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Episode 165: News from the Nintendo Direct!

This week Stephen and Amanda have another cozy fireside chat as they talk about all of the news to come out of the CRAZY Feb. Nintendo Direct.

This podcast is now a joint co-sponsored effort with SuperParent.com!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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Engaged Family Gaming Holiday

The Holiday season is fast approaching! Games are coming out so fast that it can be very difficult to keep track. We take  time every year to list the very best family games of the year that came out on every console.

Take a look below for our list of the best video game gifts for Nintendo Switch owners!

(Full disclosure: These Amazon links are affiliate links. Purchases made using these links will help us earn revenue.)

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Nintendo Switch

Price: $56.99
Was: $59.99

Fans of our podcast will know that this is one of our most hyped games of the year. We haven’t been able to play this game a great deal so far, but everything that we have seen points to Ultimate being a great Smash experience. If your family has enjoyed Smash Bros on other platforms and owns a Switch, then this should be under your tree.

 

 

Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee

Nintendo Switch

The next Generation of Pokemon games won’t be out until next year. But, younger players and players who have come to the Pokemon fandom will have their own game this year. Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu! and Pokemon: Let’s Go Eevee! Are coming out just in time for the holidays. They are different versions of the same story, but they each feature a different partner Pokemon for your trainer. 

 

 

Dragon Ball  FighterZ

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

Dragon Ball FighterZ is one of the best fighting games and the best Dragon Ball game of the year. It is a three on three tag team brawl with a character roster than pulls from the deepest corners of Dragon Ball lore. It was developed by Arc System Works, a company known for high quality animation and flashy combat. Dragon Ball FighterZ is a beautiful game to watch thanks to its tag and assist system, but the real fun starts when you take the controls yourself. This is a very accessible fighting game that is great for tweens.

 

 

Kirby Star Allies

Nintendo Switch

Kirby games have always been great for kids, but Kirby Star Allies is just as great for families to play together. It features up to four player co-op so whole family can get in on the action (most of the time). My favorite part of Star Allies is the theme. It’s all about love, cooperation, and friendship. Your family is in for a lot of fun together if you pick this one up.

 

 

Nintendo LABO

Nintendo Switch

Who doesn’t want a cool activity to do with your family on a Holiday morning? The advantage to Nintendo LABO kits is that they are both a game AND a STEM construction activity. There are three kits available right now. The Variety Kit includes several smaller kits including a fishing rod, a piano, and a house. The Robot Kit includes a massive backpack powered device that lets you control a giant transforming robot. The Vehicle Kit includes materials for three steering devices; one for a car, one for a plane, and one for a submarine.

 

 

Mega Man Legacy Collection 1 and 2

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

Mega Man is a well loved character and Mega Man 1 through 10 are the reason why. These two collections include 10 devilishly challenging platformers that have inspired a generation of gamers. This is a must own for families that have an interest in gaming history.

 

 

Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 and 2

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

Mega Man X is one of the best platformers on the Super Nintendo and it spawned a series of sequels that kept ramping up the action. Capcom released two Mega Man X collections this year. The second collection falls flat, but collection 1 included Mega Man X through X4 and is a great value.

 

 

 

Mario Tennis Aces

Nintendo Switch

Mario Tennis was a huge disappointment on the Wii U. I was super nervous about whether or not Mario Tennis Aces on the Switch would be a repeat. Fortunately, it wasn’t. Aces is gorgeous, mechanically sound, and full of multiplayer fun. This one should definitely be on your radar if your family has (or will have) a Switch.

 

 

 

Sonic Mania Plus

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

Sonic Mania was a big deal when it came out initially. Many critics lauded it as the best Sonic the Hedgehog game in decades. (Some went so far as to say it was the best Sonic game of all time). Sonic Mania Plus is a re-release that also includes two new characters: Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel. They both move differently from Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles and have different powers.

 

 

Valkyria Chronicles 4

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Nintendo Switch

Valkyria Chronicles 4 is the spiritual successor to the popular PS3 title after two offshoot titles launched for the PS Vita. The game is a tactical strategy game set in an alternate, and more fantastical, version of Europe during the Second World War. The game unfolds in a series of journal entries placing the battles in context of a series of well told cut scenes and storyboards. Game play alternates between battles where you control each character in a unit as you advance and fight your way to an objective, and coordinating and upgrading your ever increasing squad in an offstage headquarters. This is a family friendly title that bridges the gap between the popular title XCOM (and XCOM 2) and [Mario and Rabbid’s Tactics battle?] and also has a playable demo with a save that can be rolled over to the full title. A strong title for strategy or warfare fans.

 

 

Mega Man 11

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

It’s been eight years since the release of a new official Mega Man game and we have been long overdue. Mega Man is one of the essential franchises that gave birth to the platforming genre, and this newcomer to the Mega Man family is a most welcome addition. It promises new mechanics and challenges that will push the series to new heights. If you are a fan of the series or a fan of retro platforming games, then Mega Man 11 is a no brainer.

 

 

Starlink: Battle for Atlas

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Nintendo Switch

Starlink: Battle for Atlas was my game of the show at E3 this year. I was stunned to see a toys to life game (not called Skylanders) in 2018 and I loved it.

This is releasing this holiday season on all three major consoles and on PC, but the best place to play Starlink is going to be on Switch where it will feature exclusive content based on the legendary Star Fox franchise.

 

 

Just Dance 2019

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

What is there to say about Just Dance that hasn’t been said before? This is becoming one of the most venerable franchises in gaming. Just Dance is released every year with new dance routines and new songs to very little coverage from gaming sites. Just Dance 2019 has a large audience and you’ll know if your family falls into it. Do you love music? Do you love dancing? If the answer to either of those questions is yes, then this should be on your radar.


What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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super Smash Bros Ultimate

E3 2018 is over and the EFG Staff has gone out of our way to share OUR thoughts. But, we wanted to reach out to some kids and see their thoughts!

 

Evan – 12 years old

I talked about this one on the podcast. I have already started playing Smash Bros to get better for the game before this one releases. I can’t wait. Its Smash Bros. That’s enough for me.

 

Jacob – 9 years old

SMASH!!!! I’m going to destroy with Toon Link again. It’s cool how everyone is in the game that has been the series. I don’t know what the big deal is with Ice Climbers though.

 

Brynne – 8 years old

It didn’t really look that fun. There are lots of characters, You just keep fighting against each other. It doesn’t look as fun as all the other games.

 

Asher – 7 years old (From The Family Gamers!)

I feel like it’s just a million different games mixed up to make one big game and it is really cool and it feels like there are so many characters that are similar it could get frustrating. But it’s cool.

 

Claire – 9 years old (From The Family Gamers!)

I like it because it has so many characters (the ones that were in the old one and the new ones that were on the Switch). And I want to get it.

 

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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Kids React – E3 2018: Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu! Trailer!

E3 2018 is over and the EFG Staff has gone out of our way to share OUR thoughts. But, we wanted to reach out to some kids and see their thoughts!

 

Evan – 12 years old

Pokemon is awesome. I think We’re going to get Pokemon Lets go Pikachu. A lot fo the things I have to say about this one I already said on the podcast, Integrating Pokemon go into the core RPG style sounds pretty cool.

 

Jacob – 9 years old

It’s kind of like Pokemon Go and a normal Pokemon game all in one. I’m sad that the Pokemon catching is different from a normal Pokemon game. The Pokeball Plus looks cool! I hope we get one!

 

Brynne – 8 Years old

I really, really, really, really, really, really, really like Pokemon. The Pokeball Plus is a real pokeball where you can put a Pokemon in it and take it with you!

 

Jeremiah – 9 years old

Boring.

 

Asher – 7 years old (From The Family Gamers!)

It feels like you walk into the Pokemon world and you go to the doctor and they give you your starting Pokemon. But it’s always Mew before you get there. It’s really cool. I like the Pokeball and that you get an actual ball and can have Mew.

 

Claire – 9 years old (From The Family Gamers!)

Can we get it?

 

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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Family Video Game Review – Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition

By: Rob Kalajian from A Pawn’s Perspective

Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition for the Switch isn’t a new title really. Hyrule Warriors has previously been released on both the Wii U and 3DS consoles.  Similar to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, it’s everything we’ve seen before with much more polish and a few new goodies tossed in to entice owners of the previous-gen systems to repurchase the game on their shiny new Switch.

Luckily for me, this is my first time playing the game, so I’m not rebuying anything!

Hyrule Warriors is a Musuo game, made popular by Koei Tecmo Games’ Dynasty Warriors series. The are games where players take control of a hero on a battlefield trying to turn the tide of a conflict and (usually) taking down the enemy commander. The player must wade through hordes of enemies trying to capture key points on the field, stop reinforcements from arriving, taking out enemy generals, and finally unlocking the path to their objective.

Between battles, players can upgrade their hero’s stats and weapons, pay to level up heroes, switch weapons, and create potions that will help them find better items and materials in their next battle.

As players progress through the game they’ll unlock more battles, characters, side-stories, and more, often playing the story from multiple vantage points as the hero, villains, or supporting characters. Just when the players think they’ve completed the game they’ll find out its just part of the story-arc with more and more levels being added. There’s tons of content to play through here, and that’s just the story mode.

There’s also Arcade Mode and Free Play mode that gives players a bit more flexibility with what battles they want to play through and which characters they’d like to focus on. In My Fairy mode, players can even care for fairies who can help them out in their battles!

Is it a kids’ game?

Hyrule Warriors is rated T for Teen for Fantasy Violence and Suggestive Themes. The game revolves around mowing down thousands upon thousands of baddies (and good guys if you’re playing as the baddies) using swords, staves, spells, clubs, crossbows, and yes, even a pistol.

The real issue here is the Suggestive Themes, which pretty revolve around one character. Cia, one of the main villains of the game. She’s a highly sexualized sorceress with a giant bust, plunging (like all the way down) neckline, one completely exposed leg complete with garter, and high heels. Almost every shot of her in any cutscene accents these features, often lingering on them in close-ups before panning away to where the action really should be taking place.

There’s also Lana, another new hero character. While not as overtly sexual she’s still a bit different from the overall Zelda designs we’ve seen in the past with a large chest, exposed skin, and a stance that, while more innocent that Cia’s, is still more suggestive than it should be.

Can kids play it?

Yeah, kids can play it. The game is mostly button mashing, though some basic reading skills are needed so players know where to go, what allies are in trouble, and if win/defeat conditions have changed. The story isn’t very in depth, so players don’t miss out much if they can’t follow along.

Conclusion

Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition is an excellent game providing hours of hack and slash entertainment with a huge and diverse cast of characters for the Zelda franchise. Unfortunately, a bit of that is spoiled by Team Ninja’s “contributions” the game with the additions of Cia and Lana.

Still, if you’re a fan of Musuo games or Zelda, you’re going to have a great time with this title. Just know what you’re getting into before you subject younger eyes to the amount of flesh on display by the evil, crazy-lady.


Rob runs A Pawn’s Perspective and he has been writing about board games for over a decade. His website, A Pawn’s Perspective, is a great place to find news about board games! Check it out!
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super Smash Bros Ultimate

Nintendo announced a new Super Smash Brothers game a few months ago, but they didn’t reveal many details. That’s no longer an issue thanks to a 25-minute presentation that was a part of the Nintendo E3 2018 Direct. video. The new Smash Bros. game is called Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and will be released on December 7th, 2018.

The Full Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Reveal Video

The Features

Everyone is Here!

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will include every character that has ever been a part of a Smash Bros game. That will even include guest characters like Solid Snake that fans thought were lost to time. I know that my oldest son loves to play as Ryu and Cloud from Smash Bros. Wii U and I had told him not to get his hopes up. I felt the hype explosion from our house all the way in LA.

New Fighters: Inkings and Ridley

The past isn’t the only thing being celebrated. Nintendo is also including two new characters. First, they announced the inklings from Splatoon. This is a relatively complex character that does more damage when standing in ink that they have already laid down on the map. The second character is the long-requested Ridley from Metroid. Ridley is a weird dragon/dinosaur/space pirate (No. None of that is made up.)

Echo Fighters: Daisy and Dark Pit

There are some characters in Smash that are very similar. Rather than create (and balance) entire move-sets for similar characters, Nintendo has implemented what are called  Echo Fighters. They are characters that will have the same moves as another character on the roster, but those moves will behave differently. Two examples are Daisy (who is an echo fighter for Peach) and Dark Pit (an Echo fighter for Pit).

Gamecube Controllers

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will be compatible with Gamecube controllers. It will use the same adaptors that were used for Super Smash Bros Wii U as well. This will be a big hit with Super Smash Bros. Melee enthusiasts.

Dozens of Character Changes

They made dozens of character changes to help balance characters and make them more interesting. Gamespot did a great roundup of the changes and listed them here.

Pre-Orders Are Available!


The Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Roster

1. Mario

2. Donkey Kong

3 Link

4. Samus

5. Yoshi

6. Kirby

7. Fox

8. Pikachu

9. Luigi

10. Ness

11. Captain Falcon

12. Jigglypuff

13. Peach

13ε. Daisy

14. Bowser

15. Ice Climbers

16. Sheik

17. Zelda

18. Dr. Mario

19. Pichu

20. Falco

21. Marth

21ε. Lucina

22. Young Link

23. Ganondorf

24. Mewtwo

25. Roy

26. Mr. Game & Watch

27. Meta Knight

28. Pit

28ε. Dark Pit

29. Zero Suit Samus

30. Wario

31. Snake

32. Ike

33. Squirtle (Pokémon Trainer)

34. Ivysaur (Pokémon Trainer)

35. Charizard (Pokémon Trainer)

36. Diddy Kong

37. Lucas

38. Sonic

39. King Dedede

40. Olimar

41. Lucario

42. R.O.B.

43. Toon Lnk

44. Wolf

45. Villager

46. Mega Man

47. Wii Fit Trainer

48. Rosalina and Luma

49. Little Mac

50. Greninja

51. Mii Fighter – Brawler

52. Mii Fighter – Swordfighter

53. Mii Fighter – Gunner

54. Palutena

55. Pac-Man

56. Robin

57. Shulk

58. Bowser Jr.

59. Duck Hunt

60. Ryu

61. Cloud

62. Corrin

63. Bayonetta

64. Inkling

65. Ridley

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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E3 2018 Nintendo Direct

Nintendo posted their E3 2018 Nintendo Direct on Tuesday June 12 at 9pm EST.

Mario Vs Rabbids Donkey Kong Adventure 

Deamon X Machina 
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Expansion 
Pokemon Let’s Go + Mew in Pokeball Plus 
Super Mario Party (Muliple Switches Demo) 
Fire Emblem Three Houses (Switch)
Fortnite 
Overcooked 2 
Killer Queen Black 
Hollow Knight 
Octopath Traveler 
Starlink 
Arena of valor 
Mine craft
Sushi Striker
Mario vs Rabbids Battle: Donkey Kong Country 
Pixark 
Just Dance 2019 
Dragon Ball Fighter Z
Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
Crash Bandicoot: N-sane Trilogy
Carcassonne
Fifa 18 and 19
Ark: Survival Evolved
Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut
Paladins: Champions of the Realm
Fallout Shelter 
Dark Souls Remastered
SNK Heroines
Monster Hunter Generations: Ultimate
Wolfenstein The New Colossus
The World Ends With You: Final Remix 
Megaman 11
Mario Tennis Aces 

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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Engaged Family Gaming podcast image

Hello and Welcome to Engage!: A Family Gaming Podcast! This is episode 131. This week we are talking video games! First, our Crew talks about the newly announced Nintendo Switch Online Service. Then, after the break, Trevor Stricker from Mightier.

Stephen Duetzmann @EFGaming

Co-Host:

Jonathan Tomlinson

Guest:

Trevor Stricker, Mightier

Around the Horn

Wizard of Legend

Destiny Warmind

 

Topic

Nintendo Switch Online

Interview with Trevor about Mightier, a service that uses video games to help treat children with mental health problems!

 

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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Nintendo (Finally) Announced the Details of Their Online Service

Nintendo has finally announced some of the details for their upcoming premium online service called Nintendo Switch Online. We still don’t have a release date, but take a look below to see the details they DID announce.

Features

Online Play

“Battle it out or cooperate with players around the world in compatible games like Splatoon™ 2, ARMS™, Mario Kart™ 8 Deluxe, Mario Tennis™ Aces, and Sushi Striker™: The Way of Sushido.”

Online play has never been a strong suit for Nintendo. They have focused on other things while the world has evolved online. I’m sure they would have ignored online entirely with the Switch if they could have. But, we just don’t live in a world where that is possible.

The new online service will allow online multiplayer for games on the Nintendo Switch. This is required for anyone who wants to play games like Splatoon 2, Arms, or Mario Tennis Aces online.

Nintendo Entertainment System – Nintendo Switch Online

“Enjoy 20 NES games with added online play for the first time ever, and more games added regularly.”

I’ve been predicting a Netflix style subscription service would be coming from Nintendo for years, but had given up hope. They came through big time in the end. The Nintendo Switch Online Service will include unlimited access to a lit of 20 classic NES games.

Even better? These NES games are being enhanced to include online play. You’ll be able to play competitively or cooperatively depending on the game. You’ll even be able to spectate your friends and virtually pass the controller amongst yourselves while playing.

Save Data Cloud Backup

“Save your data online for easy access. Details about this feature will be available before the paid service launches in September.”

This might be the most important part of the new online service. In today’s world, your save data is locked on your Switch with no way of getting it off. This means that if your Switch is broken, lost, or stolen your save files go with it. This can be devastating for fans that have logged hundreds of hours in their favorite Switch games.

The new online system will come with the ability to upload your save files to the cloud to retrieve later or to transfer to a different Switch. This is going to solve a lot of problems for Nintendo as Switches get older and start to fail.

An argument can be made that this should have been available for free since the Nintendo Switch is a handheld console. But, at least it will be available for a relatively low price.

Nintendo Switch Online app

“Enhance your online experience for compatible games with the smartphone app.”

Nintendo is doubling down on their iOS and Android apps. These apps were widely panned by the community when they were released, but have been receiving updates since launch. Here’s hoping that the updates continue now that the apps are part of a paid service.

Pricing Plans

Individual Membership

Individual accounts are limited to one membership per Nintendo Account holder.

1 Month – $3.99 USD

3 Months – $7.99 USD

12 Months – $19.99 USD

Family Membership

A Nintendo Account holder with a family membership may invite up to seven people to join a “family group.” Each member of the family group will have access to Nintendo Switch Online.

12 Months $34.99


What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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Engaged Family Gaming podcast image

Hello and Welcome to Engage!: A Family Gaming Podcast! This is episode 121. This week we are talking video games.

Host:

Stephen Duetzmann @EFGaming

Co-Host:

Jonathan Tomlinson

This week the EFG talks about the family friendly Nindies announced at GDC and answers some basic questions about Fortnite!


What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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Check out this episode!

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