To celebrate the milestone and incredible success of the 16-bit revival of everyone’s favourite blue blur, Sega has announced the release of Sonic Mania Plus – a definitive version of the hit 2017 platformer packed with extra exclusives including new playable characters. To help bring in the new announcement Sega has also unveiled a brand new trailer showcasing the new characters and content, which can be seen below.
The new content featured in the upcoming release of Sonic Mania Plus includes:
Two new playable characters from the Sonic universe – Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel – both of which debuted in the 1993 Japanese release of SegaSonic the Hedgehog (Arcade).
All new Encore mode beefs up the replayability by adding new layouts and new challenges to previous zones and levels throughout Mania.
Four player versus modes, as well as ghost time trials, will be added to the competition and time attack modes now allowing you and three of your friends to compete in a unique challenge against one another.
If springing for the physical release of Mania Plus, players will receive an exclusive 32-page art book and a unique reversible cover showing off an old-school Sega Mega Drive cover, all included in slick holographic packaging.
Previous owners of Sonic Mania will have the option of downloading the Encore DLC pack upon release of Mania Plus at a generous price tag of £3.99.
[amazon_textlink asin=’B07BTNCVPC’ text=’Sonic Mania Plus’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’geali01-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’b841830a-4cb6-11e8-856a-7d65cb239a64′] is set to hit retailers everywhere on July 17th, 2018 for the PS4, Xbox One and Switch – with the DLC also coming to PC.
If you like top-down shooters, VHS-era B-movies and the Switch, take a look at the latest gameplay trailer for Garage from studio Zombie Dynamics and tinyBuild:
Garage Switch Gameplay Trailer
You play as Butch, an ex-drug dealer who destroys zombies with axes and blasts the rest with assault rifles. Garage doesn’t take itself too seriously, then. There’s nothing wrong with that, although it’s clear that development is being taken earnestly:
“I announced Garage during tinyBuild’s HelloSwitch2 event, and we’ve been working like crazy with studio Zombie Dynamics to get the game done”. – Alex Nichiporchik.
In a nutshell, it’s a Resident Evil and Splatterpunk-inspired quirky shooter with a high difficulty and lots of blood. It’s due out on the Switch May 10th as an exclusive title – for now.
It reminds us of (no surprise), Mr. Shifty, and that’s a very good thing indeed. That game? A bit of a hidden gem if you ask me.
Big news out of Passtech Games – creator of the favourable tower defence title, Space Run – as they have officially announced a release date for their upcoming strategy/adventure game – Masters of Anima.
Masters of Anima – What’s It About?
You raise armies of golem smashing guardians in this new adventure across the magical, and dangerous, world of Spark. Check out the announcement trailer below:
Taking on the role of the Anima apprentice Otto, you’ll embark on an adventure to save your fiancée from the dreadful grasp of the dark lord Zahr and his army of golems. A few takeaways from the official announcement are:
You can control up to 100 Guardian soldiers – each type with their own unique combat style, talents and abilities.
You can conjure up the sacred power of Anima – the life source of everything in the vast world of Spark.
You can learn new skills and abilities with every victory against massive armies and powerful bosses that stand in your way along the journey.
We can expect to see the latest release from Passtech Games – Masters of Anima – hit adventure seekers on April 10th, 2018 on the PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC systems.
Axiom Verge: Multiverse Edition, after suffering numerous delays, has finally hit the Nintendo Switch in the UK. The even better news is that we were lucky enough to receive a copy of the swanky edition at Nitchigamer HQ:
What’s In The Box?
Here’s everything Axiom Verge: Multiverse Edition for the Switch includes:
The game cartridge, (obviously!).
A Blu-ray documentary produced by 2PP with over 5 hours of extras
An exclusive artbook
A double-sided poster with a World Map
The official soundtrack CD
As you can see, it’s a generous package that was well worth the wait. But what about the game itself?
In Axiom Verge, the player controls Trace, a scientist who, after suffering a crippling injury, wakes up in an ancient and high-tech alien world. What’s happened exactly? No one knows, although to be honest, they had us at Metroidvania…
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)
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.
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
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
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
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)
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
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
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)
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
Other notable Nintendo Switch games coming out this year include the following:
The Escapists 2
Dragon Quest Builders
The Longest Five Minutes
Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition
Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom
Kingdom: Two Crowns
Yoku’s Island Express
2064: Read Only Memories Integral
Shovel Knight: King of Cards
Layers of Fear: Legacy
Enter the Gungeon
Shin Megami Tensei (New Title)
Dragon Quest Heroes 1 and 2
Battle Chasers Nightwar
Dragon Quest XI
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
No More Heroes 3 (Travis Strikes Again)
Super Meat Boy Forever
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
It’s no surprise that the Switch has seen such great success: it caters to hardcore and casual gamers with its unique premise, while games such as Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild have both been hailed as Game of the Year titles, driving further demand.
Reggie Fils-Aimé, CEO of Nintendo of America, stated that the console has attracted gamers who were already attached to Nintendo titles, as well as children who are now looking to experience these franchises for the first time.
With Nintendo gaining popularity among third-party publishers, and the releases of upcoming games such as Yoshi, Kirby Star Allies, Bayonetta 3, a new Pokémon title and Metroid Prime 4, the Switch looks set to realise a bright future ahead.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Switch sales have hit an impressive 10 million worldwide in just nine months.
Latest Nintendo Switch Sales – Switching It Up
The Nintendo Switch has almost beaten the Wii U’s total lifetime sales (13.56m). Let that sink in for a moment. That’s nine months vs five years on sale. In fact, the total number is very similar to the PS4’s first nine months on sale, and we know how well that’s doing.
There’s a serious chance then, that the Switch will outsell the Wii U in a single year – such is the pace of the ongoing sales.
Nintendo, as you can imagine, is pleased with the news and posted this charming tweet:
Next year the Switch will bring with it a new Yoshi game, a new Kirby game, a new Pokémon game, Bayonetta 3 (probably), Metroid Prime 4 (probably), we imagine more impressive indie titles, and hopefully, a few surprises to keep the momentum going. A new Star Fox game we can be proud of would be nice too – sorry Miyamoto!
With so many games hitting the Nintendo Switch lately, it’s easy to dismiss a title without giving it much of a chance. I’ll admit, when I first fired up Star Ghost by developer Rainy Frog, I instantly wrote it off as another in a seemingly vast pit of Switch indie games. This action game seemed unplayable and so radically different from your typical side-scrolling shooter, that I turned off the system and left it so for quite some time. Here’s the thing though: As reviewers, we are duty bound to give every title fair treatment, and to ensure we deliver an honest and accurate assessment. I reluctantly picked up my Switch once more, and after opening my eyes, I found myself quickly becoming obsessed with its simple yet unique style of gameplay.
The game starts immediately with an overview of the crisis at hand. The Metagon Empire has arrived and is threatening to annihilate the entire human race, and it’s your job to stop them. Aiding you in this peril-filled task is the “most advanced starfighter ever built!” It’s a simple story told repeatedly, but luckily, that’s where Star Ghost deviates from other titles in the genre.
The control scheme is excruciatingly simplistic. Your ship is constantly moving forward on its own, only pausing for a split second when taking on damage. Weapons all fire automatically without prompting. The player, which is you, can only control the vertical axis of the ship; by pressing the A button, your craft floats to the top of the screen and releasing it causes the ship to fall to the bottom. This is what threw me off at first; I had almost zero control over any aspect of the ship, and it was very frustrating.
Once I started to play more of the game, I realized that the very thing I found annoying became very freeing. As soon as you cease to worry about navigation and weapons control, you’re free to concentrate on everything else around you. It’s, for this reason, I am hesitant to call Star Ghost a cross-screen shooter. To me, this game has all the makings of an arcade platformer that has been dressed up like a shooter. It’s crucial to know exactly when to raise your ship up or lower it down due to incoming enemy fire and deadly flying objects. There are points in the game where you have to navigate through slim openings between two points, where crashing into a wall is guaranteed if you’re not guiding the ship in the exact right spot.
As I mentioned, players can’t control their weapons. You start with a single shot, fired off at regular intervals (about 1.5 seconds apart). You can control the angle of the blasts, but it’s very limited in range. As you destroy enemies and objects, your ship can pick up credits as well as ship and gun modifications. Eventually, your ship’s fire rate will increase exponentially, and the single shot can increase to five with instant upgrades. In later missions, my ship also became equipped with rockets, while in others, I acquired a spread of high-powered lasers. Players are also given the option to purchase upgrades at the completion of each mission, based on the number of credits acquired.
The only other thing you can control is a tractor beam, which radiates outward from the centre of the ship, pulling in all surrounding credits and weapon mods. The tractor beam can also be upgraded, increasing in size to allow the ship to pull in more of the good stuff. Players need to be mindful though, because all upgrades have a timer which will run out, causing a downgrade to the previous level; this cycle will continue to occur until you’re either back where you started, or the timer is extended by picking up more power-ups. Players beware; your ship can also pick up floating viruses that temporarily shut down all weapons and tractor beams. Pick this up at the wrong time, and you can find your ship flying through a haze of enemy fire with no way of defending yourself.
Star Ghost is an arcade game through and through; once you die, that’s it, end of story. As soon the game over sign hits, players must start all over again from the very beginning. This aspect of the game is another example of what I found infuriating and highly frustrating at first. It wasn’t until I collected enough credits that I realized you could in-fact continue from your current mission. It costs 50 credits to continue, which means players must carefully choose how they spend them at the end of each mission. I know some will find this aggravating, but I found it added a greater challenge to the overall game.
Composer David Wise has created all the original music for the game. For those who aren’t familiar, Mr. Wise was the mastermind behind the music from the famed Donkey Kong Country series (among others). Wise has found himself a cult following, and if you’re familiar with his work, it’s clear why people love him.
The game gives off a simplistic vibe but is actually quite beautifully drawn and animated. There is a myriad of enemies and space fairing debris, all of which utilize rich colours and fluid movements. One of the most interesting aspects of the game is the inclusion of dynamic level generation; every time you play a mission, it will be different. Players will ultimately have a unique experience each time they head into the unknown.
Whilst the headline seems simple enough, it does take some explaining. Sony is a huge corporation and is made up of many companies. One of the companies that make up Sony as a whole is Sony Music Entertainment. Now we have Sony Music Entertainment branching out by creating a new label called ‘Unties’. Still with me?
Unties seems focused on publishing and promoting small indie titles. Their mission statement includes this little snippet:
With the growth of game development environments, high quality game development has become possible even in small scale environments, and the evolution of digital publishing has made it easier to distribute developed titles to users worldwide. On the other hand, with a mixed bag of titles overflowing the market, there are also situations where interesting titles are buried without being noticed.
So far so good. Where it gets interesting is that one of Unties four confirmed games is a turn-based action game called Tiny Metal. It’s going to be available on PS4, PC, Mac and Switch.
Unties is a game publisher owned by Sony Music Entertainment. Sony Music Entertainment is owned by Sony. Sony Interactive Entertainment (the PlayStation people) are also owned by Sony. Obviously.
Unties have confirmed four titles that they’ll be publishing. All are small indie titles.
One of the titles, called Tiny Metal, will be launching on the Nintendo Switch.
Weird, right? I know it’s a little long-winded but the link is there. Sony is involved in the publishing of a title which will be available on the Nintendo Switch. Sure the average consumer will see a logo for a company called Unties, but we’ll know the truth!
Kingdom: New Lands is out now on the Nintendo Switch. Get ready to rule!
This indie game was originally released in 2015 as Kingdom by Noio and Licorice (a two-man developer team) for PC on Steam. It was later ported to Xbox One and Android phones and reworked as Kingdom: New Lands.
Kingdom: New Lands
The core premise of the game: it’s a 2D pixel side-scroller kingdom simulator where you ride out on your trusty steed to collect coins, build, and defend your civilisation. The music is stunning too!
Here’s a closer look at the official launch trailer:
“Be brave, ruler, and fight to the bitter end, lest these New Lands conquer you instead”.
Kingdom: New Lands is out now on the Nintendo eShop in the UK for £13.49.
Kingdom: Two Crowns
If that wasn’t enough, the next game in the series, Kingdom: Two Crowns, is also coming to the Switch and PC in 2018. Here’s a sneak peek:
The sequel will be “utilizing Joy-Con [controllers] for a couch (or on the go) co-op experience that is perfect for monarchs who want help ridding their kingdom of greed”.
It’s always good to have extra things to look forward to!