Category Archives: Featured Opinion

The Perfect System for Indies & Remasters

 

banner2.jpgLast week Nintendo showcased a bunch of different Indie games that are coming to the Switch, and that is when it dawned on me that the Switch is the perfect system to play indie games on.

While the PC will always have the largest library of games, and does have the functionality or ability to play on a TV, outside of devices like NVidia Shield, it lacks a way to go portable.  Even more so, the PC struggles with local multiplayer on one device.  PS4 and XBox One both lack the ability to play indies on the go.

The Switch however gives the player the ability to play on the go, and also play local multiplayer with ease, while still having all the functionality of a home console.  Indie games rarely ever push the tech boundaries, so the technical limitations of the Switch should not be an issue with indie titles.   When playing a multiplayer or co-op game such as Shovel Knight or Towerfall (not announced for Switch), the player is able to go play on the TV with a friend, or go mobile and break off both joycons and play co-op together.   This adds amazing potential and opens up a lot more opportunities than all other devices.  Without a doubt, the Switch will now be my Indie System of choice.

That’s not all though, the portability of the Switch is also going to make it my HD Remaster device of choice too.  So far in this generation  we have seen 360 and PS3 games get ported/remastered to the XB1/PS4.  The graphical upgrades really haven’t been that noticeable, and in some cases the performance has actually been the same or worse.  I, and many others still get sucked into buying these HD remakes even if they seem unnecessary.

However now on the Switch, the added mobile option makes these HD Remakes even more appealing.  If Capcom released the past Resident Evil’s on the Switch, or Konami released HD Remakes of the Metal Gear Series, Square-Enix did their Final Fantasy X/X-2 remaster on the Switch, etc I would pick them all up on the Switch over any other system.   We’ve seen Final Fantasy X/X-2 Remaster released on the PSVita before, but it was mobile only.  The Switch has more game changing functionality for a HD Remake than the PS4/XB1 does.  Until we get into the 4K Remasters, or full-on Remakes (like what Sony did with Ratchet & Clank), I don’t see why Switch owners would buy an HD Remake on any other system.

Any downfalls of Indies or HD Remakes on the Switch that I’m missing? Or advantages of the others?

My Interest Level of the Upcoming Switch Library

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Screw it, I’m Getting 2 Switches

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I know it sounds crazy to buy 2 Switches, especially when the Switch itself can function as 2 different gaming devices, a console and a handheld.  But in my household both my wife and I play games, and I’m starting to realize that sharing 1 Switch between the 2 of us might not be as easy as it seems.

For all of the consoles we own, we only have one of each.  But for all of our Nintendo portables, we each have our own.  We share the Playstation 4, but I strongly considered buying a PS4 Pro just so we could both play different PS4 games at the same time.  I know, this sounds pretty hardcore and spoiled, but sometimes I want to play Battlefield 1 and she wants to play Dragon Quest Builders, definitely first world problems.  We are also known to move the main consoles around the house at times, sometimes we play PS4 and Wii U in our game room, sometimes we move them upstairs to the family room.  PS4 has a bit of a universal power cord, so I had an extra that I keep upstairs along with the HDMI cable, this makes moving the PS4 from room to room fairly simple.  The Wii U however has it’s own unique power cord, and yes, we did shell out the $40 for it to make moving the Wii U from room to room easy, no need to drag around cords. Now that you might understand my situation, let me explain how this would play out with the Switch.

I’m pretty certain I will buy a second Nintendo Switch Dock, that way I could have one in the family room and one in the game room.  Very easy to move from TV to TV, very spoiled, I know.  The Switch Dock is $90 when sold separately (pretty ridiculous), so that’s already gonna cost me close to 1/3rd the price of the Switch.  I tend to buy multiple controllers for when I have local multiplayer parties and so I don’t put wear on one single controller, by rotating I keep them all relatively fresh (or relatively slightly worn).  I was planning on buying another standard-type controller or two.  One of those controllers being a Pro (but not included in this equation) the other being another set of Joy-Cons and another Joy-Con grip.  An extra pair of Joy-Cons are $79.99 and an extra Joy-Con Grip is $29.99!!  I understand all the tech in the Joy-Cons and how it’s essentially 2 controllers, so I’m fine with the $80 price tag.but the Grip is just a piece of plastic!!! (Edited:  Didn’t realize the one that is sold separately is also a chargerAnyhow for the cost of the Dock, the pair of Joy-Cons and the Joy-Con Grip, I’m at $199.97!! At that point I might as well just pony up the extra $100 and get another Switch!!

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An extra Switch will come with some added benefits.  My wife and I will get all of those extra accessories that I mentioned buying separate.  We will Read the rest of this entry

EA Sports: I Want More Football

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I’m fine with the fact EA has the exclusive rights to the NFL license even though it did kill the NFL 2K series.  I’ve accepted that, I’ve moved on.  But I do have a problem with EA sitting on other NFL games and doing absolutely nothing with them.  EA currently owns the rights to the NFL Blitz series and NFL Street, so why haven’t we seen a NFL Blitz in 5 years or a NFL Street in 10?

Playing through these Retro Sports games lately I realize how much I miss having different choices and options of games to play.  When EA locked down the NFL license not only did it kill the competition, but it killed our options.   Over a decade ago EA created the NFL Street series, and that gave us an Arcade style outdoor football game, players had special moves, could run on the walls, it was something goofy, but it was different.  I personally enjoyed the series and like the option.  A little bit later on EA acquired the rights to Blitz and they released NFL Blitz on the XBox Live Arcade and Playstation Network, it went up for $19.99 and was a perfect re-creation of the classic NFL Blitz series, it is currently my preferred choice for a game of NFL Blitz.

I think it’s EA’s duty to gamers and the NFL to make the most out of the NFL license and keep these titles alive and active and I don’t believe that’s very hard or expensive for them to do.  Madden understandably needs gameplay tweaks and advancements to continuously progress the franchise and video game football each year, I get  that costs money.  But a game like NFL Blitz doesn’t require any gameplay tweaks, it doesn’t require much for development or resources on it.  When I pick up NFL Blitz ’17 I want it to play like NFL Blitz ’12 and NFL Blitz ’97.  There is no need to upgrade or change anything other than a roster, and that’s what I want to see!

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NFL Blitz from 2012 on PS3 – It’s time to bring back this goofiness and Arcade fun to NFL Video Games.   EA owns the rights to the NFL License and NFL Blitz, let’s get it done.

I want to see them release a Read the rest of this entry

The Nintendo Switch Super Bowl Commercial

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I was going to write an opinion piece here that Nintendo should run a Switch Commercial during the Super Bowl this weekend, but it turns out Nintendo IS running a Switch Commercial!   So now this has become a piece about what they should’ve done with the commercial, or what I think would be the most effective.  Sorry, don’t mean to give the impression I’m never satisfied, just wanted to share my vision or idea for the commercial.  But before we even get to that, let me point out what is great about the commercial.

The Good: During the Super Bowl we will see ads for movies and such that won’t have specific release dates or something as vague as “Summer 2017”.  Nintendo however will be capitalizing on the proximity of the Switch’s release date and Super Bowl LI.  Less than 30 Days from the Super Bowl, the Switch has potential to grab and keep people’s attention right up to it’s launch.   The ad shows off the functionality of being able to go portable, or to play at home, while also showing off the big launch title, The Legend of Zelda: A Breath of the Wild.

Spreading the Word: Outside of the hardcore gamers that check video game news sites and forums, I doubt most people even know about the Nintendo Switch.  Since the release of the Wii U, Nintendo has disappeared from the spot light and has been forgotten by many.  The Switch Presentation in January was based out of Japan at 11pm EST with little follow up from Nintendo of America, so it’s likely most people are in the dark about the Switch.  The Super Bowl is a perfect time to announce to America and the rest of the world that Nintendo has something big on the horizon.

What was missing: The Super Bowl Ad runs 30seconds, and it is a hard task to introduce the the Switch and all of it’s functionality along with it’s games in that short amount of time.   But I think it’s possible for them to have crammed it all in.  There were some key things I noticed that were missing during the commercial that I feel should’ve been shown offOne big thing was the ability to play Retro games!  Look how huge the success of the Mini NES Classic was!  I understand $300 is a completely different ballpark than $60, but there is obviously a nostalgic audience that wants to play the simpler classics. This crowd might be the new “casual” audience that Nintendo can scoop up that nobody has tapped into.  The commercial  also missed the opportunity to showcase some other Switch games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, 1,2 Switch, Super Bomberman R, Mario Odyssey and Splatoon 2, even if it was done in a very quick montage.  I also noticed that the commercial only shows the gamer playing portable within their house, it may make some people believe it’s limited like the Wii U was.  Last but not least (and maybe intentional) they never showed the joycon’s and their functionalities.  Below is a breakdown of how I would’ve presented the Switch in the 30 seconds. Read the rest of this entry

The PS4/XB1 Generation So Far

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This generation of systems (not including Wii U) has been going on for a little bit over 3 years now.  While the systems have become more powerful, the functionalities have expanded and the ability to share videos has emerged, I am still somewhat disappointed by the games we’ve got over the past 3 years.   In no way do I think this generation has “sucked”, I just feel like it’s left me wanting more than what is being offered.

I feel as if the Sony and Microsoft exclusives have been lackluster this generation, a few have fallen flat and most of them have received numerous delays.  I also feel like Third Parties have also been a bit disappointing this generation too.  Third parties seem to be even more overly cautious, releasing even more generic and predictable copy cat games.  There has been a lack of new IPs and new ideas from all major publishers this generation.  And of course, as we all know, the cash grabs and schedule fillers known as remaster and re-releases have shown up more than we’d like.   While waiting for the new must-have games, I’ve been wondering  “When the hell are we gonna get this generation started?”

2016 was by far the best year of this generation, with favorites such as: Uncharted 4, Battlefield 1, Overwatch, Dark Souls III, Titanfall 2, Final Fantasy XV, The Last Guardian and more.  But right now as we feel the PS4/XB1 are about to hit their stride, we’re being pushed into upgrading to PS4 Pros and XB1 Scorpios.  As of now, these upgrades aren’t required but undoubtedly  all of the major titles will take advantage of the extra power.  I also won’t be surprised if there ends up being Pro/Scorpio exclusives.  We might even see development focus so much on Pro/Scorpio, that the original PS4/XB1 will suffer.  I find it a bit concerning that games are being announced and hyped multiple years before release (Death Stranding, Shenmue 3, FF VII Remake, etc) and that by the time they come out, PS4/XB1 will probably be considered old. Read the rest of this entry

My Favorites of 2016

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I didn’t play everything this year, I didn’t play every game of every genre on every platform.  I don’t even play PC games.  I know I missed out on some of the highest praised games of the year.  But out of the games that I did play, I had some favorite ones and found some memorable ones.  Some of the games might be leftovers from 2015 that I didn’t play until 2016. Hell, I even included some retro games in My Favorites of 2016.

This is what I played, and this is what I enjoyed. But to get a feel for my taste in gaming, I thought you might be interested in seeing what it is that I liked.  If you enjoy or have interest in the same kind of games, then you might want to keep checking back here on thegamerpad.com or on my twitch channel (twitch.tv/thegamerpad) because I might be covering the exact kind of games that you want to see covered.

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PSVR – 2 Months Later

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It’s been two months since I picked up the PSVR and a handful of launch titles Unfortunately it was already collecting dust and not getting any use.  A few of the titles were making me sick when I played them, and that deterred me from going back to those games.  Other titles such as Batman and Job Simulator had the novelty wear off.  I looked at them as more of an “experience” than a “game”.  Once I experienced it, that was it, no need to go through it again so soon after.  Ultimately I’ve come to the conclusion that VR, or at least the PSVR isn’t for me at the moment.   From what I’ve played, I’ve come to the conclusion that the games will either make me sick, or the novelty will rub off quickly.  I have no problem sticking with non-VR games.

Over the past 2 months there are plenty of games that have come out on the PS4 that I have picked up, and more I plan to pick up:    

  •  Aragami
  • Battlefield 1
  • Call of Duty Infinite Warfare / Modern Warfare Remaster
  • Dragon Quest Builders
  • Earth’s Dawn
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • Mafia III
  • Rise of Tomb Raider
  • The Last Guardian
  • Titan Fall 2
  • World of Final Fantasy

I’m already trying to juggle all of those games on my PS4, which is causing me to struggle to find time for the PSVR.  In my opinion, every one of those PS4 games takes priority over the PSVR games.  I understand that it’s not quite fair to compare 3rd Year PS4 Games to a Launch Line-Up of a peripheral, but the PSVR requires a PS4 and is in direct competition for my PS4 time and budget.  Even if the above games were available in PSVR, I would still choose to play without the headset.  I feel like the best experience for most games and genres is still going to be without the VR and without the time limitations of using the device.

DriveClub VR with the steering wheel and pedals is incredibly immersive, it’s amazing how realistic it feels.  In small doses I would actually prefer DriveClub VR, with steering wheels and pedals over regular DriveClub with a Dualshock4.   But if I wanted to sit down and play for more than 30minutes, I would prefer the regular edition.  If you bring the costs into the equation, I don’t see that upgrade being worth the $400 for the PSVR (camera and Move not included) plus the costs of the Wheel and Pedals.  Shooting games with Move Controllers are like an advanced version of Light Gun games, while those that use the Dualshock 4 feel very disorienting, especially when replacing the headset for the aiming of the right joystick.

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PSVR Launch Impressions

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Playstation VR launched last month and I picked up my pre-order along with a handful of games. I was ready to jump head first into the alleged next big thing for gaming.  I pre-ordered the PSVR back in February (maybe March?) before I ever had any experience with VR.  Eventually in the summer I got to play Battlezone on PSVR at a Best Buy Demo.   From that brief experience I was pretty amazed at how immersive VR felt.  It was like I was no longer in a Best Buy, and I had entered a different world.  The Sony rep didn’t completely adjust the device for my eyes, so it was a little blurry.  It was similar to looking at a side view of the 3D effects on the 3DS.  I didn’t think it mattered to have the Rep adjust it 100%, it was still 85% – 90% fine.   But later after playing I felt vertigo a couple times over the next 30 minutes.  I figured this was because I didn’t accurately adjust the device.  It still was such an amazing experience I was now convinced it was worth keeping my pre-order and exploring it some more when it came out.

launchlineupWhen launch day came, I had fully bought in on the hype and wanted to try out just about everything.  I picked up the Launch Bundle that included 2 Move Controllers, the Camera and PS Worlds. I got every game that I thought seemed interesting, all the physical copies shown above and I bought Job Simulator and Rez Infinite digitally.  I figured these would be great to showcase the PSVR.

My first game I played was PS World, specifically London Heist.  This was by far the most fun I had on the first night, but it was also a very short experience.  In London Heist you are always in a sitting position, and there isn’t much movement.  Sitting at a table, sitting at a desk while shooting, sitting in a chair, and sitting as a passenger in a van while you shoot enemies.  Using the Move Controllers as my hand, and interacting with objects was so immersive, I felt like I was actually lighting a cigar in front of my face and shooting Uzi’s in a car chase.

 

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