Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Worth Buying?

If the Wii U was a showstopper in any sort of commercial sense, it was by way of selling a paltry amount of units in comparison to other successful video game consoles.

Latest public reports suggest that it never sold anymore than 13 million units during its entire lifespan.

So it’s not hard to imagine a world where tens of millions of gamers didn’t experience some of the best exclusive games on the Wii U such as Mario Kart 8. And this is why Nintendo has been taking such big strides towards making its best Wii U titles available on the Switch.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the Switch’s counterpart to the vanilla Mario Kart 8, is one shining example.

An entire generation devoid of a Mario Kart game? This is the reality for many Nintendo fans, and if you’re a new Switch owner, you might be wondering, “Should I buy Mario Kart 8 Deluxe?” or “Is it worth it?”.

Continue reading for our take on whether or not Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the right call for your next Nintendo Switch pick up.

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5 Switch Games to Induce a Zen State of Mind

zen temple in nature

The tumultuous thrill of chasing Grandmaster in Overwatch or Grand Champion in Rocket League cannot be matched when you’re in the mood for that type of experience, but sometimes a player just wants a serene and relaxing game to sit back and sink into.

The beauty of video games is the established spectrum between highly competitive and lackadaisical, something that accounts for any particular mood that strikes.

And truth be told, some of the best games are relaxing and chilled by their nature, and luckily freneticism and laser like focus aren’t prerequisites for a good game.

In this article we’ll cover the best relaxing and chill games for the Nintendo Switch to help you achieve a tranquil state of mind and melt away the non sequiturs of daily life.

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3 Best Switch Games with Amiibo Support

Amiibo, Nintendo’s take on the toy to life craze, were initially introduced to the market in 2014 and have done quite well sales wise since.

During the financial year ending March 31, 2016, 24.7 million amiibo figures and 28.9 amiibo cards were shipped by Nintendo. Amiibo figures and cards allow gamers to unlock additional items, cosmetics, in game currency, and so on, on the 3DS, Wii U, and now, the Switch.

Considering the Switch just launched earlier in 2017, fans of amiibo have been clamoring to put the figures and cards, which essentially amount to DLC, to use on the new hybrid handheld/home console.

Keep reading for the best games on the Nintendo Switch that have amiibo support.

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Nintendo Switch Dominates Cyber Monday

The Nintendo Switch, unlike its predecessor, has come out of the gates swinging ever since its initial launch on March 3, 2017.

Where the Wii U floundered in marketing and mass market reception, the Switch’s home console/portable hybrid design has latched on to the minds of millions. It’s selling so well that it’s expected to outpace lifetime sales of the Wii U by the end of the fiscal year in March, according to Nintendo itself.

Traditionally, the fourth quarter of the year has been times of feast for video game hardware and software sales, and this couldn’t be more true for the Switch.

switch number one in sales cyber monday

The hybrid console dominated video game hardware sales during October, according to NPD Group, and the trend has continued during the peak shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

While not firm data, Adobe Digital Insights has just released what they’ve learned in terms of Cyber Monday shopping trends. And these were the top 5 selling items on the second biggest day of holiday shopping deals:

  1. Nintendo Switch
  2. Chromecast
  3. Roku
  4. Hatchimals and Colleggtibles
  5. Amazon Echo

As you can see, the Switch cleaned up, and even managed to surpass items a fraction of the price. Not to mention the fact that the Switch sold at full price at the majority of retailers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

While anecdotal, I saw tons of people at Best Buy with Switch’s on Thanksgiving, while venturing out to buy my own. And it wasn’t exactly Black Friday, but Black Friday sales technically start on 6 pm Thanksgiving day at major retailers like Walmart, Best Buy, and Target.

Again, this isn’t hard data, and we’ll have to wait and see how the NPD reports shake out over the next two months, but it is a good barometer of the way things are trending at the moment.

Adobe Digital Insights essentially monitors traffic and activity of online retailers in order to salvage data on online shopping behavior of individuals.

The strength of sales of the Nintendo Switch is promising, to say the least. And I truly cannot wait to see how to console matures and grows with new games as time marches on.

It’s my first Nintendo console since the Nintendo DS which makes things all the more exciting.

Be sure to check back with Click Press Play for more updates on the Nintendo Switch.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 – The Switch’s Next Heavy Hitter

xenoblade chronicles 2 title

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is poised to release exclusively for the Nintendo Switch on December 1st, and if its predecessor is anything to go by, it’s teed up to be yet another critical hit for the hybrid home console.

  • Release date: December 1, 2017
  • Platform: Nintendo Switch exclusive
  • Genre: JRPG
  • Official Website

The first game in the series, Xenoblade Chronicles, released on the Nintendo Wii in 2012 but the universe the game takes place in has roots all the way back to the PS1 era.

And with its release poured in critical adoration from the gaming press leading to a cumulative Metacritic score of 92.

But it wasn’t just the press that placed the game so high among the Wii’s lineup, and JRPG games in general. Many fans of the genre fell in love with the game’s visual collage of sci fi and fantasy, wrapped in a grandiose ARPG affair.

This is why I’m so reticent to see how Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is received by players and press alike, as a new owner of the Switch. I don’t have any experience with the series or metaseries, and don’t have much experience with JRPG’s in general.

Even so, I’m excited to see how it pans out when it officially releases.

Xenoblade is something fresh and ambitious, a type of game that many gamers haven’t experienced. Read below for my take as to why this game has the potential to be one of the Switch’s best games, and why you should keep tabs on it even if you don’t usually gravitate towards JRPG’s.

Why You Should Keep Xenoblade 2 In Your Crosshairs

Let’s face it, the Switch is lacking at the moment when it comes to RPG’s.

And Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has arrived at the perfect time to fill the slot for an expansive RPG in an otherwise stellar first party lineup from Nintendo. If you’ve enjoyed RPG’s in the past, even if they’ve been western, this game has the potential to fill a void currently felt on the Switch.

While Breath of the Wild is monolithic and grandiose by design, it isn’t truly an RPG, swinging more towards an adventure game. And while Zelda and Xenoblade share some similarities, they also tread their own distinct paths.

Apart from both being monstrous in scale, the two games also share the fact that they can be enjoyed by series veterans and newcomers alike. You don’t have to preface the experience at all, whether by playing previous titles or reading countless wiki’s, if it’s something you don’t feel like doing.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 offers content the size of continents. You’ll be enjoying yourself for over 100 hours, easily.

Want to dive in completely blind? Have at it. Your experience with the game is not contingent on prior experience whatsoever.

And if you’re looking for a Switch game packed to the brim with content, something akin to the antithesis of a modern mobile cash grab, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a game that can satisfy your most primal gaming needs for over 100 hours.

Previews have already been rolling out over the past few weeks and journalists have had a go at over 20 hours of playtime while barely scratching the surface of the beast that lies beneath.

Those that have played the game have stated that the vast landscapes of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 are not only rich with content, but also feel lived in. There are towns that coalesce with their surrounding environment, as well as offer a true relationship between you and the ecosystem of the locales.

Towns in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 are punctuated with variety and and serve to facilitate a relationship between residents and you, the player.

This sort of unique splash to each location is a sure fire way to introduce a great deal of not only novelty, but also long lasting appeal. Who wants to visit areas that homogenize into one giant amorphous blob?

Variety is one of the keys to reeling in our attention spans, especially in a game where you’ll be spending dozens of hours or more, invested in the world.

When questing, exploring, or messing about, you’ll battle with enemies in real time fashion with a unique twist. The game never pauses outright but there is a certain tempo to button inputs.

Mastering a rhythm between basic and special attacks seems to be the key to getting the combat to “click”, based on impressions from quite a few journalists.

So while you won’t find Dark Souls or Bloodborne level of gut punching real time combat, there’s still a certain level of skill and room for mastery at play with Xenoblade Chronicles 2.

An interesting style of combat is at play here. It’s real time with an emphasis on exploiting a certain rhythm, while still retaining a certain level of skill.

In terms of story, those who have previewed the game state that it is interesting, although it does take a little time to pick up steam. Apparently, this is a hallmark characteristic of JRPG’s and while Xenoblade Chronicles 2 sings this tune, it apparently isn’t as bad as it is with many other JRPG’s.

Based on my 20 or so hours playing Persona 4 Golden, I would say that this element of foreplay concerning stories in Japanese games rings true.

So far, impressions are incredibly positive nearly across the board. To be fair, impressions are glowing more often than not in the mainstream gaming press, but it still shows promise for the upcoming Switch exclusive.

As mentioned earlier, reviews and gamers’ impressions after the initial honeymoon period passes are going to be the tell all. But then again, when it comes to games, and movies, the passage of time can do some truly whacky things to the consensus about any one particular title.

Future events aside, keep you eye on Xenoblade Chronicles 2 in the days leading up to and after release. Whatever your relationship with JRPG’s may be, you owe it to yourself to open up to exploring quality exclusive games for the Switch.

The console truly is something kickass, dope, awesome – whatever your verbal flavor is. And signs are pointing to Xenoblade Chronicles 2 being the next killer app, aside current giants like Super Mario Odyssey, Breath of the Wild, Splatoon 2, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

 

Looking for official channels to follow the game? Be sure to check out the official website and the Japanese Twitter account (don’t worry you’ll quickly be prompted to translate if you don’t speak Japanese). 

You can also check back here at Click Press Play for more coverage on the game.

Quick Tip: Downloading Demos on Nintendo Switch

Maybe you received a Switch for your birthday or Christmas, or maybe you just felt like joining the nearly 10 million players that have purchased one already, and decided to get one for yourself.

And what better way to dive into the system’s experience than by playing some of the best games for the system?

There’s already 4 hits on the Switch, what with Splatoon 2, Super Mario Odyssey, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but dropping $300 on a console in a addition to several full priced games is a steep asking price.

And that’s where demos come into play.

Below is the quick and dirty on how to download every available demo on the Nintendo Switch.

How to Download Demos

While free, demos are technically a digital purchase, and like all digital purchases on the Nintendo Switch, they are run through the eShop.

The eShop is to the Switch what the PSN Store is to the PS4 and the Xbox Live Marketplace is to the Xbox One. In other words, it’s a digital storefront contained within the Nintendo ecosystem.

To download a demo on the Switch you’ll want to head on over to the eShop and set everything up with your Nintendo Account. Then, and only then, will you be able to access free demos in addition to paid games.

Once complete, ignore the labeled tabs on the left hand side of the eShop and instead select the search box.

Here, you will see the option to click on text that says “Games with Demos” which, as you might expect, will take you to a page that has all games with available free demos.

Alternatively, you could also search for the exact demo and this is actually required for certain demos, namely Project Octopath Traveler.

As to why there isn’t a labeled tab on the home page of the eShop, well, this completely eludes me. We can only hope that this simple quality of life feature is added in the future.

Best Switch Demos to Check Out

If you’ve recently gotten a Switch and want to compliment your games with some free demos, there’s a couple that I would highly recommend.

First up is Project Octopath Traveler.

It sports a modern/retro hybrid aesthetic and is developed by reverent Japanese developer Square Enix. Apart from unique visuals and great music, it offers classic turn based gameplay, something that has yet to hit its stride on the Switch with the absence of giants like Pokemon.

The game is due out sometime in 2018 and is already one of the most anticipated titles for owners of the console.

Another great demo to check out, something to scratch that multiplayer itch, is Pokken Tournament.

Pokken Tournament pits your favorite Pokemon against one another in a 3D arena, making use of hallmark features of the fighting genre.

It’s the obvious choice for those who don’t yet own a game that can be played locally with friends and family.

Just as with full fledged titles, the demo selection on the Nintendo Switch is sure to mature as time goes on. Be sure to check back with Click Press Play to learn about the best new demos to release on the Switch.