Articles tagged with nintendo

Jan
26
Posted by Ben at 15:29
Basically this is just a declaration that I'm going to buy Detective Pikachu. Nintendo aren't going to send it to us for review, and I'm not going to not play it, so, assuming Detective Pikachu gets a European release it's getting bought

I don't actually know what the game is, other than a 3DS eshop title due in the next week, I just like subversions of established franchises.

Granted I can't see detective Pikachu having a drinking problem, estranged from his wife after their child went missing, a case he's never solved, but just having a normal man's voice while all the other pikachus don't is enough for me tbh

There's a trailer below is you want to see what's dividing the gaming side of the internet

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Jan
24
Posted by Ben at 11:34
Ok, it’s that time of the year again. Well, it’s about a month after that time of the year given than most sites put their Game of the Year articles up just before Christmas. We here at Bitparade like to give ourselves a bit more time with games. We don’t get to do nothing other than play games all year, more's the pity, so that extra few weeks, after some sales and a week off work, gives us some time to finish up some games, and pick up some others. we also work with a rule that no game can be mentioned twice, so if James, to pick an entirely random and non-resentful example, picks Box-Boy, I (Ben) can’t

So that’s why we’re posting in January. Personally the extra month didn’t really alter my list, but it very nearly did. Undertale didn’t quite deliver the way I hoped, but Until Dawn very nearly snuck on to my list. Truth be told, outside the first couple I could have switched around my other games, bringing in Until Dawn, The Music Machine, Blazblue Chronophantasma Extend, and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. All of which are very good games, all of which are worth your time, and were I editing this piece tomorrow rather than today, emminantly likely to be included.

There’s also a lot of games that we didn’t play to even be considered. Again, speaking just for myself, I’ve got Metal Gear Solid 5 sat with a whopping 2 hours played, Mario Maker sat on a shelf, Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines sat on a digital shelf, Batman Arkham Knight was a shambles, and Mad Max a disappointment. There’s a whole host of games, and genres I guess, that just wouldn’t even show on the site’s radar. Not that we actively try to avoid things, but there’s only so much time in a year, we only get sent so much stuff to review, and everything else is what we’ve chosen to play. Bear all that in mind as you disagree with our picks!



I know this is a stupid thing to say, but Witcher 3 seems like a Game of the Year Game of the Year. I think I may have picked Witcher 2 as my game of the year a few years back, but that was that was some janky ‘little’ rpg that was better than it had any right to be. Witcher 3 on the other hand is a huge, stunning, big budget, hyped rpg, you don't really feel obscure for picking it.

I know people have issues with Witcher 3, the one I'd concede is the levelling up system, I'd like to feel a bit more difference in my character than you do currently. The combat though I love, playing on the right difficulty even low level enemies can mess you up if you get swarmed. Witcher 3 is a dangerous world, grim but often funny, and packed with so much content, that I still want to play, I probably won't be done with it by this time next year.



I played the first Disgaea way back when, then replayed it on the DS, not finishing it either time. So when I was tasked with reviewing Disgaea 5 I was more than a little apprehensive. The games are daunting, too long, overflowing with systems, borderline impenetrable grind-fests. Or not as turned out to be the case.

Disgaea 5 still has a lot of systems on the go, but they’re presented more piecemeal, the story mode drip feeds them to you. And more so than in the first game, you don’t really need to engage with them if you don’t want to. You might need to pick up and throw every now and again, tower attacks aren’t the worst idea, and chaining attacks should become 2nd nature, but there’s a lot else that I never needed to master. Granted, Disgaea 5 is another Disgaea game I haven’t finished, but it’s one that feels eminently doable once everyone stops releasing videogames for me to play



I quite liked Wolfenstein The New Order, as a reboot for the series it played as a fantastic, over the top, single player fps, that, for me, out stayed its welcome. Wolfenstein The Old Blood is a more condensed experience. It's still not short, and it does feel a little 'built' at times in the way it reuses scenarios, but it's also paced much better. There's some great bad guys, the scene on the train is a particular standout, some ludicrous weapons, and some memorable set pieces to use them in. It also manages to mix some fairly dark themes and violence with moments of humour and absurdity. Honestly, I'm amazed Wolfenstein The Old Blood didn't feature in more Game of the Year lists.



This might be a slightly strange pick because I had some issues with Lost Dimension in my review. My problem was the game exists outside its story, it doesn't justify itself, at least not without seeing the true ending (and even then…). As a strategy rpg though it's great, breezy and light in a way that makes it accessible, with plenty of depth there if you want it. If anything Lost Dimension could do with pushing that more, but not knowing who's still going to be alive hampers that somewhat I guess.



Gunman Clive 2 split the site a little bit. I, correctly, rate it as one of the best games of the year, a refined, fun, action platformer. The WiiU HD port wasn’t quite as good, I think because Gunman Clive 2 on 3DS does benefit from some depth, despite largely being played on a 2D plane. It’s basically more of the same as the first game, but it’s tighter, fewer frustrating deaths, just generally a better, more varied version. It’s fun, simple as that really



This is a bit of a cheat, Prison Architect was in Early Access for what seemed like forever but was finally released in 2015 with some excellent additions and an extra mode that tasks you with escaping from prison rather than trying to keep inmates contained. Introversion have injected a great sense of humour into Prison Architect and it reminds me of the early Bullfrog "Theme" games. I've sunk more hours into Prison Architect than any other 2015 release, and for good reason!



Dungeon Crawlers are everywhere on handhelds now, but Etrian Mystery Dungeon is, in my humble opinion, the best example of the genre (although Sorcery Saga: Curse of the Great Curry God is certainly up there for the top down variant of the genre). The reason for this is that whilst Etrian Mystery Dungeon is constantly challenging, its never unfair and the idea of shaking your approach when it comes to the games boss fights means the gameplay never gets stagnant. I said this in my review, but I want to reiterate it here, Etrian Mystery Dungeon is Dark Souls but for the 3DS and that's a great thing.



Some say its light on content, with far too much potentially locked away for the Season Pass, and some say its far too approachable. I disagree with both of those parties, the game modes in Star Wars Battlefront are different enough to keep things interesting and the fact you can pick it up and put it down at will means you never really feel out of your depth. Unlockables are fed to you at a decent rate and it scratches that nostalgic itch of acting out such battles in the play ground. Although I'm bloody awful when it comes to using the Heroes and Villains.



Its more of the same, and yet different. Its as bloodily and brutal as ever but brings an intriguing puzzle element to its levels. There's an organised chaos to Hotline Miami 2 which makes it utterly compelling, which tied into the visuals and (once again) excellent soundtrack, creates an oddly addictive yet disturbing environment that'll test even the most patient of players.



Okay, okay it was actually released in 2014 but let's face it Driveclub was pretty horribly broken until 2015, and for that reason I include it in my GOTY entry for said year. We'll dust over the fact that I didn't actually play it until later in the year. Driveclub is an example of how many developers, or at least their publishers a treating "Triple A" games this generation, adopting a "release it now, patch it later" method of creating games. Its rare that such titles become excellent examples of their genre though, but Driveclub achieves that by making its racing both fun and challenging whilst obtaining a sense of realism and, importantly, community. Evolution have manage to out Forza Forza in this regard, and whilst its missing some of Microsoft's top line racer it more than makes up for it by tying its challenge aspects together seamlessly. Plus let's not forget those weather effects!



BoxBoy! is a great example of when good game design triumphs above all else. Made within the constraints of Nintendo Web Framework, developer HAL Laboratory managed to squeeze as much as possible out of what initially appears to be a very simple 2D puzzle platformer.

The main gist of BoxBoy! involves producing chains of boxes from your character, Quby, to traverse environments and solve puzzles. This initially appears in a simple form that has very little going for it, but what’s impressive is the way HAL takes this mechanic and runs with it, forcing you to think out of the box (ha…ha) in each new world you encounter.



While many wanted a straight up sequel to Xenoblade, what makes Xenoblade X all the more interesting is its wildly different take on the RPG, despite it having a few skin-deep similarities to its Wii cousin. With Xenoblade X, Monolith Soft nails open world RPG design, implementing a structure that not only gives you an immense amount of freedom, but the curiosity to explore its vast world in the first place.

There are of course a few trade-offs associated with the move to a truly open world game – some of the missions feel like filler material designed to lead you around the environment – but taken as a whole, you can’t help but admire how well the game’s vast world, NPCs, narrative and systems link together.



Splatoon is just a delight on so many levels. There’s the most obvious one: Nintendo knocked it out the park in designing a genuinely different and validated take on the shooter genre. Painting the map with ink complements the ability to swim in the stuff extremely well, and there’s nothing quite like it, despite it feeling so instinctively right to play. But it’s also worth remembering some of the other things it did, all of which helped make it feel fresh and compelling. It focused on emphasising playing for fun over the need to accumulate levels or perks. Its lobbies allowed players to express themselves through Miiverse drawings, often to comedic effect. And the inclusion of a single player campaign complemented the multiplayer proceedings well.

And the consistent rollout of new content, either purposefully locked away on disc or downloaded, turned out to be a masterstroke that kept the game fresh for months, while also giving us all a good excuse to sink a few more dozen hours in.



If Splatoon is a proof of concept for Nintendo’s garage developer programme – it initially came about from developer experimentation in an internal “Game Jam” event – Grow Home is Ubisoft’s equivalent. Developed by the unlikeliest of teams, Ubisoft Reflections, Grow Home serves up a refreshing slice of 3D platforming action that most brings to mind Super Mario 64, which of course is a Very Good Thing. It’s easy for 3D, open world platformers to become sprawling, incoherent collectathons, but Grow Home avoids this by focusing on traversal over collecting objects – just like Super Mario 64. So where does the “refreshing” part come from?

Well, there haven’t been many games like Super Mario 64 given how hard it is to follow up on a piece of game design and programming that nailed every aspect right down to the nuances in the controls, so it’s great to have a 3D platformer that resurrects a forgotten genre. There’s that, then, but Grow Home feels so refreshing because it has its own identity. You could say the game is characterised by its use of procedural animation for its lead character, BUD. You’re given control of his arms and legs, all independently, which lets you traverse the sides of the environment, manipulate objects or a manner of both simultaneously. Or you could look at how the game handles traversal itself – you spend most of its six hour running time growing a giant beanstalk, and gawping at the distance you’ve made along the way. It’s a real treat, and I suspect it will feel just as fresh when fellow 3D platformer Yooka-Laylee is eventually released.



Simogo are always constantly trying new things, from stealth rhythm action platformers to horror adventure games. You can never quite guess what’s coming next, and SPL-T turned out to be no exception. Released out the blue, SPL-T is a puzzle game that recalls simpler times. No online leaderboards. No social media links. No data analytics. Just a well-crafted puzzle game that reveals layer upon layer of depth the more you play it.

To explain the game itself would be to spoil it – it’s best experienced when you know nothing about it, when you naively prod the screen at first and try to figure out what exactly is going on. And then it all clicks moments later…
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Dec
15
2015
Posted by Mark at 18:33
Also Cloud and someone from the new Fire Emblem.

In the final Nintendo Direct not only of the year but also for the current Smash Bros. games, Nintendo have revealed the final three characters to be added as downloadable content- all three of who will be getting an Amiibo at some unspecified point in the future.

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First up is Corrin from the forthcoming Fire Emblem: Fates, who, like other FE leads has a selectable gender and for reasons which will probably be better explained in his/her native game, can transform in whole or in part to a dragon.

Next on the list is Final Fantasy VII protag Cloud, putting recent rumours to bed as to his inclusion.

The very final character to be included, right at the end of the presentation after revealing a new stack of hats for Team Fortress 2 Mii Fighters, was Bayonetta's Bayonetta.

What's interesting about the presentation is that Sakurai goes to great lengths to explain the unique aspects of each character.

Corrin's weapon can be stuck in the ground, indefinitely stunning its recipient allowing the player to take a second to decide what to do with them. Cloud has his Limit Breaks, and Bayo her Witch Time.

The reason this is interesting as they've shown you all the tools you'll have at your disposal when you download the characters ahead of time, allowing the player to roll straight into using the characters to their full potential rather than spend ages working out how to operate them properly- and of course, let those who are playing against them what to expect.

Cloud should be available to download now- assuming the news hasn't just left a smoking crater where Nintendo's servers used to be- and the other two are out in February.
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Dec
01
2015
Posted by Ben at 16:19
The Delusions of Von Sottendorff and His Square Mind looks a fairly interesting game. It's a puzzle box of sorts, where you must move around the rooms of a mansion to make a route, so that items, keys and the like, can be recovered. It's a simple idea, but a fairly sound one

It's also nice to see, as The Delusions of Von Sottendorff and His Square Mind is a game developed in Spain, that the game is voiced in both English and Spanish. It's always nice to see developers able to cater to their own country like that

The Delusions of Von Sottendorff and His Square Mind is due out on the Nintendo 3DS eShop on the 17th December, and will be priced around £10 (or whatever $13 equates to).

For a bit of a look at the game there's a trailer below

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Flesh Of
Beasts Edition
24-11-15
Posted by Mark at 17:53

I've been playing Pandora's Tower which, as one of the Wii's hidden gems, is an annoying game to play.

It's a perfectly 'core' game, which uses the Wiimote/nunchuck combo meaningfully. Much like Super Mario Galaxy, the player character- Aeron- is mostly controlled traditionally with the analogue stick, and the remote is used as a pointer for aiming the chain used as the game's main weapon and means of interacting with the physical environment.

This is a good example of using motion control intelligently- rather than simply being a gimmicky 'something to do' (as in Galaxy) or being waggle for the sake of waggle (although the game isn't completely free of that) it's being used because it's better than the traditional control alternative, which would be some kind of inevitably faulty auto-aim or first-person section.

It's annoying not for any design-y reasons one might expect to see in a review, but because it's a glimpse of a alternate future where people didn't overlook the Wii for being casual-focused, where Nintendo didn't reject the hardware arms race and made a console which could handle PS360 ports well, and where the company didn't shit itself in the face of tablets, creating the misguided chimera that is the GamePad.

Perhaps, one where people didn't smell blood in the water after Microsoft backtracked over the xBox One DRM thing and bullied them into making Kinect optional.

Given that Nintendo have similarly blinked and all but confirmed a 2016 launch for NX as well as properly kicked off their mobile initiative in earnest, it's a future we've probably lost forever.
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Typoman
Video Review
23-11-15
Posted by Ben at 15:50

We posted our Typoman review yesterday, and here's the accompanying video.

I feel a bit bad for the score I game Typoman, it's not without merit, but reading the review back, a 6 looked comical. I do think some people will find something to like about the game though

The video mainly focuses on the end of Chapter 1 and a chunk of Chapter 2. There's spoilers, solutions to puzzles, which depending on if you're stuck or not will either be a good thing or a bad thing, but don't say you weren't warned Show/hide video

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Typoman

22-11-15
Posted by Ben at 09:16

A few weeks back we posted a feature called 'How Good Does Typoman Look'. The game had been featured as an upcoming indie game on the WiiU eShop, I'd missed it there, but after seeing the trailer I was won over. I thought the game looked fantastic, the concept at least, and was expecting good things. Unfortunately, the horrendous mess of Batman Arkham Knight on the pc aside, Typoman might just be the most disappointed I've been with a game all year.

The premise is wonderful. Typoman is a puzzle-platformer, where you must use and rearrange words to progress. Simple things like 'NO' being switched to turn a switch 'ON', 'remove'-ing things, draining the rain. It's cool, and when it's being that, the simple execution of a good idea, it's a good game. The problem is it feels like the developers decided that wouldn't be enough, and maybe they're right, maybe they do need to push on the way they do, focusing more on the puzzles and difficulty, maybe it's just that the balance isn't right.

Typoman is oddly ruthless. The platforming is needlessly precise, considering it's not the focus, final pixel jumps are not uncommon. There'll be sections where one nanosecond pause will guarantee failure, the final boss is a prime example of this. The boss itself wouldn't be too bad, but if you aren't moving the second you respawn after a death you're dead... again. One of the other issues that the final boss flags up that's an issue throughout is how little time you get to think. It's not constant, other times you'll have all the time in the world to not know how to solve a puzzle, but on occasion you'll be faced with imminent death and no respite to even look at the solution, let alone try it out. For the last boss I took to grabbing my phone and taking a picture of the letters available to me, then pausing the game and giving myself the time to think. Typoman really is peculiar in its ruthless streak.

When you do get stuck there's a hint system. Hit the '?' on the WiiU Gamepad, and you'll get a bit of prose, a poem of sorts that points you to the answer. Press the '?' again and the particular word you need to make will light up. It's good that the hint system is there, I certainly made use of it, but it comes with a few problems. The hints, even before you light the word up, can be a little on the nose, essentially giving you the answer when you just want a poke in the right direction. Conversely, you can have the answer, even the word revealed, and still be left staring at the screen with no idea what you need to do.

There's a balance problem with Typoman, it too often leaves you completely bewildered. You'll have everything you need but have no idea where to start. Take the puzzles that involve letter machines, a production line that lets you print letters to build words. You'll have more letters available than you need, it clouds things, especially when the word needed to provoke the action seems unintuitive. You can usually see the logic once you've solved it, but wonder if you'd ever have reached it without using a hint. It's the double-edged sword of the hint system, it's too easy to go to it, it takes away the 'game' a bit, it's too all or nothing. I wish they'd made the hints a bit more like those of a crossword puzzle, something to solve before just handing you the word you need.

Typoman suffers from too many technical issues. The initial load time is long, once you're in the levels there's no loading, but getting there takes surprisingly long. Initially I thought this might be because I was running the game from a harddrive, but too many other people have mentioned it. Similarly the hitching, presumably it's caused by the engine streaming in a new area, but it's off-putting and can occasionally happen at key times. I've had a couple of moments where Typoman has got stuck, where spawned words have glitched through an object causing me to die. There's also an issue where leaving the game paused for a long period will make the pause menu freeze up, but that's a bit of an edge case.

Really the technical issues are the kind of thing that need to be mentioned in the review, but not necessarily the sort of thing that will ruin a game. Typoman's problems are all with its puzzle design and platforming. Difficulty is fine, leaving the player frustrated isn't, especially in the moments where the puzzle has been solved but the application let's you down. It's a shame too, there's moments where I really liked Typoman. There's some good ideas, some cool set pieces, and the concept is great, but once I got through the early sections I'm not sure how often I had fun. It's a game that's almost there, but as it is Typoman is too frustrating for its own good, it leaves you cursing it too often, and it left me feeling like it was a huge missed opportunity.
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Nov
19
2015
Posted by Ben at 15:44
We featured Typoman in our occasional How Good Does ___ Look feature, and now it's out

Priced at £10 on the WiiU eshop, it certainly looks a good idea.

We may or may not do a review at some point, but until them here's the launch trailer

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Etrian
Mystery Dungeon
20-10-15
Posted by Duane at 06:13

It's no secret that I'm a bit inexperienced when it comes to the Etrian Odyssey series, I've played many many similar games, but having not really spend much time with Nintendo's handhelds over the years, the series has mostly past me by. The same also applies to the Mystery Dungeon series, although I had a brief relationship with the first European Pokemon entry and, again, have played a fair few similar titles, most memorably Sorcery Saga: Curse of the Great Curry God (which I found to be quaint and humorous, if a little frustrating at times). Both genre's appear, to me at least, to be rather punishing, or challenging (depending upon how you want to look at things), but really rather rewarding once you get around their mechanics. But what's interesting here is that Spike Chunsoft (who mash out a huge number of games in both genres) have now made an attempt to combine the two with Etrian Mystery Dungeon.


This particular release takes more cues from the Mystery Dungeon series than the other half of the relationship, with the latter offering up the games character design, however the vast majority of the games graphical style, that being when you are in dungeons, is also taken from Mystery Dungeon and is definitely a case of function over form. This leaves the game looking uncluttered, which is definetly a good thing as there can be a lot to take in whilst exploring Etrian Mystery Dungeons... dungeons.

The “Rogue-like” nature of these sorts of games is what makes them challenging, which is what attracts most people to them. It's far too easy to head into a dungeon unprepared and quickly find yourself overwhelmed and out of your depth. The games mechanics want you to explore but can just as easily punish you for doing so as your stamina slowly depletes and then chips away at your health. Being limited to the number of items you can carry means no trip back to town is wasted, although it will refresh your progress in any dungeon you are in. Speaking of the dungeons themselves, Etrian Mystery Dungeon has randomly generated dungeons for you to explore, thankfully though they don't always remain that way, if you're happy to spend the “En” (the games currency) you can place a Fort on any level that you have already explored, which will then prevent the dungeon from being randomly generated on further visits, making gathering resources and completing quests much easier.

Progression is split up in two manners, you can obtain Missions, these tend to be designed to further progression through the game itself, usually in advancing the story or unlocking somewhere new to explore, whilst Quests give you tasks to do in locations you have already visited, providing you with rewards of cash or items. It's this element of segregation that encourages you to take the “baby steps” approach to advancing through the game that results in you feeling like you aren't getting very far, but take a chance every now and then to push further and you'll be rewarded with the sense that your party is actually stronger than you'd assumed they were.

Forts come in handy with character progression too. You can have a Guild featuring a number of members, however you can only take four characters in a party to go and explore, those left at your Guild HQ will gain some experience whilst you are away, but they're progression will be incredibly slow, however by placing upto 4 members into a Fort, they will gain more XP by just being “out in the field” so to speak and level at a higher rate than those left at HQ, this all means its much much easier to juggle different combinations of parties allowing you to tailor your exploration group for each time you head into a dungeon rather than feeling like you are stuck with the initial four members that you create.

The game is constantly trying to throw new challenges at you, from random floors (usually on lower floors of a dungeon) containing monsters that have received a buff, to rooms that contain an inordinately larger number of enemies than others. Boss figthts too can be difficult and tend to thrown the games “just hit whatever enemies closest” mechanics on their head by requiring you to take control of each party member individually (something you can do at any other time too, if you so wish) and act in a strategic manner, providing buffs for your party, drawing attention to particular team members or areas of a room to take advantage of traps, that kind of thing. Things don't tend to let up if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation where a party member is defeated either, as the creature that deals the killer blow will receive a strengthening buff resulting in them being not only hitting you harder but being able to take more damage. Etrian Mystery Dungeon's quaint appearance is certainly misleading, whereas Dark Souls (which shares many similarities with the dungeon crawler genre despite its playing perspective) looks foreboding, Etrian Mystery Dungeon looks cute, cuddly and easy. These things it is not, and some might say its all the better for it.
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Oct
11
2015
Posted by Ben at 16:46
Loathed as I am to just post a trailer the excitement for Shin Megami Tensei IV Final has got a hold of me. I don't know why, I've not finished Shin Megami Tensei 4 yet and there's absolutely no guarantee we Europeans will ever even see this game, but hey ho, trailers are news nowadays

What I will say about the trailer for Shin Megami Tensei 4 Final, I was wondering how they were going to do a HD trailer for a 3DS game, they used some live action footage and some placeholder art. But they do also show some gameplay, and from the snippets we get, it looks like new areas, which is certainly welcome

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