Friday, June 22, 2018

Nintendo Direct: E3 2018 - Not-so-live Impressions

So, back to just Nintendo this year - as much as I had fun going over the last couple of Microfoft conferences (No, really!), man, what do you say about Halo, Forza, Gears, Crackdown, We Happy Few etc. for the third year running, especially having not played a single second of any of them in the meantime? Maybe some of the acquisitions they announced this year will throw up some excitement in the future. For now though we've got Gears Pops! and a Battletoads logo. "Exceptional creativity in gaming" indeed, Phil. :)

But hey, Nintendo! So, obviously, Smash is going to be the big game of their E3 this year. Metroid Prime 4 probably going to feature pretty prominently here too; possibly a Bayonetta 3 teaser in there somewhere. But, there's no need for speculation. I'm here to lay down exactly what's about to go down. Oh you know it, it's time for..


1.) Ridley in Smash - *sigh* As lame as Ridley will undoubtedly be in Smash. - Fight me, fanboys! - I suspect this is inevitable this time. The demand has been deafening since freakin' Melee, and with Metroid Prime 4 on the horizon, it'd make for a nice tie-in - possibly even an amiibo with cross-game functionality. Yeah, it's happening.
2.) Simon Belmont in Smash - With Konami making a couple of moves Castlevania-wise lately, and long-standing fan demand here too, I think he has a pretty good shot at getting in this time.
3.) Metroid Prime 4 is a giant monkey's paw! - I really don't want this to come true, but man, when I think of Star Fox Zero and the unnecessary touch screen stuff, I can't help but fear that Nintendo will, in the interests of innovation, and not wanting to repeat themselves, make some bizarre decision with MP4, probably control-wise, swearing up and down until release date that 'no, when you play it like this, it's actually so much better'. And it wont be! It'll be the absolute biggest bummer imaginable.
4.) Final Fantasy...something - Sure, Square has been doing it's old school RPG thing on the Switch, but with it's current level of success I think they'll feel confident to anoint it with some kind of Final Fantasy announcement - maybe even a new Switch exclusive. I'm envisioning a very brief CG trailer, precious few details and absolutely no further updates for at least two years. So, you know, every S-E announcement.
5.) Star Fox Racing isn't a thing - The appearance of Star Fox in Starlink at the Ubi conference has made me slightly iffy about this. After Star Fox Zero, I kind of expected the Star Fox crew to be put into hiding for a while for a while, but, hey, maybe Nintendo isn't done with them quite yet. I don't know though, like Pokemon Stars before it - also confirmed by 'insider' sources I'm pretty sure (certainly not Googling it) - this kind of reeks of BS. And if not, I'm going to be super, super bummed because this just sounds like the worst thing in the world. Basically "eff you F-Zero, Star Fox and Retro fans. Check out this trash fire!"
6.) Fire Emblem - Quite a big franchise now for Nintendo, and it fees like about the time to announce the first Switch installment.
7.) A Project Zero/Fatal Frame collection - Kind of reaching with this one, and this may not be the venue, and it might not be a collection, but I think there's a decent chance we'll see the PJ games made under Nintendo's tenure at least given a second shake on the Switch.
8.) Soul Calibur 6 - It won't be as pretty, but with the Switch doing well, I think they'll find a way. Maybe even Tekken 6 too.
9.) At least one new Ubisoft announcement - I'm tempted to say a Switch-tailored Assassin's Creed, but that series has become such a monster in terms of dev talent needed, I can't really see it happening. Nintendo and Ubi have had a pretty good relationship for the last few generations. We've had Mario + Rabbids, which, with the Mario brand to help it along, I think was a tentative step onto the Switch for Ubi after the Wii U failed to deliver. With the Switch doing pretty well now, I suspect they'll be confident enough to announce a project or two outside of Just Dance and Rabbids.
10.) N64 Classic - It mightn't be shown during this, but with Nintendo renewing the N64 trademarks recently just like they did with the SNES ones last year, there's a very good chance this is on the way. Expecting a mostly first-party dominated line-up though. I'm sure Microsoft would take a slice of the profits in exchange for Rare's catalog, if Nintendo was interested, but you know they won't be.

So, let's get to it!

00:22 - Okay? Looks like some kind of mech fighting game, maybe.

00:24 - Guessing this is based on some, at least, semi-famous license give how this guy's being framed here. There are probably like, anime fans screaming in delight at what they're witnessing here. I've got nothing.

00:37 - Ooh, I like the look of this. There's a slight flat-shaded Suda-y vibe to it.
00:55 - Wow, this music! :D It's like I've been whisked back to that magical pop culture high point that was the early 00's.

01:33 - Yeah, this looks quite promising - kind of Zone of the Enders-ish combat; cool look. Hopefully you're not listing to this for the duration though, 'cause holy crap!

01:48 - Daemon X Machina. Sure.

02:10 - Looks we're setting up for another Tokyo RPG Factory joint now.
02:26 - Or not. I may still not have played any of them but 'Aegis' is definitely a Xenoblade thing. (In my defense, I am working my way through Tokyo Mirage Sessions at the moment though. - Eh, what can I say, j-pop teens > dead-god-based land masses.)

02:46 - Yep, definitely Xenoblade. DLC maybe? They're hardly cranking out another sequel already.

02:56 - Gorgeous-looking landscapes as ever. Maybe someday, I'll stop find excuses not to pay these.

03:51 - Ah, okay. It is DLC.

04:07 - Reggie time. Drink! Hey, no, wait, we're not doing that this year. Put it down!

04:18 - Whoa, I'd legitimately forgotten that you can use the joycons turned on their sides as controllers. :D Maybe I'm just not attending enough rooftop parties. Also: what's going on with that Game Boy shrine at the side of the TV? There's like, an original Game Boy box, a giant, fake Game Boy Color, and an actual Game Boy Color, on a pedestal??

Friday, May 25, 2018

Nintendo Direct 08/03/18: Extremely Not-so-live Impressions

It's uncharted territory, friends. 1.) I finally picked up a Switch - more on that later during one of the really boring (i.e. 3DS parts) of this :p and 2.) Holy shit, everything is on fire here at the moment: my internet's been off and on, and even worse than usual for the last week; meanwhile my PC is on its last legs. I'm running off an Ubuntu partition that's still working, for now, with a copy of the Direct I downloaded earlier, while I could. This whole thing's being held together with sticky tape and could break, irreversibly, at any second. Well, what are we waiting for?

00:38 - Oof. 3DS first. So about the Switch... :D

00:49 - Ah, A WarioWare collection. Great to see that they haven't completely given up on the series. But come on, put this out on the Switch too at least.
01:04 - There are new micro games? *sigh* Fine, I guess I'll pick this up. But I won't be happy about playing on the 3DS. Not even slightly!

01:08 - "Press buttons" Finally!

01:12 - Oh, right! I guess if they're collecting micro games from Touched, those might not work as well on the Switch maybe, making a 3DS-only release a bit more justifiable. I guess.
01:24 - I always dig crazy action, Voice-over Guy. I'll be the one to decide whether it's hot or not.
01:38 - July 27th. Well you certainly can't argue that the 3DS hasn't had some longevity.

01:46 - Dillon's Dead-Heat Breakers. Hmm, I'm pretty sure I bought Dillon's Rolling Western during a sale, sight unseen. Still haven't touched it - big surprise - so for all I know, it could well be a racing game and this is just a sequel. Or maybe this is the DK: Barrel Blast of the series. (Actually, I just thinking about that game the other night. I'm oddly curious about it. I feel like I'm coming dangerously close to picking up a copy.)

01:54 - Wait, it's not a racing at all then. Action-meets-tower-defense? Yeah, probably not for me.

02:05 - Miis, really? In 2018? Look at the Switch UI: even Nintendo doesn't care about Miis anymore!
02:15 - Speaking of the Switch, let's get into it a bit because this is boring as all get out.

So picked one up a couple of weeks ago, used, but in good shape for €215 and a bunch of traded-in junk - not bad. Only played an hour or so of Mario Odyssey so far, and it's awesome - looks great, controls beautifully, and the soundtrack is excellent - which makes me feel much better about blind buying the Japanese 4-disc version as soon as the pre-orders went up a few months ago. :D Controller-wise I've only used the joycons in the grip so far. The HD rumble feels pretty good, but I'm not really liking how small the joycon grip feels, so I've got a Pro Controller on the way. Outside of Mario, the only other thing I've had a look at so far is the UI, which sadly, is just as joyless and spartan as it always seemed anytime I've seen glimpses of it online, looking almost like a placeholder set-up until they patch in the real one. Well, it's been a year; I wouldn't hold out hope. It's a far cry from the days of jaunty shop channel tunes and wandering Miis. On the other hand, the insidious chirping of the Wii U Mii Plaza is also gone, so maybe not all bad. :D

02:47 - Hm, a Bowser's Inside Story remake. Much as I'm apathetic towards the Mario & Luigi series, this is the one I've always wanted to check out. Bowser in a featured RPG role is usually a pretty good time. That Bowser Jr. side story you can keep though.

03:39 - 2019! For real?! The 3DS just will not die.
03:50 - Detective Pikachu. You know, I not sure if I know what this game even is.

03:58 - ...but I'd be 100% more down with it if they'd actually gone and gotten Danny DeVito to voice Pikachu. This is gruffer than I would have expected, but no substitute for the real deal.

04:41 - Urgh, not into that Detective Pikachu amiibo at all. There's something about it pulling a human pose that really weirds me out.

04:50 - Uh, what? They're remaking the first Luigi's Mansion for the 3DS?..... But why?

04:57 - Yep, there it is! Looks about on par with the GameCube version. I guess with the Dark Moon tech already available, and the release calender of a system that you staunchly refuse to kill off to fill out, this makes some sense. Can't see myself picking this up, but hey, maybe they'll finally do a Luigi's Mansion amiibo to put out alongside it. (Have to say, this coming out on the 3DS probably doesn't bode well for that rumored Gamecube Virtual Console coming to Switch.)

05:42 - Yikes, that baby ghost's screams were ear shattering! I remember my Mom super not being into them at the time. :D

05:51 - Any amiibo though?
05:55 - Nope! Throw this remake in the trash.

06:18 - On to the Switch stuff. I should try out that Kirby demo, well if the internet ever gets freakin' fixed that is. :D

06:23 - King Dedede is in a Kirby game? You're right Voice-over Guy, that is a surprise.

06:40 - Damn! This game looks really nice.

07:27 - Oh, Okami. Another Switch port, but I can't get too mad about this one. More people need to play this game. I wonder how they're going to handle the celestial brush in docked mode. I might be wrong, but I don't think we've see the joycons being used to control a pointer in-game yet. This could be a first.

08:03 - And there it is! Plus, a touch screen brush in handheld mode. So, Mario Maker could totally work on the Switch then. Now where is is, Nintendo?!

08:21 - (Boy, I bet any newcomers are going to be disappointed when they find that what "awaits at your journey's end" is a giant ball. That you fight. (In space, maybe? It's been ten years.)

08:37 - Sushi Striker? I want to say this came out on 3DS already.
09:10 - I don't know, this might be fun. Looks kind of like a competitive puzzle game.

09:24 - Oh, maybe it was just shown on one of these for the 3DS before. No cross play for a simple game like this? Get excited for that upcoming Nintendo online service, everyone!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Nintendo Direct 01/11/18: Not-so-live Impressions

Wait, what? We're just announcing that Nintendo Directs have already happened via email now - emails that spoil FREAKING EVERYTHING!!? Not even a full Direct, but a Mini??? And I thought I was upset seeing that Chibi-Robo amiibo being set ablaze on Twitter yesterday:

Hoo boy. This is what watching snuff must be like.

Hey, it's all spoiled, but I guess, let's take a look anyway? Damn it, Nintendo!!

  • 00:13 - Oh, what? No Koizumi even. Just Annoying Voice-over Guy. This sucks. :D

  • 00:22 - A Nintendo DS classic? Huh, well I guess they didn't spoil EVERYTHING in the email. The World Ends with You, maybe? I've always wanted to give that a try.

  • 00:32 - Oh shit! I'm right.

  • 00:45 - This is great. As a renowned portable hater, remaking DS games for the Switch is something I can very much get behind. This came out TEN YEARS AGO though? Holy crap, I'm old!

  • 00:59 - I was a little worried about graphics given they were only showing the game inside a frame up to now, but this actually looks pretty good.
  • 01:07 - Oh? A rare Switch touch-screen game. Regular controls too, so big screen TWEWY here we go!

  • 01:22 - 2018. Cool!

  • 01:28 - New Pokk√©n fighters. Who could care? :D Oh wait, hold on a sec; they've dropped the headlines list from this Direct. I won't have to be looking off-screen at random stuff to avoid spoilers any more. Hooray!
  • 01:30 - In fairness though, they did still spoil a ton of announcements in that announcement email, but I guess they're learning. Maybe?

  • 02:20 - Remember kids, this DLC is totally not a season pass. You just pay for it up front, and then it gets released in 'waves', alright? (At least they're being very upfront here though about what this season pass actually includes, unlike Breath of the Wild.)

  • 02:26 - A Dragon Quest Builders demo - another demo I'd actually download if I could. I'm still Switchless right now though. That Bayonetta 3 announcement at The Game Awards certainly moved the needle a little on that, but I'm still holding out for a better deal at the moment.

  • 02:40 - New copy abilities for Kirby? Oh boy! Please explain them all to me in excruciating detail. (Oh, I'm sure this game will be fun, but come on...)

  • 02:46 - Big fan of Kirby's Noddy Holder hat here.

  • 03:43 - A Hyrule Warriors port for the Switch. And there I was predicting back at E3 that Wii U ports were just about done. This is more than all you Wii U haters; all you casuals deserve! :D

  • 03:53 - Hell yeah, Linkle! Have to say though: the graphics here not looking especially polished-up from the Wii U; not in the slightest actually.

  • 04:16 - Breath of the Wild outfits too; along with all the DLC. This is a pretty nice package for anyone who hasn't played this yet. It's a pretty fun game. Maybe it helped that I hadn't played any Warriors games previously, and the Zelda setting certainly contributed too, but I had a blast with this.

  • 04:34 - Mario Tennis Aces. Hmm, hard to get too excited for another one given how Ultra Smash, and the last few Mario Sports games in general turned out, but who knows, maybe this will be the one to buck the trend.

  • 04:51 - I don't know This looks a lot like Ultra Smash though. Where's all the fun Mushroom Kingdom stuff?

  • 05:05 - Okay, now this is what I'm talking about! Story mode too? You have my attention, Nintendo.

  • 05:17 - Spring? Wow, they've been working on this one on the quiet for a while. Camelot back again judging by the copyright up there.

  • 05:33 - Ys VIII. These games are supposed to be really great. I have a bunch of them on Steam, of course. Unplayed, naturally.

  • 06:20 - Yikes! We're still doing this Japan, huh?

  • 06:40 - Luigi's Balloon World - well, that sure sounds like a realm of nightmares. Do go on.