Event Report: Nintendo VS
Nintendo are doing an incredible job of constantly hyping their big games; with the slowly approaching Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in everyone's view this current run of excitement comes in the form of Nintendo VS.
Designed to show off the more competitive side of Ninty is showcased a lot of different games but is basically a vehicle for UK fans to get hands on with the new Smash game. Splatoon 2 was there as well, of course it is a fantastic game and the competitive seen is thriving, but you really can't stand up to the pure, undiluted excitement that is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Before we get to that there were a couple of upcoming games worth mentioning on the show floor. First up is Dark Souls Remastered which runs smoothly on the Switch in handheld mode, we only played up the end of the Undead Asylum but everything feels exactly like it should. To say that it is strange to see it on the Switch is an understatement but it certainly works well.
Next we have Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, which is the upgraded version of the 3DS game. It plays well and is very much a classic version of the game when compared to Monster Hunter World. Which is to say that it has all of the depth that long term fans expect, but also completely lacks the quality of life changes from the more recent entry. It feels a lot like travelling back in time, but the added complexity makes for a different game that may well help draw even more people into the series.
Starlink: Battle For Atlus was hidden in the media room but was playable Arwing and all. The toys-to-life aspect is very well integrated, to start you choose your character onto the pedestal, each one has a different ability and basically represents a typical RPG class. After that you build your ship around them, this includes strapping on an absurd amount of wings if you want to and of course choosing your weapons.
The weapons allow for combination attacks like using the vortex cannon and ice missiles to make an ice vortex. The enemies have elemental resistances which makes the ability to change weapons on the fly particularly useful. Of course carrying round a pack of toys with you when you are out and about is completely unpractical, which is why Starlink allows you to use a digital mode and just select from toys you have registered without having to have them with you. With the combination of this and the inclusion of Fox and the Arwing it feels like Switch will be the place to play this game.
We also got the chance to get our hands on the new Poké Ball Plus and the games that go with it. Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee!/ Pikachu! were both hidden away as well and are shaping up nicely. The small interface tweaks will make things much more intuitive for new players but also give more detailed info for the more intense trainers. The catching is more or less exactly what you would expect from the Go aspect, but your team get experience from each successful attempt and being able to see which monster you are going to engage with is quite refreshing as well.
Battles are the same as they have ever been so you can expect the chance to have high level play when competing with friends. There are some incredibly cute animations with Eevee's Tail Whip being a particular highlight. It just looks a lot better than it ever has and knowing that the battles will be just as good as always has helped alleviate our worries about it being simplified too much.
Finally we have the star of all of our hearts Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. People, gather round, for here is the saviour of all things Smashing and Brotherly. This must be its ultimate form because it plays like an actual dream. The number of tweaks that have been made are countless and absolutely everywhere. It feels simultaneously different and completely familiar and may well end up being the game that reunifies the Smash community into one that no longer requires gigantic CRT televisions.
Everything is heavier and faster, the fighters have all changed in a thousand little ways that are hard to point out but can all be felt in each motion. The new levels are refreshing and great to look at. Inkling and Ridley both play like no other character and look to be a great addition to the scene. It all ties together to make the ultimate game actually feel like the ultimate version. Bring on December.
As well as the games on show were the tournaments and events going on throughout the day, all of which ran smoothly despite the huge technical demands of everything that was going on. The staff did a great job and it is well worth checking out any events that you can get to if you get the chance.