Buying GBA Games Is A Nightmare – Nintendo Is Sitting on a Goldmine of Nostalgia


Posted on February 11, 2024 by Rae Michelle Richards

Trying to buy a classic GBA Pokemon game in the 2020s is a minefield of reproduction cartridges not labelled as such, severely inflated legitimate copies and multi-game cartridges on offer through various marketplaces online. If you’re looking to play Pokemon Emerald, Pokemon Ruby, Pokemon Fire Red or Pokemon Leaf Green – what is the best way to do so? 

Let’s get the obvious out of the way, there were millions of copies of each game sold regardless of the two decades that have past. And the COVID-19 pandemic and “investing in retro games” have caused once affordable prices for used games to now reach into the triple digits in some cases. Pokemon is one of the most lucrative franchises in the world and by not re-releasing the older entries on modern platforms Nintendo leaves players with little options outside of dwindling amounts of working copies locally or piracy. 

Here are the prices for each entry in the Generation 3 line-up (assuming they’re authentic) for loose cartridges – that means no manual or box: 

Pokemon Fire Red – $97.00 USD 

Pokemon Leaf Green – $72.00 USD 

Pokemon Ruby – $52.00 USD 

Pokemon Sapphire – $72.00 USD 

Pokemon Emerald – $187.50 USD 

All prices are from PriceCharting.com which automatically tracks auctions and other sources for transactions.

Phew, if you wanted the entire six game set it’d cost a mouthwatering $480.50 USD not including shipping. Quickly outpacing the pricing for the PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch or even a Steam Deck – that’s absurd. 

Going Off The Beaten Path…

Depending on where you live prices are going to vary but I’ll wager for most people paying more than the cost of a brand-new game isn’t ideal. None of the older mainline Pokemon games are available on the Nintendo Switch – save for remakes of Pokemon Diamong / Pearl and Let’s Go Pikachu & Eevee (which are arguably pseduo-seuqles to generation 1). This means dealing with often vague listings that can’t outright state what game you are buying due to copyright strikes.

Sites like AliEpress and apps like TEMU have listings for “32-Bit Game Cartridge Nostolgia” or “RUBY Game for Handheld”. To the informed observer they are obviously pirate cartridges for games like Emerald and Fire Red, duplicates manufactured long after the original games were discontinued. They sell for around $8 – $12 USD which – if you’ve read this far – you know is about 10% of the cost of an authentic cart. 

Issues with these reproduction cartridges can include batteries that don’t last as long as the originals, solder lines that degrade faster than the original – the failure rate of some reproduction carts can lead to a lifespan of only a couple years.

As one poster on the Gameboy Reddit put it:

Even if you put your own replacement battery in, the batteries on these reproduction cartridges do not last nearly as long when saving content as an official cartridge. Due to the lower quality Flash memory and components in general they are using, they consume much more battery voltage for their save files then an original version. You will most likely get if you are lucky 1 year maybe 2 years out of the battery before it no longer saves anything and needs to be replaced. An original cartridge with a fresh battery can last more than 10 years before that battery needs to be replaced.

These cartridges do draw slightly more voltage from the cartridge port than an official more efficient nintendo manufactured cartridge. some people do not like this and believe it causes long term damage to their systems but there is no definitive proof of that but I can tell you obviously because of the slightly higher draw it does drain your battery of your device at a slightly faster rate. I would say you can on average expect one hour less of system use versus using original cartridges. So if your system used to get 6 hours on a charge or with batteries you can expect 4 and a 1/2 hours to 5 hours if you’re just using reproduction cartridges ( This is all assuming that you are using modern day reproduction Flash cartridges and not ones from 10 years ago which have a much higher battery drain than current improvements)

The other posters are correct that the Flash memory in question is of a cheaper quality , as well as the solder work on these boards to mount these components are extremely low quality. Because of this the defect rate or the failure rate of these cartridges is noticeably higher than any official nintendo manufactured cartridge.

So what is the solution? Nintendo released Pokemon Red, Blue, Gold, Silver and Crystal seven years ago on the 3DS but since the servers have been turned off those games can no longer be legally purchased anymore. Nintendo’s most popular console, the Switch, is entering the 7th year of its life and the successor to the popular handheld is scheduled to be released sometime later this year. Perhaps Nintendo will see fit to release the older Pokemon on Nintendo Switch Online – although even that is tied to a subscription fee.


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Nintendo Posts 30 Minute The Legend of Zelda Orchestra Concert


Posted on February 10, 2024 by Rae Michelle Richards

Today Nintendo posted a 30 minute concert featuring music from last year’s Tears of the Kingdom, 98’s The Ocarina of Time and even handheld classics like Link’s Awakening.

The release of this collection of greatest hits from the near 40 year old franchise was part of Nintendo Live Tokyo 2024.

It is expected that Nintendo will release a similar Splatoon related concert sometime tomorrow on their YouTube channel.

[Source]


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Rumour : New Phantasy Star Online Game In The Works


Posted on February 2, 2024 by Rae Michelle Richards

Phantasy Star Online: New Genesis Version 2 just received a major update that included a level cap increase, concluding the Episode 6 storyline but that hasn’t stopped rumours that the next entry in the two decades old “Online” sub-franchise is in development.

This rumor comes by the way of X user MbKKsBHz3 (who despite having a handle that looks like a random password) is a well known leaker of all things SEGA and Atlus.

”There is a new PSO2 related title in development.” They wrote on X several days ago, which was picked up by the GamingLeaksandRumors SubReddit along with a collection of other tweets related to Atlus and SEGA related IP.

It is surprising to me that they specifically mention a “new PSO2 related game” as the base version of PSO2 is over a decade old and New Genesis’ open field concept hasn’t exactly set the fan base ablaze with hype. On a good day NGS can barely muster 2,000 players on Steam.

It will be interesting to see how SEGA handles a new entry in the PSO franchise given how fast they burned through 10 years of PSO2 base ver content in just 16 months only to launch NGS to mostly mixed reaction and server issues.

PSO2 did receive one spin-off game in the form of Phantasy Star Nova, a monster hunter type game using some assets from PSO2 for the PlayStation Vita. That game is long out of print but if you happen to have a copy, like I do, there is an unofficial English translation available.


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The Lost Legends of Redwall: The Scout Anthology Coming To PC Next Month


Posted on January 16, 2024 by Rae Michelle Richards

A pair of games based on the classic children’s book series Redwall are set to land on Xbox Series, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation and PC in the second half of February.

The Lost Legends of Redwall: Scout’s Anthology is a re-release of the original 3 episodic titles in the series of the same name bundled into one package. The game’s protagonist is a mouse warrior in training at Redwall Abby who must flee his home due to events at the opening of the first chapter.

The Lost Legend of Redwall: Scout Act 1 was originally released in Steam Early Access back in 2017 followed by a full release of all 3 acts as discrete titles on console in 2019.

Redwall is a beloved series of children’s book written by Author Brian Jacques, published between 1986 and 2011. The series focuses on various mouse protagonists who defend the Redwall Abby and surrounding areas. Unlike most fantasy series Redwall was told out of order – with each entry taking place at a different point in the timeline.

The Lost Legend of Redwall: Scout‘S Anthology is set for release on February 20th.


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Super Meat Boy Forever Gets New Features On Mobile


Posted on January 16, 2024 by Rae Michelle Richards

The original Super Meat Boy was an indie darlings in the early 2010s. It’s been a mainstay for hardcore platform fans for over a decade, but the sequel hasn’t been as well received.

Last year Super Meat Boy Forever received an iOS and Android port, so that you too can enjoy hardcore dismemberment while on your way to work.

A new update has been made available for the mobile port adding procedurally generated levels and a vault of classic levels as well.

Here’s the lowdown on the new ways to play!

  • Say hello to “Meat Grinder,” which has two ways to experience levels in Super Meat Boy Forever
    • “The Daily Grind” is a randomly generated level that switches out daily. Get to the end as quickly as possible to top the leaderboards. Keep playing to beat your record!
    • “Quick Play” lets you play a level generated from all the “level chunks” in a chapter. Maybe you’ll see something new!
  • Forever Forge: Forever Forge is where we will showcase the best of user- generated levels. Our level creation tools were just released on PC, so check back for updates in the future. For now though, please enjoy a new chapter developed in-house called “Abattoir.” Ryan should really be fired for making these levels.
  • Support for Android-based folding phones

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The Game Awards Have Always Been Trash


Posted on December 8, 2023 by Rae Michelle Richards

As someone who has covered videogames as an industry since 2002 off and on for the past two decades –  big corporate events and spectacles are something I’ve seen morph from being laser focused on single titles accessible to a select few to livestreamed “events” that draw millions of eyeballs waiting for the next big trailer or reveal. With E3 dead and over The Game Awards have since taken the place as the premiere space for “world reveals” and preplanned P.R campaigns.

It is no secret that the The Game Awards are primarily a platform for upcoming games and surprise announcements to enter the cultural now and become “THE THING” people are sure to talk about for the foreseeable future. Although “Awards” are in the name, the awards are simply a formality- a justification for the spectacle without challenging establishment or up-lifting marginalized communities or even the people who made the games the awards are supposed to be centred on.

Burback’s “The Dark History of The Game Awards” is a thoughtful look into the history of TGA and how it came to be.

The Spike Video Games Awards (the precursor to the The Videogame Awards) literally had the US Military as sponsor in the 2000s. Multiple incidents in recent years have occurred where unexpected people have made their way onto the stage during a live broadcast. This includes YouTubers known for various stunts making right wing dog-whistle soundbites into the microphone, broadcast to millions of viewers. People within the community have speculated that it is possible that the US Military were providing either security directly or consulting on improving security that already existed.


Hey at least Kojima was there (Source: The Game Awards 2016 Stream)

2023’s rendition of The Video Game Awards felt rushed or “off” compared to other year’s offerings. It is expected that the reveal trailers for new titles will be light on details, probably under two minutes and are sometimes just pre-rendered visualizations created by external CGI companies. Those reveals were certainly present but even the select few developers or studio heads who stand next to Geoff Keighley seemed rushed. Whether it is to ensure security breaches like previous years don’t occur, or simply to fit more advertisements and potentially paid promotional placements into the program – it detracted from the very celebration the TGA claims itself to be.

2023 has seen the raised awareness of the actual genocides by Israel’s killing of Palestinians in the thousands in the last few months alone. There are much more important things happening around the world then what surprise announcements were pre-planned for TGA. Not to mention the really shitty things happening in the gaming space. Like massive layoffs continue throughout the Tech industry and gaming industry as a whole that treat talented people as disposable while taking in massive profits.

@Kayin’s excellently written blog post on Cohost (and Metroplex System’s response) points correctly points out that as an award show TGA fails to even celebrate a small amount of people who pour their lives into the creation of the games that we enjoy. I highly recommend the post, it is worth a read.


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Frost Giant Studios Stormgate Gets Brand New Trailer


Posted on December 7, 2023 by Rae Michelle Richards

Imagine for a moment – Hordes of burning infernal demon-like creatures surround armoured marines and walking mechanized tank as they fight the nigh endless number of enemy forces that look like they’ve come straight from the depths of hell.

What I’m describing isn’t the latest science fiction blockbuster or a classic 80s action movie like Aliens – but a situation you might just encounter in Frost Giant Game’s upcoming Real Time Strategy title, Stormgate. It might seem like the RTS genre has been on life support for the last decade or so but 2024 just might be the year that changes.

Created by former members of the development teams behind Warcraft 3, Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne and StarCraft 2 – Collectively some of Stormgate’s development team have helped craft longstanding titles that helped define the genre. Chris Metzen, the high profile game designer known for his work on DIablo, the Warcraft Franchise, lead designer of the original Starcraft consulted with Frost Giant Games during the early conceptual phases of development.

The leader of the Infernal Host faction is revealed towards the end of The Game Awards trailer so make sure to look out for that. Played by actor Simu Liu (2023’s Barbie, 2021’s Shang-Chi: Legend of the Seven Rings), the character – who is named Warz and will be a playable hero during the event of Stormgate’s campaign mode.

It’s not just a pedigree for developing genre defining titles that makes Stormgate so interesting but also the engine technology that Frost Giant Games have developed. Based upon Unreal Engine Technology, the Snowplay Engine supports impressive features like a max player count of 32 people, the ability for mass spectating, the inclusion of rollback netcode and so much more. It is quite clear from the technical overview in their 10 minutes Kickstarter video that Snowplay might just be what defines the capabilities expected from future RTS engines.

If you want to join the Human Vanguard or Infernal Host in 1 Vs. 1 online battles or help test out the really hype looking 3 vs. 1 co-op mode – the online multiplayer beta started on December 5th and access can be secured by backing their Kickstarter. Frost Giant Studios set a goal of $135,519 CDN dollars and right now their fund-raising effort is sitting at mind boggling 1.5 MILLION CDN as of press time. Frost Giant have managed to raise over 10x their original goal in only a couple of days.

Pledges start at $1 CDN but if you want access to the game (and who wouldn’t if you’ve read this far?) – the Founder’s Pack (priced at $25 USD) includes access to the game during a preview week expected to launch next summer, a hero unit for the vanguard faction, Army cosmetics and a Founder discord role. Those looking for immediate access to the game will have to shell out a bit more for the Deluxe Founder’s Pack (priced at $40 USD) which includes everything already mentioned plus a hero unit for the Infernal Host, a Chicken Pet and access to the first wave of Stormgate’s Beta.

Entry into the closed beta isn’t the only way to get a sneak peak at Stromgate before it enters Early Access next year. The high profile annual gaming tournament Dreamhack Atlanta will be hosting the first ever show matches with the under development RTS. The developers have also let some higher profile RTS content creators stream gameplay of the closed beta on both Youtube and Twitch.

We will have more coverage of Stormgate as development continues ahead of the 2024 launch into Early Access.


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Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker Combat Changes Detailed


Posted on September 18, 2021 by Rae Michelle Richards

Square Enix livestreamed a nearly 5 hour presentation detailing the upcoming job changes coming to Eorzea in Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker. During a rather lengthy discussion of each job had the major adjustments & new actions coming with the November launch of the new expansion. Producer / Director Naoki Yoshida also went hands-on to show off the brand new Reaper & Sage jobs in addition to the reworked Monk and Summoner.

If you want to know what changes are coming to your favorite job, I’ve jotted down all of the major changes discussed below.

This story is still developing the livestream is still happening so I’ll update this story if anything substantial is announced.

Battle Adjustments:
– Party Finder adjustments.
– Parties will include one pure healer and one barrier healer for Savage content.
– Party finder: Healer category will be split between both types.
– New options for players who have yet to receive weekly rewards.
– Search results will not longer include parties you can not join due to one person per job.

Duty Rewards Adjustments:
– Trials will drop a regular weapon and a coffer.
– Fourth encounter of savage tier (3.0+) will drop a coffer as well as a weapon.
– 4.0+ Savage will now drop gear and accessories as coffers.

Misc Battle Adjustments:
– Improved ground targeting functionality.
– New settings added to Character Configuration menu.
– Prevent cursor from moving beyond ground targeting range.
– Displays which party member target when casting
– For example you’ll see “WHM Raising Member [2]”.
– Also works for targeting enemies as well.
– Unreal Trials will be temporarily removed.
– Job adjustments will need to be finished with the level 90 level cap before revisiting Unreal Trials.
– Scheduled to be reintroduced in patch 6.1!

Downscaling Values:
– Difference in gear attributes from levels 50 – 80 will be reduced.
– Overall HP and Damage values will be reduced.
– Potency of meals, medicine and materia will be reduced.
– Adjusting to maintain balance with various systems.
– In general the reduction is about 1/5th

HQ Items Removal:
No longer available as HQ
– Gathered Items
– Enemy Drops
– Token Exchange Materials
– Non Crafted materials

Items Still Available
– Crafted Items
– Gear
– HQ Yield gathering abilities will be adjusted to quantity.

The Athernet UI Will Be Updated:

Datacenter Travel Delays:
– Due to urgent need to address server congestion Data Center Travel visit system has been delayed until after Patch 6.0x.
– Server team is working on server stability to avoid crashing and congestion.
– Will be introduced “6.x and beyond”.
– Additional traffic due to players moving within their regions.
– If servers went down during launch would make bug tracking harder.
– Too much of a risk.

Regarding Cloud Servers:
– Tested cloud technology with a “Major partner” two years ago.
– Long story short: With assessments completed. Costs would have been high. Stability issues
– Zone servers could be supported on cloud. But physical servers are more reliable.

General Tank changes:
Beneficial effects for using cooldowns at optimal times.
– Ranged attacks no longer break combo.
– Magical + Physical attacks will now have parity.

Paladin Changes:
– Requiescat now will be equally effective regardless of MP.
– Confetteor has a 3 attack combo now.

Warrior Changes:
– Damage up boosts can now be triggered + extended with AOE combos.
– Onslaught / Upheaval don’t cost gauge.
– New ability available after using inner release. – Inner release recast times 60 seconds.

Dark Knight Changes:
– Salted Earth now spawns around and makes a new ability available.
– It is no places on the ground.
– Your FRAY now gets new ability as well.

Gunbreaker Changes:
– 3 Powder slots on the job gauge (we saw this in the actions trailer)
– Savage Claw and Wicked Talon swap on the hotbar (One button combo)
– Any actions in between don’t break combo – Continuation usable after Burst Strike

General Melee DPS Adjustments:
– Feint now reduces magical and physical damage.
– Combos aren’t broken by Ranged Attacks (just like Tanks)
– Physical / magical parity on weapons of same ilevels and potency.

Dragoon Changes:
– Expanded AOE Rotation
– New weaponskill available upon execution of combo.
– Some of the existing actions have been removed over the years. Swapped them around for base skills.
– Blood of the Dragon is now a trait. No need to maintain it or use it.

Monk Changes:
– Chakras now unlocked at a lower level.
– New System: Mastering Blitz.
– # of charges available depending on the skills used when under the effect of perfect balance.
– With the Chakra system you will need to activate it with Perfect Balance.

Samurai Changes:
– Effects from Jinpu and Shifu now applied by AOE combos.
– A new action will be available in the vein of Tsubame-gaeshi.
– Wanted to preserve the feeling of a “pure melee” DPS. – Straight forward changes from the last expansion.

Ninja Changes:
– Actions linked to Raiton, Doton and Huton.
– An action making it easy to apply Huton.
– Dot will be gone
– No 4th mudra

Reaper (new job):
– Attacks in tandem with Avatar. Unleash powerful attacks by combining with the avatar.
– Grant buffs to party.
– Unique /special actions (see below)
– Soul Gauge you charge up which unleashes different attacks. Effects avatar attacks as well.
– Weapon skill own + avatar = 2nd gauge will build. Merge with the avatar and unleash devastating attacks.

General Physical Ranged Changes:
– Buffs that mitigate damage, recast time on Tact / Shield Samba adjusted to 90s.

Bard Changes:
– Each of 3 songs will make a new ability that applies party buff.
– Feedback for more support abilities with songs.
– Apex Arrow usage makes a new action available. (Level 90 cap stone move?)

Machinist Changes:
– New Action Chainsaw added (you can see this launching chainsaw blades during the Job Actions trailer)
– New ability added to the Automaton Queen
– Reassemble now has 2 charges.

Dancer Changes:
– Weapon skills like Flourishing Cascade will now be shared across single target and AOE.
– New skills open up upon using Technical Finish, Improvisation and Devilment.
– Smoother in terms of execution different rotation. Hotbar switching from AOE/Dancing

Red Mage Changes:
– A new action will be available after using Scorch. (Line AOE in the job trailer?).
– Verflare, Verholy and Scorch will now be AOES available part of the AOE rotation.
– Defensive party wide enhancement will be added.
– Manafication changes.

FINAL FANTASY XIV Ast LB3 - YouTube


Summoner Changes (6.0 Rework)
– Full rework (might as well be a new job)
– All damage over time abilities removed.
– Use Ifrit, Garuda, Titan not just the egis.
– Concept is transferring energy into jewels.
– Tried to bring out of the feeling of traditional summoner.

Healer Changes:
– New actions that apply single target buffs (each healer).
– Cast time for offensive spells has been reduced.
– Limit break 3 area of effect expanded to 50 yalms.
– Two regen healers / two shield healers. Diurnal and Nocturnal Sect will be removed.

White Mage Changes:
– Simple update.
– Functionally and visually distinct restorative field action added.
– Focus: Pure healer.
– A holy spell has been added that lily charges
– Fluid Aura removed
– Divine Benison will have charges.

Scholar Changes:
– Is now classified as Barrier Healer.
– Unique action that enhances the party movement speed even during combat as been added. (Peloton for combat?)
– Functions like sprint but it will not overlap with the buff from sprint.
– Powerful healing spell

Astrologian Changes:
– Neutral sect will still give shields. Basic healing will be adjusted as if it was under Diurnal sect.
– The effect of Divination will be changed and seals are used for new enhancements.
– Redraw will no longer have charges.

Sage (new job):
– Focus is barrier healer.
– Able to attack enemies and heal party members simultaneous. Only works on one party member.
– Draws upon unique resources for healing / enhancements and attack magic
– The ability to target a single member of the part is called “Cardio”.
– When hitting an an enemy, attack can become a damage over time.
– Resource that you build to deploy instant barrier heals.
– Movement Skill – “Icarus” – Movement ability in actions trailer.

Image

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E3 2021: Breath of the Wild 2 Gets Footage


Posted on June 15, 2021 by Rae Michelle Richards

Nintendo first revealed the sequel to 2017’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild two years ago at E3 2019. Now, we’ve finally got a fresh look at the title thanks to this morning’s Nintendo Direct. We still don’t have any details about the title’s narrative but we did get a look at some really cool new toys for Link.

It looks like regardless of however much time has passed between Breath of the Wild and its sequel, Link has either replaced his right arm with a sweet Shieka cyber arm OR he’s got a cool new gauntlet. Either way this new piece of kit allows him to cast abilities like the magnetic power frotyzm the first game without using a Sheika Slate. He just holds up his hand towards an object and the power activates. It seems that he is also able to use the new arm/gauntlet to WARP THROUGH OBJECTS. Literally phasing through them, Kitty Pryde style. It’s not known if this ability is only used at designated points, within designated types of terrains or has other restrictions.

In terms of locations.. it looks like Ganon’s castle…. is bleeding? I’m no expert on castles but I’m pretty sure that is not normal. We also got confirmation of a new location – islands that float above Hyrule in the sky!

Breath of the Wild 2 is confirmed for a 2022 release on Nintendo Switch. As we all know, the COVID pandemic does mean that games can miss their target dates.

Watch the trailer below.


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Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope Coming In 2022


Posted on June 12, 2021 by Rae Michelle Richards

Fans of 2017’s Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle can rejoice in the knowledge that a full sequel, Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope is under active development for the Nintendo Switch. It is currently scheduled for release in 2022 although that release date is rather vague.

Revealed during Ubisoft Forward earlier this afternoon, Sparks of Hopei will see Mario, Luigi, Rabbid Luigi and Princess Peach reunite in a brand new adventure. No details on the plot yet, other than players will be working to free the titular Sparks this time around. During the brief reveal trailer we do get a look at Rabbid Rosalina, a new inclusion this time. Also included is an unnamed Rabbid who wields a sword and may be the inventor from the first game?

Check it out below along with the official PR copy. The original Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle was released in August 2017.

Team up with Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Rabbid Peach, Rabbid Luigi, and their friends on a galactic journey to defeat a malevolent entity and save your Spark companions. Explore planets throughout the galaxy as you uncover mysterious secrets and compelling quests!

  • Build your dream team with three heroes from an eclectic roster of nine.
  • Take down all new bosses, along with some familiar enemies throughout the galaxy.
  • Rescue the adorable Sparks throughout the galaxy, who provide distinct powers that will help you in battle.
  • Unleash your heroes’ skills but be strategic as you dash your enemies, team jump on your allies, and hide behind covers.


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Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Are Out This November


Posted on May 26, 2021 by Rae Michelle Richards

Get ready to catch ‘em all like it’s 2007 because the recently revealed remakes of Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl finally have a release date. Both games will drop simultaneously on November 19th 2021 for the Nintendo Switch. Alright, a pair of already announced Pokemon titles coming out in the early winter isn’t exactly earth shattering news, these things come out like clockwork. What was surprising was how Nintendo decided to break the news..

Usually big announcements like a release date for the largest franchise in all of video-games would warrant its own special event, a Pokemon Direct if you would. Not this time! The official Pokemon Twitter account just kinda posted the release dates this morning with no warning. Bam, there it was! Which is surprising because this is major news but let’s not forget that Nintendo themselves announced and gave the release date for Paper Mario last year on Twitter as well. Clearly they’re not afraid of making major announcements just through social media with none of the prepackaged video presentations we’ve come to expect.

The Diamond and Pearl release dates weren’t the only big news that the Pokemon Twitter account broke this morning. Surprisingly also given a release date was Pokemon Legends: Arceus, which will come out just 60 days after the Diamond and Pearl remakes. This might be surprising for some fans, including myself, as I was sure they were giving us an early look at Fall 2022’s major title. Pokemon Legends: Arceus will drop on January 28th, 2022.

With Nintendo and the Pokemon Company just dropping major release dates like it is nothing, I do have to wonder what they have in-store for E3 in just two weeks time. We already know Nintendo will have a direct focused on their Fall line-up of games, as they always do. But by choosing to reveal these release dates now rather than saving them? Could BOTW be released next March just in time for the Switch’s 5th anniversary?


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Report: New Final Fantasy Souls-Like In Development At Team Ninja


Posted on May 26, 2021 by Rae Michelle Richards

According to new reports the Final Fantasy franchise might be branching out in a slightly unexpected direction – the “souls” genre. Going from a party of casters, melee, healers and heroes to a single playable character is quite the departure from what we are used to from Final Fantasy. Sure the series has experimented with a three member setup (XIII) and even a two party setup (Lightning Returns) but the slower paced combat, potential focus on counters and expected difficulty spikes could mean the end result is something entirely unseen in the FF series.

News broke via Fanbyte two days ago that this souls-like title will be titled Final Fantasy: Origin, it is under development at Team Ninja and will be exclusive to the recently released PlayStation 5. Further details have also supposedly come to light via the R/GamingLeakSubreddit where it was revealed that the game will focus on the setting of the first Final Fantasy game from the NES – and a reminder that game didn’t have jobs, bahamut or even Chocobos – so there’s lots of room for new inclusions. Difficulty will apparently be dynamic, meaning that multiple difficulty settings will be offered from the outset. To top this all off, like the Ni-oh games before – a playable Alpha version of the game will be made available for fans to leave feedback before the game launches.

As with anything of this nature – unconfirmed rumours of in-development games in the weeks leading up to E3, take it all with a grain of salt. The fact that other outlets, with much more reach inside of development studios, and other insiders are corroborating this story means there is probably something to it.

E3 will be held on June 12th through the 15th as an online only event. Square Enix will be holding their own presentation showcase during that time.

Source: IGN


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Real Time Strategy and FPS Collide In Eximus: Seize The Frontlines


Posted on February 22, 2021 by Rae Michelle Richards

The overlap between FPS fans and Real Time Strategy addicts must be larger than I expected given that Eximus: Seize The Frontlines is the second game I’ve seen in recent months try to blend the close quarters action of FPS games with the macro-view of strategy titles. Is this actually a new fusion genre none had told me about before?

Eximus: Seize The Frontlines is an online focused FPS/RTS hybrid that has one player fulfil the role of “commander” – building structures, managing resources and supporting troops while a platoon of up to 5 other players handle the battle on the ground using high tech mech suits. Unlike other games that adapt a 4 vs. 1 multiplayer scenario (see Dead by Daylight) Eximus is more like 1 + a squad of 5 working together to accomplish objectives. It all certainly sounds like an enticing premise.

The game was previously in Steam Early Access but was pulled from the store last fall while the developers worked on completing the game. All that work must be coming together because it was announced today that Eximus will ship version 1.0 as a fully released game on March 16th 2021.

I haven’t had the chance to play this game yet, as I honestly just found out it existed today and the game is currently not available for purchase. However, if the action presented in these official GIFs and trailer match the moment to moment experience – this could be a sleeper hit for sure, especially since the RTS scene doesn’t see much new action nowadays.

 


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The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD Releases This July


Posted on February 18, 2021 by Rae Michelle Richards

A beloved game in The Legend of Zelda series is coming to Nintendo Switch this summer and it is not exactly as some fans had hoped, but still looks absolutely wonderful.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has been remastered for HD docked and portable play on the Nintendo Switch. Whether a returning veteran or experiencing this gem from 2011 for the first time – Skyward Sword is one of the best games in the franchise and my personal choice for best narrative told across the entire franchise.

The Switch version of course brings new high fidelity graphics but that’s not the only improvement – for the first time (officially, it’s been possible on emulators for years) Skyward Sword will be playable using a traditional controller or a Switch/Switch Lite in handheld mode. The original release required the Nintendo Wii MotionPlus accessory and motion controls were mandatory. With the HD remaster, sword swings can be mapped to an analogue stick.

While it’s not an HD collection like we got for the recent Mario anniversary, Skyward Sword looks wonderful in HD and I can’t wait to revisit it again! 


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Splatoon 3 Splashes On To Switch In 2022


Posted on February 18, 2021 by Rae Michelle Richards

Nintendo’s online focused team-based ink shooter, Splatoon, returns next year with the announcement of a surprise third entry.

Announced during today’s jam packed Nintendo Direct, Splatoon 3 takes your Squid/Kid adventures to a new place – the post apocalyptic world of The Splatlands.  There your customized Inkling will do battle against others hardened by whatever catastrophic event has occurred as you become accustomed to your new surroundings in the city of Splatsville.

In terms of new features – details are light, given that the game is at least a year away if not more. Shown during the new trailer is a revamped take on customization – gone is Inkling gender, replaced with a more free form appearance options. Let’s not also forgot the new companion, your “little buddy”, oh and a brand new weapon a the Ink Bow!

Other details are almost non-existent, given that Splatoon 3 is at least 12 – 18 months from release and Nintendo doesn’t really dive deep into their games until a couple months before release. 

Splatoon 2 was revealed alongside the Nintendo Switch in 2016, held a weekend stress test during the launch month of the console and released in the Summer of 2017.  Support for Splatoon 2 – that is major updates and additions ended with version 5.0 in July 2019.

Check out the trailer and several HD screen grabs:


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