Review: Johnny Turbo’s Arcade: Gate Of Doom (Switch eShop)

The 1990 fantasy action arcade game Gate of Doom (also known as Dark Seal) – by the now-defunct Data East – is the first of 20 titles Flying Tiger Entertainment plans to re-release on Nintendo’s latest system. With the assistance of “one of gaming’s worst mascots” promoting this retro line, the official rebranding for the Switch eShop version is the tongue-twisting Johnny Turbo’s Arcade: Gate of Doom.  

Over the years, Data East’s library of games has been made available on a number of different platforms. Gate of Doom – one of the company’s lesser-known titles – now gets its time in the spotlight once again. For anyone who may not be familiar with the source material, at a glance, this is an isometric fantasy brawler with minor role-playing elements inspired by the likes of Dungeons & Dragons, and is designed for up to two players. The story is nothing out of the ordinary, with four heroes tasked with saving the Kingdom of Etrulia as well as its princess from creatures of the underworld after the titular Gate of Doom breaks open.

These heroes include a knight, wizard, bard and ninja – with each one primed with an appropriate attack and magic spell. Besides the unique weapons, such as the flame pillar and morning star, each of the heroes has a special trait, like resistance to poison or hi-speed movement. Magic is not limited to any specific character, and the book above the magic meter grants your character the ability to use strong elemental powers. Item pick-ups can further enhance the power of a hero. Each character feels different enough, but this is unlikely to alter the experience you have – and as far as the role-playing elements go, all of this has absolute minimum impact on each play session.

Be it alone, or with a friend, your time will predominantly be spent button-mashing while you slay every enemy threat in sight. These foes range from giant blobs to skeletons, zombies, bats and even demonic creatures with wings. There’s an adequate amount of enemy variety over the handful of themed levels when you include all the bosses encountered. These hostile beasts include gigantic fire-breathing dragons and even levitating eyes that shoot deadly laser beams. The stages range from dense forests, frosty mountains with steep drops to active volcanic sites with multiple pathways. Each level is linear in progression, despite the impression of freedom offered by the isometric viewpoint.

With the controls limited to just a few inputs, there’s not really much room to strategise – even during the boss fights. Instead, it’s easier to eliminate whatever enemy moves into your line of sight in the most efficient way possible, or else avoid it altogether. During the big battles, there’ll be points during the fight when the enemy is the most vulnerable; it’s a matter of tapping away until their life meter is completely drained. About the only troublesome issue is dealing with the elemental effects that temporarily stun, poison and confuse your hero; you can even be transformed into a pig. Apart from this, the repetitive button-mashing wears thin very quickly.   

The average player is unlikely to progress past the first few areas without suffering defeat. This is where Johnny Turbo’s modern enhancements come into play. There are a number of quality-of-life improvements to ensure you at least have a shot at completing the game; these include the ability to have 99 credits and make use of save states. How these changes impact your enjoyment is all very much dependant on how you want to play the game. If you want to finish it, or have a light session with a friend, making use of these features is sensible. Otherwise, you can opt for a more original challenge and set a limit on the amount of credits you use or how many save states you permit yourself. These features definitely take away the severity, making Gate of Doom a lot more accessible. Veterans can simply overlook these adjustments for the “classic” experience. If you do take the easier route, expect to finish the game at least once within half an hour to an hour. Otherwise, you could easily be stuck for days attempting to complete the near-impossible task on only a handful of credits.

The quality of the sound and visuals is sufficient. Neither of these aspects particularly shines, though the sound is somewhat better with voice acting included, and much like the game itself simply gets the job done in the most mediocre fashion possible. A number of screen filters – including scan line, RGB, composite, s-video and VHS – can be applied and the aspect ratio can be changed to make the game look like its classic counter-part, which is a nice inclusion. As for the performance, the game runs at a steady rate in both the handheld and docked mode.

Conclusion

Overlooking the association with the questionable Johnny Turbo brand, Gate of Doom isn’t all that bad, even if it’s a long way from being a solid-gold classic. It certainly isn’t on par with competitors from this particular era, but it at least manages to provide the essentials that make brawlers like this fun for one or two people for a short period. The modern enhancements – much like the game itself – do a satisfactory job at fulfilling the basic requirements. The main issue is that the premise of these types of games is too simple and repetitive by modern standards, something which is likely to put off newcomers. If you have fond memories of playing this in the arcade then you’ll love this Switch port, but everyone else should take their time before making a purchase. 

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Video: How a team of inexperienced devs created Tokyo Jungle

Crispy’s Inc. was founded by a team of aspiring creators with zero previous game development experience. So how did the inexperienced team manage to create Tokyo Jungle

In this 2013 GDC session, Yohei Kataoka goes over how a game development team with little experience was able to create the successful game Tokyo Jungle and explores the potential of the Japanese game development scene.

Kataoka also discusses how an inexperienced company like Crispy’s Inc. ended up releasing a first-party title for the PlayStation 3 as their debut game. 

Developers interested in how Tokyo Jungle came to be may appreciate that they can now watch the talk completely free via the official GDC YouTube channel!

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault and its accompanying YouTube channel offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent Game Developers Conference events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers.

Those who purchased All Access passes to recent events like GDC or VRDC already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription via a GDC Vault subscription page. Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company by contacting staff via the GDC Vault group subscription page. Finally, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault technical support.

Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Americas.

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EVE Online to permanently ban repeat offenders using bots

In a blog posted earlier this week, EVE Online developers announced that players who create automated bots will be banned for three days and removed from the game permanently if they are repeat offenders. 

While CCP isn’t taking legal action against players who create automated bots it could be a possibility in the future, as a court recently ruled in favor of Twitch cracking down on illegal bot makers. 

After players expressed frustration over the increased number of botters in EVE Online, CCP was prompted to implement stricter punishments.

“A little over 1800 accounts were banned for botting/automation in January,” the blog states. “About one third of the affected accounts received permanent bans as repeat offenders, while the rest was temporarily banned on first offense.”

Starting March 1st, players caught on a first botting offense will be temporarily banned from EVE Online for three days as opposed to the current thirty days. A second offense will result in a permanent ban from the game.  

Lead community developer Sveinn Kjarval went into more detail about the update in the comments of the blog post. “We used to have more strikes in the past but they were reduced down to two which is plenty enough,” he writes. “Our goal isn’t to punish but to end the behavior that breaks the rules for the sake of the game.”

This Week on Xbox: February 16, 2018

We know you’re busy and might miss out on all the exciting things we’re talking about on Xbox Wire every week. If you’ve got a few minutes, we can help remedy that. We’ve pared down the past week’s news into one easy-to-digest article for all things Xbox! Or, if you’d rather watch than read, you can feast your eyes on our weekly video show above. Be sure to come back every Friday to find out what’s happening This Week on Xbox!

Xbox One X Contest: Limited Edition Air Jordan III Inspired Consoles
30 years ago, I was sitting at home watching Michael Jordan participate in the 1988 slam dunk contest as he took off from the free throw line in what would become the most iconic dunk in basketball history. Not only was it one of the greatest and most watched moments in basketball history, it launched a revolution — every kid (like me) from around the world would spend years experiencing the thrill of what it’s like to own the same sneakers as the Jumpman himself. Today I’m honored and humbled to announce a very special and unique collaboration between Air Jordan and Xbox. Anyone who’s a sneaker enthusiast knows that the next five weeks are a very big deal when it comes to some… Read more

Xbox One Deals for Every Gamer
Games play best on Xbox One, but if you haven’t already made the jump, we’ve got a couple great deals kicking off as early as today for Xbox One S and Xbox One X. In the U.S. and Canada, there are great savings on Xbox One S bundles, including the new Xbox One S PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Bundle launching February 20 and available for pre-order today. In Canada, starting today, February 15, through February 23, save $60 CAD on 1TB Xbox One S bundles In the U.S., starting February 18 through March 3, save $50 USD on Xbox One S bundles Also, back by popular demand, we’re bringing back the offer where every Xbox One X purchase will come with a digital copy of the Xbox… Read more

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Xbox Live Free Play Days for All This Weekend
Xbox is inviting all Xbox Live members without a Gold membership to play online with friends for free during our Free Play Days For All event from Thursday, February 15 at 00:01 a.m. PST to Sunday, February 18 at 11:59 p.m. PST on Xbox One and Xbox 360. This event is a terrific opportunity for all our players to experience multiplayer gaming, one of the most popular benefits of an Xbox Live Gold member, on every multiplayer-enabled game they own across the Xbox family of devices. Use this weekend to cooperate with your friends and compete in thrilling matches with other players across the world. Rainbow Six Siege and NBA 2K18 Unlocked for a Limited Time To make this experience even… Read more

Play Heartwarming Favorites in the Valentine’s Day Indie Sweets Sale
You had me at Start Game… Love is in the air so the ID@Xbox team has curated some of our favorite co-op and love-themed games and discounted them by up to 75% in the Valentine’s Day Indie Sweets Sale. Whether you’re looking to cuddle up on the couch and watch a delightful story or you’re playing co-op with your favorite someone on the other side of the country, we have a bunch of great games to help get you through the week. Now’s a wonderful time to add some romance to your gaming collection with great games like: Conga Master (50% off). Express your love through the great art of dance. Shake your virtual hips to the ridiculously fun arcade action of Conga Master as everyone… Read more

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Play and Save with 2K’s All-Stars This Week Only
Are you a point guard or a Pandoran vault hunter? A Big Daddy or big wrestling champion? Take your pick because the 2K Publisher Sale has a game for everyone. For one week only from February 13 to February 19, get the lowest prices on all your 2K favorites including NBA 2K18WWE 2K18Borderlands: The Handsome CollectionBioShock: The Collection, and more. The 2K Publisher Sale includes deals for both Xbox One and Xbox 360 digital games, with savings up to 75% off! Enjoy these great games all with the convenience of downloading them right from your living room to your Xbox console… Read more

Dragon Ball FighterZ Tips and Tricks
Hey, Xbox gamers! The Tips & Tricks team is back with five tips for Dragon Ball FighterZ! Click on the video player above to check it out. Put on your turtle school gi, unleash your hidden potential, and thank Kami because Dragonball FighterZ is here and it’s a brawling beauty! Utilizing Unreal Engine 4, Arc Systems replicated the traditional anime art style to a tee, all while providing intuitive gameplay and gorgeous 3D effects. Add the fact that Arc System is no stranger to the fighting game formula and you’ve got the perfect storm for an incredible game! For even more strategies and tactics on today’s hottest games, plus plenty of other gaming-related fun, tune in to Mixer… Read more

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Olympic Athletes Lend Their Expertise to Steep Road to the Olympics
With the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang officially underway, Steep is giving you the perfect opportunity to ignite your competitive flame with Road to the Olympics, available now on the Microsoft Store. This expansion introduces a sprawling new powder-filled mountain set in Japan as well as a bevy of new events set on South Korean slopes. These new challenges are specially tuned to capture the speed and challenge of Olympic competition, and they include Giant Slalom, Slalom, Super-G, Downhill, Parallel Giant Slalom, Halfpipe, Snowboard Cross, Slopestyle, Big Air, Ski Halfpipe, Ski Cross, and Ski Slopestyle. To help get the look and feel of these events exactly right, the Steep… Read more

Kingdom Come: Deliverance – Welcome to Bohemia
One could argue that the main protagonist of Kingdom Come: Deliverance is history. The game takes place in 15th century Bohemia — 1403, precisely. After the passing of beloved king and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, the whole empire is left in the hands of his son, Wenceslaus IV. Sadly, Wenceslaus does not take much after his father, as he neglects the affairs of the realm and instead spends his time feasting and hunting. This upsets the imperial nobility and therefore they do not hesitate to turn to Wenceslaus’ half-brother, Sigismund of Hungary, who swiftly decides on a radical solution. He invades Bohemia, imprisons Wenceslaus, and lets his army of mercenaries pillage the… Read more

Console Launch Exclusive Deep Rock Galactic Arrives on Xbox One and Windows 10 This Month
Deep Rock Galactic is the bearded brainchild of a team of video games industry veterans who hail from leading studios such as, IO Interactive, Ubisoft, Havok, Deadline Games and Press Play. In 2016, we suddenly found ourselves with the opportunity to start our own game company, and thus Ghost Ship Games was born. As a studio, our goal is to create co-op first experiences in weird and wonderful settings that unite players and will keep them engaged for years to come. Deep Rock Galactic is our first title and encapsulates the game we’ve always dreamt of making – a co-op first space mining FPS, with dwarves! To make our lives even more difficult, we decided to go with procedurally… Read more

Inside Xbox One X Enhanced: The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
Many of gaming’s most compelling stories come from those who’ve helped to create our favorite Xbox One games. In our Inside Xbox One X Enhanced series, these creators will share the behind-the-scenes accounts of the work involved in enhancing these epic games for Xbox One X, how they’ve helped chart the course of the world’s most powerful console, and what that means for the future of gaming. Today, we’ll be chatting with the development team The Astronauts about enhancing The Vanishing of Ethan Carter for Xbox One X. What specifically is your development team doing to enhance The Vanishing of Ethan Carter for Xbox One X (textures, draw, framerate, resolution)? The… Read more

Announcing the Forza Racing Championship 2018
Drivers start your engines! Turn 10 Studios is taking racing esports to the next level with the Forza Racing Championship (ForzaRC) 2018. Taking the physicality of real-world motorsport and blending it with the approachability of racing esports, ForzaRC 2018 is built on the award-winning Forza Motorsport 7 –  which features more than 700 cars, 60 frames per second, and native 4K resolution on Xbox One X. Drivers of all skill levels will compete for glory and more than $250,000 in prizes, our largest prize pool to date. Starting today, drivers can register at the official site, ForzaRC.com, to compete in the first ranked season of global competition, which begins April 2. ForzaRC… Read more

Kingdom Hearts III Confirms Monsters, Inc. World at D23 Conference
A new Kingdom Hearts III trailer was unveiled at Disney’s D23 conference in Tokyo this past weekend revealing Pixar’s “Monsters, Inc.” as the latest world to be included in the blockbuster video game series, building upon last Summer’s announcement of “Toy Story” appearing in the upcoming RPG. Longtime Kingdom Hearts fans will spot a lot to be excited by in the trailer: the return of past friends and foes, expanded party size in action, and outlandishly dazzling Keyblade transformations that give Sora power and moves like never before. Kingdom Hearts III will mark the first time the franchise comes to Xbox, a beloved action RPG series built upon a collaboration between… Read more

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Pre-orders Now Available for Surviving Mars on Xbox One
The main challenge of managing your colony in Surviving Mars isn’t just the budget; it’s right there in the title: if you want your Martian settlement to grow and thrive, your colonists have to survive long enough to see that happen. On March 15, Xbox players will get the chance to see whether they’re cut out for life on Mars in the newest strategy game from Paradox Interactive and Haemimont Games. Surviving Mars is a building and management game that raises the stakes a little more than the usual builder (raises them roughly 225 million kilometers from Earth). Sure, having a power shortage in a city-building game is annoying, but in a world where a power shortage means your… Read more

Halo World Championship 2018 Finals to Take Place at CenturyLink Field Event Center
The Halo World Championship is the biggest and most prestigious event in the Halo esports calendar. It’s the crown jewel, with more than a million dollars in prizing on the line as well as the right to claim the title of best Halo players in the world. Finding a venue to match the spectacle of such an event in Halo esports is always a challenge; you have to find a destination, and one that people can easily travel to and have an unforgettable in-person experience, but also one that ensures a premium experience for viewers at home. When we announced that a new era of Halo esports had begun in partnership with MLG, we teased that the Finals venue for Halo World Championship is coming… Read more

Tune in to the Age of Empires: Definitive Edition Mixer Livestream on February 19
The Definitive Edition of the original Age of Empires with the Rise of Rome expansion pack will launch on February 20, local time for Windows 10 PCs! To celebrate, the flagship Microsoft Store in New York is hosting a special livestream from the Mixer NYC Studio the day before, so fans around the world can experience the action. Join hosts Kate Yeager, Adam Isgreen from Microsoft Studios, Bert Beeckman from Forgotten Empires and more special guests as they discuss the remastering of the classic real-time strategy game, stream gameplay and share their best tips and tricks.  Fans can get the game from the Microsoft Store on Windows 10 beginning at midnight on February 20. The Age of… Read more

Celebrate the Release of Disney-Pixar’s “Coco” in 4K HDR on Xbox One
To celebrate the release of “Coco” in 4K High Dynamic Range (HDR) , Disney-Pixar and Xbox are excited to announce the Xbox One S Coco Custom Console Sweepstakes. In Disney-Pixar’s vibrant tale of family, fun, and adventure, an aspiring young musician named Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) embarks on an extraordinary journey to the magical land of his ancestors. There, the charming trickster Héctor (Gael García Bernal) becomes an unexpected friend who helps Miguel uncover the mysteries behind his family’s stories and traditions. Only five limited-edition Xbox One S consoles and controllers inspired by “Coco” have been created. Each console includes a copy of “Coco” in 4K Ultra HD…. Read more

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Get Lost in Fe’s Unfathomable Forests, Available Now on Xbox One
Fe arrives today on Xbox One. By now, we hope you’ve had a chance to glimpse a few of the breathtaking images from the game. It’s a strikingly lovely world, a marvelously contoured land of hidden valleys, shimmering waterfalls, and towering evergreens looking down over vast valleys teeming with life. The forest is a world of quiet, sublime beauty, a canvas of bold colors and deep shadows… some concealing hidden menace. As Fe, you will explore this expansive, marvelous, and occasionally frightening wilderness. The Silent Ones have come, seizing the wild animals of the wood for their own mysterious purposes. As Fe, you will unravel this riddle and free the trapped creatures. Along… Read more

Claybook Now Available via Xbox Game Preview on Xbox One
We’re incredibly excited to announce that Claybook is now available through Xbox Game Preview for Xbox One gamers. Bringing Claybook to Xbox One has been a huge undertaking for our small two-person team. We started our journey two years ago, and now we’re ready to hand over the game to the Xbox community. Claybook is a unique world made entirely of clay. Everything acts like it’s made of real clay. Every inch of the environment can be shaped and molded. Everything has matter inside it, not just an outer shell. Clay can be liquid or solid, and it can be deformed and destroyed. Claybook runs at smooth 60 fps on both Xbox One versions and offers enhanced high-quality 4K assets for… Read more

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Shaq Joins Chris Paul and Karl-Anthony Towns for a Special Xbox Live Sessions
On February 16, Xbox is teaming up with basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal and top-tier players Chris Paul and Karl-Anthony Towns for a special Xbox Live Sessions episode on Mixer! Paul and Towns will join Shaq to feel the true power of Xbox One X, playing NBA 2K18 live on February 16 at 3:00 p.m. PT hosted on the Xbox Mixer Channel. Shaq, the 15-time all-star, will show off his gaming skills and answer questions from fans on Mixer. Then, Chris Paul will square off against Karl-Anthony Towns in a special Xbox Charity Challenge, which will air on this episode of Xbox Live Sessions. It’s going to be a blast for a great cause. On Xbox Live Sessions, fans will be able to submit… Read more

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Despite increased downloads, Gameloft sees drop in daily and monthly average users

According to a report detailing the company’s fiscal year ended December 2017, Vivendi posted revenues of $15.6 billion for the year, up 15 per cent year over year. Additionally, profits grew by 73.9 per cent year over year to $1.6 billion.

Gameloft saw a 12 percent growth in revenues from advertising activities and sales via app stores, with more than 2.5 million downloads per day across all platforms in 2017. 

65 percent of Gameloft’s revenues were generated by internally developed franchises from titles like Disney Magic Kingdoms and Asphalt 8: Airborne. 

The developer maintained an average of 2.5 million downloads per day throughout 2017, but its monthly active users dropped to 128 million while its daily active users fell to 15 million.

However, Gameloft disclaims that its reported results for 2016 only account for the latter half of the year, due to it being “consolidated”.

It’s worth noting that the report did not mention the closure of its New Orleans studio or layoffs at Madrid.

Feature: Brushing Up On Fox N Forests With Developer Bonus Level

Inspired heavily by the golden age of 2D platformers, German developer Bonus Level is bringing Fox N Forest, its gorgeous, season-changing action game to Nintendo Switch after a successful Kickstarter campaign way back in August 2016. It’s already made a name for itself on Steam, so with a Switch launch window pencilled in for Spring 2018, we caught up with game director Rupert Ochsner on throwing back to the 16-bit era, building gameplay around seasons and much more. Enjoy!

Nintendo Life: Could you introduce yourself?

Rupert Ochsner: Hi everyone, my name is Rupert Ochsner and I am the Game Director of FOX n FORESTS here at Bonus Level Entertainment.

Congratulations on bringing Fox N Forests to Switch!

Thank you! The whole team is super excited about the upcoming Switch release, made possible due to our partnership with EuroVideo / Wild River. However, without our loyal and supportive backers we would have never made it this far.

This is your first game – could you tell us a little about the team’s background?

This is a fun story. My first job in the industry was doing animation and level design at Independent Arts Software, one of Germany’s most experienced developers that has been around for over 25 years. Already back then we were joking about making our 16-bit dream game one day. I then joined Deep Silver and someday felt that the time has come to finally make this dream come true! Therefore, I founded Bonus Level Entertainment together with Independent Arts Software’s CEO Holger Kuchling and got the whole gang back together. FOX n FORESTS is a co-development between these two companies.

Was it always the team’s intention to make a retro inspired game/platformer?

Yes, definitely! For example, the day me and my brother imported the Super Famicom from Japan in the early ’90s developing such games became my number one goal. Basically, every team member has similar stories or feelings towards this golden age of gaming, resulting in a desire to take all the elements we loved and combining them with modern game design in order to create something nostalgic and fresh with entertaining 16-bit references.

It looks like you’re going the extra mile to replicate an authentic 16-bit art style. How important is the retro aesthetic to the game?

This is a very important aspect to us as we want that older gamers will remember the good old times when they were playing games all day and younger gamers will get a chance to have a modern, 16-bit style experience to see where it is all coming from.

So, why foxes?

Bipedal animal characters have a long history in gaming, such as Sonic, Yoshi, Fox McCloud, Jazz Jackrabbit, Conker and so on. We were actually close to making a wolf the main character of the game, but then went for a fox as many positive and fun characteristics came to our mind such as clever, crafty, cheeky and cunning. Expect Rick the Fox to rather be some cool anti-hero.

What’s the games story?

Something went terribly wrong in the forests of the once almighty Season Tree. An evil force is trying to implement some mysterious 5th time of a year and even worse, the seasons themselves got stuck! Thus, he sends out his adjutant, the smart-ass bird Patty the Partridge to search for help. 

Soon Patty meets Rick the Fox and asks for his assistance. Being a Fox, he is actually more interested in having grilled partridge for lunch and in the treasure, Patty is promising him in reward for his help. However, Rick is now caught in the middle of an epic adventure and it remains to be seen what the morale of this fable will be…

You had already stated that you planned to bring the game to the (then unannounced) NX, how do you feel about it now that it’s become Nintendo Switch and been so successful?

From a personal point of view and being a huge Nintendo fan myself, I am very happy that I am now able to play all these amazing games at home and on the go. From an industry point of view, every successful game system is a welcome enrichment for the market with new, exciting opportunities for developers.

Are you making any adjustments or adding anything to utilize the specific features of the console? 

We are integrating HD Rumble and support all common play modes.

What’s the balance of action and puzzle elements? 

At its core FOX n FORESTS is an action platformer. On top of that it features RPG and puzzle elements to deepen the experience. The balance between these two aspects is probably two thirds action platforming and one third RPG and puzzle elements. 

There are some RPG elements, too? 

Yes! Every defeated enemy drops bronze, silver or gold coins and you can spend your hard earned money in Forest Plaza, our HUB area. We have an upgrade booth for extending your hearts or mana bar, an armory for sharpening your bayonet or learning new moves and a magic shop for buying different types of magic attack potions, but you will need to find an empty bottle first. 

Bottles can be re-used and are well hidden within treasure chests. Next to gold we have other resources as well. And not to forget the magic seeds! Fife are hidden in every level and it will not be an easy task to find every single one of them. But no worries, to progress it will be enough to collect approximately three magic seeds per level.

How does the gameplay change between seasons? 

In order to maintain a quick and fluid gameplay we decided during pre-production that players can switch between two pre-defined seasons per level. This A/B switch mechanic allows for many creative ideas. In our first level Revolving River you can switch between spring and winter: the river will freeze and Rick can now cross it. And of course, you can lure enemies onto the ice as well, switch back and make them drown that way. On the other hand, giant vines will lose their leaves in winter and cannot be used as platforms any more. 

In another level, Windy Windmills, you will need to ascend a tall tower with useful but dangerous mechanics such as moving elevators, conveyor belts or spiky cogs. Switch from fall to summer and the wind will stop, resulting in a windmill standing still. In Foggy Fable, on the other hand, you can make fog disappear and in the shoot ‘em up level Tricky Treetops – where naughty Rick will fly on poor Patty’s back – a season switch results in rain coming up, distinguishing the fire that is eventually blocking the path. But watch out, once peaceful clouds will now transform into electrifying thunder enemies.

Is the season changing mechanic a moment to moment situation or does it affect the overall story/ gameplay? 

As described above it is an entertaining, quick moment to moment experience that varies per level.

The game seems very organic in nature, did the idea for the game change much from its inception?

I had a clear vision from the beginning on and thanks to the talented, hardworking team this could not only be reached but exceeded. I am very proud of them and what we have achieved.

What has your relationship with Nintendo been like?

Nintendo is supportive and fast in their response, it has been a great experience so far.

On your Kickstarter page, it states that you have collaborated with artists and contributors from all over the world. How were the logistics of dealing with the development process?

Thanks to working with professional freelancers this process was rather comfortable and efficient.

What are the aesthetic and mechanical influences of the game?

Aesthetic influences are especially the beautiful games from Japanese Super Nintendo developers/publishers such as Capcom, Enix, Square or Konami. The season switch idea is originally inspired by, believe it or not, the amazing shoot ’em up Ikaruga.

What Nintendo games did you play growing up? 

If you mean games on the Super Nintendo then obviously Super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts. But I also love ActRaiser 2, Magical Quest, Mega Man X, Demon’s Crest, Contra 3, Axelay, R-Type 3, Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI. My favorite games from Nintendo are Super Mario World 4, Super Metroid and The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past. Be prepared to find some references to these and other 16-bit games in FOX n FORESTS!

We would like to thank Rupert for his time. FOX n FORESTS will release on Nintendo Switch and other platforms in Spring 2018.

Video: Nintendo Labo Is Much More Than Cardboard, You Guys

We were lucky enough to go hands-on with Labo ahead of its official announcement some time ago and after that initial swell of hype has faded, we’ve almost put it to the back of our minds. 

However, Nintendo doesn’t want you to forget about this cardboard marvel and has released a whole host of new videos to push the concept – which gives Nintendo Life video sage Alex the ideal excuse to waffle on about it for a bit.

Have a watch and let us know where you stand on Labo. You don’t need to put a box on your head, either.

Review: Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf (Switch eShop)

Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf is a seasoned veteran with an intriguing back story and an unorthodox style. It’s already a bit of a legend in smartphone gaming circles, but can it live up to the hype here on Nintendo’s Switch console in the cold light of 2018?

The game has its roots in a highly regarded series of physical adventure game books of the same name. When this digital version initially launched on iOS and Android back in 2013, however, it won a wider fan base by adding meaty turn-based combat and other RPG tropes to a gripping choose-your-own-adventure narrative. It might seem like a strangely anachronistic addition to the Switch eShop, but really, there’s nothing else quite like Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf on the platform. What’s more, it remains a uniquely compelling story-driven adventure to this day.

You play the part of a typical fantasy adventurer, the titular Lone Wolf. Part feudal lord, part warrior monk, Lone Wolf is the last of his kind and the protector of a small portion of the fantasy world Magnamund. You could think of him as a combination of Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings and Geralt from The Witcher. The game’s story sees you setting out across a land ravaged by Giaks (essentially orcs) and Drakkarim (evil humans) in a bid to protect and avenge your people. It plays out in classic game book style, which means plenty of descriptive text written in the second person, with the occasional junction point where you get to make a decision and steer the narrative.

This might be as simple as deciding whether to take a stealthy approach to an encounter or to run in weapons drawn. It might also be a tricky moral conundrum, like whether to release a starving prisoner who stands accused of murder. Whatever you choose, the consequences will be woven into the fabric of your own personalised story. The late Dever was a highly regarded fantasy author, and the writing in Lone Wolf is suitably sharp. There’s nothing particularly surprising or clever about this typical fantasy tale, but Dever really manages to paint a picture with language. You can almost smell the mud and feel the biting cold from his descriptions alone.

The prose is subtly enhanced by some wonderful hand-drawn artwork, which is only partially animated so as to sell that feeling that you’re delving into a book. There aren’t many games that manage to make reading text a genuinely enjoyable part of the experience rather than an expositional necessity, but Lone Wolf certainly does. Of course, the game’s narrative is only half the story here. At frequent points throughout your travels you’ll engage in battle with gangs of assorted enemies. Rather than simply giving you a set of digital dice to roll, these play out like fully fleshed-out RPG scraps, complete with a full 3D engine.

These are surprisingly urgent, tactile affairs, as you strive to work in as many distinct attacks and defensive measures as your limited time, stamina, and magical energy allow. Many of your actions also require you to engage in some light quick time event prompts, whether that’s pounding a button for a few seconds or rotating the left Joy-Con stick. These bits aren’t particularly smart, and they do somewhat betray the age of the underlying game (everyone was doing QTEs in 2013), but they do serve to connect you to the experience like few digital game books have managed before or since.

So far so positive, but Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf hasn’t made the long journey to Switch completely unscathed. In particular, the game doesn’t feel like it’s been fully optimised for the the new platform. Given that this was originally designed with touchscreens in mind, it’s a shame that there’s no such option to use the Switch’s own direct input system; instead, we get a rather unwieldy set of physical controls. These work fine in the battle sections, as you might expect, but they’re found a little wanting when it comes to navigating through the game’s inventory menus.

Turning the page to the next portion of story can be done using the L and R buttons, which is a welcome provision, but navigating the inventory screens involves far to much fiddly scrolling using the overworked left Joy-Con stick. Why weren’t the ZL and ZR buttons brought into play to quickly flick between these screens? These menus also seem to take a split second too long to move through their various animated sections. Indeed, loading times are long in general. Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf perhaps isn’t the ideal version of this fine game, but it remains just that: a fine game. Its mix of engrossing choose-your-own-adventure storytelling and satisfying RPG combat proves to be a timelessly winning combination.

Conclusion

A unique combination of interactive fiction and involving RPG mechanics, Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf is quite unlike anything else on the Switch eShop. Some occasionally fiddly controls betray the game’s provenance, but those after a fresh adventure with a rich fantasy story will find a lot to like here.

Rumour: Sumo Digital’s New Kart Racer Focuses Solely On Sonic And Friends

Despite Sega’s Aaron Webber pouring a bucket of cold water over reports that Sumo Digital is working on a new Sonic & All-Stars racer, the rumours persist. We’re now hearing that Sumo is indeed beavering away on a Sonic-themed speed-fest, but this time around it won’t be pulling in characters from the wider Sega universe and will instead focus on Sonic and his pals – just like Sonic R and Sonic Drift, racing titles of old.

The evidence is a member on The Sonic Stadium forum who previously predicted that Sonic Forces would have a character editor – whether or not that’s convincing enough for you is all down to personal preference.

If this is true, and Sumo is indeed creating a Sonic racer which ignores Sega’s other games, it could be seen as something of a step down from the brilliance of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, which really celebrated the company’s proud heritage by featuring properties such as Shinobi, Golden Axe, Alex Kidd, Afterburner, Skies of Arcadia and many others. However, as long as the game is of a high enough quality, the world of Sonic should be more than enough to ensure it reaches a wide audience – and let’s face it, Sumo’s work in this genre is excellent.

Let us know if you buy this particular rumour – and if you think Sumo really is working on something – by posting a comment below.

Guide: Bayonetta 2 Combo List – All Of The Attack Combos By Weapon

Bayonetta 2 is all about its combos. If you really want to master the combat system, you’re going to have to learn a few of these, and fast.

There are a few different combo types as well: ground, air, and unique combos that you can only pull off with a particular weapon. It’s worth noting that you can perform all of the default ground and air combos with any weapon type in the game though – so prioritise learning them first.

We want to help you learn all of the combos in the game, so we’ve created a list of them below. You can use this as a resource while playing so pop it in your bookmarks and refer back to it. Enjoy!

Ground Combos

Punch Kick Punch
Punch Delay Punch
Punch Delay Kick
Punch Punch Kick Punch
Punch Punch Kick Kick Kick
Punch Punch Kick Kick Delay Punch
Punch Punch Kick Kick Delay Kick
Punch Punch Kick Delay Kick
Punch Punch Delay Punch
Punch Punch Delay Kick
Punch Punch Punch Kick Kick Kick
Punch Punch Punch Kick Punch
Punch Punch Punch Kick Kick Delay Punch
Punch Punch Punch Delay Punch
Punch Punch Punch Delay Kick
Punch Punch Punch Punch Kick
Punch Punch Punch Punch Punch
Punch Punch Punch Punch Punch Kick
Punch Punch Punch Punch Delay Punch
Kick Kick Kick
Kick Kick Delay Punch
Kick Delay Punch

Air Combos

Punch Punch Kick Punch
Punch Punch Punch Kick Punch
Punch Punch Punch Kick Kick Kick
Punch Punch Punch Delay Kick
Punch Punch Punch Punch Kick
Punch Punch Punch Punch Punch
Punch Punch Punch Punch Punch Kick

Onyx Roses Weapon Combos

Hold Punch
Hold Kick

Shuraba Weapon Combos

Hold Punch
Punch Punch Delay Punch Punch Punch
Punch Punch Delay Punch Punch Delay Punch
Hold Targeting Button
Hold Targeting Button Punch / Kick

Kulshedra Weapon Combos

Hold Punch
Punch Punch Delay Punch
Hold Punch Punch Punch Punch Punch
Stiletto Punch
Lock On Punch

Durga Weapon Combos

Hold Punch
Hold Kick
Punch Punch Delay Punch
Punch Punch Punch
Kick Kick Kick
Punch Punch Punch Punch Punch
Kick Kick Kick Kick Kick

Lt. Col. Kilgore Weapon Combos

Punch Punch Punch
Kick Kick Kick
Punch Punch Delay Punch
Kick Kick Delay Kick
Stiletto Punch
Stiletto Kick

Odette Weapon Combos

Hold Kick
Kick Kick Kick Kick
Punch Kick Kick Kick Kick Kick

Sai Fung Weapon Combos

Hold Punch

Bazillions Weapon Combos

Hold Punch
Hold Kick

Pillow Talk Weapon Combos

Hold Punch
Punch Punch Delay Punch Punch Punch
Punch Punch Delay Punch Punch Delay Punch
Hold Targeting Button
Hold Targeting Button Punch / Kick

Rodin Weapon Combos

Hold Punch
Hold Kick