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Switched On! Breaks Down the Latest Nintendo Direct

Welcome to Switched On!, the new Nintendo-themed podcast from Gamnesia. If you were a fan of our old show, Nintendo Week, you’ll love Switched On! too. In our inaugural episode, Ben, Alex, and Jeff break down all the exciting news from the recent Nintendo Direct, including updates on games like
Super Mario Party and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and thrilling reveals like Luigi’s Mansion 3 and Animal Crossing for Switch. Stick around after the show for an update on the future of this podcast and Gamnesia podcasting in general!

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be listening to your feedback from this first episode in order to make Switched On! a better experience. Consider this first episode a pilot with changes and improvements to come. Once we hit our stride, you can expect Switched On! to become a regular weekly feature. We look forward to sharing more Nintendo fun with all of you going forward. For now, sit back and enjoy episode one!

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Here’s Our First Look at Xenoblade Chronicles 2’s Prequel DLC

During the E3 Direct, Nintendo announced a new piece of content for Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Titled Torna ~ The Golden Country, it takes players back in time to 500 years before the events of the main game, allowing us to experience a war only discussed in 2’s campaign. During Nintendo Treehouse Live, we got our first look at how this will play out, with the team playing through the first twenty-five minutes of the new expansion. We also get a few hints of story beats, as well as some new and returning mechanics.

Torna ~ The Golden Country gives us a look at the journey taken long ago by the Blade Jin and his Driver of that age, Lora, a human whom he is said to have grown close to after she managed to take him on when she was younger. One of the new features seen almost immediately is that, as both of these characters are strong fighters, you can actually play as both of them. Yes, Blades will be playable characters this time around, each holding their own abilities and arts, and there are even special abilities that can activate when you switch your current combatant from Driver to their equipped Blade. Jin’s, for instance, immediately causes Topple when switched in against an enemy with the Break status.

As seen in the DLC’s E3 trailer, Mythra also makes a return quite early on in this story, and she’ll be accompanied by a Driver who was mentioned in the original game but never appeared: Adam. Both of these will join your party after you defeat them in combat, and you can again control both Driver and Blade in battle.

One of the coolest features for longtime
Xenoblade fans will be the return of Talent Arts in the game. Like Shulk’s Monado Arts in the original Xenoblade Chronicles, these are unique powers that each character has, which can either provide special effects or super powerful attacks. A few of these were revealed in the demo, such as Lora’s ability to sacrifice a bit of HP to instantly charge up her Arts, or Adam’s ability to extend the time of a Driver Combo, allowing him to unleash even more damage on foes.

There will be at least one major new region in this game, and that is the titular Kingdom of Torna. You can explore it in its entirety, and it’s said to be quite a large area. Additionally, you’ll be able to return to other titans from Rex’s storyline and see what they were like 500 years before that journey took place, though not even the Treehouse reps were sure if
all the titans will be returning.

Plenty of other information and combat was shown off in the demo, and you can watch it all in the video above! The
Torna DLC will be sold both as add-on content for Xenoblade Chronicles 2 as well as a standalone product this September, and the Treehouse indicated that you could play it either before or after the main game with little issue. Will you be tackling this new quest in the world of Alrest?

Source: Nintendo Treehouse Live @ E3 2018

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Shulk and Fiora Return in Xenoblade Chronicles 2’s New DLC Mode

Nintendo Treehouse is showing off the Big N’s upcoming games and content for this week’s Treehouse Live @ E3, and they just revealed some new info that is sure to be exciting for fans of the Xenoblade games. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has some new DLC coming up soon, including a special “Challenge Battle Mode,” but it turns out this mode will offer more than just tough fights. It also brings back two classic characters from the original Xenoblade Chronicles: Shulk and Fiora!

Shulk and Fiora will appear in this mode as Blades, which you can equip to your Drivers in order to fight with Shulk’s Monado or Fiora’s daggers. Shulk is especially a cool Blade to have in battle, with his Special attacks being Monado Arts from the original Xenoblade. Even his ability to see the future returns, allowing you to predict and dodge some devastating attacks.

Additionally, other parts of this DLC will let you see battles from the storyline from a different perspective. The Treehouse didn’t get to show us much of it, but they did highlight a part where you’ll play as Jin and fight in a battle that occurred within the story of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, but happened off-screen.

Finally, they announced the release date for this new DLC: this week! It should drop on Thursday at 10:00 PM PT, or early Friday in most other parts of the world.

We’ll add in the video as soon as it’s uploaded (Edit: it’s in now!). Are you excited to see Shulk and Fiora return? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Nintendo Treehouse Live @ E3 2018

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Xenoblade Chronicles 2’s Next DLC Launches in September

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 released late last year to mixed reviews, but a lot of people still enjoyed the rich, open world RPG from Monolith. Fans of the game will be excited to hear that the next round of DLC has finally been revealed, as has its release date.

The new content will explore the past of Alrest. You’ll play as Adam as you run into other characters like Mythra, Jin, and Alos before the Aegis War. The DLC is called Torna ~ The Golden Country and will release on September 14, 2018. Check out the story trailer above!

Did you like Xenoblade Chronicles 2? Will you be picking up this new DLC? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Source: Nintendo E3 2018 Direct

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Top Ten Anticipated Newcomers for Super Smash Bros. Switch (Part 2)

There’s no series that throws the collective Nintendo community into an absolute frenzy quite like
Super Smash Bros. The question of “which new characters will join the roster?” has been on everyone’s minds since we learned of the new game for the Switch, and we took a dive into our most anticipated characters with Part 1 not long ago. Capping off with K. Rool and Inklings last time, we move on to the final five of our top ten list!

5. BANDANA WADDLE DEE

“I’m not just a pretty face!”

  • First Appearance: Kirby Super Star (SNES – 1996)
  • Latest Appearance: Kirby Star Allies (NSW – 2018)

Masahiro Sakurai is renowned for fathering
Super Smash Bros., but the famed game designer still holds a lot of love for his breakout IP at HAL Laboratory with Kirby. Representation in Smash has continued to grow with each new game with standout locales like Battleship Halberd, the Fountain of Dreams, and The Great Cave Offensive, but the Kirby fighter count has been stuck to three since Meta Knight and King Dedede were introduced in Brawl. There is one little guy in the running for spot number four, however, and that is Bandana Waddle Dee!

The adorable and surprisingly strong Waddle Dee formally debuted in Return to Dream Land as Dedede’s loyal and capable spearman. Bandana Dee came through for Kirby on several occasions, such as assisting him directly in The Rainbow Curse, co-starring opposite to the pink puff in Kirby: Battle Royale, and tagging along as a Dream Friend in Star Allies. As his role in the series continues to grow, his well deserved inclusion in Smash would finally round up the RtDL crew, pay tribute to the most recurring Kirby NPC, and give Smash its very first spear-wielding fighter on top of it all.

From
Return to Dream Land onward, the mainline Kirby games went the Super Star route for complete Copy Ability movesets. So, when it comes to Bandana Dee’s moves, it’s only a matter of assigning key moves to his Specials both from the Spear moveset, alongside a certain other Waddle Dee variant to round it up. Let’s get the Spear ones out of the way first.

For his Standard, we have the Spear Throw: an easily spammable move that doesn’t deal too much damage but would annoy other fighters. Just like in the Kirby games, you could also charge it up to toss multiple spears at once with a Triple Throw.

For his Up Special, the
Spear Copter! This move doesn’t go all that high but it does travel pretty far horizontally when completely charged up. Any who get caught in the move will rack up percentage quickly, however, as the Waddle Copter stops for no one.

With the Spear moves out of the way, all that leaves are the Down and Side Specials, which we will dedicate to the Waddle Dee race’s most commonly used weapon of mass destruction: the deadly Parasol! In other words, Bandana Dee would roll into Smash with a hybrid Spear-Parasol weapon to better pay tribute to his roots.

Personally, I think the Parasol Drill works better as a Dash Attack, leaving the Circus Throw as an ideal Side Special. Trapped fighters will bounce atop Waddle Dee’s twirling parasol, then get tossed forward or upward depending on the direction held. The thought of something as small as a Waddle Dee spinning someone as huge as Bowser atop a teensy little umbrella is both fittingly comical for Smash and so gosh darned cute.

To round it up with his Down Special, Bandana Dee could execute the
Parasol Dive if in midair, or the Parasol Twirl on the ground, complete with spinning stars. Enemy combatants would get spun around Dee and thrown away as a bonus. The Dive is also useful in getting some minor horizontal recovery with its diagonal trajectory as well!

That just leaves the Final Smash, and I wasn’t kidding about “impact.” Some might recall that a Waddle Dee sporting a bandana first appeared in
Kirby Super Star, in a little minigame called Megaton Punch. Yes, this little dude could literally crack Planet Pop Star in half with his stubby little hands alone. Kirby is an innocent child whose main concern is his next meal, while Dream Land continues to thrive because Bandana Dee allows it to.

So if you find yourself up against Bandana Waddle Dee… Well, I’ll keep you in my thoughts.

4. CAPTAIN TOAD

“Ready for adventure!”

  • First Appearance: Super Mario Galaxy (Wii – 2007)
  • Latest Appearance: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (NSW/3DS – 2018)

It’s a guaranteed bet at this point that every new
Super Smash Bros. game will welcome new characters from Nintendo’s flagship franchise. Now that it’s more of a matter of which viable Mario character
hasn’t made the cut yet, there are few remaining standouts who would make excellent fighters in their own right, like the highly demanded Geno, the dastardly Waluigi, and the oft-mentioned Paper Mario. However, there is one character in particular who has been around since the very beginning of Super Mario that I feel is deserving of a position in Smash now more than ever.

The Toad subjects of the Mushroom Kingdom have often accompanied Mario on his journeys, and they’ve grown far beyond informing him that the princess was in another castle. Among them is one special Toad, a renowned leader of a Brigade of treasure trackers. Recognizable for his explorer’s outfit, heavy backpack, and headlamp, there is perhaps no better representative of the Toad species than Captain Toad himself, as well as Archivist Toadette as an alternate costume.

Out of the entire cast, Captain Toad would set himself apart with said heavy backpack weighing him down, keeping him as a grounded fighter with weak jumping capabilities. While he can’t jump at all in
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and Super Mario 3D World, I can see him with
some jump height in Smash, but it would definitely be the lowest out of the entire cast. That’s not to say that Captain Toad won’t have air game, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

For his standard special, I look to his headlamp for a straightforward
Flash. This move is typically attuned to handling Boos, but overclocking it for Smash could quickly stun and burn other fighters with a decent amount of percentage, perhaps with an additional charging effect for a higher damage output.

Next, Captain Toad’s Side Special could be vehicular in nature, much like Wario Bike, Villager’s Lloid Rocket, and Bowser Jr’s Clown Kart Dash. The Toad Brigade leader would be able to summon a Minecart for a quick escape, but it would not be a viable recovery move as a result of its weight. However, I doubt any fighter would take too kindly to a minecart running them over or, when activated in midair, dropping down and burying them from above.

For his Down Special, we take a page out of Princess Peach’s playbook and look to Toad’s playable origins in
Super Mario Bros. 2 for a
Treasure Toss, plucking a randomized assortment of items out from the ground. These items would be pulled directly from Treasure Tracker, with Turnips as the most common ammo, occasionally switching up with Coins thrown in rapid-fire fashion, Super Gems, or a Super Pickax (which would operate like a weaker version of the Hammer item).

Then for his Up Special, Captain Toad has a few options that would share a common theme. These would be proportionally excellent recovery options that not only make up for Captain’s terrible jumping but also allow Toad to access his air game. Going in, I envisioned the
Propeller Mushroom from New Super Mario Bros. Wii: it would operate in Smash just as it would in its source material, providing Captain Toad decent horizontal and vertical recovery.

On the other hand, the good folks at GameXplain came up with a pair of options of their own, revolving around a moveset where CT can’t jump at all because of his heavy backpack. One idea would’ve had Captain Toad use his own backpack to slingshot him to new heights. The other, paying homage to
Super Mario Bros. 2, would see Captain Toad fly on his map just like the Pidgits fly their magic carpets. Braxton’s Big Dig on YouTube also came up with a cohesive Captain Toad moveset of his own, which I invite you all to check out.

Now, the Final Smash! My ideal finishing move for Captain Toad would take heavy inspiration from Solid Snake’s own Grenade Launcher from Brawl. Once active, CT would climb aboard the
Starshroom from his first appearance in Super Mario Galaxy, and, by aiming with a target reticule while standing in front of the camera, fling Giant Turnips with deadly force like in Treasure Tracker. The Final Smash would wear off once either time or ammo run out, at which point the Starshroom flies off and Captain Toad returns to the stage.

It’s been a long time coming for Toad to rise to
Smash outside of being Peach’s Counter. All but Toad from the original
Super Mario Bros. main cast have made names for themselves as stalwart fighters. With the likes of Captain Toad adding a unique spin to the character, it could be just the boost this loyal servant needs to stand in the ring with the very best.

Until now, we focused on our favorite longtime Nintendo heroes and special guests for new fighters. From here on out, however, we’re getting right into the good stuff as we approach the end and turn our attention towards new faces who made their big break in the last year.

3. REX, PYRA & MYTHRA

“We’ll show you what me and Pyra are made of!”

  • First Appearance: Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (NSW – 2017)

Shulk’s inclusion in
Super Smash Bros. 4 was a harbinger of great things to come for Monolith Soft’s Xenoblade Chronicles, but I doubt even the Monado could help him foresee how much the series would’ve grown beyond a cult classic JRPG on Wii. Leading up to a million-seller sequel on the Nintendo Switch, you might say it salvaged the franchise? Eh? “Salvage?” Get it? …okay.

In Xenoblade Chronicles 2, it is said that after mankind was banished from the bountiful paradise of Elysium, they migrated onto the backs of colossal beasts known as Titans. These majestic creatures roam the endless cloud sea on a slow march towards death, with fewer and fewer Titans remaining as ages pass, until a young salvager accidentally awakens a legendary weapon known as the Aegis and challenges his world’s impending demise. Joining Super Smash Bros. Switch as a new face from Xenoblade,
Rex charges into battle!

XC2 mixes up the original Xenoblade gameplay with the introduction of Blades (the sentient embodiments of weapons), and Drivers (those wielding the Blade’s actual physical weapons). They act as partners, with Blades powering up their Drivers via buffs and other special effects. This key gameplay mechanic from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 would help Rex stand out from other fighters, as he would not be fighting alone. Wielding the Aegis, he would be accompanied into battle by the dual personalities of the fabled weapon: Pyra and Mythra.

Beginning with Rex’s Standard Special,
Aegis Shift would see Pyra and Mythra switch with one another (with the Aegis changing its respective form) and would operate similarly to Shulk’s Monado Arts. In Xenoblade 2, Pyra’s Battle Arts and Battle Skills buff up Rex’s offensive capabilities to increase damage, while Mythra’s main highlight—Foresight—increases his accuracy and evasion in turn. Rex would be capable enough in Smash on his own, but with Pyra boosting his damage output or Mythra heightening his speed for limited amounts of time, the tide of battle could change in Rex’s favor pretty quickly.

For his Side Special, we’d draw attention to his job as a salvager with one of his own Battle Arts:
Anchor Shot. This move is executed when Rex fires his anchor at an enemy from a distance and inflicts Topple. It would work similarly in Smash, with the first hit striking with sufficient damage before tripping up the targeted fighter. If you don’t get up quick, you might find yourself on the wrong end of his Side Smash, the Double Spinning Edge. Additionally, his Anchor Shot could double as his Grab to draw in distant foes.

To recover, Rex could rely on his
Rolling Smash Battle Art as his Up Special, a basic front flip before bringing down the Aegis hard with the added momentum. Give it some additional height for the jump, and boom! There’s your recovery move, but watch out if you don’t stick that landing over a pit.

His Down Special is where things start to get more fun. Depending on which form the Aegis takes, Rex’s Down Special would take on two entirely different iterations. If Pyra is on the field, her Blade Art
Flame Nova will take effect, summoning a ring of fire at a designated area; should Mythra take command, her Ray of Punishment would smite any poor fighter caught in the blast. We can take it a step further with Rex’s Customs switching between higher level Blade Specials: Prominence Revolt/Photon Edge and Blazing End/Lightning Buster.

Naturally, his Down Specials would be much more compact compared to their more spectacular executions in the source material. Whichever one is used, though, Rex will be completely invulnerable while Pyra or Mythra pull in from the stage’s background and unleash their special moves in his stead. That is not to say that damaging Rex in this state will be impossible, as his unique connection to the Aegis means that he, Pyra, and Mythra all share damage, unlike—say—the Ice Climbers, where attacking Nana yielded no additional percentage to Popo. Change your focus to the Aegis, and you’ll be able to retaliate and rack up the pain all the same.

Now Rex has pulled off a ton of jaw-dropping finishing moves in
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 that I’d love to highlight as his Final Smash, but some of these are borderline to explicitly spoilerific. So, we’ll keep things simple and stick with Pyra and Mythra’s Level 4 Blade Arts carrying over the same twist as before. Rex would have access to two Final Smashes and unleash one depending on which Aegis personality is dominant before breaking open the Smash Ball. With Pyra at his side, Burning Sword would incinerate other fighters with a focused pillar of flames; if Mythra is active, Sacred Arrow would rain down a storm of arrows to decimate the field!

I fully believe that Rex will make it into
Super Smash Bros. Switch; it’s only a question of how Sakurai and co. will pull it off. Come what may, it’d warm my heart to see not one, but two deserving Xenoblade characters join the fray, but if we could see one more from 2015’s Xenoblade Chronicles X

2. SPRING MAN

“Spring-a-ling!”

  • First Appearance: ARMS (NSW – 2017)

When the Nintendo Switch live conference in January 2017 finally gave us our first in-depth look at the shiny new system and extensive previews of Super Mario Odyssey, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Splatoon 2, we also got a peek at a unique take on the fighter genre in the form of ARMS. Featuring characters duking it out boxing-style with long-reaching noodle limbs and a bevy of gadgets with different effects for gloves,
ARMS is just the kind of off-brand, quirky, unmistakably Nintendo fun that would be a perfect fit for Super Smash Bros.

With that in mind, I don’t think I’d be wrong in saying that ARMS‘ poster boy Spring Man (and alternate costume Springtron) will surely make the cut. With a moveset revolving heavily around the use of his spring-like limbs and his standard ARMS, Spring Man would undoubtedly be the Smasher with the longest range, though his blows would come off as average and leave him vulnerable once launched.

His Specials are where each of his standard ARMS would come into play. For the Standard Special, Spring Man could send out a long-range jab with his Toaster at the push of a button—a second button press could send out his other ARM for a follow-up cross. His Side Special, the multi-shot Tribolt, would be quicker and cover a wider area than the Toaster, but it would also be the weaker of the two.

For his Down Special, we have the
Boomerang, with a more straightforward execution compared to Spring Man’s other ARMS. With its wide arcs, the Boomerang ARM could cover both Spring Man’s front and back by arcing around him specifically. With Toaster, Tribolt, and Boomerang, you can mix and match your ARMS depending on which Special you unleash first then second: catch them with a Boomerang if they’re in too close, then push them away with a Toaster for the other, or go in with a Toaster first and surprise them with a Tribolt!

While this variety would give Spring Man plenty of options, he’d really only be at his best when players could best take advantage of his Charge ability. ARMS has fighters’ fists become supercharged for a short window upon landing from a jump, dashing, or blocking, and in Smash, skilled players could utilize this same effect to unleash Spring Man’s full potential. There’s also Spring Man’s unique ability in ARMS, where his weapons gain a permanent Charge when he’s low on health!

As such, either through skilled timing or a high enough percentage, Spring Man’s moves could each gain their own elemental effect. Toaster would burn his opponent and deal a decent amount of damage as a result. Tribolt would not only stop his enemies in their tracks, but stun them in place too. Boomerang would unlock its Wind properties and use it to keep incoming foes at bay.

There’s still his Up Special to consider, too. This move could have him punch the ground and bounce highly into the air then spin to deliver a devastating uppercut, in a move I’d like to call
Spring for the Top. This is based off of one of his victory animations and would be an effective leap for him…if used off solid ground. While usually useless in midair, though, he could still propel himself off the backs of other Smashers, which could also double as a kind of footstool. And when Charged, on top of lingering flames from the ground punch, using this move on midair foes for an extra leap could turn that footstool into a bonafide Meteor Smash.

Of course, while Spring Man gets a permanent power-up on the field once passing a certain damage threshold, the weaknesses I spoke of before are still very much there. Weave past his incoming ARMS as they zoom in, counterattack once it’s too late for him to pull back, and knock him off stage to secure your win!

Be warned, though. Should Spring Man break open the Smash Ball, then it’s all over for you once you’re within the reach of his ARMS: there’s no defending against that Rush. As for Spring Man’s passive ability to parry incoming attacks when he dashes, this would be better off as a Dash Attack.

If Spring Man isn’t alone, then I could easily see
Ribbon Girl join Smash as a viable semi-clone. Her Specials could be executed similarly to Spring Man’s with her own standard ARMS, each operating with their own Charged attribute: Sparky with electricity, Popper for wind, and Slapamander for fire. Also known to be light on her feet, “The Airess” is capable of jumping about up to four times and dashing twice, giving her air game and recovery potential unique to her, just as Spring Man’s low health PermaCharge is unique to him.


HONORABLE MENTIONS

Before we get to my #1 pick, I’d be remiss not to go over a few more
Honorable Mentions. There were many more candidates I considered for this list but ultimately had to cut, be it by my own unfamiliarity with certain characters or because I just don’t see them happening myself. Nonetheless, we’ll go over a few more names with my quick thoughts on each:

  1. Wonder RedThe Wonderful 101. Haven’t played the game much myself, but Wonder Red was one of the frontrunners in many fan-held polls around the time of the Smash Ballot, so I’m curious to see what kind of crazy Wonderful One moves Red could bring to Smash. Wouldn’t mind giving W101 a try should Nintendo and Platinum Games manage to have a Switch port in the works!
  2. MidnaThe Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. There’s no denying that Midna is one of the more popular Zelda co-stars in recent years, in part thanks to Hyrule Warriors and the Wii U re-release of Twilight Princess. While I’d personally love to see Midna as a fighter, she was only brought on board Smash 4 as an Assist Trophy. Chances are likely she’ll remain as such, but I would love to be proven wrong. Hell, we’d sooner see a new Zelda character than a decloned Ganondorf anyway…
  3. RidleyMetroid. HE’S TOO BIG. Okay, memery aside, I do feel Metroid is long overdue a new fighter. Much like I’ve expressed for K. Rool, Smash could really use more villains, and there are few remaining who fit the bill quite like Ridley. As I’m not too familiar with the character or franchise myself, however, I can’t quite picture a cohesive moveset for the draconic Space Pirate leader, and I’m sure I wouldn’t do him justice with what little I know. I’ll leave that to you good readers!
  4. IsaacGolden Sun. Not an inclusion I am against, but it unfortunately isn’t one I’m expecting this time around. Neither is he a character I know much about personally. I don’t think Nintendo has any inclination on bringing back Golden Sun anytime soon, and Sakurai previously noted that new characters with no future are unlikely to make the cut, but who knows? We saw Kid Icarus return with a vengeance in Uprising after Pit miraculously appeared in Brawl, so it’s certainly still possible.
  5. DecidueyePokémon Gen VII. Smash releases typically introduce at least one new Pokémon from a recent generation, but the keyword there is “recent,” as Gen III and Gen V were overlooked for more relevant Pokémon games at the times of Brawl and Smash 4. Now, not only is Gen VIII likely on the horizon, Eevee could very well be in the running as an honorary mascot with the recent confirmations of Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! Decidueye might be seeing some stiff competition now that it isn’t the only new Pokémon idea on the table, let alone a fresh one after Pokkén Tournament DX.

And now, without further ado, I would like to present my top prediction. She is a certain heroine who debuted on Famicom many years ago, a character I feel is an absolute lock for the new
Smash. I would’ve been surprised if no one bothered mentioning her…if not for one often parroted objection that I’m sure I’m gonna hear:

But Jeff, there are already too many Fire Emblem characters!

It’s almost as though
Fire Emblem has, by Nintendo’s own admission, become a major household name in recent years or something.

1. CELICA

“If it is our fate to cross swords upon this day, know that I will give it my all!”

  • First Appearance: Fire Emblem Gaiden (FCM – 1992)
  • Latest Appearance:
    Fire Emblem Warriors (NSW – 2017)

There is perhaps no better indicator to the average Nintendo fan of how far
Fire Emblem has come as a series than Smash. Thanks to the resurgence the franchise received with Fire Emblem Awakening and the then oncoming Fates, Fire Emblem saw a total of six representatives made up of new and returning fighters last time around. Now, with a new game expected to release on the Nintendo Switch this year, we’ll likely be bracing ourselves for this mysterious new protagonist to join the fray, but I doubt they will be the only new fighter joining Smash if so.

In 1992 came
Fire Emblem Gaiden, the second installment in the tactical RPG series. Gaiden told the tale of a continent divided between its conflicting founding dragons and their nations, before two children of fate would rise to restore peace to the land of Valentia. This Japan-only game would forever remain in obscurity, up until a complete remake came to the Nintendo 3DS family of systems worldwide last year under the name Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia.

And with that recent installment, I would definitely expect one of its lead heroes,
Celica—née Princess Anthiese of Zofia—to join as a new fighter.

Celica is a remarkably powerful character who can use swords and magic right out of the gate, with her exclusive blade being the Beloved Zofia. While there is some overlap with Robin in the kind of magic she uses, we’ll be focusing more on her unique traits emphasized in Echoes rather than make her a direct clone. Additionally, as Celica saw more of a focus on flashy swordplay when she appeared in
Fire Emblem Warriors, our Smash moveset will instead look more into what she’s capable of as a spellcaster.

Beginning with her Standard Special, Celica can unleash
Seraphim, a mid-range holy spell unique to Gaiden and Echoes that deals significant damage to undead foes but is otherwise a basic magic attack that deals an okay amount of pain. In Smash, Seraphim would take a moment to charge before this angelic ball of white light is cast and sent off as a concussive blast.

For her Side Special, although we certainly want her to differ from other Fire Emblem reps in Smash, Dancing Blade (used by Marth, Roy, and Lucina in Smash 4) would be a perfect fit for her, as we see her wield her sword in a similar fashion to this move in Echoes. Within the game’s 3D dungeons, Celica gracefully swings her blade with style, poise, and finesse in a series of five swings you can loop over on again without rest. Ergo, Dancing Blade!

For her Down Special, Celica can rely on her signature spell
Ragnarök. In Echoes, Ragnarök is Celica’s most powerful combat Art, where she unleashes a volley of fireballs on nearby enemies. Granted, a spell that strong also comes at a cost: in Echoes, combat Arts are powered by HP, and Ragnarök is one of the most health-draining spells she can use. In Smash, Celica’s Down Special would be a double-edged sword that would add a fair amount of % on her for casting it.

For her Up Special, Celica has a wind-type spell she can use as a recovery move in the form of
Excalibur. In-universe, Excalibur is a more potent magic than Elwind, which Robin happens to use as a recovery move in Smash 4, but its execution in Smash would functionally be more or less the same. To differentiate, maybe more Air Blades could assist her ascent rather than Robin’s two?

Celica also has other spells in her repertoire, which would easily come into play as her Smash Attacks.
Fire, her starting Art in-game, can ward off incoming enemies with a potent blast on the ground as a Down Smash. Thunder can electrify foes as an effective Side Smash. Finally, for her Up Smash comes Aura, a skill which could raise a tower of light rings around Celica from beneath her and send enemies flying.

Last but not least, Celica’s Final Smash would make use of her own Ultimate Combat Art,
Ragnarok Ω. Once her foes are in range, the scenery would change as the Brand of Mila on her right hand shines, and her palms would alight with raging flames. The five fireballs summoned from her standard Ragnarok would then surround her opponents before meeting in the middle for a massive explosion!

On that note, there is one more Honorable Mention I’d like to bring up, and that is Celica’s Gaiden and Echoes co-star Alm. I hate to break up a pair of Fire Emblem heroes, but while I would personally love to see the other Heritor of Arcadia join Celica in Smash (after being unjustly snubbed from Warriors), I’m not so sure I can see it happening after further deliberation.

As to why, I see
Alm being rejected for the same reason Chrom—who was once in the running as a playable character in Smash 4—was, and that is Sakurai likely chalking up the Jasper Lion as “another plain old sword-wielder [who] lacks any unique characteristics.” Nonetheless, that didn’t stop me from coming up with a moveset, which I’ll quickly list:

  • Standard Special: Hunter Volley
  • Side Special: Double Lion
  • Up Special: Lion’s Leap
  • Down Special: Subdue
  • Final Smash: Scendscale

Even with Celica edging out Alm as the more interesting fighter, I would be a fool to ignore Sakurai’s own remarks about
Fire Emblem oversaturation in Smash and not feel a little apprehensive about my own prediction, hence why I implemented rule #3 for this list earlier on. Should no fighters be cut from the previous game, will there be enough new characters introduced from other major Nintendo franchises into Smash 5 to warrant a new Fire Emblem character? Or might we actually see some roster trimmings this time around to make room for the Zofian Princess?

Whatever the case, we might just find out as soon as this time next week.

GAME!

Well, this list has been a lot of things while putting it all together: fun, exhausting, enlightening, and
incredibly time consuming, to put it mildly, since I never wrote something quite this long before. But hey, whether I’m very right and happy that my favorites got in or very wrong but pleasantly surprised at fighters I never really considered, I know I’ll still have an absolute blast playing the new Super Smash Bros. once it lands on Nintendo Switch later this year—regardless of which new fighters come in.

These are just my own predictions though, so what about yours? Which new fighter would you love to see in Smash that I haven’t talked about? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

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Xenoblade Chronicles 2’s Phenomenal Soundtrack is Getting a Worldwide Digital Release

The Nintendo Switch’s launch year wrapped up with the release of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Monolith Soft’s sequel to the original JRPG on Wii, which quickly became a million-seller in its first month on store shelves. Telling the tale of Rex and Pyra on their fabled journey to Elysium, their quest was backed by an incredible soundtrack led by Yasunori Mitsuda—featuring ACE, Anúna, and Manami Kiyota—and it’s receiving a dedicated CD collection in Japan on May 23.

To embittered Nintendo music fans, this would ordinarily mean it’s yet another OST that won’t be coming West. Not this time, however, as the music of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 will be available globally the same day!

The 105-track anthology of Xenoblade 2 is being distributed in Japan by Procyon Studio Ltd., who have announced on Facebook that the soundtrack “will [also] be digitally distributed in countries that have sales of the game itself” on May 23. While it will forego streaming services like Spotify, the OST will be distributed worldwide on iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play Music, with higher resolution versions available on e-onkyo music, mora, music.jp, and RecoChoku for 4500 円 (approximately $40 USD).

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 will mark the first ever international release of a Nintendo game’s complete soundtrack from Nintendo themselves outside of Japan. The company has long been reluctant to break into digital music distribution in the West—in stark contrast to the likes of SEGA, Ubisoft, and The Pokémon Company, among others—but it looks like their stance is finally changing for the better.

We first saw Nintendo dipping their toes when Super Mario Odyssey saw a digital Sound Selection release in December, and now that we’re getting a full-scale music collection from one of 2017’s best Nintendo games, we can only hope they’ll keep the ball rolling with musical scores for games old and new. It’s easy money!

Mitsuda noted during development that the Xenoblade sequel’s soundtrack moved him to the point of tears, but what about you? Will you be buying the OST when it drops? What were your favorite tracks from the game? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Source: Facebook (via ResetERA)

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3DS News Nintendo Nintendo Switch Wii U

The Switch Has Shipped 52.57 Million Software Units, with Mario Odyssey at 9.07 Million Copies Sold

The Nintendo Switch is selling like hotcakes within its first year, already eclipsing the lifetime estimates of its predecessor and edging closer to 15 million units. With Nintendo’s recent financial briefing, the document covering the last few fiscal quarters has also touched on the sales of the bestselling titles on the system to date.

Standing out from the bunch is Super Mario Odyssey, which sold 2 million copies in its first three days and became the fastest selling Mario game ever in the US, with an impressive showing of over 9.07 million copies as of December 31, 2017. This pushes lifetime software sales for the system to a total 52.57 million units sold within that timeframe.

According to Nintendo’s disclosed financial data, their top-selling first-party games are as follows (taking into account physical copies, eShop downloads, and bundles):

  • Super Mario Odyssey, released October 27, 2017 — 9.07 million units
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, released April 28, 2017 — 7.33 million units
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, released March 3, 2017 — 6.70 million units
  • Splatoon 2, released July 21, 2017 — 4.91 million units
  • 1-2 Switch, released March 3, 2017 — 1.88 million units
  • ARMS, released June 16, 2017 — 1.61 million units
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2, released December 1, 2017 — 1.06 million units

As for Breath of the Wild, the financial highlights only spoke of the Nintendo Switch version of the game and not the Wii U iteration, which has sold a confirmed 1.08 million units as of April 2017. This pushes Breath of the Wild towards a combined minimum of 7.78 million units, making it the second highest selling Zelda game of all time right behind the dual Wii/GameCube release of Twilight Princess, which capped at 8.85 million global sales.

The financial briefing also disclosed software sales for the Nintendo 3DS, highlighting Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon at 7.17 million units sold. Indicating the Nintendo Switch’s gaining momentum in the marketplace, 3DS software sales have declined by 33% to 31.25 million units, but hardware sales for the 3DS family have only seen a 9% shortfall to 5.86 million units.

Source: Nintendo (1, 2), Game Design Gazette

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News Nintendo Nintendo Switch

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is Receiving a New Game+ Mode Next Month

Nintendo has announced that Xenoblade Chronicles 2 will be receiving a substantial update soon, one that will likely entice those who already completed their journey to Elysium right back into the adventure all over again. You need not have purchased the Expansion Pass for this neat addition either.

Version 1.3.0 of the game is expected to arrive in mid-February, both addressing a bug that surfaced in the last update and adding the long coveted second playthrough: Xenoblade 2‘s own “New Game+” mode.

In the production note posted on Nintendo of Japan’s website, Monolith Soft director Tetsuya Takahashi notes that “there is a bug in certain instances during and after Chapter 7 where a Blade linked with a specific Driver disappears from the Blade List (it only disappears from the list, the Blade itself does not disappear).” Takahashi assures readers that this will be corrected once the new update drops next month.

With that update comes “Advanced New Game Mode,” which will add a second game file with increased difficulty settings. It was previously reported by the developer that an upcoming New Game+ feature would allow Driver-exclusive Blades such as Pyra and Dromarch to go on Mercenary Quests, and that players will be able to obtain “those Blades” the second time around. At this time, no specifics are offered as to who these alluded Blades are, but some suspect that it could include those used by the Torna organization’s Drivers. It is also unknown if any data from the original save file will be carried over into the game’s hard mode.

Are you looking forward to undertaking a second trek through Alrest? What do you enjoy most in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 thus far? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Source: Nintendo JP (via Gematsu)

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News Nintendo Nintendo Switch

The New Quests Pack of Xenoblade Chronicles 2’s Expansion Pass Launches Today

A new wave of DLC is coming to Xenoblade Chronicles 2 today, January 19th. This is the New Quests Pack, the second piece of DLC to hit the game after its release, and it brings all-new quest content to several chapters of the game, as well as some helpful items for the player. Along with the update, Monolith Soft is also releasing a general update for the game, Version 1.2.0, for all users.

All DLC for Xenoblade Chronicles 2 can be purchased at once through an Expansion Pass, which will slowly add new content to the game over the course of 2018. The first piece of DLC was released in late December and added some helpful items; this second piece is the New Quests Pack, and of course adds new quest content. We can expect to see the New Blade Pack, the New Challenge Mode Pack, and the Brand-new Story Content Pack in the next months.

Here’s a full list of perks that come with the New Quests Pack:

Items

  • 10 Rare Core Crystals
  • 1 Legendary Core Crystal
  • 1 Overdrive Protocol
  • 3 Juicy Samod (Tora’s favorite)
  • 3 Fizz Juice (Poppi a’s favorite)
  • 1 Auto Balancer

Quests

  • The Artisan’s Suffering (from chapter 2)
  • The Nopon who Went Missing (from chapter 3)
  • Abandoned Factory Exploration Tour (from chapter 5)
  • Dining Hall at Late Night (from chapter 7)
  • Scout Soldier (from chapter 10)

What do you guys think? Have you purchased the Expansion Pass for Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and will you be giving the new quests a shot sometime soon? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Nintendo Everything

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News Nintendo Nintendo Switch Trailers Videos

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Turns Up the Heat with a New Story Trailer and an Official Music Video

The Nintendo Switch seems to churn out a new masterpiece every few months, and for many RPG fans, there is hope that Xenoblade Chronicles 2 becomes the next big hit on the system when it launches on December 1st. To stoke the excited fires in the hearts of fans, Monolith Soft and Nintendo released a new story trailer and a music video for one of the game’s beautiful songs, “Shadow of the Lowlands.”

The music in both videos (attached down below) is sweeping and haunting. It pairs nicely with the emotionally-charged story of this game in which Blades are both companions and the weapons our characters fight with. Protagonists Rex and Pyra depend completely on each other. One thing is for certain: in this game, getting to the sacred Elysium is not going to be easy.

Will you be picking up
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 when it releases this Friday? Have you been interested in the series before, or are you just now getting curious about this fantasy epic? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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News Nintendo Nintendo Switch Wii U

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is Getting a Xenoblade Crossover Quest This Week

While this morning’s Nintendo Direct focused almost exclusively on the upcoming Xenoblade Chronicles 2, a brief mention was given to yet another of Nintendo’s major releases from 2017: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It turns out that another quest will be coming to the latest Zelda game in just a couple of days, via a free update. While we don’t yet know what exactly this quest will require of Link, we do know its reward will be the outfit of Xenoblade Chronicles 2‘s main protagonist, Rex.

The quest will be distributed for free this Thursday, November 9th, and a press release confirms that the DLC will be available for both the Nintendo Switch and Wii U versions of the game. Hopefully the full set, when completely upgraded, will offer some additional effects, but we’ve no word yet on if that’s the case or what the effect could be.

Will you be breaking out Breath of the Wild again to complete this new quest? What do you think of Link’s new Rex outfit? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Nintendo Direct

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News Nintendo Nintendo Switch

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is Getting a Season Pass

DLC for games is nothing new these days, with even Nintendo getting in on the action in recent years. It looks like they’ll be doing so again with their upcoming Xenoblade Chronicles 2, as this morning’s Nintendo Direct announced an “Expansion Pass” for the game. Five rounds of DLC appear to be planned for the title, which will roll out from December all the way until autumn of next year.

Some of the packs seem a bit on the small side, though they could end up being massive changes in their own right depending on how Nintendo and Monolith Soft choose to implement them. But there does look to be some rather impressive DLC on its way as well, with the final entry for next autumn being listed as “A Brand-New Story and Adventure!” You can see the full list of DLC packs in the screenshot in the gallery below.

These packs will not be available for separate purchase, unfortunately, but you can pre-purchase the season pass starting today via the Nintendo eShop. While it wasn’t mentioned in the Direct, the pass will cost $30, so it’s no minor investment. Let’s hope that we get more details on what all this extra content contains soon.

Will you be grabbing this season pass, or do you expect the main game to be more than enough to sate your RPG thirst? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Source: Nintendo Direct

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News Nintendo Nintendo Switch Trailers Videos

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Will Include a Japanese Voice-Over Option as Free Day-One DLC

Xenoblade Chronicles 2‘s Nintendo Direct just wrapped up, but one of the biggest new details about the game came right at the start. For a while now, gamers have been critical of some of the voice acting in the upcoming title, with many hoping that they’d be able to switch to Japanese voices if they wanted to. This is now confirmed to be an option in the game, with Nintendo planning to add the feature via a free DLC patch on launch day.

English subtitles will, of course, be available no matter which language you choose to listen to, and Nintendo was kind enough to give us a taste of this with a trailer showing off the Japanese voices. It also serves as to introduce us to what looks like a pretty substantial cast of characters, so make sure to check it out above!

Will you be making use of the Japanese voice-over option in Xenoblade Chronicles 2? Or are you fine with the English voices? Personally, I rather like the sound of the English cast…except for Rex, whose voice might make me switch to Japanese all on its own, to be honest. Let us know your thoughts on the voices and the game in the comments below!

Source: Nintendo Direct

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News Nintendo Nintendo Switch Videos

You Can Watch Today’s Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Direct Right Here

Good morning, my fellow Xenoblade fans! Nintendo announced last week that a Nintendo Direct focused on Monolith Soft’s soon-to-release Xenoblade Chronicles 2 would be airing this morning, and the time is almost here. It’s a pretty early start for some of us, but here’s hoping that Nintendo will make it worth our while by providing tons of new details and information about December’s massive RPG.

If you want to watch the Direct for yourself and catch all the news as it comes, just check out the video above! And while you wait, feel free to leave a comment below about what you’re most hoping to see more of for this game.

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News Nintendo Nintendo Switch

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is Getting a Nintendo Direct on Tuesday

Nintendo Directs have become the Big N’s primary method of conveying new information about upcoming titles in recent years, and another one is coming our way soon! Announced this morning, a special Direct focused exclusively on Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is coming this Tuesday, November 7th. With the game now less than a month away from launch, it certainly seems like a good time to show off the best features of Monolith Soft’s next massive RPG.

The Direct will begin fairly early this time, at least for us Americans—the video will start playing right at 6:00 AM PST, 9:00 AM EST, and 3:00 PM CEST. There’s no word yet on how long the Direct will be or on what exactly will be covered, so we’ll have to wait and see for ourselves on Tuesday.

Will you be tuning in for this Nintendo Direct? What would you most like to see or learn about in Xenoblade Chronicles 2? Let us know in the comments!

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News Nintendo Nintendo Switch Trailers Videos

Step Into the Beautiful World of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 on December 1st

Nintendo showed off a ton of new footage for Xenoblade Chronicles 2 during today’s Nintendo Direct. The game is looking better than ever with its new visual style, intriguing characters, and the many different titans that appear. Most importantly of all, however, they announced an official release date, confirming what many had doubted: Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is indeed coming in 2017.

The game focuses on many different cultures that base their lifestyle around the world’s different titans. The main character is a boy named Rex, who lives on the back of a small titan. You can check out more about the story and gameplay in the video above!

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 will also have a collector’s edition and a special pro controller themed after the game. It will launch for the Nintendo Switch on December 1st.

Source: Nintendo Direct

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News Nintendo Nintendo Switch Videos

You Can Catch Forty Minutes of Gameplay from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Right Here

The Nintendo Treehouse brought us some great looks at several amazing games today, and that includes the upcoming Xenoblade Chronicles 2. After surprising many of us by confirming that it is still planned to release this year, the Big N gave us an extensive look at the game’s combat, characters, and world, all of which to have changed quite a bit from the original Xenoblade and even its X successor. The entire demonstration lasted just over forty minutes, and you can check it all out in the video above!

Xenoblade Chronicles 2‘s setting and style are definitely more reminiscent of the original Xenoblade Chronicles rather than X. The game is set in a world where cities and biomes exist on the back of massive titans that traverse a sea of clouds, with no natural land in sight—save for one massive tree, the World Tree, that exists off in the distances. This will be more a story-driven adventure as well, rather than X’s exploration-driven world, which the developers confirmed is the main reason this game is XC2, rather than XCX2. It will follow the journey of Rex and the Blade Pyra, the spirit of his sword, as they attempt to reach the land of Elysium, “the ultimate paradise for all of humanity.”

What has changed from the preceding Xenoblades is the combat system. The arts palette has been greatly simplified, no longer existing as a menu at the bottom of the screen but instead having a set of arts mapped to the face buttons of the right Joy-Con. It sounds like arts are now tied to a character’s weapon, however, and Rex will be getting multiple different Blades (which don’t always take the form of swords) as the game progresses. You’ll be able to switch Blades using the buttons of the left controller, though, which will in turn switch up your arts. Attacking will power up and let you use your arts, and using your arts will in turn power up Pyra, allowing her to dish out special effects. Other party members will have similar relationships with Blades of their own.

There’s a lot more information doled out throughout the entire video, so if you’re at all interested in Xenoblade Chronicles 2, make sure you check it out! Having adored both the original and X, I can safely say that this is one of my most anticipated games of the year, and I’m hyped to see more as the E3 Treehouse stream continues over the next few days. What about you guys?

Source: Nintendo Treehouse Livestream at E3 2017

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News Nintendo Nintendo Switch Trailers Videos

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Is Still Coming Out This Year

As part of Nintendo’s E3 Spotlight, the gaming giant revealed that Monolith Soft’s flagship title for the Nintendo Switch—Xenoblade Chronicles 2—will still be releasing in the 2017 holiday season. This news breaks to us along with a story-driven trailer and closer look into the RPG’s gameplay.

The red-haired, armored female character we have already seen turns out to be the embodiment of the protagonist’s sword, and we all know swords are important to the Xenoblade Chronicles universe. As for our story goal, the heroes are trying to reach the World Tree where all life was created and designed by the Architect.

Will you be making the journey to save the world? If so, you should be doing so this year.

Source: Nintendo E3 2017 Spotlight

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News Nintendo Nintendo Switch

These are the Top Nintendo Switch Games, Ranked by YouTube Views

Last week, Nintendo revealed several huge new games for the Nintendo Switch, the company’s upcoming home console. We got our first look at Super Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Mario Kart Deluxe, and more. We also got a new trailer for the highly-anticipated The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Of course, these announcements have been met with a lot of excitement, and the trailers for these games have amassed millions of views on YouTube over the past week.

A NeoGAF user by the name of Las7
has compiled a list of the top Nintendo Switch games in the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France, by comparing the number of views that the trailers for each of those games have gathered in each region. Generally, Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey were the most popular games in almost every region. Super Mario Odyssey was particularly popular in the United States, where its trailer received over seven million views, making it the third most-watched video on Nintendo of America’s YouTube channel.

The full list is available below!

Nintendo of America:

Nintendo Japan:

Nintendo UK:

Nintendo Deutschland:

Nintendo France:

Of course, it should be noted that this comparison isn’t strictly fair to
Zelda: Breath of the Wild, as that game was not revealed during last week’s broadcast. Several trailers for Breath of the Wild have been released in the past three years; in fact, the Breath of the Wild trailer that was shown off at E3 2016 has amassed over eleven million views on YouTube, more than any of the other trailers on this list.

What do you guys think? Do any of these comparisons shock you? Would you have expected to see
Super Mario Odyssey coming out on top in the United States, or Splatoon 2 being the most popular title in Japan? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: NeoGAF

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News Nintendo Nintendo Switch Trailers Videos

Xenoblade 2 Has Been Revealed for Nintendo Switch

Monolith Soft has just unveiled a sequel to Xenoblade Chronicles, simply named Xenoblade 2, at tonight’s Nintendo Switch live event. So far, not much is known about the game. The trailer featured a giant dragon, which is new to the Xenoblade series, and it featured anime-style cutscenes with new character designs. Monolith has not announced a potential launch window for the game yet.

Source: Nintendo Switch Presentation

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