New semester, new games!

As a I start a new (and hopefully final) semester of my undergraduate college career, there is always the struggle of how do I afford school, food, friends, and fun versus continuing to play as many games as I possibly can. As someone who has interests in a variety of genres, this gets maddening. It’s tough not to get excited at seeing all the fun Nintendo will offer in the coming months.

Nintendo, in particular, had one of its famous Directs about a week and a half ago. For those who are unaware, Nintendo began a trend a few years back in which they would host a web broadcast in which executives and developers would give brief presentations on their upcoming projects, ranging from new footage, to sales, to even entirely new announcements. On January 14th, in a 45 minute span, Nintendo outlined “directly” how the next few months would play out game-wise. Here are a few highlights which caught my eye.

The more I see Splatoon, the more pumped I become. This title, when first announced back at E3 2014, totally caught me off guard. I was not ready to see Nintendo take on the shooter genre, and my, has this changed my mind. This game perfectly captures the childhood romp of beating on friends in fun, friendly 4-on-4 action, while having a surprising amount of depth. This is what Nerf and Super Soaker wish they could be. The thought of quickly blasting someone with ink, then sinking in the ink to refuel and swim away is such a solid foundation of new ideas playing upon the traditional hit-and-run aspects of all shooters. Add different weapons types, ink tools, customizable wearable gear and even a single player campaign to the mix and you have a shooter that will have people hooked for months to come. Even the title is a perfect play-on-words. However, I am still unsure how I feel about the controls. Gyro controls have never been my “cup of tea” and voice chat has still not been confirmed for online play, but May is still a few months away, so I’m sure they will add this functionality. Please Nintendo, make this Super Soaker x 90’s Nickelodeon a game for the ages.

Another Nintendo title we have known about for a while is Yoshi’s Wooly World, an adorable, plush inspired platform from the minds of Good-Feel, the same people who brought us Kirby’s Epic Yarn. A major draw in this title is the overall look. Good-Feel has nailed bringing handcrafted crochet to the screen. Everything from the characters to the environment looks like it came straight out of a Better Homes and Gardens catalog or that basket that every Grandma has. Something I enjoy from these titles is the lack of difficulty and the emphasis on exploration, and particularly in this game, teamwork. Finding gems and changing the environment based on what yarn you’ve swallowed looks to add a personal touch, as if you have as much influence on the handcrafted look of the game as the designers do. I also love couch multiplayer games, which is something that is becoming more and more scarce these days. This is something you put on just to sit back, relax and enjoy all the sites and sounds, making you feel like you are back in preschool again. Also, as someone whose mother crochets, I can’t think of anything else I want more than a tiny handmade Yoshi for my desk.

It may not be a game, but collecting amiibo may as well be. Heck, these things become so intense at finding that it almost becomes a full-time job! Amiibo is Nintendo’s answer to the “toy-to-life” market that many companies have been following, namely Activision and Disney, with Skylanders and Infinity, respectively. You can place these figure on a NFC receptor built into the Wii U Gamepad and certain games will gain new functionality, ranging from new characters, weapons, and challenges. Nintendo has made 17 figures so far in the Super Smash Bros. series, with 12 more hitting in February and then another 6 in the Spring. They also plan on releasing another line of amiibo, this time focusing on the character models from the Super Mario series of characters. As someone who enjoys collecting, I can’t keep away from these things. It’s almost unhealthy… (ALMOST!) I have them all lined on my shelf and I can’t wait to keep adding to them. Nothing looks better or more impressive than a full shelf of amiibo. Nintendo perfectly played into my collector hobby and damn it if they haven’t done a perfect job at representing their beloved characters. Just one thing, MAKE BUTT LOADS OF THEM! Like I said earlier, it can become a blood bath if you don’t find them early, with the worst victim being your wallet. For your convenience, there will be a link to a site at the end where you can join the hunt as I have.

Mr. Video Game himself is still Nintendo’s golden boy and anything with his face on it sells like gangbusters, which is why I am excited to see the success of this next title. Puzzles & Dragons Z is a massively popular match-3 puzzle game from Japan, and seeing Nintendo bring it, along with a Super Mario version to the West should only be good news. I love this genre, playing Bejeweled Blitz daily and Pokemon Battle Trozei for hours at a time, and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into another. Beside that, there is also another Mario Kart 8 DLC pack planned for May. Mario Kart is my all-time favorite game series and Mario Kart 8 is the best in the series. The current karts and tracks have been nothing short of fantastic, with thrills and looks that rival any game on any other system. The last pack in December added some of the best new courses, even better than some of the ones packed in the original game. I expect nothing but greatness from the team behind this game and can’t wait to 3-Star these new cups.

These are only a few of the multitude of games and products Nintendo has in store for consumers in the coming months. I haven’t even mentioned the next title in the Fire Emblem series, a Majora’s Mask remake, or even the new Nintendo 3DS. With this constant rush of content, its going to be hard to keep up! Consider me 100% excited.

Let me know what you are excited about games wise in the coming months in the comments below. And as always, thanks for reading!

Joe

For more on Splatoon: http://splatoonus.tumblr.com

For a quick look at Yoshi’s Wolly World: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vR8EHatIIE

For more on amiibo: http://www.nintendo.com/amiibo and for tracking stock: http://www.nowinstock.net/videogaming/games/amiibo/

For more on Mario Kart 8: http://mariokart8.nintendo.com/dlc/#paiddlc

For more on everything else Nintendo announced: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6zgkp1YBRw

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