A Few Late-Day Nuggets

Nintendo has released a few late-day pieces of information, and I think they certainly bear repeating. Hardware and peripherals lead the way, as Nintendo is finally bringing some things to the West that many have been asking for, for some time now.

Nintendo of America is bringing the New Nintendo 3DS to North America after we have had the New Nintendo 3DS XL for a while, and the first iteration we will see will be the Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer-themed bundle. The folks from GameXplain did the honors breaking it all down for us.

In addition to the New Nintendo 3DS makingBowser, Toad, and Yoshi Wii Remote Plus its way to North America, we are also getting the very colorful Wii Remote Pluses themed for Bowser, Toad, and Yoshi. These controllers have been seen for some time, but we will finally have the chance to get our hands on them soon via GameStop, as they are exclusively purchasable from that retailer.

The Bowser and Toad Wii Remote Plus controllers will launch alongside Wii U game Super Mario Maker on September 11. The Yoshi Wii Remote Plus hatches alongside the release of Yoshi’s Woolly World — also on Wii U — on October 16.

Each controller is fashioned after the individual characters; they are painted with each character’s signature colors and a logo emblazoned on top to give it extra flair. All three will debut across the United States at the suggested retail price of $39.99.

Are you excited to see the New Nintendo 3DS standard size finally making its North American debut? Will you be picking it up at release? Will you be adding any of the Wii Remote Plus controllers to your collection?

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!


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amiibo Mini-Series Mondays

For the next few weeks, I am going to be posting an amiibo mini-series covering a more in-depth look at the phenomena that are amiibo. When the Wii U was first introduced, the unique aspects are the new system were very intriguing. One such aspect of the Wii U was the NFC functionality that Nintendo promised would be utilized. However, at launch, there was little by way of details on how the NFC built into the Gamepad would actually be used. We did see some concepts in a pre-launch “leaked” video that showed off “new tech” for the then-exclusive Rayman Legends.

Since then, we have gotten to see an evolution of the Gamepad and the eventual release Nintendo's Strengthsof several waves of amiibo with several more already announced. These figures have come to the market, and taken it by storm. Many fans, have developed a love-hate relationship with amiibo for reasons of their own understanding, but one thing no one can ever deny, is that Nintendo has created something that has been overwhelmingly profitable for the company. And any true fan of Nintendo has to see that as a great thing, no matter their personal feelings about amiibo.

Several weeks ago, I wrote about Nintendo DNA, and their mission to put smiles on the faces of everyone whom Nintendo touches.

Nintendo’s mission as an entertainment company is to make people happy and surprise them by achieving goals that seem impossible to the average person within a few years.

Now, we want to take a look at what has gone into creating the explosion that is the amiibo phenomenon. As things go, Nintendo has put an amazing amount of work into creating them and hopefully ensuring their longevity beyond fad-status. The foundation that Nintendo created for amiibo has been laid for decades now, and that is sure to help solidify their place in the market for quite some time.

Since we launched Family Computer in 1983, Nintendo has produced a variety of iconic characters, such as Mario and Donkey Kong, which are loved by people around the world regardless of their generation. In November 2014, we utilized this rich lineup of Nintendo characters and launched the “amiibo” series of character figures that can connect with our games.

Planning & DevelopmentWith such a solid background in game development, Nintendo has been moving more and more into expanding their reach into the marketplace. For a company whose main focus is, and will continue to be games, amiibo have been created in order to bring more people to their games.

Tell us about the development background for these amiibo figures that connect with games.

Yamamoto Nintendo has cared about “connections” between people from the start. We have been pursuing the potential of new entertainment while focusing on making people smile. However, when the game system’s power is turned off, the game world disappears. We had been thinking about whether there was another way to somehow connect the game world with the real world.

Onishi In addition to the things you can do with the main part of the game, we had been searching for a possible way to connect with our consumers by using items that exist outside of the game.

Yamamoto We thought that it made sense for Nintendo to create character merchandise because it would create a means for consumers to connect to our games in the real world by creating physical items for consumers to touch and feel the appeal of the game world all the time. Based on this idea, the project members and other stakeholders spent time on the overall concept of amiibo, discussing such things as which characters Nintendo should introduce to the world or what kind of approach we should take.
What were your initial thoughts about creating amiibo, Nintendo’s first character products?

Onishi We initially considered things such as the basis of each character’s appeal, how we could bring out that appeal and which pose each character should strike to maximize that appeal. I used to be involved in supervising the process for other companies to use Nintendo characters but, in a complete turnaround, we are now in a position to create 3D figures ourselves. We closely examined each character’s image and how we could adequately convey this image to consumers.

Yamamoto amiibo also includes characters from other game developers, and since we are now in a position to borrow their precious assets, we wanted to respect each character and not damage its worldview when we made each 3D character image. We repeatedly visited the game developers in order to directly discuss and get a good understanding of which elements of the characters were important to them. By asking the developers their thoughts directly, our respect for the characters naturally increased. The more visits we made, the stronger we felt that we needed to get to know each character.

Onishi We felt that it was important to make sure that each character is loved equally beyond just their appearance and that, when consumers held them in their hands, they would really feel that it is the character they always had cherished. We paid particular attention to these aspects and went through a lot of debate and, as a result, this process ended up taking the most time.
Tell us about your expectations for amiibo.
Yamamoto Above all, we want amiibo to become something that people want to talk about with their friends and family. We want amiibo to spark conversations with people around them.

Onishi We want consumers to hold the characters in their hands in the real world and for these precious characters to remain in their memories forever. We hope that they cherish each one of these one-of-a-kind characters for a long time. We also would like amiibo to provide an opportunity for those who don’t normally play games to become acquainted with them. We want amiibo to act as a bridge that connects games and consumers so that consumers who are not necessarily interested in games are curious about the figures and pick them up when they are in the game corner of a retail store.

Yamamoto I don’t think the existing amiibo have completely created the world we aspire to build. Therefore, to ensure that amiibo is never just a figure, we would like to connect it with other entertainment Nintendo produces in the future. We will make improvements on amiibo and continue to evolve it in a way that expands the ring of communication between people, both inside and outside the game world.

Love them, hate them, or be indifferent about them, amiibo are here, and for good reason! Nintendo looked to create these figures as a means of connecting the Wii U console’s games to the real world, and in-turn, have created something that is a bit bigger than that.

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!


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A Massive Special for a Massive Game!

During PAX Prime 2015, Nintendo of America held a full-on panel to discuss many of the aspects of Xenoblade Chronicles X which will be released in North America on December 4. Although the panel was focused mainly on concepts and such, we were able to get some incredible details that many fans have been anticipating for quite some time, now!

For players in Japan, Xenoblade Chronicles X has been available for several months now, but North American players have been waiting until the localization is completed. With about 3 more months to go, the wait has been pretty painful. Saturday evening’s XCX panel has been a very welcome relief, though.

Earlier this month, Nintendo of America informed fans that the game would be launching with a unique Special Edition, but more details would come later. Well, later has finally arrived, and it looks fantastic!

Launching alongside the standalone version of massive Wii U role-playing game Xenoblade Chronicles X on Dec. 4 is a Special Edition overflowing with great content. Perfect for fans who want to experience everything Xenoblade Chronicles X has to offer, players who purchase the Special Edition at a suggested retail price of $89.99 will get a beautifully designed package that contains:

  • The Xenoblade Chronicles X game
  • A gorgeous book of concept art with more than 100 pages, featuring select art for the very first time
  • A unique USB drive modeled after the game’s “Lifehold Unit,” pre-loaded with a selection of 10 music tracks from the game’s memorable soundtrack
  • A limited-edition matted 5×7 art card of a painting done for the game by illustrator Takashi Kojo

Unique to North America, this Xenoblade Chronicles X Special Edition is now available for pre-order at select retailers nationwide.

For a lot of Nintendo fans in North America, they have felt that Special Editions are far too rare, where European and Japanese markets tend to get some of the most amazing collections. This current North American collection, however, is wonderful, and has some of the best contents of a Special Edition box set I have ever seen.

Even though I have watched several livestreams of game play for Xenoblade Chronicles X, and the wait has been long, my excitement and anticipation for the game are rising once again.

Have you made plans to get your hands on this game? Will you be taking advantage of the Special Edition? Does the promise of this vast adventure whet your JRPG appetite?

I am truly looking forward to playing this game in December!

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!


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And the Winner is…

The results of the latest North American Splatfest are in, and a winner has indeed been decided. Splatoon fans have had the opportunity to compete in a Transformers-themed Splatfest recently, and the results of the contest have been revealed.

This contest was markedly determined as #TeamAutobots battled #TeamDecepticons during the 24-hour competition. In the end, there was one clear winner, and that winner was:

Transformers Splatfest Results

So, as another Splatfest concludes, players can now resume their usual battles until a new decision calls them back to splat it out again in another contest.

Were you one of the contestants in the recent Splatfest? Did your team win? Are you already looking forward to the next one?

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!

Weekend Review–What’s Going On? (6)

This week, Nintendo was far from shy about sharing information on so many different things. We were made privy to dates, we got commercialized, we got so big we went MEGA, got more commercialized, got to run with friends, we even battled, we were present and accounted for, we were even more-bo’d, were given more splat power, and then we fested! A lot to cover!

To start out the week, Nintendo released theNintendo infographic Updated details on their Holiday releases. They updated dates on games, and amiibo for the remainder of the year, and there’s a lot that will be coming very soon.

Nintendo of America released several new ads this week, as well. First we saw new ads for Super Mario Maker, and later for Splatoon. These new ads are just more effort to get the word out about one incredible Wii U game that is breaking records as Nintendo’s newest smash hit, and the other for a nostalgic new look at the company’s most iconic character and series.

From there, we were treated to a new potentially huge Nindie in Runbow. 13AM Games released the 9-player multiplayer runner this week, and it’s already building up momentum.

In addition to all of the Wii U love, Nintendo made sure to give a great amount of attention to the newest addition to the Nintendo 3DS’ games lineup, as well. Little Battlers eXperience has been given to the world, and Nintendo held an event to launch the game and the animated series this week.

Announced early in the week, NintendoMega Yarn Yoshi somewhat doubled down on amiibo. Not only did we get release dates on the majority of the announced amiibo, but we also had an all-new announcement, as well. Nintendo shared that we will be getting a Mega Yarn Yoshi amiibo.

At the end of the week, Splatoon players in North America are competing to find out which is the better team in the latest Splatfest. #TeamAutobots versus #TeamDecepticons are battling it out over the 24 hours from midnight August 29 to midnight August 30. In addition to the Splatfest, two new weapons were also introduced to the game on Friday evening.

Ending the week, and really still going, Nintendo is fully engaged in the festivities at PAX Prime in Seattle, WA this weekend. With activities scheduled throughout the weekend, there will be plenty of information to come. In fact, part of the festivities planned by Nintendo was the Nindies@Night event held Shovel Knight amiibo 2Thursday evening. During the event, Yacht Club Games unveiled the Shovel Knight amiibo. With more on the schedule, stay tuned for more detailed information from PAX Prime.

Stay tuned for more, as the news will continually be coming in for the remainder of the weekend due to the ongoing events of PAX Prime.

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!

Time to Track Some More Treasure With the Captain!

Last week we were able to go on a couple of mini-adventures with Captain Toad, and this week we will resume those journeys. Captain Toad Treasure Tracker is an excellent game that if you haven’t had the chance to play yet, I highly recommend you do so. In the meanwhile, enjoy.

Volume 3:

Track That Treasure, Captain Toad Vol 3

Volume 4:

Track That Treasure, Captain Toad Vol 4

I hope you have enjoyed your Friday reads, and again, if you haven’t already tried out Captain Toad Treasure Tracker, be sure to do that as soon as possible.

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!


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Two New Weapons for Splatoon

Nintendo has announced that two new weapons will be arriving in Splatoon on Friday night at the usual update time of 10pm EST/7pm PST.

The two weapons are named the Bamboozler 14 Mk 1 and the L-3 Nozzlenose D.

Will you be playing with these new weapons? Which do you expect to master first? Do you think they will come in handy during this weekend’s Splatfest event?

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!