March ushers in exciting news for the gaming industry while sending off a long-time favorite website.
Nintendo Switch – Mar. 3
Nintendo is set to release what is probably the most ambitious console experience to date, allowing players to take their home console on the go thanks to the Nintendo Switch. The system itself is a sleek tablet which can be docked to play on the big screen or taken on the go by attaching the new Joy-Con controllers to either side. Battery life is an important factor for the console and is supposed to run around 3-6 hours in portable mode depending on the game, which is pretty good considering the quality of titles you’ll be playing on it. Gamers can try out the console for themselves when the Switch launches on March 3 for $300.
“The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” – Mar. 3 for Wii U and Nintendo Switch
The next entry in “The Legend of Zelda” franchise, “Breath of the Wild,” gives fans a sprawling Hyrule to explore. In the game you can climb anything and glide across the sky with the new para-glider, which truly means you can explore any part of the map that you want to. The game is taking a large inspiration from the original “The Legend of Zelda,” meaning secrets will be littered across the map and combat is not as straightforward as before. You can also tackle the game’s story in any way you want to; it’s possible to even take on the final boss in the first hour. Also new to the game are shrines, sort of mini dungeons with physics-based puzzles similar to “Portal” that reward a variety of items. Players who want to tackle Link’s newest adventure can finally do so when the game releases on March 3 for Wii U and Nintendo Switch.
“Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands” – Mar. 7 for PS4, Xbox One and PC
This new open-world shooter sets players together to tackle a variety of missions. Timing is key in the game, and players can now stealthily take out enemies by syncing their shots together thanks to a new feature for the series. The gigantic map can be traversed with friends in a number of ways including driving a motorcycle, jeep and helicopter. I played a bit of the beta and had a blast just messing around with my pals in the free-roam, similar to “GTA V.” The newest title in the “Tom Clancy” series is set release on March 7 for PS4, Xbox One and PC.
“Mass Effect: Andromeda” – Mar. 21 for PS4, Xbox One and PC
The newest entry in this sci-fi RPG has players exploring the greater reaches of space in order to colonize new worlds. The game is supposed to take on a lighter tone than the original trilogy, so it will be interesting to see how that affects dialogue choices in the game, a primary staple in the series. A new cast of characters also take the stage, though fans of the previous games will no doubt recognize some familiar alien races. The original trilogy was loved by fans and critics, and while not so much by myself, this fresh start on the series seems very interesting. Fans ready to take the next step in the “Mass Effect” franchise will have their chance when the game releases on March 21 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
“MLB The Show 17” – Mar. 28 for PS4
“MLB The Show 17” returns this month and brings along a wealth of new features for players to enjoy. As seen in the screenshot above, the game features a new retro mode complete with throwback audio and an 8-bit style UI and menu to boast. Fans of the Diamond Dynasty mode also have new real-time challenges and missions to help build their collection along. This is the third straight month that Sony has had an exclusive released, and it will be interesting to see how long they can keep it up. Baseball fans can get their gloves on the game when it releases on March 28 for PS4.
“Club Penguin” shuts down on Mar. 29
A bit of a sad note to end on: “Club Penguin” is officially shutting down to make way for a new game for mobile phones and tablets. I have fond memories of playing the game with my cousins and sister, like no doubt many others have had when they were younger as well. The game essentially had you meet new people and play various mini games in order to earn coins, which could be spent on furnishing your igloo, buying a puffle pet and dressing your penguin in sweet threads. I still remember the freak-out I had when finding out my sister had typed an obscenity into the chat, thus temporarily banning my account right after I had acquired my secret agent status (Quite the achievement at the time). While it may be shutting down, we still have the hilarious banned from “Club Penguin” posts that frequented sites like Reddit a few years ago as consolation. Fans can raise up a cup of hot cocoa in remembrance for this Internet staple when the site shuts down on March 29.