Nintendo Embodies The Rebel Teen In All Of Us

Everyone has a little rebel in them, right?

Back when I was growing up, I was always told to be unique. Being yourself and standing out in a crowded space has always been a defining aspect of my life. This fundamental difference between yourself and others helps you define what you are.

In a way, this is best seen in modern youth. The “Disenfranchised” and rebellious, the ones who don’t like the way things are and want to do something different and better than what came before.

Nintendo hasn’t always been about bucking the trend, but they have adapted to embody that way of thinking.

One of the many rebellious Nintendo moves.
Wii Fit is one of many breakouts from tradition and expectation.

Not Always So Out Of Line…

Nintendo hasn’t always been so out of line with expectations. In fact for the longest time the company was seen as overly conservative. A system and library for kids, playing it safe, while the “Big Boys” went mature.

It wasn’t until the Nintendo DS and Wii that we saw them break off into a new direction, one forged by desire to be different, seeing the writing on the wall: If you conform, eventually you will fade. This led to unprecedented success and while it alienated those who only wanted “The Norm”, it grew gaming to new heights.

As Reggie Fils-Aime once said, gaming wasn’t growing while everyone was chasing the same market over and over. Staying the same leads to stagnation, which leads to boredom and eventually the market would likely have folded. This was simply unsustainable. Without new ideas, new ways of playing, gaming would have continued down the stereotyped path, with everyone roughly in line trying the same things. Remember the over-saturation of shooters?

The new gaming world is adapting, and even then, Nintendo refuses to follow the path.
The Modern Gaming World has evolved, and change was inevitable.

But What Of The Modern World?

Previously it has been discussed at length about how Nintendo Switch and even Nintendo LABO push gaming into new frontiers.

But even then, this is how Nintendo has chosen to go through with evolution. Switch is the current pinnacle of gaming convenience in an always moving world. Where the young and old alike can’t be confined to one space anymore. Where the notion of everything being solely in one place is outdated: The under your TV box is archaic.

LABO exists as a testament to how gaming is more than just entertainment: It can be educational, inspiring and a lot more. These are moves other companies are often afraid to take. Even Sony with VR was very tentative and that is still an isolated, TV room experience, though Oculus and even Nintendo somewhat look to expand what is possible.

Microsoft and other companies are looking to game streaming as a future, where everything is with you always (Internet provided) and this enables so much more to be done in the industry. Perhaps it isn’t ready yet, but it will be eventually, and it won’t be the only way of playing games, you can guarantee that.

Sometimes following the trend isn't for you.
Nintendo broke ground with their attitude to monetisation in Dragalia Lost

Rebel Against Current Trends

Nintendo recently made waves with the reveal that they encourage their mobile development partners to be limiting with monetisation.

CyGames and their parent company expressed frustration at the idea of limiting revenue. They exclaimed had Nintendo not been involved, they would have made more.

This lines up with the established intent of mobile games by Nintendo. Unlike other companies who see a gold mine, it exists as advertising. Using mobile titles, in everyone’s hands, can invest people in IP, and move them to Switch and other systems.

The same is true of microtransactions and live services. Shigeru Miyamoto stated that developers need to be wary of how many live services there are, and how value is lost by them overcharging.

When seeking a partner for this, it’s important to find someone who understands the value of your software. Then customers will feel the value in your apps and software and develop a habit of paying money for them.

Source

Simply put, it’s the effect shown by games such as Destiny and Anthem: Overcharging for an underwhelming experience. If these models are to take off, they need to be fewer in number, higher in quality, and fairer in price.

In the end, everyone is a little rebellious. Seeing something succeed and show the way forward isn’t entrenched in tradition, greed, or follow the leader, calls to people who want more from gaming.

Nintendo has become the masters of defying expectations and making new ways to play. In the modern world of being different to survive, it’s success has come from playing to what the world wants.

Impressions: Nogalious

Nogalious is a challenging and short platform puzzler from LUEGOLU3GO STUDIOS. What did we think of the opening title of this trilogy?

 

Free Product provided generously by LUEGOLU3GO STUDIOS!

 

Nogalious is a game that captures the essence of challenging retro titles, injecting some light puzzle elements. This classic design can lead to a sometimes frustrating but equally rewarding experience.

Nogalious is very much a retro styled game.

Nogalious proves to be a fun and challenging title.

 

How Does It Look?

Nogalious aims to replicate the earlier days of gaming.

Nogalious captures the classic PC era of gaming perfectly.

Nogalious is a very simple game. Objects are defined and the character stands out. Enemies can at times blend in, red bats and red clouds for instance, but the aesthetic suits the game well.

Items are often obvious, though at times can be obscured by the low-level of detail making it hard to see what you need to do.

As the game is a puzzle platformer of sorts, you need to examine each screen carefully to identify your objective, usually a key, to be able to pass to the next screen. This can involve pushing or pulling graves to align them, or killing all the enemies.

Of course the soundtrack is suitably retro, and captures the gothic feel of each stage well.

 

How Does It Play?

Nogalious isn't always a pleasant walk.

Nogalious can sometimes be a bit challenging…

Gameplay is as noted above, find the objective to grab a key to move to the next screen. Progress through each screen in a stage and finish the stage.

Along the way will be special stones and weapons for Nogalious to use. These range from a sword, a boomerang, and even timed mines. Each of these works differently and can be cycled through, so finding the right one is key for each situation.

Sometimes the way forward isn’t particularly clear, and this can come down to either the visuals, or the translation. The translation for Nogalious is odd in that while it gets the basics across, the language barrier proves difficult when explaining finer mechanics. With experimentation though it doesn’t take long to grasp.

Nogalious himself is very easy to control, being able to attack, jump and pull or push objects. Oddly jump is assigned to pressing Up, but this is simply a matter of adjusting. You have fluid mid-air control, but be warned as some platforms are less solid than they appear.

 

Let’s Talk Problems

Sometimes the solution is hard to see.

What do you see on this screen? Do you see a way to lower the water?

Trying to find the solution to a screen requires precise assessment of the pixel art. On the screen above you have a branch on a tree that will lower the water level and let you find the key to progress. Of course, this isn’t immediately obvious.

Another problem with the above screen is the crows. Given Nogalious perishes in a single hit, and they can eat away at the respawning vines you need to climb and jump between, and contact damage is also fatal, care is required.

There is a degree of randomness to this all. How much of the vine they chop away depends on where they land. Further, jumping between vines requires you to first jump and then move, making it feel more awkward than need be.

The final issue is, unfortunately, overall difficulty. The challenge in each room can vary greatly, and your limited lives and fragility lead to using your limited continues at which point, well back to the start.

This is a game about mastery, so a lot of trial and error will get you to the end.

Expect to die. A lot.

I saw this a lot…

Overall?

Nogalious is a fun game held back by its reference material. It’s still a great time, but the less patient gamers may find it a bit much. It’s fairly short, but the amount of (Mandatory) replaying will leave you chasing that high score if you are persistent.

I recommend this quite easily to fans of classic challenging titles.

If you want to see the game in action, we have a short stream below:

Thanks for reading everyone, and don’t forget to share what you think of on social media or try it out for yourself on Steam. While you are here, check out our other Impressions pieces! Until next time, Happy Gaming!

NL Inklings Community: Our September 2018 Tournament Schedule!

It’s a new month which means new a new tournament! Well…three!

First up, last month was excellent with participation in our Splatoon 2 Tournament, but we had some issues regarding length and missing players. The October season is currently up in the air, or ARMS (HA!), so stay tuned for that info in September. But for now…

The structure of two tournaments per month remains, but with one more due to how the calendar worked out. The first will always be Splatoon 2, and two weeks later we will hold a tournament for a different game.

In this case, we have the returning Splatoon 2 tournament…and a popular eSports title…AND a classic party favourite!

 

Splatoon 2 – NL Inklings: Special Showdown! (September 1st 2018)!

The NL Inklings return to Splatoon 2!

The Special Showdown Tourney!

Organised by Golden, NinjaAceTrainer and newcomer to the team Agent Quinkling, we have the Special Showdown!

This tournament will see teams limited to one special weapon per team. That’s right, your whole crew only gets to use weapons with a specific special! The teams are Inkjet, Splashdown, Bomb Launcher and Baller!

This will be a standard Round-Robin tournament with one match played per mode, duking it out across all 5 modes. How teams are decided however…is a little different.

The highest ranked players who sign up will be assigned as team captains, and then get to enter a bidding war for other entrants to join their team! Each additional entrant will get a chance to make themselves seem appealing beforehand, so don’t worry if you feel you won’t be picked!

These teams can then synergise and work out what weapons and gear they wish to use, while keeping to their special restriction!

 

This tournament takes place on September 1st at 5pm BST sharp!

Sign ups open TODAY, August 20th!

Rules will be published TODAY!

Sign ups will be live until Wednesday August 29th!

The Auction will be held on August 30th!

 

Rocket League – NL Inklings: Rocket League of Legends! (September 15 2018)!

Another special tournament from the NL Inklings!

Rocket League of Legends!

Thanks to Shani and Nick for organising this one! A game we are quite fond of! This popular game is going to be the subject of our second tournament!

Full details will be worked out leading to the event, regarding modes and team sizes as well as format, but this will all be revealed once the Special Showdown tournament has concluded!

A VERY IMPORTANT NOTE IS THAT DUE TO SONY’S CROSS PLATFORM PLAY POLICIES IN EFFECT AT THIS TIME, PS4 USERS WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE! Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch users will be fine.

 

This tournament takes place on September 15th at 5pm sharp!

Sign Ups will go live on September 5th!

Rules will be published on September 8th!

Sign Ups will close on September 12th!

 

 

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U – NL Inklings: Fall Brawl! (September 29 2018)!

We will give Smash 4 a true send off!

The Smash Bros. Fall Brawl!

Organised by Haruki and Nicolai, we are bringing Super Smash Bros. for Wii U to the forefront one final time before Ultimate releases this holiday!

What better way to ring in the Fall season than by smacking around the entire Fire Emblem cast? Oh, and some other guys are here too!

Full details will be worked out closer to the event, and the full reveal will be right after the Rocket League tournament!

This tournament takes place on September 29th at 5pm sharp!

Sign Ups will go live on September 19th!

Rules will be published on September 22nd!

Sign Ups will close on September 26th!

 

 

That’s all for now. See you on the Splattlefield, the pitch, or in battle! NL Inklings out, Happy Gaming!

Impressions: Tiny Hands Adventure

Tiny Hands Adventure is a charming little romp of a platformer from Blue Sunset Games. What did we think of Borti’s debut adventure for bigger hands?

 

Free Product provided generously by Blue Sunset Games!

Sometimes simple is better than messy.

Tiny Hands Adventure is a nice and charming 3D platformer

Tiny Hands Adventure is a game that manages to evoke its reference material and present some new ideas to forge a unique identity. What you ultimately get is a solid experience full of charm and unique ideas, but nothing truly stellar. Good, but not super amazing.

 

How Does It Look?

Tiny Hands Adventure has a lot of variety!

Tiny Hands Adventure is actually a quite attractive game with a lot of variety.

Tiny Hands Adventure is a very charming game. Not confined the dinosaur appropriate locales, the games has you climb lighthouses, traverse swamps, top-down view mazes, inter-dimensional stairways and even a comic book. While it may seem to be a visual mismatch, the game maintains its identity even though different settings.

On PC the game runs perfectly fine. No issues with resolution of frame rate, that I can see. On Nintendo Switch, I cannot say, but it stands to a reason a fairly simple game should have no issues.

Sometimes the worlds may look a little empty or flat, and the text certainly isn’t as refined or well implemented as it could be, but it’s functional. Everything is appropriate and accounted for.

I also have to say, the soundtrack is really good. Not a dull track in there, a good range of styles and lively beats.

 

How Does It Play?

Even with a controller on PC the game was very responsive.

Tiny Hands Adventure is a very nice feeling game in the hand.

Gameplay in Tiny Hands Adventure is simple. Progress through each stage in a tier, in what order you desire, grab the main collectible and finish the stage. When all 4 collectibles are assembled you can take on the boss.

Boss battles are perhaps the weakest aspect of the game as a whole, lacking feedback to being hit and at times either being too long for a fight that has no checkpoints, or being simply a waiting and dodging exercise. They aren’t bad, but some fine tuning would have been nice.

Beating a boss awards you a “Hand”, an extension of Borti’s standard tail whip. These include a drill, plastic grab hand that doubles as a wider spin, and grappling arms. Each of these are used in various stages, some even requiring repeat visits later in the game. Beyond this though, they feel under-utilised, but give Borti more to do as the game progresses.

Strikingly, the game encourages repeat visits to stages by offering 5 collectible crystals. Some require certain Hands, so making note of the different environmental situations is key. Collecting all five unlocks the harder version of a stage, with a single white crystal to collect, for 100% completion and rewards.

This is a simple but effective way of improving replay value, and while the game isn’t too difficult, the harder stages are definitely where the greatest challenge lies.

Borti himself however, is a joy to control. His weight feels right and his movement, even when using a controller on PC, feels smooth. There were very few times I felt like a death was the fault of the game, and rather my own judgement. He has a wide range of moves including a spin and slide, so he comes well equipped, though these feel under utilised until later, as the level design is often rather basic and doesn’t require much use of these advanced moves.

 

Let’s Talk Problems

Sometimes you can make Borti a super T-Rex

This game does have some rather entertaining bugs

This release is by no means flawless. As a smaller title errors do slip through. Sometimes you may find something isn’t quite solid, or a hitbox is a little misaligned on some spikes. Regardless, the game still manages to be fun.

The aforementioned issues with boss battles stands out as a real low point, as does the lack of enemy interaction, instead acting as stationary obstacles.

The game could perhaps come off as boring to some with its relative ease and simplicity, but to others this may be a positive. That is for the individual to decide.

Finally, and this is a purely personal problem, the explosive boxes in the game aren’t distinguishable enough from their standard counterparts, with the explosive graphic only appearing on some sides and the colour (Because I’m colour blind) being near identical.

 

Overall?

Tiny Hands Adventure is a game that occupies the same space as Sonic 1 and Crash Bandicoot in my mind: A solid foundation. With that said, I can recommend the game to platforming fans, and the concept of a T-Rex looking to expand his reach is ripe for picking.

I can only hope like the aforementioned examples, a potential sequel to this game would take the concept and run with it, with crazier worlds and more varied and useful Hand upgrades to Borti. The concept has a lot of promise.

If you want to see the game in action, we have a forty minute stream below:

Thanks for reading everyone, and don’t forget to share what you think of on social media or try it out for yourself, on Steam or Nintendo Switch. Until next time, Happy Gaming!

Impressions: Paladins (Nintendo Switch)

Paladins manages to be a fun game on the surface and in gameplay, but it has a few steep cliffs.

Paladins is an interesting release on Switch

Paladins went free to play on Switch so we got a chance to try it out!

Paladins is an interesting title. A Hero Shooter with various modes and teams of 5 battling it out for supremacy. Each character is unique, each mode offers new challenges.

There are daily rewards, levelling up both your characters to unlock new skills and your general account for rewards. It’s all very progression based.

Which is exactly why this is a free to play game.

 

How Does It Look?

Paladins looks fantastic on the system

Paladins looks mighty clean on Switch

Paladins looks good on Switch. Nothing about it feels off, though the dynamic resolution can be very obvious in high density moments, but everything is smooth and fluid.

There are a variety of HUD options and placements, cursors and more. The UI is very customisable with one caveat.

As health bars of allies show up a “Sickly Green” when impacted with a status ailment, and enemies are red…a colour blind mode would have been very helpful!

 

How Does It Play?

Some of the load times are a bit extreme

Paladins can at times take a good while to get going however.

The gameplay itself is fairly simple, divided into 3 modes. Team Deathmatch where you compete to get the most kills, Siege where you battle to capture a point and then escort a payload to the enemy base, 1 point for each action, first to 4 wins.

Finally there is a standard Control mode, where you occupy a marked space and accumulate 400 points to win, fighting off the other team to do so.

These modes are all good fun, however the Siege mode lasts for far too long compared to the others, especially when wrestling for control.

Controls are snappy and responsive, and nothing feels out of reach. Interestingly you can get battle buffs by performing well during matches, earning credits to spend for that match. This is best done while respawning of course but it keeps things dynamic and allows you to adapt.

Of course this all comes with a downside: Load Times. Loading can take a while and especially getting into a match. It’s nothing major but for something on a console known for being snappy, this is a bit surprising.

Stage variety also seems a bit light, but that could just be bad luck during matchmaking. It’s hard to tell.

 

Let’s Talk Progression

Sometimes simplicity is best.

Paladins is an absolute behemoth of monetisation, and it’s confusing.

Progression in Paladins is strange. You level up characters and unlock cards and new abilities for battles, clear daily challenges to earn Gold and maybe even Crystals…but getting more from the game is hard.

You have a very limited number of characters initially, and this makes choosing one difficult since the game doesn’t allow duplicates on a team. Further to this, finding the characters in the store is difficult, and expensive in terms of Gold, as they are buried amongst voice samples and outfits etc.

But most egregious is a Battle Pass, akin to Fortnite with challenges for rewards, that you pay for with Crystals, a Season Pass, that gives you all Battle Passes, and various chests of randomized items.

Crystals are the premium paid for currency and the sheer wealth of options for expanding what you can simply do in the game is insane. It’s a complicated and frankly worrying mess that so much is gated off, as the game is genuinely fun.

But if this seems like an issue, there is a Buy All option with the Founder’s Pack. For a fee you unlock everything and this is how the game initially launched. I would recommend that over the restrictive Free To Play release.

 

Overall?

Paladins is an excellent game marred by some weird choices for monetisation. It tries to accommodate every model known to the industry at once.

This is the biggest downfall of the game, as what is a very fun time is locked behind a grind and premium rewards.

If you want to see the game in action, we have a two hour stream below:

 

Thanks for reading everyone, and don’t forget to share what you think of Paladins on social media or try it out for yourself, it is free to start after all. Until next time, Happy Gaming!

NL Inklings Community: Our August 2018 Tournament Schedule!

It’s a new month which means new a new tournament! Well…two!

First up, last month was excellent with participation in our Splatoon 2 Tournament, but we are streamlining the process for making tournaments going forward. We are already working on establishing the September season, but first comes August, and some summer sports, like Tennis!

The structure of two tournaments per month remains. The first will always be Splatoon 2, and two weeks later we will hold a tournament for a different game.

In this case, we have the returning Splatoon 2 tournament…and a tournament for a popular but somewhat divisive title…

 

Splatoon 2 – NL Inklings: Brand Finale! (August 4 2018)!

Brand Finale is the latest NLI Tournament!

The NL Inklings: Brand Finale!

Organised by Shani and TheXReturns, we have the Brand Finale!

This tournament will see 4 teams sponsored by a brand from the game. You don’t need to use that brand exclusively, but you can always try!

This will be a standard tournament with teams of 4, assigned based on their ranks in the name of fairness, duking it out across all 5 modes. Bring your best weapons and gear for all 5 modes and rep your team sponsor!

This tournament takes place on August 4th at 5pm BST sharp!

Sign ups open on July 28th!

Rules will be published on July 30th!

Sign ups will be live until Wednesday August 1st!

 

Mario Tennis Aces – NL Inklings: Grand Slam! (August 18 2018)

The NLI Tournament for the end of August is Mario Tennis!

Mario Tennis Aces: Grand Slam!

Thanks to Golden for organising this one! In the works for a while, it’s Mario Tennis Aces for Nintendo Switch! This latest entry in a long running sporting spin-off series is the subject of our next tournament!

Full details will be worked out leading to the event, regarding modes and character selection, but this will all be revealed once the Brand Finale tournament has concluded!

This tournament takes place on August 18th at 5pm sharp!

Sign Ups will go live on August 6th!

Rules will be published on August 13th!

Sign Ups will close on August 15th!

 

The September Season?

 

The September tournament season will be a little different. Within the staff and organisers we will be deciding on the Splatoon 2 tournament as usual, and again, one other game. However, due to the scheduling there will be a whopping THREE tournaments!

So to help out, the Community will be deciding the two tournaments instead!

We want to start the planning phases on August 5th so get your votes in quick!

Simply vote below for your favourite!

 

That’s all for now. See you on the Splattlefield or on the court! NL Inklings out, Happy Gaming!

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana (Nintendo Switch) | Review

Title: Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana
Platform: PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, PC, Nintendo Switch
Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Nihon Falcom
Publisher: NIS America

Copy Provided By: Bought it with my own money!

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

“Yeah, I Am AWESOME!”

 

If you’re wondering where I have been since my last article, this game is the sole culprit. Never since Xenoblade Chronicles X has a game grabbed my attention so thoroughly and kept me hooked from start to end over nearly 50 hours of playtime.

First I would be remiss to not mention the soundtrack. As I have been told is normal for Falcom titles, this game nails a mix of sombre, energetic, rock and orchestra at just the right moments. Such variety keeps the game from feeling stale and helps push it’s identity as an adventure first and foremost.

Below are two examples of this varied soundtrack: The Theme of Dana, and the theme for the first area of the game proper.

 

Story of Ys VIII?

In terms of plot, Ys VIII is relatively simple. What you get is a very personal story, around a group of castaways on an island simply trying to survive and escape, before the greater mystery unveils itself and the two segue into each other very well. The star of the show isn’t the overarching plot lines, which do keep you guessing, but the Castaway Village.

Every character in your party of 6, or any of the people you rescue, and wholly unique. Some are snobbish aristocrats. Some are military men with a more artistic side. One is an insufferable artist. This clashing of characters and ultimate teamwork is incredibly satisfying to watch as almost everyone accepts that they are kindred spirits despite their backgrounds.

You spend a lot of time learning about them, via the timed side quests you get, and gifts you can hand to them. This raises their approval, which improves how you do in the Raid defense missions and Hunting missions. Maxing out Approval nets you a fully voiced heart to heart conversation with the character in question too, revealing more about the small but varied cast.

Of course, raising approval, taking part in raids and hunts all raises the main character, Adol Christin’s, “Reputation”. With a high enough reputation stat by end game, you earn the best ending and bonus content.

Some typos do litter the story.

Sometimes the text in Ys VIII can be a funny read though. But this is rare.

How Is The Gameplay?

Ys VIII is an Action RPG. You use Y to switch between your active party members at any time, which is handy for enemies that require a certain weapon type.

This kind of dynamic means you will never be short on health, and battles can be quick or slow depending on the volume of enemies and how you approach them. Using charged attacks lets you use Special Skills, which level up independently of characters and have various effects such as counters, ranged attacks, Area of Effects and more. 4 can be assigned and swapped out at any time, just like party members.

Bosses are also a highlight, a range of impressive beasts to take on that all require different strategies.

Bosses in this game can be imposing.

Bosses in Ys VIII can range from small to gargantuan.

Combat is incredibly fluid and frantic, and with status effects and plenty of customisation the game never feels stale, in even in the more restricted Dungeons, where you want to craft meals and bring medicine to help along.

Characters also have gear to equip. These impact stats via one body piece and one arm piece, with two accessories. Further, the Switch release comes with all included DLC costumes for some visual variety.

 

Progression?

Adventure Gear is an excellent feature that assists in what is a Metroidvania style structure. Each area connects to another by either immovable blockade that requires rescuing castaways, or Adventure Gear that is found as you progress such as a Double Jump.

These always come right as you start to feel restricted, and exploring previous areas leads to more items, gear and Castaways. This constant loop of exploring, reward and crafting items, weapons and more, leads to a very satisfying experience.

Of course, side quests are aplenty and do run on a time limit, so a complaint is that you can potentially miss them. Same with raids, that attack Castaway Village periodically, diverting from your current task, though you can fast travel. Side Quests and Raids are essential to the best ending of course.

Ys VIII never stops giving you things to do.

There is always something new to do and see.

 

What About The Post Game?

 

Ys VIII has a surprisingly length post game. There are several super bosses and one very, very, VERY large dungeon to clear that nets you plenty of gear, including a reward of party size adjustment and adding different weapon types to a single character.

All this can then be carried over the New Game Plus, and there is even a Time Attack mode. Plus, plenty of Raids and Hunts come up at the end of the game as well. You won’t be left wanting with this title.

Even completing the map gets you rewards for every 10% so simply walking around is a reward in of itself. This is a game that gives you what you need when you need it and lets you make your own path, and rewards you.

 

Any Negatives?

 

To be frank, this game isn’t the most impressive, being a Vita title originally. This is evident in some shapes and objects, as well as texture work. Passable, but it does look better in handheld mode. The game also did crash once or twice, but that doesn’t detract from my experience due to very frequent autosaves.

The fact you can miss quests is perhaps the biggest gameplay flaw. But, with frequent trips that you make to the Village anyway, you likely won’t miss them if you are diligent!

I suppose there are the odd graphical quirks as well. Some are incredibly hard to replicate, so the frequency is uncertain, but it never detracted from the experience.

Sometimes the game...acts strange.

Feeling okay there Hummel?

This is my final takeaway from this game. The odd quirks and errors in text are by no means a detraction from the game. The gameplay is exceptionally solid, the game is rewarding, and most of all Ys VIII never slows down. There is always somewhere new to see.

 

To Conclude?

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is an entry in a franchise I am ashamed to say didn’t catch my eye until Nintendo shoved it in my face earlier this year. I see this sentiment from a lot of people in all honesty, so the new light should push the series to new heights. It absolutely deserves it.

Ys VIII on Switch, for all it’s technical snags and weird text, is excellent. Simply an outstanding Action RPG well worth your time playing and enjoying.

I don’t say this lightly, but Ys VIII is my favourite game of 2018 thus far. That surely speaks for itself.

 

Thanks for reading, and if you like, you can check out other articles on the site! Sorry I vanished because of this game… but exciting things are to come. See you all later and Happy Gaming!

Impressions: Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy on Switch

Crash Bandicoot on Nintendo Switch is a perfectly serviceable, graphically sound port. However, it has an air of laziness around it.

 

Crash Bandicoot on Nintendo Switch is perfectly fine. These remakes of the original trilogy comes over, gameplay intact from PS4.

Naturally the resolution is lower at 720p when docked, and lower in handheld mode. With this comes graphical downgrades. Some expected, like shadows and the fur textures being limited or removed. Some however, like reflective surfaces, are omitted entirely.

These missing aspects certainly stand out, even compared to the PS1 originals. It’s no deal breaker, but in certain stages like the future themed areas from Warped, lot of charm is lost. This was clearly in the name of smooth performance, as the game maintains a fairly constant 30fps.

Reflective surfaces are missing...for some reason.

Reflective surfaces are completely missing in the Crash Trilogy.

 

So What’s In The Box?

 

Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy is a collective remake of the original Crash titles. With this comes various improvements, notably to Crash Bandicoot (The Original), such as better game design choices. This includes making Gems easier to get, forgoing the No Deaths requirement outside of Colour Gems.

Not all changes are positive. The use of one unified physics scheme across all 3 games (Based on Crash 3) leads to conflict with level design in Crash 1 and 2. This is simply due to level design in a platformer being built around what the character can do, with Crash 1 and 2 at times simply not being built for Crash 3 controls.

Additionally, some vehicles control with unusual weight and slow turning that limits mobility, adding frustration to Crash 3.

Further, the DLC stages Stormy Ascent and Future Tense are included as standard alongside various Quality Improvements made since the initial PS4 release.

Ultimately, this is the definitive way to experience all 3 games. As the de facto portable experience, this release is excellent.

Crash on Switch is the de facto portable experience.

This is a very feature rich package!

 

It’s Not All Sunshine in Wumpa Island…

 

So let’s address the downsides of this port. First, as noted, it doesn’t look as good. I feel as though some cutbacks aren’t necessary but if it’s in the name of smooth performance, it’s agreeable.

Now we know this port only exists because of a sole engineer proving the game would run, on their own time. 

This lack of interest in even attempting to get the game running by the development staff hints at corporate apathy. There are Switch specific issues that hint at a lack of care on various parties.

Firstly, using any controller other than Joy-Con while docked, before undocking the system, leads to the game being unable to recognise the Joy-Con in Handheld mode. This means using a Pro Controller on your TV before swapping to handheld mode, means you need to reboot the game.

Further, swapping which wireless controller you are using, at least when undocked, leads to the same problem. The game doesn’t respond to swapping controllers or modes unless you use the Joy-Con.

Who holds responsibility for this we will never know. Is it Nintendo for not performing adequate checks during the Lotcheck process? Is it Toys For Bob, the team behind the port? We may never know, but Crash Bandicoot on Switch doesn’t support these basic aspects of the system.

 

So What Do We Think?

 

I am extremely mixed on this release. On one hand, the game is smooth, responsive and absolutely worth a purchase for fans. If you have another console, this becomes a tougher sell, but for a portable Crash experience, this is fantastic.

The catch is some cutbacks feel extreme, and the lack of Switch functionality including screen recording (though this may be tied to CPU usage by the game) and controller swapping leaves a sour taste.

This feels like the most basic of ports. Its solid, it’s a great game, but it doesn’t react to the basic functionality of the system. As noted, it’s like the port was rushed and not intended.

But that doesn’t deter that this is a great way to experience the game. If you can overlook the cutbacks and system specific issues, this is an absolute must for platformer fans.

 

That’s all for this Impressions piece! Crash is back (Again!) and we hope you have fun wumping from islands and through time. Let us know what you think on social media, and Happy Gaming!

NL Inklings Community: Our July 2018 Tournament Schedule!

It’s a new month which means new a new tournament! Well…two!

First up, last month was excellent with participation in our Splatoon 2 Tournament. The next one is already planned and sign ups are underway on Discord right now!

Of course, we want to keep going and creating bigger and better events. The structure of two tournaments per month remains. The first will always be Splatoon 2, and two weeks later we will hold a tournament for a different game.

In this case, we have the returning Splatoon 2 tournament…and a tournament for a title by popular demand!

 

Splatoon 2 – NL Inklings: Splashdown! (July 7 2018)!

This is a standard NL Inklings Tournament for Splatoon 2!

The NL Inklings July 2018 Splashdown!

Like the name? I just made it up on the spot!

This will be a standard tournament with teams of 4, assigned based on their ranks in the name of fairness, duking it out across all 5 modes. Bring your best weapons and gear for all 5 modes and make a big Splashdown!

This tournament takes place on July 7th at 5pm BST sharp!

Sign ups will be live until Wednesday July 4th!

 

ARMS – NL Inklings: Spring Into The Ring! (July 21 2018)

 

It's an ARMS tournament by popular demand!

ARMS: Spring Into The Ring Tournament!

That’s right! By sheer popular demand, it’s ARMS for Nintendo Switch! This small but lovable fighting game get’s its chance to shine in the NL Inklings sphere this month!

Full details will be worked out over the coming fortnight, but rest assured all control styles will be allowed.

This tournament takes place on July 21st at 5pm sharp!

Sign Ups will go live on Saturday July 7th and end on Wednesday July 18th!

 

That’s all for now. See you on the battlefield or in the ring! NL Inklings out, Happy Gaming!

Nintendo Switch eShop – UK Sales Charts (24/06/2018)

With Mario Tennis out now, and the winding down of E3 sales, how are the UK Charts this week?

Numbers in brackets are previous positions based on: 17/06/2018 (Unless they haven’t moved) in the UK eShop

Can Mario Tennis Aces take the top spot?

Mario Tennis Aces debuted this week!

 

All Games Charts (Including Retail Releases)

 

1: Minecraft (NEW) – £19.99
2: Hollow Knight (NEW) (Down from 2nd) – £10.99
3: Mario Tennis Aces (NEW) – £49.99
4: Splatoon 2 (Up from 6th) – £49.99
5: Astro Bears Party (Down from 2nd) (80% OFF) – £0.89 (Usually £4.49)
6: Golf Story – £13.49
7: FIFA 18 (Down from 3rd) (67% OFF) – £18.14 (Usually £54.99)
8: Overcooked: Special Edition (Up from 10th) – £17.99
9: Rocket League (Down from 9th) – £15.00
10: Arcade Archives: Donkey Kong (Up from 14th) (NEW) – £6.29
11: Stardew Valley (Down from 4th) – £10.99
12: Paladins: Founder’s Pack (Down from 9th) (NEW) – £24.99
13: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Up from 21st) – £59.99
14: Ultra Street Fighter 2: The Final Challengerss (Up from not Charting!) – £34.99
15: Football Manager Touch 2018 (Up from 17th) (33% OFF) – £20.09 (Usually £29.99)

16: Darkest Dungeon (Up from 23rd) £17.99
17: Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn (Down from 5th) – £17.99
18: Arcade Archives: Vs Super Mario Bros (Down from 15th) – £6.29
19: Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon (Down from 13th) – £8.99
20: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Up from 22nd) – £49.99
21: Resident Evil Revelations (Up from 26th) – £15.99
22: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Down from 19th) – £49.99
23: The Sexy Brutale (Down from 18th) – £17.99
24: Sonic Mania (Up from 28th!) – £15.99
25: Wizard of Legend (Down from 16th) – £13.99
26: Robonauts (Up from not Charting!) (80% OFF) – £2.69 (Usually £13.49)
27: Super Mario Odyssey (Up from not Charting!) – £49.99
28: Violett (Up from not Charting!(80% OFF) – £1.79 (Usually £8.99)
29: Resident Evil Revelations 2 (Up from not Charting!) – £19.99
30: Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle (Up from not Charting!) – £49.99

 

Download Exclusive Charts

 

1: Hollow Knight (NEW) – £10.99
2: Astro Bears Party (80% OFF) – £0.89 (Usually £4.49)
3: Golf Story (Up from 5th) – £13.49
4: Arcade Archives: Donkey Kong (NEW) – £6.29
5: Stardew Valley (Down from 3rd) – £10.99
6: Paladins: Founders Pack (NEW) – £24.99
7: Football Manager Touch 2018 (Up from 12th) (33% OFF) – £20.09 (Usually £29.99)
8: Darkest Dungeon (Up from 15th) – £17.99
9: Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn (Down from 4th) – £17.99
10: Arcade Archives: Vs Super Mario Bros – £6.29
11:Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon (Down from 8th) – £8.99
12: Resident Evil: Revelations (Up from 17th)£15.99
13: The Sexy Brutale£17.99
14: Sonic Mania (Up from 19th) – £15.99
15: Wizard of Legend (Down from 11th)– £13.99

16: Robonauts (Up from 21st) (80% OFF) – £2.69 (Usually £13.49)
17: Violett (Up from not Charting!) (80% OFF) – £1.79 (Usually £8.99)
18: Resident Evil: Revelations 2 (Up from 24th) – £19.99
19: Celeste (Up from 20th) – £17.99
20: The Sparkle 2 Evo (Up from not Charting!) (80% OFF) – £0.89 (Usually £4.49)
21: West of Loathing (Down from 16th) – £9.00
22: Snipperclips: Cut It Out, Together! (Up from 27th) – £17.99
23: Uno (Up from not Charting!) (30% OFF) – £5.59 (Usually £7.99)
24: Nine Parchments (Up from 30th) – £17.99
25: Subsurface Circular (Up from 28th) (20% OFF) – £3.83 (Usually £4.79)
26: Jackbox Party Pack 3 (Up from not Charting!) – £20.03
27: Ikaruga (Down from 18th) – £13.49
28: I Am Setsuna (Up from not Charting!) (50% OFF) – £14.99 (Usually £29.99)
29: OwlBoy (Up from not Charting!) (30% OFF) – £13.29 (Usually £18.99)
30: Kamiko (Up from not Charting!) (40% OFF) – £2.69 (Usually £4.49)

 

 

UK eShop Analysis

So this has become a bit of a mess to read. First of note – Mario Tennis came in behind Hollow Knight and the new update for Minecraft.

Secondly, most movements are simply readjustments based on sales. The stories are the return of Mario + Rabbids and Mario Odyssey, alongside some games on sales in the lower ends of the charts. Interesting, Ultra Street Fighter 2 has reappeared despite a better value Street Fighter Collection being available.

In the Download Exclusives charts, things remain mostly the same in order, minus retail titles, until the lower ends, as usual. Here we see resurgence from Kamiko, OwlBoy and I Am Setsuna, all on sale.

The real story is the domination of sales once again, with new sales filling the lower charts and old sales leaving lingering effects.

 

Next week we will see the three-way battle between Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana and Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy! Happy Gaming!