Go Back to School With the Sights, Sounds, and (Obviously) Games of Nintendo

With the better half of September already behind us, we are now in the very heart of the annual back-to-school season. Fresh backpacks have been broken in, lunch menus thoroughly scrutinized, and, hopefully, your kids have now gotten the lay of the proverbial land in their new school environments.

For many geeklings, the new school year blues have at last evaporated. For others? Not so much. Anything from an unexpected illness to family issues to environmental woes like the recent bouts of severe weather can further complicate things for our most sensitive family members.

Just last week, my oldest, now in 7th grade, had a bit of a rough go. A still unfamiliar school, trouble with a new learning management system, and some difficult scheduling problems in the wake of Tropical Storm Irma proved the perfect storm—if you’ll forgive the pun—to pique his anxiety.

One thing that helped him power through was the promise of Pokkén Tournament DX. Immediately after last week’s stellar Nintendo Direct, an early review code came in for this updated version of the world’s premiere Pokémon fighting game.

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While he’d already devoted countless hours of playtime to the original Wii U iteration, features like the expanded Battle Pokémon roster (including Croagunk, Empoleon, Darkrai, and Decidueye), additional assist characters (Hello, Litten and Popplio!), and new battle modes have really had him excited to try his hand at this updated edition.

I’m pleased to say we’re both really happy with Pokkén Tournament DX. It looks and plays great, especially in the Switch’s unique Handheld mode, and going into it with some previous knowledge of its Field Phase/Duel Phase combat configuration and powerful Synergy Burst mechanic really ramped up our enjoyment early on.

While I know not everyone is lucky enough to get early access to games like Pokkén—truly, we are the fortunate ones—a demo is available now ahead of its September 22 release date. Moreover, Nintendo has a host of other goodies specifically geared toward making the new school year more enjoyable available via the special Play Nintendo portal.

Downloadables like Mario bookmarks, Splatoon 2 lunchbox labels, and ARMS pencil toppers are just a few of the amenities featured at Play Nintendo to help smooth out those occasional back-to-school rough patches. Why, Mario himself was even nice enough to record some congratulatory sound clips—which you can download right here—to help GeekParents leverage their families’ love of gaming to encourage our littlest learners to try their best!

Review and promotional materials provided by: Nintendo of America

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Z. is a proud father of two, Managing Editor of the GeekDad blog, a multiple Parsec award-winning podcaster, and a lover of nerd music and culture. At this moment, he is likely thinking about clothes or playing video games. Possibly both.

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