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Nintendo sales jump as Smash Bros. 3DS sells over 3 million

Nintendo posted a profit of 24.2 billion yen ($224 million) in the last quarter, ending September 30, a sizable resurgence for the company following its 9.9 billion yen loss in the previous quarter. The company also reported 96.7 billion yen in net sales ($895 million), a 29.5 percent jump compared to the last quarter. Nintendo's sales increases are thanks in no small part to Super Smash Bros. for 3DS, which sold 3.22 million copies worldwide since its mid-September launch in Japan.

Smash Bros. sales coupled well with the 1.27 million 3DS systems shipped for the quarter, bringing the total number of 3DS systems shipped to 45.4 million to date. Nintendo also reported an increase in Wii U hardware shipments to the tune of 100,000 units (610,000 for the quarter), a 19.6 percent boost over the previous three months. That brings the life-to-date shipments of Wii U systems to 7.29 million consoles worldwide. Despite the positive showing for the quarter, Nintendo did not make any adjustments to its forecasts for the fiscal year.
[Image: Nintendo]

Nintendo CEO Iwata recovers from surgery, returns to work

Good news, Nintendo fans -- CEO Satoru Iwata has returned to his position at the company following a medical-related absence, and notes that he has recovered well enough to resume his regular duties.

Iwata missed a shareholders' meeting in June after revealing that he required surgery to remove a bile duct tumor. Iwata told Reuters that he lost weight during the past few months, but otherwise feels "healthier" after the operation.

Welcome back, Iwata! For real though, what's with the bananas?

[Image: Nintendo]

Joystiq Deals: Ultimate Minecraft Creeper Gear Bundle

Today on Joystiq Deals, we're offering up the Ultimate Creeper Gear Bundle, allowing you to express your fandom for Minecraft's iconic baddie in many loving ways. The $34.99 package includes a Creeper-themed beanie, a scarf, a poster, three stickers, and a cube-shaped Creeper head. For $30 more you can add a plush Creeper, which you can keep as a constant reminder that anything you build in Minecraft can be taken away from you in a hissing, explosive blink of an eye.

If you're looking for more deals on deadly fictional creatures, Best Buy is offering a Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire twin-pack for pre-order starting today. The retailer-exclusive bundle includes both 3DS games and two codes that each grant players 100 health-restoring Potions, making it an ideal starting point for newbie Pokemon trainers.
Joystiq Deals is a partnership between AOL and StackSocial. A portion of sales goes to funding this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial independently of the Joystiq editorial team.

Super Smash Bros. 3DS update balances for your Conquest pleasure

Attention Smash-ers: the non-stop online brawling will have to pause at least momentarily. Nintendo has released the first post-release update for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, introducing changes to make for "a more pleasant experience" that must be downloaded to play online.

What are those changes? Nintendo is not thorough in detailing what this update offers, as a post on its official site says only that its making a variety of balance adjustments. One notable change, however, is that you will no longer see the Conquest chart while actively playing in Conquest mode's online battles.

The large v1.0.2 patch released alongside the game on October 3, which added Conquest mode to the game as well as enabling all online modes, is also packed in with this update for anyone just getting the game so they won't have to update it twice.

Pokemon Omega/Alpha 'dual pack' has healing powers [Update]

Nintendo is packaging both versions of its upcoming Pokemon remake together, though the benefit to buying both games in one box isn't monetary. While both Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire will debut next month for $40 each, the "dual pack" bundle will still cost $80. The catch to Nintendo's two-for-two-in-different-packaging deal is that both games come with individual download codes that give players 100 potions in each game, making the familiar journey a tad easier.

Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire were announced for 3DS in May as "fresh takes" on the 2003 Game Boy Advance games. Like last year's Pokemon X and Y, the games feature a load of mega-evolved versions of existing 'mon. Players can still obtain a download code to access the game's demo in the next few days by purchasing one of a handful of apps or games. Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire will launch on November 21.

Update: As a minor point of clarification, the dual pack is exclusive to Best Buy stores.

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Persona Q's Wild Cards edition packs in a 3DS XL hard case

We're one month away from reuniting with Persona 3 and Persona 4's leads in the 3DS' Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, but Atlus isn't quite done tempting us with special-edition treats. While Persona Q's Limited Standard Edition will pack Tarot Card Set #2 (the first set can be earned via Persona 4 Arena Ultimax) in with the game for a combined total of $49.99, The Wild Cards Premium Edition gets a little more fancy.

In addition to Set #2, Wild Cards Premium Edition offers up a CD of tunes from the game, a hard case for the 3DS XL featuring Persona Q's cast, and a 38-page artbook, which you can flip through a sample of. The Premium Edition will go for $79.99 and, like the Limited Standard Edition, can be found at Amazon, GameStop and other select retailers.

A refresher of what Persona Q's demon-battling gameplay looks like can be viewed after the break, in which Persona 3's Yukari Takeba finds wholesome reasons to fight before getting some practice in with her bow.
[Image: Atlus]

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Theatrhythm Final Fantasy issues its final DLC pack

Publisher Square Enix has revealed that yesterday's burst of Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call downloadable content is the last planned for the excellent 3DS rhythm game.

As with prior DLC releases, this final push includes nine additional songs and a new character who can be added to a player's in-game party. That character is the Kingdom Hearts 2 incarnation of Auron, a stoic fighter best known for his supporting role in Final Fantasy X, while the new tunes range from Final Fantasy 2's "Chocobo Theme" and Final Fantasy 7's "The Chase" to more recent songs like "We Have Come" from Final Fantasy Type-0. For a full track listing, visit Square Enix's blog.

Like all Theathrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call DLC releases, each individual song and character bears a $1 price tag via the Nintendo 3DS eShop. Unfortunately, there's no discount for buying the entire slate en masse.

35 minutes of Smash Bros. Wii U facts and fights



Today, Nintendo broadcast thirty minutes of Smash Bros. Wii U action for the world, revealing fifty facts about the upcoming game. While a good portion of the Nintendo Direct episode was reiterating information we've already learned about the anticipated game, there were a handful of announcements – such as the reveal of an offline 8-player mode.

Other information revealed included notes on the Wii U game's soundtrack, which Nintendo announced would feature original music, "almost all" of the tunes from the recently released Smash Bros. 3DS and tracks from the history of games associated with the fighters.

In the spirit of catching them all, Nintendo also revealed that owning both the 3DS and Wii U versions of Smash Bros. give players access to Mewtwo as a playable fighter. The classic Pokemon character is scheduled to be available for download in Spring 2015.

For more Smash Bros. and to hear the most excitable announcer in history, watch the video above.

New Nintendo eShop releases: Bayonetta 2, Fantasy Life, Aria of Sorrow

It's a busy week on the Nintendo eShop, with PlatinumGames' inimitably stylish action game Bayonetta 2 premiering on the Wii U while Level-5's RPG Fantasy Life leads the charge on the Nintendo 3DS.

Players who purchase Bayonetta 2 on the eShop will additionally receive a copy of the original Bayonetta for free starting this week. Other Wii U games premiering today include Ubisoft's Just Dance 2015, Activision's karaoke sim The Voice, and a Virtual Console port of Konami's 2003 Nintendo DS platformer Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow.

Over on the 3DS side of the eShop, Nintendo's instructional app Pokemon Art Academy and WayForward's exploratory platformer Shantae and the Pirate's Curse headline a selection of 10 new games. 3DS owners may also want to check out Detune's portable synthesizer KORG DSN-12, Bandai Namco's Power Rangers: Super Megaforce, and Activision's The Legend of Korra: A New Era Begins.

Nintendo additionally teased next week's Virtual Console lineup, revealing that Capcom's ghoulish side-scrollers Demon's Crest and Gargoyle's Quest 2 will launch alongside Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land on October 30. Hit the jump below for a full list of this week's featured releases.

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Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley trailer talks farmlife fantasies


Natsume gets chatty in this narrated trailer for Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley, giving a detailed overview of what players can expect from the latest entry in its long-running farming simulation series. The Lost Valley puts players on a quest to restore the seasons to a forgotten town, and features new world-building elements and customization options inspired by Minecraft. The Lost Valley hits retail and the 3DS eShop on November 4.

[Video: Natsume]

How to get demo codes for Pokemon Omega Ruby, Alpha Sapphire

Nintendo will release a playable demo of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire on November 7, but you'll have to put in some effort to play these games before their official November 21 launch.

According to Nintendo, there are several methods for obtaining a demo download code. From November 7 to November 13, several cinemas and games retailers will be distributing codes at no charge. If you'd rather not leave the house, you can also acquire a code by purchasing Pokemon Art Academy from the 3DS eShop, or either Pokemon Puzzle Challenge or the Pokemon Trading Card Game from the eShop Virtual Console. Pokemon Art Academy is out on October 24 while Pokemon Puzzle Challenge and the Pokemon Trading Card Game hit Virtual Console on November 6 and 13, respectively.

Nintendo plans to issue demo codes for Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire on October 31. If you can't score a code by then, your final option is to attend Nintendo's holiday mall tour from November 24 to December 21. Staff members will be on hand demonstrating both of the new Pokemon games and will be handing out two demo codes to anyone who asks.

Demon's Crest, Gargoyle's Quest 2 invade eShop on October 30

Capcom will resurrect a pair of demonic platformers from its back catalog next week with the launch of Demon's Crest and Gargoyle's Quest 2 for the Nintendo eShop.

Both games star Ghosts 'n Goblins series antagonist Firebrand, and both feature side-scrolling action bolstered by action-RPG elements. Firebrand navigates an RPG-like overworld in between difficult platforming sequences in 1992's Gargoyle's Quest 2 for the NES, while the 1994 SNES series finale Demon's Crest takes a more open-ended approach, challenging players to return to previously-explored levels as they uncover hidden items and pursue multiple endings.

Capcom's upcoming eShop re-releases will premiere at a significant discount compared to their current aftermarket prices. Cartridge-only copies of Demon's Crest are hovering around $100 on eBay these days, and Gargoyle's Quest 2 is approaching $70. 3DS and Wii U owners get Gargoyle's Quest 2 for $4.99 next week, and Demon's Crest will hit the Wii U eShop exclusively for $7.99.

(For the record, I sold my cartridge of Gargoyle's Quest 2 for $10 and complete-in-box (sob) copy of Demon's Crest for around $20 years ago. I regret my mistakes.)

[Image: Capcom / VG Museum]

Editor's Note: We Are Always Fighting

We are always fighting.

The first video game I ever played, Space Invaders, rendered fighting in a sickly green hue, with squid-like aliens descending down the bulbous surface of a beige monitor. As much as I admired their patient and orderly see-saw attack pattern on our planet, it made it easy to blow them away from below. You see, it's not about the violence, but timing and pattern recognition.

My other starting game was some kind of Mad Libs program, which accepted a list of nouns and verbs and then spat out a boring or comical story, depending on how creative your input was. The key to playing this game well, I determined, was baking a well-timed "pie" into the plot. The archer reaches into his quiver and removes ... a pie! Help, the sheriff's been shot in the pie! The crowd sucked the air out of the room as the boxer fell to a critical blow from his opponent ... the PIE. You see, a video game lets players control (and probably ruin) the story.

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Fifa fo fum, who smells the blood of an English man?

Chart-Track's post-FIFA portion of the year rolls along on the UK charts, with the footie franchise holding the top spot now for four straight weeks. Hunting the perennial performer was The Evil Within and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel in second and third, respectively.

Although Chart-Track doesn't share unit sales, it should be noted Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel's third place showing is impressive given that it's only available for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC (nor does this count digital distribution). Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor is fighting death in fourth place despite a 51 percent drop from last week. Alien: Isolation is holding on tight in sixth before it gets sucked out the airlock. Run past the break for the UK top ten.

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Shin Megami Tensei 4 searches for Samurai in Europe, other regions on October 30

Good news, non-American JRPG fans – your extended wait for Shin Megami Tensei 4 is (probably) almost over! A recent press release from publisher Atlus lists a digital-only release on October 30 for Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Since SMT4's classes started last year in the United States, the 3DS' venture will be priced at 18 or 20 euros, with DLC reaching the new regions within the month following launch.

The game's most recent European delay was due to "last-minute issues" back in September, but Managing Editor Susan Arendt's review remarks that SMT4 has "more than enough going on to hook you early and keep you playing for a long, long time," so it might all be worth the wait.
[Image: Atlus]

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