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  1. 11 points
    I was debating whether to just bump the old Wii Skyward Sword topic but I figured I would start a fresh one instead. I’ve been wanting to delve back into the Wii catalogue for a while now and decided to start off with this game. It’s a game I’ve not played since it was originally released. Back then, I never got on with the control scheme and even though I did finish the game, it went down as my worst 3D Zelda game, at least until the arrival of BOTW. Time can change a persons tastes in a variety of things. That being the case, I was eager to see if my thoughts had changed on the game. I could have picked up the Switch version when it releases in a couple of weeks but playing the original version forces me to play the game as it was meant to be played and it makes for a better/fairer comparison to my original feelings. As you can see, I’ve named the file the same as the rest of the Zelda games that I’ve been playing so far this year. You can also see, given the amount of hearts on the file, that I’ve put a little time into the game already. I started my adventure yesterday and will give my thoughts on what I’ve played thus far. I remember when first playing the game that I didn’t care for the long opening section but this time it didn’t bother me at all. As I’ve gotten older I have wanted strong narratives in games such as this and was really on board with how things started this time around. The relationship between Zelda and Link in this game is certainly one of the better ones in the series, with Spirit Tracks also being up there. I think the game does a good job of setting the scene and letting to player get to know Skyloft and its residence during this opening segment. Also, the music in Skyloft is lovely. It’s such a laid back theme. It wasn’t too long before I jumped on my Loftwing and headed out to the big blue sky, before jumping down into the beam of light in search of Zelda. The Sealed Temple area where you land brought back horrible memories of having to fight the Imprisoned numerous times. We’ll see how I get on with that later down the line. I loved exploring the Faron Woods area. Finding the hiding Kikwi tribe, opening up shortcuts and getting to grips with the combat movements, made for a pretty good opening area for the player to get a handle on things. The dousing mechanic is used a bit here or at least it’s supposed to be. I was happy enough to just ignore using it and find my own way around the area. I know there were a lot of complaints about this mechanic but so far it has been pretty much optional as to whether you use it or not. With the Wii audience being what it was, I can see why it was put in and it would definitely help those who are new to playing adventure games. With a newly found slingshot in hand, I headed further into the woods area and came across Gorko the Goron. The guy was talking about the Goddess Cubes and for the life of me I couldn’t remember what they actually done. I feel this will be a common theme going forward. I’ve only played through the game once and that was 10 years ago. Plus, I never bothered with any side mission stuff. At this point I think a lot of it will be like playing a new game. Anyway, I was happy enough to keep an eye out for these cubes during my adventure and I would find out what they do in a little while. Skyview is the first temple in the game. It felt sooooooooo good to play through a proper Zelda dungeon again. Like I mentioned, I don’t remember everything in this game so this was like playing a new dungeon. Some of the puzzles were pretty standard but one puzzle that actually isn’t part of the dungeon itself was when fighting the Skulltula. I thought about cutting the webs but that didn’t work and then I tried to vertical slash it. Nope. A horizontal slash spun it around and then I seen it’s weak point. I figured the slingshot would take care of it here but that wasn’t the case. It then dawned on me that I could actually do a stabbing motion and sure enough that action worked. Lovely stuff. Given the nature of the control scheme, I imagine most enemies will be like this in terms of figuring out how to take them on. I love the beetle item. It’s one of my better memories of the game. The thing is so handy, from knocking down enemies, to picking up items that are hiding away. It’s a very versatile little thing. The big chamber that you enter after getting the beetle is actually one of the areas I do remember, mainly because of the fun you can have when using the beetle item. There’s a room just after said area where there is a rope you need to walk across but there is a Bokoblin on the other side of it. I figured I would be smart and walk across the rope a bit, bait him into getting on the rope and then go back and shoot him off. Genius! I started my walk and he took the bait. As I was walking back I seen that another Bokoblin had snuck up behind me and was also walking on the rope. I was sandwiched! Sneaky little gits. The first boss in the game is found at the end of the temple and it’s a very unique fight. In previous Zelda games the first boss is pretty easy and usually you have to use the item you find inside the dungeon to defeat the thing. That isn’t the case here. You don’t use the beetle and the boss is pretty difficult. When I originally played the game I never really got to grips with how to actually fight Ghirahim properly. During each of the encounters I remember getting frustrated and waggling randomly until I managed a hit. It took ages. This time I learned how to fight him correctly and he was taken down pretty quickly. All it takes is for you to move your sword one way so that his hand goes to that side and then move your sword to the opposite direction and slash. The second phase is easier than the first, with a quick shield bash whilst he’s running towards you leaving him wide open. With him defeated and the tablet piece obtained, it was time to take to the skies again and return back to Skyloft. On the way back I seen that chests had appeared from the cubes that I hit. I now knew what they done! I decided to head to and open these before I returned to base. One of them was on top of the Lumpy Pumpkin building but I couldn’t figure out how to get the thing. It then dawned on me that I could probably just land on that area when I jumped off my Loftwing. Sure enough that’s what it was, although I did face plant into the floor when landing. Not very graceful at all. Back at Skyloft I decided to tackle a few of the side quests that had popped up. I had to find a missing kid and locate the whereabouts of a person who went off on her Loftwing but never came back. The missing child quest was quite fun and I love the character (Batreaux) that you come across. The thing seems a bit insane but harmless enough. Completing this quest was what opened up the other one that I mentioned. This one was also quite simple and just had me fly to an island and then back. After I had helped these people I went exploring around the island, just talking to the islanders and getting to know each of them a little. The amount of charm and character that is in some of them is great. The shopkeeper in particular is hilarious. It’s his animations that crack me up. Thankfully, there was a recent thread on era that highlighted them. Peatrice also cracked me up. She clearly hates her job and doesn’t want to be there. Poor woman. Oh, and Bertie also got a laugh out of me. I burst out laughing when I seen he had his kid strapped to his back. At least I assume it’s his kid…. There’s certainly a lot to love about the people in Skyloft and it’s something that I feel was missing from BOTW. Sure, the settings are different, with BOTW being set in a ravaged Hyrule, but having that central hub to return to and chill out in with these quirky characters is very welcome. Windfall Island was also like this. I noticed Beedle was now flying around the town and so I set about buying all the stuff off him that I could afford. I was still short for a few of the items but I found the pots just outside of the main building where Link’s room is housed a few blue rupees and sometimes red ones as well. I just kept walking in and out of the building and building up my cash supplies before going back to Beedle. It worked like a charm. A guy in town said that I could sell my bugs to someone but I was very reluctant to part with them in case I need them further down the line. With all of that being done, I was ready for my next destination but that’s where I called it a night. So far, so good. I’ve certainly enjoyed my time with the game in these opening sections. I have found the motion controls fine, Fi hasn’t been intrusive yet and even the flying around the open sky hasn’t bothered me. It’s very early days but I’m feeling positive about the whole thing at the moment.
  2. 8 points
    As someone who works within the medical/nursing field, and has written & published their own scientific papers? Scientific literacy is a very rare commodity; and it is very very common for data to be misused, manipulated and misunderstood. Even amongst healthcare professionals, scientific literacy is nowhere near as common as you would expect. If this pandemic has proven anything? It's that mainstream media outlets are almost just as bad at reporting scientific data as your dodgy cousin on Facebook. The reporting on the Astrazenica vaccine throughout Europe amongst the media in particular was beyond shambolic; and has done powerful & lasting damage that vaccine efforts will likely never fully recover from. If you really want to make yourself informed, start with the Cochrane Library (the gold-standard of systematic reviews within the medical field). There is a nice COVID-19 resources section that has links to some handy resources designed for the layperson; iHealthFacts is also a particularily nice & approchable resource for quick answers that is supported by Cochrane Ireland The WHO also have a nice repository of information designed for the public as well. You can view it here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
  3. 7 points
    That's the key bit right there. These are people who have dedicated their passion, careers, and lives towards science and medicine. Furthermore, it's not a small handful of scientists and medical professionals urging people to take the vaccine, but the overwhelming majority, across many countries and continents. It's unanimous. On a very related note, I had my second vaccine today. I had a slightly sore arm last time around, as if somebody had given me a really hard punch. It was still very surreal being at the vaccine centre as one of the last times I was there (pre-Covid) was to take a group of children ice skating at Christmas, a few years back. Aside from that, the whole process was efficient and the people working there today were just as lovely as they were the first time around.
  4. 7 points
    I've been on a bit of a roll this month and have already managed to beat a few games. The first one was Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, which I bought on a whim when Greg simply said "do it" after I told him it was on sale. Surprised at how difficult this game gets in the third chapter. I've managed to do the first two to 100% competition, but I can see it taking me a long time to do the third. I had a great time with this game. The gameplay is unique and the almost 100 mini challenges give it the perfect pick-up-and-play appeal. The only thing I really had an issue with was the camera, which always seemed to be cumbersome and awkward at the game's most tense moments. Like I said with Box Boy, I really like how difficulty is implemented into this game. Beating it (which is what I did) is relatively straightforward, but getting all the diamonds, doing the level's challenge and finding the hidden Toad take a lot of work. Probably not quite worth the £30 I paid for this, but there is a fairly good amount of content + the DLC which comes with the gold version. I'll be going through that soon. I had gone through the majority of Eliminator Boat Race last year but couldn't do the final couple of races. Well, I finally did them the other day. Not easy at all - took me multiple attempts and probably around an hour of trying. This game is great to be honest, a really fun NES game. However, I much prefer the top-down Micro Machines style racing over the mode 7 style racing, which is hard to control and frustrating when your opponent starts ramming you. Give it a go on the NES app if you want something a bit different with fun dialogue. At the start of the month, I got convinced to give Super Metroid another go after a group of lads from a discord I'm in started talking about it and replaying it. Having never beaten a Metroid game, I thought it was time to finally put this game to bed, especially with Dread on the way. After about 6 hours, I got stuck. Spent an hour trying to figure out what to do next and then gave up... So I started playing Metroid: Zero Mission instead, which I had on Wii U for some reason! Turns out that just buying stuff that's on sale can work out sometimes! Anyway, I played this handheld with the Wii U plugged into the power supply in the corner of the room. Amazing how nice this game looks, I love the sprite work here and how colourful everything is. The first few screens were familiar as someone who's started Metroid on NES no fewer than 10 times, but I'm so glad they made this remake and I don't have to put up with horrible slowdown in the original. I managed to beat this in about 3 sittings. Took me around 5 hours. I absolutely loved it! I really found the ability to hold down R to access the missiles useful as it became annoying to constantly be pressing Select on SM. The exploration is great, especially because the map is not that big, though I did start to get a little tired by the end, but I think no one really likes heavy amounts of backtracking in these types of games. Once I was done with Mother Brain I thought the game was over. However, I was pleasantly surprised by Space Pirate ship at the end of the game. Completely changed up the gameplay from quiet exploration to intense battles and chases in a much more linear fashion. Great stuff! Accidently stumbling upon upgrades and secrets and the boss battles were highlights of this game for me and it was super comfortable to play in bed on the Wii U pad - much better than on a small GBA screen I imagine. But that's not all... Yesterday I did finally beat Super Metroid! Went back to it on Monday evening and worked out what I needed to do pretty quickly. I have to say, the final boss and escape sequence puts many modern 2D games to shame by way of how goddamn epic it is. I honestly couldn't believe I was playing a Super Nintendo game. Had I played this game back in 1994, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that it would have easily taken the top spot as my favourite game on the system. As a product of it's time, it is absolutely perfect. The map is obscenely large for the time, but not too big (even if I did get lost a couple of times). What I mean by that is in 1994 we all had more time. This type of game design doesn't really work today because people don't have the patience for getting lost or getting stuck. However, being sat on the bedroom floor on a Saturday afternoon, you could easily just spend three, four, five hours wandering through the world, finding secrets and trying to work out what to do next. It was acceptable back then in a way it isn't in 2021. I can really appreciate that, but still occasionally used save states anyway The atmosphere in this game is unrivalled. What they've achieved with the feeling of loneliness and isolation in this game is just unmatched. I've always read people saying this and thought it was hyperbole. It isn't. The way the music, level design and superb graphics blend together to create that feeling is something I haven't experienced to such an extent in a SNES game. I think it does environmental storytelling very well as you move between the different worlds, enemies and bosses and kind of lets you make up your own mind about what's going on. Very cleverly done, especially as I'm someone who generally likes to be told the story and walked though it. Here, I found myself interpreting stuff and enjoying that process. I love the way the game doles out power ups, the feeling of becoming more powerful is explicit and engaging, and being able to go back to previous areas when you saw something that looked a little off is probably one of my favourite gaming tropes. Here it is done to a masterful level. Spending 20 minutes trying and failing to understand wall jumps was extremely frustrating, but then it suddenly clicked and became second nature. No explanation. No hand holding. No text. Just - "haha, try and get out of THIS!". A feeling of accomplishment I very, very really feel in modern gaming. 5 minutes later I was wall jumping everywhere and finding new areas and power ups all over the place. Superb game design. The bosses, also, deserve a special mention. I don't think I managed any of them first time, but kept going back and working out when to attack and when to avoid. Again, just excellent design. Nothing ever felt impossible, I just needed to get better, faster, take my opportunities at the right time. The way Samus moves seems clunky at first, but does feel much more natural once you've spent a bit of time with the game and got used to the various differences between this and other side scrollers. I think the game still holds up very, very well. Amazing that this game is almost 30 years old because it certainly doesn't feel like it is. My only niggles were getting lost for long periods of time (but again, that's a 2021 complaint) and I really hated when you get stuck in sand or an enemy which swallows you and can't jump out of it. Seems entirely random, but that's a minor complaint. I'm so glad I finally gave this game a fair shot. I've started it so many times and never made it further than the beginning of Brinstar. At the risk of annoying H-o-T, I have to say that this game also made me appreciate Hollow Knight on a whole new level. The inspiration from Super Metroid is obvious, but they've taken what works from this game and built and interesting and vibrant world with superb modern combat and movement. The foundations and philosophies in game design and worldbuilding are the same though, and finally playing through the "blueprints" of Hollow Knight has impressed, engaged and entertained me in a way I never thought possible for a Super Nintendo game. Metroid Fusion is next on the list.
  5. 7 points
  6. 7 points
  7. 6 points
    Just brought our perfect little daughter home from the hospital tonight and feeling like our family is complete
  8. 6 points
  9. 6 points
    We need vaccines to minimise the viruses mutations. Not many people here remember the awful viruses or diseases prior the discovery of vaccines and it TOOK years to eradicate them out of the humanity.
  10. 6 points
    It's painful to read false assertions like this yet not unexpected from someone who said there is no institutional racism in the UK... Your post reads like that of a conspiracy theorist. There are scientists far, far smarter than you that have recommended these age groups be vaccinated based on many reasons, and not just the death count. But I'm sure you know better, right?
  11. 6 points
    I don't. Which is why I turn to those who do, the scientists. They say getting the vaccine is what will save lives so I believe them. They've done far more research than any of us, so they are THE people to believe. If you genuinely think you, or anyone else, know more than the scientists who have dedicated the last few years to researching this pandemic, then that is a level of arrogance that is impossible to argue against, so I'll just leave you to your "me and mine" attitude and continue to do what I believe is right.
  12. 6 points
  13. 6 points
  14. 6 points
    Well that's the last straw. Pre-order cancelled.
  15. 6 points
  16. 6 points
    Guaranteed to go sideways as it's a 2D game.
  17. 5 points
    Good news: My boi lives. Bad news: My CPU cooler fans don't look like they're running. EDIT: CPU fan issue is fixed, seems it popped out of the headder when i was throwing cables through it. Works fine now, Still need to manage my cables, my back pannel won't fit back on because of the mess back there but i'll sort it tomorrow. Good for airflow though
  18. 5 points
    My child is complete. Just need to stick the pannles on and power it on for the first time. I'll do the cable management thing later.
  19. 5 points
    I wonder if they'll stock them next to red ring doughnuts.
  20. 5 points
    New Ghostbusters Afterlife trailer:
  21. 5 points
    Feel obligated to respond to some of these posts, as I feel a bit responsible for sparking the debate. I think my reactions to some posts and not to others probably makes it pretty clear what my thoughts on this are, but it beats posting this gif for the umpteenth time: ...who am I kidding? It's a classic. And we were probably all thinking of posting it I think the problem is that people don't need to be within your personal space (let's use the 2 metres of social distancing here for reference) when in an enclosed space for you to come into contact with the virus...or any other kind of germs. Strictly talking just about the air in an enclosed space, you've got things to account for like molecular diffusion, Brownian motion, and beyond that a whole host of other systems at play which means, without much effort, the air inside of a train carriage could easily circulate germs from one end of the carriage to the other. I do agree with you that you should keep your wits about you, try to keep to yourself, watch your own hygiene, maybe even try to find another spot if you feel it's getting a little too crowded, etc., which I try to adhere to as well, rubbing my hands down with hand sanitiser getting on the train, before I get off, when I next arrive at a location where I'll be spending some time, before and after eating, sitting down in the cinema, and so on. I just think it's a bit concerning that a very, very noticeable number of people on the train didn't even have a mask on them as far as I could tell, and they certainly weren't wearing them. I mean, just going back to the incident I described about the COVID passport protest that I witnessed: the irony was that they were showing EXACTLY that they couldn't be trusted and why we even need to consider putting such things in place. There were a few hundred people I saw protesting, taking up one of the larger pavements I've come across in Birmingham and spilling over into the streets, with barely any of them wearing masks, and huddled so tightly together that they'd make a sardine blush. As for the COVID passports themselves, I think it's fine conceptually, and a completely understandable thing to put in place. I think you're viewing it from the "glass half empty" lens if you're seeing it purely as a push for people who aren't vaccinated to go get the vaccine, because, from my perspective, it's more about keeping those who have been vaccinated safe in an environment (such as a nightclub or a football stadium) where just one person potentially spreading the virus in such a densely populated discs could have a wide-reaching impact on a great number of lives around them, as well as the other way around being true also, that it's protecting those that aren't vaccinated from larger crowds by trying to keep them away from them. You need to have a driving license to drive a car just as, for the time being, you'll need to be vaccinated (and potentially have had a recent negative test?) to enter events where the virus could cause some serious trouble: highly and densely populated, enclosed, pretty warm spaces, the perfect breeding ground out in the wild for something like this to spread like wildfire. However, the problem with the COVID passports, as @Will alluded to, is that the UK government don't have the systems in place to support such a scheme, and it'll be as half-arsed as much of their other work during this pandemic has been. And, as you rightly mention Beast, what does happen to those who can't get the vaccine due to genuine medical/religious reasons? I have no clue, and I doubt the government do too. Again, I think it comes back to it being a good idea in concept, but with our government? I don't see it being handled well at all. Yeah I fully get this, when I tried to explain to a waitress yesterday that I'd booked a table at a medium volume it was clear she had no idea what I said, so I lifted my mask away from my face to repeat what I'd said, and if she couldn't hear me then I would have asked if she was okay with me removing my mask so that she could hear me (we were a metre or two apart anyways). It's one where I feel like you have to play it by ear and just be mindful of how many people are around you and their distance from you. I mean the fact that they aren't the same is a huge part of it, though. For the COVID vaccines they used the main strand which kicked this all off as the reference, and while we've seen variants since, it's a process which can be repeated with the new variants, and heck I think some of the vaccines used elsewhere already prove somewhat effective against the new variants. That's entirely different to the flu vaccine, where the entire basis of the vaccine is an educated hunch at what will be the most popular mutation that year, and in recent years they've been pretty far off the mark. It's like trying to put a brand new bike together with the same model already put together next to you and a set of instructions to go with it vs closing your eyes and building a bike based on what you imagine a bike will look like this year based on your memories of last year's model. It's a very, very rough way to do things, which again has missed the mark as of late. I mean at this point why not just bring the electric chair back, or hand these people a noose and a chair to jump down from as they walk out of prison? If it would make it that much safer and the possibility of rehabilitation isn't an option - thankfully it is - then what purpose is there to let them walk out? Like I mentioned before, I think it's the lens you're viewing it from, and by all means you have a right to your own opinion on this, but there's an insanely massive difference for me between being ostracised due to raping someone and being left out by omission through your (not your as in you, Beast, but a general your) own actions based on your own choices. Again as I mentioned before, think it gets murky when it comes to people who due to medical reasons in particular can't get vaccinated, but other than religious beliefs and some other fringe cases -- I'm talking about healthy people who don't fall in these categories -- it's simply called consequence. You (again, a general you, I'm not singling you out) can't have your cake and eat it too. As someone who tries their best to help people when I can see that they might need it, I think this is a dangerous mindset to walk around with, just for the mental toll it would take, because you're only a hop and a jump away from being at fault for everything wrong with society. When it comes to helping others that you are in no way responsible for, I think only you can hold yourself accountable for your decisions, but I think for the average person - like myself - we'll find ourselves limited in what we can do by our time, finances, or something else. I was in a rush to get to work and so didn't get the chance to help that homeless guy? Welp, I've caused him harm. I don't know, to me, that seems like a spiral I'd rather not go down. For me, it always comes back to being the change you want to see happen. I want more people to help the homeless, and so when I get the chance to, I'll do what I can to help them. It's a cold day -- do they want a hot chocolate or a coffee? They're hungry -- do they want to come with me to get some food? But as a 22 year old in his first full-time job, there's a limit on what I can reasonably offer to help with, and so long as I try to help them, I think that's okay. I'll shorten my life, and end up getting the chance to help less people in the process, if I carry the world's problems on my shoulders. I mean, even if I did selfishly want to protect myself, my friends, and my family...I think that's a completely fair line of reasoning, and that would only be the start. It would take an ounce of empathy and awareness for those around you to then start thinking about how others might be impacted if you didn't get the vaccine. Why exactly can't it be both me wanting to take care of myself, those I know, and those I don't? Why is it a black or white "it's us or them"? Memento mori. Fear has driven men and women to some of humanity's greatest discoveries, and unfortunately others to committing some of its most heinous acts, but fear - and fear of death in particular - is one of the great equalisers. I think it's perfectly normal to feel and be motivated by fear. So long as you don't let it consume your thinking, being motivated by fear can be a great asset. I don't think there's anything remotely wrong with getting vaccinated against a deadly virus out of fear, so long as you still took the choice to be vaccinated. The risk of contracting COVID, the long-term impacts of which we probably won't fully understand for years to come? Just because immunisation puts the odds further in your favour for survival, the risk of contracting COVID is still very real. Plus, I'm still waiting on my second vaccination. Why exactly wouldn't I be worried about other people dying, especially after myself and others have lost loved ones to COVID? Like I mentioned above, it takes an ounce of empathy and awareness for others -- let's be honest, I could just say respect -- to appreciate the impact something like this could have on the lives of other people. And you know that's not how vaccines work so that third one is a bit of a silly rhetorical. I mean, forget dying, immunisation lowers the odds of you contracting an illness too, so that's a pretty big plus, surely? See, there are two different things here. Firstly: I fully respect your decision to not take the vaccine until you know more about the potential side effects, and given what you mentioned about you having side effects to similar things before, I think you're justified in being wary and waiting for more information, however long it might take. From the rest of your posts I think it's clear that even without taking the vaccine, you're aware of the situation, do your utmost to be hygienic, and are trying your damnedest without the vaccine. Unfortunately, we can't say that's been the case for everyone who hasn't had the vaccine (and to be clear this isn't me targeting anyone else in the thread, it's the impression that I get from when you look around and on social media). The other part is that someone having an abortion doesn't have a direct physical impact on the physical well-being of those around you. Someone choosing to go the abortion route, which I agree is wholeheartedly that person's decision because even if it is a bit of an ethical conundrum - at what point are you considered alive? - if they can't give that child the life that every child deserves - one with stability and something beyond simply existing, being there to offer direction as a parent should - is an entirely different premise, at least from my perspective. It's a totally different scenario if you having an abortion because there's something up with the tap water helps keep other pregnant women and their children safe. Just because there's a choice involved I don't think the two issues are remotely equatable beyond there being a personal choice for you to make, which I will respect. It's simply not my choice to make. Ask me my opinion on abortions and vaccines and I'll offer it in as well meaning a way as I can, even if our opinions differ, but otherwise it's really none of my business what you do with your body. I agree with that: it is your decision at the end of the day. That being said, choices come with consequences. I had to get some vaccines before going to the Philippines a few years ago, because of some of the bugs over there that my Western body just wouldn't be built for dealing with could have caused some serious harm, and doing so gave me peace of mind on my trip. The potential consequence of me getting ill from the vaccine while still over here far outweighed the perceived consequences of getting seriously ill while stuck in a struggling country with poor access to quality medical care. In the case of the COVID vaccine and the passports, one consequence of not getting vaccinated is not being allowed to mingle with people who have in certain scenarios. That will be there to protect both sides. Again, I'm not saying it's going to be pulled off well, but in concept I think it's the best thing to do. Given the scale and severity of the pandemic, I just think it's unrealistic to not have any pressure around an issue like this. The same goes for voluntary consent for any number of things: real life just isn't simple enough to take things as they are in a closed bubble, there are almost always other factors at play. Honestly, if I didn't take the vaccine, I wouldn't feel comfortable going out to any of these events (nightclubs, football matches, concerts) anyways, so I wouldn't feel the pressure of everything going on regarding the COVID passport. Heck, even now that I've had my first vaccine, I'm not in a rush to put myself at risk like that.
  22. 5 points
    Posting from my phone so I'll keep it brief; can we dial down any personal or judgemental criticisms, comments and name-calling please. You have a right to believe what you want and an open debate is fine but try and respect others rights to have differing beliefs. This whole thing has been difficult for all of us and some of us have suffered tremendous loss so it is easy to take a personal stake in matters but that does not and should not result in mudslinging. If needs be I will close this thread to hopefully let cool heads prevail.
  23. 5 points
    ...or make your desk the PC! Like this:
  24. 5 points
    Amiibo arrived today GameStop said there was a delay in it so wasn't expecting till next week. Got the game a day early from Smyths and this a day late so I guess that balances it out
  25. 5 points
  26. 5 points
    Watching Ganon's Tower collapse and fold in on itself, I had time to think that I really should remember to replay OoT again within the next couple of years, certainly within the next five rather than the 2012-2021 gap between files you can see above. Similar to with A Link to the Past, I'm guilty of taking for granted just how great these games are. Yep, there's OoT topping another best games ever list. And the sky is up and water runs downhill, so what else is new? It can become so normalised that you lose sight of why OoT is so much fun to play in the first place. Even in the present day. Well, that was a few days ago when I first cleared that file. Thing is, when I went back into the game post-credits to take a snap of the file select screen for this post, I was flabbergasted to realise there was no complete save. Playing on 3DS, I hadn't saved very often throughout this run, opting to just close the clamshell when I was done and plug it in whenever the battery dropped into the red. What a nitwit. Thankfully, I had recorded a save after the Desert Colossus, but I still had to go back, get Nayru's Love, redo the Gerudo Training Grounds, hunt down the last Poes again (how finicky they can be!), and redo Ganon's Tower to get the pic you see here. That save is from just before delivering the final blow to Ganon. I wasn't planning to replay any of OoT immediately but things have a funny way of working out. It doesn't feel like I spent twenty-two and a half hours on this... I thought I was going about things fairly breezily! This length--or a smidge longer with some additional meaningful things to do between levels--is the sweet spot for Zelda, imo. I collected 75 gold skulltulas, so it looks like my time is fairly consistent with save slot 1 where I got all 100 (and saved further back than just before the final blow, I'd hazard). Other than that, I reckon I got everything else and all upgrades but I wouldn't be surprised if something was missed along the way. Most difficult heart pieces to remember during this run were in Gerudo Valley. I was doing the rounds as child Link checking for soil to plant my two remaining magic beans when I came across them. Some final observations: as adult Link, it is so satisfying to one-shot enemies that take multiple hits from child Link. there are some really nice pink-gold sunsets in this. Impressive. climbable surfaces with no stamina management! items needed for puzzles are available in grass, from enemies, or in pots in the rooms where you need them most, from inside the Great Deku Tree all the way to Ganon's Tower. It's like the game wants you to play it or something. pick uppable arrows would be nice (I mean if your shot misses... specifically thinking of the Poes here. ). d-pad for browsing shops would be cool too. But then I'm one of those weirdos whose thumb always gravitates to the d-pad so I could be in the minority with this one. I should try that next time. Even with a long time between plays, I'm pretty stuck in my ways when it comes to the order of doing things in OoT. Although there is no set point in the game to do a lot of the sidequests, I still find myself going after things in a similar order to how I discovered them the first time through on N64. For some reason, it just feels right to leave some child Link stuff to mop up during the first segment of the Desert Colossus. And I couldn't imagine collecting all the Poes earlier either as what would be the point of Hyrule Field without them tormenting me? I'm going to give the final word to the 3D effect. Here, I'd just pulled out the ocarina to play the song of storms to see if the rain would refill the dried out oasis when that bird swooped perfectly down into the freeze-frame. The tail and wing in the lower-right protruded from the screen so much, it was like you could touch them. Such a cool effect.
  27. 5 points
  28. 5 points
  29. 5 points
  30. 5 points
    You can't ride a jet ski in any of those..
  31. 5 points
    Smakken highlight video is done! Includes a 23 Hit Combo Sandwich, Yummy Bees, a runaway crate, an epic capsule punch, and a healthy dose of yodeling! Featuring me as Blue Trousers Kazuya, @S.C.G as Red Trousers, @Dcubed as Gold Suit and @BowserBasher as Purple Suit. @RedShell played as Ryu, except for the fight with Min Min, where he played as Kirby. And @Sprout was basically everyone else (Including White Trousers), because he can't make up his damn mind!
  32. 5 points
    Just had my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine! Feeling totally fine so far, just glad it’s finally available. Next shot is on the 29th. Hopefully some of our never ending lock-down will ease up soon.
  33. 4 points
    I'm in the mood to do another round of Video Game Club, just to play something retro or left wing and because I've kind of stopped posting longer posts in the gaming threads and the Gaming Diary. So getting together with you guys might get my writing mojo back! Anyone here who wants to come up with a theme and 5 or so games to vote on? So we can get this baby back on the road.
  34. 4 points
    Hey, you know what game is awesome? Dicey Dungeons! Guess what I just completed and wrote a review for? You'll never guess what score I gave this game... Go on! Click the pic and enjoy! Also, I happened to finish another game... Ace Attorney: Justice For All is the second game in the Ace Attorney series. It's a fairly typical Capcom "more of the same" sequel, you know, like the endless barrage of very similar Mega Man sequels or PS1 era Resident Evil titles. However, while that kind of sequel can start to burn you out very quickly, oddly enough, the same isn't really true of the Ace Attorney series. And I think that comes down to the fact that within the Ace Attorney series, like I previously mentioned, the story IS the gameplay; as the way in which you prove whodunnit is wildly different in each game & case. As such, each game feels distinct & fresh, despite all making use of very similar mechanics & assets. So how is Justice for All different from the first game? Well, the first and most major addition is the introduction of Psyche Locks; a much needed expansion of the fairly rudimentary Investigation portions of the original game, where you are tasked with pressing people to reluctantly open up about events related to the case by presenting the right facts & evidence at the right time. It's a brilliant mechanic that would go on to become one of the key defining features of the series going forward, and rightly so. I'm sure she's legit... The Psyche Locks are a natural extension of the supernatural elements seen in the first game, and naturally, so too does the story delve deeper into the nature of the psychic powers held by the Fey Clan. As such, the story might disappoint some who preferred the more grounded aspects of the original game; but personally I don't mind that. So long as a story doesn't pull its punches and fully commits to its supernatural elements, I'm cool with it. What I do mind however is the wonky logic presented throughout the game. The Ace Attorney series is kind of unfairly maligned for having somewhat questionable logic with its use of evidence; where you know the answer, but can't present that evidence at that time, or where the story goes off the rails and is either full of holes, or doesn't make sense logically with what you have in your court record... However, that criticism is definitely applicable with Justice for All; especially in Case 3, which feels like it really needed an extra editing pass at the very least. There are plenty of times where you're given a clue that doesn't really lead anywhere, or at least doesn't lead anywhere where you can actually go to at the time; and the courtroom scenes can be frustrating when you're working with some very flimsy logic that doesn't feel intuitive. It's Justice for All that gives the series that reputation in particular and it's unfair to the rest of the games in the series, which handle things much better in that regard; here though? It can feel a bit rough. Everything about this scene is incredibly stupid That being said though? Case 2 & 4 are pretty great fun! Case 4's scenario in particular... ... is fantastic! Also, I actually forgot that there was some more clever use of legalese in this game... Also another clever bit of foreshadowing that I totally forgot about... There are some fantastic moments throughout Case 4 in particular; and it's mostly very well done all throughout. It's a shame then, that those rough moments throughout the game and the occasional bit of wonky logic (of which, Case 3 is especially guilty of), end up spoiling some of that enjoyment. Overall though? It's an important step forward for the series. It's probably the weakest game in the entire series, but it gave us the series defining Psyche Lock mechanic, and Case 4 is a genuine corker. So it's hard to be too mad at it. Also it gave us Pearl, and what kind of heartless monster DOESN'T love Pearl!? And with that?
  35. 4 points
    For those who haven't seen it yet, @Dcubed wrote a review for Dicey Dungeons, it's up on the frontpage. It piqued my interest, and I just noticed it is currently 50% off in the eShop for those interested!
  36. 4 points
    Have to say, I'm very impressed with the traditional controls in this game. Having the sword on the right stick works so well and is very intuitive. My only complaint is that it can be a bit awkward moving the camera while holding L. The motion controls have impressed me as well - they feel much better than the WiiMotion+. If finding the Joy-Con is able to replicate my movements very accurately, the curser is smooth when required and it is blindingly quick to recalibrate when tapping Y. I'm halfway through the first temple and absolutely loving it. Such a far cry from BOTW but still a superb "traditional" Zelda game. Movement, climbing and jumping off ledges feels a bit janky after BOTW, but the swordplay is so much fun, so I'm happy to ignore it. Graphically, the game looks much better than I had expected. A really lovely HD update. 60fps feels great and everything is just lovely and smooth. Kinda disappointing that the watercolour effect, especially for stuff far in the background, has been vastly reduced, which kind of makes the game lose a fraction of the charm it had back on the Wii. Very pleased I picked this up.
  37. 4 points
    Very happy with this if it works out. Amazon have allowed me to actually order it, so I assume that means they're expecting stock. Discovery has been impossible to get without paying silly eBay prices (usually £100+), but managed to order it for £22 from Amazon.
  38. 4 points
    Blast Corps One of the N64 games that defeated me as a kid, Blast Corps created a silly but awesome concept: there’s a nuke on a truck, due to a fault the autopilot sends it straight to the centre of a city in a straight line and touching anything will cause it to explore and take out the entire city. Each of the main levels have a similar premise: the truck is driving in a straight line and you have to clear its route before it hits anything. Each level is essentially a puzzle to solve, smashing buildings, swapping between vehicles, filling in gaps in order to achieve your goal. To do this are a variety of vehicles. You start each level in a pre-chosen one, while some can be found in the level. The most basic is the Ramdoser, where you just ram into buildings, but others are more unique. There’s a small car that works best when you land on top of buildings, a vehicle that smashes things to the side of it, one with guns and even a few different mechs. There’s also the backlash, which is very difficult to use and can lead to the most frustration. It’s a dump truck and the main damage is caused by its rear. Reversing is really slow, so the trick with it is performing drifts and turns so the back skids into buildings. If you are able to master this easily, then you’ll have a great time, but if you struggle at aiming then it can lead to a lot of frustration. The developers must have loved it though, as it seems to be the most used vehicle. On top of the destructive vehicles, there are also a couple of cars, trains and ferries. The trains and ferries are mainly used to fill in gaps the nuke truck can fall down, while the cars are to get between vehicles quickly. For an early mission, you start in a mech with a jetpack, but need to grab a train to make a bridge. Luckily, this train has a car to get you back to your mech. In terms of controls, I think the addition of using the R trigger to accelerate in the Rare Replay version of blast corps helps a lot, it feels more natural due to current games and means your finger is ready to mash the “action” button for the vehicles that perform an action (stomping, shooting, bashing). With this setup, everything felt natural and very precise. On top of the main missions, there are also challenges. These can be time trial races, smashing certain items, collecting items in a set time, playing Pac-Man with trucks or simply destroying a bunch of buildings as quickly as possible. These are short and sweet, but fun and as it’s very quick to retry, often avoid being frustrating when you constantly fail. When you complete all the main missions, you aren’t done with the game, you then have to locate seven scientists. These are hidden in the previous missions, and you also have other tasks in each mission: free survivors, smash all buildings and collect all “RDUs” (little lights that turn on when you drive near). The survivors one is a bit pointless as smashing all buildings will cause this to happen anyway. Finding the survivors will trigger the end cutscene and credits, but then there are bonus missions to play. These are a bunch of silly over the top missions, and you need to get gold and all previous stuff to progress. I had a great time doing this, and learning the tricks to get the best times needed for each level is very rewarding. Blast Corps is a great game, and the uniqueness of it means that it’s still great to play today. I think it’s quite amazing that nobody else has made a game about smashing stuff with vehicles (that I’m aware of anyway). Jet Force Gemini When I was younger, I got so close to beating Jet Force Gemini but never could because I couldn’t save all the Tribals (cute cuddly bear people). This stopped me from being able to go and fight the final boss. Now, after 20 years, I have the opportunity to give it another go. Jet Force Gemini felt extremely ambitious for its time: a third person shooter with multiple characters. There are 10 main worlds to explore with hidden secrets, and a few bonus places to find, lots of weapons to find (including ones you can miss if you don’t explore), and bears to save. You play as siblings Juno and Vela, as well as their dog Lupus (the best character). You get attacked by an army of Ant Drones and are separated. Each of them head to big boss Mizar’s Palace via their own journeys to take on the villain. At this point, you can’t access all the doors, which means you can’t save all the Tribals yet. Your main focus is getting to the end of each level, although exploration will reward you with more health, more weapons and bigger ammo capacity. Once you’ve teamed up together, you’ll get upgraded suits and revisit the previous planets to search for ship parts and save the Tribals. You are hunting for ship parts and have to use the skills of each character to do so: Juno can survive in lava, Vela can swim underwater and Lupus can traverse gaps without needing any jetpack fuel (which Juno and Vela can use for their jetpacks, but only in certain areas). Each world is set into different “areas” (the game clearly marks the end and start of these) which reset each time you leave. This means you have to find all the tribals in one go, miss one and you’ll have to go back and find all of them again. Jet Force Gemini can also be very cruel: Tribals will be next to explosive barrels (sometimes out of view with enemies nearby), some enemies will target Tribals, at one point I encountered flying enemies and shot them, only to discover that a tribal was hiding behind a crate and was killed by the explosion. That said, this time around finding the Tribals didn’t seem too bad. Exiting an area and returning isn’t so bad, and you can prioritise the more dangerous ones first. You’ll learn which areas you’ll need to revisit as who and eventually find everything you need to fight the final boss. I did enjoy the fight, but I wish you could have chosen who to take on the final boss as. The controls in Jet Force Gemini take some getting used to, and the original controls are a complete nightmare. It tried to do a full 3rd person shooter on an N64 controller with one analogue stick. The Rare Replay has a “modern controls” option which is a must. Here, when you aim, it takes on a more modern way of shooting, letting you move with the left stick and aim with the right. I found myself using this for the whole game instead of using the autoaim that happens when you don’t try to target. It’s a great addition and makes the game much more playable. The soundtrack is also phenomenal, making Jet Force Gemini feel like an epic sci-fi adventure. Conker’s Bad Fur Day When Rare first showed off Conker 64, it was criticised for being too close to Banjo-Kazooie: a cutesy and cuddly platformer. Rare took this on board and went the complete opposite direction: a violent and rude adventure filled with swearing. It starts off with Conker drunk and taking the wrong way home, resulting in a lot of misfortune. The humour of Conker’s Bad Fur Day still holds up, with lots of snappy comebacks, rude jokes and lots of crazy things happening. The “amateur” feel of the voice acting (which is performed by the developers) actually works extremely well, with some brilliant British accents you generally don’t hear in games - like dung beetles with heavy scouse accents. Throughout the game you’ll go through a mixture of settings, such ones you would find in other platformers (farms, haunted mansion, caveman themes), ones based on popular films like Saving Private Ryan and The Matrix and some which are quite unique to conker’s Bad Fur Day (like a dung pile). You’ll come across a wonderful assortment of characters. Gameplay is fairly simple. You move around and jump, you have a longer second jump and a high jump. Across the map are context sensitive buttons. Press B on these and something special will happen - what exactly depends on the context of the button. They essentially give Conkey exactly what he needs at that time (as Conker himself describes it). The lives system also has an explanation, as told to us by Gregg the Grim Reaper, saying that Squirrels are a special case like cats (which Greg hates). Unfortunately, these jumping mechanics feel extremely dated and have not aged as well as Banjo-Kazooie. Jumping feels delayed and it’s very easy to misjudge where Conker is in relation to platforms, meaning you’ll miss a lot of jumps and it will feel like the game is at fault because of it. On top of this, the camera is a pain to move and will give you horrible angles a lot of the time. Due to this, Conker’s Bad Fur Day feels incredibly clunky and is not fun to play. It’s a big shame as everything else is so wonderfully done: the crazy plot, the fun designs and ideas, the charm of the swearing and violence from cute characters. Conker’s Bad Fur Day received no improvements for the Rare Replay version. There is a remake of Conker’s Bad Fur Day, which was criticised for censoring more than the N64 version, but I do wonder if it’s nicer to play. I’ll be finding that out soon.
  39. 4 points
    The roster they picked is... unique. Baffling, even. What's the word...?
  40. 4 points
    Yeah, I'm also going to have to go with Fillmore. I haven't played Actraiser, but that track makes me want to check it out -- haven't played any Castlevania games either, but my exposure to their tracks through Smash and some trailers makes me agree with @Jonnas that it has the same vibe as some of those.
  41. 4 points
    Not sure if people in this thread have already mentioned this... but it seems you'll be able to freely control the camera in the remake (source: Nintendo Life), just like in TP or WW. I guess Nintendo just didn't really think it was worth making a fuss about, but it should make exploration a lot smoother.
  42. 4 points
    Tine to swoop in and claim this before Anyone else thinks of it. Golden Sun Lost age <3 You start off at Venus lighthouse. ( If you don't know these games they are amazing <3 ) ..
  43. 4 points
    So four and a half years later, people wondering when they'll finally do a price drop... nah... they INCREASE the price instead
  44. 4 points
    RC Pro-Am A racing game with a very impressive sense of speed and some really nice chunky graphics. It reminds me a lot of Micro Machines, which is impressive as RC Pro-Am came out a few years earlier. The controls get some getting used to as you use left and right to turn. This makes sense in writing but can sometimes be disorientating in the isometric view, where pointing in the direction you want to travel would be more intuitive. Once you get used to it, you’ll be blasting through the tracks. Dotted along the tracks are missiles, bombs and upgrades. Collecting a missile or bomb will change your whole stock into that type, which can be annoying if you want the other item. Upgrades will speed up your car permanently, and collecting them all slows down the rate the other cars can upgrade, which is important as if you let them upgrade, all of them will be unbeatable. The game is fairly generous in that you only need to place 3rd (out of 4) to progress. Doing this is still difficult, and sometimes getting first place is an impossibility as the AI racers can outright cheat, zooming ahead while you’re at the highest possible speed in the game. Luckily they don’t use weapons against you. In the last race, I had around 80 bombs, so I used them every time an opponent came close. Due to the AI cheating, I ended up using around 70 of these in this one race alone to keep them at bay. Still, as 3rd place is the main requirement, RC Pro-Am is still a fun racing game due to its sense of speed. Completion is getting 3rd or better on all tracks, then the snapshots. The ones for RC Pro-Am have been the hardest so far, with one where you have to hit 5 opponents with missiles (the east part) and then win the race (which is mainly hoping you get lucky with the AI), and one where you start more than a lap behind, where you need to complete 9 perfect laps without touching the sides or slowing down to catch up and win. Cobra Triangle A speeboard shooting game, Cobra Triangle is possibly the only game in this collection I’ve never seen or read about before, so I was very curious about it. Cobra Triangle is another Rare game that takes an isometric view, which gives the game a great look and sense of speed. Controls are simple with acceleration and shooting (I really like that Rare Replay added the right trigger for acceleration, meaning your thumb can be entirely focused on shooting), turning is very fluid. The upgrade system is a bit confusing to start with. Each upgrade pack you pick will cycle you through the different types of upgrade, and you press X to use the packs on that upgrade. The campaign is split across 25 different challenges, of which there are multiple types. There’s a time trial race which has a load of enemy AI for you to blow up, an obstacle course where you have to avoid logs and whirlpools, a shooting gallery where you have to shoot targets as your boat drifts along, one where you protect swimmers, a few bosses and some others. One I liked in particular (even though these levels are quite difficult) was one where you have to destroy mines. You pick them up by driving over them, and have to drive them to a marked location as the guards pursue you. If they catch you, they’ll take the mine off you and take it back (unless you then drive into them and get it back). I feel like this mode in particular would be an awesome 2 player mode, but unfortunately Cobra Triangle is only singleplayer. The snapshots were a lot of fun for Cobra Triangle, the final one was difficult until I tried a crazy tactic that ended up working. Snake Rattle and Roll If someone showed me Snake Rattle and Roll and told me it was a SNES game, I would believe them. It looks too nice to be a NES game, with great 3D looking graphics in a colorful cartoon style. In Snake Rattle and Roll, you must get your snake to the end of each platforming stage. However, to unlock the door you must stand on some scales. If you’re not heavy enough, the door won’t open. As everyone knows, when a snake eats something, it gets longer (this fact was later solidified by Snake on Nokia 3310). In Snake Rattle and Roll, there are three colours of balls you can eat. Yellow is the best, while red/blue depend on the colour of your snake as the matching one is best. Snake Rattle and Roll flows very nicely, with very smooth controls. This, however, can also be a problem. Lots of stages have no edge, so you’ll find yourself sliding off the edges a lot. The isometric view, while lovely, can also make some jumps difficult, and there are a lot of jumps where you’ll need to jump diagonally (in terms of pushing diagonally on the controller, everything is technically diagonal in terms of visual direction), and some jumps where you need to alter course mid-air. To start with, these jumps, while difficult, are still an acceptable difficulty. But towards the end, Snake Rattle and Roll really ramps up, with wild jumps you need to make while avoiding obstacles. Then you reach some ice levels, so you’ll be sliding even more, with lots of uphill ice slopes. The final boss is also ridiculous, and is incredibly difficult even with the rewind feature. It doesn’t look like much, as it’s a small foot that hops around in a preset pattern, but it takes a lot of hits (possibly 50ish), all while meteors fly at you from all directions. To make matters worse, if you miss for more than half a second (while it jumps away, or to not get hit by a meteor), it’s invisible health resets and you effectively have to start from scratch. With that said, Snake Rattle and Roll still feels like fun, even when you’re constantly failing (final boss excluded). It feels like it was designed with 2 players in mind, competing for points and laughing at each other's failures, rather than actually completing the game. The snapshots were pretty enjoyable for this, with a few being about beating levels under certain conditions (like not being able to eat things).
  45. 4 points
    Some more Rare Replay. Knight Lore For a Spectrum game, the third in the series of Sabreman games looks lovely due to its isometric graphics. Objects are lovingly chunky and there’s a real charm to how it looks. The core idea is also great: Sabreman is cursed, and each night turns into a Werewulf. If the curse isn’t fixed within 40 days, then he will permanently become a werewulf and you will lose the game. To fix the curse, you need to find items and throw them into a cauldron. Unfortunately, those are the main good things about the game. It’s a slow, boring affair. The map isn’t as bad as the previous two games, and is a size you can learn, but walking is extremely slow and platforming is tedious. The isometric view makes it extremely difficult to judge jumps, especially when some platforms are higher than you’d expect. You have to dodge obstacles (which again, due to the view, can be difficult to judge) and sometimes you have multiple moving objects on one screen, but they aren’t in sync with each other, so you may have to wait a while for an opportunity to appear. What doesn’t help this is that every 30 seconds, you transform, which has a long animation while everything else still moves, so you can miss opportunities due to this. Some rooms also require you to be in a certain form to bypass the obstacle. You’ll need to find items based on what the cauldron in the centre of the map wants. It shows you them one at a time (although it works on a loop, so a guide can show you what is coming up).You will also need to find extra items in order to bypass some rooms, as you will need to drop items to use as additional platforms. Everything just makes Knight Lore a fairly tedious experience, although nowhere near as frustrating as Underwurlde. Completion: Cured Sabreman and completed the snapshots. Gunfright Another isometric game, this one is a wild west game where you have to find outlaws and gun them down. It’s initially quite confusing as to what you’re supposed to do and how the game’s mechanics work, but once you have that down, it’s quite a fun experience. Gunfright is essentially a game of hide-and-seek. There’s a bandit hiding in the town, and you need to find them. Some townsfolk will point you in the right direction, so you can narrow it down (of course, the bandits also move around, so keep that in mind). There are also lots of civilians walking around. These civilians are all deadly and will kill you instantly if they walk into you (because games of this era need loads of things that can kill you). The game has a “marketplace” of sorts. In the bottom right, you’ll see prices for bullets, horses and fines. There’s no shop as such, you’ll just get charged that amount when appropriate. You have six bullets in your gun, and once you shoot all six you’ll be instantly charged for a reload. Horses you “buy” by finding them on a map. These look hilarious when you use them, as it looks like a wooden frame that you’re holding up and running around with. I love how ridiculous it looks. If you kill civilians, either by shooting them or trampling them with a horse, you’ll be instantly charged the “fine”. Money is the main score of the game, and the best way to get money is to kill bandits. There are 20 in the game, each appearing one at a time. Once you find one in the game, you shoot them to initiate a duel. Duels are done in a first person perspective. Your opponent will move around the screen while you control a cursor. Moving your cursor will count as a “draw” and your opponent will start shooting, so you have to aim quickly. You can also wait for your opponent to announce “draw” as he will stop moving. It’s a really good system, one that seems quite fair and smooth. While that’s all there is to the game, it’s still a pretty fun game, with some really nice (at the time) graphics. As there is no depth, the isometric view doesn’t come with the same problems as Knight Lore, and it works well with the gameplay. Completion: Defeated all 20 bandits and completed the snapshots. Slalom All about skiing. I’ll admit to using the rewind feature a lot to play though this. Without it, Slalom would be an incredibly frustrating experience. In Slalom, you have to get to the bottom of the slope before the time runs out. There are opponents, but they’re just there to get in your way. There will also be trees, snowmen and kids sledding uphill to avoid. Some parts of this required a lot of luck as you have to avoid obstacles as well as the other skiers who can block gaps at the worst time. You also have to make sure you go through the slalom flags - miss a flag and you’ll slow down. There’s also a trick system when doing jumps, but it’s best to avoid jumps as it will slow you down. If you do more than a couple of small mess ups, you will likely not make it in time. Each mountain has 9 slopes that you work through. In order to progress to the next slope, you have to finish in time. If you don’t, you go straight to the main menu. No second attempt or extra lives, just back to the main menu to start from the beginning. You need a perfect run to see all the tracks in the game. With the Rare Replay features, I instead had fun seeing how long I could go without needing a rewind, so I could try weaving through loads of moving objects without the frustration of having to redo everything if I hit a single one of them. The challenges also proved to be a lot of fun, as these don’t have the rewind but are quick to try again. Slalom is a game which wasn’t a great game for its time, but has been turned into something that can be enjoyed due to the extra features of Rare Replay. Completion: Finished all 27 slopes and all snapshots.
  46. 4 points
    12. Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing (Java) Original Platform Java Mobile Where to get: “internet” The graphics look quite nice for old mobile graphics, and the midi music renditions are all pretty good. One big flaw, however, is that some obstacles (such as green goo) aren’t very noticeable, so you’ll hit them a lot. For the main mode – racing through all four cups – this isn’t really a huge issue as AI racers are all very slow. As you only need some slight assistance with turns, you can experience everything it has to offer while half asleep. The mission mode, however, is a different story. Creating a precise racing line is quite difficult due the controls, and hitting the barely visible obstacles can destroy your progress. There are four types of missions, such as one where you collect 10 rings in one lap (hitting the green goo takes your count to zero), and you simply complete them once on each track. There are four cups, with three tracks per cup, resulting in 8 different tracks overall. This isn’t a maths error, some tracks are repeated in multiple cups. 13. Sonic Adventure Original Platform: Dreamcast Version Played: Xbox 360 on Xbox Series S Where to get: Steam, Xbox Store I’ve dabbled a bit in this before, but never completed it. There’s some lovingly cheesy dialogue and a ridiculous plot – both of which are great for Sonic. The main levels are mostly a lot of fun, there’s a good sense of speed and when it flows well, it’s still a great spectacle. There are some slower platform sections – which can be good in Sonic games – but unfortunately these fall victim to the wonky controls and camera a bit more than.the faster sections, and it can be sometimes difficult to be precise with jumps (there should be a more prominent shadow underneath Sonic). Overall, the main Sonic levels are an enjoyable experience. Everything else in Sonic’s adventure is just poor padding. You have a city to walk around to get to the stages, but it’s not really utilised, with no side missions to do with the characters, it’s just more of a fancy level select. The Casino level was mainly just repeatedly playing pinball until you have enough rings (although it does seem like you get access to a much better level if you fail the pinball), and the flying stages are rather dull. Other characters have their own adventures. Tails is mainly flying through altered versions of Sonic’s levels, trying to be better than him but others have more unique levels. Knuckles is a treasure hunt where you have to locate parts of the master chaos emerald. Amy’s story is surprisingly pretty good, with completely new levels (only three, unfortunately) with some slower, more precise platforming that works better than those sections in Sonic’s levels. Big the Cat makes an appearance with a dreadful finishing story, while Gamma has some fairly simple shooting levels. The music is outstanding, with some great tunes and rocking songs.
  47. 4 points
    Sakurai: "...This sandwich needs to be easier to land"
  48. 4 points
    There's also this meme;
  49. 4 points
    It looks like Nintendo are bringing back developer interviews. Pretty much like what Iwata Asks was. The first interview is all about this game. https://www.nintendo.com/whatsnew/detail/2021/ask-the-developer-vol-1-game-builder-garage/ I’m happy to see this kind of thing make a return. Hopefully they will have one for each of their major releases going forward.
  50. 4 points
    @killthenet you’re in for a treat with Other M. I’m not saying that sarcastically either. I love that game. June is now over and I knocked out a few games at the back end of the month, most of which were indie games that I picked up during the crazy good sale on PSN. PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate This was a complete surprise for me. I’ve never played any of the PixelJunk games and so I decided to try one out. This was on sale for a couple of quid and it’s probably the best £2.00 I’ve spent in a long time. The game is a twin stick shooter that features environmental puzzles that require different weapons to complete. It’s really more about navigating your way through the stages and solving puzzles than it is about shooting down enemies. The game is quite a lengthy affair and that is because this is the two previous games combined into one, hence the Ultimate in the title. I think I got a good 15 hours or so out of the game and I never got bored. This was due to the great amount of variety on offer with each of the stages. I enjoyed the collectibles in this game. Far too many games these days feature things to collect but most can’t actually be found unless you have a guide. That’s not the case here, with each of them being cleverly found within the stages. It encourages you to explore that little bit further and check every nook and cranny. I’d definitely recommend picking this up, especially for the price I got it for. Abzu I played this back on the Xbox One a couple of years back and seeing as it was free on PSN, I figured I would give it another play through. I really enjoyed playing it again. The game is a perfect mix of Endless Ocean and Journey. There are so many indie games now that try to rip off Journey and very few of them pull it off. It’s certainly not the case with this game. So relaxing. Gris I was very dubious about buying this game. A lot of indie titles are all style and no substance, with them being all about the look rather than the gameplay. This game screamed that to me but I was happy to find that I enjoyed both the gameplay and the visuals of the game. There’s no denying that this is a beautiful looking game but finding that there was some decent platforming to be had as well was a relief. A special mention goes to the OST of the game. There are some great tracks featured across the various stages and a couple have made it into my gaming playlist. Solo: Islands of the Heart I had read good things about this game and decided to take a punt on it. The gameplay is nothing too fancy but it gets the job done. It’s essentially a puzzle game that has you manipulating blocks in order to proceed but it’s wrapped in this charming world that asks questions about your love life, both past and present, and then gives you meaning to what your answers were at the end of the game. It’s basically like you are creating the narrative of the game with your own experiences. Very unique. Star Wars: Republic Commando I have fond memories of playing this on the original Xbox and was eager to see if those memories would hold up when playing the game again. They kinda did. For some reason I remember the game being more squad focused, like say Full Spectrum Warrior, but it was actually more run and gun than I remember it being. I played through Jedi Knight II last year and that was an awful experience. The game hadn’t aged well at all but that wasn’t the case here. The game was still fun, if a little repetitive. It’s a shame the game didn’t get a sequel as I think there was real potential with it. I had a little chuckle when I seen the trophy percentage I was on. Order 66 has never felt so meaningful. The Adventure Pals I actually bought this on my Switch a few years back but never finished it. Again, this was on sale for a couple of quid and so I picked it up on the PS4 in the hopes of actually completing it this time, which I did. Nothing much to say other than it’s a fun, 2D platformer that doesn’t overstay its welcome, is humorous in places and it managed to make me smile a few times in the 10 hours or so it took to see the credits roll. Hollow Knight Right, I’m just gonna come out and say this from the start. Best get it out of the way and let the pitchforks come at me….this game is VERY overrated. I think it’s up there with BOTW in terms of how overrated it is. With that said, I’ll now talk about the game to the one remaining person who hasn’t gone off in a huff and is still reading this. It’s such a weird thing. When this game was first announced I was super excited for it and bought it straight away on the Switch. Sadly, the game did nothing for me and despite putting 5 hours or so into the game it just didn’t click with me. It was then deleted from my Switch and never played again. I’m usually not one to give up on a game and I do like revisiting games that didn’t sit right with me the first time through. With the game being free on PSN, I decided to have another crack at it in the hopes that I would see it through to the end. The lure of trophies would certainly help with this. Once one pops on my profile I find it hard to walk away. I found the game to once again be pretty slow at the start, with moves being very limited and environments looking very samey. Like any good Metroidvania game, once things open up a bit and you have more moves at your disposal then things became a little better. Things like the dash move certainly made traversal much more fun. Visually, the game is absolutely stunning when it’s allowed to shine and show a bit of colour. I get that the art style used is a design choice and it goes for a more moody look but I really loved it when seeing colours pop from the screen. I guess the ratio between the light and dark sections made me appreciate the coloured sections a lot more when they did appear. Where the game falls down for me is the map system and how it is used. It reminds me very much of Super Metroid in that you only get a vague idea about the area you are in, rather than it being spelled out for you. It’s why I much prefer the latter Metroid games that address this issue. It’s a preference of mine when playing a Metroidvania in that I like to see glimpses of hidden areas or items on the map as I’m making my way through the areas. Looking at a map, knowing I’ve missed something and then searching for it is something I enjoy in these types of games. Another thing I was disappointed in was the difficulty level. After reading countless stories about how hard the game was I was expecting a decent challenge but that wasn’t the case at all. Outside of the final Pantheon level ( that took some doing!), the game wasn’t too difficult at all. One of my favourite sections of the whole game was the White Palace and yet many people were fuming about how hard to was but for me it was one of the best areas in the whole gaming due to its platforming. I’m kinda baffled as to why the game has a reputation for its difficulty level. Trophy wise, I kinda wish I had checked them a little more closely before starting the game. There was one that required you fill the journal but I wasn’t aware that I had to kill a certain amount of enemies in order to get the full entry. This meant I had to go farm some kills for a few hours, which was tricky as I had to navigate through past sections all over again. Despite my criticisms, I did actually like the game but I just think it’s been massively overhyped. This hype certainly did have a negative effect on my feelings about it. Looking back at some of the other Metroidvania games I’ve played over the past couple of years I think the likes of Monster Boy, Bloodstained and Timespinner were far better games and much more enjoyable to me. Gameplay, music and level designs were better in each of these, IMO.