Masterpiece of the Year?

Greetings to all my Nintendo nerds! I can’t believe it’s November already. Maybe I should dust off my 3DS and check in on my Animal Crossing town sometime, grab some mushroom furniture. But who has time when we have been blessed with some amazing new games in 2017?

As the year comes to a close, I have been reflecting on which games were really groundbreaking in 2017. We certainly needed some escape from reality this year! Personally, as someone who went to art school and really appreciates the artistic design of video games, I felt there were two titles that I could qualify as “masterpieces.” Which was the best of the year? I am going to try to decide right now! lol

The first game I’m considering for Masterpiece of 2017 is the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. A long anticipated title, BotW launched with the Nintendo Switch at the start of the year. Fans were astounded by the new open world approach to their beloved Zelda franchise.

The art style was even more impressive. Using an updated approach similar to Wind Waker, the design of BotW uses what I’d describe as cel-shading with water colors. It’s not overly cartoony, and it’s very much high definition. Individual blades of grass bend in the wind. Wispy strands of hair blow in the breeze. For the amount of time that fans waited for the latest Zelda title, it’s clear that it was worth the delays.

My personal opinion: If you really follow my blog, you’ll see that I don’t talk about Zelda a lot… b/c I never really beat these games. The only game I even got close to beating was Phantom Hourglass. Since BotW was basically the big name launch title for the Switch, I got it mostly b/c everyone else was playing it, and not b/c I had been desperately waiting to play it. However, when I did start playing it I was completely obsessed! It’s a very immersive experience, and I really loved the freedom of the open world. 

The second game in contention for Masterpiece of 2017 is *gasp* NOT A NINTENDO GAME. I know – it’s hard to believe that I play games on other systems. And honestly, I usually don’t. But there’s an indie game called Cuphead that FINALLY came out on Xbox 1 and Steam this year, and as far as art style is concerned… it’s a doozy!!

Now I realize that not everyone had the same upbringing as me, and may not realize the nostalgia factor in Cuphead. But I was raised watching Betty Boop and Silly Symphonies cartoons on loop ad nauseam. The creators of Cuphead took every step necessary to produce their videogame with the same exact art style that was popular in the 1930’s. This includes the hand drawn animation, 24 fps frame rate, the use of lampshade effect and much more.

Cuphead is a standard 2D platformer style game, and initially had been designed to have a Mega-Man-esque Boss Battles setup. But when the hype train rolled in, the creators expanded the game to have some standard platformer stages in addition to the boss battles. That’s all well and good… except they made the game insanely challenging. Many casual gamers find themselves unable to fully appreciate the game due to not being able to progress and see all of the stages.

My personal opinion: I was literally waiting YEARS for this game to be released. Delays and more delays pushed the game back several times and I waited patiently. When the game FINALLY released, I downloaded it right away and was so excited! Unfortunately, I haven’t actually been able to experience much of the game. I guess I’m just one of those lame casual gamers who isn’t good enough at platformers to progress in the game. It makes me very sad that after years of anticipation, and having loved this art style my ENTIRE LIFE… I can’t even see all of the gorgeously designed stages hiding in this game. 

You can probably guess which game gets my vote by now. As much as I wanted to love Cuphead soooo much… it fails b/c I can’t actually play it. The game does not forgive anyone who isn’t at ‘their level’ which I feel is kind of mean and makes me feel excluded and alienated. And it makes me not want to buy another game by Studio MDHR. First they made me wait, then the gameplay drops the ball… so they blew it with me. Being the belle of the ball doesn’t get you everywhere in life!! In Breath of the Wild I am free to explore the entire world, appreciate all of it’s beauty and play at my speed. And it’s darn pretty too.

SIDE NOTE:

Most people will want to interject – HEY WHAT ABOUT SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY?? That game is glorious too! I will give it an honorable mention. I don’t think that it’s a masterpiece, in that the art style of Odyssey is basically on par with every other 3D Mario game, albeit updated to the latest HD graphics, of course. New abilities and game functionality, plus the awesome smoothness of the controls thanks to the Joy Con and Pro Controller, make this game awesome! No doubt about that. But masterpiece? Not exactly. What makes Super Mario Odyssey a contender in this category is that the game truly allows you to create YOUR OWN MASTERPIECE. This game goes way beyond taking screenshots. You can change the camera angles, zoom, blur, add filters, add text if you want… it’s a meme gold mine. I created several masterpieces of my own:

Screenshot by @gluxbox

Screenshot by @gluxbox

Any game that lets ME make my own art gets a thumbs up from the Glux Box!

This is just my opinion, of course. Which game would YOU consider to be the Masterpiece of 2017??

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Hands On with the Nintendo Switch!

Woo what a weekend! Everyone has been talking about the Nintendo Switch ever since the presentation last Thursday, which introduced the system and showcased the new Joy Cons – the convertible controllers that come with the Nintendo Switch system. But I felt lucky because I had a ticket for the Nintendo Switch Preview Event in NYC! I was able to get a hands-on demonstration of the Nintendo Switch system, the Joy Cons, software and more!

The event was held at a secret off-site location in midtown, open only to invited ticket holders. (I was able to get a ticket by logging into my MyNintendo account when they first announced the event. This apparently triggered an event invite to be sent to me at the time. So what have we learned? Log into MyNintendo once in a while!) I went with one of my besties, CarneyVorous. We braved the cold wintery weather and it was SO worth it!

20170114_185030As we approached the entrance, we were surprised to see that Link from Breath of the Wild was guarding the door. Well, Link and a dozen event coordinators. Everything was very organized, which was nice. They checked our tickets and finally after long last… WE WERE INSIDE THE SNEAK PREVIEW EVENT!

The event consisted of two large rooms. The first room had a glamorous setup with a main stage, glass windowed demo cubicle setups, and a third of the room dedicated to Legend of Zelda demo stations. The second room had a huge area dedicated to Splatoon 2 demos, as well as third-party titles and a Super Mario Odyssey photo-op station! It was a lot to take in. We didn’t even know where to start! Sadly, the Zelda line got ridiculously long in a short amount of time, so we decided to make the most of our time by trying as many fun demos as we could.

Our first stop was Splatoon 2. Who could resist? To make the experience even more *new*, the demo we played was done on the Nintendo Switch in hand-held mode. This means the player is watching the Switch screen with the Joy Cons attached to the sides. This mode is pretty similar to playing on the Wii U Game Pad, which I personally enjoy a lot. The Splatoon controls were set to use the gyroscope. It can be tricky if you’re not used to playing that way, but the Switch console is light and easy to move around as needed. I also decided to try out the new Splatoon weapon which was introduced in this latest title – the Splat Dualies! I thought they were pretty sweet. They shoot fast and it’s easy to aim. I played very well, got second place in my winning team with those Splat Dualies! (Did much more terribly with the Splat Roller in the second round. Sad face.)

Splatoon 2 on the Nintendo Switch in hand-held mode.

Next, we wanted to get an up-close look at the Nintendo Switch Joy Cons by checking out the glass cubicle 1-2-Switch Demo Stations! The 1-2-Switch game utilizes the Joy Cons in a way that showcases all of the new features it has to offer, including HD Rumble technology. This game is unique in that you don’t really need to look at the screen to play – it’s all about playing with other people, making eye contact, interacting with humans… you know, scary stuff.

The 1-2-Switch Demo consisted of Quick Draw, Milking Cows (yep) and Counting Marbles. Each game showed a different feature of the Joy Con controllers. I will note that the Nintendo reps insisted on using the wrist straps with the Joy Cons for this game. Very sensible – and side note! – the wrist strap adds an extra half inch of width to the controller, which makes it even easier to hold.

Quick Draw showcased the Joy Con’s basics, such as motion control. Milking Cows introduced new ways to feel awkward around your friends (because yes, the game is exactly what you think it is) and also makes use of the L and R buttons that have been incorporated into the new controllers. Counting Marbles was the most interesting game in the 1-2-Switch Demo, because it featured the new HD Rumble effects. The Joy Con simulated the feeling of small marbles rolling around inside of it (and does an EXTREMELY CONVINCING JOB doing so) and you have to guess how many marbles are “inside.” You determine this by moving the Joy Con and “feeling” the marbles sliding around and clicking against one another. It was pretty amazing! The HD Rumble is very responsive and I am very interested to see how other games will incorporate this new technology.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Demo Stations

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Demo Stations

One of my all-time favorite games has always been Mario Kart. I would play after school with my friends on the N64 back in the day, and I haven’t stopped since! Playing MK on the go has always been a strong selling point… so being able to play MK8 Deluxe in full HD while on the move is going to be AH-MAY-ZING! To give us the full experience, Nintendo set up some fun ‘simulation’ demo stations. In the picture above, you see a fake diner with demo stations, as well as some guys in what looks like an RV? Or some kind of van?

Playing MK8 at

Playing MK8 at “the diner”!

Here I am “at the diner” enjoying some MK8 Battle Mode in handheld mode – which I won with Bowser, btw! It’s great to have some authentic battle mode back in the mix.

We also tried out a demo station that was set up to look like we were playing on an airplane. (Awesome idea!!) They set up the chairs to have those awful tray tables, and placed the Nintendo Switch in tabletop mode for us to play. Tabletop mode is when you have the screen standing up with the kickstand, and the Joy Cons are removed from the sides so that two people can use them and play while watching the screen. I will say that as a veteran MK player, I did not mind the Joy Cons for this game. Yes, if you’re using the Jon Cons, it is a small controller. Like I mentioned before, the wrist strap helps a lot with that issue. It takes some slight ‘getting used to’ but it’s not bad at all, and having usable L and R buttons meant that my game play was as good as ever! Please note that in this side photo, we were also trying out Mario Kart with the Joy Cons in what I am calling “nunchuck mode,” which is similar to the old Wii nunchuck and Wii Remote setup… without that cumbersome cord connecting them together! You can play with the Joy Cons as nunchucks, yet sit however you prefer, so that you can play comfortably. So much easier! Imagine how much better air travel will be when you’re challenging the random stranger sitting next to you to a Grand Prix!

We also tried out some other games, such as Street Fighter, Just Dance 2017, and PuyoPuyo Tetris. We got some cool swag – Nintendo Switch hats, pins, cookies, water bottles… It was a really good event. I wish they would host events like this every week! *sob*

Only 44 days until Nintendo Switch is released in stores!! Comment if you’ve got it preordered! What are you excited to play? I’ll leave you with a few more photos from the event…

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - Battle Mode

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Battle Mode

Joy Con [puppy] Controller

Joy Con [puppy] Controller

Tetris!!

PuyoPuyo Tetris!!

Nintendo Switch and Accessories

Nintendo Switch and Accessories

Nintendo Switch Main Stage

Nintendo Switch Main Stage

Super Mario Odyssey Photo Op!

Super Mario Odyssey Photo Op!

Welcome to the Miiverse!

It’s been almost two weeks since the Wii U was launched in North America.  I’ve been completely blown away by how amazing this new system is – and I don’t even have an HD TV yet!  (I hope to rectify that issue this Christmas lol!)  There are so many little features that make the Wii U so freaking cool, from programming the Game Pad to work as your TV Remote, to the Wii system transfer that gives you access to all your old WiiWare games and save data.  But the biggest feature by far would have to be the Miiverse.

What makes the Miiverse really special is how the entire social network is seamlessly integrated into the Wii U menu, Wara Wara Plaza and every Wii U game.  When you first turn on the Wii U, you are immediately immersed into the Miiverse and which games your friends have been playing.

This is not a screenshot from my Wii U, but it shows Wara Wara Plaza quite accurately.

In Wara Wara Plaza, you see different comments that people have been writing or drawing in response to the games they are playing.  It’s really interesting to see the consensus of how people feel about certain things (I’ve seen a ton of comments like “Why isn’t Kirby in Nintendo Land?”) and I wonder if Nintendo listens?  Someone out there is reading all of our posts, because mine were blocked when I was trying to use them as free ad space for StreetPass Long Island.  LOL the Nintendo admins shut that down right away.  But it’s really cool to see what your friends are playing (and saying!) as soon as you turn on the Wii U.

That’s not all for Miiverse.  Wara Wara Plaza is just the ‘lobby’ shall we say?  At any time, whether you are in a game or not, you can access the app called Miiverse.  What is this Miiverse?  Well, it’s kind of like a social network that is ONLY for Nintendo players.  As JDubz said, “I think the Miiverse is MUCH better than Facebook, because everyone is posting status updates about stuff that I’m actually interested in!”  In the Miiverse there are game communities, so if you’re stuck in one part of a certain game, you can visit the community and ask a question.  Usually people respond pretty quickly too!  In addition to the communities, you also have access to an Activity Feed which shows only the updates of the people you have on your friends list.  And if that wasn’t enough, there is also a section to send private messages to your friends.

What’s really cool about the Miiverse is that you can access it while playing a Wii U game as well.  Let’s say you’re playing New Super Mario Bros. U and you keep dying on the same spot.  You can actually press the Home button during regular game play, and the Miiverse will give you an option to grab a screenshot of whatever you were doing right before you pressed Home.  Then you can post that screenshot to the Miiverse (with an accompanying message like, ‘AHH I CAN’T BEAT THIS STUPID PART!!”) and people can leave comments with advice or at least some empathy.

In addition to screenshots, some Wii U games have the Miiverse fully integrated into the actual gameplay.  For example, in NSMBU, comments from the Miiverse can also show up in the World Map.  I think this is so cool!

Miiverse in NSMBU

OK I admit I don’t have NSMBU.  I’m too scared to buy it.  I’m terrible at Mario games, with NSMB2 being the ONLY game in the franchise that I’d ever beaten, and that was only b/c they let me cheat and use the white Tanooki suit almost the entire time lol!  But this Miiverse feature in the new Wii U installment is really cool, so I am secretly hoping that someone will give me this game for the holidays.  Although, I’d be happier to receive Wii Fit U but there’s no release date out for that game yet.

I only have two games for the Wii U, Nintendo Land and Scribblenauts.  Nintendo Land has far exceeded my expectations – I originally thought that this game would be more along the lines of Mario Party and Wii Play.  Luckily, this game is much more in-depth.  Every mini-game has multiple levels and/or gets increasingly difficult as you play so the replay value is through the roof.  There are ‘stamps’ which act as badges for when you accomplish certain feats within each mini-game too.  Miiverse is totally integrated into your Nintendo Land Plaza; random players and the Mii’s in your friends list will all start showing up as patrons of your park, which I think is a nice touch.

Scribblenauts is a totally different game, and it is a RIOT!  You can create almost any object or person that you can think of, and use them in whatever way you’d like as you play through the storyline.  Since this version of Scribblenauts is basically a Wii U port from the 3DS version, it doesn’t have the Miiverse within the game, but you can still post screenshots to the Miiverse and there is a Scribblenauts community too.  If you like to play open world style games, I definitely recommend checking out Scribblenauts.

So if you haven’t already, please add my Nintendo Network ID “gluxbox” to your Wii U friends list.  Please indicate that you are a reader of the Glux Blog, otherwise I might not add you, since I’m trying to not just add random people to my friends list at this time.  Which Wii U games did you get for your system?  Please share your thoughts!

 

3DS Game Overload!

As my local area continues to recover from the devastation brought on by Superstorm Sandy (many homes are only now FINALLY getting power turned on… 2 weeks after the storm!) I’ve been using videogames as an ‘escape’ from the harsh reality all around me.  Luckily for me, several new awesome 3DS games were released recently.  I’ve been attempting to play them all equally but it’s just not happening.  But anyway, here’s what I’ve been playing lately:

  • Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask – Everyone’s favorite puzzle solving professor is at it again!  I’ve played an earlier title in this series (though I forget which one) and enjoyed it, so I was looking forward to trying out the new 3DS game.  As expected, the 3D graphics are really cool, it makes the environment you have to search much more real.  There are new searching functions, like ZOOMING which open up the search area even more.  Let’s not forget the PUZZLES too!  Just as challenging as ever, the puzzles take on a wide variety of themes and use logic and math to solve.  The storyline is very interesting too, it takes place in both present day and Layton’s past, revealing new sides to the often dull and no-nonsense professor’s personality.  I don’t know if this was a feature in the older games, but there are really fun side-quest mini games in this new title, including training a cute bunny, operating a robot and being an assistant in a shop.  There’s also 365 new puzzles that can be downloaded for free (once per day) and who doesn’t like FREE DLC?  Overall it’s a great title and I highly recommend it to anyone who “likes to break a mental sweat.”
  • Harvest Moon: A New Beginning – The long awaited newest installment of the Harvest Moon franchise is finally here!  HM:ANB has a lot to live up to, as the previous title (Tale of Two Towns) had an excellent storyline and great new controls to make gameplay easier.  ANB so far isn’t quite the same; the start of the game is extremely slow, and your town is basically a ghost town at the start.  Without the weekly Cooking Festival, it is hard to build friendships with the townies early on, but if you stick with the game the rewards start coming out at the end of Spring Year 1.  The biggest upgrade to the game would have to be the CUSTOMIZATION!  You can move just about any aspect of your farm to wherever you want.  And instead of paying Gannon thousands of dollars to build a shed on your homestead, you are given access to a studio where you can build these add-ons yourself, if you have the necessary materials and tools.  I’ve only barely begun to unlock all the blueprints to build custom objects for my farm and the surrounding town.  Another pitfall I’ve discovered so far is the lack of pets.  I miss my pets!  Now, I don’t know if they just haven’t been unlocked yet, but I sure don’t enjoy pushing my big fat cow out of the barn every morning!  Luckily I did just get a blueprint to create a cow bell, which will hopefully make matters slightly easier.  But I want a doggy!!  Don’t get me wrong, this game is awesome, it’s just kind of slow to start.  For die-hard HM’ers, this is no big deal.  I think I’ll start blogging more about this game, just because Vella has been doing that and it seems fun hehe!
  • Paper Mario: Sticker Star – I’ve been a big fan of the Paper Mario franchise since the original title was released for the N64.  I always loved the art style and the RPG battle format.  The new 3D title does not disappoint, the 3D graphics look SO COOL!  So far the storyline is really interesting, and since everything is made of stickers, there are a lot of hidden areas and secrets to discover by peeling away the scenery.  The only thing I can complain about so far in this game is the fact that you have to battle using stickers.  No more FP for moves, instead you can only use moves that you have in your sticker book.  Each sticker is one attack move, and once you use it, it’s gone!  So you are constantly stressing about finding the right stickers and managing the stickers you have.  While I might be complaining because it’s different from the older games, I do admit the change of battle style does keep things interesting and it’s fun when you find a cool rare sticker!  So I’m not really complaining, but it is an adjustment.  I also like how the game incorporates a little more of the Super Mario feel in the world map.  In previous games it was just a linear map, you go from Point A to Point B.  In Sticker Star you have more options on where to go and what order you want to work toward completion, with a map that more closely resembles one you’d find in a Super Mario game.  I really do love this game, it is an excellent mix of the classic Paper Mario and new innovative game play ideas.

I’d highly recommend any of these three games.  Professor Layton is definitely for a more mature crowd, the brain-busting puzzles and eloquently written storyline are definitely more appealing to adults than kids.  (Though I’m sure there’s plenty of smart kids out there who enjoy the game!)  Harvest Moon takes on new challenges, but with it’s slow start and unique gameplay style, I admit it’s better suited for the seasoned HM player.  Not sure a player new to the Harvest Moon series would have the patience to stick it out a whole month with no action, two crops and one cow.  But if you’re willing to wait, it’s turning out to be a fantastic game!  Paper Mario, as I’m sure is no surprise, is a great game for gamers of all ages and level of gaming experience.  It’s just an amazing title for the 3DS and has been well worth the wait.

In addition to all this, I’m also trying to finish up Pokemon Black 2, and at the same time starting up Pokemon White 2.  In Black 2 I’m attempting to beat the Battle Tower in Black City (I just unlocked Area 10 but it’s really hard and I’m scared to try the final level!!) and JDubz and I finally beat the Multi-Battle Subway.  My Pokemon White 2 I’ve only just started up, and so I’m slowly but surely making my way through that game.  Phew!  There just aren’t enough hours in the day to play all these games!

Speaking of not having enough time to play everything, the problem is going to increase even MORE next Sunday.  Why is that?  Well, silly, that’s because the Wii U is being launched on November 18th!  JDubz and I preordered our Black Wii U bundles through Best Buy.  Not our first choice, but with the preorders being so limited, we took what we could find.  However, since Best Buy has a reputation for taking preorders and then not having enough product to actually fulfill said preorders, we plan on going REALLY early and waiting for hours for the store to open.  We are NOT missing out on the launch of this new console!  Even if that means freezing our butts off!  So of course I’ll keep you all posted on how that turns out.  We’re just glad we didn’t end up preordering through the GameStop in JDubz’s town, since that store was completely flooded and to this day has still not re-opened.

So, have you been playing any of the games I’d mentioned?  Are you getting a Wii U at launch too?  Let me know what you’re playing in the comments!

Before I go, I have to plug my friend Vella’s blog because she is fortunate enough to have a basic understanding of Japanese and has a JP 3DS console.  This means she also is lucky enough to have a copy of Animal Crossing 3DS (New Leaf) and has been blogging diligently about all the new features and characters she’s been discovering in her new AC town.  I’m so jealous!  Please check out her blog for a sneak peek at all the awesomeness that comes with the newest Animal Crossing installment!  I’m still waiting for a US release date for this game.  It looks SOOOO AMAZING.  Can’t wait!  For now, let’s all live vicariously through Vella’s blog!

Prelude to the Goddesses Concert

Yesterday I attended the Legend of Zelda: Prelude to the Goddesses Concert at the Nintendo World Store!

Now, I know what you might be thinking. “Wait, what? Didn’t Glux already attend the Symphony of the Goddesses concert earlier this summer? Doesn’t the word prelude mean something that precedes, or comes before something else?” Well, you are correct! However, the concert I went to was in Philadelphia. The Symphony of the Goddesses is coming to NYC in November, so this was a little teaser event to get people excited about the show. This was a free event that was going to start at 6PM.

Prelude to the Goddesses Ticket

Of course, since this was an official Nintendo event in NYC, that means you have to get there really early just to get in! JDubz and I got there around 3:15 and they had already given out wristbands to the front of the line. Luckily we got in on the next batch that they handed out, but we weren’t able to get inside until well after 6PM. The Nintendo World Store is actually fairly small, and was pretty much at capacity with about 200 attendees.

The first part of the event was an Ocarina Workshop and a merchandise stand on the ground floor selling concert t-shirts, posters and even ocarinas! The workshop was pretty interesting; I have some videos of it up on YouTube. The quality isn’t great but I recorded it with my 3DS so… oh well! 😛

Ocarina Guy starts playing Zelda music!

The guy giving the lecture was pretty kickass at playing Ocarina too! It was very interesting, but we had to rush upstairs because we wanted to get a decent spot for the concert. We ended up off to the side, but I tried my best to get as close as possible to the action!

The concert itself was very cool. The ensemble was only 6 instruments, compared to the full orchestra in the real Symphony. Since the store is small, the concert had a more intimate vibe. They played some Zelda staples, and also added some exclusive arrangements, like the theme from Beedle’s Shop, which isn’t in the set list of the Symphony of the Goddesses. (That I can remember anyway lol!)

Show Time!

I have to admit it was a long day of standing around and we were so beat that we ducked out of the concert early. But it was a lot of fun, we got to hang out with our friends at StreetPass NYC. I got a ton of StreetPasses of course, and I got all the puzzle pieces that I needed to complete the Kirby’s 20th Anniversary and New Super Mario Bros. 2 puzzles. Sweet!

In other news, I officially preordered Pokemon Black 2 and a Wii U! I was disappointed though, we tried to preorder the Wii U at GameStop and they said they were sold out already! So we did preorders at Best Buy, but that store isn’t as reliable, and they don’t do cool things like midnight launches. So if I hear that GameStop is accepting preorders again, I’ll switch my reservation. 😛

NSMB2 & Nintendo Direct

*beep beep b-beep!  beep beep b-beep!*

NEWS TIME!

I’m very excited to announce that last weekend, I beat the New Super Mario Bros. 2 game!  I’m so proud!  I’ve never beaten a Mario game on my own like this before, and while it was challenging, it wasn’t TOO hard so I didn’t get frustrated (which is usually what happened with me and other Mario games in the past) and I was able to show Bowser who’s boss!  And I didn’t even have to recruit JDubz [that much] to help me beat the game.

NSMB2

While the story mode might be “complete” I still have to collect all the Star and Moon coins, and unlock all the cannon and special stages.  So I’m still playing all the time.  Does anyone else play this game?  How many coins do you have?  I think I’m hovering in the range of 68,000 coins collected.  I know one guy who has over 500K already… so yeah there’s still a lot of work to be done!  Coin Rush certainly helps in that respect.

I have to say, this game is one of my favorite Super Mario games and one of my favorite 3DS games in general.  The 3D effect looks so cool in the side-scrolling platformer style.  While Super Mario 3D Land is cool, since you can explore the entire ‘world’, I like the simplicity of having a general idea of where I’m supposed to be heading (to the right!) and how to get there.  I think the new Power Ups in NSMB2 are MUCH cooler, such as the golden flower and the golden brick block.  Plus I have to throw in the fact that the background goal of collecting as many coins as possible makes it easier to collect extra lives.  (Currently I have over 330 lives without doing a single “cheat”!)

In other news, this morning (or rather, this evening, since this is from Japan) there was a new Nintendo Direct video… in Japanese.  That’s ok, it still showed some cool stuff and I wanna share it with you!

25th Anniversary Kirby Merch!

I’m not going to cover everything from the 45+ min presentation, just the two things I thought were majorly cool.  The first being that Iwata was holding a giant Kirby beach ball, and proceeded to show other cool merchandise to celebrate Kirby’s 25th Anniversary.  Now the question I have to ask is… will all this sweet Kirby stuff be available in the USA, or only in Japan?  And if it is coming stateside, is this the kinda stuff you’d find at Toys R Us, or do I have to go to Nintendo World to get exclusive Kirby merch?  Unfortunately I have no idea who has the answer to these questions lol.

And finally…  NEW ANIMAL CROSSING 3DS FOOTAGE!  Also, before you get your hopes up, a release date was only announced for Japan so far.  The JP release date is 11/8/2012.  *begin praying for a US announcement of the same date* (yeahh… I wish!)  Obviously I didn’t understand what Iwata was saying, but here’s some screenshots of the Animal Crossing presentation and what I’ve decided is going on in the pictures lol!

Another look into the Mayor’s office. I see a bonsai tree and some medals?

How to Buy a Bridge! (I am scared of those prices tho! lol)

Does this look familiar? It seems that the old Lost and Found building from ACGC is making a comeback!  Booker works here… what happened to Copper tho?

New Flower Shop! Apparently as the mayor, you can change the store hours so you can shop at night? Not sure. Vella, can you help me translate the word in this photo? 😛

Photo Ops! This makes me hope and pray that screenshots will be a function in the new AC3DS game.

New House Designs. This just looks so much cooler than the houses in our current games!

Another look at the two new Alpaca characters that will run a boutique. So cute!!

A new way to share custom designs – QR Codes! Cool!

OK that’s all the info I’ve got about AC3DS for now.  Hopefully since the release date for Japan is so soon, this means more info will be available as the date gets closer.  And then when the game actually comes out, we’ll have plenty to be jealous about until the game becomes available to the US!  lol

Going for the GOLD!

Yesterday was an awesome day!  Not only was it a BIG release date for Nintendo gamers, but I also hosted my first StreetPass Long Island meet up!

First thing in the morning, JDubz and I went to GameStop to pick up our pre-ordered 3DS XL consoles and NSMB2 games.  I opted to wait and trade in my original 3DS later in the year, towards the the cost of a Wii U, so I didn’t have to worry about the stress of doing an in-store data transfer.  This allowed me to get started faster – YAY!

My 3DS XL!

As soon as we got home, I immediately pulled my new console out of the box, to set it up for the 3DS to 3DS XL data transfer.  It takes a little while so I wanted to get it started asap.  Total time spent on the data transfer was about 20 minutes, plus the time it took to copy the data from my 2GB SD Card to the computer, and then from the computer to the 4GB SD Card that comes with the new XL console.  So maybe 25-30 mins over all.  The transfer process is really cute, a bunch of Pikmin come out and “move” the data for you.

Data Transfer… brought to you by Pikmin!

Where were these Pikmin guys I was moving from the city to Long Island?  They would have been a big help lol!

JDubz and I only had a few minutes to try out the New Super Mario Bros. 2 game before we had to head out east to our first StreetPass Long Island meet up.  We kinda decided to do it at the last minute, so most of the group wasn’t able to come.  However, we did meet one guy from the group and we got to talk to him for a while; and I also left a lot of flyers around at GameStop’s and at the Game Play! event that was being held at the Smith Haven Mall.

The Game Play! event was pretty cool.  I was expecting to see some unreleased Nintendo games… but they didn’t have any.  What they did have was a bunch of consoles tethered to tables, and people were playing out all kinds of games.  There was also a set up for Xbox and PS3.  Some guy was giving out free Coke Zero to everyone.

Game Play! tour at Simon Malls across the nation.

While our event wasn’t very big, I’ll chalk that up to last minute notice and the fact that we don’t have that many members to start with.  But the big success was that someone DID come and that’s a small sign that the demand is there for a Long Island StreetPass group.  Everyone who saw my flyers was very excited about the idea, so at this point I’m just…  ‘planting the seeds’ as they say.  It will take time.  I will document everything here on the blog, hopefully we can watch my group grow and flourish over time!  🙂

Speaking of which, I’d like to invite all of my readers to join the StreetPass Long Island Forums.  This is a free forum open to all who want to discuss Nintendo games and 3DS with other gamers.  Obviously we’ll also have some local event stuff posted on the forums, but there is plenty of space to talk about games in general, and you guys are my invited guests to join in any WIFI Tournament we might host in the future.  Please take a minute to click the forum link and sign up, I would really love to see this forum be a resource for all gamers, not just those who live in NY.

Anyway, back to the 3DS XL and NSMB2.  I have to say, I really do LOVE my new console.  I was slightly worried at first, because I’m so used to having a Nerf armor case on my handhelds, I thought it might be uncomfortable in my hands.  But the new 3DS XL is so smooth, it doesn’t really need Nerf.  All the corners are rounded out, so nothing is jutting into your palms as you play.  The feel of the console is so smooth, it has almost a satin feel.  The upper screen is HUGE – I am excited to try watching a show on Netflix on this new device.  I am VERY satisfied so far!  And for those accessory-a-holics like me, you’ll be happy to know that any DSi XL case will fit the 3DS XL.  The DSi version is actually a teeny big wider than the 3DS XL, so all cases will work for both consoles.  I couldn’t leave GameStop without SOME kind of protective casing, so I got a cheap DSi XL case and my 3DS XL fits snugly and safely inside.

Now, onto the New Super Mario Bros. 2!  What an awesome game so far.  I’ve made it up to World 3 – meaning I’ve completed World 1, World 2 and World Mushroom(?).  I’ve collected over 13,000 coins in the game so far.  Far from a million, but one step at a time!  I found a guide to help everyone improve their StreetPass scores in the Coin Rush mode.  Check out this article!

Let me know how many coins you’ve obtained so far!  Let’s see who can get the most, the fastest!  🙂