The video game industry’s worst kept secret is finally out of the bag. Nintendo is sticking with making new versions of their classic consoles with their announcement of the Super Nintendo Classic Edition. This will arrive just within a year of the now-discontinued NES Classic Edition, which released November of last year.

 

The announcement brings flashbacks to many who remember the headache of trying to get the NES Classic, which had notoriously low supply and high demand. It was first reported by Kotaku that the SNES Classic will be easier to find than the NES Classic, but it is still designed to be a limited-release product. It will ship from September 29 until the end of the year.

 

The SNES Classic comes preloaded with 21 classic SNES titles. That’s almost a third fewer than the NES Classic’s lineup of 30 games. Some of Nintendo’s serious fans are complaining that the SNES Classic is missing some of the beloved titles from the SNES. That’s bound to happen when making a classic version of a system with a library of games the size of the SNES. Sure, the SNES Classic has great games like “Super Mario World,” “Super Punch-Out,” “Super Metroid” “F-Zero,” but there’s still room for fan favorites like “Mario Paint,” “Chrono Trigger,” and “Donkey Kong Country 2” which is widely regarded as being better than it’s predecessor.

 

If Nintendo continues the business of releasing these classic consoles, and trust me they will because of how successful they are, prepare to see them have smaller libraries. That may seem annoying to the serious fans who played and loved hundreds of games on the original systems, but these classic editions still have the same amount of content despite their smaller lineup of games.

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arms

 

 

Nintendo’s game reveals never do the showcased game justice. First it was squids shooting ink all over a map in a multiplayer battle, and now cartoonish fighters with spring-loaded arms trying to punch each other into submission. These concepts don’t make the greatest first impression, but Nintendo knows their vision and knows that it’s going to be good. It’s so easy to snark on these ideas. That is, until you get them in your hands. Then it all makes sense.

 

Their newest potential franchise is called “Arms.” While “Splatoon” reinvented the shooter genre, “Arms” reinvents fighting games. Two fighters with arms of coils face off in an arena, jockeying for spacing and positioning to defeat their rival. It’s an original and zany idea that somehow works so well in Nintendo’s first attempt.

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UltraSF2

 

How many times has “Street Fighter 2” been ported, improved, revamped and re-released over the years? If you count every arcade cabinet and console release the game has had from 1991 until now, it’s well over 20 times. Surprisingly, this is reasonable for the game that rightly became the standard in which all fighting games are measured.

 

If the Nintendo Switch version’s title is any indication, this will be the last time “Street Fighter 2” is revamped, but I wouldn’t bet on it. “Ultra Street Fighter 2: The Final Challengers” brings the fighting game that has been playable everywhere to Nintendo’s new home console / mobile platform hybrid. Capcom has added some new features that can only be found on the Switch, but it’s still the same “Street Fighter 2” that players have come to expect.

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MK8Deluxe

 

It’s been nearly three years since “Mario Kart 8” graced the now-defunct Nintendo Wii U. The game advanced the beloved racing series with some new tracks and a nice layer of graphical polish, but it lacked legitimate substance until downloadable content added it months after its launch. Now, Nintendo is taking the game for a victory lap on the new Nintendo Switch. “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” is what “Mario Kart 8” should’ve been in the first place.

Published in The Game Guy
Thursday, 04 February 2016 11:46

Bayonetta 'Smash Bros.' Strategy Guide

BayonettaBayonetta was just released on February 3 as the newest character on Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. I tested out her moves and controls for several hours and put together a strategy guide that runs down her best abilities, strengths and weaknesses.

She's going to be a character to watch once the competitive scene spends enough time with her. Her air attacks can easily string together powerful combos, and her range game isn't bad either. Her recovery is one of the best in the game, as she's able to get back to the stage from just about any distance. Witch Time is a strong alternative to usual counters found in Little Mac or the Fire Emblem characters. 

As a nice touch, Nintendo added her appearance from "Bayonetta 1" and "2." Check out the video below for the full Bayonetta guide. Feel free to add me on Wii U for some online play. The Nintendo ID is "GameGuyPgh."

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"Super Mario Maker" combines near-perfect platforming of "Mario Bros." games and user-created levels. These levels can be joys or nightmares. I created a level that I thought was beatable and put three PG staffers to the test. It resulted in mostly frustration. No enemy could match the treachery of the dreaded trampoline. Check out the video below. "Super Mario Maker" is avaialble on the Wii U game console. 

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Nintendo is the first of the “big three” to announce their plans for E3 2015. In a comedic video posted on Nintendo’s website and YouTube, president and COO of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aime rolled out plans for June’s pre-E3 Digital Event, an expanded Treehouse Live event from the E3 show floor and the return of the Nintendo World Championships.

 

Nintendo World Championships was a touring tournament Nintendo held in 1990. This year, qualifying rounds will be held at Best Buy stores across the country. The finals will be held at E3 during the week of June 14.

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SplatoonLogoNintendo held three online sessions of it’s upcoming Wii U game “Splatoon” this weekend to prepare their servers for the future load. Wii U owners were able to jump into the fun for free by downloading the demo in the eShop. The game which puts a twist on the modern competitive shooter looked like cartoony fun when it was announced at last year’s E3, but after just one hour of playtime it exceeded my greatest expectations.

 

It’s not easy to reimagine today’s multiplayer shooters. “Titanfall” for Xbox One attempted to, as did “Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare,” but those releases still contained foundations similar to the “Call of Duty” franchise. “Splatoon” is truly unique in that the goal of each match is to paint or ink the majority of the map rather than killing the opposing team. Eliminating opposing members of the team is part of the game, but it won’t get your team any closer to victory. Painting is power in “Splatoon.”

Published in The Game Guy
Wednesday, 18 February 2015 11:00

'Majora's Mask 3DS' review - Turn back the clock

 

boxart-largeThe following review of “The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask” was based on a reviewer’s first-time playthrough. Max Parker did not play the original “Majora’s Mask” for the N64.

“The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask” is a prime example of hindsight being 20/20. It was the follow-up “Zelda” game to what many believe to be one of the greatest games ever made, “The Ocarina of Time,” but was skipped by many Nintendo fans due to its late release in the N64’s life and because it required the sold-separately Expansion Pak.

Now the game gets a second chance, which is oddly fitting with the game’s theme of repetition. Link continuously repeats the same three-day cycle in the game, adding to his skillset and inventory along the way. Now the game itself has a chance to relive the past. “Majora’s Mask” is arguably the most qualified game in Nintendo’s catalog to receive the redux treatment. The world wasn’t ready for it in 2000, but it is now.

Published in The Game Guy
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 03:30

Opinion: The New 3DS deserves a power cord

3DSConsumers deserve better. They also deserve a power cord. Nintendo finally announced the long awaited New 3DS (that's the actual name) for North American markets today. The new device, which will hit stores on February 13, will have a faster processor and an extra control stick that will enhance gameplay. But the package has one peculiar omission. It doesn’t come with an AC adapter.

 

It’s not that the updated 3DS has a nifty new gadget that that replaces the conventional power cord. There is literally no way to charge the device’s battery right out of the box. It requires the same power cord that has charged Nintendo handhelds since the DSi released in 2009. Users will have to hold onto a charger from an old DSi or 3DS. If this is a consumer’s first 3DS system, however, he or she will have to buy a charger separately.

 

As outrageous as this news sounds, Nintendo has been getting away with this practice elsewhere in markets outside of the U.S. for some time. The video game manufacturer sold its 3DS XL in Japan without the power cord.

 

How essential is a power cord for something like the New 3DS? Every handheld owner will quickly tell you that it’s as essential as a charger is for any other electronic device. It’s completely and totally necessary. There’s no way around it. But the real question is, “how essential is it to package a power cord with the New 3DS?”

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