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  1. 8 points
    Absolutely baffling that this wasn't an official thing by Nintendo.
  2. 8 points
    Lol, yeah sorry. Not sure what's wrong to be honest, an issue with a particular database table has occurred more than once. Luckily a quick reboot fixes it, but it looks like that fix might be temporary. Will hopefully get time to look at it at the weekend.
  3. 7 points
    Polished this off the other night. I'll pay the game a bit more attentive lip service when I get around to updating my Gaming Diary, but for now: • I loved the ending. • I really, really enjoyed the penultimate dungeon (or what I'm counting as the penultimate dungeon), Eagle's Tower. Did get a little lost once or twice, and not leaving the heavy ball in the right spot only added to a little bit of confusion, but I think it's incredibly well designed and forward thinking. Crazy how many ideas - and well executed ones at that - were packed into a GB game. • what I'm calling the final dungeon (the one after Eagle's Tower)...eh. It was pretty good, but felt like a step down for me from Eagle's Tower, and also just wasn't as interesting mechanically. • final boss fight was awesome. Lastly, this has to be one of the best credits medleys I've heard in a minute: Hit me hard, surprisingly so for a game as short as this, and made me nostalgic for the original game – which I've never played. Wonderful and charming little game
  4. 7 points
    Totodile will always be my boy because I'm a water Pokémon fan. I'm glad we got another water himbo starter in the new generation too. However, I'll always feel a kinship with Cyndaquil because we have the same eyes.
  5. 7 points
  6. 6 points
    Yup, I'm bored! And when I'm bored, I tend to go on about stuff that really doesn't matter. After 9 generations of Pokémon, there are 30 different starter Pokémon (33 if you count a certain trio, 34 if you're an idiot). The majority of them serve as solid Pokémon that help to introduce the type matchups with one of the most simple triangle of weaknesses. I'm not gonna explain that, because I hope you're smart enough to already know that particular type trio off by heart. But let's face it, not all starters are created equal, and nothing demonstrates that unfortunate truth more then the Kanto trio. Bulbasaur, weirdly enough, is a Grass/Poison type (Actually, all of this family are), so it's already doing a terrible job of demonstrating type matchups. Real talk, it's why I thought Grass types were weak to Psychic until the third generation. In the original games, Bulbasaur is normally the Pokémon recommended for beginners, mostly because the first two Gym Leaders use types that are weak to Grass. Normally, middle evolutions of starters are not note worthy. Always overshadowed by the two forms it's in between. However, there are precisely three exceptions, and Ivysaur is one of them. And it's all because of Smash Bros. That Ivysaur is the luckiest Pokémon ever In Smash Bros. Brawl, one of the newcomers was "Pokémon Trainer", an interesting character that doesn't actually directly take part in fights, but sends his three Pokémon to fight on his behalf. The player controls the Pokémon themselves, so functionally, it was just a cosmetic flourish of a transformation character that Zelda introduced to the series in Melee. But it was a cool way to represent the gameplay of Pokémon games in Smash. Squirtle was the fast, but weak, Pokémon, while Charizard is the slow, heavy hitter. This meant that Ivysaur was the choice for the one that's average, despite Bulbasaur and Venusaur being far more popular. Only Charizard returned in the fourth Smash entry, because, well, more on why in a bit. But with Smash Ultimate's "Everyone is Here!" megaton, Ivysaur's managed to worm it's way back into relevance. Real talk, in Smash Bros, I think Ivysaur is the best Pokémon character in the game, it's anti-air game is insane! It's so good, I barely use the other two, they just get in the way! Also helps that Ivysaur's current anime voice is hilarious! Venusaur is the final evolution, and by the time most players get one, they'll probably start realising that the Bulbasaur line is a bit of a noob trap in the Gen 1 games. It's useful at the start, but Grass/Poison is a terrible typing. Psychic Pokémon are way overpowered in Gen 1, and Venusaur's movepool is woeful. There aren't any good Poison attacks, and as for Grass, your best option is Razor Leaf, a 55 power, 95% accuracy grass move. Technically, it learns Solar Beam, but Solar Beam sucks because you have to spend a turn to charge it up. It does get Sleep Powder, but that doesn't save it. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the two form changes that Venusaur got, starting with it's Mega Evolution in Generation 6. Mega Venusaur is a prime example of why I love the Mega Evolution mechanic that is no longer seen in mainline games. It takes a mediocre Pokémon and transforms it into a very effective tank. The key difference between this and a certain lamer mechanic replacement is that it actually changes the Pokémon's ability. In Venusaur's case, it gains Thick Fat, eliminating it's Fire and Ice weakness. Also, one of the few Megas that doesn't add spikes to the design, thought that was worth mentioning. Come Generation 8, Megas were gone, but Venusaur is a generation 1 Pokémon, and as I have mentioned many times in the past, those Pokémon get mad preferential treatment, so it got a second form with Gigantamax Venusaur. Unlike Mega Evolutions, Gigantamax Pokémon barely differ from the normal version in battle. The only actual difference is that they get a unique attack only they can use while dynamaxed, and most of them are worse. It's such a downgrade. No-one will miss it. Gigantamax Venusaur wasn't even available at the launch of Sword and Shield. Which wouldn't be that noteworthy if it wasn't for a certain other starter. Speaking of... Charmander is the fire type starter, in case the tail didn't give it away. Being a fire type, it struggles against the first two gyms. So much so, that from Gen 3 onwards, it learns Metal Claw, so it has some sort of answer to rock types. For this reason, it's seen as the "expert" starter, because you'll likely need another Pokémon to deal with those gyms. Charmeleon is a middle evolution, and thus, has nothing to contribute to this thread (Get used to that being a thing). Charizard is, by far, one of the most popular Pokémon ever. Hell, I'd argue there are only two other Pokémon that are more popular. It gains the Flying type, which means it's not a dragon, despite looking about as "stereotypical dragon" as you could get in Pokémon. Fire/Flying is an unfortunate typing these days, because rock type attacks became quite good in later generations, and Charizard has a heart attack the moment you throw a pebble at it. It's pretty good in Gen 1 though, thanks to rock being kinda rubbish, and Charizard's respectable Speed stat giving it more then a few critical hits. It has a decent movepool, to boot. Definitely the starter that pays off the most there. Much like Venusaur, Charizard also gets a Mega Evolution in the 3DS games. Oh, but Game Freak absolutely adore Charizard. If Gen 1 Pokémon got preferential treatment during this time, then Charizard might as well be the freaking Pope with how much attention it got. Charizard got two Mega Evolutions. Yes, two. Venusaur and Blastoise fans can go ahead and suck Charizard's nonexistent balls. The black one is Mega Charizard X. It's Fire/Dragon type (Yes, this one is an actual dragon), and has stats that focus more on Physical attacks. The ability it gets is Tough Claws, which powers up contact moves by 30%. The orange one is Mega Charizard Y. It's still Fire/Flying (So... not a dragon), and has more special inclined stats. The ability it gets here is Drought, which changes the weather to intense sunlight whenever it enters battle. Charizard Y is the one to go for, Drought is a very powerful ability, and Charizard naturally does better with Special attacks. Also it's a better design, so there. It also got a Gigantamax form, and even that got more attention then it's Gen 1 brethren. Because unlike Venusaur and Blastoise, you could actually get one in Sword and Shield. In fact, you got one for free! Venusaur and Blastoise fans can continue to suck Charizard's nonexsistant balls. It's rubbish though, you're better off using a normal Charizard. Seriously, the Charizard favouritism is really bad, even the champion of Sword and Shield uses a Charizard as his "ace", instead of a Pokémon introduced in that generation like almost every other champion. Still not a dragon though. And to further prove that point, Charizard was playable in Pokkén. It's got pecs in that game, and it's forever weird. Actually, it features in a lot of spin-off's, we'll be here all day if I go through them. Let's move on. Squirtle kicks off the water starter family in Kanto. It's a turtle. It is not inspired by a squirrel, no matter what some people would have you believe, it's just a turtle. Don't be dumb. Squirtle performs well against Gen 1's first gym, but can struggle against the second one, it's really good in the last two gyms though! And it can learn Surf, which you need to finish the game, and is a very good attack to boot. You can't go wrong really, but there are a few better water types in Gen 1, including Lapras, which you can get a free one of. So Squirtle loses out to Charizard in most playthroughs. Squirtle could totally beat Charmander up in Gen 1 though, so if you're playing multiplayer with big Charizard fans, Squirtle might be the way to go. Wartortle is a middle evolution, so it exists, I guess. Blastoise is the only Gen 1 starter final evolution that doesn't have a second type. Hard to say if that's a blessing or a curse, but it can learn Ice moves. Water and Ice is a great combo for coverage, but Blastoise is actually slower then Venusaur, which is a big oof in Gen 1 where Speed is OP. Well, more OP then usual. By the way, this is a good opportunity for a confession. I genuinely think Blastoise is one of the worst designs in all of Pokémon. Squirtle and Wartortle are fine, but Blastoise is a crap design. The tail doesn't follow the increasing elaborateness that the other two do, and, well, the cannons are absolutely dumb. Blastoise is not a mechanical Pokémon, why the hell does it have cannons!? I hate it, no thought put into the evolutionary theming what-so-ever! And it's alternate forms only get worse. 50% more cannon, 300% stupider! Mega Blastoise is still a water type, but gets the ability, "Mega Launcher", which increases the power of any move that has "Aura", or "Pulse" in the name. Blastoise learns quite a few of those moves in Gen 6, so it's a solid Mega that can punch holes in a lot of Pokémon. Gigantamax Blastoise, much like the other Gigantamax starters, is not as good as just using the normal version. But, I mean, look at it. It's so incredibly dumb. Like, I'm talking "Gundramon from Digimon" dumb! Sword and Shield has amazing Pokémon designs, but this is a real blemish on that record. Btw, amazingly enough, Blastoise beat the odds, and got into Pokkén! ...Eventually, it was in the Switch version. So Venusaur fans can suck Blastoise's nonexisistant balls when they're finished with Charizard! That said, maybe Venusaur fans got lucky, because... Someone here accurately described it as "A guy in a Blastoise costume" There is actually one more starter. Pokémon Yellow didn't have any of the three starters above as your first Pokémon, instead it had one of the two Pokémon more popular then Charizard. Do I need to explain Pikachu? It's the mascot! Pokémon Yellow took a few nods from the anime and gave you a Pikachu with incredibly staticy voice samples. It wasn't very good though. It is Pikachu, after all. Despite popular belief, you can actually evolve the Pikachu in Pokémon Yellow! It involves trading it to another cartridge and evolving it there. It stops following you though, and loses all the perks that particular Pikachu gets. And Raichu still kinda sucks, anyway, so why bother? I'm not gonna go into all the different forms and appearances of Pikachu! Screw that! I've already spent 2 hours on this post! Anyway, that's all for now. We're thankfully done with the longest post because of Gen 1 favouritism, but what's your favourite Generation 1 starter Pokémon? I know what you're going to think, but for me, it's Charizard. Yes, I'm part of the problem. But dragons are bloody cool! Even when they're not actually dragons. I've still got a Charizard from Fire Red in the latest games! It's nicknamed Draco. No, he's not named after the Harry Potter character, it's a Dragonheart reference. Got a soft spot for that movie.
  7. 6 points
    Diddy Kong Racing PAL release: 21st November 1997 JP release: 21st November 1997 NA release: 24th November 1997 Developer: Rare Publisher: Nintendo N64 Magazine Score: 90% Pretty much all racing games on the N64 so far have the same problem: there’s not a lot of progression for a single player, and you can do everything in a couple of hours. Some of them focused on being great in multiplayer (like Mario Kart 64) but there wasn’t a lot of choice for singleplayer. Which is where Diddy Kong Racing comes in, as it has a very meaty singleplayer campaign with an adventure mode where you find tracks within its hub world. It’s a neat area to explore, although a lot smaller than I remember it being. You’ll find four doors with balloon requirements (which you get from winning races or finding them in the world), with a fifth world hidden until you defeat five bosses. They start out simple at first: you have to win each race individually then defeat the boss in a race. Do that, and it gets much more challenging. You’ll be tasked with finding 8 coins in each race. However, finding them isn’t enough as you still have to win, and then defeat a harder version of the boss. Diddy Kong Racing is a difficult and brutal game and you’ll need to learn its tricks (such as letting go of the accelerator just before boosting) to have a chance of winning. Once you defeat a boss a second time, you then complete in a tournament across the four tracks. There’s also a key hidden in one level of each world to unlock a battle mode challenge. Oh, and also time trail challenges. Once you’ve done all that and defeated the evil Wizpig, it’s time for Adventure Two. This is a mirror mode version of the game, although the silver coins are now in more difficult places. Of course, this amount of content wouldn’t be anything if the game wasn’t fun to play. And thankfully, it is fun. Levels use three vehicles: car, hovercraft and plane. The car and plane are very easy to use, while the hovercraft is more difficult. When you repeat tracks (or choose to play outside Adventure mode), some levels let you pick your vehicle – with some restrictions on a per-level basis – and it’s great having multiple types of vehicles racing alongside each other. One let-down in DKR are the characters. None of them are bad in terms of a design perspective – and this is the first appearance of Banjo (without Kazooie, although some of his voice clips sound like her) and Conker, but they’re a bit too varied in terms of ability, so the game’s difficulty will vary a lot based on who you pick, with Pipsy being the best for hitting boosts (plus the silver coins). The weapon system sets itself apart from other kart racers. Instead of giving you random items, the balloons providing items are colour coded for specific items. Collecting one of the same type you already have will also upgrade the item. Diddy Kong Racing is still a great game, and the only kart game that’s come close to it for single-player is Sonic Racing Transformed (which also had three vehicle types, but it was specific to the part of the track you were on). It set itself apart from Mario Kart 64 and I actually prefer this one. Remake or Remaster? If not a sequel, then Diddy Kong Racing deserves a remake. It would look gorgeous with a Mario Kart 8 style sheen to it and some updates to the control and balance would be great, with some additional options. While it would be nice for all characters to return, I’d still be very happy with the game even if they had to replace most of them. The Switch seemed perfect due to the system’s portability and how it doesn’t have its own Mario Kart. Official ways to get the game. There is no official way to get Diddy Kong Racing Re-releases 2007: Diddy Kong Racing DS (Banjo and Conker replaced with Dixie Kong and a tall, teenage Tiny Kong, coin challenges replaced with tapping balloons).
  8. 6 points
    So now we move on to Generation 2, better known as Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal, which is set in the Johto region. Despite the box art for these games sporting the Game Boy Colour logo on it, these games were compatible with the standard Game Boy (Not Crystal, though). I don't know if that had an impact on actually designing the Pokémon, but it's worth keeping in mind. Chikorita kicks off the Johto Pokédex. Unlike it's Kanto counterpart, this Pokémon doesn't have a secondary type (actually, all the Johto starters only have one type), so it serves as a far better introduction to the concept of type matchups this time. That said, don't expect an easy time at the beginning if you go with the grass starter, Johto's first two gyms are Flying and Bug, which Grass performs terribly against! Bayleef still mostly falls in the catagory of "overshadowed middle evolution", but there is one notable time where a Bayleef features, it functions as one of the three Pokémon the player has a choice between in the Generation 3 game, "Pokémon Colosseum". No prizes for guessing what the other two choices are. But it's caught at level 30, so will quickly evolve before it makes an impression. And now we have to talk about Meganium, arguably the most cursed starter Pokémon ever. If you remember, I described Venusaur as a noob trap. In comparison, picking Meganium is the choice if you don't want to actually use your starter in Generation 2. The Johto region hates Grass types. Out of the 8 gyms there, Meganium is effective against precisely none of them. As well as that, Meganium matches up poorly against half of them. And if that wasn't enough, Meganium's movepool is awful! Ironically, if Meganium had the secondary Poison typing that Venusaur did, it could have at least learnt Sludge Bomb, which got introduced in this game. But instead it only gets Razor Leaf, and Body Slam (No, Solar Beam is forever crap). You could use TM's to give it Giga Drain, which has a mediocre 60 power in Gen 2, and Earthquake. There are many better candidates for a valuable TM like Earthquake, don't waste it on Meganium. This combination of awful movepool, and a region that is hostile to it, cements the Chikorita line as the least popular Gen 2 starter by far. And it only gets worse. A lot of early starters would get new tools over the generations that help them adapt to the ever changing mechanics, but not Meganium. Other then getting Energy Ball in Gen 4, nothing of real use was given to Meganium. Truly a forgotten Pokémon. You know it's bad when False Swipe Gaming, a channel that focuses on the competitive side of Pokémon, made no attempt whatsoever to hide how utterly rubbish it is. Still, Namco decided to put Meganium as one of the Pokémon that's on the cover of New Pokémon Snap. That's it's biggest claim to fame as far the games go, and it only appears in one stage. So yeah, if you think your favourite starter is overlooked, well, at least it's not Meganium. Unless it is, then it sucks to be you. The Fire starter is Cyndaquil. I keep thinking it's meant to be some kind of hedgehog, but it's Pokédex classification is "Fire Mouse". ...OK, sure. Anyway, Cyndaquil's performance in the early game of Gold and Silver is quite haphazard, it shreds the Bug gym, but then gets absolutely demolished by the Normal one. Yes, Normal is neutral against Fire, but you can tell which player chose Cyndaquil as their starter by asking how difficult Whitney's Miltank was. If their answer is "The hardest gym in the history of Pokémon", then they likely chose Cyndaquil. Whitney ain't all that, guys. Basic strategy will take you far. Quilava, middle evolution, not much else to say. Although, now it looks like some kind of badger. This evolution line has a real identity crisis. Typhlosion is the final evolution, and by far the most popular of the Johto trio. It's stat spread is truly excellent for a Fire type, Special Attack and Speed are both at least base 100. This would be let down by it's natural movepool, which only has Flamethrower as a viable attack. This would be disastrous, if it wasn't for the fact that for some bizarre reason, Typhlosion can learn Thunder Punch, one of the most excellent TM's in Gen 2. Thunder Punch can be bought in Goldenrod, the town with the third gym, so there's no reason to not teach it that. Fire and Electric is excellent coverage for a special attacker in Gen 2. Yes, Thunder Punch is not a physical attack, don't question it. That said, Typhlosion would not fare well in future generations. Specifically, the Generation 4 remakes of Gold and Silver, HeartGold and SoulSilver, were not kind to it. It can't learn Thunder Punch easily anymore, and even if it could, Thunder Punch is a physical move now. Oh right, yeah. Suppose I should explain the Physical-Special Split. It's important. Typhlosion doesn't do well with Physical attacks, so it now only has Focus Blast (120 Power, 70 accuracy, which might as well be 0 accuracy) as a non-Fire option. As an aside, some Pokémon fans get really annoyed with Typhlosion's depiciton in more modern titles, they get really angsty about Typhlosion's Fire effect not being seen all the time. This is stupid, because if those people ever read Typhlosion's Pokédex entries, or even watched the anime, they'd know that Typhlosion has always been able to turn it's fire off at will. Basic Pokémon knowledge, guys. So, in conclusion, if you're playing the Game Boy versions, Typhlosion's great! If you're playing the DS remakes, you might want to consider something else, something that I'm about to talk about. (Yes, I know about Typhlosion's other form, I've decided to cover that in a future post. Because it's weird) Totodile is the Water starter of Johto, and the only Pokémon I can do a decent impression of. Is it a crocodile, or an alligator? I'll never tell. It's very bitey, according to the Pokédex, which is a problem, because biting is how it plays. I wonder how many people in the world of Pokémon have had to take a sudden trip to a hospital due to overexcited Totodile? So normally, I don't really mention the anime, but Totodile is a special case, because it's hilarious! Ash's Totodile is something I remember quite fondly as a constant source of comedy. That's pretty much how I react when a CPU tries Scary Face on me, actually. Anyway, Totodile performs perfectly average in the early game. Not much to note here. Croconaw is yet another middle evolution, and yet another Pokémon that has no interesting things to talk about here. Feraligatr is a Pokémon that has had a mispelt name throughout it's entire life. The Game Boy games have a 10 character limit on Pokémon names, and they've never bothered to fix this in later games. The letter "O" is for losers anyway. But that's not all that's weird. Croconaw is the only starter Pokémon that evolves at level 30. To this day, I have no clue why this is the case. Level 36 is the standard, but there are some that evolve at level 32, but not this line. Still, early evolution is very much a plus in Feraligatr's favour. Feraligatr is a physical juggernaut, with great Attack and Defense, it also has a diverse moveset with no less then 4 easily accessible type options for attacks (Water, Normal and Dark, through level ups, and Ice through a purchasable TM, Ice Punch). This actually sort of works against it in Gen 2, because most of those options are classified as Special attacks. Yes, even Bite is a Special attack. Feraligatr doesn't have great Special Attack, so it's bad at biting... Yes, that sounds completely ridiculous. But despite that shortcoming, Feraligatr is still an excellent starter in Gen 2. That kind of type coverage is extremely rare in the Game Boy games, and you need Surf anyway, so it can't hurt. Ice Punch is still a fantastic move because of the abundance of Dragon Pokémon at the end. Feraligatr's great Attack stat also makes it an excellent candidate for the Earthquake TM for even better coverage. It can also learn Iron Tail, but Steel is a pretty rubbish offensive type, so I don't recommend that. Unlike Typhlosion, future generations would serve Feraligatr very well. The Physical-Special split helps it massively, and makes it by far, the best choice of starter in the DS remakes. But it got even better in the fifth generation. Which means I need to talk about "Hidden abilities". Feraligatr's hidden ability is "Sheer Force". It powers up moves that have secondary effects by 33%, at the cost of removing those secondary effects. Most of Feraligatr's best moves have secondary effects, so it uses this to great effect! Sheer Force also prevents the Life Orb item from damaging Feraligatr. Anyway, that's about everything with the Gen 2 starters. What's your favourite? So, surprise, surprise. Mine's Feraligatr. All the crocodilian Pokémon are great, to be fair. Just like Charizard, I still have the Feraligatr I caught on the DS remake. It's nicknamed Dalbert. In fact, I like Totodile a lot as well. Especially the anime depiction. Little dude likes to spin. Honestly, I'm baffled at how RedShell can discount all water starters when Totodile exists!
  9. 6 points
  10. 5 points
    And there we have it! A Partner Showcase coming in at 25 minutes long and focusing on the first half of the year. Notably: this is not a Direct Mini, making it the first Partner Showcase to date to get the "full" (as in, well, not "Mini") Direct treatment. Also: on-demand and not livestreamed.
  11. 5 points
    It's nonsensical, and I won't be swayed on that! Anyway, that's so 2 generations ago! We're living in the here and now! And by "Here and now", I mean 2002. Generation 3, otherwise known as Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald, takes place in Hoenn. It's more of a tropical locale then the first two, but you wouldn't be able to really tell from the starter Pokémon. Being a GBA game, this is the first time a mainline Pokémon game was made with full colour in mind from the start. Treecko is the Grass starter. And it couldn't be any more different to the first two Grass starters. It's bipedal for a start, but more importantly, instead of being a slower, defensive battler, Treecko and it's evolutions are very much glass cannons. They hit hard, they hit fast. Treecko does well against the first gym, which is as good as it'll get in the early game for any starter here, actually. And then there's Grovyle. Behold! This is the second of the starter middle evolutions to not be overshadowed by the other two! In fact, Grovyle may be the most popular of these three. @Julius and @Dcubed already knows why, but for everyone else... The primary antagonist of the second Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games is a Grovyle. The general Pokémon community refers to him as "Grovyle the Thief". I'm not gonna go into the details on it, because that would be spoilers for a game that has a legitmately good story. And seeing as the first PMD game got remade recently, it's not out of the realm of possibility for this game to get a remake. It is the most fondly remembered entry for a damn good reason! I defy you to find someone who prefers Treecko or Sceptile, and if they do, they clearly haven't played this game. The final evolution is Sceptile. And I can only assume Game Freak felt sorry for Grass starter fans, because it's a truly excellent Pokémon on paper. It's stats are highly specialised towards Special Attack and Speed, and it's the first starter to get a signature move. Leaf Blade has 70 power, 100% accuracy, and has a high critical rate. Basically Razor Leaf, but not crap. On top of that, it can utilise TM's to learn a wide variety of moves. But it's that last part where it kinda falls apart for Sceptile. All the good moves it can learn through TM are physical based. So only Leaf Blade uses the Special Attack stat. The other moves use Sceptile's mediocre Attack stat. Despite that, Sceptile still does pretty well in playthroughs. But it desperately needs some support for Grass resistant types. The Physical-Special split in Gen 4 doesn't do it a huge favour, as it makes Leaf Blade a physical attack, but Energy Ball is a better alternative, and it can learn some good special moves through TM's. It also gets the hidden ability "Unburden" in Gen 5, which would make it a surprisingly effective Double Battler once terrain effects roll around The Gen 3 remakes, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, were released in Generation 6, and thus added a number of Mega Evolutions, including these starters. Mega Sceptile is Grass/Dragon, so dear lord, keep it away from Ice attacks! It's Speed and Special Attack are an eye-watering base 145! For comparison's sake, that's only 5 less then Deoxys! This is one scary Mega Evolution! Anyway, Mr. Christmas Tree here gets Lightning Rod (Absorbs Electric attacks, and then raises it's Sp. Atk one stage), which sounds strange, because Electric attacks only do a quarter of the damage against it. But throw this in a double battle, and it starts to make a lot more sense. Sceptile was in Pokkén. Actually, it was my favourite character in that game. But I'm rubbish at Pokkén, so don't take that as proof that it's any good or anything. I wouldn't know. You know, in most other generations, Sceptile would have been far and away the best choice for a starter. But no, it's in Gen 3, which means it's competition is... Torchic is the only Gen 3 starter to struggle with the first Gym in Hoenn. It's not the best of starts, but Torchic's surprisingly high Special Attack (Higher then Charmander's) might just carry you through it anyway if you have a good nature. Worst comes to worst though, you can always just evolve it. Combusken's only notable feature is that it becomes Fire/Fighting. This is an amazing type combination! If only more Fire starters had it... Other than that? Eh, it's a middle evolution. Blaziken is the final evolution and has... EXCUSE ME!? That's pretty much the dream stat spread for casual Gen 3 playthroughs! Doesn't matter what kinds of moves you teach it. Blaziken can do it all! The Physical-Special split of the first three generations is the main reason Pokémon are quite limited in what they are able to do. But because Blaziken has amazing stats in both Attack and Sp. Atk, it can easily use Flamethrower, Brick Break, and Earthquake to full effect. Blaziken isn't good against any of the Hoenn gyms, but with those stats? Who the hell cares!? And well, things wouldn't go very well in Gen 4, as a certain other Pokémon would steal it's thunder. But then Gen 5 came along... Bit of a tangent before I explain Blaziken in Gen 5. So for some reason I can only assume was a fit of madness. Blaziken's Hidden Ability is "Speed Boost". Speed Boost is an astonishingly good ability that raises the Pokémon's Speed stat at the end of every turn! After just one turn, Blaziken becomes as fast as Sceptile, and only snowballs from there! Because of this, Blaziken became the first, and only, starter to be banned to Ubers in Smogon! Sorry to spoil that for all future starters, but Gen 5 Blaziken is the best starter ever. Competitively speaking, anyway. Oh, but it only gets better for our fiery chicken. Mega Blaziken is concrete proof that if a Pokémon is horribly broken, don't fix it! It's the only Mega Evolution that barely changes anything about the actual Pokémon. It's still Fire/Fighting, and it still has Speed Boost as an ability. The only thing that changes is it's stats, which are naturally a lot higher. Dear lord, don't let this thing get momentum, because you will lose the battle if you do! Anyway, on to the next starter... Huh? What's the matter? Oh! That... So, yes. I censored the Blaziken image. I had no choice. I didn't want parents to give my post a bad review. Yes, there is an actual reason I did that. Blaziken's in Pokkén. And when the WiiU version came out, a certain review on Amazon picked up some noteriety. Boy, it's a good thing they didn't see Reshiram... Anyway, here's the actual image. Mudkip is the water starter. What even is it anyway? I look at the Pokédex classification and it's the "Mud Fish" Pokémon... ...OK, sure. Anyway, much like Treecko, Mudkip is great against the first gym. I was hoping to avoid this, but someone mentioned it earlier. So I guess I have to talk about that meme. In case someone here somehow doesn't know of it. The meme @Ashley is referring to is "I Herd U Liek Mudkips". A glorified catchphrase that gained traction in the mid-2000's because the internet is a very silly place. The origins of that meme come from DeviantArt (Hey, the only other site I'm on!), when someone who made a Mudkip based group would go around looking for fanart of the Mudkip family, and inviting those artists to join their group like so. That's pretty much it. It caught on and everyone started posting that phrase everywhere. Geez, that meme is almost 20 years old now. Marshtomp is another middle evolution that has nothing much to mention. It does become Water/Ground, which is great because it becomes immune to Electric, which happens to be the third gym. Unfortunately, it's double weak to Grass now... But Grass isn't a gym in Hoenn, so it's not a huge deal. Swampert is the final evolution here. Unfortunately, it's very much a physical based attacker, which means that half of it's movepool can't be used to the fullest potential. Still, it gets some solid attack options in Water, Ground, Ice, and Fighting. It's quite effective against a lot of gyms, but it's literally half as fast as Sceptile, and doesn't have the insane utility that Blaziken has, so it ends up being the big loser in Gen 3 (It's not much better in the Gen 6 remakes either). It's not terrible, but the competition is that fierce! Doesn't help that the hidden ability it gets in Gen 5 is utter crap. Mega Swampert has clearly been on the roids. It's got an eye-watering base 150 attack! And it gets Swift Swim as an ability! Swift Swim doubles Swampert's speed in rain, which is very much appreciated for such a slow Pokémon. Mega Sceptile is still faster then Mega Swampert, even with Swift Swim, so you need to watch out for that. And that wraps up Generation 3. What's your favourite? I'm a Mystery Dungeon fan, so Grovyle is my favourite. That's, like, the law. Even before Mystery Dungeon though, Grovyle evolving into Sceptile was the first time I was disappointed in an evolution. Sceptile just loses a bit of that sleekness Grovyle has. I still like it though. Actually, I think all the Gen 3 starters are cool designs. Solid Pokémon all round. Swampert's cooler then Blaziken, though.
  12. 5 points
    Finished Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest today. Really enjoyed this, oddly enough I'm kinda glad I accidentally deleted my save after the first 3 worlds as I was very much on the fence whether it was a downgrade on DKC at that point, replaying those 3 worlds again changed my mind on that. Definitely a better game than the original, the level design is perfect and the music while it isn't as catchy as DKC, it feels more atmospheric. With DKC I was humming the tunes for the rest of the day after playing it during my lunch break, with this, nothing but I get why they mixed it up for the sequel. The boss battles are certainly more challenging, I was struggling with the final boss and his "disappearing act" right at the end of the battle. Eventually I got the pattern and that was that. It's crazy that it's taken me 28 years to play this. Next up in my lunch time GBA gaming and to complete the trilogy - Donkey Kong Country 3
  13. 5 points
    One of the best things to come out of gen 2 was the opening for the cartoon. Love it.
  14. 5 points
  15. 5 points
    At this point that should be the Xbox slogan
  16. 5 points
    Oh wow, I didn't know there was a Captain Toad game for the N64!
  17. 5 points
    Tommy Thunder (Prototype) NA release: N/A PAL release: N/A JP release: N/A Developer: Player 1 Publisher: Player 1 N64 Magazine Score: N/A Tommy Thunder was a game in development by Player 1. It eventually moved to the PlayStation before getting cancelled. A fan or Robotron happened upon an open FPT while trying to find out when Robotron 64 was released and found some files, eventually cracking them 10 years later and discovering this very early prototype of Tommy Thunder. This prototype mainly seems to be a test of the level design, as you can just move around and enemies don’t harm you – you also walk on water. That said, the level itself is very impressive in scope, with a few underground areas. This map was also just one “block” and the developers were trying to figure out a way to load new chunks of the level on the fly – this is something open world games do now, but was extremely ambitious for the early N64. From the very few quotes about the game, it seems like this game was going to be a 3D, open world Metroidvania. You would find weapons as you explored, and equipment (such as anti-grav boots) would alter how you can move throughout the environment, opening up new areas in previous sections. The game never made it past prototyping stages and the company eventually closed down after putting all of their eggs into the Sega Dreamcast. Should it be finished? With retro-inspired games for this era gaining popularity, it would definitely be interesting to see a “what if” take on if the developers could pull off what they wanted with Tommy Thunder.
  18. 5 points
    It's up: Man, love hearing the orchestra take on Tears of the Kingdom's Main Theme shame they went with the Reprise though, I wanted to hear the second half known for the sax
  19. 5 points
    Now the next one was the right game at the right time. Goldeneye 007 JP release: 23rd August 1997 PAL release: 25th August 1997 NA release: 25th August 1997 Developer: Rare Publisher: Nintendo N64 Magazine Score: 94% The legendary game GoldenEye. This is the game I got with my N64 and I spent all day searching around the dam level for bungee rope as it wasn’t in my inventory. It was a landmark game for not just first person shooters, but video games in general. GoldenEye had the brilliant idea of adding objectives that were more than just pushing buttons then going through the level again to look for something that has changed. You had to protect certain people, blow up certain objects and find objects. On higher difficulty options, you have more objectives to complete. The praise of GoldenEye has been done countless times before, but one aspect I think is overlooked is the level design, in terms of how the levels feel like actual places and buildings and not a nonsensical string of rooms and corridors. Part of this is due to how the developers made the game: the GoldenEye team had never made a video game and was a risky experiment from Rare to throw people who had never worked in the video game industry to see if they would come up with unique methods. It’s quite shocking that they were willing to do this with an IP like James Bond, but it paid off. Typically, the objective and player path is made first and then the level is built around that, but for GoldenEye, the levels were constructed and then they added the objectives and decided where the player would start. This meant that some rooms are essentially “pointless”, but it helps makes everything feel real. The muiltiplayer was another huge surprise – a few of the developers started it with 6 weeks of development left and without getting permission to do so first. It was simple, but at the same time extremely enjoyable and is still one of the most famous multiplayer modes in a video game. Some aspects of GoldenEye haven’t aged well, particularly the controls (although there are dual analogue options hidden in the settings, requiring two controllers), but sort that out and it’s still an absolute joy to play. Remake or remaster? There was an XBLA version of GoldenEye that was nearly finished. You could swap between old and new graphics (although the “old” graphics weren’t fully finished) and it played great on a modern controller. Finish that version and release it, as it’s what GoldenEye deserves. Official ways to get the game. You can buy the game by purchasing a digital copy of Rare Replay on Xbox One/Series. It is also available for subscription as part of Xbox Game Pass or Nintendo Switch Online
  20. 5 points
    The problem with this is that MS have conditioned their userbase to no longer buy games. Not having their games on GP day 1 will more than likely cause an uproar and possibly push people to cancel subscriptions. Thing is, Phil Spencer has been in charge long enough now to be shouldering the blame for what potentially could be happening here. They made acquisitions left and right but have nothing really to show for it other than a list of studios that they own to plaster on a powerpoint presentation. Gamepass was the big play here and it ultimately didn't move the needle for them, nor did the likes of Halo Infinite and Starfield. For me, Phil Spencer is to blame for a lot of what has gone wrong with the brand over the past several years. MS should have been more hands on with the studios that they own, especially with ones that were in charge of their biggest IPs. For example, 343 showed time and time again that they weren't up to the task of carrying on Bungie's legacy with the Halo series and yet the series just kept getting handed to them. You could also argue that they haven't really pushed their franchises forward or evolved them in the way that they needed to. Look at what Nintendo done with Zelda or Sony with God of War. Old franchises that were given a new lease of life by injecting them with new ideas. Microsoft have still just relied on the usual Forza/Halo/Fable/Gears line up and that wasn't going to cut it anymore for most gamers. The acquisitions they made were no doubt partly driven by how creatively bankrupt Microsoft's own studios had become and it was far easier to just go out and buy someone than to instead sort out the rot and get your teams back on track.
  21. 4 points
    … many eruptions of screaming laughter were had at my expense… … worth it
  22. 4 points
    Just sat and watched this classic. It's still amazing after all these years later.
  23. 4 points
    Whelp! Guess that confirms that the rumours about the Nintendo Partner Direct getting pushed back to make room for the Xbox Obituary were true Ain’t no way that they originally planned to have two separate Direct events within a week of each other. Dare I hope for a new Pokemon Mystery Dungeon? Or is it time for the Black & White remake perhaps?
  24. 4 points
    Moe/Nintendo by like... In all seriousness though, this is Iwata's warning coming around for a second shot. He warned about high development costs when HD development started, causing many layoffs and developers to close their doors. What we are seeing here is history repeat itself, except this time we have the added bonus of an oversaturation of games on the market. Let's be honest, did we really need the PS5 and Xbox Series X? Not really. Yes, it's nice to have faster loading times but neither of these consoles have justified their existence in my eyes. The fact that so many games are still being made for the PS4 adds weight to this argument. It still feels like these consoles have yet to get off the ground and we have both Sony and Microsoft talking about their next offerings. It's nuts. As someone who was born in 82, I got to see developers push things like the C64 and NES to the limits and also find creative ways around the limitations of these machines. How many of the consoles in recent years have been able to punch above their weight thanks to developers thinking outside the box or creating a game with limitations in mind? Not many and this was probably due to them not having the time to get to grips with the machines before the next one was announced.
  25. 4 points
    Sumo 64 JP release: 28th November 1997 PAL release: N/A NA release: N/A Developer: Bottom Up Publisher: Bottom Up Original Name: 64 Ōzumō N64 Magazine Score: 90% N64 Magazine gave this Japanese-only sumo wrestling a rather impressive 90%. Even so, I was surprised as to how much I actually enjoyed this. Unfortunately, there is no fan patch for this game but thankfully Google Lens did a pretty good job at translating the dialogue – it was a bit odd in places, but I got the general gist of it. And, surprisingly, there really is a lot of dialogue, as this has a fully fledged story mode – not just pitting you against other fighters like every other fighting game, but a proper story about you joining the professional Sumo wrestling and your life outside of the ring. You’ll encounter good or bad events based on how you perform in the matches. Each match is extremely short but very fast paced. The game suggests optimal moves, but you can also do your own thing. To be completely honest, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was doing most of the time and there was a lot of button mashing, but I did deduce that there was a rhythm to the fighting, and performing moves in time to your opponent’s bar flashing is what triggers your finishing moves. The matches are only on average 30 seconds but extremely frantic and they are surprisingly a lot of fun. As you defeat higher ranked opponents, you’ll gain stars which let you achieve a higher rank, with your goal being to be the best Sumo wrestler. After each tournament, you can also play a minigame. There are five minigames: sleeping, eating, training, jumping and fishing. The first four are short, enjoyable distractions while I couldn’t figure out the fishing at all. They’re a nice, relaxing change of pace for a quick breather before the next tournament. Sleeping has you rolling around a little island collecting stars, eating has a judge calling out food you need to grab before your opponent, training is a “simon says” and jumping has you moon jumping high in the air, bouncing off trampolines and clouds as you pop balloons. Between some individual matches and tournaments, you’ll progress in the story. To begin with, it seems like a bunch of random events as your character interacts with a few different girls (eventually going on dates with all of them), rivals and a few other characters. I am not sure how much your performance in the game affects the outcome, but one girl (Akira) eventually suggests marriage – which was surprising as my main character had stood her up on two dates. On one, he overslept, on another, he forgot and had a date with someone else. The only direct choice was choosing your response to the marriage, although I suspect that saying you want to concentrate on your Sumo for now has the same end result, as if you say yes, Akira suggests waiting until you’re at the top anyway. However, the encounters and dialogue are charming on their own. As you approach the high ranks, the story becomes more plot focused as you get attacked and then discover a “Dark Sumo” illegal gambling ring. You shut it down (you still have no input on this, it’s just dialogue) and the leader vows revenge – which he does on his wedding day as he kidnaps your wife. The ending is both utterly absurd and wonderfully charming at the same time as you have your final fight with this villain and his “ultimate body”. Sumo 64 is a combination of really enjoyable short fighting mixed with charming dialogue (which would probably be even better if it got a proper translation). If you understand Japanese or are willing to point your phone at your TV a lot, this is a surprisingly great game. Remake or remaster? There is another Sumo game in this series on N64, so a compilation of both with a proper translation would be grea Official ways to get the game. There is no official way to get Sumo 64
  26. 4 points
  27. 4 points
  28. 4 points
    Nintendo Direct: Partner Showcase 21/02/2024 Roundup Now up on the main page. Joint effort roundup article, featuring an excellent, detailed writeup by @Josh64 (plus some useful time-stamps for each title in the video) And the usual formatted press release. A decent direct overall.
  29. 4 points
    I look forward to hearing how you get on with it. It does seem very much to depend on your connection speeds. In other news...
  30. 4 points
    Woud like to see: Metal Slug Tactics. Shiren on the reel! Suikoden slotted in. Eiyuuden too. SaGa Emerald Beyond shown to the masses. Otogi Katsugeki Mameda no Bakeru: Oracle Saitarou no Sainan!! comes west, feels good. Jack Black singing a Bowser cartoon into existence. These are not my demands because I couldn't give much of a fig what's shown—I'm already well stocked for games so I'm just content the release calendar will be ticking over. And since third parties have brought the goods on Switch where possible, a Partner Direct is as welcome as anything. Whatever is in it, I'm expecting a good showing (by my assessment, anyway) and anything I want to get from it will be an annoying bonus. Personally, the scheduling isn't ideal, but when is it ever for these? Will go dark and enjoy it after the fact. This would be such a snub to the rabbids. I could see it happening with Nintendo's new movie making partners.
  31. 4 points
    Puyo Puyo Sun 64 JP release: 31st October 1997 NA release: N/A JP release: N/A Developer: Compile Publisher: Compile N64 Magazine Score: 80% My main experience with Puyo Puyo is Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine – a game I couldn’t enjoy because of colourblind issues, so I was dreading playing this one. However, in the options, you can adjust the colours of the different Puyo, even going as far as completely greyscale and relying on the (a bit too minor when the game goes fast) different shapes completely. With the options set to how I like them…I actually really enjoy Puyo Puyo. It’s geared towards a 1v1 setup, as creating sets of four will send bad beans to the opponent’s screen – but if you score combos, you’ll send a load at once. This creates a risk factor as you can try to set up elaborate combos (something I’m not good at) but wait too long, and your opponents will scupper your plans with some bad blocks. The story mode has you battling lots of colourful characters as you get amusing little snippets before each match, with some nice animation. It’s all very silly, but also quite entertaining – and there’s more swearing in this than Duke Nukem 64 (while the voice acting is in Japanese, a few words are in English, including the swearing). The story mode has you battling lots of colourful characters as you get amusing little snippets before each match, with some nice animation. It’s all very silly, but also quite entertaining, with lots of unfortunate events happening to absolutely everyone. Of course, every problem in life can be solved by a Puyo Puyo battle. There’s also a good amount of different modes. Puzzle Puyo is essentially a training mode, giving you a guide to help you set up combos, and you can then test out these skills in a mission mode, which gives you tasks but you have to figure it out yourself. There are also endless, tournament and versus modes, giving you plenty to deal with. I have not played any later Puyo Puyo games so I don’t know how this compares, but I found this to be genuinely entertaining and it was a blast to play. Remake or remaster? A collection and official localisation of the earlier Puyo Puyo games would be nice. Official ways to get the game. While there are newer Puyo Puyo games, this particular version is not available anywhere. And some completely random trivia - the name of Puyo Puyo Sun in this Saturn Power review - they called it Ijidkijidk Sun, mistaking the Japanese on the box for English characters.
  32. 4 points
    On the eve of the death of Xbox, I played and finished two games that were vaguely fitting for the situation... Sonic Adventure The year is 1998, and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time just launched in November of that year in both the US and in Japan. It was lauded as the beginning of a new era for video games in general, and a revolutionary title that would go on to redefine the industry from that point onwards... ... just one week later, the SEGA Dreamcast would launch in Japan. God bless you Hidekazu Yukawa The SEGA Saturn was dead, deader than a can of spam. And so, SEGA cast their final dream out into the world... well, the world of Japan at least. While the rest of the world wouldn't get the Dreamcast for another 10 months, SEGA placed a mandate upon Sonic Team. They absolutely had to get a proper 3D Sonic game out in time for the Dreamcast's launch, come hell or high water. No more pissing about with failed experiments or personal pet projects. They had to tow the company line, and the blue blur HAD to make it out in time... Sonic Team missed their deadline by about a month. Sonic decided to sleep in during the Saturn's lifecycle Released in December 1998, Sonic Adventure was an utterly mindblowing release for the time; but what's even more mindblowing is just how fast this game was made. Reportedly starting development in around April 1997, Sonic Adventure was bashed out in just 18 months. That's 18 months, on hardware that hadn't even been finalised yet. I'm also going to point out here that this would be the first (and last) time that a Sonic game would be developed specifically as a launch title for a console. And if you think that's crazy, consider this. Sonic Adventure wasn't even the only game that Sonic Team put out in 1998, because they also somehow managed to release Burning Rangers for the SEGA Saturn that same year! Insane!! If I could only use one word to describe Sonic Adventure? It would be "Ambition". Sonic Team's greatest strength, and their greatest weakness, has always been their ardor. Their previous Sonic title had been so aspirational that it ended up needing to be split up into two seperate cartridges and locked-on together to be played in its complete form. And Sonic Adventure is probably the single biggest distillation of that spirit that Sonic Team ever put out. A massive 3D Sonic platformer for a next-gen system as a launch title, 6 playable characters with wildly differing gameplay styles and systems, full voice acting, full live-recorded soundtrack, a story with FMV cutscenes to rival Final Fantasy... all within just 18 months, while they were also making another game. Surely something would have to give? Oh yes it did. No, not at all! Sonic Adventure is a beautiful janky mess of a game that collapses under the sheer weight of its own ambition. It's a game that attempts to do just about everything. It's a 3D Platformer! It's an Action Adventure! It's a Kart Racer! It's a 3rd Person Shooter! It's a Downhill Snowboarder! It's a Panzer Dragoon Rail Shooter! It's a fucking Fishing Game! Hell! It's also a Tamagotchi! Why not!? Sonic Team wanted this to be their answer not just to Super Mario 64, but also Ocarina of Time and Final Fantasy 7; all at the same time. The problem is that everything here is so incredibly under-baked as a result. Now, I want to focus first on the parts that it actually does pretty well. For starters, the core level design for the action stages is actually pretty solid. The stages are all well paced, with interesting layouts, gameplay gimmicks, some great set pieces and lots of very cool and unique ideas behind them. They're laid out well, read cleanly and are easy to navigate; even the Knuckles stages (which would've been the most difficult to design, given their open-ended nature). There's also a really nice balance of fast-paced action sections and slower, more methodological and exploratory parts; with plenty of opportunities for cheeky shortcuts available to expert players and speedrunners. Sonic Team had some really good level designers back then, even if Yuji Naka had no appreciation for the art. The presentation was also absolutely second to none at the time of its release, even amongst early Dreamcast contemporary releases. It looked and felt a whole generation ahead of literally everything else at the time, and it was a pioneer of many technologies that we take for granted today (in fact, it was the very first game to even attempt lip syncing with in-game real-time graphics... attempt being the keyword here). And the music was just out of this world; it's still great in fact. It was also a pioneer for internet connectivity with it being the very first console game to feature any form of downloadable content; granted, it was all very minor stuff like holiday themed events and in-game posters, but the fact that a game from 1998 was even attempting this is just utter madness. I also want to point out that this game's aesthetic really is Y2K As Fuck. Like... THIS is exactly the game I think of (alongside PSO) when I recall the whole Y2K period. Whites and blues and skies/clouds and water and skeuomorphism and transparancies everywhere! Don't tell anyone that it's actually from 1998 though You can tell that SEGA had some real hangups about the Saturn's difficulty with transparancies, because they abuse the Dreamcast's transparancy effect capabilities to the extreme with this game, to the point where its main villian is a walking pool of transparant water The storytelling is also surprisingly well done, with Tikal's backstory handed out in piecemeal form throughout each character's story in an interesting way that keeps a bit of mystery going. You're never told the full story on any particular character's tale, so it incentivises you to play through all 6 character's campaigns in order to get the full story. I also really like how shared events are told slightly differently, with your chosen character getting the camera angle spotlight and slightly different dialogue; it gives the impression that each character is recalling events with a bias towards themselves, a very nice touch. Finally, I'd also like to lavish a bit of praise on the voice acting. With the sole exception of Tales (who was voiced by an actual child and unfortunately comes across as pretty grating and stilted), everyone puts in a pretty stellar performance, especially for the time. Good quality voice acting was not common in 1999, especially in a game with as much voice acting as this one; but really, I have to give specific props to Deem Bristow for his performance as Dr Robotnik; he steals the show here, and his voice forever lives rent free in my head. Just the perfect maniacal scientist here! However, you can't really talk about Sonic Adventure without discussing how incredibly broken the game is. Walls are just a suggestion in this game Now. I don't need to rag on about the camera. You've probably played this game before, or at least seen someone play it, or read the hundreds of articles out there that demonise this game for its shoddy camera. It's shit. In fact, it's monkey shit. It's fucking awful. But you know what's actually worse than the camera? The collision detection. My GOD! The collision detection is fucking woeful, it is outright BROKEN. There are SO many times where you'll be happily running along when all of a sudden, your character will just get stuck on a wall, or a pebble on the ground, and just come to a complete stop; or just phase right through it. It's bloody infuriating! It makes navigating these environments with precision into an utter nightmare. And it's a damn shame, because the core gameplay mechanics and physics are actually really fun! Sonic and friends actually have genuine momentum implanted into their gameplay physics, in a manner reminiscient of their Mega Drive predecessors, and when the game isn't having a heart attack, it's actually a ton of fun... ... but sadly, much of the game's fun is just sapped away by the wonky collision detection. There's no way to get around it, the game's programming is just fundamentally broken. And you know what's even more wild? The version we got in the west was actually significantly improved over its original Japanese release. Holy fucking shit! How bad was the original Japanese version!?!? The cutscenes as well... they tried. They really did. They were clearly working with some very basic and unfinished technology here, because the animation and camera work in cutscenes is ropey as fuck. This is no Ocarina of Time or Metal Gear Solid, hell even Super Mario 64's few cutscenes utterely blow away the real-time cutscenes on display here. While I admire the ambition on display, the result is honestly pretty laughable. At least the cutscene animation & camera direction is entertainingly bad! For the record, I played the original PAL Dreamcast release from 1999, not the DX version that was later released for the Gamecube (and subsequently PC and 360). The Gamecube version would add some additional content in the form of optional missions, an overhauled Chao Garden and unlockable Game Gear titles, as well as upping the framerate from the original game's unstable 30FPS (there's quite a bit of slowdown here on the DC, so lurches to around 20FPS aren't uncommon), to an unstable 60FPS; which does improve the control response and sense of speed, but this version would also introduce new glitches of its own; and make some questionable changes to the game's art direction. The unlockable Game Gear games and Metal Sonic costume actually do fix a significant issue with the original game though, and that's with the Emblem system. The original game would attempt to incentivise the player to replay stages by offering additional tasks, that reward the player with an Emblem... The problem though is that in the original Dreamcast version, the Emblems do precisely jack and shit, so there's no reason to collect them, and no real reward for completing each additional mission in each stage; so the additions put into the DX version actually do make a meaningful difference here, because you now actually have a reason to collect all the Emblems. Sonic Adventure is a game that tries to do a bit of everything, and doesn't really stick the landing with any of them, owing to a rushed development cycle and an insane level of ambition that could never possibly be executed on. Despite how incredibly broken the game is however, there is a ton to like here, and I can't bring myself to call it a bad game. It's a broken game, but ambition counts for a hell of a lot in the video game world, and this is amongst the most ambitious titles the video game industry has ever seen. I'd say it begs for a full-on remake that does its ideas and concepts justice, but I don't think such a game could ever really be made in the modern era. It's just too ambitious to ever really be made properly. Sonic Adventure 2 Sonic Adventure 2 is the more streamlined sequel to Sonic Adventure. After a small portion of Sonic Team moved over to San Fransisco to work on the international version of the original Sonic Adventure, Sonic Team USA was born. While the Japanese branch of Sonic Team would go on to make Chu Chu Rocket and Phantasy Star Online, the newly christened Sonic Team USA would get to work on a follow-up to Sonic Adventure; much in the same way that Sonic The Hedgehog 2 for the ol' Mega Drive was developed in the US by the newly formed Sega Technical Institute before. The parallels also extend to its development schedule, which would go on to take around 18 months again owing to the untimely death of SEGA's dream; but the die was cast and the dream had to be cut short. Of course, this is still a Sonic Team game, and that means that their ambitions would still be wild. But lessons were certainly learnt and feedback was listened to. While there were still 6 playable characters, 3 of them would essentially be clones; meaning that there were now only three main gameplay types this time around (Platforming, Treasure Hunting and Shooting). Gone also were the hub areas and interstitial moments that had you looking around for NPCs and powerups; instead, the powerups would be integrated into the stages themselves, the story followed a linear progression going from stage to stage, and the Chao garden stuff would be hidden around the stages this time. The minigame stages are also gone as well, save for the one Kart Racing section (which goes on forever, and gets used twice with no changes!). The collision detection is also much more solid this time around. While it's certainly not perfect, and you can certainly break this game in half if you try to, it's leaps and bounds ahead of the original Sonic Adventure. In fact, from a technical standpoint, it's a remarkable step up from its predecessor; to the point that it's shocking that they were both made for the same console. We've gone from an unstable 20-30FPS to a more or less rock solid 60 FPS, AND the graphics are significantly better. It's stunning how much progress was made in just those short 18 months... to think about how much more they could've gotten out of the Dreamcast if it had survived a bit longer... The improvements also extend to the cutscenes as well, which are now fully motion captured, and far better directed (thanks in no small part to the development assistance provided by Visual Concepts). Though this can sometimes feel a bit like a double-edged sword, with scenes sometimes feeling like they're being acted out by people in theme park mascot costumes What Sonic learnt from Crazy Taxi All that being said though, I don't think the level design is quite as good as in the previous game. It feels like the stages were made of smaller parts that end up getting copy/pasted a bit too much... and they're often too long for their own good, starting to wear out their welcome a bit before they end... but the biggest offender by far are the Treasure Hunt stages. They're massive, far too massive. The Knuckles stages worked in the first game because they took place in smaller, contained spaces that weren't so difficult to navigate. Here though? The later stages can get to be almost 10x the size, to the point where it just feels obnoxious and frustrating. I'm Knuckles. 3 and a half mins in with no emeralds and I'm not chuckling. What's also worth noting is that in order to achieve that more polished feeling to the gameplay, the developers had to resort more often to scripted sequences that wrestle control away from the player. You might not notice it if you're coming from newer modern Sonic titles (which do this to such a ridiculous extreme that they practically play themselves), but coming from its predecessor? You can feel the difference. The Chao Garden also got a significant overhaul here, now greatly expanded with much more in-depth mechanics. Though the Gamecube release would expand on this even further, adding the Black Market and the Chao Karate minigame, as well as a greatly expanded multiplayer mode; I played the original Dreamcast release this time around, so I didn't dive into the Chao stuff on this playthrough. But the Chao stuff is great, and I remember spending many an hour playing around with the Chao Garden (and the GBA's Tiny Chao Garden) with the Gamecube release back in the day Really I think that about sums up Sonic Adventure 2 quite nicely. The developers took the original game's core gameplay (at least the Platforming, Treasure Hunting and Shooter sections), trimmed out the parts they felt unneccessary and worked to polish what they had. While the reduced scope certainly is to the game's benefit, I would be lying if I didn't miss a lot of what was taken away. While Sonic Adventure 2 is a good sequel, and exactly the kind of sequel that I think they should've made, ambition still counts for an awful lot. It's much more polished and streamlined, but I do still have a soft spot for the sheer aspiration of its predecessor. A fitting end for the Dreamcast then. And with that?
  33. 4 points
    Finally got back to this today, completed the fifth dungeon. I'll admit I think that's probably the weakest dungeon I've completed so far; it's not bad, by any means, it just felt like so much of a chore to traverse compared to the four earlier dungeons because it felt like each room had an obstacle which was placed there purely to slow you down, which is fine the first time through, but not so much when you're backtracking as much as you (rightly) end up doing in some of these dungeons. Yeah, some of the stuff they seemingly decided to keep in the transition from 2D to 3D continues to be pretty odd, I agree with the idea @Jonnas that they've perhaps chosen to be too faithful to the original game in some regards, so it feels a bit weird when the GB-ness of it all comes to the fore when there are so many QoL improvements made, like how a certain enemy which looks like a Bidoof with a rock tied to its head needs to be hit from behind, so you hit it from behind, but you go for another hit when it still hasn't turned around and – suddenly, it has turned around, and it's rock tied to its head has protected it also encountered a bug where the music from the overworld followed me into a cave and both tracks decided to duke it out in a cacophany of confusion, only happened once, but again, it just jumps out purely because its Zelda and this feels below the level of polish I've come to expect from these games. And yes, the frame rate issues have persisted; no, it's not the end of the world, but it is a bit annoying. Elsewhere, the overworld exploration just keeps getting these layers added to it with every new item unlocked, and while it's not my first Zelda rodeo, it being my first 2D Zelda, I feel like you have a much more explicit sense of when and where to start using these new tools after getting them, purely because the game is, obviously, smaller than, say, Ocarina of Time. It's the condensed nature of the game that I'm liking quite a lot, actually, because it just helps to keep pushing you forwards – in fact I think it's because of this that the fifth dungeon feels comparatively weaker than the ones before it, it just doesn't feel as well paced. Anyways, game is great. But the real highlight for me so far has been the soundtrack. Oh. My. Word. (that picture he got sent has me dying btw) What a soundtrack. It just feels so intimate and diverse in how silly it allows itself to get, which is very different to the subtlety of the music in BotW and TotK, and the very delineated OoT score, which has plenty of nuance but is much more traditionally bombastic, heroic, and, well, legend-evoking. I realise I've still got a good bit of the game left but, well, I know thanks to placing a phone call that the Face Shrine is next up, which I have heard before and am very much looking forward to experiencing in the game, and with the game mentioning it so much, I'm expecting a nice payoff when I finally get to hear the Ballad of the Wind Fish in all its glory. Feels obvious where this is all going and has been for some while, but to put pen to paper (pixels to screen?)... No-one confirm that, obviously, I don't want to be spoiled but I would also like to be wrong and have it noted for all eternity if I am
  34. 4 points
    Always love a @Glen-i Pokémon thread, so thanks for this! No question for me: it's Bulbasaur. First Pokémon I chose the very first time I actually played Pokémon - at a friend's house, LeafGreen on his blue GBA SP, got up to Mt Moon and evolved the little guy. It was also the very first Pokémon card that I owned, given to me with a few other cards by an older kid on the playground back when I was in Reception (pretty sure I got a Charmander, Chameleon, and bloated Pikachu, along with some other cards, from them, too). Did that card get pretty much destroyed when my parents threw it in the wash, not knowing it was in my pockets? Yes. Do I still have that kind of crushed and water-damaged card to this day? Absolutely. Bulbasaur was also my favourite Pokémon of Ash's, based partially on its look, but also it's personality. Weirdly one of the earliest instances I can remember of relating to an animated character. I just love him. Unfortunately, I think Ivysaur is a slight step down in design and Venusaur even more so from there, but Bulbasaur is definitely my favourite of the original trio. Second would have to be Squirtle. Again, just another great design, but also: Squirtle Squad. Urgh, someone give me a Squirtle Squad game in the style of Yakuza pleaseeeeee! Another one where I've got a memory tied to the card, too. While I had a base set version of Squirtle, my friend gave me his Team Rocket Squirtle... ...which his sister had actually gone over Squirtle's main lines with a silver glitter pen. It honestly still looks great to me to this day (yes, I still have it). I actually think Squirtle has the strongest line of the original trio overall in terms of design, as I'm a huge fan of Wartortle too, and though Blastoise is great, it's similar to Venusaur for me in that it's just kind of bit more ugly and blocky than it is cool. As for Charmander...yeah, I think it's the weakest design of the original three. I'm not a huge fan of Charmeleon's design either, actually, but Charizard is - and it is not close - by far the coolest of the final evolutions of the Kanto starters. To this day it's fight against it's clone is still one of my favourite in the entire anime: As for Pikachu...look, Pikachu is awesome. Classic design. I love Pichu and Raichu too (and Alolan Raichu is S-tier), but yeah, it's never been one I've really put side by side with the original three starters, despite them all appearing together with Ash and obviously being a starter in Yellow and Let's Go, but yeah...I think for me it's last when stacked up specifically as being a Kanto starter more so because it becoming a starter just feels like an afterthought, and it also just doesn't really fit in with the trio, as there was certainly a little theme going on when it was just them. It's one of those instances - and I know we still get them, but I don't think to the same degree - where it seemed like Pokémon just knew what they had. Gen IV Pokémon like Munchlax and Bonsly getting into the anime and marketing a year or two ahead of the release of Diamond & Pearl was great, and so many of the Pokémon shown off before that transition to Gen IV was awesome, but Lucario got SO much love even outside of Smash, and personally - as a Lucario lover - it's not hard to see why. Mystery Dungeon of course, but then being front and centre for Lucario and the Mystery of Mew – it was a surefire hit way before we first stepped foot in Sinnoh I'll argue it was one of the coolest bipedal Pokémon we'd had since Mewtwo, the aura/energy stuff around Riolu and Lucario seemed to lean more into shonen anime type coolness which we'd only occasionally get to see in Pokémon, and never for too long. So yeah, love Lucario I can't be too hard on you for this because of your love of Wii Music and Bulbasaur, but hey: Squirtle, Totodile, Mudkip, Sobble and Froakie are S-tier starters! S-tier!!
  35. 4 points
    I can't draw it very well, but: Surprised? Otherwise it'd be Bulbasaur. In fact, my favourite starter is pretty much always grass type, apart from two or three times where it'd be fire instead. The water starters are bad 100% of the time.
  36. 4 points
    Goldeneye is such an absolute miracle of a game. To think it came from a freshman team at Rare is just even more ludicrous; the Stampers just simply had the Midas Touch when it came to scouting talent and incubating the best games that the industry ever saw. On paper, this game should've been a dismal failure. A long delayed licensed title, original intended for the fucking Virtual Boy, that came out almost two years late, on a platform that was almost dead in the water by this point. Not only did it revive the console, not only did it revolutionise the FPS genre (indeed, this was the inflection point where the FPS genre truly came into being on consoles), it actually managed to supplant the original source material it was based on. Today, when you hear the word "Goldeneye", you instantly think of the 1997 N64 video game, not the 1995 movie; the movie was shit. Martin Hollis, Dave Doak and the rest of the team at Rare not only beat the odds, but they crafted one of the single most important and influential video games of all time. Goldeneye is amongst the single most representitive games of the entire N64 library. Quality over quantity. The droughts were the stuff of legends, but when the big hitters hit? They HIT. Every single subsequent FPS game owes Goldeneye a debt as deep as every 3rd person action game owes both Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time. But it's only right and proper that we look at the debts owed by Goldeneye itself. Looking past the obvious foundation laid by Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake, as well as the control foundations laid by Turok Dinosaur Hunter (1.2 Solitare is a 1:1 carbon copy of Turok's controller layout), Goldeneye also owes a debt to SEGA's Virtua Cop; and I do mean that literally. Most of you are probably already aware, but just in case you're not, Goldeneye was originally going to be an on-rails light-gun game without the light gun... and we actually have footage of this version of the game! Only a short snippet, but timestamped for your viewing pleasure The "aim mode" seen in the final game (Where you hold down R to make a reticule appear) was directly inspired by both Virtua Cop and this old prototype. Finally, Goldeneye also owes its mission structure directly to Super Mario 64, again, common knowledge for most people here probably; but it just goes to show how everyone stands on the shoulders of giants. Even something completely original and groundbreaking is built on what came before; and sometimes, all it takes is using those existing ideas and elements in new ways to create something completely unforseen before. It's really hard to understate the impact of this game. Without Goldeneye? Nintendo may well have not survived the N64 era. It single handidly saved them in 1997, coming not a moment too soon, despite being 2 years late; and it would revive interest in the console as a whole, putting it back into mainstream conciousness in the west and raising the sales/mindshare tide for all of the console's other software. Goldeneye went on to become the 3rd best selling game of all time for the console (4th best selling throughout the entire generation), ushering in a whole new era of console FPS games that would later flood the market (and indeed, for a time, the N64 itself). We all owe a debt to Bond, and to Rare. Addendum This one's for @Glen-i @S.C.G and @BowserBasher more than anyone else, but we're not the only ones who adore the ridiculously stupid slapping animations in this game...
  37. 4 points
    Picked this up from my local charity shop for 10p on Saturday. Apart from the crack on the front of the case, it's in fantastic condition. Also got these two off eBay last week, I was looking for World Driver and came across it with Ridge Racer 64 for £70 including P&P. Managed to get £5 knocked off which seemed a fair price for the condition of both. https://i.imgur.com/xOJMx4H.jpeg[/img Added bonus, he included box protectors for both for free. I keep meaning to take some photos of my N64 collection as its grown significantly over the last 12 months but it means taking all the games off the shelf and they are alphabetised. I don't want to do it!
  38. 4 points
    The Last of Us Part II | 2020 I hadn't returned to The Last of Us Part II since I rolled credits on it back in 2020, at the height of the pandemic, when I sprinted through the game in just a handful of days following its launch (it released on a Friday; it was complete the Monday night). The game, at that time, and at that pace, took a toll on me that I don't think any other story has; it was gruelling, exhausting, and so viscerally cruel. I struggled to sleep when I was playing it, I didn't play any game alone by myself for weeks following it, and when I think back to that time, while so much of the lockdown period was a blur, there is a bottomless pit of nothingness in my mind when it comes to the weeks that followed my time with the game. When the Remastered version of the game was announced towards the end of last year - the need for which I think can still be debated - I found myself in a different place with the series. I had replayed the first game countless times, even on some of the higher difficulties, and my time spent revisiting the game had solidified my thoughts and feelings that it was a masterpiece both as a game and as a story; there just aren't that many holes to poke in The Last of Us, when it comes to its writing, its gameplay, and it is still one of the best-paced stories in gaming over a decade since it first released. I loved the HBO adaptation (for the most part). I became as about intimately familiar with the first game as I feel I reasonably could. All of this meant that one overwhelming truth clarified for me over the last couple of years: for me, Part II never had a hope in hell of living up to its predecessor. No chance. Zero. The cards weren't just stacked against it, the entire casino was against it. And that's before we even begin to consider just how damaging the hack and subsequent leaks leading up to release were. As the release of Remastered approached, and with the game already on my shortlist of games to revisit for the year to revisit, parse through, and clarify my own feelings on the experience, it quickly became apparent that this was the time to do so. But, for the first time when revisiting a story, I knew I had to challenge myself by leaning on the game's structure to pace myself and not get dragged down by it again; thankfully, I can say I'm fine, with credits rolling on the game over half a week ago. Am I still reflecting on it and processing some of those heightened moments of emotion and tension? Sure. Is it still heavy as hell? Absolutely. Have I managed to clarify how I think and feel about it, my main aim going into the game this time around? Yep. I think that it's a masterpiece. Which makes revisiting my 2020 Gaming Diary entry on the game force a chuckle out of me, because my general attitude towards the game and so many of my points of praise remain the same. This game is still exhausting. Unrelenting. Draining. Its performances are second to none, with special mention reserved for Ashley Johnson, Laura Bailey, Shannon Woodward and Ian Alexander; its writing by Neil Druckmann and Halley Gross incredibly ambitious (though perhaps overreaching and a bit on-the-nose and repetitive at times); its score masterfully composed by Santaolalla and Mac Quayle; its animation work, visual design, lighting, sound design, and so many other of its technical facets all still best-in-class (and, I think it's easy to argue, still the best in class, despite being halfway through a new generation of consoles and having seen a spate of wonderful AAA feasts in realistic settings release since); its endless list of accessibility features still undeniably best-in-class; the physics, those ropes; its cutscenes (framing, composition, timing) all spot on, and I have to highlight their utilisation in transitions allowing players to not see a loading screen outside of jumping to a particular point or reloading after a game over state, because it leans on the "crawl/squeeze through this space while we load up the next" only a handful of times in the entire game, despite it plaguing the industry in an overbearingly noticeable way in the vast majority of AAA games released before and since. The story also had much more levity than I remembered, though I can't really blame myself for forgetting that, with how heavy it can get. As much as I enjoyed it before, I have to mention that this time around the gameplay really gripped me - I'm not sure if it's a case of just getting better at games, wanting to test the game's limits, playing the first game on higher difficulties or a combination of all three - and, I've got to say, the moment-to-moment gameplay makes this probably, for me, the best third-person shooter...ever? At least that I've played; some of those combat encounters blow away any encounter in the first game (and still does, given how little they changed in the remake). It's also the best stealth-action game not directed by someone called Hideo Kojima. The funnier thing to me, though, is that all of my criticisms still read as being spot on, too; in fact, revisiting the game this time has me doubling down on pretty much all of them. This game is long, with its pacing is shaky at times, downright screeching to a halt at others, and it's the pacing, for me, which is probably the most noticeable and biggest step down from the first game to the second. Areas are too wide open at almost every point in the game which isn't a setpiece, and in a world as dangerous as the one found in these games, you can spend a whole lot of time - too much time - going from house to house scouring the place for supplies; this extends to and compounded by the crazy number of things to collect in the game. Starting a QTE to move something that's blocking a door or to yank on a chain points out to the player that the area can't be returned to once you go through, and so it takes you out of the game by reminding you that it is one, and I often found myself backing out to look around some more before carrying on. There's an open wide section early on in the game, the inclusion of which I don't mind because it's a great way to break the game's linearity up a bit and allow for some proper exploration, but there are one or two areas you frustratingly can't return to if you miss something while looking around (and the game's auto-save only takes up one slot, which sucks, so if you miss something you're just out of luck), which further compounds being meticuolous and very slowly scouring places for supplies. There are one or two times where I encountered a funny animation glitch, like Ellie just getting caught in a loop of restarting the same animation while climbing over something after clambering out of water, and while this is probably the best example of nitpicking I've got, when you're as ambitious and as realistic-looking as this game is, yes, it does take you out when things go a little bit wrong. I think what changed my experience this time around was the clear intent to lean on what I knew about the game's structure rather than to sprint through, which is arguably the best way to go through the first game, but in Part II it only serves to compound how noticeable some of the pacing issues are. I want to speak to some of the story beats and the pacing a bit more than I've allowed myself to on here before, so I'll do so in the below spoiler tag; obviously, avoid this if you haven't played through the game yourself yet and are planning to, but if you aren't planning to, I think this will probably give a much greater insight to what my biggest issues with the game are. I also want to talk a bit about what I think they could have done differently to address this, and while I could go on endlessly about this, I've tried (that being the key word here) to keep it short, but I want to address the relationship between the duties of a storyteller and the one experiencing the story, too. Also, if I'm going to highlight the game's visuals, I guess I ought to showcase them. In 2013, The Last of Us delivered on its promise to drive narratives in video games forward, with a game which transcended the boundaries between game and film - arguably, some might argue, for the first time in the history of the medium. In 2020, The Last of Us Part II delivered on the promise to drive narratives in video games forward once again, this time in a manner not nearly as universally beloved or as functionally flawless, but purely founded on its ambition. If nothing else, it's hard to not come away from Part II this second time around with a newfound respect for the risks Naughty Dog took with this game, but more than that, despite its flaws, I think Part II deserves the same respect as the first game, be it because of its superb gameplay, its ambitious story, or its timeless - and unfortunately also seemingly always timely - message around the importance of letting go, empathy, and the cyclical nature of violence begetting vengeance, and vengeance begetting further violence. I think Part II is a masterpiece, and I think with this replay, it might have just cemented itself as one of my favourite games and experiences with a story in any medium.
  39. 3 points
  40. 3 points
    I don't understand the problem...simply create infinite sequels for Slay the Spire and Balatro and the industry is saved
  41. 3 points
    That's because it's so much better, it's not even funny. Can't wait for this to get on NSO! Online on this will be great. Especially Two Player Adventure! Show me someone who insists Plane is the the best, and I'll show you someone who loses to me in a car!
  42. 3 points
  43. 3 points
    Hey buddy, you're gonna have to update this post now
  44. 3 points
    Just leak the whole thing or shut up
  45. 3 points
    Nintendo eShop new releases (week 07) The seventh week of releases. A selection of new titles are now available on the Nintendo Switch eShop. Check the article for the full roundup. - - - - - Thanks to @Josh64 for the recently posted articles, which include... God of Light: Remastered Out Now Cavern of Dreams Announced for Switch Splatoon 3: Expansion Pass - Side Order DLC Overview Trailer Demon Slayer: Sweep the Board! - Game Overview Tomb Raider I-III Remastered Launches Today! Princess Peach: Showtime Trailer Reveals New Transformations! Play EA SPORTS FC 24 For Free with Nintendo Switch Online Arzette: The Jewel of Faramore is Out Now Fashion Dreamer's Classic Fair Update Ys X: Nordics Announced for Nintendo Switch Four Games Previously Exclusive to Xbox Coming to Switch Sora amiibo Launches Today! Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Version 13.0.2 Available Now. No Man's Sky: Omega Update Trailer Splatoon 3 Live Concert featuring Deep Cut Mario vs. Donkey Kong Out Now Mario vs Donkey Kong Icons Available Now Free Shadow Costume DLC in Sonic Superstars See you next week!
  46. 3 points
    Popped this back in for the first time since launch in order to get around to checking out INTERmission ahead of Rebirth's launch...at the end of next week?! Don't know how much I'll talk about the DLC in this thread, but I'm here to mainly heap praise on Fort Condor. I love it. Spent over 2 of the 3 hours I played tonight just having a blast with it I know we'll see them in Rebirth to some extent too, but high-res models of the PS1 versions of enemies was a stroke of genius. Incredibly charming and fun to see. Have a feeling Gold Saucer is going to cause me a lot of problems in Rebirth, seeing how much I loved the mini-games in Remake and now Fort Condor in INTERmission
  47. 3 points
    I'm now expecting Dcubed to come in here and say that he owned the game but somewhere down the line he lost his copy....
  48. 3 points
    ClayFighter 63⅓ NA release: 23rd October 1997 PAL release: 19th November 1997 JP release: N/A Developer: Interplay Publisher: Interplay N64 Magazine Score: 24% The Clayfighter series are parody games that supposedly make fun of other fighting games. Previous entries made fun of Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, while this one tackles Killer Instinct. When I think of a parody fighting game, it brings up the idea of a creative and funny game that has over-the-top moves that is enjoyable but likely quite simple. Clayfighter 63⅓ is none of those things. Clayfighter aims for a claymation style, but this is completely spoiled by the very low quality sprites and extremely poor animation. On top of that, none of the characters were anything I wanted to play with, being a mixture of generic things, things 6 year olds find “gross” (fat, snot) and racist caricatures. Oh, and Earthworm Jim. Every character also has extremely annoying voice clips, a complete waste of the talent they hired (which includes legends like Frank Welker, Tress MacNeille, Jim Cummings, Rob Paulsen and Dan Castellaneta). The arenas are slightly more interesting than fighting games. They’re not as deep as Mace: The Dark Age, but you can hit your opponent through doors and reach other arenas. Unfortunately, the camera is terrible and you can end up fighting behind scenery. The fighting itself is also really dull, being incredibly slow and clunky, with button mashing working very well. The game is also very light on content, with just one mode of fighting random opponents (with no attempt of putting it inside a story) and…options. No practice or additional modes and not very many options. It’s an atrocious game devoid of anything fun or amusing. Remake or Remaster? No. A remake was in development for DSiWare and WiiWare, but never made the light of day. Thankfully. Oh, and it was going to be called “Call of Putty” so you know the humour would have been non-existent. Official ways to get the game. There is no official way to get ClayFighter 63⅓ --- J.League Eleven Beat 1997 JP release: 24th October 1997 PAL release: N/A NA release: N/A Developer: Hudson Publisher: Hudson N64 Magazine Score: 52%? The fourth different football series for Japan, this one has a much more cartoony/anime style, and I think it suits he N64 quite well. It’s much better than Dynamite Soccer but at the same time, because it’s simply a decent game, there’s really not a huge amount to say about it. Eleven Beat keeps things nice and simple, but also functions quite well. The CPUs mistakes in this game felt more natural than other football games and you have a few different kinds of passes and shots. When defending, you do control two different players, but at least you have a cursor to show which ones. The modes are just a few basic ones, along with a practice that’s just got your team on the pitch. There’s also a “Red Vs Blue” mode where each team can pick the players they want from all the teams, or let a lucky dip decide. Eleven Beat is a simple but fun football game, but not much more than that. Remake or remaster? I do think a fun anime-inspired twist on Football could be fun to see today, especially as games can fully pull off the anime style now. Official ways to get the game. There is no official way to get J.League Eleven Beat 1997
  49. 3 points
    Top Gear Rally NA release: 30th September 1997 PAL release: November 1997 JP release: 5th December 1997 Developer: Boss Game Studios Publisher: Midway (NA), Kemco (PAL/JP) N64 Magazine Score: 86% Top Gear Rally was loved so much by N64 Magazine that they dropped Multi-Racing Championship’s score from 81% to 71%, claiming that it was scored high because it was first. As much as I wanted to love this, this just felt like it had the same kind of “early days” bias as it’s still another arcade style racer where you work from the back of the pack with very few tracks. The racing itself feels pretty decent with a lot of options to change to alter the handling of your vehicles, and the graphics are very nice for their time, with some nice water effects. In championship mode, you play through a bunch of seasons as you race across the same four tracks multiple times. The weather does change and, while the effects are quite lovely, the rain and slow just make the handling a nightmare. In total, you play across these four tracks a total of 21 times – and then again in mirror mode. There are some nice touches to the game, for example, you can create custom paint jobs for your cars in a surprisingly nice (for the time) image editor. There’s also “arcade” mode where you can have a 1v1 race against the CPU or another player. The music on the jungle level is also absolutely lovely, although the rest of the music is quite poor. There’s also a hidden track. If you play through the whole 21 track season and win every single race, you’ll unlock the final track. You can’t race this in the main mode, only arcade and practice. When N64 Magazine wrote their review, they knew it existed but had no idea how to unlock it, it’s that much of a pain to do. Yet it’s easily the best track of the game, with a ton of interesting shortcuts. It’s strange how the best 20% of their game is locked away so hard – another fun vehicle would have been much better, and would allow for a bit more variety in the game’s main mode. One other thing I noticed is that it doesn’t feel like the other racers have any kind of AI – it just feels like they’re on a set path. They don’t react to you and if you get in their way, they’ll barge you away without slowing down. If you try to crash into them, they’ll be unaffected. They’re more obstacles than opponents. Top Gear Rally is a fun game, but shows its age with its arcade nature and lack of content. At the time of release, it was definitely the best car racing game on the system. Remake or Remaster? A collection of the various Top Gear games would be quite nice. Official ways to get the game. There is no official way to get Top Gear Rally
  50. 3 points
    They need to get that shit on the Switch Online now. This music still resonates