Tag: Nintendo Switch

New Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon Information: Surfing Alola

On September 13 there was a Nintendo Direct. A rather long one, standing strong at 45 minutes worth of information regarding games of all shapes and sizes. Because of life being life I didn’t have the chance to talk about my thoughts regarding the Direct, but there was plenty of great stuff there. The new Kirby game looks really, really fun, as do the Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga remake, Fire Emblem Warriors and Mario Odyssey. Plus there’s plenty of updates coming for games like Splatoon 2, ARMS and Breath of the Wild on top of some interesting ports for games like DOOM, Sonic Forces and a remake of L.A. Noire.

One thing the Direct also addressed was Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon, and there were some interesting information dropped that I sort of regret not delving into. Necrozma’s role in the games was elaborated on a bit more, there was a new Z-Move for Lycanroc shown off that varies depending on which Lycanroc you have and they even told us that new Ultra Beasts will join the line-up of available Pokémon.

Because I dropped the ball and missed talking about that update before I won’t slog down this post with too much discussion about it, but if you want to see the trailer that came with this new information you can hop over to this video.

After all, now isn’t the time to be slogged down in old-new information, we have some new-new information to discuss! I mostly wanted to include that introduction as a filler for the gap in my informative timeline, as today I’m looking to talk about the brand new informational trailer that was released for the world to enjoy.

As usual, I’ll be holding my long-winded discussion below this read more line in case anyone’s looking to not get spoiled on Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon information. That may be counter-intuitive since I just spoiled the entirety of the last trailer right above this, but… That was a few weeks ago. I guess.

Just bear with me.

Continue reading “New Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon Information: Surfing Alola”

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Happy half a year, Heroes!

Happy half a year, Heroes!

You may think I’m strange for celebrating the six-month anniversary of a mobile game, but I can assure you that I haven’t been obsessivly counting down the days since release. I’m just jumping on the celebration boat Intelligent Systems has set afloat!

After all, if Duel Links and Fire Emblem Heroes have taught me anything, it’s that mobile games apparently really enjoy celebrating half a year’s worth of existing.

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It’s strange to think that this game is already half a year old. To be completely honest, I’m not sure whether or not that seems like a long time ago or not long ago at all. The last semester of school I endured was such a slog for a variety of reasons that I feel like things changed completely between the beginning of Spring 2017 and now.

Yet, I can still distinctly remember the day when Fire Emblem Heroes dropped as if it were yesterday. I remember riding down one of the elevators in the College Park building on campus with (I believe) my friend Megan there next to me, trying out a game that had just been announced not long prior, one that I was very excited for in the midst of still playing Pokémon Moon. The classic music and game art was so refreshing for a mobile game that I instantly fell in love.

Then I remember sitting in front of a classroom in the basement of the Education building waiting for my honors history class with Professor Hall to begin while writing an awfully long-winded and ridiculously in-depth review of a mobile game to be published in the school paper. One which eventually my buddy Kaleb had to help me cut the hell down because seriously who wants to read that much about a dumb mobile game except me?

Hell, even in this small niche I’m trying to carve out for myself I’m not totally convinced anyone wants to read my long-winded speeches about this game. I certainly never expected Fire Emblem Heroes to blossom into being the biggest thing I talk about into this void I call my blog after that initial review I wrote, but here we are. I suppose the game is just a gift that keeps on giving.

Hopefully the new Arts & Entertainment editor for the Daily Titan will be as accepting of stupidly intimate game reviews as Kaleb was…

That’s probably more than enough waxing poetic for one day. I was the one who made a joke about celebrating a six-month anniversary at the beginning of this post, after all. Now here I am talking endlessly about fond memories for a game only six months old.

Though I suppose I can appreciate the overall sentiment of celebrating this. In a time where we’re constantly barraged by stimuli of all kinds and live through an interconnected virtual web that has the memory of a fruit fly, any new venture that manages to last six months without really losing a hefty degree of zeal from its fan base certainly seems like something to celebrate.

ESPECIALLY in the field of free-to-play mobile games. I’m sure most of those things die off fast from frustrating their core player base alone.

Plus, it’s not like I can complain about a celebration. The game is planning to celebrate their anniversary with free goods, after all!

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Give me all of your orbs, Feh…

The most important thing going on for the game’s six-month anniversary, I’d argue, is the big orb dump. The game will be providing two log-in bonus events that provide players 20 orbs if they log in ten times over two week periods. One starts today and goes until the 21st, while the other starts the 22nd and will go until September 10th.

40 orbs? Not a bad deal, Nintendo. I can respect that.

As I’ve expressed plenty of times in the past, one of my biggest idiosyncrasies when it comes to Fire Emblem Heroes is a strange peace of mind and security that comes with hoarding a large quantity of orbs just in case a certain hero arrives that I desperately need in my (probably somewhat pathetic realistically speaking) virtual life.

My last hoarding session was cut off somewhat pre-maturely by the arrival of the second summer heroes banner, but since I managed to summon summer Elise:

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Perhaps the Loli bait is strong with this one, but she’s grown on me. Something in the way her face is drawn is just way too cute.

I’ve been pretty good about saving up again. Sorry Xander, as much as I love your Lilith floatation device, I gotta start saving up again. Plus most of the tier lists say Elise is better anyway. So there.

Speaking of summer heroes, this six-month anniversary celebration began the day after our last Voting Gauntlet ended. I don’t have a lot to say about it, but I felt it was worth bringing up, so this seemed like a good transition.

Overall I did pretty poorly.

 

I lost the first two rounds when backing my girl Elise against Corrin before joining my friends to back Robin against Corrin, but she steamrolled me both times. Then I supported Corrin in the final round and…

Naturally we destroyed Gaius, who is ironically my favorite guy from the first summer summoning banner. Funny how that works.

These Voting Gauntlets don’t tend to mean much outside of getting some extra feathers, however, so really that’s about all I have to say on the matter. Except for the fact that they added some extra orb rewards on each cycle of the rounds, which was a much appreciated addition.

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Keep that up I’d say. It definitely encouraged me to participate in the event more often.

Getting back into the meat and potatoes of this post, the six-month anniversary celebration isn’t just a couple of orb showers.

Though they haven’t arrived yet, part of the celebration will include two limited edition special map challenges and two presumably prize-heavy quest lines toward the end of August. Given the nature of those events I don’t believe I’ll be talking about them on here that much, but just know they’ll more than likely include lots of orbs, lots of colored level-up stones and some new Sacred Seals.

Also later this month, starting on Thursday actually, there’s going to be some events meant to help Fire Emblem Heroes newcomers… Though the events will also be beneficial to veterans like myself, if not more beneficial. A second “Hero Fest” banner will be coming for a week, allowing players to get the chance at popular heroes with an increased summoning chance. Plus, there will be a secondary log-in bonus to coincide with the starter support event that I believe will overlap with the anniversary bonus and give us an additional 20 orbs.

That’s at least 60 orbs, not including whatever we’re going to get from those special maps and quests I mentioned before.

I didn’t personally take advantage of the first Hero Fest when it rolled around since it happened during my very first orb collection binge (the one that got me to 200+ orbs I might add), though I get the feeling this one might sway me more easily if the heroes are desirable enough.

The reason this Hero Fest might sway me is also thanks to the final part of the anniversary celebration: Core summoning changes. Two of them to be exact.

First, a free first summon has been implemented.

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Pretty much what you read is what you get with this one. Every time a new banner is released, the first five orb cost to summon one hero is waved. One hero free of charge.

While it isn’t much, the teaser given in regards to this change stands pretty true. Everyone can try each banner at least once, and there’s no harm in that when you have the possibility of drawing one of the rare focus heroes in that first summon.

Because that’s what we all say before sinking money into the pit hoping to get that hero we’ve already invested time and effort into finding.

Anyway…

Second, the rates of summoning four star and three star heroes have been switched. Now, starting with every summoning banner released on August 7th and beyond, it will actually be more common to summon four star heroes rather than three star heroes.

 

This change, despite not applying to the ‘Summer focus’ and ‘Life and Death focus’ banners we already had before today, is actually really beneficial. If nothing else it makes it a lot easier to get your hands on higher leveled units that take less investment to train up if desirable, and there are a lot of abilities you can inherit that come from four star allies.

Since it ties in with a lot of what I talked about already, I figured it would also be worth brining up the Bound Hero Battle that began today featuring Cecilia and Lilina from Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade.

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This special map collection offers a challenging map layout with three difficulty levels for summoners to try their hands at. The catch with each difficulty level is that you can’t lose a single unit. Once one of your four heroes dies, you automatically lose.

It’s a bit of a brutal task for sure, but those who have the skills to take it on can net themselves an extra nine orbs to put in the bank. Don’t think I’ll be able to beat the Infernal level since it really does live up to it’s name, but I’ve already beaten Hard and have a good strategy going for Lunatic, so we’ll have to see.

The special map challenge also comes with a brand new summoning focus:

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With the focus on Roy, Cecilia and Lilina, this banner overall isn’t really for me. I already have all three heroes in my collection, so the increased chance at nabbing them really isn’t all that appealing. I still figured it would be worth mentioning, however, as this banner is the first to implement both the free first summon and the swapped summoning chances that I mentioned earlier.

I used my free summon and got a four star Stahl. He’s pretty useless… But the fact that I got a four star with my free summon kind of proves that something in the new system is working, right? I like to think so, anyway.

All of these new things in the game also coincide with the version 1.6 update, an update that includes a variety of changes also worth talking about… But changes that I’m not sure I have the energy for tonight.

Seriously, it’s right around 2 a.m. and this post has taken me much longer to write than I anticipated. While rambling ceaselessly in the early hours of the morning has served me well in the past, I’m afraid I’m just a little too tired to keep going. Probably in part due to feeling sick over the last couple of days, something which honestly should have driven me to bed sooner anyway.

Ah well, ’tis the life of a Masochist I suppose.

Because I have some time with my friends later today (during normal daytime hours) and orientation for the Daily Titan throughout the week, I think I’ll skip out on the version 1.6 talk tonight. If anything I’ll include that as a post-lengthener when I talk about the Hero Fest on Thursday, though it could come earlier if I feel the writing mood come on.

Either way stay tuned, it’ll be here.

Until then, let me know how you feel about the six-month anniversary celebration for Fire Emblem Heroes in the comments below! Are you as excited for all the cool give-a-ways as I am? Or are you more stuck in the kind of temporal confusion and awe in regards to time passing that I was toward the beginning of this post?



Before I sign off and hit the hay, I also thought this would be worth mentioning.

The other day I tried something strange by posting a tweet from my Nintendo Switch. To test the feature out I tweeted about the results of Splatoon 2’s first Splatfest.

A disappointing outcome… But that’s beside the point.

While posting to social media from my game console was an undoubtedly strange experience… It wasn’t necessarily one I was all that opposed to. Particularly if it’s the only real way to get the pictures I take on that device off of the device so I can show cool things off to the world.

Thus, although it probably won’t be an earth shattering change, I may just wind up posting to twitter independently more often with Switch-based content. That in itself could lead to more individual social media posts in general… Though for now I doubt it since I still like to tell myself I’m not a huge fan of using social media.

Still felt like it would be worth mentioning here as sort of a shameless self promotion. After all, if you’ve made it this far into the post you clearly enjoy my company to an extent, so it might be worth checking out my Twitter for some sort of an evolution in the future.

Even if it’s mostly a conduit for getting these blog posts you see already in front of more eyes as it currently stands.

My thoughts on the June 6, 2017 Pokémon Direct

My thoughts on the June 6, 2017 Pokémon Direct

It’s that time once again, ladies and gentlemen. With a brand new Pokémon Direct this morning comes a brand new reason to get hyped up for the holiday season!

While the Direct itself is only about 8 minutes long, with half of that time filled up by a rather long trailer, there are still three main announcements to pull out: Pokkén Tournament DX for the Switch, Pokémon Gold and Silver coming out on the 3DS virtual console and (most importantly to me) Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon being announced for the 3DS, coming out later this year.

Oh yeah, that’s right. A new(ish) Pokémon game to look forward to again. What a time to be alive.

But I’ll get to that last, as it’ll likely be the longest thing I talk about. For now, let’s go in order and start off with Pokkén.

Pokkén Tournament DX

I’ll get this out of the way first – I have not personally had the chance to play the original Pokkén Tournament. Despite certainly being interested in the game, for some reason circumstances have led to it flying completely under my radar. I never bought the game and neither did any of my close friends, so we never got to experience it together either.

That being said, I won’t be able to judge whether or not I think the game will mesh well with the Nintendo Switch. However, I can say that based on my experiences playing Breath of the Wild and seeing the variety of play style options showcased on the trailer shown during the direct that it seems like the fighting game will work well on the home/mobile hybrid console.

Especially considering you can split the joy cons up to use as controllers for two people, making it pretty accessible to play with friends. That’s a nice looking addition.

Due to my lack of experience with the game, that’s all I can really say about it at the moment. I’m looking forward to hopefully making use of this second chance to try it out, and the additional fighters being added into the console version certainly help with encouragement. I’d main Decidueye all day, every day for… Well obvious reasons for anyone who has followed my blog for any stretch of time.

Alongside Decidueye, the addition of Darkrai, Scizor, Empoleon and Croagunk brings the playable roster up to 21 Pokémon, with a pretty diverse range considering all the options that are available.

The game is coming out on September 22, 2017, so look out for that. I know I will be.

Pokémon Gold and Silver

Okay to be honest, there isn’t a hell of a lot to say here – not from me personally, but just from what was announced in general. Pokémon Gold and Silver will be available on the 3DS virtual console on September 22, 2017, the same day as the new Pokkén Tournament is being released. According to Sun and Moon’s Producer Junichi Masuda in the Direct, the games will look as they did on the Gameboy Color and be compatible with Pokémon Bank, so everyone will get to take their Red Gyarados from the Lake of Rage with them into the Alola region. Pretty sweet.

While this announcement is cool, I’ll admit it seems a little bit underwhelming. Not only does it simply follow the announcement of Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, but Gold and Silver also don’t tend to carry the same general nostalgic weight as Red, Blue and Yellow do (despite being infinitely better games in my opinion), so there doesn’t seem to be as much fanfare for them.

However, Pokémon Crystal was the first Pokémon game I ever played, so I’m honestly excited to take up any opportunity to jump back into the Johto region. In other words… Count me in for some virtual console action.

Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon

Now here’s the real bread and butter of this little 8-minute Direct, the part where it seems Game Freak and Nintendo were intent on burying the lede of their story only to tease us with something on the horizon. When I say burying the lede, I mean they dropped the fact that these games exist and are coming soon in the last few seconds of the more than three minute trailer for Pokkén Tournament DX. Nice going guys, way to drop a bomb out of nowhere.

Before I get into talking about the games specifically, check out these logos:

Images courtesy of Serebii.net

These are some sleek-looking logos, if I do say so myself. Honestly, they remind me a lot of the logos for Black 2 and White 2:

Images courtesy of Serebii.net

Which, I might add, is a theme I’ll be returning to in a minute, so hang onto that thought.

Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon appear to be rehashes of Pokémon Sun and Moon with additional content. Specifically, we get to see a range of new cutscenes and are promised new Pokémon will appear in the Alola region than we saw during our last romp there. The only ones we get to see, however, are versions of Lunala and Solgaleo covered with black, crystalized parts similar in appearance to the Ultra Beast Necrozma.

From here on out, I will be referring to them as Necro-Mega Noivern and Necro-Mega Pyroar.

Okay probably not, those names are starting to get ridiculously long, but callback jokes are always appreciated in my own head at least.

Necro-Lunala and Necro-Solgaleo aren’t necessarily the most physically appealing special legendaries in my opinion, if I’m being completely honest about it. Solgaleo’s gear looks a bit cooler, especially with what appear to be metallic arms on his back, but Lunala’s face looks way more intense with the red-eyes-shining-through-black-crystal effect. I’ll probably stick with Moon, as Lunala is still my personal favorite of the two.

However, this is where the comparisons begin. The whole “main series legendaries fused with a third, less important legendary in a pair of sequels” thing has been done before. In fact, it was done in an eerily similar way for Black 2 and White 2, where Kyurem was fused with either Reshiram or Zekrom to form White and Black Kyurem. On top of that, Black 2 and White 2 have thus far been the only Pokémon game to come out with sequels for both versions of the game rather than just having a third game in a trilogy, whites exactly what Sun and Moon are now doing.

Granted, Pokémon X and Y did not even get a sequel version, so maybe it’s been Game Freaks plan to release two version sequels for every game starting in Generation 5… But who knows, really.

While the idea of dual sequels does not worry me necessarily, as Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 are arguably some of the most high up games in terms of my favorite Pokémon titles, what does worry me a little is the idea that Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon seem to be rehashes, like I said, rather than full on sequels. The titles suggest just that: Black 2 and White 2 followed up on Black and White, while Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are just “ultra” versions of their first counterparts.

Also if that is the case, I do feel like better titles could have been used than just the same things with “ultra” added on. I’m an advocate for Kirby Super Star Ultra as much as he next guy, but for a Pokémon title I think it could’ve been cool to do more space-specific terminology to add onto Sun and Moon. That’s more of a personal qualm, however.

Naming conventions aside, the reason why this idea worries me is because the idea behind Black 2 and White 2 being set three years after Black and White was what really made those games special and unique, in my opinion. While they went through the same general region, new Pokémon, set pieces and roadblocks were implemented to show the passage of time had taken effect. On top of that, characters in the game had special moments and scenes that showed their own development over the years since the first games took place, which helped to rocket most of them past most other non-playable characters in the Pokémon World as far as personality and intrigue goes.

Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon don’t seem like they’re necessarily going to get the same kind of treatment. Junichi Masuda says right at the beginning of his explanation for the games that the titles will feature an “alternative story taking place in the same world.” This alternative story does appear to have potentially new protagonists (based on their clothes at least, since facial features appear to be the same), new graphical additions (such as the Wingull flying overhead when the protagonists run past their houses), new locations (like the Pikachu-based area the trailer shows) and new cutscenes featuring a variety of Alolan Pokémon (including my favorite, Mimikyu).

However, it is not fully addressed just how far these changes go. Are they mostly aesthetic differences with new cutscenes on top of the same basic game?

The main thing that tells me that this won’t be the case is Necro-Lunala and Necro-Solgaleo. Most of the events throughout Sun and Moon are driven a least partially by Lusamine’s ultimate plan. Team Skull works under her orders, the Aether Foundation works under her orders and the Ultra Beasts become the true area of focus as the story progresses.

Yet, this focus on Ultra Beasts leads to the main box art legendaries Lunala and Solgaleo seeming to almost take a backseat as far as importance to the plot. Yes, they’re referenced throughout the game and receive a good amount of lore, but this lore mostly comes through things like legends in the Malie City library. At the end of the day, you use these Legendary Pokémon primarily as a means of transportation to stop Lusamine’s plan, rather than them being the embodiment of her plan like most other legendaries have been in the past.

Because Necrozma was not even acknowledged during the main plot in Sun and Moon (it only appeared post-Looker missions in the post-game), the fact that it appears to have a more significant place in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon’s storylines does give me a lot of hope. It suggest that these games, rather than just being a simple rehash of Sun and Moon, will actually be something much bigger. The additions they talk about look to me like Sun and Moon were originally planned to be much bigger games, but development time led to there being a bunch of content to leave out. Either that or perhaps these sequels were in the initial planning stages, and Game Freak has secretly been holding back on us this whole time.

Either way, the long ramblings on such a short reveal trailer should be more than enough evidence that I’m hyped and ready to talk more about the games as we get closer to their release for the 3DS on November 17, 2017.

Just seeing the extra cutscenes with Pokémon like Lycanroc, Mimikyu and Togedemaru were more than enough to get me invested, however. Just saying.

What did you think of the Pokémon Direct? Are you excited for the upcoming titles? And how do you feel about Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon? Do you think the games will be too similar to their predecessors? Or will they tread enough new ground to be exciting additions to the Pokémon anthology? Let me know you thoughts in the comments below!

My thoughts on the 2017 Fire Emblem Direct

My thoughts on the 2017 Fire Emblem Direct

While I’m a day late and a dollar short on this one, there was a Fire Emblem Nintendo Direct held yesterday that I missed because I was hosting some of my friends for a small get together.  However, given that I’ve talked a lot about how much I love Fire Emblem in the past, I figure I should still go back and talk about what the Direct had to offer, at least briefly, now that I’ve had the chance to sit down and watch it.

If you haven’t seen the Direct yet either and want to watch it alongside me, you can check out the full video here.  It’s only about 20 minutes long and showcases four games, so I promise it won’t take too much time out of your life.

Unless you decide to write long-winded posts about it like I do.  Because then it’s going to take up a lot more of your time. That, I can assure you.


Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia

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Image courtesy of gamingrespawn.com

The Direct starts off right away with what I can only call the cinematic trailer for Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia.  The game, as is then elaborated on after, is a remake of Fire Emblem Gaiden, which was a Japan-exclusive title from the early 1990s.

A lot about the art style in regards to character portraits and things like the overworked map in the gameplay footage that was shown reminds me a lot of some of the earlier GameBoy Advanced Fire Emblem titles like The Sacred Stones (which, fun fact, is the first FE game I’ve ever played thanks to the ambassador program for the 3DS, and thus the one that got me into the series).  However, the in-battle style looks like it’s going to have the same impressive 3D polish that Fire Emblem Awakening had and that Fire Emblem Fates more or less perfected.

There are also apparently some unique elements to Gaiden that have been recreated for Echoes, such as free roaming fights and dungeon crawling.  Both of which sound like amazing inclusions that I honestly can’t wait to see executed for myself.

The game has been given a set release date of May 19, 2017 for the 3DS, and boy am I now excited for it.  To be honest, the anticipation that’s building after watching just this first part of the Direct really does make me want to go back and play more Fire Emblem.  In my early-games-of-the-series catalogue, I’ve so far only played The Sacred Stones and Shadow Dragon, a remake of the original first Fire Emblem game.  I’ll look forward to adding Gaiden to that list with this remake.

Oh, and there are Amiibo, and considering I have an on-again off-again problem with collecting those dumb amazing little figurines, I just might see my collection grow again.


Fire Emblem for the Nintendo Switch

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Image courtesy of gameaxis.com

Next up was the announcement of a brand new Fire Emblem title being produced for the Switch, set to come out at some point in 2018.  As the narrator announced, making my job here that much easier, the new game (with a currently working title) is the first in the series to return to consoles since the games featuring Ike: Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn.  The decision to do this is interesting, and honestly makes a lot of sense.

Fire Emblem is a game that seems to do best when it’s a mobile experience, when you can pick up your fight wherever you want while waiting for whatever it is you might be waiting for.  The Switch gives the game a chance to have the best possible graphics Nintendo has produced thus far while also keeping the idea of mobile gaming alive, and to be completely honest it’s a clear showcase of one of the reasons I believe the Switch is going to do quite well over it’s lifetime.

That was all we got on the new game in the series unfortunately, but considering we’re still at least a year out it’s understandable.  Just the fact that a new one has already been confirmed so soon after Fates graced the gaming market is nice really, as it means the series is continuing to go strong.  As I’ve said before, we can always use more Fire Emblem.


Fire Emblem Warriors

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Image courtesy of technobuffalo.com

Speaking of more Fire Emblem, Fire Emblem Warriors was the next subject of the Direct.  There was a small teaser for the game in the Nintendo Switch presentation earlier this month, but this time we got to see a trailer with some gameplay.

The opening did the same cool orbs-with-swords that led into the Fire Emblem crest.  This time, after the mysterious figure – revealed to be Chrom, the royal Prince/Exalt of Ylisse from Awakening – takes the Falchion, he proceeds to just demolish mobs of soldiers all at once in a few fell swipes of the blade.

But that was about it, we then got the same vague Fall 2017 release date.

However, they did reveal that the game is actually going to be dropped on the 3DS concurrently with the Switch version of the game. That alone makes this game infinitely better in my eyes.  Part of the reason I didn’t get Hyrule Warriors was because I didn’t have a Wii U when it was released, and by the time the 3DS port came out I was too busy doing other things to devote my time to the game.

I’m very excited to try this game, honestly.  I’ve never played a Warriors game before, and this seems like it could be a perfect entry point for me.  I just hope that the developers go back and pull some more older characters that I might know for the roster of playable heroes rather than mostly sticking in the modern games like Awakening and Fates.  I love those games, don’t get me wrong, but I’d also love to do something like play Neimi from The Sacred Stones, probably my favorite archer girl ever.

Considering the treatment that was given for the character roster in Hyrule Warriors, I’m sure that kind of possibility isn’t too farfetched.


Fire Emblem Heroes

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Image courtesy of slashgear.com

Fire Emblem Heroes, the first mobile smartphone game in the series, had it’s opening shown during this Direct as well.  The cinematic, as usual, was beautiful, and featured a bunch of new characters we haven’t yet seen before apparently summoning heroes from other Fire Emblem titles (though all it showed was Awakening and Fates) to fight one another.

Not a bad way to start a reveal, I’d say.

Rather than just making a mobile game for the sake of a mobile game, however, Fire Emblem Heroes touts its own brand new story, which makes the game that much more enticing.  It might just be a rough skeleton to encase the idea of making old characters fight in a mobile format, but just the fact that the extra effort was put in makes me more happy to look forward to the title’s release in .

Though the cinematic opening only showed Awakening and Fates-based heroes, there was also a screen depicting heroes from all across Fire Emblem’s history, so even if Warriors doesn’t have a hugely nostalgic cast, this game certainly will.  Though the game itself doesn’t look incredibly complex, the art style is rather adorable overall between the pixel art-based world and the occasionally appearing fully-rendered character art depicting their attacks.  I can see myself getting pulled into it at least.

On top of that, the narrator promises the gameplay will be as “intense” as expected in a Fire Emblem game, which either bodes well … Or not so well depending on how it’s handled.  Not sure having a mobile phone game with stages it takes me twenty years to beat because of BS enemy placement or terrain issues would be all that fun, no matter what the subject matter may be.  But hey, at least the weapon triangle still exists.

Then of course comes the real mobile game edge to Fire Emblem Heroes: Microtransactions.  I have a mixed history with this style of setting up a game.  On the one hand, if handled well, I quite enjoy a system using Microtransactions.  If I can manage through the game reasonably without being absolutely required to use them, that’s A-OK by me.  Even better would be if I love the game so much that I feel I should pay the developers something for their work, even if the game initially comes free.  However, if the Microtransactions are used as a significant roadblock, forcing the game to elongate itself because of how long you have to wait between getting the in-game currency if you don’t pay for it… I’ll likely get warded off quickly.

Seriously Fire Emblem Heroes, I hope you take a page from Pokémon Shuffle‘s book.  If you ask me, that game has a pretty perfect system in place for how they’re used.  The fact that the summoning stones used as in-game currency simply summon characters for you to use I doubt the same system would be possible… But it’s the idea that counts.  If anything the game will probably be more like Marvel’s Contest of Champions with a battle style that I believe I’ll enjoy far better, so I get the impression it will have some staying power.

I don’t know, I can see the problems potentially there, but because the heroes you receive don’t permanently die and force you to wait to summon more, I don’t think it’ll be a huge problem.  Waiting a period to revive is far more manageable if you ask me.

Especially since there’s grinding.  After playing through Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest, I thank Naga every time there’s a chance for grinding in a Fire Emblem game.

The end slate for this game says that Heroes will drop on February 2nd for Google Play, and gives a vague ‘soon’ for iPhone and iPad.  Just as long as ‘soon’ is sooner rather than later I’ll be happy.  It’ll be nice to have  some Fire Emblem to tide me over before Echoes.

Plus, if I enjoy it the way I have and continue to enjoy Super Mario Run, then I’ll happily continue to finance Nintendo’s trek into the Mobile gaming world.


That was all we got in the Fire Emblem Direct, but honestly I can’t complain.  Having a more compact game-focused Direct felt much better than the big Nintendo Switch Direct, which had to spread it’s time among a billion different games.  Also, I have to say, the narrator for this Direct had a wonderful voice.  I feel like I could listen to him tell me about new games forever…  Er, anyway.  Everything on the horizon for Fire Emblem looks amazing, and I’m hyped to be a part of all of it.

Hell, I already am a part of it.  I just went and took part in the Fire Emblem Heroes’ “Choose your Legends” event, where you can pick any character from any game in the series to vote on as a character you want to show up in the game.

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Naturally I chose Neimi, because I seriously have so many fond memories of mowing down enemies with her mighty bow.  Though looking through the list really brought up a ton of fond memories for various characters… You would’ve been my second choice, Amelia.

If there’s any game on this list you’re particularly excited for, let me know in the comments below!  Writing a post like this feels like building up to Pokémon Sun and Moon all over again, and it’s good to get back into that mindset if you ask me.

With college starting up again next week, having a distraction to help keep myself sane during long nights of work is never a bad thing.

My thoughts on the 2017 Nintendo Switch Presentation

My thoughts on the 2017 Nintendo Switch Presentation

Like many other geeks around the world last night, I spent an hour or so on Twitch watching Nintendo’s Presentation on their upcoming new console, the Nintendo Switch.  Would’ve written up something about it last night, but unfortunately I wasn’t feeling 100 percent, and lethargy typically isn’t great when it comes to being productive.  I haven’t talked too much about the Switch up until now mainly because I haven’t admittedly been extremely excited about it.  Sure Breath of the Wild has always been high on my interest radar, but that was about all it had going for it for a while in my view.

There were some interesting things revealed about the Switch last night.  The fact that the system won’t be region locked like others have been in the past, for example.  The Joy-Con controllers also seem interesting, boasting some more complex and possibly immersive capabilities from what I can tell.  Plus, they come in multiple colors, even if I prefer the plain grey to the pink and blue combo (would’ve been much better if they came separately if you ask me).  I also like how there are so many ways to play on the Switch.  Not only can you play on the TV screen, you can use the controller as a screen much like the Wii U, and because that’s mobile you can take your system pretty much anywhere you go.  It’s an awesome sounding mix of things that I’m sure will go pretty well.  Plus, on top of all that, it seemed like lots of third party companies were interested in creating games for the Switch, which bodes well for a long life cycle.

That being said, there are also a few issues I had just out of the information we learned.  The fact that you have to pay for internet connectivity for some games kind of blows, even if it’s the same kind of model that’s used for things like Xbox Live.  There also aren’t a huge amount of launch titles, meaning the Switch might not even necessarily be worth it until the holiday season of 2017… Though the fact that that list includes the new Zelda game practically balances that point out if you ask me.  I’m also not a fan of the fact that it isn’t backward compatible, which means I wouldn’t even necessarily want to trade in my Wii U for the potential to buy it earlier.

The presentation as a whole also wasn’t great.  To put it bluntly, when one of the things people remember most from your even was a translator that seemed to be half asleep as he talked… Well, you probably could have done better overall.

However, with all of that out of the way… The game trailers were obviously the most important part of the night.  For me at least.  I don’t know if I’ll be getting the console when it launches on March 3 (Internationally – a nice touch), but there are plenty of titles I’m excited to see when they come out.

The full presentation is up on Nintendo’s YouTube account, as are a variety of the major trailers that were shown over the course of the night.  That playlist can be seen here for anyone interested, since it will probably be good to at least see the game trailers before I go into talking about them.


Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Going in order from the bottom of the uploaded trailer list to the top, our first new game coming down the pipeline is Xenoblade Chronicles 2.

I should preface this segment of the looking-at-trailers part of my post by saying that I’ve never played Xenoblade Chronicles, and I haven’t really seen a lot of the game being played as a matter of fact.  It’s not so much a lack of interest, since the inclusion of Shulk and all the incredible music from the game into Smash 4 got me very interested in trying the game out.  It’s been more a concern of time if anything, as most of my game playing hasn’t left me the chance to pick up Xenoblade, even if there’s a version for the 3DS.

So, I may not have a lot of background with the series, but I still enjoyed watching the trailer quite a bit.  The art style and graphics are gorgeous and honestly remind me of Monster Hunter quite a bit.  Of course, those parallels only got more concrete as massive beasts as big as mountains showed themselves wandering the world, with a shot at the end of the trailer over the game’s title drop boasting a particularly spine-tingling skeletal whale creature of sorts just breeching through the clouds.  Seriously, that’s super rad.

Will I be getting Xenoblade Chronicles 2?  Probably not.  Not unless I play the first game sometime soon and become a diehard fan.  However, I can pretty greatly appreciate how much care was put into the product by the looks of things.


Fire Emblem Warriors

Now this was a hell of a tease.  As a huge fan of Fire Emblem (like I gushed about a little in my New Year’s post), I got very excited when I saw the first bubble pop up on my screen with the legendary Falchion blade, used by Marth, Chrom and Lucina. Then, other blades used throughout Fire Emblem games of the past flashed by in a similar manner, with all the bubbles coming together as the orbs in the Fire Emblem crest used most notably (in my recollection at least) in Fire Emblem Awakening.

Then it was over.  Cue title: Fire Emblem Warriors.  End things off with what looked like who I assumed to be Marth picking up the Falchion.

Honestly, I was surprised to see any Fire Emblem at all during this presentation.  Fire Emblem Fates is still a relatively recent addition, and that came three years after Awakening before it, so I figured there would be a dry spell for longer than this.

As another spin-off in the Dynasty Warriors series, another series I unfortunately have very little experience with, I can’t say a lot about my excitement for this game as a whole.  I wanted to play Hyrule Warriors as well, but it just wound up being another game in which time was not on my side to play.  However, with the prospects of playing as characters like Lucina and hopefully more important heroes going all the way back to older titles, there’s some part of me that really feels like it’s a game I’ll try harder to pick up this time around.

All I know is I’m excited for it.  This will be the first game I’ll have the chance to play Fire Emblem on a home console system rather than a mobile system, so it should be interesting.

Bring on more Fire Emblem, Nintendo.  As long as we don’t have another Conquest situation in terms of obscene difficulty, I’m all for it.


Splatoon 2

My friends and I poured hours into the first Splatoon.  It’s probably one of my most played games on the Wii U, perhaps only surpassed by Super Mario Maker.  By the end of our time with it, I even reached S rank in multiplayer, the highest rank you can achieve.  As a brand new IP, it was undoubtedly a huge success, both in sales and in just how enjoyable it was as an experience.  It’s hard to go wrong with a well-polished Nintendo title in any genre, shooter included as Splatoon taught us all.

Now, Splatoon 2 is on the horizon.  While I might say it seems a little too early for a sequel to be rearing it’s head (especially considering it will be coming out during the summer of 2017), the trailer made it hard to argue with the game’s arrival.

Nothing looks particularly new about Splatoon 2 right off the bat.  It seems Nintendo is more aiming to put the highly acclaimed title onto their new system with more of an “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach.  However, while nothing particularly broken seems to have been fixed with Splatoon 2, a hell of a lot still seems improved in this title.

The game looks as pretty and the animations look as smooth as ever, if not more so than the previous title offered.  There seem to be more maps to play on, the older returning maps have improvements and the hub world looks like it’s going to give us more of the quirky punk-marine-life action we know and love.

Probably the biggest change in this sequel appears to be the weapons – which makes sense considering the series is first person shooter based.  Dual pistols and more specialty weapons like highly pressurized ink cannons, multiple ground-to-air missile launchers and an ink raincloud summoner have been added.  As have jetpacks much in the spirit of Super Mario Sunshine’s F.L.U.D.D. from what I can tell.

There also seems like there could be a larger focus on a story mode in Splatoon 2, as I can stipulate from some of the shots in the trailer showing menacing Octolings and a mysterious angsty figure (who is more than likely Marie, but still) standing turned away from the camera in front of a sunset, classic anime-trope style.  Can’t help but think of Gladion since Pokémon is still so fresh, but that’s another story.

My overall verdict?  A definite yes on Splatoon 2.  It won’t be out until the summer, like I said before, but as I said I’m also probably not going to be buying a Switch at the beginning of it’s life cycle either way.


Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

I don’t remember if this was in the presentation or not, actually… I may have blanked out when it showed up if it was, because I don’t remember seeing it until I looked through all the trailers individually.

That won’t stop me from talking about the game, however!  It’s hard to go wrong with a Mario Kart game honestly, it’s one of those top tier party games up there with Smash Bros.  I will say it seems odd that they’re just repackaging and selling an improved version of Mario Kart 8 rather than coming out with a  whole new title, but Mario Kart 8 was a real good game so I suppose I can’t complain.

The only real things of note in the trailer were some new items like Boos and the Splatoon-based content, new race tracks and music and such.  An odd choice I’d say, particularly since the trailer itself even played around with the idea of Mario having to take the game back from the Inklings, but I guess this is just Nintendo’s way of incorporating their popular title into the fun Mario party spin-off that never necessarily took itself too seriously in the first place.

That is just about all there is to say on the matter.  The game looks pretty, and with an April release date it looks like Switch owners on launch day won’t have to wait a huge amount of time before new games start to pop up.


ARMS

An unexpected entry in the list of reveals tonight, ARMS is the Rockem-Sockem Robots simulator I’m not sure anyone knew they wanted until now.  Granted, the name is a little weak, but that’s not the only indicator of a good game.

After Splatoon exploded with so much high regard in the gaming scene, it was inevitable that Nintendo would be trying more new IPs sooner or later.  So, what better time is there to try new things than with the inception of a new console?

I’m not totally sure how much there is to say about ARMS, honestly.  It looks like a fun game, even if it’s more than likely a sort of gimmicky showing-off-new-console-mechanics experience.  The trailer has some weird and admittedly sort of unsettling body morphing right off the bat as two strangers grow spring-loaded boxing gloves to beat each other up with, which does convey the idea of the new Joy-Con controller being more immersive pretty well.

The art style of the game looks pretty, conveying some strong Smash 4 and Pokken Tournament feelings, and the variety of playable characters makes for an interesting looking experience that I’m sure will be fun to play during parties.

Though I would say that it might be a missed opportunity for ARMS to not be a sequel of sorts in the Punch Out series, I would still say it looks like it should be worth the time when it comes out in the Spring.


1-2 Switch

In the same vein as ARMS from what I can tell, 1-2 Switch is a Switch launch title that’s clearly meant to show off the mechanics of the Joy-Con controller.  Like I’ve said multiple times in this little write-up, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a good Nintendo party game.  1-2 Switch seems like it’ll fill the niche quite well, encouraging gameplay that forces encourages a group of friends of family to come together and let their imagination run wild.

Would I enjoy playing this game?

Yeah, I’d say so.

Do I have a lot more to say about it?

No, I do not.

Let’s move on to the big stuff then, shall we?


The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Here we go, the true bread-and-butter of this presentation.  The one title so hyped up that it could only end the presentation off on the highest of notes possible.

If you weren’t excited about Breath of the Wild before, THIS is the trailer to do it.

First of all, every piece of promotion that comes out about this game just continues to floor me with how gorgeous it looks.  Yes, Zelda games have a history of being gorgeous, but they also have a history of being self-contained in a general path for you to take.

Unless you count the first Zelda, which was pretty open-ended.  And the second, which is kind of the black horse of the series in how different it is.

Okay, so the 3D Zelda games, almost everything past Ocarina of Time, all have a history of being self-contained.  However, this is the first expansive Zelda title that’s going to be open world, and the fact that it’s as beautiful as it is while feeling more real than ever is almost mind-blowing to imagine.

I gushed a lot about graphics and that sort of thing in the last post I wrote talking about Breath of the Wild last time we got a major information dump, so I’ll just leave that here and talk more about why this particular trailer soared to the top of my time-to-watch-fifty-times-in-a-row list:  Story.

We haven’t gotten a lot of clues about just what’s going to fill the world of Breath of the Wild until now.  Now that we do have a clue, it looks like this particular iteration of Hyrule, set some hundred years after an event(?) that’s called the Calamity Ganon, will be filled with the Gorons, Great Fairies, Zoras, Bird people and more that we’ve come to expect from a Zelda title.  On top of the interesting scattered dungeons, it also seems like there will be towns to explore as well, meaning Breath of the Wild won’t be entirely about being in the wild as we previously were led to believe.

But of course, what Zelda game would be complete without Zelda.  Yes that’s right, the namesake herself finally makes an appearance, and what an impression she leaves.

Not only is this game’s appearance gorgeous, it’s princess is too.  Plus, it seems as though a page is being taken out of the Skyward Sword book in terms of making Zelda a character that accompanies Link more than just on occasion, making her more of a real person in the world with emotional arcs to overcome rather than just being a damsel that’s been locked away and in need of saving.  If I had to guess just by watching the trailer, there’s going to be a period in the game where Link and Zelda get to bond over some tragedy and perhaps become friends before she’s stolen away, giving Link more of a tangible reason to go after her then he’s ever had before.

Not that he needs a serious reason like that to save the girl, but having more emotion added in is always a good thing.

Seriously, that scene where she falls into his arms crying?  That’s like my favorite part of the whole trailer.  I can’t get over it.  10/10 Nintendo, thanks for making me somehow fall in love with your game even more before it comes out.

Speaking of, Breath of the Wild has also been confirmed to be a launch title for the Switch.  On March 3, all new players will get the chance to venture into Hyrule for what promises to be the biggest adventure we’ve been given yet.  It’s really a beautiful enough thing to make me consider buying a Switch on launch day despite my better judgement.

The game may have been delayed over and over again, but I’d say the wait seems like it’s been worth it from the outside looking in.  Let’s hope it delivers.


Super Mario Odyssey

Now this was rather surprising to me.  For I believe the first time in possibly forever a Mario game is not the launch title for a Nintendo console.  Instead, Zelda gets to take the reigns this time.  Though obviously I can’t complain about that, it’s still an odd choice…

Especially considering the fact that this Mario game looks so incredibly incredible that it pretty much single-handedly sparked my excitement to life while watching the presentation.

Super Mario Odyssey, or Mario takes New York as I like to call it, is the next game in Mario’s “World” series from what I can tell.  You know, like Super Mario 3D World for the Wii U, which is still one of the best games on that system without a doubt.  In this adventure, Mario seems to be traveling more than he has in quite some time, going to places like New Donk City (referencing Donkey Kong being like King Kong in New York perhaps?), a very Mexican-inspired desert village, an Amazonian jungle and some kind of fantastical food land.  I can only assume there’s more that hasn’t been shown.

The game looks to be open world in the way Super Mario 64 was, with different areas having nice and huge sprawling areas to cover and explore as Mario goes in search of Pimp Master Bowser and Peach.  There’s a strong hat theme seeing as Mario travels around on a ship that’s shaped like a top hat, goes to Crazy Cap stores in each location he goes to.  Mario can throw his hat and let it hover like a platform for him to jump on, and he’s seen using close to any object – cars and streetlights alike – as platforms and such for the purposes of some sick parkour.

Oh also his cap is his companion.  Like that thing’s alive.  Don’t know what that’s going to entail but it does give off some strong Minish Cap vibes, so I’m A-OK with it.

It’s a little hard to express how fun the game looks without seeing the trailer, so really I’d just say watch it.  It’s hard to not have a smile on your face after it’s over.  Unfortunately, Mario’s adventure around the real world won’t be out until the 2017 holiday season, but I suppose that just gives us more time to play and wear out Zelda for everything it’s worth.

At least we have the original Mario Odyssey to keep us occupied as well.


While those are the trailers that went live last night, they weren’t the only games that were talked about during the presentation.  Probably the most complete list we’re going to get can be found up on the Nintendo website, and includes titles in the field of sports games like EA’s FIFA titles (though I personally question the viability of releasing a game based on soccer/non-American football on a system based around handed motion controls), Minecraft, a new Bomberman game, yet another port of Skyrim and more.  There are also plenty of other games in the works, and like I said before third party interest seems to be pretty high.

With a $299.99 price tag and a fairly small list of launch titles, I imagine the Switch will have a bit of a rocky start on the gaming market.  However, the system frankly looks amazing and has a large catalogue of cool-looking games on the way within the first year of it’s release.  Whether or not it will print money like the Wii is yet to be seen, but I get the feeling there’s a good chance that if Nintendo plays their cards right, it just might.

What did you think of the presentation?  Let me know in the comments below, and let me know what you think of the Switch as a whole!  While I likely won’t get it right away, and might not until the holiday season this year at least, I will say that the Switch looks like it’s going to have a long life from everything I’ve seen thus far, and I’m looking forward to getting to play it.

Especially Zelda.  I really, really need to play Breath of the Wild as soon as possible.