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Controversial Switch Kingdom Hearts cloud port gets big fix

Square Enix Japan has announced that the cloud version of the Kingdom Hearts series for Nintendo Switch has received an update that allows users to check server congestion status and switch between performance and graphics modes as part of Version 1.0.3.

The server congestion status is the most important patch of all, appearing across all three collections — Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMix, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, and Kingdom Hearts III + ReMind. Square Enix releasing the Kingdom Hearts series on the Switch as a cloud version (or the Kingdom Hearts Masterpiece Integrum collection, as it’s officially called) caused controversy among fans in October 2021, as they reported getting kicked out of the server mid-game along with lag — both issues that are commonplace with internet cloud streaming. Starting today, they can see how busy the servers are in order to determine when the best time to play is in order to get the best gameplay experience.

Kingdom Hearts III + ReMind is the only collection that allows players to toggle between performance mode and graphics mode. The patch notes say you can choose “performance priority” or “graphics priority” when you start the game from the portal screen. This makes sense as it’s the only game in the series to have highly enhanced graphics, keeping in step with modern AAA games these days.

Although Kingdom Hearts is celebrating its 20th anniversary, the series’ cloud version received the update a little too late. Fans have been begging for a native Switch port since Kingdom Hearts III came out on PS4 and Xbox One in 2019, and they felt the cloud version was a slap in the face. When Kingdom Hearts IV comes out (eventually), hopefully Square Enix will figure out a cleaner solution to bring the RPG to Nintendo’s console.

Cristina Alexander
Cristina Alexander has been writing since 2014, from opining about pop culture on her personal blog in college to reporting…
Get Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom for less with this Switch Voucher trick
Link stands near allied humans and Gorons in Tears of the Kingdom.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is out, and you probably want to pick it up based on its rave reviews. However, it's the most expensive first-party Nintendo Switch game ever at $70. But did you know that if you're willing to spend a little more, you can technically snag Tears of the Kingdom, plus another game, at a discount? To do this, you'll need to buy some Nintendo Switch Game Vouchers.
How to get Tears of the Kingdom with Game Vouchers
To get Nintendo Switch Game Vouchers, you need to be a Nintendo Switch Online member. The most basic version of the service costs $20 a year, but you are most likely already subscribed to it if you play games online or use your Switch to play classic NES, SNES, or Game Boy games. Once you affirm that you're subscribed, head on over to the Nintendo Switch Online tab in the eShop, and scroll down until you find the store page for Nintendo Switch Game Vouchers.
Nintendo Switch Game Vouchers cost $100, which is about $30 more than you'd typically pay for Tears of the Kingdom. That said, spending that money gives you vouchers to use on two of the games from this list.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
Pikmin 4
Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe
Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon
Fire Emblem Engage
Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp
Pokémon Scarlet
Pokémon Violet
Splatoon 3
Xenoblade Chronicles 3
Live A Live
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes
Mario Strikers: Battle League
Kirby and the Forgotten Land
Bayonetta 3
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond
Pokémon Shining Pearl
Pokémon Legends Arceus 
Triangle Strategy
Mario Party Superstars
WarioWare: Get It Together!
Metroid Dread
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD
Mario Golf: Super Rush
DC Super Hero Girls: Teen Power
Miitopia
New Pokemon Snap
Bravely Default II
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury
Fitness Boxing 2: Rhythm & Exercise
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
Pikmin 3 Deluxe
Paper Mario: The Origami King
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Pokémon Sword
Pokémon Shield 
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore
Luigi's Mansion 3
Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening 
Daemon X Machina
Astral Chain
Fire Emblem: Three Houses 
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order
Dragon Quest Builders 2
Super Mario Maker 2
Yoshi's Crafted World
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
Fitness Boxing
Super Smash Bros Ultimate 
Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu
Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee
The World Ends with You: Final Remix
Super Mario Party
Go Vacation
Octopath Traveler
Mario Tennis Aces
Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido
Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Kirby Star Allies
Bayonetta 2
Dragon Quest Builders
Xenoblade Chronicles 2
Super Mario Odyseey
Fire Emblem Warriors
Pokken Tournament DX
Splatoon 2
ARMS
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
1-2-Switch
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

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Play this Zelda hidden gem for free with Switch Online before Tears of the Kingdom

Ahead of the release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, it’s a great time to look back on the stalwart Nintendo’s series presence on Nintendo Switch. From Breath of the Wild to a plethora of classics on Switch Online, it’s probably the best console for any fan of this series to own. That said, there’s one Switch exclusive that may have flown under your radar and is worth checking out before Tears of the Kingdom. That game is Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the Necrodancer featuring The Legend of Zelda.
All About Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer Ft. The Legend of Zelda - Nintendo Switch
Free for Nintendo Switch Online members until May 7 and available at a 50% discount on the eShop through the launch of Tears of the Kingdom, this game is a rare case of Nintendo collaborating with an indie studio for a project tied to one of its biggest franchises. The result is a Zelda game that expands on the rhythm-based action formula established in Brace Yourself Games’ 2016 hit Crypt of the NecroDancer.
Although this roguelite doesn’t play like any other Zelda game out there, it makes some design choices that call back to the series' most iconic titles. That, as well as its rhythmic nature, will feel refreshing ahead of Tears of the Kingdom’s ambitious and systems-heavy open-world adventure. If you haven’t played it, give Cadence of Hyrule a shot while it’s free.
A unique adventure
As a crossover between Crypt of the Necrodancer and The Legend of Zelda, the game begins with NecroDancer protagonist Cadence being whisked away to Hyrule. She quickly inspires Link or Zelda to explore the world and fight back against Octavo, who put Hyrule’s king to sleep with a magical Lute. Those who prefer the more minimalist stories of earlier games in the series will enjoy how quickly the game gets players to the rhythmic action. People begging Nintendo to make Zelda playable in Tears of the Kingdom will also appreciate that they can play most of the game as her if they want.

The act of playing Cadence of Hyrule is where things get really interesting, as it combines old and new ideas to create something that feels familiar yet refreshing. Starting with the new, this is a rhythm game where players must move and attack enemies on the beat. The Zelda franchise is known for its music, and Cadence of Hyrule takes full advantage of that by including versions of some of the series’ greatest hits. Until we get a Theatrhythm-like game for Zelda music, this is game fans of the franchise's iconic soundtracks can't ignore. 
Hopping tile-to-tile on the beat is pretty simple to understand, but it can get quite difficult as players must also account for the fact that every enemy also moves and attacks on the beat. Recognizing that players will probably die a lot, the game is structured as a roguelite where some dungeons are procedurally generated (as is the world each time you start a new file). Items can be found or bought with Rupees to help players during an individual run, while Diamonds are collected in dungeons or by clearing a screen of enemies can be spent on more permanent upgrades.
This may sound daunting, but gameplay options like setting the controllers to vibrate on the beat or only letting enemies move when you do can make it easier. Most Zelda fans should also feel more at home with how other parts of Cadence of Hyrule are designed.
But still familiar-feeling
 
Rhythm-based movement and combat aside, this is a classic top-down Zelda action-adventure game with aesthetics, presentation, and iconography that the series was once known for. The familiarity in terms of the locations visited, enemies fought, and items obtained makes those more distinct elements easier to embrace. It’s also novel to see elements from post-2D Zelda games show up in this style, like Skull Kid via DLC.
It demonstrates just how malleable and well-designed the core Zelda formula is because it still feels faithful despite its rhythmic nature. While Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom’s massive open worlds and deep gameplay systems impress, they’ve also created a yearning for a more classically structured Zelda experience from some fans.

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5 big details from Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’s new trailer that you may have missed
Link stands near allied humans and Gorons in Tears of the Kingdom.

The final trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has arrived, and it's full of new information about the upcoming Switch game. We got a better look at its open world, saw many new characters, and got another peek at all kinds of vehicles that players can make. In fact, the trailer was so crowded with new information -- and Tears of the Kingdom's mechanics and story are still so shrouded in mystery -- that there are some things that you might have missed, leaving a ton to speculate on.
When watching it again, we found a ton of curious details that had us wondering about unannounced features. We've rounded up five details in particular that could have some major implications for the gameplay and story of Tears of the Kingdom. 
Link has companions

One of the most surprising things about this new trailer is that it seems to confirm a companion system, or at least NPCs that are way more active than they ever were in Breath of the Wild. During a montage around the 1:38 mark, we see Link riding a horse through an active battle between humans and Ganondorf's forces. Later on, after the three-minute mark, we see new Rito, Human, Zora, Goron, and Garudo working with Link. The Zora soldier specifically helps Link fight an enemy in a two-on-one encounter.
Companions aren't a new feature to open-world games; titles like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim have it. Still, these more active NPCs and an entire potential companion mechanic highlight just how deeply core gameplay systems have been modified for Tears of the Kingdom.
New characters and enemies

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