Well, it finally happened. Nintendo announced a game! It wasn’t a new Metroid, as I’d long hoped, but instead a Wii U port.
…is this exciting?
YES, IT IS
In the second half of 2020, starring down a period of befuddling silence from the Big N, the optimal way to reinvigorate the community certainly isn’t a port of Pikmin 3. However, that’s what we got, and for the naysayers, it’s a port of an absolutely sublime little ditty (not Diddy, as in Kong, although I’d love a new DKC game). Packaged with new prologue and epilogue content, new difficulty options, new bonus features, co-op play, all its DLC, and some QoL bells and whistles, Pikmin 3 Deluxe sounds great.
Considering that the original release is already one of Nintendo’s most staggeringly beautiful, stylistically quaint, and deeply adventurous titles to date, this Deluxe port is the perfect way to introduce this seminal series to new fans. This is the Pikmin series’ first real chance at commercial success. The only thing that would make this better is online Bingo Battle, but oh well. Hopefully this is enough to keep fans busy as Mr. Miyamoto toils away, deep into the fifth year of Pikmin 4 being almost done.
Pikmin 3 Deluxe launches on October 30th.
A Bit of Smash
On the subject of small things, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate received a surprise patch, 8.10, that included a new stage: Small Battlefield. It’s like Big Battlefield… but smaller. While this may seem like a pointless addition, its two-platform setup and blast zones (no relation to Blast Processing) make it optimal for competitive play.
Or, at least, I think it does. I’m one of those dirty casuals. Any player can appreciate how the stage can be tricked out with any of Ultimate’s music tracks, though, which is a nice bonus. Allegedly this update improves the online play by adjusting the “Tick Rate,” but again, I have no idea what that means.
And a Birthday Bash
August 3rd marked Smash Bros. Director Masahiro Sakurai’s 50th birthday! An absolute visionary and dedicated creator, few people in the industry command as much respect as Mr. Sakurai. From Super Smash Bros. to Meteos, Kirby Air Ride, and Kid Icarus: Uprising, whatever he touches turns to meticulously-designed gold. He’s a master of his craft and a magician with code. I can’t wait to see what he works on next after Ultimate, once he’s taken a well-deserved break, that is.
At the time of writing, Nintendo’s quarterly financial report is hot off the presses as Nintendo’s cash machine works overtime to keep up. In a word the financial results are (pardon my language!) absolutely bonkers. The Switch itself has shifted a staggering 61 million systems and over 400 million pieces of software. Of those, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has cleared 26 million copies, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is on the precipice of 20 million (teetering at a huge 19.99 million units), and Animal Crossing: New Horizons…
Animal Crossing: New Horizons has shipped a galaxy-exploding 22 million units in under four full months. Those are results on a scale and magnitude that would make even the strongest attack from the beefiest Dugtrio quake in fear. It’s hard to fully understand the absolute dominance of this game, and even harder to fathom the miniscule time-frame that such results required. For more on Nintendo’s sales figures, you can check out the full top ten best-selling Switch games here, and relative hardware figures here.
The Other Shoe
It couldn’t be all good could it? Apparently not, as a few stories have ambiguously bubbled up giving Nintendo fans pause. For one, Pikmin 3, on the eve of its Switch release, has been pulled from the Wii U eShop. It’s unclear why, or if it’ll be gone forever, but in light of Deluxe’s $60 price tag and the original’s $20 cost, it doesn’t look like a good faith move.
COVID continues to strike, as Universal indefinitely delays the Orlando launch of Super Nintendo World out of its original 2023 opening. This isn’t particularly suprising, but disheartening nonetheless. I guess I better learn Japanese and head over there to check out the land before I’m too old and my joints can’t take the rides, huh?
Finally, in perhaps the most unclear but potentially saddest but of news, developer Skip seems to be closing down. Responsible for such underappreciated classics as Chibi-Robo and Captain Rainbow, this misunderstood team was never given the time to actually shine. For as creative and talented as the studio was, the stars just never aligned. It’s a shame, and I hope the team isn’t gone for good.
Well, now that we’ve ridden the high of a week full of (finally) actual Nintendo news, and I’ve then crushed your excitement with three sad headlines, my work here is done. Another installment of Yesterday’s News Today is complete.