So the last 3DS game on my radar…is a port of a DS game. What a weird way to go, man.
Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story was actually the game that got me into the series, so it’s nice to see it get a fresh coat of paint, especially with the killer animation and pseudo-3D effects AlphaDream pulls off with ease.
In this outing our favorite brothers tackle an adventure inside their nemesis’ innards while you also control said nemesis as he stomps around the Mushroom Kingdom. Everything from the clever humor to the button-pressy combat is present, only this time you’ll find Mario and Luigi’s actions affected the Koopa King in real time.
Add to this an odd side story starring Bowser Jr. that takes the strategic battles from Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions and you have a tidy if unexciting sendoff for the 3DS.
When I first played the recent demo for Mega Man 11 I was a bit put off by it’s lack of adherence to the tried-and-true control scheme. A lot of jokes have been cracked about him not properly jumping through boss gates, but on the whole it comes up short in an area I’ve traveled through more times than I could count.
Upon further investigation, Mega Man 11 manages to have the right flow and pacing, and once I started replaying the demo over and over I began to realize that his new sprightly movement goes hand-in-hand with everything else the game is going for and that I should enjoy it as the new interpretation that it is instead of trying to have it carry all of my old baggage.
While Street Fighter II has a special place in my heart, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that my favorite type of arcade game was the beat ’em up. Thumping gang members and ninjas with my brother was always more satisfying than thumping him in a one-on-one fighting game and besides, it made your stash of quarters last longer.
Capcom Beat ’em Up Bundle is a well-rounded collection of the company’s most venerable titles, including Final Fight, The King of Dragons and Knights of the Round. My kids are in love with the genre themselves, so I’m really looking forward to playing it with them as well. The only in-fighting that’ll be happening is when we decide who gets to play the baby riding a mech suit in Captain Commando.
Yoshi’s Woolly World was an underappreciated gem that won me over with it’s charming visual style, infectious soundtrack and solid co-op platforming.
While the aesthetic seems to have shifted ever so slightly into the realm of arts and crafts instead of fabric and cloth, the heart of Yoshi’s Crafted World remains the same. There’s much more interacting with the background in most stages, and the idea of literally backtracking through them but seeing it from a literal different angle is very intriguing.
Again, one I can’t wait to play with my kids.
While most role-playing games, even of the Japanese variety, seem to have been passing me by for so many years, its nice to see a near glut of them on the Switch.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country is the type of game that reminds of all those 16-bit games I used to love in that they had this whimsical, slightly medieval vibe to them where the heroes were on a serious journey, but didn’t take themselves too seriously.
A prequel to Xenoblade Chronicles 2 proper, Torna takes players into the history of that world and leads them on an adventure that puts in place some of the interesting characters Rex and company meet and puts a little perspective on why they are the way they are.
Final Fantasy XII is one of those games that are my secret shame because I started it and never finished. To be fair my PlayStation 2 broke, but I didn’t exactly replace it and keep on going, instead opting to trade my games in and get a new console instead.
It’s OK; I’m older now and know better.
Final Fantasy XII takes a lot of the combat cues from the previous MMO title and marries it to an epic and sweeping single-player experience that Square-Enix usually goes for with these games. The world of Ivalice is one of the more interesting setting in the Final Fantasy universe, so much so that they’ve returned to it a time or two.
This in itself was a great announcement for a lapsed Final Fantasy fan such as myself, but it gets better…
If ever there was a game I’ve given short shrift to, it’s Final Fantasy VII.
I can clearly remember seeing screenshots of of a Final Fantasy game for the Nintendo 64, what with it’s boxy, polygonal super-deformed characters and promise of adventures of grandeur. I was convinced that Nintendo’s leap to the next console generation was the second coming and I happily lapped up that Kool-Aid.
But Squaresoft didn’t.
They wanted a medium that they could use to push the epicness beyond what was seen on the Super NES with pre-rendered cut scenes, and the N64 couldn’t muster compressed video like a CD could. Final Fantasy VII game out on PlayStation to near universal adulation; I grouched that Nintendo was robbed of its glory.
It took me a long time to come around to the game, and while I still don’t think much of its story I will admit that it’s a nice bit of JRPG comfort food that streamlines and simplifies a lot of systems to become the accessible breakout the genre needed to get over on the masses. I’m now looking forward to replaying it, if only because nothing of the series has grabbed me since XII.
Final Fantasy IX is what I always imagined the series looking like after VI. As VII and VIII tended towards realistic characters with melancholy backstories, IX was a weird departure in that it decided to take the series back in the direction of googly-eyed, squatty heroes.
I’ve always wanted to dig into Final Fantasy IX, not only because it hearkens back the games I fell in love with, but because it does justice to those heavy themes that you just can’t convey with minimalist animated pixel art. Much like Final Fantasy VII, this’ll be like comfort food, spiced with a dash of active time battles and a pinch of chocobos.
I think at this point it’s a given that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is going to be a highlight for me, but after E3 I wasn’t always so sure of that. Ridley was a great addition and having everyone was neat, but it felt like it was missing a bit of that razzle dazzle.
One Smash Direct and a Simon Belmont and K. Rool later, I’m super excited to dive into the ultimate Nintendo love letter in the form of a fighting game.
Seeing Isabelle warms my heart as it both gives us another female fighter to add a little diversity but also another Animal Crossing character, which is a series I adore more than I like to admit. I still feel like there needs to be an ARMS character in here, but maybe that’ll be shown in due time. Regardless, this is going to be one deep package I’ll be wading into for a very, very long time.
After what feels like a small eternity since New Leaf, we finally have confirmation that Animal Crossing is coming to Switch! At first I thought it was going to play off the Isabelle announcement by adding Tom Nook as an echo fighter, but what was announced is far better!
Other than knowing it’s not coming out ’til next year, there’s not a lot to say about it right now other than I’m beyond excited. My theory for this new game is that you’ll not only run a town but an apartment building, so perhaps the series will go beyond the cozy hamlet feel and give you the reins of an entire city! Even if it doesn’t I’ll drop hundreds of hours into it, but I don’t think Nintendo would have waited this long if it didn’t have something up its sleeve.