Nintendo Gaming

Talk about Nintendo's consoles and their games here, including the Nintendo Switch, Wii U & 3DS.

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    • I've actually just started it an hour or two ago. It's loads of fun but VERY jarring to be playing it at this point in my story (just before the Cerberus HQ mission). I guess when it was originally released most people had already finished the game so it didn't matter too much.
    • Just wait until you get to the Citadel DLC. Lots of people (including me) even recommend playing it after the main story (it essentially reloads to before the final mission) as it's the perfect way to say goodbye to the trilogy.
    • A big update here. First some failed games Failed 3. Sonic Billiards Platform: Mobile Status: No ROMs leaked to public, copy known to exist   Another Sonic Cafe games – a lot of failed games will be from this Japan-only mobile phone service. Footage of this exists from the same source as the other Sonic Cafe games. Sonic Billiards looks to be nothing special, it’s a basic billiards game with a picture of Sonic or Shadow in the corner representing each player. There’s no additional Sonic “flair” such as having Sonic be the cue ball, obstacles like bumpers and springs or power-ups, just regular billiards. 4+. Sonic Cafe Card Games Platform: Mobile Status: No ROMs leaked to public, copies known to exist I’m going to lump all of these in one section to avoid a lot of repetition. A lot of card games were released via the Sonic Cafe service, all of which are a single card game using artwork from the Sonic Advance series. The most interesting of note are Amy’s American Page One as it features female characters (Amy, Rogue, Cream and a Hero Chao because they somehow couldn’t think of a fourth, or just didn’t have the assets to re-use) and Sonic’s Napoleon, because of the hat in the artwork. Other card/board games include: Sonic Hearts (which has a DX version), Sonic Backgammon, Sonic Reversi (and Hyper Reversi), Sonic Speed DX, Sonic’s Millionaires, Sonic’s 7 Narabe and Sonic Casino Poker.   And some more completions:   23. Sonic Lost World (3DS) Original Platform: 3DS Where to get: 3DS eShop With lovely graphics, full video cutscenes and voice acting, Sonic Lost World is definitely a visual treat for a 3DS game. I originally reviewed this when it originally came out so I was curious how my feelings for the game had changed. Playing it again, and I think the controls are an issue as they don’t feel intuitive at all. Running up walls, especially design sideways, feels clunky, and I found myself jumping instead of boosting a few times. The somersault energy attack move also feels like a pointless addition, even if it’s required for some enemies it just doesn’t add to the game, it’s just an additional thing to remember. I do enjoy games with lots of controls to remember (such as Banjo-Kazooie), but they need to be intuitive. Another change is the homing attack, with a change that sounds nice on paper: you can now target three enemies at once and bounce between them. Unfortunately, you can end up targeting an enemy you don’t want – such as one you passed – and Sonic will fly backwards to hit it. Tapping jump between each enemy worked fine as it was. The levels in Sonic Lost World 3DS are a mixed bag. A lot aren’t memorable, partly because they all look like floating islands, all in the style of Green Hill Zone. The most memorable levels either have interesting mechanics or are just a nightmare to play. These levels also seem to go on forever. There’s one level set inside a giant juicer and you have to wheel apples into it, which I really enjoyed, but then there’s one where you have to push snowballs which is possibly one of the worst Sonic level’s I’ve played. Some annoying jumps, ice physics and a giant snowman head which chases you the entire level, destroying the snowballs you push around if it touches them. Wisps return from Sonic Colours (although the story doesn’t acknowledge them at all) and while I loved them in that game, they just don’t work in Lost World 3DS and feel more like a chore to use, the asteroid is slow, floaty and often has bad camera angles while the Quake would work, but uses motion controls that can’t be turned off. Motion controls also hamper the special stages and a boss fight, as they use 1:1 motion controls, so you have to turn around fully to play them. If you happen to be playing on public transport, you’ll just have to stop playing. The controls actually work well, but they needed to be optional for a handheld system. Sonic Lost World 3DS isn’t an awful game, it’s just somewhat forgettable. It tries to do some new things and I think with some refinements it could have done well. 24. Sonic Rush Adventure Original Platform: DS Where to get: Second hand It seems that Dimps listened to all the criticism of Sonic Rush and addressed it for Sonic Rush Adventure. The stages in this are extremely enjoyable and feel like they have the right balance of fun and difficulty. They all seem to take into account the viewport of the screen, with methods to slow Sonic down naturally when needed without it being forced. They all look fantastic, too, with some great themes (Haunted Ship and Pirate’s Hideout are my favourites) and set pieces, with some amazing music to nod your head to as you play. The levels also use rings or arrows for some parts to direct you, instead of you instantly dying due to not expecting something, and traps that give you time to react. I think the levels in Sonic Rush Adventure may be some of the most fun in the franchise, although there are still a few unexpected pits and parts where you are moving forward without much to do for a couple of moments. Bosses are also much improved, giving you a lot more opportunities to hit them. They have a health bar and need to be hit far more than in Sonic Rush, but don’t drag on for anywhere near as long. There’s also a good variety as each boss feels quite different to each other. If that was all there was to say about Sonic Rush Adventure, it would be an outstanding game. Unfortunately, there was one Sonic Rush complaint which should have been ignored: its short length. In order to make Sonic Rush Adventure longer, there’s a lot of padding – I’m sure you spend more time doing the padding than playing the actual game. A lot of this is navigating between islands using various kinds of boats. You have to draw your route on a map (like The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass) and then play a minigame until you get to your destination. Sometimes you’ll need to do this a couple of times before you get to the next stage. To access the Pirate’s Hideout stage, you have to find three hidden islands (thankfully these have short but sweet Sonic stages on them) to find clues. You can stumble across these early, but Sonic will just ignore the clue and you’ll have to replay it later. To build each type of ship, you’ll also need materials. These are earned by replaying stages until you have enough, meaning you’ll redo the first few levels multiple times before you progress. A Sonic Rush Collection that combines Sonic Rush and the actual levels from Sonic Rush Adventure would be wonderful to have. 25. Sonic the Hedgehog Part 1 (Java) Original Platform: Java mobile phones Where to get: Not available, unless you happen to buy an old phone with it installed. A port of Sonic the Hedgehog to old mobile phones sounds scary, especially when you consider how bad the Game Boy Advance version of Sonic the Hedgehog was. This port has a lot of issues, but completely different ones to the GBA port. For starters, the game actually runs smoothly, there’s no slowdown at all. The physics also feel correct, and jumps will happen exactly how you would expect. It’s quite impressive to see how well it runs for a game made for pre-smart phones. Some things do seem to be running too quickly. I’m not sure if this is due to a decrease in frames of animation (for things like rings), but it also seems that Sonic’s period of invulnerability after getting hit is also far shorter. The music sounds a lot more authentic to the Mega Drive version, just of a much lower sound quality. It is also made of smaller segments, so at the end of the unfinished “loop” there will be a slight pause in the music as it starts up again. There are also no sound effects at all, so it’s just the jarring music for you to hear. The HUD has been altered, looking closer in style to Sonic Advance. As the phones it was designed for have a portrait view, you have the full aspect ratio and the hud elements are above and below the game “screen”. The keypad controls are the biggest issue, as a keypad layout isn’t suited for games, and the jump button is effectively the “up arrow”, situated between the left and right buttons. One random change to this version is not allowing you to hit Robotnik early in the first boss. Instead of not allowing you to damage him like some versions, it will just count as Sonic being hit and you’ll lose all your rings for trying. The mobile port also only included the first three levels (the remainder were released seperately) and there are no special stages, you are instead awarded Chaos Emeralds for having 50 rings at the end of a stage. I wouldn’t recommend playing this version at all, but for a java version of Sonic, it’s a little bit better than expected. 26. Sonic X-Treme Original Platform: Saturn/PC (Unreleased) Versions Played: Two prototype builds, fan-made demo level Where to get: N/A A cancelled Sonic game originally made to be Sonic’s big leap into 3D for the Sega Saturn. Two different versions of these were being designed by different teams, with both of them working themselves to the point of illness to try and get it done. Ultimately, the game was cancelled. Since then, some prototypes have been found, and a fan has made a level in Unreal Engine, which gives us a taste of what Sonic X-Treme could have been. The simplest build is the “boss engine” one, it’s a simple 3D landscape with 50 rings to collect, and Sonic can jump and spindash. Movement is quite smooth although, due to the camera, you’re always running at a diagonal. The geometry is just some simple hills. It’s a fairly simple “Sonic in 3D”. The other build is much more interesting as it looked like an extremely unique game, as Sonic can shift gravity by rolling up walls. The prototype features some demo levels, and it’s actually quite good fun to mess around with. It does seem extremely difficult to create levels around it, especially ones that can be followed by a player, as being able to go up walls and change the orientation of the level creates a lot of options. The demo also features some short “tube” levels, something that did happen in later Sonic games, here shifting the gravity works a lot better as you can see where you need to go clearly. There are also different ground types which make Sonic slow down or go extremely fast and bouncy. The fan-made demo gives us a look at a potential “level” for this build of Sonic X-Treme could have been like, with the fish eye lens seen in early footage. Navigating this is actually quite easy. It limits rotating the level to just slopes (not hard corners), which means specific paths can be seen. It shows that this gameplay could have worked. Sonic X-Treme is an interesting part of Sonic’s history, and the development shows that they were trying some unique things with it. It’s hard to say if it could have worked, but perhaps a mixture of tube-like levels and stages where you have to find objects could have worked, even if it’s a bit of departure from the regular “A to B” style of Sonic.
    • Picked up where I left off last year with my Legend of Korra re-watch, starting Book Three earlier this week, and have just seen the end of it again.  I think the show on the whole has a host of issues, and they're highlighted especially when compared with The Last Airbender, but it's villains really aren't one of them, and Zaheer is no exception. And man did they knock it out of the park with the last few episodes of Book Three, the setpieces and music are just as great as some in The Last Airbender, and I don't understand how you aren't meant to tear up when it all ends.  I can't remember Book Four being quite as strong, so I'll have to wait and see if this is true when I finish that up again, but right now, towards the end of Book Three feels the closest that they got to recapturing some of the magic of The Last Airbender. There's not too much comedy, respect for the characters and their growth, great music, very good fight choreography (especially the fight Tenzin is involved in), and real stakes.  It reminds me of the Star Wars prequels quite a bit to be honest. They've both got their own unique issues, but where I think both fell wasn't the aim of the story, but rather the execution of that story. Again, I don't think it quite hits the heights of The Last Airbender, but being unable to put down the last few episodes of Book Three has only given me further confidence that with the right backing, there's still some awesome stuff to come from Bryke and Avatar Studios.  Speaking of which, there was some news about a month ago I forgot to post here. Just some really short snippets I thought were worth highlighting from the official podcast: Hard to not get excited at the possibilities! The multi-tiered plan sounds a little cinematic universe-esque, which I think we've rarely seen done well outside of Marvel, so I'm hoping it's more along the lines of Star Wars, where it doesn't do something where it leans heavily into the fact that things are related and just has connective tissue instead, like in Legend of Korra. Could definitely see the same threat covered across multiple books by different Avatars, or heck even an anthology type thing where each book handles different characters from different corners of the world and they all come together for a final season.  Guess the big question is going to be how this all reaches those of us outside of the US, seeing as I haven't read anything yet about plans to make Paramount+ something available worldwide.  And there's also some more good news from last week... ...Jeremy Zuckerman will unfortunately not be working on Netflix's live-action adaptation of The Last Airbender, but will be working with Avatar Studios! He's pretty much exactly what John Williams is for Star Wars but for Avatar, I've loved his work with the series so far (who hasn't?) and can't wait to hear what he's got cooking up!  Lastly, with Avatar Studios' first project - their film - starting production towards the end of this year, I can't help but wonder if we'll get a title and maybe even see a poster before 2021 is up? 
    • Go full WWE. Every athlete to have their own theme music, pyrotechnics, ring announcements, the lot. BAH GAWD, IT'S BOLT. BOLT WITH A CHAIR! DAMN HIM TO HELL!
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