SPLATOON 2 is out for the Nintendo Switch and has received a lot of praise from the gaming press and my circle of friends.
I haven’t picked up my copy yet, but played plenty of the original Splatoon on the Wii U, so have a good idea what to expect.
Imagine a first-person shooter, but with squids instead of soldiers and paint instead of bullets, then you’re halfway there.
According to all reports, the game is as challenging as it is stylish and includes a healthy campaign and co-op mode to boot.
But it seems that Nintendo have once again shot themselves in the foot when it comes to the implementation of online play on their consoles.
One player has to start a game and the rest can join them. But that means members of the group often end up having to sit out the action until they can join in.
And even when you have all the players in your group in the same match, there is no guarantee you will be put in the same team.
You can talk to each other but, again, there is a massive caveat. There is no group chat on the console itself. Players need to use their smartphones and the Nintendo app to chat. You need to keep the app open, though, so no scrolling through phones between matches.
And this is all after having to swap and input lengthy codes to register as friends with your real-life pals in the first place.
In the end, my friends resorted to using other communication apps such as Discord and WhatsApp to chat while they fired paint at randoms.
It’s all ridiculously and needlessly complicated and puts Nintendo light years behind the competition when it comes to online play and voice chat.
And that’s not really acceptable in 2017, especially when you realise that Nintendo will start charging for their online services for the first time next year.
Paying $20 a year (UK prices are yet to be announced but will probably be about the £15 mark) to have to use a phone to talk to my friends doesn’t sound like a great deal to me.
Nintendo has made its name as a family-friendly games company and is perhaps nervous about opening the door to open game chat and all the trappings that can come with it (obnoxious teenagers, racism, misogyny, xenophobia, bullying).
But hiding chat through a system so complicated no one actually wants to use it is not the answer.
DESPITE the negativity about the online chat, something good is cooking on the Nintendo Switch – and you’ll be able to take a taste this Thursday (July 27).
Overcooked: Special Edition is a multiplayer cooking game, which is as likely to break up friendships as opinions on Brexit. It costs £15.99 and will include the Lost Morsel and Festive Seasoning add-ons.
The game, which won Best British Game and Best Family Game at this year’s British Academy Game Awards, relies heavily on teamwork as teams of chefs try to prepare recipes, wash dishes, put out fires and serve customers before time runs out.
Its pick-up-and-play nature makes it a perfect fit for the Switch, which comes with two joy-con controllers out of the box and can be played on the go.
This release also throws in nine head-to-head levels, where you can take on up to three friends on the same console and features 44 campaign levels and 22 different chefs.
Just remember not to get too heated about the hectic action or things might boil over and put you and your friends in a bit of a stew.
I PLAYED a fair chunk of the Destiny 2 beta over the past few days and was fairly impressed.
The beta, which has been extended until 2am today (Wednesday, July 26), featured one story mission, one strike and two multiplayer Crucible modes – old favourite Control and new offering Countdown.
There is no graphical revolution, but the new game looks a bit sharper than its predecessor, with better effects.
The single player stuff looked good and played fine, but the real winner was the multiplayer.
Cut down from 6v6 to 4v4 and with sniper and shotgun ammo reduced, the matches are more tactical and gunfights go on for longer.
Countdown plays very much like PC classic Counterstrike, with teams taking it in turns to attack and defend a bombsite.
There were a few teething problems with the beta – game-changing super powers currently take a little too long to charge up and pulse rifles seem a little overpowered.
But all the signs are good that developer Bungie are on track to making Destiny 2’s multi-player a top-tier attraction compared with the original’s pleasant distraction.