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Found 126 results

  1. It's been nearly three and a half years since her last game but Shantae is ready for her big comeback with the serie's fifth entry, Shantae and the Seven Sirens, next week. Initially announced as an Apple Arcade title, Shantae and the Seven Sirens sees the return of fan-favorite characters such as Risky Boots, Rottytops, Sky, and Bolo in addition to a new cast which includes new half-genies and the titular seven sirens. And for the first time, you'll get to experience an interconnected world both above the sea and below. Also, new creature forms can be achieved using Fusion magic, in addition to other new mechanics such as Monster Cards, which you can use to power up the titular half-genie hero. Shantae and the Seven Sirens arrives on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on May 28 for $29.99. Check out the trailer below!
  2. If you've been hankering for a Paper Mario experience (even before the announcement of the upcoming Paper Mario: The Origami King last week), then you'll want to keep tabs on Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling, which makes its way to consoles next week. Developed by MoonSprout Games and published by Dangen Entertainment, Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling features the same paper-esque visuals and mechanics, except with a cast and world of bugs. You'll follow heroes Vi, Kabbu, and Leif as they search for treasure across Bugaria, including the titular Everlasting Sapling, which, according to legend, grants immortality. You'll participate in turn-based combat against various foes and solve puzzles in different environments (such as The Ant Kingdom, Snakemouth Den, the Bee Kingdom, and more) across seven chapters. Discover the treasures hidden in Bugaria when Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling lands on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on May 28. Check out the game's trailer below!
  3. Things have been relatively quiet on the Nintendo front as far as their upcoming games slate has been concerned, with only games like the recently released smash hit, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition being the only known new games for 2020 for a while. However, that all changed on Thursday when Nintendo dropped the news out of nowhere that Paper Mario: The Origami King would be releasing in a few months. As the title teases, the plot in The Origami King revolves around a plot by an invading force to turn Paper Mario's world and its characters into origami. The accompanying trailer gives off a bit of a horror vibe initially, with a Peach that's presumably been the first to be turned to origami, and the rest of the main cast escaping just as Peach's castle is overtaken by the newest antagonist, King Olly. Luckily, Mario will be assisted by a new cast of characters, including King Olly's good-natured sister, Olivia. One new ability that's also showcased in the trailer is called '1000-Fold arms', which gives Mario super long arms that allow him to peel, pull, and stretch out the environment in different ways to reveal hidden items and locations as well as solve different puzzles. The game also features a new, ring-based battle system where lining up scattered enemies can help you maximize damage. Paper Mario: The Origami King is slated for release on July 17 on Nintendo Switch.
  4. Developer: Sega Publisher: Sega Platform: Switch Release Date: May 15, 2020 ESRB: T for Teen The virtual vocaloid popstar Hatsune Miku continues unchallenged in her overwhelming popularity even a decade past her original inception. Be it live or digital concerts, absurd cross-promotions, or extending her influence into other mediums (such as surprisingly solid rhythm game releases) means there is no shortage of ways to stumble upon her enigmatic green-haired existence. Her newest debut in the video game space, however, comes in the form Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix for the Nintendo Switch. Serving as a first appearance not only for the Project Diva series on non-Sony hardware, it also makes for the first Hatsune Miku game on the Nintendo Switch outright. Thus, it begs the immediate question of whether or not Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix makes for a proper star studded debut on new gaming hardware as well as meet the expectations for existing Project Diva fans. Much of this newest Switch title bears a striking resemblance to the localized 2017 release of Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Future Tone. Future Tone was not only noteworthy for being a well-crafted PS4 port of a former Japanese arcade game release, but also because it was dang near close to the definitive Project Diva game in terms of the massive amount of playable tracks that went well over two-hundred total songs. The Super Smash Bros. Ultimate of Hatsune Miku games, if you will. Now, before getting one's hopes up on the prospect of having over two hundred playable songs in a portable fashion, Mega Mix is unfortunately not quite exactly that same release on Switch, for better or for worse. "...there are several new features exclusive to the release of Mega Mix that are pleasant surprises." Before airing out grievances on what it lacks compared to its PS4 incarnation, there are several new features exclusive to the release of Mega Mix that are pleasant surprises. Some are straightforward enough, such as great new musical additions like 'Ooedo Julia-Night', which plays with Genroku-era inspired 2D animation yet injects it with a strong hip-hop flair to the track '39 Music' that more so showcases the 3D side of the hyperactive presentation (and also for some reason has Miku dab multiple times). To further expound on visual flourishes, there are of course many costumes/accessories for all the characters as well, and to go one step further for the Switch release, it allows creative types to outright make custom T-shirts in a way that is very similar to the Able Sisters in Animal Crossing. More understated additions, yet equally welcome, to Mega Mix are actually buried in the various controller and display options, however. One specific example is a pretty significant quality of life feature for former Sony players that allows them to straight up replace the Switch's displayed melody inputs to a potentially far more familiar layout of the Sony controller symbols instead (for people like me who has been playing these games for years on Sony systems). Beyond that, there are a surprising amount of different controller options in general such as docked, handheld mode, arcade controller, Pro controller, to even the joy-con motion controls that sports its own unique "Mix Mode" spin on songs too. Although, I will be honest and say that I could not get the joy-con motion controls to work anywhere close to consistently on my end. So, uh, mileage is likely to vary wildly with that last one. Yet, despite its generally nice new features, Mega Mix makes quite a few questionable compromises. The biggest elephant in the room is no doubt that there are nearly one hundred songs less total than the PS4 release of Future Tone. And while it still having roughly a hundred songs total is still no doubt a lot for a rhythm game, it is because Mega Mix is generally a port overall that it is difficult to not feel short changed to some degree when Future Tone set the bar so high already. Plus, to add some insult to injury, the returning songs that exist in Mega Mix are significantly less consistent in not only visual fidelity but frame rate as well. Though it is not surprising by any means that the visuals made some sacrifices compared to the PS4 release, what I found far more jarring is the significant video compression that makes several songs somehow look just plain worse than their Project Diva iterations on the Playstation Vita. "...significant video compression makes several songs somehow look just plain worse than their Project Diva iterations on the Playstation Vita." Of course, it is hard to hold too much of a grudge as the rhythm gameplay is still as enjoyable as ever. It proudly features an often eye-catching aesthetic that meshes well the satisfying timing of button presses. The main criticisms that one could level against its raw gameplay are pretty much the same ones as Future Tone; the primary offender being that the "Challenge Mode" portions at the end of songs can come off as rather clumsy at times. While thankfully one can not fail the song when reaching challenge mode parts, there is a certain degree of gameplay discordance to the rest of the song when it randomly decides to pretzel the player's hand all at once when the rest of the song gave no indication to that sort of playstyle and makes it feel a little less polished rhythmically compared to prior Project Diva F titles. Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix is somewhat an odd duck for the series. Those expecting it to one hundred percent replace the PS4 release of Future Tone due to pure portable factor may want to think twice before essentially double dipping due to the significant scale back on total songs. Still, for those without that prior frame of reference, it is hard to imagine that they will find nearly as much fault to its still impressive amount of total songs and delightful gameplay. This makes Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix somewhat difficult recommend to seasoned series dance partners, and at the same time a wholehearted one for curious Switch onlookers looking to just have a good time and play what is easily amongst the best rhythm games in its library. Pros + Huge song selection with several of the new ones in particular being much welcome additions + Multitude of cosmetic options for characters including the ability to draw custom t-shirts for more creative types + Rhythm gameplay is as entertaining as ever alongside the vibrant presentation + Surprisingly flexible controller and rhythm display options Cons - While still featuring an absurd amount of songs, Mega Mix cuts nearly half of the total songs that the PS4's Future Tone featured, which is rather disappointing - Aside from the few new songs, which look great, many older/returning tracks have rather noticeable video compression - Certain challenge mode held button inputs seemingly want you to pretzel your fingers even on the normal difficulty - Mileage will likely vary wildly for practical usage of joycon motion controls in "Mix Mode" Overall Score: 7 (out of 10) Good While Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix makes for somewhat of a complicated recommendation for those that played Future Tone on PS4 and are expecting it to be comparable, it is difficult to imagine that curious Switch onlookers who just want to enjoy a fun rhythm game will leave Mega Mix anywhere close to disappointed. Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable Switch code provided by the publisher.
  5. Developer: Gust Corporation Publisher: Koei-Tecmo Platform: PS4, Switch, and PC Release Date: May 21, 2019 ESRB: T for Teen It has become increasingly more difficult to know what exactly to expect from each new Atelier game. Sure, the easiest guess would be to expect some role-playing game with a heavy emphasis on item crafting at developer Gust's crazy pace of at least one mainline Atelier entry per year. However, be it due significant changes in gameplay systems, or even setting at times, adds plenty of room for confusion on a per game basis for what is generally supposed to be a lighthearted and crafting-centric series that never even brings up the typical RPG notion of saving the world. To further prove this very point, after nearly a decade of different Atelier trilogies (often categorized as either "Arland", "Dusk", or "Mysterious" by fans), Gust has decided to revisit what was formerly the most beloved 3D trilogy, Arland, by officially making a new fourth main entry by name of Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland. Does Atelier Lulua provide just the right combination of ingredients to satiate former fans with a worthwhile follow-up or does Atelier Lulua leave them wondering why they even bothered in the first place? What the title does do fairly quickly, however, is make a good first impression of its new lead heroine Lulua. Lulua herself is enthusiastic, very willing to help others, and just generally radiates positivity even as she stumbles plenty of times at her newfound alchemy craft. This is added weight not simply because the game takes its time re-introducing familiar Arland faces that fans already know they like, but also because the heroines of the previous game, Lydie & Suelle, were dang near insufferable in how obnoxious they were moment to moment. So, Lulua herself winds up being a breath of fresh air for more reasons than one on sheer charisma. While Lulua manages to avoid many of the poor mannerisms of the previous game in terms of character, the same level of charisma does not unfortunately carry over into the actual gameplay. For some reason, Atelier Lulua borrows a surprising amount of gameplay systems from the previous "Mysterious" trilogy. Which, despite the "Mysterious" trilogy improving the core crafting system in several ways, many Atelier fans, including myself, would more than argue is not the high point of the series due to many odd steps when it comes to actual gameplay progression, combat, or characters. Familiar grievances from the previous "Mysterious" trilogy come into play more or less as soon as they introduce "Alchemyriddle" system, or rather a magical journal that attempts to guide Lulua to various alchemy based solutions when needed. Except, just like the previous game's flawed "Ambition's Journal", all of the vital info for both story and alchemy progress is vague, hence, the riddle part of "Alchemyriddle". What this means is that the player can easily flounder around and being unable to progress because one of the alchemyriddle tasks may be as obtuse as to tell you make a specific item, but not the specific trait needed or quality level to mark it as complete. Or perhaps, even worse, alchemyriddle will tell you to gather an ingredient but not tell you where it is or that it's actually a rare drop. To say the alchemyriddle progression structure can be quite annoying at times, especially with some of the optional tasks (but not really), is putting it lightly. The fundamental issues with the disjointed alchemyriddle progression would be less glaring if Atelier Lulua excelled in different areas such as the combat, alchemy, nostalgic callbacks to the previous games, or dare I say it, even presentation to compensate for it. Alas, Atelier Lulua's never really latches onto any one specialty to be better than the sum or its parts. For instance, the turn-based combat system borrows bits and pieces from recent games, like item based follow-up attacks, and in doing so may very well have made the one with the least amount of change I've seen in a decade or so of playing the series. An eerily similar approach is applied to the crafting system where, while totally functional, lacks any addictive or unique hook to stand out from any of the previous games and can very much feel like one is going through the same motions just with a different heroine behind it. And because the gameplay is, pun intended, riddled with so many flaws, Atelier Lulua's last resort is more or less to coast on the charm of its characters and Arland setting. As stated before, however, Lulua is a genuinely likable to the point where she is a surprisingly natural fit even as iconic Arland characters like Rorona and Totori are on-screen at the same time. Where these often endearing interactions between her and the cast start to lose a lot of their luster is when the laughable contrived main story starts to go into effect which is roughly halfway through. Basically, without stating it directly, the game focuses heavily on one specific side character that ironically does not earn the narrative weight that is put forth upon them. To make the primary storytelling all the more silly (despite how straight-faced it presents it), the title straight hand waves things like time travel to abruptly resolve the conflict it introduces. Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland frequently feels like a title of mistaken identity. Sure, it has some likable character interactions and returns to the series fan-favorite setting of Arland once more, but nearly all other aspects of it as a game ring hollow. Whether it be borrowing questionable gameplay elements from recent Atelier games (rather than previous Arland ones), such as the frequent progression stopgap that is "alchemyriddle", to a discordant shift in storytelling halfway through that could not be more contrived, it may leave even the most seasoned Atelier fan scratching their head at times wondering who the game intends to please, because it certainly was not me. Pros + Very likable main heroine that generally radiates positivity + Makes a lot of nods towards previous Arland games from familiar aged up characters to neat musical remixes + Lack of any actual time limit (especially when compared to previous Arland titles) can make the gameplay fairly stress free overall Cons - "AlchemyRiddle" heavily restricts the game's pacing from story progress to alchemy recipe options which is quite annoying - Bland, lifeless environments - Main story gets laughably contrived right at the end - Some glaring playable character omissions (two or which are behind very expensive season passes) Overall Score: 5.5 (out of 10) Average Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland revisits the old fan-favorite Arland setting with likable characters both old and new, but without the solid gameplay structure backbone to hold it up it can easily leave seasoned fans wondering why they even bothered in the first place Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable PS4 code provided by the publisher.
  6. Have you ever wanted to experience the thrill of moving without actually having to do it in real life? Now you can with Team17's and SMG Studio's upcoming, zany, co-op focused game, Moving Out, which is set to release on April 28. Moving Out recalls the same fast and frantic vibes from games such as Overcooked, except, instead of cooking, you'll coordinate with one or more players as Furniture Arrangement & Relocation Technicians (or F.A.R.T.s for short) to help relocate different furnishings from different (and sometimes bizarre) locations. Simply find and determine the quickest route to get something like, say, a fridge to the bottom of a five-story building without breaking it. You can even smash through things like glass or throw things over railings if you can coordinate the receiving end well enough. And if that all sounds too difficult, developers SMG Studio and DevM Games have included a host of assist mode options that let you determine the difficulty or even let you skip levels altogether. Also, you'll have a slew of accessibility options, such as Dyslexia-friendly text, scalable user interface, remappable controls, and much more. Moving Out will be available on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. As of this article's publication, a price has not been made public yet. Source: Press Release
  7. Zelda-like games are a dime dozen these days but Sparklite (from indie developer Merge Games and publisher Red Blue Games) looks to be a cut above the rest with a few things that make it stand out. Part Zelda-like adventure, part rogue-like, and part... crafting-like (?), Sparklite is set in a world where its natural resource (or life force) goes by the same name. Its story focuses on a young heroine named Ada, whose quest is to save the world from an antagonistic, self-named 'Baron' that is seeking to exploit the resource in order to further his own nefarious goals. To do so, you'll explore five procedurally-generated biomes, invent different gadgets and weapons to solve puzzles and defeat enemies, battle giant bosses, and help the local population rebuild The Refuge. Last but not least, all of this will be set to a soundtrack composed by Dale North (of Wizard of Legend fame). If mixing Zelda gameplay, crafting, and a procedurally-generated world sound right up your alley, you can check out Sparklite on the Nintendo Switch eShop, Playstation Store on PlayStation 4, Xbox Games Store on Xbox One, and Steam starting today. The game is also on sale for 15% off on each platform until November 20. Check out the game's launch trailer below! Source: Press Release
  8. Jason Clement

    Review: A Knight's Quest

    Developer: Sky 9 Games Publisher: Curve Digital Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC (via Epic Games Store) Release Date: October 10, 2019 ESRB: T for Teen Note: This review is based on the Nintendo Switch version of the game It’s always a bit surprising to me that we don’t see more games use 3D Zelda titles as a base, given the series’ immense popularity. Sky 9 Games' A Knight’s Quest is one of the first indie titles I’ve seen recently that attempts this and actually gets much closer to replicating the experience (especially the adventure aspect) than most other games have. Unfortunately, there are also a number of aspects that hinder it from living up to its potential. In A Knight’s Quest, you play as Rusty – a clumsy adventurer who unwittingly unleashes an unknown, presumably malevolent force that has been sealed away. In order to fight this evil, Rusty is tasked with seeking out four spirit heroes and their powers, which in turn means going on a journey to find each one in their own dungeon. The story isn’t necessarily the most original ever, but it works for setting the game in motion. Likewise, the dialogue often aims for funny and nonsensical, but is hit and miss. This is mostly due to just about every character being written with a combination of snarky/sarcastic wit and internet meme culture; kind of like that awkward friend who tries to be funny by repeating outdated internet memes and jokes. In the end, the character dialogue comes off as more of a first draft and could use a bit more refinement. The game takes a good half hour to really get going, but once it does, its world shows off impressive potential. Though it isn’t the open-ended, interconnected wilderness featured in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, it’s apparent the developers took a lot of inspiration from it. There are many large, detailed areas for you to explore with treasure chests and other loot off the beaten path, skeletons at campfires, different enemies littering the landscape, and sidequests you can undertake from certain characters you come across in your travels. In fact, the design of the world and its various areas is perhaps the most impressive and compelling aspect of the game. Not only is it appealing from a visual standpoint, many of the areas are massive in size and can take 20+ minutes or more to traverse for first-time players, adding to the feeling that you’re on a long journey. There is also an oddly satisfying ‘Zelda meets Mario’ aspect to the gameplay, where it incorporates a lot of 3D platforming and vertical exploration in certain areas, giving the game a bit more of a unique flavor in contrast to typical adventure games. Likewise, the soundtrack composed by Will Bedford is excellent and evokes a real sense of adventure and wonder. The overworld theme has a heroic melody reminiscent of the Hyrule Field theme from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and the Desert Proving Grounds theme is a real symphonic highlight, featuring an eclectic mix of strings, horns, flutes, and different kinds of unique percussion (such as bells). Unfortunately, that’s just about where the games’ good qualities stop. While the world is expansive and looks great, the actual characters look rather bland and mediocre. The enemy design is much more miss than hit, consisting of such things as generic, one-eyed snake creatures, generic skeletons with swords, scorpions, and other creatures that just aren’t that original or interesting. Making matters even worse is that they all use the same two or three sound effects, making them even more irritating. Perhaps the biggest issue of all is the combat and controls. For the most part, combat works just enough that you can get through the game, but it’s uneven and loose at best. Where it gets a bit dicey is when you face multiple enemies at once. There’s at least one major instance in the story where you’ll be faced with this scenario; however, you’ll realize that the battle system is largely designed around you fighting one enemy at a time. So while you’re attacking one, the rest are still doing (sometimes major) damage to you, and it’s impossible to dodge every attack. There are certain items (such as bombs) designed to attack large groups, but they’re not terribly effective, and the few multi-enemy attacks you have are not super viable because of how long they take to perform (you must wait and charge a few seconds before unleashing them). The flow of battle also simply isn’t fast enough for you to fight large groups of enemies evenly, leading Rusty to slowly fight one enemy and clumsily move to the next. Beyond that, a number of standard quality of life features that are generally present in games like this are either simply missing in this one, or not implemented as effectively as they should be. One major issue is there are no maps of each area beyond a simple, illustrated overworld map in your sub-menu. There’s a compass at the top of the screen that will show you which direction your objective is in, but it’s not 100% foolproof and can sometimes misguide you. Also, fast travel is something that’s implemented fairly early on in many games, yet you don’t even get access to it in the first half of this game even though you pass by many fast-travel stations (that you can't yet access) in your travels, forcing you to sometimes retrace your steps through long, winding areas. There’s also no way to sell off any loot you acquire early on, as well as no meaningful way to buy items (especially health-recovering ones) until the second major area you get to. This leads to another issue in that you simply don’t have enough inventory storage slots in the beginning, and thus no way to store some of the more valuable items you come across when you run out of room. And last but not least, there were a number of clipping issues I faced. In one area, my character simply stopped responding to any control input and I had to restart the game entirely to continue, and in yet other areas I would clip through the wall or floor and die instantly. Despite the negatives, I still had fun throughout the game, and there’s a lot to admire about A Knight’s Quest. Its world is one of the most impressive I’ve ever seen created by an indie team. The soundtrack is also exceptional and could easily be mistaken for a AAA title's score. Even much of the gameplay (especially dungeons) and main quest itself is pretty fun and compelling. There’s arguably a good game beneath a rough exterior here; if the game had another half a year or more of polish, I might’ve been able to call this a pretty good game. As it currently is, the negative aspects drag a good experience down to just a decent one at best. Pros + Large, impressive world with lots of sidequests and ripe for exploration + Soundtrack is great + Dungeons are surprisingly fun and capture a bit of the Zelda magic Cons - Issues with the fluidity of combat; fighting large groups is incredibly difficult and not really fair for players - Lack of standard quality of life features (especially early on) that would make the game much better and a lot more pleasant to play - Character and enemy models are a bit bland in design - Infrequent clipping issues at various points Overall Score: 6.5 (out of 10) Decent An impressive world (both visually and in design) and epic musical score are undermined by a number of issues plaguing gameplay as well as a lack of standard quality of life features, causing this Zelda-like title to be just a decent adventure at best for those brave enough to overcome its problems. Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable Switch code provided by the publisher.
  9. If you thought you were done with Wargroove after playing through its campaign, think again. Chucklefish announced today that its upcoming DLC, titled Wargroove: Double Trouble, is coming soon and will bring a heap of new features along with it, including a new campaign, all for the low, low price of absolutely free. The new story campaign focuses on the Outlaws faction and introduces new commanders such as the mighty Wulfar; two troublesome twins known as Errol and Orla; and the whip-wielding Vesper -- all of whom will participate in a heist after an unexpected kidnapping and some severe ransom demands. Other things in the new DLC include: 2 new units: Thieves and Riflemen New Arcade missions Competitive online Quick Play maps Public and Private Multiplayer Lobbies – you can now also play custom campaigns online! New Volcano map theme and more updates to the custom Editor tools Outlaw music tracks, composed by Phonetic Hero Editor tool updates Check out Wargroove's website to see updates on the latest balance changes and what the editor tool updates entail. Last but not least, Wargroove: Deluxe Edition (for Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One) will be heading physically to stores on October 29. It will include a physical disc/cart of the game, a downloadable copy of the OST, a commander sprite sticker sheet, a poster map of Aurania (Outlaw version), a mini strategy guide with tips and stats on all in-game units, and a reversible cover sheet. As for the Wargroove: Double Trouble DLC, no release date has been announced yet but Chucklefish says it will be coming soon. Source: Chucklefish
  10. Dragon Quest fans are about to get another dose of the franchise soon as Square Enix announced today that the first three Dragon Quest titles will be making its way to Nintendo Switch later this month. These include Dragon Quest, Dragon Quest II: Luminaries of the Legendary Line, and Dragon Quest III: The Seeds of Salvation -- all three of which make up what is known as the Erdrick Trilogy. Dragon Quest III in particular is largely considered to be one of the best in the series, so be sure to put that one on your radar if you haven't played any of these previously. The three Dragon Quest titles will cost $4.99, $6.49, and $12.49, respectively, and will be available to buy digitally on Nintendo Switch on September 27. Not coincidentally, Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age also releases that day; it's a good time to be a Dragon Quest fan! Source: Press Release
  11. PQube's and JoySteak Studio's Songbird Symphony is out on digital shops this week, and it stars a cute little bird named 'Birb' that sets off on an adventure to discover his heritage. As Birb, you'll move the environment around you by tapping in sync with background beats, solve different puzzles to add new sound queues to the background music, collect feathers to learn more about different birds, and explore interconnected levels with many different passages. Oh, and you'll participate in rhythm battles as well, and with its combination of platforming, rhythm, and puzzles, it definitely looks to be one of the more unique indie titles out this year. If that all sounds good to you, you can check out Songbird Symphony on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC (via Steam) for $16.99. And be sure to check out the trailer below! Source: Press Release
  12. Team17 is no stranger to games based on cooking thanks to publishing Ghost Town Game's mega smash Overcooked! series in recent years, and this week they're introducing a new game from Hermes Interactive that puts a bit of a different spin on the genre called Automachef. Instead of directly controlling the chefs like in the Overcooked! games, Automachef is all about automating the process via machinery. Essentially, it's one part puzzle game and one part resource management, in which you create the ideal layout for your culinary creations. There are three modes to play through: Campaign, Contracts, and Sandbox. Campaign focuses on having the player create efficient kitchens while keeping in mind spatial, energy, and resource management challenges. Contracts mode puts you in the role of a business owner in which you'll manage funds and expand your business. Lastly, Sandbox mode is exactly what it sounds like, letting you roam free and experiment with creating any type of kitchen you'd like. Oh, and if you play the game on PC, you'll have the option to use Steam Workshop to create your own recipes, ingredients, and levels. Automachef is available to buy digitally right now on Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam for £10.99/14,99€/$14.99. Check out the launch trailer for the game below! Source: Press Release
  13. Over the weekend, Bandai Namco announced at Anime Expo that a pair of Digimon titles would be heading to the Nintendo Switch later this year -- namely, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth, and its sequel, Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth -- Hacker's Memory. Both will be included in one collection called Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition. The announcement comes as good news for fans of the series since the PlayStation 4 version of Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth (the English version of which originally released in 2016) is now out of print physically and was removed from the PlayStation Store in December 2018. While Bandai Namco's official response as to why it was removed is a bit cagey, it's largely assumed that it was due to the license (which Saban currently owns) ending for that particular title. In any case, fans can look forward to playing Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition when it lands on Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam later this year on October 18. Source: Press Release
  14. Developer: WindThunder Publisher: Winking Entertainment Corp. Platform: Switch, PS4, PC, iOS Release Date: May 23, 2019 ESRB: T Note: This review is based on the Nintendo Switch version of the game The episodic game format is not without its risks. While it can potentially ease the cost of development in creating smaller games released in sequence over a span of time, a lot hinges on the ability to keep the player’s interest for the duration of the full series. If the first episode doesn’t hook the player, they’re not likely to return for the rest. Such is one of the hurdles faced by the action RPG, Heroine Anthem Zero. Heroine Anthem Zero: Episode 1, or Heroine Anthem Zero: Sacrifice, is the first chapter of a prequel to the original Heroine Anthem: The Elect of Wassernixe and Heroine Anthem II: The Angel of Sarem, which released back in 2002 and 2003, respectively. As both of those games are rather old and obscure, it’s fortunate that Heroine Anthem Zero is set thousands of years prior, and thus requires no knowledge of the originals. Episode 1 features the story of Wanin, a young warrior of the Norse-inspired Uzato tribe that works as a Forest Keeper, patrolling the forest near his hometown for danger. He’s accompanied for the duration of the game by the fairy, Mormolia, who assists him in his duties. Most of the game follows the perspective of this pair, who are entertaining, if simplistic, in their writing. Wanin is a brave, capable warrior that cares for his sister, Naire, who has been chosen to serve as the maiden of an important ceremony in a neighboring land, though he’s also somewhat oblivious and foolhardy. The more perceptive Mormolia, on the other hand, is quick to anger, often insults Wanin for his obliviousness, and loves to drink. Unfortunately, there’s not much else to say about the story, as the main plot beats serve as apparent set-up for what comes, I presume, in Episode 2. And despite the short length, it does not feel particularly well-paced. Large amounts of story and exposition take precedence in the first few hours before turning the focus almost exclusively to gameplay broken up with smaller, lighter story beats for the remainder of the experience. To its credit, the game has some interesting lore. Story sequences are enhanced with great character art, as well as painterly illustrations put on display when characters speak of the myths, legends, and history of their land. The characters are all voiced in Japanese, and their acting boosts the experience as well. The bigger faults with Heroine Anthem Zero lie with its gameplay. As a side-scrolling action RPG, it generally controls well. Wanin can swing his sword in a basic combo as well as dash, double-jump, and scale vertical walls. But the combat overall is very basic and generally lacking in challenge, even on the standard difficulty. There are some enemies that can only be damaged by charging Wanin’s sword attack, and enemies can be stunned by sending Mormolia at them. Even the final boss, the most challenging encounter in the game, was little more than a battle of attrition. In fact, I didn’t die to any of the bosses in the game. What killed me far more often, and with far more frustration, was the game’s platforming. Relatively early on, the game introduces spiked vines that stretch across sections of the ground, walls, and ceilings. At that point, these vines are the single most damaging thing in the game and will knock off huge chunks of life every time you collide with one. The game also features instant-death bottomless pits, and while some are clearly obvious, such as when hopping across a rickety bridge stretched across a chasm, others very much aren’t. More than once, I hopped down a hole, thinking it might lead down to an underground cave, only to be met with the 'Game Over' screen. And if you die, you’re forced to retry from the last save point you accessed. Another issue comes from the game’s map and fast travel system. The map itself is of little use and does nothing to illustrate the actual landscapes. It simply indicates how sections in the zone you’re currently in are linked together. Once fast travel is unlocked, most save points will feature a character that will freely take you to most any other save point, but only within the same zone that you’re currently in. This means, for example, that it’s not possible to jump straight back to town from the western woods. But even then, there’s no real incentive to actually make use of the fast travel, as the fast travel character also doubles as the shop with all the best healing items and weapons necessary to beat the game. Possibly the most annoying moment in the game came during a dungeon that serves as the home of the few simplistic-but-required puzzles. In a large chamber, there are four switches that need to be pressed in order to open the way forward. Each of these switches are in turn blocked by gates that open via other switches, and these timed gates will close after a few seconds. After clearing all four gates, hitting the switches, and opening the door ahead, I backtracked to the previous chamber and used the save point, only to find on my return that the switches had all reset and the door ahead had closed, forcing me to redo the entire sequence. Having only played the game on the Switch, I have no idea how its technical performance compares to that of other platforms. Originally released in 2016, Episode 1 was published on the PC, PS4, and iOS before it made its way to Nintendo’s console this year. Aspects of some of the game’s menus feel tuned more for touch, though playing on a TV is just fine. The only real hiccup comes in the equipment menu, where there’s a strangely long, noticeable lag while scrolling through weapons or clothing in the inventory. The game also occasionally encounters odd hitches during cutscenes, and even during the end credits as different images are swapped in and out. For the most part, these graphic hitches aren’t that bothersome, but on rarer occasions, I’ve had similar hitching occur during gameplay. I’ve had to abort more than a couple of jump attempts because of an odd pause in the animation, though I can’t blame any of my deaths on this. On a more positive note, the music in Heroine Anthem Zero is a genuine highlight. The soundtrack, composed by Joe Chou, is comprised of some great music that fits the tone of the world and characters. Tonally, it reminded me at points of games like Valkyrie Profile, and even in the game’s most annoying moments, the music was one element that I always appreciated. Heroine Anthem Zero: Episode 1 feels like a mixed bag. I like the characters, the music, the world, and the general sense of the gameplay. But the pacing, platforming, and technical oddities frequently pulled me out of the experience. I can’t say that I didn’t have any fun, but had there been more polish and fewer annoyances, I could have had a lot more. Based on my experience, I wouldn’t rule out playing Episode 2, but I’d hope that it’s an improvement. Pros + Fun artwork and interesting, if simple characters + Great music and entertaining voice acting + Attractive and colorful artwork and graphics + Combat is in general lightweight and not stressful Cons + Odd pacing of story and gameplay + Annoying platforming with high-damage hazards and instant-death pits + Lack of responsiveness in some menus, and the map is near useless + Odd animation hitches occur every once in a while that can throw timing off while platforming Overall Score: 5 (out of 10) Average Heroine Anthem Zero: Episode 1 is a mixed bag with likeable characters, music, world, and general gameplay but is brought down by its pacing, platforming, and technical oddities. Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable code provided by the publisher
  15. One of this year's most anticipated superhero games finally has a release date. Today Nintendo revealed that fans would get the opportunity to play as Marvel's most popular superheroes in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order on July 19, exclusively on Nintendo Switch (through both retail and the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch). The game's story pits Marvel's Finest against the villainous Thanos and his cohort, The Black Order, as they engage in a race to find the Infinity Stones before the latter can use them to unleash chaos on the universe. Along with iconic superhero mainstays like Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Spider-Man, and Wolverine, you'll also be able to play as other characters such as Black Panther, Deadpool, Doctor Strange, and even Spider-Gwen; all of which will have their own unique abilities and power sets. Also, in addition to playing through the story solo, you'll be able to play co-op with friends via local play or online play; the latter of which you'll need an active Nintendo Switch Online membership (which costs $20) in order to use. Despite the title's current exclusivity to Switch, it is currently unknown if this is a timed exclusive or a lifetime deal (Team Ninja is the game's developer). Square Enix's Octopath Traveler was exclusive to Switch upon its release last year but a Steam version of the game was announced recently, so we'll have to wait and see what happens with Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3. Source: Press Release
  16. Nearly a year after the final release of Shantae: Half-Genie Hero – Ultimate Edition, WayForward has announced that Shantae 5 is officially in development and expected to release later this year. No details have been revealed about Shantae's fifth outing just yet – apparently, even the name isn't set in stone yet according to WayForward's official Twitter account. However, the developer did reveal a piece of art and a tentative logo, which can be seen above. Shantae 5 will be released later in 2019 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, and the recently announced Apple Arcade. Speaking of which, WayForward also revealed that a new title called Spidersaurs being developed exclusively for Apple Arcade. Not much is known about this title either aside from the fact that it is an action game being developed by the team that made Contra 4. One of the titular Spidersaurs can be seen in the first piece of art that was released with the logo as well. Spidersaurs is set to launch later this year on Apple Arcade. Source: WayForward (via Twitter - 1, 2)
  17. The classic Data East game Windjammers has had a massive resurgence in popularity in recent years, thanks to Giant Bomb raising awareness of the title during their many gameplay livestreams (you can check out the story behind that in this Waypoint article). So much so, in fact, that publisher DotEmu decided to grab the rights to re-release the original game and even produce a full-blown sequel. And while Windjammers 2 was originally announced in August of last year, we're only just getting our first official look at the gameplay in today's new trailer. Featuring some fast-paced, frenzied disc-flying action, the footage also provides a glimpse at the new players, abilities, and the game's gorgeous, hand-drawn visuals and animations. Check out the new trailer below. Windjammers 2 doesn't have a release date just yet but the game is expected to release in 2019 on Nintendo Switch and PC. Source: Press Release
  18. Many 3DS owners are likely familiar with Gunman Clive, a 2D action game with a Wild West theme that caught worldwide attention after it rose to the top of the Japanese 3DS eShop charts and was noted for its relatively inexpensive price ($1.99 USD) when compared to the game's high quality. The game’s developer, Bertil Hörberg, went on to develop a sequel and, more recently, the Gunman Clive HD Collection, which just released on Switch in January. Now Hörberg has revealed what his next project is, a game called Mechstermination Force. Like the Gunman Clive titles, this is also an action game though this time it has a unique twist: the gameplay is comprised of boss rush fights against giant robots. Hörberg describes it as a “mix of Contra and Shadow of the Colossus” and also mentions that the game is quite a lot bigger than the Gunman Clive titles, adding that this is the first of his projects where he’s hired additional people to help. Mechstermination Force is currently scheduled to release on the Nintendo Switch this Spring. Hörberg recently mentioned that the game has entered lotcheck (one of the last processes before a game releases, which involves certification) so expect a release date soon. Source: Press Release
  19. Though Yacht Club Games originally were planning to release their final Shovel Knight campaign, King of Cards, along with Shovel Knight: Showdown (the multiplayer competitive mode), an amiibo 3-pack (featuring King Knight, Plague Knight, and Specter Knight), and a physical version of Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove (the complete collection of every piece of Shovel Knight content in one package) on April 18, the indie developer has now announced one last delay for all of the content. The reason for this is because the team needs more time to polish off the gameplay and make sure everything is in tip-top shape before they're satisfied with the final result. As for the amiibo, Yacht Club Games mentioned that their functionality is tied to the launch of King of Cards, which means it only makes sense to release them when that campaign is ready to go. Due to all of this, Yacht Club Games is not announcing a new release date until they're certain of it, but insist that the delay should only push the release back several months. Here are a few other interesting tidbits that the team revealed: A new screenshot showcasing King of Cards reveals a brand new side-character named 'Traitorus,' who happens to be King Pridemoor's former advisor. Another King of Cards screen reveals what the world map looks like; quite a bit different from Shovel of Hope's. A new story screenshot shows Specter Knight rushing off to confront The Enchantress. King of Card's levels are shorter than previous Shovel Knight levels but are more numerous (with more than 30). At one point, Yacht Club wasn't sure if King Knight would fit on the 3DS due to his size, but that problem has since been solved. Words of Magic and 8-4 Games have helped translate the game into 9 languages now. In the meantime, stay tuned for a final release date for the rest of Shovel Knight's upcoming content. Source: Yacht Club Games
  20. Nintendo's Shinya Takahashi dropped a bomb on unsuspecting Metroid fans today via a short video on the company's Youtube channel, saying that Metroid Prime 4 would be delayed and its development restarted. Takahashi stated that Nintendo was not satisfied with the current state of the game and that it has "not reached the standards" they seek in a sequel to the Metroid Prime series. Thus, the game is being handed over to the series' former steward, Retro Studios, and development will be restarted. Metroid Prime 4 was previously being worked on by Bandai Namco Singapore. When will we next hear about the game, then? Takahashi stated that "it will be a long road until the next time we [Nintendo] will be able to update you on the development progress," indicating that it could be years. The last new game Retro Studios completed was Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze in 2014, and it took about 3.5 years for that game to be finished after its predecessor, Donkey Kong Country Returns, released in late 2010. Considering Retro's average timetable for developing games, then, it seems likely that we may not see Metroid Prime 4 until 2022 at the earliest, especially if all previous development is completely scrapped. Former Retro Games Environment Artist Eric Kozlowsky revealed on Twitter that the company's former project may not be in production anymore if the studio has now taken on Metroid Prime 4 unless there are now two development teams. Retro had been rumored to be working on a racing title called Star Fox: Grand Prix, though the game had not yet officially been announced. In the meantime, legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto's famous words come to mind: "A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is bad forever." Source: Nintendo (via Youtube)
  21. Digital versions of Nintendo's games seem to be showing up in more and more places for purchase these days and, as of today, Humble Bundle can now be adding to that growing list. Right now the selection features a mix of 40 different Switch and 3DS titles, from recent games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and the Pokemon: Let's Go titles to even Virtual Console titles like Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda. All titles are selling at their full MSRP, and none qualify for charity contributions either. Nintendo titles are eligible for the $5 discount you get with Humble Bundle monthly subscriptions, but beyond that, there doesn't appear to be much of a difference from any other retail store (online or brick and mortar). Humble Bundle has not stated whether third-party and indie Switch and 3DS titles will be offered at some point, so hopefully we'll hear more regarding that sooner versus later. Source: Humble Bundle
  22. Fans of niche Japanese games publisher NIS America might be aware that the company had announced a console port of RPG Maker MV for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in 2019. Unfortunately, it looks like you won't be getting your hands on it anytime in the next few months. NIS America announced today that it is delaying the title due to ongoing issues with the development and that it won't release until later in 2019 now. No details have been given regarding the development issues, but suffice to say that porting a game to consoles isn't always a clear cut process. RPG Maker MV originally released on PC back in 2015 and features the ability to upload and share your RPG creations with others. This new console version is slated to have twice as many assets, including brand-new voices, music, and lyrics; making it the most comprehensive version of RPG Maker to date. We'll be sure to update you on a new release date as soon as it's announced. Source: Press Release
  23. Harrison Lee

    Review: Flipping Death

    Developer: Zoink Games Publisher: Zoink Games Platform: Switch, PC, PS4, Xbox One Release Date: August 7, 2018 ESRB: T for Teen Note: This review is based on the Nintendo Switch version of the game Flipping Death is developer Zoink’s newest foray into side-scrolling cartoon adventure games. Those who recall Stick It to the Man! are likely aware of the studio’s penchant for oddball humor and situational comedy. Flipping Death follows in its spiritual predecessor’s footsteps, adopting a similar tone and art-style. Does it do enough to stand out from Zoink’s growing library, or will you be left flipping Death off? Players inhabit the mind of Penny Doewood, a recently-deceased young woman with a love of the macabre and all things Halloween. Death, however, is not the end for our dear protagonist. The scene literally flips to a place called the Otherside, where ghosts, restless souls, and all manner of strange creatures exist. Penny awakens in this alien, yet familiar, parallel world and immediately earns a job from Death himself. It seems the Grim Reaper is tired of constantly taking lives, and craves a quiet vacation to the Moon where there’s nothing but blissful, peaceful solitude. Flipping Death tasks Penny with solving the various crises of restless souls all across the Otherside. From a ship captain who got caught cheating because of his boat’s name to vivisected superhumans craving revenge, the offbeat cast of quirky characters provides much of Flipping Death’s charm. To help the ghosts reach a satisfying rest, Penny must possess the bodies of the living on the other side of her new world. While inhabiting a living host, Penny gains access to whatever abilities that person has. Each of these abilities is crucial to solving Flipping Death’s bevy of environmental puzzles, but can also be used to complete side objectives that reward character art cards. The perspective shift can be a bit jarring at first, but you’ll grow accustomed to it as time goes on. What you may struggle to come to grips with are the platforming mechanics, which feel a bit loose at the best of times. The Switch’s small controller nubs only make the lack of precision all the more noticeable, though it likely won’t impede your progress that much. Using ghost Penny’s scythe to teleport and capture souls in order to possess the living takes some getting used to, but the controls eventually become second-nature. Flipping Death isn’t terribly difficult, but a few of the environmental clues and the sequence of characters needed to complete the puzzles may stump you once or twice. The game encourages a trial-and-error approach, though you may find yourself possessing characters out of order. Unfortunately, I did run into a bug that did not let one of the characters I possessed leave his office-space, forcing me to reload the level. The rest of the experience was largely error-free and enjoyable. Like Stick It to the Man!, Flipping Death’s visual presentation is wholly unique and engrossing. The cartoon-esque world is vibrant and full of teeming, creepy things scuttling in the backgrounds. Character models are well-designed and fully-voiced, lending a good deal of strong production value to the whole experience. The Switch port does seem to suffer some minor input lag and dropped frames every now and then, but it’s to be expected given the hardware. This is, by and large, a well-executed version of the game that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. I missed out on Stick It to the Man!, but Flipping Death is a great introduction to Zoink’s zany brand of humor. The writing is consistently strong, even featuring some genuine warmth amid the gut laughs. A few odd bugs here and there and some occasionally frustrating platforming mechanics mar an otherwise-strong game, but that shouldn’t deter you from wearing Death’s mantle once again. With the Halloween season nearly upon us, there’s no better time to get spooky and take a trip to the Otherside. Pros + Well-written and genuinely funny + Beautiful art style and great audio production + Fun puzzles and a vibrant game-world Cons - A little buggy at points - Platforming on the Switch can be hit or miss Overall Score: 7.5 (out of 10) Good Flipping Death is a brief, but very enjoyable journey through the spirit world. Its puzzles, artistic vision, and sense of humor are all on point. You’d do well to give this macabre world a look. Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable code provided by the publisher
  24. Happy Thursday, everyone! Come swing by the #Twitch stream and enjoy another night of #MarioKart8 and chill jams. It's gonna be a morphenomenal night! ROYZYABOY! https://www.twitch.tv/royzoga123
  25. Time to race fast and play some chill tunes! Come hang out on the #Twitch stream and watch some more #MarioKart8! It's going to be a morphenomenal night. ROYZYABOY! https://www.twitch.tv/royzoga123
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