Tag Archives: Mario Kart 8

#520 The Pickings from Wave 4 Amiibos

The newest wave of Amiibos are just around the corner, May 29th to be precise, and with that I have to evaluate which Amiibos are worth picking up.

I have done this with every Amiibos waves, from the first wave I was able to secure my Smash main plus a handful of others, I chose Princess Zelda from all of Wave 2, and I went on a bit of an adventures in the search for Mega Man and and the Golden Mario amiibo from Wave 3. Now with a month away I get to do the same thing this this batch,  this wave we have Wario, Charizard, Pac-man, Ness, Robin, and Lucina.

 I have to evaluate all the waves so I don't go out and buy all of them (there were so many times I picked up Sheik and Sonic for no other reasons besides just to have more amiibos)

I have to evaluate all the waves so I don’t go out and buy all of them (there were so many times I picked up Sheik and Sonic for no other reasons besides just to have more amiibos)

This time next month I am going to try my hardest to secure a Pac-man Amiibo for a variety of reasons: He is a video game veteran, I like his play style in Smash and he might be the first Amiibo after Star Fox that I will be leveling up to 50 in Smash. Before I watched the April Nintendo Direct the biggest purchasing point would have been that Pac-man, like Mega Man, would NEVER have any non-smash support from Nintendo. That was my plan until Nintendo casually mentioned  that both of these two 3rd party Smash champs will be getting their own Mii racing costumes with the next patch to Mario Kart 8.

I'm still not letting Mega Man out of his box until we get a Amiibo Supported Wii U or 3DS Mega Man game

I’m still not letting Mega Man out of his box until we get a Amiibo Supported Wii U or 3DS Mega Man game

Maybe my initial outlook on third party, and the less popular amiibos, being left out in the cold while Mario and his gang gets constant support for every future game might have been wrong. It could be quite possible that Nintendo does have a plan to bring non-smash support to every one of their amiibos, so far we have Fire Emblem support in Codename S.T.E.A.M and amiibo support for the other third party game, One Piece: Super Grand Battle X.

So there is some hope out there out there for constant across the board first and third party support for every amiibo on the market.

I don't count games like "Amiibo Touch & Play : Nintendo Classics Highlights" as a proper amiibo supported game, because just like the 'Masterpiece' feature in Super Smash Bros for the Wii U, it is only there to promote and sell other eshop games.

I don’t count games like “Amiibo Touch & Play : Nintendo Classics Highlights” as a proper amiibo supported game, because just like the ‘Masterpiece’ feature in Super Smash Bros for the Wii U, it is only there to promote and sell other eshop games.


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#510 Let’s hear it for the Nintendo Girls

It has been a big news week for Nintendo, with their announcement of going into the mobile gaming market, their hints at a new Nintendo Hardware device simply codenamed “NX”, and the launch of the Nintendo’s newest edition of Mario Party and their next wave of Amiibos, along with that one Walmart exclusive Golden Mario Variant. Out of everything I could talk about today, for this post I want to focus on a wonderful little critical Huffington Post blog post against Nintendo’s choice of celebrating their Women characters for Women’s History month.

This month Nintendo had decided to release a series of promotional art work of Nintendo’s take on the iconic Rosie the Riveter World War II posters with some of their leading ladies from their popular games. These posters stars: Rosalina, Nintendo’s newest princess,  Princess Zelda’s alter ego, Tetra, from their incredibly popular (and just recently released in HD) “Legend of Zelda Wind Waker game”, Samus Aran, one of the first female protagonist of the 8 bit era from the “Metroid” series, and Platinum Star’s own, and recent to the Nintendo family, Bayonetta from “Bayonetta 1 & 2”.

Samus is akin to Wonder Woman of the video game world. A independent woman that has been around since the beginning of the console lifespan

Samus is akin to Wonder Woman of the video game world. A independent woman that has been around since the beginning of the console lifespan and a trend setter in her own right.

The author comments on the lack of Princess Peach representation in these promotional posters, and I agree with her idea that Nintendo might have chosen not to go toward with her as one of the stars because of how often the Mushroom princess has been kidnapped in all of the Mario games.

The author does takes issue of how Tetra is kidnapped by Ganondorf and must be rescued by the hero of time, you, and once the plot reveals how this leader of a pirate gang is actually the reincarnation of the princess of Hyrule and wielder of the Triforce segment of Wisdom. She is prevented from leaving the underwater -and protected- Hyrule Castle, until Link rebuilds his missing piece of the triforce lest Ganondorf recaptures her and assemble the entire Triforce and gets his one wish of returning the land of Hyrule to it’s original state, destroying all the land and inhabitants that lives above the sea.

Then the author goes on and talks about how Bombette, from Paper Mario, and Toadette are “just pink versions of the male characters” forgetting that they are not pink characters of male characters but pink characters of their entire species.

Toadette's biggest characterist is because she a girl because she, and all other toads have no personalities . If I was to put on MY over thinking hat I would argue that the toads have no personalities because they are all no-name proletariats, there to only serve Princess Peach; the only member of the Bourgeois in the Mushroom kingdom

Toadette’s biggest characteristic is because she a girl because she, and all other toads, has no personalities . If I was to put on MY over thinking cap I would argue that the toads have no personalities because they are all no-name proletariats, there to only serve Princess Peach, the only member of the Bourgeois in the Mushroom kingdom

The author also mentions how ‘problematic’ Bayonetta, a character that has passed the Bechdel Test, is for having an uncomfortable levels sex appeal in her game. As someone who played through both of the Bayonetta games just last year, Bayonetta has always come across as someone is determined in her mission, never to be distracted by anything petty like men or shoes. She is sexy not because it is bad character aspect of her personality, but because she is so much in control of anything that heaven or Hell could throw at her that her sex appeal has become a luxury, using it to taunt her friends and foes.

She is so confident about herself she has achieved Self-actualization in Maslow's hierarchy of needs. She has reached her full potential, she is pursing it, and she does not care any anyone else thinks of her. She is having fun

Bayonetta is so confident about herself she has achieved Self-actualization in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. She has reached her full potential, she is pursuing it, and she does not care any anyone else thinks of her. She is having fun

The author of this Huffington Post closes with mentioning games with more powerful women characters, like Naughty Dog’s “Last of Us” and Ubisoft’s “Beyond Good and Evil” as a few other non-Nintendo games that have done women characters the right way.

From my own point of view, as a reader of the post and as an avid videogame player, this post smacks of looking a gift horse in the mouth. Out of all the video game companies out there, from Sony to Microsoft and Steam, Nintendo is the only one going out there and putting themselves on the line to celebrate women in the media. I do not see any other companies going out of their way to plan, make, and execute a promotional event for Women’s History month, but after the blow back from Nintendo I have an educated guess on why they might want to abstain from talking or mentioning politics with their female characters.


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#474 My Amiibo Wish

Christmas came this year and I am glad to write that the day was full of gifts, good spirits, holiday foods and of course a viewing of Lord of the Rings. Out of everything that Santa brought Amiibos versions of my brother and my main, Pikachu for me, Yoshi for one of my brother, and Kirby for my other brother.

Jump > Down+ B for days

Jump > Down+ B for days

I wrote about the Amiibo products before (Be MOP #459), and during that time o writing I was tempted to buy a one or two and I am glad I did not. Upon opening and inspecting, the figurine are quite impressive and stand alone statues, with a nice weight to it and and you could just was easily to use it just as a desk decoration but the Smash integration and customization is still the ‘system sell’ of these collectibles.

Smash my be the reason for the Amiibo’s creation, but I hope that this is the kickoff the renaissance of some of some of the other great Nintendo Intellectual Properties. Nintendo has announced that there will be an Amiibo for all the Smash characters, from Rosalina to Mega Man and Duck Hunt and more importantly Nintendo has also started making plans to integrate these Amiibos into other Nintendo games, beyond Smash.

As of right now we just have Mario Kart 8, Zelda Hyrule Warriors, and Smash as the three Wii U games that utilize the RFID feature. But these Amiibo’s still have a lot of potential for their future confirmed products, with the Open World main Zelda title, next proper Star Fox game, and the Wii U Kirby game.

Want.

Want.

Now With the commitment Nintendo has placed in creating, shipping and selling these Amiibo figures I hope this hints at a long term plan from Nintendo to bring back more of their other, non-confirmed, I.P like Metroid, F-Zero, Kid Icarus the Fire Emblem crew to the Wii U for their own games.

But more importantly I wish to see all future Amiibo supported games give full support to all 40+ characters,because while we all know that Mario, Link, and Kirby Amiibos will be used on all of the future Nintendo games, I want confirmation that in the future, if I ever buy the less popular Nintendo Amiibos characters, that I will be able to use them just as much as the Mario and Link amiibos and get just as much in-game value from it.

I understand that the third party characters (Mega Man and Pac-Man) might have some legal hassle for using their image in other Nintendo games, but that's no excuse for Nintendo's other First party characters 

I understand that the third party characters (Mega Man and Pac-Man) might have some legal hassle for using their image in other Nintendo games, but that’s no excuse for Nintendo’s other First party characters


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#465 A Response to “Should Nintendo Launch New Franchises Soon?”

The good people over at Gamemoir has asked a question about Nintendo and their Intellectual Property, wondering if the gaming company should make a new franchise to make them better appeal to a new generation of gamers who are hungry for a new batch of iconic characters. You can read to post in question HERE.

A day may come when I will stop blogging about Nintendo, but it is not this day.

A day may come when I will stop writing about Nintendo, but it is not this day.

To cut right to the point I highly doubt that Zelda, Mario or any other Nintendo properties will go stale anytime soon, whether it be this, the next generation or beyond that.

Nintendo has been very good at keeping these characters timeless with every installment of the game series, Most main series Mario platform games takes place in a modern age kingdom with no hint of modern technology from the real world. We see with the Zelda series the game’s most common setting is a fantasy medieval kingdom setting, with the common way of fighting was with swords, bows, and magic instead of guns and grenades.

Even with the two Gamecube oddities of  Super Mario Sunshine and Zelda Wind Waker, that  moved away from the traditional game setting, Nintendo made sure that both games to never introduce social or technological influences from the real world into their games that would allow them to be dated in anyway.

And I serectly allowed Nintendo to keep their characters purposely blank in character personality to allow everyone to imagine themselves as either the Hero of time or a Space Bounty Hunter

And Nintendo keeps their characters purposely blank in the personality department to allow everyone to imagine themselves as either the Hero of time or a Space Bounty Hunter

The funny thing is Nintendo is has been busy making new game franchises beyond the staple Mario/Zelda/Pokemon marketing triforce. In the N64 days we were given the first Super Smash bros game, with the Gamecube we witnessed the birth of the Animal Crossing series. The Wii console saw Nintendo’s big push of their Mii franchise with all of the games that incorporated your cartoonist avatar (List), and most recently we have seen the possible creation of the new Wii U franchise, Splatoon.

It is far too early to predict what is the future of this game.

It is far too early to predict what is the future of this game.

Even if Nintendo stopped creating new Intellectual Properties I would still believe that Nintendo’s classic characters would last for years to come, because Nintendo has almost cornered the market with local co-op games. With the recent Mario platformer games that allowed multiple players to play the game at the same time and it is obvious that all of the Mario Kart, Mario Party, and Super Smash games that were specifically designed to be played with multiple players in one room.

We saw this game play design work into the the 3DS, with the ability to connect to the internet the handheld constantly rewards you for running into 3DS gamers with the use of the Streetpass worked into most of their game.

We saw this game play design work into the the 3DS, with the ability to connect to the internet the handheld constantly rewards you for running into 3DS gamers with the use of the Streetpass worked into most of their game.

If Nintendo stay to course and continue to create quality games that allows a living room full of people to have fun at the same time, those experiences will be memorable to the young and old gamers alike and in turn those characters they played as will be an iconic part of their childhood, which creates a wonderful cycle of nostalgia for every new generation. We most of us picked up Super Mario 64 I doubt any of us were worried about how this was the same character that our parents played back in his debuted in 1985 on the NES.

It is the same reason why Superman, Batman and Spider-man are still considered iconic characters in the comic book world dispute the fact that the Man of Steel and the Caped Crusader all of them are pushing 75 and the Manhattan Webhead just celebrated his 50th anniversary.  None of those characters would be remembered or iconic if they did not have their company constantly push out quality stories in comic books, live action movies, or Saturday morning cartoons for a our parent’s and our entertainment.

spider_man_50_years

These fictional characters are older than most parents and some grandparents. 


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#459 My Swaying Stance on Buying Amiibos

This is a big day for Nintendo, for today marks the release of the long awaited Pokemon Hoenn remake, the latest installment of the Super Smash Bros series and their newest product line, Amiibos, hints the store shelves as well.

Amiibos has been the latest addition to what I am reluctant to say the newest trend in videogames market, physical collectible toys that also have an unlockable character or gameplay for a game, basically physical DLC. Skylanders were the trailblazers with this trend, Disney Infinity followed up next and now it is time for Nintendo to shine.

I will have some choice words about how some amiibos are sold at certain exclusive stores. Put that for a later time

I will have some choice words about how some amiibos are sold at certain exclusive stores. But that’s for another time

When I first saw Nintendo’s introduction video of Amiibos, I was against it scorned by the horror stories of the other games in the trend. Both Skylander and Disney Infinity does the terrible act of gating playable characters behind a paywall, which takes the form of toys. Say what you will about ARTS/MOBA games but at least you can earn every champion, with the option to buy the champion in question if you do want to go through the grind.

50$ start up and <$10 per champion for on disk content. No thank you.

50$ start up and <$10 per champion for on disk content. No thank you.

 

But after watching some of the newest Nintendo Direct and their plans for current and future Amiibo support, I have moved back onto the fence. The big push is with Super Smash bros, having the Amiibos act as customizable and upgradable friendly NPC fighters, in Mario Kart Amiibos unlocks special Mii racing outfits that your Miis can wear on the race tracks with the promise of Amiibos support for future games like, Hyrule Warriors, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, and Mario Party 10.

Comparing SKylanders to Amiibos, Nintendo offers a better investment than Disney or Skylander because those two only works with one game, and Amiibos has the promise/potential to work with  every big Nintendo game for the rest of the Wii U life cycle. It also might hint of more of Nintendo IP crossovers like we have seen with Smash and Mario Kart 8 DLC and this would also provide some incentive for Nintendo to start producing more Wii U games of older Intellectual properties, like Metroid and F-zero for example.

And nobody's objecting to getting another F-zero game.

And nobody’s objecting to getting another F-zero game.

 

Personally I am waiting for more Nintendo games to come out with full Amiibo compatibility before I buy any, making sure it is not just a One trick pony. If I do commit to a purchase I am probably going to just limit myself to buying one, and only one and stick with it for *Hopefully* all of the future Nintendo games. I probability buy my Amiibo version of my Smash main, once I finally figure out what is my new Smash main or possibly my old school favorite, Pikachu or Mario.


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#458 Pokemon The Trading Card game mini-review

Nintendo is continuing the attack on my Wallet with not only the launch of Mario Kart 8 DLC pack 1 with another eshop drop. With a 3DS port of Pokemon The Trading Card game for the GameBoy color with their Virtual Console series.

I have said it before, but I do not know if it is Nintendo and Pokemon have started putting proper effort in their marketing with this console generation or if it is just because I am old enough now to start paying attention and picking up in the companies tricks.

I doubt that it was a coincidence that this Virtual Console port was announced only a few days after the Mario Kart 8 DLC went live and a week before the next major Pokemon title gets released. As of right now the only way to buy the DLC is to purchase eShop gift cards in stores or added set amounts through the online store. So naturally instead of buying the ten dollar increment gift card to just cover the price of the MK8 dlc cost, I bought the 20$ gift card for both the DLC and this game.

Those evil, evil people at Nintendo

Those evil, evil people at Nintendo

I knew this was going to happen eventually, with Nintendo’s habit to re-release older games for their newer platform, it was eventually going to happen that I would see, and buy a virtual console game based purely on nostalgia. I remember playing the digital version of the Pokemon trading card game on my GameBoy Color but the kicker is that I could not remember if it was any good. I remember playing it and I remember an overall net positive experience but I could not tell you if it was because of the gameplay or because it had Pokemon in it.

I have only clocked in an hour or two of game play between buying the game and writing but I feel I have experienced enough to confidently write a mini-review on the game.

Upon replaying the game the entire experience feels a tad off from the usual Pokemon games and Pokemon spin offs. This Pokemon game takes place in Generation I, with no mention of Dark, Steel, or Fairy types in the game, and the plot is almost comical. The plot has the same overall plot of the classic pokemon game, you are a nameless kid that sets out to “ be the very best//Like no one ever was” by going around and challenging the eight club masters (gym leaders) to prove your worth. But something is lost when you are trying to be the best at a card game, after the main game had you do battle with ‘real’ monsters.

Insert Yugioh abridged children’s card game joke here

Besides that complaint the only other minor one I have is that the over world runs like a poor man’s Pokemon ROM hack, using the same assets but not quite getting everything right. I have no screenshots from my game but you can see from the official eShop trailer with the camera panning and how all the enemies that you still have to challenge constantly runs in place.

Although, for a GameBoy Color game, it is still impressive that they were able to cram the entire card game rules and mechanics into the game cartridge, while still adding the cards I used to have in my physical deck when played ages ago. After all these years I still remembered how to play the card game without the introduction tutorial  and the game was overall still fun, even if I was smacked by the RNG in a few matches even when I was fighting against the gyms when I was suppose to have a type advantage.

If you have the money it is a nice buy to bind you over for the lead up of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire’ release later this week. For now I, and I assume many other Pokemon fans, will have to settle for this fourteen year old edition of digital trading card game until Android users have the option to download and play Hearthstone, the more recent version of the Pokemon card game, or any other Pokemon games currently on the Apple app market.


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#450 My Growing Concerns with Nintendo’s DLC

Lately I have been watching and rewatching the recent Nintendo Direct Super Smash Bros. 50-Fact Extravaganza reliving the bombshells and more general hype excitement facts about the new standard features of the game and why it is the next best installment to the series.

The only thing I could once they got to "Fact 11: Ridley" was to laugh

The only thing I could once they got to “Fact 11: Ridley” was to laugh

Out of all of the 50+ facts two announcements caught me off guard: the announcement of a physical copy of the 2 CD -pack of some of the music tracks from both 3DS and Wii U games and the my favorite melee fighter, Mewtwo, will be returning as DLC. Both of which will be free to everyone people who buys and register both copies of Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U the 3DS.

This announcement does answer mine and everyone else’s question about Super Smash Bros. DLC and how Nintendo will handle the potential cannibalism of Smash sales when the company decided to make Smash cross-platform.
That business move is a success because I was not planning on buying the 3DS version of Smash until now, but the question I have hovering over my head is, is the move for locking rewards behind a the people who have bought both copies as an act of evil?

Currently it is an incredible value to be had if you buy both games, as of right now you get a free Mewtwo character, two CDs of music, the ability to transfer your data from one copy of the game to another, and with the game cartridge in your 3DS you can use your handheld as an extra controller for the Wii U. But something still feels off, if you were cynical you could easily call it holding off content for those who bought the deluxe edition of the game.

This gaming generation has marked a big chapter in Nintendo’s life, with the introduction of the 3DS and Wii U we have seen the introduction of free game demos, the growth of indie games on their platform, a big push for digital distribution and the birth of their own gaming forum, the Mii-verse which I am incredibly thankful for.

even if I do not post anything on Mii-verse I do find some entertainment scrolling through the one line posts and very creative drawings

even if I do not post anything on Mii-verse I do find some entertainment scrolling through the one line posts and very creative drawings

With all those beneficial features we also have seen the admittance of DLC on behalf of Nintendo with later content being added in New Super Mario Wii U, Mario Kart 8, Pokemon Mystery dungeon, and now Smash. If they did not already stress that Mewtwo is still in development I would be joining everyone else in saying that this is content hiding behind a paywall, it still might be the case depending on how necessary Mewtwo will be to online and competitive world.

With Mario Kart 8 we even seen in game advertisements DLC along with the option to place a preorder on both DLC packs and receive cosmetic bonuses for Yoshi and Shyguy.

2637198-wiiu_mk8_yoshiall_sm
I just do not know how feel about this, for right now I am going to say the same thing about Nintendo when I last talked about their dabble with DLC:

DLC is a very fickle and corruptible force. DLC can be used for good, adding new levels and characters that would not be able to be made before the developer deadline, but it can also be a power for the selfish purposes for the sake of the company’s bottom line rather than for the consumer, like hacking off content from a full price game or filling the DLC shop page full of superfluous content or skins. It is not that I do not trust Nintendo or worst, rooting for them to fail, but making DLC in this age requires a lot of self control on behalf of the company.

To all of the people online that would say not the worry about DLC because it is Nintendo, remember that we once thought that George Lucas could do no wrong with his movies. (Be MOP #423)

Right now, for New Super Mario Wii U, Mario Kart, and even Smash, the value of the DLC is a net positive towards the side of the players, but Nintendo is walking a very thin line and if they mess up with future DLC pack they could lose a potential DLC customer for life.


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