Tag Archives: Nintendo

DIY Gaming with Nintendo Labo!

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Nintendo has really been on top of their game lately.  The Nintendo Switch has been selling like hot cakes since releasing last March.  The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sold millions of copies since being released with the Nintendo Switch and Super Mario Odyssey helped boost more sales than ever.

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When it comes to video game popularity, Nintendo always seem to triumph over its competitors.  The company combines old-school nostalgic characters (Mario, Donkey Kong) with new home console systems.  It’s this strategy that captures all audiences into the Nintendo community.  Their games were made so that anyone can pick up the controller and play through the game.  These games are catered more towards casual-fun gamers in the world.

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In fact, this strategy of utilizing nostalgia into the mix is rubbing off of other ideas.  Nintendo will be launching a special gaming accessory this Spring that includes a material that many children played with for years.  That material happens to be…cardboard.

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You heard me right people – Nintendo’s next idea coming to America involves cardboard!  Nintendo is releasing the Nintendo Labo, a combination of the Nintendo Switch with DIY cardboard creations.  The Nintendo Labo will release on April 20th, 2018 (4/20 Day!).

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Image result for Nintendo Labo

This new system provides cardboard cutouts that you assemble together.  Two sets of kits will be released in the Spring — the variety kit and the robot kit.  The variety kit includes items that you can assemble together to create two RC cars, a house, a motorbike, a fishing rod, and even a piano.  You can also get the robot kit that you accumulate together to create a cool robot suit!

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Image result for Nintendo Labo

Here’s how the product works – you start with the pieces of cardboard you put together.  Once your creation is complete, you add the Nintendo Switch console to power it up.  While you are playing, you can even discover new ways to play each time.  You can even customize your creations with color, stickers, paint, or other original ideas.  The sky is the limits as to how you design your cardboard cutouts!

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The idea is absolutely brilliant!  I used to play with cardboard boxes as a kid, so this definitely gets me nostalgic about my childhood days.  Kids all around are definitely going to enjoy this new concept from Nintendo.

Image result for Nintendo Labo

Image result for Nintendo Labo

In a marketing sense, Nintendo really took their strategy to a different level.  Nintendo has always provided a sense of nostalgia in their products and this idea really works.  Before the digital age, kids would have fun with cardboard boxes.  Using their own imagination, kids would create various scenarios with the products around them.

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Back when I was a kid, we never had iPads or smart phones to plays.  We only had our imagination to amuse ourselves.  Kids took cardboard and imagined they were in a pirate ship or driving a bus.

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That’s the selling point that makes the Nintendo Labo so intriguing – it captures the child’s imagination and molds it with the newer toys they are playing.  By mixing a nostalgic idea (imagination with cardboard) with a new product (the Nintendo Switch), Nintendo created something that every kid would enjoy.  Nintendo fans all across the nation will be excited for the hype that is the Nintendo Labo.

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It’ll be a little while until Nintendo Labo is released, but it’s definitely something excited to look forward to this year.  Hopefully Nintendo will design more cardboard cutouts so that players can play other games as well.

Look out for the Nintendo Labo releasing on April 20th!


Dystifyzer’s Live 24/7 Nintendo Stream

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Whenever I create these amazing posts for MakeSandcastlesNotWar, I gotta have some fantastic music blasting.  Blasting some music gives me that creative energy surging through me during my writing.  Whether it’s the soulful jazz music from Weather Report or an adventurous folk-indie album that puts me into a mysterious new world, having that music blasting gave wonders to what has become the MakeSandcastlesNotWar blog.  A new topic, or a new path rather, places readers into the exciting journey today (and in most cases, stories that foreshadow another major event in the future!).

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Rather than dig deep into how to harvest that creative energy into writing ideas (those stories will be unlocked at a later time!), it’s time to dive into the music on YouTube.  YouTube has tons of albums up and are absolutely FREE to play.  Rock, jazz, metal, country, blues, and even ambiance music are easy to discover on this social media site.  As someone who loves video game music every now and then, I enjoy the video game playlists that are around.

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Image result for youtube Video Game Music

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I’ve stumbled onto some crazy music playlists that introduced me to some original video games I didn’t get into as a kid.  Nintendo was always my favorite video game brand and I always choose to play their games every year.  Their games were so much fun, but it was also their nostalgic music that really tugged at my heartstrings.  It’s always cool running into music playlists catered only to the Nintendo series.  Discovering Nintendo music playlists was awesome, but then I found a video showcasing a live streaming service STRICTLY for Nintendo music!

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A 24/7 live streaming service featuring Nintendo music ACTUALLY exists on YouTube!  YouTube user Dystifyzer started streaming on August 23rd and has been streaming tracks from the Nintendo series.  Various users can listen in and chat with others about their favorite songs.  Dystifyzer’s unique channel has favored well with the audience and has been subscribed by over 16,000 users.

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The unique aspect of Dystifyzer’s live stream is the interactivity happening between the users.  Users can simply chat with others, request for songs to be played, ask for rupees (which can be cashed in for things like donating for new album drops!), and even hold mini marathons themselves.  There are over 10,000 tracks from hundreds of games to choose from. You can complete these commands by entering key codes into the chat using the exclamation point.  Typing !rupees will provide the users rupees based on the number of hours they have watch.  If you want to request a song, simply type !songrequest and choose the song from which game it came from.  The more hours you watched, the more rupees you will have to use.

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Users can also rank up by watching the stream service more often.  As you rank higher up, more features will be unlocked to use.  Some awesome features include holding a mini marathon based on your picks or purchasing new album for the stream.  Ranking up is one of those interesting interactive features that provide users more than just free music (did I happen to mention that it’s also COMMERCIAL-FREE as well?).

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With that, Dystifyzer’s live Nintendo stream is definitely worth checking out.  Dystifyzer combined users’ love of nostalgic Nintendo games with a chatroom full of interactive features.  It’s a great stream to kick back with some awesome music from Nintendo and talk amongst others about your favorite games.

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This is the kind of unique idea that pushes the boundaries of what YouTube can offer for its users.  Providing users the ability to share music albums around with other listeners is one thing, but creating a live stream service based on a unique theme is a whole other ballgame.  Its users like Dystifyzer that help build upon YouTube’s social community.

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Thanks to Dystifyzer, we now have a unique interactive live streaming service featuring some of the most timeless music from Nintendo series.  Hopefully other users will branch out from his unique idea and provide other video game streaming services (like for Sony or other video game brands!).

If you’re looking for an easy playlist, check out Dystifyzer’s 24/7 Nintendo Music Live Stream on Youtube!



Super Nintendo Entertainment System…Classic Edition!

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The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) was my favorite console as a kid.  I was so fortunate to play some of the greatest games Nintendo ever created during the 90s.  Games like Super Mario Bros. All Stars Edition, Donkey Kong Country, Super Mario Kart, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and Mega Man X were what made the SNES such a timeless console.  Some of these games are so good that they are even better than some of the new titles out now (I’d bring out my SNES over playing games on the PS4 ANY day!).

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Lately Nintendo has been riding the wave of success with the Nintendo Switch released in March.  The Nintendo Switch has been selling out like crazy and they’re expecting to hit major sales during the holiday season.  As an added bonus, that’s just one of many surprises Nintendo has up their sleeves for this year.

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Image result for SNES Classic Edition

Nintendo recently announced that a SNES Classic Edition is coming out this fall!  The SNES Classic Edition, similar to the NES version, will feature over 21 titles pre-installed inside the console.  Some of the nostalgic titles being pre-installed include EarthBound, Donkey Kong Country, Star Fox, Super Punch-Out, Yoshi’s Island, and much more.  90s gamers will have to be patient because the SNES classic edition hits the shelves on September 29th at $79.99.

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As an added bonus, Nintendo will include the unreleased title Star Fox 2 to the mix.  Star Fox 2 was the sequel to Star Fox that was created for the console, but was never released to the public.  So not only will 90s gamers get to replay the nostalgic title on the SNES, but they’ll FINALLY get to play Star Fox 2 this fall!

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What’s intriguing is that this isn’t the first time Nintendo pushed this branding strategy out to their audience.  Nintendo saw major success with their NES Classic Edition (read more about that here) during the holiday season last year.  80s/90s nostalgic gamers rushed to the stores to snag their NES Mini console.  It was a brilliant strategy to keep Millennial/Gen X gamers back into the mix.

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Image result for SNES 1990s

This was so exciting to hear!  I loved playing games on the SNES and it’s going to be so great to be able to play them again.  It’s been hard to pencil in time to play some video games (what with my busy schedule and all!), but I would definitely go back to playing the system again.  The SNES console was what made Nintendo take off as an amazing video game brand.  Sure, the Nintendo Switch has been doing fantastic so far this year, but I always think back to the golden years with the SNES.

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Image result for SNES Classic Edition

I consider myself a 90s gamer and am really looking forward to seeing the SNES Classic Edition in stores this fall.  Hopefully I’ll find the time and money to get the console to relive the golden years of video gaming.  The Nintendo Switch may be out now, but I’m holding off for the Super Mario Odyssey game coming out in the winter (it’s pretty much one of the ONLY reasons for why I’d get the Nintendo Switch!).  Either way, we can all look forward to playing the nostalgic 90s titles once the SNES Classic Edition hits stores everywhere.

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Be sure to look out for the SNES Classic Edition when it releases on September 29th!


RetroBlox: The Future of Retro Gaming

One of the cool perks of owning a video game console was storing them in a video game library in your room.  Having all of those games was a great way to show off your collection to your friends that come over for the day.  Whether it was the old school Super Nintendo or going modern with the PS4, it felt accomplishing to store all those treasured games into your organized library.

Back when I was living in Ipswich, I had a plethora of games stacked into a huge bookcase.  I had titles that were for consoles such as the PS2, Super Nintendo, Wii U GameCube, PS3, Wii, and other systems.  It felt riveting knowing that I had a library of games to choose from on a rainy, mundane day.

Since moving into Lynn, my gaming consoles have scattered around in boxes.  I do have most of my games, but I doubt that most of them work these days (or the console for that matter!).  It sucks that my library of games could become useless if the console breaks.  Now that we’re settled into 2017, I wonder if there will be a new console built to play all of those nostalgic games.

Well folks, I just came across an awesome find that answered my question.  Allow me to introduce to you…the RetroBlox!  RetroBlox is the first modular HD retro-gaming console, becoming the next step to a “one console” future of video games.  The RetroBlox console provides a small slot up top for the retro game cartridges that would play titles from systems such as NES or Sega Genesis.  Besides the slot, it also includes a disc drive that would be compatible with CD-style titles from systems like the PS1.

The versatile gaming experiences work through the Element Modules provided.  The concept is simple: insert the type of module you want, plug in a game to play, and then add that game to your personal collection or play through the cartridge/CD.  Each Module is specifically crafted for each console to play on.

All of the games provide an amazing user interface that provides 1080p HD picture quality.  Instead of scrolling through texts to find a game, the interface showcases the art and personality of every game in HD.  Not only will you be able to play these games, but you will see them in their original box format!

Besides the retro-style concept, the RetroBlox also allows you to connect with peers and share your gaming experience.  You can share screenshots and videos to show off to your friends Facebook or Twitter.  Better yet, you can stream your favorite games on Twitch!

No other news has been announced about the console, but it will be hitting Kickstarter on Spring 2017.  Be on the lookout for the RetroBlox on Kickstarter when the campaign starts.  It definitely looks like a revolutionary idea for the ultimate nostalgic gaming experience.

This sounds like an awesome console!  I love the idea of purchasing one console that would play a majority of old-school titles.  It is definitely something I would fund money into because I want to play all of my old games again.  Some of the new games look amazing, but I am definitely a nostalgic gamer these days.

Here’s to hoping that the RetroBlox kicks off with a huge hit!  This would become a great console for the Millennials/Generation X’ers audience that grew up playing these classic titles.  Nostalgic gaming has been the latest trend the past few years with the release of the Sega Mega Drive Classics Hub (more on this here) and the Nintendo NES Classic Edition (read about this console here).  If the nostalgic gaming trend continues this year, then the RetroBlox should take off big time.

If all goes well, the future of the one-console gaming concept could be lurking right around the corner.  Let’s hope the future comes in sooner than later!



MakeSandcastlesNotWar’s Exclusive Look at Super Mario Odyssey

Back in October 2016, Nintendo revealed a trailer for the Nintendo Switch.  The Nintendo Switch is their newest hybrid home console that is set to be released on March 3rd.  Its unit is shaped similarly to a tablet computer and features two detachable controllers called Joy-Con.  Joy-Con can be used individually or attached to a grip for the more traditional game pad form.

Halfway through the trailer we see someone playing a new Mario game.  Mario was seen jumping and hopping through this desert world, avoiding a bullet bill that was heading his way.  No news was found about what the new Mario game would be…until NOW!

Mario’s new adventures will continue onto the Nintendo Switch with the new title Super Mario OdysseySuper Mario Odyssey is the 7th 3D platformer within the Super Mario series and will also return to the more freeform level design that was previously used in Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario 64.  Here’s some first-impressions notes I got from viewing the trailer:

Mario takes on the Big Apple

The trailer starts with Mario leaping up from a drainpipe in what looks like a NYC-inspired area.  Taxi cabs are driving through the streets and regular people are walking around the sidewalk.  Mario jumps from the taxi cab to the swing onto the lamp post.  We also see his infamous wall-kick moves as he leaps from building-to-building to reach a ledge.  He climbs walls and runs down to the helicopter pad area, where a big flying contraption sends him off to his next destination.

From Urban to Desert

We see Mario’s contraption land into a secluded desert town, performing a rolling move down the sandy path (FYI, this was the same town shown in the Nintendo Switch trailer back in October!).  He leaps up from an umbrella to collect six pink triangles.  Not sure what their significance is, but they’re DEFINITELY important collectibles!

Frolicking in the Forest

Another world in Super Mario Odyssey takes Mario into a cool, damp forest area.  At one point, he runs through a flowery path that leads him around a hollow tree.  We also get a glimpse of Mario swimming through some water (a green pipe can be seen near where the water is flowing!).

World of Veggies

 Next world we see is full of large vegetables sprouting up everywhere.  Mario carries a large turnip within the world (this feature of picking up turnips date back to Super Mario Bros. 2 for NES!).  We see a glimpse of a Hammer Bro throwing hammers at Mario while he dodges two Spinies crossing his path.  Mario’s contraption takes off and steers him towards his next destinations (NYC-esque city, desert town, forest, vegetable world).

Bowser Returns!

In the newest chapter of Mario’s adventures, Bowser returns once again!  Bowser is looking to celebrate a royal wedding with Peach, but Peach just isn’t having it.  Mario must now save Peach from being Bowser’s wife and prevent the wedding from happening.  It’s been decades since Super Mario Brothers was released and Bowser STILL won’t let go of Princess Peach!

Mario’s Playable Cap

Within the earlier games, Mario’s cap simply served as an accessory for his outfit.  One scene shows Mario entering a ‘Crazy Cap’ shop, only to show off Mario’s new cap skills a few seconds later.  Mario can throw his hat boomerang-style and even use it as a jumping pad to head over to farther distances.  Previous Mario titles have shown him without his hat, but this would be the first game where Mario’s famous cap becomes a gameplay mechanic.

Riding the Lion

Near the end of the trailer, Mario jumps onto a gold lion’s back.  The lion runs through the sand, destroying any enemies that stand in their way.  So far this was only featured in the desert world.  Run like the wind, Mario!

I don’t know about you, but I am DEFINITELY excited for this game!  It’s been a while since I’ve played a good Mario title and I’ll have to check out when it releases.  Nintendo really knows how to promote their brand mascot for each new home console.  Mario may look the same, but a whole new adventure awaits him.  There’s no set date on when the title will be released, but I look forward to finding out more information on it soon.  In the meantime, let’s take this moment to celebrate Mario’s new adventure on the Nintendo Switch!