OMG THE NINTENDO DIRECT OMG

Moments like last night are when I wish I had a Twitch channel so I could have shared my glee with random weebs. Yesterday there was a new Nintendo Direct and it was FILLED with exciting news!! Most importantly…

NEW ANIMAL CROSSING FOR SWITCH IS COMING NEXT YEAR!

But I’ll get back to that in a minute. First, I wanted to talk about all the things I’m hyped about from the latest direct:

  • Luigi’s Mansions galore! There’s a new third game in the Luigi’s Mansion franchise coming out sometime in the future, plus the original GC game coming to 3DS this October.
  • New 3DS Games?!?! Just when you thought that Nintendo was done with the 3DS, they reveal a few new kid-friendly titles like Kirby and Bowser’s Inside Story.
  • Splatoon 2 Updates! I love how they always add new stages and features to this game. It gives me hope that when the new Animal Crossing game comes out, they will add new things just as often as they do in Pocket Camp. Splatoon 2 doesn’t disappoint and their constant game updates really make this game a great value.
  • New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe! Who can pass on the latest version of a Super Mario sidescroller? Plus there are two new playable characters (Nabbit and Toadette) that make the gameplay easier for younger players (or spastic ppl like me).
  • Nintendo Switch Online! It’s finally here! Now we get the pleasure of… paying for online service. Meh. But I’m excited about the Virtual Console library and the prospect of playing those retro games online with my friends. That will be cool! I need to figure out my family plan! lol
  • Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee! They revealed new features, such as your buddy Pokemon being an HM Slave and being able to learn special moves for gym battles. I’m ready to play! But I’ll definitely buy this on cartridge lol!
  • Super Mario Party! This game is coming out soon and to add to the hype, Nintendo showed us that there are ways to play the game that won’t even ruin friendships! You can play in a new CO-OP mode and be on a TEAM with your friends. That should be better for friendships…. right?!?!
  • Yoshi’s Crafted World! I cannot resist Mario’s green dino buddy. I always like Yoshi games, and I love how this franchise has embraced the craft world. I really liked Yarn Yoshi from Yoshi’s Wooly World, and now in the latest game they are adding more crafts to the design, like cardboard and string and it’s just so cute. The design styles of these Yoshi games are beautiful and I can’t get enough! Yay crafts!
  • Civilization 6!!! OMG! I wasn’t expecting this one! I looooove Civ I have been playing it since Civ 2 on Windows 95. I loved playing Civ on the DS back in the day as well, carrying my empire in my bag so I can play whenever I want is so great! I will be SO excited to play Civ 6 on my Switch coming this November! EEEEEE!!!!
  • New LE Switch Consoles! Here come all the cutely designed money-grabbing limited edition Switch systems! Not too long ago Nintendo announced the special Pikachu/Eevee limited edition Switch with custom color scheme and images of the cute Pokemon on the Switch dock. In the direct they showed off a new Smash Bros. Ultimate Switch design. This must mean that more exclusive designs are on the way in the future. Personally, I don’t love either of the two designs, and the fact that the dock is what gets most of the artwork is not a huge appeal to me. But we’ll see… if they make an Animal Crossing edition that I think is cute, I might get that!
  • ISABELLE IN SMASH!!! What??! I wasn’t expecting this at all! I am super psyched to try out Isabelle and make her my new main! I loved playing as Villager in Smash 4, so I would imagine that Isabelle will have a similar moveset. Hopefully she is quick and powerful!
  • ANIMAL CROSSING 2019!!!!!!!! As I expected, once the hype of Smash Bros. Ultimate has waned and Nintendo needs a boost, Animal Crossing will be ready for us to play on Switch! While it’s devastating to have to wait until NEXT year to get this game, I am super thrilled! I’m sure they will slowly reveal more details as time goes by, so my anticipation is SUPER HIGH! Who knows, maybe some of my predictions from my AC Switch Wish List will come true!

As usual, I didn’t cover everything in the latest Nintendo Direct, so I highly recommend that everyone watch it if you haven’t already! So much exciting gaming coming up on the horizon! What are you the most excited about??

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Game Review: Go Vacation!

Go Vacation!

It’s Labor Day Weekend! Do you have any big vacation plans? I don’t! Except of course, my private handheld getaway: Go Vacation for Nintendo Switch! This game is packed full of different activities and mini-games to play. Let’s take a quick look at what the different resorts have to offer.

Marine Resort

I’ve never been to Hawaii, but Kawawii Island must come pretty close in comparison. You get to explore the island using a marine bike, ATV, and a surfboard. Activities include beach volleyball, skydiving, scuba diving, and even a triathlon. You can take a scenic flight tour around the island to see beautiful views, or you can swim around the cove searching for secret treasure boxes. What I especially like about Go Vacation is that you can easily jump from the various activities using a menu, or you can roam freely around the island using your character.

City Resort

If you were a fan of the old Tony Hawk games from way back in the early 2000s then you will like the City Resort. This area gives you a pair of inline skates and a skateboard to roam the city with, and there are tons of half pipes to do tricks and rails to grind on. You gain points towards your character if you successfully complete a trick at any time, whether you are in an official activity or just doing your own thing. You also gain points by completing challenges in each resort, which in the city include activities like street racing, skate tricks, and fun arcade games like whack-a-mole and table hockey. What are all these points for? Unlocking furniture for your customized VILLA, of course!

Yes this game has a bit of everything; my need to design and customize a house is met with Go Vacation’s Villa! (Plus my need to like, own a beachside villa. This way is a LOT cheaper lol!) There are several decor themes to unlock, so there is a lot of motivation to complete ALL of the game’s activities to rack up as many points as I can get. The Villa area isn’t a resort with activities, but I thought it was worth mentioning here.

Snow Resort

For those of us who enjoy winter sports, Go Vacation includes a ski resort on a mountain, complete with bunny slopes and as you climb higher, there are steeper and more perilous options. There is a chair lift, but I like to use the snowmobile to get up the mountain. You can also use a set of skis, a snowboard and a snow tube to get around in this area. Activities range from your typical ski slaloms and long jumps to dog sledding, snowman making and snowball fights!

Mountain Resort

Honestly, I think this area should have been named Ranch Resort, because a lot the activities are what you might find on a dude ranch. You can ride a horse, an off-road car, or even in a kayak in this forest/mountain resort. There are lots of shoot-em-up target practice activities to play, as well as white water rafting, tennis and equestrian sports. Not to mention paragliding, where you can see more gorgeously designed aerial views while hitting balloon targets.

Is that all? No. I didn’t even describe all of the various activities in each resort, you’ll have to play for yourself to learn about everything! But there are also fun little side objectives, like finding all of the bungee jump locations in each resort, or taking photos of all of the animals that can be found on the different terrains. (Yes, this game has that Pokemon Snap element too lol!) There’s also fishing, treasure hunting, photo op spots… Go Vacation truly has all of the things I like!

The only thing that is missing are cats. You get a pet dog in-game (obviously because of the dogsledding activity – guess a kitty can’t pull a sled) but the only cats to be seen are in the City Resort, roaming around… or a giant lion sitting in the middle of the street.

Which resort do you think sounds the coolest in Go Vacation? It’s a great way to take a vacay without paying for airfare! I think the activities are a lot of fun, and is a nice change of pace from some of the other games I’ve been playing lately. I like how the joy con controls aren’t too overly complicated, and I look forward to trying out the multi-player functions at a gamer meetup next week. It’s also worth noting that Go Vacation was a little cheaper than most Switch games, priced at $49.99. I traded in some old games towards the price and I am quite satisfied! If you need a vacation, but only have fifty bucks to spend… try Go Vacation!

 

 

 

AC Switch: A Wishlist

THIS IMAGE IS FAKE (but it would be hilariously amazing)

The Glux Blog started off as an Animal Crossing blog when I was playing AC:CF on the Wii. Ahh… back in the day. Now this blog has evolved, and so has the Animal Crossing franchise. The ‘current’ AC game is “Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp” on mobile phones, and while it’s not QUITE the AC experience that we know and love, it’s pretty great. AC:PC has completely revolutionized gardening; added a goal system for helping friends, catching bugs and fish, scavenger hunts and other objectives that keep you coming back; and has introduced tons of new furniture and clothing items through game updates. They add new events and features all the time, so the game is always changing.

Missions that keep me coming back and playing more.

Before that game came out, we had AC: Happy Home Designer, another spin-off title that focused specifically on interior and (brand new!) exterior home design. It introduced the new grid system for moving furniture around and made the entire home design process much easier.  AC:HHD also added large size vehicles to the catalog, something that I think a lot of people have been wanting.

Grid Editor on the lower screen makes interior design much simpler.

These games are both fun in their own ways, don’t get me wrong. But they aren’t REALLY Animal Crossing. We haven’t had a fresh AC main franchise title in 5 years. We haven’t really heard peep about something being in development for the Switch, but it must be on the way. I think Nintendo is taking their time with the release, since they already have Super Smash Bros. Ultimate coming out this holiday season. That should sell plenty of Switch systems for 2018, leaving more sales opportunity for AC in 2019. There’s also this:

As for when Animal Crossing Switch may actually happen, Fils-Aime says that Nintendo isn’t interested in teasing games for years. When it comes to fan favorite franchises, the company would much rather reveal information closer to the game’s planned release.

-Gamerant.com

This I do appreciate… I hate waiting for years anticipating a game (*cough* Cuphead *cough*). But I DO want a new Animal Crossing game for Switch ASAP.

Just in case there’s still time for game developers to read my blog and grant my wishes, here is what I’d love to see in the next Animal Crossing game. Special thanks to Carney who contributed to this wishlist!

  • Grid Editor for design and layout!
  • The Camper from AC:PC rules! Let me drive it to my friend’s towns during multiplayer. I love having that little separate space to decorate.
  • Exterior design is a MUST! I loved editing the outside of my house in AC:HHD, having control over all the aesthetics, and decorating the lawn with items.
  • Let me dress my townies!! YAS! Gracie can judge my picks!
  • Daily Goals, Monthly Goals, and Event Goals would be great!
  • Free DLC & Updates as often as in Splatoon 2.
  • Design the interior/exterior of public buildings.
  • Incorporate the fun mini games from Amiibo Festival. Also, more co-op mini games from AC:NL’s Tortimer Island.
  • FULL AMIIBO SUPPORT that brings your favorite characters to town. I’m talking  about the Amiibo Festival figures AND the Amiibo Cards from AC:HHD, and maybe some new ones too.
  • The Nintendo Switch Online App sync’s with my catalog so I can view it on the go, kind of like a Pokedex.
  • Improved gardening and cross pollination with new hybrids.
  • Bring back the virtual console games you can play in your house, like in the AC Game Cube game. WITH MULTIPLAYER!!
  • More New Animal Types (More Unicorns??!!? 🦄)
  • New NPC characters too!
  • BRING BACK THE UFO IN THE SKY (just make it a little easier to shoot please)
  • More RL holidays from different countries. In AC:CF I would have to travel to friends in other countries to experience special holidays and get exclusive DLC. Why can’t we all enjoy the rich variety of cultures and learn about new holidays from around the world?
  • A release date within the next YEAR!!! PLEASE!!!!

That’s my wishlist… so far, that is! Until Nintendo releases info about an AC Switch game, all we can do is hope and dream. What do you hope to see in the next Animal Crossing title? Leave a comment with your ideas! 🙂

Nintendo Fall Forecast

It’s the first day of August! When I was a kid, that usually meant the start of the “Back to School” frenzy of commercials for new fall outfits and hunting for school supplies. Lately, in my adult life, the start of the fall season means LOTS OF NEW GAMES! Why do all the best games come out this time of year? I don’t know. But they do. (I guess to lead up to the holiday season?) Well my body is READY. Is my wallet?

Let’s take a look at some of MY favorite big name Nintendo titles coming out this fall!

8.28.18 – Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate

Capcom’s latest Monster Hunter title (in North America, anyway) is making it’s way onto the Switch! I was lucky enough to play a brief demo of MHGU at E3 this past June and I’ll admit that the game feels very much… the same. As with all the main MH games, you hunt down monsters in a maze of maps, collect drop items, etc. This latest game boasts the largest roster of monsters EVER. All I really hope for in this game is the continuation of what I consider some of the best free DLC you can find. In past games, Capcom would release new missions and fun costumes as free DLC every month, which I think adds new challenge (and VALUE) and keeps players coming back. So far they have announced Breath of the Wild DLC with MHGU, so fingers crossed that the trend continues!

10.5.18 – Super Mario Party

Yes I just glazed over Mega Man 11 (coming out in October as well). I don’t like Mega Man – DEAL WITH IT. And I just promoted Capcom’s other main franchise, so I think that’s enough!! ON WITH THE PARTY! I’ve always played Mario Party. We had it back on N64 in the late 90’s, and my sisters and I certainly have a few favorite mini games. Unfortunately, those games don’t matter anymore because Super Mario Party is all about the Joy Con technology! The latest game in this friendship ending franchise has been revamped for the Switch, including specific character dice, new game board elements and yep – Brand. New. Mini. Games. I imagine that this will be what 1-2 Switch SHOULD have been, meaning an actual, fully-fledged-out game utilizing the inventive mini game options that the Joy Con provide. I’m looking forward to adding this game to my list of party games to play at gamer meetups!

11.16.18 – Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee

Here is yet another Pokemon spinoff that you never knew you wanted but you’re still compelled to buy, despite the apparent lack of exciting game play. Let’s face it, we all just want this game to give Pikachu/Eevee (depending on which game you buy) a dapper new haircut. I’ll admit that I also want the expensive Pokeball peripheral device too. ($35 extra!!) I’m going to buy this on cartridge because I’m very unsure about how much I’ll enjoy this game and need the option to trade it back to GameStop someday. But it does seem promising. I do like chibi Misty. I’m hoping this game is some kind of hybrid between Pokemon Ranger and My Pokemon Ranch (since you can transfer over the mons you’ve collected in Pokemon Go) but only time will tell!

12.7.18 – Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Monster Hunter isn’t the only game that gets to be ULTIMATE in 2018! A new Smash title is stepping into the ring, and yes ok technically it’s not coming out in the FALL per se… but how could I not include Smash? There’s like a billion characters, all the old favorites are back, some new additions are joining the fray, and we have new stages and features to obsess over! I tried the demo at E3 and it was my favorite game at the convention. I can’t wait to learn all the moves of the new characters like Ridley and Inkling, and relearn old favorites like Snake and Ice Climbers. This will be the hot item to buy for the holidays… but let’s face it, I won’t wait til Christmas! Midnight launch at Nintendo NYC Store, perhaps??

Welp those are all the BIG titles that I’m looking forward to for the rest of the year. I know I skipped over lots of other great games, indie games, eShop games, etc! If you feel OFFENDED AND TRIGGERED that I left out your favorite upcoming game, please tell me off in the comments! 😅

Traveling the Octopaths!

Wow it’s been a while since a game completely took over my life the way that Octopath Traveler (by Square Enix, available exclusively on Nintendo Switch) has done! Before the game’s release, I wasn’t even that crazy or hyped about it, merely interested from what I had seen in the demo. But now that I own it… I’ve logged over 45 hours played. The game only came out 12 days ago.

For those who aren’t familiar with Octopath Traveler, it is a classic RPG style game, using throwback retro graphics with a next-gen twist. I’ve described it to a friend as “Final Fantasy mixed with a Choose Your Own Adventure Novel.” This is because of the game’s unique format – you are given a choice of one of eight characters to begin your story with, and this character becomes your Main Character who cannot be switched out. (So choose wisely!) As you progress in the game, you encounter the other seven characters, and have the option to add them to your party and progress in their separate story lines at your leisure. Each character has different abilities and strengths, making the balance of your team a strategic undertaking.

In addition to this interesting new format, the graphics are so cool. Yes, Octopath Traveler uses retro 8-bit style graphics, but they add elements of layering and focusing that make the entire environment seem 3D and robust. Plus the focus effects make the game look simply BEAUTIFUL. They even added sparkles to the water and the snow to bring it to life. Ugh I can’t get over it!!

Another retro aspect of the game design that I really enjoy is how the boss battles are done. The bosses often have a bunch of cronies or minions to assist them and defend them so they don’t break their shield. But that’s not all – the bosses are GIANT SIZED! It’s epic and fun! They are intimidating yet comical! It’s a great throwback to old boss battles from ye olden dayes. I love the strategy of breaking down the minions to get to the big boss. So much fun!!

Once you have all the characters unlocked, you start to travel the map and follow their story lines at your choosing. Depending on who is on your team, different ‘travel banter’ situations will come up and the characters will talk to each other about what is going on in the current “chapter” of the story. It’s interesting to see how some of the characters get along (or don’t get along!!) and the wisdom they impart to each other. I really like being able to choose the story as I go. You can focus on just following the character stories that you like, or train all of the characters evenly and complete all of their stories. The choice is yours!

Think that’s all there is to the game? NOPE! You can also have secondary jobs. For example, I chose Primrose to start, but she can only do dark elemental damage attacks. I added on the Scholar as her secondary job, which means now she can dole out fire, ice, and lightning attacks just like Cyrus! In the above photo, you might notice that Primrose is wearing a dark Scholar outfit, Tressa sports an Apothecary satchel, and H’aanit is wearing blue Warrior robes. That’s to reflect their second job roles! It’s really fun to mix things up and see what the most IDEAL team might be in a given type match-up.

Sooo 45 hours in, and I’m only starting Chapter 3 stories for my characters. This game gets really HARD once you get through the second chapters, so I’m at the part when you just have to grind it out for a while. I’ve tried to battle that giant poison tiger thing three times and I ALMOST got him last night, but one wrong move and the balance of the battle can swing the other way! It’s no joke. You really have to plan out your strategy!

It may take a few tries to figure out the best way to proceed, but I won’t quit!! Godsdammit!!

If you’re an RPG player and you’re on the fence about this game, definitely check out the FREE demo on the eShop. It’s such a good game. I can’t wait to play through all of the stories! Maybe I’ll do a recap post after I beat the game.

Are you playing Octopath Traveler??? Which path did you choose???

The Pokemon QUEST Continues!

Oh man oh man I know I’m late with this one but I’m sure any self-respecting Nintendo & Pokemon fan already knows the news about the upcoming games “Let’s Go Pikachu!” and “Let’s Go Eevee!” due to release in November for the Nintendo Switch. These games will be compatible with Pokemon Go, which has recently inspired me to re-download the app and start playing again since the weather is getting nice! I’m way behind in Pokemon Go so I have plenty of work to do if I’m gonna catch ’em all! Where’s my Team Instinct squad at?? lol

Of course that wasn’t the only important Pokemon announcement. Another, main title franchise Pokemon game is coming out in 2019… and it will be releasing on the Switch! It’s a little sad that the 3DS is really starting to be phased out, but the potential awesomeness of playing a main Pokemon title on a big TV screen is too good to pass up. I hear that there will be even MORE new Pokemon added to the ‘Dex too so it’s time to renew my Pokemon Bank account and make sure I finish my Alola Dex before I fall too far behind! Gah!

Was that all? Nope! Right now you can download a “free-to-start” game called Pokemon Quest. It’s been on the eShop for about a week or so now and I downloaded it. Their game design choice was to make all of the Pokemon into block-form, as though they were made of legos or in the game Minecraft. Why are they like this? No clue.

They call it free-to-start because you can certainly start the game for free and play it for free, but it will be very slow. In this game you have a battery and when it runs out of charges you have to wait for it to re-charge, or use in-game currency, which you earn a little bit of each day… but there’s a lot of perks to buy and it’s easy to run out.

This is when the game becomes less free. Sure you can wait for your daily allocation, or you can pay real money to get more. If you buy the premium packages, not only do you get bonus in-game money, but you also earn more on your daily allotments. The premium packages also include other perks like decorations that help with getting certain color berry drops, attracting certain types of Pokemon, etc.  as well as a few higher level bonus ‘mons to add to your team right then and there.

I decided to buy the most expensive pack because it seemed like the best deal. For around $30 I got a major head start on the game, plus way more in-game bucks. This helped me bolster my team so I could make some good progress in expedition mode. Using their new My Nintendo gold coin function in the eShop, I was able to apply 400 coins and get $4 off my total price, which was pretty nice!

The actual gameplay is EXTREMELY CASUAL. Hardcore gamers will likely be frustrated with this game. Hardcore Pokemon fans gotta catch em all so I play it for the Pokedex completion, because the gameplay is frankly… boring. There’s two modes: automatic and manual. Neither of these modes allow you to control where the Pokemon move around in the field. (Originally I had expected this game to be like Pokemon Rumble, but in that game you have full control of your toy Pokemon.) What you can control, in the manual mode, is which Pokemon Attack the ‘mons in your team decide to use, and when. However, I found that trying to do manual mode was a bit chaotic and kind of wasteful, since I didn’t know where the ‘mons would be moving to, and my moves would end up missing. So I moved to automatic mode and took more of an “overseer” approach to the game. I play it more like team management strategy.

To make friends with new Pokemon, you have to cook up dishes using berries to attract different types of ‘mons to visit your little base camp. One time I even got a shiny! Once you have a Pokemon on your team, it will level up when it completes an expedition. The Pokemon seem to follow the normal evolution rules of their species, with the exception of any evolution stones, because I haven’t seen those. There are Power Stones that you can collect and apply to the Pokemon to increase their power and defense, as well as to amplify their moves. You can even train up your Pokemon to learn new moves, but you will have to sacrifice some of your existing Pokemon to finish the training. Choose wisely!

Overall, do I recommend this Pokemon Quest to all gamers? No. I would recommend it for younger players and those who just love anything from the world of Pokemon. It definitely is not like most other Pokemon games, and those looking for an RPG will be very disappointed. If you go into it with lower expectations, you might find that it’s a fun casual game to play when you’re on the go.

Splatfest TMNT-style!

Last week it seemed like EVERY Nintendo Switch fan was talking about Splatoon 2. Why? Because the latest Splatfest had been announced and this one’s a doozy! It’s a three week single elimination bracket tournament to determine WHO IS THE BEST NINJA TURTLE!!

The animals in Mayor Gluxie’s Pocket Campsite were gearing up for the epic battle. Luckily the latest premium fortune cookie (Hopkins’ Game Cookie) allowed us to have a Nintendo Switch at the campsite! If anyone is wondering… we have a 3DS too. Come visit my campsite and see! lol

Naturally, the first thing you do in a Splatfest is pick a side. Round One of the TMNT-themed tournament pitted Leonardo against Raphael. #TeamLeo and #TeamRaph were talking a lot of smack on social media leading up to the big day. Which team did I pick?

#TeamRaph all the way!

If it comes down to the goody-two-shoes Leonardo and anger-management-candidate Raphael, I’m picking the deep moody choice for sure! I never liked Leo even in the cartoons that I watched in the 90’s. (For those who are interested – my TOP FAVE is Michaelangelo, who will be competing in the next Splatfest this weekend. Cowabunga!)

Team Raphael was very strong. I felt that we were dominating from the beginning. It definitely helped that I had practiced a bit at the Nintendo Switch meetup event that I went to the night before!

After so much winning, I definitely needed a break. Luckily the Splatoon 2 Amiibo mode has lots of fun photo op things to play around with. I decided to take a dance break and have some fun!

Splatoon 2 is really a lot of fun. I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of shooting games and paintball, because this game is a fun combination of the two. It’s kid friendly, but has enough challenging ranked modes to keep intense gamers involved too. The Splatfests add the voting fun that I miss from the “Everybody Votes” Wii Channel (throwback!!) along with friendly competition between friends. Plus it’s way better than ARMS. Forget ARMS.

OH and of course, who won the Splatfest? As if there were any question…

Inside the Nintendo Labo

With birthdays come presents, and so on Friday when I (and thousands of others) received the Amazon Treasure Truck alert for Nintendo Labo pick-up in NYC and a friend suggested this be her gift to me… I decided to go pick one up!

Amazon Treasure Truck!

I’ve never purchased anything through Treasure Truck before, so I was interested to see how it would work. My pickup location was near a Whole Foods, so I walked over to the store and found the truck stationed around the corner. There was only a short line – I don’t know if that’s because I got there on the early side, or if the demand is low for this game, but I was relieved that this wasn’t going to take too long. A table was set up for people to enter to win a free Nintendo Switch, and other workers were scanning our Treasure Truck QR codes and handing out the huge Nintendo Labo boxes.

Practice Tutorial: Joy Con Holder

The Nintendo Labo Variety Kit is a collection of “Toy Con” construction sets, as well as a Nintendo Switch game to guide you through the assembly and facilitate the cool game features that the Toy Con unlock. While the game is certainly geared towards kids, an adult is most likely required during the Make phase, which can get a little complicated! I’ve only made the RC Car Toy Con so far, check it out!

The RC car has no wheels, and is powered by the Joy Con inserted into the side, causing vibration down the legs of the RC car, propelling it forward. (It only works on hard surfaces, and my room is carpeted so I just used the Labo box.)

The RC Car set comes with a cardboard car to follow along with in the instructions, a matching ‘antenna’ to stick on the Switch console, as well as a few extra add-ons and stickers! It also comes with a second cardboard RC car that you can build if you have a second set of Joy Con to use with it. Right now I only have the gray set, but I’m going to get a colored Joy Con set with a birthday gift card. (SIDE BAR: I really can’t decide which color Joy Con set to get! Red and Blue, or Neon Yellow and Pink?? They are both really cool! I wish there was an Orange and Blue option… Leave me a comment on which set I should get tho!!)

You probably wanna see the RC car in action. It’s actually pretty loud. I made a quick video for you to see that this actually works. In the video you can see that I use the Switch console as a controller and press buttons on the screen to make the RC car move – and I can control the left and the right independently if I choose. That’s cool and all, but a little bland, right?

When you complete the initial construction and play through the mechanics, you are taken to the next phase of the Nintendo Labo game, the Discover phase. In this separate section of the game, you can explore some additional features of the new Toy Con you just built, and see some suggested new ways to play. When it comes to this RC Car that I made, did you realize that since the Joy Con utilize built-in IR technology that this RC car also has a fully functional ‘night-vision’ camera?? I didn’t, until I was checking through this Discover section! I used it in the day time but in my photo here you can clearly see the camera POV of my RC Car as it sits on top of the Nintendo Labo box.

There are other hidden features in the RC car, such as the ability to auto-navigate via use of reflective tape. There is also a ‘two player’ mode for people who have a second set of Joy Con. You can build that second RC Car that I mentioned and set up RC Sumo Matches! Or try racing them! Or come up with something else… I had fun freaking out my cat with my RC Car!! lol

OK so now you have your RC Car, and maybe a friend to RC Sumo with, but you still need to add a little SOMETHING to make this more fun? Nintendo Labo also provides a few extras to customize your RC Car. There is a Plow attachment, an Elephant head attachment, and a Sunglasses attachment. The Discover section also shows ideas on how to use paints, markers, and all sorts of materials to really customize the RC car and make it special. As a bullet journal enthusiast, I have plenty of washi tape and stickers on hand. Here is my final RC Car Masterpiece:

My RC Car! Does he need a name??

What do you think of my RC Car? If anyone else has this game and wants to race or sumo wrestle their car, hit me up!! lol

Since Nintendo Labo is so hands-on and mysterious to everyone, I’ll continue to document my construction of Toy Con projects for future blog entries. Unless you totally think this is over-sharing and want me to stop, let me know in the comments about that too hahaha!!

In closing, Happy Earth Day! And Carney‘s Birthday! Plus it’s Nature Day in Animal Crossing Pocket Camp! (Not to mention there’s ANOTHER new feature coming soon in ACPC! I’ll blog about it when it’s released!! Yayyyyy!)

Kirby Star Allies: First Impressions

Finallyyyyyy today I had some time to play videogames! I’m still in the middle of Bayonetta 2, which I love. (If you like some action and bad ass sexy witches, definitely check out that series.) But when it comes to Kirby, I can’t say no. Just like Kirby can’t say no to another delicious cake!!! (OK I can’t say no to that either lol!)

The latest Kirby installment was just released for Nintendo Switch. I haven’t had a ton of time to play it yet, but I wanted to share my first impressions of the new changes in Kirby Star Allies. There are new features that breathe fresh air into the series and make it feel more modern, and a lot of fun!

Mixed abilities are back! You can add up to four allies to your team by throwing a heart at an enemy. If that team member is an elemental abilitly, like fire, you can combine this element with all of the other teammates! Fire yo-yos! Icy curling Kirby! It’s really fun to try out the different combinations.

The stage selection screen has an open world feel, with stars hiding in secret spots around the world. It’s big and fun to explore. You can easily see which stages need to be revisited and where a secret stage might be hiding!

Puzzle pieces!!! As you play through the game, keep a look out for puzzle pieces hiding all over the place. Then after you beat the stage, you fill in puzzles – just like in the StreetPass game on 3DS. That includes harder to find pink puzzle pieces that are in the center and I’m sure will be a challenge to complete! I love how something so cute and simple can increase the difficulty of this otherwise simple platformer. Kids and adults alike can have fun with this game.

There are lots of new friends to make, too! I’ve only added Waddle Dee so far, but Nintendo has announced that lots of cool characters will be added soon in an update coming at the end of the month. I’m super excited because some of the characters that are being added to Dream Friends are the helper friends from Kirby’s Dream Land 2 which I loved when I was a kid!

So are you a Kirby fan? Have you been playing this game too? What are your thoughts about this cute puffball fighter?

Masterpiece of the Year?

Greetings to all my Nintendo nerds! I can’t believe it’s November already. Maybe I should dust off my 3DS and check in on my Animal Crossing town sometime, grab some mushroom furniture. But who has time when we have been blessed with some amazing new games in 2017?

As the year comes to a close, I have been reflecting on which games were really groundbreaking in 2017. We certainly needed some escape from reality this year! Personally, as someone who went to art school and really appreciates the artistic design of video games, I felt there were two titles that I could qualify as “masterpieces.” Which was the best of the year? I am going to try to decide right now! lol

The first game I’m considering for Masterpiece of 2017 is the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. A long anticipated title, BotW launched with the Nintendo Switch at the start of the year. Fans were astounded by the new open world approach to their beloved Zelda franchise.

The art style was even more impressive. Using an updated approach similar to Wind Waker, the design of BotW uses what I’d describe as cel-shading with water colors. It’s not overly cartoony, and it’s very much high definition. Individual blades of grass bend in the wind. Wispy strands of hair blow in the breeze. For the amount of time that fans waited for the latest Zelda title, it’s clear that it was worth the delays.

My personal opinion: If you really follow my blog, you’ll see that I don’t talk about Zelda a lot… b/c I never really beat these games. The only game I even got close to beating was Phantom Hourglass. Since BotW was basically the big name launch title for the Switch, I got it mostly b/c everyone else was playing it, and not b/c I had been desperately waiting to play it. However, when I did start playing it I was completely obsessed! It’s a very immersive experience, and I really loved the freedom of the open world. 

The second game in contention for Masterpiece of 2017 is *gasp* NOT A NINTENDO GAME. I know – it’s hard to believe that I play games on other systems. And honestly, I usually don’t. But there’s an indie game called Cuphead that FINALLY came out on Xbox 1 and Steam this year, and as far as art style is concerned… it’s a doozy!!

Now I realize that not everyone had the same upbringing as me, and may not realize the nostalgia factor in Cuphead. But I was raised watching Betty Boop and Silly Symphonies cartoons on loop ad nauseam. The creators of Cuphead took every step necessary to produce their videogame with the same exact art style that was popular in the 1930’s. This includes the hand drawn animation, 24 fps frame rate, the use of lampshade effect and much more.

Cuphead is a standard 2D platformer style game, and initially had been designed to have a Mega-Man-esque Boss Battles setup. But when the hype train rolled in, the creators expanded the game to have some standard platformer stages in addition to the boss battles. That’s all well and good… except they made the game insanely challenging. Many casual gamers find themselves unable to fully appreciate the game due to not being able to progress and see all of the stages.

My personal opinion: I was literally waiting YEARS for this game to be released. Delays and more delays pushed the game back several times and I waited patiently. When the game FINALLY released, I downloaded it right away and was so excited! Unfortunately, I haven’t actually been able to experience much of the game. I guess I’m just one of those lame casual gamers who isn’t good enough at platformers to progress in the game. It makes me very sad that after years of anticipation, and having loved this art style my ENTIRE LIFE… I can’t even see all of the gorgeously designed stages hiding in this game. 

You can probably guess which game gets my vote by now. As much as I wanted to love Cuphead soooo much… it fails b/c I can’t actually play it. The game does not forgive anyone who isn’t at ‘their level’ which I feel is kind of mean and makes me feel excluded and alienated. And it makes me not want to buy another game by Studio MDHR. First they made me wait, then the gameplay drops the ball… so they blew it with me. Being the belle of the ball doesn’t get you everywhere in life!! In Breath of the Wild I am free to explore the entire world, appreciate all of it’s beauty and play at my speed. And it’s darn pretty too.

SIDE NOTE:

Most people will want to interject – HEY WHAT ABOUT SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY?? That game is glorious too! I will give it an honorable mention. I don’t think that it’s a masterpiece, in that the art style of Odyssey is basically on par with every other 3D Mario game, albeit updated to the latest HD graphics, of course. New abilities and game functionality, plus the awesome smoothness of the controls thanks to the Joy Con and Pro Controller, make this game awesome! No doubt about that. But masterpiece? Not exactly. What makes Super Mario Odyssey a contender in this category is that the game truly allows you to create YOUR OWN MASTERPIECE. This game goes way beyond taking screenshots. You can change the camera angles, zoom, blur, add filters, add text if you want… it’s a meme gold mine. I created several masterpieces of my own:

Screenshot by @gluxbox

Screenshot by @gluxbox

Any game that lets ME make my own art gets a thumbs up from the Glux Box!

This is just my opinion, of course. Which game would YOU consider to be the Masterpiece of 2017??