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Along with today’s screenshot, Sakurai passed along the following message on Miiverse:

The ropes surrounding the ring. You can actually use the stretchiness of the ropes to do a spring jump. However, you can’t pull on them to launch yourself sideways in a lariat attack though.

Retro Studios president and CEO Michael Kelbaugh commented on Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze’s new 3D camera and how the Metroid Prime games influenced the company’s Donkey Kong titles as part of an interview with GamesTM this month. In doing so, Kelbaugh revealed that Metroid Prime’s engine and tools were used to make Returns.

Kelbaugh told the magazine:

With every game we make, we get better. In that sense, yes, the experience we gained working on the Metroid Prime franchise was invaluable.

Specifically answering your question about 3D to 2D, what you may not realise is that we constructed the levels in Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze in very much the same manner as we did the levels in Metroid Prime. However, levels in Returns and Tropical Freeze are much, much larger and more detailed. And I’ll share this with you; we used the Metroid Prime engine and tools to develop Returns, so technically, the lessons learned on Metroid Prime were directly applied.

Well before Super Mario 3D World launched, Nintendo made it clear that online play wouldn’t be included. It does feature Internet-enabled elements like ghost Miis and Miiverse support, but direct multiplayer is only available locally.

Shigeru Miyamoto previously said that online play “simply wasn’t the focus for us this time around.” He also mentioned how Nintendo wanted to make “something that people could experience fully while playing comfortably with others who were nearby them”.

Super Mario 3D World producer Yoshiaki Koizumi echoed similar thoughts while speaking with Game Informer this month. He also revealed an interesting tidbit: the staff over at EAD Tokyo have been experimenting with online play “since the days of Super Mario Galaxy”. But for Super Mario 3D World, the team decided to place the focus on gaming with others nearby.

Koizumi’s comments in full:

With The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Nintendo took a SNES classic and made it completely new again. Yet even though there’s a lot that’s new in the game – new dungeons, a new item system, and more – it also uses A Link to the Past as a base.

Could A Link Between Worlds set a new standard? What if Nintendo were to return to the core/basic elements of its other franchises and put a new spin on them?

When Game Informer asked Zelda: A Link Between Worlds director Hiromasa Shikata if he believes Nintendo is more interested in revisiting the structure/perspective of classic SNES games such as Metroid or Star Fox, he said:

It’s an honor that people consider the game to be a success. When we make a game we often start by thinking of the basic system and letting that in turn determine a suitable setting. If there’s something fitting for the basic Star Fox and Metroid formula then I think we’ll be able to develop something. On this title, if we hadn’t come up with the idea of going into the walls at the beginning and instead thought of something new which had the player curling up into a ball, we might have ended up with Metroid, not Zelda.

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Famitsu has published a listing of the top-selling games in Japan for 2013 through data collected by Enterbrain up through December 29. The results can be found below.

01. [3DS] Pokemon X/Y – 3,976,829
02. [3DS] Monster Hunter 4 – 3,293,312
03. [3DS] Animal Crossing: New Leaf – 1,730,182 / 4,017,159 total sales
04. [3DS] Tomodachi Collection – 1,580,067
05. [3DS] Dragon Quest VII – 1,227,377
06. [3DS] Puzzle & Dragons Z – 1,005,697
07. [3DS] Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon – 982,737
08. [PS3] Grand Theft Auto V – 605,882
09. [WIU] New Super Mario Bros. U – 584,479 / 965,794 total sales
10. [WIU] Wii Party U – 518,766

Famitsu also published a listing of hardware totals for 2013:

3DS – 4,931,509 / 14,694,011 total sales
PS Vita – 1,197,980 / 2,275,139 total sales
Wii U – 880,088 / 1,518,427 total sales
PS3 – 824,167 / 9,568,500 total sales
PSP – 429,393 / 19,608,493 total sales
Wii – 77,337 / 12,738,079 total sales
Xbox 360 – 19,548 / 1,607,559 total sales

If you happen to have a 3DS with v4.5 firmware or older, you might just be able to avoid the system’s region lock. Some folks over at GBAtemp have created a workaround that allows for games in different regions to be successfully booted.

All you need is a DS or 3DS flashcard, which runs a special patched launcher file. The code modifies your system to load cartridges from other regions. Once completed, more recent firmware can be installed to play imported games that require it.

Keep in mind that this method is not at related to piracy. Users can only play retail games – not ROMs – that have been purchased legally.

You can find more information about the workaround here.

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This week’s European Nintendo Downloads are as follows:

Wii U Virtual Console

Contra III: The Alien Wars (US version) – €7.99 / £5.49

3DS Retail

Cooking Mama 4 – €29.99 / £24.99

3DS Download

KORG M01D – €24.99

3DS Virtual Console

Mario Bros. – €4.99 / £4.49

Special Offers

MYST – €9.99 / £8.99 until January 31; regularly €13.99 / £12.99
Aqua Moto Racing 3D – €5.99 / £5.39 until January 23; regularly €7.99 / £7.19

Permanent Price Reductions

Gabrielle’s Ghostly Groove 3D – €3.99 / £3.59; was €13.99 / £12.59
Tangram Style – €2.99 / £2.69; was €5.99 / £5.39

The latest issue of Famitsu finally confirms Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson for 3DS. Additionally, the magazine includes a release date: August 7 for Japan.

Tamsoft is once again handling development. The studio also made the series’ previous entries.

Not too many details have leaked out of Famitsu thus far. Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson is a side-scrolling 3D action game, and it will include boss encounters on a 3D field as well as two male characters.

That’s all for now!

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Along with today’s screenshot, Sakurai passed along the following message on Miiverse:

Zelda’s strong side attack. It’s a slash attack that utilizes her magic to make even a simple slash look sharp.

The existence of a new “AAA” title from Tantalus Media, seemingly for Wii U, was outed over the weekend. Director of development Joss Ellis has since provided a few hints as to what the company will be working on.

Ellis teased that the game in question is a port, “but more of a complete rework for the Wii U” – think Deus Ex: Human Revolution. It’s also “for an absolute top notch publisher” and won’t be a mature/hardcore experience.

According to Ellis:

It is a ‘port’ but more of a complete rework for the Wii U: a bit like the work we did on Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Director’s Cut.

I can’t say what the title is but it is very exciting and is for an absolute top notch publisher.

This game will be credited Tantalus … it’s not an MA / 18 or ‘hard core’ game which ME-3 and DX:HR are.

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