Category: News

February 2nd, 2014
Blog Entry

Celebrating 10 years of

On 13th February 2014, celebrated its 10th anniversary. What started as a dark blue site to host my music became a place of experimental blogging, then truly a “collected writings” as it evolved to capture everything I ever wrote at Nintendo Life, and later its sister sites.

Primarily for my own interest, here’s an evolution of over the last decade.

The first archive: 17th February, 2004

OK, so I had the domain from 13th February, but the site didn’t go live until a bit later. The text was a reference to that Grolsch advert, but we changed “beer” to “website”, setting a high standard of linguistic creativity that the site continually fell below.

Prosody version 0.1: 9th May 2004

This very, very blue site had everything a musician nobody had heard of could need: a guestbook, forum, biography, that sort of stuff. I think at one point the forum had around 20 members, so you can tell how big things were getting.

In January 2006 (I forgot exactly when, and Web Archive did too), I started writing at It used Pivot and had a really nice rainy blue theme with a fountain pen, if I recall.

This was the first time I felt excited about writing online.

The first “Collected Writings”: 4th June 2006

(Note: this link is actually to November 2006, just because it’s the first archive of this page that looks right)

I changed from Pivot to WordPress in June 2006, and launched the first proper “Collected Writings”. This was the first design I really loved – the top banner changed every month, and I did banners for special occasions, like this one for Tails’ 14th birthday.

This version of the blog was home to a lot of ideas, as I basically did anything I wanted. I wasn’t studying or working full-time, so I had time to write diaries for my Harvest Moon farmer; virtually cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats using an exercise bike, Microsoft Virtual Earth and Wikipedia; do podcasts, and that sort of thing. Truly it was a golden age.

What this site means to me has changed enormously over the years. What started out as a promotional site for my ill-fated musical endeavour turned into a place I could try any idea I wanted. I created a Blog Carnival, podcasted, wrote match reports for Pro Evo 4, and loads more. It helped me develop my writing style and create a portfolio – there are over 1.25 million words here, spread across more than 7,200 published posts – and have a huge amount of fun in the process.

Since moving to Germany for work, I haven’t shown this site any attention. I’d like to change that in 2014.

Happy anniversary, URL. Thanks for everything.

July 13th, 2012

Feature: James’s Favourite Nintendo Life Moments

Trip through time


As you might have seen earlier this week, our esteemed editor James Newton is leaving Nintendo Life to take up a new job at Nintendo of Europe. Here he picks some of his favourite moments of the past four-and-a-half years at Nintendo Life.

Being Recognised

Let's face it, this was always going to be first. I wouldn't say I ever did this to become famous but if that happened along the way, I'd call it a bonus. That's one of the reasons I use my real name and my real photo here, another reason being to remind you all I'm actually a human being and not a prototype for Dreamcast 2 (yet).

A year or two ago we had the idea to wear Nintendo Life t-shirts at events. In an industry where at least 50% of the men look like me, they are very useful indeed.

That said, I've only actually been recognised twice, I think. The first time was at Eurogamer Expo in 2011; I'd been playing some 3DS games when someone stopped me and said "you're James, right?" It doesn't sound much, but it was a real magic moment — in this business you spend so much of your time interacting via email, Twitter, Facebook, comments etc. it's surprisingly gratifying to meet someone face to face. The chap in question told me he was a big fan of the site and reads it every day. I didn't get his name but I hope he's reading this now so he can hear me say "thank you" again.

The second time I was recognised was about three weeks ago when Katy Ellis stopped me and introduced herself. Now she writes for us. I've obviously got a lot better at this networking thing.

Nintendo Life eShop Shelf


Here's something I never saw coming.

In September 2011 we got a shelf in the 3DS eShop. For an independent site to get exposure like that in a console's digital store is something I'd never seen before, or since. It felt to me then, and still does, like a real endorsement of what we offer: a global partnership with Nintendo to offer a curated eShop shelf was just amazing.

I'd love to see it happen again.

Seeing Corbie at E3 2010

2010 was the first year we sent anyone to E3, and it was also the first year we had a dedicated (if small) team at NLHQ in the UK to cover the news. I was writing something up when we spotted some comments and tweets from users saying they'd seen Corbie; we switched over to the video and there he was.

It wasn't just seeing the bandana and knowing my friend was being seen all around the world, it was that his was the first reaction to 3DS ever broadcast. Since then Nintendo's done loads of adverts showing user reactions, but Corbie's was the first. Incredible. Absolutely incredible.

Ask James

This started as a silly forum joke but turned into something I genuinely look forward to every week. I've answered questions ranging from my what my editorial principles are to whether or not I've considered growing a beard (I have and it looks awful.)

One of the things I've always tried to do here is break down barriers between staff and readers. I like to think we're accessible and down-to-Earth here, happy to jump into the forums or comments when we can. Being part of Nintendo Life means embracing the community, and I hope you've enjoyed Ask James like I've enjoyed putting it together.

A lot of you have asked what will happen to Ask James after I leave. I very much doubt Nintendo would be happy with an employee running an all-questions-answered video series in a Nintendo fan forum, so this week will be the final episode. We had a good run; 12 episodes is longer than some TV series last. I consider that a victory.

E3 2012

This year's E3 was a blast, it really was. For the first time we had a real team assembled at NLHQ — the whole UK editorial team came down to cover it as one. We did incredible amounts of traffic and had great new features — the live text and comments were fantastic additions — but really it was the atmosphere and sense of team spirit I'll remember.

There wasn't much of that at 2am though when I decided to stay up and cover the 3DS software showcase. The plan was to go back to my hotel and sleep before the big show, but heavy rain meant I stayed in our offices from 9:30pm until the event finished sometime after 3am (in fact, here's a photo of me arriving back at my hotel!)


But even though I was tired and they didn't even mention Animal Crossing I still really enjoyed myself. We had over 850 comments on that live stream about everything from the lack of 'new' games to what you had for dinner, and it felt like we were friends sat around having a chat. I'll miss that about this place.

Going to SEGA

You probably know my story: lifelong Sonic fan, frequent writer of letters to tell SEGA how amazing they are, purchaser of anything blue and white. When I got the invitation to try out Virtua Tennis 2009 at SEGA Europe I was very excited; when I got there and saw the massive Sonic billboard on top of the building I was even more excited. Standing inside SEGA was like going to Graceland only with less worship of a once-great hero who spectacularly fell from grace (this is my story, not yours.)

It was my first ever press event and I met people I still keep in touch with to this day — in fact, that's where I first met Mike Mason — and I also touched a giant Sonic statue, so pretty much the best day ever.


Other Events

I've been to quite a lot of events over the years. Here's the best of the rest.

3DS date and price announcement, Amsterdam, 19th January 2010

What started out as great fun — hey, they had crepes — quickly went south when it turned cold and I realised I was basically in a warehouse in a big wet field. Not all glamour, this business, although I did get champagne and stroopwafels so that was OK.

Furry Legends hands-on, Poland, April 2010

I don't remember much of this one. I got quite drunk but I recall women on stilts, getting a taxi from Poland to Berlin and being woken up by border police shining torches in my eyes. All that for a WiiWare game. A strange day.

Britain's Best Nintendo Gamer, October 2009

Travel was a nightmare — I missed the first hour of the event when my train broke down and I had to run up about 146 steps — but I made it in time to see Josh Stevens crowned the best Nintendo gamer in the UK. I also got to meet and interview Charles Martinet, ate chips with Rising Star Games and went home with a black Wii console before it was even out.

Nintendo Media Summit, O2 Arena, London, February 2010

It's weird how years after events you still remember some things really clearly. I remember racing Darren Calvert to clear the Super Mario Galaxy 2 demo and trying Monster Hunter 3 (~Tri) for the first time, but more than anything I remember the incredible food. I don't know what it was but it was meaty and it was delicious. Nintendo hasn't done a big UK media summit like this since, so it was probably expensive too. Probably the real reason I'm leaving the UK.

Experience 3DS, Millbank Tower, London, July 2010

After seeing Corbie play 3DS I was really excited to get my turn and spent about two hours playing the same two-minute demos over and over again. Seeing 3DS in action for the first time was a real moment for me. Very special.


Mario Kart 7 launch event, London, 30th November 2011

I won a silver medal at this event, losing to the brilliantly named Nate Fury in the final when I foolishly veered into my own banana on the final corner of Luigi Circuit. Maybe I was distracted by the sight of Alexandra Burke. Either way, you might have seen me receiving my silver medal in 3D in Nintendo TV episode one, out now in the 3DS eShop.

These were the most enjoyable events, but I've had other unforgettable moments too. Ubisoft took me to Paris in June 2009 to play Red Steel 2 before it was revealed; in November 2011 I fenced with Anthony under the eye of Olympic athlete Claire Bennett — who seemed to think I had potential — and before that I won a red 3DS console and played Super Mario 3D Land. It sounds like I've won a lot more than I actually have.


As I write this I'm aware it could be the last article I ever write for Nintendo Life. I thought you might enjoy some statistics of my time here at Nintendo Life (up to but not including this article):

Joined: 8th January 2008.
First contribution: Endless Ocean review, 12th January 2008.
Total news articles: 3,220.
Total reviews: 147.
Total comments: 3,239.
Total forum posts: 2,301.
Total words: 924,385.
My articles have had a combined 8,860,294 views and 127,469 comments.

I've genuinely had the time of my life writing here. Events are great fun but they're only every few months: it's the day-to-day interaction with staff and readers that gave me the most pleasure over the longest time. In the community I've had too many great moments to mention, but know that if we've ever interacted in the forum, comments or chat, I probably had fun.

So here we are. My last contribution to this wonderful adventure. I can't say thank you enough to everyone who's been a part of it: the directors, editors, writers, moderators, readers, publishers, PRs and anyone who's ever said something nice about what we do here. If you read this far, thanks. You're my favourite.

If you want to keep in touch, please follow me on Twitter.

Thanks for your support over the years. See you around.



Dragon Quest X Advert is a Call to Arms

In Japanese

Dragon Quest X will no doubt storm the Japanese charts with or without any advertising, but that hasn't stopped Square Enix putting together a cutesy trailer showing off the enemies and action in store.

Japanese players can pick up the MMO from 2nd August, with a particularly snazzy black Wii Dragon Quest X bundle on sale too. The game uses USB storage devices to store future DLC and updates and is a paid subscription, both things you'd think might count against its chances of success, but then remember it's Dragon Quest: Dragon Quest 3D sold 500k units in its first week. Can Dragon Quest X enjoy similar success?



Limber Up for Decathlon 2012 on 26th July

In time for the opening ceremony

Cinemax is ready to wrap up its sporting summer with Decathlon 2012 in Europe and North America on 26th July, the day before the London 2012 Olympic Games' opening ceremony.

The DSiWare download mimics the official decathlon events — that's 100 metres, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400 metres, 110 metre hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw and 1500 metres, of course. The game uses the official score-calculating system too, so you'll be able to see if you can beat Ashton Eaton's world record of 9,039 points, though it probably won't count as as a world record you're only using your thumbs.

Cinemax also announced that Commando: Steel Disaster will reach North America on 9th August.



Mega Man is Going to Blast 3DS Virtual Console

In Japan at least

NES classic Mega Man is coming to the 3DS Virtual Console in Japan next week.

The Blue Bomber's legendary 8-bit adventure lands in Japan on 18th July for 500 Yen — around £3.99 or $6.30 — but expect the pricing to be slightly different when it reaches the West.

If you're interested in playing some Mega Man on the go but don't fancy waiting for this NES version, you should check out our Mega Man: Dr Wily's Revenge review to see if this Game Boy title is worth picking up.


July 12th, 2012

Nintendo 3DS Sales Pass 5 Million in U.S.

Zelda goes gold too

Nintendo of America sold over 155,000 3DS consoles in June to take the system's total U.S. sales past the five million mark.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D managed to squeak past the one million mark inside a year, joining Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 at the top of the sales tree. Those three titles have sold close to five million units between them, to nobody's real surprise.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 is a month or so away and will surely give 3DS hardware sales another boost.

Nintendo 3DS Crosses 5 Million Units Sold

Nintendo 3DS, which lets users see 3D images without the need for special glasses, has now sold 5 million units in the United States, according to the NPD Group, which tracks video game sales in the United States. With Nintendo 3DS XL, which features 90 percent larger screens, and New Super Mario Bros. 2 both launching on Aug. 19, and a holiday lineup that sees the Luigi’s Mansion and Paper Mario franchises make their hand-held debuts, the system’s momentum should continue through 2012 and beyond.

“Nintendo 3DS is entering the next phase of its life cycle with new hardware, new games and proven franchises. This milestone shows we’ve got a great foundation to build from,” said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “The game lineup for Nintendo 3DS last holiday season was one of the strongest in our history. We’re poised to top it this year. Every week, gamers will have the best franchises in the world in a glasses-free 3D experience that can’t be found anywhere else. Add Wii U into the mix and it’s a great time to be a Nintendo fan.”

Other Nintendo milestones achieved in June include:

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D became the third Nintendo 3DS title to sell more than 1 million units, joining Super Mario 3D Land (2.1 million units sold life to date) and Mario Kart 7 (1.75 million units sold life to date).
For the month, two of the top five and nine of the top 25 best-selling software SKUs play on Nintendo platforms.
For the second month in a row, Nintendo held a 75 percent market share for portable hardware in the United States.
Nintendo sold more than 400,000 total hardware units in June and saw double-digit growth across each of its product lines compared to May. This includes more than 155,000 Nintendo 3DS systems, more than 150,000 units of the Nintendo DS family of systems and nearly 95,000 Wii consoles.

For more information about Nintendo, visit


Feature: Bizarre Emails Sent to Nintendo Life – Volume 5

The final frontier

Since our last Bizarre Emails Sent to Nintendo Life — Volume 4 the number of idiotic missives reaching our inbox has drastically decreased. Perhaps it's due to the fear of being shamed so publicly, or maybe stupidity is a finite resource and the world is running out.

Missed a previous round-up of dumbness? Catch up!

Bizarre Emails Sent to Nintendo Life – Volume 1
Bizarre Emails Sent to Nintendo Life – Volume 2
Bizarre Emails Sent to Nintendo Life – Volume 3
Bizarre Emails Sent to Nintendo Life – Volume 4

Although this should go without saying, do not send us intentionally stupid emails. This only wastes our time and yours. It's not funny and it's certainly not clever.

1. The next Hemingway

wassup lol

have 2 bro

have 2 sis and me make 3

lol that my life and that all i am going to tell u lol

from christine lol

2. Thanks guy

i just want to saw everyone in Nintendo is just awesome. i love all the games you guys are making. i am looking forward to the new smash bros. i live Nintendo you guys are the best game company on the planet. looking forward to making my games with you guy.



Followed by:


4. Will you now?

I will have you deliver combat of giant dinosaurs 3D in my mailbox please

5. Aren't they actually movies..?

My son was hoping that you would make some of the available pictures in black and white so kids everywhere would be able to color or paint them themselves. He really likes the video game pictures, like Batman, Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Carribbean. Thank you for your time.

6. Your card is in the post. Expect delivery in 5 - 10 working lifetimes.

Plzz Give A Ninetendolife card And Contect me my no is [number removed]

7. Serious question about feelings

How would you feel if Neo Bowser City was in Super Mario 3D Land don't you think it be a great idea to put it in or how would you feel if they put in an 8 bit stage from Super Mario Brothers back in 1985?

8. Go right ahead

Would like to updates on games and prices

9. Really wants friends

Hi im [name removed]
im asking you if you can put me out there because i really want friends that have a 3ds and people that i can talk to and play games with. I do not have an email account or a computer that i can browse on all day. I got this email from my bigger brother. and using my 3DS as internet. all im asking for you to do is put my friend code out there ([removed]) and ill look on tomorrow and add the friends that added me in. heck i would ask you to add me as you friend code but i dont have email. if you have questions call me 3:00-7:00pm [removed] this is my house phone

10. Trade-off

Gamefly should have QR labels on the envelopes; one to scan when you got it and one to scan when you send it back and as soon as you scan it prior to you shipping; they send out another. So you have more control in the "Fast Return". Instead of a post office that might have the scanner and might actually scan it; you scan it.

11. Incredible foresight from moneybags

Hi I just wanted to suggest a possible improvement to the 3ds as I cannot purchase any for myself or my children. I find the screen far to small. Could I suggest it slightly larger like the ds lite or dsi. I guess the xl in 3d is a good size if I was going to buy for my smaller children or parents. I will probably have to purchase a xl for my 4 year old this year, whilst my other 2 boys (older) have the dsl. I own every console made and have only recently had to get rid of the original nintendo (before snes) I guess I am just frustrated that I cannot purchase the 3ds because the screen is just too small. I hope my suggestion is considered for improvements as I would love to purchase at least 4 for my 3 children and myself,

12. How the devil should we know?

Well i know that this isnt the matter but why cant i see or read any of my facebook messages please inbox me right away

13. It ends how it began

I would like to know is cricket game is available in market. When it will be available in the United States or can i order from some where outside the United States.


Picross E Rated for Australian eShop

So you know what that means

Fans of numbers and colouring in boxes, rejoice: it looks like Picross E is finally leaving Japan.

The Australian Classification Board has rated the eShop game, which says to us it'll come to PAL regions in the coming months or, if we're really lucky, weeks.

The last we heard of the Jupiter-developed puzzle game was back in February when Nintendo gave it a Q2 release. Hopefully that number will tick over to a Q3 so we can all get our Picross fix soon.


Out Now: Kinect Playfit

Feel the burn

This week saw Xbox launch Kinect Playfit over Xbox Live.

The new update collates your calorie count from various Kinect games, including Dance Central 2 and Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012, and lets you see how you compare to other Xbox Live members and your family too. There's also Achievements and Avatar Awards to earn, so that's a bonus too.

It's out now for all Xbox Live members.

Kinect PlayFit is a new fitness dashboard that aggregates and tracks the calories you burn as you play a variety of Kinect games, from “Dance Central 2” to “Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012” and “Kinect Star Wars.” Kinect PlayFit lets you view your personal stats over time and see leaderboards that show how you rank against other Xbox LIVE members across the globe. Get credit for the calories you burn while having fun with Kinect, and earn Kinect PlayFit Achievements, Gamerscore and Avatar Awards.

Kinect PlayFit inspires an active and healthy lifestyle through fun and play:

· First of Its Kind – This is the first ever fitness tracking application on a video game console.

· Social Motivation – Kinect PlayFit keeps it social with activity challenges, rankings on leaderboards and integration with the Xbox LIVE community to break a sweat together.

· Survey Says – According to a recent survey* nearly 75 per cent of respondents believe that video games should include a component that encourages physical activity. Also, 70 per cent said that physically active video games can complement or supplement traditional exercise.


Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed 3DS Out 16th November

Wii U date "to be confirmed"

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed on 3DS has a confirmed release date for Europe: 16th November.

The SEGA racer is still on course for release on Wii U but its release date is still to be confirmed by the publisher.

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed features characters and courses from classic SEGA franchises including Skies of Arcadia, Golden Axe and Jet Set Radio. The trailer below shows a stage inspired by legendary series Panzer Dragoon, which might make it the best trailer you watch all day.



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