A free, once-weekly round-up of all the best Nintendo Switch links, articles and videos from the past seven days.
New Super Mario Bros. 2 by
published Monday, Aug 13th

New Super Mario Bros 2 Costs More To Download Than To Buy In Store

Nintendo will charge £39.99 for New Super Mario Bros 2 when it arrives on the companies eShop later this week — five pounds more than the recommended price of the boxed retail version.

Due for release on Friday, August 17 the new 3DS platformer, which sees Mario trying to grab one million coins, marks the first time that Nintendo will release a game in both digital and retail formats simultaneously.

The Japanese game-maker’s plans to launch key releases both digitally and via stores at the same time were announced back in April this year. Company president Satoru Iwata said that going forward they “will offer the software titles that Nintendo itself publishes in both packaged and digital download formats so that our consumers can choose the way to purchase them”.

However, it was largely assumed that this choice would see digital downloads priced cheaper or at the same price as retail copies.

To download the game on the eShop this Friday will cost you £39.99. You can pre-order the boxed retail version now on GAME’s website for £29.99. Amazon are charging £29.97.

Many expected a bright future for digital distribution, resulting in savings for the consumer, with no need for physical boxes or media. Yet it seem’s that Nintendo aren’t quite ready to upset retailers just yet.

published Thursday, Jan 28th

Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story Review

Even amongst Nintendo’s esteemed stable of franchises there are few that have had the same consistent level of quality as the Mario RPG series. From the first Squaresoft-developed entry, Mario’s role-playing antics have provided gamers with hundreds of hours of epic adventures, witty dialogue and an addictive battle system. While the franchise may have split into two unique brands (home consoles have enjoyed the Paper Mario series; handhelds have been home to the Mario & Luigi games), the core gameplay elements have remained largely unchanged since the beginning.

This latest adventure gives Mario’s long-time nemesis, Bowser, a starring role. Not only do you get to play as him, you get to play in him as well. After Bowser accepts a strange mushroom from Fawful, a villain from the first Mario & Luigi game, he starts to inhale everything in sight, including Princess Peach, her Toad advisors and the hapless plumbers. While Bowser must try to recapture his castle from Fawful, Mario & Luigi have to search the big lizard’s innards for the Princess and find a way to return to normal.

The game frequently switches between playing as Bowser in the Mushroom Kingdom, and controlling Mario and Luigi inside Bowser’s organs. This constant flipping of game styles keeps the game feeling fresh. The symbiotic relationship between the RPG elements in the Mushroom Kingdom overworld and the platforming sections inside Bowser provides most of the memorable moments of the game. One good example happens early on in the game as the plumbers are exploring Bowser’s stomach. Guide Bowser to a nearby fountain and he starts to guzzle down, filling his stomach with water and enabling Mario & Luigi to reach new areas.

This partnership extends to battles too – Bowser can inhale certain foes, leaving Mario & Luigi to finish them off. Sharing the fight (and its spoils) is an essential strategy if you want to reach the end of this huge adventure. Once again, the battle system is thoroughly addictive and one of the jewels in Mario’s shiny RPG crown. For the uninitiated, fighting enemies is essentially turn-based but by timing certain button presses you can increase an attack’s potency. Watching enemy attacks for tell-tale signs is also important – if you can time your defensive moves correctly you can deflect an attack or even cause them some damage instead. With a lot of practice it’s quite possible to go through most of the game without taking a single hit.

That’s not to say the game is a pushover. Bowser’s Inside Story offers up a pretty meaty challenge, with the main game itself taking upwards of 40 hours to get through, plus a wad of side quests to work through.

Then there’s the presentation, which again is of a really high standard. The locales around the mushroom kingdom are awash with bold, chunky colour; and are as striking as anything on the DS. And who would have thought Bowser’s lower intestine could be quite so beautiful. The design and animation on the characters is top-notch too, possibly the best on the format. Then there’s the roster of enemies and bosses, which are probably the best of the series. The rogue’s gallery includes everything from Thwomps with a bad case of the sniffles, to overweight Goombas sporting lollipops.

From start to finish, Bowser’s Inside Story is an absolute joy to play through. There’s no other RPG on the DS that can offer the same wealth of gameplay, or sustain the high quality. Nintendo may have been perceived by some as having a lacklustre software line-up in 2009, but with games of this calibre can Nintendo fans really complain?

published Tuesday, Nov 24th

Mario Gets Top Marks

New Super Mario Bros Wii may have had a fairly mixed set of reviews among western gaming outlets but over in Japan, revered gaming mag Famitsu have awarded the platformer full marks.

published Sunday, Oct 25th

Lego-go Mario

Lego Mario

Lego Mario

We’ve seen video game characters made out of lego blocks before but this one really takes the biscuit. It’s taken two weeks to create, weighs over 50kg and uses over 40,000 lego bricks. The finished model stands at just under 6ft tall and is now being auctioned off for charity on eBay.

It was created for dutch video game web site Game Mania and if you happen to be able to read dutch you can check out how they built the model over at www.gamemania.nl/mario


published Friday, Oct 16th

Miyamoto Spills The Beans

Shigeru Miyamoto has just been involved in a media round-table event to promote New Super Mario Bros Wii ahead of its launch next month and has let slip some juicy info on Mario’s future, HD gaming and his disappointment at Wii Music’s reception.

Miyamoto, Mario and Luigi

Miyamoto, Mario and Luigi

When asked about Mario levels created by users of Little Big Planet, Miyamoto had this to say: “This is something I have an interest in exploring, and Mario levels are well suited for it. Mario vs. Donkey Kong made by NST is one I’m involved in, and that’s a game that we’ve explored level creation. I’ve always had an interest in these kinds of creation tools.” If this means future Mario games ship with level editors then colour us excited.

published Sunday, Oct 19th

Now thats what I call the best list of Top 25 GBA games to put in your DS GBA slot ever

Backwards compatibility is slowly being phased out by hardware manufacturers; even Nintendo have taken away the opportunity for DSi adopters to savour some of its finest handheld titles. So before the option is gone forever, I urge you to root out these classics and fill your DS’ GBA slot with true gaming goodness.

In no particular order (except maybe, alphabetically), here are my top something-or-other best GBA games to put in your DS GBA slot ever:

Advance Wars

Someone once said ‘War is Hell’; but that doesn’t always apply because Advance Wars is bloody brilliant. The chunky tanks and cheerful troops quietly camouflaged the depth on offer in one of the finest strategy games ever made. The sequels on GBA and DS could do nothing to improve upon the formula (after all, how do you improve on perfection?) and were resigned to bolting on extra units and gimmicky control systems that watered down the finely balanced gameplay. The only thing that could have made the original better was online play, which is remedied in the latest DS version, Days of Ruin. Still, local multiplayer matches could easily last an entire day if your batteries and brain cells could handle it. Because of the turn-based nature of the game this is one of the few multiplayer GBA games that can still be enjoyed fully on the DS, just pass and move, like that old Liverpool groove.

In a word: Tank top
Expect to pay: £5


In between creating 10-hour long interactive movies, Hideo Kojima could be found tinkering away on this innovative little series. Boktai followed a vampire hunter who could use the power of the sun to decimate hordes of evil. The game made use of a specially designed GBA cartridge containing a sun sensor, meaning you had to recharge your in-game solar power by playing outside. Its USP proved its undoing however as the prospect of having to face natural light frightened and confused many gamers and as a result the game bombed. Shame, as the game was pretty good fun, as long as you didn’t live in perpetual twilight, and has the unique claim to be the only game you can’t play during a solar eclipse.

In a word: Blindin’
Expect to pay: £8-10

Castlevania Aria of Sorrow

Since Konami gave Castlevania a Metroid style makeover the GBA and DS have played host to some of the finest entries in the series and none more so than the third GBA outing, Aria of Sorrow. This refined just about every aspect of gameplay, and included some of the best bosses in the handheld releases. Bargain hunters should be on the look out for the double pack which also contained Harmony of Dissonance.

In a word: Whipped cream

Expect to pay: £7.50

Densetsu no Stafy

For some reason Nintendo decided to keep Stafy’s antics from anyone but the Japanese gaming public, despite finding popularity amongst the fish-loving populace of Akihibara. Stafy the starfish remains mostly unknown to UK gamers, but his strange brand of underwater platforming was pretty charming for its time and spawned two GBA sequels and a further two DS titles. This can be found dirt cheap on most import sites.

In a word: A shining star(fish)
Expect to pay: £12

DK King of Swing

Paon developed this rather unique Donkey Kong title, which saw the big ape traversing levels by swinging on peg boards, using the shoulder buttons to swing DK around. This marked one of the first appearances of DK in an original title since Nintendo’s split with Rare and had a style that was more akin to Yoshi’s Island than the pre-rendered look of the SNES era. While it hasn’t aged well and has been soundly beaten by the far superior DS sequel it’s still worth rooting out, if only for the groovy music.

In a word: Swingin’
Expect to pay: £5-10

Drill Dozer

Coming from the brains behind one of gaming’s biggest franchises, Pokemon, you’d think Drill Dozer would be assured of some measure of success. Unfortunately, Game Freak’s quirky platform title never found much of an audience and it sunk without a trace. Every action in the game revolved (literally) around main character Jill and her drill, and the title contained some pretty ingenious puzzles, especially in the boss battles. Eagle-eyed fans may have spied Jill’s brief cameo in Smash Bros Brawl as an assist trophy. This is another import only title I’m afraid.

In a word: Revolutionary
Expect to pay: £15

F-Zero GP Maximum Velocity

The first of the GBA’s three F-Zero titles is arguably the best of the lot. This launch title saw a return to the mode-7 tracks of the SNES original but did away with most of the existing cast. As such it’s the only game in the series that doesn’t feature Captain Falcon and his wonderful Blue Flacon, or his Falcon Punch. The tracks were tightly designed and looked great even on the GBA’s poor screen. Unfortunately the DS can’t recreate Maximum Velocity’s single cart multiplayer, but you can still pretend it works using the power of imagination.

In a word: Neeeooooowwwmmmm

Expect to pay: £3

Final Fantasy VI

Ignore the fanboy arguments over which one is best, just sit back enjoy Square’s sixth instalment. This was the last Final Fantasy to appear on the SNES and one of the finest RPGs ever made. This port marks the first PAL release on a Nintendo format (there is a hard-to-find PS1 version) and was one of the last big GBA games released over here. The story is still as engrossing as ever and contains some of the series’ more memorable characters. Definitely the best RPG on GBA and guaranteed to make any long distance trips at least 27% more bearable (unless you’re driving).

In a word: Fantastic
Expect to pay: £15-20

Fire Emblem: Sacred Stones

Although it’s been around since the NES days and had more than a dozen titles, Intelligent System’s Fire Emblem series has only recently been given some time in the limelight. Like Advance Wars, Fire Emblem revolves around strategic turn-based battling but there are some major differences that set the two apart. Aside from the medieval fantasy setting and RPG elements, FE places greater importance on your individual units. Unlike most games, once they are killed that’s it; they are gone forever so every move and attack really counts. Sacred Stones is one of the best in the series and a good introduction to one of Nintendo’s most low-key franchises.

In a word: Fire-starter

Expect to pay: £12-15

Golden Sun

It’s a testament to Camelot’s original RPG that people are still clamouring for a new instalment to the Golden Sun series. The games found a cult following amongst Nintendo fans eager for a meaty RPG after the genre was severely underrepresented on the N64. The graphics and music still hold up well today even if the story feels a little tired.

In a word: Sun shiner
Expect to pay: £5

It’s Mr Pants

Rare may have lost a little of their magic, but their thoroughly British humour is still intact. This puzzle game, featuring the mascot from Rare’s letters page on their website, was originally meant to be Donkey Kong Coconut Crackers and was one of the first games announced for the GBA. It wasn’t a particularly enthralling puzzle game but the fact it contains a stick man wearing nothing but a pair of pants, a bowler hat and a moustache (which is my usual weekend attire) means I just had to include it in this list.

In a word: Pant-tastic

Expect to pay: Thruppence ha’penny

Kirby & the Amazing Mirror

Kirby has never got the same amount of attention as Mario or Link, which must be really upsetting for the little pink fella. Make him feel a bit better by purchasing one of his better adventures, Kirby & the Amazing Mirror. While it doesn’t add much to the staple gameplay of the series, it is still a fun adventure and the only game that King Dededee doesn’t make an appearance. If you’re not put off by the sugary sweet graphics this is a great way to introduce yourself to the little puffball’s under appreciated world.

In a word: Doesn’t suck
Expect to pay: £12

Kuru Kuru Kururin

American gamers may have got English language versions of Chrono Trigger, Earthbound and Mario RPG exclusive to their territory but we got Kuru Kuru Kururin. Thanks Nintendo. Well actually their loss really was our gain as this launch title was a great little super action puzzle game (as described by its designer). Your goal was to guide a slowly rotating helicopter thing through a series of tight courses without touching the sides and against a strict time limit. It was immensely frustrating but in a good way and remains one of the most unusual games on the GBA.

In a word: You spin me right round, baby right round, like a record baby right round, round, round
Expect to pay: £5

Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past

The GBA saw plenty of remakes of old SNES classics and this was probably the best of the lot. Not only did it contain one of the best games ever, shrunk down and ready to take on the move, but it also had the fabulous bonus title Four Swords, a multiplayer-oriented adventure set in randomly generated dungeons. Link to the Past remains Link’s most epic adventure and was the one that put into place just about every gameplay aspect that the series is so well-known for – beautiful worlds to explore, haunting musical scores, complex dungeons and challenging bosses.

In a word: Legendary

Expect to pay: £15-18

Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap

Minish Cap was the GBA’s one and only original Zelda title and is possibly the best of the handheld bunch. Developed by Flagship, who had been involved with the GB Color duology Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons, this game continued the cel-shaded style first seen in Wind Waker and paired a miniaturised Link with a magical talking hat, Ezlo. The game made great use of its diminutive theme, as Link had to complete puzzles in large and small form, making for some interesting dungeons and boss battles. The game also integrated the multiple-Link elements from Four Swords into some of the puzzles which really made this title stand proudly alongside the series’ grander console entries. It’s a short adventure but nonetheless a must have for Zelda fans.

In a word: Size matters not
Expect to pay: £12-15

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga

Mario’s RPG adventures are well-known for poking fun at the staple elements of Mario’s worlds and Superstar Saga is no different. The paper style may have been ditched but the humour and witty script are still intact, as is the turn-based action-led battle system. Superstar Saga let you control both plumbers at the same time which led to some ingenious puzzles throughout the brothers’ unusual quest to return Princess Peach’s voice from the evil witch Cackletta.

In a word: RPGreat
Expect to pay: £15

Mario Kart Super Circuit

Eschewing the slippy-slidy nature of the N64 version, Super Circuit returned the series to the tightly controlled mode-7 tracks of the original. The graphics and music evoked happy memories of the hours spent on the SNES classic and the ranks awarded after each race meant this had tonnes of replayability. It even went so far as including every course from the original as unlockable bonuses, giving this title the most number of tracks of any title in the series. Some of them made it into the DS & Wii iterations (cunningly titled Mariokart DS & Mariokart Wii) so you can still check them out even without a copy of this game.

In a word: Has a great track record

Expect to pay: £15

Metroid Fusion

The first original handheld Metroid since Metroid 2 on the old Game Boy. Although it retained the same puzzle and exploration aspects the series is known for, this adventure was a bit more linear due to the expanded story elements which saw Samus being infected with a parasitic virus that gives her Metroid-like powers. It saw the first glimpse of an evil Samus, the SA-X created by the parasite that infected Samus. Owners of Metroid Prime could unlock Samus’ Fusion suit if they linked the two together, but you can’t do that on the DS so forget that little factoid.

In a word: SA-Xtroidinary
Expect to pay: £10

Metroid: Zero Mission

Samus’ first adventure got the remake treatment on GBA giving players a second chance to experience the haunting world of the original Metroid. Zebes and its inhabitants have never looked so good and the bosses, which are still some of the most iconic of the series, have been given some extra oomph thanks to the GBA. The original content has been fleshed out a bit to include some of the abilities and bosses from later titles like Super Metroid. On top of this, there is a whole new section to explore after you ‘complete’ the game, which is almost as long as the main game itself and will probably please fans of Smash Bros Brawl.

In a word: Missionary position

Expect to pay: £10

Mother 3

Why Nintendo refuses to translate this title and releases it to the masses is beyond even us here at GameBrit. I once asked Nintendo why this was but Iwata-San just chortled maniacally and went back to his game of bingo; Miyamoto didn’t even look up from tuning his banjo and Shigesato Itoi just quietly wept in the corner of the room. Until they decide otherwise you can get hold of Mother 3 via an import site and use one of the excellent FAQS available on the interweb. Or you can get a hold of it by more dubious means but we didn’t tell you that. Incidentally the wonderful guys at StarMan.net have just finished their English translation of the game, so the patch for those less legal copies should be available shortly. Hooray for ultra-dedicated fan-bases!

In a word: Mama mia
Expect to pay: £20

Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire & Emerald

The third generation of Nintendo’s money-spinning collect-em-up took players off to the land of Hoenn in search of Pokemon glory. All your favourites like Surskit, Volbeat and Spheal are here and waiting for you to beat them to within an inch of their lives and chuck your balls in their direction. Extra features included force feeding your ‘mon berries and the chance to create a secret base that could be decorated with the hollowed out carcases of wild Pokemon – gotta love that Snorlax skin rug.

In a word: Gotta catch ‘em all
Expect to pay: £20

Super Mario Advance 1-4

I’ve lumped these together as one entry because writing about them individually would have taken ages, and more importantly I shouldn’t need to explain how good they all are. Nintendo may be more content to repackage former glories than create new ones but in this case we’ll forgive them as each cart holds some of the best platforming action you will ever find. Mario Bros 2 may be the ugly duckling of the group but it’s still a challenging platformer; Mario 3 redefined the genre; Mario World polished all the aspects that made 1&3 so much fun and added Yoshi to the franchise; Yoshi himself got a chance to shine in the best of the bunch, Yoshi’s Island.

In a word: Super
Expect to pay £10-18

Tales of Phantasia

The first of Namco’s long-running RPG series came shipped on the largest SNES cartridge ever made (it was even bigger than some 64 carts). It was an absolutely gorgeous adventure, even out-performing the Square titles on the format in graphical terms and featured a soothing score from series composer Motoi Sakuraba (who went on to work on Star Ocean and Baten Kaitos). It also had a battle system totally unlike any RPGs at the time; turn-based battles were replaced with a system more like a side-on beat-em-up. This GBA port is quite poorly put together but seeing as the original was never released outside of Japan this is the only chance PAL gamers have of playing this gem.

In a word: Phantastic
Expect to pay £20

Warioware Inc.

Mario’s nemesis had already had his own line of fun platform games before he got this series, which has become one of Nintendo’s biggest new franchises in recent years. The simplistic five-second mini-games were perfectly suited to the play & go nature of handheld gaming, and were hugely addictive. The surreal themes meant that games based around shaking hands with dogs, jumping over hot dog cars and keeping cats dry were all par for the course. This saw a re-release on the GameCube in the form of Warioware Mega Party Games.

In a word: Fast
Expect to pay: £15

Warioware Twisted

Those evil bar stewards at Nintendo UK still have this on their release schedules, taunting us poor UK gamers with the faint hope of a release on these shores. This is the best game in the series, thanks mostly to the gyroscope built-in to the cartridge, which puts a whole new spin on many of the mini-games from the original. The gentle rumble gives a tactile pleasure as you tilt and twist your way through the selection of games. Get down to your local importer and get a hold of this genius game.

In a word: Twist and shout
Expect to pay: £20

There we go – the near definitive list of essential DS GBA slot-filling GBA games that no one else has ever thought of. If you think I’ve missed anything off the list or if you want to chat to someone in complete confidence about an embarrassing GBA related problem, please get in touch.

Mario Kart DS by
published Thursday, Nov 24th

Mario Kart DS Review

Mario Kart DS hits European stores this week, and we here at EuroFusion have now had enough time to sit down with the final game and deliver our verdict.

The Mario Kart series is something any Nintendo fan should be familiar with, the series is now over a decade old and has enjoyed great success with it’s sequels on previous Nintendo systems. But how have Nintendo adapted the series to work with the DS hardware, does it use the system capabilities, is this version such as radical departure form the series roots as was Double Dash, and most importantly is toad still the most annoying racer within the roster? All these questions are answered below, so sit tight, get bananas at the ready, Mario Kart DS is here.

The Mario Kart formula was originally mocked as being a risky tactic for Nintendo, but fortunately for us gamers, they pulled it of, and now as we prepare to enjoy the 5 th in the series it’s safe to say that the Mario Kart that we know and love is back and it plays like a dream.

Several Grand-Prix options, as per usual are open to begin with, and in typical fashion you work your way through the cups, unlocking new one’s as you progress. In total you will end up with an impressive roster of 32 tracks, including new tracks and classic old ones from previous titles including the likes of Choco Mountain , Moo Moo Farm, and Baby Park . The Grand Prix yet again, is split down into three different classes consisting of 50, 100 and 150cc, with each class providing a greater sense of difficulty, and a more intelligent AI from your opponents. Grand Prix is where the main single player mode lies, but several other modes are included such as Time Trial, Battle , and a new Mission variant, but more on that later.

So what can you expect from the main gameplay offered? The usual suspects are available to choose from, including Mario, Luigi, Peach, Bowser and more, and again, as you progress, you will unlock more secret characters, and karts to match. In game, items (weapons) have seen a little tweak, they no longer are based on your character duo, like they were in Double Dash and now each character has an item statistic, and those with higher stats get better items for example. The handling is refined and is beautifully tight while simple, cornering is easy to execute, as is power sliding. All the classic items return including two new items, one being a large Bullet Bill, which shoots you towards the front of the pack taking out anybody or anything along the way, the other being a squid which squirts oil over the screens of any players in front of you, damaging there vision, requiring the player to glance at the bottom screen and use the track map. The track map can also be used to see upcoming weapons, or those red shells coming right at you! These new weapons along with the old classics offer a superb range and variety when it comes to taking out your opponents and will no doubt put a smile on your face.

As mentioned earlier, this version of Mario Kart has a new mode which goes by the name of ‘ Mission ‘, this features several objective based mini games in which you must reach a certain goal, for example drive through gates in order, collect coins in a time limit and so on. These are split into groups separated by a boss battle. These Missions, while a large departure from anything seen before in the series, offer a nice enjoyable alternative to racing or battling, and can improve your driving skills, while giving you a break from the main heat of the game, but be warned they get tough!

The multiplayer is where the lifespan lies, what with the classic battle mode returning. In this version while playing a Balloon Battle each character has 5 balloons, and they are kept in an on screen inventory, to get them out on the back of your kart, blow on your mic, and they inflate! Balloon Battle is addictive as ever, and the inclusion of Block Fort makes me all the merrier. Another new mode to the game is the battle variant named, Shine Runners, in which you have to collect the most number of shines within a given time. This plays somewhat similar to the Shine mode in Double Dash, but time plays a more important role. Online although limited provides a way for you to always have real people to play with, which is always more enjoyable than the games AI, the WiFi Connection is effortlessly done, and incredibly simple.

The new modes along with the new tracks, characters items, and online play, make this one of the most engaging games of Mario Kart yet, which is incredibly balanced, a joy to play, and will become an instant hit on the DS. Nintendo have made the series fresh again, without tweaking the core that made the original so awesome.

An instant classic, which cannot be missed, and will keep you coming back for more time and time again.