Welcome to Cover Art! A section of the site where we look at a retro video game’s box cover art and briefly discuss it’s gameplay and legacy.
Super Mario Kart was both developed and published by Nintendo for the SNES. Directed by Super Mario World & Pilot Wings staff, it was released for the US in 1993.
Easily one of, if not the best racing game for the Super Nintendo, Super Mario Kart pits your favorite Mario characters against each other in crazy races. Super Mario Kart was notable for it’s blend of cartoon styling and early 3D graphics utilizing the SNES’ Mode 7 graphics effect. It also allowed players to use power ups which ranged from weapons to speed boosts inside various familiar and new race courses. Since then it’s continued through a series of sequels on various Nintendo consoles, except the Wii U (cheap shot, I know).
The 60 year old developer who brought us Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong has been thinking about his retirement. But not in the short term; rather he’s been trying to prepare Nintendo for when he does retire at some point in the future.
In an interview with Gamespot, Shigeru Miyamoto says, ”This year I’m past 60; I’m going to be turning 61 this year. So for me to not be thinking about retirement would be strange. But in fact, the number of projects I’m involved in–and the volume of my work–hasn’t changed at all.”
He continues, “Instead, what we’re doing internally is, on the assumption that there may someday be a time when I’m no longer there, and in order for the company to prepare for that, what I’m doing is pretending like I’m not working on half the projects that I would normally be working on to try to get the younger staff to be more involved.”
“And this actually has nothing to do with any kind of retirement planning or anything of that sort. It’s really more of simply the fact that people have a tendency, certainly when you’re in an organizational structure, they have a tendency to always look to the person that gives them direction. And really, for a long time I’ve been thinking that we need to try to break that structure down so that the individual producers that I’m working with are really taking responsibility for the projects that they’re working on.”
“And as I like to say, I try to duck out of the way, so that instead of them looking at me, they’re looking at the consumer and trying to develop their games with the consumer in mind rather than me in mind. So it’s really more of looking at this as sort of an opportunity to really try to help develop them and bring them up.”
So he’s not done just yet, but he knows there will be a time when he does leave. Fortunately, it looks like he’s trying to cultivate the younger talents at Nintendo. That says a lot about the man, Shigeru Miyamoto; he’s more interested in the continuation of Nintendo than just his own legacy.
If you want some entertainment, check out the original article on Gamespot for hilarious comment wars.
Nintendo dished out a bit of love to its fan this Valentine’s Day, with a brand new Nintendo Direct showcasing some up and coming games for both the Wii U and 3DS. Quite a bit of first party offerings, all slated for release this year were unveiled and most were even given solid release dates. As usual three separate Nintendo Directs were made for the regions of North America, Europe, and Japan. What we have to offer you is a breakdown of the Juiciest Segments, and the need to know info for the Nintendo Fans out there.
Iwata kicked things off this year wearing a green Luigi hat, and announcing that 2013 would officially be “The Year of Luigi”. Basically, there are quite a few games slated for release starring Mario’s timid sidekick brother this year.
Shigeru Miyamoto himself discussed the upcoming Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon for 3DS which is set to release this March. Two previously unannounced 3DS games starring Luigi were also shown off, Mario and Luigi: Dream Team and Mario Golf: World Tour; both are slated for release this summer. The final game in the “Year of Luigi” portion of the Nintendo Direct was not an entirely new game at all. Rather it’s a DLC reimagining of the already released New Super Mario Bros. U, titled New Super Luigi U.Nintendo stated that this DLC pack would essentially be a reimagining of every level on the New Super Mario Bros. U world map. This time though, single player only with the player playing as Luigi, and the difficulty seemingly pumped up from the videos that were shown. No release date was given for New Super Luigi U, but Iwata stated that it would take some time to complete making a winter/holiday release likely.
Next came the announcement of a new Miiversecommunity, this time for a series which has not had any games released for it as of yet on the Wii U. A Legend of ZeldaMiiversecommunity was created in order to allow fans of the series to discuss their favorite games, and the two new recently announced Wii U Zelda games.
A lot of first party 3DS games were then either revealed or given proper release dates. Animal Crossing: New Leaf was finally given a North American release date of June 9 2013, and North American gamers were also promised some new features that were not implemented in the Japanese release of the game last year. HarmoKnight a new rhythm based platformer by Game Freak, the team behind the Pokémon series, was given a release date of March 28, 2013 and will be an eShop download. New games in the Mario and Donkey Kong series as well as a sequel to last year’s Dillon’s Rolling Western were also revealed as 3DS eShop exclusives. Mario and Donkey: Minis on the Move seems to be a quirky puzzler in which players guide mini Mario and other characters through obstacle filled courses, with the ability for players to create and share their own puzzles as well. No release date was given for this title. Dillon’s Rolling Western: The Last Ranger follows the formula of action/tower defense devised by its predecessor last year and will be released on April 11, 2013.
Things then switched gears a little and Nintendo then discussed some of the upcoming third party content that is soon to be released for both the Wii U and 3DS. Though before discussing any of the upcoming third party games Nintendo did announce that a new Wii U bundle, called Wii U ZombiU Deluxe Set, will be sold beginning February 17, 2013. This bundle will include a Deluxe Wii U, the Wii U Gamepad, Wii U Pro Controller, a retail copy of Ubisoft’s ZombiU, and a digital download of Nintendo Land, all for the decent price of $389.
In terms of third party content, these were the games announced:
Bit.Trip Presents Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien by Gaijin Games, due on Wii U eShop.
Zen Pinball 2, a free to play pinball simulator by Zen Studios, for Wii U eShop.
Toki Tori 2, by Two Tribes, due out on Wii U eShop.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate, the highly anticipated 3DS exclusive from Konami, was given the solid release date of March 5, 2013.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted finally has a release date for Wii U. The game, though already released on the Xbox 360 and PS3, will boast some exclusive Wii U features and will launch on March 19, 2013. Some new features include Co-Driver Mode, and Miiverse incorporation (a third party first). The game is actually being handled by Criterion, rather than being outsourced for porting, will use the higher resolution PC textures not found on the Xbox and PlayStation versions, and will include the Ultimate Speed Pack DLC for free.
Activion’s The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct was given a release date of March 26, 2013 for Wii U.
Injustice: Gods Among Us by Warner Bros. Games is set to release on April 16, 2013 for Wii U. Injustice is being handled Mortal Kombat co-creator Ed Boone of NetherRealm Studios, the guys behind 2011’s hit Mortal Kombat reboot. Injustice, a fighting game set in the DC Comics universe, boasts a solid 60 FPS and will feature plenty of DLC to keep the game energized.
Disney Infinity is set to release this June for the 3DS, Wii U, as well as the Wii. Though no specific details were given, it was announced that the 3DS version would be unique from its home console counterparts.
The Nintendo Direct then ended with Reggie Fils-Aime, President of Nintendo of America, announcing a a remake of the Retro Studios Wii hit Donkey Kong Country Returns, this time for the 3DS. A 3D video of the Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D was released on the 3DS eShop, and though no release date was given, the game looks gorgeous and is one a lot of Nintendo fans will probably look forward to.
Nintendo has really gotten better at communicating with its fans. For over a year now Nintendo has been delivering video presentations, known as Nintendo Direct, showing off upcoming software and hardware releases. In North America these videos are generally presented by NOA president Reggie Fils-Aime, but for some larger announcements Nintendo’s head honcho Satoru Iwata would step in. For example, Iwata was the presenter when the final Wii UGame Padcontroller form was finally unveiled and detailed to the public. So when Iwata steps in to discuss a few upcoming first party software releases, you know that something big is going to be announced. This past Wednesday’s Nintendo Direct was just that indeed.
This Wii U Direct, as it was officially called, brought news of upcoming updates, services, and software that would be released for the Wii U. In comparison to past Nintendo Direct presentations though, this was more of a long term forecast for the console than a showcasing or in depth look into any specific upcoming release.
Here’s a list of the major talking points from the 36 minute presentation:
Wii U Updates
2 Updates will roll out to the Wii U in order to further speed up the load times between menus and the software boot up time. The first update is due this spring, with the second to follow this summer.
A web browser version of Miiverse will be launching in the spring. With a Miiverse mobile app to follow sometime thereafter. Your Nintendo Network ID credentials are what get you in, so it will be limited to Wii owners.
Miiverse is to receive updates that will enable user created communities. This feature will be launching along with Wii Fit U, a game that coincidently will allow you to setup user created Miiverse communities.
Nintendo is finally launching the Wii U Virtual Console. It is due along with the spring firmware update.
Virtual Console will initially carry NES and SNES games. GBA games are promised as well. If the Wii’s Virtual Console is anything to go by, then we can probably expect most of the Sega consoles, Trubografx, Neo-Geo, arcade units, and more as well. Pricing for the NES games will be $5-6, while the SNES will go for $8-9.
Wii UVirtual Console to include off-tv (Gamepad only) play and Miiverse integration.
Any Virtual Console games transferred from the Wii to Wii U can be rebought for $1-$1.50 in order to upgrade to the native Wii U Virtual Console version.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Japanese Famicom (NES in the US), Nintendo will be pushing a Virtual Console “trial” service from January through July. Each Month one classic Nintendo title will be sold for $.030, starting with the NES hit Balloon Fight.
First Party & 3rd Party Wii U Software
Video reels of previously announced upcoming releases were shown, these included: Game & Wario, Wii Fit U, Lego City Undercover Stories, as well as Platinum Games upcoming Wii U exclusives TheWonderful 101 and Bayonetta 2.
A new party game is to be released, created by the same team behind the mega selling Wii Party.
Screenshots and details on the next entry in the Super Smash Bros. series are promised for E3. The game will be released for Wii U and 3DS.
A new 3D action Wii U Mario adventure is currently in development by the same team behind the Mario Galaxy series. This will be playable at E3.
A new Mario Kart will also unveiled and be playable at E3.
Good-Feel, the studio behind Kirby’s Epic Yarn for Wii, are developing a new game featuring Yoshi as the main character. The game has a very similar art style to Kirby’s Epic Yarn, and is being supervised by Takashi Tezuka. Tezuka-San was the director of Yoshi’s Island for SNES and Yoshi’s Story on N64. Both games are considered by me to be quality and classic.
A crossover of Shin Megami Tensi by Atlus, and Nintendo’s own Fire Emblem is currently in the works. Nintendo touted this as an example of the company trying new things in order to keep a steady stream of software releases coming.
Not one, but TWO, The Legend of Zelda games are in development.
One all new game, which promises to “Rethink” the core foundations of Zelda games.
As well as a beautiful HD and retuned remake of Wind Waker, originally released on the Gamecube.
A new JRPG by Monolith Soft, the team behind the highly acclaimed Wii exclusive Xenoblade Chronicles. is currently in development as well. It seems to be a new entry in the Xeno- series. It features giant dinosaur like monsters and transforming vehicles.
It’s pretty clear Nintendo has really got a lot planned for the Wii U at this point. It’s safe to say that some of these titles will not be releasing this year, but even then, this news coupled with some recent announcement of some big third party games coming as well, we gamers should be pretty busy for quite some time.
You can watch the full Nintendo Direct/Wii U Direct below…
We’ll of course be giving more details on some of the bigger bits of Nintendo news here as they become available.