John here with a quick update about the 2014 Nintendo Holiday Mall Experience event happening from now until December 21st at 16 malls throughout the country. My family and I are in Orlando this weekend visiting relatives for Thanksgiving, so I made it a priority to get down to the Florida Mall, one of the event sites, to check it out.
The Play Nintendo event from the summer (which you can read about here, if you’re so inclined) travelled between locations, only staying in each city for a few days. This holiday event is a bit different though; it’s occurring daily in each of it’s 16 locations for a little over a month, so by necessity it is a little bit scaled back from the summer event. Still, there are dedicated big-screen displays for both Smash Bros. and Mario Kart 8 in addition to demo stations featuring all of this holiday’s big releases and a even a few of last year’s as well.
The big draw for me was Captain Toad. The game doesn’t release until next week, so it was cool to play a few levels a bit early. The Nintendo reps were knowledgable about the game and showed me the ropes. Even though I knew how to handle the game for the most part thanks to my experience playing 3D World, one on-rails mine cart level strayed from the Captain Toad formula significantly and required a bit of tutoring.
Other than Captain Toad, I was pretty familiar with the rest of the titles on display, but I was happy to take pictures and give my son and his cousin the opportunity to try out games too. The event was packed throughout the 45 minutes or so I was there and Smash Bros. and Mario Kart were both huge hits. Each of them required a bit of a wait as well, but there were plenty of 3DS systems available to play the portable counterparts of each game while visitors waited for a turn at the console versions.
I travelled about an hour to visit the summer event (which was larger in scope and included prizes, a d.j., and Nintendo characters walking around providing photo ops), so though I probably wouldn’t recommend making too lengthy of a trip for this one, it’s definitely a lot of fun if you’re nearby. Visit the official site for a list of locations hosting the event and let us know what you thought if you make it out.