Nintendo Mega Bits: January 2021

It’s a new year, we have a new president, but it’s the same old Nintendo.  Months and months have gone by and they keep tight-lipped about everything.  Ok, maybe not everything, but we still know nothing about any long terms plans or big games.  I know they have things in the works.  They gave us a little taste of the future when they teased Metroid Prime 4 and Breath of the Wild 2.  Why won’t they just let us know what we must look forward to in the less distant future?

The obvious answer must be that Covid has thrown the world into a spiral and it has allowed them to get away with keeping their mouth shut.  I am very torn about the new approach of doing these mini directs.  They are fun when they happen but aren’t fulfilling enough.  It’s like being incredibly hungry but only being given one bite of steak.  Even though I am very hungry now, let’s put this pity party on hold and look at what’s going on.

Recently, Nintendo announced that Super Nintendo World would open in Osaka, Japan on February 4th.  Well, not anymore.  Osaka has been placed under a state of emergency and the opening of this amazing theme park has been delayed for an unknown amount of time.  Stupid Covid ruins everything!  This doesn’t really bother me too much because I wasn’t going to Japan any time soon.  One day… one day.

Super Nintendo World might be delayed for an unknown amount of time, but New Pokemon Snap isn’t.  (Nailed that transition!!).  That’s right, Nintendo has announced that New Pokemon Snap will be released on April 30th.  This game is not one that fits into my normal gaming, but something about it is calling to me.  I’m sure I’ll get it and maybe even write a review.

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is one of the only other Switch games that has a release date.  Even though it’s another WiiU port, I am excited to buy it again.  This was the best Mario game of that generation, and now they’ve made it so it can be played with friends online.  Until recently, Bowser’s Fury was a very abstract thing.  It was cool words without actual meaning, but not anymore.

Nintendo finally let the cat out of the bag, and we know more.  It seems that Bower’s Fury takes place on a new set of islands that are peaceful and full of cats.  You make your way through these levels as Mario, and they gave you Bowser Junior as a companion.  In two player mode, the second player takes control of Bowser Junior.  Honestly, this feels about as cheap as having a second player help collect stars in Mario Galaxy.  It’s not all that helpful and not really fun for player two.

While going around these islands, Fury Bowser will randomly appear and wreak havoc.  He changes the way the terrain looks, how the enemies look, and completely disrupts the peaceful life.  It looks like the final battle will be between Fury Bowser and Giga Cat Mario.  I’m sure this will be fun, but it feels a bit like a gimmick.  All the same, I can’t wait to play this next month.

Alongside Mario 3D world, Nintendo is releasing a new Switch model.  Sadly, the only thing different about it is the colors.  Don’t get me wrong, it looks good, but it’s only a cosmetic change.  I understand why they are making this.  Console collectors will buy it to complete their collection.  Some people will replace their 4 year old console with this beautiful version.  This could be what drives some people to buy their first Switch.  It’s great, but I still wish it was upgraded in some way.

Speaking of upgraded versions of the Switch, those rumors have almost come to a halt.  Doug Bowser came out and said that they are not looking at a new version because the current one is still selling so well.  In Japan, the Switch accounted for 87% of new console sales in 2020.  This console is doing so well it makes sense to keep going with it.  Now that we are almost 4 years into the life of the Switch, will we ever see a new model, or will this version keep things going until Nintendo makes a new console?  I guess we will just have to see.

I’ve said it before, but one of the most important things to me would be better joycons.  I have three pairs and they all have drift.  I have fixed them multiple times, but they just end up drifting again.  This has happened to many people and a new lawsuit against Nintendo has come around.  This time, an attorney in Quebec has made a class-action lawsuit that will encompass all residents of Quebec that have bought a Switch, Switch Lite, or joycons. 

I am not an attorney and I don’t know all the details.  I do know that I got over three years of use from my Joycons before drift and that seems reasonable.  Then again, if Nintendo was sloppy in making these, then they shouldn’t just get away with it.  Either way, I hope they come out with new joycons that don’t drift, have better thumbsticks, and a solid D-Pad.

Most months, I like to play an NES or SNES game that’s part of the Nintendo Online Service.  This month’s game is Super Punch-Out.  The original Punch-Out was one of my favorite games on the NES.  That’s not to say I was good at it, but I always loved playing it.  Super Punch-out takes the joy of the original and adds a little extra. 

Besides the improved graphics, the SNES allowed Super Punch-Out to utilize more buttons.   This means the super punch has been moved from the Start button to the more appropriate A button.  Also, your super punch is available when you fill up your meter and you can continue to use it until you get hit.  This can make quick work of the early opponents.  Honestly, these are all minor changes, but I appreciate them.

I assume that most Nintendo fans have played this game at one point or another, which means the only thing to determine is whether people should go back and play it more.  I think this is a retro gem that holds up better than most.  The characters are ridiculous, the gameplay is simple, and the challenge is real.  If you have a Nintendo Online Account, go back and play Super Punch-Out.

Well, Folks, that’s what’s going on with Nintendo.  We don’t have many games coming out and we don’t have many solid rumors.  What we do have is hope for the months to come and faith that the Big N will do us right.  Something big is coming.  Mind-blowing first-party games will be given to us in time.  Just wish I knew when that time would be.

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