So apparently, Nintendo is getting faster and faster at recognizing trends. In the words of Pearl from Splatoon, the Nintendo Creators Program DUNZO. Well, it sort of it. It seems they realized that maybe trying to wrestle complete control over the content users make with their games has been too difficult to micromanage. Good riddance too, getting an auto-flag for copyright is annoying. Especially when you have to tell Nintendo 3 times that your Splatoon vid is part of the program. Indeed, we do still cover the Splatoon Splatfests on a regular basis. Nintendo isn’t exactly blameless, but it is understandable that they’d want to capitalize on this trend. They are a corporation after all.
However, now with the change, Nintendo does have some rules it wants people to follow. The copypasta is as follows:
We are humbled every day by your loyalty and passion for Nintendo’s games, characters and worlds, and respect that you want to be able to express yourself creatively by sharing your own original videos and images using content from our games.
As long as you follow some basic rules, we will not object to your use of gameplay footage and/or screenshots captured from games for which Nintendo owns the copyright (“Nintendo Game Content”) in the content you create for appropriate video and image sharing sites. To help guide you, we prepared the following guidelines:
You may monetize your videos and channels using the monetization methods separately specified by Nintendo. Other forms of monetization of our intellectual property for commercial purposes are not permitted.
We encourage you to create videos that include your creative input and commentary. Videos and images that contain mere copies of Nintendo Game Content without creative input or commentary are not permitted. You may, however, post gameplay videos and screenshots using Nintendo system features, such as the Capture Button on Nintendo Switch, without additional input or commentary.
You are only permitted to use Nintendo Game Content that has been officially released, or from promotional materials officially released by Nintendo (such as product trailers or Nintendo Directs).
If you want to use the intellectual property of a third party, you are responsible for obtaining any necessary third-party permissions.
You are not permitted to imply or state that your videos are officially affiliated with or sponsored by Nintendo.
We reserve the right to remove any content that we believe is unlawful, infringing, inappropriate, or not in line with these Guidelines.
Please understand that we will not be able to respond to individual inquiries regarding these Guidelines. Also, we may update these Guidelines from time to time, so please refer to the latest version before sharing your content.
So, point for point, this is what we are looking at in laymans terms.
You can monetize is the normal way but can’t do weird stuff.
If you are just posting gameplay with no commentary, that’s no good. It’s only good if you are using Nintendo’s SHARE BUTTON.
You can’t use anything that isn’t released by Nintendo officially.
They aren’t accountable for other 3rd party claims.
You can’t say you work for Nintendo.
We can remove content if we thing it’s really bad.
This is miles and miles better than the Nintendo Creators Program. The dashboard and all features were a pain in the butt. We don’t even have that many viewers on our YT page currently. But having to register our Nintendo videos directly to the NCP was bothersome, regardless. If we already aren’t profiting off Nintendo videos, why should we? Yet we had to apply for the service anyway. But now that’s all over. This is an absolutely GOOD MOVE from Nintendo. It shows that they have self-awareness and knowledge, and are willing to adjust accordingly to the free market.
Bottom line, is you will soon be able to start uploading some Nintendo content as long as you aren’t full of sh*t. That’s a pretty solid deal. What do you say? Are you going to put Nintendo vids up on your channel now? We will continue either way.
Nintendo has made an absolutely fascinating game series where you play a board game, some mini-games, and become mortal enemies with all of your friends. It’s called Mario Party and the level with which you can fuck over players is akin to that of Munchkin or Monopoly. Unlike the latter, Super Mario Party doesn’t take 6 hours to finish. This series has had 10 entries in its main console series, and several spinoffs on other devices. But where do you go from there? Call it Mario Party 11? No. You call it SUPER. Why? Because the Switch is the greatest console ever made and it deserves the upgraded name. I’m like 70% serious here.
This looks exactly like Mario Party is supposed to look like. The quality isn’t in the graphical fidelity, but how fun they can make it. And that includes animations. Seeing all of your favorite Mario characters getting, angry, sad, frustrated, and determined are a delight. It is amazing how it mocks real life. When a play gets a star, their avatar makes boasting gesture while the other three get frustrated. Each board on the main game has its very own individual look that stands out. Even the first board, which is mostly just a bunch of grey blocks. But once you get to the board that has four islands, the graphic variety really shines.
And now, here’s the verbatim from the game’s intro cinematic:
TEXT: One day, trouble was brewing between Mario and his good friends. Each claimed to be the Super Star, the worthiest hero in all the land. Mario suggested having a party to decide, a time-honored tradition. Everyone agreed – a proper party would surely reveal the true Super Stardom.
TOAD: What do you say, Toadette?
TOADETTE: I say this time we’re going to find out what being a Super Star REALLY means!
TOAD: You can trust us to be fair and impartial judges! Give us time to set up and we can get st-
???: Aren’t you forgetting something?
BOWSER: Maybe NONE of you are the Super Star! Maybe it’s one of us instead. I brought an extra judge, too! I want you keeping an eye on things too! You know, so it’s all fair and impartial.
KAMEK: If you say so! But be careful what you wish for, Keeheehee!
TOAD: Well, at least Kamek will make setting up easy! This should only take a minute!
TOADETTE: Is everybody else as excited as I am? I DOUBT IT!
KAMEK: Wait until you see what my genius has wrought!
-gates open, everyone claps-
TOAD: Let’s party!
I laughed. I cried. I wet myself a bit. This is the most moving, emotional, satisfying plot I have ever experienced in my life. Nothing will ever top this. This is what peak performance looks li- PFFFT okay it’s dumb. But it’s Mario dumb. And it’s Mario Party. Do you even NEED an excuse to play? NO. It’s here for the aforementioned fighting among friends.
It’s fine, whatever. It’s missing some of the essential noises that made other Mario Parties so jubilant. The win music just isn’t as engaging as it should be. Everything feels like it’s been toned down a bit. It’s just okay, it does what its sets out to do, but you can’t help but feel something is missing here. Just think about all the little jingles you’d hear from Mario Party 1-3. You remember them note for note, right? The same can’t be said here. The music is on cruise control. It’s there and it’s functional, but it could be better.
Mario party has had many iterations in varieties and how the the rules worked. At one point they thought it was a good idea to have all 4 players riding in a car together. But SMP fixes that by going back to basics. This is the version of the game you loved and admired as a kid and as a college freshman. That feel you got when you found an old N64 and controllers for everyone? You played it until the late hours of the morning with the people in your dorm? That feeling is back. You face off as your favorite character in 4 boards (which isn’t enough but is a good start). Every character has a new gimmick in the form of custom dice. Every turn, you can roll your standard D6 or you can roll a special die made for each individual character. For instance, Shy Guy’s custom dice options are 0, 4, 4, 4, 4, and 4. Fun! Bowser has a 10 space side on his dice but you could also move zero spaces and lose 3 coins. It’s a new and interesting twist to the game mechanics.
The game also adds the ally ability where you can call in other characters to assist you. Once you do that, you have the option to roll their custom dice as well as your own. Not only that but every ally you have will roll a D2 to add either 1 or 2 spaces to your roll. So if you have, say, three allies on the board with you, you could roll your dice. And your allies? All 3 of them roll their own D2 so you could get anywhere from 3-6 additional spaces. Either way, this is still the maddening, frustrating, fun game you know and love, with all new minigames and variations on your favorites to boot. If you miss the good ol’ days of Mario Party, this is absolutely the best time to jump back in.
It’s hard not to have fun when it comes to this game. Maybe if you played by yourself, you would have a bad time. It’s understandable that most games should be able to stand on their own merits for some single player action. But, if you’re really playing a PARTY game by yourself, what are you doing? You don’t even need friends to play it, just find some acquaintances to play. Or random people on the street. Or with your family (even if you Mom has absolutely no idea how controllers work and needs to be constantly instructed on what buttons to press. Damn it mom, the okay button is on the right, and the L+R buttons are on top! Why is this so hard, Mom?). No matter what you do, you are bound to have a blast. Even if some of the minigames are blatantly unfair.
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.
Hyrule Warriors Definitive Edition is yet another game seeing a big port from the WiiU to the Nintendo Switch. This counts as a new game because nobody owned a WiiU. Not you, not anyone else, nobody, and it’s a shame because, with titles like Bayonetta 2 and Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze, some interesting games are finally being discovered. Developed by Omega Force and Team Ninja under the supervision of Koei Tecmo, this game is a compilation title that takes all of the greatest characters from all of your favorite Legend of Zelda titles and contrives a reason for them to be together. You’ll fight hordes and hordes of enemies in the thousands and plow through your opposition under the gameplay hack and slash loop made famous by Dynasty Warriors. Now here’s the thing, I’ve enjoyed quite a lot of Zelda games, but never actually played any of the more POPULAR ones. I played a bit of the original NES version as a kid, then I played Link’s Awakening on GameBoy Color (which is the best Zelda fight me) along with Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons, then skipped all the other entries until Breath of the Wild. I’m not going to act like a Zelda fan, which is great, because I’m not and can play this game with a clean slate with minimal hype brought on by nostalgia.
I played almost 90% of the game on handheld mode and got quite a lot of frame drops compared to playing it docked, yet the novelty of the former mode keeps me playing on it, despite this drawback. This is a game that looks… not bad. Like, it can run on a PS3 with ease but there’s also nothing actually wrong with the graphics. For lack of a better word, the game looks like a game and all the art and well-designed characters really neatly kees the experience wholesome and fun without going out of its way to try and impress you. There weren’t any moments where I actively noticed something looking great, but at the same time I just can’t think of a single moment where I said “that texture looks bad” or “that shadow looks like a blob.”As a Warriors-like game, you’ll have dozens, sometimes possibly hundreds of enemies on screen all at once. One cannot expect a game requiring that much processing power to also look true to life. It’s simply graphics that fit and work, nothing else.
I gotta say, it really is one of those “excuse plot” kinds of stories. The story is delivered mainly in some expositionary dialogue and staring at a map at the beginning and end of every level. There’s also some story that happens on the field, but the big problem with that, and all Dynasty Warriors games, is that there is so much going on in the HUD at the same time. You have the map, popups for quests, and characters chatting in the bottom left corner. That right there is the biggest problem, there’s very little voice acting in this. This is troublesome because with so much going on, all you hear is a non-committal grunt from every character and have to quickly read what they say while still paying attention to what you’re doing. This game could have been better if there was simply more voice work put in. What is in the game for a plot is just okay. It’s just standard Zelda fare. Nothing unique going on, just a battle between good and evil.
Also, you wouldn’t believe this if I told you but there’s a character named Sheik and he turned out to be Princess Zelda in disguise, which is totally a move I never would have imagined.
The audio is rather muddy here, with the sound effects and music competing with each other in a “who can be the loudest” contest. As said before, the voice acting is barely present and would have really improved the experience had they just gotten some more talent on board. The OST is a good mix of the power metal of Dynasty Warriors and all of your favorite themes from several Zelda games. And a house track too. But overall, none of the tracks really popped out to me except for the house track, but that’s only because of my bias as an EDM fan. Really, it just comes down to some cheap SFX and lack of voices that keep this section from getting full credit.
Imagine the look on someone’s face who’s never played a Warriors game before. Imagine me as I discover the fast-paced action where you carve out enemies by the hundreds. Then I ran around on a battlefield capturing territories and facing boss characters. It was quite an experience that I now probably won’t get to have again, but now that I know what Warriors games are like, I am enamored. It is such a satisfying game to play, and while I initially felt like it was too easy, I soon realized this wasn’t the case. Strategy is a very important part of the game, and being able to kill swarms and swarms of baddies won’t get you very far if you don’t take care of your fellow soldiers. More often than not, they can become a liability, with you frequently having to do “all the work”. Important characters get in danger a lot, your other playable characters don’t do a lot unless you stop and tell them what they should be doing, your forts are always in peril, and miniboss characters will spawn in random areas of the map, putting you on a mad dash to cut them all down. It’s a great gameplay loop, and apparently, a good enough formula to house so many titles in its portfolio of spinoffs and adaptations.
Every time I picked this game up, I intended to put it down after a couple of battles. But five battles later, I’m hooked and can’t stop. The thrill of the battle will keep you coming back every single time, not the plot. It helps doubly that this version of the game comes with all the DLC, adding up to endless amounts of missions for you to tackle. Between the campaign, side quests, free mode, adventure mode, and a challenge moment, it’s well worth the cost for the amount of stuff you can do for days and days. Adventure mode, in particular, has you playing a sort of mini strategy game that includes battles that play out as you move your favorite fighter to square after square on a playing field resembling the older top-down titles of the series.
I’m not even the biggest Zelda fan, and I was thoroughly impressed with Hyrule Warriors. I came in ready for some extreme hackin’ slashin’ button mashin’ fun and got more than I ever could have expected. Consider this one a solid entry, and consider me sold on playing other titles. Just not Dynasty Warriors 9, that game is a travesty.
Dankey Kang Trapical Fraze is a platfarmer game daveloped Ratro Stadios & Manster Games and pablished by Nantendo. Whew, that was fun. Anyway, the original version of this game came out on the WiiU back in… 2014? REALLY? Four years ago? I played a four-year-old game? I’m… not angry, I’m just… whatever, the WiiU was a failure, the Switch is a smash hit. Any WiiU game that gets re-released on the Switch deserves the attention it gets since by default it might as well be the first time the game was actually played by anyone. The last time I played a Donkey Kong game was on my GameBoy and it frustrated me tremendously so I vowed never to play another one again. And by vow, I mean I just kind of ignored the series forever. UNTIL NOW. But, can I handle it?
Right out of the gate, Donkey Kong shows off its Nintendo pedigree in a grand assortment of colors and charm that surpass the technical capabilities of the hardware. But that’s not interesting so…
Now let’s get to it, here’s one problem I’m starting to have with a lot of Nintendo games. Back in the golden days of GameBoy and Super Nintendo, when you bought the game, you didn’t have to install it at all and could play it right away, but there was still one thing that may have held you back: the instruction booklet. A lot of time and effort went into the instruction booklets that told you all about the story of the game. That way, the game didn’t really have to give you any context or story at all! But in modern times, the instruction manual is dead and gone, delegated to being a glorified extra to a handful of Ubisoft games at best. Tropical Freeze starts off with DK and his family having a birthday party, then their island gets attacked by some ice pirates, and then somehow despite freezing over their entire island, they emerge from an airplane on another island, unharmed. It’s never even shown how they got on a plane to begin with, I was scratching my head as it unfolded. And that’s it. No context, no goals, here’s the bad guys, get at it. That works in games like Mario where they use an established trope to drive the game forward. But DK doesn’t have that. It has nothing. I didn’t even know the names of that antagonists until I was on World 4 (Snowmads, BTW). That might be fun and good, but even if you ignore the lack of plot and try to hold the game up on its incentives it… doesn’t have any. You can collect the KONG letters and some puzzle pieces in every level, but it doesn’t feel like it’s ever actually worth your time to do either of those things.
Hold on, this rollercoaster is going back up. Let me say this, I don’t actually like the DK soundtrack. But I recognize good content when I hear it and as far as matching the mood of the game, the OST does this in spades. One major moment that truly shined was in the third world where you were in the African savannah and rope swinging your way through what was basically a safari parade full of dancing tikis, artful shrines, and animal-shaped poles featuring zebras and lions. Never before have I seen a single platformer make a background song that matches up with its themes so well that it elevates the affair from fun to extraordinary design. As for the sounds, they are all fine, distinct, and dandy. That said, I feel like I might be the only one who thinks that the “bop” noise you get from jumping on the heads of enemies is the exact same soundbite as the selection noise on the map screen for Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag. I could try to prove it but… that’s not really necessary, is it?
Tropical Freeze comes in two exciting modes on the Switch. You can play the game in its original form and cry as you die over and over because your 2 hitpoints don’t quite carry you that well. Seriously, TWO hitpoints? Not one, not three, you went with 2. TWO! TWO HITPOINTS. (3 if you get buy an item but that doesn’t count). I hated this mode and I hated the game. But once again, my hate doesn’t really translate to the gameplay being objectively bad. It’s not. In truth, the games are spectacularly designed in a way that really just makes you do one thing, and one thing only. Git gud. That’s right, Donkey Kong is never so unfair that it feels prohibitively difficult. It’s just a game that starts hard and stays hard (phrasing!), but it does. Anyway, once you’re done torturing yourself trying to beat a level, you can just start the game over and play the all-new funky mode as Funky Kong. He’s a character who has FIVE hit points, doesn’t get hurt by spikes, can double jump, and has a floating ability with his surfboard. Basically, he’s got the skills you’ve come to expect from a platformer, as DK can’t double jump, and a platformer without a double jump is a tough game indeed. Having so many more abilities may make the game sound easier, but often times it makes you so careless you end up getting yourself killed from not paying enough attention. There’s no middle ground. You have it the hard way or the easy way, no “normal” for you.
Once again, this game is objectively fun once you get the ropes. The game could be even more fun if I decided to dedicate my life to getting skilled enough at this game to actually be that. But with the lack of incentives to keep pushing you forward and some overly long and obnoxious boss fights that stop your progress dead in its tracks, it’s hard to find fun unless you make it fun. I basically played the half of this game twice, all the way to the end of World 4 as DK, then again as Funky Kong. Two halves make a whole, so technically I beat the game. If a challenging old-school platformer is all you want, here it is. If not, you might want to look elsewhere.
I hated Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze. I really did. But this review is a testament to our assertion that our reviews are far more objective than most other sites. We don’t have a random number we make up in our heads to attribute to the game. We are forced to examine all angles of the game’s design and come to a conclusion that despite our own tastes an interest, we can recognize where a game works and where it doesn’t.
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.