Microsoft-A Cuphead Developer Says That Microsoft Approached Them and Asked If They’d Like to Make a Switch Version

Yesterday’s announcement of a Nintendo Switch version of Cuphead was quite a bombshell, and we’ve been gradually hearing more details on how this project came to be. Daniel Bloodworth of Easy Allies has been a GDC, where he talked to one of the devs behind the game. Bloodworth found out that “Microsoft actually approached them and asked if they’d like to make a Switch version”. 

REVIEW: Tales of Vesperia: The Definitive Edition (Nintendo Switch)

After 10 long years, Tales of Vesperia is back, bringing both the best and worst of an old generation of JRPGs to a new generation of players.

Initially released in 2008, Tales of Vesperia represents the pinnacle of Tales titles using the classic Linear Motion Battle System before Tales Studio sought to redefine the formula in each future entry. The result was nothing short of brilliance, receiving so much praise from fans that it’s often regarded as one of the greatest — if not the greatest for some — in the series.

STORY

Tales of Vesperia is set in the world of Terca Lumireis, which uses an energy source called blastia for all its needs, including creating protective barriers around its cities. The story focuses on Yuri Lowell, a former Imperial soldier who forms a guild called Brave Vesperia to aid Estelle, a noble woman he encounters on a mission. As they explore the world, Brave Vesperia are challenged by factions who have different plans related to the abuse of blastia resources, and Yuri is forced to confront his friend and former comrade Flynn.

GAMEPLAY

The combat in Tales of Vesperia is the same as it’s ever been, with four party members — each with a unique set of skills and abilities — squaring off against any number of foes in a fast-paced affair and then optionally cooking afterward. The core difference here is that the combat takes on a more methodical, deliberate tone due to increased recovery times of attacks and artes, forcing players to actually think about what they’re doing, and not just button mash their way to victory. 

Tales of Vesperia, much like other entries in the series, has plenty of sidequests to enjoy, but without any cues or hints, unless you go out of your way to find them — even going so far as to constantly visit old towns.

Vesperia uses a variation on the series’ trademark action-oriented Linear Motion Battle System, which plays out in a similar way to a fighting game. The variation used in Vesperia is called the “Evolved Flex-Range Linear Motion Battle System”. Battles take place in an isolated battle arena within the environment, with the battle party being made up of one player-controlled character and three characters controlled by the game’s artificial intelligence. The AI commands can be customized from a set of skills, with their assigned tasks affecting their actions and placement on the battlefield.

Enemies, encountered in environments as icons, react differently depending on how they are approached and attacked: using the right attack or approaching them unawares grants the party an advantage in battle. If other groups of enemies are close by, they are also drawn into the initiated battle.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I’ve actually played  both the Nintendo Switch and PS4 versions of Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition; ultimately playing through the game in its entirety on the Switch. I can definitely say that players looking for the most visually appealing version of the game may feel happier going with PS4, Xbox One, or PC. Vesperia doesn’t necessarily struggle in any capacity on the Nintendo Switch, but it’s hard to not notice some of the out of place visuals during certain sections. Handheld mode is by far the worst way to play the game in terms of visuals. But as far as gameplay goes, it holds up just fine and I enjoyed every minute of it. With that in mind, I think it’s safe to say that if you’re looking to play Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition for pure enjoyment, you’ll find that on whichever platform you tend to already prefer.

Battles move at a slightly slower pace but do away with a lot of the things some of the newer titles have added. It’s not all too simplistic though as this is a Tales game; you’ll be introduced to newer mechanics as the story progresses. Additionally, the game offers players the ability to strategize outside of battle and really customize how their party members will react during battles. Going up against tough enemies feels all the more rewarding once you clobber them with a great battle strategy.

Soundtrack wise, Vesperia offers some really solid tunes. The tracklist feels really old-school in a lot of ways, so it feels unfair to compare it to some of the more superior soundtracks we’ve gotten in recent JRPGs like Nier: Automata, Persona 5, Final Fantasy XV, etc. It almost feels weird saying that but the genre has really outdone itself time and time again as the years have gone on. 

This art style can give games longevity and make them a joy to go back to in later years (Wind Waker, Okami, Jet Set Radio). This mindset embodies just how I feel about Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition visually. Even on the Nintendo Switch, the game has a very appealing look to it, only showing its age in terms of the overall scale, not style. Cities and dungeons, however, can feel rather small in size, making exploration feel limited compared to more modern entries in the series.

FINAL VERDICT: GREAT

Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition is in a unique territory where it’s still recent enough to not be considered a classic, but can be looked back upon by fans as if it were. With a more measured approach to combat, a distinct lack of QoL features and uneven voicework, there’s no doubt that this is a game from 2008 — even if it looks like one from 2019.

It remains one of the best Tales of games to date. Once you get through the opening, Vesperia never lets up throughout its 40 to 50-hour runtime.
It continuously finds new ways to expand upon its story, allowing for something that feels like a tremendously fun journey. With its enjoyable characters, interesting story, beautiful aesthetic and fun combat, ten years was worth the wait. If you’re a fan of JRPGs or action RPGs, do yourself a favor and pick this one up.

Nintendo-Nindies Event Roundup for March 2019

The Nintendo Switch system has quickly become the go-to platform for indie developers. As more and more top indie developers bring their creations to Nintendo’s console, they continue to deliver high-quality experiences that can be played at home or taken on the go. A new Nindies Showcase video today demonstrated the breadth of the Nintendo Switch indie library and the enthusiasm developers have for the platform. This includes the revelation of the rhythmic action-adventure game Cadence of Hyrule – Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring the Legend of Zelda from Brace Yourself Games. That’s in addition to announcements from indie houses like Devolver Digital, bringing system-exclusive content like Katana ZERO and My Friend Pedro, and new game reveals like RAD from award-winning studio DOUBLE FINE PRODUCTIONS.

To view the Nindies Showcase video in its entirety, visit https://live.nintendo.com or you can watch here!

“Top indie developers look to Nintendo Switch to showcase their games to a broad audience,” said Steve Singer, Nintendo of America’s Vice President of Publisher and Developer Relations. “The diversity of indie content we discussed today demonstrates how Nintendo Switch players can find quality indie games of nearly any type.”

The games discussed during today’s video include:

  • Cadence of Hyrule – Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring the Legend of Zelda: In the latest rhythmic action-adventure from Brace Yourself Games, you can enjoy the gameplay of Crypt of the NecroDancer in the setting of The Legend of Zelda series. As Link or Princess Zelda, players explore randomly generated overworld and dungeons on a quest to save Hyrule, and every beat of the 25 remixed Legend of Zelda tunes is a chance to move, attack, defend and more. From modern-looking Lynels to the Hyrulean Soldiers of old, players must master the instinctive movements of each pixel-art enemy and strategically outstep them in rhythmic combat using an arsenal of iconic items from The Legend of Zelda, as well as the spells and weapons from Crypt of the NecroDancer. The game is scheduled to launch this spring.
  • Cuphead: Studio MDHR brings its run-and-gun action game to Nintendo Switch. Inspired by cartoons of the 1930s, the visuals and audio are painstakingly created with the same techniques of the era, such as traditional hand-drawn cel animation, watercolor backgrounds and original jazz recordings. The game launches on Nintendo Switch on April 18.
  • Stranger Things 3: The Game: Play through and delve deeper into the events of Stranger Things 3 in a retro-style adventure game from BonusXP. Explore Hawkins, solve puzzles and team up with a friend in local co-op to battle the emerging evils of The Upside Down as one of twelve playable characters from the hit original series. The game launches on Nintendo Switch on July 4, the same day the third season debuts on Netflix.
  • Red Lantern: Timberline Studios, Inc., challenges players to survive the Alaskan tundra with a team of five sled dogs. The Musher becomes lost while training for the grueling Iditarod race and must fend off bears, resist frostbite and take care of the dogs while navigating the wilderness and trying to return home. The game is coming to Nintendo Switch later this year.
  • RAD: DOUBLE FINE PRODUCTIONS and BANDAI NAMCO ENTERTAINMENT AMERICA INC. present a 3D action rogue-like set in a post-post-apocalyptic world. As a teenage protagonist, players must journey into the Fallow, an ever-changing, procedurally generated wasteland that holds the secrets of the past and answers for the future. Here, radioactive toxins will randomly mutate your character, giving you powerful new abilities that challenge you to constantly adapt your play style. Using these abilities and your trusty bat, you have been tasked with saving humanity’s future by healing the world. The game launches on Nintendo Switch this summer.
  • Katana ZERO: Devolver Digital and askiisoft have created a stylish neo-noir action-platformer featuring breakneck action and instant-death combat. Players take on the role of an assassin, the Dragon, to slash, dash and manipulate time to unravel their past in a beautifully brutal acrobatic display. Players can overcome the opposition however the situation requires, as each level is uniquely designed for countless methods of completion. Deflect gunfire back at foes, dodge oncoming attacks and manipulate enemies and environments with traps and explosives. Leave no survivors. The game launches on Nintendo Switch on April 18, and is available for pre-purchase starting today.
  • Nuclear Throne: Vlambeer’s post-apocalyptic roguelike-like top-down shooter challenges players to fight their way through the wastelands with powerful weaponry, collecting radiation to mutate some new limbs and abilities. The game offers 12 playable characters, seven playable main worlds, 30 ways to mutate characters and more than 120 weapons. The game launches on Nintendo Switch – today!
  • Super Crate Box: Vlambeer’s Super Crate Box is coming to bring back the glory of the golden arcade age, when all that really mattered was getting on that high score list. The Nintendo Switch version will include exclusive two-player co-operative and competitive multiplayer for even more arcade mayhem. Prepare for an arcade delight with tight controls, refreshing game mechanics, cracking retro art and a terribly hip chiptune soundtrack when Super Crate Box launches in April.
  • Vlambeer Arcade with ULTRABUGS: Vlambeer Arcade is a collection of bite-sized games with a growing catalog that starts with ULTRABUGS, a fast-paced, high-score-centric game in which players pilot a ship to fight endless space bugs. The only problem is that those bugs then split up into more space bugs when they’re defeated. By beating boss monsters, players will unlock enemy DNA that they can use to customize their ship. Vlambeer Arcade with ULTRABUGS is coming to Nintendo Switch later this year.
  • My Friend Pedro: Devolver Digital and Deadtoast deliver what is undoubtedly the first game about friendship, imagination and one man’s struggle to obliterate anyone in his path at the behest of a sentient banana. Players unleash a torrent of destruction with an incredible level of control over both their weapons and body. They can twist and turn through the air while aiming both hands at priority threats or lining up a perfect ricochet to drop an unsuspecting gangster from behind. The game launches as a system-exclusive on Nintendo Switch in June.
  • Creature in the Well: Flight School Studio challenges players to this top-down, pinball-inspired hack-and-slash dungeon crawler. Players venture deep into a desert mountain haunted by a desperate Creature to restore power to an ancient facility by charging energy orbs and having them bounce around and ricochet to reactivate dormant machinery. They will uncover and upgrade powerful gear to help them save the city of Mirage from a deadly sandstorm. The game launches on Nintendo Switch this summer.
  • Blaster Master Zero 2: INTI CREATES CO. LTD. sets its sequel months after the events of Blaster Master Zero. Jason and Eve must venture into the depths of space to stop the mutant infection that’s slowly corrupting Eve’s body. Thankfully, stopping mutant outbreaks is Jason’s specialty. The game launches on Nintendo Switch – today!
  • Pine: Kongregate and Twirlbound offer a stirring open-world adventure with beautiful biomes to explore, puzzles to solve and secrets to discover. Players take on the role of Hue, a brave young adult who belongs to the last remaining tribe of humans on the island of Albamare. The island’s factions trade and fight with each other over food and territory, while Hue learns about ways to influence the ecology in search for a new home for the humans. The game launches on Nintendo Switch in August.
  • Bloodroots: Paper Cult delivers ultraviolence in a twisted Western revenge tale with a deranged cast of characters. Betrayed and left for dead, Mr. Wolf is hell-bent on finding his attacker and exacting revenge. Players can choreograph spectacular, bloody combos by making use of everything around them, from hatchets and ladders to … carrots? The game launches on Nintendo Switch this summer.
  • Overland: Finji delivers a new game from Adam Saltsman, the creator of Canabalt. In this turn-based survival game, players take care of a group of travelers on a post-apocalyptic road trip across the United States. Fight off scary creatures, rescue stranded survivors and scavenge for supplies like fuel, first aid kits and weapons. There are consequences for every action. The game launches on Nintendo Switch this fall.
  • Darkwood: Acid Wizard Studio and Crunching Koalas set their survivor horror game in East-Central Europe, in a forest possessed by unknown evil forces that corrupt all the inhabitants of the woods: people, animals and even the plants. Players can get new powers by extracting a strange essence from mutated fauna and flora and injecting it into their bloodstream. The game builds an atmospheric, psychological feeling of tension without the usual horror tricks of jump scares and creaking doors. The game launches on Nintendo Switch in May.
  • Neo Cab: Fellow Traveller and Chance Agency offer an emotional survival game about staying human in a world disrupted by automation. Lina, the last human driver on the neon-drenched streets of Los Ojos, California, interacts with a diverse cast of characters with individual story arcs. Players must balance their income, sustain a positive rating and manage their emotions, as fulfilling Lina’s job as a rideshare driver is the only way they might reunite with her best friend Savy, who’s mysteriously gone missing. The game launches on Nintendo Switch this summer.
  • Swimsanity!: Decoy Games takes a deep dive with this multiplayer underwater shooter with action-packed co-op and versus game modes, all supported by online and local play. The game comes with an ocean of content, with more than 150 challenges across eight game modes. Players can toggle between classic dual-stick controls and motion aiming, whether they’re playing locally or online*. The game launches on Nintendo Switch this summer.

To celebrate indie games (and their creators!), Nintendo is offering discounts of up to 30 percent on select indie games currently available in Nintendo eShop for Nintendo Switch. The sale runs from 10 a.m. PT on March 20 until 8:59 a.m. PT on March 27, and includes standout games like Firewatchfrom Campo Santo Productions and Yoku’s Island Express from Villa Gorilla and Team 17.

Konami-Anniversary Collection Arcade Classics, Castlevania Anniversary Collection & Contra Anniversary Collection are Coming to the Switch

Konami has announced a 3 compilation titles to celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary. Anniversary Collection Arcade Classics, Castlevania Anniversary Collection and Contra Anniversary Collection have been announced for multiple platforms, including the Nintendo Switch. Anniversary Collection Arcade Classics will be a digital-only title, and it will cost $19.99. It will release on April 18th, 2019. Castlevania Anniversary Collection and Contra Anniversary Collection will release in “Early Summer 2019”. A list of games is down below.

Anniversary Collection Arcade Classics

  • Haunted Castle (1998)
  • Typhoon (A-JAX) (1987)
  • Nemesis (Gradius) (1985)
  • Vulcan Venture (Gradius II) (1988)
  • Life Force (Salamander) (1986)
  • Thunder Cross (1988)
  • Scramble (1981)
  • TwinBee (1985, Japan-exclusive)
  • Bonus Book – Also includes a bonus eBook packed with new information about the titles, including interviews with the development staff, behind-the-scenes insights, and sketches and design documents never before revealed to the public!
    • Game Showcase & Design Documents – Numerous hand-drawn sketches and concept design sheets.
    • Special Selection of Musical Scores – Hand-written scores of several original game music.
    • Development Team Interview – Discover behind-the-scenes stories from designer and programmer.

Castlevania Anniversary Collection

  • Castlevania (1987, NES)
  • Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse (1990, NES)
  • Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge (1991, Game Boy)
  • Super Castlevania IV (SNES, 1991)
  • Coming Soon
  • Coming Soon
  • Coming Soon
  • Coming Soon
  • Bonus Book – Coming Soon

Contra Anniversary Collection

  • Contra (1987, Arcade)
  • Super Contra (1988, Arcade)
  • Super C (1990, NES)
  • Contra III: The Alien Wars (1992, SNES)
  • Coming Soon
  • Coming Soon
  • Coming Soon
  • Coming Soon
  • Bonus Book – Coming Soon

SOURCE

Nintendo-Splatoon 2 is Getting a Demo With Free Online Trial, 20% Off Full Game

If you’re not among the roughly 8 million* owners worldwide that have already jumped into the deep end to enjoy the ink-splattering fun of Splatoon 2 for Nintendo Switch, Nintendo has a whale of a deal to help you test the waters. Players with an internet connection** and a Nintendo Switch Online membership can join in the Splatoon 2 Special Demo between 7 a.m. PT on Tuesday, March 19, and 6:59 a.m. PT on Monday, March 25th.

That means you’ll get to check out 4-on-4 Turf War battles as well as Salmon Run, League Battle and Ranked Battle modes online with your friends and other players who own the full game. Cover the turf with your team’s colorful ink, customize your look with different weapons and apparel, and splat your enemies in an all-out ink-stravaganza!

The Splatoon 2 Special Demo is available starting today in Nintendo eShop for Nintendo Switch. After downloading it, you’ll receive an email with a Nintendo eShop code to activate a seven-day free trial*** for Nintendo Switch Online. You can use the code even if you’ve had a previous free trial.

If the free demo makes you happy as a clam and you want to buy the full Splatoon 2 game, you’ll get a 20 percent discount if you buy it via Nintendo eShop during the demo period. As an extra bonus, you’ll even be able to transfer your demo progress over.

For more information about the Splatoon 2 Special Demo, visit https://splatoon.nintendo.com. Fans looking to pick up battle tips or cheer on North America’s top competitors can watch the Splatoon 2 North America Inkling Open 2019 on March 30. Visit https://events.nintendo.com/ for more information and the live broadcast.

*This is an approximate number and is based on Nintendo’s internal sales figures as of Dec. 31, 2018.

**Nintendo Switch Online membership and Nintendo Account required for online play. Free trial automatically converts to 1-month auto-renewing membership unless automatic renewal is turned off by the end of the free trial. Credit card/PayPal account required for 18+. Not available in all countries. Internet access required for online features. Terms apply. nintendo.com/switch-online

***Free trial can be redeemed as soon as received via email but will not be activated until the beginning of the demo period. The code will expire on 3/25 at 7:00am PT.

Splatoon 2-Splatfest Results #2o: Team Wizards Won

The latest Splatoon 2 Splatfest has been taking place in both North America and Europe, and as always, only one team can come away victorious. The winning team this time was Team Wizards who caused a variety of problems for Team Knights. It’s all about participation though, so well done to all of you who took part in the latest Splatfest!

One Year Later: Kirby Star Allies

Today is the one year anniversary of Kirby Star Allies! To celebrate, designers from across the pink puffball’s past came together to create this special artwork. It features characters present in the series since Kirby’s Dream Land! 

Kirby Star Allies (2018) was the series’ return to home consoles ever since Kirby’s Return to Dreamland (2011). The new entry gave Kirby the ability convert enemies into playable allies – on top of multiplayer support for 4 players.

Since its release, the game has received many contents updates, bumping up the game to around 37 characters and 4 unique modes. 

Kirby Star Allies for the Nintendo Switch happens to be a perfect blend of the old platforming you’ve come to expect from the franchise and a tiny gimmick that encourages a multiplayer experience. Yes, you can still thoroughly enjoy a single player experience but HAL Laboratory created this game with your real-life friends in mind.

In Kirby Star Allies, there are a total of 24 enemies you can turn into allies (everything from Blade Knight to Waddle Doo) and a total of 28 Copy Abilities. Each of these friends has a unique power that will enable you to complete certain tasks or combine abilities together for Friend Abilities. There are also Dream Friends – new to the Kirby series – that act as special friends and foes from past Kirby entries. These allies can be recruited only by using the Dream Rod in the Dream Palace.

While playing Story Mode for Star Allies, you can scan a Kirby-related amiibo and receive two Point Stars, an item and two Picture Pieces. Scan a non-Kirby amiibo to get two Point Stars, an item and one Picture Piece. You can only scan up to seven different amiibos per stage. Nothing major but still worth noting. The DLC for this game really did keep busy for a couple of months or so, it still was a great time.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Kirby Star Allies is my favorite entry into the Kirby series since Kirby’s Return to Dreamland. I have liked other games since then, but not as a favorite.
It does a lot of things really well and rewards players for having friends they can adventure with. The endless amount of abilities to copy is enjoyable and silly, the levels bring you a sophisticated 2.5D look and feel and, for me, the game never stops being fun.

Happy 1 Year Anniversary Kirby Star Allies what has been you favorite moment of the game or your favoirte Dream Friend from the DLC?! Please, let me know in the comments!

Third Party-Yacht Club Games Will Be Showing a Publishing Title at PAX East 2019

Yacht Club Games will soon unveil a new title at PAX East 2019 which they will be publishing. It is not developed by the esteemed company, but instead they will be publishing, marketing and advertising, the unannounced title. Yacht Club Games will also have a variety of Shovel Knight content playable at PAX East 2019 which takes place at the Boston Convention Centre from the March 28th- March 31st.

SOURCE

Nintendo-Splatoon 2 Has Been Updated To Version 4.5.1

Nintendo has released another update for Splatoon 2, the second one to release in the last few days. This one brings the game to version 4.5.1. Unlike the previous update, this one is very short. There were only two bug fixes made, and they were both related to an issue involving the game crashing in the Piranha Pit map when playing in Clam Blitz mode. The official patch notes can be seen down below.

  • Changes to Multiplayer
    • fixes an issue that would cause the game to crash when dropped clams would hit the ground in certain areas of the Piranha Pit map, in Clam Blitz mode.
  • List of changes
    • fixes an issue causing the game to crash when playing Clam Blitz on the Piranha Pit map. Until the update is released, this map will be unavailable in Turf War and League Battles. Do note that this particular issue can also occur in Private Battles, so it’s recommended to avoid choosing that map until the update is released.