Retimed – It’s Time To Connect Again

Jack Boyles takes a look at Retimed —

We are more connected now as a species than ever before. Technology has made it possible to communicate with people all across the world by the mere tapping of keys; we can video call someone like we are in some ’80s sci-fi movie and we can take photos with instant results viewed by millions in the palm of our hand.

Yet have we never been so isolated, using these devices as our primary source of communication, locked away and pretending to be people we are not.

We need to escape the clutches of our self-imprisonment connect with people face to face.

Team Maniax knows the importance of getting together and having fun with their game ‘Retimed’. It’s a local multiplayer arena shooter up to 2-4 players where you can generate a bubble that slows down time. But is this just a simple mechanic used as a gimmick or is there more to this idea?

Maniax have gone for a great art style here – the sole purpose is to capture the childlike play and fun of the game. It’s the character design here that lends it an attitude and personality without the characters showing their traits. Using character anatomy and clothing as an illusion of characteristic; this of course isn’t a bad thing, it’s a very good and smart thing to do.

Level designs are simple with a few platform areas contained in a relatively small space, though it’s enough to manoeuvre around the map for tactical advantage.

However, it’s the mixture of pace that brings excitement while playing. Your character can slide and dash in the air and that makes traversing the map very fluid. When you mix the element of the time bubble, the game can contrast so quickly it looks you’re in a Zen-like state. Retimed implements its time bubble perfectly, allowing you to focus, use it as a dodging mechanic and as an offensive technique too.

The game feel here is a highlight; it just feels good to play. Combined with the level design, you can quickly feel like you’re a pro when, in fact, you are still a novice.

That’s not to say everything about the game is perfect. Personally, I feel like you don’t get enough bullets, or sometimes, even the opposite, the bullets don’t spawn quickly enough, there was just a sense of emptiness at times.

All in all, this game is a great multiplayer experience to play with friends or family. To rekindle time spent together and to shout, laugh and just enjoy your time spent with someone. Releasing on the Switch (later on PC), it’s a perfect game to sit alongside the family.

So put the social media away.

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Retro Gaming

Top Things I Miss About Retro Gaming

Jordan Zolan talks about gaming’s past…

A friend of mine was recently late to a meet-up we scheduled because he had to reach a save spot in a game. He complained how long it took to save his data, and that he was frustrated about being late as a result.

It all got me thinking about how things used to be back in the day, and that him having to wait a little bit to save is nothing like what we had to go through when I was a kid. We discussed what it was like oh so many years ago, and I started to reminisce about all the other aspects of retro gaming that I miss. Here are just a few things gamers today might not remember, but they were staples of my gaming experience growing up.

Cheat Codes:

Anyone who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s can probably still recite a cheat code or two. Whether it’s “IDDKQ,” “KDFM,” or “Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A B A Start,” these sequences are burned into our memories. With cheat codes, we could act like God’s among men, devilishly manipulating the world around us. We now had the power to grant more lives, unlock unlimited weapons, or bring ourselves back from the dead.

Playing through Doom II was fun but having the ability to equip the BFG from the very start made for a really great ride. Knowing the correct buttons to push or keys to input, made gamers feel like they knew something no one else did. It was a secret that made you feel larger than life. Sure, everyone knew these codes, but in the privacy of your own home, you were the sole wielder of such great power.  To this day, I can’t pop in Contra on my NES without inputting the code for thirty lives. It’s ingrained in my muscle memory for all time.

This all still exists today, but it’s not as prevalent and just doesn’t feel as cool as it did oh so many years ago. What are some of the cheat codes you remember always using as a kid?

Retro Gaming

Save Game Passwords

Gamers today don’t know how easy they have it when it comes to saving a game. Most of the time you can just hit the start button and save your data on the spot. Occasionally, there will be a game that makes you work a little hard for it by having you find a save spot or wait until finishing a level. Either way, saving games in today’s world is a simple affair.

This wasn’t always the case, and I remember the pains of what my generation had to go through. Back in the day, we didn’t have the option of saving willy-nilly. What we had, were things called passwords or save game codes. If a game did allow you to save (which wasn’t always the case), it would give you a long string of randomized characters to input. This would allow the player to start at the most recently completed level, or at the spot where the password was received. I used to have notebooks full of passwords written down as to not lose them. I worked hard at advancing through various games, and those save game codes were of vital importance. I can’t imagine having to do something so archaic today, but back then it was the norm.

Retro Gaming

Instruction Manuals

I don’t remember when exactly it became a thing to get rid of instruction manuals with games. Back in the day, every title came packaged with a detailed booklet for all to read and enjoy. If you go back to the NES days, not only were they informative, but many had fantastic artwork throughout the pages. To see a great example, try to find an original Zelda manual. Each enemy and all the weapons were beautifully drawn with immense detail. Many times, there would be whole backstories written inside to build the world of the game.

I used to collect mine, never throwing any away. One day, all of my manuals were tossed, and it was devastating. Today, assuming you don’t buy a game digitally, all we get is a little insert, possibly a coupon or code, and that’s about it. I’m sure it was a cost-cutting measure to do away with instructions, but they used to add so much to the gaming experience. Even to this day, I think about my tossed books of fun, and I wish I had them to read through.

Retro Gaming

Nintendo Power

Sure, gaming magazines are still released on stands today, but none of them are as iconic or enjoyable as Nintendo Power used to be. When you received a copy of that larger than life magazine in the mail, it was a glorious day, to say the least. The wonders and thrills imprinted on each page always brightened my day. The cover art was always amazing, and the details within continually made me excited for what was to come.

From 1988 to 2012, Nintendo fans were treated to something special within those pages. The magazines released today still inform players of upcoming games and news, but it’s not the same. By the time an issue hits the newsstand, the information it contains is outdated and made irrelevant by the internet. I was given a subscription to Game Informer when I paid for my GameStop PowerUp Rewards, but I didn’t read a single issue. The magic that was Nintendo Power can never be recreated.

Retro Gaming

PS1 Power-Up Theme

This might be silly, but I loved the theme that played when you first turned on an original PlayStation. It gave the PS1 an instant bravado that made it say “I’m Different, and I’m going to kick butt.” When you heard that tone, you knew you were in for an experience. I can remember turning up the volume, controller in hand, and hitting that power button with the biggest grin on my face as that music played.

It truth, not all games lived up to the hype generated by that grandiose tone, but it always made you feel you were strapping in for a great ride none-the-less. Other consoles had their other start music after that, but nothing quite matched the grandeur of the original PS1. I loved the GameCube start-up music as well, but it didn’t have the same adrenaline-inducing magnetism as the PS1.

Retro Gaming

Peripherals

Nintendo was king of the peripherals. From the Power Glove, Super Scope 6, the Power Pad, and the Light Gun to name a few, gamers in the ’80s and early ’90s were inundated with first and third party peripherals.

So many of these add-ons were quite useless, but I’ll be dammed if they didn’t look cool on the shelf. The R.O.B for the original NES was probably the most confusing and nonsensical peripheral of all time, and yet there was something special about it. I still have mine, although it doesn’t work, and I’m missing all of the various attachments.

Steering wheels, flight sticks, brake pedals, and arcade-style lap controls were all a part of what gaming was all about. I know they still sell things like that today, but the newness of it all back in the NES heyday made it all the more special. If you loved playing Afterburn in the arcade, now you could have your very own Jet flight stick at home.

It was kitschy and pretty geeky to have some of these beautiful pieces of plastic, but it just made the who gaming experience so much more visceral. What are some of your favorite peripherals from back in the day? Are there any you always wished you had but never owned?

Retro Gaming

Simple Wired Controllers

I can remember getting so frustrated at games (I’m looking at you Battletoads), that I would throw my controller in a fit of rage. The NES controllers were built like tanks, and since they were wired, they couldn’t go very far.

I can safely say I never broke a single controller back then by throwing it. It was a great way to channel your frustrations and to take a minute to cool down and try again. Jump to today, and I would NEVER throw a controller no matter how blind with rage I’ve become. Aside from the fact that they can easily break, controllers are exceptionally expensive. Having to replace a first party Xbox One, PS4, or Switch Pro Controller will set you back $60 or $70 bucks. The Joy-Cons, as much as I love them are also exorbitant. Throwing your controller today is an expensive form of anger management, one which I highly recommend you do not do.

Makes me yearn for the little square piece of hard plastic with its two buttons and securely wired tether.

Retro Gaming

These have been just a few of the things I miss about retro gaming. Sure, many of the things I listed above aren’t practical today, but that’s not the point.

I realize gaming has evolved to make things easier and more streamlined for players, but that doesn’t mean I can’t reminisce about the days of yore. I wouldn’t want to go back to inputting a long password to start a game where I left off or be forced to use simple wired controllers again.

I enjoy how gaming has evolved, but a part of me misses the simple pleasures of how things used to be. Are there aspects to retro gaming you miss? Write in the comments below and let me know what you think of my list and what I might have left off.

Fernz Gate Switch

Old-School Style RPG, Fernz Gate, Now Available For The Switch

The Switch library of old-school turn-based RPGs just got a little heavier with the recent release of Fernz Gate from developers Exe-Create.

Dive into a fantasy world as Alex, an ordinary high-school student dumped into an unordinary situation in the once-peaceful world of Fernland.

Check out the Switch reveal trailer for Fernz Gate below:

Fernz Gate Switch – The Vibrant World Of Fernland

Here are a few key notes about the recently released vintage-style RPG game, Fernz Gate:

  • Players will take on the role of Alex as he drifts away into an unknown world filled with conflict and dangerous foes. After teaming up with Lita – a stranger from a peaceful world similar to Alex’s – they embark on a journey like no other to discover the truths about Fernland.
  • The classic turn-based combat system is simple enough for any RPG newcomer to tackle vigorous enemy battles with confidence and ease.
  • Like most RPG games of this nature, players will discover and recruit new friends and allies to help grow in strength and numbers.
  • Players can use party members not participating in battle scenarios to discover new secrets, as well as upgrade weapons and achieve new skills to open up combat.

Recently only available on mobile platforms, Fernz Gate is now accessible on the Nintendo Switch to help satiate the urge to play on home televisions and, of course, the handheld mode on the Switch.

You can find Fernz Gate at the eShop for Switch purchases, as well as iTunes, Google Play and coming soon to Steam.

Hello Neighbor Review [Nintendo Switch] – Great Idea, Little Satisfaction

One would imagine that if you backtrack before the release of Hello Neighbor by Dynamic Pixels, before coding and artwork, before storyboards and script writing, someone, somewhere had a great idea for an amazing game.

Hello Neighbor [Switch] – Great Idea, Little Satisfaction

They wrote pages and pages of scribbled notes on a napkin sitting at a diner booth in the late hours of the night, drinking coffee and eating a cold plate of fries. This budding game designer would feverishly jot down ideas for a wild new concept that would revolutionize a genre. As their fries got colder and the napkin count rose, a fully fleshed out world would start to take shape.

I am sure whatever was written on those grease-stained napkins was pure genius, but that genius never made it past the face towelette stage. Hello Neighbor, a self-professed “Stealth Survival Horror” game, might have sounded like a spectacular idea at the start, but what we got will more likely make you weep then shake in your boots.

Hello Neighbor Review
Hello Neighbor Review

The main objective is to sneak into your shady neighbor’s house and find a way to break into the basement to discover his dirty secret(s). You have the option of going through open bedroom windows, the front door, via the roof, and more. Be careful though, if the evil neighbor catches you, he’ll throw you out on the street. If he sees you lurking outside, he’ll jump through the closed window to boot you onto the curb. Magically, the window gets fixed in an instant.

Sounds easy enough, but as you find different ways of infiltrating, the Neighbor finds new ways of stopping you. The A.I. in the game is meant to counter your every move. Where once the front door was open and clear, now there will be cameras watching. Certain windows will have bear traps to stop you, or the Neighbor will find new shortcuts to get to you before you complete your mission.

If you manage to make it in the house, you can hide in cabinets and under tables as your enemy searches frantically to no avail. The house itself grows with new rooms and ways of getting lost, which I found to be pretty neat.

Hello Neighbor Review
Hello Neighbor Review

It should all be fun and innovative, but instead, feels clunky, buggy, and frustrating. For instance, you can stack boxes to reach a window, but the physics engine seems to be off. The boxes are infuriatingly easy to knock over before ever getting anything done. It reminds me of a late ’90s virtual reality game that you think is going to be really awesome but ends up disappointing your childhood.

The colour pallet looks as if Thomas the Tank Engine had a baby with Marge Simpson, and then gave it up for adoption to Gumby. It’s not that I hate the way everything looks, it’s just that it has this uncomfortableness about it.

Hello Neighbor Review
Hello Neighbor Review

There was one thing I did like about the game, and that’s a rather interesting auditory experience. If you listen carefully, you can hear the Neighbor’s footsteps as he walks inside and outside of the house (and it’s easy to differentiate between the two).

You can hear him as he is using the kitchen or bathroom sink, snoring in the living room, or grumbling to himself. The Neighbor will even turn on a record player or a broken TV, which you can then turn off by sneaking in through a window. Eliminating the extraneous noise allows the player to hear better and locate where the Neighbor might be at a given time. Out of all the things the developers were going for, I really enjoyed this one specific play mechanic the best. It isn’t perfect, but it’s fun.

Truth be told, I never made it too far into unlocking the mystery of it all, but that’s mostly because I stopped caring. I know this review sounds harsh, but that’s probably because I feel the concept is actually really cool, just poorly executed.

I Love the idea of an A.I. that learns and makes things harder minute by minute. I love the idea of using your senses to avoid the enemy and solve the puzzle. I am a huge fan of using your surroundings to aid in the quest. I just wish it all came together better.

Hello Neighbor Review
Hello Neighbor Review
Desert Child game

Racing RPG Desert Child Due Out Q3

The heat is exhausting out here, the only time you get shade is when the sun sets and then, you still want to be under an umbrella. For me, well I just get on this hoverbike over here and ride, for pleasure, for pay; it makes no difference.

Racing RPG Desert Child Game

The hot air turns cool. Of course, it can get pretty hot then let me tell ya – but when I ride, it’s like, what’s the word, Zen, you know… Free. It’s then I forget about the earth and its bullsh… ha, sorry kids, its nonsense. That’s not the life for me; the life for me is up there, Mars; and I’ll do whatever it takes to get there. Me and my trusty Judy here, my hoverbike.

Desert Child game
Dine on a range of interplanetary cuisine with sweet buffs to help you win

Hell, I’ll race, hunt bounties and deliver drugs; whatever it takes… Oh, you don’t like that? Listen, kid, you may snarl away to yourself as you’re reading this on your phone, tablet, but out here you do what you can for a buck. Breaking the law? Nah man, it’s survival. It’s the difference between having a meal and rummaging in the bins for scraps.

To me, I see as I’m playing some RPG, life-sim, racing game; the more points I get, the better the ranking, the bigger the taking. Man, I sometimes see the scores with my very own eyes I get that absorbed in it. Pfft, don’t look at me like that, I’ve got rent to pay and noodles to eat. I might even customize I, Judy, here.

Desert Child game
Race, shoot, and get better! Designed for replayability, with secrets that keep you coming back

I know you don’t understand but look, kid, if you want to survive out here you should do the same, earn what you can and get your ass to Mars.

You’ll see me soon kid, by Q3 you’ll understand and if you see me, you’d better shoot first kid; like I said, just think you’re on your PS4, Switch, Xbox One or PC… It makes it easier.

Desert Child game
Hunt bounties, deliver drugs, throw races – do anything you can to earn cash

Desert Child, that’s who I am. And that’s who you’ll be”.

Afterparty for Switch

Night School Studio introduces Afterparty in all its drunken glory

E3 has ended for another year, but luckily many awesome indie games were shown, none of them as unique as Afterparty for Switch and PC.

Created by the developers of Oxenfree and Mr. Robot:1.51exfiltrati0n, Afterparty gives you a reason to drink your problems away. You take control of Milo and Lola who are best friends who attend the last party of their college lives. They suddenly die and find themselves in hell. There is one way back to the land of the living and that is to outdrink Satan himself.

This adventure takes Milo and Lola into different bars as they attempt to figure out how they got there in the first place.

Afterparty’s E3 Gameplay Trailer

Drinking is the game and each drink has a different effect on Milo and Lola’s characters. These options change the dialogue and relationships throughout. If this is anything like Oxenfree, these choices will also determine the game’s ending.

Play beer pong, have a dance-off, sing karaoke or have a chugging competition with the demons of hell. How you spend your time in the underworld is entirely up to you. It’s looking rather great.

Afterparty will release for Switch and PC in 2019.

My Top 3 Games For Travelling

If you’re a student, summer vacation might be here or just around the corner; or maybe you’re taking a well-deserved break from work.

When I’m travelling, I usually have a book and a portable gaming console in my backpack. I think we all can agree that there are moments in our travelling where we have to just… wait. So, what better way to spend that time than with some good games?

Before I begin, here are some of my criteria for what makes a game suitable for travel:

  1. It has to have a quick and easy save function.
  2. Simple to flip up, easy to put down. It must be easily detachable; can’t really start an adventure on one of Telltale’s games, if you know what I mean.
  3. It has to be fun, of course!

My Top 3 Games For Travelling

I used to have my Nintendo 2DS, but now I am fortunate to have my Nintendo Switch, which brings me plenty of different games to play when I am away from home.

This is my top 3 list of games I like to play when I’m travelling:

1: Pokémon (Red, Yellow, Blue)

You probably thought I was going to say Pokémon Go, right? Nah. It’s not the real deal. While I quite like Pokémon Go, that is not what I reach for when I choose to play a game from that universe.

Top 3 Games For Travelling

I always turn to the classics, and they are so nice to play when travelling. Even though it’s easy to get hooked, it is a game that is easily “detachable,” (unless you’re fighting a gym leader, then everything can wait!) where you can play small parts of the game and leave on short notice if needed.

2: Starsceptre

Starsceptre is an excellent action-packed retro shooter where you can play levels without having to worry about losing progress. The levels are fairly short, and it automatically saves after each level. I even wrote a review for it here on Nitchi (even though it has changed quite a bit since then, but for the better, if you ask me!). Excellent if you want something retro, fun and challenging.

Also nice if you’re not in possession of a Switch or another portable console, as Starsceptre is available on your iPhone or iPad.

Top 3 Games For Travelling

3: Stardew Valley

Making this game available on the Nintendo Switch might perhaps be one of the best decisions Chucklefish ever made. If you want something to calm you down after the continual stress involved with travelling, this is the game for you.

Top 3 Games For Travelling

Stardew Valley is a slow-paced, farming game, very relaxing when you need a breather. If you need to save quickly, just go to bed (the save function), but on the cost of cutting the day short.

With the Switch, gaming on the go has never been easier. Let us know if you have any suggestions for other games that are nice for playing on the go!

Happy travelling – see you in a month.

Limited Run highlights indie titles in first E3 press conference

Limited Run Games held its very first E3 press conference with a nice list of indie game releases.

If you aren’t familiar with Limited Run Games, they release digital games in physical format. Most of these were previously released on PC. What makes Limited Run special is that their releases are extremely limited (usually between 2,000 – 5,000 copies). Many of these games become highly collectible due to their limited nature. Games started as PlayStation exclusive titles until a partnership with Nintendo Switch began this past Spring.

Limited Run Highlights Indie Titles

Along with a cheesy, yet charming green screen and weird 2D audience, Limited Run announced the following upcoming titles during their press conference:

Limited Run Presser

PlayStation 4

  • Iconoclasts
  • Observer
  • Thumper
  • The House in Fata Morgana
  • Spelunky
  • Phantom Breaker Battle Grounds Overdrive
  • Exile’s End
  • Salt and Sanctuary
  • Double Switch 25th Anniversary

PS Vita

  • Iconoclasts
  • The House in Fata Morgana
  • 2064: Read Only Memories
  • VA-11 HALL-A
  • Senran Kagura Bon Appetit
  • Spelunky
  • Exile’s End
  • Phantom Breaker Battle Grounds Overdrive
  • Salt and Sanctuary

Nintendo Switch

  • Golf Story
  • Layers of Fear
  • Thumper
  • Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas
  • Cosmic Star Heroine
  • Night Trap
  • Yooka-Laylee
  • Dust: An Elysian Tail

If you are a fan of classic retro style games, want physical PC titles or just desire something obscure, well, Limited Run Games may have something for you. They even toss a cool collector’s card for each game you purchase. I have a lot of Limited Run titles on my game shelf and I must be honest when I say I hadn’t heard of 75% of them prior.

They have exposed me to a whole new world of indie games and experiences. If you happened to miss the press conference, be sure to check out the replay on Twitch.tv.

Secret of Mana HD

Secret of Mana remake version 1.02 announced

Secret of Mana was released on the Nintendo Entertainment System all the way back in 1993, (the same time Europe received Streets of Rage 2) and a remastered edition has recently been released on PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and PC.

Secret of Mana HD Remake

The remaster adopted 3D graphics, voiced characters and some new content too. The biggest criticism of the title thus far though, appears to be the horrible optimization, specifically on PC, although it doesn’t look great for any of the versions. The game is said to crash constantly and there are animation problems aplenty, which gives the impression of a rushed to market product.

On that note, Square Enix have announced version 1.02 for the PS4 in early March and it’s due out on PC and Vita soon. The patch fixes many errors, such as black-out screens, colour changes, movement errors and more.

Here’s everything it does:

  • Fixed common application error.
  • Fixed personality colour change error.
  • Fixed black screen after character revived at 0 HP mistake.
  • Fixed an error in which a conversation won’t finish in some specific locations.
  • Fixed an error that had characters fall into the first floor of a dungeon to the next.
  • Fixed an error that slowed an enemy during an assault or magical cartoon.
  • Left the bow weapon trajectory when assaulting particular enemies.
  • Added a guide to display how players can switch the Ring Control screen.
  • Added an icon to display the character currently employing a ring.
  • Added a display of the effect of a Ring.

Hopefully this patch fixes the many performance problems of the game so that fans can fully enjoy the experience offered by Square Enix. I know things will never be like 1993 again, but this can be much, much better!

Strange Journey Redux

Strange Journey Redux gets Western release date

Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey was released on the Nintendo DS in both Japan and North America in 2009 and 2010 respectively. When was it released in Europe? Well… it wasn’t. Strange Journey never saw a European release, but Strange Journey’s 3DS port will see a European release.

Strange Journey Redux

Announced for European release in June, Strange Journey Redux (SJR) is an enhanced 3DS port of the original DS title featuring updated graphics, voiceovers, a new story arc, new characters, and a new dungeon.

No exact release date was given in June when SJR was first announced for European release, but with the New Year came news of a confirmed release. On January 17th a European release date for SJR was given. SJR will hit European store shelves on May 18th and North American store shelves on May 15th.

In addition to the release date, Atlus gave gamers their first glimpse of official artwork for SJR’s Western release:

Strange Journey Redux

As you can see, Gore’s body is just as ready for a Western release as you are.

Western Megami Tensei fans have long speculated on whether or not SJR would receive an English dub, but Atlus’ recently updated sales sheet for SJR confirms SJR’s Western release will feature the original Japanese voiceover audio and no English dub.

SJR was released in Japan on October 17th, 2016 as Deep Strange Journey and received a score of 33/40 from Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu.

Best Upcoming Nintendo Switch Games 2018

It’s fair to say the Nintendo Switch had a rather good 2017… Now we’re somehow already in 2018, leaving us to ponder like the insatiable Homo sapiens we are: what’s out this year for the hybrid console?

With giants The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey both, surprisingly, released in the Switch’s first year, not to mention an overwhelming line-up of quality (if you’ve been following) in Splatoon 2, Arms, Fire Emblem Warriors, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (we still haven’t finished all of these), some may argue Nintendo has almost overdone it. Is there anything left?

While 2018 might not have quite the same level of killer titles – at the time of writing – here are some of the best upcoming Nintendo Switch games we’re looking forward to playing.

Fire Emblem Switch (Untitled)

Best Upcoming Nintendo Switch Games: Fire Emblem Switch (Untitled)

The next true Fire Emblem title is coming to the Switch in 2018. And, yes, that’s pretty much all we know.

Although we do know this: Intelligent Systems produces some damn fine tactical strategy games. While Advance Wars would have been better, (where are you?) this is sure to be hot property.

Bayonetta 3

Best Upcoming Nintendo Switch Games: Bayonetta/Bayonetta 2 Re-Release

It’s not confirmed that Bayonetta 3, announced at The Game Awards 2017, will launch for the Switch in 2018, but there’s a chance it will follow sometime after the Bayonetta/Bayonetta 2 re-release due out February 16th.

Bayonetta 2, at least to this writer, is one of the finest hack ‘n’ slash games ever made. So, Bayonetta 3 has a lot to live up to.

Metroid Prime 4

Best Upcoming Nintendo Switch Games: Metroid Prime 4

Confirmed to be real in June 2017 at E3, we don’t know much about Metroid Prime 4. In fact, that logo up there is almost everything we have.

The announcement trailer was just over 40 seconds long, but that was enough to explode the internet. The confirmation that Nintendo is finally working on a new Prime game is what many fans have been waiting for – 10 years and counting.

There’s little doubt that a new adventure for Samus Aran, that happens to be a sequel to the beloved Prime games, will be a big deal. Out 2018? It’s possible.

Kirby Star Allies – March 16th

Best Upcoming Nintendo Switch Games: Kirby Star Allies

Kirby has always been seen as a bit of a B-list hero for Nintendo when compared to Mario, but there’s no doubt the pink blob brings his own unique brand of fun wherever he turns up.

Developer HAL Laboratory has proudly declared that Star Allies will stay true to its side-scrolling platformer roots, with Kirby joined by up to three companions for some co-op madness.

The World Ends With You Final Remix

Best Upcoming Nintendo Switch Games 2018: The World Ends With You Final Remix

One of Nintendo DS’ greatest titles, The World Ends With You, will be re-released on the Switch sometime this year. In addition to a new, Switch-exclusive scenario, The World Ends With You Final Remix will feature both touch controls resembling those of the original DS release and new Joy-Con controls.

No specific release date was given, but The World Ends With You Final Remix will be released in 2018.

Yoshi (Working Title)

Best Upcoming Nintendo Switch Games: Yoshi (Working Title)

A charming game for a charming character. Yoshi, that’s the only name for now anyway, is coming to the Nintendo Switch in 2018.

Cutesy platforming guaranteed the new Yoshi game looks to be shaping up rather nicely indeed – with a Paper Mario art style in tow.

Project Octopath Traveler

Best Upcoming Nintendo Switch Games: Project Octopath Traveler

Square Enix is bringing some energy to the Switch: we have a Dragon Quest XI port in the works, but there’s the exclusive Project Octopath Traveler heading its way too.

Octopath Traveler is from the team that brought you Bravely Default, the acclaimed 3DS JRPG series – so this could be special. It also boasts a brand new visual style the developers are calling ‘HD-2D’.

Mario Tennis Aces – Spring

Best Upcoming Nintendo Switch Games 2018: Mario Tennis Aces

The developers of the great Mario Tennis titles, Camelot, are at it again with a Mario Tennis title for the Switch.

Mario Tennis Aces will feature the series’ first story mode since GBA title Mario Tennis: Power Tour, complete with boss battles and mission-based gameplay. The story mode looks ‘ace’…

Pokémon Switch (Untitled)

Best Upcoming Nintendo Switch Games: Pokémon Switch

Whether you’re a huge fan of Pokémon or not, there’s no escaping the sheer power and importance of the brand. This will move consoles. Now there’s a new title coming, created specifically for the Nintendo Switch.

The Pokémon games happen to be expertly crafted affairs, so whatever Game Freak and Nintendo have planned, you can be sure it will dominate the headlines. Remember Pokémon Go?

The Other Best Upcoming Nintendo Switch Games For 2018

Best Upcoming Nintendo Switch Games: Travis Strikes Again

Other notable Nintendo Switch games coming out this year include the following:

  • Payday 2
  • The Escapists 2
  • Xeodrifter
  • Lost Sphear
  • Celeste
  • Dragon Quest Builders
  • The Longest Five Minutes
  • Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition
  • Shakedown Hawaii
  • Flipping Death
  • Wargroove
  • Terraria
  • Dandara
  • Pocket Rumble
  • Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom
  • Runner 3
  • Kingdom: Two Crowns
  • Yoku’s Island Express
  • 2064: Read Only Memories Integral
  • Indivisible
  • Shovel Knight: King of Cards
  • Mulaka
  • Layers of Fear: Legacy
  • Enter the Gungeon
  • Shin Megami Tensei (New Title)
  • Steep
  • Syberia 3
  • Dragon Quest Heroes 1 and 2
  • Owlboy
  • Battle Chasers Nightwar
  • Dragon Quest XI
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
  • Hollow Knight
  • No More Heroes 3 (Travis Strikes Again)
  • Super Meat Boy Forever
  • Light Fingers

Newly Announced

  • Dark Souls Remastered – May 25th
  • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze – May 4th
  • Celeste – January 25th
  • Fe / February 16th
  • SNK Heroines Tag Team Frenzy – Summer 2018
  • Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA – Summer 2018
  • Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition – Spring 2018
  • Dragon Quest Builders – January 2018
  • Pokken Tournament DX DLC – January 31st, and March 23rd for second DLC

That’s it for now. We’ll be updating this article when Nintendo inevitably decides to share the full details of their plans for 2018.

Floor Kids Review [Nintendo Switch] – A Hip, Head Bobbing Good Time

The rhythmic genre found in gaming has recently been regarded as that of a sore spot to much of the gaming community. Sure, we have excellent parties to throw revolving around Rock Band and Dance Dance Revolution, but how long has it been since either of those titles or any of the other music-based titles have been even remotely relevant in recent memory? Well, leave it to the Nintendo Switch to bring back the curve of rhythmic button smashing, but instead of hardy rock ‘n’ roll, we now have hip break-dancing in, Floor Kids.

While the overall premise of Floor Kids is straight forward enough – break-dance to the backtrack, pull off slick combos and moves by pressing the appropriate buttons at the right time, earn enough points to win – the game provides an excellent combination of modern edginess and trivial gameplay. Players choose their break-dancer from a selection of characters whose attributes range in four different skill classes. The four classes are also the four styles of break-dancing moves players can pull off in the break-dancing battles.

Popping off combinations of top rock and down rock moves is as easy as keeping the beat of the song with the proper face buttons.
Time to Bust Out Some Moves

Top rock, down rock, power moves and freezes are the four move sets each player has available to them. Top rock has players dancing at a standing position, on two feet, while Down rock takes the agile break-dancer down on all fours. Each of these two positions have four separate dance moves for every one of the eight playable characters, and are accomplished by tapping one of the four face buttons in coordination with the beat of the song. Simply tapping one of the buttons will have players performing top rock, but holding the down motion on the left analog stick while tapping a face button switches to the down rock position. An easy configuration that keeps the dancer from going idle and losing precious points.

The other two positions are Power and Freeze, but these two are performed in slightly different methods. Power refers to the dizzying motion when break-dancers spin for what seems like an eternity on their head, shoulders or hands. By rotating the left stick in either direction, the dancer then begins their own rendition of the power position. By holding down either the L or R shoulder buttons, the dancers will change into an alternate power move to add even more flavour to the performance.

Lastly, the freeze stance is the act of holding a position completely still in the middle of the song. By holding down one of the four face buttons along with the corresponding direction on the left analogue stick, the character will hold out a freeze move. These are crucial to time perfectly, as holding them out too long will result in the dancer toppling over, thus ending a combo and losing points. Combining the freeze moves together is especially fun, watching as your dancer seamlessly shifts from one handstand position to the next.

The four different stances take the dancers between flashy dance moves, even spinning atop one’s head.

Combining and switching between the four different stances successfully strings together combos and accumulates points. Bouncing your fingers to the beat while changing between moves is rewarding and all-too captivating of a ride. Watching as your hand-sketched character throws down their best moves to the DJ Kid Koala tracks, you can’t help but bob your head along to the beat. As cultured and fun the combo busting break-dancing is, however, the solid tapping beat rarely, if at all, changes rhythm from song to song. What does change is the snappy chorus parts that, if done properly, deal a huge portion of points to your overall score.

Tons of Awesome Tracks to Kick It To

Every song in Floor Kids lasts around 3 minutes or so, and each has two unique chorus sections. Taking place about halfway through and one at the end, the chorus sections mix up the strategy by adding distinct beats to the song at hand. By tapping in the correct positions (marked with an ‘X’ on the screen) players will add a bit more swagger to the dancing routine. While the overall beat stays the same – though the songs indeed change – the chorus acts as the game-changer in the songs.

The chorus sections require the player to hit the desired notes at appropriate moments in the song.

The lay of the land, so to speak, in Floor Kids is divided into a flurry of different settings in which these break-dancing battles take place. Each setting has three different songs to get down and earn your place on the cardboard. Players are scored out of a 5 star rating system based on their total score. By unlocking a certain amount of stars in total, the following venue then opens up. From grocery stores and art centers, to arcades and music studios, Floor Kids has a variety of settings, each with their own unique character to unlock.

At the start of the trivial campaign, players choose one of the eight playable characters, which then locks the unchosen seven. After obtaining 3 or more stars on certain levels, characters will unlock pieces of Breakdeck cards. Four pieces of the card deck will unlock a new character, each one varying in specific skills. While the progression system found in Floor Kids is a nice touch to the otherwise simple campaign, the ease of unlocking all of the characters hardly presents a challenge. Good thing the tunes are extra catchy.

In single-player mode, characters are unlocked in the Breakdeck by achieving high enough scores to earn a piece of a character card.
Let the Battles Begin…at the Scratch of the Record

For those looking to indulge in a little friendly competition with friends, a multiplayer Battle mode is available. Each player will choose a character of their liking and set out to dance like they’ve never danced before. In battle mode, each player has two chances to strut flashy moves in retaliation to their adversary, but not without a little dangerous interference from said foe.

While engaging in break-dance combat, looking for crowd requests for extra points to boost your score and keeping every move fresh and “crispy”, the opponents are capable of hurling giant fireballs – known as “Burns” – at the dancer on the floor. The opponent player taps any button to the beat to fill up their burn meter, and once full the player is then ready to launch the burn ball away. However, the dancing player, if paying attention, can trigger a shield to completely block the Burn attack when timed perfectly.

In Battle mode, the dancer on break is able to build up their “Burn” meter and launch disrupting fireballs at their opponent.

With this unique added element, the two player battle mode really shines. The dances are tense and hectic, way more than the simple idea would lead on. Pumping to the beat, switching stances to the crowd’s liking and keeping your guard up from the inevitable “burn ball” headed your way is truly a rewarding phenomenon if accomplished successfully. Not many rhythm games have this much depth of competition in such a simple sequence of events, but Floor Kids absolutely delivers a remarkable 2-player experience.

All in all, Floor Kids is an excellent addition to anyone’s Switch library. A cute little game with modern hip-hop tunes, and a method of dancing that, until now, haven’t seen very much light of day. The rhythmic stylings of Floor Kids revive a genre that seems to have drifted away with the likes of Rocksmith and SingStar. Easy enough for anyone to pick up and play, the beat-bopping tunes and awesome sketched-out visuals from the creative mind of the artist, JonJon, Merj Media has provided a unique form of entertainment to the ever-growing selection of Switch titles.