Details Emerge on the LEGO/Super Mario Collaboration

LEGO/Mario Collaboration
(YouTube/Nintendo)

Earlier this week, on Mario Day (ya know, Mar10? MAR1O? HAHAHA!), LEGO tweeted out a cryptic video featuring some familiar Mario sounds and a big Mario LEGO piece of some sort. There was much speculation, including here on The Dad, about what a Nintendo/LEGO collaboration might mean, and now we have some answers. But not all of them.

LEGO put out new images, a new video, and spoke to IGN about their plans. This isn’t simply going to be a Mario-themed LEGO set or a LEGO Super Mario game. It’s something entirely unique.

During their chat with Digital Design Lead on LEGO Super Mario, Jonathan Bennink, LEGO Super Mario, which will be released sometime this year (there was no specific date), isn’t just a regular LEGO set. It allows you to build your own Mario levels with special bricks designed specifically for the Super Mario collection in order to interact with the large electronic Mario figure teased in the original tweet.

That super-sized Mario figure has special functionality, enabling various interactions with the other pieces within the set. Among those interactions is the ability to greet Yoshi and other friends, to cry out in pain when standing in lava, and more. He’ll encounter these various pieces, and various obstacles, while navigating his way through the differently assembled levels to collect as many digital coins as he can.

Not a LEGO set, not yet a video game, the Super Mario LEGO is an interactive game where the functionality is built into the LEGO pieces themselves. Said Bennink, “Everything is happening in the bricks.”

A lot than usual is happening, that’s for sure. Check out the video, and stay tuned for more information on when you can get this cool new LEGO set!

NBA 2K20 Adds Make-A-Wish Kid As Available Player

William Floyd in NBA 2K20
(YouTube/NBA2K)

NBA 2K is one of the most popular sports video games for a reason: it rules. It’s up there with FIFA and Madden and the legendary gaming franchise hit an interesting milestone earlier this month. For the first time in history, NBA 2K has made one fan a fully scanned and playable character in the franchise.

2K games partnered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to create a character for a 15-year-old with a rare genetic heart disorder. They brought William Floyd to 2K headquarters, fulfilling his wish for a visit. What he didn’t know was that 2K planned to scan him, the same way they do for NBA stars, and create his character in the game.

Because of his condition, he’s never been able to play sports. He’s kept his passion for basketball alive through his gaming. Now, he can see himself on the court with his sports heroes.

“Learning about his journey was really humbling, and we wanted to find a way to make William’s wish come true in the biggest way possible. We couldn’t think of a better way to do that than bringing his passion to life in-game and giving millions of NBA 2K fans around the world the chance to enjoy William’s player model,” said 2K spokesman Ronnie Singh.

His family said he was thrilled with the visit and how he was treated. The 15-year-old had 140 motion capture cameras capturing his every move so his likeness could be created in the game.

“Each player does a dance move or a celebration before he gets on the court,” William said. “So, I got one of those, too. I got to create it.”

You can find William’s 2K20 character in Quick Game mode as a free agent or through the MyCAREER and MyLEAGUE rosters.

Celebrate MAR10 Day With Some Epic Announcements From Nintendo

MAR10 Day Celebration
(LEGO/Levis/Nintendo)

Today is March 10th, which, in the spirit of something like Star Wars Day (May the Fourth… Be With You), has been rechristened Mario Day, because MAR10 looks like Mario. Or something.

Here at The Dad, we’ve recently shared a lot of breaking Mario news: Levis and Nintendo are collaborating on a clothing line. So you’ll be able to wear a pair of Mario inspired overalls when you visit Super Nintendo World in Orlando and Hollywood in 2021/22.

Then today, LEGO announced on their Twitter feed that they’ll be partnering with Nintendo on a Super Mario LEGO set, and, judging by the video in the tweet, is there a forthcoming LEGO-based Super Mario video game?

Check out the tweet:

Is that a smartphone inside, or more excitingly, a Switch? No one knows anything yet, but we’ll keep you posted.

Levi’s and Nintendo Collaborate on Super Mario Clothing Line

Levis Collab with Nintendo
(Twitter/LEVIS)

There’s a lot of signature characteristics when it comes to Mario: That iconic mustache, his vibrant red hat, the trademark Italian accent, but probably the most timeless characteristic of the super plumber is his unforgettable overalls.

Few articles of clothing have experienced the wear and tear that these bad boys have endured, which makes sense why a company like Levi’s would try and cash in on their fame. So, get those coins ready because clothing crossovers with Nintendo don’t come around every day. And with Super Nintendo World under construction in the U S of A, these garments could come in handy.

Levi’s tweeted out a teaser for the upcoming line, cycling between the Levi’s and Super Mario logos along with a big fat gold coin. Subtle.

While Levi’s has yet to drop too many details regarding the upcoming line, the website Level Up shared a gallery featuring some of the upcoming pieces, which including t-shirts, hoodies, jackets, and of course, jeans.

Sure, Nintendo merch isn’t too hard to come by nowadays, but coming from a brand like Levi’s – usually known for its quality and resiliency – we’re expecting some gear that could withstand a bout with Bowser (or, at the very least, a good old fashioned goomba stomp).

Now, we just have to wait and see if the price point is reasonable or King Boo-level scary. Either way, we’ll be ready to jump over and check out this sweet Super Mario swag when it drops April 1st on Levi’s website and in select stores.

Super Nintendo World Confirmed for Universal Hollywood and Orlando

(YouTube / Universal Studios)

It’s official. Even though Universal Studios Japan has yet to even open its doors to the highly anticipated Super Nintendo World, Mario, and his pals are already set to make their way to both Universal Studios Orlando and Hollywood.

While some of you were certainly ready to shell out some serious coin to visit the up-and-coming Mushroom Kingdom in Japan, you’ll be able to play along with your favorite mustachioed plumber right here in the United States… as long as you’re willing to wait a bit.

Japan’s park is currently prepping for its Spring 2020 grand opening with Universal Hollywood’s Super Nintendo World scheduled to open in 2021 or 2022 and Orlando following suit in 2023.

All three parks are offering a super-immersive Nintendo experience as guests traverse the grounds with their Power-Up Bands, devices that allow “their arms, hands, and entire bodies as they explore the new area.”

(YouTube / Universal Studios)

Like wands used in Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter, these bands will need to be purchased instead of rented and will be available in six styles based on classic Nintendo characters: Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, Toad, and Yoshi.

Visitors will be on the hunt for virtual keys as that will be unlocked as they participate in Key Challenges. Once enough keys are collected, they can interact with more guests, unlock various upgrades, and jump into “boss battles”—where visitors take on bad guys, like Koopa Jr.—to win a golden mushroom. Plus, anyone who owns a Nintendo Switch will be able to track their progress via a console-based app that auto-downloads your progress.

Specific rides and attractions have yet to be announced for the US locations, but parents can definitely expect a bevy of Nintendo-themed restaurants and merch to geek out over… I mean, for the kids to geek out over.

Here’s the promotional video for the Japan location to help tide you over.

Creator of Konami Cheat Code Has Passed Away

“Konami code” created has died
(Twitter/Konami)

As you get older, you forget lots of things, many of them important, necessary things, like your kids’ birthdays, or your kids’ names, or your kids. IT ONLY HAPPENED ONCE, HONEY, AND HE GOT HOME OKAY!

At the same time, your mind holds onto other things, minor things, things you haven’t needed in years, like your best friend from elementary school’s phone number, or all the words to the Gummy Bears cartoon theme song.

Or the Konami code.

If you grew up in the 80s and you had a Nintendo, you know what the Konami code is, even if you don’t know it by name. I always called it the “Contra code,” because it was when playing Contra that I usually used it. The Konami Code is a cheat code named after the manufacturer of Contra and other games, and it was created by a producer named Kazuhisha Hashimoto. And I bet you remember it to this day.

Hashimoto passed away last week, but he’ll never be forgotten because of that code. Konami tweeted out a tribute on the day of his passing.

It’s up-down, up-down, left-right, left-right, B-A, START. The proper input of the code at the start of a game provided you with a variety of extra perks with which to dominate gameplay and gamers will forever be thankful.

Unfortunately, for Hashimoto, his family, and legions of video game fans around the world, unlimited lives only exist in video games.

We Pieced Together the History of Tetris

The History of Tetris
(CNN/Nintendo)

Everyone has played or at least heard of Tetris, right? It reigned as one of the top-selling video games for decades. In the fatherhood era, you mostly play the real-life version while packing for a family road trip.

What you may not know, however, is the history behind one of the most long-lived, widespread video games out there. I know I didn’t, but when I started looking into it I couldn’t stop digging.

What stands out when looking back to the Game Boy’s Tetris title screen is the obvious… Soviet-ness to it…

Game Boy Tetris Title Screen
(Miketendo64)

… And then there’s the theme song…

As it turns out, Tetris originated from Soviet Russia, during the final decade of the Cold War. Software engineer Alexey Pajitnov was in Moscow in 1984 working on the development of a new computer, the Elektronika 60.

Electronika 60
(Sergei Frolov)

Alexey developed a very rudimentary version of the Tetris we know and love today, to test the machine and have some fun. He said his inspiration for it came from a childhood game, Pentominoes, but he reduced the shapes from 5 equal-sized squares to 4. The name of the game itself is a mash-up of “tetra” (meaning 4), and Alexey’s favorite game, tennis (not sure how the two are similar, but we’ll go with it!). While not flashy or colorful in any way, the original Tetris is is still easily recognized today.

Original Tetris
(CNN)

With the easy to pick up mechanics, Alexey shared his game with coworkers and it spread like wildfire. Tetris ended up making its way to software exhibits outside of the Soviet Union and was adapted to play on IBM computers. Henk Rogers of Bullet-Proof Software eventually secured the handheld rights to the game and the Game Boy version was released. Taking the newly developing video game world by storm, Tetris even became the first game played in space when cosmonaut Aleksandr Serebov packed his Game Boy for his trip to MIR space station in 1993!

From its simple beginnings, 35 years later Tetris is still going strong. Developers are even creating mash-ups, like Tetris 99 (a “battle royale” Tetris game, where 99 players go head to head and last one standing, wins) on the Nintendo Switch! It may look a bit more colorful and hectic today…

Kotaku Tetris 99
(YouTube/Kotaku)

… but Tetris is definitely here to stay.

If you’re looking for an on-the-go fix, EA’s mobile Tetris apps recently got pulled from the App Store and Google Play, but don’t worry! They’ve been replaced by N3twork’s version, available in both the App Store and Google Play. The app is pretty basic for now, but it’s free to play (it has ads that can be removed for $4.99) and no micro-transactions. N3twork even plans to release a Tetris Royale which, while we don’t have the full details yet, sounds like it will be something like the Nintendo Switch’s Tetris 99!

Tetris Co Announcement
(Twitter/@Tetris_Official)

The Joker Joins Mortal Kombat, Has Some Tricks up His Sleeve

The Joker Joins Mortal Kombat
(Twitter/MortalKombat)

Over the weekend, Joaquin Phoenix won the Best Actor Oscar for portraying the Joker in Todd Phillips’ superhero-adjacent drama about the mentally-deranged supervillain’s origin story. Phoenix joins the late Heath Ledger in winning the industry’s highest award for playing Batman’s greatest foe, and the Joker character joins Vito Corleone as the only movie characters to yield Oscars for two different actors (Marlon Brando and Robert DeNiro).

If you, like moviegoers and Academy voters, can’t get enough of the psychotic clown, I have some good news for you. Especially if you’re a gamer.

The Joker is now a playable character in Mortal Kombat 11, and you can buy it now.

This version of the Joker comes complete with his creepy laugh, a variety of different outfits – including one with the beret Jack Nicholson wore in Tim Burton’s Batman – combining looks from his various incarnations.

He even has some lame jokes, and a gag gun.

Collider did a deep dive into the Mortal Kombat incarnation of the character, discussing his look, his accessories, and even the unique gameplay characteristics he brings to your console. Apparently this Joker has a few tricks up his sleeve!

From their breakdown: His moveset revolves around a jack-in-the-box that he can launch high or low, a handgun hidden in a Batman puppet, a bound-and-gagged hostage who hops across the battlefield until you choose to detonate them, a gasoline can that can set the ground on fire, and the aforementioned cane.

To get a closer look at him, including all of his character intros and brutal finishing moves (keep an eye out for Batman-related easter eggs) take a look at the video Collider put together to highlight the character here.

Dad Builds Nintendo Switch TV Frame For His Son

Todd and Son
(Todd Peterson)

Gone are the days of boring old wooden TV cabinets, or hanging your TV on a bare wall. The custom route seems like the new way to go, and the results are actually pretty awesome! First seen late 2019 by a Nintendo fan who goes by Suprman9 in his aptly named “Nerdvana“, this Nintendo Switch TV frame quickly went viral, and for good reason…

Suprman9 Switch TV
(Suprman9)

Since then, many others have built their own iterations of the frame, including one of our very own dads over at The Dad Gaming. Todd Peterson wrote in his post “My son loves his Switch. I love my son. This is the result.”

TP Switch Frame
(Todd Peterson)

Todd actually took it a step further from any of the versions I saw, including Suprman9’s original, and added shelving inside hinged Joy-Cons for storing games!

TP Switch 2
(Todd Peterson)

We reached out to Todd to find out a bit more about how his project came together. The nuts and bolts of it are basically 2x6s, plywood, and wood circles from a hobby store. “Basically I just measured my switch, meticulously, and used a factor of 6.75 to ‘expand’ everything so the switch screen became a 42″ TV,” he told us.

Well done, Todd! It looks like yet another project I’ll have to convince my wife I need should do for our kid…

There’s a detailed write-up about the process of building one of these badboys here.

Gamer Dad Creates Custom Controller so His Daughter With a Disability Can Play

Rory Steel Builds Adaptive Controller
(Twtitter/JerseyITGuy)

Few things can truly bring together a dad and his kids like video games. Playing video games with your daughter can even be healthy for her. And one gamer dad recently went viral for the extra effort he took to make sure his daughter could experience the joys gaming has brought to many.

Rory Steel’s 9-year-old daughter has hereditary spastic paraplegia, which affects her motor function and speech. That makes it pretty hard to manipulate a video game controller. So her dad tracked down some parts to create a custom controller for her Nintendo Switch, so she could play Zelda just like all of her friends.

Steel’s controller has the vintage Nintendo look and can hook up to an adaptive Xbox controller. Featuring dual joysticks and easy to punch buttons, the entire concoction was completed for less than $200.

Her reaction is more than worth it:

Her joy at being able to play has racked up more than a million views and has earned Rory plenty of admirers in the process, including Microsoft’s inclusive devices lead.

Rory isn’t going to hoard his design, either. He’s continued to improve on it and share the DIY instructions so other parents of disabled kids can help their kids get in the game.

To get more of your gaming fix, join The Dad Gaming group on Facebook. It’s one of the most robust, and supportive, gaming groups online, so come play with us.

New Mario Kart Game Rumored to Be Revving Up for a 2020 Release

New Mario Kart Game in Development
(Nintendo)

Mario Kart 8 remains the most recent, non-mobile Mario racer to date, which is surprising considering its 2014 release date. Yes, there have been updated versions of the game and additional DLC but it’s pretty surprising that Nintendo hasn’t teased any upcoming installments. That doesn’t mean there isn’t one on the way, though.

According to a historically reliable source who goes by “Sabi,” there is currently a game in development scheduled to release for the Nintendo Switch that might very well be the newest Mario Kart game in the beloved franchise.

While definitely still only considered a rumor, Sabi claims that there is a Nintendo game scheduled to be released later this year that prominently features tires. This may seem like a minor detail, but it has led many to speculate about a possible Mario Kart sequel. Considering the generally poor reception of Mario Kart Tour with its microtransactions and somewhat dumbed-down gameplay, it would make sense if Nintendo was developing something new and in the same vein as past games.

Sabi stated on Twitter that Breath of the Wild 2 is experiencing delays, which has opened up a slot for a big title release around the holidays.

Only time will tell if these rumors are true but if you’re craving some high octane kart-racing action in the meantime, you can always join our Mario Kart Group on The Dad Gaming. We’ll be competing in Mario Kart 8 until Nintendo gives us a reason not to.

Patrick Mahomes Broke the Fabled EA Sports “Madden Curse”

Mahomes Breaks "Madden Curse"
(Twitter/EAMaddenNFL)

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback did something no other player in football has successfully achieved: he killed the Madden curse.

Mahomes put the Chiefs on his back throughout the playoffs, engineering three significant come-from-behind wins. His 4th quarter performance in the Super Bowl is a huge reason why the Chiefs were able to rally and stun San Francisco 31-20 and was the reason Mahomes captured the Super Bowl MVP. But there’s a Super Bowl MVP every year, but so far, no one has completely broken the curse.

For the longest time, football fans have generally understood that the cover athlete for EA Sports Madden franchise was, well, pretty much doomed. It’s a curse with few exceptions and more than a handful of major examples. There was Daunte Culpepper in 2002, Michael Vick in 2004, Shaun Alexander in 2007, and the list goes on. Troy Polamalu, Rob Gronkowski and Peyton Hillis are also victims of the curse.

The lone exception could be Tom Brady two years ago, but even that team, which was a heavy Super Bowl favorite, came up short. But then there was Patrick Mahomes…

 

Patrick Mahomes put the talk of the Madden Curse to bed, forever, with his Super Bowl performance, capping an outstanding playoff run. And he looked pretty happy to be the curse slayer.

And even though he didn’t mention it by name, we can assume the reason Paul Rudd, Chiefs superfan, is so happy here, is because the video game voodoo is over.

And maybe Mahomes has created a new Madden trend, where every cover athlete leads their franchise to a crazy Super Bowl run.

Fortnite Player Livestreams Call to Mom to Say He Paid Her Student Loans

Aydan Conrad Calling Mom
(Twitch/Aydan)

College is expensive, it’s undeniable. According to a 2019 Forbes article, the average borrower from the Class of 2017 owes over $28,000! What would you say, then, if your kid called you and let you know you’re all paid up?

Pro Fortnite streamer Aydan Conrad’s mom doesn’t have to imagine anymore. While streaming on January 23rd, 20-year-old Aydan calls her up live with his followers (numbering over 1.4 million) watching. He tells her he wants to give her the Christmas gift he wasn’t able to give her before, but she says “I don’t need anything, Aydan. You’ve done enough for me.” Aydan just pushes forward, though, and proceeds to let her know she has no more student debt. After the initial shock and disbelief wears off (especially after Aydan dropped the name of, we’re assuming, her contact for loan payments), everyone gets a chance to witness a truly heartfelt moment between mother and son as the two share some happy tears over the phone.

Aydan humbly credits all his viewers for making it possible, saying “It’s not me, it’s all the people that are watching my stream right now”, to which she responds “Aw, I love them… everyone click ‘exclamation point sub’ and ‘exclamation point prime’!” (for those that don’t use Twitch, those are two chat commands viewers can use to support streamers with a paid subscription). Talk about a loving family that supports each other in their life goals!

NotCryingYou'reCrying
(Giphy)