The Touryst – Fynding Your Way

Welcome to paradise. You’ve just arrived here on a boat with nothing. No money, no suitcase, no directions and a boat driver who doesn’t know the area. You also have no recollection of your place in the world or a backstory. This is a small island with 2 houses, a shop and a mysterious looking temple, with nothing on the horizon. What’s a tourist to do?

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Pokemon Sword & Shield – Escaping The Noise

When I was a kid playing Pokemon Blue I would dream of a world where you could see Pokemon out in the wild. They’d run around and you could chase after them or just watch them play and be themselves. The ultimate Pokemon game would be so interactive, fun, mysterious and exciting, and look beautiful. It would carry all the great design strengths of the main Pokemon series, and even offer new Pokemon itself in a new land. The ultimate Pokemon game. Back then people dreamed about what the first console Pokemon would be like. Now developers Game Freak have been dragged kicking and screaming to a powerful piece of hardware, finally, and what do we have? The ultimate Pokemon game? Could we finally be at that point? With the amount of fun I’m having right now with Pokemon Shield, I’m going to say yes. They did it. I don’t believe a perfect game will (or should) ever exist, but I believe this could be the best Pokemon game yet.

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Ring Fit Adventure – Better Than Real Life

You planned on going for a jog today, but… it’s just not a good morning, is it? You’ve just woken up and it feels like a terrible idea. It’s hot, there’s smog in the air, people outside, lots of traffic and commotion. You might bump into people on their way to work or school. You might step in something. You might have to cross several roads and jog on the spot awkwardly in front of traffic. Birds could poop on your head. Car horns are going off, lights are flashing. You’re not going anywhere this morning… but what if there was still a way? Maybe tomorrow.

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Borderlands 3 – Keeping Up With The Calypsos

After seven years of DLC and side-stories for Borderlands 2, the third game is finally here. I’ve jumped into it over the past week and have been enjoying some vault hunting on brand new planets. The story is new, environments are new, there’s a million new guns, and the vault hunters themselves have brand new skills. So, what else is new? I keep hearing people say it’s just “more Borderlands” as if to downplay this game. Of course it’s more Borderlands, the title of the game is Borderlands 3. It’s not inaccurate, just a lazy way to describe it. Borderlands 3 is purposefully designed as a sequel and does a pretty good job improving the core gameplay while offering a new scenario. I’m currently level 20 and will go a bit more in depth about what’s new.

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Luigi’s Mansion 3 – PAX Aus Demo Impressions

OooooOooOoo! Do you dare enter the house of horrors? After a 20 minute wait in line, I got to play the spookiest game at PAX Aus. The booth was very dark and had about 8 Switches, with glowing ghosts around the wall. They put a lot of effort into the presentation for this game, it was definitely the most interesting place in the Nintendo booth. The line for Pokemon Sword and Shield was longer, but they just had generic setups there. This experience had atmosphere similar to if you were playing on the couch in the dark at home.

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Borderlands 2 – The Vault Hunter’s Guide to the DLC

I’ve been playing a lot of Borderlands 2 over the past few months and completed the whole regular campaign again in The Handsome Collection (named after evil protagonist Jack Handsome). I love the game and had a great time but didn’t think it was really worth a writeup alone, because it’s pretty much what you’d expect. The same game from 2013 but with retouched HD graphics at 60fps. A loot-based shooter with a post-apocalyptic setting, some dark humour and lots of bandits, gunfights, looting and exploring. It’s a very good game and a joy to replay, but many people have been there and done that. After getting The Handsome Collection however, it comes with all the DLC I had never played before. I was surprised and delighted to find this content was even more fun than the main game.

It can all be a bit overwhelming however, with dozens of places you can fast-travel to as soon as you find a fast-travel station in the first hour of the game. Having now played every single bit of content in this game, I thought I’d dissect the DLC a bit here and try and help anyone who doesn’t know where or why to start.

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GRID Autosport – Switching Gears

Racing simulators have quite the history of avoiding Nintendo consoles entirely. The last really good one I remember playing is F1 2009 on the Wii, ten years ago. Since then I’ve just got my racing fix from other consoles, with their analog triggers and in-house games like Forza offering a very solid driving simulation experience. Suddenly out of nowhere, a port of GRID Autosport has landed on the Switch eShop. I was a little cautious at first, as racing developers have treated Nintendo consoles with the bare minimum apathy in the past. Anyone remember Project CARS on Wii U? Exactly. However here we are in 2019 with the Switch kicking arse and taking names, and GRID Autosport is the real deal.

To say this game delivered what I wanted would be an understatement, it vastly exceeded expectations. Feral Interactive have not just ported the game, but upgraded it in every way imaginable, with a higher resolution and framerate than the original game, and controls and graphics optimised for both docked and handheld mode. This game is quite simply the best racing simulator to ever grace a Nintendo console, and by extension, the best one ever to grace a handheld. It’s an absolute miracle.

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