Nintendo Releases January 2017 Mini Nintendo Direct

It’s finally here! After days of online rumours, obviously Photoshopped mockups and tantalising social media posts, Nintendo has finally posted a Mini Nintendo Direct online. This time, it deals with various Nintendo Switch games being released in the first months of 2017, including DLC for titles like Super Mario Odyssey.

Here’s the video if you haven’t already seen it yourself:

As you can tell, there’s actually quite a bit here given how little notice we were given about the whole affair. There’s a new Mario Tennis game, DLC for Mario Odyssey and Mario + Rabbids, various third-party game trailers and quite a bit more besides. Yeah, it’s not E3 level, and a far cry from any of the more advertised Directs… but it’s something to quench the thirst driven by the sheer lack of Nintendo news in recent days.

So, let’s go through it one day at a time, shall we? Starting with the DS port that no one ever expected to see…

The World Ends with You – Final Remix

Yup, you heard that right. An all new, improved version of the World Ends with You on Nintendo DS is now heading over to the Switch, and will be available to buy this year.

It’s not a huge remake and doesn’t add dozens of features, but it’s still nice to see none the less. Especially given how, well Square Enix has basically ignored the game for the best part of a decade (not counting the one mobile port three or four years back).

Pokken Tournament DX DLC

Following on from that we then get Pokken Tournament DX news. Namely, the news that DLC characters will be coming to the game later this year.

This translates to two packs of content, each with a new playable Pokemon fighter and two support characters go with them. Pack 1 has Aegislash as playable, as well as Mega Rayquaza and Mimikyu as support characters, whereas pack 2 as Blastoise as a fighter as well as Mew and Celebi in support roles.

Playable Aegislash

And both new characters are pretty cool to be honest. Aegislash is an interesting Pokemon in the original series, with a clever stance change system likely opening up various possibilities, whereas Blastoise is a long-time fan favourite on par with Charizard and Mewtwo. Add to this how the new characters aren’t being introduced to the arcade version first, and well, it seems the developers have finally started treating the Switch version like the primary platform for the title.

Kirby Star Allies

Still, enough about the ports for no. Cause as everyone predicted, Kirby Star Allies got a new trailer in the Direct too. This time, focusing on new abilities like the Spider and Artist abilities, as well as the combined ones that let you merge two abilities into one. It’s a pretty neat addition to the Kirby series, especially given how artist creates hilarious handdrawn versions of classic friends and foes to fight alongside you.

Definitely looks like one to check out for Kirby fans. Heck, it even has a likely fan favourite villain in the style of Marx and Magolor to encounter too!

Hyrule Warriors Definitive Edition

But hey, onto the new game in the presentation now. This time, it’s a port of Hyrule Warriors for the Nintendo Switch, complete with all DLC content from the past versions being included by default.

It’s a neat deal for those who don’t own the game, but to be honest, it kind of leaves us feeling a tad disappointed overall. Why?

Well from the trailer, it doesn’t really seem to do anything new with the idea. It’s Hyrule Warriors, it includes the content from before, and it’s on a new system. That’s it. There’s nothing else to see here.

And in a world where Mario Kart 8 Deluxe introduced a brand-new battle system and Pokken Tournament introduced new fighters… that’s perhaps not quite good enough anymore. A Switch version would have been the perfect time to bring Breath of the Wild elements into the ‘franchise’, yet Nintendo just ported the thing over and called it a day.

It’s disappointing really, especially when you consider the next few games shown off in the Direct…

Mario Tennis Aces

Like this surprisingly interesting looking Mario Tennis game. I mean, you remember Mario Tennis Ultra Smash, don’t you?

That Wii U game that was rather bland because of its uninspired characters, courts and gameplay options?

Yeah, we do too.

Which is why we’re happy that Mario Tennis Aces looks nothing like it. Gone are the lack of modes, in their place a brand-new story mode with enemies and bosses to fight along the way. Gone are the Wii U game’s lack of charm on the characters, with everyone seemingly have unique designs to go along with the sport now.

Vs Petey Piranha

And as far as general presentation goes, everything’s took a massive step forward there too. Damn, that ruins area with Petey Piranha looks bloody great for a Mario sports game, and the rest of the story mode seems quite ambitious too.

So, it’s definitely one to look forward to, even if it’s not quite on the level of the N64 game or Power Tennis just yet.

Super Mario Odyssey DLC

However, despite the new games and ports, that doesn’t mean existing Switch titles are being left out here. Oh no, Super Mario Odyssey is getting free DLC later this year too, which adds a new mode called Luigi’s Balloon World to the formula.

Luigi's Balloon World

It’s… an interesting concept. Basically, you get 30 seconds to hide a balloon anywhere you like in one of Odyssey’s kingdoms. Then, others players can take on your challenge online and try and find said balloon themselves, with players getting coins in both situations. In Nintendo’s own words, it’s pretty much a challenge run setup for the game, with each balloon being like a mini speedrun.

It’s a creative concept, and it’s certainly rather unexpected as a result, especially given all the interest in Luigi as a playable character.

However, we’re not quite sure whether it’s the best one for this point in time. After all, Luigi being playable would have a lot more appeal to many people, and general new content ideas like extra levels or Moons probably would gotten more hype than this thing would.

Still, it’s a freebie, and with the speedrunning scene getting so advanced in recent months, likely one that’s going to offer quite a lot of replay value for Mario fans everywhere.

And for the people who want a new character… there’s a DLC update for them too…

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle: Playable Donkey Kong

Aka Donkey Kong being a new playable character in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. Can’t say much about this one, other than that he seems like he’ll be fun to play and that his intro trailer is every bit as good as you’d hoped it’d be.

Playable DK

Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze

And hey, talking about Kongs… guess what other game is coming to the Switch?

Yeah, Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze! It’s a great game to see on the Switch, especially given how it’s original Wii U release date kind of screwed it over.

But it’s not hitting the Switch unchanged. Oh no, the game’s got a new character to play as that acts like an easy mode.

Funky Kong

Playable Funky Kong

Oh yes, he’s now gone from shopkeeper to playable, just like Cranky Kong did before him. And also, just like Cranky Kong, Funky’s actually one hell of a badass when he’s playable too. He’s got infinite corkscrew charges underwater, doesn’t need an air meter to breath, can do fancy tricks with his surfboard and even ride the latter across spikes without being harmed. In other words, he’s the god mode guy everyone thought he’d be in the olden days.

If you’ve missed out on it, it’s definitely a game to check on its release this May 4th.

Dark Souls Remastered

Which brings us to the last big announcement of the Direct. The one no one saw coming (unless they follow known video game leakers on YouTube).

Dark Souls Remastered

Yes, it’s real. Dark Souls is getting remastered for the Nintendo Switch.

There’s not much to say about this one. It’s Dark Souls, it’s a good game and it’ll be a damn good experience if you’re into that sort of title. It’s also likely not going to be the last Dark Souls game to hit the Switch either, since while only the 1st game’s remaster has been announced, one of Laura Kate Dale’s sources on Kotaku indicates that Bandai Namco intends to bring all three to Switch at some point. So, if you want the full Dark Souls experience… you’ll soon be able to have it on a Nintendo system.

Other Announcements

However, those games above aren’t the only ones mentioned in the Direct today. No, quite a few other third-party titles were included too. These are:

  • Ys 8
  • Payday 2
  • ACA NeoGeo Art of Fighting 2 (available today on eShop)
  • SNK Heroines Tag Team Frenzy
  • Dragon Quest Builders (a demo is available today)
  • Celeste
  • Fe (Oh hey, it’s the game that unintentionally leaked the Direct!)

It’s a good selection for the start of 2018, and a real indication the Switch’s second year could be every bit as great as its first.

But hey, what do you think of it all? Did you like the announcements at today’s Nintendo Direct? What games excite you most based on what you’ve seen here?

Have your say here in the comments or on Gaming Latest’s forums today!

Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima is Pushing for a Super Mario Bros Movie

A while back, Nintendo announced they had plans to adapt their series to other mediums. Obviously Super Nintendo World was one result of this (being part of Universal Studios’ theme park based on their titles), but adaptations to TV, movies and animation were said to be in the works as well, with Nintendo planning to work with partnered companies to produce such works.

And when it comes to a Mario movie, well it seems like Nintendo CEO Tatsumi Kimishima is even keener on the idea than you’d ever imagine. Why? Because as he said in a recent interview with the Kyoto Shimbun, he hopes to make an agreement with a partner about a Mario movie soon, complete with a following announcement and a full release by 2020. Here’s the article about said comment courtesy of our friends at Japanese Nintendo.

It’s a surprising statement from the Nintendo CEO, and provides good evidence that the rumours of Illumination Entertainment working on such a movie could be accurate.

However, you then have to wonder:

Would a new Mario movie really be a good idea in the first place?

I mean, not only did the first attempt go horribly wrong, but most of the other ones went pretty badly wrong as well. It’s a series that’s been plagued by ‘adaptation decay’ to the point it used to take up half the TV Tropes page.

And that’s only logical given that Mario doesn’t really have much of a story so to speak of. The RPGs do yes, but the actual main platformers Nintendo likely wants adapted? It’s rarely more complex than ‘Peach is kidnapped by Bowser’, with even the likes of Odyssey only adding a few small tweaks to the formula.

As a result, it’s kind of hard to imagine what Illumination Entertainment (or whoever else gets the rights now) could do with the series. Are they going to give the movie an excuse plot padded with random set pieces? Try and come up with a logical story that doesn’t tie into any of the games? Set up an alternate universe in the same way as the cartoon series, movie, comic books and anime film?

It’s difficult to know, and even more difficult to get right.

Which is not gonna be helped much by the push for a relatively early release date. After all, 2020 isn’t that far away, and it’s no time at all for a movie or game release. The fact Nintendo suggests that’s even possible implies the company just wants the film out as quickly as possible, and isn’t willing to give it much time for careful thought or even much of a post-production process.

But hey, it’s interesting to hear none the less. So, what do you think about it all? Are you happy that Nintendo seems so keen on a Mario movie? Worried about it given the lack of story to adapt in the franchise?

Give your thoughts on the matter (and more) in the comments below or on social media today!

Source:

Super Mario Bros. movie should be ready for 2020! (Japanese Nintendo)

Nintendo Files Trademark for 1080 Snowboarding

Back in the olden days, Nintendo made a couple of sports games with more realistic settings and gameplay. Named 1080 Snowboarding and Wave Race respectively, these games become pretty big on the N64, before being followed up by better sequels on the GameCube and vanishing in history therefore after.

Fortunately for fans though, it seems hope may be at hand here. Why? Because as Pixelpar shows us on Twitter, Nintendo have just filed a new trademark for 1080° Snowboarding. This implies the company hasn’t given up on the whole deal, and actually does see potential for the franchise in future.

And it makes us wonder what exactly could be in store here. Okay, it’s quite possible it could be something uninteresting. Like say, a Virtual Console released on the inevitable Switch Virtual Console post Nintendo Direct.

But at the same time, it brings a bit of hope that an all new game could be coming for the system instead. That’s good news for sports game fans, as well as for Nintendo fans in general. After all, Nintendo’s always struggled to get those types of games on their system, and games in the snowboarding genre have gotten even rarer in the last few years as well.

So, to see this trademark brings a bit of hope back to the whole deal. Perhaps even illustrates that even seemingly forgotten N64 era franchises like this one won’t be completely forgotten by the company or the industry as a whole.

However, what do you think? Are you happy Nintendo seemingly remembers 1080 Snowboarding? What could this trademark registration actually mean?

Post your thoughts on the matter here or at the Gaming Latest forums today!

Pegaswitch and RetroArch Bring Retro Console Emulation to the Nintendo Switch

A short while ago, it was mentioned that hackers had figured out how to get homebrew running on the Nintendo Switch. Because of this, it was only a matter of time before third party apps would start appearing on the system. Like say, emulators for other systems. Or amateur games of the kinds available on the 3DS and Wii.

And thanks to the Pegaswitch toolkit and RetroArch, that’s now indeed the case. The Switch has been hacked to play all kinds of interesting games. Like say, the NES library:

Or the equally expansive one for the SNES:

Heck, even Atari Jaguar games are running on the thing now!

It’s a pretty good start for a system that’s only been modded so recently.

Continue Reading…

Out of Bounds in Shiveria; Some Interesting Findings From Beyond Mario Odyssey’s Glass Wall

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.

Why?

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!