Nintendo Shares Details on Mario Maker, New Legend of Zelda Games

On Friday, Nintendo game designers Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma appeared via video at The Game Awards in Las Vegas to share new details on Mario Maker and The Legend of Zelda for Wii U.

Mario Maker lets users create their own Mario levels. This includes the ability to tap the Wii U GamePad screen to change the look of a level design to those of previous Super Mario games, such as Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, and the New Super Mario Bros. U. Each style includes game mechanics unique to their respective games, and players can integrate these mechanics into designs for the various titles featured in the game. Mario Maker will launch next year, which marks the 30th anniversary of the original Super Mario Bros. game.

In the latest installment of The Legend of Zelda franchise, players can pinpoint locations on the map on the Wii U GamePad, which then appear as beacons in the game as navigation aids. Miyamoto and Aonuma shared information on Epona, Link’s horse, which in the new game avoids trees and obstacles, just as a real horse would do, leaving players free to use Link’s sword or shoot arrows.

Nintendo won four Game Awards on the night, including Developer of the Year, Best Fighting Game for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Best Sports/Racing Game for Mario Kart 8 and Best Family Game for Mario Kart 8. In other news, the company set a March 13 launch date for Code Name: S.T.E.A.M., which will have multiplayer mode that lets players compete against one another in local and online matches on their Nintendo 3DS.

Nintendo and Best Buy Team Up for Game Showcase Events

NintendoOn December 7, Nintendo and Best Buy will team up to provide hands-on game play featuring Captain Toad, Pikachu, and other iconic Nintendo characters. At select stores, shoppers can play four of Nintendo’s recent releases: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, for Wii U; Pokémon Art Academy, for Nintendo 3DS; and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. The four games are currently available in stores and in the Nintendo eShop.

The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time, and a full list of participating stores can be found at Best Buy’s web site. Visitors who play the demos become eligible to receive giveaways ranging from fun Pokémon items to in-store coupons, while supplies last. At the Best Buy store in Culver City, Calif., the Mario costumed character himself will pay a visit to take pictures with fans.

Clarity Ensues: Nintendo Introduces Crystal Red and Crystal Blue Nintendo 2DS Systems

Nintendo.Crystal2DSOn November 21, Nintendo will launch new Crystal Red and Crystal Blue Nintendo 2DS systems featuring a slick, semi-transparent design. The Crystal Red and Crystal Blue systems are launching alongside Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire, and the Nintendo 2DS is compatible with the Nintendo 3DS’ library of more than 3,000 games, including Super Smash Bros.

The system maintains many of the same hardware and connected features as Nintendo 3DS such as touch-screen controls, StreetPass, Miiverse, and online multiplayer functionality. The Nintendo 2DS is also backward compatible with the library of Nintendo DS games, and offers the ability to download games from the Nintendo eShop.

Launch Date Announced for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

SuperSmashBros.WiiUSuper Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS has reached cumulative sales of more than 2.8 million worldwide, following launches in the Americas, Europe, and Australia. To keep the momentum going, Nintendo has unveiled the launch date of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, which will arrive in North America on November 21.

In related news, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U will support amiibo, Nintendo’s new line of interactive figures, which will launch on the same day. The first wave of amiibo includes Mario, Peach, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Link, Fox, Samus, Wii Fit Trainer, Villager, Pikachu, Kirby, and Marth. The second wave launching in December includes Zelda, Diddy Kong, Luigi, Little Mac, Pit, and Captain Falcon.

Nintendo Doubles Down on Indie with IndieCade Showcase, Game Exhibit at EMP Museum

NintendoNintendo will highlight 15 playable independent games for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS at IndieCade Festival 2014, which kicks off today in Culver City, Calif., and runs through Sunday. Many of the “Nindies,” or Nintendo independent developers, will be present to demonstrate their artistic video game visions and share development experiences with festival attendees.

“These Nindie developers are currently making some of the most exciting and imaginative games out there, and Nintendo is pleased to offer them multiple platforms to bring their creative ideas to life,” said Steve Singer, Nintendo of America’s vice president of licensing.

Playable Wii U games at Nintendo’s IndieCade booth include Affordable Space Adventures, from KnapNok Games; The Fall, from Over the Moon Games; Costume Quest, from Midnight City; and more. Playable 3DS games include Woah Dave!, from Choice Provisions; and Xeodrifter, from Renegade Kid LLC. Games for both Wii U and 3DS include Shovel Knight from Yacht Club Games. [Read more...]

Nintendo and Super Smash Bros. Join The Tailgate Tour

NintendoNintendo is bringing Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS to top college football tailgate stops across the South and Midwest regions of the U.S. through the end of November. Before the games, fans from rival schools will be able to settle their differences by competing in Super Smash Bros. head-to-head matches.

Nintendo will be keeping score as fans compete, with a visual display indicating whether the home or away team has the edge. A demo version of the Wii U game will be used to pit fans of rival schools against one another, while the 3DS game will be focused on letting friends settle their scores.

The Tailgate Tour will make stops at the following games, with Mario and Luigi costumed characters attending the Florida-Georgia game to cheer on the Super Smash Bros. match-ups:

  • Oct. 4: LSU at Auburn
  • Oct. 11: Penn State at Michigan
  • Oct. 18: Georgia vs. Arkansas
  • Oct. 25: Alabama at Tennessee
  • Nov. 1: Florida vs. Georgia
  • Nov. 8: Alabama at LSU
  • Nov. 15: Florida State at Miami
  • Nov. 22: Louisville at Notre Dame
  • Nov. 29: Michigan at Ohio State

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS launches today, while the Wii U version launches this holiday season.

Skylanders Trap Team to Feature Special Gameplay Mode for Emperor Kaos

SkylandersTrapTeam.KaosModeActivision Publishing Inc. has announced a new game play mode in Skylanders Trap Team for Emperor Kaos, the villain of its Skylanders franchise. In Kaos Doom Challenge, players can battle through increasingly difficult waves of minions, build defensive towers, and utilize both Skylanders and trapped villains from their collections.

Kaos Doom Challenge will also feature the Mystery Box of Doom, which when opened, spits out gigantic villains.

The Skylanders Trap Team Starter Pack will be available October 5 in North America and October 10 in Europe for Nintendo’s Wii and Wii U systems; a variety of iPad, Kindle Fire, and Android tablets; Xbox One and Xbox 360 games; and the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 systems. A unique adventure also will be available on the Nintendo 3DS hand-held system.

Nintendo Announces Super Smash Bros., amiibo Release Dates

Amiibo-300x233Nintendo announced release dates for its massive lineup of new games and products for the 2014 holiday season. Among the release dates are the highly anticipated Super Smash Bros. for both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS consoles, as well as the new amiibo interactive figures.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS launches Oct. 3, with Super Smash Bros. for Wii U following during the holiday season. Consumers who register both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS versions of the games with Club Nintendo will receive the Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS & Wii U: Premium Sound Selection, a soundtrack CD packed with music taken from and inspired by the games.  Additionally, Nintendo revealed that Shulk from the Xenoblade Chronicles franchise will be a playable character on both consoles.

The first 12 amiibo interactive figures, Nintendo’s new foray into the toys-to-life play pattern, become available for pre-order today at a suggested retail price of $12.99 each. The first dozen characters available for pre-order at select retailers include Mario, Peach, Link, Samus, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Pikachu, Kirby, Fox, Marth, Villager, and Wii Fit Trainer. More figures will launch in the future. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U will be the first game with full integration of amiibo functionality. Other games that will support amiibo include Mario Kart 8, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Mario Party 10, and Yoshi’s Woolly World, with more to come. More details on amiibo functionality with the various games and a launch date will be revealed shortly.

COMMENTARY: These New Japanese Toys and Games Aren’t Just for Kids, Part 1

Phil.April18.2014.1I may not be the biggest aficionado of Japanese pop culture, but I do consider myself a fan, having devoured lots of manga and anime over the years. What I also appreciate are the toys: Japan has some of the most exquisitely-made action figures and giant robots ever made, and in their native land, these items are generally aimed at adults.

Now when it comes to toys and games, Japan has long enjoyed a healthy foothold in North America—think of all the Pokémon, Hello Kitty, and Power Rangers products that have made their way over. So far in 2014, that trend has continued, with several new properties either just launching or expected to launch soon. But these are Japanese imports, meaning they’re sophisticated enough for grown-ups, even if they look like they’re for kids. [Read more...]

Disney Magical World Is a Universe of Fun for 3DS

DisneyMagicalWorldLast Friday, Disney Magical World launched for the Nintendo 3DS system. Players create a personalized avatar and customized dream life, and then embark on a 3D fantasy adventure across a main central plaza, as well as four surrounding worlds inspired by Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, Aladdin, and Winnie the Pooh.

Along with interacting with iconic Disney characters, players can run a café to earn in-game coins, set off on ghost-hunting quests, and even visit friends’ towns via the StreetPass feature. Developed by Bandai Namco Studio Inc., Disney Magical World offers various opportunities for creativity and customization: With more than 1,000 items, players can hone design skills to create personalized Disney-themed outfits, accessories, and furniture. [Read more...]