Shovel Knight Gets His Own amiibo!

First Indie Game with amiibo Compatibility

During a presentation at Nintendo’s [email protected] event at EMP Museum in Seattle, Nintendo made several announcements about the future of independent games on the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS systems. These announcements included the reveal of a Shovel Knight amiibo figure from Yacht Club Games that unlocks exclusive features for the hit game on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, making it the first indie game to support amiibo technology. Other reveals at the event include the upcoming launch of Kerbal Space Program for Wii U early next year with exclusive features and functionality, first-look Wii U debuts for Hive Jump and FAST Racing Neo multiplayer game play, along with exciting details concerning each of these anticipated Nindies.

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For the first time, exclusive to the Wii U version of the game, players can scan the Shovel Knight amiibo and take on Shovel Knight’s quest cooperatively with a friend. (Photo: Business Wire)

“Not only do we have a robust slate of indie games launching in the Nintendo eShop, but these games also contain features that can only be found on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS,” said Damon Baker, Nintendo of America’s Senior Marketing Manager of Publisher and Developer Relations. “Creating an amiibo that’s compatible with all current and future Shovel Knight games shows that our strong relationship with independent developers is constantly evolving.”

“It’s been a great honor to work directly with Nintendo, creating a Shovel Knight amiibo that sits beside their most beloved characters,” said Yacht Club Games. “We are elated to expand the world of Shovel Knight, and to keep developing unique game-play experiences on Nintendo’s platforms.”

For the first time, exclusive to the Wii U version of the game, players can scan the Shovel Knight amiibo and take on Shovel Knight’s quest cooperatively with a friend. On Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, the amiibo can be used to level up and customize Shovel Knight with new visual enhancements, relics and abilities. These abilities can then be used in new, exclusive amiibo challenge levels. To top it off, the amiibo figure will be supported in future Shovel Knight games.

Yacht Club Games also revealed that the free DLC for Shovel Knight that lets players play as fan-favorite enemy Plague Knight will launch in September. Shovel Knight can be purchased in the Nintendo eShop on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS for $14.99. Packaged retail versions of the game for both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS will also be available in North America this October.

Graphite Lab and Black Lantern Studios showcased the first playable version of Wii U-exclusive Hive Jump, demonstrating exclusive features for the platform. Hive Jump is a fast-paced multiplayer action platformer for up to four players. Players engage in run ’n’ gun combat with swarms of aliens, all the while avoiding traps and collecting resources. The developers discussed how the Wii U Game Pad would be used in the game, as well as plans for amiibo support, which will be included when it launches in the Nintendo eShop on Wii U in early 2016.

To talk about FAST Racing Neo, Shin’en Multimedia joined the presentation to discuss multiplayer game play. FAST Racing Neo earns the title “Fast” by throwing players into a futuristic racer with hyper-fast anti-gravity vehicles. Up to four players can race against each other in split-screen local multiplayer, with up to eight racers able to participate in online multiplayer. (Additional controllers are required for local multiplayer.) FAST Racing Neo will launch exclusively in the Nintendo eShop on Wii U before the end of the year.

Squad’s Kerbal Space Program, with the help of Flying Tiger, was announced for Wii U and will launch early next year. A physics-based space flight simulator, Kerbal Space Program allows players to manage their own space program by building and flying spacecraft. In the Wii U version of the game, players can control their ship from inside the cockpit using the Wii U GamePad controller, as well as create flight plans with the touch screen and steer with motion controls. The critically acclaimed Kerbal Space Program will launch in the Nintendo eShop on Wii U.

Remember that Wii U and Nintendo 3DS feature parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about this and other features, visit http://www.nintendo.com/wiiu or http://www.nintendo.com/3ds.

Stretchmo and Puzzles and Dragons

Available now for the 3DS system is a fun new free-mium game in the -mo series which started with Pushmo, then Crashmo and Pushmo world.  The newest in the series is Stretchmo.  This game starts out as a free download where a minimum of levels and the tutorial stages are available giving the player just enough game to want more and more is indeed available in the form of 4 new sections.  These sections are Playtime Plaza, Sculpture Square, Fortress of Fun and NES Expo.  All unlock a total of 250 Stretchmo puzzles ranging from animals to shapes and even familiar NES characters from their 8bit days.  In total, this game is a blast once you get the hang of it.  Getting into the proper state of mind to solve each puzzle can take some time, but once you figure it out, it is quite fulfilling. My son, who might not figure out each puzzle as quickly as Daddy,thoroughly enjoy the game because the controls are easy and the main characters are cute little creatures.

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Xenoblade Chronicles for the new Nintendo 3DSXL

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Xenoblade is a relatively unknown game series but not among those who are fans of RPG’s on Nintendo systems.  The game was originally going to be passed over for localization to the United States on the Wii, but instead was one of the shining gems for the Nintendo Wii.  The story follows Shulk and his friends as they battle Mechon killer robots with the help of the Monado sword.  The game play style is real time RPG which means there are heavy RPG elements but the action is there as well, so keep on your toes.  Xenoblade Chronicles is a huge open world game which emphasizes exploration.   The story is big and fun, with lots of drama, action and excitement.  I love it when a big RPG get a more accessible portable version making it easier to play on the go or at a few off minutes here and there instead of trying to carve up hours of time to enjoy with a TV screen.  The game also takes full advantage of the new 3DSXL.  In doing so it can ONLY be played on that system.  It uses the new ZL, ZR and C-stick for various controls as well as the added processor power to really move.  What I find most fun is the face following 3D effects.  Instead of setting and resetting the 3D view the system now follows the user’s face so immersion into the game is way easier.
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Splatoon Video Game Review

Disclosure- We have received the below in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions are our own and honest.

In the world of gaming, there are a variety of genres and types of games including role playing, action, adventure, and shooters to name a few. The last one often times involving one team fighting another with violence and fun. This is all fine if you are into that type of thing, but let’s say you want a shooter with less violence. This is where Splatoon steps in.

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Splatoon is the newest franchise by Nintendo, and is a paint based shooter. Instead of simply shooting your enemies, you also paint the area around you in order to win the game. The main characters of Splatoon are Inklings, which can instantly change into squids and swim in ink.

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As an inkling, you can only swim in your color’s ink which not only allows you to hide from the enemy but also refill your ink. Ink is used to either splat the enemy into a puddle of paint or to cover the area in paint. Splatted players then respawn at their original spawning point.

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There are a few different online multiplayer modes which are broken up into two categories- regular battles, and ranked. Regular battles are just played for fun, and you can join any you wish. These are based on the Turf War game type. In Ranked mode, you are able to play Splat Zones and be ranked based on your winning and splatting. In Turf War, players try to cover the most area of the map in paint. Splat Zones is similar to king of the hill where a team tries to control a certain area by keeping it covered in paint.

Battle Dojo lets players play local multiplayer and compete in a balloon popping competition, by spraying the balloons with paint.

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Single player campaign is called Octo Valley and includes capturing Zapfish from the Octarians.
As you play more of the game, additional options open up to your player, like gaining clothing and accessories as well as  different weapons. Each piece of acquired clothing can boost a certain trait (as well the fact that it makes your Inkling looks spiffy).

My son thoroughly enjoys Splatoon because of the cute characters and fun multiplayer modes. He also loves the Amiibo support. There are three Amiibo’s available for use with Splatoon, each unlocking new portions of the game. One of the interesting characteristics of the game is that it will be constantly changing with new game modes, maps to explore, and customizations to equip. (So be sure to get in now and grab all the fun stuff

Splatoon is available now at fine retailers everywhere as well as the eShop. Splatoon retails for $59.99 and is for the Wii U.

Swords and Soldiers 2 for Wii U

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As Real Time Strategy games go, there are lots of options available today.  There are quite a few of these fun games on the new Wii U system.  Today we are looking at one such game that takes the familiar real time gaming style and adds a 2D art direction.  This art direction also leaks out into a 2D way of playing a classic 3D game style.  Is that enough Ds for you?

Swords and Soldiers 2 picks up where the first leaves off, with an army of unique characters going after another army of unique characters who move toward your opponent until either the enemy loses or you do.  The game play sounds simple, but as your characters start to pile up and strategy start to rear its head in the from of different units with different abilities (such as flight) the game starts to shine.
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Get Your Game On

With the dog days of summer right around the corner, and quite a few hot days already upon us, you know there are bound to be a few days where it’s just too hot to go outside. There will also be times when you are traveling and just need the kids to chill out quietly.  For those crazy hot days, and please- it’s a 5 hour flight! moments, check out these new games for kids of varying ages- and your spouse, too.

Many own the new Nintendo 3DS, but few really know the consoles in and outs. Have you heard of  StreetPass Mii Plaza area? Even if you have, you should revisit, because it recently expanded.  This area is for use Mii’s- avatars you and your buddies create.  As you walk around with your 3DS in your pocket, pouch, or case with StreetPass on, you meet other people who also have StreetPass on with their 3DS.  As you meet these people, they give you the opportunity to progress in mini games and puzzles for prizes (like accessories) for your Mii.  There are a total of 8 mini games available to play with other’s Mii’s.  The first two are free- Find Mii, which is a light hearted RPG (role playing games) with some tough villains, and Puzzle Swap where each player shares their puzzle pieces to moving 3D  puzzles containing characters from various Nintendo games and videos like Pikmin, Link from Zelda, and Mario Brothers.

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These are fun enough on their own and will give you hours of fun.  In addition to these there are a few premium games, which do cost money.  They are Monster Manor, Warrior’s Way, Flower Town, Mii Force, Ultimate Angler, and Battleground Z. Each premium game is available now on the eShop only for the Nintendo 3DS.  Prices vary.

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Xenoblade is a somewhat unknown game series, but not among those who are fans of RPG’s on Nintendo systems.  The game was originally going to be passed over for localization to the United States on the Wii, but instead was one of the shining gems for the Nintendo Wii.  The story follows Shulk and his friends as they battle Mechon killer robots with the help of the Monado sword.  The game play style is real time RPG, which means there are heavy RPG elements but the action is there as well, so stay on your toes.  Xenoblade Chronicles is a huge open world game which emphasizes exploration.   The story is winding and fun, with lots of drama, action, and excitement.  The game also takes full advantage of the new 3DSXL- it has gotten more portable and can ONLY be played on that system.  It uses the new ZL, ZR and C-stick for various controls as well as the added processor power to really move.  The face following 3D effects intensify the gameplay.  Instead of setting and resetting the 3D view, the system now follows the user’s face so immersion into the game is way easier.  Xenoblade Chronicles is out now for the new Nintendo 3DSXL, and will only work with this system.  The game retails for $39.99 and is available everywhere.  The Nintendo 3DSXL retails for $199.99.

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Nintendo’s new Puzzle & Dragons has traditional RPG elements with pick up and play puzzle game play.  Throw in a dash of anime styling in one game, and Mario and friends into another and you’ve got yourself what is really two games in one awesome package. Puzzle & Dragons game play is easy- line up orbs of the same color with more then 3 in a cluster, the bigger your cluster the higher your score and the more orbs you destroy- thus, the more damage to gets dealt to your enemy.  There are also elemental elements where certain colored orbs are stronger against other colored orbs as well.  The game play is as deep as you’d like it to be.  For those who love puzzles, that itch is easily scratched with these games.  For those who are fans of RPG’s, this is an innovative take on the battle game mechanic.  What is really nice is the fact that there are actually two games packed into the one cartridge.  The Mario Brothers version is easier to get into, and Puzzle & Dragons Z has a more in depth story with more RPG elements.  Available for $29.99 pretty much everywhere games are sold.

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StreetPass Mii Plaza Nintendo 3DS

20150425_111058Many own the new Nintendo 3DS, but few really know the consoles in and outs.  Today we will be looking at the StreetPass Mii Plaza area.  This area is for use by your friend’s Mii’s.  As you walk around with your 3DS in your pocket, pouch, or case with StreetPass on, you get to meet other people who also have StreetPass on with their 3DS.  As you meet these people, they give you the opportunity to progress in mini games and puzzles for prizes like accessories for your Mii.  An example would be a hat that looks like Metroid on your head.  There are a total of 8 mini games available to play with other’s Mii’s.  The first two are free Find Mii, which is a light hearted RPG with some tough villains, and Puzzle Swap where each player shares their puzzle pieces to awesome moving 3D  puzzles containing characters from various Nintendo games and videos like Pikmin, Link from Zelda, and Mario Brothers.
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Mario Party 10 for Wii U

Parties come and go, but a real smash stays in your mind forever.  In order to have a real party, your group of friends must be closely knit, and of course the party has to be hopping.  Parties have to be fun, and for a change of pace why not have Bowser butting in every so often.  Makes total sense.

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This is Mario Party 10 for the Wii U.  In this game, players go through a mini game filled board, trying to reach the end of the track in first place and with the most points.  Points are given for various reasons, most of which are winning mini games.  This game mode is called Classic Mario Party.  This seems simple enough, but Mario Party 10 takes this familiar game style and turns it on its head a bit by adding Bowser, and calling it….Bowser Party.  Very creative.  Bowser races around the game too, but instead of trying to win, he is simply trying to wreck everything and make your game less fun.  He does this by swapping rules in games, inventing painful Bowser based mini games where your players are smashed, burned and swept away.  Sometimes he just steals all your points.  My son thoroughly enjoys the Mario Party line of games and was incredibly excited to play as Bowser in this most recent addition to the series.  The game is well worth it for the little guy, he loves playing as Bowser and enjoys it even more with extra people playing.  The more, the better.  The game also supports Amiibo figures to unlock added fun in the game, as well as a special game mode called Amiibo Party.
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