Best Nintendo Switch Games For Family Fun: Sonic Superstars

Gaming as a family is a great way to bond and spend quality time together. It also gives parents a chance to enjoy game time with their children and make memories that will last a lifetime. Gaming can be a great way to teach kids about teamwork, problem-solving, and competition in a healthy and fun way. In addition to games relieving stress and delivering fun, there are some that provide other benefits that most movies & TV shows don't deliver.

In the case of Sonic Superstars, your children learn about teamwork + healthy competition, which are great things to begin grasping at an early age. Sonic Superstars launches October 17th, 2023... and would make for a great launch title for family game night! If you're a big Sonic fan, consider making it a chili dog night!

Sonic Superstars... takes things back to the 2D days of Sonic The Hedgehog with 3D models, and serves up a multiplayer game where up to 4 people can drop in & out of the action as needed. It's the first time a Sonic game allowed for 4-players to play through the full campaign together in the pursuit of harnessing the power of the chaos emeralds to take down the baddies.

When it comes to the 4-player action, you will choose from Sonic, Knuckles, Tails, and... Amy. Your team will take on the likes of the infamous Dr. Eggman, Fang, and Trip as they execute a plan to turn the Northstar Islands giant animals into Badniks.

In Sonic Superstars, you aren't simply side scrolling and going through loops, your team navigates in a variety of ways that bring back the signature moves we know and love, but also new moves as seen here:

In Sonic Superstars, you can:

- 4-player local co-op & online Battle mode

- Multiply, swim up waterfalls, change form, and more with the powers of the Chaos Emeralds

- Multiple paths and secrets

This game is rated E for Everyone!

Is Meta Quest 3 A Worthy Purchase?

Meta Quest 3 is a highly anticipated product in the virtual and augmented reality gaming community. It's safe to say that a number of VR gamers are eagerly awaiting its release, but it's important to note that this shouldn't be the only market that Meta targets if they hope to achieve significant growth. While gaming is a popular use for VR/AR headsets, it's not the only thing they should be known for as mixed reality headsets, and it's important for Meta to showcase that if the features are vast. I didn't see this in the product trailer.

One of the most important things to consider when it comes to VR and AR headsets is their usefulness. While some people may be willing to tolerate a headset for the sake of having a good time, many others will not. For VR and AR headsets to truly take off, they need to be useful for more than just gaming. This is especially true when it comes to the higher-end headsets with a higher price tags. Consumers are unlikely to invest in a headset that they will only use occasionally for entertainment purposes.

In addition to gaming, mixed reality headsets have a variety of other potential uses. For example, they could be used in education to create immersive learning experiences. They could also be used in business to deliver training or to create virtual meeting spaces. Businesses may also find creative ways to use the technology to engage with customers or to create new products and services.

The success of mixed reality headsets will require certain factors on both sides, including price, quality, and ease of use. Speaking of VR & AR games, an impressive lineup will mean the difference between the Meta Quest 3 being a worthy purchase for gamers or a buyer beware sticker, but if it were a device that delivered like a PC or a phone then it would give more justification for the purchase.

As Meta Quest 3 prepares to enter the market, it will face competition from other VR and AR headsets, including the Playstation VR 2 and Apple's Vision Pro in 2024. Meta Quests 3 is $50 less than PSVR2.

As someone who isn't particularly interested in VR and AR headsets at this time, I'm still excited to see where this technology will go in the future. The potential uses for these devices are vast, and I'm glad to see that they are being supported and developed for the sake of progress in this sector. My curiousity is the highest with Apple Vision Pro, but I run into the same issue of cords and potential discomfort, and I think I would get the feeling of disconnection to the outside world. I would like to try this headset the most to see if my opinion changes, but if an investment were made it would have to be practical because I wouldn't buy it for games only.

A game that I would like to play is Lego's Brick Tales, because it is a perfect addition to the launch lineup, and to be fair it adds to a large catalogue of games, but will the tech and new offerings be enough to usher in new users? Only time will tell.

Meta Quest 3 Information

Release date: October 10, 2023

Price: $499.99 USD | 128GB Version

          $649.99 USD | 512GB Version

Specifications: 4K+ Infinite Display | 2064 X 2208 pixels (per eye)

                         40% increased audio range compared to Meta Quest 2

                         Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 Processor

                         Mixed reality

                         Slim | Ergonomic design | Customizable options

Sophima | Guest Contributor
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The Cushion Designed for Gaming!

Train SIM World 4... Reviewed!

Shout out to Dovetail Games & Focus Entertainment for supplying a copy of this game for review. My opinions are my own.

Train SIM World is back with a fourth installment for hobbyist and newcomers alike, but does it have what it takes to turn newbies into new fans of the franchise? Let's jump in and find out.

Tutorial: Train SIM World 4... is all about delivering the full train simulator experience based on the standards that keep train hobbyists coming back for more. In terms of the franchise, this is the first time I've played the game... and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised.

TSW4 doesn't serve you up a section in the settings alone, expecting you to learn how to operate the game from there (no no no)... you basically get an experience that feels like on the job training (+ the Control Guide). It doesn't rush you into the main gameplay, the tutorial does a nice job getting you going, learning the basics, and once you reach a certain point... you're challenged to give it a try without assistance. The tutorial continues as you take on various additional objectives in the cockpit, outside the train, and navigating your way through the train in order to operate it from the other side. As seen in this first 30, you actually start off outside the train station, so... let's head in: 

If you need to go back over a certain lesson, you're able to do so with ease. I think my appreciation for this solid tutorial, actually comes from... my experience with games that provide little to no information or full tutorials on how to play the complex game. So, this one gets a thumbs up, because it will get newbies geared up and with confidence.

Printing out controls... might help those of you who don't want to go in and out of the tutorial while proceeding with your adventure on the railways, but... I advise starting there as a beginner. It's extensive, informative, and... it's not boring.

You're also able to increase your learning through the Video Tutorials in the Training Center. Now let's go... To The Trains (Your Collection).

Replay Value: Train SIM World 4 is a simulator game, so you won't find a story here, but... what you will find are Journeys that will keep you coming back for more. My available journeys include the Training Center, Antelope Valley Line, East Coast Main Line: Peterborough - Doncaster, Great Western Express, Nahverkehr Dresden, Rapid Transit, and S-Bahn Vorarlberg.

Training Center | 11 Total Routes

Welcome to the Train Sim World Training Center

  • Fundamentals - Learn the fundamentals of Train Sim World.
  • Continue - Learn the fundamentals of Train Sim World.

Antelope Valley Line | 26 Total Routes

Run to the hills and experience the hefty power of modern American diesel! Tackle the tough terrain of Californian canyons with the Antelope Valley Line, between the sprawling Los Angeles cityscape and desert bushes of Lancaster in almighty Metrolink traction. West Coast rails are yours to explore in Train Sim World 4

  • California Dreaming - Start your journey as a new Engineer with Metrolink and learn everything the Antelope Valley Line has to offer. | 8 Chapters

East Coast Main Line: Peterborough - Doncaster | 40 Total Routes

Accelerate and feel the high-speed thrill of British inter-city travel in Train Sim World 4! Express services await on the iconic East Coast Main Line, hurry between Peterborough and Doncaster, and through the English countryside, in sleek and flashy traction.

  • The Quick and the Shed - Continue your journey as a Driver on the East Coast Main Line and experience everything it has to offer. | 8 Chapters
  • The Steamy Affair - Learn to drive the famous Flying Scotsman locomotive and take it on railtours up and down the East Coast Mainline. | 4 Chapters

Great Western Express | 38 Total Routes

Great Western Express brings to life the experience of driving high speed and commuter passenger trains on one of Britain's busiest railways. Take control of the iconic Great Western Railways HST and command it to 125mph along the Great Western Main Line out of London's Paddington Main Line Station.

  • Great Western Express Journey - Continue your journey in the Train Sim World as a new Driver and experience everything the railways have to offer. | 4 Chapters

Nahverkehr Dresden | 52 Total Routes

Experience complex operations out of the iconic Dresden Hbf, with commuters and international travelers converging to make a hustle and bustle mix of S-Bahn, regional, inter-city and freight traffic. Be in control of modern traction and explore the countryside of the Nahverkehrsnetz Dresden.

  • Welcome to Saxony - Continue your journey as driver in Saxony and experience everything this route have to officer. | 11 Chapters
  • Vectron Legacy - Learn to operate the Siemens BR193 locomotive and perform high speed freight moves. | 3 Chapters

Rapid Transit | 22 Total Routes

Rapid Transit brings to life the experience of driving mass transit commuter passenger trains on one of Germany's most popular S-Bahn railways. Take control of the sleek DB BR 1442 'Talent 2' and transport passengers along the S-Bahn S2-Line through the historic and picturesque city of Leipzig.

  • Rapid Transit Journey - Experience the daily operations of Rapid Transit that is the S2 S-Bahn in Leipzig. Come rain or shine operations must be maintained. | 3 Chapters

S-Bahn Vorarlberg | 41 Total Routes

Take the train to Austria! Spanning cross-border, the busy Vorarlberg S-Bahn line shuttles from quaint German island life to the foothills of the Austrian Alps. All-new and bustling OBB traffic awaits in Train Sim World 4.

Climb Every Mountain - Take on the role of a new driver on the Vorarlberg Railway and experience everything this line has to offer. | 9 Chapters

Each journey has various experiences to enjoy and the chapters within them will give you different trains to choose from (i.e. the Class 801 LNER A-train). Within those chapters you will see different objectives to accomplish and based on your AP score... this will determine whether you receive a bronze, silver, gold, or platinum medal.

In addition to the Rail Journey: Guided Experience... you can enjoy Quick Play, pick trains in the... Train Depot, and Choose A Route. I did find myself wondering what the next move was when it came to certain situations after select objectives were complete... so I went back to the tutorials but I've tried to cover and experience as many features as possible.

Is this game for everyone? No, there are certainly different strokes for different folks, and this is one of them. This game will require you to learn the controls so that you aren't lost, and will require you to do some waiting and maintaining speeds before you benefit from the reward of arrival. You do gain points based on a good speed (usually under 65mph) but it's not exactly the type of game that will deliver enough oomph for everyone, but... there are people out there who have yet to experience it and may enjoy such a game (possibly those who build trainsets). I think variety is a beautiful thing and a demo of this game would be a great way to see if potential newcomers might be interested in the franchise.

I would love to try this game with a curved monitor and a controller that was more so geared towards these types of game. I think that would make it even better because the main controls wouldn't require me to look down at the controls.

Audio/Visual: When it comes to audio and visual qualities in this game, they look decent. The trains get the most love in terms of quality... which is understandable. Most of my settings are on high, but if someone has the visuals on high for each setting... they'll get the most visually appealing experience (duh of the day).

By the way, when you get into the Rail Journey or Quick Play, the world will wake up... you'll see cars driving by, people walking around, and passengers will get on and off the trains. (The first 30 didn't exactly show that.)

I walked around and felt like multiple people sort of resembled each other. I don't know, maybe it's just my imagination. Seriously though, it wouldn't have hurt to add a bit more variety in there, even though I understand to a degree (which is why a number of games do it).

Before I get to Audio, I want to point out the Creator's Club by way of the DoveTail Live experience that gives you access to an Online Sharing Hub, Livery Designer, and Scenario Planner.

This is a place where people paint their trains in all sorts of cool ways, take screenshots to upload, and even share. I think it's one of those... why not options that give's fans of the franchise an additional reason to log more time. Especially those with an artistic flare with a desire to show off their ideal train art.

When it comes to the audio, it's what you would expect... as far as being on the train. You will hear bird's chirping depending on where you are and the sound shifts depending on where your head turns. Is there anything to write home about in this regard? Not necessarily, but you appreciate it while sitting in the cockpit, along with the little bumps as you go across the tracks.

Price: Pricewise, Train SIM World 4 arrives on September 26 at $49.99 for the Standard Edition.

This version includes TSW4 base game, TSW4: Antelope Valley Line: Los Angeles - Lancaster Route Add-On, TSW4: East Coast Main Line: Peterborough - Doncaster Route Add-On, TSW4: S-Bahn Vorarlberg: Lindau - Bludenz Route Add-On.

The Deluxe Edition will run you $69.99 and it includes TSW4 base game, TSW4: Antelope Valley Line: Los Angeles - Lancaster Route Add-On, TSW4: East Coast Main Line: Peterborough - Doncaster Route Add-On, TSW4: Nahverkehr Dresden - Riesa Route Add-On, TSW4: S-Bahn Vorarlberg: Lindau - Bludenz Route Add-On.

Special Edition is for the TSW fanatics out there. This includes the most content and will run you $109.99. It will include everything mentioned above, plus... TSW4 Compatible: LGV Mediterranee: Marseille - Avignon Route Add-On, TSW4 Compatible: Linke Rheinstrecke: Mainz - Koblenz Route Add-On, TSW4: Northeast Corridor: Boston - Providence Route Add-On + the... TSW4 Compatible: Southeastern Highspeed: London St Pancras - Ashford Intl & Faversham Route Add-On.  

Tutorial 5

Replay Value 5

Audio/Visual 3

Price 4

4.25 out of 5 Cool Points