Let the Games Begin!

The annual event that most North American gamers look forward to, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, is just around the corner, and it looks like Nintendo is more than ready to deliver an amazing and unique experience this year. Invitational Tournaments are going to take over the show, and fans at home will have a front-row seat for all of the action.

This year’s E3 promises to showcase several Invitational player tournaments, and the excitement can’t get higher. Not only has Nintendo announced there will be the Nintendo Spotlight, showcasing new details on the upcoming gaming landscape for the company, but there will be a Treehouse Live presentation to follow, that will allow us to see many of the games featured in the Spotlight in game play action. In addition, they will treat observers to a display of the competitive nature of many of the games that are bringing so much life to the Nintendo Switch. Splatoon 2, ARMS, and Pokkén Tournament each have their own Invitational Tournament where competitors will go head to head live during the show to see who will come out victorious.

Tournaments
Name: 2017 Splatoon 2 World Inkling Invitational
Date: Tuesday, June 13
Time: 2:30 p.m. PT*
Details: For the first time ever, competitors from four different global regions will compete for world dominance in Splatoon 2. The four-person teams – from the United States, Japan, Europe and Australia/New Zealand – defeated their local rivals and gained the chance to take on competitors at E3.
Format: Teams will battle in a round-robin Turf War tournament that will decide seeding for the next round. All teams will play one another and get a chance to scope out their opponents’ strengths and weaknesses. In the next round, teams will battle in the game’s Ranked Battle modes, in addition to Turf War. The semifinal stage will be a best-of-five battle, while the championship will be best-of-seven
Prize: The winning team will win global bragging rights and its members will have their names engraved on a sweet Splatoon 2 trophy.
Casters: Jordan Kent, Ashley Esqueda and Nintendo of America’s Eric Smith

Name: 2017 Pokkén Tournament DX Invitational
Date: Wednesday, June 14
Time: 10:30 a.m. PT*
Competitors: Eight YouTube and Twitch stars
Format: Crew battle with four teams and two players per team. Random draft order. The first person in each crew must choose one of the new characters; the other person can choose one of the original characters.
Prize: Winners will each receive a Pokkén Tournament DX art piece signed by Tsunekazu Ishihara, president and CEO of The Pokémon Company, and members of the development team.
Casters: Jordan Kent, D1 and VikkiKitty

Name: 2017 ARMS Open Invitational
Date: Wednesday, June 14
Time: 3:30 p.m. PT*
Competitors: Four professional competitive fighting game players (Alex “CaliPower” Valle, Kelsy “SuperGirlKels” Medeiros, Daniel “Tafokints” Lee and Marie-Laure “Kayane” Norindr) will take on four E3 attendees who rise to the top by competing in Nintendo’s booth.
Format: Single-elimination
Prize: The coveted 2017 ARMS Open Invitational Belt
Casters: Jordan Kent, D1 and VikkiKitty

It is utterly exciting to see Nintendo continue to embrace their competitive roots when it comes to their games and the esports landscape. Over two years ago, Triforce Johnson was often quoted as saying that through his observations, Nintendo was positioning themselves to seriously move back into the esports and competitive scene with many more of their games, beyond the Super Smash Bros. franchise. Shortly after that, Nintendo announced their Nintendo World Championships event at E3 2015. Now, more and more, we are seeing the company embrace their competitive gaming roots.

Splatoon 2 and ARMS are games that lend themselves perfectly to tournaments, and E3 is an ideal venue to bring people together to compete,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “These friendly tournaments will highlight the fun, competitive nature of these games and the Nintendo Switch hardware for people at home and on the show floor.”

One staple that has grown to be a major fan-favorite that started at an E3 event and has returned for several key events, is the Treehouse Live presentation. This is where we fans tuning in to Nintendo’s E3 presence from home get the opportunity to get a lot of the insight into Nintendo, and of course, what they have to offer us in the coming days and months. That is why I am thoroughly excited about what we will get the opportunity to experience next week!

Nintendo Treehouse: Live at E3
What: Members of Nintendo’s Treehouse will once again delve into the details of the Nintendo Switch console and games for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, including Super Mario Odyssey and Pokkén Tournament DX. Viewers will get an in-depth look at gameplay and hear behind-the-scenes details about Nintendo’s lineup for E3.
When: On Tuesday, June 13, the show starts right after the Nintendo Spotlight: E3 2017 presentation about 9:30 a.m. PT. On Wednesday and Thursday, June 14-15, the show starts about 10 a.m. PT.*
Who: Treehouse members, as well as developers and other game experts, including Tsunekazu Ishihara, president and CEO of The Pokémon Company. Ishihara and development team members will talk about the upcoming Pokkén Tournament DX game for Nintendo Switch.

Will you be tuning in live next week for any/all of the Nintendo E3 2017 festivities? Which event are you looking forward to most (aside from the Nintendo Spotlight, of course)?

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


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Nintendo Scores BIG With ARMS Global Testpunch!

Over the course of the last 2-3 years or so, Nintendo has subtly and even aggressively changed the ways in which they share their message with the fans, and the gaming audience, on the whole. Gone are the days of the confusing messaging; gone are the days of “is it a new console, or is it an add-on?”; and gone are the days of “when will Nintendo make a new IP?” The company is swiftly moving into the realm of “This is what we are doing now, and you are going to love it”…and they’re absolutely right!

During the Wii U generation, the company was forced to make some aggressive and even unprecedented moves to ensure their messaging was exactly where they needed it to be. A new advertisement firm was hired to get the word out about Nintendo and their products, new personnel were hired to lead Sales and Marketing, and overall, the company has just done an amazing job of getting their hardware and software into the hands of potential purchasers.

dasumihxgaef3qcThis past weekend (Memorial Day weekend in the US, by the way) Nintendo launched a Global Testpunch for their new and quickly-releasing franchise, ARMS. Similar to the Global Testfire held for the Splatoon franchise, the ARMS Global Testpunch allows Nintendo Switch owners to play a demo version of the game globally during set time slots. This not only allows fans to get an early look at/play of the game, but also give Nintendo an opportunity to stress-test the servers in preparation to launch the game next month.

Another wonderful side effect of these Tests is the opportunity to raise awareness and anticipation for new titles as they prepare to launch. ARMS is definitely benefiting from this treatment as it is climbing up the Amazon Best Sellers chart this weekend as people get a taste of the game and what it has to offer.

Amazon Best Sellers as of May 27 at 10pm

Amazon Best Sellers List for Video Games as of Saturday evening, May 27, just after 10pm EST.

Having avenues to continually connect with fans, gauge demand, and gain feedback is imperative for the company and it appears to be working wonders for them thus far. I am constantly remarking that this is an amazing time to be a Nintendo fan, and it seems that each week Nintendo keeps proving me right. The company’s mission to put more smiles on the faces of the people they come in contact with by the use of their strong and storied IP is only bolstered by their stellar performance in the marketplace right now, and the surprises that are sure to come over the next couple of weeks are sure to keep that performance going.

Were you able to participate in the ARMS Global Testpunch? What were your impressions of the game? Are you anticipating getting the full retail version? What do you like most of the Nintendo Switch, so far?

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


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Nintendo Introduces Another New Character for ARMS

One of the new games coming to the Nintendo Switch, and one of the company’s newest franchises, ARMS looks to be packing in a lot of incredible and unique characters. Last week, we were introduced to Min Min during the Nintendo Direct, and now, we have already been introduced to yet again another new character in Helix (DNA Man in Japan).

Helix is very different from the other characters, and his moves are very unique, as well. Take a look at the introductory trailer, here:

Helix battles differently compared to other fighters, mainly due to his unique form. His dodging and jumping style make him very elusive in battle.

I really love what Nintendo is doing with ARMS and have no doubt this game will be a major hit for the company, and could quite possibly go a long way toward establishing the next wave of legendary character IP for the company along with Splatoon.

Are you excited to see another new character so soon? How do you like Helix’ unique move-set?

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

Just How Far-Reaching Can ARMS Be?

arms-logoDuring the recent Nintendo Direct, last week, Nintendo showed several new aspects of the new franchise, ARMS for the the Nintendo Switch, due to be released on June 16. This new franchise looks to be potentially a groundbreaking hit as a unique 3D fighter that seems to remind people of several different franchises that have held a lasting place in the gaming annals.

One of the most appealing aspects of ARMS is the unique characters, and all that they bring to the game. The interchangeable weapons sets, and how they are utilized by the characters individually will be very interesting to watch. I’m really excited to see how the full aesthetic comes together when the game comes even closer to release. Also knowing that this game is being developed by a veteran team makes it even more exciting to await.

So, as the game makes its way through the process of reveal, discovery, then release, many people have taken different approaches to their excitement or even anticipation. I always approach things with the understanding that everyone has their own personal prerogative when it comes to games. As far as what they like, don’t like, or are indifferent toward is/should be completely up to them. One person’s genuine excitement definitely should not be influenced by any other person. That’s why I believe it is okay for some people to wonder about new titles, but it’s not necessarily okay to adversely influence  anyone based on bias or personal preference.

When we were initially introduced to ARMS through a simple trailer, I was immediately intrigued by the game and saw the potential of yet another exciting franchise that could do what Splatoon did as a new Intellectual Property, thus expanding the company’s already solid portfolio of amazing IP. This game is certainly shaping up to be full of that Nintendo charm, and I am definitely looking forward to its release, and how well it is received when it is finally presented to the masses.

I was remarking a while back that much of the appeal of a lot of the brands of the past during the decades of the 80s and 90s was their connection to characters. Many of the most popular brands had “mascots” or characters that represented them, so recognition went much further than just a logo or a slogan. Those character sold  many items during those years. Characters were so powerful, they could actually cross-promote/endorse products without diminishing results. I point this out because the art of characters seems to be a lost form that could be making a comeback. I embrace that sentiment with a lot of hope, at least. And it appears that ARMS will rely on the strength of the new characters that will populate the game.

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The introduction of the new character, Min Min, marks the sixth official character so far, and each one of them has their own uniqueness. In fact, some enterprising fans noticed what appear to be 4 more unannounced characters, so it will be interesting to watch as they are introduced, along with potentially any others after that. Bottom line, Nintendo has yet another potentially explosive new game franchise on their hands, and I look forward to putting in some serious hours “gettin’ good”!

Which character is your favorite, so far? Will you look to master one main character or all of them? How excited are you about ARMS, at this point?

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

The April 12th Nintendo Direct

c9pwjhpvoaexbnmAnnounced two days in advance, Nintendo aired their newest Nintendo Direct presentation on Wednesday evening, and it primarily focused on two upcoming Nintendo Switch titles. When it was shared via Twitter, we were told that the focus would indeed be on Splatoon 2 and ARMS, which are both due to release very soon, as Spring and Summer games. It was also shared that along with the Nintendo Switch, there was also to be Nintendo 3DS game coverage, as well.

This Nintendo Direct was fantastic, and full of details on many things known and unknown. From some smaller titles to highly anticipated titles due out through the remainder of the year, we were treated to a great variety of game experiences on the horizon (and even a couple things right away).

So as there were so many specific details throughout the entire Nintendo Direct, I will talk more on highlights and some of the points that stood out to me. In the meanwhile, below is the full video of the Nintendo Direct, in case you were unable to watch before.

The Nintendo Direct started out with the Nintendo 3DS and I really enjoyed the pace of the new information, as the details came across in more of a news feed/report with a lot to share in a small space of time. A lot of great content coming to the system throughout the rest of the year, too, so Nintendo 3DS owners have a lot to look forward to.

Some of the titles that stood out to me the most during the Nintendo 3DS portion were Hey! Pikmin due out July 28 alongside accompanying Pikmin amiibo, Miitopia set to launch in North America later this year, and then there is Team Kirby Clash Deluxe which actually is free-to-start and available right away, following the presentation.

Along with the Pikmin amiibo, a few other amiibo sets were mentioned/announced, as well. June 23 will see the release of three new Legend of Zelda series amiibo, depicting Link from the Majora’s Mask era, Twilight Princess era, and Skyward Sword era. Also, the final three remaining amiibo from the Super Smash Bros. set (as previously announced) will become available on July 21, as well as a new set of Splatoon 2-themed amiibo (Inkling Boy, Inkling Girl, and Inkling Squid form).

c9pur5ju0aaojnhFor the Nintendo Switch, the company did not hold back much in the way of forthcoming content, and that’s fantastic for the brand new console. A steady stream of new games to play, and experiences to be had, have been promised to Nintendo Switch owners since the days, week, and even months leading to its release on March 3. Now, that promise is being held by the company is a major way. Over the next few months, there will be quite a few titles releasing for the console and they all vary in genre, and should appeal to most any taste of gamer out there looking for some seriously fun gaming.

From the introduction of the new characterc9pqo2vvwaaies Min Min from ARMS, to new details in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, to the new mode coming to Splatoon 2, called Salmon Run, there are gems for everyone. We know that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe launches on April 28, in just a couple of weeks, but then Minecraft fans have something to look forward to on May 11. Shortly after that, Ultra Street Fighter 2: The Final Challengers is set to release on the 26th of May. We were finally able to get the release dates on both ARMS and Splatoon 2, June 16, and July 21, respectively.

 

 

c9psrhdumaaqldmIt was fantastic to see so much information packed into a wonderfully paced Nintendo Direct, and aside from the fact that I really enjoyed it, especially knowing that we had not really had one of this nature in quite some time, it was refreshing, to say the least. I will, however, give my additional thoughts in an upcoming post, so be on the lookout for that soon. Until then, tell me what you liked best about the Nintendo Direct.

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

Nintendo Begins Promoting For ARMS

Nintendo has begun to promote their new IP and potentially next big hit game, ARMS. This new game is slated for a Spring release, and it appears that release is coming very quickly. Today is the start of Vernal Equinox (Spring) and so what better time to begin the campaign to promote this game than today!

From the very first time I saw ARMS, I was very excited about its potential and impending release on the Nintendo Switch. With a unique array of characters, various weapon sets, and dynamic game play, this game could be as intensive as many other multiplayer experiences from Nintendo.

Since this is a new Intellectual Property from the company, it’s imperative for them to ensure players become familiarized with the characters because each one has their own uniqueness. For the past 30+ years Nintendo has created a lasting video game culture that has centered around iconic characters, and ARMS is going to be no exception as we begin getting to know some of the characters that will populate the game.

Much like the start of the immense hit, Splatoon, Nintendo is making it possible to embrace just a little of the game’s charm, initially. These first five characters are the same ones that we knew about following the reveal of the game. Now, we are finding out a little more in-depth information on them. What’s more is one of the “concerns” I heard following the game’s initial reveal was the idea that the number of playable characters may be too small. It was always pretty evident that there would be more characters than these initial five, but apparently not for everyone. Now, there is no doubt following the confirmation from Nintendo via Twitter.

Get an in-depth look at some of the characters coming to #ARMS, as well as their unique moves!

What was your initial impression of ARMS? Are you excited about the game, yet? Do you plan on picking up the game when it is released? Which is your favorite character, so far?

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

Let’s Talk About These Games…Launch and Beyond!

The Nintendo Switch Presentation has finally come and gone, and Nintendo’s newest home console that can be taken on-the-go appears to be massively popular and an amazing piece of hardware. For a little more detail on the hardware, feel free to check my previous post. For some time now, Nintendo has reiterated that the most important factor in the success of any hardware’s viability is its software offerings, both at launch and ongoing. For that reason, Nintendo has put several actions into place to ensure the Nintendo Switch has a robust software library throughout the entire first year, regardless of the additional support from various developers outside the company.

One of the most advantageous things about Nintendo as a hardware maker is the fact that they are also a software developer/publisher, as well. With several internal studios, and long-standing partnerships, Nintendo is positioned to deliver a massive amount of gaming experiences for the new console. Already sharing during the Nintendo Switch Presentation that there are more than 80 titles in the works for the console currently, there will surely be an abundance of different games coming to the system in a very short period of time.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Prepare for the biggest Legend of Zelda adventure yet, with an open-air style that breaks new boundaries while honoring the origins of the acclaimed series. Explore a world of unprecedented size and discover more than 100 puzzle-filled Shrines of Trials, plus a wide variety of weapons, outfits and gear. Players won’t want to stop playing, and they won’t have to since Nintendo Switch allows them to continue the adventure anywhere, anytime.

1-2-Switch: This is the first Nintendo video game in which players compete in fun activities while staring into each other’s eyes instead of at the TV screen. From Wild West gunslinging to copying each other’s dance moves, the games in 1-2-Switch make creative use of a broad variety of Nintendo Switch features to liven up parties with anyone, anywhere, at any time. 1-2-Switch will be available alongside the Nintendo Switch system on its launch day in March.

ARMS: Featuring a unique multiplayer fighting sport that lets players trade blows using extendable arms, this game includes elements of both boxing and shooting games, plus a new cast of characters. After customizing a character with a variety of arms, the player holds one Joy-Con in each hand and throws left and right punches at the opponent. Characters can jump and dash, and players can bend their punches by twisting their hands as they swing. As players learn the game and improve their skills, they will discover a deeper level of advanced tactics. Players can compete against the computer, against a friend on a split screen using a second set of Joy-Con (sold separately), against worldwide rivals online, or with two Nintendo Switch systems over a local wireless connection. ARMS will be available this Spring.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: With Nintendo Switch, fans can enjoy the definitive version of Mario Kart 8 anywhere, anytime, even with up to eight friends in local wireless multiplayer. All your favorite tracks and characters return from the Wii U version, plus all DLC tracks and characters, and new characters join the roster, too: Inkling Girl and Inkling Boy from Splatoon, as well as King Boo, Dry Bones and Bowser Jr.! Plus, Battle mode has been revamped and includes Balloon Battle and Bob-omb Blast, with new courses such as Urchin Underpass and Battle Stadium, and returning ones like GCN Luigi’s Mansion and SNES Battle Course 1. Players can now carry two items at a time, including new items returning from previous Mario Kart games such as Boo (the item-stealing ghost) and the Feather, which gives players a high jump in Battle mode. Players can even choose to use a new Smart Steering feature, which makes driving and staying on the track easy for novice players and kids, even at 200cc. Play in TV mode in up to 1080p. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe launches in April.

Splatoon 2: Traditional 4-on-4 turf battles return in this full sequel to the original breakout hit game, along with new stages, new fashions and new weapons such as the two-handed Splat Dualies. Players can compete on the TV or on the go. Whether they use the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller (sold separately) or Joy-Con, players can aim their ink using gyro controls. Splatoon 2 supports both local and online multiplayer matches. The game will also support voice chat using the new Nintendo Switch smart device app (a free, limited version of the app will be available this summer), and will add new stages, fashions and weapons after launch, as the original game did. Splatoon 2 is scheduled to launch this summer.

Super Mario Odyssey: This is the first sandbox game that allows Mario to fully explore his world since Super Mario 64 on Nintendo 64 and Super Mario Sunshine on Nintendo GameCube. Mario jumps out of the Mushroom Kingdom and embarks on a journey through mysterious new places and new experiences, such as sailing between worlds aboard an airship and the ability to throw Mario’s cap. Super Mario Odyssey is scheduled to launch during the 2017 holiday season.

Snipperclips – Cut it out, together!: In this creative new kind of Action-Puzzle game, players communicate, cooperate and use their imaginations to solve basic and advanced puzzles by cutting paper characters into new shapes. People can play solo or with a friend in the main game, then bring in a bigger group to solve up to four-player dynamic puzzles or compete in other activities. Snipperclips – Cut it out, together! will release in March exclusively in Nintendo eShop.

A few other games nintendo-switch-launch-lineupwere shown off, during
the presentation, as well. Games like Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Fire Emblem Warriors, Super Bomberman R, Puyo Puyo Tetris, and Sonic Mania to name a few. Aside from these games, several others were confirmed shortly after the conclusion of the presentation, they were just not featured during the event. Nintendo of America President, Reggie Fils-Aime also confirmed during a follow-up interview that even more games will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

After the Nintendo Switch Presentation on Thursday evening, the Nintendo Treehouse Live event showed some in-depth footage and gameplay of many of the above titles, making the case for the Nintendo Switch launch lineup. The best part of the matter is also the fact that there are still more games yet to be announced that will be coming soon to the console.

So now, let’s get into some of the chatter that has been generated since the reveal and confirmation of the some of the games that are coming to the Nintendo Switch in its first several weeks and months. As we currently know, the launch day offerings on the new console are the greatly anticipated The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Bomberman R, 1 2 Switch, Just Dance 2017, and Skylanders: Imaginators. One thing that seems to go through cycles in the gaming community’s consciousness is the fact that one detriment to the unquestionable fact that Nintendo has some the most powerful IP in the industry. The company can release a new iteration of one of their games, and it will enjoy an historic release without question (see Fire Emblem, Mario Kart, Pokémon, etc.). For that reason, a launch game like BotW is truly considered a “system-seller”, and doesn’t need a lot of other games muddying the waters, so to speak.To then have very interesting games following shortly thereafter, allows the launch games room to breathe, and also give the earliest of adopters the chance to continue to expand their fledgling libraries. I think one of the things that gets over-exaggerated in the gaming-sphere is the idea of “system-sellers”. Watching a particular video earlier detailing impressions of the Nintendo Switch after hands-on time with the system, the thought was expressed that a certain game was not going to be a system-seller. The critique was not that the game was not fun, or would not be enjoyable, just that it would not be a system-seller! Since when does every game have to fit into that category? That would be the equivalent of a film critic simply stating that a particular movie would not win an Oscar as Feature of the Year. That statement bears zero relevance as to whether the movie is a good movie, let alone whether a game is good or not.

Ultimately, Nintendo is in the business of putting smiles on the faces of everyone they contact. That is literally the company’s mission! They do that by creating different experiences through their various iconic Intellectual Property. The main pillar of business for the company, for the past few decades, is video games, of course. Putting smiles on the faces of new and old gamers, alike, is exactly what the company intends to do with the Nintendo Switch. Their aim is not to impress people by boasting about the technical specifications of the system. Despite the fact that the Nintendo Switch is indeed an incredible feat of engineering, which will allow players to experience the best of gaming either at home or on-the-go, the company’s message is focused squarely on the amount of fun that gamers will have. That is why several hands-on events took place immediately after the Nintendo Switch Presentation, as well as going forward in the coming weeks leading up to the release of the console on March 3.

Which games are you most anticipating for the Nintendo Switch? Do you “worry” about the number of announced games at launch for the system? Will you be getting the Nintendo Switch at launch?

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


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