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Mario Kart 8 DLC packs priced $8 each, $12 2-in-1 bundle

Nintendo of America confirmed the crossover Mario Kart 8 DLC packs spotted yesterday on the company's UK site, with the Zelda pack due to launch stateside in November and the Animal Crossing one in May 2015. Both packs will be available for pre-order starting today, each priced at $8. However, if you know you're going to get both, you can save 25 percent by ordering the $12 two-in-one bundle.

The saving doesn't apply if you buy both packs separately, unfortunately. On the flip side, anyone who buys both packs unlocks eight new colors of Yoshi and Shy Guy "immediately," in case you're in immediate need of some technicolor racing.

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Lego Batman 3 goes Beyond Gotham on November 11

No longer content with striking fear into the hearts of superstitious criminals in the back alleys of his hometown, Batman is branching out to more exotic climes in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham.

According to publisher Warner Bros. Interactive, the Dark Knight's latest blocky adventure sees our hero battling Superman villain Brainiac to prevent the destruction of Earth. It seems the hyper-intelligent alien has swiped a handful of Lantern rings and is using their power to shrink worlds for his creepy collection of tiny civilizations. Batman must join forces with the "greatest super heroes and the most cunning villains" to travel through the cosmos, collecting Lantern rings and eventually using their Oan might to topple Brainiac's plot.

Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham will debut on November 11. As with all DC Comics/Lego mashups, the game will appear on myriad platforms, including the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PS3, Vita, Wii U, 3DS and PC.

Link revs up in Mario Kart 8 this November

Link is a playable character in Mario Kart 8 with the "Legend of Zelda X Mario Kart 8" DLC pack, due out in the UK in November for £7. We're contacting Nintendo of America for more information about a stateside release [Update: The packs are now confirmed for North America].

The pack includes Tanooki Mario, Cat Peach and Link as new playable characters, plus four vehicles and eight courses (that's two new cups with four courses each).

A second DLC pack for Mario Kart 8 is due out in May 2015, called "Animal Crossing X Mario Kart 8." It includes new playable characters in Isabelle, Villager and Dry Bowser, plus four vehicles and eight courses. Purchase both packs in a bundle or separately and snag eight different-colored Shy Guys and eight different-colored Yoshis. Score.
[Image: Nintendo]

Zen Studios latest pinball table summons the Walking Dead

The silver ball maestros at Zen Studios have unleashed another meticulously designed table, this time within the horrific universe of Telltale's The Walking Dead adventure game.

Despite its non-linear nature - pinball rarely adheres to a structured narrative - the table does a solid job of using skill shots and careful ball management to retell key story moments from the first season of Telltale's beloved The Walking Dead. Zen Studios was even able to get the original voice cast from the game to record new lines for the Walking Dead pinball table. Most crucially, the table is periodically littered with ambulatory corpses that, in proper Walking Dead spirit, must be avoided or, if you've got no other options, destroyed.

Like all Zen Studios tables, The Walking Dead is DLC content available on a number of platforms. Today marks the table's debut on the PlayStation 3, PS4 and Vita, while PC, Mac, Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners will have to wait until tomorrow. Those playing Zen Studios' pinball games on Android and iOS will have a chance to relive the adventures of Lee and Clementine on August 28. While you wait, take a look at the trailer past the break.

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Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition trailblazes the UK charts

Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls - Ultimate Evil Edition is the new UK No.1, displacing The Last of Us: Remastered after three weeks running at the top. Data compilers Chart Track offer a few interesting infobits on the new chart leader, including that the top platform for sales was PS4 with 47 percent of the share. The PS4 version sold more than last year's original Xbox 360 release, but only around 500 units more. Xbox One took 32 percent of the share, Xbox 360 13 percent this time around, and PS3 8 percent.

Also rising out of the undergrowth into this week's top ten is Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare, thanks to the brand new PS4 and PS3 versions. It takes third place behind The Last of Us: Remastered, while JRPG Tales of Xillia 2 debuts in an impressive tenth place.

Finally, and quite incredibly, FIFA 14 is out of the UK top ten for the first time since its release. If only EA had another upcoming edition of its soccer sim to replace it...

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Voice of Mario meets Instagram in funny clips

Charles Martinet, best known as the voice of Mario, has joined Instagram. Of course, there are lots of people on Instagram, possibly even your dear ol' Granny. Of course, Granny probably isn't walking around with a bunch of Mario figurines and making silly videos (more power to her if she is, though).

After starting his account in mid-August, Martinet has already filled it with plenty of amusing clips, including Mario educating Luigi on the art of puns, Wario not understanding said puns and the two brothers being juggled by a Chilean street performer. We'd suggest you start with that one and work your way forward.
[Image: Charles Martinet]

Rumor: Super Smash Bros videos show Bowser Jr, Shulk, Duck Hunt Dog [Update: Videos pulled]

Update: The videos have been removed from YouTube, though you can still see snippets of them in GIF format on the NeoGAF post linked below.

If rumors are to be believed, we're not even close to seeing the final roster of Super Smash Bros. Several images and videos of Nintendo's upcoming mascot brawler have surfaced (handily collected on NeoGAF), showcasing lots of new characters. Among these are King Koopa's bandana'd progeny, Bowser Jr, Xenoblade protagonist Shulk and ... the dog from Duck Hunt.

In the videos, Bowser Jr is seen piloting a tiny version of his father's iconic flying machine, while Shulk seems to have a few things in common with fellow sword-swingers Roy and Marth. There's no video of the Duck Hunt dog, sadly, but if his appearance turns out to be true: best ... taunt ... ever.

Of course, we have to point out that talented modders have been squeezing new characters into Smash Bros Brawl for years – everything from Master Chief to Cloud Strife – so we suggest a smashing serving of salt to go along with all of this.

See the videos after the break.

Brainiac has the whole world in his hands in LEGO Batman 3



Forget Gotham, it's the world at stake in LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham. Brainiac is collecting planets, and it's up to Batman and other DC heroes (and even some villains) to stop him. While stealing planets isn't cool, at least Brainiac got those pants he wanted.
[Image: Warner Bros. Interactive]

Upgrade Disney Infinity Wii to Wii U free of charge

Still on the fence about buying a Wii U? Disney Interactive is offering a new reason to move to Nintendo's latest home console by allowing Disney Infinity players on Wii to upgrade to the Wii U version free of charge. Beginning today, those that own the Disney Infinity Starter Pack on Wii can download the Wii U version of the sandbox game from the eShop, including the game's multiplayer components.

The offer arrives just in time for the next game in the series, Disney Infinity 2.0, which stars Marvel's super heroes when it launches on September 23. The upgrade deal also makes sense for the publisher, as Disney Interactive would certainly love for the series' sizable fanbase on Wii to make the trek to Wii U, given that Disney Infinity 2.0 won't be available on Wii.
[Image: Disney Interactive]

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In the garden of Eden Hazard, don't you know that I love FIFA 15?

Belgium and Chelsea superstar Eden Hazard is the new face-next-to-Messi's-face for FIFA 15, at least in the UK, Ireland, Belgium, France and the Netherlands. Voted the best young player in the English Premier League last year, Hazard is also a less hazardous proposition to have on the cover than last year's choice, Gareth Bale. If you'll remember, Bale left for Real Madrid after appearing on the FIFA 14 cover in a Tottenham shirt, leaving EA Sports in a bit of a pickle. No such fun, sadly, is on the cards for Hazard this year.

To see the full box art, dribble below the break and remember to wipe.

EA's sportsball sim will once again grace a myriad of platforms starting September 23 in North America. Three days later it'll come to Europe, where Microsoft's once again offering it as part of a Xbox One bundle, priced 400 euros or £350.

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Amazon: Wii U game pre-orders up following Gamescom

With all the news that surfaced last week during Gamescom, it makes sense that video game pre-orders would increase at retailers like Amazon. As it turns out, the biggest winner coming away from the show is Nintendo, as Wii U games saw the biggest boost in pre-orders on Amazon (8.67 percent). By comparison, pre-orders for PS4 games rose 5.16 percent and Xbox One games increased 2.81 percent.

The largest increase for a single game was 42.3 percent for Slightly Mad Studios' Project Cars. Bandai Namco announced a limited edition version of the game last week, which likely spurred new pre-orders. Rounding out the top five are Rise of the Tomb Raider (30.25 percent), Bloodborne (16.08 percent), Hyrule Warriors (11.77 percent) and Quantum Break (10.77 percent). You'll find the full list of the top ten games whose pre-orders increased on Amazon after the break, courtesy of MCV.

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New Nintendo eShop releases: Mega Man 6, Blazblue Clone Phantasma

Mega Mega Mega Man, he's up on the eff- okay, yes, that's the Mega Man 2 theme a la Brentalfloss, but he's not done one for Mega Man 6, the NES platformer out on Wii U Virtual Console this week. Of course, in the musical maestro's opinion Mega Man 6 is "okay." How's that for a recommendation? At least it's better than 7, we almost hear him sing. Oh, also on Wii U Virtual Console this week is Gradius spin-off Life Force, if you're looking for something retro in a more co-op flavor.

Meanwhile, with Disney Infinity 2.0 still out of reach, Nintendo's getting things simmering by bringing OG Disney Infinity to the eShop for the first time, for free. You'll still need a physical figure and base to play it, though. As for the 3DS, we reckon top dog this week is Blazblue Clone Phantasma. Nope, not Blazblue Chrono Phantasma, but a 3D action game spinoff of the fighter series. The cast of characters are still there but hyper-deformed and cute, even if they're still beating the bejeezus out of each other.

As always, you'll find the full list of new releases past the break. Sales-wise there are nine new discounts starting this week, which we'd say qualifies as plenty. We refer you to The Big N's press release for the full list, but we like the look of a third off Aeternoblade at $10 and Chasing Aurora half-price at $4.

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Marvel meets mayhem in Disney Infinity 2.0's Toy Box trailer

Image Marvel's superheroes invade Disney Infinity's sandbox-styled Toy Box mode in the latest trailer for Disney Infinity 2.0, showcasing the game's expanded options for user-generated content. Toy Box 2.0 allows players to create detailed interior areas and minigames that take advantage of... Continue Reading

Ubisoft continues shift away from Wii U, Watch Dogs still coming

Making a rational business decision, Ubisoft is stepping back from whatever Wii U development it had going. With the rapid adoption of next-gen consoles and declining percentages in its portfolio of Wii U sales, neither Assassin's Creed game is scheduled for this holiday on Wii U.

"What we see is that Nintendo customers don't buy Assassin's Creed. Last year, we sold in very small numbers," Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot told Game Informer. Nintendo consoles declined from 20 percent to 14 percent of the company's portfolio over the past fiscal year.

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Dolphin Up is a Wii U aquatic stunt sim with a porpoise in life

Science tells us that dolphins are the smartest creatures of the sea, but video games tell us they'll put down the calculus textbooks in the pursuit of big air. Dolphin Up is an upcoming Wii U downloadable that shows us just how graceful the dolphin can be, with multi-flip jumps, dangerous tricks and air so big it takes our fusiform friend up through the atmosphere and into the firework rings of space. Because video games.

If you recognize Dolphin Up, that's probably because you've already seen it or played it on iOS and Android. Rawkins Games says the Wii U version features everything found in the mobile version and optimizes it for TV and GamePad fun and frolics. There's no concrete release date as yet, but the game's targeted to surface some time in September.

Take a dip in a new trailer below the break.

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