Nintendo Mega Bits: June 2020

June has been another tough one for Nintendo fans.  We have had to sit by and watch the Playstation and Xbox fans continue to get hyped for the next generation.  Sony recently dazzled the world by showing off a handful of games coming to the PS5.  Xbox continues to get people excited about the power of the Series X.  What about us?  What about the fans of the Big N?

Hail to the Origami King, Baby

Nintendo has kindly released further information on Paper Mario: The Origami King.  This is a game I am truly hyped about and feel will be a hit.  The latest video from Nintendo started by showing different locations around this world.  Each one is absolutely beautiful.  They really know how to make things look amazing, even though the Switch is the least powerful console.

The new video also showed that the game will have some elements that I did not expect.  There will be a game show segment that I assume will be quite humorous.  It also seems there will be a part where you shoot down flying objects.  The gameplay resembles that of Wild Guns, where you are moving the targeting cursor around the screen.  This is not my favorite mechanic, but I have faith in Nintendo to do this well.

The video gave some focus to the characters that will be helping Mario along the way.  I won’t spoil it for those who want to go in blind, but I was pleasantly surprised by most of them.  Last month, I mentioned that I believed Olivia was a terrible name for a character in a Mario game.  I stand by this, but at least I have now seen what she looks like.  My opinion on the name goes unchanged.

The battle system in the game is the thing I needed to see the most.  I’ve been trying to play through Color Splash and that system just hurt the game.  I am happy to say that the battle system in The Origami King looks like it will work well.  I appreciate that it has a puzzle element to it, and new attacks that pull it all together. 

All in all, this game is looking amazing.  Nintendo seems to have learned how to take a known franchise and add something new and exciting.  The video leads me to believe that you will have the ability to explore more and spend extra time just finding hidden treasures and Toads.  They really did a great job with the video and I recommend everyone go check it out.  That is unless you just want to be surprised about it all when you boot it up.

Oh Snap!

As it turns out, Nintendo has more than Paper Mario up its sleeve.  For all you Pokemon fans, New Pokemon Snap is on its way.  I tried playing the original, just a few years ago.  It really did nothing for me.  Granted, I have no history with Pokemon, and the N64 does not have the best graphics.  There is something about this new edition that really intrigues me.  I have learned a lot about the different Pokemon because I have a 9-year-old son.  I love the idea of them and the collection aspect of the games.  This makes me want to experience the game.

As with the original, New Pokemon Snap is an on-rails (literally) game where the player tries to take pictures of Pokemon as they ride along.  I believe the goal is to get quality pictures of each one.  What makes me really want to try this is just how beautiful it looks.  Pokemon are always known to be cute little characters and Nintendo has made them look amazing.   I am sure the gameplay will not be my thing, but I will probably play it all the same.

But wait!!!  New Pokemon Snap is not the only new Pokemon entry coming soon.  That’s right, Pokemon Café Mix has just been released for free.  At the time of writing this, I have not had a chance to check it out.  To be honest, it looks terrible.  The gameplay seems to be swirling Pokemon in a circle to connect them.  I just do not see how this could be fun at all.  It is free so I will try it out.

Also, Pokemon Smile was shadow dropped…. That’s a thing.

Daddy Mac’ll Make You (Jump Jump)

Speaking of trying things out, I just played Jump Rope Challenge.  Yep, I “jumped rope” 100 times and then turned it off.  Probably forever.  I get the point of this “game”, but I would be shocked if people kept playing this for more than a week.  Even though its kind of worthless, I do love how it came to be.  The story I have been told is that some fine folks at Nintendo wanted to keep active while in quarantine.  They decided to just make this and Nintendo put it out.  Good for Nintendo.

Just like last month, I must recommend that everyone keep checking out the eShop deals.  There are so many games on sale for very cheap.  These might not be ones you would normally think to buy, but, for the price, they are worth picking up.  This month I grabbed Ultra Off-Road: Simulation 2019 Alaska.  This game puts you in the driver seat of an off-road vehicle trying to make it through some rough terrains.  It is not the best game, but I have enjoyed jumping into it off and on.  I also picked up Runner 3, which is an amazing rhythm running game. 

My full game recommendation, this month, is Crystal Crisis, a competitive tile-matching puzzle video game developed and published by Nicalis.   The gameplay of this is comparable to Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine.  You have to line up and connect colored pieces, which will be eliminated when touched by a crystal of the same color.  As you might expect, removing pieces from your side damages your opponent.

What separates Crystal Crisis from other Tetris inspired games, is that you are playing as a character from several other games.  There are characters from 1001 Spikes, Cave Story, Astro Boy, Binding of Isaac, and more.  The character you choose determines how you attack and defend when the opportunity arises.  The game is a lot of fun and definitely worth a try.

Every month I will continue to recommend an  NES/SNES game from the Nintendo Online Service.  This month, it is Joe & Mac 2: Lost in the Tropics, developed and published by Data East in 1994.  You play as a caveman who needs to fight his way through Neanderthals to find the stolen crown.

There is some basic platforming in Joe & Mac 2.  This is not the bulk of the game, but it definitely adds to the enjoyment of it.  The main gameplay is taking out these Neanderthals and dinosaurs.  You have a club, rocks, and sometimes even spit fire.  You jump, dodge and attack your way through prehistoric times.  The bottom line is that this game is fun and holds up well.  If you are looking for the next retro title to play on your Switch, this is the one.

Well, another month has gone by and Nintendo has still not let us know what the big games, for the holiday season, are.  The rumors have quieted, and we can only hope that remasters of Mario games will come.  If we are lucky, there will be a big Direct happening in July, and we will all celebrate.  Until then, we will just have to keep hope alive.

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