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Found 654 results

  1. A wisecracking duck and a taciturn boar traverse a post-apocalyptic landscape while scavenging supplies for one of the last populated settlements on Earth—well, there are stranger premises for a game. Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden Deluxe Edition it a tough-as-nails tactical-RPG, one that regularly puts your small band of mutants against overwhelming enemy forces and expects you to work out the best strategy for taking each enemy down without overextending your meager resources. The gameplay can be wonderfully tense and engaging, though the game's performance on the Switch leaves much to be desired. At the beginning of the game you play as Dux and Bromin (the aforementioned mutant duck and boar, respectively) though you eventually gain a few more allies along the way. The mutant pair are Stalkers, elite scavengers able to brave the hazards of the mutated landscape and bring back supplies to the Ark, the home of the remaining survivors. The post-apocalyptic setting admittedly feels a little cliché here (seen one post-apocalyptic hellscape seen 'em all, am I right?) but the writing in Mutant Year Zero still manages to shine thanks to the personalities of the playable characters and their small interactions. In fact, one of the best reasons to replay the game—aside from the gameplay—might be to hear all of the various dialogue possibilities depending on who is currently in your party. Mutant Year Zero is a turn-based tactical shooter RPG in the vein of XCOM or Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. On your turn, you move your characters around a grid-based battlefield—ideally keeping them hidden behind cover—and attack enemies with a small variety of guns or special mutant powers. Each character only has two actions per turn (move, heal, reload, attack, etc.) and attacking always ends that character's turn, so you have to plan your actions carefully. Like other games in this genre Mutant Year Zero can feel punishingly difficult at times. In terms of sheer numbers and firepower you're pretty much always at a disadvantage compared to the enemy, and any little mistake on your part can and will be punished. The key to survival is scouting out the map and planning your approach to each battle carefully—if you charge in blindly you're never going to get anywhere in this game. It's a genre that truly rewards patience and forethought, which also makes it incredibly satisfying when things go well and you survive a fight without a single scratch. For as difficult as it can be, Mutant Year Zero is also awfully addictive: it feels pretty great when you efficiently sweep through an enemy force with just your motley band of mutants. The game also highly encourages stealthy attacks in order to pare down the enemy's numbers before a full-fledged firefight begins. You're able to see each enemy's field of vision and you have a small selection of silenced weapons to allow you to pick off weaker, isolated targets. Of course, there are always some enemies that are too closely clumped together or are simply too strong to be killed before they can alert their friends, but having a chance at stealthily eliminating targets is not only hugely helpful for survival but awfully fun as well—the only thing better than executing a well-planned attack is doing it in stealth so the enemy doesn't even have a chance to react. And ultimately there is a decent amount of variety in how you approach each fight. You'll eventually have five playable characters at your disposal (though you can only bring three into any fight) and each character has his or her own skill tree of mutations. This is essentially how you level up throughout the game. In addition to some passive bonuses like increased health or movement range, you can equip mutations that allow for special attacks in battle, such as stunning an enemy with a powerful charge or shooting twice in one turn. Some are almost comically unbalanced with how much more useful they are compared to others, but regardless, your selection of mutations is the perfect way to customize your play style, or even just adjust how you approach a specific fight. Are there a lot of robotic enemies on the map? Try using mutations that can stun robots with EMP attacks. One extra-powerful enemy giving you trouble? Try brainwashing him to make him fight for you for a few turns. Mutant Year Zero provides just enough variety to let you try new things or encourage a second playthrough without overwhelming you with options. The game isn't without its problems, though. For a game that encourages scavenging the battlefield, it can be a little tedious just how slowly your characters move. When you're sneaking around it makes sense to move slowly and carefully, but when the battle is over it would be nice if they could pick up the pace. Mutant Year Zero also suffers from some technical issues, which is particularly disappointing since the load times aren't exactly short either. I ran into a few problematic bugs while playing, including a battle where an enemy fell through the floor, meaning I wasn't able to shoot him and had to restart the whole fight. It's a shame these issues haven't been addressed as of this writing. Mutant Year Zero also takes a noticeable hit in the graphics department with this Switch port. The frame rate can be rather inconsistent, which doesn't inhibit the gameplay but is still bothersome. The quality of the resolution also takes a notable dive in handheld mode. It's too bad since there's clearly a cool aesthetic at work here, but it doesn't feel like it lives up to its maximum potential on the Switch. On the audio side of things, the music is solid—moody, atmospheric—and the voice acting is well done, but my one minor quibble is wishing I could fast-forward through dialogue at times just to speed up some cutscenes. The base game can last a good twelve hours or so, with a small amount of side quests and optional areas that you can tackle. As mentioned there is also plenty of replay value thanks to varied mutations or trying a higher level of difficulty (though normal is plenty challenging on its own). Additionally, since this is a Deluxe Edition, it also includes the Seed of Evil DLC, which adds an entire short campaign as well as another playable character. This edition also includes the Stalker Trials mode which gives you challenging fights and lets you compare your score to others online. The base campaign may only be a modest length but there is plenty of additional content and replay value here. Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden Deluxe Edition offers some excellent tactical-RPG gameplay wrapped up in a stylish post-apocalyptic world of mutants and mutations. Strategy fans will love the high challenges available here, though less experienced players should be warned the game doesn't pull any punches. Sadly Mutant Year Zero has some pervasive technical issues on the Switch, but if you're willing to overlook them you'll find a richly rewarding and addictive tactical-RPG. Rating: 8 out of 10 Mutants
  2. This week’s Nintendo Download includes the following featured content: Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch Pokémon Sword & Pokémon Shield – A new generation of Pokémon has arrived on the Nintendo Switch system. Begin your adventure as a Pokémon Trainer by choosing one of three new partner Pokémon: Grookey, Scorbunny or Sobble. Then embark on a journey in the new Galar region, where you’ll explore the Wild Area and unravel the mystery behind the Legendary Pokémon Zacian and Zamazenta! A Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield Double Pack is also available digitally, which includes both the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield games, as well as additional in-game bonuses perfect for every Pokémon Trainer getting their start in the Galar region. Pokémon Sword, Pokémon Shield and the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield Double Pack will all be available on Nov. 15. Children of Morta – This intriguing hack-and-slash roguelike sets its story in a distant land, and weaves complex universal themes into its captivating tale of love, loss and hope. Prepare yourself for a dungeon crawler with an intricate narrative equal to its challenging gameplay. Are you willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for your family while the world is devoured by darkness? The Mountain of Morta awaits. Children of Morta will be available on Nov. 20. 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 https://www.nintendo.com/games/sales-and-deals. Also new this week in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch: Balthazar’s Dream Bloo Kid 2 – Available Nov. 18 Bouncy Bob 2 – Available Nov. 20 Cube Creator X Galactic Defence Squadron Garfield Kart Furious Racing – Available Nov. 19 Go! Fish Go! – Available Nov. 15 Labyrinth of the Witch League of the Shield Mars Power Industries – Available Nov. 15 Munchkin: Quacked Quest – Available Nov. 19 Overlanders Perils of Baking Push the Crate Raining Blobs – Available Nov. 15 Rocket Wars Scarlett Mysteries: Cursed Child Some Distant Memory Sparklite Squidgies Takeover Still There – Available Nov. 20 Sudoku Relax 3 Autumn Leaves Tactical Mind 2 – Available Nov. 15 Woven – Available Nov. 15 WRC 8 FIA World Rally Championship – Available Nov. 19 Zumba Burn It Up! – Available Nov. 19 Also new this week in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS: Turkey, Please!
  3. A balletic murderer teams up with a floating psychic banana—honestly sounds par for the course for publisher Devolver Digital. My Friend Pedro sets players on a path of acrobatic destruction as you gracefully leap, spin, and shoot your way through side-scrolling levels of bloody mayhem. The game's stylish combination of shooting and platforming has its rough spots, though. As the game begins, the player character wakes up with no recollection of what is happening, but a friendly banana (imaginary? Hallucinatory? It's unclear) tells you to start shooting people, so that's what you do. It's totally absurd, in a good way, and to the game's credit it doesn't try to be much more than that. The game never bogs down the player with lengthy explanations of what is happening. At most, each level begins with a few odd, funny comments from your friend Pedro the banana, and then it's time to get into the ballet of carnage. My Friend Pedro puts a distinctly acrobatic spin on the side-scrolling shooter genre. Each level has you careening through a stage, shooting down enemies while diving through the air, ricocheting bullets off of frying pans, and pirouetting to dodge enemy fire. The basic goal is to reach the end of the level, but more importantly you want to do it with style and earn a high score by maintaining a chain of kills. In concept, My Friend Pedro is a delightfully energetic and stylish side-scrolling shooter. The execution, however, leaves something to be desired. For a game that is fundamentally built around smooth, acrobatic movements, the controls are surprisingly awkward. Your movements are far from graceful when just leaping over a small obstacle feels clumsy, which is only exacerbated in the platforming-heavy sections of the game. For some reason the default control scheme also just doesn't feel quite comfortable—I felt my fingers tripping over themselves to smoothly fire, reload, dodge, and activate slow motion with any sense of fluidity. At the very least, My Friend Pedro carries a high difficulty curve when you first start out. The first few levels—in fact, really the whole first half of the game—might leave you feeling like you just can't get the hang of what the game clearly wants you to do. The good news though is that each level is quite short, so a bit of trial and error isn't too time-consuming. The bad news is that the game is fundamentally quite repetitive. There's some variety in the kinds of enemies and hazards thrown at you, but overall the levels blend together in a pretty repetitive pattern, so taking the time to replay each level to perfection will likely only appeal to the most dedicated players. Though at least you can show off your skills with the online leaderboard. The game's presentation can be fairly repetitive as well, unfortunately. Your simple yellow outfit does have a nice way of popping against the more drab, industrial scenery, but after several levels of just that, the visuals can feel bland. Aside from one brief section in the middle of the game, My Friend Pedro surprisingly doesn't play up its surreal aspects. The music is in a similar mixed-bag position. The soundtrack, on it's own, has some great energetic tunes, but while you're playing it's hard to pay attention to any of it over the constant sound of gunfire. My Friend Pedro puts a stylish spin on side-scrolling shooters, but the result may only appeal to the most dedicated high-score-chasing players. Considering the short length of the game it's a shame how long it takes for the controls to feel comfortable, and even once you've got the basics down the challenge of actually earning a decent score might dissuade most players. My Friend Pedro is a unique experience, but ultimately a little too niche. Rating: 7 out of 10 Bananas
  4. This week’s Nintendo Download includes the following featured content: Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch LAYTON’S MYSTERY JOURNEY: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy – Deluxe Edition – The famous Professor Hershel Layton has gone missing, and it’s time for his smart and spirited daughter Katrielle to take the spotlight. Enjoy a mysterious and intriguing adventure with this Deluxe Edition, which includes more than 40 new puzzles, enhanced HD visuals and all the DLC from the Nintendo 3DS version. LAYTON’S MYSTERY JOURNEY: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy – Deluxe Edition will be available on Nov. 8. New Super Lucky’s Tale – Discover the world of the New Super Lucky’s Tale game as you quest to rescue the Book of Ages from the mysterious Jinx and his nefarious Kitty Litter. Use Lucky’s bushy tail and wit to overcome enemies in this playful platforming adventure for all ages. New Super Lucky’s Tale will be available on Nov. 8. Disney TSUM TSUM FESTIVAL – The sweet and stackable Disney Tsum Tsum characters step foot into a toy store filled with party games. Families can have a blast together in multiplayer* matchups like curling, bubble hockey and coin dozer. With 10 different games and a festival of kid-friendly Tsums, this week’s game night just got a whole lot cuter. Disney TSUM TSUM FESTIVAL will be available on Nov. 8 Nintendo Mobile Take in the Sights at the City of Lights with Mario Kart Tour – Blast through the scenic streets of grand Paris during the Paris Tour event, which runs exclusively in the Mario Kart Tour game** until Nov. 19. Racers can zoom past the Eiffel Tower while playing as Shy Guy dressed as a pastry chef, or as Peach, looking positively resplendent in her stylish vacation outfit as she explores Paris. 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 https://www.nintendo.com/games/sales-and-deals. Activities: Don’t Miss Your Last Chance to Enter the My Nintendo Luigi’s Mansion 3 Sweepstakes! – Celebrate the spookiest game of the year with the My Nintendo Luigi’s Mansion 3 Sweepstakes***, exclusively for My Nintendo members. Redeem your My Nintendo Platinum Points for a chance to win fun prizes, including a Luigi’s Mansion 3 PVC Statue. These statues are incredibly detailed – seriously, check out the design of the Poltergust G-00 in all its ghost-slamming glory. To learn more, visit https://my.nintendo.com/news/81d90ed9678d9ceb. Also new this week in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch: ANIMUS: Harbinger Arcade Archives T.N.K III Asdivine Kamura Bee Simulator – Available Nov. 12 Blindy – Available Nov. 8 Desktop Dodgeball Trial Edition Desktop Rugby Trial Edition DRAW CHILLY – Available Nov. 12 Football Game – Available Nov. 8 Headsnatchers holedown – Available Nov. 13 House of Golf – Available Nov. 8 Incredible Mandy Instant Sports – Demo Version – Available Nov. 8 Juicy Realm JUMANJI: The Video Game – Available Nov. 8 Mad Games Tycoon – Available Nov. 12 MEANDERS MONKEY BARRELS One Person Story – Available Nov. 8 puzzlement Rally Road – Available Nov. 8 REKT! High Octane Stunts – Available Nov. 8 Ritual: Crown of Horns Romancing SaGa 3 – Available Nov. 11 Skybolt Zack STAY COOL, KOBAYASHI-SAN!: A RIVER CITY RANSOM STORY Strange Telephone STURMWIND EX – Available Nov. 8 Super Street: Racer THE GRISAIA TRILOGY The Legend of Dark Witch – Demo Version – Available Nov. 11 The Manga Works The Mims Beginning – Available Nov. 11 Thief of Thieves: Season One – Available Nov. 12 Tokyo Dark – Remembrance – Truck Simulator USA Twister Road Yaga – Available Nov. 12 Zen Chess Collection – Available Nov. 12
  5. The latest installment of the Fire Emblem series launches for the Nintendo Switch today! Are you planning on picking it up? Which house are you going to join? Who are you going to marry? Please tag spoilers.
  6. What are your thoughts and feelings on Luigi's Mansion 3? I can't wait to play once I am off work. I enjoyed Dark Moon, but the first game was probably the fastest returned game ever.
  7. Why is it that Dragon Quest has never reached quite the same popularity in the West as it has in Japan? For over thirty years the franchise has been a titan in the gaming industry, though the vast majority of that influence and importance comes from Japanese sales. Perhaps it's because the series has never been one to stray too far from its classic RPG roots. The mainline games have always had a unifying similarity, one that harkens back to more text-based RPG adventures. Like its predecessors, Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age doesn't try to reinvent itself, instead relying on familiar design elements and classic gameplay. And the result is one of the best experiences you can have on the Switch. In XI S you play as the Luminary, a hero marked from birth, destined to defeat the Dark One and save the world. Upon setting out on your adventure you encounter all manner of hardship as every town you visit seems to be suffering from some problem that you'll need to help fix, and of course you'll find plenty of allies on the journey as well. The story in XI S doesn't try to be anything too fancy, and it really doesn't need to. Even across the long play time of the game the adventure never really flags thanks to the wide assortment of side characters you meet and help. More importantly, you can't help but be charmed by the playable characters. The main hero might be a typical silent protagonist, but getting to know the other characters and helping them on their personal journeys more than makes up for a few clichés along the way. XI S is all about classic DQ action. Familiar weapon/item names, memorable monster designs from over the years, and classic turn-based battles make the gameplay instantly familiar to anyone that has played a DQ title before. There are a few minor new frills, such as the pep system that gives a character a temporary power boost and access to special combo abilities with teammates currently in the battle. For the most part though, XI S follows the formula set by past games in the series, and it works beautifully. It may not be particularly new, but there's something to be said for just doing the classic formula so well. This is quintessential RPG action, and fans of the genre will love seeing the familiar mechanics at play in a game that is so vast and engaging. Because even if the basic gameplay feels standard, it is no less enthralling than any other modern RPG. XI S pulls you into the adventure with not just charming characters but a richly customizable combat experience that allows you to customize your characters' skills as they level up. Every character has an elaborate skill tree that allows you to build them as you like. Each character can use a couple of different weapons, but in the interest of using your skill points wisely you'll probably focus on one weapon for each character so you can reach the highest skills. It's a simple bit of customization but highly addictive, especially when you see a particularly powerful skill just out of reach, pushing you to level grind a little. And don't worry, you can easily reset you skill points at any save point/priest, so the game doesn't punish you for experimenting a little before finding the ideal set-up. It also helps that, on the game's standard difficulty setting, XI S is never very challenging. That doesn't mean you can totally drop your guard while playing, but this isn't the kind of RPG that requires heavy level grinding or sticking to one specific strategy to overcome bosses. You're pretty free to cook up whatever party composition or strategy you want, even swapping characters in battle at will. The overarching format of the game is classic linear RPG, but it has none of the rigidity that characterizes those games—you even recover all HP and MP every time you level up! Ultimately it feels like the best of both worlds. One final note on the game's customization options and ease of difficulty: early in the adventure you pick up an item called the Fun-Sized Forge, which allows you to craft weapons and armor with materials collected from monsters or found while exploring. Unlike games with similar crafting mechanics, this one is incredibly convenient and easy to use. For one thing, you can use the forge anywhere. Whether you're at a campsite or standing in the middle of a monster-infested dungeon, you can whip out the forge and craft new equipment, which is almost ridiculously convenient. You're also able to re-forge almost any of the equipment you already have, so even if you find a better sword than the one you've crafted previously, you can still spruce it up a little. Finally, if you're missing an ingredient you can purchase it right there in the forging menu—no need to find the right merchant who carries that specific item. Some materials can't be bought like this—generally the most rare materials in the game—but still, it's incredibly handy, especially since spending some gold on materials is pretty much always cheaper than buying new equipment outright. The forging process is also a mini-game where you try to temper the item to just the right quality which is actually pretty fun. And, perhaps not surprisingly, there's very little penalty for failing—you still get the item and can just re-forge it to try again. The Fun-Sized Forge is perhaps the best encapsulation of the game's sense of difficulty: incredibly lenient on the player, yet still charming and engaging. And it's particularly impressive that XI S maintains that charm and engagement throughout the entirety of its length. At minimum you can expect around sixty hours of play time out of this game, not to mention the various side quests you can tackle, including the Tickington quests that allow you to revisit the previous ten DQ games, which is a particularly fun feature for fans of the series that can recognize the key characters and locations of past adventures. On top of all of this, XI S also has a fairly extensive post-game with additional tasks for your party to accomplish. Suffice it to say you're getting your money's worth with this one. Another aspect of DQ that has never wavered over the years is the delightful artwork of Akira Toriyama. His style is so distinctly recognizable: it's always bright, colorful, and elegantly simple—even the monster designs have a goofy charm to them, notably the iconic Slime mascot. The recognizable artwork helps drive home the sense of DQ as an enduring, familiar pillar of gaming, a dependable friend for hours of classic RPG fun. And Toriyama's art style manages to stay just as charming with 3D character designs, though one of the coolest features in XI S is the ability to swap to 2D graphics, in case you want to really capture that classic RPG vibe. The best part is that every aspect of the game has a more traditional style as well while in 2D mode, e.g. battles play out more like old school RPGs where you select every character's action first then they play out depending on each character's speed. However, swapping between 3D and 2D can be a little inconvenient since you have to start from the beginning of a chapter/checkpoint, which means that if you decide to swap while in the middle of a chapter you'll lose all of your progress up to that point. It would have been great to be able to swap without that restriction in place. Like the visuals, the music also has plenty of familiar beats to it—longtime fans will no doubt feel a swell of nostalgia when the series fanfare first kicks in. There are plenty of great songs to enjoy in XI S, and like swapping between 3D and 2D you have two options at play. The original game was released with MIDI audio, which is one option here, or you can opt for the full orchestral arrangement for every song in the game, which is simply fantastic. This version of the game is also fully voiced, which adds a fun layer of personality to all of the silly dialogue found throughout the adventure. Plus you're able to choose between English and Japanese voices if you're the type to stick to the original audio as closely as possible. Dragon Quest has never been as flashy as other RPGs, but at this point I doubt fans would have it any other way. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age has the same sense of heartwarming charm, classic battle system, and sprawling amount of content as past games, making it an old school RPG fan's dream. There's something to be said for taking a classic formula and executing it so perfectly, and that's really the best description of Dragon Quest XI S that there is. It may not have wild surprises for longtime RPG or Dragon Quest aficionados, but it's hard to worry about that while enjoying a sprawling, beautifully designed adventure. Rating: 9 out of 10 Slimes
  8. Site: https://tetris99.nintendo.com/ Price: Free for Nintendo Switch Online Members (Exclusive) The free to download online software, Tetris® 99, is available as a special offer for Nintendo Switch Online members. In large-scale, 99-player battles, it'll take speed, skill, and strategy to knock out the competition and become the last player standing. You can target opponents by sending them Garbage Blocks, but be careful…your rivals can target you back! Defeat opponents to acquire KO badges that may give you the advantage on future attacks. Survive the onslaught and look forward to upcoming online events! (FREE with NSO membership) (Big Block DLC* : Block DLC 1 - $9.99) (Big Block DLC* : Block DLC 1 - $9.99) *Big Block DLC "Season Pass" ($9.99) includes 2 modes, with more to be announced at a later date. NEW Modes Now Available!: UPCOMING EVENTS: 🏆 4th Maximus Cup - 6/21 to 6/23 (Win Gold My Nintendo points!)... PAST EVENTS: ---------------------------------------------------------------- Did anyone download this yet? I played a few rounds and the highest I placed so far was 20th and most KOs I had in one match was 5. I'm still trying to wrap my head around this with being able to have multiple people attack you at once and being able to switch who you're attacking on-the-fly. So far this game seems very bare-bones right now. No tutorial/how to play, only one mode. can't play with friends, no offline practice, no unlockables, etc. It seems like Nintendo just ripped a smaller online mode out of a larger Tetris game and gave it to NSO members for free. However, there is an EXP meter witch will increase your level as you play, but IDK if your lvl even matters. Can others even see your level? I noticed it says Ver. 1.0.0 on the main menu, so it seems like Nintendo plans to regularly update this. I'd really like to see some of the things mentioned above add to the game, because I'm really digging battle royale Tetris...As crazy of a concept as that is.
  9. This week’s Nintendo Download includes the following featured content: Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch Luigi’s Mansion 3 – When Luigi arrives at the towering Last Resort hotel, Mario and friends wind up missing. It’s up to our unlikely hero to conquer his fears and save the day. Try out the new Poltergust G-00 to slam, vacuum and blow away any ghosts that dare get in the way. Join forces with Gooigi to overcome the puzzling contraptions and mischievous boss on each themed floor. Whether you play with friends* in madcap mini-games in the ScareScraper and ScreamPark, or simply wander the haunted hotel alone, you’ll get sucked in by the atmospheric music and ghoulish décor of every corner you explore. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 – Team up with Mario, Sonic and friends in the world’s greatest sports party! Compete with your friends in 30+ action-packed 3D and classic 2D sports games, including new events for Tokyo 2020, like surfing, karate and even skateboarding. Bowser’s monstrous kickflip can’t be denied! Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be available on Nov. 5. Just Dance 2020 – The beloved rhythm dance game returns with a new installment featuring 40 hot new tracks. Keep the party going for hours with songs for the whole family to enjoy, from chart-topping hits like “God Is a Woman” by Ariana Grande to “Old Town Road (Remix)” by Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus. Just Dance 2020 will be available on Nov. 5. 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 https://www.nintendo.com/games/sales-and-deals. Also new this week in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch: 64.0 Agony Arcade Archives Mr.GOEMON Construction Simulator 2 US – Console Edition – Available Nov. 6 Delta Squad – Available Nov. 1 DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS 2 – JUMBO Demo Version – Available Nov. 4 Flan Ghost Parade Invisigun Reloaded – Demo Version – Available Nov. 1 Mimpi Dreams – Demo Version – Available Nov. 1 Mononoke Slashdown Otokomizu Perseverance – Available Nov. 1 Puzzle Quest: The Legend Returns – Demo Version Race with Ryan – Available Nov. 1 Ships­ – Available Nov. 5 Sky Gamblers: Storm Raiders 2 Spirit Roots – Available Nov. 1 The Big Journey The Lord of the Rings: Adventure Card Game – Available Nov. 5 The Mims Beginning – Available Nov. 1 The Wardrobe: Even Better Edition Windmill Kings – Available Nov. 1 Yuri
  10. This week’s Nintendo Download includes the following featured content: Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch Resident Evil 5 – One of the most popular Resident Evil games can now be played on the go. Resident Evil 5 features Chris Redfield and his partner Sheva Alomar, as they venture to the heart of Africa to investigate an outbreak. Featuring single-player and co-op* modes, this fully-loaded release includes all previously released DLC (Lost in Nightmares and Desperate Escape story expansions, Versus mode, extra figures and four costumes), No Mercy mode, as well as the additional mode “The Mercenaries United,” which combines the two fan-favorite modes, The Mercenaries and The Mercenaries Reunion for an even more intense experience. Resident Evil 5 will be available on Oct. 29 – just in time for Halloween! Resident Evil 6 – Blending action and survival horror, Resident Evil 6 is a dramatic horror experience that cannot be forgotten. The game spans across various areas of the globe starring multiple playable characters, including fan favorites and faces. Jump into the fray either solo or up-to-four-player co-op* in four dramatic chapters of the campaign, or head into one of multiple extra modes such as Survivor that pits up to six players against one another in a heated battle. This edition includes all current DLC, along with two costumes per main character, originally unlockable exclusively through Residentevil.net, that are now unlockable through the game itself. Resident Evil 6 will be available on Oct. 29. Disgaea 4 Complete+ – When the ruling powers of Hades are revealed to be corrupt, Valvatorez must spark a rebellion to bring them down! Armed to the teeth with dynamic, over-the-top gameplay and a horde of special features, this is the ultimate Disgaea! Disgaea 4 Complete+ will be available on Oct. 29. Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD – Head back into the fantastical world of Super Monkey Ball and take back your bananas from the space alien pirate king, Captain Crabuchin. Race through more than 100 colorful stages, and challenge your friends and family to 10 fan-favorite Party Games. Feeling like the fastest, most maneuverable monkey around? Try out Time Attack mode or the grueling Decathlon endurance run! Will you make it onto the scoreboard? Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD will be available on Oct. 29. Activities: Enter the My Nintendo Luigi’s Mansion 3 Sweepstakes!** – This year, the spookiest holiday of the year is extra spooky because the Luigi’s Mansion 3 game arrives on Oct. 31. Want to help us celebrate the game’s launch? You can enter the My Nintendo Luigi’s Mansion 3 Sweepstakes, exclusively for My Nintendo members. Redeem your My Nintendo Platinum Points for a chance to win spooky-fun prizes. The statues are incredibly detailed – seriously, check out the design of the ghost-sucking Poltergust G-00. It even matches the design seen in the game’s trailers. To learn more, visit https://my.nintendo.com/news/81d90ed9678d9ceb 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 https://www.nintendo.com/games/sales-and-deals. Also new this week in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch: 140 〇× LOGIC PUZZLE 1000 ! Anthill Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout – Available Oct. 29 Cat Quest II Close to the Sun – Available Oct. 29 Creepy Brawlers Dark Devotion Dark Veer Deep Space Rush – Available Oct. 25 Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King – Available Oct. 29 Door Kickers: Action Squad – Available Oct. 28 Dusk Diver – Available Oct. 29 Earthfall: Alien Horde – Available Oct. 29 Fear of Traffic Ghost Blade HD Harvest Moon: Mad Dash – Available Oct. 29 HAUNTED: Halloween '86 Home Sheep Home: Farmageddon Party Edition Horror Pinball Bundle – Available Oct. 25 Into the Dead 2 – Available Oct. 25 Jet Kave Adventure – Demo Version Lethis – Path of Progress Let’s Sing Country – Available Oct. 25 Mountain Rescue Simulator – Available Oct. 28 Party Treats Pixel Gladiator Pizza Bar Tycoon Soul Searching Spaceland – Available Oct. 30 Tennis Go The friends of Ringo Ishikawa – Demo Version The Legend of Dark Witch THOTH Ultra Off-Road 2019: Alaska – Available Oct. 25 VAMPYR – Available Oct. 29 Vortex Attack EX Winter Sports Games Xeno Crisis – Available Oct. 28 Also new this week in Nintendo eShop on Wii U: Mountain Peak Battle Mess
  11. Microsoft's unprecedented partnership with Nintendo recently has given Nintendo fans access to some outstanding games, not least of which is the 2017 critical and commercial darling, Cuphead. With classic run and gun gameplay, punishingly difficult boss fights, and a visual style inspired by 1930s cartoons, Cuphead is easily one of the most uniquely charming, challenging, and creative games released in the last few years. The game's opening cutscene sets the stage: Cuphead and his brother Mugman were on a hot win streak at the Devil's Casino, until the Devil offered them one last roll of the dice. Win, and they'd walk out with all of the Devil's riches in tow. Lose, and they'd sign over their souls. Of course, there's no beating the Devil at a game of chance, but the brothers manage to stave off damnation for at least a little longer by agreeing to help the Devil collect souls from debtors that haven't given the Devil his due. From there the game is mostly one boss fight after another as you battle all manner of creatures to bring their souls to the big man downstairs. It's not a complex plot, but Cuphead's aesthetics are more than capable of bringing tons of charm and personality to these characters. In classic cartoon fashion, the development of events or characters isn't the focus, it's just the fun of watching these characters face all manner of challenges and obstacles. And oh boy are there obstacles in Cuphead. The game's unrelenting difficulty is well known at this point, but players may not know that the game is essentially a series of boss fights. In fact, Cuphead kind of follows an inverse pattern as most games: each island of the game includes just two standard run-and-gun levels (i.e., reach the exit) but includes several boss fights. It's an interesting approach, one that puts more emphasis on the big, showy boss fights and highlights the gorgeous animation. Though still, it would've been great to see a few more run-and-gun levels, if only to give a little break from the demanding boss battles. This is the kind of game that has little patience for mistakes. Cuphead has only three hit points and no means of recovering mid-battle, so just a few mistakes will see you flung back to the beginning of the fight. At times the screen fills with enemy attacks being hurled at you, bullet-hell-shooter style, and it's all you can do to weave through the hazards and keep shooting at the boss. What makes Cuphead work so well though is that, while it is incredibly difficult, it never feels tedious or unfair. Like a lot of super-difficult games, the key here is learning bosses' attack patterns to know when you have an opportunity to attack and when you need to be a little more defensive. The only way to learn that is trial and error, but since boss fights are generally only a couple of minutes long the penalty for retrying is never too harsh. You'll definitely be white-knuckled throughout the battle, but failure only elicits a determined "one more try," never frustration. It also helps that Cuphead's controls are sharp, responsive, and pretty easy to grasp. The only slightly tricky bit is learning how to parry effectively, but since parrying not only helps you charge your special attack meter but helps you avoid damage, it's the kind of thing you'll quickly devote time to mastering. Plus you're able to customize Cuphead's abilities slightly to help you adjust your strategy for each boss. Maybe you're having trouble finding good openings for attacks, so instead of Cuphead's basic peashooter you use a homing weapon so you can just hold down the attack button and instead focus on dodging. Every weapon and ability is well balanced, so it's up to you to find what combination works best in any given situation. Trying out different weapon combinations can be a good way of extending the length of the game too, since Cuphead isn't a very long game. Granted, you'll likely spend a lot of time dying and retrying against each and every boss, but even so, there aren't hundreds of boss fights, so replaying them with different weapon set-ups can add a nice bit of replay value. You're also given a grade on your performance for every level/boss fight, and earning high marks is no easy task—oftentimes just finishing the fight is difficult enough, much less finishing with full health and in record time. Completionists and perfectionists should enjoy the extra challenge of earning top grades throughout the adventure. And of course, you can always bring a friend along for the ride in local co-op to watch each other's backs, or just commiserate on how difficult the dragon boss is. I'm not sure I can overstate just how perfectly Cuphead captures the look and sound of 1930s animation. It's truly stunning in motion—even the few gifs in this review can't fully capture the charm that exudes from every moment with the game. The developers nailed the hand-drawn animation look, even down to the scratchy or blurry imperfections of classic animation, and the result is one of the most unique and gorgeous games to be released in the past several years. And, rather importantly for a game that relies so much on precise gameplay, the frame rate and controls are perfectly responsive, so no gameplay quality is lost for the sake of these delightful visuals. Cuphead's music is every bit as incredible as its visuals thanks to a fantastic big-band jazz soundtrack that is, again, just the perfect combination of classic 1930s vibes. It's exactly the kind of fast, frenetic music you'd expect from an intense side-scrolling shooter. In fact, it'd be well worth the time to just watch someone else play the game so you can drink in the music and visuals without panicking about dodging an onslaught of attacks. Cuphead's enormous success probably speaks for itself, but in case you needed another voice to vouch for it: Cuphead is an utterly brilliant piece of gaming. From its charming visuals and audio to its challenging but addictive gameplay, this is a gem of a game, one that, granted, may not appeal to everyone thanks to its focus on difficult boss fights, but one that is undeniably magnetic. That Switch owners have a chance to play it is a real treat, and provides the perfect opportunity to hone your skills before the Delicious Last Course DLC comes out in 2020. Rating: 9 out of 10 Cups
  12. Originally released to widespread acclaim on the PS4 and PC back in 2017, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice seems like an awfully unlikely candidate for a Switch port. For one thing, its dark subject matter—including a realistic portrayal of psychosis—doesn't quite seem on-brand for Nintendo, though to be fair the big N has branched out on its genre focus quite a lot over the last few years. Perhaps more importantly though, Hellblade is a bit of a technical marvel, boasting detailed motion-captured animation and a unique audio style to truly make the experience immersive. The Switch may not be up to par with other systems on a hardware tech scale, but the good news is a few cut corners doesn't diminish the impact of Hellblade. You play as Senua, a Pict warrior in the 8th century who has traveled to the gates of Helheim (Norse realm of the dead) to recover the soul of her dead lover Dillion. It is, not surprisingly, a creepy, eerie journey. The first moments of the game waste no time in establishing a horrific scene of impaled bodies in a desolate landscape as you slowly progress further and further into the foreboding area. Senua also suffers from psychosis, causing her to hear and see things that aren't there, though in her 8th century mindset she takes this to mean she's been cursed by the gods. Like most horror games you really have to give yourself over to the setting and allow yourself to be immersed in it, and once you do Hellblade is an incredibly tense and unsettling experience. The psychosis elements are handled fantastically. Throughout the game you're constantly hearing whispering voices (what Senua believes to be the Furies) who comment on your actions and nudge you on. They'll even provide hints as to what to do next, but just as often their mix of voices is contradictory and confusing, which is perfect for putting you in the mindset of someone who isn't able to trust her own thoughts. The game also features binaural audio, which makes the voices seem to come from 3D space around you. You can sort of get the feeling of being surrounded by voices just with your TV's speakers, but for the full effect the game recommends headphones, and it truly takes the eerie immersion of the game to another level. As seen in the game's making-of documentary, the developers took great care in how Senua's psychosis is presented, and not only is it highly accurate of real-world conditions, but it makes for incredible, unnerving gameplay, and truly unique to Hellblade. The story is presented in a slow, methodical, and measured way, so it makes sense that the gameplay reflects this approach as well. Aside from light exploration (the game is fairly linear) the action of Hellblade mostly comes down to solving simple puzzles in order to progress, punctuated by occasional combat scenarios that have you fighting off wraith-like warriors. The puzzles in the game mainly involve just looking around the environment to find specific runes to unlock a door. These runes are hidden in the scenery—i.e. a pair of crossed branches might make a "t" rune—and all you're really doing is walking around to find the right spot to see these runes. Sometimes there are some variations thrown in, such as when you're being pursued by a nameless monster so you have to move quickly, but for the most part the puzzle solving in Hellblade can feel a little basic. On the other hand, slowly scouring the environment while the voices whisper in your ear does make for great ambiance. Combat is a little more engaging, though it has minor drawbacks as well. Combat only triggers in specific battle arenas—you'll start to recognize the open, circular area pretty quickly—and is based around smooth but intense sword fights. Senua is plenty agile so you aren't limited by slow, weighty attacks. Instead battles tend to be fierce and a little frantic with a small selection of simple but satisfying combos. These make the combat fast, fluid, and precise—smoothly dodging around massive enemies and executing a quick sword combo is wonderfully satisfying in Hellblade. Defense is also vital though as just a hit or two from an enemy can knock Senua off balance, which can be especially dangerous when there is more than one enemy on the field. Senua's attacks are really made for one-on-one fights, so getting surrounded adds a great sense of tension. Most importantly, there's a phantom sword hanging over your head as you play since, if you die too many times, Senua might succumb to the curse of Helheim and it'll be permanent game over. Hellblade hardly needed another reason to make the game feel tense and a little harrowing, but this adds just the right degree of stress to the adventure. The only downside to the combat is that it can get a little repetitive. There are a handful of different enemy types and as satisfying as it is to cut down one deadly wraith after another, battles can feel pretty samey after a few hours. Something to keep the combat feeling fresh throughout the entire game would have been nice. And speaking of the game's length, Hellblade clocks in at a respectable seven or eight hours. That may sound a little on the short side but the game doesn't feel too short or too long while you're playing—it does a great job of making the most of the time it has. There also aren't any real side quests to speak of (though there are optional rune stones that add to the game's Norse mythology lore) but then again wandering around on a side quest wouldn't suit the rich atmosphere that Hellblade establishes. And the game's presentation does a phenomenal job of creating a grim, vividly unsettling environment alongside an impressively animated Senua. Sure the Switch version of the game is less powerful—there are some noticeably fuzzy/muddy textures at times and unmistakable pop-in—but the game's aesthetic is still wonderfully atmospheric. Senua herself is impressively expressive thanks to the extensive motion capture animation the developers used. Her facial expressions and movements may be a bit exaggerated at times, but the emotions conveyed, both subtle and overt, are fantastic. And of course, as already mentioned, the voice work is the real icing on the cake for making Hellblade such an immersive and unsettling game. Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is a singular video game experience. Arguably its weakest parts are its core gameplay mechanics—combat that is satisfying but somewhat repetitive, and puzzle solving that is fairly basic and limited by the size of the game's environments—but the overall experience of getting into Senua's head and following her journey is brilliantly immersive and unique. Gaming, as a medium, rarely gets to take a chance on more unusual areas of design and theme, and even more rarely is that chance executed as well as Hellblade. Rating: 9 out of 10 Sacrifices
  13. Originally released in 1993 as the first Zelda game on a handheld, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening had some big shoes to fill. Just two years prior A Link to the Past was released on the SNES and brought some significant upgrades to Zelda's adventure formula, and now Link's Awakening tried to recreate that magic on the Game Boy's modest hardware while still establishing its own distinct sense of style. As most Zelda fans will attest to, the game was a complete success in that regard. Link's Awakening has stood the test of time as one of Link's most charming adventures, and this Switch remake has perfectly retained all of that personality while adding some invaluable quality of life changes. The adventure begins with Link's simple boat being destroyed in a storm, and the hero washes up on Koholint Island where he is quickly taken in by the kind-hearted girl Marin. From there Link's quest is to explore the island to uncover its secrets and find a way back to his original journey. This game may take place entirely on an island but that doesn't diminish the sense of adventure and exploration that the Zelda franchise is known for. More importantly, Koholint is just a delightful place to explore. Marin and the rest of the residents of Mabe Village are adorable, and the quiet charm that pervades the game is only improved by the Switch remake's updated visuals. There may not be a ton of text or dialogue in the game, but Link's Awakening does a great job of endearing you to the island's humble inhabitants, making Link's quest of departure all the more bittersweet. For anyone not familiar with Link's Awakening, the gameplay is pretty classic Zelda: explore the island to find dungeons, complete dungeons to earn new items, use items to explore Koholint further. It's an immensely satisfying gameplay loop and one that Link's Awakening does particularly well thanks to the relatively small size of Koholint. It's big enough that there are a lot of corners to poke around in and secrets to uncover, but small enough that it feels quite manageable and it's not too difficult to keep the map in your mind and remember what points of interest to return to. That makes this game particularly addictive and so easy to just lose yourself in. The Switch remake takes things one step further with a handy map system that allows you put down markers to remind yourself to come back later when you have more items at your disposal. Like other recent Zelda games this is a fantastic way of helping the player keep track of things without making it too easy. Arguably the most valuable addition to this version of the game though is simply having a controller with more than two buttons. The original Game Boy version required pretty frequent swapping of items—including Link's sword and shield—which was, granted, simply a limitation of the Game Boy's hardware, but could also really bog down the experience. Now, however, the sword, shield, pegasus boots, and power bracelet are permanently equipped, which is a huge boost to the game's sense of flow. Anyone that played the original will be delighted by this seemingly simple but invaluable change. The game features a handful of other minor improvements and touches, all of which add up to making Link's Awakening feel like a much smoother, modern adventure. None of this betrays the original game's sense of charm, nor the relatively low sense of difficulty—that's not a bad thing, as Link's Awakening is still an eminently enjoyable adventure, just don't expect anything too complex or challenging. The Switch remake has also boosted the length of the game a bit by adding more collectibles, such as heart pieces and secret seashells. Some of the shells can be tricky to find, but any excuse to spend more time on Koholint Island feels worthwhile. The other big addition to this new edition of Link's Awakening is Dampe the gravedigger and his Chamber Dungeon creator. Taking a page from Super Mario Maker, this feature allows players to make their own Zelda dungeons using pre-made rooms and arranging them in a tile grid. The rooms are taken from the dungeons you've already completed, so there's never anything too surprising at hand, but being able to rearrange these rooms as you see fit is a fun side venture. Sadly there isn't nearly as much creative freedom as Super Mario Maker, but given the fact that Zelda game design is far more complicated than a side-scrolling platformer, it makes sense that the game would have some limits on what you can do, and of course the game warns you if you've built too many locked doors with not enough treasure chests to hold keys. Chamber Dungeons aren't likely to hold your attention for too long compared to the main game, but they're still a neat addition to the world of Zelda, and may hopefully lead to a more robust system in the future. The visuals of Link's Awakening are almost entirely too adorable. Obviously a modern Switch game is a significant upgrade over the monochrome Game Boy original, and the toy box aesthetic is put to great use as every inch of Koholint is just utterly charming. Link's Awakening is already filled with some pretty cute critters (as well as transplants from the world of Mario) and this art style just makes them cuter. Link, Marin, and the rest of the cast are surprisingly expressive as well, which really layers on the adorable charm of the game. The technical side of things does leave something to be desired, though. There are noticeable frame rate drops when there is a lot happening on screen, i.e. parts of the overworld that are well populated by monsters, or when you transition from one area to another (there aren't strict screen breaks but the frame rate drop creates a sort of pseudo one). Did these frame rate issues ever inhibit my gameplay? No. But they're still bothersome to see, especially in a beloved core Nintendo franchise. For a game about collecting musical instruments, it's no surprise that Link's Awakening has a pretty phenomenal soundtrack. The original game's music has stood the test of time well—even the Game Boy's basic chiptune audio couldn't diminish the catchy melodies throughout the game. And like the visual design, the new audio style is just delightful. It's bright and cheery, perfect for the overall tone of Link's Awakening, and does a great job of remixing songs to feel both fresh and familiar. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening remains one of Link's most enjoyable adventures, and the adjustments made to this Switch version only improve the experience. Aside from the persistent but minor frame rate hiccups, this remake does a fantastic job of adding valuable modern touches while preserving the original gameplay and spirit of the Game Boy title, while the Chamber Dungeon feature provides a novel side adventure, one that may well see further expansion in future Zelda titles. In a franchise filled with one incredible game after another, Link's Awakening continues to shine as a uniquely heartfelt and accessible entry, one that no Zelda fan can miss. Rating: 9 out of 10 Secret Seashells
  14. With the release of Anthill on the Switch, Image & Form has nearly completed their invasion of Nintendo's hybrid console—only SteamWorld Tower Defense is not available on the Switch! But back to Anthill: this trail-blazing insect adventure, now published under the Thunderful banner, was originally released for smartphones back in 2011. As you might expect, the gameplay is based around touch screen controls, which is why Anthill on the Switch is playable only in handheld mode. Don't worry though: the touch controls and simple, addictive nature of the game make Anthill a delightful handheld experience. You play as a colony of ants with a simple goal in each level: defend the hill from enemy insects, gather food, and increase the size of the colony. There is some charmingly goofy dialogue at the beginning of most levels but otherwise there's no storytelling focus in Anthill. What makes the game unique though is its twist on traditional tower defense mechanics. Instead of placing stationary defenses around your hill you actually draw pheromone paths for your ants to follow (hence the touch controls). You can draw any number of pheromone trails, but each trail corresponds to only one type of ant. Basing the gameplay around these paths may not sound like a significant difference at first but it offers a fresh, challenging perspective on real-time strategy. For example, a large boss bug may be scuttling his way toward your hill, so you draw a path for your soldier ants to attack it. It'll take time for the soldiers to actually walk that path though, so some basic preemptive defenses are a good idea, such as spitter ants that can attack from a distance. Your hill may be attacked from any angle, so you have to be prepared on all fronts while still ensuring your worker ants are collecting food to produce more ants. Drawing on the touch screen ensures speed and a decent amount of precision, and thankfully the ants are smart enough to go a little off the trail if there's something they need to pick up or attack nearby. There are only four types of ants at your disposal (the last type is bomber ants that can be sent to a specific part of the map with a tap on the screen) so the gameplay doesn't get too complicated, but there's still enough depth to keep you fully engaged as your colony grows. And like many tower defense games, Anthill can be wonderfully addictive. With real-time strategy gameplay there's never a moment to rest on your laurels, so you'll constantly be scanning the battlefield for places to shore up your defenses or opportunities to collect more food from defeated bugs. Some levels throw curve balls at you, such as limiting the number of ants you can deploy, and there's a decent amount of variety in the types of enemy bugs, including spitters and bombers of their own. Your attention can't help but be glued to the game, and then once you've got the basics down and know how to protect your hill while still collecting food, you'll start to become addicted to getting a high score on each level. Just finishing a level may not be too difficult, but earning a high score is a definite challenge by the second half of the game, and there's nothing more satisfying than seeing your horde of ants efficiently rack up points. You're also awarded stars based upon your score in each level, and stars can be used to permanently upgrade your ants, so there's a real incentive to earn top marks. This Switch version of Anthill includes all of the DLC levels that were added to the original game over time, which adds up to a decent sized game. It'll take several hours just to play through every level, but earning a high score on each will bump up your play time even further. Anthill also includes a few endless mode levels that let you flex your colony management skills and keep playing until your hill is overwhelmed, which can be a great way to just zone out and enjoy an afternoon. The only downside to the game's replay value is that it tracks how many stars you earn on each level but not your numerical score, which would have been even better for seeing how well you've perfected your strategy on each replay of a level. The visuals in Anthill aren't anywhere near as elaborate or eye-catching as Image & Form's more recent games, but they're cute for what they are. Aside from the few character designs that pop up when ants are talking, the majority of the game's graphics are utilitarian since you need to be able to take in any changes on the map at a glance and see what kinds of bugs are approaching. In that regard the graphics do a fine job, and since you can only play in handheld mode anyway there's little need for anything more elaborate. The soundtrack has been updated from the original smartphone release and sounds great—it's just the right amount of catchy rhythms that keep you in the zone while playing without distracting from any of the strategy gameplay happening on the screen. Anthill offers a fresh, fun take on the tower defense formula in a compact, handheld package. The restriction to handheld mode might disappoint anyone that strictly plays with the Switch docked, but the benefits of touch controls are simply too useful in this trail-drawing game. More importantly, the game's simple concept yet addictive nature ensures you'll be glued to the screen no matter what, whether you're tackling endless mode challenges or are just trying to earn a high score on every level. Rating: 8 out of 10 Ants Review copy provided by publisher Anthill will be available on the Switch eShop on October 24 for $9.99.
  15. This week’s Nintendo Download includes the following featured content: Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch Return of the Obra Dinn – In 1802, the merchant ship Obra Dinn set out for the Orient with over 200 tons of trade goods. It never arrived. After five long years lost at sea, the missing ship has drifted back into the port at Falmouth with damaged sails and no visible crew. Your mission: dispatch immediately, find means to board the ship and discover what went wrong. This critically acclaimed first-person adventure, from the creator of the indie hit Papers, Please, features evocative visuals and unique exploration-based gameplay. You’ll need to use all your skills of logical deduction to reveal the terrifying truth behind this irresistible mystery. Return of the Obra Dinn will be available on Oct. 18. 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 https://www.nintendo.com/games/sales-and-deals. Also new this week in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch: A Hat in Time – Available Oct. 18 AeternoBlade II Alchemist’s Castle Arcade Archives THE LEGEND OF KAGE Arcade Archives VS. CASTLEVANIA Battle Planet – Judgement Day Beast Quest Corpse Party: Blood Drive CrunchTime Day and Night – Available Oct. 22 Desktop Dodgeball Desktop Rugby Destiny Connect: Tick-Tock Travelers – Available Oct. 22 Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition – Available Oct. 18 Domiverse Felix The Reaper Galaxy Champions TV – Demo Version Ice Age Scrat’s Nutty Adventure! – Available Oct. 18 Just Ignore Them – Available Oct. 18 Kine Mah-jongg Puzzle Pai-Sen Mary Skelter 2 – Available Oct. 22 Megaquarium – Available Oct. 18 MilkChoco Miniature – The Story Puzzle Monaco: Complete Edition – Available Oct. 21 Override: Mech City Brawl – Super Charged Mega Edition PBA Pro Bowling – Available Oct. 22 Pig Eat Ball – Available Oct. 18 Puzzle Book Rabi-Ribi Raging Loop – Available Oct. 22 Rawr-Off – Available Oct. 18 Safari Pinball – Available Oct. 18 Sea Salt SEGA AGES Columns II: A Voyage Through Time SEGA AGES Ichidant-R Shipped Skullgirls 2nd Encore – Available Oct. 22 StarBlox Inc. – Available Oct. 18 Stranded Sails – Explorers of the Cursed Islands Street Outlaws: The List – Available Oct. 22 Sublevel Zero Redux Summer Sweetheart Tangle Tower – Available Oct. 22 The Jackbox Party Pack 6 The Park – Available Oct. 22 Tower Climb – Available Oct. 20 Where the Bees Make Honey Worbital – Available Oct. 18 ZikSquare – Available Oct. 18 Also new this week in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS: Breakout Defender 2 Slime Slayer (New Nintendo 3DS systems only)
  16. Game Freak continues to branch out from its familiar Pokémon territory with a brand new RPG, Little Town Hero. Rather than catching monsters here you're fighting them, but instead of traditional battle mechanics Little Town Hero uses a unique system that relies heavily on strategy and coping with enemy attacks—as well as coping with luck of the draw. It's a quirky battle system, and one that proves plenty addictive for anyone that enjoys the challenge of crunching numbers and planning out actions thoughtfully. You play as Axe, a young boy who lives in an isolated village and dreams of being able to set out and see the world. His dreams for adventure suddenly become a reality though when a terrible monster appears in town and Axe steps up to defend his home. Soon Axe and his friends are pulled into the mystery of where the monsters are coming from, and how to stop them. As far as the writing is concerned, Game Freak doesn't stray too far from its Pokémon roots—Axe even has a rival friend who is constantly trying to prove himself against Axe in battle. The characters are cute but fairly simple as well, with plenty of saccharine messaging poured over the story. It's adorable and charming for what it is, but don't expect anything too deep. The title of the game certainly isn't a misdirect—the game takes place entirely within a small town with fairly limited opportunities to explore. You do get a chance to walk around and take on side quests, but Little Town Hero really condenses the RPG formula into a fairly narrow adventure. Not that this is entirely a bad thing—there may not be the traditional world exploration, but as a relatively short RPG Little Town Hero still has plenty of charm and depth. Even more than most RPGs, Little Town Hero is all about its battle system, mostly because it's a unique, richly strategic, and fairly complicated system that draws inspiration from card-based battle systems. During battle Axe is able to attack by pulling ideas from his head. Each turn you draw up to five ideas (called Izzits) from your headspace and hold them in your "hand." Then you need to activate an Izzit to turn it into a Dazzit, which can then be used to attack your opponent. Activating Izzits costs power points, so you need to think carefully about which Izzits you want to activate on a given turn. Once you have your Dazzits, you use them against the opponent's Dazzit, and the two ideas clash. Each idea has an attack value and a defense value: the attack value damages the defense, and if the defense reaches zero the Dazzit breaks. If you break all of your opponent's Dazzits in one turn you get the opportunity for a chance attack which attacks the opponent's HP directly. If this sounds at all confusing don't worry, the game provides a pretty detailed tutorial to walk you through these concepts. It may seem overwhelming at first but once you have a bit of practice with it Little Town Hero's battle system is pretty engaging. The core concept of it comes down to leveraging your Dazzits well so that you can break your opponent's Dazzits while protecting your own, so there's a rich sense of strategy at play here. Which Dazzits are you willing to sacrifice in order to break your enemy's? Which ones will you try to save for a more opportune time? You have to examine the situation in front of you and make strategic decisions, which can be challenging but is also extremely satisfying when things work out. Dazzits can also have special properties, such as gaining temporary boosts to attack or defense or even temporary invincibility when initially activated, so you really want to think carefully about which Dazzits to use up quickly and which to save. Like a card-based game, broken Dazzits are discarded until you "reshuffle" your ideas (either by taking damage or using special action points to refresh your ideas) so you have to keep in mind what Dazzits are still available to you, because your opponents never actually run out. Finally, at the end of each turn, you move around the field of battle in a board game-like map, where different spaces can have different special effects, such as allies you can call upon for assistance. It's another detail to remember but invaluable as these special effects and assists are often massively beneficial. With all of these little details you'll need to keep in mind while fighting, battles can be extremely slow, especially when you don't draw the Izzits you want and it feels like you have to spend a couple of turns just marking time. But Little Town Hero focuses on a relatively small number of battles that are more complex and involved—there are some short skirmish-type battles as well but the main story-related fights are generally pretty long. The game is meant to be a little slow, which affords you plenty of time to think about your next move. The downside is that some of these battles can be exhausting, especially when you aren't prepared for certain bosses' special abilities. It can be a little too easy for the tide of battle to kind of spiral out of your control, to your disadvantage, which is pretty discouraging. Thankfully restarting the battle isn't hard, but it can feel like wasted time. Occasionally the game gives you the opportunity to test out your strategy skills in short battles or even puzzle scenarios, such as breaking all of an enemy's Dazzits with only a couple specific Dazzits of your own. These puzzles are actually a ton of fun and I would have loved to see even more of them. As is, Little Town Hero is a little light on side quests and side content. It's still definitely worth pursuing every side quest you can though since they often reward you with Eureka points which can be used to level up your Izzits (somewhat surprisingly, you never collect new Izzits, you just level up the ones you have). And even if you do pursue just about all of the content that Little Town Hero has to offer, it's not too long of a game. Something around 15 to 20 hours will see you through the whole adventure, even if you take the time to tackle side quests. To match the cute, simple story Little Town Hero sports cute, simple graphics. The visuals are bright and colorful, especially among the human characters (though the recycled models for townsfolk is a little hilarious considering the tiny size of the town). The monsters designs are pretty great as well—they're massive and imaginative, and definitely give you something fun to watch during these long battles. The only problem with the game's presentation is that there isn't more of it. As mentioned the game takes place in a single town and there aren't that many monsters in the game, so there's not too much variety in the visual design. It would've been great to see an even wider assortment of monsters. The music is a lot of fun though, even if it can be similarly repetitive. But composer Toby Fox does an excellent job of giving the game a fun, engaging audio identity. Little Town Hero shows off some great ideas with its in-depth battle system that rewards careful strategic thinking. Occasionally the gameplay can feel like it gets mired in its own concept, but for the most part the challenge of keeping one step ahead of your opponent and adjusting to whatever Izzits you draw on each turn keeps the action engaging. A bit more variety in just about every aspect of the adventure would have done wonders for making the game feel more rich and energetic, but as it is Little Town Hero is a charming little adventure with a deceptively deep yet satisfying battle system. Rating: 8 out of 10 Dazzits Review copy provided by publisher Little Town Hero is available now on the Switch eShop for $24.99.
  17. Despite a twenty year legacy, I had somehow managed to go all these years without ever having played a Spryo game. Granted, the original trilogy was on the PlayStation and at the time I was strictly a Nintendo man, but it's still curious, looking back on it, that I never got around to trying any of Spyro's adventures that did land on Nintendo systems. Perhaps its fitting then that my first introduction to the purple dragon's platforming adventures is with the Spyro Reignited Trilogy, a remastering of the three original Spyro games that appeared on the PlayStation between 1998 and 2000. This makes for a great opportunity to see where Spyro's adventures began, though this remastering would have benefited from a more thorough remake of some finicky old-school platforming issues. The first three games in the franchise are available in this trilogy with no other bells or whistles attached—no extra features such as development art or a music jukebox are included—so let's jump right into the first game, Spyro the Dragon. What's immediately evident is that Spyro has a charming simplicity that still allows for a decent amount of gameplay content. Spyro really only has a few moves, and in the first game doesn't learn any extra abilities, so right out of the gate you have access to his entire repertoire and are able to play around with charging, gliding through the air, and breathing fire. It's not the most robust array of actions but overcoming obstacles with this basic set of skills has an easy-going appeal to it. Spyro's objective is to free his fellow dragons that have been turned to stone statues by the evil Gnasty Gnorc, and with that end goal in mind the game has a breezy pace thanks to its wide-open environments and somewhat non-linear progression. There are six hub worlds in the game and each hub contains a handful of levels (plus a boss fight) which simply task you with exploring 3D environments to find however many dragons each level contains. It is undeniably repetitive, though there is admittedly a kind of mindless charm to the gameplay—this is the kind of game where you can zone out and just enjoy the quest set before you. That's not to say the experience is perfect, though. Unfortunately, like many remastered games, the developers were perhaps a little too wary of changing anything about the beloved original, and the result is that the controls and camera can feel terribly dated. Spyro's movements can be pretty stiff, particularly when charging. What was most likely a limitation of tech twenty years ago just feels like sloppy game design today. More problematic though is the camera. Simply put, the camera never feels comfortable. For one thing, it's just a little too close to Spyro, making it hard to see what is around him, directly to the side and behind. With the somewhat stiff controls, this can lead to some needlessly clumsy enemy encounters. Secondly, the camera controls are an awkward mix of auto-correcting and free movement, and somehow the game ends up getting the worst of both. The game tries to auto-correct the camera's placement at times and the result is downright disorienting—in an age where every controller comes with two control sticks, this kind of camera movement is just plain unnecessary. But even when you do try to adjust the camera with the right stick, the movement feels slow and imprecise, which is particularly frustrating when you're trying to hit a fast enemy. Even by the end of the game you never quite shake off the feeling of fighting the camera controls to work smoothly. And finally, the frame rate chugs a bit at times, which is especially annoying given the long loading times for, well, just about everything in the game. Entering a level, exiting, even dying and respawning—everything seems to take twice as long to load as it should, which kind of eats away at the game's charm. Overall though, Spyro the Dragon has a simple appeal as a collect-a-thon 3D platformer from the heyday of the genre. The second game in the trilogy, Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage, ups the ante with a few tweaks to the gameplay formula, though fundamentally this is still very much the same gameplay experience. This time Spyro has been transported to the world of Avalar by a group desperate for his help in fighting Ripto, a diminutive warlock tyrant. In terms of gameplay, this plays out very similarly to the first game: within three hub worlds there are multiple levels where you'll need to collect orbs in order to progress. This time however they're not quite as easy to find, which makes the gameplay a little more involved and interesting. On the flip side, it can also make it more tedious, as some of the side quests or mini-games you need to play through are inventive but frustrating thanks to awkward control mechanics. The variety is nice, but a little more polish would have been even better. And unfortunately, the controls and camera issues from the first game are present here as well, which makes for a particularly horrendous boss fight mid-way through the game. But overall, Spyro 2 adds some welcome personality to the franchise, thanks to a wide variety of side characters—as well as cutscenes to make the adventure feel more alive and not just a checklist of collectibles—as well as new abilities for Spyro which help shake up the gameplay a tiny bit. Even if it doesn't fix all of the original's problems, Spyro 2 is a solid sequel. The third game, Spyro: Year of the Dragon, is a bit less of a leap in gameplay design but still adds enough new touches to keep the action feeling engaging. Now Spyro is tasked with recovering the dragon eggs that were stolen by an evil Sorceress—yeah it's pretty much the exact same collect-a-thon set-up once again. Sadly this game doesn't fix the camera issues either, but the problems feel less egregious this time—or maybe by the third game I was just used to dealing with spotty camera controls. What Year of the Dragon does add are entirely new characters to play as, limited to specific levels or small sections of levels. Like Spyro 2's addition of mini-game challenges this is a welcome chance to shake up the gameplay a bit, though these side characters are somewhat underwhelming—not bad, but not particularly exciting to play as either. And of course this game features even more mini-games and side pursuits for collecting dragon eggs, including a hilariously 90s skateboarding challenge. All three games sport updated graphics which, aside from the aforementioned occasional frame rate stutters, are lovely. The visuals are bright, colorful, and cartoonish, perfect for the late 90s mascot design of Spyro. The music isn't half bad either, though I'd recommend turning up the volume a bit to properly hear it. Whether you're an old fan or a new player like me, Spyro Reignited Trilogy is a charming return to late 90s platforming, despite some unfortunate wrinkles that haven't aged well. The developers have sadly fallen into the same trap that plagues many remastered games by retaining everything about the original game, both the good and the bad, which leads to some camera work that is spotty at best and downright frustrating at worst. Still, if you're able to cope with the camera and load times then Spyro Reignited Trilogy offers a solid selection of classic 3D collect-a-thon gameplay. Rating: 7 out of 10 Dragon Eggs
  18. This week’s Nintendo Download includes the following featured content: Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Complete Edition – You are Geralt of Rivia, mercenary monster slayer. At your disposal is every tool of the trade: razor-sharp swords, lethal mixtures, stealthy crossbows and powerful combat magic. Before you stands a war-torn, monster-infested continent you can explore at will. Your current contract? Tracking down the Child of Prophecy, a living weapon that can alter the shape of the world. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Complete Edition will be available on Oct. 15. Overwatch: Legendary Edition – Join the fight for the future in the world of Overwatch, and choose your hero from a diverse cast of soldiers, scientists, adventurers and oddities. Bend time, defy physics and unleash a dizzying array of extraordinary powers and weapons. Engage your enemies in iconic locations from around the globe in the ultimate team-based shooter*. Overwatch: Legendary Edition will be available on Oct. 15. Little Town Hero – The story is set in an isolated village on the edge of the world. The only gate leading outside is heavily guarded by a castle, and the villagers are not allowed to leave. One day, a “Monster” appears in the village, shocking everyone because, until then, no one knew such creatures existed. The protagonist is able to fight it using a mysterious Red stone he found in the coalmines. In the course of his defense of the village, he gradually unravels secrets of how the stones and the monsters came to be… Little Town Hero will be available on Oct. 16. Killer Queen Black – Fight for your hive in this strategic team platformer with three ways to win. Hop on the snail, hoard berries or wipe out the enemy’s queen to claim victory. Killer Queen Black will be available on Oct. 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 https://www.nintendo.com/games/sales-and-deals. Also new this week in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch: A Knight’s Quest Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Editions – Available Oct. 15 Bibi & Tina at the horse farm Billy Bomber Contraptions Crazy Mini Golf Arcade – Available Oct. 14 Daemon X Machina DLC – Available Oct. 11 DORAEMON STORY OF SEASONS – Available Oct. 11 Duped Eliza Eternal Card Game Family Tree Fatal Fracture Little Briar Rose Mable & The Wood Midnight Evil MISTOVER Monochrome Order Old School RPG Bundle Planescape: Torment and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Editions – Available Oct. 15 Pocket Stables Queen’s Quest 4: Sacred Truce River City Melee Mach!! Secret Files Sam Peters Silk Spirit Hunter: NG Super Box Land Demake – Available Oct. 11 The Bradwell Conspiracy The Eyes of Ara – Available Oct. 15 The Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors – Available Oct. 15 Valfaris Zombieland: Double Tap – Road Trip – Available Oct. 15 Also new this week in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS: Fatal Fracture Maze Breaker
  19. Yomawari: The Long Night Collection brings together two creepy horror games in the tradition of Japanese ghost stories. Both games feature young girls that must navigate towns full of dangerous spirits, armed with little more than a flashlight and an ability to run and hide. Despite a promising grasp of horror game conventions and eerie Japanese ghost designs, neither game ever truly captures an engaging sense of survival tension. The first game, Night Alone, features a young girl whose dog goes missing in the night. Her older sister goes out to find it, but when the sister doesn't return, the little girl braves all manner of supernatural horrors to find her. It's a strong start to a horror game but the writing never quite finds the right balance to keep you hooked. The details about the protagonist and her sister end up feeling a little bland, while the broader story about why ghosts are plaguing the town is so hidden in the myriad collectibles you can find that it's never all that satisfying either. Night Alone offers a strong spooky set-up but never fully delivers on it. In Midnight Shadows, the personal story of the protagonists feels a little better realized. This time you're actually playing as two little girls, two best friends. When one goes missing the other sets off to find her, again dealing with a dangerous population of evil spirits in town. The story here does a better job of drawing you in, though it also fails to make the overarching mystery of this ghost infestation feel like anything more than set dressing. Still, the personal journey of the girls at least makes you more emotionally invested in the climax. Both games have fundamentally the same gameplay formula: you need to explore while avoiding ghosts, and your only option is to simply run away or hide from them. There's no way to fight back in this game—at best you can sometimes use an item as a way of distracting a ghost, but this is inconsistent enough that it's not really worthwhile most of the time. No, all you can really do is run away while keeping an eye on your limited stamina meter and hope you have enough to escape. This focus on escaping makes for a wonderfully tense exploration adventure—at least for the first hour or so. The problem is the gameplay just doesn't have enough variety to keep it interesting or even all that scary for too long. Soon enough you'll develop a habit of dodging ghosts, and the game's tension just kind of ebbs away. Midnight Shadows at least spices things up a tiny bit by having more challenging obstacles to dodge, but even that's not enough to really keep the experience engaging after a couple of hours. The larger size of the game world in Midnight Shadows also just makes the experience feel more tedious since you now have even more ground to cover while routinely dodging ghosts. And neither game does a great job with puzzles—generally it's just a quest to find a key in order to progress, that's all. In addition, both games have a very minor penalty for dying. If you're caught by an unfriendly ghost you're dropped back at the last place you saved or the last checkpoint, both of which are pretty frequent (you do need to spend a coin in order to save, but coins are so commonplace that saving them up isn't much of a concern). Oddly enough you'll keep whatever items you picked up before dying, so sometimes it's even advantageous to pick up a key item and simply die in order to return to an earlier location where it's needed. It's nice of the developers to keep the penalty for dying so light—some areas would definitely be annoyingly frustrating if you had to replay huge swaths of the game—but it also kills a lot of the tension and suspense, again only making the game feel like a fairly repetitive quest of just reaching one checkpoint after another. Both games use the same art style, which features an oddly cute sprite for the main character while all of the spirits are creepy and occasionally grotesque monsters. These are all set against shadow-heavy and somewhat more realistic-looking background art, and it's the incongruence of these elements that gives Yomawari a pretty unique and stylish look. At the very least, it's effective for making the game feel creepy and haunting. It is a little disappointing though that Midnight Shadows reuses a lot of assets from Night Alone, though some of the new ghosts certainly stand out. In both games the soundtrack is kept to a minimum to emphasize spooky sound effects, which is also plenty effective, even if a stronger original score would have been nice. Neither game is particularly long: Night Alone should only last about five hours, while Midnight Shadows is a little longer at seven or so. Of course, a big part of each game's length is going to depend upon how much you get lost while exploring, but an in-game map at least helps you keep your bearings a little. Both games also feature tons of optional collectibles, but the lack of payoff on them kind of makes them feel like pointless busywork. If you're going to have players go through the tedium of slow exploration to find all of these knick-knacks, a better reward would be appreciated. With an emphasis on exploration through creepy environments over more action-packed survival challenges, the Yomawari games take a slower, more contemplative approach to the horror genre. But that focus on exploration can only take a game so far, and when the thrills of dodging ghosts wears off in Yomawari you're left with two fairly repetitive adventures that kind of seem to be going in circles. Horror fans might appreciate the meandering gameplay anyway, but anyone that's not already a dedicated fan of Japanese ghost stories will likely lose interest here. Rating: 5 out of 10 Long Nights
  20. This week’s Nintendo Download includes the following featured content: Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair – Yooka & Laylee are back in a new platform hybrid adventure! They must run, jump and roll their way through a series of challenging 2D levels, face a puzzling Overworld and rally the Royal Bee-tallion to take down Capital B and his Impossible Lair. The Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair game will be available on Oct. 8. Neo Cab – Stay human in a world overcome by automation. Play as Lina, one of the last human drivers-for-hire on the streets of Los Ojos. Your friend and only lifeline has gone missing. With no money and nowhere to stay, the only thing you can do is keep driving. Choose what passengers to pick up and how you engage with them to learn their stories. Balance your own emotional wellbeing with the needs of your pax as you strive to keep your perfect rating, and your job. Maybe someone in this city can help you with your own story? Alliance Alive HD Remastered – Experience the world of the Alliance Alive HD Remastered game in a new light! New visuals, an updated interface and more await you in this epic tale of trials and triumphs. Humanity has been shattered by invading Daemons from another realm. To reclaim their home, an unlikely fellowship of heroes will band together to spark a fiery revolution. Explore various Daemon-controlled realms, awaken your inner strength in the heat of battle and form alliances to amass a force strong enough to stand against the invading forces. The Alliance Alive HD Remastered game will be available on Oct. 8. 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 https://www.nintendo.com/games/sales-and-deals. Activities: Don’t Miss an Icy Cool Reward for My Nintendo Members at Cold Stone Creamery! – Cold Stone Creamery brings an exciting collaboration with the Super Mario Maker 2, Yoshi’s Crafted World and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe games by introducing the Mario & Luigi’s Masterpiece creation served in themed cups and Rainbow Sprinkle Road ice cream cake, both available for a limited time. To celebrate the partnership, My Nintendo is offering fun Cold Stone Creamery theme rewards to include a $1-off coupon for a Love It® or Gotta Have It® Sized Signature Creation™. Treat out the Mario & Luigi’s Masterpiece creation and share a fun My Nintendo reward with a friend! Act fast, as this coupon expires on Oct. 15. Terms apply. https://my.nintendo.com/news/290acbaba964ccfa#icecream Also new this week in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch: A Winter’s Daydream – Available Oct. 8 Aldred – Knight of Honor – Available Oct. 8 Arcade Archives Scramble Asphalt 9: Legends – Available Oct. 8 Beats Runner – Available Oct. 4 BurgerTime Party! – Available Oct. 8 Call of Cthulhu – Available Oct. 8 Candleman CASE: Animatronics Community Inc – Available Oct. 4 Crazy Mini Golf Arcade – Available Oct. 7 CROSSNIQ+ – Available Oct. 4 Cubixx DODGE HARD – Available Oct. 8 Double Switch – 25th Anniversary Edition – Available Oct. 5 fault – milestone one Freecell Solitaire Deluxe Galaxy Champions TV Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered – Available Oct. 4 Hexagroove: Tactical DJ Junior League Sports – Available Oct. 7 Minefield – Available Oct. 7 One Night Stand – Available Oct. 4 Reventure – Available Oct. 8 Rimelands: Hammer of Thor – Available Oct. 4 Soulslayer STELLATUM – Available Oct. 9 Teddy Gangs – Available Oct. 4 The Tiny Bang Story – Available Oct. 4 Tic-Tac-Letters by POWGI Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince – Available Oct. 8 Trine: Ultimate Collection – Available Oct. 8 Also new this week in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS: Pinball Breakout 4
  21. I was intrigued by this game from the Nintendo Direct. A very beautiful game from what I have played so far. It had a very slow start to get going, but it has picked up. The main character is very nimble for moving through areas. Which has been a bit of adjustment from slower characters like Link in Links Awakening. Who else is getting this?
  22. Nintendo continues to expand the Switch library into every genre they can, this time dipping a toe into the world of mechs with Daemon X Machina. Fast, frantic aerial mech combat with plenty of customization options feels like a must for the genre, but even if Daemon X Machina manages to nail that sense of action, it can't shake a sense of tedious repetition from its gameplay. Daemon X Machina takes place on a devastated Earth, where a chunk of the moon has crashed into the planet, causing not only destruction but somehow sparking all of the Earth's artificial intelligences to rebel against humanity. You play as an Outer, a mech pilot mercenary who takes on jobs to battle these rogue AIs (called Immortals in-game). You team up with various other mercenary groups to take on any quest the planet's corporate-states offer. Now, that's a relatively complex backstory, so you might think the game eases you into the setting by gradually and clearly explaining various elements of the story. Not quite. The game has a terrible habit of throwing you into the deep end, story-wise, which can make the plot a little hard to follow and, worse yet, just kind of boring. Despite having a fairly large cast of mercenaries, the game gives little opportunity for you to really get to know them, which is only exacerbated by the fact that some missions have you fighting other mercenary teams, so for the first half of the game you really don't know anyone's motivations. It's hard to care about characters when you don't know anything about them. Then when their backstories finally do get a little time in the limelight, they come off as two-dimensional and melodramatic. Sure it might seem silly to complain about poor storytelling in a game that's all about piloting a mech and blowing up robots, but it really makes any cutscene or dialogue sequence a real bore when you have overly dramatic characters that you just don't care about. The meat of the game is, of course, flying around in a customized mech and shooting everything in sight. There are plenty of great moments to be had: soaring through the air, blasting away with machine guns before swooping in for a close-range sword strike. But Daemon X Machina really makes you work for those moments, partly because there's a fairly tough learning curve to truly move and shoot efficiently, and partly because there are some horribly tedious parts to this game. The controls definitely take some time to get used to, but given the relative complexity of your mech's movements and attacks, the developers have done a decent job of making the controls feel smooth. Still, your early missions are going to feel pretty stiff and clumsy as you slowly master the art of flying and aiming, and even by the time you get the hang of things the game will start throwing super fast enemy mechs at you which can make many missions feel more like an endless chase than a battle. Shooting robots out of the sky is, not surprisingly, awfully satisfying, and Daemon X Machina features a fairly generous lock-on targeting system to help your aim. Sadly this doesn't mean you can lock onto an enemy and keep the screen aimed at them, which would have been vastly preferable to the current system that requires you to rapidly spin the camera to keep track of enemies that can move so fast they seem to be teleporting around the battlefield. Simply put, too much of the game is focused on these mech-on-mech battles that are disappointingly tedious—enemy mechs often feel like bullet sponges so all you can do is tick away at their health slowly but surely. In a way it's almost impressive that the developers could manage to make two mechs fighting each other feel so dull. Aside from fighting, the key feature of Daemon X Machina is customizing your mech with various weapons and armor pieces to craft just the right balance you prefer. This is pretty overwhelming at first since the game throws tons of details at you, like breaking down your weapon's efficiency into not just damage but fire rate, effective range, bullet velocity—a lot of these details honestly seem meaningless unless you meticulously take the time to compare each weapon's stats, but then again that might be what mech fans want in a game. Most other players will likely find the wall of text that is weapon stats overwhelming and just swap parts without getting into too much of the nitty gritty. You also have a variety of weapon types at your disposal (and can ultimately bring several into a mission) so there's a decent amount of room for experimentation. The selection of weapons actually feels pretty underwhelming though, or at least too much of it is hidden behind grinding for random drops from enemies. Halfway through the game the variety of weapons seems to drop off sharply, and I mostly saw repeats of weapons I already owned, with the only alternative being grinding battles in the hopes of earning new parts from random enemy drops. There's also a shop and a crafting system that allows you to make new parts, but Daemon X Machina simply makes it too inconvenient to compare parts quickly, or even see what parts might be scavenged/crafted. The whole structure of the game is also undeniably repetitive. Daemon X Machina is mission-based, so a little repetition is naturally unavoidable, but even so the game starts to feel monotonous pretty quickly as there aren't that many varieties of enemies to fight. That's a real shame considering rogue AI robots should provide near endless opportunities for coming up with creative enemies, but no, you mostly fight the same robots and mercenaries over and over. If solo play does get too repetitive though there's always co-op, both local and online, which can at least boost the game's longevity a bit, but even adding friends to the mix doesn't quite fix the inherent tedium of the game's mechanics. Whatever the issues with the story and gameplay, there's no denying that Daemon X Machina looks sharp. The anime character designs and bright, vivid color palette are gorgeous, and even in the heat of battle the art style doesn't lose any of its slick charm. The chaos of battle might be a little disorienting while you're flying around, but it at least looks great while you're doing it. The game also has a fairly solid action-oriented soundtrack, full of appropriately intense and dramatic tunes while you're engaged in an aerial mech dogfight. And even if the writing leaves much to be desired, there is at least plenty of solid voice work to enjoy. Daemon X Machina has a great shell of a mech-based action game, but fails to fully build up the experience with engaging challenges or interesting characters. Instead the game too often feels like a chore as you chase down enemy mechs over and over with only the small chance of a new weapon or armor piece as a reward. The balance of combat never feels quite right, whether it's the steep learning curve at the beginning or the rote mechanics once you do find the right weapon strategies for you. Ultimately, only die-hard fans of the genre will click with Daemon X Machina's flashy but tedious gameplay. Rating: 6 out of 10 Mechs
  23. A new Brain Age game has been announced for Japan and will come with a stylus.... Frist off...Why the hell didn't they release that stylus with Super Mario Maker 2? It sure would have been useful having it included with the game. Anyway...Nice to see they're using all of the Switch's features here like the IR camera and being able to pop off the Joy-Con for 2 player brain games. Though, I'll most likely pass when it comes stateside (I'd sure love to have that stylus, though. Especially, since NA didn't get that SMM2 stylus as pre-order bonus, like the rest of the world). I have the first 2 games, but Brain Age is not really my thing, though it was cool aft first. Hell, I mostly just ended up playing the Dr. Mario Virus Buster mode in BA2 (nice to see it's back). Trailers:
  24. This week’s Nintendo Download includes the following featured content: Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch DRAGON QUEST XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition – You are the Luminary, the hunted hero who will protect the land from destruction, in the latest RPG from the iconic DRAGON QUEST series. With a ragtag band of adventurers, you’ll engage in well-balanced, turn-based battles and embark on quests across the kingdom of Erdrea. Forge gear, develop party members’ skills and alter their outfits without changing gear in this edition of the game. This version also lets you ride and attack with monsters on the field to earn experience points, as well as change between HD or 16-bit visuals, symphonic or synth music, and English or Japanese audio. Complete the tale with new character-focused stories, and travel to past DRAGON QUEST worlds! The DRAGON QUEST XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition game will be available on Sept. 27. Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition – The forest of Nibel is dying. After a powerful storm sets a series of devastating events in motion, Ori must journey to find courage and confront a dark nemesis to save the forest. The Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition game tells the tale of a young orphan destined for heroics through a visually stunning action-platformer crafted by Moon Studios. Featuring hand-painted artwork, meticulously animated character performance, a fully orchestrated score and dozens of new features in the Definitive Edition, the game explores a deeply emotional story about love and sacrifice, and the hope that exists in us all. The Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition game will be available on Sept. 27. EA SPORTS FIFA 20 Nintendo Switch Legacy Edition – The EA SPORTS FIFA 20 Legacy Edition game launches Sept. 27 on the Nintendo Switch system featuring the latest kits, clubs and squads from some of top leagues around the world. It will also feature some of the world’s most famous stadiums, including some new to FIFA 20. Gameplay features and modes will have parity with the FIFA 19 game on the Nintendo Switch system. Freedom Finger – The Freedom Finger game sends you blasting, punching and smashing your way across 37 levels of crazy cartoon action. Featuring a unique soundtrack, including music by Red Fang, Aesop Rock, METZ, Power Trip, Com Truise, White Fence, Ty Segall, Makeup and Vanity Set, True Widow, The Radio Dept., Drab Majesty, John Maus, Vektroid, Danimal Cannon, Cleaners from Venus and many more. The Freedom Finger game will be available on Sept. 27. 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 https://www.nintendo.com/games/sales-and-deals. Also new this week in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch: 2048 Battles 80 DAYS – Available Oct. 1 Arcade Archives TIME TUNNEL Ball Attraction Barry Bradford’s Putt Panic Party Button Button Up! Car Mechanic Simulator Pocket Edition – Available Sept. 27 Chop is Dish – Available Sept. 30 Cyber Protocol Darksiders II Deathinitive Edition Detective Dolittle DRAGON QUEST – Available Sept. 27 DRAGON QUEST II: Luminaries of the Legendary Line – Available Sept. 27 DRAGON QUEST III: The Seeds of Salvation – Available Sept. 27 Dreaming Canvas – Available Sept. 27 Fight’N Rage Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX Habroxia Lanternium – Available Oct. 1 Neo Cab Northgard Paper Train Petoons Party Reaper: Tale of a Pale Swordsman Sniper Elite 3 Ultimate Edition – Available Oct. 1 Spooky Ghosts Dot Com – Available Oct. 2 Super Crate Box – Available Oct. 1 Talk it Out: Handheld Game YU-NO: A girl who chants love at the bound of this world. – Available Oct. 1
  25. When revivals of old IPs are all the rage, clearly some creative executives are scrapping the bottom of the barrel for anything 90s to repackage and sell to modern audiences. Cue Bubsy the bobcat, an anthropomorphic platformer mascot in the vein of Sonic the Hedgehog who first burst onto the scene with a couple of decently received games in the early-to-mid 90s before quickly spiraling into obscurity thanks to one underwhelming sequel after another. After an unexpected revival in 2017 though, he's back once again, this time in an auto-runner developed by masters of the genre Choice Provisions. But Bubsy: Paws on Fire isn't quite the revival that, presumably, anyone wanted. I'll preface this review by noting that I've never played a Bubsy game before, so there's no nostalgia factor at play here, either sincerely or ironically. Either way, the small amount of writing/personality in Paws on Fire feels awfully dated—Bubsy's quips aren't as clever or amusing as he seems to think they are. As for the actual plot, Bubsy's nemesis Oinker P. Hamm is stirring up trouble, prompting the alien Woolie to enlist Bubsy's and his friends Virgil and Arnold's help in stopping him. It's about as basic a story as you can get, and given the quality of the humor that's probably for the best. The gameplay here doesn't stray at all from Choice Provisions' bread and butter, the Bit.Trip Runner series. Paws on Fire is a rhythmic auto-runner, so instead of having free control of the character you just have to time your jumps and punches to handle obstacles in your path, all while collecting the 150 trinkets found in each stage. Unlike Bit.Trip there isn't much emphasis on the musical, rhythmic nature of the gameplay. There's some, certainly, since to collect every trinket you have to follow the level's specific pattern, but it lacks the satisfying sense of flow that defines the Runner games. It certainly doesn't help that the soundtrack is far from catchy. What does make Paws on Fire stand out is the fact that there are three playable characters and each one has different abilities. Bubsy is able to glide through the air to slow his descent as well as punch forward in a straight line. Virgil is able to double jump and slide under obstacles, and Woolie pilots a small flying saucer that shoots lasers and does have free range of movement—the screen still scrolls forward, but she can fly in any direction. There are also bonus levels as Arnold which play like Sonic the Hedgehog 2 bonus stages where you're rolling into the distance, collecting crystals. Approaching each level with a different set of skills is a great idea in theory, as it adds variety to the gameplay and even, potentially, lets you skirt difficult sections by instead using a different character. Except that's not quite how it works in Paws on Fire. You'll earn a medal for completing a level with each character, and you need a certain number of medals to unlock new levels, so inherently there is a lot of repetition in the game. Even with each character's unique skills this feels like a cheap way of extending the length of the game, and even feels like mindless repetition at times. It doesn't help that the level design in Paws on Fire just doesn't have the same inventive charm as Bit.Trip Runner games. In fact nothing in the game matches the sheer imaginative quirkiness of the Runner games, which is a real shame since Choice Provisions is clearly capable of much more, yet this game is so bland. And finally, Paws on Fire has a real issue with loading screens. I'm not sure what exactly is happening on the technical side of the game, but I don't see anything that justifies the 30+ second loading screens at the start of every level. These have a real way of draining the energy from the game and just making the whole experience dull. Fans will have to wait a little longer for Bubsy's triumphant return to the forefront of gaming, as Bubsy: Paws on Fire is, at best, a pretty bland auto-runner. It's a shame too since Choice Provisions is clearly capable of much more, but neither the cheesy 90s mascot nor the uninspired gameplay is able to inject any kind of life or energy into this experience. Paws on Fire might be decent for a bit of time-wasting action, but don't expect any degree of depth from this repetitive runner. Rating: 5 out of 10 Paws