March is here, and even though the month sounds like Spring is coming, we had a cold spell this week. A lot of my fellow countrymen got very exited at the prospect of being able to skate on the ponds and little lakes after a week of heavy freezing. Made me think of the comment Katie Couric made during the Olympic Opening Ceremony:
“It’s probably not a news flash to tell you the Dutch are really, really good at speed skating… ‘Why are they so good?’ you may be asking yourself. Because skating is an important mode of transportation in a city like Amsterdam.” She explained: “As you all know, it has lots of canals that can freeze in the winters.” And: “So, for as long as those canals have existed, the Dutch have skated on them to get form place to place, to race each other and also to have fun.”
That last part is true, about having fun on the ice. But the rest of it really made me laugh! She has apologised since then with a fun tweet, but I was reminded of it once again with this skating spree going on all around me.
Anyway, back to this weeks Handheld Gaming News! What stood out to me in the world of casual handheld gaming?
Happy birthday, Nintendo Switch
On March 3, the Switch celebrated its one year anniversary! And it’s been a good year for the console, for which I’m glad. I was skeptic at first, but I’m so glad I got mine a couple of months later! It has been my go-to Handheld device since then, with Zelda Breath of the Wild my number one game.
To celebrate, Nintendo released this artwork made by the developers of the game.
Changes to be made to Dragon Quest Builders 2
Many of us have enjoyed playing Dragon Quest Builders when it released in February on the Switch. And many others already knew it was a wonderful game from playing it on the Vita or PS4. Knowing that the sequel is already coming is a big bonus!
In the latest issue of Famitsu producer Noriyoshi Fujimoto and director Kazuya Niinou discussed some changes to Dragon Quest Builders 2. You will be able to play with others (but if that’s a true multiplayer mode remains to be seen) and you’ll be able to build three times as high as the limit in the first game. What I like too is that it will enable you to import your profile from the first game direct into the sequel.
Update for Xenoblade Chronicles 2
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 on the Switch already is a huge game adventure. And now there’s a new update, that adds even more gaming fun. Patch version 1.3.0 fixes things, but also adds new features including the Advanced New Game mode where you’ll be able to recruit Mikhail and Akhos.
Players with save data from the final chapter and who have cleared the game will now be able to select “Advanced New Game” on the title screen and carry over some of their data from the previous playthrough.
Building of Super Nintendo World has kicked off
Universal Studios in Japan is going to get bigger: Super Nintendo World will be added. The first building has gone up in the new expansion, though we don’t know yet which one it’s going to be. And this means the Nintendo addition to Universal Studios Orlando might not be far behind! The project in Japan is due for completion in 2020.
Demo the Alliance Alive on 3DS
If you’re curious about the RPG The Alliance Alive that launches next month, you can now download the demo in the American and European eShop. Check out the start of Galil and Azura’s adventure as they set out from The Rain Realm in search of a blue sky.
If you manage to complete the demo you can get a bonus of up to 4,000 Talent Points that transfers to the full game. These points are used to help build your characters’ abilities so that means you’ll get to start the game with an edge by completing the demo.
Streetpass Relay Stations shutting down in Japan
A while back I wrote of how sorry I am to see the characteristic Mii on the way out. On the Switch it’s just your little avatar if you want, but that’s it. Miitomo is closing, MiiTopia seems to be the last game out that used the quirky Mii. (Read my thoughts here)
Now we get news that Streetpass Relay Stations are shutting down in Japan. Relay Stations collect the data of passing players and store them, redistributing them to passing 3DS owners as StreetPass hits. As such, those stations were key in getting Streetpass hits, as the chances of walking past another 3DS gamer would be slim otherwise. Especially when you don’t live in a big city.
No news yet of a shutdown for the rest of the world, but that’s only a matter of time. I am sorry to see you go, little green light!
Eric Barone is working on a secret new game
It was the 2-year anniversary for Stardew Valley this week, and creator Eric Barone took to Twitter saying: “Today is the 2 year anniversary of Stardew Valley. I’ve got that strange sensation of both the shortest and longest 2 years of my life. Thanks for joining me on this journey everyone. With MP (multi player) close, my next (secret) game in the works, and more… there’s lots to look forward to”
Luckily, he told us a bit more:
My next game will take place on the same planet as Stardew Valley, although it’s not a sequel or expansion in any way.
I don’t want to reveal too much at this point, but I am thinking of approaching my next game with a similar mindset to Stardew Valley – take a style of game that was never fully realised (or that changed trajectories, leaving unexplored possibilities), and carry on the tradition in my own weird way.
New Game music Zelda BotW is coming soon!
Some time ago I wrote about how I enjoy my Gaming Music playlist on iTunes. So I was pleased to see the news that a new addition to my playlist is coming.
Zelda BotW is getting its own five CD Soundtrack, to be released April 25. There’s also a limited edition that includes a 8-bit Link-themed Playbutton (a portable music player with fancy designs but are limited to playing predetermined songs). It also has a Shiekah Slate-themed slip-on cover, that goes over the box, which also sports a different look compared to the normal edition.
That’s it for this week, my friends. Hope you had fun reading this. Have a Happy Gaming weekend!
I played a bit of Xenoblade. Thanks to easy mode I don’t die all the time anymore.
I’ll have to check, but I think I’m already on easy mode. I got stuck at a huge scary spider that I can’t seem to beat…
Happy birthday to the Nintendo Switch!