Nintendo Mega Bits: August 2020

By Jonny Casino

It’s the end of August.  It has been a terrible year in general, but Nintendo is making it all better by giving us a brand new big first-party game.  Wait… no they aren’t.  Well, at least they have shown us what their plan is for the rest of the year.  Wait.. that’s not true either.  What the Hell, Nintendo?

The reality is that another month has gone by and we still don’t know what is going on.  Nintendo did drop a few pictures of Mario on twitter with the line, “Stay Cool.”  This almost looked like a tease of Mario Sunshine, but, at this point, I don’t even want to get hopes up at all.  I’m just going to patiently wait for Nintendo to tell me what is coming out.  Ok, maybe not patiently.

Pikmin 3 Deluxe

Even though there have not been new first-party games announced, Nintendo continues to rerelease Switch versions of great WiiU games.  This time, it is Pikmin 3.  I assume this decision was made to help people get excited for when Pikmin 4 finally gets here if that ever happens.

I own all the Pikmin games and I really enjoy them.  That being said, I have never completed one.  I believe this game is an amazing one from the WiiU and hope that more people will be able to dive into this world.  The concern I have is that the original utilized the GamePad and that won’t be possible on the Switch.  Either way, for those who have never played Pikmin 3, I highly recommend putting this one on your wish list.

Nindies Showcase

I am sure every Nintendo fan out there was hoping for a Direct that would lay out the plans for the rest of the year.  We didn’t get that, but we did get a Nindies Showcase.  I kept my expectations low and ended up very pleased with the showing.  Not every game is worth keeping an eye on, but some are high on my radar.  The one downside that many have pointed out is that most of these are timed exclusive, or not exclusive at all.  I sometimes find it difficult to pay for something I think will end up on GamePass.

Evergate, from Stone Lantern Games, was one of the first games that really got me excited.  The game looks gorgeous and seems like a game that could give you “the feels”.  You use your powers to help traverse through the levels in a pseudo platforming fashion.  If the controls handle well, this game will be amazing.  Even if they don’t, the visuals and music look like they are worth the cost.

Manifold Garden, from William Chyr Studio, is a first-person puzzle game.  I have not grabbed this yet, but I need this game.  The graphics are beautiful yet simplistic.  The music is relaxing and serene.  I love puzzle games, especially environmental ones.  This game feels like a winner and I hope to be able to tell you more about it next month.

Spiritfarer, from Thunder Lotus Games, is one of the stranger games to be shown.  Like others in the showcase, it looks beautiful and relaxing.  What makes it so strange is that you are upgrading a ship that is taking animals to the afterlife.  Yep, you are taking anthropomorphic spirit animals to their soul’s final resting place.  There are exploration and ship upgrading along the way.  I am torn on what I expect from the game so I will play this through GamePass.

Bear and Breakfast, from Armor Games Studios, is one I would have left as a footnote, but it is by far the most bizarre of the games in the showcase.  You are a bear that is making a bed and breakfast in the woods.  I am not sure how this will work, but it seems so strange.  I hope people find, and love, this game when it comes out, but I don’t think it is for me

Hades, from Supergiant Games, was by far the most badass game shown.  It is a top-down, action role-playing, roguelike game.  The art style is badass.  The music is badass.  It just feels badass and definitely needs to be on everyone’s radar.

A Short Hike, from Adam Robinson-Yu, is the game that sparked my interest the most.  It came out that same day and I bought it.  The game is an adventure game where you play as Clair, a young bird who is visiting her Park Ranger Aunt.  She is waiting on a phone call but must make it to the top of a mountain to get cell service.  You must take her on this short hike to get there.

What drove me to make the purchase, besides the 8-dollar price tag, is that the game looked relaxing.  The world is in a terrible place and every moment can feel stressful.  Finding a relaxing game felt like a godsend.  The music is light and peaceful.  The interactions with NPCs are humorous.  It’s just a relaxing yet satisfying game. 

On Clair’s hike, she must find a few things to help her make it to the top.  Beyond that, she can take on tasks from random residents of the park.  You don’t have to do any of these, but they promote exploring the beautiful world.  Fishing was one of my favorite side activities because, while waiting for a bite, she just sits down. 

While exploring the park, Clair can go anywhere.  Because she is a bird, gliding is a great way to just get around.  Once again, in the crazy world we currently live in, just gliding around was the escape I needed.  I completed the game in about 2 hours, but there is still more for me to do.  I highly recommend everyone pick this up.

Other games were shown off that I need to know more about.  Card Shark looks so strange and sounds like it will teach you card tricks to cheat at poker.  Subnautica, which has been out on other platforms, will be coming to the Switch.  I loved playing this but have no idea how well it will work on the Switch because it gave my original Xbox One some problems.  Garden Story is a “social sim/RPG”, whatever that means.  Every game in the showcase deserves to be explored and I think the show was very well done.

The Legend of Zelda: The Missing Link

The Nindies Showcase was great, but us fans are still in search of the next Mario, Metroid, or Zelda.  There does not seem to be one of those ready for us to play, or is there?  The Legend of Zelda is my all-time favorite franchise and all I want is to play new versions.  Thanks to Kaze Emanuar, we can play an unofficial Zelda game that takes place between Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask.  This is called The Legend of Zelda: The Missing Link. 

I want to play this so bad, but I have had some issues getting it to work.  The problem is that it is a patch for the Ocarina of Time.  One way to make it work is to have the ROM of the game, install the patch, and then play on an emulator.  I own multiple copies of Ocarina of time, so I don’t feel bad about getting the rom, but I can’t find the right version to work with the patch.  The other option is to patch the version you can buy digitally for the Wii.  What scares me about this is that you can end up bricking your system if you make a mistake.  I hope to have this figured out soon and review this fan-made game.

Mario Maker 2

After finishing Paper Mario, I needed to play more Mario.  Sadly, Nintendo is not helping with this by releasing new games.  Instead, I have finally decided to dive into Mario Maker 2.  I never enjoyed the first one.  It was too difficult to find good levels and I am not one to create.  Mario Maker 2 has been a very different experience for me.

There are still trash levels galore, but I have been able to find a lot of great ones as well.  What I didn’t know, before playing, is that there is a “story” mode.  The story is that you are helping Toads rebuild the castle, but that doesn’t matter.  What matters is that it has a selection of well-made levels.  The levels are very diverse, and I often find myself blown away by what can be done in the game. 

Playing through Mario Maker 2 has made me realize two things.  The first is that I need to never sleep on a Mario game.  The second is that I not only want a new 3D Mario game, I also want a new 2D one.  Please Nintendo, give me a new side-scrolling Mario game but not in the style of the Wii and WiiU games.

Well, Nintendo fans, that’s how the month went.  I’ll be honest, it’s about what I expected.  My goal for the rest of the year is to keep my expectations low and maybe a surprise will sneak up on me.  I recommend you do the same.  Until next month, this has been the MegaDads Nintendo BegaBits.

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