Nintendo Switch

If you’re willing to buy the physical edition on the last day of Super Mario 3D All Stars’ availability. It’s on sale for $50.

I personally can’t abide looking for those tiny little theoretical cartridges to put into my theoretical Switch though.

I logged on to Super Mario 35 last night, just to double check that the service is really shut down. But the game launches fine! You get the list of weekly goals! All the buttons still work! You can start the game!..and then it says, “This service has been disconnected.” Boooooooo.

But hey, maybe the practice mode still works! It’s a solo game with no online component! You launch it and…it’s also shut down. Boooo again. Why deactivate something that’s for local play only??

Because assholery.

King Mario is dead, long live King Pac-Man!

Wait, Pacman 99 went away for a while? Why?

EDIT: Oh wait, I was thinking of Tetris 99 wasn’t I? Oops.

I’m really excited to play this for 45 days until it is pulled from the store too*.

  • j/k i don’t think that it’s actually a limited release. i’m just a little gunshy at this point.

Pac Man CE was tight. If it’s anything like that, I’m into it.

It’s good, but much like Tetris 99, unless you are a Pac Genius, do not expect to win.

Thus far, this seems way easier than Tetris 99, maybe just because it’s brand new, or maybe the baseline skill level for PacMan is lower than it is for Tetris. Unless I screw up catastrophically, getting top 20 or so seems pretty consistent.

Somewhere in the distance, Billy Mitchell cries out, as though wounded. A debt has been accrued, a vengeance, earned.

I always die a mysterious death around top 30. Like something that wasn’t deadly before suddenly is? Who needs manuals

It’s very badly explained, I have no idea what the different modes on the left side do (the standard/strong/train ones. The right side controls targeting, as in the other games). As far as I can tell there’s nowhere on the game that explains this.

I don’t think anything kills you without warning, although after a certain point, red pac-mans start appearing that kill you on contact. It isn’t super clear the first couple times what’s happening there, because the enemy pac-mans up to that point just slowed you down.

Ah that’s what happened probably. I re member seeing a red dot appearing next to me each time and then drop dead. Probably one of those red Pacman in the process of spawning.
Pretty unfair :-/

It isn’t entirely clear to me whether power pellets kill the red pac-mans. I think they might at lower ranks, and then stop doing so at higher ranks, but I might be confusing it with the fruit stage clears.

Eureka! (I think)

If you don’t care about online voice chat & game audio, skip this long message.

So in the civilized gaming world, they can often use wireless headphones to hear game audio and do voice chat at the same time. Just sitting on the couch, with the game on a nice TV. But not in the Nintendo realm. The Switch doesn’t output bluetooth audio even, much less support voice chat in any games not named Fortnite.

Discord solves part of this for Switch users, some 3rd party bluetooth transmitters solve another part, but there’s no solution that gives you both audio sources and supports your voice input on a wireless headset.

Until now maybe? Am trying out the Homespot Pro. It’s a bluetooth transmitter that – crucially – can mix a couple audio sources.

I also ordered Avantree Aria Me ($150) headphones. For the Homespot Pro, your headphones have to support the aptX LL codec to keep the action and audio in sync.

My plan was not flawless. The Homespot Pro description says the headphone mic support “is still in beta, doesn’t work with all headphones (no details on this), and degrades audio quality.” Ok then.

I was also skeptical because I wasn’t seeing any reddit threads or articles about this combo working. I mean, it’s kinda obscure, but there is a small cottage industry in bluetooth audio transmitters for the switch and a decent amount of chatter about this issue/problem. It seems like I should have seen an article or three if this worked.

Got both boxes today. The Aria Me box and extras were especially nice. The Homespot Pro was fine and the instruction booklet was clear. Except… no mention at all for enabling the mic on your wireless headphones. It’s not one of the scenarios in the booklet.

I go back to their site online, and after the beta disclaimer thing, it tells me to hold a button in as I plug the Homespot. Everything hooks up ok, except these beta instructions tell me to push a button and an indicator will blink to show my headphone mic is working. No blinking. Ah well. I turn the Homepro built in mic off.

Game audio sounds good. I make a couple calls. Sure enough, I get audio from both the call and the game. My voice sound fine to the listener. Haven’t tried in on Discord yet, but I’m sure it will be the same.

I’ll have to play online for a few hours to put this through the paces. Using a low latency codec, and then supporting voice on top, maybe it show an ugly side with more time.

But right now, I’m chuffed. I can play online, chatting on Discord or a phone call, and hear the talk and game audio together in my wireless headphones. One of the Nintendo pain points has gone away.

It’s the wireless pendant to the usb mixer workaround discussed earlier. I prefer cables to having to deal with the randomness of Bluetooth personally.

I got second place! Still trying for first. Has anyone figured out what the different modes (Speed, Strength, Train) actually do???

Edit: found it!


Have you ever dreamed of building your own video games? The Game Builder Garage™ software is a great place to start! Anyone can learn the basics of game design and visual programming with step-by-step lessons created by the minds at Nintendo.

They recently confirmed that Labo was dead, I wonder if this came out of the same team.

This looks cute. Nothing revolutionary, since things like Scratch (and some other more directly similar things I can’t remember the names of) have existed for years, but it’s fairly new on a console, and aiming at the younger set is very cool.

Looks pretty cool for the younger ones. The thing Nintendo usually do well, is to simplify and make the instructions/lessons engaging and entertaining.