I've owned every title in the XCOM franchise. I've played XCOM: Enemy Unknown on Windows rigs, my Mac, PS Vita, and, on my iPad. I won't relate the shameful number of hours that I've spent on these games: It makes me sad to think about it. But, for some reason, I can't tear myself away. I've been playing XCOM 2 since it was first released. When I got tired of the main storyline, I loaded up the Long War 2 mod. Perfection.
As it's been a few years now, I've been hoping/waiting for a portable version of the game to play on plane flights or on the couch with headphones when insomnia gets the best of me. I assumed that it'd come to iPadOS, first. I was wrong: it came to the Nintendo Switch. On the morning of May 29th, I downloaded it on my lunch hour and started playing it, that night. I'm still playing it, between hits of Kentucky Route Zero and Borderlands 2, and working on my novel. However, in close to a month, I haven't been able to finish the game on my Switch.
XCOM 2 keeps freezing up in the later stages of the game. Around the time that I'm equipped to take down a third Advent base, the software tells me to go and pound sand. If it crashed, I'd be less frustrated than I am. But no: instead, the game hangs up, mid-turn, leaving me to wonder whether or not it'll get through the crunch or leave me closing the game down once again. Read the rest
My kids and I loved playing Paper Mario on the Wii. Today, Nintendo announced a new Paper Mario title for the Switch, called Paper Mario: The Origami King. Release date is July 17.
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The kingdom has been ravaged by an origami menace! Join Mario and his new partner, Olivia, as they team up with unlikely allies like Bowser and the Toads to battle evil Folded Soldiers. Try to free Princess Peach’s castle from the clutches of King Olly in this comedy-filled adventure, only on the Nintendo Switch system. Use the 1,000-Fold Arms ability to extend your arms to interact with the environment and solve puzzles. In battle, line up scattered enemies and plan your attack to maximize damage with the new, ring-based battle system that requires both puzzle-solving skills and a quick wit.
A San Diego-based Disney fan has made "happy haunts materialize" on his Animal Crossing: New Horizons island. Player Weary Bones (who goes by the Twitter handle @capuchinokappu) has re-created the experience of the Haunted Mansion as his in-game home, and it's nothing short of A-MAZING. It must have taken him weeks to make this. The level to detail is impressive — a real dedication to a worthy concept!
Take a look:
He has since added the attraction's gate:
By the way, if you're looking for that wallpaper, it's called "Corridor of Doors" and it's available here. You can follow Weary Bones on Twitch.
A quick note about the game, from my perspective: At the beginning of this shelter in place, my 15-year-old asked for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and a Switch Lite to play it on. I obliged, not knowing that I would soon be swept up into this great quarantine escape. Before this, it had been about 16 years since I've played a video game regularly (Sims). Now, every time I play, I find something new and joyful. Read the rest
My kid enjoys this controller with the Nintendo Switch she has confiscated.
With the advent of Animal Crossing, the Nintendo Switch became sole property of my 13-year-old daughter. She immediately complained about the JoyCons and asked for this controller.
The BebonCool has dual shock and 6-axis gyro support, so it can be used in place of the Nintendo Pro controller. It also comes with a built in rechargeable battery that should out-last the battery in the Nintendo several times over.
She went with black and blue.
BEBONCOOL Wireless Controller for Nintendo Switch/Switch Lite, Switch Controller for Nintendo with Dual Shock, Motion Control for Nintendo Switch Controller via Amazon Read the rest
Nintendo released a video this morning highlighting some of the new content that will be available in a free update being released on April 23. The new content includes a Nature Day, May Day, two new merchants, and a new fine arts wing for the museum.
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All for the love of Animal Crossing in the coronavirus pandemic. Read the rest
Wow, man. Some of us take on more extreme projects during the Great Coronavirus Quarantine than others. Read the rest
As anyone that's been kicking around here for the past few years knows, I love the Nintendo Switch—not so much for its new games, although I do dig a number of those too. For me, the Switch is the ultimate port machine. As I do the majority of my work on a slowly dying early 2015 13" MacBook Pro Retina laptop, it's reasonable to say that I haven't been set up to play the majority of PC, PS4 and Xbox titles that have come down the pike, these past five years. Happily, My Switch is allowing me to catch up. I'm in the middle of The Witcher III right now. I've been playing a bit of the Metro series (which is great in handheld mode) on and off and, Good lord: Mario Kart. Yes, it's a Nintendo original, but I never had a pal who owned a Nintendo U to play it with. Now's my chance.
Over the past week, I've heard some fabulous news about a number of ports that I'll be thrilled to play when I'm not busy with work check this out:
The Outer Worlds, which is essentially Fallout: New Vegas in space, will be released for the Switch in June
XCOM 2, one of the best strategy games I've ever had the chance to play and not finish, will be released for the Switch on May 29th
The Borderlands Legendary Collection, which includes Borderlands, Borderlands 2, and Borderlands: The Pre-Seque, comes out on the same day
BioShock Remastered, BioShock 2 Remastered, and BioShock Infinite: The Complete Edition are all dropping at the end of May as well
There's no good time to be quarantined or sheltering in place (although we're currently doing so for a very good reason). Read the rest
Learn about "Nook Inc.’s Deserted Island Getaway Package" in Animal Crossing: New Horizons for Nintendo Switch, which is coming out on March 20, 2020.
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I just bought a copy of Sid Meier's Civilization VI for Nintendo Switch because it's selling for [amazon_link asins='B07HH8ZSMM' template='PriceLink' store='boingboing' marketplace='US' link_id='a046c09a-5dee-4d89-89fd-faa90c3f599e'], which is a lot less than it usually goes for. Read the rest
I use these screen protectors on my Nintendo Switch.
The Nintendo Switch gets handed from child to child. The Switch gets banged, bumped, dropped and treated like something a 5-year-old is struggling wrest from a 10-year-old. Screen protectors come and go, but thus far the Switch has been undamaged.
Three packs are nice.
[3 Pack] Screen Protector Tempered Glass for Nintendo Switch, iVoler Transparent HD Clear Anti-Scratch Screen Protector Compatible Nintendo Switch via Amazon Read the rest
I really like these 'ergonomic' JoyCon replacements.
The tiny JoyCons are a pain to hold. These replacements make holding the Switch while you play a lot easier for my carpal tunnel suffering hands.
Everything works like the stock JoyCon, except there is something substantial to hold on to.
Wireless Controller for Switch, BestOff Neon Red Neon Blue Controllers Compatible for Nintendo Switch Console via Amazon Read the rest
SanDisk's official Nintendo Switch 128GB micro SD card is on sale at Amazon today for [amazon_link asins='B07KXQX3S3' template='PriceLink' store='boingboing' marketplace='US' link_id='ac5ff517-506a-4ccc-91ba-eb1e311b5d8c']. This is the same price as the unbranded version. Read the rest
I downloaded Untitled Goose Game to my Nintendo Switch a few days ago. It's the most self-abusive fun that I've had (with a video game, I mean we're all friends here) since I owned an NES back in the day. If you're not familiar with the game's premise and don't care to watch the video, here's the short of it: You are a goose. You're kind of a dick (becasue goose). You fuck people's shit up. Constantly.
Or if you're me, you try to.
The controls of this game are simple. The laundry list of objectives the goose must fulfill before moving on to each new area are simple too. Completing said list to-do list? That's often more difficult. Some tasks are a breeze: scaring a kid so badly that he locks himself into a phone booth to get away from you was a piece of cake. Attempting to steal multiple items from the same person, collecting them at a single drop point? Kind of a pain. If the person you're stealing from sees you take their stuff, they'll give chase. The best policy is to drop whatever you had in your bill as soon as you're noticed: run too far towards your stash of swag and your hard-won loot will be found and returned from whence it came, forcing you to start all over again, often with your loot stashed in slightly more difficult locales than where you first snagged them from. I didn't expect a goose-related game to take careful planning or involve stealth. Read the rest
I love the mindlessness of a good quest-for-loot dungeon crawler. After a long stressful day, playing one for an hour or two gets me right out of my head. They're good games! But, for me, they'll never match the gory, cartoonish charm of Torchlight and Torchlight 2. When I bought my Nintendo Switch, around this time last year, I thought about how great Torchlight 2 would be a perfect port to play on the portable (alliteration, I know. I'm afflicted). I didn't think that it would happen: the game's development studio, Runic Games, closed down in 2017. But here we are: Torchlight 2 was released for the Nintendo Switch this week. After spending a good number of hours with the port, I can tell you that playing the game on a handheld, with control sticks and buttons trumps a keyboard and mouse in every way.
Playing with a joystick provided me with more of a challenge than pointing and clicking at enemies with a mouse. At the same time, it also gave me more of a challenge. Being able to map the Switch's buttons with my various abilities, spells and scrolls? Icing on the cake. Graphically, the game looks a lot tighter: but that could be more about the display resolution than anything else.
My only complaint about the port is that there's no way to tinker with mods like you can with the PC version of the game. But, for $20 Canadian (so, like what: three U.S. dollars?) it's pretty hard to beat the levels of portable entertainment that Torchlight 2 on the Switch delivers. Read the rest
Sometimes, I play video games to get out of my head for an hour or two. A bit of gaming allows me to numb myself after a stressful day at work or to relax through a bout of insomnia once I become too damn tired to read but not sleepy enough to drift off. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: the Black Order for the Nintendo Switch offers just the right amount of a dumb plot, decent graphics and button mashing to scratch my escapist itch.
For the past few years, everything in Marvel’s cinematic universe and many of their comics have revolved around the Infinity Stones. You’ll find no exception here. If you’ve seen a trailer for Avengers Endgame, you’ve got the broad strokes of this game’s story. Infinity Stones are powerful. Infinity Stones are bad. Bad people want them. It’s a plot that a wee kid could follow, which I suppose is Disney/Marvel’s plan. And why not? It’s a story that’s proven capable of printing its own money.
As you progress through the game’s various levels, you’ll take on progressively tougher foes with a team of four heroes of your choosing. Your roster of potential teammates grows as you bop along. There’s no earning new members... it just kind of happens. I’m a few hours into the game. Disappointingly, the amount of customization allowed for your heroes by the last two iterations of the game appear to be largely absent. There’s no costumes to unlock. No accessories that your heroes can mix and match to enhance their power set: just points and drops that allow you to power up in one way or another. Read the rest
I like to take my Nintendo Switch with me when I travel for work—being able to game in my hotel room is lovely. You know what would be even better? Being able to play some Mario Kart or This is The Police on my hotel's television. Sadly, the Switch's ginormous TV dock takes up too much space in my carry-on for it to be practical.
Happily, it looks like Human Things, the folks that brought us this neat bluetooth dongle for the Switch a while back, may have a solution. They've designed and are currently Kickstarting a wicked tiny combination HDMI/USB C charger that fits into a wall wart around the size of a 10-Watt iPad charger. Did I mention it has an additional USB port for charging your smartphone or a Pro Controller? Welp, it does.
The only catch, as I pointed out earlier, is that it's only being offered as part of a Kickstarter campaign. Normally, that'd make picking one of these up a non-starter for me. I've been burned too many times in the past by hardware that took years to drop or simply disappeared into the mists of time. However, as Human Things has come through in the past with I'm willing to some cash at them. If you feel the same, you can do so, here. Read the rest