Warning: There’s some spoilers here for anyone who hasn’t finished the story line for Mario Odyssey.
Though, at the rate I play these games, everyone else has probably already beat it before me. But hey, better late than never!
Warning: There’s some spoilers here for anyone who hasn’t finished the story line for Mario Odyssey.
Though, at the rate I play these games, everyone else has probably already beat it before me. But hey, better late than never!
Yesterday was the Nintendo Direct — which is not something I watch. But I tend to follow the news that it spawns after one ends.
Of course, Smash Bros. for Switch was the huge news for fans, and I’m glad they have something to be excited about. My love for Smash ended with the Game Cube version, however.
I hardly played the Smash on the Wii, though I own it. I picked up Smash for Wii U and it was super frustrating for me — I don’t know if it’s because I’m older and my reflexes just aren’t there, or what. But everything seemed far more complex than I remember — including the moves, the stages (that zoom out and make things incredibly tiny), the hazards on the stages (which often were more annoying than fun), and just all the items. I had no idea what does what anymore.
So, I’ve accepted that Smash is not my thing anymore, though I put tons of hours into enjoying Melee back in the day.
That doesn’t meant that there weren’t some announcements that got me excited, however!
I saw this, then quietly went to my Steam wish list and removed it from there. I’ve been doing this more and more — titles that are coming out on the Switch get removed from my Steam list. It’s making my Steam wish list a lot more manageable!
I did play the original Okami on Wii many years back, but never beat it. It only makes sense to get the new version on the Switch, where the motion controls will be king. Glad to see this one making a port!
I guess they dropped the “Project” and kept the rest of the name. That’s fine.
I played the demo and enjoyed it a good deal. We now have a July 13 release date.
This is going to conflict wildly with my interest in Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, which has a release date of July 21. July is going to have too much JRPG, it seems.
GameMaker Studio 2
I’m not interested in picking up Undertale a second time (need still to finish it on PC), but I am interested in the fact GameMaker Studio 2 is releasing on the Switch. I own it for the PC, and have dabbled with it a bit there, so I’m curious what it’ll be like for the Switch… Does that mean the coding platform itself will be ON the Switch, or that you can just develop FOR the Switch? And will the Switch will support playing and distributing homemade games from the community?
So many questions!
I’m kinda interested in the Octo expansion for Splatoon. I haven’t played the game a whole lot ately… mostly because I haven’t had much time to play my Switch, and I have way too many other games that I’d pick up first. I might eventually come back around to Splatoon, but a lot of it depends on my free time and other games that want my attention.
I never played Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker in its original form. It must have had something fun about it, though, as it’s referenced often and getting a port. I’m curious, but I have a feeling this will go on my Amazon wish list for Christmas. 🙂
Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition… maybe? I’m glad I never picked it up for the Wii U, though I had it on my want list for years. Another I’ll put on my Amazon wish list.
One year ago today, I was rushing up to my local Best Buy to pick up my pre-order for my brand new Nintendo Switch. I was super stoked about the system’s release, and had many, many high hopes for it. A year later, I have to say that the Switch exceeded the hopes and wishes I had a year ago.
I have never bought a console at launch before, so I winced with concern at the issues that seemed to be cropping up from the first batch release. I knew that was a risk you took when you bought early.
Despite all that, I haven’t had any left joycon problems, bent Switch issues, or screen scratches. I keep it mostly in the dock, have a screen protector and a dock sock. I don’t play it in handheld mode all that much.
In fact, the Switch survived a really nasty storm last year that took out many of my electronics (including my TV). The dock and RC adapter needed to be replaced due to surge damage (even though it was on a surge protector), but that got squared away quickly. I knock on wood that I’ve not had any problem with the system after that incident.
My Switch friends list seems to keep growing from this…
So many friends that I can’t even list them all! These include folks IRL, people in my FFXIV FC, and a number of fellow game bloggers.
So what’s my game list look like a year later? I’m ashamed to admit that I have a backlog forming on my Switch. In my defense, this is mostly because a lot of the games I own here have so much content to make it through (Zelda, Xenoblade), or they’re never ending (Minecraft). I actually have one more game on the way (got a good deal on Skyrim… not like I need another huge RPG… but…), so that will bring my total to 19 games in the first year (Octopath is a demo).
I think I’m doing pretty good on restraining myself on digital purchases seeing that I have a wishlist building up.
Any indie that I’ve wanted (Night in the Woods, Owlboy, ect.) that I’ve learned is coming for the Switch, I’ve taken off my Steam wishlist. I’d just prefer to have them in this format, all in one place. I think given the dour outlook of my Steam backlog, games are more likely to be played if they’re on my Switch.
My biggest and only regret with the Switch so far? That I haven’t made more time to play it. 😦
Seeing that it’s the Switch’s birthday today, I suppose I hear some Dragon Quest Builders calling me. 😉
Did you pick up a Switch in the first year? What’s your game list look like? Better or worse than mine?
Cute cats + fantasy RPG + Nintendo Switch = Win!
(Also on Steam and mobile devices if you don’t have a Switch.)
Yeah, I knew I was going to get Cat Quest the moment I saw the preview video. Sure, it has the look of a mobile game (and it somewhat is — it released on iOS right after releasing on PC/Mac), but don’t let that turn you off.
Cat Quest is a solid little action fantasy RPG where cats are the dominant race. This doesn’t stray into furry country though, so don’t worry. There are plenty of cat puns and Internet humor to go around.
While it has a few neat systems that feel fresh and new, it generally sticks to the classic RPG formula. This isn’t a bad thing, because the game is quite aware of this, and smartly never takes itself seriously. Instead, it heaps a bunch of charm, cat humor and pop culture references that make for many moments of lighthearted fun. The saving-at-an-inn animation is hilarious! 🙂
The game itself has one main quest – which is rather cliche (and the game is happy to point this out from the very beginning, and laugh at itself in doing so). But, add to that a colorful world with lots of short-story-based quests, dungeon-caves, and an interesting action battle system, and there’s more than enough here for it to stand on its own.
The simplicity of the game works for itself, especially in a time of overly complex RPGS. You have two buttons – attack and dodge. You also can find and level up magic spells, which you assign to your top L, R, LZ, and RZ triggers. That’s all you need to know.
Even the weapon/armor system is easy. You find a base piece of gear. Then you find multiples of that piece, which levels the original up. There might be more to it (I’m still learning this game), but that’s the overall gist of it. Depending on what you equip, you can choose to play a more melee-based or magic-based character. So, there’s some flexibility there.
A few cons to mention: I’ve heard the overall game is somewhat short (about 8-10 hours), but there is a Mew Game + mode after you beat it. I’m only a few hours in, but I feel like there’s still lots to see and do.
Also, the NPC artwork is heavily reused for all villagers, which I’ve heard as a complaint. But I can’t think of too many classic RPGs that didn’t reuse their NPC sprites.
Neither of these are really sticking points for the cost of the game ($12.99). You can find it on sale from time to time in the eShop, too.
Overall, Cat Quest was exactly what I hoped it would be – a fun pick-up-and-play adventure RPG with cute cats and lots of humor. Two paws up! ❤
Lost Sphear just released on Nintendo Switch yesterday. It’s an RPG by Tokyo RPG Factory, the same folks who created I am Setsuna, which I own for the Switch, but haven’t played yet.
This game was on my radar based on the overall plot hook, which sounded very cool. You have a fantasy world where huge chunks are just vanishing, turning bright white. Cities. Mountains. People. All just gone.
And then there’s a character who can harness the memories of the world and can re-create those missing things. It has something to do with the moon. That’s all I know about it.
It sounded neat, so I picked up the demo.
The demo just tosses the player on an overworld map with no real idea of what the story of the world is. Who are these characters? What are they up to?
It kinda tries to explain these things, but I was not satisfied. If I didn’t have the knowledge of the backstory that I do, I’d probably have no clue why huge chunks of the map were white. Is it snow?
The graphics and musical style are beautiful, as you can see. But I struggled with the feeling that everything, including the characters and their personalities, were so distant to the player.
Above, you can see how tiny the overworld characters are. I can understand that.
You get into an area and the characters are still really small and distant. The sprites don’t convey much emotion at all.
When characters speak, there’s no character portraits to let you know who is who. In fact, the only place you can go to see what your characters look like is the menu during battle and on the menu screen. And even there, the images are super tiny!
The translation was a bit wonky. The dialogue that I saw was a bit stiff. The characters who seemed to have the most personality were often the NPCs — including a “mwahahah” general from the Empire.
Yeah. There’s even an evil Empire trope.
Check out that talk box above. See how it’s just flopped near the character speaking it (can you tell which one? … I hardly can)? It’s just covering over all the other characters in your party.
Look at all the rest of the open screen this box could have used. Why is it right on top of the character sprites?
This really bugged me as a design choice. I kept wanting to click on the text box and move it somewhere else (though you couldn’t) because every time there was a conversation, the boxes just flopped right over top of people in your party… while the rest of the screen was vast open space.
Maybe if this had been a talk bubble shape, this would have been more acceptable. But even then, there was plenty of room to put it above the characters, rather than plaster it over the party.
Oh, and when the game started, it asked if you wanted to use voice overs. I was happy to see this, and clicked YES!
What do you know… they’re all in Japanese… and only during battle sequences (that I saw). I have nothing against the Japanese language! But the issue here is that the one thing that could have given me a better sense of who these characters were as individuals – what they say in battle – is completely lost since I don’t understand what they’re saying!
So, opportunity missed.
Oh, and I know this isn’t a demo-only thing because I’ve watched the full release play-through videos, and none of this was addressed.
So, the battle system. It seems like the devs put a lot of attention into it. It had some interesting options, like moving around the screen and setting up places where your characters could attack for hits on multiple enemies. It has a bit of RTS feel to it.
And then there’s the mecha element of Vulcosuits. So the demo drops the suit mechanic on you out of nowhere. You can use it to blow up rocks in your path. It also suggested that you use them for battle because cool combos!
…but to beware not to use up all your VP points or you couldn’t battle anymore. They weren’t joking.
Well, I used all the VP up in the very first battle without really knowing it. I thought surely this would replenish between fights, right? Nope.
The suits were useless aside from blasting rocks for the rest of the demo.
And then, I get to what was sorta a boss encounter. I’d had no trouble fighting enemies up until this point. Heck, most the time, I killed them before they got a hit on me. Well, this boss just obliterated me.
She had an attack that charmed my characters, if she didn’t one-shot killed them… They weren’t that low on life, either. If she didn’t slaughter them, her pets did instead. They hit like a truck and had just as much HP. It wasn’t fun at all.
“And then all hope was lost from the world…”
That’s where my time with this demo ended.
I’m sure there’s probably more story to it (I watched the beginning in play-through videos, and still wasn’t impressed). I just couldn’t get a feel for any of the characters, so I found it hard to care what was going on. It’s a real shame.
Even the reviews have been pretty lukewarm for it. So I’m not the only one wishing this had more to offer:
Lost Sphear’s classically-styled RPG bones can scarcely bear the weight of its uninspired narrative.
Tokyo RPG Factory clearly wanted to build on every classic RPG all at once.
The writing is uneven, the music is generic, and the combat, even with a few new flourishes, just feels like I Am Setsuna redux. The characters are flat and boring, best described with archetypes like “heroic guy who lost his mother” and “spunky, irritating kid with a heart of gold.”
Have you tried this game and found it more engaging than I did? Let me know!
Like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest (Dragon Warrior) is one of those series that started for me on my NES… with the very first game. I remember as a kid, owning that little Nintendo Power extra Dragon Warrior pull-out guide. It looked like this:
Dang. That was released 1989. Did I just date myself?
Anyhow, with its help, I made it all the way to the end of the game. That’s probably the only Dragon Warrior game I’ve finished, though I’ve played a few of the other NES games. I haven’t played any of the newer games in the series, however.
I’ve heard about Dragon Quest Builders, and it sounded right up my alley. But seeing it’s only been released for Playstation systems, I couldn’t play it. That is, until now!
Dragon Quest Builders is coming to the Nintendo Switch on February 9th, and I couldn’t be more pleased! However, I wanted to make certain the game was really going to be what I hoped. From my understanding, it’s similar to Minecraft, but with a Dragon Quest bent and a guided city building aspect.
I downloaded the demo and got to dive into it last night for the first time.
Soon after, I stopped playing it.
Because… it’s so much fun, I didn’t want to spoil the actual release!
DQ Builders (is that the proper way to shorten the name?) isn’t just a Minecraft game with a Dragon Quest skin over top. It’s got all the old skool vibes I was hoping to see. From the music on the intro screen, the menu screen, the overworld… I was instantly transported back to Dragon Warrior of my youth.
The art style oozes stylistic charm. You’ve got all the standard Dragon Quest monsters you know and love to beat up – especially the Slimes.
You come to Alefgard, where something dark has blighted the land, to figure out what’s going on… and rebuild it. Apparently, you’re a rare person who has remembered the old ways of Building. With a little guidance from an overly-patient goddess, you are sent out to put things right.
What actually surprised me was how much humor there is. It’s not always laugh out loud humor, but a kind of quirky out-of-the blue thing. It’s often poking fun at your character, and that was totally fine with me.
The game does a lot of hand-holding for someone who is familiar with the mechanics of a Minecraft game. But for someone new, or someone who needs that kind of guidance in their sandboxes, I feel it had a good balance between exploration and questing.
DQ Builders puts a very clear purpose there for you — you want to rebuild your base as a town and attract people to it. The NPCs you attract appear to be a driving force for how the game unfolds.
Like Minecraft, there is a day and night cycle where night becomes more dangerous. The game leads you to building a house and furnishing it with beds that you can sleep in to skip that dangerous time. It has a very exact definition of what makes up certain types of buildings – for example, complete walls of two blocks high, a door and a light source make up a room.
What I thought was especially cool was the blueprint system. The NPCs sometimes give you a blueprint that you can place on the ground and use as a guide to build over. Once you meet all the requirements for that blueprint, it becomes a specialized location!
I don’t have that much more to share, because I stopped playing the game the moment it gave me an exploration quest to do. I didn’t want to spoil what I can foresee as being a game that’s going to suck me in soon enough!
So while I’m still working on playing my Steam Challenge game that folks voted on last week, my copy of Farming Simulator for the Nintendo Switch came in yesterday. Don’t look so surprised to see a review of this game here! What’s more surprising is that I’ve never played a Farming Simulator title before now.
So this is a port of Farming Simulator 17 (also known as Traffic Jam Simulator). I mean, anyone who lives in an area where farming is a thing will recognize moments like this…
Thankfully, this simulation isn’t uber-realistic when it comes to physics and damage. In fact, I don’t think you can do damage to anything at all. I mean, I wasn’t going out and out to test that when I front-ended this van, but…
So, for those who want a super realistic and interactive crash-course game, you won’t get that here. It’s a little sad since there are so many fun big machines that have so much destructive potential. Ah, well.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, what exactly does Farming Simulator do? I’m going to put right up front, this is a very laid back game that focuses on the machines you use, the mechanics of how these machines work, and you tending fields for crops. I haven’t gotten into husbandry yet, but I’m sure that adds another layer of complexity on it.
This game is not for everyone. For some people, it could get repetitive as you’re constantly in a cycle of working fields and delivering goods. But that means repeating the plow/plant/harvest cycle over and over again. There aren’t really any solid goals, except for the ones you set for yourself. It’s a pretty pure form of sandbox.
I’m not a big machinery nerd IRL or anything, but I found it neat to learn about the different vehicles and their roles in successfully working a field. You have one for plowing, one for planting, and one for harvesting in the beginning. These machines are all true to real life machines (or so I’ve read), and the developers take a lot of pride in working with actual name brands to make this as realistic as possible.
Speaking of vehicles, I especially love how you can tap a button to instantly switch between all of the machines you own. This makes it quick to switch tasks or check on progress, even if you’re in the middle of delivering something on the other side of town.
I also like how the settings are highly customizable — there’s three difficulty levels (I started on Easy) — and you can choose everything from how loud your radio plays (and thankfully how loud your motors run) to how fast time passes in the game.
Speaking of the radio… you can choose between four different stations. All I can say is the Euro idea of Country music is… interesting. Though I’ve never heard any of this music before, there are some good songs on the list… Give this one a listen (listed as Country).
The best part of the game is that you can hire workers to finish tasks for you. So, you start plowing/seeding/harvesting a field, and just a button press puts a worker in your place. Of course, you have to pay them, so this takes a chunk out of your profit. However, this allows you to jump to another task while the worker miraculously makes absolutely perfect rows in your fields.
The most challenging part of the game for me is making perfect rows in my fields. Turning that machine around when you reach the end of the field and lining things up is a lot harder than it looks! Think I’m joking?
Let’s see… so once you get crops harvested, it’s a matter of playing the local economics. You get a list of places that will buy your crops, some higher or lower than others. Obviously, you’d like to sell for the most you can. And if the price has tanked completely, you may want to store your harvest in a silo until the price rises again. I noticed that when I sold to the market, I would drive the price down due to supply/demand.
Aside from that, you can do odd jobs (missions) for other farmers in the area. Find a field that doesn’t belong to you and step in the marker next to it. A screen pops up that allows you to purchase the field or to do a task for pay.
Don’t get too excited, though. Usually the task is something like plowing, sowing, fertilizing or harvesting. Which is… what you’d be doing on your farm. But it’s kinda nice to have your workers going at it on your field while you make extra money on the side. I also noticed that completing these jobs earns you positive reputation with that farmer. I’m not sure what that does (makes the cost of the fields go down should you actually buy it, maybe?).
Of course, doing all of this is working to pay back a loan you took out before the game began. I didn’t see if there was a specific time frame the loan needed to be repayed in, though. I am playing on Easy mode, so things could be different on a harder level.
Also, your vehicles begin to depreciate over time. As the machines get older, the cost of daily maintenance rises. So, you have to budget in vehicle upgrades when the old machine starts to cost more than its worth to hang on to.
I will note that the way time passes is a bit interesting. You control how fast the game time passes — somewhat like a Sims game. The default is super slow, though. In fact, you can choose to play the game real time — like 24 hours for a whole day’s worth of time if you want! I couldn’t image doing that because it seems like you get one harvest per field per day. I guess if you had a lot of fields that would make sense.
Realism goes out the door, though, because your farmer never seems to sleep. Day turns into night, and your farmer can’t interact with their house at all (which bugs me). You can just work right on through the night if you want, I guess. Or speed it up to have the next day come.
If I had any feedback to give, it would be to offer an option to sleep through the night. And decorate my house — it’s just odd that I have a house but can’t do anything with it! But… I guess this isn’t Harvest Moon or Stardew Valley. That’s not the kind of focus they want in their game.
So, anyhow, for someone like me, relaxing and tending my crops was something I easily dropped 3 hours into without realizing the time had passed. I’m looking forward to getting into raising livestock and expanding my fields. But I’ll repeat, this is not a game for everyone.
I can’t compare the Switch version to the PC version, but I know the PC version allows mods and multiplayer… the Switch does not (yet). I’d probably never play this multiplayer (no one I know owns it), so that doesn’t effect me. But it looks like multiplay is the way to go if you have it on the PC. It certainly seems like it makes for a lot of fun.
And now, for what you probably came here to see…