Today was a busy day for Nintendo fans. While we didn’t get any real big surprises from today’s Nintendo Direct, we were certainly met with many headlines to excite both 3DS and Switch owners. Let’s take a quick look at some of my favorite highlights.
Visual novels or games that feature detailed stories accompanied by sprites and music have been a staple in Japan since the early 1990s. Ren’ai games or “dating sims” that revolve around branching story paths where you romance characters go back just as far. It has taken a long time for the genre to gain mainstream attention overseas but Western indie developers have been utilizing this wonderful storytelling medium with increasing visibility and Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator is one of the most unique, charming examples in recent memory.
The GameStop Expo was held for a single day in Las Vegas this year, a chance for people to congregate, play new and upcoming games, and buy some things. It wasn't particularly huge, but offered a variety of games across multiple genres and platforms, with little wait time to play them. I got to try all sorts of games, and enjoyed most of them.
Platforms: PC (via Steam), Microsoft Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Sony PlayStation 4
While I’ve enjoyed most of the Sonic games I’ve played, there’s no denying that the quality of the franchise has mostly been questionable at best since the Sega Genesis days. It seems like Sega finally realized this, and decided to put the development of their most recent 2D title in the hands of devs who are fans more than traditional Sonic devs. This was probably the single best decision they’ve made in quite a long time.
Platforms: PC (via Steam), Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Final Fantasy XIII, while receiving critical praise, ended up getting very polarized ratings from fans of the franchise. The more open nature of Final Fantasy XI and XII made some dislike the more linear style of FFXIII. Read on to figure out what my thoughts are, and why.
Inklings who haven’t had a chance to get a hold of Splatoon 2 will have a special offer perfect for them. Walmart will be carrying a special Nintendo Switch bundle come September 8th.
After a long wait, Nintendo finally brought back the Nintendo World Championship in 2015. Though we didn’t have luck last year, they decided to bring it back again for this year! In October, at New York, you’ll be able to compete with the best players at modern and classic games both.
Escape Rooms have really taken off in the last few years. Several opened up near me in Northern California in 2012 and 2013 -- San Francisco has over half a dozen, Sacramento has three. I confess they did not appeal to me overly much, as they sounded like they would involve a lot of arguing and frustration depending on how competitive you and your friends are, or you, your friends, and the strangers you get paired with.
With EVO's Friday and Saturday being mostly lighthearted days of competition and convention-like time with a few finals matches thrown in, Sunday Finals feels like a completely different event. Once again, the Sunday Finals graced the stage of the Mandalay Bay Events Center, with some of the matches being streamed on actual television. The atmosphere was electric, not unlike seeing a more traditional sporting event, and I could not be happier to be there in person.
The Evolution Championship Series, or EVO for short, celebrated its 15th year as one of the biggest, hypest fighting game tournaments in the world this year, and I was lucky enough to be able to cover it from pools to finals.