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It is readily apparent at this point that every halfway decent Wii U game is going to be give a “Deluxe” version on the Switch at some point within the next few years. We already have Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and the Pokemon Company has announced Pokken Tournament DX. That got me thinking about all the great Wii U gamers that died on the vine on the Wii U. E3 2017 has passed without anymore announcements, but take a look below for a list of five Wii U games that need Deluxe versions ASAP.

Super Mario 3D World

Super Mario 3D World

One of the highlights of the Switch is its ability to handle multiplayer gaming on the go. Each Switch comes with two controllers so local cooperative play is a possibility for everyone who owns the system. That makes bringing  Super Mario 3D World to the Switch a very smart call for Nintendo.

Super Mario 3D World is, without question, the best multiplayer Super Mario Bros. game ever made. This makes it a natural fit for a console that allows for multiplayer gaming everywhere it goes.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Mega Man fighting Fox Mcloud in Super Smash Bros for the WiiU and 3DS

This one is an absolute lock. No need for wishful thinking. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U being ported to the Switch is an inevitability; it really just a matter of time.

Super Smash Bros. is one of Nintendo’s most popular franchises so it only makes sense that they would bring it over to the Switch at some point. It could even be that the only reason they haven’t announced it is because they want to let Arms breath a bit before they announce another fighting game.

It doesn’t hurt that it would also be very easy to give Smash the Deluxe treatment. Nintendo could include all of the DLC from the Wii U version for an insane value. It wouldn’t hurt to throw in another character, but the roster is already massive enough.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker started as an interesting set of levels in Super Mario 3D World. Nintendo was so happy with how those levels turned out that they made a whole game out of it. People had mixed reactions with this game, but I thought it was, quietly, one of the best games the Wii U had to offer. This would be a smart port for Nintendo.

I don’t think this would be the flashiest announcement they could make, but it would go a long way towards providing diversity in their game library on the Switch.

 

Tokyo Mirage Sessions # FE

Tokyo Mirage Sessions # FE holds two distinctions. 1. It has the weirdest name of any game published on the Wii U. 2. It is the best RPG published on the system as well.  It was a niche title released on a niche system so it had a very constrained audience. Mirage Sessions was a fascinating game that combined the stylish design of Shin Megami Tensei with the fantasy flare of the Fire Emblem series.

RPGs feel great on handheld consoles like the Switch because they give you more opportunities to grind and build up characters. This is a no brainer.

Super Mario Maker

Super-Mario-Maker

Super Mario Maker had its issues. The biggest among them being that it was very difficult to find good levels. Re-launching the game on the Switch would give Nintendo an opportunity to fix the discoverability problem.

The only real problem with bring Super Mario Maker to the Switch is that it would be difficult to design levels and test them on the big screen. That’s a small concern though as you would still be able to both create and test while in handheld or tabletop mode.


 

What do you think?  Do you have any Wii U favorites that you think should get Deluxe versions? Sound off in the comments!

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Family Video Game Review – Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is a Japanese RPG that blends themes and characters from Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem. This is a combination that shouldn’t work, but they manage to pull it off nicely in this deep and strategic RPG.

It is entirely possible that Mirage Sessions will go down as one of the most criminally underrated games on the Wii U. It is beautiful, it’s art style is interesting, the combat is challenging, and the characters are entertaining. There will be some folks who don’t appreciate the Japanese cultural influences in the game, and that makes sense to a degree. But, unless you have a significant aversion to J-POP music, then these things should not frighten you away.

TMS-Combat-Itsuki-Session

The story itself is straightforward. Humans all possess a magical energy called “Performa.” Some people, mostly singers, actors, artists, etc, have more Performa than others. This energy can be used for good or evil, so obviously, there is an evil demonic force that wants to capture all of it and use it for nefarious purposes.

Players control a team of Mirage Masters. These are people who have formed a bond with a “mirage.”  These are essentially the spirits of characters from the Fire Emblem universe. They grant thei Mirage Masters unique abilities and defenses to help battle against the demon armies.

The story is interesting enough, and contains some interesting twists so I won’t discuss it here, but the game really shines while in combat. Players control a team of three characters as they participate in turn based battles. You are encouraged to take your time and plan as all sorts of information is available while you fight. You can see the exact turn order in a bar across the top of the screen, and each monster has a window associated with them that identifies their weaknesses and defenses. This information is critical for two reasons.

  1. Enemies pull no punches. They go at you full bore and take advantage of any weaknesses you might have.
  2. Some of the skills you earn as your characters are called “sessions” which are special moves that trigger when you hit an enemies weakness. For example, one of the first sessions you learn is a move that triggers when you land a lightning attack against an enemy that is weak to it. These equate to free attacks that can deal devastating damage and keep enemies from counter attacking on later rounds. This isn’t a system you can ignore either. It is core to the experience and mastering the system is the only way to proceed in the game.

Sessions isn’t without is flaws though. Several of the dungeons in the game are so large that they need multiple trips back and forth to town to complete. This really stifled my desire to explore as I was often retracing some of my steps.

tokyo mirage sessions screenshot

Is it a kids’ game?

Well. No. Not really. At the end of the day this game is heavily inspired by anime. As a result some of the outfits and animations are a bit sexualized. That isn’t to say that the entire game is all about those themes, but they are certainly difficult to avoid.

Some of the monster designs are pretty creepy, so that is definitely something to consider as well.

ESRB: T for Teen
Fantasy Violence, Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol
Other: Online Interactions Not Rated by the ESRB (Wii U)
This is a role-playing game in which players assume the role of a high-school student who solves a mystery while helping his friend become a pop idol. As players explore dungeon-like environments, they engage in turn-based battles with fantastical enemies known as Mirages. Characters take turns selecting moves from a menu in order to use arrows, spears, swords, and magic attacks to defeat enemies. Battles are highlighted by yells, impact sounds, and light effects. Some female characters are depicted wearing low-cut clothing that reveals large amounts of cleavage; a handful of cutscenes contain brief close-ups of characters’ cleavage. Characters occasionally engage in suggestive dialogue (e.g., “I need no praise from some disappointing 3D girl with a 2D chest!”). In a handful of scenes, a character is depicted drunk and hungover (e.g., dry-heaving sounds, slurred speech); players are to tasked with finding a hangover remedy for her. The word “sh*t” appears in the dialogue.

Can kids play it?

Tokyo Mirage Sessions is a deep RPG that involves a lot of strategy. You can take your time during battles. But, no amount of patience can make up for being bad at dealing with complex decision making.

Conclusion

I think that the Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is being criminally underrated for its value as an RPG. Any adults waiting for Final Fantasy XV should check it out. With that said, if you are looking for an RPG to share with your kids, then you may want to look elsewhere.

 

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mighty no. 9 logo

Mighty No. 9 is a game that had more potential than it had any right to. But, all of that potential was left squandered in an experience that felt hollow at its best and annoying the rest of the time.

Keiji Inafune just about set the world on fire with his Kickstarter campaign a few years back. His promise was simple: recreate the magic of the original Mega Man series on modern consoles. He promised a character and premise that was “legally distinct” from Mega Man, but close enough that anyone paying attention would know exactly what he was doing.

Mighty No. 9 is a game where players take control of a robot named Beck as he fights several different robots, called Mighty Numbers, and takes their powers for his own when he defeats them. If that sounds familiar to you, then you can congratulate yourself for recognizing the basic structure of the Mega Man series.

The fact that Mighty No. 9 all but steals Mega Man’s thunder isn’t really a negative at all. Capcom had been squandering the property for years and it was far past time for a return for the franchise. The thing that brought this game down for me was that it felt like it was being slapped together haphazardly and with no regard for making anything other than an homage to an old game.

Is it a Family Game?

Mighty No. 9 features futuristic combat between cartoon robots. There is nothing to be concerned about here if you let your kids watch pretty much ANY kind of cartoon.

Playability Assessment

Mighty No. 9 is not as difficult as Mega Man games, but it is still going to be very challenging for younger players who are not very experienced with platforming games.

Conclusion

I desperately wanted to like Mighty No. 9 even if only to serve as an introduction to this style of games for my kids. At the end of the day, though, parents would definitely be better served spending the money on a copy of the Mega Man Legacy Collection to serve that purpose. It will be more challenging, but the reward will be far sweeter.

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paper mario color splash

Nintendo has released a new trailer along with a release date for the latest game in the Paper Mario series: Paper Mario: Color Rush.

This has been a wild E3 for Nintendo. (Do you see what I did there?) They finally announced real details about The new Legend of Zelda, they announced a new RPG series in Ever Oasis, and they even gave us a release window for Pokemon Go. Not too shabby considering they had previously said they were just bringing Zelda.

The new trailer for Paper Mario: Color Rush  showcases the humorous story and gorgeous art style. It also confirms that Paper Mario will finally be returning to its roots.

The story is straight forward. Evildoers are somehow draining the inhabitants of the Mushroom Kingdom of their color. Princess Peach comes to Mario requesting his help and he takes up the quest to solve the problem and stop the bad guys with the help of a magic paint hammer.

Mario and friends will travel across the world using his point hammer to restore color to people and objects in order to undo the damage done. In return the people will help him and he will be able to pass through obstacles and find treasure that will help him on his quest.

The game will be available on October 6, 2016. We simply cannot wait to play it! This should be an excellent addition to Wii U owners’ collections this Fall.

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Breath of the Wild.

It isn’t very often that four one-syllable words can send the entirety of the video game universe into a frenzy. But, then, it isn’t very often that Nintendo finally releases the subtitle for a new entry in arguably the most revered franchise in gaming.

Yesterday was one of those days. Nintendo held a Treehouse Live @ E3 event where they announced the subtitle AND showed off around 90 minutes of gameplay. This promptly set the internet ablaze with excitement. They were very careful throughout the process to avoid revealing story spoilers so it is still unclear what the subtitle is referencing, but I have a feeling it is a reference to the open world nature of the game in some way.

The gameplay they showed off was amazing. It appears that the goal through the development process was to take every core assumption about how a Zelda game should work and turn it on its head.

First and foremost, Breath of the Wild is an open world game. From the time Link is woken up and he leaves the cave he was in the entire world opens up to him. You could take him down the hill to the right and meet a familiar old man, or you could go left and climb a mountain. You can truly go anywhere and tackle challenges (including the 100+ challenge shrines) in any order.

Breath of the Wild also features a significant theme: verticality. Link has always been able to climb certain surfaces in 3D Zelda games. But Breath of the Wild gives him the freedom to climb just about any surface he can find. This opens up all manner of options for navigating the terrain even if your options are “Do I climb that wall?” or “Do I take the path and go around?” This is different because, historically, Zelda games were fairly linear. There was a right and a wrong way to navigate the world. Giving Link the ability to climb like a contestant on American Ninja Warrior changes all that. The only real limiting factor on your ability to climb is a stamina bar; Link will fall when it empties completely.

Another massive difference (and possibly the biggest difference) between Breath of the Wild and other games in the series is the way it handles equipment. This game plays like an RPG. You will find armor, shields, and various weapons in treasure chests and in the hands of enemies. These pieces of gear will have stats that will allow you to take less damage or deal more. The key here is that each piece of gear can only be used a certain number of times before it breaks. So you’ll need to carry plenty of backups and save your most powerful weapons for real challenges. Even better? There are multiple weapons that all fight very differently. The spear is fast and has a reasonable amount of range, while the axe is much slower but more deadly.

Link can also jump when you press a button. Go ahead and wrap your mind around that. There as never been a jump button in a Zelda game before. This provides a number of interesting opportunities for challenges within the different dungeons and shrines that never existed before when jumping was automatic. We all know Nintendo knows how to do platforming.

I cant believe I’ve made it this far without talking about the aesthetic. Breath of the Wild is astonishingly gorgeous. It looks like a perfect melding of the bright colors of Windwaker and the animation from Skyward Sword. I couldn’t get enough of it. I watched the entire live stream and was hungry for more when it was finished.

At the end of it all, the one thing they left out was a release date. We know it is coming next year, but we have no real details regarding specifically when. Yet. Keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for more updates as we get closer to the end of the year.

 

 

 

 

 

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Nintendo Logo

Nintendo went live on YouTube Live @ E3 on Monday to announce a list of independent games that will be coming to the Wii U and 3DS in the coming months. Here they are.

Jotun Valhalla Edition – Wii U

Jotun was released on PC last year. It is a hand drawn, isometric adventure game where players take on the role of a female viking as she ventures through an abstract landscape and challenging mighty Jotuns to battle.

The game draws significant inspiration from Dark Souls and the other games made by From Software. This inspiration is expressed in the difficulty of the bosses. The Jotuns are punishingly difficult and force you to learn their patterns and practice your execution until you beat them.

Runbow Pocket – New 3DS

Runbow is one of the more popular Nindies in the last few years. It is a simple concept. Runbow is a competitive platformer where players race to a finish line while the background regularly changes color. As the background changes color the multicolored platforms in the foreground disappear when the colors match. This makes each race super chaotic and (in my opinion) fun. Fans have been asking 13AM games for a handheld version of the game since its release. Those wishes are finally being answered. Later this summer Runbow Pocket will release on the New 3DS.

Runbow Deluxe & Runbow Pocket Deluxe – Wii U and New 3DS

Runbow will also be receiving a physical edition in the form of Runbow Deluxe and will be in stores later this year.

Axiom Verge – Wii U

Axiom Verge is an exploration based platforming game that was developed by a one man development team. It carries inspirations from classic NES games like Contra and Metroid and has already been a success on PS4 and PC. The release on Wii U will give players some additional tools like a map openly visible on the game pad, which will definitely help make exploring the vast map.

Severed – Wii U and 3DS

Severed is a first-person role-playing game that was made by Drinkbox Studios (the people behind Guacamelee). The combat is largely touch based so using a stylus on the Wii U or 3DS screen fits perfectly here. The game has already been released on PS4 and Vita to modest success so it makes sense that it would be ported elsewhere.

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There are few things on earth that are more consistent than the annual release of Just Dance. This year will be no different as we will be playing Just Dance 2017 this October.

The developer’s goal is, and has been, to make the whole world dance, and releasing the ever popular dance title across every platform imaginable certainly helps with that. The game will be released on the following (giant) list of consoles:

  • Wii
  • Wii U
  • Nintendo NX
  • Xbox 360
  • Xbox One
  • Playstation 3
  • Playstation 4
  • PC download (For the first time ever)

The game will launch with six different game modes including the newly designed Just Dance Machine. This is a mode that is exclusive to current generation consoles and will challenge players to dance in various international dancing styles. The other modes include Sweat + Playlists, Just Dance Quest, Just Dance TV, and the World Dance Floor.

The first tracks announced as part of the release are as follows:

  • “Sorry” – Justin Bieber
  • “DADDY” – Psy Ft. CL of 2NE1
  • “Cheap Thrills” – Sia Ft. Sean Paul
  • “Lean On” – Major Lazer Ft. MØ & DJ Snake
  • “Worth It” – Fifth Harmony Ft. Kid Ink
  • “Don’t Stop Me Now” – Queen
  • “PoPiPo” – Hatsune Miku
  • “Radical” – Dyro & Dannic
  • “El Tiki” – Maluma
  • “September” – Equinox Stars
  • “What Is Love” – Ultraclub 90

We will have more information here on Pixelkin.org as we get closer to the release.

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Nintendo has published some wacky games over its history, but none of them hold a candle to Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE (That’s a SHARP as opposed to a hashtag). This Japanese RPG will release on June 24th and it is being developed by Atlus.

The story of the game is straightforward. “A sinister force from another dimension has invaded modern-day Tokyo” and the player has to control a team of heroes to help drive it back. The turn based combat is fast paced and is intermingled with a crafting system, musical performances, and fan service.

This is definitely not a game for everyone, but the trailer itself was just too crazy not to share. Take a look and let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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We have been waiting a VERY long time for Mighty No. 9 to come out. The wildly successful Kickstarter campaign for the game happened almost three years ago. But, it looks like the game will finally come out.

Keiji Inafune, the head of Comcept, made an announcement to Kickstarter backers that was also posted on the Mighty No. 9 website that announced that the game has “gone gold” which means that it should have no further delays and will, finally, release on June 21st, 2016.

Mega Man fans don’t have much longer to wait before they get to play this one as that is less than eight weeks from now. We can only hope that it will be worth the long wait. (Although, let’s be honest with ourselves for a minute here. The internet is not a very forgiving beast. I expect that the game could be perfect and it wouldn’t be enough for some people.”

We will be covering the game and publishing a review after its release so keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for info as the release date comes closer.

Take a look below for the full text of the announcement.

“To all of our backers and fans of Mighty No. 9,

Firstly, I would like to say again how sincerely sorry we are for how long we have kept all of our fans waiting. We are finally able to deliver some long awaited news regarding Mighty No. 9. We have now confirmed the following release dates for Mighty No. 9: June 21st 2016 (North America & Asia) and June 24th 2016 (World Wide). We understand that as a result of the various delays we have disappointed and let down our fans, but we are happy to finally be able to deliver the game to everyone who brought us this far.

With the game having “gone gold” we are in the last final stages of being able to deliver it into your hands, be that via your favorite retail outlet, or via digital channels.

Therefore the release date we are announcing is set in stone and there will be no further delays for the game.

Portable versions for PlayStation® Vita and Nintendo 3DS ™ will follow at a later point.

It has been almost three years since the start of our Kickstarter campaign, which was only made possible through the support of our backers and fans around the world. This is a project where everyone’s passions were combined in order to create something very special, and we are looking forward to delivering the final product to everyone who was involved. There can be no stronger connection between game creators and game fans.

Now that the dust has settled, we will be delivering Mighty No. 9 to everyone next month. How long will it take you to clear the main story on NORMAL? How many people are going to be able to clear MANIAC mode? What is going to be the fastest record for the time attack mode? We are looking forward to seeing the community answer all of these questions for us! Make sure to let us know your feedback and thoughts on the game through our SNS channels as you play the game. Your voices are what made this game possible, and we want to continue hearing what you think so that it may influence our future endeavors. “

-Keiji Inafune

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Nintendo may as well have set the internet on fire overnight with the news that came out of their quarterly earnings call. They revealed a wealth of information that sowed more than a little bit of chaos onto the web this morning.

I woke up to a press release with all of the news this morning. Take a look below for snippets of the press release as well as my thoughts and feelings.

 

Miitomo

Nintendo’s first app for smartphones and tablets has already crossed 10 million unique users worldwide. The free-to-start social experience app launched in Japan on March 17 and in a variety of other countries, including the United States, on March 31. In the United States, Miitomo reached #1 free app status in its various online stores shortly after release. Along with these outstanding user numbers, Nintendo also has, to date, sparked more than 300 million conversations in Miitomo. In addition, users can insert their Mii characters into photos to create unique “Miifotos” that can be shared through various social media. As of now, more than 20 million Miifotos have been created. To celebrate Miitomo hitting 10 million users, Nintendo will run a special 10-day “Celebrating 10 Million Users!” promotion April 29-May 8.”

Miitomo has been very successful so far considering that it has already reached 10 million users with less than six weeks on the global marketplace. The fact that it has 300 million conversations started within that same period of time is equally impressive.

The question still remains, however, whether or not there will be any staying power for the app. It could fall off of a cliff completely at some point. The good news for Nintendo is that probably doesn’t matter. It has already been an amazing trojan horse that has helped get a large number of people signed up for My Nintendo accounts and to get their emails into the system so Nintendo can market their other mobile titles to them.

Speaking of which…

Nintendo’s Next Mobile Apps

“Building on the positive consumer reaction to Miitomo, Nintendo announced that its next two mobile apps would be based on the familiar and beloved Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing franchises. Nintendo plans to release both of these applications this fall. As for the former app, while making it more accessible in comparison to the Fire Emblem games for Nintendo’s dedicated gaming systems, Nintendo aims to offer the great value of a role-playing strategy game. Nintendo will design the latter game so that it will be connected with the world of Animal Crossing for dedicated gaming systems. By playing both Animal Crossing games, users will find increased enjoyment. Both of these are pure game applications. Compared to Miitomo, they have more prominent game elements, and the game content will tie closely into Nintendo’s dedicated games business. Nintendo will provide more details about these applications closer to their launch period, and aims to have multiple types of apps that appeal to different audiences and different groups of players.”

The next two Nintendo mobile games will be based on Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing. These are both amazing properties that have a lot of potential as mobile games.

There are already a HUGE number of strategy RPGs on mobile devices as that style of combat is perfect on a touch screen. The press release states that it will be more accessible that previous entries in the franchise, which honestly isn’t all that tough considering the challenge level of the series. Also, there are a number of ways they could go that arent necassarily a strict turn-based strategy game. They could easily create some sort of hero focused tower defense game or a base building game of some kind. Regardless… I can’t wait.

The Animal Crossing app is interesting as well. The press release states that it will be connected in some way to Animal Crossing games on dedicated gaming devices. The question just becomes… how? They could patch some sort of connectivity into New Leaf or Happy Home Designer. But, it could be a sign that a new game might be coming later this year. That could be pretty awesome! Only time will tell.

The Nintendo NX

Nintendo previously announced that it would release more information about its next system, code-named NX, this year. As the first announcement of any NX information, Nintendo confirmed that NX is scheduled to launch in March 2017. NX will not make an appearance at the upcoming E3 video game trade show in Los Angeles in June and will be unveiled later this year.”

I lost myself a bet here. I guaranteed that the NX would come out this year and made two bets with writers on other sites.

… And I lost those bets.

Honestly, though, this is not a bad idea at all. Pushing the NX out until 2017 gets it out of the way of any of the other upgraded consoles being rumored for 2016 and gives Nintendo more time to tighten the launch lineup.

The Legend of Zelda

The latest installment in this classic franchise is scheduled to launch simultaneously for both Wii U and NX, and both versions of the game have been in development in tandem. Because developers need more time to polish the game, it will launch in 2017, but it will be the focus of Nintendo’s presence at E3.”

Delaying the new Legend of Zelda game definitely stung some fans. But, the delay didn’t sting as much as the fact that it will be simultaneously released on both Wii U and the NX.

E3 Plans

Nintendo changes its approach to the show every year. This June, Nintendo will focus its attentions on the upcoming game in The Legend of Zelda franchise. The Wii U version of the game will be playable for the first time on the E3 show floor, and it will be the only playable game Nintendo presents at the show, in order to provide attendees a complete immersion. Additional information about Nintendo’s E3 plans will be announced in the future.”

E3 is coming up very soon and it is easily the noisiest period of the year.  Competition to “win” the event in the eyes of the gaming press and the fans is insane based on the number of games and pieces of hardware shown. Nintendo leaving all of their console news until after the event and leaving The Legend of Zelda to fend for itself is actually a pretty savvy move. People will be so excited to get their hands on the new game that it will definitely garner a lot of attention. They might not need anything else to dominate a lot of headlines and build interest. They can then follow up with a Nintendo Direct a month or two later with a bunch more game announcements and not even have to worry about the E3 noise.

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