Nintendo Mega Bits: May 2020

In a year where two of the three console manufacturers are releasing the next generation, Nintendo needs to work even harder to stand out.  The Switch has been the top-selling console month by month, but there is a very good chance that it will change as the PS5 and Xbox Series X are released.  That is if there are enough of them available at their launches.

I am not sure if it is the time of the year, or if it’s just Nintendo, but there is a real lack of actual news.  With that void in mind, Nintendo fans cling to rumors like a child clings to their belief in Santa.  Many times, these rumors leave us fans crying into our pillows.  All we can do is sit back and hope that The Big N comes through for us.

News and Rumors

What makes the situation at hand worse is that there will not be an E3.  Normally, all Nintendo fans would be sitting back and just waiting to be blown away by the announcement of new games that would win the hearts of the young and old alike.  At this point, Nintendo has said they will not be doing a direct in June.  Does this mean that we will all have to wait yet another month to find out what we will be throwing our money at, or will they just announce games in another fashion?

The rumor that is making most Nintendo fans anxious is that there will be a new Mario Allstars style game being released this year.  The rumors state that it will have a remaster of Mario 64 and Mario sunshine.  Depending on who you listen to, there could be a remaster of one, or both, of the Super Mario Galaxy games. 

The Switch has received a plethora of remasters, but none are as exciting as the thought of playing Mario 64 and Sunshine with better camera controls.  These are some of my all-time favorite games, but I have a hard time playing them now.  I recently booted up both and the controls frustrated me to rage quitting.  Some fans might scream for Nintendo to put the effort towards a new Mario game instead, but I want nothing more than to play these in a modern, and actually playable, way.

There are a couple of reasons to believe that these titles are coming, and one very strong reason to believe they will not be.  On the positive side, it is the 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros.  It is a weird anniversary to get overly excited about, but I guess any excuse will do.  The negative side is that Shigeru Miyamoto (the most important person when it comes to Mario) has previously said that it is not worth the time and effort.  In a 2017 interview with IGN, Miyamoto said, “I don’t really feel like I want to remake any of them. It’s more natural to always create new mechanics and new games.”  I honestly have no idea what to believe.  I’m keeping my hopes high, but I have my pillow standing by to catch my tears. 

Paper Mario To The Rescue

There is one more reason to keep your hope high for the Mario remakes.  At least one of the sources of the rumor also mentioned a new Paper Mario game is coming, and, out of nowhere, Nintendo announces Paper Mario, The Origami King with a trailer.  To add to that excitement, it is coming out in less than two months.  Outside of a rumor source, there was no reason to believe this game was a thing.  I woke up to people talking about it and had to scrub through social media as fast as I could.  What I found was glorious.

My personal history with the Paper Mario series is hit and miss.  Of the ones I have played, I have loved the writing and aesthetics.  The gameplay is always fun at first but often feels too redundant as the game drags on.  I am not the biggest fan of turned based RPGs, so I am sure that plays a role in my opinion.  All of this being said, I am extremely excited for the game and have it preordered.

The trailer for Paper Mario looks amazing.  As expected, the game will be beautiful.  I do not care if the Switch is less powerful than its competition.  Nintendo knows how to make beautiful games.  There seem to be some new mechanics to play with.  This is expected from the Mario teams, and I doubt we will be let down by them. 

As always, Mario will have to save Peach.  I honestly do not see what he gets out of this relationship.  I don’t care if she is the hottest being in the Mushroom Kingdom, or that she is royalty.  She has shown herself to be way too needy.  Anyway, good ol’ Peach looks to be possessed or something and wants Mario to turn into Origami with her.  Mario, with new partner, Olivia must go across an origami world and save the day. 

Can we take a second to acknowledge that your companion will be named Olivia?  I am not sure what name I would have picked for this character, but not Olivia.  Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against that name.  My niece is named Olivia.  It is just not a name for a Mario character.  I am really hoping this is the only real knock I end up having against this game. 

My final thought is just that I cannot wait for the game to come out.  Even if the combat is not exactly my thing, I know the game will be filled with charm.  On July 17th, Paper Mario: The Origami King will be sitting on the shelf next to all my other Paper Mario games.

Last Sad Story

On a sad note, it looks like Retro was working on spinoff games of Zelda and Mario, but both of these have been canceled.  Neither game made it out of preproduction and will never see the light of day.  Concept art showing Sheik, from Zelda, and Boo, from Mario, were recently leaked and look really cool.  I will keep telling myself these were bad ideas so that I am not sad about them never coming to fruition.

Every month I plan to give you recommendations, based on games I have been playing on my Switch.  This month I have to start by telling everyone to go check out the eShop deals section.  I have been amazed by the number of small games that have been on sale for under two dollars.  Believe me, there is something there that you will enjoy and get your money’s worth.

Picross S4

Besides Animal Crossing, which everyone is already playing, this month I dove into Picross S4.  I have only ever played a free Picross game, before this.  I enjoyed it but never wanted to pay for it.  Recently, I decided to give the latest game in this series a chance, and I am thankful that I did.

Picross S4 is a picture crossword puzzle game, developed and published by Jupiter, and is only on the Nintendo Switch.  The game is basically a large grid.  At the end of each column and row, it will tell how many blocks will be colored in, and how they will be grouped.  You just have to follow those guidelines and fill in the picture.  Honestly, I believe it takes trying the game to understand how it works.  Just know the concept is pretty simple.

There are 485 puzzles in this version of the game, which makes this easily worth your ten dollars.  Each puzzle will last less than ten minutes, making it easy to pick up and play when you just have a little time to blow.  This version includes mega picross and color picross puzzles.  Both additions add variety and newer levels of difficulty to the game.

If you have a friend who is into puzzles, you can play this together.  I have not messed with it yet, but it looks like you both just work on the puzzle at the same time.  It seems like a great bonding experience, or it could lead to the end of the relationship.  Either way, it will be a special moment for you and your partner.

Personally, I use Picross S4 as my wind-down game.  Every night, right before I go to sleep, I play a couple of levels.  The game is relaxing, even when I screw up, and the music is very soothing.  If you are looking for a little something extra to take up your time, this is my recommendation.

One other game I dove into this month is Red Wings: Aces if the Skies.  This is a WWI flight simulator, from All IN! Games, with an arcade twist.  The game is great, and I highly recommend it.  For more on this game, check out my review on this website.

SNES

Along with a bigger game, I am playing, I will be recommending a game to check out on the NES or SNES Switch apps.  If you have a Switch, just pay the low cost of the online service and take advantage of these old titles.  Granted, some are not worth playing, but that’s why, month by month, I will let you know which ones you must try out.

This month I urge you to play the NES game Dodge Ball.  I first discovered this game a few years ago when I found it cheap at a swap meet.  In some ways, it is exactly as it sounds.  You are playing 8-bit dodge ball, but there is a twist.  In this game you have special throws you can do that really change things up.

It is not difficult to get the basics of Dodge Ball down, but it will take time to master.  Playing single player allows you to choose a team from one of a few nations.  You are able to swap your player’s positions, which can be important if you know what type of players they are.  From there, you just try to hit the other players without them hitting you.  If you get hit, you lose health, and, eventually, your player looks like he is killed off. 

Multiplayer with a friend is where this game truly shines and playing it on the Switch means you can do it online.  It can get crazy competitive once you and a friend really figure the game out.  I’ve laughed and screamed many times while playing this amazing title.  I understand that your initial thought will be to pass on this, but please do not.  Give this game a try and discover one of the greatest NES hidden treasures.

There are always new games coming to the Switch.  A lot of these seem to be garbage titles that Nintendo just keeps allowing people to throw on the eShop.  My goal is to find one new game coming up, that looks interesting, and let you know why you might want to get excited about it.  Then, in the next Nintendo Mega Bits, I’ll let you know if I was right or wrong about the title. 

Over the next month, some big titles are being released on the Switch for the first time.  The problem is that many of them are quite old.  This includes the Bioshock collection, the Borderlands games, and XCOM 2 Collection.  Honestly, If I didn’t have access to these on other consoles, I would consider them.  On top of this, Xenoblade Chronicles is being rereleased.  This is a title I want to be excited about but can’t.  I have played one Xenoblade game and it did not click for me.

After sifting through the upcoming games on the eShop, Ninjala, from GUNGHOONLINE, looks like the one I am looking forward to the most.  It helps that this game will be free.  From what I can tell from the trailer, Ninjala is a four on four battle game.  It has a look similar to Splatoon, except it seems like the goal is to destroy the other team instead of painting an area.  This is scheduled to come out on June 24th, so it will be a while before I can give any impressions of it.

I would not say that Nintendo had a great month, but it was definitely saved by the announcement of the new Paper Mario.  With Animal Crossing being a game I can play forever, I do not think I will have a problem figuring out what to play over the next month.  As for what is to come, I guess we will just have to hope for some more game announcements to surprise us.

This has been the May edition of The MegaDads Nintendo Mega Bit.  I’ll see you soon with more news, or rumors, or, for the love of God, something.  Just remember, Nintendo fans, the other guys might have  more teraflops, but we can play our games without a TV!!

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