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New Nintendo eShop releases: NES Remix 2, Child of Light, Yoshi's Island GBA

This week's eShop update is a big tease. NES Remix 2? Not out 'til tomorrow. Child of Light? Next week, on April 29. At least you can play Mario Golf: World Tour today - in a demo.

As for what's launching today, there's the last of April's Game Boy Advance games in Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3, and a few other bits and bobs too - as ever, we've got the full list of new releases after the break. Finally, there's also a new two-week sale on Joindots' games, including Secret Agent Files: Miami and 3D MahJongg.
[Image: Ubisoft]

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Yoshi Wii Remote Plus coming to Europe alongside Mario Kart 8

Following the royal unveiling of Princess Peach's Wiimote Plus, Nintendo of Europe is making sure all four Mario Kart 8 multi-players can have a mascot-themed controller to hand. When the racer launches on May 30, Europeans can get both the Peach controller and a new Yoshi one, and join them up with the Mario and Luigi Wiimotes already out.

Stateside, Nintendo of America released the Peach Wii Remote Plus earlier this week, but this is the first we've seen of the Yoshi controller. As things stand, Americans will be forced to limit Mario Kart 8 to three-way couch multiplayer with Luigi, Mario and Peach remotes, and that's not on. Surely Nintendo doesn't expect the fourth player to have a regular Wii Remote Plus, or - gasp - one of the controllers another player has? That's just obscene.
[Image: Nintendo]

Mario Kart 8 Wii U bundles unveiled for Europe

Nintendo confirmed the long-rumored Mario Kart 8 Wii U bundle for Europe today, but there's no word yet if it's skidding along to North America. The Premium bundle packs in the 32GB black Wii U with the racer and all the usual accessories within. It's launching alongside the game on May 30, priced £250 in the UK according to Nintendo's store.

For £50 more, players can align with one of Nintendo's plumber brothers in Mario and Luigi themed Wii U packs (check out the Luigi one above). The fraternal packages bundle in your choice of red or green hats, GamePad protectors, Wii U wheels and non-additional Wii Remote Plus controllers, as well as a game guide. The Mario and Luigi bundles look to be limited to the UK and exclusive to Nintendo's online store.

Mario Kart 8 brings the long-running racer series into HD splendor for the first time. As our video preview shows, it also features new elements like zero-g racing, piranha plant items, and everyone's favorite assortment of monstrous offspring, the Koopa Kids.
[Image: Nintendo]

Come on feel the toys: What's new in Skylanders Trap Team


Knowing full well that kids love catching them all when there are even more to catch, Activision announced Skylanders Trap Team for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, PS3, and Xbox 360. The latest entry in the franchise follows up last year's Skylanders: Swap Force and introduces the ability to not only buy many, many heroic action figures but also the ability to trap the game's enemies and turn them to the light.

Developed by Toys For Bob, which hasn't led development since 2012's Skylanders: Giants, Trap Team expands the compulsive collectable nature of the game. The game comes with a brand new NFC portal that reads not just the usual Skylanders toys, but new crystal toys. When fighting specific villains in the game like goofy old man Chompy Mage, plugging a trap crystal into the base actually sucks up the villain making them a usable character. There are 40 trappable villains in the game, and you can switch between one trapped villain and one regular Skylander figure on the fly, adding a tag team element to the Zelda style brawling that's the series' signature.

Toys For Bob is adding 60 new Skylanders as well, including the Trapmasters, a new class equipped with giant weapons made of "Traptanium," the same fictional substance the toys for trapping villains are made of.

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Project Cars takes drivers on 'the ultimate journey' in November


Need for Speed: Shift developer Slightly Mad Studios announced that its sim-styled racer Project Cars is due to hit the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Wii U, and PC platforms in November.

Project Cars demonstrates its slick presentation and advanced damage modeling in the newly released trailer above. Slightly Mad recently announced that Project Cars will be one of the first games to feature support for Sony's upcoming Project Morpheus virtual reality headset.

[Image: Slightly Mad Studios]

Another World rated for current consoles, handhelds in Germany

Eric Chahi's classic side-scrolling adventure game Another World may soon see a re-release across multiple consoles and portable platforms, a recent USK ratings submission suggests.

Another World (released on 16-bit consoles as Out of This World) transports players to a harsh alien planet where they must fend off hostile humanoids and solve environmental puzzles to survive. The game saw an anniversary release on PC platforms in 2010, followed by ports for iOS and Android courtesy of retrogame remastering studio DotEmu.

Another World's ratings submission points to future ports for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and PS Vita, with Digital Lounge listed as publisher. We've contacted DotEmu for more information regarding the listed release.

[Image: DotEmu]

Fan support could lead to SNES, GBA Remix

"If you build it, they will come" doesn't always apply to game development, as NES Remix director Koichi Hayashida recently illustrated. When asked about the possible inclusion of Super Nintendo, Game Boy or Game Boy Advance games in a future Remix game, Hayashida told IGN that "if there's a big enough outpouring of support for these titles, it's something I'd like to take a look at."

Nintendo just launched NES Remix 2, which fared much better than the first game in our review. The first NES Remix arrived in December, though its selection of games was lackluster. Both games approach a collection of classic NES titles in a novel way: by issuing brief mini-game-style challenges. While other Virtual Console platforms like SNES and GBA sound like natural fits for future Remix installments, Hayashida said it still boils down to the question, "Does the marketplace want it or need it?"

"If we get a big enough cry for that, with a lot of people saying, 'Hey, we'd love to see more of these perhaps for the SNES, Game Boy or Game Boy Advance,' then it would be something we can take a look at," he added.
[Image: Nintendo]

Next Fatal Frame to snap ghostly images on Wii U

The next entry in the Fatal Frame series will haunt Nintendo's Wii U console, according to a Famitsu report translated by Gematsu.

Nintendo and Tecmo Koei recently announced the new game, though the two corporations offered no further information on this project. Instead, they used this opportunity to promote a number of multimedia tie-ins tangentially linked to the survival horror franchise, including a novel, a manga and a live-action film from director Mari Asato.

Unfortunately for anyone in North America that's a fan of camera-shy ghosts, it seems unlikely that the next Fatal Frame will ever reach our shores. As Gematsu points out, the prior entry, Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse, made its Japanese Wii debut in 2008, but has yet to be localized for any other region. The 2012 Wii remake of Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly did manage to reach Europe, but it too skipped North America.
[Image: Nintendo]

Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 saves PacWorld later this year

First it was a game, then it was a cartoon, then it was a game, and now it's a game ... again! Don't worry about following that baffling pedigree, all you need to know is that Bandai Namco has announced Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U and 3DS handheld.

Like its predecessor, Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 is based not on the arcade classic that everyone reading this site should be familiar with, but is instead based on the ongoing Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures animated series. As a result, Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 is not focused on maneuvering a ravenous yellow pie chart through a neon maze, chomping pellets, but is instead a platformer where Pac-Man devours Power Berries which allow him to change into special, super-powered forms. Proving how far Pac-Man has come from his origins as an armless, blind eating machine, the iconic character will also be able to pilot a number of vehicles seen in the animated series.

Though Bandai Namco has yet to attach a specific release date to the game, the publisher hopes to debut Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 at some point during 2014, presumably alongside the first episode of the second season of the animated series.
[Image: Bandai Namco]

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NES Remix 2 review: Once more, with feeling

Trial gauntlets like the NES Remix series have a tough balance to strike. They need to nail their core concept – in NES Remix's case, slicing classic games into brief, enjoyable challenges – but they also need to be compelling enough to keep players from saying "I wish I was playing the original." That's exactly what I was saying through all of the first NES Remix, which haphazardly chopped a few of my childhood favorites into anguishing mini-game collections and paired its hack job with a mediocre game selection.

NES Remix 2 is different, though. Instead of making me fumble with dated controls and wonder if anyone truly finds the NES version of Pinball enjoyable in the modern age, NES Remix 2 mostly recalls the highlights of the NES. Exchanging the likes of Clu Clu Land and Wrecking Crew for games like Punch-Out!! and Kirby's Adventure feels like a massive upgrade, and even the inclusion of NES Open Tournament Golf doesn't diminish that.

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UK Charts: Titanfall holds No.1 spot, 2014 FIFA World Cup debuts 2nd

It's been a while since British soccer fans have seen their nations associated with the words "World Cup" and anything even remotely approaching second place - that said, at least England can say it won the damn thing once.

Enough ancient history: 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is the highest-placing new release in the UK this week, but unlike FIFA 14 it only reached second place; that top spot is still held by Titanfall. Maybe the most telling thing is FIFA 14 is only two places behind the World Cup game in 4th, some seven months after it was released.

It's lower down the charts where things get a bit more interesting this week. The physical Deluxe copies of Trials Fusion, which contain the game's season pass, did well enough to see the grueling bike-former debut in 7th place. Meanwhile, you have to go all the way down to 20th to find colorful MMO Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn, which has just made its debut on PS4. On the other hand, Square Enix seemed pretty upbeat about the game reaching 2 million registrations last week, so make of that what you will.
[Image: EA]

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Assassin's Creed series tops 73 million in sales


Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed series reached a total of 73 million in sales according to the publisher's corporate website, which lists its "worldwide best-selling franchises." Assassin's Creed, which has featured six releases in the main series since its 2007 debut and eight additional games on browser and portable platforms, leads Ubisoft's second-best-selling property Just Dance (48 million) by 25 million units.

Assassin's Creed will likely continue to sell by the millions given that the next game, Assassin's Creed: Unity, will arrive on PS4, Xbox One and PC this holiday season. Unity was just announced in March and takes place in Paris during the French Revolution of the 18th century, a setting that was vaguely foretold at the end of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood.

The next three series in the publisher's top five in sales bear the late Tom Clancy's name: Splinter Cell (30 million), Rainbow Six (26 million) and Ghost Recon (25 million). Head past the break to see the rest of Ubisoft's sales list.

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GameStop Easter Weekend sale offers 'Buy 2, Get 1 Free' on used games under $20

GameStop is celebrating spring with an Easter Weekend event, offering a "buy 2 get 1" on a select stock of used games. The promotion begins today at all GameStop retail locations across the United States and online. The deal comes with certain stipulations, however: only games priced under $20 are eligible, with the free title coming at equal or lesser value.

Though the promotion undoubtedly means PS4 and Xbox One titles are off the table, previous generation software is up for grabs. According to GameStop, the company "has recently reduced a large percentage of games from the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 libraries to $20 or less."

The promotion ends on Sunday, April 20.
[Image: GameStop]

New Nintendo eShop releases: Super Mario 3, Golden Sun, F-Zero: Maximum Velocity

Virtual Console games are out in full force this week, with heavy hitters landing on both Wii U and 3DS. The biggest of the bunch is Super Mario Bros. 3, available on 3DS and Wii U. Meanwhile, the Wii U picks up even more Game Boy Advance games with Golden Sun and F-Zero: Maximum Velocity. Starting April 22, LEGO The Hobbit makes the long journey to Wii U as well.

A pair of Ubisoft Wii U titles are also getting a permanent discount on Wii U, namely Assassin's Creed 4: Blag Flag and the excellent ZombiU. Starting April 21, Black Flag drops to $39.99, and ZombiU's price is gnawed down to $29.99.
[Image: Nintendo]

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March NPD: PS4 leads hardware sales, Titanfall rules software

PlayStation 4 console
The PS4 sold more than the Xbox One or any other console in March – making it the hardware leader for the third consecutive month – market research group NPD reports. The Xbox One and PS4 pushed US hardware sales in March up 78 percent from 2013, from $222 million to $395 million. Overall game sales in March were up 3 percent year-over-year.

Five months in, the PS4 and Xbox One are out-performing initial sales of the PS3 and Xbox 360, NPD Group's Liam Callahan says: "When comparing the first five months of sales for the Xbox One and PS4 to their predecessor's first five months, total Xbox One and PS4 sales are up close to 60 percent."

Xbox One has shipped 5 million Xbox One consoles, with 311,000 sales in the US in March alone, Microsoft announced today: "Of course, we're just getting started with this generation and the months ahead will bring several announcements we think you'll love. The team will continue to deliver regular improvements and new features based on your feedback through frequent system updates .... We can't wait to share more games with you in June at E3."

On April 16, Sony announced that PS4 sales had passed 7 million.

Titanfall was the top-selling game for the month, launching for Xbox One and PC on March 11. It is the second-highest selling game for Xbox One after just one month on the market. It was followed by Infamous: Second Son, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Dark Souls 2. See the complete game sales list below. On PC, Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls sold the most on a unit and dollar-amount basis.

Software sales declined 27 percent overall. "Year-over-year sales of every platform declined from March 2013, with the exception of the PS Vita, which saw sales grow due to the release of Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster," Callahan said.

Sales of video game accessories in March rose 4 percent, led by sales of controllers for Xbox One and PS4, NPD says. Other notable accessories included Turtle Beach headphones and headsets for next-gen consoles. Turtle Beach sales grew 50 percent year-over-year.
[Image: Sony]

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Greninja, Charizard fight it out in new Super Smash Bros. screens

Following up on a recent Nintendo Direct feature, Nintendo has released a new set of Super Smash Bros. screenshots showcasing Sheik, Yoshi and Zero Suit Samus alongside newly announced Pokemon challengers Greninja and Charizard.

Nintendo outlined its plans for online play in Super Smash Bros. earlier this month, revealing that gameplay will be split between casual-focused "For Fun" and tournament-styled "For Glory" modes. Nintendo also announced that the 3DS version of Super Smash Bros. will feature a new dungeon-diving Smash Mode that replaces the Wii U's traditional Adventure Mode.

Super Smash Bros. will launch for the Nintendo 3DS this summer. A Wii U release will follow in the winter.

[Image: Nintendo]

Disney Infinity 2.0 arrives this August with Marvel heroes [Update]

Update: D23 has since posted a correction, noting it "erroneously reported about the launch of the next chapter of Disney Infinity" and that the information it provided was incorrect. It added that further information on the future of the series will be revealed on April 30.

Original story:

Disney Infinity 2.0 is slated to launch this August, according to a since-removed snippet from Disney's official fan club site, D23. While the D23 blog entry in question is still available to view, a cached version of it notes that the Disney Infinity follow-up "is coming in August 2014, and a teaser trailer can be viewed at Marvel.com," likely referencing the teaser posted by Marvel earlier this month.

"The teaser promises such Marvel-ous additions to the game as familiar Marvel characters, objects, and vehicles-the possibilities are infinite," the site continued. The previous sandbox-style adventure game from Avalanche Software did wonders for Disney Interactive, driving its revenue to $403 million in the first fiscal quarter of 2014. The company also saw losses in Q2 2013 and Q3 2013 to the tune of $54 million and $58 million, respectively. That led to layoffs in its games and Internet divisions in March that numbered 700, at which point Disney said it plans to scale back annual game output "by as much as 50 percent."

We've reached out to Disney to confirm the release window for Disney Infinity 2.0 and will update as we learn more.
[Image: Disney]

Nintendo turned down Skylanders exclusivity deal

Nintendo reportedly turned down a deal that would have launched Activision's highly successful toys-come-to-life series Skylanders exclusively for the Wii. A report from Polygon on the Toys for Bob franchise notes that, despite Activision's confidence in the product, it was looking for a partner to spread the risks of the venture.

"[Nintendo] spent a long time looking and looking," Toys for Bob co-founder Paul Reiche said. "They were just like 'we have never seen anything like this before.' I've always wondered about the full meaning of that comment [laughs]." Nintendo opted out of making a full commitment to the project, though the two companies did enter a co-marketing agreement for the series. "Clearly, they have got properties well suited to this world," Reiche added. "Why it is that they didn't rush in here will probably haunt them for the rest of their days."

Activision's Skylander series has since surpassed $2 billion in sales worldwide. The franchise has found its way to ten different platforms, including the recently launched Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Though Nintendo would later experiment with a similar game in the disappointing Pokemon Rumble, it would be Disney that would eventually invest in the genre with its Disney Infinity series, leveraging the company's multitude of popular characters.

"Nintendo could have kicked Disney's ass," Reiche said. "If I was running Nintendo I would have jumped on this."
[Image: Activision]

Final Skylanders Swap Force character debuting next week at Times Square

Hundreds of ravenous Skylanders fans will swarm the streets of New York next week to herald the arrival of final Swap Force series character Doom Stone during a special giveaway event at Times Square.

On Wednesday, April 23, the first 500 customers who line up at Toys 'R' Us Times Square will receive a free Skylanders toy and a chance to own Doom Stone before the figure is released to the public at large. Costumed Skylanders characters will also be in attendance, giving players the chance to meet some of their questing buddies in real life.

Attendees are advised not to break costumed employees in half and attach them to other Swap Force characters. They probably wouldn't appreciate that.

[Image: Activision]

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BurgerTime World Tour discounted ahead of delisting on April 30

Publisher MonkeyPaw Games is hosting a last-chance sale on BurgerTime: World Tour this month, discounting the game to just $5 before it disappears from digital storefronts forever on April 30.

Starting today, amateur burger chefs can pick up the Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, and WiiWare versions of the remade arcade classic for $4.99. Alas, even Peter Pepper himself is not immune from the harsh reality of expired licensing agreements, which MonkeyPaw cites as the culprit behind the game's delisting at the end of the month.

Speculation from an anonymous source suggests that Peter Pepper was forced to close up shop by area health inspectors, who objected to his unsanitary burger-stomping ways. Pepper declined to comment when questioned regarding his cooking methods, claiming that the delisting is part of a conspiracy devised by giant sausages and human-sized eggs.

[Image: MonkeyPaw Games]

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