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  1. 9 points
    I think some people need to worry an awful lot less about what others think of certain games! With the amount of years most of us here have been playing, we should all have a good idea about what we personally enjoy and can often tell pretty quickly just by looking at a few screenshots of a game whether it seems desirable or not. There are undoubtedly exceptions and it can help in some cases to search for different opinions to help decide if you are perhaps on the fence about something but, for the most part at least, my gut is usually pretty spot on. There are plenty of examples where I went against my own judgement to purchase games revered and scored highly by the majority only to come away scratching my head at not being able to appreciate what others seem to see in these games. Everyone just has different taste, and that's absolutely normal The Legend of Zelda is an interesting case as despite sharing many of the same types of elements, puzzles and items, each entry is often a significant departure from the last. You only need to look at how different Breath of the Wild, Link's Awakening and now Skyward Sword are on Switch to experience just how disparate individual games in the series can be! Everyone has their own favourites and none of those opinions are wrong.. even those people who think Twilight Princess is the best I always feel like A Link to the Past, Majora's Mask and Breath of the Wild are held up by many as the pinnacle of the franchise, each unique in their own way but not one of them would crack my top 3 (a couple of them wouldn't even be anywhere close, in fact) Personally, Skyward Sword, Wind Waker HD and Ocarina of Time 3D are my favourite Zelda games and it doesn't matter that other people don't agree. They can like what they like and I'll like what I like
  2. 9 points
  3. 8 points
    Makes the sales numbers even more impressive.
  4. 8 points
    Typical Sony copying Nintendo's controllers again
  5. 8 points
  6. 8 points
    I had a holiday from work today and was going to play on certain games but that didn't go to plan. I ended up hopping from one to the next, not being able to settle on anything. Late this evening, I looked on the eShop and seeing as I had a little a bit of credit left, I decided to pick up A Short Hike. It was just what I needed and after 2 hours of continuous play, I seen the credits roll. It's a very lovely game and one that's full of charm. You could probably finish it in about 30 minutes but it's very much a game about the journey and not the destination. I really enjoyed running around the island, finding secrets and picking up items, so much so that I refused to climb to the top until I had found all of the feathers, as seen below. I will give a special mention to the audio work in the game. I played it with my PS Gold headset on and it was a wonderful experience. Hearing things like the rain falling, wind blowing and music fading in and out really help me be immersed in the world. Some of the tunes were so relaxing and fit really well with how the weather changed on the different sections of the island. It's times like this where I think that music is such a big part of games and often gets overlooked. We live in a time where people often play games whilst listening to podcasts or have another screen on in the background and as such they miss out on some wonderful tunes and world building moments. I was surprised by just how much there was to do in the game. I thought it was just a question of getting to the top of the mountain and didn't realise there were side quests to finish and races to compete in. When I finished one of the quests I was awarded a Silver Feather. Again, this was another surprise as I thought they only came in gold. In a way, the game kinda reminded me of Journey. In that game you also had to climb a mountain and battle the elements, with music also being used to great effect. That game was obviously more artsy but I couldn't help but draw comparisons between the two games. I did like the graphical style that the developers used. I also appreciated the options of being able to toggle the jagged edges down. I played it on the sharpest setting. It still looked blocky but more like a higher res version of a DS game. I would certainly recommend the game but a sticking point for people may be the price. Paying £6.00 for an hour or two of game time may not appeal to everyone, especially if you don't want to explore the island and just head straight to the top. However, I will say that despite its short length I think the game will leave a lasting impression on me. Again, just like Journey done.
  7. 7 points
    Got through two games last weekend, and started a third on Sunday which I saw the end of a few nights ago. MEGA MAN 2 | 1988 Last summer, when I asked for some platformer recommendations after realising that I didn't play nearly enough of them, @Jonnas recommended that if I'm to start anywhere in the Mega Man franchise, to skip the first and go straight to Mega Man 2. And so I did. It definitely took a bit of time to adjust going back to an older game, especially when gauging the height or distance of Mega Man's jumps and how long I needed to hold the button down, but a few deaths out of the way early on and I managed to get used to it by around the midway point. There are some weird things I attribute to the game being on the older side too which resulted in me feeling a bit lost as a series newcomer, like not explaining anything about the Transport Items leading to me just running around at the start of Stage 1 of Wily's Castle (because it's the first time it's required in the game) or not really getting what the deal was with Energy Tanks until a few levels in, and some game design decisions which I'm not sure we'd see if the game were to be made today (namely the beams on Quick Man's stage and the spiked walls on Wily's Castle Stage 3, which are very difficult to navigate as you drop from one screen to another and have little time to adapt), but by far the most outdated - and by far the absolute worst - part of this game from a game design perspective is the boss from Wily's Castle Stage 4. Going through for the first time and realising that the domes could only be damaged by one weapon type, and not really getting much of an opportunity to adapt to dodging their lasers (something the game doesn't really prepare you for throughout that level, as far as I can remember) made it a really tedious experience, one where I found myself having to go back and grind for energy for that one particular weapon. So, Mega Man 2 certainly shows its age at times, and honestly, that's probably it's biggest flaw, something the designers simply couldn't have predicted at the time (you know, besides that boss I mentioned) and is only so noticeable in hindsight. Because, all of this being said, I still thoroughly enjoyed playing through Mega Man 2. I had a blast with it! I cracked out my NES Online controller for the first time in a while, and though my hands were cramping up a little by the end, it was a really great way to go back and experience the game with the original controller. It was very funny trying to figure out why I couldn't shoot for the first 5 minutes though (it was because the controller didn't have a preset, so my button for firing my blaster simply wasn't an option on the controller, which resulted in me questioning if maybe Mega Man couldn't use his blaster at the start and I just needed to try jumping over everything. Yeah, if you know the first level at all, that's not a feasible option, and you will die at the very beginning every time I found the enemy and character designs really endearing, the stages are full of variety and are so vibrant that it just pops off the screen, and I found myself relishing the challenges I faced along the way. Beating bosses to add their weapons to your collection and trying out different weapons on different enemy types to check for weaknesses was a lot of fun to do; I'd have to say that my personal favourite weapon was Quick Man's Quick Boomerang, mostly just because it made such light work of some of the bosses. Some of the sprite work in this game, by the way, I thought was absolutely phenomenal for an NES game (in particular, the shot of Wily's Castle, Mecha Dragon, and Nuts-Dozer), and could easily pass for being an SNES game at those times. The thing which ties Mega Man 2 up so sweetly for me - and will make it so memorable an experience - is it's phenomenal treasure trove of a soundtrack, which is clearly now in hindsight such ridiculously complex music to have on the NES. Seriously, Takashi Tateishi's back must be fixed into a bowing position at this point, because I thought it was just that brilliant. There's just so much energy and charm to the soundtrack that I found it impossible to not smile even at the toughest of points in the game, and there were several times where I would start a new stage and either let the music play through a few times because it was obvious the track was going to be great, or be not too hot on it and start playing the level, before it really got a chance to kick in some 20 seconds later, and I had to kill everything around me just to listen to it over and over. Metal Man, Wood Man, Air Man, Crash Man (my personal favourite of the stage themes, there's a weird jazziness to it and I love it), and Flash Man are the 'normal' stage themes that I'd highlight, there's a lot of variety and depth to them. I'm just listening to the soundtrack again as I type this, and find myself smiling and humming along. The Boss Battle theme is also great; Dr. Wily's Castle is obviously an exceptional piece of music with that high octane epic melody and beat. Epilogue is strangely melancholic when it starts out, seeing as the journey is over - it's probably the most serious track in the game? - but also kind of warm and hopeful by its end, and Credits feels like a great celebration. But the highlight to me is that opening of the game with the Introduction and Title Screen tracks, the soft peacefulness of the introduction music just being obliterated by the high tempo of the title screen music is awesome. Despite showing its age at times, Mega Man 2 is still a great platformer to play through today some 30+ years after its initial release, and combined with some superb sprites and a top shelf soundtrack, is filled with charm and this childlike innocence which makes it a classic well worth returning to. PAPERS, PLEASE | 2013 Papers, Please sees you play the role of a border checkpoint immigration inspector after winning October's labour lottery, set in the fictional, totalitarian country of Arstotzka in the winter of 1982, in what is effectively an alternate Eastern Europe. The main gameplay loop is simple enough: one-by-one, you are checking the documents of those entering the country by using the tools at your disposal, and your own investigative skills, to process their documents/person and ultimately stamp their passport or visa with denial or approval of entry to Arstotzka, checking above all else for any discrepancies which might suggest something suspect is at hand. For instance, a difference between their weight as detailed in their documents, and the reading from the scales which they stand on as they speak with you, might suggest that they are smuggling weapons or contraband; discrepancies in height, facial appearance, spelling of their names or locations in their papers, or document stamps, might suggest forgery; and other potential tells, such as their reasoning for entry or how long they will be spending in the country, might be a sign further questioning is required or of genuine forgetfulness. All of this can be cross-examined by hitting the red button on the bottom right of the screen, allowing you to enter an investigation mode, where highlighting two potential discrepancies, such as their face and the face in their passport, a rule in the rulebook about requiring a certain type of document and highlighting the desk as it isn't there, or even a transcript of your conversation and their documents if they don't correspond, and will lead to further opportunities for questioning to explore any suspicions you might have. Playing this on my Vita and using the touch screen, this could be a bit tedious and even a bit frustrating at times, due to the sensitivity of the screen and the default size of the text frequently resulting in the game thinking I wanted to highlight something else. Oftentimes, further exploration and questioning will leading to invasive actions (scanning their thumbprint to make sure it matches the one on their documents, and that they are who they say they are. or in some cases an X-ray scan to confirm their gender or possession of weapons/contraband) or even more direct punishment, such as calling security over to detain them. This might seem mundane, and, well, it is. You're pushing paper to get through to the end of the work day (each of the 31 days you can play through often takes about 5-10 minutes in real-time), when you'll receive your pay. The most common action you'll take in this game is shuffling papers around your desk - which in itself offers a satisfying crinkling sound effect - as you try to cross-examine everything for mistakes, which you'll need to do as any errors will result in you receiving citations - these come with the sound of the citation be printed, which becomes increasingly grating as you go on. After the first two citations you receive on a particular day, which won't incur a penalty, the more of those you get, the more of your pay will be docked, which plays into managing the expenses of your home life, such as heating, rent, food, medicine, and the odd one-off expense, such as a gift for your son on his birthday. You might also be able to receive bonus amounts, such as by helping a security guard get their own bonus by maximising the number of people you choose to detain, or through helping an engineer get word out about his business and giving his business cards to incoming engineers. On occasion, you might even receive a straight-up bribe to allow someone through. If you have enough money on hand, at certain points throughout your term, you can take up the opportunity to move into better accommodation with your family. This all is tied together by a distinct and interesting political and national security landscape, which will see changes to the rules in your rulebook on who you can and can't let in, and what documents they need, with a lot of this narrative will coming through reading the newspaper at the start of each day. For instance, heightened political tension between Arstotzka and Kolechia at the start of the game, shortly after the end of a six-year war between the nations, will see you denying all access to Kolechians for a day; a list of wanted criminals, and even some mentioned in the paper itself in serious cases, will have you keeping a keen eye out for them; and later on in the game, an outbreak of Polio will see you asking for medical documents confirming that potential entrants have received the vaccine within the last three years. All of this adds a bit of variety to the mundane day-to-day, adding texture and depth to this fictional world, all while giving rise to a front row seat to smaller arcs with recurring characters, which for me personally was the highlight of the game, as these provide the most distinct of the game's twenty potential different endings. An example of this is coming into contact with a resistance group who claim to have guided Arstotzka's history, and wish to do so again, using you as a pawn to allow certain people in and out of the country, such as important diplomats or their own spies, and on occasion, even doing their dirty work for them. On the other hand, terrorist attacks frequently take place at the border wall, and after a few of those, you'll be handed a key by security, which can be used to open a drawer with a tranquilliser gun that you can attempt to use to sedate the threat (which comes with its own rewards). Papers, Please is mechanically sound, if a bit repetitive and mundane at times, though this is part of the point. It was interesting to feel myself, as days went on, getting bullied with citations for making the slightest of mistakes, pay less and less attention to the monotony of the day-to-day, and to the people, and find myself focusing almost solely on the stone cold facts, only to find myself shaken up by some major event, which in its way felt like a commentary on the day-to-day of office work and, further yet, a totalitarian regime and the tensions in Eastern Europe of the 70's and 80's. Almost in spite of how mundane this game is at times, there is something ever so slightly appealing about just pushing papers around for a few hours, and wanting to see how the different endings played out - especially the major ones - by making different choices had me coming back for two more playthroughs after my first. I think, ultimately, you'll know if this game is one for you, but it was one which kept me hooked throughout and coming back for me. It might not quite be a Platinum, but I 100%'d this game, and I'm glad I took the time to do so; I think it's one which will stick with me for a long while, thanks to its simple pixel art style, its overarching narrative, and just how unique an experience I found it to be. Papers, please. SOUND SHAPES | 2012 In Sound Shapes, you play as what is probably best described as an eye ball covered in goo, sticking to walls and platforms as you slide around them before leaping elsewhere, as you try to avoid touching anything red, as this will result in your immediate death. It's a simple enough game on a control level, with the only inputs being the ability to jump (which in some cases might be used for something else in its place), control your direction, and 'de-stick' yourself, shedding your goo to allow you to move around faster and stop sticking to objects, and I thought the platforming through the Campaign Mode was really solid, as it was just a lot of fun to gain some level of mastery over this ball's jump and the goo mechanic, even if I thought that checkpoints were overall on the generous side. The main draw, though, is in just in the sheer variety of this game's creativity and level design, as every level manages to introduce something new and fresh for you to overcome. You play through five albums (or worlds), each with 3 - 5 levels and 20 in total, and each has their own overarching theme, with music and graphics design for each album handled by different artists, all allowing for very different experiences, despite the platforming fundamentally staying the same, and how each level interacts with the music is interesting to see. Hello, World has an easygoing soundtrack by I Am Robot and Proud and a soft, round art style provided by Vic Nguyen (Capy); CORPOREAL has a much more serious soundtrack, by contrast, by Jim Guthrie, in a muted, matte office setting with graphics by Superbrothers; Beyonder is an exploration of a variety of natural and mechanical environment types, with music again by I Am Robot and Proud, though this time a bit heavier and synth driven, and graphics by Colin Mancer; D-Cade is also heavy on synth, though a bit more modern in ways, with music by deadmau5 and a retro pixel art style by PixelJam; and, probably my favourite album, Cities, with almost layered paper-like art style by Pyramid Attack, and a great variety of music by Beck (the only album with lyrics). I figure the easiest way to show you what I mean about level design, music, and graphics variety is to just you my favourite levels from each album, so without further ado: My favourite tracks in the game were probably Cities and Purgatory, though I absolutely loved the flute which turned up at the end of Event Horizon too. After completing the Campaign Mode, two new modes unlocked, the first of which I checked out was Beat School. In short, it's a mode where you're basically arranging notes on an blocked out screen to recreate the beat or melody that you hear. I spent an hour on the mode figuring out the first few, but I'm not really sure why it was included. It's neat enough, but doesn't really add anything to the experience in my opinion. An easy way to get a bunch of trophies, though, so once I eventually had my fill of it, it meant looking up guides for the rest of the levels I had left, and unfortunately, I imagine that was the case for the majority of players. The other mode unlocked after beating the Campaign Mode is Death Mode, where there is room based on each level in the game, with a core mechanic from that level, where you have to go around collecting a certain number of discs within a time limit. This was simultaneously the most triumphant and most frustrating mode in the game for me. On the one hand, it provided an opportunity to master a particular room and how to overcome a particular obstacle, which could take anywhere from 10 - 20 minutes to really adapt to if you're paying attention, but on the other, and what made this mode so damn frustrating, is that the discs are randomly generated to turn up in one of a number of locations in the room, with only one on screen at a time, and dying once means you need to restart; in every case, there is a ridiculous element of pure luck involved with the disc placement. On one run you could be doing great, and have plenty of time left, only for the level to completely screw you over and decide it wants to set one disc down on one side of the room, then send you all the way over to the other side; at the same time, on another run, you might end up with as many as 5 discs in a row showing up right next to each other. It's this RNG element which tears this down, and I think slightly tweaking the mode could have made it so much less frustrating an experience, either by removing the RNG element and having players learn a predetermined order in which the discs will turn up, which would enough of a challenge in itself, or keeping the RNG element but rewarding players with additional time for each disc collected (even just 1 second per disk would seriously make that much of a difference). In the end, there were several times where I had to zone everything out in some way, because after learning the level through, it's just a matter of trying your best until the RNG plays into your favour (and, at that point, not becoming distracted and overthinking things), and I had to come up with some specific strategies for some. I spent hours on some levels in Death Mode, some leaving my hands cramped, whilst others provided so much concentration I had to do that thing you have to do in some games heavy on reaction times, where you don't even focus on the screen to allow yourself to see the screen in its entirety, just to heighten your reflexes to give you that super slight edge. The implementation of the music across the Death Mode levels was something I found to be really inconsistent, with some clueing you in on when to react, but on others it was a hinderance more than anything, so I found myself muting my TV to help me concentrate. Figured it would be worth sharing some of my triumphs and frustrations of the mode here, just so you can see what I'm talking about when it comes to the RNG nature of it all: The Campaign Mode of Sound Shapes is great in its simplicity and sheer variety, whether it be its music, level design, mechanics, or art style, and you can get through it in an afternoon, so I would say it's definitely worth checking out if you're looking for something a bit shorter, or a shake-up from a more traditional platformer. Beat School is a mode which genuinely feels misplaced in this game, even with the overall focus on music, and I would only recommend Death Mode if you're willing to drive yourself a little bit mad. I stuck with it in the end, nearly tripling my total time with the game, and while it's something I'm glad I put in the effort and time to get through, it's a mode which I genuinely never want to play through again. First Platinum get of 2021! Looking through my others, this was probably the most challenging one I've got my virtual hands on so far. To be honest, it's been nice changing things up a bit and getting through some shorter games at a decent enough clip for a change. Still trying to figure out what I want to play next, but February has been a pretty solid month for me so far in my gaming endeavours!
  8. 7 points
    Seeing reviews of this game coming out is bringing about Vietnam-esque flashbacks for me.
  9. 7 points
    Like a couple others on here, January was a bit of a mop up month. I spent a large amount of time earning the platinums for both Yakuza 7 and Kingdom Hearts Melody. The credits had rolled for each of them but the platinum grind was real in both games. I moved on to Avengers and also seen the credits roll on that game. Sadly, this is another game requires a large grind for the platinum. I continued playing it throughout the month but I'm still needing to put in a heck of a lot more time in order to grab the trophies. It's one that I'll continue to pick away at during the next few months. I've continued to jump in and out of Worms Rumble. I put a fair bit of time into last weekend due to it being double exp for a couple of days. I'm still only just over halfway through the ranks. Again, the grind is real and it's another game I'll continue to pop in and out of inbetween other stuff. I final managed to play through and beat Final Fantasy II. The game was average at best but I'm glad I can now say I have beaten the game. Plus, I wouldn't mind trying to play through a JRPG every month. I fell short of this goal last year for a few reasons and do I'll have another crack at it this year. The final games I beat in January were Cyber Shadow and A Short Hike. Both are great games, with CS having a very satisfying platinum trophy. As for this month, I've yet to settle on anything yet. I need to pick a JRPG to play and I fancy playing a few more indie games this month. I've still got a couple in the PS4 backlog that I could dip into. There's also a decent sale on PSN at the moment and I'm quite tempted to pick up DeBlob for a couple of quid. I loved it back on the Wii but have never played it since. It may be worth a punt at that price just to see how it holds up.
  10. 7 points
    Some TV adverts have been posted on YouTube: Mom: "Mario and I have some history". Ooookay, TMI mom!
  11. 7 points
    Time for my first update of 2021! Unfortunately, I only have one game to talk about completing in January after being ill the last couple of weeks, and before that just chipping away at Monster Hunter: World a little bit with friends (imagine that will be the case throughout the year), and investing far too much time into a FIFA 21 Career Mode (I know, I hate it too). But, fortunately, there's plenty I want to say about that one particular game. Without further ado: SUIKODEN | 1995 Produced, written, and direct by Yoshitaka Murayama, developed by Konami, and originally released in Japan in 1995 as one of the earliest JRPG's to grace the first PlayStation, Suikoden tells an epic yet simple tale of betrayal, greed, and honour, in search of the truth. As Tir McDohl, son of a renowned general, players are given a chance early on to see first hand the corruption and tyranny eating away at the heart of the Scarlet Moon Empire whilst working as an Imperial Guard. After a friend becomes mortally wounded and passes on the Soul Eater rune, one of the 27 True Runes, Tir and his servants must flee the golden city of Gregminster, along the way finding themselves tasked with leading a rebel army against the Empire and gathering the 108 Stars of Destiny. The game's story and the gathering of the 108 Stars of Destiny is loosely inspired by a 14th century Chinese novel called Shui Hu Zhuan, known in the West as Water Margin or Outlaws of the Marsh, or, in Japan, as Suikoden. In the story, 108 outlaws gather to form a sizable army and maintain peace, and in this game, a very large part of the story is the gathering of the world's 108 Stars of Destiny, with whom the destinies of those in the Liberation Army are deeply intertwined. These characters can be found throughout the game's many locations, all with unique sprites and excellent portraits which I think do an excellent job of providing a lot of character to them, and once recruited, almost all of them are able to fight alongside you in your party, while others will stay at your castle to help out in any way they can; for example, Marie, the innkeeper from Gregminster, sets up an inn in the castle for you to rest and save at once recruited, whereas some others will set up shops filled with items and armour, play mini games with you, or offer services such as sharpening your weapons (the game's way of upgrading your weapons), storing items and equipment, upgrade your boat for faster travel, or to attach runes (which determine the elemental attack type and rune type of a character). As you collect more characters throughout the course of the game, more rooms and facilities will become available in your castle, as the size of your castle grows and the reach of the Liberation Army expands. However, as great as it is to see the growth that collecting characters and building your castle up has, the ending you see will be determined by how many Stars of Destiny you have gathered before the game's final battle, and the true and canon ending - which can be carried over through a save transfer to Suikoden II - can only be seen with all 108 Stars of Destiny gathered. And, as you can imagine, this unfortunately isn't a straightforward process, with different recruitment requirements for characters ranging from simply talking to them, to grinding for a rare item they've asked for which drops in battle, to beating them at an RNG-based mini game which involves rolling dice (though, once this character is recruited, it's the greatest high risk-high reward way to earn an insane amount of money!), to being locked behind Tir being at a certain level, having a certain party member with you when interacting with them (or, in one extreme case, as many as four requested party members - your maximum party formation is six!), in a hidden room in a dungeon, or, perhaps even worse: in the final room of a dungeon which you are kicked out of before you get the chance to recruit them, meaning you'll need to instantly go straight back in and through that dungeon - in its entirety - again. In quite a few cases, too, characters are only available to be recruited during short windows between story beats, meaning it's very, very easy to miss some characters if you aren't careful. Because of this, keeping multiple save files is the best way to go, and unless you are willing to drive yourself insane going through potentially multiple 20+ hour playthroughs, I think it's worth looking up a spoiler-free recruitment guide for this game; I did, and trust me when I say that there is zero chance you will have gathered 108 Stars of Destiny organically in a blind playthrough, it's just far too tedious at times. This all being said, the reward of the true ending is worth following a recruitment guide for, so I would highly recommend it. Unsurprisingly, you journey between the towns, villages, mountains and forests of Toran through the use a world map, the scale of which honestly reminds me a lot of Chrono Trigger, what with its super tiny character and detailed depictions of miniaturised locales. The world map theme is literally called Tiny Characters in a Huge World, which is a very light and charming track to bob up and down to (and hum along with), as you make your way from one town to the next. While there are encounters on the world map, something I thought was really interesting was something I read about the design of the encounter rates on the world map: if you beeline from one location to the next, taking a relatively straight path along the way, the encounter rate actually reduces to allow for exploration; this is something director Muramasa included in the game to reduce the stress of getting lost on the world map. However, on the other hand, if you start walking in circles or start frantically changing directions at the drop of a hat - like I know I do when I want to grind - then the encounter rate will actually remain higher. I think that's such a cool addition, and logically it makes a lot of sense for a JRPG when the habits of players are known quite well now (clearly even some 25+ years ago too!), so it's something I'd like to see someone else include and refine a bit further in modern JRPG's with random encounters. Something which is really strong when it comes to Suikoden is the visual and musical identity of its locales, some of which are influenced by the West and others of which are clearly inspired by the East. It adds a whole lot to the scale of the world, keeps things fresh, and really breathes some life into some areas and the characters you can find there, every place having its own bit of history, or hinting at another location in the world. Dungeons throughout the game are pretty linear, though I'll mention here that it's always worth keeping an Escape Talisman to hand, as, unlike many more modern dungeon designs, you aren't kicked out of dungeons after completing them, meaning that you'll otherwise have to backtrack through an entire dungeon to get out. Similarly, something I didn't notice until far too late in the game, is that an item called the Blinking Mirror can be given to a character (I would suggest Tir) to teleport back to your castle from anywhere on the world map, and that a certain character, once recruited, acts as a means to teleport you to locations throughout the world, Hopefully that will save someone some backtracking! The writing of the world is simple, but there are some excellently executed parts throughout, with smaller subplots feeling almost episodic in how they give you another character to try to fit into your party and dealing with the various aspects of being at war. No, it doesn't dig that deep into it, but it's how it characterises these moments and brings them to life in the pixel art of the sprites which makes you swear that the character portraits change at times; nothing is black and white here, and the director clearly had a vision of painting this world for you, but giving players the opportunity to colour it with their own interpretations of events. While there are certainly some fantastical elements present - such as the inclusion of elves, dwarves, and kobolds - it stays grounded in its character's intentions and the political landscape of Toran. Of course, an essential component of any JRPG is its battle system. But Suikoden's battle system, while turn-based, is actually a bit different: a maximum party of six at any time, with two rows of three characters each, where you choose all of their commands at the start of each round before watching it all play out, with turn order - as ever - being determined by a character's speed. In terms of commands, there are genre staples here, such as the option to Attack or Defend. Depending on their weapon, characters have access to either Short Range (swords and axes), Medium Range (spears and staffs), or Long Range (bows and arrows) standard Attacks (which, by the way, can be infused with an elemental type if a rune piece is attached at a blacksmith). Short Range attacks can only reach one row in front, meaning you want to put that character on your front line; Medium Range attackers have a range of up to two rows, so can reach the enemy's front row if placed in the back row, or the enemy's back row if placed in your front row; and lastly, Long Range attackers have an unlimited range, meaning they are able to hit the enemy's back row from your own back row. It's a simple thing to add range to turn-based battles, but it keeps things fresh, and means you'll be left figuring out a new preferred formation when your party is changed up (which happens quite a lot throughout the game's story as characters come and go). In addition to the above, though, the game also makes use of Rune Attacks and Unite Attacks. Rune Attacks are determined by the character's equipped Rune (note: these are actually referred to in Items as Crystals; also note that not every Rune is one of the 27 True Runes I mentioned briefly earlier), which allows the user either the use of magic (the higher their magic stat, the more abilities they have access to with a given rune) or a powerful physical attack, whereas Unite Attacks are like Chrono Trigger's Techs, allowing certain characters to team up to perform a team attack. Though magic Rune Attacks are balanced somewhat by having a set limit on how many times you can use a certain spell between resting (note: there are no items to replenish these spells between resting, either at inns or as part of the story), and is only increased either through an increase in your magic stat and/or character's level, there are powerful physical rune attacks, such as the Falcon Rune, and Unite Attacks, such as Tir's and Kai's Master-Pupil Attack, which are very overpowered and do not have such a limit, meaning they can be used as many times as you like. There are two other types of battles, which I'll just mention briefly here due to how closely tied they are to the story: Army Battles and Duels. Both depend on rock paper scissors mechanics, the former being a mini game between the Liberation Army and the Empire during major battles where the aim is to reduce their numbers to zero. Tying back to the 108 Stars of Destiny, the more you have available for Army Battles, the merrier, as you'll have greater attacking options (attacking options are grouped in threes, and some aren't complete until late in the game), and other options are available too, such as using a strategist to boost the attack of your soldiers involved in a Charge attack, or using a ninja to get accurate intel on what the enemy's next move will be. It's worth noting that in Army Battles, you can actually lose Stars of Destiny permanently (which is why it's so important to win with casualties kept to a minimum), so remember to save frequently and beforehand; don't worry about missing it being said, as the game couldn't be clearer when it tells you that a character has died in battle. In Duels, major one-on-one confrontations take place between key players on both sides, with the phrase uttered between rounds by the enemy subtly hinting at the type of attack that they'll be using next (a certain guy with a red bandana is someone you'll want to have in your party at all times up until his duel, trust me). If I'm being honest, I think I only had trouble with one or two bosses throughout the course of the game, the first time being against arguably the hardest boss in the game, Neclord, this hundreds of years old vampire who lives up in this castle and takes girls away from local towns and villages to marry them (greatest jump in HP from the last boss, multiple attacks which hit a number of party members, and the ability to poison you; also an awesome rendition of a typical wedding theme in minor when you go to his castle, which I really appreciated!), and the penultimate boss, who is faced shortly after another boss with a high HP count but before you get the chance to rest (meaning no chance to replenish your magic Rune Attack slots between battles, which for me made some characters almost useless). The only other real downside to battles I guess is that if there's one enemy left you need to work your way through all of the character command menus when you might be able to take them out with just one, but otherwise I think it has aged really well, comparable even to modern Quality of Life expectations for JRPG's: enemies move up a row once the first row is cleared, meaning more party members will get the chance to attack as the battle goes on; when engaging in battle with lower levelled enemies, you can decide to use Let Go to escape with a 100% success rate, which becomes Run, which has a less than 100% success rate, if their level is equal to or greater than your own; and instead of missing the target if they faint, it just aims at the next enemy instead. I didn't wipeout once during my playthrough, save opportunities are plentiful throughout (apart from one time, where I swear I couldn't save for over an hour), and the game has one of the best designed levelling systems in a JRPG with more characters than there are party member slots that I've ever played. Yes, you read that right, and no, it isn't hyperbole: Suikoden's levelling system, with its insane number of playable characters and its constant want to swap people in and out throughout, is extremely well balanced and designed, to the point where I didn't need to grind once. How? Level-scaled experience gains. Each level-up requires 1000 EXP, whether that be going from Level 5 to Level 6, or from Level 55 to Level 56, but it scales against the level of the enemy you face; for instance, taking out a Level 10 enemy with a Level 5 character provides more experience than a Level 7 character would get for the same battle, as the experience multiplier is greater, due to the greater difference in levels. Now, this isn't something unique to Suikoden, and has been around in JRPG's for a long time, but what makes this stand out to me so much is how they evidently bumped up that multiplier not just for when you are underlevelled, but even when you're overlevelled, too. For example, about 70% of the way through the game, I found myself being forced to use a character I had not used once since he was introduced some 10+ hours earlier, and my part's levels were all at 48 or thereabouts, and he was down at Level 23. In almost any other JRPG, I'm finding out at that point that I need to backtrack to level up this character to a point where he's actually of some use. But in Suikoden, I knew I could power forward into the next dungeon, keeping him protected on my back row for just a few minutes as I made my way through. SIX battles later and he is already at Level 44, and I can move him to the front line in battles now; by the time I completed that dungeon, he was just 1 level below my other characters. That's pretty insane and, genuinely, an awesome way I think to keep every character in the game viable, even late into the game if the story calls for it. General rule of thumb throughout my playthrough was to just make my way through an area and battle until battles seemed easier, the EXP I was getting reduced significantly (signalling that I was now overlevelled), or heck, just paying attention to when the Let Go option becomes available in battle. Because of this, I feel I can genuinely recommend this JRPG to anyone, and the genre is just that much more accessible; in fact, I'd go so far as to say that this might be an ideal first JRPG, alongside Chrono Trigger. Oh, and you're going to flush with money throughout. Start running low or want to save up for the next best gear? Don't grind, just go play some Chinchirorin, that RNG-based dice game I mentioned before. Just like almost every other game, Suikoden has its flaws, and while I've mentioned some of them throughout, one I've been saving until now is the item management. It's really quite a mess. To put it simply: each character can carry up to 9 items each, which is where the nightmare begins, because up to a maximum of half of those slots per character are going to be used on keeping defensive gear equipped. There isn't a shared inventory, either, meaning that it's probably best to keep healing items on every other character, and then you'll need some items to heal status ailments too; that Blinking Mirror should be kept on Tir, like I mentioned before, meaning he's basically out of slots already. There are no items to revive during battle (you can use medicine outside of battle), the only way to do so is to equip a Sacrificial Buddha. Oh, and people will come and go from your party without much of a heads-up, and there isn't an option to swap items out when they do, which means you could potentially end up losing access to any worthwhile Runes or pieces of equipment you just so happened to have equipped to them for a potentially long time. Again: equip that Blinking Mirror to Tir! Now, odds are, Miki Higashino isn't the name of a video game composer you've heard before - but I can tell you now that it probably should be, because the quality of her work as the lead composer on this game is pretty high. Prior to Suikoden, the soundtracks of note Higashino had worked on - all for Konami - are probably Gradius, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Contra III: The Alien Wars. I can't speak to the quality of her work on those titles, but she really does not pull any punches on this game's soundtrack, every track being so unique and doing a great job of portraying a certain emotion or place in the world. She's on the record as saying that she wanted to avoid doing something like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, and instead made a soundtrack which uses influences from the East and the West, painting every location's soundscape to near perfection in my eyes (ears?). It's so rich and diverse, it adds a lot of texture to these 2D spaces; I highlight music a lot, but I really think it's brushed aside sometimes just how important music is when nailing an atmosphere or moment in a show, film, or game. I've just finished listening to the soundtrack again, and have some twenty tracks written down which I would highlight if given the chance, but instead I'll just mention a few which stand out to me. Royal Palace Consultation certainly lives up to its title, offering this almost funny level of over the top snobbery which few tracks in my mind come close to, yet some of those violin strings still strain with excellence. The eerie repetition and the synth or strings (?) coming in over the top (the sound of which really reminds me of Metal Gear Solid) hang this palpable tension over you in This is Just a Rumor. I think Forgotten Days might be one of my very favourite tracks, because what the strings hint at at the beginning with their repetition isn't at all what the flute leads it towards, and once that main melody is solidified and those natural sounds start to creep in, I can almost imagine myself in some lush field sat on the steps of some countryside house. Passacaria, which is Neclord's theme, goes all-in on organs, as you might expect for some vampire lord of the night; it's sinister and foreboding, yet almost nuanced with a tinge of regret and questioning - maybe hesitation? - like he's driving himself crazy, pacing back and forth in his castle after living through so much for hundreds of years. I'm a bit of a sucker for main themes which are incorporated well, and that there are multiple arrangements of the main theme throughout this game - epic, light, a guitar solo - the Ensemble Arrangement of the Main Theme is my personal favourite, capturing the lost innocence of many of the Stars of Destiny, but looking ahead together with a warm sense of comradery and hope. Island Fortress, the theme of your castle for much of the game (there's an updated version later on, but this one I personally prefer), stays true to that, and I find it very hard to not smile or hum along to its jolly melody. I love the brass opening of An Old Irish Song, and then how it softens and ascends in this ethereal-sounding melody. Theme of a Moonlit Night is one many who have played this game seem to agree to love, and it's not hard to hear why, with its optimistic solo harmonica sound then joined by others to give this great sense of togetherness and reassurance. Theme of the Advancing Army is probably the most Final Fantasy-sounding track in the game, what with its swashbuckling call to adventure, and textured main melody. I think my favourite track, though, is probably Avertuneiro Antes Lance Mao / After the Battle, which is charged with emotion, and almost sounds pained, before a triumphant choral section which reminds me a lot of Victory Celebration at the end of Return of the Jedi. That all being said, of course I have to leave the final track as A World of Illusion, just as an excuse to show the awesome opening credits and resounding epic version of the main theme: From what I've read and heard, Suikoden can't seem to shake this reputation that it was a warm-up for something better - something grander - in the form of Suikoden II. It might well end up being the case that I do enjoy its sequel more, but even if that is the case, I only think this line of thinking serves to diminish the accomplishments of what is in its own right a well-crafted JRPG, clearly overflowing with charm and heart, and which served as an excellent directorial debut for Yoshitaka Murayama. Well-paced and well-crafted, Suikoden is well worth your time. It celebrates differences - in cultures and in ideologies - with a large cast of greatly realised characters on both sides of war, a wonderful soundtrack, and a timeless story about the courage of humanity in the face of adversity. Even at his most powerless, man's existence is never without meaning.
  12. 7 points
    Finally got a move in date for my new flat. We've been waiting since December but we'll finally have the keys on February 10th. Deposit and first month's rent have already been paid, new bed, mattress, sofa and various other bits have been ordered. Looking forward to it as I've been staying with my sister in law and its starting to feel like we're all getting in each other's ways a bit do it'll be good for myself and my partner to be back in our own place and for my sister in law and her partner to have their place (and their two sheds as all our stuff is currently stored in them) back. Its been a long road to get here, with everything that's happened since November with our old downstairs neighbour. So roll on Feb. 10th new house, fresh start, excited.
  13. 6 points
  14. 6 points
    OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOODDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!! THE HOLY GRAIL HAS LEAKED!! I can't believe that Fox was actually added into the game before it got ported to GCN!!! BTW: I can confirm that it DOES indeed run on real hardware via an Everdrive (requires Expansion Pak though - making it one of only 4 N64 games to ever need one).
  15. 6 points
    Indeed. A recent example on here was drahkon disliking Mario 3D World. Some of the reactions were as if he had insulted someone's mother. I've never understood the rage people get into over someone disliking a game they like. Why do they care? Someone else's opinion should have no bearing on the enjoyment you got out of a game. It just comes across as really insecure. Also, I think it's important to state that an opinion of something can change over time. There's many games I've tried to play and disliked but they revisited them in later years and found I enjoyed and appreciated them. I do agree that at the age most of us are at we do know what we want and don't want out of games. However, I still think it's important to step out of your comfort zone from time to time. Like anything in life, it's the only way to expand your horizons. There's so many amazing gaming experiences I would have missed out on had I just stuck to what I know.
  16. 6 points
    SS was average at best. The fact that both Dcubed and Nando ( a person who loves Star Fox Zero and another who hates 99% of games ) love the game makes me rest easy that my opinion of it is correct.
  17. 6 points
    For me, this pretty much sums up Nintendo's attitude this whole generation. Pretty much everything that they have done have been safe choices, with very few things being left field. It's why I wasn't that fussed about the Mario Golf announcement because it's another game that appears on most of their consoles. It feels like Nintendo have a checklist of certain games and just gradually work through them each generation. The Switch has been a runaway success, bringing in a lot of mindshare and money for the company. Now should be the time for Nintendo to try and revive dead franchises and give lesser known games some representation but instead it seems they are happy to fall back to the things that are tried and tested.
  18. 6 points
    Purrrrrfect file achieved. Yeah, there's a lot of fluff just in order to increase the amount of shines needed for 100%. Many of the shines are the same tasks repeated over and over again. Still, there were a few here and there that were fun to collect. @S.C.G and @RedShell do either of you want to borrow my copy of the game? I'm done with it now and I'd quite happily post it to both of you so you can play through Bowser's Fury without having to buy the game.
  19. 6 points
  20. 6 points
    Haven't had much opportunity to respond earlier, but this was a lovely episode. It's great to hear other people's experiences with one of my favourite series, and it sparked a lot of nostalgia in me in unexpected ways. For example, my first contact with the series was seeing pictures of the first NES game on an old Latin American magazine. To me at the time, every game was a sidescrolling platformer, so I was deeply confused at what I was looking at. It wasn't until the early 2000s, when I saw a TV ad for the Oracle games and read a review for Majora's Mask, that I became truly intrigued by the series. A friend at school let me play through the first dungeon of Oracle of Seasons, and I liked it plenty. Eventually I got an used copy of OoT (luckily, I distinctively remember going into the store hoping to buy Kirby Crystal Shards, but settling for Zelda when I saw that's what they had) and became a fan for life. Even at the cusp of the PS2/Gamecube era, I was captivated by what Ocarina of Time had to offer. I'd also like to mention that I have very fond memories of the 25th Anniversary, when I pre-ordered Skyward Sword (first time I ever did so, I really wanted to guarantee the WiimotePlus bundle, plus it was a bargain deal). The orchestral CD included in the deal turned out to be one of its best aspects. It was a really uplifting surprise, hearing official remixes from the more underrated games, like Link's Awakening or Spirit Tracks. Plus, the poster with all the Links was great, a true celebration of one of my favourite series ever. I was going through a bad phase of my life on a personal level in 2010-11, but that bundle was a very bright spot for me. So yeah, hearing you talk about the original NES Zelda, the Oracles, Skyward Sword... Those memories all came back to me while listening to the episode, so thank you very much. Me, I wasn't planning to do any special Zelda playthrough this year... But Breath of the Wild is in my backlog, so it's fitting that I do it this year, sooner rather than later. I may also replay Spirit Tracks (one of the few Zelda games I never replayed), a game that I remember loving.
  21. 6 points
    I spent a good 10 or so hours over the past week finishing Super Mario Galaxy to 100%. A game that is definitely better in the back half than it is in the first, much like many modern Mario games, I suppose, but there are still a few annoying stars that were tough to get. I think I can come to the final conclusion that Galaxy is the best Mario game when it's at its best - i.e. 2D like levels that are liner and play around a lot with gravity. Some of the more open levels suffer from serious issues with the camera, when it is sometimes controllable, and sometimes not. Frustrating. The swimming is also terrible in this game, especially after Sunshine. I was constantly fighting the controls and the camera to get Mario where I wanted him to go. Overall, I'd put this game firmly behind Odyssey, 3D World and even Sunshine, I had a better time with that game as a whole. And so the Mario 3D All Stars collection is done (bar the Blue Coins in Sunshine, but shhhh). Excellent value for money from the £37 I ended up playing. Lasted me a good few months and it was super fun revisiting all these classics. Almost 60 hours of gamepley is nothing to be sniffed at considering the price I ended up paying. Would have liked it physical, but at least it's sat on the Switch for when I decide to go back and do a Luigi run of Galaxy in a couple of years or so. All finished just in time for Super Mario 3D World which I'm picking up on Friday. Parting ways with my Switch copies of DOOM, Wolfenstien II and Civilization VI, but I have them all on PC now, where they all play infinitely better so no loss, I suppose. Two dungeons to go in Link to the Past, so I'll probably finish that off this weekend before starting one of the Oracle games.
  22. 6 points
    Well since i defeated Ganon the second time - I haven't felt any desire to go back and play the game....I wonder if that's how a lot of the people who stormed the castle as early as possible felt. It felt good to have that final task hanging over you the whole time, and once done, there seems little incentive to go and upgrade your armour, or complete any final shrines etc. Anyway, I'll just leave my final thoughts now, since i'd quite like to move onto another game, and I can't see me playing any more. Ultimately, I think it's a fantastic game, definitely my favourite Switch game so far, and without a doubt my favourite Zelda game. I've always struggled to get on with Zelda games. I've been burnt so many times where I get caught up in the hype and buy them, only to get stuck or lose interest early on. I've played OOT, TP, SS, and WW, and only ever managed to complete TP. I umm'd and aah'd for ages about whether to get BOTW, because I didn't want to waste money on another game that I'd hate. Luckily, I ended up getting it for Xmas, so it was someone else's money, and in any case, i definitely didn't hate this one! The amount they managed to cram into the world is simply astonishing. Even after 90+ hours I spent playing it, I still come across things that I missed. Sometimes I'll see a screenshot of somewhere and think 'I didn't see that?!'. There is a downside to this, I suppose. Some of the stuff I literally would never have come across If I hadn't accidentally read about it online - like the ability to buy a house (and the fairly long quest thereafter) which would completely have passed me by. I still can't quite believe that this whole world is crammed onto that tiny Switch cart, and playable on a handheld! I actually really enjoyed the Divine beasts, which isn't something I thought I'd say at the beginning, since I hated the Zelda dungeons. I think they could have done with a couple more, but maybe the world would have felt a bit crowded with that many giant mechanical animals wandering about. It was a wonderful feeling looking out and seeing the overworld from inside the belly of the beast - it was a really nice touch and probably a really difficult technical challenge(?). I loved the way you seemed to grow in power and strength - I was initially terrified of the Guardians, and gave them a wide berth for most of the game. Then I realised that with upgraded armour, almost two rows of hearts, and a pocket full of ancient blue weapons, I was powerful enough to bitch-slap any Guardian quite easily - it suddenly felt really good to suddenly be able to lay into them. The game certainly isn't perfect. The much maligned weapons breaking system is annoying and seems to defeat the purpose of finding cool/rare weapons in the game. What's the point in finding a high-powered sword if you are scared to use it lest it break? When they were adding in the Master Sword, and had to tack on a bullshit refractory period to make the weapon usable, they should have thought 'hey, maybe this system doesn't work'. There should have been a blacksmith or something where you could go and repair your broken weapons. I also found some of the abilities a bit pointless - I think I only used the ice block one a couple of times? Maybe there were times I should have used it, but beat a puzzle a different way, but i thought it was an underused ability - like they added it in and then forgot about it. The only time I've seen people using it online is when Guardians happen to be standing in a shallow puddle, and they use it to flip them over - really cool, but limited use! The ability to ride a horse felt a bit pointless as well. I wonder if the people who actually used this only did so out of a nostalgia for OOT. I only tamed two horses the whole game. A boring brown one, and an enormous shire horse thingy I named Horst. But I barely rode either of them, because whenever I did, I'd be on them for about 20 seconds and then I'd arrive at a cliff, or a rock that they couldn't ride past, and I'd have to dismount and leave Horst behind. The plot was absolute drivel, made worse by the terrible voice acting. Why bother adding voice acting to 2% of the dialogue? If you are going to make it voice acted, record lines for everyone! Other AAA games manage it. And the 'plot' surrounding every single Divine Beast was exactly the same - Champion dies 100 years ago, mini-version of Champion helps you get into the Beast in present day - not worth sitting through awful voice acting for. I do wonder where they're going to go in the sequel. Do they use the same world, but all the shrines have magically moved about and reset? How to retain that sense of exploration, when your world had already been explored? Maybe they'll just flood the whole thing and put you in a talking boat. Anyway, great game, 9/10.
  23. 6 points
    Just reporting in to tell you all that I received my first dose jab this morning. It was Astra Zenica and with that news that it might reduce transmissions, I have every right to post the following GIF. Even more so because I'm petrified of needles.
  24. 6 points
    Nintendo FY3/Q3 2021 earnings report is out, covering the period of 1st October 2020 - 31st December 2020. The Big Takeaways - 11.57 million units sold this quarter between the Switch and Switch Lite, bringing lifetime sales for the Switch family to 79.87 million units sold. This means that the Switch family has surpassed the lifetime sales of the 3DS family (with lifetime sales of 75.94 million units sold) in just under 4 years! Year-to-date sales stand at a hearty 24.1 million units sold. - Off the back of this, Nintendo have once again upped their forecast for this Financial Year, from a projected 24 million units sold to 26.5 million units sold. - Nintendo is on track for their highest operating profit in a financial year ever. In FY 2009, they finished the FY with an operating profit of ¥555.26 billion with the DS and Wii; at the end of Q3 FY 2021, they are already sitting at ¥521.21 billion. - In terms of new games this quarter, it was reported last week that Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity had sold 3.5 million units in the same timeframe (with 2.84 million units being sold outside of Japan). Mario Kart: Live Home Circuit sold 1.04 million units. Pikmin 3 Deluxe is a super awkward case where it released on the eve of the last earnings report, but just to give an update on that, it has outdone all expectations (despite what to me seemed like it flying under the radar?) and sold 1.94 million units to date. - Other updates of note: Luigi's Mansion 3 is now at 9.13 million units sold, Ring Fit Adventure is at 8.68 million units sold, Super Mario 3D All-Stars is at 8.32 million units sold, Paper Mario: The Origami King is at 3.05 million units sold, and Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is at 1.48 million units sold. - Animal Crossing: New Horizons has sold 19.41 million units this Financial Year thus far, selling 5.04 million units in Q3 alone. This bring it's total to a lofty 31.18 million units sold. - New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe has nearly doubled its sales from its original version on the Wii U: 9.82 million units sold on the Switch compared with 5.81 million units sold on the Wii U. - Pokémon Sword/Pokémon Shield have become the first Pokémon games since Pokémon Gold/Pokémon Silver to surpass 20 million units sold, coming in at 20.35 million units sold. It still has a bit of a way to go to surpass Gold/Silver's haul of 23.1 million units sold and become the second-highest selling pairs in the series, selling 1.33 million units this quarter. Top 10 Best-selling Switch Games as of 31st December 2020 1. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - 33.41M 2. Animal Crossing: New Horizons - 31.18M 3. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - 22.85M 4. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - 21.45M 5. Pokémon Sword/Pokémon Shield - 20.35M 6. Super Mario Odyssey - 20.23M 7. Super Mario Party - 13.82M 8. Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu!/Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee! - 13.00M 9. Splatoon 2 - 11.90M 10. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe - 9.82M
  25. 6 points
  26. 5 points
  27. 5 points
    They definitely don't need to mess about with one of the greatest Zelda games ever made I'm already worried enough about how things may have been tweaked to accommodate button controls! Hearing everyone on podcasts and YouTube videos talk so poorly about Skyward Sword actually hurts a little and makes me consider how irritating I must sound when I trash plenty of other games that people seem to love The linearity, area/dungeon designs and the wonderful motion controlled swordplay are all positives for the game to me but the trend these days seems to be open-ended games with massive overworlds that often bore me. It'll be nice to have an actual 10/10 Zelda game on Switch after all this time
  28. 5 points
    Oh for sure. Each console gets a Mario (lately a 2D and 3D), Zelda, Smash, Mario Kart, Mario Party, Animal Crossing, some form of Pokémon (appreciate that's not Nintendo directly), Kirby, Fire Emblem and then most get Mario Golf and other sports, Yoshi, DK etc. It almost takes the joy away as your essentially crossing off a checklist.
  29. 5 points
    Looks good but it’s missing one of the greatest theme tunes even seen in cinema from the first movie.
  30. 5 points
    The credits have rolled for both Super Mario 3D World and Bowser's Fury. It's pretty unusual for me to blast through a game this quick, but I had quite some time over the weekend and in the evenings. Normally I can't play a single game for a long time in one go, but somehow this game hit the right spot (lovely aesthetics/audio, and the right difficulty; not too easy but not too frustrating either). I already gave my initial thoughts on 3D World on the previous page and not much has changed after finishing it. However, Bowser's Fury I started and finished yesterday in one sitting with 50/100 shines. It's fun, and a great bonus to an already entertaining game. But like said, €50 is a lot of money if you have enjoyed 3D World already for just this bit of new content. It's also a weird one as it has the elements, power-ups and enemies from 3D World but the play area differs vastly from 3D World, and it doesn't tie into the story (not that you need a clear story in a Mario game). It feels like an experiment as how to set up the next big 3D Mario game. It's a weird way of adding extra content to a game. The adventure itself is pretty entertaining and is indeed more about exploration. There are some tricky bits but having the option to switch to any power-up makes it pretty easy overall. I love how ominous calamity Bowser is, and the first few times it feels chaotic with his devastating fire breath. But as said before after a while he becomes more of a nuisance. I played the Bowser's Fury part on the TV because of the 60FPS, but the last half hour I played in handheld and then you really notice the game cutting back to 30FPS. Definitely recommend playing this adventure on the TV.
  31. 5 points
    For years I've had to put up with people saying Skyward Sword won't work with button controls and Nintendo would never make a version like that. Feels good. Next up, Star Fox Zero. Everyone needs to pick up Miitopia. It's the best 3DS game nobody played and I'm happy to see it get another shot at success. As a JRPG fan I'm certainly going to be kept busy but seeing as most of them aren't exclusives, I'll probably pick them up on a different platform.
  32. 5 points
    I like that the trending topic on Twitter is very passive aggressive about the wait:
  33. 5 points
    A year ago i applied for a more senior position at work, but due to COVID they postponed the position. Well it came up again and i applied for it and got told off by my head of service, there was a higher post and he wanted me to apply for both, "what did i have to lose, you're more than capable of both and its a learning curve anyway" Well had the interview for the senior post Friday and the 'lower' of the two today, starts off "right well we lured you here under false pretences, we aren't going to interview you for this post, we'd like to offer you the higher one!" 13 years i've been here, been passed over for promotion for a few junior to me, well its come up milhouse, i'm higher than all of them now!
  34. 5 points
    Yeah I was surprised by the length. Looking forward to 47 minutes of the yarn shop.
  35. 5 points
  36. 5 points
    Yeah, there's not that much platforming in Bowser's Fury and if there is any, using the cat suit can get you up without any effort. Generally, cat suit feels like a cheat mode in this game. Other than that, some of the shines are very very easy but I liked how the world is built and that you can enter the stages and do something on them seamlessly. I think this will be explored even further in the next new mainline Mario-game. I stopped playing it when I only needed two shines - simply couldn't find the last kittens. I also think that Nintendo should release Bowser's Fury as a stand-alone DLC package. It's simply not fair to the Wii U owners out there to ask them to buy more of less the same game again.
  37. 5 points
    Yeah, I'm of two minds with the increased movement speed myself. On one hand, it's great being able to just blast through levels, but on the other? It's actually a lot harder to control now (I'm actually finding myself having to let go of the run button!). It's literally 200cc mode, and all it entails (including being able to break the intended level design in some pretty gnarly ways). It's great fun! But I do wish that there was an option to play with the original speed as well (perhaps even make the 200cc mode an unlockable?). It's fantastic for speed running though! Check this totally tubular thing out! 200cc is great, and it's something that is best added into a game after it is designed for a slower speed (so that you get these fun, unintended side effects), but it should also be something optional I reckon. 200cc is at its best when it's a new way of playing a game that you're already familiar with, where you get to experiment with the level design and find fun ways to break it; but having it as the default here means that many people will never actually experience the game as it was originally designed. Likewise, I'm not sure about the change they made to the way Green Stars are collected (In the Wii U version, you had to complete a level to have any Green Stars count as being "collected", even when returning to a previously beaten level; while in the Switch version, you simply just have to collect it, and its instantly counted as "collected"; meaning that you can just quit out of a level straight away or can even die and it stays collected). While this change does make the prospect of going back to get Green Stars much more palletable, it also has the unintended side effect of trivialising many of the Green Stars throughout the game; since you can simply suicide jump to get them all now, you don't need to survive after grabbing it). This could easily have been totally solved if they had implemented a system similar to the Strawberries in Celeste, where Strawberries aren't counted as "collected" until you land on solid ground; but alas.
  38. 5 points
  39. 5 points
  40. 5 points
    It's political correctness gone mad! You can't even compare the treatment of Republicans to the persecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany anymore!
  41. 5 points
    It's always interesting to hear how people get on with the Zelda series, especially as every game has its own unique elements and different styles. I love Zelda as a series, although it's not my favourite IP of all time. It started with A Link To The Past, a game which we had on the SNES. I was quite young still, so I wasn't really trying to finish it but just going around whacking everything with the sword. My brother who is 5 years older played it as well but couldn't finish it, and after not that long a time he traded it in for Super Soccer. I played it later on an emulator, but really played it intensely and finished it on the Game Boy Advance. In general I actually prefer the 2D ones over the 3D ones. The big exception here is Breath of the Wild which is just the best Zelda game. But besides that I prefer Link's Awakening, Phantom Hourglass and A Link Between Worlds over Twilight Princess, Wind Waker and yes, Ocarina of Time. I don't know what it is, I think I enjoy the top-down dungeons a lot more than the 3D counterparts. But I think it also helps I played a lot more handheld Nintendo in general in those days. Out of the main game series (not counting the remakes as separate ones) I never played Majora's Mask and Skyward Sword, so they are definitely on my list for completionist goals. Zelda and Zelda II on the NES I've played on the NES app, but I haven't finished them (yet). As a matter of fact I started Triforce Heroes yesterday, and it is very charming but I can see how it won't be a perfect experience in single player. I posted about getting the game before and I think some people were saying they want to play it again so if you do, let me know! Maybe a question for next week if you guys are diving into the spin-offs: We've seen Link in Soul Calibur, we had Hyrule Legends which is a Warriors-type game, and we got the cross-over with Cadence of Hyrule. Where would you like to see Link or Zelda appear in or cross over with?
  42. 5 points
    I drank a tad too much for dinner, so I'm not gonna Raichu a long post, but if we look at each case: Bulbasaur is #001 on the Pokédex, but that always seemed iffy to me. For starters (heh), the National Dex makes no sense. Beyond being Kanto-centric, there's the issue of Mewtwo coming before Mew, the fossils somehow coming before Dratini and Snorlax, evolutions such as Crobat being way out of order, and Ditto and Porygon being way earlier than the lore suggests. The National Dex order is an overly rigid, arbitrary list made by Oak and his cadre of child researchers, and as such, I cannot in good faith condone its claims of whoever "first" is. Simply Onixcceptable; Mew is a theory I cannot Bayleef. So many primordial Pokémon came before her (and we know they're Pokémon, because the Master Ball works on them too). Maybe she originated life on Earth, but that ain't enough; Arceus has a better case, being the most primordial of primordials, but there are too many Unowns. For example, did Arceus reset a previous universe? Did he hop in from a parallel universe, bringing his pals with? Or did he hatch from a predecessor egg, like a Demiurge sort of Pokémon? Any new game (even a DPP remake) could introduce further lore to these Farfetch'd tales, displacing Arceus from his spot as the origin of all; But you know who created Arceus? The same people who claim they created Rhydon first. And Wynaut, it's as good an answer as any. As such, here goes my vote. But all that's just Azelf-professed theory. Like Glen-i said, this issue depends too much from person to person, and it's bound to keep running a Muk.
  43. 5 points
    I completed a couple of games in the past week, so instead of saving it up until the end of the month I'll share my thoughts now as the memory is still fresh: Steamworld Dig (Nintendo 3DS) I was in the mood for a shorter game and I still had this on my 3DS unplayed, so it was time to finally start this game. It was originally released in 2013, I didn’t know it was that old! It received quite a bit of praise back in the day, and I think in some parts it still holds up, but it’s also been overtaken by other, newer indie MetroidVanias. I think most here have played the game or know it, so I won’t go into the details. Basically your goal is to dig as deep as you can in a randomly generated world, and on the go you will unlock upgrades that make traversing easier and digging faster. I liked the cycle of digging to acquire upgrades to dig deeper to acquire upgrades etc. Although it’s a bit repetitive, you want to keep going and there is always an upgrade in sight that unlocks new options. The game looks good enough, and the steampunk Western setting is pretty entertaining. It wasn’t a hard game, and it is pretty short as well. I reached the end after only 4 hours, so it’s a game you can easily breeze through. I think the puzzle segments could have been a bit more interesting/harder, and it’s a shame there is only one boss battle. Still, I’ve wishlisted Steamworld Dig 2 on the eShop as 1 was pretty enjoyable and I believe the sequel adds a bit more diversity so that can only be good. Rhythm Thief and the Emperor’s Treasure (Nintendo 3DS) This is another game that has been on my 3DS forever (I think it was part of the 3DS Humble Bundle) but a game I never finished. I had around 4-5 hours of playtime on the clock, so I decided to end it once and for all. Rhythm Thief can best be described as Professor Layton, where the puzzles are traded in for rhythm games. You take on the role of Phantom R, a thief who ends up in a plot where Napoleon wants to regain power. The game takes place in Paris, and it is fun to see a real existing location in a game like this. Rhythm Thief as said has a lot of similarities with Professor Layton. There are animated cutscenes, locations are presented as static 2D images complete with medals and secrets found by tapping the right spot. The biggest difference is that this is a rhythm game, and not a puzzle game. These rhythm games use the 3DS in a bunch of different ways. There are touch games where you have to slide the stylus to do dance moves or play the violin, games that require button inputs and there was a game that uses the gyro as well. I noticed that with some rhythm games, I actually found it pretty hard to get the beat, and it took me a few tries to complete it. The game can also be quite harsh and a few mistakes already can lead to a failed game. The music is not always very catchy which is not helping. But luckily there are some good minigames as well, and the overall presentation, cast of characters and story is entertaining enough so all in all I enjoyed my time with it. I finished it in around 7 hours and after that I played around a bit to unlock 2 of the 3 extra chapters (the third one involves getting the A rank on all minigames and I wasn’t up for that yet). I’m curious if we ever get a sequel as the story leaves plenty of room for it, but I’m guessing no. Resident Evil 6 - Chris’s campaign (PC) After completing Leon’s and Ada’s campaigns in Resident Evil 6, it was time for Chris to shine. I enjoyed Leon’s and Ada’s story. Leon comes closest to the Resident Evil 4 feeling, especially in the areas around and under the church. Meanwhile Ada has a more stealthy approach which felt fairly fresh. Chris’s campaign was a bit of a mess though. No zombies, only J’avo and BOWs and most of the time you go in all guns blazing. I took down choppers with a grenade launcher, had a ridiculous car chase and experienced some bad QTE sequences with sloppy cameras. I can see how this game received mixed reviews with so much variation between the different campaigns. I can see what Capcom tried to do here and kudos for trying different approaches for different characters, but Chris’s campaign is a miss. Also he’s a pretty moody guy, cheer up Chris! So now I only have Jake’s campaign left, curious to see which way this pans out. Going by the cross-over moments with Jake in the other campaigns, at least I think he will have an interesting story.
  44. 5 points
    I got rid of Facebook in 2017, VKontakte in 2018, Twitter last year, and finally Instagram a couple of weeks ago. I'm 100% social media free right now. Instagram was the hardest one for me as I'd been on the platform for almost 10 years and it was a good way of looking through personal memories. I set it up when I went to Russia in 2012 and had some great photos from my first year there. However, over the past couple of years (since FB took over basically) it had become really, really shit. It started with the News Feed being changed to a FB style one with nothing being shown in order, littered with ads and "suggested posts" that I didn't give two shits about. The final nail in the coffin for me was when the "shop" become one of the five quick link buttons at the bottom of the app. Absolute garbage. The "suggested posts" in the search function were all idiotic TikToks which is a completely different platform of which I have never had interest in. In 2014 it was great, free of ads and free of clowns trying to make money. Deleting social media is pretty tough. It feels like you're kinda stepping away from the real world in a way and moving back into some sort of void, deprived of meaningful contact. That said, it is wonderful for your state of mind. You genuinely feel so much better when you're not spending minutes or more a day reading content that does nothing but rile you up or make you mildly annoyed. I spend a lot more time here as a result, where long-from communication is encouraged and appreciated, I also spend a lot more time actually listening to podcasts when commuting rather than flicking through social media with one on in the background. The most important thing though, is that I actually started speaking to people. I text and call family and friends more regularly than I did before as I don't have a window into their world which I can simply throw a meaningless like to. For example, when I deleted Instagram, one of my old mates from Uni, who I haven't spoken to in years, sent me a "u ok hun?" style message and we ended up texting for 3 hours. I actually found out how he's doing and how his relationship of 8 years had recently ended. I would never have know that just from Instagram. I'm buying him a beer when I go home and gonna spend a couple of days in his country house in sunny Scarborough! I don't think that would have happened had we just continued to 'exist' as friends on social media. I really want to get rid of my YouTube account too, but that's proving more difficult. I've unsubbed from a lot of content over the past year or two. Anything that I feel isn't giving me meaningful content, playing off politics or simply chasing the algorithm. A lot of my favourite content creators are shifting to new platforms or setting up their own websites. It's not ideal, and means you have to move around the Internet a lot, and it's particularly bad on mobile devices. There is definitely convenience when it comes to having everything in one place, but if you want the rainbow, you have to put up with the rain. Any social media or video platform I choose to be a part of in the future will be a paid one. There's a reason all these services are free. Social media does absolutely nothing for us. Get rid of it all, I guarantee life will improve.
  45. 5 points
  46. 5 points
    January update! Jurassic World Evolution (PC) At the beginning of this month I finished the main campaign with 5 stars on all islands. I’ve written my impressions before in the 2020 thread and my opinion hasn’t changed since, so I’ll keep it short. Basically, Jurassic World Evolution is a very entertaining, good-looking game that is pretty light on the actual sim part, but does a very fun job in running your own Jurassic Park. I’ll definitely pick up one of the DLC packs in a sale just to have a reason to go back to it. Sonic Generations (PC) This title was sitting in my Steam library ever since I picked it up in a sale. It’s the first time I’m playing a Sonic game on PC, so that’s new! In Sonic Generations, someone is messing around with a time-altering monster. This leaves Sonic’s friends frozen in time, and the blue hedgehog himself crosses paths with his old self, meaning you get to play two different Sonics throughout the game. This also introduces the main gimmick. Old Sonic goes through 2D levels old school style, while new Sonic tackles the 3D version of the same world. It’s a pretty cool concept, and in the end I even liked the 3D levels more, although they sometimes suffer from control issues leading to stupid deaths. You can breeze through the game fairly quickly, although there are plenty of challenges to undertake. Basically, after finishing the 2D and 3D levels of a world, a number of challenges unlock. You then have to tackle a challenge to get the key to the boss. You can choose which challenge and you only need to do 1 per world, but if you want to complete them all you can stretch your playtime. I didn’t bother to go for full completion, but just did a couple of challenges that seemed fun. With all of Sonic’s friends on board, and also 2 versions of Dr. Eggman/Robotnik, there is quite a bit of funny banter and fanservice. All in all I enjoyed my time with it! Horizon Chase Turbo (Switch) Another game that I finished in separate playtimes, sometimes months apart, is Horizon Chase Turbo. It’s a great retro arcade racer, and I love everything: the music, the graphics, the playstyle. It’s just that I can’t play them too long in one go as it gets quite tense in the later missions. Definitely worth picking up though! Donkey Kong Country (Switch SNES app) This was one of my favourite SNES games, and it was a nostalgia trip to go through it again. I enjoyed it a lot, but it does show its age more than my other favourite SNES game Super Mario World. Mostly due to the weird hitboxes and the fact that the graphics are much more impressive on an old CRT screen. Loved seeing the end game credits again, forgot that it was pretty funny. Onwards to DKC2! Also: Bulletstorm: Duke of Switch Edition (Switch) I picked up Bulletstorm in a quite recent sale, mainly because of Londragon’s praise on the N-E Café podcast. It’s a first person shooter, and the Switch version has the added bonus of playing as Duke Nukem. I saw mentions however that it is best to play the normal campaign first because otherwise the story might become a bit incomprehensive. Well, this is a game you don’t play for the story as that’s flat of a pancake. But, you do play this if you want an 8-hour long rollercoaster of a game that rarely slows down, DOOM style. The gunplay however I liked better than that in DOOM, as there is so much crazy stuff you can pull off. Besides your arsenal of weapons, you also have a leash and a substantial kick. This basically means you can drag in enemies/objects and/or kick them around. It leads to some crazy situations, like leashing in an explosive barrel and then kicking it to an enemy. You can also leash enemies into fences, kick them in cactuses and whatnot. There are also a bunch of weapons to collect and use, with a primary fire and a charged fire. You start off pretty standard with a machine gun, a hand gun and a shotgun, but later on you pick up some weird stuff. No lasers though, only ballistic weapons which is pretty cool to see in a shooter set on a distant planet. Also worth mentioning is the skillshot system. Pulling off crazy kills awards skillshots, and gives you points. These you can spend in drop pods where you can buy ammo or upgrade your weapons. Some skillshots are tied to specific weapons, where others are more in general. The negatives? Flat story, repetitive enemies and way too much swearing. The ending wasn’t very satisfying either storywise. But as a crazy blow-off-steam-and-kill-everyone kind of game this was definitely what I needed and I breezed through it. Will probably go through it with Duke soon! Manticore: Galaxy on Fire (Switch) This game has been in my library for so long now, it was time to finish it. Manticore is a space shooter which I think was originally a mobile game. Each level consists of roughly 3 parts, a mission (escort, take out objects, stuff like that), a boss fight (basically a dogfight against a stronger ship) and an exploration phase where you can freely fly around the level to find ship parts and intel. The reason I dragged this out so long is that there are quite some levels, but they are pretty repetitive. So it’s best enjoyed in a couple of missions every time. There is some fiddling around to do with upgrading ships and weapons, but all in all you are constantly playing similar levels while going through a forgettable story. I kept playing it however because it plays well, looks great and I just like space shooters like this. Worth it if you can pick it up in a sale and like the genre. Oh, I also finished What Remains of Edith Finch, so a reminder to myself to share my thoughts for the podcast! And currently I'm playing Xenoblade Definitive Edition, Resident Evil 6 (after enjoying Leon's and Ada's campaign, Chris's campaign is not very good), NiGHTS, Star Wars Pinball, and Steamworld Dig. So I hope I can scratch a bunch of these game off my February list.
  47. 5 points
    @drahkon is there an update? Dad is ok, he's had every test under the sun so far and it seems like at the very least its not cancer and not a stroke. So it seems like potentially just dangerously high blood pressure over a long period of time. The stupid thing is that everyone was worried I had the same, but I have the exact opposite issue.
  48. 5 points
    On Tuesday I picked up Cyber Shadow on the PS4. Ever since seeing it on the Nintendo indie showcase I'd been eager to play it. I know a few on here were excited by the look of it, especially seeing as Yacht Club were involved, but it appears nobody else picked it up. I've been putting time into it on and off during the week and have just finished it this morning. Lots of people said that this would be a modern take on the NES Ninja Gaiden games but I don't think that's the case at all. Sure, it features a ninja that slashes a sword but I think that's where the comparisons end. The game feels far more like the NES games Blue Shadow and Batman. Both of these were difficult but fair whereas Ninja Gaiden was quite brutal and cheap, with respawning enemies and awful placement of them. This game is challenging. There are times where you will be overwhelmed by enemies and some checkpoints seem to spread out a little too thinly. Because of this you are forced to learn where enemies will come from and generally just get good at the sections you struggle on. I had 313 deaths in the game but I will point out that some of these were from me trying to complete the trophies/feats, so you'll probably be below that should you choose to just play it without trying to unlock these extras. The game does help you out a bit when you're in a tight spot. At the checkpoints you can spend the currency you collect to unlock special abilities. These can be things like shields, a laser that hovers around you or a little robot that dispenses energy for your special moves. These are all incredibly helpful and the good thing about it is that once you unlock these things at a checkpoint they will always be there for you to use. Like Shovel Knight, this game features in game achievements/trophies/feats. Some of these you get on your normal journey but most require you to defeat a boss in a certain way. These add a bit more difficulty to an already challenging game. For example, in one boss battle you have to make sure you don't fall in the water you are fighting on and in another fight you can't take the easy option and hit the boss from behind. The game is quite lengthy. I got nearly 7 hours play time out of it but there's still collectibles to find and trophies to earn. If I'm to earn the platinum I have to finish the game in under 3 hours and also finish the game without getting any health or special meter pick ups. Yeah, it's gonna be a toughie. If I was to pick fault with the game it would be that the look of the levels could have been more varied. For a lot of the game it feels like you are going through industrial areas and torn down cities. I think have a couple of the 10 stages set in a more vibrant setting would have helped this issue. Given the narrative of the game, I suppose it makes sense why the levels are the way they are. It's another fantastic indie game that has arrived and while it doesn't reach the heights of say Shovel Knight or The Messenger, it's well worth playing if you grew up during the NES era or just want a challenging platforming game. Oh, for those who have Game Pass, the game launched on that service. You've got no excuse not to give it a whirl.
  49. 5 points
    I think people are reading far too much into this. SEGA re-structures whenever they need to give Haruki a promotion. The key thing about this restructure? Haruki is becoming CEO of both companies and becoming chairman of SEGA. It allows him to learn the ropes on one side while his Dad covers the other half of the business. Next promotion time they’ll re-merge them and put him in charge of the whole thing.
  50. 5 points
    So I just ran into this tweet: Looking at the variety in options, I think they ultimately made the right choice.