It’s one of the marquee moments on any Nintendo platform, and for one platform, the game that will hopefully drive it out of its current lull. Super Smash Bros is almost upon us, and this time around, in two forms – for 3DS and for Wii U. With anticipation building ahead of its release at the end of the year, I got some time with both versions to see just how big a leap this is from Brawl.
Let’s start with the Wii U version. The most obvious difference between this and Brawl are the graphical improvement afforded by HD. The game looks absolutely beautiful, and as shown in the daily screenshots, the range of small details on show in just a few minutes of gameplay is a sight to behold. With the addition of the GameCube adapter, this really does feel like the evolution of Brawl and Melee, and I slipped right back into the groove of playing it.
In terms of gameplay, Super Smash Bros for Wii U falls in between Brawl and Melee – it’s much faster than Brawl, and much punchier than Melee, leading to a weighted feel. Every impact feels like it has something behind it, and there’s a definite thud from the audio as KOs are made. This feels very much like the next step in Smash Bros. Read more…
The eShop for both Wii U and 3DS see a number of good releases this week led by the unusual team up of Phoenix Wright and Professor Layton. Inti Creates launches their not-Mega Man platformer, Azure Striker Gunvolt, and the Wii U gets to take digging to a whole new level (no, it’s not Minecraft).
Wii U Virtual Console:
Mega Man X3
Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (Available 8/29)
Azure Striker Gunvolt (Purchase of this also gives you access to Mighty Gunvolt for free) (Available 8/29)
Thorium Wars: Attack of the Skyfighter
Select Capcom titles are 60% off until 8:59am PT Sept. 4th
Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo: $3.95 (50% off) until 8:59 a.m. PT on Sept. 24
Soccer Up : $1.99 (71% off) until 9 a.m. PT on Sept. 17
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist is being reduced in price to $19.99 permanently beginning Sept. 1st
Thursday means the eShops for Wii U and 3DS are getting updated and today’s biggest release is Disney Infinity. The Skylanders style game featuring playable Disney characters is available digitally for the first time, though the character base and figures (sold separately) are still required to play them game. After that it’s pretty much Virtual Console or nothing. Here’s what’s available this week.
Midtown Crazy Race
Mega Man 6 (Virtual Console)
Life Force (Virtual Console
Abyss – $1.49 (25% off) until 9 a.m. PT on Sept. 10
Chasing Aurora – $3.99 (50% off) until 9 a.m. PT on Sept. 11
Nano Assault Neo – $7.49 (25% off) until 9 a.m. PT on Sept. 11
Demon King Box
Xtreme Sports (Virtual Console)
Boulder Dash-XL 3D – $1.69 (66% off) until 9 a.m. PT on Aug. 27
European Conqueror 3Dis – $2.79 (30% off) until 9 a.m. PT on Sept. 4
Aeternoblade – $9.99 (33% off) until 9 a.m. PT on Sept. 7
Nano Assault – $7.49 (25% off) until 9 a.m. PT on Sept. 11
Quell Reflect – $2.79(30% off) until 9 a.m. PT on Sept. 11
Aqua Moto Racing – $5.99 (25% off) until 9 a.m. PT on Sept. 18
New games get released to the Wii U and 3DS eShops every Thursday. Here’s the list of what’s new this week.
Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge (Virtual Console)
Double Dragon II: The Revenge (Virtual Console)
Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appétit! – Demo Version
Amida’s Path (also available on the Nintendo DSi Shop)
Gravity Badgers – $3.49 on Sale until August 28th (30% off)
Hello Kitty Kruisers – $9.99 on Sale until August 18th (50% off)
Scram Kitty and His Buddy on Rails – $4.99 on Sale until August 21st (50% off)
ZaciSa’s Last Stand – $1.49 on Sale until August 28th (50% off)
Atlus Games – Code of Princess, Etrian Odyssey Untold: Millenium Girl (and others) on sale beginning August 18th through September 1st
Me & My Furry Patients – $9.99 on sale until September 3rd (67% off)
Travel Adventures With Hello Kitty – $9.99 on Sale until September 1st (50% off)
The newest lineup of digital rewards for Club Nintendo members has been posted and there are some decent titles for anyone looking for classic Virtual Console games. This month it appears that they’re doubling the traditional offering of two console and two handheld games by offering four titles for the Wii U and four titles for the 3DS. These titles will be available to redeem until September 7th when a new batch of games will be made available. The list of games and their price in coins is:
Super Mario Bros. 2 (200 coins)
Excite Bike (200 coins)
Star Fox 64 (250 coins)
Vegas Stakes (250 coins)
Baseball (150 coins)
Puzzle League Express (200 coins)
Mario Golf (200 coins)
Dr. Mario Express (200 coins)
Note: Star Fox 64 and Vegas Stakes are for the Wii system and you will need to access to Wii Shop Channel in order to redeem those codes.
Head on over to club.nintendo.com to redeem your codes or sign up for Club Nintendo if you have not yet done so.
Shovel Knight is out and to say it’s been a rousing success is a bit of an understatement. The positive press continues to roll in for this classic, retro-styled platformer from Yacht Club Games. While things might be looking good for the dev team things weren’t always that way.
According to a studio blog post when the game missed its original March release the company was essentially out of money to run the development. They scraped by due to stopping any unnecessary spending that wasn’t directly related to keeping the lights on or the development of the game. That meant for months the six members of the development team went without pay. You can see all of the details of the finances of the game here: http://yachtclubgames.com/2014/08/sales-one-month/.
In addition to that they also talked about the sales of the game and their early apprehension about putting so much focus on Nintendo’s platforms. Early Kickstarter backers were supporting the game on PC at a rate of about 2 to 1 over the Wii U and the 3DS combined and that had the team worried that the game might not make any money on those platforms. Once the game was released, however, they saw things balance out and it’s selling at nearly 33% on each of the three platforms it’s currently available on. As of this point the game has sold more than 180,000 copies beating out the original sales goal of 150,000. Because of that success the team has set a new goal for the game; lifetimes sales of one million units.
There are still updates to be made to the game and stretch goal features to be added so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that the game could reach that lofty goal.
While it’s well documented that Nintendo turned down an exclusivity deal on the first Skylanders game, it’s clear that of all the console makers, Nintendo are the company that could make best use of the figurine model that series introduced. After all, Nintendo are considered the Disney of the games industry, and as much as every Nintendo fan would hate to admit it, we would all throw money at a series of collectible figurines. So as if hearing the sound of bank accounts emptying worldwide, Nintendo are introducing amiibos.
A collectible series of figures which promise to tie-in with various releases, amiibos are Nintendo’s first foray into the collectible figurine world, and judging by the quality on display already, it will be a hugely successful, and more importantly, profitable one.
Located behind a glass cabinet with the words “NO PICTURES” printed underneath them, it’s clear that Nintendo still consider amiibos to be a work in progress. On display during my visit to Nintendo’s post-E3 showcase were a handful of Super Smash Bros amiibos, including Mario, Samus, Fox and Link.
Based upon their portraits from Super Smash Bros, the figures look fantastic, and are very well painted and detailed. Set atop a sturdy Super Smash Bros logo base, the figures look superb and are very reminiscent of the opening of Melee on GameCube. It goes without saying that the electronics and NFC chip is stored in the base, and with a sensible size, amiibos should scan comfortably on the Wii U GamePad. Read more…