Nintendo Switch Play Together Events planned for cities across Canada this summer

Nintendo Switch Play Together Events

Bummed that the Nintendo Switch is sold out everywhere and you haven’t been able to try it? Then you’re in luck, as Nintendo is taking its latest gaming system across Canada this summer!

The Nintendo Switch Play Together Events are planned for Vancouver, Surrey, Toronto, Calgary, Montreal and Lévis, QC. Adults and kids will be able get a taste of ARMS, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and 1-2-Switch games. Splatoon 2 will also be available at events after its July 21 release date.

RELATED: Disney’s taking Lightning McQueen on a Canadian road trip

Besides playing the games and getting a feel for the Nintendo Switch, there will be prizes and giveaways available. And Mario will also make an appearance in-person at some events!

Schedule of Nintendo Switch Play Together Events across Canada:

June 25
Vancouver, BC
Greek Day on Broadway

July 1
Surrey, BC
Canada Day Celebrations [Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre]

July 1 – 3
Toronto, ON
Redpath Waterfront Festival

July 7 – 9
Montreal, QC
Montreal Comiccon

July 7 – 16
Calgary, AB
Calgary Stampede

July 15 – 23
Montreal, QC
Mondial des Jeux

Aug 2 – 6
Lévis, QC
Festivent Ville de Lévis

Aug 11 – 13
Montreal, QC
La Ronde

Aug 18 – Sept 4
Toronto, ON
Canadian National Exhibition (CNE)

Aug 19 – Sept 4
Vancouver, BC
Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) *Closed August 21 and 28

For more information on the Nintendo Switch Play Together Events, visit nintendo.ca.

Are you excited to get a chance to play the Nintendo Switch? Share your thoughts in the comments below or at facebook.com/bamcatBuzz.

NES retrospective ‘Playing with Power’ hitting shelves in November

Playing with Power

This could be the coolest book ever!

Did you grow up in the ‘80s playing Nintendo games? If so, you’re going to be excited for Garitt Rocha’s retrospective Playing with Power: Nintendo NES Classics.

The hardcover book, which has a slipcase that makes it look like an NES cartridge, takes an in-depth look at 17 NES games, including Super Mario Bros. 3 and The Legend of Zelda.

RELATED: Nintendo releasing retro NES system loaded with 30 classic games

Hitting shelves on November 18, Playing with Power also features interviews, vintage ads, Nintendo Power excerpts, character art and hand-drawn maps.

Earlier this month Nintendo announced it was releasing a retro NES system loaded with 30 games. It comes out a week before the book, making the pair the hot gift this holiday season.

Playing with Power: Nintendo NES Classics is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.ca for $33.25.

Are you excited for Playing with Power: Nintendo NES Classics? Share your thoughts in the comments below or at facebook.com/bamcatBuzz.

Nintendo releasing retro NES system loaded with 30 classic games

NES Classic Edition

The NES Classic Edition launches in Canada on Nov. 11 with a suggested retail price of $79.99.

Nintendo announced Thursday it’s releasing a retro-style NES system this holiday season that comes loaded with 30 classic games, including Super Mario Bros. 3, Metroid and The Legend of Zelda.

“We wanted to give fans of all ages the opportunity to revisit Nintendo’s original system and rediscover why they fell in love with Nintendo in the first place,” Pierre-Paul Trepanier, Nintendo of Canada’s General Manager and Senior Director said in a press release.

RELATED: Nintendo’s summer tour to hit Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal

The Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition is much smaller than the original NES (it fits in the palm of your hand) and has no way to load original cartridges. It attaches via an HDMI cable, allowing you to play on an HDTV. The controller, which looks identical to the original, now uses the same style of plug found on the WiiMote giving users the ability to play virtual console games on the Wii and WiiU with it.

NES Classic Edition

The NES Classic Edition is smaller than the original NES and can fit in the palm of your hand.

The 30 games that come loaded on the NES Classic Edition are:

  • Balloon Fight
  • BUBBLE BOBBLE
  • Castlevania
  • Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest
  • Donkey Kong
  • Donkey Kong Jr.
  • DOUBLE DRAGON II: THE REVENGE
  • Dr. Mario
  • Excitebike
  • FINAL FANTASY
  • Galaga
  • GHOSTS’N GOBLINS
  • GRADIUS
  • Ice Climber
  • Kid Icarus
  • Kirby’s Adventure
  • Mario Bros.
  • MEGA MAN 2
  • Metroid
  • NINJA GAIDEN
  • PAC-MAN
  • Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream
  • StarTropics
  • SUPER C
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Super Mario Bros. 2
  • Super Mario Bros. 3
  • TECMO BOWL
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

The system comes packaged with an HDMI cable, AC adapter and one controller. It has a suggested retail price of $79.99. A second controller will be available at a suggested retail price of $12.99. It launches in Canada on November 11.

RELATED: Super Mario Maker video review (by my 8-year-old son)

Are you excited for the Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition? Share your thoughts in the comments below or at facebook.com/bamcatBuzz.

Nintendo’s summer tour to hit Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal

Play Nintendo: Kids Summer Tour

The Play Nintendo: Kids Summer Tour is making stops in Ontario, Quebec and BC.

Nintendo of Canada is hitting the road this summer with stops in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal on their Play Nintendo: Kids Summer Tour.

The Play Nintendo: Kids Summer Tour gives kids the opportunity to play some of the best Nintendo games available on the 3DS and 2DS, including Kirby: Planet Robobot, Pokémon Omega Ruby and Mario Kart 7.

Visitors can also meet their favourite Nintendo characters and enter to win prizes at each event.

RELATED: Super Mario Maker video review (by my 8-year-old son)

The Play Nintendo: Kids Summer Tour kicks off in Dorval, Quebec on Canada Day and ends Sept. 5 at the PNE in Vancouver. A full list of Canadian Play Nintendo: Kids Summer Tour dates and locations are below (those marked with an * mean they are at paid events).

Quebec Tour Dates:

Jul 1 (3 p.m. -10 p.m.): Dorval – Canada Day Celebration
Jul 3 (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.): Montreal – Midway Fun*
Jul 9 (2 p.m. – 6 p.m.): Montreal – Fete Des Enfants*
Jul 10 (2 p.m. – 6 p.m.): Montreal – Fete Des Enfants*
Jul 22 (11 a.m. – 9 p.m.): Granby – Mascot Festival
Jul 23 (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.): Granby – Mascot Festival
Jul 24 (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.): Granby – Mascot Festival

Ontario Tour Dates:

Jul 29 (11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.): Toronto – Centre Island*
Jul 30 (11:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.): Toronto – Centre Island*
Jul 31 (10:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.): Toronto – Centre Island*
Aug 5 (12 p.m. – 6 p.m.): Port Hope – OnRoute
Aug 6 (8 a.m. – 2 p.m.: Port Hope – OnRoute
Aug 7 (9 a.m. – 3 p.m.): Port Hope – OnRoute
Aug 13 (11 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.): Toronto – York-Eglinton International Street Festival
Aug 14 (11 a.m. – 7 p.m.): Toronto – York-Eglinton International Street Festival
Aug 19 (7 p.m. – 11 p.m.): Mississauga – Port Credit Buskerfest
Aug 20 (1 p.m. – 11 p.m.): Mississauga – Port Credit Buskerfest
Aug 21 (1 p.m. – 7 p.m.): Mississauga – Port Credit Buskerfest

BC Tour Dates:

Aug 31 (11 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.): Vancouver – PNE*
Sep 1 (11 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.): Vancouver – PNE*
Sep 2 (11 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.): Vancouver – PNE*
Sep 3 (11 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.): Vancouver – PNE*
Sep 4 (11 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.): Vancouver – PNE*
Sep 5 (11 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.): Vancouver – PNE*

For more information on the Play Nintendo: Kids Summer Tour and to double check dates and times, visit nintendo.com.

Are you excited for the Play Nintendo: Kids Summer Tour? Share your thoughts in the comments below or at facebook.com/bamcatBuzz.

Mario comes to the world of Minecraft on the Nintendo Wii U

Minecraft Mario

A new update for the Minecraft: Wii U Edition allows you to play the game as Mario.

Nintendo has teamed up with Mojang and Microsoft to bring Mario to the world of Minecraft on the Nintendo Wii U.

People who own the digital version of Minecraft: Wii U Edition can now download the Super Mario Mash-Up Pack for free in a move that is sure to make all of us Minecraft addicts waste even more time playing the game!

RELATED: Minecraft (finally) coming to the Nintendo Wii U

The update comes with 40 new skins, including Mario, Luigi, Princess, Bowser and Wario, a pre-made Super Mario-themed world and a set of Super Mario-themed music and item textures.

The update was inspired by classic Mario games Super Mario World, Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario 64.

“Both the Super Mario franchise and Minecraft embrace the magic of exploration and discovery,” Pierre-Paul Trepanier, Nintendo of Canada’s General Manager and Senior Director said in a release. “Players will have a great time adventuring and creating in this free game update that embraces the unique and memorable elements of both franchises.”

RELATED: Super Mario Maker video review (by my 8-year-old son)

The digital version of Minecraft: Wii U Edition is currently available to purchase from the Nintendo eShop on the Wii U for $29.99. The Super Mario Mash-Up Pack will also be included with the retail version of Minecraft: Wii U Edition when it launches in stores on June 17 at a suggested retail price of $29.99.

Are you excited to play as Mario in Minecraft on the Wii U? Share your thoughts in the comments below or at facebook.com/bamcatBuzz.

Minecraft (finally) coming to the Nintendo Wii U

Minecraft: Wii U Edition

Minecraft: Wii U Edition will be available to purchase on Dec. 17.

My kids are serious Minecraft addicts. They play the game on their iPads and on our PC and PlayStation. They have Minecraft books, LEGO sets, costumes and toys. We’ve even held a Minecraft birthday party! Yet the number one complaint I still hear to do this day is “why can’t we play it on the Nintendo Wii U?”

RELATED: 5 Wii U games that should be on your 2015 holiday wish list

I never understood why the game wasn’t released on the Wii U myself. The Wii U GamePad is the perfect controller for building and navigating the Minecraft world and the Wii U system is geared towards younger gamers who, like my kids, are hooked on Minecraft. It would really be a win-win for all parties involved.

Well someone finally woke up to this realization and Minecraft is officially coming to the Nintendo Wii U (in a special Wii U Edition no less) on Dec. 17.

The Wii U Edition will be available to download via the Nintendo eShop in North America for a retail price of $29.99. The game comes bundled with popular add-ons Battle & Beasts Skin Pack, Battle & Beasts 2 Skin Pack, Natural Texture Pack, City Texture Pack, Fantasy Texture Pack and Festive Mash-up Pack. Many other additional add-on packs will be available to purchase as well.

RELATED: Super Mario Maker video review (by my 8-year-old son)

Of course the best feature of the Minecraft: Wii U Edition is that you will indeed be able to play the game solely on the Wii U GamePad. This means that little Johnny or Sally can play the game all day long without interrupting your HGTV marathon.

Are your kids (or you) excited Minecraft is finally coming to the Nintendo Wii U? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Super Mario Maker video review (by my 8-year-old son)

Super Mario Maker

There are lots of options when building a level in Super Mario Maker.

There’s no question that Super Mario Maker for the Wii U is one of the most addictive Mario games Nintendo has ever released. Being able to create your own levels is something I’ve dreamed of doing since I was a kid, and from a nostalgia standpoint the game hits all the marks.

But Super Mario Maker is not just for thirtysomethings like me trying to relive my youth. It spans all generations of Mario fans and my two boys (4 and 8) haven’t been able to stop playing it (or talking about it) since we got the game a month ago.

RELATED: 5 Wii U games that should be on your 2015 holiday wish list

Because of their excitement for Super Mario Maker, my 8-year-old (aka Bamcat Jr.) suggested he do a video review of it to upload to YouTube. I hesitantly agreed to this (more on my hesitation of putting my son on YouTube in a later post) and together we shot and edited our first video production.

Check out his video review of Super Mario Maker below and share your thoughts on the game in the comments or by tweeting @bamcatbuzz.

Notes about the video

The video was shot using a Sony RX100 IV point-and-shoot camera and edited with a trial version of Adobe Premiere Pro. It took just over an hour to shoot and edit and was a great bonding project with my kids.

5 Wii U games that should be on your 2015 holiday wish list

Super Mario Maker

Super Mario Maker is a must-have game for the Nintendo Wii U.

Nintendo’s Wii U system got a whole lot better in 2015 thanks to a push from the company in the game department. Whether you’re young or old the system offers something for everyone, making it the must-have family gaming system (and compared to the XBOX One and PS4, the relatively low price of the Wii U makes the decision to purchase one less painful).

With the holiday’s around the corner (and Black Friday sales coming up on Nov. 27), here are the five Wii U games you need to put on your wish list or buy for your kids (cause you know you’ll be playing them, too).

Super Mario Maker

I used to dream about making my own levels in Super Mario Bros. when I was a kid. With Super Mario Maker my dream has finally come true! And while it is exciting coming up with crazy stages to share with friends, family and strangers online, playing the stages other people come up with is the best part of this game (my 4-year-old has a bright future ahead annoying gamers with some of the insane levels he’s made).

While Super Mario Maker can be downloaded from the Nintendo eShop, the physical version comes in a box similar to the ones NES games came in. It also includes a very nice collectible book. Both of these points make it a worthwhile physical purchase in my opinion.

Using amiibo figures, such as the 30th anniversary Mario amiibo, you can unlock special game content (like a giant mushroom), which is very cool.

Check out the Super Mario Maker trailer below.

Yoshi’s Woolly World

The mad genius at Nintendo that came up with the idea of Yoshi’s Woolly World deserves some sort of award. Besides being visually stunning (everything looks like it’s made of real wool) the game is a ton of fun to play and can be challenging in a puzzle-solving sort of way (Mellow Mode let’s the young ones easily fly through the game while Classic Mode keeps it real).

While there are many great things about the game, my favourite part (and it’s a bit childish) is that Yoshi poops out balls of yarn instead of eggs in this game. For some reason my kids and I find this hilarious.

The Yoshi amiibo made of yarn that comes bundled with some versions of the game is also pretty sweet and can be used to give you two Yoshi’s in the game at once.

Check out the trailer for Yoshi’s Woolly World below.

LEGO Dimensions (Wii U)

Right out out of the box, LEGO Dimensions is unlike other toy-based video games like Skylanders and Disney Infinity. For starters, you have to build the LEGO Gateway (part of the portal you use to add characters into the game) out of real LEGO bricks. Then the figures and vehicles you get have to be put together in order to use them in the game (the Wii U version comes with Batman, Gandalf and Wyldstyle minifigs, as well as a LEGO Batmobile).

Since LEGO has licensed everything from Ghostbusters and Back to the Future to The Simpsons and Scooby-Doo, the available expansion packs turn this into an endless money pit of collecting fun.

Watch the trailer for LEGO Dimensions below.

Splatoon

Splatoon is a first-person shooter style competitive game where you play in online teams to lay down as much of your paint colour on the course as possible in order to win. It’s highly addictive and fun to play and is an overall cool gaming experience (it will eat lots of your time once you start playing).

Splatoon is amiibo compatible and will open up new challenges and in-game gear with Splatoon-series amiibo figures.

Check out the trailer for Splatoon below.

DuckTales: Remastered

Based on the Disney cartoon and originally released for the NES in 1989, DuckTales was a tough little platform game back in the day. DuckTales: Remastered keeps the same challenging courses but delivers updated sound and graphics. The game can be downloaded via the Nintendo eShop for $14.99 and can be played directly on the Wii U gamepad. Be warned that you won’t be able to get the theme song out of your head for days after playing.

Watch the DuckTales: Remastered trailer below.

Other games highly recommended for the Wii U include Mario Kart 8, Super Mario 3D World, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, LEGO City Undercover and Need for Speed Most Wanted.

Share your thoughts on what Wii U games are worth getting this holiday season in the comments below.

Nintendo World Championships 2015 premieres on CHRGD Nov. 15

Nintendo World Championships 2015

The Nintendo World Championships 2015 premieres in Canada on CHRGD November 15 at 7 p.m. ET.

To much fanfare during E3 earlier this year, Nintendo brought back the Nintendo World Championships for its 25th anniversary (if you remember the 1989 Fred Savage film The Wizard, that is what this competition basically is).

The competition had gamers from across North America play a catalogue of titles from Nintendo’s history, including classics like Super Metroid and The Legend of Zelda and new titles like Splatoon and Super Mario Maker.

The top prize was an awesome Gold Mario trophy, which is much cooler than the gold N64 controller I won from Nintendo Power for having the high score in Mario Kart 64 (that was about 20 years ago and I stupidly sold the controller with my N64 system).

Gather the kids and check out the Nintendo World Championships 2015 as it premieres in Canada this Sunday, November 15 at 7 p.m. ET on CHRGD.

Head over to CHRGD.ca for details.