Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Rise of the Tomb Raider DLC

So, it's been 20 years to the day that Tomb Raider has graced our consoles with its presence. It goes without saying that it has become iconic and a well-known part of the gaming circle of life, who hasn't seen or heard of it, let's be honest here.

[This new content is available on Xbox One via season pass and the Anniversary edition on PS4]

With the new content for 'Rise of the Tomb Raider' recently released for such an occasion, it seems fitting to review it under the same circumstance.

There'll be writing about the multiplayer first, and then throwing 'SPOILER WARNING' for Blood Ties, because I can't honestly write about it and not talk about what happened. It's just not in me. Also, if you haven't got the DLC yet, shame on you.

Nintendo Switch Size Comparisons

Nintendo's upcoming system is promising a unified home and handheld experience which is an impressive goal but with such a promise there are questions of how do you marry these two extremes of gaming. 

Handhelds gaming needs portability and battery life, home games, on the other hand, need a large clear screen and power. Well it appears today we are getting a look into one of those aspects as the guys at King Avery Games have made some handy images comparing the 3DS XL to the Switch

So it appears the console main body (no Joy-Cons) is slightly wider and taller as a closed 3DS XL, and it looks like the console screen reaps the benefit.

But how does the whole package compare against the Wii U's gamepad that was "unwieldy" to some? well KAG thought the same and produced this other handy comparison.

As you can see the Switch manages to cut down the Wii U's bulk whilst increasing the size of the screen. Whilst we don't know the spec of the screen I think it's safe to assume is resolution (been rumoured to be 900/1080) above the 3DS and Wii U's screen.

Abe's Take
This is roughly what is was expecting but I'm impressed with its size and it's certainly less unwieldy than my Vision 8 Tablet for Xbox One streaming. That's device is most certainly not portable and is more than a little tiring to hold for extended periods. 

Monday, 24 October 2016

Nintendog Switch!

A few day's ago we posted an article about Publisher Reacting To Switch. At the end of the article, I posted a bonus picture I found online of the Switch Joy-Con mount as a puppy. Well...

Yep! Someone has turned that cute drawing into a super adorable Nintendog Switch plush. This adorable doodle now plush is the work of 'Anna The Red' who has a whole host of other plush for sale on her site here. Please check out the rest of her work (which includes an awesome Jak and Daxter).

Abe's Take
As a bearded 'core' gamer I am above such things as plushes... have the other core gamers gone? good! I want about 4 of these, one is going to sit next to the Switch's dock on a little shelf above my TV, Next to my Wooly Yoshi Amiibo.

Monster Hunter Direct!

Well, we've been talking a lot here about the possibility of Monster Hunter on the NX and then suddenly this appears.

Update: The official website says the Direct will not feature the Nintendo Switch or Smartphones

Original Story:

Nintendo Japan is having a (currently) Japanese exclusive Monster Hunter Direct on Thursday the 27th at 20:00 Japanese time, which is about 12pm if you feel inclined to watch it.

What could be discussed? Monster Hunter Stories has already been released in Japan, so unless the game is getting some large DLC that seems unlikely. Current favourites are Monster Hunter X-G (Generations Ultimate to western fans) or an MH for Nintendo Switch. well I guess we'll find out in a few days

Abe's Take
Monster Hunter stands out as a franchise that'll benefit from the "dual nature" of the Switch. Global MH fans have been very split but equally vocal in the past about wanting mobile and home experiences.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Take a Look at 3D model of the Switch

After months and months of rumours and fan mock-ups, we had a look at the device via the 3 minute Nintendo Switch Trailer (currently hitting at 12 million views on NOA's youtube)

Want to have a better look? Well, thanks to a digital artist going by the handle of ShaderBytes you can! and it's not just some fancy pictures of a render, oh no this is a full 3D model which thanks to the viewer below you can explore the device freely.

Once again I can't help but admire how well designed this is (both on Nintendo's and Shader's work) and how un-Fisher Price the Switch looks in comparison to the Wii, Wii U & DS.

Also, I wonder if that little button underneath the D-Pad is that rumoured share button, as it also features on the Switch Pro controller.

Abe's Take
I can't wait to get hold of this device and hope we don't have to wait too far into 2017 to hear more.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

More Switch Details and Rumours Appear

Yep back to more rumour but technically they aren't NX rumours, They're Switch rumours so its different.. Yeah I know but its the only way I'm going to get through this. 

First up lets start with some confirmed news. The Nintendo Switch marks the end of Nintendo's adventure into dual screen gaming, which started with the DS and ended with the Wii U. The Switch will be strictly a single screen system, which was to be expected seeing as the device has to be inside a dock for the image to appear on the TV.

In other "well yeah obviously" news, Nintendo has also confirmed the Switch will not be "compatible with physical games from Wii U/3DS" which has an obvious eye brow raising wording. Could it be possible that digital Wii U and 3DS games be playable? Think its going to depend on where the Switch has a touch screen, without it you can dismiss any idea of backwards compatibility.

Also Amazon has a product page up for the Switch where players can sign up for email alerts.

Now entering rumour town with some of the more stable rumours via Wall Street Journal which says Nintendo wont be making anymore Switch announcements this year about games, specs, or the status of region locking. This whilst disappointing it also makes a fair amount of sense as Nintendo has some high profile games on 3DS this Christmas. But also any official announcements for a future console are bound to get lost in PS4 Pro marketing and the Christmas media tornado.

Next we have Laura Dale saying her sources have confirmed the Switch features analog triggers, something the Wii and Wii U didn't have (which makes racing games a lot better), A multi touch screen, The dock gives the console a minor boost to help the console outputting to a TV, and finally (and more worryingly) a current battery life of 3 hours whilst on max settings.

Before we loose it, its worth noting that's doesn't mean the retail unit will have that life span, however a quick check on the Nvidia Shield Tablet turns out 3 hours is a huge improvement as that device only had 1 hour of playtime (a little more if you turn everything off). An additional detail here is that each Joy-Con appears to have its own battery, so you can use them in multiplayer and free from the device as such having them attached could drain the battery on the unit quicker.

And finally Emily Rogers is saying the Switch will see at least two "enhanced ports" from the Wii U. Supposedly these include the two we saw in the trailer: Mario Kart and Splatoon but also Smash 4 and Super Mario Maker. Obviously that last one might have trouble as the Switch might not have a touchscreen and defiantly wont have a 2 screens.
Abe's Take
Whilst it seems like an ice age till we here more official details about the Switch till next year but thats actually 70 days/just over 2 months and there is plenty for us to do between then and now.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Publishers Respond the the Switch

Well, the cat is finally out of the bag, the NX has revealed itself to us as the highly interesting Nintendo Switch. Now everyone one has had time to digest it we're starting to get reactions from across the industry.

First up we've got some more details from Nintendo, The console is the handheld with the dock only handling charging and powering the device, pumping the image onto the TV, and the consoles USB connections (pad charging? hard drive?). Nintendo has also confirmed that the "Joy-Cons" come as standard in the box with the NS, and Amiibo will be supported via NFC. However, they won't confirm/deny if the NS will feature a touch screen, though rumours have long said it will.

Now onto the publishers! Let's start with one of our favourite Nindies Image and Form.

"The hybrid approach is truly innovative and we intend to make full use of as many features as possible. The development environment is simply fantastic! I'm confident that Switch will be a hit for Nintendo since they're once again reinventing the gaming industry. As for our own game: it's an Image & Form title, and it's going to be our finest work to date. If you liked anything about our past games you'll absolutely love it."

Next up with have Ubisoft, who have been almost the sole source of hype.

With the Nintendo Switch’s unique capacities and design, Nintendo could again redefine the way we play games. The Nintendo Switch is accessible at its core and also seizes on the growing trends of sharing more experiences and playing anywhere at any time. Ubisoft and Nintendo enjoy a long-standing partnership and we are currently developing a number of games for the platform, including Just Dance 2017. We look forward to sharing more at a later date.” – Yves Guillemot, Co-founder and CEO, Ubisoft

2K - Who we now know are behind the basketball game in the trailer.

“We’re happy to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Nintendo on the trailer. While we are not confirming any specific titles at this time, we are pleased to announce our partnership with Nintendo and support of Nintendo Switch. We look forward to revealing specific details at a later date.” – 2K representative

Bethesda apparently is quite ready to commit Skyrim to the NS yet, but judging from the... similar nature of their response to 2K's we're guessing there is still some heavy contracts at play.

“We’re happy to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Nintendo on the video. While we are not confirming any specific titles at this time, we are pleased to announce our partnership with Nintendo and support of the Switch. We look forward to revealing specific games and details in the future.” – Bethesda representative

EA, who promised big things on Wii U but delivered little is more reserved this time.

“Congratulations to our partners at Nintendo on their reveal of Nintendo Switch – it’s great to see the excitement for their new device.” – EA representative

SEGA had all ready confirmed Sonic 2017 was coming to Switch back when it was the NX

“SEGA and Nintendo have been great partners over the years, and we continue to with our support of the Nintendo Switch. We look forward to revealing specific game plans soon, but have nothing further to announce at this time.” – SEGA representative

NIS America

“We are very excited about the possibilities that the Nintendo Switch brings to the gaming space. However, we don’t have anything to announce about already-existing titles or content that may currently be in development for it at this time.” – NIS America representative

Epic Games, their support is interesting because they refused UE4 for the Wii U.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Nintendo to help Unreal Engine 4 developers bring their games to Nintendo Switch!” – Epic Games on Twitter

Bandai Namco, hopefully, their support should get the NS should get some hardcore Japanese gaming love.

“Bandai Namco Entertainment has enjoyed a long partnership of publishing and developing great titles for Nintendo systems. We want to congratulate Nintendo on their exciting announcement. We look forward to bringing both iconic franchises and new titles to Nintendo Switch.” – Bandai Namco representative

Telltale, whose games hit every platform pledge their support.

“While we cannot confirm any specific series today, we can share our excitement to soon be bringing our projects to Nintendo Switch. Our dedication to creating emotionally engaging interactive stories that are identical for players using home consoles or on mobile/tablet devices on the go is a perfect fit for Nintendo’s innovative new hardware.” – Job J Stauffer, Head of Creative Communications, Telltale Games

Warner Bros. Injustice 2 anyone?

“Nintendo continually innovates to develop unique technology for gamers, and we are excited to expand our long-standing relationship by creating games for the Nintendo Switch.” – WB representative

Atlus seems excited to jump on board

“We’re excited to be supporting the Nintendo Switch and believe the games we publish are a perfect fit for the portable nature of the console.” – Atlus representative

And now as a special bonus here's is a fantastically awkward Twitter conversation with Phil Spencer, head of Xbox.

Abe's Take
Ouch.. Sony has yet to comment, I suspect to hear positive things from Kaz but part of me can't help but think their quiet because they are frantically copying every idea the can ready for a PSP3

It's been a largely positive response from the gamer community as a whole but of cause we still have plenty to learn. In the mean time check out the Switch puppy