Nintendo shows off holiday titles and releases

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With the holidays just around the corner, it’s time to see what Nintendo will be releasing between now and the rest of 2015. Next month we’ll see Mewtwo and Falco from the Super Smash Bros. line release (not pictured). We’ll also see the Mega Yarn Yoshi amiibo and the Animal Crossing amiibo line, and they will be compatible with the upcoming Animal Crossing amiibo Festival for the Wii U.

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Speaking of Animal Crossing amiibo Festival, we had a chance to play the game first hand. Amiibo Festival, like the name suggests, is all about using your amiibo figures to play. It will be the first Wii U title that requires you to own at least one Animal Crossing amiibo and six amiibo cards to play. The game plays like a mix of the Animal Crossing series and the game of life. There aren’t really any mini games to play and instead it tries to replicate the Animal Crossing series experience, as each board piece you land on and month you select will activate a different event.

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The board game aspect of the game is simple and fun if you have a few people playing with you. There’s no real challenge, and it’s like a super friendly Mario Party without the action. For hardcore Animal Crossing fans there is a Quiz Show mini game where you are asked tons of questions focused around the Animal Crossing series. There were some pretty tricky questions I couldn’t answer.

Animal Crossing amiibo Festival won’t feature online play.

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While I was able to get some hands-on time with Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash at E3, Nintendo meeting gave me a chance to learn more about the game. It will have a nice variety of characters, which now includes Rosalina, will support online matches and most importantly be another first-party game to support amiibo.

Like with Super Smash Bros., you can improve your amiibo by playing against or with it. However if the amiibo you use in Mario Tennis already has data from Super Smash Bros. or Mario Party, you will need to wipe the data clean or you may need to buy a whole new amiibo. I wouldn’t be too surprised to see a line of Mario Party amiibo figures released, especially since Boo, Waluigi and Daisy have been announced for the game; they have yet to see an amiibo figure release.

Mario Party currently has four modes of play confirmed:

  • Knockout Challenge: Tense tiebreak matches against increasingly difficult computer-controlled opponents await in this single-player mode. If the going gets too tough, you can call in a supported amiibo as your doubles partner.
  • Mega Battle: Your character grows to gigantic proportions after grabbing a Mega Mushroom, dominating the court with their increased power and range. When rivals on both sides of the net are giant-sized, anything can happen!
  • Classic Tennis: For those who prefer their tennis a little more traditional, Classic Tennis offers two variations: Standard mode features Chance Shots and Jump Shots but no Mega Mushrooms, while Simple puts competitors between the tramlines with no Chance Shots or power-ups – a real test of tennis prowess.
  • Online multiplayer: Go up against distant adversaries from all over the world in competitive ranked play in either Mega Battle or Classic Tennis modes, or quickly jump into more casual matches. Two players on the same console can team up to take on all-comers, or a supported amiibo can join you on as your doubles partner on the online courts.

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I was able to test out The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes for the second time. While I enjoyed The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, Tri Force Heroes makes great use of the Nintendo 3DS with different ways to play and plenty of abilities in the forms of costumes. If you had a chance to play the demo last week, you know to expect plenty of puzzles and to rely on partners to solve.

While the game doesn’t support in-game voice chat, you instead have emojis to use.

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The final title we saw at the event was Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water, the fifth title in the series (the fourth was only released in Japan), and it is only being released digitally in North America.

The Gamepad is used as the Camera Obscura and is your only means of defense against the spirits who seek to harm the living. While some of the costumes have been removed in the North American released, a Link and Metroid outfit have been added.  The prologue and first chapter are free to play via the trial demo, and the full game can be unlocked by purchasing the full game. The full game runs about 16gb, so if you don’t have a deluxe Wii U, you will need an external hard drive to play the game.

What Nintendo games are you looking forward to playing this Holiday season? For me it’s Xenoblade Chronicles X for the Wii U.

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