Nintendo Presentation at E3 2017: Recap and Grade

By Jay Parks (GrimlockTheDino)

Nintendo walked into E3 2017 with a loud, commanding voice and said, "We're back, bitches!" Microsoft and Sony gave it their best, but when the Big N steps into the room and drops bombs there is little you can do besides sit back and watch in amazement. Welcome back, Nintendo and congrats, you won E3 2017!

Presentation

Nintendo gave us a pre-recorded 25 min presentation that shocked the world; it not only gave Nintendo the win for E3 2017 but also showed that they are back and taking this seriously. From unexpected release dates to games we just did not see coming, Nintendo fit so much in such a small time-frame and they did it elegantly. It wasn't perfect but it was damn close.

Games

The Nintendo presentation gave us pretty much everything we were hoping for and then some. One big example is the fact that the Pokemon Company stopped by the presentation to confirm that not only are they working on a new main Pokemon series game, but it's being developed for the Nintendo Switch. We now see that Nintendo is making sure the Switch is supported in 2017, which was a big question after launch. Below is the list of games from Nintendo's E3 2017 presentation.

 

Xenoblade 2 (Release: Holiday 2017)

The next Xenoblade chapter is coming to the Switch a lot sooner than we originally thought; Holiday 2017 is the current release window. Monolith Soft studio head Tetsuya Takahashi explained that Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is set in a completely different world from the original, features new characters, and is basically a different game. 

“It’s a completely different world, with completely new characters. It’s a different game. The way I see it, I feel as though Xenoblade 1 and 2 are connected and linked in the sense that they’re linear and story-driven games, whereas Xenoblade Chronicles X was more focused on open world and exploration, and maybe an online aspect. I feel like I’d like to continue to create games separating those two aspects out.”

The game also adds two different kinds of party members, Drivers and Blades.

“Drivers are basically humans”, says Takahashi. “Then there are these things called Core Crystals. Throughout the game, you'll collect many of them, and if a Driver touches that Core Crystal, a lifeform is created. That lifeform is what we call a Blade. The Blades endow the Driver that they're linked with power and a weapon. Each Blade has different roles that it can play, so the concept is that, by attaching different Blades, the player can decide what kind of role they want to play in the game.”

Kirby (Release: 2018)

Not much to talk about here. Kirby is back and looks better than ever with all the normal Kirby mechanics, but this time we see up to 4 player co-op play. If you don't have people to join you then you can recruit enemies via a new heart mechanic to help you solve puzzles. Looks like a fun multiplayer platformer coming to the Switch in 2018.

Metroid Prime 4 (Release: TBA)

We know nothing about this other than that it's in development for the Nintendo Switch. I am still super excited knowing the Metroid IP I love is still alive and we are getting our first console Metroid game since 2010.

 

 

Yoshi (Release: 2018)

Taking a new look with a cardboard cut-out world, Yoshi looks better than ever, being developed using the Unreal Engine 4. The unique mechanic we saw in the trailer is that everything has two sides, showing Yoshi being able to flip the world from a pretty finished cardboard world to the behind the scenes unfinished backside of the same world. Yoshi will be making his adorable Switch debut in 2018.

Fire Emblem Warriors (Release: Fall 2017)

The next Dynasty Warriors clone is here with a Fire Emblem skin and it's releasing on the Nintendo Switch this fall. All the fan favorite characters are here and playable as you fight a dragon terrorizing the heroes and threatening to bring chaos and destruction to the land. 

 

Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild DLC

(Release: Pack 1 June 30th, Pack 2 Holiday 2017)

DLC pack 1 is almost here (June 30th) and with it we will be getting Trial of the Sword, a room based battle arena. Hero's Path is an update to the in-game map, showing where you have been so that you can better explore every inch of Hyrule. Also, we will be getting new armor and masks along with the Master Sword hard difficulty. Most of this information we already knew, but it was fun to see some gameplay.

DLC pack 2 will be arriving this holiday season and it will bring what seems to be playable content for Zelda and the four champions, Daruk, Mipha, Revali, and Urbosa. The DLC has been titled Champions’ Ballad.

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle (Release: August 29th, 2017)

Ubisoft and Nintendo teamed up to make an RTS (Real Time Strategy) based around the Mario and Rabbid universes. This game looks crazy and received high praise from the show floor at E3. We won't have to wait long to try this new adventure, as it hits the Nintendo Switch on August 29th, 2017.

 

Rocket League (Release: Holiday 2017)

Rocket League is coming to the Switch and it's the full experience, with all the same modes and settings as the other versions. Exclusive items and vehicles are planned for the Switch version and it will support cross-network gameplay with Xbox and PC. Local gameplay on one Switch allows 2 player in handheld mode and up to 4 player if the Switch is docked; wireless gameplay is with up to 8 Switches.

Super Mario Odyssey (Release: October 27th, 2017)

Super Mario Odyssey stole the show at E3. This new version of Mario seems fresh and exciting while still feeling like a Mario game. The release date surprised everyone; Mario will be hitting the Switch on October 27th, 2017. Bowser has taken the princess once again, but this time he is trying to marry her to lock in his right to the kingdom. This introduces the new villains helping Bowser: an evil team of bunnies that are wedding planners who are trying to stop Mario. The game looks ridiculous in a great way and the world travel looks amazing. New mechanics like Mario's hat being able to take control of villains and help you traverse the world is exciting, and the 3D transformation to 2D and back to 3D is mind tripping. This is the Mario game we have all been waiting for and thankfully we don't have to wait much longer. Also announced during the presentation were all new Amiibo (Mario, Peach, Bowser, all in wedding outfits).


Nintendo came into this E3 the underdogs with a new system that was showing some promising signs. Coming out of E3 2017, Nintendo has shown the world that they are back and ready to compete with the best. Their 2017 release window looks healthier than ever and 2018 is starting to take a very promising shape. Switch units continue to sell out and production has been increased by Nintendo to meet demand. I am happy to give the 2017 E3 crown to Nintendo and welcome the Big N back to prime time. 

P.S. We're getting a new METROID!!!! It's actually happening!!! AHHHHHHHH YES YES YES!

Grade = A-

Want more Nintendo E3 2017 coverage? Listen to our GameZilla Nintendo reaction podcast

Sony Presentation at E3 2017: Recap and Grade

By Jay Parks (GrimlockTheDino)

Sony took the stage at E3 2017 on Monday night, following a solid performance from Microsoft the previous night. We all gathered, expecting the mighty Sony to put on a show to remember; instead we got one of their strangest events yet.

Presentation

2017 was by far Sony's worst E3 presentations in a while, mainly because there was no presentation. The show felt thrown together and clunky, with only a "hello" and "thank you, goodnight" from Shawn Layden. No one else even took the stage, just Shawn, and even when he did, it was just a quick few words and then back to the trailers. Our producer of the GameZilla podcast, Deadite, said it best,

"It felt like I was at the movies watching the previews. This was not an E3 presentation, it was a poorly thrown together highlight real."

 

Games

This is the only saving grace to Sony's night; they did show games and most of them were exclusives. I was not a fan of the presentation, but from just a game standpoint, there was some big news for PlayStation fans.

 

Uncharted: Lost Legacy (Release: August 22nd, 2017)

By now if you have listened to the GameZilla podcast, you know I am not an Uncharted player. So for me to come out here and say this game looks amazing and I want to get hands on it ASAP, that tells you something. This trailer looked amazing and the gameplay is top notch, but what do you expect, it's Naughty Dog.

 

 

 

Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds (Release: Holiday 2017)

Our first surprise announcement was that The Frozen Wilds is dropping this year. Aloy is back and hunting new robot creatures as she heads towards the mountain. This is all we know so far, but hopefully this will help answer the questions we were left with at the end of Horizon Zero Dawn.

 

 

 

Days Gone (Release: TBA)

Another trailer for Days Gone is shown and yes it looks cool, the zombies look fast and the game play looks fun. But one thing is missing, we still have no release date...

 

 

 

 

 

Monster Hunter World (Release: Early 2018)

Monster Hunter is making its return to a Sony platform. We watched an intense dragon battle in a beautiful jungle setting, everything was here; tons of weapons, armor, and cooking. The game looks great and it is nice to see the series back on a Sony platform. However, Capcom confirmed this is not an exclusive and will be coming to both Xbox One and PC.

 

 

 

Shadow of the Colossus (Release: 2018)

Here was the surprise of the Sony presentation, a remake of Shadow of the Colossus! WHAT? This is real? Yep, Bluepoint is hard at work remaking this classic originally from Studio Japan and it looks gorgeous. If you're a fan or never got to play Shadow of the Colossus, get ready for this game, coming in 2018. 

 

 

 

Marvel vs Capcom Infinite (Release: September 19th, 2017. Playable Story Demo Today)

We got to see some new cut scenes laying out the story of Marvel and Capcom heroes teaming up with Thanos to take down the Infinity Stone-powered Ulton. No gameplay, but lots of characters shown and a playable story demo released live during the show.

 

 

 

 

Call of Duty WW2

It looks like old school COD. This is the direction the franchise needed to take and so far it looks good.

 

 

 

 

 

PSVR

Here is where I thought Sony would take the next step in the VR game. Instead we saw 6 more examples of why VR is still not ready for the masses. Half these games are glorified mini-games. Final Fantasy 15 VR is a complete joke; the VR shooter experience of last year is gone and now we have a Noctis fishing game. This was so bad that when they finished their VR section of the show the crowd was silent. A few of the games seemed interesting, but overall this segment of the show was a complete disaster.

 

  • Skyrim (Release: TBA) Looks clunky. A 6 year old game that now has a half-assed VR mode.
  • Star Child (Release: TBA) A platforming game you play in VR? This game looks interesting, but the trailer does not explain why you need to play this game in VR.
  • The Inpatient (Release: TBA) Supermassive Games (developer of Until Dawn) has been busy. As they work on their next main title, they have also been secretly working on this VR project, where it seems you are a patient inside of an insane asylum.
  • Final Fantasy 15 (Release: September 2017) This is Square Enix giving up on VR with FF15. The demo from last year was a Prompto VR shooter, now we have this mess of a bass fishing game coming this September. I can't even fathom how this game was allowed to ever leave the developers' office. What a disappointment.
  • Bravo Team (Release: TBA) Looking for the most generic rail shooter ever? Well, you found it with Bravo Team. This looks like the most boring rail shooter I have ever seen. How is this featured as 1 of 6 VR games for Sony's presentation when PSVR launch titles like London Heist and Until Dawn: Rush of Blood were better than this game.
  • Moss (Release: TBA) They finished strong with the only unique and promising VR game of the night. Moss has you controlling a strange creature who is helping a mouse traverse the world. The mouse is a warrior with armor and a sword, a character that, from the beginning of the trailer, you just loved him. Overall, a cool-looking concept, but not enough to save the VR segment of Sony's show.

 

 

God of War (Release: Early 2018) 

Perfect placement to get the excitement back in the crowd after that awful VR segment. God of War looks fantastic. We got a new trailer with a good amount of gameplay. Kratos is looking old but still showing he is the badass we love and the progression of the small child with him has a lot of promise. The story seems very interesting as the boy talks about how he is cursed and you can tell Kratos is hiding something from the boy. So many questions to be answered and we get to start our new Kratos adventure in early 2018.

 

 

Detroit Become Human (Release: TBA)

Quantic Dream (developer of Heavy Rain) has been working on this game for quite some time and we have all been very excited to find out more. We learned that you will be controlling Marcus, an android that has questioned his purpose and decided to defect and start a rebellion against the humans. We got to see gameplay that looked great with Quantic Dream's signature mechanic; everything you do has repercussions as you live out your own story. Overall, the game looks amazing, but seriously, where is the release date?

 

 

Destiny 2 (Release: September 6th, 2017)

We all know about Destiny 2. The news here is that we got a new trailer and found out they moved the release date from September 8th to the 6th. Why a Wednesday instead of the original Friday? Also, no summer beta dates announced during the show. We received beta dates from Bungie right after the show ended, so why not have it be part of the show?

 

 

Spider-Man (Release: 2018)

What is there to say besides OMG this game looks AMAZING! Insomniac has teamed up with Marvel and looks like they have created the best Spider-Man game ever. We got to watch game play of Peter going through a half-built skyscraper, fighting his way to the top. The mechanics look amazing; the web slinging is on point and the visuals are gorgeous. We did see quite a few "quick time events" but they looked fun and as long as the game is not full of them, I don't think it will be an issue.


Sony is leading the pack this generation and because of that I expected more. Instead we got a half-assed show with some great games thrown together in a movie preview-style segment. Because of the presentation, missing release dates for games that Sony has shown off at multiple E3 shows, and the lack of PS4 Pro marketing, I have graded Sony the lowest out of the group. They still get a passing grade because the games look great and Sony is still king, but this E3 was a mess for Sony on a presentation level.

Grade = C+

Want more Sony E3 2017 coverage? Listen to our GameZilla Sony reaction podcast 

Microsoft Presentation at E3 2017: Recap and Grade

By Jay Parks (GrimlockTheDino)

Microsoft took the stage at E3 2017 Sunday night, and came out swinging, from new hardware to video games and services. Here's the recap of the major details of the presentation, and my E3 grade for Microsoft.


E32017RecapHERO-hero.jpg

Presentation

2017 was by far Microsoft's best E3 presentation since the Xbox 360 days. The energy was high, the camera work was on point, and the content was GREAT! The new 4K screen on stage was beautiful and the stage presence was short, to the point, and entertaining. Phil Spencer is one of those leaders in the gaming industry that is a true gamer himself. Phil is a super hero in my eyes and after this E3, I believe in the Xbox brand once again, thanks to Phil and his team. 


Xbox One X

The Xbox Scorpio has an official name: the Xbox One X. It's the most powerful console ever, and it's also the smallest Xbox ever created. Basically it looks like a mini Xbox One S and will support all Xbox One accessories (Kinect still needs an adapter like on the S model).  The Xbox One X will be available November 7th, 2017, and it can be yours for the price tag of $499.99. Overall the system looks good; its size is very impressive, but the unit was rumored to cost $400. Launching at $100 more than the PS4 Pro is going to be a tough sale for a company that is already behind Sony 2 to 1 in console sales. The unit is impressive and with proper game support you are looking at the new king of console gaming. Now we just need to see exclusive games and proper third party support for this beast of a machine.


Games

This is where Microsoft really stepped up and delivered. Microsoft showed off a total of 42 games, with 22 of them having some form of exclusivity to the Xbox and PC. Here are some of my favorite game announcements.

Forza Motorsports 7 (Release Oct 3, 2017)

Forza 7 was the first to show off the power of the Xbox One X and boy did it ever. From beautiful tracks and locations to gorgeous cars and weather effects, this game made me want an Xbox One X.

 

 

 

 

 

Metro: Exodus (Release 2018)

The return of Metro was shown off using the Xbox One X and it was beautiful. Once again, the environments were very impressive; additionally, the trailer showed us intense shooting / melee mechanics against giant rats and what looked like a bear mole. The trailer was full of crazy action with beautiful visuals and in the end, it left us wanting more. 

 

 

 

 

Assassin's Creed: Origins (Release October 27th, 2017)

Assassin's Creed is a series I left a long time ago and watched it crumble from afar. However, recently Ubisoft has brought this IP back from the dead and listened to their fans on what they wanted from Assassin's Creed. The last installment, Assassin's Creed Syndicate, was a great step in the right direction and after watching the world reveal of Assassin's Creed Origins, I think Ubisoft has done it again and made what looks like a great story of how the brotherhood formed. I am back on board! This game looks amazing and the new hero Bayek is a character I can get behind. Set in Egypt, Bayek acts like an Egyptian sheriff who starts to take down the corruption of the Egyptian empire, starting in his hometown of Siwa.

 

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (Release 2017)

Brendan Greene, creator of PUBG (PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds), took the stage to announce that his game is coming to Xbox later this year. Exclusive to Xbox for a limited time, this is a huge exclusive that Microsoft has managed to grab. Even if it's only a 6 month exclusive, this will be a system seller when it launches later this year on the Xbox.

 

 

 

 

State of Decay 2 (Release Spring 2018)

State of Decay 2 gets a release window of Spring 2018 and the trailer shows us just how much bigger this game is from the original. I really enjoyed the ability to find a location and make it home base, then customizing your base with walls, gardens, and more to help you survive this nightmare. 

 

 

 

 

Cuphead (Release September 29th, 2017)

Cuphead finally gets a release date and it's THIS YEAR! We will be playing Cuphead on Xbox and PC on September 29th. I am so excited for this game! The art style looks amazing, styled to look like 1930s cartoons. Cuphead can be joined by Mugman for some fun 2 player co-op. I am a huge platformer fan and can't wait to repay my debt from a bet I lost against the devil.

 

 

 

 

Crackdown 3 (Release November 7th, 2017)

Crackdown 3 is coming November 7th and Terry Crews introduced us to the crazy world of Crackdown. If you have never played a Crackdown game, all I can say is that you are missing out. This open world destruction gun fest is one hell of a time. Collecting orbs to power up your character to be able to do even crazier stunts is what the game is all about. The heart and soul of Crackdown seems to be alive and well in this new game and I can't wait to start throwing cars at people this November.

 

 

Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Release TBA)

Ori is getting a sequel!!! WHAT!!! How did I not know about this? The original game, Ori and the Blind Forest, is one of my all time favorite Metroidvania games and in my top 3 favorite Xbox One games. Now the next chapter begins with Ori and the Will of the Wisps. There is no release date yet for this game, but the trailer is absolutely beautiful. If you have not played the first game you are missing out on a masterpiece. Fair warning, make sure you have some tissues close by. 

 

 

Anthem (Release 2018)

Anthem, so far, is the game of E3 2017. Developed by BioWare Edmonton, the studio behind Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Anthem is a sci-fi action game set in a "vast open world." The game puts you in the role of a Freelancer tasked with exploring unknown planets and protecting humanity. You'll be able to outfit your character with exo-suits called Javelins, which can be equipped with a range of new gear you can craft or acquire. The game is being "built around a live service" and features a heavy emphasis on cooperative play up to 4 players. Anthem was the closer for the Xbox presentation and left us all speechless and wanting more.


Original Xbox Backwards   Compatability  

That's right, Phil was not done yet. Speaking to all the Xbox fans and assuring they are listening to the feedback we are providing them, Phil announced that backwards compatibility was expanding by adding original Xbox games with disc support. Even better, Phil let us know it's coming this year.


Microsoft delivered a complete E3 presentation, something they have struggled with in the past. Phil has really gotten the Xbox momentum rolling in the right direction and adding the new king of consoles to their team only means things are looking even better for Xbox. We saw 42 games total with 22 exclusive; some were expected titles, while others were huge surprises. We saw a range of games, from AAA games to some pretty strange indie titles. Microsoft put on an entertaining show that wowed me and for the first time since Gears of War 4, I am excited to play games on a Microsoft device. 

Grade = B+

Want more Xbox E3 2017 coverage? Listen to our GameZilla Xbox reaction podcast 

 

 

 

 

PTGer Vol. 4: The Backlog

By x5mileRickx

Well PTGers, we have a quick one this month. It's come time to discuss our backlogs (every part time gamer has one). It's the games we impulse buy or get because a couple friends recommend it, or even a older game you always wanted to play, but didn't have the time to before. You probably still haven't started the game, have you? I'm willing to bet the answer is no... that's totally okay, I'm here for you my friends. My backlog is the stuff of legend, in my humble opinion. It's a collection of some of current gen and last gens best. Indie games and triple As. I don't know if I can remember them all without turning on my PS4. 

So I want to make this more of a community blog this time around. Some time last week, in the MCG discord patron, "Brick n Mortar" and I got into a conversation about some games in our backlog we have not started. He gave me the idea to write this blog and see who else has a bunch of games just sitting on there console of choice or PC. I'll start and leave my outrageous list below and I'd love to see some comments with your lists. Remember, as PTGers we have to stick together... because the struggle is real.

Okay, here it is:

1. Horizon Zero Dawn

2. Last of us remastered

3. God of War 3 remastered

4. Devil may cry 4

5. Darksiders 2

6. Pokemon sun

7. Final Fantasy 15

8. Borderlands 2/Tales from the Borderlands

As you can see, I have a huge problem on my hands. I should have all these games completed by the time Destiny 2 comes out right? Right? Wait... now that I'm thinking of it... I should be gaming right now. I'm out.   

 

 

 

 

Metroid Prime 4 at E3

by Jay Parks (GrimlockTheDino)

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If you have watched or listened to one of our podcasts, you know my favorite game series of all time is Metroid. You also should know that Nintendo has done a great job at trying to murder this IP and hide its remains. This week we have a new hope that Samus will have a new adventures for us to enjoy on the Nintendo Switch! Now let's begin.

All of this news is rumor-based and nothing has been officially confirmed by Nintendo or any developers. Earlier this week, we witnessed several social media posts that have started the hype train for Metroid Prime 4! First up, we have Alexander Brandon's post about his current projects. Below you will see Alexander mention that he is working with Retro Studios (Metroid Prime developer) but cannot say anything further. Alexander is a huge Metroid fan, so these two together scream a possible Metroid Prime 4 in the works. I know what you are thinking, this is a stretch, he could be working on anything with Retro Studios. True, but it's what Retro Studios did before hiring Alexander that stirs the Metroid hype pot even more.

Below you will find a couple tweets from @PeerIGN  and @SwedishOTAKU. The responses from @RetroStudios are images of PRIME rib and Scrabble pieces spelling the word Patience (all the of pieces' point values are PRIME numbers).

We know that Retro Studios has been working on a very secretive project, one they began working on even before Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze for the Wii U. It was originally supposed to be a Wii U title, but Kensuke Tanabe, Metroid Prime’s director, has said the next Metroid Prime would likely be on the Switch and that it would take roughly three years to make a new Metroid Prime. Retro Studios has now been working on their secret project for more than three years.

E3 is 30 days away, will Nintendo and Retro Studios answer the call and deliver a game that is long overdue? Will we see Metroid Prime 4? Will Samus take the stage and launch the next chapter of the Metroid franchise? I do not know about you, but if we get a Metroid announcement next month I will be one happy bounty hunter and declaring my Nintendo Switch my favorite Nintendo system since the GameCube and Game Boy Advance.

If you want more Metroid news, tune in to episode 156 of the GameZilla podcast and hear more news about a 2nd possible Metroid game coming out for the Switch, as well as my top 11 Metroid games of all time.

 

A kinder,  gentler gamer

By Jason Knopsnider (LPJ)

I'm currently sitting in a golf class for my 6 year old son, Ash. And as I'm sitting here the instructor is, very earnestly,  teaching the kids about sportsmanship. The most important thing about playing golf, he says, is shaking hands with your opponent before play begins. He goes on to say that golf is a gentleman's game and that politeness is just as important as competition.   That sentiment reminds me of something my father told me. He said it's no fun to be mean and play a game if everyone is going to be miserable while they're playing. 

 

At this point you're probably thinking, what's old man LPJ taking about. What does this have to do with gaming. Well it should be pretty obvious; there's so much negativity online and in streams. Until I became a parent,  I didn't notice how awful it can be. It didn't phase me when I saw it or heard it. Anonymity has given gamers and people in general the false belief that it's ok to be the worst version of themselves online.  What they are really doing is being cowardly. 

 

What takes true courage,  is being anonymously kind. Not just online,  but in life as well. Understanding that sportsmanship doesn't just count in person.  It counts always, everywhere.  It's a lesson I'm teaching Ash everyday, for every situation.  And if he can extend that kindness once he starts his own online gaming, then maybe it will catch on to the people he plays with. And then they carry that kindness over into their lives. The world would look a lot different then.  I know this all sounds kind of cheesy but there's a lot of gamers out there which I see as a lot of opportunity for change.

Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap Review

I fancy myself somewhat of a retro gaming nerd. It’s very rare that I’m not at least aware of a title from the golden age of gaming. (I don’t know if gaming has ages like comics do, but let’s pretend they do because it sounds good.) If I haven’t played a game, I usually have knowledge of it’s existence and can at least tell you what system it was on or something about it based on my brief contact with the title. Wonderboy: The Dragon’s Trap is one of those titles that was not on my radar at all. So you can imagine my surprise when I looked up more info on the game before making a decision to purchase it on my Nintendo Switch. After googling the title, I was confused when I saw entries for “Wonderboy 3: The Dragon’s Trap.” 

It turns out that this is the 3rd (or 4th) release in the Wonder Boy/ Monster World series which originally appeared in the US on the Sega Master System (a console I, admittedly, know very little about.) I don’t want to dive into the rest of this series background here, because we will have a "Wonder Boy: Dragon’s Trap" episode of the Legend of Retro very soon! Instead, I want to take the time to give a review on this game for those of you who have hit a wall with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and need something to occupy your Switch until Mario Kart comes out later this week.

"Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap" recently launched on Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. As stated earlier, it is a remaster of the original "Wonder Boy 3: The Dragon’s Trap" from the Sega Master System. It is a remaster in every sense of the word; beautiful hand-drawn art, brilliantly arranged soundtrack, all in one neat little package. From what I have read and understand, very little was done to the game’s engine so the game handles the same as it did on the Master System. There are apparently a few new areas in the remaster, without being familiar with the original, I don’t know what areas are.

What I do know is how immediately I was drawn to this game. The art style alone practically took my $20 (a steal, by the way) when I first saw it. Then I started to play the game and was almost instantly familiar with the classic plat-forming mechanics. Then, after the opening act of the game, you find yourself in the town area. This is kind of your home base. The music here I could have (and will) listen to for hours. The tunes are simple, short, catchy, and (in this remaster) beautifully arranged.

The hand drawn backgrounds really help to differentiate the areas and make each place memorable and interesting. The retro style has a lot of plain colored backgrounds that don’t help build the environment quite as well. In most cases I find myself playing with the new visuals and retro music, although sometimes the audio decision is a tough one.

If you play the game straight through, it should only take you a couple hours. That is assuming you don’t attempt to get everything. There are a ton of hidden doors throughout the game and even I had to look up a couple. This game provides an excellent challenge all while being a blast to play. If you’ve been needing to scratch your retro itch on your Switch, this is just what the doctor ordered!

-Xander