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Messages - Shaymin

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TalkBack / Super Mario "Customization" LEGO Set Announced
« on: January 19, 2021, 05:17:40 AM » there something about one Koopa Kid that makes them easier to LEGO?

Another LEGO Mario set has been announced.

The "Master Your Adventure Maker Set" is now available on LEGO's website and is coming soon to retailers. Retailing for US$59.99, the set includes mini-figures of Goomba, Koopa Paratroopa, Bob-omb, and Larry Koopa.

The interactive elements include a timer block, two item blocks, and a pipe that creates a 30 second challenge.

TalkBack / Kingdoms Of Amalur: Re-Reckoning Stabs March 16 Release Date
« on: January 19, 2021, 04:21:17 AM »

From the mind that has no chance of making it to Cooperstown.

One of 2018's oddest business deals is finally paying off for Switch owners.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning, the re-release of the 2012 western RPG, will come to Switch on March 16. The remade version launched on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One last year.

The Re-Reckoning version is published by THQ Nordic, who acquired the publishing rights from Electronic Arts in a deal announced in September of 2018. Originally developed by Big Huge Games, Amalur was meant to lead into a massively multiplayer online RPG from 38 Studios, the developer founded by 1993 World Series runner-up Curt Schilling.

TalkBack / Balan Wonderworld Receiving Switch Demo January 28
« on: January 19, 2021, 03:50:35 AM »

So both of the big third party releases on March 26 have demos now.

An early preview is coming for Balan Wonderworld.

The Yuji Naka-helmed 3D platformer from Square Enix will have a Switch demo released next Thursday (January 28). The scope of the demo has not been announced.

The full game launches on March 26.

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 705: Only the Cat Will Know
« on: January 18, 2021, 07:50:58 PM »
I'm not sure if the thing I regret buying most is the Genesis Mini I still haven't unboxed (I told myself I was waiting for the chance to mod it to remove Virtua Fighter 2) or Ring Fit Adventure (haven't used it, though it makes a nice karma cart for my Switch).

The thing I miss buying most is the loose cart FFV Advance that was at my local EB for like two years, since V is the only FF of the first 7 that I haven't beaten because there really isn't a suitable version to play.

TalkBack / Wrestling Empire (Switch) Review
« on: January 18, 2021, 10:39:00 AM »

It’s not the Joey Marella of wrestling games. It is creeping into Dino Bravo territory.

The art of professional wrestling has had a very rough go on the Switch thus far if you’re looking for a serious simulation. Aside from a couple of Nintendo Switch Online releases (Pro Wrestling, Natsume Championship Wrestling) there’s been one botched WWE game from 2K and that’s it. Enter 20-year veteran of game development MDickie with his first Switch outing in Wrestling Empire, which definitely needed some more time in Dark before making its Dynamite debut.

Wrestling Empire isn’t licensed by any promotion that I can think of, major or minor. All of the companies and independent contractors contained within are fictional, though you can use the editor mode to make them a little more recognizable if you have enough patience. There are three main gameplay options: Exhibition for one-off matches with up to four local players, Career for unlocking new characters to play with, and the Editor. There’s the usual array of match types available (single or team matches, battle royales, steel cages) along with a couple that I’ve not seen in a Sumo match (only way to win is to knock the opponent out of the ring) and a “Last Laugh” match which might be known as a “Scramble” in other promotions (whoever gets the last pin or submission wins). I should stress that the Editor is just that: there’s no option that I can find to create a wrestler from whole cloth, which ruined my plans for Clarence Beeftank to make his pro wrestling debut. The career mode sees you select a character and work your way up from “Wrestling School” to being the champion of a major promotion and making all of the money along the way. The character will have to make choices that are realistic (take steroids or no?) or in-universe (pay someone to attack your opponent before the match?) including the option to jump promotions when the contract expires with your current company. The story mode does have some odd booking though: I had one match where I pinned the opponent five times (the second and third after the owner ordered the match restarted, the last two after the “Let’s go again, that result was BS” routine) and it would have been more if I didn’t turn down the sixth fall.


Once the bell rings, the control of your wrestler(s) of choice will take a while to get used to. In theory, moves are similar to the AKI games: movement is on the left stick, and there’s a strike and grapple button which can be used to set up moves. In practice, I found myself wanting to change controls, but there’s no option to do it that I could find. There’s also some basic functions, such as countering move attempts or picking up a downed opponent, that simply don’t appear to be present. Also, moving in and out of the ring is done by holding toward the ring, which leads to “hilarity” ensuing since this is also done for the wrestler’s entrance even if the match is taking place in a steel cage. It’s been a few years since I’ve seen a cage match, but I’m pretty sure entering the ring is either done through a door or the cage is put in place after everyone’s in the ring. Not so in Wrestling Empire.

The engine tries and is actually kind of impressive for a solo project, but there’s still some odd collision detection things. The biggest example of this came during story mode: I went to hit my opponent with a move called a “double axe handle.” For those who don’t know what that is, my character would jump off the corner of the ring while holding one hand with the other and swinging downward like an axe. When I did this somewhat basic move, my character bounced off the opponent and ended up three characters high in the air, overshooting the mats that surround the ring and landing back first on the concrete floor. If a wrestler fell like that in a wrestling match, they would probably be dead or at least in a wheelchair. In Wrestling Empire, that’s just another day at the office. Also, why do the cameras in this game explode when dropped?

Wrestling will have a different atmosphere depending on where the match is taking place. It’s a way different atmosphere if the show’s in a small room, a bingo hall, or a big arena. There’s some neat concessions to modern times as well, as you can control the crowd size for a match and even choose a “fans on monitors” option like the NBA’s 2020 playoff bubble or WWE’s “Thunderdome” had. Though the chants are going to be present no matter where you are: why is a crowd at a Japanese puroesu show chanting anything, let alone “E-C-W” or “LET’S GO CE-NA/CE-NA SUCKS” or more fecal chants? For that matter, why are they doing chants for promotions or wrestlers that aren’t even in the game? There’s enough doubt in the chants that it’s not immediately obvious, but it definitely sounds that way to me.

It is kind of impressive that one person was able to create a Switch wrestling game that runs well part of the time when two teams at a major pub couldn’t even pull that off. However, Wrestling Empire isn’t quite “so bad it’s good” territory, nor is it the worst. It’s basically the small indie wrestling company bringing in a guy with TV exposure to sell tickets. And with more competition coming in the short and hopefully longer terms for Switch wrestling games, it’ll be one of those “Oh yeah, that happened” games in short order.

TalkBack / Dystopic Thriller Republique Coming To Switch Next Month?
« on: January 18, 2021, 06:45:00 AM »

As of now, the page is still invisible.

A title intended to bring a "good game to mobile" may be coming to Switch next month according to a game listing.

Republique, the dystopic thriller originally developed for mobile and later released on PC and PlayStation 4, has appeared on Nintendo of America's game list with a release date of February 25 and prices of $9.99 US / $12.59 Canadian. There is no image showing the game (unlike other releases) and the link returns a "page not found" error.

Republique was created by Camoflaj, a studio founded by former Konami / Kojima Productions lead Ryan Payton; Nintendo World Report founder Billy Berghammer worked on the game's 2012 Kickstarter campaign.

TalkBack / Nintendo Downloads - January 21, 2021
« on: January 18, 2021, 02:25:00 AM »

Agent 47 reports for duty, but if you have a slow connection this is a backlog week.

The big game for this week is Hitman 3 on all platforms - yes, including Switch, as the Cloud version comes out this week. I'm still not sure about how the introduction of Hitman 2016/Hitman II content would be handled on Switch if at all, but if you've got a smooth enough connection it's going to be the topic of conversation a lot this week.

Although Hitman coming this week was announced last minute, it seems like major devs mostly ducked this week anyway. Two weeks ago I called a big New Year's sale in NA and last Thursday,  it delivered. (Sale runs through Thursday.) And thank Naga it did, because... I'm having a hard time picking up other spotlight games for this week. I guess Tadpole Treble is the big one, though I could hear the argument for the space shooter Missile Dancer or two of the "Donald's BS" specials: Ephemeral - Fantasy on Dark or Grisaia 5.5.

Even the rest of the world is slowly playing catch-up this week. Thankfully, next week has a couple of major items of my BS as well  as the publisher debut for one of the Switch's early partners.

North America

Switch eShop

Ephemeral: Fantasy on Dark (US$37.99/C$47.99)

Shing! ($19.99/$25.00)

Bezier: Second Edition ($19.99/$24.99)

Nosferatu Lilinor ($17.14/$?)

The Unexpected Quest ($15.00/$19.00: Saturday)

Grisaia: Phantom Trigger 5.5 ($14.99/$19.94)

Spinny's Journey ($14.99/$18.99: Monday)

Abyss: The Wraiths of Eden ($14.99: Friday)

Sally Face ($14.99/$?)

Unspottable ($11.99/$15.11)

All Walls Must Fall ($9.99/$13.29: Wednesday)

Missile Dancer ($9.99/$11.99)

Otti: The House Keeper ($8.99/$11.96: Wednesday)

Tadpole Treble Encore ($8.99/$11.96)

War Truck Simulator ($7.99/$10.63; Tuesday)

Red Colony ($6.99/$9.30: Monday)

Cattch ($6.99/$9.30: Friday)

Ghostanoid ($6.99/$8.81)

Air Bounce: The Jump 'n Run Challenge ($5.99/$7.99)

Adverse ($5.99/$7.55: Friday)

Olympic Table Tennis ($4.99/$6.99: Monday)

The Game Is On ($4.99/$6.99)

Bouncing Hero ($4.99/$6.64)

Frodoric The Driver ($4.99/$6.64)

Gradiently ($4.99/$6.49: Friday)

Clay Skeet Shooting ($3.99/$5.03: Sunday)

Chess Royal ($2.99/$3.99)

Colorful Colore ($2.99/$3.98: Friday)

Legend of Numbers ($2.99/$3.98: Saturday)

Jiffy ($2.00/$2.50)

Hitman 3: Cloud Edition (free trial, pricing TBA: Wednesday)

Sales and Price Drops

Highlights: Nintendo's New Years sale is on until Thursday night, and Cyber Shadow has a 25% discount offer for preloading. PSPrices, DekuDeals, @eShopNotifier


Switch eShop

Ephemeral: Fantasy on Dark (€31.99/£28.79: Wednesday)

Bezier: Second Edition (€24/£19.99)

Shing! (€19.99/£17.99)

Grisaia: Phantom Trigger 5.5 (€14.99/£13.49)

Abyss: The Wraiths of Eden (€14.99/£13.49: Friday)

The Unexpected Quest (€14.99/£13.49: Saturday)

Dungeon Nightmares I & II Collection (€13.99/£11.99: Monday)

Sally Face (€12.99/£11.69)

Spinny's Journey (€11.99/£10.99: Monday)

Unspottable (€11.99/£9.99)

Epitath (€10.29/£9.29: Tuesday)

All Walls Must Fall (€9.99/£8.99: Wednesday)

Missile Dancer (€9.99/£8.99)

Dadish (€9.00/£8.19: Monday)

Otti: The House Keeper (€7.99/£7.19: Wednesday)

Danger Gazers (€8.99/£8.09: Monday)

Balancelot (€7.99/£7.99: Friday)

War Truck Simulator (€7.99/£7.19: Tuesday)

Cattch (€7.00/£6.29: Friday)

Red Colony (€6.99/£6.29: Monday)

Ghostanoid (€6.99/£6.29: Wednesday)

Air Bounce: The Jump 'n Run Challenge (€5.99/£5.99)

Adverse (€5.29/£4.79: Friday)

Olympic Table Tennis (€4.99/£4.99: Monday)

The Game Is On (€4.99/£4.99)

Frodoric The Driver (€4.99/£4.49)

Dark Sauce (€4.99/£4.49: Friday)

Gradiently (€4.99/£4.49: Friday)

Clay Skeet Shooting (€3.99/£3.99: Sunday)

Bouncing Hero (€3.99/£3.59)

Chess Royal (€2.99/£2.69)

Colorful Colore (€2.99/£2.69: Friday)

Legend of Numbers (€2.99/£2.69: Friday)

Jiffy (€2.00/£1.79)

Hitman 3: Cloud Edition (free trial, pricing TBA: Wednesday)


Samurai Jack: Battle Through  Time (¥5478)

Ephemeral: Fantasy on Dark (¥4290)

Shing! (¥4180)

Grisaia: Phantom Trigger 5.5 (¥1500)

Gryphon Knight Epic: Definitive Edition (¥1320)

Unspottable (¥1250)

Abyss: The Wraiths of Eden (¥990)

Bouncing Hero (¥500)

Legend of Numbers (¥499)

TalkBack / Nintendo Sales Panic: December 2020 US NPD Group Results
« on: January 15, 2021, 04:14:36 AM »

For those wondering about the effect of returns on sales charts, the answer is "not much" apparently.

Nintendo finished 2020 with another triumph in hardware sales and a strong month of software sales in the US.

All data from November 29/20 to January 2/21 and are based on dollar sales unless noted. Most third parties contribute digital eShop sales to the survey, but Nintendo does not provide sales for its titles.

Hardware saw the Switch as the best selling hardware for the record-extending 25th month in a row, leading both hardware dollar and unit sales. For 2020 in North America, the Switch's dollar sales are the second highest for any platform in the history of the survey, behind only the 2008 sales of the Wii.

Although the top 5 slots in the sales chart are not on Switch (Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War, Cyberpunk 2077, Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, Spiderman: Miles Morales, and Madden NFL 21), Nintendo takes up ten slots in the remaining 15. Animal Crossing leads at #6, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe follows at #7, Super Mario 3D All-Stars finished 10th, Super Smash Bros Ultimate is 11th, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity 13th, New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe 15th, Super Mario Odyssey 16th, The Legend of Zelda; Breath of the Wild 17th, Super Mario Party 18th, and Ring Fit Adventure 19th.

For third parties on Switch, NBA 2k21 was 8th, Immortals: Fenyx Rising 9th in its debut month, Just Dance 2021 was 12th (and 6th on Switch), FIFA 21 is 14th, and Mortal Kombat 11 rounded out the list in 20th. Nintendo's retail debuts for December, Fitness Boxing 2 and the special edition of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, both missed the charts.

NPD also supplied calendar 2020 charts for software, and Nintendo placed four titles in the top 20. Animal Crossing: New Horizons finished 3rd behind only the last two Call of Duty titles, with the highest dollar sales for a Nintendo game since Wii Fit Plus in 2010. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Super Mario 3D All-Stars finished 8th and 9th, and Super Smash Bros Ultimate was 14th. Among third parties, NBA 2k21 was 13th, FIFA 2021 was 15th, and Mortal Kombat 11 16th.

The top 10 Switch games of 2020 based on dollar sales are:

  1. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  2. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  3. Super Mario 3D All-Stars
  4. Super Smash Bros Ultimate
  5. Ring Fit Adventure
  6. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  7. New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe
  8. Luigi's Mansion 3
  9. Super Mario Party
  10. Super Mario Odyssey


Less than a week's warning.

Hitman 3 will start work on the Switch the same day as other platforms.

The cloud version of the sniping sequel will be available on Switch this coming Wednesday, January 20. Pricing has not been disclosed.

As with Control, players will be required to test their connection prior to purchasing the game.

TalkBack / New Pokemon Snap Develops April 30 Release
« on: January 14, 2021, 03:09:47 AM »

Hopefully unlike the original you won't be done when the calendar flips to May.

Pokemon's 25th anniversary celebration is kicking off in photographic style.

New Pokemon Snap, the Bandai Namco developed follow-up to the beloved 1999 N64 game, has announced a release date of April 30. The official Pokemon Twitter made the announcement along with a new trailer.

Originally announced last June and not seen since, New Snap will take place in the Lental region and task photographers with completing the Photo Pokedex.


Playing as Bowser Jr appeals to someone, right?

Nintendo has released a 7+ minute trailer for Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury to explain some of the items that were shown yesterday.

3D World has added a photo mode to the game, with filters and the option to use the stamps previously devoted to the shuttered Miiverse service. The 4 player online co-op was also confirmed.

Bowser's Fury is a separate mode with two player local co-op where Mario and Bowser Jr team up to explore Lake Lapcat and find Cat Shines to battle the "Fury Bowser". Fury Bowser will appear at random during the game to launch attacks and create new platforming opportunities.

Cat Mario and Cat Peach amiibo support was also explained, with Cat Peach dropping a random power-up and Cat Mario creating the invincible "White Cat Mario". A reprint of Bowser and Bowser Jr will also be available for use in Bowser's Fury, with Bowser summoning Fury Bowser and Bowser Jr dropping a shockwave that damages every enemy in the vicinity.

TalkBack / Trails of Cold Steel IV Invading Switch April 9
« on: January 12, 2021, 05:53:23 PM »

So if you want to beat III first, you are officially on the clock.

The final exam for Class VII, much like most collegiate exams, will take place in April.

North American and European versions of Trails of Cold Steel IV will release on Switch April 9 (Oceania on 16 April). Preorders for a "Frontline Edition" of the game are still available.

The follow-up to last June's Trails of Cold Steel III is the final chapter in this aspect of Falcom's turn-based Trails series.

TalkBack / Mario-Themed Switch Launching February 12
« on: January 12, 2021, 04:11:56 AM »

A lot of red and blue going on here.

The Switch is getting a Mario makeover.

Nintendo of America have announced a Mario-themed Switch set to launch on February 12 (with Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury), for the standard $299.99 MSRP. It will be available at "select retailers".

The system comes with a red dock, red Joy-Cons with blue rails, a red/blue carrying case, and a red bezel on the Switch proper.

TalkBack / Tadpole Treble, Monster Tale Coming To Switch In 2021
« on: January 11, 2021, 05:41:16 PM »

One rescue from the Wii U, one revival from the DS.

Two games celebrating their anniversaries this year will be hitting the Switch in 2021.

Celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, Tadpole Treble will launch on Switch in an Encore version on January 21. Our review (written by Donald Theriault) from 2016 gave the original an 8.5.

Dreamrift's Monster Tale, the fusion of exploration platformer and pet management from 2011, will hit modern consoles (including Switch) this year. The game will be published by its original publisher, Majesco.

TalkBack / Bowser's Fury Revealed In New Super Mario 3D World+ Trailer
« on: January 11, 2021, 05:27:00 PM »

The mystery of Nintendo's first published game of 2021 will be answered.

UPDATE: The trailer is now live, showing a new world, a possible team up with Bowser Jr, and gigantic Mario and Bowser facing off. Original story is below the embed.

Nintendo is preparing to blow out Bowser's Fury tomorrow.

A new trailer for the February 12 release will be available tomorrow at 9 a.m. Eastern time / 6 a.m. Pacific / 1400 UTC. It promises that "Bowser's Fury will be unleashed".

TalkBack / Nintendo Downloads - January 14, 2021
« on: January 11, 2021, 03:00:00 AM »

In memoriam: Brian "JapaneseNintendo" Cooper

To begin this week, a word of condolence to a tireless person who we lost at the end of 2020: Brian Cooper, aka the person who ran the Japanese Nintendo site, passed suddenly on November 27. Our condolences to his family and friends, and we hope he's enjoying maining Toad in the big Smash game in the sky.

It's hard to follow up something like that, but we'll try - the big game of the week is Scott Pilgrim vs The World: Complete Edition being brought back - and since there's open preorders for SIX WEEKS over at Limited Run Games this Friday, there'll always be a physical version too. Rhythm Fighter looks promising as well this week, and one I'm curious enough to splash out for is the first wrestling game to come out on Switch that isn't at least 25 years old in Wrestling Empire. Even if it's quite sus, it surely can't be worse than WWE 2k18, can it?

North America

Switch eShop

Shadow Gangs (US$23.99/C$31.91)

Yumemidori Nostalgia ($19.99/$25.59: Monday)

Down in Bermuda ($19.99/$25.19)

Wrestling Empire ($19.99/$24.99: Monday)

Rhythm Fighter ($16.99/$22.29)

Radio Commander ($14.99/$19.99: Monday)

Life of Fly ($14.99/$19.99)

Scott Pilgrim vs The World: Complete Edition ($14.99/$19.99)

Silver Screen Story ($14.00/$18.00)

Epitath ($12.99/$16.37: Tuesday)

Act It Out XL! - A Game of Charades ($11.99/$15.95: Tuesday)

Dead Ground ($9.99/$13.29: Tuesday)

Medulla ($9.99/$13.29)

Pixel Game Maker Series: Werewolf Princess Kaguya ($9.99/$13.29)

Top Gun Air Combat ($9.99/$12.99: Monday)

The Pillar: Puzzle Escape ($9.99/$12.99: Wednesday)

Writhe ($9.99/$12.99: Friday)

Dirt Trackin Sprint Cars ($9.99/$12.59: Sunday)

Dog Fight ($9.99/$12.59)

Mahjong Adventure ($7.99/$10.63: Tuesday)

12 Labours of Hercules III: Girl Power ($7.99/$10.07: Friday)

Fantasy Tavern Sextet -Vol.2 Adventurer's Days- ($7.99/$10.07)

My Hidden Things ($6.99/$8.81)

My Magic Florist ($6.99/$8.81: Friday)

Grand Prix Racing ($5.99/$7.99: Monday)

S.U.M: Slay Uncool Monsters ($5.99/$7.99: Tuesday)

Galactic Trooper Armada ($5.99/$7.99: Wednesday)

Curling ($5.99/$7.99: Friday)

Four In A Row ($5.99/$7.97)

Ping Redux ($4.99/$6.64)

Topolon ($4.99/$6.64)

Solar Blast ($4.99/$6.64: Friday)

Arcanoid Breakout ($4.99/$6.59: Monday)

Gorilla Big Adventure ($4.99/$6.59: Wednesday)

Space Aliens Invaders ($4.99/$6.59: Wednesday)

Table Soccer Foosball ($4.99/$6.59: Wednesday)

Get Over Here ($4.99/$6.49: Wednesday)

16-Bit Soccer ($4.99/$5.99)

Hed The Pig ($3.99/$5.03: Wednesday)

Wacky Run ($2.99/$3.98: Monday)

Bullet Trail ($2.99/$3.98: Monday)

Maze with Cube ($2.99/$3.98: Monday)

Ploid ($2.99/$3.98)

Knight with Tactics ($0.99/$1.32: Monday)

Switch Archives

Cosmo Police Gallivan ($7.99/$9.87)

Sales and Price Drops

Highlights: Some SNK Arcade Archives games are on sale until Wednesday and Crysis Remastered is on sale until the 18th. PSPrices, DekuDeals, @eShopNotifier


Wrestling Empire (€19.99/£19.99: Monday)

Down in Bermuda (€19.99/£19.99)

Yumemidori Nostalgia (€19.99/£18.12: Sunday)

Glyph (€19.99/£17.99: Monday)

Life of Fly (€14.99/£14.99)

Radio Commander (€14.99/£13.49: Monday)

Rhythm Fighter (€14.99/£12.99)

Scott Pilgrim vs The World: Complete Edition (€14.99/£11.99)

Silver Screen Story (€13.00/£11.69)

Baby Puzzle (€12.99/£12.99: Monday)

Double Dragon Neon (€12.29/£11.09: Tuesday)

Dirt Trackin Sprint Cars (€9.99/£8.99: Sunday)

The Pillar: Puzzle Escape (€9.99/£8.99: Wednesday)

Medulla (€9.99/£8.99)

Dead Ground (€8.99/£8.09: Tuesday)

Writhe (€8.99/£7.99: Friday)

Mahjong Adventure (€7.99/£7.19: Tuesday)

12 Labours of Hercules III: Girl Power (€7.99/£7.19: Friday)

Pixel Game Maker Series: Werewolf Princess Kaguya (€7.19/£6.59)

My Magic Florist (€6.99/£6.29: Friday)

Fantasy Tavern Sextet -Vol.2 Adventurer's Days- (€6.59/£5.89)

Grand Prix Racing (€5.99/£5.99)

Curling (€5.99/£5.99: Friday)

Shoot1up DX (€5.99/£5.39: Monday)

My Hidden Things (€5.99/£5.39)

Galactic Trooper Armada (€4.99/£4.99)

Arcanoid Breakout (€4.99/£4.99: Monday)

Gorilla Big Adventure (€4.99/£4.99: Wednesday)

Space Aliens Invaders (€4.99/£4.99: Wednesday)

Table Soccer Foosball (€4.99/£4.99: Wednesday)

Four In A Row (€4.99/£4.99)

S.U.M: Slay Uncool Monsters (€4.99/£4.49: Tuesday)

Solar Blast (€4.99/£4.49: Friday)

Ping Redux (€4.49/£4.09)

Get Over Here (€4.20/£3.79: Wednesday)

16-Bit Soccer (€3.99/£3.59: Friday)

Ploid (€2.99/£2.69)

Bullet Trail (€1.99/£1.79: Sunday)

Knight with Tactics (€0.99/£0.89: Sunday)

Brain Breaker (€0.99/£0.89: Friday)

Switch Archives

Cosmo Police Gallivan (€6.99/£6.29)


Scott Pilgrim vs The World: Complete Edition (¥1980)

Crazy Capture (¥1800)

Rhythm Fighter (¥1780)

Down in Bermuda (¥1500)

Spinny's Journey (¥1499)

UNO (¥1320)

Brightstone Mysteries: Paranormal Hotel (¥1049)

Myths of Orion: Light from the North (¥1049)

Red Crow Mysteries: Legion (¥1049)

The Pillar: Puzzle Escape (¥1000)

Pixel Game Maker Series: Werewolf Princess Kaguya (¥980)

Demetrios (¥900)

Cosmo Police Gallivan (¥838)

Fantasy Tavern Sextet -Vol.2 Adventurer's Days- (¥800)

Ping Redux (¥600)

Ninja Gacco (¥500)

Tap Tap Legions (¥499)

Escape First (¥499)

TalkBack / Persona 5 Strikers To Cross Into The World Of Dragalia Lost
« on: January 08, 2021, 04:53:40 AM »

Joining Euden, the Haildom... Mega Man, Danganronpa...

Dragalia Lost has racked up some impressive crossovers, and the latest one might steal your heart.

A trailer  was posted on Nintendo's mobile Youtube a short time ago announcing a crossover event with Persona 5 Strikers. More details will be posted on the game's website and in-game notifications in late January, though Joker and another character from Strikers will be available for completing an ingame event.

Other crossover events in the past have featured Fire Emblem Heroes (twice), Mega Man, Monster Hunter, and the Danganronpa series of visual novels as well as other properties of the game's developer Cygames.

TalkBack / Monster Hunter Rise Demo Launching Overnight
« on: January 07, 2021, 04:19:00 AM »

Ride 'em, hunter! *UPDATED*

The hunt will begin in Monster Hunter Rise soon.

At the end of today's Monster Hunter presentation, Capcom confirmed the special demo would be available overnight tonight (3 a.m. ET/midnight Pacific), and would be active until the same times on February 1.

The video also showed off a Wirebug ability that allows hunters to control large monsters and even attack others, along with several new and returning monsters. The demo will feature the option to practice the ability, along with two hunts (with local/online co-op) and a basic quest to practice with the Wirebug.

UPDATE 10:05am ET: Capcom have advised that the demo will be playable until the hunts have been completed a combined total of 30 times: doing so will lock the basic and Wyvern Riding quests out as well.

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 254: GOTY Theory
« on: January 05, 2021, 04:02:43 PM »
Pardon my French, but holy s**t.

TalkBack / Monster Hunter Presentation To Air Thursday
« on: January 05, 2021, 01:46:46 AM »

We might be getting that demo pretty early in January...

Capcom is airing a worldwide Monster Hunter presentation this week.

The presentation will run on Thursday at 6 a.m. Pacific time/9 a.m. Eastern/1400 UTC and will be focused on March 26's Monster Hunter Rise. It will air on Capcom's Youtube and Twitch accounts.

It is expected - though not confirmed officially - that the demo for Rise announced last month would be made available shortly after the presentation or at least a date provided.

TalkBack / Nintendo Acquires Next Level Games
« on: January 05, 2021, 01:29:33 AM »

The big N starts 2021 by beefing up their North American operations.

The makers of one of 2019's hits and 2016's Game of the Year are coming in-house at Nintendo.

Nintendo have reached an agreement (PDF link) to acquire Vancouver, British Columbia-based studio Next Level Games. Expected to close on March 1 pending regulatory approval in Canada, the acquisition of the privately held company will give Nintendo a second North American-based subsidiary developer to go along with Retro Studios.

Since being founded in 2002, Next Level developed the Mario Strikers games (2005 GameCube, 2007 Wii), Punch-Out!! (2009), Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon (2013, 3DS), Metroid Prime: Federation Force (2016, 3DS) and Luigi's Mansion 3 (2019, Switch).

TalkBack / Nintendo Downloads - January 7, 2021
« on: January 04, 2021, 03:00:00 AM »

Starting the new year with a date as late as the calendar allows... look, there ain't shinola this week, I have to put SOMETHING pithy here.

The post image for this should almost be a tumbleweed, what with the complete lack of North American releases this week. As of go time there's seven, befitting a week where nothing new got approved, though there'll probably be some surprises for me Monday night after work... Anyway, the big game this week is Iris Fall, an adventure/puzzle game late of Steam that involves playing with light and shadow, while the one I will be keeping an eye on due to prior exposure to its universe is an RPG set in the Werewolf: The Apocalypse universe.

Europe has a few more games so far thanks to some Sunday surprises, two of which had yellow or white text on bright blue backgrounds that nearly caused my main TV to have a conniption. They're also getting the jump on a couple of games coming out  next week in NA.

North America

Switch eShop

Spice and Wolf VR2 (US$24.99/C$31.50: Wednesday)

Blacksmith of the Sand Kingdom ($19.99/$27.99)

Iris Fall ($19.99/$25.19)

Sense - A Cyberpunk Ghost Story ($19.99/$24.99)

Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Heart of the Forest ($14.99/$18.99)

Kingdom Tales 2 ($9.99/$13.29)

Stardash ($9.99/$11.99)

Travel Mosaics 7: Fantastic Berlin ($8.99/$10.99: Monday)

Supermoose ($7.99/$10.63: Friday)

Choices That Matter: And Their Souls Were Eaten ($5.99/$7.99: Wednesday)

Charge Kid ($2.49/$2.51: Wednesday)

Switch Archives

Rod Land ($7.99/$9.87)

Sales and Price Drops

Highlights: NIS America has a sale running until the 11th, and Nintendo may have a first party game sale in the next few weeks based on precedent of the last few years. PSPrices, DekuDeals, @eShopNotifier


Shadow Gangs (€23.99/£19.99)

Blacksmith of the Sand Kingdom (€19.99/£17.99)

Sense - A Cyberpunk Ghost Story (€19.99/£17.99)

Iris Fall (€16.99/£15.29)

Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Heart of the Forest (€14.99/£13.49)

Top Gun Air Combat (€9.99/£9.99: Monday)

Cthulhu Saves Christmas (€9.99/£8.99: Monday)

Kingdom Tales 2 (€9.99/£8.99)

Zotrix Starglider (€9.99/£8.99)

Dog Fight (€8.99/£8.09: Tuesday)

Travel Mosaics 7: Fantastic Berlin (€7.99/£7.19: Monday)

Stardash (€7.99/£7.99: Wednesday)

Supermoose (€7.99/£7.19: Friday)

Virtual Battle (€6.45/£5.75: Monday)

Choices That Matter: And Their Souls Were Eaten (€4.99/£4.99: Tuesday)

Table Soccer Foosball (€4.99/£4.99: Tuesday)

Topolon (€4.39/£3.99)

Espacio Cosmic Light-Seeker (€3.99/£3.49: Monday)

Charge Kid (€1.99/£1.79: Wednesday)

Maze With Cube (€1.99/£1.79: Sunday)

Puzzle Plowing A Field (€1.99/£1.79: Sunday)

Wacky Run (€1.99/£1.79: Sunday)

Switch Archives

Rod Land (€6.99/£6.29)


Shadow Gangs (¥2700)

Resolution (¥1680)

The Court Blacksmith Of The Sand Kingdom (¥1540)

Area 86 (¥1200)

Dungeon Nightmare 1+2 Collection (¥1200)

Contraptions: Make and Play with Karaku Sochi (¥1100)

Kingdom Tales 2 (¥1049)

Zotrix Starglider (¥1049)

Klondike Solitaire (¥950)

Rod Land (¥838)

Red Colony (¥790)

The Witch & The 66 Mushrooms (¥660)

TalkBack / 21 Things Donald Wants In 2021
« on: January 01, 2021, 05:00:00 AM »

You call it being greedy, I call it “bending this Sothis-forsaken industry to my will”.

Now that we’ve gone over the predictions from last year and found them wanting for a multitude of reasons, it’s time to look ahead to 2021. As promised, I’m not going to try and predict anything. Instead, I’ve prepared a list of things that, should most of them go down, would elevate this above 1995 (the year of Earthbound and Chrono Trigger) as the greatest year of my video game life. If karma exists, this stuff happening will be the proof.

My list of… let’s call them “requests”... are divided into three categories: Nintendo, third parties, and some personal goals. Also, I’ve intentionally left out the most obvious demand (port Persona 5 Royal to Switch you cowards) because I’m pretty sure Sony’s lawyers would have Sega’s nuts in a vise.

From Nintendo, I want…

...Masahiro Sakurai to take a year’s sabbatical effective as soon as possible and a refund for the rest of Fighter’s Pass 2.

You know... I think we're good here. (Image courtesy @TheNintendoFeed)

To borrow a quote from Matt Zawodniak on our site chat, “Everyone needs one monumentally petty and foolish hill to die on” when it comes to Smash. Matt’s is “Goku is more likely than Sora”, and mine is “Fighter’s Pass 2 was a mistake if only because it meant two more years of Smash DLC discourse”. I got sick of it around the time “hoes were having the mad” after Byleth’s inclusion, and the addition of Alex in October made it about thirty times more toxic. Sakurai has also basically worked non-stop since about, oh, 2012 or so on this bloody game across three platforms? Take a year off, sir. Rest your wrists. And give us all a prorated refund for the Fighter’s Pass. Plus, it frees up some Bandai Namco staff for…

...the Fire Emblem series to get a Pokken.

Pokken is the Tekken fighting game engine applied to the Pokemon series. I didn’t include Fire Emblem spinoffs when I asked what was next for the series last month because it was already the longest video I ever produced by a mile, but let’s lean into the “Smash is a Fire Emblem fighting game” memes and actually have the Soul Calibur team make a Fire Emblem fighting game. The DLC for Soul Calibur 6 is about to wrap up, so maybe there’s a chance here?

...a Metroid Prime Trilogy release on Switch for the series’s 35th anniversary.

I speak of course, of Metroid Prime Hunters, Pinball, and Federation Force in glorious high definition in that traditional August slot. It’d be the best celebration, and it’s already more than what they did for the 25th anniversary. Though part of that was due to them having to try and memory hole Other M. (Didn’t work. We all remember The Baby.)

...a major capper to the 25th anniversary of Pokemon.

Between New Snap, Unite, and MAYBE Detective Pikachu Switch (and Morgana’s Pokemon Sleep) there’s already quite a bit of Poke-chatter for the 25th. But I can’t help but think it needs a closer in the holiday slot. I’m hoping they don’t short-circuit the generation early, so yes, Sinnoh Confirmed. Ideally, it’s the Pokemon Platinum version of Sinnoh confirmed as well, because if you’re going to remake something for Switch it might as well be the greatest single Pokemon game ever.

...Mario to take a year off.

I mentioned in the predictions that Mario has released a game in North America every year since 1987, and that streak is going to continue thanks to the rescue of Super Mario 3D World in February (coincidentally right after the theme park opens in Osaka). However, after that, the implication is that on March 31, Mario seemingly dies (with the Sephiroth trailer not helping here) and takes FE: Shadow Dragon with him. Let’s run with that, and give Mario at least twelve months off. Ideally, it’d be two years (to cover the entire calendar 2022), but that’s beyond the scope of my request.

In a sane world, this is Mario getting written out for a year.

...Breath of the Wild 2 to show a cutscene with a decapitated Korok.

That’ll teach him to spread those bloody seeds everywhere. What I really want to hear from Breath of the Wild 2 will never happen (more of an Age of Calamity structure), so you can at least give me that much - right? finally be able to unhook my Wii U from the main TV.

There’s two things that can make this a possibility: either Xenoblade Chronicles X gets rescued from it, or the Nintendo Switch Online system catalogue gets at least two systems added. (GBA and N64). I suspect we’ll get halfway there at best, and I’ll be able to continue to use the GamePad as a remote for another twelve months.

From third parties, I want...

...Square Enix to not f**k up NEO: The World Ends With You.

This is number one with a bullet, and early returns are promising. The original game’s battle system really doesn’t work on anything without two screens, and the current system appears to be the best adaptation of team combat to a single screen yet. Of course, I thought that about Final Remix three years ago and look where that got it. But the soundtrack editor from the original is also coming back, so at the very least I can hope for a bangin’ soundtrack.

...Aksys to take extra time in editing their otome localizations.

Given that they’re doing four games in that line for 2021 compared to 2020’s six, I hope this means they’ll have more time to run the fine-toothed comb through the text and smooth out a lot of the rough edges. I want to be able to s**t-post with screencaps from these games, not prep giant folders for the purposes of creating accurate counts in reviews. (Or I could just chalk it up to Idea Factory, but I hope at least one division there knows what they’re doing.)

...NIS America to work out deals with XSEED and Spike Chunsoft.

Spike Chunsoft is, of course, for Danganronpa: though they did create their own localized version for Steam and mobile, I prefer the NISA-written one from the Vita. Memes and all. XSEED is going the other way: I’m hoping for some sort of agreement that will allow the first two Trails of Cold Steel games (and perhaps the Trails in the Sky trilogy?) to come to Switch.

I wish someone could explain the Funhouse to me... oh, wait, this isn't about the forums.

...Atlus to continue spreading the Persona love with a definitive Persona 3 on Switch.

In this case, “definitive” means “Persona 3 FES, but with Portable’s female main character and character control in battle”. I fully accept that this will require recasting most of the voice actors, either because it’d be out of the price range or just the fact that they’re abusive pricks IRL (Junpei Iori) but now that 4 Golden is free at last it’s time for the first part of the unofficial trilogy to stop being split.

...E3 2021 to be stillborn and the ESA to give up the ghost.

Given that we used the “Doubt” meme to describe PAX East going ahead as scheduled when they moved ten days before the traditional window for the once-secure trade show, there’s no doubt that circumstances are going to force the cancellation of the ‘21 event as well. And after the utter mess that was 2019, I’m hopeful that a second cancellation is enough for this industry to realize that maybe going to southern California in early June is just shy of torture. The New Game Plus Expo is all we need.

…”This Game Has Level Design” to become a common refrain and not an IGN joke.

The easiest way to turn me off a game is to make it so that the world is randomly generated each time, so hopefully third parties of all stripes decide to get back into actually designing levels this year. A hand crafted, artisanal level beats an algorithm every day of the week and twice on Sunday, and Hades is the apex of the procedural generation genre.

...a licensed hockey sim to come to Switch.

It’s sure as hell not going to come from EA, who don’t even bother with putting the NHL games on PC, let alone Switch. But as a Canadian, I feel it is my patriotic duty to demand that someone obtain the NHL license - the last renewal didn’t mention anything about exclusivity - and let me bring Lord Stanley back home on the go. (If I wasn’t out of room here, I’d ask for another sim of sports entertainment with Canadian champions: let’s have the All Elite Wrestling game on Switch too.)

From me, I want...

...more time to play all of the Switch RPGs coming this year.

Persona 5 Strikers, the third Bravely game, Monster Hunter Rise, Trails of Cold Steel IV when I’m still trying to get through III, Ys IX, SMT Nocturne Remastered, Neo TWEWY, and SMT V. That was 4/5 of my Hype Meter selections*, and about the only way I’m going to have time to finish even half of those is if I go on extended medical leave at work again (or win the lottery). And that doesn’t even account for the new announcements this year, nor that I *still* want to play Dragon Quest XI which is itself a 100 hour game. My DMs are open on Twitter if you want to sponsor me! master a new weapon in Monster Hunter Rise.

I’ve been a Switch Axe main since I got into 3 Ultimate on Wii U and 3DS, and after eight years I think it’s time for a change - or at least a side piece. In the interest of having a blunt weapon, I’m going to be trying the Hammer in the demo and hopefully I’ll be able to adapt.

RIP Jonathan "Brodie Lee" Huber: 1979-2020. be able to complete a digital wishlist.

This is probably the easiest one to actually happen, provided Atlus does the right thing and removes the computer-killing DRM from Persona 4 Golden on Steam because the minute it’s gone, I’ll buy it. My Switch wishlist ebbs and flows and I don’t think it will ever truly get down to 0, while my old PlayStation wishlist may not be able to be completed because of the death of the PlayStation webstore. The 3DS is in the single digits, while the Wii U has a lot of VC / Wii stuff so it would take a loan or generous tax return to complete it all. reach 100 game reviews on NWR by the end of 2021.

According to Opencritic, I was at a very nice number before the Space Invaders collection review, so I would need to complete 30 reviews by the end of 2021. However, they don’t seem to count a further 16 games, so the actual number is 87 as of January 1. I’m currently down for 17 games, so I have to hope the bosses are feeling generous and do a lot of playing this year. (Or hope for many shadowdrops in the genres that fall under my wheelhouse.) reach the highest level in the Fire Emblem Heroes Aether Raids mode.

The highest tier is 28 as of press time, and I start each week at tier 21. Starting in January, there’s an update that unlocks the “Vault of Heaven” which will top out at 38. It basically requires perfect play in the offense mode and designing a team for defense that routinely gets two KOs even in losing efforts. Right now it’s a minor inconvenience that I often skip playing for days at a time, but at some point in 2021 I do want to see how far I can go when I give a damn. finally beat Penance - on a livestream.

Speaking of things that require a lot of luck, there’s the challenge I mentioned on one of my last podcasts for NWR: beating the superboss of Final Fantasy X. I first found out about it in 2004, so this will be year 17 of the quest which really only began when I got the X/X-2 Collection on Vita. It’s going to need a lot of grinding, but if I ever get in position to do it - a Saturday night might be all right for a fight. find an excuse to set up an eShop account for Asian English localizations.

I don’t know if it’s going to be the Trails “Crossbell” duology (Zero no Kiseki and Ao no Kiseki), finally trying the Super Robot Wars games, or something I haven’t even considered. And it’d involve creating a new email, too. But the idea of getting stuff that’s still in English, but has no hope of localization, has always intrigued me. Maybe 2021 should be the year I finally take a swing at it. Any suggestions for stuff to look for? Drop them in the Talkback.

TalkBack / Recapping The 2020 Predictions
« on: December 31, 2020, 07:13:00 AM »

The pandemic kept me locked down for months, nearly screwed Christmas again, and shattered my crystal ball.

Probably because I was doped up on some heavy antibiotics at this time last year and had a lot of free time on my hands, I decided to try my hand at the prediction game this past year. And the fates, apparently having had enough of me trying to do this, decided to throw a massive wrench into everything.

So how bad did it go? Well, let’s run back the predictions from 2020 and see where I went wrong. Remember, they can be found (along with my initial justifications) here.

Complete Whiffs

The only multigame Directs this year will be January, June, and September

Nintendo dramatically overhauled the Direct format this year, largely due to the pandemic - but they haven’t had a 40-minute monster Direct since September of 2019. The first Direct Mini of the year was at the end of March, and by the end of June they had shifted to the Mini + Partner Showcase format when they weren’t doing Twitter Directs. And then of course, there was the Bakugan Incident. But the Direct format as y’all obsessed over it may be a thing of the last decade.

There will be a Mario game released in North America for the 33rd straight year. To Donald’s irritation, it’ll be Super Mario Party 2.

I ended up blowing this five straight months between July and November: Origami King, no Super Mario Party 2, Mario 3D All-Stars, Mario Kart Live, and the Game & Watch. Nintendo also loved to shove multiple Mario games into sales in Q4, so you couldn’t escape the plumber this year.

The voucher program will come back, but North America will get shafted again.

It would be nice to see the vouchers make their triumphant return, but a light year compared to the absolute feast that was the second half of 2019 when the vouchers were available probably would’ve caused them to underperform. Oh well, hopefully next year.

Final Fantasy 2/4 and 3/6 will come to the SNES library for Switch Online, killing any chance of remakes.

Square has apparently decided to act like their old North American distributor EA and act like Final Fantasy started on the PS1 - which is why Sephiroth is now in Smash and not, I dunno, Kefka. But the only Final Fantasy re-releases we got this year were the Final Fantasy Legend games, better known as “SaGa” or “Kawazu’s Pictures Of The Square Goat Orgy”.

Bayonetta 3 will launch in October.

“Next week in gaming magazines” turned out to be anything but. But I should remind you that Platinum took to crowdfunding a rescue of The Wonderful 101 this year, and now Bayonetta’s playable in it.

Bravely Default “II” will avoid the biggest sin of the original by launching its lecherous character into outer space. (Also there won’t be a time loop.)

There are millions of reasons why this one wasn’t answerable in 2020, but I’m moving this to a hope.

Xenoblade Chronicles DE will include an extra scene in the ending that ties into another Xeno- game.

Although Future Connected was a thing, it had no discernable tie-ins to X or 2 nor did it seem to drop hints to any future projects from Monolith. Hell, I would’ve taken a KOS-MOS cameo. But they did record new Jenna Coleman dialogue so it’s got that going for it.

Three Houses’s final DLC will include a “golden ending”, and fans will rightfully riot over key story content being sold separately.

It wasn’t until after I made this prediction that I re-read the translation of the Famitsu interview where IS said there would BE no golden ending. And thank heavens they learned that lesson from Fates. But the story ended up being completely unconnected to the main plot in that you could use prime female axe wielders Edelgard and Hilda on the same team for the first time, which probably counts as a golden ending for someone.

The Switch version of Doom Eternal will hit in November.

I knew it would take a while for Panic Button to get Doom Eternal up and running on Switch, I just didn’t expect other companies to themselves slam the Panic Button for their own ports (Microsoft bringing Forza Horizon 4 to the Series is all them). Still, I almost made it until it ended up coming in so thermonuclear hot that they had to push it to December AND make it digital only.

The obligatory Pokémon game is going back to Sinnoh.

The closest we came was dealing with all of the land’s legends in the Crown Tundra (the pixies, Dialga, Palkia, Garchomp, etc). Though Pokemon did shatter precedent with going the Expansion Pass route and yet kept it going by having a game ready for the series’s anniversary.

The second wave of Smash DLC will be first party focused, starting with Edelgard and Rillaboom.

So they brought the fourth good character of Fighters Pass 1 out in January with Byleth (joining Joker, Hero, and Terry), and the first fighter of pass 2 was Min-Min… but then Minecraft and friggin’ Sephiroth? I’ve seen enough.

The next Nintendo/indie collaboration will be a Shin’en Multimedia developed F-Zero.

This would require Nintendo to acknowledge F-Zero’s existence, and the most they did that in 2020 was by having Captain Falcon eating ramen at Min-Min’s after she settled it in Smash. File it under “maybe in my dreams”.

The Unknowns

Tokyo Mirage Sessions Encore will outsell the Wii U version by at least 5-1.

The problem with Nintendo is that they only publicize the sales figures for games in their financials if they crack a million copies shipped in a reasonable length of time. In TMS’s case… barring a miracle caused by being one of the most attractive items in the Black Friday sales, we’re probably not going to find out if it made 500k or not. But at least they bothered to promote it this time - then again, Fire Emblem Heroes wasn’t a thing in 2015-16.

NWR’s 2020 Game of the Year is not currently announced.

Well, it turns out we didn’t end up naming one. I suppose technically I could claim Hades being my own personal GOTY but I seem to recall it being announced for Switch when its early access was announced - and this was a site-specific prediction, not mine.

Preordering No More Heroes 3 will get buyers a code for Travis Strikes Again.

One of the year’s best running gags was Suda 51 going out of his way to hide gameplay footage of No More Heroes 3, and now it’s been delayed to 2021 as well. Given that the predecessors came out on Switch, it seems like one (or both) is more likely to be the preorder incentive (or if you already bought them, enjoy your discount?)

Partial Credit

Breath of the Wild 2 will not release in 2020, but it will be Nintendo’s sole public E3 game.

Breath of the Wild 2 certainly didn’t release in 2020 - at least, not under that name or game style. (And it was better for it, pass it on.) But the lack of an E3 show at all prevents me from claiming full credit here.

Not only will there not be a new mobile project from Nintendo, Dr. Mario World will stop updating.

Nintendo kept going in maintenance mode on all their mobile projects, and against all hope, logic, and sanity Dr. Mario World seems to still be updating. Who wants Dr. Sumo Brother? He’s probably coming soon.

Actual Correct Predictions

Animal Crossing: New Horizons will outsell New Leaf, even at the higher price point.

Of course, Joe West could’ve seen this coming. Though I would never have guessed that New Horizons would outsell New Leaf in its opening MONTH.

Metroid Prime 4 will still be radio silent.

Betting against the existence of Metroid Prime 4 is the easiest money in the business. Not a peep this year, and even SMT friggin’ V showed proof of life.

Although new Joy-Con and Lite colors will come out, there won’t be a “Switch Pro”.

Really, when you sell like chocolate covered crack from about March on because you represent an actual way to interact with other people and NOT put your life in danger, you don’t need a Pro.


So in total, that’s the three most obvious ones right, two half points, and three unknown/TBD items. That’s about a .200 batting average, and it’s not like this hit for power either. It’s sub-replacement level predicting, and though everyone looks bad in a year as messed up as 2020 was, I’m probably still going to retire from this game.

And yet, I still have a better record of predictions than a certain “analyst” who suggested Nintendo ditch the dockable Switch. You know, the thing you couldn’t FIND for most of 2020. Maybe in 2021 I’ll get a job offer from Wedbush Morgan; lord knows I come cheaper.

TalkBack / The Nintendo Observer Awards For 2020
« on: December 29, 2020, 04:00:00 AM »

Special thanks to Bryan Rose for clearing this.

A few years ago (2015), I decided to do a series of awards for the year loosely based on the awards for the leading professional wrestling newsletter, the Wrestling Observer. Little did I know that a few years later, someone who was writing for NWR at the time would end up working for them as a contributor and streamer. (Shout out to Bryan!)

In light of those factors, and thanks to a couple of items in particular, I figured it was time to dust off the awards for 2020 since there’s a few things I want to call out or recognize.

Chrono Trigger Game of the Year Award: Hades (September 17)

I still haven’t beaten Hades as of press time, but my chief complaint with roguelikes is that I can’t feel like I’m making progress. Hades turns the entire concept on its head. Yes, the rooms are random. But the deaths not only allow for building of the character through new weapons and abilities; they also unlock new conversations with everybody from Cerberus to Hades himself. We often joke about a sense of accomplishment thanks to EA, but Hades actually has one. And the voice work is incredible. If I can appreciate a game with roguelike elements, it must be DAMN good. Runners-Up: The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III (June 30), Paper Mario: The Origami King (July 17)

Most Valuable Game/Best Box-Office Draw: Animal Crossing: New Horizons (March 20)

It may not be for me, but the Switch breaking practically every record it could worldwide is largely attributable to Animal Crossing hitting at what turned out to be the perfect time. If it’s good enough for the president-elect, or to hold graduations, it’s good enough to win this award. Oh, and it’s probably going to be one of the three best selling Switch games when we get Nintendo’s quarterly results at the end of January.

Most Outstanding Old Game: Fire Emblem Three Houses (July 26/19)

As was discussed previously, the only reason I was able to not go crazy at the end of my pre-pandemic self-isolation was the drive to complete the support log in Three Houses - and yes, it did involve doing eight complete runs. Runners-Up: Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate (August 28/18), Super Mario 64 (September 18 as part of Super Mario 3D All Stars)

Most Outstanding Re-Release: Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore (January 17)

I already loved the original in 2016, but the ability to spice up the game with the new costumes / Session members and cut the game down by 15 hours with the quick animations and inherent lack of loading from being a Switch game makes a great experience even better. If I had reviewed the game, the floor would have been a rating I haven't used in three (for the Patrons) or four years. But really, when you're partially set in the Tokyo Dome, don't you automatically get a review score boost? Runners-Up: Xenoblade Chronicles; Definitive Edition (May 29), Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light (December 4)

Satoru Iwata Memorial Trophy (Best Game - Technical): Doom Eternal (December 8)

The first of the modern Doom games was impressive enough on the Switch, but the fact that Doom Eternal runs as well as it does with only about nine months of additional optimization is, as no less of an authority as John said, “a miracle.” In that case, Panic Button is now one more port away from sainthood. Holding a steady, consistent framerate in wider-open worlds than 2016 on an engine that was designed to run on four-year improved PCs/PlayStation 5/Xbox Series? Amazing.

Best Gaming Event: New Game Plus Expo (June 23)

The kind of games I love—and what often appears on Switch—are quirky stuff that requires localization. Although these kinds of things get announced at the late, lamented (that I went) E3, they are often buried by the Ubis and Microsofts of the world. So when the state of the world forced everyone online, it actually gave room for the AA game to shine. My only hope is that if it comes back in 2021, Atlus brings something a little stronger than Catherine to the Switch. Runners-Up: Nintendo Partner Showcase (July 20, September 17)

Most Disgusting Promotional Tactic: GameStop tries to kill their customers on multiple occasions

This was probably the hardest one to determine: Nintendo shutting seemingly everything on March 31 of next year is the truest to the category, Ubisoft being outed as a den of harassers and not including a promised apology in a video was a strong runner-up, and CD Projekt Group made a huge December push. However, none of them directly sunk to the level of GameStop in 2020.

Let’s review: As the United States entered a pandemic lockdown in March, GameStop tried to claim “essential service” status until finally closing down to in-store purchases on March 21 - coincidentally, just after everyone picked up their Doom Eternal and Animal Crossing pre-orders. They also flaunted distancing rules when they did stay open, putting their own employees at risk. Later in the year, they encouraged people to flood into stores on Black Friday by only offering the new consoles in stores, and to top it off held an internal TikTok dance competition where among the prizes was “ten extra labour hours on Black Friday.”

Really, if you attempt to create superspreader events on multiple occasions, putting your employees and customers at risk solely so you can try to stay alive for another fiscal year, you deserve to die.

Best Babyface: Orlok (Piofiore: Fated Memories)

Orlok, of all the people I followed a romance path on this year, was the only one who managed to elicit tears. The only suitor in the Mafia-focused game who actually isn’t in the Mafia, Orlok is a quiet boy working for the (not named but heavily implied to be) Catholic Church whose path involves everything he knows being shattered to pieces. Fleeing from both the church and three different Mafia families, his crisis of faith is not something I ever expected to experience in an otome game. Runners-Up: Zagreus (Hades), Bobby (Paper Mario: The Origami King)

Best Heel: Hades

Being the lord of the underworld is going to make you pretty brusque, but a lot of the motivation I had to keep fighting through the underworld in Hades is that the man himself is the perfect kind of heel: the unrepentant villain who might be right, but you still want to give him his comeuppance anyway. Runners-Up: Freyja (Fire Emblem Heroes book IV), Zygarde (Pokemon Sword and Shield: The Crown Tundra)

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