Splatoon is something of a phenomenon for Nintendo fans. Its a title that delivers family friendly arena combat in a fresh and unique way. The game was certainly a favourite on the wiiU, which I admit passed me by, but let’s make amends with that now there’s a Switch in the house.
Splatoon is franchise with a very well defined sense of character, there is no mistake when you see the artwork or catch a glimpse of a Squid of where they belong. It may be a hard task catching up when you don’t know the history, but it soon becomes familiar, although sense may come later along with buckets of pink and green ink.
Let’s be honest straight up, Splatoon2 is near enough a killer app for the Switch. It is an accessible and addictive online shooter, while there are solo modes to get you into practice it really is all about social gaming. The presentation and wrapping are essential to build the colourful world these creatures live in, but at its heart lies a slick and fun gameplay behemoth that will keep you coming back over and over.
The Cars franchise is one of Disney Pixar’s well loved products and rightly so, over the years Lightning and Co. have made it across the line in various videogames, probably most notably in the first incarnation of Disney Infinity.
Here we are in 2017 enjoying the third movie, which incidentally looks like a huge improvement over the second, with Driven to Win – a polished and exciting racing game that picks up after the events of the film.
We’ll just take a pause and speak in hushed tones for a moment, it’s also not just for kids. While the game could be levelled at the younger demographics there is plenty to keep an arcade or avid cart racer fan happy.
Okay, Rev, Rev, Rev – let’s go.
There is no doubt the Switch is benefitting from the introduction of classic franchise games like Zelda, Mario Kart and the upcoming soon to be franchise Splatoon. Everybody is getting a bit of what they really wanted, but what the system also needed was a solid, innovative and new IP, cue the strange and loveable brawler ARMS.
Taking a heap of inspiration from Western friendly Manga styling ARMS offers up an interesting roster of characters that are pitched together in beating each other senseless via their, yes, ARMS.
Of course it needed a twist, so here it is. The ARMS in question are spring loaded swing them across the arenas extendable arms, all loaded with exciting and varied beating instruments at the business end.
Take a couple of fondly remembered puzzle franchises, mix them up with some multiplayer add a party machine like the Ninetendo Switch and what do you get?
Well it’s certainly fun, but sometimes equally frustrating.
The original Gameboy for me was all about Tetris, that grey/green liquid crystal display and the unforgettable theme tune pumping away. Dropping blocks at speed and holding that big heavy handheld up to my nose in bad light. Yes, those were the days. Puyo Puyo, not so much. To be honest it has passed me by until now and while I could happily rank Tetris up alongside the the Rubik Cube or Othello as ‘easy to learn, difficult to master’ cultural icons I have to say Puyo Puyo is new to me.
I’m a purist when it comes to Mario Kart, having experienced many heart wrenching moments at the hands of the characters and many slating moments of joy. Especially sneaking a 150cc win against Luigi on the Rainbow Road. This was all of course a very long time ago on the SNES. When consoles were simple, you couldn’t Tweet or Post anything you did and the gameplay mattered, especially in glorious Mode7 graphics.
So twenty odd years later and here we are with a polished version of the wiiU Mario Kart, a extensive track list, extra modes and a host of characters new and old.
Start your engines.
Nintendo has always been something of a mystery to me, recent years I have been sold by the hardware, but never enough to stick with it. Maybe its the family friendly vibe or just that the killer apps have been just way too cutesy.
Don’t get me wrong I’ve lived and loved some good times with Nintendo, mainly SNES, various Gameboys and the ultimate couch co-op machine the N64. Of course those were the olden days, before things got online and social, before Trophies, Achievements and Coins.
Having been in the wild for a couple of months, we’re late to the Switch party, but that’s often not a bad thing. Continue reading