SAMURAI SHODOWN on Switch: Big Things, Smaller Packages and Big, But Little Surprises

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It’s time to Switch things up…

samuraishodown_package_switch (1)I’ll tell you, games can get you in trouble if you’re careless. Case in point, SNK’s Samurai Shodown has always caused me trouble because it’s intentionally misspelled the word “Showdown” since its initial installment in arcades in 1993. Which has lead me to ducking fists and feet ever since when I try to correct a fan of the franchise on occasion who spells the word incorrectly outside of the game title. (CHOP! Ow!)

Hey, sorry! My internal spellcheck just goes haywire when I see it. It’s not your fault! Anyway, here’s a peek at few trailers and screens look at some new content for the upcoming Unreal-4 powered Nintendo Switch version, ($49.99) which is coming on February 25, 2020 and looks pretty nice, by the way. Even nicer, players who pre-order the digital or physical version of the game before its release date will get a neat freebie -a port of the Neo Geo Pocket Color game, Samurai Shodown! 2 as a bonus.

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Better still, pre-orders for the physical version from GamsStop or Best Buy get a cool bonus controller skin, so hit up one of these retailers if you’re in the US and want one before the game ships.

I still have my old NGPC here, so even though the Switch port will be an exclusive to the console, It’ll bring back memories playing it now on Nintendo’s home and portable wodder system. I actually missed the PS4 version of the game when it was last year (oops), but I think I can still nab a copy from the PlayStation Store when I need to.

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Review: SEGA AGES Shinobi (Switch)

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Hey, that’s NOT a ninja weapon!

Switch Shinobi boxAnother flawless and essential port by M2 with a few excellent modern options, the 1987 arcade classic Shinobi ($7.99) sneaks onto the Switch, and it’s just as hard as ever. There’s an easier AGES mode that changes lead Joe Musashi’s garb to white and lets you take more that a single hit (as in the Genesis and Mega Drive follow-up Revenge of Shinobi) and you can choose to use the new rewind function if you like to make things a bit easier. I’ll admit that I didn’t touch it for a few days until it was tested for review purposes and yep, it helped a lot in a few areas. But it’s not necessary to clear the game if you’re averse to it and want to do it the old-fashioned way. Well, minus the feeding the machine part.

 

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Review: Turbo: Super Stunt Squad

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TESTING, TESTING: For some reason, WordPress isn’t auto-saving drafts (again), which for me, is a problem of the very large variety as I may need to pre-load some future posts if I need to get some medical stuff taken care of.  So, I dug up an old post from my older extinct blog and converted it over to see if I can see what’s going on.  Hmmm. I see that I’m still experiencing failed draft saving, but let’s go post this using manual saves every few minutes try to figure out a few things. Time machine, activate!

TSSS_Wii_UPlatform: PS3/Xbox 360, Wii U

Developer: Monkey Bar Games

Publisher: D3Publisher of America

# of Players: 1 – 2

ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)

Official Site

Score: B (80%)

Just like the DreamWorks film, Turbo on consoles is a nice surprise of a game that’s not bad at all for its target audience. Rather than retell the movie plot or do some sort of follow up to the films events, Turbo: Super Stunt Squad is a cross between a racer and and extreme sports game (more specifically, the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series). This oddball mix actually makes the game quite enjoyable and thanks to optional tutorials, a slice of shell customization and some interesting course layouts. It’s certainly not a bad bit of diversion for adults who shell out for this one expecting the usual too-short licensed experience, only to find a game with a few tricks up its sleeves.

Monkey Bar Games has cooked up a pretty nice-looking game with a fair bit of content and some definite replay value for those looking to see everything. Granted, it’s not the hardest game in the world for expert players or even novices. But again, this game’s made for the kids who saw and loved the movie. The 3DS version isn’t as successful, but that one will get its own review when I can get to it.

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SEGA AGES Sends Shinobi and Fantasy Zone Westward

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Get ready for the tough stuff…

SEGA AGES on the Nintendo Switch gets more classics with developer M2 offering up two more Sega hits of yore with the developer’s stellar ports, and yes, each will arrive with new enhancements in tow that offer more accessibility options and new ways to enjoy these titles. First up, it’s the Ninja-packed action classic, Shinobi:

Ninjutsu master Joe Musashi returns in this classic side-scrolling platformer. He has been sent on a mission to single-handedly find and rescue all the children of the Oboro clan who have been kidnapped by a criminal syndicate known as ZEED. Utilize your sharp sword, shurikens, throwing knives, and even magic to defeat the enemy and free the hostages.

The challenging side-scrolling action title Shinobi strikes back with an AGES mode that gives a white-robed Musashi extra health and damage, and an added Melee button that lets you dispatch enemies up close and personal. And if the hordes of ZEED are proving too much of a test, difficulty and stage select options have been implemented, along with a reverse time feature.

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Disaster Report 4: Survival Instinct Keeps You Moving

 

Well, here’s a game that was initially canceled a few years ago thanks to a real-life disaster a few years ago in Japan, but thanks to developer Granzella (R-Type Final 2) taking up the reins on the project, we’re finally getting Disaster Report 4 on PC, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch this spring. The console versions will come digitally downloadable as standard editions on their respective shops, while the NISA store will be selling the Limited physical editions and retailers GameStop and Amazon, physical standard editions for those who don’t want that extra omake swag shown below:

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I kind of want the bag, but my wallet is screaming at me from a coat pocket, and I’m trying to keep it happy these days. I still have my old copy of Disaster Report on the PlayStation 2 and I think there’s a copy of the sequel here in the game library, so I’m ready as ever for this one. Here’s the newest PS4 trailer, so yon can see more of the game from a few new angles:

 

I was all set to give up on “survival” games. but this series has never let me down and it’s lovely to see it come back, albeit at a really crazy time in the real world where every day there’s a disaster of some sort. Thanks to Granzella for saving this from the abyss and tweaking it up for its close-up and NISA for choosing to publish it.

-GW

 

Review: Pokémon Detective Pikachu

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One of these folks has not has his coffee yet. One has had too much.

pokemon_detective_pikachu_ver2_xlgWhile I’ll confess I’m more of a Monster Rancher person (ah, memories of popping in random or specific CD’s to generate monsters!), I did dabble in a tiny bit of Pokémon starting back in the ’90’s, playing bit of the Red version and a few other titles, eventually tapping out because it wasn’t for me. In he 2000’s. I did eventually play a few of the free games from the franchise though. Both Pokémon Rumble and Pokémon Shuffle were decent, simple time killers on the 3DS for a while. But I wouldn’t say I was devoted to catching them all and nope, I couldn’t tell some evolved types apart even if you handed me a cheat sheet.

That said, I do know Pikachu is a species of Pokémon, so only seeing ONE of them in Pokémon Detective Pikachu was having my well-aged eyebrow creak up a little. Granted, it’s very likely that some younger kids would be a bit confused seeing more than one, so there’s that to consider. That said, I’ve had random conversations with super diehard fans over the years where from kid to adult, they can go on about Pokémon for a while as if they’re real creatures and you can learn everything about them, even if you’re afraid to ask. Try getting stuck in an elevator with a few restless Pokémon fans for about an hour, and someone’s practically guaranteed to whip out their Pokédex notes (NOTE: this has happened three times over a few years, so I must be either lucky… or I need to take the stairs more).

Anyway, where was I? Oh, right. Detective Pikachu is quite a decent enough film, hitting all the right technical notes (the assorted Pokémon are all perfectly brought to life courtesy of some spectacular CG) and falling back on the usual formulaic three-act structure you’d expect from a movie like this. It’s also likely the best live action videogame to film translation to date, I’d say, Especially after sitting through a few cash-in films over the years that were lacking in a few areas. For anyone new to this sort of thing, it might be a bit overwhelming what with all the visual information presented onscreen (or: this is one very busy film). But for the most part, director Rob Letterman keeps things interesting and for a film partially based on a game of the same name, it’s pretty solid.

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Review: WRC 8: FIA World Rally Championship (PS4)

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Out for a Sunday drive, blinking is very optional.

WRC 8In the options menu of WRC 8, ($59.99) there’s a race card screen that tracks your driving in the game, noting everything you do without any judgement. So far, on my time with the game I’ve ran my cars into stuff 3,302 3,477 times (and counting) between small dings to major collisions that had me completely wrecking out of a few races, but this is a good thing (not for my poor garage, though).

The game is quite a massive effort from KT Racing and it’s their best racer to date as well as the sole officially licensed WRC game on the market. The assorted cars, courses and sounds are pretty lifelike and the rides all handle differently under a range of conditions once you get a grip on the controls. But practicing makes the game even better and finding the perfect settings for each car and course is key to getting the most out of the overall experience.

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If you’re going too fast, that simple turn up ahead is a bear, but there’s no bear at the end of that turn, fortunately.

Codemasters’ DiRT franchise might be better looking (the terrain deformation adds to the realism) and better known to some, but the outside a PC mod, the more authentic to the WRC season licenses, courses, drivers, and cars here will be the way to go for fans who enjoy the sport and want the deepest dive into it. Thankfully, those options also include a number of tweaks to make the experience a good deal more flexible to new players. Granted, like the two DiRT Rally games, this is the sort of simulation that’s going to be daunting to novices no matter how many assists they turn on. But that sticking to the real deal thing is for me, what makes a good rally game and WRC 8 makes for the most the best WRC experience since the five great WRC titles by the late Evolution Studios way back on the PlayStation 2. That said, one has to give the still mighty Richard Burns Rally it’s own pedestal for what it brought to the virtual rally game.

Even when set to the easiest mode and with every assist on, the game still requires near flawless or even perfect mastering of its courses and weather conditions. New players to this on Easy can indeed make it around the special stage or a few rallies with some effort. but it’s a literal learning curve taking in the pace notes and reading the track ahead while not hitting something because you’re trying to do it while driving a car at high speed with a co-driver notes near-constant directions at you. Still, the game’s Season and Practice modes will be your friend for a while as you settle in. There are the much harder Weekly challenges to do, but you’ll want some mileage under your belt, as these are pretty difficult events.

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OVERPASS: The Road Less Traveled May Drive You Wild(er)

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Coming in February 2020 from Swedish developer Zordix Racing and publisher Bigben Interactive. OVERPASS looks to be the ultimate off-road simulation racer. This isn’t some arcade-like game where you’ll be blasting around in cartoon monster trucks, picking up power-ups and pulling off tricks. Nope, the game looks like a hardcore simulation featuring licensed buggies and quads and more speed, but plenty of obstacles to overcome on each course.

Here’s a trailer to take a look at long with another one below the jump that shows some licensed vehicles you’ll be driving:

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Blacksad: Under the Skin: “All the Animals Come Out At Night”, Indeed (2)

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Already out on Steam, Microids, Pendulo Studios and YS Interactive’s Blacksad: Under the Skin will release on December 10 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. Here’s a look at the launch trailer and some screens of this action/adventure game with an all-animal cast set in the 1950’s:

I’d posted about this one previously here, so this is a reminder to me to get to reviewing it soon as a console release. More on the plot and such below the jump.

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Chicken Police: “All The Animals Come Out At Night”, Indeed (1)

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It’s not Cluck Cargo, that’s for sure.

Okay, I want this because it’s perfect or I want it to be perfect and hey, a film noir-themed classic adventure game with an all animal cast seems to be a big thing again (as you’ll see in a few posts today). Here are the trailer and some nice screenshots for indie developer The Wild Gentlemen’s upcoming Chicken Police: Paint It Red, set to be published by Handy Games sometime is 2020 on PC, PS4. Xbox One and Switch. I want this in a physical edition at some point just to whip out and show people I wasn’t hallucinating if the game ever vanishes from digital stores.

Here’s the wonderfully amusing and quite eye-popping trailer, Game info and screenshots are below the jump. Tell me you’re not wanting to see more, even (or especially) if you’re not a gamer because you’re into noir and now suddenly wanting to see how this film noir-inspired adventure turns out (Yeah, I know male chickens are called roosters, but I’ll give it a pass this time):

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