Tagged: Nintendo Switch

My E3 Daydream for Nintendo: BYOSwitch

My E3 Daydream for Nintendo: BYOSwitch

I’ve got two logistical E3 nightmares to tell you about today, one that’s really happening and one that I just dreamed up in response to the former. Further below you can read Polygon’s summation of Nintendo’s elaborate plan to get more people playing Smash Bros. at E3 next month in June. But basically, it involves an email process that starts weeks in advance of E3, to reserve a ticket, for a chance to play one of two versions of the game.

Now for my elaborate nightmare scenario which is much, much cooler. Unfortunately, the linchpin is that we live in a perfect world where wifi isn’t total crap at overpopulated venues. That caveat aside, how amazing would it be if you could bring your Switch to Nintendo’s booth and simply download their E3 demos? I imagine they could hard-code the downloads to destroy themselves after 10 minutes (whether you launch the game or not), disable in-game screenshots and videos, and lock it to your Switch’s MAC address so you can’t repeatedly hammer their wifi to download again. They could even barricade their booth like a Faraday cage so you have to be inside to get connected. Want to play something again? Now you get in line for a demo station.

They’d never loosen the leash like that on super early products, and the technical hurdles would be immense, but it’d be an amazing way to try out Nintendo’s E3 lineup. People would flip out when suddenly they’re playing the latest Smash Bros. or Metroid (or Star Fox Kart?!) with their own hands on their own Switch. They’re already part of the way towards my dream; Nintendo staff will be on the lookout for people playing on their personal Switches and will be handing out exclusive tchotchkes. Just make the tchotchkes a little slip of paper with the wifi password and we’re practically living my dream! Bah. Instead, here’s that boring thing that Nintendo is actually doing:

“To shorten the time fans will need to wait in line to try it, Nintendo invites E3 attendees to reserve play slots ahead of time for just this game,” the company announced. “This should provide fans with a faster, smoother experience so they can play the Super Smash Bros.game and spend more time enjoying the rest of the June 12-14 show.”

Registered E3 2018 attendees will receive information from the event’s organizers starting June 5, in an email that outlines all possible opportunities to reserve play time with Smash Bros. Only those who sign up in advance will be able to play the game at the show; they’ll receive their tickets as a QR code upon successful registration.

The tickets will entitle players to checking out one of two modes: “for fun,” Smash Bros.’ more casual type of match, and “for glory,” which is a heated, elimination-based fight. You won’t be able to choose both, mind you; at the time of registration, you must choose which of the two you’re prepared to try out at E3.

Sony’s Unties label brings Indie games to Mobile, Consoles, PC

Sony's Unties label brings Indie games to Mobile, Consoles, PC

Here’s a little morning irony for you: while one arm of Sony refuses to budge on cross-platform online play in games like Rocket League, another arm is helping bring indie titles to mobile devices, PC, and even the “rival” Nintendo Switch. How’d this all happen? USgamer’s Mike Williams summed it up pretty well this morning:

“Sony Music reached into its animation subsidiary Aniplex to create and publish to [sic] mobile games in Japan: Fate/Grand Order and Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story. The former is a smash hit in Japan and just launched in North America a few months ago. The latter title is also doing really well for Sony Music.”

That surprise success has spawned a new publishing label for Sony Music Entertainment Japan, Unties. The group’s goal is to find and release unique independently-developed games on an array of platforms and not just PlayStation.

“The name ‘Unties’ comes from the thought ‘to unleash the excellent talents of unique game creators all over the world’,” reads the press release translated by Gematsu. “And setting creators free from the various shackles of game publishing, named from the intention of realizing publishing that is freedom of production without restraints.”

It all looks and sounds very fallopian to me and I’m going to have to delve into that through therapy some day but despite my personal hangups, the lineup makes for a diverse start. There’s Tiny Metal, a colorful RTS game reminiscent of Advance Wars which is fitting as it’s the one title announced for the Nintendo Switch as well as PlayStation 4 and PC.

Sony's Unties label brings Indie games to Mobile, Consoles, PC

There’s Deemo Reborn for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR, an expansion of the recent Nintendo Switch version which itself is based on the 2013 mobile rhythm game. Last Standard looks to be a one-on-one fighting game played from the third-person, over-the-shoulder perspective with an emphasis on learning how each weapon functions and how best to dodge, parry, and counter it. No platforms have been named yet but given the action in this brief trailer it could work just as well as a touch-based phone game as a console fighter. Finally, there’s Merkava Avalanche which has been on Steam Greenlight since last November. It’s a peculiar one, looking like a 3D brawler where teams of gold plated, two-wheeled, robotic centaurs grapple and joust against one another in vast environments.

All of this is happening in Japan to start so the details are a little hard to discern at the moment. But the news of Sony publishing games on non-PlayStation platforms couldn’t go unreported, even by this dormant blog.

Behold the Nintendo SwitchCube!

Behold the Nintendo SwitchCube!

Be it official or fan-made, we see a lot of new consoles dressed up as old ones, combining our desire for new hardware with the nostalgia for tried-and-true favorites. Nintendo is the biggest offender here, painting Game Boys like Famicoms and the 3DS like an NES, along with dozens of character-specific flavors of their hardware over the years.

But what I remember seeing far less of are old consoles made to mimic their successors. That’s what caught my eye about this custom painted GameCube that does an admirable job of looking like a Nintendo Switch. It’s only slightly less portable than an actual Switch and with a small upgrade it can play all of your Game Boy Advance carts too. That’s better than a Virtual Console right? Bonus points, the guy who posted this to Craigslist is right here in Indiana!

Now I want to see other retroactive mashups: a Genesis colored like a Dreamcast, an original PlayStation with the black and blue tones of a PS4, and a Game Boy in the gray and purple colors of a SNES.

Is Super Mario Odyssey Nintendo’s response to annoying Mario canon questions?

This scene couldn't be any more Japanese

Everything in Super Mario Odyssey seems designed to rattle even the most absurd head-canon that fans have crafted for themselves over the decades of loosely connected Mario games. It started with the debut trailer back in January with Mario running around in the human-sized New Donk City and it’s only gotten stranger with this week’s E3 reveal.

Pauline, Mario’s original heroine from Donkey Kong, is the mayor of New Donk City and its streets are named after members of the DK clan. We’d seen Bowser in a white tuxedo before with Peach at his side in a matching wedding dress but now we see that Mario is also dressed for “the big day”. So who is crashing whose wedding and does Peach have any say in this nuptial knockout? Finally, just who is singing the vocal track heard in the new trailer with lines like “I’ll be your 1UP girl”? The camera sure lingers on that saucy singer at the New Donk City Festival, doesn’t it? Could this be the end for Mario and Peach?

Is Mario butting in on a harmonious union?

Things are just as extraordinary on the gameplay end of things. Mario’s traditional powerups are nowhere to be seen and he instead utilizes the sentient, mind-controlling tophat we now know as Cappy. With Cappy, Mario can do typical video game things like boomerang his hat around to hit enemies or grab coins. What was revealed at E3, though, is a completely surprising mechanic that lets Cappy possess most enemies and suck Mario into them, slapping the red cap on their heads and a mustache on their face.

Goombas, Hammer Bros. and Bullet Bills are all commandeered by Mario as well as totally unexpected objects like taxi cabs, tanks, frogs, Rapa Nui statues and rocket ships that look straight out of Super Mario Bros. 2. Then there are the scenes where Mario is squashed flat a la Link Between Worlds and things get decidedly old school.

Between this and Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle I’ve never been more excited for new Mario games and there’s surely more bizarre stuff to be seen from both; at E3 and in the months leading up to their releases. Bring it on Nintendo, the weirder the better!

Quick Tallies on the Switch’s Software Lineup

Quick Tallies on the Switch's Software Lineup

Am I trying to justify not buying a Switch or do I just like making spreadsheets? With the news of “This Week’s Switch Releases” going around I decided to copy all the listings from Nintendo.com into Excel and do some quick tabulating. Of the 53 current Switch titles on Nintendo’s official site:


26
games have been released

There are 14 Switch exclusives, half from Nintendo

38 of them are (or will be) available on other platforms

29 titles are old, from 2016 or earlier


Run all those numbers through the Shawn filter and it distills down to five.
 I’ll even throw in the unlisted Spelunker World and Vroom in the Night Sky to make seven games I’m interested in playing on the Switch. Between the lacking library, JoyCon-gate and docksocks I’m having a really hard time overriding my rational, adult brain. I’d love to be enraptured with Zelda like everyone else and posting my own musings about the hardware but until there’s a deal I’ll keep busy with NieR and all my other personal projects.