OMG THE NINTENDO DIRECT OMG

Moments like last night are when I wish I had a Twitch channel so I could have shared my glee with random weebs. Yesterday there was a new Nintendo Direct and it was FILLED with exciting news!! Most importantly…

NEW ANIMAL CROSSING FOR SWITCH IS COMING NEXT YEAR!

But I’ll get back to that in a minute. First, I wanted to talk about all the things I’m hyped about from the latest direct:

  • Luigi’s Mansions galore! There’s a new third game in the Luigi’s Mansion franchise coming out sometime in the future, plus the original GC game coming to 3DS this October.
  • New 3DS Games?!?! Just when you thought that Nintendo was done with the 3DS, they reveal a few new kid-friendly titles like Kirby and Bowser’s Inside Story.
  • Splatoon 2 Updates! I love how they always add new stages and features to this game. It gives me hope that when the new Animal Crossing game comes out, they will add new things just as often as they do in Pocket Camp. Splatoon 2 doesn’t disappoint and their constant game updates really make this game a great value.
  • New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe! Who can pass on the latest version of a Super Mario sidescroller? Plus there are two new playable characters (Nabbit and Toadette) that make the gameplay easier for younger players (or spastic ppl like me).
  • Nintendo Switch Online! It’s finally here! Now we get the pleasure of… paying for online service. Meh. But I’m excited about the Virtual Console library and the prospect of playing those retro games online with my friends. That will be cool! I need to figure out my family plan! lol
  • Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee! They revealed new features, such as your buddy Pokemon being an HM Slave and being able to learn special moves for gym battles. I’m ready to play! But I’ll definitely buy this on cartridge lol!
  • Super Mario Party! This game is coming out soon and to add to the hype, Nintendo showed us that there are ways to play the game that won’t even ruin friendships! You can play in a new CO-OP mode and be on a TEAM with your friends. That should be better for friendships…. right?!?!
  • Yoshi’s Crafted World! I cannot resist Mario’s green dino buddy. I always like Yoshi games, and I love how this franchise has embraced the craft world. I really liked Yarn Yoshi from Yoshi’s Wooly World, and now in the latest game they are adding more crafts to the design, like cardboard and string and it’s just so cute. The design styles of these Yoshi games are beautiful and I can’t get enough! Yay crafts!
  • Civilization 6!!! OMG! I wasn’t expecting this one! I looooove Civ I have been playing it since Civ 2 on Windows 95. I loved playing Civ on the DS back in the day as well, carrying my empire in my bag so I can play whenever I want is so great! I will be SO excited to play Civ 6 on my Switch coming this November! EEEEEE!!!!
  • New LE Switch Consoles! Here come all the cutely designed money-grabbing limited edition Switch systems! Not too long ago Nintendo announced the special Pikachu/Eevee limited edition Switch with custom color scheme and images of the cute Pokemon on the Switch dock. In the direct they showed off a new Smash Bros. Ultimate Switch design. This must mean that more exclusive designs are on the way in the future. Personally, I don’t love either of the two designs, and the fact that the dock is what gets most of the artwork is not a huge appeal to me. But we’ll see… if they make an Animal Crossing edition that I think is cute, I might get that!
  • ISABELLE IN SMASH!!! What??! I wasn’t expecting this at all! I am super psyched to try out Isabelle and make her my new main! I loved playing as Villager in Smash 4, so I would imagine that Isabelle will have a similar moveset. Hopefully she is quick and powerful!
  • ANIMAL CROSSING 2019!!!!!!!! As I expected, once the hype of Smash Bros. Ultimate has waned and Nintendo needs a boost, Animal Crossing will be ready for us to play on Switch! While it’s devastating to have to wait until NEXT year to get this game, I am super thrilled! I’m sure they will slowly reveal more details as time goes by, so my anticipation is SUPER HIGH! Who knows, maybe some of my predictions from my AC Switch Wish List will come true!

As usual, I didn’t cover everything in the latest Nintendo Direct, so I highly recommend that everyone watch it if you haven’t already! So much exciting gaming coming up on the horizon! What are you the most excited about??

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Nintendo Fall Forecast

It’s the first day of August! When I was a kid, that usually meant the start of the “Back to School” frenzy of commercials for new fall outfits and hunting for school supplies. Lately, in my adult life, the start of the fall season means LOTS OF NEW GAMES! Why do all the best games come out this time of year? I don’t know. But they do. (I guess to lead up to the holiday season?) Well my body is READY. Is my wallet?

Let’s take a look at some of MY favorite big name Nintendo titles coming out this fall!

8.28.18 – Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate

Capcom’s latest Monster Hunter title (in North America, anyway) is making it’s way onto the Switch! I was lucky enough to play a brief demo of MHGU at E3 this past June and I’ll admit that the game feels very much… the same. As with all the main MH games, you hunt down monsters in a maze of maps, collect drop items, etc. This latest game boasts the largest roster of monsters EVER. All I really hope for in this game is the continuation of what I consider some of the best free DLC you can find. In past games, Capcom would release new missions and fun costumes as free DLC every month, which I think adds new challenge (and VALUE) and keeps players coming back. So far they have announced Breath of the Wild DLC with MHGU, so fingers crossed that the trend continues!

10.5.18 – Super Mario Party

Yes I just glazed over Mega Man 11 (coming out in October as well). I don’t like Mega Man – DEAL WITH IT. And I just promoted Capcom’s other main franchise, so I think that’s enough!! ON WITH THE PARTY! I’ve always played Mario Party. We had it back on N64 in the late 90’s, and my sisters and I certainly have a few favorite mini games. Unfortunately, those games don’t matter anymore because Super Mario Party is all about the Joy Con technology! The latest game in this friendship ending franchise has been revamped for the Switch, including specific character dice, new game board elements and yep – Brand. New. Mini. Games. I imagine that this will be what 1-2 Switch SHOULD have been, meaning an actual, fully-fledged-out game utilizing the inventive mini game options that the Joy Con provide. I’m looking forward to adding this game to my list of party games to play at gamer meetups!

11.16.18 – Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee

Here is yet another Pokemon spinoff that you never knew you wanted but you’re still compelled to buy, despite the apparent lack of exciting game play. Let’s face it, we all just want this game to give Pikachu/Eevee (depending on which game you buy) a dapper new haircut. I’ll admit that I also want the expensive Pokeball peripheral device too. ($35 extra!!) I’m going to buy this on cartridge because I’m very unsure about how much I’ll enjoy this game and need the option to trade it back to GameStop someday. But it does seem promising. I do like chibi Misty. I’m hoping this game is some kind of hybrid between Pokemon Ranger and My Pokemon Ranch (since you can transfer over the mons you’ve collected in Pokemon Go) but only time will tell!

12.7.18 – Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Monster Hunter isn’t the only game that gets to be ULTIMATE in 2018! A new Smash title is stepping into the ring, and yes ok technically it’s not coming out in the FALL per se… but how could I not include Smash? There’s like a billion characters, all the old favorites are back, some new additions are joining the fray, and we have new stages and features to obsess over! I tried the demo at E3 and it was my favorite game at the convention. I can’t wait to learn all the moves of the new characters like Ridley and Inkling, and relearn old favorites like Snake and Ice Climbers. This will be the hot item to buy for the holidays… but let’s face it, I won’t wait til Christmas! Midnight launch at Nintendo NYC Store, perhaps??

Welp those are all the BIG titles that I’m looking forward to for the rest of the year. I know I skipped over lots of other great games, indie games, eShop games, etc! If you feel OFFENDED AND TRIGGERED that I left out your favorite upcoming game, please tell me off in the comments!¬†ūüėÖ

E3 2018: A Brief Recap

This year, my awesome friend Carney and I decided to take a trip to Los Angeles and attend E3 2018! I just got back and while I intend to write a blog about the ENTIRE trip, I wanted to do a quickie overview of E3 first.

LOS ANGELES

Things that were great about E3:

  • Game Demos. Obvi. If you can manage to get into a line, playing some of the latest games is one of the best parts of E3. I played Super Smash Bros. for Switch, as well as the new Monster Hunter. However, those were the only demos I managed to play. More on that later.
  • Swag. While not QUITE as impressive an offering as I remembered in 2013, there is still a decent amount of free stuff to get at E3. Tote bags, Vault Boy masks, and free Drakes snack cakes were some of the most prevalent finds at the convention center.
  • Decor. For some reason, the booth setups at E3 are always the coolest. I’ve gone to NYCC, PAX East and PAX West and none of it compares to E3 when it comes to life-size dioramas and game world immersion.

Things that were pretty shitty about E3:

  • Lines. LINES!!! I quickly realized that E3 actually stands for Everything has 3 Hour Lines. Because that’s how it is. We got there at 9am and by the time I was scanned in and at the Nintendo booth at 9:24, the line for Let’s Go Pikachu was 3 hours long. It was very disheartening. The only reason I was able to play the Smash demo was because they forced us to book time slots in advance. But now I’m actually grateful they made me do the extra work because that at least ensured that I got to play SOMETHING. Jeez.
  • Lack of Panels. There were not many ‘events’ planned for E3. Not that it would have mattered, because you’d probably have to commit an entire day to waiting on the line to get in. But one of the best parts of conventions are celebrity panels. Why aren’t there any at E3?
  • The Cool Nintendo Events Weren’t Actually At E3. The Splatoon 2 Tournament was held at a theater offsite and you had to line up at a specific time on June 11th (BEFORE E3 EVEN STARTS) to get wristbands. Guess what? My flight was only arriving at that time. Same deal with the Smash Bros. Tournament – that day they were giving out tickets at the same time as my Smash Bros. demo time slot. Soooo wait in a line in hopes of getting tickets to watch the Smash Invitational, or actually go to E3 and play the demo I had registered for in advance. Naturally we went with the sure thing. But why was Nintendo forcing us to pick which thing was a priority? It felt very unfair. I caught a few glimpses of the tournaments on live feeds they had on TV screens. Whoop.
  • You Can’t Even Go to the Major Press Conferences. Yeah yeah I don’t have a press pass. But in the game company livestream videos, it always looks like a huge auditorium filled with fans in attendance. In reality, those are all paid professional press badge holders at those events. They are getting PAID to cheer. Actual die-hard fans don’t even get to go to the press conferences. Hmph. Plus they hold the press conferences early in the morning when the rest of us plebs have to wait in lines to get in. We don’t even get to watch unless we wanna burn mobile data.

You might sense my disappointment in E3 by now. You would be very correct. I quickly realized that the lines are likely to be much more manageable when I go to the Nintendo NYC store and play in the E3 Demo Area in the convenience of my home state. Honestly, my time spent away from E3 was much more fun. I did lots of cool touristy things and had a blast in LA. I’ll blog about the rest of my trip in a day or two. But for now, check out my Flickr album and enjoy the VISUALS of E3…. at least it’s a very IG-friendly event.

Animal Crossing & Smash: An Observation

Wii U Animal Crossing Stage

Wii U Animal Crossing Stage

Hey everyone! Super Smash Bros. Wii U is coming out THIS FRIDAY (11/21/14) and I got a chance to play it early at a demo event this past weekend. I was really excited about the new Animal Crossing stage! But when I saw it in all it’s glory… I realized it was a bit dated.

Am I the only one who cares about this? I touched¬†on this a little in my last blog entry. The Villager, the Wii U Animal Crossing stage… everything except for Tortimer Island in Smash 3DS is actually based on Animal Crossing: City Folk, and not Animal Crossing: New Leaf. I guess I’m the only one who thinks this is weird? I’m sure it’s a result of games like these being so content-heavy that production takes years, and when they were working on the Smash game ACCF might have been the only option for the game designers to use as a model. But personally it kind of bothers me! I’m just being nit-picky. I think they should have updated the look of the Villager characters to match ACNL, at least.

super_smash_bros_female_villager-640x360

 

ACNL Female Villager

ACNL Female Villager

Again, notice that these SSB4 Villager characters are short and well, wide around the middle. The female at the end is jumping and you can see her little undies, which was a trademark (and pet-peeve of mine) of the female characters in ACCF and earlier. I was happy when they changed the look of the human characters in ACNL, making them a little more proportionate and girls’ underwear not visible lol! I think this would have been an improvement for Smash players too, because the way the Villager was designed, the character is more of a¬†shorter, child size character like Ness or¬†Toon Link. I would have pictured the Villager as a medium height¬†character in Smash Bros., especially since the villagers are almost as tall as the tall bears in ACNL.

Height comparison - Vllager and Grizzly, courtesy of the awesome Sosostris Blog!

Height comparison – Villager and Grizzly, courtesy of the awesome Sosostris Blog!

Aside from the Villager character design in Smash, my other observation is about the Wii U Animal Crossing stage. (NOTE: SPOILER ALERT!!!) It’s a fantastic stage, excellent for competitive play and incorporates the “rolling log” effect of the Animal Crossing games, which is really cool! The graphics look amazing. So amazing that you can see the Town Gate all the way in the background… wait a sec. Town Gate?? This is a feature from the Animal Crossing City Folk series! In ACNL, there are train tracks, the Train Station and a stairway to the Shopping District at the north-most part of town.

Wii_U_AC_Stage

 

See those adorable Animal Crossing characters that stand along the background of the flat area in the stage? Sure, you might recognize the three pictured here, but during the stage these characters change! I saw Frillard and Serena appear in that part of the stage a few times, and players new to ACNL will certainly not know who they are lol! Plus, you can clearly see a sign for the bus stop, which does not exist in ACNL.

Another feature of this stage in Smash is that you actually follow a bus to the city. It’s really cute! I don’t have any images of that so no major spoilers here but I just think it’s interesting that they chose to model this stage after the Wii game instead of the latest 3DS game. I know it’s not a big deal and I’m a fan of throw-backs too… it’s just not what I was expecting I guess.

Tortimer Island

Tortimer Island

Really can’t complain though. At least Animal Crossing is represented in the game! And we do have Tortimer Island, which is a really awesome stage in Super Smash Bros. 3DS. I love this stage because of the awesome music, its like a remix of the¬†songs Kapp’n sings on the boat ride to the island! Plus you can get eaten by sharks and harvest fruit from the trees. It’s one of my favorite stages!

Wouldn’t it be great if all of the ACNL animal townies were assist trophies? Or all the gyroids?? You know, maybe they should just make an Animal Crossing/Fighting Game crossover series to get more people¬†interested in the franchise lol! I’d play it…

Smash is Back!

The return of Mayor Gluxie.

Mayor Gluxie had been missing from Jubilife Town in ACNL for quite some time. Weeks, months probably… Isabelle was up to her doggy ears in paperwork trying to pick up the slack. Where was Mayor Gluxie? There wasn’t much of an excuse for the absence all summer, but in the past month, Animal Crossing Villagers had been spotted in another popular Nintendo title.

Where the Villager has been…

OK, so maybe you pro’s might notice that the Villager pictured here isn’t really Mayor Gluxie. Let’s just go with the suspension of disbelief ok? They didn’t make Mayor Gluxie’s face type an option in Super Smash Bros. 3DS lol! Also, I don’t know if anyone else noticed this but the “sprite” of the Villager character still maintains the fashion style and proportions of the ACCF/ACWW Villager, note that you can see the female Villager’s undies¬†– something that was done away with in the newest installment of the game. The¬†Villager is also not as tall and slender as in ACNL. Am I the only one who cares? Probably.

Since the release of Super Smash Bros. 3DS on October 3rd, I’ve been playing this game practically non-stop. When I need a dose of nonviolence, I’ll switch over to ACNL, Harvest Moon or Tomodachi Life. But that usually doesn’t last long before I start jonesin’ for some more Smash action. I’m really enjoying the latest Smash Bros. game, there are a lot of new features and game modes. Plus… you can take SCREENSHOTS! I’ve decided to turn Smash into my own personal Pokemon Snap Redux. I’m going to start taking photos of every Pokemon and build¬†myself a Smash Pokedex. And of course, I’ll only use the BEST photos, only the ones that would be up to Professor Oak’s standards! Save that for a future blog entry… lol!

Pokemon Snap Smash!

Overall, I have a ton of things I love about Super Smash Bros. 3DS. The updated graphics look amazing, the new characters add more options and being able to customize them really opens up the playing field in the competitive scene. I love the multiplayer options – from the original Smash mode to Smash Run and don’t forget the 2-Player games like Multi-man Smash! Since the game is now portable, it’s even easier to participate in local Smash Tournaments in the area. I recently went to a tournament in NYC and we dressed up in Smash Bros. cosplay. It was so much fun!

Smash Bros. Cosplayers!

I might not have won the tournament (wah) but I did make it to the second round, and I got a decent number of KO’s. I just need to keep practicing. If any of you out there want to battle, hit me up on Twitter – @gluxbox!

If that wasn’t enough gaming for you, there are three cool titles coming out THIS FRIDAY (Oct. 24th)! Coming to stores is the adorable Fantasy Life, which is another open-world style game with a bit of action and quests thrown in. Also coming out on 10/24 is Pokemon Art Academy so we can learn how to draw some of our favorite Pokemon – and I hear each game comes with a demo code for Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby, which is coming out this November! Not to be forgotten is Bayonetta 2¬†releasing this Friday for the Wii U, which has really cool dark graphics and a lot of magic and dragon-filled action/adventure (check out the demo on the eShop now)! I’m definitely picking up Fantasy Life on Friday… the others might have to wait. Too many games, my wallet can’t handle it lol!

What games have YOU been playing lately?? ¬†ūüėÄ

Holy Awesome Games!!

If you haven’t seen the latest Nintendo Direct, or rather, the Smash Bros. Direct from 4/8/14… well you are missing out.¬† The half hour long presentation has taken the Nintendo community by storm!¬† New game footage and details have been revealed about the upcoming Smash Bros. games for Nintendo Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.

There is just TOO much to hype about in the upcoming Smash games!!¬† So many new Pokemon playable characters, the Animal Crossing Villager character, new stages, new Final Destination stage options, new game modes for the 3DS version… and the graphics for the Wii U version are just so fantastic, I can’t get over it!¬† If you haven’t checked out the Nintendo Direct, watch it here.¬† Even if you’ve never played Smash Bros. before, now is the time to get into this franchise.

Can I just say that I totally LOVE Sakurai??¬† His hair is awesome!¬† He clearly is a huge Pokemon fan, has a hilarious sense of humor, and definitely represents what I consider to be “my generation” of gamers.¬† Is it bad that I secretly wish Sakurai would host all future Nintendo Direct videos?¬† ūüėõ

The bad news is that we have to wait.¬† Super Smash Bros. 3DS won’t be released until this summer.¬† The Wii U version is slated to be released this WINTER (holiday season no doubt) so we have a while before that new challenger will approach.¬† Not to mention we don’t have any actual concrete release dates.¬† I hate that!¬† My main worry is that the Wii U version will eventually be pushed back to 2015.¬† Fingers crossed that the developers stay on schedule.¬† Super Smash Bros. is going to be huge for StreetPass communities, and I can’t wait!!¬† So what am I supposed to do until then?

Good news!¬† Lots of cool games are coming out in the coming weeks and months.¬† Tomorrow, April 11th is the release date for Disney Magical World, which I’m sure many of my readers are psyched about!¬† If you haven’t heard of it, it’s kind of like a cross between Disney Infinity and Animal Crossing, with a touch of Harvest Moon.¬† You’re in the Disney world, and you get to interact with the Disney characters in a similar way to how Animal Crossing works.¬† From what I understand, it follows the daily calendar.¬† But you also get to gather items and collect things, which you use to craft OTHER things, which is why I say it’s also kind of like Harvest Moon.¬† Plus there’s some action/battling and you also run a cafe.¬† Everything I like!¬† If you want to learn more, check out this trailer:

Lots of cool games are coming out in May as well.  Namely, the awesome new Kirby Triple Deluxe and Mario Golf are both slated to be released early May.  At the end of May comes Mario Kart 8 for Wii U, which also looks to be AMAZING.  Sweet HD graphics on Rainbow Road?  Yes please!!

So hopefully all of those new games will tide us over until the release of Smash on 3DS later this summer.¬† I know I barely have time to play the games I have… I bought Yoshi’s New Island recently and have barely had a chance to play it because I’m still backlogged!¬† I was rushing to beat Pokemon X before the PVGC, but now that the big competition is over I can put Pokemon down for a minute.¬† What I really want to do is finish Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward which I had rented from GameFly.¬† I’m like half way through it so that’s my goal.

And if you are wondering… I have NO idea how I am going to manage 3 ACNL towns as well as Disney Magical World.¬† I haven’t even played ACNL in over a week, I’m sad to say.¬† There are just not enough hours in the day!¬† I’m hoping I will make some time to play games this weekend, even though I will be in Boston for PAX East.

But what can I say?¬† I have a ton of awesome games to play so I really can’t complain can I?¬† ūüėÄ