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Found 54 results

  1. Spoiler alert: Both machines rely on emulating games made for other consoles and handhelds. Soulja Boy has taken it upon himself to enter the console business by launching two new pieces of hardware with his name attached. Under the brand SouljaGame, the rapper released the SouljaGame Console and the SouljaGame Handheld, both of which seem to be part of a larger effort on his part to put together a line of branded products that includes the SouljaWatch, SouljaPad, SouljaPhone, and SouljaPods. While certainly an interesting business move, observers have noted the similarity all of the products bear to high profile knock-off electronics that can be found on services like Wish or Alibaba. Compare the SouljaGame Console on the left to the Product X PRO 4K Video Game Console found on Alibaba The reliance on emulation stands out as perhaps the most shocking part about the launch of these devices. The SouljaGame Console comes packaged with 800 console titles and promises to play games intended for SouljaGame, PlayStation, NeoGeo, PC, Sega, Game Boy Advance, and NES games. The console also claims to be capable of outputting 4K resolutions. Meanwhile, the SouljaGame Handheld comes stocked with 3,000 titles and claims to play games intended for Nintendo Switch, 3DS, PlayStation Vita, NeoGeo, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advanced. Setting aside the dubiously legal nature of emulation as an explicit purpose for a commercial product, the console itself seems to be a slightly repackaged version of the Product X PRO 4K Video Game Console. Both share almost exactly the same specs, right down to the built-in library of 800 games and the support of TF memory cards up to 32gb in size. Both consoles even make use of controllers that appear to be wholesale ripoffs of PlayStation's controller designs. As for the SouljaGame Handheld, it's even more of a mystery. The handheld's massive library seems to be an eclectic grab-bag of titles with the games advertised on it ranging from something that looks like an Incredibles game from the Game Boy Advance, an untranslated Pokemon game, Golden Sun, Sonic Racing, and more. It also claims to have download support and the ability to play games on the handheld on the television via a "connerting cable." The device seems like it can also play videos as it boasts MKV and AVI file support. Honestly, I don't know what to make of this. I don't think I could recommend anyone go out of their way to buy either of these machines, but I also can't deny that I have a morbid curiosity that makes me want to experiment with this strange collection of devices. On the other hand, with the recent revelation that Sony's PlayStation Classic runs on emulation, boasts fewer games, and is easily hacked, maybe there's a market for a dedicated emulation machine with a much larger library? What do you think of Soulja Boy's ambitious foray into the console and handheld markets? Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  2. Spoiler alert: Both machines rely on emulating games made for other consoles and handhelds. Soulja Boy has taken it upon himself to enter the console business by launching two new pieces of hardware with his name attached. Under the brand SouljaGame, the rapper released the SouljaGame Console and the SouljaGame Handheld, both of which seem to be part of a larger effort on his part to put together a line of branded products that includes the SouljaWatch, SouljaPad, SouljaPhone, and SouljaPods. While certainly an interesting business move, observers have noted the similarity all of the products bear to high profile knock-off electronics that can be found on services like Wish or Alibaba. Compare the SouljaGame Console on the left to the Product X PRO 4K Video Game Console found on Alibaba The reliance on emulation stands out as perhaps the most shocking part about the launch of these devices. The SouljaGame Console comes packaged with 800 console titles and promises to play games intended for SouljaGame, PlayStation, NeoGeo, PC, Sega, Game Boy Advance, and NES games. The console also claims to be capable of outputting 4K resolutions. Meanwhile, the SouljaGame Handheld comes stocked with 3,000 titles and claims to play games intended for Nintendo Switch, 3DS, PlayStation Vita, NeoGeo, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advanced. Setting aside the dubiously legal nature of emulation as an explicit purpose for a commercial product, the console itself seems to be a slightly repackaged version of the Product X PRO 4K Video Game Console. Both share almost exactly the same specs, right down to the built-in library of 800 games and the support of TF memory cards up to 32gb in size. Both consoles even make use of controllers that appear to be wholesale ripoffs of PlayStation's controller designs. As for the SouljaGame Handheld, it's even more of a mystery. The handheld's massive library seems to be an eclectic grab-bag of titles with the games advertised on it ranging from something that looks like an Incredibles game from the Game Boy Advance, an untranslated Pokemon game, Golden Sun, Sonic Racing, and more. It also claims to have download support and the ability to play games on the handheld on the television via a "connerting cable." The device seems like it can also play videos as it boasts MKV and AVI file support. Honestly, I don't know what to make of this. I don't think I could recommend anyone go out of their way to buy either of these machines, but I also can't deny that I have a morbid curiosity that makes me want to experiment with this strange collection of devices. On the other hand, with the recent revelation that Sony's PlayStation Classic runs on emulation, boasts fewer games, and is easily hacked, maybe there's a market for a dedicated emulation machine with a much larger library? What do you think of Soulja Boy's ambitious foray into the console and handheld markets? Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  3. Jack Gardner

    Conversing about Collidalot with Grunka Munka

    It can be easy to lose sight of the smaller indie titles with all of the high-profile games releasing as we near the holiday season, but one in particular stands out following its release last Friday: Collidalot. Collidalot is a fast-paced hover car combat game with a heavy emphasis on local multiplayer for up to four people. Players attempt to ram one another off the map or into hazards like spike traps. These vehicles receive a speed boost by riding rails with even higher speeds gained by riding rails painted their particular color. Each vehicle comes with its own special move to help give it the edge needed to pull out a victory. Also, it has a jammin' techno soundtrack that you can listen to for free on the company's SoundCloud page. The story of Seattle-based Grunka Munka Games begins with most of the team still in college where they worked together on a project called "The Enragement Ring." Even in an unpolished state, it gained attention from professors and it wound up making a circuit around the Seattle game dev scene where it won the Audience Choice award at both Seattle Indie Game Competition and Intel Game Developer Showcase among several other nominations and distinctions. All of that buzz landed the team at Grunka Munka on Nintendo's radar and after years of work, Collidalot has finally released! I had the opportunity to ask Andrew Ward, the CEO of Grunka Munka Games, some questions about Collidalot and he was gracious enough to provide some insightful looks into the world of scrappy game dev and shipping a studio's first game. --- What were some of the ideas for games that got bounced around before landing on what would become Collidalot? Originally, the game was intended to be giant spaceships slamming into other ships and knocking them out of the “sumo ring” arena to destroy them. We also wanted the game to be a local multiplayer game. Beyond that, everything we implemented was in an effort to achieve those intentions. We found that it is really boring to fly giant, slow spaceships at each other, especially if there are no projectile weapons, which we didn’t want. We thought that might be better if the ships were small and fast, so we tried it. It was better, but it was so easy to fly out of the map into the emptiness of space. Then we thought about how to add a better sense of control, so we ended up adding energy rails to grind on. This essentially created the first iteration of Collidalot. At what moment did you feel like Collidalot had enough potential to build a gaming studio around it? People seemed to love the first version of the game even though the controls were terrible and the game was slapped together so loosely that it would be a stretch to even call it a demo. It also had a terrible name, “The Enragement Ring”. It was fun though, and definitely unique. That gave us a lot of initial momentum. Most of us were still in school at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment, Seattle, but the excitement around early versions of the game during class got the attention of the staff. The most notable staff member to take note was Peter Huff. He handled most of the event coordination for the school and invited us to join iFEST 2017. Things moved quickly from there. People were asking us if the game was out because they enjoyed it so much at iFEST, even though we didn’t have any menus in the game yet. Someone responsible for helping run another local gaming event, Power of Play, approached us at iFEST and asked us to show the game off there the very next weekend. We went to Power of Play because it was a great opportunity, but we had no idea what to expect. While there, a representative from Nintendo approached us asking if we would be interested in bringing the game to the Wii U. Remember, the game had no menus, little content, and was barely a working prototype. We were still students with more than a year left until graduation. This was the turning point for us. We took this positive momentum and ran with it. No matter how hard it got, we pushed through because we knew this game and this team was on the right track for success and we didn’t want to squander such an opportunity. There aren’t any guns in the game – how did that decision get made and what does that absence of guns bring to Collidalot? The game was supposed to be all about slamming spaceships into each other originally, although that eventually changed to slamming jet-powered hover cars into each other. If you give players guns, that opens up the option to avoid other players and to shoot at them from a distance instead, bypassing our original vision. For this reason, you could say it was initially a design choice to get people to play the game [as it was intended]. We wanted people to be in each other’s face in game and out of game since it was a local multiplayer game, and you don’t really feel that intense connection if you can play without ever going near each other. Later, we realized that having no guns is kind of a big deal for many kids and families - a large portion of our target audience. We want everyone to experience our games and that design decision makes it easier for many families to feel comfortable with Collidalot. What were some of the inspirations for the mechanics behind Collidalot? Inspirations for Collidalot come from every corner of the universe. Warhammer 40K was the biggest one in terms of the concept for the game. Towerfall Ascension is one of our favorite local multiplayer games, so we tried to sneak many of their brilliant design choices into Collidalot in subtle ways. Smash Bros, Splatoon, Mad Max, Tony Hawk, Extreme-G, Kinetica, Star Wars: Episode 1 Racer, and a ton of other sources outside of video games served as inspiration to us. Collidalot seems to have racked up a large number of awards since it began making the indie game circuit – which one has meant the most to the team? The Seattle Indie Game Competition’s People Choice Award 2017 (received at Power of Play 2017), is the award that means the most to us. It was our first major award. It was also the first award we worked towards months before receiving, and it felt incredible to earn it. Receiving that award was not just about us, either. It was about showing the people who have given us so much amazing support that we were not going to let them down; we were going to push ourselves to succeed. Collidalot is Grunka Munka’s first project, what are the biggest learning experiences you’ve had trying to ship this game? There have been so many and they are unique to each person on the team. We had to learn everything from scratch, like how to use the Unity game engine and how to make a game in general. Things that seem simple, like making a player select UI, were difficult because we hadn’t done it before. Most things took research and several iterations, so they took a while. We also had to learn how to form and run a company on top of it all, which added even more chaos into the mix. Then there were things like attending conferences to demo the game, joining competitions, and figuring out how to market the game so people would simply know it exists. Being a game developer is a learning experience that never ends. The Grunka Munka team participates in Extra Life – how did that begin? Why is it important to you all? One of our team members previously interned, and later worked, in the medical field before, during, and after undergrad. He’s always had a tremendous level of respect for the entire industry. That’s where it began. Since we work within a few blocks of Seattle Children’s Hospital (SCH), he quickly started reaching out to SCH and Extra Life about how we can get involved and help. After he joined the team, we started chatting about what we can do to help out and contribute. We all have been gamers since we were young and remember specific games that we loved both then and now. We know that hospitalized kids and their families could always use more reasons to smile and we simply couldn’t stop thinking about how to help. This drove us to get more involved with the Extra Life Seattle Guild, who immediately amplified our ability to spread some gaming happiness with SCH and beyond. We are proud to be a part of the Extra Life Seattle Guild and are incredibly excited for the work we are doing with them right now and will continue to do. What message did you want to send with Collidalot? What do you want people walking away from a session with it to be thinking about? I think everyone on the team has something different they want to say through the games we make. We all agree that moments in life are more special when you can share them with others. Collidalot aims to bring people together so that they can make and share those moments. We also want to show that there are still many amazing, unique things games can do that have never been done and that they are worth making. What sorts of projects is Grunka Munka interested in making in the future? Our goal is to create original ideas and new types of gameplay. Having just launched Collidalot, we are prototyping new ideas and deciding on our next project now. We are definitely interested in expanding concepts from Collidalot beyond its 2d/3d layout. We also have a number of completely different ideas for games we would like to work on. Our main focus will be to create something new and push ourselves creatively. Why do you believe Collidalot should succeed? What’s your best elevator pitch to someone who’s undecided? Because Collidalot is a unique take on the 4-player brawler. There are a lot of games available nowadays and it’s always exciting when there is something new and different to experience. We appreciate when people are a bit confused, yet excited by novel, unique games. Games should incite this and we feel we have captured that feeling. We pitch the game as “Collidalot is Jet-powered destruction derby crossed with high-speed rail grinding”. Basically, think Smash Bros. in jet cars. Collidalot is available now on Nintendo Switch. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  4. It can be easy to lose sight of the smaller indie titles with all of the high-profile games releasing as we near the holiday season, but one in particular stands out following its release last Friday: Collidalot. Collidalot is a fast-paced hover car combat game with a heavy emphasis on local multiplayer for up to four people. Players attempt to ram one another off the map or into hazards like spike traps. These vehicles receive a speed boost by riding rails with even higher speeds gained by riding rails painted their particular color. Each vehicle comes with its own special move to help give it the edge needed to pull out a victory. Also, it has a jammin' techno soundtrack that you can listen to for free on the company's SoundCloud page. The story of Seattle-based Grunka Munka Games begins with most of the team still in college where they worked together on a project called "The Enragement Ring." Even in an unpolished state, it gained attention from professors and it wound up making a circuit around the Seattle game dev scene where it won the Audience Choice award at both Seattle Indie Game Competition and Intel Game Developer Showcase among several other nominations and distinctions. All of that buzz landed the team at Grunka Munka on Nintendo's radar and after years of work, Collidalot has finally released! I had the opportunity to ask Andrew Ward, the CEO of Grunka Munka Games, some questions about Collidalot and he was gracious enough to provide some insightful looks into the world of scrappy game dev and shipping a studio's first game. --- What were some of the ideas for games that got bounced around before landing on what would become Collidalot? Originally, the game was intended to be giant spaceships slamming into other ships and knocking them out of the “sumo ring” arena to destroy them. We also wanted the game to be a local multiplayer game. Beyond that, everything we implemented was in an effort to achieve those intentions. We found that it is really boring to fly giant, slow spaceships at each other, especially if there are no projectile weapons, which we didn’t want. We thought that might be better if the ships were small and fast, so we tried it. It was better, but it was so easy to fly out of the map into the emptiness of space. Then we thought about how to add a better sense of control, so we ended up adding energy rails to grind on. This essentially created the first iteration of Collidalot. At what moment did you feel like Collidalot had enough potential to build a gaming studio around it? People seemed to love the first version of the game even though the controls were terrible and the game was slapped together so loosely that it would be a stretch to even call it a demo. It also had a terrible name, “The Enragement Ring”. It was fun though, and definitely unique. That gave us a lot of initial momentum. Most of us were still in school at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment, Seattle, but the excitement around early versions of the game during class got the attention of the staff. The most notable staff member to take note was Peter Huff. He handled most of the event coordination for the school and invited us to join iFEST 2017. Things moved quickly from there. People were asking us if the game was out because they enjoyed it so much at iFEST, even though we didn’t have any menus in the game yet. Someone responsible for helping run another local gaming event, Power of Play, approached us at iFEST and asked us to show the game off there the very next weekend. We went to Power of Play because it was a great opportunity, but we had no idea what to expect. While there, a representative from Nintendo approached us asking if we would be interested in bringing the game to the Wii U. Remember, the game had no menus, little content, and was barely a working prototype. We were still students with more than a year left until graduation. This was the turning point for us. We took this positive momentum and ran with it. No matter how hard it got, we pushed through because we knew this game and this team was on the right track for success and we didn’t want to squander such an opportunity. There aren’t any guns in the game – how did that decision get made and what does that absence of guns bring to Collidalot? The game was supposed to be all about slamming spaceships into each other originally, although that eventually changed to slamming jet-powered hover cars into each other. If you give players guns, that opens up the option to avoid other players and to shoot at them from a distance instead, bypassing our original vision. For this reason, you could say it was initially a design choice to get people to play the game [as it was intended]. We wanted people to be in each other’s face in game and out of game since it was a local multiplayer game, and you don’t really feel that intense connection if you can play without ever going near each other. Later, we realized that having no guns is kind of a big deal for many kids and families - a large portion of our target audience. We want everyone to experience our games and that design decision makes it easier for many families to feel comfortable with Collidalot. What were some of the inspirations for the mechanics behind Collidalot? Inspirations for Collidalot come from every corner of the universe. Warhammer 40K was the biggest one in terms of the concept for the game. Towerfall Ascension is one of our favorite local multiplayer games, so we tried to sneak many of their brilliant design choices into Collidalot in subtle ways. Smash Bros, Splatoon, Mad Max, Tony Hawk, Extreme-G, Kinetica, Star Wars: Episode 1 Racer, and a ton of other sources outside of video games served as inspiration to us. Collidalot seems to have racked up a large number of awards since it began making the indie game circuit – which one has meant the most to the team? The Seattle Indie Game Competition’s People Choice Award 2017 (received at Power of Play 2017), is the award that means the most to us. It was our first major award. It was also the first award we worked towards months before receiving, and it felt incredible to earn it. Receiving that award was not just about us, either. It was about showing the people who have given us so much amazing support that we were not going to let them down; we were going to push ourselves to succeed. Collidalot is Grunka Munka’s first project, what are the biggest learning experiences you’ve had trying to ship this game? There have been so many and they are unique to each person on the team. We had to learn everything from scratch, like how to use the Unity game engine and how to make a game in general. Things that seem simple, like making a player select UI, were difficult because we hadn’t done it before. Most things took research and several iterations, so they took a while. We also had to learn how to form and run a company on top of it all, which added even more chaos into the mix. Then there were things like attending conferences to demo the game, joining competitions, and figuring out how to market the game so people would simply know it exists. Being a game developer is a learning experience that never ends. The Grunka Munka team participates in Extra Life – how did that begin? Why is it important to you all? One of our team members previously interned, and later worked, in the medical field before, during, and after undergrad. He’s always had a tremendous level of respect for the entire industry. That’s where it began. Since we work within a few blocks of Seattle Children’s Hospital (SCH), he quickly started reaching out to SCH and Extra Life about how we can get involved and help. After he joined the team, we started chatting about what we can do to help out and contribute. We all have been gamers since we were young and remember specific games that we loved both then and now. We know that hospitalized kids and their families could always use more reasons to smile and we simply couldn’t stop thinking about how to help. This drove us to get more involved with the Extra Life Seattle Guild, who immediately amplified our ability to spread some gaming happiness with SCH and beyond. We are proud to be a part of the Extra Life Seattle Guild and are incredibly excited for the work we are doing with them right now and will continue to do. What message did you want to send with Collidalot? What do you want people walking away from a session with it to be thinking about? I think everyone on the team has something different they want to say through the games we make. We all agree that moments in life are more special when you can share them with others. Collidalot aims to bring people together so that they can make and share those moments. We also want to show that there are still many amazing, unique things games can do that have never been done and that they are worth making. What sorts of projects is Grunka Munka interested in making in the future? Our goal is to create original ideas and new types of gameplay. Having just launched Collidalot, we are prototyping new ideas and deciding on our next project now. We are definitely interested in expanding concepts from Collidalot beyond its 2d/3d layout. We also have a number of completely different ideas for games we would like to work on. Our main focus will be to create something new and push ourselves creatively. Why do you believe Collidalot should succeed? What’s your best elevator pitch to someone who’s undecided? Because Collidalot is a unique take on the 4-player brawler. There are a lot of games available nowadays and it’s always exciting when there is something new and different to experience. We appreciate when people are a bit confused, yet excited by novel, unique games. Games should incite this and we feel we have captured that feeling. We pitch the game as “Collidalot is Jet-powered destruction derby crossed with high-speed rail grinding”. Basically, think Smash Bros. in jet cars. Collidalot is available now on Nintendo Switch. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  5. That's right ATL community, we're hosting an official Extra Life ATL Game Day 2018. Laptop, PC, console, and tabletop gaming will be available to unite to support our local kids. Stay tuned for ticket details!
  6. Nintendo went a bit Pokénuts last night when it announced not one, not two, but three new Pokémon titles headed for their flagship console. To clarify, these are supposedly not the materialization of the classic Pokémon experience for console that the company teased last year around E3. Instead, Nintendo aims to do something different. The Switch's first Pokémon is titled Pokémon Quest and it's actually available right now. The new adventure debuts on Switch and will be making its way to mobile platforms around the end of June. The new title brings players to Tumblecube Island, where of all the Pokémon are shaped like cubes. Basically, it looks similar to that popular Minecraft mod that added Pokémon to the creative crafting game. It's adorable and, while initially jarring, definitely something that looks like it could catch on with a wide audience. In Pokémon Quest, players exert indirect control over their animal companions as the ever-growing Poképack clears stage after stage, collecting new items and Pokémon along the way. Between stages, players can build up their base camp, train their Pokémon, and cook them delicious meals. Of course, Pokémon Quest is a free-to-play game, or a "free-to-start" game as Nintendo calls it. That means Nintendo has provided a number of items and packs that people can purchase. These range from $5-$18 apiece, and include items that allow players to cook more meals, new Pokémon, and a variety of Pokéballs - and, of course, more in-game currency. Pokémon Quest uses PM Tickets as its currency, which can be used to speed up different in-game tasks. Yeah, Pokémon Quest will make Nintendo a zillion dollars. The other two games Nintendo announced come in a pair. Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Lets' Go, Eevee! are based off of Pokémon Yellow, each featuring 151 Pokémon with a selection of Alolan versions for those 151. The Let's Go games will have interactions with Pokémon Go, meaning that players who catch Pokémon in Pokémon Go will be able to use them in Let's Go. That's a pretty fantastic idea. The Let's Go games will also use the capture mechanic from Pokémon Go, a notion that might prove more divisive. Players will be able to use the Switch controllers to toss out Pokéballs at different angles to capture new Pokémon. To further deepen the fantasy of actually catching them all, players will be able to buy the Pokéball Plus, a standalone accessory that takes the place of the Joy-Con. The Pokéball Plus has a joystick to allow it to take on the role of a Joy-Con while also having built in lights and sounds specific to Let's Go. It can also work with Pokémon Go in place of the Pokéball accessory that acts as a pedometer and capture aid for the mobile title. However, with a battery life of three hours, it might not be ideal for long rambles in the outdoors. In a neat twist to the Pokémon formula, Let's Go will offer a co-op experience that allows two players to catch Pokémon together and bring their Pokémon Go captures into the same world. This could be a big deal for players who have only ever experienced Pokémon solo or in competition. Let's Go retains some of the features of Pokémon Go and expands on others. That doesn't mean more traditional parts of the franchise are falling by the wayside. The Switch exclusives will feature trainer battles, gyms, a story, and many of the other classic Pokémon staples. Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Lets' Go, Eevee! (along with the Pokéball Plus) will release later this year on November 16 for the Nintendo Switch.
  7. Nintendo went a bit Pokénuts last night when it announced not one, not two, but three new Pokémon titles headed for their flagship console. To clarify, these are supposedly not the materialization of the classic Pokémon experience for console that the company teased last year around E3. Instead, Nintendo aims to do something different. The Switch's first Pokémon is titled Pokémon Quest and it's actually available right now. The new adventure debuts on Switch and will be making its way to mobile platforms around the end of June. The new title brings players to Tumblecube Island, where of all the Pokémon are shaped like cubes. Basically, it looks similar to that popular Minecraft mod that added Pokémon to the creative crafting game. It's adorable and, while initially jarring, definitely something that looks like it could catch on with a wide audience. In Pokémon Quest, players exert indirect control over their animal companions as the ever-growing Poképack clears stage after stage, collecting new items and Pokémon along the way. Between stages, players can build up their base camp, train their Pokémon, and cook them delicious meals. Of course, Pokémon Quest is a free-to-play game, or a "free-to-start" game as Nintendo calls it. That means Nintendo has provided a number of items and packs that people can purchase. These range from $5-$18 apiece, and include items that allow players to cook more meals, new Pokémon, and a variety of Pokéballs - and, of course, more in-game currency. Pokémon Quest uses PM Tickets as its currency, which can be used to speed up different in-game tasks. Yeah, Pokémon Quest will make Nintendo a zillion dollars. The other two games Nintendo announced come in a pair. Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Lets' Go, Eevee! are based off of Pokémon Yellow, each featuring 151 Pokémon with a selection of Alolan versions for those 151. The Let's Go games will have interactions with Pokémon Go, meaning that players who catch Pokémon in Pokémon Go will be able to use them in Let's Go. That's a pretty fantastic idea. The Let's Go games will also use the capture mechanic from Pokémon Go, a notion that might prove more divisive. Players will be able to use the Switch controllers to toss out Pokéballs at different angles to capture new Pokémon. To further deepen the fantasy of actually catching them all, players will be able to buy the Pokéball Plus, a standalone accessory that takes the place of the Joy-Con. The Pokéball Plus has a joystick to allow it to take on the role of a Joy-Con while also having built in lights and sounds specific to Let's Go. It can also work with Pokémon Go in place of the Pokéball accessory that acts as a pedometer and capture aid for the mobile title. However, with a battery life of three hours, it might not be ideal for long rambles in the outdoors. In a neat twist to the Pokémon formula, Let's Go will offer a co-op experience that allows two players to catch Pokémon together and bring their Pokémon Go captures into the same world. This could be a big deal for players who have only ever experienced Pokémon solo or in competition. Let's Go retains some of the features of Pokémon Go and expands on others. That doesn't mean more traditional parts of the franchise are falling by the wayside. The Switch exclusives will feature trainer battles, gyms, a story, and many of the other classic Pokémon staples. Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Lets' Go, Eevee! (along with the Pokéball Plus) will release later this year on November 16 for the Nintendo Switch. View full article
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    Hey there! We hail from all over the North Coast (AKA Great Lakes region) and are on a mission to help sick and injured kids in our communities! Partnered with Tabletop Cleveland for Extra Life 2018, the North Coast Gamers' Guild has become a force to raise money for our local Children's Miracle Network Hospital (in Cleveland, that's Rainbow Babies and Children's). CMN Hospitals treats thousands of children each year, regardless of their illness, injury, or even their family's ability to pay. Tabletop Cleveland is the perfect destination to power through our marathon. Beginning at midnight, the top 50 fundraisers will be invited to "Lock-In-For-The-Kids" within the 1000+ board-game-lined walls of our favorite local board game cafe. With food, prizes, and fundraising incentives from other local businesses, the NCGG is sure that 2018 Extra Life will be one to remember!
  9. Inkle has made a name for itself in the mobile world with it's branching narrative games. The Sorcery! series wove a tale of blades and blood while 80 Days adapted Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days into a choose-your-own-adventure game. All of these were hailed as some of the finest narrative adventures to be had on mobile with 80 Days garnering Time Magazine's game of the year for 2014. Now, they have announced their first project that will head to the PlayStation 4 which will mark their first foray into the realm of consoles. Heaven's Vault stars Aliya Elasra, an archaeologist on a quest to translate a long lost language and unlock the secrets of The Nebula, a collection of far-flung moons. With the help of her robo-buddy Six, Aliya and the player are free to navigate through The Nebula and pursue its various mysteries. The central hook of Heaven's Vault centers on the translation of the alien script. Using context clues in the environment and some imagination, players will be able to come up with a variety of meanings for the symbols they encounter in various ruins across The Nebula. Every interpretation Aliya makes will have consequences, branching the story with each attempt to decipher what significance the ancient ruins might have once held. Inkle has stated that part of the game will be never being sure that your translation is the correct one. Heaven's Vault will also feature a large cast of characters who react to the different interpretations Aliya makes and also how she interacts with them. These characters are capable of kindness, cruelty, and guile. They'll remember if she's a thief or a liar or if she treats them well. Heaven's Vault will release on PlayStation 4 and PC sometime later this year. View full article
  10. Inkle has made a name for itself in the mobile world with it's branching narrative games. The Sorcery! series wove a tale of blades and blood while 80 Days adapted Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days into a choose-your-own-adventure game. All of these were hailed as some of the finest narrative adventures to be had on mobile with 80 Days garnering Time Magazine's game of the year for 2014. Now, they have announced their first project that will head to the PlayStation 4 which will mark their first foray into the realm of consoles. Heaven's Vault stars Aliya Elasra, an archaeologist on a quest to translate a long lost language and unlock the secrets of The Nebula, a collection of far-flung moons. With the help of her robo-buddy Six, Aliya and the player are free to navigate through The Nebula and pursue its various mysteries. The central hook of Heaven's Vault centers on the translation of the alien script. Using context clues in the environment and some imagination, players will be able to come up with a variety of meanings for the symbols they encounter in various ruins across The Nebula. Every interpretation Aliya makes will have consequences, branching the story with each attempt to decipher what significance the ancient ruins might have once held. Inkle has stated that part of the game will be never being sure that your translation is the correct one. Heaven's Vault will also feature a large cast of characters who react to the different interpretations Aliya makes and also how she interacts with them. These characters are capable of kindness, cruelty, and guile. They'll remember if she's a thief or a liar or if she treats them well. Heaven's Vault will release on PlayStation 4 and PC sometime later this year.
  11. Earlier this year, Atari announced its intention to enter back into the hardware game after a abandoning the field decades ago. That's all set to change soon with the release of their chosen device, the Ataribox. Atari has announced that pre-orders taken via an Indiegogo campaign will open tomorrow. Not much is currently known about the capabilities or support of the new console. We know from the initial announcement that the device sports four USB ports, an SD card reader, and an HDMI port. Atari has also stated that the Ataribox will be supporting classic Atari games as well as more "current content." Their website promises both new and old content on the device. Presumably more details will come alongside the launch of the pre-order campaign for the Ataribox - it would be very strange to offer pre-orders on a device with only vague claims about support for it! Those who sign up for the Indiegogo waiting list have a shot at grabbing a limited discount on the device. What do you think? Is the Ataribox something you're interested in or will you have to wait and see what it can do?
  12. Earlier this year, Atari announced its intention to enter back into the hardware game after a abandoning the field decades ago. That's all set to change soon with the release of their chosen device, the Ataribox. Atari has announced that pre-orders taken via an Indiegogo campaign will open tomorrow. Not much is currently known about the capabilities or support of the new console. We know from the initial announcement that the device sports four USB ports, an SD card reader, and an HDMI port. Atari has also stated that the Ataribox will be supporting classic Atari games as well as more "current content." Their website promises both new and old content on the device. Presumably more details will come alongside the launch of the pre-order campaign for the Ataribox - it would be very strange to offer pre-orders on a device with only vague claims about support for it! Those who sign up for the Indiegogo waiting list have a shot at grabbing a limited discount on the device. What do you think? Is the Ataribox something you're interested in or will you have to wait and see what it can do? View full article
  13. Earlier this year Atari announced that they were in the process of developing a new console for the first time in decades. There was a 20-second teaser that showed off vague contours of the console before fading into a logo for the classic gaming giant. Now we finally have a good look at the console and know a bit about what it will be able to do. Two different versions of the console will be available when it launches: A retro-inspired wood panel design and a more modern red and black option. Lights indicating the positions of various cable and card ports shine through the console's materials along with the company's logo. The Ataribox console will sport an SD card reader, an HDMI port, and four USB ports. Atari has stated that Ataribox will be supporting classic Atari games as well as more "current content." They did not elaborate as to what that more current content might be, but the concept of Atari pulling an NES Classic-type console that can also download and play more modern titles certainly comes across as intriguing. The company also did not clarify if the console would be limited to Atari titles, if there might be third party support, or if the console might be a more open-source device. Atari made all of this public in emails to their community stating that their goal with this Ataribox is “to create something new, that stays true to our heritage, while appealing to both old and new fans of Atari.” They seem to know that people want to know more about the device, so their email went on to clarify that, “We know you are hungry for more details; on specs, games, pricing, timing. We’re not teasing you intentionally; we want to get this right, so we’ve opted to share things step by step as we bring this to life, and to listen closely to the Atari community feedback as we do so.” What do you think? Are we ready for a new Atari console? Is there space in the market for one to succeed?
  14. Earlier this year Atari announced that they were in the process of developing a new console for the first time in decades. There was a 20-second teaser that showed off vague contours of the console before fading into a logo for the classic gaming giant. Now we finally have a good look at the console and know a bit about what it will be able to do. Two different versions of the console will be available when it launches: A retro-inspired wood panel design and a more modern red and black option. Lights indicating the positions of various cable and card ports shine through the console's materials along with the company's logo. The Ataribox console will sport an SD card reader, an HDMI port, and four USB ports. Atari has stated that Ataribox will be supporting classic Atari games as well as more "current content." They did not elaborate as to what that more current content might be, but the concept of Atari pulling an NES Classic-type console that can also download and play more modern titles certainly comes across as intriguing. The company also did not clarify if the console would be limited to Atari titles, if there might be third party support, or if the console might be a more open-source device. Atari made all of this public in emails to their community stating that their goal with this Ataribox is “to create something new, that stays true to our heritage, while appealing to both old and new fans of Atari.” They seem to know that people want to know more about the device, so their email went on to clarify that, “We know you are hungry for more details; on specs, games, pricing, timing. We’re not teasing you intentionally; we want to get this right, so we’ve opted to share things step by step as we bring this to life, and to listen closely to the Atari community feedback as we do so.” What do you think? Are we ready for a new Atari console? Is there space in the market for one to succeed? View full article
  15. Atari was once the standard-bearer for the video game industry, helping establish the home console market into what it is today. But after a decline in business and a constant reshuffling of executive leaders (among other factors), the company fell from its lofty perch in favor of publishing and other ventures. But after two decades, Atari has apparently gotten the itch to leap back into the home console scene with its new Atari Box. A 21-second teaser offers no information, showing only close-up glimpses at what could potentially be the hardware's form factor. Most notable is the wood paneling, a design trademark of the Atari 2600. The Atari Box would be the first Atari console since the Jaguar, which released in 1993 and discontinued in 1996. Plans for the new console were confirmed by Atari CEO Fred Chesnais during an exclusive interview with GamesBeat reporter Dean Takahashi during E3. “We’re back in the hardware business,” said Chesnais. What do you think about Atari re-entering the console business? What does the Atari Box need to do to compete with modern hardware? What games do you hope will be released with the new console?
  16. Atari was once the standard-bearer for the video game industry, helping establish the home console market into what it is today. But after a decline in business and a constant reshuffling of executive leaders (among other factors), the company fell from its lofty perch in favor of publishing and other ventures. But after two decades, Atari has apparently gotten the itch to leap back into the home console scene with its new Atari Box. A 21-second teaser offers no information, showing only close-up glimpses at what could potentially be the hardware's form factor. Most notable is the wood paneling, a design trademark of the Atari 2600. The Atari Box would be the first Atari console since the Jaguar, which released in 1993 and discontinued in 1996. Plans for the new console were confirmed by Atari CEO Fred Chesnais during an exclusive interview with GamesBeat reporter Dean Takahashi during E3. “We’re back in the hardware business,” said Chesnais. What do you think about Atari re-entering the console business? What does the Atari Box need to do to compete with modern hardware? What games do you hope will be released with the new console? View full article
  17. Microsoft kicked off its E3 media briefing with the final unveiling of its highly touted Project Scorpio console. Christened Xbox One X, the "world's most powerful console" hits store shelves November 7 and runs for $499. In addition to reviewing the technical specifications Microsoft has spent months hyping (6 teraflops of GPU, 326GB/s memory, 12 GB of GDDR5 memory), the console's form factor was shown for the first time. Resembling an Xbox One S in design, the unit is also the smallest Xbox Microsoft has ever assembled. Xbox One X supports native 4K gaming, demonstrated with stunning demos of games such as Forza 7. Microsoft detailed the list of titles that will receive free 4K updates later this year: Gears of War 4, Halo Wars 2, Minecraft, Killer Instinct, and Forza Horizon 3. Xbox One X "enhancements" will allow better performance for standard Xbox One titles, such as improved load times and improved visuals for 1080p displays. Microsoft promised enhancements for existing and future titles, but only specified the following: Final Fantasy XV, Rocket League, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, and Ghost Recon: Wildlands. All previous Xbox accessories, controllers, and games will work with the Xbox One X, Microsoft confirmed. From early photos released from E3, it looks as if there's no plugin for a Kinect, but reports suggest that functionality will be added in later via a dongle. What do you think of the Xbox One X? Are the features and price point enough to justify and upgrade from your existing Xbox One? View full article
  18. Microsoft kicked off its E3 media briefing with the final unveiling of its highly touted Project Scorpio console. Christened Xbox One X, the "world's most powerful console" hits store shelves November 7 and runs for $499. In addition to reviewing the technical specifications Microsoft has spent months hyping (6 teraflops of GPU, 326GB/s memory, 12 GB of GDDR5 memory), the console's form factor was shown for the first time. Resembling an Xbox One S in design, the unit is also the smallest Xbox Microsoft has ever assembled. Xbox One X supports native 4K gaming, demonstrated with stunning demos of games such as Forza 7. Microsoft detailed the list of titles that will receive free 4K updates later this year: Gears of War 4, Halo Wars 2, Minecraft, Killer Instinct, and Forza Horizon 3. Xbox One X "enhancements" will allow better performance for standard Xbox One titles, such as improved load times and improved visuals for 1080p displays. Microsoft promised enhancements for existing and future titles, but only specified the following: Final Fantasy XV, Rocket League, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, and Ghost Recon: Wildlands. All previous Xbox accessories, controllers, and games will work with the Xbox One X, Microsoft confirmed. From early photos released from E3, it looks as if there's no plugin for a Kinect, but reports suggest that functionality will be added in later via a dongle. What do you think of the Xbox One X? Are the features and price point enough to justify and upgrade from your existing Xbox One?
  19. EA announced details on the Nintendo Switch version of FIFA 18, which is sure to give football fanatics a reason to rejoice outside of home. As expected of the Switch’s unique portability, players can bring FIFA 18 wherever they want by disconnecting it from the home dock. The game reportedly outputs at 1080p when docked and 720p when mobile. Visual performance might take a hit if you prefer to game on the field, but at least it’s nowhere close to the downgrade cross-generation ports of previous sports games entailed. Players can participate in Local Seasons mode across two Switch consoles, in addition to Kick-Off mode, Career, Online Seasons, Tournaments, Women’s International Cup and Skill games. EA also debuted a new gameplay trailer for FIFA 18, although footage largely looks to be from the PlayStation 4 edition of the game, so take any visuals with a grain of salt if you're planning on getting the Switch edition. FIFA 18 is out on September 29 for all major consoles. Where do you plan on hitting the field? View full article
  20. EA announced details on the Nintendo Switch version of FIFA 18, which is sure to give football fanatics a reason to rejoice outside of home. As expected of the Switch’s unique portability, players can bring FIFA 18 wherever they want by disconnecting it from the home dock. The game reportedly outputs at 1080p when docked and 720p when mobile. Visual performance might take a hit if you prefer to game on the field, but at least it’s nowhere close to the downgrade cross-generation ports of previous sports games entailed. Players can participate in Local Seasons mode across two Switch consoles, in addition to Kick-Off mode, Career, Online Seasons, Tournaments, Women’s International Cup and Skill games. EA also debuted a new gameplay trailer for FIFA 18, although footage largely looks to be from the PlayStation 4 edition of the game, so take any visuals with a grain of salt if you're planning on getting the Switch edition. FIFA 18 is out on September 29 for all major consoles. Where do you plan on hitting the field?
  21. [Updated with confirmed titles available at launch and beyond - 2/23/17] Nintendo revealed a number of details on their upcoming console, the Nintendo Switch, late last night. The company revealed the price, release date, and a number of games over the course of their livestreamed event, which you can watch online. The night's information dump began with the reveal of the Nintendo Switch release date: March 3. That means the next generation of Nintendo's console line is less than two months away from hitting brick and mortar stores and that's certainly hard not to get at least a little excited about. Moreover, the Switch will retail for $300 making it roughly competitive with the consoles from Microsoft and Sony. Nintendo also revealed some scant details on how Nintendo will alter its approach to online with the Switch. Their plan is for players to be able to link a smart device, presumably a smart phone or tablet, to the Switch via an app. This app will allow players to invite friends to games and interact in various ways with the digital environment of the Switch. The online services will be free when the console initially launches, but sometime during Fall 2017 online services will change over to a paid subscription. In order to more fully embrace the new digital age, Nintendo will be doing away with region locked hardware with the Switch. The company stated that this would be a general approach, so that still leaves open the possibility that some select things could still be region locked. Nintendo began to get more into how the console will actually function. Players can enjoy it in TV Mode, which functions like a traditional console. Tabletop Mode transforms the console into a portable screen that can be placed on a table while gaming outside the home in a party or travel situation. Handheld Mode slips the left and right Joy-Con controllers onto their respective sides of the Switch console and turn it into a portable gaming device. One of the most talked about aspects of the Switch prior to Nintendo's reveal event was how long the battery would last when gaming on the go with the Switch. Nintendo estimates that the Switch contains 2.5-6.5 hours of battery life depending on what game is being played. While it can be played while it is being charged, the short battery life almost certainly limits the amount of usable time the console can be in use away from a power outlet. Nintendo dedicated a significant portion of time to explaining the rather strange Joy-Con controllers. Each console will come packaged with two Joy-Con controllers, left and right, that can be clicked together inside the Joy-Con grip to form the basic Switch controller. Each of these functions separately, enabling the console to support a two-player co-op experience right out of the box. Both controllers house a light sensor that is capable of distinguishing shapes and movement; the example used highlighted its ability to recognize the symbols for Rock, Paper, Scissors. The two controllers also make use of Nintendo has dubbed "HD rumble" - a high-precision internal rumble pack that can deliver very specific rumble sensations. On top of all that, the controllers include gyroscopes and motion sensing technology that allow them to incorporate movement into some games. The Joy-Con controllers will be available in different colors at launch: grey, neon red, and neon blue. It will also come with a wrist strap accessory called the Joy-Con Grip that seems to make the individual Joy-Con controllers more ergonomic and hand-friendly. The right Joy-Con includes an NFC reader, and the left Joy-Con houses a button that can take screenshots and capture in-game video. The video capture function doesn't seem like it will be functional when the console launches in March, but that function will come eventually, according to Nintendo. Screenshots and recorded video can be shared on social media, which raises a question about how Nintendo will be handling YouTube and Twitch monetization with the Switch, given their past policies regarding Nintendo IPs and Let's Players/streamers. All of these features come with a price, though. The base cost of the system, $300, seems pretty reasonable for a console launch, but Nintendo aims to make a killing on the cost of standalone accessories. If you are thinking of perhaps getting a second dock for another location in your home for the Switch, the $90 price for a single docking unit might put you off. Want to pick up two extra Joy-Con controllers to have four individual/two traditional controllers on launch day? That will cost you another $80 - more if you buy the Joy-Con controllers separately for $50 each. If you opt for the Pro controller, which is only sold separately, it isn't that much cheaper at $70. Anything beyond the base system will significantly increase the cost of buying into Nintendo's next generation. Just one extra controller nudges the cost of the system close to $400, a number the console will easily break as games are being sold separately at launch. Nintendo envisions the Switch as a party-friendly device. Up to eight Switch consoles can wirelessly connect for local multiplayer games. Titled 1-2 Switch and slated to be available at launch, the first game shown during the conference highlighted the company's focus. 1-2 Switch consists of a number of minigames that involve person-to-person interaction with friends and family. The one highlighted most, a Western-style quick draw game, pits two players face-to-face and determines who can draw their Joy-Con the fastest. Other games briefly shown included sword duels, boxing, yoga, and more. As far as we know right now, there are no plans to bundle 1-2 Switch with the console, making it a separate purchase on launch day. The second game shown for Nintendo's impending console packs a punch. Arms looks to be a combination of Overwatch and Punch-Out!! pitting players against one another or the computer in the boxing arena. The major distinction between Arms and a typical boxing title seems to be that every character has extendable arms and a number of unique abilities to get the better of their opponent. The game's producer described it as a mixture of shooting and boxing. Arms makes use of the motion control elements of the Joy-Con to simulate boxing in a way that feels very reminiscent of Wii Sports' boxing, albeit highly refined. With a roster of colorful characters and a truly endearing aesthetic, Arms definitely catches the eye and should be one to watch as we inch closer to its release date. Unfortunately it will not be available when the Switch launches on March 3, but it will be coming sometime this spring. Splatoon 2 made a splash with a new trailer showing new, inky gameplay. New special weapons can be activated when enough ink has covered the stage and players can use the Joy-Con motion controls to aim their tools of colorful destruction. Splatoon 2 turned out to be another game we will have to wait a while to see, launching sometime this summer. Much like the first Splatoon, Nintendo will support it post-launch with new stages, weapons, and ongoing, in-game events. Hand it to Nintendo, they paced the reveals during their Switch presentation just right. Just as it began to seem odd that no major franchise names had yet made an appearance, they blew open the lid on a brand new Mario title. Super Mario Odyssey might just be one of the weirdest Mario games ever made, and that is saying a lot of a franchise that includes some of the most fever-dream worlds in gaming. Nintendo wanted to convey the idea that Mario was journeying to unknown lands and the trailer certainly establishes that, showing obscure and never-before seen enemies and locations - including what looks to be New York City, complete with realistically proportioned humans. I cannot stress enough how jarring the juxtaposition between a realistic human and a cartoon Mario appears. Oh, and Mario's hat seems to be alive now? Outside of the real-world areas, the game looks incredibly gorgeous and inviting. Bowser makes an appearance in a dapper white suit having kidnapped Princess Peach yet again. I don't know how any of this fits together, but the sheer oddity of it all has me on board, even if the ride could end up being a bumpy one. Super Mario Odyssey won't release until the 2017 holidays, so more details will almost certainly be shared during E3. Monolithsoft is back with a sequel to their Xenoblade JRPG titled... Xenoblade 2. It might have been the stream, but some of the in-game footage seemed to be stuttering. Details on the game were practically nonexistent and Nintendo did not provide a release date. Koei Tecmo appears to be continuing their relationship with Nintendo by creating another hack-and-slash fighting game. However, instead of adapting The Legend of Zelda, this time the developers of Dynasty Warriors will be tackling the venerable Fire Emblem series. The teaser was pretty short and didn't display any gameplay, but color Fire Emblem fans intrigued by such a strange marriage of genres in Fire Emblem Warriors. From this point on, Nintendo adopted a more rapid-fire approach toward unveiling upcoming titles. Nintendo claims that, between their studios and third-parties, over 80 games are in development for the Switch at this point in time. Dragon Quest X and XI are slated for a Switch release in Japan, while Dragon Quest Heroes I and II will also be coming to the Switch. A new Shin Megami Tensei has just gone into development for the fledgling console, though nothing beyond that and a short teaser were shared. Square Enix unveiled a new IP called Project Octopath Traveler, a game that appears to update the old-school 16-bit aesthetic with a few modern twists. Todd Howard from Bethesda to confirm that Skyrim will be coming to the Nintendo Switch, laying to rest the rumors that Skyrim's appearance might have simply been for the promotional trailer. Suda 51 from Grasshopper Manufacture, the studio behind the recent free-to-play game Let It Die, took the stage to let everyone know that he would be resurrecting Travis Touchdown for an as yet unnamed title for the Switch. People might remember the name Travis Touchdown from his protagonist role in the game No More Heroes. EA confirmed that FIFA would be coming to the Switch, too. Presumably we could also expect to see other EA Sports titles like Madden on the console, but so far only FIFA has been confirmed. A montage of games revealed and hinted at a number of other titles that Nintendo will be bringing to the Switch. Glimpses could be seen of Minecraft, a few Telltale titles, Farming Simulator, Rime, a Sonic title, Bomberman, and a flash of a futuristic racing game that might just be the first F-Zero game since the GameCube. The Switch will come in two different packages when it hits shelves on March 3. Both will be the same price of $300 with the only difference being the color of the Joy-Con controllers. One system will be packaged with grey controllers and the other will have Joy-Con in red and blue. The system will come with the left and right Joy-Con, a Joy-Con Grip, the system dock, console, an HDMI cable, and an AC adapter. The final announcement was one that many were hoping for: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be a launch title for the Nintendo Switch and available on March 3. This was accompanied by what might just be one of the biggest hype-inducing trailers in gaming history. The game includes voiced dialogue! It has weird sci-fi elements! Epic scope in both landscape and story! Some nods to timeline continuity for the fans! A very impressive trailer that might have single-handedly ensured that the Switch sells out of stores on day one. Now, that was a lot of information to digest. Overall, this conference succeeded in fostering significant excitement for the Nintendo Switch, which had previously been a mystery. While there were certainly some tantalizing looks at future Switch titles, only two were confirmed to be launch titles, though one of those being a Zelda game pretty much guarantees a large number of people buying into the hardware. And that buy in could make Nintendo a tidy profit. I'd wager that they are selling the Switch at a loss to make that attractive $300 price point, but they will more than make up for that in software and accessory sales. That probably contributes to the seemingly inflated costs of the Switch's accessories. *Update* Below you can find the full release list of games that have been confirmed for the Nintendo Switch so far. Nintendo has announced a special indie game stream on February 28 at 9am PT that will likely finalize the day one launch line-up of the Switch with a handful of additional indie titles, but these games are what have been confirmed so far. We've had some hands-on time with several of the upcoming games, so be sure to check those pieces out for some more information! *Update #2* Additional games have been added from the Nindie showcase. Available Day One (March 3): 1-2-Switch Fast RMX - eShop only Human Resource Machine - eShop only I Am Setsuna - eShop only Just Dance 2017 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Little Inferno - eShop only Shovel Knight - eShop only Skylanders: Imaginators Super Bomberman R World of Goo - eShop only March/Spring: Arms (Spring 2017) Blaster Master Zero (March 9) - Exclusive to Switch and 3DS Graceful Explosion Machine (April) - Timed exclusive Has-Been Heroes (March) Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (April 28) Mr. Shifty (April) - Timed exclusive Pocket Rumble (March) - Exclusive Puyo Puyo Tetris (Spring 2017) - eShop only Shakedown: Hawaii (April) - Timed exclusive Snipperclips, Cut It Out Together (March) - eShop only TumbleSeed (Spring 2017) Summer: Dandara Rime Splatoon 2 Stardew Valley - Timed exclusive features SteamWorld Dig 2 Beyond/TBD: The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ (TBD) - eShop only Disgaea 5 Complete (TBD) Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 (2017) The Escapists 2 (2017) FIFA (2017) Fire Emblem Warriors (TBD) Flipping Death (2017) GoNNER (2017) - Timed exclusive Kingdom: Two Crowns (2017) Minecraft (2017) Minecraft: Story Mode (TBD) NBA 2K (2017) New Shin Megami Tensei (TBD) Overcooked! Special Edition (2017) Rayman Legends (TBD) Runner3 - (Fall 2017) Skyrim (Fall 2017) Sonic Mania (2017) Steep (2017) Super Mario Odyssey (Holiday 2017) Syberia 3 (TBD) Ultra Street Fighter II (2017) WarGroove (2017) Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (2017) Yooka-Laylee (2017)
  22. [Updated with confirmed titles available at launch and beyond - 2/23/17] Nintendo revealed a number of details on their upcoming console, the Nintendo Switch, late last night. The company revealed the price, release date, and a number of games over the course of their livestreamed event, which you can watch online. The night's information dump began with the reveal of the Nintendo Switch release date: March 3. That means the next generation of Nintendo's console line is less than two months away from hitting brick and mortar stores and that's certainly hard not to get at least a little excited about. Moreover, the Switch will retail for $300 making it roughly competitive with the consoles from Microsoft and Sony. Nintendo also revealed some scant details on how Nintendo will alter its approach to online with the Switch. Their plan is for players to be able to link a smart device, presumably a smart phone or tablet, to the Switch via an app. This app will allow players to invite friends to games and interact in various ways with the digital environment of the Switch. The online services will be free when the console initially launches, but sometime during Fall 2017 online services will change over to a paid subscription. In order to more fully embrace the new digital age, Nintendo will be doing away with region locked hardware with the Switch. The company stated that this would be a general approach, so that still leaves open the possibility that some select things could still be region locked. Nintendo began to get more into how the console will actually function. Players can enjoy it in TV Mode, which functions like a traditional console. Tabletop Mode transforms the console into a portable screen that can be placed on a table while gaming outside the home in a party or travel situation. Handheld Mode slips the left and right Joy-Con controllers onto their respective sides of the Switch console and turn it into a portable gaming device. One of the most talked about aspects of the Switch prior to Nintendo's reveal event was how long the battery would last when gaming on the go with the Switch. Nintendo estimates that the Switch contains 2.5-6.5 hours of battery life depending on what game is being played. While it can be played while it is being charged, the short battery life almost certainly limits the amount of usable time the console can be in use away from a power outlet. Nintendo dedicated a significant portion of time to explaining the rather strange Joy-Con controllers. Each console will come packaged with two Joy-Con controllers, left and right, that can be clicked together inside the Joy-Con grip to form the basic Switch controller. Each of these functions separately, enabling the console to support a two-player co-op experience right out of the box. Both controllers house a light sensor that is capable of distinguishing shapes and movement; the example used highlighted its ability to recognize the symbols for Rock, Paper, Scissors. The two controllers also make use of Nintendo has dubbed "HD rumble" - a high-precision internal rumble pack that can deliver very specific rumble sensations. On top of all that, the controllers include gyroscopes and motion sensing technology that allow them to incorporate movement into some games. The Joy-Con controllers will be available in different colors at launch: grey, neon red, and neon blue. It will also come with a wrist strap accessory called the Joy-Con Grip that seems to make the individual Joy-Con controllers more ergonomic and hand-friendly. The right Joy-Con includes an NFC reader, and the left Joy-Con houses a button that can take screenshots and capture in-game video. The video capture function doesn't seem like it will be functional when the console launches in March, but that function will come eventually, according to Nintendo. Screenshots and recorded video can be shared on social media, which raises a question about how Nintendo will be handling YouTube and Twitch monetization with the Switch, given their past policies regarding Nintendo IPs and Let's Players/streamers. All of these features come with a price, though. The base cost of the system, $300, seems pretty reasonable for a console launch, but Nintendo aims to make a killing on the cost of standalone accessories. If you are thinking of perhaps getting a second dock for another location in your home for the Switch, the $90 price for a single docking unit might put you off. Want to pick up two extra Joy-Con controllers to have four individual/two traditional controllers on launch day? That will cost you another $80 - more if you buy the Joy-Con controllers separately for $50 each. If you opt for the Pro controller, which is only sold separately, it isn't that much cheaper at $70. Anything beyond the base system will significantly increase the cost of buying into Nintendo's next generation. Just one extra controller nudges the cost of the system close to $400, a number the console will easily break as games are being sold separately at launch. Nintendo envisions the Switch as a party-friendly device. Up to eight Switch consoles can wirelessly connect for local multiplayer games. Titled 1-2 Switch and slated to be available at launch, the first game shown during the conference highlighted the company's focus. 1-2 Switch consists of a number of minigames that involve person-to-person interaction with friends and family. The one highlighted most, a Western-style quick draw game, pits two players face-to-face and determines who can draw their Joy-Con the fastest. Other games briefly shown included sword duels, boxing, yoga, and more. As far as we know right now, there are no plans to bundle 1-2 Switch with the console, making it a separate purchase on launch day. The second game shown for Nintendo's impending console packs a punch. Arms looks to be a combination of Overwatch and Punch-Out!! pitting players against one another or the computer in the boxing arena. The major distinction between Arms and a typical boxing title seems to be that every character has extendable arms and a number of unique abilities to get the better of their opponent. The game's producer described it as a mixture of shooting and boxing. Arms makes use of the motion control elements of the Joy-Con to simulate boxing in a way that feels very reminiscent of Wii Sports' boxing, albeit highly refined. With a roster of colorful characters and a truly endearing aesthetic, Arms definitely catches the eye and should be one to watch as we inch closer to its release date. Unfortunately it will not be available when the Switch launches on March 3, but it will be coming sometime this spring. Splatoon 2 made a splash with a new trailer showing new, inky gameplay. New special weapons can be activated when enough ink has covered the stage and players can use the Joy-Con motion controls to aim their tools of colorful destruction. Splatoon 2 turned out to be another game we will have to wait a while to see, launching sometime this summer. Much like the first Splatoon, Nintendo will support it post-launch with new stages, weapons, and ongoing, in-game events. Hand it to Nintendo, they paced the reveals during their Switch presentation just right. Just as it began to seem odd that no major franchise names had yet made an appearance, they blew open the lid on a brand new Mario title. Super Mario Odyssey might just be one of the weirdest Mario games ever made, and that is saying a lot of a franchise that includes some of the most fever-dream worlds in gaming. Nintendo wanted to convey the idea that Mario was journeying to unknown lands and the trailer certainly establishes that, showing obscure and never-before seen enemies and locations - including what looks to be New York City, complete with realistically proportioned humans. I cannot stress enough how jarring the juxtaposition between a realistic human and a cartoon Mario appears. Oh, and Mario's hat seems to be alive now? Outside of the real-world areas, the game looks incredibly gorgeous and inviting. Bowser makes an appearance in a dapper white suit having kidnapped Princess Peach yet again. I don't know how any of this fits together, but the sheer oddity of it all has me on board, even if the ride could end up being a bumpy one. Super Mario Odyssey won't release until the 2017 holidays, so more details will almost certainly be shared during E3. Monolithsoft is back with a sequel to their Xenoblade JRPG titled... Xenoblade 2. It might have been the stream, but some of the in-game footage seemed to be stuttering. Details on the game were practically nonexistent and Nintendo did not provide a release date. Koei Tecmo appears to be continuing their relationship with Nintendo by creating another hack-and-slash fighting game. However, instead of adapting The Legend of Zelda, this time the developers of Dynasty Warriors will be tackling the venerable Fire Emblem series. The teaser was pretty short and didn't display any gameplay, but color Fire Emblem fans intrigued by such a strange marriage of genres in Fire Emblem Warriors. From this point on, Nintendo adopted a more rapid-fire approach toward unveiling upcoming titles. Nintendo claims that, between their studios and third-parties, over 80 games are in development for the Switch at this point in time. Dragon Quest X and XI are slated for a Switch release in Japan, while Dragon Quest Heroes I and II will also be coming to the Switch. A new Shin Megami Tensei has just gone into development for the fledgling console, though nothing beyond that and a short teaser were shared. Square Enix unveiled a new IP called Project Octopath Traveler, a game that appears to update the old-school 16-bit aesthetic with a few modern twists. Todd Howard from Bethesda to confirm that Skyrim will be coming to the Nintendo Switch, laying to rest the rumors that Skyrim's appearance might have simply been for the promotional trailer. Suda 51 from Grasshopper Manufacture, the studio behind the recent free-to-play game Let It Die, took the stage to let everyone know that he would be resurrecting Travis Touchdown for an as yet unnamed title for the Switch. People might remember the name Travis Touchdown from his protagonist role in the game No More Heroes. EA confirmed that FIFA would be coming to the Switch, too. Presumably we could also expect to see other EA Sports titles like Madden on the console, but so far only FIFA has been confirmed. A montage of games revealed and hinted at a number of other titles that Nintendo will be bringing to the Switch. Glimpses could be seen of Minecraft, a few Telltale titles, Farming Simulator, Rime, a Sonic title, Bomberman, and a flash of a futuristic racing game that might just be the first F-Zero game since the GameCube. The Switch will come in two different packages when it hits shelves on March 3. Both will be the same price of $300 with the only difference being the color of the Joy-Con controllers. One system will be packaged with grey controllers and the other will have Joy-Con in red and blue. The system will come with the left and right Joy-Con, a Joy-Con Grip, the system dock, console, an HDMI cable, and an AC adapter. The final announcement was one that many were hoping for: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be a launch title for the Nintendo Switch and available on March 3. This was accompanied by what might just be one of the biggest hype-inducing trailers in gaming history. The game includes voiced dialogue! It has weird sci-fi elements! Epic scope in both landscape and story! Some nods to timeline continuity for the fans! A very impressive trailer that might have single-handedly ensured that the Switch sells out of stores on day one. Now, that was a lot of information to digest. Overall, this conference succeeded in fostering significant excitement for the Nintendo Switch, which had previously been a mystery. While there were certainly some tantalizing looks at future Switch titles, only two were confirmed to be launch titles, though one of those being a Zelda game pretty much guarantees a large number of people buying into the hardware. And that buy in could make Nintendo a tidy profit. I'd wager that they are selling the Switch at a loss to make that attractive $300 price point, but they will more than make up for that in software and accessory sales. That probably contributes to the seemingly inflated costs of the Switch's accessories. *Update* Below you can find the full release list of games that have been confirmed for the Nintendo Switch so far. Nintendo has announced a special indie game stream on February 28 at 9am PT that will likely finalize the day one launch line-up of the Switch with a handful of additional indie titles, but these games are what have been confirmed so far. We've had some hands-on time with several of the upcoming games, so be sure to check those pieces out for some more information! *Update #2* Additional games have been added from the Nindie showcase. Available Day One (March 3): 1-2-Switch Fast RMX - eShop only Human Resource Machine - eShop only I Am Setsuna - eShop only Just Dance 2017 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Little Inferno - eShop only Shovel Knight - eShop only Skylanders: Imaginators Super Bomberman R World of Goo - eShop only March/Spring: Arms (Spring 2017) Blaster Master Zero (March 9) - Exclusive to Switch and 3DS Graceful Explosion Machine (April) - Timed exclusive Has-Been Heroes (March) Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (April 28) Mr. Shifty (April) - Timed exclusive Pocket Rumble (March) - Exclusive Puyo Puyo Tetris (Spring 2017) - eShop only Shakedown: Hawaii (April) - Timed exclusive Snipperclips, Cut It Out Together (March) - eShop only TumbleSeed (Spring 2017) Summer: Dandara Rime Splatoon 2 Stardew Valley - Timed exclusive features SteamWorld Dig 2 Beyond/TBD: The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ (TBD) - eShop only Disgaea 5 Complete (TBD) Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 (2017) The Escapists 2 (2017) FIFA (2017) Fire Emblem Warriors (TBD) Flipping Death (2017) GoNNER (2017) - Timed exclusive Kingdom: Two Crowns (2017) Minecraft (2017) Minecraft: Story Mode (TBD) NBA 2K (2017) New Shin Megami Tensei (TBD) Overcooked! Special Edition (2017) Rayman Legends (TBD) Runner3 - (Fall 2017) Skyrim (Fall 2017) Sonic Mania (2017) Steep (2017) Super Mario Odyssey (Holiday 2017) Syberia 3 (TBD) Ultra Street Fighter II (2017) WarGroove (2017) Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (2017) Yooka-Laylee (2017) View full article
  23. With new details of the Switch released, we recorded a special episode this week to discuss what we know about Nintendo's next console, its launch line-up, and the potential future of the device. It's not every day that a company launches a new console against two firmly entrenched competitors. Be sure to let us know what you think of the Nintendo Switch and its possible future down in the comments because we're definitely curious as to what you all think about this intriguing console and how Nintendo is going about launching it (in less than two months - how crazy is that?)! Outro music: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker 'Ballad on the Sea' by MasterGi (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03304) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! You can also follow the show on Twitter: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
  24. With new details of the Switch released, we recorded a special episode this week to discuss what we know about Nintendo's next console, its launch line-up, and the potential future of the device. It's not every day that a company launches a new console against two firmly entrenched competitors. Be sure to let us know what you think of the Nintendo Switch and its possible future down in the comments because we're definitely curious as to what you all think about this intriguing console and how Nintendo is going about launching it (in less than two months - how crazy is that?)! Outro music: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker 'Ballad on the Sea' by MasterGi (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03304) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! You can also follow the show on Twitter: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday View full article
  25. Back in October, Nintendo told investors at a financial meeting in Tokyo that more details on their Switch console would be coming in January 2017, but did not give exact details. Nintendo took to Twitter yesterday to confirm that new information on the Switch would be revealed in an online presentation slated for January 12, 2017 at 8pm PST/ 11pm EST. Those interested in learning the latest Nintendo news can tune in on Nintendo's dedicated Switch page. The Nintendo Switch details were revealed via a mid-October trailer and press release. Since then, Nintendo has remained tight-lipped about the details of the upcoming mobile/console device. We compiled a handy recap of all the details revealed regarding the Switch. The January event will hopefully fill in a number of blanks and answer some of the larger questions surrounding the enigmatic console's future.
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