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GoNintendo Thought: Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2 Switch ports would pose an interesting Wii Remote problem

What's the point?

Day two of this work week and we're sticking with the Mario theme. There's a topic I've been pondering with ports of Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2, and now's the perfect time to discuss it! As always, thanks for reading.

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The Switch's Joy-Con can do lots of things the Wii's Wii Remote couldn't. There's NFC tech inside, it has HD rumble for a more immersive experience, there's an IR camera for unique tracking opportunities, and so on. The Wii Remote also had motion controls, but there's no doubt the tech inside the Joy-Con is much more capable of a sophisticated gesture-controlled experience. By and large, the Joy-Con is on-par, if not better than almost everything the Wii Remote had. It's the almost that has me worried.

The one thing the Wii Remote has on the Joy-Con is its IR pointer. A ton of games on the Wii used the IR pointer for menus, game input, and more. Super Mario Galaxy happens to be one of those games. There are a number of menus that you can interact by pointing at your TV screen and lining up the pointer icon. On top of that, the IR pointer was used for pointing at/interacting with elements during gameplay as well. Those are the areas that I'm worried about if Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2 were to come to Switch.

Making menus work without a Wii Remote pointer is no trouble at all. If memory serves me right, both Galaxy games already let you scroll through menus with the joystick anyway. It's the gameplay areas where IR pointing was necessary, and I don't recall there being another way to manipulate things. Granted, I am an old man and I might be forgetting a few alternate control methods, but I'm pretty sure some areas in both games would need considerable tweaking.

The most obvious change would have to come with collecting certain star bits. In Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2, you'll find star bits scattered all over levels. Instead of having to run over and grab them all, you could simply point the Wii Remote at the TV screen and "touch" them with your pointer to collect them. Not only did this make it easy to collect star bits that were both near and far in a level, it was fun to grab them as well! Finding every last star bit in an area and seeing them zip all the way over to Mario, no matter how far away they were, became like a mini-game in and of itself.

You could also use the IR pointer to fire off star bits at enemies. This would be great if you were running into trouble with some baddies, as you could stun them for a moment or two. If you were about to take a hit from an enemy, you might be able to save yourself the damage by shooting out a star bit at exactly the right spot. A second player could also come in with a Wii Remote and grab enemies to mess with them, providing another way for you to maneuver around levels without as much worry.

A specific IR Pointer action in Super Mario Galaxy 2 was tied to Yoshi's tongue. While most Mario games have you hit one button for a canned Yoshi's tongue action, Super Mario Galaxy 2 let you point to shoot Yoshi's tongue anywhere you wanted. The tongue would twist and shift to reach its destination, adding in a whole new layer of enjoyment. You could certainly take things back to how they were in previous Mario games, or perhaps add some other way of targeting, but I doubt any of it would feel as fun or engaging as the Wii Remote pointer method.

Outside of those features, there were other superfluous uses of the IR pointer. There were Pull Stars you would point/click to pull Mario through space, bubbles for Mario to travel in that were blown around based on where your pointer was, and Sling Pods that would let you pull back and whip Mario into the unknown. While these gameplay features were certainly made more fun and novel by using the Wii Remote pointer, mapping them to traditional controls wouldn't be any issue at all, and you'd most likely retain a similar level of fun.

I just keep circling back to the star bit collection/firing aspect, though. I don't see a good way for that to be remedied. Super Mario Galaxy made its way to the Nvidia Shield, and it let you control the on-screen pointer with the second joystick. As you might guess, that was a clunky solution at best. It barely got the job done, but doesn't measure up to the Wii Remote pointer in any way, shape, or form. If anything, it went to show just how integral the Wii Remote was to a big part of Super Mario Galaxy's experience.

Furthermore, if you're playing Super Mario Galaxy 1 or 2 on Switch in handheld mode, I would imagine the only options for star bit collecting would be the second joystick or touch screen. We already know how the second joystick implementation works out, which would make the touch screen option the better of the two. That still wouldn't be ideal though, as your hand would have to obscure a large part of the action during gameplay. That's not to mention the clunky nature of constantly having to take one hand off the Switch in order to drag/poke/prod your finger on the screen. Again, it doesn't sound like a great solution, but I'll take that over the second joystick approach.

Back on the docked gameplay side of things, the other control solution is to use the Joy-Con as a 'virtual' IR pointer. Thanks to the advanced tech inside the Joy-Con, it can do a decent job of mapping out where you are in 3D space. It also knows which what you're holding the controller, which can be used to roughly approximate where the tip of the Joy-Con is pointing. It's not a perfect solution, but it's certainly better than what Super Mario Galaxy did on the Nvidia Shield. World of Goo's Switch port utilizes this feature, and it mostly works, but it needs to be recalibrated quite a bit. Whether Nintendo could improve on what Tomorrow Corporation pulled off with their 'virtual' IR pointer remains to be seen.

If Nintendo is indeed bringing either Galaxy game to Switch, they must have found a solution to these issues that they're happy with. I can't imagine they would release ports that are fundamentally broken compared to the original. Whether they've got a virtual IR pointer that doesn't need nearly as much recalibration, or completely reworked star bit mechanics remains to be seen. Perhaps they thought of a completely different solution that I'm not even considering. If anyone can pull something like this off, it's Nintendo.

All I want for Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 ports on Switch would be for the original experience to be as close to intact as possible. Those two games are my favorite Mario titles hands-down, and they were really huge steps for what Mario experiences could offer. Part of that fun and wonder came from the Wii Remote interactions, and I don't want to see that content lost. I'll be hoping Nintendo surprises us with some unique twist or incredible solution to the problem. Whatever they do come up with, I'll certainly give it a try before I make my final call. With all that said though, I'm hanging on to my original copies Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2. The classics never get old!

Madcap party game “Chapeau” launches today on Switch

Mad cap action

Austrian developer Salt Castle Studio are proud to announce that their madcap multiplayer party game Chapeau is launching today on Nintendo Switch and PC.

In Chapeau, the spirit of local co-op is alive, and it’s haunting hilarious headwear! Players can go head-to-head with their friends in frantic Versus mode or try working together in cap-tivating local multiplayer modes. They can even fly solo in Challenge mode to unlock new hats and maps!

Players must bounce, float and zoom through the air and land on people’s heads to score points. Use jetpacks, dogs, shields...anything you can do to get a-Head of the competition, and master the playstyle of each headpiece!

Play on the couch with up to 4 players in local split screen

Play in Versus to take down friends, or Co-op to team up and hat together!

Find the perfect fit with different hats to match both your style and your playstyle

Use items like jetpacks, dogs or even comets to sabotage your opponents and stay a step ahead in the ever-changing dynamic play fields

Compete in the modes The Floor is Lava, Color Craze, and Where is Whilhelm

Test your skills in Challenge Mode to unlock a host of new hats & maps!

Unlock and collect all the funny hats and skins

Steam exclusive feature: Play online against your friends via Steam Remote Play (they don’t even need to own the game!)

Retro-style roguelike "Pangeon" seeing release on Switch

Get ready to die...a lot

Pangeon, a new retro-style roguelike, has just debuted on PC. According to the developers, it’s a tribute to classic dungeon crawlers, combining the best elements known from various games of the genre. Pangeon is available on Steam starting March 30, and before the end of 2020 it will be released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

Pangeon is a new game by the independent Polish developer MrCiastku. It is being published on Steam by Gaming Factory S.A. and Ultimate Games S.A.

MrCiastku’s new project is a roguelike inspired by classic dungeon exploration games. The creators emphasise that Pangeon combines the best elements of the genre.

Pangeon focuses on single player experience. As MrCiastku explains, the player’s goal is to make their way through the mysterious dungeons, and the whole mission is an almost suicidal challenge that will require them to eliminate a host of monsters. The title of the game is also the name of an organisation located in unknown dungeons that has the potential to destroy the entire planet.

The audio-visual style is distinguished by its retro aesthetics. This dungeon crawler offers, among others, 8 diverse levels with different look, enemies and items, as well as 10 types of weapons (including daggers, swords, bows and magic wands).

The PC release date has been set to March 30, 2020. Before the end of the year Pangeon is scheduled to be published on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

Pangeon – main features:

a retro-style roguelike;
8 diverse levels;
audio-visual style harking back to the classics;
dungeons filled with secrets;
10 types of weapons.

Switch Lite completely sold out on the My Nintendo Store in Japan

The Switch is harder to find than ever

Just yesterday, we were talking about the increased demand for Switch Lite in Japan, with multiple retailers selling out of all color variants. The only retailer left standing was the My Nintendo Store, but unfortunately, that too has succumbed to the increased demand. Now every single color variant of Switch Lite is sold out on the My Nintendo Store, and there's no word on when a restock is coming.

Pokemon Masters - content update for March 31st, 2020

[Events] The third Battle Villa challenge period is now live (available until April 15th, with rewards available until June 15th)

Dragalia Lost - content update for March 31st, 2020 (Version 1.18.2 available)

[Software updates] The latest Software update for the game is Ver. 1.18.2, and it’s now live.

[Events] The latest Raid Event is called Scars of the Syndicate, and it’s now live (available until April 13th, with rewards available until April 20th)

[Endeavours] A new set of Endeavours is now available: Scars of the Syndicate (Daily and Limited) (available until April 13th)
[Treasure Trade] New wyrmprints are now available via Treasure Trade: The Synthetic Dragon, A Widow’s Lament (featured until April 13th)

[Log-in Bonus] As compensation for an issue impacting the amount of rupies required to craft certain Void Weapons, all players who crafted affected weapons will get as special Log-in Bonus the difference between the rupies spent and the rupies that should have been required. (available until April 7th)

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp - content update for March 31st, 2020

[Events] The latest Seasonal Event is called Sakura Picnic in the Park, and it’s now live. You can collect sakura glass spheres in order to craft various sakura-themed items (available until April 29th)

[Store] A new Pack is now available in the Store: Sakura Picnic Pack (available until April 29th)

[Goals] A new set of Timed Goals is now live: Sakura Picnic in the Park Goals (available until April 29th)

[Events] The first half of the latest Garden Event, Katie’s Sakura Festival, is now live. The second half goes live on April 4th (available until April 10th)

[Goals] A new set of Timed Goals is now live: Garden Event Goals (available until April 10th)

[Store] Two new Packs are now live in the Store (available until April 10th)

Garden Growth Pack Regular
Garden Growth Pack Deluxe

[Happy Homeroom] A new set of Pop Quizzes is now available: Sakura Season (available until April 29th)

[Crafting] The Sakura Hakama Collection is now available for crafting (available until April 29th)

Dr. Mario World maintenance set for April 2nd, 2020, new content coming

Dr. Mario World will be undergoing maintenance on April 2nd, 2020 to add some new content. Check out details on what's coming below.

[Stage Mode] A new World has been added to Stage Mode: World 14. It features 20 new levels (Stages 521 to 540). Clearing those allows you to get the following as reward: ??? (no end date)

[Doctors] Two new Doctors are now available: ???. New Assistants have also been added: ???. Click here to check out the preview video! (featured until April ???)

Fire Emblem Heroes - content update for March 31st, 2020

[Summoning Focus] A new Mythic Hero Summoning Event is now live. It features the following Heroes: Bramimond (The Enigma), Roy (Blazing Lion), Altina (Dawn’s Trueblade), Fjorm (Princess of Ice), Tiki (Legendary Dragon), Peony (Sweet Dream), Thrasir (Omnicidal Witch), Robin (Fell Vessel), Alm (Imperial Ascent), Mamori (Microwin’ Idol), Micaiah (Queen of Dawn), and Camilla (Light of Nohr). (available until April 10th)

[Special Maps] The Mythic Hero Battle feat. Bramimond (The Enigma) is now live (available until April 10th)

[Special Maps] The Legendary/Mythic Hero Battle feat. Altina (Dawn’s Trueblade), Thrasir (Omnicidal Witch), Roy (Blazing Lion), Tiki (Legendary Dragon), Robin (Fell Vessel) are now live (available until April 10th)

[Aether Raids] Season 72 of Aether Raids is now live (available until April 7th)

Bonus Heroes (HP+10, Atk/Spd/Def/Res+4 + Lift+20 and Double EXP and SP if you win a battle): Sothis (Girl on the Throne), Ferdinand (Noblest of Nobles), Lysithea (Child Prodigy), Bernadetta (Eternal Loner), Annette (Overachiever), Flame Emperor (Bringer of War), Fiora (Defrosted Illian), Kronya (Gleaming Blade), Julia (Crusader of Light), and Anna (Commander)
Bonus Structures (Level +1): Tactics Room (O, D)

[Allegiance Battles] Season 50 of Allegiance Battles is now live. The Target for this Season is: Chrom (Crowned Exalt) (available until April 7th)

Check out the amazing artwork and behind-the-scenes pics from Nintendo's Company Guide for 2018

Another round-up of gorgeous art

Nintendo Company Guides are some of the most interesting content that Nintendo puts out. The guide is meant as a way to introduce new employees to the company, but the real fun for fans comes from the artwork included. These guides are usually chock-full of artwork and behind-the-scenes pics for Nintendo's franchises that you can't find anywhere else, and the 2018 version is no different. Take some time to sift through all 108 pages here!

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