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N-E Staff
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About Jonnas

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

Personal Information

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


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

  • Switch Friend Code
  • 3DS Friend Code
    2810 2926 8294
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  1. It should also be noted, the EZA podcast this week (about the Activision Acquisition) was pretty interesting, imo. You can tell Jones really thrives with any topic regarding the business side of gaming. I've also been getting the feeling that he's really loosened up as a host lately.
  2. How far can you go back?

    There's no cutoff point for 3D games for me. Even basic isometric ones (that are actually 2D) can be enjoyable. Regarding 2D games, it is true that anything earlier than the NES is hard to play. I don't find the monochromatic days of Pitfall, Pong, or Adventure to be appealing at all. If I were to pick a specific cutoff point, I'd say the original King's Quest would be the most borderline case for me.
  3. Best Films of 2021

    Since my last post here, I actually watched Luca and Spider-Man: No Way Home. Luca felt like the freshest Pixar movie in a while, and I loved it. Everything about it was lovely, even the bully kid was funny. I still like Encanto more, but that's not a knock on either film at all; Spider-Man was fun and nostalgic. It has some of the modern flaws of recent MCU content, but not enough to drag the film down. Missed opportunity to reference the "Sinister Six", though. I also, since then, remembered that I did watch another film during the summer: Suicide Squad (2021). Definitely a surprise, way more fun than I expected it to be. The cast gelled pretty well, the Portuguese character was pretty cool (with my own city appearing in flashbacks!), and it was some really good schlock on the whole.
  4. I'll usually try to remain blind on my first playthrough. If I hit a dead end (tricky puzzle, inscrutable boss, etc.), that's a sign I might need to take a break from playing, and later re-approach the issue with a fresher mind. If it persists for a while, that's when I'll try to look it up. For RPG tricks, builds, and secrets, I leave it to the end of the game before searching for such stuff (and even then, I usually try to explore the game on my own before looking up the rest). I might ask about missables mid-playthrough, if the game is giving me the vibe that I might want to collect all the stuff. If I'm getting particularly impatient with the game, I'll end up looking up a guide frequently. This is a dead ringer that I'm not actually enjoying the game, and that I'm only looking to clear it only to say I gave it a chance.
  5. Your Gaming Diary 2022

    Hectic month for me, and all I played were underwhelming games. Since it's still a substantial update: The Room "You're tearing these boxes apart, Lisa!" Small puzzle game made for mobile devices, I got it on Steam for cheap. It's all about examining and rotating an overly complicated box that contains several puzzles built into it. Like an Escape Room in reverse, you're solving puzzles in order to break into a small room (which is what a box is, if you think about it). It's also cute that the game has 5 levels, which in context, it's that after you unlock the box in Level 1, there's another box inside it, which then becomes the one for Level 2, and so on. I don't know how they managed to fuck up the concept, but man, they did. First of all, the game runs like ass on my laptop, constant slowdowns, slow responses from my actions (to the point that even rotating the camera was laborious). It's true that my PC is old, but this is a friggin' mobile game from 2012! It's a lousy port. Second, even beyond that, the game decides to have a bullshit esoteric plot about a XIX Century bloke that unlocked the mystical secrets of the universe through alchemy (a surprisingly common plot thread that's rarely interesting), and it's reflected on the puzzles. The pleasant mechanical and logical puzzles from the first levels eventually become these nonsensical mystical things by the end, to the point that I had a hard time following the logic of anything. I wanted to quit by Level 4, but because it looked like I was near the end, I persevered. Then another large box popped out of the ether, revealing a Level 5, and I noped out of the game. Apparently that was the last level for real, but I no longer care. I regret wasting time with this game, I'm legitimately pissed off with it. Bit.Trip Saga Don't let these games' beat trip you Here's a fun one. Back in the Wii days, this pixellated Rhythm series made some waves on WiiWare. It's made up of several short Arcade-y games, released from 2009 to 2011 (man, I remember this series releasing for a long while, but it was only two years? Time, man). At the time, I tried a demo for the first game, and I felt lukewarm about it. Much later on, when I got my 3DS, I decided to get the Bit.Trip Saga collection, and properly analyse this mini-series for myself. I still feel lukewarm about it. Bit.Trip Beat is bullet hell Pong. Cool concept, having lengthy sequences of beat-timed bullets to reflect. My main complaint is that the bottom screen had no aid to help you get your bearings, so if you stopped pressing the screen with the stylus, and you put it back, the paddle warps across the upper screen. A visual aid, showing you the paddle's position on the bottom screen as well, would've done wonders. Beat eventually got weird, with bullets curving in really unintuitive ways, and when it got too hard, I stopped; Bit.Trip Core is the worst of the bunch. You're a cross in the middle of the screen, and you fire lasers by pressing the corresponding direction on the D-pad. You must snipe bullets flying across the screen, once again according to a specific rhythm. This one is like playing Stepmania, but much more confusing interface. I stopped when the going got confusing, which was fairly quickly; Bit.Trip Void was intriguing. You're a black ball absorbing various black bullets, while avoiding white ones. The more black bullets you gobble, the larger and more unwieldy you become. You can reset your size at any moment, but doing so reduces points. However, if you touch a white bullet, you reset your size anyway, and your points get cut drastically more. So there's a cool risk-reward system going on here, and level design that fully takes advantage of that (while still maintaining a music-based progression). My only complaint is that the 3DS slider isn't very precise when controlling the Void (the stylus would've made more sense here: just do a visual aid to prevent warping). I got farther here than in previous games, but the game definitely got unbearably hard at one point, which is when I stopped; Bit.Trip Runner is the popular one, even seems to have spawned the entire "Platform Runner" sub-genre. If you played one of these, you know how it goes, you press Jump, Duck, or Kick to the rhythm of the song. By today's standards, it's basic, but I appreciate that it was one of the first games to do this concept... and also the only Bit.Trip game with any sort of difficulty curve. This one feels a lot more complete, with roughly 36 levels, properly teaching you the mechanics, and bonus challenges on top of it all. It was unfortunately bogged down by the series' recurring flaws (more on that later), and I eventually stopped when it was getting more frustrating than fun (a similar thing happened with HarmoKnight, making me wonder if this sub-genre just isn't for me); Bit.Trip Fate is the only one that's not a rhythm game at all. It's a Shoot'em up where your character is locked to a pre-set line, and you can only move back-or-forth on it. Nice concept, as long as you make it properly possible to avoid enemy bullets (which they do, thankfully). And there's fun power-ups and everything. Now, I'm definitely not a fan of the genre, but I appreciate this game. I eventually stopped when I had no idea how to dodge the second Boss's attacks; Bit.Trip Flux is just like Beat, but mirrored left to right. And also, strictly better, because this time I found it far more manageable to deal with the various bullets, nothing too hard to handle. In fact, this was the only game of the collection that I managed to finish. Unfortunately, there were two recurring problems that really put a damper on my overall enjoyment: visuals and sound. The first one is that the games' psychedelic colours, bright flashes, and overall aesthetic get in the way, making it hard to actually see the screen, and check out the trajectories of the various bullets. It even affects Runner, with later stages being so detailed and colourful, it's legitimately difficult to see springs, obstacles, etc. I'd say that the only one unaffected by this was Void, with Flux being the one where they actively toned down the bright colours (still has some, but it was way easier to see things). (Incidentally, this was part of the design: the better you do, the more flashes you see. If you're doing poorly, the screen turns into the most basic, music-less, Atari-like black and white screen) The second one is that, as Rhythm games, they're not very good. You never actually follow the background beats or music, rather, if you get something right, the resulting jingles complement the music. After a lot of repetition, it feels like you're playing an instrument, but that's not how Rhythm games are supposed to function, you're usually meant to follow the beat you're hearing. Otherwise, you get what these games do: you follow visual cues, and never audio cues. This hurts Runner more than any other game, because visual cues in Platform Runners are very unreliable... and when you couple that with the first problem, you get a game that's nothing but trial and error, far more frustrating than fun. So yeah, feeling lukewarm on the whole, but I'm glad I played these. I'd say my personal ranking for them is Void > Flux > Beat > Runner > Fate >> Core ...And now I've noticed that my 3DS backlog is now only made up of long RPGs... Hoo boy.
  6. Playground Rumours

    "I watched Power Rangers in Asia, and they're several episodes ahead. There's going to be a purple ranger, an orange ranger, and a gray ranger. Really!" I think most rumours in my playground were about cartoons and TV shows, there weren't many regarding gaming. The only one I can remember was when me and a friend were 10, had limited access to the internet, and we somehow used that limited time to run into a website that claimed that there was a Pokémon game in development for the PS1. "It'll be based on the Anime, and you'll be able to switch between Ash, Misty, and Brock". We believed that for like a week. We did hear that about Mew being underneath the truck, but the site that gave us that info also straight up admitted Mew wasn't there when they checked. We found the truck regardless to confirm it, but it's hard to call it a proper rumour when we never truly believed it. But speaking of rumours, when I was a teenager, some younger kid in my school must've somehow heard about me being an old Gold&Silver master. Unfortunately, he had Pokémon Sapphire... he asked me how he was supposed to catch the golems in Ruby/Sapphire with a Wailord and a Relicanth in specific slots. I thought for sure I was hearing the modern version of the Mew Truck rumours... I would eventually learn that no, Ruby/Sapphire really were just that weird! And I had officially become a sceptic close-minded old man before the age of 17.
  7. N-Europe turns 24!

    Still younger than me! I remember I found this website back in the Cube-Europe days (2004-2005), but only started to post around 2006. My first post was an opinion on Twilight Princess. And it's just been the coolest place since.
  8. Your 2021 Gaming Diary

    Is that a motherfucking Bulbasaur!? I resent this comment. Tripe is great.
  9. Your Gaming Diary 2022

    New Year, new logs! And I'll start off 2022 with a dropped game: Dicey Dungeons, the RPG roguelike that's based around dice rolls. It's cute, it's fun, but some of the later Episodes (that is, specific runs) were starting to be too much. It felt too much like I was depending on luck to save the day. Don't know if I'll pick this one back up, but it's going to stay dormant for a while at least. The first game I finished (and started, actually) in 2022 was a much stronger start: Steamworld Dig 2 You may recall that I played the first game back in 2018, and I found it just ok. However, I had heard so much about the sequel being much improved (and being released in 2017 is always a good mark on any game's resumé), that I decided to give a shot regardless. Good thing I did, because this game is so much more than the first. The first one was just a mostly-randomised pit to be waded through, but the sequel actually features much more focused level design and variety. Plus, the character design has a lot more charm and character than in previous Steamworld games. While the gameplay loop is roughly the same (dig, get treasure, go back up and sell it), the areas you can explore are much more fleshed out. There are now many more mini-dungeons (or puzzle rooms, whatever) scattered through the world, and better designed to gel with the rest of the game. There's a lot more world too, to the point that even the digging parts become more memorable and distinct just from where they're located. In good Metroidvania fashion, there are plenty of items that transform the way you play, which is excellent. The hookshot in particular is super fun, and improves the game tenfold. Unlike what is usual for Metroidvania, the progression is fairly linear, as you're always moving in the general direction of the unknown, and rarely do you have to think too much about where to use a new item. This need not be a bad thing, of course, as a lot of the game's fun is focused on tricky platforming challenges that get progressively harder (not just the mini-dungeons, but the main digging parts too). I ended up playing through this game's 12 hours in fairly rapid fashion, it was so fun. Every time I thought I was near the end, the game was all like "nah, still plenty to see". I ended up fully completing the game, checking a guide for the remaining handful of artifacts I missed. I also did the secret dungeon, which was a true test of my videogaming skills, and a challenge I loved. Story-wise... It was ok. This game did more to make me care about Steamworld than either Dig 1 or Heist, but the game's ending felt unfitting, despite that. I also find the humour in this series to be fairly hit-or-miss, with some references being surprisingly creative and funny, and others feeling rote and bland. The strong jokes stick out more this time around, and I will say that this game features one of the best Super Mario references I've ever seen. Based on its Metroidvania-ness and level design alone... This game's friggin' awesome. It did well to stand out in the sea of excellence known as 2017, and it's fully deserved. (Incidentally, I checked out the Easy Allies awards for that year, and Dig 2 was competing in the Side-scroller category against Sonic Mania, Hollow Knight, and Cuphead! That's how stacked that year was!) So, the method for 2022 is that I'll try to at least finish one substantial game (10 hours or more to finish) per month. Said game should preferably be one I've been itching to tackle for a while, and/or represent something significant to my backlog. I can confidently say Steamworld Dig 2 was the one for January, not just because I've been meaning to get back to my 3DS for a while now, but also to the Metroidvania genre in general (before Dread, I had been neglecting those a lot). I feel like Dig 2 unlocked both those weights off my shoulders. Here's to a great 2022!
  10. How do you de-stress?

    Generally, videogames help a lot to de-stress. Specifically, those with steady progress and/or exploration, and relatively low challenge. The gameplay loop (coming to a new area, scour its nooks and crannies, organize/sell the loot you got, move to the next part) is satisfying and soothing. Another option is a puzzle game. In these, a challenge can put your brain to work in a low-stress environment, and that's great too. Otherwise, just rewatch whatever film/series/anime/youtube video is the most feel-good to you. That's a bite-sized solution that tends to work really well.
  11. General Switch Discussion

    Luigi's Mansion making the cut feels like the most surprising one to me. Nice.
  12. Dicey Dungeons

    Alright, Episodes 4 is as far as I go with this game. I started to get real frustrated with the Inventor (since I don't enjoy her style much), but I powered through eventually. Then the exact same frustration set in with the Witch (who I like a lot more) and that was the last straw. Look, I appreciate difficulty, but I don't like to see so many of my losses attributed to chance. I'm getting real tired of seeing my strategy evaporate to an enemy that drew three straight 5s, or seeing myself incapable of landing the final attacks because I didn't draw a single Even that turn. And I most certainly hate seeing that the option of using status effects like Stun or Weaken depends entirely on the game deciding to weaken/block the right attack(s). It's infuriating, there's so much the game leaves to chance at those higher difficulties, that it railroads to only one or two viable strategies. A roguelike should not make me feel like half of its available builds are useless, and it most certainly shouldn't make it feel like a good build failed due to chance. For now, I'm deciding to drop the game. Maybe I'll give it another shot someday, but it's gonna be a while.
  13. Yeah, as the title says, what were your best gaming experiences this year? Normally, a lot of outlets just assume everyone played that year's big releases (or at least a substantial amount of new releases), and I don't think that's the best question to ask. We often go through our backlogs, or decide to replay old favourites, or keep playing that one multiplayer favourite. As such, I'll pose the question in three parts: What were your favourite games released in 2021? What yearly GOTY discussions usually talk about, what were the best 2021 games for you? What were your favourite games played in 2021? Once you include older games you played this year for the first time, what are your favourites? Do they surpass this year's releases? Feel free to include replays and such, it's your opinion. Any 2021 release that you wish you had played? I mean, surely we didn't buy every new game, right? Any game(s) you feel like you missed out on? For my personal answers: Share your own gaming takeaways from last year.
  14. Best Films of 2021

    I was supposed to go see Spider-Man a few weeks back, but it was uncharacteristically sold out for two straight days. So I ended up seeing West Side Story (2021) instead. I liked it, definitely the most palatable, easy-to-digest adaptation of Romeo&Juliet I've seen. I've also seen Encanto (Latin American Dub) during Christmas, which was an absolute delight. Doesn't quite surpass Coco, but it's definitely up there at the top for Disney Animated Films. There's magic arepas and a "miércoles" in that film, it's the best. As for films not of this year, but that I saw this year in theatres anyway... Demon Slayer: Infinity Train (excellent experience, seeing it in the big screen), Nomadland (on the other hand, I think this one would've been better in a smaller screen), and Charlie Chaplin's The Kid (first time I saw a silent film on a theatre. Definitely worthwhile).
  15. Your 2021 Gaming Diary

    Due to unforeseen circumstances, I ended up playing a few more short games than expected before the year's end. The Shivah "Particularly those 'The Ihfrit' jokes I've been hearing. Stop it, they hurt." After Four Travelers on a Winter's Night piqued my interest, the name "Dave Gilbert" popped up in related discussions. He's apparently one of the founders of Wadjet Eye Games, a company specializing in serious and mature Point&Click adventure games. I checked out their history, and found out I already had a Wadjet Eye game on my backlog (Gemini Rue)... but the first commercial game by Dave Gilbert was called The Shivah, and since GOG happened to put this game on sale at that moment, I decided to get it on the spot. This game actually predates the existence of Wadjet Eye Games, since it was released back in 2006. It was later remade in 2013 because of mobile ports, and that remake was the version I played. I must say, I was impressed. This is actually a Detective Noir story (and I'm fond of those), starring Russell Stone, a rabbi from Manhattan, investigating the murder of a former member of his congregation. There's no wacky puzzles or hijinx, only a hard-nosed man following leads. There is some humour, but it's mostly dialogue-based, realistic banter in conversation. A lot of this game's themes are based around USA Jewish culture (since Dave Gilbert himself is Jewish), but despite both the culture and the faith being somewhat alien to me, I appreciated how accessible the game is about it, to those of us who know little or nothing (there's even a Yiddish dictionary in your inventory). I can at least understand the overall moral struggles that the rabbi faces. Gameplay-wise, it's a traditional Point&Click that features a lot of modern QoL features (most notably, it avoids pixel-hunting), with a couple of other features, like an inventory for "clues", that is, names or knowledge of certain events. You can bring these up in conversation (some older games, like Final Fantasy II, feature something similar), or you can combine related clues to make something more cohesive and concrete than before (hello, Miles Edgeworth). Another uncommon quirk is how much computers feature into the puzzles in this game, with the player needing to use the search function to find out addresses and other relevant info for the investigation. As such, I appreciate that this game does not spell out solutions for you, and you do need to use your gray mass to figure out several things. The dialogue is fully voiced, and it apparently features mostly the same voices as the 2006 version, but it's actually pretty good, aside from a few technical hiccups (like one of the characters speaks with a background echo that nobody else has, and another one peaked his mic with a scream at one point). It's a very short game (about an hour or so with a steady pace), which means that a lot of what it does well feels underutilised... but certainly not badly utilised. Its short length felt fitting, and it made the replay with the dev's commentary all the quicker. There are also 4 distinct story paths depending on your decisions (technically 3 endings, because two of those paths lead to the "neutral" ending), so seeing them all is trivial. As of right now, colour me impressed with Dave Gilbert. I'll be checking out some of his other works for sure. Symphonia Beautiful is this game, hard-to-google is its name Continuing the streak of short games from GOG, Symphonia is a free game that popped into my recommendations some day. It was released in 2020 by Sunny Peak, a young company based in France (and according to their site, this is still the "student version", so they must be working on a full game). It looked great, despite its middling reviews, so I gave it a shot. And yeah, it's actually really good! It looks beautiful (like a more colourful Hollow Knight), it animates really fluidly, and its soundtrack is made up of classical-sounding music. Better so, as the entire game is about a fancy maestro using the power of magical music to kickstart the cogs of a deactivated mechanical concert house (that's a mouthful, but I promise the concept is simple). The whole thing feels like a wordless short from the Golden Age of Animation, down to the length (there's about 30 minutes to this game, tops). Mechanically, it's simple platforming with a couple of quirks: you can use a conductor's baton to jump higher (think Shovel Knight) or stick it to a red surface, either to hold on to it, or sling yourself in a different direction. There's a also a dedicated "play violin" button, which you can use to activate devices, or to just entertain yourself (think Shantae's dances). As for why the reviews were so middling... I played this with a gamepad, so I found no issue, but apparently, the developers treated the keyboard like an afterthought. Not only do they not say anywhere in-game what the keyboard controls are, they were actually mapped with the French keyboard in mind! Since there's no way to remap buttons, this led to several low user scores, which is a sad situation. I totally understand the issue (no, Super Meat Boy, I still haven't forgiven you), but it does feel bad to see a young project get review-bombed. Hopefully this game will make it onto consoles where this won't be an issue. I managed to finish the game with all 200 music notes collected (the "coins" to this game), and I definitely liked what I saw. I recommend keeping an eye out for this game in the future, and also... they might change the game's name eventually, due to how easy it is to confuse this with Lloyd Irving & co Samorost The first! I... did not like this one. The first game in the Samorost series by Czech developer Amanita Design, Samorost started out as a humble Flash game in 2003. Its sequels would be released commercially, but the first one never made it out of Flash until recently. And it's now available for free on GOG (and probably Steam too). It's a point&click game that's too bizarre for me. It only lasts around 10-15 mins, but I likely would've quit earlier if it weren't that short. Not that the game is bad, I just... don't gel with it. In the slightest. I don't like the aesthetics, the puzzles, or anything really. Now that I know their style isn't for me, I'll remove other Amanita games from my wishlist. I already have Machinarium on my backlog, and that's the one other chance I'll give their games. Fire Emblem: Three Houses Cindered Shadows The return! Hah! You thought this would be all tiny indie games, yeah? Too bad, Fire Emblem time! I've had the Three Houses DLC for a while now, and considering 3H was the first game I finished (technically) in 2021, I wanted to bookend the year with the Ashen Wolves campaign. At first, I thought the extra maps were all paralogues and extra content introduced into the main story, but as it turns out, there's a full-fledged, 7-chapter side campaign that's independent from anything else. You get handed 6 characters (Claude, Edelgard, Dimitri, Ashe, Hilda, and Linhardt) at level 20 with preset classes & certificates, the Ashen Wolves join you, and off you go to do 7 maps with this makeshift party. Byleth's chosen House for this mode is irrelevant. I enjoyed it a lot. Since this campaign removes support levels, class exp, weapon exp, activity points, and other time-wasting micromanagements, the whole thing advanced at a brisk pace. The story itself was also compelling, doing a bit more worldbuilding for Fódlan (as well as some twists I only half saw coming). The new music is fantastic too. The real star of the show are the maps themselves, though. After the main game had several "meh" maps, the developers decided to go all out when designing these new ones. There's a "Seize the bossless throne" scenario, a de facto defend chapter, the best dang Escape map I've seen in the series yet, and more. My only real complaint is that nobody except Yuri had any sort of movement assist skill. I decided to pick Hard Mode from the get-go, thinking it would be the same as the main game's Hard Mode. Not so, as Cindered Shadows is considerably more difficult. On one hand, I really appreciated the legit difficulty, forcing me to better ponder my choices. On the other hand, Chapter 6 contained some of the biggest bullshit I've seen in this series. Felt like a fanhack at times. Regardless, I do think Three Houses was in need of truly challenging and compelling maps such as these. Just make sure to start in Normal Mode. All in all, I'm satisfied with Cindered Shadows. Had great fun with it, it was a good way to revisit this world, and I think it was a creative use of DLC. That's 43 games that I finished (or otherwise satisfied with), plus 7 games that I dropped, 1 that I replayed, and 1 DLC campaign. And also, one dropped randomizer. All in all, that's 50 new games I played this year, which might be a personal record! Can't say they're all from my backlog (there are plenty which I bought this year), which means I need to try harder to only buy games I'm planning to start, like, that week. My earlier goal to "do a few short games per month" ended up being really tiring. For 2022... I'll try to come up with a different system.