Login

NES/SNES Switch Online: Donkey Kong Country, Natsume Championship Wrestling, and The Immortal coming July 15th, 2020

Finally!

On July 15, Donkey Kong, the unstoppable king of swing, returns to the Nintendo Switch system with his touchstone adventure, the classic Super NES™ game Donkey Kong Country™. With a Nintendo Switch Online membership, you’ll be able to join Donkey Kong, his pal Diddy Kong and their trusty animal friends as they explore jungles, climb snowcapped mountains and ride rollicking minecarts to hunt down their missing bananas from a cruel gang of Kremlings.

In addition to Donkey Kong Country, the hard-hitting wrestling game Natsume Championship Wrestling is also joining the Super Nintendo Entertainment System™ – Nintendo Switch Online library for the Nintendo Switch™ system. The Nintendo Entertainment System™ – Nintendo Switch Online collection is adding a new NES™ game this month too: the isometric, action-RPG The Immortal.

The Nintendo Switch Online service now offers access to 85 classic games that can all be enjoyed at no extra charge. Here’s a full rundown of the games being added this month:

Super NES

Donkey Kong Country – Armed with chest-pounding muscle, mighty barrel rolls and awesome vine-swinging skills, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong set out to face their adversaries, K. Rool and his reptilian crew of Kremlings. Play solo, compete with a friend or play cooperatively in over 100 levels filled with collectibles and hidden bonus levels.

Natsume Championship Wrestling– Choose from 12 outrageous wrestlers and bring the pain! With a robust grappling system and over 50 moves to master, experience the most realistic wrestling action of the 16-bit era. Test your might against the AI, or up to two players can compete in exhibition, tag team and round robin matches.

NES

The Immortal – Grab your Wizard’s Pack and let your quest unfold as you explore the Labyrinth of Eternity. Delve into the dungeon’s depths to uncover the mysteries of the ancient ruins. Your teacher Mordamir awaits below!

The Famicom's designer thought Nintendo's president was drunk when he requested the creation of the system

From drunk ramblings to a pop culture phenomenon

Masayuki Uemura is the man responsible for the Famicom and the NES. While others in the company were making games, Uemura handled the hardware creation from the get-go. Without Uemura, the Famicom and NES could have turned out completely different.

In an interview with Kotaku, Uemura reveals that he didn't even think the request to create the Famicom was real at first. He mistook the mandate as nothing more than the drunk ramblings of then president Hiroshi Yamauchi.

It started with a phone call in 1981. President Yamauchi told me to make a video game system, one that could play games on cartridges. He always liked to call me after he’d had a few drinks, so I didn’t think much of it. I just said, “Sure thing, boss,” and hung up. It wasn’t until the next morning when he came up to me, sober, and said, “That thing we talked about—you’re on it?” that it hit me: He was serious.

Once Uemura realized Yamauchi was being serious, work on the platform began. It turns out Yamauchi had even more impact on the Famicom's creation, as he came up with the color scheme.

The colors were based on a scarf Yamauchi liked. True story. There was also a product from a company called DX Antenna, a set-top TV antenna, that used the color scheme. I recall riding with Yamauchi on the Hanshin expressway outside of Osaka and seeing a billboard for it, and Yamauchi saying, “That’s it! Those are our colors!” Just like the scarf. We’d struggled with the color scheme. We knew what the shape would be, but couldn’t figure out what colors to make it. Then the DX Antenna’s colors decided it. So while it ended up looking very toy-like, that wasn’t the intent. The idea was making it stand out.

GoNintendo Feature: Taking a closer look at Hand-Drawn Game Guides' Legend of Zelda booklet

Ridiculously gorgeous stuff

So happy to share today's feature with you. I talked about it a bit on the podcast, but now you can get a much better look at what this guide has to offer. You'll have a chance to buy your own tomorrow! As always, thanks for reading.

Longtime fans of GoNintendo might recognize the name of Philip Summers, better known to us as Shamazool. Back in the day, GoNintendo teamed up with Shamoozal for a series of animated shorts that both paid tribute to and spoofed classic NES games. The series, known as Read Only Memory, is still one of things I've been most proud of to feature on GoNintendo. If you weren't around back in those days, you can catch up on the entire series here.

Phil's amazing talent with art and animation was instantly recognizable back then, and he's only been getting better since. One of the more recent ventures Phil has had success with is the Hand-Drawn Game Guides series. This series of guides aims to reproduce instruction booklets from the NES days, but with far more detail, both in artwork and information. The series has stunned fans so far with Ninja Gaiden and Contra entries, but Phil has really topped himself with the latest installment; The Legend of Zelda.

Hand-Drawn Game Guides' Legend of Zelda booklet includes 64 pages featuring everything you need to know about the original Legend of Zelda. First up, you'll get all the button prompts, enemy info, item details, and more that the original instruction booklet released. More importantly, the booklet embellishes things with absolutely gorgeous artwork showing Link on his journey, which is accompanied by a new narrative to tie the whole experience together. You can tell it's a real labor of love, and the end result is something to be truly proud of.

Not surprisingly, interest in this guide has been extremely high. The initial plan was to sell 100 physical copies for $25, and those were gobbled up roughly 2 minutes after sales went live. You can still buy the digital version for just a dollar, but there's even better news. Following the huge success so far, Hand-Drawn Game Guides is doing another physical run of 200 units. Those will go up for sale on July 1st, 2020 at 12 PM ET. They're definitely going to go just as quickly, so make sure you're ready to snag yours!

I want to share a special thanks with Phil for sending an early copy of his Legend of Zelda guide with me. It's been absolutely amazing to thumb through, and even more impressive to see just how successful the series has been. Every copy sold, and every bit of support the series sees is well deserved. Phil has been a longtime supporter of GoNintendo, and hugely talented faaaaaar longer than that. It's my honor to share his latest work with you, and I can only hope you find it as interesting as I do.

Hand Drawn Game Guides releasing a gorgeous new booklet for The Legend of Zelda

Talk about beautiful!


Hand Drawn Game Guides Presents: The Legend of Zelda from Travis Huhn on Vimeo.

Hand Drawn Game Guides, a project from long-time friend of the site Philip Summers, is about to release a brand-new booklet, and it could be the best one yet.

Hand Drawn Game Guides previously released custom instruction booklets for both Contra and Ninja Gaiden, and now they've turned their focus to The Legend of Zelda. This booklet includes 64 absolutely gorgeous hand-drawn pages that not only detail how the original Legend of Zelda plays, but also fleshes out the story of Link's first adventure.

If you like what you see, you can snag yourself a copy on June 29th, 2020. There are going to be just 100 physical copies available to snag, which are priced at $25 a piece. You can also go the digital route, which will get you a PDF of the entire booklet for just $1. Depending on demand, another round of printing could happen.

The booklet goes up for order on at noon ET on Monday, so make sure you're ready to secure your copy!

Project Blue for Famicom launches on Kickstarter

Out of the blue

Project Blue is a brand-new 8bit Action-Platformer for the Famicom/NES, created as a team-effort by the talented ToggleSwitch, FrankenGraphics & M-Tee.

The game's base gameplay is heavily inspired by classics like Megaman and Super Mario Bros. 3, but mixes things up with a unique dystopian setting and creative level design with lots of unique challenges and multiple game modes to tackle.

The project was successfully funded and realized as a NES-compatible cartridge release through Kickstarter in 2019. For this year, the developers have teamed up with First Press Games to bring Project Blue to the Japanese sister-system of the NES, the Famicom.

Aside of making it available for the different hardware, the goal is also to create a thoroughly localized packaging, manual and even implement translated in-game text to make it a truly fleshed-out release for the console.

This Kickstarter aims to fund part of the production for the Famicom version, which will be quite expensive due to many involved custom parts.

While new NES releases are a common feat nowadays, well-made Famicom games are very hard to find on the retrogame aftermarket. First Press Games wants to change that and tackle it the same way as they did with Tobu Tobu Girl Deluxe:

Custom-manufactured cartridge shells, newly-assembled PCBs and self-developed, authentic packaging to give the whole product a proper edge over anything you have ever seen before!

Make sure to follow the Kickstarter updates closely, a lot of exciting details and behind-the scenes content will unleash during the course of the campaign.

Check out the Kickstarter here

Original Blaster Master artist shows how he designed Sophia using NES tools

The art of Sophia

Here's an awesome bit of insight into the original NES days. Kenji Sada, the original artist on Blaster Master, has put together a video showcasing how he created the in-game art for Sophia, the tank from the series. Sada put together a special video to show how he did this, and he used the exact same tools that he did back in the day.

This video is only possible because someone archived and dumped the development tools Sunsoft used on the NES. Sada was able to grab these and jump right back in to show his original process.

Thanks to NintenDaan and Syrenne for the heads up!

New round of Earthbound/MOTHER merch spotted (UPDATE)

Yep, it's the motherload

The Pollyanna comic collection that released as part of the Hobonichi Mother Project is chock-full of Mother/Earthbound tributes, but it turns out the book also offers a look at what's to come.

Another round of Mother merch is on the way, and they're pretty darn fancy. The lineup includes the following.

- Franklin Badge replica
- Starman and Mr. Saturn lapel pins
- Mother series keyring
- Mother Earth Silver Necklace

UPDATE - Turns out there's even more merch than first thought. A new round of items has been discovered.

Along with what was mentioned earlier, the following items are on the way as well.

- Master Belch plush
- Mr. Saturn plush
- Assorted character bead keyrings
- Mr. Saturn and house plush
- T-shirt
- Assorted Tote bags
- Assorted Towels
- Set of books with scripts from all three Mother games

GoNintendo Thought: Namco Museum Archives' PAC-MAN Championship Edition demake is absolutely fascinating

What we do here is go back

I seriously cannot wait to get my hands on PAC-MAN Championship Edition next week. I love the original release and follow-up, and I'm dying to see how this Famicom/NES version plays. I just had to share my excitement for it! As always, thanks for reading.

After a Japanese announcement of the Namcot Collection, retailer leaks, and an Asian localization, we finally got word today that Namco Museum Archives Vol. 1 and 2 are heading to both North America and Europe. The collections bring together classic NES/home console versions of numerous Namco classics, including Dig-Dug, Mappy, Xevious, Galaga, Rolling Thunder, and more. It'll be great to have another way to enjoy some classic games with added bonuses, but out of both collections, I'm most excited for the one "new" title included.

Just a couple weeks back, Bandai Namco announced that Namcot Collection in Japan would have a special bonus game. Those who separately purchased 10 titles in the Namcot Collection would be able to download PAC-MAN Championship Edition. This isn't the 2007 title that hit multiple platforms, but instead, a demake of that game. All the other games in this collection are straight from the NES days, but PAC-MAN Championship Edition is made to not only pay tribute to the NES, but also adhere to what was possible on that platform.

Namco Museum Archives Vol. 1 and 2 could have been fun enough on their own. A collection of legacy games from Namco with bonus features like save states, rewind, borders, and more. Fans of those old titles are more than happy to dive into a collection that groups them into two packages, and those quality-of-life improvements sweeten the pot. That said, the addition of PAC-MAN Championship Edition has taken this package and turned it into something really special.

Companies are extremely eager to remake their games nowadays. Remakes and re-releases are a huge deal, and they usually bring in big bucks for the devs and pubs. Take a game that is well known and loved, revamp the graphics and sound, tweak some gameplay mechanics, and watch the dollars roll in. Remakes and re-releases have always been a thing, but they really started to take off during the PS3/Xbox 360/Wii era. When devs and pubs started to see how much cash these reworkings could make, countless companies got to work on making them happen. Nowadays remakes and re-releases are pretty much expected, and are something fans clamor for.

While remakes are commonplace in today's industry, demakes are few and far between. Yes, there are plenty of developers who look to emulate the visual style or sounds of legacy platforms, but that's an artistic choice. Furthermore, that approach is being utilized for a new project. Shovel Knight, Panzer Paladin, The Messenger, and other games in the retro genre are brand-new experiences that are looking to recapture elements of consoles and gaming eras gone by. A demake takes a game that already exists and ports it down to a platform that we've long since moved on from.

Fan-made demakes are somewhat frequent, but official demakes are a rare beast. This is what intrigues me so much with PAC-MAN Championship Edition. Bandai Namco actually gave the go-ahead to take a game from 2007 and port it down to hardware that was thriving in the mid-to-late 80s. This isn't something you see nowadays! It's just so out of the ordinary that I can't help but be excited by it.

The story gets even crazier when you dig into it more. Turns out Bandai Namco worked with M2 to handle PAC-MAN Championship Edition's demake. For those who enjoy retro games, M2 is the king of the ports. The company pays a ridiculous amount of attention to making sure ports of classic games look, sound, and feel like they did back in the day. They know fans of those titles expect the exact same experience when they play straightforward re-releases of those games today, and it seems there's no one better at nailing the minutia than M2.

Just recently, we learned that PAC-MAN Championship Edition was originally going to see release on the 3DS. Now while it's not perfectly clear, it does seem the plan for the 3DS version was to mimic the original release, rather than be a demake. For reasons unknown, the 3DS version didn't end up panning out. Eventually things shifted over to the Namco Museum Archives, and M2 saw an opportunity to do something special. With Bandai Namco's blessing, they went ahead to create an NES/Famicom replication of PAC-MAN Championship Edition. While bringing PAC-MAN Championship Edition to the 3DS would have been hard enough, now M2 was working with a more powerful platform, but limiting themselves even further by adhering to what the NES could do!

According to M2, the team has been working on PAC-MAN Championship Edition for 5 years now. Again, it's not clear how much of that time was spent on the 3DS version and the Switch version, but it's still an incredible amount of time to work on this one project. Even if the demake only took a year's worth of time, that would still be extremely surprising. All that time spent to replicate a platform that we moved on from decades ago. If anything, it only goes to show just how dedicated both Bandai Namco and M2 are to not just respecting the history of games, but also keeping it alive in new ways.

I seriously cannot wait to get my hands on PAC-MAN Championship Edition in the Namco Museum Archives. Seeing such a love letter to the early days of gaming tickles me a million ways over. We finally got to see some footage of the game today, and it certainly looks the part of a Famicom game. PAC-MAN Championship Edition in 2007 retained the look of Pac-Man while enhancing it with tons of neon lights and special effects. PAC-MAN Championship Edition's demake looks right in line with what the NES/Famicom could do, but still tries to keep some of those fancy bells and whistles from the 2007 outing.

What we don't get to experience in the trailer is the audio side of things, which I might be even more excited about. PAC-MAN Championship Edition has an amazing soundtrack, full of thumping beats and pulse-pounding music. I cannot wait to see what M2 and Bandai Namco have done for the demake. Will they keep those same tunes but recreate them in a chiptune style? Will they work on all-new chiptune tracks? Will it be a mix of both ideas? I am so bummed they didn't let us hear what was going on in the debut trailer, but it makes me that much more excited to go hands-on next week.

All in all, I think there's one main reason why I love seeing official demakes. When you take a game and try to make it run on hardware that came out decades prior, a lot has to be stripped away. Visuals can't be anywhere near as good, sound is limited, and features have to be cut back. With all that said, the core thing that has to be retained is the fun. A demake is forced to boil a game down to its most essential features, showing what makes us enjoy the game to begin with. When you strip a game down to its bare-bones, you're left with something that either excels in fun or doesn't. I have no doubt PAC-MAN Championship Edition's demake will be just as fun as the 2007 it stems from.

Moleskine releases three officially-licensed Legend of Zelda notebooks in Japan

It's dangerous to go alone!

Moleskine, a custom writing supplies retailer, has teamed up with Nintendo for a series of Legend of Zelda notebooks in Japan. The lineup includes three different options; Link, Sword, and Collector's Edition. Unfortunately, there's no word on these products coming to North America or Europe at this time.

Get a look at the back cover for the Pollyanna book from the Hobonichi Mother Project

Two faces a Mother could love

The first bit of merch revealed by the Hobonichi Mother Project was the Pollyanna comic compilation book, which hits Japan in limited release on June 12th, 2020. We've already seen the cover and preview pages, but now we have a look at the back cover as well, thanks to none other than Masahiro Sakurai.

Sakurai shared a picture of the book, as it seems he has an early copy. He shared a look at the back cover, which features both Ness and Lucas as they appear in Smash Bros. Ultimate. The back cover is actually an ad for that game, but it certainly fits in with the Mother/Earthbound celebration theme.

Search

Today's VIP

pokemaster515's avatar
Joined: May 2011
Newbie

Social Services