Nintendo Releasing NX In 2017, Has Light Plans For E3

E3

Nintendo held their annual shareholders meeting today and made several announcements regarding their upcoming system currently codenamed NX, their mobile games, the next game in The Legend of Zelda series, and what they’ll be doing for E3.  Firstly, we have a release window for the NX for March, 2017.  The next Zelda title has also had its release pushed back to 2017 and is planned to release simultaneously for both the Wii U and NX.  They also released a new piece of concept art featuring Link (pictured above), although it doesn’t reveal anything new about the game.  An official title for the new Zelda game has yet to be announced.

Two more mobile games were announced, but there are currently no specific details publically known for either title.  All we do know is that one will be based on the Animal Crossing series while the other is based on Fire Emblem.  Animal Crossing certainly seems like a good fit for mobile with its focus on casual play and social interactions, but the Fire Emblem mobile game could easily rub its core fanbase the wrong way depending on how it’s handled.

Finally, Nintendo had some shocking announcements for their E3 plans.  They stated that the NX would not be unveiled at this year’s E3 and would not have any presence at the event whatsoever.  Not only that, the new Zelda game will be the only Nintendo game to have a playable demo for the entire trade show.  That’s not to say that it will be the only game Nintendo will discuss at E3, but any other games will be restricted to trailers and interviews.  While there hasn’t been an announcement regarding it, it seems unlikely that the Treehouse Livestream will be broadcasting throughout the week given that they’d only have one title to work with for four entire days.  The rest of the year is looking uneventful for the Wii U now that Zelda has been pushed back as the only other titles known to be in development for the system currently are Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, Paper Mario: Color Splash, and Bandai Namco’s free-to-play game Lost Reavers.

What are your thoughts on the news to come out of Nintendo’s shareholders meeting?  What are your hopes for the mysterious NX?  How do you feel about their E3 plans?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Marin Announced as New DLC Character for Hyrule Warriors

Nintendo already announced that a second season of DLC for Hyrule Warriors with their previous Nintendo Direct on March 3rd that will add an addition four playable characters in total to both the Wii U and 3DS versions of the game.  During a panel at WonderCon in Los Angeles, Nintendo revealed that the first of these newcomers will be Marin from The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening.  Link’s Awakening was the first Zelda game released for a handheld and will have a DLC pack dedicated to it.  How Marin will play is still unknown, but it’s safe to assume that she will incorporate music into her abilities given her penchant for singing and the fact that musical instruments are used as the central macguffin in her game.  Along with Marin, this pack will include a new weapon for Linkle and a new set of missions.  Linkle will be playable with this pack even if you don’t own the Legends Character Pack that she is included in on your Wii U, although she will only be playable with the weapon included and not her original twin crossbows.

There will be two more packs included in the second season with one based around Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks while the other on A Link Between Worlds.  The Hourglass/Tracks pack will include one new character and a new weapon for Toon Link, and the Link Between Worlds pack will include two new characters.  Both will also include new missions to play through.  A pack featuring the new characters and Ganondorf’s trident weapon introduced in the 3DS game Hyrule Warriors Legends will be made available this summer for those who don’t want to buy the portable game.  Finally, the character Medli from Wind Waker will be released as a free DLC character to all players.

What are your thoughts on the new DLC for Hyrule Warriors?  With three more characters to be revealed, who are you hoping to see join the cast?  I’m personally holding out for the sullen chicken-rancher Grog leading an army of Cuccos, even if there is zero chance of that happening.

Corrin and Bayonetta are the Final Newcomers for Super Smash Bros

Nintendo has released its final video presentation for Super Smash Bros for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, detailing the last of the DLC content that will be released for the games.  Tonight, the previously announced Final Fantasy VII DLC will release and include Cloud as a playable character, a Midgar stage, a Chocobo hat for Mii Fighters, and a new Mii costume based on Geno from Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars.  Geno has been a popular pick for the roster for some time, but the character is owned by Square Enix and hasn’t been able to make any sort of return since his initial appearance.  A Mii costume isn’t exactly what fans were hoping for, but it’s certainly more exposure than what the character has seen in years past.

The rest of the DLC is set to release in February of next year and will add two brand new characters to the roster.  First, there will be Corrin, the main character from Fire Emblem: Fates.  Like Robin and Wii Fit Trainer, Corrin will come in male and female versions to match the character’s player avatar roots.  Having manakete blood, Corrin is part-dragon and will be able to perform monstrous transformations.  Corrin’s moveset includes an extremely lengthy side-smash, a back-air that propels him/her forward, a chargeable projectile, a counter, and a spear that can pin opponents to the ground.  Her/his final smash is Torrential Roar, a close-range assassination attack that deals massive damage and knockback to anyone caught in its range.  There won’t be a Fire Emblem: Fates stage added to the game, but there will be two  tracks from the game added to the coliseum stage.

The final character joining the roster, and the winner of the Smash Ballot, is Bayonetta from the series of action games of the same name developed by Platinum Games.  She was the single highest voted character in Europe, in the top five for North America, and was the single highest voted character overall out of the eligible characters.  The Umbra Witch is a combo fiend to rival even the highly technical Ryu, even capable of performing lengthy combos in the air.  Her down special is Witch Time, which acts like a counter, but, instead of directly returning damage, it slows the opponent based on the amount of damage the opponent currently has and the frequency of Witch Time being used.  Even if the timing on Witch Time is off, it will at least reduce the damage Bayonetta receives rather than fully negating it.  Her final smash is Infernal Climax, which sets a Witch Time slow-down for the entire screen and begins a Climax Gauge.  Fill the gauge by damaging opponents and you’ll summon the demon Gomorrah to devour any enemies you damaged while the gauge was onscreen.  If an opponent caught by Gomorrah has 100% damage or more, they will be instantly KO’ed.  There will also be a new stage to accompany Bayonetta called Umbra Clock Tower, based on one of the most memorable scenes from her original game.  There will also be amiibo figures released for every DLC character in Super Smash Bros.

One final addition in the February update will be a final set of Mii Fighter costumes.  Along with bionic armor for the brawler, it will include costumes based on Tails and Knuckles from the Sonic series, Takamaru from The Mysterious Murasame Castle, Gilgamesh from The Tower of Druaga, and Ashley from the Wario Ware series.  You can check out the full broadcast for Smash’s final update here.  What are your thoughts on the final newcomers?  Who did you vote for in the ballot?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Check Out This New Xenoblade Chronicles X Survival Guide

Xenoblade Chronicles X, the cleverly-named sequel to one of the Wii’s best games, Xenoblade Chronicles, is coming out in a few days. For those of us who are riding the hype train and need something to calm the nerves, Nintendo has released another episode in the insightful ‘Survival Guide’ series based around several aspects of the much-anticipated game.

This episode focuses on gamepad integration and the very deep map system.

According to one source, this video doesn’t even cover the entirety of the map system in the game. You might consider reading the manual for additional details, as it seems that this game has a lot of things going on.

Finally, for those of you who didn’t get a chance to watch the other survival guides, I’ve dropped them below for your convenience. I’d highly recommend checking them out!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxO6qaXUcGc

Upcoming Update Brings Checkpoints and More to Super Mario Maker

A free update has been announced that will bring five major additions to Super Mario Maker.  The most important change is the addition of checkpoints into the game, which has been the most requested feature by players since the game launched in September.  Simply shaking an arrow sign will turn it into a checkpoint flag that will save your progress in a level once you touch it, and a maximum of two can be placed in any stage.  Checkpoints will make difficult stages far more manageable and allow creators to be more daring with their designs.

The new update will also give makers the ability to combine Super Mushrooms and Fire Flowers in a single ?-block and only one will come out based on the state that the player is in.  Small Mario will receive a mushroom, while big Mario will get a flower.  The third addition will be a new, more challenging difficulty for the secret Gnat Attack minigame.  This minigame won’t be an asset for level creation and is simply a bonus for your own amusement.  Next, an official courses section will be added that features all levels designed by Nintendo employees.  Finally, a section for Event Courses will be added that includes levels surrounding special events.  How these events will be organized is currently unknown.

The update is scheduled to release on November 4th.  You can check out the announcement trailer here.  What are your thoughts on the new content coming to Super Mario Maker?  What do you still want to see added to the game?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash Will Feature Online Play, Amiibo Support

Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash made little impact when it was revealed at E3 earlier this year, mainly due to the lack of information on what the title would have to offer.  With the release date drawing closer, Nintendo is finally releasing more information on the upcoming Wii U game with a new trailer.  For one, the game will feature online play, as should be expected nowadays.

A major new feature for the game will be amiibo support in the same vein of the latest Super Smash Bros games.  By scanning in a compatible amiibo, you’ll be able play alongside and train an AI partner that can be saved to the figure.  While there hasn’t been official confirmation, it seems likely that more amiibo figures will be released for each of the playable characters that don’t already have their own.  The starting roster has also been revealed with Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, Rosalina, Toad, Donkey Kong, Yoshi, Wario, Waluigi, Bowser, and Boo.  There are also four unrevealed, unlockable characters, but looking at the silhouettes on the character select screen makes it clear that they will be Toadette, Bowser Jr., Dry Bowser, and the green Sprixie Princess from Super Mario 3D World.

The major concern surrounding Ultra Smash is the apparent lack of game modes.  The Mario Tennis series has always stood out in the genre by including a variety of unique game modes.  So far, the only additional game mode revealed is the Mega Battle, where Mega Mushrooms are occasionally thrown onto the court and can be collected to enter a powered-up mode.  The trailer does tease a similar game mode with Magikoopa, but that’s it at this point.  The game is set to release in North America and Europe on November 20th.  Are you excited for Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash?  What game modes do you hope to see make a return?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Predicting the NX Launch Title Line Up

All signs are starting to point to 2016 being the year the NX comes out. This is a really exciting time for Nintendo fans because it’s the time for one of the most fun parts of a console pre-launch: speculation!

At this point in time, NX can be just about anything, but when looking at Nintendo’s latest initiatives  and projects, it is not too difficult to see a trajectory of what NX might be. Odds are, it is finally going to be the console that combines the home and mobile consoles. With that being said, it’s time to take a crack at guessing the launch titles, whether that means on the actual launch day or the launch window, for this system! All of this, of course, is an educated guess and we most likely won’t know what will really be launching with the console until E3 2016.

Until then, though: ONWARD WITH THE SPECULATION!

Dragon Quest X and XI

This has already been confirmed by Square Enix, though no release date has been announced. Moving on.

Super Mario 64 HD

Next year marks the 10th anniversary of this very dated, but very important, video game. To celebrate the anniversary, I can see Nintendo making this as a launch game, mainly because all Nintendo home consoles launch with some form of game from the Mario franchise. The textures, game models, and the camera would be upgraded to that of a modern game, but other than that it would be virtually the same with the inclusion of the extra characters and levels from the DS version. Maybe this time, Waluigi will be in the game. A man can dream.

New Retro Studio Project

Retro has been working on something since the release of the last Donkey Kong Country game. No one knows exactly what it is unless they work for Retro, but it’s definitely in development. Maybe it’s a new DKC or Metroid game, but most likely it will be something completely different. Whatever it is, it’s been in development for a while so there’s a good shot it’ll release on the NX relatively close to launch.

Pikmin 4

Shigeru Miyamoto has confirmed this game is in production and almost finished. You can’t get much more clear than that. This will most certainly be a day one game.

Legend of Zelda Wii U/NX

People have been speculating since it was announced that this game was going to pull a “Twilight Princess”. The more we hear about NX, the more that theory seems like it’s going to be a reality. Expect to see it on the Wii U and NX on the day NX is released.

Yooka-Laylee

This game is coming out next fall, and so far it looks amazing. Being that the game is a spiritual successor to an original N64 series, Banjo-Kazooie, I can see Nintendo giving the developers some extra funding to port it to the NX.

Guitar Hero Live/Rock Band 4

To me, this seems obvious. The goal of both of these games is to be a platform, so it would make sense for them to release on the new Nintendo console. Not much more to say about it.

Some Dancing and Sports Games that I won’t Play

Its seems that most consoles are released with some dancing game I never play along with the current game in the major sports franchises. The Just Dance series, I believe, has been a launch title on all major consoles for awhile now. Also, every time a console launches, the current Madden, FIFA, etc. is also available day one. This one seems like a shoo-in.

Mario Maker 2

I am loving Super Mario Maker. I don’t really make levels, but I’m having a blast playing other people’s levels. Due to the popularity and sales of the game, an updated version will probably release for NX that includes more features *cough cough*checkpoints*cough cough*. The only thing that really pokes holes in this prediction is that the NX will most likely be backwards compatible for Wii U and 3DS, which would make a Super Mario Maker successor useless.

Final Fantasy XV

Ok, so the next two on my list are a bit weird and quite a long-shot. So anyone else remember that this franchise was once a Nintendo exclusive? If you don’t, I can’t blame you as it hasn’t been the case for nearly 20 years, not the mainline games anyway. Now, I don’t think FFXV will be an NX exclusive by any means, the game is clearly multi-platform and associating a lot of its marketing with PS4. However, back when FFXIII came out, the franchise finally jumped to Xbox and it is totally plausible for the franchise to now jump back to Nintendo. If the NX does indeed have equal or better internal hardware as the PS4 and Xbox One, it would make sense for the game to also come to Nintendo.

Mass Effect: Andromeda

Remember, the third game in this franchise launched with the Wii U. That’s pretty much my only reasoning to be honest.

Lego Dimensions/Disney Infinity/Skylanders

Whatever the year’s version of these games will be, they will probably come to the NX because all of them are selling well. The NX probably needs these franchises more than these franchises need the NX.

The Amiibo Game

So, all of the other video games with toys actually have games attached to them. This is the one thing that makes the amiibo differ from Skylanders. That being considered, since Nintendo is also restocking many of the more rare amiibo. All of these things considered, I can see the Nintendoland/Wii Sports sucessor that will be bundled will be one based on amiibo. That would make the NX also come bundled with somewhere between 1 and 3 amiibo to get players started in the game. Most likely the bundled amiibo will be a new Mario, Link, and Pikachu.

New Metroid Game

I don’t think this game will be done by the team behind the Prime series, but I do believe a new Metroid Prime-styled game will be released on NX relatively early. I don’t mean a spin-off like Federation Force either (although I do not think Federation Force will be bad) it will be a mainline Metroid game. Since Retro Studios will most likely not be behind this game, I believe a developer like Next Level Games, the people behind Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon,  will be the the ones to take over.

Well, those are all the games I can think of that will be released within the launch window of the NX. Of course, there are other games that are almost guaranteed to be made, like a new 3D Mario and a Splatoon sequel, but I doubt they will release within the launch window. Either way, I can’t wait for more NX info from Nintendo in 2016!

Pikmin 4 is in Development

Pikmin

Fans of Nintendo’s quirky take on real-time strategy are in for a treat as a fourth installment in the Pikmin series is in the works and expected to reach completion soon.

In an interview with Eurogamer, series creator and industry legend Shigeru Miyamoto revealed that Pikmin 4 is “very close to completion”.  Interestingly, the interview was actually held in July earlier this year, but the details were only publicly released today.  Nintendo has a habit of keeping their games under wraps until their nearing their release, so the delay was likely made at Nintendo’s request.

It’s also worth noting that Miyamoto never specified the system that Pikmin 4 is being developed for.  The obvious suspect would be the Wii U, the same system that hosts Pikmin 3, but it’s also probable that it’s being developed as a launch title for Nintendo’s next console currently known as the NX.

Alternatively, there’s a chance that Pikmin 4 could even be the series’ first foray into portable play and release on the 3DS or even be one of Nintendo’s early experiments with mobile development.  That’s purely wild speculation, but anything is possible at this point.

Are you excited to lead your army of carrot-men to battle?  What system do you want to see this game release on?  Leave a comment below and let us known what you think.

Shovel Knight Amiibo Officially Revealed, Featuring the Game Grumps

There have been rumors of a Shovel Knight amiibo figure floating around the internet for some time, but Nintendo, Yacht Club Games, and the Game Grumps (because why not?) have officially revealed an NFC figure for the champion of shovelry.  Scanning the amiibo into a Wii U version of Shovel Knight will unlock an exclusive co-op mode, while scanning it into a 3DS version will unlock exclusive challenge stages.  It will also unlock exclusive customizable gear in both Wii U and 3DS versions of the game.  Sadly, there’s no word on anything like a Legend of Zelda crossover stage in either version to match the God of War and Battletoads levels that were added for free to the Playstation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game respectively.

Naturally, there’s been a great deal of speculation that this sets a precedent for Shovel Knight himself to appear as a DLC fighter in Super Smash Bros, but there’s actually little to support that.  This figure was made specifically for use in Shovel Knight as evidenced by the labeling of the box and that the figure’s base has a different engraving from that used for the Smash line of amiibo as you can see by looking closely at the above picture.  This could be a good sign of his chances at the roster, but it doesn’t guarantee anything.

What this does set a precedent for is Nintendo to license out the amiibo brand to other third-party developers that they work closely with.  Shovel Knight is the first non-Nintendo-owned game to have its own amiibo line.  While we’ve seen other third-party amiibo with Sonic the Hedgehog, Mega Man, Pac-Man, and the promised Ryu amiibo, all of those are tied to the Super Smash Bros line rather than representing their own franchises.  There are the two Skylanders: SuperChargers figures of Bowser and Donkey Kong that double as amiibo, but that’s only for the two characters in the cast based on Nintendo characters and doesn’t extend to any of Activision’s own characters.  We may see more companies release NFC figures under the amiibo banner in the future.  The most likely candidates, given their recent history with Nintendo, would likely be Sega, Bandai Namco, Capcom, Activision, Square Enix, and Tecmo Koei.  Are you planning to pick up a Shovel Knight amiibo?  What other games do you want to see receive their own amiibo support?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Wii U Release for Pokken Tournament Announced

Pokken Tournament, the new Pokemon fighting game from the developers of the Tekken series, has been confirmed for a Wii U release.  The game was originally released exclusively in Japanese arcades and there was a deal of concern over whether it would release on the Wii U or not.  All worries can be laid to rest as Pokken Tournament will release on Wii U worldwide in the spring of 2016.

We also have a new fighter announced for the roster (sort of) with Pikachu Libre joining the cast.  It’s certainly a controversial choice as there are literally hundreds of fan-favorites that could have been focused on instead, whereas Pikachu Libre easily could have just been an alternate costume for the Pikachu already on the roster.

Still, looking at the layout of the select screen suggests that there will be at least four more characters added to the game by the console release, and there’s always a chance of more either at launch or as DLC.  Which Pokemon are you hoping to see enter the ring?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.