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Train Controller for Switch to Release in Japan

Colin Edge



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When playing a simulation game, there’s nothing quite like a custom controller to enhance the experience. It’s all about the gear! Driving a car with an actual steering wheel in a racing game or using a joystick for an aircraft simulator makes you feel like you’re really controlling the vehicle.

Now train simulation players in Japan have a new piece of gear to look forward to. The controller is called the “Densha De Go!! Dedicated One Handle Controller For Nintendo Switch.” We can only hope the name is a bit more catchy in Japanese. Designed to accompany Densha de Go!! Hashirou Yamanote Sen, the One Handle Controller will create the authentic sensation of operating a high-speed train.

Densha De Go! Was originally an arcade game, released in 1996 by Taito. After Square Enix released the game in ‘97 on PlayStation 2, Densha De Go! continued to gain popularity and sales in arcades and home consoles alike. In 2020, it was rebranded as Densha De Go!! Hashirou Yamanote Sen, and ported to PS4 and Nintendo Switch. I’m glad they added the second exclamation point.

The game is all about getting the passengers to their stations safely, and on time! And to do the job well, a good driver will need the right tools.

The new controller contains actual gears connected to a locking shift lever with a thumb button to top it off. It’s designed to allow players to more smoothly maneuver the train. Players who know what they’re doing won’t need to constantly look down at the controller while switching gears. You can just “feel” it. 

It’s been fourteen years since the last dedicated Densha De Go! controller was released. While it specifically accompanies this game, the controller also has standard Nintendo Switch buttons, for menu navigation and play with other games. 

The Densha De Go!! Dedicated One Handle Controller For Nintendo Switch will be on sale for about $134 USD on August 8. It’s a Japan exclusive for now, but we’ll keep dreaming it makes its way over to the west at some point in the future. 

In the meantime, we can look forward to a video of someone using it for speed runs on Dark Souls. Because that will almost definitely happen.

I’m a writer and creative professional who loves pop culture, music, games, and anything else that allows people to express themselves and share their passion.

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Metroid, a Brief History

Colin Edge



A mysterious bounty hunter battling scores of fanged aliens in the cold, dark reaches of the galaxy. A nonlinear platformer with special tools and abilities to unlock new and thrilling spaces. A terrifying adventure with a looming sense of calamity. 

Metroid has pioneered the way for countless video games since its first installment, even lending its name to an entire subgenre. With Metroid Dread arriving soon, a celebration of this critically-acclaimed series is in order. 

For some, Metroid may have been a relatively obscure title that we only came to know because Samus was so freaking cool in Super Smash Brothers N64. But this is a franchise rich with history and quality.

The Original Trilogy

Metroid was born out of competition, among other things. Producer Gunpei Yokoi and his team in Nintendo’s R&D1 division set out to design a game that could rival the success of Mario and Zelda, created by Yokoi’s contemporary, Shigeru Miyamoto. 

But they intentionally made artistic choices that were opposite to Mario at every turn. Everything about the project was punk rock, from its nonlinear structure to its immersive, brooding atmosphere. But the biggest shock was the surprise ending that no one saw coming…

Metroid tells the story of Samus Aran, who travels to the planet Zebes to prevent space pirates from using aliens called Metroids to create biological weapons. Creators were famously influenced by Ridley Scott’s Alien film, and even named a dragon-like boss Ridley. At the end of the game, our hero takes off that iconic red robot suit to reveal… bum bum bum! She’s a woman. 

Dramatic surprise endings (as well as long intervals between releases) became a calling card for the series. Metroid II, released in ‘91 on the Yokoi-designed Game Boy, ended with Samus annihilating all Metroids on the planet SR388, but taking one baby Metroid at the very end.

While Metroid and Metroid II were well reviewed, the team at R&D1 hadn’t quite delivered a hit for Nintendo. Super Metroid finally delivered that homerun. Created for the Super Nintendo in 1994, Super Metroid blew away expectations. To this day, it’s regarded as one of the greatest games of all time. Then, Metroid disappeared.

Metroid Prime & Beyond

Reasons for Metroid’s vanishing are shrouded in theories and questions, but the franchise remained mostly absent for the better part of the ‘90s. Metroid skipped the N64 almost completely, with the exception of Samus’ (insanely cool) appearance in Super Smash Bros. Unsure how to move forward with the franchise, Nintendo took a chance on a team in Austin, Tx called Retro Studios to bring Metroid back. 

Metroid Prime was released on Nintendo’s new console, the GameCube, alongside a handheld title for the Game Boy Advance called Metroid Fusion. Prime (not to be confused with online shopping) brought Metroid into the age of 3D, and Nintendo insisted upon its description as a “first-person adventure”. 

Set between Metroid and Metroid II in the series timeline, Prime follows Samus as she travels to a new planet to once again handle those pesky space pirates, who are trying to use a substance called Phazon to their own dastardly ends. 

It was a masterpiece. Metroid Prime became an enormous success, selling well and winning game of the year awards from almost every publication. Retro was tasked with a trilogy right away. Metroid Prime 2: Echoes explored the series’ famed Dark Samus baddie, and MP3 brought Metroid to the Wii console. With Metroid Prime 4 in development, the Prime series hangs before us like a carrot on a stick.

While other iterations of the games have been released, including the multiplayer Metroid Prime Hunters and the unfortunately lackluster Metroid: Other M, Nintendo had a project in development for the Nintendo DS in 2006 called Metroid Dread. It was put on hold – until now.

Metroid Dread releases on the Switch October 8, and will be the first side-scrolling Metroid in almost two decades. The game will mark the end of the Metroid storyline, and honor the character of this masterful series. A series that has swum upstream from its inception to become an unstoppable force in the world of gaming.

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Top 10 Games for Nintendo Switch in 2021

Colin Edge



The Nintendo Switch is a sleek, versatile video game console. You can play loudly with your friends around a tv, or in quiet solitude on a bus commute. And with the Switch OLED model coming later this year, you have three different styles of the console to play your favorite games on: the Switch, Switch Lite, and OLED model. 

This well-rounded, easy-to-use system allows for a lot of variety in what kind of games you can play. If you’re new to the Switch, you might not know where to start! And if you’re a veteran Switch player, ranking your favorites is just so fun. Here’s a list of ten games for the Switch that score well with critics and players alike. While everyone’s top ten will naturally differ depending on preference, this list includes titles that most gamers would consider high quality.


1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The GOAT! Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (or BotW as it’s commonly called on blogs and reddit threads) came out alongside the original Nintendo Switch in 2017. It was unanimously hailed as the game of the year. Many, many people call it the best game ever made, ever.

It’s an open-world adventure that redefined what a Zelda game (or any game, for that matter) could be. Words to describe BotW are as follows: masterpiece, amazing, record-breaking, brilliant, stellar, fantastic, and BEST. While there’s plenty to do in line with classic Zelda games like defeating bosses and solving puzzles, this game is mostly celebrated for its ground-breaking open concept that gives you complete freedom to explore.

2. Super Mario: Odyssey

Super Mario: Odyssey is a sandbox-style Mario game that takes you to different worlds. Much like BotW, this game completely reimagines what a Mario game can be, with arguably more imagination and charm than any Mario game before it. It’s also colorful and beautifully simple, for younger or newer Switch players.

3. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

For 90s kids, Super Smash N64 was the sleepover game. The franchise-melting-pot fighting game came back and impressively met fans’ towering expectations. With faster gameplay, TONS more characters (over 70 in total), and diversely thrilling stages, Super Smash Ultimate is the ultimate multiplayer game for the Switch. Play with up to eight people – and good luck trying not to wake your neighbors.

4. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

For so many, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is associated with the 2020 pandemic quarantine. It was released as the quarantine began, and offered much needed distraction from an awfully dark time. Perhaps that’s part of the reason it holds a special place in our hearts. But it’s also a quality life-simulation game with creativity and charisma that’s sure to captivate players for many years to come.

5. Bayonetta 2

This Switch game is a “port” of its original release on the Wii U, meaning it has been essentially reformatted for a new or different console. Ports can be tricky, because sometimes the same game just doesn’t play as well on a different device. In the case of Bayonetta 2, it preserves the original quality, if not improving it. This title is renowned for its gorgeous art, combat mechanics, and dramatic characters.

6. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition

This game wins the award for longest title. While this RPG (role playing game) is beautifully designed, from art to gameplay quality of life, it is most beloved for its immersive story. Dragon Quest XI is a port of a Nintendo 3DS game, but the Switch version is stuffed with bonus content, hence the stuffed name to match. This fantastically epic hero’s journey is the perfect escape from real life. 

7. Hades

2020’s game of the year was the roguelike indie favorite, Hades. Roguelike means the gameplay is based on randomly generated algorithms. So, like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get. Some would argue that Hades perfected the roguelike genre with this game. Drawing on mythology, and featuring stunning art and music, the game is infectious and addictive. Heads up – you die over and over. A lot.

8. Celeste

You likely won’t find a game that both critics and fans agree upon so fully. This 2D platformer is delightfully challenging and subsequently rewarding. Madeline has to climb Mt. Celeste, and she needs your help. Meticulously crafted level design allows for clean, elegant gameplay. The allure of this game is how its creators put so much dimension of heart and story into a simple 2D platform.

9. Super Mario Maker 2

In this video game, you make video games. Mario Maker lets you design your own levels in a side scrolling Mario game – and where the first Maker game may have lacked, the sequel worked out the kinks, making for a smooth, endlessly enjoyable experience. While it’s debatably the best game of its kind anywhere, it’s certainly the best game builder on the Switch.

10. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

If you’ve never played Mario Kart in some form or fashion… how? The game is basically ubiquitous in our society, and for a good reason. It’s the go-to multiplayer racing, banana-chucking, shell-shooting game for players of all ages. To this day, it is still the Switch’s best-selling game, and it’s a staple in every Switch owner’s library.

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Nintendo President Asked Why “Switch Pro” Wasn’t Announced at E3

Colin Edge



Leading up to Nintendo’s E3 Direct, rumors about the “Switch Pro” had reached a fever pitch. According to a Bloomberg report, analyst predictions, and gazillions of blogs, the device was all-but-sure to be announced by summer and released by Christmas. E3 seemed like the perfect time and place for Nintendo to give the people what they want.

E3 came and went. No Switch Pro.

To their credit, Nintendo tried to tame the wildly high expectations of fans in a statement prior to the annual conference. They said the E3 Direct would focus on new games, mentioning nothing about consoles. But we still held out hope, and that hope was unfortunately dashed.

Now that we’ve all had the chance to properly mourn, and accepted the fact that we aren’t seeing a next-generation Switch anytime too soon, we’re at least entitled to wonder why the gaming giant didn’t make a Switch upgrade announcement.

This week, an investor asked the million-dollar question directly to Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa at the gaming company’s annual shareholder meeting. “It was widely reported that a new version of the Nintendo Switch would be announced this June at E3, but no new model was announced at the Nintendo Direct E3 2021,” the shareholder inquired. “What are your thoughts regarding the news of new models such as this?”

Furukawa replied with a diplomatic non-answer. “Our company uses Nintendo Direct to inform our customers about individual products at the appropriate time,” he replied, adding “we are constantly developing hardware, software, dedicated peripherals, etc., but we refrain from making comments on specific products still in development.”

The Nintendo President’s response was on-brand with the company’s communication regarding leaks and rumors. Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser (yes, that’s his real name) previously gave a similar answer to a similar question, saying “we are always looking at technology and how technology can enhance gameplay experiences.” 

While this evasive response from Nintendo is a bit disappointing, it isn’t altogether surprising. The Mario creators have always kept their cards quite close to their chest. Whether the device referred to as the “Switch Pro” truly isn’t ready yet, or Nintendo is milking the first generation console for all it’s worth, they’ll announce the new hardware when they’re ready. And we’ll enthusiastically celebrate the news.

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