Recently, Burger King revealed the latest promotion in their BK Crown Kids Meals: The Wii U. I covered the line at Mario’s Hat, but now I’m here to examine these toys a little more closely than what the promotional website allows. It’s three of my favorite things together: Toys, fast food, and video games, so how can I resist?
Incidentally, I’ve not been able to find any Burger Kings carrying the toys until tonight, and they only had two. So rather than wait until I have them all (which may not even happen; we’ll see), I’m just reviewing them as they come. Tonight, it’s the Wii U Sticker Dispenser and a Luigi figure.
The similarity between the four New Super Mario Bros. titles is “intentional,” says Producer Takashi Tezuka in an interview with GameSpot.
“That similarity in the visual style and the control style is all intentional. The things we feel like we’ve already promised the gamer is that Peach will be kidnapped by Bowser, and Mario will move from left to right. We know that’s what people are expecting! [Laughs] We know that there are all types of Mario games, as you said. So for us, with the New Super Mario Bros. series, we don’t really need to mess with it. This is what people want.”
Reading this, I felt a sense of… irritation. Granted, Official Nintendo Magazine‘s take removed the laughter, which changes the tone slightly as they proclaim at the top of their article that “According to Tezuka, his team are giving fans what they want. A 2D platformer in which Peach is kidnapped by Bowser.”
Given the nature of these interviews and how some parts can easily be misunderstood, especially when filtered through other sites, I wonder if I might be reading too much into this, if perhaps he was joking about certain similarities between the games. Despite this, I have decided to run with my initial thoughts.
“What the fans want is a 2D platformer where Peach is kidnapped by Bowser.”
This is only going to get worse before it gets better.
Last week on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, he revealed that one of his guests would be Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime, who would show off the upcoming Wii U! But what is the Wii U? Well, according to Fallon at the start of the show…
This is the new system. You add it to your Wii or you don’t even need to use the Wii. Do you need to use the Wii? You can just use it on your own, but you can also use it with the Wii.
While Fallon seemed uncertain and probably did not help his audience’s understanding of the new product, Reggie would attempt to try to remedy the situation when he appeared later:
Regardless, this cannot be a good thing for the Wii U. The console looks quite similar to the original Wii, enough that the untrained eye might not pick up on the subtle differences. Nintendo even designed the Wii U to sit flat to further distinguish it, but might have sabotaged their own efforts by recently releasing a second version of the original Wii which does the very same thing.
I’m not one who dislikes the Wii U name in itself, but as it stands, it may run the risk of being a little too subtle for uninformed consumers to pick up on. Following others such as CNN and The Wall Street Journal, Fallon’s show is just the latest mainstream outlet to fail to pick up on what the Wii U truly is, and if they are at all reflective of the greater public at large, then Nintendo may be in for an uphill battle to sell its latest hardware with their current brand.
Though I may not have said as much about it here, I’ve made no secret that Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing is one of my favorite games– period. And in the kart-racing arena, I honestly feel that SEGA and Sumo Digital have managed to craft a product which actually surpasses Mario Kart in many ways, chief among them being the actual racing, item use, and how unlockables are earned.
So as you can imagine, I was absolutely giddy when it was revealed that they were now creating a sequel, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. In the following video (with some NSFW language), ConsoleCreature has one of the developers show us what’s new in this version:
We’ve heard about the additions of Shinobi star Joe Musashi and Golden Axe hero Gillius Thunderhead to the roster, but now we get to see them and their rides in action with three of the game’s all-new racetracks: Dragon Canyon from Panzer Dragoon, Temple Trouble from Super Monkey Ball, and Adder’s Lair from Golden Axe.
Here we are, the final console maker conference. Let me start once again with full disclosure: The Wii was my second console after my PS3. I also bought a DS far into its life span, and far after a PSP. There are few games Nintendo itself publishes anymore that interest me and that list does not include the franchise this site takes its name from. In truth, I have always been more attached to Nintendo’s less popular offerings (except Pokémon), including many titles that ended up being one-offs like Uniracers and Stunt Race FX.
While Pokémon is my series of choice on Nintendo’s portables, I gravitate primarily and heavily toward Kirby on consoles. When Epic Yarn was enough for me to take the plunge on a Wii, Nintendo doesn’t need to do all that much to sway me if they have a Kirby game in store. However, they probably don’t. As such, I will need to look at their other offerings and weigh them carefully. I already own two HD consoles, so adding a third isn’t my first prospect.
It’s worth noting that I also have a 3DS, but my interest in the system has been waning for quite some time. Pokémon Conquest, a DS title, is the only 3DS-compatible game coming out soon that I have any interest in purchasing. I will be paying special attention to any 3DS announcements in hopes they don’t drive me to sell the machine.
Much like David, I will only focus on the first two conferences due to them actually announcing new features and games pertaining primarily to the Wii U. The 3DS conference had some interesting apps, but didn’t show any new games. With all that said, here’s the rundown.
And in the end, there was one. And speaking of one, of the big three conferences at E3 2012 this year, Nintendo’s is the only one for which GameSpot requires me to enter my birthdate. Go figure.
So, full disclosure? Well, I’m not sure I really need to– just look at the name and logo for this site. It’s plainly obvious that I am a big fan of Nintendo; I don’t tend to hold it against the other companies (once upon a time, yes, but things change), but there is a certain reliability I feel I can count on with Nintendo. They’re the ones who basically brought me into this whole thing, and my tastes and preferences– old-fashioned as they may sometimes be– no doubt reflect this.
However, I’m not one to unapologetically praise anything they do; if anything, I feel that unwavering praise is the worst thing anyone can offer a company, so I try to call things as I see them. I don’t always agree with everything they do, and often home they’ll rectify things in good order. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. Despite this, they are the ones you might say I feel most comfortable with.
One of the Wii U games shown at Nintendo’s E3 2012 press event was Batman: Arkham City, as per the following trailer:
As early as its reveal at last year’s E3 conference, the question which has passed many lips– including those of my colleague Matt Green at Press The Buttons– is why are they bothering to release this game, a title which will be a year old (perhaps a little more) by the time the Wii U is released, for the platform? After all, everyone who wants to play it already has, right?