The Mario Kart franchise has been one of the most successful selling franchises Nintendo has ever created. It started back on the Super Nintendo and has made one appearance on every console Nintendo has released since that time. You can pretty much bet that if a Nintendo system is sold it will have a Mario Kart game on it. Many people would even label it one of the best games that could be considered a system seller for the company. It’s so successful that it has been one of the best selling, if not THE best selling game on systems for the last two generations.
Recently the question was posed as to whether or not Mario Kart 8 could be the worst selling game in the franchise and could it potentially be bad enough to kill the franchise. I, personally, am not sure it would do that poorly, but it was an interesting question none-the-less and so I decided to do a little bit of research.
The era of free-to-play games is upon us, and really has been for a little while now. It’s mostly been relegated to the realm of mobile phones and PC, but not it’s begun its creep into the world of home video game consoles. Nintendo has even been experimenting with FTP style models now with a couple of titles. The first, Steel Diver: Sub Wars, gave you the multi-player portion of the game for free as well as a couple of single player missions. If you liked that and wanted access to more missions you could purchase the remaining single-player campaign for a small price. Then on top of that there were some historical submarine designs that could be purchased a la carte. Essentially it was just a demo of the game and not much else. Not really anything like more traditional free to play games. The second game, just released last week is Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball and that gives you a very different take on how to do a free-to-play game and I’m not sure it’s something I’d do very often.
The game is broken up into ten separate mini-games, each with a huge assortment of different challenges to complete. When you download the game you’re given access to about half a dozen different challenges in the first mini-game, Bat & Switch. It’s a good idea of just what to expect in the game as you get three different “modes” and a few variants of those modes. It’s enough to give you an idea of what to expect in the game, but not so much that you get your fill and can be done with it. After playing through the demo portion of the game you’re introduced to the free-to-play mechanic that this game has chosen to use, haggling.
Not to be outdone by the boys Princess Peach is getting in on the Wii Remote action later this month. Beginning sometime in April fans of the oft-kidnapped royal will be able to get their hands on a pink Wii Remote Plus. The controller comes with a crown outline over the controller’s speaker and blue buttons for the +, – and Home keys. The d-pad has also been given the golden treatment.
All told it looks like a really nice controller and complements the two controllers that have been released for Mario & Luigi. The new device, with Motion Plus built in will retail for $39.99. Let’s hope they keep up this trend and more of their characters get their own themed controllers, though my wallet won’t be very happy about it.
I’ve been playing a lot of Assassin’s Creed lately (imagine that) with the release of Assassin’s Creed: Liberation HD on consoles, Assassin’s Creed: Freedom Cry as a standalone game and the acquisition of a copy of Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation on the Vita. One topic of conversation that always comes up is who my favorite playable character in the series is so I thought I’d take some time to write up my thoughts on the matter and list out my favorite characters, both playable and not of the franchise. This list comes from all the games in the series, with the exception of the portable games on PSP and DS as I’ve never played those. Since they starred Altair anyway they are at least represented by their main playable character.
Since the franchise first made its appearance back in 2007 there have been eight playable characters across the seven main franchise releases (counting Liberation), DLC packages and portable releases. Here is how I rank them in terms of my favorite characters in the series. Keep in mind I really do like all of these characters and this list was really hard to put them in any sort of order (outside of my favorite). It’s like choosing which is better between pancakes and waffles. They’re both great, but if forced to pick I would choose pancakes.
Be warned that if you haven’t played these games yet there will be spoilery type things being talked about. And if you haven’t played these games yet what are you waiting for, go do it now.
Nintendo’s software doesn’t drop in price often, but when it does it’s usually a big deal. So big, in fact they sent out a press release about it. Nintendo has announced that they’re dropping the price of five of their best-selling 3DS titles. Beginning on April 22nd you’ll be able to pick up the following five games for their new low price of $29.99. These new prices are both at retail and through the 3DS eShop.
Mario Kart 7
Super Mario 3D Land
New Super Mario Bros. 2
Animal Crossing New Leaf
Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D
If you haven’t picked up any or all of these titles does this new price make you think about doing so?
There are games that come out that will occasionally dominate everything you do. You think about it all the time. You play them every spare moment you have. The biggest game like that for many people, especially fans of Nintendo, is Animal Crossing. Some people, however, don’t think there’s enough to do in Animal Crossing to keep them engaged more than a few hours. What if I told you there was a game like Animal Crossing that would let you do way more stuff all while getting to interact with some of your favorite Disney characters? Would you be interested in a game like that? Well, thanks to Disney, h.a.n.d., Namco Bandai and Nintendo you now have that chance with Disney Magical World. I’m here to tell you that no one should buy this game, because it will totally take over your life. (Totally buy this game!!!)
What You Need to Know
In Disney Magical World you enter a place called Castleton where you become a resident of the town and you end up taking over control of a local café. While keeping that business running you also have other things you’re expected (not required to do). Other townsfolk will ask you to retrieve specific items for them. You can craft furniture for your upstairs apartment, create new clothes and travel to various themed worlds relating to various Disney properties. You’ll interact with more than 60 different Disney characters like Mickey Mouse, Aladdin, Cinderella or the infamous wizard Yen Sid. The game, much like Animal Crossing, uses a real time world clock and things in the game will change based on what time it is. There are cards to collect, “dungeons” to clear out and balls to attend. If you’ve ever wanted to live in Disney World this is about as close as you’ll ever get.
I was a huge fan of the original Yoshi’s Island on the SNES. It was something different and unique from any other Mario platformer out there. It was also really difficult. It gave you something new to do after you’d found every possible hidden secret in Super Mario World and did some really creative things (who remembers Touch Fuzzy, Get Dizzy?). Nintendo followed that up with a pseudo-sequel/remake of the first game on the DS and now they’re back with another entry in the franchise in Yoshi’s New Island.
What You Need to Know
If you’ve never played a Yoshi’s Island game before then you might not know what to expect in Yoshi’s New Island. Baby Mario has been delivered to an island filled with Yoshi’s by mistake. Baby Luigi is locked in a tower by Kamek and the Yoshi’s decide they want to help. Different colored dinos take turns carrying the pint-sized plumber across worlds filled with Shy-guys, Nipper plants and other varieties of Bowser’s minions. As long as Mario stays on your back everything is fine. If you get hit and he falls off he starts wailing and you lose “health” if that meter reaches zero you lose a life. Grab Baby Mario out of his bubble and you can continue on your journey. Yoshi isn’t completely helpless either. He can use his tongue to grab and swallow enemies to turn into eggs that can then be thrown at other baddies or used to grab items hidden throughout the levels.
We’ve reviewed a few products over the years here at Nintendo Okie, but I don’t think I’ve been as impressed with a product as I am with the one I’m here to tell you about today. How exactly do you review a charge cable? I mean it’s not like they’re designed to do much. You pretty much plug it in and it hopefully charges your device. Other than that, what can you really say about them?
I’m here to tell you that the charge cables that the folks at Color Cables have put together put any charge cable I’ve used in the past to shame and not necessarily because it charges better than those cables. It does that job and does it well. I had a 30 pin connector plugged into a 4th generation iPod and it worked great. It took the same amount of time as any other cable, but it did it’s one function brilliantly. I also had a cable that connected through micro-USB for my Playstation 4 controller and, again, as soon as I plugged it in the light bar on the controller turned yellow and the controller charged right up. Both devices charged fully, held the charge as long as they’re supposed to and got plugged back in to be charged again.
Where these cables really stand out is in their design. There are three different types of cables available in two different lengths. You can get 30-pin connectors that plug into devices like 4th generation and earlier iPods, iPhone 4, and iPads. There is also a Lightning connector which works on 5th generation iPods, the iPhone 5 and newer iPads. For those of you out there that don’t have Apple products there is a micro-USB connector that works on devices like the Kindle Fire, PS4 and Xbox One controllers, and numerous smartphones from different companies. These come in two different lengths; either three foot or six foot varieties, and they come in seven different colors.
The cables themselves are made in a flat design, not round like a more traditional cable and that means that they won’t get tangled and they will stand up to some abuse. I have two toddlers in my house and these cables stood up to even them. They were “plugging” them into things, hooking them onto wagons and pulling the wagon around and just generally treating them like two years olds treat any toy. After they lost interest and went on to other things I plugged it in and it worked just like it should have. The end of the cables also have a thumb groove on the upper side to let you know, even in the dark, which side face the front of your device so you won’t accidentally plug it in backwards.
The unique thing about this cable, and the one Color Cables seems to be promoting the most, is the fact that they glow in the dark. Each of the cables comes with a layer of material that provides photo-luminescence. After a couple hours of sitting in a lighted room (whether it’s indoor lighting or direct sunlight) the cables will glow in the dark. This proved really helpful to me the first night I had it. I had tossed the iPod cable up on the dash of my car while I was driving around that day and when I came to bed that night I didn’t have to fumble around in the dark to find my charge cable to plug my iPod in.
The different colors available allow you to add a little personality to your device. You can also have different members of your family using different colored cables so there are no arguments over whose charge cable is whose or you can assign a specific color to a different device so you can see at a glance which cable you need if you keep them all in one place. No need to fumble through your drawer or guess at which cable you need.
There is currently a campaign on Indiegogo for these cables and they range in price from $9 to $20 depending on the connection and length of cable you want, but there are also options for multiple cables if you want to pre-order more. These cables are sturdy, well-made, can stand up to a toddler. Before now I generally just bought the cheapest cord I could find to charge my devices. From now on I will keep one of the flimsy charge cables on my desk at work for my iPod, but when I’m at home I’ll only be using this cable from Color Cables.
You’re going to be tired of hearing me talk about this game until it comes out, but I’m really excited about this game coming to the Wii U eShop. This reveal trailer for Swords & Soldiers II shows off two of the factions in the game, one of which is new. The Vikings and Demons get the fight started with more factions promised to be released in the future.
Two Tribes is probably best known for their work on the Toki Tori series, a set of puzzle platformers that started back on the Game Boy. They recently released Toki Tori 2 and it hasn’t done as well as the developer would have hoped. Recently they restructured and came back with a smaller, more focused development staff.
In an interview just posted over at Nintendo Latino they talked about the series and said that the future may be through for the little yellow bird. When asked about what the future held for Toki Tori the developers had the following to say:
Well, since Toki Tori 2+ didn’t perform as well as we had hoped, we’ve decided that we are not going to be making a new Toki Tori game, ever. He’ll be back in some easter egg probably, but we are moving on and taking on other genres.
I’ve never actually played a game in the series, but I know some other members of the staff really liked the games. Two Tribes’ more recent work included a puzzle series featuring colored blocks with games like EDGE and RUSH. They’re currently working on a project that is tentatively titled RE:Wind, which is set for release on PC with other platforms to be determined in the future.