Can you believe the Nintendo Switch is two years old already?Continue reading Happy Birthday, Switch
In case you missed the Pokémon Direct broadcast this morning, it was on very early, you can catch the replay below.Continue reading Pokémon Direct Video
Level 5 have dropped a bomb with the reveal that news of an impending new entry in the Yokai Watch series will be announced on June 27th.
Say what you will about Nintendo but they are constantly reinventing themselves, being innovative and reinvigorating the games industry. While other companies harp on about teraflops and bigger HDD, Nintendo release hardware like the Wii and the best selling console, the Switch. So in a move that surprised everyone, Nintendo have once again reinvented the wheel. I give you…Nintendo Labo for Switch.
Nintendo held a mini Nintendo Direct Mini Showcase earlier today and it was aimed at highlighting the awesome lineup of games announced for the hybrid console, the Switch for 2018. This is only a quick look at the games that have been rumoured for a little while now plus some stellar new titles too. If you haven’t seen it, you’re in for a treat as there’s some great titles coming our way. The broadcast opens with the highly stylised and massive fan favourite DS game, Square Enix’s, The World Ends With You: Final Remix. This release boasts enhanced graphics plus an all new level not seen yet.
New characters for Pokken Tournament, update for Kirby Star Allies, Hyrule Warriors is also coming with all maps and additions from the Wii U and 3DS versions. Local multiplayer and Breath of the Wild outfits plus heaps more round out an already great game. Mario Tennis Aces looks really cute with all your favourite characters thrown in and not seen since the release of a Mario tennis game on the Gameboy Advance, this release will also feature a story mode.
Catch the video below as there’s so many updates to existing games as well apart from the newly announced games!
This review is late, very late in fact but there’s a very good reason why this review of Super Mario Odyssey is late. Probably the last one to hit the interwebs and the reason is…I just couldn’t tear myself away from it. It’s so perfectly crafted from the bite sized levels to the exquisite music playing throughout the levels.
The story is predictable to say the least however this is part of the charm of any Mario game. Yet again, Princess Peach finds herself in peril when forever bad guy Bowser kidnaps her with the intention of marrying her. I don’t even know how that would work? Anyways, Mario sets off on a rescue mission around various lands that are all diverse, satisfying and amazingly visualised. Let’s start at the beginning. All levels while new, pay homage is some way or another to past levels in Mario games. From a modernised water level, lava level, sky level and more, it’s so hard not to feel nostalgic when you find yourself comparing what you’re playing with past Mario titles.
I mean just take a look at these pics in this review (thanks Nintendo) but seriously…how beautiful does this game look? And playing it in handheld mode is a wonder for the eyes even if it a drainer on the Switch battery. I know I mentioned this before, but these levels have been crafted at perfect playing times for public transport. If you’re just playing straight through without wanting to get 100%, these levels will test you up until the obligatory boss battle. The boss battles themselves have foes that are varied and fun to beat with different techniques required to master if you want to get the better of them.
The game really showcases the free roaming, open world design very well with literally everything that can be climbed, bounced on, ridden on or interacted with in one form or another. And they’re a real feast for the eyes as well varying from cartoony levels right through to levels with the photo realism ramped right up, every level is a joy to play. You have a certain amount of Power Moons to find in each level, with a different minimum amount needed to power up your ship, The Odyssey, allowing you to travel between worlds.
The gameplay is usual fare, bouncing on enemies to dispose of them or throwing your cap, possessed by a spirit called Cappy, at them. Most enemies can be controlled in this manner giving you new abilities from flying, smashing through obstacles, not slipping on ice and heaps more. In a cute touch, when you possess an enemy in this manner, they get the familiar Mario moustache on their face. Ever seen a Goomba with a Mario moustache? Cute or even better, a T-Rex? Where else can you see this? There are various checkpoints littered throughout the levels which allow you to warp from one to another to get to the other side of the level really quickly without risking being wiped out by an enemy.
In an absolute stroke of genius, scattered in various location across the level are stages where you get absorbed into the background and it becomes an 8-bit version of the game and changes from 3D to old school side scrolling platform game complete with retro sounds and music.
The levels also have stores in which you can spend your hard earned coins on various outfits from shorts to a dapper suit, samurai suit and so many more. You can also buy stickers for the Odyssey and knick knacks for the inside of your ship. The outfits themselves aren’t just for aesthetic reasons, there are sections in the levels that can only be accessed if you’re dressed appropriately so if you want to complete everything then these are a must and will have you doing even more exploring to find all the coins.
The game features a two player mode where another player controls Cappy but this requires the utmost coordination and communication as often Mario will be running one way while your friend is throwing Cappy in the opposite direction. Expect many arguments playing this way like any good co-op game.
There’s a neat feature where you can go into picture mode and even apply Instagram like filters which are fun to play with. This mode is highly customisable and lends itself to some stunning pictures. This feature rounds out an already tightly packed game filled to brim with amazing gameplay, lush visuals, stupid over the top fun, music that you’ll find yourself humming when you least expect it and a throwback to other awesomely fun Mario games such as Super Mario Galaxy. Super Mario Odyssey is magical, charming, full of that “one more go” feeling and an absolute must buy, system seller for the Switch. Nintendo have crafted yet another highly memorable Super Mario title and one that will keep you playing for ages if you want to find all the Power Moons and coins. Super Mario Odyssey will be at the front of your gaming shelf not pushed to the back with lesser played games. Welcome back, Mario…we’ve missed you.
Final score: 10/10
Splatoon 2 picks up where its predecessor left off on the Wii U. Delivering more fun, action, cutesy visuals and ink loads of shenanigans that feel more at home on the Switch than ever.
So just quickly in case you’re not familiar with the Splatoonverse, the main gameplay consists of 4 on 4 battle where your squid avatar is armed with a variety of weapon which shoots out coloured ink. The main objective being to cover more of the playing arena with your colour while the opposing team is doing the exact same thing. The maps themselves aren’t overly huge which invites tight contests and frantic action as you walk, run and swim through the ink trying to gain the upper hand over the opposing team.
Before I launch into the multiplayer aspect, I just want to touch on the single player mode which is actually very well put together and keeps you playing in between the online multiplayer part of the game. The campaign part of the game revolves around you being recruited by war veteran Captain Cuttlefish in the Octo Valley to help save The Great Zapfish who supplies Inkopolis with its power. This campaign has a section at the start which serves as a tutorial and introduces you to the gameplay and the various weapons you can upgrade to once you reach a certain level in the game. There’s also various clothes and add ons, all which serves various power ups and aids during the game.
The idea of the tutorial is to pick up Golden Eggs while taking out the various enemies that occupy the levels. Each level has a minimum number of Golden Eggs to collect and as you pick up each one, you deposit it in a container but be warned, the enemy can and will intercept you, stealing the egg and making a run for it. If you’re quick enough you can take them out and get the egg back to else you need to get a new egg all over again. I never found this tedious though and always heaps of fun which kept the game going.
The campaign itself sees you using and utilising your newly acquired skills and knowledge to traverse various levels which are chockfull with enemies and hazards which will require the use of ink to navigate and get around. As you reach the end of each level, you’re give a Zapfish which results in you being whisked out of that level and starting a new one. These levels are fun, varied and will keep you on your toes as you progress through in order to reach a boss at the end. When you do beat the boss, you then go back to the main map and start a new series of levels to rescue the other Zapfish. I still haven’t finished this mode but it’s proving to be bucketloads of fun.
Now, the multiplayer aspect is where the game comes alive and where you’ll find the most rewards. As with other similar games, when you complete a round of skirmish, win or lose, your player receives points and can progress through various levels. As I type this my character is up to Level 5, lowly I know but it’s given me access to new weapons which will hopefully start to give me an edge in the battles. My internet connection is just ADSL 2+ but I’ve experienced zero lag and drop outs whatsoever. This is something to be commended as with the nonstop, fast paced style of the game, you may expect some lag but so far, so good. You have your choice of ranked matches or regular ones and the maps you play on rotate once every four hours which is a nice touch.
Here’s a breakdown of the rules that are set out for each battle type:
- Splat Zones is a King of the Hill style of gameplay where you need to keep a certain part of your territory occupied with your team’s colour as the enemy attempts to colour it with their colour ink. You have a counter which you need to get down to zero before time runs out.
- Turf Wars which is what the game defaults to is where you invade the enemies land all the while spraying your team’s ink as you go in three minutes.
- Rainmaker is your Capture The Flag game where you venture into enemy territory, steal their flag and race it back towards your base.
- Tower Control is similar to Rainmaker expect you’re transporting a tower and when the time runs out, you get points for how close you got to your base even if you weren’t successful in bringing it all the way home.
It’s safe to say that this is one game that a lot of Switch owners have been waiting for and it’s easy to call it a system seller as well. With it’s blend of cool characters, loads of customisation options, awesome catchy soundtrack and massive blend of fun, it’s one game that will keep players busy for hours. I didn’t get a chance to play it with the newly launch Nintendo Switch phone app which is used for voice communication but I imaging it’ll come in handy for strategising and communicating orders to team mates. It’s one game where you really need to come together as a team or else it’s difficult to come up a winner.
To the best of my knowledge, the game doesn’t have offline bot play so if you wanted to play it on the go on public transport, you can’t do that. I could be wrong but I haven’t been able to find a mode like this only the single player campaign mode. I missed the first Splatoon on the Wii U which was always a regret but this release more than makes up for it and like a lot of people I just can’t stop playing! It’s inktacular, full of ink loads of fun and needless to say, it’s inkcredible!
*Thanks to Nintendo for the review copy*
Final score: 9.5/10
The Nintendo Switch has been out and selling for a few months now but even in its native Japan, people are still clamouring to buy one with thousands of people queueing for only a few hundred available in stores. Don’t believe me? Check out these pics from Tokyo and Osaka where not hundreds but thousands braved the Japanese Summer (read: hot and humid) for 250 units on sale at Akihabara’s Yodobashi Akiba department store.
And the thing is, these queues aren’t even for the Switch itself but like a lot of things in Japan, it’s for a lottery ticket to then have a chance at actually buying one!
— Eric_nishi (@bnr32nismo32) July 16, 2017
— めんたいこ (@mikesplatoon) July 16, 2017
— 島崎アキラ@黒猫 (@dango_3k) July 16, 2017
— スプラトゥーン攻略 – ナワバリ速報 (@nawabarisokuhou) July 17, 2017
— バンジョー&ベレス (@pazudorazera492) July 16, 2017
— たけ丸@真・秋葉原おすすめランチ (@akibalunch) July 16, 2017
And if Tokyo wasn’t bad enough then check out the similarly massive queues in Osaka where once again there were thousands for only 200 consoles!
ヨドバシ梅田のスイッチ200台にコレ 無理だぞw pic.twitter.com/ybjaOC8wlL
— ONOMA (@onoma_jp) July 15, 2017
Hopefully no one passes out while bearing the very hot Japan sun!
I was lucky enough to attend the media Nintendo Switch press event before the console was launched and had an absolute blast and great time. There were so many games to play from Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Breath Of The Wild, Splatoon 2 and many more gems. However there was one game that for me really stood out among some of these AAA titles and that game was ARMS, a unique fighting game developed by Nintendo that brought something new to the fighting genre. Now that I’ve spent time with a final copy of the game, I can safely say that it’s a ton of fun!
The game itself has a few different modes from Grand Prix, Versus, Party Match and Ranked Match. There’s also an option to duke it against people in your Friends list or you can also fight against nearby players as well. You start with 10 combatants who all vary with vastly different appearances and fighting “gloves”. More on that in a minute. There’s a nice spread of male, female, robot and even a mech combatant. You can choose to hold a joy con in each hand and simulate boxing which is actually really intuitive and loads of fun and no, you don’t need to know how to fight to enjoy it this way. You can also play in portable mode and just have the joy cons attached to the Switch in normal fashion.
At the start of each fight, you can choose which “glove” or weapon each hand will hold. All the fighters have different weapons to choose from for the most part but some are shared between them and they all have different abilities from temporarily freezing your opponent to even shooting rockets at them. The fighters are beautifully drawn and the detail in their design is absolutely gorgeous with brightly coloured clothes, hair and arms. See, this is where it all starts to come together. The battles take place in stunning locales with detailed backdrops which all vary from circular, rectangle and square. The fighters arms are basically curly elastic bands which spring out and with some leaning on the L stick even bend towards your opponent giving the game an extra element of strategy.
What I love about it is that it doesn’t play play out like similar 3D fighting games and by having these crazy arms that can do these bendy tricks, ARMS makes you really think how you’re going to handle each opponent. Do you just charge it with a 1, 2 combo, do you circle around the arena throwing a combination of straight punches and twisting jabs? It’s all up to you and there are endless combinations on offer when you take into account the different behaviour of each fighter and the different weapons they can take into each fight.
Fighting games can get a bit samey as you progress through and take on fighter after fighter after fighter…but ARMS has that magical “just one more” feeling which you can’t put down. Throw in some awesome sound effects, fantastic music and a a special move that each fighter has and this is one well rounded game that will bring hours of fun. I wasn’t able to test the multiplayer aspect but that will just open up more to the game and will definitely foster a competitive community online. I’d be surprised if there weren’t contests built around this game in the future, it’s that engrossing a title that’ll keep you and your friends going for many battles to come.
Final score: 9/10
In case you missed it, there was a recent Nintendo Direct which looked at all things 3DS and Switch that are in development or coming out in the near future and let me tell you, there’s so much to be excited about!! For the 3DS, there was Pikmin, Monster Hunter Stories, new Yokai Watch, Miitopia, Fire Emblem Echoes and update on some eagerly awaited Amiibo releases. The Switch had some great announcements too with ARMS, Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Ultra Street Fighter II, Minecraft, Puyo Puyo Tetris and loads more action headed our way.
Here’s the Nintendo Direct broadcast below: