Our fifth podcast is now live! This edition includes the rumoured Xbox Scarlett!
Thoughts on comments from Nihon Falcom and reports on Xbox Scarlett being a streaming service! Mega Man X and Sonic Mania Plus! How many Nindies per week?!
Thoughts on comments from Nihon Falcom and reports on Xbox Scarlett being a streaming service! Mega Man X and Sonic Mania Plus! How many Nindies per week?!
Thoughts on Fortnite! Cross-Platform Play shenanigans and Mega Man 11 absolutely not coming to Europe at retail too! Everyone is Here in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate!
Plus, hear what we have been playing this week. Then our thoughts on E3 2018 and Sony does….what to your Epic Games account?!
Thoughts on Battlefield V vs Call of Duty! Pokemon Let’s Go and Mega Man 11 not coming to Europe at retail too!
Plus, hear what we have been playing this week. Then our thoughts on some pre-E3 reveals and the comments about…a new portable PlayStation?
Fresh on the Nintendo Switch is the Wii U cross-over between the Legend of Zelda and Dynasty Warriors. Better described as a mix of Dynasty Warriors with Zelda aesthetics, items and a few mechanics, it is undeniably a Warriors game through and through. So how does Hyrule Warriors fare?
That will be the first hurdle for any player. Do you like Warriors titles? If not, and cleaving through thousands of enemies per battle isn’t your thing, then this game will immediately turn you off.
This is of course the bulk of the gameplay. Moving from keep to keep, reacting to real-time objectives and changing win or loss conditions. There is plenty of strategy and running around. It’s worth remembering that your own actions matter more than any others. Your army doesn’t help much.
This makes the game fairly chaotic. Indeed it can be quite a hurdle and losses can sneak up alarmingly fast. Compounding this is the mini-map, which highlights changing objectives but actually catching where they are amongst all the information on-screen can be difficult. Pausing may be necessary, but this slows the pace of what should be a hectic battlefield.
This is one of the premier questions surrounding Hyrule Warriors. The game was 720p with a sub-30 frame rate on Wii U. On 3DS it was naturally hampered. The volume of enemies, performance and look of the game just didn’t justify the purchase, despite the expanded content.
On Nintendo Switch, the game runs at a native 1080p, granted with no real improvements otherwise. It certainly runs better, well above 30 frames per second, but a constant 60 isn’t around. However, the instability is preferable to sub-30. The drops were only noticeable in intense situations, though they are ever-present to some degree.
In handheld mode then, the game maintains a clear and crisp image. What doesn’t carry over is performance as it is inferior to the docked experience. At a glance it looks about as unstable as the Wii U release. Of course in handheld mode, the system feels fine when playing. There were no gripes with controls here, though a Pro Controller did prove best when docked due to the fast button presses required.
This is the best performing version of the game, but it does feel lacking in some respects.
This is the single most alluring point in favour of this game. If you consider the performance a minor annoyance rather than a deal breaker, and don’t find Warriors titles monotonous, you will get value for money.
Combining all the Wii U content with the extra story and modes from the 3DS release with all the DLC and some new quality of life features makes a very robust package. All the story content is intact and the My Fairy mode transitions as well. All the DLC Adventure maps, where you cross 8-bit maps from various games clearing challenges, return as well.
There are countless hours to be had here, and helping this is the small improvements made to the game. Most notably, some stages and missions will feature Owl Statues which once activated, act as warp points for fast travel. In this release, that allows you to mitigate running across maps in time sensitive moments. A much-needed feature in my opinion.
Another nice addition (From the 3DS release) is character swapping. Some missions will let you take in up to 4 warriors at once, and you can swap between them. This allows you to be at multiple places at once. Again, a much-needed feature that makes some challenges manageable compared to the Wii U iteration. Of course, you can also have them be controlled via AI using a Command prompt in the menu if you need them moving remotely.
Added to the Adventure Modes is the ability to buy Item Cards you have already owned for a hefty fee. This simply cuts down on having to replay missions, though any with two Gold Skulltulas still requires a second run.
There is a swath of things to unlock. Gold Skulltulas for meeting certain requirements. Heart pieces and containers for each character. Weapons, skill trees to upgrade, materials from enemies. Costumes, more characters, more things to buy and upgrade. Hyrule Warriors is a very rewarding game. Every action gives you something usable.
However, those actions will be very repetitive across the many maps and modes. Sure the objectives can change, missions can be very dynamic and change at a whim, but the process remains the same. In the moments the game presents quiz battles or special giant boss challenges, it’s a breath of fresh air.
The Legend of Zelda is more than a skin for this game. Items to be used in battle to expose weak points or counter attack are ripped from the franchise. Several musical tracks and locations are as well. The items in question are used almost exclusively for giant bosses or smaller enemies, but rarely you can see situations to use them in movement. This is hardly necessary however.
Naturally, the giant bosses are a highlight. They do come across as more time wasters than challenges though, often being a distraction on a battlefield than a real challenge.
Perhaps this is a good time to mention the game can in fact be quite challenging. You can level up characters with Rupees should you not have time to grind. Skill trees however, require items. Items you can only get from enemies. There is a constant feedback loop but it does get tiring.
One big problem is in Adventure modes, when a certain character is needed that you haven’t touched. Better get the Rupees and items out to prepare them. It doesn’t take too long, but it can bog the pace of a good play session down.
That’s the other big hurdle with Hyrule Warriors. There will be a lot of grinding and most of it comes naturally but mixed with progressing simply being a process of repetition, it takes someone who loves Warriors to fully experience this game.
This game ultimately has two main hurdles. The first is whether you like Dynasty Warriors. The repetitive gameplay is fine in short bursts, but if it doesn’t engage you, there is no point.
Secondly, be prepared to grind. There will be many times your progress feels stunted but keep at it. If performance drops don’t hamper your experience in any way and this game seems like it may be for you, then you will be in for a full experience.
Just don’t play it as much as I did in the first week. It’s fun but exhausting.
Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition gets our recommendation, if you’re willing to overlook repetition.
Firstly however, we need to cover our E3 2018 plans! In our Discord community we have a channel with the full schedule and discussion of E3. Secondly, we will be posting pre and post E3 thoughts in our bi-weekly podcast both before and after E3. We may even live-react to a few of the events, but more on that at a later date!
So what can we expect from E3? Well it’s hard to say. Overall it feels like a potentially solid show with few standouts, so let’s see why.
EA is first to bat at the show this year, and that’s probably a good thing. Where EA typically stumbles is in engagement. A very corporate show mixed with online personalities and a lack of really exciting and unexpected news leaves a lot to be desired.
When talking about games, outside of a boring presence, we know Battlefield V is confirmed to appear. Anthem is also a very likely shoe in given its recent delay to 2019. No doubt Star Wars will be teased in some capacity as well after Battlefront II…launched last year.
Oh and of course, FIFA 19, Madden 19 and so on. Maybe some more Need for Speed, it’s hard to say. Of course the jury is still out on if the Nintendo Switch will make an appearance for any of these games after previous comments.
Verdict – A shallow but serviceable event. Just bring coffee.
Microsoft is in the worst position heading into this E3. After launching Game Pass and seeing its latest first party titles falter, there is only one known first party release in the pipeline. Crackdown 3 was meant to release last year but got delayed to 2018, and this E3 would mark 5 years since it was revealed. Hopefully it gets a date and sticks it this time.
Of course, Microsoft needs more than that. In what is billed as their biggest show ever, and what is now confirmed to be 2 hours in length, they need to come out swinging. Any less, and the Xbox One misses its final chance at meaningful exclusive software. Phil Spencer has been talking a big game for years, but yet to show anything.
Forza Horizon 4 is a lock in for this year, but beyond that maybe a fix to the Halo Collection at long last, 4 years after it launched? Gears of War? Maybe get a RARE IP back in action? There will at least be waves of indies. Microsoft really needs to swing and as this years wildcard, they may just do that. But any less than amazing and it will be time to write the system off.
Verdict – It better be good, but we simply can’t say. Prepare for disappointment.
Bethesda is planning a short but sweet conference again this year. No doubt they will feature a final push for Wolfenstein 2 on Switch as they did last year with Skyrim. Hey, maybe they can announce a Fallout thing or something?
Of course, RAGE 2 is showing up, a now confirmed and very different game to the original. DOOM 2 is also rumoured (And welcomed!) but it may be a year too soon. Of course The Elder Scrolls is on everyone’s minds now, but that’s not likely this year.
Starfield is very likely however. This mystery IP is due a reveal any time now, as we know nothing except it exists. If it proves a strong title, it could be a show stealer. The short but sweet nature of this show leads me to feel they don’t have much to announce however.
Verdict – It could be good, but there won’t be much quantity.
Square Enix is returning to E3! That could be amazing or absolutely horrifying.
No doubt we will get details on Final Fantasy XV’s announced 2019 DLC (Why?) and Kingdom Hearts 3 will get its release date at long last. Final Fantasy VII may show up in some form but don’t expect it.
The confirmed Avengers title will likely show for the first time. What this game can be is anyone’s guess but a new reveal would be excellent. Naturally Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Dragon Quest XI will feature.
Also expect Octopath Traveler and Dragon Quest Builders 2 to appear. One as a final push and the other to finally show the damn thing. Of course this is Square Enix, you can expect a random game or two for fun.
Verdict – Probably going to be the high point. Lots of games we know are coming and plenty surprises are possible.
Ubisoft is in a unique position. Of course we will get updates on announced titles like Starlink and The Crew 2. No doubt they will also flaunt Beyond Good and Evil 2 as well, after a big reveal last year.
Watch Dogs 3 is expected, forming a new bi-yearly cycle with Assassins Creed, but no doubt DLC will appear for that. Their VR projects also took a bit of focus last year, so updates would be welcome.
What Ubisoft could show that is unexpected is a mystery. They likely won’t have another collaboration with Nintendo already, nor a new South Park title. This will most likely be an update on the known games and quantities moving forward.
Verdict – Solid but nothing stellar.
Learning from their mistakes of showing stuff years in advance and disappointing us at E3 2017 by repeating E3 2016, they announced their plans in advance.
Sony will be focusing on 4 main games, in what I suppose is a 4 act structure: Spider-Man, Death Stranding, Ghost of Tsushima and The Last of Us: Part 2. With the exception of Spider-Man, making its third appearance, these will all be gameplay reveals and maybe even release dates.
The question is why such a large push for Spider-Man when other games could do with the spotlight such as Dreams? Third party announcements like exclusive DLC, VR news and a few indies will break up the pacing between each big game, but the pace threatens to drag with already known quantities if they hold on them for too long.
PS4 is very much on autopilot now.
Verdict – Solid, but a bit repetitive and unremarkable.
Nintendo has already stated one thing. Only 2018 titles will show here. That and their main event is only on Switch. 3DS announcements will come in Treehouse Live if any.
With that in mind….eh. This really does seem like it could be lacklustre. Only focusing on the upcoming 6 months of content feels risky, but with Fire Emblem and Yoshi due out this year, one of which we haven’t even seen yet, and a confirmed focus on Super Smash Bros. it can at least be solid. Add in Pokemon and hey it could be great.
But we all knew about those games anyway, some for well over a year at this time. Plus on the third-party front I don’t expect much. This will be the Smash and Fire Emblem show. If neither of those interest you, don’t expect much else. This could just be pessimism, but it feels like an unfortunately low-key second show for their new system.
Verdict – Potential great, if third parties show, and if the game selection is greater than anticipated. Most likely just average otherwise.
And that’s it. We will see how right we are on the money and if we can be pleasantly surprised after E3! What do you think we will see? As always Happy Gaming, and stay tuned to the NL Inklings community for our takes on the events!
With the release of Donkey Kong a week gone, how has the UK eShop chart settled this week? Are the regulars still high?
Numbers in brackets are previous positions based on: 06/04/2018 (Unless they haven’t moved) in the UK eShop
1: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (NEW) – £49.99
2: Stardew Valley – £10.99
3: Rocket League (Up from 4th) – £15.04
4: Timber Man Vs. (NEW) (10% OFF) (Up from 12th) – £1.61 (Usually £1.79)
5: Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition – £19.99
6: Football Manager Touch 2018 (Down from 3rd) – £29.99
7: Death Road To Canada (NEW) (20% OFF) – £9.59 (Usually £11.99)
8: Arcade Archives: Vs. Super Mario Bros. (Down from 7th) – £6.29
9: Sonic Mania – £15.99
10: Robonauts (Down from 6th) – £13.49
11: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – £49.99
12: Raging Justice (NEW) (10% OFF) – £8.99 (Usually £9.99)
13: Celeste – £17.99
14: Bridge Constructor Portal (34% OFF) (Up from not charting!) – £8.90 (Usually £13.49)
15: Kirby Star Allies (Down from 14th) – £49.99
So all in all this has been a quiet week on the UK eShop. First note is that yes, Donkey Kong remains in the top spot as expected.
The usual top 4 of Rocket League, Football Manager, Stardew Valley and Minecraft all hold high positions with Arcade Archives maintain a mid chart position.
Death Road to Canada and Raging Justice both show strong openings no doubt helped by their launch discounts.
Kirby is about to drop from the charts again as Mario Kart holds it’s position as the quintessential Switch title. Bridge Constructor Portal makes a resurgence thanks to a discount.
Most interesting this week is Sonic Mania and Celeste maintaining their chart positions. These games appear to have long legs on the eShop.
That’s all for this week! A good showing both from indies while DK rules! See you next week where things will be very different with the launch of Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition! Happy Gaming!
The announcement from Nintendo that NES games, 20 at launch, will be available as part of the online subscription has people in hysterics. 20 games at launch with more to come, as part of a larger package sounds like a good deal. It sounds like the solution people have been honestly wanting to the lacklustre Virtual Console. So what’s the issue?
Let’s be honest, Nintendo wants as far away from anything related to the Wii branding as possible. Virtual Console is very much a relic of that time. In 2006 this service was incredible. Buy any available retro game you want. This service continued on 3DS and Wii U starting in 2012, but things changed.
The reaction to this was one of disdain.
“Why should we buy these same games again?”
“It’s too expensive!”
“Why are they releasing the games in this way?”
By this point Virtual Console needed to evolve and modernise. At this time the way we consume small media like TV, Films, Books and Music became increasingly subscription based. Access to an all you can eat buffet where you pick what you want. Instead, Virtual Console acted as buying the meals individually.
So why are people angry it’s gone? Some are even saying they are upset as it was why they bought the system, expecting it, despite Nintendo never saying it was coming.
This is perhaps the most perplexing aspect of the matter. People are being very vocal that “Nintendo doesn’t want our money” once they announced Virtual Console would not be returning. To this I can only ask, well what did you expect?
If you spend the better part of a decade telling a company you aren’t going to give them your money, things will change. Nintendo DID want your money and still do, but the loud and constant vocal dissatisfaction caused a change of course. They want your money, but you made it clear they weren’t getting it via that method.
So when Nintendo modernizes their retro offerings, addresses the complaints by adding new features and a different monetisation…people ask why?
It’s because you asked for it. Don’t go to Apple telling them to add the headphone jack again and then ask them “Well what did you do that for?” when they do. Don’t ask me to slap you in the face for six years, and when I do, ask why I did it.
Virtual Console had to evolve. It had to change and this is the evolution they chose. As part of your $20 a year (Or less on the family plan with enough people) you are getting 20 NES games at launch. $1 per game, with added online play like controller swapping and screen sharing. Also included in this is all the future games they will add. Not to mention online play and cloud saves and discounts!
The one concern is that yes, it would be hard to maintain that low price point when more and more games or systems are added. At some point it becomes a money sink. It just depends where that point is for the service. Of course people would much rather just buy the games again, although as noted they spent a long time not wanting to.
Is this an ideal solution? Not really. It leaves a lot of holes but it addresses the immediate complaints of Virtual Console. Perhaps as the service evolves it will develop a stronger library.
Switch owners love indies. Nindies as they call them. But what you don’t hear mentioned is how Vs. Super Mario Bros, yet another release of the game, is consistently in the eShop charts. What would happen if Super Mario World, or A Link To The Past appeared too?
Indies would be smothered. Heck look on 3DS at the impact the releases of the GameBoy Pokemon titles had. Nostalgia sells but it comes at the cost of something else selling.
Plus, no one can argue that buying the same game for £5 is good value. It isn’t. Sure effectively renting them isn’t stellar either but here we are in a world where every company in every industry does just that. Even software companies do it.
For the sake of the third-party scene and to modernise to how content is consumed in the modern age, the format had to change.
I’ll read the statement Nintendo gave to Kotaku in full, as this will highlight a very important final point.
There are currently no plans to bring classic games together under the Virtual Console banner as has been done on other Nintendo systems
In none-PR terms, and in terms a lot of people seem to be missing in a world of skim reading headlines: The classic games will not be sold under the name “Virtual Console”.
Nowhere does it say they won’t be coming. Nowhere does it say “No Classic Games”. Just that the games won’t be sold under that name.
Can we all calm down now?
What form of branding will it take? Probably the Classic range of systems, or the subscription, or compilations like those released by Capcom and SEGA.
Plus, this highlights something. The association that retro games from Nintendo absolutely MUST be branded Virtual Console reminds us of the Wii U. Remember that back then the problem was the name, the branding became too synonymous with one specific thing and became a mess.
Now Virtual Console is the name demanded to be applied to retro releases. They want to break this connection to past brands that frankly shouldn’t be around. Most certainly not if they want to evolve going forward in a modern world.
Perhaps overall this shows that people get too hung up on names? This is the reality of an evolving business, one that faced backlash from consumers. But now those same consumers are missing that they are why it changed, they are why it evolved. Yet they wonder why.
People also fail to see how the market has changed, and how this approach to old games has to change to accommodate that.
Whether or not this is better is up for debate, but one thing that is certain is that it was necessary to change.
Thanks for reading, don’t forget to hit those share buttons! Let us know what you think of thee retirement of this brand, and Happy Gaming!
REPUBLISHED MAY 3 2018 – Nintendo themselves have clarified the stance on the 3DS going forward:
“[The 3DS] has an ample software lineup at a price point that makes the system affordable especially for parents looking to buy for their kids. We expect that demand to continue during this fiscal year as well, so we will continue to sell the product”
“Given that Nintendo Switch is a home gaming system that can be taken on the go, this situation may change if it grows from being a one-per-household system to a one-per-person system. But the price of Nintendo Switch is not something with which most parents would buy a system for every one of their children in a short period of time. Moving forward, we will work to ascertain what kinds of play people want at which price points, and as long as there is such demand, we will continue to sell the Nintendo 3DS system. I see the product coexisting with Nintendo Switch at this point in time.”
So this is an interesting position we find ourselves in. Nintendo 3DS launched in March 2011, meaning very soon, it hits 7 years old. For any console that is exceptionally good, as the average tends to hover around 5 years, with exceptions being the DS, 3DS, PS2 and the entire 7th Generation of consoles. You could probably say 7 years is now the new average.
In reality, at this stage, we should be looking to the future, even with the New 3DS/2DS lines, you can only get so much out of the systems, and as shown with Pokemon, and as explained by the developers, that ceiling has been hit. You can’t push it anymore than you already have, and again, 7 years? That’s a great time to move on.
On one hand, we have the Pokemon fans primarily. They say the newly released New 2DS XL is a sign it’s not dead, and the move of things like Pokemon to Switch are just cash grabs, and that they should just keep making games for 3DS. Why should we have to upgrade, they say.
Okay so first off, you’ve had to do this before. Remember Pokemon Crystal? You needed a GameBoy Colour. Then a GBA, DS and 3DS. Now it’s Switch. This isn’t new and part of the industry. You can’t be held back for so long and you need to move forward, heck most consumers encourage it.
The concept that you wasted your money…well that depends on your individual perception of value. If you bought a system just for Pokemon, you would know an upgrade, like with anything technological, is inevitable. It will happen no matter what. You can’t expect the system to last and be supported forever.
With regards to the argument they just released a New 2DS XL, they also released the Wii Mini a year after the Wii U. Did that mean the Wii was still kicking? Not really, unless you count the licensed games and Just Dance. I will come back to the New 2DS XL though, it ties in to something else.
The other side of the crowd simply wants the 3DS line dead, as soon as Switch is out, citing it takes away development resources and there is no reason the games shouldn’t be on Switch.
First off with this one, do you remember how everyone reacted to the near empty final year of the Wii? Yeah, that’s how support used to be handled at the end of a console life by Nintendo, and people hated it. But here, people want it? Why? It’s a dumb decision and should never be done that way.
Regarding the games still coming to 3DS, yes they could have been made with Switch in mind, ignoring late localizations like Dragon Quest. The majority of first party titles have been smaller studios owned by Nintendo, outsourced remakes like Metroid and Superstar Saga, or again, late localisations. Or third parties, who do whatever they please, and Nintendo would be very unwise to turn around and say hey, stop making games for the 60 million plus 3DS systems out there. They already had a bad rap with developers for their controlling ways with the NES, why go back there and force people onto a new platform?
Secondly, really now? You want them to throw away all investment into well in-development projects and have the extra time, money and man hours put into changing everything for the new architecture of the Switch, its features, and HD development? Sure some 3DS games have been ported up, like Monster Hunter XX and Resident Evil Revelations (Albeit that was ported elsewhere first) and games like Fire Emblem Warriors came out on both systems, but doing that is in of itself splitting the game in two sides. One version will be inherently inferior, but unlike a game across Vita and PS4, there is nothing gained by having the Switch version except TV play and maybe a boost in sales from the limited install base, and an extra feather in the library of a young system. IT would likely sell to the biggest audience anyway (Obviously), and frankly, many companies wouldn’t want to spend the extra time and most importantly money.
This is the thing, systems are allowed a crossover period. It’s normal. Normally the last few already in-development first party games trickle out, and third parties catch up with localizations and support dries up over a year or two, save for the odd third-party game to cash in on the install base and drive software sales from, get this, late adopters.
So coming back to the New 2DS XL, it is the Wii Mini to the 3DS. The PS3 Super Slim. The Xbox 360 Elite. When manufacturing a system gets cheap enough, it’s actually very wise to leverage that huge back catalog accumulated over the years the system had, and sell a revised, cheaper to make, more affordable to the consumers budget system, which is exactly what the New 2DS XL is. For suspiciously half the price of a Nintendo Switch (Wink wink) you get the entire 3DS backlog (And DS backlog too!) on a now very cheap to make system.
As a deal to late adopters, those who pick up systems late in life, it’s a great way to squeeze potential last sales with a low price and huge catalogue of games. Just as the PS3 and Xbox 360 and even the Wii were sold for a few years into their successors lifespans with their cheapest models and games, so will 3DS.
This image tells a thousands stories on its own…
7 years is a very long time, and for Pokemon and other games, they have a new home, a new ceiling to jump towards. This happens with any system, and any system is wise to be revised and made the budget option for families or Little Timmy’s first system. This extends to even the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X now: The premium models, like Switch, to their now cheaper to make, huge catalogue, revised systems in PS4 and Xbox One S. Difference here is yes, it is a completely different ecosystem, but the reasoning is the same.
It’s time to move on, but it’s not wise to just kill the system where it stands. Let it trickle out slowly, as other systems do. Oh, and please, get used to the idea of upgrading your hardware, it’s been 30 years already.
As always if you enjoyed this article, give it a share on social media and leave your thoughts below, and until next time, Happy Gaming!
Yep, finally after who knows how long, we’ve got our own domain (Obviously, it’s why you’re here!) and we’ve now integrated the NL Inklings!
What are the NL Inklings? Well it’s a Squid Squad for Splatoon 2 that we here participate in (I happen to be a tyrannical overlord or something like that…) and we live stream matches sometimes!
But that’s not all! On our official Discord (Link in the bar above!) we set up matches and cooperative efforts for other games like Minecraft, Rocket League, Overwatch, Pokemon and more! So come on by, check the Discord widget on the side of the site to see who is online and get an invite!
We also have @NLInklings Twitter updates. Give it a follow if you want to know when we are streaming some Splatoon action! It’s down the side of the site too!
We aim to have sessions every Saturday (Splatterday!) at 7pm BST/8pm GMT!
But that’s not all! We now have live stream integration too! What will this mean? Well if you’re viewing this site on a desktop, you will get a notification that we are live on Twitch! Simply click it and boom, there you go. We will also publish posts to watch the stream embedded if you wish!
We will be live streaming play-throughs for future reviews, fun, competitive gaming with the Discord crew and maybe even more. Follow on Twitch or @BritishPlaying on Twitter for immediate notifications about those events!
That’s all for now! More will follow in the week! Keep playing and happy gaming!