Splatoon 2 Is The Most Unique And Fun Multiplayer Experience I’ve Had In Years

Throughout my middle school days up until today, I have always been a big fan of multiplayer shooters. I’ve put plenty of hours into all the major franchises, from Halo to Battlefield and Call of Duty. Here’s the problem with playing these games for the past 10 years or so: they’re all different games, but they all have very obvious similarities. From identical game modes to similar movement abilities, to carbon copies of guns from one game to another, everything starts to feel a bit samey after a while.

For the past couple of years, I’ve been waiting for a new shooter to grab my attention and bring a breath of fresh air into the multiplayer shooter realm, and Splatoon 2 has been the answer to my prayers.

Having never owned a Wii U, I never got the opportunity to play the original Splatoon. In fact, with the advertising and all the bright colours, and ‘kid-ish’ looking characters I assumed that Nintendo was just making a multiplayer shooter for the young crowd. So, I immediately wrote the game off and never really thought about it again.

That lasted up until the Switch’s announcement press conference, where I was immediately sold on the console. I’m not going to lie though, I was worried about the lack of titles that were announced.

turf war
‘It’s just for kids?’ Ignorance!

Even after owning my Switch for months, I was still very sceptical of Splatoon 2. To be honest with you, I was not planning on buying it at all. That was up until one of the Splatfest demos for Splatoon 2. I said “why not”, and gave it a download. After a few matches of figuring out the game’s mechanics, I was hooked. I believe that Splatfest was live for about three hours, and I played it for almost the whole allotted time. No joke, right after the Splatfest ended, I immediately put in my pre-order.

You’re probably asking: what is it about Splatoon that separates it from other shooters, Trevor? Well, I’ve been thinking about that myself, and the answer is that Splatoon is such a unique experience that almost everything it does is different from any other mainstream shooter. Let’s first start off with the fact that everything you do in a match helps your team.

Let’s use my girlfriend as an example, she averages only about 1-3 splats (kills) a game, and she is almost always at the top or near the top of the team. How is that possible? It’s because in Splatoon getting splats (kills) is nowhere near as important as marking your territory by spreading your ink (paint) all over the map. In the most popular game mode “Turf War” that is the objective, not getting as many splats as you can, but covering the map as much as possible in your coloured ink.

In fact, Splatoon doesn’t even have a “team deathmatch” game mode, it’s all objective based. As long as you’re spraying your ink everywhere, you’re helping your team in one way or another. Basically, you’re doing something productive all the time, and that’s saying a lot in comparison to other shooters out there.

Secondly, the replay value is unreal. In Splatoon the map rotation changes every two hours of real time for each mode. This means you can be playing the same couple of maps for two hours straight and then the rotation changes, which makes the game feel like a fresh new experience all over again. The next thing you know it’s 4 hours later; your whole day is gone. Trust me I’ve done it.

In addition to this, the game has multiple different ranking systems. It has its standard 1-50 levelling system that all other shooters have, where you rank up over time through gaining experience points. It also has a competitive mode, which has its own ranking system altogether. This system is very reminiscent of the classic Halo 2 ranking system that got people hooked back in the original Xbox days. In Splatoon, the rankings start at C- and can go all the way up to the highest of S+. You go up in rank by winning and can go down in rank by losing.

sp2
As expected, there is very little grey here.

Thirdly, is the customization. Your inkling “character” is unique and you can customize how they look and what they wear. In fact, I have yet to see an inkling that is identical to mine. This adds a level of personality to the game that most other shooters don’t have because in those games you’re either generic soldier A or B. In Splatoon’s main hub world there are many shops that hold new clothes/weapons for your character. Each piece of clothing is different, because each one has its own stat boosters attached to it.

So, you can spend hours trying to find the best outfit to fit your play style. Just like the maps, the clothing items update every couple of hours, so you’re always on the hunt for that new piece of gear. Then comes the weapons – in Splatoon every weapon feels different from the other. From the guns, to paint brushes and paint rollers, every weapon has its own play style and pro and cons. It’s up to you to find out what you like best, and what works with your play style. Personally, for me, I’m all about the Slosher, the unstoppable paint bucket, and the Splat Dualies, which are essentially akimbo submachine guns.

Last but not least are the game’s mechanics: how it feels. Running at a smooth 60fps, going around inking your territory, sliding in and out of squid-form and blasting your way through your enemies just feels amazing and responsive. This is one of the fastest-paced and smoothest feeling shooters out there, in my opinion. If you have a Switch, you should probably go out and get the game. It’s one of those special Nintendo experiences that won’t ever get the same amount of attention that Mario, Zelda, Pokémon or a Smash Bros. game does. Most importantly of all, it feels fresh, unique, and pretty courageous too. For me, those qualities are what I look for nowadays.

What do you guys think of Splatoon 2 so far? Have you picked it up yet?

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Mutant Football League: Dynasty Edition announced

Do you guys remember the classic SNES fantasy sports game Mutant Football League? Well, a remake of MFL was successfully funded through Kickstarter, and the remake launched late last year.

MFL was released on PC, PS4 and Xbox One to a surprising amount of success for a budget title. And, with these new found funds and fanbase, developer Digital Dreams is looking to capitalize on MFL’s success by making their game even better. Let’s get you guys caught up:

  • Earlier this week Digital Dreams announced a revamped version of last year’s Mutant Football League. This new version will be called Mutant Football League: Dynasty Edition.
  • This new version of MFL brings a new mode, six new teams, new stadiums and is releasing on a new console.
  • The main draw of Dynasty Edition is the new game mode simply called Dynasty Mode. This is where you become the General Manager of your favourite MFL team, and try to build them up to potentially take the MFL championship.
  • Although these new features are a cool addition to an already well-established sports title. The biggest surprise from this announcement is that Mutant Football League: Dynasty Edition will be coming to the Switch. Yes… that’s right, the Nintendo Switch is finally getting a football game!
  • Mutant Football League: Dynasty edition launches on September 18th, and will retail for $29.99

Will you guys be picking up this new version of MFL? Or do you think it is an unnecessary release? Let us know in the comments below!

Warface game

Warface is seemingly coming to current gen consoles

Do you guys remember Warface? The free to play FPS from developer Crytek, that launched in 2013? Well, I don’t blame you guys if you don’t. Warface came and went from PC and consoles in 2013-2015. In fact, Crytek actually shut down all of the Xbox 360 servers because of how dead the game was.

While the game kept a small-sized player base on PC, it never really hit the top tier of free to play games. But, Crytek is trying to change Warface’s status, let’s get you guys caught up:

  • Last year Warface essentially relaunched, with brand new game modes like PvP multiplayer, and a battle royale mode. Additionally, Crytek added depth to the gameplay with character classes, loads of new weapons, and more missions for the PvE modes.
  • All these new features and gameplay mechanics have brought a steady player base to the once-thought-to-be-dead title.
  • Now with new found confidence, it looks like a release for Warface on the current gen consoles is imminent, thanks to the Taiwan ratings board.
  • While there has been no official announcement, Crytek hasn’t denied the authenticity of the leaked listing.
  • If Warface is coming to current gen consoles, one would expect Crytek would put it out sooner rather than later to avoid… (Call of Duty).

So, do you guys think Warface will be successful this time around on consoles? Or do you think it will immediately die out just like it did on Xbox 360? Let me know in the comments below!

A couple of new indie Battle Royale games were announced at E3

2018 is the year of the Battle Royale genre. With Fortnite being the biggest game in the world and PUBG dominating player counts on Steam, it was only a matter of time before other developers jumped on this hot trend.

First, we heard about the AAA studios in DICE and Treyarch each announcing their upcoming titles (Battlefield V, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4) will each have a Battle Royale mode. But, they weren’t the only titles announced that are looking to take the genre crown. Let’s get you guys caught up.

Mavericks Proving Grounds

First title up is “Mavericks Proving Grounds.” Mavericks isn’t a newly announced title per say, at E3 was the first time we got to see some gameplay within the newly released trailer. And, it looks promising!

If you haven’t heard of Mavericks before, it is a 1000-player Battle Royale that differs from its competitors in scale. Mavericks will have a 16x16KM map, will feature full destruction, wildlife, and the ability to track down other players by following in their footsteps they leave behind in the terrain. Mavericks will be launching in Early Access in August of this year.

Islands of Nyne

The second title is “Islands of Nyne,” which also like Mavericks is not a newly announced title. In fact, it’s actually been playable in an Alpha state for the past few months of this year.

ION differs from its competitors by being based in the far future, being smaller in scale and having more fast-paced gameplay. The title will officially release on Steam in Early Access sometime in Q2 2018.

Now, everything I just stated above relates to the PC version of ION, and surprisingly enough it looks like ION is coming to Xbox as well. In a blink and you miss it moment at the Xbox E3 conference, Microsoft showed a trailer for all their upcoming indie titles. During this trailer at the 1:35 mark they show that “Island of the Nyne” is coming to Xbox through the ID@Xbox program.

No release date or any other news have been released since the reveal, so I would not be expecting to see it on Xbox anytime soon.

So, do these future Battle Royale titles excite you? Or do you think the genre is becoming oversaturated? Maybe it’s not your thing at all! Let me know in the comments below.

EA's Play

Two indie titles of note were announced at EA’s Play

This might come as a shock, but EA does release non-AAA gaming titles. During their E3 conference, they surprisingly showed off indie titles on the same stage as the highly anticipated Anthem and Battlefield V.

Let’s get you guys caught up on these newly announced indies:

EA’s Play: Unravel Two

The first indie title announced is the sequel to the indie smash hit from 2016, Unravel. Yes that’s right, Unravel is back but this time in a full co-op adventure.

Here’s the official description for Unravel Two from the ESRB: “This is a side-scrolling platformer in which players control a pair of fantastical creatures called Yarnys as they navigate environments.”

The best part about this announcement is the fact that we don’t have to wait to play Unravel Two either. It’s available right now, at the price point of $20 USD/£15.99. What are you waiting for?

EA’s Play: Sea Of Solitude

The second indie title to be announced was Sea of Solitude from German developer Jo-Mei Games. SoS will explore the dark emotions and thoughts that the human mind goes through, with a twist!

SoS follows a young girl named Kay who turns into a monster when she enters a dark mental state. After her transformation, Kay will drift on a boat through a monster-infested submerged city. At this city, she will meet and interact with other ‘monsters’.

Throughout the adventure, Kay will be investigating how she became a monster, and if there is a way to reverse what has happened to her. Along with the debut trailer and details, we also got an official release window of “early 2019”.

So, what did you guys think of these indie game announcements from EA? Are any of you currently playing Unravel Two? Let us know in the comments below!

World War 3

Is World War 3 the Battlefield killer?

Indie studio The Farm 51 announced their new game this week in World War 3. It’s a large-scale modern day/near future FPS that takes place in… you guessed it, World War 3.

Farm 51 is keeping a tight focus with WW3, the game will only have two different modes at launch. With the first one being a large scale strategic team-based mode called Warzone, that Farm 51 promises will have “large-scale combined arms battles with infantry, armoured vehicles, and drones.”

The second mode will be a Battle Royale mode called Recon. This mode will be smaller in scale compared to the grand size of the Warzone mode and will be focused more on looting, surviving and squad play.

New Kid On The Block

Additionally, WW3 is going to have some unique gunplay that Farm 51 seem to be bragging about.

They’re claiming it will be “The most authentic bullet vs. armour system in the FPS genre to date,” that will include “Ballistics, a weight system, full body awareness, and an extensive customization system – all affect the gameplay in a meaningful way.”

World War 3

However, what I find most interesting about the announcement of WW3, is the fact it was announced right after the very controversial reveal of Battlefield V.

To me, it looks like Farm 51 found a prime opportunity to take the spotlight away from the more mainstream large-scale military shooter, and put their title out in the forefront.

And, their strategy seems to have pulled off. All over the internet, Battlefield fans are saying WW3 looks like the game they wanted BFV to be.

Some are even calling it the spiritual successor to the very well received BF4. What’s even more surprising is that major Battlefield YouTubers in LevelCapGaming and Westie are covering the game, seemingly as a backup plan for their channel just in case BFV does fail.

From the modern setting to the realistic approach, the large-scale warfare, a battle royale mode etc. WW3 seems to be the title that Battlefield fans wanted.

With all this in mind, WW3 has a real chance to seize a large portion of the currently divided Battlefield right from under EA and developer DICE.

The real question is: can Farm 51 pull off this bold move? They have never developed anything this ambitious in scale and scope before, with the other titles they’ve developed being, Get Even, Painkiller: Hell and Damnation, and Necrovision.

None of these titles come close to scale and size of what they’re trying to accomplish with World War 3. It will be very interesting to see if the game will live up to the immense hype that has already been generated in just the past couple of days.

Will Farm 51 actually ‘take down’ the Battlefield franchise? We’ll find out soon when World War 3 launches in Early Access on Steam later this year.

Wizard of Legend

Wizard of Legend is the #1 selling title on the US Nintendo eShop

No, you did not misread that title card. A small $15 indie title is currently selling more digital copies than the recently released Zelda spinoff, Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition on the US Nintendo eShop.

Wizard of Legend

You might be asking yourself by now, what is Wizard of Legend? Where did it even come from? Well, that info and more news about this surprise hit are listed below.

Let’s get you guys caught up:

  • Wizard of Legend is a pixel art, spellcasting, co-op, roguelike title, where you and a buddy clear out dungeon after dungeon to become more powerful. All this dungeon clearing will help you eventually become… a wizard legend!
  • WOL features over 100 spells, relics, and cloaks. All of these options let you fully customize the play style of your Wizard to your liking.
  • An arena style mode is also included in WOL. Where you and your co-op partner can face off against each other, to see who is the more skilled spellcaster.
  • Developer Contigent99 released Wizard of Legend on all major platforms on May 15th for $15.99.
  • Lastly, on Metacritic WOL is being well received, sitting at a solid 78%.

So, have you guys been playing Wizard of Legend? If so, in your opinion, does the game itself live up to its lofty sales numbers?

Let me know in the comments below!

Pocket Rumble

Pocket Rumble still (seems to be) releasing on Switch

Does anyone remember the announcement of Pocket Rumble during one of the earliest Nintendo Switch showcases?

I do, and I was anxiously awaiting to purchase this title when it was supposed to launch in early March 2017.

Pocket Rumble On Switch

Well, just over a full year has passed since the original release date. A year! We have barely heard anything about Pocket Rumble since that initial announcement.

With that said, just when all hope seemed lost, news popped up out of the blue and a release on the Switch now seems to be imminent.

Let’s get you guys caught up:

  • The game made its first appearance in over a year at the London convention EGX Rezzed
  • Not only was it at the event, but there was also a playable demo for fans and press to try out
  • This seems to indicate the title is closing in on a final build since developer Cardboard Robot games are finally comfortable enough to let people try out their title on Nintendo hardware
  • Shortly after the event, news started to leak that Pocket Rumble will be releasing on the Japanese eShop soon.
  • An employee for Cardboard Robot Games confirmed Pocket Rumble’s upcoming launch on Twitter
  • Although there still is no official release date set yet, I would expect an announcement any day now

So, what do you guys think? Are you happy Pocket Rumble seems to be finally coming out? Or has the long wait made you guys lose interest?

Let me know in the comments below.

DayZ

Will the upcoming Xbox One release resurrect DayZ from the dead?

Yes, believe it or not, you read the title card correctly. DayZ, the phenomenon that swept the PC gaming scene by storm in 2014, is finally making its way over to consoles. This process only took developer Bohemia Interactive 4 years to finally port it.

The question I have for Bohemia is: isn’t this port a couple of years too late?

Resurrect DayZ From The Dead

Four years ago, all you heard was how amazing DayZ was. It was consistently a top-played and top-streamed PC title. It had adrenaline pumping gameplay, and was overall a very intense zombie survival experience, because not only did you have to worry about running into a horde of zombies, but at any giving moment you could be getting hunted by a fellow player.

At that time there was nothing like it, but 4 years on, the DayZ scene has changed drastically.

DayZ

Let’s face it, DayZ is nowhere near as popular as it used to be. If you take a look at Steam charts, this game has been haemorrhaging more and more players every single year. This could be directly related to the recent rise of the battle royale genre.

The Battle Royale Effect

DayZ and the battle royale titles have similar gameplay loops: being a player in a large open environment, you have to use the terrain, loot supplies and fight other players around you in order to survive.

Another issue that could have caused DayZ’s demise is the fact the game is STILL an Early Access title after being playable for over 4 years. And, to make matters worse, DayZ still has some of the same glaring issues that it did when it was originally released in Early Access. The main issue? A lack of an end game.

Yes, the end game has been the biggest issue for Bohemia since the beginning, they can’t seem to figure out what players want to do in their title.

DayZ’s end game is simply ‘survive for as long you can with your character’, and that’s it. So, you end up doing to the same gameplay loops over and over again. Loot supplies, avoid zombies, kill or hunt other players to take their loot, and avoid getting killed at all cost. Yeah… sounds pretty repetitive right?

So, what I’m assuming is after the rise of games like PUBG and Fortnite, Bohemia is thinking, in order for their title to survive, they need to tap into a new audience. And, this seems to be why they’re finally porting DayZ over to Xbox. I understand the reasoning behind this because the brand still has some recognition, but is it too little too late?

We will find out soon enough if Bohemia can bring DayZ back to its glory days when it launches later this year on Xbox One.

In the meantime, you can check out some early gameplay footage of DayZ running on an Xbox One X down below.

Gridiron Champions

College football comes back to gaming with Gridiron Champions

Can you believe it?! Hang on, let me compose myself. Right. College Football is finally coming back to video games after a long-term hiatus.

Since 2013 (when the EA NCAA Football franchise was shut down), fans have been craving the college football experience in a video game form. And, thanks to the brand new studio IMV gaming, you guys don’t have to wait that much longer.

Last week IMV gaming officially announced Gridiron Champions, and more details about the title have been coming out ever since. Let’s get you guys caught up:

  • Gridiron Champions will be an unlicensed title. Which means it will have no real Universities or players.
  •  IMV gaming is getting around this hurdle by making the rosters, teams, stadiums and uniforms fully editable.
  • Once you finish customizing everything, you can share your rosters online. This means if you wanted to create official teams and players and post them online, then no one is stopping you. *Wink Wink*.
  • Gridiron Champions will also include your typical football game modes, including “legacy mode” where you take control of a team and try to lead them to gridiron glory. A “playoff chase” mode will be included, which looks to recreate the excitement of the NCAA playoffs. And last but least, there will be a “Gridiron Icon” mode, where you create a player and follow them through high school and college.
  • Gridiron Champions will be released in 2020, so not long to wait… on Xbox One, PS4 and PC, at the price point of $59.99.

So, does the thought of college football returning to consoles excite you? If so, will you be picking up Gridiron champions? Let me know in the comments down below.

Football Manager Touch 2018

Surprise! Football Manager Touch 2018 has released on the Switch

Yes, you read that right! The most realistic football/soccer simulation is back on a console after many years of being a PC exclusive. Developer Sports Interactive must have been working on this port of Football Manager in secret because this release blindsided just about everyone.

Let’s get you guys caught up about the exciting news:

  • Developer Sports Interactive, out of the blue, released Football Manager Touch 2018 for the Nintendo Switch.
  • This comes as a shock because not only was there not any form of an announcement or hint that this game was coming. But, Football Manager hasn’t been on a console or handheld since the 2013 PlayStation Vita version.
  • Football Manager Touch 2018 is actually a mobile game originally. This version is a more streamlined game compared to the full blown standard version. Touch trims the fat of the Football Manager franchise. For example, media briefings, player moods, team talks and so on are all removed to speed up the pace of the game.
  • This streamlined gameplay actually gained a large following of people that actually prefer the Touch version over the Standard Football Manager. And, following the success of Touch, Sports Interactive released a Steam Port of the Touch series, that now launches alongside the standard Football Manager every year.
  • The Switch version of Touch 2018 has all the features mentioned above but is also different from all the other versions. This is because of the Switch’s unique capabilities. Do you want to play Football Manager on a touchscreen tablet? Check. Do you want to play Football Manager on a handheld gaming console? Check. Do you want to play Football Manager on your living room TV? Well, of course, you can do that as well!
  • You can go to the Nintendo eShop right now and pick up Football Manager Touch 2018 for $39.99 (£28).

So, are you guys as excited about playing Football Manager on the go as I am? Let me know in the comments below folks.

Radical Heights

Radical Heights has officially launched as a Steam Early Access title

Last year a new development team in Boss Key Productions (headed up by the infamous Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski,) went all in on a mature themed character shooter called Lawbreakers.

This title launched to fairly positive reviews from critics and fans alike. Unfortunately, Boss Key were not able to find a dedicated player base for Lawbreakers, and the title slowly faded away. This failure didn’t ruin them though, soon after the realization that Lawbreakers was unsalvageable, they started working on a new title in secret.

Radical Heights – The New Kid On The Block

Out of the ashes of Lawbreakers, comes Radical Heights. A new battle royale-like game that Boss Key is calling a “passion project” for their development team. And, to the surprise of us all, you can play it right now!

Let’s get you guys caught up:

  • On April 9th Boss Key revealed Radical Heights to the world with a debut trailer. (Which can be seen down below.)
  • Radical Heights will have an ’80s aesthetic, the premise will be that your character is a contestant in a battle royale type game show.
  • After the trailer launch, Boss Key released the news floodgates of info regarding their new title. With the most surprising fact being they’ve only been working on Radical Heights for just over five months at this point. They are referring to the games impending release as “Xtreme early access.”
  • Boss Key is trying to set Radical Heights apart from others in the genre, by having a unique reward system, that is all dependent on your characters cash flow. Boss Key explains this thoroughly in the games official press release. “Only in Radical Heights does in-game cash you find carry over into future matches.”
  • A reward system that carries over from match to match is what Boss Key is aiming for, and they further explain how this process works. “Play matches, collect cash, kill contestants, interact with game show elements and more to buy cosmetics from your personal prize room, or put some of that sweet cash in your bank to help buy a weapon next match quicker than your opponents. The choice is yours.”
  • Lastly, while Radical Heights will be free to play, there will be a “founders pack” priced at $14.99, around £10.50, that will include over 20 exclusive cosmetic items.

So, what do you guys think about Radical Heights? Will it be a success? Or will it flame out like Boss Key’s previous title did? Let me know in the comments below.