Jumping for (Nurse) joy — A recap of the 01/09/2020 Pokémon Direct

I’m quite certain most of us can agree that today was a good day to be a Pokémon fan, as today’s Pokémon Direct hit us with three very cool announcements.  The most prominent reveal was that of the Expansion Pass that will add 200+ Pokémon and two areas to your journey through the Galar Region.  Some gamers were a bit aggro about a duo of Pokémon games having paid DLC ($30 or otherwise), but I have confidence the content in said DLC will be worth the dinero.

But Sword & Shield were not the only stars of the show, as the Direct kicked off with the reveal of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX, which is a Switch remake of Pokémon Blue & Red Rescue Team.  This remake is due for release on March 6, and there is an eShop demo available now.

The Direct wrapped up with Pokémon Home being announced for a February release.  Home is a hub app that allows for transferring Pokémon from game to game, and that includes importing from Go to Sword & Shield.

We’re not even a full month into 2020, and it’s already looking like it’s gonna be a fantastic year for the mega-popular Pokémon franchise regardless of how controversial Sword & Shield seem to be.  From Switch games to mobile apps, 2020 will no doubt be a fun year to catch ’em all

Review of That’s You! — The first hurrah in Sony’s PlayLink lineup

Few things in this gigantic world are as humorous as us trying to introduce our relatives to today’s technologies — Smartphones, Skype, DVR’s, social media, you name it. My grandparents, aunts, and uncles have all gotten the hang of at least most of the above; But sadly, I can’t quite get their attention with videogames. Now maybe if I teach them to play a videogame using a phone instead of normal gamepads, there’s a chance we could find some sort of sweet spot, if that makes any sense. And yes, such a preamble is needed because of what game I’m commencing to review.

That’s You is a humorous PS4 party game that’s part of Sony’s PlayLink brand, a lineup of games that are played on mobile devices via an app downloaded from the app store that players have access to; In fact, this is the very first game of the PlayLink roster, and one of my personal favorites. Before the game begins, every one of the two-to-six players must download said app on their mobile devices, type in their name, take a selfie, and choose a card to use as an avatar; The host must then choose the number of rounds (Each taking place in a themed location) and how personal the minigames within said rounds will be, and then the hilarity begins.

There are several different types of minigames, each revolving around answering questions, snapping and drawing on photos, mimicking or drawing on images given to you, and completing phrases; The players vote on which submitted response is the best, and those in the majority vote score points. If you have one, you can drop a joker and double your points, but it can’t be reimbursed just because you voted incorrectly. In the final round, everyone takes selfies of themselves in a required pose and modify each other’s pictures in a series of challenges; If the game is close, there’s always the chance you can use one last joker and score the overall victory.

If you wish to add your own content into the game, you’re in luck; You can write your own questions and create picture challenges, both of which are converted into a Question Game. This feature is a haven for those who are adept at adding even more humor to an already-super-funny game.

As a whole, this is a clever PlayLink game that has provided lots of laughs for myself and my close friends, and I have hope that those who read this article will buy it and get the same results; If games involving smartphone controls have your attention, That’s You is a hidden PS4 gem that will appeal to and put many smiles on even the most inexperienced players.

Microsoft Might Bring Xbox Live Over To Nintendo Switch, IOS, & Android Devices!

It appears Microsoft wants to spread the Xbox Live love to other platforms as Gamespot.com reports that Microsoft’s agenda for this cross-platform initiative’s to “enable game developers to connect players between iOS, Android, and Switch in addition to Xbox and any game in the Microsoft Store on Windows PCs.”

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Image courtesy of IGN.com.

Apparently, this information comes from Microsoft’s upcoming GDC session’s description, where Gamespot.com believes this business endeavor will be explained in more detail. According to the GDC conference schedule website, Microsoft’s session’s titled, “Xbox Live: Growing & Engaging Your Gaming Community Across Platforms (Presented by Microsoft),” and this is where there they will go in-detail about this business move.

Gamespot.com cites Microsoft stating, “the expansion (…) will take Xbox Live to ‘over 2 billion devices with the release of our new cross-platform Xbox development kit.'” Then Microsoft discusses how engaged and active Xbox and PC players are now. However, Microsoft (via Gamespot.comargue that with this cross-platform endeavor, their current Xbox and PC consumers will be able to “take their gaming achievement history, their friends list, their clubs, and more with them to almost every screen.”

Though this news sounds like a wonderful idea, Gamespot.com states there’s no other details on the matter as we’ll have to wait until March 18th to the 22nd to truly know what Microsoft plans to do with this ‘Xbox Live cross-platform initiative.”

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Image courtesy of news.microsoft.com.

Based on this information, it seems Nintendo and Microsoft’s relationship’s building as time progresses. This observation comes with current cross-platform play between Xbox and Nintendo consumers with titles like Fortnite, Minecraft, and several others. Though I don’t expect Microsoft to willingly share this feature with PlayStation 4 owners, based on the information shared by Gamespot.com, it’s great to see opposite companies like Microsoft and Nintendo coincide with each other.

We’ll be sure to update you all when Microsoft discusses more about Xbox Live’s expansion to Nintendo Switch, IOS, and Android devices when the information’s publicly available.

What do you think about this news? Will this shape the way people view the video-game console wars? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter, and follow us for more Microsoft game-related news, and everything else gaming-esque too.

New Mobile-Game, Dr. Mario World’s Planned To Release This Summer, Says Nintendo!

Today, the Nintendo of America Twitter account announced a new Dr. Mario inspired action puzzle mobile-game titled, Dr. Mario World. This mobile-game’s scheduled for an early summer 2019 release and will be developed for IOS and Android devices.

This is made possible thanks to Nintendo’s partnership with “Line, and NHN Entertainment, a developer and operator of mobile games,” according to Polygon.com. The Nintendo of America Twitter account account also posted a teaser image featuring the game’s logo which you can view below.

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Photo edited by me. Logo courtesy of the Nintendo of America Twitter account.

According to Nintendo’s news release, these two companies (including Nintendo) “will take part in the development and operation of Dr. Mario World.” The mobile-game will be “free to download with optional in-app purchases” and may initially release “in approximately 60 countries/regions including Japan and the United States,” according to Nintendo’s news release.

The game will include “multiple languages including Japanese and English.” I assume the mobile-game will play similarly to the NES Dr. Mario game that’s currently available on Nintendo’s Online Service’s NES App for the Nintendo Switch, the NES Classic Edition video-game system, and various other Nintendo systems.

According to Polygon.com, “earlier today, Nintendo announced it was delaying another of its upcoming mobile games, Mario Kart Tour, to summer.” On that note, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to assume that Nintendo wants to lay a dual-release on its consumers with Mario Kart Tour and Dr. Mario World. This means players can expect a mario-influenced summer this year. Whether that’s good or bad is up to you to decide.

We’ll keep you posted if and when Nintendo decides to release more information about either mobile-game, as the year continues.

What do you think about this news? What are your expectations for this newly announced mobile-game? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter, and follow us for more Dr. Mario World news, and everything gaming too.

First Impressions: AC Rebellion

The past few weeks have been quite busy for me, especially with the lead into finals week. Naturally, this has left me little time for properly sitting down at my PC and playing Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. However, one game I’ve been able to keep with me has been the relatively new Assassin’s Creed Rebellion mobile game. It’s been perfect for me to get a small AC fix in the breaks between study sessions, and it’s quite fun to play.

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Part of the fun is the strategic gameplay. It’s very reminiscent of XCOM: Enemy Unknown in the sense that the core gameplay is based upon making tactical decisions. In order to navigate through levels using characters of different classes, you have to decide how best to use the abilities of your team. Whether it’s best to clear a room the stealthy way or not is up to you. Only one hero can be controlled at a time, however. Choosing which classes to use prior to embarking on missions can also yield an advantage.

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Completing missions will result in an experience increase for your base, as well as resources to upgrade it and your heroes. Different rooms are unlocked as the base levels up, and the different rooms yield unique benefits. Some rooms, like the intel room, passively produce resources which need to be collected. I found that this reminded me of XCOM quite a bit, with a hint of Fallout Shelter.

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Assassin’s Creed Rebellion is a fun little game to keep in your pocket which holds a surprising amount of nuance. I haven’t found myself playing a lot of it, but it’s good fun if you’re just looking for something to fill time during short breaks throughout the day.

Silver’s Review of Asymmetric’s Stick Figure RPG West of Loathing

Developer:  Asymmetric

Release Date:  August 10, 2017

Platforms available: PC, Mac, Linux, Steam, iOS (late 2017)

West of Loathing is one of the best games since the cows came home!

“West of Loathing is a single-player slapstick comedy adventure role-playing game set in the wild west of the Kingdom of Loathing universe. Its gameplay is a hybrid of point-and-click adventure and open-world RPG. The stick-figure characters advance through branching narratives and engage in tactical turn-based combat. Graphically, it transforms KoL’s hand-drawn art style into a 3D diorama (think Paper Mario) replete with animation, sound, and music.

Leave your family farm and head West to find your fortune! Traverse snake-infested gulches, punch skeletons wearing cowboy hats, grapple with demon cows, and investigate a wide variety of disgusting spittoons. Charm your way out of trouble as a silver-tongued Snake Oiler, plumb the refried mysteries of the cosmos as a wise and subtle Beanslinger, or let your fists do the talking as a fierce Cow Puncher. Explore a vast open world and encounter a “colorful” cast of characters, some of whom are good, many of whom are bad, and a few of whom are ugly.”

Go west young man, haven’t you been told California’s full of something, something, and something…

How often as a kid did you play cowboys in the backyard after spending Saturday morning watching The Lone Ranger or John Wayne? As an adult have you ridden a horse in the fresh desert air, checked your boots for critters, or went out to rope some cattle? Well, this is nothing like that. But it is fan-freakin-tastic in every way possible. At first glance, West of Loathing looks like a silly game with stick figure graphics, but take a few minutes to create your cowboy or cowgirl and you will soon find out that this game is fine as cream gravy.

Upon starting West of Loathing, you name your character and choose between male and female (and partake in a point and click arcade shoot in the process) and then you get to pick your class, since it is an RPG after all. Your choices are Cow Puncher, Snake Oiler, and Bean Slinger. Now, to you city folk that would be melee master, pistol packer, or magic… something. Anyways, once you pick your poison you get to begin wandering around your house. No matter where you are, check out everything because it may provide you with some XP, an item, or some serious laughs. Leaving the house, you say goodbye to your family (don’t forget to check the hay bale) then, go west young man into the first city, Dirtwater, where your adventure really begins. And make sure you stop and chuckle at the SHERF sign on the jail.

West of Loathing makes sure to include all of the types of people you would, and probably wouldn’t, see out in the wild west, so you will see plenty of stumbling drunks, guys focusing on growing their beard, ladies that only seem to glare at you from the bar, and plenty of people and critters that want to see you six feet under- even those who should be there themselves.

What kind of RPG adventure would West of Loathing be without combat? And what good would those classes be? I guess you could just use them for the different hats… I dunno… Anyhow, the combat system in West of Loathing is turn based, and you may use your mouse or keys. Some of the battles require some strategizing, utilization of your pardner’s abilities, and even some properly used XP to toughen’ up an attack or ability of your own in order to win. As adorable as the enemies are, it’s easier than you might think for them to clean your plow. That being said, don’t use all of your XP focusing on your Muscle and Moxie. You will find areas in the game as you go where you need skills in things like Lockpickin’, Hornswogglin’, and Dickerin’. You earn perks from various activities, too. Talking to certain folk, doing some book learnin’, or just running into a cactus over and over can get you all sorts of fun, useful, and just downright ridiculous perks. And if you search real well in the beginning of the game you can get my most favorite perk under character settings- Stupid Walking. Don’t ask, just do. Trust me on this one.

Quite possibly the best part of the game- aside from Stupid Walking, that is- is the dialogue. Whether you are talking to someone (or something) or your character is commenting on something (or someone), the dialogue is riddled with bad jokes, puns, and odd references. Unless you’re some cold blooded stick in the mud, you will spend the majority of your time in the west laughing your keister off. It’s worth having multiple characters just to try the different dialogue choices.

West of Loathing does have a storyline, plus many sidequests and areas to check out even after you complete the main quest. If you forget what you were doing, just ask your pardner and they will remind you. It is easy to tear through the main story, so kick back, take your time exploring, and don’t forget your #3 pencil. Ah… You’ll see. I currently have 3 characters I keep going back between and I love them each the same. Well, except maybe Colt. That guy is pretty ruthless. And stupid. Though I made him that way, but who cares.

I myself found West of Loathing at PAX West this year, and I loved it so much after 5 minutes that I downloaded it as soon as I got back to the hotel. It is easy to see how it made PAX 10 this year, and the Indie Megabooth in both 2016 and 2017. It’s charming, hilarious, and downright fun. It’s a true blue, boot scootin, hoedown of a time if you ask me. Okay, I’ll stop now, but seriously. I know some gamers can be easily turned off by the graphics of indie games but the drawn stick figure style of West of Loathing adds to the charm and hilarity of the game. You wear boots and pants, but no one would ever know if you didn’t! Who could ask for a better thing in life than that? West of Loathing is one of the best games since the cows came home.

Download West of Loathing today from Steam for only $10.99 USD. Coming to iOS soon!

Features

  • A sprawling open world
  • Quests, puzzles, and mysteries galore
  • Dozens of NPCs and hundreds of enemies
  • Nearly 100 unique locations to explore
  • Thousands of jokes, gags, and goofs
  • Liberal use of the Oxford comma
  • Lush hand-drawn black and white graphics
  • Crunchy turn-based combat (but only if you want it)
  • Over 60 hats
  • Disreputable saloons
  • Several gulches
  • A drunken horse

By the way, did I mention there’s a Petting Cemetery? You heard me.

Nintendo’s New Mobile Game Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Announced for Late November

October 24th’s Nintendo Direct stream finally revealed the anticipated new Animal Crossing mobile game. This is the first time that that the franchise has left Nintendo systems, and changes up the traditional gameplay. First announced over a year ago, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is a free to download game for iOS and Android that sets you up as the manager of an empty campsite. Though you are tasked with decorating and adding amenities to the camp, the game also features old Animal Crossing tasks such as fishing, bug catching, and gathering fruit.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is a game in which you build a cozy camp life with friends and your favorite animals.

Already miss the concept of customizing and remodeling your house? Fear not, because with the help of the guys at OK Motors you can customize your own camper, and even make it bigger inside. With plenty of items, furniture, and clothing to collect, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp promises to become your new favorite mobile game.

Stop by and say hello to animals visiting nearby recreation areas. You can grow your friendship and earn rewards by helping them find the things they need.

Like the best mobile games, there will be seasonal events to keep the game exciting, and they are supposed to bring in new favorite characters. I just want to see Tom Nook and KK Slider. There may be in game purchases available, but there are no details available yet.

The majority of fans are still waiting for news on a Nintendo Switch title, but this is hopefully a step in that direction. It is no secret that Animal Crossing is as big of a hit now as it was when it initially released on the GameCube, and there is probably a good reason that it did not come to Wii U. Perhaps console sales had played a big role in that, which should excite fans because the Switch is the fastest selling Nintendo in history. Until then, we will have our own little Pocket Camp to pass the time.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp releases on iOS and Android in late November.

Are you excited for Animal Crossing on mobile? Are you still hoping for a Switch version? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook for more information, and our review!