David Armstrong

Nintendo Switch Online

Nintendo has had huge success with the launch of the Switch. Selling over 2.4 million consoles worldwide in its launch month and continuing strong sales in the months since. Nintendo seems to have hit the sweet spot for gamers – A home console you can take on the go. But with every Nintendo home console innovation comes some sort of setback for gamers. Whether it be the 1.4GB disc limitation of the GameCube, the SD graphics of the Wii or the poor market penetration of the WiiU (causing poor 3rd party support) Nintendo has managed to bring to market some amazing (yet under-powered) tech before anyone else, and they always seem to do it right (minus the Virtual Boy).

When Nintendo announced that the Switch will require a paid subscription to play games online starting sometime in 2018, gamers were shocked. It was assumed that Nintendo was doing it just to follow Microsoft and Sony and seemed like just a money grab. After all, Nintendo hasn’t had the greatest online support in the past. With the convoluted mess that was friend codes (which somehow made it back into the Switch) and poor friend management, I can’t even remember if I ever was able to send a message to anyone on my Wii U or 3DS. With no solid price announced for the service, there was lots of speculation online of how much it would cost, what would be included, and what Nintendo was even thinking.

Paying for online services is something console gamers are used to these days. When Sony put their hand in the honey pot with their PlaystationPlus service, gamers knew it was just for the money. Although at the time the PS4 wasn’t yet released it was a given that Sony would require it for online play on their latest console. Microsoft and Sony have been giving out free games every month as an added bonus to subscribing to their online services so it was quite a surprise that Nintendo joined in on that when they announced their online subscription details. Costing only $20USD per year, the price was well accepted by everyone. Nintendo couldn’t ask for too much because they don’t have gamers complete trust to supply a proper online experience, too little and it shows that Nintendo isn’t confident in their service. But if games like Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon 2 connect via Peer-to-Peer for online play, what are we actually paying for? It’s no secret that gamers will pay for peer-to-peer online play but Nintendo could have really started a new trend by having dedicated servers AND a cheap online subscription. Maybe if we’re lucky they’ll eventually implement that, but P2P is the cheap and easy way out these days.  But what about the “added value” that Nintendo surprised gamers with? With that $20 yearly subscription, you will get access to the “Classic Game Collection” which will allow subscribers to download and play classic Nintendo games on their console. This came as a big surprise because we’re used to Nintendo charging us $4.99 to download and play Super Mario Bros. What’s even better is that they’re adding online play for these classic games. So far the only games they’ve mentioned for this service is Super Mario Bros. 3, Balloon Fight and Dr. Mario. If they support this service fully and give gamers the games they want to play this might be worth the subscription price alone.

At least the price is appealing.

At least the price is appealing.

Nintendo seems to finally be fully supporting online play… And then they have to go and do something stupid. Making all matchmaking and game chat require a smartphone or tablet. The Switch doesn’t support headsets – wired or Bluetooth – which limits communication on the console, the Pro controller doesn’t have a headphone jack (but I’m sure Nintendo could patch it to support a USB-C to 3.5mm Headphone jack adapter) and Nintendo can be slow in listening to what their fans want. It’s no secret that the Switch OS is bare-bones. You can pretty much just see when a friend is online, purchase games and play games. Fair enough, I’m sure Netflix will come out for it soon. But in 2017 there is no excuse for online multiplayer and team chat to be so limited. Yes, everyone and their dog has a smartphone or tablet these days, but I personally don’t want to have to fumble with two devices just to be able to play a game online and talk to my friends at the same time. Even matchmaking is done through the mobile app. Nintendo, what were you thinking?

The official description specifies headsets and microphones

                                    The official description specifies headsets and microphones

Now we don’t know if this was just a way to get the console to market faster without having to bog down the Switch OS development team too much. But I find that doubtful. The PS4 and Xbox One both launched with limited OS’s but everything that we have come to expect from our consoles has been implemented. Nintendo wants to keep things family friendly we get it. It is just becoming too difficult to play with friends on Nintendo consoles that I can’t see it becoming a competitive online system. If a second device is required to use voice communication there are a dozen better options that are used regularly – Discord being the one most people mention.

We shouldn't need to carry around all this extra stuff just to play with friends online

We shouldn’t need to carry around all this extra stuff just to play with friends online

A mobile app to compare stats, get news on game updates and to plan play sessions with friends would be a welcome addition, but requiring a mobile app to set up multiplayer games and communicate with friends while playing a game on a separate device is just silly. Nintendo needs to realize that it’s not their responsibility to protect every child out there from the things they might hear or see online. It’s the responsibility of the parents to make sure their kids are safe online. By Nintendo trying to be Big Brother and control exactly how we interact with each other online, they’re severely limiting the appeal of their online service.

We can only hope that Nintendo is taking note of all the feedback they are receiving about their online setup and will eventually make the right changes in order to bring their system up to date with the other current gen consoles. Maybe when they release their next console they’ll have figured out how to listen to gamers.

Ubisoft is a name as common as Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft in any gamers home. They’ve been around as long as we can remember and never fail to bring excitement to E3 every year. This year has been no different with some great announcements of games we’ve wanted for a very long time, and some games that quite honestly we expected to see. Ubisoft’s 2.5 hour conference was filled with some good content but if you missed it we’ve gathered every trailer for you to watch here. The hype train has left the station!


Beyond Good & Evil 2 Cinematic Trailer (NSFW)

Far Cry 5 – Fathers Amazing Grace

Steep – Road to the Olympics (Expansion)

Starlink: Battle for Atlas

Just Dance 2018

Skull and Bones Cinematic Trailer


South Park: The Fractured But Whole: E3 2017 Official Trailer – Time to Take a Stand

South Park: Phone Destroyer

The Crew 2

Assassin’s Creed: Origins

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle



Rather unexpectedly, THQ Nordic and Gunfire Games announced the latest installment in the Darksiders series today.

Amidst rumors and a leaked listing on Amazon, THQ Nordic has officially confirmed the release of Darksiders III this upcoming year. Planned for Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC sometime in 2018. (Currently, there is no information on a Nintendo Switch release)

According to the Amazon listing, the game will feature the following:

  • Play as FURY – a mage who must rely on her whip and magic to restore the balance between good and evil on Earth!
  • Harness FURY’s magic to unleash her various forms – each granting her access to new weapons, moves and traversal abilities
  • Explore an open-ended, living, free-form game world in which FURY moves back and forth between environments to uncover secrets while advancing the story
  • Defeat the Seven Deadly Sins and their servants who range from mystical creatures to degenerated beings
  • Darksiders signature art style – expansive post-apocalyptic environments that take the player from the heights of heaven to the depths of hell, dilapidated by war and decay and overrun by nature

THQ Nordic followed the leak by revealing the game with a trailer and this statement from their official website detailing Darksiders III:

Return to an apocalyptic planet Earth in Darksiders III, a hack-n-slash action adventure where players take on the role of FURY in her quest to hunt down and dispose of the Seven Deadly Sins. The Charred Council calls upon Fury to battle from the heights of heaven down through the depths of hell in a quest to restore humanity and prove that she is the most powerful of the Horsemen. As a mage, FURY relies on her whip and magic to restore the balance between good and evil. The expansive, Darksiders III game world is presented as an open-ended, living, free-form planet Earth that is dilapidated by war and decay, and overrun by nature. FURY will move back and forth between environments to uncover secrets while advancing the Darksiders III story.

Check out the reveal trailer for Darksiders III below

For more information on Darksiders III check out the official website at darksiders.com

Ubisoft has given us a little glimpse into what the first map for of year two will be.

Operation Velvet Shel Coastline takes place on the rocky shores of Ibiza, Spain.

“The vivid new multiplayer map “Coastline” both available in PVP and PVE is designed to drive a surround flow of combat for a final rush at its core. Get ready for an effervescent night ambiance with neon lights of bars and open-air parties, which Ibiza is famous for. Daytime is a hazy afternoon on a hot summer day after a long night out.”

Check out the preview trailer below and let us know what you think of the map.

Rainbow Six: Siege is available for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.


The force is strong with Star Wars fans.

In an official announcement posted on starwars.com the title for Star Wars: Episode VIII has been revealed. THE LAST JEDI leaves us with even more questions about the eighth film in the Skywalker saga, but the good news is that all of our questions will be answered in less than a year.

Star Wars The Last Jedi

THE LAST JEDI is written and directed by Rian Johnson and produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman and executive produced by J.J. Abrams, Jason McGatlin, and Tom Karnowski.

The film is set toe be released on December 15, 2017

The Gears of War games are one of the most defining game series to grace the Xbox 360. Finally, gamers are getting a chance to continue the epic story on the Xbox One; Taking full advantage of Direct X12, Unreal Engine 4 and every bit of power The Coalition can squeeze out of Microsoft’s console, is the latest installment in the series worth a spot in your collection?

This is the first full game in the series that has not been developed by Epic Games (Gears of War Ultimate Edition was a remaster, remember?) but under the direction of Rod Fergusson, the original producer of the first in the series. The Coalition has been working with one of the original visionaries of the series which is very apparent. They have done an amazing job at bringing the game back to its roots, all while making it feel new and fresh.

The game takes place 25 years after Gears of War 3, the Locust and the Lambent have been wiped out due to the use of the Imulsion Countermeasure weapon, but the use of the weapon also knocked out the use of fossil fuels which has forced humanity to adapt to alternate ways of survival. This has also created many windstorms or “Windflares” that ravage the planet and make for some rather difficult situations but any good soldier will learn to adapt and take advantage of these situations. Weather patterns can change from light breezes to heavy wind storms that can affect combat. Cover can be destroyed and blown away. This can be used to clear out an area of enemies or it can backfire and actually hurt you or worse, incapacitate you or a teammate.

Gears of War 4 Drone Battle

Running at 30fps and 1080p for the single player campaign, it is exactly what you would expect from a Gears game. The same cover mechanics, weapon switching and reloading system are all there. These are staples of the series and you can rest easy knowing it hasn’t changed. Each area has various paths you can use to flank enemies, an abundant amount of cover to move around behind and although every combat situation is essentially the same, there is enough variation between areas that everything feels different and it never gets boring. Some cover is destructible which means you’re going to have to eventually move from your position to another, but it also means that combat will change every time you replay the campaign. It’s not all run and gun though. Some situations you’ll find yourself building base defenses and fighting off waves of enemies. This requires some quick planning because you only have a few minutes to get things ready before you’re in combat again.gears4_screenshot_squad_combat

Graphics are absolutely beautiful and audio is perfectly mixed. Everything is extremely detailed and there is nothing that seems out of place. Character models stick with the “oversized” body types of past games, but it seems to adjusted a bit to make characters look a little more realistic. As in previous games in the series, loading screens are “hidden” behind cut scenes. This allows for a seamless transition between fighting hordes of enemies and watching the story unfold. In fact, other than some of the longer scenes, I couldn’t even tell when there was an area loading. More games need to take note. If something this beautiful and detailed can load whole game segments during a 15-second transitional cut scene, there’s no reason why other games can’t do it.

The world is scattered with hidden collectibles that although don’t really give much background on what happened in the last 25 years, they do get you to explore the world and get some further insight on how things were.



The music fits perfectly with every situation. It adds to the tension of battle or emphasizes the importance of a conversation. Sound effects never seem out of place and if you have a good 5.1 audio set up (or are even playing with headphones on) you can really tell where something is coming from just from listening. There is a decent amount of story and character development that happens during combat situations or exploring levels, but you aren’t required to stand around a character while they talk, if you move too far away all dialogue switches to their comm system so you don’t miss a thing being said. When a windflare starts up you really feel like you’re in the middle of something dangerous. Screeching winds, flying debris, gunfire and explosions make for some really epic battles.


The Coalition has added a few new weapons and gameplay mechanics to battle that really add to the overall feel and flow of combat. Players can now pull an enemy from over cover and execute them with a combat knife. There’s something so satisfying about this that you’ll be positioning yourself just to perform the action over and over. New weapons include the Dropshot, which fires explosive drills, and the Buzzkill, which fires sawblades that ricochet around the battlefield. Other than that every weapon you know and love from the series is there at your disposal.

Couch co-op has made a return so you can invite a buddy over and work through the campaign together, or you can start an online co-op match if your friends live a little farther away. It’s nice that The Coalition has been able to keep this feature as it has been a major selling point for some gamers. What is even more impressive is that there is no visual impact on playing with two people on one console.

"Gears 4" Forge multiplayer map

As for multiplayer the game runs at 60fps and 1080p (Why they didn’t set the campaign to 60fps we don’t know) and there are the modes everyone expects, Versus, as well as the introduction of Horde 3.0. Versus Multiplayer is the classic matchmaking with skill ranks, which improves multiplayer games by matching up similarly skilled players together. This gives beginner players time to learn the ropes and not have to worry about being dominated by veteran players.  There are new game modes such as Dodgeball, Arms Race, and Escalation which provides different ways for players to play versus with a different set of rules for each mode. Horde 3.0 marks the return of the popular survival mode. Five players are put up against endless waves of enemies and introduce a new class- bases system that lets gamers choose from five different roles – Solder, Sniper, Scout, Heavy, and Engineer. This allows for a large range strategy and will require a lot of teamwork.

Horde 3.0 - Turret

With monthly content being released in the year following release (with the purchase of the season pass) there is more than enough to keep games coming back for more. Whether it be trying to find all the collectibles in the campaign with a friend or trying to reach the number one spot on the leader boards, there is something for everyone here.

The Coalition has done a great job with the series and has really shown what the Xbox One is capable of.

The Verdict

Gameplay: 9

Solid controls, classic gameplay mechanics with some great updates

Presentation: 10

Beautiful graphics and amazing audio mixing.

Value: 9

There’s a lot of content included in the base game, but to get the full content long term the season pass is required.

Overall Score

*Overall score is not an average.


Recently we got to check out X16, Xbox Canada’s Developers Conference hosted in Toronto, Ontario Canada. We got a chance to play some of the latest and greatest games Microsoft and it’s 3rd Party developers have to offer and in this article we will share with you our thoughts on what we got to play, and give you a preview of what’s to come in the next few months!

There was a large selection of games to play at X16. Many of which are currently out (Deus Ex, Quantum Break, Halo 5 etc) but we did get some hands on time with Dead Rising 4, Forza Horizon 3, Cuphead, Outlast 2, ReCore and Gears of War 4.

Forza Horizon 3

Forza Horizon 3 Jungle Trucks

Wow this game is beautiful! We got to play a short demo which consisted of 3 different cars and slightly different tracks. Starting off with mainly paved road driving which really felt like the Horizon 2 driving experience. Second section was all off road, driving felt VERY different but it worked perfectly,  and finally the 3rd section was the classic “Race this aircraft” with a mix of road and off road driving. The landscapes are amazing and very detailed! This game is going to be amazing! Check out our extended preview here!

Release Date: September 27, 2016
Retail Price: $59.99USD/$79.99CAD (Standard Edition)
Xbox Play Anywhere: Yes (Digital only)



There hasn’t been much promotion in regards to this game as others. We got to sit down and play for a bit and were completely blown away by it. It plays amazing. Controls are tight, graphics are beautiful, it’s fast paced but not overwhelming and there is a decent amount of strategy involved, but it’s not overly difficult. I can totally see how it has that MegaMan feel, but it also has some nice RPG elements and battle system feels similar to that of Boaderlands (damage markers). This  game has a lot of potential to be a great new IP. We’re super excited to play the full game at launch, be sure to check out our full review in September.

Release Date: September 13, 2016
Retail Price: $39.99USD/$49.99CAD
Xbox Play Anywhere: Yes (Digital Only)

Outlast II

Outlast II

Here’s this thing about Outlast II. I hate horror games. I played the first in the series when it originally launched and found myself changing my underwear on a regular basis, staying up all night and terrifying my neighbors with my blood curdling screams. If you played the first Outlast you’ll love this one. The story is a little more in depth than the first, but it’s just as scary! We played this game with headphones on in a dark corner of X16. I didn’t make it through the whole demo because I couldn’t stop screaming. This game is intense and hopefully I’ll have the courage to play it when it’s released!

Release Date: TBA
Retail Price: TBA
Xbox Play Anywhere: No

Dead Rising 4

Dead Rising 4

This game is as you would expect it to be. Loads of fun! They’ve done a lot of work on this one; making it easily accessible for people to pick up and play whenever they want. The game has the player going back to visit  Frank West as he returns to Willamette. The map isn’t any bigger than previous games, but they expanded it inward, meaning they opened up the interior of buildings. The game takes place during the holiday season (specifically around Black Friday) when there will be lots of people out to become infected.  Items will now be found in places you would expect them. The hardware store will have building equipment for example; wood, nail guns, shovels etc. Customization options are expanded and little things like costume changes are much faster. For example, walk up to a store window with a snowsuit there, break the glass, press B to change costume. Since there is no time limit on this one you can technically find everything in one go but then it might be more fun to unlock stuff playing the game through multiple times. But to each is own.

Release Date: December 6, 2016
Retail Price: TBA
Xbox Play Anywhere: No



Cuphead really stole the show for us. We didn’t know much about this game going in and weren’t sure what to expect. However, in the 10 minutes we got to play the game it won our hearts! Beautiful visuals, amazing music and solid game play are what makes this something you will definitely want to check out when it’s released. The game is already running at a smooth 60fps, but animations are at 25fps (It’s part of the game design!) A lot of work has gone into this game already and it is apparent that the small development team is pouring their hearts into this game. We haven’t played a game so accessible, yet difficult, in a very long time. Be sure to check out or full review when it’s released.

Release Date: TBA (2016)
Retail Price: $14.99-$19.99
Xbox Play Anywhere: Yes

Gears of War 4

Gears of War 4

Things have come quite a long way in the Gears of War series, and the 4th entry to the main timeline is really pushing the game in new directions. We got some hands-on time with a campaign level and it did not disappoint. Controls are tight, graphics are stellar, voice acting is what you would expect from the Gears of War games. I couldn’t tell you exactly what was happening story wise but I can say there are some great new enemies to cut down and a slew of new weapons at your disposal.

Release Date: October 11, 2016
Retail Price: $59.99USD/$79.99CAD (Standard Edition)
Xbox Play Anywhere: Yes



The newest game from Ubisoft has you taking to the mountain in a variety of different sporting equipment. Drop wherever you want and ride the slopes on your snowboard or ski’s, or if jumping is more your style you can glide through the air in a wing suit or para-glide to the base of the mountain. One really cool feature is the ability to change equipment whenever you want or even just remove it all together to trek through the deep snow to find that perfect place to launch your board! It’s been some time since we’ve had a winter sport game and Ubisoft seems to be taking it to the next level with Steep. We’re excited to take on the mountain when Steep releases.

Release Date: December 2, 2016
Retail Price: TBA
Xbox Play Anywhere: No


X16 was filled with so many great games and we are super excited to play them all when they are released. The next year is going to be a big one for gamers on Xbox and Windows 10. Be sure to keep an eye out for updates and reviews on these great upcoming games!


Sony has just announced a price increase for their PlayStationPlus membership. Originally priced at $49.99 for a one year membership, the price will be increasing to $59.99 in the United States and $69.99 in Canada.

An official statement on the PlayStation Blog states “The new pricing reflects the current market conditions while enabling us to continue providing exceptional value to our members.

This is the first time that there has been a price increase to the PS+ membership since it’s launch in 2010. Microsoft increased the price of XboxLive back in February in 6 countries (Austria, Hungary, Israel, South Africa, Sweden, and Turkey) to bring it in line with the $59.99USD price point.

With the Canadian dollar still trailing behind the US Dollar this is not a surprising change as new games have been priced in the $75-80 range for some time now. Still, this is the first time membership fees have increased for Canada in relation to the USD price point.

PlayStationPlus is required for online play on the PS4 console, but not on the PS3 or PSVita. In addition to online play, the membership provides free games each month for members to play while their subscription is active. Sony has sold around 40 million PS4 consoles and since PS+ is required for online play many gamers are not happy about the price increase.

The full price changes are:
12 Months – $59.99USD/$69.99CAD
3 Months –  $24.99USD/$29.99CAD
1 Month – $9.99USD/$11.99CAD

If current members do not wish to continue their subscription, they have until September 22, 2016 to disable auto renew on their account.

If the news the other day about the Batman: Return to Arkham delay has been keeping you down, you’ll be happy to know that 2K games has officially announced “BioShock: The Collection”.

Coming out for XboxOne, PS4 and PC on September 13, 2016, the collection will include remasters of BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinate as well as all previously released Single Player DLC and a special video series titled “Director’s Commentary: Imagining BioShock“.

Unfortunately no multiplayer will be included for BioShock 2 and according to the official 2K blog, “BioShock Infinite is not being remastered on PC because it already meets current-gen console standards and runs smoothly on high visual settings.

If you’ve missed out on playing any of these games in the past you won’t want to miss this one.

The BioShock collection will retail for $59.99USD.




The latest game remaster “Batman: Return to Arkham” has officially been delayed indefinitely. With an original release date of July 26, 2016. Steve Grayson, a WB Games representative stated on the official forums, “After reviewing the progress of the project, the team at WB Games has decided to delay the release of Batman: Return to Arkham to give the team at Virtuos Games additional time to deliver a polished Batman Arkham game experience.”

Gamers have been comparing the original Batman Arkham games to the most recent trailer for Return to Arkham and impressions have been mixed with some gamers feeling it looks more like a port rather than a remaster.

Grayson continues saying, “We do not have a release date yet and will be sure to communicate that once we are sure the game will be ready.”

This is disappointing news for Batman fans, but hopefully the delay will be worth the wait.


Batman: Return to Arkham is a collection featuring the original Arkham Asylum and Arkham City with all released DLC, improved graphics and updated character models.