Nintendo’s mascot gets busy building, while Batman is a little too young to fight crime, and one of the Vita’s best comes to the PS4…
Everyone having a happy Labor Day, aka the day you have off to think about how summer is over and school/fall is about to start again, depending on your age? Mine was alright, as the day before was my birthday, though each one after 29 gets a little less fun. But presents always help make things bearable, so what can I buy myself this week? Well, fall releases are already starting to pick up, and we’ve got the first big Wii U game in a dog’s age, along with an impressive Sony port, plus an underrated Coen brothers film getting the HD treatment. And in case you didn’t know, buying these or anything on Amazon through these links helps support LT at no extra cost to you. So, let’s see what’s new on the shelves…
Super Mario Maker
Though it was five years ago, it feels like only yesterday we were celebrating Super Mario Bros. turning 25. For the landmark series’ 30th anniversary, Nintendo is letting the world make a Mario stages all on their own, via the touchscreen tools the Wii U affords them. Using the art styles of Super Mario 1, 3, World, and New, you can build whole stages yourself to then put online and task the world with completing, letting the creativity spread all around. Or you can just sit back and play the best levels, which is what I plan to do. It might not be Super Mario Galaxy 3, but based on all the positive reviews, this definitely seems like a great way to celebrate one plumber’s legacy. Also, there are some snazzy Super Mario Maker amiibo arriving, but good luck finding those for a normal price.
Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX
Just when it seemed like it had been forever since we saw a Sega game or a retail release on the 3DS, here’s Hatsune Miku to vocalize herself into our hearts all over again. Virtual idol Miku is still a huge deal in Japan, and her star is steadily rising in the west, with this being her most recent game to head stateside. This superdeformed version of Miku and her pals remains the rhythm game fans have come to love, along with some nifty AR tricks that work well with the 3DS’ capabilities. Hey, if David Letterman hosts her on his show, she’s gotta be doing something right.
The announcement of this game a year ago was basically the death of the Vita’s only AAA exclusive title, but as that cursed handheld dies, Sony’s new-gen hardware gets a great port/remake. This reimagining of Tearaway gives it a next gen makeover and changes things up to take advantage of the PS4’s unique touch and camera functionality to make for a great platformer. And if this can be a little meatier than the Vita release, Media Molecule might have finally found the key to greatness in this series.
Gotham: Season 1
In really want to give this show a shot, but the Smallville treatment of Bruce Wayne’s rise to power has so many conflicting reports on quality. For as often I hear that there’s good acting and that the Penguin is a fantastic performance, I also hear it’s full of corny plotting and overly obvious winks to the audience. Now that the first season is on disc, I could give it a once over before the next season starts soon enough. Ooooorrrrrrrr, I could just reread Gotham Central comics which are a much better version of the “police procedural in Gotham” concept.
The Man Who Wasn’t There
After watching the fantastic Fargo TV series, I was reminded of how damn good Billy Bob Thornton is when playing a plainspoken noir character that the Coen’s do so well. I, like many others, was too quick to forget The Man Who Wasn’t There, one of the Coens’ underrated works that’s so understatedly brilliant. Thornton, along with folks like Francis McDormand and James Gandolfini make for a smokey, black and white throwback for the ages in that also works as a wonderful deadpan comedy. If you’ve skipped this one in the past, let this HD rerelease finally be your excuse to stop ignoring this subtly impressive film.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 2
If I’m being honest, I’m mainly putting this entry on here for myself. It’s a reminder that there’s this funny show starring tons of performers I love, written by people from Park & Recreations, and I’m a jerk for not watching it. Brooklyn Nine-Nine seems right up my alley, yet I’ve been so slow to check it out, even with all the awards it’s getting. On the plus side, being two years late to the party gives me lots of episodes to binge on in both this and the first season, and if you feel the same way, these discs finally give you the chance to catch up too.
There was a time in the mid-90s where this Stephen King film was one of the most parodied horror concepts of all-time. Watching it again, you can see why the concept would still be terrifying to creative types. Here you get kidnapped by one of your most hardcore and obsessive fans, who demands you finish your series in the ‘right’ way. Kathy Bates’ performance is still one of the all-time great horror turns, and I still think back to her speech about cliffhangers solved by cheating writers when I complain about scenes that aren’t playing fair with the audience. So, mister man, if you’ve never seen this 90s gem, this HD version is the right time to do it, you dirty bird.
SPECIAL SALES NEWS! PRE-ORDER AMAZING MIYAZAKI BOX SET
The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki
Hayao Miyazaki is the most celebrated animator of the last 50 years, and for good reason. Films like My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Princess Mononoke are some of the most fully realized worlds ever shown in theaters, capturing the hearts of people from just about every age and part of the planet. Now that he’s retired, Amazon has an exquisite looking special collection of every feature length film Miyazaki directed all in one box set. Plus, there are some fantastic bonuses as well that will likely justify the price. Out this November, this looks like a great gift for those you love most.
Meanwhile, the US Disney releases never go on sale, yet these are all set at just over $17!
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