Nintendo Switch - Games You Can Play Right Now

Demos for both NEO The World Ends With You and Monster Hunter Stories 2 are up on the eshop.

I saw MHS2 but not NEO:TWEWY, will check again.

Probably won't play for a bit, been busy playing Mario Golf adventure mode until 3am last night and pretty much all day today. Level 48 or something already, and my golfer is getting pretty decent.

I put about an hour into the MH Stories 2 demo, and quite like it. It’s a sort of evolved Pokémon-style JRPG. I feel like it has more depth and forward thinking design than Pokémon games now.

The most refreshing thing is they don’t take forever to get you into the core loop of the game. A bit longer than I’d like, but better than most Japanese games.

Finished Mario Golf adventure mode today, with a level 70 Mii golfer. My profile isn't updated yet with play time. Maybe one of you that is friends with me can check and see how long I've played Mario Golf?

Anyway, was pretty fun, and appropriately crazy story.

Guess I'll try out more of the default characters now but my Mii golfer is probably better than any of them hehe. Seem to remember that "problem" back in the GBA-GCN days.

Stele wrote:

Finished Mario Golf adventure mode today, with a level 70 Mii golfer. My profile isn't updated yet with play time. Maybe one of you that is friends with me can check and see how long I've played Mario Golf?

When I see you, it just says "Mario Golf: Super Rush. First played 3 days ago." I'm guessing I'm seeing what you're seeing.

Mario Golf: Super Rush - REVIEW (Switch)

Aristophan wrote:
Stele wrote:

Finished Mario Golf adventure mode today, with a level 70 Mii golfer. My profile isn't updated yet with play time. Maybe one of you that is friends with me can check and see how long I've played Mario Golf?

When I see you, it just says "Mario Golf: Super Rush. First played 3 days ago." I'm guessing I'm seeing what you're seeing.

Got that for 5 or 6 days. Finally it switched over to played for 10 hours or more. So looks like I beat adventure mode in 10 hours.

I've played many Picross games over the years. I finished S1 through 4, and some of S5. I decided to give Pictooi a try. It's certainly more colorful than the regular Picross games, and I appreciate that they are organized by subject (such as "food) and after finishing a puzzle you get a little paragraph of information. However, the rest of the game is ... fine. They are clearly going for a "Brain Age" aesthetic. which seems nice but it just gets in the way. The largest puzzle size is 20 x 20, so therefore the puzzles do not get as challenging as the Picross series. Most damningly, when you finish a puzzle it takes 10 seconds to get from the reveal of the picture to a paragraph telling about the object in the puzzle. It ... is ... slow.

The game is made by Atooi, which made Mutant Mudds, Xenodrifter, and other games, so if you like that publisher know that there are some puzzles related to those games. Otherwise, I feel that you should just stick with the Picross series for those types of puzzles on the Switch.

I just checked and Pictoquest is also on Switch. Decent, with some odd 'combat' features that distract from the puzzles as you are working them. It occasionally causes fail states that wouldn't happen otherwise. I'm not sure if getting it free via Twitch Prime made me not care too much about that, but I've enjoyed the first half of it, and it appears to go on sale for $5 pretty regularly.

Jumped on Mr Driller for 75% off because I had fond memories of renting the DS cart way back when rental shops were still a thing. I was surprised to find it is a full GameCube port, and seems pretty meaty.

Feels good to play, can't comment any further. I just thought it was neat to have a Gamecube game on Switch! There can't be many of those, right?

Nintendo Switch OLED hands-on: a small upgrade that makes a big difference

Sitting down in Nintendo’s offices in Redwood City, California, yesterday, I already knew all of the main details on the new Switch OLED model. It has a larger 7-inch OLED screen, an improved kickstand, increased internal storage, and very minor design tweaks. It’s not the “Switch Pro” that many have been hoping for. It’s just a Switch with a bigger, nicer screen.

I knew all that going in, but after playing a half-hour’s worth of Mario Kart and Breath of the Wild, I believe the word “just” in the previous sentence is unfair. The Switch OLED model has a bigger, nicer screen, and that’s more than enough to justify its existence — and perhaps its $350 price.

The screen looks brighter and more vibrant to me than the original Switch. The increased contrast is definitely noticeable on Rainbow Road, where the neon lights popped out of the screen more brightly compared to the darker background. I’ve also been using a Switch Lite for the past year or so, and its screen looks positively dim and muddy by comparison.

One concern I had was that increasing the screen size while staying at the same 720p resolution would make pixels stick out and some things would look jagged. Pixels were more visible when I stopped the action and looked for them. I could see some subpar antialiasing on thin text on the home screen and on the blades of grass surrounding Link on the Great Plateau. But once I was actually playing, all I saw is that the screen was bigger and everything looked brighter.

To get really nerdy: I don’t have a definitive answer to whether the OLED screen uses a Pentile or RGB layout at the sub-pixel level, but it looks like RGB to me. At 7 inches diagonal, my sense is that Pentile would be obvious even to people who aren’t normally annoyed by it (like me). Photos weren’t allowed at the briefing, so I can’t show you a close-up image of the screen.

But getting nerdy about the new Switch OLED model is overthinking it. The point of this midlife update isn’t to radically change or upgrade the Switch. It’s to make a version that feels just a little more premium and is a little more enjoyable in handheld mode.

I've heard positive things about Ender Lilies, and I'm thinking a challenging Metroidvania would be a good thing to put on my Switch in advance of an upcoming vacation. Important question for those of you who have played it: if I liked the look and feel of Hollow Knight but ultimately bailed on it because it was too frustrating (a little bc combat difficulty but mostly bc I hated the map), will Ender Lilies be more my speed or might I be similarly frustrated?

Free update to Pokemon Snap includes new areas. I was curious if the game would get DLC, but I wasn't expecting it to come free.

Throwing out a recommendation for Huntdown which I bought a few hours earlier on sale, on the eshop. A pure arcade, side scrolling shooter with cracking pixel art style graphics.

Very 80's inspired, very cheesy, never takes itself seriously, you'll hear goofy catchphrases & see bosses with a ton of personality like Sid Handsome. Who is hanging out under a billboard of himself, deck chair setup, a boombox ready to blast, dumbbells on a rack in the background, a barbell bench on another level. He's a jacked up muscle head & the fight itself plays into these things, it's great. You play as one of three bounty hunters, a woman named Anna Conda, John Sawyer (a cyborg) or Mowman who looks like an alternative version of robocop.

The best thing about Huntdown though is that it feels brilliant to play. You can duck behind boxes or barrels for cover, popping up at a moments notice to shoot at your assailants, who can also use cover cleverly. There are Mark Of The Ninja style doorways that you can pop in & out of to avoid gunfire. If you get close enough to an enemy your ranged fire contextually switches to a melee strike. You can then open fire after booting an enemy as they are falling back. The dash which can close the distance on enemies, get you out of trouble or dodge enemy attacks doubles up as a slam style attack if your in the air. It all feels very tight, flows beautifully & is more tactical in terms of enemy placement, weapons & abilities than you might initially think.

There are enemies that can drop molotov cocktails if you fire at them before it's thrown, lighting themselves on fire. Hell they can even miss with their own throws & hit their fellow gang members causing chaos. You have grenades that have a looping arc, one particular scenario at the start of a level see's a Hoodlum Doll gang member sleeping on a deck chair in an area you simply can't reach. The solution, jump & throw your grenade, landing right beside him, he jumps up alerted before getting blown to bits.

The little hand drawn animations make everything look super slick. The futuristic style 'Tony's Surgery & Repair' hovering ambulance that acts as your checkpoint, see's your character get boot out the back doors of it after dying, seeing the tail end of the leg kicking your arse out. The start of levels have some cool little bits of animation like climbing over a chain link fence or opening up the front window of a dolorian style car & jumping out.

It's two player co-op as well which would be a ton of fun. I can't wait to see what lies ahead, I'm hugely positive on Huntdown thus far.

I just checked & it's half price at £8.99 until midnight tonight, if anyone might be interested.

Here's a reminder of what the game looks & plays like.

So No More Heroes 3 released on Switch today, and I've dug in for about three hours. I can't say too much about it since it's still early going, but what on the surface looks like a revival of a lot of aspects from the first game are more like a refinement of the franchise proper. The open-world is brought back, as are many of the odd jobs and errands, but they're handled a bit more like side quests now. There's a lot more activities that focus on combat, and getting the cash necessary to open up the next ranked boss fight may not be as much of a grind. However, it also seems like the bosses don't have whole levels you need to go through in order to combat them. You do some of the odd job combat rounds in the open world, then hop right into the boss fight. This is more streamlined than the first game, for certain, and mixes it up a bit with the direction the second game ultimately took.

Basically, it feels like the game is wasting less time while still keeping Santa Destroy an important part of the world.

What has caught me off guard is just how cut-scene heavy the game is. If you've kept up with promotional materials, then the opening of the game will be pretty familiar. However, it's immediately followed by a lot more story than I expected, and some of the events that occur are... really surprising and impacted me more than I had expected to be impacted.

What's perhaps most interesting is the handling of the villains themselves. They quickly make you hate them, but then a lot of time is dedicated to their own interpersonal relationships so you don't fully hate them. It's closer to what No More Heroes 1 did, where the villains felt like a crucial part of the game's identity versus the sequel just making interesting character designs with barely any personality.

It still has some jank control, but not as jank as the other games.

I might report back after finishing the game, but I think if you were a fan of the first and/or second, then you'll probably want to snag this one. It might help to have also played Travis Strikes Back/Again, but I can't really recommend anyone play that game. It was... dull. Nonetheless, Suda51 is keeping it in heavy continuity for this game, it seems.

The last week I've been playing Skyward Sword, and it has been a delight. I've never played the game, and it feels like such a classic Zelda game to me. I really appreciate the use of music, which was an element that felt missing to me in Breath of the Wild.

Aristophan wrote:

I really appreciate the use of music, which was an element that felt missing to me in Breath of the Wild.

Skyward Sword does have great music, but none of it gets me like that piano riff that starts up when a Guardian spots you. And those long-distance horse rides...

I really do enjoy the music of Skyward Sword. The difference in BotW isn't that the music is missing (although maybe you mean missing that big, loud, energetic tunes), but that it is so subtle and complex it can be completely missed. The music of BotW is breathtaking, if you can hear it and catch how they change things and incorporate so much from callbacks to past games, to varying based on speed of travel, time of day, and other stuff. Here's a video going on about some of it.

I also love the music they put on the 25th anniversary music disc that came with the original release of Skyward Sword that I just loaded up to listen to again.

I guess I wasn't clear enough. I do think the background music of BotW is evocative, but I'm more focused on the use of diegetic music, such as the ocarina in Ocarina of Time. Skyward Sword features a harp, along with other music cues that are within the game. There are scenes where music plays as Fi dances around, and there are also times where you need to play along to advance the story. It feels lovely.

Aristophan wrote:

I guess I wasn't clear enough. I do think the background music of BotW is evocative, but I'm more focused on the use of diegetic music, such as the ocarina in Ocarina of Time. Skyward Sword features a harp, along with other music cues that are within the game. There are scenes where music plays as Fi dances around, and there are also times where you need to play along to advance the story. It feels lovely.

So you want more wolf Link howling? Monster.

I just preordered Eastward. It seems to be getting pretty good reviews so I couldn't resist. It looks charming.

farley3k wrote:

I just preordered Eastward. It seems to be getting pretty good reviews so I couldn't resist. It looks charming.

That sounds great. I recognize the game isn't for me, but the demo (on PC) made it seem like quite a promising game. Glad it's getting good reviews.

I'm very excited for Eastward. Glad to see it's getting good reviews!

Just like he said in the video, I preordered before the end, lol.

Dangit, I really don't need another game in my life right now, but Eastward looks sooo darned good and unique. F it, preordered on Steam.