Your regularly scheduled KDR is back! Surprising absolutely no one, we’re still playing Ark and Zelda. Vendor is excited about the SNES classic, Shaline is looking forward to the new Assassin’s Creed mobile game, we had a relaxing challenge and many listener emails.
This week Shaline and Vendortron are joined by streamer Foo_Who from across the pond to talk about base building in video games! We laughed, we cried, we talked a lot about Zelda and Ark. We also discussed gaming and Twitch news and had a KD Recommends section that “ruled”.
Join us Friday, April 28 for a livestream of the Prey demo on Twitch!
Shaline and Vendortron are joined by Quest Gaming Network’s Owner/Producer Evarwyn! The trio talks about news, Astroneer, Mass Effect Andromeda, Zelda: Breath of the Wild and more. We even get an exclusive scoop on QGN-Con info!
Join us next Friday, March 31 at 6pm MT for as we answer the Fallout Feed’s “Dead is Dead” Survival mode Fallout 4 challenge on Twitch
Join Shaline and Vendortron for two jam-packed hours of gaming talk! We take a nostalgia trip with Vendortron while Shaline gives Nintendo Switch impressions and waxes rhapsodic about the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. We also run down our most anticipated games of 2017 and beyond.
Join us next Friday, March 17 at 6pm MT for a Mass Effect Andromeda stream on Twitch!
E3 2014 has wrapped up, and the future of console gaming is looking as bright as ever.
There were game reveals, hardware redesigns, and questionable moments in press conferences, but all-in-all, it was one hell of a celebration of gaming. Microsoft, Sony, and even Nintendo had (mostly) decent press briefings, strong presences at the events, and had fans buzzing with excitement for what’s to come.
It will take a few days to process everything that we saw this week, and there are surely a few gems that either went unnoticed or were unfortunately forgotten fairly quickly, but the three games that stand out the most to me after this week are Rainbow Six: Siege, No Man’s Sky, and Zelda Wii U.
Rainbow Six: Siege
The Rainbow Six franchise is near and dear to my heart. The original tactical, strategic first-person shooter was revolutionary for its time, and though subsequent games weren’t always successful at recreating the formula (with Rainbow Six: Vegas being a serious exception), the franchise has always represented a step above what games like Battlefield and Call of Duty have done. This franchise isn’t about running and gunning, or even merely working as a team. It is about completely controlling every aspect of your experience and the thrill of successfully completing missions as they were drawn up.
Rainbow Six: Siege looks like it could be a return to this formula, though the added multiplayer presents a possible problem. We have seen nothing so far of the single player (if there IS a single player version), and this concerns me. While multiplayer games have taken over the world, completing typical Rainbow Six missions in cooperative play will be much more difficult, as you have to rely on your friends, or complete strangers who may not care about doing it the way you want, in order to get it right. This could completely ruin your immersion and feeling of control, and it runs the risk of killing the game overall.
However, assuming there is a single player mode planned AND that it is a serious focus for the development team – not just a thrown-in afterthought like many of today’s shooters – the revamped visuals and fluid, fast-paced action could make this one of the best shooters in a long time.
No Man’s Sky
I’m not mentioning this game because I’m excited for it, but because I’m intrigued by it. I don’t understand how a team of four have created this massive open galaxy with no load screens. From what we’ve seen it seems like one of the largest games ever, and yet you never have to wait to load a level or planet or anything. The game is designed to be exploratory, offering players the chance to walk around and explore entire planets, then hop in their ship and blast off through the galaxy in search of a new planet to explore.
What I don’t understand though, is what is the point of the game? Is it just to explore? Is it just to look around? That’s a great idea for a game, but what is the incentive to explore? What are the resources you can gather, and how are they used? This game has a long way to go to win me over convincingly, but it’s safe to say I am extremely interested to see what comes of it.
Zelda Wii U
Maybe it’s just because of my recent reading of the book Console Wars, by Blake J. Harris, but this year’s E3 seemed to not be as unfortunate for Nintendo as it has been in the past. Nothing revolutionary was announced, but they teased a little bit from Zelda Wii U, which still doesn’t have a release date or official name, but from the brief glimpse we got, it appears the franchise may finally be growing up a bit. An open world Zelda game? Sign me up!
As I said, it was a very brief glimpse, and we don’t know much about it other than it’s open world. But when we were told we could walk to that mountain in the distance, exploratory gamers like myself everywhere audibly said, “wow!” It looks beautiful so far, and if the final came can come even close to what we saw this week, the Wii U may finally have its ultimate killer app.
E3 is one of the the best weeks of the year for hardcore gamers, and while this year lacked the wow factor of last year’s show, we finally have a good road map of what to expect from Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo over the next 18 months. Both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are a little light in the games department, and the Wii U hasn’t really caught on yet, but there ARE games coming, and there is a lot to be excited about.
Stay tuned to QGN for more hands-on gameplay impressions over the coming days.
The Legend Of Zelda is getting the open world treatment. Announced today at the Nintendo Digital Event, the long-standing franchise is tearing down their invisible walls and allowing players to fully explore the world of Hyrule.
And it looks gorgeous. According to a Kotaku report, the footage seen is in-engine. Not from a traditional gameplay angle, but definitely running on the WiiU hardware.
Not much else is known as of yet, other than the game will release sometime in 2015. Here’s the announcement, as well as the rest of Nintendo’s Digital Event in case you missed it earlier:
In this age of gaming, everyone seems to be focusing on what the next big game will be. Nintendo, on the other hand, is taking a much different approach. Lately, some of the biggest titles released by Nintendo have been remakes of some of their most popular games from previous consoles. Recently, they released Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, which was originally claimed to be a remake of Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, but ended up being an entirely different game, while maintaining major touchstones to the original. With as phenomenal as it was when an attempted remake of an SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) classic mutated into a great 3DS game, some of their remakes that actually adhere to the original plan turn out wonderfully as well.
One such game actually came with my Wii U bundle. Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD is a true remake of a landmark Zelda title on the GameCube. Nintendo did everything with this title that someone would expect from a modern day remake of an older title, and so much more. For instance, Nintendo actually took the time to incorporate the Miiverse into The Wind Waker HD so that players can utilize the touch screen in the middle of their gamepad to write messages, place them into a bottle, and throw them out to sea for other players to find. That means that you can actually be walking along the beach and find messages in random bottles. It’s also apparent that Nintendo invested a lot of thought into that feature, because they went so far as to include a toggle option to flag your message as being a spoiler. Other players can then choose to filter spoilers and not receive them in their game at all. The inventory system was also redone to take advantage of the new hardware. Players can touch items and drag them in order to bind them to one of three designated buttons. The integrated touch screen also allows for quick access to a variety of maps, allowing the player to tap various areas to zoom in and out. If the added features and functionality of the touch screen aren’t appealing, you also have the option to play the game with a Pro controller (purchased separately from the console and looks similar to an Xbox 360 controller) instead.
Everything considered, I’ve found The Wind Waker HD to be a very fun and compelling Zelda title brought effectively to modern gaming standards. The puzzles and dungeons were changed enough to make them fluid and fun, even for the most experienced Zelda players. The only drawback to this game that I’ve found is that the controller that comes with the console only lasts for about three hours of gameplay before the low battery indicator is flashing. The Pro controller gives a much longer window for play, but I feel like part of the functionality that makes the game a strong Wii U experience is missing when I don’t have the touch screen. That fact aside, I’m very pleased with the game itself and think Nintendo mastered this remake. Great games like this, remakes or fresh titles, make me very glad that I bought a Wii U this holiday season. I am very much looking forward to seeing what Nintendo can knock out of the park going forward.
Recently, I decided to take a good look at the current generation of gaming consoles that are available. Naturally, the new stars are the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Both of the newest consoles offer a limited selection of exclusive titles that aren’t available on any other platform, but the majority of titles that are in their library are also available on Steam for PC users. While I was interested in seeing what the console world had to offer, I am primarily a PC gamer. That being the case, I couldn’t find a solid reason to purchase either of the two systems. That caused me to expand my horizons, so to speak, and take a look at what Nintendo was up to. Around this time the Wii U was about a year old, so it had plenty of time to build up a library. The case with Nintendo was that the Wii U had the opposite going on for it. Most of the available titles were only able to be bought on the Wii U, and most of the crossover games have exclusive features not available in their PC counterpart. I decided right then that the Wii U was indeed worth my money; it offered something I couldn’t otherwise experience.
Let me paint the picture for you. It was the Wednesday before Black Friday and I started to look at the different sales papers for specials. The last three years I had purchased the last generation of consoles during Black Friday specials; I got a Wii in 2010, a PlayStation 3 in 2011, and the Xbox 360 in 2012. I went into this experience fully expecting to find a basic Wii U for under $200 for Black Friday. Unfortunately, I didn’t find any noteworthy sales. Most of the sales had included extra games or another controller; the price was unchanged. So, I decided that getting a $20-40 value wasn’t worth fighting the lines on Black Friday. I went to the local Best Buy that night and started searching for a Wii U. They had one bundle available with Super Mario U and Nintendo Land. After researching online, I had decided I wanted to get the limited edition Zelda Wind Waker HD Wii U. At that point, I left Best Buy and headed for the local GameStop, where I managed to secure the second-to-last one they had in stock.
After taking my Wii U home and investing several hours into Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, I can firmly say that Nintendo definitely knows what they’re doing. They’ve taken a game that was great in it’s original form and made it even better. Enhancements over the original include features like HD graphics (obviously), Miiverse integration, and expanded content. The Miiverse aspect actually allows for players who have a registered Nintendo Network account to write messages using the touchpad on the center of the controller, place them in a bottle, and toss them out to sea. Then, other players can actually find little bottles along the beaches with random messages that other players have sent. They even went through the trouble of adding a little ‘Spoilers’ tag so that you can turn off the ability to receive spoilers if you don’t want them.
I’m very happy with my Nintendo Wii U purchase. I feel as though I’m getting a solid experience that I couldn’t find elsewhere and I very much look forward to writing more about my hands on experiences over time. If you own a Wii U or are thinking about getting one, feel free to let me know what you think about the console in the comments!