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!
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. Since I've been spending so much time with the new Nintendo Switch, I thought I'd cover the Top 5 reasons to own one!
I'll not try to mask the truth: I'm a huge fan of Nintendo. My love for the company dates back to my early years playing the Nintendo Entertainment System. I sunk so many hours with my neighborhood friends into dozens of games. Playing through Final Fantasy I on the NES is the reason I'm into fantasy, RPGs, and tabletops. When Sega came onto the scene, I still prefered the SNES. I adored my N64, and don't even make me try to count up the number of hours I've spent on my Nintendo handheld systems.
Nintendo has gotten a bit of a bad wrap as of late with the release of their last generation system, the Wii U. I could understand what some of the gripes were with the system, but overall I really enjoyed it. People complain about the lack of games, but there was a really good library that kept me busy over the last several years.
As you might imagine, when Nintendo announced their new system, the Switch, I was more than excited. I managed to get one the weekend that it was released, and I want to share with you all the Top Five reasons why you should consider getting the console.
Check out this week's Top Five by clicking below!
By: Coard Lowery
When January 13th came around, I sat down to watch one of my favorite YouTubers cover the Nintendo Switch event live and bask in the moment of hype with an audience of up to 13,000 viewers. The event came, the console was showcased, and games were really only touched on, and that's when I thought to myself, "Is that it?" I understand the presentation was about the Switch and its impressive design and abilities. However, it brought with it a concern.
To start off, they neglected to mention the specs of the machine. Granted they are now available, but if you thought highly of the machine, wouldn't you want to mention the specs? I can't recall a Sony or Microsoft console release that didn't tell us about the machine's power. Yet here we had nothing. It's almost as if they weren't sure they wanted us to know. Maybe it's just paranoia, but it got me thinking: could the Switch fail like the Wii U? Well, here's how I think it could happen.
Click the link below to read on.
By: Andrew Lister
Today is a really exciting day for Nintendo fanboys! Nintendo surprised the world when it dropped a YouTube video seemingly out of nowhere that gave us our first look at their newest video game console, the Nintendo Switch. The hype comes after what many would consider a less-than-stellar performance of their last console, the Wii U. In case you somehow missed last year’s video, give it a watch below. You won’t be disappointed.
I could go on and on for hours about how excited I am for the console, but I think I’ll save a lot of that for when I finally get my hands on it in March. The goal of this article instead will be to focus on what we hope to hear from the official Nintendo presentation later today.
The System’s Cost
When the Wii U launched back in 2012, there were two different versions: the basic and deluxe set. The basic system came with an 8 GB hard drive and cost $249.99 while the deluxe, which came with a 32 GB drive and a copy of Nintendo Land, originally cost $349.99. At the time, Nintendo’s touted a lower priced system than their competitors Sony and Microsoft. Although some criticized Nintendo for putting out a machine that lacked the power of the Playstation or Xbox, the smaller price tag worked to Nintendo’s advantage.
This time around, Nintendo finds itself in a strange place. They’re releasing a new console far ahead of their competitors (unless you count the upgraded versions of the Playstation and Xbox), and the system will still not rival the specs of the Big Two. Since the PS4 and Xbox One have been out for some time now, Nintendo’s device will have to be about the same price. Rumors suggest the system may retail for around $249.99. Depending on the games, battery life of the handheld, and a few other key factors, this would be a more than reasonable price to debut the system.
The Wii U was not a powerhouse of a system. However, graphics and processing have never really been Nintendo’s focus. People don’t buy Nintendo for amazing, realistic graphics; they buy their systems for the innovative and enjoyable games. That being said, the Wii U ran a 1.24 GHz IBM Espresso CPU with 2 GB DDR3 memory and a 550 MHz AMD Radeon graphics card. When you compare this to something like the PS4, which has a 8-core AMD Jaguar with 1.6 GHz processing power and 8 GB GDDR5 RAM, you can see the difference.
Will the Nintendo Switch surpass the Playstation 4 and Xbox One? Probably not. If anything, this is a chance for Nintendo to play catch up and get on par with the other two systems. For those that get a hard-on for bigger processing numbers, this might be a turn off, but the important thing here for the Switch is to have a system that will be fun to play and get more third party support than its predecessor.
Sources have reported that the Switch will run the last-generation NVidia Maxwell processor. This means that the Switch will certainly not be the next big graphical phenomenon. However, it does mean that we will see plenty of options for third party developers that make more realistic games to showcase their products on Nintendo’s new system. Again, I don’t really need to see every fiber of hair or feather detail of my Pokemon to have an enjoyable gaming experience.
Nintendo lives and dies by its games. The Wii U suffered from a severe lack of both first and third party content. I’m not saying that there weren’t some great games for the Wii U, however. We got two really good Mario titles, Super Smash Bros, Mario Kart 8, Pikmin 3, Star Fox Zero, Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze, and the brand new franchise Splatoon.
As far as first party games go, we know that we’re getting the new Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which I’m more than excited to play. We also saw scenes of a brand new Mario title in the video above. Aside from those games, Nintendo has an opportunity to come out swinging with some surprising potential titles.
The last major Metroid game we got was Metroid: Other M back on the Wii. Can you imagine how in depth a new Metroid game could be on the Nintendo Switch? Splatoon 2 would be a ton of fun as well and could really build on the franchise. And what about a complete surprise revival, such as a new Kid Icarus or F-Zero game? I’d be down for a fresh take on old classics.
And since the Nintendo Switch is going to be part handheld system, what about games that were exclusive to the DS/3DS family? There have been whispers of a console Pokemon game, which would be amazing, but Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem could make for some really amazing games as well.
Above all else, Nintendo really needs to cater to and bring in third party companies. They need to aim to get at least some of the major releases that drop on the other two systems. This will ensure that more people pick up the Switch and help keep it alive longer. Sure, I’ll play old games like Skyrim on the Switch, but new games are key. Also, the ability to play many of these games on the may draw people away from Sony and Microsoft and back to Nintendo.
We already have a general idea of when the Nintendo Switch will reach store shelves. It was previously announced that Nintendo’s new console would debut in March 2017. Now that we’re in the middle of January, the big question is exactly when we’ll be able to collectively throw our money at Nintendo.
We can only hope that Nintendo has all their ducks in a row and is ready to release the Switch in early March. My only worry is that we get tonight's presentation and for some reason they move back the launch date.
Watch Tonight's Presentation
So when and where can we watch Nintendo's live broadcast about the Switch?
Well, Nintendo is streaming their broadcast live from their offices in Japan, so if you're in America, you can watch the stream on January 12th at 11 pm EST/8 pm PST. For our fans in the United Kingdom, you'll have to catch it in the wee hours of the morning at 4 am the next day.
You can watch the broadcast in one of three places:
Are you excited for the Nintendo Switch? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below or join our Discord Channel and talk in the #gaming section! I'll be back later this week with my thoughts on tonight's presentation!
By: Andrew Lister
Welcome to the next installment of a new article series, Tuesday Top Five! From time to time I'll be coming up with a Top 5 spanning a number of geeky topics. This week we celebrate the release of Final Fantasy XV with an article chronicling my favorite Final Fantasy summons.
One of the staples of the Final Fantasy series are summons. The concept of summons dates back to Final Fantasy III and the creation of the job class system. The Evoker, Summoner, and Sage all had the ability to call forth creatures to inflict damage on their foes. Moving forward into just about every oher game in the series, summons (or eidolons, guardian forces, etc) became a true mainstay.
Keeping in the Final Fantasy spirit after the release of FF XV, I have for you my top five list of my personal favorite summons! My choices are based on their use in all games, and a single summon won't appear on the list more than once. For example, I'm not going to have Shiva from FF VIII and XIII or any of the sub-types of Bahamut from FF VII.
Check out this week's Top Five by clicking below!
TV & Movies
Henry Huge Pecs
Ray Williams III
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