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Shigeru Miyamoto, Live at the SoHo Apple Store Event in NYC, on Nintendo History and 'Super Mario Run'

At 6pm, to a packed house of fans (including many dressed as, or bearing the logo of, their favorite plumber) Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto sat down with Katie Linendoll from The Today Show to talk about his illustrious career including, of course, Super Mario Run. Speaking with the help of Bill Trinen, a senior marketing manager at Nintendo, as a translator, Miyamoto took us from the very beginning of his career to the current day, and to what the future might hold...

RPG Reload File 099 - 'Joe Dever's Lone Wolf'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we do it all for Sommerlund and the Kai! Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it's doing in the here and now. It's a chance to revisit old favorites, reflect on their place in the overall library, or simply to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow. As one of the last remaining Kai Lords, I try to choose a balanced selection of games from week to week. If you feel I'm missing something important, however, you can let me know by posting in the comments below, stopping by the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. The schedule is planned well in advance, so I can't promise you'll see your suggestion soon, but I will add it to the master list...




Gameloft’s Disney Magic Kingdoms [Free] has seen a steady stream of content updates, with the most recent one being the (pretty awesome) Halloween Nightmare Before Christmas event. Now, the freemium kingdom-builder is back at it again with a new seasonal event based on one of their most popular IPs...

Rocketcat Games has updated Wayward Souls [$6.99] with a couple of bug fixes that will prevent the game from crashing. But that's not the news here: Rocketcat says they're aiming for the long-awaited Paladin update to hit mobile in the first quarter of 2017. The PC version of Wayward Souls is expected in January or February, with the Paladin and his exclusive, extra-difficult mode, coming after that. There will be new music, animations, and some rare minibosses added too. This will be the final content update for Wayward Souls...

If you like your mobile games with a digital comic book on the side, then Dark Horse has just the thing for you. Dark Horse has partnered up with Deep Silver FISHLABS and have perfectly timed the release of the digital comic Galaxy on Fire 3 - Manticore: Glowing Embers to coincide with the release of Galaxy on Fire 3 - Manticore [Free]. The comic book is written by Matthew Ritter with illustrations by Agustin Allesio and Gabriel Rearte with Ramon Bunge coloring the art and Nate Piekos the letters. Finally, Anthony Palumbo is responsible for the quite nice cover. I especially like the red and black space suit of the one on the right...

Three tables based on popular Bethesda games have just been added to Zen Pinball [Free]. As has been teased for a few weeks, Fallout, Doom, and Skyrim tables are now available for the pinballing. The Fallout table has some cool elements to it, such as a "character creator" when you start out, different missions based on the various factions, day/night features, and a shop. It's just more of the attention to detail that Zen Pinball is known for. Doom's pinball table has you collecting weapons and powerups, including the notorious BFG. The Skyrim table will give you several different races to play as, quests, animated dragons, and items to collect, craft, and sell. Plus, there's an interesting co-op hotseat mode in play here...

'Super Blackjack Battle II Turbo Edition' is the Street Fighter II/Blackjack Mashup We Deserve

Nothing gets my motor humming quite like a pitch perfect parody of Street Fighter II, and being a fan of blackjack as well, the announcement of Super Blackjack Battle II Turbo Edition couldn't be any more up my alley. Coming from Headup Games and Stage Clear Studios, Super Blackjack Battle II Turbo Edition (SBJB2TE) is a game about the owner of one of Las Vegas's largest casinos and the Godfather of the local mafia throwing a huge blackjack tournament. Only the best in the tournament will be able to move on and fly to Vegas to face off against the Godfather himself, only to find that "the tournament itself is nothing more than a charade to hide a ruthless master plan to defeat the competing clan family." As mentioned, SBJB2TE parodies the classic Street Fighter II to an incredible degree, as you can see in this teaser...

I often find myself into a bit of a bind when I review a game that's well done in terms of design but also has major technical issues. How do you separate the plot and design ideas in the first episode of BATMAN - The Telltale Series [$4.99] from the engine's obvious shortcomings that make the game almost unplayable on all but the latest iOS devices? I've been playing the game on my iPhone 7 and even though I got some relatively long load times here and there, overall the experience was relatively fine (minus some typos, blurry text in the Codex, and graphical glitches). However, when I tried playing it on my iPad Air, I couldn't enjoy the game because the minutes-long load times really messed with the flow of the story (it's like watching a movie with long commercial breaks)...

We've seen quite a few celebrity-based games in recent years, from Kim Kardashian: Hollywood to Katy Perry Pop and Britney Spears: American Dream, and all of them were nothing but the same mechanics dressed in each celebrity's brand. Nicki Minaj: The Empire [Free] has joined the party of celebrity games, but this time around there's a new addition to the formula and one appropriate for a game based on a singer; you can actually sing and record your voice. Now, whether that's a good thing, only your shower knows. The game comes with quite a few beats - some free and some cost in-game money - and you can use those beats to record your own rap. There's a Beatbook (think Facebook) that lets you store your own verses and hear other player's raps. And apparently Nicki Minaj will be giving shout-outs on the best raps of the month...

'Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links' Launching Globally in January

I know you all complain about too many card games, but I also know many of you are glad Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links is getting closer to releasing globally. We knew it was coming in 2017, but now we know the worldwide release will be in January, so not too far into the future. Based on the classic TCG, Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links gives you 700 authentic cards to make your decks and then lets you pit your skills against others. You summon monsters, traps, and spells to take out the other Duelists (as they're called in the game). As you complete missions, you raise your characters' levels and obtain new cards, and as you advance through the stages, you unlock new legendary duelists and new functions...

As we've been talking about quite a bit on our podcast lately, the deals this holiday season seem a ... little on the lame side. Amazon has been running this daily deals thing leading up to Christmas, and today's slew of deals has the first set of things I've actually been linking to friends. Over the years I've turned into a massive Anker fanboy, and for good reason- It seems like everything they make (and I own a lot of their stuff) is surprisingly high quality for the price you're paying, particularly when you compare how much similar products from other companies run. (I say this as someone who once bought a $99 Mophie battery.) Anyway, today you can pick up my favorite external battery, my favorite USB charger, my favorite lightning cable, and... a battery case I don't have but assume it's pretty good too on the cheap...

'Super Mario Run' Set to Make $71 Million in First Month, Only Half of 'Pokemon GO'

Jimmy Fallon's hands-on with Super Mario Run [Free] last night has officially ushered in the iOS season of the Nintendo mascot. A new report published today looks at how much money Super Mario Run is set to make in its first month and how it will compare with the other recent juggernaut, Pokemon GO. The game is expected to bring in more than $71 million in worldwide gross revenue during its first month, less than half of Pokemon GO and also less than Clash Royale. In terms of downloads, though, Super Mario Run is expected to double that of Pokemon GO during the first month. These are all projections of course and could be completely off, so we'll have to wait for the numbers to drop...

As promised last month, developer Firi Games have released a huge version 2.0 update to their fantastic vertical shooter Phoenix II [Free]. The biggest change in this update is a new League system which will move players up and down in various levels of leagues based on how they perform in each day's mission. So, if you found the game pretty difficult you'll likely stick around in the lower leagues and get daily missions that are a bit easier. If you're quite proficient at the game, you'll rise up the league ranks and get daily missions that are increasingly harder. It's a smart system that should hopefully cater to a wider level of gamers than the original release...

Upcoming Beat 'em Up 'Golem Rage' Gets New Gameplay Trailer

This past June we wrote about an upcoming game called Golem Rage, which started life way back in 2012 as an asynchronous board game RPG and since morphed into a side-scrolling beat 'em up with a unique focus on rushing through levels as fast as possible. I don't know what you'd call that, a racer brawler I guess? Anyway, the art style and the action both looked great and we were really looking forward to Golem Rage's release in September. Well, that release didn't quite go as planned, and due to certain circumstances the game was delayed and went quiet until late last week when the developers promised a new full gameplay trailer for release this week. That trailer just went live this morning and you can check it out right here...

One of the many frustrations of both free-to-play and fully priced games in 2016 is the prevalence of loot boxes, with titles such as Call of Duty and Overwatch locking weapons, skins and abilities within in-game chests or crates whose contents are randomly selected. This encourages users to invest more and more into the game to acquire specific content that cannot be found through regular play. Such loot boxes can be found on both the aforementioned console releases but are also everywhere on the App Store, from Ultimate Team Packs in FIFA Mobile [Free] to chests in Clash Royale [Free], and while similar purchases seem to sell extremely well, many are growing frustrated by the lack of transparency from loot boxes. Cynics of such monetisation mechanics will be pleased to hear that today the Chinese government have passed legislation that requires the name, property, content, quantity, and draw probability for any item within a loot box or equivalent to be explicitly stated on a website, or on the in-game store...

Japan's indie game development scene has always been quite lively in its home market, but has gone mostly unknown overseas. With more opportunities opening up for small developers on console, mobile, and computers, we're finally starting to see many of these unsung devs putting out their games in Western markets. One of my personal favorites among these rising stars is Q-Cumber Factory. They've released a total of four games on iOS, and have ported some of them to various other platforms. For a limited time, their entire library is on sale, with one of them even going free temporarily...

There has been so much Pokemon GO [Free] news in the past week that it feels like Summer 2016 all over again, and despite the fact that a lot of the recent developments feel anachronistic and likely should have happened a few months ago, it's still great to see the game develop and reach an even larger audience. In the last few days there have been rumors of a collaboration between Pokemon GO and Starbucks, and after the surprise announcement yesterday of Niantic's augmented reality game and Sprint partnering up, it's unsurprising to see the coffee chain giant follow in their footsteps. Today at 11 a.m PST more than 7,800 Starbucks shops in the United States will become PokeStops and Gyms, which is fantastic news for the many millions still playing the games, especially with new Pokemon scheduled to be added in the very near future...

'Bully: Anniversary Edition' Review - Another Rockstar Classic Heads to Mobile

At this point, a holiday release from Rockstar on the App Store is beginning to become tradition, and I really couldn't be happier. This year's addition to Rockstar's mobile catalog is Bully: Anniversary Edition [$6.99], celebrating the ten year anniversary of the original 2006 launch. Lots of folks in our community suspected that Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories would be the next Rockstar game to hit the App Store, but it turns out that the one and only bigfart12 guessed correctly all the way back in March. Bully always seemed like the "forgotten" Rockstar game, at least amongst my circle of friends. It was released sandwiched in between Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories [$6.99] and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories. I think it was close enough to the GTA formula that anyone interested in Bully likely just gravitated to either title instead. I suppose it also didn't help that literally everyone I know who was even remotely interested in video games was hard and heavy into World of Warcraft at the time either. Anyway, it wasn't until the remastered "Scholarship Edition" was released a few years later that I gave the game a try, and had one of those "Wait, what the. Why didn't I play this when it first came out?" epiphanies that often come with re-releases of games you heard were good but never actually got around to playing. The mobile release is technically a second remaster of the game, as Bully: Anniversary Edition comes with all the tweaks of Scholarship Edition, plus additional graphical effects, higher resolution textures, better lighting, and a new multiplayer mode, effectively making the mobile game the best version yet- At least until it's remastered a third time...

Check Out Engadget's Hands-On Preview of 'Super Mario Run' and Reggie Fils-Aime Interview

Engadget got to go hands-on with Super Mario Run ahead of the game's eventual release, and their take is remarkably positive. The mechanics aren't just the simple controls that players often associate with auto-runners; there's many different actions that can be undertaken with a game that's meant to be played with one hand. Engadget previewer Nathan Ingraham says that initial playthroughs of levels were simple enough – but getting all 10 special coins, 5 of which only unlock after getting the first 5 on a playthrough – will prove to be a challenge. There are just 24 levels at launch, but the Toad Rally should provide some replayability too. You'll be competing with friends not just to complete levels quickly, but by performing myriad stunt jumps through levels...

'Super Mario Run' Demo Coming to Apple Stores on Thursday December 8th, as Revealed by Jimmy Fallon

Want to try Super Mario Run for yourself? Well, starting on December 8th, Thursday, Apple Stores will get a demo of Super Mario Run to everyone to try out a week ahead of the game's worldwide release. Reggie Fils-Aime, President of Nintendo of America, went on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to demo Super Mario Run, and let Fallon play the game. Shigeru Miyamoto also made an appearance in the crowd before Fallon played Super Mario Run. Fallon got some wall-jumping on, picking up some special coins and finding an invisible screen. Fallon is really, really excited about the game: ..

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