In Like a Lion…

supermarioodyssey_1987273Nintendo took to E3 2017 like a lion! Prior to the Nintendo Spotlight, which was followed by the Nintendo Treehouse Live, reports circulated about about the length of the presentation. Of course, these reports were met my some of the strangest reactions possible. In typical fashion, there were the usual complaints from this person or that, expounding on all of the “reasons” Nintendo was making a mistake, and already on the way to “losing” E3.

These sentiments, however, were wholly premature, as Nintendo absolutely showed off so much information on games that will be coming to the Nintendo Switch and a few to the Nintendo 3DS titles, as well. The Nintendo Spotlight was 25 minutes of packed details, and it was all about Nintendo Switch games coming very soon. Afterward, the Treehouse Live broadcast featured a few additional tidbits.

If you were unable to watch the Nintendo Spotlight, or would like to see it again, check it out below.

A few of the highlights from Day 1 include:

  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2 looks amazing and is due to release Holiday 2017
  • a brand new Kirby game is coming to the Nintendo Switch, due to release next year
  • a new core RPG Pokémon game is in development for Nintendo Switch, but may be more than a year out
  • Metroid Prime 4 is now in development for the Nintendo Switch
  • Yoshi is in development and due to be released next year
  • Fire Emblem Warriors is due to be released Fall 2017
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild DLC Expansion Pass Pack 1 is due to be released on June 30 and is called The Master Trials; and Pack 2 is due to be released in Holiday 2017, and called The Champions’ Ballad
  • Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle was shown off and is due to be released August 29
  • Rocket League was announced for Nintendo Switch and includes console exclusives, cross-network support, and in due to be released Holiday 2017
  • Super Mario Odyssey was packed with tons of surprising content, features amazing music and so many never-before-seen mechanics and abilities, and is due to be released on October 27

“Nintendo Switch provides everyone a ticket for a journey to new worlds and fun, exclusive experiences,” said Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime. “This journey continues through all of 2017 and beyond, and it’s one that video game fans of all types won’t want to miss.”

Nintendo's E3 2017 Show FloorDuring the Treehouse Live, Nintendo showed off several minutes of game play footage for the upcoming Metroid: The Return of Samus, a new 2D Metroid title for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems. This game is due to be released September 15. In addition, we were also treated to game play for the upcoming Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions, due to be released on October 6. Also, as many as 12 new amiibo were shown off, and should be available soon.

The Treehouse Live was then followed by the first of three phenomenal tournaments featuring different competitive titles from Nintendo. The Splatoon 2 World Inkling Invitational took place today, pitting 4 teams from around the world against each other in the new Splatoon 2 game that will be released July 21. The remaining 2 tournaments are today and tomorrow, Wednesday June 14 and Thursday, June 15, respectively.

Nintendo Treehouse: Live at E3 returns 10 a.m. PT on Wednesday. The day will include more live gameplay, game details and developer commentary, as well as two competitions. The 2017 Pokkén Tournament DX Invitational is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m., while the 2017 ARMS Open Invitational is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. PT.

There was just so much to like about Day 1 of Nintendo’s E3 showing, and it was just the first day. What else will they do?!

Which aspect of the day stood out most to you? Were you happy with what you saw? What was the biggest surprise of the day?

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


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Splatoon Players Could Win a Trip to E3

Some time ago, Nintendo partnered with the online competition site Battlefy. Now, that partnership is being used to create another means for players to engage with the company in one of the largest gaming events in the US, the Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) this year.

Nintendo of America President, Reggie Fils-Aime, has already been quoted as saying that Nintendo has some “big plans” for E3. Now, it appears there will be a competitive element attached to those plans, as the company will be hosting a Splatoon tournament, from which players will have the opportunity to compete and win a trip to E3 this year.

As E3 draws nearer, we will continue to see a lot of fantastic ways in which Nintendo will build upon the momentum that they have created for every aspect of their business, currently. Their most prevalent and exciting aspect at the moment is, of course, the Nintendo Switch, and that will be the main focus at E3, so I fully expect the on-site finals will feature the new Splatoon 2 which is due for release in the Summer!

Will you look to participate in the competition? Did you compete in the previous tournament?

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

Splatoon Showdown Series Coming in November

Nintendo has partnered with the eSports platform Battlefy, and they have set a series of online Splatoon tournaments for every weekend in November, called the Splatoon Showdown Series. This move seems to be yet another in the string of steps that Nintendo has made in their embracing of the eSports scene, especially when it comes to the smash-hit Splatoon.

Each weekend, the tournament will feature a different mode of competition, starting in the first weekend with Turf Wars. After that the modes will shift to Tower Control, Splat Zones, and finally Rainmaker. Nintendo has sponsored several Splatoon eSports tournaments over the last couple of years, and most have been overseas in Japan, but now we have the opportunity here in the states to participate.

I have actually never heard of Battlfy before, but this concept has such a natural feel to it, that I am flat-out excited about it, and the possibilities. For those who are unaware,

Battlefy is an eSports management tool focused on building infrastructure for tournament organizers.

One of the most intriguing things about this Series is the fact that participants can compete in the tournament and not all have to be in a single location. Obviously, players will definitely want to make sure their internet connections are solid, but boy the possibilities are endless. Imagine competing in a Nintendo-sanctioned tournament for prizes, and doing so comfortably from your home without the hassle of traveling to different venues. Amazing!

What are the possibilities you see in this partnership between Nintendo and Battlefy? Do you think you will compete in any of the tournaments? Have you ever participated in any other Battlfy tournaments? Had you ever heard of them before?

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


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Nintendo Made a Couple Over-Night Deliveries

Ok, as I was finally about to turn in and get some sleep this morning, what seemed to be shaping up to be a slow news night/morning immediately became a deluge of information. Even as I was contemplating punching out another post or two, there seemed to be no end to the information drop.

Miiverse UpdateNintendo has implemented the recently announced Miiverse redesign that quite a few people have found reasons to take issue with. I have found myself only waiting to see how it would all turn out. After checking it out for a few minutes in the wee-hours of the morning, I can say it has potential. The only drawback I can see is the 30-post limit because some of the gaming discussions I have had with Miiverse friends have gone quite far into the multiple post range. Not sure that 30 will be an issue, but in the end I hope it really isn’t.

The other big delivery was the news that on July 31, Super Smash Bros. will be getting aSmash Tourney Bracket huge update! Long-awaited features, such as tournament mode, are finally making their way to Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS. Along with Tournament Mode comes YouTube functionality that will allow players to directly upload replays (a la Mario Kart 8). There are also some paid DLC Mii Fighter costumes like King K. Rool, Chrom, and Smash hoodie sweatshirts with more to be revealed tomorrow. There will also be new stages to battle on, as well. We will be getting both Peach’s Castle and Hyrule Castle stages (N64 remakes), both of which are also paid DLC stages.

Are you excited about the new features for Super Smash Bros.? Will you be using Miiverse more for your gaming conversations since this new update?

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


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Why Were The Nintendo World Championships SO Important?!

Leading to the start of E3 2015, Nintendo announced their plans for the week of events, as they had done the year previous in a video created with the help of Mega64. And although, their plans were revealed, they remained rather cryptic with details for the return of the Nintendo World Championships after a 25-year hiatus.

In 1990, Nintendo hosted the Nintendo World Championships following a selection process that gained entrants from 29 cities across the United States. These events were each called City Championships. The World Championships event was a competition based around a collection of NES games on a custom cartridge of the same name. Players competed in 3 separate age groups (11 and below, 12-17, and 18 and above) over a 3 day period. The World Finals were held at Universal Studios Hollywood. The cartridge held 3 specially created minigames based on popular games for the competition. Contestants played Super Mario Bros., Rad Racer and Tetris with the objective of achieving the highest score based on a custom cumulative scoring system across all three games within the 6 minutes 21 seconds time limit.

With Nintendo’s announcement of a return of the Championship, many people were unaware of the previous iteration, due to age, and many others due to the lack of subsequent events. So a lot of fans were somewhat unsure how to react to the news. It was indeed a reason to be excited, however, as this new event would be held prior to the start of E3, and would be very accessible to viewers with the aid of Nintendo’s Twitch channel. The qualifying events were held at 8 separate Best Buy locations across the US on May 30, 2015. Contestants competed at these qualifiers playing for high scores in the Nintendo 3DS game, Ultimate NES Remix. Each of these 8 winners were then flown to the Championship event in Los Angeles on June 14, 2015 to compete against 8 select contestants that were hand-picked by Nintendo of America. The qualifying games were Splatoon (Wii U), The Legend of Zelda (NES), BlastBall [Metroid Prime: Federation Force (3DS)], Super Metroid (SNES), Mario Kart 8 (Wii U),Balloon Fight (NES), and Super Smash Bros. (Wii U). The final contest consisted of custom levels from the unreleased Super Mario Maker (Wii U).

John Numbers (John G.)

COSMO (Speedrunner)

Mad Mage (Michael S.)

Trihex (Speedrunner)

Arin (Game Grumps)

Sinister 1 (Speedrunner)

Packie (William H.)

Bananas (Speedrunner)

JKSNBLKSN (Jordan D.)

BSG4000 (Christopher B.)

Fernsig01 (Fernando T.)

Timzy88 (Tim H.)

Essentia (Speedrunner)

Jovenshire (Smosh Games)

MrBlarney (Michael Y.)

TheMexicanRunner (NES Completionist)

These 16 contestants battled it out until there were just the two finalists (John Numbers and Cosmo) left to compete in the 4 specially made stages from Super Mario Maker. The finalists put forth an amazing effort in Super Mario Maker where John Numbers was victorious. It was with that effort and the excitement that it generated among the crowd gathered inside the Nokia Theatre and those viewing online that made the NWC so important to Nintendo and gaming, as a whole.

The simple truth is the games and experiences that Nintendo creates are essential to the industry and their fans. The uniqueness of their products brings a completely different form of gaming to the market that is refreshing, to say the least. Games that were not “designed” for competitive play but for fun, are able to create a competitive experience simply because they are fun! Nintendo has not made any concrete declarations as to the future of the NWC, but it seems the consensus among viewers, fans and industry media types is the desire for more, and on a permanent basis.

“The Super Mario Maker climax ended Nintendo’s championships on a pitch-perfect retro note.” ~Gamesradar

The Nintendo World Championships should be “a staple at every E3…I was a part of Nintendo history. That’s where the magic is at.” ~Joshua Ovenshire–Smosh Games

Creating amazing experiences is what Nintendo does, and it’s what we ALL should hope they continue to do. For that reason, the Nintendo World Championships were so very important! That event was a wonderful display of what their games mean to so many, and it also was a crowning of the majestic positioning that is very possible for the company as long as they truly embrace that magic that is very evident to so many observers. It certainly appears that Nintendo is taking steps to do just that with the NWC, and many other things that they are doing (to be discussed at length later). In the end, they are creating an ecosphere that is unmatched and frankly has the potential to reinvigorate Nintendo’s image and standing in the industry as a whole.

So, were you able to watch the Nintendo World Championships? Did you enjoy them, as well? Do you agree with me about their importance?

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


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Change of Plans…

Last week I posted that Bill Trinen would be competing in the Evolution Championship Series (Evo), in the Super Smash Bros. for Wii U draw, but earlier today he expressed his change of plans.

This was something that I had an inclination would happen, after hearing of Mr. Satoru Iwata’s untimely passing. Bill Trinen and Iwata-sanKnowing that Iwata-san’s funeral services are the same day of the competition, it was only fitting that Mr. Trinen would be unable to compete at Evo at the same time. Our thoughts and prayers are with Iwata-san’s family, friends, colleagues and fans!

I was really looking forward to seeing Mr. Trinen compete at Evo, as well, but with all of the event of the past week in the World of Nintendo, there was nowhere else for him to be. Best wishes to you Bill. RIP Iwata-san! You are already missed, sir!

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

Nintendo Insider Looking to Take Down the Competition

In the world of competitive gaming, many genres are represented, from shooting games, to MOBAs, to fighting games, and more. One such competitive event  is The Evolution Championship Series, or EVO, which focuses solely on the fighting game genre. This tourney features several major fighting games such as Street Fighter, Super Smash Bros., Tekken, and Killer Instinct, just to name a few. This is usually a very exciting event, and extremely competitive, and this year promises to be just as fantastic, if not more.

This year’s event registration saw the entry into the fray of one of Nintendo of America’s key figures, Mr. Bill Trinen! Bill Trinen is the Senior Product Marketing Manager at Nintendo of America. He has been with the company since October 1998 and is an integral part of the Nintendo Treehouse, NOA’s in-house localization department. Bill studied Japanese in high school and college, where he majored in Japanese and minored in business. He also lived for a year in Tokyo, Japan studying translation along with other business-related subjects. When he returned to Seattle, WA he found himself answering a position listing for a translation contracting job with a software company, but initially believed he did not get the job because he had not heard back from the employer.

Shortly there after, Bill did hear back from someone within the company who informed him that they did not want him for that contracting job, but instead wanted to hire him outright at Nintendo. He started out working on translating in the debugging area for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo 64, eventually moving into localization. Somewhere along the way he was recruited to translate for one of the company executives who would be giving a keynote speech at the coming Game Developers Conference (GDC). The executive he would be translating for was none other than Mr. Shigeru Miyamoto. The rest, as they say, is history.

Within the secretive walls of the Nintendo Treehouse, in Redmond, WA, Bill is known as a pretty formidable Super Smash Bros. for Wii U player among the staff. Yoshi Battling Little Mac and Mega ManNow, Bill is putting his skills to the test on one of the biggest stages, against the best of the best competitors. It was exciting news to hear that Bill entered the tournament, and there was even question as to the validity of the registration. That question was quickly answered as it was verified by Bill Trinen, himself, that he had registered for the tournament.

It will be very interesting to see how things go for Bill, and all the other competitors, as well. Have you ever tuned in to watch Evo? Will you be watching this year? How do you think Bill will fare?

As always, gaming is all about having fun, so keep on gaming!


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