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Nintendo Unveil Details for Nintendo Switch Online Service

A lot later than originally expected, earlier this week Nintendo of America finally unveiled the details of Nintendo Switch Online, the paid online service for their popular Nintendo Switch console.

 

 

In case you missed it, a little background. Around the time Nintendo launched the Nintendo Switch console, it was announced that the console would receive a paid online service which would enable online play in supported games, as well as voice chat and a slew of other features. Nintendo had originally suggested this service would be ready within the first year of the console’s life; and pledged that Switch owners would be able to play online for free until the service launched. Things obviously took a lot longer, however; but now, thanks to the official Switch page on Nintendo of America’s website, we have all the details for the planned service, which launches in September 2018

 

First of all, remember the special version of Street Fighter II Nintendo launched for the Switch, which was modified to include support for Online Play? Turns out, that’s not a one-off. As part of the upcoming Nintendo Switch Online service, Nintendo has announced Nintendo Entertainment System™ – Nintendo Switch Online, a special perk for paid subscribers which promises a selection of “20 NES games with added online play for the first time ever, and more games added regularly.” These launch titles include:

  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Donkey Kong™
  • Mario Bros.™
  • Super Mario Bros.™
  • Balloon Fight™
  • Ice Climber™
  • Dr. Mario™
  • The Legend of Zelda™
  • Super Mario Bros.™ 3
  • …And more to be revealed!

With online play added to every classic game, you can compete (or cooperate) online with friends, share your screen, or pass the controller, depending on the game. With the Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app, you can also voice chat during your play sessions.

Nintendo

 

Another piece of news that will likely delight Switch owners: Nintendo is finally planning to implement Save Data Cloud Backups to the Switch – though again, this will be a subscriber-only feature. Though Nintendo has yet to reveal exact details, the website promises more details will be made available “before the paid service launches in September.”

 

Of course, the real point of online services on a modern console is modern online play; and here’s where the disappointing news begins. As Nintendo had already announced, while Online Play will remain free for now, once Nintendo Switch Online launches in September, paid subscriptions will be required to play online in many first- and second-party Nintendo Switch titles – with a confirmed list so far of Splatoon™ 2, ARMS™, Mario Kart™ 8 Deluxe, Mario Tennis™ Aces, and Sushi Striker™: The Way of Sushido. To their credit, Nintendo do state that the service may not apply to all Switch games – third-party developers are free to choose how they wish to implement their online features. Also going behind Nintendo’s paywall is the Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app, which will also be required for voice chat.

 

Nintendo have been careful to state, however, that not subscribing to Nintendo Switch Online will not cripple the capabilities of your Switch console. Non-subscribers will still receive console and software updates as usual; and will also retain access to the Nintendo eShop, Friends List (including registering and managing friends), and Parental Controls; and will still be able to share in-game screenshots to their social media.

 

So what’s the cost? Nintendo have unveiled four pricing tiers for the Nintendo Online Service, which you will be able to purchase through their website, in-console via the Nintendo eShop, or through select retailers once the service launches. The first three cover individuals. Each Nintendo Account holder can purchase a month of Individual membership to the Nintendo Online Service for $3.99 USD; or lengthen their subscriptions to 3 or 12 months for the reduced prices of $7.99 USD or $19.99 USD respectively. Each Individual membership is valid for one account only.

 

The other option, called “Family membership”, is tailored specifically for larger families with individual accounts for each person. For $34.99 USD, a household can purchase a 12-month subscription for a maximum of eight Nintendo Network accounts, by first activating the subscription on one account and then inviting the others to a family group.

 

There’s one last perk that might swing a few of you still on the fence about purchasing Nintendo Switch Online. Nintendo have promised that subscribers will also be entitled to future special offers from Nintendo that will not be available to non-subcribers, with details “to be revealed”. It remains to be seen how tempting these offers will be, but it’s fair to say – Nintendo is really trying hard to make paid online attractive to as many Switch owners as it can.


May 9th, 2018 by CrimsonShade
Posted in Gaming, General, Nintendo |

Multiplatform Review: Bridge Constructor: Portal

Enter the Aperture Science Enrichment Center and experience Bridge Constructor Portal – the unique merging of the classic Portal™ and Bridge Constructor™ games.

 

 

Deep within the test chambers of Aperture Science, a new branch of research and development is initiated. Welcome, Trainee, to Bridge Constructor: Portal.

 

From developers, ClockStone Studio, and published by HeadUp Games, comes a new addition to the puzzle-based universe of Portal.

 

 

The task is simple enough. Build a bridge to guide forklifts, transporting obviously important Aperture Science Sciencing Materials, from a starting position, to an end position.

 

The challenge comes from an increasingly abstract level layout, alternating start and end positions, adversarial gun turrets, and of course, the iconic portals.

 

The level progression moves at a comfortable pace, which provides a good opportunity to practice each time a new element is added to the game.

 

There are 60 test chambers to work your way through, with two levels of challenge; build a construct that will handle a single truck, or put your engineering abilities to the test, and successfully help a convoy of trucks traverse the chamber!

 

 

A vaguely wobbly bridge might suffice for a single truck, but that wobble might throw off the trajectory of the third driver of the convoy, or there might be insufficient support in your build, and the whole thing might come crashing down; sending you straight back to the drawing board!

 

Aesthetically, the game takes much of it’s style from the Aperture Science infomercials that introduced new mechanics in Portal 2, and it adds a unique charm to the game that instantly makes you feel like you’re back in the Aperture testing chambers.

 

Tutorial assistance, and comments from GLaDOS further add to the game’s appeal.

 

The user interface is minimalistic, yet incredibly functional, with controls that are easy to master, and in the main menu, there is a section for additional tips to improve your constructions.

 

 

Available on Steam, Mac, PS4, XBox One, Switch, and Mobile devices; Bridge Constructor: Portal is a well-designed, easily accessible, and ingenious little game, full of charm, and challenge, that is well worth checking out if you enjoy physics puzzles, or are a fan of the games that preceded this one.

 

It’s a perfect blend of the Bridge Constructor series, and the unique sci-fi world of Portal!

 

Bridge Constructor: Portal is available now on –

STEAM

https://store.steampowered.com/app/684410/Bridge_Constructor_Portal/

Playstation 4

https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP0825-CUSA09729_00-BRIDPORPS4SCEA00

XBox One

https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/store/p/bridge-constructor-portal/bnrx1dn6gxm6

Switch

https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Bridge-Constructor-Portal-1342894.html

 

Just remember that the cake, and the bridge, is a lie.

8.5/10 ~Captain Meatshield


April 27th, 2018 by
Posted in Gaming, General, Multiplatform, Nintendo, PC, Playstation, Real Time Strategy, Xbox |

Multiplatform Review: Steamworld Heist (STEAM & Nintendo Switch versions)

First released on STEAM in June 2016, but recently released on Nintendo Switch, takes a look at a great game, out on a new platform  ~Lone

 

Command a steam-driven pirate crew in a series of epic tactical shootouts. Inspired by classics like XCOM and Worms, SteamWorld Heist is turn-based strategy with a twist: You manually aim the guns of your robots, allowing for insane skill shots and bullet-bouncing action!

 

 

Steamworld Heist is the third game in the Steamworld franchise created by Swedish indie developers Image & Form, set in what appears to be the same universe still populated with a cast of colorful steam powered robots but this time with a new set of characters and a new style of game play, Heist being a blend of turn based strategy and skill based 2D shooting.

 

The story of Steamworld Heist follows Captain Piper Faraday, a smuggler and occasional pirate who is rebuilding her crew in order to collect as much swag (gallons of water) as possible and maybe make the universe a safer place, as long as it doesn’t interfere with her livelihood of course. Faraday begins her journey on an enemy ship where something went terribly wrong and she ended up alone, but you soon meet up with another crew member, the surly Seabrass, during the tutorial.

 

 

Upon completion of the tutorial you are introduced to the main ship which acts as a sort of hub between levels where you can relax, chat with the crew you have found/enlisted so far, and check your items/crew/skills at your leisure, then it’s off to the map to select a level or store to visit.

 

Levels in Steamworld Heist are largely procedurally generated so the ship layout will change each time, but the objective remains the same, whether that is collect x amount of swag, defeat x amount of scavengers etc., normally procedural generation in a game is a bit of a gripe of mine because although the programming can create a seemingly endless amount of level designs there are certain limitations in that some parts will always need to connect or things come out looking unnatural or boring, but during my time with Steamworld Heist I did not experience this and I played through levels a few times trying to get the maximum reputation stars (generally 3 a level) and level up some new crew members and I believe the reason why the procedural generation didn’t get to me is because the core gameplay is so well thought out and the implementation is near perfect.

 

 

Gameplay consists of a simple squad turn based movement and attack/skill or item round followed by enemies (if there are any) turn and then repeat until one side is destroyed and if you are skillful enough to make sure the other team is the one destroyed you can then explore the ship and collect the swag however you will be restricted to the same movement limitation regardless of enemy robots left, meaning that if your character has 6 movement points (as most of the starting ones do) you can move 6 spaces and attack or you can move a few extra spaces (referred in game as “sprinting”) and give up your chance to attack to cover more ground which can be handy if you want to move your character into cover or if you’re making a mad dash for the exit (killing enemies doesn’t give you anything extra so unless it is the objective it’s generally optional), now the attacking is where things get really interesting.

 

 

Attacks in the game are largely ranged and the exact type will be determined on the character class (unchangeable) and the weapon they have equipped (a little more versatile but linked to the classes as well), the characters at least during my playtime all used guns as their primary weapon (swapping to a melee attack when enemies are one space away) and these guns range from a scoped pistol to a shotgun all the way to a grenade launcher, each one handles differently and is useful in certain situations but by far my prefered weapons were the scoped ones, the scopes in the game come paired with laser sights so you can see the trajectory your bullet will take before you fire allowing you to set up some very satisfying ricochet trickshots, the ricochets work with the other weapons as well but without the laser sight they require a keen eye and some patience to pull off the same kind of shots.

 

 

The game is refreshing in that it really is set up to reward skill over luck, every situation I was able to overcome with a well placed shot or a tactical retreat, sometimes losing an ally along the way but their scrap is returned to your ship so they can be rebuilt to fight another day, the only penalty being that the destroyed robot doesn’t take their share of experience but you can always take them back to the level or even to an easier one to harvest some experience, get a few level ups and come back with a more powerful and tactical team and as you are the one that aims the gun and the set up is turn based you really do have the time to plan your attack and pull off some spectacular shots, maybe aiming for the head for a (by default) 50% chance of a critical hit or taking out their legs to stop them from being able to move, or even if you are so inclined firing a shot at their hat to knock it off their head and (assuming you don’t already have it) picking it up and taking it for your own.

 

 

In summation I had a wonderful time with Steamworld Heist, the characters are cartoony, cliched and simplistic which fits right alongside the strong undercurrent of humour throughout the game, the graphics are polished and wonderful to look at, the music (by steampunk band Steam Powered Giraffe) is fitting and great to listen to and there is something so satisfying of bouncing a bullet off two walls and getting a headshot destroying a robot who was hiding behind cover, the levels are short but action packed and I feel like I will be spending quite a while enjoying my time there, if you like well paced turn based tactical games and/or impressive snooker trick shots then you could do much worse than checking out Steamworld Heist for yourself.

 

Steamworld heist gets a steampunk 9/10 from us!

 

SteamWorld Heist: Ultimate Edition, including all previously released DLC, is out now on Nintendo Switch for $19.99 / €19.99 or the equivalent.

The standard edition is available for $14.99 / €14.99 on Steam, PS4/PS Vita, Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.

A mobile version for iPhone and iPad is yours for $9.99.

 

Check out the trailer below


February 12th, 2018 by TGB_SirhcAndAr0n
Posted in Gaming, General, Multiplatform, Nintendo, PC, Playstation, Xbox |

Nintendo Labo is Nintendo’s Quirky New Idea for Homemade Interactive Toys

Nintendo has a reputation for taking unusual gambles in pursuit of new gaming experiences. While these gambles don’t always pay off – the Virtual Boy was a failed attempt at VR headset gaming that was released before it was even ready; the Wii U was an example of disastrous marketing; the promised Wii Health Monitor never materialised; and how many of you have even SEEN the Nintendo 64DD, among others? – more often than not, Nintendo’s quirkiness proves to be a stroke of genius and puts the company back on the map for many years. The Wii introduced us to the benefits of motion-control gaming and captured a casual gaming audience other consoles had alienated; and the Switch is once again breaking sales records with its gimmick of a handheld console that is equally capable of being played at home as on the move. Indeed, such is the track record of Nintendo that there is a long-held belief by fans: “Nintendo is best when it’s at its quirkiest”. So when Nintendo announced a new Switch-enabled toy range, you could almost hear the sound of eyebrows raising across the globe.

 

A demonstrative picture of the Keyboard Toy-Con from the Nintendo Labo Variety Pack.

Revealed last night in an impromptu Nintendo Direct video, Nintendo’s latest product idea combines real-world props with Nintendo Switch technology to make interactive toys that also introduce young kids to the basic idea of coding. Dubbed “Nintendo Labo”, the lego-like concept revolves around stand-alone kits containing pre-cut cardboard pieces, rubber bands and other materials, along with Switch cartridges containing the Nintendo Labo software. By following instructions, children can use the pieces to make models of various toys such as a piano, handlebars for a motorbike, or even a house. Then, with the Switch software, the toys transform into interactive games – use the piano to play music through your TV! Peek inside your new house and become an interior decorator! Play a motorbike racing game!

 

All of these projects come as part of a $70 variety pack, which is already listed for pre-order on Nintendo’s website. A second $80 set includes an alternative set of projects, such as a wearable robot-simulating suit – potentially giving the toys (dubbed Toy-Cons by Nintendo) appeal to a wider age range. Nintendo’s clear intention, however, is for Labo to be a discovery tool for youngsters to learn and play, repurposing the Switch to augment a dynamic constructive experience.

 

It remains to be seen how well this will work. The cardboard nature of the toys makes them fragile and prone to both quick breakage or simply being ripped up by younger kids; although it also makes the kits cheap to produce and potentially opens the door for homebrew hacks – after all, it’s cheaper to download a cardboard design for a custom controller than 3D-print one. Nintendo have already pledged to offer cheap methods to replace components from their kits; and it’s not hard to imagine further sets in the future offering all new toys to keep kiddies interested. The question is, will kids buy into the idea of educational toys; and just how long will their attention span last?

 

Labo will launch first in the US on April 20th, followed by Europe a week later. As a promotional campaign for the new toys, the Nintendo UK Twitter announced today a four-day event in London scheduled for mid-February, and is looking for families to apply to take part:

 


January 18th, 2018 by CrimsonShade
Posted in Gaming, General, Nintendo |

EGX 2017: Floor Review And A First Timers Look At EGX

The joy of the prevalence of video games in recent times, is that it’s easier to explain your niche to others. This made it especially easy to explain to strangers why I was dressed as a character from Overwatch on a busy Sunday train to Birmingham, as I made my way to EGX at the NEC. And, while I am a regular convention goer and equally an avid gamer I had never been to a games specific expo before.

 

 

EGX is a mainstay for the big name gaming companies, with many demonstrations and presentations on new titles; regular Twitch streams by devs; cosplay competitions and merchandise on the floor. It has big draw for casual gamers, for families, and for industry professionals – and even for those looking for advice for how to make gaming their career. With all this in mind I was definitely expecting a busy day of exploring the expo floor and hopefully getting to try out some games in the process.

 

 

The upside was there was definitely plenty to see and do from a browsing standpoint. From the moment you walked in there were people handing out fliers and codes for promotions. The indie games area, EGX Rezzed, dominated the front zone even before you started to approach any of the larger name companies. I found this quite refreshing, as a demonstration of the importance of the indie market, and offered a great mix of games to play in genres ranging from very family friendly, to viral horror potential.

 

 

There were a good number of competitive gaming areas on show. This included the ESL E-Sports Arena; The Road to EGX Overwatch tournament; and a Street Fighter V tournament that had a raucous and excited crowd. It was great to see audience participation encouraged, as these areas had huge viewing screens that allowed folks to stand back and immerse themselves in the action, and to get behind the players throwing down – sometimes, quite literally – on screen.

 

Being present Sunday meant catching the tail-end of the various exciting panels that were available to attendees, but EGX had provided streams via Twitch the entire weekend and these could be caught up on through mobile even if it wasn’t physically possible to get inside. These can also be watched back on the EGX YouTube channel and give a good insight into many of the games that were on parade as well as industry insights.

 

 

The biggest draw still came in the shape of the big names, with Sony, Microsoft, Ubisoft, Nintendo, Sega, Square Enix and Blizzard all having their own zones broken up over the expo. There were long waits for anyone who wanted a sneak peek at titles such as Farcry 5 or Assassin’s Creed Origins, to learn more about recent releases like Destiny 2, or even to try their hands at Youtube phenomenons like PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds.

 

There were upsides and downsides throughout my time on the expo floor. The biggest obstacle I found as a casual con-goer was that when it came to trying things out I didn’t get to see or do quite as much as I might’ve liked. Though the Indie Rezzed zone occupied most of the entrance area many games were only available on one or two screens at best.

 

 

A prevalent theme throughout the whole expo was that there didn’t seem to be many people enforcing rotation of players, either. On one occasion I came over to the Overwatch area after having been there an hour previous, and the same folks were still playing on many of the computers available. It made it much more evident to me why so many people make EGX a four day long event, in order to get as much gaming in as possible.

 

But where there was sometimes a lack of gaming there was still a lot of engagement. Representatives were generally happy to talk with con-goers. There was a cosplay stage in the centre of the convention where people could go and watch others that had turned their love of gaming into a creative outlet. There was some great merchandise available, from t-shirts to bags, figures to tech accessories.

 

Another great addition came in the form of a board gaming area, which had the Playopolis board game library working with EGX for the first time. They were providing games for visitors to sit together and play in the seating area. Some upcoming titles were demonstrating as well, including the MMORPG inspired City of Kings, were set out for folks who wanted physical gaming as well as digital gaming. There were some board gaming specialist vendors, too, making it just as easy to take the same experiences home with you.

 

 

All in all, I found my first experience of EGX a fun one, with most of the hiccups I encountered ones that could be easily rectified with a little pre-planning, or even spending a longer time at the convention over its four day length. And, with the joyous prevalence of video games in recent times, who knows – it may be even bigger and better than ever the next time it rolls around.

 

And with that…

Isnotavampire.

 

 


September 26th, 2017 by isnotavampire
Posted in Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, MOBA, Multiplatform, Nintendo, PC, Playstation, Real Time Strategy, Xbox |

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