Friday, 14 July 2017

Invitational to Nintendo HQ Community Event! 12/07/17

We were fortunate enough to be invited to attend a community event for the upcoming release of Splatoon at Nintendo's HQ in Windsor.

After a very early start for our train, we arrived at the red doors mid morning, excited for the day of gaming ahead of us.

Once we got in we marvelled at the pieces of Nintendo art and history on the walls and the large Piranha Plant in the corner. Around the room there were 13 Switches set up for us to play with. Nine were dedicated to Splatoon 2, eight for two teams of four and a ninth as a spectator and for setting the rules.

Two other Switches had a selection of recent releases from Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and ARMS to Indie hits like Graceful Explosion Machine and Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap. They also had Splatoon 2 so we got a chance to try the single player mode while teams fought it out on the other consoles.

The final two had the games that were demoed at E3. Sonic Forces, Mario x Rabbids and crucially, Super Mario Odyssey.

Super Mario Odyssey was the first game we got to play as Splatoon 2 already had some pretty enthusiastic players. We were so impressed with the new game, even with the demo time limit of ten minutes at a time. We even raced against time with Darren learning from my previous attempts and getting to fight one of the bosses in the game.

When we got a chance to play Splatoon 2 it went terribly at first. I was on a console where the player had a roller and motion controls turned off. I am terrible with a roller and Splatoon without motion controls is unthinkable. Our team lost quite rapidly.

Next time around I switched to the Splat Dualies and turned motion controls on. We still lost, but I did much better.

Later we got a chance to play the new Salmon Run mode. This was brilliant and really adds to the Splatoon experience. In this mode, four players have to defend against wave after wave of enemies. Occasionally large boss types will appear and once defeated they'll drop large orbs which have to be collected and delivered to a basket in order to pass a level.

The variety of enemies was very impressive, each requiring teamwork and changing strategies. We managed to beat four waves of enemies but I suspect it was probably set on a fairly easy difficulty.

A Splatoon 2 tournament was held and I was too busy playing the single player mode and other games to pay close attention to how the matches turned out, but I know South Wales did very well and despite us not joining in the tournament, we felt we could ride on their coattails for the pride of Wales and some reflected glory.

Sadly around half four we had to leave for our train, we would have happily stayed and played for a lot longer. We had a great time meeting people from groups from around the UK and playing some of the brilliant games coming out soon. Hopefully once I've got my own copy of Splatoon 2 I'll get enough practice so I'll do better at multiplayer. I might even try harder with the roller.

Photo credits to, and written by EuclidianBoxes (John)

Friday, 7 July 2017

NNW: Fists of Fury! (ARMS Regional Qualifier) 01/07/17

After trialling a couple of new venues this year, we've decided that Wheldon is best suited, at least for now :)

We got set up early as usual, and people trickled in gradually.

Freeplay was set up, which saw a bit of Othello, and later ARMS and 1,2 Switch!

Round 1 of SPGL Retro kicked off at 11.30, which saw the classic Mario Kart DS, in groups of three or four.

The host had to use Toad, Peach or Yoshi. (Most chose Toad) and of course all the download plays had to be shy guy. Standard karts and 2 random races were chosen.

Ultra Street Fighter II was the first main tournament.
We had 1 v 1 on single elimination, best of 3 matches.

Most of the group had never played Street Fighter before, and there were two veterans as well. Unfortunately the two veterans got put up against each other quite early on, so only one remained.
#JohnWinsEverything got lucky in the final because of an unfortunate incident, meaning that the other veteran got knocked out at the last stage.
The winner took £20 of eShop, and runner up, Nick, got £10 eShop credit and a Street Fighter Comic Book.

Round 2 of the league was Super Mario 64 DS, where 4 players had to play stages and get as many stars as possible. The first 3 courses were used: Castle Grounds, Sunshine Isles and Princess's Secret Slide. 

The ARMS Qualifier had 16 entrants, and was single elimination. Best of 3 matches, starting with Spring Stadium, and then loser picks. Any character was allowed.

Rules: Time 99, First to two wins, Items off, HP normal, Rush Gauge Normal.

Unfortunately the technology for streaming and recording wasn't up to it, but there were some pretty tense matches happening!

Jack took the victory (£20 eShop), Nick was 2nd (£10 eShop) and newcomer Steven took 3rd (mini slinky)

The winner of qualifier is invited to take part in a grand final at Insomnia 61 on Sunday 27th August! Good luck to Jack!

We did Round 3 of the league before the finals of ARMS, but we were overrunning, but this was a good thing, as we had more entrants than expected initially!

Round 3 was a Japanese game which had been donated by an older member, Ben. It was a Balloon Fight with Tingle. We only had the one copy of the game, and similar to Ice Climbers earlier in the year, you could keep going "infinitely" as it was determined by whether you died or not! One member just kept going, so this round took longer than we anticipated!

At the end of the league session there was a tie for the eShop credit between Jack and Drn, so we did a tiebreaker on Mario Kart DS. (Balloon Battle, Nintendo DS Stage)- Drn won the session!

Here were the final standings for the ARMS Qualifier: 

We may have finished an hour late, but everyone seemed to have fun! Sorry to those who had to leave earlier and miss the group photo though.

Welcome to the new faces too, hope you had as much fun as we did :)

Well done to all those who won prizes, and we're already hyped for the next event to mark the release of Splatoon 2! (Sunday 6th August, Wheldon Building, Bangor.)

Photo Credits to Chantelle :)