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Podcast Discussion / Episode 224 - Delayed Gratification
« on: December 24, 2020, 02:00:21 PM »

The Bivs joins us for our annual Christmas Special... part 1. We jump into some Brain Age, Persona 5 Strikers, Casey's sad weekend, and Mystery History!

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! We're beyond happy to have Danny "The Bivs" Bivens joins us for our annual Christmas special. Although it plays out as this is party 1 of 2. Due to some shipping delays gifts weren't here in time, but we don't let that put a damper on the fun.

Danny gives us the skinny on Persona 5 Strikers as well as his continued grind in Brain Age. Casey had one of the most depressing weekends in a long while. Jerry is bringing the heat with a Mystery History!

If you have any questions, comments or concerns please contact by tweeting us  or by send us an email!

Please consider supporting us on Patreon, thank you!

Podcast Discussion / Episode 186 - If You Cheat, You Win!
« on: April 02, 2020, 12:33:27 PM »

The Bivs stops by to talk about early front runner for Game of the Year, RBI Baseball 20. Casey and Perry manage to get a few words in on Bravely Default 2 Demo and more Animal Crossing talk!

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 It's always a pleasure to be joined by Danny "The Bivs" Bivens, but it's next level when he's talking RBI Baseball 20. This guy is THE guy to talk to about the game and helps to ease the pain of no real baseball. Casey continues his Demo run as he dives into Bravely Default 2 and Jerry of course has been playing even more Brain Training, but he talks Animal Crossing to keep us sane!

If you have any questions, comments or concerns please contact by tweeting us  or by send us an email!

Please consider supporting us on Patreon, thank you!

Podcast Discussion / Episode 146 - Super Mario Assembler 2
« on: July 05, 2019, 07:50:00 AM »

Wooo Super Mario Maker 2! It's finally here, but we also touch on Devil May Cry and Fortnite! Then the Bivs stops by for some good ol Mystery Reversery fun.

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Super Mario Maker 2 has finally arrived and the boys are hard at play, at least when Perry isn't sweltering in the heat playing weddings. Diving into the story mode, level creation, and online play has left us with a bunch to talk about. BUT we have some other games to touch on as well, Casey's been playing Devil May Cry and Perry is dipping his toes back into that Fortnite goodness.

It's always fun to have guests, especially when they travel from the other side of the earth to join us! Danny "The Bivs" Bivens stops by for some Mystery Reversery shenanigans and it might seriously be the best one yet!  

If you have any questions, comments or concerns please contact by tweeting us  or by send us an email!

Please consider supporting us on Patreon, thank you!

Podcast Discussion / Episode 113 - Thanking Steve On Christmas Island
« on: November 15, 2018, 10:06:00 AM »

The boys are joined by Danny "The Bivs" Bivens and he brings the meanest Mystery History this side of the Mississippi. Then Oscar Brittain stops by to talk all things Desert Child!

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The boys are joined by none other than The Bivs! Yessir, Danny stops by and he brings to the table the meanest Mystery History you'll ever see! Then it's some Nontendo time with Casey's impressions of Call of Duty Black Ops 4. OH! And how could we forget an exclusive first listen to what Perry's been working on for Chicken Wiggle Workshop!

Danny ducks out for a bit, but to tide us over we're joined by Oscar Brittain all the way from Australia! He's the man behind the upcoming Desert Child and we get into the history as well as some fun chat about gaming in general! Make sure to check out the game when it launches December 11th, that's right the 11th of December.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns please contact by tweeting us  or by send us an email!

Podcast Discussion / Episode 66 - Auld Lang Syne - 2018 Predictions
« on: December 29, 2017, 09:56:00 AM »

Casey and Perry are joined by Danny Bivens and Nicholas Bray to talk 2018 predictions, but not before talking Pokemon Ultra moon, Zelda Breath of The Wild DLC, Rocket League, Vs. Super Mario Bros, Mutant Mudds Collection, and Blossom Tales.

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Danny and Nicholas join the boys to talk some Nintendie and we start out with a plethora of games We've Been Playing. Pokemon Ultra moon, Zelda Breath of The Wild DLC, Rocket League, Vs. Super Mario Bros, Mutant Mudds Collection, and Blossom Tales.

After a quick break we get into another crazy week on the eShop with over 20 new games hitting the digital store shelves. TINY METAL, Blossom Tales, Vs. Super Mario Bros to name just a few, but there's plenty to keep you busy. Oh and of course some more Neo Geo because, well ... it wouldn't be a week.

With the end of the year upon us, we take a look back at the predictions the boys made last year before moving onto what we think we'll see this year. There are a few crazy ones thrown out there, looking at you Perry, but overall if these things came true we'll be looking at a mighty fine 2018.

We want to thank Danny and Nick for joining us for our end of the year special! Make sure to check out Danny and the Famicast and Nick and Connectivity!  

Check out our YouTube Channel!  

If you have any questions, comments or concerns please contact by tweeting us  or by send us an email!

TalkBack / Re: NBA 2K18 (Switch) Review
« on: October 04, 2017, 10:32:42 AM »
I can’t speak specifically to this version, but in 2K14 it seems like the same system was in play. Sure you could use real money, but if you’re going through an entire season, you’ll have plenty of chances to improve your character. I started out terrible, but after two seasons, I went from a low 60s ranking to a mid to high 80s. It’s a time sink (I payed full quarters, probably about 150 hours), but you can make progress and enjoy the awesome gameplay.

TalkBack / Re: TGS 2017: Resident Evil Revelations (Switch) Hands-on Preview
« on: September 28, 2017, 11:52:50 AM »
It felt surprisingly good. I was really getting some RE4 Wii vibes from that aspect of it. It’s been awhile since I played RE4, but this felt like it takes less effort to handle the motion aiming.

TalkBack / TGS 2017: Nine Parchments (Switch) Hands-on Preview
« on: September 25, 2017, 10:01:00 PM »

Grab a buddy and get your magic on!

After first getting a look at Nine Parchments in video form earlier this year, the idea of getting to play a top down action co-op game on Switch was super appealing. Tucked away in the indie section of Tokyo Game Show, developer Frozenbyte had a Switch version of the title up and running with four controllers on standby. Even though I was by myself at the time, I got a chance to play co-op with the PR rep.

The TGS demo starts out by letting you pick your character. From there, you’re able to choose other items such as different staffs and hats. While the staffs and weapons will make a difference with attacks, the hats are purely cosmetic. After choosing an old rad looking wizard, we made our way into the demo stage.

Nine Parchments controls like a twin stick shooter where the left stick controls your character and the right stick controls where you send magic attacks. There is a melee attack as well,  but during my time with the game, it never really proved very useful. Characters also have the ability to jump and to perform a teleport dash. The dash is really fun to perform and can be extremely useful to teleport past enemies or just generally add some extra speed to your movement. To prevent players from spamming this, it has limited use.

Like the dash, attacks also have limits to how many times you can use them before they have to refill. Three different magical attacks were open to me - a fireball attack, an ice attack, and a laser-looking kind of attack. It behooves the player to choose specific kind of magical attacks depending on what kind of creature you are facing. For example, if you’re facing an ice based enemy, you’ll want to use a fire attack. If you find yourself dead like I did multiple times in the demo, your friends can revive you by stepping near the general area of your dead body. If that player stands in this area for a certain amount of time (which is represented by a circle that fills up), you will be revived.

Visually, Nine Parchments looks pretty good and the framerate is smooth. The game is set in the same world as the Trine series and you can totally see the similarities in the art style. Unfortunately being on a busy show floor, it was kind of hard to gauge the sound.

Nine Parchments is promising lots of customization options, up to eight playable characters (with multiple variants), around 50 spells and co-op with up to four players. The game looks and plays well and is really easy to jump in and out of. It definitely seems like it would be quite fun to play with some buddies on or offline. Nine Parchments is set to release on the Switch this year.

TalkBack / Re: TGS 2017: Gal Metal (Switch) Hands-on Preview
« on: September 25, 2017, 01:15:22 AM »
It wasn’t too difficult, honestly. I’m no musical wizard or anything, but if you can keep a beat in th slightest, you should be able to get into this easily...probably. I’m just not sure about a few things here. A.) The price of the game and b.) if there’s more to the game as a whole other than what was shown.

TalkBack / TGS 2017: Resident Evil Revelations (Switch) Hands-on Preview
« on: September 23, 2017, 10:34:00 PM »

Revelations is back on a Nintendo platform…again.

This isn’t the first rodeo for Resident Evil Revelations on a Nintendo platform. Originally starting out as a Nintendo 3DS game released back in early 2012, Revelations has been remastered in HD and is available on all last and current generation consoles. Not wanting to leave the Switch out in the cold, Capcom has decided to also bring the game out on Nintendo’s new platform. Not only that, but they also brought it to the Tokyo Game Show this year and I got a chance to try it out in docked mode.

As with Revelations 2, there are multiple options for what gamers were able to play on the show floor. I decided to basically play the game from the beginning and work my way through the prologue and part of the first episode. I was a bit apprehensive (and really had no choice), but I had the opportunity to try out the game with motion controls. Button placement is pretty consistent with previous releases of the game. Holding ZL aims, holding L controls the Genesis scanner, pressing ZR while aiming shoots and ZR by itself readies the knife.

As for motion controls, there are four optional things that you can do here - aim, reload, use the knife and escape enemy grapple attacks. I was really surprised with how well the aiming worked here. As soon as you hit ZL, you move around the right Joy Con. Of course, you can still aim with the right stick, but the motion aiming felt really nice. Reloading has two options with motion, one of which I couldn’t get to work. The quick and easy one was to just swing down the right Joy Con. The other, more complicated option, is to move the right Joy Con’s IR camera over your hand. The knife requires you to swing the right Joy Con to the right, and the grapple escape could be executed by moving the left Joy Con from left to right.

The visuals in Revelations aren’t necessarily bad, but they look a bit underwhelming by today’s standards. From afar, things look passable, but the closer you get to inspect something, the muddy textures stand out. Character models suffer less from this than do environmental things like walls or floors, but it was still noticeable. Honestly, most people probably won’t notice the visual shortcomings, but it should be noted that there is a bit of a “last gen” look here.

Resident Evil Revelations is starting to show it’s age visually. However, at the same time, the game still controls great. I’m not a huge proponent of motion controls, but the subtle additions with the Joy Con actually felt good. Switch owners won’t have to wait long as Revelations and Revelations 2 releases in late November.

TalkBack / TGS 2017: Resident Evil Revelations 2 (Switch) Hands-on Preview
« on: September 23, 2017, 09:45:00 PM »

Well, it's about time this comes to a Nintendo platform!

Capcom is continuing their support on the Nintendo Switch with the releases of the Revelations titles later this year. While it might not be super exciting, it does mark the first time that Revelations 2 will be available on a Nintendo platform. Lucky for us, Capcom decided to bring the game to the Tokyo Game Show this year.

Revelations 2 supports both standard controls and motion based controls. The Joy-Con were set up detached from the grip for the demo. There were a few different options in terms of scenario, but I just opted to play a sample of the story mode. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a whole lot of combat to be found in what I played. It was mainly just a lot of walking around soaking in bits of the story. Even though motion controls are an option, they were not active for my playthrough. Case in point, to use the knife you can swing one of the Joy-Cons. It wasn’t working for me, however by pressing the ZL button, I was able to knife an incoming monster.

The visuals in Revelations 2 are very sharp and look great on the Switch in docked mode. Textures looked pretty crisp and the game ran at a solid framerate. Most of the area in the demo was pretty dark, but the lighting effects and overall look felt great.

Thinking back, I really wish I would have opted for a more action oriented demo to get more of a feel for the game. Unfortunately, seemingly endless lines during the TGS public day made it almost impossible to get back in to give it a shot. Regardless, from what I did play, Revelations 2 is shaping up to be a good port. The final version of the game will not only support motion controls like I mentioned above, but also will support amiibo as well as the touchscreen. For those that missed out on the game on other platforms, this version will be something to look forward to when November rolls around.

TalkBack / TGS 2017: Gal Metal (Switch) Hands-on Preview
« on: September 23, 2017, 03:35:00 PM »

Tak Fujii is back with a brand new rhythm game for Switch!

If your instruments from Rock Band or Guitar Hero gathering dust are any indication, it’s pretty clear that the music genre has been in a bit of a decline in recent years on consoles. Enter Tak Fujii. Former manager and producer at Konami, and even a former drummer in a band, Tak felt now was the perfect time to bring a motion based music game to the Nintendo Switch. Lucky for us, Tak was at Tokyo Game Show at the DMM Games booth showing off the title.

Controls in Gal Metal are extremely simple and based completely on motion. By moving the right Joy-Con up and down (like a drum stick), you will hit the snare drum. If you move the left Joy-Con, that will hit the…other drum (I’m no musician, so please forgive me for my lack of knowledge of the naming conventions of drums!). If you swing both Joy-Con at the same time, you’ll strike the symbols. The beauty of Gal Metal is that it’s built so that anyone can pick up and play it regardless of musical ability.

Unlike most music games, there are no notes that you have to hit. There is no pass or fail. It’s pretty similar to Wii Music in the fact that you just play at your own pace. You can also play as slowly or as quickly as you like as the other instruments will match your pace. As you play, you will gain points based on performing combos between the different kinds of hits. Again, regardless of musical ability, you will always get through the song. The harder and faster you play, you’ll get more points that will help you take out an extraterrestrial enemy.

Without giving too much away, the story in Gal Metal revolves around a high school girl who is roped into a band as a drummer. The whole reason that the band is playing is to defeat an alien force that has invaded Tokyo. Through the power of metal, it’s your task to basically rock them right off the planet. There’s some even more ridiculous story elements, but it would be more fun to find out for yourself when you get the chance to play.

The visuals are manga/anime inspired and look fantastic. The story is brought to life via manga cells while the gameplay is cel shaded to match the aesthetic. Everything runs smoothly and your motions are matched pretty well with the on screen high school drummer. Added to all of this are metal tunes that set this game apart from other music titles to come before it.  

The visual aesthetics and the general ease of play made my time with Gal Metal at TGS enjoyable. The story is also full of anime weirdness that is both cute and entertaining. The demo only had a tutorial and one song, so it’s kind of hard to gauge the staying power that Gal Metal will have when it launches next February in Japan. Regardless, I enjoyed my time with this unique title.

For more on the game, be sure to check out our interview with Tak Fujii from the show floor above.

TalkBack / TGS 2017: Splasher (Switch) Hands-on Preview
« on: September 23, 2017, 01:49:00 AM »

If Meat Boy and Splatoon had a child, this might be what it looks like.

Splasher is a fast paced 2D platformer from publisher Playdius and developer Splashteam which is made up of former Rayman developers. Equipped with an ink shooting cannon, players control the purple haired protagonist through beautifully crafted 2D stages waging war on a paint factory that has enslaved its workers. While the game doesn’t have a solid release date for the Switch just yet (it’s coming to PS4, Xbox One, PC and Mac on September 26), Japanese publisher Flyhighworks had Switch versions of the game running in their booth at Tokyo Game Show this year. Of course, I had to give it a try.

The demo starts out in a 2D hub world that contains different doors that you could access to enter individual stages. I got to play through half of the ]stages that were unlocked. It’s a very Kirby-like in terms of layout as the doors for the levels are spread out through the hub.

The controls in Splasher are super quick and feel great. There are also several interesting elements that help set it apart from most platformers on the market. Throughout the stages, you will come across areas that are covered in paint. If you jump on a wall or ceiling covered with this paint, you will stick to it and be able to traverse just as quickly as you would while moving normally. While these pink colored splattered walls gave players this ability in the demo, yellow covered areas gave players the ability to bounce at higher trajectories than they could normally jump. According to the developers, several other abilities like this will become available to players the further they get into the game.

There is also a bit of a shooting element to the game. While the use of the cannon was minimal in the first few levels, there were some interesting uses other than just shooting baddies. Of course you still shoot some bad guys, but just as often you’ll be using the cannon to help you hit switches and or other items to make progress. One interesting encounter I had was when I came across a huge wall that I could move by shooting a switch. As the wall moved, it ran into enemies and eventually crushed them into a wall of spikes.

The visuals are very colorful and vibrant and the animations are crisp and well done. The game also runs super smoothly and I didn’t come across any hiccups in the framerate. This is super important considering that the stages have a speedrun mentality to them.

What little bit of Splasher that I played on Switch was a pleasant surprise. The game’s brisk pace matched with challenge and the slime mechanics of climbing all over the surfaces was really fresh and entertaining. It’s basically Super Meat Boy with a gun and the ability to run on walls and ceilings. There’s no official release date for the Switch version just yet, but hopefully it’ll reach a Switch near you really soon.

TalkBack / TGS 2017: Fire Emblem Warriors (Switch) Hands-on Preview
« on: September 22, 2017, 03:00:00 AM »

There's just a little bit more to this button mashing Fire Emblem.

While I’m not a huge fan of Fire Emblem or the Warriors/Musō games, I did have a really good time with Hyrule Warriors. The fanfare and the simple controls were fantastic and I found myself sinking more time into the Wii U version of the game than I had any right to. Fast forward to 2017 and the Fire Emblem series is at an all time high, including getting its own entry into the Koei Tecmo’s Warriors series of games. I got to take a look at the game at the Tokyo Game Show and walked away fairly impressed.

The controls in Fire Emblem Warriors are pretty much what you’ve come to expect from the series as a whole. You have heavy and light attacks as well as the ability to do special moves to take out even more enemies. It’s not all mindless, though. When you are facing tougher enemies, you’ll have to make sure to use the block button and plan your attacks carefully. Case in point, I got completely wrecked by Corrin after just trying to spam attacks. Clearly not a good strategy!

Fire Emblem Warriors is a really great looking game. The cel shading really fits the anime art style and runs silky smooth on the Switch playing in docked mode. The main playable characters are incredibly detailed and main enemies that come in are equally as detailed. Per usual, the ample number of no name soldiers are kind of drab and nothing special.

One addition I really liked that I saw in previous Warriors games (with Hyrule Warriors on 3DS as well as another Warriors game I played a TGS a few years back) is the ability to quickly change between playable characters on the fly. With 3DS versions of the games, this was handled by utilizing a map that was laid out on the touch screen. Here, they simply map the switching of characters to the d-pad. It’s fast and you can get to areas that you need to protect quicker than you could by hoofing it all the way across the map.

Like Hyrule Warriors (which has considerably more reach), Fire Emblem Warriors sticks to the tried and true gameplay of the Warriors/Musō series and shows enough familiar faces to keep super fans engaged. If you’re like me and have basically only played the Fire Emblem mobile offering, this probably isn’t going to get you there. However, the smooth gameplay and great visuals could be appealing. The game launches in Japan on September 29 and in North America and Europe on October 20.

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 95 - STIFFNESS AT SWITCHMAS
« on: January 16, 2017, 11:14:36 PM »
Fatty, all of the content (minus the stuff we do on Periscope/Twitter Live) is baked into the episode!

I'm also hearing about a problem with the MP3 feed. I'm going to check on that as soon as I can!

TalkBack / My Nintendo Store Coming, Opening Soon in Japan
« on: January 12, 2017, 09:40:00 PM »

A new digital shopping destination for hardware, special edition software and more is opening very soon.

Nintendo is opening the My Nintendo Store, an online shop, on January 23 in Japan. The store will be open to My Nintendo users in Japan and give the opportunity to buy exclusive goods. Starting with the Switch, account holders are able to order Nintendo’s newest system from the site and can customize the colors of the Joy Con and the Joy Con straps. The system remains the same retail price of ¥29,980 and will also net members 300 gold points.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is also going to have a special limited My Nintendo Store version of the Deluxe Collector’s Edition of the game. The regular Deluxe Collector’s Edition comes with a physical version of the game, a Link Breath of the Wild Amiibo (on a horse), map, sound track and a special design sheet. The limited My Nintendo Store version includes all of the above as well as a Master Sword statue and a set of 20 postcards. The statue is about 10 inches tall (25 cm). This set will retail for ¥13,870 (about $120 USD).

Special limited versions of the Switch carrying case will also be available in Neon Blue and Neon Red to match the colors of the Joy Con. On top of this, customers who also purchase both Switch Hardware and software titles will receive Special B2 size posters featuring artwork of the games they purchased. Also, simply logging in to the My Nintendo Store on or after January 23 will also net members 100 platinum points.

Currently, the My Nintendo Store seems to be limited to Japan.


Win big, or at least listen to some hot tunes while waiting in line to play Switch.

Both a Nintendo Switch giveaway and live music are coming to the Nintendo Switch public event being held at Tokyo Big Sight on January 14 and 15. Two music arrangements, a big band/jazz arrangement by Masanori Sasaji and a rock arrangement by Tetsuya Oyama, will both be at the show. The rock arrangements will be performed at the opening of the show on both days lasting for thirty minutes each and the end on the show on the 14th lasting for forty minutes. The big band arrangement will be performed at the end of the event for an hour on the 15th.

Twenty lucky attendees (ten from each day) will also have a chance to win a Nintendo Switch console. To enter the drawing, attendees will have to sign into their My Nintendo account, click the menu button and then click “check in.” This will generate a QR code. A special reception corner will be set up at Tokyo Big Sight with a QR reader that can read the generated QR code and register users into the drawing. The twenty lucky winners will be notified via email around the end of February. Entry is limited to one time per person and only to those residing in Japan.

Entry for the event is free, open to the public and one of many events that will be held in Japan leading up to the release of the Switch. Currently, the live music and Switch giveaway are limited to this first event in Japan.

TalkBack / Super Mario Happy Meals Coming McDonald’s in Japan
« on: December 25, 2016, 09:27:01 PM »

Get your grub on with your pals from the Mushroom Kingdom at locations all across Japan.

Super Mario themed Happy Sets (Happy Meals) are coming to McDonald’s across Japan starting on January 6. Twelve toys in total will be available ranging from characters like Mario, Luigi and Bowser to items like question blocks and the iconic block staircase. There will also be a special series of stage stickers and a booklet that will only be available on January 7, 8 and 9. For a full look at the toys, be sure to check out the video below.

TalkBack / Tank Troopers for 3DS Dated in Japan
« on: December 14, 2016, 12:30:27 AM »

Nintendo's competitive tank combat title will be hitting digital shelves very soon.

Tank Troopers, the third person action shooter for Nintendo 3DS, is set to release in Japan on December 21 on the 3DS eShop for ¥800 (roughly $6.95 USD with current rates). Nintendo also opened up the official Japanese website for the game today.

While the main draw of Tank Troopers is its competitive six player multiplayer mode, the game also features single player challenge modes as well. Some of the single player content highlighted in the most recent preview video include taking on giant tanks, shooting balloons as well as a soccer-like mode where players have to shoot a ball into a goal. On top of this, there are numerous tanks to choose from with different stats as well as different playable characters that all have their own special abilities.

You can see the new seven minute preview video below. Currently, there is no word as to when Tank Troopers will release outside of Japan.

I've actually never played Live A Live. I'm interested in it, though. I did just end up picking up Super Punch Out, though. Believe it or not, I haven't ever played until now!

With Pop'n TwinBee, that was actually released on the Wii U VC in Europe and Australia. Getting a bit late for it to be released in North America, unfortunately, though.

TalkBack / Super Famicom Wars, Live A Live and More Hit 3DS eShop in Japan
« on: November 28, 2016, 12:44:28 AM »

The second batch celebrating all things Super Famicom hit Nintendo's handheld today.

Following up on last week’s release of Super Famicom games on the New Nintendo 3DS, six more titles were released on the Virtual Console service today in Japan. The titles released today are Kirby KiraKira Kids, Super Famicom Wars, Fire Emblem: Thracia 776, Mario’s Super Picross, Pop’n TwinBee and Live A Live. This brings the total number of available Super Famicom games on the 3DS to 37.

Also as mentioned last week, My Nintendo members that purchase any Super Famicom title on the 3DS eShop will receive a free My Nintendo Super Famicom theme for 3DS. The theme is only available between November 21 to December 5.

TalkBack / More Super Famicom Titles Hit New 3DS in Japan
« on: November 21, 2016, 01:40:50 AM »

Here's to 26 years of Super Famicom!

Seven Super Famicom titles hit the (New) Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console service today in Japan as part of a two week celebration marking the classic 16-bit console’s 26th anniversary. Super Punch Out!!, Super Castlevania IV, Mega Man X3, Final Fight 2, Final Fight 3, Romancing SaGa and Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together all saw releases. This is just the first batch of Super Famicom games with another batch of six undisclosed titles scheduled to hit the service next Monday, November 28.

On top of the newly released games, My Nintendo members that purchase any Super Famicom title on the 3DS eShop will receive a free My Nintendo Super Famicom theme for 3DS. The theme is only available between November 21 to December 5.

This recent batch of Super Famicom Virtual Console titles marks the first release on the service in Japan since F-Zero X was released on the Wii U earlier this month.

TalkBack / Monster Hunter Stories (3DS) Hands-on Preview
« on: October 27, 2016, 08:00:01 PM »

We take a deep look into the combat system in Capcom’s latest Monster Hunter title.

It’s important to note that when coming in to Monster Hunter Stories, you should not take the in-game systems lightly. Despite being a game aimed toward a younger and less hardcore audience, Capcom’s latest foray into this transmedia property offers a more complex experience than would be expected. After spending around ten hours with the final retail build of the game, I can honestly say that this unique take on the world of Monster Hunter is not only fun and interesting, but also intricate in more ways than I thought possible.

First and foremost, you are able to have up to five monsters, or monsties (Otomon in Japanese), in your party at a time and are able to swap them in combat. You are also able to use special abilities of the monsties throughout the overworld. With that said, having a balanced team of monsties with different abilities can be extremely helpful when exploring. For example, having a monster with jump will give you the ability to jump from specific “jump points” throughout the world that can either get you to areas that progress the story or get you to some rare items. Swimming works the same way - as long as there is a sloped access point to water, you are able to swim and locate things. There was even a monster that sent out what amounts to a radar-like signal that reveals all of the items nearby on the touch screen map. It’s really cool and makes you want to have a good variety of monsters on your team at all times. There are a total of 109 different monsties to find, and you have room for 200 of them in your monster stable.

In case you missed my impressions from the past two Tokyo Game Shows (TGS 2015, TGS 2016), combat is intricate and yet easy enough to grasp. Rather than the active gameplay the Monster Hunter games are known for, Stories is a turn based RPG that has players going through menus laid out nicely on the touch screen. Your team consists of the player character and one monstie at a time as you face off against up to three other enemy monsters. Typical RPG-like actions are selectable on the touch screen such as standard attacks, items, skills, monstie swapping, running away, or monstie skills. Monstie attacks and skills are automatically chosen if you don’t do it yourself. Again, with Stories being turn based, you are free to go as slowly or quickly as you like.

As for standard attacks, Stories uses a rock-paper-scissors mechanic. After choosing the standard attack, you are given the choice to either use a speed, power, or technique based attack. If you win the engagement, you will take minimal damage and deal out more to your opponent and vice versa. It should be noted that while ever present, this element of combat only comes into play as long as the monster you are facing and your character or monstie are focused on each other. Basically, if the monster I’m fighting is focusing on my monstie and my in game avatar attacks it, the enemy will take damage but my avatar will be fine. If both you and your monstie choose the same kind of attack and win against an opposing monster, you’ll do a special combination attack that deals out a significant amount of damage.

While the rock-paper-scissors element of combat plays a large role, there are times when you can use attacks or moves that don’t use power, speed or technique. This is mainly when using items or status effect skills. At the same time, attack based skills will have one of the attack types attached to them. Depending on your choice, you can take minimal damage from a pretty fierce attack or find yourself knocking on deaths door rather quickly. Speaking of death, Stories is pretty generous in that department. Players start out with three “Life Points” indicated by three hearts on the bottom of the upper screen. Any time that either your character or monstie loses all of their HP, you lose a life point. If you lose all three of them, you’ll exit the battle and be placed on the map a short distance from where you were. I’ve come close to losing all three life points in my time with that game but have never gotten completely wiped out.

Although players are able to ride their monsties freely in the overworld, the ability to ride your monstie in battle is based entirely on a gauge in the center of the touch screen called the “Kinship Gauge.” Filling up the gauge is a matter of working together with your monstie during the battle. For example, healing it or doing the combination attacks mentioned above will fill up the gauge. Once full, players can press the Y button to mount their monstie. From there, continuing to successfully pull off a power, speed or technique attack increases the kinship level on the gauge. The higher the kinship level (I believe it goes to level three or four), the more damage can be dealt with a special attack. Of course, as with the standard attacks, this has a high level of risk and reward. While you may get the chance to have a super powerful attack to pounce on the enemy, there is also the chance that the monster can knock you off of your mount, completely nullifying your chance of doing the special attack. This kind of decision making isn't something that comes into play while fighting lower level monsters, but rather boss monsters or more powerful on field foes.

It’s fairly obvious that the combat here in Monster Hunter Stories is quite different from anything you’ve experienced in other mainline Monster Hunter games. At the same time, the level of complexity that is found in the mainline series still carries over into this new take on the world. It’s very fresh, and while complicated, not overly difficult to get the hang of after spending even just a little bit of time with it.

TalkBack / Re: Nintendo Announces Switch Presentation On January 12
« on: October 27, 2016, 04:49:46 AM »
Baring some kind of family emergency, I'm totally going to be at the public event to get some hands-on impressions for Switch! Hopefully they'll have events close to you guys as well!

For the hands on stuff, this is just cool. For the Wii U here in Japan, aside from a few demos of some pretty undesirable games at TGS back in 2012, there was absolutely NO venue that allowed gamers to try out the system. The 3DS on the other hand had a special event that was open to the public about a month before it came out.

TalkBack / Monster Hunter Direct Hitting Japan this Week
« on: October 24, 2016, 05:37:13 AM »

A major announcement is incoming from Capcom regarding one of their most lucrative series on Nintendo platforms.

A Monster Hunter Direct is scheduled to hit Japan Thursday, October 27 at 8 p.m. (JST, 7 a.m. ET). While no specifics were given on what will actually be unveiled, the event will not feature any titles for mobile platforms or the Nintendo Switch. It is very possible that whatever they're showing off will be coming to 3DS and is indeed the new Monster Hunter title that Capcom hinted at in mid September.

Per usual, the event will be streamed on YouTube and NicoNico. You can get access to the streams from the NCL page for the event.

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