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:


Advance Wars Inspired ‘Tiny Metal’ Gets a Sequel

Posted on July 16, 2019 by Rae Michelle Richards

Nintendo might not have published an Advanced Wars title in 11 years but that hasn’t stopped the developers at Area 35 from picking up the flag and marching towards their objective of bringing turn based portable warfare into the modern era. Just over a year and a half after releasing the first Tiny Metal, their back with Tiny Metal: Full Metal Rumble on Nintendo Switch and Windows PC.

Three modes of play are available in the full version of Tiny Metal: Full Metal Rumble – Campaign which features over 39 missions to test your skill against. Skirmish, which allow commanders to set their own difficulty and other conditions with 77 additional challenges to tackle. Lastly is the Skirmish mode which allow two commanders to go head to head in 1 Vs. 1 tactical battles.

A demo version of Tiny Metal: Full Metal Rumble is also available on the Nintendo E-Shop in addition to the full game. The demo version will allow you to try out the first 3 Campaign missions as well as 2 maps from the Skirmish mod, which includes a demo-exclusive unit.

Tiny Metal: Full Metal Rumble is priced at $14.99 USD.


Final Splatfest and Major Game Update For Splatoon Is Coming

Posted on June 9, 2019 by Rae Michelle Richards

For the past two summers Squid Kids from all around the world have been able to beat the heat by partaking in Turf Wars on Switch. As we approach the second anniversary of Splatoon 2, Nintendo has announced the final Splatfest for the game alongside a “version 5.0” update which will bring the ability for players to host their own private Splatfests with their friends. While this marks the end of development of new content for Splatoon, it doesn’t mean that the online Turf Wars have to stop any time soon.

“Chaos VS Order” will be the final contest that Inklings and Octolings will decide by throwing down online. Make sure that July 18th – 21st is open on your calendar because that’s when then final concert in Inkopolis takes place. Dim the lights, chose your side and make sure to take in the final iteration of Shifty Station – also includes in the playlist will be every previous configuration will used in previous Splatfests during the weekend of the 21st!

Version 5.0 brings with it the ability for party hosts to create a Turf War Splatfests. All of the variations of Shifty Stations created by Nintendo will be selectable. It’s not known at this time of custom Splatfest “VS” themes will be supported – although I can certainly see why this may not be the case – it wouldn’t take long for someone to make something truly nasty and we know what happened when the Super Smash Bros level creator came online. Perhaps Nintendo will have a pre-defined dictionary of terms for custom Splatfests?

Are you sad that the development of new content for Splatoon 2 is coming to an end? Let us know in the comments.



Report: Blizzard Cancels Starcraft Shooter To Focus On Overwatch Sequel

Posted on June 8, 2019 by Rae Michelle Richards

Blizzard Entertainment is notoriously secretive when it comes to their in-development projects but that didn’t stop gaming journalist sleuth Jason Schreier of Kotaku unearthing that the Anaheim based developer halted work on the yet another Starcraft shooter (RIP Ghost) to move developers onto either a continuation or spin-off title set in the Overwatch Universe currently called “Overwatch 2”.

Project Ares was the code name given to this potential Starcraft third person shooter helmed by veteran developer Dustin Browder. A playable build of the game reportedly cast the player as a Terran Marine who could “gun down Zerg monsters” but future plans for the title included the ability to potentially play as the Zerg, but development was slow and it’s not known if this milestone was ever reached. Project Ares has been in active development for at least two years and it’s sudden cancellation only occurred a couple of weeks ago.

With developers moved onto what is essentially “the next Overwatch title” – what does that game look like? It’s been compared to Valve’s Left for Dead Games By Schreier’s sources, meaning that it has is most likely not a single player game but something closer to the smaller scale P.V.E modes released every spring for the game’s anniversary event. Imagine a scenario where teams of 4 Overwatch members have to defeat waves of Talon Robots – a likely event were Blizzard to show us more of the non PVP aspects of Overwatch. Reportedly Overwatch 2, the still unannounced Diablo 4 and the cancelled Starcraft project all run on the same engine – a change for Blizzard which with the exclusion of Starcraft II and Heroes of the Storm generally have different engines for each major franchise.

The public didn’t hear about the former Project Titan (which would be later reworked into Overwatch) very much at all while it was in active development. Aside from the odd omission of the projects existence during investor calls (and to be honest none of us listen to those) – Titan was spoken about mostly by fans as speculation and nothing more.

Blizzard actually did issue a vague statement to Kotaku which read in part:

“We always have people working on different ideas behind the scenes – including on multiple projects right now – but the reason we tend not to discuss them publicly is because anything can happen over the course of development.”



Major Changes For Destiny 2 As Bungie Prepares To Go Free To Play

Posted on June 7, 2019 by Rae Michelle Richards

It’s been a couple months now since Bungie and Activision parted ways with the conclusion of the publishers involvement with the Destiny franchise. In a live stream held yesterday Bungie announced what the future has in store for the two year old shooter, the announcement of a new distribution platform for the game, cross-save functionality and even the next expansion. There is a lot to take in!

Destiny 2 will be jumping ship from the Battle.net launcher and making a home for itself on Valve’s Steam service starting this September. A process will presumably be in place by then to allow existing owners who currently use the Battle.net launcher to play the game to transition to Steam. It’s not clear at this point in time whether or not the Steam version will be mandatory or if the Battle.net version will continue to be updated.

Alongside this shift to Steam will be the release of Destiny: New Light, a free to play version of Destiny 2 which includes the 2017 base game, both the Warmind and Curse of Osiris DLC add-ons. This will give new guardians access to all of the Year One content that previously cost $$. Last year’s Destiny 2: Forsaken expansion will not be included on the free offerings but will instead be a separate purchase.

Cross-save functionality (not to be confused with Cross Play functionality) will also be coming to Destiny 2 in the September update. This means that if you play on multiple platforms (Xbox, PC or PS4) you’ll be able to carry up to 3 characters forward into this new system and will be able to logon to any supported platform and continue to play. This also means that previously PlayStation Exclusive gear and strikes will be available on all platforms. It is not yet known if you’ll need to buy separate expansion licenses per platform at this time.

Lastly, and perhaps most exciting for existing players is the announcement of the next Destiny 2 expansion, Shadowkeep. In breaking what has been a Destiny tradition for the entire entire life of the franchise – Shadowkeep will not require the purchase of all previous DLCs. Players will be able to jump right into this latest adventure on the moon without the Forsaken or Forsaken annual pass. Speaking of the annual passes – there doesn’t seem to be one for Year 3 of Destiny 2

Source: PC Gamer


Gear Club 2 To Receive 1.4 Update and New DLC

Posted on June 6, 2019 by Rae Michelle Richards

Simulation racing title Gear Club Unlimited 2 is set to receive three band new DLC packs alongside a brand new game version update. One of these new DLC packs is completely free and features the Ford Mustang GT 2015 and the Dodge Charger Shark Fin. Two additional paid packs are also coming – the “Arrow Pack” and the “Checker Pack”.

Gear Club Unlimited 2 version 1.4 includes brand new radio stations, a brand new “bumper” camera angle option, 16 different horn styles to customize your favourite vehicle. This update also includes changes to A.I car trajectory to make them feel more responsive.

All and all this seems like a solid update to Eden Game’s current racing title: I wouldn’t want to use the police car, even in a simulated race because fuck the police – why would I want to ride around in a symbol of systemic oppression? Changes to the game’s A.I system seem like a good choice, given that in racing games sometimes A.I can become predictable after so many hundreds of races.

Below are the official details and trailer for the update as provided by Eden Games PR. A copy of Gear Club 2 was also provided for Editorial Purposes.

New features:

• New camera view:

On top of the three current camera angles available in the game, discover the new breathtaking “bumper” view, specially added in this update for a more immersive driving experience!

• New radio stations:

Many players requested more variety in the soundtrack and we heard them! It will now be possible to listen to the radio and even to change it while racing. Two radios are also added to the game; Rock and Electro, alongside a third one called Shuffle, which is a mix of both!

• New horn feature:

Discover more details on the new DLCs below:

◦ Free Pack (these two cars will be added to the garage for free)
▪ Dodge Challenger Shark Fin
▪ Ford Mustang GT 2015 GT 300

◦ Arrows Pack (paid DLC)
▪ Ford Mustang Police
▪ Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione Ahoy
▪ Jaguar F-Type R Elite GTS
▪ Stickers Board “Arrows”

◦ Pack Checker (paid DLC)
▪ BMW M4 Coupe Wave
▪ Dodge Challenger Menthol Green
▪ Lotus Exige S English Racing
▪ Stickers Board “Checker”


Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward Free Until Launch of Shadowbringers

Posted on May 2, 2019 by Rae Michelle Richards

FFXIV’s first expansion Heavensward was released back in 2015 but if you haven’t experienced the story of the city state of Ishgard, the Dragonsong War and a Warrior of Light on the run then now you can by claiming a copy of the expansion on either PC or PlayStation 4 up to a day before Shadowbringers launches in Early Access on June 28th.

In order to begin adventures in Ishgard players will need to clear the level 50 Main Story Quest between 2.0 (A Realm Reborn) and 2.55 (Before The Fall). To qualify for a free copy of Heavensward players must have the Final Fantasy XIV Starter Edition on either Windows PC or PlayStation 4. Also it appears that this offer doesn’t extend to the Steam version of XIV.

Reka Ai’a and her companions explore Azys Lla

Despite being 4 years old, Heavensward adds a lot of content that extends XIV’s gameplay in a number of ways that provides Warriors of Light with months, if not years of playable content including:

  • Main Scenario Expansion (Heavensward Base Story 3.0 + 3.X Patches)
  • Three New Jobs – Machinist, Astrologian and Dark Knight.
  • Increased level cap to 60 for all DOW / DOM / DOH / DOL Jobs.
  • Open World Content: The Diadem (although it does require quite a bit of organization to play this content nowadays.)
  • Seven new trials: Ravana, Bismark, Thordin, Sephirot, Sophia, Zurvan and Nidhogg. Plus each trial also has an extreme variant that can reward really sparkly bird mounts.
  • Six new zones: Foundation / Pillars (Ishgard), The Churning Mists, The Dravanian Hinterlands, The Dravanian Forelands, Azys Lla and Ideshire.
  • 12 Eight Person Raids – Alexander.
  • 3 Twenty Four Person Raids – The Shadow of Mach Series -“The Weeping City”, “Dun Scaithe” and “The Void Ark”.

Ozma, one of the most impressive bosses of the 24 person raid series.

I thoroughly enjoyed FFXIV: Heavansward and often find myself returning to its locations quite often. This is true for normal gameplay, whether doing the Alexander Raids or various trials while levelling alt jobs or to collecting rare crafting materials to fashion the shiny primal weapons. Heavenswards’ areas have also been a sort of inspiration for my character as well, as she’s a Machinist, you can often find her hanging out at the Skysteel Manufactury during RP time or just downtime in general.

Source: FFXIV Official Twitter


Review: Croixleur Sigma On Nintendo Switch

Posted on March 29, 2019 by Rae Michelle Richards

Croixleur Sigma is a fast paced wave based beat’em up originally developed by Souvnir Cir and it now finds its way onto Nintendo Switch with a digital release on the E-Shop thanks to publisher Active Game Media. Having previously played Croixleur Sigma on PC at various game conferences in 2016 and on my own personal PlayStation Vita two years ago, I was well versed in this short but enjoyable arcade-like anime action game before even booting it up on my Switch. If juggling enemies in the air, large scores and extended combos are your jam then you’ll probably eat Croileur Sigma up. A certain demon hunter owned by Capcom (*cough* Dante *cough*) might be missing in action on Switch, but hopefully the bright cast of Croixleur Sigma can help fill that hack n’ slash hole missing in your library.

Croixleur’s narrative is centred on Lucrezia Visconti and her rivalry with fellow Magical Knight academy student Francesca Storaro as the two venture up the many floors of a mysterious tour. One of the most enjoyable parts of the short story campaign, which can be completed in a little under half an hour, is the banter between Francesca and Lucrezia. Clearly the pair of them have it out for one another but it’s never really comes across as a mean spirited rivalry, but more as a contest between close friends who have may have let the stakes get to them. The game features some really well crafted digitally painted character sprites that help express Lucrezia and Francesca’s mood throughout the brief story and all of their interactions are fully voiced in Japanese with English subtitles.

Combat in Croixleur Sigma is fast paced, as the game’s marketing materials and website often remind. Each floor of the gigantic tower is filled with waves of baddies that want nothing more than to stop your ascent. To deal with these increasingly difficult monstrosities Lucrezia & Co have a wide arrangement of handheld weapons and special attacks to thwart their foes. The now ubiquitous Heavy and Light attacks will get most button mashers through the early stages of the campaign but where Croixleur really shines is its weapon variation and special abilities. Every time you enter the tower your character is able to equip four separate special magical weapons – a broadsword, a sword made of flame, a mace etc. Each weapon has the same basic and heavy attacks, and about the same range, but weapon has its own unique special attack which is only available after building up successive chains of attacks. Special attacks can turn the tide of a given stage – whether that’s unleashing a large spin attack (think Link from The Legend of Zelda) or slamming down from the air with a great sword unleashing a wave of shock energy – these special attacks will almost certainly obliterate anything around you.

Outside of the main story campaign Croixleur Sigma offers 2 additional characters to unlock outside of Lucrezia and Francesca – each of the 4 girls have their strengths and weaknesses, encouraging experienced players to try repeat throughways. Extra modes available upon booting up the game include a High Score challenge that pits a fighter of your choice against waves of baddies with a three minute time limit, Survival Mode which is basically an endless gauntlet of encounters until your chosen heroine has run out of health and a training mode to help new players hone their skills before taking on some of the tougher extras. Exclusive to the console release, aside from the 2 extra characters added since the 2014 PC Release, as an epilogue story that continues Lucrezia and Francesca’s rivalry and fills in the gaps in the story after their adventure in the tower.

It’d be a missed opportunity to not mention the character customization that is possible thanks to the Equipment System. During battle enemies will drop silver and gold coins, which are persistent between sessions and even game modes. Earn enough of both coins and you can dress your favourite magical girl with a set of cat ears, a devil tail, an angel halo, multiple types of sunglasses and that’s just the start. In total there are 38 different accessories to collection, and while yes a lot of them fall into multiple anime stereotypes, I found them to be both adorable and a reason to go for just one more run.  Fashion isn’t the only reason to customize your character, each peace of equipment purchased has a special property to aid you in battle – whether that’s a wide radius vacuum effect to suck up gold/silver coins, invincibility frames, the ability to revive once if killed or faster attack speed – they all help accomplish the goal of keeping combat flowing smoothly.

Whether Croixleur Sigma is worth your time on Nintendo Switch will probably come down to a few factors: Clearly this game is aimed at players who are alright with repeating content over and over. Unlocking all 20 weapons, 4 characters, getting a high score in the challenge mode and unlocking all 40 achievements is a tall order but Croixleur isn’t going to suddenly thrpw brand new mechanics, twists and turns within its established game-play formula or god-like boss monsters at you as you progress. Having every weapon unlocked will allow you to change up strategies when it comes to special move utilization but it’s not going fundamentally change how the game is played: at the end of the day its all about racking up huge combos. Secondly, I feel like the decision whether or not to play Croixleur Sigma is going to comedown with whether or not you’ve played it on another console or PC. Local Co-Op is supported on all platforms but this game hasn’t really had accessible local Co-Op aside from wireless play on the Vita and the Joy-Cons by their nature make co-op beat’em up sessions as easy as sliding them off the system and popping up the kickstand.

Croixleur Sigma’s publisher provided a review copy to us.




Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers Confirmed To Be a World Hopping Adventure

Posted on March 23, 2019 by Rae Michelle Richards

Last night Final Fantasy XIV: Online Producer & Director Naoki Yoshida took to the main stage in front of 15,000 in-person attendees and the world via livestream to reveal even more information about the MMO’s third expansion, Shadowbringers. Confirmed during the 90 minute presentation were the location for the expansion, the highly rumoured Dancer job, several major cities to be featured in Shadowbringers, not one but two playable races and finally the theme for the 8-person end game raids.

A World Flooded By Light: The First Shard

Future Warriors of Darkness will be headed to a region known as Novrandt but that players will better know as the First Shard, the reflection of Hydaelym where Heavenwards Warriors of Darkness came from. It is a world of perpetual daylight, where “the sun” never sets due to the overwhelming imbalance of the Light aspect Aether that has enveloped Novarandt.  During the MSQ we’ll have to restore the aetherial balance, welcome Darkness back to the First Shard and bring night upon the Shard for the first time in who knows how long.

Now that we know that The First is where our characters will land in 5.0, it also confirms that the previously revealed zones of Il Mheg, The Rak’tika Greatwood and Amh Araeng are not on the Source world where the Warrior of Light originates. Yesterday’s KeyNote address revealed an additional area called “Lakeland” which is where our adventures on The First Shard will begin. If you’re looking at the architecture featured within the city screenshots in this article and feel that they are familiar, don’t be alarmed, the designs take a lot of influence from previously revealed FFXIV concept videos and even the original 1.0 release!

Civilization within The First Shard is nothing like that of Hydaelyn. Facing the pressure of a looming Calamity of Light that could wipe out the entire Shard, the people of The First struggle to survive within two large city states that act as their last bastion.

Known city locations include:

The Crystarium – Home to the First Shard’s Crystal Tower, The Crystarium takes a lot of design cues from a 2005 tech demo called “Rapture” and 1.0 Limsa. Surprisingly, this area was also featured a piece of concept art released for the Red Mage job in 2017.

Eulmore – An alternate version Ul Dah, this brightly coloured purple & yellow city houses the affluent and politically powerful who are sheltered from the horrors of the Calamity of Light while the majority of the population live in shambles outside of the city.

New Job – Dancer

Previous leaks pointed to Dancer being the new job revealed for Shadowbringers and this turned out to be 100% correct. While many in the community expected Dancer to be a healer, similar to how they were in Final Fantasy XI, given XIV’s delicate healer balance and how gameplay mechanics for the role alternate between shielding / healing, it does make more sense for Dancer to be a DPS. Dancer will join Bard and Machinist in the category of Ranged DPS, it will utilize “throwing weapons” and like the previously revealed GunBreaker will start at level 60.

Raid Series: “Eden”

A new raid series was announced for the expected 8 person raids that are one of the key features of the “even numbered” patches (5.0, 5.2, 5.4). Previously we ‘ve got raids for The Binding Coil of Bahamut, Alexander and The Bend of Time: Omega and now we’ll be visiting “The Garden of Hope: Eden”. Right now we don’t have much to go on in terms of tangible story details or even the bosses that we will be encountering. It was revealed that guest creator Testsuya Nomura (Final Fantasy VII:R, Final Fantasy Versus XIII, Kingdom Hearts) will be designing an original character for the Eden series of raids alongside the monster designs.

As for Gaia (Nomura’s character) – well she has a very intricate outfit (as to be expected of Nomura), that I instantly want as a glamour, and weilds a really big hammer.  As fellow FFXIV players know – there isn’t a “hammer job” within XIV currently, nor has one been announced. The closest we’ve ever come is the “Magitek Hammer” that villain turned comedy relief Nero Tol Scaeva uses in combat, so chances are we won’t be getting a hammer job any time soon.

New Race – Hrothgar

Viera aren’t the only new race that will come with the release of Final Fantasy XIV 5.0: Shadowbringers. Revealed during the Keynote, a new male exclusive race known as the “Hrothgar” will make their presence known across Hydaelyn and beyond. Featuring a large bulky stature, similar in size it appears to the Roegadyn, and with more beastly features than the existing Miqo – the Hrothgar bring a more feral and animal like appearance to the denizens of FFXIV’s world.

It should be noted that the Hrothgar will be gender locked to males only while the bunny-like Viera are locked to female only. Gender locking races is something that the 2010 version of Final Fantasy XIV did with Female Only Miqo and Male Only Roegadyn before Yoshida’s team reversed the decision with the release of A Realm Reborn.

Speaking about the races of Hydaelyn and The First, all of the races that we’ve come to know actually have different names on The First, since both societies have evolved since the split. For example the Hyur are known as the Humes while the Miqo are known as the Mystel. Oh, and the Lalafel are the First Shard’s Dwarves – who are also a Beast Tribe.

My Thoughts

As longtime player of Final Fantasy XIV who started in Patch 2.3 it is always exciting to see where we will be going with the major content updates that expansion launches bring. I am really excited and pleased with the choice of The First Shard as the location for Shadowbringers. All of the zones revealed thus far feature really vibrant colour pallets and oh my gosh – all of those early development and 1.x callbacks within the city designs. I never got to experience the pre-calamity version of Eorzea but FFXIV’s lore, Main Scenario Quests and world is something that has had a huge impact on not just myself but family and friends. My spouse and I always look forward to “patch day” when we have new trails, raids and main story content to make our way through and digest. As a Machinist Main I personally can’t wait wait for the job changes, 4.x MCH really solidified that it’s my favourite role – utilizing turrets, flamethrowers and jumping around feels awesome. I’m personally disappointed with the decision to gender lock the two new races, especially since this is something Yoshida’s team has been working to move away from all the way back in ARR. It won’t personally affect my enjoyment of Shadowbringers since Reka is a Miqo and I’d never use a fantasia on her, but other players being upset about the gender locking is understandable.

Before making our journey to The First Shard several patches are expected between now and the official July 2nd release. 4.56 will launch this coming Tuesday to wrap up the Main Scenario Quests until Shadowbringers launches. 4.57 will bring the “World Visit System” allowing Warriors of Light to visit any world on their datacenters, it will also bring a reshuffle of the North American and European servers – including my home of Balmung.

Further details about Shadowbringers, combat changes, the Dancer job and The First are expected to be revealed later this weekend throughout the Japanese Fanfest and at various Media Tours in North America, Europe and Japan sometime in mid-May 2019.

Reka Ai’a of Balmung


Blazblue Cross Tag Battle On Nintendo Switch Is Basically Dead, Will New DLC Revive it?

Posted on January 24, 2019 by Rae Michelle Richards

Last year brought a number of brand new indie and AAA fighting games to fruition. Alongside big names like Final Fantasy Dissidia NT entering the console arena for the first time and Soul Calibur VI teaming up with Square Enix, Arc System Works launched their own dream crossover title, Blazblue: Cross Team Battle last June.  During the summer months – after launch – it felt like CTB was sure to continue to foster a healthy community and would be a game that had potential to not just be a flash in the pan. When your roster spans Rooster Teeth’s RBWY franchise, Atlus’ Persona series, Arc System Works own Blazblue franchise and with newcomers from the criminally underappreciated Under Night In-Birth series, how could things go wrong?

Last night I loaded up BBTAG for the first time in a few months to try out the last DLC Pack that I finally got around to purchasing. After playing around with the katana-wielding Yuzuriha in a handful of offline VS matches, I went online to adjust my profile and pick up a few icons. While connected I decided to check the lobbies and surprisingly there were literally zero people playing online last night around 11 PM MST.  A fighting game’s ranked or competitive scene dying, I can see, it takes developer support and community interest to keep tournaments and the like going. But even the dozens of casual lobbies were empty. Things were a little better this evening, but not by much, with a grand total of 12 people in one casual lobby.

So what are some factors that might have worked against Blazblue: Cross Tag Battle to cause it to die within six months? I don’t have the exact answer but here are a few ideas:

  1. Poorly Received DLC Model BBTag shipped with two versions – a full priced $69.99 USD release that included the complete 40 character roster or a $49.99 USD version that unlocked only half of the fighters. Arc System Works rolled out 3 free RWBY characters over the course of early summer until a major update hit at the end of August that unlocked the remaining DLC characters. Despite not being released for a full two months after launch, criticism of the launch line-up was swift due to the fact that the majority of the sprites, announcers, and movesets were datamined almost immediately.
  2. Nintendo Online Requirement –  It’s much easier for folks to hop online and play the various free to play titles available on Switch than it is to fork over $20 USD for the now mandatory online subscription. Yes, Online on other platforms also requires a sub fee but for the first three months of its life, anyone who owned Cross Tag Battle could hop on battle online without a paywall.
  3. Lack of Developer Support – Everything looked a lot brighter when the last of the DLC characters were revealed in August. Unloading the remainder of the roster in one big mega patch was a bit of a gamble after the slow drip-feed leading up to the announcement. While BBTag’s add-on characters were significantly cheaper than say Capcoms ($6.99 for 3 Characters Vs. $39.99 CDN for the current SFV Season Pass), Arc didn’t do much to make the mega patch an event. A press release was sent out, we covered it, the community loved it and then…. that was everything we’ve heard about Blazblue Cross until the end of the year….
  4. The Smash Factor – When talking about 2018 fighting games, I can’t ignore the fact that Nintendo released one of its most anticipated games right as the year was coming to a close. Packing in an impressive roster of 75 characters, all of whom come with the game, a full single-player campaign, and marketing presence that Blazblue: Cross Tag Battle could never hope to match- it is a sound argument that some of BBTag’s community have simply moved over to Smash for the time being.

“What’s Next?” – As a community, we simply do not know. Back during the release stream for the last two character packs in August 2018, Arc posted the above image on their screens both on stream and at the event – seeming to tease a fifth “fate” or franchise to join the fray. Since then we’ve heard absolutely nothing but “Anime FGC News” on Twitter recently reported that something would be announced in February. EVO 2019 isn’t until August, so lets all hope that Blazblue Cross Tag Battle gets an entire second season of additional characters – with a fifth franchise there is so much more potential.


Fortnite Brings Back Popular LTMS With ‘The 14 Days of Fortnite’

Posted on December 18, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

14 Days of Fortnite

Epic Games will be rotating classic, brand new and fan favorite Limited Time Modes in both the individual and team varieties every 48 and 24 hours respectively from December 19th until Jan 1st. We don’t exactly know what modes will return but honestly I’m hoping for Team Terror, Squad Terror and Gliding 50s returning during this event. The “terror” series of LTMS was honestly the most fun I had in the game during Season 6 – the addition of PVE zombies made it feel like a slice of STW crossed over into BR. Gliding 50s is a regular event at this point, so it is sure to return.

From the Patch Notes:

The 14 Days of Fortnite event will feature both new and returning LTMs. Large team modes switch every two days and small team modes rotate every 24 hours.

Starting December 19, log in each day at 9 AM ET(1400 UTC) to find out which modes are available to explore. Let us know which LTM is your favorite on our social channels!

New Additions To Creative Mode

Season 7’s Creative Mode gets a whole set of new pre-fabs that give the creative minded builders among us a touch of Winter Wonder with the “Winter Village” set.

From the Patch Notes:


  • Added 4 new Winter Islands –
    • Selectable from the player Rift on the starter island
  • Players now have 2 total “The Block” Islands instead of 1.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed multiple issues with Island Rift Portals not behaving as expected.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause Featured Island Rift Portals not functioning when more than 8 players joined a server.
  • Fixed player animation issues occurring after the “Reset Island” feature is used.
  • Fixed an issue that allowed players to build above the height limit, causing them to become stuck.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause a visiting player to lose the ability to select a Rift location if they leave and return to a host’s server.
  • Fixed issues with editing structures and placing Traps on other player’s Islands.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause Switch players to be removed from a server when one or more players max out their available Island memory

Save The World – Winter Llamas + Survival Mode

For players who enjoy the P.V.E exerpience of Save The World Mode – this latest update doesn’t disappoint. For the holidays Epic Games have added a brand new survival mode called “A Long Winter Night”. During Frostnite players will have to keep a burner alight so that they stay warm while fending off increasing waves of husks and other frozen baddies.  During this brand new mode players will earn double the amount of resources they normally due from most sources. Also you don’t keep the items you’re crafting to survive so legendary schematics are recommended for this new experience. Surviving long enough in Frostnite will reward “Winter Tickets” which can be traded in for a chance at event exclusive heroes.

From the Patch Notes:

Missions + Systems

  • Frostnite is a new experience in 7.10, testing player’s survival in a long winter night.
    • Frostnite introduces a new objective. Keep the Burner filled with scavenged BluGlo. When it runs out, so does the heat. That means a whole bunch of frozen Heroes.
    • As the burner health decreases the Storm Shield shrinks, so keep that thing filled!
    • Survive as long as you can without your gear or resources, using your survival skills, schematics, and basic starting weapons.
      • Get double the resources from searching and harvesting objects.
      • Watch for Airdrops between waves for some much-needed supplies.
      • You don’t keep any weapons or traps when the experience concludes, so use those Legendary weapons and traps as if your life depends on it!
    • Keep an eye out for the Krampus Smashers who dwell in these cold regions. They’re dangerous but drop some much needed BluGlo.
    • When a player is knocked out they enter spectator mode until the remaining players complete the wave.
    • The longer you survive the more Snowflake Tickets you will earn! Tickets can be spent on the new Winter Llama.
    • Added several event quests that can be completed by playing Frostnite.
    • Be on the lookout for weekly challenges in the coming weeks!




Check Out The First Hour of Super Smash Bros Ultimate’s World of Light

Posted on December 7, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

Today is the release of Super Smash Bros Ultimate for the Nintendo Switch! The last major release from Nintendo for the year crams in every playable character from previous entries of Smash, a roster of new challengers like Simon Belmont (Castlevania), K-Rool and most importantly an all-new single-player experience called The World of Light. Long time Smash fans might remember that after the cutscenes for Brawl were posted online before release, Project SORA decided to omit a traditional single-player campaign from Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS.

2018’s Ultimate marks the return of Single Player and earlier today Kelesti and I streamed the first hour of The World of Light on Twitch. Watch below as we guide the happiest puffball, Kirby, through the opening of this epic quest.  Reportedly WOL takes approximately between 20 – 30 hours to complete – and of course, you can unlock a good chunk of the 70+ fighters by completing the single-player campaign. WOL also included RPG elements in the form of “spirits” which can be upgraded and grant the player unique bonuses. With spirits from across the various eras of Nintendo and all of the 3rd party games – there is a lot to collect.

Watch the first hour below:


SEGA Does What Nintenwon’t With SEGA Genesis Classics

Posted on November 28, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

The rivalry between Nintendo and SEGA that was forged in the crucible of 90s  video game marketing has been so exhaustively covered that there are multiple books about the subject (personally I’m partial to “How Nintendo Conquered America” and “Service Games” myself). Twenty plus years onward game companies are still trying just as hard to sell us their products, yes the whole Sonic Vs. Mario thing was entirely corporate marketing to sell a product, “system wars” at its’ core is absolute nonsense. Nintendo’s own Switch Console reveals two very different strategies when it comes to releasing classic titles and in my opinion SEGA is willing to do what Nintenwon’t. 

Studying The Classics

Retro gaming isn’t just the domain of lesser known emulators running on a PC these days, although emulation still remains a viable and valid way to enjoy older titles – they’ve long since found their way onto modern consoles with Nintendo’s Virtual Console service pioneering the idea all the way back in 2006. The packaging of older titles together onto a number of platforms has moved from solely the domain of hobbyists into the mainstream with the accessibility of platforms like Android and the digital distribution that has become the norm. With companies like SNK putting a large swath of their back catalog onto the E-shop and SEGA soon following suit with next week’s release of the Genesis Classics Collection, Nintendo’s three different models of distribution for classic games seem inadequate.  

Retro gaming collections are always a bit of gamble for players because due to the sheer volume of titles included there bound to be more than few that are simply mediocre or possibly complete unknowns. In the case of the upcoming Genesis Collection there are the well known standouts: Sonic 1 & Sonic 2, Eco: The Dolphin and Streets of Rage – all SEGA classics. It is doubtful that anyone is purchasing the SEGA Collection to simply play Super Thunder Blade or Vectorman, but for the few lesser known titles in these collections the amount of variety is impressive. Want to play an action platformer? Play any of the Sonic games. Love RPGs? Three Phantasy Star titles and Beyond Oasis have you covered. Want to play a classic side scrolling Beat ‘em up while on the way to work? Streets of Rage I through III are the games for you.   

Games Included In The Upcoming SEGA Genesis Classics Collection

  • Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle    
  • Alien Soldier    
  • Alien Storm    
  • Altered Beast    
  • Beyond Oasis    
  • Bio-Hazard Battle    
  • Bonanza Bros.  
  • Columns    
  • Columns III    
  • Comix Zone    
  • Crack Down    
  • Decap Attack    
  • Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine    
  • Dynamite Headdy    
  • Ecco the Dolphin    
  • Ecco: The Tides of Time    
  • Ecco Jr.   
  • ESWAT: City under Siege    
  • Eternal Champions    
  • Fatal Labyrinth    
  • Flicky   
  • Gain Ground    
  • Galaxy Force II   
  • Golden Axe    
  • Golden Axe II    
  • Golden Axe III    
  • Gunstar Heroes    
  • Kid Chameleon    
  • Landstalker    
  • Light Crusader    
  • Phantasy Star II    
  • Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom    
  • Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium    
  • Ristar    
  • Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi    
  • Shining Force    
  • Shining Force II    
  • Shining in the Darkness    
  • Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master   
  • Sonic the Hedgehog   
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2   
  • Sonic Spinball    
  • Sonic 3D Blast    
  • Space Harrier II    
  • Streets of Rage    
  • Streets of Rage 2    
  • Streets of Rage 3    
  • Super Thunder Blade    
  • Sword of Vermilion    
  • The Revenge of Shinobi    
  • ToeJam & Earl    
  • ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron    
  • Vectorman    
  • Vectorman 2    
  • Virtua Fighter 2    
  • Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair    
  • Wonder Boy in Monster World   

Retro Consoles Reborn

Like it’s release on other platforms, SEGA Genesis Collection’s presentation on the Nintendo Switch is a love letter to the early 90’s to mid 90’s gaming scene that birthed SEGA as the first  rival to Nintendo’s decade plus of domination in popular culture. Selecting which of the 50+ titles you’d like to play isn’t as simple as scrolling through a menu and selecting a game. Instead players are presented with a 3D snapshot of what a 90s teenagers room might have looked like if they’re were a total “SEGA Head”. Posters for Altered Beast and Golden Axe are hastily hung, with the edges curling. A small 13 inch-like CRT television blares static at the player with a shell of titles available to the immediate right. SEGA has taken a lot of care in capturing a very specific aesthetic when it comes to the SEGA Genesis Collection.

During my first few hours with the SEGA Genesis Collection I nostalgically flew through the opening few levels of Sonic The Hedgehog II – complete with A.I Tails sacrificing himself to the gods of speed over and over again. After clearing Chemical Plant Zone, Green Hill Zone and sadly after succumbing to the devilish hell waters of Chemical Plant Zone a few too many times I decided to switch things up a bit (heh!). Scrolling through the virtual bookshelf of games I settled upon Streets of Rage III, a game that I hadn’t played myself but was aware of – sort of. As the cartridge slide into the polygonal genesis and the small television went from static to the familiar SEGA logo, I couldn’t help but remember slipping SNES games from their plastic cases and swapping them out. For those of us who grew up during the 16-bit era or owned a Genesis / SNES, playing the SEGA Genesis Collection is a pleasant dose of nostalgia.

On the technical side SEGA Genesis Collection provides a number of modern conveniences and technical options that didn’t exist on the real SEGA Genesis. Some of these allow for multiple forms of pixel smoothing and up scaling to make the 16-bit experience shine on modern flat screen televisions. Supported pixel smoothing modes include bi-linear, EPX, HD4X and XDQ if those are appealing. For the less technically inclined the option to stretch the Genesis image to 16:9 full screen is also supported – or if you’re more of a purest 4:3 border-less is also available. For me the visual flair that drove home just how deep the emulation options SEGA has included was a virtual CRT television with adjustable viticulture and scan-lines. If you want to recreate the experience of playing the SEGA Genesis on a old, dying, CRT – you can do it here. Each of the 50 games included in the collection also support Quick Save and Quick Load with the flick of the Joy-Con’s joystick. All of the buttons are also completely remappable, something that would have been amazing to have 20 years ago.  Not included are any sort of Game Genie or Gameshark like cheat menus, with an officially supported emulator this robust it’s a bit of a missed opportunity to let player become completely over powered. All and all SEGA’s emulator works fantastically on Nintendo Switch with no noticeable slowdown and a ton of tweakable options to boot.

A Fragmented Legacy

When all is said and done, SEGA has outclassed Nintendo in terms of their classic offerings on Nintendo Switch with the impending release of just the SEGA Genesis Collection. While not every noteworthy SEGA Genesis or even cross-console release is contained within the small 1GB download, the technical features, presentation and sheer variety of titles is leagues ahead of Nintendo’s official offerings via the Nintendo Entertainment System app. Nintendo banked on the low price-point ($20 USD) and Netflix style addition of games over time to sweeten the deal when paid online was introduced earlier this Fall. What we got was a bare bones selection of NES games which have appeared on multiple iterations of the Virtual Console over the past decade+, but with new restrictions like not being able to play them offline after a week because the NES App has to phone home. Honestly, who is looking for classic games and is going to subscribe to Nintendo Online simply to play Baloon Fight for the 100th time?

SEGA took the time to curate a selection of their first party offerings from the 9 years of the Genesis’ life and offer up most of the essentials plus some cool extras. Allowing players to re-map controls, forward and rewind gameplay. tweak graphical smoothing settings and even bypass the technical limitations of the Genesis Hardware puts their offerings miles above Nintendo’s own and on par with the complete cabinet customization that SNK has been offering on their single title Arcade Archives releases since the Switch launch. Icing on the cake is SEGA’s ability to nail down the 90’s aesthic in the menu presentation and the inclusion of in-collection achievements for a selection of the titles available. Did we need two versions of Columns? Probably not, but what they delivered more than makes up for it.

Where does this leave Nintendo? Well most of their big name retro games either aren’t available on Switch because SNES and GBA compatibility hasn’t been confirmed. This means first party games like Super Metroid, Super Mario World, A Link to The Past and others are locked behind aging digital store fronts like the Wii U E-Shop and are not portable. Or trapped forever on a limited number of units of 3DS ambassador units, or lastly, set to be forever unavailable – like Ogre Battle (SNES), Final Fantasy 3 (SNES), Super Star Wars Trilogy (SNES), Clayfighter (SNES / Genesis) and a whole pile of Turbo Graphics 16 games -that will be lost when the Wii  E-Shop goes offline next January.


 [Sources: SEGA Font Via SEGA FONT GENERATOR | https://fontmeme.com/sega-font/
SEGA Vs Nintendo Image Via Youtube ]

SEGA of America provided Broken Joysticks with an advanced copy of the SEGA Genesis Collection for Nintendo Switch for editorial purposes.


Everything Talked About During The Final Fantasy XIV Fan Fest Q & A

Posted on November 19, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

Over the weekend Square Enix held the biennial Final Fantasy XIV Fan Fest in Las Vegas. Expectations were high, and honestly it feels like Naoki Yoshida and co delivered with the debut trailer for the game’s latest expansion ShadowBringers. On Saturday Final Fantasy XIV Producer / Director Noaki Yoshida sat down with Sound Director Masayoshi Soken along with a translator. The pair took questions from curious Warriors of Light who traveled from all around the (physical) world to ask the pair questions about Eorzea, its lore and what the future had in store.  Topics ranged from how the developers plan to balance Tank accessories, to the stability of servers and how they’ll bring new accessibility options to FFXIV.

Below is a complete transcript of the Q & A. Please note that this transcript was typed in real-time during the Q & A so there may be minor typographical errors and wording may not be exactly 100% accurate.

Please Look Forward To It!

Q: Lots of players need to use VPNs to connect without disconnecting it lag. Will be talking to ISPs about routing?

A: this is an issue we are constantly tackling. We strive to provide the best service but the ISPs are their own company and sometimes they are cooperative. Sometimes they push back about accommodating for our needs. We will continue to reach out, we are not giving up.

Q: I was curious, do you have any plans for realm vs realms open world PvP content with siege weapons?

A: To be honest we do not have any plans. We did hear that applause, we acknowledge that – no need to exert the opinion that we only want PVE content but thank you.

Going back to the original question, we don’t have plans currently – we have done tests where we take certain worlds where we turn on the PVP flag and have Grand Company battles in the public space. It is possible – if we were to do something like this we would still make it a PVP realm. We are continuing to monitor if this is content that is wanted.

The Warrior of Light / Darkness From The ShadowBringers Trailer

Q: it’s clear that time is progressing in the expansion trailers. We don’t know much time has passed. Since ARR how old have our characters grown?

A: That might not be something we want to touch upon. We don’t want to specifically answer it or make it canon so to speak.

That being said, since 1.0 and looking at Shadowbringers we do notice that our warrior of light has aged. We hope that you can imagine or speculate how this might be. Maybe it’s static party breaking apart and disbanding (referencing a reddit post).

Q: Everyone here appreciates all of the work that you do. We have Hilda who is half elezen half human. I’m Stormblood a half human half Raen is mentioned. Could we get to play as these types of character?

A: *laughs* That’s why I told you not to bring out those characters so many times! It’s Oda-san! I do believe we would have the possibility of more NPCs like that appearing but having them playable….

Say for example a half Miqo’te, half Roegadyn, what kind of voice would it have?

Sokken: I have no idea!

FFXIV Producer / Director Naoki Yoshida Presenting The FFXIV Fan Fest Keynote

Q: I’d like to thank you for making one of the greatest games I look forward to every day. My question is. – there are 15 classes in the game and rumours for more. In terms to glamour plates, can we have them linked to class or more plates? I could be a MNK or SMN but the weapon would be different but the gear stays the same.

A: I believe we do have three major tasks in regards to the Glamour Dresser and plates. We want to increase the number of sets you can store in the dresser. Another task we want to look into is the number of available plates. Third would be increasing the number of Locations where you can use these plates.

We do have these three tasks identified. We are still investigating which task to take on, and what’s feasible technically. Updates on this may come in spurts. In terms of your question you’re asking about tasks 2 – increasing the number of plates. Technically speaking increasing the number of plates and recognizing a job is possible. This brings up a great opportunity – by show of applause which would be your preference, we will name out the three tasks we are looking at.
Sound director please be the judge.

Sokken: Number 4 – I get less work.

Q: New races are exciting but I wanted to ask about the existing character models. Like Male elezen looks a little weird around the neck with some gear. Are there plans to polish up existing models?

A: Technically speaking it’s not impossible to do but say hypothetically speaking at the launch of Shadow Bringers you see Elezen have very compact neck, people familiar with existing characters would say “why would you do that!” It’s a very line. If it isn’t too much trouble – if you are experiencing these issues please post a screenshot on the official forums and we will look into it. Please mark the posts as (Fanfest QA).

Sokken: I have a request for the sound team and QA for this. Something I always get asked about the Waring Triad mounts. A lot of time people think ur music is the latter half of the battle but I The Sephorot case it is the music from the first half of the fight. People say “change it!” But if we do change it people will say “why did you change it!”.

Yoshida: If we did change it we wouldn’t have the first stage music would not be on the mounts. As a development team people say “you could just change it” – as a development team if it were that simple we would have already done it. Everything in the game has an ID and there are no more IDs.

Q: Thank you for making Ultomate and Savage. We love directing how the mechanics how they work. In Omega 3 Savage the big fists chose players in the light Partyand we can’t figure out how this works. Could you shed some light on this?

A: *everyone laughs* According to the person who handled this (Omega S3) – I had actually asked how are people being picked? And I think I remember them saying that may be a bug…

*crowd erupts in laughter*

Depending on which jobs make up the party there seems to be a pattern. I’m so sorry! Just to add to this – it is not a critical bug where you can’t clear the content. But we don’t want to go in there and make things worse, we are still in the monitoring phase. I’m so sorry!

The President of Square Enix comes on stage dressed as a Blue Mage during the reveal of the Job at Fanfest.

Q: Showing my friends End Game raids from HW and SB a lot of my friends love it but when they start they get to 2.X quest chains and they stop playing. Is there any plans to condense that so that maybe players who left will come back?

A: To be completely honest with you. I would love to go into ARR to rebuild the story quests – and there are a lot of quests in that narrative. We have looked into the quests in there and not cutting out quests but making adjustments to what is necessary to progress. When we evaluated previous quests in previous expansions we decided we would have to dedicate a lot of resource too. Now that we’re moving into development of Shadow Bringers it is something we could look into post 5.0 launch.

Q: In the trailer there for 5.0 it sounds like they’re saying “Warping Shadows” what are the lyrics?

Sokken: Warping Shadow! It’s me! It’s a secret!

Yoshida: I wanted to add if you hear a male vocals on a song it’s usually one of those two – Sokken or Koji Fox. The sounds of the gremlin are one of the sound design team.

Q: White Mage is very maligned right now and we won’t find out any changes until 5.0. Is the team looking into this a the Lillies and other mechanics make it difficult to raid. Scholar and AST are the main picks in Omega.

A: Let’s look at it from the timing perspective first. At the time of the release we will adjust each of the jobs within their role. With certain mechanics of these jobs – we heard a lot of feedback, certainly MCH, we will have to take a hard look at them for rework. I’m so sorry! We are going to look into making adjustments into the fundamental mechanics of these jobs – we’ll make sure to communicate this before the launch. Please look forward to more information as it is to come.

In terms of the immediate Patch 4.5 – we are looking at the numbers and deciding amongst the development team whether or not we make any adjustments to WHM or MNK. We will had a second live letter before the launch of the patch.

Blue Mage Strikes a Pose In The Reveal Trailer

Q: Thanks for adding Blue Mage to the game. I’m a big really fan of the instances content like the haunted house mini game. As an homage to FF7 could we get a haunted house game in the golden saucer?

Sokken: There’s this memory problem.

Yoshida: *contemplates* First and foremost letting us know you enjoy the Seasonal Event. Any sort of instanced content we try to add several of these within the year. We are at our maximum workload when we are introducing those within our upcoming Starlight Celebration this winter. Considering have that kind of content to the Gold Saucer we’d have to consider what do we do with the following years mini games and seasonal events. It is tough to consider these events from a development perspective. In the live letter we will be introducing two new games for the Gold Saucer later this afternoon!

Q: As a player with near nearsightedness, colorblindness i would like to thank you how accessible you’d made the game. Could it be possible to change the color of damage indicators for AOEs on the floor on the client side as they tend to bleed into the floor.

A: We have done our due diligence to research accessibility and that there are differences depending on the individual. If we were to have to adjustments on the client side – we would have to prepare different types of assets – in our accessibility settings we do have color adjustment to filters has that helped?

In this case but if you could post this on our forums. We would like to get information about what content and where you have trouble recognizing the AOEs so that we can consider the color variations and patterns we use on our floors within our content.

Q: Warriors has shifted to using crafted accessories that make only a few 100HP difference but our DMG can make the difference in the situation of a 1% wipe. Are there plans to address this?

A: This is an issue that has existed for a while. There are lots of issues why can’t revert to the calculation used in the Midas era. At that time Tanks had a lot of DPS and we felt this was an issue. From a game balance perspective despite being a tank role the damage dealt is increasingly close to that of a DPS role Job. ATK power is consistently high. At the same time in order to raise the damage dealt we do have to rely on crafters and there are players considering the raid drops being inferior to the crafted alternatives.


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