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A Few Thoughts on Nintendo Switch Cases and Configurations

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The backs of Nintendo Switch cases are going to be so very, very busy. With the freedom to “play it your way” comes the need to inform consumers of all their options. The ‘Number of players’ and ‘supported controllers’ icons are commonplace but now we’ll have three more just to depict the various console configurations. Alongside the boilerplate safety notices and tri-lingual game descriptions it should make for an awfully garish sight. No wonder the front of the box is so simple in comparison.

The above image isn’t from the back of a box though, it’s from Fast RMX’s website so the final iconography could be more succinct. Nevertheless, all that information has to be present and will eat up even more space on boxes for marketers to tell you anything about the actual game. It’s not a big deal as there’s a whole internet out there to explain what a game is like but with most news on the Switch these days, this little tidbit raise more questions.

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It’s been taken for granted that all games would support all three Switch configurations (TV, Tabletop and Handheld modes) but could some games simply refuse to work on the go? With the alleged performance drop when the Switch is undocked could some games run so poorly that Nintendo would require them to disable on-the-go play?

If there’s a performance edge to be gained by prohibiting undocked play then at least a few studios will use it. If that gamble pays off — or if demand just isn’t there for portable play thanks to the battery life —  I could see the majority of Switch games going “TV Mode” exclusive. It’s just a thought, I’m sure there are details out there already in subreddits and forums but I wanted to throw it out there in the crazy chance that I’m onto something.

I’m Providing a Valuable Zombie Workout Service

You just don’t realize how much a game means to some people until it goes away. Running Delisted Games has brought all kinds of people to me, usually lamenting the loss of one of the hundreds of games I’ve dug into. It feels good to provide them a page to mourn the loss of a favorite game but sometimes I can go a little deeper.

I really didn’t know how many people regularly used and relied on Xbox Fitness until I got my first Delisted video online. People have been requesting uploads of specific workout and this past weekend I finally got everything recorded that I still have access to. Sadly, it isn’t much but I did get to record the 2-part Zombies workout. Yes, there are even zombies in fitness videos now.

It’s really peculiar. It feels like an FMV game — fitting, as it’s produced by SUMO Digital, the team behind the actual FMV game Intel Discovered — only you don’t have any control over how things happen. Instead, the team of survivors do a typical workout routine for a few minutes and then you repeat the sequences as they rush to a new safe location. It’s really something to see as the cast tries to apply burpees, walking push-ups and high jumps to zombie encounters.

Whether you exercise alongside them or not, those two videos in particular are worth queuing up sometime.

Achieving: Stealthy Steampunk Satisfaction in The Swindle

Achieving: Stealthy Steampunk Satisfaction in The Swindle

I started out not thinking The Swindle was very good. It wants to combine Spelunky with Mark of the Ninja into a roguelike stealth/action game but the finicky controls keep it from feeling as solid and reliable as its predecessors. Nevertheless, it’s got style, an amazing soundtrack and some clever gadgets tucked up its sleeves.

Completing the game in 100 days feels as much like an accounting class as it does a heist. You need to raise over £500,000 to access all the districts leading up to Scotland Yard where the game’s McGuffin is stashed. You’ll never do it by farming the starting area in the slums so you initially have to be choosy about which of the 30+ upgrades you buy. One of them is a teleporter that lets you zip through solid walls, obviously decreasing the difficulty, and the other is a computer you can use to extend the 100-day deadline (for an exponential fee).

I managed to rely on neither of them and was still well prepared for the major swindle… until I boned it up. In the final stretch I slid off of a wall directly in front of the last guard who stood between me and the goal. I’ll take the blame on that one after a nerve wracking hour spent infiltrating the place, but that mechanic has dropped me into trouble numerous times before. See, it’s finicky.

Second attempt and it’s getting a little later than I wanted to be up playing. Once again I gingerly explore the randomly generated tower which, this time, is filled with sound detecting bots that launch out a flurry of thief-seeking, one-shot drones. Super. After even more time with this tower I’ve finally quelled the opposition in total silence and set up a path to run straight out in case something tricky happens after I grab the goods (which I’d never done up to this point). After the requisite pause for effect, I grabbed it and ran on my pre-planned path, completely uneventfully to the finale of the game. That there. That felt good.

The A-rank I was given only made me feel better so I reloaded my save and set off for another Trophy: to Ghost a bank while killing every enemy. It was essentially what I’d just pulled off on the final mission only with slightly less opposition so I had it done in about 25 more minutes. Icing on the cake for the evening, and another Ultra Rare, less-than-1%-completion Trophy was scored.

Achieving: Tales of Pointless Self Reward retold in brief posts whenever we feel like it.

Spoons-On with Dragon Quest Builders at Menchie’s

The minimal amount of promo goods filled up the tiny space

While doing some more Delisted work last week I checked in at Licensemag.com where I look to see what games have upcoming licensing deals. Lo and behold, there’s Dragon Quest Builders in a deal with Menchie’s, one of the many nationwide froyo franchises. I immediately signed up and redeemed their DLC code but over the weekend we decided it’d be worth the trip to check out the point-of-purchase experience.

I lit up even before we got into the place at the sight of Pippa and Rollo beaming out of the front door. Posters, window clings and tabletop standees adorn the tiny space but only one of them implies what Dragon Quest Builders even is. The single employee on duty said that her and the boss have been trying to figure out what these colorful characters were from. Katy and I explained and got the usual blank stare and “oh ok,  that’s cool” response. A simple PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita logo would’ve helped a lot.

Character selections are clever but I think they could've been clever-er

I did like the touch of calling out specific flavors as “So-and-So’s Favorite” but I think they missed the mark on the selections. I mean, a Blue Slime probably has to go with a blueberry flavor right? I really can’t remember a lot of the food items in the game but I’m sure there were better accompaniments than cake batter, Reese’s peanut butter and chocolate.

Finally, after we ate (I had carrot cake with graham cracker crumbs, Katy had a mix of vanilla and chocolate) I asked if I could grab a couple of clean cups and the girl also gave us a pair of pins. She said they’ve been trying to give them out but nobody wanted them. Awww. Please allow this 40-year-old couple to take them off your hands!

Now to hang onto these for 30 years

It’s been a long time since a game I cared about got a real world promotion. It was genuinely exciting to see it advertised outside of the typical game shops and surprising to see Dragon Quest marketed in North America, period. JC from Tiny Cartridge said it best, “most importantly: Square Enix, in the year 2017, has gone out of its way to advertise a Dragon Quest game. This is far outside of what I’m used to, and I love it.

If you’ve got a Menchie’s nearby and if Dragon Quest ever meant anything to you, take a look; you’ve got until January 31st for the promo.

Of 2016: The GameLuv Report

Of 2016: The GameLuv Report

GameLuv’s stats were a real surprise in 2016! I only managed to make 72 posts, an all time low, but we almost had a 4-year high with 10,149 views. Once again, lots of views (1,834) were to the homepage which makes me happy to think that at least a few hundred of you come directly to GameLuv.com. For that I apologize, I really should have more posts going up throughout the year. Between OSV and Delisted Games the site is suffering from some neglect.

Beyond the homepage our top views were again from years past but this time most were just from 2015. The KPop Dance Festival news saw another 1,625 views in 2016, the most for a single post on the site. As Submerged went on sale and was ported to iOS more people came looking for meaning behind the game’s made-up language. That brought another 830 views to my post Decoding the Language and Story of Submerged. I’m happy to see more posts from 2016 pop up in the top ten as well.

Of 2016: The GameLuv Report

When Miyamoto appeared on The Tonight Show the internet had a bit of a freak-out over his shirt featuring Mario dressed up as a samurai. It immediately reminded me of the last Club Nintendo calendar that features Mario and friends dressed up for various Japanese holidays. I scanned the calendar and it brought in 253 views just in the last few weeks of 2016. My post recounting some new tidbits on Metal Gear Survive garnered 224 views and my March Update on Spelunker World grabbed another 104 views.

In search we had the same results as usual. Of our 4,329 search referrals, 3,898 were from Google. The next highest referrer was Reddit where I’d shared some posts about the Nintendo Switch, Spelunker World and Earth Defense Force. The search terms that brought people to the site couldn’t have been much more varied from last year, though.

While “luv game” and “just dance kpop” prevailed we had more people come our way thanks to Spelunker World and Metal Gear Survive than anything else. I’m also especially proud that someone’s search for “goat farting in zoo” landed them on this post, even though it wasn’t what they were looking for. Finally, I’m not sure what “kyar game” is but I don’t think it was someone looking for an early augmented reality experience at Disney World, which is what I posted about in 2007.

Visits from every country: Gotta Catch 'em All

Globally, we had the same kind of split as usual. 5,467 visitors from North America, 458 from Canada, 433 from the UK and a few hundred each from the remaining European countries. Pretty much all of the numbers were increases as well, although that includes the Eastern European ones where the spammers and scammers come from.

It was a surprisingly good year for the site and I think the only thing I can honestly attribute it to is something changing with Google’s algorithm. I did add an SEO plugin to the site but I’ve only made the metadata changes on the most recent posts. Unless it’s doing some real magic I think it’s really to do with search rank and all that Google stuff. I’m no SEO expert, not even a novice really, so I’m happy enough to see the numbers go up on the graphs.

Looking ahead, I’ll probably end up doing the Top Twenty of the IGF again, although I may take more time with it this year instead of rushing to put a bow on it. I hope to do some more cross-posting from my YouTube channel to the site and at least do a recap of my work on OSV. And of course, I’ll be throwing all kinds of random thoughts, pick-ups and links as they pop up. I’ll be updating the Play-Asia sidebar for a new look in 2017 instead of cluttering up the joint with their random product images. I’ve also begun doing some A/B testing with the few ad banners on the site so you may not see the same 3 ads for mobile games that I feel have been running forever. Also, I might as well ask if you’d turn off your ad blocker for us? It really does help and I promise I don’t have any pop-ups or pop-overs waiting to annoy you.

 

Thanks for all the visits, 2016!

Finally, my heartfelt thanks goes to everyone who stopped by GameLuv in 2016. I hope you found something entertaining, informative or completely new! Cheers to the best in 2017!