Nintendo finally reveals the Switch console


I watched most of the Nintendo Direct preview of Xenoblade the other day, but I couldn’t quite tell how the combat is played out. Is it real time or turn based or a mix of both?


Combat runs in real time but uses turn-based style inputs. There are also some quick-time events that will help you land attacks, generate effects, etc. These are the circles you’ll see on screen with an A in the middle during a fight.

You aren’t expected to button mash or anything. You choose your target, position for your attacks and choose your type of attack. Positioning (if it’s like the first game) does matter as sometimes you gain bonuses for being behind or aside of an enemy while attacking. There will likely be more complexity added on top of that via chain attacks with your party and the fact that you’ve got the swords themselves acting as characters somehow too.

It’s likely to have elemental bonuses/weaknesses on weapons and armor too. Expect a really robust system that doesn’t rely on twitch reflexes to succeed.


Thanks a lot, Dave, that explains why I was having difficulty parsing how it worked from the video clips I watched. I wasn’t too interested in a button mashing game, so that sounds perfect for me.

Speaking of games I can’t really get a feel for based on what I’ve watched, is Fire Emblem Warriors more of a button masher, or is it more on the strategy side of things? It’s the latter I’m more interested in.

Sorry again for all these questions, but you guys in this thread have been awesome getting me up to speed in an ecosystem I haven’t been in since the 1980’s. A lot of reviews or comments online understandably assume a lot of familiarity with the franchises and it makes it hard for me to really get an idea of what they play like.


I think you’ll dig it.

Fire Emblem Warriors is a button mashing combo heavy game where that part of it is actually kind of easy while the strategy comes from deciding where to attack and how to use the troops given to you to meet the level’s objectives. It’s Dynasty Warriors with Fire Emblem characters (hence the “Warriors” title just like Hyrule Warriors). You get spectacular pyrotechnics with special attacks but it also has Fire Emblem’s individual character level ups, weapons triangle (swords -> axes -> spears), character relationships, and of course its setting and characters, too.

It’s actually a lot of fun. I got to play it recently at Complete In Box (local game store) and it looks fantastic and is a lot more cerebral than it might sound. The combat is rote button pushing that’s just plain easy for the most part. It’s all the stuff around it that makes it difficult and more strategic.

There’s apparently a full-on turn-based strategy version of Fire Emblem rumored for next year, though.


In Xenoblade Chronicles 1 the general gist is that you ran up to an enemy and engaged combat. Once you did this you start auto-attacking and swinging automatically doing some damage every interval. You also had 8-10 abilities that you could kick off during battle, be they heals, buffs, debuffs, or special attacks. Some special attacks did bonus damage or bonus effects (like debuffs) if you were in a position in relation to the enemy (e.g. to the side of an enemy or behind). Each of these abilities either had a cooldown timer, or a charge counter (so you needed to get X amount of auto attack hits before you can do it again), so you aren’t spamming any of the abilities.

There was a lot of synergy between special attack types. You are playing as a party of 3-4 characters but you are only controlling one (though you can swap around). One character may have an ability to Topple an enemy (thus allowing you to use attacks that do more damage to toppled enemies), and another character will then have an ability to daze a toppled enemy (which has other benefits other than special daze related attacks).

So far from what I’ve seen XC2 combat seems to be doing the same high level concepts, just with a different take on the details of the implementation.


Hm. So I agree that Skyrim is a great fit. I’ve already bought it three times before, never finished it, and still am tempted to go for one more version.

But… Does this really generalize? Skyrim was released six years ago (to the week!). It was targeting a console with 256MB of memory, and delivered on a single DVD. That’s the best case for a Switch AAA port. It says nothing at all about how viable getting good ports of more modern games on the Switch will be. It’s just not easy to downscale these games; if it were, there would have been a much longer tail of 360/PS3 releases.

The other cases we have are:

  • Doom, which honestly looked borderline unplayable in the Giant Bomb video. The fps was so uneven and the rendering so blurred that I was feeling motion sick just watching it. Yes, it’s a minor miracle they managed to stuff the full Doom on the Switch. But if even a minor miracle means ends up this bad, it seems unlikely that you’d get a stream of “easy” ports, done as a matter of course. These ports are are going to be grueling projects, and I have no idea of why other engines would end up with better results than idTech.
  • L.A. Noire which again is a previous generation game, so they started off with the easy case of having both the assets and an engine that’s scaled well for the Switch. The cause for alarm here is that it was already a multi-DVD game back in the day. There’s no way they could stuff it on the normal-sized Switch carts. Which is why it ended up more expensive than the other remastered versions.

What other multiplatform AAA games are in the pipeline? There’s Wolfenstein II (which is going to be hit both of these problems; it’s graphically heavier than Doom, and has a 40+ gig install for single player). So I’m really not optimistic there, though maybe they’ll pull a rabbit out of the gat. Anything else?

But my bet is that if Skyrim and L.A. Noire work out commercially, it’ll be more ports of the greatest hits of the 360 era. Not new games. So e.g. a AC: Origins (or AC: Origins+1) on the Switch would seem pretty surprising. But AC: Black Flag? That’d make total sense (and I might be interested).


Yep. Black Flag came out for both the previous generation and this one, so I think it would be a good one to port over.


If games are being built with UE4 or Unity, there’s no reason what you are suggesting willl necessarily be the case, at least once all the kinks are worked out with those (some games have been delayed). If they use their own engines, they probably won’t make it to switch.


The Switch became the fastest-selling console in Nintendo’s history just about a month after it launched, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. Nintendo’s flagship console was the number one selling video game hardware device in October, according to new figures from NPD Group, a market research firm that tracks U.S. video game sales.

Between the Nintendo Switch, Super Nintendo Entertainment System [SNES] Classic, and the company’s line of 3DS handheld devices, Nintendo accounted for two-thirds of all video game hardware sold in the U.S. for the second month in a row. The news also comes just after Nintendo announced that it expects to sell 14 million Switch units by the end of March 2018, which is up from their initial estimate of 10 million units.


Well I finally convinced the wife and picked one up at Target last night. It’s for Christmas so I won’t get to try anything out for a while but I was just glad I talked her into it her while I could still find one easily. Now to load up on some Black Friday game deals and we’ll be having a Merry Nintendo Xmas at my house.


You’ll want to wait for the turn based Fire Emblem coming in 2018 (I think). This one is more of a shootemup than a strategy game, it’s just using the Fire Emblem characters. I played the last turn based Fire Emblem game for the 3DS about 5 million hours, and I would think the upcoming edition will be up your alley.


Valkyria Chronicles 4 next year. Will also be available on those other consoles. :)


Ah yes, posted that in our VC4, but not quite thread.

Switch is the perfect system for this.



Does anyone know how much it ties to VC3, since that one was never released in the West? And I don’t suppose they ever revised the end-of-battle ranking system to be less based on completion speed?


It apparently takes place in the same timeframe as the original game, but with a different group of characters. The trailer just seemed like random snippets cut together for no particular reason, so hard to get much sense from that.


VC3 was based on a “black ops” type squadron, so it by its nature is sort of isolated, and this is unlikely to have any direct connections, other than probably a mission or two crossing paths with the events of the other games. All 3 games have been more or less self-contained (VC2 being set at an academy after the war ended), with characters from other games being involved mainly as cameos.

It’s been a while since I played VC3, but IIRC, they kept more or less the same grading mechanisms, but they did fix the super-scout problem (by making Orders more expensive, I think, and increasing the AP hit for repeated actions). However, based on the limitations of the PSP, they introduced other min-max-ing problems (teleporting snipers between bases).


We are getting a Switch for my son (and me) for Christmas. I am seeing them in stock at various stores around here. Has anyone read anything about the stock situation for Christmas? Do you think it will be harder to find after Black Friday?


There aren’t really any specials on them for Black Friday, but I predict it’s going to be a HUGELY popular gift. Whether that causes stock issues or not, it’s hard to say. But if you’re planning on getting one and you have room in your budget, I’d pick one up this week.


Since the price isn’t going to change between now and Christmas, your best bet is to purchase ASAP. If you wait, you’re tempting fate on stocking problems as they get closer to the holidays.


Oh, wow. One step forward, one step back?

So would you say VC3 was an improvement over VC2, even with the PSP limitations? It would be nice to know that they’re headed in the right direction, even if there were some additional missteps in VC3.