The Nintendo Switch: First thoughts

Now I was going to post about what I was hoping from the Nintendo (NX at the time) Switch but, low and behold Nintendo decided to drop a really big bomb and blow us all away with the unveiling of the console.

There were plenty of rumours to what the Switch would be, what it would look like, the types of games it would play and the methods in which you played them. And you know what? A lot of leaks or rumours did in fact turn out to be true.

switch2

Now the Switch may incorporate a lot of similarities to the Wii U and could deter a lot of people from purchasing a Nintendo console still, however, the accessibility looks pleasing. What will be interesting will be how we move on from the Wii U seeing as two of its games were featured to be played on the Nintendo Switch. As the Switch will be using tiny cartridges (a return to better days and aided by how we store memory these days) it is unlikely there will be backwards compatibility.

That being said, it would be pretty disappointing if we have to fork out again for Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon, the latter could probably see a sequel in the works due to the positive reception it has received by selling over a million copies. With Mario Kart 8 however, it is probably the tightest in the series and only needs a couple more add-ons such as more customisation. It would be great to build karts and maps in the game but, with it being on a Nintendo platform, shit just ain’t that easy.

switch7

Maybe we could see these games transferred through our Nintendo accounts? Maybe it’s just a preview of the multiplayer & e-sports aspect of the console? All I know is I don’t fancy paying out a tonne of money for the same game no matter the accessibility. In terms of money, as the Switch is of a black/grey colour-scheme, will Nintendo have more customisation for the look of its console? I mean respective Nintendo colours would be great, a themed Zelda or Mario model? Plenty would eat that up.

Microsoft have embraced customisation greatly, I mean just look at their elite controllers! Nintendo had plenty of variants for the N64 and a couple for the Wii and Gamecube… so please Nintendo give me a Breath of the Wild machine!

switch5

Those who believe that somehow we’ll be able to play 3DS titles on the machine I believe would be incorrect. The 3DS sees its next Pokémon installment next month along with series’ such as Pikmin getting their first handheld title next year. There is still plenty of life in the 3DS and to be honest it’s nice to have variety in gameplay which Nintendo and third party developers have always done well. Even though they may be cartridges, Nintendo has too much to lose by removing the 3DS. That being said who knows how long the 3DS’ life cycle will be, hopefully a few more years!

That could then argue would the Switch dominate everything or is it planning to take handheld games? Is the price going to be set for the tablet or for the home machine as well? How much are we going to be spending next year?

I’d definitely say a minimum of £300 for console alone. Games will most likely sell at the same retail price as the rest have done.

switch3

The most exciting revelation from the Switch is…THE REMOVABLE CONTROLLERS!

Nah, but this is a unique feature. It makes me think of the Wii a little or getting more immersed in the gameplay (even if it is a broken apart Wii U). The take-the-tablet-anywhere part is probably the key to this and I can see March next year having everyone with the Switch everywhere. It is rumoured to sell around two million copies upon launch so expect to have a lot of thefts in March. Will Nintendo help protect these tablets with some security? Who knows.

switch4

I think the next big thing is the third party interest. Nintendo is showing a lot of support to third parties such as Sega, Square Enix, Warner Bros. and Activision. In the trailer however, there was gameplay of 2K NBA 17 and Skyrim which is seeing a remaster Friday. So maybe we will have some 2K and Bethesda titles coming to the console? Skyrim on a portable Nintendo console sounds like a pipe-dream but it might be do-able. This will be a while after the remaster though and maybe we’ll see a new Elder Scrolls announcement next year.

You know the Switch is going to make some serious dollar. For a company that’s been losing a lot, Nintendo could easily do with some. I could easily expect a bunch of peripherals for it from different controllers, VR? and a sweet carry case. I expect that the tablet could be touch-screen and it will be interesting to see how different the menu screen is from the Wii and Wii U as it is a pretty simplistic and easy menu. Will Miiverse continue and how will internet be used on the console? WHO KNOWS ANYTHING YET. I do hope we can use more than three wi-fi hotspots though and that we have a better use of online play.

switch6

Finally, I couldn’t be more excited after seeing three seconds of a new 3D Mario game. It looks traditional with coins and platforming. What if it was open world? That would be amazing, it seems to have a western-Mexican look to me but with a more modern cartoon blocky feel to it. Everything is coming up Milhouse or Nintendo and the big N has me drawn in.

Also that trailer didn’t just appeal to children, it had a bit of everything for everyone! Nintendo continues to revolutionise (hopefully) and looks to be learning from their mistakes.

I cannot wait to blast that unreal 4 engine running piece of hardware in March. I feel a revival to what we loved about Nintendo, all I hope is that we can get some solid games and see some of our beloved series’ make a valiant return.

You’ve got to make a few a bad decisions to reach the right one I guess.

Red Dead Redemption 2: IT’S HAPPENING

You’ve all been expecting it and it has finally been confirmed by Rockstar Games: Red Dead Redemption 2 is happening and is set to release Autumn next year!

The Rockstar Games website finally revealed the finishing touches to an image that had been circulating around the internet which had the Red Dead colours along with a group of Western-like individuals.

It looks like we are in store for a trailer this Thursday which in UK time will arrive around 3pm.

Rockstar Games posted on their facebook page saying the game would be:

An epic tale of life in America’s unforgiving heartland, the game’s vast and atmospheric world will also provide the foundation for a brand new online multiplayer experience.

The company will be taking everything they have learned in their past tiles such as the Grand Theft Auto series to give their players the best possible gaming experince!

The original game took place in 1911 and followed outlaw John Martson whose wife and son were taken by government in ransom for his previous gunslinging antics. Martson then sets out to bring down his three former gang members as means of getting his family back. The game was a third-person persepctive which took place in Western-style America and Mexico featuring a multitude of weaponry from the time ranging from pistols to cannons. It had horse riding where horses were tamed and was an open world experience which let the player go at their own pace.

The actions performed by you as Martson gave consequences to both ends of the spectrum: be bad and people are scared of you along with whole towns closing up. However, being bad got you better trade deals with other wrongdooers. You could hijack trains and follow a ‘Grand Theft Auto Wanted’ system. The game was praised for its voice acting and was the second ‘Red’ title following ‘Red Dead Revolver’ and was followed by the ‘Undead Nightmare DLC’. Here Martson liberates towns which are overrun with the undead.

Red Dead Redemption has said to be one of the greatest video games of all time and I cannot wait to see what is in store Thursday!

Pokémon Sun & Moon: the starters have finally been given evolutions

You may have been wondering which starter will I choose? Well yesterday we finally got to find out the 1st stage evolutions for Rowlet, Litten and Popplio.

Rowlet will evolve into the majest Dartrix which is reminiscent of Noctowl. Litten will evolve into Torracat which hardly looks different and Popplio will evolve into Brionne which looks just as bizarre.

dartrix

torracat

brionne

Players are able to connect in new ways with the ‘Festival Plaza’. It is a secret place where you can earn festival coins by fulfilling other player’s requests. You can take players to events, for food and visit a variety of shops to increase your Pokémon’s stats. On top of this you can buy rare and valuable products from all of the different reasons.

tauros

Most of the time the Pokémon in your PC are just sitting there waiting for you to pick them up for a battle or to evolve. In Sun & Moon however, there is now the Poké Pelago. It is a paradise for your Pokémon and here they can meet other Pokémon, level up and search for items. This can include rare evolutionary stones and each island is for different purposes.

poke-pelago

Finally it has been revealed that Mega Evolution will be featured in the game and will of course connect with the Z ring. This will work in the new battle system with already exisiting evolutions.

mega-evolution

Finally, the last bit of news is that the demo of Sun & Moon will be available to play from October 18 and included is a special Greninja. When battling it creates a special bond with you and forms into Ash-Greninja which is a reference to the anime. This adds some different features to Greninja and can be added to the game once it is released November 23.

ash-greninja

 

 

The five ‘ahhhh shit’ bosses in The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth.

The Binding of Isaac and more specifically its later and better produced release ‘The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth‘ are probably my favourite games. They include many aspects of video games that I love such as collecting a ton of items which also give you a bunch of add-ons. There is a plentiful amount of achievements, randomised rooms and on-your-toe enemies. On top of that every level has a boss room and some bosses are pretty easy to take down, but if you are coming up against a boss with standard heart capacity and no real firepower improvement you may come under great difficulty. The Afterbirth DLC released last year also made the game a hell of a lot harder…but we all like a challenge don’t we?

So you find yourself in said situation, which five bosses that this rogue has to offer will make you reconsider turning the game off and walking away? This does not include end of game bosses such as Mom, Satan, Isaac or Mom’s Heart.

The Haunt

The Haunt throws you straight in with three Lil’ Haunts to begin with that move fast in a circle to target Isaac. They can easily give damage are a pain to take out straight away with at least eight tear shots. You cannot attack The Haunt whilst the Lil’ Haunts are there but you can still take damage from The Haunt if coming into contact. Once The Haunt comes into play you will have to move fast but close to the enemy. If moving in front of the firing line you will receive a brimstone laser-esc blast and if you go up too near from either side, The Haunt will speed up and ram into you. As it is stationed to the top of the screen, it’s better to be up there (sometimes there can be pots in your way) and not be in line with The Haunt but popping in and out to attack.

The Bloat

The Bloat is the posthumous version of another boss, Peep, whose eyes will be out of the body and you cannot kill by attacking. This will do damage to you if they collide with Isaac (or whoever). Now this is an annoyance and so you have to keep moving around the room to avoid them. On top of this The Bloat will move like Peep by jumping up into the air to the area of the room you were at if you didn’t move. Basically you have a lot of moving to do against this guy. There are a lot of similarities to Peep which isn’t uncommon in this game as The Bloat will spread a dangerous substance on the ground and send blood tears in all directions. The main issue is if you are at the side or in front of The Bloat you will be hit with a one heart losing brimstone laser-esc move. The trick here then is to attack from behind when you can to avoid being hit at all costs.

Mask of Infamy

The Mask of Infamy is definitely one of the more annoying bosses due to it being based off of Mask + Heart. The heart and mask are connected and you cannot attack the mask. If seen by the mask it will chase you down if caught in its line of vision. The Mask of Infamy is a little different however. The mask will still chase you but after defeating the heart you still have half the health bar of the enemy. You will have to keep getting behind The Mask as that is where its weak spot is. This is used for many enemies in the game but isn’t always like this if you have certain tear add-ons. Always stay behind as the Mask will run you down but, this will be difficult due to the Mask always moving…just be patient.

The Cage

The Cage is the posthumous version of Mega Fatty, another annoying boss. This boss can jump and roll so you are always kept on your toes. After jumping, The Cage will land and disperse five rock trails that go in all directions. These can do some serious damage. The Cage can roll in any number of directions so it is likely you could be hit. Like Mom’s Heart, it will send out a spiral of tears so you have many things to look out for. The main problem is that this enemy is a tank with constantly changing moves. Just keep moving and eventually you’ll defeat it.

Mama Gurdy

Mama Gurdy appears in The Womb/In Utero and resides in the wall of the top screen. While you’re attacking at the top of the screen, you have to pay attention to the rest of the room as Mama Gurdy can spawn floor spikes and we all know how easy they can take out your health. Watching your step is vital and without any quick tear enhancements you are going to have a hard time getting through this boss battle quickly. When you think you can out-smart the floor spikes, the Callus item which protects you against floor spillages and spikes does not work in this scenario.

Mama Gurdy will probably have you in her field of vision and can shoot out many waves of blood blasts. This can easily hit you depending on the wave and does one heart of damage. It stays on the ground as a floor spillage and so slows you down even more with the fact there’s more to hurt you. On top of that, when you’re trying to hit back, Mama Gurdy can hide in the walls and take no damage, a bit like flying up high in Pokémon. This move usually means she will be implementing the spike attack so at least you have some warning. Mama Gurdy just wants to bring you a world of pain so be ready.

The bonus I can give you from this list is that most of these bosses won’t appear until The Depths so you have plenty of time to scavenge items for you advantage.

The Wii U: It’s not so bad is it? (Five things I like)

Now most of you might not have played on the Wii U and you probably hold a valid opinion as to why, I mean where are those titles we truly deserve on the console from Nintendo? To be fair if certain titles did come about then we probably would view the machine more fondly and appreciate how the tablet worked well on this bit of Super Mario 1080p Galaxies. However, some of our much loved characters remain absent and the dainty Wii U slows begins to collect dust, but what are the positives from having one?

Viewing experiences

Now this might be a feature of modern gaming systems such as the Xbox One, PS4 and PC but, I felt it was important to mention. With the Wii U you get Netflix, YouTube and internet (in which you can watch movies online). With a good TV any of the consoles would do fine and so I feel the Wii U stands up amongst the rest. The only downsides are not having Spotify like the PS4 or Amazon Prime like the Xbox One. However I enjoy using this as everything you have is layed out nicely on the tablets screen and with the stylus you have precise control. The Wii U is just another easy step to a great home entertainment system.

The Tablet

The Wii U tablet was definitely one of the main selling points when the console was first announced. The benefits of this controller is that with the majority of games (excluding Splatoon and Starfox Zero) you can play them without actually having the TV on. Other people who share the TV can watch whatever they want, all you need is your Wii U plugged in and ready to go. The problem with that is that it makes it just sound like a handheld you can’t travel far with. Something Nintendo are supposedly looking into with the NX.

The eShop

This is a feature by Nintendo that you can either love or hate. The eShop or virtual console enables us to pay out a fairly resonable price (depending on the console) to play some of our old beloved games. Now Nintendo is not unfamiliar with constantly re-releasing the same games (GameBoy, GBA, Wii) but it is nice to have everything wrapped up in one nice place. The eShop came about with the Nintendo 3DS but you were able to previously purcahse old games on the Wii shop. With a 32GB hardrive, you can store a lot of these games on your console. It’s a pretty handy device and more keep getting added each month. A tonne of Mario, Zelda, Mega Man, Donkey Kong and Metroid games are on there so you are spoiled for choice. The consoles that are on there include the NES, SNES, N64, WII and the TurboGrafx-16. There is also Wii U content where you can buy the games as well as DLC. Seeing as the Wii U doesn’t have an online subscription like its rivals, you will not receive free games each month. You can however, download demos from the eShop. The only major disadvantage is that with handheld ports from the GameBoy and DS, they don’t really present well on television screens.

Peripherals and add-on content

Unlike the 3DS which is constantly changing and getting new models, the Wii U has stayed as a solid machine that changed its colour once. However, one of the big additions was amiibo. amiibo really appeal to collectors as they are figurines that interact with many of Nintendo’s Wii U titles. You get new add-on contact like character skins in Yoshi’s Wooly World and Mario Kart 8, but they also add enhancements to your characters in Super Smash Bros. This is where the amiibo really first took off. If you’re a collector like me then they appeal in a different way it’s great to have all of your favourite Nintendo characters (especially now there’s Waluigi). On top of this you can get different cases for your controller and sweet question block carry cases for the amiibo for easy transportation.

The games

Of course, what more do we love about consoles than the games we play on them. Now we might not have the Mario title we were hoping for and we have to wait til March until we get The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild which may not even get much attention to this console, but there is a good line of video games.For me some of my favourites include the next installments to Mario Kart and Smash series’ which remain solid games for years. Smash for instance remains that good that it may see a port to the NX. Other popular titles include Super Mario Maker which has been one of the most creative titles Nintendo has put out in years and enables you the player to recreate or re-imagine memorable Mario titles. Super Mario 3D World is one of my favourite games as it shows a nice blend of 3D and classic Mario hunting and platforming. The game does re-hash a lot of the same enemies and does over-use the cat suit power up until it is saturated, but as a collecting Mario game, it is probably the best in 10 years.

There’s plenty of other games such as Yoshi’s Wooly World, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Splatoon (one of the most fun and creative shooters in such a long time) and Pokkén Tournament. Where Nintendo does slip up is titles such as Starfox Zero for its difficult and hard to use controls and inability for us to use both screens at the same time. Kirby’s Paintbrush also changes the series but really takes away the ability to use anything but the stylus like early DS titles.

Ignoring the negatives, I believe the Wii U is still a fun console that provides hours of entertainment, nostalgia and viewing credibility. I’d say as the Wii U does not have much shelf life left, get one before they’re gone!

Pokémon coming to NX & new game specific Pokémon for Sun & Moon

It’s been on our minds for a while and has been a rumour that has been cropping up now and again – will Pokémon be on the NX? Well today it has been confirmed that when the console launches next March there will be a Pokémon title.

The executive of the Pokémon Company Tsunekazu Ishihara said to the Wall Street Journal that there are Pokémon Games in the works for Nintendo’s next console. Now we have had Pokémon titles on all of Nintendo’s consoles since the N64 so it will be interesting to see what they do next. Maybe a follow up to Pokkén Tournament.

As the NX is supposedly merging together home console and handheld whilst trying to change the experience of gaming, there couldn’t be a better franchise that gets onboard like Pokémon. All is known so far is that Game Freak will be working on the games.

passimian

Before we get to March, we still have Sun & Moon to play first! There have been more Pokémon announcements with two sets of game secific Pokémon. First up there is Passimian which is a fighting-type. It has the ability ‘receiver’ which means if in a double battle, when the other user’s Pokémon faints in battle, Passimian takes their ability. One example is taking the ability ‘levitate’ which makes a Pokémon impervious to ground-type moves.

oranguru

The other ape in the game is Oranguru. It is a psychic/normal type and has the abilities inner focus and telepathy. Using this ability enables Oranguru to instruct other Pokémon in double battles what move to use and will not be affected if it is an all-party move like surf.

Base Pokémon Rockruff has two evolutions. However, the evolutions are specific to Sun & Moon with the same Pokémon having midday and midnight looks. That Pokémon is Lycanroc and is a rock type with the abilities keen eye and sand rush/vital spirit depending on the game.

Moving on to game updates, Pikachu and Eevee will have special Z-target moves in the games. Pikachu’s is called ‘catastropika’. Eevee’s shows it harnessing the abilities of all of its evolutions which raises its attack, speed and defence stats. The move is called ‘extreme evoboost’.

Finally,  Sun & Moon will be carrying on with the fashion aspect of Pokémon X & Y by letting you change even more about your character. You can change hairstyles, colours, eye contact colours and different pieces of clothing. You Pokémon can also be kept well pampered too in ‘Pokémon Refresh’ in which you groom them. It is a bit like the screen on X & Y where you can play with your Pokémon and feed them treats and play in mini-games.

fashion

It just goes to show we don’t know everything yet about Sun & Moon and there is still plenty of content to push out.

 

Death Stranding finally gets an update!

Up until recently we haven’t really seen or heard much from Kojima’s upcoming title which is his first since leaving Konami. All we have really heard and seen was the trailer at E3 which featured Norman Reedus on a beach but still gave off that eerie Kojima feel. However, now there may have been some development in the gameplay department!

It was revealed today in Tokyo by Kojima that Death Stranding will be an action game with an open world. The game will still follow a story however like most of his games do. The open world aspect leaves many questions to be unanswered such as how it will play its part? Where it will be set? What else will be thrown into the mix? Endless questions.

Kojima also said that the game will have online elements too it. However, he did not real to what extent that will be but, by such descriptions such far its looking to fit nicely in modern gaming.

What Kojima did reveal about the game works was that in most games you will go at each other like aggressors, in Death Stranding you will create links (strands) between players. There will still be the action element no doubt and will probably have some form of combat.

It seems Mr. Kojima has some very interesting ideas by breaking away from standard gaming techniques of fighting each other. What was also revealed was a picture of four chibi-like sprites holding hands with the exterior two holding a rope. Three of the four can be identified as Kojima, Reedus and director Guillermo del Toro who has been said to be working with Kojima on this project. The fourth I am not too sure about.

If it’s anything like other Kojima titles, then Death Stranding is one to look out for!