Monday, 10 December 2018

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - First Impressions [Gaming]

I’ve been playing Smash since Melee, as my post about the series shows, and while I’ve loved them all, I’m no fighter. Not a serious one, anyway. Each of the games meant different things to me, which stops me from truly ranking them in any sort of order. With Ultimate, though, I think I have that favourite.

I’d started up with regular Smash, and instantly found that rulesets can be created and saved before getting into a match. Straight into Stamina Smash I go then. The presentation is slick and easy to navigate, and the matches themselves are fast and fluid without feeling too overwhelming. Well, most of the time.

It feels closer to Melee in the fighting, with the tightness that Brawl implemented and 4 refined. The control of fighters is also tight, with the ability to map them however you wish still being present. And speaking of refinement, you have the ability to choose which track you want to play at the stage select without forcing it to play through stopping the other tracks.

The big thing this game has is the Spirits mode. Building on the system that 4 introduced with the parts, and creating some very unique situational fights in which to get them. It also brings in tactical play beyond the fights themselves, as you collect and build a team of a primary and up to three supports that give advantages and increase your power and defence.

And you’ll need to be changing up to fit the fights and making sure those primaries are levelled as high as they can go for when you need to change them. Some of these fights can get pretty insane with the things they expect you to do, such as fighting a character with an assist trophy always active that will ruin your day if you aren’t careful, or floors with disadvantageous effects such as lava or sleep-inducing spore. Everything can be countered if you have the right combination of spirits, so checking what they can do is essential.

While the story itself is minimal beyond the set-up, it does feel like an adventure thanks to the expansive map. As you progress by beating spirits, more of the map opens up. Some spirits are needed for situational blocks – such as the boat that needs Kapp’n to use – though once you have the right spirit the game will alert you to that fact. The map itself also looks very pretty in the hand-drawn style, with a lot of diverse areas.

If you don’t want to go through World of Light, you still have access to the spirit fights through the spirit board, though unlike in World of Light a failure on the board is a one and done deal unless you have an item to restore that bounty. World of Light allows you as many tries as you want, so it’s probably better to start off with. I jumped straight to the board and managed to accrue a decent collection before starting World of Light.

Smash Bros. Ultimate really does feel the best of the lot, with a new training mode that allows testing in a lot more depth than before. The game itself has a lot to give, even if a few of the smaller modes are missing. The music is on top form as usual with the series, with the largest collection of music yet.

Overall, this is worth it, for both solo play and multiplayer. New fans can find something to like in this, with older fans sure to enjoy it for the great collection of stages and fighters it brings.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

December '18 Monthly Update [Network]

With the next major addition to Star Wars Battlefront EA 2 added earlier in the week, I’ve been enjoying it. Geonosis is an absolute dream of a map, and when that conquest-like mode gets added in February, I’m confident it will really shine. I’ve got a video up showing off the Galactic Assault scenario for it on both sides, along with two arcade matches to show off Obi-Wan Kenobi and General Grievous.

As for this month, I’m starting up the marketing for Space Race Championship by having a look at the two other worlds I have produced. Alternate Halesowen and Beyond will take a look at both Alternate Adventures of Halesowen and Secrets Behind the Truth, giving a few new extra bits about their creation. With the look at Elemental Heroes, I’ll be bringing out a few bits of that original Powerpoint which was the entire story and showing how it evolved from it.

Crossing to the New Life is taking a look at the rest of the shopping district and a few changes happening to some staples. After this one, the series will open up to pinpoint a few extra things around the town in detail. Of note is the campsite and the things that it allows.

There’s not much else confirmed for this month, except the first impressions of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but that’s just behind the scenes working as I am well aware that I’m not using Wattpad to the full and hope to rectify that with something. I am at least hoping to showcase a few more of my custom routes on Forza Horizon 4.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Crossing to the New Life - What Do We Do Today, Friend? [Gaming]

Animal Crossing just wouldn’t be the same if it didn’t allow people to visit each other. Since Wild World that connectivity has been easy, but the options for what to do when you visit have been limited. Only in New Leaf did those options start to expand, and so I’m going to give new life to those options.

With New Leaf, you had the island and island tours that hosted four players. With this new game, what if those options were brought to the main town instead? That’s what Games Hire is for.

 Above is a focused part of the map, with labels of what everything within the shopping district is. Games Hire is just one of the places that allows a form of connectivity previously unseen in Animal Crossing. See, there used to be balls you could roll around in the Gamecube game, but ever since have been missing. Games Hire brings those balls back to allow a kickabout to be had between friends.

That’s not all Games Hire is useful for, as there are other things available to you. Markers are available to cordon off an area to allow smaller areas of play for those that want them. Exclusive equipable items such as a hammer and water pistol allow games to be played that you normally couldn’t, and you can even design mazes that fit around the town to race through.

Destinations is where you go to explore areas outside of the town. Kapp’n and his family run it, with Kapp’n acting as the sailor to the islands. At first, you’ll only be getting a small island to travel to, 30x30 spaces in size. This island is an open island where you can meet anyone to trade items with in person or just have a friendly chat. As you meet more people [and people you invite to your town count as well] you start to unlock more islands to explore.

These islands are larger in size, offering up varied island shapes and rare items. These islands can be explored with people you invite – either those at your town or directly to the island itself. Island villagers live on these islands and offer up their own games to play. One of the islands also has the observatory to visit, with Celeste being the owner of it.

Destinations is also where you’ll buy swimsuits, fishing rods and bug nets. I know it makes little difference, but a bit of variation never hurts, which is why each tool now comes in ten colours – plus the silver and gold special variants – allowing you to add a bit of personality to your toolset.

If you want to advertise your town without having people visit, Favoured Fortunes is where to go. Katrina’s here, telling her fortunes to visitors. Fortune cookies are found here, with a lot of Nintendo-related goodies just as in New Leaf. That’s not going to advertise your town, though.

Luna has brought her dream suite services, sharing half of the Favoured Fortunes building. Just as in New Leaf, you can set your town up to be visited in a dream or visit other towns while dreaming yourself. Unlike in New Leaf though, you have a second code available.

Allowing people to visit the town you manage is all well and good, but what if you could completely build a town and all the little things for people to visit as well? That’s what the second code is for. It allows a more complete expression of creativity, allowing every house to be customised and the villagers that live in them – if you choose to do so. After all, there were some crazy things that people did just to impress people with the Dream system, so giving complete control should allow them even more freedom to create those weird and occasionally spooky places.

But that’s not all. After all, isn’t connectivity the fun of Animal Crossing? You’ve got your friends and you want to explore somewhere other than the islands or play some games, so bring them to Favoured Fortunes and share a dream to all experience a different locale.

Codes can be added to a favourites list, with your codes being freely available to anyone on your friends list and their codes easily available to you. Any randoms you meet with will automatically share town pass cards with each other – thus sharing the dream codes, giving even more dream towns to quickly access. Any visiting friends can also use one of their codes.

The last place I’ll talk about in this post is the arcade. Just what does the arcade allow? Access to redesigned versions of most of those games featured in amiibo Festival. Board Game, Balloon Island, Desert Island Escape, Card Battle, and Quiz Show are all available to play, plus the Puzzle League game from New Leaf: Welcome amiibo.

Those are the multiplayer games, though a few can also be played solo. One thing I want this arcade to be is a place where new styles of play can happen. Which means sports. The villagers in your town make up the rest of the players, allowing for a whole community to come together to play games such as baseball, football, basketball and plenty of others.

Those four places offer a lot of things to do when communicating, but obviously there’s going to be the usual looking around the stores to see what’s different from a person’s other daily selection. And how you shop around is slightly different compared to past games, as has been hinted above.

That is for next month, where I’ll be detailing the rest of the shopping district.

Crossing to the New Life Series