Tag: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Commitment to unexpected storytelling

Commitment to unexpected storytelling

I was planning on writing a different blog post today, but this caught me so off-guard that I had to talk about it.

Since the release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in December, I’ve become a fan of YouTuber Alpharad thanks to his Ultimate Level 9 CPU Tournament video.

The premise was simple: Throw a bunch of computers onto a tournament bracket and watch them fight. Alpharad and a few friends commentated the matches, providing insights into actual competitive strategies and general comedy.

It was fun and apparently so popular that he would have been a fool not to do more.

From there I got into a few more series. Mostly other Smash-related videos like ranking all of X elements or “Stage Builder was a Mistake.”

The guy is also a fan of Mudkips and Shantae, so it’s hard not to like him!

However, the CPU tournaments were clearly Alpharad’s bread and butter.

Over time they grew into more than just a showcase of computer intelligence. Jokes about certain fighters repeated to the point of giving them distinct personalities. Then came clever brand integrations by having his video sponsors “sponsor” the winners of previous tournaments like they were sport stars proving themselves.

Sure some of those deals were a little cheeky, like having an Incineroar sponsored by the eSports team Panda Global where he serves as creative director

But still a clever idea.

Then the series grew further. Original characters were added via Mii Fighters that developed entire plot threads cleverly delivered by commentators on the spot.

I’m not sure how much was pre-planned or improvised based on genuine tournament results, but either way it was impressive to see a cohesive narrative emerge that culminated in an “Endgame” duel between light and dark.

Released two days after the newest Avengers movie.

Perfect SEO.

After a few months hiatus, the series returned with noticeable differences.

In the lore, two years had passed. Thus, much of the first episode was spent doling out exposition about what had changed — from new Mii Fighters to the off-screen reigns of joke characters like Rosalina.

What stood out most about this structured direction is how much more planning and effort clearly went into the season’s pre-production. Everything down to anime-inspired intros that are just cringe enough to be great.

Whereas the first era of the CPUCS emerged from completely different roots and had to develop into something more, the second era is immediately running with the aftermath and presenting more foreshadowing for underlying story bits.

That was exhibited magnificently for me in the episode uploaded just today.

After the time skip, a Mii Fighter called “The Agent” appeared. She was understated because she didn’t make it very far, but in the second episode she came back.

Again she lost, but this time Alpharad ended the match by suggesting she would be writing about this on her blog. Then he quickly read off a url.

I was willing to wave that off as a joke, but part of me was curious to know whether it was real.

Agent Naomi Winters’ blog is absolutely 100 percent real.

And probably made with Squarespace. Because sponsorship.

We live in a world of digital marketing, so creating websites or social media accounts to help promote a fictional story isn’t anything new.

In fact, Ryan Hollinger has a great video about the effective use of external marketing sources by Cloverfield (and not Snakes on a Plane).

Yet I felt like this guy when I discovered that the blog not only exists, but has been used since May to create a more lived-in environment:

Screen Shot 2019-06-23 at 1.59.24 PM.png

I too am now a big fan of Agent Naomi.

For what many would write off as a silly YouTube series about Smash Ultimate where cashing in is easy because no human interactions are needed for gameplay, this is an awesome bit of committed world building.

It shows how much Alpharad genuinely cares, and I can respect the hell out of that.

So if I haven’t convinced you yet, go watch the CPUCS.

I swear it’s more than just your average Smash Bros. series if you stick by it.

My thoughts on Nintendo’s 2019 E3 Direct

My thoughts on Nintendo’s 2019 E3 Direct

I haven’t paid a lot of attention to 2019’s E3 outside of the surprise Keanu Reeves appearance, but today was Nintendo’s time to shine.

That’s all the introduction you need.

Here’s the 40-minute video. Let’s talk about it.


2018123012285000-0E7DF678130F4F0FA2C88AE72B47AFDF

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Kicking off the Direct was a flashy cinematic of Ultimate’s World of Light in which Link was rescued by The Hero, our next DLC fighter and Dragon Quest representative.

You’d think that would be the big news. Yet Nintendo had one more trick up their sleeve to conclude the Direct:

Banjo-Kazooie.

I’ve never played a DQ game or Banjo-Kazooie, but I know plenty of people who love those series and I’m happy to see them so happy.

Especially given the love and attention both fighters are getting. The Hero has multiple alternate costumes and a final smash featuring different protagonists from that series, Grant Kirkhope was involved in doing the music for Banjo…

It’s just perfect.

Masahiro Sakurai truly is the king of reviving Nintendo history, and looping in Rare was a great way to include a fighter with die-hard fans who fits in the roster far better than Minecraft Steve or Master Chief.

Great way to bookend the Direct.


luigis_mansion_3
Image courtesy of My Nintendo News

Luigi’s Mansion 3

Subtitle: Hotel Mario 2?

Though I wasn’t a huge a fan of Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon compared to the original, this game looks pretty incredible. It has a creepy atmosphere directly reminiscent of Ghostbusters mixed with a Super Mario Sunshine vacation plot.

And it has built-in Gooigi multiplayer, unlike the shoed-in stuff for the Luigi’s Mansion 3DS remake.

I’m pretty into this game honestly. Especially after seeing this kaiju boss reveal Nintendo put out after the Direct:

It’s just too bad Nintendo has a billion other great games coming out, or Luigi swinging a chair around with a vacuum would be at the top of my list.


Unknown
Image courtesy of engaget

Link’s Awakening

Here’s one of those games that unfortunately pushes Luigi’s Mansion aside.

I was incredibly excited for this remake of a Zelda game I’ve always heard praised but never took the time to play when they announced it a few months back.

The new trailer didn’t show too much more than its Sept. 20 release date…

EXCEPT FOR A TOP-DOWN 2D DUNGEON CREATOR.

THE THING I LITERALLY ASKED FOR WHEN I GRADUATED:

Thanks Nintendo, you always make my dreams come true. Just be sure to add Minish Cap into the official Zelda Maker.


H2x1_NSwitch_FireEmblemThreeHouses_image1600w
Image courtesy of Nintendo UK

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

I wrote a Fire Emblem Heroes post just this morning, so of course I was going to talk about this game.

All we got today was a cinematic trailer that mostly stood out because some character had a sword that turned into a bone whip. Which is fine because we got a big gameplay trailer already.

It mainly featured lore that won’t make a ton of sense until the game releases in…

Wait, late July?

Damn, I thought I had more time. Stop making so many games I want to buy Nintendo, I’m still addicted to Stardew Valley for the next few months!


D0avT77VsAA65iy.jpg-large

Pokémon Sword and Shield

I wasn’t expecting any new Pokémon news after the recent Direct, but Nintendo truly is a benevolent overlord.

During the presentation we found out that the Pokéball peripheral from Let’s Go can act as a modern day Pokéwalker and that the Water-type Gym Leader will be Nessa:

gym2
Image courtesy of Serebii.net

She’s a little derivative of Shelly from Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, but not a bad design at all.

During the Nintendo Treehouse we discovered the existence of a perfect Electric-type pup named Yamper and a little Dark/Fairy gremlin named Impidimp:

Images courtesy of Serebii.net

One of them is God’s perfect child and the other is his greatest mistake.

However, we also found out that not every Pokémon in the National Dex will be compatible with Sword and Shield, which is a step in the wrong direction after Sun and Moon already didn’t have a Pokédex entry for every monster you could collect.

Go check out Serebii’s page, because they have the full list of everything from today.


maxresdefault
Image courtesy of Sonic the Hedgehog on YouTube

Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Then there’s this.

Look I played the first couple Olympic crossover games with my sister and they were decent minigame collections.

But the fact that this series is still going astounds me.

Some of you would probably prefer I put Cadence of Hyrule in this major slot since it looks cool and is only $25 bucks, which definitely entices me to buy the game when it drops this Thursday in spite of never playing Crypt of the Necrodancer.

But… I just did.

So there.


uploadscardimage999929a6417497-a4fc-485b-86d0-88450eaebf40.png950x534__filtersquality80
Image courtesy of Mashable

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Like Reggie Fils-Amie, I put a lot of time into Animal Crossing: New Leaf.

New Horizons not only looks like a wonderful graphical update to the series, but an update that allows for 8-player simultaneous action while potentially building a town from scratch.

That’s… Pretty god damn incredible. Definitely worth pushing the release date to March 2020!

Already Nintendo has me feeling all:

But we’re not done just yet.


The Highlight Reel

The reel always has a billion things, so let’s lightning round what stood out to me.


2019011611042900-f1c11a22faee3b82f21b330e1b786a39

Breath of the Wild 2…?

Time to address the elephant in the room.

I made a big deal out of returning to Breath of the Wild. Yet… I didn’t actually finish the whole game.

Turns out I should get moving on that again.

Breath of the Wild is getting a direct sequel, bringing it in-line with Majora’s Mask and the Wind Waker series. A sequel where Link and Zelda are going to be traveling the ravaged Hyrule together and discover some demented shit.

The trailer was just an “in development” teaser, but they sure did succeed in making it emotionally provocative. I’m curious to find out more… Though a lot of that is based on hype from my friends’ speculations.

Which means I guess I have to go finish Breath of the Wild.

Damn you, Nintendo. Quit monopolizing my time when you’re about to monopolize my time with all these new games!


Those were the big ticket items out of this E3 Direct for me, but there were a lot of smaller things that piqued my interest too.

A Final Fantasy Tactics-type game for The Dark Crystal, No More Heroes 3 with weird Star Wars jokes and Gundam fights and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 among them. Plus the Switch is getting the return of Contra, The Witcher 3, Secret of Mana, Resident Evil 5 and 6 and a Panzer Dragoon remake.

Nintendo really knocked it out of the park this year, especially considering the rest of E3 wasn’t phenomenal from what I’ve heard.

Though was there any doubt when they began their Direct by capitalizing on the “Bowser is Nintendo of America’s new president” joke?

All they’re missing is this:

Let me know what you thought of Nintendo’s E3 Direct! What game are you most excited for?


Featured Image courtesy of Nintendo Life

Industrial aesthetic in Culver City

Industrial aesthetic in Culver City

If you’ve been around my blog long enough, you know I have a thing for interesting architecture and industrial design when I see it.

The prior was on full display when I went to Pasadena City College for one of my sister’s auditions, while the latter was best seen with this weird and pointless piece about hedges around lumber yards.

You know that one was early in my ‘write every day’ commitment because of how picture-less it is despite the visual topic.

It was also my first mention of Wizard of Legend, which is neat considering I’ve gotten into playing it recently!

Not the point.

The point is, those related interests converged today as I joined a few other members of the Gladeo team for a video shoot at the Dentsu Aegis Network office in Culver City.

Dentsu is a digital marketing group that helps advertising firms secure locations for their product.

Or at least, that’s how I understand it. To be honest I was somewhat disconnected from the filming process because our conference room was so small that I couldn’t watch my on-air reporter Katelyn do her stuff without being in the shot.

I did carry camera equipment, and help craft the video’s message while laying out fair use policies using my Comm Law knowledge during our break — over a delicious pork belly grilled cheese.

Speaking of, the Rice Balls of Fire food truck was a strange combination of Korean, Japanese and high school cafeteria. But it was delicious. So there’s a plug.

But I’m not here to plug food trucks. If my Featured Image didn’t make it clear, I’m here to talk about the bizarre and interesting office!

IMG_2641

Get this. You have a marketing group on the fifth floor of a building that intentionally looks half-finished. It’s a totally open floor plan with few offices and conference rooms (much like Fandango). From the ground you can only access the area with a key card, but if you park in the adjacent structure you can simply walk across a bridge and enter.

A bridge that wobbles in the wind. Very disconcerting when six people simultaneously figured that out while carrying rented camera equipment.

Oh and there are games scattered all over the room, from giant Jenga to foosball.

Though my favorite was this giant chessboard in the courtyard outside:

IMG_2640

The outside area also had furniture scattered everywhere, with different areas labeled after interior rooms. The living room, family room, etc. Pretty weird.

But wait, there’s more.

Overlooking the space was a second story balcony, on which I found this cheeky little blue bomber surveying the scene:

IMG_2642
Reminds me of my SSBCU post from yesterday.

Apparently Dentsu worked with Capcom on getting a Mega Man cartoon series put out in the West.

Which is great, because context makes everything better.

… Though I would have been okay just assuming someone in the office is a huge dork.

This place probably has the most Silicon Valley mentality I’ve ever seen. Considering it’s a business focused on digital marketing I suppose this makes sense, though it was still kind of weird seeing it in Culver City of all places.

That said, I’m not sure I would be too opposed to working there. It’s a nice space, even if open floor plans are still a weird concept to me.

And that’s about that. I wanted to end on a photo of the Gladeo folks together, but they have not been posted.

So instead you’re getting this awkward, stilted cut-off.

The Super Smash Bros. Cinematic Universe

The Super Smash Bros. Cinematic Universe

As many of you have seen, a trailer for Paramount’s upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog movie dropped today.

It’s terrifying.

But more than it is terrifying, the trailer feels frustrating. There’s a whole lot of missed potential from what I can see as a casual fan of the series, and I spent a fair amount of time ranting about it on Twitter:

The memes have been fun. Yet I can’t help but wonder how Sega let Sonic take this hit with Detective Pikachu showing us what video game movies are capable of—

Oh. Right.

Well anyway, as my friends and I spent the morning looking at Sonic, Jonathan brought to our attention an interesting take.

Much like Sonic’s obscene baby teeth and gross, gangly baby legs, I couldn’t stop thinking about the idea of a Super Smash Bros. Cinematic Universe.

Or, the SSBCU, as any sane individual would call it.

My friends’ discord group became flooded with suggestions on what could conceivably be included to flesh out the universe. By the end of the day, I fell in love with the idea of putting this list together!

But I wasn’t able to come up with everything on my own.

So let’s consider this post a work in progress, and a call to arms.

I have a collection of what movies should count in the SSBCU, some that I think could be surrogate “analog” entries in retrospect, and other media that could be related.

I’ll list them out with character confirmations based on Nintendo’s official listing.

If you have any ideas on how to flesh the list out, let me know! I think the idea is great and I would love to keep it going.


Confirmed Entries

Super Mario Bros. (1993)

You know it, you love it. Illumination may be working on an animated Mario movie, but until then we’ve got this classic of terrible cinema to fill out a whole lot of fighters. Just tell me you don’t want to see Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo beat up CGI Pokémon in an Avengers-style crossover.

  • Fighters: Mario (1), Yoshi (5), Luigi (9), Peach (13), Daisy (13e), Bowser (14)

Sonic the Hedgehog (2019)

The terror that started it all. This movie is probably going to be an utter disaster… But that means it’s also probably a blast to watch. Like a car crash after your blue cadillac haphazardly rolls around at the speed of sound. Sonic is Mario’s eternal rival, so he deserves a bad movie too.

  • Fighters: Sonic (38)

Detective Pikachu (2019)

This movie looks brilliant. Full stop. And I can conceivably throw in every Pokémon representative, so it’s a catch-all. I’ll even include Pokémon trainer, because despite the Red analog not being a character in Detective Pikachu, the Kanto starters are all there.

  • Fighters: Pikachu (8), Pichu (19), Mewtwo (24), Pokémon Trainer (33-35), Lucario (41), Greninja (50), Incineroar (69)

Street Fighter (1994)

Bet you forgot this movie existed. Well you’ll be happy to know that Ryu and Ken are in this terrible picture via Byron Matt and Damian Chapa, so you can picture them punching Bob Hoskins in the face!

For real though, can you believe Ming-Na Wen went from being Chun-Li to Mulan four years later? What a glow up.

  • Fighters: Ryu (60), Ken (60e)

Mega Man movie (????)

Keeping on the Capcom train, this is apparently a movie that’s in production. Thus the blue bomber gets to hang out with the squad!

  • Fighters: Mega Man (46)

Monster Hunter (2020)

What’s that? You really like the Capcom train? Well, lucky for you there’s a Monster Hunter movie staring Milla Jovovich in our future. There’s technically no fighter from this series, but Rathalos was added in Ultimate. So maybe there’s room for a cameo?

  • Fighters: DLC fighter, hopefully?

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (2005)

Alright, I’ll stop messing around. Here’s a not hypothetical entry on the list. I considered not including Cloud because this is a purely animated movie… But if Pikachu and Sonic can be “live action” fighters, why not Angst McGiantSword?

Plus his alternate costumes in Smash are literally based on this movie. So.

  • Fighters: Cloud (61)

Analog Movies

Alien (1979) or Aliens (1986)

Depending on your preference for horror or action sci-fi.

I don’t know if we’re ever going to get a Metroid movie. Samus would be a great candidate for the SSBCU’s Wonder Woman or Captain Marvel-esque leading female character, but in the meantime Sigourney Weaver seems like a damn fine addition.

Plus Ridley is literally a homage to Ridley Scott, so baby teeth Sonic can fight a Xenomorph Queen.

  • Fighters: Samus (4), Dark Samus (4e), Zero Suit Samus (29), Ridley (65)

Fast and the Furious

As someone who has never played an F-Zero game, I can confidently say that the ridiculously over-the-top Fast and the Furious franchise would be a perfect analog.

But in this case I’m going to say Furious 6 (2013) in particular because that’s when Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson joined and he’s the perfect Captain Falcon.

Courtesy of wwe.com and SSB Wiki

Just saying.

  • Fighters: Captain Falcon (11)

Inception (2010)

Joker from Persona 5 just got added into Smash Ultimate. I know next to nothing about the game, but I do know it involves going into people’s memories to plant ideas or find secrets.

Sounds a lot like Inception to me. Add Leo DiCaprio into the SSBCU!

He can probably pull off that anime twink look in his Gangs of New York era.

  • Fighters: Joker (71)

King Kong (1933) or Rampage (2018)

King Kong is the obvious choice to get Donkey Kong into the SSBCU. A somewhat sentient ape who kidnaps ladies and climbs up buildings? That may as well be the original arcade game’s script. Even if there isn’t much in the way for Diddy or K. Rool.

Though for my money, I’d also recommend using Rampage. Not only is it based on a video game and has a crocodile, but the fact that The Rock stars means we can turn the film into a retroactive Thor: Ragnarok-esque team up staring Falcon and DK.

  • Fighters: Donkey Kong (2), King K. Rool (67)

Related Media

Castlevania (2017)

Every other object on this list is a movie.

But Marvel got away with putting more characters into the MCU by having The Defenders series on Netflix.

So Nintendo can get away with putting more characters into the SSBCU by making the Castlevania series on Netflix its own Defenders. Not sure if Simon or Richter are featured, but whatever.

  • Fighters: Simon (66), Richter (66e)

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (2008)

This game is basically a movie, right?

  • Fighters: Snake (31)

Fighters Featured: 31

Total Fighters: 82


Ehhh?

This section is the lightning round for ideas my friends and I tossed around that are either jokes or so weird that I honestly couldn’t count them

  • Game of Thrones as Fire Emblem representation? Don’t know enough about GoT to accurately parse that out, but I’m willing to mention it for SEO purposes.
  • The Legend of Zelda T.V. series was floated around, but I’m not sure I take that as seriously as Castlevania to be extended material. Zelda deserves a flagship movie.
  • My friend Mitchell suggested playing 127 Hours on two separate televisions, with one version color corrected to give James Franco a blue shirt. It’s the only way I can conceivably include Ice Climbers, so I’ll mention it here.
Putting the “Pro” in “gamer”

Putting the “Pro” in “gamer”

With Finals and graduation and all of that terrible real life stuff on the horizon, I’m staving off imminent insanity in the only way I know how:

Video games.

Specifically, finally trying out that brand new Nintendo Switch Pro Controller I got for my birthday. Two months ago.

To be fair, I mostly haven’t used it up until now for two reasons.

First being the obvious fact that I just haven’t had a whole lot of time to play as the semester has progressed. But also I’m just a stubborn baby that tried to convince himself his janky left Joy Con was still usable, despite a significant drift.

In retrospect I don’t know why I was such a stubborn baby. The Pro Controller is actually a solid accessory!

Not only does it fit comfortably in my hands, but I appreciate the grips not being made of the same material as the semi-transparent body, meaning they don’t get covered in fingerprints.

However, I did immediately come across some trouble with the concept of using a more traditional controller for the Switch…

It doesn’t work with every game.

I notably found this out while trying to play some Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee with Aly.

2018123012300500-5F25EBBAB5987964E56ADA5BBDDE9DF2

She was complaining about the drifting Joy Con, so we tried to use the Pro Controller.

Turns out you can’t use it to do things like throw Pokéballs without the same gyroscopic technology, so they just didn’t add any functionality for the external apparatus.

Cool.

On the bright side, I’ve been able to properly try out the device with a pair of Indie titles I picked up again:

Both Wizard of Legend and Enter the Gungeon received recent updates, and I’ve been playing them to avoid slamming my head against a wall from all this work.

They both add a bunch of new content.

Wizard has a new locale called the Sky Palace (similar aesthetically to The Minish Cap‘s Palace of Winds, much to my nostalgic pleasure), new enemy types and a bunch of additional spells.

Meanwhile Gungeon got… Basically tons more of everything.

It’s amazing to me that such an already stuffed game has been filled with an almost imperceptibly large amount of extra content again. That’s good service if I’ve ever seen it.

The funniest thing about playing both of these titles in quick succession is how different the control schemes are, which makes it difficult to swap between the two.

For instance: In Gungeon, item pick-ups and general interactions are done with the “B” button, while shooting and dodge rolling are done with the triggers. But in Wizard, “B” cancels out all interactions and every action/magic command is done with the A/B/X/Y buttons.

But this difficulty context switching is only going to get worse tomorrow. Because we just found out that Nintendo is dropping the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 3.0 Update:

Joker is finally here with all of his funky Persona 5 music (and a ton of really well-done fan service by the looks of things).

Sakurai is appeasing his hordes of complaining fans by adding the Stage Builder we all thought was gone. Now with moving platforms!

Clips can be edited together and posted online via the Nintendo Switch.

Move over Adobe Premiere Pro, turns out I could have been learning how to edit video in Smash Bros. all along! That’s the future of journalism.

Frankly the only “bad” part of this whole update video is the fact that no teaser was dropped for the next DLC character. Nintendo could have kept us strung along for years if they doled out teasers for new fighters one at a time.

Yet that’s not even a reasonable “bad.” The fact that all this content is coming deep into the game’s life-cycle shows it has a god damn ton of longevity.

It’ll be rough switching between all those control schemes, but it’ll be worth it.

Especially on account of all these memes:

You’d be mistaken if you thought I wasn’t going to whittle my study time away building stages in Ultimate.

Even though the mode is based on drawing and I’ll probably be terrible at it.

At the very least I’ll try bringing back some Brawl classics for my friends and I to enjoy.

Who knows, maybe I’ll even introduce you all to the pit of death in the near future. We’ll just have to wait and see!

Roy’s our boy

Roy’s our boy

So I don’t have much of a connection to Roy outside of Super Smash Bros.

Beyond mentioning that his cool Legendary alternate resembles his Smash counterpart, I didn’t have anything considerably flashy to lead this post off with.

That is, until I discovered this introduction page for the character featuring drawings from Princess Sharena.

I just had to share it. Because wow.

If that ain’t the cutest thing I’ve ever seen, I don’t know what is.


RoyBlazing Lion

  • Dragonbind (Might = 16, Range = 1)
    • Effective against dragon foes. Unit can counterattack regardless of foe’s range.
  • Dragon Fang (Cooldown = 4)
    • Boosts damage by 50 percent of unit’s Attack.
  • Bonus Doubler (A Skill)
    • Grants bonus to Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance during combat = current bonus on each of unit’s stats independently.
  • Renewal (B Skill)
    • At the start of every second turn, restored 10 Health.
  • Human Virtue (C Skill)
    • At the start of the turn, if unit is adjacent to any allies that are not beast or dragon allies, grants Attack and Speed +6 to unit and those allies for one turn.

Here I thought Legendary Marth was the dragon slayer!!

Joking aside, I would actually still consider Marth to be a better dragon slayer. His Exalted Falchion and Binding Shield seriously neuter manaketes.

Roy’s special Human Virtue skill is more focused on changing what team you utilize than it is killing.

However that doesn’t mean Roy’s new Dragonbind sword isn’t inherently broken. It’s a power-crept Falchion with distant counter built-in for Christ’s sake.

Dragons can’t attack from a distance, but the sword gives him duel functionality in killing dragons and countering mages/archers. A true double whammy.

That said… His sword is the one thing that truly sparkles about our boy Roy, in my opinion. The ability to give out doubled buffs to non-beasts is nice, but not particularly special in an era of growing beast representation.

Unfortunately, that ambivalence toward Roy extends to his entourage as well.

Also featured on this banner are:

The only units I’m missing here are Legendary Hríd, Halloween Niles and the three Adrift units.

While the first two are units I would like to have… I could care less about the two Corrin alts and Mikoto. So if Roy is one of three units on this whole banner I’m interested in summoning, it really does not seem like my kind of banner.

Though I suppose there is an extra allure to Roy’s potential for growth.

Apparently Intelligent Systems is planning on introducing a new mechanic for all upcoming Legendary Heroes in April that will “provide a play experience that is slightly different from what players are accustomed to.”

Whatever that means.

I can’t tell you whether or not it will be worth summoning Roy to get that vague future benefit, so it’s really up to you how much value is ascribed to intrigue about upcoming events.

For my money, I still won’t be trying to summon Roy too eagerly. I fruitlessly wasted a ton of orbs on the Fates beast banner.

Thus, for me, he will simply serve as a hilarious bit of ironic text in that Legendary Battle Map:

“Humans and dragons should coexist peacefully,” said the man with a dragon-killing sword and an ability that is neutered by teaming up with dragons.

Nice ludonarrative dissonance, Intelligent Systems.


Usually I aim to get these Fire Emblem Heroes posts published the day when banners are released.

However, Pokémon Sword and Shield sucked the oxygen out of the room yesterday and I had to live tweet our SPJ meeting last night.

Was pretty tired after a 6:00 a.m. to 12 a.m. kind of day.

So I figured I could hold off writing about the Legendary Banner until today, when I have nothing going on. It lasts about a week after all.

You know the deal by now. Let me know what you think of Mr. Dragon Slayer — Master of human/dragon unification. Or let me know who else you want to see in the future.

My thoughts on the February 13, 2019 Nintendo Direct

My thoughts on the February 13, 2019 Nintendo Direct

How sweet of Nintendo to give us an early Valentine’s Day present this year!

We’ve got games, games and more games to discuss out of a brand new Nintendo Direct.

I’ll be talking about the larger, more exciting subjects (to me) in detail before lumping the rest together for a quick mop-up at the end. So if you want to follow along, feel free! I’ll try to include individual trailer links where possible.

That said, let’s a go!


dims

Image courtesy of Engadget

Super Mario Maker 2

Oh man, if there was any reason to own a Wii U, it was Super Mario Maker.

When I got mine, it was in a Mario Maker bundle that included this neat Mario Amiibo:

IMG_2031
Ain’t he the cutest?

I spent hours making levels on the game pad, and the sheer amount of creativity oozing out of all corners of the Nintendo universe during its time in the spotlight was something to behold!

Plus it made for excellent YouTube fodder. Watching the Game Grumps play Ross’s hard levels, the endless hours of Beard Bros. fan levels

Can’t wait to see that come back in vogue.

While I eventually moved on with Splatoon, Super Mario 3D World and Twilight Princess HD, my Wii U was undoubtedly a Super Mario Maker machine.

So seeing the Mario Maker 2 trailer featuring all kinds of new additions like sloped platforms, moving pathways and the Mario 3 angry sun was really hype to say the least. Especially for a portable system!

Given the first game’s pedigree and the sheer amount of improvements for an already creative powerhouse, I’ll be more than happy to drop some money on this come June.


H2x1_NSwitch_FireEmblemThreeHouses_image1600w
Image courtesy of Nintendo UK

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

There was a decent amount of RPG news for fans to soak up in this Direct.

Dragon Quest had Builders 2 — even though I forgot the first game was a thing — and 11S Definitive Edition. I haven’t personally played a DQ game, but 11 looks like a fun, polished game with a cute 16-bit mode.

If nothing else, I’ll be expecting the protagonist as a Smash Bros. DLC.

The original Final Fantasy 7 and 9 Switch ports got some recognition, as did Chocobo Mystery Dungeon. Plus Square Enix has Oninaki coming, which looks pretty.

Plus who can argue with a Symphony of the Night-inspired platforming RPG in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night?

However.

My heart belongs to Fire Emblem.

So Jason was a happy boy seeing more Fire Emblem: Three Houses in this Direct.

The segment kicked off with a lore-filled cinematic about the titular three houses in this new continent, the customizable player protagonist’s place in the story and more.

The leaders of the three houses — Edelgard of the Adrestian Empire, Dimitri of the Kingdom of Faerghus and Claude of the Leicester Alliance — all got some attention too. You only get to choose one, which will presumably branch into three campaigns.

Only this time we just have to buy one game!

The most interesting thing about Three Houses is that it looks like a high school anime, filled with vaguely Harry Potter-esque sensibilities and Fire Emblem mechanics.

Rather than a tactician, you are a teacher with students making up your ‘army.’

All of the battles (presumably before a real war breaks out) are considered training assignments, despite featuring such tasks as “quashing rebellions.”

In general the premise and scope of the game seems very interesting compared to most Fire Emblem titles. I’m excited to see where they go with it!

… I’m also excited to see Intelligent Systems announce a Heroes banner with the three leader characters sometime before the July 26 release date.

You know it’ll happen.


Screen Shot 2018-11-24 at 10.42.01 PM

Deltarune

Ostensibly, there’s nothing to say about this game that I haven’t already said. It doesn’t need a whole section here.

But I adore Deltarune, and it broke into my top games of 2018 list. So if you haven’t played it yet and own a Switch, just get the game on February 28.

Do it, nerds.


Unknown
Image courtesy of Engadget

Link’s Awakening

I heard vague rumors floating around that a top-down Zelda game would be announced at this Direct, but I wasn’t expecting this to come crashing into the spotlight.

Now that I know about it, I’m pretty damn excited!

There are nothing but good things said about Link’s Awakening, and as a fan of Link Between Worlds-style Zelda games it’ll be sweet to finally play it.

I know the original 1993 GameBoy version has been available on multiple platforms for years, but I’ve never gotten around to it.

Now I can justify putting it off by saying I waited for this brand new experience in an absolutely adorable Pikmin-esque art style!

The ‘2019’ release date is vague, but Marin humming the game’s theme over the end card sent a shiver down my spine. So I’m ready to wait for you, Wind Fish.


Those were my high points in today’s Direct, but there were plenty of other games spotlighted!

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate got a lame teaser for it’s upcoming 3.0.0 update where we found out nothing, other than Amiibo coming for the Belmonts and Pokémon Trainer.

Updates were announced for Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and Starlink, the latter featuring more Star Fox characters. I don’t own either, but still neat.

Demos were announced for Yoshi’s Crafted World, Daemon X Machina and Tetris 99.

… The last of which being a battle royale-styled Tetris game? I’m definitely going to have to try that and see if it’s as weird as it sounds.

Hellblade, Dead by Daylight and Rune Factory 4 are all getting ports for the Switch (plus Rune Factory 5 was announced). I’m not sure I’ll have the time to get to those over everything else, but I’ve heard great things about them all.

Mortal Kombat 11 and a remasted Assassin’s Creed 3 (from what I understand the best of the series) are coming to Switch.

Yet there were games I didn’t particularly care for, like Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, Box Box + Box Girl (basically my TI-83 calculator game), Disney Tsum Tsum Festival and GRID Autosport car racing among them.

But that said, it’s hard to say there’s not something here for everyone, even if they aren’t for me!

… Unless you’re a fan of Bayonetta. Because Bayonetta 3 only got a brief ‘in progress’ mention after PlatinumGames‘ Astral Chains was announced.

Still, the future of the Nintendo Switch continues to be promising!

Which games stood out most to you in today’s Direct? Let me know, I’d love to start up some conversations!

Echoes of strength

Echoes of strength

In the age of the ancients, two sibling Gods shared a near unbreakable bond.

However, a disagreement at the core of their ideologies led to a schism. The sister aimed to create a world rich with blessings of the Earth, peace and pleasure. The brother felt strength was all that mattered, and wanted a world full of powerful subjects.

To the south of the continent Valentia, the sister founded a kingdom called Zofia: Rich with live. A kingdom which, in its overindulgence after her disappearance, became rife with greedy, entitled rulers and passive farmers who struggled as the lands died.

To the north, the brother founded a kingdom called Rigel: Cold, calloused and infertile. A kingdom which, fallen into the trappings of power, became militarized and unkind. His power gave way to madness, and the pious subjects of that fallen deity sought to conquer all.

This is the tale of Mila and Duma, a story underlying the plot thrusts for both Alm and Celica in Fire Emblem: Gaiden (and its recent remake, Echoes: Shadows of Valentia).

Now in Heroes, you too can summon yourself an endlessly powerful god of war, fallen from grace, who also happens to be an inexplicably handsome daddy that transforms into a dragon monster with wacky eyes.

Just like every.

Other.

Fire Emblem villain.

… Except for Sacred Stones which had a cool demon guy instead.


DumaGod of Strength

  • Fell Breath (Might = 16, Range = 1)
    • Grants Attack +3. At the start of combat, if foe’s Health < 100 percent, grants Attack and Resistance +6 during combat and foe cannot make a follow-up attack. If foe’s Range = 2, calculates damage using the lower defensive stat.
  • Draconic Aura (Cooldown = 3)
    • Boosts damage by 30 percent of unit’s Attack.
  • Defense/Resistance Solo (A Skill)
    • If unit is not adjacent to an ally, grants Defense and Resistance +6 during combat.
  • Bold Fighter (B Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Special Attack cooldown charge +1 per unit’s attack, and unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack (does not stack).
  • Upheaval (C Skill)
    • At the start of turn 1, deals seven damage to all foes, and if defending in Aether Raids during anima season, destroys offensive structures within the same column (does not affect indestructable structures).

So I heard a rumor that every Mythic Hero was going to be some kind of deity in the Fire Emblem canon.

If that’s the case, I think I might try to provide some deep lore diving into each whenever a Mythic Hero banner comes along.

Even though the top of this banner technically says he’s a Legendary Hero?

But whatever. Semantics.

Let’s talk about Duma, shall we?

As our second colorless dragon and fourth armored dragon, Duma has a strong legacy to live up to.

The guy’s gimmick ties back to his Upheaval, which damages all enemies right away. Once they’re damaged, he gains an Attack and Resistance buff. Then if he’s alone, he instantly gains more Defense and Resistance.

Add all that to the increased chance of a powerful Special Attack and you have yourself a hard-hitting tank who faces no weakness on the weapon triangle.

… Just weaknesses from dragon-killing weapons like the Falchion or armor-killing weapons like Armorslayers.

Also he loses a good chunk of that benefit to his stats should the opposing team have a healer.

But hey, he blows up buildings in Aether Raids!

So all-and-all, I’d say he’s got some well-balanced benefits and detriments.

His overall status also increases due to great synergy with other armored dragons like Grima, Tiki and Myrrh. So he’s easily worth a summon for powerful team building.

In fact, that Legendary Tiki he melds so well with is also on this banner. She’s alongside:

Unlike a lot of the other Legendary Hero banners, Duma’s entourage splits equally for me.

I have every green and red unit besides Laegjarn.

Yet I don’t have a single one of the blue or colorless units.

So my targets are narrowed, particularly focused on Duma and Tiki.

If any of you remember my Legendary Tiki banner review, you’d know I was super into her. A powerful alt for one of my favorite characters who eluded me all those months ago, and I’ve been waiting for her to rear her head again.

Hopefully I can summon her and the God of Strength, which would give me a perfect  foursome of armored dragons.

Unfortunately those aspirations cost orbs.

… And I wasted a whole bunch of orbs on the hot springs banner, only to get a stupid regular Elise instead of Sakura.

So I turn to the Duma Battle Map to get my orbs stash up:

 

I never have anything particularly interesting to say about these things, other than the fact that they’re cool references to stages like the final map of Echoes here. So I’ll mostly make them quick asides from now on.

Especially since my time is better spent gathering orbs to feed my addiction.

Or to be honest, playing a certain other game which received a new character today.

2019013000062700-0e7df678130f4f0fa2c88ae72b47afdf


So there we have it, my thoughts on the Duma banner.

I know this whole post was a bit more scatterbrained than usual for my formulaic FEH pieces, but hopefully it was all worth my attempts to shake things up a little. All things being said, I was actually more excited for Duma here than I was for the hot springs units last week.

Let me know what you think of Duma in the comments below, and weigh in on whether you think we’ll get his sister Mila as our next Mythic Hero or not.

Personally I’m betting Intelligent Systems will keep us waiting.

Just like they’ll keep us waiting for more regular Valentia units.

Yearning for games prematurely abandoned

I was originally going to spend part of today writing the post that will probably ruin my reputation once and for all. A post about my recent relapse into playing the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online.

But uhh… I got lazy and didn’t put the effort in.

So sorry about that! Maybe tomorrow.

Now to be fair, it wasn’t pure laziness that kept me away. I may or may not have slept late after staying up real early, but then I did spend a good amount of time working on stuff for Gladeo and my novel this afternoon.

Plus there were a good amount of chores getting done. There’s only about a week left until the new semester starts, so I’ve gotta get through them while I can.

However, I didn’t want to skip out on writing anything tonight. Not when keeping up the craft outside of work-related pursuits is something of an unofficial New Year’s resolution.

So I think I’m instead going to chew on my sudden desire to return to an experience… Somewhat long-since abandoned.

It all began with Smash Bros. Ultimate, actually. Despite how long it has been since the game came out, I still find myself playing quite a bit. Maybe not as intensely as I did when I was grinding through World of Light, but I’m still hoping to improve so I can have more fun matches with my friends.

Then the other day I was playing on the new Great Plateau Tower map, griping about how I wished Link was his Twilight Princess design since I personally prefer it (in spite of the fact that Breath of the Wild Link has his own interesting mechanical complexities that are arguably more diverse).

Playing in the background was the theme song to BotW. But something about part of the song brought to mind the 2016 reveal trailer for the game.

When I first saw that at E3, I was fucking hooked on it like a drug.

No joke, I played the trailer on repeat just to hear the music (even while showering), at times on the verge of tears from how beautiful it looked and sounded. I’m not sure a trailer for a game has ever had that effect on me before.

I was so obsessed with it that I wrote a blog post back before it was something commonplace.

In fact I didn’t even realize that post was more about Pokémon Sun and Moon than it was Breath of the Wild, because I only recall the Zelda trailer leaving an impression!

Once BotW came out, for a long while I was disappointed that I didn’t have the Nintendo Switch to play it on. The Wii U version seemed like it might be inferior, so I avoided it.

Which to be fair means I’m probably part of the reason why the Wii U failed. Whoops.

Eventually I did get the console, and the summer of 2017 becoming the summer of Zelda as a result. I played the game obsessively, combing through the vast environment until I literally got sick of it.

Seriously, I completed one of the Sacred Beast temples and explored a good quarter+ of the map before giving up because I was too overwhelmed with how I was playing it. I may have put it in my top games of 2017 list, but I haven’t looked back.

Yet remembering that trailer gave me flashbacks to the gut feeling of awe.

A feeling which only got more intense as I discovered a new YouTube obsession with KingK.

The guy does extended retrospectives on different game series. The 3D Zeldas, 2D Sonics, Kingdom Hearts, etc. I find his videos really compelling because they don’t strictly focus on the same arguments you’ve likely heard a million times. They seem more about his personal, emotional connections with each game.

All still mediated by tough analysis.

He has some great content and I’d highly recommend watching it.

KingK became important to this conversation because I happened to come across his (no joke) hour-and-a-half long analysis of Breath of the Wild soon after getting the feels over that trailer again.

Frankly? I think it primed me to want to jump into the game again.

I’ve always said I have a complicated relationship with BotW. I love the game but could never complete it.

Nearly two years later, I think it might finally be time to delve into the Hyrule of the Wild once again. Hopefully to see its story through to the end.

This little silly post actually wound up being longer and a bit more self-reflective than I expected, so hopefully you all don’t find it too superfluous.

I’d love to know if you’ve had any experiences with games that you may have abandoned, only to yearn for it again years later. Just so I know I’m not crazy!

My top 10 games of 2018

My top 10 games of 2018

I always feel like it’s cliché for me to throw one of these lists together since it’s something EVERYONE does. But the more I think of it as a window into what I love, the less bad I feel about it.

After all, looking at my 2017 list pretty much just reminded me that I had to cop-out with mobile games and Jackbox because I played so few games. Pretty wild.

This year I don’t have that problem luckily! Just remember the most important rule of all with a list like this:

  1. This is all my opinion, so don’t get your panties in a twist if I don’t talk about your favorite game (there are plenty of experiences unfortunately still sitting on my wishlist).

 

10.

2018123012375600-C8DEC766058786A4B915D833A681A55E

Don’t Starve and the number 9 game on this list may have been higher, but they’re both technically re-releases of games that I played years ago. So to be fair to newer games, I decided to keep them on the lower end.

Don’t let the low score deceive you, however. I love Don’t Starve as much as anything else on the list, if not more for nostalgia’s sake!

Alongside The Binding of Isaac, Terraria and FTL (and no I haven’t had the chance to play Into the Breach yet… Sorry Kyle), this Tim Burton-styled survival game was one of the most played titles in my Steam library years ago.

I can still vividly recount stories of playing the game in my 10th grade Journalism room, which would later become my 11th grade AP Language classroom.

It was a strange transition.

The important thing to know is that this game meant a lot to me, so when it got a re-released on the Switch I knew I had to jump back on the train.

It’s a really solid port, even if the Switch controls take a little time to adjust to.

I also officially “beat” the game for the first time this year! So the port gets some brownie points for that.

Add the portability of playing a game with such a unique world and art style on the go, and I’ll absolutely recommend Don’t Starve any day.


9.

2018123012362400-11B64E28AD7A49CA9EC8AC007BE858C6

Ah yes, Minecraft.

Just what is there to say about Minecraft that hasn’t already been said?

It’s the survival/building blocky simulator that took the world by storm, inspired a trillion clones and now serves as a permanent cash cow for Microsoft. I absolutely adored Minecraft for years on both my desktop computer and Xbox 360. I even downloaded the Technic Modpack back in the day after watching the Yogscast.

While the game disappeared from my radar, the Switch brought it back to life for my friends and I.

As soon as this port dropped we all jumped on and had a ball playing over the summer. Now that I can capture pictures off my Switch I should go back and show you all some of the amazing stuff we built together.

Unfortunately, once the game shifted to be the all-encompassing Microsoft edition (and once the semester started) we all dropped off.

But if nothing else, Minecraft remains a great cooperative option for us to play together going forward.


8.

2018123012354300-67D01338887DAC4477826B5EA75BFB74

Wizard of Legend is the first of what I would consider a Renaissance of indie games on the Switch that kept me gaming more than I usually would this year.

I love Wizard of Legend. Especially considering the dev team (Contingent99) is made up of two people, the fact that such a beautiful and fun title exists in the marketplace is a true testament to gaming culture in 2018.

It’s a fast-paced roguelike dungeon crawler that lets you blast out massive elemental attacks as though you’re the Avatar. AND it’s couch co-op.

Unfortunately, the game’s content is admittedly a bit shallow. As an experience Wizard of Legend rules, but once you’ve collected all the spells, you’ve kind of seen everything.

It’s a game I’ll happily return to and play again, and I by no means regret spending my money. But there just happen to be some better, similar games on this list.


7.

2018123012300500-5F25EBBAB5987964E56ADA5BBDDE9DF2

I might have put this higher if I had gotten around to it sooner.

Pokémon Let’s Go is the amalgamated child of a Generation 1 remake and the capturing style of the mobile title Pokémon GO that took the world by storm a few summers back.

It’s about as casual a Pokémon experience as you can get, and for long-time fans such as myself there are very strange choices made (like who decided to only make PC access from the bag?).

But that being said, it’s an absolutely gorgeous Switch game, and every time I interact with Eevee my calloused heart melts.

The biggest selling point of Let’s Go for me is that it’s a couch co-op game I can play with my sister. If we weren’t only about five hours and three badges into the game, it might easily top this list because of the fun we’ve had yelling at the screen so far.

If you have a younger sibling (or romantic partner?), this is the game that perfectly bridges the gap between forced co-op and pretending to let them help in a single player title.

Like I used to do a lot, admittedly.


6.

2018123012350700-B20FAEC679A3A9320864DC374CFB9713

I have mixed emotions about Kirby Star Allies.

As a long-time fan of the Kirby series, I was really looking forward to the pink puffball’s next generation console game. That said, I wasn’t disappointed by how much of a fun Kirby game it was.

I even got a nice Daily Titan article out with my initial reactions, and that somehow has nearly 5,000 views?

Wow, how did that happen?

Anyway though, as fun as the game is, it’s seriously lacking in terms of difficulty and narrative — even for Kirby, who isn’t usually known for those elements.

Because of that I don’t feel like I can pick up the game as often as Squeak Squad or Super Star Ultra. But that being said… A ton of DLC came out for the game after I put it down, and I admittedly haven’t tried most of the new Dream Characters.

So hey, maybe it’s a lot better than where I left it the first time! Just based on my experiences now however, it seems like a solid fit for number 6.


5.

Screen Shot 2018-12-30 at 12.45.09 PM

I wrote a whole blog post about Deltarune weeks ago when I finally got around to playing it, so you can see my in-depth thoughts there.

What I will say is that much like its predecessor Undertale, Deltarune has a ton of mental staying power. It’s arguably the game I played for the least amount of time this year, but I hold it in high regard because I keep humming that glorious battle theme and thinking about all the possibilities of future installments.

It’s a game you just need to experience to understand. If you’re a fan of Toby Fox I’m sure you already have, but even if you haven’t played Undertale it might still be worth a look for fans of wacky fourth-wall comedy and Final Fantasy-esque gameplay.

I promise it’s worth diving down the rabbit hole.


4.

2018123012325300-7F2F1111AFE3AA11E958B0ACD0B5B925

Enter the Gungeon is kind of the game I wish Wizard of Legend was.

It’s a remarkably similar, being a roguelike dungeon crawler, but something about the way Gungeon’s five randomized levels are utilized makes them feel so much more fresh over a long period of time than Wizard of Legend’s three two-act levels.

Perhaps it has to do with the art style? Both are gorgeous examples of sprite work, but Gungeon’s aesthetic of gun puns galore seems more entrancing and unique.

Perhaps it has to do with the weapon variety? All of the spells in Wizard are great, but their numbers pale in comparison to just how many guns and combination effects are in Gungeon.

Perhaps it has to do with the supplementary content? Wizard boils down to collecting the spells and costumes, but Gungeon has a series of underlying story “quests” and NPCs who give you extra tasks to complete while you unlock more weapons and power-ups.

Both of these games are wonderful, but Enter the Gungeon stands much taller in terms of its content and replayability. A testament to the breadth of skill from a studio like Dodge Roll under Devolver Digital.


3.

2018123012285000-0E7DF678130F4F0FA2C88AE72B47AFDF

Much like Minecraft, what is there to say about Super Smash Bros. that hasn’t already been said?

I wrote a long post the other day about how much I love the single-player stuff in Ultimate, which has given me dozens of hours of enjoyment.

But that alone shouldn’t have skyrocketed the game to number 3 on my list, right?

I’ll admit, I’m giving Smash Ultimate some proactive credit. Simply because it’s Smash Bros., I know for a fact it’s going to be relevant for years in professional, competitive settings and among during casual friend hangouts.

Plus there are DLC characters already in the works, and I’m dying to play as Piranha Plant!

So yeah, Smash Bros. is a super fun game that I’m really glad is going to live on for years. As a result, it garners top billing.

… But really, what else did you expect from a Nintendo fanboy like me?


2.

2018123012371700-22A4BDEA5363AAA24F931D5AF2926082

Hollow Knight is easily the best game I’ve played this year.

It has a darker art style, sense of humor and scale that create one of the richest worlds I’ve played with in years. Even the horrid Deepnest, a place I still shutter thinking about months later.

The gameplay is tight, offering a metroidvania experience which truly gets more fun as you advance through it by empowering the player’s exploration and combat abilities.

It’s also remarkably open-world in spite of needing certain abilities to advance in different areas, as my friends Jonathan and Juan each went through the game in completely different ways than I did.

The story is somber and open to interpretation. There are hints of different things going on that can only be discovered through a player’s curiosity.

Hollow Knight is also full of great characters who at times embody well-known tropes, but at other times subvert them in heartbreaking ways. One of my favorite characters is a bug girl who simply dies unceremoniously.

My love came from simply imagining the larger role that she could have had which was tragically cut short. That’s good implicit storytelling.

The game is seriously unique and I would say anyone should experience it.

There’s also a whole host of DLC available that makes the game even more impressive! When it dropped on the Switch this year, I knew it was something I had to play based on the recommendations of a ton of my friends, and boy did it not disappoint.

Hollow Knight seriously would have been my favorite game this year… If something else hadn’t stolen my heart in a different way.


1.

2018123012310700-2AE606B8659FEA852E0ED6470C9814D9

So. Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate came out on Switch this year.

I’ve been a Monster Hunter junkie since my first experience playing 4U on the 3DS. The series scratches all of my gaming itches: Impressively designed beasts to admire, fitting battle music for every situation, luck-based schedules of reinforcement with item collection and (of course) lots of armor and skills to facilitate hours of pre-planning and designing.

I wrote a whole blog post about that earlier this year, because it’s honestly one of those things that drives my fervor for a game.

However, what made Gen Ultimate surpass every other game I’ve played this year was how the Nintendo Switch made it perfect bait for my friends and I to spend hours hunting.

2018123012313900-CCFA659F4857F96DDA29AFEDB2E166E6

Yeah, I no-lifed this game super hard as my stress relief.

The crazy thing is, even with all those hours put in I still have a dozen different armor sets in mind that I want to build. Even for weapons I’m trying outside of my favorite Hunting Horn style!

It may not be the deepest game from a narrative perspective, or the most novel game from a mechanical perspective…

But with nearly 100 large monsters and infinite possibilities to dick around with friends, Monster Hunter succeeds at being the game I’ve had the most fun with this year. As well as being the game I know I’ll continue to love in 2019!


In case the pattern wasn’t clear, 2018 was a great year for my Nintendo Switch. That console has really come into its own far more than the Wii U ever did (particularly with indie games), and I’m so glad to see it.

That said, let me know what some of your favorite games of the year were! I obviously don’t own a PS4 or an Xbox One and couldn’t put any games from those libraries on the list, but I know there were some phenomenal showings all across the board.

Here’s to 2019 being as great a year for gaming as 2018 was!