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Teams Sonic and Dark Race to the Finish in Team Sonic Racing Overdrive: Part 2

With Team Rose left in the dust in the last Team Sonic Racing Overdrive, the race is down to Teams Sonic and Dark! Dastardly deeds, pestering Egg Pawns, and the real superpower of teamwork are all that remain to separate the winners from the losers.

The second half of the animated tie-in to the upcoming Team Sonic Racing — produced by the team that brought you Sonic Mania Adventures — has finally dropped on the Sonic the Hedgehog social channels today, pitting Sonic against his greatest rival in Shadow once more. Give Part 2: “Eyes on the Prize” a watch above, and share your comments on this miniseries with us down below!

Team Sonic Racing launches on May 21st for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

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Articles Nintendo Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Finally Finds Their Footing with the Nintendo Switch Online App

The Nintendo Switch Online app sure is a thing that exists,” I often thought to myself. Since its September 2018 launch, the companion application to the Switch’s online service amounted to little more than mobile software fodder, what with Nintendo’s own afterthought-like support of the feature. The underwhelming app touted an unnecessarily complex and tacked-on voice chat feature as its main selling point, something fans can already accomplish on their own with simpler workarounds through the likes of Skype and Discord. It’s always left much to be desired.

Last night, however, everything changed with the formal announcement of Version 3.0 for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and our first look at the supplementary “Smash World” feature for the NSOnline app. I’m happy to say that, with Nintendo’s familiar approach for additional support behind their fastest and highest-grossing Switch title, the app might finally be worth downloading on our mobile devices at last!

Now, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate isn’t the first compatible Switch title to receive special features through the Nintendo Switch Online app, preceded by Splatoon 2 and its companion “Splat2Net.” By itself, Splat2Net is a fun little optional app that enhances the Splatoon 2 experience by allowing players to track their battle stats, order special gear, see how much ink they splatted compared to the size of real-world monuments, and then some. The main problem is that Splat2Net was all by its lonesome in the first place, carrying the Nintendo Switch Online app as its only special feature for a single specific Switch title, thereby offering very little incentive for players to bother downloading the app.

That changes with Smash World. Backed by the staggering popularity and wide-spanning appeal of Smash, Smash World may be just the thing to make players sing a different tune. One word came to my mind as yesterday’s deep dive into Version 3.0 spoke of Smash World, and that word was “Miiverse.”

Miiverse was a fun and immersive Nintendo-centric social app that was criminally held back by the Wii U’s niche appeal and short shelf life. Nonetheless, the now defunct social network was a welcome addition to the two Super Smash Bros. games at the time. With Miiverse, players were able to share and download pictures and recorded videos from brawls, their own Mii Fighters, and custom stages. Plus they could follow other users and “Yeah!” each others’ content. Naturally, this all came to an unfortunate end as Miiverse shuttered in November 2017, but Smash World is picking up right where Miiverse left off for Smash players and then some.

All of these old features have returned, but the best part is that you can now take advantage of the same features on the go from the convenience of your mobile device. When last night’s presentation revealed that I can even queue downloads for custom stages right from the app, I could not help but gawk in disbelief, realization, and then excitement. The gimmick in creating new Spirit teams from your phone is also a fun perk, but one I feel might not be as utilized in light of the overhauled social capabilities backing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, starting later tonight.

Smash World is bringing exactly what the Nintendo Switch Online app was missing, something I wanted so much without knowing it until I received it: social networking à la Miiverse to further enhance the NSOnline experience. I can concede that it may be unrealistic for every single Switch release, especially given the exponential number of games releasing on this system, but at the very least the app should strongly support Nintendo’s own online multiplayer games in a similar capacity to Splatoon 2 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

For example, the Miiverse-like integration in Ultimate demonstrates that certain re-releases and sequels from the last generation can regain these features thought long gone. Mario Kart TV could return to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, once again giving players a proper platform to share their highlight reels and best races. A similar feature could easily be applied to Mario Tennis Aces, ARMS, and Nintendo Entertainment System NSOnline, each with their own unique flair and special features to further compliment the basic experience like dedicated tournament setups.

Hell, if Smash World will allow players to share their own unique stages, there is absolutely no way that Super Mario Maker 2 won’t do the same later this year with its own NSOnline mini-app. If anything, Super Mario Maker 2 could be the best thing that will happen to the mobile app when it comes to integrating special features. It could allow players to upvote their favorite levels, upload their own creations and download others, and comment on other users’ levels both within the game and from the comfort of the app.

In fact, why limit NSOnline to just a mobile phone app? Ease of accessibility will only lead to a wider appeal, after all, as Miiverse took further advantage of your browser with its own website — a given since it was its own little social media network. There is no reason why the complementary features within NSOnline should be limited to just an app! How much more convenient would it be if we could order special gear via Splat2Net, queue custom stage downloads via Smash World, and follow our favorite Mario Makers via a dedicated Super Mario Maker 2 mini-app all from the convenience of our computers?

Let’s be honest, we only subscribed to Nintendo Switch Online out of necessity so that we could keep playing online multiplayer games with friends. The fact that the online service itself didn’t even improve since we started paying for it only left a bad taste in our mouths, which makes the likes of Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus much more appealing in spite of their higher price points. Selective save data backups, few special offers, NES NSOnline replacing the Virtual Console, still no special game discounts, and an underwhelming smartphone app only soured that taste further.

As of tonight, however? Things might finally be taking a turn for the better. Nintendo Switch Online is finally starting to draw some appeal thanks to the inclusion of the service-exclusive Tetris 99, and from where I stand, the companion app has begun scratching the surface of its full potential at last by using Miiverse as its inspiration, and we have Smash World to thank for it. Hopefully, this momentum will carry forward into the future with NSO both as a service and as a portal continuing to improve.

But sheesh, it took them long enough!

We asked before what you thought of Nintendo Switch Online back with the service’s launch, but has your perspective on it changed in recent times? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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Persona 5’s Joker Steals the Show in Smash Bros. Ultimate Tomorrow

The Phantom Thieves of Hearts’ calling card has been sent, and the long-anticipated Treasure finally materializes! Within a day’s time, Joker from Persona 5 will touch down in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as Challenger #1 from the Fighters’ Pass DLC, four months after his show-stopping reveal at The Game Awards 2018. Joker won’t be coming alone, bringing the whole crew of Phantom Thieves along for the ride and a stage based on the Palace born from everyone’s hearts — Mementos!

From the above manifesto, Joker makes full use of his handgun, dagger, and tripwire with the expected panache of a phantom thief. He can summon his main Persona Arsene to amplify his attacks and grant himself counters, as well as a better recovery. His Final Smash calls on his cohorts to assist him in unleashing their trademark All Out Attack, complete with the familiar black and red end card!

Within Mementos, you’ll need to keep an eye on the subway trains as well as intruding borders in order to survive. That said, while this iteration of the collective conscience is pulled right from Persona 5, its appearance can change based on the music being played! That’s right, even Persona 3 and Persona 4 are getting some love with the new stage, with new music and new Mii Fighter Costumes based on their protagonists, Morgana, as well as the returning Tails and Knuckles costumes from Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U (new costumes sold separately).

Not only that, Ultimate is also getting the hefty Version 3.0 update that brings with it a few surprises, in the forms of Stage Builder, video editing, and the long-awaited Smash World feature that takes full advantage of the Nintendo Switch Online mobile app. Ready yourselves for April 17 — tomorrow — as we have never seen all of this coming!

Sadly, the reveal video didn’t provide any insight on who Challenger #2 might be, but E3 is right around the corner…

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News Retro

The SEGA Genesis Mini Finally Launches Worldwide September 19

First revealed at last year’s SEGA Fes, SEGA had announced that they would be releasing a SEGA Mega Drive Mini (or Genesis Mini in North America) by the end of 2018, but the year has come and gone with little fanfare or details on their own retro plug-and-play console. It took another SEGA Fes for word to finally come on the delayed legacy system, as the company finally gave eager fans at Akihabara an inside look at the anticipated platform.

Packaged with 40 classic games, you’d best mark your calendars and start saving up, as the SEGA Genesis Mini will finally launch globally later this year on September 19.

This isn’t SEGA’s first crack at a throwback console, having released the SEGA Mega Drive Classic and Genesis Flashback HD
in partnership with AtGames. Those consoles were nigh universally panned, however, with critics citing poor emulation and shoddy hardware. While AtGames was initially meant to collaborate with SEGA again on the Genesis Mini, it appears that partnership has dissolved, with SEGA now working on the system internally alongside developer M2.

M2 is the same studio responsible for a lot of enhanced retro ports of classic games we see on modern platforms nowadays, such as the
SEGA 3D Classics for Nintendo 3DS and the SEGA Ages games for Nintendo Switch. As such, the Genesis Mini is already shaping up to stand on par with Nintendo’s NES and SNES Classics when it comes to quality. Streets of Rage composer Yuzo Koshiro is also working on the Mini, having composed the menu music for the system.

As for the games lineup, SEGA has announced that Japanese Mega Drive Mini will include the following among the confirmed 40 titles:

  • Castlevania Bloodlines
  • Comix Zone
  • Gunstar Heroes
  • Madou Monogatari Ichi (Story of Sorcery 1)
  • Powerball
  • Puyo Puyo 2
  • Rent-a-Hero
  • Shining Force
  • Space Harrier II
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Meanwhile, the North American Genesis Mini will include the following, among others:

  • Altered Beast
  • Castlevania: Bloodlines
  • Comix Zone
  • Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
  • Ecco the Dolphin
  • Gunstar Heroes
  • Shining Force
  • Sonic The Hedgehog
  • Space Harrier II
  • ToeJam & Earl

As an added bonus? On top of save states, some games will come with regional variations that you can choose to play from. It’s certainly a nice touch to those who might appreciate some of the minute differences between certain localizations and outright changes between international versions of the same game.

The console will release in two variations in Japan. One edition will come with a single six-button Mega Drive Mini USB controller, with an MSRP of ¥6,980, while the second version comes with two controllers retailing at ¥8,980. This won’t be the case in North America, as the U.S. version will launch with two three-button Genesis-style controllers, totaling to $80.

Would you consider picking up a SEGA Genesis Mini later this year? What other games would you like to see packaged with the retro system? Personally, just give me
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles and I’m good, but share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comments below!

Source: SEGA (JP, US)

News PlayStation 4

Sony’s PlayStation Plus Drops Two Free PS4 Games on April 2

PlayStation Plus subscribers are in for a couple of free goodies for the month of April, each pitting your survivability skills to the test in hostile worlds out for your blood. On April 2, endure unending brutality in ancient times through Conan Exiles, as you start with nothing but your bare hands, craft materials and weapons, and fight for your life in an unforgiving, dangerous land. The Surge, on the other hand, will leave you fending for yourself in a dystopian future terrorized by haywire machinery.

These will switch in with March’s pair of free PlayStation Plus games, being Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, the remastered version of a first-person shooter classic, and the acclaimed puzzle title The Witness.

This will mark the second month since Sony made a drastic change to this PS+ feature and pulled PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita support from the free game rotation, and their absence shows. Sony has confirmed last year that they would only feature PlayStation 4 games on this service from this point forward, but while an argument can be made for quality over quantity, gutting the number of free games from the usual six down to two does diminish the overall value of the subscription service. Meanwhile at Microsoft, the Games with Gold program continues on with the usual four free games per month, so here’s to hoping Sony steps up their game.

That aside, are you considering picking up Conan Exiles and The Surge? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

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News Retro Videos Xbox 360 Xbox One

April’s Games with Gold Includes the Original Battlefront 2, Technomancer, and More

With a new month comes a new rotation of free games for active Xbox Live subscribers. Microsoft recently revealed their lineup for April’s Games with Gold, featuring a collection of free Xbox One titles and backward compatible extras that some players might want to pick up, available via Xbox Live Gold for a limited time only.

Most of this month’s collection seems to carry an extraterrestrial theme, as these games revolve around space-faring adventurers, featuring an old favorite from Microsoft’s debut system. For Xbox One owners, April’s highlights kick off tomorrow with Focus Home Interactive’s 2016 title
The Technomancer, where you play as an on-the-run vagabond mage-warrior, feared and respected by all on Mars. It will be free to download from April 1 to April 30.

On April 16, Bigben Interactive’s
Outcast: Second Contact will be available for free up until May 15. This game is a complete remake of the cult classic original Outcast from 1999 on PC, developed once again by Belgian studio Appeal. This will replace Electronic Arts’ Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 from the March Games with Gold rotation.

For Xbox 360 owners, as well as Xbox One via backward compatibility,
Star Wars: Battlefront II (no, not EA’s) from the original Xbox is free to own for Xbox Live Gold members starting tomorrow. The game, developed by the since-EA-shuttered Pandemic Games, comes with improved graphics via Xbox One X enhancements. This will be followed by Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2, available until April 31.

Are you subscribed to Xbox Live Gold? Which of these games for April’s Games with Gold are you fancying downloading? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

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News Nintendo Nintendo Switch

Best Buy May Have Leaked Joker’s Render for Smash Bros. Ultimate

The first new playable character coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate via the Fighters Pass DLC is set to arrive any day now. Ren Amamiya of Persona 5, better known by his Phantom Thieves of Hearts alias “Joker,” infiltrated the theatre hosting The Game Awards last year with the show-stopping reveal that he would debut in Ultimate as Challenger #1 of the season pass. Now it looks like that long-awaited time might be right around the corner.

Straight from electronics retailer Best Buy, their weekly flyer for March 31 to April 6 came with an ad for the Fighters Pass, featuring a never-before-seen render of the illustrious Joker himself, featured below.

We have yet to see the new fighter in action aside from a backshot tease from the February Nintendo Direct. We do know that Version 3.0 is being touted as the ”
ULTIMATE Spring Update,” with new content being added; it stands to reason that this update will tie in with Joker’s addition. And if the weekly ad is any indication, this update is coming really soon. Whether it will follow a possible Smash Bros. Direct for a more in-depth look prior to its release is yet to be seen.

Aside from this render leak — assuming it’s real — Nintendo has been tight-lipped about the future of
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, though dataminers have looked into the game’s files and have discovered some interesting tidbits. It has been uncovered which stage pulled from Persona 5 will likely be released with Joker, as well as the possible return of Homerun Contest and Stage Builder as extra game modes. One thing’s for certain: Joker is bringing a ton of goodies with him once he starts stealing the show in Smash, and hopefully that occasion will come with an early look at the Fighters Pass Challenger #2.

In related news, last week’s premiere of the
Persona 5: The Animation OVA “Stars and Ours” ended with a tease of a possible definitive edition of Joker’s home game, titled Persona 5: The Royal. More information on the PlayStation 4 title, which features a new character, is expected to drop following the Persona Live Concert on April 24.

Source: Best Buy

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Mobile Platforms News Nintendo Nintendo Switch Trailers Videos

Mario and Sonic Throw Down Once More for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Gaming’s greatest rivals are about to go head-to-head once again, now that the Olympics are coming to their home turf. Having reclaimed the video game licensing rights just in time for the occasion, SEGA has announced that their own Sonic the Hedgehog and Nintendo’s Mario will pick up where they left off in Rio with the upcoming Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The reveal dropped at this year’s SEGA Fes with a big announcement trailer, with the next Mario & Sonic at the Olympics game set to launch this winter in Japan for the Nintendo Switch. As previous entries’ western release windows weren’t too distant, the same should be expected internationally, pending official word from Nintendo or SEGA.

The “Play 2020” trailer also featured other Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games tie-in titles published by SEGA. On top of the main Nintendo Switch game, SEGA also announced a Mario & Sonic at Tokyo 2020 arcade game for next year, a separate Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games for mobile devices, and the Tokyo 2020 game for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch for Asia this summer and worldwide in 2020.

SEGA retained the license for tie-in video games for every edition since the Beijing 2008 Olympics, back when the Mario and Sonic crossover sports games first began, with new entries every two years on contemporary Nintendo platforms. At least, this was the case until 2018, when Ubisoft got the license for the Winter 2018 Olympics-themed expansion for Steep.

The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics are scheduled to run from July 24 to August 9 next year. Japan is the home to a ton of beloved pop culture icons and franchises renowned around the globe and spread out across innumerable manga, anime, and games. The country prided itself on these during the Rio 2016 Closing Ceremony, showing off the likes of Hello Kitty!, Doraemon, and Mario himself, among others. While I can’t claim to have 2020 vision, the returning Mario & Sonic franchise might just be the tip of the media crossover iceberg on the horizon.

Are you looking forward to picking up Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games for the Switch? What kind of otherwise impossible crossovers would you like to see happen during next year’s sporting festivities? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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Indie News Nintendo Nintendo Switch Trailers Videos

Duck Game Finally Takes Flight to Nintendo Switch on May 2

In the far-off distant past of 2017, the Nintendo Switch Live Conference touched upon wider support for independent developers and listed a number of indie games to launch on the hybrid console. Among them was Duck Game, produced by Vancouver-based developer Landon Podbielski and published by Adult Swim Games, which had yet to leave the nest and migrate to the Switch two years on.

Though its absence to this day had ruffled some feathers, anticipating players won’t have to ponder its fate for much longer. Adult Swim has confirmed via Twitter that Duck Game will finally take flight to Nintendo Switch on May 2, just a little over a month from now.

If the above sneak beak is of any indication, the full-fledged port appears to be running swimmingly on the Switch. Be it online, couch, or wireless multiplayer, you and your fowl-weathered friends can go head to head in fast-paced matches with an irresponsible number of weapons and try to stay afloat. A single shot is all it takes to turn you into roast duck, so fledglings and veteran players alike will need to stay on their webbed toes.

Duck Game also takes advantage of the Nintendo Switch’s touchscreen function to allow for more immersive level editing, so that you too can wing it and create your own custom maps—be they poultry by design or stuffed with platforms, weapons, and hazards. Switch players will also have first quack at some exclusive levels, according to the overview on Nintendo’s website. These will naturally be timed exclusives, so no need to cry fowl over developer misconduckt if you already own the game on other platforms.

Those who are willing to foot the bill early can preorder and preload Duck Game via the Nintendo Switch eShop right now.

If you’re looking to pick up Duck Game for yourself, waddle you be looking forward to most? Share your thoughts with us below!

Source: Nintendo

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Indie Mobile Platforms News Nintendo Switch PC PlayStation 4 Xbox One

WayForward Announces Shantae 5, Coming Later This Year

It has only been a little over two years since the launch of the crowdfunded Shantae: Half-Genie Hero. This fourth installment of WayForward’s acclaimed indie series was the titular half-genie’s breakout onto HD back in 2016. It made for Shantae’s biggest adventure yet, what with additional expansions, storylines, and playable characters cumulating towards the all-inclusive Ultimate Edition last year.

With the franchise milestones set with Half-Genie Hero, excitement towards the future of Shantae has continued to build, and it all came to a head tonight with a special announcement from WayForward. The studio has revealed that Shantae 5 is in active development, and set to launch on Xbox One, PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and the recently unveiled Apple Arcade with an estimated release window for later this year — no Kickstarter campaigns necessary this time!

What do you hope to see in the indie darling’s upcoming adventure? Share your thoughts on Shantae 5 with us in the comments below.

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Articles Mobile Platforms PC

The Hard Truth: Google Stadia’s All-Streaming Platform Is Not “the Future of Gaming”

I am not a gamer” probably wasn’t the best choice of words for Google CEO Sundar Pichai to open the company’s tell-all presentation at the 2019 Game Developers’ Conference yesterday. Nonetheless, there might not be words any more fitting to illustrate the mega-corporation’s foray into gaming with the reveal of their new gaming platform, dubbed “Stadia.” Unlike the big three with Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony, this aspiring fourth player is forgoing the traditional route of home consoles and intends to upend the gaming industry as we know it with an exclusively digital, streaming-based service. “The Future of Gaming” is not a claim to make lightly, so let’s take a closer look into Google Stadia and what it means to accomplish in the industry.

Google Stadia tried to make a good first impression yesterday, and on the surface level, I will say it accomplished just that. With a catchy name, simple premise, and sleek controller design, it also presented the following:

  • To the average consumer, Stadia spoke of the ability to pick up and play games off of any device that runs Google Chrome, which sounds like a great idea on paper. And not simple games like the running dinosaur when you’re not connected to the internet (more on that later), but rather big-budget AAA titles like Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and id Software’s upcoming Doom Eternal.
  • To developers, it spoke of untapped potential and no barriers. Cross-platform multiplayer, transferrable save data without console barriers, games that can host up to a thousand simultaneous players in a single lobby, a wide variety of development tools right out of the gate—if studios can think it, Stadia can make it happen.
  • To players on top of game performance and graphics, Stadia spoke of graphical prowess and visual fidelity that far outshines the high-end PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X. The two most powerful consoles currently on the market were snidely referred to as being from “the last generation.” Stadia plans to run games at 4K and 60fps by default, and then evolve to the presumed future industry standards of 8K and 120+fps.
  • To content creators old and new trying to make ends meet, it spoke of integration with YouTube in recording in-game footage at 4K and 60fps, looking up walkthroughs, hosting seamless multiplayer matches, and sharing save-states with your audience. It spoke of high-quality offerings coming soon for creators to enjoy under Google’s newly founded studio, Stadia Games and Entertainment, run by former Ubisoft and Electronic Arts exec Jade Raymond.

This all sounds way too good to be true. After all, deals with the devil often come with a catch or two.

It’s clear as day what Google is poised to accomplish with Stadia. It isn’t just looking to join the big three in competing for your hard-earned dollar in the gaming industry. It isn’t just happy with YouTube Gaming playing second fiddle to Twitch, or YouTube itself simply hosting Let’s Plays and walkthroughs. It wants to become the textbook definition of gaming.

Google is attempting to paint a golden future of gaming in its own image, but all I saw during the keynote were red flags.

I admit, I love the idea of picking up and playing any game off of any device with the Chrome browser, regardless of hardware performance limitations, be it PCs, laptops, phones, or tablets. What I don’t love is how that idea is wholly dependent on my unreliable internet connection. Regardless of how Stadia struts its stuff, the promise of native 4K resolution and 60fps stability means jack if my connection isn’t smooth, let alone existent on bad days. Meanwhile, there are a ton of gamers out there who have worse experiences with internet connectivity than I do.

Additionally, Google may have the technology and be ever eager to launch it in North America and Europe later this year, but existing infrastructure and pricing models for internet connectivity, owned by oligarchic ISPs, aren’t prepared to accommodate such a radical shift. As Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad put it, it’s a matter of saving up thousands of dollars to invest in a PC or console and games, versus spending thousands on your internet bills for exceeding your cap because you spent several hours playing games on Stadia. At this point, Stadia as an avenue for gaming stops being affordable for serious but non-wealthy gamers.

This is without getting into mobile providers and their own paltry data caps, because what good is there in streaming a game on my phone when I only have so much data to go around? I’m better off staying at home and hoping my wifi doesn’t suddenly decide to shut down. Hell, what good is stable internet in this fragile political age where net neutrality can be stripped away by corporate lobbyists and their political allies, who can then hobble or cut off the average consumer’s internet without notice or reproach? They gleefully do so without shame, even while human life is threatened, such as when Verizon erroneously throttled internet connection for firefighters during the California wildfires last year. What worth does stable streaming have in such a world, and why should ISPs be trusted to not exploit Stadia?

Speaking of streaming, our next crimson banner raises the issue of Google Stadia being a stream-based digital-exclusive platform. While physical media ages and decays with the passage of time, the conveniences of digital media are hard to overlook, but consumer rights have not quite caught up with the rise of digital storefronts compared to physical products. This is not an issue exclusive to Stadia, but for the most part, you don’t own digital games at the end of the day, be it on the Nintendo eShop or your iPhone’s App Store—you purchase a license to download and access the software. While it varies by region, that typically means no refunds (what with grace periods being a very recent thing on PC), no preorder cancellations (to note, Germany has recently taken Nintendo to court over exactly that), and no trading said software licenses with other users. Plus, when a digital-only game disappears, it disappears forever if without a physical alternative, piracy notwithstanding. Titles like Konami’s P.T. demo and Ubisoft’s Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game are two such examples.

At the very least, if you already have a given game downloaded onto your system, the risk of losing it or having it pulled from your account is far less likely, which is more than can be said about Stadia. Google’s keynote joked about egregious download sizes on existing consoles before grandstanding on the convenience of streaming their games, but if shaky internet is one obstacle, a consumer’s already tenuous “ownership” of a digital game on Stadia is another big one. On a digital store, titles can already be pulled at any time, be it due to questionable content, expiring license agreements, a publisher pulling support altogether or filing for bankruptcy, or what have you. On any other system, if you had the hindsight of buying and downloading said game, you can still enjoy it. On a stream-based, online-only platform? It’ll be gone forever, regardless of whether Stadia may be subscription-based or its software can be “purchased.” And this is all without considering retail games with heavy monetization practices thrown into the mix.

Moving on, I find it perplexing that Google would speak highly about a symbiotic relationship between Stadia and YouTube, as though it will be this upcoming golden age of content creation and monetization for gamers. The truth of the matter is that this golden age has already come and gone, and Google has already proven time and again that it takes YouTube for granted. Ever since Google assimilated YouTube as a subsidiary in 2006, their attitude towards its userbase has been a neglectful one, to the point where YouTube seems to be flagrantly flippant towards content creators. Moderation is left to some arbitrary algorithm that constantly changes against the content creators’ wishes without warning. This, among many other issues, includes:

  • continuing to bury smaller channels and supposedly “unsafe” LGBTQA+ content while happily recommending alt-right conspiracy videos
  • falsely and randomly copyright-striking videos in a system that has no qualms about upholding the doctrine of “Fair Use,” with video game footage among the usual suspects, leading to stolen ad revenue the creator won’t ever get to reclaim
  • heavily favoring entities who flag videos with copyright violations for any reason, whether they own the source content or not, which gives victimized channels—who can’t afford to take legal action or have their appeals to YouTube denied—little recourse except to pull the video or risk having their channels deleted
  • burying videos from channels users are already subscribed to, to the point subscribers need to click on an additional bell icon just to be notified of new content from their favorite YouTubers
  • pulling monetization at random because the video suddenly isn’t deemed “advertiser-friendly,” again without proper cause

That is the platform Google wishes to piggyback Stadia onto. If gaming really is “the backbone of YouTube” as they claim, then Google should be putting more visible effort into supporting the platform in this light, rather than pay lip service and turn the other cheek. If they really want to find ways to connect to creators, they should start by properly moderating their own network with a human approach rather than operating an imperfect piece of coding analyzing content without context, which has continued to harm creators rather than support them. In this case, why should YouTubers feel confident in Stadia at all, when they always find themselves punished and undermined by the video platform they’ve been trying to support and make a living on?

The only real reason YouTube kept getting away with this for so long is because there is no viable alternative to a video platform as massive as YouTube, aside from Twitch streaming. What about the likes of Dailymotion and Vimeo, you say? Well, they certainly exist at least, but they are no competition.

Finally, Google is way too big an entity to be trusted with acting with self-accountability in perpetuity. Cynically speaking, their handling of YouTube implies that they are seemingly content with letting it stagnate for content creators while they continue to cater to the big name advertisers and cable networks. On a much more worrisome note, however, the amount of personal information Google tracks from its users should be considered uncomfortably invasive—while Google does not sell this information to outside parties and isn’t known for data breaches like, say, Facebook, how long will that accountability last? Why should we, as gamers, allow Google to further broaden the scope of their international surveillance into our consumer habits and commercial intentions unchecked?

If anything, I felt uncomfortable watching the Stadia conference unfold with that in mind. Google’s long-term plans hinge on being a one-stop-shop for all things video games. Google is painting itself as the future of gaming, and it puts the onus on its competition with their obsolete, clunky consoles of yesteryear. The Stadia is being fashioned as the Netflix to the big three’s mistakenly labeled Blockbuster, encouraging players to abandon consoles and go Google in spite of the Stadia’s own glaring shortcomings.

In short, the old adage goes “There are no stupid people—only stupid questions,” and yet Google Stadia seems to pride itself on being the answer to a question nobody posed except Google. Cloud-based, always connected, streaming-powered games may well be a future avenue of gaming, but it certainly isn’t the future. There are way too many obstacles and faults that need to be corrected both within and outside of Google before Stadia can confidently pose such an inquiry. At best, Stadia’s boasting comes off as naive in light of all of the above. At worst, it comes off as arrogant and pompous, not unlike certain crowdfunding campaign bombs such as the Ouya.

Microsoft and Sony have always been neck and neck on console performance, and seeing Google try to raise the graphical standard will only push them to do the same. Nintendo, on the other hand, has always been content to do its own thing, and this approach has paid off tremendously for them lately with the Switch. These companies aren’t going to go the way of Google Health or Google+ anytime soon, even with Google’s lofty ambition for a Chrome-powered, homogenized gaming landscape with the Stadia.

When people think “Google,” phrases often associated with the company include “innovation,” “the future,” and “that thing grandma calls the internet.” Yet all I saw was a worrying lack of self-awareness—befitting both Google’s status as one of the leaders in tech today, and Pichai’s opening line of “I am not a gamer“—in Stadia’s nascent steps. It’s heavily reminiscent of the ill-fated OnLive service, what with Google pitching Stadia to a wide crowd of developers in hopes of garnering more support for the exact same product. Hopefully for the company, those missteps won’t lead to a repeat performance, provided more concrete details come soon that could either make or break the Stadia’s enterprising appeal.

The future of gaming can include Chrome, there’s no argument against that, and I am curious about how the new studio’s first-party offerings will shape up. Despite all of its hopes, however, there is no immediate danger of Google Stadia becoming the blatant “be all, end all” of gaming that will substitute or replace the real thing anytime soon, so long as Google continues to misunderstand what gamers actually want.

Our Verdict



SEGA Confirms that the Next Main Sonic Game is Currently in Development

Yesterday’s Sonic the Hedgehog panel at SXSW 2019 was all about Team Sonic Racing, Sumo Digital’s racing spinoff set to release on all platforms on May 21. As the panel went along, we learned more about vehicle customization, the game’s soundtrack and the all-star team of artists behind the music, and the animated miniseries Team Sonic Racing Overdrive premiering with specially-themed merchandise.

While the focus stayed on Sonic’s immediate future, series director Takashi Iizuka did close out the panel by confirming that the next mainline Sonic title is indeed currently in development at Sonic Team.

Though the advent of a new Sonic game is hardly a surprise and no additional details about the game were teased, I’m personally approaching the news with cautious anticipation. Going by the last Sonic Team-developed entry, 2017’s Sonic Forces wound up being “an ultimately average experience that does little to advance the series or build upon the successes of its predecessors,” with “all of my excitement [amounting] to an underwhelming at worst, moderate at best, game.” It held a lot of early promise which it failed to live up to, what with it being branded as “From the team that brought you Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations,” i.e. Sonic’s better 3D forays over the last ten years.

Tangent aside, here’s to hoping Sonic Team steps up their A-game for Sonic’s next run. What would you want to see in the next core Sonic the Hedgehog game? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Source: SXSW 2019 (via The Sonic Stadium)

News Videos

Check Out Team Sonic Racing’s Brand New Animated Miniseries

Just like Sonic Mania Adventures before it, a new Sonic animated miniseries has arrived to mark the upcoming release of Team Sonic Racing. It’s brought to you once again by Tyson Hesse and Neko Productions.

Team Sonic Racing Overdrive was unveiled at SXSW 2019’s Gotta Go Fast panel yesterday as a two-part webseries based on the anticipated racer, featuring high-speed shenanigans between the rival Teams Sonic, Dark, Rose, Vector, and Eggman. What was promised as a 15-second tease of the webseries quickly turned into a premiere of the entire first episode, with the unlikely spotlight shining on a familiar amphibian enthusiast! Check out “Part 1: Dangerous Distractions” above! Part 2 is expected to arrive later in April.

Like Big, you too can sport your love of all things Froggy with brand new Froggy-themed merchandise now available off the SEGA Shop! Namely, the Froggy hat and shirt featured in the Overdrive short can be yours, as well as a Team Sonic Racing pin, a TSR lanyard, a Sonic and Shadow TSR tee, and a Carnival Night Zone Barrel coffee mug pulled straight from Sonic 3 & Knuckles.

In related news, SEGA also dropped some surprise Sonic Boom news at the panel, announcing that a second volume of DVDs—titled “Go Team Sonic!”—for the animated spinoff is coming in June. Season two of Sonic Boom is now available on iTunes, Amazon Prime, and the Xbox digital store as well—sorry, Boom Believers, no season three reveals here.

SEGA of America’s social media madman Aaron Webber also notes that Paramount may be dropping some Sonic the Hedgehog movie news in the coming days, so keep your eyes peeled!

Sources: SEGA Shop, The Sonic Stadium

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Team Sonic Racing’s “Maximum Overdrive” Soundtrack Drops Worldwide in May 2019

With a deeper insight into the inner machinations of Team Sonic Racing at SXSW 2019 came additional details about the upcoming racing title’s own music. Jun Senoue of Crush 40 fame has confirmed that the TSR original soundtrack—appropriately titled Maximum Overdrive—will be dropping worldwide with the release of the game, and it will be a behemoth of an anthology to collect at that.

The Maximum Overdrive OST will launch physically in a three-disc collection featuring a rough total of 130 tracks, with the crux of Team Sonic Racing‘s music split between remixes of old favorites and brand new tracks. For those who prefer the convenience of downloads, the soundtrack will also be available for purchase via popular digital outlets such as iTunes, Amazon Music, and Google Play, as well as streamable via the likes of Apple Music and Spotify.

At the panel, Senoue spoke at length to fans about the production process behind the music from Team Sonic Racing, most notably with a particular emphasis on the keyword “Team.” The Sonic sound director went on to describe the collaborative effort in producing the soundtrack with a number of special guests involved outside of SEGA’s own sound team.

One such artist was introduced to the Gotta Go Fast panel via a brand new song reveal, this being a remix of a fan-favorite track pulled straight out of Bingo Highway from 2003’s Sonic Heroes. TORIENA, an esteemed chiptune composer and performer based in Kyoto, Japan, has lent her talent to the project by joining forces with Senoue in “Bingo Party,” which you can jam to above! If you liked what you heard, you can also check out TORIENA’s website for her complete discography, social media links, and more.

TORIENA is but one of many names we know are involved with Jun Senoue in producing Team Sonic Racing‘s music, with the soundtrack building up to a real ensemble cast of Sonic music greats:

  • Crush 40 returns with vocalist Johnny Gioeli through the theme track “Green Light Ride.”
  • Tee Lopes, a longtime Sonic remixer who rose to prominence within the community in composing the entire soundtrack to Sonic Mania Plus, contributed to “Boo’s House” (feat. violinist Tei Sena) and “Sand Road” (feat. bassist Takeshi Kaneda).
  • Hyper Potions—the EDM duo whose music is often featured in Sonic promotional materials (most famously the Sonic Mania preorder trailer with “Time Trial,” and that game’s animated opening featuring “Friends”)—collaborated on “Market Street” and “Whale Lagoon.”
  • Richard Jacques, whose music career within the Sonic series began with Sonic 3D Blast on the SEGA Saturn, revitalizes “Ocean View” for its second time around since Transformed in 2012.
  • Tyler Smyth of Dangerkids, back again since “Infinite” from Sonic Forces, puts the pedal to the frosted metal in “Frozen Junkyard.”
  • Though no credited tracks have been previewed yet, Tomoya Ohtani is said to be involved with Team Sonic Racing‘s soundtrack as well.

In related Sonic music news, a new Sonic Mania Adventures remix by Tee Lopes and Jun Senoue premiered at the SXSW panel, dedicated to the tougher than leather Knuckles the Echidna.

What did you think of “Bingo Party?” Are you considering picking up Team Sonic Racing‘s OST? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Our Verdict


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Customize Your Ride from Hues to Horns in Team Sonic Racing

The SEGA-hosted “Gotta Go Fast” panel at SXSW 2019 was all about Sumo Digital’s Team Sonic Racing, the next multiplatform Sonic the Hedgehog racer coming to consoles in the next two months. Fans were treated to a deeper dive into what the upcoming Sonic title has to offer, with expectations high following the studio’s All-Stars Racing Transformed in 2012. If what was shown at the panel was of any indication, TSR is shaping up to be quite the treat for longtime fans.

One extensive preview of the game showed off the vehicle customization feature, where players can swap out parts, paint jobs, vinyls, and horns to make their car their own. Check out the trailer above, backed with a tasty “Crank the Heat Up!! …for Final Egg” remix from Sonic Adventure!

So yes, you can have the brooding Shadow drive a hot pink car while the content Big the Cat pilots a disastrously edgy ride, though you’ll need to put in some elbow grease to earn new swappable parts. You can earn more parts for your vehicles by nabbing in-game currency, though whether the parts are purchaseable, randomly earned like Rare Blades in Xenoblade Chronicles 2, or unlocked through a total currency count like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is not yet known.

Team Sonic Racing comes to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on May 21.

Our Verdict


Articles Columns Nintendo Nintendo Switch Retro Wii U

Don’t Cross Your Fingers for These Wii U Games to Make the Switch

It’s been two years since the launch of the Nintendo Switch, and in that short span of time, a decent chunk of Nintendo’s key titles for the Wii U either have been ported to the hybrid or saw much more refined sequels. We’ve already spoken at length about eleven games from that system that could possibly make the switch to Switch following Super Mario Maker 2 in June, but now it’s time to take a look at the games that will more than likely be left on the cutting room floor.

These honorable mentions are the games that didn’t quite tap into their full potential, wound up as stinkers, or are so dependent on the Wii U’s dual-screen functionality that a port to the Switch would be plain impossible. Let’s take a look at the list together below!

1. Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival (2015)

After New Leaf was released onto the 3DS seven years ago, fans have been itching more and more for a new, mainline Animal Crossing, to once again experience a simulated life in a relaxed and happy neighborhood of friendly anthropomorphized animals on their home console. All the Wii U offered during its short lifespan was a poorly received party game in the form of amiibo Festival, which—as the name implies—heavily relied on the use of Animal Crossing amiibo to be played, to the point that it cannot be downloaded on its own off the eShop.

By itself, sure, the Board Festival might not be worth bringing back, but that might have only been the case because it was by itself. A party game for the series can still be fun if done right, but it alone as a spin-off will probably not appease its fans. After all, said fans have resorted to satanic summoning circles to bring about the next core Animal Crossing game.

Not to say correlation implies causation, but we are just so happening to get a core Animal Crossing title for the Nintendo Switch later this year. While some Wii U games like Smash Bros. got bigger and better sequels, I can easily see an inverse of this scenario for amiibo Festival where it could be integrated into the upcoming Animal Crossing as a bonus couch multiplayer mode to the actual game fans have waited years for. It would get all those lingering Animal Crossing amiibo off the shelves all the faster, that’s for sure!

2. Devil’s Third (2015)

“Honorable mention” is a very generous way of putting this next one.

Devil’s Third, spearheaded by former Tecmo developer and creator of Dead or Alive Tomonobu Itagaki, had a tumultuous production period under Valhalla Game Studio. Development began with the studio’s founding in 2008. A game of hot potato in securing a publishing deal saw the title change hands between Microsoft Game Studios, THQ right before it capsized, South Korean studio Doobic before it also went bankrupt, and then finally Nintendo, when the latter had been in desperate need of new games for the stagnating Wii U.

The game was critically panned once it came westward and was considered to be one of the worst games of 2015. Its release was poorly supported by Nintendo of America, and saw little promotion and few copies printed. Hell, the American branch even considered withdrawing publishing support altogether before launch, unlike its Japanese and European bodies. Its poor reception was pegged to its campaign, inconsistent framerate, graphical presentation, and microtransaction-heavy online multiplayer, though some critics did give Devil’s Third credit for its presentation and gameplay. The online multiplayer was later available as a free-to-play PC title in Japan as Devil’s Third Online under a different publisher in 2016, but it shuttered less than a year later.

With the Switch hosting as ample a library as it has now, I doubt that Nintendo would reach out to secure a port for one of the Wii U’s biggest flops. Itagaki did say he envisioned a trilogy for the franchise, though. Maybe with a bit of extra elbow grease in development and an olive branch extended by another publisher, he could find some life left in Devil’s Third yet.

3. Nintendo Land (2012) + Game & Wario (2013)

I’m grouping these two together as they share one same problem I touched upon earlier, so my thoughts will be very brief.

Nintendo Land (a cute little launch title revolving around a topically Nintendo-themed amusement park) and Game & Wario (the Wii U’s own WarioWare minigame collection) are essentially glorified tech demos. With both games revolving nigh entirely around simultaneous GamePad and TV screen interaction, a Switch port for either is an outright impossibility due to their strict dual-screen gameplay mechanics and asymmetrical multiplayer appeal. The same can also be said of smaller party games on the Wii U, like Wii Sports Club, Wii Party U, and Sing Party, though I doubt many tears would be shed for these losses.

While we can certainly count on a possible new WarioWare for the Switch (with more than 16 microgames, please), I do hope some of the ideas and minigames in Nintendo Land can be salvaged for a future title, or—better yet—as their own bite-sized games available off of the Switch’s eShop.

4. Paper Mario: Color Splash (2016)

The Wii U’s swan song before the launch of Breath of the Wild, Paper Mario: Color Splash was effectively the last major Nintendo game released exclusively for the platform. It was, in many ways, a step up from the dismal Sticker Star for 3DS, featuring better presentation, writing, and music, but it was also more of the same with a half-baked, tedious, and ultimately unrewarding battle system.

Like the 3DS prequel, the battle system was meant to take advantage of the dual-screen nature of the system, revolving around single-use cards to execute attacks. Players would have to sift through their assortment of cards on the GamePad, color them in, and then flick them back to the main screen. The way the battling gameplay works would be too cluttered and drawn out if shunted into a single screen system like the Switch.

Unfortunately, the future of Paper Mario looks bleak. Despite the better critical reception compared to its predecessor, Color Splash sold poorly. All eyes were already on the recently unveiled Switch, and fans who were burned by Sticker Star steered well clear of its immediate sequel. The absolute last thing we would want Nintendo to glean from this is to assume fans don’t want Paper Mario anymore, especially as they strayed further and further away from the RPG formula we grew up with and loved with more “experimental” games. As excellent as the Mario & Luigi games are, there can be room for more than one role-playing Mario series in their wheelhouse.

We just want Mario Story again, damn it.

5. Star Fox Zero + Star Fox Guard (2016)

I deliberated hard on which Wii U list I would put the PlatinumGames-co-developed Star Fox Zero and its companion title Star Fox Guard. After thinking on it for a long while, I’ve concluded that Zero and Guard have probably been written off by Nintendo as possible Switch ports, and I have three reasons as to why that might be the case.

First reason comes down to the game’s… unique control scheme. While most of the stages are traversed from start to finish in traditional Star Fox fashion, the tedious dependency on the GamePad for aiming and shooting enemies might make retooling the entire experience for the single-screen Switch be a bit more trouble than its worth. As for Guard, the constant switching between displays for invading robots would probably be too clunky on a single screen.

Second reason revolves around the very identity of the game, let alone an identity crisis for the Star Fox series as of late. A hypothetical Star Fox Zero on Switch would essentially make it a Switch re-release of a Wii U reboot, following a 3DS remake of a Nintendo 64 re-imagining based on the SNES original. That’s about half the games in the franchise revolving around the same premise. At this point, Star Fox fans—myself included—want something new for a change.

This brings us to reason number three.

Starlink: Battle for Atlas, for many, is scratching that itch of a new Star Fox experience in an unlikely toys-to-life crossover none had seen coming. While a multiplatform title, the Switch version outsold its other iterations by leaps and bounds. It lucks out all the more with special content including Fox McCloud himself as a playable character, complete with his own customizable Arwing and unique missions. And if that’s not enough, Falco, Peppy, and Slippy will join the fun in a free update coming in April.

At least for now, we know Star Fox is in good hands at Ubisoft in the short term, but if Platinum and Nintendo do somehow make a Star Fox Zero + Guard port work for the Switch in spite of my skepticism, I know I’ll certainly be picking it up.

While the sun may set forever on these Wii U entries, we can always cross our fingers for sequels to shine in their place on the Switch.

We finally have the new console Animal Crossing we had dreamed for years coming later this year, and while we have some Star Fox content on the system, I hope the stars will align for a bonafide game to drop sooner rather than later. It’s been a long time since Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door launched on the GameCube, and the games that followed still fail to capture that same magic it refined following Paper Mario 64. With Wario, we know it’s only a matter of time before he shows up with another moneymaking microgame scheme, and hopefully Nintendo Land doesn’t spell the last we see of Monita and her theme park attractions based on our favorite franchises.

And then there’s Devil’s Third.

…yeah I’ve got nothing else to add.

Articles Columns Nintendo Nintendo Switch Retro Wii U

Expect These 11 Wii U Games to Make the Switch to Switch

The ill-fated Wii U had a number of issues that held it back from achieving the unreal commercial success of its revolutionary predecessor, the Wii. Right out of the gate, consumers were confused over the branding and questioned whether the “Wii U” was only a GamePad peripheral for the Wii; the system itself was heavily marketed toward young children and their parents, which didn’t help in furthering the old stigma “Nintendo makes kiddie games”; its unique hardware made it difficult for third parties to develop or port their own games onto the console. So on and so forth.

For all its quirks and woes, however, there was one thing that couldn’t be taken away from the Wii U. That is its own little library of quality, must-have video games that helped the little system that couldn’t stand out as long as it did. Nowadays, rather than sinking into obscurity forever, more and more of the Wii U’s greatest hits are seeing either a renewed shelf life or their legacy refined on Nintendo’s landmark hybrid system: the Switch.

Since the Switch’s launch, Nintendo has kept a steady stream of big name titles releasing on a near-monthly basis, and to further pad out this nigh consistent stream of heavy hitters, the gaming giant has since been porting some of their best work over from the Wii U. Games such as Mario Kart 8 and Hyrule Warriors came roaring back with a vengeance, packed with all the downloadable content from their last go-around under one deluxe, definitive package. Some, like the over-the-top Bayonetta 2 and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (with extra Funky Kong action!), finally got the opportunity to shine on a brighter stage compared to their previous shot under a dimmer limelight.

Then there are those—like Splatoon, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and Super Mario Maker—that weren’t ported, but were instead followed by amazing sequels that completely blow the Wii U originals out of the water in almost every conceivable regard. Enter Splatoon 2, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and the recently revealed Super Mario Maker 2.

The Nintendo Switch launched in early 2017, and we’ve only just broken into 2019 with a good chunk of the Wii U must-haves already brought over. But we’re still missing a few key titles. That’s why I took the liberty of looking at all of Nintendo’s major releases on the Wii U that hadn’t yet gotten the port treatment and determined which titles I feel are more likely to make the switch to the Switch in the future.

For simplicity’s sake, we won’t go over Wii U eShop releases like Dr. Luigi and Pushmo World, nor will we discuss third-party games.

Let’s check out our possible ports-to-be!

1. Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water (2015)

The Switch has a niche little library of horror games, including Bandai Namco’s Little Nightmares, Red Barrels’ Outlast, and the growing presence of Capcom’s Resident Evil series. Few recall, however, that Nintendo has a little horror franchise of its own, and no, I’m not talking about Luigi’s Mansion.

Fatal Frame is a mature series of survival horror games co-owned by Koei Tecmo and Nintendo, with the crux of the gameplay revolving around using the Camera Obscura to fend off evil marauding spirits. Naturally, the Camera Obscura as a concept was a perfect fit for the Wii U GamePad, as demonstrated in the fifth installment of the series: Maiden of Black Water. This allowed the player to explore the haunted Mt. Hikami with the Camera in their own hands, using the GamePad’s gyroscope function to aim the lens around and take exorcizing snapshots.

While Fatal Frame 5 did utilize dual screen gameplay as its main draw, players are granted the option to play somewhat traditionally just as in past games via a single screen, with the camera viewpoint front and center when drawn out. With some minor adjustments to the UI, the game could function on Switch with a single screen just fine. Ubisoft had done the same when porting ZombiU to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, under the more appropriately titled “Zombi.”

With that said, while Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water could be ported to the Switch without a technical hitch, the original Wii U game did not launch under the most favorable circumstances internationally. Mixed critical reception aside, the game was doomed to a smaller audience in North America with an eShop-only release (further putting off potential players with nearly 14GB of data), so overseas demand for Fatal Frame Switch might be pretty minimal as is.

Will we ever see Black Water get ported, or will a new Fatal Frame entry take its place? Only time will tell.

2. Kirby and the Rainbow Curse (2015)

Will it be tricky to pull off? Maybe. Is it outright impossible? I certainly don’t think so.

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse was the super tuff pink puff’s only outing on the Wii U. For the GamePad-powered system, it was a perfect fit for the adorably claymation-stylized sequel to the Nintendo DS title Kirby: Canvas Curse, which saw the player use the console’s stylus to draw paths for the ball form-locked Kirby to follow.

While the Switch should have no trouble running the game, the stylus-dependent controls for Rainbow Curse risk being lost in translation, as there is no stylus marketed for or packaged with the Switch. That said, any old capacitive stylus that can be used for smartphones should be able to interact with the Switch’s touchscreen just fine, should a player not want to use their own fingers to smudge up the screen at least.

This, at least immediately, solves the problem from a portable perspective, but that still leaves some questions for Docked mode. There is no second screen in your hands to draw lines onto while Kirby rolls along on the main display, but that doesn’t mean there are no alternatives available. Motion control with the Joy-Con could simulate the same experience of drawing lines to make paths for Kirby if calibrated properly. Failing that, a traditional control scheme would simply allow players to draw lines by holding down a button and guiding an on-screen stylus with the circle pad.

And should that fail, the game could simply be re-released as a Handheld/Tabletop-exclusive via the eShop. It wouldn’t be the first digital-only Kirby title!

3. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD (2016)

2017 saw the simultaneous launch of the Nintendo Switch and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. In 2018, Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition followed. This year marks a full-blown remake of 1993’s Link’s Awakening, leaving the confines of the Game Boy. At this rate, annual Zelda releases for the system are likely to be expected, with two games on the sidelines ready to fill such a role.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess first launched for the Nintendo GameCube and Wii in 2006, with developer Tantalus assisting in porting the game to Wii U ten years later. The proof is already there that the game can function just fine without the GamePad, while a possible Switch re-release could keep some of the quality of life adjustments that were made before, such as the Ghost Lantern, Wolf Link transformation being tied to a single button, and the reduced number of Tears of Light to collect.

If there is one thing that I would change, it would surely be the glaring accessibility issue surrounding the Cave of Shadows. The Wolf Link-exclusive gauntlet came with the Wii U version of the game, but it was tied exclusively to the Wolf Link amiibo, thus barring off players who hadn’t been so lucky in procuring one of their own. Perhaps this bonus dungeon could be made available to non-Wolf Link amiibo owners as a late game reward—thus allowing them to obtain the Colossal Wallet—and the amiibo would simply give players immediate access like in the original re-release.

Plus, a Wolf Link reprint would give players another chance at having the lupine hero accompany Link in Breath of the Wild and boost its health via the Cave of Shadows subsequently—a Switch re-release would save players the trouble of procuring a Wii U for it.

4. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD (2013)

As for the other mainline Zelda to hit the Wii U, it’s another remaster. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD brought a few improvements to the GameCube original that should definitely stick around for a hypothetical Switch re-release. Personally, I can’t imagine a Wind Waker anymore without the Swift Sail, a reduced reliance on Triforce Chart decryption, and a toggleable Hero Mode.

There are also certain features a Wind Waker HD re-release could take advantage of that weren’t present in the original Wii U launch. As the game preceded the rise of amiibo, a Switch version could easily make use of the litany of Zelda amiibo already available on the market, at the very least replicating their functionality from Twilight Princess HD: Link amiibo refilling arrows, Zelda amiibo refilling hearts or magic, Ganondorf amiibo doubling damage (which could stack on Hero Mode), and so on. Perhaps there could be a special use for the Wind Waker-themed amiibo as well!

Plus, with the Nintendo Switch embracing social media interaction through direct Facebook and Twitter posting, it gives players all the more reason to take dumb selfies with the enhanced Picto Box, just as they have recently done with the Sheikah Slate in Breath of the Wild. The only real casualty to a Wind Waker HD Switch version would be the Tingle Bottle item, as it relied on Miiverse for players to exchange bottled messages through the now defunct service. I wonder what Tingle would hand you as a reward for breaking him out of jail at that point… Perhaps something involving functionality with a brand new golden Tingle amiibo?

It would be cool if Nintendo threw together a Zelda compilation for the Switch at some point down the road, or at least packaged these two together to make the wait for the rumored Skyward Sword HD that much shorter. But that’s a whole other topic for another day.

5. NES Remix Pack (2014)

Well, why not?

Not quite an alternative to the old Virtual Console at the time, NES Remix & NES Remix 2 were great tributes to the vintage titles from the dawn of home video game consoles. With challenges pulled from a combined 28 NES titles, the compilation saw players complete missions based on spliced moments of gameplay, or “remixes,” that changed up a given title or mashed it up with another. An example of the latter saw Kirby face off against Whispy Woods à la Kirby’s Adventure with a ton of Boos closing in every time he looks away, or Link climbing the steel beams of Donkey Kong without being able to jump over the barrels.

A Switch re-release would be pretty novel, and trying to beat other players’ records on the online leaderboard would be fun. That said, the inclusion of multiplayer-centric remixes would certainly go a long way what with the Switch’s multiplayer appeal.

All that’s left to tie the package up would, of course, be the inclusion of both Super Luigi Bros. from the Wii U version, as well as Speed Mario Bros. and the Famicom remixes from Ultimate NES Remix on 3DS, and then we are golden.

Failing that, if Nintendo were to consider a possible SNES Remix

6. Pikmin 3 (2013)

The ever elusive fourth installment in the Pikmin series continues to sit in this weird limbo of being “almost complete” and “not a priority.” Should the day Pikmin 4 finally touches down on our planet still elude us further into the unknown future, the next best thing would be to port Alph’s foray on the Wii U over in the meantime.

Pikmin 3 put three new Koppaite astronauts center stage—the aforementioned Alph, joined by Brittany and Charlie—on their desperate quest to save their home planet from famine. The game launched fairly early in the Wii U’s lifespan in July 2013, but it did benefit from extra downloadable content in the form of extra map packs up towards the end of the year. Naturally, a Nintendo Switch version would package the game with all the old DLC included, just as existing Wii U to Switch ports have done before it, so newcomers wouldn’t have to miss out on the definitive edition of Pikmin 3.

While the Wii U GamePad provided some added functionality to the game via the conspicuously familiar-looking KopPad, a port to the Nintendo Switch would thankfully be relatively seamless, as the game was perfectly playable to completion via Off-Tv Play in the past. With the Switch’s ability to play games on the go, we would finally get a bonafide portable Pikmin game!

7. Super Mario 3D World (2013)

There is absolutely no way Super Mario 3D World isn’t already destined for the Nintendo Switch. The writing on the wall is as clear as day.

First, the famous plumber’s other big adventures on Wii U have already been ported to Switch. We’ve got New Super Mario Bros. U plus New Super Luigi U, Super Mario Maker getting a sequel this summer that will include 3D World content, and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker—itself being a spinoff of 3D World based on the Captain Toad stages. This all leaves 3D World as the only mainline Super Mario game remaining. If Super Mario Odyssey‘s number of units sold is of any indication—it sits quite comfortably as the second bestselling game on the Switch thus far, with nearly 14 million units—we can assume that Switch owners love 3D Mario.

Second, I shouldn’t even have to mention how the game’s four-player co-op already lends itself well to one of the Nintendo Switch’s selling points, being immediate multiplayer access thanks to the Joy-Con. Two players can sit down and enjoy the game together as one of four playable characters, each based off of their portrayals in Super Mario Bros. 2 way back in the day. Mario the all-rounder, Luigi the high jumper, Peach the floater, and Toad the quickster are all here, present and accounted for, with new power-ups like the wall-scaling Cat Suit and the duplicating Double Cherry.

There’s not much I can think of that needs to be added to a Super Mario 3D World Switch port, save for the cut 3D World stages from the Switch release of Captain Toad in favor of Odyssey-themed maps. The vanilla game was perfect already, although some stages that required GamePad functionality (be it via the touchscreen or blowing into the microphone) will definitely need fine-tuning.

8. Tokyo Mirage SessionsFE (2016)

Many a developer has hopped onto the Nintendo Switch gravy train, and while Atlus is a big name who remains mysteriously absent thus far, a big splash from the SEGA-owned subsidiary is still to be expected on the horizon. We know Shin Megami Tensei V is on the way as a Switch exclusive, but likely not for a long while yet, given it has only entered full-scale development around this time last year. A Persona 5 port to the system could be a very real possibility in the near future, as Joker will be stealing the show as a new fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate within the two months, and we’re expecting big P5 news in the coming weeks.

With Fire Emblem: Three Houses set to launch in July, we probably won’t be entertaining this idea for a little while, but there is little reason to object against Nintendo and Atlus porting Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE onto the Switch at some point down the line. This interesting experiment of a four-way SMT, Persona, Fire Emblem, and J-Pop idol culture crossover was a must for RPG lovers on the Wii U, though its niche appeal (coupled with the poor sales performance of the Wii U) did no favors in boosting its visibility.

The GamePad was responsible for a few special features, but nothing that can’t be relegated back onto a single screen with the Switch. The map can be displayed on another corner of the UI, and the Topic social app could be accessed via the pause menu. Package in the Costume and Hunter Pack DLCs, and a Switch port of Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE would be ready to go!

…that, and maybe with an English dub this time around.

9. The Wonderful 101 (2013)

With Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 behind us, plus the surprise Astral Chain and the anticipated Bayonetta 3 down the line, PlatinumGames has settled itself quite comfortably as a developer for the Nintendo Switch. While we know of two upcoming titles, there is one other possibility—another possible Wii U port that could make a wonderful addition to the Switch’s expanding library.

The Wonderful 101 brought champions of justice to the Wii U with a mixture of Saturday morning cartoon superheroics and that unmistakable Platinum flair, gaining itself a dedicated cult following that persists to this day. Despite its heavy reliance on the GamePad at the time, we know the game could be played traditionally via the Wii U Pro Controller in co-op mode, so any technical hurdles that might seem impossible for a Wii U-to-Switch transition should be a non-issue.

We know that PlatinumGames may have teased The Wonderful 101 for Switch in the past and that the studio has discussed the matter with Nintendo behind closed doors. Producer Atsushi Inaba also stated that he would love to see a Switch port come to fruition. So the question remains: will Wonder-Red and the Wonderful Ones be called on to Unite-Morph once more and fight off the looming Geathjerk threat?

We can only hope that day will come again soon.

10. Xenoblade Chronicles X (2015)

Xenoblade Chronicles came from humble beginnings on the Wii as a spiritual successor to Monolith Soft’s earlier works, before the developer became a Nintendo subsidiary. Since then, the series had grown and evolved considerably, leading up to the million-seller RPG that capped off the Nintendo Switch’s launch year: Xenoblade Chronicles 2. With its expansion pass promises fulfilled and the prequel Torna ~ The Golden Country released last year, this might be all we’re seeing for Xenoblade for a while, as the next new installment is a long ways away with development on a new RPG only just getting off the ground.

If only there were another entry in the series to tide Switch-owning Xenoblade fans over… Oh wait, there is!

Monolith Soft CEO Tetsuya Takahashi has spoken at length on how he wishes to port the more sci-fi-oriented Xenoblade Chronicles X over from the Wii U. Unlike the other games on this list, however, the challenge in porting XCX to Switch is much more obvious. The game is incredibly massive for a Nintendo title—the Wii U barely broke even to run it on its own in whatever format the game is obtained. Physical copies of X strongly suggested downloadable data packs to lessen the strain in properly rendering everything in-game, while the digital version of the entire game nearly takes up all the room in the deluxe Wii U’s hard drive, weighing over 20GB. In short, the game is very technically demanding.

Not to say the undertaking is outright impossible if we’re only looking at gigs, but it would be a hell of a behemoth to fit in a small Nintendo Switch cartridge. Whatever the case, I would love to once again journey planet Mira as my own custom avatar with Hiroyuki Sawano’s music backing the action, if it means I can do it all again in the comfort of my Skell from the comfort of my own bed.

The wind blows hard in December…~

11. Yoshi’s Woolly World (2015)

Perhaps it is too soon to think about our final port, what with Yoshi’s Crafted World coming out at the end of the month. Still, I would like to end the list on a high note with this utterly adorable game. I think platformer fans will want to sink their teeth into this one after finishing its aforementioned successor in March.

A spiritual successor to Good-Feel’s 2010 tight-knit Wii title Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Yoshi’s Woolly World wove together a cutesy world of yarn and cloth, patched with the familiar gameplay stylings of Yoshi’s Island. As players ventured through each world in their quest to stop Kamek and Baby Bowser’s villainous plot, they could swap out their Yoshi’s color pattern outside of the basic green, pink, or blue hue with more thematic patterns. These patterns ranged from themes such as Burt the Bashful and cows to ones based off of previous Nintendo hardware.

Woolly World also had the cutest application of amiibo compatibility I’ve seen yet, allowing players to change up their Yoshi’s color pattern to that of the corresponding character: be it a mustachioed Mario Yoshi, a speedy Sonic the Hedgehog Yoshi (down to the red sneakers), or a fresh-looking Inkling Girl Yoshi. The 2017 3DS port Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World took this concept a step further by allowing players to create and share their own custom patterns.

All we need now is a definitive release for the Switch, bringing in the extra features introduced in the 3DS version into an HD console experience. Yes, I would absolutely triple dip for this game!

Nintendo’s triumphs these days stem from a textbook corporate example of lessons learned, as their many missteps with the Wii U have since been corrected with the runaway success that is a true hybrid console experience provided by the Switch. Ever since The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the company has made a strong point in ensuring their games from the last generation were not punished for their shortcomings. This has only served to increase the appeal of the Switch with a meaty line-up of quality games partly made up of yesteryear’s greatest hits.

While I scoped Nintendo’s remaining Wii U offerings on whether they may be ported to the Switch during its projected long lifespan, I would like to know what you think. Do you agree with my analysis on which games might make the cut, or did I miss any in particular? Are there any third-party entries that should also make the jump from the Wii U to Switch? Better yet, what other Switch ports from different systems altogether would you want to see?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, and come back soon as we’ll discuss why some other Wii U games might not be as lucky.

Nintendo Nintendo Switch Reviews

Review: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Stands Proud as the Greatest Celebration of the Gaming Medium

A forthcoming major installment of a heralded Nintendo game franchise like Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, or Pokémon is enough to drive their respective fanbases into an absolute tizzy. These new games, often boasting a lavish premise with plenty of promise, building on the solid foundations of its predecessors, lead us to high and often met expectations, with each landmark title continuing to surprise and amaze.

Super Smash Bros., on the other hand, isn’t your average gaming franchise.

No, a series like Smash Bros. sits in a hallowed position as the beloved and increasingly ambitious crossover helmed by the revered producer Masahiro Sakurai, bringing in all of Nintendo’s major players and honored guests under one unbelievably packed roof for an all-star battle royale like none other. Rumors alone of a new entry on the horizon are enough to stir a massive frenzy of discussion and speculation, and we were no stranger to the hype here at Gamnesia. When that familiar insignia blazed anew at the end of the March 2018 Direct, the collective Internet jumped out of its chair and screamed in total euphoria, as the long-awaited marriage of Smash and Switch has finally happened, later sporting the appropriately weighty title of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Since its inception, Super Smash Bros. sported its own distinct gameplay style that sets itself apart as a hybrid platformer-fighter-party game. It foregoes flat planes and health bars that the traditional fighting game genre has established since the days of Street Fighter, in favor of platform-based stages and damage percentage buildup. The higher a fighter’s percentage, the further they are sent flying off the map, and once beyond the stage’s borders, they are KO’d.

The biggest draw of Smash Bros. is, of course, its mind-boggling cast of playable characters. Each new entry over the years presented a bigger and more impressive roster than the last, although there were some fighters from a previous title not making the cut in a subsequent installment due to time constraints, rights negotiations, or technical difficulties—but not this time.

Living up to its name, and the lofty slogan “Everyone is Here!!,” Super Smash Bros. Ultimate goes above and beyond in bringing back each and every single fighter from across the franchise’s 20-year-long history. These include the return of one-off characters like Solid Snake and Young Link, and further cement the presence of the downloadable characters following the release of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and for Wii U, like Corrin and Bayonetta.

Prioritizing the return of every fighter for Ultimate did lead to a lower number of brand new fighters being developed for the game next to previous entries, but these new contenders are excellent additions that make up for the comparative lack all the same. Metroid‘s own “larger than life” Ridley and King K. Rool of Donkey Kong Country fame make triumphant debuts under the spotlight as highly requested legacy characters from Nintendo’s rogues gallery, with fresh faces like Inkling from Splatoon and the chipper Animal Crossing secretary Isabelle joining the fray. To top it all off, there are the special third party appearances by two of Castlevania‘s famed vampire slayers—Simon and Richter Belmont—adding to the already insane guest character lineup including Mega Man, Pac-Man, and Cloud.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate‘s roster aimed for both quantity and quality from the outset, and succeeded in both fronts in spades. Every fighter, old and new, plays smoothly with a variety of bonkers movesets at the heightened pace of combat this game presents compared to its predecessor, inching it closer but nonetheless comfortably distant from Super Smash Bros. Melee when it comes to gameplay speed. The additional control mechanics like a streamlined short-hop attack and the return of directional air dodges have also been welcome additions that help spice up ways in which you can approach your opponent.

The stages also mostly comprise of returning maps, bringing in over one hundred stages for up to eight players to go toe-to-toe in. Returning favorites include Fountain of Dreams, Arena Ferox, and Jungle Japes, all with an HD facelift that make them look better than ever—as well as new additions based off of Nintendo’s recent hits like Moray Towers and New Donk City. For competitive players, not only does each map include a Final Destination variant like in for 3DS and for Wii U (this time bearing a consistent floating island layout), but a Battlefield off-shoot as well, let alone a dedicated Tournament mode and the team-oriented Squad Strike.

Throw in the brand new Stage Morph option to switch arenas mid-match, a Stage Hazard toggle to do away with hindrances and left-field surprises, and an incredibly thorough ruleset for players to mess with, and you’re all set for hours of fun fisticuffs with friends.

When you’ve had your fill of the multiplayer portion of Ultimate, the game has a few dedicated single player offerings as well. The ever-familiar Classic Mode takes on a new form this time around by having each fighter tackle a specific set of approaching challengers in their own specially themed campaigns, typically culminating towards a boss battle. Kirby, for example, faces off against fellow fighters known for their voracious appetites, leading towards a superstar-studded showdown versus Marx, and poor Luigi is thrust into his worst nightmares by clashing with the scarier fighters before confronting the dreaded Count Dracula Vlad Ţepeş. Most of these tongue-in-cheek references and thematic Classic routes are subtle slices of fan service that only endeared me further towards the labor of love and attention to detail Sakurai and company have put into each campaign.

The only real knocks against Classic Mode, personally, were how most of the campaigns simply end in a battle against Master Hand (occasionally featuring Crazy Hand) when certain other bosses would’ve been a better fit for certain fighters—say Badnik-busting expert Sonic the Hedgehog going up against the robotic tank Galleom—and the lack of dedicated Mii Fighter campaigns.

The other two single player game modes are Training Mode and Mob Smash, the latter being an umbrella category for Century Smash (100 Man Melee), Cruel Smash, and All-Star Smash. While Training Mode further expanded on the concept with a dedicated Training map with graphs and launch distance measurements, and Mob Smash provides some fun distractions, it does make one miss some of the more banal mini-games like Homerun Contest and Break the Targets.

All of that aside, the big crux of the game’s single player content revolves around Spirits Mode, and I have to say, the phrase “attention to detail” does not do this feature justice. Gone are Trophies, instead replaced with Spirits embodying a wide litany of characters from the collaborating franchises under Ultimate and then some. You earn Spirits primarily in battles via the Spirit Board, this game’s equivalent to Event Matches from previous titles, where you’re set up against computer players with a specific set of rules, enemy behaviors, and victory conditions. It put a big smile on my face to go up against a Shantae-possessed Zero Suit Samus favoring her whip, or Rayman possessing the ever agile Sonic with a helping hand from the limbless Sukapon Assist Trophy. A bit of a shame that the Spirits aren’t accompanied with a descriptive blurb on the character or item it represents, sadly.

It is also in Spirits Mode where Smash Bros. once again bears a fully-fledged Adventure Mode, this time going by the name “World of Light,” but those seeking something akin to the Subspace Emissary will be disappointed. There are no cutscenes featuring character interactions beyond the opening cinematic, let alone any substantial scenes aside from the finale and halfway point as WoL is mostly gameplay-driven, with Spirit Battles galore and no platforming segments like its predecessor. That is not to say the mode is devoid of any enjoyment, as you explore world maps and specially themed submaps in your quest to liberate Spirits and your fellow fighters, battle against Galeem and a litany of bosses, and train your Spirits to become stronger. It is, however, a bit of a grind to complete that could take a couple dozen hours, but the true final boss is a hell of a spectacle, including a certain surprise that will delight longtime fans, that helped validate the long road to reach it.

Tallying the Primary, Support, Master, and Fighter Spirits, the base game totals 1297 Spirit for you to catalog, and that’s only the final count that came up at launch. With a ton of Spirits to collect and several methods to obtain them, Spirits Mode will certainly keep you busy!

l was also pleased to see Smash Bros. Ultimate run at a consistent 60fps for the most part on my Switch in either Docked or Handheld mode, with the graphical fidelity hardly taking a hit when playing portably, perfecting the dream of on-the-go Smashings that for 3DS first realized four years ago. The game’s soundtrack, much like the fighters and stages, mostly comprise of returning favorites, but the new remixes for Ultimate are absolutely phenomenal, both in the creative approach of letting artists choose what they would like to cover and their subsequent execution. For example, hearing ACE—famous for composing many fantastic tracks from Xenoblade Chronicles and its sequel—tackle David Wise’s “Gangplank Galleon” from DKC was one of the best experiences I’ve had listening to an arrangement ever. The fact that the game even has a soundtrack totalling over 800 music tracks is so very surreal, but it’s all the more believable given it’s Smash Bros.—of course they had to go over the top!

Finally, that leaves one remaining portion that I feel is Ultimate‘s weakest pillar across its otherwise stellar foundation, and that is the online mode.

Pros first, the Battle Arenas have been improved considerably since for Wii U, as players can now host private lobbies with friends and invited guests for up to 8 participants, compared to the limit of 4 players among friends only the last time around. Only up to four at a time can throw down at once, but the remaining players can either queue themselves up to go up next or simply spectate each round as they come. Additionally, the Background Matchmaking feature helps immeasurably for those not willing to put up with waiting in a training lobby between brawls, as I found myself squeezing in some offline gameplay while waiting for the next match I’d be paired into.

The real down points with the online portion, however, come first with Quickplay. There are no “For Fun” and “For Glory” distinctions like last time, with players now choosing preferred rules before being paired up with others. This often leads to going into battle without the rules you wanted for yourself as the matchmaking system seems to choose one players’ rules at random rather than matching you with someone with rules more closely reflecting your own. While I can swing either casually with items or competitively without, I found it to be a bit of a drag going up against my opponents without the playing field I initially envisioned.

And my last point against the online is less a bad grade for Ultimate alone and more a scathing indictment of Nintendo Switch Online, but the lack of dedicated servers do hurt the appeal of fighting against your friends via the Internet. You can minimize lag for yourself with a decent service plan and investing in a USB-based LAN adapter, but if your opponent has a bad connection in this head-scratching Peer-to-Peer environment, so will you and everyone else. It’s a shame that Nintendo has not fully invested in an online infrastructure what with a paid subscription for a service that was freely available for a year and a half after the Switch’s launch, especially for a game as massive as Ultimate. It doesn’t exactly paint a pretty picture as Nintendo got caught fibbing on the matter when the North America Open livestream openly displayed said lag during one of the matches.

There is also a feature to share recorded match videos via the Smash World service on the Nintendo Switch Online app, but this has not yet been made available at the time of writing this review. It is also a shame that the Nintendo Switch’s video capture feature is disabled, as there are several moments in Classic Mode and Spirit Battles among others that I wish I could’ve saved, seeing as you can only record your multiplayer battles.

Online woes aside, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate stands proud as the most ambitious crossover in video game history, bringing together an impossible collection of fighters made reality thanks to the good faith Nintendo and Sakurai have accrued for the franchise since its humble beginnings on the Nintendo 64 twenty years ago. There’s plenty of replay value in store with the timeless frantic multiplayer and limitless combinations of dream fighter matchups, familiar gameplay modes that have been refined in most ways, and a long list of Spirits to collect and familiarize oneself with, so trust me when I say you’re in for a smashing great time.

Those looking for even more Smash for their buck will surely come back for rotating events on the Spirit Board, at times updating with new Spirits to collect, and keep an eye out for even more fighters on top of the insane number of 71 already present in the base game. Piranha Plant was one newcomer I could never expect, but its design and moveset make this timeless bitey, planty Mario baddie a welcome and hilarious addition to the roster, and with the surprise reveal I never saw coming with Joker from Persona 5 on the horizon, I can hardly wrap my head around how much further Nintendo can press the envelope with the four other mystery guests yet to be unveiled. Who else is there left who could possibly join? I can hardly wait!

All that and more is to say the thrill ride that is Ultimate has no end in sight just yet, and I am more than excited to be a part of it all.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is available now for the Nintendo Switch.

A digital copy of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was provided to Gamnesia by Nintendo of America for the purpose of this review.

Our Verdict
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Every fighter from previous Smash Bros. games returning for the craziest and biggest roster of playable characters in Nintendo history. Long-awaited newcomers that fit well into the mould. Gameplay tweaks compared to “for Wii U” that speeds up pacing. A wide variety of gameplay modes in both single player and multiplayer to keep one busy. Fan service galore with hundreds of Spirits to collect. Gorgeous graphics and absolutely phenomenal soundtrack.
Lack of familiar mini-games such as Homerun Contest and Break the Targets. World of Light’s paper-thin story. Lackluster online service, in part due to Nintendo’s own subscription-based online platform. Inability to record every moment of gameplay aside from multiplayer battles.

News Nintendo Videos

Kirby’s Best Anime Episode Goes Delightfully Meta with a Massive Reanimated Collab

The Kirby: Right Back at Ya! anime, starring the titular pink puff we all know and love, is known for its occasional bits of satire and self-referential parody. No episode made that clearer than episode 47, “Cartoon Buffoon.” While this episode turned the series’ concept on its head—with King Dedede looking to create his very own cartoon, resulting in a poorly drawn retelling of the first episode—it also gave its audience an inside look on the extensive production process behind making a cartoon.

Hand this already meta episode to eager artists to reanimate from start to finish, and you wind up with a hilarious and delightful collaborative adaptation of a fan favorite episode that makes it worth watching all over again! Check out the Kirby Reanimated Collab in full above.

The project was led by Roya Shahidi, who founded the collab back in 2017 and managed to reign in a massive team consisting of over 300 artists! You can check out the full list of credited artists right here.

On a more somber note, among the artists involved was the late Angelxmikey, who quietly finished his long fight with cystic fibrosis and passed away in his sleep earlier today. We at Gamnesia extend our condolences and deepest sympathies to his wife Merluvli, his family, and his friends in these times.

Our Verdict


News Videos

Get Into the Holiday Spirit with a Surprise Sonic Mania Adventures Episode

2018 is coming to a close real soon, but not without a Christmas miracle from the team behind Sonic Mania Adventures! The animated miniseries tie-in for Sonic Mania Plus wrapped up back in July, with Part 5 ending with a climactic showdown between Team Sonic and Doctor Eggman for the Master Emerald. Once again, it’s back to the drawing board for the nefarious Doctor after suffering yet another humiliating loss to his blue nemesis, so who is left to turn things around for him this holiday season?

Tune in to Part 6 of Neko Productions’ Sonic Mania Adventures, “From A. Rose,” above, and share your thoughts on this surprise Christmas special with us below!

Our Verdict