OPINION

eShop

Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap is weird about gender

One of the new additions to Wonder Boy 3 remake, Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap is a gender option. In Wonder Boy 3, the game stayed true to its title: you were a boy throughout the whole game. Sure, you were transformed into an animal for most of the game, but your gender was still male.However, with The Dragon’s Trap, you’re able to choose whether or not you want to play as a boy or girl. That’s great, more choices. The slight change even feels very natural as once you select your character, the game’s title pops up as “Wonder Boy” or “Wonder Girl” depending on who your choice.I chose Wonder Girl, because she looked cooler. The game starts out with a brief backstory on some dragon who’s terrorizing the kingdom. You know, typical hero-type stuff. After the backstory, you’re dropped into a castle. Once you find and defeat the castle’s boss, you’re changed into a dragon. This is a common theme for Wonder Boy. After each boss fight, you’re suddenly cursed to walk the world as a different creature.Now, I didn’t think much of this until I started paying attention to the text that pops up below an equipment’s…

DotEmu

Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap – A beautiful, tiresome, masterpiece

Tired and exhausted would be my immediate description of how I feel after playing six hours of Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap. As a remake of Wonder Boy 3, a retro 2D platformer originally found on the Sega Master System, Wonder Boy doesn’t take difficulty very lightly. This game’s difficulty is as ever faithful to its retro roots as it is beautiful. Nothing will one hit you, thankfully, but you’ll consistently wish that the password system or at least some type of save mechanic had carried over to the remake. Wonder Boy stays true to its retro roots. There’s no hand holding found in this one. From the moment you start the game, you’re pretty much on your own, aside from the post-death tips that you’ll receive. For me, this was pretty frustrating. Not because I’m used to being told where to go, but because of how large Wonder Boy’s world is. After getting out of the starter castle, you stumble upon your first town. Cool, that’s a perfect place to talk to the townspeople and get your bearings, or so I thought. Instead, I talked to one townsperson, jumped down a hole and accidentally started a new level. This time,…

eShop

Buying international Switch eShop games is easy

If you’ve been paying attention to our Facebook or Twitter pages (which you really should!), then you’ll have noticed me posting rather frequently about Kamiko, a game that’s currently exclusive to the Japanese Switch eShop. Although, if you look closely, the screenshot above is in English. What???Well, Kamiko joins the likes of Disgaea 5 Complete and New Frontier Days: Founding Pioneers as Japanese Nintendo Switch games that have support for English text before their localised release. Basically, this means that the localisation is complete, but the game hasn’t launched overseas yet. In Kamiko’s case, we don’t even know when/if the game will come stateside. Although seeing as how this game is published by Flyhigh Works, the same publisher who localisedVOEZ, it’s highly likely we’ll see it eventually.That said, today, I want to talk about how painless it was getting this game onto my Switch. Earlier this year, Nintendo announced that the Switch would be region free. This means that it doesn’t matter what country you purchase your console from, any game from any other country would just work. I’ve been enjoying the same privilege on my PS4 and it’s pretty great. However, signing up for multiple PSN accounts is kinda annoying. Nintendo…

8 tips to smash your way to victory in Mr. Shifty

Mr. Shifty might have serious frame rate problems (though a patch is on its way), but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun. As I said in my first impressions, when you get past the variable frame rate, there’s a really entertaining game here. It’s also pretty hard, especially the closer you get to the ending. Because of that, I’m giving you eight tips I wish I knew when I first started playing the game.8. Take out the gunners firstAnyone with a gun will be your worst enemy. The punching brutes are simple enough to take care of, but one small miscalculation with a gunner nearby and you’re on the floor, wondering what hit you. To avoid that problem, deal with the gunners ASAP. That way, you’re not worrying about evading their shots while trying to take out the less important enemies.7. Play with the controlsMr Shifty might not let you customise the controls to your liking but because of its simplicity, there are multiple ways to execute the same command. Whether it’s using the right bumper to teleport or the left bumper to attack, find a button combo that gels with you. After that, you’ll be zipping through rooms and…

eShop

Mr. Shifty impressions: The three Fs of gaming

This week’s eShop darling is Mr. Shifty, a game by Team Shifty and tinyBuild that resembles Hotline Miami in look, but goes far beyond that. So far, I’ve spent about six hours with Mr. Shifty, though you’ll probably spend less. A combination of how bad I am at this game, plus me streaming earlier this week bumped up my playtime.In my time with Mr. Shifty, I’ve found that, save for abysmal frame rate near the end, it satisfies my three F’s of gaming: fast, funny, and fun. Fast Mr. Shifty is fast. Like, really, really fast. Being able to teleport around stages affords Mr. Shifty the opportunity to be as fast as possible without feeling like a twitch shooter. Team Shifty even handicaps the ability with five uses before a short cooldown. Unfortunately, all the zipping about in levels comes to a grinding halt as you edge closer and closer toward Mr. Shifty’s conclusion. I noticed these frame rate problems during the game’s early levels, although the various drops weren’t a big issue. It wasn’t until after the halfway point when the frame rate took a nosedive in the more action-packed scenes, causing the action to completely stop for a READ…

Bulletstorm

Actually, Bulletstorm Is An Excellent Shooter

Bulletstorm was one of the best games of the last generation, tragically ignored because of an awful marketing campaign, an even worse PC port, and the fact that EA wanted audiences to spend $60 for a seven-hour campaign, which is a steep price by any metric. It’s too bad because once players got past all that, they found a clever score attack game based on “skillshots,” or unique enemy kills. Even better, Bulletstorm featured great characters and storytelling, incredible gunplay, wonderful enemies, and an astounding world. Advertisement This piece originally appeared 3/2/15. I could tell you that each level is my favorite one, and I’d be telling you the truth. Each one is totally different than what came before, with some all-time great encounters, super cool weapons, and great writing to back them up. But when I look at Bulletstorm, one particular encounter sticks out to me: Act 4, Chapter 2: Maneaters Prefer Tight Spots. Advertisement Maneaters is a turning point for Gray, the game’s main character. It establishes a motive that’s deeply rooted in Gray’s guilt. Up until Maneaters, most of Gray’s actions have READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Featured

Nintendo Switch and Hotel WiFi don’t play nice

Oh, woe is me. For last the few hours, I’ve been trying to get my Nintendo Switch to work on my hotel’s WiFi. Have I had any success? Nope! Have I slept in an unbelievably comfortable bed? You betcha!You’re connected…As most of you already know, consumers don’t have access to the Switch’s web browser, at least not without a little hacking first. So, in order to connect with public WiFi points, Nintendo implemented a pop-up that lets you login after you’ve completed the initial connection. From what I’ve read around the web, that should work fine and dandy. What about when it doesn’t work, though?…or not!Well, as I’ve come to discover today, things get frustrating from there. I’m able to connect to the access point just fine. My Switch even says I have internet, as you can see from the screenshot above. Yet, when I try to access the eShop, I’m met with a white screen that says “Could not display page.” This is because I haven’t actually logged-in to the hotel’s WiFi. The sign-in page won’t come up on the Switch like it’s supposed to, meaning I have no way to actually establish an internet connection.I’ve even tried disabling…

Featured

1 Month Later: 5 Basic Features we wish the Switch had

The Nintendo Switch launched last month as a pretty barebones console. It didn’t have a lot of the features its competitors currently have, nevermind things its predecessors had. Unfortunately, a month into the system’s life and Nintendo hasn’t addressed any future plans to add some of the features Switch fans are looking for. So, with that in mind, we’ve cooked up a list of features we wish the Switch had.5. Trophies/achievements Achievements and Trophies have become a staple in gaming, whether you’re coming from a PlayStation, Xbox, or Steam platform. It’s about time Nintendo joined the party. Not only does this provide extra incentive to replay levels or tackle challenges in new ways, but it adds a bit of competitive fun to your games. Now, you’re going against your friend for all the trophies or the highest gamerscore in any certain game.Nintendo could even put their patented Nintendo spin on the system by calling them “badges” or reworking how they function to fit their desires. Maybe badges could be used like Ubisoft’s Uplay Units to unlock extra content in games? I wouldn’t mind a star-laden kart in Mario Kart 8 for my hard-earned badges. Who knows?You know the best part about this…

Featured

1 month later: The Switch’s OS is still dead silent

Like most of you, I’ve had my Nintendo Switch for just over a month now. Despite investing dozens of hours into saving Hyrule and blazing down the tracks in FAST RMX, every time I return to the home screen, I simply cannot get over how quiet the OS is without headsets! That’s an important distinction. Whether your Switch docked or unlocked, by default, the Nintendo Switch’s OS is whisper quiet, unless you quickly select something. Then you’ll hear a faint click noise, confirming your selection. Otherwise, nothing.Now, if you have headsets on, that’s a completely different story. You’ll find that scrolling does make some noise! In fact, the Switch even makes a little bit of noise while loading the eShop. There’s no actual music to accompany your eShop browsing experience, but I guess Nintendo wanted something special for you while you wait? I’m not sure why. The Switch is chock full of puzzling decisions.It’s weird and incredibly bothersome trying to edit a video I made of the home screen and wondering why my speakers are busted, only to remember that the OS is just that quiet. Why Nintendo chose to put selection sounds for headsets only is even weirder. I’ve…

evergreen

Nine Video Games That Left Us Defenseless And Scared

Video games often employ lots of cruel tricks in which gamers find themselves in precarious pickles—the gigantic and seemingly impossible bosses, timers, that last collectable that requires precision to attain. But the cruelest trick of all? Taking away our weapons. Advertisement This piece originally appeared 1/2/15. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask How often have you been tossed into a dungeon and had to stealthily make your way out? Sometimes barrels are your best friends to hide your sneaky ways (and fortunately moblins just don’t have a clue either) and other times it’s hedges upon which you can transform into a work of art and slink around. Advertisement Of course, in Majora’s Mask, the greatest instance of adding insult to injury was at the very start: taking away your only friend Epona (because it was not sad enough to lose Navi) by scaring your steed away but then to transform Link into a Deku Scrub as well. A Deku Scrub! Those hilarious plant things you used to hit their own projectile seeds back into their faces on a parry and then laughed when they squawked READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

News

5 reasons Nintendo Switch will replace the PS Vita

Would you believe me if I told you the PS Vita launched way back in 2011? Seems like ages ago, doesn’t it? Sony never gave the handheld the attention it deserved and as such, after initial launch games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss lost their luster, so too did the mini-handheld that everyone said was better than the Nintendo 3DS.Now Nintendo’s newest console will slowly replace it. Here’s why.1. Switch is very easy to develop for.Over the past few months we’ve seen tons of interviews asking developers like Frozenbyte and Yacht Club Games what they think of the development process between the Wii U and the Nintendo Switch. All of them have offered praise to Nintendo for how easy it is to develop games for the Switch, especially with its included support for Unity and Unreal Engine 4, two of the most popular game engines used to develop games right now.With the Nintendo Switch, I feel as though Nintendo has cleared one of the major hurdles for indie developers to get their games on the system. It’s no longer a convoluted process and while Switch development is being a bit more tightly controlled than the Wii U was at the dev…

Featured

1 month later: The Joy-Cons are my favorite controllers

Over the course of my first month with the Nintendo Switch, the Joy-Cons have quickly become my favorite controllers ever. Even though I’ve had a Pro Controller since day 3, I can’t really bring myself to use it. The thing is more or less sitting idle, collecting dust as the days roll by. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the Pro Controller, either. It’s a fantastic alternative to the Joy-Cons in any configuration. I even used it to play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild with it on a few occasions. However, I feel as though the Joy-Cons get the job done, most of the time.As I sit here, lying on the couch in various ways, wandering through the endless fields of Hyrule. I’m comfortable. I’m comfortable in a way that I can’t be with a normal controller, Pro Controller included. That’s something I can’t do with any other controller on another platform, even the Wii. The split, wireless nature of the Joy-Cons doesn’t so much open up new ways to play games as it does new ways to ENJOY them.I love being able to have my arms folded like I’m mad at someone or crisscrossed like I’m about…

dadtaku

Why Is It So Hard To Make Video Games For Kids?

“Daddy? DADDY!” I look up from my laptop. This video game was supposed to give me a precious 15 minute respite from the endless drudgery of parenthood. What the hell’s gone wrong now? Advertisement “DADDY WHAT I DO? “WHAT I DOOOOOO?” Advertisement It must be really hard to make a good video game for kids. I know this because to date, I have only played one good console game made for kids. That game is Super Mario 3D World on the Wii U. Super Mario 3D World. I’ll never forget introducing it to my 3-year-old. In the beginning it was frustrating as hell. He couldn’t do anything, kept throwing himself off the edge, shrieking like a deranged hyena. I walked away then. It hurt to watch. I made myself a nice cup of tea. A couple of weeks later, sipping a different cup of tea, my son had mastered the game with literally zero input from me, his father who writes about video games for a living. I still have no idea how he did it. Actually that’s an exaggeration. I have a rough READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Breath of the Wild

Zelda's Sword Breakage Is Some Bullshit

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a damn good video game, but still. Here is a bad thing about it: I don’t like that for the first 10-20 hours of the game its weapons disintegrate just by looking at them. Like most other aspects of the game, the way you own and use weapons in BotW is very different to older Zelda games. In Wind Waker, you get two swords, and the second replaces the first. In BotW, you have an entire melee weapon inventory, meaning you can pick up, use and drop weapons as you see fit. Advertisement Advertisement On paper, it’s a cool idea! Liberating, even, as you can run around grabbing any old lance, sword, boomerang or club you find and just…use them. But the way it’s been implemented, at least early on in the game, is a nightmare. See, every weapon (even the bows!) in BotW degrade, and when they’re done, they shatter and they’re gone. Some might take an hour or two, some might only last a few swings. How long they READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!