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  1. I've really been slacking off on making this thread, GU has been out for almost three weeks now. I've only been playing in earnest for the past week or so though, and just got to G1 rank over the weekend (I transferred my data—so nice to be able to just jump right into the game without tediously building up resources!). So consider this a general discussion thread for GU. Who else is playing? Did you start from scratch or transfer your data? Any interest in forming a regular hunting party here on Ninfora? What's New in Ultimate? Generations was already meant to be a collection that draws upon aspects of the entire Monster Hunter series, and Ultimate manages to expand on that even further—there are 93 large monsters in this game! Here's quick highlight of the new content: First and foremost, G-rank! The highest level of difficulty in a Monster Hunter game returns in GU, perfect for players that already mastered Generations and want to jump right into the more challenging content. 20 Additional Monsters (including old, new, and new variants): 2 New Hunting Styles (plus one new Art for each weapon): 7 Additional Maps (1 brand new, 2 returning, 1 arena, 3 monster-specific maps): Last but certainly not least, players are able to transfer their save data from Generations on the 3DS to GU by downloading a free app to the 3DS. More details here: https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/monster-hunter-generations-ultimate-save-data-transfer-app-3ds
  2. Eliwood8

    The Gardens Between Review

    Where else but in the realm of indie gaming could you find a game that so beautifully leverages a unique puzzle concept with a serene yet emotional story? The Gardens Between, created and published by Australian developer The Voxel Agents, sends players on a touching journey into the shared memories of its two protagonists where, instead of controlling the characters directly, you manipulate time, moving forward and backward to solve puzzles and overcome obstacles. This intriguing mechanic and beautifully surreal world make The Gardens Between a wonderfully entrancing puzzle experience. The Gardens Between follows Arina and Frendt, neighbors and childhood friends who are swept into a dreamlike world made up of their memories of spending time together. The story is told entirely through the game's gorgeous visuals but even without any text or dialogue the game does a fantastic job of gradually revealing the bonds of these two characters, which is also reflected in the gameplay as you need both of them to solve puzzles. The theme of friendship, particularly childhood friendship which represents a certain ease and simplicity that is reminiscent of lazy summer days and an abundance of free time, is an easy emotional anchor for any player to relate to in order to care about these characters, making the story's conclusion quite affecting. It's a touching journey, one that is handled beautifully through the game's aesthetic and style. The gameplay is, at its heart, a puzzle game with the goal of reaching the end of each level, but the time manipulation mechanic makes things a little more unique in The Gardens Between. By moving time forward our protagonists will walk forward toward the goal, but in order to overcome obstacles you'll need to rewind a bit, sometimes changing the scenery to make a clear path. In addition to just reaching the goal you'll need to ensure Arina is carrying a light in her lamp, which can be snuffed out by obstacles that you'll need to avoid by rewinding time and making new paths. Successfully solving each stage means carefully observing how your time manipulations affect the environment and create opportunities for you to bring our protagonists and a lit lamp to the summit of each level. This description may make the game sound more complicated than it is, but one of the beautiful things about The Gardens Between is how easy it is to pick up. The controls are essentially limited to moving time forward or backward or interacting with specific highlighted objects, so it's easy for any player to jump right into the game. That doesn't mean that the game is overly simplified, though. There are plenty of good challenges to enjoy here, puzzles that are genuinely clever—more than once I found myself, after finding the correct solution, charmed by a clever puzzle that puts the game's time manipulation mechanics to great use. There's something delightfully satisfying about seeing all of the pieces of a puzzle come together, and The Gardens Between captures that feeling perfectly when you see your time manipulations create a perfect chain of cause and effect that leads to the goal. Time mechanics in a puzzle game can offer a huge variety of puzzles and can easily fall into overly complicated tedium, but The Gardens Between finds the right balance of clever concepts that challenge the player without overwhelming them. Part of this is due to the fact that each stage is relatively short and often includes checkpoints that you can't go back through, so even when you're lost there is only a small range of options and tools to work with which guides the player into examining the scenery carefully. By focusing on just a couple of gameplay mechanics in short stage sections The Gardens Between lets you focus on the problem at hand. This gameplay philosophy makes it easy to progress through the game—perhaps even too quickly, as soon enough you'll reach the end of the game, and it'll feel like you only just began! In fact, if there's any issue with the game at all its the short length of the adventure, which can be finished in a single afternoon (assuming you don't get too stuck on puzzles). To be fair the game doesn't feel artificially short, rather the game is so engaging that it's a shame it isn't longer, and the time manipulation puzzle mechanics are so clever that they could easily be used in even more puzzles. As it is though, The Gardens Between is still a decent-length game—you'll just be eager for more even as it ends. From start to finish The Gardens Between is a beautiful looking game, which might seem a little surprising considering each stage takes place on a self-contained island. But the storybook-style scenery with its surreal objects is absolutely gorgeous, combining a simple style with eye-catching details and a color palette that perfectly captures the dreamy quality of this journey through memories. The art in this game is just completely charming and the perfect setting for a game that offers a heartfelt exploration of friendship in a relaxed puzzle setting. Of course, a big part of establishing that atmosphere comes from the soundtrack, which is also a spot-on choice for the dreamlike visuals and story. It's a soft ambiance soundtrack that sets the right mood for a thoughtful puzzle adventure—ideal background music for this game. And be sure to stick around during the credits for the closing song, which puts a touching cap on the end of this game. The Gardens Between is an unmissable puzzle adventure, one that blends clever gameplay mechanics, a heartfelt story, and beautiful art and music into an emotionally affecting game. Players will no doubt be drawn in by the game's charming aesthetic and stick around for the delightfully unique time manipulation puzzles, but it's the game's visual storytelling that is the heart and soul of the adventure. Although the game ends all too soon, The Gardens Between is a beautifully thoughtful experience, the likes of which you won't find anywhere else. Rating: 8 out of 10 Gardens Review copy provided by the publisher The Gardens Between will be available on the Switch eShop on September 20th for $19.99.
  3. Link: https://en-americas-support.nintendo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/22525/p/897
  4. Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles distills the normally big-budget studio open-world adventure experience into a more modestly priced indie game. The game's world has all of the item collecting and exploration you'd expect from the genre, as well as plenty of side quests and items to craft, but the one thing it doesn't have is any combat elements. Instead, Yonder is a more friendly, easy-going adventure, one that proves just as compelling even if some of its mechanics make exploration a little more repetitive than it ought to be. Yonder takes place in the land of Gemea, a vibrant island that is currently plagued by patches of dark energy called Murk. Your customizable character is journeying to Gemea for the first time, but the ship crashes on the island, leaving you alone to explore the scenery and meet the island's inhabitants. You're able to communicate with the fairy-like Sprites of the island so it falls to you to save the land from its current downfall. The overarching story's set-up isn't bad but there isn't much payoff as the plot continues, leading to a fairly abrupt ending. Still, the other characters you encounter are cute and offer plenty of little side stories, even if none of them feel particularly deep. Like the game as a whole, the story and writing in Yonder is more concerned with making a friendly world to explore rather than a complex or challenging experience. Like a lot of open-world, sandbox games, the basic gameplay principle in Yonder boils down to: explore. You're dropped into the middle of a large environment (with almost no restrictions on where to go) and are free to just wander about, occasionally interacting with things, such as picking up every stone and stick you come across or talking with villagers to help out with whatever side quest they need. There's not a lot of urgency to the main story so Yonder really is a relaxing adventure, one that offers a break from more intense, action-oriented games. Of course, a completely directionless game would get boring pretty quickly, so in Yonder you can work toward perfecting your crafting skills, building farms, and completing side quests. There are several "schools" of crafting and you can join each one, thereby gaining access to recipes to craft bigger and better items. It's always fun to create things in games, and Yonder gives you plenty of opportunity to seek out materials and craft the items villagers need. There are also several farms in Gemea that you can take over in order to grow crops and raise animals. Thankfully you don't have to watch over farms super carefully—they'll mostly take care of themselves, and you can hire a helper to manage each farm—so it's not like you're constantly cut off from exploring to go home and tend the crops. With eight regions of Gemea to explore there are plenty of villagers to meet, materials to collect, and side quests to tackle—it always feels like there's something to do in Yonder, something to keep you moving forward. On the other hand though, Yonder's gameplay doesn't always feel super rewarding. Collecting materials gets pretty repetitive, and it happens pretty quickly when many materials are just found on the ground and all you do is walk up to them and pick them up. Even when materials require a bit more work, such as mining ore or fishing, the gameplay still feels a bit basic. You never gain new equipment so these tasks never feel different from the start to the end of the game. The biggest issue, though, is the limited inventory. You can hold a lot of materials but when you pick up everything you find you'll end up running out of space, and running back to one of your farms to store extra items isn't very convenient. Worse yet, you may find that you put away the one item you need for a side quest, which means returning to the farm, grabbing the item, then returning to the quest giver. The inventory cap ends up being pretty inconvenient if you're meticulous about collecting materials and completing quests. Exploration has its downsides as well. As beautiful as the game's world is it does get old to run from one location to the next. There are a couple of fast travel options but both have their limitations. Option one: you can find and activate sage stones throughout Gemea, which act as portals to each other. There's a simple quest attached to each one but their locations aren't always quite where you'd ideally like them to be. Option two: you can craft a traveler's knot which allows you to instantly travel to any farm you own. It's the same problem here: farms aren't always close to villages, which feels like the obvious choice for a fast travel point. It may sound like a minor point but walking everywhere ends up being a little tedious when you just want to complete a specific task, not wander over yonder. Yonder's colorful graphics and simple art design is almost aggressively cute. Much like the gameplay there's a nice simplicity to the artwork that makes it accessible to any player, and animals in particular look adorable. At the same time the simplicity of the art can feel a little bland at times, and within each region it would've been nice to see a little more variety, but the towns and special events like the Halloween event look great. And although there are no long loading screens which makes the game world pretty seamless, there are occasional frame rate dips which is a little annoying to see. Yonder isn't the kind of game you want to rush through, partially because it's a sandbox-esque game but also because that's just not what the game's inherent pacing is all about. Still, if you only focused on story missions you could finish the game in just a few hours—it'll still require a decent amount of exploration though. Beyond the main quest there are plenty of side quests to tackle and small points of interest to explore in Gemea. Granted it's not going to be as much as you might see in other open-world games, the ones that typically come from huge, expensive studios, but if you take the time to just wander about and enjoy Yonder you'll find the adventure lasts a good length of time. For anyone that wants the freedom and exploration of an open-world game without any of the stress of combat, Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles fills the niche nicely. The game's overwhelmingly cute and friendly style, combined with the general low difficulty, makes it ideal for first-time players or anyone looking for a relaxing game. The sense of freedom in collecting items, crafting new ones, and taking on dozens of quests is undercut a bit by some of the game's mechanics which can end up feeling a little repetitive or at least time-consuming, but at its core Yonder provides a charming, simple adventure, perfect for a relaxing afternoon. Rating: 7 out of 10 Clouds
  5. This week’s Nintendo Download includes the following featured content: Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch Undertale – Indie RPG Undertale comes to the Nintendo Switch system. Fall into the underworld and explore a hilarious and heartwarming world full of dangerous monsters. Date a skeleton, dance with a robot, cook with a fish woman ... or destroy everyone where they stand. The future is yours to determine. Undertale is available on Sept. 18. Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut – From the producer of the original Fallout comes Wasteland 2, the sequel to the first-ever post-apocalyptic computer RPG. The wasteland’s hellish landscape is waiting for you to make your mark ... or die trying. With more than 80 hours of gameplay, you will deck out your Desert Ranger squad with the most devastating weaponry this side of the fallout zone, test the limits of your strategy skills and bring justice to the wasteland. Bastion – Bastion is an action role-playing experience that redefines storytelling in games, with a reactive narrator who marks your every move. Explore more than 40 lush, hand-painted environments as you discover the secrets of the Calamity, a surreal catastrophe that shattered the world. Wield a huge arsenal of upgradeable weapons and battle savage beasts adapted to their new habitat. New DLC Xenoblade Chronicles 2 – New DLC is releasing for owners of the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Expansion Pass. Buy the Expansion Pass to gain access to titanic content, including the Challenge Battle Mode and additional Rare Blades. Expansion Pass owners will receive the Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country content on Sept. 14, one week earlier than the launch date of Sept. 21. Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country – Guide a group of legendary warriors on a prequel journey to the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 game. Defend yourself from Malos and his forces using all the fury of a refined battle system that allows you to fight as both the artificial lifeforms known as Blades and their masters, the Drivers. For full patch notes, please visit the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Nintendo Support site. Nintendo eShop sales: Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS and Wii U Great deals this week! Check out the full list of deals available this week at http://www.nintendo.com/games/sales-and-deals. Activities Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Splatoon 2 Crossover Event – Every day is a new day in the Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp smartphone game. Starting today, the Splatoon 2 Crossover Event begins. You can get Splatoon 2 inspired gear from in-game events to make your camp drip with freshness! This two-part event kicks off with Blitz Clam Scavenger Hunt at 11 p.m. PT on Sept. 13, which runs through 10:59 p.m. PT on Sept. 25. The second event, Fishing Tourney #6, begins at 11 p.m. PT on Sept. 19 and runs through 10:59 p.m. PT on Sept. 27. To celebrate the Crossover Event, Splatoon 2 Cookie Packs are now available for purchase at the Tommy’s shop in the Market Place. Check out the game site for more information about the event. Also new this week: ACA NEOGEO NINJA COMMANDO (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Danger Mouse: The Danger Games (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Defunct (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Doughlings: Arcade (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Sept. 18 Mega Man® 11 – Demo Version (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Monkey King: Master of the Clouds (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Old School Musical (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Omvorm (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Sept. 18 Scribblenauts Mega Pack (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Sept. 18 SENRAN KAGURA Reflexions (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Shadow Fight 2 (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Siegecraft Commander (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Sept. 19 Slice, Dice & Rice (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Super Dungeon Tactics (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Surgeon Simulator CPR (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Sword of the Guardian (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Sept. 18 The Mahjong Huntress (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) The Spectrum Retreat (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) The Warlock of Firetop Mountain: Goblin Scourge Edition! (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) SPACE DEFENDER BATTLE INFINITY (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS)
  6. UPDATE: Announced in Nintendo's Nintendo Direct: E3, Fortnite will be available today at 10 am PT! -------------------------------------------------------------------------- With all the recent leaks, we all know Fortnite is coming to Switch...It's just a matter of when (It's literally the only platform it's currently not on). Apparently the game is supposed to drop tomorrow ( I assume after the E3 Direct), because the eShop page for the game is up on Nintendo's servers, but has not been made public yet. *Sorry if I spoiled this for anyone, but there has been talk of this coming to Switch for months. I've yet to play Fortnite yet, but I'll give it a shot when it hits Switch. From what I've seen, It looks like it could be pretty fun for a F2P game and I really like the art style.
  7. Source English trailer Japanese overview trailer
  8. I mentioned this title already in my PAX West impressions but I thought I'd highlight it again since it's coming out next week. The Gardens Between looks like a really beautiful puzzle game and pretty unique since you control the game by moving forward or backward in time rather than controlling the characters directly. Anyone else interested in this one?
  9. Dust: An Elysian Tail first entered the public eye nearly a decade ago when it won Microsoft's Dream.Build.Play competition, earning it a publishing deal on Xbox Live Arcade. After releasing in 2012 and hopping from one console to another over the years, the beautifully traditionally-animated Metroidvania title is now available on Nintendo's console/portable hybrid. Fans of side-scrolling action/adventure games will want to take note: Dust: An Elysian Tail hits all the right notes for a classic action game with light RPG elements, and does it all while looking gorgeous. After a brief prologue our protagonist, Dust, wakes up in a forest clearing with no memory of who he is, but he's holding a mysterious sword that is able to speak to him. With the aid of the sword and Fidget, the blade's fairy-like guardian, Dust travels to a nearby town in the hopes of finding out who he is and why he was in the forest. Clearly An Elysian Tail leverages some classic tropes for its plot—the amnesiac protagonist is well-trod territory—and throughout the game there are a handful of plot points that feel a little too trope-y, but the story still proves to be engaging. Dust and Fidget's banter is charming and the cast of anthropomorphic animals is cute, helping make the game's relatively small world an interesting place to explore. And by the time the big questions of the plot are answered, late in the game, you'll be plenty invested in Dust's adventure. The gameplay is based around classic Metroidvania elements: you have a large, side-scrolling environment to explore with a number of secrets to find, and as you progress you'll gain access to new abilities which allow you to explore further. No matter how many games use the same basic premise the formula remains satisfyingly engaging, and An Elysian Tail finds a nice balance of difficulty in finding the many hidden items and treasure chests scattered throughout the environment. The map will actually tell you if there's a hidden item somewhere in your immediate area, but finding them is still challenging and keeps the player interested in searching every corner of the screen. The game finds the sweet spot of accessibility: easy for anyone to play, but still challenging enough to satisfy more experienced players. Aside from exploration the real heart of An Elysian Tail is the combat system, which is similarly simple to learn but still engaging. Not surprisingly, Dust uses his mystery sword to attack, and there are a handful of different attacks and combos you can execute (Fidget can even join in for some slightly weaker elemental projectiles). There's a decent amount of depth to the game, such that you aren't just button mashing, but you won't be overwhelmed with options either. Dust's movements are also incredibly fluid so it's a lot of fun to roll around the screen, dodging attacks and striking back quickly. In fact Dust's movements might be a little too fluid at times, which can make some of the platforming moments feel a little slippery, but it's easy enough to work around. Overall combat tends to skew on the easy side, and even boss fights don't pose too much of a challenge, but it's still fun to rack up a large combo of attacks and decimate the monsters on screen. And finally, An Elysian Tail has some RPG elements as well. Dust earns EXP in battle but rather than boosting all of his stats every time he levels up you can choose which stat to increase—maybe you feel like you've been taking too much damage, so you boost defense, or maybe you want to use Fidget's projectiles more, so you boost that stat instead. You aren't allowed to focus exclusively on one category (like maximizing attack power without upgrading anything else) but it still adds a little bit of customization to the game. In addition, you can find, buy, or craft equipment to further prepare yourself for battle. Monsters drop items which can be used to craft, but the nice thing in An Elysian Tail is that, after selling the item to a merchant, you'll be able to buy that item from the store in the future, so you don't have to rely upon tedious item farming. That's one of the best things about the game: much like Dust's quick attacks there's a satisfying sense of momentum in the game, and the player is never bogged down by quibbling details. I should mention that An Elysian Tail was almost entirely created by one person, Dean Dodrill, who single-handedly illustrated and programmed the game, which makes the strikingly hand-crafted art style all the more impressive. The hand-drawn artwork looks beautiful and is truly refreshing to see in a game, and the traditional animation gives the entire game the feeling of a classic cartoon, which is utterly charming. The environments and backgrounds in particular deserve special mention for their beautiful, painting-esque art style. The visuals are matched by a fun, lively soundtrack and a voice cast that feels suitably cartoony—not all of the voices feel quite right but their energy still brings the unique cast of characters to life. At around twelve hours or so An Elysian Tail feels like just the right length: enough to make a decently varied game with unique locales and environments, but not so long that the side-scrolling exploration wears out its welcome. However, if you do want to get the most out of the game there are side quests to tackle, optional challenge rooms where you can perfect your skills, and different difficulty levels if you want to up the ante for yourself. Either way there's a solid amount of content here. Dust: An Elysian Tail is not only an impressive feat from a one-man developer, it's a well-polished Metroidvania adventure whose fluid gameplay and charming presentation will keep players glued to the screen from the first step of the adventure to the last. Despite a few storytelling tropes and a sense of difficulty that leans on the easy side, An Elysian Tail proves to be an engrossing action/adventure title, one that leaves you eager to keep exploring one more screen, battle one more monster, and find one more treasure. Rating: 8 out of 10 Tails Review copy provided by the publisher Dust: An Elysian Tail is available today on the Switch eShop for $14.99.
  10. It's been two years since the game was first released, but Nintendo-owners finally have a chance to experience the intensely challenging gameplay and beautiful presentation of Hyper Light Drifter. Originally developed by Heart Machine and brought to the Switch as a Special Edition by Abylight Studios, this version of the game adds a couple of new bells and whistles to an adventure already jam-packed with secrets to uncover. And the good news is the intervening years have done nothing to diminish the mesmerizing quality of this 2D action-adventure. Normally I start reviews by talking about the story to establish the game's setting, but that's going to be a little difficult with Hyper Light Drifter. Not because the game is completely without a narrative, but because the story is told only through visuals and images, to the point that even by the end of the game you might not have a strong idea of what exactly happened. This isn't necessarily a negative for the game, though. Even if the story is a bit obtuse the atmosphere and style of the game speak volumes. You may not get specific details as you play but Hyper Light Drifter is still rife with emotion, from your character's pained movements to the ominous ruins you find in all corners of the world. Far from souring the experience it only makes you want to dive further into the game's lore, and that magnetism is something the game accomplishes masterfully: from start to finish it's hard to look away from Hyper Light Drifter. It's fitting that Hyper Light Drifter has finally landed on a Nintendo platform, as the inspirations from Zelda are clear: as the adventure begins you're dropped into the middle of a world and left to your own devices to explore and battle monsters. The environment is divided into four regions that you can explore freely, and each region ends in a boss battle that paves the way to the final challenge of the game. Much like in the game's narrative the lack of direction while exploring only serves to increase your appetite as you progress and gradually understand some of the game's nuances. There are also a ton of secrets to uncover, some of which are required to progress while others are used for upgrades. In one of the rare acts of mercy in this game there are actually small hints you can find to nudge you in the right direction toward a hidden item, which helps keep you engaged and scanning the screen for any little hint. Don't worry though, it's still plenty challenging to find everything, so it's not like the game just guides you to these secrets every time. And speaking of difficulty, the combat in Hyper Light Drifter offers up some of the most intense 2D sword-fighting you'll find in any game. But the great thing here is that the challenge doesn't come from complexity or memorizing attack patterns (though that certainly helps during boss fights). The difficulty is largely in managing your own attacks—you can't just swing away at everything because every attack can leave you open, and enemies have a knack for catching you when you're vulnerable. It's also easy to get stun-locked or chain-hit by enemies, so you really need to pick your moment to attack. That may sound tedious in this description but in-game it adds a little thrill to every enemy encounter, and a certain thoughtfulness to the way you fight. You end up focusing on the fluidity of your attacks and movements with this level of difficulty, which is wonderfully satisfying when executed well. Boss fights are definitely the culmination of this combat philosophy, especially due to their fast, devastating attacks, but even if you die repeatedly in Hyper Light Drifter the game never feels unfair, and there's always an excitement in trying again. Plus, when you do die, you lose very little progress (only as far as the last auto-save, which is no further than the start of the immediate area you're in), so the game finds a fair balance between challenging and discouraging. Additionally, the more you play the more combat options you'll unlock, from attack and movement upgrades to new guns which can be invaluable for softening up enemies from a distance. Even though there isn't a huge list of attack patterns or combos to use, there's still enough variety to find your own preferred combat style. And finally the game is pretty liberal with health packs, so even when you do take damage you can always rely upon a nearby pick-me-up. So what makes this version of the game a Special Edition? Well, to give the Switch version a little extra value the developers have added a few exclusive features, including two new sub-weapons, an outfit, and the Tower Climb challenge, a miniature gauntlet of enemy encounters. If you've already mastered all of Hyper Light Drifter's challenges on a different system these make for a nice incentive to double dip, but ultimately they're bonus content—nothing that fundamentally changes the game, but a nice inclusion all the same. Through both visuals and audio Hyper Light Drifter creates one of the most beautiful and haunting environments you'll see in a game. The pixel artwork is simply gorgeous, and the use of colors makes every scene of the game pop beautifully. These colors, contrasted with the ominous ruins and decrepit technological remains, gives the game an amazing otherworldly quality, perhaps made all the more intriguing by the lack of text or dialogue to explain anything. There's an emotional weight to this game's visuals, which is incredible considering it's a classic pixel art style. Whatever the secret formula to it all is, the final product is unforgettably striking, and all the moreso in motion. All of that beautiful atmosphere building isn't just on the visuals either—the music does an incredible job of adding to the slightly eerie tone of the game. The music isn't what you'd conventionally think of as catchy but it has the perfect haunting-techno sound that you'd associate with sci-fi or cyberpunk to give the world a unique, alluring, yet unsettling vibe. Even considering the challenging gameplay—which will likely cost you more than a few retries—Hyper Light Drifter isn't too long of a game, but at the same time it feels like just the right length. There are enough things to collect and secrets to uncover that exploration is rewarding and the game's world feels full and engaging in every minute that you play. Plus there are plenty of extras to enjoy if you can't get enough Hyper Light Drifter. There are two New Game+ options, both of which add an extra challenge. There's a boss rush mode if you want to perfect your skills. The secrets that you find can unlock new outfits, which can also augment the way you play. In short, there's plenty to keep you busy in this game. There's a good reason Hyper Light Drifter has made a name for itself on the indie scene. In addition to sporting some of the most beautiful pixel art around, complemented by an equally impressive and haunting soundtrack, the game takes the classic 2D action-adventure format and executes it perfectly. It's a perfect example of building challenges that aren't about wasting the player's time or tediously collecting MacGuffins to become stronger, but about examining the tools and limitations the game provides and honing your skills with them. Hyper Light Drifter offers a wonderfully engaging and eminently satisfying challenge to tackle, and this Special Edition just makes an already excellent game a little better. Rating: 9 out of 10 Drifters Review copy provided by the publisher Hyper Light Drifter: Special Edition is available now on the Switch eShop for $19.99.
  11. This week’s Nintendo Download includes the following featured content: Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch SNK HEROINES ~Tag Team Frenzy~ – The SNK HEROINES ~Tag Team Frenzy~ game brings the party home! Play online* or with friends** as SNK’s iconic heroines in this new 2-v-2 fighting game. Choose one of the many heroines from SNK’s history, like Athena, Kula and Shermie, and customize her look before letting her battle it out. Who will be the Belle of the Brawl? SNK HEROINES ~Tag Team Frenzy~ is available on Sept. 7. NBA 2K19 – The NBA 2K franchise celebrates 20 years of redefining what sports gaming can be, from graphics and gameplay to unique game modes and an immersive open-world “Neighborhood”. The NBA 2K19 game continues to push limits as it brings gaming one step closer to real-life basketball excitement and culture. NBA 2K19 is available Sept. 11 and the NBA 2K19 20th Anniversary Edition is available Sept. 7. Hyper Light Drifter – Special Edition – Explore a beautiful, vast and ruined world riddled with dangers and lost technologies. Echoes of a dark and violent past resonate throughout a savage land, steeped in treasure and blood. Hyper Light Drifter is an action-adventure-RPG in the vein of the best 16-bit classics, with modernized mechanics and designs on a much grander scale. Gone Home – You arrive home after a year abroad. You expect your family to greet you, but the house is empty. Something’s not right. Where is everyone? And what’s happened here? Unravel the mystery for yourself in the Gone Home game, a story exploration game from The Fullbright Company. Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS YO-KAI WATCH BLASTERS: Red Cat Corps / YO-KAI WATCH BLASTERS: White Dog Squad – Jibanyan and his Blasters team hit the streets in this action-packed twist on the YO-KAI WATCH series. You can play solo, or team up with up to three other friends*** to blast away Big Bosses and evil Yo-kai and tackle various missions to amplify your team’s awesomeness. Nintendo eShop sales: Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS and Wii U Great deals this week! Check out the full list of deals available this week at http://www.nintendo.com/games/sales-and-deals. Also new this week: ACA NEOGEO FOOTBALL FRENZY (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Azure Reflections (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Broforce (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Chiki-Chiki Boxy Racers (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Dust: An Elysian Tail (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Sept. 10 FullBlast (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Sept. 7 Gakuen Club (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Gnomes Garden 3: The thief of castles (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Grandpa and the Zombies (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Sept. 12 Kentucky Robo Chicken (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Lifeless Planet: Premiere Edition (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Miles & Kilo – Demo Version (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Mummy Pinball (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Sept. 7 PLANET ALPHA (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Shikhondo – Soul Eater (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Sigi – A Fart for Melusina (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Sept. 7 STAY (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Sept. 12 Super Inefficient Golf (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Sept. 7 Swim Out – Demo Version (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Time Carnage (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Sept. 12 Breakout Defense (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS) Double Breakout (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS)
  12. Eliwood8

    PAX West impressions

    I'm putting together some thoughts on the games I saw at PAX West over the weekend, 'cause I'm sure some people will be interested in some of these. I was only there for two days so I didn't get to actually play too many games (at least, it feels like I played a lot more last year) but it was still fun to just watch some of them. Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes This is one that I really wanted to see so I waited a ridiculous amount of time to play (Nintendo's area had a huge line to get into their booth where you could play several games before leaving). Even though TSA isn't the same third-person action game as the previous NMH titles it was a lot of fun. It felt more like an arcade version of NMH: there's an overhead view, you have normal and special attacks, and enemies just spawn around you while you run through a pretty linear stage. If Suda 51's goal was to make a NMH game that feels like it was made by an indie studio, he succeeded. But like I said it's still fun, it still has the goofy meta-humor you'd expect, and playing co-op was neat. Starlink: Battle for Atlas My impression here is a little tainted by the fact that I was waiting behind a guy that had apparently never played a video game before, because he was completely incapable of shooting the GIANT GLOWING WEAK POINT on the boss. Anyway, the game itself is pretty cool; swapping ships/guns mid-battle feels gimmicky but it's still a neat idea. At one point I was using a flamethrower weapon but the range just wasn't working so I just quickly swapped out for a different gun. It was also kind of cool that the demo starts in space then you fly down to a planet to fight some monsters—that transition was just cool to see. I will say that some of the enemies had pretty ugly textures, but then again I was standing right next to a giant TV so maybe it'll look fine at home. Pokémon: Let's Go Pikachu Played with the Pokéball controller which was novel, but I admittedly felt silly shaking the ball in front of a crowd of on-lookers. Anyway this really is a midpoint between Pokémon Go and the main games: I wandered around Viridian forest, caught a Caterpie and a Pikachu (you can't fight wild Pokémon, only catch them, but it still gives your Pokémon team EXP), and fought some trainers which was more of a normal battle. I think the Let's Go games will perfectly suit Go players that want to try a more structured adventure but won't be that interesting to all of us that have played Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow before. Zarvot One of the Nindie games, pretty fun for a party/competitive game where you all play as cubes and try to shoot/stomp each other. I actually really like playing these kinds of games at conventions: four people can quickly join in and it's an experience you won't really get at home. Super Crush KO From the same developer as Graceful Explosion Machine which is in my opinion one of the hidden gems on the Switch eShop. They've taken the same basic idea (rack up a high score by using a wide variety of attacks) and made it a brawler instead of a shoot 'em up, and it was a lot of fun. The Gardens Between I was already interested in this from the Nindie presentation and playing a bit has sealed the deal for me. Really pretty, surreal puzzle game where you don't control the characters but instead move them forward/backward in time, affecting the environment around them. Interesting premise and decently challenging. Gris I didn't actually play this one since the line was so long but it looks so beautiful in person, can't wait to play it myself. It's a side-scrolling platformer that kind of has Journey's serene, atmospheric vibe. Treadnaughts Another competitive party game where you play as a tank that can move up walls/ceilings and try to shoot people—fun for a group. Roundguard Kind of feels like this is to Peggle what Puzzle Quest is to Bejeweled. Neat concept but it's rogue-like and honestly I'm so tired of rogue-like games. Beat Cop Pixel art police game where you balance handing out tickets and whatnot with interacting with the community. Seemed kind of cool. Felix the Reaper So delightfully silly, but the puzzles are pretty fun. It kind of reminds me of Lit if anyone remembers that one on Wiiware, but instead of creating paths of light you're creating paths of shadow. Shovel Knight Showdown Translating the Shovel Knight gameplay into a party-fighting game was a little wacky but it was fun. I lost both rounds I played though. Darksiders 3 I'm really happy that the Darksiders brand is continuing but this demo left me pretty lukewarm. It might just be the fact that, as a demo, you have to just kind of jump right into the action, but the physics didn't feel as tight as I would have liked, and there were only like two attack combos I could figure out in the time of the demo. Keeping my fingers crossed that the final product is more polished, but the release is only a couple of months away. Blood Roots Fun, quick action game where you're just killing enemies but there are all sorts of weapons you can pick up and use and if you get hit once you die/start over, so it's kind of about finding the perfect rhythm for sweeping through the level. Indivisible One of the highlights of the show for me. The artwork is so beautiful and the combat is a lot of fun because you can link together combos depending on what characters you're using. Really looking forward to this. And that's it! I didn't get to play Smash since the line was so long but from what I saw it looks great. I also didn't get much merch/swag aside from a hand towel from Nintendo. The conference was still a lot of fun though and now I'm exhausted.
  13. Eliwood8

    Octopath Traveler Review

    When Octopath Traveler was first revealed in the Switch game showcase back in 2017, before the system was even released, it could not have been more surprising. Not only was this a huge show of support from Square Enix as an exclusive third-party title, but the striking "HD-2D" art style was gorgeously unique. Even while playing other fantastic Switch releases, this has been one of my most anticipated titles as everything feels almost tailor made for my interests: a blend of new and classic RPG mechanics that clearly takes inspiration from the golden era of SNES RPGs, leveraging nostalgia in just the right way. For the past year and a half RPG fans have been eagerly anticipating the game's release with a couple of bite-sized demos to tide them over, and in July players finally had a chance to step into this incredible adventure—RPG fans couldn't have asked for more. As the game begins you choose which of the eight characters to start with on your journey, then you can explore the world to recruit the other seven. It's a bold approach to video game storytelling, as so often there's only one main character with a handful of side stories/helpers along the journey, but in Octopath Traveler there are essentially eight main characters, each with their own unique story to follow. What's truly impressive is the fact that all eight of these stories are compelling in their own way, whether it's Primrose's quest for revenge or H'aanit's search for her missing hunting master. Each character gets a chance to shine and show off their unique characteristics and abilities. Sure you'll see some tropes, and some stories have similar broad elements, but the variety of storylines is still impressive and helps build this world in an organic way. You don't feel like these towns and peoples exist only for our heroes to pass through—this feels like a living world with varied locales, and our heroes have interconnected reasons for journeying to them. With eight fleshed out stories the world feels alive and vibrant, which makes it exciting to explore. Is it weird that, despite traveling together, our characters don't really interact with each other much, and don't appear in each other's story quests? Maybe that might make our group feel a little disconnected, but at the same time it's somewhat refreshing that this isn't a ragtag group of heroes that band together to fight some ancient evil. These are just eight travelers that happen to encounter one another and decide to work together—it's almost more true to life that way, in that oftentimes people come together out of happenstance but still contribute to each other's journeys. I will say that the optional travel banter you can read at points is a lot of fun, and it's a shame it isn't easier to see them all; you need to have specific characters in your party to trigger these dialogues but there's no indication of who, so they're easy to miss, unfortunately. The gameplay in Octopath Traveler is an impressive marriage of classic RPG mechanics and new ideas, all of which results in perfectly addictive RPG goodness. There's always more to do, more quests to take on, more levels to raise, and pretty soon the hours will be flying by. After recruiting all eight of the characters, you're given mostly free rein to explore the game's world—each region has a recommended level, and battles will definitely be difficult if you try to enter a level 30 area with characters that are only level 20, but still, the choice is there for those brave souls ready for a challenge, and sometimes just wandering around a bit, taking in the game's scenery, is a fun way to spend an hour or two. And the battle system is plenty engaging, even for normal fights. Combat here is turn-based with the battle order shown at the top of the screen, so planning your attacks is obviously an important tactic. The unique hook of Octopath Traveler's battles is the break system: enemies have a specific "shield" level, and in order to bring down the shield you need to hit them with attacks they're weak against, such as swords, daggers, fire, ice, etc. Once you break all shields the enemy is stunned for one turn and takes additional damage, so combat is really based around planning your attacks to efficiently break shields and set up strong attacks afterward (and don't worry, once you've uncovered an enemy's weakness it'll always appear on screen, so you don't have to try to remember them all). Even by the end of the game there's something fun and exciting about having the small goal of breaking shields in every battle—it's perfect for keeping the player's attention in every fight. Additionally, Octopath Traveler has a Boost Point system, not unlike Bravely Default's Brave system: each character earns a boost point on each turn, and you can use boost points to…well, boost your attacks, making offensive skills stronger or effect skills last longer. Boosting is useful for breaking shields and taking out normal enemies quickly, but ultimately boost point management is primarily a concern in long boss fights, where it gives you a chance to strategize and set up your team to deliver devastating attacks once the boss's shields are broken. Breaking shields and boosting are both simple ways to make battles more engaging than just mashing the attack button every time your characters' turns come up, and it's incredibly satisfying when your plans come together and crush a boss efficiently. You're also given quite a bit of freedom in how you approach battles. Aside from your main character who has to stay in your party at all times (which is frankly a really odd choice for a game like this, but oh well), you can mix and match characters by giving them different secondary jobs, opening up a wide array of possibilities. Want to focus on physical attacks? Magical damage? Want to rely upon buffs/debuffs for every fight? There are tons of options in Octopath Traveler, and whether you want to stick to one or two reliable strategies or branch out, it's a blast to put the game's battle system through its paces. The game does a fantastic job of giving you an interesting set of tools to use in battle, then letting you experiment with them. Another unique feature in Octopath Traveler is each character's Path Ability, which is used to interact with NPCs you meet. This is a fun way of making town exploration more interesting than just hearing NPCs spout off a line or two of dialogue, plus you can gain valuable items or effects from using Path Abilities. For example, Therion, the thief, can steal powerful items from NPCs, or Primrose, the dancer, can allure townsfolk to follow your party and then call upon them in battle to act as a bonus party member. With Path Abilities, entering a new town can be a fun pursuit as you try to see what you can learn, steal, and use from each NPC. Path Abilities are also used to complete most side quests, and like any good RPG there is a ton of side content to enjoy in Octopath Traveler, with plenty of valuable rewards to be gained. The side quests here also add a lot to the game's world-building, but it is a little annoying that the game doesn't make it easier to keep track of the side quests you've encountered. You can check your journal for a quick reminder of each one, but there's only vague hints toward solutions, and worse yet you may have already found the solution in a different town but simply don't remember, so completing some side quests becomes a tedious quest of revisiting previous areas. Still, the side quests offer a nice bit of storytelling, they just could have been organized better. Octopath Traveler's HD-2D art style combines SNES-style sprites with polygonal environments and HD visual effects, and the result is simply stunning. These screenshots alone don't do it justice, as it's the constantly moving lighting and particle effects that truly bring these environments to life in a beautiful way—the water effects in particular are gorgeous, and I often found myself just watching the water any time I was near it. For anyone that grew up on SNES era RPGs, it's just awesome to see that art style brought back in a fresh, modern way. Granted, at times the ambient effects can be a bit much—there are a lot of sparkling particles, sun flares, and light bloom in every environment—but overall the style is still beautiful. And to match such a wonderful art style there's a fantastic soundtrack full of catchy songs that set the perfect background for the adventure and give each town its own personality. The music is beautifully emotive and has a charming sense of excitement for adventure, but is still varied enough to give the more dramatic moments their weight. The character themes in particular are excellent, as each one is distinctive and memorable and helps cement each character's individual journey. Technically you could complete the game with only one character, never recruiting the others, but I'll assume most players will go through the game normally, exploring each character's path, leading to around 60 hours of game time, at least. That's counting only a percentage of the side content available. Plus, if you aren't satisfied with the eight individual stories, there's a bonus end-game dungeon that ties them together somewhat into an overarching narrative. In fact, I only describe it as a bonus because it can be a little hard to unlock as it requires completing two seemingly innocuous side quests—it is, otherwise, essentially the conclusion of the game's long background narrative that ties into each character's journey. Regardless, whether you pursue the extra difficult final battle or not, there is an absolute wealth of content to enjoy here. In many ways Octopath Traveler is an RPG made for fans of the SNES era of RPGs, but it doesn't just rely upon that nostalgia. There are also some excellent, compelling gameplay elements that make battles engaging and bosses in particular a thrilling balance of shield breaking and skill boosting. The hook of having eight individual character stories is executed wonderfully, allowing the player to learn about and care about each character's journey. Topping it all off is one of the most gorgeous and unique art styles we've seen in years, with a beautiful soundtrack to match, making Octopath Traveler a game that absolutely no RPG fan should miss. Rating: 8 out of 8 Travelers
  14. This week’s Nintendo Download includes the following featured content: Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch The Messenger – As a demon army besieges his village, a young ninja ventures through a cursed world to deliver a scroll paramount to his clan’s survival. What begins as a classic action platformer soon unravels into an expansive time-traveling adventure full of thrills, surprises and humor. Into the Breach – The remnants of human civilization are threatened by gigantic creatures breeding beneath the earth. You must control powerful mechs from the future to defeat an alien threat. Each attempt to save the world presents a new randomly generated challenge in this turn-based strategy game from the makers of the FTL game. The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season – Play as Lee Everett, a convicted criminal, who has been given a second chance at life in a world devastated by the undead. With corpses returning to life and survivors stopping at nothing to maintain their own safety, protecting an orphaned girl named Clementine may offer him redemption. Nintendo eShop sales: Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS and Wii U Great deals this week! Check out the full list of deals available this week at http://www.nintendo.com/games/sales-and-deals. Activities: My Nintendo September Rewards – Summer’s almost over, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop – head back to school with a New Nintendo 2DS XL system! With a huge library of games featuring Mario, Link and more classic characters, it’s just the thing to get through long bus rides or down time after school. My Nintendo September rewards help kick things off with discounts for up to 50 percent on Nintendo Selects games like The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. Nintendo 2DS XL plays all Nintendo 3DS games in 2D only. Check out the full list of the rewards here. Also new this week: ACA NEOGEO CROSSED SWORDS (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Bloxiq (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Claws of Furry (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Sept. 3 Fall of Light: Darkest Edition (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Freedom Planet (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) GOD WARS The Complete Legend (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Sept. 4 Haunted Dungeons: Hyakki Castle (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Mini Metro (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Moonfall Ultimate (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Sept. 4 Ninjin: Clash of Carrots (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Sept. 4 Phantaruk (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Realpolitiks (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Son of a Witch (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Sept. 4 The VideoKid (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Toy Stunt Bike: Tiptop’s Trials – Full and Demo Versions (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch)
  15. In a recent video put out by Nintendo, Shinya Takahashi mentioned that there will be "further updates" for MK8DX... I wonder if this means we'll see more DLC packs? Not sure what else they would add via updates besides DLC. Maybe we'll see something were the upcoming Mario Kart Tour mobile game connects with MK8DX and/or a free updates with a new character, track, or kart? PLZ, Nintendo! Give us more amiibo outfits!!!!! Just go crazy with it!
  16. I actually haven't had time to watch the video yet but I wanted to post this anyway because one of the three games available right now is the team-based shooter Morphies Law and I know there was some interest here in that title. I'll post more thoughts when I'm home from work and can watch the video but I'll just say that there have been tons of great indie games on the Switch so far and I hope Ninforians are giving them a try. Press release:
  17. Eliwood8

    Flipping Death Review

    Can you imagine how rarely Death must get a vacation? The work seemingly never stops piling up for that guy, not to mention all the restless spirits trying to complete their unfinished business on Earth. Thank goodness Penny Doewood, recently deceased, is available to take on the role of death-temp while the big guy gets some much needed R&R. Flipping Death from Zoink Games returns to the quirky style of their earlier titles like Stick It to The Man, with all of the goofy humor, clever puzzles, and charmingly cartoonish graphics found in that game. Fans of that Wii U title will feel right at home with Flipping Death's offbeat style and engaging gameplay. It was just an average day for Penny Doewood, dressing up like a devil to attract customers to the funeral parlor she works in, until a fateful fall separates her spirit from her body. Now adrift in the afterlife, Penny becomes Death's replacement temp and, armed with his scythe, is able to possess the living to help ghosts resolve their unfinished business and move on to the great beyond. Despite its macabre premise, Flipping Death doesn't take itself seriously at all and is packed full of weird, quirky characters with plenty of genuinely hilarious dialogue. Penny's abilities includes mind-reading when she possesses a living body, and it's absolutely worth taking the time to hear all of the dialogue that it entails. As fun as the puzzles are and as beautifully weird as the art is, the absolute highlight of Flipping Death is in its sense of humor and the multitude of visual gags, puns, and general silliness that ensues. Although there are some light platforming elements here, the crux of the gameplay is on puzzle-solving by flipping between the afterworld and the land of the living. In the former, Penny can talk to ghosts and find living beings to possess. Once back in the land of the living, Penny can control the person's body and use some unique ability that the person might have—for example, a little girl with giant braces has a knack for biting things. As you'd expect from the game's humor there are some wild abilities that Penny can commandeer. All of these are put to good use for clever solutions to puzzles, and it's great to see that the game finds a good balance of difficulty. There are some inventive solutions required but rarely is the game completely obtuse—it helps that the game is divided into chapters and each chapter isn't too long, so even if you're a bit lost you can easily walk around, re-examining everything for inspiration. Plus, if you are truly stumped, the game includes an optional hint system to steer you back onto the right track. And if you find the main story's puzzles a little too simple or just want to explore more of the game, each chapter includes optional challenges—achievements, essentially. You're only given a vague title to the challenge to figure out what to do but just like the main puzzles they're inventive without being too confusing. And for each challenge you complete you're rewarded with a character card with more of the game's hilariously oddball writing to enjoy. Most players will probably want to take the time to pursue these challenges regardless though, as Flipping Death is a pretty short game, so spending a little extra time in the game's world, pursuing challenges, is a welcome feature. Just like in Stick It to The Man the controls in Flipping Death are somewhat floaty and loose. In the afterlife this is less of a problem since Penny jumps pretty easily and can teleport short distances with her scythe, but in the real world, while possessing a character, it does make the game feel a little cumbersome at times. Additionally, Flipping Death does seem to have some buggy issues, including mission details not updating correctly, characters clipping through walls, and at one point Penny got stuck while falling and couldn't jump. Thankfully none of this breaks the game, but it is a little annoying to have to cope with these small issues. Zoink's art style is incredibly distinctive: it's exaggerated and cartoonish, with a cardboard-like aesthetic that is only further emphasized when you're flipping between the lands of the living and the dead. The art has the feel of a 90s cartoon which fits perfectly with the comedic tone of the game. The graphics may seem a bit busy at times but it's a lot of fun to just take a moment to look at everything in the scenery and on screen—there's a beautiful amount of detail to enjoy in Flipping Death. The music is excellent as well with a fun, jazzy sound to it, and the wealth of voice acting does a fantastic job of bringing the characters to life (or undeath, as it were). Just like the art style, the voice work is big and exaggerated, and it suits the game's humor and style perfectly. Even though the gameplay structure is a little different, Flipping Death feels like a perfect follow up to Stick It to The Man—it has more beautifully offbeat art, excellent voice acting, clever puzzles, and of course plenty of humor. Puzzle fans looking for a delightfully quirky new game should absolutely play Flipping Death and try their hand at wielding a scythe and possessing the living, because remember: even Death needs a vacation. Rating: 8 out of 10 Ghosts
  18. Nintendo continues its streak of porting 2014 Wii U games this year with Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, the puzzle-platformer that was originally a spin-off of Super Mario 3D World. If you already played this game on the Wii U you'll find very little different here, but this budget-priced title remains a charming, if brief, adventure. One day Captain Toad is out tracking down treasures alongside Toadette, but just as the pair find a star conveniently resting atop a hill, a massive bird swoops down to steal the prize, and Toadette with it. The captain then sets off on a quest to rescue his partner (while still picking up plenty of treasure along the way). It's a totally basic premise for a game but even so it's hard to dislike the adorable little Toads and their oversized backpacks. Treasure Tracker is a platformer with one twist: Captain Toad can't jump, so even small ledges present a more complicated obstacle than simply bounding over them like everyone's favorite mustachioed hero. Instead, the levels in Treasure Tracker play out more like puzzles you need to solve—i.e., to reach the goal you may need to find the right switch to create a path. Each stage is fairly small but you can see almost everything from a distant, diorama view, which allows you to look around corners to find the correct path to your next goal. Finding the way forward is often more complicated than simply looking around for a bit, though. This perspective creates a clever camera mechanic that fits nicely between the fixed camera of 2D platformers and the freedom of 3D, and it encourages you to hunt down the small indications of where to go next. Ultimately the gameplay is Treasure Tracker is surprisingly addictive, and even if the game poses few serious challenges it's an engaging experience from start to finish. For those that would like a bit more challenge out of the game, Treasure Tracker includes a few extra game modes and objectives that give the game more depth. First off, each level has three gems to collect, and naturally they're hidden in nooks and crannies. Gems are only semi-optional, though—you'll need at least a few to unlock new levels at regular checkpoints throughout the game. Next there is the bonus objective on each stage, which might be to collect a certain number of coins or defeat every enemy in the stage. Some of these objectives are pretty easy but many of them will give you at least a little extra challenge. For the pro gamers there are also time trial challenges which will only unlock after you've collected all gems and completed all bonus objectives in one episode. Time trials might actually be a little too difficult given the somewhat slow—and at times clumsy—controls in Treasure Tracker, but it's another challenge to check off for completionists. And finally, the Wii U game received an update in 2015 to add amiibo support and, if you scanned the Toad amiibo, you'd unlock another bonus mode, pixel Toad hide-and-seek. For the Switch version this mode is included from the beginning—you don't even need an amiibo! Hide-and-seek is another cute side mode that never really offers much depth, but since you don't need an amiibo now there's no reason not to at least give it a try. Speaking of amiibo, their new function in the Switch version is less special but still handy if you have them. The Toad amiibo will give you an invincible mushroom, other amiibo will give you extra lives, and the Super Mario Odyssey amiibo will unlock the Odyssey levels early (otherwise these levels unlock upon finishing the main levels). Treasure Tracker is generally so easy that extra lives or invincibility aren't really needed anyway, though. And as long as we're on the subject I'll say it's great that this new version of the game added levels based on Odyssey, but it's weird that they removed the levels based on 3D World—that trade-off definitely wasn't necessary, given the short length of the game. And finally, one of the only changes from the Wii U version that has much of an impact is in the controls. The original game used the Gamepad in a variety of ways, but the Switch version now maps actions like touching the screen to move platforms to the ZR button, while aiming with the controller's gyroscope. I won't lie, this is a pretty awkward control set-up, especially as you're still trying to move the captain with the left control stick, but there aren't really any instances where you need quick and precise movements, so even if the control changes feel a little clumsy they don't interfere with the gameplay much. And of course you can always play undocked and use the Switch's touch screen to move these platforms. You'll miss out on the bigger visuals on the TV screen but if you find yourself struggling with the controls it might be a worthwhile switch. The visuals and audio are little changed from the Wii U original, aside from being a bit cleaner on the Switch. Treasure Tracker's art style doesn't need super detailed graphics of course, and the visuals are still utterly cute and charming here. Plus it's kind of neat to look back on the art style found in 3D World. The music is in the same boat: a lot of fun, catchy songs, and the intervening years since 3D World help them feel a little less repetitive of that game. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker was an unsung gem on the Wii U: a simple game to be sure, but one that didn't pretend to be anything more given its low price compared to other games. Treasure Tracker's cute style and satisfying but never too challenging sense of difficulty make it perfect for younger players, or anyone that's just interested in spending a bit of relaxing puzzle-platforming time in a Mario setting. There's little reason for anyone that already bought the Wii U version to double dip on this Switch version, but new players might enjoy this charming spin-off. Rating: 8 out of 10 Treasures
  19. This week’s Nintendo Download includes the following featured content: Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate – This critically acclaimed action RPG series makes its debut on the Nintendo Switch system. Choose from 14 different weapon types, mix and match them with unique Hunting Styles and Hunter Arts, or even play as an adorable but ferocious Felyne in Prowler Mode. The Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate game features the largest cast of monsters for any game in the series, from returning fan favorites to mysterious never-before-seen monsters. Monster Hunters Generations Ultimate will be available on Aug. 28. A free demo of the game is available to download now on Nintendo eShop. Blade Strangers – A malevolent force known only as Lina is devouring data from a vast, interdimensional network of servers overseen by sentient computers called “motes.” In desperation, the motes summon heroes from a variety of parallel game worlds to face off against each other in one-on-one combat. Fighter roster includes popular characters from previous Studio Saizensen and/or Nicalis games, including Code of Princess EX, Cave Story+, the Umihara Kawaseseries, and The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+. Other surprise entrants include the well-known indie superstar characters, Shovel Knight and Gunvolt. The Blade Strangers game will be available Aug. 28. Prison Architect: Nintendo Switch Edition – In the Prison Architect: Nintendo Switch Edition game, you will see the impact of your grand design on the lives of your inmates, be it a utopic center for rehabilitation, a brutal Super Max Prison, or anything in between. Acting as both architect and governor, you control every detail of your Prison - from building new cells and facilities to hiring staff and creating reform programs - all while dealing with informants, contraband smuggling, gang warfare, full scale riots and more! Nintendo eShop sales: Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS and Wii U Great deals this week! Check out the full list of deals available this week at http://www.nintendo.com/games/sales-and-deals. Also new this week: ACA NEOGEO REAL BOUT FATAL FURY 2 (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Bad North (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Behind the Screen (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) de Blob 2 (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Aug. 28 Earthworms –Demo Version (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Aug. 23 Earthworms (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Aug. 24 EXTREME POKER (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Fernz Gate (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Flood of Light (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Hacky Zack (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Kero Blaster (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Little Dragons Café (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Aug. 24 Morphies Law (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) My Farm (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Night Trap – 25th Anniversary Edition (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Aug. 24 Shio (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Sky Gamblers: Storm Raiders (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Space Ribbon (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Aug. 24 The Low Road (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Victor Vran Overkill Edition (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Aug. 28 Western 1849 Reloaded (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Aug. 29
  20. Coming from Shigeru Miyamoto's recent keynote at the 2018 Computer Entertainment Developers Conference... Wow! The Switch home menu only takes up 200KB?! That's pretty impressive compaired to other systems, though I can totally see why. I didn't realize that having BG music would slow things down (can't be by that much right?). I love how quick and snappy the Switch's OS is (I remember how painfully slow the Wii U OS was when it launched), but I would have loved to have BG music, especially for the eShop. Nintendo has some of the BEST menu music (Hell, they even put the Wii Shop theme in SSB!), but it's ashame the Switch is so quiet. ...So, does this mean we'll never get themes like on 3DS or just themes with no BG music?
  21. This is pretty cool and all, but c'mon, Nintendo! Where's Youtube, Netflix, Crunchyroll, and other popular streaming apps?!
  22. Eliwood8

    Mario Tennis Aces Review

    It wouldn't be a Nintendo system with a Mario sports title, now would it? Mario Tennis Aces leads the sports spin-offs on the Switch with all of our Mushroom Kingdom favorites taking to the court for a friendly match or two. Aces comes with the standard bells and whistles of local and online multiplayer, as well as a variety of new features to liven up the game and a return to single-player story mode. This game has a lot to prove after the rather disappointingly bare-boned Ultra Smash on the Wii U, but thankfully Nintendo and Camelot managed to avoid a double fault of Mario tennis games. Aces brings an adventure mode back to a Mario sports game, something we haven't seen for quite a few games now. The story involves an ancient powerful tennis racket taking over Luigi's body, so Mario has to collect the five infinity stones power stones before the possessed Luigi gets them and regains the full power of the legendary racket. It's not a super original story and even by Mario game standards feels pretty flat, but adventure mode does offer a nice single-player option that is perfect for training. In addition to normal matches adventure mode has several optional challenges that are essentially tutorials for practicing aim and the new zone mechanics in Aces. Plus there are boss battles which, while a little tedious at times with some of their hazards, offer plenty of practice for blocking powerful zone shots. Even if the story is super short, these challenges offer a nice bit of practice before you dive into a tournament or an online match. Obviously Aces is, at its core, a classic tennis game, with a decent variety of characters (each with their own styles) and courts (each with their own hazards). The big additions to Aces revolve around the new energy meter, which charges as you play. When a star appears on the court you can spend some of your energy to activate a powerful zone shot to aim at a specific spot on the court. These extra-fast shots are particularly difficult to return, but the defending player can use their own energy to activate zone speed to slow down time, making it easier to reach the ball. It might take a few matches to really get a handle on how to use these abilities effectively but they're a wonderfully balanced way of adding challenge without overwhelming one player since, even if your opponent uses a lot of zone shots, you can always rely on your own zone speed to keep up. And it's nice to have these new abilities that aren't wildly out of character for tennis—essentially they just power up your offensive and defensive abilities. With a fully charged meter you can also execute an even more powerful special shot, the main advantage of which is breaking your opponent's racket. Rackets have a limited durability in Aces; if a player fails to block a zone shot the racket takes partial damage while a special shot will fully break the racket—if all of a player's rackets break it's an instant loss. Although it's neat to have another way to win and another aspect to consider as you play, the concept of breaking rackets feels a little out of place, especially when practiced players can learn to block damage from these powerful shots anyway. In a way it just feels like it's punishing new players rather than adding a deep or rewarding twist to the gameplay. Another new feature that is tricky to master—and may be a little discouraging for new players—is trick shots, which allow you to quickly dash toward the ball to return it. The catch here is that you really have to be precise with your timing to use trick shots effectively, often to the point of reading your opponent before the ball is even over the net, so it can be a risky maneuver. However, the reward for using trick shots is significant. Not only can it help you reach out-of-the-way shots, you'll gain energy for well-timed trick shots, making them feel like a more unbalanced feature than zone shots or speed—it's just not fun at all to play against someone that constantly uses trick shots. As a side mode Aces also includes a motion-controlled option called Swing mode. Anyone that played Wii Sports Tennis should remember the basic mechanics here, and although swinging the Joy-Con around like a racket is a fun novelty, Swing mode might be best used as a party mode with friends that don't play as much rather than a mode with much real depth. Naturally the multiplayer options are a big part of Aces, and you can play locally or online to face off with tennis players near and far. In addition to simple quick matches against random opponents, Aces offers a tournament mode that lets you compete for points and the glory of earning high marks each month. The concept is great, and perhaps this is more of a problem with the size or variety of the online community but you'll most likely find some wildly inconsistent match-ups as you play, swinging back and forth between opponents that you easily crush and others that you can't seem to score a single point on. On the bright side I never waited long for an opponent, but the balancing of skill levels left me rather disinterested in taking tournaments seriously. The visuals and audio have all of the colorful, familiar Mario and friends design you'd expect out of a Mario sports game. There's little that will surprise you if you've played virtually any other Mario sports title but even so, Aces looks great on the Switch, both on the TV and handheld. And even if the music rarely has a chance to shine through during intense rallies, there are some fun compositions here as well. Mario Tennis Aces adds some fun new features to the familiar tennis rally, as well as some more advanced techniques that are a bit obnoxious unless you put in the time to fully master their effects, which is only made more difficult by the inconsistent matchmaking while playing online. Still, Aces offers all the standard tennis gameplay for fans to enjoy, and if you do put in the effort to learn all of the more advanced aspects of the game there's a decent amount of depth to enjoy here. Rating: 7 out of 10 Rackets
  23. This week’s Nintendo Download includes the following featured content: Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes – In the Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes game, one player is trapped in a room with a ticking time bomb they must defuse. The other players are the “Experts” who must give the instructions to defuse the bomb by deciphering the information found in the Bomb Defusal Manual. But there’s a catch: The Experts can’t see the bomb, so everyone will need to talk it out – fast! Puzzle solving and communication skills – and maybe a few friendships – will be put to the test as players race to defuse bombs while communicating quickly, clearly and effectively. The Walking Dead: The Final Season - Season Pass – After years on the road facing threats both living and dead, a secluded school might finally be Clementine and AJ’s chance for a home. But protecting it will mean sacrifice. In this gripping, emotional final season, your choices define your relationships, shape your world, and determine how Clementine’s story ends. Nintendo eShop sales: Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS and Wii U Great deals this week! Check out the full list of deals available this week at http://www.nintendo.com/games/sales-and-deals. Activities: Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Flower Festival Event – Every day is a new day in the Animal Crossing: Pocket Campsmartphone game. Starting today, the Flower Festival event begins. Stop by your garden to get special event flower seeds. If you cross-pollinate event flowers, you can get seeds for flowers of different colors. Trade event flowers to Lloid for items like a red-and-yellow bicycle and Flower Festival clothing, among other fun summer items. This event is running from Aug. 16 at 11 p.m. PT through Aug. 28 at 10:59 p.m. PT. August Legendary Pokémon – The Legendary duo of Kyogre and Groudon has dominated the land and seas since originally appearing in the Hoenn region. Now you can get one of them via a code from your local participating GameStop store from Aug. 3 to Aug. 26. Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Sun players can get Kyogre, while Pokémon Ultra Moon and Pokémon Moon players can get Groudon. Available while supplies last. Contact your local GameStop or check https://www.gamestop.com/stores to find participating stores. Nintendo Labo Creators Contest No. 2 Ends Soon – Calling Nintendo Labo fans! In less than one week, the latest Nintendo Labo Creators Contest ends. Have you started on your entry? A team of Nintendo Labo judges will select two Grand Prize winners and eight runner-up winners in two categories: Best Toy-Con Musical Instrument and Best Gaming Experience using Toy-Con Garage. The contest ends at 10:59 a.m. PT on Aug. 20. You can also check out other submissions here – and don’t forget to give a “like” to your favorites! The prizes include a specially designed, collectible cardboard-inspired Nintendo Switch system, Nintendo Labo Creators jackets and more. For more info, please visit the official contest site at https://labo.nintendo.com/share/#!/contest/.* *Void where prohibited. Open to legal residents of the U.S. and Canada (excluding Quebec), ages 13+. Nintendo Switch system and Nintendo Labo kit required. Contest begins 11AM PT on 7/19/18 and ends at 10:59AM PT on 8/20/18. To enter, upload a video of your Toy-Con creation or invention as detailed in the Official Rules. 2 Grand Prize winners will each receive one (1) collectible Nintendo Switch system (ARV: $ $1,000 USD), one (1) Nintendo Labo Creators Jacket (ARV: $ 70.00 USD), and one (1) award certificate (ARV: $ 70.00 USD). 8 Runner-Up winners will each receive one (1) collectible pair of Joy-Con controllers, one (1) Nintendo Labo Creators Jacket (ARV: $ 70.00 USD), and one (1) award certificate (ARV: $ 70.00 USD). Total ARV of all prizes: $3,640 USD. Chances of winning a prize depend on eligibility and quality of entries received, and how well each meets the judging criteria. Details and restrictions apply. For Official Rules, visit https://labo.nintendo.com/share/#!/contest-rules/. Sponsor: Nintendo of America Inc. Also new this week: ACA NEOGEO METAL SLUG 4 (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) All-Star Fruit Racing (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Aug. 21 Animated Jigsaws: Beautiful Japanese Scenery – Demo Version (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Arcade Archives Kid’s Horehore Daisakusen (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) CastleStorm (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Detective Gallo (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Aug. 17 FLIP OVER FROG (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) FunBox Party (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Johnny Turbo’s Arcade: Nitro Ball (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Manual Samuel (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Monopoly for Nintendo Switch – Demo Version (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate – Demo Version (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Morphite – Demo Version (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Next Up Hero (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Out of The Box (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Aug. 22 Persian Nights: Sands of Wonders (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Aug. 17 Polygod (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Aug. 17 Red’s Kingdom (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Robbotto (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Spectrum (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Aug. 20 Tiny Hands Adventure (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Treadnauts (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available Aug. 17
  24. Eliwood8

    Road to Ballhalla Review

    One part Marble Madness, one part rhythm game, and just a pinch of silly humor, Road to Ballhalla from developer Torched Hill and publisher tinyBuild Games manages to combine several disparate elements into one cohesive game, one that is simple enough to be easily accessible but with enough depth to keep more hardcore players engaged. Even if you're looking to play through the campaign once though and not master all of the game's challenges, Road to Ballhalla offers a fun little experience with arcade-style challenges backed up by a killer soundtrack. Road to Ballhalla isn't a story driven game but I have to give special mention to the game's sense of humor. Scattered throughout each level is cheeky commentary, including pointed barbs at the player when you fail and some silly puns/references, and the jokes land far more often than not. It's like having a friend watching you play and giving you a good-natured ribbing, and it's nice to see a developer just having fun with their game. The best part might be the meta humor—be sure to check out the easy mode option in the game's settings. In Road to Ballhalla you control a ball (surprise surprise) and ultimately your goal is to simply reach the end of the stage by rolling past all variety of hazards. The catch here that makes the game a bit more unique is that it's essentially a rhythm game—hazards appear on a rhythmic beat so you want to get into the groove to roll through a level smoothly. Like a lot of rhythmic games it's incredibly satisfying to find that perfect flow. In Ballhalla, every time you reach a new checkpoint feels like a nice accomplishment. It helps that the game isn't incredibly difficult. There are challenges to be sure, and you're sure to die a few times on each level, but maybe it's the focus on rhythmic gameplay that makes the game engaging from one attempt to the next rather than stressful and tense. And Road to Ballhalla definitely takes it easy on the player in a couple of respects. One, not all hazards are instant death, so even if you're a little off the beat and take some damage it's not the end of the world. Granted, not all hazards are so kind, but it's still nice to have that wiggle room. Two, there are generous checkpoints throughout each level, and checkpoints restore your health. Even if you do die you'll never lose too much progress. And finally, rather than featuring a time limit or high score, each level has two requirements for full marks: collect all of the yellow orbs and die five times or fewer. For completionists these add a nice extra challenge but aren't overwhelming—the yellow orbs are generally laid out across the most efficient path anyway and dying isn't so common that five or fewer is an insurmountable challenge. It feels like the game isn't out to punish you needlessly, which is a nice change of pace for an arcade-style action game. The one downside is that there are only 24 levels, short enough that you could conceivably finish the entire game in just one sitting. On the other hand, with a relatively modest number of levels each one can offer unique challenges, so there aren't any pointlessly repeated concepts or hazards. Each level feels new and engaging, and the game's rhythm makes it easy to keep playing one level after another. Plus, if you are a completionist, there are actually quite a few more challenges to tackle. The main levels may not have a time limit but you can also play Rush versions which are time trials: beat the level under a specific amount of time. This is definitely a lot more challenging but given the rhythm-driven gameplay it still feels fairly natural, and even casual players might want to give it a try. Once you've had your fill of that too you can try to tackle the game's special scavenger hunt, which gives you cryptic clues for one hidden exit after another. The downside is you'll need to replay levels to get to them but it's a nice extra touch for players who've mastered everything else. Given the rhythm focus of the gameplay it should be no surprise that the music in Road to Ballhalla is excellent. More than just getting you into the groove, the soundtrack has an almost hypnotic beat to it, one that is almost relaxing if you weren't focused on dodging lasers and pitfalls. It's truly a mark of care and quality that each song feels so well tailored to the level it appears in. The visual side of the presentation is decidedly more minimalist, but even if the game is mostly just a bunch of colored grids with your ball rolling along it's still rather charming. And again there's something ironically relaxing about the game's simple graphics and groovy soundtrack—maybe that's what makes it so easy to keep playing even when you've died a dozen times in the same spot. At a glance Road to Ballhalla may look like the kind of game you've played plenty of times, but the game distinguishes itself with some important differences that keep it engaging and entertaining from the first note to the last. The rhythmic gameplay makes it easy to dive right into the game and keep playing level after level as the music keeps you entranced and the challenging yet fair level design leaves you eager to tackle each new stage. It's a shame that the main game is relatively short, but if you're willing to take on the more difficult time trials Road to Ballhalla will keep you rolling and grooving for hours. Rating: 8 out of 10 Balls Review copy provided by the publisher Road to Ballhalla is available now on the Switch eShop for $14.99.
  25. This week’s Nintendo Download includes the following featured content: Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch OKAMI HD – Take the role of Amaterasu, the Japanese sun goddess who inhabits the form of a legendary white wolf Shiranui. Use magical abilities, attacks, and Celestial Brush techniques to restore the land of Nippon to its previous glory full of life and color. Minit – Minit is a peculiar little adventure played 60 seconds at a time. Journey outside the comfort of your home to help unusual folk, uncover countless secrets and overcome dangerous foes, all in the hope of lifting a rather unfortunate curse that ends each day after just one minute. 2064: Read Only Memories INTEGRAL – When Turing, the world’s first sapient machine, teams up with a struggling journalist, the unlikely duo find themselves drawn into the shadows behind the dazzling lights of Neo-San Francisco. The secrets they uncover could shake the very foundations of society. 2064: Read Only Memories INTEGRAL fuses a classic-style adventure game with lush pixel art and a catchy electronic soundtrack that explores modern-day issues of individuality, freedom and identity. The 2064: Read Only Memories INTEGRAL game will be available on Aug. 14. DRAGON BALL FIGHTERZ – Open Beta – Go head to head in VS Online* with no fewer than 23 characters and 13 stages. Don’t forget to also stop by the Battle Tutorial to sharpen your skills and master all kinds of devastating techniques. The Open Beta servers are scheduled to be on between 9 p.m. PT on Aug. 9 and 11:59 p.m. PT on Aug. 11. Nintendo eShop sales: Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS and Wii U Great deals this week! Check out the full list of deals available this week at http://www.nintendo.com/games/sales-and-deals. Activities: Calling All Nintendo Labo Fans! – In less than two weeks, the latest Nintendo Labo Creators Contest No. 2 ends! Have you started on your entry? A team of Nintendo Labo judges will select four winners in two categories: Best Toy-Con Musical Instrument and Best Gaming Experience using Toy-Con Garage. The contest ends at 10:59 a.m. PT on Aug. 20. You can also check out other submissions here – and don’t forget to give a “like” to your favorites! The prizes include a specially designed, collectible cardboard-inspired Nintendo Switch system, Nintendo Labo Creators jackets and more. For more info, please visit the official contest site at https://labo.nintendo.com/share/#!/contest/. Void where prohibited. Open to legal residents of the U.S. and Canada (excluding Quebec), ages 13+. Nintendo Switch system and Nintendo Labo kit required. Contest begins 11AM PT on 7/19/18 and ends at 10:59AM PT on 8/20/18. To enter, upload a video of your Toy-Con creation or invention as detailed in the Official Rules. 2 Grand Prize winners will each receive one (1) collectible Nintendo Switch system (ARV: $ $1,000 USD), one (1) Nintendo Labo Creators Jacket (ARV: $ 70.00 USD), and one (1) award certificate (ARV: $ 70.00 USD). 8 Runner-Up winners will each receive one (1) collectible pair of Joy-Con controllers, one (1) Nintendo Labo Creators Jacket (ARV: $ 70.00 USD), and one (1) award certificate (ARV: $ 70.00 USD). Total ARV of all prizes: $3,640 USD. Chances of winning a prize depend on eligibility and quality of entries received, and how well each meets the judging criteria. Details and restrictions apply. For Official Rules, visit https://labo.nintendo.com/share/#!/contest-rules/. Sponsor: Nintendo of America Inc. Also new this week: ACA NEOGEO PREHISTORIC ISLE 2 (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) BlobCat (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Catch ‘Em! Goldfish Scooping (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Cosmic Star Heroine (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available August 14 EARTHLOCK – Demo Version (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) GREEN (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Megaton Rainfall (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Nightmares from the Deep 2: The Siren’s Call (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available August 10 Pixel Action Heroes – Demo Version (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Shut Eye (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) State of Mind (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available August 15 SubaraCity (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) TETRA’s Escape (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available August 10 The Amazing Shinsengumi: Heroes in Love (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Toki Tori 2+ – Demo Version (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Unexplored (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) Valkyria Chronicles 4 – Demo Version (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch)