Nintendo removes Wii, WiiWare, DS, and DSiWare games from their website, Wii U page removed as well

End of an era

Nintendo has done a bit of housecleaning on their official website. If you're looking for listings on Wii, WiiWare, DS, and DSiWare games, you'll have to look elsewhere. Nintendo has removed all pages for those games. On top of that, Nintendo has taken down the info page for the Wii U as well. I guess Nintendo had to make some room for all the recent Switch games!

Famitsu readers choose their top 3 Heisei Era games

Three games you can't go wrong with

Japan is moving into the Reiwa period on May 1st, 2019, which means the Heisei period is coming to a close. With the Heisei period running from January 8th, 1989 to April 30th, 2019, Famitsu asked their readers to vote on the most memorable Heisei period games. The top 3 titles can be found below.

#3 NieR: Automata (205 Votes) – By Square Enix, released on February 23, 2017 (Heisei 29) for the PlayStation 4.

Comments from readers on NieR: Automata:

“No game has ever moved me as much.” (Male, teens)
“This game made me understand feelings that can’t be described by words.” (Female, 20s)

#2 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (209 Votes) – By Nintendo, released on March 3, 2017 (Heisei 29) for the Nintendo Switch and Wii U.

Comments from readers on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

“It felt as if I were living in this land called Hyrule.” (Male, 20s)
“The wonders of being able to go as far as the eyes can see.” (Female, 50s)

#1 Chrono Trigger (230 Votes) – By Square Enix (Then Square), released on March 11, 1995 (Heisei 7) for the Super Famicom

Comments from readers on Chrono Trigger:

“It’s a masterpiece with everything from story, scenario, and music that has yet to fade.” (Male, 30s)
“Going on an adventure beyond time with Crono (protagonist) and the others is a memory that I’ll never forget for the rest of my life.” (Female, 30s)

First 4 Figures shares Okami: Amaterasu Life Size Bust statue production diary and drop test

Just dropping in for an update

First 4 Figures has a number of different statues in the works, including Amaterasu from Okami. Check out the videos above to see how things are coming along!

HAL discusses the design process of Kirby games, spin-off titles, difficulty, and HAL still wanting to do more with Kirby

An inside look at how Kirby games are made

Shinya Kumazaki, chief creator at HAL, has worked on a lot of Kirby games. That includes both mainline entries and spin-offs. In an interview with Kotaku, Shinya Kumazaki elaborates on the design process for some recent Kirby titles.

“For recent core Kirby titles, I come up with ideas at HAL Laboratory’s Yamanashi Development Center and we get started on small game experiments. For Kirby’s Return to Dream Land, I was aiming for simple 4-person simultaneous play using Wii Remotes. With [2014’s] Triple Deluxe, I wanted to leverage the 3D capabilities of Nintendo 3DS by having two fields, one up front and one further back, and started devising a world of floating continents that would reflect that idea. In [2016’s] Planet Robobot, we started by expanding on a small idea of contrasting the gentle appearance of the sky and plants from the world of Triple Deluxe by making a world of machines, and introduced Robobot Armor as a good fit for that concept.

I may have made the initial proposal and was responsible for the overall direction of these titles, but the ideas and feedback, the technology and the style all come together from a variety of people to complete a single Kirby title.

The core titles have an important role as the core of the series, but leave a separate role for the more unrestrained spin-off Kirby titles that are full of surprises you’d never expect to see in a Kirby game, and then these slightly more unusual spin-off Kirby games drive anticipation for the core Kirby games, which helps us get enthusiastic about developing a title that meets those expectations. The series keeps getting bigger as we fill those roles and make it more diverse.“

Working on those spin-off titles alongside main entries is important for the team, as it helps newcomers cut their teeth on Kirby games, and also allows team members to express new, fresh ideas.

“With each passing year, the development of Kirby games gets larger in scale and more complicated. Completing smaller games like these is a good experience that gives the younger staff members at HAL Laboratory an opportunity to take up a more active role. Kirby’s Blowout Blast was originally a mini-game that came about because we wanted to try out 3D action. A younger director worked hard to develop both that title and Team Kirby Clash Deluxe.“

A lot of people knock Kirby games for being too easy, and while the mainline experiences are certainly manageable for most gamers, there's usually some kind of challenging content to unlock once you wrap up the core game. Kumazaki feels this is the right approach, as it fits for newcomers and seasoned gamers.

“I think this quality of being approachable while culminating in a climax with some depth is one of the things that makes Kirby games unique. You get drawn in by the cuteness, and find yourself playing until suddenly you and Kirby are ready to face the final battle with the fate of the world on the line. Then, after completing the game, you can take on a new mode that is surprisingly difficult.”

While HAL has done a lot with Kirby, Kumazaki wants fans to know that there are still a ton of different ideas the team wants to tackle.

“I feel like we’ve accomplished a lot at this point, but in no way is our team at HAL Laboratory burnt out. There are still a lot of things I personally want to try, and I hope we can bring Kirby’s endeavors to even more people around the world.”

Ubisoft announces the final details of the Just Dance World Cup 2019

Dance up a storm

LONDON, UK – March 25th, 2019 – Today, Ubisoft® unveiled the final details of the Just Dance World Cup Grand Finals 2019, which will take place in Brazil on March 30th, including the hosts & jury members, along with the scoring methods of the competition. The top seventeen players in the world will compete for the title of World Champion and attempt to dethrone the 2-time champion Umutcan Tutuncu, representing Turkey. The Grand Finals final stages will be streamed on the Ubisoft Twitch and Facebook Channels.

The eighteen players* will compete on a Best-of-three** format based on their scoring (Just Dance points) – the first player with two points wins the match and continues the competition. The broadcast of the Grand Finals will start on the Ubisoft Twitch Channel as soon as the six final champions of the competition have been selected i.e. March 30th, 8PM GMT: https://www.twitch.tv/ubisoft.

Once the six final champions have been selected, an international jury, hosting by the famous Brazilian presenter, journalist, producer and YouTuber Fernanda Pineda, will join the competition for the final stages of the Grand Finals:

Jayden Rodrigues: Australian dancer and Just Dance ambassador
Jerky Jessy: French dancer and Just Dance choreographer
Maira Medeiros: Brazilian influencer
The jury members will evaluate the performance of the players in conjunction with the scoring.

This year, if there is a draw, the battle will be defined by a vote through the Twitch chat (https://www.twitch.tv/ubisoft), where the public will decide who was the better dancer.

The eighteen players will compete on the following tracklist of songs:

Familiar - Liam Payne & J Balvin
Havana - Camila Cabello
I Feel It Coming - The Weeknd ft. Daft Punk
Narco - Blasterjaxx & Timmy Trumpet
Rhythm of the night - Corona (Ultraclub 90)
Shaky Shaky - Daddy Yankee
Water Me - Lizzo
I'm Still Standing - Top Culture - Elton John
Adeyyo - Ece Seçkin
New Rules - Dua Lipa
Sweet Little Unforgettable Thing - Bea Miller
No Tears Left To Cry - Ariana Grande
Un Poco Loco - Disney•Pixar's Coco
Calypso - Luis Fonsi Ft. Stefflon Don
Sangria Wine - Pharrell Williams x Camila Cabello
Hala Bel Khamis - Maan Barghouth
One Kiss - Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa
New World- Krewella & Yellow Claw ft. VaVa
Ça Plane Pour Moi- Bob Platine
Karaoke Forever (卡拉永遠) - Alan Tam (谭咏麟)
Work Work ALT - Britney Spears
Finesse ALT - Bruno Mars Ft. Cardi B
New Rules ALT - Dua Lipa
OMG ALT - Arash Ft. Snoop Dogg
Mad Love ALT - Sean Paul, David Guetta Ft. Becky G
Bang2019 ALT – BIGBANG
Make Me Feel – Janelle Monáe

The Just Dance World Cup final stages will be broadcasted live in English and Brazilian Portuguese through the official channels of Ubisoft on YouTube, Facebook and Twitch.

For more information about Just Dance World Cup, please visit https://www.justdanceworldcup.com/

For more information about Just Dance and the other games of Ubisoft, please visit http://news.ubisoft.com

Yuji Naka's Prope dev studio is now just a one-man team

In the video game world, Prope might not be a household name, but it was created by a person many know. Sonic creator Yuji Naka started up Prope back in 2006, and had high hopes for the independent developer. The company did work on a number of Wii, DS, and 3DS projects over the years. They even worked directly with Nintendo on StreetPass Mansion and StreetPass Fishing. That was quite some time ago though, and many have been wondering what's going on with Prope.

Unfortunately, it seems things are pretty much all wrapped up for the company. None other than Yuji Naka took to Twitter to explain Prope's current situation.

“...Prope in April 2017 underwent a downsizing and became a one-man company. Buddy Monster, which reaches its seventh year in June this year, is being taken care of by the company running the game.

If it’s alright with you, it would make me happy if you were to play Prope’s apps and 3DS’ Streetpass Mii Plaza’s Monster Mansion and Ultimate Angler, and the game which I helped program partially for the first time in around 20 years, Legend of Coin."

It seems Naka's focus is elsewhere now, and Prope simply exists as a name and a single person. That all but assures a closure sometime in the near future.

Square-Enix character designer reveals a cut Chocobo from Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon: Every Buddy!, and gives hope for new Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles titles

FFCCII, please!

Square-Enix character designer Toshiyuki Itahana has worked on both Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon: Every Buddy! and Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles. In an interview with Twinfinite, we find out about the Chocobo design seen above, which didn't actually make the cut for the game.

I ended up designing a “summoner”, but the planner mentioned it would be difficult to incorporate into the system, so the design didn’t make it into the game. The design is pretty cute though, so I would love to see it make an appearance next time.

Following that, Itahana is asked about the potential for new entries in the Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles series. The response is at least somewhat encouraging.

In general, for both remakes, we want to ensure that the games are properly developed, recreating the fun of the original game, while adding new elements. After everyone gets a chance to hopefully reaffirm the fact that these are enjoyable titles, then we could consider future titles. As such, I would love to hear everyone’s feedback and impression upon playing the Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon and FFCC remakes as it’ll serve as an extremely good reference for whatever next title we may undertake.

How well did Nintendo's legacy titles sell on the Nvidia Shield store in China after one year?

Not exactly killing it

The Nvidia Shield store in China has gotten 4 legacy Nintendo titles throughout the last year. The lineup included Super Mario Galaxy, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and Punch-Out!! (Wii). Wondering how they've sold after 365 days? Check out the data below.

Super Mario Galaxy - 8,042
New Super Mario Bros. Wii - 7,315
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - 4,998
Punch-Out!! - 2,406

Not exactly a warm welcome for these titles, but there's a portion of the data we don't have. How many people in China actually bought the Nvidia Shield?

Kirby's Epic Yarn Vs. Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn - visual comparison

An Epic comparison

Let's take another look at how this Wii classic fares during its transition to 3DS. Some of the overall fidelity might have been downgraded, but the important bits are certainly intact.

Game Freak's official YouTube channel shares a timelapse drawing of Pulseman

He's got a pulse!

Here's a deep cut for you! The official Game Freak YouTube channel has shared a time-lapse drawing of Pulseman! Pulseman is a game that hit the Genesis all the way back in 1994, and it would remain a Japanese-only release until 2009, when the game was finally released in NA/EU via the Wii Virtual Console. Nice to see some love from Game Freak for the character. Perhaps it's time for a revival!