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Everything posted by Julius

  1. Well, we've got threads for the NES and SNES Online apps, so here's one for the upcoming Expansion Pack, which will include N64 and SEGA Mega Drive games, as announced in the September 2021 Nintendo Direct. The Expansion Pack will be launching in late October 2021. Software Nintendo 64 Launch line-up: Select titles, such as Mario Kart 64, will also include support for local and online multiplayer for up to four players. Future titles: SEGA Mega Drive Launch line-up: Hardware Wireless N64 and SEGA Mega Drive controllers will be made available to Nintendo Switch Online members. These will each be priced at £39.99 / €49.99. Other details We have also had confirmation that all N64 games included in the service can be played in their 60Hz versions in Europe too. The original European PAL versions will be available on select titles too, but this seemed to be one of the concerns I'd seen floated around about the service, so it's nice to get an update!
  2. Playstation 5 Console Discussion

    GamesIndustry.biz have just released an interview with Nicolas Doucet, Studio and Creative Director at Team Asobi (Astro Bot: Rescue Mission, Astro's Playroom), that's well worth a read: Some takeaways: Studio is currently at 60 employees, up from 35 when they were part of Japan Studio. Fully expect to grow beyond 100 employees. Their next title will be a full-blown commercial title, and their biggest to date. Some of what Doucet has to say about their design ethos - their five pillars of Magic, Innovation, Playful, Universal and Quality; their desire to keep finding new ways to play resulting from new tech; and a focus on game feel being what's at the core of the idea of being a Japanese title - really sounds very Nintendo-like. I love it. Astro's Playroom was absolutely a culmination of that and was so much better for it. Most employees are still working from home, but they all get together every two weeks in the office to get together in order to pass around the controller and go hands-on with what everyone has been working on. This has amusingly meant there being more office space devoted to gaming than, well, being an office! Can't wait to see what they've got in store for us next
  3. The Disney & Marvel Games Showcase was announced yesterday, and is scheduled for 21:00 BST/13:00 PT on Friday 9th September during Disney's D23 Expo.
  4. New year, new events thread! Starting it early this year because of the news already coming out that E3 will once again be digital this year, due to Omicron concerns -- we had to wait until March last year before finding out what was up with E3 2021. As reported by VentureBeat: However, Mike Futter has shared that he heard that E3 would likely be going this way in 2022 as the ESA had already abandoned their plans to use the Los Angeles Convention Center -- he says he heard this prior to the emergence of Omicron. And, as has been discussed ad nauseam, but in particular since the start of COVID: publishers don't need an E3 presence, much less a particular one, to communicate their plans to consumers these days. And, without skipping a beat...
  5. MAXIMUM POWERRRRRR! Wave Race 64 arrives next on the service this Friday (19th August):
  6. Splatoon 3 (9th September 2022)

    A free demo is going to be available on Saturday 27th August ahead of the game's full release next month; a tutorial and some other features will be available from the 25th in order to get ready.
  7. Once more unto the ink, dear friends, once more.
  8. God of War: Ragnarök (9th November 2022)

    PlayStation have released an animated video recapping 2018's God of War journey as the build-up to release continues: A bit under three months to go...
  9. Football Season 2022/23

    Tuchel to Conte:
  10. Football Season 2022/23

    Yeah, I'd happily take the draw going into this, any point from Conte is a point I'll gladly take shame Romero is a grade-A twonk leading up to that second though, but I gave up on these refs a long time ago Loved seeing the heat between Conte and Tuchel, just the cherry on top! Mou vs Wenger vibes, post-match interviews should be fun...
  11. Football Season 2022/23

    Defenders FC returns, what a volley that was by Koulibaly. Just in time too considering Lukaku and Timo got on the score sheet yesterday... Yeah, I'd be surprised if the score stays as it is now, that's for sure, I think Spurs are a seriously scary proposition for this season (I'd say this about any team Conte takes on and is actually supported to have success with), but fingers crossed we score another and can nip it in the bud. We haven't really had a game plan to commit to all summer - hell, I have no idea what our target for this season is meant to be, and I don't think Tuchel does yet either other than to qualify for the UCL again - meanwhile Spurs got their business finished before most clubs even started talking about their summer plans and Conte is a deadly serious coach when it comes to training, they're going to run laps - in a very literal sense - around most teams this season. Hopefully that works in our favour come the World Cup in November
  12. God of War Collection

    I mean, I did say there was good stuff! I guess to clarify what I mean: when a track stands out to me in a game I'll normally go out of my way to look it up. The only track I looked during my playthrough was Deliverance from God of War (2018), and that was just to compare it with the Hades track. It has good tracks, just nothing which made me pull out my phone and look them up. I think that's where my bar is these days for standout tracks, hopefully II makes me pull out my phone and go music hunting I'm not planning to right now, just because if I did I'd probably end up committing to going for the Platinum, and I'm trying to wean myself off the Plat/completionist mentality at the moment and just enjoy games a bit more and play more. Obviously not to say that they're mutually exclusive, but my desire to do that comes and goes I guess, and I definitely found myself feeling a bit exhausted by it after getting the Platinum for TLOU last month. I think I've got more Platinums than I ever have before by this point in the year, not counting upgrades I think I'm at 5? 3 of which were 100+ hour endeavours, and while I'm sure there'll be a couple more I might Plat before the year is up I definitely need a rest from it where I feel I can get it. So basically: not for now, but if/when I ever come back to Plat this game, I'll be checking it out for sure!
  13. God of War Collection

    Well, that's a wrap on God of War. God of War? More like God of QTEs or God of Puzzles, amirite? (Yeah I'm right but it was still good fun ) I put a fair chunk of time into it yesterday (not sure what else you're really meant to do in this heat!), and probably could have beaten it last night...but it was late once I got to the final stretch of Hades, so I finished it off this morning. I had a lot of fun to with this game, from it's fluid combat, to learning fun combos (yeah, Square, Square, Triangle is reliable, but it's not the most fun and stylish way to go about playing), and using new weapons and powers as you get deeper into the game; I really enjoyed using Poseidon's Rage early on, but once I got my hands on Army of Hades, that quickly became my default magic of choice when I felt I needed to use something reliable (I ended up maxing it out, alongside the Blades of Chaos). I also really enjoyed swinging around the much bulkier and harder-hitting Blade of Artemis, to the point that the Blades of Chaos definitely took a backseat in the second half of the game or so. The music was good - nothing stood out too much, other than a part of the Hades music sounding like it was halfway to Baldur's Theme, which was almost certainly a coincidence but a weirdly nice thing to spot - and well, while the story wasn't a strong point, it was functional, but what I really enjoyed about it was the presentation you'd get with the flashbacks having something unique or interesting going on. I've said it before, but I also liked the scale of the game, it felt big, but never too big. Also, while I'm sure this is more down to sharing influences from something like The Legend of Zelda, I definitely got Dark Souls and ICO vibes from the game at times, whether it be it's interconnectedness (a few times I audibly went "oh, okay, we're doing this?" Escaping Hades and Amphitrite's Chamber were probably the best examples of this), it's atmosphere, and especially in its creature design (the Minotaur boss reminded me a whole lot of the Capra Demon) and some of its architecture (Mount Olympus and Athens definitely went to the same school as Anor Londo's design philosophy) when compared with Dark Souls. I loved that Minotaur boss fight, I think it's pretty easily the best one in the game from both a design and gameplay perspective, took me a couple of attempts! I definitely came away genuinely understanding why no-one ever got to Pandora's Box between the puzzles, bosses, and the traps also, that reminds me, before I forget: this game has a load of great and fun puzzles, and many of them felt unique! I think there's a really fine line to ride with puzzles in games like this where you need to balance a player knowing what the game is asking of them, and then knowing how to execute said ask (which becomes more complex the more tools are at their disposal), which is a really hard balance to strike I find, so kudos to the folks at Santa Monica back in the day who worked on some of these puzzles. I mean, just as a quick point of comparison: I mentioned Zelda before and actually played Ocarina of Time earlier this year, and while I'll probably get around to talking about it in a bit more depth at some point, my problem with some of the puzzles in that game is not that they were difficult, but that I found myself with so many tools at my disposal that I found myself overthinking the puzzle a lot of the time, only to then realise more often than not that the simplest solution was what the game was asking me execute. Hell, sometimes I didn't even know what the game was asking me to do. For me, I think that's one of the tougher parts of that game to understand going back to it for the first time today: whereas Breath of the Wild gives you a bunch of tools and you're free to experiment and probably find a few ways to complete a puzzle, Ocarina of Time has a few too many tools for the number of solutions it's ready for (which is normally just the one). Anyways, that was a slight detour, so back to God of War: as for the not-so-good, I'll double down on the camera being pretty woeful at times, especially any time you find yourself platforming towards the camera (which is both a camera and design failing I guess). Some parts of Hades were a nightmare because of this, not in the sense of it being hard or even that frustrating, but it just slowed the game down unnecessarily. Talking of slowing the game down unnecessarily, I don't get why some 70% of enemies have i) nearly as much health as they do and ii) respawn, I get that the game is a hack-and-slash, but it really just makes the game a bit long in the tooth at times. There are definitely exceptions to this where it's asking for more than just going on a killing spree (I really liked the Cerberus fight at the start of the Challenge of Poseidon, needing to learn to manage the pups so that they don't Digivolve into full-on beasts), but most of the time it just wants you to kind of aimlessly kill, which just becomes a bit boring - despite a fun combat system! - when some standard weaker enemies take a while to defeat and can then respawn(/are replaced?). As a minor and unrelated nitpick, there were a couple of times where the sound mixing was way off and the music made the in-game sounds or dialogue virtually inaudible despite being fine the rest of the time, and the worst case of this for me was down in the Floor of Spears™ puzzle room where the sound of the spears winding up to destroy your feet is supposed to give you an idea of how long you've got left before they, well, do that and kill you. Lastly: I thought the final boss fight section was pretty weird, and, for me, a big step down from the highs of the Minotaur, especially given that the entire game has been building up to this confrontation. The first phase with Ares was so laughable I had to check if I'd put the difficulty down by accident, because just summoning the Army of Hades and using a spin attack had him down in the space of about 10-15 seconds. The second phase taking on your past was fine, but the third phase of the fight - and the second phase of actually fighting Ares - was just weird in that you're stripped of your weapons, all of the abilities you've earned, and instead you're slowly swinging around this heavy sword. The camera is different for this fight than all of the other fights you've been in throughout the game pretty much, and the game becomes a 3D arena fighter with health bars? Maybe it's just me but I hate when games do things like this, trying to go for some epic sense of scale to serve the story, but at the cost of sacrificing the game in the way you've been playing for 8 hours up until this point! Just...I'm sure there are those who are fans of this, but doesn't get a pass from me This game was good dumb fun, with some great puzzles, boss fights, and combat, aged now a good bit by its camera and things like enemies having too much health/respawning which just stretched some standard encounters out a bit too long for my liking. I enjoyed it, but hopefully I'll see how its sequel improved at some time in the next few weeks
  14. God of War Collection

    First post in this thread in a bit over 12 years? Well, guess this calls for a slam more than it does a bump! I've outlined this elsewhere, but one of my gaming goals for the year is to play through all of the God of War series (well, the stuff that matters, so no, not the text-based Facebook Messenger game which was apparently a thing) in preparation for Ragnarök's arrival in November. With us getting the solid release date for that game early last month and me picking up everything I needed to play through the series last month, earlier today I booted up the first God of War. I played 15 minutes or so of this a few months ago testing out how PlayStation Now was on PS5 (which was fine, but I'd rather just play the game from the console or disc rather than stream it), which definitely set my expectations somewhat for the game, and today I've put in a few hours, and have just arrived at the Temple of the Oracle in Athens. As always, before jumping in: I'll probably have more middling and negative stuff to list off in this first post. I almost always do. It's very hard to not notice these things playing through some games for the first time! Let's start with the positives: this game feels fantastic. I love how fluid the combat is (even if, a lot of the time, I think it boils down to ye olde classic Square, Square, Triangle – at least it has so far), I'm a big fan of the variety of animations Kratos uses in combat, and I'm really enjoying stringing together long combos (I've not really played too many character action or combo-based games like this for a long time, maybe since I had a PS2? So it's definitely hitting that nostalgia spot for me). I have no real idea what's going on story wise, but hey, that's fine by me, because I'm just here to have fun and see what still holds up about this game. I wasn't expecting a skills-based "magic" system in this game, so I've had a lot of fun using those in general combat as I've picked them up, especially on the few occasions where it's been called for in puzzles so far. I also just really like the architecture and design ethos of the game, there have been a few times already where I feel like I've had a few options on which way to go, but I'm not really going out of my way to do and see as much as I can in this game (trying to take a break from that mindset...for now), and I think every single time I've come to some fork in the road, my gut instinct - clearly informed by some subtle design decisions - has pointed me in the right direction without fail. I also really enjoyed the first boss fight (even if it did take me a moment to clock onto what it wanted me to do because I don't think the framing of the battle does a great job of really setting you odd in the right direction), though similar to most enemies in the game so far, it definitely felt like more of a sponge than it needed to be. Now, there are some negatives, but I don't think they're necessarily bad things about the game itself, but just ways it's showing its age. Like it's camera. Man, I hate some cameras in games, especially fixed perspective cameras like the ones you got in MGS2, but at least those were consistent; this game jumps pretty freely from behind-the-back to fixed angle to another fixed angle to swinging around to another fixed angle to a wide shot and...man, it's super disorienting, not in the sense that I'm getting lost, but in the sense that it's making me physically feel uneasy at times (in fairness, it's super hot - I wonder what Kratos would do if the Greek Gods were pushing humanity off the brink through global warming? - which is definitely compounding that feeling, but I think it would still be there regardless). Aside from the general uneasiness of jumping between angles at this game's every whim, the camera just creates inconsistencies in how you approach things, for instance the age-old "you're tiptoeing across a ledge/beam/whatever, so let's change the angle while you're doing that and have you need to actually adjust your character's movement based on the angle we go to, and no you can't continue with the input you were using before", one of my absolute biggest pet peeves in gaming. I'll adjust, I'm sure, but it's stuff like this which I thinks makes some 3D games so much harder to go back to (I actually thought this game was older than it was before booting it up, so it's funny that this approach was taken in a game released towards the end of the generation where I feel it was mostly figured out?). And then there are just some general curiosities to the game, decisions which aren't really negatives to the game, but are certainly decisions made at the time which I'm not sure they'd stand by today. Such as the sex mini-game – that sure was a choice, and that sure was a thing, and I'm not really sure what to make of it, though I did find it hilarious that the top halves of these women in the cutscene prior to the mini-game being made accessible made them look like they were a generation ahead of Kratos on a purely technical perspective, you can see where the priorities were for that short moment in the game more curiously: R2 to interact with and open things, but even weirder than that, mashing R2 to lift heavy doors/gates – this has to be one of the weirdest feeling QTE-style inputs ever, especially with just how much the DualShock 3's triggers can travel when compared with the triggers of the DualShock 2. And also, right stick to dodge/roll? Man, again, just feels super weird, and definitely took some getting used to! Anyways, looking forward to putting some more time into the game tomorrow, hopefully I'll get to take on some more bosses and adjust to the camera a bit more! Maybe? Possibly? Who am I kidding, probably not
  15. We totally heard about this for the first time at Ubisoft Forward Davide Soliani returns as director. Also the lack of a colon in the title is killing me.
  16. Started listening to the early Patreon release of this week's Easy Allies Podcast this morning, and it starts out with Blood mentioning that their income is getting a little on the lean side; it's been plugged a lot more in recent months (especially after last month's credit card issue on Patreon), but this is the first time I can recall it being said straight up top. I'm trying to look on the positive side, but while we've talked about it on here before, the impression that I'm getting is that the days left of the Allies - in its current form, at least - are growing severely limited
  17. I watched it on blu-ray this time, I've started to slowly immortalise some of my favourite series by putting them on my shelves From what I can see it looks like it's still up on Funimation, but isn't on Crunchyroll yet? Which is odd considering the acquisition and so many dubs coming over to Crunchyroll since then, but I'm still waiting for shows like Yu Yu Hakusho to migrate over too Actually, this is a good chance to share something I've found really cool and helpful over the years: I recommend because.moe/uk, which is an anime search engine specifically designed for finding where certain shows you're looking for are available (I've linked the UK site specifically, but they also have versions for the US, Canada, and Australia). It's best to click on the streaming service logos it shows just to double check they're still there (as oftentimes they'll keep the show's page despite the show leaving the service, such as for FMA:B having a Crunchyroll logo next to it, which messes the results up a little bit at times), but it's otherwise one of the more useful anime-watching tools I'd recommend
  18. Started Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood for a fourth time a couple of weeks ago as something to accompany me while I started using my exercise bike again, and well...I finished it last week in the space of a week and a half or so. Yeah, it didn't remain an exercise bike exclusive watch for me for very long. I said this in 2020 before rewatching Hunter x Hunter... ...and then this after finishing my rewatch... So, uhhhhhhhh... ...I'm here to take that back. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is at least on par with HxH, and in some ways is much better - most importantly, it doesn't drag its heels at all, neatly getting in and out in the space of 64 episodes, during which it delivers a masterpiece of a storyline, with a massive frequently recurring cast which puts many other stories to shame, a great hard magic system in alchemy, an excellent score, and excellent character arcs. Most importantly: pretty much every character who isn't just sitting in the background has a clear want, and they do their damn best to go after it. There's a reason it is one of the most highly rated anime series out there, topping many lists online and being featured in many debates about the best anime of all time. I think the show most comparable to it, funnily enough, is probably Avatar: The Last Airbender: they're of similar lengths, and have many, many similar strengths throughout their run. FMA:B is also, I'd argue, the best starting point for people getting into anime today with very little exposure to the medium otherwise - it perfectly waves together a story in a distinctly Western setting with an important understanding and representation of conflict and differences in culture, and the occasional weirdness of anime, from its comedic moments to some horrifically darker ones. Unironically: 11/10. There are 10's and then there are masterpieces like this. It's FMA:B, HxH, Steins;Gate, and Princess Mononoke at the pinnacle of anime for me. Now I'm left thinking about going back to the 2003 series and picking up the manga...or rewatching Steins;Gate
  19. Hoursemarque's next game is quite the unexpected departure.
  20. The wait for Monolith Soft's next game is finally over. Guess I need to hurry up and get around to playing 2, huh?
  21. The Last of Us Part I (2nd September 2022)

    Isolated comparison clips between Remastered and Part I (I honestly can't tell what's appeared where anymore, this game has had a really weird marketing cycle): If nothing else, this sure looks real purty!
  22. Couldn't seem to find a thread for this, but anyways, it's been delayed from its vague 2022 release window to 2023 For a bit of a refresher, the game was originally revealed during Summer Game Fest last summer with this trailer, when it was confirmed to be coming to PC via Steam: Before this gameplay trailer last August (actually, a year ago to the day!) announced that the game would also be coming to the Nintendo Switch during an Indie World Showcase: Well, let the wait begin...
  23. Kirby's Dream Buffet (Summer 2022)

    Overview trailer: Launching next Wednesday on 17th August; priced at £13.49.
  24. Coming west for the first time, and in stunning HD-2D, no less!