Pride in the Emerald City

Moving to Seattle has been a true cultural revolution. Each day brings something new that I’m unfamiliar with and I couldn’t ask for a better way to break into the Emerald City. A lot of what they say about the city is true, green is everywhere you look. Even the gardens in front of homes put the best Omaha had to shame. It is by far a pedestrian’s city with mass transit not just being a viable option, but a preferred option supplemented by ride-sharing options. But the one thing that has surprised me is how prevailing and welcoming the rainbow has been.

For a bit of context, in Omaha there is Leavenworth Street. It’s a street that used to be more known as “The Gay Street”, but since those days there aren’t a whole lot of reasons to call it that. But it is still home to one of two business in the city presenting a rainbow on the outside. These business are the Omaha Mining Company and Flixx. The third gay bar in the area, The Max, doesn’t present anything outside to let you know LGBT folk have found a safe space.

Why bring this up? Because in Seattle, the rainbow is everywhere. More plentiful than any coffee shop or blooming flower. Every business I’ve walked into since moving has a sticker by the door proclaiming it a safe space for LGBT patrons. That kind of support may seem small, but it’s monumental compared to what I used to know. Seattle is a place where I feel like I could be decked out in neon proclaiming my sexuality to the sky and not be bothered by others by it because of those signs. So, imagine how I felt when I visited the Capitol Hill district for the first time.

Capitol Hill is the gayborhood of Seattle, and goes far above the “Safe Place” stickers everywhere else in the city. Here, I walked into a Starbucks and was greeted with a Pride flag draped on the wall with the community fliers. A short walk away there were more flags prominently showing in business windows, and even the crosswalks were rainbow-colored. I’m sure for some of you reading this it must be old hat. San Francisco’s Castro has had these crosswalks for sometime as well. But to someone that felt like there was no public representation in the Midwest, seeing the rainbow everywhere feels like a confirmation and affirmation. Something that says “Yes, you belong here.”

Yet more surprising than openness of Capitol Hill was a revelation at a bar called Rookies. Rookies is a sports bar within Seattle’s Columbia City. Inside are multiple pride flags adorning the walls and a bartender wore a shirt with the bar’s name in a rainbow design. Yet the person I was with explained that in Seattle some restaurants would showcase the pride flag but that doesn’t necessarily make it a queer space. That instead, it would mean that queer folk are not just accepted but encouraged to be themselves. That sort of mentality goes against what I have experienced prior where a pride flag meant something was a queer space. And I couldn’t be happier with this new idea.

After seeing that for myself it made me think of how someone fleeing a small town might feel. To go from an environment where expressing yourself is looked down on and going to an environment where it’s encouraged has to be the most freeing thing out there. But that isn’t the solution everyone can have. I hope that in smaller cities there are folks that are fighting for this kind of representation for all persons. I’m reminded of Zen Coffee in Omaha, which has a display in it’s window proclaiming it a safe space for all people regardless of race, gender, orientation or identity. Yet it’s the only business I can think of with any similar notion in Omaha.

Point is, I sincerely hope that in the future places like Omaha start to explode with more acceptance for people that don’t fit the white, straight, cisgender mold. Is it completely up to the LGBT community to do so? Absolutely not. Allies of all varieties can start it up, while those of the community that then feel safe enough can run with it.

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To New Beginnings

New beginnings are a chance to do everything you love as if for the first time. Especially when those new beginnings involve all new surroundings. The places you used to go to as part of your routine are simply no longer available and you’re forced to adapt and change. This is the new world I find myself in now.

For those that are completely lost, let me explain. I no longer live in the Omaha metro area. Last week was the culmination of months of planning, apprehension and anxiety and I now live in Seattle. It’s absolutely a whole new world to explore, but it’s the kind of fresh start that will breathe new life into my life. The hope is that I can manage to get a job in game development eventually. However, I also lack the skills and certifications to make my mark for now. But, that is a small concern I’ll rectify in time.

But a career change is far from the only thing changing. As I’ve said before, I’m now single, but that is not the only break up taking place. As of this moment I declare that I am no longer writing for PressA2Join. My time with the publication has been a worthwhile learning experience, but I want to take what I’ve learned and see what I can do. As such, this space will see more writing come it’s way. I don’t really know what format it will take on yet, but I know I still want to write about games. It’s my bread and butter and where my passion lies the most. I hope that those of you that viewed my work on PressA2Join will continue to do so here. Additionally, I want to mention that my writing will not get in the way of streaming games which will be making a return.

A new life has begun for me in all facets of life. I’m not certain of where it is going to lead, but I can’t wait to share it with all of you.

2019 and the Challenges Ahead

2019 is apparently when my anxiety comes to a head. The next few months will be a true stress test as my desired date to move to Seattle comes at what feels like a breakneck pace. If all goes well, I’ll be moving in the middle of March.

Among the individual parts making me nervous is one of the most important: a job. I know I don’t have the experience, skills, or knowledge right now to get into the field I want to. Even so, finding a job that matches my skill set and availability so far has proven difficult. I’ve applied to a few positions with no word as of yet. Clearly I have some time before the move happens, though I wonder if finding a job will be easier once I’m in Seattle. That thought scares me primarily because I have no net for myself. No real margin of error to try and make it happen. Somehow with that fear I can still maintain the “I can do it” attitude because I know what I’m worth. I know I could do the work if given the go ahead and learn on the fly if need be.

Speaking of flying, at the moment that’s exactly the route I’m planning to take. I believe I can use Reward Miles from a card to get the plane ticket and get myself there as cheaply and quickly as possible. However I won’t be able to take everything with me, so I’m looking into shipping some of my things to my future home via USPS. Apparently if I keep boxes under 40 pounds, it can be done for cheap. I’ve even considered purchasing a ticket already. But I stop myself over concerns of jumping the gun or if I’m lucky enough to be hired before I leave, if an employer wants me sooner.

Yet through all of my concerns one thing is abundantly clear to me: I need to do this. I believe this will make me a happier person and offer me a place I truly feel like I belong in. Maybe this is the change I need to get ahead and find real passion professionally. A chance to channel that same drive I get to stream and do the Tweetalongs into something that pays the bills. It feels like for the first time in my life I don’t know what the future has in store. It’s frightening and exciting all at once.

Even writing this post out helps put things into perspective, and what I need to do. As such, I need to start planning what will be shipped and what the costs will be. I’ll need to continue to apply for jobs while trying to be patient with companies I’ve already applied to. I’ll need to see how difficult it is to rearrange airline tickets in the event that I’m hired for an earlier arrival date.

In order to help with these challenges, after I’ve finished the Chrono Trigger tweets, I’m putting the Tweetalongs on a hiatus. I’ll likely reduce how often I stream as well in order to make searching for a job my number one priority.

Wether you have been supportive of my goals for the last few months or the last few years, I thank you all. I hope I’m fortunate enough to continue earning that support in the years to come!

The Massive Effect of Discordant Gameplay

Mass Effect is a series with a remarkable DNA to it. Story, dialogue, unique characters, and cover-based combat ooze out of the original trilogy. It’s unfortunate then that Mass Effect Andromeda would come along and do one thing fantastically, one of these mostly well, and have the other two make you worry that something went wrong.

Mass Effect Andromeda sees humanity and other races of the Milky Way galaxy create the Andromeda Initiative and leave their home for the closest neighboring galaxy, Andromeda. The story launches them towards Andromeda in the middle of the Mass Effect trilogy, ensuring that choices made in the previous games aren’t made void by an overwhelming canon. Six hundred years pass and the humans end up arriving in Andromeda to a wake-up call forcing your character, Ryder, to wake up and take on the seemingly impossible: find a new home.

The story has Ryder coming upon multiple facilities called vaults that he can use in order to shape the nearby worlds and make them a home. Trying to bar the way towards colonization is a race of beings called the Kett that serve as the game’s primary villains. You also make a rival out of a particular Kett known as the Archon. On paper facing the Kett is a welcome challenge, however, it doesn’t take a lot of your time. The main story should take most players 20 hours or less if you want to breeze through. The side missions however are padding to the game’s time. Take for example my playthrough. With a completion percentage of 91, I spent nearly 68 hours in single-player. Side missions are plentiful enough that you will rarely have no objective you could meet, but they come at you fast and hard. But the number of side missions makes me believe that the main quest line could’ve been beefed up. However, the beginning and end of Andromeda stand out as great dramatic acts that pull you in.

Much has been made of the technical issues that have risen at Andromeda’s launch. And while part-way through my play through a patch was released that eased on some of the issues, many still linger. Among the issues still persisting, textures failing to load correctly, abnormal camera angles after fast traveling, and a few game crashes of unknown origin. On one particular set of missions, I also witnessed a squad member unable to fight as she was stuck in a basic model pose the entire time I was on the planet. It was amusing, sure, but if there were bigger fire fights going on, I would’ve had a bigger issue on my hands. It still feels like a laundry list of issues that should’ve been worked out already, or led to a slight delay in Andromeda’s release. Despite these issues however, the environments of the Andromeda galaxy are truly wonderful to behold, and are easy desktop wallpaper fodder.

Sound and music in Mass Effect Andromeda are for the most part great. Sounds of combat and loud and ferocious and draw you right in with gusto. Along with that, voice acting across the board is superb with special recognition from me going to Nyasha Hatendi for voicing Jaal, and Christine Lakin for voicing Peebee. Both of these characters had the added benefit of having some of the better dialogue in the game, but also the best performances. The same however, can’t be said for the music of Andromeda. I found the music serviceable in combat, but during moments to be filled with wonder or triumph it seemed lacking, especially when compared to the memorable themes from the trilogy.

More than any single component, Mass Effect Andromeda gets it’s combat spot on though. Cover is still an important aspect, but steps are taken to encourage the player to move around the battlefield instead of picking a spot and calmly picking enemies off. It serves to make the combat very enjoyable, slicker, and faster then before. Unlike the original trilogy, you also don’t need to worry so much about your class, as you can swap between them on the fly to strengthen certain abilities. As you earn levels, you can unlock all of the available skills if you so choose. It makes for incredible versatility especially when you realize that you can change these at any time through the menus.

Though when you do need to go through the menus it is a tedious task to find what you are after. The various quests are split between 4 different menus and you can’t simply push a button and browse the different categories. Further, the quests aren’t organized by time, you acquired them, but alphabetically. It leads to a little bit of confusion and a lot of frustration. Further, you can only track a single quest a time, making it difficult to work on the huge number of side quests. However, I came upon multiple issues of quests not tracking correctly and either not showing me points of interest to complete the quest, or showing portions I already finished.

Mass Effect Andromeda’s multiplayer though is very light on the menus, and big on the fluid combat featured in the main campaign. The objectives are very much the same as they were for Mass Effect 3, you work with three other players to face waves of enemies with some objectives and a final extraction to mark a completed mission. I greatly advise that if you want to try the multiplayer, to get most of the way through the campaign first. Not understanding how the combat works and not knowing what your preferred play-style is, turned out to be a recipe for disaster. Despite the great playability, I don’t presently see much reason to come back to the mode beyond an initial curiosity. I have hope that this will change with worthwhile DLC.

Achievements for Mass Effect Andromeda can be described as generous. A good 19 of the 55 achievements are tied to major quests, while the majority of the rest reward experimentation in combat by mixing and otherwise using the various powers available to you. Only one achievement makes any mention of “multiple playthroughs”, and other achievements are able to be unlocked through single-player or multiplayer. I find this to be a plus, since it allows for many different play preferences to possibly unlock all the achievements.

Mass Effect Andromeda tries so hard to win the player over, but throughout it’s technical issues, and extreme padding with side missions mar a solid shooter core, and a mediocre RPG layer. Andromeda in fact, may have the thinnest RPG layer in the Mass Effect series to date. Instead it is first, foremost, and specializes in being a third-person shooter. Fans of previous moral quandaries (such as my favorite side quest from ME1, Samesh Bhatia) will be disappointed as well, as I noted only two truly gray decisions to be made in my playthrough.

Andromeda doesn’t feel like it’s aiming for any one goal but is here because it was expected to be. As a result, the RPG portions of Andromeda suffer, despite how wonderfully realized the combat is. There’s a true discord in Andromeda, and I can only hold out hope that a renewed RPG focus takes center stage in the inevitable sequel.

Graphics: 6/10
Sound: 8/10
Gameplay: 7/10
Achievement Difficulty: 5/10
Total Score: 7/10

A Spoilerific Look at Breath Of The Wild

Well friends,

it’s been a ride waiting all these years for the release of The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild. Not only is it finally here, but some have finished it — myself included. My original plan was to play a bit of it, give my impressions, and then do a spoiler-filled post about it. My plan fell through completely as I was simply enjoying the game itself far too much and kept wanting to come back for more. Having recently finished the game and having seen the credits, I do feel a sense of closure. No, I didn’t get every last shrine or armor nor did I fill the Hyrule Compendium, and I didn’t even find every Korok. What I did do however was climb every tower, free each Divine Beast, and reclaim all of Link’s memories. In this post I am going to bring up moments and sequences that can be called spoilers therefore you have been warned that I may discuss events that you may not have seen.

Still here? Wonderful. Let me first address the Vah Ruto in the room: Breath of the Wild is a remarkable open-world game. Some worlds, including Oblivion or Assassin’s Creed, never felt inviting or offered a sense that I could explore and be rewarded for it. Breath of the Wild offers this in spades thereby instating my belief that this game should be regarded as a masterclass of open-world design. Even ruins had tantalizing prospects of treasures hidden in them. Everywhere you go in Breath of the Wild there are both enemies to combat or wildlife to hunt. The game simply never feels barren or desolate.
Yet despite this, it makes for one of two things: either an imperfect Zelda game or a reimagining of what a Zelda game can be/is. Consider for a moment the beginning of the game: you are stuck on a plateau where you are tasked (among other things) with clearing four Shrines that each gift you with a rune that you use for the entire game to solve puzzles. This means that once you receive the bombs, magnetism, stasis, and cryonis runes, most if not all puzzles found in the game can be solved with these abilities. During my playtime the only times I felt like I couldn’t complete a Shrine were when I came across the combat-oriented ones. Furthermore, the Divine Beasts (which are game’s equivalent of dungeons as we have known them) don’t have boss keys and can be completed in any order you desire. You can even choose not to complete them at all. Breaking from Zelda conventions is one of the things the developers wanted to do and they did so with aplomb. Does this mean we have a new kind of Zelda game? Yes, absolutely. This is the most risk Nintendo has taken with Zelda as a franchise since Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. While I do believe that Breath of the Wild isn’t perfect, I do feel that the risk paid off and this will be a title that brings in plenty of new fans.

But for the returning fans, there is plenty to love. References to multiple games can be found (nevermind which timeline this may or may not be in) but no title is referenced quite like Ocarina of Time. Dialogue throughout the game points to the various races being very aware of who were made Sages, going so far as to say that the Divine Beasts were named after Ruto, Nabooru, Darunia, and Medli. Medli being the lone sage reference to Windwaker. Additionally, Urbosa, the Gerudo Champion, speaks about the legend that Ganon once assumed a Gerudo form. Even the music while working my way to Hyrule Castle itself was very reminiscent of the organ playing that Ganondorf plays in Ocarina of Time.

Speaking of Hyrule Castle, I tweeted that I had a lot of thoughts about one room in particular. While climbing the Castle Walls, it’s very possible to run into Princess Zelda’s room. Aside from a bow and sword I hadn’t seen before, I found Zelda’s diary which was very eye-opening. In the pages of her diary, Zelda expresses resentment towards Link at first. She quickly changes her attitude on him once she witnesses his courage first hand and then appears to develop feelings for him. Among the entries, Zelda discusses a conversation between herself and Link about why he is so quiet and doesn’t usually express himself. Somebody please correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t this give characteristics to an avatar Nintendo typically left purposefully blank? I’m intrigued to learn if fleshing Link out further was ever discussed during development.

While on the subject of Zelda herself, I am absolutely thrilled with how she is characterized in Breath of the Wild. In the game, all of Hyrule is not only aware of Ganon, but actively takes steps to prevent the Calamity his arrival brings. This all weighs heavily on Zelda, who through the course of Link’s memories, is unable to summon forth the power that is expected of her until a dramatic climax. This understandably brings forth feelings of anger, jealousy, fear, and ultimately, failure. Why am I so thrilled with a downtrodden heroine? It’s another breaking of convention for Zelda as a character. In prior games, Zelda was usually featured as someone who understood her place in guiding Link to his duty against Ganon and sometimes also as a damsel in distress. In Breath of the Wild, Zelda is trapped in Hyrule Castle with Ganon, but is there willingly holding him back from taking control of the rest of Hyrule. She has some real gumption y’all!

Now, on the bosses, I think it’s a great idea to have the random bosses strewn about the environment. You don’t need to face them at all, but they do present solid challenges, and offer some great loot if defeated. But of all the bosses I encountered, none were as challenging as the version of Ganon in Vah Naboris. During this encounter, the boss moves quick as lightning and is difficult to counter due to the sheer speed at which he moves. I’m still not certain how I beat them, but it is the most memorable.

In addition to the subject of bosses, I love the design of Ganon, it looks very much like his exposure to the Guardians affected him as he attempted to assimilate the technology and use it as a means to achieve a physical form. I was intrigued by his spider-esque form as well, but it was something positively new for him. And I really enjoyed how the fight against this form was varied enough that it felt as though I could use any of my weapons and skills against him, and they weren’t “wrong”. I will say that I was disappointed by what was a by-the-numbers form in Dark Beast Ganon: a hulking beast that is very much like older forms of Ganon. Furthermore, to make things even more generic Link is required to shoot at glowing spots on his body highlighted by Zelda with a special Light Bow. We’ve seen that segment a few times over, and I was surprised after such an inspired first form that we would have that segment to fight.

Now these are just my thoughts on the latest Zelda, but they may change with the DLC that is expected to release this Summer and in the Fall. But what are some of your thoughts on Breath of the Wild Right here is a great outlet to be as spoilerific as you’d like, so go ahead and leave a comment and let the words flow.

Mass(ively) Effect(ive)

This Tuesday sees the release of the latest entry to the Mass Effect franchise, Mass Effect: Andromeda; a game where players get to explore the Andromeda galaxy. Given that Andromeda begins following the conclusion of Mass Effect 2, I wanted to offer an overview of the series in order to add context.

In 2007, Bioware – opting for their own take on sci-fi after making Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic –  released Mass Effect, their take on a third-person shooter/RPG hybrid. What’s very notable, is that not only were they creating their own mythology and universe, but actively envisioned a trilogy of games from the very beginning. Additionally, Bioware focused on creating a system for player choice to be a vibrant component to facilitate true impact from these choices. The player assumes the role of Commander Shepard, being able to determine how the character looks, acts, his/her background and specialty, all based on user preference.

Personally, I am a huge science fiction fan and Mass Effect seemed to be an experience I couldn’t pass up once I heard about it. As I began to explore the Mass Effect games, I was quick to realize that childhood sci-fi favorites like Star Trek had nothing on the lifeforms created for this franchise.

Mass Effect‘s alien species feel very alive and most of that comes from the shipmates you encounter on your journey. Through characters like the weapons specialist Turian Garrus Vakarian, the Asari Dr. Liara T’Soni, the Quarian engineer Tali’Zorah nar Rayya, and the Krogan warrior Urdnot Wrex, each of the major races you encounter feels more fleshed out, allowing the player a more personal connection to some of the large scale conflicts happening in the game.

One of the larger aspects of the game is the in-game character-to-character dialogue one can choose to engage in. Speaking to your shipmates will reveal conflicts and point you in directions to solve them. Black Market trades, war atrocities, and issues stemming from belief and religion rear their heads during play. It was common in my own playthrough to have my morals challenged knowing full well it would affect not only the characters in the vicinity, but would undoubtedly create unforeseen circumstances later in the game(s).

With Mass Effect giving the player a way to control their own future, it gives true weight to the decisions you make as Commander Shepard by having them be reflected and recounted by NPCs. The story of the game does traverse along a path, but the player has the ability to add variances to the story and in this way make it their own. Before Mass Effect, I had not experienced a video game that accomplished such a branching story to such a successful degree. During my own playthroughs, it felt like I was getting closer to these characters and doing my own self-discovery. It ended up being that much more rewarding since I had to bide my time and ask these characters questions in order to dig a little deeper and learn more about them, their motivations, and what makes them tick.

Mass Effect is truly a fantastic introduction of a living and breathing sci-fi world that isn’t perfect. That imperfection drives a lot of the drama, and from there arises an interaction and experience that blew me away. Coming up on the 10th anniversary of the release of the game and given that no game is without flaws, I would say that it is one of the best RPGs to have come out for the last generation of gaming consoles. Since release, Mass Effect has earned 12 awards including RPG of the Year (2007, TeamXbox), Best Original Score (2007, IGN), and Best Story on PC (2008, IGN).

If you are interested in trying Mass Effect out for yourself, here are some links to get you started:

Steam on Windows for $20

EA’s Origin Service for $15

PlayStation 3 for $15

On Xbox 360 and Xbox One for $20

In addition, a box set of Mass Effect is available for $16.95 – $29.99, depending on your preferred platform on Amazon. Or, as always, check with your local used game shop!

Switch Previews

On March 3rd, Nintendo will launch their latest video game console, and for all of the hype, there’s an awful lot of question still lingering around it. I can’t answer a lot of them just yet, but what I can do is go over the launch titles expected to be available in retail or as a download once the Nintendo Switch goes on sale. Let’s get right to it with the most hyped title – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda has long been a series of certain expectations, you go through the story of the game, visiting dungeons and collecting items that you all of a sudden conveniently need. Well, like it or hate it, that and other conventions for the series are thrown out the window. Once the game begins, it’s expected that you will have very little to tell you where you should go. Instead, Breath of the Wild will encourage you to pick your own path and carve out your own adventure. This may very well be the game Zelda fans have been waiting for, and previews of the game tell of a game that packs a wallop. It’s being called the greatest Zelda title since Ocarina of Time, and possibly the game that will force Ocarina to settle for 2nd best Zelda game. All of this praise means even more once you understand that the developers wanted to bring back that feel of wonder and exploration that the original Legend of Zelda on NES gave. If there is a must-own title at launch, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild looks to be that game. Breath of the Wild is a $60 grab physically or digitally.

1-2-Switch

It would be easy to dismiss 1-2-Switch as “just” another collection of minigames, but these are designed for parties and to be the center of everyone’s attention. Not only that, but they showcase the Joy-Con controllers of the Switch with extensive use of each feature. The game packs in 28 different mini-games for you to choose from, or you can have the CPU choose games for you. Previews so far have compared 1-2-Switch to the Warioware series, suggesting a lot of the minigames are relatively quick and simple to play through. But it has already attracted criticism for not being a pack-in title for the Switch. While the title is tailor-made for party or game night scenarios, there is no sign of a single-player mode. All signs point to 1-2-Switch being a hard sell unless you regularly have friends over. 1-2-Switch will be a physical or digital purchase for $50.

Fast RMX

Little seems to be said of this indie racer, but you’re most likely be able to find videos on YouTube. But, Fast RMX is a racer that is best described as a cousin to F-Zero. It’s a futuristic hover racer that emphasizes speed above all else. Fast RMX has 4-player split screen and 8-player online multiplayer options. Further, this is the third game in a series that has been only on Nintendo consoles since the Wii. This is a digital-exclusive offering and will be a $20 purchase.

Snipperclips

Snipperclips is a unique co-operative title where up to 4 players re-shape each other to solve assorted puzzles. Expect this game to be a source of equal parts fun and frustration depending on who you get to play with. Players will need to work together to come up with inventive ways to solve puzzles, and sometimes combine shapes to create something else. This may be the most inventive puzzle game in years. Expect this to be one of the most downloaded titles of the launch lineup. Snipperclips will be a $20 purchase.

Just Dance 2017

It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that Just Dance 2017 is coming to the Switch, which will support up to 6 players for your latest dance party. Featuring over 40 songs included with the game, and over 200 through a subscription based service. Just Dance 2017 for the Switch will utilize one Joy-Con per player, and features the same gameplay you either love or love to hate. Just Dance 2017 will be a $60 physical or digital title.

Skylanders Imaginators

Just in case you don’t use Amiibo enough, Skylanders are here to get you to buy more figures! A starter pack will be in retail that offers two figures, the game card, and a portal for use with the figures. For the uninitiated, Skylanders is a combination action and platforming game that has a pretty loyal fanbase. Also, this version adds in a Crash Bandicoot cameo and allows players to make their own Skylanders. The Starter pack will roll you back $60.

Super Bomberman R

Super Bomberman R is the return of the Bomberman series after an absence of seven years. In this edition, up to 8 players can compete and cooperate towards laying bombs down in order to progress through levels. Some previews have painted the picture that the game is a tad clunky, but of the launch lineup, this may be the most accessible multiplayer game around. Further, expect this to be a general pallet cleanser compared to the monstrous size of Breath of the WildSuper Bomberman R will set you back by $50 in physical form or digitally.

I Am Setsuna

I Am Setsuna is an RPG made in the SNES-era fashion, and has it’s roots deep into the classic title Chrono Trigger. When Setsuna is selected as a sacrifice to appease demons, what should be the end of her life turns out to be the beginning of a true test. I Am Setsuna takes plenty from classic RPGs including passive bonuses, and a combat system almost taken from Chrono Trigger itself. I Am Setsuna and it’s classic RPG experience will run you $40 as a digital download.

Shovel Knight

Shovel Knight already was on the Wii U, but it will be coming to the Switch on launch day with every piece of DLC in tow in Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove. In Shovel Knight, you guide the titular character through an 8-bit adventure on a quest to rescue his beloved from the clutches of the Order of No Quarter. Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove also boasts up to 4-person multiplayer, and 3 additional campaigns involving different characters and abilities. Lastly, a new mode of play will allow you to alter the body and pronouns of each playable character. Meaning, if you want, your Shovel Knight can have the appearance of a woman but be referred to with he/him/his pronouns. Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove will be a $25 digital download.

There you have it, the nine titles confirmed to be launching on March 3rd alongside the Nintendo Switch. There’s plenty of other titles coming soon like World of GooMr. ShiftyMario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Stardew Valley, plus more games are coming every week for this brand new system. What will you plan on grabbing? I’ll hope to see you back here to see my thoughts on two of the titles, Super Bomberman R and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.