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Nintendo's characters show up in someone else's handheld game

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Nintendo's iconic characters have appeared more than once in third-party console games (hello Soul Calibur fans), but mobile games have largely been off-limits. However, there are new signs that the gaming giant is taking a more relaxed approach to the handheld world. GungHo has unveiled Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition, a take on the popular puzzle battler that includes many of the characters from Nintendo's most sacred cash cow. It's not surprising that there's only a 3DS version so far given Nintendo's usual disdain for smartphone games, but the regular Puzzle & Dragons is also available (and successful) on both Android and iOS -- it wouldn't take much to get the Mario variant on non-3DS systems. Will that happen? Probably not. Even so, GungHo's game is further proof that Nintendo isn't as protective of its franchises as it used to be.

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