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Ice Climbers won't be in the new Smash Bros, and here's why

Fans of the Nintendo Entertainment System launch title Ice Climber (yes, they exist) may be disappointed to learn that stars Popo and Nana will not return for the latest entry in the Super Smash Bros. series, due out this year for the Nintendo Wii U and 3DS. In a recent issue of Famitsu, Super Smash Bros. director Masahiro Sakurai revealed that the pair's absence was due to technical limitations, rather than any ill will aimed at Ice Climber.

Sakurai notes, via a Nintendo Everything translation, that the Ice Climbers were up and running in the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros, but the 3DS lacked the hardware horsepower to render the team, making a roster cut necessary. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Melee, players controlled both Popo and Nana simultaneously, requiring hardware capable of rendering eight playable characters at once in the event that all four players chose the Ice Climbers.

As consolation, players can look forward to a similar retro-inspired team making its debut in Super Smash Bros. No, it's not Balloon Fight's heroes, sadly, nor is it a pair of whatever-they-ares from Clu Clu Land. You get one more guess.

[Image: Nintendo]

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call review: Take a bow

Music is an essential part of the Final Fantasy series. Players who have spent any amount of time with the franchise likely have a few overworld themes buried deep in their subconscious, and the series as a whole covers a wide variety of musical styles, ranging from catchy 8-bit tunes to fully orchestrated scores.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy premiered for the Nintendo 3DS in 2012, repurposing a handful of Final Fantasy soundtracks for a rhythm-driven experience with light RPG elements. The result was both a nostalgia trip and a solid game in its own right, supplementing its pedigree with inventive beat-matching gameplay that made satisfying use of the 3DS touch screen.

Sequel Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call easily surpasses its predecessor, tripling the original game's track list while polishing its gameplay to a mirror sheen. It's a loving, reverent tribute to a beloved series that skillfully recontextualizes one of its standout features, creating something worthwhile both for its fanbase and for newcomers.

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Hyrule Warriors review: Moblin warfare

Though The Legend of Zelda series includes some of the most beloved games of all time, Hyrulean protagonist Link has seen some less than stellar adventures in the hands of developers not named Nintendo. Capcom's Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages Game Boy games were excellent, but both relied on gameplay elements and graphics borrowed from Nintendo's own The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. More notorious are the three CD-i games which transplanted Link into a wholly new gameplay style that's best described as a hybrid of the sidescrolling stages of the second Legend of Zelda game and an unending litany of poor design decisions. The less said about the games' baffling take on Nintendo character design, the better.

Despite this disappointing history, Nintendo has now granted Koei Tecmo – more specifically, its most notable developers, Omega Force and Team Ninja – the rights to craft their own Legend of Zelda entry, a melee-focused Wii U spin-off dubbed Hyrule Warriors. It would be difficult to match the depressing legacy left by the CD-i entries, but it seems an even more daunting task to match Nintendo's pedigree of sterling high-fantasy adventures. Fortunately for fans of both The Legend of Zelda and Koei Tecmo's flagship musou brawlers, Hyrule Warriors is successful on nearly every level.

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Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai Deluxe is Japan's Remix

Hatsune Miku is all about music and love, and she wouldn't want anyone – or any country – to feel left out. Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai Remix is due out on 3DS in western territories in 2015, but it's also heading to Japan as Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai Deluxe, scheduled to launch in spring 2015.

The new Project Mirai is a "complete" version of Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai 2, which launched in Japan in 2013. Project Mirai Remix is the first time Hatsune Miku will appear on 3DS in the western world, following recent series launches on Vita and PS3 with the Project Diva games. Project Diva F 2nd is due out on western PS3s and Vitas this fall.
[Image: Sega]

Thomas Was Alone rated in Germany for Xbox One, Wii U

Platformer from the block Thomas Was Alone looks to be headed to Xbox One and Wii U courtesy of Curve Studios, going by new ratings published by German software regulatory board USK. Developer Mike Bithell's yet to announce any new platforms for his minimalist puzzle-platformer, but after launching it on Steam in 2012 he's since brought it to PS3, Vita, iOS and Android. To date the game's shifted more than a million copies.

If the ratings prove accurate, we'd imagine a PS4 version would likely be on the way too. For one, Thomas Was Alone is already on other PlayStation platforms. Also Volume, Bithell's next game which provides a modern stealthy take on the Robin Hood fable, is already confirmed for PS4 as well as Vita, Windows PC and Mac, so it'd be odd to see Thomas Was Alone come to rival platforms and not PS4. In any case, we've reached out to Bithell to find out more.
[Image taken from USK site]

Super Smash Bros. 3DS tops a million during first week in Japan

Everyone's doing the Smash in Japan, where Nintendo's brand-spanning brawler is past one million sales just on 3DS. After launching Super Smash Bros for the handheld on September 13, Nintendo announced sales (including download ones) surpassed the seven-figure mark during the game's first week on retail shelves. According to Nintendo, the other 3DS games to achieve the same feat are Pokemon X and Y, Monster Hunter 4 and Yokai Watch 2.

Not that it's been the smoothest launch ever, though. First there were the leaks of the roster ahead of time, then Nintendo had to apologize after mistakenly banning players who'd fallen foul of a bug. Still, it looks like a strong start for Smash 3DS ahead of its Western launch on October 3, which'll followed by the Wii U version sometime this holiday.
[Image: Nintendo]

Disney Infinity's Toy Box 2.0 offered as standalone download

When Disney formally unveiled Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes in April, the publisher announced that the power discs and base from the first game would be compatible with the one slated to arrive next week. Instead of buying a starter pack for Disney Infinity 2.0 with a new base, returning players will have the option to download the new game's Toy Box mode separately starting on November 4.

The Toy Box mode has improved since the first game, offering options for procedurally generated content and themed templates.

Priced at $19.99, the standalone Disney Infinity Toy Box 2.0 game will be available for PS4, PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii U players. The developer opted for a November release date to time the digital launch with its physical 2.0 Edition Play Sets as well as the game's Disney Originals series. North American players that download Toy Box 2.0 will receive both the Stitch's Tropical Rescue and Brave Forest Siege game discs for free, with details on the limited-time offer on the way from Disney Interactive as November approaches. Disney Infinity 2.0 launches September 23 for Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii U.

Japanese Super Smash Bros. players mistakenly banned for using Peach online

Princess Peach fans in Japan got a rude surprise this week, as Nintendo mistakenly banned a swath of Super Smash Bros. 3DS players due to purported cheating, Kotaku reports.

The ban affects players who used Princess Peach in Super Smash Bros' "For Glory" online multiplayer mode, which forbids item use during matches. Due to a bug, however, Princess Peach is able to pluck turnips and throw them at opponents, circumventing the restriction. Nintendo subsequently banned a large number of Princess Peach players from using the game's online features after the bug was discovered, regardless of whether they used the cheat or not.

The bans are temporary, but many were handed out mistakenly, leading Nintendo to issue an apology afterward. Nintendo is currently working on a fix for the issue, and a patch should be ready by next week.

[Image: Nintendo]

Don't you step on my blue suede Pokemon New 3DS

Nintendo's New 3DS is getting Poke-themed limited editions in Japan to mark the launch of Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby. The red Groudon and blue Kyogre systems are coming to the country's Pokemon Center stores alongside the games on November 21, and both handhelds feature suede faceplates for that extra luxurious feel you've always craved maybe when capturing pocket monsters. If you want in it's 19,000 yen (around $177) a piece, and they don't come with copies of the games.

The New 3DS itself launches in Japan on October 11 in both regular and XL models, and its New features include the right-hand analog C-stick, ZL and ZR shoulder buttons, built-in NFC tech, greater battery life, improved CPU and customizable faceplates, suede or otherwise. As for when the New 3DS launches outside of Japan, Nintendo's ruled out bringing it West in this calendar year. But you can nab Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby when the two 3DS remakes launch in North America on November 21 and Europe on November 28.
[Image: The Pokemon Company]

Destiny claims biggest launch ever for new IP in UK history

Destiny sold more at launch in the UK than any other new intellectual property in gaming history, following Activision's claim it shipped $500 million worldwide last week. Bungie's shooter is the second game to break the new-IP record this year, the first being Watch Dogs in May. The most successful UK launch of any game ever still belongs to Grand Theft Auto 5, but Destiny now boasts the biggest launch of 2014.

Not that any of that's surprising, frankly, and we're still waiting on hard sales figures from Activision. It's maybe more revealing to dissect Destiny's UK sales-by-platform percentages, especially since they offer a 50-50 cross-generation split between PlayStation and Xbox. While PS4 leads the way with 46 percent, Xbox One and Xbox 360 come in second and third with 36 and 14 percent respectively, and PS3 makes up the remaining 4 percent.

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Day-one patch adding Challenge Mode to Hyrule Warriors

Hyrule Warriors who are looking for a test of skills that goes beyond the game's Adventure Mode will be glad to hear that, as reported by Nintendo World Report, developer Koei Tecmo will be releasing a day-one patch that adds Challenge Mode to the game when it releases in North America on September 26.

So just what is Challenge Mode? According to members of a Nintendo Treehouse stream made earlier this week, it's basically "Adventure Mode on steroids." So ... it's tougher and angrier, but also has some acne problems and premature balding? Whatever you say, Nintendo.

Obviously that's a joke, but the truth of the matter is we won't know what Challenge Mode has in store for us until later this month. Remember warriors, patience is a virtue.
[Image: Nintendo/Koei Tecmo]

Mega Man 7 acquires Wii U power, now available on eShop

Mega Man 7, a rare SNES game featuring Capcom's "Blue Bomber," is no longer quite so hard to find; it's waiting patiently in the eShop, so that you and every other Wii U owner can give it a spin.

"Released somewhat late in the SNES cycle, Mega Man 7 somewhat slipped through the cracks during its initial release," Capcom community manager Brett Elston wrote on the company's blog, where he announced the release.

There's more than a handful of Mega Man games available via Wii U now - Mega Man 1-7, Mega Man X and Mega Man: Battle Network to name a few. As for the number of evil robots defeated by the automaton hero, Mega Man 7 brings the number up to ... uh ... a lot.
[Image: Capcom]

Report: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U to be released November 21

A photo of a pre-order card for the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros., supposedly from retail store Fred Meyer, has allegedly pegged the date that Nintendo's brawler will arrive in North America as November 21. Twitter user BluesDriveBuster shared the photo last evening, accompanied by text reading, "Official Smash WiiU release."

It should be noted however, that this is not an official release date, at least not one formally announced by Nintendo; we've yet to hear such a date from the big N itself. Even the pre-order card states that the release date supposedly printed on the label is subject to change.

Still, considering that Nintendo hasn't yet backed off of its previously-announced "winter 2014" release window and that November 21 is a Friday - a day of the week which Nintendo is fond of releasing major games on - there's enough substance here to make this supposed leak at least somewhat believable. Not enough that you should take it at face value of course, but enough that it's worth acknowledging.
[Image: BluesDriveBuster]

Report: Super Smash Bros Wii U playable via 3DS connection

The Wii U doesn't typically support remote play with the 3DS like the PlayStation 4 does with its handheld cousin the PlayStation Vita, but Smash-ing times call for Smash-ing measures.

After spending some time with a preview build, GameSpot reports that the Nintendo 3DS version of Super Smash Bros. features a menu that claims the device will work as a controller when playing the Wii U version of the game. If the menu is accurate and remains in the final version of Smash, it also looks like you'll be able to transfer your characters' progress from the 3DS to Wii U.

Lest you think people are reading too much into things, the menu reportedly reads: "Connect to a Wii U - You can exchange custom fighters or use your Nintendo 3DS as a Wii U controller." Not a whole lot of room for misinterpretation there, but we'll find out for sure when Super Smash Bros. comes to 3DS on October 3 and Wii U on ... uh ... hey Nintendo, just when is the Wii U version coming out, anyway?
[Image: Nintendo]

Earn Pokemon Alpha, Omega rewards in upcoming demo

Nintendo will offer a demo version of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire prior to the games' launches, according to its official site. The "early visit" to the games' Hoenn region will include "gameplay that you won't experience anywhere else," as well as a familiar Pokemon that is capable of Mega Evolving. Those that play the demo will be able to transfer said creature in addition to reward items to the full version of the game.

Nintendo did not specify when the demo would be made available, but did mention that fans will be able to play it as many times as they like (some 3DS demos are limited in the number of times they can be accessed). The demo will also feature "special scenarios that occur if you play every day." Nintendo will reveal instructions on how players can obtain a code in the near future. The Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire remakes will launch November 21 for 3DS.

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