From Nintendo

Sept. 14, 2010

With New York Fashion Week in full swing through Sept. 16, designers, consumers and media around the world have turned their eyes to the Big Apple to view the latest fashions hitting the runway. Quite unexpectedly, one item is emerging as the season’s most sought-after accessory: the classic stovepipe hat. Industry watchers are crediting this unique trend to Professor Layton, star of the new Professor Layton and the Unwound Future™ game for the Nintendo DS™ family of systems. Fans of the acclaimed hand-held game series already recognize the professor’s signature stovepipe hat as an emblem of scholarly chic and puzzle-solving fun. Since the third installment of theProfessor Layton series launched across North America on Sept. 12 – right in the middle of New York’s fall fashion maelstrom – the stovepipe hat has seen a mighty surge in popularity, appearing everywhere from crowds to catwalks.

Although his status as a fashion trendsetter is just now hitting its peak, Professor Layton is recognized far and wide for his superior puzzle-solving skills. And no matter what they’re wearing, audiences are sure to enjoy the new puzzles in Professor Layton and the Unwound Future. Players must help to unravel a new mystery by solving a series of mind-bending riddles and challenging puzzles. When the professor and his apprentice, Luke, receive an ominous letter sent from 10 years in the future, they must travel through time to prevent the city of London from falling into chaos. Players will encounter more than 165 entertaining puzzles as they wind their way through the game’s captivating storyline.

For more information about Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, please visit

And if you haven’t yet gotten the chance to grab the latest game–or any of the previous chapters–here are the links you’ll need to add them to your Nintendo DS collection!

Professor Layton and the Curious Village

Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box

Professor Layton and the Unwound Future

Bigger is Better: The Nintendo DSi XL

Look at the size of that thing!

A brand new DSi is about to hit shelves and it’s got one major selling point: the thing is big. Sure, it’s also got a brighter, sharper screen that will make Professor Layton’s declarations of “INCORRECT” all the more shameful, but mostly this is just an upgrade that’s meant to spare our generation’s poor, strained eyes. I know it’ll do me some good, though I’m not sure I’ll upgrade–possible the DS Lite’s greatest fault is that it’s so durable I have no motivation to get rid of it!

Here’s the word from CNet:

It was just about a year ago that Nintendo released the DSi handheld system, the next evolutionary iteration of the company’s hugely popular DS portable hardware. Boasting two tiny cameras and larger screens, we only recommended the device for those who were new to the world of DS gaming or wanted access to the online DSi Shop.

At a press conference Wednesday morning in San Francisco, Nintendo officially unveiled the remaining details about the next DS to hit North America. The DSi XL features even larger screens (93 percent bigger compared with the DS Lite) and has a much wider viewing angle. Set to go for $190, we’ll see the DSi XL in stores on March 28 in two colors (burgundy and bronze).

We got some hands-on time with the DSi XL earlier this month and were instantly surprised by its weight. It’s noticeably heavier than both the DSi Lite and DSi, but we actually enjoyed the sturdiness. Obviously, the most notable detail about the DSi XL is its size, and while our Nintendo rep said it’s still “pocketable,” we can’t imagine a scenario where the DSi XL would fit comfortably in a pair of jeans.

When we first flipped the DSi XL open, we were blown away by the two enormous screens. Even more impressive was the fact that video quality didn’t seem to suffer as a result of enlarging games beyond the size of their native aspect. While we had fears about pixilated performance when the XL was first announced, we’re happy to report that games look great, as our demo with Mario Kart DS proved.

Nintendo is branding the DSi XL as a “social” device, partly because of the dual screens’ generous viewing angle. We tested this claim out with an XL set up on a tabletop and couldn’t find a perspective that seemed to dim the display. While this improvement was no doubt exaggerated by having an old DS “fat” nearby to compare to, the screens truly are vibrant, unlike any DS system currently available.

We also really liked the new stylus the XL will ship with that closely resembles a pen or permanent marker. It’s by far the most comfortable first-party stylus yet, though it won’t snap into the device for storage like those before it. We’ll have our full review of the DSi XL in coming weeks, so stay tuned to CNET Reviews for the latest. For now, be sure to check out our First Look at the Nintendo DSi XL in the video player above.

Of course, our blog is figure-related, so while we’re talking about Nintendo, Mario and the gang, here’s a link to our Super Mario section on We’ve got vehicles, plush toys, figures of all sizes, pixellated keychains, cards and more. Just the thing for any retro gamer or anyone currently following the many adventures of Mario (hopefully via Bowser’s Inside Story–that game was awesome.)! Check it out!

Nintendo section:

Professor Layton ON ICE! And Professor Layton Revoltech figure!

I was a latecomer to the incredible Professor Layton franchise, only picking the first game up late last year, but I immediately fell in love with it. The music, the characters, the videos, the puzzles, everything. It’s a rare treat in a sea of games that too often seems too focused on either empty action or puzzles without a story behind them. I just started the sequel, The Diabolical Box, and am looking forward to the adventure that surely awaits.

Now, one of the things that comes with being a latecomer is a general ignorance to the fandom, which means that I was absolutely shocked to discover the sheer magnitude of the Japanese appreciation for this series. Movies! Soundtracks! Plush toys! Figures! Posters! Absolutely everything one could ever want. He even gets brought into the real world: here he is ice skating a little while back. In the words of the folks over at kotaku (where the video is located), “The puzzle here is to work out how a man with such an enormous head has the balance of a ballerina!”.

Of course, this is more or less a blog about action figures, so I’d best say what I came to say and that is that I am hoping and praying–desperately–that, come March, I am hoping to get my hands on one of these:

It’s a Professor Layton Revoltech figure! Featuring multiple heads and hands as well as props, he captures both of professor Layton’s moods: puzzled and cheerful (due to having gotten over his puzzlement).

I can’t wait!

Wii Sports Resort: $7 million sold!

The original Wii Sports was a free game that came with the Wii. It was was easy and concise and gave new players a chance to really get into the controls before they started up with Link or Samus in one of their bigger, badder games. But the surprise was how much fun it was. It might have been simple, but it was well-crafted and new enough that it merited a sequel.

When I first heard about Wii Sports Resort, I honestly didn’t see the point: giving a free, low-budget game a sequel with a real release? And doing so in a sea of licensed games or huge franchises carted out by Sony and Microsoft? Apparently, I was wrong to doubt. As you can read in this article from Cubed, sales of the game have been stellar.

Despite lower sales for Wii hardware, the follow-up to Wii Sports (which itself has now slipped past 50 million) has now sold 6.97 million copies worldwide, giving a fairly solid install base for MotionPlus-enabled owners.

Fellow software in the Wii range has also performed exceptionally well, with Wii Fit selling 22.5 million with the balance board, the expansion, Wii Fit Plus creeping past the 2 million mark and Mario Kart still hogging the charts at 18.4 million. The mini-game compilation bundled with Wii Remote, Wii Play knocked up 24.4 million.

Nintendo has also performed continually well with DS software, the classic 2D revival, New! Super Mario Bros selling 19.94 million copies, Mario Kart DS 16.1 million and Professor Layton and [the Diabolical] Box is at 1.26 million. The much desired Pokémon Gold and Silver remakes, Heart and Soul, together shipped 2.27 million, with Platinum topping 6.39 million.

And if you’re looking to get your hands on Wii Sports Resort or some of the other games mentioned above, check out!

Limited-Edition Wii Sports Resort Bundle with Two Wii MotionPlus
Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box
Mario Kart DS