Steven Universe is a show that has cultivated a strong following thanks to its Venn-diagram overlap of immortal aliens and frequent lessons on the importance of empathy. It’s a strange combination that works surprisingly well, and though it has seen a few video game adaptions, Save the Light has been particularly exciting because it’s Steven’s first full-scale console RPG.

Save the Light is a sequel to the 2015 mobile game, Attack the Light, but it’s worth noting that playing that game is not a requirement for this follow-up. Being familiar with the show is helpful, but Save the Light stands on its own as an RPG inspired by games like Paper Mario. Unfortunately, it is held back by myriad technical issues that bring down the experience.

Save the Light is written by Rebecca Sugar, the show’s creator, and it is apparent throughout. The characters, lore, and world are consistent, and the narrative arc feels like it could be a lost episode. It also introduces a new villain, Hessonite. She doesn’t get as much screen time as I would have liked, but she has a backstory that is as interesting as the villains that appear in the show.

Hessonite comes to Earth in order to recover her thought-lost evil sentient weapon, the Light Prism, that Steven and pals were able to turn good in the first game. She makes her presence known by landing her ship on top of Steven’s dad’s car wash, effectively destroying it, which sends Steven off on his adventure. Steven and three other party members of your choice make their way through an assortment of locations in search of Hessonite. Steven’s home town, Beach City, serves as a sort of central hub and is particularly thrilling to explore as a fan since it is home to many familiar characters and locations. Overall, the story is light and satisfying in its finale, but the commentary from your party is really the highlight. I would especially recommend placing Peridot in your party when she becomes available as she offers up some of the best lines in the game.

While the writing captures the essence of the show, the visuals do not – but that’s okay. Save the Light has its own visual identity, but its elements are all instantly recognizable as belonging to the same franchise and it looks great. Moving the 2D character sprites through the assorted 3D environments looks especially cool.

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Combat is turn-based, with the option to augment your moves with timed-button presses. Your party performs attacks based on a shared pool of recharging points, which opens up interesting combat options, like saving all your points for a single powerful attack versus using the points to execute a weaker attack multiple times in the same turn. You can also team up characters to make their attacks more powerful. It leaves a lot of room for experimentation in the combat, and it helps that each of the optional party members are distinct. The system is functional, but unremarkable, doing little to separate itself from its Paper Mario inspiration.

The bosses do stand out, however, as each requires a different approach. They’re not stronger versions of familiar enemy types, and they have unique tactics like relying on underlings to power them up, or using a powerful wind ability to push you out of the combat space.

As fun as Save the Light can be, enjoying it is difficult due to numerous technical performance issues. Even after a post-release patch, I constantly ran into problems. They ranged from minor hiccups (like getting temporarily stuck on environmental geometry) to major infractions (like fully restarting the game after attack options disappeared in the middle of battle). Perhaps the most damning bug was after I beat the game and watched the final cutscene, the game hard crashed to the PlayStation 4’s home screen as the end credits scrolled, robbing me of a fully satisfying conclusion.

A number of quality-of-life issues also hinder the experience. Your inventory is difficult to navigate, and you have a lot of different items to collect. I instinctively moved the right control stick to adjust the poor camera angles, but the game does not give you a way to adjust your view. The circular menus used to select attacks and even selecting characters mid-fight is also inconsistent. The cursor is erratic, forcing far more accuracy than should be necessary to simply select something. These are smaller qualms that don’t hold the game back significantly, but those frustrations placed alongside the frequent bugs lead to the game feeling like a chore.

Without its many technical issues, Save the Light could have been a good video game adaptation of an excellent show. The involvement of its creator is apparent and the voice cast gave the game the same consideration they do the source material. I even liked the combat and storytelling, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the frustrations of having to frequently restart the game or watch helplessly as Steven’s run animation looped while he stood next to a rock.

Cuphead has one of the most visually distinct art styles in recent memory, so it’s no surprise that Studio MDHR’s unique vision has inspired fans to create their own Cuphead projects. As reported by Kotaku, one such project is animator hotdiggedydemon’s cartoon, which draws more from Ren & Stimpy’s visual style than Cuphead’s 1930’s cartoon aesthetic. 

The cartoon is short, but definitely worth your time if you want to see some quality animation and the realities of having a cup for a head.

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[Source: hotdiggedydemon’s YouTube via Kotaku]

A Nintendo eShop listing for the Gold Edition of Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle has revealed some new information about the game’s next piece of DLC.

The listing says a new hero and world will be coming to the game in early 2018, but there are currently no details beyond that. The  $80 Gold Edition also comes with the Ultra Challenge Pack DLC, which was released last month.

What world do you think Mario and the Rabbids will be introduced to next and who do you want to join the current heroes in the upcoming DLC? Let me know in the comments below. If you’re jumping into Mario + Rabbids for the first time with the Gold Edition, be sure to check out our invaluable tips for newcomers.

 

[Source: Nintendo.com via Resetera.com]

Entertainment Weekly has released a set of The Last Jedi shots just a few weeks before the movie releases, showing new characters and interactions between characters we already know.

The shows show us Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico, standing with Finn and BB-8, as well as Jurassic Park’s Laura Dern as Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo rocking some pink-purple hair.

Check out the shots below:

We found out last week that The Last Jedi is officially the longest movie in the Star Wars series, with director Rian Johnson also announced to helm a new Star Wars trilogy, as well.

The Last Jedi releases in theaters on December 15, but a lot of fans have their tickets for December 14 showings so they don’t get spoiled (or have to wait an excruciating 24 hours).

[Source: Entertainment Weekly]

Last month, Animal Crossing Pocket Camp was the focus of one of Nintendo’s in-depth Direct presentations. There, viewers learned a ton about the upcoming mobile game, though one detail was conspicuously absent: a release date. Last night, Nintendo revealed when we’ll all be able to head to camp.

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp is releasing worldwide on iOS and Android on November 22. That’s just a few days from now, in case you’re keeping track. If nothing else, it might be a valuable distraction if things get too political around the Thanksgiving table. That is, unless you’re dining with some weirdo who is completely on board with Tom Nook and his shameless extortion racket.

Trinket Games’ new PC and Switch game Battle Chef Brigade is a bizarre gumbo of Iron Chef-style cooking, combined with stylish-action combat, match-three puzzling, and a shake or two of Harry Potter. Sounds crazy, right? You’re not wrong! Join Leo Vader and me as Reiner takes us on a tour of this oddball experience.

Surprisingly enough, the ingredients seem to blend together nicely. At least, Reiner seems to be in love with it during his early hours with the game.Check out our latest episode of New Gameplay Today and see for yourself if this is a dish you’d be… willing to… eat? Look, I think I’ve gotten enough mileage out of this cooking thing, all right?

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Sega has released a trailer for Valkyria Chronicles 4, and announced a 2018 release date. The RPG is set to come to PS4, Xbox One, and Switch.

The video begins with the team’s ambitions for the new game, but we do get a teaser of some gameplay throughout. You can watch the reveal trailer below.

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Valkyria Chronicles 4 is set to hit PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch in 2018.

 

Our Take
Though we’ve seen Valkyria releases since Valkyria Chronicles 3, it’s been a while since a true mainline entry in the franchise. Rightfully so, fans are excited and hopeful that Valkyria Chronicles 4 will deliver the core experience they want from the franchise.

We’ve seen some great third-party games arrive on the Switch recently, such as Skyrim, Doom, and L.A. Noire. Skyrim in particular runs extremely well on the console and makes for a fantastic port that you can play on the go. 

Earlier this week, we rounded up other third-party games that we would love to see come to Switch. Now, we also want your input: Which third-party titles do you want to see come to the console? As for me, I’d love to play the original Mass Effect trilogy on the Switch, since it’d be so convenient to have that portability. 

Let us know in the comments which games you’re hoping will make the transition too.

Yesterday’s Minecon Earth show brought several Minecraft-related announcements, one of which is the Update Aquatic which brings underwater life to the game. Soon, Minecraft will feature dolphins, coral reefs, shipwrecks, and more.

The update splits the oceans into iomes, and each will have different types of fish, coral, and kelp. If you want to build an aquarium, you can catch fish with a bucket so you can place them elsewhere. The sea will hold secrets too, including treasure. These can be found in shipwrecks and around icebergs. Dolphins will swim towards treasure to guide you to the plunder.

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The Update Aquatic also introduces a new weapon: the trident. It can be used for both melee and ranged attacks. You can throw it to spear an enemy, but doing so will have the item disappear. Enchanting the trident, however, has it return back to you after each use.

At Minecon Earth show, it was also announced that both the Super Duper Graphics update and multiplayer cross-play for Switch are delayed to 2018. As for the Update Aquatic, it comes to Minecraft as of spring 2018.

After the conclusion of today’s Red Bull Battlegrounds North American Finals, Capcom had a new trailer for Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition ready to go, and it specifically shows off the new V-Triggers. V-Triggers are special moves that your character can use once they fill up their V gauge.

In the video below, we see Ibuki, R. Mika, Nash, Ken, and more demonstrate their new and powerful moves. For example, Ken shoots his enemies up high with a blast of fire, while Ibuki trades her bomb for a giant Shuriken. You can watch for yourself below.

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Street Fighter V released last year, but Capcom has continued to refine the game and add new content since then. You can read our review here. The Arcade Edition arrives on January 16 for PlayStation 4 and PC.