Author - Allison Burr

Cat Cafe Manager Review – PC, Nintendo Switch

Cat Cafe Manager is an indie game that allows the player to be teleported to the dream job of managing a cat cafe. In the village of Caterwaul Way, the main character arrives to fix up a small cafe that was left to them by their grandmother. At the start of the game, it is your job to construct your cafe along with everything else that a cafe would need. True to its name, the game also allows you to adopt your first cat to occupy the cafe and welcome in guests.

The gameplay has a similar feel to many other diner dash types of games. As the player you must rotate from taking orders, preparing them, feeding cats, and even cleaning up spills. A fun aspect of the game that made it feel more customizable was that you are able to decide on your menu and change up the cafe’s design to match your own style. The roster of visitors that enter the cafe keeps the game feeling fresh, and the dialogue with certain guests also removes from the mobile game feel. Another aspect that keeps the game fresh is the myriad of cats to rescue, and secrets about the village’s past to discover.

One major downfall of the game that I experienced was how slow paced the start of the game felt. After arriving and building the structure of the game it takes a great deal of time setting up the initial cafe and working to receive enough in-game currency to really customize your experience. At the start of the game, you build the base of the cafe but rely on the game’s currency system to unlock menu items, buy ingredients, and also purchase lures to invite more cats to the cafe. During the first half hour of the game I found myself wanting to skip ahead to when I could have multiple menu items and add more cats and furniture to my cafe. By the time I had collected enough in-game currency to afford these items, I found myself already losing interest in investing additional time into customizing my cafe more. The balance between grinding for in game currency and spending time furthering your cafe and menu seem off.

Although there is a slow start, the game’s simplicity and overall charming style are a great combination. The color palette used along with the lofi beat soundtrack created a very relaxing setting. Even in-game angry customers that were unsatisfied with the cafe for one reason or another didn’t ruin the soft relaxed feeling that the game conveys. Cat Cafe Manager is an aesthetic cat cafe simulator for both an avid gamer and someone who is simply interested in a cat cafe that they can fill with as many cats as they can. Along with creating your perfect cafe, the game encourages players to share photos of their cafe and choices on their discord community. Overall the game offers endless options to run your very own cafe.

Cat Cafe Manager released on April 14th 2022 on Steam and Nintendo Switch.

Re:Turn 2 – Runaway Review

Re:Turn 2 – Runaway is a 2D side-scrolling puzzle-adventure horror game that is a direct sequel to October 2020’s Re:Turn – One Way Trip. Red Ego Games took the feedback received from the first game and used it to directly shape the sequel. They noted that in “rebuilding the game experience almost completely from the ground up with a new engine, revamped visuals and full voice acting has really allowed us to push ourselves as developers and to take Re:Turn 2 – Runaway in new directions with a real emphasis on horror and scares” said Red Ego Games Founder Omar Bik. This second installment uses voice acting and reworked animation to help focus in on the tension and draw the player into the horror of the story.

Re:Turn 2 – Runaway starts with a brief overview of the first game as told by the main character Saki. She along with four college friends and her fiancé decided to have one last camping trip before they all embarked on their separate adult lives. On their trip they find an abandoned train with many secrets, including a little girl who was responsible for all the odd goings. This girl kills Saki’s friends, traps Saki, and turns Saki’s fiance against her. At the end of the game the little girl is defeated, and Saki and her fiancé are trying to move on with their lives and leave the train. At the opening scene of Re:Turn 2 – Runaway it is revealed that Saki’s fiance has been corrupted and now stands against her along with the little girl they thought they defeated.

Saki is a very likable character who you want to succeed. She has lost her four friends and now must face her fiancé along with a revived unspeakable horror, but takes her role as the protagonist with courage and determination to escape. The voice actress behind Saki plays her role fantastically, her tone matches the moments in the game and it is easy to want to keep her safe. Saki’s actions in the game are limited to running, hiding, or confronting the evil that she faces. There is no health bar, and being attacked by the shadow monster antagonist is an instant kill. Luckily candles that act as save points are often found, so getting restarting from the last save point is not a huge issue as long as you remember to use them.

At the start of the game, I found myself thinking it would be hard to connect with a psychological horror game through 2D side-scrolling graphics but the combination of the voice acting and animated cut-scenes help to convey the situation that Saki finds herself in. I genuinely felt for her as she struggled to gain the courage to keep moving. The only visual setback was that the shift from 2D to animated cut-scenes were surprising and took away from the immersion. As a player I knew that any animated scene was a cut-scene and nothing that required player input would happen, that Saki was safe. A small touch that I enjoyed was the small Japanese folklore elements (Teru Teru Bozu, Kokeshi Dolls) that were throughout the environment. It gave the environment character and small items to look out for. These items helped set the scene as to who the antagonist was and where the game took place, without having to play the first game.

One of the main aspects of the game is puzzles that Saki must complete. This includes combining items she finds, and knowing when to use them at the right time. It was strange not being able to equip an item. I would have to keep opening the item menu, select to use an item, and then cancel the action to move a couple of feet to try again. Some of the required puzzle actions made sense, like using a hammer on the nailed door, while others seemed obscure like tossing Saki’s fiancé’s pendant into the well. In the end I would just try everything when I got stuck. Another issue that followed this was that once you got stuck, the game became a lot less scary and a lot less fun. After spending more than a couple of minutes running back and forth in an area searching to figure out what triggered the next part of the game, all of the suspense and fear that had been building up had dissipated.

Developers recommend you start with the first game, but it is easy to pick up without having all of the small story details from the first game. Overall Re:Turn 2 – Runaway is an easy game to get hooked on. The combination of great voice acting and setting create a game that I am eager to see through to the end, hoping that Saki can get to safety.

Re:Turn 2 – Runaway is out now on Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and Steam.

WRC 10 FIA World Rally Championship Game Review

WRC 10 FIA World Rally Championship, also known as WRC 10, is the newest installment of the series’s off-road racing simulation video game. In this edition WRC celebrates its 50th anniversary and the game comes packed with four new 2021 rallies and additional stages, teams, and multiple cars to mix things up. This installment is available in two editions, standard and deluxe. On top of the standard game, the deluxe edition offers an additional Arena Panzerplatte Stage and historical content that celebrates the real world event’s anniversary.

WRC 10 was originally released on September 5th, 2021 for the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One via the Epic Games Store. It has also since been released on the next generation of consoles, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S. It is likely to launch on the Nintendo Switch console six months later, which has become standard for most non-Nintendo branded games.

Compared to the previous edition, WRC 10 includes multiple updates such as a livery editor that allows you to create your own team and with custom colors and a revamped sound design which makes the game even more immersive. Adding to the competitive nature of the game, WRC 10 includes daily and weekly challenges along with specific clubs so that drivers can be matched against the community at their own level.

WRC 10, unlike it’s other rally game competitors, offers a very hands-on immersive game. While some rally games lend themself to a mario kart like playstyle with race after race, WRC’s career gameplay expands simply racing to that of controlling, maganging, and customizing your career path. The amount of effort the game puts into these choices is outstanding, even down to who you hire onto your team and how their personality either compliments or clashes with others on your team. WRC puts your rally career into your own hands and for serious fans of the sport, it is a refreshing way to immerse yourself further into the culture. For those looking for a simpler playstyle the game offers a quick play mode which allows you to quickly jump into the driver’s seat and take off. I enjoyed this mode over the career mode as the main objective is racing over managing and making career decisions.

WRC 10 keeps the game interesting by letting you customize your car specs and even how you play. The camera mode can be switched from first person in the driver’s seat, dash view perspective, car grill perspective, and the standard third person view. The stage design also adds to multiple hours of play by allowing you to customize weather, play on a variety of roads (dirt, asphalt, gravel) and even allow the stages to be played in reverse which mixes up the game even more.

The graphics of WRC 10 are clean and what you would expect from the newest installment, but I did notice that colors appear washed out at times with the default settings. The in-game weather conditions felt accurate, with the pouring rain effect being the most impressive. The cars looked realistic with detailing and the paint jobs were crisp as to be expected. The only thing that felt lacking was that the spectators/audience had a very low poly count which made them look 32-bit at times. While your eyes mainly stay on the road, it was a bit distracting seeing such poor audience graphics cheering me on.

One of the main issues I experienced in the game was an odd lag that occurred every so often mid turn. For a split second in turns, the game would lag and the graphics had to catch up. This issue was both distracting and frustrating as your position is crucial in the turns. This issue occurred while the game was run on a GTX 1080 Ti aio water-cooled graphics card, and hopefully this issue is something that is patched soon. I also noticed that at times the game’s physics also seemed very linear, and easy to predict – almost like the car was weightless while shifting, which also distracted from the overall immersion.

WRC 10 offers an immersive rally sport game, carrying with it the stamp of approval from some of the world’s top drivers. Compared to the previous edition (WRC 9), WRC 10 offers additional cars, new maps, and historic content (deluxe edition restricted) but if all you want to do is race – there might be a better game out there for you.

Anime Expo Lite 2021 Registration Opens

The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA) engages the global audience for Japanese pop culture as it announces the dates and format for Anime Expo Lite 2021. The two-day, livestream convention commences on Saturday, July 3rd and continues through July 4th.

Tickets to access this year’s Anime Expo Lite programming are $5 each, with all proceeds benefiting the Hate is a Virus commUNITY Action Fund. In addition to being able to enjoy all the convention events on 2 simultaneous Anime Expo Lite livestream channels, ticketholders will be able to access all convention programming on a VOD basis from July 5th -16th, 2021.

Registration information:

Anime Expo Lite 2021 marks the 30th Anniversary of the long-running annual convention. This year’s programming will feature exclusive streamed content from industry partners such as Bushiroad, Bandai Namco Arts, Crunchyroll, Right Stuf Anime, VIZ Media, Sekai Project, WayForward and more soon to be announced! Additional content, programming details and participating brands will be announced in the coming weeks.

Anime Expo Lite 2021 Programming will Include:

  • Panel discussions with industry leaders
  • Industry announcements
  • Live content
  • Exclusive content from Japan
  • Q&As

“2021 is an important year of transition, of possibilities, of community, and of awareness. Many fans ignited a love for Japanese pop culture during the past year, and millions more deepened these long-held passions even more,” says Ray Chiang, CEO of The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation. “As we mark Anime Expo’s 30th Anniversary this year, we recognize an important opportunity to acknowledge the tremendous social and cultural awakenings that are happening across the country and impacting AAPI communities. As we prepare to engage a global audience with the most extensive roster of online programming we have ever presented, we are honored to also stand with the Hate Is A Virus organization and support the work of the commUNITY Action Fund.”

“Hate Is A Virus began as a grassroots movement in March 2020 when we started to witness a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes,” says Tammy Cho, Co-Founder of Hate Is A Virus. “Remaining silent is not an option. We are working to amplify, educate, and activate AAPI to stand for justice and equality in solidarity with other communities, and are excited to partner with Anime Expo to continue this mission.”

“Hate Is A Virus programs include mental health support and developing effective, community-based solutions for safety, representation, solidarity-building, and much more,” adds Michelle K. Hanabusa, Co-Founder of Hate Is A Virus. “We do this by mobilizing AAPI to participate in local and national campaigns, creating safe spaces for dialogue and education, and providing actionable steps and funding in partnership with trusted community leaders and organizations.”

For more information on Hate Is A Virus, please visit: https://hateisavirus.org/

Anime Expo is biggest North American fan celebration for Asian and Japanese pop culture including anime, TV & film, fashion, video games, manga, dance, live concerts, collectibles, and exclusive convention merchandise, presented as an unforgettable experience for fans of all ages. For more information regarding Anime Expo please visit www.anime-expo.org.

Before Your Eyes Game Review (PC/Steam)

Before Your Eyes is an indie game that first started out as a kickstarter funded game titled “Close Your”. This game ended up raising 179% of its initial fund goal, and although it was originally set for release in 2017 it will finally be available on Steam on April 8th, 2021. What sets this game apart from a multitude of other indie games on Steam is that the actions in the game are controlled with the blink of your eye via webcam tracking. In a press release developers GoodbyeWorld Games stated that, “Each blink will help the players interact with the world or make the memory fade and disappear like a dream… Players move organically through the story and experience its emotional peaks and valleys in the most natural way, until they reach the end of their journey and realize the ultimate truth”. Since hitting its initial funding goal, GoodbyeWorld Games partnered with RYOT, Verizon Media’s Emmy Award®-winning content studio and innovation lab, to help bring their idea to life. Just as promised Before Your Eyes really makes you cherish every blink, because just as the trailer teases, “no matter how much you like it- you’re not going to be able to stay”.

The game’s premise places you as a soul floating in an ocean that was lucky enough to be scooped out by the ferryman for him to take you to your judgement. As you are whisked away to the afterlife the kind ferryman allows you to take one last trip down memory lane, literally. Unlike other games though, this game is controlled by your eyes via webcam with support from your mouse. As the games main gimmick, if you do not have a webcam it is playable with just a mouse, but where is the fun without the stress of trying to hold out on blinking for as long as possible. Another added feature of the game that I was glad to see implemented is that the game will take into account if you are wearing glasses and adjust the sensitivity. The game lets you adjust the sensitivity at any time, and even with an older webcam was highly accurate in tracking blinking. The main controls are that the player uses the mouse to look around, and blinks to interact with objects or skip time. Separating the characters eye direction from the eye motion tracking prevents the game from getting too chaotic and helps reduce the likelihood of motion sickness. A more subtle feature of the game is that it allows you to replay sections without having to start over entirely. This is helpful for those moments you can’t keep yourself from blinking, or for any in game achievements you wanted to try and pick up.

Although it is a shorter indie game, I would recommend anyone who is interested in a new play experience. At first I approached it as a challenge to not miss a moment, and was both sad and laughing at myself when my eyes watered and I just had to blink, not knowing what I would miss out. This game is best played at your own pace to interact and develop the story. It would be too easy to speed blink your way through it, but that is not how it is meant to be enjoyed. Before Your Eyes reminds us all to take a moment, call someone you love, or start that adventure you’ve always wanted; because just like you can’t stop blinking, you can’t stop time from moving.

Before Your Eyes comes out on April 8th and is now available to wishlist on Steam.

WRC 9 Nintendo Switch Review

WRC 9 FIA World Rally Championship, also known as WRC 9, is an off-road simulated racing video game. The game has been endorsed by some of the world’s top drivers as being the most in-depth rally game on the market. This installation includes three new rally locations (Kenya, Japan, and New Zealand) along with 15 classic “landmark vehicles” from WCR history to choose from and over 100 special stages to be tackled. In March of 2019, WCR 9 became the official game of the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship and included it’s 14 locations, although the COVID-19 pandemic drastically altered the real life event causing cancelations, reschedules, and additional real life locations to be used.

The game was originally released on September 3rd, 2020 for the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One via the Epic Games Store. It has also since been released on the next generation of consoles, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S. The Nintendo Switch version, like most non-Nintendo branded games, was released a little over six months after its console and pc siblings.

WCR 9 FIA for the Nintendo Switch has a $49.99 price tag for the standard edition and the Nintendo E-Shop also offers a bundled deluxe edition that includes a couple of DLC vehicles for $72.00. Not surprisingly most retailers are offering a $10 price cut for the PlayStation and Xbox editions as the game has been on the market for six months already. Thankfully the Switch offers the DLC from day one, unlike with other titles where Nintendo lagged behind several years when releasing DLC, which caused a lot of gamers to feel left out.

(image from ScreenRant.com)

After powering up the game you are immediately asked if your skills in racing/driving simulators, options are novice, intermediate, and expert. After choosing the novice option the game gave me a car and a short tutorial on which each button controlled, then I was out on the open road with my first time test. This test helps the game determine the best set up for you, and upon completion it will recommend use of ABS, TCS, and Starting Assist depending on how well the game believes you performed. Thankfully their recommendation is optional and you are allowed to choose the assists you personally believe you need. Additional gaming difficulty options include a scale of difficulty from 50 to 150, damage effects to the car (both visual and functionality) and a permacrash option that takes you out of the race if the damage to your car is too severe. I have to say the switch joy-con controllers feel out of place in a serious racing game such as WRC 9. I would recommend a pro controller if you have the option, the loud buzzing of the joy-con vibrations at every acceleration ended up making my left hand feel numb and a larger solid controller would be much more comfortable overall.

This first initial test then brings you to the rest of the game, which is incredibly detailed for what you would think in a racing game. The main menu allows for controlling multiple aspects of your racer including crew management (with mechanics and agents), research & development, test area, statistics, standings, event calendar and more. This is not your standard Mario Kart. The game even uses the in game currency to pay for event registration fees and other items, so you really have to budget and take it seriously.

(image from ScreenRant.com)

Overall the gameplay is what you would expect from a racing game, but sadly the Switch version once again fails in visual quality to its console siblings. The newer consoles bring a better experience, but that would be expected for next generation gaming. Although it isn’t as visually stunning, the Switch excels in its main gimmick of being portable. In handheld mode the graphics take a dive in addition to the game having considerably longer load times. Even with the downgrade in graphics, the game plays smoothly which is all you really need when deciding to play on the go, as long as you don’t mind the aesthetics.

In general the Switch version of WRC 9 brings all the fun of racing to a more portable experience. If graphic quality isn’t your main concern I would recommend picking it up, especially if you are feeling a need for speed. It seems unlikely that it will appeal to anyone who wants the highest visual quality experience, for that I would save your wallet for the next gen or pc versions.

Roccat Elo X Stereo Gaming Headset Review

The ROCCAT Elo X Stereo is the brand’s newest affordable over-the-ear headset marketed for gamers. The Elo X is the most affordable of the Elo line which includes the X, the Elo 7.1 USB, and finally the Elo 7.1 Air. Today we will be focusing on the X that weighs in at 314g, and has a cable length of 1.65m. The Elo X along with it’s more expensive siblings is marketed as being ultra-comfortable all purpose cross-platform stereo headsets.

The Elo X features a removable noise canceling mic if you would rather use the headset as a set of headphones for gaming or general music listening. In addition the headset comes wired with a 3.5mm jack and an additional PC splitter cable connection. This allows for cross-platform compatibility on the Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS4™, PS5™, Nintendo Switch™, PC, Mac, and Mobile. Unlike other gaming headsets, this allows the user to enjoy the stereo sound on any device, anywhere, instead of having to have multiple headsets for gaming or leisure. An added bonus is that the splitter cable for PC allows for a quick transition from PC gaming to console and back, as you can leave the splitter cable connected to your PC separately.

The headset itself includes a mute button and volume control on the back of the left ear cup, and is not RGB enabled. The lack of buttons to adjust and play with comes as a relief as sometimes headsets can get too complicated to mess with in the middle of a game with all the additional features they add. For added comfort ROCCAT uses a self-adjusting metal headband and rotating earcup hinges for added flexibility that create a weightless fit that feels unique to each user. This made the headset feel secure but not too tight, it would be easy to wear the Elo X for multiple hours without any discomfort or worry of it sliding around.

Another of the Elo X features is that it is ‘glasses friendly’, which uses superior memory foam ear cushioning featuring Turtle Beach’s proprietary ProSpecs™ Glasses Relief System. This system is made up of dual-foam ear cushions, with softer foam in the section that rests against your glasses to alleviate pressure. I was skeptical at first but I didn’t even notice any pressure when I put the headphones on for the first time while wearing my glasses. With the rise in blue light filtering glasses, more and more gamers are finding themselves with an added inconvenience of headphones not fitting correctly or pressing on their glasses frames, thankfully ROCCAT seems to have engineered a fix for this issue in a way that you happily won’t even notice.

In terms of performance the Elo X has precision-tuned 50mm neodymium drivers that offer crisp stereo sound. The low notes definitely made a rumble and higher audio came through cleanly and crisp as well. The rich bass sounds were impressive for such an affordable headset. The detachable noise canceling microphone includes TruSpeak™ technology to ensure that your voice sounds the same in the digital world as it does in the real world. After listening to my recorded voice, I was surprised to hear it was crackle and static free even when raising the volume of my tone and even lightly clapping my hand next to it. The microphone also is flexible which allows the user to bend and shape it so that it fits comfortably in front of your face.

Overall the Elo X is an affordable ($49.99) alternative to many higher end gaming headsets that are on the market. This headset offers high quality audio and comfort all while not breaking the bank. The materials it is made out of create a high end feel, all while staying lightweight and surprisingly comfortable. This sleek black headset is sure to look at home along your other gaming peripherals, both ROCCAT and other brands.

Corsair Katar Pro XT Gaming Mouse Review

Corsair has released their newest ultra-light FPS/MOBA gaming mouse into the market, the Katar Pro XT. This is their newest update to the original Katar model that was released by Corsair a little over 5 years ago, and most recently the Katar Pro Wireless mouse that was released in June of 2020. The mouse comes with the updated Corsair box and logo design, the logo on the mouse is discrete and stylish unlike some of its earlier predecessors. The mouse’s smooth matte texture is offset by a discrete triangle side pattern that allows for easy grip.

Weighing in at 73g (compared to the Wireless model at 96g), the Pro XT is extremely lightweight out of the box. This lightweight mouse provides agile control for FPS and MOBA gameplay, but is also a joy to use even just for day to day tasks. The compact symmetric shape is suitable for both claw and fingertip grip styles, but sadly there are only side buttons positioned on the left side of the mouse, making it only accessible for right handed users. Although the mouse is not particularly eye-catching as some of the other mice options on the market, it does come with an RGB scroll wheel that can be customised using the Corsair iCue software. This software enables vivid dynamic RGB lighting control that can be easily synced to other Cosair iCue compatible tech. The Katar Pro XT comes with a custom PixArt 12,400 DPI optical sensor that offers precision and high-accuracy tracking. This has been increased from the previous wireless model’s 10,000 DPI. This gives the mouse its incredibly smooth and quick movements which translates into faster FPS/MOBA gaming response. Combined with the lightweight specs, the mouse requires very little effort to move.

At around a $30 price point, this makes this mouse highly accessible. The Katar Pro XT comes ready to play and responds only moments after plugging it in. The RGB is automatically set up to a smooth rainbow transition that is appealing if you are not looking to download the additional software to customize it. The soft drag reducing paracord cable is a nice length for people with computers on the floor which allows for use even if your step up is not right next to your monitor or on your desk. I was pleasantly surprised with how smooth the cable moved out of the way when using the mouse, especially after having been accustomed to a wireless mouse. The large buttons make this mouse easy to handle and it is well sized – neither too big to hold nor too small to get a good grip on. The audible click when pressing either of the keys makes it easy to tell when it has fully engaged and each of the six buttons is fully programmable, allowing you to customize your mouse to fit your gaming needs. These built in durable Omron Switches are meant to last for years and are guaranteed for 50 million clicks.

Overall the Corsair Katar Pro XT offers an ultra lightweight aesthetically pleasing mouse. It is subtle but the RGB accent makes it stand out on your desk, and reminds anyone who sees it that this is not simply an upgraded office mouse. The softness of the paracord cable is an absolute treat, making this a wired mouse that I actually enjoy using. This mouse is the perfect combination of a lightweight gaming mouse that can also easily be used for working from home, especially in a time where a lot of computers now hold that dual purpose.

The Outer Worlds Review on the Nintendo Switch

The Outer Worlds is a first person action RPG developed by Obsidian Entertainment (of Fallout New Vegas fame) and published by Private Division. The game was originally released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, & Microsoft Windows back in October 2019, and eight months later Nintendo released it on the Switch. With the current cost of $60 on the Switch and the competitor’s price tag of $40, it is a hard decision to make on ff it is worth picking it up.

Starting out the game, it is immediately evident that the process of porting it to the Switch caused a loss in graphics quality and has a drastically lowered resolution compared to the other platform releases. As you start to explore the first planet the landscape is barren and consists of cut and paste textures such as stone and grass. What is even stranger is that the load screens take thirty seconds or more for each time you enter an environment or need to restart from a death. This makes the game even more of a chore if you were looking to play it in more challenging modes.

Entering the first firefight on the planet showcased just how odd the joycons feel in a first person shooter. The stick sensitivity was choppy and took a lot of trial and error to get them relatively smooth. It is clear that the Switch wasn’t built for first person shooters like the current gen Xbox and PlayStation controllers. What is also interesting about the control configuration is the reversed placement of the A and B buttons. In The Outer Worlds these buttons control the jump (A) and crouch (B) actions. For anyone used to the button mapping on the other consoles this will cause some confusion. It was a funny yet frustrating interaction with enemies while jumping up and down behind potential cover, instead of actually crouching behind it. It all depends on personal controller experience, but may take awhile to relearn and get over the frustration.

The low graphics quality coupled with the choppy nature of the thumb sticks quickly left me with a case of motion sickness. Unlike other platform ports of The Outer Worlds that allow you to adjust the field of view, the Switch sadly lacked these options. Instead, the game opts for an adjusting text size feature, clearly helpful when switching to handheld mode but not so helpful in making the game more playable. I was sad to see that after switching to handheld mode the text was already at max (about 7pt font). It would have been nicer to see more options to customize the view or even larger font sizes if that was the more important feature to have.

Within the control options the game allows you to choose a feature that is exclusive to the Switch, motion aiming. By opting to use motion aiming, the right joy con allows you to physically aim when the gun is aimed down the sights. After more sensitivity adjustments it seemed like we were ready for battle, but resulted in even worse motion sickness with the abrupt camera shaking and auto lock-on fighting for control. Even with auto lock-on removed the shaking and sudden movements remained. It seems like it would be a fun gimmick but the application of it became a feature to try out once and quickly move away from.

After eagerly switching to handheld mode, the graphics quality surprisingly took another drop. Characters no longer rendered faces had faces at a distance of twenty feet in game. This made the game even less interesting and hard to follow with the small text limitations that had already been maxed out. The battery life will vary on each console but was upsetting to see that it had dropped from 100% to 93% in just ten minutes. Overall the docked TV experience was the preferred way to play.

The switch version offers two features that are unique to it. The first is the portability, the main gimmick for any switch game, and the second is being able to play with the joy cons in each hand free style. This allows for a more relaxed gameplay feel. Exploring the planets never felt more laid back than doing it from the comfort of having your hands rest however far apart you wanted. Sadly both of these can be said for any game on the switch and is not a new innovation that The Outer Worlds is bringing to the table.

The lack of graphics, controller precision, and empty feeling story made this an easy game to put down and move on from. Overall I would suggest you wait this one out until the price drops. The game feels like it’s trying to force a square peg into a round hole. For the price of a brand new game I would recommend a title that was made and developed for the Switch, you’ll get better gameplay, much better graphics and save yourself the time and headache.

Anime Expo 2020 Cancelled Due to COVID-19

Another big Southern California convention has gone dark for this year as Anime Expo announces its cancellation. Are you a current badge holder or perhaps have a hotel reservation in place for the event? Here is what the official statement has to say:

Badge holders will have the option to receive a full refund or to have their badges rolled over to AX 2021. As this is a big undertaking, please give us time to get the process solidified and stay tuned for more information in the coming days. Exhibitors and artists can expect to receive information via email sometime next week.

Hotel room reservations booked through ConferenceDirect in the AX official hotel block will be automatically cancelled. If you booked a room outside the AX hotel block, please contact your hotel directly.

It remains our goal to provide fans and industry partners from around the world with a safe space to come together to celebrate and share our love of anime. We are committed to bringing you the best of the best next year as we return to Los Angeles for our 30th anniversary on July 2-5, 2021