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‘Super Smash Bros.’: All you need to know

- April 9th, 2014

Nintendo promised they would have some big announcements regarding their fighting game franchise at Tuesday’s Direct Conference, and did they ever deliver.

The newest installments of Super Smash Bros., the company’s longest running and most beloved fighting game, will be released on the 3DS this summer, with the Wii U version being released closer to the holiday shopping period.

Host of the Smash Bros. direct and series creator Masahiro Sakurai also put to bed rumors that the 3DS version would be of lesser quality because of its platform. Instead, he announced, the main fighters would move at 60 frames per second (FPS), while assist characters would move at 30 FPS. The game, he added, would be available in full stereoscopic 3D, fully using the handheld device’s capability.

The only difference, Sakurai confirmed, would be the stages players can fight on. While some stages will be shared, like the average battle arena stage, they will look completely different depending on what Nintendo platform players choose.

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Sakurai put aside fears, however, that certain players, items, and specialty moves would only be available on one platform.

He assured the extremely large roster of first and secondary characters would be available on the 3DS and the Wii U, as well as the items players can grab mid-battle to fight with.

And what a roster it is this time around.

It’s been six years since the last Smash Bros. installment, Brawl, was released to appease “Smashers” requests. In that time, Nintendo has developed a hoard of brand spanking new characters that have all been added to the lineup.

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Shiek, Princess Zelda’s secret identity in the incredibly beloved Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time, Yoshi, and Zero Suit Samus from Metroid were the first round of unannounced characters to get their fair share of the spotlight during the conference.

It wasn’t until Sakurai bid his farewells and ended the hour and half long presentation, however, that the two massive character announcements were made.

Charizard, one of the most popular Pokemon from the first generation games, and Greninja, one of the more poplar characters introduced in the last generation of Pokemon, X and Y, have also been confirmed as playable fighters.

To go along with the increase in roster size, Sakurai introduced some of the new items Smashers would be able to use in battle.

Motion censor bombs, fire swords, ore swords, and back shields were just some of the new items on a list of many Sakurai revealed during the presentation.

Although Sakurai didn’t specifically mention the old generation items, Nintendo has never removed them from play before, and it’s a pretty safe bet to assume they’ll be in the upcoming titles.

The last announcement Nintendo had for fans was the inclusion of new gameplay options, branching out from the stagnant fighting arena formula they’ve relied on for so long.

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The two different modes -For Fun and For Glory- are only available to play online, and showcase the first time Nintendo has ever considered the game as a competitive title.

In the “For Fun” mode, players can fight with strangers of varying skill level and not have to worry about their losses directly affecting their online player scorecard.

In the “For Glory” mode, players will be teamed up with others of the same ranking and fight either in groups of four, or in one-on-one battles, that will directly affect their scorecard. The higher a player’s scorecard is, the faster and stronger their character becomes, giving them an overall advantage in the arena.

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Wii U arena example.

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3DS arena example.

To make sure the game stays fun, though, Sakurai confirmed Nintendo would be cracking down on cheating players and in doing so, will be implementing a temporary ban system.

Although there’s no concrete release date for either the 3DS or Wii U versions, my guess is that we can expect to see the 3DS title drop sometime in June, with the Wii U title dropping in late October, just in time for the holiday retail season.

Rainbow Road inclusion in ‘Mario Kart 8′ sends internet into frenzy

- April 5th, 2014

Something about the new Mario Kart game looks very familiar, and it’s got the internet all riled up.

That’s putting it lightly, too.

When Nintendo dropped the latest trailer for Mario Kart 8, the newest installment in the company’s popular racing game franchise, the nostalgia hunting twenty and thirty somethings couldn’t contain their excitement at the sight of classic Mario Kart N64 tracks.

Everything from Toad’s Turnpike to the infamous Rainbow Road have been completely revamped for the Wii U, and they are without question, stunning.

The added retro levels, just a part of the 32 level package, have been paired with recently introduced items, like the ability to parachute over enemies and barrel through opponents with Piranha Plants attached to the hood of the vehicles, in an attempt to blend the old with the new.

Which, if we’re honest, has always been a bit of an issue for Nintendo. Trying to find the perfect balance of new content while pandering to the traditional fans has been a rather complicated, unforeseen algorithm Nintendo may have just solved.

Gaming aficionados, floored by the design visuals, instantly began tweeting their joy, excited with the new direction Nintendo was headed in after months upon months of dismal announcements and strategies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are your thoughts on the newest Mario racing title? A last hope gimmick to bring back old fans, or a stoke of marketing genius?

Rethinking Zelda with Miyamoto

- June 18th, 2013

Link’s next starring role in The Legend of Zelda: Worst Cut and Paste Ever.

Skyrim, meet Hyrule. Hyrule, this is Skyrim.

Maybe it won’t exactly be a marriage of these two very different video game worlds. But to hear legendary Nintendo game designer and visionary Shigeru Miyamoto tell it, the upcoming Legend of Zelda adventure for the Wii U could see our evergreen hero Link exploring a land that’s much more open and free than anything he’s seen before.

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