Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Case for Smash NX (Nintendojo)

My apologies for the delay! I had it finished by the due date, but a sudden influx of Star Wars-related articles/reviews had it pushed to this week.
At any rate...I have to confess: the more I wrote this, the more wrong it felt. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS are such incredible accomplishments in themselves, and yet suddenly everyone's expecting more in the form of an NX port. I mean, there's certainly valid reasons for the idea, but I suspect folks support through the projection of their complaints--be it unsatisfactory Donkey Kong representation or the lack of Ice Climbers-- in the hopes a port will magically fix all their problems.

Whatever happens, I know I will be playing the two latest iterations of Smash for years to come. Thank you, Mr. Sakurai, for your three years of hard work! I wish I possessed your sense of work ethic.
...speaking of Star Wars, I got bit by the media frenzy swarming it. Perhaps that could inspire some future Worldly Weekend columns...?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Final Smash 4 Presentation!!

It's been over six hours since the Final Smash Presentation by Mr. Sakurai, and we're only just now coming down from the high! What a show. Not everyone's dreams came true, but that's Smash Bros. for you!

So, what went down in this special video? Just newcomer reveals and Mii Costumes. Many expected to see at least one veteran (Wolf, in particular), a returning stage or two, or even a new mode. Considering that we already had three veterans return, a variety of old stages and the downsizing of Sakurai's team, there's a variety of reasons as to why those didn't come to be (not the least of which is poor Snake!).

Of course, any slight disappointments regarding the absence of those factors immediately melted in the face of the first newcomer, who's already stirred quite the controversy!

Why, it's Corrin, the avatar protagonist of Fire Emblem: Fates! The moment I saw the opposing kingdoms of Hoshido and Nohr, I knew trouble would be brewing. After all, not only has Sakurai made it no secret of his love for Fire Emblem, but we already have five different Fire Emblem characters in Smash 4's cast! Isn't six characters pushing it...?

Well, perhaps, but just look at how the character plays! He's just as versatile and inventive as his fellow Fire Emblem newcomer Robin, what with the Manakete-boosted abilities (or, for those unfamiliar with Fire Emblem terminology, him temporarily turning into a dragon). Just look at his reach! I forsee his Dragon Lunge attack, which turns his arm into a massive lance and nails it into the ground, leading to many hilarious scenarios aside from those seen in the video.

Truth be told, this is a character that's crossed my mind before, but I figured the presence of two Awakening characters would render his chances as DLC nil (moreover, there's also Sakurai's recent comment from the Fire Emblem 25th Anniversary book to consider: "it’s not as if we have a stipulation that says “we have to include the protagonist of the next Fire Emblem game.”). As with the last character, it only goes to show you can't make up any rules for roster inclusions. Think of it this way: if Corrin won't be a possibility by the time the next Smash rolls around, why not add him now?

In fact, I think the character looks so fun that I could care less he's yet another Fire Emblem entry. Now more than ever, I'm quite excited to play Fates this coming February. Maybe I'll finally get around to finishing my fifth Awakening playthrough by then.

Next up, Cloud. We already saw him in action last month, but Mr. Sakurai went over his moveset in far greater detail this time, alongside the workings of the Midgar stage.

Cloud was made available soon after the video ended; naturally, I picked him up for both versions. While I've only had the chance to play him on Wii U, it was a beauty to witness to another famous foreign character who brings another dimension unfamiliar to Smash. I'm in an interesting predicament with Cloud in how I'm not completely unfamiliar with him (thanks to his boss cameos in Kingdom Hearts), yet I've played very little of the game he originated from: Final Fantasy VII. I'll be soon rectifying that by jumping into the series next year, but I can only imagine the glee others now feel at seeing Final Fantasy's most popular character join the fray.

By the way, Midgar is incredibly fun! I know many (lame) people tend to complain about stage hazards, but fighting for the super-cool Materia summons is just as joyful as doing the same for a Smash Ball. Your loss if you can't handle the fair, telegraphed d summon attacks, I suppose. If anything, that there's only two music rips from Final Fantasy VII available is the only real disappointment (alongside the lack of non-Cloud trophies), but I'm not too surprised given how strict Square-Enix can be regarding the foreign use of their visuals/audio (anyone who's seen the Final Fantasy VII suite in Video Games Live should know what I'm talking about). A shame, since I was looking forward to the possibility of Nobuo Uematsu returning to Smash for an arrangement. Maybe next time!

 Oh, but speaking of Square-Enix, look who's back! Yes, that's Geno, the sentient puppet from Super Mario RPG! He may be just a Mii costume, but to see Super Mario RPG finally be referenced in Smash after all this time (barring perhaps Peach's frying pan) just...just brings a tear to your eye. Even if he was impossible, the fact remains that Geno was a very popular character suggestion for Brawl, and to see that come full-circle in the next best possible way is an amazing nod. I know I'll be using it.



My goodness, a character most had written off due to her being practically synonymous with guns and flaunting her sexuality 24/7 is actually in Smash?!? Incredible! That she hails from two action-game masterpieces ain't half-bad, either! She was the winner of the Smash Ballot, too. I guess that really did come down to popularity.

Just like Ryu, I'm at amazed at how the Smash team got Bayonetta down within the confines of the game's controls. Just like in Bayonetta, you can suddenly shift into bullet-riddled Gun Arts just by holding the attack button, no matter what move you're using. The awe-inspiring Wicked Weaves retain their devastative impact through Smash Attacks. The time-slowing Witch Time is activated as a counter, which I typically stink at pulling off. If you look closely on the Wii U, you might realize Madam Butterfly is closer than you think. Both her Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 outfits are included. And, best of all, stunning dance moves for taunts.

It's all too much to take in; I know I had to watch her presentation three times over to fully digest that all. Not to mention, her accompanying stage is one of the greatest opening sequences in video game history: the falling Umbra Clock Tower. And it comes with a plethora of amazing tracks too, not the least of which are two arrangements of both games' battle themes. A shame You May Call Me Father and The Greatest Jubilee didn't make the cut, but at least they nailed One of a Kind.

And you know what else is too much to take in? This glorious poster.

Just admire this beautiful piece of work for a moment, won't you? Be sure to find the hidden Smash logo.

But the eye candy doesn't end there, for I'm certain all us Kirby fans are dying to know: what does Bayonetta Kirby look like?


At any rate, just look at all the magic DLC's brought us. We've had beloved veterans return, stunning third-party newcomers, classic stages for new and old characters to brawl upon...Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS is truly a gift, and all the post-launch content is courtesy of one man's vision: a love letter not just for Nintendo's history, but for video games as a whole.

Yet while the hype train may be stopping for Wii U and 3DS, many are still speculating over the possibility of an NX port. After all, it's not like we can expect Sakurai and the gang at Namco to get cracking at yet another Smash game for the nearing console. But should such an amazing title be left to languish on a dying console and a handheld within its twilight period...?

This Thursday on Nintendojo, I shall be reviewing such a case. Please join me then!

Friday, December 11, 2015

PSA: You Should Get These Kirby LINE Phone Backgrounds

Okay, I think said I was going to shy away from these sorts of news updates, but these are just too cute not to share. I highly recommend on 'em to soak yourself in their goodness.

Over the past month, Nintendo has been sharing Kirby phone backgrounds on their LINE account. Now, I don't quite know what that is, but holy moly, anyone calling themselves a Kirby fan can't resist how heart-meltingly adorable these backgrounds are. As seen below, there's four in all. Click on 'em all to soak in their goodness.

Ahh! Look at how soft everything is! Look at that sleeping Kirby! Every time I see this on my lock screen, I'm reminding of why he's Nintendo's cutest character for a reason. So soothing~

Look, he's drawing his friends and foes with a Star Rod pencil! I can't take it. his will definitely be in my background rotation.

His interpretion of Dedede is my personal favorite. Oh, and I'm not the only one who mistook his house as the Halberd's Combo Cannon, am I...?

Mmm, delicious. When I get around to baking Pilsbury cookies this weekend, I'll pretend I'm eating these.

Saving the best for last: my phone background! In this gorgeous, eye-candy scenario, here we see Kirby and a gang of Waddle Dees frolicking around Whispy Woods. Even Waddle Doo is enjoying this wonderful day-off, sinking into a star-filled cloud as he skygazes. Maybe he and the rest of his ilk aren't such bullies after all.

You may be wondering why the Waddle Dees are wearing those precious animal outfits. They're actually from the promotional artwork for a recent Japan-only collaboration between Nintendo and the Japanese toy store Kiddy Land, which sold a veritable treasure trove of Kirby merchandise earlier this fall. See the goodness for yourself, which actually consists of some exclusive goodies. I already picked up my fair share of Kirby merchandise at the Nintendo World Store last month, but I can't say no to a life-sized Kirby doll based off his appearance in Kirby's Adventure (including a Star Rod!).

Speaking of Kirby, I gotta go, uh, work on something. Hopefully I'll see you before Tuesday!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Smash Presentation Coming Next Tuesday + Regarding Biweekly Music Wednesday!

Hey, all. The Final Video Presentation for Smash 4 has been dated for next Tuesday, and I wanted to assure you all I'll be there for an extensive report covering the details! Who else will we see alongside Cloud? What other possible content will be revealed? Will Sakurai confirm, shoot down, or ignore the possibility of an NX port? We'll find out...in six days.

At any rate, we haven't had Biweekly Music Wednesday! in some time. As you may've already guessed,The depression I only recently emerged from was the culprit behind that, and while I'd love to return to that starting today, I'd rather focus my efforts on getting regular review schedule going. before that. Rest assured we'll be diving back into the realm of Nintendo music sometime soon. 

I'm hoping to have my next review ready this weekend, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Reporting in for December

Hey, all. Just wanted to checking to say I'm feeling a lot better and raring to close out 2015 with some great content! As we're (finally!) nearing the tailend of Ten Years of Kirby and paving the road for further reviews, I'm quite excited to start out 2016 with a bang.

Speaking of which, I've been speaking with my editor at Nintendojo and, should the pieces fall into place, I'll have some INCREDIBLE news to share within the coming months. All I'll say that it's a dream come true, so stay tuned!