Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Yet More NX Rumours - Layout, Size, and Region Freedom?

Yep the NX rumours are coming thick and fast in the run up to the upcoming (rumoured) reveal event later in September. 

The chaps over at "Lets Play Video Games" the folks who brought is the previous rumour about the NX fancy rumble and motion controllers has brought yet more to the rumour table.

Layout Rumour
LPVG is now saying the NX features an "share" button much like the one found on the PS4's pad. They say that the actual share functionality allows for both screenshots and videos. These can then be uploaded to Miiverse, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (interestingly Twitch isn't mentioned). Their source also states that Nintendo has (seemingly) abandoned its solid D-pad that's graced all their systems in favour for an PS4 style "split" design. I assume this is to better enable the D-Pad to pull double duty as face buttons when the pad is detached for alleged spiltscreen MP. (though the 2nd picture below raises an eyebrow or three).

Here is their sources own words (and MS paint doodles) on the design.

"As others already said, it’s a hybrid console with detachable controllers that have a split D-Pad, A, B, X, Y, and a camera / share button. However, something I believe none of them have mentioned is the size of the current dev kit.
It’s slightly thicker than the Nintendo 3DS XL when folded, so 25 mm, with a width of around 281 mm and a height of 92 mm with the controllers attached. Separated, the controllers have the same depth and height, and they both have a width of 38 mm, making the console itself have a width of 205 mm.
I’ve made a picture detailing where the TV port, headphone port, SD Card port, power button and cartridge port can be found.
NX Layout 1
One final thing I thought I should discuss is how the controllers connect. They’re both held by the console via a hole in each side of the system where the controllers can connect to. It sort of looks like this.
NX Layout 2
To take it out, there’s a button on the back of each controller that lowers the center spike that keeps it in place, making it eject from the system."

Region Rumour
Both LPVG and Emily Rodgers (infamous sniffer) are both stating that the NX Prototypes and the NX Dev Kits are currently region free with no sign from the Big N that this will change for the retail units. It makes a lot of sense to have the NX region free as it allows Nintendo to use a single stock for the world market, no need to produce more units for Japan when you have EU units gathering dust. With all of the NX's rivals (consoles/tablets) being region free it seems wise to bow to this particular piece of pier pressure.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Another Day, Another NX rumour... or Two

oh boy these rumours just keep on coming now Eurogamer has apparently blown the lid on the NX. Today's rumour has a little extra weight to it. Plus bonus rumour!

UPDATE: It seems my source on Miss Rodgers wasn't complete, she confirms the previous MVC report (this infomation is added to the rest of her section of the original story below.

Controller Rumour
This latest rumour first reported by "Let's Play Games" via an unnamed source first backs up Eurogamer's rumour of detachable controllers but goes on to say that these controllers will feature "Wiimote like" motion controls and "advanced" force feedback. The later being described as being similar to that found in the HTC Vive's hand controllers. Which means the device is able to offer multiple types of vibration unlike other console controllers which only modulates the one type (excluding the X1's feed back triggers... like 90% of devs have). Here is what the source has to say about it

“very similar to the Vive controller, in that it alters intensity, pulsing patterns and duration of vibration to mimic the sensation of a range of different movement types. It’s not just one vibration for all situations, there’s a notable difference between the hard abrupt feedback of a sword clash or the softer, longer thud of something like hitting a tennis ball.”

This rumour has some official and unofficial backing. The official backing comes from Ubisoft with Just Dance hitting the NX, Ubisoft stated that Just Dance will come to "any and all motion controlled systems". Whilst the unofficial backing comes from known Nintendo rumour monger Emily Rodgers, Miss Rodgers not only confirms the above is true but goes on to spill some more details about the prototype device.

  • The NX had a multi-touch 6.2 inch 720p screen.
  • The docking station had 2 USB ports.
  • Detachable motion controllers with advanced force feedback.
Miss Rodgers is quick to point out that this was the prototype NX and not even the pre-production model, so details have likely changed a little. Miss Rodgers also claims the MCV rumour stating that the NX was getting an Gamefreak made Pokemon game in the first 6 months "Had some truth to it

This report dose make us at GKUK smille because it increases the chance of the NX getting a Splatoon game that plays like the Wii U title and reminds us of titles like that used the motion plus like Red Steel 2/Wii Sports Resort and titles that understood the Wiimotes limits like Monster Hunter Tri and Twlight Princess (whilst not as super responsive as normal controls having a disjointed pad was relaxing)

Reveal Rumour
Tom Phillips Deputy Editor of Eurogamer says he believes that the NX's reveal will be in September. His sources (who are behind their NX report) say that the reveal was always planned for September and that "hasn't changed" he does say however that information isn't flowing as easily as before Eurogamer reported on the NX.

Phillip's source believes their will be a Nintendo Direct reveal for fans whilst the press will get a more hands on event at the same time

Abe's Take
Not the NX
As a Vision 8 (see above) owner which boasts an 8 inch screen plus 2 controller parts it feels a little unweildly to be taking out the house (perfect for home Xbox streaming though) 6.9 feels about right for the retail version of the NX which is meant to be played at home and out 'n' about. However 720p seems awfully low since its going to have plenty of 1080p rivals in both the Tablet and Console markets, Case in point the now "legacy" PSVita had an 900p screen.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Doom console reviews pt2

With Doom (2016) being with us for sometime now, we at Gamesnights go over the past ports of the series evaluating them on their pros and cons.

Doom 32X

Release Date: November 21st 1994, Players: 1, Levels: 17, Bosses: 1

The 32X was by all accounts the start of Sega’s downfall. A bad decision from a company that barely sold. That doesn’t stop Doom 32X from being one hell of a game to play.

When criticism is levelled at 32X Doom it often makes you wonder if the detractors had even played the thing. The truth is they probably haven’t. Even with an entire episode missing, and no 2 player option, the addictiveness of this game is undeniable. The gameplay is right there sucking you in with smooth breezy controls and a slick level of animation. As the enemies flood the screen, and fall to your firepower, the framerate is constant and perhaps the best in any console port.

Doom 32X even offers a higher challenge to the initiated because of a certain limitations. Much like the SNES version, the enemies are only animated to face you, however the difference is the 32X hardware allows them to move faster and also prevents them from blurring into the background so you have every chance to spot an assault while the superb framerate doesn’t drown the combat in mud.

The superficial arguments used against 32X Doom are soundtrack focused. The ignorant mass will inform you that it is the equivalent of static electricity and methane gas having baby time while a faucet drips in the background. While this hyperbole has some bearing, to say this soundtrack adds nothing to the game would be simply wrong as you traverse grey moon cut corridors and endless voids as daemons scratch there way towards you. The tin coated atmosphere the low frequency music brings to the game is oddly fitting.

Being the launch title for the 32X, the curse of Doom32 might just be that it was simply one of the few good games on a console that should never have been made. Now it is just an enigma in time.

Gameplay 4/5 Entertaining and cathartic.
Graphics 3/5 Many animations have been removed but what remains is incredible.
Sound 2/5 Very faithful creature sounds and an often derided dark soundtrack.
Longevity 4/5 Short and no multiplayer but its addictiveness speaks volumes.
Pc to Port 3/5 Missing an entire episode. No BFG.

Overall B-
The first port of Doom to arrive on consoles, Doom 32X is forever the underdog for the shallowest of reasons. Its primary fault is that it is far too short. Regardless, the game will hook you for some time.

Jaguar Doom

Release Date: November 28th 1994, Players: 2, Levels: 24, Bosses: 1

Though the 32X version opted to be marketable sooner; delivering a fun yet fleeting game because of it, Jaguar Doom hit the shelves when the project was completed. The result was a fully realised game with 2 player co-op and deathmatch along with all the weapons and levels the 32X port lacked.

As you enter the familiar void, the first thing to become immediately obvious is the complete lack of all background music. While this may detract from the games action and excitement it further serves to increase its level of angst and violence as the player becomes more in tuned to the games environment. The chainsaw is that little bit louder, the long corridors that much emptier and the strange gurgling at the end of that corridor all the more concerning.

This is also true in cooperative mode as you cautiously move ahead etching ever closer to a distant gun battles and foul screams. It is undeniable that silence has irreversibly changed this version of the game forever. The atmosphere is brooding with a keen shadow of nihilism. Every little detail that was there before has been enhanced.  It is a version of the game that is that little more visceral. Blander, yes, and yet more cerebral. You will be etching to evacuate hell as soon as possible. This is as close as the game gets to a survival horror experience.

The carnage is in full screen with deamons just as interested in slaughtering themselves as you and yout comrade as you traverse the dark corridors all the while concerned about an ambush. Suddenly there is a noise up ahead, you branch out and pull out the shotgun. If this is begining to resemble a typical game of Doom that's because it is. And it's brlliant.

Gameplay 4/5 Doom played with the isolated atmosphere of Alien.
Graphics 5/5 As close as a console port could be to the PC game.
Sound 2/5 Fantastic sound with no soundtrack which is both hindrance and blessing.
Longevity 4/5 The 2 Player mode makes this
Pc to Port 4/5 A decent port only lacking due the absence of a grand final boss

Overall B
When Jaguar Doom was released it was being pushed as the systems killer app and with good reason. This is a one of the grimiest, meatiest console ports of them all. Dense in atmosphere and with a fanatic 2 player mode.

Doom 3DO 

Dare you enter the chamber of farts?

Release Date: April 23rd 1996, Players: 1, Levels: 24, Bosses: 1

Doom 3DO adds a new addition to the series – ice skates. As every level has you hurtling out of control past the items you wanted to pick up and the enemies you needed to shoot. 

The upshot of such lag is this control pad to game response is also bestowed upon your enemies whose seeming artheritis mean they struggle to hit you as much as the enemy soldiers in Rambo 3. Thankfully, these issues are reemedied with the addition of beer goggle as the game provides the option of shrinking the visuals down to total none existence in order that it can respond faster.

G-imp makes roll to wound. Critical miss :(

To summarise, you have two choices, you can play a game that isn’t there. Or you can see a game you can’t play. Something positive? Well, the background music is performed live by an 80s garage band in an inoffensive sort of way. But, you know I’m clutching at straws when the best compliment I can give this game is its skill in vibrating my eardrums.

Doom 3DO is a masterclass in how videogame companies kill the industry. Pick a licensed product. Check. Hype the game up before you’ve even started the work on it? Check. Christmas deadline? Check. Cut the staff? Check. 

Doom 3DO was one of the first ports to include specters (invisible demons). It's a shame you'll go blind before you can appreciate this.

But don't take my word for it, here is the bloodcurdling story of the SOLE programmer who worked on the project to a TEN week deadline. For an additional Doom 3DO challange - try watching it without pulling your hair out. Atari’s "E.T." and George Santayma’s quote about "those who forget the past..." were clearly not areas covered in the 3DO handbook of “how we conduct super business and stuff.” Unsurprisingly, they went backrupt less than a year after this games release.

Gameplay 1/5 Abysmal (if you opt to shrink the screen, replace this score with graphics)
Graphics 2/5 Practically isn’t there (if you opt to zoom the screen, replace this score with gameplay)
Sound 4/5 The highlight. Possibly better than the original games if you are into 90s rock remixes.
Longevity 1/5 Shorter than Hear Say’s career and twice as deadly
PC to Port: 2/5 All the great things are there. Way, way, way over there.

Overall D-
Certainly not the worst game in the world but still a dark example. Doom 3DO is like looking at the greatest party you have ever seen through a keyhole while all the guests make fun of you.