Most Recent: Switch

Nintendo Download: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Puyo Puyo Tetris, TumbleSeed, more

After being on store shelves for almost two month, Nintendo’s next wave of major new releases for the Switch are ready to launch this week on the Nintendo eShop.

Leading things off is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the ultimate version of the kart racer that was originally released for the Wii U in 2014. Players will receive all the content included in the base game and both DLC Packs, as well as Switch-exclusive content including five new characters (Bowser Jr., Dry Bones, King Boo, and Boy and Girl Inklings), a brand new Battle Mode, new weapons, and the ability to carry two items at the same time. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will be available to download tomorrow, April 28.

Also available to download for the Switch this week is Puyo Puyo Tetris, a crossover puzzle game that’s built for multiplayer play. But don’t worry, single-player Adventure and Challenge modes are also on the menu.

Finally, TumbleSeed will be available to download for the Switch early next week, on May 2. Designer Greg Wohlwend (who also contributed to Threes and Ridiculous Fishing) describes the game as “a deceptively deep roguelike about balancing a seed up a dangerous and ever-changing mountain.”

You can learn more about all of these games (and a few other new releases on the Switch and Wii U) after the break. (more…)

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Nintendo’s 2016-2017 Annual Report: Big sales for Switch, Zelda BotW, Pokemon + Fall release dates for Xenoblade 2, Mario Odyssey, more

Nintendo published their annual financial report this morning, and the company gave us our best look yet at the Switch’s retail prospects, as well as reconfirmed several 2017 releases.

The big announcement today is that Nintendo has sold 2.74 million Switch consoles around the world as of March 31. Nintendo originally predicted that they’d sell two million around Switch consoles in March, so it’s safe to say they surpassed their goal. The consolemaker expects to sell ten million more Switch consoles before the start of their next fiscal year. If this prediction proves accurate, the Switch will have matched the total sales of the Wii U in a single year.

Moving on to games, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has proven to be fairly popular, with total sales of 3.84 million copies sold (2.76 on the Switch and 1.08 on the Wii U). And don’t count out the 3DS just yet. According to Nintendo, Pokemon Sun and Moon combined to sell 15.44 million copies since they were released in November.

Nintendo closed out their report with the promise of a bright future, reiterating that all of their upcoming Switch and 3DS game are still on track to be released in 2017. Super Mario Odyssey and Fire Emblem Warriors are both still set for the Fall, and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is still penciled in for a “TBA 2017” launch date.

Other titles scheduled to be released this Fall include Monster Hunter Stories, Yo-Kai Watch 2: Psychic Specters, Kirby‘s next 3DS game, and Miitopia. Ever Oasis (June 23), Hey Pikmin (July 28), Splatoon 2 (July 21), and Arms (June 16) are set for this Summer.

Nintendo will most likely reveal a lot more about all of these games at this year’s E3 Expo… unless they get delayed, of course.

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Insert Quarter: Some Devs Aren’t Happy With How Nintendo is Handling the Switch eShop

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Insert Quarter is our showcase for some of the best and most interesting writing about video games on the Internet.

It’s no secret that the PlayStation Store and Xbox Games Store are more “curated” than the Nintendo eShop. In between absolute gems like Axiom Verge and Shovel Knight, the digital storefront for the 3DS and Wii U is absolutely cluttered with a wide variety of shovelware.

Nintendo doesn’t want to make this same mistake with the Switch, and their Publisher and Developer Relations department is working with indie developers to create an impressive portfolio of downloadable titles for the Switch… and possibly find the next big thing. Best of all, this mission has already borne fruit. Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, Snipperclips, and FAST RMX were Switch exclusives that made the console feel like more than a “Zelda Machine” in its first few weeks.

But Thomas Whitehead of Nintendo Life has heard from some indie developers (even longstanding “Nindie” teams) that working with Nintendo is much harder than it used to be. After conducting a wide-ranging series of interviews, he delved into some of their frustrations with Nintendo’s (possibly flawed) new process for acquiring indie games:

Not long ago, however, we were contacted by and followed up with multiple respected and established ‘Nindie’ developers unhappy with aspects of Nintendo’s approach to the Switch eShop. Issues related to curation and communication have been at the core, and we were painted a picture of an arrangement and set of policies that undoubtedly pleases those in the door, but has left those on the outside at times frustrated, ignored and in some respects embittered. Some were hesitant to be quoted even anonymously due to upcoming business with Nintendo, while others were happy to share their perspectives – directly and indirectly quoted – while being un-named.

Whitehead’s report can be read in full at Nintendo Life.

Posted in News, Switch |

The story behind Splatoon 2 begins with a falling out between Callie and Marie

Splatoon‘s final Splatfest event featured a showdown between the game’s beloved hosts, Callie and Marie. Players were reluctant to choose one Squid Sister over the other, but after a weekend of hard-fought Turf War battles, Marie’s fans emerged victorious over Callie’s supporters.

But according to the latest update to the game’s official website, that’s where the story of Splatoon 2 begins. A new section labeled “Squid Sisters Stories” has revealed that the results of the Splatfest have caused some bad blood between Callie and Marie:

About nine months have passed since the final Splatfest.

Twilight lowers its curtain on Inkopolis. Neon signs paint the dusk in brilliant shades of green and pink. The Squid Sisters dance on, as though driven by the Inkling love of battling for turf. Memories such as these linger, vividly etched in my mind, but feel too like remnants of a long-forgotten past. It happened the night the final Splatfest came to an end.

The showdown of Callie versus Marie ended in victory for Marie, but there was no ill will between the two. The girls left the studio arm in arm, smiling and laughing as they always had. The bond between them would continue, unbroken, for years to come.

Or so it seemed at the time…

We’ll likely receive more reports from the “Squid Sisters Stories” series soon. And hopefully, we’ll learn what happened to Callie and Marie before Splatoon 2 launches exclusively for the Nintendo Switch on July 21.

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the NES fangame transforms Breath of the Wild into an 8-bit adventure

Nintendo famously created an 8-bit prototype of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild to help the development team get acclimated to working with its many interlocking systems. Fans have been clamoring for a chance to play this prototype since its reveal, but Nintendo doesn’t appear to be in any rush to make it available for public use.

Naturally, a dedicated Nintendo fan, Winter Drake, has decided to create a playable version of the prototype in his spare time.

The fangame is known as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the NES, and a demo is currently available as a free download through Itch.io. Nintendo is usually quick to ask their lawyers to issue a “Cease and Desist” order when their characters are used in a fan-created game, but the developer of Breath of the NES has vowed to finish at any costs. Specifically, they told Kotaku that he plans to swap out Link and his Hyrulian enemies with original characters when the time comes:

“When a lot of people hear about this project, they jump to worrying about a cease and desist from Nintendo,” Winter Drake told Kotaku. “While I’m going to stay hardworking on Breath of the NES for as long as I can, if Nintendo asks me to stop using their IP, I do plan to continue development with my own original characters. I’m having way too much fun creating this world to just give up.”

Winter Drake also said they’re not creating a direct conversion of Breath of the Wild, but want to “capture the spirit” of the game:

“This project is still in its early stages… I’ll be adding more areas with distinct elements and atmospheres, puzzle elements for dungeons, and lots of ways to creatively kill enemies,” Winter Drake, the developer behind Breath of the NES, told Kotaku.

“I have a lot of plans for original features in the game, and although I’d like to capture the spirit of BotW and NES Zelda, I’m not restricting myself to be perfectly faithful.”

Winter Drake will be providing additional updates on Breath of the NES’s development on Twitter.

Posted in News, Retro, Switch, Wii U | Tagged

Splatoon manga coming to North America in Fall 2017

CoroCoro Comics published a manga series based on Nintendo’s Splatoon in Japan after the game’s launch in 2015. Serialized in CoroCoro magazine, the series, which was written and illustrated by Sankichi Hinodeya, was eventually compiled in two volumes.

This weekend, Viz Media announced (via Twitter) that they’re translating it into English for a North American release this Fall.

We don’t currently have any more details than that, but fans will get the chance to dive back into the world of Splatoon this July when Splatoon 2 launches for the Nintendo Switch.

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Insert Quarter: Why Are Indie Developers Embracing the Boxed Retail Release?

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Insert Quarter is our showcase for some of the best and most interesting writing about video games on the Internet.

Steam has completely taken over the game-buying experience on the PC, and digital storefronts from Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo are threatening to do the same thing to console players. So why have so many indie developers decided to work with publishers and distributors to launch their games as boxed retail releases?

GamesIndustry.biz’s Christopher Dring has several theories. For starters, he believes there’s still a lot of money to be made with physical game discs. But many developers also love the idea of seeing their small labor of love sharing shelf space with the big boys.

Last week, Stardew Valley was released in a box, as was Yooka-Laylee. In the coming weeks, Tequila Works is preparing two boxed products for Rime and The Sexy Brutale. There are several businesses that are set up to help indie studios release their games in places like GameStop and GAME, such as U&I, 505 Games, Sold Out and Badland Games. Other publishers include physical distribution as part of their key selling points, such as Bandai Namco, Koch Media, GameTrust (GameStop’s publishing arm) and a stream of others.

Yet it’s a risky area to invest in. Boxed products are costly and lack the flexibility of the digital marketplace. Going through retail also loses some of that direct contact with the customer. So why bother?

Dring spoke to indie developers like Psyonix (Rocket League) and Sold Out (Overcooked) to learn about their experiences with launching a boxed retail release, and he makes his case that more indie developers should explore the practice at GamesIndustry.biz.

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Rock out to these screenshots from “Starfish Mainstage,” another new stage coming to Splatoon 2

Nintendo recently announced that fans will be able to return to the world of Splatoon 2 on July 21, and Nintendo UK pitched in with a quick look at “Starfish Mainstage,” a new stage set to appear in the Switch sequel:

This is Starfish Mainstage. It’s an outdoor music venue that hosts concerts for all types of music acts. The now legendary “Squid Squad” played here once, and it’s considered a bit of a holy site for devotees of rock music. It’s a wonder that all the ink spray doesn’t cause the equipment to short circuit, but we suppose they’ve got it all figured out.

“Starfish Mainstage” seems to feature a fairly wide open design, which you can see for yourself in a pair of screenshots available after the break. (more…)

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