Shacknews - Greg Burke

We asked our followers on Twitter and Facebook, as well as our Chatty community and staff to weigh in on their favorite Mario Kart tracks from the first eight games in the series. The votes are in, and Greg counts them down in our latest Top 10 video. Please take a look.

Mario Kart Deluxe is having a fine release day, already in the Top 3 Amazon Best Sellers of 2017. We are also giving away two Nintendo Switch consoles this weekend on Shacknews!

For more videos, including gameplay and interviews, visit the Shacknews and GamerHub.tv YouTube channels.

If you have a suggestion for a future episode of Shack's Top 10, please let us know in the comments section or tweet @shacknews & @GregBurke85 with #Top10.

Shacknews - Kevin Tucker

It's Friday, which means everyone is ready to make a joyful skip back home and watch the innate glory of the weekend unfold. Before the halls fill with the clank of horns and the smell of roasting meat, though, let's take a look back at all of the fresh new content we've let loose this week over on Modojo.

Nintendo's Spreading Dominion

The Big N has popped up in plenty of headlines this week. Modojo's own Brittany Vincent has been playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, a title she feels is the definitive version of the game and hands-down the best racer available for the Switch. Knowing the popularity of the Mario Kart series, that isn't likely to change any time soon.  I was given the honorable task of jumping and slinking my way through Bye-Bye BoxBoy, the third and final entry to the quirky puzzler series from HAL Laboratory, the crew players may recognize as the fine folk that brought us Kirby and the Super Smash Bros. series. The game is frankly excellent, presenting simple puzzle-based gameplay in a remarkably-relaxing package, and it makes for an easy and inexpensive suggestion for 3DS owners.And who could forget yesterday's surprise announcement of the New Nintendo 2DS XL? While many players might confused by yet-another 3DS offshoot, Josh Barnes believes the New 2DS XL caps off the 3DS line in style. Whether or not this is the last of the 3DS-based systems remains to be seen, but the new hardware certainly means the 3DS brand still has life left in it.

Pokemon Guides Are A Go

People really can't seem to get enough of Pokemon Go. We're now 9 months out from the game's initial release, and players still have loads of questions about the game: Which candy is worth stockpiling? What can be evolved from Metal Coat, or King's Rock? Where can region-exclusive Pokemon be found? Needless to say, we've got the answers to those questions. We've also got handy guides for players wondering how to catch Heracross and Tyranitar, how to get Dragon Scales and a Kingdra, how to 'Up-Grade' to a Porygon 2, and how to make the most out of Pokemon evolutions using a CP calculator.Of course, we couldn't let other pressing questions go unanswered. Players wanted to know how to use their Switch's Joy-Con controllers on a Mac, to which we were happy to provide information, and Breath of the Wild players wanted to know which amiibo drops the strongest and rarest loot. Again, we obliged. We also threw down some crucial information for Wonder Boy players, including the locations for all Legendary Gear as well as all Charm Stones.Lastly, we'd heard that many gamers who haven't yet picked up a Switch were using a service called BrickSeek in order to find local retailers who had the system in stock. We wrote up a quick guide on how to use BrickSeek, because console shortage woes are just no fun. We also addressed the resurging rumor of a Nintendo phone, which is just not a good idea.That's about it for this week, folks. New content is popping up over on Modojo all the time, so once you get a break from Pokemon hunting, come hit up the Modojo homepage for all the latest mobile how-tos, news, and reviews.Modojo is your homebase for mobile and portable gaming and tech news. Want to read about the Switch or 3DS? Come on down. How about app store titles? We've got you covered. Interested in mobile VR or phones themselves? We write about 'em. Hell, if Sony were so bold as to release a Vita game, we'd cover that too. Our patron saint is Robomo, the wise-cracking robot.

Shacknews - Shack Staff

It's Friday and time for another Shackbattle. But this time, we are giving away a Nintendo Switch, a Pro Controller and a copy of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe to one of the lucky people watching and commenting.

The Shack staff will be joining with Chatty members to play Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and we will be streaming on Twitch. The stream kicks off at 4 p.m. PT / 7 p.m. ET and run through 6 p.m. PT / 9 p.m. ET. To be eligible to win the Switch bundle, you must be 18 years old (or have a parent or guardian present) and be active in the chat to have a qualifying chance to win. The winner will be announced during the stream, but could be at any time.

 The second chance to win is on Monday, and you need to play with the buttons in this post to be eligible.

Shacknews - David Craddock

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for Nintendo Switch has been available less than 24 hours as of this writing, but it's already Amazon's bestselling game of 2017 so far (via Polygon).

Although the retail juggernaut has not released sales figures, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe currently occupies the #3 spot on the "Amazon Best Sellers of 2017 (So Far)" page. The first- and second-place spots are PlayStation Store gift cards, making Mario Kart the de facto champ in games software. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild holds fourth place, while Horizon: Zero Dawn sits in sixth—the fifth position belonging to the Nintendo Switch console.

Even without numbers, other data at our fingertips allows us to make educated guesses with which to frame Mario Kart 8 Deluxe's high sales. Just yesterday, Nintendo announced that it sold over 2.74 million Switch units for the month of March, well over its initial forecast of two million by the end of the month.

In the same sales report, Nintendo shared that Zelda: Breath of the Wild has sold 2.76 million copies, the Switch title with the highest attach rate to the hardware until today's release of Mario Kart at 12 am PT this morning. Polygon points out that Amazon updates its sales positions daily. That leads us to believe that Mario Kart's auspicious start is due almost entirely to pre-orders. By this time tomorrow, its position could be even higher (or hold steady, depending on how many people are still buying PSN gift cards).

This is doubly impressive considering that, when you get down to it, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a re-release of a Wii U game released in the spring of 2014 (padded out with a proper battle mode, all of Mario Kart 8's DLC, and a few extra characters and kart parts). Shacknews editor-in-chief Steve Watts enjoyed the game when he reviewed Mario Kart 8 for Wii U; his enthusiasm has not waned, as evident in his review of the Deluxe version. "Mario Kart 8 was already one of the best in the series. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is even better," he wrote.

I'll go one further than Steve: casting my editorial objectivity aside, Mario Kart 8 is the best version of the game. Its HD graphics (a first for the series) and 60 frames per second with one or two players made it the smoothest and most striking of any title in the franchise, and its selection of new and classic courses ooze creativity and Nintendo's trademark charm.

That's saying something, since there hasn't been a poor or even subpar entry in the franchise through eight iterations. Despite critical praise, though, Mario Kart 8 struggled to find its footing on the Wii U. It's sold 8.31 million copies as of March 31 (via Polygon), but that's small potatoes when you stack that number against Mario Kart Wii, which sold 36.95 million.

The Wii U died on the vine, the determining factor in Mario Kart 8's considerably lower sales number. Now that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is off to the races on Switch, and given the continued demand for Switch hardware, the game should find a home with a larger audience on Nintendo's portable console.

Shacknews - David Craddock

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for Nintendo Switch has been available less than 24 hours as of this writing, but it's already Amazon's bestselling game of 2017 so far (via Polygon).

Although the retail juggernaut has not released sales figures, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe currently occupies the #3 spot on the "Amazon Best Sellers of 2017 (So Far)" page. The first- and second-place spots are PlayStation Store gift cards, making Mario Kart the de facto champ in games software. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild holds fourth place, while Horizon: Zero Dawn sits in sixth—the fifth position belonging to the Nintendo Switch console.

Even without numbers, other data at our fingertips allows us to make educated guesses with which to frame Mario Kart 8 Deluxe's high sales. Just yesterday, Nintendo announced that it sold over 2.74 million Switch units for the month of March, well over its initial forecast of two million by the end of the month.

In the same sales report, Nintendo shared that Zelda: Breath of the Wild has sold 2.76 million copies, the Switch title with the highest attach rate to the hardware until today's release of Mario Kart at 12 am PT this morning. Polygon points out that Amazon updates its sales positions daily. That leads us to believe that Mario Kart's auspicious start is due almost entirely to pre-orders. By this time tomorrow, its position could be even higher (or hold steady, depending on how many people are still buying PSN gift cards).

This is doubly impressive considering that, when you get down to it, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a re-release of a Wii U game released in the spring of 2014 (padded out with a proper battle mode, all of Mario Kart 8's DLC, and a few extra characters and kart parts). Shacknews editor-in-chief Steve Watts enjoyed the game when he reviewed Mario Kart 8 for Wii U; his enthusiasm has not waned, as evident in his review of the Deluxe version. "Mario Kart 8 was already one of the best in the series. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is even better," he wrote.

I'll go one further than Steve: casting my editorial objectivity aside, Mario Kart 8 is the best version of the game. Its HD graphics (a first for the series) and 60 frames per second with one or two players made it the smoothest and most striking of any title in the franchise, and its selection of new and classic courses ooze creativity and Nintendo's trademark charm.

That's saying something, since there hasn't been a poor or even subpar entry in the franchise through eight iterations. Despite critical praise, though, Mario Kart 8 struggled to find its footing on the Wii U. It's sold 8.31 million copies as of March 31 (via Polygon), but that's small potatoes when you stack that number against Mario Kart Wii, which sold 36.95 million.

The Wii U died on the vine, the determining factor in Mario Kart 8's considerably lower sales number. Now that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is off to the races on Switch, and given the continued demand for Switch hardware, the game should find a home with a larger audience on Nintendo's portable console.

Shacknews - John Keefer

The gaming population is huge, and individually popular titles have their own massive communities. Take Overwatch for instance. Enough players have tried the game to make the second-largest state in the United States.

Blizzard released word that more than 30 million registered people have jumped into Overwatch since it launched last year in late May of last year. Based on 2016 population reports, that would place the state or commonwealth of Overwatch behind California but ahead of Texas in the list of most populous states. That is a jump of five million in just three months.

While Overwatch launched as a great game, Blizzard continually adds new content and heroes to keep the game fresh and bring more players in. It now has 25 heroes and counting, and is making balance changes and tweaks on a regular basis, while always listening to fan feedback. It has even shown a willingness to walk back a change one patch later if it isn't working right.

So kudos to Blizzard on the milestone.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Everything old is new again, and this year that means Call of Duty is venturing back to Dubya Dubya Two. The big reveal stream is planned for later today, and this week the Chattycast will be recording immediately afterwards. We'll discuss what we learned about Call of Duty: WW2, the recent trend of Call of Duty and Battlefield going back to earlier wars, and how to treat a story like this right in today's market. 

Be sure to visit AudibleTrial.com/Chattycast for your 30-day trial with a free audiobook download of your choice.

RSS | iTunes | Download this episode

Shacknews - Asif Khan

Nintendo may be focused on ramping up Switch console production, but they apparently aren't done with their other handheld system. The company just announced on their Nintendo Twitter account that gamers can get their hands on 2DS XL this summer. The 2DS XL will cost $149.99 and launches on July 28.  Please take a look at this trailer from the Big N.

Shacknews - John Keefer

The Battlefield 1 dev team has been doing a pretty good job of listening to its fans, and the Spring Update shows it. Ou today, the update adds Platoons, more weapon variations, extra ribbons and dog tags, and a modification for the poor medic who risks his life for ungrateful soldiers who don't stick around after they die.

The Platoon system is a variation on guilds, with up to 100 players allowed in a Platoon, but players can be a member of more than one Platoon (capped at 10). The Platoon will have four ranks: General, Colonel, Lieutenant and Private. Only one General is allowed, who acts as the de facto group leader. Other officers have different abilities, such as accepting platoon applications.

The update also gives dead soldiers some notice that a medic is on the way, so they don't bail on the game just as the medic arrives. Medics can "spot" a player in need, which instantly send a notice to the dead soldier's screen that help is coming. The idea is to save medics for people who want to stay in the game.

Finally, there are four new weapon variants, 19 new ribbons and five new dog tags, and some extra server administration features.

The update has way too many fixes and changes to post here, so check out the official blog post with all the changes at the end.

 

Shacknews - John Keefer

It has been 20 years since Nintendo released Star Fox 64 for the Nintendo 64. To this day, the series has been popular, but none of the games have quite had the appeal of the 3D scrolling combat game.

Starring Fox McCloud and his Star Fox team of Peppy Hare, Falco Lombardi, and Slippy Toad, the game offered numerous boss battles and plenty of action. It was a critical hit with fans and the gaming press, lauded for its animation, voice acting and multiple paths through the game. It even spurred a 3DS reboot in 2011. It also had three multiplayer modes for up to four players, and has made numerous Top 100 games lists throughout its lifetime. The Guinness Book of World Records lists it as the 45th greatest game of all time. 

We have a lot of old-school gamers here at Shacknews, and we want to hear some of your best stories about Star Fox 64. Just click the Chatty link and share. Long live Fox McCloud and the Star Fox legacy.

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