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Ten Nintendo 2016 Predictions



NX Nintendo

With so many recent developments happening over at Nintendo headquarters, I believe there is reason to be optimistic about Nintendo in 2016. It’s always hard to guess what Nintendo will announce, since the company has always been so unpredictable, but I have high hopes for what we could get over the next twelve months. So what surprises are in store this year? Here are my crazy 2016 predictions:

mother-3-Wii U

1. Mother 3 gets a release stateside

18 years after debuting on the Super NES, EarthBound was once again released on the Virtual Console in North America and in Europe to everyone’s surprise. Given the tremendous exposure surrounding the launch of the game, you maybe expected Nintendo would want to consider the possibility of releasing other titles in the Mother series. Well, they did with EarthBound Beginnings last year during E3. But while Beginnings is a good game, it is the weakest in the series, and fans are still impatiently waiting for the Game Boy Advance sequel Mother 3, which remains the most notable Nintendo game to never see release outside of Japan. For the unfamiliar, there are some significant hurdles that impact the prospects of Mother 3 ever being localized, namely a substantial amount of animal cruelty, a notable scene of physical violence, repeated drug and alcohol references, and more importantly, potential copyright issues with certain musical numbers. But there is still hope: firstly, Earthbound has its fair share of animal abuse, drug and alcohol references, prostitutes, drug dealers and musical copyrights as well, and Nintendo never had a problem releasing it 21 years ago on the Super NES, and later on the Wii U. Secondly, a batch of Gameboy Advanced games began popping up on the Wii U Virtual console in 2015, and obviously Mother3 is on the GBA. Considering the addition of Lucas in Super Smash along with his very own amiibo, and the fact that Earthbound was in the top 10 on the Wii U eShop for a very long time, I see no reason why they shouldn’t localize the game. Oh, and did I mention that the 20 year anniversary of Mother 3 is later this year?


2. Metroid Prime: Federation Force is delayed and retitled 

Next Level Games have made a name for themselves over the past decade after working closely with Nintendo on numerous critically acclaimed and commercially successful titles. The independent video game developer based in Vancouver, British Columbia is best known for its work with Nintendo, having wowed us with Punch-Out!! for the Wii and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon for the 3DS. Dark Moon proved that Mario’s younger brother was far from irrelevant, while Punch Out brought back the biggest names in boxing after a 15-year hiatus. Last year I predicted that the developers would announce a Metroid title and I was right. Unfortunately, that game ended up being Metroid Prime: Federation Force, which was met with a massive backlash that eventually led to a petition to cancel the release of the upcoming 3DS title. I didn’t share the Internet’s knee-jerk rejection of the game, but I have to admit that I’m not at all interested in playing this game, much less buying it. And clearly I am not alone. I predict that while Federation Force is set for release in 2016, it will be delayed and eventually have the word “Metroid” removed from its title.


3. Amiibo to work on mobile phones

Companies like Activision and Disney have enjoyed massive success with their respective toys-to-life offerings, Skylanders and Disney Infinity. Activision noted that their franchise had crossed $2 billion in worldwide sales – an impressive feat for an independent publisher. The first edition of Disney Infinity alone, has generated over $500 million, and that was before the release of their future editions, which reportedly outsold the inaugural set. There were some questions of whether the market would be too crowded for Nintendo to make an impact when it launched Amiibo alongside Super Smash Bros., but those concerns were crushed when Nintendo released the numbers for the third-quarter of its fiscal year and revealed that the company sold 5.7 million amiibo worldwide. Since then the line of Amiibo figures have generated 204.1 billion yen (about $1.7 billion in USD), with 71% of the sales generated outside of Japan, accounting for about 1.2 billion dollars. Needless to say, Nintendo isn’t slowing down in producing more amiibo. However, the company has yet to release a game outside of Smash and Super Mario Maker that takes advantage of the majority of these pricey interactive figures. My guess is that Nintendo is going to release a mobile game that somehow incorporates amiibo. Since the figures use a common technology protocol, NFC (near field communication) — the same technology that is already built into most modern iPhones, Androids, and Windows Phones — it is more than possible for Nintendo to do this. And if we know anything about Nintendo, they are always thinking far ahead. Chances are they already had the idea to bring amiibo to mobile games even before they announced their partnership with DeNA. Amiibo could be a major selling point for Nintendo games on your iPhone or Android, especially if they could be used to transfer data between Nintendo’s proprietary systems and your phone, and unlock bonus material and maybe even free games.


4. The next three DENA mobile games

With their recently announced partnership with DeNA, Nintendo has made it clear that their first two smartphone and tablet games are due out before the end of the year. I don’t expect Nintendo to focus too much attention on this new partnership, but I do anticipate the announcement of their next three titles by March. The question is which games or franchises might be headed to smart devices. Miitomo didn’t exactly impress anyone. I mean seriously, who wants a social networking game, but for Miis? And while it might not matter much what fans think, the reaction among investors has been extremely negative. Clearly Nintendo has a strategy though, and they will somehow tie Miimoto and Nintendo consoles together, and so I can’t help but think they are saving the best for last. Don’t expect to see a Super Mario endless runner or a side-scrolling platformer much like Super Kitty. If I had to place a bet on which franchises they choose, I would put my money on a mobile version of Wario Ware (without the Wario Ware branding) and a new sequel to Brain Age — all games that would easily work on a mobile device without the need of a controller.

metroid wii u

5. Retro Studios / Metroid

There were rumors flying about in 2015 that Retro Studios were working on Diddy Kong Racing 2 with Monster Games, but those same rumours also promised it would be shown at last year’s E3 as well, and it never was. Discussion of a Wii U Metroid game started with tweets stating that the developer is working on “a Wii U game with a new engine,” and job postings on the developer’s website last year indicated that they are indeed working on something. Since Retro Studios was responsible for the popular first-person shooter iterations of the sci-fi epic, it wouldn’t be at all surprising for the Big N to hand the reigns back over to the Texas-based studio. We know a Metroid game is eventually coming, but I think the bigger question is what sort of Metroid game will we get? Metroid: Other M failed to reach the critical and commercial success of the Prime trilogy, so going back to what didn’t work with the franchise doesn’t make much sense. When Samus does indeed return, I think she will return in a first-person shooter exclusive to the NX. And seeing as Metroid is also celebrating its 30 year anniversary this year on August 31st, I have a feeling we will see the first footage of the game during E3. However, it won’t be released until late 2017.


6. Additional Star Fox amiibo

Star Fox Zero was originally scheduled for release on the Wii U in November 2015 but was eventually delayed to April 2016 to allow for more development time. I believe there are two reasons for the delay of the sixth installment in the Star Fox series. First, I’m pretty sure Shigeru Miyamoto wanted to do some additional work on the controls, which many people complained about when testing out the game at various conventions last year. But I also believe that the delay gives time for Nintendo to develop a new line of additional amiibo, designed specifically for the game in mind. Expect an amiibo for both Peppy and Slippy to launch alongside Star Fox Zero in April. That said, don’t expect much from these amiibo. Miyamoto has already gone on record to say that he is against blocking off content for gamers who may not own, nor want to buy any of the figures. “In terms of being able to unlock content,” Miyomoto said, “I don’t really want to go down that path. For this game, I think of it more as, for people who have the Amiibo, they’re going to get a little something extra and that’s how I’m planning on it with this game. So rather than actual abilities or things like that changing in the game, it would be like getting a different skin for the Arwing or something like that.”


7. Legend Of Zelda is the Wii U’s swan song but Nintendo won’t admit it.

Zelda U will finally be released in November for WiiU and for the NX later in 2017 but Nintendo won’t mention that they will release in on the NX anytime in 2016. Even though the NX is the future of the company, they don’t want owners of the Wii U to feel like they were robbed and bought a console that Nintendo basically gave up on. Nintendo is also proud of the Wii U, and they should be, and so I doubt they’ll want to turn their back on it so soon. I believe 2016 is all about the Wii U and Nintendo is going to end on a high note before rolling out a new system.


8. More and more Pokémon accessories and games on the way.

2016 will be the year of Pokémon, which makes sense since the billion dollar franchise is also celebrating a big anniversary this year. Not only is Nintendo releasing Pokkén Tournament, an arcade fighting game developed by Bandai Namco that combines gameplay elements from Bandai Namco’s Tekken series with characters from the Pokémon franchise, but they are also releasing Pokémon GO, a mobile game for iOS and Android that allows players to interact with virtual Pokémon in the physical world around them. The concept of the Pokémon GO is to play the game wherever and whenever the player wants. There will even be a supporting accessory that the player should have when playing the game called the Pokémon Go Plus that acts as a wristwatch-like device and runs via Bluetooth signal to detect Pokémon around. Even the original base set of Pokémon trading cards are supposedly getting re-released later in the year. I believe we will get even more Pokémon-related products before the year is over including amiibo, trading cards to be used with a new Pokémon game (perhaps Pokémon Z), and amiibo figures for Pokkén Tournament, much like those released for Super Smash Wii U.


9. We will see a glimpse of the NX but Nintendo won’t release too much info to the general public 

The Wii U is selling much better now than its first couple years on the market, and while it isn’t reaching the heights of the Wii, Nintendo has at least made a profit from it. Still, Nintendo needs a change, and they need to make that change sooner than later. Despite what many people are saying, I believe Nintendo will give us a brief tease of what the NX is at E3, but I don’t think we will have detailed information until late 2016, after Zelda Wii U is released. As I mentioned above, 2016 is all about the Wii U, and while I would love to own the NX as soon as possible, that doesn’t seem likely. Nintendo will share whatever info it needs to share with third-party developers and investors, but they won’t let the fans in on too many secrets until they are sure it is ready to launch. I do, however, think they will officially announce the name of the next console, and the NX will be a thing of history. The decision to dub the Wii’s successor as the Wii U confused many customers who assumed Nintendo’s new hardware was the same machine, only with tablet added on. This time around, Nintendo will choose wisely and pick a name that most people will not only like, but recognize.


10. More Wii U games not yet confirmed for release will be released in 2016

I know many people believe that Nintendo will save all of their big future game releases for the NX, even if the games are finished and ready to be shipped out. I, however, am not in agreement with this. Nintendo is a company that takes pride in what they do, and they are proud of the Wii U, regardless of sales. Nintendo realizes that in terms of sales and marketing, the Wii U has pretty much been a disaster, but they worked hard on both the hardware and software for the system, so I don’t see them holding back or delaying any games that were meant for it. I also believe the that the NX will somehow be backwards compatible. In fact, I think the NX is going to somehow connect both the Wii U and the 3DS and have a virtual library that contains all of Nintendo’s hits from the past. All that to say that Project Guard and Pikmin 4 will be released before the year is over.

  • Ricky D

Some people take my heart, others take my shoes, and some take me home. I write, I blog, I podcast, I edit, and I design websites. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Goomba Stomp and Tilt Magazine. Host of the NXpress Nintendo Podcast and the Sordid Cinema Podcast. Former Editor-In-Chief of Sound on Sight. Former host of several other podcasts including the Game of Thrones and Walking Dead shows, as well as Sound On Sight. There is nothing I like more than basketball, travelling, and animals. You can find me online writing about anime, TV, movies, games and so much more.

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PAX Online: ‘Unpacking’ and ‘Infernax’

Our PAX Online coverage continues with a game the calm and relaxing Unpacking and the not-so calm and relaxing Infernax.



Unpacking and Infernax

Our PAX Online coverage continues with a game that takes a hated activity and somehow makes it relaxing and another game that will leave you clenching your buttocks.


Unpacking game

Platforms: PC
Release: 2021

As someone who is coming fresh off of moving just a little over a month ago, you couldn’t have blamed me for being a little skeptical going into what was dubbed a “zen puzzle” game based on the final stretch of the process. Unpacking is just that, though. It’s a calming, almost therapeutic exercise that happened to serve as a wonderful way for me to unwind at the end of a day.

Unpacking is exactly what it says on the tin. There are no scores, no timers, no leaderboards, just you, and a few boxes with various items in them that need to be placed somewhere. The demo starts with a single bedroom in 1997. There’s nothing in the game that tells you where something should go, only your own taste and intuition; a locked diary would probably go in a desk-drawer while a soccer trophy would probably be displayed on a shelf.

As I slowly unearthed items one-by-one, I gradually got a feel for what the room’s new inhabitant was most likely like. The endless supply of stuffed animals implied someone of younger age while the numerous art supplies indicated someone inclined to right brain thinking. It’s rather engaging to learn about this person’s life purely by their belongings.

Every item taken out was like a delightful surprise and would sometimes even make me feel a little sentimental such as when I took out a small device that was clearly a Tamagotchi. More importantly, Unpacking nails that sinking feeling of when you feel like you’ve used all your available space but still have boxes left. Reaching the point of just throwing stuff wherever it fits is such an immediately relatable feeling that I was almost offended. And that was only for a single bedroom!

Unpacking game

The demo’s second stage was a little more involved with a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen in the year of 2004. The hilarious moments of finding a boot in your kitchenware box or a bra with your toiletries also felt like a call-out to my own hodge-podge packing methods. It’s something I can’t help but let out an exasperated chuckle at.

It was also neat to see how this person has grown since their earlier abode. Much fewer stuffed animals but more art supplies and a brand new computer imply this character is maybe entering the working adult world. I’ve never actually seen this character, but I can’t help but feel a connection to them already, and that was only after two moves. The full game will have eight total moves to follow them through and I am genuinely curious to see how our nameless and faceless protagonist grows throughout them.

Now if only unpacking in real life could be this soothing.



Platforms: PC
Release: TBA

Some players may recognize Berzerk Studio for their excellent 2018 bullet-hell, rhythm game Just Shapes & Beats. Coming hot of the heels of that hit they immediately pivoted in the new direction with Infernax, a delightfully edgy 8-bit adventure platformer that takes cues from old-school Castlevania titles.

Our hero returns to his land after a successful crusade only to find it overrun by horrible monstrosities in every which direction. With nothing but mace in hand, he sets out on a quest anew to rid the land of the undead filth. Immediately apparent upon starting is just how tightly the game controls; anyone fond of earlier NES titles will feel right at home with Infernax. I quickly got a handle on my exact attack reach down to the pixel and began mowing down the zombies in front of me. It emphasized how much joy a game is possible of eliciting from simply a jump and attack button.

Getting to that proficiency is important too because the game doesn’t waste any time in taking off the training wheels! Even the base enemies shaved off half my HP if I got careless and that difficulty ramped up at a rapid rate as new enemy types were introduced at a decent clip such as flying evil eyes and jumping rodents. Not only do these foes burst into tasty experience points and gold to be spent on upgrades, but also into extremely satisfying fountains of blood.

Infernax isn’t particularly shy about turning up the gore factor, but it’s still impressive by just how creative they get with it using simple pixel art. Nowhere is this more apparent than when you are killed. Every single enemy type has a unique kill animation when they deal the final blow to our hero. From the chump ass pillbugs to the big bad bosses, all of them mutilate you in a different way and it’s honestly morbidly mesmerizing to witness. It made me want to suicide against every enemy I came across just so I could see what creative way they took my life.


Depending on your playstyle you might not want to do this, though, as Infernax features two different ways to respawn when you die. Hardcore respawn sends you all the way back to your last save point, just like in those classic NES titles. Casual respawn lets you restart right where you left off with no loss in progress, but choosing to do so locks you out from Hardcore the rest of the game. It’s a sort of mark of shame that I was glad to wear during the demo after I came up against the final boss and promptly got my ass handed to me. It sounds a little cheeky on paper but is actually very consistent with the game’s overtly edgy tone.

Infernax feels like a game that was lost to time during the NES era and is just now being rediscovered. Those looking for for a game that harkens back to the simplicity of the olden days need not look any further.

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Indie Games Spotlight – Going Full Circle

We’re featuring five exciting indie games in our latest spotlight, including the internship roguelike Going Under and the cozy puzzles of Lonesome Village.



Journey of the Broken Circle

Indie Games Spotlight is Goomba Stomp’s biweekly column where we highlight some of the most exciting new and upcoming independent games. Summer may have come to a close, but that hasn’t stopped big announcements from rolling in. With events like PAX Online and the recent PlayStation 5 Showcase flooding the web with announcements, trailers, and gameplay footage, there’s been a constant deluge of news to keep up with. With so much coming on the horizon, we’re spotlighting five exciting indies that you’ll be able to play sooner rather than later. Whether you’re in the mood for a brutally addictive action game or a cozy adventure and social sim, there’s bound to be a game that speaks to you in this spotlight.

Moving Up Professionally in Going Under

Work is its own payment in Going Under. In this action game from developer Aggro Crab, you’re put in the shoes of an unpaid intern who must explore the endless ruins of failed tech startups while fighting off the monsters that spawn within them. It’s hard work to do without a single paycheck—but hey, at least you’re gaining valuable experience!

As a former unpaid intern myself, the writing in Going Under certainly resonates with me and it’s sure to strike a chord with anyone who’s ever felt underappreciated or overworked. Its vibrant and colorful 3D graphics, as well as its satirical story, only make it all the more enticing. It really should offer a great working experience when it hits all consoles and PC via Steam on September 24.

Animated GIF

Fill in the Gaps in Journey of the Broken Circle

Something’s missing in Journey of the Broken Circle. Like its name would suggest, this puzzle platformer follows a Pacman-like circle with a hole to fill. It wanders through a world that is whimsical and existential at once, searching for a companion to fill its gaps. As the circle rolls through ethereal environments, it encounters different shapes to use that allow for new gameplay mechanics.

Journey of the Broken Circle might be about an abstract shape, but in its quest to become whole, it strives to capture the human experience. It promises to be an intimate experience that clocks in at about five hours to complete. If you’re interested in getting this ball rolling, it’s already available now on Switch and Steam.

Prepare to Get GORSD

There’s a delicate balance between unsettling the player without being outright scary. GORSD treads the line here as a one-hit-kill shooter that stars humans encased in the skins of octopuses, dragons with human faces, and nightmarish environments. Something feels off about GORSD, but that’s exactly what makes it so interesting.

Brought to life with detailed pixel art, GORSD supports up to four players who can face off in chaotic matches in varied arenas. It also features a full-fledged single-player campaign with a vast overworld with dozens of unique stages. Its concept is inspired by its developers’ native Southeast Asian cultures, making for a unique gameplay and aesthetic experience. If you’re ready to dive in and see it for yourself, it’s available now on all consoles and PC via Steam.

Get Ready For a Foregone Conclusion

Saying Foregone is a 2D Dark Souls would be cliché, but accurate nonetheless. It’s a hardcore action game where you’ll fight against insurmountable odds to prevent monsters from overrunning the world. It has a brutally addictive gameplay loop—its difficulty may be excruciating, but because it offers a wide assortment of abilities to leverage, it’s immensely euphoric once you overcome the challenges before you.

This beautiful 3D/pixelated hybrid action game has been available on PC in early access since February, but at long last, it’s seeing its full console release in October. It’s been a promising title ever since its pre-release days, and now that it’s finally seeing its complete iteration, there’s never been a better time to dive in and give it a shot. It’s hitting all platforms on October 5, so there’s not long to wait!

Finding Good Company in a Lonesome Village

Mix Zelda with Animal Crossing and you might get something like Lonesome Village. This newly-revealed puzzle adventure game features Zelda-like adventure in a hand-drawn world populated by animal characters. Players control a wandering coyote who stumbles upon a strange village and decides to investigate its mysterious happenings by interacting with villagers, solving puzzles, and exploring its dungeons.

It’s more than a simple adventure game. In addition to puzzle-solving, you’ll interact with Lonesome Village’s eclectic cast of characters to forge relationships and unravel brooding mysteries. It’s showing plenty of potential with its cozy gameplay loop, and if you want to give it a shot, check out its official demo from its Kickstarter page! It’s already been fully funded in less than 24 hours, but if you want to help the developers out even further, consider contributing to their campaign.

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PAX Online: ‘Inkulinati’ and ‘Pumpkin Jack’

The PAX Online celebrations continue with the strategy game, Inkulinati, and spooky Halloween themed Pumpkin Jack.



Inkulinati and Pumpkin Jack

The PAX Online celebrations continue with a strategy game whose tales are writ in ink and a game sure to put you in an early Halloween mood.



Platforms: Switch and Steam
Release: 2021

Preview in new tab(opens in a new tab)

Competitive strategy games stress me out. Chess? Stresses me out. Checkers? Stresses me out. Star Craft? Stresses me out. Managing that stress as a form of stimulation is what makes the best strategy games shine, though, and Inkulinati is so far demonstrating all the facets of such a game.

The titular Inkulinati are masters of a craft that brings their inked creatures to life on parchment, including a caricature of themselves. The two Inkulinati do written battle with each other until only one is left standing. The battles are carried out in a charming medieval art style that looks like it was taken straight out of a manuscript you’d find carefully stored in a library. These aren’t the masterpieces of Da Vinci or Van Gogh, but the kinds of scribbles you’d find the layman making on the edges of pages either out of boredom or mischievousness. The playful art makes for a playful tone and jolly times.

The core thrust of the gameplay is that each Inkulinati utilizes ink points to conjure units, or “creatures”, onto the parchment in a turn-based manner and sends them into the fray. There were a fair amount of creatures available in the demo — ranging from a simple swordsdog with well-rounded stats to a donkey capable of stunning foes with its trusty butt trumpet. Many many more creature types are promised in the full game, but I found even with the limited selection of the demo the gameplay was still able to be showcased well.

Your primary Inkulinati also has some tricks up its depending on the type you’ve chosen to take into battle. Instant damage to or healing a unit were the two shown off in the demo, as well as being able to shove units. Shoving is particularly useful as you can push enemies into the hellfires that encroach the battlefield as the battle wages on, instantly defeating them.

Doing battle with an opponent it all well and good, but what’s the point if it’s not immortalized for generations to experience down the line? Inkulimati understands this need and will record every single action of the battlefield in written word. It’s infinitely charming, and the amount of variations in how to say what amounts to just “X unit attacked Y enemy” is astonishing. How can you not chuckle at, “Powerful Morpheus killed the enemy and may those who failed to witness this live in constant pain and regret”?

Pumpkin Jack

Pumpkin Jack

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and Steam
Release: Q4 2020

Halloween may be a little over a month away but that didn’t stop the 3D action platformer Pumpkin Jack getting me in the spookyween mood. The human realm is suffering from the Devil’s curse and have elected the aid of a wizarding champion to save them from it. Not to be outdone, the Devil also chooses his own champion to stop the wizard, choosing the despicable spirit Jack. With the tasty reward of being able to pass on from hell, Jack dons his pumpkin head and a wooden & straw body on his quest to keep the world ruined. The premise sounds slightly grim but make no mistake that this is a goofy game through and through, a fact only emphasized by a brilliant opening narration dripping with sarcasm and morbid glee.

The demo took us through Pumpkin Jack‘s first stage, a dilapidated farmland full of ambient lanterns abandoned storehouses. The visuals are compliments by a wonderfully corny soundtrack full of all the tubas, xylophones, and ghost whistles one would expect a title that is eternally in the Halloween mood.

We got the basics of traversal, like dodge rolling and double jumps, before coming upon a terrified murder of crows. Turns out their favorite field has been occupied by a dastardly living scarecrow and they want Jack to take care of it. One crow joins Jack on his quest, taking the form of a projectile attack that he can sic on enemies. Jack also obtains a shovel he can use to whack on the animated skeletons with a simple three-hit combo. There’s nothing particularly standout about the combat, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be this early on. More weapons such as a rifle and scythe are promised in the full game and should go a way towards developing the combat along with more enemy variety.

Pumpkin Jack

Collectible crow skulls also dot the map and seem to be cleverly hidden as even when I felt like I was carefully searching the whole stage I had only found 12 out of 20 by the end. Their purpose is unknown in the demo, so here’s hopping they amount to something making me want to find those last eight in the full version.

After accidentally lighting a barn ablaze and escaping in a dramatic sequence we came across the scarecrow in question. Defeating it was a rather simple affair that was just a matter of shooting it out of the air with the crow then wailing on it with Jack’s shovel. We were awarded a new glaive-type weapon as a reward but unable to give it a whirl in the demo, unfortunately. All-in-all, Pumpkin Jack shows promise as a follow-up to action 3D platformers of yore like Jak & Daxter, so here’s hoping to a solid haunting when it releases later this year.

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