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Found 40 results

  1. The quirky and lovable tale about a really big rock barrels onto Nintendo Switch today, opening up a whole new audience to the Rock of Ages franchise. The digital release mixes an incredibly inaccurate retelling of history with the odd surrealism of Katamari Damancy to create a gaming experience that really can't be found in other games. Rock of Ages 2: Bigger & Boulder follows a conflict between titans of the art world doing surreal battle across a wide variety of impossible spaces. Pitting the player against the likes of Vincent van Gogh, The Thinker, and the Great Sphinx. The story introduces a wide variety of silly characters taken from world mythologies and history. Ace Team developed the game in Unreal Engine 4, an underlying game engine that allowed the team to improve the game's physics and make even more destructible environments. In a game about crushing things with a big rock, physics might be the absolute most important aspect of the technology under the hood. Of course, what silly time is complete without friends? Players can compete against one another across several 4-player multiplayer modes. Customizable boulders and banners help players stand out on the battlefield and provide a signature flair for their victories. Of course, these modes, as well as the core single-player campaign, have been furnished with a greater number of units and more avenues for strategic boulder maneuvering than the first Rock of Ages. This gives players more tools and options than ever before (to crush their foes with a giant boulder). Rock of Ages 2: Bigger & Boulder has released on the Nintendo Switch's eShop and more than stands on its own merits. However, if you need extra motivation and own The Binding of Isaac, buying the game within the next two weeks (ending on May 28) will net you DLC inspired by the excellent roguelike dungeon crawler. That DLC includes a boulder designed in honor of the titular Isaac, three in-game avatars based on Isaac, Azazel, and Blue Baby, and three The Binding of Isaac banners to fly over the battlefield. 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. The quirky and lovable tale about a really big rock barrels onto Nintendo Switch today, opening up a whole new audience to the Rock of Ages franchise. The digital release mixes an incredibly inaccurate retelling of history with the odd surrealism of Katamari Damancy to create a gaming experience that really can't be found in other games. Rock of Ages 2: Bigger & Boulder follows a conflict between titans of the art world doing surreal battle across a wide variety of impossible spaces. Pitting the player against the likes of Vincent van Gogh, The Thinker, and the Great Sphinx. The story introduces a wide variety of silly characters taken from world mythologies and history. Ace Team developed the game in Unreal Engine 4, an underlying game engine that allowed the team to improve the game's physics and make even more destructible environments. In a game about crushing things with a big rock, physics might be the absolute most important aspect of the technology under the hood. Of course, what silly time is complete without friends? Players can compete against one another across several 4-player multiplayer modes. Customizable boulders and banners help players stand out on the battlefield and provide a signature flair for their victories. Of course, these modes, as well as the core single-player campaign, have been furnished with a greater number of units and more avenues for strategic boulder maneuvering than the first Rock of Ages. This gives players more tools and options than ever before (to crush their foes with a giant boulder). Rock of Ages 2: Bigger & Boulder has released on the Nintendo Switch's eShop and more than stands on its own merits. However, if you need extra motivation and own The Binding of Isaac, buying the game within the next two weeks (ending on May 28) will net you DLC inspired by the excellent roguelike dungeon crawler. That DLC includes a boulder designed in honor of the titular Isaac, three in-game avatars based on Isaac, Azazel, and Blue Baby, and three The Binding of Isaac banners to fly over the battlefield. 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. Rusty Moyher, an independent game developer, hails from Austin, Texas where he quietly works from his house to create small, engaging games. His first title, Astro Duel Deluxe, released on Nintendo Switch in May of 2017. Dig Dog stands as the latest game Moyher has released, but it holds the unique distinction of being the first title he created without the use of his hands. Due to a repetitive stress injury, Moyher retained limited use of his hands, but could not work on creating his games via traditional methods anymore. He set about the difficult task of coding and creating artwork for a game without using his hands. That might seem impossible to a lot of people, but Moyher came up with some ingenious methods to achieve his goals. Instead of typing out code with a keyboard, Moyher developed a shorthand language to speak into a microphone that would be able to translate into the symbols and words needed to create functional game code. The result is something that sounds like extremely fast gibberish, but in the video included below, you can see his computer translate it into code relatively easily. To create the art assets for the retro silhouette aesthetic, Moyher had to get even more creative. Using a mouse was out of the question with his hands, so he attached a small reflective dot to a hat and set up a webcam to track its movements. He was able to then link those movements with those of the cursor and manipulate it within the art program he was using to create assets. Of course, one might wonder how he was able to click without the use of a mouse - he simply connected a foot pedal to his computer and reconfigured it into a mouse click. With those two technological adaptations, Moyher was able to create Dig Dog, an amusing tribute to retro gaming staring a dog on a search for more bones. Of course, much like the retro classic Dig Dug, the world of Dig Dog is populated by a variety of enemies that pose a threat to the lovable canine. Players will have to stomp, dash, and dig their way to defeating enemies and bypassing environmental hazards. The game sports two different gameplay modes. The first is called Bone Hunt, which is the core roguelike game at the heart of Dig Dog. Players make their way through each stage searching for bones. However, as they make progress, they can discover shops that sell upgrades and a variety of other secrets. These stages shift with each playthrough, making each session a unique adventure. The deeper the dog delves, the more difficult the game becomes. Free Dig is similar, but enemies present less of a threat and the stages offer more freedom of movement. On top of all of that, players can unlock palette swaps for the game to change the ambiance while digging for those elusive bones. The game also comes with built-in achievements to preserve some sense of player progression and offer interesting goals. While Rusty Moyher programmed and created the art for Dig Dog himself, the music was composed by Matthew Grimm, who also goes by 8bitmatt. Dig Dog is currently available for the 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. Rusty Moyher, an independent game developer, hails from Austin, Texas where he quietly works from his house to create small, engaging games. His first title, Astro Duel Deluxe, released on Nintendo Switch in May of 2017. Dig Dog stands as the latest game Moyher has released, but it holds the unique distinction of being the first title he created without the use of his hands. Due to a repetitive stress injury, Moyher retained limited use of his hands, but could not work on creating his games via traditional methods anymore. He set about the difficult task of coding and creating artwork for a game without using his hands. That might seem impossible to a lot of people, but Moyher came up with some ingenious methods to achieve his goals. Instead of typing out code with a keyboard, Moyher developed a shorthand language to speak into a microphone that would be able to translate into the symbols and words needed to create functional game code. The result is something that sounds like extremely fast gibberish, but in the video included below, you can see his computer translate it into code relatively easily. To create the art assets for the retro silhouette aesthetic, Moyher had to get even more creative. Using a mouse was out of the question with his hands, so he attached a small reflective dot to a hat and set up a webcam to track its movements. He was able to then link those movements with those of the cursor and manipulate it within the art program he was using to create assets. Of course, one might wonder how he was able to click without the use of a mouse - he simply connected a foot pedal to his computer and reconfigured it into a mouse click. With those two technological adaptations, Moyher was able to create Dig Dog, an amusing tribute to retro gaming staring a dog on a search for more bones. Of course, much like the retro classic Dig Dug, the world of Dig Dog is populated by a variety of enemies that pose a threat to the lovable canine. Players will have to stomp, dash, and dig their way to defeating enemies and bypassing environmental hazards. The game sports two different gameplay modes. The first is called Bone Hunt, which is the core roguelike game at the heart of Dig Dog. Players make their way through each stage searching for bones. However, as they make progress, they can discover shops that sell upgrades and a variety of other secrets. These stages shift with each playthrough, making each session a unique adventure. The deeper the dog delves, the more difficult the game becomes. Free Dig is similar, but enemies present less of a threat and the stages offer more freedom of movement. On top of all of that, players can unlock palette swaps for the game to change the ambiance while digging for those elusive bones. The game also comes with built-in achievements to preserve some sense of player progression and offer interesting goals. While Rusty Moyher programmed and created the art for Dig Dog himself, the music was composed by Matthew Grimm, who also goes by 8bitmatt. Dig Dog is currently available for the 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. Pendulo Studios and YS Interactive just announced an ambitious adaptation of the French graphic novel series Blacksad. The striking multi-volume string of mysteries and adventures from authors Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido follows the exploits of John Blacksad, a dedicated independent investigator who gets wrapped up in something bigger than another easily solved missing persons case. The series relies heavily on the hardboiled and noir genres with unique spins on tropes that should be instantly familiar to anyone who has watched films like John Huston's The Maltese Falcon or Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train. It's a rare genre to see in video games, with the only notable examples being LA Noir from Rockstar and another graphic novel adaptation, The Wolf Among Us. Blacksad: Under the Skin takes place in an alternate version of 1950s New York City populated entirely by anthropomorphic animals. A strange series of disappearances and deaths take place around a boxing club in town. Joe Dunn, the owner of the club, is found dead in a possible suicide. The club's premier fighter, Bobby Yale, can't be found. With these two mysteries looming over the gym, Sonia Dunn, Joe's daughter, turns to John Blacksad to get to the bottom of whatever is going on. How players wish to pursue the answers they need will have lasting consequences in this narrative adventure game. Depending on decisions made over the course of the investigation, the outcome could be wildly different. Characters will react differently to Blacksad if he chooses to play hardball instead of by the rules of the ever-shifting underworld he's about to enter. Sometimes to get to the bottom of nasty business, someone might have to get a bit dirty. Honestly, Blacksad: Under the Skin looks really cool and fresh. There aren't a ton of games tackling this sort of subject matter, especially not through an anthropomorphic lens. It's interesting that the game, despite the silly visuals seems to be playing it all straight. The deadly serious tone of the game really makes it come together as an interesting project. Even though I haven't heard of either of the developers behind this adaptation of Blacksad before, it looks really competently made and boldly different. No matter how you cut it, that's exciting. Blacksad: Under the Skin will be releasing for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC later this year on September 26. The game will feature full voice support for English, French and Spanish along with subtitles in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Dutch. A collector's edition of the game will be available at launch that includes the base game along with an artbook and a resin statue of John Blacksad himself. 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!
  6. Pendulo Studios and YS Interactive just announced an ambitious adaptation of the French graphic novel series Blacksad. The striking multi-volume string of mysteries and adventures from authors Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido follows the exploits of John Blacksad, a dedicated independent investigator who gets wrapped up in something bigger than another easily solved missing persons case. The series relies heavily on the hardboiled and noir genres with unique spins on tropes that should be instantly familiar to anyone who has watched films like John Huston's The Maltese Falcon or Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train. It's a rare genre to see in video games, with the only notable examples being LA Noir from Rockstar and another graphic novel adaptation, The Wolf Among Us. Blacksad: Under the Skin takes place in an alternate version of 1950s New York City populated entirely by anthropomorphic animals. A strange series of disappearances and deaths take place around a boxing club in town. Joe Dunn, the owner of the club, is found dead in a possible suicide. The club's premier fighter, Bobby Yale, can't be found. With these two mysteries looming over the gym, Sonia Dunn, Joe's daughter, turns to John Blacksad to get to the bottom of whatever is going on. How players wish to pursue the answers they need will have lasting consequences in this narrative adventure game. Depending on decisions made over the course of the investigation, the outcome could be wildly different. Characters will react differently to Blacksad if he chooses to play hardball instead of by the rules of the ever-shifting underworld he's about to enter. Sometimes to get to the bottom of nasty business, someone might have to get a bit dirty. Honestly, Blacksad: Under the Skin looks really cool and fresh. There aren't a ton of games tackling this sort of subject matter, especially not through an anthropomorphic lens. It's interesting that the game, despite the silly visuals seems to be playing it all straight. The deadly serious tone of the game really makes it come together as an interesting project. Even though I haven't heard of either of the developers behind this adaptation of Blacksad before, it looks really competently made and boldly different. No matter how you cut it, that's exciting. Blacksad: Under the Skin will be releasing for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC later this year on September 26. The game will feature full voice support for English, French and Spanish along with subtitles in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Dutch. A collector's edition of the game will be available at launch that includes the base game along with an artbook and a resin statue of John Blacksad himself. 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
  7. You know the massive boss ships that float down from the top of the screen in classic bullet hell games? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to play as one of those for a change? Now you can thanks to Spacewave Software's Rival Megagun! Rival Megagun has two players competing against one another as they battle through SHMUP (Shoot 'Em Up) levels while trying to take one another out. When hitting certain power levels, players can cross the vertical divide to attack their opponent as a colossal boss ship - a Mega Gunship, if you will. Players can tackle the game solo against the AI, play against friends in local couch co-op, or take on all comers online. The game features a number of different playable characters each with their own strengths and weaknesses and unique Mega Gunship forms. There's also a solo play arcade mode for those who want to immerse themselves in the classic roots of the genre. As players progress through the Rival Megagun, they'll unlock new components and weapons for their various ships, enabling customizations and opening up devious tactics to spring on unsuspecting rivals. Rival Megagun is available today for PC and PlayStation 4, November 30 for Xbox One, and December 12 for the 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
  8. You know the massive boss ships that float down from the top of the screen in classic bullet hell games? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to play as one of those for a change? Now you can thanks to Spacewave Software's Rival Megagun! Rival Megagun has two players competing against one another as they battle through SHMUP (Shoot 'Em Up) levels while trying to take one another out. When hitting certain power levels, players can cross the vertical divide to attack their opponent as a colossal boss ship - a Mega Gunship, if you will. Players can tackle the game solo against the AI, play against friends in local couch co-op, or take on all comers online. The game features a number of different playable characters each with their own strengths and weaknesses and unique Mega Gunship forms. There's also a solo play arcade mode for those who want to immerse themselves in the classic roots of the genre. As players progress through the Rival Megagun, they'll unlock new components and weapons for their various ships, enabling customizations and opening up devious tactics to spring on unsuspecting rivals. Rival Megagun is available today for PC and PlayStation 4, November 30 for Xbox One, and December 12 for the 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!
  9. Titan Quest may have been out for over a decade, but it has just released on consoles for the first time. Players can now experience the Diablo-like ARPG based on mythologies from around the world. Crafted by Brian Sullivan, one of the co-creators of Age of Empires, players travel across Europe, the Middle East, and Asia in an attempt to stop the long imprisoned Titans from destroying the planet. With the help of the gods themselves, it might just be possible. Titan Quest is notable for its story having been written by Randall Wallace, the mind behind the film Braveheart. The console version features completely overhauled graphics that bring the 2006 game up to modern graphical standards. It also supports online co-op play for up to six players. That's right, up to five of your friends can run around the ancient world doing battle with mythical creatures. With controls remapped to console gamepads, it's never been easier to play. Titan Quest is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. A Nintendo Switch version is currently in development, but the official word is that it will be released when it is done. A couch co-op mode is also on the way. What do you think? Will you be picking up Titan Quest? View full article
  10. Titan Quest may have been out for over a decade, but it has just released on consoles for the first time. Players can now experience the Diablo-like ARPG based on mythologies from around the world. Crafted by Brian Sullivan, one of the co-creators of Age of Empires, players travel across Europe, the Middle East, and Asia in an attempt to stop the long imprisoned Titans from destroying the planet. With the help of the gods themselves, it might just be possible. Titan Quest is notable for its story having been written by Randall Wallace, the mind behind the film Braveheart. The console version features completely overhauled graphics that bring the 2006 game up to modern graphical standards. It also supports online co-op play for up to six players. That's right, up to five of your friends can run around the ancient world doing battle with mythical creatures. With controls remapped to console gamepads, it's never been easier to play. Titan Quest is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. A Nintendo Switch version is currently in development, but the official word is that it will be released when it is done. A couch co-op mode is also on the way. What do you think? Will you be picking up Titan Quest?
  11. Indie developer The Molasses Flood is bringing the charming, country rogue-like the Flame in the Flood to the Switch's eShop later this month. The bleak, beautiful game has players scrambling to survive in a hostile wilderness as they traverse the currents of a procedurally generated river. Camping spots to scavenge for supplies and contend with beasts of all kinds offer both safe havens and danger. Accompanied by your dog, Aesop, players must try to make their way down the river to find peace. The Flame in the Flood released last year to generally positive reviews that praised the challenge of its survival elements, while also acknowledging flaws like a less than compelling narrative and a clunky menu system. The gameplay seems to have been what captured the attention of many, which isn't surprising since The Molasses Flood's ranks are composed of developers who worked on titles like BioShock and Halo 2. Perhaps one of the biggest hooks for The Flame in the Flood remains it soundtrack. Composed and performed by Chuck Ragan, it perfectly captures the rambling, serene, and intense feeling The Flame and the Flood provokes in players. Give it a listen if you're the kind of person who enjoys good music. “The natural rhythm of The Flame In The Flood—sailing from island to island, gathering resources and hunting wild animals—is a perfect fit for the Nintendo Switch,” said Forrest Dowling, lead designer of The Flame in the Flood. “Like Scout’s journey of survival, players will be able to shape their story wherever they see fit, be it on the couch, the bus, or even on a boat gently meandering down the Mississippi river.” The Flame in the Flood will release on the Nintendo Switch eShop October 12.
  12. Indie developer The Molasses Flood is bringing the charming, country rogue-like the Flame in the Flood to the Switch's eShop later this month. The bleak, beautiful game has players scrambling to survive in a hostile wilderness as they traverse the currents of a procedurally generated river. Camping spots to scavenge for supplies and contend with beasts of all kinds offer both safe havens and danger. Accompanied by your dog, Aesop, players must try to make their way down the river to find peace. The Flame in the Flood released last year to generally positive reviews that praised the challenge of its survival elements, while also acknowledging flaws like a less than compelling narrative and a clunky menu system. The gameplay seems to have been what captured the attention of many, which isn't surprising since The Molasses Flood's ranks are composed of developers who worked on titles like BioShock and Halo 2. Perhaps one of the biggest hooks for The Flame in the Flood remains it soundtrack. Composed and performed by Chuck Ragan, it perfectly captures the rambling, serene, and intense feeling The Flame and the Flood provokes in players. Give it a listen if you're the kind of person who enjoys good music. “The natural rhythm of The Flame In The Flood—sailing from island to island, gathering resources and hunting wild animals—is a perfect fit for the Nintendo Switch,” said Forrest Dowling, lead designer of The Flame in the Flood. “Like Scout’s journey of survival, players will be able to shape their story wherever they see fit, be it on the couch, the bus, or even on a boat gently meandering down the Mississippi river.” The Flame in the Flood will release on the Nintendo Switch eShop October 12. View full article
  13. Indie retro platformers are a dime a dozen in 2017. Since the success of Super Meat Boy in 2010, the independent scene has become cluttered with also-ran, ultra-challenging, quirky platformers of the 8-bit variety. As an ultra-challenging, quirky platformer of the 8-bit variety, Slime-San, from developer Fabraz and publisher Headup Games, will likely fall squarely into that also-ran category, to no fault of its own. Slime-San’s titular protagonist finds himself trapped inside a worm. The reasons are unknown, but probably have something to do with the fact that it’s… ya know, a slime. Inside the worm, an entire community of slimes has developed, with NPC’s offering up quirky flavor text and gameplay modifications. Everyone seems to have resigned themselves to their fate, eternally trapped inside this volatile invertebrate, but not Slime-San. He’s going to get out, and he’s going to free everyone else in the process. Slime-San’s amusing story, but silly story made me laugh more than a handful of times. Slime-San is a fine example of what has made the platformer genre so enduring even three decades after Mario first bounced off a goomba’s head. The platforming presents an intense dance of thumbs and reflexes as each level tests your ability to flip back and forth between the numerous pitfalls and traps in each stage. Those obstacles range from enemies that chase you around the level, to lasers that rise and fall in tandem, to an ever-present red slime that acts as a timer lending some more tension to each stage. The environments inside the giant worm in which Slime-San is trapped, mainly consist of green and red surfaces. You can bounce and climb up green surfaces, while red surfaces will kill your gungy, little protagonist. You can slow time to pass through green surfaces or perform a quick forward dash to more easily maneuver through the game’s many obstacles. These abilities are key to Slime-San’s mobility, which feels tight and joyful, always keeping you on your toes without becoming too frustrating. This is greatly aided by the game’s generous checkpoint system. Death in Slime-San serves as a lesson in how to avoid it on the next run through a level, rather than a frustrating penalty. That’s not to say Slime-San avoids frustration altogether. As the game progresses, new concepts and obstacles are introduced at a steady drip. While some effectively enhance the challenge, others detract from what Slime-San does well. There are a number of puzzle levels that, when combined with the game’s already perplexing platforming sequences, serve to slow things down and create a repetitive loop that often tested my patience to its breaking point. In addition, underwater levels show up more often that they should, which is to say they should’ve been nixed completely. The underwater stages simply don’t play to Slime-San’s strengths, slowing Slime-San’s movement speed to a crawl and evoking the feeling of swimming through a bowl of Jell-O rather than zipping around tightly designed corridors. At times like this, Slime-San’s creativity undermines its tight, smooth game design. Slime-San’s best moments are challenges that require unimpeachable control, precise timing, and speed. Slime-San is designed for forward momentum, and each one-screen stage lays out where you need to go right from the beginning, so all you need to do is figure out how to get there and the quickest route to take. Boss fights break up the challenges nicely, allowing you to experiment with different techniques to take down each beast. These fights test your skills to the max, but they’re also a lot of fun. I only wish there were more of them. My biggest issue with Slime-San relates directly to the platform I played it on. The Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers were not designed well for someone with large hands, and playing Slime-San exasperates that problem. The game demands precise timing and thumb-work, but the Joy-Cons can’t accommodate that for someone like myself. Whereas I find that minimalist, chill games like Death Squared seem perfectly suited to the Switch, games like Slime-San and, similarly, Super Meat Boy (which also recently released on Switch) are hindered by the console’s standard input controllers. I have never wished I had a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller more than after some of the more harrowing sections of Slime-San. The lack of a real d-pad and the close proximity of the face buttons and the shoulder buttons on the Joy-Cons force my hands into a claw position that aches for about ten minutes afterwards. Listen, I know that not everyone will have this problem. Maybe I’m just old, or maybe I just have big hands, or god forbid, maybe I’m developing carpal tunnel or early stage arthritis, but playing Slime-San on Switch made me feel like my hands were falling apart. It’s a shame, because this is the kind of game that can ensnare you for hours on end as you try “just one more level” over and over until your thumbs go numb. Conclusion: Slime-San isn’t perfect, but it is charming, and provides a challenging good time for any fan of the genre. I’m glad it released on Switch, so that it’s now on all of the major platforms; PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and Steam. It’s the kind of game that fits nicely on Switch (provided you have a pro controller, or the joy-cons fit your hands perfectly), and especially benefits from the new Nintendo system’s less-congested marketplace. It’s a great game, but it doesn’t stand out from the pack of indie platformers on offer. Heck, it’s not even the most recognizable slime-themed game this year. While never quite reaching the heights of some of its predecessors, Slime-San makes for an enjoyable, but imperfect little platforming adventure. View full article
  14. Indie retro platformers are a dime a dozen in 2017. Since the success of Super Meat Boy in 2010, the independent scene has become cluttered with also-ran, ultra-challenging, quirky platformers of the 8-bit variety. As an ultra-challenging, quirky platformer of the 8-bit variety, Slime-San, from developer Fabraz and publisher Headup Games, will likely fall squarely into that also-ran category, to no fault of its own. Slime-San’s titular protagonist finds himself trapped inside a worm. The reasons are unknown, but probably have something to do with the fact that it’s… ya know, a slime. Inside the worm, an entire community of slimes has developed, with NPC’s offering up quirky flavor text and gameplay modifications. Everyone seems to have resigned themselves to their fate, eternally trapped inside this volatile invertebrate, but not Slime-San. He’s going to get out, and he’s going to free everyone else in the process. Slime-San’s amusing story, but silly story made me laugh more than a handful of times. Slime-San is a fine example of what has made the platformer genre so enduring even three decades after Mario first bounced off a goomba’s head. The platforming presents an intense dance of thumbs and reflexes as each level tests your ability to flip back and forth between the numerous pitfalls and traps in each stage. Those obstacles range from enemies that chase you around the level, to lasers that rise and fall in tandem, to an ever-present red slime that acts as a timer lending some more tension to each stage. The environments inside the giant worm in which Slime-San is trapped, mainly consist of green and red surfaces. You can bounce and climb up green surfaces, while red surfaces will kill your gungy, little protagonist. You can slow time to pass through green surfaces or perform a quick forward dash to more easily maneuver through the game’s many obstacles. These abilities are key to Slime-San’s mobility, which feels tight and joyful, always keeping you on your toes without becoming too frustrating. This is greatly aided by the game’s generous checkpoint system. Death in Slime-San serves as a lesson in how to avoid it on the next run through a level, rather than a frustrating penalty. That’s not to say Slime-San avoids frustration altogether. As the game progresses, new concepts and obstacles are introduced at a steady drip. While some effectively enhance the challenge, others detract from what Slime-San does well. There are a number of puzzle levels that, when combined with the game’s already perplexing platforming sequences, serve to slow things down and create a repetitive loop that often tested my patience to its breaking point. In addition, underwater levels show up more often that they should, which is to say they should’ve been nixed completely. The underwater stages simply don’t play to Slime-San’s strengths, slowing Slime-San’s movement speed to a crawl and evoking the feeling of swimming through a bowl of Jell-O rather than zipping around tightly designed corridors. At times like this, Slime-San’s creativity undermines its tight, smooth game design. Slime-San’s best moments are challenges that require unimpeachable control, precise timing, and speed. Slime-San is designed for forward momentum, and each one-screen stage lays out where you need to go right from the beginning, so all you need to do is figure out how to get there and the quickest route to take. Boss fights break up the challenges nicely, allowing you to experiment with different techniques to take down each beast. These fights test your skills to the max, but they’re also a lot of fun. I only wish there were more of them. My biggest issue with Slime-San relates directly to the platform I played it on. The Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers were not designed well for someone with large hands, and playing Slime-San exasperates that problem. The game demands precise timing and thumb-work, but the Joy-Cons can’t accommodate that for someone like myself. Whereas I find that minimalist, chill games like Death Squared seem perfectly suited to the Switch, games like Slime-San and, similarly, Super Meat Boy (which also recently released on Switch) are hindered by the console’s standard input controllers. I have never wished I had a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller more than after some of the more harrowing sections of Slime-San. The lack of a real d-pad and the close proximity of the face buttons and the shoulder buttons on the Joy-Cons force my hands into a claw position that aches for about ten minutes afterwards. Listen, I know that not everyone will have this problem. Maybe I’m just old, or maybe I just have big hands, or god forbid, maybe I’m developing carpal tunnel or early stage arthritis, but playing Slime-San on Switch made me feel like my hands were falling apart. It’s a shame, because this is the kind of game that can ensnare you for hours on end as you try “just one more level” over and over until your thumbs go numb. Conclusion: Slime-San isn’t perfect, but it is charming, and provides a challenging good time for any fan of the genre. I’m glad it released on Switch, so that it’s now on all of the major platforms; PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and Steam. It’s the kind of game that fits nicely on Switch (provided you have a pro controller, or the joy-cons fit your hands perfectly), and especially benefits from the new Nintendo system’s less-congested marketplace. It’s a great game, but it doesn’t stand out from the pack of indie platformers on offer. Heck, it’s not even the most recognizable slime-themed game this year. While never quite reaching the heights of some of its predecessors, Slime-San makes for an enjoyable, but imperfect little platforming adventure.
  15. Slime-san released on PC back in April, but the charming, goopy platformer about a slime with a heart of gold has released for the Nintendo Switch. The adventure is simple enough - Slime-san was living happily in the forest until one day a gigantic worm ate him! Players must help the intrepid little slime ball escape the digestive tract of the worm while navigating around hazards and making new friends who survive within the gargantuan worm. However, in order to complete his escape, Slime-san will have to conquer 100 different levels, all rendered lovingly in a retro art style. Players will be able to unlock new play styles, outfits, shaders, and multiplayer mini-games that make use of the Switch's Joy-Con controllers. Mastery of the fast-paced platforming is a must for players looking to escape the worm alive and avoid an oncoming wall of stomach acid. Slime-san uses his slime body to his advantage, squeezing through tight nooks, dashing through broken obstacles, slipping and sliding off of walls. Sliming around on the ground slows time, while dashing speeds it up. Players looking for a more competitive challenge will definitely find one in Slime-San. Fabraz, the title's developer, has added a timer to each level. Players can compare their times with online rankings to see how they measure up to Slime-san players around the world. New challenge modes like a New Game+, Speed Running, and Boss Rush can also be unlocked to up the ante. Last, but certainly not least, Slime-san features a wonderful soundtrack from over 10 different composers including the likes of Richard Gould, Adhesive Wombat, Tiasu, Meganeko, Kubbi, and Inverse Phase. It's definitely worth a listen, even if you're not a fan of platformers. Slime-san has been recognized on numerous occasions for its standout gameplay and aesthetic, including being part of the Smithsonian Arcade Selection in July. View full article
  16. Slime-san released on PC back in April, but the charming, goopy platformer about a slime with a heart of gold has released for the Nintendo Switch. The adventure is simple enough - Slime-san was living happily in the forest until one day a gigantic worm ate him! Players must help the intrepid little slime ball escape the digestive tract of the worm while navigating around hazards and making new friends who survive within the gargantuan worm. However, in order to complete his escape, Slime-san will have to conquer 100 different levels, all rendered lovingly in a retro art style. Players will be able to unlock new play styles, outfits, shaders, and multiplayer mini-games that make use of the Switch's Joy-Con controllers. Mastery of the fast-paced platforming is a must for players looking to escape the worm alive and avoid an oncoming wall of stomach acid. Slime-san uses his slime body to his advantage, squeezing through tight nooks, dashing through broken obstacles, slipping and sliding off of walls. Sliming around on the ground slows time, while dashing speeds it up. Players looking for a more competitive challenge will definitely find one in Slime-San. Fabraz, the title's developer, has added a timer to each level. Players can compare their times with online rankings to see how they measure up to Slime-san players around the world. New challenge modes like a New Game+, Speed Running, and Boss Rush can also be unlocked to up the ante. Last, but certainly not least, Slime-san features a wonderful soundtrack from over 10 different composers including the likes of Richard Gould, Adhesive Wombat, Tiasu, Meganeko, Kubbi, and Inverse Phase. It's definitely worth a listen, even if you're not a fan of platformers. Slime-san has been recognized on numerous occasions for its standout gameplay and aesthetic, including being part of the Smithsonian Arcade Selection in July.
  17. We've known for a while that Tequila Works was going to be bringing their adventure game Rime to Nintendo Switch. Now we know when it will be hitting Nintendo's flagship console. Rime launches for Nintendo Switch on November 14. It will be receiving a special, physical edition that contains the full game and the original soundtrack by David García Díaz (a soaring, magical score that would be right at home in a Studio Ghibli film). The physical edition will retail at $39.99 and a digital version will be available on the Nintendo eShop for $29.99. Rime is being ported to the Nintendo Switch by Tantalus, a company that specializes in bringing third-party titles to Nintendo systems. "As big fans of Nintendo, we truly appreciate our fans’ patience as Tantalus and Tequila Works continue working on RiME on Nintendo Switch; we are all committed to making sure all players get the high-quality experience they deserve," said Raúl Rubio Munárriz, CEO and creative director of Tequila Works. Now that Tequila Works has completed work on Rime, they've moved on to developing several other original IPs. The only one publicly known at this time is The Invisible Hours, a VR murder mystery. Rime is currently available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Be sure to read our review of the PS4 version! View full article
  18. We've known for a while that Tequila Works was going to be bringing their adventure game Rime to Nintendo Switch. Now we know when it will be hitting Nintendo's flagship console. Rime launches for Nintendo Switch on November 14. It will be receiving a special, physical edition that contains the full game and the original soundtrack by David García Díaz (a soaring, magical score that would be right at home in a Studio Ghibli film). The physical edition will retail at $39.99 and a digital version will be available on the Nintendo eShop for $29.99. Rime is being ported to the Nintendo Switch by Tantalus, a company that specializes in bringing third-party titles to Nintendo systems. "As big fans of Nintendo, we truly appreciate our fans’ patience as Tantalus and Tequila Works continue working on RiME on Nintendo Switch; we are all committed to making sure all players get the high-quality experience they deserve," said Raúl Rubio Munárriz, CEO and creative director of Tequila Works. Now that Tequila Works has completed work on Rime, they've moved on to developing several other original IPs. The only one publicly known at this time is The Invisible Hours, a VR murder mystery. Rime is currently available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Be sure to read our review of the PS4 version!
  19. I’ve had my Nintendo Switch for just over a month now, but it’s already my preferred way to play video games. As a father, I have very little time to relax once everyone goes to sleep, so I often have to choose between playing video games and just vegging out and watching Netflix or YouTube. With my Switch, I don’t have to choose, I can do both. I’ve also gotten some use out of the system’s built-in portable co-op, playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe with my nephews and, more recently, playing Death Squared with my wife – in bed, nonetheless. Death Squared released earlier this year for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC, but like so many other independent games, it feels most at home on the Switch. The puzzle game tasks players with moving two or four different-colored robot cubes across grid-based levels from point A to point B. In single-player mode, each joystick on the Joy-Cons controls a different robot (two at a time). Things can get a bit tricky when you have to move both robots at the same time. However, in co-op, with the Joy-Cons detached, each player can naturally control a separate robot independently. It’s simple and intuitive to just pick up and play the game – in a way that only really works on the Switch. Death Squared never over complicates things on the gameplay front. The only input you need to know is how to move the joystick. That’s it. The rest is a matter of learning the various traps and mechanics that are layered on top of that simple premise of getting each robot to point B without dying. The game feels right at home among easy-to-learn but difficult to master Nintendo games like Mario Kart 8 and Arms. As the name implies, Death Squared uses death to teach players how the game works – which isn’t always to its benefit. Each new puzzle layers new challenges onto the formula, oftentimes without warning. For example, you only learn about the spikes that pop up from the floor and kill your robot at the very moment they kill your robot. Playing in co-op, dying repeatedly due to your partner’s impatience, incompetence, or mischievousness can be a good time. But in single-player, the trial and error gameplay can feel unfair and quickly becomes maddening as you gingerly try to navigate around each level while the game’s characters – a man named David and his A.I. overseer – mock your poor performance. It’s all much more enjoyable while playing co-op and can become pretty addictive once it sinks its hooks in you. With each level lasting no longer than a few minutes, once my wife and I got into a groove, we didn’t want to stop playing. With each new conundrum, we became better at coordinating and anticipating the game’s dastardly traps. My wife, who rarely plays games, ended up getting sucked into the clever puzzles and every time I suggested we quit, she would plead for just one more level. While a lot of credit goes to SMG Studio for designing the most enjoyable co-op puzzle game I’ve played since Portal 2, I can almost guarantee that my wife would’ve balked at the idea of playing Death Squared on PlayStation 4. The difference comes down to simplicity. Despite the controls being essentially the same across platforms, the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons present a far less intimidating form factor than the sixteen different buttons on the Dual Shock 4. It’s not that my wife is a simpleton (in fact, she’s much smarter than I am), it’s just that she isn’t as fluent in the language of video games. Neither are most people outside of the gaming bubble that we often find ourselves in. My three-year-old daughter never showed an interest in actually playing video games until I brought home my Switch. Now she can actually finish a race in Mario Kart 8. She hasn’t beaten me yet, but I look forward to the day when she does. So, even though the game is relatively friction-less for newcomers, some frustration rears its head through odd design decisions and technical quibbles. Each of the game’s test rooms (read: levels) are designed as floating constructs in some seemingly dark, vast warehouse. None of the test rooms have walls, so you’ll often just fall off the side of the structure and die when all you were trying to do was navigate in a straight line, especially in single-player when you’re often controlling both cubes at the same time, similar to Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. So many times, I knew what I needed to do, but actually executing it was not as easy as it should’ve been. This makes simply going through the steps of completing a puzzle more frustrating than it needs to be. This is especially compounded by the fact that the game doesn’t consistently auto-save. Too often, I would load an old save only to find that I had to start a couple of levels back from where I had last stopped. And when simply moving around the environment can be treacherous, that problem isn’t as minor as it would otherwise be. Despite some of its minor issues, I’m still having a blast with Death Squared, and I think my wife is too. We haven’t made it through all of the game’s 80 plus levels (which is why you shouldn’t consider this to be a full review), but we have every intention of going back and seeing what new predicaments we can solve for those adorable little cubes. I can sincerely say, this is a game I’d much rather play on my Switch over any other system - and the list of games I can say that about is rapidly growing in number. A game as simple and accessible as Death Squared just makes more sense on Switch, but the fact that it’s also a smaller indie title that released to very little fanfare on other systems doesn’t hurt either. With less competition, now is the perfect time for games like this to find an audience. Death Squared benefits from being a kid friendly pick-up-and-play game on a kid friendly, mobile console. Though it isn’t a perfect game, it deserves to be seen and played by more people, and I’m glad it might have that chance on Nintendo’s nifty young console. View full article
  20. I’ve had my Nintendo Switch for just over a month now, but it’s already my preferred way to play video games. As a father, I have very little time to relax once everyone goes to sleep, so I often have to choose between playing video games and just vegging out and watching Netflix or YouTube. With my Switch, I don’t have to choose, I can do both. I’ve also gotten some use out of the system’s built-in portable co-op, playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe with my nephews and, more recently, playing Death Squared with my wife – in bed, nonetheless. Death Squared released earlier this year for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC, but like so many other independent games, it feels most at home on the Switch. The puzzle game tasks players with moving two or four different-colored robot cubes across grid-based levels from point A to point B. In single-player mode, each joystick on the Joy-Cons controls a different robot (two at a time). Things can get a bit tricky when you have to move both robots at the same time. However, in co-op, with the Joy-Cons detached, each player can naturally control a separate robot independently. It’s simple and intuitive to just pick up and play the game – in a way that only really works on the Switch. Death Squared never over complicates things on the gameplay front. The only input you need to know is how to move the joystick. That’s it. The rest is a matter of learning the various traps and mechanics that are layered on top of that simple premise of getting each robot to point B without dying. The game feels right at home among easy-to-learn but difficult to master Nintendo games like Mario Kart 8 and Arms. As the name implies, Death Squared uses death to teach players how the game works – which isn’t always to its benefit. Each new puzzle layers new challenges onto the formula, oftentimes without warning. For example, you only learn about the spikes that pop up from the floor and kill your robot at the very moment they kill your robot. Playing in co-op, dying repeatedly due to your partner’s impatience, incompetence, or mischievousness can be a good time. But in single-player, the trial and error gameplay can feel unfair and quickly becomes maddening as you gingerly try to navigate around each level while the game’s characters – a man named David and his A.I. overseer – mock your poor performance. It’s all much more enjoyable while playing co-op and can become pretty addictive once it sinks its hooks in you. With each level lasting no longer than a few minutes, once my wife and I got into a groove, we didn’t want to stop playing. With each new conundrum, we became better at coordinating and anticipating the game’s dastardly traps. My wife, who rarely plays games, ended up getting sucked into the clever puzzles and every time I suggested we quit, she would plead for just one more level. While a lot of credit goes to SMG Studio for designing the most enjoyable co-op puzzle game I’ve played since Portal 2, I can almost guarantee that my wife would’ve balked at the idea of playing Death Squared on PlayStation 4. The difference comes down to simplicity. Despite the controls being essentially the same across platforms, the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons present a far less intimidating form factor than the sixteen different buttons on the Dual Shock 4. It’s not that my wife is a simpleton (in fact, she’s much smarter than I am), it’s just that she isn’t as fluent in the language of video games. Neither are most people outside of the gaming bubble that we often find ourselves in. My three-year-old daughter never showed an interest in actually playing video games until I brought home my Switch. Now she can actually finish a race in Mario Kart 8. She hasn’t beaten me yet, but I look forward to the day when she does. So, even though the game is relatively friction-less for newcomers, some frustration rears its head through odd design decisions and technical quibbles. Each of the game’s test rooms (read: levels) are designed as floating constructs in some seemingly dark, vast warehouse. None of the test rooms have walls, so you’ll often just fall off the side of the structure and die when all you were trying to do was navigate in a straight line, especially in single-player when you’re often controlling both cubes at the same time, similar to Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. So many times, I knew what I needed to do, but actually executing it was not as easy as it should’ve been. This makes simply going through the steps of completing a puzzle more frustrating than it needs to be. This is especially compounded by the fact that the game doesn’t consistently auto-save. Too often, I would load an old save only to find that I had to start a couple of levels back from where I had last stopped. And when simply moving around the environment can be treacherous, that problem isn’t as minor as it would otherwise be. Despite some of its minor issues, I’m still having a blast with Death Squared, and I think my wife is too. We haven’t made it through all of the game’s 80 plus levels (which is why you shouldn’t consider this to be a full review), but we have every intention of going back and seeing what new predicaments we can solve for those adorable little cubes. I can sincerely say, this is a game I’d much rather play on my Switch over any other system - and the list of games I can say that about is rapidly growing in number. A game as simple and accessible as Death Squared just makes more sense on Switch, but the fact that it’s also a smaller indie title that released to very little fanfare on other systems doesn’t hurt either. With less competition, now is the perfect time for games like this to find an audience. Death Squared benefits from being a kid friendly pick-up-and-play game on a kid friendly, mobile console. Though it isn’t a perfect game, it deserves to be seen and played by more people, and I’m glad it might have that chance on Nintendo’s nifty young console.
  21. Konami dropped a slew of new goodies to Super Bomberman R. Update 1.4 brings new mode, costumes, and more to the Switch's explosive multiplayer party game. The patch introduces three new characters themed after Konami game icons: Castlevania's Simon Belmont, Silent Hill's Pyramid Head, and Gradius' Vic Viper. A new Team Battle mode allows to form their own squads and challenge players online. Four new maps arrive in Battle Mode: Plain Floor, Desert Crate, Classic Conveyor Belt, and Panic Factory. Also, two new series of accessories, Snowflake and Item, are now available. The update is live now. You can read the full patch notes here.
  22. Upon entering the arid and scenic Sand Kingdom (after turning down a romp through New Donk City), I decide to visit the local shop. I pursue its wares and notice a snazzy black suit and matching fedora up for sale. How can I resist? I drop my hard-earned coins and within moments, Mario’s stomping on goombas dressed as the world’s most adorable mob boss. That’s just an example of Super Mario Odyssey’s delightful strangeness. After getting my hands on the hotly anticipated title during E3 2017, I’m itching for another chance to return to the plumber's wackiest outing in years. Mario’s new adventure takes place far away from the Mushroom Kingdom. Joining him is Cappy, a sentient top hat somewhat resembling a Boo, who resides within Mario’s cap. I played Odyssey using the twin Joycon configuration. Swinging both Joycons up in the air, down to the floor, or in a horizontal circle sends Cappy flying like a Frisbee in the chosen direction. Players can even manipulate Cappy’s trajectory by tilting the controllers mid-flight, allowing for quick adjustments. Motion controls felt very responsive, and tossing Cappy around is strongly reminiscent to lobbing the wrench in the Ratchet & Clank games, functioning as both an effective long-range attack and a useful method of snagging distant collectibles. Speaking of collecting, Mario hunts new Kingdom Coins in addition to the traditional gold coins. These purple-colored currency are kingdom specific, meaning they can only be spent within the world they occupy. The Nintendo representative manning my demo informed me that there were a hundred of these coins in the Sand Kingdom, which I imagine will be the case for every world. Kingdom coins are spent in stores to buy items such as health and clothing, such as the Sand Kingdom’s sombrero. Additionally, green moons have replaced the signature gold stars as Odyssey’s primary collectible. If you've seen any of the bizarre gameplay videos, you know that throwing Cappy at other characters lets Mario possess them and gain their unique talents. I hijacked a Bullet Bill which allowed me to soar past platforming segments and even reach a moon stranded on a distant pillar. However, Mario can only stay in Bullet Bill form for about 15 seconds before it explodes, reverting him back to normal. My Nintendo rep proposed a trip to a secret area, an offer I promptly accepted. She led me to a hidden sand vortex that transported to a platforming gauntlet that reminded me of Super Mario Sunshine’s secret areas. This world consisted of a series of slippery, narrow ice bridges. Waiting at the end of each pathway were bounce pads that led to higher, more difficult frozen platforms. My mastery of the controls was pushed to its limit here. I had a tough time adjusting the camera using the right stick while simultaneously spinning the remotes to attack without veering off the edge. It’s far too early to tell if Odyssey’s control scheme is flawed, but it did take getting used to. After I escaped my frozen hell I met Jaxi the Taxi, a sphinx that can give Mario a lift to almost anywhere in the level. Jaxi accelerates on his own while players steer. Controlling Jaxi was easier said than done as he sprinted like a wild horse while I fought to aim his trajectory. I eventually got him to drop me back on the main path as I continued my trek towards my goal: an inverted pyramid. One of the neatest mechanics showcased in the demo were the 2D NES segments. Echoing the wall painting ability from The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, entering special pipes protruding from walls transforms Mario into his 8-bit sprite. That surface then forms the canvas for a classic-style platforming segment as players hop on pixelated blocks and confront vintage versions of enemies. The effect is like playing a scrolling animated wallpaper–even my gangster suit made the 8-bit transition in a nice attention to detail. I used this ability to make my way up a towering pillar, evading Bullet Bill sprites along the way. Upon reaching the top I was tasked with locating five shards in order to open up the overturned pyramid. Unfortunately, my 10-minute time limit expired before I could enter its mysterious walls. Overall, the entire level felt straight out of Super Mario 64. The Sand Kingdom's design resembled the open hub-style worlds of that game, filled with side diversions that I could explore at my leisure. The traditional three-hit health bar returns, ditching Mario 3D Land/World’s incorporation of mushroom health into the 3D format. If you loved Mario 64 or Sunshine, you’ll likely get a kick out of Super Mario Odyssey. I walked away from my session wanting nothing more than to barricade myself in a room and play the full game. The possession feature opens a wealth of gameplay possibilities as players are no longer constrained by Mario’s specific skillset. Using the Bullet Bill to skip platforming segments almost felt like I was breaking the game but Odyssey accommodated for it. I'm curious to see how the rest of the design caters to what could be a plethora of different abilities. Once I'd gotten a handle on the controls, platforming felt as polished as you would expect from a mainline Mario title. Perhaps most of all, I simply can't get enough of the game's surreal premise and tone. As the catchy theme song suggests, Super Mario Odyssey should be a wild and wacky time when it launches for Nintendo Switch October 27. View full article
  23. Upon entering the arid and scenic Sand Kingdom (after turning down a romp through New Donk City), I decide to visit the local shop. I pursue its wares and notice a snazzy black suit and matching fedora up for sale. How can I resist? I drop my hard-earned coins and within moments, Mario’s stomping on goombas dressed as the world’s most adorable mob boss. That’s just an example of Super Mario Odyssey’s delightful strangeness. After getting my hands on the hotly anticipated title during E3 2017, I’m itching for another chance to return to the plumber's wackiest outing in years. Mario’s new adventure takes place far away from the Mushroom Kingdom. Joining him is Cappy, a sentient top hat somewhat resembling a Boo, who resides within Mario’s cap. I played Odyssey using the twin Joycon configuration. Swinging both Joycons up in the air, down to the floor, or in a horizontal circle sends Cappy flying like a Frisbee in the chosen direction. Players can even manipulate Cappy’s trajectory by tilting the controllers mid-flight, allowing for quick adjustments. Motion controls felt very responsive, and tossing Cappy around is strongly reminiscent to lobbing the wrench in the Ratchet & Clank games, functioning as both an effective long-range attack and a useful method of snagging distant collectibles. Speaking of collecting, Mario hunts new Kingdom Coins in addition to the traditional gold coins. These purple-colored currency are kingdom specific, meaning they can only be spent within the world they occupy. The Nintendo representative manning my demo informed me that there were a hundred of these coins in the Sand Kingdom, which I imagine will be the case for every world. Kingdom coins are spent in stores to buy items such as health and clothing, such as the Sand Kingdom’s sombrero. Additionally, green moons have replaced the signature gold stars as Odyssey’s primary collectible. If you've seen any of the bizarre gameplay videos, you know that throwing Cappy at other characters lets Mario possess them and gain their unique talents. I hijacked a Bullet Bill which allowed me to soar past platforming segments and even reach a moon stranded on a distant pillar. However, Mario can only stay in Bullet Bill form for about 15 seconds before it explodes, reverting him back to normal. My Nintendo rep proposed a trip to a secret area, an offer I promptly accepted. She led me to a hidden sand vortex that transported to a platforming gauntlet that reminded me of Super Mario Sunshine’s secret areas. This world consisted of a series of slippery, narrow ice bridges. Waiting at the end of each pathway were bounce pads that led to higher, more difficult frozen platforms. My mastery of the controls was pushed to its limit here. I had a tough time adjusting the camera using the right stick while simultaneously spinning the remotes to attack without veering off the edge. It’s far too early to tell if Odyssey’s control scheme is flawed, but it did take getting used to. After I escaped my frozen hell I met Jaxi the Taxi, a sphinx that can give Mario a lift to almost anywhere in the level. Jaxi accelerates on his own while players steer. Controlling Jaxi was easier said than done as he sprinted like a wild horse while I fought to aim his trajectory. I eventually got him to drop me back on the main path as I continued my trek towards my goal: an inverted pyramid. One of the neatest mechanics showcased in the demo were the 2D NES segments. Echoing the wall painting ability from The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, entering special pipes protruding from walls transforms Mario into his 8-bit sprite. That surface then forms the canvas for a classic-style platforming segment as players hop on pixelated blocks and confront vintage versions of enemies. The effect is like playing a scrolling animated wallpaper–even my gangster suit made the 8-bit transition in a nice attention to detail. I used this ability to make my way up a towering pillar, evading Bullet Bill sprites along the way. Upon reaching the top I was tasked with locating five shards in order to open up the overturned pyramid. Unfortunately, my 10-minute time limit expired before I could enter its mysterious walls. Overall, the entire level felt straight out of Super Mario 64. The Sand Kingdom's design resembled the open hub-style worlds of that game, filled with side diversions that I could explore at my leisure. The traditional three-hit health bar returns, ditching Mario 3D Land/World’s incorporation of mushroom health into the 3D format. If you loved Mario 64 or Sunshine, you’ll likely get a kick out of Super Mario Odyssey. I walked away from my session wanting nothing more than to barricade myself in a room and play the full game. The possession feature opens a wealth of gameplay possibilities as players are no longer constrained by Mario’s specific skillset. Using the Bullet Bill to skip platforming segments almost felt like I was breaking the game but Odyssey accommodated for it. I'm curious to see how the rest of the design caters to what could be a plethora of different abilities. Once I'd gotten a handle on the controls, platforming felt as polished as you would expect from a mainline Mario title. Perhaps most of all, I simply can't get enough of the game's surreal premise and tone. As the catchy theme song suggests, Super Mario Odyssey should be a wild and wacky time when it launches for Nintendo Switch October 27.
  24. It’s a golden rule of gaming, especially mobile, that you’re eventually going to want some cool accessories on the go. It can be a tricky minefield of first-party bank breakers or third-party cheapskates, though, so it’s helpful to have a guiding hand in making your accessorizing decisions. We stopped by Nyko’s booth at this year’s E3 to check out their immense collection of Nintendo Switch accessories and determine which might be good fits for owners of Nintendo's hybrid device. Power Shell Case Release: July 2017 Price: $39.99 The kingpin of Nyko’s lineup, this hardshell case not only holds your Switch and up to 12 games, but it also stores up to three hours worth of charge for the Switch. The case doubles as a stand, with the USB plug-in resting at its bottom, allowing you to charge while playing stationary. The Power Shell Case might be a solid idea if you tend to play rough or have yet to pick up a case at all. Dock Bands Release: June 2017 Price: $4.99 Simple and stretchy, these little bands may not look like much. But for those worried about scuffing or scratching the screen on their Nintendo Switch, this item might be a lifesaver. The bands slip over the sides of the Switch’s screen and provide a protective buffer between the screen and dock when you insert it. Swivel Grip for Switch Controller Release: August 2017 Price: $9.99 Want a little extra grip on your Switch Joy-Con but don’t want to spring for a Pro Controller? These cheap plastic grips attach to the bottom of either Joy-Con and swivel out to form the traditional, not-quite-banana-like shape of most modern controllers. Charge Base for Switch Release: August 2017 Price: $29.99 The Switch is designed for portability, but it’s home dock definitely isn’t. If you’re the type to bring your Switch to a party, it’s easy to run out of power before the night grows old. Bringing the charge base along with you will allow you to restore battery life while you prop up the Switch on your friend’s mom’s dinner table. Which of these accessories do you think will be a good fit for you? View full article
  25. It’s a golden rule of gaming, especially mobile, that you’re eventually going to want some cool accessories on the go. It can be a tricky minefield of first-party bank breakers or third-party cheapskates, though, so it’s helpful to have a guiding hand in making your accessorizing decisions. We stopped by Nyko’s booth at this year’s E3 to check out their immense collection of Nintendo Switch accessories and determine which might be good fits for owners of Nintendo's hybrid device. Power Shell Case Release: July 2017 Price: $39.99 The kingpin of Nyko’s lineup, this hardshell case not only holds your Switch and up to 12 games, but it also stores up to three hours worth of charge for the Switch. The case doubles as a stand, with the USB plug-in resting at its bottom, allowing you to charge while playing stationary. The Power Shell Case might be a solid idea if you tend to play rough or have yet to pick up a case at all. Dock Bands Release: June 2017 Price: $4.99 Simple and stretchy, these little bands may not look like much. But for those worried about scuffing or scratching the screen on their Nintendo Switch, this item might be a lifesaver. The bands slip over the sides of the Switch’s screen and provide a protective buffer between the screen and dock when you insert it. Swivel Grip for Switch Controller Release: August 2017 Price: $9.99 Want a little extra grip on your Switch Joy-Con but don’t want to spring for a Pro Controller? These cheap plastic grips attach to the bottom of either Joy-Con and swivel out to form the traditional, not-quite-banana-like shape of most modern controllers. Charge Base for Switch Release: August 2017 Price: $29.99 The Switch is designed for portability, but it’s home dock definitely isn’t. If you’re the type to bring your Switch to a party, it’s easy to run out of power before the night grows old. Bringing the charge base along with you will allow you to restore battery life while you prop up the Switch on your friend’s mom’s dinner table. Which of these accessories do you think will be a good fit for you?
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