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Are you going to buy an Xbox One X This Holiday Season?

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Hope to Receive it as a Gift


Specials
 Written by Jeff Milligan  on January 26, 2004

Nintendo Games On-Target in 2004: We're gonna party like it's two-thou-sand-and-four. See? That Prince song never gets old!


With 2003 now all but a memory, gamers can now safely look into the near and distant future of 2004 for what they can expect to be playing for months to come, or maybe even new hardware that they can anticipate on buying. For Nintendo specifically, gamers can indeed expect new toys on both the software and hardware fronts. As we all now by now, Nintendo had a breakout year for their GameCube in 2003, selling massive amounts of both the console itself, and many of its solid titles. The Game Boy Advance also did extremely well, still commanding the handheld market, and giving a major boost to Nintendo's overall sales. With that in mind, Nintendo already has plans to keep the success going in 2004, both for the GameCube and the Game Boy Advance.


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What exactly can we look for from Nintendo in this next year? Read on as we uncover the big N's plans for 2004.


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Metroid: Zero Mission


Scheduled Release: February 9, 2004


Any real Nintendo fan can tell you who Samus Aran is, so it's no real surprise that another Metroid game is in the works. Metroid Fusion has proved itself to be one of the finest games available on the Game Boy Advance, and Zero Mission hopes to be the same caliber game.


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Metroid: Zero Mission may not be the type of game that some people were anticipating. Instead of providing a new adventure, Zero Mission will relive the original Samus Aran journey, telling the story of Samus' first encounter with the Metroids. It all starts when Samus is sent to Zebes to investigate a deadly race of alien species, and all of you Metroid fans know where the game goes from there. Samus will be able to upgrade her space-suit with weapons and gadgets from previous Metroid games, and will also be able to gain new power-ups including the Power Grip, Zip Line, and more.


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Although the game tells the story of the original NES Metroid, it's really a collaboration of all previous Metroid titles. An interesting mix indeed. Metroid: Zero Mission will be the first major Nintendo title released in 2004, with a launch date of early next month.


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Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles


Scheduled Release: February 9, 2004


One of the most recognizable RPG series ever established will be making another trip to a Nintendo console in 2004. With Final Fantasy Tactics Advanced now released on the Game Boy Advance, the Final Fantasy series will now seek to enrich its stay with Nintendo.


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Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles is not your typical Final Fantasy. Unlike the more recent Final Fantasies on the Sony Playstation and Playstation 2, Crystal Chronicles will be a multiplayer RPG. Using your Game Boy Advance and a Link Cable, you and up to 3 friends can cannot to your GameCube and complete the title together. The Game Boy Advance will serve as your controller, and will also be used to view your inventory, maps, and things like this. The Game Boy Advance does not need to be used, however.


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Crystal Chronicles is promising many new features unfamiliar to Final Fantasy games, so fans of the series will not want to miss this one. Players can pick this one up as early as next month.


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Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes


Scheduled Release: March 4, 2004


All right, you got us. Nintendo isn't technically the producer or the developer of the Twin Snakes. However, Shigeru Miyamoto is working on the project along with Silicon Knights and Konami, and that's enough Nintendo involvement for us.


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The Twin Snakes, instead of being an all new Metal Gear Solid adventure, is actually a remake of the original Metal Gear Solid. Confused yet? The basic premise behind The Twin Snakes is pretty much taking the storyline and characters of the original Metal Gear Solid, and giving it the incredible graphics and sounds Metal Gear Solid: The Sons of Liberty had. The story and characters remains the same, except for a few new/revised cut-scenes and conversations. Snake will also be able to shoot in first-person mode, which was a great advantage in The Sons of Liberty, giving The Twin Snakes just one more cool new feature to mess around with.


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You can basically sum this one up as the ?director's cut? of Metal Gear Solid. Due out on the GameCube in early 2004, this should be one title that Metal Gear Solid fans should not pass up. The Twin Snakes cannot come soon enough.


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Pokemon Colosseum


Scheduled Release: March 22, 2004


With the release of numerous Pokemon titles on the Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Color, and Nintendo 64, it was only a matter of time before it started to spread onto the GameCube. Not that we're complaining, Pokemon games can actually be quite amusing, and Pokemon Colosseum hopes to be just that.


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For those of you who owned Pokemon Stadium on the Nintendo 64, you'll know exactly what Colosseum is all about. Using Colosseum's battle mode, players can watch their favorite Pokemon battle it out on the big screen (well, bigger screen anyway). Players can even transfer their beefed up Pokemon team to Colosseum from their version of Pokemon Ruby or Sapphire. However, Colosseum will also feature a brand-new Pokemon adventure, including a new leading character, and a new region to explore. Colosseum will be the first ever Pokemon adventure to be viewed in full 3D, adding yet another new dimension to the series.


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With Pokemon, you basically either love the series or you hate. So for some, this may not be that big of a deal. Yet for those that enjoy the series, Colosseum should be a good pickup early on this year.


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Pikmin 2


Scheduled Release: Q2 2004


Pikmin was one of those games that was both fun to play, and extremely challenging. It's relatively rare to come upon a better launch title than what Pikmin proved to be. However, that was nearly 3 years ago. It's about due time that Nintendo released a sequel, and they will this year.


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Pikmin 2 continues to utilize the same basic gameplay style that the original Pikmin used. You once again gain control of Captain Olimar, except this time there is no crashed rocket to repair. Captain Olimar's company is severely in debt, and it's up to Olimar to collect 10,000 Poko's to save the company. If you've got little time and lots to do, who better to call on then those loveable Pikmin? Teamed up with new sidekick Loojie, Olimar must once again command the Pikmin to perform various tasks in limited time periods. White and purple Pikmin will also be at your command; two newcomers to the Pikmin world.


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We've been waiting for Pikmin 2 for a good while now, and it's finally within reasonable view. Although not the most explosive announcement for 2004, it should prove to be a solid mid-year title.


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Star Fox 2


Scheduled Release: TBD 2004


With mixed results coming from gamers concerning Star Fox Adventures, Team Star Fox is returning to the Nintendo GameCube in a more recognizable setting for Star Fox fans. Personally, I enjoyed Star Fox Adventures, but hey, Star Fox 2 is looking to be one hell of a game in its own right.


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Star Fox 2 can be considered the ?true? follow-up to the original Star Fox on the Nintendo 64. While Star Fox Adventures was more of an Action-RPG similar to the N64 Zelda's, Star Fox 2 will place players back in the pilot's seat. Sometimes. While players will indeed be able to pilot the Arwing, players will also be able to control a Landmaster Tank, and will also have to complete some missions on foot. All of the classic team members will be present, including Fox McCloud, Slippy Toad, Peppy Hare, and Falco Lombardi. Fly solo or with up to 3 others as you take on the new threat on the galaxy.


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Although Star Fox 2 was showcased at last year's E3, there still hasn't been much word about the game. With E3 2004 coming up shortly, this is sure to change. As for now, the game is tentatively slated for a spring 2004 release, so watch out for it.


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Metroid Prime 2


Scheduled Release: Announced, TBD


One of the most popular GameCube titles to date will be getting its official sequel this year. Feels pretty good to say that. Metroid Prime provided a fresh gameplay experience, stunning graphics, and lots of spiffy upgrades for Samus Aran, and Metroid Prime 2 will be looking to expand on all of that.


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The story behind Metroid Prime 2 has yet to be fully revealed. All that is know is that Samus will in some way be involved in taking on Space Pirates and other alien races. I know, that's a real big help, but that's all that's been released. Metroid Prime 2 will, like the original Metroid Prime, use a 1st-person perspective, as well as utilize a 3rd-person morphball technique. More recent news has also indicated that Metroid Prime 2 will feature a full-blown multiplayer mode as well.


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Speculation and rumors are flying rampant concerning Metroid Prime 2, and this years E3 is sure to clear some of this up. Although no specific month or date has been given for Metroid Prime 2's release, it has been stated that it will be released in 2004.


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Mario Tennis


Scheduled Release: Announced, TBD


I don't think there's any denying that Mario Tennis for the Nintendo 64 was one of the most fun games on the system, not to mention one of the best party games. Nintendo has already released a GameCube version of Mario Golf, and next up for the brothers of plumbing is Andre Agassi's favorite pastime.


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Mario Tennis is another game that has been announced for quite awhile, yet details are still slim. The only details that are indeed actually known is that it will be for the GameCube, and that it's being built off of the Nintendo 64 Mario Tennis. Hopefully Nintendo will release some more solid information soon, but until they do we're just as in the dark as you are.


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Technically Mario Tennis isn't slated for a 2004 release. However, given the fact that this game has been announced for nearly 2 years, we feel that it's either going to be 2004 or never. Obviously we're pulling for the 2004 option, but you never know.


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Nintendo DS


Scheduled Release: Announced, TBD 2004


With all of the impressive software titles to be released this year, it's only fitting that a new piece of hardware also be unveiled. News of this item has only been released within the past few days, and already it's stirring up hordes of controversy.


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Codenamed the ?Nintendo DS?, this item is essentially a handheld unit with dual screens. Using both screens, players will be able to do multiple things during a single game, with the most common use of being able to view different angles and views during gameplay. Whether this will be another addition to the Game Boy Advance line is yet to be determined. Also unclear is when this hardware will be released, and what other features it will encompass.


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Nintendo has made it known that this item will be showcased at this year's E3 show, so more details are sure to be uncovered this spring.


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The Final Word


As you can no doubt see, 2004 is shaping up to be another great year for Nintendo. Keep in mind too that this list is contains items that will be either published or developed by Nintendo. This means that there are plenty of 3rd-party games and peripherals planned for release in 2004 for Nintendo's consoles as well. Titles such as Starcraft: Ghost and many others are sure to help Nintendo have another blockbuster year, and a year that we all should look forward to. There's also always the possibility of the infamous ?surprise announcement? that E3 is renowned for, meaning series such as Zelda and Mario should not be ruled out for 2004.



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