Pixels & Ink: Episode #284 – Mom and Dad and Bayonetta

Pixels & Ink: Episode #284 - Mom and Dad and Bayonetta

This week, the Pixels and Ink Podcast team returns with Phil, Jordan, and Lisa, who take a look at the latest news from Hollywood and the gaming scene. In reviews, the team looks at Mom and Dad, Annihilation, Game NightBayonetta and Bayonetta 2 for the Nintendo Switch, and Owlboy.

Read morePixels & Ink: Episode #284 – Mom and Dad and Bayonetta

Payday 2 (Switch) Review: Almost There!

Payday 2 (Switch) Review: Almost There!

Payday 2 has always been a thrilling experience for me. There is something about placing myself in the shoes of a criminal with my friends that feels entirely surreal, in ways that are for the most part indescribably exciting. With this in mind, Payday 2 for Switch was one of my most hyped releases of 2018, and for the vast majority of its gameplay, it left me satisfied.

Payday 2 (Switch) Review 5
Payday 2 (Switch) – image for this review provided by Starbreeze.

For most, myself included, picking up Payday 2 on the Switch is a question of how the platform can handle it. To my surprise, it handled the original content from its PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 releases quite well. The PlayStation 4, and Xbox One missions were no slouch either, but I did notice that the Switch had a tougher time keeping a steady framerate on those occasions. Most notably, the game’s stealth tutorial gave me frames that were sometimes in the single digits. While this was solved with a simple reload of the mission, it left me worried that it could ruin the first time experience for many newcomers. Beyond that, however, I would say that for anyone that was worried about performance, Payday 2 on the Switch is no slouch.

New to the Switch is its use of HD rumble through the joy-cons. In my experience, HD rumble only added a small touch of realism to the overall experience, by offering distinct levels of vibrations depending on whether I was firing my gun, or lock picking a bank’s vault. While these additions bring me hope as to what can be done with the Switch’s HD rumble in the future, I just wish that developer OVERKILL implemented it better with Payday 2’s content to fully utilize the hardware.

Payday 2 (Switch) Review 2
Payday 2 (Switch) – image for this review provided by Starbreeze.

Speaking of content and additions, the Switch version is in my opinion, the ultimate way of playing Payday 2 in a console. Not only do players get all the previous console missions, but Payday 2 on the Switch also introduces one brand new playable character: a 22-year-old Japanese hacker named Joy. Though I appreciated the character design for Joy, and her LED mask that quickly became my favorite, I found that Joy’s voice acting left much to be desired by sounding both dull, and monotone. This isn’t to say that it is a bad addition, because it introduces more playable female characters to Payday 2, something that in my opinion has been clearly missing for ages, but I just wish that there was a bit more.

Payday 2 (Switch) Review 1
Payday 2 (Switch) – image for this review provided by Starbreeze.

The need for more polish remained a constant theme throughout my playthrough of Payday 2. While the game runs great, its graphics can be a bit outdated at times. A quick comparison to older console variants quickly revealed that despite having some excellent lighting, some textures appear to date all the way back to its original PlayStation 3 release. To further prove my point, I couldn’t test out the online, which is fine considering I was one of few reviewers in my region, but depending on the bots quickly proved just how outdated Payday’s 2 AI can be. From teammates that fail to cover you when you most need it, to cops that sometimes ignore for no discernable reason, Payday 2 certainly can at times feel like a game from 2013, rather than a brand new release. Sure, Payday 2 is a co-op focused game, but in my opinion, OVERKILL needs to release some serious updates in order to provide more responsive AI so that those of us that don’t have a constant WIFI connection can still enjoy the experience.

This isn’t to say that the entire game is broken because it really isn’t. If there is one thing that OVERKILL deserves applause for, it’s that they were able to beautifully maintain Payday 2’s insane thrill throughout the porting process. For Switch only owners, this means that you can expect the Switch’s most intensive, most adrenaline focused coop experience on the platform as of yet, and in my book that is a great achievement. But for those that have already played the games on other platforms, Payday 2’s transition to handhelds can be a mixed bag, providing tons of enjoyment, but only if you’re willing to overlook its clear downsides.

Payday 2 (Switch) Review
Payday 2 (Switch) – image for this review provided by Starbreeze.

At the end of the day, my hype for Payday 2 on the go was satisfied. I received an experience that not only takes the thrill that I initially poured hundreds of hours into with my friends on the PlayStation 3, but in some regards manages to improve it. Yet despite bringing all the content for its plethora of releases, Payday 2 simply needed a touch more polish to truly feel at home on the Switch. If OVERKILL continuously supports this version of Payday 2 like it supports its PC counterpart, I see a vivid future where rare random framerate issues, unresponsive AI, and blurry textures can truly be a long forgotten memory.

A retail version of the game reviewed was provided by the publisher. You can find additional information about CGMagazine’s ethics and review policies and procedures here.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out Pedro D’avila’s latest Mercenary Kings Review, and his findings on Verizon dropping Huawei sales!

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Most Anticipated Nintendo Switch Games 2018

Most Anticipated Nintendo Switch Games 2018

2017 was a banner year for Nintendo Switch software with the release of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2, as well as third-party games like FIFA 18, L.A Noire, Doom, Rocket League, and Skyrim. While 2018 may not have a big Zelda or Mario title announced as of yet, there are still a number of great games to look forward to in the coming year, many of which bring something new to the Switch.

Bayonetta 1-2

Most Anticipated Nintendo Switch Games 2018
Photo provided by Nintendo.

Release Date: February 16, 2019
Price: $79.99 CDN

It’s a crime how few people played Bayonetta 2  when it originally came out on Wii U. Thankfully, Nintendo is giving the game another chance with a re-release on Nintendo Switch. I was going to leave Bayonetta off this list because it’s technically not a new game, or even new to Nintendo platforms, but the fact that so many people missed it, combined with how superb of a game it is, more than earns it a place on this list. In Bayonetta 2 you control the games titular character, Bayonetta, a witch who must travel through heaven and hell to save her friend. Sounds pretty fun, right? Being able to kill hellspawn on the go is something that I’ve been yearning to do more of since finishing Doom and Bayonetta 2 should more than scratch that itch. The game is also, easily one of the best action games of the past decade and it received a 91% on game review aggregate site Metacritic. In addition, when you buy a physical copy of Bayonetta 2, you get a digital code of the original Bayonetta, which makes the whole package a hell of a deal.

Payday 2

Most Anticipated Nintendo Switch Games 2018 1
Photo provided by Nintendo.

Release Date: February 27, 2018
Price: $69.99 CDN

Nintendo has worked on making the Switch a robust platform with games for just about any and every type of gamer. While its first-year game catalog has been impressive, the system is noticeably lacking a mature, multiplayer shooter. Enter Payday 2. The multiplayer heist shooter originally came out in 2013 but it is still a game worth playing, especially on Nintendo Switch. In Payday 2, you and your crew of criminals break into banks and are tasked with getting out alive.  The possibility of getting a group of four Switch owners to plan a heist is an exciting prospect, and any reason to get back into the world of Payday 2 is a welcome one. What’s more is that while Payday 2 came out almost five years ago, it has since received over one-hundred updates and evolved heavily as a result. It was also recently announced that the Nintendo Switch version of the game will be the first to feature a new hacker character named Joy.

Kirby Star Allies

Most Anticipated Nintendo Switch Games 2018 2
Photo provided by Nintendo.

Release Date: March 18, 2018
Price: $79.99 CDN 

Kirby games tend to release at the end of a Nintendo consoles life cycle when all hope is gone and consumers are already looking forward to the next Nintendo console. That’s why it’s such a nice surprise to have Kirby Star Allies coming to Nintendo Switch while the console is still vibrant and exciting. The new game introduces a new mechanic that allows Kirby to turn certain enemies he encounters into friends who then fight alongside him. While we probably won’t get a deep introspective story focusing on the greyness of morality and the realization that enemies can, in fact, become friends, that’s okay. As long as I can walk side by side with my new friend Waddle Deem I’ll be more than happy. On top of the cute Kirby aesthetic and new mechanics, the game also features four-player co-op, something that the Switch could certainly use more of.

Nintendo Labo

Most Anticipated Nintendo Switch Games 2018 3
Photo provided by Nintendo.

Release Date: April 20, 2018
Price: $79.99 USD and $69.99 USD

While more of a construction kit than a game, Nintendo Labo has the potential to be something special for Nintendo. Giving kids (and adults) the ability to build their own gaming accessory is a genius move and something that could combine the appeal of Lego and other building toys with the joys of playing video games. While ultimately not as interesting for adults and core gamers, Labo is all about getting kids creating and interacting with their creations. What’s more is that at $70 USD for the Variety Kit and $80 USD for the Robot Kit, Labo costs about the same, if not slightly more than an average game. I can easily imagine parents choosing to buy Labo for their kids over a traditional video game, due to the building factor. This could also be the start of a new way of making gaming experiences for Nintendo and I’d be lying if I said that the prospect of building a robot suit and then using it to cause havoc in game, didn’t appeal to me.

Project Octopath Traveler

Most Anticipated Nintendo Switch Games 2018 4
Photo provided by Nintendo.

Release Date: 2018
Price: TBD

Revealed at the Nintendo Direct Mini back in January of 2017, Project Octopath Traveler stood out with its vibrant art direction that meshed traditional RPG characters with dreamlike backgrounds. The art direction alone is enough to warrant its inclusion on this list but Project Octopath Traveler also has an intricate class and battle system that gives you the choice between eight distinct and dysfunctional characters. What’s more is that the game is made by the team behind Bravely Default, one of the best RPG’s of the last few years.

Steep

Most Anticipated Nintendo Switch Games 2018 8
Photo provided by Ubisoft.

Release Date: 2018
Price: TBD

If Nintendo wants to make good on their promise of having a game for just about anyone then getting Steep to release on the Switch makes perfect sense. Steep is a winter sports extravaganza, set in an open world environment that allows you to take part in a number of extreme sports including, skiing, snowboarding, paragliding, windsurfing. The game utilizes full online functionality that allows you to race against other human players and even bump into them if you have that feature turned on. The issue is that while Steep was confirmed as a Switch title back at the initial reveal event in January of 2017, there has been little to no word on the game since around July of last year. Here’s hoping that Steep makes it down the hill and onto the Switch in 2018.

What are your most anticipated Switch games for 2018? And what do you hope gets announced for the console in the coming months? Let us know in the comments below!


Want to see more videos? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out the First 15: Monster Hunter World Beta: the Insatiable Nergigante, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT,  Star Wars Battlefront II, Sonic Forces + Episode Shadow, and  Super Mario Odyssey!

Don’t forget to tune in every Friday the Pixels & Ink Podcast to hear the latest news, previews, and in-depth game discussions!

Never miss when new CGM articles go out by following us on Twitter and Facebook!

CGMagazine is Canada’s premiere comics and gaming magazine. Subscribe today to get the best of CGM delivered right to your door! Never miss when a new issue goes live by subscribing to our newsletter! Signing up gives you exclusive entry into our contest pool. Sign up once, you’ll have a chance to win! Sign up today!

New Payday 2 Content Possibly Releasing

New Payday 2 Content Possibly Releasing

A picture of 505 Games’ E3 booth before their official reveal has surfaced on Twitter.

The banner features the likeness of Ron Perlman (of Sons of Anarchy and Hellboy fame) as the face of something called “Biker Packs.” These would appear to be additions the wildly popular Payday 2. As previously reported by PC Gamer, bikers have been teased as an addition to the game in prior trailers.

Little is known about the addition at this time, but stay tuned to find out more as the week goes on.

New Payday 2 DLC Trailer Stars Former Breaking Bad Villian

New Payday 2 DLC Trailer Stars Former Breaking Bad Villian

Overkill Software have just released a new live action trailer for a new batch of DLC for Payday 2.

The trailer shows the newest contact known as “The Dentist” who is played by Giancarlo Esposito. Breaking Bad fans will remember him as his role as the villain Gustavo Fring.

Also revealed during the trailer is that a future heist mission for The Dentist will be to break the original Hoxton out of jail. The original Hoxton was arrested sometime in between the first and second game. In Payday 2, he was replaced by Dallas’ younger brother. This led to fan backlash and to a petition to have him back in the second game.

The first mission for The Dentist will be released on June 17th and will have players rob “The Big Bank.”

80 percent of Payday 2 sales digital

80 percent of Payday 2 sales digital

Starbreeze Studios announced that their heist-themed game developed by Overkill Software has sold nearly 1.6 million copies, and about 1.26 million of them were sold digitally.

In August, Starbreeze said Payday 2 had made a profit six days ahead of its launch based on preorder sales alone. The retail version of the game sat at number eight on NPD’s top-ten sales chart for August.

Payday 2 is available for PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.

Sources: Eurogamer.net