The Best New Amazon Releases: Mario Karting into La La Land

The biggest post-launch Switch game hits Nintendo consoles, the biggest winner from the Oscars comes home, and the most WWE cameo-filled film lays the smackdown on Blu-ray this week on Amazon!

So, we’re in our first post-Brett week here at Laser Time, but we’re not slowing down on content, no sir! Good ol Brelson will likely be stopping by for our Monday Night Movie commentary for Hot Fuzz, we have a new Laser Time about the worst cover songs featuring music man Mike Grimm, and we’ve put up a few new odes to The Disney Afternoon Collection, including Darkwing Duck and Talespin. Over ’round Amazon way, we have some big games AND movies landing on warehouse shelves looking to find a home in your entertainment center. If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber, remember that you’ll save 20% off all new games and pre-orders unless otherwise noted. Also, even though we’ve collected some great games and movies you don’t have to buy any of these products to help Laser Time. Simply buy anything on Amazon after clicking one of these links and you’ll help out LT. Anywho, now onto this week’s best new stuff!

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
It’s easy to get cynical about a full-priced Nintendo Switch re-release from three years ago, but I’d still like to advise a little caution. For one, the Wii U is fucking dead. Thankfully, there’s only a handful of worthwhile exclusives, this means the quality is not locked away behind a glorified Leapfrog for 33% of Nintendo’s best console games from 2012 to 2016. (Release Bayonetta 2 and Mario 3D World and it’ll be like the Wii U never even happened!) But most importantly, Mario Kart 8 is, without a doubt, the greatest Mario Kart ever made.

Sure, with all the remade tracks the series has almost become like a Greatest Hits package Nintendo keeps uprezzing, but it’s still the largest, most robust MK ever, it looked glorious in 1080p, and it made the greatest strides in Nintendo history towards a better online experience. Oh, it was still terrible by modern standards, and that will probably continue to be true on the Switch. But it was lag free, loaded dependably, didn’t constantly kick people, and perhaps best of all, accommodated updates to compensate for cheaters and such. And yes, your Switch is probably starving if you’ve finished Zelda: Breath of the Wild already, but more importantly, this will be the benchmark for that online service Nintendo will eventually start charging us for (I’m guessing there are other online Switch games, but I haven’t played them. Anyone got any experience there?)

For me personally, Nintendo finally addressed a massive Mario Kart complaint I’ve had for decades, and opened up Mario Kart to characters beyond the Mushroom Kingdom, and if you’re one of the tens of millions who skipped the Wii U, you get all the previously included DLC free, plus new tracks, Battle Mode, new power ups, and a trio of Splatoon racers. From the perspective of a Nintendo fanboy, I am fucking fascinated by the release of Mario Kart 8. The Switch has had a much better time at retail than any Nintendo console since the Wii, yet it launched without a first-party game that truly utilized its PortablePlus capabilities, such as the detachable controllers that allow for on-the-go multiplayer. If Nintendo can get more Switches to retailers, Mario Kart 8 could be the game that pushes Nintendo into a serious competition with the PS4 and Xbone (whether you like it or not) and pull back the company from the brink of death it was previously teetering on. Either way, if you own a Switch, and don’t have Mario Kart 8 already, this is the easiest no-brainer of the goddamn Spring. It’s even more of a no-brainer if you have Amazon Prime, where you’ll save 20% off this definitive edition of one of the Wii U’s best games. – CHRIS ANTISTA

Puyo Puyo Tetris
NICE TIMING, SEGA. In the two months since the Switch released we’ve had weeks and weeks go by without noteworthy releases, and the final week of April hits us with TWO nostalgia-laden releases. While everyone and their Switch-owning mother will be getting Mario Kart 8, Puyo Puyo Tetris deserves a look for any discerning fan of puzzle games. Tetris and Puyo Puyo (aka Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine aka Kirby’s Avalanche) are both classics in the genre, but mixing the two very different flavors of puzzle classic into one wonderful combination. Every portable system deserves a classic puzzle game and we’re finally getting one on the Switch a few months after launch. Amazon Prime members can score a big discount on Puyo Puyo, as subscribers save 20% on the second-biggest Switch game this week.

Sniper Ghost Warrior 3
Speaking of second-best, here we have the runner-up among sniper-focused games. Sniper Elite has long had the better shot amongst long-distance shooting games thanks to its up-close X-ray kills that show blood, brain matter, and internal organs splatter everywhere. Still, sniping is such a wondrous experience in gaming that should be explored at every opportunity and I’m really lookingf forward to seeing what new advantages City Interactive brings with a new console generation. While the fall will bring a slate of fast-paces shooters, I can always take some time to stop and smell the flowers (that I’m camped out in as I wait for a hopeless soldier to let his guard down for a headshot). You can make 20% of the price of this sniping delight float away like a ghost if you have Amazon Prime, as members get that sweet sweet discount.

Dragon Quest Heroes II Explorer’s Edition
We rarely get new Dragon Quest games. We often get new Dynasty Warriors games. When the two genres mixed for the original Dragon Quest Heroes in 2015, we weren’t sure which series’ DNA would overpower the other. Turns out that Dynasty Warriors overtakes any franchise it touches and that’s why we have the third retail release of a DQH game in two years (DQH1 had a definitive edition release a few months ago). I ain’t complaining, though. Dragon Quest Heroes wonderfully mixed the cuteness of Dragon Quest while keeping the madcap action of Dynasty Warriors (see our stream from 2015) in a way that the ugly Hyrule Warriors franchise has failed to do, so I’ll be keeping an eye for the cutesy warriors of Dragon Quest Heroes II this week. You can explore Heroes II for cheaper than retail price if you’re an Amazon Prime member, as DQH2EE is 20% off if you have AP.

La La Land
Nuts to the Oscars, here is probably the biggest accolade La La Land will ever receive; I hate musicals, and I hate Los Angeles, but I didn’t hate La La Land! Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are as charming a couple as they are beautiful, and even if the songs don’t really stick in your head, the choreography is top-notch throughout. Triple L didn’t snag the biggest gold guy, but it told a nice, simple story that showed how sometimes dreams can come true in the entertainment captial of the world. In today’s digital video world, extras often fall by the wayside, but one of the most popular movies of 2016 comes with the requisite buffet of extra features, including a suite of suite making-of videos and a commentary with the director and composer!

Marine 5: Battleground
It’s been 15 years since WWE Studios was birthed alongside The Rock’s turn in The Scorpion King, and WWE is only NOW realizing the key to making one of their films attractive; pack the damn thing full of WWE stars! Sure, their cartoon films were cameo-fests, but the live-action WWE Studios films have traditionally depended on just one WWE superstar to buoy the picture. Marine 5: Battleground, on the other hand, seems like it’s EXACTLY what I want out of a WWE movie. You’ve got The Miz, who has had a banner year re-establishing himself as an entertainer, and a batch of other noteworthy WWE names that I’ve always wanted to see on film (Heath Slater, Bo Dallas, and Naomi among others). Granted, The Marine has been straight-to-DVD shlock since John Cena outgrew the role, but I think M5B could be WWE Studios’ most entertaining flick in years.



Kingdom Hearts III
Red Dead Redemption 2
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
Death Stranding
Final Fantasy VII Remake

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