Nintendo Switch Online, One Week Later

After a year and a half long “free trial period”, Nintendo Switch users now have to purchase a subscription to play online. The service launched one week ago today, and we’ve spent quite a bit of time with it. It’s definitely not perfect but we’ve been pleasantly surprised with what Nintendo’s provided.

The Good

The Price

At only $4/month or $20/year, Nintendo Switch Online isn’t going to break the bank for most people. There’s also a family plan for $35/year, but you can split it between 8 Nintendo Switch users, which can bring the price down to a measly $4.38 per person per year.

The NES Library

The service launched with 20 classic (for the most part) NES games available with 3 added each month.

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There are masterpieces like Super Mario Bros. 3 and The Legend of Zelda, but nobody’s dying to play games like Tennis or Pro Wrestling. Regardless, 20 dollars a year for 20 games with more to come is still a great value. They even have online play added, so you can take on your friends in Balloon Fight from opposite sides of the country. We really are living in the future.

The UI

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The game selection screen is snappy and responsive, and all the NES games are contained in one app called “Nintendo Entertainment System – Nintendo Switch Online”. It’s not the most elegant title, but it does stop your Switch home screen from getting cluttered with 20 different games plus three new ones each month. There are also filters to put over your gameplay, similar to the NES and SNES Classic Editions. It’s easy to get in and out of a game, and that’s great due to the pick up and play nature of some of these titles.

The Bad

Online Play

Everyone’s been enjoying online play on their Nintendo Switches completely free of charge since the console launched last March. Connection issues were written off with the promise of an improved infrastructure when the paid service would launch, yet here we are, paying for Nintendo Switch Online, and there are still just as many reports of disconnects in Splatoon 2 or laggy Arms matches. That’s not even taking into account the horrible implementation of voice chat and invites, which brings us to…

The Smartphone App

Since its reveal, nobody has liked the Nintendo Switch Online app. Voice chat has been done right so many times, but Nintendo always does things their own way, and sometimes that way isn’t the right way. This is one of those times. Why do you have to use a phone to talk to other players? Why isn’t voice chat through the Switch an option?Why do some games like Splatoon not even have team voice chat? So many questions that shouldn’t even need to be asked.

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The Verdict

Overall, Nintendo Switch Online hasn’t made much of an impression on us. It’s practically the same service we’ve been getting for free for 18 months until this point. The NES games are a good foundation to build off of, and hopefully other consoles will soon follow. Right now, the classic games are the service’s central selling point, and if they keep adding games at a steady rate and add new consoles like SNES, N64, and even Gamecube or DS, then Nintendo Switch Online might become a worthy successor to Virtual Console. Nintendo wanted Nintendo Switch Online to be a huge deal when it launched, but as of right now, it’s a resounding meh.

What do you think about Nintendo Switch Online? Let us know down below, and stay tuned to Circle Square Games for everything Nintendo.

 

 

Mysterious New Pokemon Showing Up In Pokemon Go

A brand new Pokemon known only as “???” has started showing up in Pokemon Go.

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Originally discovered through a datamine, the Pokemon began to appear in the Asia Pacific region after Chikorita Community Day, a three-hour event which increased the spawns of second generation starter Pokemon Chikorita.

Shortly after Chikorita spawns concluded, many players saw the new Pokemon on their nearby Pokemon radar, and upon capture, ??? transformed into either Ditto or Chikorita and did not register to the Pokedex. The Pokemon continued to spawn for about half an hour. ??? started to appear globally after Chikorita Community Day concluded in various regions, and it remained available for about 30 minutes, similar to the creature’s appearance in the Asia Pacific region.new_nut_head_pokemon_found_in_pokemon_go_with_red_tail.jpg

Some players reported seeing Kecleon, a Pokemon originating from the third generation of Pokemon games, which has also not yet appeared in Pokemon Go, appear instead of the new Pokemon, but any attempts to capture a Kecleon resulted in it transforming into either Ditto or Chikorita.

While this new Pokemon was originally thought to be some sort of error, Niantic’s Pokemon Go global marketing lead tweeted about it, followed by a tweet from Niantic’s global community manager, leading many to believe this may be a planned tease rather than an accidental appearance.

Nothing is known about this new Pokemon, but this is likely an early look at the eighth generation of Pokemon planned to debut in 2019’s core Pokemon RPG for Nintendo Switch. The Pokemon Company did say that a brand new Pokemon would be available in Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee via transfers from Pokemon Go, and this is probably that brand new Pokemon.

Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee will be available on November 16 for Nintendo Switch.

Telltale Games Shutting Down

The creators of episodic games like The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, and Tales From the Borderlands is closing its doors.

“Today Telltale Games made the difficult decision to begin a majority studio closure following a year of insurmountable challenges. A majority of the company’s employees were dismissed earlier this morning, with a small group of employees staying on to fulfill the company’s obligations to its board and partners,” the company said in a statement.

The final season of Telltale’s The Walking Dead premiered last month, with its second episode scheduled to launch next week. Unfortunately, the season’s final two episodes will not be released, and the season will remain unfinished. The studio’s plans for a second season of its award-winning series The Wolf Among Us and a series based on Netflix’s Stranger Things have both been cancelled. A skeleton crew of 25 is still at the studio hard at work on Minecraft Story Mode for Netflix.

Last November, the studio laid off  approximately 25% of its workforce, and the company had reportedly been suffering from poor management. “It’s been an incredibly difficult year for Telltale as we worked to set the company on a new course”, said CEO Pete Hawley. “Unfortunately, we ran out of time trying to get there. We released some of our best content this year and received a tremendous amount of positive feedback, but ultimately, that did not translate to sales. With a heavy heart, we watch our friends leave today to spread our brand of storytelling across the games industry.”

 

 

The Fortnite Cube Just Dissolved Into Loot Lake

After its appearance almost four weeks ago, Fortnite’s mysterious cube has ended its journey across the map by plunging into Loot Lake and dissolving, turning the entire lake into a bouncy playground.

At 1PM PT, the cube dropped into the lake. The cube immediately began to dissolve, and within a minute, the entirety of Loot Lake had become a flat, bouncy surface.

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The cube was zapped into Fortnite’s world back on August 24. Shortly after its arrival, it began to slowly move every half hour or so, starting out in the desert biome and passing through Fatal Fields, Wailing Woods, and Tilted Towers, leaving strange runes in its wake at various locations.

It’s unknown if this is the last we’ll see of the cube, or if this is the start of another overarching narrative in Fortnite’s world. We should find out the greater implications of this transformation soon, as Season 6 starts next week on September 25.

 

A Game From 2009 Was A Bestseller For August 2018

The August NPD report is here, and Madden NFL 19 was last month’s top seller. Madden has been the best selling game every August since 2000, except for 2011 and 2012, but they only missed being the best-selling games in August because they launched during the September tracking period. Madden NFL 19 is the best selling entry in the franchise since Madden NFL 13.

Monster Hunter World made a resurgence last month thanks to its PC release, taking the number two spot, followed by Rainbow Six Siege, Grand Theft Auto V, and Mario Kart 8, which came in third, fourth, and fifth respectively. GTA V continues to remain a powerhouse for sales, with last month marking its 59th month on the top seller charts. To put that in perspective, the game has been on the market for 60 months.

Also notable for August 2018 was 2009’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 charting at the eighth spot, compared to ranking 321st in July. The game’s substantial boost in sales can be attributed to its addition to the Xbox One backwards compatibility catalog toward the end of the month.

Here are the top twenty best-selling games for August 2018:

  1. Madden NFL 19
  2. Monster Hunter: World
  3. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
  4. Grand Theft Auto V
  5. Mario Kart 8
  6. Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker
  7. God of War
  8. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
  9. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  10. Super Mario Odyssey
  11. Minecraft
  12. Crash Bandicoot: N.Sane Trilogy
  13. Far Cry 5
  14. Monster Hunter: Generations Ultimate
  15. Call of Duty: WWII
  16. Mario Tennis Aces
  17. Overwatch
  18. Lego The Incredibles
  19. We Happy Few
  20. The Crew 2

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Cloud Version is Coming to Nintendo Switch

The recent Nintendo Direct had an extra announcement in Japan that we didn’t get stateside. Ubisoft’s Assassins’s Creed Odyssey is coming to Nintendo Switch in Japan. Sort of. Similar to Resident Evil 7, Odyssey will get a cloud version in Japan, allowing Japanese Switch owners to stream the game to their system. Developers seem to be testing out cloud versions of games in Japan, and there’s a very real possibility that we might be able to stream AAA titles to our Switches here in the states in the near future.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey launches on October 5th for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and for Japanese players, Nintendo Switch.

Nintendo Direct 9.13.18 Recap

The Nintendo Direct opened with a reveal of Luigi’s Mansion 3 (working title), set to launch on Nintendo Switch next year.

There were three 3DS games shown in this Direct. The first of which was Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn, an enhanced port of Kirby’s Epic Yarn. It includes new minigames and a “Devilish Mode” involving a demon chasing Kirby throughout a stage.

Then Nintendo reminded us of Mario and Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr.’s Journey, which releases on January 11. A co–op mode was revealed for the Luigi’s Mansion 3DS port, and the game launches on October 12.

Onto Switch news, Splatoon 2 is getting another new update with new maps, weapons, and gear. Mega Man 11 was revealed to have Amiibo support in the form of extra E-Tanks and other items. Mario Tennis Aces is also receiving an update adding Birdo, Shy Guy, Koopa Paratroopa, and Petey Piranha as playable characters along with a new co-op mode, which launches on September 19.

Capcom announced the Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle which features Final Fight, King of Dragons, Captain Commando, and more, launching on September 18.

New Super Mario Bros. U is getting the Deluxe treatment. The game will be bundled with New Super Luigi U and comes out on January 11.

Katamari Damacy is getting remastered for Switch this winter. It’s called Katamari Damacy REROLL and features gyro controls.

Nintendo Switch Online launches September 18 and Nintendo detailed the service in this video.

Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee were shown alongside a new Nintendo Switch bundled decorated with the two Pokemon.

Pokemon developers Game Freak are creating a brand new RPG called Town. The entire game takes place within one town.

Cities Skylines is available on the eShop now.

Daemon X Machina was shown. You can upgrade your mech with enemy parts and carry multiple weapons. You can also leave your mech and explore on foot. The game features 4 player co-op and launches next year.

Civilization VI is coming to Nintendo Switch.

Starlink: Battle for Atlas revealed Wolf will be featured in the story mode.

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered, Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition HD, World of Final Fantasy Maxima, Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon Every Buddy, Final Fantasy XII The Zodiac Age, Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy IX, and Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD are all coming to Nintendo Switch. XV Pocket Edition is available now. Interestingly, Final Fantasy VIII is not included.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is getting a Nintendo switch bundle with some disappointing Joy-Cons.

Isabelle from Animal Crossing was revealed as a new fighter.

Lastly, a brand new Animal Crossing was announced for next year.