Our exclusive editorials about the 3DS and its games, as well as Nintendo as a whole.
As you may know, the Mario franchise is no stranger to controversy. Oh sure, the platformers and party esque spinoffs tend to be lighter in tone and it’s probable the new movie will follow suit, but outside of the mainstream there’s some pretty messed up stuff. Stuff like:
A comic where Wario teams up with movie monsters to destroy a bunch of Nintendo characters, and where Mario becomes the world’s most evil looking version of Van Helsing to take them down.
Mario & Luigi Partners in Time in general, with its peaceful setting annihilated by murderous aliens (at Christmas!)
Dimentio’s plans to destroy all worlds by backstabbing everyone and killing them mid cutscene
As well as things like these amusing ‘fact’ cards featuring Mario and co partaking in real world topics. Like say, learning about Hitler and the Holocaust:
But it turns out even then, there may be something even weirder in the Mario franchise’s past. Something that makes even the likes of Partners in Time and Super Paper Mario look like Yoshi’s Story. Something which if published today, would get the attention of every moral guardian on the planet in short order.
That my friends, is Shitamachi Ninjō Gekijō. Haven’t heard of it? Well that’s because a Nintendo licensed ‘magazine’ released on the Satellaview, an obscure Japan only add on for the SNES. But what’s notable about this product isn’t its obscurity. It’s the fact it’s probably the only example of a Mario work featuring ‘sexual’ content.
Yup. We’re not joking.
This is an official Mario product where Mario catches Peach and Toad getting it on, beats the crap out of the former to the point of killing her and goes for a smoke afterwards. That’s kind of the setup here. How much ridiculously ‘lewd’ seeming jokes can we make about Mario characters?
It’s like the sort of thing you may expect on some random internet comedy site. Or maybe a dark version of Robot Chicken.
Of course, this being the early 90s and the product having a production budget of roughly £5, it’s all done with Mario plush toys in a setup that looks absolutely laughable by today’s standards (and which probably wasn’t particularly entertaining back then either).
But hey, it existed at some point. Nintendo really did license out the Mario brand to someone willing to make sex and tobacco jokes with it.
And given it was at the same time as the video game violence controversies in the US, it’s almost kind of ironic in a certain sense too. Who knew that at the same time that Nintendo was railing against Sega and Mortal Kombat, they were releasing comedy games with Mario characters in sexual situations, tobacco usage and domestic violence? Do as we say, not as we do?
Ah well. Guess no one is 100% consistent, especially not in business.
However, what do you think about the whole deal? Do you find it ‘interesting’ that this is an official product? How could it have been received if it was released in the US around that time?
Post your thoughts here in the comments or over at Gaming Latest today!
Shitamachi Ninjō Gekijō (Super Mario Wiki)
As you know from previous articles on Gaming Reinvented, there are quite a few interesting places you can reach with glitches in Zelda Breath of the Wild. You can go underneath the Yiga Clan Hideout, and skip the whole thing. End up inside the base of Hyrule Castle, or even running around on the final arena’s ceiling.
Heck, there’s even a giant void of randomness outside the Trial of the Sword! For anyone skilled in bomb clipping glitches (or with a good cheating device handy), Hyrule offers plenty of uncharted territory just ripe for exploring.
But with the introduction of the Champion’s Ballad DLC, another very interesting area has opened up to us too. Namely, the ‘secret rooms’ outside of the Ruvo Korbah shrine.
You see, like every other Test of Strength shrine in the game, the Ruvo Korbah shrine contains various rooms and passageways outside of the normal playing area. That’s because like said areas, it’s presumably been built using a generic shrine room as a base, with the actual playing field suspended above it as a development shortcut.
However, because said shrine isn’t a typical Test of Strength (instead being a ‘Major Test of Strength +’ situation), it actually contains even more intriguing secrets than normal.
Like for instance, this pool of water found under much of the floor. It’s not an escapable area and it doesn’t really lead you anywhere, but it does seem to be entirely pointless given the structure of the level around it. I mean, this isn’t straight underneath the floor for the ice effect. Nor are there any pools the player should be swimming in anywhere in the level.
So, there’s no reason for this pit to exist. Yet somehow it does, and in a structure so convolutely complicated it makes you wonder just what Nintendo was thinking here.
After all, right next to that pool of water is another one round the edges of the room. Like with the small one, this has no obvious escape point (or connection to the surface layout), yet it still seems to exist about 50 feet below the surface of the area.
And that’s not all that’s down there either. Oh no, as it turns out, there’s another layer of water just underneath the concrete floor too. However, this one does lead to various areas just outside of the waters, as well as this ominous gap near the back wall of the shrine:
What’s down there?
Well believe it or not, ANOTHER gigantic room you never usually explore in normal gameplay. This one has something interesting by the back wall though.
Namely, an area where Link just drops dead for no apparent reason. What’s more, he doesn’t just fade out and respawn at the entrance either, he respawns straight on this random death barrier and gets stuck in an endless death loop. This means that anyone who goes here literally cannot do anything close the game via the home button, since the cycle gives you no opportunity to even bring up the inventory or map screen.
A couple of days ago, a very interesting bug was found in Super Mario Odyssey. Located in the Snow Kingdom, this glitch lets players break out of the main room next to the race track, and end up exploring the track itself on foot. Here’s a video showing it in action:
So what’s out there anyway? What’s beyond the wall in Shiveria?
Well. Quicksand for some reason. Yep, all that snow on the side of the racetrack actually acts like quicksand when Mario stands on it. Why? Not sure really. I guess Nintendo thought it’d be a quick way to slow players down if they went off track?
Maybe, though it still doesn’t make much sense when you think about it. The Shiverian you Capture in this kingdom doesn’t sink into the quicksand, and they’re not controlled in many areas outside of the race track to begin with. Wouldn’t it make more sense to set up a new object that only slows them down in the race and doesn’t require special coding to avoid having the player die mid race?
Eh, who knows. Either way, the use of quicksand is hardly the only interesting quirk you can find out here. Oh no, another one which defies explanation is the whole death barrier set up for the area in general.
Because if you try and have Mario walk around the track, he dies in seemingly random spots for no apparent reason. Like with the quicksand, there’s no logic behind these; they don’t do anything in the actual race.
So why are they there? Why have a kill zone about 10 metres after the start line and another one about ten metres to the North West of it?
It just doesn’t make any sense. The player will never normally reach this area, and if they do there’s no harm in them exploring it. Again, a weird coding decision on Nintendo’s part, and one that doesn’t seem to help anything in-game.
Still, it does give a possible hint towards the game’s development. Why?
Because from what we can tell, it’s far more difficult to reach the Iceburn Cup circuit in the level the same way. In most cases, Mario just dies before hitting solid ground, despite clearly being above it.
This implies that the death barriers around the courses may not have been in the initial plans for the level, and that at one-point Mario may have well have been meant to explore part of them by foot. Remember, games tend not to have solid ground outside of their boundaries, especially for areas the player immediately gets booted out of in normal gameplay (like here in the races). Similarly, they also tend to block off areas the player isn’t supposed to reach with failsafes like instant kill zones.
The fact Nintendo did not do this here speaks volumes about the game’s plans.
As do some of the weird collision objects you can encounter in the crowds. For instance, you see that flagpole over there to the right?
Well for some odd reason, it actually adds like a wall and a short ledge you can stand on. Like, a ledge that goes up to about one fifth of the pole’s height.
And that makes us wonder… is this area’s design another late change? Because it almost seems like a winner’s podium or raised crowd box was meant to be over there, not a giant flagpole you seemingly can’t fly or do anything else.
So check out the videos of the glitch online, try it for yourself and show us what you find in this area. Because despite appearances, it’s clear there’s more to the Shiveria race tracks than meets the eye!
As everyone knows, 2017 has been a terrible year for YouTube. Channels are being wrecked by demonetisation schemes and ruined by content violation claims. Copyright and content ID bots have gone berserk, with even more channels being struck for content that clears fall under fair use laws. And well, as far as clicks and subscriptions go, it’s not good news there either. Basically, it’s a turbulent time for everyone on the platform, especially as the year draws to a close and bills need to be paid.
And this is even more true of the underdogs. The unknowns, the channels that need traffic to survive, yet find their work overshadowed by a dodgy algorithm and the push to celebrity culture and gossip.
So, to celebrate the new year (and bring more attention to them), we’ve created another list. Hence here it is. Here is our latest list of underrated gaming channels to check out in 2018!
Topic: Unusual Video Game Music Covers
Starting with the interesting music channel New Game Plus. Why interesting? Because they don’t just make any old video game cover. They’re not yet another channel doing rock or metal versions of familiar songs, or remixing said songs with standard instruments/
They’re the type of channel that tries to truly change how the songs feel, or see what interesting setups they can create based on them. For example, they turned Delfino Plaza’s upbeat main tune into something out of a horror movie:
As well as the Luigi’s Mansion theme into a peppy pop song you might hear on the radio:
It’s a really neat effect, and reminds me a lot of those parody ads that reframe the Shining as a happy go lucky family film (or Mary Poppins as a horror flick).
And while their back catalogue is hardly extensive, the other covers they’ve made are pretty neat none the less. So, if you’re after something a bit more quirky and experimental than the well-known remixers, check ‘em out.
Topic: Off Camera Exploration
Either way, onto the next one now. Namely, Slippy Slides, a channel which goes outside of the boundaries of various game worlds and shows you what’s going on there…
Wait, that sounds familiar doesn’t it?
Yep, Slippy Slides is basically in the same genre as Boundary Break. They do the exact same ‘explore outside of the world and see what’s happening beyond the camera view’ gimmick, to the point they’ve actually covered many of the same games.
But Slippy Slides isn’t a mere knock off here. Nope, while it’s covered some similar games to Boundary Break, it’s covered very different aspects of them. For example, note how their Resident Evil 4 episode focuses on objects like chests found outside of the world.
Whereas Shesez’s version focuses more on things like where the road goes or what details can be seen on the castle when it’s far into the distance. They’re different takes really, and give you a lot more insight into the game than any one channel could on its own.
Add to this how different their choices of games usually are (Shesez is more Nintendo focused, these guys are more PC game focused), or how clones generally become a genre after some point (see Doom Clones -> First Person Shooters for instance), and it feels like these two channels work really well together, and offer tons of value for anyone who wants to see what goes on behind the scenes in their favourite games.
Check them out!
Topic: Game Mods (and interviews)
Next up on our list, we have an interesting gaming channel that focuses on game mods and emulation. Named REGNR8 (and run by a guy called Jeremy King), it talks quite a bit about Zelda Breath of the Wild and the various mods made for it.
Like say, this one that makes all weapons unbreakable:
And this code to spawn anything in game anywhere you like:
But those are only the tip of the iceberg here. Why? Because REGNR8 also does something else that’s quite interesting too.
Namely, the nearest thing to actual journalism the modding scene seems to have nowadays. For instance, do you remember that Breath of the Wild online multiplayer mod? The one that turned out to be a hoax cause the ‘creator’ had merely mocked up the screens in Photoshop?
Yeah, we do too. We covered it on Gaming Reinvented. Either way though, REGNR8 was the channel that basically brought that hoax to light, since they went and did a full interview with the game’s ‘creator’ and asked point blank whether the mod was actually in development yet. It’s not much, but hey… it’s a going further than most did when the story broke out, and shows a ‘blogger’ doing some actual research rather than just copying information over from their competitors without questioning it.
So check ’em out. They’re great modders and journalists, and they definitely deserve more than the 1,973 subscribers they have at the moment.
Topic: Terrible Old Game Mockups
And that’s also very much true of the next channel on our list too. One which is actually one of the most intriguing channels we’ve ever covered here on Gaming Reinvented.
Because it’s completely different from anything we’ve ever seen on YouTube before. Namely, it’s a channel devoted to…
Mocking up non-existent 80s NES games based on the popular films of today.
Like say, this fictional platformer loosely based on the recent IT movie:
Or this resort simulator inspired by Rogue One:
In other words, it’s like imagining what LJN may have made in an alternative universe. A world where the films of the 2010s were adapted for the NES and SNES, with all the questionable design decisions that implies. It’s a fantastic concept, and definitely one to check out if you’re into retro gaming.
Last Friday, Nintendo released the Champion’s Ballad DLC for The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild. Based around Link exploring new shrines and conquering new challenges to find out about the Champions and their backstory from before the Calamity struck, the expansion is a complex affair, adding tons of new armour sets to find and things to do.
As a result, it’s quite easy to get stuck and struggle to progress in the expansion. Whether it’s finding the new armour, activating the extra shrines or clearing the new dungeon, every step is filled with little things that may make you struggle for whatever reason.
But that’s where we come in! Thanks to our handy new FAQ for the Champion’s Ballad DLC pack, we’ve answered all your questions about the DLC, as well as various questions you probably wouldn’t think of asking but may want to read about anyway. So, if you’re interested and want to find out how this whole thing works, keep reading!
Starting with a few answers to the more basic questions you may have about the game. These aren’t shrine or quest specific, but they should at least help with some overall queries you may have about the DLC or its quality as a whole, as well as the structure it uses.
Where do I get the expansion?
If you’ve bought the Expansion Pass, you get it by updating the game from the Switch menu.
Does the expansion need a new save file?
Does it take place after Ganon as a postgame?
Is it a prequel set hundreds of years in the past?
There are memories from back then, but the actual gameplay takes place in the present day.
Do you play as Zelda or the Champions?
No, just Link
And how do I actually start it?
Well, you’ll need to have beaten all four Divine Beasts first. Once you’ve done that, Zelda will send you a message saying you should head back to the Shrine of Resurrection and place the Sheikah Slate in the terminal. This makes the One Hit Obliterator appear, and the quest begins.
Wait, what’s the quest format here?
It’s basically a challenge on the Plateau, a bunch of shrine missions related to the champions and then the new dungeon promised earlier.
There’s a new dungeon?
Yes, and it comes with quite the interesting final boss too.
Oh, okay. What about the armour? Where can I get that?
From various chests found in the world. Our guide will list them soon.
How about the horse armour?
Same deal, they’ll be in the upcoming guide.
And what does the horse armour even do?
The Ancient Bridle gives your horse two extra stamina when equipped, and the Ancient Saddle lets you teleport your horse to you when you whistle, regardless of where in the world you are at the time.
So it’s like how Epona worked in past games?
How do the extra spurs work?
They’re added on top of your horse’s stamina, to a maximum of ten. So if your horse has five spurs naturally, then it’ll get two from the Bridle and three more if it eats an Endura Carrot.
It doesn’t work on Epona or the Giant Horse, since you can’t change their bridle or saddle.
Okay, makes sense. What effects does the armour have?
The following ones:
- Royal Guard Uniform: Decreases the amount of stamina used for any action. So swimming, climbing and spin attacking uses less stamina now.
- Phantom Ganon Armour: Increases the power of bone based weapons (like Dragonbone Clubs or Stalkoblin Arms), acts as a disguise to stop enemies attacking (like Majora’s Mask) and makes you stealthier.
- Ravio’s Hood: Increases sideways climbing speed
- Zant’s Helmet: Stops you from being frozen by ice attacks. Like the Thunder Helm, except for ice stuff.
- Island Lobster Shirt: Grants heat resistance, for desert exploration purposes.
Is any of it useful?
Well, Zant’s Helmet is a nice thing to have when exploring the Hebra region (since it means you don’t need to equip the whole Snowquill Set), the Royal Guard Uniform is a decent exploring kit (because it reduces stamina usage for actions) and the Phantom Ganon Armour has neat side effects, but they’re all pretty situational.
Can any of this armour be upgraded?
No. Annoying, I know, especially given how amiibo armour always seems to be upgradable. Hmm.
Can the armour be dyed?
No. Seems like any DLC or amiibo armour can’t be dyed for whatever reason.
What’s with the tall shrines?
They’re shrines exclusive to this expansion pack. That’s it, they don’t act any differently from any other shrine you may come across.
What’s the deal with the bike?
It’s called the Master Cycle Zero, and acts as a new means of transport in this expansion. If you want to know more about how it works (and don’t mind spoilers), read the spoiler questions below.
Will there be more DLC in future?
Maybe. There’s a special broadcast about the game coming on the 12th December, and with the Champion’s Ballad already out, it’s anyone’s guess to what exactly will be included in it.
Honestly, if I had to be the guessing type, I’d say we’re getting at least two more expansions for the game, since the total number of upgrades you can get is always two short of a full health bar and stamina wheel. Add how a non amiibo player will still be short of armour, how the term ‘Expansion Pass’ likely implies more than just two expansions and how most Zelda games take time to develop, and I can see Breath of the Wild getting regular updates for another year or so just to hold people off until the next big game.
However, the real answer is that we don’t know. Nothing has been said one way or the other yet.
Wait, you’re limited in how much armour you can hold?
Yeah, at 100 pieces. It’s the same reason you can permanently lose the Thunder Helm or Champion’s Shirt if your inventory is full (since it doesn’t expand to accommodate them, and NPC gifted armour has questionable ‘checks’ for validity.
Damn, that sucks. Still, can I at least get duplicates of the DLC armour if I lose it?
Yes, you can repurchase DLC armour from Grante in Tarrey Town. You can also buy at least one copy of each set there too, meaning you can now have multiple copies of any DLC armour you like.
Last but not least, should I actually buy the Expansion Pass? Is the Champion’s Ballad (or earlier Master Trials) expansion worth the price?
Honestly, it depends on how much you liked Breath of the Wild without the DLC.
Did you adore it and think the game was one of the best ever made?
If so, buy the Expansion Pass. Both packs are literally just more of what you liked the first time around, and both the new armour and additional shrines/challenges are as well designed as the stuff in the original game.
However, if you didn’t like it that much…
These expansions will not change your mind on the matter. They don’t revolutionise the gameplay, they don’t replace the whole story, they don’t add giant traditional Zelda dungeons to the overworld and the number of new enemies introduced is fairly minimal.
So that ends our first set of questions. If you want to avoid spoilers, stop reading now, since the ones below are all about specific issues people may have in the expansion. If not (or you’re just plain stuck in one of the new shrines or challenges), keep reading!