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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.

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.

Switchcore Podcast 010 – Nintendo E3 2017 Predictions Special

The crew gets together to talk about E3 2017. Specifically, predictions. This year, Nintendo has promised us a big year. We already know about some of the entities that will be present, like Super Mario Odyssey, but what about unannounced titles?

Will we see Metroid? Where’s Virtual Console. Is a new Pokemon game in the works? Scott, Jeremy, Drew and Charlie give their predictions on these plus many more in this special episode.

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Switchcore Podcast 009 – I Just Woke Up and BOOM!

Jeremy, Drew and Charlie are back to talk about the latest news of the week and to discuss the Arms Nintendo direct, highlighting the new characters and features the game will enjoy.  Make sure to tune in Wednesday, May 24th for our big Nintendo pre-E3 predictions show.

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Switchcore Podcast 006 – And We Are Back… Again

Scott, Jeremy, Drew and Charlie are back after an 8 week hiatus to talk about the latest going on in video games.  Along with the announcement of Destiny 2 and Battlefront 2, the quartet of hosts have a long-winded, spoiler-filled discussion of Breath of the Wild.

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Switchcore Podcast 005 – That’s A Casserole!

Charlie, Drew, Jeremy and Scott are back one week before the launch of the Switch to discuss the big news stories including three new Switch launch titles and the lack of Virtual Console support at launch.

Scott and Jeremy also answer questions about their hands on impressions of the Nintendo Switch from the Chicago Switch and Play event.

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Will the Switch Smartphone App Allow Tethering for Online Multiplayer?

The Switch launches in less than a week.  With mere days before Nintendo’s hybrid console is out in the wild, we are still asking ourselves many questions.

Upon looking at the Nintendo Switch specifications over at Nintendo of America’s home page, I noticed something kind of interesting.  If you look closely, Nintendo states that networking on the Switch “can be connected to the internet via a wireless (IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac) and Bluetooth 4.1.”

It’s also worth noting the Switch can be connected using a wired LAN adapter, just like the Wii U could.

The stuff about the Bluetooth connectivity is interesting, though.  Nintendo has not given us a full breakdown of the Switch’s online services yet.  What we do know is that there will be a free trial period for online matchmaking while Nintendo prepares to launch their full paid service at some point in the fall.

There has also been talks about Nintendo’s smart device app being implemented for voice connectivity.  Whether or not voice will be limited to the smart phone app remains to be seen.

This bit about the Bluetooth does trigger a few questions though.  Is Nintendo going to allow players to connect their Switch consoles to their smartphones for mobile, online connectivity via Bluetooth through their mobile app?  If so, will this allow Nintendo to potentially bypass restrictions some wireless subscribers have on their accounts?

Back in January, Nintendo of America President, Reggie Fils-Aime spoke to Nintendo Everything about Nintendo’s online efforts with the Switch. He stated:

“The bigger vision is that we are going to provide an overall online service, subscription-based, that not only will capture the multiplayer opportunity, but also the voice chat capability that we’re going to provide through a global app. We think that that’s just as important as access to Virtual Console content.

“The reason for that is, it continues to reinforce our commitment to online, and do so in a way that will enable the consumer to enjoy their Nintendo Switch and to still be able to play those connected experiences—like Splatoon, like Kart, like fill in the blank—while they’re on the go. Instead of having some sort of bulky gamer headset, you’ll be able to do it right off your smartphone, put in your earbuds that you use for your standard mobile device. We think that’s a pretty sweet solution. That’s part of the overall opportunity that we see in a subscription service.”

If the app does pan out to allow the ability for players to connect to their smartphones for online connectivity, this could be a very elegant solution for those who would otherwise have difficulty setting up a mobile hotspot on their devices.  It appears that a lot of decisions Nintendo has made with the Switch have been carefully calculated for the ease of use.  This could allow gamers to easily stay connected, even when they’re away from home.

We have reached out to Nintendo for comment and will update this post once we hear back.

No Switch Pre-order? No Problem!

Don’t have a Switch pre-order and want to get the Switch on day one?  We can help!  There are plenty of options open for those of you who don’t have Switch pre-orders right now!

From one of our sources, we know that Best Buys will be getting day one allocations of Switch units that exceed their pre-order units by 30 or more, based on the size of the store and the amount of pre-orders they received.  So if you’re looking to get a Switch at Best Buy on launch day, you’re in pretty good luck assuming there’s not 30+ people ahead of you waiting.

Best Buy Stores will also be giving out a free Zelda poster (while supplies last) for those that show up to midnight releases!  To see if your store is doing a midnight release, simply go here.  If your store is in the drop-down list, you are good to go for the midnight release!  Otherwise, you’ll have to wait till your store opens in the morning.

 Toys”R”Us, while not accepting pre-orders, will have stock of Nintendo Switch’s on launch day.  While they will probably not be doing midnight releases, you can always call your local Toys”R”Us to check with them.  You have a good chance of walking in on launch day and picking one up.  We would recommend going in at your stores opening, just to be safe.

 While GameStop was a highly used pre-order destination, there is a large chance of them having excess Switch units on launch day.  If you are a Pro member, you can also take advantage of their 50% extra trade in credit towards Nintendo Switch games and accessories.  You can check Gamestop’s site to see if  your local store is doing a midnight release!  As always, we’d recommend going in as early as possible to try to secure yourself a unit.

Walmart was very under-utilized when it came to pre-orders.  Usually when people think to pre-order or pick up a game system, they don’t automatically think Walmart.  This, however, is good news for those who don’t have pre-orders and wish to pick up a system on day one.  I have many friends who have picked up special edition copies of video games and video game consoles the night of release, all because everyone else was busy waiting in line at stores like GameStop. Depending on your destination, Walmart could have plenty of stock left over for you. If they are a 24 hour Supercenter, you have an even better chance of picking one up at midnight on launch day.  You may want to contact your local Walmart and ask if they will have extra Nintendo Switch stock on launch day.

Now, if you don’t have time to wait in line at midnight or are very busy on launch day, there is still hope for you to get a system very soon after launch.  Online retailers will be continuously restocking Nintendo Switch’s, but chances are that those will go quite quickly so soon after launch.  However, there are ways to get alerted when systems go back in stock!  One of these being nowinstock.net.  NowInStock is a free web service that will alert you when popular items go back in stock online.  All you have to do is go on their website and sign up for alerts!  You can get these updates through email and text, while the fastest option currently would be through their Google group.  Just follow the instructions here and you will be alerted as soon as the Nintendo Switch gets restocked.  Just make sure you are up to date on your email and text messages.

These items we have outlined above are only a few options.  Other stores like Target and non-chain local electronic and nearby video game stores are likely to have Nintendo Switch units in stock on launch day, if not, soon after. So don’t lose hope.  If all else fails and you can’t seem to get a Nintendo Switch, just be patient.  Don’t be shy to ask your friends and family to help as well.  The only reason I was able to get a Wii U even close to launch was because my friend happened to stop by a local Target store right when they happened to be stocking the system.  He knew I wanted one and picked it up, but if he hadn’t known I was interested, he probably wouldn’t have been looking in the first place!  Here’s wishing all of you day-one Switchers good luck, and be sure to join our Discord for more help and/or discussion about the Nintendo Switch and other video game consoles!