Category: Nintendo

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My E3 Daydream for Nintendo: BYOSwitch

My E3 Daydream for Nintendo: BYOSwitch

I’ve got two logistical E3 nightmares to tell you about today, one that’s really happening and one that I just dreamed up in response to the former. Further below you can read Polygon’s summation of Nintendo’s elaborate plan to get more people playing Smash Bros. at E3 next month in June. But basically, it involves an email process that starts weeks in advance of E3, to reserve a ticket, for a chance to play one of two versions of the game.

Now for my elaborate nightmare scenario which is much, much cooler. Unfortunately, the linchpin is that we live in a perfect world where wifi isn’t total crap at overpopulated venues. That caveat aside, how amazing would it be if you could bring your Switch to Nintendo’s booth and simply download their E3 demos? I imagine they could hard-code the downloads to destroy themselves after 10 minutes (whether you launch the game or not), disable in-game screenshots and videos, and lock it to your Switch’s MAC address so you can’t repeatedly hammer their wifi to download again. They could even barricade their booth like a Faraday cage so you have to be inside to get connected. Want to play something again? Now you get in line for a demo station.

They’d never loosen the leash like that on super early products, and the technical hurdles would be immense, but it’d be an amazing way to try out Nintendo’s E3 lineup. People would flip out when suddenly they’re playing the latest Smash Bros. or Metroid (or Star Fox Kart?!) with their own hands on their own Switch. They’re already part of the way towards my dream; Nintendo staff will be on the lookout for people playing on their personal Switches and will be handing out exclusive tchotchkes. Just make the tchotchkes a little slip of paper with the wifi password and we’re practically living my dream! Bah. Instead, here’s that boring thing that Nintendo is actually doing:

“To shorten the time fans will need to wait in line to try it, Nintendo invites E3 attendees to reserve play slots ahead of time for just this game,” the company announced. “This should provide fans with a faster, smoother experience so they can play the Super Smash Bros.game and spend more time enjoying the rest of the June 12-14 show.”

Registered E3 2018 attendees will receive information from the event’s organizers starting June 5, in an email that outlines all possible opportunities to reserve play time with Smash Bros. Only those who sign up in advance will be able to play the game at the show; they’ll receive their tickets as a QR code upon successful registration.

The tickets will entitle players to checking out one of two modes: “for fun,” Smash Bros.’ more casual type of match, and “for glory,” which is a heated, elimination-based fight. You won’t be able to choose both, mind you; at the time of registration, you must choose which of the two you’re prepared to try out at E3.

Bloomingdale’s Nintendo Collab Underwhelms and Overprices

Bloomingdale's Nintendo Collaboration Underwhelms and Overprices

Nintenclothes are back in the spotlight with a new collection, this time from Bloomingdale’s. First up, forgive me for being a dude who doesn’t pay more than $25 for a pair of pants when I say wow, these prices: $45 for a fannypack, $50 for an inflatable pool ring, and $200 for a short sleeved shirt. Even if I loved these designs I’d have to stick with appreciating them from afar, and that leads to my bigger concern.

Dana pointed out this collection to me and we both agreed there’s something low-rent about these high-end items. “It’s just pixels and shit” were her exact words, and I can’t deny it on most of these 82 items. I’ll give it to ‘em, they sure made a lot of stuff but some of these designs are barely on par with the fare you can find at Walmart: a pixel heart with the words “Game On” above it in script font, a shirt that simply says “Nice Play” with a heart in place of the ‘A’, and a sweatshirt with rainbow stripes on either side of the word “SUPER”.

Bloomingdale's Nintendo Collaboration Underwhelms and Overprices

P.S. If you bought all three of those you’d be at $385.

Elsewhere there are tops, bottoms, and accessories that barely evoke the concept of graphic design, nevermind a connection to video games or even Nintendo. Rainbow stripes, dual tone stripes, checkerboards, and polka dot patterns are lumped in here as “gamer wear” and priced up to $200. It isn’t all bad though, there a few items I really dig the look of.

Most of the short sleeved shirt patterns are simple but appreciable, with the Donkey Kong design being the most elaborate. These mushroom swim trunks are also pretty good and the black-and-white “camo” version is frantic and rad. The one thing I might actually have bought is this assortment of Sugarfina candies in Mario Cloud, Yoshi Egg, and Strawberry Mushroom varieties. Unfortunately they’re either sold out or include one of the fun animal-derived ingredients that I avoid.

Bloomingdale's Nintendo Collaboration Underwhelms and Overprices

These aren’t so bad… still, it’d be $282.

Personally, of all the unexpected fashion crossovers we’ve seen so far it was Uniqlo that hit the best balance of design and price. Take a look at my last roundup and let us know which was your favorite or if there’s a Bloomingdale’s piece you’re already adding to cart.

Impressions: Style Savvy Styling Star

It’s not that I don’t believe Katy when she says something is good. I do, I swear!

It’s just that a game called Style Savvy: Trendsetters doesn’t exactly… inspire confidence if you know what I mean. Let’s be honest, these games came out during the time when shovelware on the Wii was the norm. The case cover is…less than desirable, to say the least.

I…I don’t want to play this.

This doesn’t look great. But Katy kept going on and on about it, and we have similar taste in games so I figured why not? I looked for it, to no avail. Getting it on sale would have been great, but Katy did me one even better two Christmases ago and sent me a copy to play instead. I tried it out, and amazingly I found that it wasn’t bad.

And then I realized it wasn’t just not bad, but pretty dang good.

When the newest iteration in the series was announced to launch on Christmas Day of last year, I downloaded it immediately. Lately, I’ve been kind of down in the dumps, so I’ve been logging a little more time than I usually spend on games because it’s actually pretty good for my mood. Tiny Cartridge wasn’t wrong when they said it was a “lovely, chill, funny game.” At first, the game was easy. Way too easy, if you ask me. You want a black shirt? A watch? No problem. I’ve got those in SPADES in my closet!

But then the requests started getting a bit more flavorful. They want an entire ‘lively’ outfit. No, no. Not from THAT brand. The other brand. You know, the lively one. And they can’t go outside like that! Didn’t you notice it was JANUARY? Geez. They’re going to freeze to death! (To be honest, I actually love that it takes weather into consideration when you have a customer; it adds a sense of realism!)

Everything is innocuous enough that I haven’t really raised my eyebrows at too much. The characters seem to all be living their best lives, or at least trying to. I’m honestly jealous. For some reason, my clothing choices are helping them attain their lifelong goals of stardom…which is…neat. Neat and great for my self-confidence even when I send them out onto the streets looking like a bedazzled train wreck in twelve different colors. What? I had to make them a ‘rock’ outfit and all I had on hand were primary colors! I didn’t have a chance to go to the exhibition hall yet, so that’s what they get for being impatient! Obviously, a life of fashion is not for me. Not every hobby needs to be a side hustle, after all!

What do you mean I’m not good at this?

I sometimes wonder if this is what it feels like to be a Stitch Fix stylist. Are there any stylists out there reading this that could weigh in? I’d love to know what your day to day lives are like. Like, do you guys have to deal with clients telling you they want shorts but then yell at you for giving them shorts? Sometimes I get frustrated with my clients. Like when they bother me right before I’m ready to go to bed because they want a pair of $3 socks, or when they give me a specified budget of $1,000 (I wish I had that much money to blow on clothing!) and then complain when I put together an $800 outfit. It’s suddenly out of their budget. But again, this game is heavy on the retail realism. I will never work a retail job again as long as I can help it. 

Overall, if you’re on the fence about this game, just pick it up. It’s definitely worth your time and money, especially if you can snag a copy on sale. 

Style Savvy 4: Styling Star is currently ONLY available on the Nintendo 3DS eShop for $39.99. There’s also a demo available.

Aaaaand if you haven’t seen Katy stream the game yet, now’s your chance if you’re curious about the gameplay.

Sony’s Unties label brings Indie games to Mobile, Consoles, PC

Sony's Unties label brings Indie games to Mobile, Consoles, PC

Here’s a little morning irony for you: while one arm of Sony refuses to budge on cross-platform online play in games like Rocket League, another arm is helping bring indie titles to mobile devices, PC, and even the “rival” Nintendo Switch. How’d this all happen? USgamer’s Mike Williams summed it up pretty well this morning:

“Sony Music reached into its animation subsidiary Aniplex to create and publish to [sic] mobile games in Japan: Fate/Grand Order and Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story. The former is a smash hit in Japan and just launched in North America a few months ago. The latter title is also doing really well for Sony Music.”

That surprise success has spawned a new publishing label for Sony Music Entertainment Japan, Unties. The group’s goal is to find and release unique independently-developed games on an array of platforms and not just PlayStation.

“The name ‘Unties’ comes from the thought ‘to unleash the excellent talents of unique game creators all over the world’,” reads the press release translated by Gematsu. “And setting creators free from the various shackles of game publishing, named from the intention of realizing publishing that is freedom of production without restraints.”

It all looks and sounds very fallopian to me and I’m going to have to delve into that through therapy some day but despite my personal hangups, the lineup makes for a diverse start. There’s Tiny Metal, a colorful RTS game reminiscent of Advance Wars which is fitting as it’s the one title announced for the Nintendo Switch as well as PlayStation 4 and PC.

Sony's Unties label brings Indie games to Mobile, Consoles, PC

There’s Deemo Reborn for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR, an expansion of the recent Nintendo Switch version which itself is based on the 2013 mobile rhythm game. Last Standard looks to be a one-on-one fighting game played from the third-person, over-the-shoulder perspective with an emphasis on learning how each weapon functions and how best to dodge, parry, and counter it. No platforms have been named yet but given the action in this brief trailer it could work just as well as a touch-based phone game as a console fighter. Finally, there’s Merkava Avalanche which has been on Steam Greenlight since last November. It’s a peculiar one, looking like a 3D brawler where teams of gold plated, two-wheeled, robotic centaurs grapple and joust against one another in vast environments.

All of this is happening in Japan to start so the details are a little hard to discern at the moment. But the news of Sony publishing games on non-PlayStation platforms couldn’t go unreported, even by this dormant blog.

Nintendo grows its Fashion Brand with Forever 21, Shu Uemura

Nintendo grows its Fashion Brand with Forever 21, Shu Uemura

Now more than ever, Nintendo isn’t just in the business of making video games, it’s a b-r-a-n-d brand, “lifestyle” style. Sure, we had breakfast cereals and Happy Meal toys in the 80’s but even my wildest, sugar-addled hallucinations couldn’t have dreamed up $500 Super Mario cosmetics, Mario Kart bodysuits, Metroid cropped belly shirts or a Game Boy clutch. But that’s the world we find ourselves in, one where Nintendo is reaching just as far into fashion and cosmetics as it does into die-cast cars and action figures.

There’s loads to be said about what this all means to society and our acceptance of brands in place of individual personality but I’ll leave that to people much smarter than me. Instead I’m just going to post another gallery of Nintendo products from Forever 21 and Shu Uemura that I personally thought inconceivable until I saw them. Check it out below and look back on our last round of Nintendo fashions from LeSportsac and Uniqlo earlier in the year.