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February 2017

The Many Faces Of Weird Mario

weird Mario

The legend of Super Mario Maker's Weird Mario speaks of a deformed version of Mario that, when powered-up with a Weird Mushroom as opposed to a Super Mushroom, reinterprets his proportions to match that of a real human and augments his jumping ability appropriately.  We don't get to see what Weird Mario would look like riding Yoshi or turned into a Tanooki Suit statue during normal gameplay, but in the game's Edit Mode it's possible to knock on a placed door with the stylus which causes a differently powered-up Weird Mario to answer.  It is in these moments we get a glimpse of Weird Mario wearing such power-ups such as a Frog Suit or a Flying Squirrel Suit.  Supper Mario Broth has collected all of these alternate Weird Mario appearances for your gawking pleasure.  It's rather unsettling, but a necessary step in the ongoing field of Weird Mario research.

Never Forget Wii U Splash Screens

NES Remix

As we effectively bid farewell to Nintendo's Wii U console this week as its Switch successor arrives in stores, it's only fitting that we take a look back at some of the best loading screens that the console's first-party game library had to offer.  Only visible for a moment after selecting a game to play from the main system menu, these screens gave us unique high quality promotional artwork meant to draw us into the detailed world we were about to visit.  Spanning all the way from the Wii U's first releases such as New Super Mario Bros. U through to the end with the final Wii U game, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, these images remind us of all the fun we had with the Nintendo console that never quite found its place in the world.

All Wii U Splash/Loading Screens of Nintendo Games

(via Reddit)

The Bomberman Recap

BombermanIn advance of Bomberman's glorious return to the console world stage later this week in Super Bomberman R for the Nintendo Switch, it's worthwhile to review the bomber king's mighty legacy across the console, handheld, and mobile gaming spaces.  Chris Scullion at Tired Old Hack looks back at Bomberman's many appearances and variations over the years from his early days in Dynablaster to becoming one of the gaming heroes to appear on a high definition television to the rise of sidekick Pommy to the unfortunate misstep that was Act Zero and beyond.  I hope that Super Bomberman R lives up to expectations.  I would love to be able to introduce my girlfriend to the wonders of the traditional Bomberman style of co-op play.  The franchise has been gone for so long and flown under the radar so low that she's never played one.  I really want to fix that!

Don't Make Sense Of The Legend Of Zelda Timeline

The Legend of Zelda

In the beginning there was The Legend of Zelda, and it was good.  Then there came the direct sequel, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, and it was also good if a little flawed.  That was almost followed by a proper Zelda III, but it was reworked before release into a prequel subtitled A Link To The PastLink's Awakening followed that, but all of the above were preceded by Ocarina of Time which was followed by Majora's Mask.  This is about the point in history where you needed a flow chart to follow the chronicles of Hyrule, and while the creators at Nintendo eventually set the timeline issue straight, not everyone agrees on it.  Over at Poison Mushroom, David Oxford tries to bring order to chaos.

This period between The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess is when I remember things going straight to Hell with regards to any sort of timeline discussion, because prior to this, there really wasn’t a discussion. There were six games with a clear linear narrative and their two bastard offspring cousins that we let hang around because they were cool, even though no one was really sure if they fit in.

Oh yeah, and among other things, Nintendo eventually thought “Hey, you know what we need? We need to go back to the beginning of the whole story!” and gave us Skyward Sword… which also had a manga prequel set before its time (and don’t believe for a second they won’t go further back; I’m just waiting for the tech in Skyward Sword to be their way of saying “it was Earth all along!“).

I stopped trying to follow the overall Zelda timeline years ago.  There's no grand vision here, no meticulously planned narrative that is designed to seamlessly span dozens of entries.  It's less Marvel Cinematic Universe and more LOST.  Nintendo's developers are extremely talented, but when it comes to Zelda games, they are clearly making it up as they go along.  There's nothing wrong with that approach.

I've come to see each Zelda title as a single adventure that may throw in some fun nods to other games in the series, but that's as far as I'm comfortable reading into details and looking for deeper meanings.  Yes, Wind Waker ties directly back to Ocarina of Time, but I don't believe for a moment that Nintendo planned to eventually flood all of Hyrule when they were setting up Link's time travel escapades.   Sure, Skyward Sword is the beginning of the Zelda story, but only until Nintendo releases some future sequel which is actually a prequel to that game (see also: the endless expansions of the Castlevania timeline in the early 2000s).  It's unwise to look for everlasting concrete meaning where there is not intended to be much, if any at all.  As soon as you reach a point where you have to say "this is where the timeline splits", you have complicated events beyond ease of explanation.   Just sit back and enjoy the ride.  It's more fun that way.

Is It Worth Keeping Empty Amiibo Boxes Around?

Mario amiiboIf the past decade has cemented anything about collecting video games, it's that games are worth substantially more if the original box, manual, and other pack-in materials are intact.  With that in mind, do you think it's worthwhile to keep empty Nintendo amiibo boxes around for their potential future value?  Will a common figurine like Mario be worth more if I still have the box that he came in?  Are you keeping your amiibo boxes?  Trashing them after gutting them of their prize?  Help a guy out here.  I bought my first amiibo figuring I would be, at most, maybe two more and today have over a dozen scattered around the house on shelves and desks.  The boxes are becoming a little overwhelming and don't exactly break down neatly.  Should I continue to hang on to what is becoming a glut of empty packaging?

Blue Bomber Music Break With Knight Man And Mega Man 10

Wp_02_1600x1200You all should know by now how much I love the talented artists at OverClocked ReMix.  Their remixes and rearrangements of classic video game music make up the bulk of my playlist these days, but I'm always looking to add more music to my archive.  The latest addition is a rocking remix that intertwines music from Mega Man 10's Dr. Wily stages with the Knight Man stage theme from Mega Man 6, and the resulting combination sounds like it would be perfectly at home in one of the early Mega Man X game.  Check out "Chivalrous Medicinal Murder" from Liam Charalambous if you day needs a little energy kick.

Nintendo Announces Zelda: Breath Of The Wild DLC

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WildAfter launching successful downloadable expansions for Wii U titles such as Mario Kart 8, Hyrule Warriors, and of course Super Smash Bros., it's only natural that the company would keep the DLC train rolling with additional content for the upcoming The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.  Launching for both the Wii U and Switch versions of the game, the $20 Expansion Pass adds three new bundles of content throughout 2017.  You even get Link's iconic Nintendo Switch shirt!  Here's some of the press release:

Starting when the game launches on March 3, players will be able to purchase an Expansion Pass for $19.99, granting access to two new sets of downloadable content for the game when they become available later this year. Immediately upon pre-purchase or purchase of the Expansion Pass, three new treasure chests will appear in the game’s Great Plateau area. One of these treasure chests will contain a shirt with a Nintendo Switch logo that Link can wear during his adventure, exclusive to the Expansion Pass. The other two will deliver useful items. The first content pack is scheduled to launch this summer, and will include the addition of a Cave of Trials challenge, a new hard mode and a new feature for the in-game map. The second content pack will launch in Holiday 2017, and adds new challenges that will let players enjoy a new dungeon and a new original story. The Expansion Pass will be available for both the Nintendo Switch and Wii U versions of the game and are identical. Content packs cannot be purchased individually.

If you've missed out on Nintendo's take on the season pass in the past few years and are immediately assuming that this is a DLC cash grab like other publishers have been known to offer, I think based on past experience you can relax.  Nintendo took its time getting into the season pass game and, once it did, made a point to offer a lot of value for the extra money.  I've purchased past passes for a variety of Wii U games and have never been disappointed.  Sure, offering a Switch logo shirt for Link at launch is a little goofy, but I trust the company to deliver on its stated intentions.

Castlevania Is Coming To Netflix

CastlevaniaNetflix is getting into the Castlevania business with a new original series based on the once-thriving video game series due out later this year.  The project has been gestating for a very long time (and even predates Netflix's original programming initiative itself) and promises a dark and gory tale of vampire lore.  Mike Williams at USgamer explains who is behind this project.

Netflix has announced that it has greenlit an original animated series based on Konami's Castlevania. The animated series is being developed by Adventure Time producer Fred Seibert's Frederator Studios, with writing from Warren Ellis, the comic book author behind Transmetropolitan, The Authority, Netwave, and Iron Man: Extremis. Castlevania will be produced by Adi Shankar, the guy behind the Punisher: Dirty Laundry and the Power/Rangers fanfilms that everyone loved for being grimdark, alongside Ellis, Seibert, and Kevin Kolde.

There's certainly a strong mix of talent working on this.  Unfortunately, it sounds like the show will not use the established Belmont family protagonists such as Simon, Trevor, or Richter but will instead feature a new character from the slayer bloodline.  I'm feeling some early hesitation with a mix of impending pessimism here because it always bugs me when someone licenses a property and then doesn't use the characters from that property. Why not just make your own thing instead? The long-dead Castlevania movie had the same problem when it was supposed to be a "Dracula Begins" kind of movie instead of a Castlevania tale. I hope this show is worthwhile and I'll definitely tune in (and it's not the first time a game-inspired production has diverted from the source material), but it's a peeve of mine.  Shankar promises that this will be "the western world’s first good video game adaptation", and knowing that the creative team has already blocked out two seasons, I'm hopeful that this will work out after all.  Some of the iconic Castlevania soundtrack must make it into the show though.  It's just not Castlevania without "Vampire Killer" or "Beginning". 

Power Button - Episode 230: The Best That 2016 Had To Offer

Power ButtonThis week on Power Button we finish closing the door on 2016 with a discussion about our favorite games of the year as well as honorable mentions and a few stand-out disappointments.  Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, BoxBoxBoy, Street Fighter V, Overwatch, and The Witness are all here, but were they top tier or something to fear?  Spend eighty minutes with us to find out.   Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes and Google Play, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way.