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Published on November 15th, 2014 | by Justin Smith

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Nintendo Holiday 2014 And Beyond Preview Tour

Nintendo has an interesting marketing department. It’s a bit different from everyone else which I think for them has been both their strength and weakness. Everyone remembers the Wii days when everyone thought Nintendo had sunk its ship by going in the opposite direction of its competitors but instead triumphed that entire generation. I’ve written in the past about the Nintendo bus tours, and it made a stop again this November in Phoenix which I was fortunate enough to attend. As said, it’s a different strategy, but I like the idea. They go around the country in a bus full of awesome Nintendo stuff and plant the seeds locally. The Wii U might not be doing the best in sales right now but they might be doing a heck of a lot worse without these folks, because what better way to raise interest in something than show it in person?

Anywho, they showed off a large amount of holiday offerings in the bus this year. Some of which is already out in stores, so I chose to stick with stuff I had not experienced yet. Bayonetta 2 is a recently released title for the Wii U, and anyone who has played the first game will know exactly what it’s like. For those who haven’t, it’s a cult classic by Hideki Kamiya, creator of Devil May Cry. It’s sort of his spiritual successor to the Devil May Cry series as it does play largely the same. But, it’s got its own unique charm to it. Very unique actually and even that might be an understatement. It runs smooth and is absolutely gorgeous, and it takes the craziness to an 11. Maybe even further than that.

I also got to play a bit of Ultimate NES Remix which is sort of a collection of various Nintendo NES titles but with twists. You can play a version of the original Super Mario sped up to two times speed. Or even just try to beat your time in completing the first level of any game. Each title in the Remix has modifiers and challenges to complete so for anyone who experienced the retro days it’s a great way to test your skill. You’ll probably find out you aren’t nearly as good as you were when you were younger, which I learned the hard way.

Probably the star of the show was Smash Bros. for the Wii U. While the 3DS version is currently out and available, the Wii U version is widely considered the “main” version of the game. Smash Bros. has always been best played on a console and this doesn’t change for this version. It looks beautiful in HD and runs incredibly smoothly. Not to mention the Wii U version has its own exclusive levels and game modes. And you can play it with your Gamecube controllers with a USB adapter. I was also shown the Amiibo products, small Nintendo figurines of various characters. They’re of pretty high quality and would be an excellent present for kids who will have Smash Bros. for the Wii U. The trick with the Amiibos is that there’s a small chip in the base of the figure that communicates with the Wii U gamepad. This allows owners to store “their character” in the figure and bring it anywhere they go. Tapping the base on the gamepad loads the character, its stats, and customizations making it feel like their companion. It’s a nifty idea and I think kids will love the sort of thing. It will also work with other titles as well going forward, so there is a reason to collect them all.

With Smash Bros I think Nintendo has a strong holiday lineup. Going back they also have the relatively fresh Hyrule Warriors and Bayonetta 2 to strengthen their lineup. I can definitely see momentum building for them and with more ideas like the Amiibo I think Nintendo is on course for some huge success. I sincerely thank the Nintendo bus tour for the opportunity to look at their products and I commend the strategy. Do more of these sort of things as its something the competitors don’t.

 


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