Tag Archives: Nintendo

I’ve blagged myself a SNES mini and I can’t bloody wait to play it

When Nintendo announced the SNES mini last week – or to give it its full, hellishly cumbersome name, the Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System – I think I actually did a little whoop of excitement. How very un-British of me – I hope noone else in The Manor heard it.

I wasn’t too bothered about the NES mini, which came out last year and immediately sold out everywhere. Many of those old 8-bit games are barely playable today, and I’d already finished a fair chunk of the 30 games it came with. But a SNES mini is a different prospect altogether. Those 16-bit games still tend to hold up well, and the pixel art looks just as good today as it did back then. In fact, SNES graphics have aged far better than the muddy, low-poly visuals of the 32-bit generation that followed.

But the thing that had me desperately searching the internet for somewhere to preorder the bugger was the announcement that Star Fox 2 would be bundled with the SNES mini. It marks the first time that this game has been officially released anywhere, despite it being practically finished 20-odd years ago. Star Fox 2 was even on my wishlist for the Nintendo Switch, ahead of its official reveal. I had to have it.

But alas, preorders on the Amazon, GAME and Nintendo sites sold out in a matter of minutes – by the time I found out about them, they were all gone. Oh unhappy day! Thankfully though, @scully1888 came to my rescue by tweeting that preorders had gone up on Argos’s site, so I zoomed over there immediately, desperate to avoid missing out again. It seems like everyone else on the internet had the same idea though – the site kept crashing as I tried to check out, apparently because so many people were trying to order the SNES mini at the same time.

After my third attempt to check out, I tried a different tactic – I downloaded the Argos app and tried ordering through there instead. And lo and behold, it worked first time! I refused to let myself believe it at first, but then the confirmation email came through – yep, I’m definitely going to receive a SNES mini come 29th September.

Get in.

Star Fox 2 may be the main draw for me, but there are plenty of other reasons why I’m so excited about this tiny console. First up, just look at it. It’s so wee! Bless its little cotton socks. I just want to hug it.

Those curvy lines mark it out as one of the best-looking consoles of all time, a real design classic. I’m just grateful that the European market got the curvy version with primary coloured buttons, as the American purple boxy SNES is, in my opinion, something of an abomination.

Second, there are some awesome games included – just look at this list:

  • Contra III: The Alien Wars
  • Donkey Kong Country
  • EarthBound
  • Final Fantasy III
  • F-Zero
  • Kirby Super Star
  • Kirby’s Dream Course
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  • Mega Man X
  • Secret of Mana
  • Star Fox
  • Star Fox 2
  • Street Fighter 2 Turbo: Hyper Fighting
  • Super Castlevania 4
  • Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts
  • Super Mario Kart
  • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
  • Super Mario World
  • Super Metroid
  • Super Punch-Out!!
  • Yoshi’s Island

What a line-up!

I completed many of these back in the day, including Super Metroid, Super Mario World, Zelda III, Contra III (or Super Probotector as it was known over here) and Donkey Kong Country. They’re amazing games, but I doubt I’ll end up playing through them all again for the simple reason that I’ve already finished them. Likewise, I’m not a big fan of Kirby games, so I doubt I’ll be playing through those. I’m not too bothered about EarthBound either: I’ve played the first couple of hours of the Wii U virtual console version, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I would have absolutely loved it if I’d played it when I was a kid, but it’s less relevant to me now. I had the same feeling about reading The Catcher in the Rye at age 25.

BUT! I can’t wait to get struck into Secret of Mana – I bought the iOS version a while back, but it was almost unplayable because of the fiddly virtual controls, so I gave up on it fairly quickly. I can’t wait to play it again in the format it was designed for. Super Mario RPG is another one I’m really excited about, as it was never released in Europe. It came out on the Wii U virtual console recently, but it’ll be great to play it on an old-school SNES pad. And then there’s Yoshi’s Island – I borrowed my sister’s copy of this years ago and got about halfway through, but then some game-breaking bug caused it to crash and wipe my save game – the first (and only) time that’s ever happened to me on a SNES game. The bit I played was fantastic though, so I can’t wait to go back and finish it.

Super Castlevania IV is also up there on my ‘must play’ list – the Baron has got me all excited about going back and playing through the older Castlevania games thanks to his ongoing rundown of the classics, and I never played the Super NES installment first time around. It’s meant to be pretty good, too.

Third – and finally – the entrance of the SNES mini into my household could also signal the return of multiplayer gaming. I don’t tend to play online, and almost all of my games are single player – but with two controllers packed in and copies of Street Fighter II and Super Mario Kart tucked away in its innards, I can see the whole family gathered around the SNES mini for some retro grudge matches come Christmas. I recently played Street Fighter II against Ian in a local games cafe, and it was just as good as I remember. Indeed, I found it a lot more fun that the later installments – there’s something to be said for its simplicity, and hence its low barrier to entry.

And Mario Kart? Well there’s your 70-quid’s worth right there. I’ll see you in the Battle Arena.

6 Comments

Filed under Opinions

Celica arrived!

Well, my Celica amiibo actually arrived about a week ago, but what with all the hoo-ha about E3, I’ve not thought to mention it until now. Take a look, she’s a beaut:


In fact, I think this is the best looking Fire Emblem amiibo yet. Even better, she doesn’t have creepy eyes.


I’m aiming to collect all of the Fire Emblem amiibos, but tracking down Corrin has proved tricky – pre-orders are already sold out everywhere. Hopefully come July I’ll manage to pick one up…

2 Comments

Filed under Amiibos

5 memorable bits from E3 2017

As Lucius mentioned, I sort of already went over the games I was happiest to see at this year’s E3, so I thought instead for my end of E3 post I would put together a short list of my favorite E3 bits instead. In no particular order:

  • The new info on Super Mario Odyssey really won me over. I hadn’t stopped to think about it, but people had noticed that all the costumes shown in the game are actually taken from Mario’s cameos from other games, including the Mexican outfit from Qix and the explorer outfit from Mario’s Picross. (Nintendo Life has a nice summary video if you’re interested.) I love game references like these, so I got a big kick out of this. Can we also be expecting doctor and referee outfits for Mario? ūüėČ
  • As Lucius posted, the Amiibo line shows no signs of slowing down, and I’m as excited about the squishy Metroid Amiibo as everyone else; somehow it seems even cooler than the yarn Yoshi Amiibo, although I’m at a complete loss as to why that should be (and probably shouldn’t overanalyze it, haha). I like that Nintendo keeps experimenting with new and fun things to keep the line feeling fresh (even if their actual in-game usage is still fairly ho-hum overall).
  • GoNintendo posted a video about two touching moments that happened during the Ubisoft press conference, where basically Davide Soliani, the director of the newly revealed¬†Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle¬† and Michel Ancel, the director of Beyond Good and Evil 2, got¬†a little emotional as their games were revealed. I’m right with GoNintendo’s RawmeatCowboy that this was worth noting and applauding even though it wasn’t planned at all. It’s all too easy for the overly vocal and demanding (i.e. whiny and immature) people on the Internet to criticize all the hard work that goes into creating any video game, but seeing these developers’ passion for their projects up close and at a big event like E3 is a great reminder that behind all the stupid hype, corporate crap, and focus on sales numbers and Metacritic scores are individual humans who are artists as much as game developers and who deserve our admiration and respect.
  • Also from the Ubisoft presentation was the announcement of Starlink: Battle for Atlas, a game that is entering the video game toy market with customisable ships. I definitely don’t need more toys to clutter my life, but seeing these little ships completely reminded me of the Transformers I had as a kid, and I was hit with a distinct burst of nostalgia. I’ll be keeping my eye on this game to see what how it ends up, and I may even get tempted into picking up a couple…
  • The 3DS has been inundated with puzzle games, so I’m not sure I’m going to be rushing to get Sushi Striker: The Way of the Sushido when it releases next year, but I love wacky games in general and the art style looks great. It’s being developed by indieszero, known for their work on the NES Remix games, so it should be a solid game, despite looking too much like Puzzles & Dragons.

A pretty good E3 all around, and the rest of 2017 is looking pretty good for gaming as well. Now I just have to find the time to play all of these games…

Leave a comment

Filed under E3, E3 2017

All of the amiibo announced at E3 2017

Well, Nintendo certainly went all out on the amiibo announcements at this year’s E3. Here’s a look at what delightful plastic figures we can expect over the next few months, starting off with the ones that everyone’s getting most excited about…

Metroid amiibo

Oh yeah, now we’re talking. Nintendo announced two amiibos to tie in with the release of the Metroid II remake, Metroid: Samus Returns. But the thing that’s got everyone excited is that the Metroid is SQUISHY. Yes, it doesn’t take much to get amiibo fans all hot under the collar. Both are due on 15 September 2017.

Fire Emblem amiibo

Next! Chrom and Tiki are on their way to accompany the release of Fire Emblem Warriors:

Chrom’s odd asymmetrical trouser look seems to be really prominent here – he’s a queer fish when it comes to sartorial matters. He’s gone for an odd choice of pose, too – I’m fairly sure that’s not the right way to hold a sword. For Tiki, they seem to have gone with her original look from Mystery of the Emblem rather than the updated style in Awakening and Heroes – all very 80s anime. At first I wasn’t sure about it, but the look is gradually growing on me.

For the base, they’re gone for the same style as the recently released Alm and Celica, and no doubt we’ll be seeing a whole host of other Fire Emblem amiibo in due course. Can’t wait! Neither of these has a release date, but we can expect them at the same time Fire Emblem Warriors is released in the autumn.

Zelda amiibo

I have to say, the detail on these ones is stunning. These four new Zelda amiibo – the Goron champion Daruk, the Rito champion Revali, the Zora champion Mipha and the Gerudo champion Urbosa – are being released to tie in with the second DLC pack for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. All look pretty amazing, and no doubt will be extremely hard to get hold of – especially considering that the original Breath of the Wild amiibo have sold out pretty much everywhere (I’m still trying to get hold of ‘trouser Zelda’ for a reasonable price – scalpers are charging upwards of ¬£30-50 online).

A few people have already commented on Urbosa’s awkwardly placed support strut – it’s certainly the most X-rated amiibo we’ve seen so far. There’s no official release date for these yet, but expect them in around December, when the DLC drops.

Mario wedding amiibo

These three are to tie in with Super Mario Odyssey, in which Bowser becomes a pimp in New Donk City. Probably.

Considering what a bonkers game Odyssey is turning out to be, it’s somewhat fitting that we have some suitably weird amiibo to accompany it, with two rival grooms competing for the affection of a somewhat worried looking bride. I probably won’t get these ones myself – collecting the Fire Emblem and Zelda amiibos is enough of a strain on my wallet as it is – but I’m very glad they exist. All are due out on 27 October 2017.

More Mario amiibo

Along with the fancy wedding amiibos, these two rather more pedestrian amiibos were announced for the Super Mario range: Goomba and Koopa Troopa. Nothing too exciting to see here, but a couple to keep an eye out for if you’re planning to complete the Super Mario set. Personally, I’ve avoided the Mario set, as they all look rather plain compared to the fantastic detail on the Fire Emblem characters and Smash Bros. characters like Shulk and Ganondorf.

Although of course I had to make an exception for Toad. I mean, who doesn’t love Toad?

Bye for now!

6 Comments

Filed under Amiibos, E3, E3 2017

My E3 cheers and boos so far

Well, the first day of Nintendo Christmas has come and gone, and as usual there were some disappointments, but overall this has been a solid E3 for Nintendo fans so far.odyssy

First off, the cheers:

  • There have been two big 180s for me in the past two days. The first was Super Mario Odyssey, which I haven’t been that excited about as I’ve mentioned before. But the ability to possess objects and enemies immediately opens up tons of gameplay possibilities, and the examples they showed (a Bullet Bill, a dinosaur, and even inanimate objects like springy posts you can use to catapult yourself) already make the game feel like a ton of fun. The exploration also looks more fun than the previous, more mission-based Mario games.
  • The second 180 for me was Mario + Rabbids. The game was leaked awhile back, and it sounded pretty iffy. I like the anarchic Rabbids in general, but I wasn’t looking forward to even more Mario & Luigi type RPGs. It turns out the game is actually in the vein of the XCOM games, which I haven’t really played, but looks like a great change of pace. The Rabbids humor looks like it’s meshing really well with the Mushroom Kingdom, and although it’s disappointing there only seem to be 8 characters (Mario, Luigi,¬†Peach, and Yoshi and their Rabbids counterparts) it looks like Ubisoft has successfully captured the feel of the Mario games, which is great to see.
  • The remake of Metroid II looks fantastic. It’s a tad bit disappointing it’s not a new entry, but the remake of the original¬†Metroid (i.e.¬†Metroid Zero) was great, so I have high expectations for this remake as well. Developer MercurySteam has worked on plenty of Castlevania games, and from the footage they’ve shown it looks like they’re doing a great job.

fewrrs

As for the boos, they’re actually not really boos, but more like mild crotchety complaints from an old geezer rather than big thumbs down. They are:

  • At the top of my list, just because I’m so hyped for the game in general, it was great to see more of¬†Fire Emblem Warriors, but I was really disappointed that they only showed footage of swordfighters. This makes sense from a game standpoint since they’re showing the beginning of the game and it probably eases the players into all the general Warriors¬†mechanics before diving deeper into the more-complex, FE Warriors specific¬†mechanics, but this has the upshot of making the game look like a generic Warriors game. The developers reassured the audience that the game will feature plenty of characters, and many types other than swordfighters, but would it have killed them to show at least one mage or pegasus rider? I just hope they’re saving these reveals for the other days. We have a strong hint that Tiki, a dragon, is playable in the game as they revealed an Amiibo for her, and it would’ve been awesome to have seen some footage of her.
  • I’m kind of annoyed at announcements of games that are just “this game is being developed” with zero info. In Nintendo’s case there were two big reveals that were just that: Metroid Prime 4 and a mainline Pokemon game for Switch. I can understand why companies want to build the hype for projects that will take a long time to be released, but even a bit of concept art or, well, basically anything, would be better than just a completely bare announcement.
  • I’m fine with there being new Yoshi and Kirby games, except that I feel like Yoshi’s Woolly World was just released (it was released two years ago and its 3DS version was released just this past February), and I feel like Kirby has had plenty of games released (perhaps too many) in the past few years. To be fair, it’s been a while since a regular console Kirby game has been released, though. (Kirby and the Rainbow Curse was also released in 2015 but had unique mechanics, whereas the more-traditional platformer¬†Kirby’s Return to Dream Land was released in 2011 on Wii.)¬†It’s disappointing that there are so many other great Nintendo IPs that continue to be neglected, like the Wario platformer series.
  • Lastly, Nintendo announced even more Amiibo than I was expecting, with at least a couple to accompany pretty much every new game they showed off, and they all look great. The downside… having to decide which ones I really have to have. Collecting just the Fire Emblem Amiibo is already hurting my wallet and my desk and shelf space, so this is just a personal twinge of regret rather than anything bad about the announcements themselves.

So that’s my brain dump for E3 so far. Two more days to go!

6 Comments

Filed under E3, E3 2017

E3 2017: 5 new and exciting things from the Nintendo Spotlight

At a svelte 30 minutes, Nintendo’s E3 presentation was far shorter than its rivals – but it packed a few truly stunning reveals into its relatively slim running time. The low points were undoubtedly Reggie Fils-Aime’s interminable ramblings, where he stirred in metaphor after metaphor and ended up producing a truly inedible word soup.

“The game is fun. The game is a battle. If it’s not fun, why bother? If it’s not a battle, where’s the fun?”

Oooookay Reggie, I sort of see where you’re going…

“It’s a test that you pass, or a quest that you fail. A race against time. Fun and battle always locked together. But the game is also something else. It’s a passport to new worlds. Maybe even an odyssey.”

Nope, sorry, you lost me.

Anyway, onto the games. (Or battles?)


#5 Pokemon on Switch

Tsunekazu Ishihara from The Pokemon Company looked up from his notepad for long enough to tell us that a new Pokemon game is on its way for the Switch – and that was pretty much it. It’s exciting news, but all we know is that it’s in development and that “it may not release for more than a year”.


#4 Xenoblade Chronicles 2

We knew that this game was coming, but now we finally get to see a bit more of it in action. My first impressions were a little lukewarm compared to the reveal of the previous two games. The first Xenoblade Chronicles had the unique gimmick of taking place on two enormous giants, and X had giant robot suits and dinosaurs to dazzle the eye, whereas XC2 looks like it treads more traditional JRPG territory by comparison. BUT, with all the flying ships whizzing about, it has a strong Skies of Arcadia vibe – and that’s a very good thing indeed. The slightly ropey English voiceover may take some getting used to though. Apparently it’s still set for ‘Winter 2017’, although I will take that with a pinch of salt – both previous games slipped quite considerably.


#3 Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

We already saw this game at Ubisoft’s conference, but it’s worth highlighting here because – against all expectations – it looks like something utterly amazing. Basically, it’s Mario does XCOM, a sentence I never thought I’d ever write. As a huge fan of the XCOM games, I’m intrigued to see how this plays – and it looks pretty funny, too. Man, XCOM with a sense of humour – we live in interesting times…


#2 Super Mario Odyssey

This game looks seriously bonkers. And that is a very good thing indeed. The big change is that Mario can possess enemies by flinging his cap at them, which immediately brings to mind the underrated N64 classic Space Station Silicon Valley. It opens up all sorts of avenues for explorative gameplay, and from this first extended look, it seems Odyssey could very well beat Super Mario 3D World in terms of sheer imagination. The variety of environments is impressive – the design team has really gone for broke on this one. And Mario possesses a FLIPPIN’ T. REX AT THE END. Mental.


#1 Metroid Prime 4

In the end it was just a title, but it was enough. METROID PRIME 4. Three words that have sent the Twittersphere into absolute meltdown. Ten years after the last Metroid Prime game, and following the tepid reception to Other M and Federation Force, Nintendo has finally listened to the fans and given them what they wanted. And – bombshell upon bombshell – MP4 wasn’t even the only Metroid game Nintendo announced.


Those are my highlights, but we also saw glimpses of new Kirby and Yoshi games – neither set my world alight, although they’re sure to please fans of the series. The other big news was that Rocket League is coming to Switch – and already people who own the game on other systems are talking about getting the Switch version as well, just for the portability. It seems that Nintendo really hit on something that people love when they came up with the Switch, and judging by the strong games line-up in their presentation, the company has a rosy year ahead.

4 Comments

Filed under E3, E3 2017

OH MY GOD IT’S A METROID BONANZA

I… I don’t even have the words…

First there was this little bombshell, dropped in Nintendo’s Spotlight presentation:


No release date, no gameplay footage, just a title. IT’S HAPPENING.

METROID PRIME 4 IS HAPPENING.

And if that wasn’t exciting enough, this stunning news was revealed shortly after the Spotlight ended:


Yep, there’s a new 2D Metroid game on the way as well! Specifically, Metroid: Samus Returns, a remake of Metroid II.
And if THAT wasn’t enough, we’re also going to be treated to these lovely amiibo:


And yes, that Metroid is squishy.

Oh happy day!

We prayed to the Nintendo gods for a Metroid game, and they gave us two. Truly, we are blessed.

5 Comments

Filed under E3, E3 2017