dartmonkey

Modest Tech: The NX Generation (Nintendo Switch)

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OK, I have now played enough Mario Party to say something definitively on it.

 

The board game mode is really good, but also really classic Mario Party. Play it once or twice and you'll have your fill for the next year or so.

 

The co-operative river mode, though, is superb. If you've got four players ready to go, that's the one to do.

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I’ve played a bunch of two-player team mode, which is my son’s favorite. It’s excellent, with the free-form movement and fun co-op mini games. My son seems to like it more than the linear board game.

 

The rhythm mode is a bit janky. The gyro registers an extra move sometimes when you don’t want it. But it’s a fun mode for anyone not interested in the board game aspect.

 

I tried the boat mode with my son. It seems fun, I think I’d love to play it with other grown ups but my son thinks it’s too stressful..

 

I havent played enough Mario Party in general to know if this is better than the other ones. But I think it looks fantastic, and I like it more than MP10.

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Oh, I played the river mode with five other adults in the room, and it was quite a ruckus. We were all shouting directions to some comic effect.

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I never had trouble with the rhythm games - and it really makes me want a Rhythm Heaven on switch. Make it happen Nintendo please. 

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OK, I didn't find any Diablo 3 topic to plunk this in, so I'm just doing it here, since it's at least Switch-related. Blizzard have announced this atrocity to go with their Diablo 3 for Switch release:

 

loot-goblin.jpg

 

Now, first of all, it's, well, not really ugly, if you're into this chibi-no-textures style, but it looks nothing like its video game counterpart. Amiibo are usually not stupid funko pop wannabe shit, they try to at least resemble what they want to represent. Which is:

 

BBPeYdc.img?h=351&w=624&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f

 

I'd love this guy as an amiibo! But that's not even what grinds my gears. You want to know what does?

 

Well, here is it.

 

WHAT THE FUCK IS A LOOT GOBLIN?

 

Do they mean the treasure goblin? Is Blizzard unaware how their own creatures are named? Have I ended up in a bizarro alternate universe?

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Yeah, that's really not making this any better. [Not that I'm actually  upset, I mean, what are we talking about, it's an amiibo for f*ck's sake.]

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I'm really enjoying Pokemon. The Let's Go catching aspect is actually a nice change of pace and it kind of gives you a reason to catch multiple pokemon from the same species. My girlfriend is completely addicted to it. It's nice to see her playing games. It's the first video game she's played since the original Red and Blue and she seems to be enjoying it.

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There seem to be two possibly critiques of this game: one is that it isn't deep enough, which is kind of the point for this game, as it's meant to lure in new players or Pokémon Go fans. The other is that the grind to level up your monsters is tedious, now that you're not really battling other Pokémon so much as doing the pokéball throwing game. That's one's fair, I'd say.

 

But other than that, it seems like a fine game! Very attractive design, it looks like a perfectly charming game to play, with just the right level of whimsy (being able to ride around on huge pokémon is fun). I'm thinking of surprising my partner with Eevee for Christmas.

 

Now, I, for one, have been greatly anticipating the reviews for Civilization 6 on Switch. All the reports so far suggest that it's a fantastic port, with the only caveats being that there's no online or hot seat multiplayer and the Rise & Fall expansion isn't included. More importantly though, the game runs smoothly and without too many hiccups during later stages of the game, with only long loading times before speaking of how heavy this game is. The controls are apparently fine too, and I especially look forward to pinching my way through the map in handheld mode. Looks like I'm all set to buy this one.

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For me catching the Pokemon in a GO style is quite new, and a bit more interesting than just repeatedly one shotting everything I fight. It very much is a Baby's First Pokemon game, which is ok, because I can't imagine I found the original Red and Blue particularly difficult as a 7 year old myself.

 

I always found the grinding tedious anyway though. A lot of it involved just picking a counter type for the area, walking around and KO'ing everything in one special move. At least with the catching mechanic you can trade your Pokemon in for candy.

 

There are a few things that I found a bit surprising in terms of production quality. For example some of moves, like dig, don't have any special animations. Your Pokemon just sinks into the ground. When you watch the guy teach you the Cut TM he just jumps up and down. It's weird that there's a lot of detail for models and stuff, but at some points the game manages to feel very alive and at the same time weirdly static.

 

I think I'm going to treat myself to Civ 6 when my girlfriend goes out of town for 2 weeks. Very excited for it. After downloading Pokemon I've now hit my space limit on my Switch so I'll have to get a memory card. Physical copies of Switch games are hard to come by in Hanoi.

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Dosed, is it almost Civ 6 time? I didn't buy it in the end, because I mightily suspect it to arrive under the Christmas tree.

 

What I do plan on gettign today is Smash. It's Smash day! Anyone excited? It's tremendously really not my genre, and I expect it to be no more than a fun diversion for a while (I'm reviewing it for a magazine). Still, I've always entertained the idea of some day finally getting halfway decent at Smash, and this might be my opportunity.

 

In the past the game never really clicked for me. I found that my platforming instincts would always kick in and expect Mario-level responsiveness and jumpability. From that perspective, everything plays incredibly sluggish. Perhaps now I'll be able to prick through that perception, just like Splatoon 2 luckily clicked for me after digging into it.

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It is! I got it a few days ago in fact as an early Christmas present. I really like the portability, the game in general, etc...

 

However, I feel like there's just something wrong with my brain when it comes to turn-based stuff. I always feel like I'm always doing something wrong, or there's a better way to go about what I'm doing. It's not a sleight against Civ. I knew that's how I worked coming into it, but I just always feel like I have no idea what I'm doing and I can't be bothered to look up tutorials or read into the tech trees too much.

 

Instead I'm just trying to play different victories on different campaigns and then resetting when I inevitably realise I made mistake 800 turns ago. I like the 60 turn scenario games. They feel much more concise to me and like I know what I'm doing.

 

I've always been fascinated with the competitive scene and read far too much about it for a game I have no interest in. I've got no one to play it with, never have and I'm not massively bothered about Nintendo in general. I'm sure it'd be an amazing party game, but it's just not my thing. Are you gonna play online?

Edited by Dosed

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I'd say Civ has so many systems running under the hood, that it's OK if you just get a feel for the flow and improvise as you go on. Sure, you could read up and become an allstar Civ player, but for me part of the fun is being surprised by the game and simply enjoying the basic pleasures of it.

 

Same goes for Smash Bros Ultimate. I haven't yet played online, but will as soon as I feel I have a handle on the basics. Currently I'm enjoying watching my partner play, and playing mostly the singleplayer World of Light mode. It's enjoyable, because you get hundreds of battles where they've tried to finagle existing fighters into resembling other characters from other games. The end result is delightfully weird chaos. For instance, one of the character is the Queen Bee from Mario Galaxy. To recreate her, they've commissioned a giant Pikachu with brown eyes, and th level is filled with honeycombs emitting bees.

 

So far I've taken a liking to the new Inkling character. I like her specials, which resemble Splatoon 2's. There's something fun about flinging around ink and splatting folks.

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I'm a big Smash fan and I've racked up thousands of hours playing the various versions of the series. That said I'm still not very good :P I'm liking Ultimate a lot because it's a far less defensive-oriented game, so it's just more fun to hit people without them being able to just block everything and counter-attack almost immediately. Getting people off the stage and keeping them off the stage is also way easier, because of various things. All that said, the game IS quite a bit more difficult to get into for newcomers compared to Brawl and Smash 4. There are some mechanics changes that I am still undecided on, though. The cooldown before you can move again after airdodging feels a bit too punishing. But overall I am having a really good time with it.

 

Online still sucks though :(

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Ok so for example I'm going for a religious victory with India this time. However, now that I'm a bit further on I have no idea what technology I should be focusing on to help me achieve that victory, and that stresses me out.

 

Why does the online suck eRonin? Coz of the Switch or because of Smash?

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I believe I read that if anyone's connection in the online game isn't up to snuff, everyone experiences lag. I can see how that's super annoying.

 

Gotten a little better at Smash (still suck). One of the things I have difficulties with is that though there are tons of resources online that tell you what every button does in Smash, it's harder to get a feel for the right way to play it. For instance, when I asked a friend how to play, he told me something I hadn't read online anywhere: that using specials is usually a waste of time and you're better off using online fast A-attacks and smashing as soon as the percentage is high enough. Sure, that's kind of meta, but I'm surprised it's so hard to find. It feels like that's valuable information.

 

Also, I have a single big gripe with the controls! I can't dependably pull off a tilt attack with the A-button, because if you overshoot the stick-press with just a fraction, you're already doing a smash attack. That's REALLY TOUGH, because in the heat of battle there's no way I have the skill or reserve to gently flick the stick - there's just too much adrenaline pumping. Now the game does support an alternative, which is putting the tilt attacks on the right stick, where normally you'd operate the smash attacks. But that doesn't feel right at all. Now I can do tilt attacks, but the all-important smash attacks have gotten way more difficult to pull off.

 

The obvious answer is to switch off the ability to do smash attacks with the A-button, but that's nowhere to be found. People online have been asking for this feature since 2015 as far as I can see (on the Wii U), but no response.

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Quote

using specials is usually a waste of time and you're better off using online fast A-attacks and smashing as soon as the percentage is high enough


This is hard to internalize, because the simple-compared-to-most-fighting-games control scheme makes it just as easy to do the big flashy move as it is to do the quick jab, so you instinctively want to do the big flashy move as much as possible. I feel like I have to re-teach myself this every time I get back into Smash.

 

It also helps, when you're learning a character, to go over every move and try to determine what situation each special move is for, and train yourself only to consider that move when those situations occur. For a lot of B-moves, those situations are only occasional. But some characters—especially ranged-focused characters like Samus or the Belmonts—are all about using their ranged B-moves all the dang time.

 

You're so right about the lack of decent help on how to play for this game. Everything online is either extremely low-level (like what the buttons do, or "what is recovery") or very high-level (how to execute specific combo-strings, various confusing usages of the term "neutral").

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Yeah, and I'm starting to fear I'll have to simply get good at fiddling the analogue stick, adjusting it for running or walking, if I ever want to be in control of my tilt and smash attacks.

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I have never played a Smash game but decided to get Ultimate because it seemed fun. So far, I have been having great time with it despite only playing it single player. The sheer amount of content is pretty overwhelming, though!

 

I think the World of Light is a nice way to experience the game in single player. As always, it feels good to constantly unlock new stuff, and thus far none of the challenges have been overly frustrating (although, I am playing on normal and skipping the battles where the enemy rating is way higher than mine), and I appreciate that it lets me change the difficulty on the fly, in case things get too difficult. 

 

Having never played any of the previous games before, the controls are definitely weird. For example, it took me a ridiculously long time to get used to the jump buttons, and I only realized after a few hours of playtime that tilt attacks and smash attacks are separate things. Next thing I need to work on is recovering from falls. When I'm thrown over the edge (and especially below the floor level) I tend to smash the jump button in panic wasting my double jump, and I definitely never remember to use my up special in these situations. After this, I will work on consistently pulling of tilt and smash attacks as well as actually using shield and grab. 

 

Despite being overwhelmed with the controls, I'm already having a really fun time with the game. I'm not aiming at becoming a great player, just good enough that I can semi-consistently do what I want to. I feel like this is the key to actually enjoying some of the more technical characters, because right now I feel ridiculously clumsy with some of them.

 

I got to say that while unlocking new characters feels super nice, failing to beat a new challenger a couple of times in a row in a tight match and having to wait for the challenger rematch door to open again can feel pretty damn brutal.

 

(Also, if any mods visit this place, maybe these posts can be moved to a separate Smash thread?)

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I wrote this guide thingy for the waypoint discord community, but I may as well share it here to (I also shared it in the Idle Thumbs slack) 

 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1e59qcx7ItxZgkfBDZImTdfGeO_dOsKSgUjQqYtaiMpA/edit?usp=sharing

 

Generally speaking you want to focus on using your quicker attacks in the "neutral game" (this concept might be high level but it's worth just understanding that this is simply the time when no player has a distinct advantage over the other). Smash Bros sort of has a free-form combo system where the player is expected to just develop their own chain of attacks based on how far and which direction their attacks launch the opponent. It does take a lot of time to figure this stuff out, since there are so many attacks, and different characters have different movement properties which is important in knowing what can be followed up with. For example Peach's down-throw can be followed up with a short hop back-air attack at low %, and at higher %, a full hop is required instead. 

 

Smash Bros uses a "stale move" system that makes an attack progressively weaker the more it is used, so it heavily discourages just using your strongest attacks all the time because when you want to KO your opponent by launching them off the stage, your big attack is going to not do as much as it could or should. Anyway feel free to ask me stuff about this. I've been playing Smash for many years and racked up many hours in it, against opponents of varying skill levels.

 

Also wrt online: the switch's wifi capability is rather poor and a LAN adapter for ethernet connection is thus recommended but most players won't be using one. So even if you have a great wired connection, chances are your opponent will bring it down. Also, there is no good way to just play the mode you want. Quickplay won't guarantee that you play with the setting you desire (it uses a preference system that matches people roughly based on their chosen settings and then just choose randomly between one of the players' match settings). Arena is finicky to set up and has mind-boggling design decisions like automatically ejecting your from your place in the queue (even if you were set to play in the ring) if you try to change your character. You also can't change settings once the arena is set up even if there is no match currently active.

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Thanks! I'll be reading this today. It's really useful to have such an insider's look into the game.

 

I'm still playing a lot with Inkling and have gotten to the point where I no longer am super nervous about what the hell to do. I still rely a bit much, I feel, on jumping on the enemy to be able to aim at them and get a tilt attack off (you do them with the smash analogue stick provided you're in the air). I should really get comfortable with blocking and evading, but that's so contrary to the excitement of a match that I have a hard time adjusting to it.

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