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.
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.
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!
Version 5.0 of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was released today which includes multiple updates, including the addition of Bango & Kazooie as a playable character.
Starting today, Banjo & Kazooie from the popular Banjo-Kazooie series of games are joining Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The new fighters are part of the third Challenger Pack DLC. In addition to the characters, players will also get to enjoy the Spiral Mountain stage, as well as music tracks from the classic games.
Also added as part of the update includes additional Mii Fighter Costumes added and a new “Home-Run Contest” mode. Special moves of Mii Fighters downloaded via the Shared Content feature are now customizable.
We also got the announement of another new DLC character for Challenger Pack #4 — Terry Bogard. Releasing in November, Terry Bogard from the classic SNK fighting franchise Fatal Fury joins Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as a playable fighter. Terry Bogard is part of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighters Pass, which includes five Challenger Packs as they are released, each with one DLC fighter, one stage and multiple music tracks.
It was also announced that even more DLC fighters beyond the five challenger packs are being developed.
One of the new Mii fighters costumers comes from Mysical Ninja starring Goemon. The Goemon costume is for the Swordfighter themed Mii. Mega Man is also represeneted with a Mii Fighter costume with Proto Man added to the Gunner Mii fighter. From MegaMan X (which was just announced in a collection from Capcom for later this year) comes Zero as another Swordfighter. Team Rocket from Pokémon is also represented for Brawler type Mii Fighters. They’re donning their black, grey, and red costumes. Representing some Nindies is Undertale with Sans (Gunner).
Mii Fighter costumes run about 99 cents and aren’t included in the Fighters Pass.
The Fighters Pass can be purchased at a suggested retail price of $24.99, with individual Challenge Packs available for $5.99 each.
Overwatch Legendary Edition was announced for Nintendo Switch today. Tracer, Mei, Hanzo and all the other colorful characters from massively popular online game Overwatch are coming to Nintendo Switch. The fast-paced multiplayer game is scheduled to hit Nintendo Switch on October 15th.
Pre-purchase in Nintendo eShop starts today.
Join the fight for the future in the world of Overwatch and choose your hero from a diverse cast of soldiers, scientists, adventurers, and oddities. Bend time, defy physics, and unleash a dizzying array of extraordinary powers and weapons. Engage your enemies in iconic locations from around the globe in the ultimate team-based shooter.
The game will also be available in retail stores, however the package doesn’t actually include a game card and has a full game download code instead. The game is a hefty 12.1 GB. It also includes a redeemable code for Nintendo Switch Online Individual Membership 3-month subscription, 5 Legendary Hero Skins, 5 Epic Hero Skins, and 5 Origin Hero Skins.
Tune in September 4th at 6:00pm ET for a Nintendo Direct featuring roughly 40 minutes of information focused on 2019 Nintendo Switch games, including Pokémon Sword & Pokémon Shield and Luigi’s Mansion 3.
With the mention specifically of 2019 games we can be sure that there won’t be any mention of Animal Crossing, which is due out in March. That being said there could be some new announcements to come in the direct, which is usually saved for the end of the show.
The crazy Japanese third-person shooter and 3D platformer in one is coming to Nintendo Switch and Steam next week.
Gun Gun Pixies sends two tiny girls from outer space to earth, so that they can infiltrate a women’s college dormitory. Once arrived, the Pixies stealthily bustle about the regular sized girls’ towering legs and rooms to fulfil their mission: study human behaviour in order to help overcome the social issues of their beloved home planet!
It looks like it’s going to be a weird buy fun game when it arrives.
Gun Gun Pixies will be released on Nintendo Switch and Steam in North America on September 10th.
MoeNovel has announced that they are releasing the animated visual novel If My Heart Had Wings for the Nintendo Switch on September 5th. The game, developed by PULLTOP, was originally relesed by MoeNovel back in 2013 for PC and later for iOS/Android.
Set in the breezy, laid back town of Kazegaura, watch as these students come of age in their unique environment and experience the ups and downs in the journey towards their dream.
They story follows Aoi Minase who returns with shattered dreams to his wind-swept hometown of Kazegaura. There, atop a hill lined with wind turbines, he encounters a wheelchair-bound girl, Kotori Habane, and a beautiful, white glider soaring through the sky. Together, they decide to revive their school’s defunct Soaring Club in order to ride the “Morning Glory”, a phantom cloud carried on the wind that blows across Kazegaura.
This is a tale of youth, a tale of boys and girls who loved the sky.
The visual novel is fully voiced. Japanese, English, and Simplified Chinese are supported.
If My Heart Had Wings is already available in the Nintendo eShop for pre-load and is on an early bird 10% off sale. Right now the game costs $22.69 CAD instead of the regular $25.19.
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.
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.
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 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
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.
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:
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.
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.
Lack of DeveloperSupport – 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….
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.
According to the latest Arcnama live stream this morning, Blazblue Cross Tag Battle news is on the horizon. While no exact date is given they expect it to be ready to release either at the end of January or sometime in February. https://t.co/2xFXaocl4B
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.
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
Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
Ecco the Dolphin
Ecco: The Tides of Time
ESWAT: City under Siege
Galaxy Force II
Golden Axe II
Golden Axe III
Phantasy Star II
Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom
Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium
Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi
Shining Force II
Shining in the Darkness
Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
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
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.