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Found 133 results

  1. Life's kinda hard and scary right now. A lot of bad things are happening in the world, putting many of us on edge. For a good number of us, that means we keep our heads down and deal with those challenges as best we can. It's a situation that can grind you down over time. It gets harder to find hope and joy and easier to find despair. It's rough. It's times like these that I particularly appreciate the games that rejoice in being delightful. Recently, I had the pleasure of playing through Cadence of Hyrule, a game released back in June for the Nintendo Switch. It's one of the first indie-developed Legend of Zelda titles in ages. The fact that it exists at all seems miraculous, growing out of a proposed piece of DLC for the indie hit Crypt of the NecroDancer by Brace Yourself Games into a fully-fledged game set in the fictional kingdom of Hyrule. Cadence of Hyrule seems like an oasis of hope in the current times. It offers a safe haven and a chance to recharge our batteries by focusing our attention, if only for a little while, on a bright, boppin' land of adventure and music. I get a bit personal in this off-the-cuff ramble on this singular title, but sometimes games hit us in the right place at the right time and help us in profound ways. Outro music: Bomberman Hero 'Post Hyper Room' by Chris Belair (https://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03943) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday One of the common misconceptions about Extra Life is that someone can only participate if they play video games. Not true! Extra Life supports and encourages all kinds of play. To that end, we have been supporting Tabletop Appreciation Weekend for the past few years. This year, the event takes place August 24-25th and will be a time for players to gather together and play board games for the kids. Learn more about Extra Life Tabletop Appreciation Weekend and be sure to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  2. Life's kinda hard and scary right now. A lot of bad things are happening in the world, putting many of us on edge. For a good number of us, that means we keep our heads down and deal with those challenges as best we can. It's a situation that can grind you down over time. It gets harder to find hope and joy and easier to find despair. It's rough. It's times like these that I particularly appreciate the games that rejoice in being delightful. Recently, I had the pleasure of playing through Cadence of Hyrule, a game released back in June for the Nintendo Switch. It's one of the first indie-developed Legend of Zelda titles in ages. The fact that it exists at all seems miraculous, growing out of a proposed piece of DLC for the indie hit Crypt of the NecroDancer by Brace Yourself Games into a fully-fledged game set in the fictional kingdom of Hyrule. Cadence of Hyrule seems like an oasis of hope in the current times. It offers a safe haven and a chance to recharge our batteries by focusing our attention, if only for a little while, on a bright, boppin' land of adventure and music. I get a bit personal in this off-the-cuff ramble on this singular title, but sometimes games hit us in the right place at the right time and help us in profound ways. Outro music: Bomberman Hero 'Post Hyper Room' by Chris Belair (https://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03943) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday One of the common misconceptions about Extra Life is that someone can only participate if they play video games. Not true! Extra Life supports and encourages all kinds of play. To that end, we have been supporting Tabletop Appreciation Weekend for the past few years. This year, the event takes place August 24-25th and will be a time for players to gather together and play board games for the kids. Learn more about Extra Life Tabletop Appreciation Weekend and be sure 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. Cuphead might just be one of the most memorable games to come out in the last few years. Hitting Xbox One and PC in 2017 four years after being announced and undergoing a difficult development process, the Contra-like side-scrolling shooter captivated audiences with its charming and controversial art style, tight gameplay, and engaging soundtrack. With very few games existing with a comparable aesthetic, Cuphead stuck in the brains of everyone who even briefly experienced it. Studio MDHR's first game stands with a perfect score on Steam and almost universal acclaim. A couple years after release, is Cuphead one of the best games of all-time? Joining us to help answer that question this week is none other than friend of the show, voice actor, podcaster, and game critic extraordinaire Marcus Stewart. Each week on The Best Games Period, we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Kirby's Return to Dream Land 'Cocoa 'n' Cookies' by jdaster64 (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03922) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday One of the common misconceptions about Extra Life is that someone can only participate if they play video games. Not true! Extra Life supports and encourages all kinds of play. To that end, we have been supporting Tabletop Appreciation Weekend for the past few years. This year, the event takes place August 24-25th and will be a time for players to gather together and play board games for the kids. Learn more about Extra Life Tabletop Appreciation Weekend and be sure to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  4. Cuphead might just be one of the most memorable games to come out in the last few years. Hitting Xbox One and PC in 2017 four years after being announced and undergoing a difficult development process, the Contra-like side-scrolling shooter captivated audiences with its charming and controversial art style, tight gameplay, and engaging soundtrack. With very few games existing with a comparable aesthetic, Cuphead stuck in the brains of everyone who even briefly experienced it. Studio MDHR's first game stands with a perfect score on Steam and almost universal acclaim. A couple years after release, is Cuphead one of the best games of all-time? Joining us to help answer that question this week is none other than friend of the show, voice actor, podcaster, and game critic extraordinaire Marcus Stewart. Each week on The Best Games Period, we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Kirby's Return to Dream Land 'Cocoa 'n' Cookies' by jdaster64 (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03922) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday One of the common misconceptions about Extra Life is that someone can only participate if they play video games. Not true! Extra Life supports and encourages all kinds of play. To that end, we have been supporting Tabletop Appreciation Weekend for the past few years. This year, the event takes place August 24-25th and will be a time for players to gather together and play board games for the kids. Learn more about Extra Life Tabletop Appreciation Weekend and be sure 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. Animal Crossing on the Switch remained a relative mystery until a new trailer revealed itself during the Nintendo E3 2019 release conference. Previously, all we had to cling on to was a Tom Nook monologue and a release window of 2019. While that window has been pushed back, we did gain quite a bit of new knowledge on the upcoming game. Dissatisfied with living the life of a small-time salesman, the wiley businessman Tom Nook has positioned himself as head of operations in the Animal Crossing world. He seems to have kept himself busy indeed with the establishment if Nook Inc. and the building of “The Deserted Island Getaway Package.” As the trailer moves along, we see a villager establishing themselves in this new world starting with the basics. They place a tent and get to work gathering resources to build up some sort of townscape. Time progresses and we see the layout getting more and more complicated as new items are crafted, areas are explored, and the world shapes up. More buildings pop up, causing residents to appear. Not only do the adorable furry and fuzzy creatures town denizens pop into existence, but fellow villagers also join the town. The presence of other human villagers firmly suggests multiplayer content exists or is at least planned. As this is Tom Nook, a further cut scene appears where he presents the villager with an itemized bill including everything from airfare to your “NookPhone.” I mean fair is fair. While this little scene acts as a joke making fun of Nooks ever-benevolent character, it does seem to bring up a subtle note of the mobile series Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. There may be a tie-in for the new game to the successful mobile title in some capacity. Maybe that connection will involve linking the social aspect of Pocket Camp into the multiplayer or perhaps a whole new gameplay element. While previously we had a release window, now we have a date. However, that date comes somewhat later than the 2019 timeframe we had up until this point. This upcoming game, fully titled Animal Crossing: New Horizons, will release on March 20, 2020. Further gameplay can be seen via the Nintendo Treehouse live event that aired after the press conference. The demo showcases the early game. Are you excited for Animal Crossing to come to Switch? What do you think of the new island setting? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on the Extra Life social channels! 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. Animal Crossing on the Switch remained a relative mystery until a new trailer revealed itself during the Nintendo E3 2019 release conference. Previously, all we had to cling on to was a Tom Nook monologue and a release window of 2019. While that window has been pushed back, we did gain quite a bit of new knowledge on the upcoming game. Dissatisfied with living the life of a small-time salesman, the wiley businessman Tom Nook has positioned himself as head of operations in the Animal Crossing world. He seems to have kept himself busy indeed with the establishment if Nook Inc. and the building of “The Deserted Island Getaway Package.” As the trailer moves along, we see a villager establishing themselves in this new world starting with the basics. They place a tent and get to work gathering resources to build up some sort of townscape. Time progresses and we see the layout getting more and more complicated as new items are crafted, areas are explored, and the world shapes up. More buildings pop up, causing residents to appear. Not only do the adorable furry and fuzzy creatures town denizens pop into existence, but fellow villagers also join the town. The presence of other human villagers firmly suggests multiplayer content exists or is at least planned. As this is Tom Nook, a further cut scene appears where he presents the villager with an itemized bill including everything from airfare to your “NookPhone.” I mean fair is fair. While this little scene acts as a joke making fun of Nooks ever-benevolent character, it does seem to bring up a subtle note of the mobile series Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. There may be a tie-in for the new game to the successful mobile title in some capacity. Maybe that connection will involve linking the social aspect of Pocket Camp into the multiplayer or perhaps a whole new gameplay element. While previously we had a release window, now we have a date. However, that date comes somewhat later than the 2019 timeframe we had up until this point. This upcoming game, fully titled Animal Crossing: New Horizons, will release on March 20, 2020. Further gameplay can be seen via the Nintendo Treehouse live event that aired after the press conference. The demo showcases the early game. Are you excited for Animal Crossing to come to Switch? What do you think of the new island setting? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on the Extra Life social channels! 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. Cuphead captured the hearts of gamers around the world when it released during the tail end of 2017. The distinctive, early animation art style in particular caught the attention of artists and fans, which has lead to an incredible partnership between the game's developer, Studio MDHR, and the incredible illustrator Uki Hayashi. With the help of Bottleneck Gallery, a number of illustrated prints have been made for sale that meld the game's wonderful aesthetic with Hayashi's unmistakably Japanese stylings. The print collection has been put togehter to pay homage to the Japanese titles that inspired Cuphead, the indelible classics that many continue to hold up today as gold standards for gameplay and aesthetic. Cuphead took the finely balanced side-scrolling shooting from games like Contra and combined it with jaw-dropping visuals, garnering almost universal acclaim. Three unique prints have been made by Uki Hayashi and been made available through Bottleneck Gallery. Each Giclee print sells for either $40 or $50 and, though there are three basic designs, each one has a color variant that plays with and changes the use of white in each design. You can view the full collection on Bottleneck Gallery's site. Bottleneck Gallery hosts a variety of contemporary art and artists. It makes an effort to provide space to both new and well-known artists for events intended to build up the local community and benefit charity. It also focuses on bringing unique and interesting pieces of pop culture art to the masses with works ranging from Bob's Burgers enamel pins to incredible artistic renderings of iconic moments in cartoons, blockbuster movies, and more. Some mainstream critics maintain that Cuphead was one of if not the hardest games they have ever played. Despite that, or maybe because of it, Cuphead received some of the highest awards and scores outlets could bestow on a game, helping to propel the indie game's success around the world. Now, Cuphead is coming to the Nintendo Switch tomorrow, April 18. Maybe it's a good time to pick up a cool art print while buying the game for the first, second, or third time? 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!
  8. Cuphead captured the hearts of gamers around the world when it released during the tail end of 2017. The distinctive, early animation art style in particular caught the attention of artists and fans, which has lead to an incredible partnership between the game's developer, Studio MDHR, and the incredible illustrator Uki Hayashi. With the help of Bottleneck Gallery, a number of illustrated prints have been made for sale that meld the game's wonderful aesthetic with Hayashi's unmistakably Japanese stylings. The print collection has been put togehter to pay homage to the Japanese titles that inspired Cuphead, the indelible classics that many continue to hold up today as gold standards for gameplay and aesthetic. Cuphead took the finely balanced side-scrolling shooting from games like Contra and combined it with jaw-dropping visuals, garnering almost universal acclaim. Three unique prints have been made by Uki Hayashi and been made available through Bottleneck Gallery. Each Giclee print sells for either $40 or $50 and, though there are three basic designs, each one has a color variant that plays with and changes the use of white in each design. You can view the full collection on Bottleneck Gallery's site. Bottleneck Gallery hosts a variety of contemporary art and artists. It makes an effort to provide space to both new and well-known artists for events intended to build up the local community and benefit charity. It also focuses on bringing unique and interesting pieces of pop culture art to the masses with works ranging from Bob's Burgers enamel pins to incredible artistic renderings of iconic moments in cartoons, blockbuster movies, and more. Some mainstream critics maintain that Cuphead was one of if not the hardest games they have ever played. Despite that, or maybe because of it, Cuphead received some of the highest awards and scores outlets could bestow on a game, helping to propel the indie game's success around the world. Now, Cuphead is coming to the Nintendo Switch tomorrow, April 18. Maybe it's a good time to pick up a cool art print while buying the game for the first, second, or third time? 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
  9. Today, Microsoft announced that they would be bringing Xbox Live to Android and iOS devices, officially lending its support to the wider world of mobile game development. This move isn't entirely unprecedented. Xbox Live support has been available on mobile before, however it was only included in apps and games developed by Microsoft itself, like Minecraft. This new move will put Xbox Live within reach of any developer who wants to integrate their app or game into the wider Xbox Live ecosystem. Microsoft initially teased back in February that they might be making an announcement related to mobile soon. The move, revealed today, will allow apps and games across the mobile world to access the suite of services associated with Xbox Live. Developers will be able to use the tools released by Microsoft to connect as many or as few Xbox Life services with their project as needed. Now we know, thanks to The Verge, the full extent of the program and tools. Microsoft's new mobile development kit (SDK) will enable devs to add Gamerscore, open up clubs, friend lists, and include account family settings. On top of that, developers will be able to implement a single sign-in for Xbox Live and grant devs online protection for their apps and games. The new SDK will come together with Microsoft Game Stack, a collection of tool sets designed to get developers up and running with Microsoft's cloud technology, something the tech giant has been pushing across a wide variety of its services outside of gaming. A rumor has been going around the industry that Xbox Live integration will also be coming to the Nintendo Switch, though a rep from Microsoft didn't deny that it's in the works. However, even if Xbox Live comes to Nintendo Switch, it's unlikely to make its way onto Sony's flagship platform, the PlayStation 4. Microsoft, for its part, appears to be very willing to partner with companies many might consider to be rivals, but Sony's reticence makes the possible team up all but impossible. While it might seem like a similar roll out on a rival platform would be impossible, Minecraft on Switch does implement an Xbox Live sign-in. That puts the Switch in a similar position as the mobile market was prior to this announcement. The ability to put Xbox Live on Switch is already out in the wild with Minecraft; all it would take is the okay from Nintendo and some additional fine-tuning of the software for it to work well on Switch. We could very easily see the next battle for gaming supremacy take place not in hardware, but in the realm of software support and service features. If that's the case, Xbox Live just created a huge lead for itself. 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!
  10. Today, Microsoft announced that they would be bringing Xbox Live to Android and iOS devices, officially lending its support to the wider world of mobile game development. This move isn't entirely unprecedented. Xbox Live support has been available on mobile before, however it was only included in apps and games developed by Microsoft itself, like Minecraft. This new move will put Xbox Live within reach of any developer who wants to integrate their app or game into the wider Xbox Live ecosystem. Microsoft initially teased back in February that they might be making an announcement related to mobile soon. The move, revealed today, will allow apps and games across the mobile world to access the suite of services associated with Xbox Live. Developers will be able to use the tools released by Microsoft to connect as many or as few Xbox Life services with their project as needed. Now we know, thanks to The Verge, the full extent of the program and tools. Microsoft's new mobile development kit (SDK) will enable devs to add Gamerscore, open up clubs, friend lists, and include account family settings. On top of that, developers will be able to implement a single sign-in for Xbox Live and grant devs online protection for their apps and games. The new SDK will come together with Microsoft Game Stack, a collection of tool sets designed to get developers up and running with Microsoft's cloud technology, something the tech giant has been pushing across a wide variety of its services outside of gaming. A rumor has been going around the industry that Xbox Live integration will also be coming to the Nintendo Switch, though a rep from Microsoft didn't deny that it's in the works. However, even if Xbox Live comes to Nintendo Switch, it's unlikely to make its way onto Sony's flagship platform, the PlayStation 4. Microsoft, for its part, appears to be very willing to partner with companies many might consider to be rivals, but Sony's reticence makes the possible team up all but impossible. While it might seem like a similar roll out on a rival platform would be impossible, Minecraft on Switch does implement an Xbox Live sign-in. That puts the Switch in a similar position as the mobile market was prior to this announcement. The ability to put Xbox Live on Switch is already out in the wild with Minecraft; all it would take is the okay from Nintendo and some additional fine-tuning of the software for it to work well on Switch. We could very easily see the next battle for gaming supremacy take place not in hardware, but in the realm of software support and service features. If that's the case, Xbox Live just created a huge lead for itself. 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
  11. The upcoming indie platformer Hoa looks incredible. The hand-painted aesthetic and adorable character design bring a vast amount of charm to the adventure of the titular Hoa, a small spritely creature trying to make her way home. Hoa is being made by a group of university graduates based in Singapore. The team currently includes four members working in their spare time to bring their vision to life. The devs wish to follow in the footsteps of classic, visually interesting platformers like Limbo and Rayman. To that end, the team experimented with a variety of different designs and discovered that their work meshed nicely with the distinctive look of Japanese animation. Much like Limbo, the entire game has been designed to only encompass a few hours, bringing players on a memorable and moving journey as they struggle with being a little being in a big world. Deciding to emulate the style of a masterful animation outfit like Studio Ghibli proved to be difficult to follow through on. In a recent interview with 80 Level, the game's director Ryo Cao Son Tung said: At that moment I was not really sure if we can do it. Ghibli’s artist like Kazuo Oga have decades of painting experience, and we have to match that quality. If we cannot pull it off, then the project is over right at the beginning. We spent a lot of time watching all Ghibli movies, researching their background art, breaking down the techniques, then finding a way to recreate that in Photoshop. It was a really tough task, but as we paint more we start to get the hang of it. After a few months of continuous researching and practicing and playing with different brush settings in Photoshop, our works reach an acceptable level. [...] In production, take the forest scene we posted for example, it took us about two weeks to finish painting all the background elements for the scene. Though Hoa remains a long way off from being completed, a playable demo should be finished within the next several months. Based on community feedback the team plans to refine the demo into a proof of concept to entice their investors to stick around. If they succeed in wrangling the financial backing, they expect Hoa to ship sometime next year for PC and Nintendo Switch. If it proves to be popular, they're even open to considering a mobile port. 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!
  12. The upcoming indie platformer Hoa looks incredible. The hand-painted aesthetic and adorable character design bring a vast amount of charm to the adventure of the titular Hoa, a small spritely creature trying to make her way home. Hoa is being made by a group of university graduates based in Singapore. The team currently includes four members working in their spare time to bring their vision to life. The devs wish to follow in the footsteps of classic, visually interesting platformers like Limbo and Rayman. To that end, the team experimented with a variety of different designs and discovered that their work meshed nicely with the distinctive look of Japanese animation. Much like Limbo, the entire game has been designed to only encompass a few hours, bringing players on a memorable and moving journey as they struggle with being a little being in a big world. Deciding to emulate the style of a masterful animation outfit like Studio Ghibli proved to be difficult to follow through on. In a recent interview with 80 Level, the game's director Ryo Cao Son Tung said: At that moment I was not really sure if we can do it. Ghibli’s artist like Kazuo Oga have decades of painting experience, and we have to match that quality. If we cannot pull it off, then the project is over right at the beginning. We spent a lot of time watching all Ghibli movies, researching their background art, breaking down the techniques, then finding a way to recreate that in Photoshop. It was a really tough task, but as we paint more we start to get the hang of it. After a few months of continuous researching and practicing and playing with different brush settings in Photoshop, our works reach an acceptable level. [...] In production, take the forest scene we posted for example, it took us about two weeks to finish painting all the background elements for the scene. Though Hoa remains a long way off from being completed, a playable demo should be finished within the next several months. Based on community feedback the team plans to refine the demo into a proof of concept to entice their investors to stick around. If they succeed in wrangling the financial backing, they expect Hoa to ship sometime next year for PC and Nintendo Switch. If it proves to be popular, they're even open to considering a mobile port. 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
  13. Animal Crossing has a strange hold on people. It seems to appeal to those across a wide range of demographics, young and old. What makes the series about moving to a new town full of friendly cartoon animals so attractive to so many people that Nintendo has an army of fans ready to kick in its door for a Nintendo Direct about the upcoming Animal Crossing coming to Switch? Jack and Naomi try to get to the bottom of it and maybe discover whether Animal Crossing: New Leaf stands as one of the best games of all-time. Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Animal Crossing: New Leaf 'Morning Jazz' by AJ DiSpirito (https://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03623) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday 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!
  14. Animal Crossing has a strange hold on people. It seems to appeal to those across a wide range of demographics, young and old. What makes the series about moving to a new town full of friendly cartoon animals so attractive to so many people that Nintendo has an army of fans ready to kick in its door for a Nintendo Direct about the upcoming Animal Crossing coming to Switch? Jack and Naomi try to get to the bottom of it and maybe discover whether Animal Crossing: New Leaf stands as one of the best games of all-time. Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Animal Crossing: New Leaf 'Morning Jazz' by AJ DiSpirito (https://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03623) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday 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
  15. Nintendo gave one of their most announcement heavy Directs to date earlier today, revealing the release dates of games coming to the Switch in the near future as well as teasing some longer term projects and an entirely new action IP from the creators of Bayonetta and Nier: Automata. Sandwiched between the major announcements came a number of indie reveals and announcements. The continuing flow of titles onto the system has made it one of the biggest gaming juggernauts of this generation, able to bring in new players and those fond of classic or artsy games. Without further ado, let's dive into what Nintendo had to show for their extremely successful console/handheld. Super Mario Maker 2 will release for the Switch this coming June. The sequel will bring all of the old features from the original that people loved and supplement them with a slew of new content for the best platformer builders to play with and construct their dream levels. There aren't a ton of details from the Direct, but it's likely we'll hear more as we get closer to E3 and Nintendo's customary announcements around that time. First, the company revealed Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, an upcoming action-RPG starring a huge roster of Marvel's biggest comic book characters. This will be the first time the series has seen a release in a decade and it's bringing with it an entirely new story that pits the biggest heroes of the Marvel universe against Thanos and his Black Order. While Marvel Ultimate Alliance largely exists in its own universe, there will be some nods and references to upcoming films, like an updated look for Captain Marvel and a focus on her powers and abilities. You can look forward to seeing more details coming out about Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order as we get closer to its summer release window. A boxy new puzzle game will come to Switch on April 26. Box Boy + Box Girl continues the series by adding a co-op mode. Those who complete the game will find an entirely new adventure starring the tall box boy waiting for them. The title features over 270 stages, making it the most robust puzzle game in the series to date. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will be receiving its 3.0 update soon. The free update will add a chunk of new content to the Switch's premier fighting game and will include Persona 5's Joker as a new character for those who purchased the DLC. In addition to the update, new amiibo figures based on the designs from Ultimate are coming. There aren't too many additional details, though Nintendo has said more will be coming; given the most recent patch notes for Smash, we'll be seeing a lot of new things on the battlefield. Players should expect to see the update release sometime in April. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker's Switch version will be getting a 2-player co-op mode in a free update that launches today. In addition to that game-changing update, Nintendo will release paid DLC to add 18 new challenges across new maps like a sunken ship or a candy land. Additional challenges will come to existing courses, too. Titled Captain Toad: Special Episode, fans of the game can purchase the DLC today to get their hands on one new course with the rest releasing on March 14. A digital bundle of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker also hits the eShop later today. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night has slowly been spinning its gears up for a launch and now we finally know when to expect it on Switch! The Nintendo Direct showed off a bunch of impressive gameplay footage, giving many their first looks at character customization, hints at sidequests, and a number of interesting abilities like controlling gravity itself. Ritual of the Night will release for Switch sometime this summer. Dragon Quest Builders 2 will be coming to Switch, too. The new title supports 4-player co-op locally or online. Among a number of other additions, DQ Builders 2 will also add a first person mode to fully complete the Minecraft comparisons. The construction RPG releases July 12. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age Definitive Edition comes to Switch this fall. The new version possesses some striking differences from the original release. Players can decide to play it in a classic 16-bit mode for a truly retro feel. The soundtrack has also been fully orchestrated across the entire game, though it includes both soundtracks for players to choose whichever they like better. There were some complaints about the English voice overs, so the Definitive Edition also includes the Japanese voiceover options. Finally, new companion quests and storylines will fully flesh out the backstories of the various party members that join the hero on his journey to save the world. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age Definitive Edition launches this fall. Disney found a lot of success with their stuffed tsum tsum toys based on Disney characters. That popularity has turned the toys into a game of their very own. Disney Tsum Tsum Festival offers a collection of multiplayer mini-games for people of all ages as well as a core puzzle matching game. This game will come to Switch sometime in 2019. Star Link: Battle for Atlas on the Switch will receive a free update in April of this year that brings the members of Star Wolf into conflict with all the members of Star Fox. Players will be able to play as Falco, Slippy, and Peppy, each with their own unique abilities to combat the nefarious plans of their evil mercenary rivals. The popular Harvest Moon-inspired series Rune Factory will be coming to Nintendo Switch later this year with Rune Factory 4 Special. This remastered version of Rune Factory 4 offers a light RPG experience alongside farming, trading, and socializing with various locals. Unique to the Switch version, players will be able to marry NPCs who become close to the main character. Rune Factory 4 Special will release later this year. In addition to all of that, Nintendo confirmed that Rune Factory 5 is currently in development, though they didn't clarify anything more than that. Oninaki appears to be the next indie RPG from Square Enix in the same vein as I Am Setsuna. Oninaki puts players in the role of an individual who can cross the line between life and death to save lost souls. The balance of reincarnation has been thrown off, with souls becoming lost and turning into monsters that roam the land. As players save souls, they will unlock new abilities they can use to more effectively fight monsters with the right weapons. The deep, single-player RPG launches this coming summer. Yoshi's Crafted World will release on March 28. In addition to the platforming and puzzle-solving that players expect, keep your eyes peeled for the hidden costumes and minigames scattered throughout the worlds. These hidden costumes provide a bit of extra protection to Yoshi, too, so they're more than just decorative. Nintendo will release a demo later today that will allow players to go through the first course and experience its charm first-hand. This Nintendo Direct revealed a great deal of information about the upcoming Fire Emblem title, Fire Emblem: Three Houses. The turn-based RPG looks like it might have received an overhaul in terms of both its systems and story. The player starts as a mercenary who uncovers a strange power and receives an offer to teach students at a strange monastery at the center of three great nations of a fantastical continent. As all of this happens visions begin to haunt the hero hinting at a grand future yet to unfold. Naturally, there are three factions of students, one from each country. Players will have to choose which faction to tutor, leading to a branching story line and three different campaigns. From the basic plot ideas laid out in the Direct, it seems like the new Fire Emblem combines the school drama of titles like Persona with the traditional turn-based combat and deep systems of Fire Emblem. Fire Emblem: Three Houses releases on July 26. Nintendo teased a battle royale puzzle game called Tetris 99. Details were a bit scarce, but players will be able to hinder one another and battle to remain the last Tetris player standing in the online title that actually releases today! Dead by Daylight will be coming to Nintendo Switch this fall, though it's unclear whether there will be Switch specific additions to the indie hunter-hunted game. Toby Fox's Delta Rune Chapter 1 releases for Switch on February 28. Much like it's PC counterpart, the Switch version will be free, though the remaining chapters that will fill out the title will not be free. Final Fantasy IX, arguably the best Final Fantasy game of all-time, will be available on Nintendo Switch later today. Additionally, Final Fantasy VII comes to Nintendo Switch on March 26. The mecha action game Daemon X Machina has somehow managed to keep a low profile recently, but producer Kenichiro Tsukada hopes to change that with a demo releasing later today. The demo, a collection of missions titled Daemon X Machina: Prototype Missions, includes several sorties to acclimate and familiarize players with its gameplay and systems. The demo culminates in an encounter with a massive mechanical boss for a good final challenge. The demo also serves as a beta of sorts and some players who download it will be sent surveys to help the developers fine-tune the experience for the full release. Check out the demo and get hype for Daemon X Machina when it releases this summer. Touting the most realistic racing title on Switch to date, GRID Autosport will be coming to Switch. Players will be able to use motion controls to drive or customize their own specialized control schemes. Players can race one another in split screen or online across a variety of real-world maps. This version will also include all DLC released for the title on other platforms, meaning there are over 100 cars and 100 circuits to race with. Expect GRID Autosport later this summer. Chocobo Mystery Dungeon Every Buddy (March 20) Hellblade Senua's Sacrifice (Spring 2019) Mortal Kombat 11 (April 23) Unraveled 2 (March 22) Assassin's Creed III Remastered (May 22) To round out their Direct, Nintendo announced Astral Chain, a new IP from Platinum Games. Hideki Kamiya, the creator of Bayonetta, is supervising the creation of Astral Chain while the core direction duties have gone to Takahisa Taura, the director of Neir: Automata. The trailer provides nearly all of the details we have to go on: It's about police officers dealing with a terrorist threat in a crazy sci-fi world. They seem to have abilities or technology that allows them to summon mechanical warriors while also fighting themselves - connected by what one can assume is the titular astral chain. However, given the dialogue in the trailer, it's all too possible that their fight against the terrorists is inadvertently dooming the world. Astral Chain releases on August 30. THEY ARE REMAKING THE WIND FISH Erm... *ahem* Nintendo closed their Direct by teasing a resurrection of the classic action-adventure Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. The remake of the 1993 Game Boy title oozes so much charm and joy that it's, frankly, criminal. The revamped art style rivals some of the heaviest hitting cute aesthetics in all of gaming - and we get to play the new Link's Awakening before the year is done as this Switch exclusive will release sometime this year. You can watch the entire Nintendo Direct for yourself below if you'd like to see all of the announcements for yourself: 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
  16. Nintendo gave one of their most announcement heavy Directs to date earlier today, revealing the release dates of games coming to the Switch in the near future as well as teasing some longer term projects and an entirely new action IP from the creators of Bayonetta and Nier: Automata. Sandwiched between the major announcements came a number of indie reveals and announcements. The continuing flow of titles onto the system has made it one of the biggest gaming juggernauts of this generation, able to bring in new players and those fond of classic or artsy games. Without further ado, let's dive into what Nintendo had to show for their extremely successful console/handheld. Super Mario Maker 2 will release for the Switch this coming June. The sequel will bring all of the old features from the original that people loved and supplement them with a slew of new content for the best platformer builders to play with and construct their dream levels. There aren't a ton of details from the Direct, but it's likely we'll hear more as we get closer to E3 and Nintendo's customary announcements around that time. First, the company revealed Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, an upcoming action-RPG starring a huge roster of Marvel's biggest comic book characters. This will be the first time the series has seen a release in a decade and it's bringing with it an entirely new story that pits the biggest heroes of the Marvel universe against Thanos and his Black Order. While Marvel Ultimate Alliance largely exists in its own universe, there will be some nods and references to upcoming films, like an updated look for Captain Marvel and a focus on her powers and abilities. You can look forward to seeing more details coming out about Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order as we get closer to its summer release window. A boxy new puzzle game will come to Switch on April 26. Box Boy + Box Girl continues the series by adding a co-op mode. Those who complete the game will find an entirely new adventure starring the tall box boy waiting for them. The title features over 270 stages, making it the most robust puzzle game in the series to date. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will be receiving its 3.0 update soon. The free update will add a chunk of new content to the Switch's premier fighting game and will include Persona 5's Joker as a new character for those who purchased the DLC. In addition to the update, new amiibo figures based on the designs from Ultimate are coming. There aren't too many additional details, though Nintendo has said more will be coming; given the most recent patch notes for Smash, we'll be seeing a lot of new things on the battlefield. Players should expect to see the update release sometime in April. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker's Switch version will be getting a 2-player co-op mode in a free update that launches today. In addition to that game-changing update, Nintendo will release paid DLC to add 18 new challenges across new maps like a sunken ship or a candy land. Additional challenges will come to existing courses, too. Titled Captain Toad: Special Episode, fans of the game can purchase the DLC today to get their hands on one new course with the rest releasing on March 14. A digital bundle of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker also hits the eShop later today. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night has slowly been spinning its gears up for a launch and now we finally know when to expect it on Switch! The Nintendo Direct showed off a bunch of impressive gameplay footage, giving many their first looks at character customization, hints at sidequests, and a number of interesting abilities like controlling gravity itself. Ritual of the Night will release for Switch sometime this summer. Dragon Quest Builders 2 will be coming to Switch, too. The new title supports 4-player co-op locally or online. Among a number of other additions, DQ Builders 2 will also add a first person mode to fully complete the Minecraft comparisons. The construction RPG releases July 12. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age Definitive Edition comes to Switch this fall. The new version possesses some striking differences from the original release. Players can decide to play it in a classic 16-bit mode for a truly retro feel. The soundtrack has also been fully orchestrated across the entire game, though it includes both soundtracks for players to choose whichever they like better. There were some complaints about the English voice overs, so the Definitive Edition also includes the Japanese voiceover options. Finally, new companion quests and storylines will fully flesh out the backstories of the various party members that join the hero on his journey to save the world. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age Definitive Edition launches this fall. Disney found a lot of success with their stuffed tsum tsum toys based on Disney characters. That popularity has turned the toys into a game of their very own. Disney Tsum Tsum Festival offers a collection of multiplayer mini-games for people of all ages as well as a core puzzle matching game. This game will come to Switch sometime in 2019. Star Link: Battle for Atlas on the Switch will receive a free update in April of this year that brings the members of Star Wolf into conflict with all the members of Star Fox. Players will be able to play as Falco, Slippy, and Peppy, each with their own unique abilities to combat the nefarious plans of their evil mercenary rivals. The popular Harvest Moon-inspired series Rune Factory will be coming to Nintendo Switch later this year with Rune Factory 4 Special. This remastered version of Rune Factory 4 offers a light RPG experience alongside farming, trading, and socializing with various locals. Unique to the Switch version, players will be able to marry NPCs who become close to the main character. Rune Factory 4 Special will release later this year. In addition to all of that, Nintendo confirmed that Rune Factory 5 is currently in development, though they didn't clarify anything more than that. Oninaki appears to be the next indie RPG from Square Enix in the same vein as I Am Setsuna. Oninaki puts players in the role of an individual who can cross the line between life and death to save lost souls. The balance of reincarnation has been thrown off, with souls becoming lost and turning into monsters that roam the land. As players save souls, they will unlock new abilities they can use to more effectively fight monsters with the right weapons. The deep, single-player RPG launches this coming summer. Yoshi's Crafted World will release on March 28. In addition to the platforming and puzzle-solving that players expect, keep your eyes peeled for the hidden costumes and minigames scattered throughout the worlds. These hidden costumes provide a bit of extra protection to Yoshi, too, so they're more than just decorative. Nintendo will release a demo later today that will allow players to go through the first course and experience its charm first-hand. This Nintendo Direct revealed a great deal of information about the upcoming Fire Emblem title, Fire Emblem: Three Houses. The turn-based RPG looks like it might have received an overhaul in terms of both its systems and story. The player starts as a mercenary who uncovers a strange power and receives an offer to teach students at a strange monastery at the center of three great nations of a fantastical continent. As all of this happens visions begin to haunt the hero hinting at a grand future yet to unfold. Naturally, there are three factions of students, one from each country. Players will have to choose which faction to tutor, leading to a branching story line and three different campaigns. From the basic plot ideas laid out in the Direct, it seems like the new Fire Emblem combines the school drama of titles like Persona with the traditional turn-based combat and deep systems of Fire Emblem. Fire Emblem: Three Houses releases on July 26. Nintendo teased a battle royale puzzle game called Tetris 99. Details were a bit scarce, but players will be able to hinder one another and battle to remain the last Tetris player standing in the online title that actually releases today! Dead by Daylight will be coming to Nintendo Switch this fall, though it's unclear whether there will be Switch specific additions to the indie hunter-hunted game. Toby Fox's Delta Rune Chapter 1 releases for Switch on February 28. Much like it's PC counterpart, the Switch version will be free, though the remaining chapters that will fill out the title will not be free. Final Fantasy IX, arguably the best Final Fantasy game of all-time, will be available on Nintendo Switch later today. Additionally, Final Fantasy VII comes to Nintendo Switch on March 26. The mecha action game Daemon X Machina has somehow managed to keep a low profile recently, but producer Kenichiro Tsukada hopes to change that with a demo releasing later today. The demo, a collection of missions titled Daemon X Machina: Prototype Missions, includes several sorties to acclimate and familiarize players with its gameplay and systems. The demo culminates in an encounter with a massive mechanical boss for a good final challenge. The demo also serves as a beta of sorts and some players who download it will be sent surveys to help the developers fine-tune the experience for the full release. Check out the demo and get hype for Daemon X Machina when it releases this summer. Touting the most realistic racing title on Switch to date, GRID Autosport will be coming to Switch. Players will be able to use motion controls to drive or customize their own specialized control schemes. Players can race one another in split screen or online across a variety of real-world maps. This version will also include all DLC released for the title on other platforms, meaning there are over 100 cars and 100 circuits to race with. Expect GRID Autosport later this summer. Chocobo Mystery Dungeon Every Buddy (March 20) Hellblade Senua's Sacrifice (Spring 2019) Mortal Kombat 11 (April 23) Unraveled 2 (March 22) Assassin's Creed III Remastered (May 22) To round out their Direct, Nintendo announced Astral Chain, a new IP from Platinum Games. Hideki Kamiya, the creator of Bayonetta, is supervising the creation of Astral Chain while the core direction duties have gone to Takahisa Taura, the director of Neir: Automata. The trailer provides nearly all of the details we have to go on: It's about police officers dealing with a terrorist threat in a crazy sci-fi world. They seem to have abilities or technology that allows them to summon mechanical warriors while also fighting themselves - connected by what one can assume is the titular astral chain. However, given the dialogue in the trailer, it's all too possible that their fight against the terrorists is inadvertently dooming the world. Astral Chain releases on August 30. THEY ARE REMAKING THE WIND FISH Erm... *ahem* Nintendo closed their Direct by teasing a resurrection of the classic action-adventure Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. The remake of the 1993 Game Boy title oozes so much charm and joy that it's, frankly, criminal. The revamped art style rivals some of the heaviest hitting cute aesthetics in all of gaming - and we get to play the new Link's Awakening before the year is done as this Switch exclusive will release sometime this year. You can watch the entire Nintendo Direct for yourself below if you'd like to see all of the announcements for yourself: 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!
  17. Take a nostalgia trip back to the heyday of the 8-bit era with Odallus: The Dark Call, an action-platformer coming to Nintendo Switch. Odallus: The Dark Call tells the story of Haggis, an aged hero who embarks on a quest to save his son and avenge the destruction of his village. Battling demons, cultists, and eldritch beings, Haggis presses onward to spare his son from becoming a dark sacrifice. Brazilian developer JoyMasher masterminded both Odallus: The Dark Call and Oniken, which will also be receiving a Switch port. The company specializes in retro game development, with Odallus covering the Metroidvania action subgenre and Oniken representing JoyMasher's take on the old-school Ninja Gaiden. They also have a game currently in development called Blazing Chrome, a 16-bit run-and-gun action-shooter in the vein of Super Contra or Metal Slug. Odallus: The Dark Call initially released in 2015 for PC, receiving mostly positive reviews for its heartfelt send up of the Castlevania of old. It includes classic 8-bit cutscenes, a large world full of secrets, and clever gameplay twists that might trick even the most veteran of players. Now, the adventures of Haggis are coming to Nintendo Switch in February as well as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One later this spring. Odallus: The Dark Call features eight levels that can be explored for more secrets when players have acquired more abilities. Levels are populated by over fifty different enemy types and offer chances to face off against colossal bosses. Players who stick through to the end will spend, at a minimum, eight hours completing the game, only to find a veteran difficulty awaiting them for added replayability. When it launches, Odallus: The Dark Call will be available digitally. However, Eastasiasoft will be offering a limited run physical edition of the game. These physical copies will work on all systems worldwide, but may have some limitations on their online features. The following will be offered physically: Odallus: The Dark Call (PS4) Oniken + Odallus Collection (PS4/Switch) Oniken + Odallus Collection: Limited Edition (Switch) Odallus: The Dark Call releases for Nintendo Switch on February 8 and will be coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One sometime during spring of this year. 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!
  18. Take a nostalgia trip back to the heyday of the 8-bit era with Odallus: The Dark Call, an action-platformer coming to Nintendo Switch. Odallus: The Dark Call tells the story of Haggis, an aged hero who embarks on a quest to save his son and avenge the destruction of his village. Battling demons, cultists, and eldritch beings, Haggis presses onward to spare his son from becoming a dark sacrifice. Brazilian developer JoyMasher masterminded both Odallus: The Dark Call and Oniken, which will also be receiving a Switch port. The company specializes in retro game development, with Odallus covering the Metroidvania action subgenre and Oniken representing JoyMasher's take on the old-school Ninja Gaiden. They also have a game currently in development called Blazing Chrome, a 16-bit run-and-gun action-shooter in the vein of Super Contra or Metal Slug. Odallus: The Dark Call initially released in 2015 for PC, receiving mostly positive reviews for its heartfelt send up of the Castlevania of old. It includes classic 8-bit cutscenes, a large world full of secrets, and clever gameplay twists that might trick even the most veteran of players. Now, the adventures of Haggis are coming to Nintendo Switch in February as well as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One later this spring. Odallus: The Dark Call features eight levels that can be explored for more secrets when players have acquired more abilities. Levels are populated by over fifty different enemy types and offer chances to face off against colossal bosses. Players who stick through to the end will spend, at a minimum, eight hours completing the game, only to find a veteran difficulty awaiting them for added replayability. When it launches, Odallus: The Dark Call will be available digitally. However, Eastasiasoft will be offering a limited run physical edition of the game. These physical copies will work on all systems worldwide, but may have some limitations on their online features. The following will be offered physically: Odallus: The Dark Call (PS4) Oniken + Odallus Collection (PS4/Switch) Oniken + Odallus Collection: Limited Edition (Switch) Odallus: The Dark Call releases for Nintendo Switch on February 8 and will be coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One sometime during spring of this year. 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
  19. It's truly a great time for indie games. The adventure genre was long dead, but the current state of the industry has allowed the classic style of game to experience a phoenix-like resurrection, exposing an entirely new generation of gamers to the thrill of storytelling and puzzle-solving many of the old guard of gamers were able to experience in Space Quest or even Zork. HomeBearStudio, a small Dutch game development studio has just released a beautifully illustrated adventure game, Nairi: Tower of Shirin, on both the Nintendo Switch and PC to delight both young and old gamers alike. Nairi: Tower of Shirin tells the story of Nairi, a girl from the upper crust of a society populated by both humans and animals. Losing everything she has, she winds up in the criminal underbelly of Shirin, an oasis in the middle of a vast desert. In this new, seedy life of crime, she meets Rex, a former gangster who left his old life behind to become a scholar. Together, the duo work to unravel the enigmatic mystery of the tower that sits at the center of their city. Buoyed by an adorable cast of characters all lovingly drawn and animated, players will need to use their creativity and smarts to solve puzzles in this modern take on the classic point-and-click adventure genre. The Switch version allows players to play it traditionally or take point-and-click extremely literally and point their joy-cons at the screen to interact with the game. Overall, this game looks sweet and cute beyond words - plus it retails for $9.99. Check it out if you need some more indie spice in your gaming library. Nairi: Tower of Shirin is available now for Nintendo Switch and PC. 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
  20. It's truly a great time for indie games. The adventure genre was long dead, but the current state of the industry has allowed the classic style of game to experience a phoenix-like resurrection, exposing an entirely new generation of gamers to the thrill of storytelling and puzzle-solving many of the old guard of gamers were able to experience in Space Quest or even Zork. HomeBearStudio, a small Dutch game development studio has just released a beautifully illustrated adventure game, Nairi: Tower of Shirin, on both the Nintendo Switch and PC to delight both young and old gamers alike. Nairi: Tower of Shirin tells the story of Nairi, a girl from the upper crust of a society populated by both humans and animals. Losing everything she has, she winds up in the criminal underbelly of Shirin, an oasis in the middle of a vast desert. In this new, seedy life of crime, she meets Rex, a former gangster who left his old life behind to become a scholar. Together, the duo work to unravel the enigmatic mystery of the tower that sits at the center of their city. Buoyed by an adorable cast of characters all lovingly drawn and animated, players will need to use their creativity and smarts to solve puzzles in this modern take on the classic point-and-click adventure genre. The Switch version allows players to play it traditionally or take point-and-click extremely literally and point their joy-cons at the screen to interact with the game. Overall, this game looks sweet and cute beyond words - plus it retails for $9.99. Check it out if you need some more indie spice in your gaming library. Nairi: Tower of Shirin is available now for Nintendo Switch and PC. 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!
  21. Wow, with all the hubbub around Pokémon Let's Go it can be easy to forget that the original Pokémon games that started it all released 20 years ago (or 22 years ago in Japan)! The phenomenon of pocket monsters continues to this day and seems to be losing very little steam. It has proven to be one of Nintendo's enduring juggernauts able to spin off into everything from disaster relief games to live-action sleuthing films. This week we invited Kevin Slackie on the show to talk about both the original Game Boy titles and their newest incarnation in Pokémon Let's Go! Also, apparently Jessie and James of Team Rocket fame are canonically 15 years old? There was a lot of weird stuff swirling around OG Pokémon. And now to pose a question to all of you Pokémon Let's Go players out there: If you could only have one and the other was erased from existence, either Pokémon Red & Blue or Pokémon Let's Go, which would you hold onto? You can (and should) follow Kevin Slackie over on Twitter: @KSlackie Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Pokémon Red 'Moondrops' by Sockpuppet (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02514) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday 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
  22. Wow, with all the hubbub around Pokémon Let's Go it can be easy to forget that the original Pokémon games that started it all released 20 years ago (or 22 years ago in Japan)! The phenomenon of pocket monsters continues to this day and seems to be losing very little steam. It has proven to be one of Nintendo's enduring juggernauts able to spin off into everything from disaster relief games to live-action sleuthing films. This week we invited Kevin Slackie on the show to talk about both the original Game Boy titles and their newest incarnation in Pokémon Let's Go! Also, apparently Jessie and James of Team Rocket fame are canonically 15 years old? There was a lot of weird stuff swirling around OG Pokémon. And now to pose a question to all of you Pokémon Let's Go players out there: If you could only have one and the other was erased from existence, either Pokémon Red & Blue or Pokémon Let's Go, which would you hold onto? You can (and should) follow Kevin Slackie over on Twitter: @KSlackie Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Pokémon Red 'Moondrops' by Sockpuppet (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02514) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday 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!
  23. The big things in Pokémon right now are the dual Pokémon titles: Pokémon Let's Go Eevee and Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu. The two games are remakes of the original Red, Blue, and Yellow generation of the Pokémon franchise with modern twists that incorporate streamlined elements from the Pokémon Go mobile game that swept across the globe. Naomi Lugo offers her thoughts on the two new games while also recalling what made the original generation so great and magical for an entire world of kids. With schedules being what they are, sometimes coordinating a full episode of The Best Games Period can be difficult. When we can't have a proper discussion, we will be breaking off to do these shorter mini-casts, Honorable Mentions, to talk about fringe games that we might not otherwise be able to talk about on a full episode. Outro music: Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow 'The Mighty Mighty Pokémon' by Level 99 (http://missingno.ocremix.org/music.html) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday 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!
  24. The big things in Pokémon right now are the dual Pokémon titles: Pokémon Let's Go Eevee and Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu. The two games are remakes of the original Red, Blue, and Yellow generation of the Pokémon franchise with modern twists that incorporate streamlined elements from the Pokémon Go mobile game that swept across the globe. Naomi Lugo offers her thoughts on the two new games while also recalling what made the original generation so great and magical for an entire world of kids. With schedules being what they are, sometimes coordinating a full episode of The Best Games Period can be difficult. When we can't have a proper discussion, we will be breaking off to do these shorter mini-casts, Honorable Mentions, to talk about fringe games that we might not otherwise be able to talk about on a full episode. Outro music: Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow 'The Mighty Mighty Pokémon' by Level 99 (http://missingno.ocremix.org/music.html) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday 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
  25. 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!
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