What are you playing? (Modern Gaming Edition)


Time for a rescue mission!


V-Rally 4 on Switch. I liked Kylotonn’s last game, TT Isle of Man, a lot so I thought I’d give this one a shot.

It’s not quite as good. Part of that is the lack of novelty from the bikes in TT, which were something else to ride when played in first person, as well as the digital recreation of the TT course. But I can’t help but feel this modern entry into the old Eden Games series could have done with a bit more focus.

Tackling events in quick race mode is fun enough but it gives you way too much control over your vehicles, upgrades and difficulty to provide a consistent challenge. It also muddies the online leaderboards somewhat since they don’t show which car config used to get the stated times. The career mode, however, should have been chopped out entirely and replaced with an all killer, no filler arcade mode tour thing.

I like the handling. With traction control off and manual transmission on I’m having fun tackling most corners, you can fling the cars round with confidence and the fast pace goes well with having to take in a bunch of co-driver commands.

Biggest downer is the resolution in handheld mode - it looks like it’s in the ballpark of 360p a lot of the time (think Xenoblade 2’s worst moments) and it’s not a good fit for the detailed environments.

Some docked screenshots:


Do you think anything will change with a kind because I was I’m the fence with that, but not anymore.

In other news, OMG why did nobody tell me that Yoku’s Island Express is kinda like Tomba!? Loving it.

Paging @apathetic



That’s the exploration pinball game right? I’m not that into pinball so skipped it even with the positive buzz around going around but you know how to temp me.


It’s 50% off on Switch right now £7.99 and there’s a free demo (Tomba vibes directly after the intro)

The pinball isn’t real pinball (there’s no way to lose your ball) and is so far entirely complementary, not the main event.


Yoku’s Island Express is brilliant. Really inviting and chilled out 2D adventure game, yet exploring its world also becomes pretty challenging at times. Makes the genre feel a bit fresh again.

Do you mean the resolution? I think it might do - the game is due in North America in February and there might be a patch. I’m somewhat happy the game shipped on version 1.00 without a day one patch though.

However, the publisher mentioned that the developer was looking into a way to increase shadow rendering distance without reducing performance. But I can’t see resolution going up if that becomes a priority unfortunately.

I’d still recommend it irrespective of the dynamic resolution issues, the handling model is fun to get to grips with (I suspect a lot of reviewers didn’t put the time in to learn its intricacies and wrote it off too soon). If you start with the lower category, slower cars, and slowly move up from there it’s a lot easier to learn the game than jumping in with the fastest cars.


I’ll get it, but not at full price given rise caveats


Picked up a cheap copy of Kid Icarus Uprising this week. Two days after starting it and I’m already further than I got at launch - chapter 12 now.

I remember not being enthralled by it back when it launched nearly seven years(!) ago…was it always this good though???

The presentation is spot on - I’ve been impressed by the quality of the animation in cutscenes, and the spectacle of the flying segments and the way the game seamlessly blends cinematics into the gameplay (e.g. there’s this bit where Dark Pit turns up and side-kicks the boss off the screen).

While the level design is still lacking variety I’ve warmed to it a lot more than I did in 2012. Perhaps back then, when it arrived just two years after Sin and Punishment 2, it didn’t seem anywhere near as eventful. But the controls and mechanics in Uprising are surprisingly technical, so even the most mundane enemy face-offs can be pretty engaging when you’re constantly switching between dodging and attacking.

I find the controls are the 3DS’s equivalent of what Nintendo accomplished with Splatoon’s gyro controls. The use of inertial scrolling, combined with super accurate aiming is genius. It took a few levels for me to get the hang of it but I can move the camera immediately to face enemies, and then pick them off by sliding along the display. Some great programming there.

Ironically it’s the traditional control inputs which feel less accurate than these touch controls - dodging with the circle pad seems to only work for me 90% of the time in aerial combat for instance.


It’s a genuinely brilliant game. The multiplayer, when active, was a ton of fun too.

Now there’s only bots on there. But the single player is still genuinely brilliant. You do bring up a good point about the level design though… but keep pushing through. It’s worth it. It’s one of the most creative campaigns I’ve ever seen from Nintendo, even if it most can be reduced to shoot, dodge, repeat, etcetera.


It’s such a good single player campaign. I’ve been surprised by how they keep building on the level design and testing your knowledge of the core mechanics.

I just finished chapter 21 - I’ve been hooked on this all weekend since starting it - and that long fight against those waves of enemies was brutal.

The dialogue started off annoying and seemed like it was trying too hard, but it really comes into its own when more characters are introduced and the game gets more creative.

I had to laugh when I failed to protect the two Centurions in chapter 17 that Palutena generates to hold up a platform in space.

Btw - how do you tell if players online are bots? I tried a match of Light Vs Dark last night and came across 5 other players. Though one was idle I think (score was 0):


Finished this on Monday. Such a great game. One of the best single campaigns for sure, I was surprised by how interesting/enthralling both the dialogue and level designs got in the second half.

Still thinking about it later on in the week - the soundtrack is phenomenal, the dialogue is often hilarious and the intensity difficulty system had me replay two chapters on 6-7 intensity today!

It feels strange using the modern thread to post about KI: Uprising, because the game just feels so alien compared with what’s coming out of today’s industry. I’m not even convinced today’s Nintendo would take on a project like this again given their focus on AAA production values for the Switch. Sure, KI: Uprising was a ‘AAA’ handheld game, but those were comparatively cheaper to make then and the market was very different in 2010-2011. And it felt like the 3D effect, and innovative stylus shooter controls, were built for Nintendo’s idiosyncratic 3DS hardware.

Hopefully now that Smash Bros. Ultimate is out the door, Sakurai can do something new again.


Very true. When the project was approved, it was way back when Nintendo still had the Wii and DS on the market. In fact, KI:U was shown when the 3DS was first unveiled to the public, so it, presumably, had already been in development for a little while prior to that.

Wonderful 101 was another wacky game from a control perspective that blew minds from that generation that probably wouldn’t be made today.

I’d like to think that ARMS and Splatoon are carrying that torch forward for Nintendo with their innovative control schemes. But they aren’t quite the same type of action game that KI:U and W101 were, and the amount of learning curve is dialed down for them too.


Ori and the Blind Forest. I’m probably about 75% through as of today. Gorgeous game, love the art style. Platforming can be frustrating, but I’ve been able to get through after a couple tries. Also grabbed Thumper on Switch which a friend recommended. I’m terrible at rhythm games, so we’ll se how long I last lol


I really want to try Ori. It’s the first game I’ll grab when I get an Xbox One someday.

Thumper is alright. It feels slightly overrated despite having some really solid mechanics and graphics. It would have been cool with more musical and environmental variety. Each level sounds and looks too similar.

If you ever get the opportunity, definitely try it in VR. It actually adds a lot of the experience.


Yeah Thumper could use more variety, but I’ll give it a pass because it was only developed by 2 people. And with VR, I’m concerned that with my progressive lenses, I’d have trouble with viewing VR properly. Someday I’ll try it out.


Yeah, I picked up Thumper when it was released on the Switch. It was that early launch window when you’re willing to try any kind of new game (TumbleSeed was another game that seemed super exciting when it launched - it’s also pretty good).

I agree that it lacks variety. The core mechanics and speed of the game are exciting, and the atmosphere is super imposing, a great combination for getting into the zone while playing. But it all feels like it blurs together - I remember the mechanics and the atmosphere but there’s no real reference point. It makes replaying a lot of levels for score feel a bit aimless for some reason.


Yeah, from what I remember Iwata helped Sakurai set up his own game studio after he left HAL and complained about the development circumstances behind Kirby Air Ride and the drive for sequels.

Then KI: Icarus kicked off after development of Brawl (which Game Arts developed, whereas KI: Icarus was all in-house I think) was complete. Apparently they had two projects in development but only KI made it out. Shame.

Good point about The Wonderful 101! Like Nintendo Land, which is a wonderful game, I can see why they both failed to excite a larger audience. The battle for attention became so fierce as the entertainment competition moved towards free services or making “good enough” games for less.

I did like how Nintendo didn’t really mess with any of the games they likely greenlit before the Wii U failed. Paper Mario: Color Splash had no amiibo support, which was rare at the time, but like many titles of the era it shipped wholly complete - no patches, no DLC.


Spider-Man. I’ve tried multiple times to get into AAA open world games and have never finished one. I’m 49% through the main story but I do squeeze in some side missions and can see myself getting burnt out trying to get all the collectibles. Game feels kinda like Uncharted at times in terms of how it plays itself during the story moments. I don’t have the vocabulary for modern gaming to explain it further. I’m whatever on the gameplay but the open-world and progression got its hooks in me, and I feel kinda dirty about it.


Since I got a switch, I can’t put BoTW down. It’s just as good as everyone has been saying.

I took down my first Lynel today and got to the first dungeon. Looking forward to seeing how the dungeons are in this game.


Awesome! I’m avoiding Ganon because I don’t want this game to end. Such an amazing experience.