Welcome back Jesus! Now tell me where the easter eggs are coming from and why these rabbits are so fascinated by them! It doesn’t make any sense at all. And another thing, why has it been such a slow past few weeks for gaming news? Does that mean that its going to be a huge E3 or are we about to be really disappointed? I need answers. In the meantime I’m going to be providing my friends who check out this post an update on why they should feel like lucky gamers.
1. Level-5 Levels up for Switch.
Right out the gate, Level-5 announced it intends to be a big supporter of the Nintendo Switch from this point forward. Level-5 is the well known studio behind popular games on Nintendo 3DS, so this isn’t to surprising. Popular series from the studio include Professor Layton as well as Yo-Kai Watch. They are also the studio behind Ni No Kuni, so who knows what can happen? The first game coming to Switch in Japan however, comes from neither of those properties. The Snack World: Trejarers Gold, which comes our April 12th in Japan, might not be the first experience we were hoping for but it is the experience we are getting. Enjoy!
2. Woah Woah Woah, PSVR got an official price cut!
Now, if i can’t get Chet to get us an official Hard Mode Gamers PSVR at this point, I don’t know what I’ll do. As of March 29th, the official starting price for PSVR is $299. Thats $100 cheaper the launch price of the best selling VR gaming headset. Boom! I said it. Come at me bro. And with Sony estimating over 130 games will be coming to the platform by the end of 2018, this is the best time to get one. You hear that Chet? BEST TIME TO GET ONE. Even if half the games will be shovelware, that’s 64 more games than I’ll finish.
3. A new iPad approaches.
I know, we are still kind of unsure of where we stand with mobile games. I think its important to note that, there are experiences for everyone. This isn’t even about that though. Apple recently announced a new slightly cheaper iPad for education purposes. With that said, it’s still just an iPad. Its the cheapest iPad to have Apple Pencil support and is designed to work flawlessly with the latest versions of pages and spreadsheet. Apple’s own Tim Cook seemed very adamant about bringing iOS into the education field, but has never digressed from being excited to support gaming. So, what this really means for teachers is: A whole lot of detention for playing Fortnite in class.
4. Fortnite continues to outshine PUBG.
Ok, so that title is absolutely intentionally controversial. But hey, remember we are still growing and we need some attention every now and then. The big news here is that Fortnite smashed a big YouTube record. Fortnite is now the current holder of the YouTube record for most uploaded videos of a video game in a single platform. It all set a record for the biggest single live gaming stream with 1.1 million concurrent viewers. I could go on and on about these wild achievements this game has but instead I’ll leave you with one fun fact. Fortnite Twitch streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, (the guy who played live with Drake) is reportedly making a handsome career out of streaming. Congratulations to a fellow gamer on his success.
5. Incredible Nostalgia incoming.
As I get older, I look back on things I enjoyed as a child. Things like animated movies, action figures, and dinosaurs. In the past few years we’ve seen an incredible resurgence of some of the IP in many industries that were from my child. I am ecstatic to share with all my friends that not only, as I’m sure you heard, is the Incredible 2 movie officially a real thing but, we are also getting an official game! And not the cheesy kind but instead Lego: The Incredibles will be coming to all major platforms on June 15th. I couldn’t be more excited about this if I tried. Also, Jurassic World Evolution, the theme park simulator, will be bringing some dino-park nostalgia on June 12th. Ah, to feel like a kid again.
6. No Man excused on Xbox.
I’ll admit that was a tough title. Let’s break down what it means quickly before you think I’m crazier than I am. Microsoft announced it can now ban Xbox accounts for “Offensive Language”. This isn’t a policy change, it is just an updated measure of enforcement that will be applied to all of you excessively potty mouthed gamers. Realistically, I think this applies not to the everyday use of F bombs and stuff but more to the players on line who are out of control. And this update comes just as Hello Games announces that No Man’s Sky will be available on Xbox One this summer. The Xbox One version will be released with updates to visuals and include all the major updates from the game.
7. And recently announced we have…
A long awaited announcement but one that we are excited about regardless. Dragon Quest 11 will be released on PS4 and PC on September 4th. There are currently no plans to release it for Nintendo 3DS and the Switch version still has a long way to go according to Square Enix. THQ Nordic also announced Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered will be coming to PS4 and Xbox One in Q2 2018. I applaud the naming convention and never got into this series so I might be down to give it a go. Last but not least we have Deathgarden, a 5-v-1 Shooter from the development team behind Dead By Daylight. Not much was said but they did say to expect to see it at PAX East for sure.
Back in my day I blew off class by playing Tetris on a graphing calculator. -Chet
Splatfest was a heckin ordeal. Science Fiction vs Fantasy? That might be a tough choice for many but for me the answer was simple. Sci-fi. It’s always been a big inspiration for all of my creative endeavors. But this time I didn’t do it alone. A friend of mine was able to play the Splatfest with me as we inkrolled our way to… well not our way to victory. Sci-fi sadly lost this rounds. And we definitely played out hardest. Last splatfest, I didn’t get to play much of Shifty Station, but that was different because in this month we got Shifty Station a solid 75% of the time. It was nice to do Moray Towers and Musselforge, they were there to break things up a bit but it was still a lot of the same map over and over again.
Below are the highlights of the night:
So yeah, looks like Fantasy won this round. I swear sometimes these numbers are just made up, they are always so close to each other. Yet when walking around the square, all I saw was sign after sign after sign of pro-team-fantasy. Fun news for me, I’ve finally level 10 which means I can play the “real game”, which I have on good authority is not that great. Stellar.
So, Splatoon 2 is the game that keeps on giving. When it comes to online multiplayer, games need to give you a reason to keep on coming back. Nintendo are definitely onto something with this fun series of game events, the Splatfest. These fests pit the players against each other by simply asking them which one of two things they think is better. First the was Ketchup vs Mayo and then there was Invisibility vs Flight. For those of you who don’t know, the most recent Splatfest event just happened this past Friday, October 13th. Since it’s spooky season, things got vamped up with the ultimate in folklore battles, Vampires vs Werewolves (or Lycans if you enjoy being wrong about things). Yes, that age old question, can some super talented immortal beings with incredible superpowers defeat men who can turn into wolves?
Of course they can, and boy did they ever! By a landslide, the Vampires won, winning the most votes, most single player matches on, and most teamed matches won. A triple threat from the very best! And who could find fault in results like that? Every iteration of vampires in games, movies, and TV makes them friggin awesome. You have so many to choose from: sexy vampires in True Blood, badass leather-bound gun toting vamps in Underworld (just the first film, the rest of the franchise is trash) and hell, even the pansy-ass Twilight Saga vampires had some good things going for them. Vampires in fiction may be as overexposed as Batman, but that doesn’t really depreciate their value, does it?
Anyway, Splatoon is keeping things alive and well and this writer is looking forward to the next Splatfest with great anticipation. What ultimate versus competition is next? And if you’re actually reading this, write your Splatfest suggestion in the comments! In the meantime, here’s a highlight gallery of my shenanigans during the spooktacular event.
In this podcast, Vega and Kurt talk about the features of Splatoon 2. It’s a video game in which you are a squid-kid who shoots at other squidkids. It is clearly paint and not ink, but whatever. And a campaign is there too for a bit but not really. Highlights include comparing it to Tony Hawk, discussing condiments, why the paint-roller is awesome, Quake, Titanfall, tutorials, and many other things.
Splatoon 2 is a third person shooter developed and published by Nintendo. It’s a fresh game, being the first new intellectual property they’ve created in over a decade. It’s an interesting take on shooters since it’s based on firing ink (and totally not paint) all over the multiplayer battle arena in a fight to cover the most ground before the timer runs out. Additionally, killing enemy players on the opposing team is treated as a “SPLAT!” and not a kill, making it far more family friendly than almost all the shooters currently available in the MP video gaming arena. That said, it also had a somewhat decent campaign attached to it and a brand new horde mode for additional gameplay. There’s also a hidden DDR game, no seriously.
Although not technically impressive, Splatoon 2 makes waves with some very aesthetically pleasing color palettes. The color of ink you use in every round of multiplayer and every stage of the campaign is random, so you get a fresh new color every time you play. The contrast between your and your opponents’ inks are always bright and vibrant, keeping everything very lively. Plus, there’s themed colors too. At the time of writing this review, I was able to take part in one of the game’s biggest online event features, #Splatfest! The theme of the event was Ketchup vs Mayonnaise so once you’ve picked a side you get to coat the arenas in your choice condiment. Which actually sounds kind of gross when you realize your character is literally swimming inside globs of mayo or catsup, but it works. Besides the ink, level designs between MP maps and the campaign all have enough unique textures to make it a thoroughly lively experience.
Nintendo is not always super big on the plot of their games and it shows here in this case. Mostly pedestrian and banal, the story mode has you taking on the fiendish “Octarians” in a variety of different boxed up pocket dimensions (or at least that’s how it’s structured). They all feature floating platforms and there’s very little rhyme or reason for these designs other than “it’s a videogame”. Your goal is to get through every level so you can save the great zapfish because reasons. Also, a character from the first game went missing. “GEE I WONDER WHAT HAPPENED?” The campaign hits the ground running though, and by the time you get to the ending, it just stops rather abruptly after a challenging final boss. The speaking NPCs in the game use a lot of totally kool 90’s lingo that actually provides more charm than cringe, so it gets points for being thematically consistent, as the game never takes itself too seriously during the entire ordeal.
The songs in the game are very hit and miss. Some songs are really exciting and energetic while others are filled with annoying sound effects and generic melodies. This is made apparent in the campaign where you will hear the same songs multiple times. The sound effects can annoy you sometimes. There’s a lot of “blub blub blub” linguistics for your fellow squidkids, and while it is tolerable at first, it gets pretty grating and obnoxious later on. But, when it comes to the sound effects for guns and abilities, Nintendo really knows how to push that button in your head that satisfies you, splat after splat. Notably, while I didn’t care for a lot of the music, the “one minute warning” song that plays at the end of every multiplayer match is extremely catchy and very fitting inside the Splatoon 2 universe.
Solid shooting gameplay experience here. The multiplayer is definitely the main focus of the title and gives you plenty of variety in weapons and gear so you can play the game your way. As said before, the goal is to coat the map in your paint using a plethora of different ink-firing weapons at your disposal. If you feel like running and gunning, there’s guns for that. Want a lot of splash damage? One of the ‘guns’ is literally just a bucket of paint that works like a shotgun. There’s also an ink Gatling gun for heavy firing action. Or, you can just whip out a paint roller and soak up the map with ink in a support role. I found this mechanic in particular to be a lot of fun, especially when you start painting over all of the enemy team’s hard work and they don’t know it. As for the campaign, it’s a resounding “meh” as you work your way through a handful of loosely thrown-together areas full of floating platforms and various challenges that feel less like a game and more like an extended version of the middle section from Portal 2. But other than a couple of frustrating moments, the execution of the game’s mechanics is nearly perfect.
Albeit frustrating sometimes, Splatoon 2 keeps you coming back again and again and again. This is the most fun I’ve had with online multiplayer participation since Titanfall 2. For me, that is a very big deal because while I used to be a fan of multiplayer, I gradually lost interest until just recently. I have two gripes with this game. It takes a really really long time grinding through the game’s “Regular Battle” mode in order to reach “Ranked Battle” which adds more game types on top of “Turf War”. But once you get there, you realize the new modes aren’t as fun as Turf War anyway, so that’s kind of a wash overall. It would also be nice if the battle lobby let you see what your team’s loadout is going to look like so you don’t end up having two paint roller players on your team, because that’s usually a losing combination. But, the game is just so much fun that even if you aren’t winning, you’re still having a blast.
Splatoon 2 is no different from the original WiiU release in any way other than the addition of the new horde mode called “Salmon Run” (which for some strange reason is only periodically available). For many players though, this is acceptable as the number of people who have not owned a WiiU but decided to pick up a Switch will find a lot to love with this fresh and original series. Besides some minor snags here and there, you’re almost completely guaranteed to get sucked into this excitingly chaotic wonder.
It’s easy to dismiss kids’ games as not worthwhile. After all, what could you possibly hope to gain from a kids’ game? Children are stupid and don’t know anything, so what sort of insight can a game designed for them possibly offer to you? Educational games can probably teach you things most adults don’t know because they are pretty stupid as well, truth be told. But for a solid, upstanding, not-stupid person, are these games really worth playing? I say yes, and here’s a few reasons why.
Before we get straight into it, what makes a kid’s game a proper “Kids’ Game”? Is it the marketing? Is it the characters? Is it a learning game? Does it have micro-transactions? Is the word “Nintendo” on it? Many are quick to immediately declare all Nintendo games to be games for children. Nintendo games have a very wide appeal and a broad spectrum of fun characters, but they aren’t often overly violent, gory, sweary, or emotional. Does that actually make it for kids, or does that make them simply “all-ages”? Properties like Mario are games that kids play, surely, but that plumber has been around for years and people in their thirties will still play that or the next Pokemon when they come out, no question. Minecraft is an incredibly popular game for children (maybe even the new Mario for a new generation), but adults play Minecraft too. Heck, it makes up a large portion of the “Let’s Play” community videos. What about Splatoon, is it a game for kids now, or squids now? Really, in order for a game to be officially a kids’ game, it really comes down to what the game is mostly intended and marketed to. Maybe a kids’ game can also be an all-ages game, but it was meant for kids (the Trix Cereal of the video game world). For now, let’s define them as “because I said so” for the sake of brevity.