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Found 64 results

  1. From humble beginnings as a Kickstarter project to becoming one of the biggest indie darlings of 2016, Hyper Light Drifter has quite the history of defying expectations. Gorgeous pixel art animations and vistas, dialogue-less storytelling, and a fantastic soundtrack by Disasterpeace came together to tell a gripping tale about a lone wanderer in a sci-fi apocalypse. While all of the pieces come together for a solid game, do they gel well enough to create something considered 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: A Link to the Past 'Chamber of the Goddess' by Disasterpeace (http://ocremix.org/album/33/25yearlegend-a-legend-of-zelda-indie-game-composer-tribute) 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!
  2. From humble beginnings as a Kickstarter project to becoming one of the biggest indie darlings of 2016, Hyper Light Drifter has quite the history of defying expectations. Gorgeous pixel art animations and vistas, dialogue-less storytelling, and a fantastic soundtrack by Disasterpeace came together to tell a gripping tale about a lone wanderer in a sci-fi apocalypse. While all of the pieces come together for a solid game, do they gel well enough to create something considered 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: A Link to the Past 'Chamber of the Goddess' by Disasterpeace (http://ocremix.org/album/33/25yearlegend-a-legend-of-zelda-indie-game-composer-tribute) 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
  3. The Onus Helm made its debut in a humble Kickstarter campaign that looks to secure $5,500 to finish development. The roguelike dungeon crawler stars an enigmatic character who awakens to find themselves in a mysterious, seemingly endless labyrinth with a burdensome, irremovable helmet placed on their head. To uncover the secrets of the helm and find freedom, players will have to navigate the dangers of the deadly maze and defeat the evils that have taken up residence in its ever shifting halls. The demo put out by developer B-Cubed Labs puts a full level on display. It takes the randomly generated room approach found in The Binding of Isaac and puts its own unique spin on the formula, something that could certainly intrigue fans in the retro-indie community. Players make their way through the dungeon room by room. Each room can hold enemies, secrets, items, or upgrades. Players will need to explore as much as possible to be prepared for the boss, a maniacal shadow that can summon floating swords. Each trip through the demo proves to be different. On one occasion, I was able to find a room in which an NPC played a flute on a tree stump. On another, I found a thief-like creature who gave me more insight into the surreal world of The Onus Helm where every character has been cursed with a similar helmet that they can't remove. Should you fall in battle, the next playthrough mixes up the dungeon, shifting the rooms in new and interesting ways. A small array of weapons can drastically how one approaches the enemies in-game. Players start out with a sword and an infinite ammo slingshot. However, there are many other treasures to be found or bought that can help the player survive. A larger sword upgrade can be obtained that makes melee combat much easier, a powerful bow with limited ammo or a boomerang can replace the slingshot, and bombs prove to be a necessity for both secrets and strategic combat. Potions, health upgrades, and other non-weapons can be uncovered, too. The look of B-Cubed Labs indie project is certainly arresting. Mixed with a more retro throwback aesthetic, a lot of influence from the original Legend of Zelda appears readily apparent. It manages to straddle the line between homage and novelty really well in a way that feels both familiar and different. The final version of The Onus Helm is planned to include simply more stuff than is in the demo. More rooms, enemies, items, weapons, NPCs, and bosses will offer a more fully rounded experience. The planned PC release will offer both keyboard and controller support and a built-in speedrun clock for those who feel the need for speed. The core game has been mostly finished so even if the Kickstarter fails The Onus Helm will likely see the light of day. The Kickstarter seems to be for funding additional assets and mechanics with stretch goals for even more stuff like more music, co-op, a console release, and a larger development team to add even more stuff into the roguelike generation system B-Cubed has set up. Overall, my impression of The Onus Helm was that it's a game worthy of time and attention. I hope it meets its goal in the next nine days and I encourage everyone to check out the Kickstarter and demo. It should release sometime later this year. View full article
  4. The Onus Helm made its debut in a humble Kickstarter campaign that looks to secure $5,500 to finish development. The roguelike dungeon crawler stars an enigmatic character who awakens to find themselves in a mysterious, seemingly endless labyrinth with a burdensome, irremovable helmet placed on their head. To uncover the secrets of the helm and find freedom, players will have to navigate the dangers of the deadly maze and defeat the evils that have taken up residence in its ever shifting halls. The demo put out by developer B-Cubed Labs puts a full level on display. It takes the randomly generated room approach found in The Binding of Isaac and puts its own unique spin on the formula, something that could certainly intrigue fans in the retro-indie community. Players make their way through the dungeon room by room. Each room can hold enemies, secrets, items, or upgrades. Players will need to explore as much as possible to be prepared for the boss, a maniacal shadow that can summon floating swords. Each trip through the demo proves to be different. On one occasion, I was able to find a room in which an NPC played a flute on a tree stump. On another, I found a thief-like creature who gave me more insight into the surreal world of The Onus Helm where every character has been cursed with a similar helmet that they can't remove. Should you fall in battle, the next playthrough mixes up the dungeon, shifting the rooms in new and interesting ways. A small array of weapons can drastically how one approaches the enemies in-game. Players start out with a sword and an infinite ammo slingshot. However, there are many other treasures to be found or bought that can help the player survive. A larger sword upgrade can be obtained that makes melee combat much easier, a powerful bow with limited ammo or a boomerang can replace the slingshot, and bombs prove to be a necessity for both secrets and strategic combat. Potions, health upgrades, and other non-weapons can be uncovered, too. The look of B-Cubed Labs indie project is certainly arresting. Mixed with a more retro throwback aesthetic, a lot of influence from the original Legend of Zelda appears readily apparent. It manages to straddle the line between homage and novelty really well in a way that feels both familiar and different. The final version of The Onus Helm is planned to include simply more stuff than is in the demo. More rooms, enemies, items, weapons, NPCs, and bosses will offer a more fully rounded experience. The planned PC release will offer both keyboard and controller support and a built-in speedrun clock for those who feel the need for speed. The core game has been mostly finished so even if the Kickstarter fails The Onus Helm will likely see the light of day. The Kickstarter seems to be for funding additional assets and mechanics with stretch goals for even more stuff like more music, co-op, a console release, and a larger development team to add even more stuff into the roguelike generation system B-Cubed has set up. Overall, my impression of The Onus Helm was that it's a game worthy of time and attention. I hope it meets its goal in the next nine days and I encourage everyone to check out the Kickstarter and demo. It should release sometime later this year.
  5. Nintendo recently released The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Master Works, the official artbook of Breath of the Wild. The book features art from different stages of development that Breath of the Wild went through. These sometimes come with notes from the dev team to give further context to the pieces of in-progress art. One of those notes states that Eiji Aonuma and his crack team of Zelda developers have already begun work on the next Legend of Zelda title. With The Legend of Zelda being one of Nintendo's tent pole franchises, it's not surprising to learn that the next Zelda is already in the works. Just don't think that we will be seeing it anytime soon - Breath of the Wild released this year, six years after Skyward Sword. It wasn't even until 2013 that we saw the first hints of what Breath of the Wild would even become. Expect the next Zelda title to surface sometime in 2019 or 2020. Meanwhile, it seems like Nintendo is also hard at work on new handheld Zelda titles with a separate team working on those entries in the series. The possibility remains open that those new handheld Zeldas could appear on the Switch, too. Where would you like to see The Legend of Zelda series go in the future?
  6. Nintendo recently released The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Master Works, the official artbook of Breath of the Wild. The book features art from different stages of development that Breath of the Wild went through. These sometimes come with notes from the dev team to give further context to the pieces of in-progress art. One of those notes states that Eiji Aonuma and his crack team of Zelda developers have already begun work on the next Legend of Zelda title. With The Legend of Zelda being one of Nintendo's tent pole franchises, it's not surprising to learn that the next Zelda is already in the works. Just don't think that we will be seeing it anytime soon - Breath of the Wild released this year, six years after Skyward Sword. It wasn't even until 2013 that we saw the first hints of what Breath of the Wild would even become. Expect the next Zelda title to surface sometime in 2019 or 2020. Meanwhile, it seems like Nintendo is also hard at work on new handheld Zelda titles with a separate team working on those entries in the series. The possibility remains open that those new handheld Zeldas could appear on the Switch, too. Where would you like to see The Legend of Zelda series go in the future? View full article
  7. The curtain has been pulled aside and a new adventure into the apocalypse has been revealed! The fine folks at Gematsu spotted a listing on Amazon for the upcoming THQ Nordic action title and managed to grab some details from the listing before it went dark. The new Darksiders title will focus on Fury, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, who has been tasked with cleaning up the cosmological mess created by War in the first Darksiders game. To that end, Fury must use her whip and magic to hunt down the Seven Deadly Sins who have been dubbed "the enemies of existence" before they can wreck irreparable harm. Her journey will take players from the ruins of Earth to heaven, hell, and beyond as she struggles to balance the forces that threaten to rip apart the fabric of reality. Players will have to traverse an open world that holds many secrets to be uncovered by adventurous and canny players. In the tradition of games like Metroid and The Legend of Zelda, those who explore old areas with new items and abilities will be able to reap many rewards. As Fury progresses on her journey, her magic will allow her to take on many new forms for combat, exploration, and style. Shortly after Darksiders 3 appeared on Amazon, IGN revealed the first trailer for the title. Darksiders 3 will release in 2018 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. View full article
  8. Jack Gardner

    Darksiders 3 Leaked and Then Announced

    The curtain has been pulled aside and a new adventure into the apocalypse has been revealed! The fine folks at Gematsu spotted a listing on Amazon for the upcoming THQ Nordic action title and managed to grab some details from the listing before it went dark. The new Darksiders title will focus on Fury, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, who has been tasked with cleaning up the cosmological mess created by War in the first Darksiders game. To that end, Fury must use her whip and magic to hunt down the Seven Deadly Sins who have been dubbed "the enemies of existence" before they can wreck irreparable harm. Her journey will take players from the ruins of Earth to heaven, hell, and beyond as she struggles to balance the forces that threaten to rip apart the fabric of reality. Players will have to traverse an open world that holds many secrets to be uncovered by adventurous and canny players. In the tradition of games like Metroid and The Legend of Zelda, those who explore old areas with new items and abilities will be able to reap many rewards. As Fury progresses on her journey, her magic will allow her to take on many new forms for combat, exploration, and style. Shortly after Darksiders 3 appeared on Amazon, IGN revealed the first trailer for the title. Darksiders 3 will release in 2018 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
  9. Modern games are fantastic. The internet can fix broken games or give long dead titles new life. There are a myriad of benefits to the way gaming today differs from that of the past. One of the less appreciated benefits is translation and localization, which has brought western audiences a huge number of titles from Japan and vice versa. And because of that exchange of gaming, language has become critical to how many people appreciate titles. For some, there is only one "correct" language in which to enjoy certain games or sometimes a game simply sounds better to some of its players in a different language because of the different voice actors used in the localization process. That's why, despite near universal acclaim, some fans of The The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild were disappointed that its western release didn't include the Japanese language version of the game that some saw in the original trailers. Though there were no gameplay differences, some players truly preferred the way the Japanese version sounded over the English version - many attributing this difference to the quality of the voice acting. A separate camp in the community grew to similarly clamor for the Japanese version, not because they could understand the game better, but specifically because they couldn't understand the vocals. The Legend of Zelda has traditionally avoided voice acting in the series and this small subset of gamers preferred a version of the game that they could enjoy in the same way - even if the language used was real - as long as they couldn't understand and had to rely on subtitles like the older games in the series. Nintendo released a patch for Breath of the Wild today that allows players to turn on Japanese audio for their action-adventure critical darling. Players can find the option in the game's main menu after updating and switch over to Japanese, Spanish, German, or Italian. If you're worried that you will inadvertently switch over all the text, too, never fear! Switching over only affects audio. Hooray for small changes that satisfy niche portions of the gaming populace! View full article
  10. Modern games are fantastic. The internet can fix broken games or give long dead titles new life. There are a myriad of benefits to the way gaming today differs from that of the past. One of the less appreciated benefits is translation and localization, which has brought western audiences a huge number of titles from Japan and vice versa. And because of that exchange of gaming, language has become critical to how many people appreciate titles. For some, there is only one "correct" language in which to enjoy certain games or sometimes a game simply sounds better to some of its players in a different language because of the different voice actors used in the localization process. That's why, despite near universal acclaim, some fans of The The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild were disappointed that its western release didn't include the Japanese language version of the game that some saw in the original trailers. Though there were no gameplay differences, some players truly preferred the way the Japanese version sounded over the English version - many attributing this difference to the quality of the voice acting. A separate camp in the community grew to similarly clamor for the Japanese version, not because they could understand the game better, but specifically because they couldn't understand the vocals. The Legend of Zelda has traditionally avoided voice acting in the series and this small subset of gamers preferred a version of the game that they could enjoy in the same way - even if the language used was real - as long as they couldn't understand and had to rely on subtitles like the older games in the series. Nintendo released a patch for Breath of the Wild today that allows players to turn on Japanese audio for their action-adventure critical darling. Players can find the option in the game's main menu after updating and switch over to Japanese, Spanish, German, or Italian. If you're worried that you will inadvertently switch over all the text, too, never fear! Switching over only affects audio. Hooray for small changes that satisfy niche portions of the gaming populace!
  11. With the recent release of the Nintendo Switch and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, another game looms large in the background: The original Legend of Zelda, the 1986 title that started it all and taught us all that it's dangerous to go alone. Nintendo's open world adventure forced players to think beyond the limitations of previous console games, forced Nintendo to change how it made games, almost single-handedly created the Nintendo Power magazine, and became both a cultural and game design touchstone. Does The Legend of Zelda, with all of its 1986 technical limitations, still hold up over 30 years later? Outro music: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 'The Imprisoning War' by smartpoetic (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03308) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! A Patreon has been created for those looking to support the show. You can also follow the show on Twitter: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
  12. With the recent release of the Nintendo Switch and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, another game looms large in the background: The original Legend of Zelda, the 1986 title that started it all and taught us all that it's dangerous to go alone. Nintendo's open world adventure forced players to think beyond the limitations of previous console games, forced Nintendo to change how it made games, almost single-handedly created the Nintendo Power magazine, and became both a cultural and game design touchstone. Does The Legend of Zelda, with all of its 1986 technical limitations, still hold up over 30 years later? Outro music: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 'The Imprisoning War' by smartpoetic (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03308) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! A Patreon has been created for those looking to support the show. You can also follow the show on Twitter: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday View full article
  13. [Updated with confirmed titles available at launch and beyond - 2/23/17] Nintendo revealed a number of details on their upcoming console, the Nintendo Switch, late last night. The company revealed the price, release date, and a number of games over the course of their livestreamed event, which you can watch online. The night's information dump began with the reveal of the Nintendo Switch release date: March 3. That means the next generation of Nintendo's console line is less than two months away from hitting brick and mortar stores and that's certainly hard not to get at least a little excited about. Moreover, the Switch will retail for $300 making it roughly competitive with the consoles from Microsoft and Sony. Nintendo also revealed some scant details on how Nintendo will alter its approach to online with the Switch. Their plan is for players to be able to link a smart device, presumably a smart phone or tablet, to the Switch via an app. This app will allow players to invite friends to games and interact in various ways with the digital environment of the Switch. The online services will be free when the console initially launches, but sometime during Fall 2017 online services will change over to a paid subscription. In order to more fully embrace the new digital age, Nintendo will be doing away with region locked hardware with the Switch. The company stated that this would be a general approach, so that still leaves open the possibility that some select things could still be region locked. Nintendo began to get more into how the console will actually function. Players can enjoy it in TV Mode, which functions like a traditional console. Tabletop Mode transforms the console into a portable screen that can be placed on a table while gaming outside the home in a party or travel situation. Handheld Mode slips the left and right Joy-Con controllers onto their respective sides of the Switch console and turn it into a portable gaming device. One of the most talked about aspects of the Switch prior to Nintendo's reveal event was how long the battery would last when gaming on the go with the Switch. Nintendo estimates that the Switch contains 2.5-6.5 hours of battery life depending on what game is being played. While it can be played while it is being charged, the short battery life almost certainly limits the amount of usable time the console can be in use away from a power outlet. Nintendo dedicated a significant portion of time to explaining the rather strange Joy-Con controllers. Each console will come packaged with two Joy-Con controllers, left and right, that can be clicked together inside the Joy-Con grip to form the basic Switch controller. Each of these functions separately, enabling the console to support a two-player co-op experience right out of the box. Both controllers house a light sensor that is capable of distinguishing shapes and movement; the example used highlighted its ability to recognize the symbols for Rock, Paper, Scissors. The two controllers also make use of Nintendo has dubbed "HD rumble" - a high-precision internal rumble pack that can deliver very specific rumble sensations. On top of all that, the controllers include gyroscopes and motion sensing technology that allow them to incorporate movement into some games. The Joy-Con controllers will be available in different colors at launch: grey, neon red, and neon blue. It will also come with a wrist strap accessory called the Joy-Con Grip that seems to make the individual Joy-Con controllers more ergonomic and hand-friendly. The right Joy-Con includes an NFC reader, and the left Joy-Con houses a button that can take screenshots and capture in-game video. The video capture function doesn't seem like it will be functional when the console launches in March, but that function will come eventually, according to Nintendo. Screenshots and recorded video can be shared on social media, which raises a question about how Nintendo will be handling YouTube and Twitch monetization with the Switch, given their past policies regarding Nintendo IPs and Let's Players/streamers. All of these features come with a price, though. The base cost of the system, $300, seems pretty reasonable for a console launch, but Nintendo aims to make a killing on the cost of standalone accessories. If you are thinking of perhaps getting a second dock for another location in your home for the Switch, the $90 price for a single docking unit might put you off. Want to pick up two extra Joy-Con controllers to have four individual/two traditional controllers on launch day? That will cost you another $80 - more if you buy the Joy-Con controllers separately for $50 each. If you opt for the Pro controller, which is only sold separately, it isn't that much cheaper at $70. Anything beyond the base system will significantly increase the cost of buying into Nintendo's next generation. Just one extra controller nudges the cost of the system close to $400, a number the console will easily break as games are being sold separately at launch. Nintendo envisions the Switch as a party-friendly device. Up to eight Switch consoles can wirelessly connect for local multiplayer games. Titled 1-2 Switch and slated to be available at launch, the first game shown during the conference highlighted the company's focus. 1-2 Switch consists of a number of minigames that involve person-to-person interaction with friends and family. The one highlighted most, a Western-style quick draw game, pits two players face-to-face and determines who can draw their Joy-Con the fastest. Other games briefly shown included sword duels, boxing, yoga, and more. As far as we know right now, there are no plans to bundle 1-2 Switch with the console, making it a separate purchase on launch day. The second game shown for Nintendo's impending console packs a punch. Arms looks to be a combination of Overwatch and Punch-Out!! pitting players against one another or the computer in the boxing arena. The major distinction between Arms and a typical boxing title seems to be that every character has extendable arms and a number of unique abilities to get the better of their opponent. The game's producer described it as a mixture of shooting and boxing. Arms makes use of the motion control elements of the Joy-Con to simulate boxing in a way that feels very reminiscent of Wii Sports' boxing, albeit highly refined. With a roster of colorful characters and a truly endearing aesthetic, Arms definitely catches the eye and should be one to watch as we inch closer to its release date. Unfortunately it will not be available when the Switch launches on March 3, but it will be coming sometime this spring. Splatoon 2 made a splash with a new trailer showing new, inky gameplay. New special weapons can be activated when enough ink has covered the stage and players can use the Joy-Con motion controls to aim their tools of colorful destruction. Splatoon 2 turned out to be another game we will have to wait a while to see, launching sometime this summer. Much like the first Splatoon, Nintendo will support it post-launch with new stages, weapons, and ongoing, in-game events. Hand it to Nintendo, they paced the reveals during their Switch presentation just right. Just as it began to seem odd that no major franchise names had yet made an appearance, they blew open the lid on a brand new Mario title. Super Mario Odyssey might just be one of the weirdest Mario games ever made, and that is saying a lot of a franchise that includes some of the most fever-dream worlds in gaming. Nintendo wanted to convey the idea that Mario was journeying to unknown lands and the trailer certainly establishes that, showing obscure and never-before seen enemies and locations - including what looks to be New York City, complete with realistically proportioned humans. I cannot stress enough how jarring the juxtaposition between a realistic human and a cartoon Mario appears. Oh, and Mario's hat seems to be alive now? Outside of the real-world areas, the game looks incredibly gorgeous and inviting. Bowser makes an appearance in a dapper white suit having kidnapped Princess Peach yet again. I don't know how any of this fits together, but the sheer oddity of it all has me on board, even if the ride could end up being a bumpy one. Super Mario Odyssey won't release until the 2017 holidays, so more details will almost certainly be shared during E3. Monolithsoft is back with a sequel to their Xenoblade JRPG titled... Xenoblade 2. It might have been the stream, but some of the in-game footage seemed to be stuttering. Details on the game were practically nonexistent and Nintendo did not provide a release date. Koei Tecmo appears to be continuing their relationship with Nintendo by creating another hack-and-slash fighting game. However, instead of adapting The Legend of Zelda, this time the developers of Dynasty Warriors will be tackling the venerable Fire Emblem series. The teaser was pretty short and didn't display any gameplay, but color Fire Emblem fans intrigued by such a strange marriage of genres in Fire Emblem Warriors. From this point on, Nintendo adopted a more rapid-fire approach toward unveiling upcoming titles. Nintendo claims that, between their studios and third-parties, over 80 games are in development for the Switch at this point in time. Dragon Quest X and XI are slated for a Switch release in Japan, while Dragon Quest Heroes I and II will also be coming to the Switch. A new Shin Megami Tensei has just gone into development for the fledgling console, though nothing beyond that and a short teaser were shared. Square Enix unveiled a new IP called Project Octopath Traveler, a game that appears to update the old-school 16-bit aesthetic with a few modern twists. Todd Howard from Bethesda to confirm that Skyrim will be coming to the Nintendo Switch, laying to rest the rumors that Skyrim's appearance might have simply been for the promotional trailer. Suda 51 from Grasshopper Manufacture, the studio behind the recent free-to-play game Let It Die, took the stage to let everyone know that he would be resurrecting Travis Touchdown for an as yet unnamed title for the Switch. People might remember the name Travis Touchdown from his protagonist role in the game No More Heroes. EA confirmed that FIFA would be coming to the Switch, too. Presumably we could also expect to see other EA Sports titles like Madden on the console, but so far only FIFA has been confirmed. A montage of games revealed and hinted at a number of other titles that Nintendo will be bringing to the Switch. Glimpses could be seen of Minecraft, a few Telltale titles, Farming Simulator, Rime, a Sonic title, Bomberman, and a flash of a futuristic racing game that might just be the first F-Zero game since the GameCube. The Switch will come in two different packages when it hits shelves on March 3. Both will be the same price of $300 with the only difference being the color of the Joy-Con controllers. One system will be packaged with grey controllers and the other will have Joy-Con in red and blue. The system will come with the left and right Joy-Con, a Joy-Con Grip, the system dock, console, an HDMI cable, and an AC adapter. The final announcement was one that many were hoping for: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be a launch title for the Nintendo Switch and available on March 3. This was accompanied by what might just be one of the biggest hype-inducing trailers in gaming history. The game includes voiced dialogue! It has weird sci-fi elements! Epic scope in both landscape and story! Some nods to timeline continuity for the fans! A very impressive trailer that might have single-handedly ensured that the Switch sells out of stores on day one. Now, that was a lot of information to digest. Overall, this conference succeeded in fostering significant excitement for the Nintendo Switch, which had previously been a mystery. While there were certainly some tantalizing looks at future Switch titles, only two were confirmed to be launch titles, though one of those being a Zelda game pretty much guarantees a large number of people buying into the hardware. And that buy in could make Nintendo a tidy profit. I'd wager that they are selling the Switch at a loss to make that attractive $300 price point, but they will more than make up for that in software and accessory sales. That probably contributes to the seemingly inflated costs of the Switch's accessories. *Update* Below you can find the full release list of games that have been confirmed for the Nintendo Switch so far. Nintendo has announced a special indie game stream on February 28 at 9am PT that will likely finalize the day one launch line-up of the Switch with a handful of additional indie titles, but these games are what have been confirmed so far. We've had some hands-on time with several of the upcoming games, so be sure to check those pieces out for some more information! *Update #2* Additional games have been added from the Nindie showcase. Available Day One (March 3): 1-2-Switch Fast RMX - eShop only Human Resource Machine - eShop only I Am Setsuna - eShop only Just Dance 2017 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Little Inferno - eShop only Shovel Knight - eShop only Skylanders: Imaginators Super Bomberman R World of Goo - eShop only March/Spring: Arms (Spring 2017) Blaster Master Zero (March 9) - Exclusive to Switch and 3DS Graceful Explosion Machine (April) - Timed exclusive Has-Been Heroes (March) Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (April 28) Mr. Shifty (April) - Timed exclusive Pocket Rumble (March) - Exclusive Puyo Puyo Tetris (Spring 2017) - eShop only Shakedown: Hawaii (April) - Timed exclusive Snipperclips, Cut It Out Together (March) - eShop only TumbleSeed (Spring 2017) Summer: Dandara Rime Splatoon 2 Stardew Valley - Timed exclusive features SteamWorld Dig 2 Beyond/TBD: The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ (TBD) - eShop only Disgaea 5 Complete (TBD) Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 (2017) The Escapists 2 (2017) FIFA (2017) Fire Emblem Warriors (TBD) Flipping Death (2017) GoNNER (2017) - Timed exclusive Kingdom: Two Crowns (2017) Minecraft (2017) Minecraft: Story Mode (TBD) NBA 2K (2017) New Shin Megami Tensei (TBD) Overcooked! Special Edition (2017) Rayman Legends (TBD) Runner3 - (Fall 2017) Skyrim (Fall 2017) Sonic Mania (2017) Steep (2017) Super Mario Odyssey (Holiday 2017) Syberia 3 (TBD) Ultra Street Fighter II (2017) WarGroove (2017) Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (2017) Yooka-Laylee (2017)
  14. [Updated with confirmed titles available at launch and beyond - 2/23/17] Nintendo revealed a number of details on their upcoming console, the Nintendo Switch, late last night. The company revealed the price, release date, and a number of games over the course of their livestreamed event, which you can watch online. The night's information dump began with the reveal of the Nintendo Switch release date: March 3. That means the next generation of Nintendo's console line is less than two months away from hitting brick and mortar stores and that's certainly hard not to get at least a little excited about. Moreover, the Switch will retail for $300 making it roughly competitive with the consoles from Microsoft and Sony. Nintendo also revealed some scant details on how Nintendo will alter its approach to online with the Switch. Their plan is for players to be able to link a smart device, presumably a smart phone or tablet, to the Switch via an app. This app will allow players to invite friends to games and interact in various ways with the digital environment of the Switch. The online services will be free when the console initially launches, but sometime during Fall 2017 online services will change over to a paid subscription. In order to more fully embrace the new digital age, Nintendo will be doing away with region locked hardware with the Switch. The company stated that this would be a general approach, so that still leaves open the possibility that some select things could still be region locked. Nintendo began to get more into how the console will actually function. Players can enjoy it in TV Mode, which functions like a traditional console. Tabletop Mode transforms the console into a portable screen that can be placed on a table while gaming outside the home in a party or travel situation. Handheld Mode slips the left and right Joy-Con controllers onto their respective sides of the Switch console and turn it into a portable gaming device. One of the most talked about aspects of the Switch prior to Nintendo's reveal event was how long the battery would last when gaming on the go with the Switch. Nintendo estimates that the Switch contains 2.5-6.5 hours of battery life depending on what game is being played. While it can be played while it is being charged, the short battery life almost certainly limits the amount of usable time the console can be in use away from a power outlet. Nintendo dedicated a significant portion of time to explaining the rather strange Joy-Con controllers. Each console will come packaged with two Joy-Con controllers, left and right, that can be clicked together inside the Joy-Con grip to form the basic Switch controller. Each of these functions separately, enabling the console to support a two-player co-op experience right out of the box. Both controllers house a light sensor that is capable of distinguishing shapes and movement; the example used highlighted its ability to recognize the symbols for Rock, Paper, Scissors. The two controllers also make use of Nintendo has dubbed "HD rumble" - a high-precision internal rumble pack that can deliver very specific rumble sensations. On top of all that, the controllers include gyroscopes and motion sensing technology that allow them to incorporate movement into some games. The Joy-Con controllers will be available in different colors at launch: grey, neon red, and neon blue. It will also come with a wrist strap accessory called the Joy-Con Grip that seems to make the individual Joy-Con controllers more ergonomic and hand-friendly. The right Joy-Con includes an NFC reader, and the left Joy-Con houses a button that can take screenshots and capture in-game video. The video capture function doesn't seem like it will be functional when the console launches in March, but that function will come eventually, according to Nintendo. Screenshots and recorded video can be shared on social media, which raises a question about how Nintendo will be handling YouTube and Twitch monetization with the Switch, given their past policies regarding Nintendo IPs and Let's Players/streamers. All of these features come with a price, though. The base cost of the system, $300, seems pretty reasonable for a console launch, but Nintendo aims to make a killing on the cost of standalone accessories. If you are thinking of perhaps getting a second dock for another location in your home for the Switch, the $90 price for a single docking unit might put you off. Want to pick up two extra Joy-Con controllers to have four individual/two traditional controllers on launch day? That will cost you another $80 - more if you buy the Joy-Con controllers separately for $50 each. If you opt for the Pro controller, which is only sold separately, it isn't that much cheaper at $70. Anything beyond the base system will significantly increase the cost of buying into Nintendo's next generation. Just one extra controller nudges the cost of the system close to $400, a number the console will easily break as games are being sold separately at launch. Nintendo envisions the Switch as a party-friendly device. Up to eight Switch consoles can wirelessly connect for local multiplayer games. Titled 1-2 Switch and slated to be available at launch, the first game shown during the conference highlighted the company's focus. 1-2 Switch consists of a number of minigames that involve person-to-person interaction with friends and family. The one highlighted most, a Western-style quick draw game, pits two players face-to-face and determines who can draw their Joy-Con the fastest. Other games briefly shown included sword duels, boxing, yoga, and more. As far as we know right now, there are no plans to bundle 1-2 Switch with the console, making it a separate purchase on launch day. The second game shown for Nintendo's impending console packs a punch. Arms looks to be a combination of Overwatch and Punch-Out!! pitting players against one another or the computer in the boxing arena. The major distinction between Arms and a typical boxing title seems to be that every character has extendable arms and a number of unique abilities to get the better of their opponent. The game's producer described it as a mixture of shooting and boxing. Arms makes use of the motion control elements of the Joy-Con to simulate boxing in a way that feels very reminiscent of Wii Sports' boxing, albeit highly refined. With a roster of colorful characters and a truly endearing aesthetic, Arms definitely catches the eye and should be one to watch as we inch closer to its release date. Unfortunately it will not be available when the Switch launches on March 3, but it will be coming sometime this spring. Splatoon 2 made a splash with a new trailer showing new, inky gameplay. New special weapons can be activated when enough ink has covered the stage and players can use the Joy-Con motion controls to aim their tools of colorful destruction. Splatoon 2 turned out to be another game we will have to wait a while to see, launching sometime this summer. Much like the first Splatoon, Nintendo will support it post-launch with new stages, weapons, and ongoing, in-game events. Hand it to Nintendo, they paced the reveals during their Switch presentation just right. Just as it began to seem odd that no major franchise names had yet made an appearance, they blew open the lid on a brand new Mario title. Super Mario Odyssey might just be one of the weirdest Mario games ever made, and that is saying a lot of a franchise that includes some of the most fever-dream worlds in gaming. Nintendo wanted to convey the idea that Mario was journeying to unknown lands and the trailer certainly establishes that, showing obscure and never-before seen enemies and locations - including what looks to be New York City, complete with realistically proportioned humans. I cannot stress enough how jarring the juxtaposition between a realistic human and a cartoon Mario appears. Oh, and Mario's hat seems to be alive now? Outside of the real-world areas, the game looks incredibly gorgeous and inviting. Bowser makes an appearance in a dapper white suit having kidnapped Princess Peach yet again. I don't know how any of this fits together, but the sheer oddity of it all has me on board, even if the ride could end up being a bumpy one. Super Mario Odyssey won't release until the 2017 holidays, so more details will almost certainly be shared during E3. Monolithsoft is back with a sequel to their Xenoblade JRPG titled... Xenoblade 2. It might have been the stream, but some of the in-game footage seemed to be stuttering. Details on the game were practically nonexistent and Nintendo did not provide a release date. Koei Tecmo appears to be continuing their relationship with Nintendo by creating another hack-and-slash fighting game. However, instead of adapting The Legend of Zelda, this time the developers of Dynasty Warriors will be tackling the venerable Fire Emblem series. The teaser was pretty short and didn't display any gameplay, but color Fire Emblem fans intrigued by such a strange marriage of genres in Fire Emblem Warriors. From this point on, Nintendo adopted a more rapid-fire approach toward unveiling upcoming titles. Nintendo claims that, between their studios and third-parties, over 80 games are in development for the Switch at this point in time. Dragon Quest X and XI are slated for a Switch release in Japan, while Dragon Quest Heroes I and II will also be coming to the Switch. A new Shin Megami Tensei has just gone into development for the fledgling console, though nothing beyond that and a short teaser were shared. Square Enix unveiled a new IP called Project Octopath Traveler, a game that appears to update the old-school 16-bit aesthetic with a few modern twists. Todd Howard from Bethesda to confirm that Skyrim will be coming to the Nintendo Switch, laying to rest the rumors that Skyrim's appearance might have simply been for the promotional trailer. Suda 51 from Grasshopper Manufacture, the studio behind the recent free-to-play game Let It Die, took the stage to let everyone know that he would be resurrecting Travis Touchdown for an as yet unnamed title for the Switch. People might remember the name Travis Touchdown from his protagonist role in the game No More Heroes. EA confirmed that FIFA would be coming to the Switch, too. Presumably we could also expect to see other EA Sports titles like Madden on the console, but so far only FIFA has been confirmed. A montage of games revealed and hinted at a number of other titles that Nintendo will be bringing to the Switch. Glimpses could be seen of Minecraft, a few Telltale titles, Farming Simulator, Rime, a Sonic title, Bomberman, and a flash of a futuristic racing game that might just be the first F-Zero game since the GameCube. The Switch will come in two different packages when it hits shelves on March 3. Both will be the same price of $300 with the only difference being the color of the Joy-Con controllers. One system will be packaged with grey controllers and the other will have Joy-Con in red and blue. The system will come with the left and right Joy-Con, a Joy-Con Grip, the system dock, console, an HDMI cable, and an AC adapter. The final announcement was one that many were hoping for: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be a launch title for the Nintendo Switch and available on March 3. This was accompanied by what might just be one of the biggest hype-inducing trailers in gaming history. The game includes voiced dialogue! It has weird sci-fi elements! Epic scope in both landscape and story! Some nods to timeline continuity for the fans! A very impressive trailer that might have single-handedly ensured that the Switch sells out of stores on day one. Now, that was a lot of information to digest. Overall, this conference succeeded in fostering significant excitement for the Nintendo Switch, which had previously been a mystery. While there were certainly some tantalizing looks at future Switch titles, only two were confirmed to be launch titles, though one of those being a Zelda game pretty much guarantees a large number of people buying into the hardware. And that buy in could make Nintendo a tidy profit. I'd wager that they are selling the Switch at a loss to make that attractive $300 price point, but they will more than make up for that in software and accessory sales. That probably contributes to the seemingly inflated costs of the Switch's accessories. *Update* Below you can find the full release list of games that have been confirmed for the Nintendo Switch so far. Nintendo has announced a special indie game stream on February 28 at 9am PT that will likely finalize the day one launch line-up of the Switch with a handful of additional indie titles, but these games are what have been confirmed so far. We've had some hands-on time with several of the upcoming games, so be sure to check those pieces out for some more information! *Update #2* Additional games have been added from the Nindie showcase. Available Day One (March 3): 1-2-Switch Fast RMX - eShop only Human Resource Machine - eShop only I Am Setsuna - eShop only Just Dance 2017 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Little Inferno - eShop only Shovel Knight - eShop only Skylanders: Imaginators Super Bomberman R World of Goo - eShop only March/Spring: Arms (Spring 2017) Blaster Master Zero (March 9) - Exclusive to Switch and 3DS Graceful Explosion Machine (April) - Timed exclusive Has-Been Heroes (March) Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (April 28) Mr. Shifty (April) - Timed exclusive Pocket Rumble (March) - Exclusive Puyo Puyo Tetris (Spring 2017) - eShop only Shakedown: Hawaii (April) - Timed exclusive Snipperclips, Cut It Out Together (March) - eShop only TumbleSeed (Spring 2017) Summer: Dandara Rime Splatoon 2 Stardew Valley - Timed exclusive features SteamWorld Dig 2 Beyond/TBD: The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ (TBD) - eShop only Disgaea 5 Complete (TBD) Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 (2017) The Escapists 2 (2017) FIFA (2017) Fire Emblem Warriors (TBD) Flipping Death (2017) GoNNER (2017) - Timed exclusive Kingdom: Two Crowns (2017) Minecraft (2017) Minecraft: Story Mode (TBD) NBA 2K (2017) New Shin Megami Tensei (TBD) Overcooked! Special Edition (2017) Rayman Legends (TBD) Runner3 - (Fall 2017) Skyrim (Fall 2017) Sonic Mania (2017) Steep (2017) Super Mario Odyssey (Holiday 2017) Syberia 3 (TBD) Ultra Street Fighter II (2017) WarGroove (2017) Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (2017) Yooka-Laylee (2017) View full article
  15. Jack Gardner

    Breath of the Wild Will Have a Season Pass

    Nintendo isn't well known for supporting downloadable content, but it seems that things might be different with their upcoming console release. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be sold alongside a season pass that gives access to several expansions planned for the title. This marks the first time Nintendo has ever offered DLC for a Legend of Zelda game. The first DLC will release with Breath of the Wild alongside the Switch's launch on March 3 with a second batch following sometime during the summer and a final pack at the end of the year. The pass for the full crop of DLC will cost $19.99. The first piece will add three new treasure chests that contain "useful items" and unique clothing options for Link. The second part of the DLC will add a hard mode to the game, introduce a Cave of Trials challenge, and a "new map feature." The final DLC pack seems to be the most interesting of the three as it expands the base game with new story content, a new dungeon, and more challenges. This move is so unprecedented that Nintendo actually released a short explanatory video for those who don't know about downloadable content. This move has been a long time coming. After dipping their toes into paid DLC for the first time in 2011 with Fire Emblem: Awakening, Nintendo has very, very slowly been seeing how it can successfully incorporate downloadable content into its premier franchises. The move toward mobile gaming over the past year has been a part of their cautious experimentation. Given how pretty much all of these moves have reaped massive rewards for Nintendo, is it really that surprising that Nintendo's largest franchise would be releasing with DLC plans in place? For more Breath of the Wild goodness, be sure to check out our hands-on preview!
  16. Nintendo isn't well known for supporting downloadable content, but it seems that things might be different with their upcoming console release. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be sold alongside a season pass that gives access to several expansions planned for the title. This marks the first time Nintendo has ever offered DLC for a Legend of Zelda game. The first DLC will release with Breath of the Wild alongside the Switch's launch on March 3 with a second batch following sometime during the summer and a final pack at the end of the year. The pass for the full crop of DLC will cost $19.99. The first piece will add three new treasure chests that contain "useful items" and unique clothing options for Link. The second part of the DLC will add a hard mode to the game, introduce a Cave of Trials challenge, and a "new map feature." The final DLC pack seems to be the most interesting of the three as it expands the base game with new story content, a new dungeon, and more challenges. This move is so unprecedented that Nintendo actually released a short explanatory video for those who don't know about downloadable content. This move has been a long time coming. After dipping their toes into paid DLC for the first time in 2011 with Fire Emblem: Awakening, Nintendo has very, very slowly been seeing how it can successfully incorporate downloadable content into its premier franchises. The move toward mobile gaming over the past year has been a part of their cautious experimentation. Given how pretty much all of these moves have reaped massive rewards for Nintendo, is it really that surprising that Nintendo's largest franchise would be releasing with DLC plans in place? For more Breath of the Wild goodness, be sure to check out our hands-on preview! View full article
  17. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild towers as the Nintendo Switch’s most anticipated title for good reason. In addition to being a new Zelda, thus being a big deal by default, the latest entry in the long-running franchise expands on the series’ formula by featuring a vast open world for players to explore freely. After much anticipation, I had the opportunity to spend roughly 20 minutes of hands-on time with Breath of the Wild. It felt like a fraction of that time because I was completely enamored with Hyrule’s wealth of possibilities. From what I understand, the demo I played was identical to last year’s E3 demo, so the opening events are likely familiar if you’ve read impressions for that version. Link awakens within an ancient temple, beckoned by a mysterious voice. After being bestowed with the magical Sheikah Slate, a multipurpose tool that serves as Link’s map, among other functions, I found and equipped basic clothing. Breath of the Wild’s vibrant world welcomed me with open arms as I exited the structure. There was only one question: Where do I head first? I could have immediately veered off on my own path, but I opted to follow a mysterious hooded man. After catching up with him and absorbing some sage tutorial advice, I embarked on my journey. My first order of business was to climb everything. Link can scale virtually any surface, his actions dictated by a stamina meter ala Skyward Sword. The ability to climbing vastly opens up exploration options. Instead of seeking out a main path, I just scampered up cliffs and improvised my way through areas. Link’s stamina drained rather quickly in the demo to the point of becoming a mild nuisance. Hopefully, it won’t take too long to for players to build up his strength in the full release. I quickly procured my first weapon: a branch. Not quite the Master Sword, but I had to start somewhere. It was a fortunate discovery, since I immediately encountered my first adversary in a lone moblin. Combat itself felt largely identical to previous Zelda games. I slashed, rolled, and leapt in and out of engagement with my foe. The controls felt smooth and responsive as we clashed. The presence of weapon degradation was the most prominent new wrinkle, as it forced me to monitor the state of items. Unfortunately, my branch splintered into pieces before I could finish my adversary, forcing me into a hasty retreat. In an unexpected and humorous moment, the persistent moblin gave chase for several yards. It even followed me down a sheer cliff drop. Even the Nintendo representative guiding me through the demo was taken aback at the beast’s determination. After a lengthy pursuit, the moblin finally decided I wasn’t worth the effort and backed off. That wasn’t the end of my troubles. I turned to discover that I’d accidentally stumbled upon a camp teeming with moblins–and I was completely defenseless. In a stroke of intentionally designed luck, though, I noticed a bow and quiver of arrows laying by a log nearby. There were also a few more branches. Now that I had a larger arsenal, I messed around with Breath of the Wild’s inventory system. Players can quick select weapons in-game on the fly by entering a separate menu. Additionally, hot key options also streamlined selection. I adapted to this new system swiftly, swapping items with ease. Before I tackled the enemy base, my Nintendo rep instructed me to slide the Switch out of its dock and continue playing in handheld mode. The transition from big to small screen was as quick and seamless as advertised. Best of all, the performance didn’t skip a beat and looked great on the smaller display. With my new bow, I took aim and sniped distant enemies, drawing their attention. As the now-alert moblins hurtled towards me, I spotted a nearby shield and quickly equipped it. With my beat-down stick and shield ready, I fought my way through the remaining horde, rolling and collecting additional arrows and sticks mid-fight. Once the last moblin fell, I began collecting the spoils. Among the loot was an actual sword. Hooray, no more branches! That sense of improvement defined much of Breath of the Wild’s experience. Every time I nabbed a new item, I eagerly compared it stats to my existing inventory and wanted to continue searching in hopes of finding greater riches. That’s a fun and necessary incentive to achieve in an open world game. After clearing the area of its riches, I decided to continue towards the main story objective. The waypoint led to a small ruin with a plate to insert the Shiekah Slate. I placed the relic, which triggered a scene where a massive tower emerged from the Earth. Interestingly, the Nintendo Rep pointed out that during this cinematic, moblins are typically present since the structure sprouts near their base. However, since I wiped out the camp before summoning the tower, the moblins were absent. I always appreciate little touches of continuity like that. I’ll have to wait for the full release of Breath of the Wild to see what follows after that tower arose from the ruins as my demo wrapped up shortly thereafter. Although I barely scratched the surface of the tip of the iceberg, I left the demo anxious and excited to get my hands on the full experience. Roaming the open world, discovering items and locations with little to no guidance felt like playing a big-budget remake of the NES Legend of Zelda. It’s a freedom that’s been lacking in the last few console entries, and the next logical leap after A Link Between Worlds (a personal fave) began the shift towards a less linear direction. Breakable weapons largely irritate me in most games, but Zelda tempers that annoyance by sprinkling items all over the place. I was always picking up new equipment, and even though most of them were fragile branches, I had a supply of them to rely on until I found something better. Most importantly, Breath of the Wild was just plain fun. Combat works fine, the picturesque world was a joy to run around in, and the loop of exploration and loot has its hooks. If the gameplay continues to evolve in positive ways, and if they story is up to snuff, Breath of the Wild could be a Zelda game for the ages. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild launches for Switch and Wii U March 3.
  18. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild towers as the Nintendo Switch’s most anticipated title for good reason. In addition to being a new Zelda, thus being a big deal by default, the latest entry in the long-running franchise expands on the series’ formula by featuring a vast open world for players to explore freely. After much anticipation, I had the opportunity to spend roughly 20 minutes of hands-on time with Breath of the Wild. It felt like a fraction of that time because I was completely enamored with Hyrule’s wealth of possibilities. From what I understand, the demo I played was identical to last year’s E3 demo, so the opening events are likely familiar if you’ve read impressions for that version. Link awakens within an ancient temple, beckoned by a mysterious voice. After being bestowed with the magical Sheikah Slate, a multipurpose tool that serves as Link’s map, among other functions, I found and equipped basic clothing. Breath of the Wild’s vibrant world welcomed me with open arms as I exited the structure. There was only one question: Where do I head first? I could have immediately veered off on my own path, but I opted to follow a mysterious hooded man. After catching up with him and absorbing some sage tutorial advice, I embarked on my journey. My first order of business was to climb everything. Link can scale virtually any surface, his actions dictated by a stamina meter ala Skyward Sword. The ability to climbing vastly opens up exploration options. Instead of seeking out a main path, I just scampered up cliffs and improvised my way through areas. Link’s stamina drained rather quickly in the demo to the point of becoming a mild nuisance. Hopefully, it won’t take too long to for players to build up his strength in the full release. I quickly procured my first weapon: a branch. Not quite the Master Sword, but I had to start somewhere. It was a fortunate discovery, since I immediately encountered my first adversary in a lone moblin. Combat itself felt largely identical to previous Zelda games. I slashed, rolled, and leapt in and out of engagement with my foe. The controls felt smooth and responsive as we clashed. The presence of weapon degradation was the most prominent new wrinkle, as it forced me to monitor the state of items. Unfortunately, my branch splintered into pieces before I could finish my adversary, forcing me into a hasty retreat. In an unexpected and humorous moment, the persistent moblin gave chase for several yards. It even followed me down a sheer cliff drop. Even the Nintendo representative guiding me through the demo was taken aback at the beast’s determination. After a lengthy pursuit, the moblin finally decided I wasn’t worth the effort and backed off. That wasn’t the end of my troubles. I turned to discover that I’d accidentally stumbled upon a camp teeming with moblins–and I was completely defenseless. In a stroke of intentionally designed luck, though, I noticed a bow and quiver of arrows laying by a log nearby. There were also a few more branches. Now that I had a larger arsenal, I messed around with Breath of the Wild’s inventory system. Players can quick select weapons in-game on the fly by entering a separate menu. Additionally, hot key options also streamlined selection. I adapted to this new system swiftly, swapping items with ease. Before I tackled the enemy base, my Nintendo rep instructed me to slide the Switch out of its dock and continue playing in handheld mode. The transition from big to small screen was as quick and seamless as advertised. Best of all, the performance didn’t skip a beat and looked great on the smaller display. With my new bow, I took aim and sniped distant enemies, drawing their attention. As the now-alert moblins hurtled towards me, I spotted a nearby shield and quickly equipped it. With my beat-down stick and shield ready, I fought my way through the remaining horde, rolling and collecting additional arrows and sticks mid-fight. Once the last moblin fell, I began collecting the spoils. Among the loot was an actual sword. Hooray, no more branches! That sense of improvement defined much of Breath of the Wild’s experience. Every time I nabbed a new item, I eagerly compared it stats to my existing inventory and wanted to continue searching in hopes of finding greater riches. That’s a fun and necessary incentive to achieve in an open world game. After clearing the area of its riches, I decided to continue towards the main story objective. The waypoint led to a small ruin with a plate to insert the Shiekah Slate. I placed the relic, which triggered a scene where a massive tower emerged from the Earth. Interestingly, the Nintendo Rep pointed out that during this cinematic, moblins are typically present since the structure sprouts near their base. However, since I wiped out the camp before summoning the tower, the moblins were absent. I always appreciate little touches of continuity like that. I’ll have to wait for the full release of Breath of the Wild to see what follows after that tower arose from the ruins as my demo wrapped up shortly thereafter. Although I barely scratched the surface of the tip of the iceberg, I left the demo anxious and excited to get my hands on the full experience. Roaming the open world, discovering items and locations with little to no guidance felt like playing a big-budget remake of the NES Legend of Zelda. It’s a freedom that’s been lacking in the last few console entries, and the next logical leap after A Link Between Worlds (a personal fave) began the shift towards a less linear direction. Breakable weapons largely irritate me in most games, but Zelda tempers that annoyance by sprinkling items all over the place. I was always picking up new equipment, and even though most of them were fragile branches, I had a supply of them to rely on until I found something better. Most importantly, Breath of the Wild was just plain fun. Combat works fine, the picturesque world was a joy to run around in, and the loop of exploration and loot has its hooks. If the gameplay continues to evolve in positive ways, and if they story is up to snuff, Breath of the Wild could be a Zelda game for the ages. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild launches for Switch and Wii U March 3. View full article
  19. If you ever wondered about the origins of the Skull Kid and his titular mask from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Ember Lab, an animation outfit based out of California, has put together a short film to give their take on the enigmatic character's backstory. The short, titled 'Terrible Fate,' is a frankly impressive piece of work that manages to be at turns mysterious, playful, and frightening. Visually, Ember Lab seems to have thrown their full talents at this project. Environments pop with life. Characters, even in the short run-time, have arcs that work to flesh out their roles in the game. Terrible Fate adds details to the already rich narrative of Majora's Mask that highlight the tragic ascent of the Skull Kid as a villain. While Ember Lab handled the animation work, the soundtrack does some heavy lifting as well. Theophany, a regular over on the video game remixing site OCRemix, lent his considerable talent to craft a compelling soundscape for 'Terrible Fate.' The result is an incredibly effective synergy between the visuals and orchestral score. Theophany was so passionate about this project that he's committed to releasing a full multi-disc album to accompany the short. While the full composition has yet to be completed, interested fans can listen or download the first disc on the site for 'Terrible Fate.' There have been multiple animation stingers for Majora's Mask appearing on the internet over the last few years, but this might be the most impressive. Even if we never get a live-action Legend of Zelda film, I hope Nintendo sees work like this coming out of their fanbase and gives some serious consideration to a feature-length animated production. View full article
  20. If you ever wondered about the origins of the Skull Kid and his titular mask from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Ember Lab, an animation outfit based out of California, has put together a short film to give their take on the enigmatic character's backstory. The short, titled 'Terrible Fate,' is a frankly impressive piece of work that manages to be at turns mysterious, playful, and frightening. Visually, Ember Lab seems to have thrown their full talents at this project. Environments pop with life. Characters, even in the short run-time, have arcs that work to flesh out their roles in the game. Terrible Fate adds details to the already rich narrative of Majora's Mask that highlight the tragic ascent of the Skull Kid as a villain. While Ember Lab handled the animation work, the soundtrack does some heavy lifting as well. Theophany, a regular over on the video game remixing site OCRemix, lent his considerable talent to craft a compelling soundscape for 'Terrible Fate.' The result is an incredibly effective synergy between the visuals and orchestral score. Theophany was so passionate about this project that he's committed to releasing a full multi-disc album to accompany the short. While the full composition has yet to be completed, interested fans can listen or download the first disc on the site for 'Terrible Fate.' There have been multiple animation stingers for Majora's Mask appearing on the internet over the last few years, but this might be the most impressive. Even if we never get a live-action Legend of Zelda film, I hope Nintendo sees work like this coming out of their fanbase and gives some serious consideration to a feature-length animated production.
  21. Few games in the last few years exude as much charm as Save Me Mr. Tako, an indie PC title that uses a Game Boy aesthetic to tell the story of an octopus who doesn't want to fight. The tale of Mr. Tako was originally conceived by French indie developer Chris Deneos in 2014 as a way of honoring the 24th anniversary of the Game Boy. Since then, Deneos has fully committed to seeing the project through. As a pixel artist, Deneos really manages to create expressive and interesting visuals within the constraints of the chosen Game Boy style. The entire project has been constructed using Unity, which surprisingly manages to mimic the Game Boy visuals quite well. Fully titled Tasukete Tako-San: Save Me Mr. Tako, the platformer mashes together the spirit of the Kirby and Legend of Zelda franchises to weave a compelling world full of aquatic and land-based denizens and enemies. Players can absorb and use over fifty different powers from enemies as the titular Mr. Tako to help battle enemies and explore a large, non-linear world. The story of Save Me Mr. Tako centers around Mr. Tako, an octopus sent to fight humans in the great Octopus-Human War. One dark night, his unit attacks a human ship at sea. Mr. Tako doesn't want to fight humans and just wants peace. The octopi soldiers shove a woman into the sea to drown, but Mr. Tako dives in after her, saving her life. A sea fairy, seeing this act of bravery, gives Mr. Tako the ability to breathe outside of water in exchange for never hating another human. To bring an end to the war, Mr. Tako must brave the dangers of both the sea and land, and if that isn't the most adorable thing, I don't know what is. Deneos, working alone, is striving to add as much content to Save Me Mr. Tako as possible. The solo indie developer estimated earlier this year that the game was about half done, with over thirty levels, six towns, fifteen side-quests, and five hours of gameplay. The completed version of Save Me Mr. Tako will include the expected story mode alongside some form of multiplayer mode as well as a boss rush mode. Back in April he still hoped to finish work on Save Me Mr. Tako by the end of 2016, though that seems unlikely with about two weeks left in the year and no official release date announced. While the release date of Save Me Mr. Tako remains unknown, those who find the trailers and screenshots intriguing can download a free demo to see what the finished game will be like. The game is currently only on track for a PC release.
  22. Few games in the last few years exude as much charm as Save Me Mr. Tako, an indie PC title that uses a Game Boy aesthetic to tell the story of an octopus who doesn't want to fight. The tale of Mr. Tako was originally conceived by French indie developer Chris Deneos in 2014 as a way of honoring the 24th anniversary of the Game Boy. Since then, Deneos has fully committed to seeing the project through. As a pixel artist, Deneos really manages to create expressive and interesting visuals within the constraints of the chosen Game Boy style. The entire project has been constructed using Unity, which surprisingly manages to mimic the Game Boy visuals quite well. Fully titled Tasukete Tako-San: Save Me Mr. Tako, the platformer mashes together the spirit of the Kirby and Legend of Zelda franchises to weave a compelling world full of aquatic and land-based denizens and enemies. Players can absorb and use over fifty different powers from enemies as the titular Mr. Tako to help battle enemies and explore a large, non-linear world. The story of Save Me Mr. Tako centers around Mr. Tako, an octopus sent to fight humans in the great Octopus-Human War. One dark night, his unit attacks a human ship at sea. Mr. Tako doesn't want to fight humans and just wants peace. The octopi soldiers shove a woman into the sea to drown, but Mr. Tako dives in after her, saving her life. A sea fairy, seeing this act of bravery, gives Mr. Tako the ability to breathe outside of water in exchange for never hating another human. To bring an end to the war, Mr. Tako must brave the dangers of both the sea and land, and if that isn't the most adorable thing, I don't know what is. Deneos, working alone, is striving to add as much content to Save Me Mr. Tako as possible. The solo indie developer estimated earlier this year that the game was about half done, with over thirty levels, six towns, fifteen side-quests, and five hours of gameplay. The completed version of Save Me Mr. Tako will include the expected story mode alongside some form of multiplayer mode as well as a boss rush mode. Back in April he still hoped to finish work on Save Me Mr. Tako by the end of 2016, though that seems unlikely with about two weeks left in the year and no official release date announced. While the release date of Save Me Mr. Tako remains unknown, those who find the trailers and screenshots intriguing can download a free demo to see what the finished game will be like. The game is currently only on track for a PC release. View full article
  23. Jimmy Fallon could hardly contain himself last night when Reggie Fils-Aime, the president of Nintendo of America, came onto The Tonight Show to present the Nintendo Switch and a live demonstration of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It seemed to come as something of a surprise to the late night host, who had just been playing some Mario Run with Fils-Aime. With shaking hands, Fallon seemed almost beside himself as he took the Switch and played through an encounter in the upcoming open world action-adventure title. It was pretty clear that Fallon was talking from a place of genuine enthusiasm as he dropped knowledge bombs from Breath of the Wild previews and old interviews. You can watch the entire Breath of the Wild exchange below. Shigeru Miyamoto was also in attendance, sitting quietly in the audience smiling. Jimmy Fallon called out to the game creator several times, receiving nods and laughter from the developer. However, Miyamoto didn't just attend the show - he participated. He took the stage with the band The Roots to perform the iconic theme to Super Mario Bros. live. These are clear signs that Nintendo has begun its media push to spread awareness of the Nintendo Switch - something that the gaming titan didn't do very well in the lead up to the Wii U launch. Obviously, they have learned from their mistakes. The big Breath of the Wild reveal last week at The Game Awards 2016 was the first inkling that Nintendo might be initiating an effective marketing campaign for both The Legend of Zelda and the Switch. Now we pretty much know that Nintendo will be pushing their console from now until its March 2017 release window. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild releases sometime next year, probably later in the year than March as reports indicate that it will not be a launch title for the Nintendo Switch. View full article
  24. Jimmy Fallon could hardly contain himself last night when Reggie Fils-Aime, the president of Nintendo of America, came onto The Tonight Show to present the Nintendo Switch and a live demonstration of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It seemed to come as something of a surprise to the late night host, who had just been playing some Mario Run with Fils-Aime. With shaking hands, Fallon seemed almost beside himself as he took the Switch and played through an encounter in the upcoming open world action-adventure title. It was pretty clear that Fallon was talking from a place of genuine enthusiasm as he dropped knowledge bombs from Breath of the Wild previews and old interviews. You can watch the entire Breath of the Wild exchange below. Shigeru Miyamoto was also in attendance, sitting quietly in the audience smiling. Jimmy Fallon called out to the game creator several times, receiving nods and laughter from the developer. However, Miyamoto didn't just attend the show - he participated. He took the stage with the band The Roots to perform the iconic theme to Super Mario Bros. live. These are clear signs that Nintendo has begun its media push to spread awareness of the Nintendo Switch - something that the gaming titan didn't do very well in the lead up to the Wii U launch. Obviously, they have learned from their mistakes. The big Breath of the Wild reveal last week at The Game Awards 2016 was the first inkling that Nintendo might be initiating an effective marketing campaign for both The Legend of Zelda and the Switch. Now we pretty much know that Nintendo will be pushing their console from now until its March 2017 release window. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild releases sometime next year, probably later in the year than March as reports indicate that it will not be a launch title for the Nintendo Switch.
  25. Since new consoles aren't announced every day from a major manufacturer, this week's episode focuses squarely on Nintendo's recent reveal of the Switch, their upcoming next-gen device that can become either a console or handheld. Jeremy had to go save kids or something, so this discussion falls to Jack and Daniel who hold somewhat differing opinions on Nintendo's hybrid creation. Will the Switch be a success or a commercial flop? 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: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 'Dance of the Kokiri' by Chris ~ Amaterasu and Doc Nano (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03438) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! You can also follow the show on Twitter: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
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