Jonnas

N-E Staff
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    11,911
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About Jonnas

  • Rank
    N-Europe Forum Aficionado
  • Birthday 10/21/89

Personal Information

  • Location
    Porto
  • Interests
    Videogames (As if you didn't know :p), Movies and Books.
  • Occupation
    Civil Engineer

Details

  • Nintendo Systems Owned
    GameBoy, GameCube, NDS, Wii
  • Other Systems Owned
    Mega Drive
  • Favourite Game?
    Super Smash Bros. Melee
  • Favourite Video Game Character?
    Kirby «(^º^«)
  • Gender
    Gajo

Game Info

  • Switch Friend Code
    8201-2510-4740
  • 3DS Friend Code
    2810 2926 8294
  • Steam ID
    Jonnasn
  1. N-E Café Podcast

    So, continuing from yesterday: You also brought up an interesting topic, on how walking simulators (story-driven games in general, really) should be measured. As I said in the Gaming Diary thread, 1979 Revolution - the game with the clunkier interface - felt more immersive thanks to how disjointed everything felt. The game would introduce sudden and impractical QTE segments, as well as arbitrary tasks with no tutorial or introduction ("Put this bandage in that wound, quick!") that actually mirror the chaos and stress of the situation, and how unprepared our main character is to handle it. By contrast, Life is Strange had the cleaner and simpler UI, but it also meant that the player instinctively understands how the game is structured and how everything works. Furthermore, the time rewind mechanic encourages experimentation and bold behaviour from the player, but none of that reflects on the main character's dialogue, that remains as socially awkward as a regular teenager should be. So, which game should get the higher score in "Gameplay"? The one that feels outdated, but fitting to the story and setting? The cleaner and more fine-tuned game, but whose interface doesn't enhance the story much? The way we approach these kinds of games is different than how we approach action-heavy games, like platformers, shooters, or adventure games. Does it make sense to use the same x/10 scoring system with Edith Finch, Ethan Carter, or Phoenix Wright? There was another idea you brought up, the question of would Edith Finch be better as a film... I don't think it would. There a lot of things that wouldn't work as well in a film: Not to say it would be impossible to do a film adaptation or anything, but doing so in that medium would have a much different feel than how the videogame presents it. (Sorry if this post feels like a ramble)
  2. Skyward Sword had very organic dungeons and levels (that is, the area around the dungeons). By that I mean that each place felt like an actual interconnected place, rather than a series of individual rooms strung together. For example, the Ancient Cistern tells a story with its ambiance, but in order to navigate it, you need to change floors constantly and have a good understanding of which parts of the dungeon are being changed and manipulated. Something very similar happens with the Timestone dungeons: as interesting as it is, the timeshift a mechanic, but using one to redesign the dungeon you've seen so far, and having to navigate a ship layout from both the inside and outside to even get to that point, that's the level design part. And then there's the entire concept behind the Sky Keep, which is one of the most fascinating ideas in this game. The areas surrounding the dungeons are designed differently though, as they're meant to be replayed and toyed with. Sure, the first time you visit Eldin, you're going up and down the mountain to find the collectibles, but later on, that entire area gets turned into a stealth segment, and now you need to use your acquired knowledge of the layout to get around. It's a design philosophy that's reminiscent of 32/64 bit platformers. I will say that I think the dungeon&level design in OoT and MM are both better than SS on the whole. If you're measuring SS's worth in comparison to Ocarina, I think it's fair to be underwhelmed.
  3. Dinosaur Planet N64 Build has leaked!!

    Wait, Starfox Adventures and DKR potentially take place in the same planet? Dang, what a shared universe.
  4. N-E Café Podcast

    Greg felt cheerier than usual this episode. His spirits must've been skyward-high. The first Lego game I remember playing was for the PC, something like... Lego Adventure Island or something? 25 years ago sounds about right. Lego Racers is also one I remember. I'm actually surprised those 3D PC games were their first ones, you'd think they'd want videogame representation back in the 2D days... then again, maybe they felt that customization and setting blocks ought to be part of the Lego experience. Can't blame them for wanting to stay on-brand. I already gave a my thoughts regarding the Direct in the respective thread... and I did mention elsewhere that I did buy Inside (on GOG) and Katamari Damacy (on Switch) in this past sale. A man just doesn't have self control... Regarding Edith Finch, it's kind of surreal to hear the mini-review I wrote in 2018 as the intro to the discussion. Thank you for that I remember exploring that space on the left early on (I think there were some tree stumps and a see-saw?) and then finding my way back to the path. I also recall peeking through some keyholes early on (definitely on Molly's room), but the GOG version that I played had no achievements either. I still have some podcast left to hear, so maybe I'll have more to say tomorrow. As for the transition tunes:
  5. There's some dissonance here. I feel Dcubed is talking levels and dumgeon design (which is pretty dang good in SS), while Cube is thinking strictly of the overworld (and that sky is pretty bland, to be fair).
  6. Dang, didn't expect so many to share my distaste for SMW. It undermines the point I was going for, but it's also kind of heartwarming. I'm glad we could work this issue out So, Skyward Sword. I think we all agree Fi needs to be taken down a notch. How do you propose mitigating her advice? Me, I think speeding up the text would do wonders. If her interruptions were as quick and snappy as Navi's, that's half of the problem gone.
  7. GQTDM: #5 Is Shiver Star Earth?

    Sounds legit. Climate change will freeze us all. Or, this earth got knocked off the solar system (possibly on purpose, to deal with an expanding sun), which would also freeze it, eventually
  8. Project Triangle Strategy (2022)

    Finally tried the demo today. I only did the first battle because I think I got what the game was about at that point: Like Julius said, as a demo, it's poorly constructed. Too big of a lore dump, and the battle itself doesn't do much of a good job of teaching you mechanics; Gameplay-wise, I liked what I saw. Namely, I liked the variety in skills, the fact that the description actually tells you a lot of what you need to know, and the turns and UI flow really well, very unobtrusive. I'm impressed, early demos usually have a lot of niggles in this respect; That said, I do have a minor issue: description text boxes should be a different colour/pattern/transparency from the other menus, otherwise, it's hard on your eyes to read; Presentation-wise, I was mightily impressed with the camera work. Didn't expect to have so much freedom with it! (I didn't play Octopath, so maybe I'm just late to the party in this regard). Special effects are perhaps too bright, but I think I can get used to it. I do wish the world had a bit more colour to it, though. Character protraits look lovely, I liked those a lot (and the option to look at them during cutscenes only if you want to is a neat touch). Music was a great fit, truly felt like FMA Brotherhood... or like FF Tactics, even; Voicework was super unimpressive, though. It's been a while since I've thought so many times "That could've used a better take" Plot-wise, things look... oddly mundane. No Pegasi, no wyverns, monsters or dragons... Spells are the only supernatural element. Not a complaint, I'm just surprised. Plus, a lot of medieval (or pseudo-medieval?) spelling, like Ser, desmene, gaol... It's unique. The political intrigue seems typical so far, so I haven't much to say about it. I made a choice, and a medic joined me, presumably because of my moral clout, and I have to say, that side story gave me the biggest hope for the final game: that we get to have these short stories associated with minor characters, that truly engages me with my army Speaking of side stories, it's cool that we get to see further cutscenes only if we feel like it. I wonder if we'll see mutually exclusive scenes in the final game. Also, I agree that QoL during cutscenes could use some fine tuning. Learn from Fire Emblem! The one map I played was bland and straightforward, but I see the potential for shenanigans (freezing water, pushing enemies off ledges, sneaking behind enemy lines with Anna, etc.). Coupled with the fact that one of our units is a friggin' gryphon archer, I echo Julius' sentiment: " I do think there's potential for something good here, it's just not clear in this demo how great that potential is " Rereading Julius' post, it seems I missed the democratic process of the following chapter. I took a quick peek at it in a video, and from what I've seen, the third option isn't always the right one, but it would be better if it didn't "unlock" like that, agreed. Still, even though you can game the process, it does seem like you have a fair amount of freedom on how to choose your routes. Well, my personal conclusion is that the I'm convinced of the game's potential. Resembles FF Tactics in ways that make sense, and I'm glad to see some old school tactics make their way into a mainstream game like this. When the feedback form rolls around, I think I will only have minor flaws to point out, because it seems to me that the game is otherwise on the right track.
  9. Nothing wrong with having a hot take, but you gotta know it'll generate blowback. Like whenever I say that Super Mario World or Halo are overrated garbage. I know people will contest it.
  10. Switch eShop Thread

    Well, I ultimately decided to not buy either of those two... but only because I already own Limbo, and I decided to get Inside on GOG instead For the Switch, I noticed Katamari Damacy was at a good price, so I snapped it.
  11. But Twilight Princess' overworld really is barren, in the sense that there's very little that's interesting to find. You could come across a long cave, explore it for a few minutes, and find at the end... 50 rupees. Which Link would then put back in its chest. In other words, that cave was as good as empty. Twilight Princess was a mess of game design. Skyward Sword is considerably better... but it does have issues of its own. Solid 7/10, and the parts it does well, it does really well. I always take issue with comments like these. We always scrutinize and overanalyse Zelda games to hell and back, during launch, during re-releases, during remakes, and during the general hype cycle between games. Don't really understand this notion that fans excuse flaws in Zelda, when it's fans that draw attention to them more than anybody else.
  12. Your 2021 Gaming Diary

    First ending I got!
  13. Your 2021 Gaming Diary

    I still don't know what to call this monthly ritual ("Jonnas' monthly pot-pourri?" I don't know, but that'll have to do for now), but I plan on sticking with it until December. So, February. Not many short games focusing on Carnival or Valentine's, but with the N-E Café podcast doing a PodPals episode focused on Edith Finch, I figured it would be appropriate to do three story-driven games from my backlog, short ones as per usual. I wanted to do them last weekend, but that turned out to be difficult, so I extended the period to the entire week. Anyway, the three I chose are... Life is Strange (Episode 1) But it wasn't free... I actually bought the first Episode on Steam a few years ago for a cheap price (2,50€ or something). I just never brought myself to actually play it until now. Then I found out it's free these days. Oh well. Anyway, Life is Strange needs no introduction. This story-driven, point&clicky, Telltale-y game from Dontnod (a French developer, to my surprise) was widely talked about during its release in 2015. It's supposed to tell the story of a teen girl in an American High School, and it touched on heavy subjects. Alright, I can give at least Episode 1 a try. I will say, I was fairly pleased with its mechanics. I'm an old-school point&clicker, so the over-the-shoulder camera irks me for this genre, but it worked better than expected. The button shortcuts were intuitive enough as well, and there were actually a lot of small things to inspect and interact with. Plus, the short-form rewind mechanic actually works like a charm in a game that allows you to choose various actions, since you can at least see the immediate effects of your dialogue choices (and avoids dishonest situations where what you pick is way more hostile than you thought. If "Ignore him" actually becomes "Antagonize him wordlessly", you can turn back time to pick something more to your liking), but it still locks you into those choices after some time passes. Puzzle-wise, it's all run of the mill stuff, except for the time travel stuff. Time travel is pretty well used, allowing for puzzles with a short window of opportunity, as well as puzzles that must be solved in a specific order or else you're locked out. That sort of puzzle was common in old games of the genre (especially Sierra), but the rewind mechanic in LiS actually makes them work well, without any needless frustration. My main nitpick is that your location somehow doesn't rewind with everything else, which makes no sense. As for the story, which is what actually matters in this game... Gotta be honest, I don't jive well with the American High School setting. Not only am I tired of all the typical high school drama from films and TV, my own school experience was considerably different from this (specifically, the characters here are 17-18, dealing with a hostile school environment I haven't truly felt since I was 13-14). I thought the fact that this was an art course would mean a different environment from the clichés, but no, there's the bully, the nerds, the queen bee, the lovable-but-nerdy-and-supposedly-plain-and-homely protagonist... all the typical stuff from high school dramas of the US and Europe alike. That said, I still enjoyed the writing a lot. Easier to notice in locations other than the high school, but the short time I spent with this game was enough to make me get attached to the characters (even the antagonists), which is always a good sign. I'm avoiding saying anything specific about the story, since it's wiser to go in blind, but I definitely dug a lot of what Chapter 1 had to offer (plot twists, voice acting, character development... it hit the mark all around). [Rant] One thing that annoys me is the memetic "[Character] will remember that". That's a quick way to ruin immersion, and telegraph future plot developments. Like, you know why the trial scene in Chrono Trigger works so well? Because you had no idea it was coming, and everything they mentioned was your legitimate choice. But if there was a "Gato will remember that" message every time you did something, your actions would no longer be natural. Just... stop telling me all the time my actions "will have consequences", you're spoling your own game! If you want to tell me my actions impact the world, do it with a proper reactions from other characters. [/Rant] However, I have decided to not play the following episodes. The gameplay was better than expected, but I still wasn't much attached to it. The High School drama stuff is still a chore for me to go through, and I just kept having this feeling that the game, for all its strengths, never quite clicked with me on a mechanical or aesthetic level. I recognize its quality, but I'm sad to say that Life is Strange is not for me. But I'd give a chance to a game like this in a different setting for sure, I see the potential. The Stanley Parable The Stanley Parable Stanley was Alone. That was his first thought... wait, wrong game. Stanley was asleep when he heard a voice say "Wake up, sleepyhead! You'll be late for the Milleni-" no, that's not it either. Stanley is actually just a regular employee and test subject, just listening to his radio at the Aperture Science Enrichm- fuck it, we're doing it live! The Stanley Parable is a bizarre 2014 game about videogames and the nature thereof. It's a very short first-person walking simulator that you can complete in like 15 minutes. However, those minutes give you plenty of choice, which is where the meat of the game is: seeing the branching paths you can take along the way. What even is a Stanley, anyway? A miserable pile of secrets! But more concretely, Stanley is supposed to be a generic office worker that one day realises everybody in his office disappeared. What you he does next is up to you, go wherever you want. The narrator, as his name implies, will take care of the narrative. He'll nudge you here and there, provide context for the paths you take, the usual, helpful stuff. But what is it about? Comedy, mostly. I thought it'd be a shallow parody of videogames in general, a post-modernist nonsense if you will, but it does have meta-commentary on the nature of choice and freedom (and how it relates to videogames) that might be worth paying attention to. And even if that does not interest you, the set pieces you see along the way are pretty well done, and plenty entertaining on their own. Anyway, after about 90 minutes, I had seen about 6 or 7 endings. All the major ones I could see, at least. I'm sure there are obscure endings I didn't quite find, but I'm content with the major ones. I was quite entertained by this silly game. Good thing I only paid around 3€ for it. Can I say that I replayed this game at least 5 times, though? That's a debate. 1979 Revolution: Black Friday Not to be confused with the yearly mayhem in the USA So, back to the serious stuff. This 2016 game has been on my radar for a long time, but I somehow kept finding reasons to delay me playing it (even though I've had it on GOG for so long). It's supposed to be a documentary of sorts, telling the story of the 1979 revolution in Iran, and that aim to tackle a potentially controversial historical event in this manner had me intrigued. You play as Reza Shirazi, a photojournalist who's living the political powder keg that is Iran in late 1978. While covering the frequent protests, he also comes into contact with a shaky coalition that opposes the Shah. The game is structured in a way that introduces various aspects of Iran's culture, history, and politics to the player, and that seems to be the main goal, really. Sadly, there is no Farsi voice acting available (the developer said this was something he'd like to add, but it seems they couldn't do it), but the majority of English voice acting was done mostly by Iranian actors anyway, many of whom would throw Farsi phrases here and there. Not the most immersive thing, but it's an acceptable substitute. I normally don't put this much importance on the voice actors' identity, but the genuine Iranian accents were significant to this game. Gameplay-wise, it's a lot like Telltale games, where you control a character across open spaces you can inspect (with some spots allowing you to take photos of noteworthy elements), but will also spend a lot of time a predetermined path where you pick dialogue options and make other choices here and there. There are also segments that ask for your input/interaction in minor ways (like QTEs). Compared to Life is Strange, this game's UI was a lot rougher around the edges, being clunky in places, QTE moments coming out of nowhere, button prompts being inconsistent all around, and the NPC AI occasionally sandwiching you into a corner. Furthermore, the game's UI was clearly designed for mobile devices, meaning even a mouse is imperfect. So what are the game's strengths? For starters, the developers were serious about the documentary part of it. Most of the objects/people you can interact with unlock a page in your "stories" diary, which are brief paragraphs that provide further context for Iranian society, culture, and/or politics. The initial chapter at a protest seems like a linear corridor, but if you stop to check/photograph as many details as you can, you'll get dozens of pages talking about Iran, from popular celebrities of the time, to common religious practices, and even actual transcripts from notable political figures. The writing is also really strong. Doing its best to present common opinions, factions, and values of the time, it actually successfully avoids a common pitfall of similar period pieces: the power of hindsight, that is to say, no character here acts or speaks like they know that religious groups will eventually seize power in the country (down to barely mentioning Ayatollah Khomeini. The "stories" mention him a lot due to being written in the past tense, but in-story, his presence is miniscule). Dedicated to boiling down a political conflict to its rawest elements, it replicates that uncertain feeling of being on the cusp of a revolutionary movement, with all the excitement, paranoia, and disappointment that it entails (I did get swept up a couple of times in the excitement before remembering I already know where history leads to). In a way, the awkward UI even helps in this regard, because even the mechanics are uncertain and unpredictable, and you never know what kind of outlandish scenario you'll be dealing with each chapter. Reza himself has no well defined political beliefs besides being sympathetic to the revolutionary cause ("oppressive authoritarianism is bad" is the only belief you can't change about him). The minutia of it is up to the player (how militant he is, how empathetic he is to soldiers, etc.), with Reza becoming a surprisingly effective, somewhat blank slate for this game. What confuses me is that... I don't know if he's based on a real person or not. Logic says no, but the game drops evidence that a real Reza may have existed. It's weird. I really enjoyed 1979. Absolutely fascinating game, and one I highly recommend (and also advise that you think of it as a documentary, or digital museum) ---------------------- So, throughout the week, I learned that the Telltale style is grating on me, that a clunky UI can be more engaging than a clean, sanitized one, and that Stanley has a lot to say about the nature of choice of the other two games I played. I was planning on doing some games from Capcom Arcade Museum for March, but considering how that release actually turned out to be, I'll need to find another theme...
  14. Switch eShop Thread

    Today I tried to buy the titles I wanted from the Capcom Arcade Museum. Sadly, it was nothing like what I expected: I thought I could simply buy the individual games I wanted, but no, gotta spend 15€ on a full pack of games. Since Strider and Chiki Chiki Boys are on the same pack anyway, I might still wait for a discount. Not going to do the same for Cyberbots, I'm afraid.
  15. Unless you can re-calibrate it on the fly like the MotionPlus, thus truly replicating the Wiimote experience.