Although I was really enthusiastic about the potential of what VR can bring to games, I skipped out on buying a VR set when the first wave of consumer VR came out last year. I was an owner of the Oculus Rift DK2, but for my first true consumer VR headset, I wanted to be sure that I picked the right platform for me. This week, I bought a PSVR over the PC competitors for two reasons: first, it’s managed to build up a decent library of games over the past year; and second, the cost of entry is still much lower than with the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, both of which require high end PCs to work with. So how do I feel about the purchase a week later?
Nintendo’s Wii U console had a lot of problems. The controller was never used to its full potential in any games, the UI was rather bloated and slow, and the software library was sorely lacking. But Miiverse wasn’t one of those problems. In fact, Miiverse was its best feature, a platform that allowed communities to blossom around the Wii U’s various games. Seeing that community of Miis run around in the console’s home screen always gave you something to look forward to when booting up the console, and it was clearly an experience you couldn’t get anywhere else.
Last night, Nintendo pulled the plug on the service. I was really sad when Nintendo indicated that it wouldn’t be returning on the Switch, but it wasn’t surprising. Online communities can be a fleeting thing, more so when they are linked to a failing video game console. I’m still holding on to hope that Nintendo may do something similar in the future with their upcoming Switch online service, but it’s doubtful.
For now, let’s remember that Miiverse was more than just the platform, it was the people. Like the best Nintendo games, Miiverse was filled with really weird people, and that’s what made it so fun. Those people, the core of Nintendo fans, aren’t going anywhere. Splatoon 2‘s array of weird political and furry posts prove that a bizarre Miiverse-like experience is still possible, and can be even more irreverent than it ever was in the old days of the Wii U.
RIP Miiverse – 2012-2017
Back in the Wii U days, a game like Super Mario Odyssey would have been the single big holiday release for Nintendo. Instead, we are extremely lucky that it’s coming out this early. In the span of a single month, we are getting a slew of third-party releases that will culminate with the release of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 in December. I personally am planning on getting Doom, Rime and Rocket League, in addition to the two titles I mentioned above. Somewhere in there, I have to also find the time to catch up on Arms and Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle.
I’m not sure if anyone else gets this, but I have an itch I get every once in a while. It’s the itch to play an old-school feeling, story driven RPG in a D&D style. When I look for this in modern games, I don’t really find much that satisfies me. Sure, some games, like your archetypal Skyrims and The Witchers try to fill in that fantasy gap, but their more action-oriented game mechanics don’t really satisfy that urge.
Every once in a while, though, a game comes through that really hits the spot for me. One of those games was the original Divinity: Original Sin, which had brilliant mechanics that ran just about everything in its world, but the game lacked longevity for me, and I eventually lost interest. The sequel, however–which recently came out (officially)–is better in every single way, and has twisted my emotions in ways very few games ever have.
I was reading through game-related news and articles as I often do, and I came across this Business Insider piece. “Sonic Mania is the first good Sonic game,” it says. Ugh. It’s almost like a meme at this point, one I’m kinda getting sick of. Sonic was good. Very good, in fact. So, is it some elaborate joke, or is it that these people have never played any of the games from Sonic‘s golden age on the Sega consoles?
Ever since I completed Breath of the Wild, I’ve been dying for another reason to dig into this amazing game again. While Nintendo’s DLC strategy has been questionable, forcing you to buy a $20 “season pass” without giving you the option to purchase the DLC as a standalone package, I have still been looking forward to this DLC. This is not a “full” review, since I don’t think this DLC warrants it, just some random thoughts on it.
I’m a little late to the party, since I was on vacation during the week of E3. However, I wanted to drop some of my thoughts on Nintendo’s E3 announcements last week, some of which are very major.