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Nintendo’s Switch gets a 1UP

Mario’s red hat and blue overalls are iconic. Few other color schemes immediately scream “video game.” No wonder Nintendo is rolling out a special Mario-themed bicolor Switch. The special release marks the 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. Can you believe it’s already been this long since the heroic plumber came into our lives?

Although one of the Switch’s first color palettes was red, blue and black, this latest console drops the black almost entirely, devoting everything except for the buttons to Mario’s signature shades, and it really looks fantastic.

The console bundle is slated for release next month, and even comes with a cool red and blue carrying case with a nifty gold-accented zipper that should remind fans of the in-game coins Mario collects. Nintendo has already sold over 70 million Switches, but some folks still might not have picked one up yet. If that’s the case, here’s your chance.

The Nintendo Switch — Mario Red & Blue Edition will be released on Feb. 12 for ¥32,978.

bit.ly/nswitch-mario-jp (Japanese); bit.ly/nswitch-mario-en (English)

Feline fury

Grab your catsuit: Take on Bowser in the new Switch port of Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury. | © 2013-2021 NINTENDO
Grab your catsuit: Take on Bowser in the new Switch port of Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury. | © 2013-2021 NINTENDO

One of the best games released on the Wii U was Super Mario 3D World. But unfortunately, the Wii U didn’t sell as well as hoped, meaning this wonderful game didn’t reach the audience it deserved. Thank goodness Nintendo is bringing an enhanced port to its Switch hardware.

Called Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury, the game finds Mario and friends saving princesses captured by the evil Bowser. Play as four Nintendo characters (a fifth is unlockable), each with different qualities: For example, Mario is balanced for running and jumping, while Toad is very fast but can’t jump high.

The enhanced port features gameplay improvements like tuned controls, including the new ability to dive and roll while in midair, and other additions like support for Amiibo figurines. What makes this Switch version extra appealing is the addition of Bowser’s Fury. Bowser transforms himself into the menacing jumbo-sized Fury Bowser, turning the cat kingdom into a dark, scary place. Mario teams up with Bowser Jr. to collect items called Cat Shines throughout the game as they battle feline-themed Goombas and Koopa Troopas. All this sounds just purrfect!

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury will be released on Feb. 12 for ¥6,578.

bit.ly/bowsersfury-jp (Japanese); bit.ly/bowsersfury-en (English)

Samurai remastered

Samurai upgrade: Nioh and Nioh 2 have both gotten remasters that run at a super smooth 120 frames per second. | © 2020-2021 KOEI TECMO GAMES CO., LTD.
Samurai upgrade: Nioh and Nioh 2 have both gotten remasters that run at a super smooth 120 frames per second. | © 2020-2021 KOEI TECMO GAMES CO., LTD.

Based on an old Akira Kurosawa script on the exploits of William Adams, an English sailor who became a samurai, the Nioh franchise languished in development for years. Then, Koei Tecmo, one of Japan’s most interesting game makers, revamped the title, and the resulting game — released in 2017 on PlayStation 4 and PC — was a big hit. A PS4 sequel, Nioh 2, followed in 2020. Now Koei Tecmo is releasing remastered, complete additions of both games, with graphic enhancements and all the downloadable content. On the PS5, the remastered games will run at a super smooth 120 frames per second, while the PC version depends on the player’s computer specs.

Both games are set in the seminal feudal period of Japanese history, but with a demon-filled, supernatural twist. Players battle samurai and yōkai (monsters) alike. Nioh and Nioh 2 are not easy! These days, it’s not uncommon for games to hold players’ hands, but Koei Tecmo’s development division, Team Ninja, wants to amp up the pressure.

Both priced at ¥6,380, Nioh Remastered Complete Edition and Nioh 2 Remastered Complete Edition were released on Feb. 4. A Nioh 2 Complete Edition was released on PS4 on the same day, while a PC version debuted on Steam on Feb. 5.

bit.ly/niohremaster-jp (Japanese); bit.ly/niohremaster-en (English)

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