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  1. If you've yet to play the series, chances are you've heard of Jools Watsham's Mutant Mudds games over the years. The first game was a fairly big hit for the indie developer, and the title has since received an enhanced version of the game called Mutant Mudds Deluxe (which offered more levels) as well as a full-blown semi-sequel called Mutant Mudds: Super Challenge that upped the difficulty quite a bit. Now both titles will be receiving the bundle treatment with Mutant Mudds Collection on Switch. Bundled along with Deluxe and Super Challenge is a new puzzle game called Mudd Blocks. Partially a reskin of one of Watsham and Atooi's 3DS-only puzzler Bomb Monkey, Mudd Blocks offers traditional "match three" gameplay while you take on the Mudds in block form. Mutant Mudds Collection is scheduled for release on Nintendo Switch in Q4 2017. No mention on pricing just yet, but we'll keep you informed as the information arrives. Source: IGN Would you be interested in getting the Mutant Mudds Collection on Switch?
  2. If own a Nintendo Switch and haven't yet dipped your toes into last year's breakout farming sim Stardew Valley, you're in luck. Today, Chucklefish Games announced that their hit game will be hitting the eShop this Thursday, October 5 for $14.99. This will be the game's first appearance on a Nintendo platform, let alone a handheld. Apparently a PS Vita release is still in the works, but it still needs a number of optimizations before it's ready. Still, if you're waiting for a handheld version, this is as good a time as any to finally grab the game and get to farming. Source: Chucklefish Games Will you be grabbing Stardew Valley on the Switch?
  3. With Fire Emblem Warriors now less than a month away from release, we're getting more and more info on it with each coming week (including new character announcements like Celica). Today Nintendo announced that the game will be getting DLC and the Season Pass treatment, similar to how Hyrule Warriors got it a few years back. Initially, there will be three DLC packs, with each containing characters and content from a different Fire Emblem game as follows: DLC Pack #1 will feature content based on Fire Emblem Fates, and is coming in December 2017 for $8.99. DLC Pack #2 will contain content based on Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, and is coming in January 2018 for $8.99. DLC Pack #3 is based on Fire Emblem Awakening, and will be arriving in March 2018 for $8.99. You can also buy the Season Pass, which nets you all three DLC packs for a lower price of $19.99. Anyone who buys it (for either the Switch or New Nintendo 3DS version) will receive a special bridal costume for Lucina. We also have finally gotten word about how amiibo functionality will work; not surprisingly, it's similar to how it worked in Hyrule Warriors, where compatible Fire Emblem amiibo (including the upcoming Chrom and Tiki amiibo) will grant players weapons and materials when tapped (five different amiibo can be tapped per day). Fire Emblem Warriors is slated to release on Nintendo Switch on October 20. Source: Press Release Are you looking forward to the DLC Fire Emblem Warriors is getting?
  4. While Yooka-Laylee has been out on nearly every other platform since May, Playtonic Games is still hard at work on the Nintendo Switch version. What seems to be the holdup, you ask? In a new update shared on their site today, Playtonic mentioned that they've been experiencing technical difficulties with porting the game to Switch, and that they were waiting for Unity 5.6 to help clear some of them up. Unfortunately, though, the Unity update has introduced new hurdles that they're working with Unity to correct. While Playtonic says they're trying to get the game to run as well as possible before shipping it out, they do mention they're "very nearly there," and that once the issues are cleared up, then they can share the release date. It's nice to finally get word from the studio about the game considering they've been silent about it for a while, but one has to wonder if the extra time and frustration it's taken to get the Switch version working will be worth it in the end. However, a number of indie games have reported higher sales on Switch than other platforms since its debut earlier this year, so it would seem there's hope for Yooka-Laylee yet. Source: Playtonic Games Are you still looking forward to the Switch version of Yooka-Laylee?
  5. Jason Clement

    Celica joins Fire Emblem Warriors roster

    You might recall that at one point earlier in the year, Fire Emblem Warriors' creators mentioned that the game would mostly feature characters from Shadow Dragon, Awakening, and Fates. The operative word here being "mostly." While many took that to mean that the game would only feature characters from those games, a Tokyo Game Show announcement revealed today that Celica -- one of the protagonists from this year's Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadow of Valentia -- will be joining the roster as well. This brings the total number of playable characters in the game to 22 (two of which are unplayable in story mode). No doubt, it's great news for fans of other games in the series as it shows they may also get some representation in the crossover at some point. Now that Celica is a part of the cast, it may only be a matter of time before Shadows of Valentia's other protagonist, Alm, is also revealed, perhaps as a DLC character down the road. We'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, you can check out Celica in action in the latest Japanese trailer for the game below. Fire Emblem Warriors is slated for release on the Nintendo Switch on October 21. Source: Nintendo Are you excited to play as Celica in the game?
  6. Today's Nintendo Switch was quite a doozy. For 45 minutes, we watched as Nintendo announced game after game that would be coming to 3DS and Switch, and they definitely had their share of surprises, even if there may not have been a megaton. Here's a quick look at the biggest news coming out of the event if you missed it. Kirby Battle Royale announced for 3DS in 2018 Remember at the start of the year when Nintendo announced a multiplayer-focused Kirby game that would be coming later? Turns out it was delayed a tiny bit, and will instead be one of the first new 3DS games out in 2018 when it hits on January 19. Titled 'Kirby Battle Royale,' it's a single- and multiplayer-focused fighter that sees Kirby battling it out alongside other Kirbys (Kirbies?) in various modes. Mario Party: The Top 100 surprise announced for release in November on 3DS This was one that sort of came out of left field. Technically, it's not a full-fledged new Mario Party, but it does contain some of the series' best minigames to play through. And while it doesn't support online play, it does offer local download play, so you can play with three other friends on just one game cart. Mario Party: The Top 100 launches on Nov. 10 on 3DS. Minecraft is coming to 3DS too?? Okay, this one was legit surprising, especially considering that 3DS is in its twilight right now. Yes, Minecraft is coming to the handheld, but only the New Nintendo 3DS, not the original. This version features Survival and Creative modes, five skin packs, and two texture packs. Also surprising: the game actually released today, but only the digital version. A physical version is releasing at a later date. Atlus bringing the heat with four upcoming 3DS games When all is said and done with the 3DS, let everyone remember that Atlus was by far one of the biggest and most productive publishers on the handheld. Even in its late hour, the 3DS is getting four more RPGs from the Persona publisher, and they are as follows: The Alliance Alive Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux We've actually known about all four, and two of them are remakes/remixes of previous games, but it's still nice to know they're coming. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 finally has a confirmed release date, and it's coming before year's end And you thought it wouldn't make it this year! To be fair, I was iffy on whether it would release as well, but Nintendo assured as that all was good and well with the game as it will officially make landfall on the Switch on December. Also, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 will be getting a special edition that includes a sound selection CD, a special metal game case, and a 220-page hardbound art book all for $99.99. A Nintendo Switch Pro Controller themed around the game will also be available for $74.99, and boy does it look snazzy. The Kirby Switch game is revealed as Kirby Star Allies Remember that Kirby game that was in development for Switch? It's now called Kirby Star Allies, and you'll be able to recruit up to three enemies as allies (with either friends playing or CPU) and mix abilities to create new powers. Did I mention that it looks like a continuation of Kirby's Return to Dreamland? Because it does, and that can only be a good thing. Anyhow, the game is coming to Switch in the Spring. BETHESDA IS BRINGING 'WHAT' TO SWITCH??? Easily one of the biggest surprises of the Direct, bar none, was the announcement that Bethesda would be bringing both DOOM and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus to the Switch. You heard that right, this is not a drill! DOOM will be arriving first this Fall, while Wolfenstein II will be releasing in 2018. Square Enix reveals more about Project Octopath Traveler Another game that got way too little screentime in the Nintendo Direct from earlier this year was Project Octopath Traveler, a curious yet beautiful game from the same developer that brought us Bravely Default. And, with a brand new video showcasing what the game is about, Square Enix dropped a bomb on everyone, revealing that the game looks pretty darn amazing. The developers have utilized a mix of 2D and 3D visuals to create a new aesthetic that they're referring to as HD 2D (huh), and you'll be able to choose one of eight different characters and play through their own unique story. Oh, and there's a demo on the eShop as we speak, so be sure to check it out and see what the fuss is all about. And it's coming in 2018. Yes, we know, Super Mario Odyssey still looks amazing (and why isn't it out yet?) At this point, if you're not convinced Super Mario Odyssey looks amazing, I'm not sure what else I can do. And I'm pretty sure I don't have to convince anyone else that's already looking forward to it, so I'll say that what they showed was -- once again -- pretty fantastic stuff, showcasing a few new worlds that you can expect to see, story details, and more. Be sure to check it out in the Nintendo Direct video above. Oh, and a Super Mario Odyssey-themed Switch bundle is in the works for this Fall, featuring special Mario-themed red Joy-Con controllers, a special carrying-case, a Switch console, and a download code for the game all for a cool $379.99. Other news revealed Yeah, there was something other stuff announced too that wasn't quite as big as the stuff above, but if you want to hear about it, here we go: Splatoon 2 is getting new DLC soon, including the returning Kelp Dome stage, a new stage called Snapper Canal, and an extra-large Brella weapon. ARMS is adding new playable fighter Lola Pop by way of a new update today. Fire Emblem Warriors is getting a new character in the form of Lyndis (or 'Lyn'), the protagonist from Fire Emblem on GBA. Snipperclips Plus was announced as an expanded version of the original game, and it includes more than 30 new stages, new challenges, and new features. Existing owners can purchase the new content as DLC for $9.99. It's all coming on Nov. 10, and a physical version is in the works as well. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is arriving on Switch on Nov. 17. Dragon Quest Builders is coming to Switch in Spring 2018. NBA 2K18 is coming to Switch on Sept. 15. EA Sports FIFA 18 is coming to Switch on Sept. 29. WWE 2K18 is coming to Switch sometime soon. Square Enix's Lost Sphear is coming to Switch on Jan. 23. Flip Wars is getting a new update that adds a new stage, new mechanics, local wireless multiplayer, class matches, and a new online battle mode. Morphies Law, a new multiplayer shooter is launching first on Switch as a console exclusive this Fall. Arena of Valor, a free-to-start MOBA with a roster of more than 35 heroes, will be available for beta test this Winter on Switch. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Champion amiibo are all set to release on Nov. 10. Each character will unlock a special headgear for Link based on their Divine Beast. Further functionality will be detailed later. Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millonaire's Conspiracy is set to release on Oct. 6 on 3DS. Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney is set to release on 3DS in November. To watch the Nintendo Direct in full, check out the source link below. Source: Nintendo Direct What are your thoughts on the news from this Nintendo Direct?
  7. In an unexpected move today, Rockstar announced that on November 14 they are bringing back LA Noire as an enhanced version for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and even Nintendo's Switch and a VR experience that pulls from the game. The Switch version of LA Noire represents the first Rockstar game on the console, and it'll consist of the full original game, all of its DLC, Switch-specific gyroscopic/motion controls, and HD Rumble. New touch controls have also been added for handheld mode. As for Xbox One and PS4, they'll also be getting the full game and all of its DLC, plus "a range of technical enhancements for greater visual fidelity and authenticity, including enhanced lighting and clouds, new cinematic camera angles, high resolution textures and more." The game will run at 1080p natively on Xbox One and PS4, while also offering 4K for Xbox One X and PS4 Pro. Finally, the VR experience is called LA Noire: The VR Case Files and will release for the HTC Vive headset. It focuses on seven of the cases from the game, which have been rebuilt for the VR experience. Could this possibly be a prelude to Rockstar creating a future LA Noire sequel? While LA Noire's original developer, Team Bondi, shut down back in late 2011, it certainly looks like a possibility, though releasing the game on Switch is also a great way for the company to gauge how well M-rated content as a whole will sell on the console. Source: IGN Does LA Noire's announcement for current consoles surprise you? Will you be buying it?
  8. Jordan Haygood

    Review: Sonic Mania

    Developers: PagodaWest Games, Headcannon Publisher: Sega Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC Release Date(s): August 15th, 2017; August 29th, 2017 (PC) ESRB: E for Everyone Note: This review is based on the Nintendo Switch version of the game Let’s be real for a second; Sonic the Hedgehog hasn’t exactly had the best of luck over the years. Ever since he entered the 3D realm, our favorite supersonic hedgehog has stumbled a few too many times for his own good. That’s not to say that there aren’t any good 3D Sonic games, but… well, let’s just say the blue blur hasn’t exactly had the greatest track record (and I’m not talking about literal track records here, as I’m sure he breaks them all). Sonic the Hedgehog in 2D, however, has almost always been great, at least in my opinion. So, you can imagine my excitement when Sonic Mania was first announced. I’ve awaited a game like this for what feels like an eternity. In fact, I’d say I’ve been waiting for Sonic Mania ever since I beat Sonic 3 & Knuckles, I just didn’t know what it would be called. And once it was released, I couldn’t help but feel like I was in the 90s again. Not only does it feel like a true entry in Sonic’s Genesis era, but with today’s technological advancements, Sonic Mania performs even better, too. Some extremely creative level designs, an insanely good soundtrack, and all the nostalgia you could ever ask for makes Sonic Mania one game no Sonic fan should miss. As with most of the classic Sonic games, Sonic Mania doesn’t really focus too much on story. There is a story being told, but it takes a back seat to just about every other aspect of the game. The gist is that, following the events of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, Sonic and Tails have noticed a strong energy reading similar to the Chaos Emeralds coming from Angel Island, so they head on over there. Of course, Dr. Eggman (who else?) and the Hard-Boiled Heavies – a group of robots created by the bad doctor – noticed the signal too, so they made sure to get there first. What they find is a gem known as the Phantom Ruby, which enables Eggman and the Heavies with immense power, including the ability to warp Sonic & co. through time and space. And thus, the possibility to replay old stages becomes possible. Sonic Mania is more than just a collection of old levels, of course. While the development team most definitely repurposed some of the old levels’ designs, they also made sure to change some things. For example, while the Act 1 stages of the classic zones are very reminiscent to the originals, Act 2 tends to be a brand-new level entirely. Aside from that, there are also some new zones you will only see in Sonic Mania (at least for now). And if I’m being honest here, I’d even wager that the newer stuff has the better level design (please don’t kill me…). As for how Sonic Mania controls, it’s exactly what you would expect. From the simple running, jumping, and spin-dashing mechanics to Tails flying and Knuckles gliding and climbing, the game really feels like you’re playing Sonic 3 & Knuckles again, but with a different lineup of levels. The power-ups from Sonic 3 & Knuckles even make a nice comeback. There is a new mechanic, however, that helps Sonic Mania stand out a bit more – the Drop Dash. Basically, while Tails can fly & Knuckles can glide, Sonic can now dash immediately after dropping to the ground after a jump. It can be very useful if you get the hang of it, although until I figured out how to use it, I sometimes found myself drop-dashing accidentally to unfortunate consequences. Speaking of things from Sonic 3 & Knuckles that have returned for Sonic Mania: love it or hate it, the blue sphere special stages are back. They don’t unlock Chaos Emeralds this time, however. Instead, upon clearing these special stages, you earn silver medals when hitting all blue spheres and gold for also collecting the rings. Collect enough medals and you start unlocking additional features, such as moves from previous games, Debug Mode and the much-needed “& Knuckles” Mode, a feature that allows you to have Knuckles tag along on your adventure, even if you’re playing as Knuckles. Because if there’s one team-up I always wanted to see, it’s Knuckles & Knuckles. While the blue sphere special stages don’t unlock Chaos Emeralds, they aren’t the only special stages in this game. Finding a giant ring hidden in each stage will warp you to a new type of special stage exclusive to Sonic Mania where you must catch a UFO and take the emerald from its grasp, collecting blue spheres to gain speed and rings to not run out of time. I actually found these special stages quite enjoyable, with a definite Sonic Jam/Sonic R vibe going on. And like with any type of special stage, they get harder and more frustrating, which can get annoying when you have to keep looking for the giant rings in order to retry the stages after failing. But it’s all worth it in the end, once you can become Super Sonic and fight the true final boss of the game. There’s not a ton to say about the graphics aside from it being like Sonic 3 & Knuckles, but better. And I found that delightful. As a long-time fan of the game (and the series in general, of course), I just love how similar it looks. Obviously, the resolution is higher and the overall quality is better since it can be. And I was impressed by how seamlessly the development team could create new levels that look exactly like something from Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Like, seriously, these levels don’t look out of place at all. If you’re a sucker for nostalgia, then Sonic Mania will have no trouble satisfying you. The music, though. THE MUSIC, THOUGH. Seriously, Sonic Mania not only lives up to the awesomeness of the classic games it borrows levels from by remastering certain songs we all remember from those games, but the remixes used in the Mania-exclusive Act 2 stages of some of those zones and the songs written for the brand-new zones are just pure gold. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say that Sonic Mania has my all-time favorite soundtrack of any Sonic game ever. And that’s really saying something. Of course, it certainly helps that many of my favorite Sonic tunes have returned in Sonic Mania. I realize I haven’t said a whole lot about the negatives in Sonic Mania. But there’s a reason; I simply can’t think of that many. I remember one time when the game glitched on me and somehow replaced the jumping sound effect with the ring one, which was weird. I also ran into a glitch in a certain new stage right before the boss that kept the boss from showing up, thus keeping me from progressing until I either ran out of time or killed myself. Other than that, there are a few annoyances that carried over from the classics, such as abruptly and unfairly getting crushed to death. And if you’re one of those people who didn’t care too much for the stop-and-go style of classic Sonic games, this game probably won't change your mind. For the longest time, I’ve considered Sonic 3 & Knuckles to be my favorite Sonic game of all time. But now that I’ve played Sonic Mania, I’m not so sure anymore. The game has its share of glitches, but they are few and far between and takes nothing away from what makes the game so good. With some level designs so good I might even consider them the series’ best, graphics that make the game look like a Genesis game with higher resolution, and possibly my favorite soundtrack of any Sonic game ever, Sonic Mania is one hell of a comeback. If you’re a fan of the classic Sonic games, you owe it to yourself to get this game. You won’t regret it. I promise. Pros + Incredible level design that might even top the classics + Fun special stages with plenty to unlock + Delightfully retro graphics style + Amazing soundtrack that is hard to stop listening to Cons - A few minor glitches - Some frustrations passed down from the classics Overall Score: 9 (out of 10) Fantastic A wonderful throwback to Sonic's Genesis days, Sonic Mania is a fantastic game and a strong contender for best Sonic game of all time, thanks to some incredible level design, a delightfully retro graphics style, and an amazing soundtrack. This is one game no Sonic fan should miss out on.
  9. Inti Creates may have had a hand in the development of last year's critically lambasted Mighty No. 9, but the studio is firing on all cylinders this year with the the positive reception from Blaster Master Zero and the recently released Mighty Gunvolt Burst. That momentum kept going yesterday as they announced at Anime Expo 2017 that Shovel Knight and Shantae would be coming to Blaster Master Zero as DLC EX characters very soon; both of which fundamentally change up the game in pretty notable ways. Shovel Knight effectively acts as a melee character with a similar moveset to that of his own game, using his shovel as an attack and also being able to bounce off enemies with a downward thrust when he jumps. Similarly, Shantae also has pretty much the same classic moveset from her own games, which is attacking with her hair and magic as well as transforming into animals with special skills. Inti Creates is offering both characters for free when each debuts, but will then charge $1.99 for each when the free period ends. The period for when you can download them for free is as follows: EX Character: Shantae – 7/6/2017~7/19/2017 EX Character: Shovel Knight – 8/3/2017~8/16/2017 And as if that isn't enough for you, Inti Creates also teased that this isn't the end of new updates for Master Blaster Zero. More info on what's next for the game will be announced in the coming weeks and months. Could more DLC characters be in the works? Or will they add more game modes? We'll have to wait and see. Meanwhile, check out the trailer for Shovel Knight and Shantae in Master Blaster Zero below. Source: Inti Creates Are you excited for Shovel Knight and Shantae? Are you planning to play through the game as them?
  10. Ever since the "Expansion Pass" for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was announced, fans have been wondering exactly what will be released in each of the three DLC packs that comprises it. While Nintendo released a rough outline of what would be in each pack, the official details on the first DLC pack have come through today, and it contains even more than what was first announced. First off, the first DLC pack will be called The Master Trials. Here's what it contains: Trial of the Sword Previously known as "The Cave of Trials," this will be accessible location will serve as a challenge for Link where he'll need to defeat enemies in each room to continue on. Much like Eventide Island, he'll start off without armor or weapons, and the trial will include some 45 rooms in all. If he manages to beat it, you'll unlock the true power of the Master Sword and it will always be in its glowing state. Hard Mode What it sounds like. Essentially this raises all monsters' levels by one, so Red Bokoblins will now be Blue ones and so forth. Enemies will also recover health over time, forcing you to defeat them quickly if you want to move on, and they'll spot Link more easily as well. Finally, new, floating planks (with balloons) will be scattered across Hyrule where Link can battle enemies and find new treasure. Hero's Path One of the most useful-sounding additions so far -- essentially, this documents every path Link has taken around Hyrule in green since the start of your adventure. It will record your last 200 hours of travel, so you'll have a better idea of where you've been on the map and where you haven't. Travel Medallion Ever wish you could travel to a certain spot but no shrine, tower, village, or stable was nearby? Now you can, registering up to one temporary point you can return to at any time. You'll have to find the chest that the Travel Medallion is hiding in first, however. Korok Mask Ya-ha-ha! When you find it, this new item will help you locate those sneaky Koroks. No more combing the map blindly for them! 8 new pieces of outfits/equipment Also one of the most interesting pieces in this DLC; among them are Majora's Mask, Midna's Helmet, Tingle's Outfit, and the Phantom Armor (that Zelda wears/inhabits in Spirit Tracks). Oh, and I almost forgot... Option to switch the game's audio between 9 differerent languages This update is actually a free one that isn't tied to the Expansion Pass. Were you disappointed you were stuck with English audio when you played through the NA version of the game? Now you'll be able to play through the game with one of eight other audio voice tracks (and on-screen text), including Japanese, French (Canada), French (France), German, Spanish (Spain), Spanish (Latin America), Italian, and Russian. Also, Wii U players will need to download a Voice Pack from the eShop to experience this option. The good news is you won't have to wait long for DLC Pack 1; it's slated to release this Summer. DLC Pack 2 will arrive a little bit later during the Holiday season, and will be detailed a little before that time likely. Source: Nintendo What are your thoughts on Breath of the Wild's first DLC pack from the Expansion Pass?
  11. Developer: SFB Games, NST Publisher: Nintendo Platform: Switch Release Date: March 3, 2017 ESRB: E for Everyone Snipperclips: Cut it out, together! might go down as the best puzzle game to ever release at a console launch outside of Tetris. And the best part is that it sort of came out of nowhere. Developed by SFB Games in conjunction with Nintendo Software Technology (or NST), Nintendo was so impressed with Snipperclips in its conceptual form that the Japanese video game giant picked it up for publishing and helped craft it into one of Switch's very best games yet. The game's basic pitch is this: you (and potentially another player) control a pair of cartoony clipart-inspired characters that can "snip" (or "clip") each other into various shapes that can then be used to accomplish certain tasks in a given level. This is accomplished by transposing the character you're controlling over the other, forming a green area that indicates what will be "snipped" away from the other character. For example, one of the first levels you play tasks you with retrieving a basketball and then taking it over and dumping it in the hoop. You'll first need to clip one character so it's the right size to push a button, then clip the other so it can hold the ball. Finally, the ball holder will need to stand on the other character's head in order to dump the ball into the hoop. This isn't even the tip of the iceberg either; there are multiple themed collections of levels that you'll play through that add a specific element to the gameplay. A retro games-inspired world will have you simulating the movement of a smaller virtual character by using your characters to snip and clip into shapes that will allow them to move a joystick or controller as well as move gears and more. Another level has you using one character to turn a gear as the other lowers (and raises) on a platform to catch fish so that they can then return and put certain kinds in a separate contained area. Not every single level is memorable, but most of the different scenarios you'll come across are pretty creative and entertaining. And while they're rarely super challenging, the level of difficulty leaves you feeling satisfied in the end instead of frustrated. It's the perfect amount of complexity where it's not too hard but not too easy for you and a friend to tackle. This is also one of the very first Switch games that uses each Joy-Con as a complete controller on its own, so it may take a few minutes to get used to that. If you have big hands, they'll likely feel a bit crowded at first (especially since the analog stick is so close to the buttons) but I actually found myself forgetting about that and getting used to it the more I played. The only thing that's a slight pain is that you have to return to the Switch's menu and readjust the controller alignment to normal mode when you're finished playing the game since Snipperclips uses both Joy Con as different controllers. Snipperclip's adorable pair of cartoony clipart characters bring a surprising amount of personality to what could have just as easily been a lifeless (yet creative) puzzle game. They laugh and giggle as they "snip" each other into various shapes, they squirm and make funny faces as they squat or restore their full form; it's all a reminder that this is good, light fun. They even have distinctive visual nods that make them stand apart, with the more masculine orange character wearing shoes and a bowtie, and the more feminine pink character with her ribbon, eyelashes, and boots. Likewise, the soundtrack is surprisingly good and pretty memorable to boot. When I'm away from the game, I find myself consistently humming or thinking about the game's upbeat and catchy tracks, only to realize, "Huh, that's from the Snipperclips soundtrack? Wow." There's a certain similarity between a lot of the tunes in this game and the Wii Shop Channel's music, which had a nostalgic sort of '50s TV infomercial vibe to it. In all, there's a good amount of depth to the game with its 50+ levels, and when you add in the fact that you can play with at least two players right out of the box (thanks to the Switch's two Joy-Con being able to act independently as two mini controllers and the Switch's ability to be taken anywhere) and even up to four (if you have an extra set of Joy-Con), it makes Snipperclips one of the best games to play with friends. But even if you're playing solo, Snipperclips is well worth playing and makes a case for being one of Nintendo's best puzzle titles in quite some time. Pros + Colorful, appealing characters and visuals + Great, catchy music + Original, innovative concept + Great puzzle design and level variety Cons - Controls are adequate, but take some getting used to at first - Some level scenarios are re-used with added elements later Overall Score: 9 (out of 10) Fantastic Snipperclips may not have the brand name recognition or hype of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but it's almost equally worth your time and attention due to its clever, original concept and satisfying co-op level designs. Don't miss it. Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable code provided by the publisher
  12. Flinthook Developer: Tribute Games Publisher: Tribute Games Genre: Platformer Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC (Steam) If you love indie games and platformers but you've never heard of Tribute Games before, they'll certainly be on your radar after today. Most recently known for Mercenary Kings and the Mega Man-inspired Ninja Senki DX, Tribute Games focuses on pixel-stylized action and platforming games, not unlike some of the great classics of yesteryear. In Flinthook, you play as a space pirate who uses a hook device to zip around procedurally-generated levels and plunder treasure and the like. Check out the trailer above! Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: A Telltale Series Developer: Telltale Games Publisher: Telltale Games Genre: Episodic Point and Click Adventure Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Android, iOS Before 2014, almost no one outside of the comics realm knew who the Guardians of the Galaxy are, but thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe film of the same, Star-Lord and his crew are some of the hottest new heroes around. Telltale's new episodic series continues the same fun and edgy vibe projected in the movie while taking the crew on a new story that will test each team member's resolve. Plus Thanos is in it, so... instabuy, right? Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap Developer: Lizardcube Publisher: DotEmu Genre: Action platformer Platform: PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC (Steam) I didn't grow playing SEGA games in my household, so I missed out on the Wonder Boy series up till now. Turns out that was a huge mistake, as Wonder Boy is one of the best platformer series of yesteryear, and Lizardcube and DotEmu's have given Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap one of the best-looking makeovers I've ever seen for a game that came out close to 30 years ago. Disney Afternoon Collection Developer: Digital Eclipse, Capcom Publisher: Capcom Genre: Action platformer, shmup Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC Ducktales. Darkwing Duck. Chip & Dale: Rescue Rangers. Tale-Spin. What more could you ask for than some of the most classic animated cartoons from the '90s? If you've never played their companion games that came out for the NES (or even if you have), this is an amazing way to experience them all. Seriously, these are some of the best licensed games of all time, and most of them hold up extremely well. Full Throttle Remastered Developer: Double Fine Games Publisher: Double Fine Games Genre: Point and Click Adventure Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC First it was Grim Fandango. Then Day of the Tentacle. And now, LucasArts' classic Full Throttle is getting the remaster treatment courtesy of Tim Schafer's Double Fine. Though not was well known as the former mentioned games, Full Throttle was an interesting game about a biker who gets tangled up in a tale of intrigue, and this is the best way to experience it nowadays. Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom Developer: Enigami Publisher: Focus Home Games Genre: Action RPG Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC It seems rare that we get full 3D RPGs from indie devs these days, but Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom definitely deserves props for being one of the best looking and most interesting in recent times. In Shiness, your crew of characters gets caught up in a conflict spanning multiple kingdoms and takes you on a journey through a universe on the verge of collapse. Let us know which of these games you're thinking of buying this week!
  13. Nintendo's new IP ARMS and the multiplayer-centric Splatoon 2 are the next major new first party releases in the Switch's line-up, and today we finally got to hear a bit more about them, as well as when we'll get to play them. First off, the Nintendo Direct yesterday revealed that in ARMS, each fighter will be able to equip two different types of customizable ARMS. These can range from standard gloves to more specialized ones, and each ARM will have an elemental attribute (ice, fire, electricity) that adds extra effects. A new, ramen-armed female character named Min-Min was also announced. ARMS is set to release on June 16 for Switch, and a special neon yellow Joy-Con controller is set to launch alongside it as well (sold separately). Check out the video segment for the new content below. Meanwhile, the Direct focused on a new area/mode in Splatoon 2 called Salmon Run. It's a four-player, co-op-based mode where players will do battle against a new type of species called the Salmonid. Also when co-op partners fall, they can be revived by teammates by being shot with ink on the battlefield. Not bad! Splatoon 2 will debut on Switch a month after ARMS on July 21. Be sure to check out Salmon Run in the video below. Source: Nintendo Direct Are you looking forward to ARMS and/or Splatoon 2?
  14. Kind of interesting to see this. At first, people were saying that it was more akin to PS4 cases, but now it appears that Switch game cases are the same as PSP's. The question is, why go with that form factor and not one that's closer to 3DS, especially since the latter uses less physical material (or at least it looks that way)? My guess is that they're trying to differentiate Switch cases from 3DS as much as possible, especially if 3DS lives on for another year or more. Image via @aevanko on Twitter I'm actually not all that crazy about those style of game cases, but at least they take up less space (I guess). What do you guys think? Do you like the new form factor for Switch's cases?
  15. Did you know that the beautifully hand-drawn retro-remake that is Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap is only a few weeks away from release? Time certainly flies! And publisher DotEmu has released a new trailer for the game, detailing a brand new feature: you can also play as the brand new Wonder Girl. It appears that this is more of a palette/character swap, if anything, given that Wonder Girl is shown to have the same skill set and no new special abilities of her own. But it's a welcome addition nonetheless for female players who want to play as a female hero. Developer Lizardcube mentions in a blog post that that's actually the reason behind them adding Wonder Girl, adding that "an 8 year old girl [sic] could be playing the game today, and we felt it was the right thing to do." In addition to the Wonder Girl news, the trailer once again showcases the previous announcement where you'll be able to swap between modern and retro visual styles while playing the game. Pretty nifty indeed! Check out the Wonder Boy and Wonder Girl Trailer below. Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap is slated for release on Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One on April 18. Source: The Dragon's Trap Are you looking forward to playing as Wonder Girl in the game?
  16. The SNES classic Secret of Mana is one of the most beloved RPGs out there, and Square Enix just tugged at fans' heartstrings by making a surprise announcement that both its prequel and sequel would be joining the game in a collection that's due out for the Nintendo Switch later this year. Now here's the bad news: it's only for Japan. However, the fact that the collection is receiving a physical release is making some fans think that a Western release could be possible. One thing that could be standing in the way, though, is Secret of Mana's sequel -- the Japanese-only Seiken Densetsu 3 -- which would has never been localized for English territories (though unofficial translations have existed online for years). Seiken Densetsu 3 was notable for several innovations, such as being able to choose any 3 of 6 heroes at the start of the game, where their own story arcs would intersect with each others' and the overall plot throughout the course of the game. There were also three different final bosses and end dungeons to experience depending on who you chose as the primary hero. Secret of Mana's prequel was originally known in the US as Final Fantasy Adventure, and was also remade in 3D for Vita last year as Adventures of Mana. In any event, the Seiken Densetsu Collection will release in Japan on June 1 for 4,800 yen (which is roughly $43 USD). We'll have to wait and see if anything is in the works for English-speaking territories, but in the meantime you can watch the trailer below. Would you buy the Seiken Densetsu/Mana series collection if it came to the Americas and Europe?
  17. While the recently-named Sonic Forces will be bookending 2017, fans of a more classic, 2D Sonic will be able to get their hands on the upcoming Sonic Mania much sooner. Just... maybe not as soon as you were initially expecting. Sega announced at SXSW 2017 that Sonic Mania will now be releasing sometime in the Summer instead of its original Spring 2017 release date. It's unfortunate for sure, especially considering that many fans are more excited for this one over Sonic Forces due to it being a compilation/remix of levels from the classic 2D Sonic titles, but the good news is the delay isn't too long. Also good news -- Sega announced another classic Sonic stage that would be returning in Sonic Mania: Flying Battery Zone. Fans will likely remember playing the stage from Sonic & Knuckles, along with its catchy theme. Check out footage of the remade Flying Battery Zone below. Hopefully this isn't the last we hear about Sonic Mania for a while. If Sega is following the Super Smash Bros. method of drip-feeding announcements, perhaps it won't be too long before we hear more about the game and its remaining levels. Sonic Mania is coming to PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch this Summer. Source: Polygon Are you disappointed to hear about Sonic Mania's delay?
  18. Project Sonic 2017 was initially announced last year as the next new 3D Sonic game in the works, but little else was revealed beyond a short trailer that didn't include any gameplay. That is, until yesterday. Sega has now announced that the game's title will be Sonic Forces. The reasoning for the name has yet to be revealed, but it seems to imply that Sonic may team up and unite with other characters to stand against Eggman's latest machinations; we'll have to wait for the official synopsis from Sega to be sure. Also, the first gameplay footage for the game was revealed at SXSW, where it shows Sonic racing through a city that appears to be under siege by Eggman's robots. We'll likely have to wait just a bit longer for Sega to completely spill the [chili] beans on this one, so you can probably expect to hear more at E3 2017 in just a few short months. In the meantime, Sonic Forces is currently slated to launch during Holiday 2017 for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. What do you think of Sonic Forces' name and first footage?
  19. The launch of Nintendo's Switch seems to have gotten off to a great start so far, with the first two day's sales already indicating that this is the Japanese company's biggest launch yet for one of their consoles. Surprisingly, the numbers are said to be above even the Wii's launch. Additionally, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils Aime has stated that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is now the best-selling launch game, taking the title from previous holder Super Mario 64. However, while it's a good early indicator, the news doesn't necessarily guarantee the console's long-term success at this point. It's worth pointing out that the Wii U sold respectably at its launch as well before falling off a cliff in sales a month or two later. We'll have to wait and see how the Switch performs in weeks ahead to really get a good idea of its long-term momentum. Though Nintendo has a smash hit with Breath of the Wild, Switch has a few hurdles that could potentially prove detrimental to that momentum early on, including a small launch lineup, no virtual console (yet), and a number of users that are reporting issues with the left Joy-Con controller. However, a poll conducted by GamesRadar indicates that it may only be affecting a number of owners -- out of 2,700 people polled, 10% are reporting issues with the left Joy-Con, while an additional 11% indicated they were experiencing other issues. Most console launches have a subset of early adopters that run into issues with their hardware, so we'll have to wait and see how Nintendo addresses the problems and whether they continue to be a problem. In the meantime, things are looking positive for sales in the short term. Source: IGN Are you surprised that Switch now holds the best-selling two-day sales numbers of all Nintendo's consoles?
  20. Things just got a whole lot more brighter for the Nintendo Switch as today the Big N announced a slew of major indie titles that are heading to the platform very soon -- some of which were just announced for the first time. The presentation began with the announcement of SteamWorld Dig 2 before reconfirming some other big indies such as Choice Provision's Runner 3 and Playtonic Game's Yooka-Laylee. Other brand new indies heading to Switch that were just revealed for the first time include Flipping Death (from Zoink Games, of Stick it to the Man! fame) and Kingdom: Two Crowns (from Raw Fury and Art in the Heart), a tactical game in the same vein as Nintendo's Advance Wars. Also interesting -- Blaster Master Zero (from Inti-Creates) is launching exclusively on Nintendo Switch and 3DS on March 9 and will feature a two-player mode as well as numerous character cameos. A virtual reboot of sorts of the original Blaster Master (for NES), Zero is looking like an incredibly sharp Metroidvania title, so be sure to keep an eye on it if that genre is in your wheelhouse. Nintendo's Damon Baker also confirmed that more than 60 major indie titles are currently in development for the Switch, many of which are making their debut on the platform first before anywhere else and will include Switch exclusive features such as HD Rumble among other things. The full list of games shown in the presentation and confirmed to be coming to Switch are as follows: Runner3 from Choice Provisions SteamWorld Dig 2 from Image & Form Games Yooka Laylee from Team 17 and Playtonic Games Blaster Master Zero from Inti Creates Pocket Rumble from Chucklefish Games and Cardboard Robot Games Flipping Death from Zoink Games Mr. Shifty from tinyBuild and Team Shifty Wargroove from Chucklefish Games Stardew Valley from Chucklefish Games and ConcernedApe Shakedown Hawaii from vBlank Graceful Explosion Machine from Vertex Pop Tumbleseed from aeiowu Overcooked: Special Edition from Team 17 and Ghost Town Games The Escapists 2 from Team 17 and Mouldy Toof GoNNER from Raw Fury and Art in Heart Kingdom: Two Crowns from Raw Fury and Noio Dandara from Raw Fury and Long Hat Hous There are many others that weren't shown but are confirmed to be coming to Switch as well, including last year's critically acclaimed Thumper, Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap, Treasurenauts, and more. You can check out the full Nintendo Switch Indies Showcase presentation below. Are you looking forward to any of the indie games mentioned, and will you be buying them on the Switch?
  21. Just a month ago, Image & Form was teasing the next installment in the SteamWorld series, and today we now know what the game will be: SteamWorld Dig 2. Although early reports indicated that the game might have been called 'SteamWorld Quest' at first, the return to Rusty's unfinished story is a welcome one, as the first SteamWorld Dig ended on a bit of a cliffhanger. In SteamWorld Dig 2, you'll play as the young shopkeeper from the original as you explore the depths of the Earth for a long lost friend. Image & Form has confirmed the game will be coming first to Nintendo Switch this Summer and will include HD Rumble (as well as Joy-Con) functionality, though they have yet to detail the specifics on it. Stay tuned for more info as we head into GDC this week, and be sure to check out the game's announcement trailer below! Source: Press Release Are you excited for SteamWorld Dig 2?
  22. Monday Musings is a feature where every Monday, I'll shoot the breeze about what I've been playing and what my thoughts are on various news and events in the game industry. This week I'll be talking about the upcoming launch of the Nintendo Switch on Friday, one early challenge that's come up already for it, and how I haven't been this excited for a new console in a long time. Is it Friday yet? No? Then is it too late to put myself in cryogenic sleep otherwise? Maybe that'd be overdoing it a bit considering the Switch comes out a mere four days from now, but seriously... I want that Switch yesterday. It's funny -- when I think of the Wii U, I actually can't remember much of the pre-launch hype for it. I do remember that it was barely advertised on TV (much less elsewhere) -- Nintendo claimed that it was due to high ad prices because of the 2012 election -- but when it comes to being excited for it and the games it was launching with, I remember... nothing. Of course, getting a new console is always exciting -- I do remember the day my Wii U arrived in the mail, but I don't remember being super hyped for it, and it's not hard to see why when you look at its launch lineup. People like to rip the Switch a new one considering that it's only launching with 10 titles (9, if you don't count Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove and Specter of Torment as separate releases), whereas the Wii U launched with just over twice that amount. But here's the thing -- there are more titles in Switch's lineup that interest me a lot more than the Wii U's, and I'm willing to bet I'm not the only one who is thinking that. Despite its superior quantity and diversity of launch titles, only five titles in the Wii U launch lineup were exclusive, none of which had major hype behind it. Its strongest first-party title was New Super Mario Bros. U, a game that was too similar to previous games in the series and launched too soon after New Super Mario Bros. 2 released on 3DS just a few months prior. Nintendo Land was a decent pack-in mini-game collection that was largely overlooked, as was Ubisoft's ZombiU. In contrast, Switch has six exclusives (Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment is a timed exclusive for one month) -- all of which I'm much more interested in than the Wii U's five, which are now looking downright ho-hum. If Switch's launch lineup doesn't interest you at all, I don't blame you. Having more titles is never a bad thing, and it's not a hugely diverse bunch of titles either. But compared to Wii U's lineup, Switch's is looking more and more like it makes the argument for "quality > quantity." The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild may be the driving factor for most people buying the Switch on day one, but I'm already much more excited to play some of the other games coming day one than I was for the many launch ports on Wii U. Super Bomberman R, FAST RMX, Snipperclips, and Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove are all games I'm excited to dig into alongside Zelda, leading this to be one of the better launch lineups I've experienced in some time. While the verdict is still out on how good Super Bomberman R is, more than half of the launch titles have already received critical acclaim, which says a lot about the quality of the lineup itself. Honestly, it was easy to be disappointed when Nintendo revealed that the Switch launch lineup would be a bit more meager than both the Wii's and Wii U's, but the more time we've had to adjust to it, the more I think the Switch will be just fine in the end. Nintendo has already set in motion a number of titles (both big and small) that are set to launch in the following months and throughout the year, with more indies and third party games being announced every week -- more than enough to keep momentum and interest strong throughout the year. Wii U -- on the other hand -- had the inverse situation. It launched with a respectable number of games of varying quality and then... was virtually silent for months at a time. The next big exclusive to release after launch came in March, some four months after. This was a huge blow to the Wii U's momentum, and it showed in the monthly sales after 2013 began as the platform began to sell less and less. It's often said that a game console's library is judged by the amount of exclusives it has. Wii U had five at launch. Of 23 overall. The rest were available elsewhere. The Switch has six exclusives. Of ten overall. The remaining four? Probably not slated for doing big business, with maybe the exception of Just Dance 2017. Skylanders Imaginators isn't likely to sell gangbusters on Switch, because it's a game that's already been on the market for nearly 5 months now. Most of those third party Wii U launch games didn't sell like crazy either. Because they were also available elsewhere. You know what most people thought when they saw that Assassin's Creed III available on Wii U at launch? "Huh, that's cool. I'll buy it on Xbox 360 or PS3." 60% exclusives to 21%, that's what you're looking at with Switch vs Wii U when it comes to their libraries. Even if Tomorrow Corporation's games make Switch's launch (which it isn't guaranteed as of this writing) and bumps the number from 10 to 13, 46% is still a fairly good number for launch exclusives. One other thing Switch's launch lineup has going for it is that it knows its audience. Just look at the games -- 1-2-Switch - March 3 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - March 3 Skylanders Imaginators - March 3 Just Dance 2017 - March 3 Super Bomberman R - March 3 I Am Setsuna - March 3 Snipperclips - March 3 Fast RMX - March 3 Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment - March 3 Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove - March 3 For the most part, these are very Nintendo-oriented games, with a few casual games thrown in to attract the mass market crowd. It's not attempting to go after the Call of Duty crowd or the hardcore action crowd right now because it doesn't have to (and because it would be a moot point at the moment). Rather, they're doubling down on the games they know Nintendo fans will like best (and the ones that are actually ready to release): old-school platformers, arcade games, creative puzzle games, RPGs, racing games, and adventure games. Wii U tried to be everything to everyone, but it wasn't because it didn't have enough that was unique to it at launch, whereas Switch is more focused and selling to a very specific crowd with most of its titles, while relying on 1-2 Switch and Just Dance 2017 to reel in casuals. This is why Switch's lineup beats out Wii U's. That, and Breath of the Wild pretty much beats out the entire Wii U launch lineup anyhow. Seriously, is it Friday yet? What do you think? Is Switch's launch lineup more appealing to you than the Wii U's was? Would you have actually bought most of the third-party titles on Wii U, or would you buy them on PS3/360 at the time?
  23. If you're getting a Switch at launch, the list of available games to buy will be pretty slim, but things have gotten just a bit better with four indie games being confirmed for release on eShop on day one (March 3). The newest of them is Nintendo's Snipperclips - Cut it out, together!, an indie puzzle title developed by SFB Games that they picked up for publishing. The main objective in the game is to think creatively and overlay shapes together in order to cut -- or *ahem* "snip" -- them into new shapes that can accomplish each objective. It will feature three game modes: World - which acts as a main campaign in which you can play solo or through co-op Party - which you can play with more players Blitz - which is faster-paced and can be played with 2-4 players Snipperclips - Cut it out, together! will be available for $19.99. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMoCZIN3e94 The other two games rounding out the list of launch indie titles are FAST RMX and Shovel Knight -- the latter of which will offer both the Treasure Trove Edition and the standalone version of its newest campaign, Specter of Torment. Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove will debut for $24.99 and will include all DLC released (including Specter of Torment and the not-yet-released King Knight campaign) while the standalone Specter of Torment can be bought for just $9.99. FAST RMX is an enhanced Switch version of FAST Racing Neo (one of my top 10 games of 2015), a futuristic racer in the same vein as F-Zero and WipEout. This new version will include 30 tracks and 10 cups to complete (nearly double the Wii U content), features 60fps at 1080p, and will cost $19.99. Source: Press Release Which of these Switch indie launch titles interests you the most?
  24. This week I'll be discussing something that's long been on my mind -- a topic that's especially relevant given that Nintendo's Switch launches in less than a month now. Of course, I'm referring to Nintendo's relationship with third parties (especially western publishers) and how they were quick to abandon the Wii U, but how Nintendo could begin to win them back. How do they do such a thing? Is it even possible? I think it's definitely feasible, but a lot of it relies on Nintendo themselves. Hit the break to keep reading. Okay. So. If you've regularly followed Nintendo news and trends regarding their consoles, you know very well that Nintendo's third-party support has been diminishing for years. The decline of third parties really started with the Nintendo 64, but surprisingly the Gamecube had more support than most probably remember, at least for the first 3 or 4 years. Wii had good support for the first four years or so (the games that weren't shovelware), but things really dried up for the Wii U after its first year on the market. We've had countless articles from different writers across varying outlets with their opinions on how Nintendo could "win back" third-parties for years now -- everything from focusing more on hardcore gamers to making hardware that's on par with what Sony and Microsoft are offering and so on and so forth. You've likely heard almost everything in the book at this point. And to put it bluntly, none of that is likely to work. Or at least not without tons of money behind it and possibly a generation or two of great reception from fans. But really, Nintendo doesn't have the luxury of waiting that long. The real answer is actually laying right in front of them. That answer is two-fold. First, before anything else, the Switch needs to sell. If it doesn't sell well, nothing else really matters. But despite a meager launch lineup, things are looking promising for the Switch in the longterm. It already has a better and clearer message behind what it is and what it does -- much more so than the confusion the Wii U's messaging generated. The year one game lineup is looking pretty strong, starting with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and leading into an enhanced Mario Kart 8 port followed by Splatoon 2, ARMS, Fire Emblem Warriors, Super Mario Odyssey, and maybe even Xenoblade Chronicles 2. And that's what we know of; there might be even more announced at E3. Anyways. Let's say the Switch takes off. It's on track to sell... at least 8 million units this year. The next thing that needs to be addressed is the reason behind Wii U third-party games selling poorly. Let's look some of them below. - They didn't sell on Wii U because they were late releases of games released on better consoles - Some gamers didn't like the gamepad controls and preferred Sony and Microsoft's controllers more - Online multiplayer was largely gimped compared to Xbox and PlayStation - Many game ports were not great ports, leading to them being the worst ports - No trophy/achievement support - People want to play games on the consoles that look best Unfortunately, the only one that is largely out of Nintendo's power to address at this point is the last one. Some people want the best-looking experience. There's little Nintendo can do about that now. The rest, however? They can all be addressed one way or another. But as long as most of those bullet points remain unaddressed, expect them not to sell anything like their competitors' versions. And expect third-parties not to fully care or put any real effort into anything they put out on Switch that isn't exclusive or built exactly for it. So. What does Nintendo do? They could pull strings behind the curtains with third-party publishers and work out some business deals by either offering greater ad support or higher revenue share of games. But realistically, that probably won't happen and we've yet to see it happen. If Nintendo wants to show third-parties that their games have an audience and can sell on their console, they need to show proof. And what better way to show proof than creating it themselves? Here's what I propose - if Nintendo wants to show publishers how serious they are about getting games to sell on the Switch, they need to make deals and do whatever they need to do to create great Switch ports of these games on their own, even if that means paying out of their own pocket to make it happen. But I'm not talking about paying EA to get their devs to make a Switch port. That's counter-intuitive for a number of reasons. No. I'm saying Nintendo should largely take control of the Switch port, give it to one of their partners like Tantalus, and make sure it gets the quality port it needs. This would require working closely both with the publisher as well as the developer who's creating the game. But Nintendo would be footing the majority or the entirety of the bill for the port. They depend on their port studio to deliver something excellent and right on par with what the core developer is putting out, as good as the Switch can handle. The publisher then gets a revenue share in the port's sales, as they normally would. Ideally, there's little risk to them throughout the whole endeavor; the heavy lifting mostly falls on Nintendo to get it done. But even more so, they get proof of concept. What happens when you remove that bullet list of why third party games supposedly don't sell on Nintendo platforms? Show them what happens. Address those points, grab the bull by the horns, and give them reason to believe there's worth in putting games out on Switch. It won't be easy. And the results probably won't be immediate. But if Nintendo could do this experiment for a year or two, it's possible they could eventually reap the results they're looking for. People could see that Nintendo is serious about getting the best of the best third-party games on Switch and that they do have a chance of selling well when the playing field is more even, even if they would have a lower resolution and visual effects and such. Imagine having Mass Effect Andromeda release day and date on Switch. Sure, if you want the best visuals and performance, you'll play on PC. But imagine being able to play a version that's maybe a medium quality compared to the ultra high setting on PC. Except that you can play it anywhere, and it still looks great despite being on a tinier screen. Imagine what the reaction would be to seeing people playing games like that on the subway. You'll always have your traditional gamers wanting to play at home, but don't think for a second that such a feature wouldn't be intriguing, even to those gamers. Such an approach to acquiring third-party titles is definitely bullish and very unlike the Nintendo of now. Would they recoup their costs on such an endeavor? The odds point to no, at least not on the initial investment. But imagine if they stuck with it, if people began to see Nintendo platforms as being on parity with other platforms in terms of the selection of third-party games, if not in terms of visuals. Imagine if that restored confidence in third-parties, and they began to flock back to Nintendo over time. Something tells me that might be an idea well worth investing in.
  25. You might know Sumo Digital as the developer behind the Sonic and All-Stars Racing series as well as the more recent LittleBigPlanet 3, but these days they're looking toward producing their own IP in addition to the larger AAA work they do with large publishers like SEGA and Sony. Case in point: say hello to their newest project: Snake Pass. It's a physics-based 3D action-puzzle game that puts you in the role of Noodle the Snake, who also has a helping buddy known as Doodle the Hummingbird. Noodle's goal is to reach the top of Haven-Tor, where a mysterious intruder threatens the tranquility of the area. While that might seem a bit Banjo-Kazooie-esque, the gameplay is anything but. Snake Pass is all about making use of each level's landscape in order to scale up and reach different destinations. There is no jumping from platform to platform; you'll need to slither up poles and complete puzzles to get Noodle and Doodle where they need to go. Another reason you should pay attention? David Wise -- the composer on the first three Donkey Kong Country games and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze -- is working on the soundtrack. Considering that the music is a big reason why that series is so good, Snake Pass is looking to be in great hands. For a preview of what Wise has in the works for the game, check out the snippet here on Soundcloud. Expect to hear more on the game as we get closer to its launch. For now, Snake Pass is targeting an early 2017 release date on Steam, Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch. Check out the game's latest trailer below! Source: Snakepass.com Are you looking foward to Snake Pass?