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Mario and Zelda, two of Nintendo’s biggest franchises, have crossed paths numerous times before, most recently with the Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening remake, which features enemies from the Mario universe.
With an upcoming free update to Super Mario Maker 2, it’s time for the Hyrule warrior to visit Mario’s universe. The 2.0 update, arriving Dec. 5, adds Link as a playable character via the new Master Sword powerup item.
This new form isn’t just a costume swap either, as Link comes equipped with his sword, bombs, and arrows, opening up entirely new gameplay designs. Link can shoot arrows to activate switches, stab down with his sword to defeat spiky enemies, and blow up walls with bombs.
The only catch: the Master Sword is available exclusively on the original NES 8-bit Mario theme, recreating the pixelated look of the original The Legend of Zelda from 1986.
In addition to Link, the 2.0 update also adds several new parts, and a new speedrun mode. The new parts include Frozen Coins that need to be melted and Dash Blocks from Super Mario 3D World. Pokey, the stacking cactus enemy, also makes its debut on Super Mario Maker 2. And yes, you can directly edit its height.
Ninja Speedrun is the new gameplay mode, where players can take on timed challenges created by Nintendo specifically for this mode. Ninja Speedrun challenges will last for a week, with new courses rotating in periodically. Players will be ranked by their play time, and can see other ninja ghosts from a similar performance level running the course, as a way to improve. Players can collect stamps and earn Mii costumes by completing courses.
Super Mario Maker is available on Nintendo Switch. The 2.0 update arrives December 5.
For most digital gaming stores Black Friday is already well underway with sales running through the entire week of Thanksgiving, and including Cyber Monday.
Our Holiday Gift Guide should provide an excellent starting point for which games to look for among the sales from major retailers and distributors, which we’ve organized below.
Note that Amazon is notoriously impossible to poinpoint as their best deals come in the form of very limited time Lighting Deals. A good rule of thumb is to always check Amazon!
GameStop’s Black Friday sale is notable as the only retailer currently offering a deal on the Switch Lite, which we predict will be the hottest selling console of the holiday season. The price is still the same, but you’ll get a $25 gift card as part of the purchase, which will help soften the blow when it’s time to get some games. Note that the Switch Lite deal is only good on Saturday, Nov. 30 and Sunday, Dec 1.
You can get the same gift card deal for a regular-size Nintendo Switch (which includes Mario Kart 8 Deluxe) on Thursday, Nov. 28 and Friday, Nov. 29.
From Thursday through Saturday you can find up to 50% off Switch games, 30% off board and strategy games, and enjoy a Buy 2 Get 1 Free offer for all pre-owned games.
Sony’s PlayStation Store Black Friday Sale features dozens of games up to 40% off, including Borderlands 3, Destiny 2: Shadowkeep, Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, and Madden NFL 20.
Many of the best games of the system have been repackaged as PlayStation Hits, and are currently available for the discounted price of $9.99 for games like God of War, The Last of Us Remastered, and Horizon Zero Dawn – Complete Edition. You can find all three games packaged with a 1TB PlayStation 4 bundle for $199 at most major retailers, though keep in mind Sony and Microsoft are launching new consoles next Holiday season.
This is also the perfect time to renew a PlayStation Plus membership for online gamers, as you can snag a 12-month subscription for 44.99 (25% off).
The Nintendo Switch has been riding a high wave of excellent first-party games, third-party support, and indie games. With new consoles coming next year from Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo is once again poised to be the center of shopper attention this holiday season.
We expect the smaller, cheaper, handheld-only Switch Lite to do particularly well, as it makes the perfect gaming starter pack for kids. If you’re concerned about your kids spending too much time on the screen, consider Nintendo Labo kits as a fun combination of digital gameplay with tactile construction.
Nintendo’s eShop Black Friday sale hasn’t yet begun, but you can find discounted Switch games up to 33% off or more at most retailers, including Best Buy, Target, and GameStop.
Though we ultimately suggest waiting for the newly announced consoles when they launch next year, you can take advantage of deep discounts on a current-gen Xbox One, including Xbox One S bundles with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order or Gears 5 for $199, or the more powerful Xbox One X bundles for $349.
During the Black Friday sale, Xbox games are discounted up to 65% off, including Gears 5 and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint.
Microsoft is also pushing more than ever to get Xbox users subscribed to Xbox Games Pass, which includes over 100 games that can be played on console or PC, or both with the Ultimate plan. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate also includes Xbox Live Gold for online gaming. This holiday season, Ultimate members will also receive 1 month of EA Access, 3 months of Discord Nitro, and 6 months of Spotify Premium, and you can sign up for three months for all of $1.
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