This week in the Nintendo eShop: Nintendo switches things up with its latest console innovation, Link embarks on his very first ‘open air’ adventure, and Specter Knight reaps the Order of No Quarter into submission.

I’m pretty sure the Wii U deals section is the last thing on anybody’s mind this Switchmas Eve, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few discounts worth your consideration. There’s a slew of Atlus games on sale, including a 20% discount on the latest SMT title — Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse.

Most notably, today’s your last chance to dig up some savings on the Wii U and 3DS versions of Shovel Knight! Get 33% off the blue burrower’s adventure from now until midnight tonight. We here at Nintendo Wire simply can’t get enough of it, finding it stunningly timeless — the best of old and new together in a complete (yet still growing) display of gaming ingenuity, artistic delight and iconic character.

Remember, a purchase today gets you all current and future downloadable content for free, but only for a limited time! Once they make the official switch to Treasure Trove, campaigns will be offered a la carte, increasing the price of the complete package to $24.99.

SWITCH RETAIL

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo, $59.99 | available 3/3) – Expanding upon the explorative roots of the NES original too dangerous to journey through alone, Breath of the Wild reinvigorates the classic Zelda formula with boundary-breaking new gameplay. Set for the first time in a truly “open-air” environment, players are given complete freedom to explore the vast expanses of Hyrule as they see fit. Unless you’ve been living under Turtle Rock, the sheer amount of coverage and content trickling in over the past nine months has been nothing short of an emotionally draining roller coaster through the Twilight Realm, all but assuring anyone who picks up a Switch day one will be accompanied by Link’s latest adventure. On the eve of the legendary series’ latest release, there’s just one burning question left that remains unanswered: Can Breath of the Wild usurp the juggernaut Ocarina of Time or cult classic Majora’s Mask from from their impossibly high horses? So far it’s looking good, but we’ll be sure to give you our own thoughts in our first ever Nintendo Wire group review in the coming days. Until then… open your eyes, step into the light, and go!

1-2-Switch (Nintendo, $49.99 | available 3/3) – (Nintendo, $49.99 | available 3/3) – It wouldn’t be a new Nintendo system launch without at least one party game for the whole family to enjoy! Fulfilling the role of this generation’s Wii Sports is 1-2-Switch: an impromptu party anywhere with anyone that doesn’t require looking at the screen to play. Don’t knock it before you’ve tried it, as the game’s much more than the shallow, overpriced tech demo for the new Joy-Con controllers some are lead to believe. Its shortburst, quirky mini game mentality shares a lot in common with the WarioWare series, drawing great inspiration from the absurd charm and quick fire pace made famous by Mario’s alter ego. I mean come on, who doesn’t find milking invisible cows or munching virtual hot dogs downright hilarious? While it would no doubt have benefitted more as pack-in software or under a much more affordable price tag, it’s sure to be a hit at your next big social get together.

Super Bomberman R (Konami, $49.99 | available 3/3) – Bomberman’s back, baby! In classic bombastic fashion, Super Bomberman R marks the triumphant return of frantic arena-based, multiplayer mayhem, where up to eight players chuck bombs at each other and collect power-ups to blast the competition to kingdom come. There’s even a story mode where one to two players can work together cooperatively to clear a series of 50 stages in retro arcade-style fun. Honestly, I couldn’t be more excited by the prospect of revisiting the bodacious bomber’s colorful roots in this refreshingly retro retread, especially in an era of progressively complex titles dominating the market. Well, that and to finally see Konami working on something other than Pachinko games. Who knows, maybe a Castlevania reboot will be next? A man can dream.

Just Dance 2017 (Ubisoft, $59.99 | available 3/3) – Fans eager to embarrassingly wiggle their arms and hips in front of their equally rhythmically challenged friends and family members will be happy to learn that Just Dance 2017 has made the leap to the Nintendo Switch! Easier to play than ever before, players can now use the much more comfortable and smaller Joy-Con controllers to save themselves the hassle of dealing with cracked television and phone screens. The game features 41 tracks from a wide range of artists, including Justin Bieber, Queen and even Hatsune Miku. Dancers craving more bang for their buck will be happy to know that every Switch copy of the game comes with a free three month subscription to Dance Unlimited: a monthly subscription service featuring 200+ songs from previous games in the series. Personally, I feel the genre is somewhat of a dying breed in dire need of a shakeup, but at least the 2017 version manages to add enough excitement to feel slightly more relevant again thanks to frequent updates to its vast library of songs.

Skylanders Imaginators (Activision, $59.99 | available 3/3) – Hide your wallets, parents: the latest in the original toys-to-life action-platforming series is back to drain your bank accounts dry! Just like its release on other platforms last year, players are encouraged to use the power of their imagination to create their very own Skylanders to battle alongside the almighty Senseis to save Skylands. New to the Nintendo Switch version is a digital library allowing for players to easily load and store their 300+ toys from the franchises immense catalogue of monster fighting heroes directly to the system, eliminating the need for the Portal of Power. It’s pretty nifty feature if you ask me, especially on a system so perfectly suited for portability.

SWITCH DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE

Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove (Yacht Club Games, $24.99 | available 3/3) – The most full and complete edition of the lovingly crafted, NES inspired platformer digs its way to the Nintendo Switch tomorrow! As intrepid knight and masterful wielder of the Shovel Blade, battle your way past the nefarious knights of the Order of No Quarter and their menacing leader, The Enchantress, in an epic quest to save your beloved, Shield Knight. Buried underneath its 8-bit retro aesthetic is a nostalgic showcase of gaming’s humble beginnings. From its unique spin on Mega Man inspired stages to the adoption of a Duck Tales pogo stick mechanic, Super Mario Bros. 3 world map and Zelda II NPC laden town, every element perfectly syncs together in a blaze of artistic delight that’s impossible to put down once started. Jake Kaufman also deserves immense praise for composing one of the most rockin’ soundtracks this side of the Hall of Champions. Download this instant classic immediately and learn what it means to enact shovel justice upon the world!

Remember, a purchase here secures you the full Shovel Knight experience, including a copy of this week’s simultaneous Specter of Torment release, as well as Plague of Shadows and King Knight’s quest when they both eventually drop sometime later this year.

Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment (Yacht Club Games, $9.99 | available 3/3) – Already played the original Shovel Knight to death and just want to dive straight into Specter Knight’s campaign? Or maybe you just feel more connected to the rogue reaper’s morbid sense of style. Either way, Specter of Torment is being offered as a standalone release this week, marking the first time players can choose a la carte which Shovel Knight experience is right for them. Though, let’s be honest: the right answer is all of them, so stop reading this and go download Treasure Trove already. Do it… for shovelry!

The second expansion for the original Shovel Knight, Specter of Torment acts as a prequel to the blue burrower’s adventure, donning players behind the hood of Specter Knight as he roams the land in service of The Enchantress. Most notably, Specter features many mechanical changes to gameplay, like the ability to perform leaping aerial strikes and jump off walls Batman NES style. Much like with Plague Knight, these slight tweaks and changes make every level feel fresh again, almost like you’re playing an entirely new game.

Snipperclips – Cut it Out, Together! (Nintendo, $19.99 | available 3/3) – Easily mistaken for shovelware thanks to its cheesy, poorly punctuated subtitle, Snipperclips is actually an insanely adorable cooperative caper you won’t want to miss. You and a buddy control two paper pals cut from the same cloth, solving dynamic puzzles and performing activities in a wonderfully imaginative world reminiscent of Kirby’s cursed capers or Yoshi’s woolly worlds. Essentially, by clipping the other player in masochistic fashion, players assume various shapes and forms needed for solving unique environmental puzzles. Make no mistake — masked underneath its charming papercraft aesthetic is a deeply competitive multiplayer experience that may bring out the mischievous beast buried beneath your significant other’s seemingly cheery exterior. In all seriousness, it looks to be an addictively fun couch coop romp the whole family can enjoy, and I can’t wait to jump into the fold with my girlfriend tomorrow for some weekend hijinks.

FAST RMX (Shin’en, $19.99 | available 3/3) – In case you’ve been living under a space rock, 2015’s FAST Racing NEO was basically the 60fps, high-octane racer long time F-Zero fans had been waiting for. Now you can take those breakneck speeds to new heights on Nintendo Switch in glorious 1080p! That’s not the only notable technical improvement, as the game now sports a more responsive user interface, better track lighting, new special effects and toggle-able graphics options. It also boasts twice the content of the original, including 30 massive tracks to explore, 15 anti-gravity vehicles to unlock and 10 cups to master. For those feeling truly nostalgic, a referential mode to the excellent F-Zero series gracefully returns, too. Playing in Hero Mode shares your boost energy with your shield energy, adding a whole new dynamic and level of challenge to gameplay. With enough new content to justify double dipping, and as one of the best exclusive indie games the Wii U had to offer, this one seems like a no-brainer for both newcomers and die-hard fans of the genre.

I Am Setsuna (Square Enix, $39.99 | available 3/3) – An homage to the JRPG masterpieces of yesteryear, I Am Setsuna boasts an emotionally charged narrative and Chrono Trigger inspired battle system rivaling the genre’s greatest. Heck, it even bests the majority of publisher Square Enix’s more modern offerings, thanks to strong writing and its many powerful themes of sorrow and despair seeping through every inch of its core. Primarily set in mournful snowcapped mountains, the game is beautifully picturesque, only further enhanced by a hauntingly beautiful piano soundtrack scored by famed composer Tomoki Miyoshi. Frequent loading times when navigating towns and somewhat repetitive environments aside, I Am Setsuna proves a strong second quest for anyone needing a break from Link’s latest adventure.

SWITCH ADD-ON CONTENT

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Expansion Pass (Nintendo, $19.99 | available 3/3) – Zelda fans already itching for more Breath of the Wild are in luck, as Nintendo announced future downloadable content will be trickling in throughout 2017! The first content pack is scheduled to launch in the summer and will include the addition of a Cave of Trials challenge, a new hard mode and a new yet-to-be-defined feature for the in-game map. The second pack won’t launch until the holiday season, bringing with it new challenges in the form of another dungeon and original story content. A $20 purchase today secures you all these future goodies when they inevitably drop, as well as three in-game treasure chests today containing a shirt decked out with the Nintendo Switch logo and various other useful items.

SWITCH DEMO

Snipperclips – Cut it Out, Together! (Nintendo, Free| available 3/3) – Still on the fence about Nintendo’s quirky cooperative puzzler? Take paper pals Snip and Clip for a spin in this free demo sampler to help you decide whether this zany puzzler makes the cut.

WII U RETAIL

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo, $59.99 | available 3/3) – Fortunately, Wii U owners don’t have to spend $400 to experience Link’s most grand adventure yet. Expanding upon the explorative roots of the NES original too dangerous to journey through alone, Breath of the Wild reinvigorates the classic Zelda formula with boundary-breaking new gameplay. Set for the first time in a truly “open-air” environment, players are given complete freedom to explore the vast expanses of Hyrule as they see fit. Unless you’ve been living under Turtle Rock, the sheer amount of coverage and content trickling in over the past nine months has been nothing short of an emotionally draining roller coaster through the Twilight Realm, all but assuring anyone who isn’t picking up a Switch on day one will be exploring Hyrule on Wii U in this lovingly crafted swan song.

WII U ADD-ON CONTENT

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Expansion Pass (Nintendo, $19.99 | available 3/3) – Zelda fans already itching for more Breath of the Wild are in luck, as Nintendo announced future downloadable content will be trickling in throughout 2017! The first content pack is scheduled to launch in the summer and will include the addition of a Cave of Trials challenge, a new hard mode and a new yet-to-be-defined feature for the in-game map. The second pack won’t launch until the holiday season, bringing with it new challenges in the form of another dungeon and original story content. A $20 purchase today secures you all these future goodies when they inevitably drop, as well as three in-game treasure chests today containing a shirt decked out with the Nintendo Switch logo and various other useful items.

Minecraft: Wii U Edition – Fallout Battle Map Pack (Mojang, $2.99) – Gaming’s most successful 3D Lego simulator is receiving yet another major update this week, most notably new Battle Mode maps skinned under the guise of Bethesda’s post-apocalyptic franchise, Fallout. The pack includes console exclusive battle maps Libertalia, Capitol and Atomics Galleria. Be sure to also click here for a full list of the various bug fixes addressed in the latest patch.

WII U VIRTUAL CONSOLE

Neutopia (Konami, $5.99) – Originally released by Hudson for the PC Engine back in 1989, Neutopia is widely considered a carbon copy clone of The Legend of Zelda in nearly every way possible. There’s the top-down perspective overworld filled with bombable walls, burnable bushes, pushable blocks and medallion laden dungeons; a boy seeking both adventure and eight power imbued artifacts containing the ability to seal away an ancient evil; and a slew of puzzle solving items to beef up your typical sword and shield wielding combo. Poor collision detection and several head-scratching references to Judaism, Islam and Star Wars aside, the game often gets credit for its clean, crisp graphics and decent quality soundtrack, as well as its introduction of the fire rod eventually adopted in Link’s future arsenal. It may not be the most original game out there, but surely more than worth the few bucks for those that can’t wait another day for Breath of the Wild.

Dungeon Explorer (Konami, $5.99) – Dungeon Explorer, on the other hand, is a multiplayer action RPG allowing up to five players to cooperatively save the world from an evil race of invading aliens. The game draws a great deal of inspiration from Gauntlet, featuring a robust class system of eight different character types to choose from. As you’d expect, each one comes with its own strengths and weaknesses, and striking a good balance between characters is key to forming viable strategies and mastering enemies’ elemental weaknesses. As you could probably guess, the game was way ahead of its time back in 1989 on the PC Engine in large part due to its inclusion of five person, simultaneous cooperative play. With teamwork being a key component to victory, those rich with friends in close proximity looking for a blast from the past are sure to find plenty to love here.

MOBILE

Nintendo Switch Parental Controls (Nintendo, Free) – While not a game, there’s a new mobile download releasing alongside the Switch today on the App Store and Google Play. Now concerned parents worried about their kids getting too obsessed with their shiny new consoles can easily set the Nintendo Switch’s parental controls with ease from the comfort of their own phones. Remember, while some parental controls are available on the system itself, the app gives you even more options like push notifications for monthly play summaries and remote accessibility.

3DS SPECIAL OFFERS AND DEALS

Shovel Knight ($9.99 | 33% off) until 3/2
Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse ($39.99 | 20% off) until 3/13
Shin Megami Tensei IV ($14.99 | 25% off) until 3/13
Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan ($19.99 | 33% off) until 3/13
Persona Q: Shadows of the Labyrinth ($29.99 | 25% off) until 3/6
Stella Glow ($29.99 | 40% off) until 3/6
Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars ($9.99 | 66% off) until 3/13
Citizens of Earth ($4.49 | 70% off) until 3/13
Citizens of Earth ($4.49 | 70% off) until 3/13
Hyperlight EX ($0.99 | 80% off) until 3/9
Mercenaries Saga 2 ($3.99 | 20% off) until 3/16
Kingdom’s Item Shop ($3.99 | 20% off) until 3/16
Adventure Bar Story ($4.79 | 20% off) until 3/16
Adventure Labyrinth Story ($3.99 | 20% off) until 3/16
Castle Conqueror EX ($1.99 | 50% off) until 3/9
Swords & Soldiers 3D ($3.99 | 50% off) until 3/9
Art of Balance TOUCH! ($5.24 | 25% off) until 3/9
The Keep ($7.99 | 38%) until 3/16

Check Nintendo’s website for the full list of deals available.

WII U SPECIAL OFFERS AND DEALS

Shovel Knight ($9.99 | 33% off) until 3/2
Citizens of Earth ($4.49 | 70% off) until 3/13
Soul Axiom ($5.99 | 60% off) until 3/17
Fit Music ($12.90 | 35% off) until 3/30
Citadale ($2.50 | 50% off) until 3/9
Ohayou! Beginner’s Japanese ($3.99 | 20% off) until 3/9
Mortar Melon ($2.99 | 50% off) until 3/9
Dungeon Hearts DX ($4.99 | 50% off) until 3/30
Rorrim ($2.50 | 50% off) until 3/9

Check Nintendo’s website for the full list of deals available.

AMIIBO

Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo, $15.99 | available 3/3)
Link (Archer): Breath of the Wild (Nintendo, $15.99 | available 3/3)
Link (Rider): Breath of the Wild (Nintendo, $15.99 | available 3/3)
Bokoblin: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo, $15.99 | available 3/3)
Guardian: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo, $19.99 | available 3/3)

HARDWARE

Nintendo Switch with Gray Joy-Con (Nintendo, $299.99 | available 3/3)
Nintendo Switch with Neon Blue and Neon Red Joy-Con (Nintendo, $299.99 | available 3/3)

 
What games will you be downloading this week? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

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Written by Matthew Weidner

When it comes to playing and writing about video games, Matthew aspires to be the very best, like no one ever was. Writing for Nintendo Wire and the thought of one day finally achieving a perfect, no death Super Meat Boy run fills him with determination.

Matthew Weidner

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