Saints Row: The Third was a game I had my eye on from when it was first announced to be coming to the Switch. An open world game similar to GTA? Count me in! Not as if the latter series is ever coming to Switch. However, it took me a year before I bought into it. I was still playing a lot of GTA V back then, with the Switch filling in for experiences different to both it and Forza Horizon.
With it being a year since it released on Switch, I took notice of the series again. By this time, I was playing less of both of those games on the Xbox One, what with Framing Simulator and the LEGO marathon taking up my time, so now the tables had turned. It was time for the Switch to get another true open world game.
The Third was the most obvious choice, as it was the one I had previously been looking at, and from opinions I had seen around it was the better choice to start with. From the ten hours I’ve been with it so far, I’m certainly enjoying my first taste of hanging with the Third Street Saints.
It’s been directly one month since I looked at The Skywalker Saga last, giving a rundown of what is set to be within the game and a few of my ideas. I held hope that perhaps this month, we would see something about the game. After all, Star Wars Day would have been the perfect opportunity to do so.
While we didn’t get any gameplay, or even any trailers, we did get to see the key art of the game, with a slip up from the official Star Wars Youtube channel revealing what seems to be the official date of the game. Such a date does fit, what with recent releases for LEGO and Star Wars games. I assume EA are aware of this release, and have no plans to release anything that might cause conflict with TT Games’ effort.
So while there’s no new information to be found (except more confirmation of how much TT are putting into this), I felt it might be worthwhile getting a few more of my thoughts and ideas about the game and how it will play out for all to see. I’ve got a good idea of how I’d want the exploration to be handled, so I’ll start there.
I’ve previously admitted that Sonic Generations is a great game. It’s got to have been for it to have solidified my interest in the series. The celebration game of everything Sonic the Hedgehog, with a wide variety of music tracks and a number of favourite levels.
One thing I wish it had done, though, was use more. Sure, the adage that more doesn’t equal better, but Generations… could have used more. I’ve talked before how there didn’t feel like there was much interaction with the worlds or characters (for any character not a Sonic or Tails, anyway), and I wished there had been.
Here, then, I aim to present an idea on how it could have been expanded. More levels and more interaction between characters and the worlds. Unlike with the Redesigned Galar concept, I won’t be sticking to as strict a guideline. By providing expansion, it needs more room to do so.
The idea of seeing gameplay of some of the first games of the next generation is an attractive proposition, and this Inside Xbox was said to do just that. I’m… not entirely sure how much of what we saw was gameplay, but most of it was said to be in-engine. The trailers looked great, as always, but it does feel that seeing the differences between the generations can no longer be just in the graphics alone.
That is where the gameplay should have been used to showcase such differences. Showing the AI improvements, the greater worlds that can be built, the speed of getting into games, and the other improvements that moving a new generation can bring. However, we do know of a number of games that will be coming to the Series X thanks to this Inside Xbox.
When people are asked what the best Star Wars games are, they usually reply Battlefront or Knights of the Old Republic. When they aren’t fawning over those two series, the next to get in the spotlight is Jedi Knight. Heralded as having the best lightsaber combat of any Star Wars game, Outcast and Academy are standout games for the franchise.
Except… I don’t really see that. If you remember to the last Star Wars Month, I put up a video showing off an early level of Academy. Playing on PC, I was stuck with keyboard and mouse controls, and really didn’t want to mention anything else. Fact was, though, I couldn’t see what people were raving about. Old game though it might be, with terrible movement and gunplay, I couldn’t see anything worthwhile in the lightsaber combat.
Now, with both Outcast and Academy being released on the Nintendo Switch, I felt I could really get stuck into them, away from my awkward use of keyboard and mouse controls. Before I get stuck in, I will say that it still hasn’t been a positive experience.
When I first saw Battlefront 2’s Galactic Assault mode during that half hour liveplay at the end of EA’s 2017 E3, I loved what I was seeing with it. I loved most of what I saw during that liveplay, but there were questions yet to be answered. Upon getting to play myself during the beta, some of those were answered.
But what was on offer – even in the full game – felt kind of lacking. I’m not talking about flooding the game with modes, but it felt that all of them were focused in on pinpointing the action to specific locations with the objectives. For as much as I loved Galactic Assault, I still wanted that freeform mode like Conquest.
It took more than a year, but we finally got such a mode with Capital Supremacy, which then started the slow change in focus to modes built off it. That gave players more freeform modes, but did also leave everything else in a state of no longer seeing support (which is sadly reflected in how the menu is organised).
Through all these updates across the two and a half years the game has been active, it has become a lot better. I’m starting to love it more. Even more than I did at its release. For this article, then, I’ll be focusing on those things I have enjoyed throughout my time with the game.
Microsoft revealed two LEGO announcements during their E3 2019 conference. One of those was the second expansion to Forza Horizon 4 – with a map built of LEGO along with cars built from LEGO. The second was the reveal of The Skywalker Saga.
It seems strange that a standard LEGO game would get its reveal at E3 with one of the big three. City Undercover was different, since that was an exclusive to the Wii U. That such has happened speaks to the scope and innovation that TT Games is putting into this one – even if we didn’t see any of that within the teaser trailer.
Plenty of people seemed to think that it would be nothing more than a remaster of The Complete Saga with redone story scenes and additional levels for the Sequel Trilogy. But then, if that was the case, why would it have been revealed at the Microsoft conference? Even after the journalists revealed what their brief look at the game had shown them, there were some who still thought there would be little effort going into it.
From when Plucky, Axel, and I first arrived on this island escorted by the Nooklings, and Tom Nook outlined his plans to turn this into a habitable paradise, I admit to thinking that things would be slow going. That it would just be the three of us and the Nooks for quite some time.
I’m happy to be proven wrong, and development of this island is really starting to show. A museum has come to the island, as has a tailor shop, with the Nooklings also opening up their own store. Even the Resident Services tent has now become a building, where the speakers play some relaxing and energetic music every hour that changes depending on the time.
More villagers have come to stay, and our goal of making Halesowen a popular tourist destination – and popular place to live – is soon to be reaching its final stages. These ten days have been a wild and exciting journey of new developments and meeting new people, and I guess the story continues from where I left off with the new arrivals.
From the first day this experience was teased, I knew I wanted to go. That September, where we got another contender within the Super Smash Bros. fighting league, was one of the happiest. I knew I would lose myself whatever happened. I dreamt of what the experience could be, and knew that when it was finally revealed in full I wouldn’t be able to hold my excitement in check.
Then the Island Getaway Package was unveiled at the largest gaming event of the world, and I was beyond happy with what I was seeing. We might not have seen much, but the island felt larger than any previous town – despite their being very little within it.
Over the months since that reveal, more has been revealed about the overall Package that has proven the people building it have been focused upon an evolution of the place we’ll be going, with plenty to keep anyone occupied.
Now, with the date having come and gone, I’ve been here a few days and can say exactly what I think of this new experience. And it started before I even got on the sea plane to head to the island.
When Mario Kart 8 first launched in 2014 on the Wii U, the battle mode within it was considered… not the best. It chose to stick with standard Balloon Battle rules, but replaced arenas for the racetracks to give a mode that was just confused in what it attempted.
Racers were scattered across the track, with the ability to do quick turns and drive the other way. Because of this, only certain few tracks were allowed to be within this mode, but such starting positions and rules didn’t give the mode a real reason for existing. There was no lasting appeal. It felt too bland in action.
However, there was a simple way to have fixed that, and such a thing was to treat it as a race but with special rules. Everyone starts at the line, beginning at the same time. Each has three balloons, that they need to protect as they race to complete the three laps. However, you can’t just stay at the back out of the action, as the aim is still to win the race.