Road Trip (Of Sorts)!

MODUSHey. Now, I’d normally be posting something as we speak, well, something more game-y or film-y, but I’m getting ready to go out (“Fresh air! Times Square!”) and take a look at some upcoming titles from the fine folks at Modus Games, who certainly have some nifty-looking titles to show off. There’s an embargo in place, so you won’t be able to read my impressions until the 10th, but I fully expect to have some rather nice things to say about what I’m going to be seeing. Wait, that’s quite game-related, so I did my good deed for the day, huh? See what happens when you let a realization sink in?

Speaking of seeing, I’ll be seeing you all later this evening, as I’ve a few reviews to get to posting and some potential whining about a movie trailer I didn’t much like. Back in a bit.

-GW

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Nintendo Switch: Waited, Dated – Sated? We Shall See


So, as you can probably guess from the general lack of Nintendo Switch posts until now, I’ve been wholly avoiding the nonsense rumors, speculation and generally pointless gossip about Nintendo’s new console until this official reveal event just so what remained of my sanity stayed intact. This quickie post will actually be a preview to my hands-on later in the week where I form actual news based on what I see and play during my three hour time slot on Saturday. Tonight’s event was what I’d call entertainingly sedated with some expected releases, a few surprises and at least one must-buy launch title that should have been a pack-in. EDIT Of course, with only an hour to show off stuff, the event seemed… lacking in thrills to some extent. However, post-show, a small flood of reveal trailers for other games have dropped online, making the Switch a lot more impressive.

March 3, 2017 is the official mostly worldwide street date for the console which will launch with a $299.99 price tag in North America. The package will include a system, dock, two Joy Con controllers, HDMI and charging cables plus an AC adapter. A new Pro Controller is a separate purchase (and yes, third party peripherals are coming from a few companies. More on those in a separate post). A full list of features is here. The Switch will also be the first Nintendo system to require a fee for online play (Wii U and 3DS are unaffected), but there will be a free trial period at launch with some features disabled and the full paid version with a few perks to follow later this year. There’s also going to me mobile device implementation so players can communicate far better than possible on Miiverse.

As for games, well… it was a mix of oddball new stuff, the return of a few classic characters, a few sequels and… not much else for the moment. Some 80 games were said to be in the works, but the event revealed a mere 15 including a number of works in progress and very brief non-gameplay teases, trailers for a few below the jump. Oh, by the way… the Switch seems to be region-free. Huzzah! But this doesn’t mean the Asian territory e-Shops will be accessible if you can’t read the languages on them. Continue reading

Actual Usable Nintendo Switch News: Price/Launch Titles Reveal In January

nintendo-switch 

Yay. Something worth running about Nintendo’s new console that’s NOT a rumor-filled rumor rolled in opinionated analysis! It’s also boring because it’s an untrimmed press release. But, hey. I want you to know what a chunk of my inbox looks like on the best of days. Dull.. but *EXCITING!*

REDMOND, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– In a presentation to financial analysts today in Tokyo, Nintendo Co., Ltd. president Tatsumi Kimishima announced that major details regarding the company’s new Nintendo Switch home gaming system will be shared at the Nintendo Switch Presentation 2017. This will be an event for invited media, financial analysts and trade partners in Tokyo that will be globally live streamed on Jan. 12, U.S. time. The presentation will include the launch date and pricing for Nintendo Switch, as well as a look at the lineup of games currently in development.

The Nintendo Switch Presentation 2017 will include the launch date and pricing for Nintendo Switch, as well as a look at the lineup of games currently in development. (Graphic: Business Wire)

Kimishima also announced that Nintendo Switch sampling events for invited media, partners, and consumers will take place in the U.S. and Europe after the presentation at later dates. There will be opportunities for the public to participate in other hands-on events around the same time, details of which will be announced later.

The exact time of the Nintendo Switch Presentation 2017 will be announced through Nintendo’s social media channels in the coming weeks. Last week, Nintendo Switch was first revealed in a video, available at http://www.nintendo.com/switch.

Source: Nintendo

-GW

PAC-MAN Championship Edition 2 Hands-On: PAC-ing Plenty of Heat, And Soon


 

Pac-Man CE2_game-boxBandai Namco has kept Pac-Man relevant for decades in all sorts of games, but that speedy yellow dot-gobbler is always best when things are simplest. PAC-MAN Championship Edition 2 does an excellent job at blending old and new gameplay elements that allow classic fans to dive in and play while giving newbies an actual fighting chance to keep up on the scoring front.

Some hands-on time at the company’s recent NYC event revealed a game that’s faster and more frantic than the first installment, adding new modes, fixing up a few things and overall, making for a guaranteed thrill ride experience that’s going to be hard to put down.

boss_01 

Releasing digitally on Sept. 13th for $12.99 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC (via Steam), the game will “PAC”-in several modes for solo or competitive play, all featuring flashy, energetic visuals that riff on the classic arcade game flawlessly. During my ten minute session and plenty of minutes watching people dive in and play with the same “no way!” grins on their faces on a PS4 build, it was clear as a bell that the game would be a total smash when it drops next month. The non-stop action handles like a dream using the PS4 pad, so you don’t need to fret that the game needs an arcade stick. In fact, the game handles so well that I’d bet a nickel all those moms or dads who were PAC-MAN players that don’t play many modern games, but have a console or PC in the house for the kids just might get a bit scared their kids can now keep up with them in a competitive game.

Eating the ghost train_0 

Time Attack and Adventure Mode offer up their own sets of challenges, and the while the very idea of tutorial stages to play a PAC-MAN game may seem horrifying to some stalwarts, what’s here works exceptionally well in getting everyone up to speed. New maze types and some massive boss battles in Adventure mode plus the crazy train Ghost Train stuff in the main mode will keep this one in play stacks even when the inevitable third installment arrives at some point. All I know is some of us will be taking a sick day or hoping for a rainy weekend after the game launches so we can have an excuse for staying home in our PJ’s grooving on a bit of CE2 action. Er, I’m speaking in CLEARLY hypothetical terms, of course.

ADR1FT Hands-On

ADR1FT banner 

ADR1FT Screenshot 05
 

Do this writing about games stuff for a long enough period of time and you learn to go into every media event with no expectations. This time-built wisdom will pay off when you’re completely surprised by a game you’ve heard about in bits and pieces that’s shaping up to be a must-play title. ADR1FT was one of those games I’d heard about since its inception, but held off on writing a single word about until I was able to spend time with a demo. That happened yesterday thanks to 505 Games giving it a big screen premiere in two separate events for Boston and New York City games media. The Unreal 4 powered game headed to PS4, Xbox One, Steam (and yes, whatever rigs Oculus will run on) is one of those first games that leaves you breathless for a few reasons.

“SURVIVOR DETECTED”

The game’s story is a straightforward and simple tale of survival. You’re an astronaut who wakes up stuck in a damaged EVA suit on a heavily damaged space station orbiting Earth. Gameplay revolves around locating air supplies, repairing your suit and finding out just what happened that left you the only survivor. Part mystery, part survival game and all stunning to look at, it’s clear that ADR1FT has a mission in changing some perceptions about modern gaming. Sure, that sounds like an overly lofty goal. But again, it’s a case where if you see and play this one, you’ll “get” why it’s such an important release for its developer and publisher… Continue reading

Guess What I Did Today? I’ll Tell You Tomorrow.

ADR1FT Ticket
 

Shhhhh. It’s a secret! Actually, a little embargo is silencing my lambs for the moment, so you’ll need to come back later. Um, same Bat-Time, same Bat-Channel, okay? Okay. It’s a date, then…

Toy Fair Sunday Musings, Too: May The Force Be With Few!

Imperial Toys Bubble Saber
 

Thank you, Imperial Toy! One, for having one of the more surprisingly cool licensed items at the show (a huge Star Wars bubble machine shaped like R2-D2 that does exactly what it’s supposed to do and makes everyone in the vicinity stop what they’re doing and walk over to check it out). Its also surprisingly affordable. I’ll post pics of R2 tomorrow, as I shot photos with another camera and (duh!) can’t seem to find the USB cable (duh!)

imperial toy lightsaber 2
 

Oh, and two, for giving me the nice silver-colored bubble lightsaber just for stopping by their booth to check out R2. Apparently, its one of only a thousand made for the show. Nice. Id love to have a blue one as well, but I don’t mind waiting for the normal white sabers to hit retail and add one of those to the collection.

Some Sunday Toy Fair Musings…

Let’s see now:

Jurassic World  Stuff
 

Expect to see a LOT of Jurassic World merchandise coming for the upcoming film. Yes, Universal ran the same old trailer fans have already seen, but there’s a nice amount of new toys on the way that were unseen until the event earlier today. Dinosaurs everywhere would be a problem in real life for sure. But it looks like the licensing agreements on this film will bring kids (and adults) into those walking future fossil fuel sources will get plenty of folks into the stores before and after they hit the theaters.

Jurassic World Stuff 1
 

As for those Minions, well, my bad poetry databank has been reactivated, so expect to read some ear curling stuff about that toy line shortly. That long trailer was pretty funny and it looks as if the third go-round with the little yellow guys may be the best yet. As for the merchandise, some items are returning from Despicable Me 2, but in updated form, there are new items that will make the kids (and parents) crack up, and yes, expect your disposable income to become a lot more disposable once the film hits.

Minions Stuff
 

More on both toy lines shortly. I’ve a lot of ground to cover over the next few weeks and two more days at the show in this stupidly lousy cold weather we’ve been socked with. It’s worth it, though…

Throwback Thursdays: I’ll Trade Almost Any Other Thursday For This One…

kitchen nightmare 

Hee-ho! So, I find out that the now asbestos-free kitchen here won’t get that new wall and ceiling until DECEMBER. Over the course of four or five non-consecutive days, at that. Yaaaah. So much for the idea of even thinking of having anyone over for Thanksgiving. Who do I need to send a herd of elephants to run over to get a break here? Anyway, some good news comes in the form a a diversion this evening downtown thanks to La Maison du Chocolat inviting me to sample some of their Holiday Collection. hey, chocolate is good for you when you’re stressed! Okay, I’ll make sure to think of all of you while I’m at the event. I may end up oversampling because I’m thinking of all of you out there, so it’s your fault if I end up in a chocolate haze in some alley near La Maison’s NYC shops selling my coat and shoes for a fix.

Hmmm. I feel a song coming on… fortunately I’m NOT doing the singing:


(Thanks, DetroitLives313!) 

Back tomorrow or perhaps later tonight if I’m not in a cocoa coma. I’m sitting on a ton of drafts and almost done stuff. I just need to get enough time to get away from the madness here to finish stuff up.

I Was Out Getting Geeked Today. And How Was YOUR Thursday?

Status

Another day, another media event! Okay, short day for me today, as I was at the #getgeeked media event this afternoon and didn’t have time to post anything earlier thanks to needing to run out before the event to get a few boxes in the mail and take care of a few other things. I’ll be back tomorrow with some Kabam previews, maybe a review or two and a bunch of stuff I’m wrapping up that will show up over the weekend. I’ve been playing South Park Pinball for the past two days and it’s actually quite impressive in that “Oh, it’s a pair of really tricky tables!” (especially that Butters one!).

Back in a bit.