After how beloved the Dusk subseries of Atelier has become over the years, how could Gust possibly follow that up?
By doing what they’ve always done, of course: completely reinventing the series and kicking off a whole new set of games. Doing so doesn’t stop the Dusk series from existing, after all — and it also prevents the series from stagnating. Not that it was ever at any risk of doing that anyway, given how much we’ve seen it varies between individual installments!
In this part of the Atelier MegaFeature, we’ll be taking a high-level look at the first game in the Mysterious trilogy, Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book. Where did this game come from, what was the thinking behind certain aspects of its design — and what do we have to look forward to?
Also known as Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics, this title is an essential part of any Switch library.
It marks Switch-era Nintendo making a keen effort to attract the same “family-friendly” audience that they courted with the Touch Generations games on Wii and Nintendo DS. It’s also a great way to learn or brush up your skills on some classic games, whether you’re playing solo or with friends.
I remember coming across Assault Android Cactus for the first time: it was back in 2013, when I was still working on USgamer, and I was headed for EGX, or the Eurogamer Expo as it used to be known.
My boss Jaz Rignall suggested that I might want to check out this game he’d heard a bit about, and put me in contact with the developer. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into it; if I’m perfectly honest, I was expecting some sort of fairly forgettable indie fare, but I trusted Jaz’s judgement. He’d been around in the games industry even longer than me, after all, so he knew his stuff.
I was right to trust his judgement. Assault Android Cactus ended up being my favourite thing I saw at EGX that year, and it’s remained a consistent favourite of mine ever since.
I’m not an especially active or outdoorsy type… but I’ve always enjoyed the atmosphere of being out in nature. You know, so long as it isn’t trying to bite, sting, cut, burn, poison crush or otherwise bring me to harm in one way or another.
Some of my fondest memories are from childhood, when I had the good fortune to be able to go camping with both my class at school and my Cub Scout pack. My most longstanding, happiest recollections of those trips do not involve the many activities we participated in — but rather simple things, such as gradually drifting off to sleep to the soothing sound of rain on canvas (occasionally punctuated by class clown Christopher Smith farting) or feeling a quiet sense of awe at the almost complete silence around us, save for the leaves on the forest’s trees rustling in the wind.
Breath of the Wild is making me extremely nostalgic for all this sort of thing. And, best of all, I don’t have to go out in the blazing hot British summer sunshine and/or torrential British rain to enjoy it.
One key way in which Breath of the Wild differs from its predecessors in the Legend of Zelda series is in how it handles protagonist Link’s core abilities.
In past Zelda games, Link would typically (though not always) gradually acquire a selection of useful items over the course of his adventure, and in most cases these would correspond to the challenges in the dungeon or situation in which he found them.
In Breath of the Wild, meanwhile, you get given all of your abilities almost from the very beginning of your adventure, and then it’s up to you to spend the rest of the game figuring out all the different ways in which you can use them.
“Exergaming” has been around for a while now; I can recall working up a sweat in Dancing Stage (aka Dance Dance Revolution) on PlayStation 1 back in university.
It was arguably Nintendo who really popularised the concept in the Wii generation, however, with Wii Fit, Wii Fit Plus and subsequently Wii Fit U all setting a great example that a number of other developers and publishers strove to emulate. Exercising at home could be practical, said these games, and it could be fun, too!
The Wii and Wii U generations are behind us now — though I know some people are still religiously using Wii Fit, and all credit to them — so it’s time we had a successor, right? Enter Fitness Boxing for Switch.
I like Super Smash Bros. I think. I’m never quite 100% sure.
I do know for a fact I’ve purchased each and every one at launch (with the exception of the N64 original) and, in fact, still own my copies of both Brawl on Wii and …for Wii U on, uh, Wii U. Melee? No, unfortunately; while I’m rebuilding my GameCube collection now I’ve got my original (GameCube-compatible) Wii hooked up to my TV once again, Melee is not a title I’ve particularly prioritised re-acquiring.
Anyway, fact is, I’ve always at least made an honest-to-goodness attempt to like Super Smash Bros. And I’m very much looking forward to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for Switch, which, at the time of writing, is launching in just over a week. And I intend to spend most of the holiday period playing it!
Hyrule Warriors incorporates a variety of characters from across the Zelda timeline, but also has a few original creations in the mix, too.
One of these is the busty main antagonist Cia, who at the time of writing you can admire in the banner at the top of the page. She most certainly has her considerable appeal… but I think I’d be a bit terrified of what she’d do to me if she ever found out I’d called her a “waifu”.
So let’s take an altogether safer option: Lana, a delightfully cheery young woman whom you come into contact with relatively early in Hyrule Warriors’ main story.
The Warriors series as a whole has experimented with a few twists on its basic mechanics over the years, and Hyrule Warriors most certainly provides one of the most accessible, immediate takes there is.
This is at least partly down to the influence of Koei Tecmo’s division Team Ninja, who played a role in the game’s development alongside longstanding series producers Omega Force. The result is a speedy, fluid Warriors game that is easy to get into but challenging to master in its entirety.
Today we’re going to take a look at the various components that make Hyrule Warriors’ gameplay tick, and see how they come together to create such an enjoyable experience.
The Zelda series timeline is… complicated. Whether or not it was originally intended to be that way is a matter of opinion, but the fact remains: Zelda is complicated.
Hyrule Warriors is regarded as a non-canonical installment in the series as a whole. But to be honest, with the way it’s set up, it actually slots quite nicely into the convoluted timeline, albeit mostly unfolding in its own separate little corner, largely (but not completely) divorced from the main paths down which the series’ narratives progress.
Let’s take a look at how Hyrule Warriors fits in with Zelda lore as a whole… as well as how the series got to the state it’s in today.