New Nintendo Switch Model Boasts OLED Screen, LAN Port

Nintendo Switch OLEDNintendo has finally lifted the veil on an updated model of its popular Switch console after months of rumors.  This new Switch offers a brighter OLED screen, a wired LAN port on the system dock, a wider kickstand, enhanced audio, and 64 GB of internal storage.  Basically, it's a mid-cycle quality of life upgrade.  Don't expect anything new that would change the game (no pun intended); the new Switch still tops out at 1080p resolution when docked, so no 4K powerhouse here.  It'll cost $349.99 when it releases on October 8, 2021.  Here's Nintendo's announcement video featuring plenty of happy people playing Switch alone, together, and together when alone.  Here's some of the press release.

“The new Nintendo Switch (OLED model) is a great option for players who want to experience the new vibrant screen when playing in handheld and tabletop mode,” said Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser. “With the addition of this new model to the Nintendo Switch family of systems, people have an additional choice of a system that best fits the gaming experience they desire – whether it’s Nintendo Switch (OLED model), Nintendo Switch or Nintendo Switch Lite.”

Personally, I'm kind of glad the new Switch isn't drastically different.  If I were buying a Switch now for the first time, I'd choose this one, but as a satisfied current Switch owner, I don't see this new model doing anything new that I absolutely must have.  As for that rumored 4K model, I'm sure we'll see that when the time is right.  Releasing a 4K model may not make financial sense for Nintendo at this time, but not releasing it this year sure makes financial sense for me!  I'm happy to get some extra time with my Switch before a major upgrade is required and my launch model is put out to pasture at a farm upstate.


A Symphony Of Sonic

Sonic SymphonyThe video gaming community is celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the original Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Genesis this month, and Sega is celebrating too with a series of events, products, and new games all coming out this year.  Last week one of those events blew the doors off the Internet, so if you missed the Sonic Symphony, it's time to set aside two hours and watch some of Sonic's greatest musical hits performed by a symphony and fan-favorite rock bands such as Crush 40 that have contributed to the franchise's soundtracks over the years.  The expected games are all represented with Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and Sonic Adventure are all featured, but there are some deeper cuts such as a medley from the Game Gear titles that are largely overlooked now, there's a Sega Saturn-era piece that covers Sonic Jam of all things, and there's a surprising focus on the disastrous Sonic the Hedgehog from 2006 that is notorious for its unfinished state, but did feature great music.  Noticeably, the Sonic the Hedgehog 3 / Sonic & Knuckles medley did not include any selections from the music tracks composed by Michael Jackson and his team that are now allegedly the reason why the games have not been re-released on any platform since 2011.  I enjoyed the show and even if you're not familiar with everything in the concert, I bet you will too.


Power Button - Episode 331: Days Spent With Days Gone

Power ButtonBend Studio's Days Gone for the Sony PlayStation 4 landed with somewhat of a thud when it released two years ago, but multiple patches, being free for PlayStation 5 owners, and a recent PC port have revitalized the zombie apocolypse title, giving it a second wind and a new admiration that it didn't have before.  On this week's podcast, I explain to Blake Grundman why more people need to play this game by spoiling the hell out of it, so if you want to know the main story beats before deciding to invest thirty hours or more into the game, come on in and let me explain everything you need to know. Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes, Amazon Music Podcasts, and Google Podcasts, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way. 


Who Is Shantae?

Shantae

Plenty of us passed over WayForward's Shantae when it was released for the Game Boy Color back in 2002.  After all, it showed up very late in the GBC's lifespan and, if you didn't know any better, you might mistakenly peg it as a childrens' game about a cute little genie that uses the power of dance to fight her enemies including the dastardly pirate, Risky Boots.  Boy, did we miss out.  There's actually a lot of tricky platforming and sly innuendo that makes the game more appropriate for an older audience than a younger one.  As series co-creator Matt Bozon says, the games are "too sexy to be a kid's brand, and too girly for a male gamer brand."

It took a while, but that little game eventually spread its wings into a whole franchise of fantastic character platformers in the Metroid style of collecting new abilities and backtracking to see what has opened up in previous paths.  Today there are a bunch of Shantae games spanning a variety of platforms (not including the games that were cancelled before they could really get off the ground including pitches for Super NES and Game Boy Advance versions), and it can be difficult to keep them all straight.  WayForward has produced a short retrospective detailing all of Shantae's adventures in celebration of the entire series arriving on Nintendo Switch (including that first GBC game!) and, soon, other contemporary platforms.  Review your history lesson and then jump in with whichever adventure appeals to you the most.


Metroid Dread Revealed After Fifteen Years

Metroid DreadNintendo announced a new 2D platformer Metroid game earlier today and for those of us who have been around a while, the title of the game, Metroid Dread, set off a few bells.  Metroid Dread was first rumored back in 2005 when it supposedly appeared on a Nintendo release list just prior to E3.  I never saw that list posted from an official Nintendo source, so I was doubtful that it was truly a real project, but the game hung around in the mythos for a while as fans wondered what it could be.  Then Dread was supposedly cancelled, but popped up again in a cheeky reference in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption in 2007.  Now in 2021 we have Metroid Dread officially revealed.  Is this new Nintendo Switch game the same project that has been kicking around Nintendo's studios for the past decade and a half, or is it a new project that just inherited the notorious name?  Thankfully, Metroid director Yoshio Sakamoto appeared in a Nintendo Treehouse video to explain where Dread has been all of this time, why it was cancelled (twice!), and why it's been revived now.  At last, closure!  Sweet, sweet closure!


Power Button - Episode 330: Our VR Helmets Awaken For Star Wars Pinball VR

Power ButtonA long time ago when I lived in a different house far, far away I bought a PlayStation VR unit, but have not used it very often after the original wow factor wore off.  Zen Studios has encouraged me to dust it off thanks to the new Star Wars Pinball VR, and of course Blake Grundman is flying high with his various Oculus headsets to try it too.  We have an hour of discussion about the game, the new tables based on The Mandalorian and classic collectibles, the career mode, the decorative fan cave, and much more, plus Blake went the extra mile and broke free of VR to buy his own actual real Star Wars pinball table, so you know we have to talk about that.  Settle in for stories the Jedi won't tell you. Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes, Amazon Music Podcasts, and Google Podcasts, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way. 


Local Cat Enjoys Super Mario Play Tower

Cat MarioThe old saying goes: you can pick your cats, and you can pick your toys, but you can't pick your cat's toys.  Buy a cat a fancy new toy and she'll prefer to play with the cardboard box that it came in instead.  Set out a tower for a cat to climb, and they'll stare at it and then walk away unimpressed.  My wife had an old, scratched-up cat tree that has put in many years of service that, after all this time, the cats in our clowder have grown bored of playing in and sleeping on.  We had it set up in the living room where it was ignored with prejudice.  How do we make it more appealing?  My wife gave it a Super Mario makeover, covering the ratty carpet with new fabrics invoking the familiar Mushroom Kingdom bricks, pipes, and piranha plants.  Now we can't keep the cats off of it!  Check out this brief video of Moxxi playfully batting around a Starman.


Power Button - Episode 329: Ten Years Of Playing With 3D Power

Power ButtonHere on the Power Button podcast we pride ourselves on being topical and current, so this week's episode is a discussion celebrating the Nintendo 3DS's tenth anniversary which happened back in March.  Better late than never! Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes, Amazon Music Podcasts, and Google Podcasts, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way. 


Power Button - Episode 328: A Love Letter To The Delisted

Power ButtonSony made some waves in the gaming community recently when it was announced that they were closing the PSN stores for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, and PlayStation Vita.  There was such a loud uproar of resistance to this news that Sony doublebacked on the plan and will leave the PS3 and Vita stores open while the PSP is still closing down.  This led us to start talking about our favorite video games that have been delisted from online stores, never to be seen again.  This week's podcast is all about those lost games that we still love and may or may not have had a chance to buy such as The Simpsons arcade game, Castlevania The Adventure ReBirth, ModNation Racers, Noby Noby Boy, and many more.  Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes, Amazon Music Podcasts, and Google Podcasts, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way. 


Castlevania Resurrection For Sega Dreamcast Resurrected

Castlevania ResurrectionSega and Konami had trouble making a partnership involving the famed Castlevania franchise work.  Despite releasing Bloodlines for the Genesis in 1994, plans to produce Castlevania titles for the 32X and Dreamcast never did come to fruition as those hardware platforms went down in flames in the market.  One of the more intriguing cancelled games is Castlevania Resurrection for the Dreamcast which focused on the then-origin of the Belmont family line, Sonia Belmont from, 1997's Castlevania Legends, as she embarked on a 3D adventure that was to be a step up from what the 3D Castlevania titles on the Nintendo 64 offered.  While a few screenshots have made it out over the years since the game was canned in 2000, it's only now that a playable demo from E3 1999 has made it into eager fans' hands.  Playable in emulators and real Dreamcast hardware, it's supposedly 25% complete and includes four playable areas that were shown to the press behind closed doors.

Castlevania Ressurection, dans sa version prototypale de l’E3 99, comporte ainsi 4 stages (et un cinquième accessible via émulateur). En sachant que le titre, selon les rumeurs, n’est pas allé au-delà des 25 % de développement, cela laisse envisager qu’il subsiste peut-être une autre version mais si c’est le cas, elle ne doit pas être beaucoup plus avancée. Les intentions étaient là, la réalisation n’a rien de spectaculaire pour une Dreamcast mais il y a tout de même de jolis effets et certains décors sortent du lot. Le titre de Konami aurait pu être un très bon jeu mais il semblerait que des dissensions entre la maison-mère japonaise et la filiale américaine (tiens, ça me rappelle un autre éditeur) aient eu raison du projet. C’est dommage car le potentiel était là.

I've never felt satisfied playing a Castlevania game in 3D and I don't know if Resurrection would have changed my opinion, but it certainly looks sharper than the games that would come after it for the Sony PlayStation 2, Lament of Innocence and Curse of Darkness.  We'll never know if the finished game would have lived up to expectations, but at least now fans can have a taste of what was in in development.