Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Nintendo Switch: The Games We Know So Far [Gaming]


So as we get ever closer to that conference on the 13th of January, it's time for a look at those games we know are coming. Many rumours have been circulating about specifications and such, and how it might fare in competition with the other consoles, but this is just to focus on the games we know are confirmed.

I was surprised and excited to note that Warner announced LEGO City Undercover to no longer be a Wii U exclusive. As well as PC, Xbox One, and PS4, it is also coming to the Nintendo Switch. How it'll hold up I can't exactly say, but I would like to think that transfer to other consoles allows for the load times to be drastically reduced. The map on the Gamepad screen would have to be added to a proper map screen with the usual radar placed on the HUD. I can't really think of other things they could do unless they were to drastically alter some parts of the game.
For instance, most other LEGO games allow local two player co-op. This game didn't. It's not that bad of a thing, as special suits were able to substitute for lack of co-op, but it still wasn't as good as having a group of team members. I get that the Undercover part of the name sort of implies only one person, and the game was developed as a more kid-friendly Grand Theft Auto [which only allow for one player, at least until GTAV came along]. However, at least in the hub world, co-op could be a thing in special missions that allow players to work together to overcome a goal. It's a big stretch, and I don't think they would go that far, but it's just something to add additional content to it.

We've known for quite some time that Dragon Quest X and XI were coming to the Switch. While my experience with the series up until recently was only a small play session on Heroes: Rocket Slime for the DS, it's been a series I've partially followed since that time. Recently I bought Dragon Quest VII on 3DS, and the experience has been good so far, so with the entirely new version, I'm sure I'll be getting a much greater experience. Now, Dragon Quest X more than likely won't make it outside of Japan, so that leaves XI. Now we don't know much about it, except it's also being made for PS4 and the 3DS. The PS4 version is being made in Unreal Engine 4 with HD graphics. Whether the same can be said for the Switch version, only time will tell. The traditional battle system is in place, so the turn-based battles are still a thing. While I haven't got very far with Dragon Quest VII, I have been liking what the story offers, and from what I've read of the series - and know from RPG's in general - a good story is usually key. The advertising for XI will probably start at the Switch event, and it's there we will most likely see what the story offers.

Two of my core franchises already have games announced for the Switch, though we don't know too much about either. The Pokémon game has only been mentioned as coming, not in any specifics. However, Sun and Moon have recently released on 3DS, and a lot of rumours point to a third version coming to the Switch. The fact that walking animations for all Pokémon were found in the game files, the bottom screen hardly having much use this time around, and the fact it seems the start of a generation with a new console around the corner makes for an interesting set of circumstances. This seventh generation of games could of course come and go in a year, but that seems very unlikely. As I mentioned in my previous Switch post, if Game Freak are planning a full 3D adventure in the style of Colosseum and Gale of Darkness, then those two games could be put on a Gamecube Virtual Console. Though of course, a full game like that probably won't be a main series title unless they changed the formula up a bit. Adding proper grass patches and proper routes would be a start, and it seems Sun and Moon are the start with experimenting with that - considering the grid system has gone. Whatever game it is they're cooking up on Switch, I hope it is a main series title. And if it is, it certainly won't be coming at launch.

The other of my core franchises is, of course, Sonic the Hedgehog. Project Sonic 2017 was revealed at the same time as Sonic Mania, and unless there's been a switch in plans and Mania also comes along, Project 2017 will be the first Sonic game on the Switch - probably in the same month as Pokémon Switch. From what we know, Project 2017 is going to be like Unleashed with its story but Generations with its gameplay. We know Classic Sonic is returning from the trailer, which is why I said like Generations from a gameplay standpoint. It also looks to be going for the serious yet light tone that Unleashed presented. I found Generations to be one of the better games in terms of gameplay, though not so much story, so a fuller story - even if not much in terms of complexity - should be good with the gameplay to back it up to make one of the better Sonic games of recent times.
I'm sure many people wouldn't mind some tweaks to the gameplay though. Many have said Sonic feels like a car to control, so loosening up the control of Sonic wouldn't be too bad. Making sure the boost wasn't as easy to gain would make a bit more of a challenge. Not so much on Colours' level, but not so much that every thing you do gains some boost energy. As for Classic Sonic, make his control a bit more like the classic games. Add proper rolling physics and tone the spin dash down a bit so it isn't as powerful as in Generations. And a last thing to add, we have Classic for 2D gameplay. Do not fuse 2D and 3D elements into Modern's levels again. Yes, it works. But as well as 2D gameplay for this game, there's also a full 2D game in Mania releasing the same year. While the gameplay on both should be great, I'd still prefer a full 2D and full 3D game.

A number of smaller games have also been confirmed for the Switch. First off being Stardew Valley. A well known game on other platforms, it's inspired by Harvest Moon. Heavily taking elements from the series, Stardew is also a farming simulator. It is more inspired by the original games in the series while still being its own thing. It's a popular game on Steam, and coming to the Switch will bring it to a portable system for the first time.
Cube Life: Island Survival is a Wii U game released in June 2015, following in the footsteps of other Minecraft clones that appeared on the system when it looked uncertain if Minecraft would make it to the Wii U. Cube Life proved popular, so now is getting ported to the Switch and PS4. It doesn't appear as though anything is changing between consoles, so this is purely for those who don't own the Wii U version.
While I'm not going to cover all the smaller games coming to the Switch, one of note is Constructor. A remake of the original game from way back in 1997, the game is a management simulation game where you build facilities to gain manufacturing materials which you then put towards buildings. The rent tenants pay for occupying these buildings then helps to fund the company, with the aim to put other companies out of business.

Lastly, I want to again mention The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The gameplay has been looking great, and from the small snippet we got to see of the Switch version in action on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, it looked to be running very smooth. As I've said before, this is probably one of the first Legend of Zelda titles I will get on launch, as it looks a very interesting design. Rumours of delays might mean this misses launch.

We are two weeks away from the Switch Presentation, and for those in the UK that means 04:00 of the 13th. As such, most will probably miss the presentation itself but be able to catch up on the news later that day. It will certainly be interesting to see what the console is actually made of, and what games we get at launch. As I said in my last Switch post, I'm hoping for a Star Wars game to be announced, as that will then be all three of my cores catered for. Either way, that's all for now, so bye for now.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Review [TV&Film]


I'm going to keep this one short and sweet, and as spoiler free as possible. The story presented in Rogue One is as we've known for a long time. The Death Star plans are stolen. But the journey it takes to get there is an interesting one, with plenty of scenes that make you feel for these characters. Most of them get developed very well across the story.

The story itself feels more down to earth - more gritty - than any before. We have here the good guys working their way to get the plans, and the villains trying to prevent that from happening once they realise what the rebels are up to. However, there are underlying elements of trust from both sides. The characters question each other, they try to up their own personal status, and in the case of Krennic... Well, let's just say the film does a good explanation as to why he isn't in charge come A New Hope. Within the story is a very great sense of high stakes being presented for the rebels, and one particular scene at the end is something never seen in Star Wars to date. In fact, make that two things, as I don't recall ever seeing a cruiser pushing another cruiser into yet another cruiser. And yes, that final battle is just all kinds of wow.

The effects and camera work are all really well executed to make the audience feel closer to the action. Especially with some of the camera placements during the space battle. The worlds themselves are unique from one another, and each presents different architecture and other design to make them stand out from one another. When it comes to explosions, there are some really good ones here. And the Death Star blasts - even with it only firing low powered beams - are stunning. The Battle of Scarif also has numerous effects that worked well for the environment, such as blasts from the water and exploding trees.

There are numerous references to other Star Wars media. Some being the obvious, such as Mon Mothma in the base on Yavin IV, others being blink-and-miss, such as the Ghost [from the Rebels animated series] being present in the final battle, and a very unsubtle showing of how the position of Red 5 opened up for Luke. I'm sure this will press into spoiler territory, but the film also sets up nicely how Rogue Squadron came to be.

From the opening to the end I was enjoying watching this film. The use of music is sometimes powerful, sometimes flat, and I'm pretty sure during the final battle I heard hints of the Death Star battle from A New Hope. Without going into much more detail for fear of spoilers, there is a very real feeling of despair throughout most of the film, with hope trying to break through. You end up rooting for the rebels come the Scarif battle, and hope everything goes well for them. And though characters do some questionable things, it adds rather than takes away from the film as a whole. The film itself in a way is set up to allow those things to happen.

So to round off, this is the most mature and realistic Star Wars to date, with great action, great character building, and a wondrous sense of scale throughout. I'd definitely say it is a must-watch film. I've heard it said elsewhere, and I'm in agreement, but this film is better than The Force Awakens. The freshness of it, while still being in a much-loved era, makes it a great watch. The Force Awakens was reversed. A new era, but following familiar ground. Thank the circle theory for that. Both are great films, giving new perspectives on old ground, let's just say. Out of the two though, Rogue One wins out.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Dealing Every Card [Network]

December here at last, and with it brings Rogue One. Just as with The Force Awakens, I'll be watching it near my birthday. Unlike with The Force Awakens, I'll actually be getting a review done near the time I watch it.
Updates to Crossover Corruption and Doctor Who: The Star Wars Chronicles never happened during November as it's that time within a university semester when most of the work gets done. They will definitely be updated this month.

As I said last month, I have a new monthly series planned. This month it starts, and I can announce it now. Looking back through my posts, it has been quite some time since I put focus on some TV and Film posts. Yes, there was The Force Awakens review, and the Rogue One review this month, but unlike early on with this blog there has been no real focus in that area. So, that's where this monthly series comes in. And rather than put the focus into one of my cores, I'm going to focus on a TV series that will give content throughout 2017. That being Power Rangers.
Bit of personal history regarding this series - I was never an active watcher. The only series I caught in their original runs were Dino Thunder and SPD, and that wasn't even all episodes. However, in 2013 when I first subscribed to Amazon Prime, I saw all the series were available to watch. Going back to watch the two was great. A year later I did the same thing again, though this time carried on through the series, ending up with Super Megaforce. I definitely felt a connection to the series. Now, I'm starting from the very beginning, and this time I'll be giving my thoughts on all of them.

Also this month on the blog will be another Nintendo Switch article, this time dealing with all games confirmed for the system. There might also be one or two posts going into detail with some of the ideas I presented in the last Switch post.
With GTA on Youtube, the posted video is not the one I was originally going to post. The one I'm posting is actually two, and both are from the Rockstar Editor. And I waited for December as one of them is from New Year's Day last year - when the map was covered in snow.

There's the chance for one or two other things depending on certain circumstances, and the latest SONM Weekly Super Highlight Reel is awaiting upload to the SONM Network Youtube channel. That's all for now, so bye for now.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Nintendo Switch: Ideas of Games From Me [Gaming]

 
The Nintendo Switch was announced last month, and between now and January when the full information reveal is set to be, I'll be covering some things here. As mentioned in the monthly update, this month is games I would like to see.

The first is a game I have an idea of, though changes every so often. It expands on what Wii Sports Resort gave us, including numerous other ideas within that. I am talking about Mii Resort Paradise, in which I gave numerous ideas for in a post way back in March 2015. Look on it if you want to gain some idea behind the thoughts to it, but I'll be covering some of that stuff here.
Wuhu Island would be open to exploration, and numerous sports would be included. After all, there's a tennis court, a bowling alley, a lot of water, and a separate island for golf. Then there's all the other sports from Wii Sports Resort such as skydiving and sword fighting. All of these would be brought into one hub - the island. That's not to dismiss quick access for when you want to just get into a game. And just because it starts with sports, don't think it has to be locked to sports. Numerous other things could be open on the island. It might be just one island, but an RPG of sorts would give something extra to the game. The Alola region of Pokémon Sun and Moon is made up of islands, and each one is within the size of Wuhu Island. Of course, no RPG is complete without a story, and for that there are many to choose from, whether simple or a bit more complex.
As I said, it would start with sports as the main package, but whether through free or paid download content, could be added upon a huge amount. And the hotel of the island would serve as the access to all of this. Quick access to sports, loading up a new adventure, jumping online, etc., would all be done through the hotel. There'll be stuff for the collectors as well, since you need the best equipment to play better and you also need a good look. I'm unsure whether it might be going overboard to include room decoration within that, especially since your room will be the last place you'll spend most of your time within this game. Everything will also have that Nintendo charm that comes within their range of characters, especially Mii's.

Mario Kart is Nintendo's flagship racing series, and these days seems to be expanding into other Nintendo franchises. It'll be a while yet before we get onto the level of Super Smash Bros. for franchise representation, but for now the smattering of crossover content has gone well. And now it seems Mario Kart 8 is coming to the Switch with new features added. DLC Packs 3 and 4 are more than likely, but I want something more. Something a bit more... technical. 200cc mode was added when DLC Pack 2 hit the Wii U version, and with the hints within the Mario Kart 8 footage from the Switch reveal trailer, I'm hoping for something the same.
Allow me for a moment to talk about Double Dash. In that game, we had tighter steering, a more looser handling system, and items could not be held behind you at all. There was also two characters, and with that came two items. Getting the comparison yet? What I'm saying is that while you can't necessarily have two characters to a kart with all the air-gliding, underwater driving, and anti-grav, the main other element can still be taken from it, as well as putting a new spin on the handling physics to make a new mode. That is, of course, one way to interpret the hints.
The other way is to say "Why not take what Double Dash is and upgrade it to fit the modern age?" Rather than being called Double Dash 2, it would take the old naming system of including the name of the console within the game's name. So Mario Kart Switch Dash. I'm not going too far into this, but it would feature many of the characters introduced to the series since Double Dash. The new items would stay, as would the new features - reworked to fit within the two-to-a-kart gameplay. Most stuff can be reworked to fit into how Double Dash worked. While that would be interesting to see, there's also something else I'd much rather see.

The Gamecube had some excellent games during its run of the market, but these days are becoming increasingly difficult to come across for a decent price. Enabling a Gamecube Virtual Console on the Switch would enable many to experience those games. I do understand that emulators take some working on to get right, but considering Microsoft have Xbox 360 games emulated on the Xbox One, and PS2 games are right at home on PS4, I don't see any reason why Gamecube cannot come to the Switch, especially as there seems to be quite a lot of grunt behind it this time. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if one had been worked on by Nintendo for the Wii U but like with most other major projects got moved over to the Switch. It would certainly explain the Gamecube controller adapter which then never got used for anything other than Smash 4. Kirby Air Ride and F-Zero GX are two games I would love to get my hands on, and if Game Freak are planning a Pokémon game in the style of Colosseum and Gale of Darkness for the Switch it would make a bit of sense to put those two games on the Switch so people can get an idea of what could be a part of the new one.
And talking of retro games, I'd much rather have a much better option of playing them than buying individually. Inspired in a way by EA Access, this service would allow people to play retro games while at the same time getting early access to new games for a small amount each month [or a slightly discounted yearly fee].

Talking of EA, they are talking about putting a big game on the Switch. While most would expect a sports title or Mass Effect, I'm thinking about something else. Star Wars. The Wii U missed out on one of the biggest Star Wars video game releases in ages - Star Wars Battlefront. In fact, the Wii U pretty much missed out on any Star Wars games. The Wii got both Force Unleashed games, as well as two The Clone Wars games. Now admittedly, that is more to do with the state of the Star Wars gaming scene at the moment, but now that numerous projects are on the go from EA, at least one of them should be coming to the Switch. None of them will be ready for the launch, unless they've been very quiet on that front. Now yes, we did get LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens on the Wii U, so that should count for something. As for the game on the Switch I'd want, I'd like to at least think one of the cancelled projects is getting revived in some way, though 1313 might be a bit too similar to the game Visceral is working on. With more than a year between the two, it might be possible though. And wouldn't it be great if a Star Wars game got released as close to the fortieth anniversary as possible?

Games that I've mentioned thus far are definitely ones I'd buy. I'd also buy a new Animal Crossing game, and considering the main series skipped the Wii U - as well the portability of the Switch - it seems very logical to assume a new main Animal Crossing game is headed for the Switch. I'd hope as close to launch as possible, though any time within 2017 would be fair game. If it can expand upon what New Leaf gave us, and fix certain issues with Personal Works Projects, than that will be good. The idea that the town was growing and more shops opened over time worked well, but they felt a bit cramped within that street. Allowing all of that back into the town, or having a separate area that you would own that serves as an urban location, would help with the space issues and finally break the barrier that the series has been trying to and allow greater customisation of our towns. Rather than have us move to a new town that's struggling, we are instead prospecting for a place to start a new town - with the help of Isabelle, of course. In a slight change, the rural part of town no longer has a beach. That's for the urban area. We place where our house and the town hall will be in the rural area, and get our first two shops opened in the urban area. We can place areas for residents to build their houses when they move to the town. The idea behind this is expanding the mayor role of our character by starting the town, not just picking up where the last one left off. And by expanding the town into rural and urban parts, it allows for a lot more space overall. I'll see about going into quite a bit more detail about this later down the line, as I find this concept would be interesting. It gives a greater goal while still retaining the relaxed pacing the series is known for. While there's a lot more stuff to build up, in no way would it need to be done all at once.

I'm rather unsure about suggesting this next one, as it is a series that has different representation on both handheld and home console. It is the Wars series. On home console, it has taken real-time strategy and crafted Battalion Wars. For handhelds it takes turn-based strategy and crafts Advance Wars. Both have skipped over this current generation, so it could be time to bring the series back. While it certainly wouldn't be necessary to do so, it would be interesting to see Advance Wars styled like a Battalion Wars game, while keeping all the turn-based strategic gameplay intact. It would need to at least overhaul how it is presented - whether using more detailed sprites or going for a new art style. Advance Wars: Days of Ruin went for a darker tone to its story, but I feel the one thing that the Wars series has done well was keep a light-hearted tone despite the war setting. Even Battalion Wars, with its brighter colours, didn't feel like a real war, despite the real-time gameplay. I'd be more willing to accept a new Battalion Wars first, but Advance Wars has always felt the stronger of the two. Intelligent Systems always do a good job on the games, and also with the Fire Emblem series. And since the DS had no Fire Emblem games, it only made sense to have a series that could fill the gap. With Fire Emblem getting two games on 3DS, now seems like a great time to have an Advance Wars game.

Quite a few ideas have been covered, and most of them will be expanded on in other posts. Mario Kart will be talked about in the next Switch post, which will talk about games that have been confirmed, and I'll definitely be expanding upon that Animal Crossing idea. Of course, Star Wars as a whole is going to get mentioned a lot next year, so video games will be a part of that. Any new game that gets shown at Celebration Orlando I'll be sure to talk about. Well, I'll be covering the whole event with pre- and post- show blog updates. That's all for now, so bye for now.

Friday, 11 November 2016

What I'm Waiting For - Volume 5 [Gaming]

It seems to be a recurring thing that these happen at the first and last thirds of the year. Since the last one, a lot has been happening in the gaming world. Forza Horizon 3 has been released, and I've had a blast playing it. The Nintendo Switch, PS4 Pro, and Xbox Scorpio have all been announced. There's also been a lot more throughout the year. But this isn't a recap of the year in gaming, this is What I'm Waiting For, and we'll start with a recap of what was discussed last time.

It's odd, in a way. Usually when I do one of these the games I mentioned in the previous one have been released. As it is, the games I mentioned last time, are all but weeks from release. Planet Coaster has been in beta for two days now, with the full game set to release on the 17th. While I haven't played the beta, I have enjoyed what I have seen for the game, and am looking forward to getting my hands on it.

Pokémon has Sun and Moon releasing on the 23rd for Europeans, and throughout the year info dumps have been happening that have revealed quite a bit about the game without giving too much away. There's also been the Special Demo, like what we got with Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, so I've at least been able to experience a bit of what the game is like for myself. And I have to say, it has been good.

Sonic the Hedgehog got both Sonic Mania and Project Sonic 2017 announced, and we've seen a small amount of Mania since. I've already said I'll be going into detail about these elsewhere, so that's all I'm saying about them.

As for the games that this volume of What I'm Waiting For is covering, the first is one that might just be the Nintendo Wii U's swan song. If it doesn't get overlooked by the Nintendo Switch version, that is. It is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. A whole day dedicated to it for Nintendo's E3, and a lot more information since, this game is looking like it's a big departure from previous games while still keeping familiar pieces. The game seems more like an RPG, in that you're scavenging for items and weapons to stay alive. Sure, the dungeons and puzzle elements still remain - and they look as good as ever - but there's the feeling that this game is straying from series conventions while at the same time going back to the series roots.

The original games certainly had the feeling of discovery - the non-linearity, shall we say - that newer games seemed to lose when bringing in more complex stories. That's not to say having a good story is bad, but having a good story embedded into the world for you to discover does have its merits. And the world is something interesting. It was said during all the time at E3 that the area of focus was just one. There was a lot in just that one area, and if more areas are as diverse, it's going to be one great adventure waiting to explore. While I haven't been looking out for information since E3, I have been keeping the game on my radar. One thing to consider is this. It was confirmed for Wii U, then announced for the Switch some time later. So which version to get? The obvious choice would be the Wii U version, since the game was originally being built for that system. You also have to factor in the Switch, and how much use the Wii U might get if some of its best games get ported or get new entries at launch. And if it has some awesome new games that make buying one in the first place an easy choice.

The other game I'm putting here is Yooka-Laylee. While I didn't pay it much attention at first, I find myself thinking about exploring other games outside of the series I know. In the last month I've branched out with RPG's and bought myself Dragon Quest VII, so Yooka-Laylee is answering the need to branch out with 3D platformers. It certainly looks like an interesting game, and since Playtonic Games have former Rare employees within their fold, it should be a grand adventure of being back in the early 2000's - when 3D platformers were all the rage.

Of course, this is a modern take of such a genre, so it should be interesting to see what new things have been added. The latest trailer looked good, and the world itself looked diverse. The characters are also a great bunch. The main two - Yooka and Laylee - are based off a chameleon and a bat, two of my favourite animals, and have a very cartoony design. The whole game is a cartoony style, which fits with the platformer design. Not counting Mario or Sonic, it has been quite an age since I last played a 3D platformer. At some point I considered buying Rare Replay to be able to play some of those Rare developed games that a lot of people highly recommend. Upon seeing Yooka-Laylee, I decided against that to get this instead. Once it releases first quarter next year. And since it has been quite an age since I last played a 3D platformer, I don't really have any expectations to set this up against, other than the fact I hope it turns out a lot better than Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric [though from what I have read, that wasn't entirely Big Red Button's fault].

It sure has been an interesting What I'm Waiting For, this. Writing a recap about two games I haven't even played yet, with two new games that in some way I am unfamiliar with, both of which will be releasing first quarter of next year. Next up in terms of posts will be that one where I'm talking about games I'd like - and those that could come - on the Switch. That's all for now, so bye for now.


What I'm Waiting For Series

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Animal Crossing Direct [Gaming]


Yesterday I mentioned the Animal Crossing Direct in the monthly update, and now it has aired, I'm here with a post. This will be short and sweet, just like the Direct itself.

The Direct took place on the set of a campsite. A campsite that features within the game itself, with producer Hisashi Nogami taking the role of Harvey - the guy who owns the campsite. This campsite is where visitors come once you have scanned their amiibo or amiibo card with Wisp, who is summoned from a magic lamp. A new currency is available, called MEOW coupons, that allow you to buy new items at the campsite. And these are new items. A wealth of them were shown off, including a car and some sweet Splatoon gear. The Legend of Zelda also gets some representation in the game, with new items and gear - including Link's outfit from Breath of the Wild. Splatoon and Zelda are also represented with special villagers as well. All of this is interesting stuff for those that have the required amiibo to use, and with the ability to get villagers to move in by visiting them in their RV's - much like the tent space already in the game, I'm sure those people will be happy. And for those that want access to the special characters, it may or may not get them to buy some amiibo. Of course, there are a lot of uses for the Legend of Zelda related amiibo in the series' own games, so this is just one extra incentive. There's also a neat amiibo Camera feature added into the game, so pictures can be taken with your favourite villagers in the real world.

Away from amiibo, video game consoles have been added to the game as items. Unlike in the Gamecube version though, there aren't a selection of games to buy. Just one locked to each console. Those that own or have played amiibo Festival on Wii U might remember the Desert Island Escape game. In it, you had to move around an island in a grid-based system, trying to find items to help your villagers survive while ultimately trying to build a raft to escape. The Wii U console item now allows this to be played within New Leaf. The 3DS item allows an Animal Crossing version of Puzzle League to be played within the game. They will be a part of the fortune cookie items from the Nookling's shop. However, those owning Animal Crossing amiibo figures can use them to greatly increase the chances of receiving both items. amiibo are still required to play the Desert Island Escape game as far as I'm aware.
Other little things to make life easier have been added. If you find yourself with a massive amount of items [for instance my town has numerous items scattered across it that I haven't wanted to get rid of but could no longer store] there is now a storeroom you can add more items to. Those that have played Happy Home Designer will be familiar with the way decorating takes place in that game, and that system has now been brought over into this game. If you want to restart your town, Tom Nook will now assess the value of it, and you'll be able to start with the funds of that assessment within your new character's bell account in the new town. I personally would have wanted a way to keep certain cherished items and designs, but you can't have everything just transferred over. New town, new beginnings and all that.
On Tortimer Island, a turn chat off option has been added, as well as a quick return option. No need to talk to someone to return back to the mainland saves quite a few seconds, especially if you'll just be returning after you'll sold everything.

So when is all of this available, you might ask. And the answer is right now. At the start of the Direct, they said the update is live. All of this in the update is now available. Yes, there might be a few things I have missed off as well. I've covered the important stuff, and so get updating the game and get exploring the new stuff. That's all for now, so bye for now.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Natural Open Void [Network]

So with the Nintendo Switch announced at last, I gave my thoughts on the reveal. And with no new information coming from Nintendo until January, I feel this could be the perfect time to offer some ideas into games that could come for the system. One of which is something I've said would have been perfect for the Wii U, but with development now entirely on the Switch, it will have to do. I won't cover too much on games we know are coming, since I plan to cover those elsewhere.
The Doctor Who: The Star Wars Chronicles Look Back, Look Ahead posts are now finished, which opens up the way for other blog posts. I don't have a series as yet, but I'm putting planning into one throughout this month. It'll go live next month.
I've been toying around with doing another What I'm Waiting For post, though I feel this one wouldn't leave me much choice at the minute. Since I want to cover all that Sonic the Hedgehog in 2017 has to offer separately, I'd have to consider my options.

Elsewhere, work on university projects is coming about nicely. Since it is my last year, focus is put onto a final major project, and over the next two months as development continues on the pre-production I expect I'll have some of it to share.
Now I said in September's update that I would have something on the horizon for the beginning of October for the SONM Youtube channel that I contribute to. That ended up being the end of the month, but I'm glad I held out. SONM recently started up a weekly Mario Kart 8 tournament of sorts, just for fun. I've been taking part, and for the second week - which had a Halloween theme - I made sure to save all sixteen races to the in-game Mario Kart TV station [first four in favourites, the rest auto-saved as recent races]. All of those were then uploaded to my MKTV Youtube channel without music, downloaded from there, and cut up even more to make one super highlight reel of all the action. This has the possibility of continuing, should I remember to save the highlights again.
For other videos, I haven't forgotten about GTA Online. I won't be featuring any stunt races of my own this time, but there certainly will still be a video this month.

The last thing I want to mention is the fact Nintendo have a Direct coming up, focused entirely on Animal Crossing. There's an update coming soon for New Leaf on the 3DS, and this Direct will tell us all about it. Japan also have another game on focus - that being Miitopia. While I won't be watching the Japanese Direct, I'll certainly be keeping a look out for any information on this new game. If I feel there's enough to cover, I certainly will.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Doctor Who: The Star Wars Chronicles - Look Back, Look Ahead Part 4 [Network]


This is the final part. The future. With Episode 13 having now been posted to WattPad, it's easy enough to recap here. Qiilura over, the mission to Forsaad can now take place. The idea was to put DarkRula on the spot, and force his hand in being cut off from the Jedi. It was also a way to introduce two sisters we'll be seeing more of later. Lei'sa and So'lei are Twi'lek bounty hunters who are able to use the Force. They aren't Jedi, so they've had to teach themselves to use those powers. These two have taken the Federation up on their bounty, and with their help storms the Jedi base on Forsaad. The intention is to get the location of the Jedi main base - Ilum. This is all part of the war between the Jedi and the Federation of which both sides have been avoiding discussing with DarkRula. While I can't say the details - they will come at the end of this series - I can say that it will cause DarkRula to do something he has been holding back on doing.

So, with DarkRula and The Doctor performing upgrades to all the equipment and droids on The Ark, they are out of the action for the time being. Which gives us time to catch up on what the Daleks have been doing. When we left them last, Dalek Rizon had forced Thalos into a lesser role with himself the new leader of Tatooine. Dalek Zane and Volk had stormed Cyrillia with the help of the Mandalorians to capture the human to droid technology. We will see the outcome of this, as the Daleks make plans to increase their strength by adding to their numbers. Once they can work out all the problems with it. All of the Daleks are therefore on Tatooine, along with the Mandalorians. Since the TARDIS malfunctions again, DarkRula never knows this. All he knows is that a third Dalek leader has been on the planet, and at the end of Hide and Seek has rejoined the others. Hide and Seek will also be going deeper into some of the events from the audio episode.

Before DarkRula and The Doctor part ways until Endor, The Doctor makes a request. He wants to know what happened before he arrived. Where the Daleks arrived and what they did during DarkRula's first encounter with them. A journey with the two in the Scimitar follows, with the exact same journey taken as Kronis and DarkRula had taken those many weeks ago. Coruscant, Fresia, Byss and Empress Teta are all visited, with DarkRula explaining the action that happened at each place. I'm not just going to stay in the past with this arc though, as current events will happen as well. I'm not going to say anything else on that.

The next major thing to happen would be the jump to audio episode four. As I explained, this would be split into it's original four and five episode names, essentially making up two episodes. In Dark Descents we have The Doctor returning to The Ark with the location of where the Daleks are hiding. Once they arrive at Endor, the start of the battle will be told from the other side. The Mandalorians boarding The Ark. It also gives a better chance to see Krayt Skirata's thoughts on the matter at hand. In the audio series, we don't really get to see much at all about why Skirata would change sides, other than the fact Kronis was friends with him. Within Dark Descents, we'll see the action from his side, his wondering at what the Daleks have caused him, and sudden realisation that he should help destroy them instead of helping them. That doesn't mean we won't have time for the battle between DarkRula and The Doctor.

With Final Throwdown, DarkRula and The Doctor head down to Endor in the Scimitar, hoping to find the TARDIS and stop the Daleks once and for all. Down on the surface, and again from Skirata's viewpoint, we see the Scimitar crash down on the surface near the entrance to the base. The talk between Skirata, DarkRula and The Doctor happens, with Skirata finally admitting to himself and to others that he wants nothing more to do with the Daleks. After giving the warning, he jets off. The viewpoint is now on The Doctor as a revelation is to come. Dalek Zane corners them in the generator room of the base, where preparations have now been finished. The Doctor and DarkRula find a turbolaser battery after Dalek Zane activates the start of the void creation sequence, and fires upon the cruiser of the Daleks. It gets pulled down to Endor, and is headed straight for the base. The void opens and claims the ship, defeat is in the air as a turbolaser gets fired, but that turbolaser fires into the void, restoring energy and closing up the void. The ending will be the same as what happens in the audio episode, though it will be from DarkRula's perspective. Some of the dialogue will be changed to reflect the new canonicity of events, and that is the end. DarkRula and The Doctor part ways.

Except for one more thing. Upon cleaning through the base, DarkRula finds that it was once a sub base of the Jedi. While it might have been abandoned, it still had a live link to the Jedi main base. All of the information about the Jedi and Federation war from the archives of Master Tee Vol's journal is found by DarkRula. He shouldn't have been able to see that, so some Jedi Master had been there and left the link open. It never said why the base was abandoned, but the Jedi-Federation war was more important to DarkRula. The story of all of it is told here. And the final scene is of DarkRula vowing to give both the Jedi and Federation a war they will never forget.

Once this has been finished, there will come a time where I revisit this universe to follow DarkRula on his new quest. However, I would want to take a break from the universe to try my hand at other things. The Chameleon Chronicles does have another side of the story, after all. That being from Sonic's perspective. I'll give more details on that when I get to it. And with that, the Look Back, Look Ahead series of posts for Doctor Who: The Star Wars Chronicles is finished. With how many episodes are left to write, this series should be finished during the first half of next year. Look forward to them.


Doctor Who: The Star Wars Chronicles Look Back, Look Ahead Series
Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4