Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - NWR_DrewMG

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 77
Podcast Discussion / Episode 289: Super Metroid
« on: September 10, 2021, 12:34:18 PM »

Part 3 of the Metroid Game Club

We're back with another Metroid Game Club discussion, but this time we're up against the legendary Super Metroid. Our cast ranges from having first played Super Metroid around when it came out, all the way up to 2019. So join us as we debate the modern value of this Super Nintendo classic.

Podcast Discussion / Episode 280: Metroid and Metroid Zero Mission
« on: July 09, 2021, 06:08:55 AM »

Gather around as we discuss the zero mission of one Samus Aran with experts, newcomers, and speedrunners.

We kick off our Metroid Saga Game Club with a long discussion about Metroid and Metroid: Zero Mission. We dip into our personal history with the NES original and the GBA remake, as well as our modern experiences, Samus' story, and the series speedrunning legacy.

The crew is vast and maybe each one represents an area of Zebes. We'll leave that determination to the viewer (is Matt a real Norfair son of a gun?), but all manner of Connectivity legacy is represented alongside John and Neal. We've got original co-host Andy Goergen with his NES adoration, Blue Coin Cast co-host Xander Morningstar with his fresh-faced feelings, and Smashterpieces co-host and recurring guest Matt Zawodniak and his increasingly short Zero Mission replays.

Enjoy and be sure to join the Metroid Saga Game Club discussion in our Discord. We will have a regular episode next week, but our next Metroid episode will be in August about Metroid II and Metroid: Samus Returns.

TalkBack / PC Building Simulator (Switch) Review
« on: August 24, 2019, 01:48:35 PM »

All of the glory of moving a mouse cursor, without any of the excitement!

The work of indie developer The Irregular Corporation and Claudio Kiss, PC Building Simulator is a strange beast to find on Nintendo Switch. The game is, as described neatly in the title, a simulator where you run a business repairing and building PCs.  It’s a concept that is likely to appeal fiercy to some, and completely bore most.  That said, when the opportunity presents itself to tie together two disparate interests, Nintendo Switch and PC Building, one doesn’t let the opportunity pass by without taking a chance.  Unfortunately, this game ends up feeling underclocked.

The entirety of the game takes place in a one-room office with an adjacent hallway.  In the office, you’ll find a computer you can use to run your business (take orders, shop for parts, test out software) and a workbench for working on customers’ PCs.  There are upgrades you can buy, like a second workbench or a cabinet to put computers, but none of it changes the core gameplay.  You will be spending 95% of your time either reading email, shopping for components, or working on PCs.  

Having played the PC version of the game before, I was excited to see a Switch release, but moments after I fired up the game with my Pro Controller I remembered something about PC Building Simulator that should have probably curbed my excitement in the first place: you will be spending a lot of time moving a mouse cursor around the screen with the analog stick.  What feels natural when playing the game on PC feels like a chore at best when playing on the Switch, and it’s the user interface for almost the entire experience.  Whether you’re trying to get the mouse cursor to hover over the tiny clip that holds in a RAM chip, unplug a thin wire running from your CPU to your power supply, or double-clicking desktop PC icons to read email or run a virus scan, everything about this game revolves around the mouse.  It simply doesn’t work on Switch.

Some thought was put into this by the developers, it seems. For example, when using the PC, your mouse pointer will slowly “snap” to a nearby icon, which is helpful.  In addition, you can use touch controls when playing in tablet mode, but the game is so small on the touch screen that you can’t really see what you’re doing.  Even if you could, if you accidentally touch something that’s not meant to be interacted with, the touch will be registered as camera control in the 3D space and your view will instantly snap off to the side.  Suffice it to say, touch controls don’t really work any better and arguably hurt the overall experience.  

If you can manage to work past the clumsy controls, there’s fun to be had here if you’re the kind of person who likes building PCs.  There’s a tutorial that helps teach you the ropes, but this game is clearly aimed at those who are already familiar with the basic concepts behind PC construction.  This is not a tongue-in-cheek game that pokes loving fun at PC building enthusiasts; it is a sim, and a pretty good sim at that.  Sure, there’s an oversimplification at play when you don’t even have to reinstall your OS after replacing your motherboard or even your hard drive, but some things are really well handled.  I appreciated that when I forgot to apply thermal paste to the CPU cooler the PC didn’t fail to boot, but when I ran a benchmarking tool I quickly got a blue screen that I had to address.  The game made me do the work to realize that simply reassembling the PC and turning it on wasn’t quite enough troubleshooting, and that’s appreciated.

Really the problem is that even the fun that can be had in PC Building Simulator simply isn’t worth the trouble of the painfully slow and clumsy user interface.  This is a game that is surprising to find on a non-PC platform but disappointing to learn that it probably should have stayed there.  It can really only be recommended if you are a die hard PC enthusiast who doesn’t have a PC.

TalkBack / Pix the Cat (Switch) Review
« on: August 11, 2019, 03:02:40 PM »

That Switch Lite D-Pad can’t come soon enough.

Originally released for the PlayStation 4 and Vita back in 2014, Pix the Cat is a classic arcade style high score-chasing maze game. The aesthetic is similar to a lot of the “retro arcade remix” games from the era such as Geometry Wars or Space Invaders Extreme, but with a cute cartoony spin. The main arcade mode is intentionally full of visual and auditory overload to distract you from the task at hand: deliver those eggs on time. All in all, it’s an exceptional but simple arcade game that is perfectly suited to the Switch, but with one big caveat: the middling-to-bad D-Pad options.

The basic gameplay of Pix the Cat is as follows: You are the titular cat in a Pac-Man-style maze. Littered throughout the maze are both eggs and targets. Your goal is to navigate the maze to collect all of the eggs before delivering any of the eggs to the targets. Once you have all of the eggs delivered to the targets, a path opens up to the next maze. Because all of the mazes are carefully designed, and not randomly generated, a big part of the strategy is the repetition it will take to learn the correct path through each maze. In addition to the overarching goal, you are forced to keep moving (otherwise you lose combos and speed) and the game continues ramping up the speed the better you perform. The better you get, the harder the game pushes back, which is delightfully addictive.

There are three main boards - Starter, Main, and Dessert. In addition, a new board rotates in each day. Each board has many floors, and while certainly each board has an end point, you would have to be an absolute master to reach the bottom of a given board. Instead, you’re playing on a five-minute timer, and the longer you can maintain top speed (by not making mistakes) the further down you can go and the more points you can rack up. Different narrators can be unlocked as well, which is a fun bit of flavor. The game even lets you play against ghosts - either your own best score, the best score on your friends list, the best score in the world, or the best score from the developer. It’s nice to have something to race against in a single-player game.

Alongside the main arcade mode are a couple of puzzle modes: Nostalgia and Laboratory. These are fun diversions but feel more like mobile games than anything else: single clear boards with goals to finish in a set number of steps or a set amount of time. A handful of players will probably become obsessed with these puzzles and try to complete all of them with the bonus for doing it quickly, but for me I mostly dabbled here and there when I tired of the frantic arcade mode.

An Arena mode for up to four players is the final mode in the game, featuring frenetic action where you try to bash into your opponents with the help of multiple different types of ammunition.  You pick up the ammo in the form of eggs, just like in the arcade game, and use it to destroy or stun your enemies.  I didn’t get a chance to play much of it, but what little I did play seemed like it might be really fun given the right group of players.

Pix the Cat really works on the Switch platform. It’s a quick pick-up-and-play game that will run you five minutes per attempt, which is perfect for a handheld. It looks great on the big screen too, but a word of warning: the game suffers from the Switch’s lack of a compelling D-Pad. You can play the early stages with an analog stick or the unreliable D-Pad on the Switch Pro Controller, but before long you will need to make lightning quick directional decisions that are slightly better with the Joy-Con’s directional buttons. It’s not a major problem, but it’s not great. If you’re okay with that one potential drawback, it’d be hard not to recommend Pix the Cat for anyone who loves a good high score chase.

TalkBack / Doom 3 (Switch) Review
« on: August 07, 2019, 09:03:00 AM »

Drag me back to Hell.

The original release of Doom 3 in 2004 heralded a new era in PC gaming technology. From a pure gameplay perspective, Doom 3 wasn’t exactly putting up any portals to Hell that we hadn’t already seen before, but the game is fondly remembered by myself and many others in the same light as Super Mario 64, Super Mario World, or Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader.  Like those other games, Doom 3 will never truly look anything other than stunning in my eyes. Many years have come and gone since then.  Even since the 2012 release of the “definitive” (BFG) edition of the game, we’ve seen an entire console generation come and nearly go.  In any literal definition, Doom 3 is dated.  The hallway-to-hallway, monster-closet filled gameplay is old news. The textures look fuzzy.  The thing is, it doesn’t really matter;  Doom 3 is fun as hell.

Doom 3 on Nintendo Switch represents the passage of time in an interesting way.  Sure, this isn’t the first iteration of Doom 3 on a handheld (it isn’t even the first iteration of Doom 3 using the Switch’s actual CPU), but there’s something surreal about seeing a game that once defined bleeding-edge gaming running (and smoothly to boot!) on Nintendo’s handheld console.  The game runs mostly at 60 frames per second, with somewhat frequent but not particularly distracting drops. The beautiful presentation is almost entirely preserved, and even some of the corners they had to cut, like the flashlight casting shadows, can be enabled in the options menu. Doom 3 still looks and sounds great after all these years.

If this is your first time playing Doom 3, you’re in for a pretty standard run-and-gun shooter.  Although Doom 3 has a darker, more horror-like aesthetic than the other games in the series, the classic Doom shotgun-blasting/rocket-dodging/circle-strafing gameplay is present and accounted for. The Switch version, based on the BFG remaster in 2012 released on PS3 and Xbox 360, adopts the shoulder-mounted flashlight, taking away a good deal of the horror of the 2004 original which required you to swap between flashlight and weapon.  Even with this change, Doom 3 is still incredibly creepy and atmospheric. The flashlight runs on a battery which takes about a minute to drain, but refills in only about 3 seconds, which makes the entire thing feel a bit pointless.  

There are a handful of rough edges on this port of Doom 3.  Most notably, I had at least three hard locks while I played through the 10-11 hour campaign.  Luckily, the game does a *decent* job of auto saving (although I found myself cheesing manual saves toward the end as the difficulty ramps way up), so I never lost too much progress.  Two of those three hard locks came after waking the Switch up from sleep mode, so I had already saved before I stopped playing the last time.  Other oddities included the game-over screen defaulting to “Settings” rather than “Load Game” about 30% of the time, which required an occasional unintentional visit to the settings menu between deaths.  Also, the loading-screen hints gave me some great advice regarding the multiplayer portion of the game, a mode which does not exist in the Switch release.

In addition to the main campaign, two bonus expansions are included: Resurrection of Evil (an expansion released in 2005) and Lost Mission (released with the BFG edition in 2012).  Resurrection of Evil in particular has some interesting new mechanics, including a gravity-gun (the “grabber”), and an artifact that can slow time.  Still, it’s accurate to describe both of these expansions as “More Doom 3.” Overall, they're a nice addition to the main campaign.

The Switch port of Doom 3 is faithful, and the game is a blast. While it may begin to wear thin after you kill your hundredth fire-throwing imp, there’s something incredibly rewarding about the gunplay in the Doom series.  Doom 3 might not have been received as warmly as the beloved reboot that we got in 2016, but it deserves its place in history and would be a fine addition to any Switch library.

i've received instructions from a reliable source that it's in my best interest to Vote Steefosaurus so i guess that is what i'm doing.

Sorry, I haven't been very active at all this game. 

well, that was a series of unfortunate events.

i thought stratos was going to be suspect, but he's out.  so with that in mind...

vote Mop it up's Cat

as kaz hirai wearing a mario disguise, i most vote my conscience.

vote decoyman

my vote can be bought for the price of 3 gold coins. 

i have a friend who was playing mafia on another forum (we talked about it a couple weeks back which led to me bugging Khush and bumping the thread) so i'm going to try to recruit him here.

how many do we need to make this game run?

NWR Mafia Games / Re: Mafia 79 Sign-Ups: Nintendo of America Power Struggle
« on: February 25, 2019, 10:07:24 AM »
i am trying to recruit decoyman back to the forums to join

NWR Mafia Games / Re: Mafia 79 Sign-Ups: Nintendo of America Power Struggle
« on: February 23, 2019, 11:52:42 PM »

NWR Mafia Games / Re: Future Mafia Games
« on: February 22, 2019, 12:16:37 PM »
i just haven't played since like, 2007 or 2008 i think, before i even joined staff.  i want to try it again. it was a blast.

NWR Mafia Games / Re: Future Mafia Games
« on: February 21, 2019, 02:04:45 PM »
mafia plz.

TalkBack / Tachyon Project (Switch) Review
« on: January 25, 2018, 07:48:13 AM »

It’s not Geometry Wars on Switch, but it’s not far off.

There was a time in my life where I would sit in front of my Xbox 360 and play Geometry Wars 2 endlessly, trying desperately to tackle former NWR Director Jonathan Metts’ high score in Pacifism mode. For my money, I’m not sure I’ve ever played a better arcade-style video game on a home console than Geometry Wars 2, but I’ve long been searching for the next best thing. When I saw an opportunity to review Tachyon Project by Eclipse Games, a dual-stick arcade shooter very clearly inspired by Geometry Wars, I couldn’t pass it by.  

Tachyon Project is presented as a set of 10 missions, each with six waves. Each of these waves has a distinct objective, usually something like “survive 120 seconds” or “defeat 100 enemies of this type.” A good variety of mission objectives are present, but most of them boil down to the same basic gameplay - dodge and shoot. You’ll do plenty of dodging and plenty of shooting trying to clear these missions as they get very, very difficult the closer you get to the ending of the story.  

In fact, probably the most notable thing about Tachyon Project is its unforgiving difficulty; I routinely attempted waves 10, 20, 30 times trying to complete them. To the game’s credit, I never felt it was unfair and was always ready to try again. It’s the fun sort of challenge, but unfortunately a few small things get in the way. A fair amount of slowdown crops up as things get intense. I found that it got worse and worse until I closed the game and then went back in, which seemed to resolve the issue for a while.

Everything in Tachyon Project just feels a bit undercooked: the presentation is minimal, the story is forgettable, the slowdown is annoying. The one exception is in the gameplay itself. This is a very good dual-stick shooter. I was particularly impressed by the stealth enemies that can only see you when you are firing your weapon. This introduces a type of gameplay not seen in other dual-stick shooters I’ve encountered where you can’t simply mash the fire button constantly. In this game, you have to be willing to let go of the right stick to escape from a crowd while they can’t see you. his mechanic can be used to bait all of the stealth enemies into a single crowd, and then open fire on them. It’s very clever, and the way they mix it up with radar enemies provides an interesting twist.

If you’re a fan of the Geometry Wars games or other abstract dual-stick arcade shooters that take place in a rectangular playing field, you’ll feel right at home here. It’s not the most imaginative game I’ve played, but it definitely earns its keep with fun twists on an old, favorite concept. If you’re looking for that itch on the go, Tachyon Project will get the job done.

TalkBack / Minecraft: New Nintendo 3DS Impressions
« on: September 18, 2017, 02:13:21 AM »

A hands-on look at the blockiest version of the blockiest game on block street.

Among the surprises during yesterday's Nintendo Direct was an announcement, and release, of Minecraft for New Nintendo 3DS.  This is a big deal for a couple of reasons, and simultaneously not a big deal for a couple of reasons. Make sense?  Let's break it down.

Minecraft on New Nintendo 3DS (remember, this is exclusive to the "New" 3DS and 2DS systems) marks something of a world takeover for Minecraft in so much as this is the last platform the game needed to be on to be playable on basically any possible gaming device one could have.  Never before, in my life, has a game permeated platforms like Minecraft has.  This game is available on every console, handheld, and mobile device available.  3DS was the last holdout, and now here we are.  

It's hard to tell exactly what kind of gamer will be excited about this announcement.  Most kids are already playing Minecraft on any other number of devices, including but not limited to Nintendo Switch and Wii U.  However, there are almost certainly going to be kids who don't have dedicated tablets or phones, and who don't have most gaming consoles either.  Getting a New Nintendo 2DS XL for $150 and a copy of Minecraft for $30 is probably the most economical way to get into the game.

The big question here is, how well does the game run?  I've put a few hours into it so far, and honestly it's not that bad.  The footage shown off during the Nintendo Direct did not look particularly great, but when you see the game running on your handheld, despite the low resolution, it feels immediately like Minecraft.  Personally, I'm kind of stunned at how well the game runs on the handheld, considering the low resolution of the screen and the limited horsepower of the gameplay.

Some digging by more ambitious folks than I have shown that the game runs at a mostly steady framerate of around 20 fps, with occasional drops.  That's not great, but once again; considering the hardware, it's not bad.  In addition, the game houses larger worlds than even the Wii U version of the game.  Nintendo's least loved system allows for worlds of up to 864x864, whereas the 3DS game supports up to 2016x2016.  For comparison, the Switch version of the game goes as high as 3072x3072.

The game controls well on 3DS, although your mileage with the C-Stick nub may vary.  I found it a bit difficult at first, but adjusted quickly to using dual analog controls on my New 2DS XL.  One benefit of playing on the dual-screened handheld is that your map is on display at all times, making it easier to keep your bearings and explore with a bit lessened risk.  

The touch screen works well for inventory management and crafting (which was more than you could say for the Wii U game) but there's no drag-and-drop functionality.  Instead, you select an item, and select another cell, and the items will swap locations.  Using the D-Pad is the most comfortable way to use the inventory as a result.

There is no multiplayer support yet, although it is thought to be coming in a future update.  

If you have any questions about the functionality of Minecraft on New Nintendo 3DS, leave a comment below, or hit me up on twitter at @NWR_DrewMG or @Nintendo_NWR.

Podcast Discussion / Episode 230: Pretty in Purple
« on: July 06, 2017, 02:04:00 PM »

This episode features 3 + 1 people.

With the announcement of the Super Nintendo Classic Edition, Nick gathered some people we haven't heard from on Connectivity proper for awhile.

This episode features the return of Neal Ronaghan, Andy Goergen and John Rairdin as they spend an hour or so chatting about the Super Nintendo Classic Edition, the stock issues and various problems from the NES Classic and of course the exciting prospect of finally playing the completed Starfox 2!

The song selection for this week is the Starfox Space Suite from the WDR Radio Orchestra Cologne, FILMharmonic Choir.

Nintendo World Report is now on Patreon, and high rollers can name their topic for Connectivity, so head over to our Patreon page if you want to support us.

Connectivity has joined Twitter, so be sure to follow @ConnectivityNWR to be up to date on any announcements. We are wanting more listener participation, so feel free to ask questions, they may show up in the show!

Send us your listener mail by clicking here.

TalkBack / Elliot Quest (3DS) Review
« on: June 19, 2017, 07:31:08 AM »

The “definitive” version of the retro adventure is here for handheld gamers.

For months after its initial release on Wii U, I was told repeatedly that I would love Elliot Quest. A Zelda II style throwback with open world exploration and Metroid style dungeons, it seemed to be a game that would land squarely in my wheelhouse.  Even so, I put it off, even after purchasing it on Wii U.  Now that the game has been ported to 3DS by PlayEverywhere, I finally picked up my 8-bit bow and arrow and headed into the world of Elliot Quest.

Most of my time spent playing Elliot Quest was a mix of frustration and exhilaration that is perfectly paired with the classic style of adventuring plated here. On one hand, you have a game that starts you off without any sort of idea what you should be doing, or where you should be going.  The enemies are overpowered, and still earn cheap victories over you even as you gain abilities and powerups.  Because of the level of difficulty, every time you unlock a new tool in your arsenal it is immensely rewarding.  The double-jump in particular filled me with exhilaration as I began immediately revisiting old areas and seeing where I could go.

The game is broken up into four dungeons, split across gated areas of the overworld.  You will frequently run across a platforming challenge or obstacle you are not equipped to deal with.It can sometimes be frustrating to not understand (given the minimal assistance the game lends you) if you are meant to tackle this challenge now, or after you have collected some future power-up.  With the way you stumble across side-scrolling explorable areas on the overworld map, it can be easy to lose track of where you have and have not been.  

The story in the game wasn’t particularly gripping, but the tone of the storytelling is appealing.  Unfortunately, most of it just feels open ended and you’re forced to guess what is happening for much of the duration of the game.  Brief cut scenes help fill in the gaps, but mostly it felt nonsensical.  Regardless, the charm of the game is felt more firmly in the overall presentation; the pixel art and animation.  The visual style is an obvious throwback, feeling even more primitive than early NES games.  The 3D feature makes the backgrounds pop a bit, but it’s not quite as nice of an effect as something like Shovel Knight.  Still, it’s better than nothing.

The 3DS game was recently patched, which is good because I spent 15 hours playing the game with intense slowdown. For a version of Elliot Quest that’s billed as “definitive”, the slowdown in the game at launch was unforgivable.  The lateness of this review is mostly due to the fact that a patch was submitted to Nintendo shortly after launch to address the slowdown, but not released until almost a full month later.  Once released, the patched game runs much much more smoothly, but I did notice a few slowdown hiccups after the patch.  Closing the game and reloading from your last point resolves the issue, but that’s not an acceptable workaround in my book.

All in all, the post-patch version of Elliot Quest is a fun, but imperfect game.  The challenge can be overwhelming, and occasionally the save points are spaced a bit too far apart. Still, the skill development, open exploration, and side scrolling bow-and-arrow combat is worth checking out.  It’s not quite up to the level of other recent retro revivals like Shovel Knight or Blaster Master Zero, but if Zelda II is up your alley, Elliot Quest is worth a shot.

It seems to me that if licensing fees were part of the downfall, maybe they should just drop the third party games and relaunch the system with first party exclusives.  It might not be as appealing, but it's better than nothing.

But, the NES Classic is Nintendo Hardware and software that you wanted just because it's Nintendo hardware and software.

No, NES Classic is a product I wanted because I grew up playing NES Games, and this is by far the best treatment Nintendo has given it's 8-bit back catalog to date.  And even if it was just me buying a Nintendo product because that's what I do, $60 is a far easier impulse buy than Switch at $300.

I don't get it, honestly. I really don't. I have only heard of one other person even speak about getting an NES Classic, and I personally considered it for a fleeting moment before I realized that half of the games on it aren't very good. At all.

To you, maybe.  I was 6 years old when the NES launched.  These are my seminal gaming experiences.  I was 13 by the time I got another console (the Genesis, first, the SNES, later).  I played the NES incessantly in my grade school days.  These aren't just some old games to me, these are *THE* old games.  This is the origin of my gaming hobby.  It's worth $60.


Remember that time Nintendo launched a popular product and then immediately ceased production?

Nintendo has ceased production of the incredibly hard to find NES Classic, and I can't stop laughing.  I should be mad at a company that made it very difficult to find a product that I absolutely wanted, but instead I'm so beyond incredulous that I can't be mad.  Nintendo has made possibly the most Nintendo-like move of all time in ceasing production of probably its best-received product since the original Wii.

There are any number of reasons they could have done this.  Perhaps they came across production issues they just couldn't easily overcome, and figured the better answer rather than start over would be to just scratch the product and try again later.  Maybe there was a licensing deal with Tecmo, Konami, Square Enix, or another third-party partner that was a major roadblock for producing the NES Classic.  Quite frankly, there is no answer which makes the news any easier to swallow. For a company that has been selling products for over a hundred years, they have a shocking inability to measure supply and demand.

Looking back to 2006, at the original Wii console, we probably shouldn't be surprised. Critics shouted loudly that Nintendo was creating false scarcity by holding back production of the Wii to keep the thing hard to find.  This is a strategy that makes a lot of sense for two months.  Maybe even six, if it's a product you intend to sell for a long time.  At a certain point, however, you have to let the consumers who want to give you money for your product actually do so.  Two years was far too long for any sort of false scarcity argument to hold any water, and that's about how long the Wii was almost impossible to find without tracking retail inventory and waiting in line hours before opening.

Some might look at the struggles of Wii U and amiibo and think that Nintendo was overly conservative with NES Classic production as a result, but these are fundamentally different economic problems, and Nintendo knows that.  With amiibo, they had to balance production of dozens of different models, hoping that they wouldn't overproduce Mario figurines and underproduce Zero Suit Samus.  It's understandably a very tough challenge to meet, and in the end Nintendo has learned a lot of lessons, but done well.  With Wii U, they were clearly overconfident, but Wii U is a platform.  NES Classic is not; it's a toy that doesn't need to sell accessories or worry about attach rates for games.

From the very beginning, people knew NES Classic was going to be a hit.  It made mainstream news, and people who don't even buy video games in 2017 were interested in this product.  We knew it was going to be hard to find, but I don't think anyone thought that in April 2017, six months after release, the NES Classic would be a ghost.  It's simply flabbergasting.

At this point, we're stuck wondering a few things.

1) Does anyone at Nintendo earn a paycheck by estimating supply and demand?  If so, how long have they had their job?  They should be fired.

2) Will Nintendo relaunch NES Classic?  It seems to me that if licensing fees were part of the downfall, maybe they should just drop the third party games and relaunch the system with first party exclusives.  It might not be as appealing, but it's better than nothing.

3) How is Nintendo going to market their back catalog if not through Switch Virtual Console or NES Classic?  Nintendo is basically doing nothing with their archive library right now, and although Switch VC has been promised, no one has any idea what form it's going to take.

In the end, Nintendo will do what it wants to do, and no armchair marketing advice from me will change that.  But this type of baffling decision making is part of the reason I don't own a Switch yet.  I have a really hard time trusting Nintendo right now, and it may seem silly to tie this NES Classic gaffe to something as major as the new Nintendo console, but I'm past the point in my life where I feel compelled to buy Nintendo hardware just because it's Nintendo hardware.  They have to try a little harder than that, and when they make baffling decisions like discontinuing a sure thing like NES Classic, they're not doing a very good job of building that trust.

Podcast Discussion / Episode 224: Dragon Quest VIII Game Club Part 2
« on: April 11, 2017, 01:06:04 PM »

The adventure continues.

Neal, Andy, Zach and Nathan return for part two of their game club for Dragon Quest VIII. These episodes go out for our Patreon subscribers first, so if you just can't wait, you can become a Patreon subscriber to get access to this content early. This is the last part of the Dragon Quest VIII game club.

Nintendo World Report is now on Patreon, and high rollers can name their topic for Connectivity, so head over to our Patreon page if you want to support us.

Connectivity has joined Twitter, so be sure to follow @ConnectivityNWR to be up to date on any announcements. We are wanting more listener participation, so feel free to ask questions, they may show up in the show!

Send us your listener mail by clicking here.

TalkBack / The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Wii U Impressions)
« on: March 05, 2017, 06:24:00 AM »

The Hero of Legend arrives in the Forgotten Realm.

I didn’t buy a Switch.  The reasons are numerous, if fleeting (I’ll get one eventually), but the fact remains that if I wanted to play Zelda, I knew I could either wait until I got a Switch, or just buy the game on the platform that the game was originally developed for.  I convinced myself that there was little chance that the game would be dramatically better on Switch than on Wii U, and with that arrow in my quiver, I kept my March 2016 Amazon pre-order for Wii U Breath of the Wild.

I can’t compare the Wii U game directly to the Switch version in any meaningful capacity; my hands on time with the Switch version is limited to just 60 seconds or so. I can tell you that the Switch game looked more colorful, but that was on a different TV so it’s hard to judge. In lieu of a proper comparison (you might check out Digital Foundry for that), I can tell you what I’ve thought of my five hours with the game so far.  

First off, the bad: the frame-rate issues are real.  Whenever Link finds himself in a town, or occasionally when the environment seems spread wide open such as on a cliffside, the frame rate drops down to what feels like the 15-20 range.  It’s not unbearable, but it’s certainly noticeable, and it does take away a bit from the feeling that this is the best looking Nintendo game ever made.  (I’m looking directly at you, Wind Waker).  Even with the frame rate drops, the game runs smoothly.  There’s not much in the way of bugs or glitches in my experience.  The game is built to allow many different outcomes for many different circumstances, and for the most part it handles these unpredictable scenarios with aplomb.

The other nitpick from my perspective is that the game is not entirely playable with the Wii U Pro Controller.  You might think that this is a good candidate for such a game, as the Wii U GamePad is not used for anything meaningful except Off TV play 99% of the time.  Because most Wii U games were not designed in this fashion, I’ve gotten surprisingly little use out of my Pro Controller; most of the time it feels like playing without the GamePad requires too much sacrifice.  With Breath of the Wild, there’s basically no reason to use the GamePad when playing on TV….except that the game occasionally forces you into a motion control mini-game.  This is limited to a handful of shrines, but it’s frustrating when you have to swap controllers out just because Nintendo didn’t feel like remapping motion control to analog sticks in the shrines.  This, of course, would not be an issue on Switch because there is no controller on Switch without motion control (Editor’s Note: True, but try doing those with the Joy-Con L and R controllers separated. Hell on Earth).  

Other than that, my experience with the game has been entirely positive.  The game looks beautiful, runs acceptably, and feels distinctly different than any Nintendo game, and any Zelda game, made in the past 30 years.  The game doesn’t tell you what to do, it lets you figure things out on your own, leading to a satisfying sense of discovery and wonder as the world slowly starts to make sense around you.  If you’re not paying attention, you’ll miss things, and if you try to rush through the story objectives, you’ll find yourself woefully underprepared for the enemies you’ll encounter.  

In many ways, this game doesn’t really scratch the Zelda itch that I’ve come to know and love with games like Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker, and Skyward Sword. This is a different thing entirely. I had held off on buying Twilight Princess HD because I knew Breath of the Wild was right around the corner, but now I feel like I could go back and get that game and play them back to back without really feeling like I was getting two of the same type of game.  

The Wii U version of the game does have the same DLC and day one update as the Switch game.  The update took around 20 minutes to download and install, and I haven’t tried out the Expansion Pass yet.  The disc-based Wii U game even requires a 3 GB install to the system memory or hard drive.  The memory manager on Wii U told me that this was technically update data, so maybe that’s why the update took so long to install.

Another Wii U exclusive feature is that the game requires about 30 seconds to reload every time you exit the Home screen.  You get the impression that this game is pushing the Wii U harder than anything else Nintendo produced for the system; it’s no wonder they were so excited to publish this game on Switch, knowing that most people would happily play that version instead.

Nitpicks aside, if you’re wondering if the Wii U game is worth playing or if the Switch upgrade is really necessary, I feel comfortable in assuring you that you can’t really go wrong with either version of the game. While I’d love to have a shiny new Switch right now, there’s something reassuring about playing this game without the complications of launch hardware (Joy Con desync, battery life, etc).  If you’re also playing the game on Wii U, share your observations in the comments below.  How are you liking it?

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 77