Nintendojo nintendo news, analysis & musings since 1996 Tue, 04 Aug 2015 23:09:36 +0000 en hourly 1 Copyright Nintendojo 2011 (Nintendojo) (Nintendojo) Podcast 1440 Nintendojo 144 144 Nintendojo's Weekly Podcasts, including Dojo-Show-Go! and Airship Travelogues Nintendojo's weekly podcasts! We talk about the latest games, news and other zany items in the World of Nintendo... and beyond. Nintendo, Wii, GameCube, DS, nintendo, 64, NES, SNES Nintendojo Nintendojo no no GameStop to Offer Retro-Themed Amiibo Three-Pack Tue, 04 Aug 2015 22:00:31 +0000 Andy Hoover

I doubt that anybody would have expected Amiibo launches to be such a big deal back when the collectible figurines were first announced. However, the gaming world’s appetite for Nintendo’s toys-to-life line has proven voracious, as gamers obsessively hunt down each new character alongside some older ones that have proven about as hard to find as an actual unicorn. Considering all of this, it wasn’t to surprising that GameStop has gone out of its way to not just bundle some figures, but to make a big deal about it as well.

Starting at 9 AM on Saturday, August 8, GameStop will be featuring a special pre-order event where gamers can put down $5 to reserve a special bundle featuring the new R.O.B., Duck Hunt, and Mr. Game & Watch Amiibo. No one should be shocked to learn that supplies are most definitely limited and that there will be a limit of one bundle per customer. Given people’s ravenous appetite for Amiibo, it might be smart of collectors to get up early and prepare to stand in line.

As for the rest of the next wave of Amiibo, nothing has been said regarding pre-orders for them, so it looks like this event will specifically be for this bundle. Hopefully we’ll learn more about when the rest of the line up will be hitting shelves in the not-too-distant future.

Source: IGN

]]> 0
From the Archive: e-Reading the Future Tue, 04 Aug 2015 16:00:19 +0000 Kevin Knezevic

This article was originally published on May 29, 2012.

Much has been made of the fact that Fire Emblem Awakening is the first Nintendo game to support paid downloadable content, a move that many consider to be long overdue given the current state of the games industry. While it’s certainly nice to see the company finally embracing the digital movement in earnest, the truth is this is not the first time it has experimented with the idea. Notwithstanding the fact that Animal Crossing: City Folk and the DS Pokémon titles have all received off-disc extras for free through Nintendo’s own Wi-Fi service, Nintendo has actually offered paid add-on content for many of its games long before DLC became an industry standard (or, indeed, before the company even took its first grudging steps into the online sphere), and it did so using the very thing that had sustained it for nearly a century of its existence: playing cards.

Released in North America in September 2002, the e-Reader, an add-on device that plugged into the Game Boy Advance’s cartridge slot, allowed gamers to scan specially-made cards for use in certain titles. These cards, typically signified by a gold or silver strip running along their border, contained a piece of code that would activate a unique item in the corresponding game. The content of these cards ranged from special furniture for Animal Crossing to standalone minigames to even complete NES titles (albeit simpler ones like Balloon Fight and Donkey Kong), providing gamers with a surprisingly robust array of content to enjoy (especially considering the rather limited technology that powered the device).

What’s particularly interesting about the e-Reader and its functionality is just how closely it mirrors modern-day DLC. Beyond offering a way to repurchase certain NES titles that have long been out of print (a clear precursor to Wii’s Virtual Console service), the device was also conceived as a way to extend the longevity of modern games by providing them with supplementary content. Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire flirted with this idea by offering new trainers for the player to battle after completing the story (as well as special items that would unlock certain Pokémon), but the vast majority of games only used the e-Reader in an ancillary fashion. Outside of the aforementioned Pokémon titles (and one other notable exception that I will touch upon below), GameCube’s Animal Crossing was the only other game to really make use of the device. Players could purchase special packs of Animal Crossing-e cards that would contain an assortment of different items they could upload to their towns. These ranged from special town tunes and clothing patterns to rare pieces of furniture and even letters from other animals, making them a neat, if unnecessary, bonus for fans of the game who just so happened to also own an e-Reader and a Game Boy Advance.

Of course, while these titles laid down the foundation for the e-Reader’s capabilities, the most promising use of the device came from none other than Super Mario Advance 4. Like the SNES remake upon which it was based, Super Mario Advance 4 was primarily a gussied up version of Super Mario Bros. 3 with a few extra features thrown in for good measure. The most prominent of these was e-Reader support, and the game made extensive use of its functionality by offering entire new levels for the player to conquer. While that alone would have been enough to whet the appetite of any Mario fan, the majority of these levels culled together various elements from the plumber’s other games into their design, making them a veritable “greatest hits” compilation of the Mario series. It was not unusual to see the vegetables from Super Mario Bros. 2 crop up in a stage populated by enemies from Super Mario World, and some e-Reader-exclusive items (like throwable boomerangs) would even go on to inspire power-ups in future Mario games.

In retrospect, it’s a little surreal to think that Nintendo had once offered additional levels for one of its most popular Mario titles long before the concept of DLC was even introduced to the industry, but that was precisely the kind of thing the e-Reader allowed. By all accounts, this should have boded well for the company’s enthusiasm for add-on content, but the device’s untimely failure, coupled with the developer’s initial resistance to the online movement, ultimately stunted its willingness to adopt the practice.

It certainly didn’t help that the e-Reader’s bulky size made it impractical to carry around, nor did the finicky nature of its card scanner make it particularly easy to use, turning the device into a curiosity more akin to the Virtual Boy than a vital piece of technology. While these in themselves were significant hurdles for the e-Reader to overcome, most damning of all was the fact that it had to be plugged into the Game Boy Advance’s cartridge slot in order to function, effectively limiting the number of games that it could interact with. Any GameCube titles that supported the device were largely unaffected thanks to the GC-GBA link cable, but its reliance on the Game Boy Advance meant that it could not interact with most of the handheld’s own games. Any titles that did support the device, like Super Mario Advance 4 (the game that, ironically enough, made the most compelling use of it by offering entire new levels to play), were only capable of receiving this extra data provided you had a second Game Boy Advance (and a Game Boy Advance link cable) lying around, which meant that the vast majority of fans could not even experience the additional content that was created for these games. It also didn’t help that add-on devices have always had a history of failure outside of Japan’s eccentric boarders, making the e-Reader’s eventual demise, less than two years after it was released, a foregone conclusion.

Still, the e-Reader’s unique vision made it one of the most innovative products to ever hit the market, and it’s safe to say the device helped pave the way for what would eventually become downloadable content. In a sense, this puts it in the same pantheon (at least conceptually) as Nintendo’s own Satellaview. Like the Super Famicom add-on, the e-Reader experimented with a concept that was far beyond its time, introducing ideas that would not take root in the industry until years after its discontinuation. While its muted reception may have made the device an obscure footnote in Nintendo’s long history, the e-Reader’s unique influence was much further reaching than it may initially appear.

]]> 1
Rare Video Game Soundtracks Getting Vinyl Releases Tue, 04 Aug 2015 00:50:51 +0000 Marc Deschamps

This week, Xbox One owners will be treated to Rare Replay, a digital collection of 30 games produced by Nintendo’s former second party developer. While Wii U owners will, understandably, find themselves left out on that particular package, the game is getting some very neat merchandise that nostalgic Nintendo fans can also enjoy. That is, if they can get to them, first!

A trio of vinyl soundtracks for Banjo-Kazooie, BattleToads and Perfect Dark are on the way, courtesy of Microsoft and iam8bit. The soundtracks are presented on LP 180 gram vinyl records. Each release will be limited to 3000 copies and feature breathtaking art by some of iam8bit’s finest artists. Seriously, these are stunning!

Artwork by Jacob Gagnon.

Artwork by Nick Gazin.

Artwork by Marco D’Alfonso

The soundtracks will be available for pre-order Tuesday August 4 at 10 AM PDT. Each soundtrack will retail for $35. Do you plan on pre-ordering? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Source: Siliconera

]]> 1
Troubles Continue to Plague Konami Tue, 04 Aug 2015 00:15:20 +0000 Marc Deschamps Momotaru Dentetsu rights as a result. ]]> E3 2012 Masthead Konami

It’s no secret that Konami has had their fair share of difficulties as of late. A very public feud with Metal Gear Solid series creator Hideo Kojima hinted at major troubles within the company, but a recent article in Japanese newspaper Nikkei suggests things are much more troubling than they originally appeared.

According to the article, the success of inexpensive, high-profit mobile titles has led the company to shift focus away from bigger games. Titles like the upcoming Metal Gear Solid V, which reportedly cost $80 million to produce, don’t seem to fit in with the company’s current business model. This is apparently the reason behind Konami and Kojima’s falling out, which might also be the reason for the cancellation of the upcoming title Silent Hills. Konami has even licensed out the Momotaro Dentetsu franchise to Nintendo for an apparently small licensing fee. Developed by Hudson Soft, the Momotaro Dentetsu titles feature a board game style, and have a very large audience in Japan. The creator of that particular franchise, Akira Sakuma, left Konami in June. Sakuma took to Twitter shortly thereafter, where he cited many of the same problems Kojima has.

“Konami hasn’t gotten in touch with me at all. This is how they’ve tossed me aside for a while now. I’m announcing here that Momotaro Dentetsu is officially done. Ishikawa at Konami squelched everything.”

It’s currently unknown if Sakuma will be involved with Nintendo’s upcoming Momotaro Dentetsu title. The cost cutting apparently hasn’t stopped at the games themselves. Timed bathroom breaks have reportedly been enforced throughout the building, while “useless” employees are reassigned, often to projects beneath their stature. Reassignment has also been used to punish employees caught speaking out against the company, even if it’s something as minor as “Liking” a Facebook post that paints the company in an unflattering light. As a result, company morale has been understandably low.

Regardless of how accurate the Nikkei article proves to be, clearly there is a lot of unhappiness going on at Konami right now. It’s certainly a depressing state of affairs for one of the gaming industry’s biggest publishers. With talent such as Hideo Kojima and Koji Igarashi leaving the company over the last few years, it will be interesting to see just what becomes of franchises like Metal Gear Solid and Castlevania. Whether we’ll see a publisher like Nintendo acquire the licensing rights, like they did with Momotaru Dentetsu, or if those franchises will fall by the wayside, remains to be seen.

Source: IGN, Kotaku

]]> 1
Guitar Hero Live Will Bring Back Singing Mon, 03 Aug 2015 23:30:02 +0000 Marc Deschamps

This fall, Activision will attempt to reinvigorate the music genre with the release of Guitar Hero Live. The franchise was once one of the industry’s most reliable sellers, but eventually found itself buried beneath too many sequels, spin-offs and fake plastic instruments. So far, Activision has treated Live as a back-to-basics approach for the series, stripping out the other instruments added when the series tried to compete with Rock Band.

According to Activision, at least one more piece of equipment will be added to Guitar Hero Live, however: a microphone. Singing will apparently return in the new title. It’s currently unclear whether or not Activision will offer a new peripheral for the game, or old microphones will be compatible with the game, as the embedded trailer would seem to suggest.

It will be very interesting to see how Guitar Hero Live is received when it releases this fall. The franchise performed surprisingly well on the Nintendo Wii, often times outpacing its counterparts on PS3 and Xbox 360 (a rarity with third party games). The new online options certainly seem promising to say the least! Stay tuned to Nintendojo for more information on Guitar Hero Live in the coming months.

Source: Nintendo Everything

]]> 0
Poll: Add-on Content Mon, 03 Aug 2015 16:00:40 +0000 Kevin Knezevic Generic Question Block Poll Masthead Yellow

Later this week, Splatoon will be receiving a major update, adding a wealth of new content to the game, including new modes, weapon types, and an increased level cap– all for free. Not only does this make an already addictive shooter even more compelling, it represents Nintendo’s full embrace of post-release content, a practice that the company had long resisted. Splatoon is only the latest game to receive such a significant amount of extras following its launch; both the Wii U and 3DS versions of Super Smash Bros. have seen a steady stream of new characters and costumes over the past few months, while Mario Kart 8 has received two masterful DLC packs since its launch last May.

With such a great string of add-on content lately, we’d like to know, which Nintendo game do you think has received the best DLC so far? Cast your vote in our poll below, and be sure to sound off in the comments section!

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll. ]]> 8
Backlog Summer: 08.01.2015 Sat, 01 Aug 2015 20:00:39 +0000 Nintendojo Staff

Nintendojo’s Backlog Summer keeps on rolling! What games are the staff playing this week? Read on to find out!

Marc Deschamps

I’m almost finished with the fourth world in Yoshi’s New Island. Rather than blaze through the game, I’m finding myself picking it up and playing two or three levels in short, twenty minute bursts. This week, I did that on my lunch break. It was a fairly stressful work day, and I found it really put me in a better mood. It’s not a terribly original jump from the Super Nintendo title, but the game is such a master class in 2D, platforming level design. I’m consistently impressed at the secrets each level hides. I’m not killing myself trying to find every red coin or flower, but I am doing my best, because I’m just enjoying the game so much.

I’ve also really been putting a lot of time into Super Smash Bros. on Wii U lately. I finally unlocked Rob and some more music and trophies. Last night, I raced to download the two new (old) stages that were added and the Lloyd Irving costume. I hadn’t really done much with the custom fighter options, but since I’ve wanted Lloyd in the game (and even called it in some of our previous round tables), I had to download his Mii costume. It’s a great callback to one of my favorite games on the GameCube!

Speaking of those newly added levels, I really like the addition of Peach’s Castle and Hyrule Castle to the game. Those N64 levels have really made me nostalgic for the original game. I love where the series has gone since then, but there’s still something very charming about the simplicity of the first Super Smash Bros. title. It reminds me how much I enjoyed playing the game with my friends back in middle school. Now, if only we could get them to bring back Saffron City!

Anthony Pelone

So I’ve made it to Chapter 2 of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and I’m having quite the dilemma! Back in the day, I wouldn’t hesitate to say TTYD was far superior to the original, but having replayed the N64 one last fall I’m finding it’s more neck-and-neck than I thought. The feel-good “first-timer” charm of the original won me over so hard, and it’s a bit of a shock, to say the least, to transition over to a setting that’s far…dare I say, darker? It didn’t help that TTYD’s Chapter 1 felt like it was going through the motions and retreading old ground up until maybe Hooktail’s castle, and I began to fear my childhood self was wrong…

But for its lows, I’m beginning to find highs the N64 game could only dream of — the localization, for one. Don’t get me wrong, the original Paper Mario’s script was incredible, too, but in more of this super-cute way that lifted my spirits just to read the characters’ dialogue. Here, much like my trip through Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, I keep ending up in stitches thanks to obvious touches by NOA Treehouse; be it Gus’s speech about video game protagonists resorting to violence or the “terrors” of the Curse Face, there’s never a dull moment in the script. Can I also say how much I love the theater-based battle system? Everything feels so organic, from the audience participation to the “stylish” timed-presses. And Chapter 2′s forest is just as lovely as I remember it.

Time will tell of my reforged, ultimate opinion, but I’m starting to get the sense that TTYD’s darker setting complements the original’s sugariness, as with Mother 3 to EarthBound. I’m quite interested in getting reacquainted with this darker underbelly of the Mario universe, and it can only go up from here.

Craig Harnett

Much like Marc, it’s been a particularly busy and stressful week at work, so my gaming unfortunately has had to take a back seat. It’s frustrating as it’s weeks like these that are the reason I have a backlog of games in the first place, but I guess that’s life for you!

It’s not a complete washout though, as I have managed to squeeze the odd half-hour in here and there. Smash Bros. has taken the brunt of my gaming drought and hasn’t been played at all. I have, however, managed to get some time again with Donkey Kong Country Returns, and I am almost halfway through, having just reached the cave area. The game continues to impress in both of its playability and graphics and I find that I have to remind myself that I am playing this on Wii. I actually can’t wait to get this finished and reap my rewards when I finally get to purchase and play Tropical Freeze in glorious HD.

Aside from this, I’ve also gone back to having a spin on Mario Kart 8. Although this isn’t on my backlog remit, the game somehow found its way back into my Wii U, and I was soon racing around the likes of Hyrule Circuit and Mute City. I’ve even found a new character in Dry Bowser, and completing cups such as Leaf Cup and Lightning Cup with the elusive three star rating on 150cc mode is no longer as difficult as it once was with Toad, my usual racer of choice.

Seriously though, how good is this game? Over a year since release and having some of the finest DLC I’ve ever purchased for any title on any system, Mario Kart 8, for me, is still an absolute masterpiece. However, I digress. No more racing for me. I must return to the jungle if I’m ever to rid Donkey Kong Island from that pesky Tiki Take Tribe.

Robert Marrujo

So my shift to Batman games continued this week, as I found myself beating both Arkham City and Arkham Origins again. I got an Xbox One a couple weeks ago and immediately went to get Arkham Knight, but I wanted a refresher on the last two games before cracking into the new one (I’ve beaten Arkham Asylum like three times). Arkham City I had started last week, but I marathoned through it in just a couple days because I was having so much fun with it. The only thing I have yet to do in that one is finish getting all the Riddler trophies and solving all of his riddles, but otherwise I obliterated all the content in that game. My costume of choice is the Batman Beyond suit, though Bruce’s eyes are oddly far apart…

Batman Arkham City Armored Edition screenshot 4

Ah, Arkham Origins. I had a lot of fun with that game the first time I played it, never being able to understand where all the hate came from for it. Sure, it’s hands down the glitchiest of the Arkham games. Fast travel feels anything but, too. At the same time though, there’s so much Batman fanservice on display. Seeing an inexperienced Batman is frankly unusual regardless of whether it’s in a video game or a comic book, making his portrayal in Arkham Origins a welcome change of pace. Bruce is filled with rage and a need to prove himself at this point in his story, and I loved watching him come to understand how he can’t do his mission alone. The Deathstroke fight is epic. Sneaking into the GCPD headquarters is satisfyingly tense. Seriously, glitches or not, Origins is worth a play if you’ve never gotten to it. It’s shortcomings don’t prevent it from being worthy of the Arkham name.

Kyle England

Wahaha! Phase one of Wario’s grand adventure has been completed! I finished Wario Land the other day! I didn’t end up finding about half the treasure when it was all said and done, but I really enjoyed the game. I would say the first game is a great start to the Wario series. With some interesting game design and new ways to approach things with Wario, I found it to be a refreshing platformer. I do think Wario Land hit a difficulty plateau a few worlds in, because the last couple worlds weren’t really much more challenging than those before it. I had the hardest time with the hidden ice world, which was only the third area out of seven. I think Virtual Boy Wario Land trumps the original in terms of creative powers, but I like the world map and exploration in the Game Boy game. There’s probably a couple more hours of gameplay I could squeeze out if I wanted to go back and unlock all the treasure, but I don’t have time for that– on to the next game!

I started Wario Land II immediately after finishing the first game, and got through the opening world. I already have to say that the sequel is definitely a better game! Wario has a more unique feel in how he controls rather than just being a slower and larger Mario. You can ram through walls and pound the floor anytime. Wario is just more solid, and not only in how he feels– in fact, Wario is invincible! You just lose coins when hit by enemies, with no lives or deaths to worry about. It’s yet to be seen if this will take away the challenge, but I enjoy how this mechanic changes up the entire dynamic of the game. If Wario can’t die, you have to be punished in other ways or presented with different types of obstacles.

I have noticedWario Land II is a lot more linear, with named levels that come after one another instead of the world map. I heard about the branching paths that can occur from finding hidden goals, so I am interested to see how those appear as the game continues. So far I think I have collected most of the treasure, but I bet there’s a few things missed so far. I can just tell from all the spaces on the collection screen that this one might be a long ride. I’m excited to keep playing! The Wario roller coaster will never end!

What games are you playing this weekend? Let us know in the comments!

]]> 1
Next Splatfest Date and Theme Announced Fri, 31 Jul 2015 22:00:52 +0000 Kevin Knezevic

Nintendo has announced details for the next Splatoon Splatfest, which is scheduled to take place on August 7 at 9 PM Pacific Time. In keeping with the season, this Splatfest asks players to choose which food they’d rather roast over a campfire: marshmallows or hot dogs. The event runs until 9 PM PT on August 8, so head over to the Pledge Board soon to join a side.

That’s not all of today’s Splatoon-related news, however– Nintendo has also announced that two new weapons will be added to the game tonight! Beginning at 7 PM PT, players can head over to Ammo Knights to purchase the Inkbrush Nouveau and the Range Blaster. The Inkbrush Nouveau is similar to the standard Inkbrush, albeit with Ink Mines and the Bubbler ability, while the Range Blaster is a Blaster with– you guessed it– better firing range. It also comes coupled with the Splash Wall and Inkstrike.

Which side will you be choosing in next week’s Splatfest? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Nintendo

]]> 0
Preview: The Swindle (Wii U) Fri, 31 Jul 2015 16:00:25 +0000 Anthony Pershkin

Roguelike games have been growing in popularity over the last couple of years. We’ve seen many different takes on the formula, yet some new games of this sub-genre still manage to feel fresh nowadays. One of these games is The Swindle, a steampunk cybercrime simulator you should definitely keep an eye on.

In The Swindle you play as a band of thieves trying to stop a new surveillance technology from being made, which will ultimately ruin your little hobby of breaking and entering. You only have 100 days to achieve this goal, with each day dedicated to one heist only. With every heist you have to steal as much money as possible and bring it back to your little airship base. After collecting enough money, you can upgrade your abilities to even the chances or buy yourself access to a brand new part of the city to steal a bigger prize.

The gameplay of The Swindle is based around the eternal conflict of being too greedy or knowing when to quit. Every level is procedurally-generated with random structure and enemy placements. Your goal is to get into the building and steal as much stuff as you can, without being noticed. Staying stealthy is the only sensible approach, so you’ll have to carefully sneak around the various enemies and traps. Once you’re done with your thieving shenanigans for one heist, you have to get to the escape pod placed at the beginning of the level. In case you’re detected, escaping becomes quite difficult due to the police rushing over to the place of your crime. If killed, your character and the money he acquired in this level will be lost forever. Your new thief will be randomly-generated and assigned to continue the job of his fallen comrade. The money that you transferred to the bank will not be affected by this, so don’t worry about losing all those precious funds. This is also true for all the acquired abilities.

Your character in The Swindle starts slow and sort of empty, so it’s up to you to try and level up as fast as possible. The game gives you a lot of control in terms of traversing various obstacles, yet feels somewhat not as precise as you’d want. Thankfully, I’ve come to the understanding that this was made deliberately, as the game is designed around these types of imperfections. Being a thief, your character doesn’t have amazing fighting abilities. A whack to the head or two could take out a guard, but first you’ll have to outsmart him by analyzing his pattern and field of view. The enemies, being robots and such, are not very smart. They walk over their fallen comrades’ bodies, without noticing anything suspicious, and do other questionable things. All you have to worry about is not getting into their field of view and making too much noise. The game’s challenge comes from combined enemy placements, rather than the abilities of a single enemy.

One of the major features of the game is hacking and it is absolutely necessary to progress. Hacking a computer or a trap is done with a simple, yet stylish quick-time event. The whole game focuses on the concept of cybercrimes in a steampunk-inspired world, which is not awfully original, yet still incredibly cool by itself. The Swindle oozes with a very confident steampunk style, from its designs to classy adventurous tunes.

The Swindle is shaping up to be one of the strongest eShop releases for Wii U in 2015. If you like endless roguelike fun or just miss stealth and hacking games like Deus Ex: Human Revolution, you should look forward to this title being released in the eShop soon.

]]> 1
Final Fantasy Explorers Coming to North America Next Year Fri, 31 Jul 2015 14:00:13 +0000 Kevin Knezevic

While we may still be waiting for Square Enix to localize the many Dragon Quest games it has developed for 3DS, the RPG giant has at least confirmed a Western release for one of its other 3DS offerings: Final Fantasy Explorers, a co-op off-shoot of the Final Fantasy franchise.

Mixing the action-based nature of Crystal Chronicles with combat reminiscent of Capcom’s Monster Hunter series, Final Fantasy Explorers allows up to four players to band together either locally or over the Nintendo Network to take on quests, which typically culminate in a battle with a classic Final Fantasy summon. The game offers a wealth of customization options, including a job system similar to previous Final Fantasy titles and over 500 pieces of equipment to craft and find, and even allows players to temporarily transform into classic Final Fantasy heroes during battle.

You can watch the first English trailer for the game below:

Final Fantasy Explorers will be arriving in North America next year on January 26 and in Europe on January 29. Have you been looking forward to the title? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Siliconera

]]> 1