Indie Direct Rating for March 17th 2020
It should not be a huge shock to Nintendo fans that the first part of 2020 has been super dry. On one hand I think the reason Animal Crossing was delayed into 2020 was simply because Nintendo saw that if it was not coming out on in March they probably would not have anything going into the first or second quarter of 2020.
I have looked at Nintendo’s current releases and for the most part there is not much left in IPs that they can simply make a new game for as they have blown most of their load in the first three years of the Switch.
The thing is that a lot of fans were and are still waiting to hear about the cool stuff they might have planned for 2020 but the largest issues currently plaguing the video game world is… unconfirmed release dates. Totally get that there is a virus going around that is causing havok on the gaming world. That many games will be pushed back to a later date. But what happens when an already barren launch cycle gets push back even more? Well its more of nothing of course.
So this is supposed to be the direct that lets people know about the “indie” games that can be an oasis between these droughts. But like everything else all of the games in the direct were basically committed to non-descriptive release dates.
The problem with non-descriptive release dates is that they mean nothing. There has been several indie games that were shown on Indie Directs that simply didn’t show up when they announced them. Just to name a few; Pocket Rumble and SamuriGunn 2.
So, while I would love to just take Nintendo’s word on the fact that these games are coming out eventually I really cannot trust anything until it happens. Especially in the middle of a global pandemic.
It really felt like they had a large time slot and not much content to show. Typically, I do like messages from game developers that I know and have played games from that I care a lot about. But for the most part most of the people in the presentation were new comers that we're talking about their game out of context to the game.
It probably didn’t help that they didn’t do any NLE or Non-linear-editing on the developers talking about their games in context to the games themselves rather have a bunch of talking heads that were before the games were shown… and then the narrators or MCs for the event would then repeat what the developers said. It was almost like going to college where it would be boring lecture -> doing hype stuff -> boring lecture.
The graphics and music were all pro quality, but they needed to find a better way of incorporating the developers with the games without taking away from the whole presentation.
Also there was points where the presination skipped in playback and covered up one of the release dates... I am pretty sure that was not intentional as the video looped back in part of the presination.
Blue Fire - Summer 2020 (aka we might push this back into fall or winter)
This game actually looked somewhat interesting to me as a 3D action game that might have RPG or Metroid elements in a game that primarily focuses on Sword combat. The video quality looked like it was running 1080p and 60p and the art style was not hampered by the Switch. All huge pluses, except that the release date is not confirmed.
Baldo - Sumer 2020 (aka no clue)
The are style of this game is a heavy animated cell shaded game that looks similar to Skyward Sword but with a more beefy machine like the Switch. It looks like a Zelda-like with a top down camera and RPG, action, and puzzle elements. I would need to play a demo before I could tell if I really would want to play this one.
I Am Dead - 2020 (aka no clue)
This is an interesting idea on a puzzle game and I love the flat unshaded polygons art style of the game. I just wished there was more info on how one would play this game.
B.Ark - Late 2020 (aka probably 2021)
This game looks okay… that is about all I can say.
Cyanide and Happiness - Freakpocalypse - Summer 2020 (no clue)
This game wasted a long time on a segment that was not humorous at all, or at least at my age the humor was lost on me. The game looked okay like an open world puzzle game but beyond that it was okay at best.
Summer in Mara - Spring 2020?
This actually looks like a fun Harvest Moon/Animal Crossing Clone. The art style is cheerful and the thing that are open to the player looked interesting but not overly compelling to me.
Quantum League - late 2020 (probably 2021)
I think this game would be fun until someone realizes they can simply spray bullets every round to cover the whole battle field from every angle.
The Last Campfire - Sumer 2020 -
This is about the only game that I really was interested in. Not only did it look sharp and didn’t have weird artifacts in the gameplay but it genuinely looks like a great puzzle game that has a deep emotional story to it.
PixelJunk Eden 2 -
Its a new PixelJunk game. I am sure for current fans this is everything they wanted.
Its a card game, I wished I could say it looked apealing to me but it kind of looks like every other card game on the market currently. I would have liked to see more.
Eldest Souls -
Another boss rush game, the problem I currently have with Boss rush games is that they don't always nail the formula to make the play feel like they are not hitting damage sponges. Which then it makes me question why I don't play an action adventure game that rewards the player more often?
Good Life -
SWERY quits being a monk to then sell the most click bait of all games and become rich.
I don’t get why there is a health system in this game as it seems that all you do is run around and take pictures of random stuff while riding a sheep.
Like this game looks okay at best... I really had expected much more out of SWERY but I am sure for parrents and people that love animals; this game is exactly what they would like to play.
Blair Witch -
That “Indie” film that broke the genre is now invading the video game world… again but this time on the Switch where the most scary things might be the lack of detail and the frame rate. It looks decent, and I think that it will fit just nicely with all the other survival games on the Switch.
Ghost of a Tail -
Decent looking game, but they didn’t show much footage of it running on Switch. They really didn't talk about it much so much since it was in the montoge.
A flying game, it has decent looking graphics, have no clue how it plays.
Sky Racket -
A fantastic Gimmick Shmup. Too bad they didn’t explain this game at all. Its from 2018 but I think it would be fun on Switch here is a video that better explains it: Here is a review of the game I found online
Superliminal switch -
It is a fun looking mind bending game, not much said about it.
Bird Watching game. That actually looks quite informational and well made for a game that is teaching people about birds. Talk about a Big Year <- Fantastic film btw.
Dicey Dungeons -
Dungeon game. I am sure it is fun for people that like dungeon games.
Bounty Battle -
A Smash-like game that has indie game characters, but it has Flinthook in it so I am gonna play it.
Moving Out -
An Overcook/Stretchers clone game.
Exit the Dungeon -
An Apple Arcade game that has some extras due to the Switch update but still overall is not an amazing experience but better than most mobile games.
It was a presentation...
There was technical issues going on...
It did happen today…
A single game was announced for today that had no exclusivity nor was an amazing game from a different platform.
Previous Indie directs there would be about 3-5 games that I would instantly purchase and then enjoy for the next 2-3 months. But I guess with how odd the release schedule has been with the Switch that Nintendo was not able to get better highlighted offerings for Switch owners at this point in time.
Also there was not much of a transition. Like most people would tell you in a certain industry the best way to hook consumers into consuming more is to tease them with info on the next event to happen. Not only was the advertising for this event not very clear, but they didn’t tease about the next direct at all. Which would be okay except for the current status of the Switch, being in a drought that is just as bad as the Wii U era except at least the Wii U had original titles being made for it instead of ports.
So today I did’t find myself extremely excited or appalled at the current presentation. Just in a state of meh as I probably could have just read recaps and been okay instead of watching a 15 minute video of things that have yet to be 100% confirmed on the dates...
...in the middle of a drought