Nintendo Labo Introduces a Secret Weapon for the Switch: Cardboard

I’ll be honest here. When I heard Nintendo was announcing a new way to play on Switch, I wasn’t expecting much. They already did a Nintendo Direct last week, so I was pretty sure there wasn’t going to be any revolutionary game announcements.

nintendo labo

And then they revealed cardboard props. At first, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Cardboard? I laughed it off initially, ultimately confused at what all the fuss was about. Then I read more about it. Then I watched the announcement video.

I think I’m on board with this plan.

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Competing in Dragon Ball FighterZ as a Dragon Ball Novice

I can see why Dragon Ball fans are so in love with Arc System Works upcoming fighting game, Dragon Ball FighterZ. With a roster full of fan favorite characters from the anime, attention to detail, colorful visuals, it’s basically a Dragon Ball fans dream come true. Now you can settle those long debated argument of who’s better.

dragon ball fighterz

I am not a Dragon Ball fan however. In fact, I have almost zero knowledge of the series, the characters, or what exactly a Dragon Ball is. I mean, I certainly know of the anime, but I’ve never sat down to watch the show or play any of the previous games. Yet, I’m oddly excited for this game’s impending launch.

I’m a sucker for versus style fighting games, originally made popular by the Marvel vs series of games back in the day. These games focus more on the action side of fighting, typically pitting two teams of three against one another using flashy/over the top abilities, tag-ins, assists, and more. Dragon Ball FighterZ definitely ticks all of these check boxes.

While the game is a 3 on 3 fighter at its core, it looks like an episode of the anime come to life with a fantastic sense of style layered on top. For example, taking out a character with a heavy attack sends them flying outside of the stage, crashing into a mountain or slamming into the side of a building. Other times, characters like Goku fires off a massive fireball stream which KOs the opponent and pushes the camera back to reveal this massive blue light seen from miles away. It seems like many characters can perform these destructive finish moves and I just love how flashy they are.

That said, the beta was fairly bare bones. Outside of an online match, players could participate in training segments. While it was good to learn the mechanics of the game, the mode wasn’t really intended to let players learn the ins and outs of the available characters. You were pretty much limited to Adult Gohan. I would have loved a simple practice mode or a way to spar against the AI. Learning characters while fighting another human online isn’t the best way to get things done.

It’s been well documented that the beta suffered from connection and server issues. While it sucks, I’d rather have these issues crop up now instead of on day one. Hopefully Arc and Bandai Namco can resolve these issues prior to launch in a week.

Overall, for a Dragon Ball n00b like myself, I had a lot of fun. I can’t say if this game will push me towards the franchise or make me care about what’s going on, but the gameplay was immensely satisfying. Considering the limited scope of the beta, I’m definitely curious to see what the retail version of the game is like.

Did you get hands on time with the beta? Feel free to share your thoughts below. 

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Nintendo Switch Is Redoing The Past

Yesterday, Nintendo unleashed the long waited Nintendo Direct, giving fans a peek into what’s coming the first half of 2018. Frankly, it couldn’t have come at a better time as the community hype had reached critical levels. The excitement kicked off late last year after a leaked EA document appeared online, seemingly confirming a Nintendo Direct happening in January. Then, Amazon added a bunch of Switch game placeholders to its marketplace before quickly taking them down. On top of that, GameStop just recently posted and deleted a tweet talking about a Nintendo Direct that set to kick off in 45 minutes. It got deleted nearly as fast as it was posted.

Throughout all of these events, Nintendo remained silent about its plans which essentially worked its fanbase into an outright frenzy. The company even got in on the trolling, posting odd pictures without context like Chibi-Robo on fire.

Well, after all that, the Direct arrived on schedule and while I’m not going to recap the entire thing, Nintendo had some pretty interesting announcements. One universal theme became pretty clear throughout the 15 minute video however: Nintendo isn’t afraid of ports and remasters. Honestly, I’m perfectly cool with that strategy.

At this point in time, I don’t think it’s unfair or even disparaging to say that the WiiU ultimately failed. With low sales, low install base numbers, and periods of long game droughts, it’s no surprise that Nintendo ultimately moved on. The unfortunate thing here is that the WiiU had a bunch of fantastic games to play, and these low install base numbers means that a lot of people missed out on them. That’s one of the main reasons Nintendo is bringing these games back. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that a bigger audience means more sales.

The nice thing here is that Nintendo doesn’t appear to be satisfied to simply port these games over to the Switch. Titles like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Pokken Tournament DX, and even the upcoming Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze (to name a few), take that base game and add more to it. The new content and features are there to entice players to pick up a copy of the superior version or double dip for those previous WiiU owners. Frankly, I’m glad people are getting an opportunity to check out many of these largely overlooked WiiU games as many of them were wonderful when they first launched.

I wouldn’t be too surprised to see this trend continue for Nintendo, as it does make for a great stop gap between major releases as well. Obviously, one huge WiiU title is still MIA. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Super Smash Bros make its debut at E3 this year because a show that big needs big announcements like this. I’m expected a remade WiiU version with new content like characters and stages mixed in, similar to Mario Kart. Man, if this happens, the community would likely explode.

What other WiiU games would you like to see remastered for the Switch?

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GamerCast: Looking Ahead into 2018

Hey, look at that, it’s finally 2018! Happy new year, everyone! Just like last year, 2018 is already shaping up to be another fantastic year for video games.

In my long-standing tradition, it’s time for the GamerCast. If this is your first go around with the GamerCast, welcome! Basically, this is my not so subtle rebranding of the “FutureCast” segments that weathermen use to show you what the weather is going to be over the next few days.

crystal-ball-pic

Obviously, I’m not a weatherman. Instead of dealing with Mother Nature, I prefer to deal in video games. As such, I’m putting together a forecast for all of the games we will be seeing and hopefully be seeing sometime in the next 12 months. Of course, if there’s something you’re excited about that I missed, let me know in the comments. I’m always on the lookout for quality games.

So it’s time to dust off that crystal ball and have a sneak peek into the future to see what’s coming out in 2018. Full list after the jump…

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Now Arriving: Games of January 2018

Happy new year, everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and got everything you were hoping for. Even though it’s finally January, the game release schedule doesn’t slow down for anyone. While January has traditionally continued the slow release schedule in the past, the trend has been changing over the past couple of years.

January is a fighting game fan’s dream as there are two major game releases this month. Many are hoping Dragon Ball FighterZ can fill the classic Marvel vs Capcom void, while Capcom makes amends for the overly slow start to Street Fighter V by releasing a lower priced Arcade Edition. Not only does the Arcade Edition include all DLC released so far, it further enhances the game with new UI, new modes, and more.

Not a huge fighting game fan? No problem. Capcom is also serving a hot plate of monster as well. Monster Hunter World takes the familiar and wildly popular formula from handheld devices and brings it to the consoles.

There’s plenty more to check out this month as well. The complete release schedule for January 2018 can be found below the jump. Enjoy!

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The Gamer Crash Awards 2017: My Game of the Year

Don’t forget to visit the awards hub for more information on each award, the winners, and the schedule of what’s next. 

Well, here it is. We’re on the last day of the year and that means it’s time for my favourite game of the past 12 months. Yes, before we head into a brand new year, let’s take a look back at what was awesome.

Gamer Crash Awards

There’s plenty of great games on the way in 2018 (more on that this coming week), but we shouldn’t forget that video game fans were also given a huge amount of excellent content to play this year. The games below represent titles that had the biggest impact on me, whether a game I couldn’t wait for or a surprise gem that came out of nowhere. Seriously, picking one to stand out from the rest was an absolute nightmare.

and the nominees are…

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The Gamer Crash Awards 2017: Best Character

Don’t forget to visit the awards hub for more information on each award, the winners, and the schedule of what’s next. 

These days, gameplay is king. I know it, you know it. Still, there’s just something special when a game features a villain you just love to hate or a character that you can really rally behind.

Gamer Crash Awards

Still, whether we’re talking about a good or bad guy, these characters listed below bring a little extra something to the table. It was another great year for characters with that special ‘X’ factor so narrowing the list to something manageable was a bit tougher than in years past.

Also before we get started, there could be a few light spoilers for a few of these characters below. I try to avoid the big stuff but wanted to provide a fair warning just in case. With that said, here are my favorite characters from 2017.

and the nominees are…

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