Kirby: Planet Robobot was a blast from start to finish. The platforming, combat and level design are better than they’ve ever been in a Kirby game. The new Robobot Armor is fun to use, especially with all of the enemy abilities, though it does have some disappointing limitations. Coupled with the great use of the 3D environments on a 2D plane, Kirby: Planet Robobot has become my favorite Kirby game.
Nintendo’s E3 was all about The Legend of Zelda. Literally. Its booth in the Los Angeles Convention Center was transformed to look like a locale straight outta Hyrule, and the only title on display was the next game in the decades-old action/adventure series. Nintendo is putting a lot of eggs in one basket with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, making some big changes to the classic Zelda formula. I was worried that the massive open world and Link’s host of new abilities (he can cook!) would make Breath of the Wild feel less like a Zelda game, but after spending some time in the reimagined Hyrule, I’m no longer afraid of change.
Link’s Awakening was a trendsetter. That much is certain, but the game also stands the test of time as another great and magical entry in the long beloved series, and today we celebrate its initial release.
Hotel Dusk: Room 215 is a quiet achievement in Nintendo's library: an overlooked mystery game for the DS that felt like it belonged on the system, but still only "quiet" for being relatively unknown to most. Following the format of a visual novel, Hotel Dusk was heavy on dialogue with a story laden with secrets, but its gameplay was in line with a point-and-click with elements of risk similar to Broken Sword, as well as the occasional puzzle treatment. This blend made for a compelling and suspenseful detective story, one that nailed a 70s-themed noir art style.
New Super Mario Bros. was the first Mario game since Mario Sunshine and the first 2D Mario game since Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, but it brought prominence back to the series in a big way with its use of new ideas laid atop the old-school formula. Today, we celebrate its initial launch on the Nintendo DS in 2006.
"It's about time you showed up, Fox!" After eleven years, the ace fighter pilot and his team of mercenaries are returning to a home console in Star Fox Zero, and a long hiatus like that creates some major expectations. Surely if Nintendo thought it was time to bring back Star Fox now there'd be some big things in store, right? Well it seems those "big ideas" aren't quite as big as I had hoped.
Across the last few decades, it’s nearly impossible to think of the handheld market without Nintendo. Since the Game Boy’s release in 1989, the company has practically dominated the market. Competition has come forth in the form of the Sega Game Gear, Nokia N-Gage, and more prominently, the Sony PSP, but throughout the years, and especially in a market where mobile phones take an increasing share each year, Nintendo has managed to maintain an edge in producing some of the best and most creative technology the handheld market has to offer. Today, in particular, marks the release of the original 3DS handheld system: A system that arguably changed the way players think about glasses-free 3D.
I had forgotten just how cool The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was as I was replaying the HD remake for this review. The original release being almost ten years ago as a launch title for Wii, it's been a long time since I journeyed through Hyrule as Twilight Princess presented it. I had forgotten how dark some of the scenes get, how completely badass Ganondorf is, and how much this story grips me from beginning to end. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD reminded me of all of it — just as a good remastering should — but this return to Hyrule isn't without its flaws.
When mash-ups endeavor to become something bigger than simple art, it will often go one of two ways. Either things fit together and complement one another or they don’t. Even then, to go about making a mash-up idea into an enjoyable product is a much more arduous process than simply slapping one enjoyable brand together with another. It’s certainly been the source of both good and, at best, mediocre products over the last few decades. That said, who would have thought that back in 1996 around this time, one of the biggest success stories of one of these mash-ups would have come from applying the Final Fantasy RPG formula to the Super Mario universe?
It’s been just about 20 years since the first 151 Pokémon were unleashed on the world. Nintendo is celebrating such a monumental event all year round with events that are revisiting the last 20 years of Pokémon such as releasing legendary Pokémon from every generation every month until the end of the year. Pokemon is also going all the way back to the beginning with their generations TCG booster set that is a reprint of the very first Pokémon Trading Card Game set. It’s only natural, then, that Pokémon would want to go back to the games that started it all--the original Pokémon games: Red, Blue and Yellow (which came a year later).