Tag: Switch

Looking at Nintendo’s E3 2018 Conference

Looking at Nintendo’s E3 2018 Conference

E3 was a tricky thing for me this year. See… A lot of it just isn’t for me.

That’s not me saying I’m not interested in a lot of the developers and what they’re working on, I mean literally there are barriers to me playing most games.

Like yeah I would love to play Kingdom Hearts 3, and I thought having three trailers across three different conferences that all featured different content was dope. But it’s on Xbox One and Playstation 4. Not the Switch.

#BringKH3toSwitch

Or yeah, Resident Evil 2 getting an HD remake is neat. Shadows Die Twice looks like a super cool game. Monster Hunting in Final Fantasy 14 is a good idea no matter which way you slice it. Fallout 76 seems interesting and fun. Etcetera, etcetera.

Unfortunately I’m just limited in what I can access, and money is a severely limiting factor when it comes to getting consoles.

So to sum up 90 percent of E3 this year I’ll say this: It was better than a lot of other years prior, and I had a great time watching my friends freak out about what’s coming out soonish. And it has been cool seeing YouTube ads get replaced by E3 trailers

But frankly the only thing I can really have any authority or hype to discuss is the big N. So today, I’m dedicating my blog post to the Nintendo E3 2018 Direct conference.

If you want something more in-depth about the other conferences, there’s plenty of opinions out there. Might I recommend ProJared? He didn’t go to the conference in person this year it looks like, but I still respect his opinion quite a bit.

That said, let’s jump right in with what we got out of Nintendo this year.


So the Direct starts with this hype game about mechs battling called DAEMON X MACHINA. Super action-y music, real Justice League-esque color scheme.

It looks cool, and I get why they would start with something that has such a high-octane feel… But it’s not a very ‘Nintendo’-looking game. I just kind of spent half of it staring at the screen wondering why we started with this and not one of the classic IPs.

But then it very jarringly cuts to silence and awkwardly moves into the next thing.

That next thing happens to be Xenoblade Chronicles 2 DLC. Which is something I would probably care about more if I’d played either of the Xenoblade Chronicles games.

Next.

Okay that’s not fair, it’s nice to see the game getting more love since I know it’s a series plenty of people love. I just literally don’t know enough about it to offer an opinion.

But hey, then our boy Reggie Fils-Aimé comes in to kick things up to 100 for me by showing off that Pokémon goodness.

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Except he doesn’t really, since it’s mostly just a recap of the trailer we saw the other day. No new footage or anything. So I guess if you want my over-extensive rumination on that, check it out through this link.

One thing he does let us know that’s new is the fact that the Pokeball Plus accessory allows you to get Mew in Let’s Go. That… Actually does make them feel much more worthwhile than I had originally thought.

Damn you clever marketing tactics. Damn you…

After that brief aside comes a return to form that feels much-needed on the Switch:

Super Mario Party.

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Image courtesy of vg247.com

That’s right, everyone’s favorite friendship killer is back. But this time it looks like Nintendo made a lot of good choices just based on the footage we can see.

For one, no more cars. Everyone wanders around on the game board on their own again. God bless.

They also show off the fact that the Switch consoles themselves will be well-integrated into the mini games, allowing players to do things like rearrange battlefields for tank fights.

Everything looks colorful and has branching pathways again, and there seems to be a wide variety of mini games to play. On top of that, they clearly pushed the fact that this is a Mario Party you can take literally anywhere thanks to it being on the Switch, which is a good selling point.

Plus Rosalina is there as a playable character. So honestly I can find no reason to complain. Come October, my friends and I are going to be all over it I’m sure.

Once Mario is finished, we move into the next thing. Yet another highly anticipated interest of mine:

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Image Courtesy of Nintendosoup.com

Fire Emblem Switch finally has a name. Fire Emblem: Three Houses.

It seems the one thing Intelligent Systems learned from Fates is the fact that they can sell more games if they split them up, so instead of two main versions now there are three!

Alright no that’s a joke, don’t believe that fake news. I think it’s just three Lord characters from feuding lands or something along those lines.

The game honestly looks gorgeous from what we can see in the trailer. The environments look realistic more in-line with Fire Emblem Warriors than the somewhat cartoonish fantasy worlds of Awakening and Fates. Which is a plus or a minus depending on who you are, but I dig the art style personally.

It also seems to retain the same stylized cutscene art as Echoes, and the in-game character models are full body, more in-line with those cutscenes.

There are a number of new mechanics showcased in the trailer as well. For one, all individual units appear to have their own troop of units surrounding them when you zoom in close enough. Honestly, this makes a lot of sense to embody the feeling of controlling an army, something older titles had to kind of awkwardly skirt around due to the conflicts with its core gameplay mechanics.

The extra troops don’t appear to be able to take hits for each individual main unit, but they can be put into formations to direct attacks whichever way the player wants.

Also introduced as a step-up from previous titles is what looks like semi-open world portions where the game’s lords can explore expansive towns and castles. It’s as if the free-roaming home base feature from Fates used the third person camera style from dungeon exploring that came in Echoes, but it has a massive graphical overhaul.

Beyond that there are a few extra vague things shown that won’t necessarily make sense until we learn more/see the game. There are character choices that may affect what weapons the Lord units specialize in, the evil king uses an electrical whip like that villain from Iron Man 2 (so whips confirmed as weapons?), there are big mechanical people who seem to be units or at least bosses…

And then lore stuff that isn’t exactly clear.

They give a Spring 2019 release date, but that’s about all we can gleam before the next few trailers hit rapid-fire. For anyone who watched the presentation, there’s a pretty big light at the end of the tunnel so I’ll move through them quick.

  • Fortnite on Switch: I couldn’t really care less. But it’s free I suppose?
  • Reggie comes back to introduce Indie games. Starting with the sequel to Overcooked — a game that I’ve been forced to play with my friends and regret every minute of. Why Reggie. Why.
  • Killer Queen Black looks like a strange 16-bit inspired clone of Joust, just updated for 2018 mayhem. Apparently it’s a port of a game Reggie says was really popular… But I’ve never heard of it. So we’ll see.
  • Hollow Knight, meanwhile, is a game I’ve heard plenty about. I’ve heard it’s gorgeous and fun, one of my friend Kyle’s favorites from 2017. I’ll actually consider downloading it given the fact it’s out today.
  • The super stylized Square Enix RPG Octopath Traveler received an official June 14th release date. I haven’t paid a lot of attention to the game but it looks cool and my friends are hyped for it, so I’m sure I’ll play it eventually.

After those announcements, there’s a montage of games that are either coming out or have come out. The one that stood out most, frankly, is Dragonball FighterZ. Something I’ve been looking for on Switch for forever.

Plus Dark Souls and Monster Hunter Gen Ultimate. And The World Ends with You, coming this Fall apparently.

Just… Give it to me already Nintendo, I need all of your games.

But wait, that montage must be the end of the Direct, right? How can there still be a half hour left?

Oh.

Ohhh.

Oh man. Here we go. Masahiro Sakurai is here. That can only mean one thing:

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Image courtesy of theverge.comtheverge.com

We begin this long examination of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate with the biggest announcement it has to offer. Every single fighter from every previous Smash game is back.

Ice Climbers? In the game.

Solid Snake? In the game.

Pichu? Young Link? Wolf? Pokemon Trainer? In the game.

But more than that, a few characters have received overhauls. Most notably Link, who now sports his Breath of the Wild look, as well as Zelda, from Link Between Worlds, and Ganon, from Ocarina of Time. The clashing art styles there are a bit jarring for me personally, but it’s cool to get a wider breadth of representation for the series!

Oh and let’s not forget the new characters: the Inklings from Splatoon, Princess Daisy and… Oh.

Ridley.

Ridley is actually in the game.

Our memes have become our reality, folks. End of the line.

Many of the characters also appear to have adjusted move sets. Notably final smash attacks. For example, Pac-Man now seems to rain down like meteors in his, rather than just moving semi-quick across the screen. King Dedede’s smash is based on the Masked Dedede cage fight now. Bowser’s is based on the Yoshi’s Island boss fight.

There’s a whole long section in the video going over the different ways characters have changed, and I’d recommend going to watch that. It does a way better job summing things up than I could.

I’ll just say… RIP Landmaster. Your legacy will always be remembered.

Sakurai himself says they made the impossible possible because it’s what players want, and by god is he right. What a beautiful, amazing man.

Eight-player Smash matches are also returning, as are a billion fan-favorite maps. On top of that, there are little quality of life changes like seeing gauges for Cloud and Robin’s abilities, which makes it easier to track everything on one screen.

Oh and let’s not forget. Assist trophies have been added, like the Squid Sisters. Many can be knocked out too New Pokémon assists have been added, like Solgaleo from Sun and Moon.

… Also Bomberman is there. Because why not?

Everything emphasized by Sakurai seems to suggest the game’s development was focused on making everything more beautiful, more intimately connected to the individual fighters showcased and more quick and fun as a brawler for players.

It’s honestly a greatest hits album for Smash Bros., and I really can’t argue with how amazing it looks.

I just hope we get a lot more new characters in the lead-up to the game. I want the roster for Smash Ultimate to look like one of those silly rom hack Smash games. After all, the Inkling fighters and Ridley both look like really fun additions.

But mostly I want more characters because then we get more amazing reveal trailers.

In Ridley’s trailer, he straight up murders Mario and Mega Man.

Like holy shit it’s so intense and real like for no reason. And I love it.

Plus they say he finally ‘hits the big time.’ I see what you did there Sakurai.

With Smash coming out in December, it’s heard up to be a perfect holiday present for all the kiddos. I’m certainly looking forward to it!


I can understand why people might have been disappointed by Nintendo’s E3 Direct this year.

As a fan of Fire Emblem, Pokémon and Smash Bros., I had a great time watching the Direct. It does help that the Switch is the only console I own, so it was kind of a look at the only games I can get in the near future… But still.

I felt much more hype walking out of the Direct than I did walking in.

Despite that, the lack of discussion regarding things like Metroid Prime 4, which was teased last year, and other such misses are easy jabs to make at the conference. Everything was very focused on a select number of games, with not too much else branching out.

Of course there was (and I believe still is as I write this) the Treehouse Live going on that talked about more Pokémon details and stuff like that… But I didn’t have the patience or time to sit through it, so I’m going to leave those topics for another day.

Maybe.

Probably not, I don’t know. We’ll see.

In the meantime, let me know what you thought of Nintendo’s E3 conference this year!

Or, further than that, let me know what you thought of E3 in general this year. I may only have a Nintendo console, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t games in the other spheres that I didn’t find interesting. I’d love to hear what you’re looking forward to coming soon to consoles everywhere!

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Let’s Go, Pokémon!

Let’s Go, Pokémon!

I had a totally different post planned for tonight.

But you know what?

The Pokémon hype train is too. God. Damn. Real.

That’s right folks, we’ve got a brand new trailer for a brand new Pokémon game, and you know damn well it’s time for me to go back to my Sun & Moon lead-up days of deeply analyzing anything and everything I can get my hands on.

This is about to be a long piece picking apart each and every piece of the trailer that I can.

Hope you’re ready. Because I am.


Let’s Go, Pokémon!

So obviously the first thing to address when it comes to discussing the brand new upcoming games of Let’s Go, Pikachu and Let’s Go, Eevee is the tie-in to the mobile app Pokémon GO.

I played Pokémon GO for a good long time, it’s actually a pretty key element to my summer the year it came out when I would use El Camino College as my walking ground for catching Pokémon.

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The game had plenty of gems like this!

However… The app didn’t have a whole lot of staying power.

It got stale rather fast for me, and there were things about the game that needed to be implemented that weren’t until it was too late.

I still haven’t gone back, even though they’ve officially started to release Pokémon from the third generation (my personal nostalgic favorite).

Where the trailer for Let’s Go begins, it seems as though they’re setting up this title to be almost like a port of Pokémon GO for the Nintendo Switch. Which, in all honesty, would make zero sense considering what the appeal is for GO.

But then as token young child sits down on the couch and Pikachu jumps into the television, all becomes clear:

Kanto.

Remake.

Even though the warning on the bottom left suggests that ‘game footage is not final,’ the intent is clear. That boy you’re watching on-screen is Red, the original protagonist. With a Pikachu on his shoulder. Standing in Professor Oak’s Pokémon Lab in Pallet Town.

As he runs off onto Route 1 and through what appears to be Viridian City in a few small snippets before the trailer splits to show Leaf (Red’s female counterpart from the Gen 3 remakes of Firered and Leafgreen) and an Eevee, already the comparisons are clear for me.

Graphically, Let’s Go looks to have the same, if not better, quality models and environments than Sun and Moon — which to be fair does make sense considering the jump from the 3DS to the Switch.

Yet in terms of style, the world appears to be built more in-line with the philosophy of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (ORAS). Ostensibly this makes sense considering Let’s Go is being billed as a remake of the original Pokémon Yellow.

Keep the core of the world alive but update what we can see and juice everything up.

And sure perhaps I’m putting too much stock into the initial glances we get based on this trailer alone, but the way everything has been updated does look gorgeous. Environments on par with Sun and Moon being utilized for a faithful world recreation ala ORAS is by no means a bad combination.

Oh, and there are fully animated cutscenes too, just like the few that appeared in Sun and Moon. I enjoyed those as well, so I hope they’re utilized properly.

Seriously though you look at Vermillion City in the brief shot they provide and tell me it doesn’t look just amazing.


Blending Gameplay

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Image courtesy of Serebii.net

One of the reasons Pokémon GO got stale for me so quickly was because there really wasn’t a heck of a lot to keep me invested in catching Pokémon.

Yes I adore Pokémon as a series because the creatures are adorable and I wish I could have them in real life.

But I also adore Pokémon as a series because I’m one of those weirdos that actually enjoys the story and the characters.

Yeah that’s right, I play Pokémon for the story. Come at me.

Being an aspiring writer, the monster catching series was one of the earliest things that drew me to both the mediums of video games and writing. The plots of each of the seven generations of main series games are burned into my skull, and I can seriously throw down long diatribes explaining why I adore X character based on this line of dialogue they gave.

It’s that much of an obsession for me.

In that way Let’s Go, Pikachu & Eevee becomes a beautiful middle ground.

Granted, the Gen one titles of Red and Blue (plus Yellow technically, all things considered) are arguably my least favorite. I enjoy the spit out of Firered, but find myself less engaged in the world those games create than any of the others.

Despite that caveat, I do still enjoy the games and like the Kanto region for as classic and iconic as it is, so getting to revisit them is great. Especially considering those two remakes came out in 2004 and leave Kanto the only stand-alone generation not featured on the DS-forward.

The brilliance behind the marketing for Let’s Go comes off that point. This is the first time we’re getting a Pokémon game centered around the Kanto region, literally a remake of the first adventure as the trailer goes on to stipulate, since Pokémon GO was a mass phenomena and brought tons of people who played the original titles back into the fold.

Timing is everything, and I’ll be damned if that’s a coincidence.

But no, we know it can’t be a coincidence because Let’s Go is literally built with the same functionality as Pokémon GO.

The first of multiple different ways to interact with the game is through single joycon play. Literally you sit back with a joycon and play the game like it’s Pokémon.

But when you need to catch a random encounter, you chuck a Pokémon with the same minigame/spinoff style Pokémon GO offers. It’s just this time you literally throw like pitching a baseball rather than flicking your finger on the screen.

If that’s not a perfect way to not only utilize the functionality of the Nintendo Switch, but also bring the ‘catch Pokémon for real’ mentality of GO into contact with the story and immersive world of a mainstream Pokémon game, I don’t know what is.

It looks like there’s also probably a way to just hit A to throw as well, as I can already hear the complaints that this repetitive throwing will be too much.

Come on people, it’s Pokémon. Have some fun.


Multiplayer? In my Pokémon?

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Image courtesy of Serebii.net

It’s more likely than you’d think.

Something iconic about the Pokémon series as a whole is its version splitting antics.

Whether you see multiple versions as a smart way to encourage kids to interact and spread a fervor for the game like wildfire, or whether you see it as a cheap cash grab that persists based on ‘tradition’ in a world where it has no place being there, you have to admit:

Playing Pokémon with a community of people is probably the core reason why it’s as popular as it is today.

The idea of the split versions has always had a particularly special place in my heart considering the fact that I have a younger sister. Going all the way back, I’d always buy both versions of a new generation so that I can play one while Aly plays the other.

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Just a piece of my Pokémon collection.

… Granted she tends to give up, which makes both versions my playing grounds to try out different things. But that’s a different story.

Pokémon Let’s Go is going to take that to a whole new level by allowing us to play the same Pokémon game at the same time using both joycons.

Honestly? That would be a selling point alone even if nothing else about this were true.

That multiplayer is somewhat limited from the looks of things, essentially allowing both players to run around freely on the same screen but not putting them on separate journeys.

Instead, the catching game becomes more of a co-operative experience where things like having the right timing together improves your chances of catching Pokémon.

The way multiplayer interacts with battle is a little funnier, as it seems like player two gains access to another member of your party so you both can fight at the same time.

While I can only imagine creating infinite two-on-one situations will make the journey relentlessly easy, I can’t help but relish the idea of reversing the terrible circumstances of Sun and Moon where enemy Pokémon called for help all the damn time.

A few other things I’d like to note in this section:

  • From the brief battle sequences we see, as well as whatever capturing is shown off, it appears like most every environment in the game will have an equally unique battle locale. Which is amazing and highly encouraged, hopefully beyond even what Sun and Moon offered.
  • Pokémon appear to roam wild as overworld sprites in Let’s Go. I can only hope this will be less of a gimmick-y ‘hey look who shows up here’ and more of a way to flesh out the living world, as obviously a game that’s going to be a Kanto remake with a complete battle system will also have random encounters to facilitate grinding for the Elite Four.
  • While I love the idea of multiplayer, it does currently leave me second guessing the possibility of this being a Pokémon game with full online functionality too. It seems like the focus is going to be solely on Kanto Pokémon, so will there be wi-fi battling and trading? It doesn’t seem like it, which may cut down the game’s longevity, but we’ll see when more information comes out.

New Toys for Kanto

Along with just using a single joycon, Nintendo is also going to be releasing a little Pokéball toy that can be used in place of the traditional controller as something to throw at wild encounters.

That seems to be the pattern for Pokémon games lately, releasing a gimmicky object alongside their titles. Remember the Z-Ring for Sun and Moon?
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I remember the Z-Ring for Sun and Moon.

This one seems cute but not necessarily something I’ll be chomping at the bit to go out and buy. Beyond that capture integration, the chief thing it seems a trainer can do with the Pokéball is bring Pikachu (or Eevee) along with you to make noises.

Sort of like the Pokéwalker that came with Heartgold and Soulsilver. Except also a controller.

But hey it does make cute noises. So… You can get beat up in school easier?

Dunno, my sister was awfully excited for this when I showed her the trailer, but I’m fairly ambivalent.

Also on display in this section of the trailer is Let’s Go’s functionality with Pokémon GO itself.

According to this tweet, the functionality purely extends to Kanto Pokémon — which is what leads to my trepidation from before about the existence of wi-fi connectivity acting as an extender for Let’s Go.

It also seems to me that the Pokémon you bring in from the real world will only be accessible through a special location, GO PARK.

I suppose it could be wonky to have to transfer things like stats between such totally different games, so I understand… But that is a shame.

Makes me feel slightly less apt to pick up Pokémon GO again to transfer my cool Pidgeot over. But we’ll see.


More, More, More!

There are a number of other things throughout the trailer that warrant discussion as well, but I’ll try to sum them up more quickly since this is already getting long in the tooth.

  • Red and Leaf ride a hell of a lot of Pokémon in the trailer. An Onyx, a Lapras and a Charizard at least. I can’t quite tell based on this trailer alone whether or not all Pokémon will have rideable functionality for something or another, or whether this replaces HMs similarly to Sun and Moon, but we’ll see. I hope it’s the latter.
  • Concurrent with the previous point, it seems as though every single Pokémon does at least have an overworld model programmed in-game. There are scenes where it appears as though they can follow you as well, such as the red-and-blue striped underground tunnel where two players are followed by Nidoking and Nidoqueen. Will full Pokémon following return from Heartgold and Soulsilver, even if just for Kanto Pokémon?
  • Eevee and Pikachu are customizable! The player character probably isn’t considering they’re supposed to stand in for Red and Leaf, and I don’t have a problem with that, but the fact that the game’s mascots can have outfits is too cute for words. I just hope they stay dressed up during battle!
  • Someone somewhere used Seismic Toss on a Magikarp for the trailer and that person deserves a raise.
  • Did I mention there are full cutscenes in the game? Well, one of those is the Mewtwo encounter. Player model appears to have more facial range than the Sun and Moon protagonist, so that’s again a plus for Let’s Go.

Concluding Thoughts

Okay, so there are one or two other things to touch on oh-so-briefly before wrapping this sucker.

First: Eevee’s voice.

Look. I get it Game Freak. Pikachu got special treatment starting in Gen six, where it started to say its name because mascot. It was cute and I get it.

Eevee didn’t need the same treatment, even though you’re trying to fill that same cute mascot niche. I’m not a huge fan of Eevee saying its name like in the trailer.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m playing Let’s Go, Eevee all the way because Eevee is far superior to Pikachu in my opinion, but still.

Also at the end of the trailer was a tease to a brand new Pokémon being shown off somehow in-game. On Twitter, the Pokémon folks do confirm that this will be a 100 percent totally brand new Generation Eight Pokémon.

Because oh yeah by the way, new main series Pokémon title in 2019.

That’s another thing to get hyped about, but hype will wait for another day in that particular train’s engine.

For now we still need to get through November 16, 2018 when Let’s Go Pikachu & Eevee will be released upon the world.

If you couldn’t tell already, I’m super duper excited for it. I was pretty burned out on Pokémon after the back-to-back release of Sun/Moon and their Ultra sequels, but this is a whole new adventure with tons of unique bells and whistles to get ready for.

I do hope after the 2019 games are released that Game Freak takes a bit of a break, both because it would be well-deserved and because fatigue may set on if they start to push out a big game every single year for too long.

Though Marvel’s been going strong for 10 years with the same philosophy and look where that has them. So who knows!

All I know is that despite trepidation for a few key points I’ve listed throughout this analysis, I’m excited for the Let’s Go Pokémon games all the same. It has probably pushed off Dark Souls as a major game to purchase for the console since I now need to save my money.

Sorry Dark Souls, we’ll have our day.

I’m also ready for more and more news to come out about the game in the coming months. How will the new character designs look? What sort of new things can we expect to be added into the game’s lore? Will Jesse and James appear as a part of Team Rocket like in the original Yellow?

Expect to see me blathering about it from now until November.

So, until the next news comes, tell me internet: What is YOUR opinion regarding these new Pokémon games? I’ll undoubtedly be seeking reactions on my own, but I’d like to know what the people who follow me think too.

The Summer 2018 Initiative

The Summer 2018 Initiative

“There was an idea,” said a much more popular and talented man than I at the crux of one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken, both in the universe of its canon and the world of comic book-based cinema.

This post here… Has absolutely nothing to do with that particular idea whatsoever.

However, the project I’m introducing here was certainly an idea I had a long time ago that I’ll finally be bringing into fruition.

Last summer kicked off with a dumb attempt at writing a sonnet that I thought was a good idea for whatever reason. It was hokey and didn’t actually do anywhere, so overall it was a forgettable idea.

This summer I’m going to do something a little more ambitious. Following the advice I’ve heard from many successful creative figures that I look up to, I will be trying to write something — anything really — here on my blog every day this summer.

That’s right, finals may have just ended, but now that I’ve spent all weekend literally pouring hours into Switch Minecraft with my friends (not that that’s going to end anytime soon either), I’m ready to make sure I keep my brain working during this long break.

What should everyone expect to see? Well, like I said: Anything.

First on the docket is going to be a Fire Emblem Heroes post tomorrow. Because of course it is. But after that the sky’s the limit!

Talking about more video games I’m currently invested in. Talking about whatever work I do for Gladeo or the Titan over the summer. Talking about family or friend trips and hangouts. Talking about just the most random stuff that I’ve always had an inkling to post about but never had the drive to do it.

Given the need I’ll create for myself to have something out every day, all of my weirdly obscure ideas will probably come out of the woodwork. Even if it’s just me rambling about a subject completely out of left field for 500 words or so.

I just want to keep my creative juices flowing and discipline myself more, and unfortunately Minecraft just doesn’t fill the particular writing niche I’m thinking about despite it being an ostensively great creative tool.

Something like this project is probably as close as I’ve gotten to fulfilling that whole “work in progress” thing I’ve been using as a makeshift blog site title for the last two-and-a-half years (assuming you don’t count my growing catalog of stories), so hopefully it’s something you all enjoy.

Also, hopefully it’s something that doesn’t just burn me out. But hey, I guess only time will tell in that case!

Entertainment Beat Report – May 4, 2018

Entertainment Beat Report – May 4, 2018

My apologies for missing last week oh devoted(?) fanbase. Looking at terrible restaurants around CSUF took up a whole lot of my time.

But now that that’s out-of-the-way I have way more free time and a hell of a lot less stress. So let’s talk about some video game news, shall we?


Upcoming President of Nintendo wants to focus on Mobile

The eternal gaming juggernaut Nintendo recently announced that its current president, Tatsumi Kimishima, will be stepping down in June.

He will become an advisor to the company’s next president (assuming stockholders agree) Shuntaro Furukawa, according to Kotaku.

Since Kimishima took the helm of the video game world’s most recognizable company following the unfortunate death of Satoru Iwata, it was brought back into an upswing thanks to the transition from the unsuccessful Wii U into the quite well-received Nintendo Switch.

Interestingly enough, one thing I learned from Kotaku Features Editor Chris Kohler’s article here is the fact that the current executive is not only going to be the sixth president of Nintendo ever, but also the first to take over during a thriving period of the company’s history.

Furukawa is supposedly interested in not just keeping up the success of the mobile hybrid console currently printing money for Nintendo, but also looking to take more advantage of the iPhone and Android gaming market.

As someone who rather obsessively plays Fire Emblem Heroes, Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links and has had stints with both Pokémon GO and Super Mario Run, I’m pretty interested in that choice.

Though I do hope a large chunk of their focus remains on the classic gaming model more than the free-to-start ‘gotcha’ games.


Nintendo Labo kits face mediocre sales

Sticking with the Nintendo side of the world, let’s talk about Nintendo Labo again.

It’s a subject I’ve discussed before because it’s an interesting experiment all things being equal. For those of you who are unaware, Nintendo Labo is a series of arts-and-crafts kits in which Nintendo Switch owners can build objects out of cardboard that will allow them to play mini-games.

As the video above shows, there are objects like fishing poles, motorcycles and even a backpack that lets you imitate the giant robot you always wished you could pilot.

That’s Iron Giant for me, I’d say.

I’ve spent a good amount of time thinking and talking about Labo around here because I’m honestly interested in the idea behind it. As a current fan of things like Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project (a podcast featuring the ex-Mythbusters star), I appreciate the benefits to encouraging kids with a creative making project.

On top of that, the early reception to Labo seemed rather positive. This article by Eurogamer writer Robert Purchase really sums things up rather well in my opinion.

In essence, he argues that Labo is expensive and somewhat cumbersome to pull together on top of being something that isn’t incredibly fun alone… But for kids, it’s rather magical.

However, despite the positivity surrounding these cardboard variety kits, they don’t appear to be selling well in Japan since launching on April 20.

Kotaku reports that of the two variety kits currently available, the cheaper variety kit has sold 40 to 60 percent of its stock while the more flashy robot kit has only sold 20 to 40 percent of its stock.

In my opinion, it would be a shame if Labo disappeared into the same failing obscurity of experiments like the Virtual Boy… But at the same time I don’t exactly have the $60 to throw at things that might be just below my age demographic and overall interest level.

So I guess I don’t exactly have any ground to stand on in terms of saying we should support it. I think we should, but I probably won’t own any cardboard anytime soon.


New Overwatch Hero already receiving adjustments for being overpowered

Brigitte, the Swedish mechanical engineer who acts as a mix of a healer/tank unit, recently took Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch by storm.

She’s already getting nerved for taking it a little TOO much by storm.

Just about a day after she got released into the game, Blizzard is already working on balancing the character who seems to be ruffling many feathers among tank-hero players especially, according to PC Gamer… And just about anyone else reporting on the subject.

Now I’m not exactly a regular player of Overwatch, so I can’t necessarily explain the importance and impact of making Brigitte’s ultimate skill only buff character armor by 100 rather than 150, or increasing the cooldown on her stun attack from five to six seconds.

What I can tell you is that my friends who still play Overwatch regularly have noticed her impact and have complained about her.

So good on Blizzard for staying so on top of keeping their game fair.


Harry Potter’s mobile game bows to player criticism

“‘Yer a mobile game, Harry.”

As I mentioned up above, I’ve become more of a fan of mobile games as of late. However… I actually wasn’t aware there was a game based on the Harry Potter novels that dropped toward the end of April.

Apparently that’s not such a bad thing, because the game apparently succumbed to the dreaded microtransaction plague. That’s to bad because I enjoy Harry Potter a lot and it’s a shame that the game is being held back by lousy money practices.

Or is it?

The game has gotten so much negative press over its microtransaction system that it has apparently cut them out down, according to this article by IGN. Or technically Eurogamer since that’s who they source. But I already used Eurogamer so… Diversity.

But wait, there’s more. Supposedly that discounted price has only been seen by some users. Not everyone.

Talk about drama!

I can’t exactly speak to the game’s quality since I haven’t played it, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if this controversy buries it or not.


Steam implements more controller use variety

Valve’s gaming platform Steam has added compatibility with the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller.

That’s uhh… Really all there is to say on this subject, honestly.

It’s a cool idea, as Xbox controllers have become famous in part for being used on Steam, and this shows just another facet of the Nintendo Switch’s staying power overall.

But honestly what else can I add to that particular conversation? I don’t have a Pro Controller since I enjoy just using the Joy Cons. But if I did, I would appreciate being able to use it on my Steam games.

Probably.


That’s about all I have to say this week, and it may be almost everything I have to say altogether. If that makes sense?

I guess it wouldn’t unless you knew that next week is the last day of classes for the Spring 2018 semester. As a result, it will be the week that we get our beat reports examined by the professor.

I’m not sure if I’m going to keep up this experiment after the allotted time period. I do enjoy it, but I’m not sure it’s really my style right now.

If you’re interested in my keeping up this facet of my blog, feel free to let me know in the comments down below. I’d appreciate the input!

I would also appreciate knowing if there was any gaming news I missed, by the way. Because repeated ending phrase is repeated as always.

Entertainment Beat Report – April 19, 2018

Entertainment Beat Report – April 19, 2018

Quippy opening time?

Nah, who needs one of those. We’ve got video games, baby! So how about we just jump right in, that way I’m not keeping everyone busy for the next three years.


‘Monster Hunter: World’ updates with a brand new monster to hunt

If the angry pickle that is the Deviljho wasn’t enough to keep Monster Hunter players satisfied, Capcom has them covered.

As of today, the well-acclaimed developers have added a totally new elder dragon into their open world title known as the Kulve Taroth. While DLC is not anything unique for the Monster Hunter series as a whole, the fact that the DLC in world features brand new additions to the line-up on top of bringing in fan favorite monsters shows that the game has a lot going for its longevity.

On top of the gold-plated elder dragon, Capcom has added a new locale into the game for it to reside in as well. The Kulve Taroth’s nesting place is known as the Caverns of El Dorado, which as the name suggests is essentially a large series of interconnected caverns.

I unfortunately still don’t have a means of playing Monster Hunter: World in my personal time, but I really do like seeing it get the love it deserves. Plus, I’ll likely enjoy beating this thing up when I hang out with my friends over the summer.


‘Dark Souls’ on Switch release date pushed back

This is a story I have somewhat mixed feelings about. The upcoming Dark Souls: Remastered seems to be having some growing pains, as the Nintendo Switch release date was pushed back to the summer (along with its corresponding Amiibo).

Now I say I have mixed feelings on this because on one hand I’m really looking forward to this game coming out so I can finally experience the series I’ve always heard so much about. But on the other hand, I had no idea that the game was set to come out on May 25th originally, and am glad to have some extra time to enjoy ‘Don’t Starve’ more before jumping into a new game.

According to the Nintendo Life article I’m pulling this from (the one I linked above, thanks to my editor’s feedback), the development issues seem to only be affecting the Switch version thus far. Every other console will still see a May 25th release.


Bungie to host community summit regarding ‘Destiny 2’

When Bungie originally decided to move on from their success producing games in the ‘Halo’ series, many fans were sad to see them go but also excited for their next project: Another futuristic space-themed first person shooter called ‘Destiny.’

Destiny was a huge hit upon release and built up a massive fanbase quickly that latched onto the game for years following its 2014 release. However… The sequel, Destiny 2, has not been so lucky.

Because fans continue to have problems with the overall game, Bungie will be holding a community-driven gathering in Washington to see what issues people still want addressed as a means of potentially keeping the game alive.

I’ve never been a huge Destiny fan myself despite a long history with Halo, so I can’t say I’m an expert in everything people complain about regarding the game. This Variety article does a pretty nice job of laying it out though, so give that a read if you’re interested in some more context.

Besides that, don’t have too much to say on this one. I think it’s cool that Bungie wants to bring its community of fans in for this kind of work, but I don’t necessarily have a stake in the game either way.


E3 press conference announcements have begun

With the annual E3 conference comes a heaping helping of new video game news that fans around the world are always eager to gobble up. Even though it won’t be until June, various companies have already begun to announce their line-up of titles and press conference times.

IGN has a nice list of everything that has been announced so far, so I’m going to leave that here. Nobody has leaked the specifics of what they’re doing just yet, but it’ll be interesting to watch this space over the next few weeks to see what we can see.


Nintendo’s Labo experiment to launch tomorrow

If it wasn’t obvious, I’m kind of scraping the barrel at this point. There wasn’t a whole lot of news this last week that was groundbreaking, so I’m just pulling together whatever I can.

Thus, here’s a reminder that tomorrow will bring the release of Nintendo Labo, a strange series of arts-and-crafts add-ons for the Nintendo Switch that will offer an interesting example for the console’s more intricate abilities.

Fittingly released on 4/20, I suppose.

The first Labo Variety Kit will cost $69.99, which is a little rich for my blood looking at what it comes with… But I can’t argue with the fact that the set is essentially four games in one with extra real life fun to be had by building cardboard objects. So the price probably balances out there somewhere.

Also on the release docket for tomorrow is the new God of War, which continues to get rather stellar reviews like I mentioned in my last beat report. Schools around the country should probably be prepared for a lot of absences given the crossover of ‘hype new game’ and ‘smoke weed day’ if I were to make a prediction.


So with this beat report, I tried taking a slightly different approach. A few more items of interest than usual with a shorter, more to-the-point word count on each. Let me know what you think of that in the comments below, since I’m personally hoping it doesn’t just feel like I phoned things in!

Also, as usually, let me know if there’s anything I missed because I’m sure there is.

Hope somebody out there learned something today, but until next time I’m out of here. Have to get to class in about an hour or so, which is why I’m a bit more in-and-out than usual.

Entertainment Beat Report – April 12, 2018

Entertainment Beat Report – April 12, 2018

As it turns out, I must be using the momentum from my Daily Titan post earlier this week to my advantage. Sometimes I astound myself with the way I can just go dark for days on end when I know I’ll enjoy myself after I manage to get out multiple posts in a row.

It’s just a satisfying feeling, man.

But that’s neither here nor there. This is a place to talk about video games. Not any of that real life garbage.

There’s probably some news going back a few weeks that I missed, but honestly I’m going to focus this entertainment beat report on a couple of really big things that have happened just recently in the video game realms that I follow.

So, without further adieu.


Overwatch League player terminated over sexual misconduct allegations

That’s right, we’re starting off with the heavy stuff today folks.

Jonathan Sanchez, a player known as “DreamKazper” from the Boston Uprising team taking part in Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch League tournament, had his contract terminated on Sunday when allegations went around that the 21-year-old was sexually involved with a 14-year-old fan.

Both the League and his former team have released statements about the scandal that can be seen over in the Game Informer link I put above.

I’ll be honest, I don’t exactly have a lot to say about this subject specifically. I have been following the League a little bit for this class, but I wouldn’t call myself an expert. Certainly not enough to know whether or not losing this player will leave a huge dent in the team’s abilities for the rest of the tournament.

But the fact that this story came out and received the reaction it did is important. In an era where the “Me too” movement seems to be taking down celebrities and other popular figures left and right (with good cause), it’s nice to see that a niche industry like eSports is not immune.

Though the League as a whole does not seem to be having a fantastic first run in regards to its media pull, which overall is somewhat unfortunate. Game Informer also linked to coverage of another case where a player was suspended and fined for derogatory language, and I remember writing a beat report not too long ago about one female commentator receiving death threats.

As an obvious fan of all things video games, I’d like to see a mainstream popular League like this survive beyond these controversies.

I suppose only time will tell.


“Donkey Kong” high score disqualified

Everyone loves Donkey Kong, right?

Well yes, Rare’s Donkey Kong Country series is certainly what people know the hulking ape for nowadays, and those games are undoubtedly wonderful both as experiences in themselves and as developments in gaming history.

But I’m talking about old school arcade Donkey Kong. The game where proto-Mario jumped around on scaffolding to save future New Donk City mayor Pauline from the clutches of the red tie-wearing monkey’s grandfather.

Is Donkey Kong a money? I swear I took a primate class not too long ago but I’m still nowhere near enough of an expert…

Anyway, not the point.

The point is, OG Donkey Kong had a worldwide high score set by a player named Billy Mitchell. Mitchell’s scores was removed from rankings of the game following the discovery that many of them were achieved using an emulator, according to a report by Kotaku.

Heather Alexandra has a pretty in-depth story on the subject that’s fascinating in its level of detail, so I’m going to just recommend you read it off the link I posted above.

If you’re at all interested in the retro gaming scene, you’ll have a good time.


New “God of War” title received stellar reviews

There’s a little-known franchise making waves in the game review circuit right now.

Oh, who am I kidding, anyone who’s reading this likely knows what “God of War” is, as it’s far from ‘little-known.’ The highly acclaimed series will be breaking into the next generation of consoles soon with a new release on the PS4, and people have been hyped for the game since it was announced some time ago.

Like many other people, I will affectionately refer to the game as “Dad of War” because the main character, Kratos, is an older man with a son in this title.

The game’s reviews have begun to trickle out now that there’s about a week before its release, and at this point everything looks to be highly in favor of the new Dad of War. On Metacritic, a site that accumulates review scores from across the web, the game has positive acclaim across the board.

Hell, at least three sites have given everyone’s favorite god-slaying daddy a 100 percent. Even IGN, which is pretty famous for hilariously bad reviews (look at you, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire’s 7.8/10 score for ‘too much water’) gave the game a perfect 10 — literally describing the game as a masterpiece.

After initial reviews like that, the question remains: Will Dad of War truly be as impressive as everyone is letting on?

I won’t personally be able to say given the fact that I don’t own a PS4. But my friends might play it.

If they do, I suppose I’ll get my answer there.


There are also probably a few smaller things I could throw into this, but for the most part it would be items of personal interest like the release of Klei Entertainment’s “Don’t Starve” on the Nintendo Switch.

(Shout out to Klei for liking my tweet. I’ve been noticed by Senpai!)

I love the game to death and played hours on end over Steam, so I’m excited to get to dive into it on a more portable system.

That said, it really is more of a personal item, so I’m going to let you all off early on this post.

I hope you all learned something new here today, and if there’s any big news in the world of video games that I missed, feel free to let me know in the comments down below!

Entertainment Beat Report – March 9, 2018

Entertainment Beat Report – March 9, 2018

I’ve had a bit of a hectic week and not a lot of time to pay attention to the gaming scene, but I didn’t want to miss out on one of these beat reports after I already did last week thanks to the convention I attended.

So this is going to be a little more short and to the point, just to show that I’ve been paying some attention to my entertainment beat for class. Hope you all enjoy or learn something either way!


March 8, 2018 Nintendo Direct

Gaming’s biggest name (arguably, but I’d stand by that) made waves across the internet on Thursday when they put on a Nintendo Direct showcasing all of the new stuff coming to stores and e-shops in the near future.

As of me writing this at 5:15 p.m. or so on Friday, the video is still the #3 trending video on YouTube.

I could talk for hours dissecting each and every little announcement that was made… But frankly I still have not watched the whole thing. As I said, time has not exactly been on my side recently.

Despite this, Nintendo includes a summary of everything they announced in the description of the archived stream, so even if I would usually dedicate a whole expansive post to this topic I can run through my thoughts on everything in short form.

I’ll try to be quick and painless with it.

  • The 3DS will have a number of new titles in the near future: WarioWare Gold, Dillon’s Dead-Heat Breakers as a sequel to Dillon’s Rolling Western and a remake of Mario & Luigi Bowser’s Inside Story.
    • As a side note, I’m still confused as to why Bowser’s Inside Story is next on the docket here. Superstar Saga had a remake not too long ago, but theoretically the next game on the list should be Partners in Time if they’re going in order on the Mario RPG kick. Perhaps that’s a discussion for another day…
  • Detective Pikachu will be coming out soon, and Nintendo announced a remake of the GameCube classic Luigi’s Mansion on 3DS. Coming… Sometime soon. Definitely looking forward to that one.
  • Kirby Star Allies, coming out later this month, will allow players to travel with old Kirby staple characters and companions – most notably including the animal buddies from Kirby’s Dream Land 2 and Marx, the (Spoilers? I guess?) arch-villain in Kirby Super Star.
  • Okami HD will be coming to the Nintendo Switch, as will a game called Sushi Striker (a puzzle fighting game based on Sushi I believe?), Captain Toad Treasure Tracker, Undertale, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, the Crash N. Sane Trilogy and so, so much more. Seriously, so many games here that are worth your time it’s crazy.
  • Dark Souls Remastered will have its own special Amiibo based on Solaria of Astora and his famously meme-worthy “praise the sun” pose when launched. Still looking forward to trying this one.
  • Splatoon 2 will receive an expansion with Version 3.0 and $20 paid DLC that’s going to add a whole hell of a lot. More stages, outfits, competitive rankings and even new single player experiences. Who knows, maybe this is the kind of thing that could get me back into that game… If I’d be willing to pay the money, I suppose.
  • Finally, the one that truly broke the internet: Super Smash Brothers is coming to Nintendo Switch. Whether it will be a port of Smash 4 or a new game entirely is not yet known, but it appears like the Inklings from Splatoon are new fighters and Link has been updated to fit his appearance in Breath of the Wild. Though I’m still a huge fan of the Twilight Princess Link, it’ll be interesting to see how that change plays out.
    • Also if you haven’t watched the video yet, go see the Smash teaser where the Inkling has the fiery Smash logo in her eyes. It’s one of my favorite hilarious visuals in a long time.

Mario is coming to Google Maps

Focusing more specifically on Nintendo’s most famous mascot, Mario and Google Maps are apparently combining forces to celebrate March 10. Or, as the joke goes, “Mar10 day.” See what they did there?

Seriously how nice must it be when details like that line up? It’s almost serendipity that years after this character was created we can appreciate unintentionally meta humor like this.

Once Google Maps have been updated, anyone can hit the question block in the corner of the screen to have a 3D model of the plumber replace their car as it travels along the blue line toward a destination. It’s a small, kind of silly idea… But a cool one all the same.

Besides, considering the Pokémon April Fools joke from a couple of years ago helped lead to Pokémon GO, maybe this is just test driving a new Mario Kart mobile platform.

Pun only slightly intended.


Mario Kart-style go-kart track will open this Spring

Nintendo sure has been busy recently, haven’t they?

The Niagara Speedway will soon host a go-kart track inspired by one of our favorite red mustachioed spin-off games, Mario Kart.

Apparently this isn’t the first time, as another similarly inspired set of racetracks also exists in Missouri of all places.

It has been a long time since I’ve gone go karting, so I can’t exactly say I’m excited by the prospects of going again now that I’m way too big to do so probably, but it is pretty cool to imagine playing Mario Kart in real life.

Plus, you can totally have Mario guide your way to the Mario Kart tracks if you choose to drive there this week. Who can argue with that?


Overwatch League host harassed for comments made on International Women’s Day

On finally not Nintendo news, here’s something back with our local Orange County favorite Blizzard.

Unfortunately, this might not be as good a publicity pull as the company might want in the midst of their League’s second stage.

One of the League’s host and analyst, Soe Gschwind-Penski, has apparently been receiving death threats and hateful messages over Twitter after she thanked men for treating women as equals on International Women’s Day.

Really from what I’ve been able to find, that’s about as deep as this story gets. There’s a little more back-and-forth about what she did afterward in the story I have linked above, but I don’t have much to contribute to the conversation.

I just think it’s interesting that there was a vitriolic response to what seems like such a simple, encouraging message. Guess that’s just the nature of the world we live in today.


President Trump held meeting about violence in video games following Parkland shooting

The Parkland shooting in Florida on Feb. 14, 2018 left 17 people dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

In the wake of that tragedy, U.S. President Donald Trump decided to gather together higher-ups in the video game industry to discuss the violence they showcase.

According to the Verge, his meeting started with a series of clips putting various games’ violence on display, a video which has since been uploaded to the White House YouTube page.

Personally I’m not sure that kind of thing needs to be there necessarily… But I guess it is.

That same article says the meeting was “unproductive and bizarre,” with little discussion on potentially being able to restrict companies in what they can produce. More of the discussion was focused on voluntary measures and more robust age restrictions.

Another point worth noting about this story is different groups pointing to it as a “distraction tactic” in leu of talking about gun control, which says a lot with the March for our Lives march planned by students to talk about guns and mass shootings later this month.


Like I said before, things have been busy for me so I haven’t exactly gotten the chance to appreciate a wider scope of news — as I’m sure is obvious by the amount of Nintendo dominating the charts here.

If there is any news I missed that you were interested in, please let me know about it in the comments below! I know I can’t hit everything, so it’d be great to know exactly what I wasn’t paying attention to.

Entertainment Beat Report – Feb. 23, 2018

Entertainment Beat Report – Feb. 23, 2018

As I’ve mentioned across the last few posts on my blog, this week has been incredibly busy for me and kind of threw my whole schedule off-kilter. I also spent a lot of time working on the first major article for my Entertainment Reporting class — which I might add is currently being looked at for the Titan, so it may see more of the light of day soon.

In the meantime, as a result of all that I haven’t exactly paid a lot of attention to the overall video game world. This beat report is going to be relatively short as a result, but considering part of my grade is keeping it up… What can I say. Obligations are a powerful thing.

That said, I hope you still enjoy.


Kentucky Governor blames Florida shooting on video games, other violent media

This is actually the story I wrote my first major article about this week, so I won’t go too deep into it now.

A day after the mass shooting that left 17 dead in Parkland, Florida, Gov. Matt Bevin blamed violent video games and similar media on essentially creating a society trained to kill.

As someone who has always played video games, I’ve always taken the repeated accusations of their negative effects somewhat personally. That much hasn’t changed, but I was able to take it to more of a professional place by writing about the issue.

I talked to a professor at CSUF that’s an expert on violent media and aggressive behavior, did some research into American Psychological Association studies and more, eventually coming to the conclusion that video games and such do play a part in violent behaviors, but there are far more intersecting ideas to consider for it to be so black-and-white.

Like I said, I have a whole extended article on the subject now, so I’ll be able to share that later. Even if it doesn’t get published, I can always put it out independently here.

Because of that I’ll just move on for now and get into those weeds sometime in the near future.


2018 Game Developer Conference schedule released

Every year, game developers from across the world gather together to discuss the industry, projects they’re working and look at interesting repercussions of past projects.

That gathering is known simply as the Game Developer Conference, which will be held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California this year. On Thursday, the session scheduler for the event was released.

Frankly… The schedule is huge. So huge that I haven’t really had the time to comb through it. But there’s a ton of names from a ton of well-regarded companies in attendance, so no matter where you go there are definitely going to be things to see.

The conference will be held between March 19 and 23, with entry prices ranging from $250 for basic passes to $2,350 for all access passes.

A little steep for my blood, admittedly… But I’m definitely looking forward to hearing any sort of announcements that are made throughout the event online while it’s going on.


Overwatch League Stage 2 begins

Here’s something that’s just kind of continuing off of my last Beat Report. Blizzard’s big eSports experiment has started its second leg, and we’re two days into the competition.

So far (as of this writing), six games have been played out. No teams have had repeat games at this point so there isn’t much to say about rankings and whatnot, but the already high flying New York Excelsior team won its first game against Florida.

That’s something.

Honestly I never thought I would care about the Overwatch League as much as I have since starting to follow it for this class, so I’ll probably keep checking back on it from time to time.

For now however, there isn’t too much more to say. So let’s move on to the next.


First major Mario Odyssey update hits Nintendo Switch

As someone who has played a ton of Mario Odyssey, this story is a little more personally attuned to my interests, I’d say.

Once again I discussed the update in a post some time ago when it was first announced, but in essence a new game mode was added to the famous plumber’s newest adventure.

With the free Luigi’s Balloon World, players are able to talk with their green-clad brother and start what is essentially a game of hide and seek. In each kingdom, you can hide a balloon anywhere you can platform your way to in a limited amount of time, then it’s up to another player to try and find your hiding place. Or vice versa for that matter!

It’s a fun twist on the game’s core mechanics that seems to have breathed a breath of fresh air into it, certainly on my end at least. Plus the update also added some new costumes, including a reference to Super Mario Sunshine.

Who can complain about that?


That’s about what I’ve got for this week.

If there’s any big news that I’ve missed, or any details in the stories I did discuss that you particularly enjoy and want to talk about, let me know.

Next week I might also be a little off in terms of the timing of my post, as a forewarning. There’s a journalism conference I’m attending with other members of the Daily Titan, so I might be distracted by that.

Even so, I will be back with more at some point next week. So look forward to that!

My thoughts on the January 2018 Nintendo Direct Mini

My thoughts on the January 2018 Nintendo Direct Mini

I’ve been busy the last couple of days between training for the Daily Titan, working on three stories for our first issue of the semester, writing some stuff for Gladeo and plenty of other little time consuming things, so I didn’t have time to really write something extended on the Nintendo Direct Mini that premiered earlier.

After watching through it again, however, I decided I didn’t exactly have a lot to say about the games they talked about in the first place. As a result I figured I could just run though a couple of quick fire thoughts here before working on writing my Fire Emblem Heroes post for tomorrow. It shouldn’t take all that long ideally, and I am interested in putting some of my mind on paper.

Metaphorically.

The 14 minute direct came completely unbeknownst to me, but I’m glad my friends let me know to stumble upon it because there are a few things on the list of announcements that I’m really glad I found out about now.

Of course there were a few throwaway things for me throughout. Namely the Pokkén Tournament expansion, the Dragon Quest Builders demo, Ys VIII, SNK Heroines, Art of Fighting 2, Fe and Celeste. For one reason or another none of those games really spoke to me, so if you’re hoping I talk about them then you’re probably going to be a bit disappointed.

Beyond those there were quite a few things mentioned that I’m quite excited about. For example, I’m really looking forward to jumping back into Kirby with Kirby Star Allies.

KirbyStarAlliesLogo
Image courtesy of kirby.wikia.com

The game seems to be combining the art style of Triple Deluxe (one of my favorites in the series) and an extended version of the ability combination from Kirby 64 and Squeak Squad. The thing that got me more excited about this title is the fact that it’s coming out on March 16.

 

 

 

I had no idea it was going to be that early, but I’m very excited knowing there’s at least one game to look forward to early on this year.

Seriously Kirby is one of my favorite Nintendo properties. Even if the games tend to be on the easier side, they’re never not fun. They’re always a blast to play and this one promises to be a blast to play on a system that has already given us the amazing next steps of Mario and the Legend of Zelda.

So yeah can we just skip ahead to March? Maybe?

SQ_NSwitch_HyruleWarriorsDefinitiveEdition
Image courtesy of Nintendo.co.uk

Nintendo also promises a port of Hyrule Warriors definitive edition in the spring featuring a combined roster of all the main and DLC characters from both the Wii U and 3DS versions. It seems like this could be a good opportunity for me to go back and get that game since I missed out on it during its first run of popularity, which is an especially promising idea considering it’s going to be a more complete package.

Plus, I still haven’t gotten Fire Emblem Warriors either… So I really need to dip my toes in the Warriors series eventually.

Another Nintendo game making a return on the Switch is Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.

Donkey-Kong-Country-Tropical-Freeze-01
Image courtesy of neogaf.com

I don’t know that I’m as excited for this title coming back as I am for Hyrule Warriors, but if nothing else both of these games returning sets a promising precedent for something like… Say… Super Smash Brothers 4 to get a definitive version on the Switch.

One can dream.

Also, playing Mario Odyssey and spending an obsessive amount of time in New Donk City has rekindled some of my love for the big ape. Add in Funky Kong as a new playable character and I’m probably a little more open-minded for Tropical Freeze as a result.

Speaking of Mario Odyssey, it’s one of three games getting an update soon. The others are Pokkén Tournament, which I already said I don’t feel too strongly about since I really have no intent to own that game, and Mario + Rabbids which is another game I don’t own despite being more interested in it.

But hey, Donkey Kong is being added to that game. So… Tropical Freeze callback? Or something…

Anyway, in the Odyssey update Nintendo will be adding a new mode called Luigi’s Balloon World.

SuperMarioOdyssey_Luigi_DLC_scrn_09_1280
Image courtesy of Polygon.com

First of all, Luigi. Adding him into the game makes this already a win in my book.

Beyond Luigi just being amazing, the minigame the update adds does seem interesting in its own right. Essentially there are two aspects to it. The first had players able to choose to hide a balloon somewhere in the Kingdom they’re playing on. The second lets players choose to hunt down a balloon that has been hidden by another player.

The catch is that both modes must be completed in 30 seconds.

As the announcer talks about in the Direct, this encourages a speedrun-centric style of gameplay where the players who know the most about the map around them can create the best hiding places that might be hard for more casual players to reach. It’s a really interesting way to approach Odyssey that I never would have considered implementing, but one that also feels ingeniously perfect for an on-the-go console like the Switch thanks to the short time limits.

If I’m being completely honest, that little addition to an already great game frankly seems more interesting than the entirety of Mario Tennis Aces.

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Image courtesy of nintendosoup.com

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Mario Tennis games. Mario Power Tennis was one of my favorite GameCube games. From what I understand the most recent Wii U Mario Tennis game was somewhat disappointing, however. As a result of that and the strangely real-world tennis outfits characters are wearing (like Mario up above) I’m fairly skeptical.

Interested, but skeptical.

The last major theme of this Direct that caught my interest was the amount of games being ported to the Switch that seem like unusual candidates.

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Image courtesy of overkillsoftware.com

First is Payday 2, a game which feels like it has been around forever but has never necessarily caught my interest. Even so, it just seems strange to me that Nintendo would sanction a game about (somewhat) realistic gun play and bank heists being put on their system.

Though that brings me to the second game, Dark Souls.

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Image courtesy of polygon.com

Somehow the meme that was Dark Souls on the Nintendo Switch came true. From Software’s dark, demented and incredibly difficult action adventure is finally coming to a platform that I can play it on. To be honest, as much as I’m fairly intimidated by the game, I think it’s going to be worth trying it out if for no other reason than to appreciate the cult classic status.

If I actually get around to doing that, it should be quite the adventure.

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Image courtesy of nintendowire.com

Third on the list is The World Ends with You, arguably the game I’m the most interested in.

I have no prior experience with the Nintendo DS classic – unless you count the characters appearance in Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance that is. Yet, basically every person I know or follow online seems eager to put TWEWY way high up on their ‘best DS games of all time’ lists.

Just from what I’ve seen, I can imagine why. The game has a really cool anime-pixel art style and an interesting gameplay mechanic in its original form involving two characters fighting at once with players using the touch screen to control one and buttons to control the other.

That will presumably shift to being one joy con controlling each character on the Switch version, but I could be wrong on that. I don’t know what the control scheme is going to look like.

That’s just another part of what makes it so exciting for me.

Not only will it be a game with an interesting story and control scheme, it’s also going to be an extended edition with more content similar to Hyrule Warriors.

Though TWEWY has no official release date beyond coming this year, it’s honestly going to be at the top of my ‘to get’ list whenever it arrives.

Those are about my off-the-cuff thoughts on the Nintendo Direct Mini. So, I leave things at this (as usual). What did you think of the Direct? Which games are you looking forward to?

Let me know in the comments!

My (obligatory) Top 10 Games of 2017 List

My (obligatory) Top 10 Games of 2017 List

A merry Christmas to all of you out there that are taking a break from your families on this most Yule of evenings and have decided, for one reason or another, to spend some time reading this silly, clichéd offering of mine.

That’s right, as the title above suggests, I’ve decided to throw my hat in the ring with a top 10 list of my favorite games that I played this year. It’s been done to death by anyone with an interest in anything… But what can I say. I’ve always enjoyed the idea and wanted to try it myself.

As I don’t celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah ended a couple days ago, I’m just going to be hanging around all day today more or less. I figured doing a list like this could also double as my ‘here are some good gifts for the holiday season’ suggestions. A little late? Perhaps. But I like to think it’s just well-timed enough.

As a couple of forewarnings before we get into things. Just remember that this is my own personal list of favorites. In other words, it’s an opinionated list, so if you don’t agree with me… Well, that’s your opinion. I respect that you have your opinions so long as you respect that I have mine.

On top of that, while it has been an objectively great year for games in general, it has unfortunately not been a wonderful year of gaming for me. Because of the work constraints I’ve had as a college newspaper editor, a full-time student and an intern, there hasn’t been nearly as much time to play games as I would have liked.

So, if anything, these 10 games I’m listing off are arguably the only 10 games I’ve spent any considerable time actually playing this year.

If you don’t see a game you really liked this year, that’s probably why. As a matter of fact, unless you’re a Nintendo junkie like me, you probably won’t see a lot of games you’re familiar with on this list. A Switch and 3DS are my main gaming systems right now, so there aren’t a lot (if any) PS4 or Xbox games in my playing field.

With all that out of the way, let’s jump into the reason we’re all really here than, shall we? After all, what would a games list be without the games?



Editor’s Note: For anyone reading this on my blog proper, I’m going to stick the content under a read more tag. I pretty much let it all out with this one, so it’s long and I don’t want to completely bog everything else down.

Even so, I hope everyone enjoys the show! #UnintendedRhyme



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