Another Nintendo Direct?! 😱


Nintendo revealed several 2018 games, as well as made announcements for 2019! Animal Crossing? Luigi’s Mansion? Who would have made those predictions?!

“Exit the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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Fate of 3DS Determined Scott’s Thoughts

For some time now, fans of Nintendo have debated what should be done about 3DS:

“Just let it die.”

“Leverage the fanbase! Make more exclusives!”

“KILL IT! KILL IT NOW WITH HOLY FIRE!”

In the March 8th Nintendo Direct, the Big N made their intentions clear:

3DS will continue to receive ports and remakes into 2019.

Absolutely perfect for the younger generation who aren’t old enough to have played the originals.

Captain Toad, Sushi Striker, Luigi’s Mansion, Mario & Luigi, not exclusives. All playable elsewhere. It services the install base but doesn’t lock out gamers who have moved on.

Can You SteamWorld Dig It? (Switch)


SteamWorld Dig is a revolutionary indie game that took the 3DS eShop by storm. Now it’s back in high definition on Nintendo Switch, ready to be taken anyway or taken in on the big screen. This game features Rusty, perhaps the most beloved SteamWorld hero. This is Simeon’s first time taking to the dirty, dank underground caverns. How will he fare?

“Exit the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Games I Refuse to Buy on 3DS Scott's Thoughts

There are a few great games coming out on 3DS lately, which is sad.

Why is it sad that stellar software is being brought to a Nintendo platform? Well—because it’s Nintendo’s “old” platform. The Switch owners’ sentiment is largely we’ve moved on. Bring the game to Switch.

3DS is now a low-resolution, outdated, clunky, extra-device-with-battery that needs to be charged… And I can’t bring myself to buy games for it. Here’s what I’m missing out on:

  • Detective Pikachu (this game isn’t even in three dimensions for goodness sake!)
  • Mario Party: The Top 100
  • Rhythm Heaven Mega Mix (even though it went on sale for 50% off to try and entice me even more)
  • Mega Man Legacy Collection 1 & 2
  • BoxBoy sequels
  • Chicken Wiggle

Thankfully, some of the above items are confirmed Switch ports. The rest, I can only hope.

For Real Though—The Joy-Con IR Sensor?! Scott's Thoughts

$50. That’s how much it costs to buy half a controller in the Nintendo Switch era.

Don’t get me wrong! I like the Joy-Con. They’re packed with a lot of technology with plenty of inputs, HD rumble, NFC read/write, and weirdest of all: an IR camera.

This useless feature was announced in January, and was shown off with the ability to detect rock-paper-scissors motions.
I don’t know about you, but I can play rock-paper-scissors in real life, and I’m not particularly eager to face off against a computer opponent.

Oh, and I can’t forget the 1-2-Switch implementation in Eating Contest, which totally works and no one is ever frustrated with.

Sigh.

As usual, Nintendo went overboard and had one too many ideas with their new hardware. The Wii Classic Controller clip comes to mind.

Infrared has been used successfully on Wii, for pointer controls, and on 3DS for amiibo accessory connectivity. This is not one of those times.

Prove me wrong, Nintendo! Your move.

Where the Metroid Series Needs to Go Scott's Thoughts

Samus has been all over the galaxy, answering distress calls everywhere from overrun space stations to giant baby bottles.

Her contemporaries (Mario and Link) have had huge shake-ups in their respective series, much needed to avoid fatigue and bring something fresh. Where does Samus need to go from here?

Earth.

Samus needs to land on planet Earth and defend it from invading aliens.

That’s how this series can mature and raise the stakes all in one fell swoop. It’s great that she’s a solitary and silent hero, and I know the Metroid series is lauded for its isolation and atmosphere. But…

We can’t just keep fighting Ridley and Space Pirates over and over, acting surprised when the Metroid race is not extinct (again).

The entire game doesn’t have to be set on Earth, either. She can speed off in her gunship to stop a planetary attack from being launched—that kind of thing!

I don’t expect a monumental shift like this to occur in Metroid Prime 4, because that wouldn’t be a logical way to proceed after the trilogy. However, the Metroid franchise will need to take a big step sooner or later.

Although this series of games was born at the same time that most of Nintendo’s IP were created in the NES era, Metroid titles always sell surprisingly low compared to their peers. The Big N needs to shake things up and attract mainstream attention to this series, or it will probably always exist in a state of sales flux with long periods between sequels.

Metroid could also benefit from dropping the “Metroid” name. It’s weird to have a franchise named after a common enemy (like Goomba Odyssey or Bokoblin of the Wild) and only serves to box in the developers’ creativity.

But now I’m just talkin’ crazy.

The Devolution of Paper Mario Scott's Thoughts

I remember being drawn to the first Paper Mario like a magnet.

It was in a video rental store, and I saw the N64 cartridge sitting on the bottom shelf. I didn’t know why Mario was paper, or why it was turn-based, but I immediately brought it home.

Of course, an RPG like Paper Mario can’t really be explored and beaten during a rental period, so I ended up buying it. I had to! The story, the characters, and the gameplay were so compelling that I had to see the adventure through to the end.

The Thousand Year Door was a beautiful follow-up on GameCube, which I first laid eyes upon at a WalMart. It was one of those demo kiosks where you had to stare up at the ceiling and snap your head backward to see. It continued the wonderful characterizations, thickened the plot, and introduced exciting new transformations for Mario that shook up the gameplay.

Super Paper Mario was memorable. Although stripping out the beloved traditional RPG elements, the game introduced a compelling tale of love and tragedy, alongside an interesting 2D-to-3D mechanic.

And then it all went downhill.

Unique, lovable, captivating characters were replaced with gimmicks of stickers and paint.

This image sums it up well.

The modern entries have their own merit, and bring some amount of charm. But along the way, the franchise lost focus. Paper Mario became more about churning out a quick win for sales and marketing than it was about world-building.

It might have been when the father of Mario gave the Sticker Star team these directions:
There were two main things that Miyamoto-san said from the start of the project—”It’s fine without a story, so do we really need one?” and “As much as possible, complete it with only characters from the Super Mario world.”Iwata Asks

Miyamoto was wrong.

The Copious Console Color Curse Scott’s Thoughts

If you’ve ever bought a Nintendo handheld, this has happened to you: you saved up, bought your system, and seemingly the next day Nintendo releases the hardware in a different color.

This is becoming a problem for Switch owners as well. Early adopters had the choice between grey or Neon Joy-Con, but little did we know that Nintendo would release not one but two console bundles with exclusive controller colors… in just over 6 months!

It’s just common practice for the Big N. They revitalize sales by injecting new collectible colors into the market.

People say that the install-base for 3DS is 60-70 million. It’s not.
That’s how many systems have sold, period, not unique users.

The question becomes, when do you buy the system? When do you wait for a different color or edition? Galaxy, Samus, creamsicle, you name it… it could be on the way; right around the corner, three years from now. Or never.

Lucky for you, I have the perfect answer!
Oh wait—no, I don’t. It’s entirely subjective, but here’s what I personally like to do: as an early adopter, purchase one of the first editions. Skip all the other bundles and plastic dyes until the actual internal hardware is improved.
For example, I bought the original blue 3DS (the one that looked like a tiered cake). I didn’t upgrade until the New 3DS XL was released (and no, they haven’t convinced me to downgrade to any model of 2DS).

In a perfect world, Nintendo would handle this a lot differently. See, releasing the best stuff midway into a platform’s lifecycle is bad for your early adopters. It teaches fans the lesson “always wait to buy—the best is yet to come.”

To combat that: release all the best editions at the start. Make them “limited,” invite the masses onto the platform and let them choose from many different configurations. Once early adopters have been satisfied, narrow down the offering. Make it simple and easy for latecomers to choose a SKU.

The objection here is that console launches are hard, and releasing multiple colors complicates the production and fulfillment side of things.
I acknowledge that, but Nintendo already has production issues, so why not work on those and kill two birds with one stone?
They need to start sitting on inventory until they have enough to appease day-one buyers anyway. A conversation for another day.

I propose a method that will reward Nintendo’s loyal customers, not punish them and teach them to wait and buy.

Being a Nintendo Fan on a Budget

Some of you, the Crew, may have noticed that I am usually a little behind the times when it comes to my hardware library. If you were to ask me what I have been playing recently, you will probably catch me talking about Smash Bros. or about an older handheld title. It is an interesting dynamic, keeping up on current Nintendo news and zeitgeist, while not updating my Nintendo library alongside other Nintendo fans.

But I know it is not just me that has a hard time keeping up with Nintendo’s ever-expanding hardware and software library. I would like to start a discussion here on being a Nintendo fan on a budget. I want to keep it practical and easy, and I will kick it off with a few of my own tips and tricks.

Manage your Expectations

Before we get to practical application, we have to begin with the proper mindset. As I said before, Nintendo never stops making great consoles and games. It is not possible for pretty much any Nintendo fan to acquire everything they put out, much less spend quality time with each game. Not only can the quantity be overwhelming, but, just like it would be with any other hobby, playing video games is expensive. It may be true that gaming now is more affordable than ever, but that does not change the fact that even (most) gamers have bills to pay.

Also, refuse to get caught up in “must-play” mentality. It is fine to set goals of games you want to eventually play, but, as I have gone on record saying, do not let other people dictate the games you play. Just because a game is “10/10” or a “classic” does not mean you have to play it to be a Nintendo fan. Do not feel pressured into playing a game. It is likely you will not enjoy your experience, and the anxiety to acquire and complete that title is not worth it.

Bum Off your Friends

This is one I do a lot. There are some titles that are worth owning, and you and a friend each have your own copies. Often times with fighting games and other competitive games, you will want a copy for yourself to be able to play and improve at your own pace. Many other single-player ventures, however, can be experienced once through to satisfy your need. In these instances, it is handy to have a friend that can lend you the game and/or system. It is how friendships should work.
(Okay, maybe “bum off your friends” is a little over the top, but it gets my point across.)

Scott has lent me games on numerous occasions, and I have lent him some of my own things as well. Reciprocation is a healthy way to build a friendship. Often Scott will be too busy to play for a month, so he will allow me to borrow a game for that period. Currently, my wife and I are enjoying the SNES Classic. Later on, he just might have a problem that I’d understand. We all need somebody to lean on.

Check Pawn Shops

Now, no matter where you go, new equipment and games will probably cost you a few coins. But, if you have managed to manage your expectations properly (see what I did there?), you will not be driven by your need for the new stuff. This is where you have a decision to make: do you save up some money and/or wait for the new stuff to come down in price, or do you go for the bargain old junk at the pawn shop or eBay? Nintendo has so many classics to explore for the systems that you already own, and they can be more than reasonable in price.

Also, with pawn shops, you never know what you will find. Maybe you will run across a rare gem that would be exorbitantly priced elsewhere, or you might find a game that looks cheesy and bad for twenty-five cents, take it home, and make a new memory of the terrible piece of trash you found. You could even find a reasonably-priced old Nintendo console, allowing you to retread the glory days of your childhood, or see what gaming was like when your parents were kids.

Of course, if you want to get really edgy…

Foray into Non-Nintendo Fare

*Gasp!* Say it isn’t so! Am I suggesting you play something on a non-Nintendo console? Of course! If you have never owned a Sega console, pick one up at a local thrift store or pawn shop. I can recommend several titles, if you need any assistance digging for gold. All sorts of retro consoles wind up in second-hand stores, or in your uncle’s closet; grab one and try it out! Games can be cheap, and it exponentially broadens the field of games you can play. If anyone knows the value of playing retro games (even on non-Nintendo consoles), it is the staff here at Two Button Crew.

I hope this article has been an encouragement to you, especially if you are on a tight budget. You are not alone, and you can enjoy new experiences no matter your financial plan.

Goodbye, Stereoscopic 3-Dimensional Gaming Scott’s Thoughts

I’m one of the first people to happily wave goodbye to the 3DS.

It’s low-resolution screen looked behind-the-times the moment I laid eyes on it on launch day.
However, there is one aspect of its visuals which I will miss: glasses-free 3D.

Nintendo pulled something incredible off by releasing the only mass-market device employing the technology.
Personally fine-tunable by a slider, no less!

The company also made a wise move in never requiring 3D visuals to advance in any games, ensuring those too young, who had eye problems, or just preferred flat images, weren’t forced to see in 3D.

But boy was it helpful.

Super Mario 3D Land, for example, is a fantastic title that takes full advantage of the unique screen hardware.
I have a harder time lining up precise jumps on my Switch.

Stereoscopic 3D, I‘ll miss you.

TBC 005: Metroid: Samus Returns

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Samus is making a comeback! After a decade of misfires, the bounty hunter has returned to the starring role. This 3DS exclusive came out of the blue at E3, and a few short months later, was delivered to us along with amiibo figurines and special editions. After all the surprises and fanfare, how does the game hold up? The Two Button Crew hosts are here to discuss the controls, music, challenge, gameplay, and progression.
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“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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Do I NEED This?: A Gamer’s Guide to De-Cluttering

Recently I have been looking to downsize my video game collection. I am giving away and selling some old consoles, games, and accessories (blasphemy, I know). The fact is, I am a pack rat, but there are just some games that I do not play anymore, and I need to do some de-cluttering. I have had to think long and hard before I made the really difficult decision to toss some of the games in my closet, but the experience has been a freeing one. Not only do I have less “junk” lying around the house, but I no longer feel bound to my possessions, which is extremely freeing. So, if the thought of getting rid of a single game in your collection has you mumbling incoherently in the fetal position, let a fellow gamer lend you a hand.

These are the questions I ask myself of each game/piece of equipment I come across in my sorting adventures.

Do I even like this game?

I have a hard time getting rid of any game. I see that, as a thing, it has to have some sort of monetary value. I purchased it (or it was a gift to me), and, therefore, somebody spent good money on this! I cannot just throw it out, can I?

Well, it turns out I can. I do not really care for sports games, though my older brother did. I have cut a good portion of my clutter size down by being honest with myself, saying, “He might have liked this, and I might have had a good time or two, but I would rather be playing something else if I had the choice.” Remember the good times, but do not be afraid that your memories will fall out of your head if you get rid of something.

I almost wish I had kept this game it was so bad.

Does it work?

This is a similar question to the one above but is usually in reference to hardware. We either think, “I put money/time into this, even though it is broken.” Sometimes we try to rationalize, “I am going to get this fixed, someday!” even though you have no intention (much less the time or money) to actually fix it. I am not saying that broken equipment never has enough sentimental value to keep it solely “for old times’ sake”, but, like with bad games, if the memory is that important to you, it will not go away because your busted GameCube is in the dumpster.

How long has it been vs. how long have I had it?

This one is extremely practical. I have Wii games that I have had for years but never play anymore. They are going out with my next batch of games to be pawned at a small, but reasonable price.

Some games I have, though, just have not been given the chance to outstay their welcome. On one hand, I have hardly played Super Smash Bros. for 3DS since the release of the Wii U version. On the other hand, the game is only a few years old, and I have not had the chance, necessarily, to go “back” to it yet. Maybe I will want Smash Bros. on the go sometime soon. If I am asking myself that in ten years, however, I might have to take a second look.

There is another side to this, of course. Scott has been in the mood to sell his games soon after purchase because he does not see himself returning to the title. He gets the biggest bang for his buck by reselling right away, as opposed to seeing the game collect dust, and trying to get rid of it after the game is out of date.

Do I have this game in a more convenient form (Virtual Console, collections/anthologies, etc.)?

“But this is the original NES cartridge! Playing it on a modern console, even though it has been perfectly faithfully been ported, is just not the same!” This is one that, as a pack rat, I have had to wrestle with constantly. I am getting rid of many of my NES cartridges because I have them on collection elsewhere. Yes, this even includes some of my original series Mega Man games (but not my world record Mega Man 6 cart. That thing is getting framed or something). Collections are not only a great way to make accessing your games more convenient, but they also pave the way to downsizing, which is a good thing.

Is this an outdated version?

This question does not apply to most genres, as, usually, each version of a game brings something completely unique to the table. Fighting games, on the other hand, are often outdated by the next version. Is Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 REALLY worth keeping when you have the Ultimate version? Sure, there is a UI difference, but balancing patches and new characters have just made the update a better game. Let it go.

Do I have alternative console methods?

Because I have a Retron 3 I will probably be getting rid of my NES and SNES. The only downside to saying goodbye to them would be my inability to use my wireless NES multitap (though, if I got a wired one, my problem would be no more).

Retrons and similar consoles allow for ease of access and space saving. Retrons even allow you to use the original console’s controllers.

Also, you might have access to an emulator, like a Raspberry Pi. Not that I am advocating illegal emulation. Or admitting that I use my Raspberry Pi for emulation. I am not.

… Admitting it, that is.

These are some of the considerations that I used in sorting through my video game collection. Take it from someone who has been there: the process may be difficult, but the rewards are well worth it. Tune in next time as we discuss proper console dusting techniques!

Future of 2D Metroid, Wii Shop, Mega Man?!


In the first-ever installment of Live Show News, we’ve got our crystal balls out to talk about the ~future~ of video games! Wii Shop Channel? Mega Man? 2D Metroid? It’s all here, and discussed by Simeon and Scott!

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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Metroid: Samus Returns Gameplay + Impressions (PAX 2017)

We got a lengthy hands-on with Samus, but you only have to wait a few days to take a copy home yourself!


#594 – Metroid: Samus Returns is almost upon us! Before you take the game home on Friday, take a look at our footage. Don’t worry – we adjust the camera a few times so you can get a closer look. It actually plays really well, and looks so much better in person. The 3D is great, each area is like a little window into the alien planet. And the animation is top-notch. See for yourself!

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Predicting The Final 3DS Games (Before it Dies)

But what we really want is Face Raiders 2, of course.


#592 – 2011 is the year Nintendo 3DS launched, followed quickly by Wii U. Nintendo’s home console floundered and died while their revolutionary portable thrived, building up an amazing catalog of games and huge install base worldwide. Finally, in 2017, it appears that the system is winding down and coming in for a landing. As such, we started to think about what its final games would be, and we’ve made this list for your viewing pleasure!

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

What’s Gotta Happen with Mario Party?

Maybe Mario party 15 will finally be good at this pace!


#591 – Mario Party is a floundering series. Numerous sequels hit store shelves in regular intervals, and Nintendo has been experimenting lately with its formula, hoping that the next game would be the one to solve the series’ declining popularity. Unfortunately, Nintendo has yet to strike gold since basically Mario Party 3 on the Nintendo 64. Simeon and Scott are here to diagnose the problems and figure out what Mario needs to do in order to get back to partying in earnest!

Footage credit: NintendoMovies | TheRunawayGuys | SullyPwnz | WiiLikeToPlay

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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TBC 003: Remakes & Remasters

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Our August 2017 podcast lands closeby the release of some key remakes – Metroid: Samus Returns, and Mario & Luigi for 3DS. This is the perfect opportunity to take some time and examine the practice of remastering and rereleasing old games. What do we think of the process? What’s important in a remake? And what are the best ones? We wrap up with some requests specifically for Nintendo to bring back some of our favorites with a fresh coat of paint.
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“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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BWAAAAH! (“History of Raving Rabbids”)

Mario + Minions: IP Battle


#585 – Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle hits store shelves (and eShop) today! To celebrate this monumental partnership with Nintendo, we’re looking back on where the Rabbids came from. Their humble origins started with an Ubisoft launch game on Wii, and they’ve skyrocketed to success ever since. Come for a trip down memory lane with us!

Footage credit: Bryce Games

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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Nintendo World Championships 2017

Do you want to be… the VERY best?


#579 – Nintendo World Championships are returning – completely out of nowhere! Not during E3, not for the launch of a game (that we know of), just randomly. And the qualifiers begin soon! Simeon is here with his new dog Buttercup to discuss the event’s return and its odd choice of preliminary game, Mario Kart 7. What do you think – are you excited to watch the event? Let us know!

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Which Button Am I Pressing? (Blindfolded!)

You’re really pressing my buttons.


Are you so familiar with Nintendo controllers that you could recognize individual buttons without looking?! That’s exactly what Simeon and Scott are attempting today, while blindfoldedly shoving fingers into gaming input devices. Who will win?

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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