The debut chapter in Nintendo’s Xenoblade Chronicles series is now available for download via the Wii U eShop, giving players access to a budget-priced rendition of what was once a treasured rarity among collectors.
This week also marks the eShop launch of Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge, a free-to-play puzzler for the Wii U and 3DS, powered by Nintendo’s collectible amiibo figurines.
Originally released for the Nintendo Wii in Japan in 2010, Xenoblade Chronicles is an open-world role-playing game with an emphasis on real-time combat. Though the game was praised by critics, Nintendo initially had no plans for a worldwide launch, leading to the formation of the fan-driven Operation Rainfall grassroots promotional campaign in the hopes of securing a localized release.
While a North American version of Xenoblade Chronicles surfaced in 2012, a low print run left players at the mercy of inflated aftermarket prices for years afterward. The game was subsequently reworked and re-released as the New Nintendo 3DS-exclusive Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, and a sequel, Xenoblade Chronicles X, launched for the Wii U in 2015. The Wii U eShop version of Xenoblade Chronicles is priced at $20.
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Also arriving on the eShop this week is Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge, a free-to-play puzzle game for the Wii U and 3DS. Similar to the classic puzzler Lemmings, Mini Mario & Friends challenges players to guide each level’s starring character across dangerous 2D terrain by flipping switches, drawing platforms, and solving environmental puzzles.
Players can unlock additional levels and characters in Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge by placing compatible amiibo figurines atop the Wii U GamePad or New 3DS portable’s NFC sensor.
Bandai Namco’s free-to-play multiplayer action-RPG Lost Reavers also hits the Wii U eShop this week alongside Mobot Studios’ survival-oriented platformer The Deer God. 3DS eShop releases for the week include the dungeon-crawling RPG ASH and the 16-bit era retrogaming compilation Sega 3D Classics Collection.