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About Julius

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  1. Four new SEGA Mega Drive games have been added: Comix Zone, Target Earth, Zero Wing, and Mega Man: The Wily Wars.
  2. God of War: Ragnarök (2022)

    Tom Henderson reported for Exputer that, as hinted at by The Snitch, there was a plan for the release date for the game to be shared today, however this hasn't gone ahead. It's unclear why, but honestly I hope it's just them getting tired of everything getting leaked. It's been pretty damaging to them just how much has leaked over the last 12 months in particular, I feel. More realistically: plans change, and that's why we aren't privy to marketing plans. Anywho, elsewhere, apparently some degenerates are sending unsolicited (as if they're ever solicited) pics of their privates to Sony Santa Monica devs in hopes of exchanging them for the release date, seeing as we were "supposed" to get it today. These dumbasses need to watch Fullmetal Alchemist again, because their understanding of the laws of equivalent exchange are off. More seriously, this just shows some of the damage and harm leaks can do in a community when people are willing to act like the Rapture has descended upon us every single time something doesn't go as reported/they wanted. Disgusting stuff happens all the time, but in this case, I think it's clearly on the leakers.
  3. The Star Wars Thread

    Yeah, it's one of those where I think it only really makes sense if you go solo/as a couple/intimate group where everyone cares a whole lot about Star Wars? Like "let's pay five times more because we love Star Wars that much" level of caring Oh that's a great tip, thanks! I'll definitely be keeping an eye on eBay when it gets closer to the time then; I got rid of my Facebook years ago, and it's only in really specific situations like this where I find myself regretting it, if only briefly! Yeah just seen that, it's nuts! I wonder if there are just less tickets available due to the ExCel being smaller than the Anaheim Convention Center? Probably seen as a safer option by most too, just with how we've handled COVID like you've mentioned before, and maybe even it returning this year but with main panels not being shown online driving FOMO?
  4. The Star Wars Thread

    Got mine and my friends' 4-day tickets secured any luck on your end? Phone was 2 seconds ahead before actually getting to the waiting screen, then my desktop raced by: 55 seconds...then 55 minutes!...then 46 minutes...then 20 minutes...then 10 minutes, and it carried on like normal from there. Got in to see that VIP tickets were still available when I got in, and I stared at the screen for a few minutes. Said I only had availability to pick up 2, but obviously wouldn't want to leave my friends in the lurch/planned this first Celebration to be more getting used to it, but man, I hope I don't regret that and get another shot at them at a future Celebration!
  5. The Star Wars Thread

    Yeah, it's a difficult one to parse. For me, at least, their interview answers just aren't adding up; like I said before, how can you plan out an entire show to build up musically to using a theme which you don't even know you can use? We'll probably never know what happened behind the scenes (I mean, maybe Williams simply didn't trust her with his music from what he'd heard from feedback? But then it doesn't sound like she was going to use it at all anyways), but I think there's a lot of evidence that something did. If Natalie Holt doesn't return in the event that there is a second season, then I think that'll be a clear sign, and even more so if William Ross steps up. Well, the thing is, even if you ignore the final 10 minutes of Revenge of the Sith (I brought that up more so to illustrate that George basically set it up so that there wasn't much wiggle room, III leads into IV as much as it can for a film set 19 years prior), the Imperial March is all over the prequels (and by extension The Clone Wars). It's in Anakin's Theme, it's in the chambers when he's being tested by the Jedi Council, it's there after he's finished slaughtering Tuskens, it's there when the clone army is marching around and lining up at the end (though that's more used as a reference to the Empire), it's there when Palpatine is teaching him, heck, it's even in Anakin vs Obi-Wan. I think my issue with it is that not only is it inconsistent in that way from my perspective, the thing which annoys me most is simply that Holt and Chow probably didn't even realise how integral the Imperial March is to the music of the prequels. Yes, anyone can come onto a project with fresh eyes and all that, but having a composer unfamiliar with the prequels compose a show which is leaning on the prequels, when they clearly don't know that soundtrack intimately - as in, they probably wouldn't be able to call on knowledge of that soundtrack if they tried - just speaks volumes to me. At the same time, like I said before, I think Deborah Chow is at least as responsible if not more so for the soundtrack being what it is, because why bring in a very good composer to then tell them something which isn't true (or has been twisted: that they weren't sure if they could use the Williams themes, and seemingly didn't bother to clarify before starting to get to work?) and limit them creatively by saying "Imperial March, you know, Vader's theme? Off limits!"? But yeah, YMMV if it worked for you then great, but I'm an alternate universe where the soundtrack was the same but character themes were used in the way that's become the norm in Star Wars, while the OST would still be seen as weak, I don't think there'd be as much confusion. Like I said before, I think my problem with how it is used at the end of the show is that it's so understated in that it's stated in a way that would make you think it's used throughout the show, because it's used in the same way that it is in the prequels/sequels, very casually; the thing which prompts it is Obi-Wan literally saying "May the Force be with you" I really think it should have been present in some form when he caught Leia - whether that's a full statement or hinting at it; I think a full statement could have worked, or using the Obi-Wan Theme then going into it, as it has natural jumping off points to go into the Force Theme, do they both could have worked - as, like I've said before, this is the first time we see him use the Force in the show and he's clearly been trying to avoid using it/having troubles with it, as we get more evidence for as the show goes on, so this is a pretty big moment in terms of the story and seeing his relationship with the Force be rebuilt. It's the first time where it makes sense to use it, at least. I think you hint at it there, or maybe have that be the one time it gets a full statement, before... Yeah, I get what you mean - it questions and directly kind of goes at the creative intent - though I think it has its place in just showing how effective it could have been to use previously composed music. I agree that I'm not a fan of using the term "fix", though; while I've got plenty of issues with the OST and plenty of ideas on how it could have been better, at the end of the day I'm not a composer or sound engineer, so it's not really my place to tell a professional how to do their job, much less "fix" their work. Problem is, "fan edit: here's what Duel of the Fates would have been like in Kenobi" just doesn't drive clicks in the same way, so if anything I think it's more of a problem with the platform and how it's grown to this point where short, snappy, attention grabbing titles need to be used to gain visibility.
  6. The game's first expansion, Trials of the Dragon King, launches on July 20th:
  7. The Star Wars Thread

    As if on cue, here's a quick BTS featurette featuring Duel of the Fates I do hope this show gets its own Disney Gallery, as I really enjoyed the ones we've had so far, and always love hearing from Ewan and Hayden!
  8. Playstation Plus Free Games

    Comunicado oficial:
  9. The Star Wars Thread

    To clarify my position on this - and it is just for clarity, I know you aren't calling me out - I'm not saying that new scenes need to utilise the exact same track (i.e. old music), but it should at the very least pay homage to it if it's right and makes sense to do from a storytelling perspective. These fan edits are fun and are a great way to show how resonant reusing a score would be, but given that a lot of battle music can be incidental (i.e. it "reacts" to what is happening on-screen), it's an awkward fit at times; that's why it would require rearrangement, even if you wanted to use Duel of the Fates or Battle of the Heroes. I'm not at all saying it should be hamfisted in such a way where you just drop and plop Duel of the Fates in. I wasn't too hot on the hallway scene music at the end of Mando S2 when I first watched it, but Ludwig Göransson still knew that, following that scene, when the hood comes down, the Force Theme had to play. It's non-negotiable. And he did so. That's what I'm saying: knowing when and how to reference what we'll call "legacy music" is literally half of the job of a Star Wars composer, because get the balance wrong, and it won't feel like Star Wars. That goes for too much (such as when we get the Force Theme referenced too much in some shows and films, including the prequels) and too little (here). Also, another reason I've come around to the hallway scene music is that I'm confident it's a reference to/influenced by Il Triello, the music from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, there are a lot of similarities there. Back to Star Wars, though; as an example, if you are going to lean into "this isn't Vader facing Obi-Wan, but actually Anakin" perspective, then you should try to incorporate the literal battle theme created for their duel at the end of Revenge of the Sith (Battles of the Heroes/Anakin vs Obi-Wan). It doesn't need to be the entire track, it doesn't need to be 1:1, but flourishes and hints at that track, especially at important points, can do a lot of the heavy lifting that no one line in a script can. Star Wars has done this time and time again - it's as important as a character theme - albeit sometimes to its own detriment (though most often this would be in cases where editing has continued after Williams has scored a scene and things have been reshuffled, so old music is slotted in to fill that space). I agree, it does. But again, you need that balance. Fallen Order, Rebels, The Clone Wars, The Bad Batch, they all have new music. Great music. But you know what they do well, and way better than Kenobi? They balance it out with the themes you know and love, so that they're seamlessly adding to the tapestry of Star Wars music without taking much away, because they take place in times that we know about. Can we use the Imperial March here in Fallen Order? Yes, because it's used throughout the prequels and original trilogy and is Vader's and the Empire's theme. And, smartly, they also lean heavily on prequel music when it calls for it, such as when we hear Anakin's Betrayal or Anakin's Dark Deeds in appropriate scenes (ahem ahem ahem, the event which is a character "ghost" in both Kenobi and Fallen Order, but ended up with generic tripe in Kenobi rather than one of the strongest tracks in the entire saga which is used almost exclusively to reference said event). Mando and The Book of Boba Fett, on the other hand, take place in a time we don't know much about, with characters we - for the most part - don't know much about, and is told from a perspective we've never had before. The musical inspiration for Mando is clear and obvious - samurai and old western films, the same things that influenced George in creating Star Wars - and it works because they knew what they wanted. Boba Fett I'd say less so (great main theme, rest of it is fairly forgettable). But what was the aim of Kenobi, as a show, and how has that been an influence musically? Seriously, not being rhetorical here, I don't think it's clear at all, because the soundtrack is often out of sync with the show (not rhythmically, but in terms of direction). If this show is to bridge the gap between Episodes III and IV, which the show was sold as doing, and which I'd say is what most people took away from the show? Then "Well, you see, we didn't actually know if we'd be able to use classic themes, so we threw in our own stuff just in case" isn't going to fly. At all. Nor should it. It's shameful. It shows a fundamental lack of understanding for the basics of Star Wars music - the importance of its character themes specifically - and the assignment. It's like handing in English homework in a Maths class. Or the Force Theme. In fairness, I thought the use of Leia's Theme was okay - it was the only one that felt natural, at least - if a little clunky considering it was sandwiched between her "new theme" for the show, meaning I went "man, this would be much better with Leia's Theme" > "oh hey, it's Leia's Theme, this works" > "wait...why are we back at this new theme?". The use of the Force Theme was throwaway and one of the weakest statements of it - especially for only being used once in the entire six episodes; it reminded me of its casual and abundant use in the prequels and sequels - but that's how John Williams probably would have scored that scene (and if he scored the rest of the show, I'm sure it would've been all over the place since that first instance where I said it should have been used, the first time Obi-Wan uses the Force, which would have made that weaker statement feel more natural). Saving the Imperial March, on the other hand, I couldn't disagree with more. It's great if it worked for you, but it just pissed me off. Genuinely. Like I said before the last episode, the problem with doing that is that the rest of the show now feels bent out of shape - because where was the Imperial March during all of the other Vader appearances if it could be used then? - and I also simply don't buy into it. Forget the original trilogy and the rest of Star Wars for a moment: this show's music was absolutely a slap in the face to prequel fans, because there wasn't any prequel music. In a show which is bridging the gap between the prequels and the original trilogy. I love Revenge of the Sith unapologetically, but it did use it's ending to hamfist straight into A New Hope, and so you get the kitchen sink thrown at the wall musically and visually: the creation of Vader, dropping off Luke and Leia, the construction of the Death Star, pseudo-Imperial ships (Republic ships they forgot to paint), hell, you even get the Force Theme and binary sunset. And now the next time we see Vader in Fallen Order he's got the Imperial March, but then when we get to Kenobi he doesn't? But then he does again by the time it ends. And then he does again in Rebels. And Rogue One. Look back at what I posted above and consider this (note: when I'm saying "you", I'm referring to Deborah Chow/Natalie Holt, not you Ronnie): how can you, on the one hand, not know if you're allowed to use the classic Williams themes; but then, on the other, spend the entire show building up to the one time you plan on using the Imperial March in the final episode? And to top it all off, Natalie Holt didn't use a single note of a Williams theme in the entire show, but now she was allowed to and going to use the Imperial March in the final episode? It doesn't make sense! At this point I wouldn't be surprised if that's a case of them trying to save face. Yes, the new Vader theme is based on the Imperial March, but that doesn't mean they had to be building up to using it. You know what's more likely? William Ross came in (which he did, and went under the radar, and potentially everything else I said above), realised they hadn't used the Imperial March once, and added it in at the end of the show, because that was the most important scene to use it in: it's the last time you see Vader, it retroactively makes it seem like it was building up to it (because let's face it, if he sprinkled it in elsewhere with Vader but not everywhere, we'd still be confused) and sets him up nicely for it to be used the next time we see him chronologically. Could and should have it been used at every earlier opportunity? He might think so, because Williams would have likely done the same. Did he have the time to do that? No, unfortunately he probably didn't, because he likely had the other important moments to salvage musically. Yeah, I was disappointed in the show, that's one thing. The music makes my blood boil, not in a way which makes me want to say stupid things online, but I just think Natalie Holt ultimately took on a role where she wanted to compose Star Wars - and could probably still compose her own Star Wars project like Mando, well away from everything else, really well - more than she thought about if she was the right person for the job. Take away the fact that themes didn't return for a moment, because I actually think the biggest reason that's even being discussed is almost a distraction from the issue that for the original soundtrack itself for this show was just incredibly weak. If it stood strong on its own I don't think nearly as many people would be going back and re-scoring scenes with tracks from previous films/shows.
  10. The Star Wars Thread

    Yeah, I've watched that a few times too. Another good one... I agree with you H-o-T, just shows the importance of music choices (both composing new tracks and knowing when to utilise old ones is Lesson #1 of composing for Star Wars), and honestly I think makes me feel like getting consistently good Star Wars music is something which has been taken for granted. The thing with Star Wars is that it's music is as essential to it as it's sound design, set design, and costume design, because the entire soundscape of a Star Wars project is exactly what whisks you away. But the difference with music is that, unlike a costume or set, is that you can touch and feel it in exactly the way the composer intended. Look, I have multiple issues with the show, but by far the most egregious one to me is the music. I've been listening to the soundtrack the last few days (it released on Monday) and, for the most part: it's not even close to good enough. Williams' Kenobi Theme is good, I've said it before that Holt's Vader theme is okay and would have been stronger serving as a lead-in to the Imperial March, and there's one or two tracks I'd also say I liked, just because they got closer to the prequel sound than the rest of the soundtrack managed. I'm putting on my tinfoil hat, because now is probably as good a time as any to say what I think happened behind-the-scenes (and which I think there is evidence for), but first I'll dig into the surface level. I'll just say ¡SPOILER WARNING! to openly quote some interviews, though I don't think much happens in the show that I think is very unpredictable to begin with if you've watched other Star Wars shows, so I'm not a composer, so maybe some will feel I'm not qualified to speak to this, but I've listened to Star Wars soundtracks and watched the films enough to know them intimately, and this soundtrack is one of the biggest botches under the Disney helm from Lucasfilm for me. Even Rise of Skywalker had a great soundtrack (albeit one chopped to pieces on editing). That this has made me want to dig into editing and sound mixing tells you all you need to know about where I sound on the show's soundtrack. You cannot talk up the importance of the music in Star Wars, and John Williams specifically, and then throw his work away to "set up" classic themes which are used liberally throughout the prequels and animated series. Look, I think Natalie Holt did a fine job with Loki when she could flex her creativity a bit more, but she's literally come out and said that she hadn't watched the prequels prior to preparing for this show – what the hell is someone doing on a project which might as well be titled Episode III.5 when they don't have intimate knowledge of the music that's come before? And apparently not even paying attention to the music enough to use it? From her interview with Screen Rant on prep for the show: Further yet, something which has thoroughly pushed my buttons is people trying to justify things like the lack of Imperial March by saying "iT's ThE eMpIrE's ThEmE, nOt VaDeR's". Yeah, no, sorry, that's just wrong. It's not in A New Hope because, well, it wasn't written, and there have been rumours since the Special Editions that John Williams wanted to rescore the film to include the Imperial March. But, come on, THE IMPERIAL MARCH IS THE CORE OF ANAKIN'S LITERAL THEME FROM THE PHANTOM MENACE. Natalie Holt also mixed up Yoda's Theme with the Force Theme which...yikes. So anyways, tinfoil hat time: I think this is just as much down to Deborah Chow as it is Natalie Holt, and ultimately I think that they recognised that the show's score wasn't good enough, and so an attempt was made to salvage this. It was just far too late in the game. So, why might Deborah Chow be partially to blame? This is also from Natalie Holt's interview with Screen Rant: This doesn't even begin to make sense to me. Not much happens in the show which pushes Anakin further down the path of Vader, he seems very set in his ways at this point, and further yet...you didn't realise he was Vader after the prequels? Or after the ending of Revenge of the Sith? I also don't buy for a second that they "weren't sure that [they] were going to be able to use the John Williams themes." Excuse me, are you suggesting that Lucasfilm requires independent and individual signoff from Williams every single time they use one of his themes? You know, the ones they've used liberally ever since 1977? Over the last 10 years, did they really require his signoff for use in Rogue One, Rebels, The Clone Wars, Fallen Order, the Battlefront games, etc.? I just don't buy it. I've never heard anyone so much as ever hearing so much as a whisper about Williams laying claim to his soundtracks and being anything like how Koichi Sugiyama was a pain in the ass with Dragon Quest music. There have also been whispers - because of this show - that Lucasfilm/Skywalker Sound don't own the music to Star Wars and need to license it? Utter tripe. Not for a second am I buying that. Re-releasing specific old soundtracks which were recorded by Sony, maybe they'd have a bit more of a hurdle to leap, but there's no way they don't own the rights to the Star Wars soundtracks. Even if the shoddy work on the ROTJ remastered soundtrack would suggest otherwise. It does make you wonder why they thought that, though, and honestly, it looks worse on Holt for not challenging that (i.e. lack of background knowledge of the series), and way, way, way worse considering that some of them are used in the end. Shame on Deborah Chow for giving Holt direction that they weren't sure about being allowed to use the Williams themes and to saying to do their own thing, she's as clueless as Holt when it comes to the prequel soundtracks, clearly. Which brings me onto William "Bill" Ross. Just who in the blazes is William "Bill" Ross? William Ross is a longtime collaborator/orchestrator/arranger of John Williams', and has frequently adapted music by John Williams (in the context of scoring, this means he would work from John Williams' sheets and liner notes). He's adapted the new Jurassic World theme, was brought in to adapt the second Harry Potter soundtrack as John Williams was too busy at the time (his other works at the time in 2001 were Attack of the Clones, Minority Report, and Catch Me If You Can), and is also the one who conducted the theme you'd hear at Galaxy's Edge, as well as arranging other music for the park. For obvious reasons, yes, some have wanted him to work on Star Wars for a while now. So what was his contribution to Obi-Wan Kenobi? Well, according to the show's credits, he only adapted John Williams' Obi-Wan Theme. I guess this as good a point as any to point something fundamental out: Natalie Holt didn't use the Kenobi Theme once throughout the entire show. Every single time you hear it? That's Ross. Oh, and guess what? The same goes for when we do eventually get those classic themes, too. What's more, these credits are incredibly misleading. If you take a look at the Spotify listing for the soundtrack, including adapting the end credits, Ross is credited with having worked on 7 of the 31 released tracks, many of which are for key scenes in the show. He should absolutely be credited as a co-composer on this soundtrack, and honestly, it's pretty gross that he isn't, but most telling is that he is front and centre when others who worked on the soundtrack aren't given the same attention in the credits. Okay, where are you going with this? Here's what I think happened. Natalie Holt mostly - or fully - composed her own score for Obi-Wan Kenobi, but it was not well received, either by someone in a position of power at Disney or Lucasfilm, or even, potentially, by test audiences (I don't think we have much incite into the full process for these Disney+ shows yet, so I'm not sure if they even have them). I mean, it wasn't announced until weirdly late that she would even be the show's composer, towards the end of April, just a month from the show's release, when the composer for Andor, Nicholas Britell, was officially confirmed to be composing his show at the end of May. Holt started work before John Williams was brought on in December to compose the Kenobi Theme (this should be seen as a huge red flag) in just two weeks (red flag again), and at one point even had her own theme for the show. She hardly got to touch the theme for the show she was composing for, the theme wasn't done until after she was brought onboard, and unlike Powell with Solo, she has said that she didn't get the opportunity to collaborate with Williams. Anyways, with important people unhappy with the score for the show as is, Kathleen Kennedy (I don't think there's anyone else at Lucasfilm or Disney who have the relationship or pull that she might have to get John Williams onboard) gets in touch with John Williams and asks him to score the show. Who better than the maestro himself? ...except John Williams doesn't have the time - or maybe doesn't want - to score an entire show, and so he comes onboard only agreeing to compose the new theme for Obi-Wan Kenobi, which can then be used as a core by his longtime collaborator William Ross who is brought in to do what he can to "fix" the score in adapting and figuring out the sound of the rest of the show with this new theme. First priority? Tackling the bigger moments where they feel Holt's work just doesn't fit at all. So, why not just replace Natalie Holt at that point? Well, what do you think the optics would be like for sacking the first female composer on a major Star Wars project? Yeah, not great. This could help explain why they left announcing her so late: simply put, their original intention might have been for William Ross to start from the ground up, but likely due to pressure from above Lucasfilm - as we've seen a few times since the Disney buyout - Disney rather ship a half-assed product on time than delay. So he basically had to salvage what he could, utilising both the new Williams theme, and the major themes Natalie Holt had introduced (such as a new Vader theme) Okay, but why didn't he use more of the prequel music/classic themes? Rogue One's soundtrack was a mighty fine soundtrack for something churned out in just four weeks, but it's also based on themes that were nearly 40 years old at that point, which are classic and very easy to work in and out of; Giacchino new from the get-go what he wanted to do, as this was something he'd dreamed of getting to do since he was a kid. By comparison, the prequel soundtracks are easily the most complex compositions in Star Wars - not necessarily best, as that's subjective, but complex - and rearranging and adapting them would, I'm sure, take a very long time. I think Ross did the best he could with this in mind and having to balance music from Williams and Holt, for example I think he did a great job with... Honestly, it's a shame that it was rushed out and William Ross likely won't get the chance to go back, because given the time - and especially given that the OST and show are both only available digitally - I think he could have put something together pretty great, and still could. And yes, I am saying that they should consider re-scoring the show. If we get a second season, I think it will be very telling if there's any truth to my thoughts if Natalie Holt returns, because I doubt she will. At worst I'm a mile off and grasping at straws, but her soundtrack was ineffective and she'll have seen the criticism and choose to step away, or Lucasfilm simply won't want her back because they've seen the criticism/agree that it was poor/I'm on the right trail. I'd love William Ross to get a crack at it again if there is a second season, but I now think this first season puts any potential second season composer in an awkward position where getting it right would mean making the show musically incongruous, due to the score of the first season. Which is exactly why I think it needs to be re-scored.
  11. Watched this again this morning (albeit at 1.25x speed) as a bit of a refresher before posting thoughts on the presentation. Capcom has got really good at showing off Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak, I thought their 10 minutes spent on it during their own showing at Not-E3 was a great showing. Was it needed here? Probably not outside of some contractual obligation, but it was a fun trailer, so no complaints. Capcom's handling of Monster Hunter since World has been really on the mark from an outsider's perspective, reminds me a lot of Final Fantasy XIV; only negative I can really think of is not offering cross-save, which is pretty nuts for a game like this. NieR Automata: The End of YoRHa Edition looks rough around the edges, but so long as it's functional, I'm glad it's coming to Switch. Excellent game, story, music, and love the new white outfits...but how the hell has it already been 5 years since it released? And where's the next one?! Lorelei and The Laser Eyes has me curious, but that 2023 release date probably means I'll forget about it until it's shown off again some point next year. Quite like it's darker vibe for a puzzle game, though! Super Bomberman R 2 doesn't do much for me, but I'm surprised it's taken them 5 years to announce it, and it's not even out until next year, which is just strange. Pac-Man World: Re-PAC doesn't do much for me either, looks pretty cheap. Blanc looked incredible, lovely art style and cosy vibes. Return to Monkey Island confused me with its looks, having not played the earlier games but having screen plenty of photos/screenshots of them, it's gone from looking like, well, 90's/2000's quality animation to the more generic-looking tripe you see kids watching today. Mario+Rabbids Spark of Hope (the lack of a colon in the title...just why Ubisoft WHY?!) looks good, haven't played the first game still (sorry!) but it looks like most are excited about how it's turning out, and we get to see more today, which is neat. We then had a bit of a quickfire, and I'll just highlight what I'm interested in: RPG Time: The Legend of Wright looks wonderful still, releases on my little brother's birthday so that'll be a hard one to forget the date of; Live A Live getting a demo is awesome, Square Enix have been doing a great job with demos, and this might be one of the few times where I choose to dig in, very excited to get to it; and Dragon Quest Treasures...looked like a mobile game, honestly. I'm still in - because Erik - but that's a rough looking game, definitely looks like it needs time to cook, so hopefully that's an older build we saw and it's more than ready in December. Hopefully...maybe. Captain Velvet Meteor: The Jump+ Dimensions I have half an eye on, and same goes for the Portal: Companion Collection, though I might just save playing 2 for when I get my Steam Deck. Harvestella looks like it could be a chill time? But Xenotrowel Chronicles. We also know/expect more from Square Enix based on the Nvidia and other recent leaks, and this one doesn't hold a candle to the other stuff in those leaks for Square Enix, so... Lastly, Persona 5 Royal, Persona 4 Golden, and Persona 3 Portable coming to Switch - awesome; finally! Morgana looked rooooough presenting the games (which I found very funny). I've played 5 before, really enjoyed it, and really look forward to hearing the thoughts of those exclusively playing games on Switch/have been waiting for the games to come to Switch, but if I ever get to Royal, I'll probably just enjoy it on my PlayStation. Ditto for Persona 4 Golden, that's the one I really want to get around to next. As for 3 Portable...eh, there's FES on PS3 which some fans seem to prefer, so I might just check that out instead. Overall, I thought it was a solid Direct Mini. We knew about Persona going in, so that was a bit of a nonstarter for me as something to close on, but that's no sleight against the presentation really. Some of these games feel like they've been shown off a bit too early (did we really need to learn about Super Bomberman R 2 and Lorelei and The Laser Eyes when they're at least six months away?), but at the same time, I did appreciate learning about the Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection so early, just because of the ability to add funds to Wii U going away next month, so I don't need to pick them up there. It was pretty well paced, but I do think having the presentation go up in full and having trailers for games not shown until the end of the presentation going up at the same time as the Direct Mini itself took away from it a bit. There also just wasn't much here for me to latch on to that was new; other than Blanc and the Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection, my interest was mainly focused on RPG Time, Live A Live getting a demo, and the update on Dragon Quest Treasures. Totally official and not at all rudimentary verdict for the Nintendo Direct Mini: Partners Showcase - 28th June 2022 (good lord, what a freakshow of a presentation title): 7.5/10 And now to patiently wait for the next Direct...
  12. The Star Wars Thread

    Talking to The Direct, Stuart Beattie has shared a bit about how his work original work on the Kenobi film - which was meant to be a trilogy - got warped into the show we ended up getting. Considering the pacing of the show...yeah, I do think it felt like a film script stretched out to a miniseries, and for me, it just didn't really work (for a lot of reasons, but the pacing/not being a story really tweaked right for weekly television was certainly a part of that). It's a shame, for me. There were definitely some parts I enjoyed, but like I've said before, I just ended up coming away disappointed, not because of the acting performances (I actually don't think anyone put a foot wrong), it just didn't really feel cohesive to me, and fell short of the billing they readied me. But I'm glad others enjoyed it, you can't win them all as a fan, even if I'll absolutely be ready to pop off about the soundtrack any moment I get the chance Ah, thanks for that, was wondering how the panel lottery worked! And yeah, I'll probably have too many screens up waiting for 17:00 to roll around on Thursday, but hopefully my experience of pre-ordering consoles over the last couple of years will come in handy here
  13. 2022 - Halfway through hell

    Well, this has just reminded me that at some point I need to stop procrastinating on actually putting something in the Gaming Diary thread can't believe it's already the end of June! I've only finished 13 games so far this year, as I ended up with a bit of a gaming hangover from Elden Ring (exactly like I did with The Last of Us Part II a couple of years ago), and took a break for a little while there besides GT7. The last month has exclusively been me going back and replaying games, but so far this has been a good year for me knocking out big games (two 100+ hour titles in Elden Ring and Gran Turismo 7, and another two 50+ hour titles in Pokémon Legends: Arceus and Dragon Quest VIII); maybe I'll tackle some smaller ones soon...ish? Anyways, GOTY so far is Elden Ring, not even a question. Have I played enough new games so far this year to really give an opinion here? Probably not. But Elden Ring is firmly in my Top 5 of All Time, and is my favourite (new) game I've played these last few years. I loved Breath of the Wild, but I did have some issues with it, and I think my highest praise of Elden Ring is that I'd point Nintendo towards it for examples on how to improve with the sequel. This isn't to say it's a flawless game - there are a few boss fights which are more spectacle than they are practical, a good bit of repetition, and a good (but very fun) bit of jank - but the journey to the end kept me coming back in a way that sprawling open worlds barely do it for me. Surprise hit? It's probably between Pokémon Legends: Arceus and Gran Turismo 7, right now I'm looking back on both too fondly to really split hairs and choose one over the other. Sorry @Glen-i, but Legends: Arceus was the most fun I've had with a brand new Pokémon game since maybe Gen V? It was more Monster Hunter than it was Breath of the Wild, and while I think a truly open world Pokémon game can be done well (I just don't think Game Freak is a team that can necessarily deliver it), the music which pulled so much from the Gen IV titles and hinted at them in a way I always love; the vibe; the totally not a rip-off of Mystery Dungeon's story; the joy of always being able to use the right stick to control the camera; and the core mechanics of this game being a constant feedback loop I'm sure could turn someone into a crack addict were all entirely up my alley. It's just a shame that it meant Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl came out as half baked as they did as a result As for Gran Turismo 7, it rightly got a hell of a lot of flak for its microtransactions and how much they were pushed, but it also completely overshadowed the conversation of just how fun a game it is, as did the fact that 99% of it's content is online-only; and it's a bit of a shame, because it's easily the most I've enjoyed a racing sim since GT3. License Tests and some of the challenges and music rally were super fun, as was racing against friends (the leaderboard on License Tests meant I spent way more time on the game than I reasonably should!), and towards the end of my time with it, there were workarounds in order to make for an easy grind of some 2.4 million+ credits per hour, so I would just soar through one of my favourite tracks (Tokyo Expressway) in the fastest car in the game while listening to podcasts and various soundtracks. Unfortunately it got updated and the workarounds were rectified (after a few updates in a row not rectifying then gave a sense of false hope that it would be left as is), and I dropped the game as a result soon after instead of grinding for the remaining Ferraris as I had planned to. For disappointment: Mass Effect (the Legendary Edition of the game). This one is kind of a default answer just because I think the first half of the game is shaky as hell at the best of times, but the second half is much improved and it gets much stronger in the final act. It's simply here by virtue of it being the overall weakest game I'd say I've played so far this year and my expectations for Mass Effect being high, but from what I've heard, I fully expect that any time I spend with Mass Effect 2 will be a vast improvement over the first game. The gunplay is loose as hell, the enemy composition of some locations kind of suck, and despite being a remaster (with a good bit of rework), I just don't think it does a great job at getting newcomers to come to terms with its mechanics, and traversing some of the larger settlements can be very disorienting. But, like I said: much better in the second half, specifically that final act, when I think it becomes much more linear. Lastly, seeing as I don't really have a nominee for worst game, as I've been replaying a few games over the last month I want to instead throw my favourite replay out there: Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. This was the first game I got for and completed on my PS2, and playing it on my PS3 this month with Obi-Wan Kenobi on my mind was simply a joy. The inclusion of concept art, duelists, bonus levels, etc., just fleshed the game out so much when hunting down secrets and completing levels, and it does a fantastic job of hinting at what some earlier ideas for the film were. The combat is still really fun to mess around with (and, for a PS2 game, felt surprisingly and incredibly fluid; I'm pretty sure Hayden Christensen did mo-cap for Anakin's lightsaber wielding in the game?), the levels are short and sweet, the bonus levels are cool as heck (you get to be Vader fighting Obi-Wan on the Death Star in A New Hope!), I had an absolute blast playing through it again. Getting to that final level, which shows an alternate take on Anakin vs Obi-Wan on Mustafar and ends with Anakin winning, is just such a fun bit of fan service too, I loved it. Because the soundtrack to the film wasn't scored until February 2005 you also just - hilariously - end up with a soundtrack running through themes from mostly A New Hope and The Phantom Menace, and Qui-Gon's Theme is even used as Obi-Wan's! Just a mighty fine time Thanks for the thread @drahkon (also, love the return of the graphs)! I haven't talked about what games I've been playing too much since Elden Ring and have been feeling a bit burnt out on them/a lot of things over the last few months, but typing this up has been a nice reminder of just how much I love talking about games on here and reading about what others have been playing looking forward to reading what others have to say!
  14. And my Wii U gathers a little more dust... Also coming to PlayStation and Steam.