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Pre-loading coming to Wii U with Super Smash Bros., to 3DS next year

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U will feature pre-downloading when it is released later this year, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said during a briefing today. "The 'pre-download' system is a system in which consumers who have purchased the game before its release can download most of the game content in advance," he explained. "Using this system, consumers will not have to wait for a long time to download the game after its release. They will then be able to start playing the game by only downloading a requisite minimum amount of update data." Pre-loading will be available for the game both by purchasing it online through certain retailers and by purchasing download cards at stores and then entering the download code at the Nintendo eShop in advance. "Consumers will not be required to...
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Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata returns to work following surgery recovery

Nintendo chief Satoru Iwata is back at work following his recovery from a surgery in June to remove a tumor in a bile duct, reports Reuters. Presenting the company's quarterly earnings, Iwata said he felt healthy enough to fully return to work, although he has lost weight since the operation. Earlier this year he talked about his surgery. "In general, it is said that a bile duct growth can be difficult-to-treat, partly because of the difficulty of detecting it early. In my case, luckily, it was detected very early and I had no symptoms. I was counseled that removal at an early stage would be the desirable medical option. Therefore I had surgery last week, and I came through it well, as predicted." Iwata is likely to find his inbox full as he addresses the many challenges facing...
Cover Story
Issue 01

Oct. 27, 2014

The Plan to Reinvent Call of Duty

Go behind the scenes to see how Sledgehammer Games spent the past three years building Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

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How Nintendo inspired Anita Sarkeesian

Anita Sarkeesian is one of gaming's most prominent commentators, critiquing its propensity for misogynistic and exclusionary portrayals of women, through her series of video documentaries, Tropes Versus Women in Video Games. In the New York Times today, she writes an opinion piece on her own relationship with games, set against the backdrop of the death-threats, harassment and hostility she has received since her videos appeared, and particularly during the GamerGate internet campaign. The Wii reignited my interest in gaming Sarkeesian talks about how she begged her parents for a Game Boy, back when she was a child, but faced resistance from her mother, who viewed the handheld games machine as something that was not for girls. "She thought it was a toy for boys. And could I really...
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Check out Mario Kart 8's tribute to Excitebike

The Mario Kart series is no longer bound by the constraints of the Mario-verse. With Mario Kart 8's downloadable content, the franchise is plucking the best from Nintendo's other series: The Legend of Zelda, Animal Crossing, F-Zero and — as Nintendo shows in a new trailer for Mario Kart 8 — Excitebike. The Excitebike Arena course is part of the first batch of Mario Kart 8 DLC, which hits Wii U in November. The course will have randomized ramps and speed boosts, the location of which changes every time you play (with the exception of Time Trials). Mario Kart 8's first pack of DLC adds Link (and his sweet custom motorcycle), cat-suit Peach and tanooki-suit Mario as playable characters. In total, the pack adds four vehicles and eight tracks. A second DLC pack, which includes Animal...
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Why Mario's creator decided to start making little movies

Shigeru Miyamoto, the legendary creative force behind many of Nintendo's most famous characters and games, premiered his latest project at the Tokyo International Film Festival last weekend — but it wasn't a video game. Pikmin Short Movies runs 23 minutes and tells three stories — "The Night Juicer," "Treasures in a Bottle" and "Occupational Hazards" — based on the video game series that most recently appeared on Wii U in 2013. According Miyamoto, he's long considered creating cartoons based on Nintendo characters. He decided to do so now because it's not so different than making games. Must Read Shigeru Miyamoto on Nintendo's innovative past, unsteady present and optimistic future "I haven't moved over [from game development]. But as computer graphics have gotten...
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Your Pokémon dreams of sleeping on a Snorlax can be real

Pokémon fans who often wonder what it would be like to drift to sleep on a Snorlax's stomach can now make their dreams come true — for a couple hundred dollars. Seoul-based Etsy user Catherine Kim sells customized characters beds in her online shop, using a teaser pic of a Snorlax paw as the display photo. While it looks like this particular Snorlax bed has been sold, Kim writes that she will create bed shapes to buyers' specifications — all they have to do is buy loose cotton and stuff the bodies themselves to desired firmness. Alternatively, the 33-pound Pikachu bed pictured below is available for 39,800 yen (about $371 USD) from Japanese online store Mercari. We're not sure how big Pikachus tend to get in the wild, but if you like the idea of snoozing on top of a giant one, then...
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Train Super Smash Bros. amiibos, get the girl?

Nintendo shared a new video on its YouTube channel detailing how amiibo figurines will work with Super Smash Bros for Wii U... albeit in a very roundabout way. The video above tells a story of unrequited prepubescent love. In an effort to impress the girl he likes — an older woman who appears to be a friend of his siblings — one kid drags his mom to the video game store to get his very own amiibo. He settles on Mario, and hilarity ensues. The following training montage paints a pretty clear depiction of how players can use these little figures. Placing them on the Wii U GamePad allows you to use them in-game, and frequent use allows you to level them up. But does he get the girl? Watch until the end to find out. Amiibo figures will cost $12.99 and launch alongside Super Smash Bros....
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Nintendo confirms 8-player mode in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U will allow for eight-player simultaneous play, Nintendo confirmed today. In a Nintendo Direct video (below) the company unveiled a host of features for the game. "In a major first for the franchise, a special mode lets eight players fight simultaneously in local multiplayer," stated the company. "This option appears only in the Wii U version, and lets players compete on even larger stages to accommodate all the characters." This option will only be available on "certain stages" and is not available online. Those larger stages were created in order to accommodate the larger numbers of players. The new Nintendo Direct looks at specific new sections in the game, compared to the previously released 3DS version. Nintendo Direct also talked about extras like...
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Watch Mario tear up the track in a tanooki suit in Mario Kart 8 DLC

A new Japanese trailer for Mario Kart 8's upcoming DLC offers a look at tanooki suit Mario, cat suit Peach and the Yoshi Circuit track. The pack, which includes the aforementioned characters and Link, is expected to launch in November. Yoshi Circuit is one of eight new tracks; it was first introduced in Mario Kart: Double Dash. The DLC will also add four new vehicles, including Link's Master Cycle, and be available for $7.99. Check out the trailer above for a look at the new content. The DLC was announced in August, along with a second pack expected to launch in May 2015. Pack 2 adds Animal Crossing's Villager, Isabelle from Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Dry Bowser, four vehicles and eight tracks. For more on Mario Kart 8, read our review.
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Hyrule Warriors will get support for Nintendo's amiibo figures

Nintendo is adding another game to the list of Wii U titles that will support its new line of toys, called amiibo: Tecmo Koei's action game Hyrule Warriors. On Twitter, Nintendo of America confirmed that the Link amiibo would be compatible with Hyrule Warriors, but offered no details on how the two products would work together. "Stay tuned for more info," the company said. In Nintendo's upcoming fighting game Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, players can use amiibo toys to create, battle with and level up custom fighters. Other titles confirmed to support amiibo include Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Mario Kart 8, Mario Party 10 and Yoshi's Woolly World. The toys will also work with Nintendo 3DS software. The Link amiibo will be released as part of the toy line's first wave on Nov. 21,...
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Smash Bros. Wii U Nintendo Direct scheduled for Thursday

The next Nintendo Direct presentation will be Thursday and it will focus on Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, highlighting "50 new things," about the game, Nintendo announced. The event begins at 6 p.m. ET It remains to be seen what new things haven't been announced already for the brawler, which launches on Nov. 21 for Wii U (it's already out on Nintendo 3DS). The Super Smash Bros. listing on Amazon last week let slip that the game will include a stage creation mode and a board game mode that aren't present in the 3DS edition. Master Hand, longtime final boss of the series, and counterpart Crazy Hand also are expected to make a return to the series, setting up challenges for players to complete. For more on Super Smash Bros., see our review of the 3DS edition of the game.
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Super Smash Bros. Wii U may have stage creation and board game modes

An update to the Amazon listing for Super Smash Bros. on Wii U suggests that the title will include a stage creation mode and a board game mode not present in the 3DS version. The listing mentions both the Master Hand — a longtime final boss of the Super Smash Bros. series — and Crazy Hand, the more erratic and unpredictable counterpart to Master Hand first introduced in Super Smash Bros. Melee. It looks like one of the new modes will include both Master and Crazy Hand setting up objectives for players to complete. Not much is revealed about the board game mode, other than that it will be competitive. "Whether you're creating stages on the GamePad, competing in challenges crafted by Master Hand and Crazy Hand, or outwitting your opponents in a brand new board game mode, there's no...
Quality Control
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We talk about our Bayonetta 2 review on our podcast Quality Control

In each episode of Quality Control, Polygon managing editor Justin McElroy talks to a critic after they review a new game and allows them to add a little bit of extra context and insight. Why did they feel the way they did? What do they wish they had been able to discuss in more depth in their review? Also: Did they play it wrong? In this episode, we talk with Arthur Gies about his review of Bayonetta 2 which you can find right here. We'd love to know what you think in the comments below! Read the review Subscribe to the podcast (RSS) Subscribe on iTunes Email: qualitycontrol at polygon dot com Music: Goodwill by The Custodian of Records
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Legend of Zelda's Aonuma wants Link's motorcycle in more games

Eiji Aonuma, veteran director and producer on The Legend of Zelda franchise, wants to work Link's new Mario Kart 8 motorcycle into more of his games, according to a post on Miiverse. Nintendo revealed the Master Cycle yesterday, a motorcycle tailored to suit upcoming challenger Link in Mario Kart 8's first downloadable content pack. The pack, slated to launch in November, includes Zelda's green-clad hero, cat-suit Princess Peach and tanooki Mario as a playable characters. Fittingly, the Master Cycle bears some resemblance to Link's longtime horse companion Epona; Nintendo also commented on how the bike packs "plenty of horse power." This morning, Aonuma posted on Miiverse a few more details on the bike — "literally a horse of steel." The bike was designed to allow characters to make...
Culture
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Nintendo nostalgia gets creepy in this text adventure

Everyone had that one friend during their childhood. That one special little guy or gal who had all the coolest toys and gadgets as soon as they came out. The one friend whom everyone would constantly bully into hosting sleepovers so you could play their Nintendo 64 or Sega Dreamcast. Then finally one day they came into school boasting they had caught Mew in Pokemon Red, and jealousy reared its ugly head. Disbelieving, indignant, you confronted your friend. How do you get all these games? Where the hell did you get Mew? Why are you such a boastful jerk? Our gifted friends always seemed to have the same person on their side: An uncle who worked at Nintendo. As adults, we know now that our little friends were full of crap and lied to feel superior. Chances are, their parents were just...
Culture
5 Comments

Carve a Luigi Death Stare pumpkin for Halloween with this pattern

If you want to carve the Luigi Death Stare from Mario Kart 8 into your pumpkin this Halloween, this link has the pattern for you to use. It's one of a baker's dozen of pop-culture patterns for pumpkins this year. HalloweenCostumes.com puts them out annually as part of a big promotion for the biggest month on its calendar. The gray area is where the orange rind is peeled off but the shell is left intact. White is left untouched. Black is a full cut through the rind, which in this case deepens the spoooooky spoooooky glare of Luigi's death-filled eyeballs. The full-sized pattern is here. Other patterns include the Doctor Who Tardis (which looks incredibly complicated), Rocket and Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy (ditto — in fact most people would probably ask who that is...
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PSA: You can now purchase and pre-order Nintendo eShop games on the web

Nintendo 3DS and Wii U owners in North America now have the option to purchase and pre-order digital games via the web and send the download to their consoles, similar to Microsoft's browser-based Xbox Games Store and the Sony Entertainment Network store. According to posts pointing out the service on NeoGAF and Tiny Cartridge, the service extends to a select number of games, all of which are Nintendo-published titles. These include Hyrule Warriors, Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Here's how it works: when purchasing a game via Nintendo's website, select the "Buy Digital" option. You'll be asked if you'd like the download code to be sent directly to your Wii U or 3DS. A Nintendo Network ID is required for this to work. Additionally, Nintendo is...
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Check out Link's sweet ride in Mario Kart 8

Link from The Legend of Zelda is making his way to Mario Kart 8 this November as part of the game's first downloadable content pack — which also includes cat-suit Princess Peach and tanooki-suit Mario. He'll also get a ride suited to his particular style of travel in what Nintendo is calling the Master Cycle. Nintendo revealed the Master Cycle this morning, saying the gorgeous new motorcycle has "plenty of horse power." The first of two planned add-on packs for Mario Kart 8 comes to Wii U next month, adding new characters, new vehicles (including the F-Zero-inspired Blue Falcon kart) and new tracks. A second add-on pack is scheduled for May 2015. It will include Animal Crossing's Villager, Isabelle from Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Dry Bowser, four vehicles and eight tracks. Here's more...
News
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Super Smash Bros. director teases two new modes for Wii U version

The Wii U version of the latest Super Smash Bros. title could launch with two more new modes, if a post on Miiverse by series director Masahiro Sakurai is anything to go by. On Nintendo's social networking service, Sakurai posted what looks like a screenshot of Super Smash Bros.' modes menu. The top left identifies these as single-player stages, while the image in the middle shows the famous Master Hand boss and two different modes: Master and Crazy, both with what looks like a second word blurred out. "Now, what mode is this...?!" Sakurai wrote coyly. In the past, Sakurai has made frequent use of Miiverse to tease new Super Smash Bros. content and explain the reasoning behind certain design choices. It is plausible that this most recent tease carries some weight. Super Smash Bros. f...
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Local multiplayer achieves peak madness in Runbow, a 9-player frenzy for Wii U

The thrill of local multiplayer, notably explored recently in the likes of Samurai Gunn, Nidhogg and TowerFall, is going to an extreme with next year with Runbow. The multiplayer game, a competitively running and platforming game, pits up to nine players against each other in fast, frenzied battles to the death. Toronto-based developer 13AM Games brought the maniacal fun of Runbow to this weekend's Indiecade festival in Culver City, California, drawing big crowds. On hand was the game's Run mode, in which nine players sprint from one side of the screen to the other, punching each other and hopping from platform-to-platform along the way. The twist in Runbow comes from its use of color. Colored gates, platforms and other obstacles are strewn throughout each level. They come in green,...
Video
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Killing so many angels in so many ways in Bayonetta 2

Bayonetta 2 is really great about doling out rewards for just about everything you do in the game, from exploration, to combat trial speedrunning to angelic evisceration. Want weapon, costume and upgrade unlocks tossed at you, in beefy piles? You've got it. It's just one of the ways Bayonetta 2 expands on the core tenets of its predecessor: Elements like bonkers set pieces, winged horses made out of ceramic faces and what could safely be described as an unrelenting torrent of gratuitous butt close-ups. Check out the Overview above to see Bayonetta 2 in action, and read our review to hear how all these disparate tastes taste together.
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