super-mario-odyssey

E3 2017: Our 3 Favorite Things from the Nintendo Presser

Only Nintendo could show up to E3 with a 20-minute pre-recorded presentation and almost run away with the show. in fact, if it weren’t for Bethesda, Nintendo would have won E3 by a mile. Here are our three favorite announcements from Nintendo’s presser:

 

Kirby–Kirby just rules. I feel like he’s one of the more underrated Nintendo mascots, but there are so many fun Kirby games throughout the history of Nintendo consoles. Looks like the Switch will be no different.

 

Super Mario Odyssey–Shame on everyone who even doubted how awesome this game was going to be. I think the T. Rex puts any questions to rest, don’t you?

 

Metroid: Samus Returns–A remake/update of the Metroid II GameBoy game? Hell. Yes.

 

Honorable Mention: Metroid Prime 4–The only reason this one wasn’t higher was because we basically saw nothing about the game. But we know it exists, and that’s pretty great.

In addition to the games above, we saw Rocket League on the Switch, a new Yoshi, a cross-platform Monster Hunter and more. Nintendo killed it at E3 this ear. What were your favorite announcements from them?

NintendoSwitch_hardware.0.0

I Pre-Ordered The Nintendo Switch–Did You?

Hey gang, Brian here. We are just over two weeks away from the launch of the Nintendo Switch. And the closer we get to launch the more I keep hearing people argue about whether or not it’s worth pre-ordering, or if people should wait until there are more games out for the system, or the price drops, or some bundles arrive.

I pre-ordered mine the day the went up. Why? Because there was never a doubt for me that I would be getting the new Nintendo console. I bought the WiiU, the Wii, the New 3DS Xl, the 3DS, the DS (a few times), and a slew of GameBoy models over the years. I got the NES for Christmas the year it came out, and the original GameBoy as well. In fact,the only time I wasn’t an avid Nintendo player was during the N64 and early GameCube eras (when I was mainly gaming on the Genesis, Dreamcast and Playstation).

I am a fan of Nintendo, and one of the things I love about them the most is how they don’t follow what Sony and Microsoft do. The Switch is nothing like the PS4 or Xbox One, and I love that. To me, it’s more an evolution of what they were trying to do with the Wii, and as a PS Vita owner, it seems like a better and more versatile version of the PS Vita.

So, it was a no-brainer for em to order the Switch. I’ll play Zelda at launch, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to pick up some classic games (or even more recent Wii or WiiU games I missed) through the eShop. The Switch isn’t my only console, so it doesn’t need to have everything for me.

Now don’t get me wrong–Nintendo has done plenty to screw up this launch, as they usually do. The launch lineup is weak, the accessories are way too expensive, the streaming features aren’t available at launch, and we still have little idea what the online service is actually going to look like. Nintendo has a way of shooting themselves in the foot and making things more complicated than they need to be. The launch of the Switch appears to be no different.

But that won’t stop me from enjoying the heck out of the Switch when I get it on March 3rd.

I hope the Switch is a huge success for Nintendo. A healthy Nintendo is good for the games industry. What I’d love to see more than anything is for them to phase out the 3DS and truly move forward with one platform. There are tons of 3DS games that never really used the second screen anyway and could become eShop games for the Switch. And of course, the DS and GameBoy libraries should be available for the Switch as well. The Switch could bring it all together.

It probably won’t, because this is Nintendo. But I will still love them, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the Switch.

So–did you pre-order the Switch?

ujyaevr9sqg00_dzole4y3kiti8ashqa

Co-Op Critics Podcast: Nintendo Switch Reveal

nx_hardware-1

In a special episode of the Co-Op Critics podcast, Brian and Nick give their initial reactions to the reveal of Nintendo’s next console, the Nintendo Switch. They discuss what they think of the hardware, what they hope to see from the console, and what price point they think it will launch at.

Here’s the reveal trailer for the Nintendo Switch:

And you can listen to the podcast right here:

Listen to “Co-Op Critics 027–Nintendo Switch Reveal” on Spreaker.

You can also listen to back episodes on our podcast page. And don’t forget to check out the YouTube page for tons of videos and games discussion!

Super_Mario_Galaxy_-_North_American_Boxart

The More Info That leaks About The Nintendo NX, The More Excited I Get For It

Over at Let’s Play Video Games today, Laura Dale provided some updates to information that has been leaking on the upcoming Nintendo NX (you can read that article here).

So, we’ve been hearing for a while now that it would be a tablet-like unit with detachable controllers, but eh first diagrams that leaked had me questioning how that was going to work for local multiplayer. In those early concept images, both of the detachable controls had an analog stick, but one had buttons while the other had a D-pad.

In the most recent info though, it’s not being reported that the D-pad will be split (like the PS4 D-pad), meaning there is a distinct button for each direction. This makes a lot of sense, as it means that the four direction buttons can double as face buttons, making both detachable controllers able to function in the same way.

This seems like a super small detail, but I’m really excited about it.

So, it looks like the NX will be region-free, will use cartridges and will be able to hook up to your TV for big screen gaming. As a mobile device it can be used for either single-layer gaming or local multiplayer.

Most importantly, this looks to finally be the fusion of Nintendo’s handheld and TV consoles that I have been wanting for years. I can’t wait until we hear some definitive news from Nintendo in September!!

nintendo-logo

SI_GenericNintendo

I Love What I’m Hearing About the Nintendo NX

An article in the Wall Street Journal this week said that dev kits are now being sent out for the NX, Nintendo’s upcoming hybrid platform that is projected to be released by the end of 2016.

It seems that the new NX will have a “mobile unit” that could be used alongside the console or as a portable device. Earlier in 2015, Nintendo filed a patent for a new controller that bore a passing resemblance to both the WiiU GamePad and the PlayStation Vita:

jpg

Now, most of what is out there is rumors at this point, but we know the NX is coming (because Nintendo announced it) and we know it will be a dedicated gaming system with a “brand new concept” (former Nintendo President Satoru Iwata’s words).

So let’s assume that what we’re talking about is a hybrid console that will feature a handheld that can also connect to the home console unit, either as a controller, or as the primary device that is scaled up for the television experience.

In my opinion, this is exactly the direction Nintendo should be going in. They own the handheld market, and they have proven to be able to create amazing experiences for their handheld platforms. Their handhelds have also historically had good third party support, something that their home consoles have not.

I thought Nintendo missed the boat with the WiiU by not allowing the 3DS to function as a controller or game portal. But I am very encouraged to see this is where they appear to be heading.

What’s interesting is that if the patent document is any indication, it looks like the NX controller/handheld is ditching the second screen. That makes sense if it’s being used in conjunction with the TV, but it will be interesting to see how the games function on the handheld alone.

In any case, I am so glad Nintendo is continuing to chart their own path. As we’ve seen with Microsoft, they did not have the fortitude to stick with their original plan for the Xbox One, and it may have cost them this generation. By taking out connect and watering down their online plans, there’s nothing to differentiate them from PlayStation now, especially with the lack of exclusives this generation. If nothing else, Nintendo will continue to make sure their consoles and handhelds are not carbon copies of what everyone else is doing. And I think we need that.

LEGO

LEGO DIMENSIONS is Going to Completely Redefine the “Toys to Life” Genre

Today Warner Brothers and LEGO and TT Games unveiled their next big thing–LEGO Dimensions, a “toys to life” game like Skylanders and Disney Infinity, where players will be able to play through all of the different licensed LEGO worlds using a portal, toys and figures they assemble themselves. Here’s the reveal trailer:

Now you might be thinking that since the addition of Nintendo’s Amiibo, the toys to life genre is a bit over-saturated right now. And that might be true, but LEGO is about to completely transform this genre, because they are adding an element that the other have not and cannot (at least to the same degree).

Building.

As you see in the trailer, Joel McHale actually builds the portal that is then used to activate figures and vehicles. He also uses pieces of the Batmobile to create an entirely new type of vehicle. And while we really don’t see much in the way of gameplay in this trailer, I believe those things are shown for a reason. With that in mind, imagine an expansion set for the game where you’re building the vehicles, weapons and structures yourself, and then porting them into the game. I’m sure there will be limitations as to what you can actually do, but even just building the Batmobile and porting it in is pretty darn sweet.

I have an eight year old son, and I can tell you he is going to lose his mind over this. We already have Skylanders and Disney Infinity, which we both play together. He is also a huge LEGO fan, as evidenced by the thousands of LEGOs we have and his LEGO Club membership. This game will be a day one purchase for us.

The potential of LEGO Dimensions is endless. And I’m sure everyone has their ideas of what sets they want to see in the future, so allow me to make a suggestion. If Microsoft is smart, they will find a way to make a LEGO Minecraft XBox exclusive set happen. Not only would it make the Xbox One the lead platform for LEGO Dimensions, it would sell gangbusters. I cannot wait to get my hands on this game.

tOsT0Q2C

What I’d Like the Nintendo NX to Be

Yesterday Nintendo made headlines and saw their stock prices jump with two major announcements.

First, Nintendo is finally going to be entering the smartphone game arena, as they announced a partnership with mobile developer DeNA to develop new games based on Nintendo franchises. These will not be ports, but original games designed from the ground up for mobile devices. That’s huge news and I’ll be talking more about that in another post.

The second big announcement was that Nintendo is currently working on their next hardware platform, codenamed “NX.” Iwata promised more info next year, but reiterated this will be a dedicated game console with “a brand new concept.”

It’s the “brand new concept” piece of that news that has me the most excited. Because I hope it means that Nintendo is really going to break away from what they’ve been doing and put all of their efforts into one, unified game console.

I think we can all agree on a couple of things about Nintendo. One, that they make amazing first-party games. No matter how badly the GameCube or the WiiU has sold, there is no denying that Nintendo makes great games. Sadly some of their consoles end up being machines that you just play Nintendo exclusives on. Which is fine by me, as I am a very happy WiiU owner who buys most of Nintendo’s first-party titles.

Second–Nintendo makes one heck of a handheld gaming console. From the original GameBoy (which I got at launch) up through the New Nintendo 3DS, no one does handheld gaming like Nintendo. It’s not even remotely close. Even when Sony came out with a vastly technologically superior device in the Vita, they couldn’t touch the 3DS in terms of sales. And unlike Nintendo’s TV-based consoles, their handhelds actually get third-party support.

So keeping those two things in mind, what I would like to see from Nintendo is a handheld console that can stream to TV. A new design on the 3DS that includes either a dock or some other form of connectivity to the TV. Forget about competing with the Xboxes and PlayStations of the world in terms of graphics and processing power. Stick to what Nintendo does best–handheld gaming and stellar first-party experiences–and give folks the option to play on a bigger screen if they want to.

That’s it. That’s all I’d really like to see from Nintendo in their next console. I will actually be less interested if they come out with a machine that is designed to compete with Xbox and PlayStation. Frankly, those two machines are too alike now, and they are getting close to making themselves obsolete as they get more and more similar to PCs. Steam Boxes will only exacerbate that problem for Microsoft and Sony.

So, now is the time for Nintendo to break away and focus on what they do that no one else can do. I really hope “NX” will be Nintendo doubling down on their strengths.