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Dufniall

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Posts posted by Dufniall


  1. A bumload of news about Mario Strikers came up today. First there's a demo that lets you play the tutorial. June 4 and 5 there's an online play test:

    Next, Nintendo has confirmed that there will be free post-launch updates, including characters. So I guess the same tactics as we've seen with Golf and Tennis.

    Last, hands-on sessions can be found online:

    https://www.nintendolife.com/features/hands-on-mario-strikers-battle-league-makes-a-furiously-good-first-impression

    https://www.videogameschronicle.com/features/mario-strikers-battle-league-could-be-the-best-mario-sports-title-yet/


  2. It's quite an interesting read! Goes into a lot of subjects such as the long dev cycle, the choice for prominent online play, why they made the Sportsmates (and some scrapped ideas like the player controlling a robot).

    Also funny to read that they wanted to put in new sports and not rehash the old ones too much. While the general consensus online seems to be: "just give us the old sports!".

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  3. Time for another update! Other games I have been playing are Xenoblade 1 HD, Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania and LEGO Jurassic World. But these games I've completed recently:

    Roguebook (Switch)

    I started writing for a Dutch Nintendo website and Roguebook is the first game I reviewed. It’s a roguelike deckbuilder from the creators of Faeria, in cooperation with the creator of Magic: The Gathering. It takes place in a blank storybook that you have to fill in using ink: the ink reveals the map and is obtained by defeating enemies.

    There are some cool mechanics at play, such as having two characters (four are available, for each run you pick two). It matters which one is in the front or the back, and adds a good level of strategy. Also nice is that even if your run is unsuccessful you gather pages which you can spend on permanent unlocks such as more starting health, more gold, etc.

    It gets a bit convoluted in the end, as there are a lot of elements in play (passives, items with certain effects, gems you can attach to cards etc.). Luck plays a big role. But when you get the right cards, items and gems and are steamrolling your enemies, that really feels good.

    The most obvious game to compare it with is Slay the Spire (@drahkon!), but I haven’t played that so I can’t say how they differ. I do know I enjoyed it for the 20 hours I played it, and if you want to unlock everything I think you can triple that time.

    Untitled Goose Game (Switch)

    We all remember the hype around this game when it first came out. I don’t think the hype was justified, but I did find this to be a short but pretty fun puzzler. The game is charming, the concept is great and I like how you’re able to approach certain tasks in different ways. You can get through it in a couple of hours and it is fun for as long as it lasts. I’m curious how it is in co-op, so hopefully I get the chance to try that out soon.

    Contra Anniversary Collection (Switch)

    I played through all of the Nintendo versions of Contra in the Contra Anniversary Collection. I have some nostalgic feelings for the series (well, for Probotector). Contra I and II on the NES were pretty fun to play through, with Contra II being the better game. Contra III: The Alien Wars is horrible though. The sidescrolling levels are a collection of semi-bosses with cheap shots (seriously, even with the save/load option some were awful). The top-down bits are nauseating with a rotating screen.

    The GB one was surprisingly fun as well. I did own Probotector II (which as it turns out is based on Contra III), but never played the first one. There are 2 Probotectors in the collection as well, so I’ll probably play them as well soon.

    Kingdom Rush / Kingdom Rush Frontiers (Android)

    kingdom-rush-frontiers-tower-defense-pc-mac-spel-steam-wallpaper-4.jpg

    I had to find a new time-wasting game on mobile and I ended up playing Kingdom Rush and one of its sequels. They are tower defense games, but with enough mechanics to make them interesting. For instance you have a hero to control, plus you have different upgrade paths for your towers. Frontiers builds on this, with more variety and it’s a bit easier. The first game is free if you ever feel like playing a good tower defense game. Kind of makes me wish Nintendo makes a tower defense game as it’s quite a fun genre.

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  4. 12 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

    Man, the narrators/presenters of this show are terrible.

    Yes they are. Bad puns, one of them talks reeaallyy slow and they try to sound dynamic but there are pauses between them. It isn't helping that the games shown so far are mediocre at best. Slightly interested in ElecHead, Gunbrella and that crab game.

     


  5. On 2-5-2022 at 1:02 AM, nekunando said:

    Bloc Party were a huge influence on my musical tastes for the best part of a decade from the middle of the 2000s. You never quite knew what to expect from each new album but there was always something to appreciate and enjoy about each new release.

    I have to say I kind of forgot about Bloc Party, only ever listened to Silent Alarm. But this post made me put on the new album and it's definitely enjoyable! What's more, I put on Silent Alarm for the first time in years and hearing songs such as Like Eating Glass, Helicopter and Banquet again brought back memories!

    Looking back 2005 was a good year musically, with albums such as Silent Alarm, Employment by  Kaiser Chiefs, The Back Room by Editors and You Could Have It So Much Better by Franz Ferdinand coming out. It was also the time I started going to festival so having seen these acts live definitely helps with the positive memories!


  6. Had to look up what Embracer does but THQ, Koch and Gearbox are part of it.

    With acquisitions going into the billions lately, 300 million seems like quite a good deal for Tomb Raider alone. Plus all the extra IPs. A new Thief would be a pleasant surprise!

    Reading that Twitter thread, someone is suggesting this may give Sony the opportunity to buy the Japanese part of Square Enix. I wonder if we see the Japanese part get sold as well.


  7. There was a clearance sale at work so I picked up a couple of things. First of all a load of ethernet cables, so now I have a wired connection in almost every room in the house. Oh the stability!

    I also got a cheap Google Nest Hub. I already have a Google Home speaker in the house, and this is a nice addition with the built-in display. I'm quite surprised by how decent the image quality is on it. It's currently sitting on my work desk playing concert videos from YouTube.

    google-nest-hub.jpg

    Finally I picked up a second-hand DJI Osmo Mobile 2 gimbal. More as a try-out to see if we can make our band's DIY videoclips a bit more professional and interesting.

    dji-osmo-mobile-2-1000x1000.jpg


  8. I finished season 5 of Vikings last week. It's a great show, but as with many shows, the more seasons it runs the more the quality drops. It also does this Game of Thrones thing where months pass in a couple of minutes, and they just whack through character after character, introduce new ones who are gone after only a couple of episodes. I prefer when series keep their scope small instead of this endless branching out.

    I also thought season 5 was the final season, and the last episode could as well have been a show finale. So I was surprised that there is a 6th season, I'm going to watch it but kind of hoped it ended here.


  9. 12 hours ago, Sméagol said:

    R.I.P. Henny Vrienten.

    Sad day! Such an iconic band, and as a bass player myself Henny was an example, the way he played and sang at the same time. Plus he did a ton of other music work for tv shows, collabs with other artists etc.

    I saw Doe Maar live once (at the show @Sméagol's video is from). I actually had tickets for a show in 2020, which got postponed to 2021, which got cancelled because of Henny's illness. Also a shame for the band that they never got to do their farewell tour.

    One more just because:

     

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  10. Not really bizarre, but the combination of pinball and metroidvania in Yoku's Island Express worked like a charm. Mario + Rabbids is also a funny one, with 2 franchises crossing over that mix pretty well, plus a type of gameplay new for both franchises. And all Warioware games are such a crazy blend of characters, microgames and random weirdness.

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  11. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe (Nintendo Switch)

    Around Mar10 day I finally saw a decent price drop for this game, the last 2D Mario title that I hadn't played yet. I finished the main game this week, that is, I defeated Bowser. To be honest I kind of rushed through it, not doing every world and not going for all the Star Coins. I think the main reason is that I’m kind of done with the “New” series. All titles blend into each other in my head, taking New Super Mario Bros. 1 and 2, plus the Wii one and this one into account.

     

    The graphical style feels outdated, and I really hope Nintendo freshens it up with the next 2D Mario title. Level-wise it is a bit the same old desert world, ice world, water world that we have seen numerous times before. But previous 2D Marios didn’t suffer from the similarity. Mario Bros. 1, 2 and 3 all are very different, and Super Mario World even more so. But all the New Super Mario Bros. games are too similar in style, despite the graphical jump per title.

     

    One thing that I also didn’t really enjoy in this game was the focus on moving platforms, and of elements jumping or moving into place. It felt unnecessary and chaotic. The gimmick power-up in this game (the super acorn) also didn’t work that great, although I do prefer it over the helicopter hat.

     

    While I’m nit-picking, I also got frustrated about dying and getting kicked back to the overworld map. I generally dislike the “New” ghost houses as well. And while it was fun in the earlier titles, the enemies doing a little move when the sound goes “ah!” got old quite fast as well. Man, I never have been this negative about a Mario game!

     

    There are some interesting levels though, such as Painted Swampland. Furthermore, I’m glad to see that Yoshi made a return! It also looks like some of the Star Coins are a proper challenge to get. 

     

    I’ll probably dive back in for some more completion and to try Luigi U, but I think the main conclusion is that I’m finished with the “New” series. (maybe I should have waited a bit longer after finishing NSMB2 on 3DS not too long ago). I hope we get a nice, fresh, maybe hand-drawn or something 2D Mario soon, shaking things up again.

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  12. Watched the first three episodes of The Cuphead Show. Animation is good and it's fun to see the characters from the game make an appearance. But I don't know if I really enjoy it. Clearly they wanted to make it somehow accessible for both adults and children (they even gave it a Dutch dub), and the thing I can compare it with most may be the good old Tom&Jerry cartoons. Episodes are only 15 minutes, so it's easy to watch one or two when you have a moment to spare.


  13. It's been a while since my last update so time to catch up with two games I finished recently (next to Pokémon Legends Arceus which I discussed in its own thread).

    Dawn of the Monsters (Google Stadia)

    With my Google Stadia trial expiring early April, I figured I should try to play another game while the service lasts. Dawn of the Monsters was one of the free Pro games, and it ticked the right boxes for me to give it a try: published by WayForward, giant Godzilla-like beasts and it’s a beat-em-up so probably not too long.

     

    In Dawn of the Monsters you (and if available a local friend) control one of four behemoths in order to save Earth from the Nephilim, equally large enemies who are invading our Earth. You can choose from a Godzilla-like monster, a giant Crab-like monster and two giant mechs/robots (think Mobile Suit Gundam or Pacific Rim). Each character plays differently and has its own unique moves available. There are three rage attacks (your rage meter builds by taking damage) and a Cataclysm attack which is basically an ultimate move. Crab-girl Ganira for example summons a massive tsunami. 

     

    You can further customize your character with three equip slots, which can do stuff like heal more from executions, increase the building of the rage meter or more advanced stuff like cut your defense in half but double damage. After every level you receive new and higher level equippables.

     

    The game starts off a bit bland, with a not so inspiring city to plow through, and a low variety of enemies. As the game progresses though it gets better. Environments are more varied, and the list of different types of enemies grows as well. That’s when this game starts to shine. Because it is fun! Stampeding around, picking up whole buildings to whack the Nephilim on the head with, unleashing rage attacks and an ultimate Cataclsym attack from time to time is pretty satisfying. I was also pretty happy to see Foz do Iguacu was a level, a beautiful place I visited myself and not something I would expect to show up in a game! 

     

    The game is presented in a charming comic-book style, and there is voice acting aplenty. I like how you feel that you are controlling a big behemoth, as there is a sluggish feel to it but in a good way. I’m not the biggest fan of beat-em-ups but I really enjoyed Dawn of the Monsters. If you enjoy beat-em-ups and kaiju this is a no-brainer.

     

    Earthworm Jim 2 (Switch, SNES Online)

    I have played this game before as I borrowed it from a friend back in the day a couple of times. In retrospect, I think I never got past Puppy Love 2, but thanks to save states I finally got to finish this game!

     

    It’s weird. The whole game is like a weird blend of concepts (as @Hero-of-Time has pointed out in the SNES online thread). From platforming to Fireman-like levels, and from being an axolotl to having your head inflated, meanwhile avoiding grannies, carrying cows and for some reason there’s also a flying level.

     

    Without save states this would have been hell, especially taking Puppy Love 1, 2 and 3 in regard. But there is plenty going on in other levels that would have made the game hard. But, with save states it is fun to (re)visit this for the absurd humour, and for me nostalgia played a role as well. Is it worth playing? It depends, purely as platform game no, better to skip it. If you like the character, the humour and the experimental nature of this game? Go ahead, it’ll be groovy!

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  14. I was due a new phone at work so looked around at what is available. We have an arrangement where you can get €250 refunded once every two years. I was thinking about maybe getting a more high-end phone this time around (my previous phones were the Motorola G5S and the Xiaomi 9T), so looked at the Google Pixel 6, Xiaomi Mi 11 Pro, and Samsung Galaxy S21 fan edition. Also took into account some cheaper ones like the Samsung A52s, the Samsung A53 (new release, they advertise with free headphones worth €149, which they sell on their own site for €72...), Poco F3 and Motorola Edge 20.

    Motorola-Edge-20-128GB-Frosted-Grey-0840023217722-01102021-04-p.jpg

    That last one had a cashback of €100 going, so I got the Motorola Edge 20 (sorry @drahkon, hope mine doesn't break down :D) as I didn't feel like paying a lot extra as I haven't really felt like I missed out on not having a flagship. Specs are good, 144Hz OLED screen, Qualcomm 778G 5G processor which is very good for a mid-end phone, and the display is nice and big (6,7 inches). I figured I'd like a bigger display to use for Stadia games and watching series. Weird to think that 7 inch is tablet size and now I have a phone of almost that haha.

    I did have a Moto before (G5s), and like how Motorola uses a very clean version of Android, especially against the numerous Xiaomi apps that flooded my 9T. I dislike the lack of a 3,5m port which is quite common in the market nowadays, and the camera is sticking out quite a bit. One thing Motorola isn't great at (neither was Xiaomi) is software updates, but they promised at least 2 major OS upgrades so I should be set for Android 12 and 13. And by that time I'll swap phones again anyway.

    Anyway, happy to have the Edge 20, although I do miss my Xiaomi 9T pop-up camera which meant I didn't have a hole in my screen!

     

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