It’s a-him! Marrr-io! You know, that lovable little Italian stereotype that a Japanese company built an industry on? As you may have heard, Nintendo has a new system kicking around called the Switch.
When the Mario+Rabbids: Kingdom Battle poster leaked earlier in the year, most fans weren’t excited. Many thought that, if it was real, it would be a minigame compilation featuring one of the most beloved characters in the world of video games and, well, the Rabbids. Sure, Mario has done these things before, most notably with his former adversary turned sports buddy in the Mario and Sonic series.
Nintendo may have an upcoming announcement in regards to their Mario & Luigi RPG series.
Generally speaking, it’s exciting when a new Nintendo game is released featuring the name Mario in the title.
Fans of mobile gaming will be happy to hear that Nintendo has designs to launch a steady stream of mobile games in the years to come.
On this week’s movieless episode of the Pixels and Ink podcast brought to you by CGMagazine, we are without Phil. In his absense, former co-host Jordan Biordi joins us to talk game sales, analytics, and music, while Cody talks his experience playing realMyst.
The Nintendo Switch Presentation was a bit of a mixed bag. While fans were left wanting in the way of proper details, there was a lot of information on features for the console. However, raw power isn’t everything, and where Nintendo really shined was in what matters most: the games. In case you missed it, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of all the Switch games Nintendo announced, and some you may have missed.
For the past two console generations, Nintendo has been very good at providing tech demos as playable party games. 1,2 Switch looks to be the Switch’s version of that: a party game where the focus is to look into your opponents eyes, as opposed to the TV screen. Games such as Wild West style showdowns or copying your opponents dance moves, 1,2 Switch will ultimately show off the functionality of the Switch, as well as potentially liven up a party.
A second entry in the Switch’s tech-demo party games, ARMS looks to combine boxing and shooting games as players launch extendable arms at each other using a combination of movement controls with the Joy-Cons, as well as buttons for jumping and dodging. It almost looks like Nintendo’s attempt at a “hero shooter” with a unique art-style, distinct characters and a focus on multiplayer only arena battles. While no official release date has been given, Arms is currently set for a Spring release.
Initially shown off in the Switch’s reveal trailer, Splatoon 2 looks to take the fun, fast-paced gameplay of it’s predecessor and deliver more adding new stages, outfits and weapons. The game also looks to be adding new features like dodge-rolling and leaping melee attacks, as well as refining current functions to better suit it to the Switch. Unlike it’s predecessor which had a paired down 1v1 multiplayer, Splatoon 2 will feature proper local between Switch consoles and voice chat through a smart device app (a potentially bold move). No release date has been given, but Splatoon 2 is set for a summer launch.
Super Mario Odyssey
Another game briefly shown in the Switch’s reveal trailer, Mario is back in his first open sandbox-style game since Mario Sunshine. Leaping out of the Mushroom Kingdom into strange lands (and some familiar looking ones) Super Mario Odyseey looks to be Mario’s biggest adventure yet. The newest feature seems to be Mario’s hat, which is apparently sentient and which Mario can throw for attacks or to get boosted jumps. No release date was given for Super Mario Odyssey, however it’s listed for a holiday 2017 release.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
When Mario Kart was shown in the Switch’s reveal trailer, I had guessed Nintendo was working on a new one, since subtle details like King Boo and two item slots seemed to differentiate it from a remake of Mario Kart 8. While this is not the case, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is set to be the “definitive version” of the game for Switch owners, not only including all the DLC, but also adding new characters like the Inkling boy and girl, the aforementioned King Boo, Dry Bones and Bowser Jr; new items like the item stealing Boo and Feather; and a revamped battle mode including proper stadium-style courses. No official release date has been given, although Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is set for April.
Nintendo also debuted the newest entry in the Xenoblade franchise, simply titled Xenoblade 2. While not much was shown in the way of gameplay, Xenoblade 2 looks to be taking a simpler, anime-style character aesthetic and returning to a setting more grounded in fantasy than sci-fi. The immense scope of the previous entries seems to remain in-tact with massive, sprawling worlds populated with gargantuan xenoforms. Xenoblade 2 currently has no release date.
Project Octopath Traveller
Very little was shown of this strange and beautiful RPG from Square Enix. Project Octopath Traveller (which I’m guessing is a working title) looks to be a 16-bit turn-based RPG, but also a side-scroller, but also gorgeously designed with detailed environments and atmospheric enhancements. With no other details, and no release date we will have to anxiously await this strange new title.
However not all the reveals had much in the way of proper details. A trailer for a new Shin Megami Tensei game boasted a Unity 4 engine and simply showed a collection of demons standing around. Suda 51 took to the stage to announce an unnamed No More Heroes project in development for the Switch; Koei Tecmo released a small trailer for their upcoming Fire Emblem Warriors game that was nothing more than a collection of notable weapons from the series, and Square also announced that Dragon Quest X and XI would be releasing on the Switch, as well as Dragon Quest Warriors 1 and 2.
But the list of games currently in development for the Switch is inspiring with Yoshiaki Koizumi boasting over 80 games in the works. A closing trailer for the Switch showed titles like Minecraft, Minecraft Story Mode, Skylanders: Imaginators, Lego City Undercover, Rayman Legends, Dragonball Z: Xenoverse 2, (what looked like) Farming Simulator, what looks like Disgaea, I am Setsuna, Ultra Street Fighter 2, Super Bomberman R, Puyo Puyo x Tetris, Steep, Fast Racing Neo, and Just Dance 2017.
With developers like From Software confirming Dark Souls 3 for Switch and Ubisoft’s supposed Mario/Rabbids RPG crossover, the Switch may not only be a competitive system on it’s price and usability, but based on what we’ve seen today, it could boast an incredibly impressive library to match.
Super Mario Run, Nintendo’s first official mobile game, was released only yesterday, but the company’s shares have already suffered from a significant drop since the title’s launch.
Sky News reports that Nintendo’s shares dropped by 5% on the 15th December, knocking approximately $2 billion dollars off of their market value in Tokyo today. Partner DeNA Co., the company which helped Nintendo develop the title, also took a hit, with a reported drop in shares of 6.8 percent.
This is despite the fact that Super Mario Run is already the highest grossing app in 14 countries, and the top download on the App Store in 68, according to SensorTower. The game was made available on IOS devices across the globe yesterday, and early reviews have been largely positive.
While the initial three levels of Super Mario Run are available for anyone to try out for free, unlocking the full game costs $9.99, which may explain the lack of confidence from Nintendo’s shareholders. The title is also unavailable for Android devices, and requires users to be constantly connected to the internet in order to play.
The game’s official page on the App Store is currently replete with one star user reviews, largely complaining about the unexpected paywall required to unlock the remaining 21 levels.
Speaking to MCV, Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad explained that “The upfront cost is something rarely seen in mobile games today that are targeting a large player base, as Nintendo clearly is through the promotions on the app store and use of their most popular mascot. The spending cap is certainly being seen as an obstacle stopping Nintendo from generating revenues as high as Pokémon Go back in July.”
It remains to be seen whether enough players are willing to invest in Super Mario Run’s uncharacteristically high asking price, but this recent news certainly doesn’t bode too well for Nintendo’s first foray into mobile gaming.
Nintendo is partnering with Mojang and Microsoft to bring the beloved world of the Super Mario series to Minecraft Wii U Edition.
“Damn, Mario! Back at it again with the 8-bit Vans!” is what the kids will say when they see Nintendo and Vans’ collaborative shoe line.
The second Nintendo Direct since the passing of Satoru Iwata showed a strong push for Nintendo, promising a strong summer lineup.
Showcased for the WiiU was further gameplay for Starfox Zero, was well as an official April 22
release date. Not only that, but a spin-off game (originally showcased at E3 2014) titled StarFox: Guard where players will set up 12 cameras to find and defeat enemies who are attacking the mining site of Slippy Toad’s uncle, Grippy Toad. The game includes about 100 stages, but players can also create their own stages by editing the placement of enemies and uploading their levels online.
Along with updates to Super Mario Maker, and Splatoon, Shin Megami Tensai’s Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE (which I officially couldn’t care less about now) as well as Lost Reavers coming to WiiU, the biggest announcement for WiiU was Paper Mario: Color Splash. Looking very similar to Sticker Star the game looks to blend gameplay elements from Sticker Star with a new color-based and painting mechanics. Being one of the few defenders of Sticker Star, I’ll be reserving judgments of gameplay, but I must say Paper Mario looks incredible in HD.
For the 3DS, Nintendo is rolling out a new Kirby game: Kirby: Planet Robobot which has Kirby piloting a giant mech. Enough said. Along side Planet Robobot will be an official line of Kirby amiibos, so anyone who missed a chance to get a Meta-Knight can lament no more!
Nintendo also showed off more gameplay for the much loathed Metroid Prime: Federation Force, as well as Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation the third entry to the Fates story. Nintendo also showed gameplay for Bravely Second, Hyrule Legends and rolled out Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past which is being remade from the ground up for the 3DS.
The biggest reveal for the 3DS was Monster Hunter: Generations which looks just as good as the latest Monster Hunter offerings on 3DS, as well as showing off some interesting new features. Also being added to the 3DS is the inclusion of SNES games to the 3DS eShop, and while some may lament buying many of the games they already have for a third time, it would be pretty cool to play Earthbound on the bus, so sign me up!
Overall, this looks to be a promising summer for Nintendo.
It is always interesting to see how games you thought amazing really sold on the open market place.