Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana – Vacation Isle

Your ship sank, your crew is missing, and you’ve washed up on a mysterious island, completely alone. So many questions flood your mind. Where am I? Where’s the rest of the crew, did they make it? This couldn’t be the mysterious Isle of Seiren, could it? Am I stranded? The existential anxiety fades as you begin to look around in awe. This place is beautiful.

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Ask Iwata – Leading With Your Heart

It’s been six years now and I still remember the day he passed away. I was living by myself in a lonely rural town and stumbled on the news in a tweet when I got home. We’d heard that Iwata was sick but the severity of it was not clear until now. It was a massive shock. It felt like I’d lost a family member, except unlike my real parents, Iwata was actually a good person. He had something that I had rarely seen in adults and certainly not leaders. That missing thing was empathy. Empathy for his peers, empathy for his employees, empathy for gamers, and empathy for people who didn’t game. Empathy is one of the most important parts of being human, our species simply wouldn’t survive without it. Yet, it is barely taught or understood.

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Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity – The Power of Technology

What would you do if you heard a great calamity was on the way? Nothing, probably. Where’s the evidence, a time traveling mini robot? Pfftt, you just want my data. Nobody would believe it. Thankfully this is a videogame free of narcissism with a cast of heroes, royals, and eccentric warriors who are keen for adventure. Enter the Age of Calamity.

(Zelda is visibly shaken by the watermark that Koei Tecmo decided to put on all of their Switch screenshots. So many scenes ruined. Nevertheless, all screenshots were taken on my Switch in docked mode.)

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Super Mario Sunshine – Disaster Strikes Pianta Village

I’m buggered. As soon as I heard the emergency call I shot my rocket nozzle straight towards Pianta Village. Taking advantage of the chaos, Shadow Mario stole my FLUDD backpack as I went through the pipe. Great. Doesn’t he get tired of ruining people’s lives?

Things have been tough ever since we arrived at Isle Delfino. I’ve been framed, thrown in jail, and treated like a criminal. Shadow Mario propaganda is all over town, and the Piantas all look at me in disgust. This was my chance to make things right.

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Super Mario 64 – Still Wallkicking

Good afternoon, Lakitu. It’s good to know that whether the year is 1996 or 2021, he’s still reporting live. Indeed times have changed, but this game really does still inspire a sense of wonder in its own little time capsule. I’ve started a new playthrough for the first time in years (in 3D All-Stars) and the experience has been so valuable I had to write about it. So many things about Super Mario 64 are still great, and its flaws make me thankful for where gaming is now.

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Videogame from a million years ago

[Objective: Hunt Food]

Ssshhh! We found something. The tribe stops and analyses the situation. These tracks on the ground… it looks like a deer has been here. Judging by the amount of dirt that’s covered the footprint, it’s 8 hours old. Judging by the depth and outline of the footprint, it was moving fast. Judging by the direction of the footprint, it was heading east. Several more footprints confirm it continued in this direction. A few snapped branches confirm it was in a rush. Does that mean there’s another predator nearby? We had better get back to the rest of the tribe to see if they are okay. These mushrooms and berries will do us for another day, and we can head east tomorrow to look for more tracks.

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Project Triangle Strategy – Field Report

The last Nintendo Direct initiated a surprise attack. While Square-Enix is running Octopath Traveler into the ground with a low-budget mobile outsourced exclusive prequel cash-grab, the developers of the original game have moved onto a brand new project in what they call the “2D-HD” series. Project Triangle Strategy has a similar rich pixel art style to Octopath but the genre has shifted to strategy. Even though it’s not releasing until 2022, they dropped a juicy demo to give us a taste of war.

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Project Warlock – Shooty Newman McRetro

I’m here to play games and chew bubblegum, and I’m all out of retro-themed non-linear FPS games. Oh wait, just found one. Hold the bubblegum! I’ve got some GAMING to do.

Project Warlock immediately impresses with a crunchy badass guitar riff, with tons of options on the main menu to make you feel like you’re about to order an explosive meal at the Mayhem Diner. The gameplay feels right at home with other 90s FPS games like Doom or Duke Nukem 3D, but the graphics take some getting used to. Unlike other FPS that imitate this style in actual retro engines (like Ion Fury in Build), this game is made in the more modern engine Unity. It has a cel-shaded outline with more of a Minecraft or Dragon Quest feel. It took me a while to get used to, but it runs well and allows for some impressive lighting effects and colours that really pop like candy. Candy popcorn. Bubblegum you can swallow.

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Daylife in Japan – Lo-Fi Jigsaw Jams

This title stuck out to me while I was browsing the eShop in a daydream state. Daylife in Japan… yeah that’s somewhere I want to be. Oh, it’s a jigsaw puzzle game? I almost lost interest but after watching the trailer I was sold. It had a comfy animated pixel art street vibe and the music was relaxing and thoughtful. Perfect. It’s not often I would buy a game on the aesthetic presentation alone, but for $1.50 why not?

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Balan Wonderworld – Demo of Broken Dreams

Wow! This demo kicks off with an incredulous wonderful high-budget CG intro. Kids have discovered a magical realm where all their dreams can come true! The magician is overwhelmingly energetic in his motions to sweep you off your feet to a brand new world with infinite possibilities. His design is a bit creepy, but that just enhances the sense that he’s an otherworldly magical being. You can’t see all the possibilities in life until you cut two eyeholes in your hat. This brand new 3D platformer by Yuji Naka, creator of Sonic the Hedgehog, NiGHTS and Billy Hatcher, was shaping up to be an exciting prospect.

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Timespinner – ChronoTriggerVania

What if you could travel back in time and warn humanity about global warming, pandemics, toxic waste and growing oppressive capitalism? That’s right… nobody would listen and you’d be thrown in a mental ward with bad conditions. But what if you also had platforming skills and magic?! Heck yeah, you could just solve the problem yourself! In Timespinner we’re about to do exactly that.

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The day the corners disappeared – F1 2020

It was a rainy day at Jerez, Spain. As a rookie I had thrown myself into the deep end of online racing, joining any lobby I could find. I’d already been involved in some big battles but this was the smallest grid yet, just the three of us. No matter what happened, I would be on the podium at least. That wasn’t the goal however, as I only had the top step on my mind. I had come 2nd a few times now and was hungry for that first win. Little did I know, this would not be an ordinary race.

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Ion Fury – Cyberpunk 2095

The year is 2095 and Betamax Tapes are back in fashion. Cyber punks have gone rogue on the streets, somehow overthrowing the police, military, the CIA and all the world’s power structures by strafing left and right and looking intimidating. What else is back in fashion? Old school build-engine FPS games. Ion Fury takes all the nostalgia and design structure that make classic FPS so great, and unchains them with modern console technology. This allows for massive levels, more defined gunplay, accurate hitboxes, and significantly more objects on screen at once. Does all of this make the game more fun, however?

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Improve your wall jumps with this one simple trick! SNES Classic controller surgery

Ever get that feeling like your jumps aren’t getting that extra oomph? Inputs feel unreliable? Your button is a bit too unresponsive and starts sticking to the controller? Can’t get it up anymore? It can happen to anyone. In this tutorial I’m going to show you a trick the top speedrunners don’t want you to know. Allow me to present ….. opening up and cleaning your controller.

What you’ll need;

  • SNES Classic controller
  • Small phillips screwdriver
  • Small wipes, tissues
  • Cotton buds with rubbing alcohol
  • Relaxing music
  • Peppermint tea (for drinking)
  • Sheer determination to have the very best A button there ever was

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Whipseey and the Lost Atlas – Good Enough

Whoopsee, the word you say when you’ve just bought a one dollar eShop game and the existential guilt washes over you. Oh sorry, I meant to say Whipseey. Everything is fine here. We’re jumping right into the depths of the Nintendo Switch library now. I love platformers so I took the plunge on this when it was on sale for a dollar. Aesthetically it looks like a Kirby clone but the feel is more like a Game Boy Mario game if he had a whip. This game has 5 worlds so I’m going to make this review 5 paragraphs.

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