Grave Gamer News & Views — featured

Is the Nintendo Switch Launching Too Early?

Breaking Down the Info from the Hybrid Console’s Big Presser


When Nintendo finally revealed the Switch back in late October, I was left more excited about the company’s future in hardware than I have been in years. Granted, that initial trailer was the idealized vision of the console: it was direct in its messaging while shrewdly omitting any hype-strangling details like battery life, resolution, and, most importantly, price. What we were left with was the exciting prospect of console quality games (like the newest Zelda opus) on a handheld hybrid that features modular controllers; a machine that cobbles together what Nintendo is best at – forward thinking portability and first-party games so good they stand head and shoulders with the best this industry has to give.

On Thursday, Nintendo began filling in the blanks, setting about to answer (at least some) of the questions fans have had circling in their heads since the system’s unveiling. You can watch the entire conference here but, coming from someone that sat through a livestream of the proceeding – awaiting something, anything, that signaled Nintendo’s return to form – I’d recommend just reading up on the cliff notes.

Though the affair was poised in the same fashion as one of Sony’s knockout E3 conferences, Nintendo couldn’t land the same blows. I began the show with more enthusiasm than Nintendo let me leave with. After the abject failure of the Wii U (a console that only managed to push slightly north of 13 million units – the worst sales in Nintendo’s hardware history barring the Virtual Boy) the Switch needed to be touted as a reckoning. It was Nintendo’s chance to convince the fence-sitters to choose their side of the picket. We didn’t get that Thursday night.

Nintendo has always floundered in the stage show department, though. You’re asking the same company that thought this shit was a good idea to try and wow us in an hour and a half. Nintendo’s like that shy kid at the back of the class: he tests well and always turns in his homework, but the second you ask him to walk up to the board and present, he becomes a mumbling, incoherent mess. Of course they shit the bed. This is Nintendo we’re talking about. Credit to that first Switch video, though. I fell for it, too! I wrongly assumed Nintendo was trying to demonstrate they’ve turned a new leaf (no pun intended, Animal Crossing fans). At the presentation, however, it seems Nintendo isn’t just making its same old mistakes but brand new ones.

But I think it’s important to remember that a poor showcase isn’t enough reason to condemn the hardware itself. The tech, despite Nintendo’s aloof messaging, still looks cool. So let’s try to unpack what we learned at the showcase (and the info we gleaned in the days following) without having to suffer through awkward squid doctors and a translator whose probably looking for a new job right about now:


Resident Evil’s “Action Trilogy” Revisted

A Look Back at the Horror Franchise’s Gun-centric Releases

2016 marks Resident Evil’s 20th Anniversary and publisher Capcom has been celebrating all year long. The company announced a new sequel in Resident Evil VII which vibes as a huge course-correction for the franchise, seeing a return to the original game’s core tenants of environmental exploration, resource management, and hard horror. PS4 owners can download a playable glimpse of the future (which I’ve talked about repeatedly).

Capcom’s also released a new spin-off, Umbrella Corps, a game that proves sometimes a good idea on paper can lead to the virtual equivalent of a burning bag of shit on your doorstep. More successfully, they’ve been mining Resident Evil’s past, re-releasing oldies on current platforms. Resident Evil 0 saw a solid HD re-treatment in the vein of last year’s superb REmake Remaster. Beyond that, Capcom has also spent a string of summer month’s re-releasing uprezzed versions of Resident Evil’s “Action Trilogy” – a trifecta of RE4, 5, and 6.

Though these departures from the franchise’s perceived formula created a rift between old school fans and the new laser-pointed generation, one thing’s inarguable: the Action Trilogy helped push Resident Evil into the mainstream spotlight. Resident Evil 5, for instance, is not merely the top selling game in the series. It’s the best selling game in Capcom’s history. Not Mega Man. Not Street Fighter. Resident Evil 5. And taking second place silver? Resident Evil 6 – a game that some publications can’t write about without preceding it with “the divisive.”

Removed from their hype cycles and marketing blitzes, I re-played each game in the action arc as they’ve been released, beginning with 6 and ending on late August’s RE4. Below, I quickly break down what these game’s were when they launched and how they fare now in order to figure out if these titles really deserve the shit that’s been heaped on them since.

A Conversation About Dark Souls III Between a Veteran and a Newbie

Hi, I’m Kevin Pape and I returned Bloodborne within 24 hours of buying it. Before that, I dropped Demon’s Souls within an hour of its disc spinning in my drive. I couldn’t wrap my brain around these games. I’ve been a gamer since my hands were big enough to fit around a controller. I’ve seen challenge. I’ve defeated empires. I dethroned kings. I punched gods in the dick. But FromSoftware’s games were another beast altogether. They felt like someone shipped the game and forget to include every difficulty beneath “Make the Pain Fucking Stop.”

But with Dark Souls III something clicked. I didn’t just beat the game; I devoured it. I felt like I learned a new language and I’ve been preaching my new tongue to potential converts ever since.

In lieu of a deeper analysis or, uh, one of my famed “Month Later Reviews,” I decided to sit down with my gaming brother in arms, Brandon “The Ashen Bro” Forman – a veteran that faced the same “Why is this fucking game hurting me?” dilemma before becoming a conquering hero – and discuss FromSoftware’s latest and greatest abuse. 

15 Bullets & A Knife

Celebrating 20 Years of Resident Evil, I Look Back at the One That Started It All For Baby Kevin (Sorry, It Ain’t Part 1)

I couldn’t get past the first five minutes. A gorgeous girl in a crimson denim one-piece; a fire raging behind her, erupted from the gnarled remains of a tanker truck; a dank avenue littered with broken and abandoned cars; and half a dozen gore soaked zombies moaning into the...

Black Ops III Beta Impressions


The weekend’s coming to a close, and so too does Treyarch’s Black Ops III Beta. Since Tuesday night, those who pre-ordered the game on PlayStation 4 have been gunning each other down, sprinting along walls, and raining fury upon their enemies through a mix of familiar and new Killstreaks (sorry, how 2009 of me – scorestreaks).

I have been among those ranks of augmented soldiers both spitting...