The Wii U may be having struggles when it comes to overall sales, but one Nintendo platform that’s going strong is the Nintendo 3DS. The system, which got off to a slow start back in 2011 has seen steady growth in the ensuing months on the back of an ever increasing library of games.
Exact figures are not known, but according to a press release sent out by Nintendo sales of the 3DS in the month of May increased 60 percent over the same time last year. The Xbox 360 sold 114,000 units, indicating that sales of the 3DS would have been higher than that total. In addition to strong sales of the system Nintendo also had two of the top five selling games for the month of May with Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon both making it into the top five overall from NPD reporting.
Nintendo hopes to build on this momentum with a strong lineup of games for the 3DS that will see release before the holiday season. Mario & Luigi: Dream Team will be available on August 11th. Pokemon X & Y hits stores on October 12th. Mario Party will get a full title and be available for purchase in November as will The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. All of these games will release before the holiday season.
Cloudberry Kingdom is quickly becoming one of the most anticipated games that will see release over the summer. The folks at Pwnee Studios are working hard to get the game ready for release day, but recently took some time to show off the game at E3. The buzz around the internet for the game overall was very positive, but it appears that some information might have been misunderstood.
Several outlets were reporting that, in addition to releasing on PC and all major consoles, the game was also confirmed for release on the Nintendo 3DS. According to a recent conversation that I had with TJ Lutz, co-founder of Pwnee Studios he said that information might be a little premature.
“Regarding the news about the 3DS being confirmed, I guess I’m getting pretty good at giving out misleading information. We haven’t confirmed anything regarding the 3DS, but we are definitely looking into it to see how possible it all is. That rumor popped up and spread really quickly though. It’s really a good thing that so many people seem to be excited about the possibility. That’s definitely something huge for us to keep in mind while we’re feeling out the idea.”
The studio successfully completed a Kickstarter campaign to fund much of the developments costs back in May of 2012 and release the game on the Nintendo Wii U and PC. Earlier this year it was announced that they had reached a publishing deal with Ubisoft and that the game would also see release on Xbox Live Arcade and the Playstation Network.
While news of an impending 3DS release is exciting, it’s not quite confirmed at this point. However, don’t let that get you down. Make sure to hit up the developers and let Ubisoft know you want to see a 3DS release and it could very well happen.
I’ll admit that when I first heard the Wii Fit Trainer girl was going to be a playable character in Smash Bros. I thought it had to be a joke. Then I saw the trailer for how she plays and will admit my gut reaction might have been wrong. She could be pretty cool. Anyway, that’s not what we’re here for. This is some good footage of the next Smash Bros. game in action. Sakurai playing this game is pretty cool.
For the longest time there was a debate among the members of the Nintendo Okie crew as to what was better, Animal Crossing or Harvest Moon. I was a Harvest Moon guy and everyone else liked Animal Crossing. I considered them to be essentially the same thing so I chose one over the other. They’re both life simulators, but actually take very different approaches to everyday tasks. With the release of Animal Crossing: City Folk I decided I’d try out this Animal Crossing thing and boy was it a mistake. I got hooked. I ended up playing that game way too much trying to collect all the fossils, find all the bugs and buy every piece of furniture I could. I was glad I didn’t have a mobile version of the game. That’s all changed now too with the release of Animal Crossing: New Leaf for the 3DS. Now, I’m the mayor, there’s way more things to do and it’s always with me, calling my name.
What You Need to Know
Animal Crossing: New Leaf is the most recent release in the hugely popular life simulation series from Nintendo. You go about every days tasks like collecting bugs, fishing, digging up fossils, buying furniture and, of course, paying off the ever growing mortgage on your house. You interact with all of the different animals that populate your village, becoming best friends, trading furniture, playing the Stalk Market and filling up all the exhibits in the local museum. Only now, you’re in charge of the whole town. You get to make choices that affect not only yourself, but everyone else in town. Can you shoulder that responsibility?
Back in 2010 the gaming world was reintroduced to the Donkey Kong Country series with a brand-new, Retro Studios-developed entry known as Donkey Kong Country Returns for the Nintendo Wii. It is now three years later and who could have guessed a game like DKCR could be possible on a handheld. That is exactly what has happened with Monster Games porting the Wii original to the Nintendo 3DS with Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D. Is this game a top banana or a rotten one?
What You Need to Know
Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D is a port of the Wii original that released back in 2010. While Retro Studios developed the Wii game, Monster Games (the folks behind the Wii Excite games and Pilotwings Resort) worked on the 3DS port. All of the content of the original DKCR is included with this Returns 3D, but there’s also a good helping of completely exclusive to the 3DS version content. In many regards, the game is a much better overall product for it.
The Fire Emblem franchise hasn’t had a huge following here in North America, but it’s been sort of a big thing in Japan. It’s one of those Nintendo franchises you just expect to come around every few years, but apparently that almost wasn’t the case. The franchise has been seeing declining numbers over the years, with each release selling fewer and fewer copies, according to series producer Hitoshi Yamagami; so much so that Nintendo almost pulled the plug altogether.
He had the following to say in an interview with Spanish magazine Hobby Consola:
“Truth be told, sales are dropping. The sales manager of Nintendo, Mr. Hatano, told us that this could be the last Fire Emblem. Due to this progressive descent in sales, they told us that if the sales of this episode stayed below 250,000 copies, we’d stop working on the saga. I remember when I came back from the meeting and told the team, ‘My God, what are we gonna do?! The end has come!’ Our reaction was clear: If this was going to be the last Fire Emblem, we had to put everything we always wanted to include.”
According to unofficial numbers through VG Chartz, the latest entry, Fire Emblem: Awakening, has sold over 500,000 units in Japan, having been on sale for over a year there. Here in the US it’s sold around 250,000 units and a little over 100,000 in the rest of the world with retail sales sitting at over 880,000. Nintendo has mentioned over the last few months that the game has sold very well through the eShop as well, mentioning it anytime they release statements about digital sales, but never giving firm numbers.
The game has had a very good reception being praised in numerous reviews, including ours. I think it’s safe to say that we’re going to see another entry into the franchise and maybe Nintendo wasn’t quite expecting the reception this game received, and that’s a good thing.
The Mayor’s Journal is my attempt at creative writing. I’ll be talking freely about a number of the things I experience while playing the game so be warned for spoilers.
May 10th, 2013
I don’t think this rain is ever going to stop. It rained yesterday and it’s rained again today. Not constantly, though. We did have a break early in the afternoon before it picked back up again. On the plus side I did have a chance to run through the rain barefooted today. The soft, wet ground felt nice beneath my toes. You can’t be all business, all the time can you?
Yesterday we had a visitor in town. A walrus, named Phineas, came and he gave me a fishing badge. He said it was because I had completed more than 50% of my fishing encyclopedia. It was nice to be recognized for something and he said there would be more to come. I guess a love of fishing pays off sometimes? Oh, I caught a whale shark today. I didn’t even think that was possible with a fishing pole. The museum is going to have a nice addition to its collection. I spent a lot of time on the island fishing. One trip earned me over 65,000 bells that all went directly into my savings account.
The eShop has been gaining a lot of traction in the last year or two, adding quality titles at a pretty regular rate. The latest is a port of an iOS game from developer Pixel Toys called Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo. It’s a blend of simple mechanics, cute, cartoonish characters, a nice learning curve and solid controls.
What You Need to Know
Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo is a platformer where you play as a squirrel attempting to collect all of the nuts in a level. Various obstacles and enemies such as spiders, raccoons and hedgehogs block your path as does a timer that ends the level when it reaches zero. You have a few power-ups at your disposal to take care of anything that might prevent you from feeding your family. Once all of the acorns in a level are collected, a door to the next level opens. There are four separate objectives to try and achieve in each level; collecting all of the acorns, finishing in a set amount of time, killing all the enemies and collecting all of the bonus fruit. These additional objectives reward you with more acorns that will unlock new levels and other bonus content.
I have to tell you I’ve been really impressed with indie developers, especially ones going through Kickstarter. I’m also impressed that these games are reaching goals past their initial funding. Why you ask? The stretch goals for a number of independently developed games like Shovel Knight include development for Wii U and 3DS. Yesterday the Kickstarter fund for Onipunks’ pixel art inspired rogue-like, C-Wars, reached its stretch funding goal of $65,535 to fund development of a 3DS version. Today we have news that the game reached $75,000. That’s enough to guarantee a Wii U version.
What this tells me is that indie developers are very interested in developing games for the platform. That’s been evidenced by a number of news stories and interviews with developers talking about their new found love of Nintendo with their relationship to indie games. Also, it tells me the public at large is interested in funding these games and seeing releases come out on both Nintendo platforms.
Nintendo may not be getting a lot of interest from major third party developers, with a few obvious exceptions like Ubisoft and Sega, but the independent crowd is really beginning to flock to these platforms and that’s something to look forward to.
There’s still time to get in on the project if you want to help fund the game and secure your own copy. The deadline for donations is tomorrow afternoon at 4:19 EDT.
Ronimo Games is set to bring their popular side scrolling RTS, Swords & Soldiers, to the 3DS later this month and we now know exactly when. Next Thursday, May 16th will be the day you can download this little gem, and it will only cost you $7. I played the game on Wii and absolutely loved it. It was one that I went back to on a regular basis. The visual style is charming. The characters are funny. The game play is solid. I really like how the developers have uncluttered the action on the 3DS by moving all of the relevant informational bits to the 3DS bottom screen.