Welcome to another episode of Switched On! After taking a week off, we’re back to break down all the exciting Nintendo news from the past couple of weeks. Join Ben, Jeff, and newcomer Mark as we talk about Nintendo Switch Online, Pokémon, and more. We also give our impressions of the newly-launched Super Mario Party. For this week’s discussion section, we discuss three Nintendo franchises that need a reboot and explore what that might look like.
If you haven’t been keeping up to date with Switched On! so far, we also have an episode about the most recent Nintendo Direct, which you can watch here, and a second episode focusing on Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee, available to watch here. We also recently launched a second podcast called Gamnesia After Dark. It’s a more casual podcast where we talk about things outside of Nintendo, including other games, TV, anime, and more. You can catch the first episode by clicking here.
Last month Nintendo filed numerous trademarks for various intellectual properties including Mario Party, Paper Mario, Dr. Mario, and Punch-Out!!. With E3 just around the corner, many have speculated that we could see some or all of these titles announced soon. Well, brace yourself, because now there’s more than a dozen new trademarks to speculate over.
Just a few weeks after the last batch surfaced, numerous Nintendo trademark filings are popping up once again. The trademarks include everything from the Super Smash Bros. logo to Sin & Punishment and even some old Wii titles. The complete list thus far (as compiled by Resetera) includes the following:
SIN & PUNISHMENT
THE LEGENDARY STARFY
LINK’S CROSSBOW TRAINING
The trademarks all cover “home video game program,” “smartphone program,” and non-gaming purposes like merchandising. If many or most of the games listed in these past two trademark batches end up being E3 announcements, we should be in for a packed show. If a recent GameStop listing is anything to go by, there are 16 new games coming to Nintendo Switch in the near future.
Every gamer has a few big-name games missing from their encyclopedia of video game experiences, and we at Gamnesia are no different. That’s why we thought it’d be fun to go over some of our lists of must-play games that we haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing, and then shaming the heck out of each other for it, on this week’s episode of Nintendo Week. Alex, Ben, and I all made short lists of Nintendo games that we’d either never played or hadn’t played more than an hour or two into—which isn’t enough time to truly experience them. Keep reading to see our lists, and check out the discussion video above for some good discussion and even better laughs about the games themselves, why we haven’t played them, and even what you might be missing out on.
Alex Plant, Senior Editor
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest
Super Mario Kart and Mario Kart DS
Ben Lamoreux, Managing Editor
Fire Emblem series
Colin McIsaac, Editor-in-Chief
Pokémon: Black Version 2 and White Version 2
Star Fox series (excepting Command)
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
Koji Kondo recently gave an interview with IGN in which he discussed his long career with Nintendo. Kondo started by discussing how he got started with Nintendo and how things have changed over the years. In the process, he also provided some interesting trivia about some of the music throughout the years.
Some of Nintendo’s music has had interesting origins. First, Kondo explained that the Star Fox 64 music was inspired by the Thunderbirds television show. He also stated that African music influenced the rhythm of Yoshi’s Island. For those who know music, did you know that the “Underground Theme” from Super Mario Bros. switches between 4/4 and 3/4 meters? This allowed the music to be arrhythmic, providing a creepy feeling when players went underground. In later Mario titles, however, the music was rearranged in 4/4.
Lastly, Kondo discussed The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and how carefully the team worked to balance the gameplay with the music. In the original, the music was finely balanced with the gameplay through the tempo. When remaking the title on 3DS, Kondo said that he was worried that the increased processing power of the system wold cause that balance to go out of whack. Kondo’s request of the development team was that they paid careful attention to the music and its interaction with the game, noting that “music is about not just what’s playing, but when it’s not playing.”
The Yoshi series is often given a lot of love, but for how much praise it gets, a lot of fans only seem to care about one game: Yoshi’s Island. Despite nine titles to the Yoshi name, Yoshi’s Island stands far above the others in both critical praise and fan attention. Even the recently-released Yoshi’s New Island left many fans of the original SNES title disappointed. So it’s no secret that the Yoshi series is in an extremely unusual position, but why exactly is that, and how could that change?
That’s exactly the question that a few members of the IGN crew explore in an interesting new recent discussion video. If you’re interested in thinking about the identity of the Yoshi‘s series and its fans, head inside and check it out!
Yoshi’s New Island arrives in a little more than a month for the Nintendo 3DS, and though we can expect it will bring the same charm as its two predecessors, we can only help but crave new information about the game. In the past we’ve seen trailers and artwork, but thanks to a few press previews, we’ve gotten a ton of details!
As is to be expected of a platformer on Nintendo 3DS, Yoshi’s New Island will feature 3D backgrounds. Slightly more surprising is the news that Yoshi’s New Island does not support the 3DS’ StreetPass features in anyway, and more shocking still is that players will be able to send gameplay data to Nintendo—though we’re unsure what this may be used for yet.
If these tiny tidbits of news aren’t doing you any favors, keep reading to find a massive rundown of news about Yoshi’s New Island!
Yoshi’s New Island is much like past Yoshi games, in that there are many colors of Yoshis for players to control between levels, though their abilities do not differ in any way. Yoshi can once again stomp on enemies or swallow them with their tongue, and then lay eggs to use as projectile weapons.
Yoshi can also transform into various vehicles to complete timed challenges at several points throughout the game, which are now controlled using the Nintendo 3DS’ gyroscope. So far we have only seen two transformations: a helicopter returning from the two previous Yoshi’s Island games, and a mine cart, which may function similarly to the cart from Yoshi’s Island DS.
The most prominent new mechanic in Yoshi’s New Island is called the “Mega Eggdozer,” which we’ve seen in several past trailers and promotional works. The Mega Eggdozer is an enormous egg that Yoshi can create after eating a monstrous Shy Guy, which the player can do by rapidly pressing the tongue button, which Nintendo World Report says is like “reeling in a fish.”
The Mega Eggdozer can then be used to destroy huge amounts of terrain and pick up many collectibles, such as flowers and stars, that can be found throughout the levels. It’s important for players to direct the Eggdozer carefully, not only because you earn up to three extra lives by flattening more terrain, but because you may miss an obstacle that was meant to be destroyed before you can progress.
*Nintendo platformers never feature terribly complex storylines, and Yoshi’s New Island is no exception—but if you’re nonetheless worried about spoilers, you may want to skip to the next section.*
Yoshi’s New Island takes place immediately after the original Yoshi’s Island for the SNES. It begins by recalling the final scene in Yoshi’s Island, where Mario and Luigi’s parents hold their babies high above their heads. The camera then scrolls down the show the delighted parents, who quickly realize that the Stork has made a terrible mistake. “These aren’t our babies!” they scream.
After retrieving the babies and setting out to find their true parents, the Stork once again runs into the evil Kamek, who flees with Baby Luigi in his clutches. Baby Mario plummets to the nearby Egg Island, where dozens of Yoshis who inhabit the island take him in and begin the search for his baby brother. Déja vu.
Bowser plays a bigger role in Yoshi’s New Island than he did in the SNES classic, this time aiming to turn Egg Island into his personal resort. It’s unknown yet if this is a B-plot to Kamek, who was the main antagonist of the original title, or if Bowser fills the role of the main antagonist this time around, but we can be sure that the Yoshis will do everything to stop him from destroying their home.
Yoshi’s New Island features very similar gameplay to its two predecessors. Yoshis can flutter jump, swallow enemies, make eggs, throw eggs, and more. Once again, players will be challenged to find five flowers, twenty red coins, and thirty hopping stars in each level to achieve 100% completion. But Yoshi’s New Island allegedly brings its fair share of changes to the formula.
A good example of one such change is the method of unlocking the bonus level at the end of each world. Bonus levels in past Yoshi’s Island games were unlocked by achieving 100% completion on every level in any given world, but Yoshi’s New Island seems to rely on the number of flowers players have collected, and uses the bonus ring found at the end of each level to award players medals and ultimately unlock bonus levels.
Many levels will feature a pair of binoculars floating in a small bubble. When players pop this bubble, they will be allowed to look freely around the level using the Nintendo 3DS’ accelerometer, much like aiming projectiles in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D.
Sticking to Yoshi’s Island tradition, Yoshi’s New Island lets players choose between different ways of aiming eggs: Patient, Hasty, and the new “Gyro” option. In the default “Patient” mode, players press the R button one to begin aiming an egg, which moves the cursor back and forth across the screen, and press the button again to fire. In “Hasty” mode, players press and hold the R button to aim the cursor, and let go to fire. The new “Gyro” mode, however, asks players to aim the cursor themselves with the Nintendo 3DS’ gyroscope.
Levels and Worlds
Yoshi’s New Island features themed worlds, much like the to Yoshi’s Island games before it (and just about every other platformer ever made). The first world is called “Playful Hills” and features a grassland theme. One later world is based on a jungle theme, while another is based on a mountain theme.
The first level in the game introduces the Mega Eggdozer (described way back at the beginning of this breakdown), and is called “Little Eggs, Big Eggs,” which may make you smile if you’ve played the original Yoshi’s Island. The second level is called “Chomp Rock ‘n’ Roll,” and will presumably feature the signature Chomp Rocks from past titles.
“World 1-6: Bouncy Beanstalk Walk” has Yoshi hopping across beanstalk leaves which will crumple under his weight after a certain amount of time. “World 2-7: Hidey-Hole Hooligans” has many Lakitus hiding inside walls, who will aim their spiny eggs at Yoshi while destroying parts of their terrain. The last level we know of, “World 4-1: Hop ‘n’ Pop Till You Drop,” has Yoshi jumping across floating balloons and other aerial platforms while popping bubbles, which may contain helpful prizes, or may contain traps like enemies and bombs.
Whew! That’s a lot of information to digest! To see a lot of these details in action, check out the trailer above. If you’re looking forward to Yoshi’s New Island, you can pick it up in stores on March 14th.
During today’s Nintendo Direct, Satoru Iwata revealed that the upcoming Yoshi’s New Island for Nintendo 3DS would be produced by Takashi Tezuka, the creative director for the original Yoshi’s Island
for SNES. Alongside confirming its early 2014 release (as if we
couldn’t already tell, given that the Nintendo Direct only covered
titles coming out by the end of next spring with the exception of Smash), Iwata showed off a brand new trailer for the game. Check out the trailer above!
Sonic the Hedgehog is invading two Nintendo franchises in his recent release, Sonic Lost World. The first of two exclusive Wii U DLC releases, Yoshi’s Island Zone, is apparently available on the eShop now for free. In this new level, Sonic will be able to find and collect Yoshi eggs in a more straight world based on Yoshi’s Island, Yoshi’s Story, and the upcoming Yarn Yoshi. The second level, which is hinted to be based on The Legend of Zelda, is not quite ready enough to be shown and will come in its own time.
Check out the full video of Yoshi’s Island Zone in action above, and if you have the base game you can go try it out right away.
There was a lack of Nintendo 3DS titles at the Nintendo Direct this morning, but that doesn’t mean the Big N is not supporting the system! Far from it, actually!
A brand new Yoshi’s Island game was unveiled during a Nintendo Direct a couple months ago, but we have heard zero new stories on it. Not even a title! However, the game has reappeared at E3 this year, with a brand new trailer and some screenshots!
Take a look at the handheld Yoshi sidescroller in action above! The screens are below!
Yoshi’s New Island on 3DS releases… whenever it’s ready.
Whip out your 3DS systems and get ready to lock and load a cartridge or two because an all new Yoshi’s Island is coming to the Nintendo 3DS soon. There is not much to the say about the title other than the featured footage that shows off some classic Yoshi’s Island gameplay with shiny new storybook visuals, but Nintendo has promised that there will be more information about the title in the near future so be sure to look forward to that!