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Captain Toad DLC or I’m canceling my ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ pre-order



As I waited in line as one of the first people to play Super Smash Bros. Ultimate at E3 back in June, I felt a plethora of emotions wafting over me. The sights and sounds had created a warm buzz throughout my body, and I just couldn’t help but be in total awe of the larger than life screens right up above me, showing live streams of the lucky bastards who already had their hands on a Game Cube controller up at the front.

I was excited. Nervous. Determined.

But every so often I’d feel a sadness gnawing at the pit of my stomach. It would take me out of the moment, and instead, I’d be transported to earlier that day, when my boyfriend and I were watching the Nintendo Direct in yet another line at E3.

Revealed Ultimate fighters flashed on everyone’s phone screens, the epic theme music getting the long line of people hyped. And each time I unknowingly held my breath. Waiting… Hoping…

As most Smash fans know by now, almost all of the announced contenders are just returning fighters. Ultimate has basically made “Everyone is here” its unofficial tagline, and it should probably just be copyrighted by Nintendo at this point.

Most people have made Masahiro Sakurai’s giddy announcement into a heartbreaking meme depicting Waluigi being left behind by all his peers. But these heavily contrived Waluigi sad posts leave the real victim of this roster reveals in the shadows. Someone who was truly part of Mario’s world from nearly the beginning. Someone who has never been given their proper time to shine.


E3 2018Images of Captain Toad flash in my mind as I step onto the stage, selecting Kirby as my fighter from the limited competitive roster. And while I’m fleetingly excited by the epic action underway, I can’t help but feel a sense of betrayal for seemingly accepting this new roster, playing the game as if a huge injustice had not taken place. So now I will fight for Toad. I will fight for what is right. And I will continue to fight until Captain Toad is announced as DLC for Super Smash Bro’s Ultimate.*

*To be fair I’ll play purchase the game and play it religiously each day if Captain Toad is not announced as DLC, but I will make sure to complain about it every chance I get, and I will make a custom Mii fighter that looks like Toad as a stand-in, as I did with Smash 4. Just wanted to clear that up going forward.

An unsung hero

Despite being Peach’s loyal subject since 1985, Toad was never given the spotlight he deserves until Captain Toad came out in 2014, the first game to feature Toad as the titular character. That’s almost 30 years of being depicted in a mostly negative fashion throughout his time as a Mario sidekick, reduced to cowering in the shadows, pointing to the next castle with a shaky finger.

Captain Toad

When I played Paper Mario: Color Splash last year I distinctly remember a Toad quivering in the shadows in one level, afraid of a shadow of Bowser. His fear had basically immobilized him, frozen from terror at what may be lurking behind the corner in the dark stage. As Mario, it was part of our mission to turn on the lights in that section of the map, shedding light on the origin of the shadow: A cardboard cutout of Bowser.

Of course, Color Splash was, at its core, a light-hearted and hilarious tale, with a seemingly endless supply of Toad scenes that had me laughing out loud. The Toad crew were voraciously sarcastic, with a hunger for one-liners, and a sense of determination that – while depicted as mostly clueless – was quite inspiring. Alas, the Toads, despite their appetite for outlandish accomplishments, were not only halted by their loopiness, but how easily they were frightened. Like Peach, Toad had to often wait for Mario to rescue him, often paralyzed by fear.

Being scared is a common theme for Toad. Despite being the leader of the Toad Brigade back in a previous title, Super Mario Galaxy, Captain Toad is always chickening out of missions at the first sight of trouble. While his excuses are comical, it’s clear that this is going to be an ongoing theme for him.

I don’t think Toad deserves to always be the butt of the joke, a whimpering simpleton who needs constant rescuing. He’s a faithful companion who is always there for Mario’s white knight adventures, acting as a guide, a hint-filled local, or even a star gatherer. He is even Peach’s punching bag in the Smash Bros series, taking the hit for her as her counterattack. The extent of his Smash Bros appearances.

To me, this is not only an injustice to Toad because of his unwavering loyalty to the Mushroom Kingdom and Mario, but because someone with Toad’s abilities and strength would never fear Bowser’s mindless minions.

A formidable fighter

Toad’s a likeable guy. But that would never be reason enough to include him in Smash, and I understand that. I’m not here to argue that Toad deserves a coveted spot in Smash because he is nice. The real argument here is that Toad is actually a very capable fighter with a lot of abilities that are often overlooked for the sake of comedy. Or to make Mario look good.

While I mentioned earlier that Captain Toad was Toad’s first time being a titular character, it actually wasn’t Toad’s first time being a video game protagonist. The often-forgotten Wario’s Woods is a 1994 falling block puzzle game that stars Toad as the sole savior, a peace-bringer who defeats Wario from taking over the woods.

And more importantly, it showcases a variety of abilities that Toad could bring to Ultimate.

People’s main counter-argument to Captain Toad joining Smash (yes, there are sickos who want to shun Toad from the game) is that Captain Toad is not a viable character because he can’t jump. While a less cultured person could argue that Captain Toad could just be a heavy fighter (a valid statement on its own), me, a cultured Toad fan, might argue that you don’t even know the first thing about Toad. Because he is simply a god. And jumping is below him.

Did you know that in Wario’s Woods Toad can RUN UP WALLS? So Toad can stick to walls like Greninja, but he can take it a step further and climb up them. Let’s just have him tie a rope to his pick-axe, throw it at a wall, and then have him climb up from wherever it sinks in. Is propelling himself through the air like Tarzan and then racing up the walls not enough of a counter for you yet?

Then have Toad put on a cat or helicopter suit, like he did in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. He can whip the helicopter helmet out of his backpack and instantly have as much air as Jigglypuff.

So many Captain Toad haters may also point out that Toad is weak. But all they have to do is a little bit of research and they’d find out that Toad was once described as “the strongest and fastest character” in Super Mario Bros 2. In Wario’s Woods, Toad is often depicted tossing enemies with ease. It’s strange that Toad is often seen shaking in the corner when we all know the brute strength that lies dormant within him.

Wario Woods

And in every Super Smash Bros title, we see Peach whip out her Toad as self-defense. And he counters attacks by emitting toxic gas. So if Smash is canon, which it most definitely is in an argument for Ultimate DLC, Toad can poison people, on top of climbing walls and chucking opponents.

At this point, you may be thinking, “Jesus Christ, is there anything Toad can’t do? My God.”


Because Toad is also incredibly fast. We’re talking Sonic level fast. Bayo fast. Even Fox-level shit here. Top tier fighters in Smash are usually the quickest characters with the fastest recovery times, and Toad would be no exception.

In the Mario Kart series, Toad is described as a “speed demon.” In Mario Party 7, Toad’s special item is a golden mushroom that lets him move more spaces than everyone else. Then there’s Mario 3D World, where Toad’s advantage is how fast he can run. To put it simply, Toad. Is. Fast. It’s what he’s most known for in every Mario party game.

Just do it already

It’s almost common sense at this point to have Captain Toad confirmed as DLC in Ultimate. There’s no reason not to include Toad in Super Smash Bros and if he’s not announced in the Nintendo Direct on August 8 the game should just be canceled.*

*Please don’t cancel the game

I love playing video games and watching esports, and I love writing about them. I’m a professional writer, journalist, editor and social media manager and a very-not-professional Yoshi voice actor. I probably eat sushi about five times a week and I travel about once every other month to play at various Pokemon TCG regionals all around North America. Undefeated at Mario Kart Double Dash.



  1. Jorge

    August 11, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    he estado esperando desde el brawl que haga por fin su aparición en el smash (como luchador), tengo algo de esperanza porque por fin hay un videojuego donde él es el protagonista, hay un excelente video donde muestra los movimientos que podría tener captain toad en el ultimate ( esta muy bueno, se lo merece, tiene historia y carisma.

    • Olivia Richman

      August 11, 2018 at 2:06 pm

      i love that video! there are so many possibilities! captain toad starring in his own game has also given me hope that he will finally be a fighter!

      me encanta ese video! ¡Hay muchas posibilidades! capitán sapo protagonista de su propio juego también me ha dado la esperanza de que finalmente será un luchador!

      • Riiyu

        December 13, 2018 at 2:44 pm

        I think overall that smash lacks some potential great characters, yet there are characters that take up a char slot that might as well have been a costume.

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Beanie Babies: The Collectables with Heart



For our Toys We Love Spotlight, I’m looking at one of my personal favourites: Beanie Babies. I had collected so many of these growing up, and households worldwide in the 90s and early 2000s were sure to have at least one Beanie Baby in their possession (was it even the 90s if they didn’t?). These plushie companions were cute, cuddly, and collectable, so it’s not a surprise that the Beanie Babies craze swept the globe, forcing parents and toy collectors everywhere to dig into their wallets.

Beanie Babies had a few aspects to them that made them stand out from your average plushie. Firstly, they did not have as much stuffing as most soft toys. Whilst some thought that this made them look cheap, it also made them light, posable, and gave them a realistic feel and look. The bear Beanie Babies were particularly good to pose, and this set them apart from run-of-the-mill teddy bears. Another element that made Beanie Babies more unique was their special tag. Each toy had a tag attached which had the toy’s name, date of birth, and a quotation etched inside. The former was something that could have been a risky choice, as although it wasn’t completely taking away the child’s choice of name — there was nothing stopping them from just calling their Beanie whatever they wanted — a pre-selected name can be difficult to sell, as kids can often take great pride and pleasure in naming their toys.

It was a great success, however, and worked as a nice finishing touch for the Beanie Babies, adding a dash of personality and flair (something much needed in the often critically over-saturated soft toy market), as well as making each Beanie Baby feel like their own creature with their own little stories. Adding to that was the wide variety of animals that were available, such as Tiny the Chihuahua, Pegasus the Unicorn or Swampy the Alligator. This means that the desires of each individual child or enthusiastic collector could be catered to (I myself favoured the dogs and bears).

The puppies were my Beanie Baby of choice. They were all such good boys and girls.

The Beanie Babies also had their own way of tackling difficult issues in society, showing them to kids through the guise of a soft toy. I’ll give you an example through my own experience: I had a Beanie Baby that (as odd as it may sound) gave me more of an understanding of the horrors of September 11th. Weird, right? Allow me to explain. I was only just nine years old on that now-historical day when the twin towers in New York were attacked and so many innocent people lost their lives. I had come home from school (it was afternoon time here in the UK when it happened), and I remember my mum watching it on television in complete shock. She had watched the whole thing whilst I’d been at school.

I didn’t really understand what was happening to be honest. Even when I was watching the repeats of the plane crashing into the side of the tower, I was somewhat oblivious the gravity of the situation (though as a nine year old child, I suppose I could be forgiven for that). The news continued to report the tragedy for a long time, and my school held assemblies to discuss the matter. I knew people had died, and that made me very sad, but I remember thinking that people died all the time, so why was this one incident reported on so much? About a month or so after, TY released three Beanie Babies as a tribute to those lost during 9/11. One of these was a Dalmatian Beanie Baby called Rescue, and I wanted him the moment I saw him, not really knowing the true nature of his purpose. My mum obliged happily, knowing what he represented. I remember taking my little Dalmatian with the red collar and American flag on his leg home and reading his tag. It read:

To honor our heroes
who lost their lives in the
national catastrophe that
took place on September 11, 2001.
We mourn for them and express our
deepest sympathy to their families.
God Bless America

Rescue the Dalmatian was joined by America the Bear and Courage the German Shepherd. The Beanies were a set of three released to honor those who perished in the tragedy of 9/11.

I found Rescue in my room recently, and the memories flooded back to me upon reading it again. I remember looking into all the acts of heroism and bravery after reading Rescue’s tag, and that’s when the situation really hit home to me. I looked into the stories of firefighters and first responders and those who had died, as well as all the search-and-rescue dogs attempting to save people among the chaos. As a child, it can be hard to see past your immediate opinion and truly consider the sheer weight of a situation, but with Rescue’s help, I was able to see just how this event was indeed very different to anything I had ever seen before, and how serious it was. It was the first time I felt like I was thinking like a grown up. I looked at the world differently from then on — obviously as I got older, but also from my ability to think harder and search deeper. Honestly, I don’t know if I would have even bothered if it wasn’t for Rescue reminding me of exactly how much was lost on that day.

Rescue, perhaps the goodest and bravest boy of them all.

Beanie babies will forever be ingrained in culture. They are still bought, sold and collected even now and will remain a timeless staple of most of our childhoods. They certainly are for me. Especially you Rescue, the bravest firefighting Dalmatian the world has ever known.

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‘Shenmue III’ Gamescom Trailer Details a Day in the Life of Ryo



The original Shenmue games pioneered the open world genre, in part through their inclusion of many different minigames and side activities. The Kickstarter-funded Shenmue III looks to continue that legacy, as developer Ys Net and publisher Deep Silver have debuted a new trailer at Gamescom 2019 entitled “A Day in Shenmue.”

The developers provided the following description of the trailer via their latest Kickstarter update: “Exploring the town, playing minigames and battling! We hope it feels just how a Shenmue day should!” Sure enough, the footage showcases the series protagonist Ryo participating in a number of minigames, such as a boxing game and a pachinko machine. The end of the trailer also includes a good look at the series’ signature kung fu combat.

Beyond the new trailer, the Kickstarter update also noted that Yu Suzuki, the famed creator of Shenmue, will be present at Gamescom for autograph signings.

After numerous delays, Shenmue III will finally launch on November 19, 2019 for PS4 and PC via the Epic Games Store.

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‘Mortal Kombat 11’ Ramps Up Its Roster With The Kombat Pack



Our favourite brutal and bloody fighting game series Mortal Kombat is back with a new announcement surrounding brand new characters that will be joining the fight in the latest instalment of the franchise, Mortal Kombat 11.

During Gamescom 2019, Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment and NetherRealm Studios introduced the Kombat Pack via an official reveal trailer. The Kombat Pack will feature six new fighters who will be introduced to the game over the next six months. Shang Tsung and Nightwolf are the latest additions who have already been released but the trailer also shows off four new and exciting additions to the world of Mortal Kombat.

The first up will be the Terminator T-800 who will be released on October 8th 2019 to coincide with the October release of the next Terminator film, Terminator: Dark Fate.  The trailer shows that the character model features the likeness of Arnold Schwarzenegger rather than just going for the Terminator style metallic endoskeleton. This is an interesting choice that leads to an incredibly impressive character model of Arnie. I’m really hoping that he will start to decay into his metal form as he is beaten down in the game but only time will tell.

The next release will be well known Mortal Kombat character Sindel, whose appearance fans have been waiting for after she was confirmed to be coming to the game in late May. Sindel will join the fight on November 26th, 2019.

The next character is another interesting one: DC comics top villain Joker. Joker is a pop culture icon who is no stranger to fighting games so his inclusion isn’t that much of a surprise. His physical appearance is somewhat unexpected however. He seems quite young and dashing, not what is typically expected when one thinks of the Joker. It is always fun to see unique interpretations of well known characters so hopefully the Joker will not disappoint when he becomes playable. This won’t be for a while though as he isn’t slated for release until January 28th, 2020.

The final character from the Kombat Pack will be Spawn from Todd McFarlane’s comic book of the same name. McFarlane already suggested that Spawn would be joining the game way back in December 2018 before Mortal Kombat 11 was even released, so this one isn’t much of surprise. The release date for Spawn is the furthest, coming to the game on March 17th,2020.

One fighter not mentioned is Ash from the Evil Dead, who has been being teased for sometime.His lack of inclusion here doesn’t rule him out of the game just yet. Here’s hoping that on top of the Kombat Pack, we will also get a few extra fighters here and there over the next few months.

The Kombat Pack will be $39.99 (those who purchased the premium edition of the game for $99.99 will have access to this content once it becomes available) to get all six fighters, one-week early access and various skins and gear sets. The DLC fighters as well as the skins and gear will all be available for anyone to purchase following the one –week period of early access.

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Limited Edition ‘Twin Peaks’ Box Set Includes a Whopping 21-Discs




Next year marks 30 years since David Lynch and Mark Frost changed television forever with their groundbreaking series Twin Peaks and to celebrate they are releasing a new, exhaustive box set which collects all of the pieces of Lynch’s quintessential mystery thriller and packs it into a whopping 21 disks.

The set, available only on Blu-ray, includes all three television seasons and the prequel movie Fire Walk With Me, as well as the film’s deleted scenes (The Missing Pieces). It also includes new interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, unedited versions of several musical performances, and so much more!

If that’s not enough, there will also be a special 4K UHD disc included in the set, containing a new ultra-high def transfer overseen by David Lynch of both the American and international versions of the 1990 Twin Peaks pilot, as well as “Part 8” of A Limited Event Series, titled “Gotta Light?” The set will also include all existing special features from the previous releases of Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery and Twin Peaks: A Limited Event Series.

If you’re not salivating yet, it should also be mentioned that Lynch has confirmed the addition of 20 hours of additional features for die-hard Lynch fans to delve into.

From Z to A Twin Peaks Box Set

Last but not least, the collection comes in a beautiful box which the official press release says, once opened, a depiction of the infamous Red Room is revealed with its brown and crème chevron floor and brilliant red curtains. Sitting in front of the red curtain will be an exclusive die-cut acrylic figure of Laura Palmer kissing Special Agent Dale Cooper.

Fans who can’t afford the set will be able to purchase a more standard collection on Blu-ray and DVD, titled Twin Peaks: The Television Collection which will be released on October 15.

The From Z to A set costs $139.99 and is available for pre-order here. The Blu-ray TV collection costs $91.01, and the DVD TV collection costs $50.99.

While your waiting for your set to arrive, be sure to check out our insanely popular Twin Peaks podcast, The Lodgers, hosted by Simon Howell and Kate Rennebohm.

From Z to A Twin Peaks Box Set
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‘Monster Hunter World: Iceborne’ Trailer Reveals New Monsters and More!




I’m guessing we are not alone in choosing Monster Hunter World as one of the best games of 2018. In our review, Matthew Ponthier wrote, “Monster Hunter World is a hallmark entry into the storied franchise and is a title that will light a fire in the belly of any triumphant Hunter”.

And so, it shouldn’t come as a surprise either that we are hotly anticipating Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, the massive expansion to Capcom’s best-selling game to date. The latest trailer revealed this week during Gamescom 2019 gives a glimpse of returning and new monsters, including a closer look at Velkhana, the mysterious Elder Dragon that’s new to the series. Additionally, new options will be available to help players progress through the main World game and further encourage existing players to aid other hunters in the community.

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne

Iceborne will include a multitude of new monsters and subspecies for hunters to challenge, and now, two more have been confirmed to join the upcoming massive expansion’s lineup. The brute wyvern Brachydios is a returning fan-favorite known for its explosive slime attacks, while Namielle, a mysterious all-new Elder Dragon, unleashes powerful water-based attacks. More details about the new flagship monster Velkhana have also emerged. This Elder Dragon’s icy breath can cause frozen pillars to form on the battlefield, which hunters can use to create exciting opportunities for new hunting strategies.

 A free Guardian Armor set will be provided to all hunters, both World and Iceborne, as part of an upcoming title update on September 4 in time for the launch of the expansion. This upgradable armor set offers increased defense and skills that help hunters survive in the New World. The buffed armor can be equipped from the beginning of the World game, and is especially geared towards newer hunters to help them progress through the main story.

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne

Last but not least, there will be another gameplay feature new to the series that focuses on Low Rank and High Rank player assistance by creating a further incentive for the community to help fellow hunters. Helpful players will get rewarded with exclusive in-game Pendants and Trophies for assisting other hunters in ranks below their own.

The upcoming Iceborne expansion will be coming to the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system and the Xbox One family of devices, including Xbox One X, globally on September 6th, 2019, with a PC release to follow in January 2020.

Watch the trailer below.

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