay focused on the rolling ball the entire time. Players will be able to fully move around as they please however. They'll also be able to control whether they first short burst lasers for small pushes on the ball, or larger charge shots for huge ball pushes. Keep in mind that based on your positioning a small burst can make a huge difference, where a large one from the wrong angle can make everything go wrong.

Lasers aren't the only way players can interact with the ball. If they place their mech in the way of the ball they can absolutely deflect it in a different direction. But by taking such a hit, they can wreck their mech and place themselves under a respawn timer where they can't participate in teh game at all. Power-ups will also be spread around the map which provide different boosts to players.

The game itself actually looks like a ton of fun. The question in my mind are whether the 3DS will support a competitive environment for such a game, as it seems like the sort that could benefit from ranked play, quick matches, custom games -- things that the 3DS has never really been able to pull off as well as a console game. Though even the Wii U still has trouble with these sorts of things. Whoa, and live we're seeing the ball turn into a lava ball, setting the different mechs aflame. Ah, this game seems to have a ton of potential.

Introducing Blast Ball, a 3DS multiplayer game where players shoot a giant ball into opposing goals with a big laser blaser. It's a first-person, competitive game and hopefully we'll hear more about it soon.



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Nintendo World Championship livestream and live chat at 3:00pm PT, Treehouse pre-show at 2:25pm PT

152 comments Rory Young - 2:13pm (PST) Like Share (1)

Let's see who the true Splatoon master truly is

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The Nintendo World Championship 2015 has arrived in Los Angeles. The event has been been ongoing throughout North America since May 30, all leading up to tonight's events. Eight regional champions will be meeting here in LA to compete in a "multi-round" Nintendo game competition. Only one will be crowned the true Nintendo World Champion for 2015. The stream will start at 2:25pm Pacific Time with Nintendo Treehouse reviewing all of the event's action leading up to tonight. Then at 3:00pm PT the event itself will begin, with a scheduled ending of 6:30pm.

What games will be played tonight? Unfortunately, no one knows, although Nintendo did reveal that Splatoon would be appearing on-stage during the event so that's probably one round of the many. We also know that the event will be hosted by Kevin Pereira of G4's Attack of the Show fame. Everything else? It's a surprise!

Unfortunately, unlike the huge events back in the 90's, this year's Nintendo World Championship is less of a huge eSports event and more of a big PR push. The eight regionals all came from eight specific Best Buy locations. That's right, only eight Best Buys actually held a qualifying event. The winners of those events are meeting in LA tonight, but they'll be competing on-stage against several "well known gamers" who most definitely did not play in any qualifiers. They were just plucked up to play to hype up the event leading into E3. It's not exactly a very classy approach to an event that's rather revered from the 90's, but hopefully it'll at least be entertaining.

We'll provide a livestream of the event below, as well as a live chat for Neoseeker users to talk about the events on the stream as they occur. Make sure you're logged into your Neoseeker account in order to see the live chat. If you're not, it won't show up for you. Of course, it'll also be available on the forum side of this post if you'd prefer that.

Tonight's Nintendo World Championship livestream will be the second Nintendo event of the day, coming after this morning's Super Smash Bros. livestream. Nintendo's official E3 keynote won't be until 9:00am PT on Tuesday, June 16.

 
 
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