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Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD devs discuss new features, and reworking old content

Going bananas!

Famitsu had the chance to talk to SEGA's Toshihiro Nagoshi and Masao Shirosaki, two devs working on Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD. The duo were asked to elaborate on the new features for this outing, as well as some tweaks to the original game. Check out a translation of those portions of the interview below, courtesy of NintendoEverything.

F: So in Banana Blitz HD, while you’ll be adding in new features and leaving in ones that passionate fans enjoy, you’ll also be balancing the difficulty for those who are brand new to the game. Is that right?

Shirosaki: That’s correct. We’re making the beginning stages easy to beat, however the latter stages are giving our developers a real run for their money. When I finally cleared all the stages in the game, I shouted, “YES!” (embarrassed laughter) I didn’t even realize. I really think players are going to get a great sense of accomplishment when they try the game out.

F: In addition to remaking Banana Blitz, you’ll also be adding new features like “Time Attack Mode” and leaderboards. Could you tell us how you came up with them?

Shirosaki: After development kicked off, I wondered how people had been playing the original version, so I decided to look into it. I found out that there were players who would beat stages with clear times and techniques that the developers didn’t expect. There were even people who explained how to do these “Time Attack” methods on video sharing websites. We mulled over what features to create that would quell passionate fans like these, and that’s how we came up with “Time Attack Mode”. And then the leaderboards were just an obvious inclusion that made sense when paired with “Time Attack Mode”. We were able to add these components relatively simply thanks to the added power of modern consoles, so it was a no-brainer.

F: In addition to “Time Attack Mode”, you’ll also be adding a new “Decathlon Mode”, too. Could you tell us how this came about?

Shirosaki: We put together 10 different mini-games but we thought it was kind of a shame that they could only be played in multiplayer mode. So we tried to figure out a different style of play that used all the mini-games, and that’s how “Decathlon Mode” came to be. It’s a mode where the player challenges themselves to beat 10 mini-games in a row. We can’t share any further details just yet, but there are going to be a lot of hidden features in there, so please look forward to future announcements.

Nagoshi: I think fans will really “go bananas” for the gameplay and the price of ‘Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD. I’m very happy that this is a new opportunity for as many people as possible to play the game.

Three new Mario Kart Wii shortcuts discovered in the course of 24 hours

Time to fire up the Wii

While you and I may have moved on from Mario Kart Wii, there are still speedrunners out there who plug away at the game every day. Believe it or not, all these years later, there's still glitches and bugs to be found. In the video above, you can see that three different course glitch shortcuts were discovered in the course of just 24 hours. The speedrunning scene has now been turned on its head with these finds!

Second portion of the fan-translated Iwata Asks feature now live

RIP Iwata

As we mentioned last week, a fan has taken it upon himself to translate an Iwata Asks feature that never saw release outside of Japan. The feature focuses on Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers, and saw Iwata sit down with Square-Enix executive producer Akitoshi Kawazu. You can check out part two of the interview here.

A fan is translating an Iwata Asks feature that never saw release outside of Japan

Iwata lives on

Many, many Nintendo fans dearly miss Satoru Iwata, Nintendo's former president. We recently hit the 4th anniversary of Iwata's untimely passing, which lead to fans reminiscing about all the wonderful things Iwata did. Now those fans have a new way to celebrate Iwata's work and life.

Iwata was well-known for all sorts of projects and features, but his Iwata Asks interviews were really something special. These interviews with game developers not only gave us more insight into a game's creation, but also Nintendo's philosophy and Iwata's way of thinking. While many of these Iwata Asks features were translated, one never saw release outside of Japan...until now.

A fan has taken to translating the original Iwata Asks feature for Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers, which had Iwata sit down with executive producer Akitoshi Kawazu to discuss the Wii title. If you'd like to take a virtual leap back in time to read up on this game's creation, and also get a bit more Iwata in your life, you can read the first translated installment of this Iwata Asks here.

82-year-old grandmother finally completes The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess after 755 hours

Zelda was probably pissed

How long did it take you to finish The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess the first time? Probably somewhere around the 30 hour mark, right? Well that's a drop in the bucket compared to how much time Reddit user MillerisChris' grandmother put into the game. This 82-year-old has been playing the Wii version for years now, and she finally completed the game after 755 hours! Now that's some serious dedication!

Peeking inside Donkey Kong Country Returns' barrels reveals Donkey and Diddy Kong snuggling up

Zero personal space


Donkey Kong Country Returns may have come out quite awhile ago, but we're still learning new things about the game to this day. Thanks to some asset shifting, we can now see just how Donkey and Diddy are crammed into barrels together. Who know the reveal would be so cute?!

NPD's Mat Piscatella shares the best-selling 3rd party published games to appear on Nintendo platforms, and the best-selling portable games

Rock and roll all night

NPD's Mat Piscatella is back again with some interesting sales data for the US. Mr. Piscatella has shared U.S. charts for the best-selling 3rd party published games to appear on Nintendo platforms, and the best-selling portable games overall. Check out those top 10 charts below.




Dragon Quest IX live-stream special set to air on July 11th, 2019

10 years!

GameTV has announced a Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies 10th anniversary special live stream, which takes place on July 11th, 2019 at 21:00 JST. The stream will feature Dragon Quest IX producer Ryuutarou Ichimura from Square Enix, director Jin Fujisawa from Story Note, director Akihiro Hino from Level-5, and MC Reiko Mihashi. The stream will include segments on memories and behind the scenes stories from development, multiplayer, a Q&A, and more. It seems this live-stream is meant as a celebration, and there won't be any specific announcements made throughout the course of the event.

Nintendo on keeping Switch momentum going, and the reaction to their E3 2019 offerings

Steady as she goes

Coming from Nintendo's 79th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders...

Donkey Kong Country Returns now available on Nvidia SHIELD in China, new gameplay footage shared

The definitive version of the game?

We knew it was coming, but now the game has arrived. Donkey Kong Country Returns is available on the Nvidia SHIELD in China. Obviously some changes have been put in place for this port. First up, the game runs in 1080p and 60fps, which it certainly didn't do on the Wii. Second, the game's motion controls have been completely removed, which isn't surprising at all.

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