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Super Mario Maker sells 1 million copies worldwide in just two weeks

Super Mario may very well be the most important gaming franchise in the industry’s history, and fans new and old are quickly finding that Super Mario Maker is giving fans something incredible. That something is level creation, and fans are responding with 1 million copies of the game now sold through just the first two weeks of the game’s launch.

Game’s have slowly evolved with more and more of them incorporating user-generated content within the game.

Nintendo’s decision to follow the trend with Super Mario was able to create a huge level of excitement with fans now making intricate games allowing creativity to flourish and the amount of extremely challenging and satisfying games to be created on the classic 2D Mario landscape.

The game currently available on the Wii U is now offering over 2.2 million Super Mario Courses with over 75 million total playthroughs of those courses.

The touchpad and stylus are perfect for Nintendo to implement 2D level creation.
The touchpad and stylus are perfect for Nintendo to implement 2D level creation.

Taking advantage of the Wii U’s touchpad to make level creation seamless and easy and giving fans access to virtually all assets — settings, items, enemies, power-ups, and more — has proved to be extremely effective at encouraging people to both enjoy the world’s of others and inspire them to create their own.

Nintendo of America and COO Reggie Fils-Aime spoke about his own excitement for the title.

“For Mario fans around the world, including myself, Super Mario Maker was a dream 30 years in the making. The game has captured and unlocked the imaginations of gaming fans of all ages and brought their dedication to Nintendo to a whole new level.”

Super Mario Maker is available now exclusively on the Wii U for $59.99 both digital and physical.

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Play Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows on September 17

Yacht Club Games has finally declared when Shovel Knight’s DLC will be released. Every version of Shovel Knight, which includes the 3DS, Wii U, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One, and PC, is receiving a free update that will add a new campaign for the game called Plague of Shadows on September 17, 2015.

Read information about the game that Yacht Club Games has on their blog below.

Description

sk_PlagueOfShadows_02Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows is a free expansion for Shovel Knight, a sweeping classic action adventure game that won over 70 Game of the Year Awards in 2014. You play as Plague Knight, the villainous master of alchemy, in a quest all his own. Using his maniacal scientific mind, Plague Knight is seeking to concoct Serum Supernus, the Ultimate Potion. However, to retrieve these ingredients, he must extract them from his
former allies… the villainous knights of the Order of No Quarter! World class platforming, music, storytelling, and art all return in Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows; an explosive quest with a new play style, new story, new bosses, and more!

Features

An adventure featuring a New Star: Plague Knight!plagueKnight010

  • See your favorite game from a new point of view! Play as the explosive trickster Plague Knight with new story and gameplay!
  • Join Plague Knight on his quest to overthrow the Order of No Quarter! Become the ultimate alchemist… and maybe find some romance, too…

New Gameplay

  • Explode onto the scene as Plague Knight! Use explosives, bomb jumps, and alchemy to blast your way through the game in a whole new way!
  • Crafting Comes to Shovel Knight with the Alchemy System! Collect loot and use alchemy to craft equipment and power-ups
  • Collect new recipes and reagents to become the master of disaster!

Remixed Game Content

  • New objectives and enemies!
  • Brand new areas and new paths through classic levels!
  • New bosses!
  • Is your science up to snuff? Take on Plague Knight specific challenges with new Feats!
  • Prove your mettle in Challenge Mode. Take on speed run challenges, boss rematches, and other rule-benders… and expect some tricky puzzles too!

monaPotionarium480Yacht Club Games has also mentioned that you will need to complete the original game before you will be able to play the new campaign and Challenge Modes. However, if you have lost a save file or have repurchased the game on another platform, the developers are willing to offer a special code that unlocks the new content.

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Wii U experiences surge of popularity in recent months

It is no secret that Nintendo’s Wii U has struggled to find its balance. The Japanese gaming console has been the slowest selling console in the company’s history. However recent sales figures have brought a bit of good news. The Wii U’s home country, Japan has seen a surge of popularity these pasts few months.

Sales figures released by Media Create, a Japanese data research firm, has confirmed that Nintendo has sold 2,508,312 units in Japan since it’s November 2012 release. From last November until the present day, Nintendo has sold an impressive 500,000 Wii U’s.

In comparison, Sony’s PS4 has sold a respectable number of units in Japan — estimated to be 1.6 million consoles. As these Japanese consoles continue to enjoy great success in their native country, the American originated Xbox One struggled to even make a dent in the market there. The Xbox One has sold roughly 50,000 — 10 times less than the Wii U has sold there in just the last year.

The Wii U console is still struggling in the global market with even its creators not speaking to highly of it, waiting for it to make a similar turnaround

“…this system and this approach didn’t mesh well with the period in which we released it.” – Shigeru Miyamoto, Representative Director of Nintendo

Can this turnaround in Japan lead the Wii U to a comeback? Or will Nintendo’s in-development “NX” console keep consumers holding off?

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Mario, Yoshi, and other new Amiibos coming from Nintendo

Gamers have already been aware of some of the amiibos that are debuting this Fall but when those amiibos will come out and which ones will be apart of a bundle have been left unanswered until now.

On September 11, the Classic Mario amiibo will retail as a separate release from Super Mario Maker at $12.99, while the 30th Anniversary Mario Modern Color amiibo will only be available from the Super Mario Maker Wii U bundle for $299.99.

amiiboMario Maker Wii U bundle

October 16 will have a Yoshi Woolly World bundle that will come with the green Yoshi Yarn amiibo at $59.99. The pink and light-blue Yoshi Yarn amiibos can be purchased separately at $16.99 each.

YWW-amiibo-mega-4
The Mega Yarn Yoshi can be scanned by placing one of Yoshi’s feet on the Wii U gamepad.

In addition to that, a Mega Yarn Yoshi, a giant green Yoshi amiibo made of yarn, will go on sale November 15 for $39.99. When the amiibo is scanned wile playing Yoshi’s Woolly World will activate:

  • Double Yoshi, a second Yoshi to use at any point in the middle of a stage
  • the ability to save a player’s favorite Yoshi pattern to the amiibo.

These are the same features that are also enabled by the standard Yarn Yoshi amiibos.

More characters from Super Smash Bros. are continuing to come out like the 3-pack of Mii Fighters on November 1 for $34.99, the Mewtwo amiibo being sold on November 13 at $12.99, and the Falco amiibo launching on November 20 at $12.99.

For Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival, Nintendo will have Isabelle, Digby, K.K., Reese, Cyrus, Tom Nook, Mabel, and Lottie all become amiibos. As of right now both the game and the amiibos will be purchasable Holiday 2015 but a specific date has yet to be disclosed.eeeeeeIncluding the Yoshi variants, Nintendo will have 28 new amiibos this Fall and Winter which is 10 more than what was released last year during the same time. Amiibo collectors may have a more difficult time keeping track of store exclusives, bundle exclusives, as well as amiibos that become inexplicably hard to find. For those attempting ‘catch ’em all’, good luck.

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Splatoon getting an enormous update on August 5th

Splatton is getting a massive update on August 5, 2015. The new content will offer Squad Battle and Private Battle as new matching options, new weapon types, a level-cap increase, and more than 40 pieces of new gear.

  • Squad Battle allows players to participate in Ranked Battles with a team of their friends, instead of the original random selection. Two to four friends can form a WiiU_Splatoon_screen_SquadBattleLobby_02squad and they will always be on the same team.
  •  Friends can face off in customization matches with Private Battles. Ranging from 1v1 to 4v4, up to eight friends can compete in battles of their own choosing.
  • The level-cap will increase from lvl 20 to lvl 50 in Regular Battle and Rank A+ to S+ in Ranked Battle.
  • The two new weapon types are the Slosher, a bucket-like weapon that launches ink at an incredible range; and the Splatling, a gatling-gun style rifle can charge blasts of all-powerful ink.
  • The 40 pieces of new gear will vary between leather jackets to a sushi-chef costume.

WiiU_Splatoon_artwork_SlosherWiiU_Splatoon_artwork_Splatling

What’s amazing is that there is more content to look forward to with more maps, weapons, and events continuing to come out in August. Don’t forget the Rainmaker game-type, which was mentioned during the Splatoon Direct back in May, has yet to make it’s debut. Nintendo has been supporting Splatoon with content updates on a bi-weekly basis and promises to do so for the rest of the summer and the coming Fall.

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The Inkredible World of Splatoon

Let's get messy.
Let’s get messy.

Splatoon is the Wii U’s first foray into the genre of Team Shooter’s. Although it has it’s faults, Splatoon is a wonderfully chaotic game that offers new game mechanics in a genre that has become over-saturated by post-apocalyptic tropes and ultra real graphics. Deep in it’s pools of ink, there is an addicting, surprisingly intricate multiplayer shooter.

Inkredible
Inkredible

Splatoon is a gorgeous game. The bright colors and superb lighting do an incredible job of immersing you in a world of gooey greatness. The ink effects are reminiscent to Super Mario Sunshine’s use of goop, while the skateboard/punk culture of Splatoon is similar to the style of Jet Set Radio for the Dreamcast. It successfully blends the two but gives the game an indefinable look that is entirely its own.

No Squidding around.
No Squidding around.

Rather than eliminating your opponent, the objective of the game is to claim as much of the map in your ink while simultaneously defending your area from rivals looking to do the same. This is where Splatoon shines, as the Wii U’s HD capability is put to full use as you drench the arena in your glorious ink. The single player campaign is short, but it offers a solid 6-8 play through, although it tends to feel repetitive.

Online battles are 4v4 3 minute matches of colorful chaos. As soon as the match begins, your squid-like characters begin to spray the arena in a mad frenzy. Although battles are only 3 minutes, the action never ceases. The frantic spraying and squirting will keep you coming back in your attempt to dominate the arena. The introduction of your Squidling is an excellent addition to the shooter genre as it allows you to move around in the ink in your squid form, rather then the usual fare of running around looking for opponents.

The influence of Super Mario Sunshine can be seen throughout the game.
The influence of Super Mario Sunshine can be seen throughout the game.

Splatoon is a breath of fresh air within the shooter genre. It may not have the cutting edge graphics of a modern Call of Duty or the grittiness of Fallout (Both are great games), however, Splatoon has heart. The gorgeous colors, the upbeat music, and the addicting game play is a testament to not only the Wii U’s potential, but to Nintendo’s philosophy that great game play makes a great game.

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The Legend of Zelda TV series being developed for Netflix

Reported by The Wall Street Journal, Netflix is allegedly bringing The Legend of Zelda franchise to its video-streaming platform as a new original program.

Development is still in its early stages, but the series will be a live-action following of the classic story with Link setting out to rescue Princess Zelda in the world of Hyrule.

Now the immensely popular fantasy universe is coming back in a new way posing as a family friendly “Game of Thrones” with a lighter theme and tone.

Nintendo granting this IP to be adapted into a TV series is a rare opportunity for the producers as Nintendo rarely takes the initiative to translate their videogame success to other mediums.

Though it wasn’t well-received at the time, The Legend of Zelda made its true first appearance as an animated television series back in the late ’80s. The show aired only 13 episodes over a three month span in 1989 and was quickly terminated.

Later, in the early ’90s, a Super Mario Bros movie was released to (deservedly) harsh criticism.

No writers have signed-on to work on the series as of yet, but the ground-work is being laid for the classic adventure game to make a successful television run in the near future.

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Nintendo confirms work has begun on their next console

Though the existant of such projections is virtually ineveitable, Shigeru Miyamoto has confirmed that preliminary designs are underway for their next console as they continue to maintain the Wii U with updates.

“Nintendo as a whole has groups working on ideas for new hardware systems. While we’re busy working on software for the Wii U, we have production lines that are working on ideas for what the next system might be.” – Shigeru Miyamoto interview with Associated Press

With Nintendo looking toward their second consecutive prosperous year in 2015, its likely that the gaming juggernaut will be keying their resources on projects even further in the future. As the new Microsoft and Sony consoles look to enjoy a life-span even longer than that of the previous gen consoles, Nintendo is stuck a zone where they aren’t competing with the likes of those competitive launches.

Without any significant pressure to deliver within a strict time frame, we could see Nintendo continue their trend of progressive technology implementation with a VR set given the popularity of such tech right now.

Nothing is confirmed at this point, but speculation is free to arise for how Nintendo moves on from the Wii U.

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Despite Xbox One’s soaring June sales, PS4 still top dog

The console wars between Xbox One and PS4 are starting to heat up. (Photo/IGN.com)
The console wars between Xbox One and PS4 are starting to heat up.

PS4 still top-selling console in US, despite strong June sales for Xbox One

 

Microsoft knew exactly what it was doing when it decided to remove the Kinect from Xbox One packages. And it has worked — for the most part. Sales have doubled for the next-gen console, after an impressive showing at E3 2014, which honed in on a specific direction: gaming.

But Sony let out a loud cough Friday in response to Microsoft’s announcement 24 hours earlier, when it took to Twitter to boast PS4’s sixth straight month on top of console sales charts, according to the June NPD report.

Vice president of PlayStation Marketing, Guy Longworth, also added the following comments, further reigning on Microsoft’s sales parade.

  • PlayStation 4 was #1 in sales for the sixth consecutive month and remains the cumulative leader for next generation game consoles.

  • PlayStation 4 was #1 for next generation software sales, with PS4 leading two of the top three titles.

  • PlayStation was #1 in combined home console hardware sales (PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3) for the month.

  • The biggest next generation software titles, including Watch Dogs, UFC, and FIFA 14, were #1 on PlayStation 4, further demonstrating that PS4 is the platform of choice for blockbuster games.

With no triple-a titles releasing this summer for Xbox One, Sony will be counting on the July 29 release of  The Last of Us Remastered on PS4 and the first major DLC  for Infamous Second Son, entitled First Light (shown at E3) to kickstart the humdrum summer season and help maintain its sizable lead over Microsoft.

In September, we will see the highly-anticipated release of Bungie’s Destiny on both next-gen platforms and well as the PS3 and Xbox 360, and annual sports installments in the form of the revamped NHL 15 and always-improving FIFA 15.

This console race is a marathon, not a sprint, and after eight months in the US market, things are starting to get interesting for both platforms. Time will tell if it remains a turtle race or if a one of these animals breaks away.

NOTES: Watch Dogs was top-selling game for June for second month in a row, followed by Mario Kart 8.

Wii U continued its console momentum from May into June with console sales up a mouth-dropping 233 percent over June 2013 sales, and the first six months of sales up 48 percent over the same time span last year.

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Splatoon may be the missing link for Nintendo

The Wii U FPS exclusive Splatoon could be a revelation for Nintendo. (Photo/e3.nintendo.com)
The Wii U Shooter exclusive Splatoon could be a revelation for Nintendo. (Photo/e3.nintendo.com)

Nintendo is one of the most successful entertainment juggernauts in the world. Almost all of their first-party game characters are international icons that have become a part of our culture. But as time has passed, the rise of Call of Duty has shown us one thing: gamers love first-person shooters and that is not going away anytime soon.

It’s an overstatement to say that Nintendo has held on by a thread in the modern era because their previous console, the Nintendo Wii, has sold over 101.02 million consoles worldwide. So the recent Wii U struggles are most likely a temporary situation that is being remedied as we speak with the release of Mario Kart 8.

Nintendo will not be a platform for everyone through purely third-party titles as many studios have given up making their triple-a titles for the system and its confusing Gamepad controller.

But if Nintendo can break the ice and create new IPs that are of the shooter variety, they could wipe the competition with shooters and their already successful first-party favorites (Mario Kart, Mario Party, Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, etc.)

Splatoon is a very important experiment for Nintendo. Can they make a shooter title molded from the core values and creativity that is Nintendo and succeed not just critically but commercially as well?

From what we saw at E3 2014 in June, Splatoon is a multiplayer 4-on-4 shooter, where players use ink for offense, defense and transportation around the maps. It looks both fun and strategic and exactly what a Nintendo shooter would look like.

I am very excited for this title and hope it succeeds and spurs Nintendo to explore more ideas for shooters (keeping my fingers crossed for a shooter spinoff of Super Smash Bros., with all of Nintendo’s greatest characters in a team deathmatch).

Check out the Splatoon announcement trailer from Nintendo’s digital E3 press conference.