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Tony’s Time: 2014 – The First Half Bests

Tonys Time Purple

On the podcast this week we were asked about what our favorite games of the year had been so far. I mentioned a couple of titles, but I didn’t have a list of the games that I had played in front of me. Now I have the list of all the games I’ve played this year and I thought I’d give you my thoughts on the first half of the year. I haven’t played all of the big name titles out this year so this isn’t a comprehensive list of the best games of the year; just the best ones that I’ve played so far.

The Wii U has had a good year so far and there are a number of titles coming out throughout the rest of the year that I’m looking for. I also bought two new systems, the PS4 and the Vita, so I’ve had a lot of new stuff to play. These are some of the games I’ve played so far this year that I’ve really enjoyed. These games are listed in no particular order and, unlike our end of the year lists, it only comprises of games that came out this year.

Mario Kart 8 (Wii U) – After the last three Mario Kart games (Wii, DS and 7) I was beginning to sour on the franchise. I played all of those games and had a fun time with them for a while, but things begin hampering the experiences. I thought maybe I was growing past my love of the franchise and it wasn’t going to be something I was interested in much longer. I went into Mario Kart 8 with a little bit of hesitation and tempered my expectations and because of that I’ve been incredibly happy with the experience. My family has gotten to the point where it’s a huge competition amongst all of us and everyone has a chance to win every race. There’s no more intentional throwing of races to let the younger kids win. There’s no incredibly broken rubber banding of the AI. There’s no snaking or cheater online. It’s just been great fun for everyone that I play the game with.

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Gold / Platinum Awards For Club Nintendo Announced

Club Nintendo Platinum Awards

Nintendo has just announced the list of awards for people who have been faithfully registering their games, both physical and digital, through Club Nintendo all year. If you registered enough games to earn 300 coins then you reached Gold Status for the year. Registering enough games and taking enough surveys to earn 600 coins means you hit Platinum Status. This year Nintendo has decided everyone will get to download a game of their choice from the following list:

Gold Status

Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins (3DS)
Metroid (3DS)
WarioLand II (3DS)
Donkey Kong 3 (3DS)
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (Wii U)
Super Mario Bros. (Wii U)
Kid Icarus (Wii U)
Ice Climber (Wii U)

All of those are the Virtual Console versions of those games for their respective systems.

Platinum Status

Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move (3DS)
Dillon’s Rolling Western (3DS)
Fluidity: Spin Cycle (3DS)
Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D (3DS)
Dr. Luigi (Wii U)
Earthbound (Wii U)
NES Remix (Wii U)
Game & Wario (Wii U)

The list of games isn’t a bad mix of old and new, but I can’t help that think it’s a little disappointing and there might be people that won’t earn a rewards because they might have every game on the list. If you get your reward let us know what you chose.

Tomodachi Life Demo Available Today

You’ve heard us talk about crazy stuff that happens in Tomodachi Life on the podcast over the last three or four weeks, but now you have the chance to try it out for yourself. Nintendo is releasing a demo of the game today that will let you get in and see just what all the zany hype is about. Chances are you’ll like the demo so much you’ll want the full game, but give it a try and see. Just head on over to the eShop and download it.

And while you’re at it, take a look at this video of some Nintendo developers singing. Who hasn’t wanted a tiny version of Miyamoto that they can carry around in their pocket and sing to them whenever they desire?

Mutant Mudds Gets Creepy on 3DS

Mutant Mudds Update

Mutant Mudds came first to the 3DS, but has since been tweaked, redone, added to and generally turned into something completely different on other systems. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but it has had new content in the form of 20 Ghost Levels added to Deluxe editions of the game on PC, Vita, and Wii U. Now the 3DS is getting those levels.

Renegade Kid co-founder, and all-around nice guy, Jools Watsham has confirmed that the 3DS will be getting those 20 additional levels for free on July 3rd. This update will be free to players in North America and Europe. You’ll just have to download the update from the eShop and you’ll see a new ghostly portal on the level select screen. I’ve played them. These new levels are hauntingly good.

New Play Nintendo Tour Showcases 2DS Software

Play Nintendo

Nintendo has just announced they are embarking on a new dozen city tour to showcase their handheld systems and its lineup of software. This new tour gives players the chance to get their hands on the 2DS and play some of the biggest titles available for that system. According to the press release, “Guests will enjoy whimsical-themed gaming zones filled with iconic items like banana-shaped seats in the Donkey Kong area, a giant Poké Ball in the Pokémon section and Yoshi egg chairs in Yoshi’s island.” In addition to that you’ll be able to meet costumed versions of some of Nintendo’s most popular characters. If you’re curious about the 2DS and what it has to offer then you might want to check out the listings after the jump and see if they’ll be coming to a mall near you.

What I find most interesting about the press release is that it specifically says you’ll be able to play “the hottest games on Nintendo’s coolest system, the 2DS.” It doesn’t mention the 3DS at all. The wording makes you think that Nintendo is going to be putting more focus on the 2DS. I wonder if this means that they’ll be shifting marketing toward that system going forward.

The list of games that will be available to play are:

Kirby: Triple Deluxe
Yoshi’s New Island
Pokémon X and Pokémon Y
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Super Mario 3D Land
Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D
Mario Kart 7

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Nintendo Unleashes Project S.T.E.A.M.

Project Steam

Nintendo wasn’t finished with the surprises after their Digital Event on Monday. In fact the company said that they had one more unannounced 3DS game to show off on Wednesday night and they did just that. At a developer roundtable event they showed off the newest game from Advance Wars and Fire Emblem developer Project S.T.E.A.M. This game is a hybrid turn based strategy/third person shooter.

You control a group of four characters in a “vibrant, Steam-punk like world”. Much like other traditional strategy games you move on a grid to outmaneuver and outflank your enemy. Actions are controlled through a steam gauge that once depleted means your turn is over. Unlike more traditional strategy games where the view is more of an overhead, full view of the battlefield style this game puts you right into the action with the camera right behind the characters shoulders. This lets you see the action and the depth of the levels from their perspective. According to Nintendo this gives you a better feel for the characters and lets you see what they’re seeing.

More information about Project S.T.E.A.M. will be available throughout the week as Nintendo will be showing it off through stage demos. Right now the game is set for a 2015 release.

The Console Wars May Now Begin

Pacman Smash Bros

No, I’m not talking about Wii U versus Xbox One versus Playstation 4. That fight will rage on for a few years now. I’m talking about the classic “Who’s the best character in a video game?” argument. In a move that seemed unfathomable in the late 80’s and early 90’s for the first time ever we’re going to see Mario, Pac-Man, Sonic and Mega Man in a game together.

Nintendo today confirmed the addition of Namco’s popular pellet muncher to the roster of Super Smash Bros. It’s a move that many wanted when it was announced that Namco Bandai would be helping with the development of the game. It’s also a move many people didn’t know was going to happen. It’s a move, though, that’s actually happening. This is real life. All those arguments you had with your friends as a child in the 80’s can now actually take place.

Get those Gamecube Adaptors plugged in. Pick your favorite fighter and let the games begin.

More Smash Bros. Details Announced

Nintendo announced two brand new fighters to the Smash Bros. roster today during their Digital Event. These two new fighters are Mii’s and Palutena. That’s right. You’re finally going to be able to fight as digital Reggie. In fact the Mii’s were shown off in an epic battle between Reggie and Iwata with Iwata pulling out a new amiibo character (more about that later) to get the upper hand. The Mii characters come in three different varieties and you can customize their move sets to fit your fighting style. Those three styles are brawler, a character that fights with no weapons and likes to get in close; a weapons specialist and a gunner.

The other surprise announcement was that of Palutena, the Goddess of Light. She’s taking a break from saving Pit’s life to take on all-comers in the newest installment of Nintendo’s fighting game.

Alongside the announcement of the new characters Nintendo also announced Smash Bros. for 3DS will be hitting stores on October 3rd with the Wii version slated for Holiday 2014.

The previously announced GameCube adaptor cost a price. You’ll be able to pick up the adaptor for $19.99 when Smash Bros. launches this holiday. There is also a new Smash Bros. branded GameCube controller that will be available for $29.99. If you’re the type that likes to get bundles a new one featuring the Wii U version of the game, the GameCube adaptor and one of the Smash branded controllers will be available for $99.99.

Persona Q Wild Card Premium Edition Detailed

Persona Q Collectors Edition

The 3DS is getting its first Persona game later this year with the release of Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth. This game combines gameplay from the Persona franchise and Etryian Odyssey into a unique dungeon crawling experience. Today Atlus showed off what you’ll get if you decide to fork over the cash for the Collector’s Editions of the games.

There are two different versions of the package that you can get. The first, for pre-orders and the first run will get special packaging and a set of Tarot Card Set #2. This package will cost $49.99 and will be the regular retail version of the game. The second, labeled the Wild Cards Premium Edition will set you back $79.99 and come with:

Tarot Card Set #2
An Art booklet
Soundtrack CD and
A Deluxe Hard Case for the 3DS XL

The case features characters from the game on the hard shell that was previously only available in Japan. Persona Q: Shadow of the Labryinth is set to come out later this year for the Nintendo 3DS.

Sega Announces E3 2014 Lineup

Sega Logo

Sega won’t have a huge presence at E3 this year, but they want you to remember not to forget them. They’ve got four games set for demonstration at this year’s E3 gaming blowout. Alien: Isolation hopes to undo the harm caused by Aliens: Colonial Marines. Two Sonic titles in the Sonic Boom series, Rise of Lyric and Shattered Crystal for the Wii U and 3DS respectively and then everyone’s favorite virtual Diva, Miku Hatsune, will be shown off for the PS3 and Vita. For full details on all of these titles head past the break.

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