By: Andrew Lister
Nintendo has done it again. Just when you think they couldn't come up with yet another outside-the-box concept (pun totally intended), they release a very strange, yet really impressive idea upon the world.
That idea is Labo. Stupid name aside, Labo turns toward engineering and the world of edutainment to create a brand new experience that pairs elaborate cardboard creations with the Nintendo Switch.
Yeah, you read that correctly. Nintendo is producing a series of cardboard diagrams that you put together to play video games in completely different and creative ways.
How creative, you ask? Well, during the trailer we saw the creation of a working cardboard piano, fishing rod, motorbike handlebars, camera, and remote-controlled robots. And that's not even mentioning the super cool VR-esque robot get-up that allows a child to literally play a game as a Transformer.
At first, you might ask yourself, "Is Nintendo really trying to sell us cardboard?" Yes, they certainly are. However, Labo is far more than just cardboard. It's an opportunity for kids to use their imaginations and do something different and more active both with their bodies and their minds. Video games are often looked down upon for their sedentary nature; they are blamed as negative influences. This flips the script completely and will fuel young minds toward engineering and figuring out how things work and are made.
And let's make an aspect of that perfectly clear: Nintendo said ahead of the announcement that this was something "crafted for kids and those who are kids at heart." This wasn't something meant for adults or hardcore gamers, and that's completely fine! Also, I totally see what you did there, Nintendo. "Crafted" for kids, eh?
So how exactly does all this work? Well, Nintendo's Joy-Con controllers not only have built in HD rumble, but the bottom of the right Joy-Con includes an IR sensor. Put simply, it is advanced technology that can determine distance and detect the shapes of objects. It's a feature that has been underutilized up until this point, but now it can be used in a number of really unique ways.
For example, the Labo piano works by inserting the Joy-Con with the sensor facing inside the box. When you press a key, the reflective tape on the keys are picked up by the controller and then transferred directly to the system, which plays the note. You can even add in filters that change the sounds made on your Switch, providing different ways to play music.
Nintendo Labo launches on April 20th, and you can pick up two different Toy-Con packs (a genius name, by the way). The first pack is a collection of five different creations: RC cars, fishing rod, house, motorbike, and piano; the second one is the complete and complex robot kit. The set of five will sell for $69.99, and the robot kit will be $79.99. Not only do you get the cardboard kits, but you get a physical copy of the gaming software.
While this may not be something for everyone, I commend whoever at Nintendo cooked up this crazy idea. This project screams Nintendo and showcases the company's continued innovation beyond its competition. Instead of chasing Sony and Microsoft to 4K and VR, they consistently change the definition of what it means to be a gamer and what their hardware can do. I hope these sell well, and I'm looking forward to what else might come out of their secret Lab...o.
By: Andrew Lister
It's hard to deny that 2017 was easily Nintendo's greatest year ever. The launch of the fastest-selling console in US history, the Nintendo Switch, brought the company that Mario built back from the brink of collapse after the Wii U years. It's not just the dual nature of the console, but the release of games like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey sent sales to the moon and back (pun intended). On top of that, they released a number of other amazing games and even managed to make the SNES Classic easier to find.
So where does Nintendo go from here? How could they follow up such a landmark year? What games will drop throughout 2018?
Fans wouldn't have to wait long because on January 11th, Nintendo dropped a surprise Nintendo Direct Mini, a 14 1/2 minute barrage of previews leading into the start of the new year.
Before we dig into my impressions, I do have to note how strange the days leading up to this Direct really were. A ridiculous number of leaks and rumors flooded the internet weeks before this Direct, and instead of confirming that a new Direct was indeed on its way, Nintendo decided to troll their fan base a bit. Rather than tweet out a date, they sent out cryptic images, such as Chibi Robo engulfed in flames and other bizarre retweets. Other companies got on board, too, sending their own fire-based images, and the internet was left puzzled and amused.
So with the Direct Mini out, let's talk about some of my overall impressions. As always, feel free to leave your own thoughts in the comments below or discuss all things Nintendo on our Discord channel! Click the link below to get started!
By: Andrew Lister
Welcome to the next installment of Tuesday Top Five! From time to time I'll be coming up with a Top 5 spanning a number of geeky topics. This week I'm tackling the upcoming Nintendo Direct presentation and what I'd most like to see revealed!
The rumor mills started last week about a potential Nintendo Direct presentation coming sometime this week. When I heard about said Reddit rumor, I wasn't expecting much in the way of truth. Nintendo has already released a ton of games and information lately, so what else could they talk about so closely removed from E3?
Well, I'm glad to say that I was completely wrong. A brand new Nintendo Direct is dropping on Wednesday, September 13th at 6 pm EST, 3 pm PT. Nintendo stated that we'll get information regarding the next several months of games, and it's almost certain that they will focus on their upcoming massive title Super Mario Odyssey.
Given the fact that their Direct will be 45 minutes long (much longer than their E3 presentation, by the way), just how are they going to fill all that time? My mind has been brewing and formulating lots of great possibilities, but below are my Top 5 most desired announcements from the Big N!
Check out this week's article by clicking below.
By: Andrew Lister
Welcome to the next installment of Tuesday Top Five! From time to time I'll be coming up with a Top 5 spanning a number of geeky topics. This week I'm sharing my love for the Nintendo Switch by giving my personal five best indie titles!
The Nintendo Switch has been out for about four months, and the system has already shown that nothing can keep the company that Mario built down. Even though the Wii U (despite it being a solid and fun system) wasn't the success that Nintendo was looking for, the Switch has already sold nearly 5 million systems in a short amount of time. That number will only increase as we have a Mario + Rabbids RPG and Super Mario Odyssey launch before the Christmas season.
Even though most people are going to buy first party games like Breath of the Wild, Arms, and Splatoon 2, there are a number of indie games available to play via the eShop. Sure, most of these games have already been released on PS4, XBox, or PC, but the Switch's ability to play on a big screen AND on the go makes indie games a perfect match for Nintendo's newest console.
Below you'll find my personal Top 5 indie games currently out on The Switch. As always, let me know your favorite indie games on the system below in the comments or on our Discord. By the way, you can enter to win a $25 gift card over on our #contest channel on our Discord! Join today and vote for your favorite Questionable Endeavor show!
Check out the article by clicking the link below!
By: Andrew Lister
Today marks the official second day of E3, yet as always we heard from tons of companies days before with big announcements. If you missed it, I've already talked a bit about my thoughts on EA and Microsoft's presentations, and I wanted to follow up with even more talk on some of the other companies.
While I'm champing at the bit to talk about Nintendo, I figure I should at least give a little love to Bethesda and Ubisoft, who had some interesting games to show off.
To read the article, hit that link below!
By: Andrew Lister
A year ago we launched the Questionable Endeavor Network. I honestly wasn't sure where it would go (if anywhere), and in just one year we've grown so much and have you all to thank.
The first article that we posted a year ago centered around E3 2016. It's cool to go back and read my first articles on E3 (which can be found here and here) and make it to this year's E3 and start brand new articles.
I'm a huge fan of E3! As a gamer, I get so hyped spending the days before the conference watching prediction videos and making my own predictions. The week of E3 I'm glued to my phone and TV watching YouTube and Twitch to catch all the big conferences.
So far we've seen big reveals from EA, Microsoft, and Bethesda. Seeing as how I'm a huge Bethesda fan, I'm going to tackle it in a separate article and focus this one on the former two companies.
So what stood out the most for better or worse? Click the link below to read my full thoughts!
By: Andrew Lister
Nintendo dropped an announcement out of nowhere the other day, letting the world know that there would be an exclusive Nintendo Direct event on June 6th. I jumped for joy when I realized that this Direct event so close to E3 was centered around one of my favorite video game series of all time: Pokemon.
My mind started racing at what Game Freak and Nintendo had planned. Rumors have been amassing about a new project named Pokemon Stars, but what was it? Could it be the first ever Pokemon game in the main series to make it onto the Nintendo Switch? Was it a third game in the newest series of Sun and Moon?
Well, the live event is already past us, and here’s what we found out, for better or for worse, about Pokemon releases for the remainder of 2017.
Pokken Tournament DX
Back when Pokken Tournament was announced for the Wii U, I was super excited. Tekken is my favorite fighting game series of all time, so a crossover with Pokemon was a match made in Heaven. I got the game at launch, and I found it enjoyable. Sure, it wasn’t 100% what I had wanted, but it was a solid fighting game.
I knew it was only a matter of time before the game got ported over to the Switch. Wii U didn’t sell well, but there were a number of amazing games for the system that a lot of people missed out on by not picking up Nintendo’s last console. Even though I saw it happening, I didn’t think that they would focus so much of their time on the port, which is a Deluxe edition.
What exactly is the appeal of Pokken Tournament Deluxe over the Wii U? Well, as with any Switch game, the portability will be a big draw. I usually take my Switch over when we record Tooning Japanese on Friday nights, and we play some multiplayer as a way to kill time before we get started. Being able to set up the screen and play some multiplayer on the go is a big plus.
Aside from that, it looks like we’re also getting five new fighters, including some strange choices like Empoleon and Croagunk, but also some really cool ones like Darkrai, Scizor, and Decidueye. On top of the characters, there will be 3 vs 3 battles that seem like a cross between Marvel vs Capcom and the Tekken Tag games. It also takes advantage of the online system, which will hopefully be more stable than Tekken 7 has reportedly been at launch.
The port of Pokken Tournament DX will launch on September 22nd, and there will be a competitive tournament taking place at Nintendo’s events from E3.
Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon
Instead of a game called Stars, we also saw a glimpse of the next Pokemon games in the main series, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. Even though I’m not crazy about the names, the information we received about the two games is intriguing.
We don’t know a lot yet, but we were told that these two games would be a different story from the one presented in Pokemon Sun and Moon. Not only is the story new, but we will get a different variety of Pokemon. Does this mean getting ones that we couldn’t catch that are already part of the game, or could we see more Alolan variants of the original 150? Please, please, please give me a new version of my favorites Vileplume, Hypno, and Pinsir!
If you paid close attention, there does seem to be ways to mega evolve some of the key legendary Pokemon, such as Solgaleo and Lunala. I can only imagine that we’ll see more legendaries.
It seems like this game could have a feel very similar to what they did with Pokemon Black and White and their sequels Black and White 2. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. I like the world of Alola, and unlike some of the other games, the post game play felt a little thin to me. I haven’t gone back to it as much as I did with games like X and Y.
These two new entries in the series drop on November 17th, almost one year after the release of the original Sun and Moon.
Pokemon Gold and Silver
Last year Game Freak released versions of their original three American games, Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow onto the 3DS Virtual Console. At the cost of only $10, it was a fun way to feel the nostalgia of my childhood without having to play on the small screen of my Game Boy Color. I assume these games sold well because now we are getting the same treatment with Pokemon Gold and Silver.
These games did receive remakes back in 2010 with the amazing Pokemon Soul Silver and Heart Gold. It’s certainly a better way to play the original Game Boy games, but these new Virtual Console ports will allow a much easier transfer of your team through the Pokemon Bank.
Be prepared to traverse Johto and Kanto once again on the same day that Pokken Tournament drops, September 22nd.
Given that Nintendo seems to have rushed their release of the Switch in order to get a jump start on their competitors and heal the wounds caused by the Wii U, it was probably too much to expect a full blown Pokemon game on their newest system. Pokken Tournament is a safe bet and something they can feasibly get out within the span of this year. Sure, it may not be the game that most people wanted, but it’s still Pokemon on the new Nintendo system, and those that didn’t bite on the Wii U have a solid game to play for the first time.
Given that the Ultra versions of Sun and Moon are coming this year, it feels like there are more questions than answers at this point. We’ll get lots of information going forward in the coming months much like we did with Sun and Moon, probably including weekly videos showcasing some of the new characters and story elements. I’m optimistic that this game will deliver another interesting story within the Alola Region and give me a reason to spend another 50+ hours using my 3DS.
What are your thoughts? Leave them in the comments below or head over to our Discord and spark up a conversation!
By: Andrew Lister
Yeah, I know you're probably all sick of my intense love for Nintendo and their new Switch system. However, I managed to take a bit of time out of my busy day to sit down and play ARMS. The game isn't out quite yet, but they are currently doing an online beta, known at the Global Testpunch, to test the servers. Everyone with a Switch will be able to play the game for free and see what ARMS is all about.
I'm going to focus this review on a number of things I experienced in the half hour of drowsy, early morning gameplay that I got in at 7 am CST. I want to talk about my experience with the controls, gameplay modes, online functionality, and the characters and weaponry. Some of these things I'll go into more than others as this was just an online test and my time with the game was rather limited.
Click the link for my first impressions!
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