The Do-Want List | Yoshi

Developer: Good-Feel

Publisher: Nintendo

Release Date: 2018

It’s taken a lot of time, but I’ve finally learned to love Yoshi.

As an ancillary mount during his Mario days he was innocuous enough, an endearing and perhaps even loveable character who both fit the pantheon of Mushroom Kingdom ephemera and was a surprisingly functional power-up. But as he took off on his own, his games got more saccharine; he was a snuggly teddy bear on the soft sheets of a baby’s crib and not something I’d even give a chance to because of societal insecurities that I’d be caught enjoying a toddler’s game.

But here’s the thing – he is ridiculously cute and his adventures adorable…but their also solid platforming games that focus more on discovering hidden areas and uncovering a set of collectables that make it more deliberate. With the blood long washed away in the great Donkey Kong Country vs. Yoshi’s Island debate, I came to appreciate where Nintendo was going with the Yoshi series and actually fully enjoy them. I feel like I’m one of the few people who actually liked Yoshi’s New Island and Yoshi’s Woolly World had the perfect tempo to play co-op with my boys. I’ve gone from being merely respectful of the derpy green dinosaur and have actually come circle to becoming a fan.

With the tentatively titled Yoshi for Nintendo Switch, it looks like developer Good-Feel is looking to peel back the curtain a bit by making its modus operandi of seeking out secrets a matter of perspective. Each level has two sides to it and depending on your approach you’ll see things from the other side in a new light. With the ability to come at each stage from a different angle, there’s more opportunities to discover things from a certain point of view. I’m a fan of plumbing the depths of Yoshi games, so the fact that there is this whole other route is appealing.

Also interesting is the slight aesthetic choices that have been made. While Yoshi and his world are no longer cloth and wool, the art class design is in full force still. Our protagonist is still squishy, but more plush than afghan and the world he adventures through is filled with corrugated cardboard pathways, paper mache backdrops and clay pot warp pipes. At first blush it doesn’t look much different from Woolly World, but upon further inspection it looks to take it in just different enough direction that it looks worth exploring.

Most importantly though, I’m really looking forward to playing through this one with my kids. Without the kinetic chaos of a New Super Mario game, it’s something that truly feels co-operative and a little more directed. Even if you can swallow each other and turn the other one into an egg.

The Do-Want List | amiibo

Even though my interest in amiibo has somewhat lessened, I still think the concept is fantastic, the execution is top notch and it’s really the only Nintendo collectable I’m willing to shell money out on.

It’s not that I don’t get a little flutter each time a new one is announced, just that I’d rather invest my money in games than baubles and with prices seemingly going up they’re starting to leave the realm of impulse buy. But if anyone ever asks me what kind of little gift I want or I see one on clearance, I’m never one to say no.

That being said, here are the handful of newly announced amiibo at E3 that I’ll probably track down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Out of all the amiibo I’m about to list, the Metroid is hands down my must have. I don’t typically pre-order things anymore, but I have such an affinity for the misappropriated villain that I’m glad Nintendo has decided to encapsulate it in plastic. Also: it’s squishy! Samus Aran’s along for the ride as this comes in a two pack, but I really like the iconic Metroid II pose and globular shoulder pads so I’m not bummed at having to buy two amiibo.

 

 

 

 

 

While we’re on the lowly lackey tip, I’m also really excited for the fact that Bowser’s diminutive cronies, the Goomba and the Koopa Troopa, are also getting their own amiibo. While the Mario brothers are always in the limelight, the Mushroom Kingdom just wouldn’t feel the same without these little guys.

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, we have a couple of amiibo that will fit nicely with my already burgeoning collection of Zelda and Splatoon collection! While I kind of want all the Guardians from Breath of the Wild, I like Daruk the best. Actually, I like Gorons in general, but I’ll take the greatest of them all! The new purple squid from Splatoon 2 is a hot take on the newly iconic character, which is in a really cool pose this go around. With it being sold singly in the U.S., I don’t necessarily have to get the new Inkling Girl and Boy (although they look dope, too.)


Whether I end up getting all or none of these little buggers, I’m quite fond of them. I like that Nintendo is curating its own collectable scene and, whether they go the way of the Beanie Baby or Guitar Hero gear, I’ll be keeping my eye out for a good deal no matter where I go.

The Do-Want List | Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions

Developer: AlphaDream

Publisher: Nintendo

Release Date: October 6th, 2017

I’m actually something of a fan of videogame remakes and remasters. By all means they are a cash-in, a means to tap into gamers’ nostalgia with a false pretense that they are the definitive version or a new way to try your hand at a classic you may have missed. Who am I to argue, though? Whether it’s reliving a moment or getting a second chance, I enjoy these little love letters that developers fondly create!

Until about a year ago, I had never even tried the original Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga until it dropped on the Wii U’s Virtual Console. The only thing that makes that crazy is that I’ve played other games in the series like Partners in Time and Bowser’s Inside Story first and loved them, so imagine my surprise when I did finally go back to the beginning and discover that it’s probably the best of the bunch!

While the unique, two brother control scheme has remained well-trodden and worn, it works out well and helps define Mario & Luigi as a series. What Superstar Saga does that all the games that follow doesn’t is add a healthy dose of genuine humor in its writing, its animation and its endearing characters. One name needs only be mentioned: Fawful. While taking Bowser out of the equation as the main antagonist and replacing him with something else wasn’t new at this point, this was an opportunity to take the brothers out of the Mushroom Kingdom and have them adventure across new lands.

The only thing that’s really been added to this re-release is that the visuals have been overhauled to match later games like Dream Team and Paper Jam. While I love the original Game Boy Advance design, the animation of the 3DS games is top notch and seeing Cackletta and company move around as if they jumped straight out of a Saturday morning cartoon. With that and the clever dialog, Superstar Saga is looking more and more like weekend cereal-binging fare.

There’s also a side-story known as Bowser’s Minions added in, which if I’m being honest I’m a little on the fence about. It looks like something of a lite strategy game in which you take Goombas, Boos and Koopa Troopas on a journey to rescue their bumbling boss from the clutches of a superior evil. From video it doesn’t look terribly compelling to me, but it does follow along with the plot of Superstar Saga, so it may be interesting enough in that respect if only for its different perspective.

Just when I though the 3DS was going to be setting off into the sunset quietly, Nintendo shows that it still has some horsepower to keep the quaint and loveable little portable going for the foreseeable future alongside the Switch.