Author Topic: January 2016 Preview: Paper Jams, Exploration, and Amiibo  (Read 1025 times)

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Offline NWR_Neal

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January 2016 Preview: Paper Jams, Exploration, and Amiibo
« on: January 11, 2016, 04:06:14 AM »

Neal and Donald look at the month ahead in Nintendo.

To preview the rest of January 2016, Neal and Donald chatted back and forth about what they’re looking forward to and what they expect out of the first month of 2016.

Neal Ronaghan (NR): January is usually a slow month for Nintendo, and January 2016 is no different. Still, the end of the month has a few launches of note. Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam is the biggest one, but I can't say I'm jumping for joy for it. The word from the European and Japanese release back in December is that it's a little less talky than Dream Team, but overall mostly more of the same. How are you feeling on Paper Jam, Donald?

Donald Theriault (DT): It's not the game I'm most hyped for this month, but I'm intrigued by it. A less talky Dream Team might be something worth finishing, and I bought a Dr. Mario for it (on sale). Honestly, I'm just wondering - or hoping - if Mario and Luigi RPGs are like Star Trek movies where every other one is really good.

Worst comes to worse, it's better than Sticker Star.

NR: That's for damn sure. I think, at least for me, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam is coming out at the perfect time because not much else will be out around then and I'll be dumb enough to buy it even though I likely won't play that much of it. It happened with Bravely Default at launch, though I actually went back and played a bunch of that game later that year and loved it. So maybe that's the best case scenario?

The other major release in January is Final Fantasy Explorers, which I'm extremely stoked for. As near as I can figure from the time I spent with the Japanese version, this is basically Final Fantasy meets Monster Hunter. That's right in my wheelhouse. What about you?

DT: Explorers didn't have blowaway reviews in Japan, but from what we've seen I'm definitely down for it. I'm trying to convince a friend that Final Fantasy is worth pursuing, and maybe giving it to him in a Monster Hunter format might be the way to go since he put 150 hours into 4 Ultimate.I'm down for rocking giant Malboros or any other monster they want to throw at me - just as long as I don't summon Lightning. (Though she's a little tied up with Louis Vutton right now...)

NR: Well then maybe we can slay us a Ramuh together online.

The only other major release - at least in North America - is Lego Marvel's Avengers. It exists like because it's a property that Warner Bros. can't squeeze into Lego Dimensions. I actually played some Lego Marvel Super Heroes and enjoyed it. It's a Lego game, but if you're into Marvel things, specifically the movies, Lego Avengers should be a fun romp.

There is a Japanese release that looks cool, though. Hyrule Warriors Legends comes out on 3DS there two months before the slated March release in America. You excited for that one?

DT: Sadly, Lego and comics is the center in a Venn diagram of apathy for me.

I'm going to be really curious about how Hyrule Warriors converts to a handheld, especially since they're doing real-time character change. Trying to cram a musou into a handheld, especially the older model 3DSs could be a recipe for disaster. But if it runs well, I'm gonna beat up so many mobs with Linkle - and it'll be nice to play with the Wind Waker characters. But for January, it's mainly "how much is Japan rioting" for Legends.

NR: Yea, I've heard some buzz that the old 3DS (non-New?) struggles to run Hyrule Warriors Legends. I'm confident it'll run great on the New 3DS, but I wouldn't rule out the possibility that it's a slideshow on older models. I might wind up seeing how that is, though, because my Japanese 3DS is an original model. Part of me feels like importing it will be a science experiment to see how frustrated I can get by a console-sized square peg being forced into an old handheld round hole.

But when it Legends hit America? Well, I have a New 3DS and that dang game is something I'm very hyped for. Wind Waker is, emotionally, my favorite Zelda game, and the fact that I can raise hell as Toon Link, Tetra, and the King of Red Lions makes me very excited. Also Linkle. Linkle looks rad as hell.

That's about it for new releases that we know of. We do have some Amiibo coming out this month, though. I just bought my Shovel Knight today. Any Amiibo you're planning to get?

DT: I so want a Shovel Knight, but here's what happens when I try to add him to my cart at a major retailer, it doesn’t seem to work. Thankfully, I have an Amazon preorder for him, this is just a backup because the Canadian release date is basically "who the hell knows" at this point.

As for the rest of them, I'm already down for a Lucas, because maybe my buying his amiibo is what pushes Mother 3 onto the Virtual Console in North America by the end of June. I thought about getting Mr. Resetti momentarily as a gag gift, but I can probably wait until he hits $7 like Nook did. No real interest in the rest. I gather you're down for Lucas as well?

NR: I'm down for Lucas with bells on, though I've been lethargic about pre-ordering. Amiibo in general have been so easy to get by me that I haven't worried much. One day it'll bite me in the butt, but it probably won't for Lucas.

So, for the rest of January, what news or possible Nintendo Directs do you think will occur?

DT: There's two major games that are missing North American release dates and are theoretically 1st half games: Bravely Second and Pokkén. I'd say we're looking at a date for at least one of them, if not both. Whether that's in a Direct format... it's hard to say. A final push for Paper Jam wouldn't hurt, but they may want to save that shot for next month with Fire Emblem Fates.

I think the news will be quiet, though some analyst will probably state the obvious about NX and get pages upon pages of comments. I wonder if Nintendo's ramping up the Virtual Console stuff to at least play catch up to Europe, since we got the Zapper trio already this month. (If Drill Dozer doesn't hit here soon, I swear...) Other than that, maybe an indie release date or two and the question of "what's the final free Splatoon content to be free" seems to be on the table.

Do you think we see any more content for Splatoon after the free stuff ends? And if so, do they put it behind another round of amiibo, or sell it directly?

NR: Nintendo's said as much, but I think the free Splatoon content is truly done at the end of January. It's been a hell of a run.

I never thought of more Amiibo unlocking more content in Splatoon, but I think that's a very viable option. For the way Splatoon is designed, paid DLC might not work too well. Locking stages behind cash screws up the way the online functions, and I doubt weapons and gear would draw too much interest to lose the good will of "it's all free!"

My Nintendo Direct sensors are pointing towards "February" as of now, but we'll probably get some burst of news before the end of the month, even if it's just a final salvo for Paper Jam and a little bit more on Fire Emblem Fates.

Indie-wise, I'd love to see Hive Jump or Kerbal Space Program launch, but I have a feeling they might be hitting in February or March. I do believe Renegade Kid submitted Mutant Mudds Super Challenge recently, so maybe that's a late January release.

DT: I think if they did some more challenges based on the Splating and Slosher types, they could tie it to Callie and Marie amiibo and print money. Especially in Japan.

You pretty much hit on the Nindie stuff I would expect soon, but I really hope Nintendo gets behind Kerbal. It's gotten a lot of attention on end of the year lists, and it's probably the closest thing we'll get to the PC experience. The only issue is that unlike say, Shovel Knight it's a later release from PC and hitting the current-gen consoles simultaneously so it may not be as feasible.

NR: Well, that just about does it for our January 2016 preview chat. We'll (likely) do this again in February. Donald - is there one thing you're looking forward to that's on the horizon? For me, I'm getting jazzed for replaying some re-released games - namely Pokémon Yellow and Twilight Princess.

DT: In the immediate future? Fire Emblem Fates. All of it. (Casual Birthright in the streets, Phoenix Conquest in the sheets.)

Neal Ronaghan
Director, NWR

"Fungah! Foiled again!"