Ladies and gents, once again it is that time where you are paid for your continuing service as a subscriber. Here, we have the free games given to Xbox Live Gold and PSN Plus members. No fuss, no buss, just brass tacks. Do you want to know what games you are getting? We have them here.
Xbox Live Gold
Battlefield 1 – Did you miss last year’s Battlefield entry? Trying to make the old wars cool again, Battlefield 1 was a breath of fresh air in a series that was starting to lose its way. Featuring a lot of anachronistic weaponry, high concept weapons, and outrageous single player stories, it was a blast. Literally too. Before Battlefield V drops, you have a FREE chance to catch up on all the exciting action from this previous entry. Yes, previous, I know, the numbers make no sense.
Race the Sun – This is a simple yet addicting game where you drive super fast on an endless route. Your goal is to make sure the sun stays on the horizon as you navigate difficult obstacles in your way. The game can be rather brutal with its checkpoint system, but it’s still fun. Free is nice too.
Assassins Creed – The original. The source of it all. One of the most popular franchises in the video game world got its start with this one. It’s a flawed experience with several nags that make it less than excellent. But AC2, of course, improved everything, molding it to what is today. That said, this version of the game is interesting because even though it is a 360 title, it has Xbox One X enhancement, including an improved resolution and texture details. It actually looks relatively good for its age.
Dante’s Inferno – No, not the book. The brawler game. This particular title was noted for some of the crazy publicity stunts EA pulled off during its release. It had a fake religious group protesting it at E3. And they sent a handful of copies to devs with some very bizarre circumstances that were related to the seven deadly sins. In fact, the crazy campaign was more memorable than the actual game was. It’s an okay brawler game.
BulletStorm: Full Clip Edition – This was a fun shooter that EA needlessly made a remaster for and charged full price. It features a game that puts a big focus on making the player get creative with their kills. You get points for killing enemies, but you get more points if you’re creative about it, like in midair, or hitting them with a whip, etc. This game had a unique marketing gimmick where EA released a fake Call of Duty game to advertise for it and HOLY CRAP I’M SEEING A PATTERN HERE. I’m onto you, EA!
Yakuza Kiwami – There’s never been a better time to dive head-first into the amazing Yakuza series. This remaster of the original classic makes the game look like a title that came out recently. It’s the kind of remaster that really put in the effort to make the game look better, rather than just upscaling the resolutions and calling it a day. Looking at you, Shenmue 1 & 2 ‘HD’.
Jackbox Party Pack 2 – The Jackbox games are a collection of party game that, while launched on a console, you actually play on your smartphone with up to 8 friends. The second party pack has two outstanding games that are great. It has Quiplash XL, a game where the player is prompted with a topic and has to come up with a funny response. Literally, the funniest person wins. It also has Fibbage 2, a game where tough and bizarre trivia questions are asked. As the player, you get to submit your own wrong answer, then everyone tries to guess the correct answer. You get points if you make people fall for your fake answer. A total blast at parties and the ease of use is fantastic.
Arkedo Series – This just looks like a series of indie pixel games. Whatever.
Burly Men at Sea – Okay Sony, first Arkedo and now this? What are you even doing?
Roundabout – This is not a song by 70’s prog rock band Yes, but is, in fact, a game where you drive a limo around a map. But the limo is constantly spinning and you have to time your movements to the rotation of the car in order to avoid obstacles. It’s a wacky game that features some fun live action cutscenes. The low budget of this game bleeds through it, and a ton of people gave the game a bad review just because it came out at the turn of a new generation of games and didn’t look stunning.
Nintendo Switch Online
The free virtual NES games this month are:
Mighty Bomb Jack
All consoles have some friggin amazing titles on offer here. Battlefield 1 was a fine game with a very robust campaign, so even if you’re concerned that not many people are playing online, you still have a great single player experience. Race the Sun is a bit low rent, but having the enhanced Assassins Creed is a great piece of gaming history to have on hand. I mean, it literally INVENTED the tower climbing mechanic you see in every game now. It will be especially interesting to see how well it holds up. As far as Dante goes, it didn’t sell that well, but if you are curious as to what you missed out on, nows your chance to peep it.
PS4 has some strong current gen entries. Bulletstorm was also not a big hit and vastly overlooked. In fact, you probably didn’t know that they just randomly added Duke Nukem to the new version. Did you know that? You do now. And after that, Yakuza Kiwami 2 JUST CAME OUT, so it’s a great time to play it. That said, you may find that you don’t have enough time to play the sequel because Yakuza games are big. That said, with the exception of the Jackbox games, the rest of the Sony titles are considerably lackluster, I wouldn’t bother with the last 3 on the list.
NES on Switch, on the other hand, has a major game up its sleeve. The original Metroid is an all-around classic. I personally have never played a SINGLE MetroidVania title. Sad huh? But what better time to start than right now, while it’s free? If it’s free it’s for me right? That is the title of the series after all. The other games? Never heard of them.
All we know right now is that Nintendo are planning something. A new Nintendo Switch. But not a replacement. It’s the S version. The R version. The X version. The upgrade or the alternate model. Of course, with this simple rumor, comes RAMPANT SPECULATION. We have a whole loot of possibilities to think about. Including:
VR or AR support?
Will the old dock work?
There’s nothing we can do to really prove any of these things are going to happen. We just have to wait and see what they have in store for us in 2019. Maybe we’ll hear more in March? As for that last point, cellular connectivity is the least likely option out of all. Here’s why:
In order for Nintendo to include cellular connectivity on their Switch, they would have to make a contract with every mobile carrier available. Per country. These deals are very expensive due to telecomm regulations and the oligopoly the “Big Four” have on cell service in the USA. Most likely they would have to pick an independent deal with maybe one carrier, say Verizon because they have a truckload of money.
But this also means you would have to activate the switch as a new line on the Verizon network. That means you have to pay an activation fee. And the pay whatever their monthly cost is over amount of data you use, and we have no idea how much data is used to run games online like Splatoon. I’ve seen people play Battlegrounds on a Metro PCS phone with a WiFi hotspot. So it may not be much, but yeah, that’s more money on top of the $20 yearly fee. A LOT more than the yearly fee. And then there’s IMEI registration…
IT’S HARD TO PULL OFF OKAY?
I’m personally hoping for a mini. I like minis. I’d buy an iPhone SE if I ever bought an Apple phone only because it’s so small.
The greatest celebration of squid culture is once again poised to take place this October 2018. Of course, being synonymous with the month and the season, it’s safe to say that this round will pit team Cider against team Pumpkin Spi- wait. Oh no, scratch that. The upcoming splatfest is going to be team Trick vs team Treat. I guess that’s okay too. I mean we do need to settle the score between Cider and Pumpkin Spice, but that can be tabled for another day (although Cider is superior, fight me). Yes yes yes, we are getting a Halloween special for this month. So, which team will you choose? Consider the following:
Team Trick is for people who live their lives waiting for Halloween to drop. For many, Christmas is only second fiddle to Halloween. It is the greatest celebration of the horror genre on the calendar. But also for cosplayers, it’s for them too. Giving people a scare while wearing plastic vampire teeth, drinking fake blood, and howling at the moon is all part of the jam. You probably also like the Nightmare Before Christmas, but whether that’s a Halloween movie or Christmas movie is up to you (it’s a garbage movie, fight me). Join team trick if you’re there for the thrills and chills!
Team Treat on the other hand, is all about one thang, and one thang only. Murdering your teeth and stomach with gobs of candy. Reese peanut butter cups, Snickers, 3 Musketeers, Twizzlers, Milky Way, Whoppers, Milk Duds, Gummies, Lollipops, the list goes on. That or you get to the sick sick people who hand out Juji Fruit, Jujubes, and those mysterious black and orange wrapped sticky things that taste like chewy sawdust. Whether you’re a young trick-or-treater going door to door asking for candy or stealing from candy jar (or siblings) candy at parties, you got a sweet tooth.
I don’t know about you but it’s all about the TREATS for me. Halloween is the night where you not only treat yourself, you get knocked into a food coma over the amount of sugar you just consumed in one hour. Or get hyper, depends person to person. Either way, I’m fighting for team TREAT!
Oh, and one more thing. This Splatfest is going to go on for 48 hours. That’s right, that’s double the amount of splat-tacular action in one splatfest. Which is great because last time I only ended up with 30 minutes to play. But for this one, you get to play between October 19th to October 21st. For our North American friends, it starts @ 6PM Eastern time on the 19th, and ends @ 6PM ET on the 21st. Grab your dualies and prepare for a scare.
-The Splatfest for September 2018 asks, “What’s your style?”
-Splatfest launches @ Midnight, Sept 22nd.
The time has come once again to celebrate the greatest festival in all of squid culture. We are of course talking about Splatoon 2’s latest splatfest. For the month of September, it seems as though the theme is based on fashion. Retro vs Modern! Do you like to be hip and fresh, or rock it old school? To be honest, Retro vs Modern is kind of vague, don’t you think? I mean, a big proponent of modern culture is based on deviations from retro culture. The New 10s decade has sought a lot of inspiration from the 80s and 90s. In a world dominated by art styles like “vaporwave”, where does the line get drawn? Where does old fashioned end? Where does modern begin? Really makes you do the big think.
I, Chet, will be joining team RETRO this time, based on this evaluation. For it is the retro styles that govern what makes modern fashion so… fashionable. Mixing and matching different color schemes, adding new takes. Modern style is affected quite frequently by various interpretations of what made retro styles so cool to begin with. Look at game design itself. You have so many different games that base their locations on retro-futuristic ideals. You see? Retro styles bascially ARE modern styles, and that’s why TEAM RETRO will win this Splatfest. Or at least, it will win the popular vote. As always, the team with the most passion and the most skill will be the ones to reign champions. Be there, or be square, all day September 22nd. Tell us what you think is the best choice to go for in the comments. And enjoy this slideshow from OFF THE HOOK if you want to know more.
Hey there, Chet here. Splatoon continues to be the game that I will return to one time every month just to partake in the Splatfest. I have an absolute massive mountain of work to do. This goes between playing games for review, editing videos, doing audio, and attending IRL events. Yet, I make sure I can clear at least a few hours to play Splatfest. I do it the very moment it gets announced. The challenge of FORK vs SPOON yet another link in their genius X vs Y schemes. To be honest, the TMNT one was just okay.
This time I joined team SPOON because I think the the Spoon is more versatily. You can technically cut things with it if you try hard. But it’s good for soup, and that’s the most important thing. Anyway, if you want to join me and my Inkroller shenanigans, you can check out the footage I recorded right here.
I have yet to think of a complaint about this game.
Captain Toad Treasure Tracker is a delightful puzzle adventure game based on the adventures of d-list Super Mario mainstay, Toad. This is possibly the first time he’s had his own spotlight. It was published and developed by Nintendo and originally released for the WiiU in 2014 and has since gotten a brand new outing on the Switch. Portability of the game is a huge enhancement, as the touch screen options are more intuitive than ever. The bite-sized levels are also great for pick up and play whenever you feel like playing it. I’ve not finished the game but there’s little more that can be done to change my mind, and you all may find it agreeable.
The game is divided into a series of tiny, neatly designed levels that encourage you to explore every nook and cranny. The graphical style is exactly in form with the current visual design of 3D Mario titles and the performance quality on the switch is solid and unflinching. Not once did I encounter a stutter or a slowdown, the game runs flawlessly and the loading times are practically nonexistent. All the individual levels are also very appealing, as no two levels look alike (and there’s roughly 70 of them) and they are always inviting and warm looking. The memorable designs and the quality of the skyboxes are a great addition as well.
You find a star. Then a bird steals a star and kidnaps Toadette. Then, you as Captain Toad must chase the bird down while collecting diamonds for unexplained reasons. Once you defeat the bird, the game drops a great fakeout on you, rolling the credits over what may have been quite the cakewalk, only for you to find out that a much harder second episode awaits you. It mixes things up a notch the second time through. You find a star. Then a bird steals the star and kidnaps Captain Toad. Then, you as Toadette must chase the bird down while collecting diamonds for unexplained reasons. You don’t have to fight the bird the second time; instead, the game branches off for the third episode and you jump back and forth between Captain Toad and Toadette. What more could you ask for?
You would think the absolutely obnoxious train flute theme song would get on your nerves, and yet it does not. It merely adds to the charm of the game. There’s not a lot to pick apart here. It’s a good soundtrack and very fitting of that “Mario” mood. There’s not much in the way of talking other than the occasional mumblings of Captain Toad and Toadette. The sound FX in this game are anywhere from new sounds to old ones from other Nintendo games.
Mario games like these get straight to the point, have you playing quickly, and keep you engaged with constant rewards for progress. Every level has 3 things to achieve; finding 3 diamonds, completing a bonus challenge, then playing a hide and seek challenge where you have to hunt down an 8-bit Toad sticker hidden in the map and tap it on the touchscreen. There were many instances where I didn’t move on to the next level because the challenge of either finding stuff I missed or doing the goals made the game that much more fun. Super Mario Odyssey showed off that Nintendo can put loads and loads of features into relatively small environments, and that is on display here too. No nook or cranny goes unwasted in these very small but very well made maps.
This game was just spectacular in its delivery. Load times are unfathomably short and there are no bugs. It’s hard to hate on this game, it’s just so simple and easy to pick. It has that Nintendo charm that went missing earlier this year with the new Kirby game. This game is a perfect Switch title, the instant access to play just a quick level gives you plenty of opportunities to stop whatever it is you’re doing just to play a level or two.
In fact, I did that just now. I stopped to play it a bit and left feeling happy. Now, this game may not be for everyone, from an objective standpoint, the game is perfect. Now, they could have done more and added a ton of new levels instead of just 4, but who knows, maybe it’s hard to make the levels because they are so well-crafted. Still, if my only complaint is that there needs to be more, that’s really not a flaw. $40 is a decent asking price, but it may be too much if you’re looking for a big drawn out adventure. Now that this is out of the way, the question remains, are when are we gonna get the Switch version of Super Mario Maker.
Mario Tennis Aces is a fantasy tennis game developed and published by Nintendo. It’s also pretty much the only tennis video game that anyone ever needs to buy. In it, you do many things ranging from playing tennis matches to other things. That, of course, is made all the better by being able to play this game as Mario and all his friends with a unique spin on the whole tennis experience. That’s not all though, you also do things like hitting targets or enemies in the campaign. You also fight some pretty big bosses. The real question has to be, is it worth the full $60 price tag? Let’s show you the goods:
They’re beautifully done, colorful and diverse for the maps. The characters have a lot of life in their models, outfit designs and moves. The bosses look as believable as real action games. It’s comparable to something between Mario 3D World and Mario Odyssey. As for visual effects, I really liked the bullet time feature. The characters are all uniformly designed with precision. The ship level stood out to me because the color of the ocean made a good contrast with the ship itself.
The story itself kinda sucks, but it isn’t terrible. An ancient people loved Tennis, had a magical powerful racket sealed. Wario and Waluigi find it and offer it to the Mario bros. Mario doesn’t want it but Luigi falls for it and is controlled by it. You have to collect some infinity sto- I mean power stones so that Luigi’s racket doesn’t get more powerful. I like that it does lead to a quest around an island to meet fun characters and an epic conclusion of you vs. possessed characters, but I don’t like the whole ancient power stuff. The difficulty is good, it was never too hard. You will never lose more than 2 times, and it starts easy and simple to get you used to the gameplay. What annoyed me was that there are a few really tricky stages, and I don’t mind losing a bunch of times, but I hate the forced loading times and forced unskippable character chats every time you lose. You can skip the campaign though, Tournament and Free play are available from the start.
The music is really good but there a so few songs, it can get very repetitive. The game already has a very short campaign and the OST feels shorter yet. Basically, everything was of excellent quality, the sound effects, menus, the character voices, the announcer, and the music itself. Maybe one thing that sounds not so great is the “clop” sound when you walk/run. That thing sounds like a 90s video game and not in a good way, but it doesn’t bother me. The music feels like there are 3 or 4 songs you end up hearing the most. This game costs $60. The OST doesn’t reward you for that. What you hear is really fitting of the game though, and get the mood to play a sports game, but 90% of it is forgettable. I doubt anyone’s gonna even be talking about the OST at all.
I never played Tennis in real life to tell you if it’s fake, but I think sports games that are true to life aren’t that interesting. For example, as a kid, I watched people play NBA Jam, and the ball would transform and be on fire! That kinda stuff is exciting and makes it more videogame-like. In Mario Tennis’ campaign mode, you immediately do things like playing Tennis against Donkey Kong but with Pirahna plants that will take the ball in their mouth and spit it back at you if you throw it their way. Really a fun and challenging twist! You also fight big bosses by returning their attacks back at them with the racket, kinda like Zelda OoT’s final boss. But the Tennis matches do have Tennis rules like the ball must bounce within the field lines, and you have to let the ball bounce once before the first return. Details like these make it feel real, but details like breaking an opponent’s racket made it really satisfying especially if he was difficult to beat by “normal” means.
Really enjoyable and addicting! Usually, when I start a game, I stop and wait for the mood to come. This game put me in the mood right away with its demo, bought it at launch, and played nonstop to the end. Part of this is because it’s Tennis, and I’m new to it, so it was a fresh new experience for me. I wasn’t tired at the end either, I was lamenting that it had ended. I want Nintendo to convince me to play more sports games this way but they better have more music, be longer, and have legit stories. Again we’re paying $60, the same as a fully fledged game like Mario Odyssey or an epic RPG. For example, a game like Mario Kart has no story at ALL. But it is really long with lots of race tracks, which are huge and full of details and have the most wonderful and memorable music. Mario Tennis has only a few maps, AND they’re just a 1 screen tennis field basically. So I guess the fun is up to you to have either by yourself or with friends. There’s nothing wrong with a short game if priced right.
But yeah this is like the first time I’d ever consider price into a rating. No other game, even Wind Waker or FF13, which are $60 games that I rated terribly, even those justify the price, it’s obvious that the effort and scope were big like those. But in Mario Tennis Aces I feel like, this is for rich people who pay lots for simpler things. That said, if you are a big fan of tennis and want to play online with 4 friends, it could be the best. That’s the fullest experience it will deliver.
There are tons and tons of Warriors games and spinoffs and this one features the Legend of Zelda. Our Editor-in-Chief had never played on of these but knew what to expect. And it was spectacular.
Linkle is a PG-Rated Bayonetta
A while back, Nintendo announced a female version of Link from the Legend of Zelda games. Some were concerned about who or what she was supposed to be. It turned out she was a character in Hyrule Warriors and seems like she’s a charming little girl with DUAL WIELDING CROSSBOW SMGS.