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Switchcore Podcast 013 – Ultra Bye Deluxe Edition

With Drew out at E3 and Charlie losing power in the middle of this recording, Scott and Jeremy get together to discuss the highlights of E3.

Between Anthem, Super Mario Odyssey, the fact that a core Pokémon RPG and Metroid Prime 4 are both in development for the Swith and so many other big games announcement, this year’s E3 holds a lot to talk about.

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Rocket League coming to Nintendo Switch Holiday 2017

When Rocket League released just over two years ago, it became an instant smash hit.  Originally released on the PS4 and PC, then shortly after on the Xbox One, Nintendo Switch owners will finally be able to get their hands on Psyonix’s Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars sequel.

Given the portable and home console nature of the Nintendo Switch, we can’t help but feel that Rocket League will feel right at home on Nintendo’s new hybrid console.  No firm release date has been announced, but Switch owners can expect to see Rocket League this holiday.

Metroid 2 Remake coming to 3DS September 15th

Fans of 2D and 3D Metroid games alike have been clamoring for a new entry in the series for years.  Well, apparently this is the year those fans have been looking forward to.  Hot off the heels of the announcement in the Nintendo E3 2017 Spotlight that Metroid Prime 4 is currently in development, Nintendo also announced that Metroid: Samus Returns will also make its way to 3DS in September.

Metroid: Samus Returns is a 3DS remake of the Game Boy title: Metroid II: Return of Samus.  The game will feature a plethora of updates including visuals (duh!), free-aiming of Samus’s weapon, melee countering enemies, pinning locations on maps for future reference and the brand new Aieon abilities.

Nintendo has promised continued support for their 3DS family of consoles, and with Metroid Prime 4 likely still a couple years out, this seems like the perfect title for the aging platform.

PlayStation E3 2017 Media Showcase Liveblog

All times listed in EDT.

20:50 – T-minus 10 minutes.

20:54 – Lots of great reveals during the pre-show. Paving the way (hopefully) for big reveals during the Showcase.

20:55 – Still pre-show, footage on screen of Ni No Kuni II.

20:57 – December 9-10, PSX is returning in 2017.

20:59 – Sizzle reel, the show is almost under way.

21:00 – Interesting, opening the event with the ads for PlayStation “Days of Play” and PlayStation Vue.

21:02 – Is that a freaking sitar?

21:05 – Looks like Uncharted DLC. Sony is having major issues with audio on Twitch stream.

21:06 – Uncharted – The Lost Legacy

21:08 – Horizon: The Frozen Wilds

21:10 – Audio finally fixed on Twitch. Days Gone gameplay on screen. Visually, very nice.

21:13 – Whoa, so many zombies on screen at once. I assume this is running on PS4 Pro. Silky smooth.

21:15 – No Mass Effect: Andromeda facial animations here. Everything looks great.

21:16 – Shawn Layden on stage. Talking about PS4 Pro and PSVR. “It’s all about the games.”

21:20 – Umm… Is this Monster Hunter on PS4?

Is This Monster Hunter on PS4

21:21 – Wow, the leaks were real. Monster Hunter World on PS4.

21:23 – Is this Shadow of the Colossus?

21:24 – Yes, yes it is. Coming 2018.

21:25 – Hey! It’s Marvel characters!

21:25 – Oh, of course. MvC Infinite. September 19th. Story demo available today.

21:27 – CoD: WWII on screen with edgy, music video style edits.

21:29 – PlayStation VR game on screen.

21:30 – Skyrim VR

21:32 – GameTrust (Gamestop) PSVR game being shown. Appears to be some sort of 2D platformer style game.

21:32 – The game is called Star Child.

21:33 – Is it me, or are we just not getting any release dates at all?

21:34 – Inpatient. A PlaStation VR game developed my Supermassive.

21:35 – Final Fantasy XV – The Fishing Simulator. Oh, sorry. Monster of the Deep.  My name is better.

21:37 – Moss.  Another Supermassive VR game featuring a very cute mouse.

21:38 – God of War on screen.  Story seems to focus a lot on Kratos and his son.

21:42 – God of War looks good.  Running on Horizon: Zero Dawn engine

21:43 – Simply called God of War. Releases in early 2018.

21:44 – Detroit: Become Human. Another great looking game, but come on; let’s see something new, Sony.

21:49 – No release date?

21:50 – Destiny 2 trailer.

21:51 – Exclusive Strike. Exclusive gear. Exclusive weapon. Exclusive PvP map. Again.

21:53 – Spider-Man, yo!

Spider-Man PS4

22:01 – Simply Spider-Man. Coming 2018.

22:03 – Welp.  That’s a wrap!


XBOX 2017 E3 Briefing Liveblog

14:02 – Scorpio Official Unit looks like a black Xbox One S

14:03 – Xbox One X is the official name of the Xbox Scorpio and launches November 7th, 2017

14:05 – Full backwards compatibility

14:06 – Supports super sampling for 1080p

14:07 – Liquid cooled vapor chamber and custom power management system

14:08 – Xbox One X is the smallest Xbox ever

14:10 – Forza 7 reveal

14:12 – Porsche 911 GT2 RS world reveal

14:13 – Live gameplay demo of Forza 7, native 4K at 60fps

14:14 – Dynamic weather, environments and more details in Forza 7 than ever before

14:15 – Forza 7 releases on October 3rd 2017

14:16 – 42 games shown during the press conference, 24 will be console exclusive to Xbox One

14:22 – Metro Exodus reveal

14:24 – Assassins Creed Origins world premier

14:31 – Live Assassins Creed Origins gameplay, you can use an Eagle to scout ahead for you, combat looks like it has some dark souls inspired mechanics.

14:32 – PlayerUnknowns Battlegrounds coming exclusively to Xbox One systems, Xbox One X version enhancements will launch with the system

14:35 – Deep Rock Galactic reveal

14:40 – State of Decay 2 revealed, zombie game featuring base building, survival and multiplayer.

14:43 – The Darwin Project, hunger-games like multiplayer game.

14:45 – Minecraft uniting of consoles, crossplay with all consoles, mobile platforms and VR.  Minecraft gets a free 4K update, new look for Minecraft (dynamic lighting, better textures, godrays)

14:49 – Dragonball Fighter Z, early 2018 release date

14:51 – Black Desert coming to Xbox One

14:52 – The last night, pixel + 3d modeled visual art style

14:53 – The Artful Escape, coming when its ready

14:54 – Code Vein, coming 2018

14:55 – Sea of Thieves extended gameplay showcase: underwater exploration and ship looting,  watch out for sharks, eat bananas, you can shoot yourself from your ship onto an island or even an enemy pirate ship.  Solve riddles to find treasure caches, you can dig up the ground to search for treasure, generally after you find treasure you’ll have to fight off enemies in order to secure it, trade treasure at outposts to turn a profit. Sea of thieves releases early 2018

15:04 – Tacoma, releasing August 2nd 2017

15:05 – Super Lucky’s Tale, November 2017

15:07 – Cuphead finally got a release date, September 29th 2017

15:09 – Crackdown 3, Ft Terry Crews, releasing November 7th, 2017

15:11 – Sizzlereel, showcasing a lot of different games released through the ID@Xbox program

15:13 – Ashen, unique art-style

15:16 – Life is Strange Before the Storm, 3 episode game

15:18 – Shadow of War gameplay showcase. October 10th, 2017

15:24 – Ori and the Will of the Wisps reveal

15:27 – Xbox Backwards Compatibility now supports original Xbox games, more to share when it launches later this year

15:29 – 4K updates to previous titles like Gears of War 4, Halo Wars 2, Resident Evil 7, Final Fantasy 7 and more

15:31 – Xbox One X will be priced at $499

15:33 – Bioware’s new IP Anthem, running on Xbox One Scorpio, World premier gameplay.  Exosuits, big open world, focus on multiplayer.  2018 release date.

15:42: End of Conference


Switchcore Podcast 012 – Xbox E3 2017 Predictions Special

Charlie, Scott, Drew and Jeremy get together for yet another betting special, this time for Xbox’s E3 press event.  Will Scorpio wow the industry?  Will Phil Spencer announce new Xbox One exclusives?

Afterwards, the team recaps and wraps up their thoughts and predictions on everything E3 related.

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Pokkén Tournament DX Coming to Switch

Following Nintendo’s tweet yesterday, we now know what Nintendo, The Pokémon Company and Game Freak have in store for Switch and 3DS owners in 2017.

Nintendo kicked off the eight minute direct announcing Pokkén Tournament DX, scheduled for a September 22nd release on Nintendo Switch.  The deluxe version of the Pokémon fighting game is getting a new 3v3 team battle mode, online ranked play and friend-only group matches.  The game will also feature local wireless multiplayer and the ability to play the game with a single Joy-Con.  Pokkén Tournament DX will also feature five new characters: Darkrai, Scizor, Empoleon, Croagunk and Decidueye.

Though we did not receive the mainline Pokémon game for Switch we were hoping for, we did get some information about the next 3DS outing.  Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon will be hitting the Nintendo 3DS line of systems on November 17th.  The new titles will feature an alternate story, and new Pokémon not included in the original Sun and Moon games.

With E3 just around the corner, make sure to check back to Switchcore.net for more Pokémon news.

[via Nintendo Direct – YouTube]

Cave Story+ Nintendo Switch Review

Cave Story+ releases June 20th, 2017 on Nintendo Switch.

I was first introduced to Cave Story in 2010 as a downloadable demo on the Wii.  Before I knew it I was sucked in and had played the demo multiple times over, but despite my love for the demo, it wasn’t until about a year later that I received my own copy of Cave Story on the Nintendo DSi.  I don’t think I set my DSi down for more than a moment to grab something to eat before I was staring back at the small 3 inch screen, completely immersed in the colorful world of Cave Story.  Years later I received a copy of Cave Story+ for the PC as a gift from my dad.  A few years after that, I found myself again purchasing Cave Story from the Nintendo 3DS eShop, boasting original pixel art with some added 3D depth.  Now, seven years after I had originally fallen in love with the game and 13 years after the original release, we find ourselves with another version of the game; Cave Story+ for the Nintendo Switch.

As the name would suggest, Cave Story is a story about rabbit-like creatures (Mimiga) who live in a cave.  You take on the role of a robot named Quote.  With no memories of how you ended up there, you attempt to discover not only your own purpose, but the story behind the Mimiga and the entire cave itself.  In some ways Cave Story feels like a lost NES classic, and having been inspired by games like Metroid and Castlevania, it’s not hard to see why.  The game rewards exploration, choice-making and mastery of its controls, allowing the player to change the outcome of the story by how they play.  The world of Cave Story is filled with lovable characters and clever dialogue.  The game oozes with charm and you can feel that the creator really put work into making something that was special to them.  Right off the bat, Cave Story feels like a beloved childhood classic while also mixing up the formula with some of its own ideas.

The first thing you’ll probably notice that is different in Cave Story is the unique weapon system.  Unlike other 2D shooters where you collect ammo and level up your characters stats to move forward, Cave Story features a dynamic weapon leveling system.  Weapons feature three levels of strength, usually with level 1 being the weakest and level 3 being the strongest.  The weapons you collect level up when you collect Weapon Experience from fallen enemies, but will level down as you take damage.  This way Cave Story rewards skilled players who don’t take damage with greater weapon levels, while others may find themselves struggling to keep their weapon levels up if they are not careful.  Every weapon collected has its own unique strengths and characteristics, while your initial weapon, the Polar Star, may not drastically change upon leveling up.  The Bubbline offers a very different experience at each of the three levels.  Every weapon offers advantages and disadvantages in different scenarios.  Where some might succeed wonderfully in one area, it may not in another.  So while you might have your favorite weapon, it’s always helpful to explore the strengths of others in the event you find yourself in a challenging situation.

Cave Story+ PC
Cave Story+ Switch
Cave Story+ PC
Cave Story+ Switch

Visually, the original Cave Story features some gorgeous pixel art.  This is only improved upon in Cave Story+ with the addition of remastered graphics.  Moreover, Cave Story+ on Nintendo Switch is more visually advanced than even the PC version.  The Switch version features an overhauled water system that reacts to the players movement through the water rather than the static image of the PC version.  Along with new water physics, a new lighting engine is also present.  Characters, shots from weapons and other items placed throughout the world will emit light that will slightly illuminate the background and other elements around them – a subtle but welcome change. Along with the new lighting engine, some of the excess foreground has been removed replacing it with black space and some shadows around the elements.

Alongside these features, the Switch version of Cave Story+ features a true 16:9 aspect ratio, unlike the 4:3 aspect ratio of the PC version.  As performance goes, the game runs at 1080p and 60fps while docked, and 720p, 60fps in handheld mode.  All make for a very pleasant experience with flawless performance all around.  Even in the most hectic scenarios, everything runs buttery smooth, with no hurt to performance whatsoever.  All of these changes make the Switch version by far the most visually appealing version of Cave Story we’ve ever received.  Halloween and Christmas visual changes are also present in this version if you are playing during their respective time-frames.  That being said, as of now, the Switch version Cave Story+ does not offer the option to switch between the original and remastered visuals like the PC version, something we’d welcome back in a possible future update.

Cave Story has a wonderful and addictive soundtrack that feels right at home in the world that’s been created.  In the Switch version of Cave Story+ instead of being greeted with three different options like the PC version we’re greeted with four! “Famitracks” is a new audio option only present in the Switch version, and like the name suggests, sounds like the original tunes using the Famicon soundfont.  Everyone seems to have a different opinion on which Cave Story soundtrack is the best, but with all four different music options to choose from, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to decide for yourself.  Unlike previous versions of the game, the “Jukebox” is also unlocked in the menu right from the start, so if you want to sample music you’ve heard from the game from all of the different soundtracks, just select the option from the menu and listen to your hearts desire.

With a tight control scheme, every button press counts in Cave Story, and luckily all control options are present in the Nintendo Switch version (apart from touch screen functionality). Single Joy-con support will be especially helpful when a free multiplayer co-op update* is released this summer.  If you want to test your mastery of the controls even further, a challenge mode will be unlocked after you progress to a certain point in the game.  Modes like Boss Rush, Sanctuary Time Attack and Wind Fortress, as well Sand Pit, (a new challenge mode exclusive to Switch version) will push your skills to the limit. Online ranking support is also present so you can see how your skills compare to players all across the world.

*This review will be updated when the multiplayer update to Cave Story+ for Nintendo Switch is released.

So even after thirteen years is Cave Story+ for Nintendo Switch still the Cave Story game that’s been lauded for years? It’s that and more. With even further enhancements, a multiplayer update just around the corner and possibly even more, Cave Story+ for Nintendo Switch is a wonderful addition to the Cave Story family and the best version we have to date.

Pokémon Direct Coming Tomorrow

The internet is aflutter this morning with The Pokémon Company tweeting out from their official Twitter account that a new Pokémon Direct is coming June 6th at 7am PT/10am ET.

Additionally, on the official Pokémon website, a post has been added stating “Big Pokemon News on the Way.”  Following the Direct, coverage of the news will take place at Pokémon.com.

Could this be a new Pokémon title for the Switch that fans have been asking for, or will it just be information on the upcoming update to Pokémon GO slated to add new legendary Pokémon and PVP functionality?  Only time will tell.  In the mean time, mark your calendars for June 6th!

Switchcore Podcast 011 – PlayStation E3 2017 Predictions Special

PlayStation E3 predictions galore!

This week, the hosts discuss what they believe we will most likely be treated to during the E3 2017 PlayStation press briefing. Keeping in line with the Nintendo show from a week ago, the hosts make Yes/No bets, as well as play a bit of High/Low to determine the direction of PlayStation during this year’s big show.

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