The original Pokémon movie is getting a CG remake called Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution, and it’s headed to Japanese theaters on July 12th. We recently reported that news about the moving was on the way, and that proved true. The Pokémon Company has released an exciting new trailer that focuses on the big showdown at Mewtwo’s lair and gives us our first look at his powerful armor.
Their coverage of Labo VR also revealed that it contains an Easter Egg referencing Nintendo’s last attempt at virtual reality decades ago. That’s right, the infamous Virtual Boy is not forgotten! If you toggle over to the VR Videos section you can watch a short presentation showing off Mario Tennis for Virtual Boy. You can check it out by clicking above!
Next month, millions around the world will head to the theaters to watch Ryan Reynolds portray a talking, crime-solving Pikachu. If you weren’t already hyped for the first big, live-action Pokémon movie based on that, The Pokémon Company is sweetening the deal. As a special bonus, everyone who sees the movie on opening weekend (May 10th – 12th) gets a free Pokémon trading card.
This special Pokémon Trading Card Game card features Detective Pikachu himself. He’s got 90 HP and comes with a healing move called Coffee Break (how appropriate) and a Corkscrew Punch attack that deals 20 damage. The card depicts Detective Pikachu sipping on a cup of coffee at the Hi-Hat Cafe. It’s nothing spectacular or overpowered, but it’s a fun little treat for fans.
Over the years, Build-A-Bear Workshop has teamed up with The Pokémon Company to create numerous Pokémon plushies, including Vulpix, Meowth, Squirtle, Charmander, Eevee, and many more. With hundreds of adorable monsters to choose from, it’s a match made in heaven, and the next team-up between the two companies may be their most popular one yet.
The official Twitter account for Build-A-Bear just tweeted out an old Detective Pikachu trailer with the following message: “We have a hunch that this trailer will only make everyone even MORE excited for May 10. Details on an upcoming in-store event inspired by Pokémon #DetectivePikachu coming soon!“
That’s right, Build-A-Bear is doing a Detective Pikachu event! Presumably, the titular talking Pikachu himself will be available for purchase, but it’s not clear if other creatures from the movie will be part of the festivities. There’s no official date for this event at this time, but with the movie just a month away we suspect we’ll be hearing more very soon.
As of today, we’re officially just one month away from the theatrical debut of Detective Pikachu. Based on the 3DS game of the same name, the movie stars Ryan Reynolds as a talking, crime-solving Pikachu that teams up with a young man looking for his missing father. Legendary has been pumping out trailers left and right, and today (via Reynolds himself) they released a “Casting Sneak Peak” that shows off some of the many Pokémon you’ll see in the movie.
The weekly hardware and software sales from Japan are in, courtesy of Famitsu (now that Media Create no longer releases their data to the public), and the latest Dragon Ball game is topping the charts. Super Dragon Ball Heroes: World Mission debuted with over 70,000 sales on Nintendo Switch, and with no other major new releases, there was no competition.
Overall it was a fairly boring week in Japan with few noteworthy gaming stories, but the latest sales data shows one popular game hitting a major milestone. With another 14,775 units moved last week, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has now eclipsed 3 million copies sold in Japan alone. Smash joins with Splatoon 2, another Nintendo Switch title that passed the same mark just a few weeks ago. You can check out the full breakdown below.
1. [NSW] Super Dragon Ball Heroes: World Mission – 70,990 / NEW 2. [NSW] Yoshi’s Crafted World – 28,468 / 78,745 3. [PS4] Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice – 18,101 / 212,961 4. [NSW] Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – 14,775 / 3,000,151 5. [NSW] Minecraft – 12,278 / 719,845 6. [NSW] New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe – 12,111 / 560,098 7. [NSW] Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – 9,551 / 2,246,416 8. [NSW] Splatoon 2 – 8,161 / 3,028,994 9. [NSW] Zelda: Breath of the Wild – 6,309 / 1,281,348 10. [NSW] Super Mario Party – 6,305 / 991,550
Switch – 46,850 PS4 – 8,347 PS4 Pro – 5,507 New 2DS LL – 3,469 New 3DS LL – 919 PS Vita – 482 Xbox One X – 60 Xbox One S – 33
If you’re a fan of over the top courtroom drama, today is a good day! The beloved Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney series is back in a new trilogy bundle that includes Ace Attorney, Justice for All, and Trials and Tribulations. All three games have been remastered with improved graphics and new features. You can pick the trilogy today on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC.
Back in February, we finally got our first look at the next Pokémon movie. At that time, Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution was revealed as a CG remake of the very first Pokémon film. There’s been virtually no news since then (although, seeing as it’s a remake, there can’t be that much to reveal outside of new footage), but that will be changing soon.
The ever-reliable Pokémon news site Serebii is reporting that the next update on the movie is coming later this week. During Thursday’s episode of Oha Suta, a Japanese variety show, there will be “brand new world exclusive information” revealed. So far, all that we know is there will be info on guest voice actors, but hopefully there’s a lot more than that.
Nintendo Switch has been immensely successful through two years on the market, and a major factor in that success is just how many high-quality games have been released on the console. Between Nintendo’s first-party smash hits like Zelda and Mario and third-party releases like DOOM, there’s plenty to see, and it can get expensive to keep up with all the latest and greatest games.
Fortunately for European Switch owners, Nintendo has just announced a huge sale. Starting today, European customers can download a variety of games that have been discounted by as much as 66%. All of the latest discounts knock at least 30% off the price, so there’s plenty of good deals to be found. There are even a few 3DS games on sale! You can check out the full list below.
Last November, Nintendo launched Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! alongside a special edition Switch console. Sporting yellow Joy-Cons and a Pikachu and Eevee themed dock, this limited bundle sold out quickly and vanished from store shelves. If you missed out on your opportunity to snag one back then, you’ll be happy to know that it’s temporarily back in stock.
GameStop is currently selling the special bundle for $399.99. For that price, you get the custom console, a digital download code for either of the two games, and the Pokéball Plus accessory. If you’re interested, you can place an order for yours by clicking here.
Last month, Nintendo officially revealed their first step into the world of virtual reality. With the Nintendo Labo VR Kit, you can transform your Nintendo Switch into a virtual reality headset packed with mini-games that make use of your Labo accessories. Labo VR goes on sale later this week, but if you’re not sold yet, you may have an opportunity to try it out for free.
Nintendo has just announced that they are once again teaming up with Best Buy to offer free demos to fans. Next Sunday, April 14th, Labo VR will be available to play from 10:30 AM until 2:30 PM. Best Buy’s official website says you can “blast through an alien invasion, create 3D works of art, dive into an oceanic photo safari, soar atop a bird, and go wherever else your imagination takes you.”
Click here to search for a participating Best Buy location near you! We’ve also included the latest Labo VR gameplay footage montage in this article so you can check out more of the games, mini-games, and Garage features.
As President and CEO of Nintendo, the late, great Satoru Iwata was an extremely busy man. In spite of this, it seemed like he always had time to lend a helping hand to others. There have been numerous stories over the years about Iwata stepping in to lend his programming skills to struggling developers, but today we have a story that shows off another side of his helping spirit.
A Nintendo fan who goes by kumozawa1203 on Twitter recently uploaded a letter he received from Iwata in 2013. He had chosen Nintendo as the subject for a school project and wrote to Iwata for advice. Iwata took the time to reply, sharing some of his own personal experiences and offering words of encouragement. You can read his letter below.
“Hello. This is Iwata from Nintendo. Thank you for the letter. I’m very happy that you chose Nintendo for your “Hello Work at 12” project.
“In middle school, I developed an interest in computers, and before long I’d decided to study computers seriously in college. While I was a college student, I realized how fun it was to make video games, and chose that for my job.
“Making video games is a job that requires a lot of energy, but for me it was even more fun than playing them. That and the fact that other people could also enjoy what I’d made gave me a sense of purpose.
“Game development requires the drawing together of many different fields. You need people to think up game designs, people to draw pictures, people to make music and sound effects, people to program, people to test the game people to make sure that the whole team is working together well, and so on.
“That’s why I don’t think there’s a right answer to the question of what you should study. I do think that you’ll be able to find what you’re good at by thinking deeply about all the things you’re interested in, not settling for spending your days without increasing your knowledge, making lots of discoveries, and repeating that process. While what you’re good at and what you enjoy doing might not necessarily be the same, I’ve had the experience of others recognizing things I’m good at, even if I didn’t actually like it at first. That’s one reason why you should continue studying and gaining experience without bias.
If you thought the 2018 video game awards season was all wrapped up, you’d be wrong. There are still a few stragglers handing out awards in April, and one of them is the popular Japanese publication Famitsu. The Famitsu Awards handed out the usual accolades like Game of the Year (which was a tie between Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Monster Hunter: World), and they also handed out an “MVP Award” to Smash creator Masahiro Sakurai.
Sakurai had a huge night thanks to not only Smash Ultimate but also due to the popularity of Kirby. The little pink ball of joy won the Best Character award, which is a little surprising to hear in 2019. That said, Sakurai regularly writes a column in Famitsu, so perhaps he had something of a home-field advantage. You can check out the full list of winners below.
Game of the Year
Monster Hunter: World (Capcom)
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Nintendo)
Octopath Traveler (Square Enix)
God of War (Sony)
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Nintendo)
Detroit: Become Human (Sony)
Dragon Quest Builders 2 (Square Enix)
Fate/Grand Order (FGO Project)
Fortnite (Epic Games)
Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu / Eevee (The Pokemon Company / Nintendo)
Last year the government of Germany took Nintendo to court to contest their eShop policies, including the fact that you can’t get a refund after pre-ordering. As it turns out, Germany isn’t the only European government that takes issue with that policy, and Nintendo isn’t the only company drawing the ire of consumer protection agencies.
The United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority has just announced that Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony, the three major console manufacturers, are all under investigation. The CMA wants to make sure that people making online purchases aren’t being taken advantage of by predatory policies like a lack of refunds or auto-renewing payment plans that don’t require authorization.
The CMA has written to all three companies to ask for a summary of their policies. They would also like to hear from consumers who use online services to get their side of the story. Anyone looking to contact the CMA can do so by clicking here. The investigation includes questions like:
Are the contract terms unfair? – Do the companies’ terms give them wide discretion to change the quality of the deal, for example, by reducing the number of games included or increasing the price?
How easy it is to cancel or obtain a refund? – Are there any factors that make it difficult for people to cancel their contract or get their money back?
How fair is the auto-renewal process? – Are customers clearly told that their membership will be rolled over, are they regularly reminded that they are on a roll-over contract before further payments are taken, and is auto-renewal set as the default option?
The CMA has not reached any kind of decision regarding the legality of these online services at this time, but they “could take enforcement action” if their suspicions prove to be correct. Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive of the CMA, issued the following statement:
“Roll-over contracts are becoming more and more commonplace and its essential that they work well for customers. Our investigation will look into whether the biggest online gaming companies are being fair with their customers when they automatically renew their contracts, and whether people can easily cancel or get a refund. Should we find that the firms aren’t treating people fairly under consumer protection law, we are fully prepared to take action.” — Andrea Coscelli
It’s likely that Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony will attempt to argue that they are in full compliance of the law unless/until it becomes totally untenable to do so. For instance, Nintendo argued to the German court that because games can be pre-loaded (but not played), players aren’t entitled to the option of a refund.
Epic Games recently launched their own digital storefront to compete with the likes of Steam, and they’re offering deals for developers and players alike. Developers get to keep 88% of profits generated on the Epic Games Store (a much bigger piece of the pie than Steam allows), and players get regularly-scheduled free games. Last month Oxenfree was free to download, and now it’s been swapped out for another indie.
As of yesterday, you can pick up Jonathan Blow’s The Witness free of charge. Given that this game is normally $39.99, that’s some pretty solid savings! The Witness is a beautiful puzzle game that gives you free rein to explore an island and unravel its mysteries. It will be available for free until April 17th. The next day it will go back to its usual price tag and Transistor will take its spot as the free game on the Epic Games Store.
Last month, Nintendo unveiled their first step into the realm of virtual reality. Next week, they’ll be launching a Nintendo Labo VR Kit that includes a selection of games and mini-games, as well as multiple expansions that each come with their own accessories. We had also heard rumors that some first-party Nintendo titles would receive VR support, and that just turned out to be true as well. In fact, two of Nintendo’s biggest hits on Switch are getting free VR updates soon.
Nintendo announced today that Super Mario Odyssey and Breath of the Wild are both getting Labo VR support on April 25th. Odyssey is receiving a new “bite-sized bonus experience” that includes three new collectathon missions spread out across the Cap, Seaside, and Luncheon Kingdoms. Breath of the Wild, on the other hand, seemingly lets you play the whole game in VR Goggles Mode, though pre-rendered cutscenes aren’t compatible. This mode can be toggled on and off at any time.
SEGA’s classic Sonic franchise will be making the jump to the silver screen on November 15th. Reactions to leaked images of Sonic’s new look have been mixed, to say the least, but we’ve yet to see the Blue Blur in action. That could be changing soon, however, as some attendees of CinemaCon 2019 were just shown the first footage.
Two trailers were unveiled at the convention, the first focusing on protagonist Sonic the Hedgehog and the second on the villainous Dr. Robotnik. In the first, Sonic speeds by at 700 miles per hour while listening to Gangsta’s Paradise, apparently on the run from the government. James Marsden’s Sheriff character takes Sonic down with a tranquilizer gun. Sonic asks the Sheriff to help him save his planet, which is under attack by robots. The game’s iconic gold rings are introduced as some sort of teleportation device in this movie.
Jim Carrey then appeared on stage to introduce the next trailer, as he plays the role of Dr. Robotnik in the upcoming film. Robotnik is seen arguing with military officers, saying such lines as “I was spitting out formulas when you were spitting up formulas.” Marsden’s character reportedly replies to this with, “I was breastfed.” Slashfilm describes his scenes as “incredibly over-the-top, and painfully unfunny.”
Early impressions of the humor and story have not been good, but the general public has yet to see the footage. As for the visuals, SlashFilm describes Sonic’s finished look as being similar to Detective Pikachu, but “lackluster” in comparison and with an added emphasis on fur.
E3 is just over two months away, and the lineup is starting to get a little more clear. Despite Sony and Electronic Arts skipping out this year, there’s still plenty to see and do, including presentations by Nintendo and Microsoft as well as Ubisoft. Now you can add another conference to the schedule, as PC Gamer has just confirmed that the PC Gaming Show will return for its fifth year on June 10th.
Nintendo Switch Online launched last September with a digital library of 20 NES games, and Nintendo has been steadily growing that library each month by adding more classic games. Thus far it’s still limited to NES titles (come on, Nintendo, bring on the Super Nintendo games!), but hopefully that’ll change in the future. In the meantime, three more NES games are headed to the service next week.
The April lineup includes Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (the original Super Mario Bros. 2 in Japan), Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream, and Star Soldier. You can check out a trailer for the new titles above and a breakdown of what you can expect from them below.
Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels – Originally released in Japan as Super Mario Bros.® 2, this game has previously made only brief cameo appearances in the Western Hemisphere. Mario fans will appreciate the familiar look and feel of the game, while finding that its updated gameplay creates an entirely new challenge. In addition to the classic enemies already known to fans worldwide, there are also Poison Mushrooms, backward Warp Zones and the occasional wind gust (which can help or hinder your progress).
Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream – As young boxer Little Mac, players have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to battle the big guys of the World Video Boxing Association circuit. Take them on one by one, starting with skinny Glass Joe. Battle up through King Hippo and all the way to the WVBA Champion himself. Players use their best jabs, hooks and power uppercuts to knock out opponents, but must also dodge jaw-breaking blows by paying attention to subtle changes in their foe’s body position.
Star Soldier – The standard for vertically scrolling shooters, Star Soldier is the original game that spawned all of the titles in the long-running Soldier series. Go inside a floating space station inhabited by a giant computer known as Starbrain. Your mission: to stop Starbrain’s galactic invasion by piloting Caesar, a new compact space fighter, through 16 deadly stages.
Millions around the globe are eagerly awaiting the debut of Stranger Things Season 3 (including yours truly), and when the new episodes drop on Netflix on July 4th, fans will also be able to enjoy a tie-in video game. Developed by BonusXP, the game is a top-down beat ’em up with puzzle solving and some added lore that will help flesh out the town of Hawkins. The latest trailer shows off some of the game’s dialogue and takes us on a tour of Hawkins that includes the pool, the mall, the ice cream shop, and more.