Breath of the Wild was absolutely huge not only for The Legend of Zelda, but also Nintendo. It was the game that impressed plenty, and Switch sales rocketed thanks to it. Even those who had never played a Zelda game before were enjoying it, with some of those no doubt checking out previous games in the series. It was such a huge hit that it’s somewhat common to forget that the Switch launched with several other games.
So how do you capitalise on that success? Well, a sequel for starters, and that’s what Nintendo eventually did announce. But when there’s a rich history and lore built into the world that was created that the audience only ever get glimpses of, you could always capitalise on the success by using that. And in this collaboration with Koei Tecmo, that’s exactly what Nintendo have done with this Warriors spin-off.
Now, in terms of the story, let me get this out there right away. Upon seeing the first cutscene, I felt it would be a story about bringing forth the danger by trying to combat it. Trying to defy the prophesised future and instead bringing it about. This is very much a story contained within an alternate reality, however, and I will say no more on that. The story doesn’t suffer from being within an alternate reality, as these are still the characters and world we got to know from Breath of the Wild.
I’d had little experience of the DiRT series before this game, but its reveal at the Inside Xbox of May interested me enough to take a look at some of the previous games. DiRT 4 was on Game Pass, with me also during that time finding myself with DiRT Rally 2.0 for free from a promotion from Fanatical. Those were good experiences, so it heightened my confidence the new game would be great.
And I can say it is indeed as great as I expected. There’s a range of tracks that offer variety, with forests, quarries, cities, and even a snow sports resort. Each of the tracks look great, with some excellent lighting providing realistic weather effects. When it gets dark, it really gets dark, and combined with rain or snow it makes for some dangerously slim sight. That just adds to the thrill of it, though.
There’s a good range of vehicles here, split into categories. Each track will have a number of these categories that can be used on it. The handling is very arcade styled, with a few settings that can be toggled to make things easier should you wish, with the first race dropping you into things to allow you to feel that handling and whether you need to toggle things.
I’m happy with how the driving feels, with differences between the various power ranges being noticeable when on the track. Various surfaces such as mud and ice also affect those driving physics, but only to a small degree. Being an arcade racer, that’s not a bad thing.
I’ve been watching this one for more than a year. Ever since the announcement at E3 2019. The ability to explore London as a realistic open entity in its modern form for the first time in… well, forever it seems. And doing so in a way that allows you to explore on foot and be free to do whatever you want.
There was interest in the core mechanic of the game, as well. The ability to play as anyone is something I’ve got a taste of from the Director Mode within GTA V, and while this game doesn’t allow you to choose any and everyone right from the off, the work you put in to recruit them to the cause and gain the ability to play as them gives them a bit more character and personal connection. If you invest in who you play as, you care for what happens to them.
It’s a story told through the interactions rather than a strict plot, though that is also here. Not that I’ve played through any of the missions, yet. I’ve been too busy exploring London and finding recruits. That story is about building a resistance and clearing the DedSec name from the bombings that occurred by someone going by the name of Zero Day – who had been posing as a DedSec member. Since that’s all I know, I’m not covering any of that here.
Game Freak have been showing off the two locations we could explore with the Sword and Shield Expansion Passes since they were first announced. Once the Isle of Armor brought its island of fun, giving a story that was short and felt rushed but with a location that felt like an expansion of the Wild Area, it was time for The Crown Tundra to give its take on an open area with exploration under a free camera.
Aside from the fact it feels odd that this expansion reveals snowy climate is a feature of Galar both at the north and south, this is a much greater expansion that I expected. For one, there’s verticality that feels natural rather than straight and constant slopes. There’s a cave system that feels like a cave from the older generations brought to the modern world, with multiple secrets and routes leading to those secrets while still having one main path. It’s easy to get lost within it if you’re unprepared, and several smaller ones – while not to the same scale – also manage to feel the same.
The map overall feels good. Better yet, we have a town designed to fit free camera exploration. Okay, admittedly said town is just four buildings and a farm, but that’s what you’d expect for a small outpost town. Again, there’s a naturalness to it, but to the same standard of the main game. Unlike those of the main game, however, it’s designed specifically with the idea it fits within this world where the camera is free.
Back when I was young, Playstation was king of the household with Nintendo being mostly for handhelds (still had a Gamecube that introduced me to some… Sonic the Hedgehog games). Along with that, there was also the PC. Back before Steam was ever a thing, the likes of Hydro Thunder and Worms 2 were all the rage. We also owned two Sonic the Hedgehog games. Then there were the simulation games.
Theme Hospital was always a fun game, and Mall Tycoon offered some short-lived fun, but the series to grab my attention was RollerCoaster Tycoon in 2002. For someone who loved creating, the second RCT game felt a dream come true for a game, allowing me to map out an entire park and the rides that it held. Along with designing the tracks of the coasters, the rivers and pools along the park, I enjoyed the freedom that the sandbox mode offered to create it all.
That’s not to say I didn’t also jump into the challenges the game offered, but I was certainly happier not having to worry about money and keeping everyone happy. The isometric view allowed easy customisation of the world, but also meant there were some restrictions if ever you decided to get too technical or overload the park with a massive amount of things.
When this was first announced just before the EA Play Live of 2020 (with more info coming during it), I was ready to get into it. Fleet Battles looked a lot of fun, like Supremacy from Battlefront up in space. The story also felt like it might be interesting, with the flipping between New Republic and Empire during the events of post-Endor. While I’m not the best at flight combat, I still enjoy it and wanted to get into it with this game.
The prologue of the story felt good in mission execution, with it taking place just after the events of A New Hope. Starting as the Empire, it runs you through basic flight manoeuvres and combat options, then at a certain point swaps to the Rebels as they jump to the same location to act as backup, and both forces come together in a clash of lasers as the Rebellion completes its mission.
At that point the game asks if you want to continue or jump back to the menu. Fleet Battles was the main reason I’d got the game, so into some multiplayer against AI I go. Before getting into that, though, I have to say that the flight mechanics are top tier even if they can feel a bit floaty with a controller. Everything feels as it should, with the ability to divert power to a specific system giving a bit of strategy in how you fly.
At the end of last month, I’d been looking into games that I’d be happy to stream, having recently started doing so over on Twitch. GTA V would be an obvious one, showing off the races I create along with those of others. And of course, I wanted LEGO City Undercover to be my first full playthrough of a game.
As usual, I found myself looking at the latest eShop updates over on Nintendo Life, where the title of Mask of Mists jumped out at me. An action-puzzler within a world of magic, I jumped over to the eShop to give it a look. I liked what I was seeing, as the game had a nice art style that complimented the world.
It looked a relaxing game to spend a few hours with, and while I did jump to the extreme of calling it a small-scale Skyrim, the description is still fitting. Across my play of it on that first stream, I did feel that description was certainly jumping to the extreme, but it wouldn’t be until the second stream I featured it that I found a better comparison.
After the trailer that showed off what gameplay elements will be within the new game, I set to writing about it and realised I had never posted this article. This one, set to have been the finale of my concept articles, changes the outlook from general to specific, as I target specific portions of two of the movies to give details of how I would have seen them play out.
I’m looking at the story, using what we’ve been told about the game as well as my own concepts I’ve been crafting for it, to give that rundown of how I would progress the story. There’s been no changes to this article since the new trailer dropped, so some of the things I talk of here could already be disproved. I don’t mind that, as this is purely to show my own concepts just like those other articles.
The first film I’ll look at is Attack of the Clones. The story here splits the two mains of Anakin and Obi-Wan, with The Complete Saga having followed Obi-Wan to Kamino and Geonosis. There’s story elements with Anakin that get skipped there, but can be given time to shine with this new game bringing more importance to the freeroam elements.
The second is from the latest film. The Rise of Skywalker might be fast-paced, with plenty of locations seeing screen time, but that just offers plenty of exploration within the freeroam. In terms of story, I’m putting focus on Kijimi, as the Force-dyad between Rey and Kylo Ren gives a great opportunity to craft a level almost as trippy as the visuals within the film during that fight scene. But that’s not all I’ll focus on when I get to it.
If you’ve been following me with my articles over the past year, you’ll know that I’ve been talking up LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. From E3 last year, from reading of impressions to the closed demo and everything that TT Games has been saying about it, I’ve felt that this could be the greatest of all LEGO games, and even become one of the best Star Wars games.
Now, at Gamescom, we have the one thing we’ve been waiting for. A true look at how the LEGO formula is about to be evolved. No raw gameplay footage, just the trailer, but that trailer gives snippets of various gameplay elements we can expect to see within the game. Space battles, open world exploration, in-level exploration, boss battles… There’s just one thing that strikes me about all this, though.
All the gameplay we see takes place from one perspective. That’s fine, since it’s meant to be showing the improved gameplay and camera elements, but at no point can we see a second character that the player might be able to take control of – even in the background. The only time a follower character can be seen is during the battle with Rey and Ren on the destroyed second Death Star, with BB-8 rolling toward the battle in the background.
Power Rangers has been going strong since Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers first graced television screens in America. While I might not have started on the train until Dino Thunder was all the rage (then lapsed after SPD for a number of years), I’ve enjoyed going back to the start to watch all the way from that starting series to the current end. I’ve been less impressed with the few games I’ve played, though.
There’s been a few that managed to at least be okay, but not a single one could be considered truly great. Then Legacy Wars came, a mobile hit that celebrated the franchise with its simple rock-paper-scissors fighting mechanics. From that came Battle for the Grid, a console 3v3 2D fighting game that attempted the same tactic of celebrating the franchise (though leaned heavily in Mighty Morphin’s favour at launch).
Across these last few years, we’ve had some great content that has added to the franchise. The comic series that expanded on the Mighty Moprhin’ Rangers, bringing with it a host of alternate versions of powers and a new set of Rangers in the Solar Rangers. The 2017 movie that, while not the greatest, gave a new interpretation upon the original team. The Hyperforce RPG series that also introduced a new team, incorporating them into the lore of Time Force.
With Hasbro now holding the reigns of the series, bringing new life to the franchise with Beast Morphers and hopefully repeating that success with Dino Fury, as well as another movie coming soon and more comics in the pipeline, the franchise certainly looks to be on top form. With expansion coming from all these forms of media, it’s time for the one remaining link to get in on the fun.