Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Sonic Forces Poll

So Sonic Forces has finally hit, well, basically every modern platform and its time to ask THE QUESTION

That question. Has the Blue-Blur finally ended his streak of sub-par games and kept the quality that Mania gave us? Well, judging from the critical reviews, that answer is probably not. However, since no one here at GK-UK has dared to grab a copy (honestly when we get that Sonic itch we just hop on Sonic Mania), we're reaching out to our fellow gamers and seeing how the good folk who paid for it found the game. Kind of like a blue canary down a coal mine situation.

So, without further ado: Did you play Sonic Forces? Was it everything you had hoped for or just another let down? Tell us what you think below.



What do you think of the new Sonic Team game - Sonic Forces?

A classic
Good solid fun
Could have been better
Abysmal
created with Poll Maker

Thursday, 18 May 2017

ARMS is shaping up nicely!

Last night Nintendo broadcast their ARMS focused Direct and it's looking rather promising!


There's been some concern and hype for Nintendo's new IP. the two primary concerns for ARMS are controls and content. Last nights Direct certainly addressed the later.

The now roster now features 10 fighters (with two additional fighters/bosses showed but not announced), each character has a unique ability altering how they play. The newcomers are a robotic cop (with AI robodog), a woman with spring hair, and a "snake border"

L-R Kid Cobra, Twintelle, and Byte & Barq,

Full roster. (new characters in bold)
  • Spring Man – This passionate fighter’s bouncy hairstyle might look fake, but his passion for fighting is definitely real.
  • Ninjara – Using his nimble movements and ancient ninjutsu, Ninjara can disappear and warp somewhere else even in mid-air or when guarding.
  • Master Mummy – As the only character that can restore health while guarding, Master Mummy is a force to be reckoned with.
  • Min Min – With her ramen noodle arms, Min Min’s spin kick and throws are deliciously powerful.
  • Ribbon Girl – Possessing next-level jumping skills, Ribbon Girl violates the laws of physics with her unbeatable power.
  • Helix – Who is Helix? He’s an experiment gone wrong, that’s who. His springy body lets him move in unpredictable ways.
  • Mechanica – This mechanical genius dons a homemade power suit that can hover above the competition.
  • Kid Cobra – A fan of selfie sticks and live streaming, this hip fighter pounces on opponents with a charged-up dash.
  • Byte & Barq – Two fighters in one! This robot fighter and his robot canine companion battle together to unleash devastating combo attacks.
  • Twintelle – As an A-list actress, Twintelle uses her celebrity status to render her opponents utterly star struck as she walks the red carpet to victory.
The characters spring arms are customisable, with players choosing what they have on each hand (or is that HANDS?)
  • Types – Dozens of ARMS can be selected in the game, each with its own special power and handling ability. Different types range from the Toaster, which unleashes a flaming punch, to the Tribolt, which shoots three bolts horizontally. Some ARMS even boost defence, like the Guardian, which can be used as a shield.
  • Attributes – There are seven different ARMS attributes in the game, each with its own speciality: Fire, Electricity, Wind, Ice, Stun, Explosion and Blind. Different ARMS have different attributes, so it’s a good idea to mix and match for a strategic advantage.
  • Weight – When equipping the many different types of ARMS, weight is an important factor in determining performance. Weight affects momentum, so players have to keep this in mind when selecting ARMS. Stronger ARMS are more powerful but slower, while multi-hit ARMS are quick but have lower individual power. Punches can even run into each other while fighting, with the heavier ARMS knocking the lighter ones away.
  • Upgrade ARMS – As players fight through ARMS, they will rack up hard-earned in-game currency for use at the ARMS Getter, where players can use their skills to earn new ARMS and the ability to upgrade previously owned ones.

The Direct also confirmed multiple game modes and match types. Here we were expecting single player tournament, 1 switch local 1v1, 2 switch local 1v1 and online. However, ARMS has much more in store for players.

Match types.
  • Fight – In this main mode, two fighters battle against each other one-on-one to claim victory. During the fight, bombs and other healing items drop in, adding some strategic options to the proceedings.
  • Team Fight – Two players are attached by strings and must team up to battle another team of two. Attacks can hit allies, so watch out for friendly punches!
  • V-Ball – Similar to Tekken ball (or to normal humans; Volleyball). V-Ball is a sport that involves knocking an explosive ball into the opponent’s court.
  • Hoops – Grab opponents and shoot them into the net (or even dunk them for extra satisfaction) in this hard-core game of ARMS-style basketball.
  • Skillshot – Break as many targets as possible using the versatile powers of ARMS (this isn't limited to single player as one would expect.
  • 1-on-100 – Defeat 100 enemies in a row, one at a time, in this progressive battle mode.
  • ARMS Test & Training – In Test mode, players can try out randomised ARMS combinations, while Training lets them practice a number of varied drills.
Game modes.
  • Grand Prix – Win 10 straight matches in Grand Prix and players will face a final opponent to be crowned the ARMSchampion. (Is said to be playable in local multiplayer, It's unknown if that means 2v2 co-op or just player 2 invading the match arcade style.)
  • Party Match – By connecting the Nintendo Switch console to the internet, players can battle with up to three other ARMSplayers at a time that are in the same lobby as them. One lobby can hold up to 10 systems, but with up to two players per system, 20 players can potentially get together in the same lobby.
  • Ranked Match – In this time-honored coliseum, players compete online in 1-v-1 battles. By winning a match, a player’s rank goes up, while, conversely, losing will make that rank go down. While waiting to play a Ranked Match online, players can participate in any other mode to pass the time (and tighten up their skills).
  • Local Wireless Mode: When playing in Local Wireless mode, up to eight players with eight separate systems in the same room can gather in an in-game lobby and battle up to three other players at a time like in Party Match.
Nintendo also confirmed the DLC strategy for ARMS. Fresh characters and ARMS will be coming FREE for all players, The very same strategy that helped keep Splatoon active. Also mirroring the Ink shooter Arms will be receiving a global 'test punch' (that's beta for 'normals'), the download is available now whilst the beta opens next week.

Lastly, to address the other concern about the title there was a press event where gaming sites (not us) and magazines got to test out a near-finished build. Whilst there will be "proper button" controls Nintendo hasn't let anybody outside of Nintendo try it. However, almost everyone agrees that the controls work well, no waggle, and are responsive. The previewers are all stressing the game is closer to Street Fighter than Punch Out or Wii Boxing.

Abe's Take
I am extremely pleased with the new information. 10 is a reasonable amount of fighters for a first lineup, there are plenty of modes to try, and its starting to remind me a little of For Honor. It's also nice to see the stages are not just different window dressing and actually offer ways to shake up the gameplay. One level is a skatepark where players can hop on to "snakeboards" fighting on the move!

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Sonic Forces Unveils Third Character!

Sonic Forces has been getting a lot of attention. After all, it is basically a sequel to Sonic Generations, one of the few modern Sonic games that showed the character still has worth. 


There's been teasing for some time now that Classic and Modern Sonic will be joined by another hero. Now obviously 'Boom' Sonic was dismissed quickly and it seemed odd to have 1 version of any other of the franchise's heroes.

Well, rejoice fur fans! The hero joining Sonic is YOU! Well, we say you, we mean a custom animal character that you make. Your character's equipment and race/breed will affect your abilities. for example;

  • Bear -Blows away enemies with a homing attack
  • Bird - Flies high with double jump abilities
  • Cat - Keeps one ring after being hit
  • Dog - Restarts with five rings after the player dies
  • Hedgehog - Collects rings when getting damaged
  • Rabbit - Has longer invincible time after receiving damage
  • Wolf - Automatically draws in rings when near them
Check out the trailer now!




Abe's Take
I really don't want this, sure I buy WWE games basically just for the custom character aspect, and Xenoverse's custom character feature managed to cut through DBZ fatigue... FINE I'm probably going to get this day one!

ARMS Direct Incoming!

Nintendo recently released their E3 plans which involved a direct style "Nintendo Spotlight" so you'd think they would be done for the time being? 



WRONG! Upcoming motion (non-motion too) fighting game ARMS is getting a dedicated Nintendo Direct tomorrow (That's May 17th) at 23:00 for us in the UK, 00:00 CEST, 3PM PT and 6PM ET. Nintendo also confirmed Splatoon 2 will get a new trailer at the end of this Direct.

ARMS caused a quiet storm at the Nintendo Switch reveal event. It was at first dismissed as a possible Wii boxing follow up but somewhere between the reveal and the art style spawning metric heaps of fan art, the fighting game community started quietly talking about the game, that got a lot louder when Nintendo confirmed the title will also support traditional controls.

ARMS will launch exclusively on Nintendo Switch on June 16th.

Abe's Take
It's not surprising that ARMS is getting some attention, Splatoon followed a similar path when it was first announced. Can Nintendo pull it off again? Well, we have a month till we find out but regardless I sure hope Ribbon Girl and Spring-man appear in Smash.

Phantom Dust Remaster Tomorrow

Phantom Dust is a weird game for us at GKUK, as we hear about it often online but have no idea the game was even a thing when we had the original Xbox. So as you can imagine the hype of the announcement of a remake completely slipped us by as did the sense of loss when it was put on hold.

Turns out it was never released in PAL regions and as such we no longer feel like we stupidly missed out on something. Anyway, today Microsoft has announced the remaster of the original Xbox title will not only come out tomorrow, will be a play anywhere title (X1/Win10), and best of all will be utterly free.

Yes, FREE!

This remaster will use the original assets but will now be fully Xbox Live enabled, IGN reports they managed to confirm from their sources that the game will feature not only feature upgraded visuals (contradicting the official 'original assets') but also updates to the games single player designed to prevent players getting stuck.

I was going to post some videos of gameplay and what not. However, I decided if you're interested in the game you can just download it tomorrow for FREE!

Abe's Take
Well I was curious to see what the hype was about back when the remake, then remaster was announced but now its free, so why the hell not?

Monday, 15 May 2017

Rumour: Nintendo bringing Zelda to Mobile?

Nintendo has had mixed success with its mobile games. The first Miitomo was nice but wasn't a true game, Super Mario Run was a quality release but it's price stopped mobile gamers picking it up, and Fire Emblem managed to do well with mobile and core gamers.


Nintendo's next mobile game is set to be Animal Crossing which seems like the perfect franchise to bring to mobile, the entire game is the perfect microtransaction bait but according to the Wall Street Journal, Nintendo is already working on a new mobile game and it is a big IP.

The Legend of Zelda. This would be Nintendo's and DeNA's biggest challenge in mobile space as anything short of a "proper" Zelda will anger fans, whilst a "free to start" game will scare of mobile gamers again, and it will be incredibly hard to balance the two. Of cause, there is no guarantee this is actually a "true" Zelda game and could easily be a Tingle game... *shudders* or one of them hyper frustrating town builders.

Abe's Take
I'm excited to see what Nintendo does next in the mobile space and I think once they get past Mario and Zelda I think we could start seeing more neglected IP appear.

New Releases 15th-21st May

Yes, we're back but let's ignore that for now and check out some this week's new releases that we think are worth a look.


May 16th


The Surge (£39.99)- Xbox One & PS4

Coming from the makers of Lords of the Fallen (possibly the best non 'From Software' souls game) comes The Surge, basically a Sci-fi souls game. So instead of swords its chainsaws, instead of armour its exo-suits and instead of demons, its mechs and people. It's certainly shaping up well and is certainly on our watch list.

May 17th

Farpoint (£42.99) - Playstation VR

Farpoint is being billed as the PSVR's "first top quality" and "true" FPS playable with either the standard pad or with sony's new "aim controller" which surprisingly isn't just a plastic controller mount like the high days of the Wii. Whilst reports are very positive it's possible that PSVR's fate may lay with the success of this title.




May 19th

Akiba's Beat (£34.99) - PS4


A little something for the JRPG fans now. And Akiba's Beat certainly sounds like a treat (unintentional rhyming) for 'Persona' and 'Tale of' fans and just a little trippy.
  • Realtime battle system similar to the 'Tales of' series
  • Build a team of friends - all with unique skill-sets and enter the minds of the delusional
  • Imaginative dungeon worlds based on the delusions of other - from music fans to Idol obsessives
  • Customise your crew with clothes and accessories bough from stores in Akihabara
  • Explore Akihabara in a perfectly mapped 1:1 version of this legendary discrict
  • Incredible art and animation with characters brought to life using 2D Live
Portal Knights (£19.99) - Xbox One & PS4



Here's an interesting indie title. Portal Knights infuse the Minecraft formula with some action RPG blood. Players will be able to select their class, level up, craft items, shape the world, explore more worlds, and stab/shoot/burn enemies with a seemingly fast-paced combat engine. This game features 2 player split screen and 4 player online co-op

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (£32.99) - 3DS



In what is surely the start of a new series of remakes, Fire Emblem Echos takes us back to the 2nd ever Fire Emblem game but lovingly remade in the same engine that powers the excellent Fire Emblem Awakening and Fire Emblem Fates.

Why should we care about this remake? Well first this game is going to harder (magic users take damage when casting) and at the time the series wasn't sure on its own identity and features "traditional" RPG features like dungeon crawling.

Injustice 2 (£41.99)  - Xbox One & PS4



Here's our "big release" of the week. Injustice (oddly no subtitle) 2 builds on its predecessor in the usual ways, larger roster: 28 up from 13 (not including either's DLC), better graphics, more moves and so on. However, it also includes a new gears system (not that different from For Honor).

For those who don't know the Injustice games take place in an alternative world where Lois Lane is killed and Superman fueled by her loss refuses to let anyone else die and ends up A) killing plenty of his friends and B) becomes a dictator. The first game (X1 Backwards Compatible) chronicled how the Batman lead resistance toppled Superman's regime. Now in the sequel will see Superman's biggest enemy Brainiac invade the Earth, will Batman let the dictator out of his cage? (guessing from the cover, yes). Honestly this game should be an easy recomend for DC fans, fighting fans, or general comic fans should appricate the no holds bared narrative.

See also the Injustice comic series that sets up the first game.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Nintendo Switch eShop Content

Well merry Switchmas, Switchanukkah and Switchwali. As we wait for the entire staff to get their shiny new machine from Nintendo lets take a look at what's on offer on the eStore.

First, let's take a look at the retail games on eShop.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo, €69.99 / £59.99) - The big one, possibly THE reason to get Nintendo Switch.

1-2-Switch (Nintendo, €49.99 / £39.99) - A showcase of 28 mini-games to show off the new tech and to highlight just how awkward things can get (we're looking at you competitive cow milking.)

Just Dance 2017 (Ubisoft, €59.99 / £49.99) - The Switch version of this dancing title will include early access to some songs. Fun fact: This title was one of the first announced and was our first hint at motion controls for the (then) NX.

Super Bomberman R (Konami, €49.99 / £49.99) - Don't worry this isn't the weird hypersexual one. This is a classic return to form for the historic icon and should nicely showcase the Switch's multiplayer anywhere ideology.

next, it's the download exclusive Switch eShop titles.

Snipperclips - Cut it out, together! (Nintendo, €19.99 / £17.99) - A UK-developed co-op puzzle title where players must slice pieces off one another in order to solve each level's puzzle. There will be a demo available and a retail bundle with Joy-Cons.

Fast RMX (Shin'en Multimedia, €19.99 / £16.99) - The expanded version of Shin'en's amazing "if Nintendo won't make an F-Zero we'll do it for them" Fast Racing Neo. This version has improved graphics, a steady frame rate, 4 player splitscreen, 8 player online, more tracks, more cups, and more vehicles. If you miss F-Zero or want high-speeded racer Fast RMX is an easy recomendation.

Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment (Yacht Club Games, €9.99 / £8.99) - A standalone download of the Specter Knight campaign, in which the character's unique moves and the campaign can be tackled.

Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove (Yacht Club Games, €24.99 / £22.49) - This features all of the Shovel Knight campaigns and content, so that includes the Plague Knight, Specter Knight and King Knight campaigns.

I Am Setsuna (Square Enix, €39.99 / £29.99) - RPG that aims to bring to mind the classic JRPG titles of the 16-bit era whilst infusing it with modern designs. You'll notice the price is high but that due to it being a budget retail release in Japan.

VOEZ (Flyhigh Works, €20.99 / £18.99) - This is a music rhythm game that is also the first touchscreen-only title on the Switch. It features over 100 songs and has a strong following on mobile.

New Frontier Days: Founding Pioneers (Arc System Works, €9.99 / £8.99) - This former Android Free-to-play title in which you build a frontier town, colonising new land in the process; you're responsible for managing pioneers, gathering materials and even taming wild animals to be pets.

Vroom in the Night Sky (Poisoft, €8.99 / £7.99) - Imagine a "tricks" game like Tony Hawk but instead of a skateboard you have a big motorbike, instead of an ageing extreme sports star you play a anime "magic girl" and fly your bike in the sky.

Othello (Arc System Works, €4.99 / £4.49) - The famous board game comes to Switch with AI and multiplayer modes. It should be interesting how well this performs as the Switch could suit virtual board games.

The Switch is also seeing some SNK Neo Geo titles but to be clear these are not Virtual Console releases but are part of SNK's own version with added online functionality (sadly the leaderboard kind),

The King of Fighters '98 (Hamster, €6.99 / £6.29) - Well it might not be Street Fighter I've been desperate to play on Switch but KoF '98 is regarded as one of the best of the long series. I'm sure J Max may strike me down for that, but like SF KoF will match

Metal Slug 3 (Hamster, €6.99 / £6.29) - Honestly this is the only name I see in this section. The iconic series seems a perfect fit for the Switch's play anywhere multiplayer.

Waku Waku 7 (Hamster, €6.99 / £6.29) - Another fighting game... that I have no idea about. Wait, sorry, I know that it's colourful. That is all.

World Heroes Perfect (Hamster, €6.99 / £6.29) - This is the fourth instalment of the World Heroes series...

Shock Troopers (Hamster, €6.99 / £6.29) - This game is possibly the inspiration for every Micheal Bay film, admittedly in 16bit form.

To our friends in the US, I haven't been able to nail down a full list but it's largely the same but if anything is missing you can access the EU or Japanese eShops by creating new accounts "residing" in the retrospective countries.

Now if you'll excuse me I'll be staring out the window... for unrelated reasons

Monday, 13 February 2017

Bomberman is back! oh what!?

Looks like Konami is turning things around. We have Bomberman R for Nintendo Switch, we've got an R-rated Castlevania animated series and now Bomberman is coming back to arcades. It looks like Konami might have finally righted their ship.


Oh, come on! 

Yep, Konami is bringing BomberGIRL to the arcade. It's the same "classic" gameplay but with the classic Bomberman characters replaced with utterly generic anime girls. 



  • School-girl - check. 
  • Mecha-girl - check. 
  • Magic-Girl - check. 
  • Underpants-Pirate - check.
This seems to be a continuing theme with Konami announce something people want but then screw 'put a spin on it' which only ends up frustrating the fan base. We want a Fox Engine remake of MGS-III, we want Bomberman, and we're even interested in a co-op survival focused spin-off to MGS-V...

...

.... sorry to cut off my attempt to defend/justify Konami as I have just noticed each of these girls have bomb fuses attached to their butts...


... and their clothes explode when they get damaged...

Abe's Take
I honestly understand that Japan's culture is very distinct and as a nation, they don't have the same hang-ups (they have different ones) as the western world and it's disingenuous to rate this Japanese exclusive game by my standards. However, as I was attempting to say before being distracted by the *sigh* butt-fuses.

Konami there is an interest in you games, we understand Pachinko machines make you obscene money, and the Kojima's explosion damaged you but you can pull it back there is clearly someone in that boardroom with good ideas MGS-III remake, MGS-Survival and more Bomberman but it is also clear there is someone there who needs firing, the guy who says things like "yeah but as a Pachinko, add zombies, and Anime bewbs".

You can level with us Konami, this guy who keeps saying these things you've listened to him before.

                           

Friday, 10 February 2017

Breath of the Wild: Time line revealed?

We (like 98% of the gaming community) are very excited about the latest Legend of Zelda. Whether on Wii U or Switch the game looks great and certainly has people talking.

WARNING: Some might consider this article spoiler but we're only presenting officially released images via trailers and press releases. For the sanity of all involved, I'm not going to dive into the deep end of the lore and just focus on the visual reveals.

So you've been warned, still here? you sure? cool, lets jump right in.

One thing that has been a hot topic for fans ever since the initial announcement, Nintendo's promo materials has highlighted a... thematic similarity to the original NES Legend of Zelda. The wide open and seemingly unsettled Hyrule had players guessing the title could be set after Skyward Sword.


Then we started to see gameplay at E3 and suddenly we saw an interesting figure pop up, a Korok. A Wind Waker exclusive race and descendants of Ocarina of Time's Korai kids.


The post-Wind Waker theory gained more traction as a Rito appeared in a trailer. The Rito like Korok is a Wind Waker exclusive evolution of a classic (and in WW extinct) OoT race the Zora (still not happy about fish people becoming bird people when the world floods).


You add that one of the in-game items references "the great sea" it cements the post WW timeline. case closed then, sure Nintendo could release more nostalgia-infused artwork but that's just promo stuff, it's not like they could do anything to change our view of the timeline...



and... that is clearly a Zora and yes there was a Zora in WW but that was a ghost and so doesn't count.

That brings us to 'now' we've had Miyamoto and Aonuma answer some quick fire questions, they confirm some stuff (some seem jokey) and one such detail was that Breath of the Wild does take place after OoT

We now seem to have some pretty final confirmation as Gameinformer has unveiled a returning character from WW which counter-intuitively suggests the gap between it and Breath of the Wild isn't that extreme.



The floating merchant Beedle returns, this time switching (HA) out his boat for giant beetle themed backpack. Now is this the original Beedle or is he one of his descendants? This question is instantly dismissed as we now must ask is THIS Link a new hero or his he the adult form of WW/Toon link? guess we'll find out in a few weeks.

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild launches March 3rd on Wii U and Nintendo Switch.
In related news, Amazon has fresh stock of both the Grey and Neon version.

Abe's Take
I need to play this game, like right now!

Monday, 6 February 2017

Is the Nintendo Switch Expensive?

There is a narrative forming around the Nintendo Switch, according to online commentators and gaming sites the Nintendo Switch could be the "most expensive system" 

Now odds are you thinking on of two things, "it is expensive" or but it's cheaper" so I've decided to take a look at what I've spent on consoles I've bought on day 1 (would be wildly unfair to compare an post launch purchase vs preorders). Traditionally I have bought consoles with the intent of playing with someone else day one, whether it was when I was living "at home" it would be with my brother or "nowadays" with my wife. Regardless of "who" I intend to game with day one my plan is always the same. "grab a mixture of games and a pad"

Xbox One
The most recent purchase on my list, which was bought using a mixture of online preorder (so a little cheaper) and walking in my local GAME on launch day.
 

Day One Edition console: £429 (online)
Dead Rising 3: £49.99 (online)
Forza 5: £54.99 (retail)
Controller: £55 (retail)
Battlefield 4: £44.99 (online)

Total: £633.97 for 3 games, the system (+ Kinect), and two controllers

Nintendo Wii U
Nintendo's last system I picked up from my local HMV, frankly their prices for games was all over the place with Ninja Gaiden III for £59.99 but Sonic was £42.99


Premium console + Nintendoland: £299.99 (retail)
New Mario Bro's U: £39.99 (online)
ZombiU: £49.99 (retail)
Sonic All-Star Racing: £42.99 (retail)
Pro Pad: £29.99 (online)

Total: £462 for 3 games, console and two controllers (plus the hundreds of Wii accessories)

Nintendo Switch
Now I'm going to break down my Nintendo Switch preorder, which includes 4 games like the X1 but some are smaller titles thus cheaper.

Grey Switch: £279.99 (online)
Breath of the Wild: £48 (online)
1, 2, Switch: £34.99 (online)
Bomberman R: £44.99 (online)
Sniperclips: $20 UK price unconfirmed (digital)

Total: £382.98 for 3 games, the system and two controllers.

And that right there is what I suspect is tripping people up, They seem to be rushing out to grab additional Joy-Cons (£74.99 for a pair) and Pro-Controller (£64.99) because that's what we gamers do but, the reality is that the launch line-up hasn't justified the need for 4 Joy-Cons (ARMS isn't out till the spring) and the pro-controller isn't mandatory.

I've seen people's online lists include things like the charging grip (£27.99) stating it as a 100% necessity but again that's not true (yet). The Joy-Cons last 20 hours off a single 3-hour and 20 minutes charge. Only the person this effects is a super hardcore who wants to game for 20 straight hours in console mode but didn't buy the Pro-controller. The reality is a lot of us gamers have our controllers on charge when they are not in use often in accessories like this.

Which retails at £19.99
The Nintendo Switch has one of those built-in and even when ARMS launches and we decide the motion controls are the only way to play it (Nintendo has CONFIRMED it will also 'normal' controls) we aren't going to need both sets of controllers in play 100% of the time.

You'll also see peoples lists containing 256GB SD cards for the system, again saying it's a 100% requirement. Yes 32GB isn't a lot but neither is the 4GB found in the 3DS, or even (in contrast to their game sizes) is the 500GB in the X1/PS4. 32GB should do for day one and should even last us to payday.

That's not to say the accessories are cheap but considering each Joy-Con is own fully functioning controller, as well as unique features not seen in other pads like HD rumble, NFC, IR sensor and motion control. The premium price of £74.99 (for two and bumper rails) is warranted, but it is only after launch will see if it's justified. It is a similar story for the  Switch Pro controller at £64.99 but it features all the same tech as the Joy-Cons bar the IR sensor.

Of cause we're still in the pre-order land where prices are sky high, it only takes a look at the non-launch games prices to see we're still dealing with full RRP placeholders. By Christmas 2017 I'm sure Joy-Cons will be down to £59.99, Pro pads at £49.99, and the games will sit at the same price as the other two systems.

Abe's Take
The Nintendo Switch hits stores in less than a month and as we've seen today the Switch is only as expensive as we make it. Trust me I  know the temptation to buy everything we'll probably could need right away, Hell I nearly bought an arcade style fight stick for Xbox One on launch day and that would have been embarrassing as A)it was expensive as the console and B) Only 3 fighting games hit the Xbox One and none of them is Street Fighter

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Impressions: Ghost Recon: Wildlands - Beta

We've been gone for a little while and you may be wondering why? Well in truth there's been some unavoidable home life stuff (and a small coma from watching the Switch reveal) but we have also been deep into a heap of games, such as Ark, Battlefield 1, and a pair of Ubisoft Betas. Today we're going to talk about some of our experiences in the Ghost Recon beta.

Don't I know you?
Right from the get go there is a sense of Dejavu and that is initially very true, as Ghost Recon shares a lot of DNA with Ubisoft's other third-person shooter; The Division. However don't rush to write GR:WL off as "Division in the jungle" because unlike its RPG focused brother Wildlands is all shooter. Headshots are instant kills, melee attacks kill, and there isn't a health bar in sight. 

I know that last bit seems obvious when compared to other shooters but it clearly divides the two games and as such any potential buyer, for better or for worse, shouldn't affect any player's decision to play Ghost Recon. In fact after an hour or so Ghost Recon felt more like a co-op Metal Gear Solid V than Division. 


Open.
'Open'  might seem a weird subtitle there but it nicely sums up Wildlands. The game features a lush open world, characters are open not locked into classes, the entire game is open to co-op, missions are open to multiple approaches and playstyles. (Told you open was the right word), I know some people will read "co-op" and worry about the single player but as with all GR games single player features you commanding AI squad members (who aren't acting like players) who are there to support you NOT to take glory or get spotted. 


The mission one, for us at GKUK, is a key selling point. we've carefully sneaked up on a base, whip out our drones tagging bosses, before sneaking in to eliminate them (has not always gone well). We've casually driven in front of a convoy and had one of use pop out the boot/trunk to light up the drivers. I've also cleared out an enemy base by rolling a C4 covered bulldozer down a mountain.

The signature Ghost Recon Gunsmith returns giving players full access to their weapon, for example allowing us to take an assault rifle and alter the stock, scope, trigger, magazine, under the barrel, rail, barrel and muzzle.


Concerning
Now that's not to say the beta is perfect, far from it. The games lush tropical beauty covers a whole lot of roughness that we fear isn't simply down to its beta status. There are little things like how NPC react to bullets, how enemy bodies disappear, guards with helmets seem surprisingly weak to bullets, and basically, anything to do with vehicles.

The cars don't break fences as easily as they should, it's surprisingly heard to fall off a bike, vehicles slip out from underneath players (which is doubly odd as it gives you a prompt to climb onto them), and planes have an odd level off,,, well can you tell me what went wrong here.


Yeah... that, that was not right. like at all.

Summery
Ultimately it's the "here as some toys, here are some things that need doing" approach that has us excited to see the full game, even with the flaws/roughness of the beta its till a very tempting package. If the PR speak about the game reacting to how you.

Ghost Recon: Wildlands is due out March 7th and is coming to the usual Xbox One, PS4 and PC combo



Saturday, 4 February 2017

20 Years Today - Street Fighter III



Today marks the twentieth anniversary of the third entry in the arcade premier fighting series. The sequel to the 2nd most successful arcade game of all time, Street Fighter 3 was released when arcades and home consoles had had embraced 3D as the main driving force. Tekken 3, Soul Edge and Virtua Fighter 3 were now considered the forerunners of the genre. Everyone expected Capcom to embrace 3D like its rival Midway had done with Mortal Kombat 4 and attempt to play catch up with the new firmly established competition. Instead, in a ballsy David and Goliath type move, Capcom went ahead and made the most advanced 2D fighting game ever made and took its competition on under its own terms.
The game pushed the envelope of the 2D fighter  to new heights with huge attention to detail in animated design - in some occasions an unprecedented 1,200 individually drawn sprites per character - and gameplay  which included a parry system that allowed skill and precision to turn around even the most desperate fights along with other new features such as running and throw combos. As one fan noted "The replay value in Street Fighter 3 was amazing...Even after a year of its release at my arcade, people walk right past other arcades, and go straight to Street Fighter 3."
Though the game did not generate as much as Street Fighter 2, to be expected given the time period, word of mouth had travelled wide and by the time of the home releases the game had become a massive cult hit. Arguably the Blade Runner of the series, It's big breakthrough arrived with the home market releases on Dreamcast and more notably the anniversary editions on the PS2 and Xbox. 




Share your memories of Street Fighter III with us below.


Friday, 13 January 2017

Switch Day: Games

It wasn't all about the machine at the Nintendo Switch event, we even saw a LOT of games. Some new IP, some old, some first party and some third.

Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - 3rd March

There isn't much to say here other than the usual "Zelda continues to impress", the Switch reveal trailer gives us our first look at the story and her ladyship herself. Oh, the trailer seems to confirm fully voiced NPCs and it is coming out worldwide with the Switch 2017.



Super Mario Oddyesy - Christmas 2017

Billed as a successor to Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine. After exploring microgravity worlds of Galaxy and the 3D sprinting levels of 3D World, Mario returns to his exploration driven sandbox worlds. As you can see it all looks promising. EXCEPT for Mario mingling with "real world humans" and let's not forget/remember what happened the last time a mascot did that.


1, 2, Switch - 3rd March

An interesting party game where the Joy-Cons are the stars and the console and screen are simply the referee. Instead of competing "within" the game players face each other in real life. This looks like a hybrid of Wario Ware and the Wii/U Play series. 1,2, Switch seems like the perfect pack-in game (like Wii Sports/Nintendo Land but regardless we think this could be hit at parties... perhaps as casual gamer guests "hydrate".


ARMS - Spring 2017

Now this is something that caught our eye here at GKUK as it looks like an awful lot of fun and appears to feature a good amount of challenge and skill involved. Nintendo is planning to reveal more later but promises the games has depth. Looking online it appears people would of preferred the fighters to use Dragonball Z energy blasts, personally I am shocked this hasn't been attached to Mii's or Mario



Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - TBA

Surprisingly, the only Wii U port for Nintendo Switch announced today was "MK8 - Deluxe" whilst Nintendo didn't go into details as what exactly was added we can pull some things from the trailer. Battle Mode is fully restored to its glory with custom-built arenas and several new characters, vehicles and tracks such as Inklings and Inktropolis.



Splatoon 2 -TBA

Yeah, we totally thought this was just going to be a "remix" of the original game with some minor add-ons. Instead, we appear to be getting a full-fledged sequel wit more maps, more weapon types (actual different classes), voice chat and local multiplayer modes.



Super Bomberman R -TBA

Bomberman is back baby! It has been awhile for the little guy after his god awful 360 reboot but he's back on Nintendo Switch for his 33rd anniversary. The classic gameplay returns but with new twists, campaign and boss battles.



Puyo Puyo Tetris - TBA

Prepare for a puzzling nightmare as Puyo Puyo and Tetris join forces to take on four players at once, TOGETHER. featuring multiple games modes almost certain to give you some form of PTSD. Check out the trailer and feel you brain ooze.



Xenoblade Chronicles 2 - TBA

Yes apparently Xenoblade Chronicles X on Wii U is not the second Xenoblade Chronicles... moving on. XC2 does look like a true sequel to the first game in terms of tone and style. Here's hoping the British accents return in this one.



Fire Emblem Warriors - TBA

Can anyone hear that? Does it sound like a phone? oh, it's me! because I FRAKING CALLED IT!
Sorry, smug mode cancelled. Not much to go on here other than Koei Tecmo are returning to the land of "warrior" Nintendo spin-offs with the ever so perfect fit of Fire Emblem.



Dragon Quest - TBA

Speaking of Koei Tecmo they are also working with square and bring their OTHER 'warrior' spin-off to a long-running game to Switch. Yep, Dragon Quest Heroes I + II are on their way along with Dragon Quest X (the MMO) and Dragon Quest XI (still no idea which version).



Sonic and SMT

Sega confirmed multiple titles for Switch. Both 'Untitled Sonic 2017' and Sonic Mania (the all new classic Sonic game. Sega and Atlus also showed off a teaser for Shin Megami Tensei 5, which interestingly appears to be set in the modern day and ISN'T a Persona game.


"Project Octopath Traveler"

Not a lot to go on here. Well, other than the interesting 2D-3D-2D art style and is being brought to us by the excellent team that brought us the Bravely Default series.



Skyrim

Yep, Skyrim is 100% coming to Switch, allowing you flee your family as they attempt to force you and the Skyrim apart. It's unknown if Skyrim Switch is the legendary edition or if there will be mod support.



Capcom

Capcom managed to surprise us by quietly announcing "Ultra Street Fighter II: The Last Challengers". USF2 is being billed as a new game by Capcom. however, it appears to be an expanded version of the brilliant Street Fighter 2 HD Remix. Which features lovely new art from Undon the makers of the Street Fighter comics and manga.

USF2 adds in two 'new'  characters "Evil Ryu" and "Violent Ken" (one evil with the Dark Hadou, the other twisted by M. Bison), and a new 2v2 co-op mode, unleashing 4 players on the screen at once.

Ubisoft

Ubi confirmed their open world winter sports title "Steep" will be coming to Nintendo Switch and that Rayman Legends is getting a super special edition with "plenty of surprises"

Others
There's also a bunch of other games shown (and confirmed) in montages.

Has-Been Heroes (March 2017)
Disgaea 5 Complete (TBD)
LEGO City Undercover (Spring 2017)
Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers (TBD)
Fast RMX (TBD)
RIME (TBD)
I am Setsuna (March 2017)
No More Heroes: Brand New Title (TBD)
Minecraft Story Mode: The Complete Adventure (TBD)
Minecraft (TBD)
Just Dance 2017 (March 2017)
Dragon Ball XENOVERSE 2 (TBD)
nipperclips – Cut It Out, Together! (March 2017)
Arcade Archives (TBD)
Farming Simulator (TBD)
Skylanders Imaginators (TBD)
Syberia 3 (TBD)
NBA 2K18 (September 2017)
FIFA (TBD)
Redout (Spring 2017)

Check out: Switch Controller - Switch Pre-order

Switch Day: Controllers

So Nintendo finally blew the lid off their new machine, The Nintendo Switch. The Big N showed off the new machine, some new games, and finally the secrets of the Switch's Joy-Cons.

I've decided to start with the controllers as they turned out to be rather surprising. Even though some of the functionality was leaked or was expected thanks to previously announced games. Let's take look at the new guys.

Evolution.


The Nintendo Switch is the evolution of the entire Nintendo system line and the controllers have certainly picked up some tricks from is forebearers.

Things to be noted; The little black square on the left pad IS a 'share' button allowing players to take screenshots (video to come later) which ca,n be shared via "social media". If you look a,t the two black interior sides of the joy-cons, you will spot 2 silver buttons, there are shoulder buttons for when one joy-con is used. These buttons can be enhanced with grips (included in the box). Nintendo also revealed the Joy-Cons will have colour options, Either separately or with the console. Neon Blue and Neon Red.

The Joy-Cons also house two bonus secrets. First, it appears the NFC Amiibo reader is IN the R-Stick. Secondly, the right Joy-Con features and nifty IR camera (currently isn't used to replace touch controls) that can gauge distance and even tell hand signals.

The Joy-Cons are also full separate motion controllers (as Just Dance's presence suggested) and feature super interesting 3D rumble that somehow (we assume magic) is able to give the impression the Joy Con is a "glass with an ice cube" reacting to the movement of the user. This effect was demonstrated as being able to simulate two cubes, three cubes, even three cubes suspended in water.

Options.
If you're the type of person who shudders at the term "motion controller" then you'll be happy to hear that Nintendo is billing the new system as one of "options". The Joy-Cons can be used like "a normal controller" mounted in the controller mount (also included), separately (one person using both pads), independently (one person/one Joy-Con) and up to four of them can be linked to one machine.

Nintendo confirmed that the Pro pad will be available for a separate purchase and can be used on anywhere "normal" controls are used.

Check out the Joy-Con segment.


Check Out: Switch Games - Nintendo Switch pre-order

Abe's Take
I've got to admit I wasn't expecting to be excited about the Joy-Cons, I desperately love being able to relax my arms and play. Playing MH with the Wiimote was probably the least tense I've been on MH ever.

I a,m hyper curious on just how the "ice cube in a glass" vibration works and feels

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Microsoft Cancels Scalebound.

It has been confirmed that Platinum's dragon partnering, pseudo-sci-fantasy, headphone wearing, action RPG and Xbox exclusive has met it Dragonborn and been suddenly killed off.



The above is basically our expression here in the GK-UK base. As we were massively looking forward to this. Fighting alongside our own dragon buddy, exploring the strange new world, and some co-op dragon fighting. Here's the trailer that was shown just 6 months ago at E3.




Here's what Microsoft had to say about the cancellation. WARNING! is fairly standard PR response.

“After careful deliberation, Microsoft Studios has come to the decision to end production for Scalebound. We’re working hard to deliver an amazing lineup of games to our fans this year, including Halo Wars 2, Crackdown 3, State of Decay 2, Sea of Thieves and other great experiences.”

Now there has been two responses bouncing around online to the news, The first can be surmised as Charlton Heston in Planet of the Apes (1968) with fans digitally howling into cyberspace.

The other version is much like Old Yeller with MS taking Scalebound behind the woodshed unloading both barrels in the face. 

Judging from Scalebound's delays and almost silent updates it sounds - as badly as it does - that the game was trapped in development limbo. We love the guys at Platinum but they have super busy with the small team handling exclusives for Nintendo (Wonderful 101, Bayonetta, Star Fox), Sony, and Microsoft but also Activision's (poorly received) licenced games such as Legend of Kora, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Transformers Devastation

.Abe's Take
I am really bummed about not being able to play this. At the moment we can't even be sure who owns the IP. If MS owns the rights then we might see the concept return at some point but if Platinum owns the rights we might see it returns as a multiformat or even a "saviour" game where a publisher steps in to cover the costs (Bayonetta 2)

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Rumour: Switch UK price, US Zelda & Mother 3

Well looks like there is more retailer fun regarding Nintendo Switch and Ms Dale is still leaking (rumours, not bodily fluids), Lets hope these retail rumours are unlike yesterdays.

First up we have UK retailer Argos has put an price on the Nintendo Switch, an actual one and not some super place holder like GAME's £999.



Is the price an simple place holder or has Nintendo already passed on details to retailers? It's certainly a fine guide price and we have heard previous rumours that there would be £299.99 bundle. Its worth noting that price is cheaper than a PS4 Pro but more expensive than an Xbox One S (though that appears to be more to do with an Amazon sale)

Next up we have Laura Dale saying she has access to Nintendo Switch's US launch promo materials and it clearly states Breath of the Wild as a launch title. This puts an end to her previous on/off report that Zelda: Breath of the Wild was delayed for Switch.


What about UK release? Well some Amazon UK pre-order customers are reporting emails confirming an change of release date from "2017" to "31st March 2017"


The release date for the video game listed below has been changed by the publisher, and we want to provide you with a new delivery estimate based on the new release date:
"The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild"
Estimated arrival date: March 31, 2017
The Japanese magazine CoroCoro has had an upcoming issue leaked and that too confirms a spring release.

Ms Dale also claims that Mother 3 will finally see a western launch as part of the Nintendo Switch's Virtual Console. Now excuse me whilst I roll my eyes. not that I don't believe her but "MOTHER 3 COMING WEST!" has to been the most persistent rumour over the last 5 years or so. Before every Direct, E3 and TV appearance the Mother 3 rumour has appeared. This rumour has, in the past claimed the credibility of several "insiders" such as Ms Emily Rogers.



Abe's Take
I'm hesitant to believe these, rumours simple because of yesterday's burn but that is mostly because I really wanted those red cases. I also refuse to believe Mother 3 is actually coming to the west until the game actually loads on my TV.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Eye of the Dragon (2005)



So, the New Year is here. Time I use that old Christmas present. You know, the one that you receive years ago with gratitude but then become so busy it winds up in a pile somewhere. It vanishes. You forget you have it. Then, one day, it falls out of a magic hole somewhere onto your head – usually leaving a lump - and you go “oh yeah! So and so got me this!” then precede to feel guilty for the next hour or day or week or whatever at what a complete and ungrateful git you were. Well, that reckoning day is here and that gift is Eye of the Dragon given to me by my sister about (checks date) ten years ago. Time I gave this thing a whirl and see what it’s all about.

To very briefly introduce this: it is an adventure gamebook. I love adventure gamebooks – or at least I did at the time – and this one is also by a favourite, Ian Livingstone. How can I even begin to summarise this. Ian Livingstone next to perhaps Bruce Dickinson is the career equivalent of a space race. Ian brought Dungeons and Dragons to Europe, started Games Workshop, began Warhammer, began the British magazine White Dwarf, became chairman of Eidos, revamped Tomb Raider and on the seventh day presumably he rested whilst being given an honorary degree (and rightly so).

Somewhere in between all of this, he also invented RPG adventure gamebooks. Eye of the Dragon is one of these books - his first in thirteen years – and said to reflect his years of experience in the gaming industry. “I'll have that,” I said to my sister. “Ok,” she said. And on it went to my shelf until this very day.

I open it and begin to read.

I play the role of the token tough adventurer who is down on his luck. One day. while trying to get some shut eye, some weary looking chap named Henry Delacor informs me that for five long years he has searched for a fabled dragon statue - worth the very specific amount of 335, 000 gold coins. It is hidden in a labyrinth under the city and will kill anybody who touches it unless they insert two precious emeralds into its eyes. He’s just back from that labyrinth now - apparently after only discovering one of those emeralds.

“I’ll go!” says my character.

“Here, drink this slow acting poison,” says Henry “that way I can be sure you will return here with half of my reward for the antidote.”

“Ha, don’t make me laugh old man” I say as I push him ove…

No, I’m kidding. I down the poison in one shot.

What sort of jackass am I playing?


So, I make my poisoned way through some scary, evil forest to discover a house. Inside is a trapdoor. Visions of Zork spring to mind and I wonder if I will be eaten by a Grue or something. I should mention at this point that in determining my characters strength I came out as reasonable. So, imagine more a Jason Statham over that Conan image. I can’t punch through walls but I’m ripe enough to oil wrestle a few orcs when that awkwardly inevitable moment arrives.

I quickly come to a branching path offering a left or right choice. I pick right and arrive at a door. Inside is a man who wants to sell me a picture of an Owl. Feeling slightly confused I buy the picture and ram it into my bag pack before walking out. Awhile later, I arrive at a door. This one contains a merchant who operates one of those chalk, fish hook and pickled pigs tail type businesses. How these men get to work every morning through some guy’s basement or indeed what the market for owl paintings and tin whistles is in an underground, secretive labyrinth - I don’t quite know. Feeling a little annoyed at this point, I only buy one pickled pig’s tail on the way out along with an obvious silver dagger. 

Suddenly, I step on a pressure trap which releases arrows and it's almost a relief to be under attack. Seeing as this is the first luck roll of the game, the arrows skirt around me.  I walk on reaching another arbitrary left and right fork. I continue right and find a pit which I have the option of swinging over on rope or jumping over. Figuring the rope will be cut, I choose to swing across it anyway as I want to be in character playing this dumpling. It is completely safe so I’m guessing those merchants put it here to aid shoppers reaching their store. 

On the other side I find…more doors.

 Door 1: empty of threat and offers the choice of a free bronze plate of armour or an iron plate of armour. I take the iron which boosts my skill.

Door 2: contains a woman in cage who flirts with me. I approach her, discover she’s a vampire and instant kill her with my dagger. No challenge. I gain a jewel on a gold chain.

Door 3: contains gremlin which dies in two hits. I am rewarded with a silver key and magic green goo in a jar which may or may not be gremlin poo.


By this point, my bag is so loaded with trinkets and sparkleys and wonders that I am almost in danger of being crippled under its immense weight. There is no item limit so I can carry as much swag as I like. I eventually reach a corridor where two skeletons try to swipe at me with swords but I walk right past them. To make this encounter more entertaining, I imagine them both standing there in utter disbelief and one probably shouting after me “Yeah, and don’t come back!”

Thankfully for my oblivious moron, the dungeon is entirely idiot proof. A helpful arrow points to an area where a giant sandworm atempts to jump me and is promptly slapped aside. My prize is an un-trapped chest with 27 gold pieces, a book of poetry and a staff. I becomes so jaded at this point that I choose to whack the staff on the floor sustaining my first minor injury in the act because this isn’t just any old staff it’s the super, amazing, awesome thunder staff that can kill evil sorcerers in a single hit…yaay.

The old criticism of "Monty Hall Dungeon" or the more British term "Supermarket Sweep Dungeon" really sums this adventure up. I wonder through constant rooms, down left or right branching corridors and get tanked up with items that are either way over powered, may or may not be requirments later in the game or result in instant death. 

Eventually, I discover a dwarf in one of the rooms and on freeing him he follows me about for the rest of the game like a miniature David Dickinson cracking terrible jokes and saying things like “Oh I wonder what’s in that treasure chest,” “this room looks interesting.” 

And, if you fall over, we have Injury Lawyers For You!

Trying to ignore him and keep my sanity, I run into the intelligent and slightly deranged sorcerer in question simply called Evil Sorcerer. Luckily for me, his accuracy is so awful that every spell he casts misses (I only discovered he was there by turning around to see that the wall was singed) and unless you are standing directly in front of him you are entirely safe. The catch? He has a sword that kills you in a hit. So, Jar Jar Binks wielding the Soul Reaver. I pull out the staff, he explodes, I carry on.

Finally, we manage to find the jewel of I’m An Adventurer Get Me Out Of Here and then Mr super insanely ridiculous unskippable over the top boss arrives - who is to my surprise not made out of special item. His attacks do double damage, but thankfully me and the dwarf manage to take care of him. Then, it’s back to the shopping trip - a brass bell, a bronze statue of a monkey to go with my owl painting, and a silver armband. 

With two pages of items filled in and our quest at an end, we walk into a room to fight the titular dragon. It’s asleep. We walk past it. End of encounter.



Then, just in case you were thinking this book was made with beginners in mind, the second final boss appears. He is a doppelganger of the shopping loving dwarf and is offensively unkillable. You can only beat him by luck as every attack round you have suffers an accumulative minus two to the dice roll. No item in the game prevents this bro down from happening. You just have to oil your chest up and jump right in there.


After having our 24th legendary final battle for the supermarket, I decided the gasmillion gold groats the dungeon would ram up my arse for winning really weren’t worth it.

And thus my dodgey 'venture came to an end. I left the 24 dead version of me on the dungeon room floor, put the fictional world back on my shelf, picked up a New Year’s drink and wondered what in the whole of hell inspired Ian to write such a bannana. When no answer came, I went to wash the oil out from behind my ears.

Update: The real problem here was the marketing division. I don't speak their evil tongue but it turns out "game wrote following years of gaming experience" actually translates to "prototype adventure he cobbled together back in 1982 before he'd written his first book." Perhaps if this was published as the great unreleased Fighting Fantasy juvenile, more people may have accepted it for what it was and enjoyed it. Then again...