Archive for the ‘Nintendo’ Category

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Nintendo of America HQ Visit 2014

Saturday, September 6th, 2014
P1040272 Our other stop on our 1200+ kilometre trip to Redmond, WA was of course Nintendo of America HQ.  Unlike Microsoft, Nintendo doesn't except casual visitors of any kind on their property.  We were able to catch a few rare pictures when we showed up and no one was home on Labor Day, but when we went back to try to talk our way into the company store to buy some rare swag we were (fairly politely) told to get the crap out of there because they have a "closed campus".  All we managed to snag was one of the business cards they have at their reception desk.  We can only hope that Nintendo rethinks their current PR policy at their headquarters some day and once again lets people in to buy cool rare Nintendo stuff.   [gallery link="file" ids="3921,3922,3923,3924,3925,3926,3927,3928,3929,3930,3931,3932,3933,3934,3935,3936,3937,3938,3939,3940,3941,3942,3943,3944,3945,3946,3947"]

Official Wii U GCN Controller Adapter Announced

Thursday, May 29th, 2014
wii-u-gcn-adapter Even though we reviewed an excellent Wii remote GCN controller adapter not to long ago, Nintendo has gone and made them largely useless by announcing that they will make a GameCube controller adapter and limited edition Smash Bros. branded GCN controller available so that we can continue to play Smash Bros. as it was meant to be played. No details yet on its price or release, but we'll keep you posted on any other information Nintendo releases about it.  You can see the video they made to announce it here.

Smash-Fest @ Best Buy Canada Locations

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014
Super-Smash-Bros.-Smash-Fest-Best-Buy1 Best Buy has released a list of the Canadian Best Buy locations where lucky gamers will be able to play the new Wii U Smash Bros. well before it comes out.  You can check out the list of dates, times, and locations below or go to the announcement page here for more information. June 11:
Province City Store Name Address Time
QC Quebec Quebec City 5401 Boulevard des Galaries 4-9pm
NS Halifax Halifax 11 Washmill Lake Drive 4-9pm
ON Mississauga Mississauga 1-6075 Mavis Rd 4-9pm
AB Edmonton Edmonton South 9931-19th Ave NW 4-9pm
ON Scarborough Scarborough 480 Progress Ave 4-9pm
AB Calgary Deerfoot Meadows 300-8180 11th st SE 4-9pm
MB Winnipeg Winnipeg 10-1580 Regent Ave W 4-9pm
AB Edmonton Edmonton North 13924-137th Ave NW 4-9pm
BC Vancouver Cambie 2220 Cambie St 4-9pm
ON Barrie Barrie 100 Mapleview Dr 4-9pm
ON Brampton Brampton 451-25 Peel Centre Dr 4-9pm
BC Surrey Surrey 2153-10153 King George Hwy 4-9pm
QC Montreal Marche Central 8871 De L'Acadie Blvd 4-9pm
ON Kingston Kingston 770 Gardiners Rd 4-9pm
QC Anjou Anjou 7200 Blvd des Roseries 4-9pm
QC Lasalle Lasalle 7077 Boul Newman 4-9pm
QC Pointe-Claire Pointe-Claire 6815 Trans-Canada Hwy 4-9pm
SK Saskatoon Saskatoon 20A-3310 8th St E 4-9pm
ON Kanata Kanata 745 Kanata Ave 4-9pm
ON Toronto Bay and Dundas 65 Dundas St W 4-9pm
ON London London 1080 Wellington Rd 4-9pm
BC Burnaby Metrotown 4805 Kingsway 4-9pm
   June 14:
Province City Store Name Address Time
QC Quebec Quebec City 5401 Boulevard des Galaries 12-5PM
NS Halifax Halifax 11 Washmill Lake Drive 12-5PM
ON Mississauga Mississauga 1-6075 Mavis Rd 12-5PM
AB Edmonton Edmonton South 9931-19th Ave NW 12-5PM
ON Scarborough Scarborough 480 Progress Ave 12-5PM
AB Calgary Deerfoot Meadows 300-8180 11th st SE 12-5PM
MB Winnipeg Winnipeg 10-1580 Regent Ave W 12-5PM
AB Edmonton Edmonton North 13924-137th Ave NW 12-5PM
BC Vancouver Cambie 2220 Cambie St 12-5PM
ON Barrie Barrie 100 Mapleview Dr 12-5PM
ON Brampton Brampton 451-25 Peel Centre Dr 12-5PM
BC Surrey Surrey 2153-10153 King George Hwy 12-5PM
QC Montreal Marche Central 8871 De L'Acadie Blvd 12-5PM
ON Kingston Kingston 770 Gardiners Rd 12-5PM
QC Anjou Anjou 7200 Blvd des Roseries 12-5PM
QC Lasalle Lasalle 7077 Boul Newman 12-5PM
QC Pointe-Claire Pointe-Claire 6815 Trans-Canada Hwy 12-5PM
SK Saskatoon Saskatoon 20A-3310 8th St E 12-5PM
ON Kanata Kanata 745 Kanata Ave 12-5PM
ON Toronto Bay and Dundas 65 Dundas St W 12-5PM
ON London London 1080 Wellington Rd 12-5PM
BC Burnaby Metrotown 4805 Kingsway 12-5PM

Canadian Mario Kart Event on May 24th

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014
mario-kart-8-canada-best-buyNintendo is having an event in Canada to promote Mario Kart 8 by letting you play it almost a week early from 12:00pm - 4:00pm on Saturday, May 24th at Best Buys across the country.  The selection of Best Buy locations hosting the event is a little smaller than it was for last year's Best Buy Nintendo E3 Experience, so check them out here to see if you can satisfy your need for karting speed a little early.  Check back here on the 24th for some videos/pictures showing off Mario Kart 8 in action.

FC30 Bluetooth Gamepad [update]

Saturday, October 19th, 2013



Manufacturer: 8Bitdo
Current Retail Price: $39.95

Few people know that 2013 marks the 30th anniversary of the release of the original Famicom system in Japan.  To commemorate this occasion 8Bitdo (who are in no way affiliated with Nintendo) have released a bluetooth gamepad that looks a lot like the first player controller from the system that rang in the modern age of console gaming.  While at first glance their commemorative unit looks spot-on, is it really a worthy tribute to Nintendo's first major home console or is it just one of the thousands of cheap forgettable electronic devices that flood the market every year trying to make a quick buck on nostalgia instead of paying proper tribute?  Read on to see if we think the FC30 is nostalgic or catatonic.


When we received our FC30 unit I was immediately impressed with the above-average care that went into the design of the device from the packaging to the unit's build quality.  There is raised ink on the front of the box and the unit comes packaged in much the same way as any higher quality electronic device on the market today.  The gamepad itself is built on the outside to the utmost standards and more or less feels exactly the same as a classic Famicom controller excepting of course the extra X, Y, L & R buttons.  The D-pad performs in much the same way as on the classic controller and the Start/Select buttons are even rubberized like they used to be.  This outward quality also applies to the extras included in the box.


In addition to the bluetooth gamepad your $40 nets you three bonuses (pictured above): a surprisingly high quality metal FC30 keychain, a mini-USB cable that is crimson/white following the Famicom-based colour scheme, and a similarly themed stand for Android/iOS devices called the Xtander that comes clipped to the gamepad.  These bonuses help lessen the impact of the otherwise high price for a bluetooth gamepad and when considered along with the overall build quality they make the FC30 an impressive package at face-value.

The functionality of the device unfortunately leaves something to be desired, though.  There are currently five different modes that the FC30 can be booted into which are detailed in its online manual (you don't get any instructions in the box): Bluetooth Gamepad, Bluetooth Keyboard, iCade, Analog touch screen, and Wired.  Of these modes I was able to test four and of those four I can only vouch for two working properly. 

The Bluetooth Gamepad/joystick mode, which is supposed to work with Windows and Android platforms would not work properly with the Windows 8 computers we tested it on.  The FC30 would either connect and then only register random button/mouse keypresses (which are nigh on impossible to map for any proper use) or just fail to show up in the Bluetooth device list altogether.  The Bluetooth keyboard mode was much the same.  Listed as working with Windows, Android and iOS, only Windows was able to find the device (we unfortunately don't have an Android device at our disposal for testing, but it does seem like the primary platform recommended for using this device).  Again the button functionality in this mode was virtually unmappable and thereby practically useless for gaming purposes.  The unit was detectable in OSX in keyboard mode, but yielded similarly arbitrary results to the point of uselessness.

The iCade mode did, however, work like a charm with our iOS devices.  Just pair the controller in iCade mode with your iOS device and any of the 200-or-so apps compatible with iCade controllers work wonderfully (we tested Swordigo, Pix'n Love Rush DX, and Super Mega Worm to name a few).  The included Xtander also comes in very handy when playing games in this way.  The FC30's Wired mode for Windows worked perfectly too, providing regular mappable buttons like any wired PC gamepad and thereby providing a robust solution for controlling a variety of programs.  The "Analog touch screen" mode is only available for Android and jailbroken iOS platforms and is supposed to emulate touchscreen presses further expanding the game compatibility for the device, but since neither of such devices were available to us we cannot comment on how well it operates in the wild.

While device compatibility isn't currently one of the FC30's strong suits, 8Bitdo was wise enough to include firmware updating functionality.  Using an Android, jailbroken iOS, or Windows device you'll be able to upgrade the gamepad's firmware if they ever decide it needs some patching.  This leaves room for expanded Windows/OSX compatibility as well as possible compatibility patching for iOS 7, which is said to natively support bluetooth gamepads now.  Even though it seems that the FC30 was designed largely for Android gamers running emulators, it's worth it to note that Game Usagi does not condone nor recommend the use of unofficial emulators/ROMs on any device, so if you get a FC30 we suggest using it for nostalgic above-the-board purposes only.


There have been a few firmware updates since our initial review so we decided to check back in with the FC30 and see if some of our bigger qualms with it (like compatibility issues with Windows and OSX operating systems) have been addressed.

First off we used Windows 8.1 to run the firmware update utility available on 8Bitdo's website, we ran into a small issue of the update utility not recognizing the FC30, but it was our fault for not following the directions exactly.  When updating the firmware on an FC30 be sure to hold Start+L+R before you plug the gamepad into the computer.  (We kept doing it afterwards and were wondering why it wasn't being detected by the program.)

Luckily enough, after updating to firmware v1.3 we were pleasantly surprised to fine that both Windows 8.1 and OSX 10.9 were able to easily detect and pair with the controller when it was in "bluetooth keyboard mode" (remember if it asks for a pair code just put in "0000" as with most other bluetooth devices).  All of the games we tested it with were able to happily assign actions to the keys and it worked just fine.

One minor issue we did notice as we were playing games for longer periods of time with the FC30 is that the D-pad tends to get a little slippery after a while so you may find yourself wiping the controller off more than you think you should when playing for extended periods.  That minor gripe aside, it's great to see that the crew at 8Bitdo are committed to supporting their device and ensuring that it works as well as possible.  With these new developments we've updated the score we gave the FC30 in a couple of categories to reflect how it operates with this newest firmware.


A review unit was provided to us by the gamepad's manufacturers.

Nintendo Direct – Oct. 1, 2013

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013


Nintendo had new Nintendo Direct conference today, here are the of the highlights straight from their press release.  You can watch the presentation in full at Nintendo's YouTube channel here.

Wii U News

·         Super Mario 3D World: The game contains a ton of fresh power-ups, like cherries that allow players to duplicate their characters, in addition to the series-first Cat transformation. A new website for the Nov. 22 game has launched. Visit it here:

·         Super Smash Bros.: Sonic is confirmed as a playable character in the upcoming fighting game, which is scheduled to launch for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS in 2014.

·         Pikmin 3: The game is getting a free software update (broadband Internet access required) that provides players with a new Mission Mode stage. Other new Mission Mode stages are now available for the game as paid downloadable content. Additional downloadable stages will become available for purchase in the future. The game update also improves the global ranking feature, allowing players the ability to see the world’s highest scores at any time. Learn how to get the update at

·         New Wii Remote Plus Designs: Nintendo fans will have their choice of a Mario-themed controller or a Luigi-themed controller. These controllers will launch on Nov. 1 at a suggested retail price of $39.99 each.

·         Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games: The game launches exclusively for Wii U on Nov. 15. For the first time in the Mario & Sonic series, players from around the world can take the action online and compete with others from around the world (broadband Internet access required). Four events are playable online: Ski Cross, Snowboard Cross and Short Track Speed Skating, in addition to Winter Sports Champion Race, a Dream Event that combines Skiing, Ice Skating, Bobsleigh and Snowboard into a single event. Every time players win a medal in online game play, they will win points for their home country. The points can be viewed through persistent online rankings. The game will be available as standalone software in the Nintendo eShop and in stores for a suggested retail price of $49.99, or bundled with a Wii Remote Plus controller (which is required for some events) at a suggested retail price of $59.99.

·         Wii Party U: House Party mode places the focus on the Wii U system’s GamePad controller and couples its use with the Wii Remote controllers in unique, engaging and social ways. In Water Runners, for example, players scoop water from a stream displayed on the GamePad and must skillfully carry the water to a pitcher displayed on the TV. The game launches Oct. 25. The physical version of the game includes a Wii Remote Plus controller and the new Horizontal Stand for the Wii U GamePad, which allows players to use the GamePad in a more balanced and comfortable fashion with GamePad-exclusive Tabletop games such as Tabletop Baseball.

·         October Third-Party Releases: Key third-party releases for Wii U in October include Just Dance 2014 from Ubisoft (Oct. 8), Skylanders SWAP Force from Activision Publishing (Oct. 13), LEGO Marvel Super Heroes from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (Oct. 22), Batman: Arkham Origins from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (Oct. 25), Sonic Lost World from SEGA (Oct. 29) and Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag from Ubisoft (Oct. 29).

·         Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze: In order to deliver the optimum gaming experience for fans, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze will now launch in February 2014. Developed by Retro Studios, the series’ first Wii U installment stars Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong as they go head-to-head against invaders from the northern seas who have taken over Donkey Kong Island. Featuring intense side-scrolling action with dynamic camera angles, cooperative play for up to two players and beautiful HD graphics, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is the coolest Donkey Kong Country adventure yet.


Nintendo 3DS News

·         A New Kirby Game: A new side-scrolling installment in the Kirby series launches in 2014, and features Kirby moving not only from left to right, but also from the foreground to the background. Kirby also gets an “inhale everything” ability that can be used in specific parts of each stage to help him clear anything blocking his path. More details about this game will be available in the future.

·         The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds: Many of the most essential items in the game will be available early on at a shop run by a new character named Ravio. Ravio lets players rent or buy items before they head off to their next dungeon adventure, meaning players will have more freedom to explore dungeons in the order they want. The game launches in stores and the Nintendo eShop on Nov. 22 at a suggested retail price of $39.99.

·         Bravely Default: This highly acclaimed fantasy role-playing game developed by Square Enix introduces a new battle system, bringing deep, strategic combat to Nintendo 3DS. Bravely Default will launch in the first quarter of 2014, and will feature an updated UI system and new content not included in the original Japanese release. A new trailer providing an updated look at the game is now available at, and in the Nintendo eShop.

·         Animal Crossing: New Leaf: The Nintendo Direct video offers owners of Animal Crossing: New Leaf a QR Code featuring a pattern of the shirt that Link wears at the beginning of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD. Players just need to go to the Able Sisters shop in their towns and ask to use the sewing machine. Then they can scan the QR Code with their Nintendo 3DS systems to get the in-game shirt. Fans who want to access the QR Code can view the Nintendo Direct at and pause the video during the Animal Crossing: New Leaf segment.

·         Exclusive Nintendo Zone StreetPass Offers: A previous Nintendo Direct announced that Nintendo 3DS owners who have enabled the StreetPass feature and visit Nintendo Zone locations would receive StreetPass data from the previous visitor. Later this month, owners will receive data from the last six visitors, making it even easier for them to maximize their connections. Throughout 2013, Nintendo is offering free exclusive content to Nintendo 3DS owners at Nintendo Zone locations, including:

o   Available now through Oct. 14: Fedora Chair furniture for Animal Crossing: New Leaf owners. A Sushi Platter will become available starting on Oct. 15.

o   Additional content for Mario Kart 7, Kid Icarus: Uprising, Super Mario 3D Land, as well as special Gold Pants Mii character distributions, will become available later this year.

·         October Third-Party Releases: Key third-party releases for Nintendo 3DS in October include Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl from ATLUS (Oct.1), Skylanders SWAP Force from Activision Publishing (Oct. 13), LEGO Marvel Super Heroes – Universe in Peril from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (Oct. 22), Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (Oct. 25) and Sonic Lost World from SEGA (Oct. 29). In anticipation of the game’s Oct. 24 release, a demo version of Nintendo eShop exclusive Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies is available for download in the Nintendo eShop.


Additional Information

·         Wii U System Update: A new Wii U system update is now available for download. The update delivers the ability to output audio and video to the GamePad in Wii Mode, a more streamlined experience when adding Friends and other improvements. For a full list of changes, please visit

Hiroshi Yamauchi Dies at 85

Thursday, September 19th, 2013


Long time president of Nintendo Hiroshi Yamuchi died today at the age of 85.  Even though he stepped down as president to make way for Satoru Iwata in 2002, he had remained on the company's board for the rest of his life and can in part be credited for Nintendo's meteoric rise to the top of the video game industry.

He had his ups and downs as Nintendo's president, introducing essentially all of the classic games and systems we know and love he was also responsible for Nintendo's still archaic approach to the Internet and non-game media like movies and music.

Any way you look at it, he was a very rich an influential man throughout his life.  He was able to pave the way for Mr. Iwata to take Nintendo in strange new directions that would forever change the gaming landscape.  Rest in peace, Yamauchi-san and our condolences to his family and the Nintendo company for their loss.

Best Buy Nintendo Experience E3 2013

Friday, June 14th, 2013

We attended the Nintendo Experience event at our local Best Buy yesterday and took a few videos/pictures for you to show you what it's all about.  Basically, you come and schedule a time with one of the games with a Nintendo rep and then collect yourself some swag of varying impressiveness (from cool Luigi hats and coins given only to the first couple people to show up down to brochures, Mario Kart flags, and Wii U/Animal Crossing New Leaf pins).  Check after the jump for more videos and pictures!

Last but not least, here are a couple of pictures from the event:

[gallery columns="2" ids="3338,3336,3337,3339"]


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