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  1. 10 points
    Given that we’ve been trapped inside for the better part of a year and it doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon I thought it would be a good time to pick up a new hobby. I’ve always had an interest console modding but never done any myself. I thought now might be the time to give it a go and see what I can do. I posted in the “What Have You Bought” thread that I’d recently picked up a few tools to get started and @Happenstance suggested I make a thread to document my progress, so here it is! I have a few projects in mind and will document my progress, any ideas or suggestions are very welcome! Project #1: My Japanese GameCube I bought this GameCube back when I lived in Japan and haven’t used it in years. Given the simple nature of the console and the quite nice quick work you can do on it I thought it would be a good place to start. I have a few plans for things to do with this. Mod #1: Region Switch The first mod is a simple one, a US/JP region switch. I don’t actually have any US games here but this is a simple enough project to get started with and very easy to test the success of. I’ve ordered a pack of switches and some cable and hope this one will be pretty easy to get done. Mod #2: Region Identifying Power LED Linked to Mod #1 is installing multiple LED lights such that the power light will be a different colour dependent on the region selected. This is a little trickier than the first but should be easy to test and not cause me too many issues. The LEDs I need for this have also been ordered Mod #3: Controller Port LEDs This is a little trickier than the first two as it will require some gaps be made in the existing body. The idea is to make the controller ports light up when the console is powered on. I need to acquire a glue gun to help with this one but otherwise everything is ready for it. Mod #4: HDMI Output Currently I have to use this mess of bad quality to get my GameCube on my TV: Luckily, the GameCube I have has got the digital output which means there is a kit available that will turn this into and HDMI port. It seems I have a few options on this one so will be doing a bit of investigation into the best way to do this before I take the plunge. Whatever I go with this will be a challenging mod. Mod #5: USB-C Power There are a few parts to this one. A couple of years ago I totally forgot about power differences and managed to blow up... something. I bought a new power supply so the first thing to do was test everything actually works: Great, I have a working GameCube! Being more sensible I now have a step-down transformer but my god does it take up a lot of space: It also weighs a ton. So that I can avoid all of this in the future and not worry about power issues I’ve found a USB-C power board that matches the GameCube power adapter output that I will attempt to install into the console. This one is completely self-created so I have no clue if it will actually work. Based on my research it should do, but it’s untested. So that’s the plan for my first project. Looking forward to getting started on it. Have any of you tried anything similar? Any thoughts or tips?
  2. 8 points
    There have been plenty of rumours about a more powerful Switch coming later this year. Today, a very reliable Apple leaker (who has connections at Foxconn, the Chinese production company) has tweeted about it, suggesting that it's now entered production: I'm really excited about this, because a recent Nvidia hiring post confirmed they were looking at someone with DLSS experience. For those unaware, DLSS can allow a console to output a 4K image without all the required GPU power. In fact, I've seen footage of Death Stranding run at very low resolutions (360p) and look near identical to a 1080p PS4 image. This could be a real game changer for Nintendo, as Sony and Microsoft can't use DLSS as it's not something AMD offer. A new Switch can offer a decent CPU boost, DLSS and perhaps have more memory without 'replacing' the current Switch.
  3. 8 points
  4. 8 points
    I've been tackling Mario Galaxy in between other games. The credits have rolled and 120 stars nabbed. I tried playing the game with the Pro Controller but the motion controlled stuff just wasn't great to use. After that I pretty much played exclusively in handheld mode and it was a much better experience. Collecting the star bits with the touch screen was super easy and quick. It was much better than using the Wiimote. The game looks lovely in HD. It's a credit to Nintendo and the style they used that a game that is 10+ years old can look this good with a resolution bump. It reminds me just how good DS/3DS games can look when put through a HD emulator. I did have an issue with the Purple Comet stars. I don't mind the ones where you have to grab all 100 coins in a time limit but the ones where you have to go around the stage and find them all are VERY tedious. The game isn't challenging and so walking around and looking for 100 scattered coins is very boring. Kinda feels like these were filler stars just to get it to a total of 120. Still, besides this issue, I enjoyed playing through the game again. I think I prefer this version over the Wii one. The controls are better and the visuals no longer have jaggies.
  5. 8 points
    Soooooo I started up my shiny wooloo hunt again...I had previously hunted for a few months using the masuda method. I did well over 2000 eggs with no luck...I then moved into Galarian zigzagoon... Again well over 2000 eggs with nothing. After a long break I decided to try for Wooloo once more. This time with wild encounters! Now that I have the mark charm and all. Day one no luck... Then on Tuesday BAM! After freaking out to @Glen-i I found new confidence...I decided to go a little crazy and I used a beast ball... Why? Because why not? After this I decided to move onto The Galarian zigzagoon. Again wild encounters... 5 encounters later and BAM poor @Glen-i had to deal with me freaking out again Then with this new found confidence I decided to give Dynamax adventures another go. I've haf no luck with this either... Then... Today... In the early hours of the morning... <3 the rng God's are smiling upon me...
  6. 8 points
    Sold my PS4 Pro this morning. I put it up on "ebay Kleinanzeigen" (Gumtree might be the UK equivalent?) for 270€ and got a message from someone asking if he could take a look at the console. Didn't know that that person was a 13 year old kid. His dad accompanied him but he let the kid do the talking/negotiating While he was trying out and inspecting the console I talked to his dad and he said that his son wanted a PS4 for Christmas. He also told me that he'd just be there so his son wouldn't be taken advantage off regarding the price. He wanted his son to handle the transaction because it's his own money. Gotta take matters into his own hands. Kid was happy with the console. He tried Tearaway and it was pretty clear that he never played a console game before I asked him and he said he only had a Game Boy Advance and an old PC up to this point. He asked me if I'd be willing to sell for 200€. I told him that's a little too low, but I'd go for 230€. After a quick look to his dad (and him nodding in approval) he said: "It's a deal!", smiling from ear to ear I packed up the console, told him to let his dad carry it to the car and gave him Tearaway, Dragon Quest Heroes and Rachet and Clank. He asked "how much?" and I told him it's a gift. Seemed to have made his day Looks like somebody has entered the console playground
  7. 7 points
    I managed to finish a couple of games from last year off in the past couple of days. I'll be talking about both on the N-E Cafe this week in a little more detail. Firstly Part-time UFO on Switch, which is a great little game developed by HAL. Please read @Hero-of-Time's review here https://www.n-europe.com/reviews/part-time-ufo It's a fantastic little game with a deceptively large amount of content. The final boss is wonderful and introduces new mechanics, which work really well for a "boss battle". There are heaps of costumes, extras and achievements to unlock, some of which are brutally difficult. I finished the main game in just under 3 hours, but I can see it stretching out well beyond 5 for anyone who wants to hit 100%. Highly, highly recommended considering the price. Also did the final room and boss(es) in Luigi's Mansion 3. Not really much else to add here. My favourite Switch game release after the start of 2018. So pleased that NLG have been brought into the fold full-time. The final, final boss was extremely tough, but I managed to finally do it on the third or fourth attempt. Credits and ending cut-scene were wonderful. They've really managed to capture the Nintendo magic in this title and I can't wait to see what they do next. I have a few jewels to go back and get for 100%, but I can easily see myself replaying the entire thing in a year or two. Definitely a 10/10 game! #DCubedWasRIght
  8. 7 points
    https://my.nintendo.com/rewards/ee6d5675104d4a34 OMG! FINALLY!!! Something actually good!!!!!!
  9. 7 points
    Ready to make my first 2021 post! It's been a long time coming, but it's finally done. After 165 hours of recorded game time (but surely 200+ hours in practice), I finally finished: Fire Emblem: Three Houses I feel so attacked right now After months and months of slow progress, I finally beat my first (and hopefully the longest) campaign in this game. I've been intentionally exploring as many aspects of the game as I could (trying to master several classes, complete every paralogue that came my way, went for a few rare beasts, read the vast majority of the dialogue, saw every single support, etc.), hence the long playtime. For future playthroughs, I'll likely be much more efficient, even if I keep focusing on the plot. As a whole, I actually liked the different pace of the game, compared to other FEs. In Garreg Mach, we can talk to our units during peace time, read up the lore at any time, interact with other characters in smaller situations that make sense, influence character growth and supports a lot easier... On one hand, it becomes easy to exploit the best paths, but on the other hand, Maddening exists. Loved playing as the Golden Deer, and I definitely enjoyed soaking the world's lore from that perspective. In fact, I love how this game possesses such a thick lore, but rarely spells it details out loud. So many reveals weren't reveals at all, but left for the player to find or figure out for themselves (or even just talked about in a different route). Also, it's fair to say Claude is now one of my favourite lords in the series, and I now want a prequel starring his parents, Blazing Blade style. Plot-wise, there's a lot to dissect, but I'm overall very pleased. It's a bold choice to do a grey conflict like this again (being able to choose any of the sides), but they actually managed to do it very well, and I enjoyed the results. The worldbuilding is fascinating, and its conveyed in a subtle way that reminds me of Elibe, which as high a praise as you get from me. Even without the lore, the characters on their own easily carry the game. The writing and voice acting are easily on the same level of Shadows of Valentia, and that helps in creating a huge lovable cast you can easily get attached to. I also want to give a shout out to Tea Time, a surprisingly good "Date Simulator", even if I think it still needs some extra polish. Shamir, why do you keep hurting me with truth? Gameplay-wise, I like all the toys we're given. The gauntlets, the gambits, the monsters, the combat arts, the utility spells, the various Rallies, the versatility of picking your dancer... Lots of good stuff, once you understand how it all mixes together. My main complaint is that the endgame jobs are so weirdly implemented (Why does Mortal Savant feel worse than Swordmaster? Why aren't Assassin, Fortress Knight, and Paladin considered Master Classes? How am I supposed to build a Great Knight? Why the fuck are fist-leaning classes barred from women? Heck, why are the Dark Magic classes male-only, when only 3 people learn dark magic, and two of those are women?!), resulting in a system that feels far more rigid than it should be. The DLC classes help in this regard, but I do think they're patching an issue that shouldn't be there in the first place. (P.S.: I don't like Divine Pulse, and that's all I'll say) Map design was unimpressive. A lot of missions had cool ideas in a vacuum, but bizarrely designed maps (like, a lategame map has a treasure chest in a far away corner, surrounded by enemies. If you risk going there, you're rewarded with... a Brave Sword that you can buy in Garreg Mach. Why even?). I thought the most impressive thing about the second half of the game is that you're implicitly encouraged to spare enemies and finish missions super quickly (something that barely any FE game has convincingly done), but I can't help but feel that this was a fortunate accident. Presentation-wise, a lot of fun has been made of jpeg oranges. Rightfully so, they're hilarious. But overall, the graphics are more than serviceable, what matters is that the anime cutscenes look great, and the art style is expressive, memorable, and bright. Music-wise it's phenomenal, with some impeccable music choices in key moments, using a soundtrack that's gorgeous on its own (I had listened to Chasing Daybreak before, but hearing it in context is to experience it properly). I'm also personally proud that I managed to avoid hearing a single note of God-Shattering Star until I reached that battle myself. There are a few other flaws scattered throughout the game, though to avoid rambling (like with the job system above), I'll just say that there are a lot of rough edges in design and/or writing through the game still. It's normal for a game of this scope, and minor in the grand scheme of things. I'm only saying that, as much as I loved this game, I'm not blind to its flaws. tl;dr Narrative..........5/5 Characters.......5/5 Mechanics........4/5 Map Design......2/5 Graphics...........3/5 Music................5/5 Game Length.................................................../5 Overall, an ambitious (but still excellent) game that accomplishes most of what it wants to do. Can't ask for more. It might be in my personal Top 3 for the series, but it's hard to say right now. In the future, I'll play the Cindered Shadows missions (I bought the DLC some time ago), followed by a Crimson Flower run. Just not right now. After finally felling this juggernaut, I can be content with 2020. As for 2021, it feels like an open book right now. I want to do more of my physical backlog, but I'm also pondering a potentially fun way to help thin out my digital backlog... Hopefully I'll put it into practice this month.
  10. 7 points
  11. 7 points
    It's been 5,000 years, but I've finally written something about... Dandara Yeah, that game I finished back in late October. How come it took me so long to mention it?... Maybe because I chose to do an official review for N-Europe. That's right, no joke. I figured the game could do with more attention, whereas I should review something outside of its launch window. So please, take a look at my attempt at reviewing a slightly older title.
  12. 7 points
    It might not be 2020 anymore, but that doesn’t mean that it’s too late for me to play catchup. So here we go! A Link to The Past/Super Metroid Randomiser Why not both! @Glen-i and I finally played through this masterpiece of a smooshing of masterpieces! And it was AMAZING! This is our game of the year (if indeed it was eligible for such an award), and was an absolute riot from start to finish! It’s one of those fever dreams that you couldn’t imagine actually working on real hardware for real, and yet it does! It’s Magic! Way better than a crappy level 1 sword! So how does this insane mashup actually work in practice? I’m glad you asked! Depending on the ruleset you choose in the randomiser, you are tasked with completing both games (i.e, Kill Ganon and Kill Mother Brain), and all of the items in both games are spread across Hyrule AND Zebes. This means that you could find a set of Super Missiles in ALTTP’s Eastern Palace, or Link’s sword in the depths of Norfair (This actually happened to us, meaning that we spent a good chunk of Link’s adventure with no sword!). Specific rooms in Zebes and Hyrule become warps that act as a link between worlds, and saves can be made in either game (both games are saved simultaneously; making the experience seamless). There is an incredible amount of customisation available to you when setting up the randomiser, and the settings allow for a seed that does not require glitches or any advanced speedrunner tech; making the game very approachable to anyone who is familiar with both games. Not gonna lie, would rather have gotten the High-Jump Boots here This turns both games into a huge scavenger hunt, where you desperately search for anything that will allow you to get past each game’s respective roadblocks. It’s a test of your knowledge of both games and a test of your ingenuity in figuring out ways to get past enemies and parts of each game without the items that you would normally have at that point in the game. Massive amounts of fun and laughs were had, as we struggled to find anything that would help us, and as we desperately made use of bushes and pots to kill enemies in ALTTP! Cheers were had when we found Samus’s Speedbooster & Wave Beam, and cries of despondence had when we found yet another set of 5 rupees after killing Kraid! Absolutely massive fun all the way through. If you ever get the opportunity to play this? DO IT! Metroid Prime: Randomiser (Gamecube version) Hot off the heels of the ALTTP/SM randomiser, I jumped into the Metroid Prime Randomiser! Like with the previous randomiser, there’s a large variety of settings that you can tinker with to tailor the experience to your liking; making this randomiser pretty approachable for most people familiar with the original game. First item I got was the Plasma Beam, that was nice! No kidding Olivia! Hilariously, the second item I found was the Grapple Beam… but it was at the top of the upper platform in the main area of Chozo Ruins, tantalisingly out of reach for most of the game… The Phazon suit followed shortly after, followed by missiles (conveniently placed in the place that you normally get them… is this even randomised!?). Of course, the Varia Suit would be one of the last things I would end up getting, necessitating a Hell Run through Magmoor Caverns to progress through the game. One particularly hilarious moment occurred when I went in to get the item that occupied the space that the Ice Beam normally takes up… (It turned out to be a set of missiles), when I forgot that the game ends up locking the white coloured door as soon as you get the “Ice Beam”… Making it impossible to escape the room! (Remember kids… Save often. Save your sanity!). Unlike with the ALTTP/SM randomiser, it turns out that Metroid Prime isn’t as kind with randomisation, as it turns out that there are lots of places you can get softlocked; especially before you get the morph ball Bombs (You REALLY start to miss the Spring Ball here as you get permanently stuck in crevices and holes without the Bombs you need to get you out of them!). Bit unfortunate, but it’s all part of the fun; so long as you have a bit of patience for experimentation and failure. It’s not as easy as Wario makes it look Overall it was a real fun time. It’s not as polished an experience as the incredible ALTTP/SM randomiser, but it does a great job of making a game you’ve played to death feel fresh and new again! Soul Blazer Soul Blazer is Actraiser 2 (the REAL Actraiser 2; not that trash bearing Actraiser’s name!); I mean this both figuratively and literally. The gameplay structure is remarkably similar; as it is split between action stages and city-building ish sections. However, each portion of the gameplay isn’t hard demarcated like they are in Actraiser; but rather you will find that parts of the town will reappear as you progress through the action stages, and you have to jump back and forth between the two in order to complete each action stage. Thematically, Soul Blazer is also remarkably similar to its forebearer. You are basically a messenger of God who is tasked with descending from the heavens to purify each portion of the world, by exorcising demons and restoring the populace of each town (If you’ve ever played Actraiser, you could easily be fooled into thinking that I’ve just described that game!). Of course, unlike Actraiser, Soul Blazer features a top-down perspective; with core action gameplay that is more reminiscent of Ys, but with the sword swinging combat of 2D Zelda. The combat gameplay feels good, if a bit clunky in places; not that dissimilar from the early Ys games. The town gameplay follows your typical RPG gameplay of talking to townsfolk and solving puzzles/fetch quests etc. While the core gameplay loop is fun, it does become very repetitive very quickly; with not all that much variety found between stages. Actraiser had varied & interesting action stages, with increasing complexity & hazards introduced into the simulation gameplay; however, Soul Blazer ends up feeling a bit one note all throughout. One part of Soul Blazer that stands out though is the surprisingly good localisation! Well beyond the standard that you would expect from 1992; with a script that put the likes of Squaresoft to absolute shame. Good Plan There’s a sense of levity and weirdness that permeates throughout the game too. Despite the gameplay feeling somewhat repetitive, I still found myself enjoying going to each new town and seeing the weird characters and little vignettes that each place offered. Don’t have to put up with your husband’s rambling? That’s every wife’s dream! Overall, you can tell that this game was developed on a smaller budget than Actraiser; clearly reusing its engine and art assets (hilariously, the little 7 year old boy you play as makes the same manly grunting sounds as The Master from Actraiser!). As a result, the gameplay doesn’t feel as fleshed out and polished as its predecessor, but I still enjoyed my time with the game. If you ever get round to playing it? I’d recommend playing it in short bursts to reduce the feeling of repetition. Metroid Zero Mission: Randomiser I was in a Metroid mood and decided to jump straight into the MZM randomiser after Metroid Prime. I’m sure you all know the score by now about how these randomisers work… however, I was not prepared for just how strict the scripting is with this game. Unfortunately, Zero Mission doesn’t play as nicely with randomisation as I was expecting; as scripting still plays out as it does in the vanilla game. As a result, randomisation can make for a frustrating experience, as it becomes very difficult to make progress without resorting to advanced tricks. Particularly, navigation can be infuriating without the Power Grip; which I didn’t get until well into the run. Oh how I wish that was my first item… There’s also a very nasty softlock that can completely ruin your save file if you decide to venture into Chozodia early (which you can do as soon as you get the Power Bombs). Go there without your regular bomb and you cannot leave unless you are lucky enough to find them. Save your game here and aren’t lucky enough to find them? You’re completely stuffed and are left with no choice but to re-roll the seed and start over. Figuratively, this was my experience with the MZM randomiser Overall, this was a harsh lesson that taught me that not every game is well suited to randomisation. Donkey Kong Country: Pacifist Mode This is a dumb mod of Donkey Kong Country where you are not allowed to kill any enemies. If you harm any Kremlings? You get hurt instead! This was surprisingly fun! Considering how the game really encourages you to kill baddies, especially to gain speed? This mod actively encourages you to play in a very different way to your regular garden variety DKC! But wait, I hear you say. How the hell do you get past the bosses? Surely you still have to kill them? Right!? WRONG! Shouldn’t have tried jumping on him, you gnawty monkey! Every boss has been turned into a timed survival challenge, where you simply have to survive for an allotted time; by which, the boss will simply just get fed up and give up. It’s simple and effective. Anyway, it’s dumb, it’s really funny, and it’s a fun way to replay DKC in a bit of a different way. You monster The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Randomiser Me and @Glen-i played through this randomiser masterpiece earlier on this year; and you can get a detailed breakdown of our experience with it in his previous post here. Ocarina of Time makes for a fantastic randomiser game! This randomiser is extremely mature and features a huge bevy of options, married with highly polished logic, dialogue manipulation (Gossip Stones have been repurposed to provide hints to item locations, making the Mask of Truth actually really useful!) and some fantastic QoL additions, including permanent mapping of the Ocarina and the Iron/Hover Boots to the D-Pad (ALA OoT 3D!) as well as fast block pushing & climbing! They even managed to combine vanilla OoT with OoT Master Quest dungeons! It’s a shockingly well made randomiser that completely transforms the way you play the game! All of the various cutscenes & scripting are manipulated in fantastic ways that play into the way that items are randomised; you’ll find yourself purposely finding ways to trigger specific cutscenes in order to get items that are normally associated with them. You will find yourself scrounging for every possible way to break the game that you can think of in order to find more items that allow you to make progress. You’ll laugh and cry as you find yet another single green rupee in a Big Chest! Absolutely amazing experience, loved every moment! Paper Mario: The Origami King Click me to see my review on the main site Shantae & The Seven Sirens Click me to see my review on the main site Advance Wars (Normal & Advance Campaign) I love Advance Wars. You love Advance Wars. We all love Advance Wars. Quite possibly the best GBA game, topped only perhaps by its own sequel, the series’ western debut blew the doors open for turn based strategy fans. No other series quite manages to marry the complexity of a strategy game with such accessibility and charm. This game is pure digital crack, and does for the GBA, what Tetris did for the original Gameboy. The map design is exquisite, the music is outstanding, the gameplay (mostly) well balanced, the strategic gameplay both fast & snappy and oceans deep, the cartoony visuals super charming and the dialogue hilarious and lovable. It’s just such a complete package, and such a ridiculously tremendous leap over Super Famicom Wars (to the point that it literally includes the entirety of SFW’s maps as bonus content!) that I am happy to point to this and its sequel as the definitive GBA experience. Fair statement there Sami It had been a good few years since I last played the game, so I went ahead and completed both the standard AND the Advance campaigns. Oh man… I completely forgot just how much of a crazy difficulty spike the Advance campaign really is! The standard campaign ends up just feeling like an extended tutorial by comparison! Each map becomes an absolute war of attrition, with just the smallest of changes (be it the introduction of Fog of War, or the addition of a few more units on the enemy side); it really is a testament to just how deep the core gameplay is, and how well designed each map is, that such small tweaks (on the surface) can make such an absolutely tremendous difference to the gameplay experience! If you can beat this guy? Consider yourself a tactical genius! It was an absolute joy to go through this game again. Though it is worth mentioning that it does suffer from some balance issues (Max in particular is ridiculously OP in this game!), that would go on to be rectified in the sequel (and perhaps made worse in the insane Everything & Kitchen Sink DS sequel), it is still an utterly superb strategy game. Nintendo. PLEASE bring this series back already! New Super Mario Bros Wii Welcome to the best 2D Mario game ever made! I’ve always maintained that NSMB Wii is the best 2D Mario game and after revisiting it? I stick by that statement. No other Mario game before or since has managed to present such depth, variety, novelty and pacing with its level design as in NSMB Wii. This game proves, more than any other Mario game, that quality level design is king when it comes to making a platform game. This game was designed in response to people’s continued complaints that Nintendo’s games had become too easy; and in response to the lacklustre level design as seen in the original NSMB. Miyamoto and Tezuka returned to the trenches to get stuck into designing the actual levels themselves and it really shows! The pacing is absolutely pitch perfect, no part of this game feels like it drags on; not even the autoscrolling sections! (which is a real feat!). Every single level introduces something new and novel to the series, while steadily building on what you have seen before. And each level encourages equal parts exploration and white knuckle speedrunning. Most importantly though? This game has bite! Welcome to level 1-3! NSMB Wii does not piss about. It is not afraid to kick your arse and it is not afraid to make you sweat! It’s brill! And it’s all thanks to the introduction of the industry changing Super Guide feature; the virtual equivalent of passing the controller to your older brother/sister to get you past “the hard bit” of each level. Assist Modes are commonplace these days, but NSMB Wii was the first to do it! I haven’t even touched upon the sublime 4 player mode, but I have to; even though I did this runthrough in single player. Quite frankly, this game does not get the credit it deserves for being equally as fun in single player as in 4 player multiplayer; the sheer feat they accomplished with the level design to accommodate this, cannot be understated! After playing through NSMB Wii again? Going back to NSMB U feels like a sad joke in comparison. That game’s level design is fucking LIMP in comparison and the game is not even in the same league as its Wii predecessor. The fact that people keep bigging up NSMB U as the superior game (purely because it runs in HD) drives me completely insane! But yeah, rant over, back to NSMB Wii. The gameplay physics are, of course, spot on as you’d expect from a Mario game. But really, I need to bring up something that NSMB Wii introduced in particular; the absolutely amazing mid-air spin move! The sheer amount of gameplay depth this innocuous little move offers is absolutely unreal! On the surface it seems really simple, it effectively just increases your air time, but the way it breaks your fall? Absolutely game changing! And the way that it hijacks a natural implication for novice players to jerk their controller in response to the game? What an absolutely genius addition! It is a massive tool for speedrunners and for just granting an extra level of control while playing. I can’t sing its praises enough! Revisiting the game though? I had forgotten just how cool the boss encounters are in this game! While they still follow the standard, simple formula of Mario bosses, they’re surprisingly novel and interesting; requiring you to think on your feet. Mario bosses are usually nothing special, but the bosses here are a clear step up from the bosses in every other 2D Mario game, and it’s a shame that they never really matched the design of the Koopaling fights here ever again afterwards. Though Mario & Luigi seem more interested in the cake than the Koopalings to be honest This is the best 2D Mario game, and replaying it only solidifies that in my mind. Long live the Penguin Suit! The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Randomiser Here we go again! Another one that me and @Glen-i played through, and another one that we had an absolute riot of a time with! @Glen-i has already provided a play-by-play breakdown of our experience with this seed here, but here’s a breakdown of just a few of my favourite moments from this run… Being stuck without a sword and having no choice but to fight Bokoblins & Wizrobes on platforms by throwing pots at them! Finally getting access into the Wind Temple… and not having any keys needed to get anywhere! Getting the Mirror Shield right near the start of the game, getting excited and soon realising that we couldn’t actually really do anything with it! Putting off going to the Forbidden Woods for as long as possible because we didn’t have a sword… meaning that being caught by morphs would be an instant softlock for us! Finding the Light Arrows… allowing us to delete almost every enemy from existence! Finding all five Tingle Statues before finding any sort of reliable weapon! Probably not worth buying… Given that The Wind Waker is actually an open world game, it makes for an amazing randomiser experience! You are plonked onto a random island in the sea, with naught but a sail, and the entire world is opened up to you from the start (The game basically starts after the point where you have visited Hyrule for the first time). Do whatever it takes to find the 8 pieces of the Triforce and the two Master Sword upgrades (along with other smaller items you need to get to Ganon), and off you go! DEFINITELY worth buying! Just brilliant, brilliant fun! Sadly we had a few technical problems for a while, trying to get it up and running on a real Gamecube; but eventually we figured out a way to (mostly) stop the game from crashing on the ol’ Cube, and had an absolute blast! Conker: Live & Reloaded So I got my fancy shmancy shiny new Xbox Series X. What’s the first thing I do with it? Why, I use it to play old tat of course! I love Conker’s Bad Fur Day, but I had never actually fully played through the Xbox remake before. I knew that lots of things had been changed & altered, and I was never a fan of the remade visuals. So I was apprehensive going in, but also really curious to experience a favourite of mine in a wholly different light. First thing that struck me is that, like the N64 original, the game is a technical masterpiece on the original Xbox. The visuals hold up remarkably well in 4k and I could absolutely believe that it was an Xbox 360 game if I didn’t know better! That being said though? I still don’t feel that the art befits Conker’s BFD at all. I much prefer how the N64 original looks. Half the point of Conker’s BFD was how it was supposed to represent a fairy tale gone bad, juxtaposing the bright, colourful & cartoony visuals with mature content. With the switch to a more realistic style? That juxtaposition is lost; and its just not as funny & charming as the original as a result. You probably already know about the censorship. Yeah, it’s here, and it really sucks. The worst part is that the additional censorship feels completely arbitrary, with seemingly random swear words bleeped out without rhyme or reason. It does end up taking away from the comedy. What’s even worse than that though is the changes made to the subtitles. For some utterly bizarre reason, the developers decided to change the original text boxes (which were timed to match the voice clips) and replace the static speech bubbles with scrolling text; text that runs ahead of the voice clips and spoils the punchline before you hear it. It sounds like a minor thing, but it really does spoil the comedic timing that made the original N64 game such a riot. Not gonna shit you, he’s completely ruined here The gameplay changes also feel really arbitrary and utterly bizarre! For some strange reason, the designers thought it would be a good idea to chuck in a load of these jerks (see below) absolutely everywhere throughout the game! Hi. I’m here for no reason whatsoever Combat was never a focus of Conker’s gameplay outside of boss battles & the It’s War chapter; so quite why these idiots are scattered all around the game now is absolutely beyond me! They end up being really annoying and just slow down the pace of the game (especially since they’re all dispatched in exactly the same boring way and require SIX HITS to kill!). There are also some other minor changes made here and there to the level design; mostly to make things easier (the infamous Worm section with the lighthouse in the main hub now has extensions to the cliff that make them trivial to get around now, for instance). The original game was notorious for being pretty bloody hard, so your opinion of these changes will likely vary. Personally? I thought that the difficulty of the original game was just fine, and the difficulty spikes in service of the comedy; so naturally, I am not overly enthused by these changes really. Other things just feel kinda arbitrary, like the Van Helsing costume in Spooky; which just ends up appearing randomly in a cutscene with no fanfare and then disappearing completely randomly at the end. Or the removal of the Naughty/Nice sign in the opening cutscene; the game just has lots of weird, little changes like that. However, that being said? It does still feel like Conker’s BFD at the end of the day. Everything that was great about the gameplay of the original is still great here; and there’s even a few additions that are welcome, like the anus cam when you play as the bat (yes, really!). Though I don’t feel that many of the changes made to this remake were ultimately for the better, the majority of what made the N64 original so beloved are still intact here. His bollocks are still big and still polished to the Nth degree Overall? I walked away from this remake feeling like it is generally still Conker’s BFD, and that’s a very good thing. It is undoubtedly the inferior version of the game, and I would never choose it over the N64 original, but it’s not a horrible version of the game and it was fun to re-experience the game in a fresh way. Kameo: Elements of Power Like Conker Live & Reloaded, I had played this game before, but never to completion. So here was my chance to rectify this shortfall. Kameo gets off to a fantastic start, with a bombastic opening that has you storming a castle with a huge war going on around you. For 2005? The visuals are stunning, the epic orchestral score sets an exciting tone and the gameplay appears varied & interesting; setting up strong expectations for an exciting Zelda esc action adventure. This feeling does not last long however, as you are soon stripped of your abilities and lumbered with a sluggish start without much gameplay variety going on. The pacing never really recovers from this point onwards unfortunately and the game ends up feeling like a bit of a slog throughout. Kameo sports a lot of promising mechanics. Each Elemental Warrior comes equipped with bespoke mechanics that make each of them feel unique. Some are more combat focused than others, but all of the Elemental Warriors have both combat & puzzle related actions. Likewise, the action adventure gameplay style brings forth images of Pokemon Meets Zelda and conjures all sorts of exciting gameplay possibilities. The Great Deku Tree is sporting a cool new hair doo Sadly the level and enemy design never really brings out the best of the promising gameplay mechanics on offer however. It’s overly linear, features very limited interactivity, lacks in meaningful exploration and feels confused when it does try to be more open. The game is also woefully lacking in enemy variety, with the same set of trolls appearing from start to finish, and the few varieties that do appear never really end up taking full advantage of the full range of Elemental Warriors on offer. The Elemental Warriors themselves also range from useful to awkward in combat; as a result, you will most likely just end up sticking with the same 2 or 3 throughout most of the game’s combat sequences, since the game never really encourages or rewards you for experimentation. There are some great mechanics in place, but the game doesn’t seem to quite know what it wants to be; and doesn’t really know how to make the most of what it has here. This confusion also extends to the game’s overall tone; which seems to want to be deathly serious, while also whimsical & fun. Kameo: Elements of Power suffers from an identity crisis that really reflects its troubled & protracted development cycle; leaving you with shades of a promising game that never ends up coming together. Its confused tone also robs the game of memorable characters, music and set pieces; as everything ends up devolving into a big gelatinous gloop. It’s all very bombastic, but it just lacks substance. Gotta Catch ‘em All! Overall, Kameo ends up being the perennial example of a completely average game. It has exceptional elements, but they never really come together to make a great game because the underlying level, enemy combat and puzzle design is just not strong enough to make proper use of these mechanics. Grabbed by the Ghoulies Now here’s a rare example of a Rare game I had never played before. Of course, its reputation is pretty dire; constantly maligned as The Death of Rare Itself. But just how true is this? Does it really deserve its poor reputation? I’m not gonna waste your time too much here, I actually really enjoyed this game! But now allow me to waste your time with my thoughts on this little gem of a game. Grabbed by the Ghoulies is a hilariously titled classic Beat ‘em Up. Think Streets of Rage meets Luigi’s Mansion and you’re on the right lines. It is a very simple game where you travel from room to room in an entirely linear fashion and beat the snot out of everything you find. The control scheme however is pretty novel; eschewing your typical range of button controlled punches & kicks in favour of a directional auto combat system that is controlled instead with the right analog stick! Your character has a range of punches, kicks, elbows and nad smashing moves that are activated with repeated combos activated by hitting the right stick in the direction of the ghoulie. Sounds terrible on paper, but actually works very well in practice! The core gameplay is simple and approachable; and true, the core combat isn’t exactly what I would consider to be Bayonetta calibre in terms of depth. But that’s not the game’s focus; instead, each room is about crowd control, and the simple controls make it easy to direct your attacks without a complicated targeting system. It’s an elegant solution to a problem that plagued hack n’ slashers of the era. What really sells the combat though is the excellent animation and sound design that makes each impact feel… impactful! Kicking enemies while they’re down and watching them fly across the room never becomes anything less than hilarious, especially when coupled with a hilariously cartoonish scream, brilliantly voiced by drunken Rare staff members. Quite possibly, the best Skeleton Nad Kicking Simulator ever made Now Beat ‘em Ups always tend to universally suffer from a lack of variety in the gameplay. No matter how fun the basic action of wailing on foes might be? It’s not often that a Beat ‘em Up doesn’t run out of steam before the end and doesn’t suffer from inherently repetitive gameplay… Surprisingly, that’s not the case here with Ghoulies! There is an excellent variety of enemies, far more than your typical Beat ‘em Up (More than 20!), but that’s not what allows the game to buck the trend. No, it is the Challenge system that is the real star of the show here! Almost every single room you go into presents you with specific challenges that must be overcome before the door to the next room is opened up for you. These can range from killing all the enemies, to killing only certain enemies, to not getting hit once, to having time limits to complete the room, to having to use certain weapons, and many more. If you’ve ever played Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, you might be familiar with this concept, as that game had a similar idea with its Judge system (and both games came out within about 6 months of each other to boot! Who copied who I wonder…). Failure to complete a specific challenge will summon The Reaper, who will spawn into the room, chase you down and will kill you instantly with a touch of his finger; so you really don’t want to fall afoul of him! Now, on their own these challenges add some much needed spice to the core gameplay, but they offer so much more when the game starts combining challenges together! Oh, and there’s even more variety to come… … as it turns out, Ghoulies actually features an emergent gameplay system that is more than a little reminiscent of Hitman and Breath of the Wild! Yes, really! It has a surprisingly sophisticated enemy in-fighting system, a fire spreading system, and a variety of power up items and associated status effects that can be spread around and abused to skirt around the various challenge rules! To take one of my favourite examples I came across… One room in particular had me faced with the following challenges… Kill 10 enemies Kill enemies by only using your bare hands Kill enemies by only using weapons Now, no doubt you’ve realised something. This room is impossible to complete. The latter two challenges directly contradict each other, and as such, hitting any enemy in any way will inevitably summon The Grim Reaper. So what can we do here? The answer: Make the enemies accidentally hit each other, have them start in-fighting and have them kill each other for you! Another favourite of mine? A simple challenge where you are tasked with killing just a single mummy, without killing any other Ghoulie in the room. Sounds simple right? But no! Mummies are invincible unless you can set them on fire… but there is no fire in the room and no weapons or anything you can use to set them on fire in this room… All you have are your fists and a bunch of non-fiery weapons. What can you do? The answer? Purposely fail the challenge by killing the Skeleton in the room, summon The Reaper, have The Reaper follow you around the room with his finger pointed out to kill you and have him accidentally touch the Mummy to kill it! And yes, this actually worked! Don’t fear The Reaper if you know what you’re doing This emergent gameplay system keeps the game feeling fresh all the way throughout its running time. A truly Rare feat for a classic Beat ‘em Up! Like you’d also expect from a classic Rare game, it’s also filled with fantastic Grant Kirkhope music and oodles of British humour. From the slapstick enemies to Fiddlesworth’s fiddlerisms (Rub my Radish!), there’s no shortage of subtle innuendos and sniggers to be had throughout your time with the game. The visuals have also aged incredibly well, translating marvellously to a full 1080p/60FPS presentation in the Rare Replay remaster! If there’s anything to ding the game’s presentation for however? It’s the kind budget looking and sorta ropey cutscenes. They’re all presented in el-cheapo comic book fashion with limited animation; but much like with Bayonetta 1&2 (which used a similar trick), the game manages to makes the most of the obviously limited budget with great use of the very limited animations that are afforded to it. Beat em’ Ups were a tough sell in the early 2000s. A relic of a bygone era; and surely the last thing that people were asking from Rare when they made their grand exodus from their former partners at Nintendo. And make no mistake, this is most definitely a classic beat ‘em up; far from the grand adventures that Xbox owners were clamouring for from the studio that brought us Donkey Kong Country and Banjo Kazooie, as is proudly displayed on the box art. Cooper is terrified at the prospect of having to make the jump from Nintendo to Microsoft I was shocked at how much I enjoyed this game. It was a great time all the way through! I even went back and found all of the hidden Bonus Books! It’s a very simple game that makes fantastic use of a small budget and lots of little great ideas. In many ways, it’s the exact opposite of Kameo; while that game had all the budget in the world, it could never manage to rise above mediocrity because it just never managed to make use of what it had. Grabbed by the Ghoulies is a fantastic example of how to make the most of very little, and is easily the best game that Rare ever made following the Microsoft buyout. If it had released on the Gamecube back in the day? It would’ve been much more fondly remembered for what it is, instead of what it isn’t. Phew! That was a LOT to get through! Bloody hell! That was half a Thesis! So that’s 2020 all wrapped up now. I’m now currently playing through NSMB2 (Nearly finished), Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & The Blade of Light (About halfway through and am absolutely loving it so far!), Superman 64 (UGH!), Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon (UUUUUUGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!), Hotel Mario (Way better than you think!) and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 (AWWWWW YYYYYEEEEEAAAAAHHHH!!!!). Hopefully I’ll be able to get out my thoughts on those a bit quicker than I managed with my 2020 games; so keep your eyes out on the 2021 thread! And with that…
  13. 7 points
    My new project... Thanks @Ugh first aid. Merry Crapmas to you too.
  14. 7 points
    Thought this was a fascinating little info-graphic which really highlights how well the Switch is doing.
  15. 7 points
    I had a nice Christmas with my wife's family. It was very quiet (for obvious reasons) and mostly focused on the new baby (he had the lion's share of the presents under the tree). However, I did get a really nice houseplant from my sister in law, which was a nice surprise. Weirdly it was the present I got most excited about. Here is a picture: Image contains: a houseplant, window blinds, a red sofa in the background, a teddy bear with its head trapped under an unwrapped present.
  16. 6 points
    At 00:03 today, I finished Donkey Kong 64 for the first time, with 101% completion and everything found. Incidentally, the single most frustrating part in terms of camera and platforming was in the first level, so a lot of the rest of the game was a lot more enjoyable.
  17. 6 points
    Take BOTW for example, it runs at about 30FPS at 900p on the docked Switch. It's not super stable and drops a few frames, think by the Deku Tree, for instance. What DLSS can do depends on what type of experience you want. You could run the game in 720p native (lighter load on the GPU), upscaled to 1080p. The deep learning super sampling would output an upscaled 1080p image, but the actual game would be rendering in 720p, so in TV mode, the frame-rate would be much smoother because the GPU is not working as hard to produce the image. The cost of running DLSS would be far lower than natively rendering the game in 900p over 720. Mario Kart 8 is a buttery smooth 1080p60. With DLSS enabled, it could, in theory upscale the image to 2160p or even 4K with very little cost. I'd imagine, with it being a Wii U game, there is still some overhead that could be used to achieve this. If they slightly upgrade (or even unlock) the clock speeds on the next model, this would be instantly achievable. For handheld mode, you could have Doom Eternal, as an example, rendered in native 480p and outputting at an upscaled 720p on the Switch Screen, which may even make 60FPS possible, or allow it to maintain a consistent 30fps upscaled to 720p (so no more variable resolution to keep the frame-rate stable). Basically, it allows you to play around with output and frame-rates and tailor the experience to what you want. Now I'm sure Nintendo will be extremely strict with what they allow users to select and it certainly won't be as free as it is on PC. But this stuff really works and I'm kicking myself for buying an AMD GPU a couple of years ago. There are loads of Digital Foundry videos if you want to get all technical which examine different uses of DLSS and the cost or running a game like Control in native 4K compared to upscaled 4K. The amount of power you can save is really as much as 50% and the difference in image quality is almost not visible unless you zoom right in. It's also really going to come into its own when stuff like ray-tracing takes off as rendering that stuff is extremely expensive. This shit is magic. The best part is it would not cost Nintendo anything like a full generation shift but can get similar results. All they would need to do is use a slightly more modern chip than the one they have now and keep everything else the same. This stuff has been around for a few years now but has only started seeing real results in the last 12 months as the technology has improved. They would be absolutely insane to not make use of it in their partnership with Nvidia, and best of all, they could still make a tidy profit off a $299 Switch with this feature included. They don't need to break the bank. Edit: It also makes sense for Nintendo to adopt this as a matter urgency, before the XSX and PS5 get up and running. The longer they leave it, the further they'll get left behind. Though that's just my opinion based on 2010-2012 and the Wii.
  18. 6 points
    This is a bit weird but also a nice surprise. Last May/June I picked up a brand new DSi XL that also came with a brand new copy of Pokemon Conquest. Days after this purchase things went a little south for me for a few months. Because of this, as soon the items arrived I just put them in the cupboard with my DS games and forgot about them. Whilst fishing out Super Princess Peach for the picture I took in the other thread, I came across my forgotten purchase and finally opened it! I always wanted a DSi XL. I just rocked the original model and then Lite when I originally owned a DS but never did upgrade to this. It took a while to find a brand new model that was the colour I wanted. I hate the burgundy and yellow colour models and those were the ones that seemed to be mostly available. I got Pokemon Conquest as part of the bundle. It originally came with Pokemon White 2 but seeing as I already have that I asked for it to be swapped with Conquest. The seller was happy to make the change. I wonder how long these would have sat there had Aneres not mentioned Super Princess Peach?
  19. 6 points
    Well, it's that time again. Time for us all to look back at this year and determine which games that we played or came out this year were our favourites. I'm going to do it in two categories, a top 5 of games that actually came out this year and a top 5 of games that the poster has bought and played for the first time this year. Will give a bit of flexibility to those who don't necessarily buy that many new games. So, without further ado, here's my list for this year: 1. Final Fantasy VII Remake 2. Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time (only just started this but I'm enjoying it a lot) 3. Spider-Man: Miles Morales 4. Xenoblade Chronicles: Future Connected. I don't have a 5th... didn't actually buy many new games that came out this year mainly because of a lot of my gaming time these days is spent on online on Magic Arena or Pokemon Trading Card Game Online, neither of which qualify as they both came out in previous years. I wanted to put Among Us on the list but that doesn't count as it technically came out in 2018. Now, top 5 games that I acquired this year 1. Final Fantasy VII Remake 2. Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time 3. Metroid Fusion 4. Timesplitters: Future Perfect 5. Spider-Man: Miles Morales This was a year I also finished other games like Metal Gear Solid 2 and Dragon Quest IX for the first time while also replaying Metroid Prime 2 and Prime 3 for Youtube. So, over to you guys...
  20. 6 points
    With my only experience of 3D World being the style in Super Mario Maker 2 (it's the worst style), it's still strange and cool to see it in 3D. Looks good!
  21. 6 points
    First game of 2021 down. Last night I finished off the final few levels of Halo: Combat Evolved on PC and my god I fucking hate the flood. I finished this game WAAAAAY back in 2002/3, I think and had forgotten just how annoyingly relentless they are. I was thinking the only appeared in The Library for some reason, which I slogged through back in September. I had the final three levels to finish off and thought it was basically - Assault on the Control Room backwards, Truth and Reconciliation 2.0 and then Pillar of Autumn (encore), which it essentially was + a shit ton of Flood. The par time for the final three levels was 55 minutes, and they took me over 3 hours and many, many deaths. The experience was not a great one, to be honest. Combat rust + not remembering what to do made it quite a laboured experience, especially the final level where you need to destroy the engine and the enemies just never stop respawning. The first Halo game is such a tale of two halves. The opening few levels are absolutely sublime, right up to the Library, then it seems to nose-dive a little once the Flood appear. Can't say I enjoyed it anywhere near as much as I have done replaying the first 5 levels over the years. There are some nice set-pieces to experience in the final three levels, particularly swiping a Banshee in Two Betrayals and the Warthog section at the end of the game, but the Flood just get tiresome well before the game's conclusion. Anyway, it's done, and now I can move on to Halo 2.
  22. 6 points
    It’s Mindblow Monday! So here’s a fun little nugget of info that will change the way that you view this game’s NPCs forever... That’s right! All of the NPCs in the game are Miis!
  23. 6 points
    Yeah, my list will have to be 5 games, otherwise I'll be including WiiU ports. Oh, and I'm a Switch only owner, so I'll be focusing on games that came out this year on Switch. If a certain game appeared on another platform before hand, deal with it.
  24. 6 points
    I caught the final fish I needed for the museum last night 🙂
  25. 6 points
    Merry Christmas Everyone!
  26. 6 points
    Ladies and gents, welcome to a new segment called "drahkon's (almost) 50 games of 2020". "Why 'almost', you annoying little shit?" Good question, Timmy. This is because in the app I'm using the "finished-list" currently has 48 entries and some of them are DLCs. "But why not call it 'drahkon's fourty-something-games-plus-DLCs-list'?" Because that's a stupid name, Timmy. Now shut the fuck up and go to your room. I've started using the app Game Backlog to track my gaming progress this year. It's a neat little app that let's you track games you're playing and games you've finished (and even a backlog, if you're willing to put in every single game). Throughout 2020 I've set my limit of games that I'm currently playing to 4 and in the backlog-list I've put down those that I wanted to take a break from. So far, I've finished 48 games ("PLUS DLCs!", screams Timmy right before being struck by a tranquilizer dart) this year. Not too shabby. And yes, we all know @Hero-of-Time has completed 8 million games in the last 72 hours and yes we all know he's a great person and yes we all know that I DON'T GIVE A SHIT. A nice little feature of the app: you can give games a rating (x out of 5) and also write a review. What I've done is: Give a rating and write down a few words about how I felt about each game. And because this is all oh so interesting I've decided to share it with you in the order of completion. So buckle up, people, it's about to get Alrighty. 10 games down. A couple more to go.
  27. 6 points
    My adventure is over. Fantastic game that was an absolutely joy to play from start to finish. I'm still back and forth as to whether I liked this better than Colour Splash. The boss battles were a big step up in this but I enjoyed the story more in Colour Splash. My main thought about this is the same one I had after playing Colour Splash, which is that there's a fantastic game to be played here but many will disregard it. Look, I miss the RPG elements as much as the next Paper Mario fan, even more so now that the Mario & Luigi series is dead, but I think people need to just accept the series for what it is now and not judge the series for what it isn't.
  28. 6 points
    For £18, I'm quite impressed. I was expecting just the whole lot to flash at once, not in a pattern like that. My main presents were made with lots of talent from @Eenuh
  29. 6 points
    This arrived yesterday. Some of you may remember that a year or so back I picked up and posted pictures of the NES version of this book and like that, this sequel is just as good a read. It goes through all of the SNES games that were ever released in the West, giving a quick write up of each of the games. As you can see, it also features a bonus section that covers all of the Virtual Boy library. It's certainly worth picking up if you are a Nintendo fan and have fond memories of the SNES era. It was only £21 from Amazon and it could make a lovely Christmas present for someone or even yourself.
  30. 6 points
    It is done! Absolute timeless classic. Special thanks to @darksnowman for the idea of using the free 7 day trial of the online subscription to access the game.
  31. 5 points
    Welcome to a stupid thread idea I had that I'm calling Gaming Questions That Don't Matter. Simply put, I think about things in games way too hard at times and end up with questions that I'll never actually find the answer to and I think you should all join me in my torment. Each week, I'm gonna post a different question like this in the hopes of starting deep meaningful conversations on stupid crap. With Mario 3D World getting released on the Switch soon, I'll start this thread off with a doozy of a philosophical question. First of all, watch this 23 second video. Now then, after seeing that, I have to ask... Does Mario Still Exist? I don't think anyone has managed to play through the entirety of 3D World and managed to keep the original Mario intact. (This happens at the Flag pole as well, only the Mario that touches it stays, every other one disappears) Where your answer lies will depend on your philosophical viewpoint, I guess. That poll up above closes next Monday, BTW.
  32. 5 points
    Don't even get me started about Nintendo and their crazy font use!
  33. 5 points
    I already installed What Remains of Edith Finch, so I may as well change my vote from Gone Home to What Remains of Edith Finch.
  34. 5 points
    Finished The Last Campfire just now. While I did like the game initially, I think many of the puzzles were too easy and obvious. The joy of a good puzzle game is the satisfaction of solving a tricky puzzle, and I know it's a hard balance to get byt sadly, many of the puzzles in this are just trivial, the solution obvious and the way to get there was set in stone with only a few possible ways to start them. Moving a box around to make a path, light a candle with a box with fire, make the water sink. Yeah, sure, there were good puzzles but only a handful. It's not bad but if you are a pro puzzler, then there are better puzzle games out there. The story is good, it's telling a tale of death and acceptance in a good and light manner, I liked that.
  35. 5 points
    Some amazing artwork there, I love how ominous it is.
  36. 5 points
    Sadly that’s not how things work... We don’t know how long that initial protection lasts, we don’t know if a second dose is even effective at all if it gets delayed. We simply don’t have the scientific evidence to support what the Tories are doing here. They’re making a complete mockery of the trials that gave us the evidence we needed to actually use these vaccines. Quite frankly, their use of the Pfizer vaccine is completely Off Label; and is not based on any scientific evidence at all. It does not work like a traditional vaccine, we do not know how long the initial immunity lasts for. They are using us as lab rats; and all just to boost their numbers up and make themselves look good. What they are doing is incredibly dangerous. It’s quite possible that it could even result in the development of a viral strain that is resistant to the vaccine, as it gets into immunocompromised people that aren’t fully protected.
  37. 5 points
    Nintendo are buying Next Level Games. EDIT: In regards to the Pokémon anniversary stuff. Unless it comes with Stadium/Stadium 2 support, I don't want the Game Boy games to be released again so soon after the 3DS. That would just be boring. I'm with @Julius on that. GBA games or don't even bother. Especially FireRed/LeafGreen. Then we can have a good remake of Red/Blue where you're allowed to evolve your damn Golbat! While I like the idea of Ranger getting a re-release, have you tried drawing quick circles on the Switch's screen? It's not able to do it even remotely accurately. I'm afraid outside of a new release with revamped, Switch friendly mechanics, Ranger ain't leaving the DS. All in for the EoS remake though. Rescue Team DX did really well, so I can only hope Pokémon Company are smart and commissioned Chun Soft to do that. Give me that in Rescue Team DX's watercolour style and that's my year sorted!
  38. 5 points
    I cannot for the life of me stop thinking about this game! I've watched all of the VaatiVidya lore videos a couple of times through, I've listened to the soundtrack a number of times, and I just cannot get it off my mind. To the point that even though I want to play something lighter now, I can't bring myself to, because it still feels like I'm soaking this game in. The more I think and learn about it, the more I appreciate and obsess over it. Other than the decision to not fix some of the jank in the game from its PS3 release by utilising the same game code - again, getting attacked through walls/floors in particular - I'm having a seriously hard time thinking of anything else about this game I take issue with. The boss of 3-3 maybe, just because of how that fight can be made pretty unfair and seriously unenjoyable. But the subtle story, the Shadow of the Colossus-like scale and melancholy, the interactivity with the world and NPC's, the level design, the reward in going off the beaten path to find an NPC or make yourself a shortcut, it's really, really well done. There's a heft to character movement and combat which forces your hand into learning your character through and through: how many hits they can take from certain enemies, how much damage they can do to certain enemies and how many hits it will take to take them down, the reaction time for dodge rolls, enemy attack patterns, the best way to parry or back stab them, the range of ranged attacks. Then it's the same for enemies, bosses, and the environment itself. It's a hard game, and I really do think that. It punishes players who don't respect the game and their adversaries, and having not played a From game before, it definitely took some time to adjust, and a lot of deaths to get to grips with so much of it. But it's not difficult in a way which is unfair; instead, I think it's a lesson in being proactively patient. Absolutely don't stand still, but wait to strike, and strike hard when you do. The sense of accomplishment I felt when felling Tower Knight, or the adrenaline pumping through me when taking on Flamelurker to the point I almost threw up, or even just knowing exactly when and where I needed to be when sprinting across the bridges of Boletaria Castle to avoid being burned alive by the Red Dragon, it's something I can genuinely say I haven't felt playing a game before. This game terrified me at times, in its imagery and depiction of a world turned by man's cruelty, and yet I still loved it. That genuinely says a lot. @Magnus, I can absolutely see where you're coming from. I've looked up a few reviews and trailers for the later From games and I am certainly feeling the draw of jumping into Dark Souls, but my only concern would be burning myself out on them. That being said, I really don't think it's going to be as long as I expected until I get myself around to playing Dark Souls...
  39. 5 points
    Some times when a developer decides to mix things up with an established franchise there is the danger of losing something and the change comes at the expense of what made the games popular in the first place. That isn't the case here. The change to a standard JRPG battle system has allowed the Yakuza team to go wild with their imaginations and come up with crazy set pieces, job types and special moves. Every special move that you pull off comes with a speculator and yet hilarious scene. It's these instances where development team are really allowed to shine. Because of this, I think this is the craziest/funniest Yakuza game they've made so far. Bringing a new protagonist to a long running franchise is always a tricky thing. You want to try something new but you need to keep fans on board. Enter Ichiban. He's such a likeable guy. He has the same kind of morals that Kiryu has but I feel he has more personality. Where Kiryu is more reserved, Ichiban wears his emotions on his sleeve. He wins you over with his charm and humour almost instantly. The story in this game is something pretty special and it saddens me that the game hasn't been talked about when it comes to dishing out awards for best narrative of the year. I imagine most outlets just dismissed this game. Having played both this and The Last of Us Part II, I can honestly say that this had by far the better narrative. What's on offer here is a story with many twists and turns, where dark subjects are touched upon but at the core of it all it still has heart and soul. Those last 2 things are what was sorely missing in TLOU2. Playing both these games pretty much back to back, I couldn't help but make comparisons between the two of them. With Yakuza 7, once again the development team show that they understand how to tell a compelling story with a variety of characters BUT also know how to wrap it all up in a package that is full of fantastic gameplay experiences. Karaoke, classic Sega games, karting, personality tests, cinema trips, bar conversations...the list goes on. I do think that the Yakuza team are some of the best in the business. The fact that they've been to continue to put out these games, each with different stories and gameplay experiences, at a stupidly fast pace, but without a drop in quality, speaks volumes about their processes and passion for the series. Hell of a team. Hell of game. Hell of a series.
  40. 5 points
    I would like to say my top four are all some of the best games on Switch.... umm..... I can’t escape those Paw Patrol anywhere it seems and may be the only time you see them and Mario Odyssey sharing the same screen! It’s only now I realise just how much I may have allowed my young daughter to play on the Switch... [emoji85]
  41. 5 points
    I really wanted Three Houses to be my last game in 2020, but alas, those last few maps are giving me sass trouble. Still, since I started the year with an 8-bit 3DS Inti Creates title, let's bookend it with something similar: Blaster Master Zero More like "Blaster Master Theta", eh? My first ever contact with Blaster Master was a flash game on Newgrounds. A Super Mario Bros. romhack of sorts that allowed you to play as characters from various other NES titles, such as Link, Mega Man, or Ryu Hayabusa. It was an excellent game (no glitches with the various mechanics, and it was polished to the point that it included music from those titles), but that game's last update added character I'd never heard of before: SOPHIA from Blaster Master. It was a tank that could fire in any direction, fly around, and crawl on walls and ceilings. Super fun, super OP. Fast forward to 2017, and I'm a new 3DS owner. As I perused the 3DS eShop, what do I find? Blaster Master for the NES of course, but also... Blaster Master Zero? The description says "a reimagining of the NES classic, made by Inti Creates". Dang, what a concept, and there's even a demo. I tried it, and I was mildly pleased, but disappointed that I couldn't latch to walls. Anyway, earlier this year, around TGS, Inti Creates held a sale on their titles, and I got both this and Azure Striker Gunvolt. Since this one was shorter, I decided to play it now in December (try to finish at least something before the end of the year). I was mildly pleased, but still disappointed I can't latch to walls (gotta climb them from the ground). ... Fine, I'll say more. IC is great at making solid action games that feel good to play, and this game is no exception. The tank SOPHIA is super fun to play, while the on-foot sections with Jason are adequately underpowered. The top-down segments are creative, consisting on an "all-or-nothing" weapons system where you're either dominating or fighting very steep odds (though the sub-weapons you eventually gain always give you a fighting chance). My only gripe is that those top-down segments are slow, with no way to increase or modulate movement (which can make them tedious at various points). Everything else is great, with SOPHIA having a varied arsenal of weapons and sub-weapons that feels balanced and keeps things fresh. So why wasn't I more impressed with the game? Level design. BMZ is a Metroidvania, and yet it doesn't do anything particularly interesting with that. The game is divided by "Areas", which might as well be levels, and you pretty much stick to those until you clear everything in them (or just the bosses with the required upgrades). There's only one place where you need to backtrack (technically two, but it's the same trip), and it's such a slog - not to mention highlighted and telegraphed by the game - that it doesn't really add anything. If you're looking to 100% the game (and you need to do that to unlock the final level), the game even conveniently tells you where the remaining items are. Furthermore, even on a smaller scale, the game is filled with paths and treks that don't lead to anywhere of value (various paths are filled with enemies, only to reveal at the end... a dead end with a health pickup. Thanks, Obama). Not to say it's a boring time, because the bosses are great, and the regular enemies are fun to fight, but as an exploration game, it's quite lacking. Nevertheless, I do see the potential for improvement, and this game did convince me to add Blaster Master Zero 2 to my wishlist. Hopefully that game will allow me to latch directly onto walls. I do want to show my appreciation for this game's weird story, though. To my understanding, no version of Blaster Master has ever managed to present a story that makes sense (the Famicom version was straightforward with a war on aliens. The NES version changed it to a pet frog that got mutated, and a tank that popped out of nowhere to fight underground mutants on earth led by a skull emperor... then other games in the series continued to have convoluted plots), so this reboot also went with a convoluted story that involves a post-climate-change world, a runaway frog, inexplicable mutants out of nowhere (who seemingly don't count as valuable life forms), a climax that involves space travel, and a script that doesn't know what an android is. Shlocky fun, and I like that the game eventually introduces optional banter. I got the game's true ending (which was pretty great to play through, I adore the pun on the name of one of the final bosses), so I decided to quickly check out the original Blaster Master on the NES service on Switch. I appreciate that that game was trying to be a Metroidvania long before the genre was properly codified, but some things don't jive. Bosses bring sudden difficulty spikes, the gun during on-foot segments doesn't improve well enough, enemies respawn on top of Jason whenever I leave a mini-dungeon, and most egregiously, no in-game saving (only two lives, too). Hence, I'll let the classic game rest in history, and recommend Blaster Master Zero (also available on Switch) as a more adequate upgrade to it. Not planning on playing through the extra modes, nor purchasing the DLC characters, but it's pretty cool that Shantae and Shovel Knight are playable in this game. I'm betting these characters play very differently from the usual SOPHIA, which is something I always respect in a 2D action/platforming game. Gameplay.........4/5 Exploration.......2/5 Story................3/5 Extra Content...5/5 I'd say Inti Creates did a great job at reviving the franchise, though there are a few rough edges to iron out before it truly shines. I'll see for myself when I eventually buy BMZ 2 I started the year "currently playing" a Fire Emblem game. Ended the year "currently playing" two. Classic Jonnas. 2020 is at its end, and while I made hefty progress on my DS/3DS, the rest of my physical backlog did not progress so well, unfortunately. I guess my 2020 gaming resolution did not pan out so well. I did prioritize a lot of digital games in the end (and FE Heroes did worm its way back into my free time during this year's second half). Might change my approach somewhat in 2021.
  42. 5 points
    I realise I haven't posted in here for quite a while. The end of the year has been quite busy for me so I'm trying to make up for that now. Having accepted defeat at the end of the year and not coming close to beating 52 games, I'm going to try and start next year with a bang. I have Luigi's Mansion 3, Part Time UFO and Doom 2016 all close to completion, so will get them done in early Jan to get a boost out of the gate - going for a much healthier and realistic target of 40 games next year. Anyway, because I always drop games after a few hours and start a new one, I've been playing through Final Fantasy IX for the first time ever. Because why not..?! I'm about 8 hours in so far. The game starts with a bit of a bang, I was hooked within the first 20 minutes and thought the theatre segment in Alexandria was really well done! The cast of characters is great, especially Steiner and Vivi, I'm really enjoying the dialogue and the active time events which are used to flesh them out. The combat doesn't feel as intuitive at VII or VIII initially and I'm not quite convinced by the ability and equip system, it feels like it needs to be micromanaged too much. The difficulty is also a little all over the place - I can steamroll some battles and get destroyed in others. I wandered into a cave (can't remember the name - you open doors with bells) and I got decimated by the boss at the end. Tried about 6 times and then realised I'd missed a party member when I went back to level up a bit. When I went back with a party of four, I managed at the second attempt thanks to a lot of potions and a couple of phoenix downs. This was the battle, however, when the battle system clicked a little. I'm normally one of those players who goes all-out-attack, but this just wasn't a viable strategy this time. Ended up using Vivi's Slow ability and Silencing its magic via Zidane. It was enough in the end to neuter it enough to get the kill. More strategic battles like this will help me warm to the system with time I think, but enemies really do an incredible amount of damage, meaning you only have two or three turns before you inevitably lose a character. Need to read up a bit more on the systems probably. Overall, a great start and classic Final Fantasy. The world is interesting, the soundtrack is superb and the pre-rendered backgrounds are lovely - you can really see the step up from FFVII.
  43. 5 points
    Finally bought remake as likely the first of a bunch of end-of-year purchases, and will be playing it for the first time as soon as the download finishes (Nintendo servers slow boo). Wish me luck. Edit: Died to first zombie.
  44. 5 points
    Merry Christmas everyone! ❄☃⛄🎅🦌🎄
  45. 5 points
    Holy crap! It's Christmas! Yaaaaaaay! Merry Christmas, you lot!
  46. 5 points
    Merry Christmas everyone
  47. 5 points
    For me it was initially a case of no longer being able to make it on Thursday, but now it’s also that I’ve simply lost interest in MK8DX. The N-E MK League has spanned several MK titles already, but when you take into consideration the Wii U version, MK8/DX has almost certainly had the longest run of the lot. The way I see it, a new MK game is long overdue at this point! You lot will scoff at this but the truth is I get my MK fix from Tour these days. And I actually think it’s a real shame Nintendo didn’t find a way to incorporate the content from that game into MK8DX, as it would’ve massively helped in keeping it fresh. But yeah, unfortunately I’ve just had enough of MK8DX. Whenever MK9 becomes a reality you can guarantee I’ll be very much IN! the N-E League once again.
  48. 5 points
  49. 5 points
    Is it just me or is the whole gaming scene just exhausting nowadays? I was just as disappointed as anyone else that Cyberpunk is currently a broken mess, but CDPR have offered refunds to anyone who wants one and promised a patch to those willing to wait. Like, what else can they do at this point? What else is there to discuss? Everyone has an option that can work for them; Don't buy it/get a refund/wait for a patch. Yet people still seem hell-bent on complaining about it, going out of their way to point out exactly why it's an awful game as if it's something we don't already know or comparing it to their favourite developer who would never release a game in such a state. Even people that had no interest in actually playing the game come out to offer their criticisms. Remember when gaming was just a way to have fun? Now it seems people would rather just complain about things or find the latest thing to be angry about. If it's not the sorry state of Cyberpunk, it's crunch within the industry or loot boxes or my console is better than yours or my demographic wasn't represented exactly how I'd have liked. I wouldn't mind if it was avoidable, but it seems that to get to the actual gaming news, you've got to wade through all the arguments, controversies and dogpiling that comes with it. And then there's the actual toxicity. It seems with every major release, there's a group that take their hate to absurd levels. Sending seizure inducing videos to journalists who report on Cyberpunk's braindance segments or people sending death threats to TLOU2's staff because one female character was a bit masculine. I love gaming, but the whole gaming culture has just completely worn me out to the point where I just don't want to be involved anymore. Honestly, I've never seen such vitriol and toxicity centred around something that is supposed to be fun. A lot of the above isn't really specific to Cyberpunk, but I do think it's the straw that broke the camel's back for me and it made me realise how much I really don't like the gaming "community" nowadays. I can deal with being disappointed in a game, but the gaming culture and politics that surrounds it leaves me exhausted more often than not. It's like wading through treacle. I just want to enjoy a game and maybe have a nice discussion about it, but there's just so much bullshit that comes with it or someone picking fault with every single opinion. I dunno, maybe 2020 has effected me more than I realised, but I just find gaming culture legitimately depressing and exhausting nowadays.
  50. 5 points
    I fired this up for a quick go on Friday and then started the game properly yesterday. I've finished the first two areas/castles and I'm on my way to the yellow ribbon/streamer. It's been a fantastic experience so far. The writing in the game has been top notch, with many lines actually make me laugh out loud. This started with Bowser at the very beginning of the game and has carried on throughout. Battle wise, I really love the boss battles. Having to actually think about your movements and plan ahead is something I'm really enjoying. Working out how to attack and damage each of the bosses is a puzzle in itself and the timer just adds that little bit of pressure to keep things interesting. Wandering around the world really appeals to my completionist nature. Having the Toads to find, chests to uncover, ? Blocks to hit and holes to fill up, all scratches that itch nicely. Knowing how many are left in the area is a nice incentive to keep looking around for things. I also like how there are various little activities and quests to do whilst wandering around. It helps to keep things fresh and interesting between areas. My main complaint is that the standard battles don't serve much purpose at all. The only rewards you get are coins and confetti, of which there is already an abundance of. I've already got over 20k and have bought everything I need. It's a problem that IS have had ever since removing the experience system from the games. How do you keep the player engaged with battles and make them meaningful but without such a system? It's a problem they have yet to solve. Yeah, so two streamers/ribbons down and three to go. I'll probably get another one or two collected today and see if my impressions remain as positive as they are now.