Nintendo has a habit of making demos or even full games available after Nintendo Direct streams. Wednesday’s broadcast was no exception. Right after the Direct came to a conclusion, players could go to the 3DS or Wii U eShop to purchase a unique set of short movies staring Pikmin for $4.99 each. Famed game designer Shigeru Miyamoto explained his desire to make his tiny creations come to life through more detailed animation than could be achieved in a video game. The completed short movies debuted at the 2014 Tokyo International Film Festival. Now you can download the 3D or HD versions to your 3DS or Wii U, respectively. I was nice enough to buy both versions so I could give you the pros and cons of each and ultimately settle on which is better to spend $4.99 on.
First, however, I want to go over what actually comes in the package and how the movies themselves are. Both the 3D and HD versions come with three short films: The Night Juicer (less than 2 minutes long), Treasure in a Bottle (8 minutes exactly), and Occupational Hazards (about 13 minutes). The movies can be selected individually, but there’s no option to play them all one after another. Because the HD versions are on Wii U, watching them on the GamePad is an option. In addition to the three films, a bonus section features some of Miyamoto’s storyboards on Flipnote Studio.
On the movies themselves…well, I can say that Pikmin were a good choice for this undertaking. The Pikmin are beyond cute and there are genuinely funny moments throughout. The animation is bright, colorful, and possibly on par with Pixar in terms of quality. The music doesn’t have a spotlight on it or anything, but let’s just say it makes for one especially adorable moment and one surprisingly tense moment. I find myself with a strong desire to share these with my friends and family, even the ones who don’t play video games…
So, for five bucks, I’d call this purchase a no-brainer for a Nintendo fan. The question is, which version is better? If your intuition says the HD version on the Wii U, I’d say your intuition is absolutely correct. The animation is gorgeous in HD, and seeing all the little details is far better than watching in 3D. In fact, more than the 3D, I’d say the portability of the 3DS version is the reason to download it at all. If you only go for one, make it the Wii U version.
For those of you who have already downloaded and watched the short films, what are your thoughts?
During the Nov. 5 Nintendo Direct, we were treated to a look at Splatoon’s single player campaign. Even though the game focuses on frantic, 4-on-4 online battles, it will, as promised, also contain a single player mode. In it, the battle between squids and octopi rages. The player fights on the side of the squid, of course, and if the above trailer is any indication, there will be plenty of varied levels to explore and enemies to fight.
Consider me sold on Splatoon. I thought it looked alright, gameplay-wise, at E3, but I wanted to see more of a visual identity for the game. In that respect the new trailer blew me away. How about you?
Ever since its announcement, Xenoblade Chronicles X (which was known only as “X” until E3 2014) has been my most looked forward to Wii U game, by far. That’s saying a lot, as Super Smash Bros. for Wii U was always high on the list too. Don’t take this as anything but my personal opinion! Xenoblade Chronicles on Wii was just so massive, with such a solid storyline and great voice acting through its 100+ hours, that I can’t help but look forward to X with almost painful anticipation. Nothing made me yearn for it more than the gameplay demo at E3 this year, but Satoru Iwata’s comments today came close; the game, which is targeted for a 2015 release, will have a larger world to explore than in Wii’s Xenoblade Chronicles, and in HD no less (it stands to reason, but I’m happy to hear it anyway).
In X, Earth’s people are forced to abandon their home planet when an intergalactic war threatens their existence. They crash land on an uncharted planet and set out to explore and research their new surroundings. The main character, created by the player, is obviously heavily involved in these efforts. In addition to exploring the planet, you’ll be able to explore “home base,” New Los Angeles. From there, who knows how the storyline will play out?! We do know that quests will be integral to gameplay, though. Some quests will progress the story, while others may simply involve doing favors for other survivors.
RPG fans would do well to keep their radar fixed on this game. What are your thoughts?
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is set to offer more Nintendo crossover goodness than players will know what to do with. The news-packed Nintendo Direct that streamed earlier today contained yet another trailer highlighting such a crossover: this time, it’s Mario and Luigi outfits for your *ahem* energetic little felyne companions. I’m admittedly not as much a fan of these as I am of the Isabelle and Resetti outfits. Which do you prefer? Or are you going to stick with the traditional Monster Hunter felyne look?
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is still set to be released in the west early 2015.
We were treated to an in-depth look at Kirby’s upcoming Wii U game today during a Nintendo Direct video. For one thing, the name of the game has been finalized: Kirby and the Rainbow Curse (though I didn’t even realize this wasn’t final). As a spiritual successor to the Nintendo DS game Kirby Canvas Curse, the player will guide Kirby, who is restricted to ball form for the most part, by drawing paths on the Wii U GamePad touch screen. Kirby can also attack enemies and bust through certain obstacles when the player simply taps him. It sounds simple, but Kirby’ll get thrown all over the screen without careful guidance.
A multiplayer mode will allow three additional players to join the GamePad user as Waddle-dees. Waddle-dees can carry Kirby and use the lines drawn on the GamePad as platforms. This will allow first player to focus on simply drawing lines. Kirby’s clay-like nature in this game will allow him to transform into various vehicles, and Waddle-dees can help out here too. Amiibo figures will also be compatible with Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, but we don’t yet know how. The game’s launch window is February 2015, a lot sooner than I personally expected. Do any of the new gameplay features tempt you to buy it?
Ultimate NES Remix will bring the popular retro Nintendo experience to a portable for the first time on November 7th in Europe and December 5th in North America. During today’s Nintendo Direct stream, we learned a thing or two about the 3DS title:
- According to Bill Trinen, the game “contains the best parts of the first two [NES Remix] games.” I’m a little worried about this, actually, as it seems it won’t contain the full experience of the two Wii U eShop games. However, we have a few consolation prizes…
- Ultimate NES Remix has an unlockable Famicom Remix mode. As the name suggests, this mode will allow you to play additional challenges that could only be found in the Japanese version of NES Remix before.
- Speed Mario Bros. is a mode that contains the entirety of the NES classic Super Mario Bros. The draw here is that every element to the game, from Mario to the music, moves at a blinding pace.
- For the first time in an NES Remix game, online leaderboards will be available to peruse. Also, you can sometimes watch replays of the top players’ performances if the replay button appears.
- Daily challenges will hopefully encourage those who pick up Ultimate NES Remix to play it on a daily basis. Challenges will simply be specific minigames from the overall collection chosen by Nintendo each day.
- For a limited amount of time, those who purchase Ultimate NES Remix will get a special Famicom 3DS theme for free.
Does having the NES Remix experience on the go appeal to you? Let us know in a comment below.