This is a very special weekend for a lot of Nintendo fans as the new console is released. You might wonder why I mention the device in this Handheld Gaming News weekly as it’s a gaming console. But, for the first time Nintendo has made a console that can be turned into a handheld too. I have my doubts about how well it can replace the 3DS, which is a device I’m particularly fond of. But, only time will tell. I hope the Switch will be as big a success as the Wii was.
For many gamers it’s a wonderful day of anticipation come true. In a way, I do envy that. There’s nothing like the feeling of being among the first to get to know your new gaming console! Anyway, grab yourself a coffee and let’s see what this weeks’ handheld gaming news stood out to me.
The day is here: release of the Nintendo Switch
Nintendo’s big day today as the Nintendo Switch hits the stores. I just saw a news segment here on Dutch television about the release, and was pleased to see that all the right features were highlighted. The journalist covered all the important points, that it was a console hooked up to the television, but that you weren’t limited to the big screen. It highlighted the fun to be had with playing with friends and using it as a handheld.
Maybe the key to success will once again be reaching the more casual audience too, like they managed to do with the Wii. Plus I think they should emphasise the handheld gaming aspect more, it is key compared to the other consoles. Nintendo has invented handheld gaming after all! A fellow blogger wrote a great article about why the WiiU failed (find it here). Let’s just hope Nintendo does a better job this time.
To be honest, I haven’t pre-ordered, I do have my doubts about the price of the Switch and there are no launch games that make it a must buy for me. Today though, I am feeling a bit disappointed that I’ll not be a part of the hype. If only they’d included a new Animal Crossing game or another good simulation game. Then I’d be at the store right now!
Fire Emblem Heroes celebrate Switch’s launch
Fire Emblem Heroes’ latest update adds in a one-time log-in bonus to celebrate the Switch’s launch. By logging in before April 2, players will recieve 3,333 Hero Feathers, 3 Stamina Potions, 3 Dueling Crests, and 3 Orbs. Nice!
Story of Seasons Trio of Towns DLC
Remember when we talked about the possibility of DLC for the new Story of Seasons title? In Japan the game was followed by DLC launched over a period of six months. It was for free, came in a total of four patches and included many new features and additions to the game, including a new Bachelor and Bachelorette, new events, new pets, new costumes, new dialogue, and more. However, the DLC contains roughly 200,000 characters of Japanese text and would take over six figures to localize into English. Just about as much as an entire new game would cost.
Well, XSeed confirmed it will bring us the DLC too, but not for free. This is from their reaction:
Now then, on to the big news: I’m happy to report that we have decided to localize and release the DLC in North America. I don’t have information on a release timeline or costs for you yet, but we’re eager to dive into translating and editing the text for this massive update. Stay tuned for updates in the months after the initial release.
Thanks again for all your feedback. It made our decision much easier. While the DLC is a ways off, until then we hope you enjoy Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns. Even without the post-launch DLC, it is still the biggest game in the storied history of the farm/life-sim series.
I’ve started the game already and am thoroughly enjoying it. They never fail to bring such charm to farming life!
New Frontier Days: Founding Pioneers for the Switch
Like I mentioned last week, Nintendo has showcased lots and lots of Indie games for the Switch, which is good news. One that is available on release day and has me interested is New Frontier Days: Founding Pioneers. This game lets players help a group of pioneers build a town. You direct them to get materials, like wood and stone, hunt for food, and farm.
The Nintendo Switch version of the game adds new actions, like gathering wool from sheep and fishing, animals like horses and bears, and futuristic buildings. So, a city builder basically. The game can be downloaded for $9,99.
Check out the trailer video here:
VOEZ releases on the Switch
Another game that will release on the Switch is Voez (Europe March 3, America March 9). This rhythm game looks very good, the kind of graphics I would enjoy. Unfortunately I am no good at rhythm games, but I couldn’t resist giving the iOS version a try.
The free starter version in iOS gives only a minimal of songs to use, the version in the Switch will feature 116 songs for the price. Gameplay is simple, you have to touch vertically falling notes that have hit a bar on the bottom of the screen. Depending on the song, the number of lanes for the notes increase and shift side to side, making the screen look as if it is dancing to the music. It looks amazing.
Might be a good game if you are into rhythm games and you don’t even need a Switch to try it!
Augmented Reality Girls Trinary for mobile
Gust is working on a new smartphone game with Toei Animation called Augmented Reality Girls Trinary, a game that hasn’t gotten a release date yet, but you can already pre-register on the Japanese site. It’s hard to get a feel for what this game will be about, but what intrigues me is that the goal of this project is “to challenge a new form of fusion that has yet to be done between video games and anime”.
They are calling it an “anime cross link RPG.” Apparently what exists on the “reality” found on the other side of the screen are girls that fight as they take on special missions. At least, that’s what they say. Frankly, I’ve no idea what this actually means, but I’m curious. Partly because Akira Tsuchiya (Gust’s Ar Tonelico, Ciel Nosurge) is producing the project and is also in charge of the original plan.
Enough for this Handheld Gaming News. If you’ve bought the Switch, I’ll be curious to hear your thoughts about it. I’m going to hone my farming skills in Story of Seasons. Have fun, and happy gaming this weekend!
“I think they should emphasise the handheld gaming aspect more, it is key compared to the other consoles”: I wholeheartedly agree with you on that. That point could also be key in (re)capturing the casual audience, much more so than motion controls: casual gamers already experienced these with the Wii, and they are unlikely to fall for it again, especially a mere ten years after the Wii’s release. The mobile aspect, on the other hand, could drag them in, all the more so as portable gaming tends to be more and more associated with casual gaming due to the rise of smartphone games. I really hope Nintendo will figure this out and bet everything they can on the portability of the Switch; that could include releasing a Switch model with a better battery life down the line, or even a tablet-only version of it, and encouraging developers to release games tailored for portable gaming. Finger crossed!
A tablet only version, now there’s a thought! That’s something I could get behind, I’d love that.
It disappointed me so much after the initial news about the Switch, that they didn’t highlight the handheld part in the live presentation.
I’ll join you in crossing my fingers!
I didn’t pre-order the Switch either. It looks cool, but there’s nothing about it that makes me have to have it right now. I told that to my husband, and he said “Yeah, but the second they release an Animal Crossing or Kirby game, you’ll want it!” So true! 😉
That augmented reality game sounds really interesting! I can’t wait until more info. comes out about it! And I’m glad to see you are enjoyed Trio of Towns! I can’t wait to play it 🙂
Really interesting to get your impressions of the Switch, Yvonne. I was a little surprised to read that you haven’t bought one yet, but after reading on it’s completely understandable why not. It seems like a great piece of kit, but Zelda is undoubtedly the biggest release so far and it’s also a full-featured traditional home console-style game that hardly seems like it’d be up your street. I do think the future looks bright though for Switch in terms of simulations and games that are typically on portables – you mentioned that interesting looking indie game, there’s Stardew Valley, and a Story of Seasons game too.
I don’t have a Switch yet either by the way – not got the money right now, and with Zelda on Wii U (which I have been able to find a copy of, thankfully) I’m fine with that.
Good to hear about the DLC for Trio of Towns. I’ve been liking it so far. I don’t have a Switch either, but definitely want to check it out when the price comes down. The only game I want so far is the Zelda game, and I can’t justify buying one just for that.
Story of seasons is a good one again, right? I’m liking it too, though I’m seriously lacking in gaming time!
Me and my husband got Nintendo Switch day one (the first console I’ve ever gotten at launch). We are very impressed with the device and look forward to games like Splatoon 2. I actually posted my initial thoughts on Switch in my blog, if I’m allowed to advertise it here. https://nintendowife.tumblr.com/post/157956793414/nintendo-switch
Great to read your positive thoughts in your Tumblr. Although I’ll wait a bit, I really want this console to succeed for Nintendo. And even for me, who has hardly every been able to beat a Zelda game, Breath of the Wild is sounding amazing!
I have Frontier Days on my 3DS. One of my villagers was slain by a sheep. 🙁
Oh no! That’s gotta be one hell of a sheep I didn’t know it was on 3DS too. Any good?
It can be a bit dull because a lot of time is spent waiting for things to get built or for items to get harvested. The game reminds me a lot of software you can play on Facebook or mobile.
Well, there’s a point. It seems that a lot of games you can download for the Switch has had a previous life on mobile too!