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News

Bethesda Shows New Glimpse of Starfield with Explanation of “The Settled Systems”

Bethesda Game Studios just released a new video that provides some more details about their upcoming Action- RPG set in space, Starfield. This game is set to release late in 2022 as a Microsoft exclusive.

In this video, Bethesda Design Director Emil Pagliarulo explains The Settled Systems which is an area of our solar system in the year 2330. He goes on to explain that 20 years before the start of the game the 2 largest factions in the settled systems (The United Colonies and The Freestar Collective) engaged in a war.

By 2330, the settled systems “enjoy an uneasy peace”, but there are still lots of threats and dangers to the player. He goes on to show some concept art of different types of characters and enemies.

You may encounter these mysterious strangers as you explore the starfield as part of the organization Constellation, whose goal it is to uncover the mysteries of the galaxy.

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News

Playstation is Losing More Exclusives – God of War (2018) is Coming to PC

The beloved franchise “God of War” has long time been a Playstation exclusive. Now the 2018 award winner is being ported to PC. The Steam page is already live where preorders are being accepted. The game will be available to play on January 14, 2022.

Before God of War it was Death Stranding and Horizon Zero Dawn that made their way to PC. On one hand, it is great that more players can experience these games. On the other hand, one of the big arguments for getting a Playstation over Xbox is that there are great exclusives. With these exclusives moving to PC, will Playstation lose potential customers?

God of War (2018) will have ultra-wide support and we can expect better visuals from the game on PC.

I am excited to see what craziness the modding community will stir up!

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News

Elden Ring Delayed by a Month

FromSoftware’s (Souls Series, Sekiro, Bloodborne) highly anticipated collaboration with George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones), Elden Ring, has been pushed back a month from its previous release date of January 21, 2022.

With all of the delays that have been happening in the game development world recently, Elden Ring being pushed back to only February 25 doesn’t seem so bad.

There was also recently a leak of the game that shows some of the wonder of vast open world. And man is it glorious. The footage doesn’t contain any spoilers. It just shows the player walking around and jumping. (It feels really weird to see a dark-souls-like character jump lol).

If you want to see the leaked footage, user ‘Adddicteddd’ posted it on Youtube. Check it out here:

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Game Discussion

4 Ways to Improve the Switch Online Service (N64 Collection)

There’s really no way around the fact that at $49.99 annually, the Switch Online Expansion Pack feels really expensive. This is based on our experience with Nintendo’s online service on the Switch up to this point. However, there are things that could be done to make this price feel more appropriate.

Here are 4 things we want for the N64 Collection on the Switch Online Expansion Pack:

Quality Games

The N64 doesn’t have a very big library of games overall. In North America, there was only 296 games that were released. The Playstation had more that 4 times that many. However, even with its smallish catalogue, the n64 has a lot of really fun games.

This means that it should be no problem to actually put quality games on the online service. When the NES and SNES services were launched, the lineup of games was decent at best. Even with a few important games still missing, the game selection has improved a lot.

Here are all the N64 games that have been announced:

  • Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
  • Super Mario 64
  • Majora’s Mask
  • WinBack: Covert Operations
  • Dr. Mario 64
  • Yoshi’s Story
  • Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
  • Pokemon Snap
  • Mario Golf
  • Sin and Punishment
  • Mario Tennis
  • F-Zero X
  • Mario Kart 64
  • Paper Mario
  • Star Fox 64
  • Banjo-Kazooie

This is a solid lineup of games. Its a great sign that Nintendo was able to work something out with Rare to get Banjo-Kazooie added. If there was any way that Goldeneye could find its way onto the Switch Online service, that would be amazing. However, I bet that we will have to “settle” with Perfect Dark, which some people prefer anyways.

This is a good start for the N64 lineup. Here is my personal list of games I would like to see added down the line:

  • Body Harvest
  • Glover
  • Toy Story 2
  • Snowboard Kids 2
  • Shadow Man
  • Rogue Squadron
  • Shadows of the Empire
  • Diddy Kong Ramsey
  • Harvest Moon 64
  • Mickey’s Speedway
  • LEGO Racers
  • Road Rash 64
  • Space Station Silicon Valley

There are some other solid games that could be added in addition to these, but this would be a good start to making the price of the Expansion Pack more worth it.

Consistency

When the NES and the SNES collections were first launched on the online service, the games were regularly updated. As time has gone by, the games have been coming less and less frequently. So not only are the games not always among the best of the system, but we rarely get new games. It begs the question: What exactly are we paying for?

We have already talked about how important it is that the N64 collection has quality games. But it is just as important for those games to come on a consistent basis. Nintendo has been very vague about the interval at which new games will be added. Ideally new games would be added once per month.

Better Infrastructure

Anyone that has played online games on the Switch could tell you that it suffers from lag a lot more than Sony’s or Microsoft’s online services. Nintendo has never really used their online service as a big marketing point to sell consoles. Apart from Super Smash Bros, they don’t really have any huge online multiplayer IPs.

For that reason, Nintendo has probably not invested as heavily into the infrastructure of their online platform. That fact of that matter is, if we are going to be paying the same amount for Nintendo’s online subscription as we do for Sony’s or Microsoft’s, they need to invest more into improving the online experience.

Matchmaking

The last thing that would make the retro game selection that Nintendo has brought to their online service more fun, would be for them to implement proper match making. Especially with the N64 games coming to the system.

Playing with friends is fun, but once your an adult it can be hard to always sync up with your friends to play. I would still like to be able to hop on and play Mario Kart 64 online, even if it’s with strangers. Being able to play these classic games with a modern matchmaking system would be an awesome experience to offer the fans.

These are the things that I think would help to improve the experience of the Switch Online Service. If these things were implemented, maybe the $49.99 price point wouldn’t feel so expensive.

What would you add to the service to make it a more appetizing purchase?

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Game Discussion

Top 5 Underrated N64 Games for Switch Online


I commonly hear that the N64 only has 5-10 good games. I couldn’t disagree more. Of course the first party titles and the Rare classics are the really heavy hitters, but there are so many hidden gems on this system.

In this article, I’ll be talking about 5 of my favorite under-the-radar games on the N64. This is just a wish list and I will be ignoring any potential copyrite issues that would prevent Nintendo from adding these games.

5. Gauntlet Legends

Gauntlet Legends is an arcade game by Midway and Atari that launched in 1998. It was ported to the N64 in 1999 and later to the Sony Playstation and Sega Dreamcast in 2000. One of the things that made the N64 great in the eyes of fans was the possibility of 4-player local multiplayer. And this game makes the most of this feature! Couch co-op is always fun, but 4-player co-op makes it even better!

Getting to choose between 4 classes, players get to be a Warrior, Archer, Wizard, or Valkyrie to recover 4 runes to banish the demon Skorne back to Hades. The gameplay is really simple, but cutting your way through enemies with 3 friends is an absolute blast. This would be a great addition to the Switch Online Service and would be perfect to play with friends online.

4. Glover

This is definitely a bit of an oddball on this list, but I remember renting this game from Hollywood Video as a kid and it has always stuck out to me. In this game you play as a personified glove named “Glover”. Through many worlds of platforming levels, you are meant to retrieve crystals and help to restore the crystal kingdom is under threat.

This is a fun game with really interesting and unique level design. The environments are all really vibrant and there is plenty to explore. The glove gimmick lends itself to really interesting gameplay. As a big fan of platformers, this is a fun and unique game. I would love to see Nintendo add this to the Switch Online service.

3. Body Harvest

This is really where things get good. Body Harvest was developed by DMA Design which is now Rockstar North (a studio of Rockstar Games). In this game you can see plenty of ideas that would find their way into the Grand Theft Auto series. You play as futuristic super solider named Adam Drake. You are tasked with defending earth from invading aliens that are here to harvest the human population.

There is much more than just an action-adventure game. There are elements of mystery and puzzle solving. One of the things I really love about Body Harvest is the atmosphere. There is a cold and lonely ambience that emanates from this game and it really adds to the experience. This game would be perfect for the Switch Online service. I would love to revisit it.

2. Rogue Squadron

Of all the games on this list, Rogue Squadron is probably the most well known. You could argue that it doesn’t even belong on an “Underrated Games List”, but I rarely see people hold this game up with the best of the system so I am including it here.

Rogue Squadron is an arcade-style flight game. It takes place in the star wars universe and follows the the story from the Star Wars X-wing: Rogue Squadron comic series. The gameplay is presented in a third person view as you pilot different crafts from Star Wars. You collect powerups and complete different objectives in each stage.

The flying in this game still feels really good and the dogfighting is super satisfying. Of all of the Star Wars games on the N64, this is my favorite. This game spawned a trilogy of games that are all really good. I wouldn’t be surprised if this game ended up on Switch in a similar manner as Star Wars Episode I: Racer, but I wouldn’t bet on in being added to the Switch Online Expansion. Lets hope I’m wrong!

1. Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue

This game first launched on N64 and Playstation in 1999 and later appeared on a number of other platforms. It follows the familiar plot of the movie with some added content (and new henchman to beat up).

There was a time when movie licensed video games weren’t consistently terrible and this game proves it. This game is such a fun mix of familiar characters, platforming, collecting, and fighting bad guys.

Similar to the ‘Army Men’ games, the level designs are fun to explore because you get to play around familiar spaces through the eyes of a toy. Boring locations like a child’s bedroom or a construction yard become massive environments to explore.

I know that we aren’t likely to see this game on the Switch Online service because of the licensing that would be required, but I can dream right?

What games would you like to see added to Nintendo Switch Online?

Categories
Game Discussion

The GTA Trilogy – Definitive Edition Might Be Missing Something Important

Rockstar recently announced the release of Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition. This was sure to make fans of the franchise really excited. This month marks 20 years since the release of Grand Theft Auto III so this is a great way for Rockstar to celebrate the anniversary and reintroduce these great games to us.

To this day, I periodically will pick up GTA: Vice City and play through it. Some of the gameplay mechanics are dated, but is still a really enjoyable experience fueled by the awesome atmosphere of neon saturated Miami nights.

The Definitive Edition is sure to contain quality-of-life improvements and hopefully modernize the controls. This will be a welcome change and will make these games even more approachable for a modern audience.

The difficult thing about remastering old games, apart from the technical work required, is dealing with the licenses that the company originally paid for. I think I’m not alone when I say that one of my favorite parts of Vice City is THE MUSIC. The music in this game adds so much to the 80s atmosphere.

This is purely speculative, but I would venture a guess that the licenses that Rockstar originally purchased have expired by now. This means they would have to buy the rights to use these songs again. I’m not sure if that makes financial sense to repurchase these licenses just for a rerelease of older games.

I hope I am wrong. I am excited for the Definitive Edition release and will definitely pick it up. But I would love to hear that same old soundtrack.

Categories
Game Discussion News

Switch Online Expansion Pack Pricing Revealed…

When Nintendo announced the addition of N64 to the Switch Online Service, I was really excited. Like many of us, I grew up playing the N64 and though I often hear that there are only 10 or so good games, I think there are a lot of hidden gems on the system. This presents an awesome opportunity for Nintendo to expose a younger audience to some great games that are barely talked about today.

Not only did Nintendo announce the N64 for the Switch Online Expansion Pack, but they also announced the addition of the Sega Genesis. This one threw me a little bit. I like the Genesis as much as the next guy, but it seems out of left field to add this system as opposed to another Nintendo console (i.e. Gameboy or GBA).

But lets talk about the pricing. Yikes… I don’t know what else to say. $49.99 annually and $79.99 for the family membership. That just seems really steep for what we are getting. That puts the price in the ballpark of online offerings from Sony and Microsoft, but without the benefits that they offer.

Content creators in both the Youtube and blog spheres have collectively lost their minds over this. I mean, just look at the like/dislike ratio on Nintendo’s announcement video.

Oof…

Right now, it doesn’t seem worth it based on the announcements from Nintendo. However, I will hold my final opinion until it officially launches and maybe Nintendo will provide later updates that will make the price point seem more appealing.