Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Officially Announced, Releasing August 29 For Nintendo Switch

After months of rumours and leaks, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle has been offically announced on stage at E3.

Ubisoft’s Yves Guillemot shared the stage with Shigeru Miyamoto to reveal the crossover – which has been in development at the firm’s Paris studio for the past 3 years – and is coming to Nintendo Switch on August 29th.

Ubisoft Paris over the last three years. It’s a tactical adventure, set in motion as the two worlds of Mario and Rabbids smashed together, making the world unstable and creating Rabbid versions of all the Mario Kingdom characters. It’s a bit of a bizarre set up.

The turn-based tactical game sees the Mario & Rabbid worlds collide, with gameplay taking cues from the likes of XCOM, with cover, team attacks and more shown off.

Check out the trailer below:


Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Officially Announced, Releasing August 29 For Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Announce Switch Release Date, Price & Games Line-Up

Early this morning Nintendo took to YouTube and hosted their Nintendo Switch Presentation – an hour long stream which finally put to bed all the rumours circulating around the new home-console come portable hybrid.

First and foremost, Nintendo gave us a price and worldwide release date – ¥29,980/$299.99, 3rd March 2017. In Europe that equates to £279.99, with Nintendo’s own store, GAME and Amazon taking pre-orders. There’s only two SKUs to consider, too, with JoyCon colour being the deciding factor, so you wont need to worry about finding a Premium or Base console, as with the Wii U. Retailers in

Nintendo being Nintendo, stock is expected to be limited, and retailers have introduced restrictions of one console per customer to try and combat resale – as we’ve seen with the recent NES Classic Mini – which regularly appears on eBay at 3 or 4 times its original price.

£280 is a little more than many had hoped, so, it begs the question, what am I getting for my money?

In the box you’ll find the Switch console, two Joy-Con controllers, the Switch Dock, a Joy-Con Grip, two Joy-Con wrist straps, a HDMI cable, and thankfully, and AC adapter.

If you want to buy extras, or accessorise, you’ll need to save up however, as a new pair of Joy-Con will set you back $79.99/£69.99, and a Pro Controller $69.99/£59.99.

Spec wise, we know the Nintendo Switch is powered by a custom NVIDIA Tegra processor, and will feature 32GB of built in storage, this is expandable via MicroSD, up to 2TB. Handy that, since Zelda, for example, takes 13.4GB – roughly 40% of the on board space.

The console’s battery life has been quoted as “between 2.5 and 6 hours”, dependent on the game or services in use. Typically, those who’ve already gone hands on are reporting the lower end of this range. Charging is facilitated via a USB3 port beneath the Switch unit.

We also now know the 6.2″ screen runs at 720p, and features capacitive multi-touch.

We also learnt that the Switch will not be region-locked.

Nintendo Switch’s online service will be free at launch, with a pricing model (as yet undisclosed) taking effect from from Fall 2017. Subscribers to the service will be able to download a free classic NES or SNES game each month, although access to that title is removed as a new one is Switched in. The console will feature friends lists and voice chat, with Nintendo chosing to leave behind Miiverse and Streetpass, instead opting to support existing Social Media platforms. Various aspects of the console’s online service including friend management and parental controls will be available via smartphone apps.

We’re told the console was created with three different modes of play in mind; TV Mode, in which the docked Switch outputs at 1080p on the home TV with a variety of control options; Tabletop, with the attached kickstand propping up the portable screen and Joy-Con controllers detached – for when a TV isn’t available – and Handheld Mode, with the Joy-Cons connected to the screen, operated as a single portable unit. Up to 8 Switch units can connect for ad-hoc multiplayer.

Both the left and right Joy-Con feature an analogue stick, four face buttons, a shoulder button and a trigger. These identical features mean you can use each Joy-Con as a separate pad for multiplayer on many games. The Left Joy-Con also features a Capture button, for sharing gameplay, while the right brings an NFC sensor to facilitate amiibo support and an IR camera that can determine distance and even, we’re told, shapes like rock, paper or scissors. Both will also house enhanced “HD Rumble”.

The Switch games line-up isn’t, in my opinion, perfect, but as you can see from the video above, Super Mario Odyssey looks like amazing fun. The disappointing thing, however, is that this isn’t coming until “Holiday 2017”, which may harm early sales of the machine.

The announced line up for the console’s launch month is as follows:

  • 1-2-Switch
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Super Bomberman R
  • Just Dance 2017
  • Skylanders Imaginators
  • Snipperclips
  • Fast RMX
  • Has-Been Heroes

A handful of other games have also been revealed, all due later in 2017 and beyond.

  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  • Dragon Ball: Xenoverse 2
  • Minecraft Story Mode: The Complete Adventure
  • Minecraft: Switch Edition
  • Arcade Archives
  • Arms
  • Puyo Puyo Tetris
  • Disgaea 5
  • RIME
  • Splatoon 2
  • Skyrim
  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • Xenoblade 2
  • Fire Emblem Warriors
  • Dragon Quest Heroes I & II
  • Dragon Quest X
  • Dragon Quest XI
  • Project Octopath Traveler
  • FIFA
  • Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers
  • Steep
  • Rayman Legends Definitive Edition
  • Shovel Knight
  • Constructor
  • Seasons Of Heaven
  • Farming Simulator
  • Syberia 3
  • The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+
  • Redout
  • NBA 2K
  • Sonic Mania
  • I Am Setsuna
  • Project Sonic 2017
  • New Shin Megami Tensei
  • Suda 51 Project Based On No More Heroes Travis Touchdown

We also know the Nintendo Switch will feature Virtual Console support in some capacity, although aside from the NES/SNES downloads mentioned earlier, nothing has been mentioned just yet.

Nintendo Announce Switch Release Date, Price & Games Line-Up

Nintendo’s Next Console Officially Unveiled, Launches March 2017

Nintendo’s next console has finally been unveiled. The machine, previously codenamed only “NX”, is officially called the Nintendo Switch, and will launch next March.

As rumoured, the Switch is a home console come portable hybrid, which utilises a docking station and detachable controllers allowing you to seamlessly -ahem – Switch, between playing at home or on the go.

A huge takeaway from the Switch reveal is that Nintendo’s home and portable game libraries and development teams can now work together, rather than separately creating and supporting titles as previously. This will save on costs and crucially time, hopefully resulting in a much stronger game catalogue than the Wii U has seen. It also, of course, brings hope that those who play on the big screen might get some of the high quality titles 3DS has enjoyed, like a true Pokemon RPG which fans have been crying out for since the days of the GameBoy.

The trailer showed various games – although developers are being cagey as to what’s actually being made and what isn’t – and when it comes to potential control methods, Nintendo are keeping a whole lot under their proverbial hat too, with no word on motion control as seen in the Wii/WiiU or a touch screen, popularised by the DS family.

Hardware specs are something we’re being promised at a later date by Nintendo too, however chipset maker Nvidia released the following details alongside the Switch reveal.

“Nintendo Switch is powered by the performance of the custom Tegra processor. The high-efficiency scalable processor includes an NVIDIA GPU based on the same architecture as the world’s top-performing GeForce gaming graphics cards.

The Nintendo Switch’s gaming experience is also supported by fully custom software, including a revamped physics engine, new libraries, advanced game tools and libraries. NVIDIA additionally created new gaming APIs to fully harness this performance. The newest API, NVN, was built specifically to bring lightweight, fast gaming to the masses.

Gameplay is further enhanced by hardware-accelerated video playback and custom software for audio effects and rendering.

We’ve optimized the full suite of hardware and software for gaming and mobile use cases. This includes custom operating system integration with the GPU to increase both performance and efficiency.”

Nintendo’s Next Console Officially Unveiled, Launches March 2017

Super Mario Run Announced For iOS

Alongside the expected new iPhone, Apple Watch and EarPods on show at tonight’s Apple Conference, an appearance by Shigeru Miyamoto took the theatre by suprise.

The famed video game designer took to the stage to announce Super Mario Run is coming to iOS. Featuring familiar graphics and characters from the New Super Mario Bros series, the game is an auto-running platformer which can be played with one hand.

In this game, you constantly move forward through the courses while using a variety of jumps to navigate. Your character will behave differently depending on the timing of your taps, so it’s up to you to show off particularly smooth moves, gather coins, and reach the goal.

Super Mario Run offers three different game modes:
– The first mode features challenging courses for you to complete.
– In the second mode, you challenge the play data of other people’s completed courses. You compete to see who can finish the course with the most style!
– In the third mode, you can create your own Mushroom Kingdom using coins collected by playing the first two game modes.

Super Mario Run will launch for both iPad and iPhone this December.

Super Mario Run Announced For iOS

Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash Review

Lawn Tennis as a sport has origins stretching back some 150 years, with rules that have largely remained the same for the last 100 of those. It’s a game welcoming to anyone who can pick up a racket, and accessible to all, regardless of age, prior knowledge, or perceived skill. Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash appears to have the intention of being the friendly faced videogame embodiment of that very sport within. By stripping away the complex control schemes and many of the over the top game modes seen in previous Mario Tennis titles Ultra Smash has achieved just that, and welcomes anyone able to pick up a pad onto its courts.

As with the grand majority of Nintendo’s exclusives, Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash is polished to perfection, and shines as bright as any Grand Slam winner’s cup. Delivering sharp HD visuals, superb audio, and a solid, unfaltering frame-rate both on and offline, there’s no denying that this is a beautifully presented, technically sound game. My major concern though, which unfortunately relates to every other aspect of the game, is just that there isn’t enough game here to back it up.

The lack of depth is glaringly obvious from the outset, and will disappoint long time fans of the series. There’s a noticeable step backwards in terms of raw content, with Mario’s latest preferring to focus less on gimmicks and quirky game modes – there’s no mini-games, campaign or the overblown power-ups of before – choosing instead to provide a relatively concise core gameplay experience, more about simplicity and accessibility, with one or two unorthodox touches of Mushroom Kingdom magic thrown into the mix.

It’s obvious from all of the pre-release footage that, of the five modes, Mega Battle is the one you’re going to want to play. Available as either a Singles or Doubles exhibition style mode, the normal rules of tennis apply, and it’s all fairly innocuous fun… until a cheeky Toad throws a Mega Mushroom into the mix.

The series’ newest toy takes centre court across all game modes aside from Classic and affords the player a game changing boost in size for a brief period of time. Being ‘mega’ certainly has it’s advantages too, you’ll have far more powerful shots and a greater reach for one – but this is not without its failings, and you’ll need to use a degree of strategy rather than always assuming bigger is better if you really want to succeed.

These new mega characters loom over the court with abandon, which is ridiculous fun in Singles mode, but I’ve literally lost count of the times during a doubles game whereby a hulking great Bowser has delighted in the fact he’s just hit an Ultra Smash into the back of my skull at 200km/h – or vice-versa – which then loses us the crucial Match Point. The pillock.

Despite the opportunity for more of these insane Mushroom Kingdom inspired power ups to feature, the only other non-regulation gameplay perk comes thanks to the return of Chance Areas, the colour coded circles which appear on court and reward the player with a power or precision buff if the corresponding shot type is used in that zone. Their appearance guides you around the court and, coupled with forgiving timing for your hits, makes exciting twenty or thirty shot rallies, full of well placed lobs & drop shots a possibility, even if you’re not used to playing tennis games.

The titular Ultra Smash is also delivered thanks to these Chance Areas, and will prove all but impossible for less experienced players to return. To help keep the game balanced these will appear less frequently, and require slightly quicker thinking to pull off. I probably got a little over-excited the first time I hit one to be honest, with the Ultra Smash replay camera panning around a flutter-jumping Yoshi as he drives the ball to the corner of the court. Moments like this really serve to highlight the attention to detail poured into each of the extensively detailed models and recognisable character animations.

Ultra Smash reduces the controls down to a bare minimum for newcomers, allowing them to lean on the crutch of having ‘X’ simply return with an appropriate shot. However, there’s still the more complex system to play with, letting you pick your own flat, sliced, lob or drop shots depending on the situation at hand.

The newest addition to Mario’s racket-skills-repertoire is the Jumpshot, which sees him leap – often to an unfeasible height – and return the ball from mid-air, rather than waiting for a bounce first. It looks great, but, like diving for a far-reached return, can mean you’re not quite ready to return the ball next time it powers back over the net.

Outside of Mega Ball Rally – a mode aimed at getting the longest rally possible with an ever-shrinking ball – and Classic play, which lets you remove Mega Mushrooms or Chance Shots, Knockout Challenge is where Ultra Smash’s main body of gaming will lie. It’s the nearest thing to a conventional career or campaign in the game, with each of the 16 characters having their own individual progress file, as they take on a ladder of 30 matches, meeting the other characters across the varying court types with increasing difficulty. It feels like another one-and-done experience, only partially improved by the now obligatory amiibo inclusion.

Touch a supported figure to the gamepad’s NFC sensor and they’ll appear as your doubles partner for that run, learning and acquiring new stats with every fifth match as you go. At first this seems a strange, potentially unfair, way to implement the collectibles, but with the difficulty ramping up and the chaos caused by oversized characters, it actually works remarkably well. Outside of the Knockout Challenge you can then take your amiibo online, and use it, upgraded stats and all, for a more traditional 2-versus-2 doubles match.

The more traditional surfaces such as grass or clay are available, but I quickly tired of those, instead opting for the super bouncy mushroom, or the ice court, a personal favourite which looks absolutely stunning, and leaves players slipping and sliding as they struggle to reach wide shots. Whichever you choose, it’ll inexplicably be in the same stadium setting, with the same capacity crowd of Shy Guys looking on.

The paucity of content is felt elsewhere, as well. Aside from the unexpected inclusion of the green Sprixie Princess from 2013’s Super Mario 3D World – who makes her first appearance as a playable character – the biggest surprise will be who’s not in the game. There’s Donkey, but no Diddy Kong, Yoshi, but no Birdo, and not a sign of a playable Koopa Troopa. Even the baby Mario Bros. haven’t made it out to play this time around.

The online play handles rankings similarly to Mario Kart 8, with a starting points level which adjusts up and down depending on your results. However, the only option open to you is to play via matchmaking, and you cannot invite friends or host a lobby. There’s also no offline rankings and there’s no trophies or cups for winning per se, but your progress is rewarded with the quirky courses and a couple of characters unlocking as you meet certain play time criteria. Each match also earns you coins, which can be used to fast track specific rewards, should you so wish.

What’s Good:

  • Beautifully presented HD visuals.
  • Simple gameplay mechanics mean fun for all ages.

What’s Bad:

  • A shallow selection of game modes.
  • No options for private games or playing with friends online.
  • Only a small roster of characters.

Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash has an air of familiarity, especially so if you’ve played Mario Tennis Open – but even without prior knowledge of the series, the game’s bright HD visuals and overall presentation quality will make it instantly appealing to Nintendo households this Christmas.

Nintendo have also announced anyone who purchases the game on the WiiU eShop prior to midnight December 17 2015 will also receive a free Virtual Console download of Mario Tennis for the N64 – A game that doesn’t look as pretty, but has more characters, more courts, and more modes than Ultra Smash.

Mega Battle is great fun, especially in local multiplayer, and has seen me both laughing and cursing aloud, but with no mini-games or notable campaign to speak of, and without the overblown power-ups I’m used to in Mario games, it’s a game that I’ll have all but forgotten by the time Wimbledon rolls around next year.

Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash Review

Nintendo Direct Round Up (Nov 12, 2015)

Nintendo have broadcast a new Direct presentation – the company’s first since the passing of President Satoru Iwata in July. The new Direct followed the format of the earlier videos, this time hosted by Satoru Shibata and Ed Valiente in the EU, with Reggie Fils-Aimé alongside Bill Trinen in the US.

Aside from release dates, the news across both streams, although presented in a different order was much the same, so, without further ado, let’s get to it.

Straight out of the gates was the unexpected, but very welcome announcement that The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD is on the way to WiiU March 4th 2016, with the port being handled by Australia based Tantalus.

As well as enhanced visuals, the game will also support amiibo for the new platform, namely the Smash Bros. series Link, Toon Link, Zelda, Ganondorf & Shiek, and the newly announced Wolf Link.

A special edition of the game will come bundled with with the Wolf Link amiibo, and the game soundtrack. Nintendo also revealed that this new amiibo will carry some data forward to the new Zelda title, reiterating that title is indeed still on track to be a WiiU release.

Sticking with The Legend of Zelda, the recently launched Tri Force Heroes is getting a free update called The Den Of Trials, which will feature 30+ new stages to challenge even the most heroic traveler. The update will also include a couple of new outfits, and is due the first week in December.

The squid based tentacle shooter Splatoon is receiving another substantial update right away – with a new stage, Museum d’Alfonsino, and 40 new gear items heading up the party. We were also told to look forward to more free content upgrades into the new year, including the Mahi-Mahi Resort stage, seen at the end of this trailer.

In the US, a new holiday bundle was also announced, which features a premium WiiU console, Splatoon and Super Smash Bros.

A brief look at Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam Bros. preceded the news that Super Mario Maker is receiving a new web portal next month, which will let you search the 3.3million (and rising) courses globally with more precision than available in game, using filters such as game style or theme, and then adding them to your favourites.

Some new info regarding Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash was also served up, with the announcement of Simple Mode, which strips back the power-ups for a more traditional play style, and the new move Jump Shot, which lets you return a ball without waiting for it to bounce. Fancy that.

While Mario’s undoubtedly the mustachioed face of Nintendo, it’s Pokémon that had kids turning on their Gameboy systems in the late 90’s with the launch of Red, Blue and Yellow… and now they’re back! The three games that started it all are hitting the 3DS Virtual Console Feb 27th, 2016, bringing with them wireless networking options which do away with the need for a link cable.

Three new Pokémon titles not enough, you say? How about the news that Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon will feature all 720 known Pokémon. This is all getting a bit Farfetch’d.

Still not enough of Jigglypuff and chums? How about we take a peek at a Pikachu picture? Pokémon Picross was announced, and joins Shuffle as a ‘free to start’ title on the 3DS eShop in December.

More? How about Pokkén Tournament for WiiU? The arcade style Pokémon fighter is coming in Spring 2016, and it was today revealed that those who purchase a physical copy of the game within its first production run will receive a free Shadow Mewtwo amiibo card, which grants early access to the mythical character.

That’s it; Gotta catch ’em all!

Moving on, we had a new trailer and release date for the delayed Star Fox Zero on Wii U, which is now due for launch in April 2016.

A few indie trailers – the futuristic Fast Racing Neo, Typoman and Image & Form’s SteamWorld: Heist popped up before Nintendo’s own Badge Arcade, an eShop title which allows players to buy attempts on fairground style crane machines with the hope of winning some new tat to adorn your handheld’s home screen.

We also saw LEGO Avengers, Project X Zone 2, Kerbal Space Program, Yo-kai Watch, Hive Jump, Terraria and Mighty No 9.

Capcom’s blue bomber is going gold for the Mega Man Legacy Collection on 3DS, with a limited edition amiibo announced to be launching alongside the game February 23rd.

While it appears the new gold amiibo is US only, gamers in Europe wont entirely miss out, as both it and the regular blue amiibo will unlock 11 exclusive new challenge stages for the game at launch.

Also on 3DS, we saw Final Fantasy Explorers, a 4 player co-op action RPG with MMO style classes and more than 20 different professions for characters to take on. Coming to Europe in January, the game’s western release will bundle all of the DLC released previously for owners in Japan along with the core game.

Europe will also see a special Collectors Edition of the game, which includes an art book, a 20 track CD, a branded 3DS carry case and exclusive in game quests.

More amiibo news: Early next year there’s a Lucas Super Smash Bros. amiibo joining the fight, and a foursome of new faces joining the cavalcade already lined up for the Animal Crossing collection.

Back to Zelda and 3DS – fans were treated to new footage of Hyrule Warriors: Legends, which introduces us to Linkle, a brand new character, who will fight alongside Tetra, Toon Link, Skull Kid and The King of Hyrule when the Wii U title goes handheld.

Speaking of handheld, Linkle has some pretty nifty looking equipment at her disposal. Dual-wield rapid fire crossbows. I suggest you don’t mistakenly call her Zelda.

Hyrule Warriors: Legends will be available March 25th 2016, with a limited edition available at retail.

RPG fans have a lot to look forward to, Nintendo tell us, with Bravely Second: End Layer joining the earlier mentioned Final Fantasy Explorers on 3DS early next year. The sequel to Bravely Default is set a few years after the first title and brings more of the same turn based battles and strategic gameplay using the Brave & Default system.

Bravely Second: End Layer‘s Collector’s Edition will come with a CD soundtrack, artbook and figurine to accompany the game.

Even more good news for 3DS RPG fans followed, this time with the reveal that both Dragon Quest VII and Dragon Quest VIII will be released next year.

Fire Emblem Fates was then announced as launching with two different versions – Birthright or Conquest. It was explained that while each contains a complete story, players of both titles will be rewarded with a deeper look at the varying sides of the conflict within. Those who wish to do so will be pleased to hear that ownership of one Fire Emblem Fates title will grant an eShop reduction on the other.

Due for release after the main games, a third DLC campaign, entitled Fire Emblem Fates Revelation will add even more to the story.

As with nearly everything else Nintendo revealed via this Direct, Fire Emblem Fates will have a Special Edition available, containing all three campaigns, and, quelle surprise, an art book.

Prefer your RPG’s on the big screen? Check out the new trailer for Xenoblade Chronicles X, releasing December 4th.

The game will launch both digitally and at retail, although those picking up the disc will find downloading 10gig of what Nintendo are calling “high speed data loading packs” from the eShop will “greatly improve gameplay experience”. They’ll essentially be using the data on the HDD to sidestep the lengthy disc-based read times when you come to play.

To round things off there was the huge announcement that Super Smash Bros. Wii U / 3DS is getting a new fighter…

Nintendo Direct Round Up (Nov 12, 2015)

Nintendo’s Summer Tour Coming To A Town Near You

Nintendo UK are taking some of their current big hitters and Christmas hopefuls on the road over the next couple of months, as the Nintendo 2015 Summer Tour rolls into shopping centres around the country.

The roadshow kicks off next week, August 12, and runs for a month until September 13th. Fans will be able to get their hands on current releases, such as the frankly stunning Mario Kart 8 and Yoshi’s Woolly World, as well as getting an early glimpse of forthcoming titles such as Super Mario Maker and Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash.

Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Mario Bros. there’ll also be themed swag up for grabs, including hats, moustaches (huh?) and a limited edition pin.

The venues and dates are as follows:

  • 12-17th August – Manchester Arndale
  • 20-24th August – Intu Derby
  • 27-31st August – Westfield London
  • 5-6th September – Intu Metrocentre, Tyne and Wear
  • 12-13th September – Intu Braehead, Glasgow
Nintendo’s Summer Tour Coming To A Town Near You