N-E Staff
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Everything posted by Jonnas

  1. N-Europe Video Game Club

    I don't hate you, and I highly recommend it as well. You know, @drahkon you can vote for MotN yourself.
  2. N-Europe Video Game Club

    I'll change my vote to What Remains of Edith Finch. With that one, I can still write something for the episode.
  3. General Switch Discussion

    I'd swap the red and the blue (a.k.a. blue joycons with red grip). That way, it would actually look like Mario's shirt enveloped by blue suspenders.
  4. What Do You Want From Nintendo In 2021?

    I gave some predictions in the N-E Café thread a couple of weeks back, but it might be good to expand: I think Nintendo will milk the Zelda anniversary this year. Maybe a Zelda collection, or a rerelease... BOTW2 will likely come out this year, too. But my bet is on a new, smaller 2D Zelda game, and while I don't want to say they'll release it this year (Covid has a way to delay things), they'll announce it, at least. Metroid Prime 4 isn't coming... but something Metroid is coming. I have a feeling in my bones. Might just be a release of the Prime Trilogy on Switch, but I think they'll do something with that franchise. Three Kirby games. Just think the pink puff hasn't had too strong a presence on Switch yet, so it'll be time to poyo the heck out of it. IS ought to tease the next Fire Emblem project. An obscure and/or dead Nintendo franchise will return in 2021 That's what I realistically expect. What I actually want is way more specific and outlandish than that: F-Zero GX on Switch. 30-player online multiplayer. I needs it! Return of Advance Wars! Should resemble Days of Ruin in tone. Do it, baby! N64 for the subscription service, including Pokémon Snap, Tetrisphere, and Goemon. Hubba Wubba! The next Fire Emblem is actually a 20-year-or-so prequel to Three Houses, starring Claude's parents. Inject that into my veins.
  5. Game of the Year: 2020 Edition

    The only game from 2020 I played was Atomicrops, which I reviewed for the site. The other two titles I reviewed were technically older (released on the Switch this year, but elsewhere earlier). So I'll stick to a list of Best Games I played in 2020, and I'll do it in descending order because that's how you read it. It's my list, okay?
  6. N-E Café Podcast

    Right, since I'm not into Monster Hunter, I only have a couple of things to say: Poor diplomatic language aside, the Microsoft execs had a point about Nintendo's hardware, if they were thinking about the N64 (and in 2000, they probably were). But the Gamecube ran games much better than the PS2 (the loading times in particular were noticeably faster on the Cube, with no discernible loss of texture quality, if any). Plus, the poster games for the GCN during launch period were stuff like Fox McCloud's fur, or Pikmin's tiny armies, which looked plenty impressive on their own. It's ironic the MS executives said that on the cusp of that generation, the one where Xbox and Gamecube ended pretty much on the same sales tier, despite the obvious power difference; Wrestling Empire sounds great! It'll go on my wishlist for sure, but what will decide it for me is if the Wrestler Creation is robust or not. I'd love to go bonkers with it, add anybody from Kurt Angle to Spider-Man.
  7. More like a Golden Oozaru. Against Bowser's regular Oozaru.
  8. N-E Café Podcast

    Woke up earlier and listened to most of the episode already, but all I'll say for now is that I think there might be an editing/timing error during one of the transition tunes (the one before monster hunter), as there's a few silent seconda, and then the music plays over Lee's first words. As for the tune itself:
  9. Your 2021 Gaming Diary

    Ready to make my first 2021 post! It's been a long time coming, but it's finally done. After 165 hours of recorded game time (but surely 200+ hours in practice), I finally finished: Fire Emblem: Three Houses I feel so attacked right now After months and months of slow progress, I finally beat my first (and hopefully the longest) campaign in this game. I've been intentionally exploring as many aspects of the game as I could (trying to master several classes, complete every paralogue that came my way, went for a few rare beasts, read the vast majority of the dialogue, saw every single support, etc.), hence the long playtime. For future playthroughs, I'll likely be much more efficient, even if I keep focusing on the plot. As a whole, I actually liked the different pace of the game, compared to other FEs. In Garreg Mach, we can talk to our units during peace time, read up the lore at any time, interact with other characters in smaller situations that make sense, influence character growth and supports a lot easier... On one hand, it becomes easy to exploit the best paths, but on the other hand, Maddening exists. Loved playing as the Golden Deer, and I definitely enjoyed soaking the world's lore from that perspective. In fact, I love how this game possesses such a thick lore, but rarely spells it details out loud. So many reveals weren't reveals at all, but left for the player to find or figure out for themselves (or even just talked about in a different route). Also, it's fair to say Claude is now one of my favourite lords in the series, and I now want a prequel starring his parents, Blazing Blade style. Plot-wise, there's a lot to dissect, but I'm overall very pleased. It's a bold choice to do a grey conflict like this again (being able to choose any of the sides), but they actually managed to do it very well, and I enjoyed the results. The worldbuilding is fascinating, and its conveyed in a subtle way that reminds me of Elibe, which as high a praise as you get from me. Even without the lore, the characters on their own easily carry the game. The writing and voice acting are easily on the same level of Shadows of Valentia, and that helps in creating a huge lovable cast you can easily get attached to. I also want to give a shout out to Tea Time, a surprisingly good "Date Simulator", even if I think it still needs some extra polish. Shamir, why do you keep hurting me with truth? Gameplay-wise, I like all the toys we're given. The gauntlets, the gambits, the monsters, the combat arts, the utility spells, the various Rallies, the versatility of picking your dancer... Lots of good stuff, once you understand how it all mixes together. My main complaint is that the endgame jobs are so weirdly implemented (Why does Mortal Savant feel worse than Swordmaster? Why aren't Assassin, Fortress Knight, and Paladin considered Master Classes? How am I supposed to build a Great Knight? Why the fuck are fist-leaning classes barred from women? Heck, why are the Dark Magic classes male-only, when only 3 people learn dark magic, and two of those are women?!), resulting in a system that feels far more rigid than it should be. The DLC classes help in this regard, but I do think they're patching an issue that shouldn't be there in the first place. (P.S.: I don't like Divine Pulse, and that's all I'll say) Map design was unimpressive. A lot of missions had cool ideas in a vacuum, but bizarrely designed maps (like, a lategame map has a treasure chest in a far away corner, surrounded by enemies. If you risk going there, you're rewarded with... a Brave Sword that you can buy in Garreg Mach. Why even?). I thought the most impressive thing about the second half of the game is that you're implicitly encouraged to spare enemies and finish missions super quickly (something that barely any FE game has convincingly done), but I can't help but feel that this was a fortunate accident. Presentation-wise, a lot of fun has been made of jpeg oranges. Rightfully so, they're hilarious. But overall, the graphics are more than serviceable, what matters is that the anime cutscenes look great, and the art style is expressive, memorable, and bright. Music-wise it's phenomenal, with some impeccable music choices in key moments, using a soundtrack that's gorgeous on its own (I had listened to Chasing Daybreak before, but hearing it in context is to experience it properly). I'm also personally proud that I managed to avoid hearing a single note of God-Shattering Star until I reached that battle myself. There are a few other flaws scattered throughout the game, though to avoid rambling (like with the job system above), I'll just say that there are a lot of rough edges in design and/or writing through the game still. It's normal for a game of this scope, and minor in the grand scheme of things. I'm only saying that, as much as I loved this game, I'm not blind to its flaws. tl;dr Narrative..........5/5 Characters.......5/5 Mechanics........4/5 Map Design......2/5 Graphics...........3/5 Music................5/5 Game Length.................................................../5 Overall, an ambitious (but still excellent) game that accomplishes most of what it wants to do. Can't ask for more. It might be in my personal Top 3 for the series, but it's hard to say right now. In the future, I'll play the Cindered Shadows missions (I bought the DLC some time ago), followed by a Crimson Flower run. Just not right now. After finally felling this juggernaut, I can be content with 2020. As for 2021, it feels like an open book right now. I want to do more of my physical backlog, but I'm also pondering a potentially fun way to help thin out my digital backlog... Hopefully I'll put it into practice this month.
  10. The Trump Presidency

    You'd think it'd be mostly white.
  11. Dandara

    I figure this is a good time to revive the thread. I finally got around to play Dandara a few months ago, and I must say, thank you @Sméagol for the recommendation. Had a lovely time with it, as it's definitely a very strong title. On a personal note, I love that it has distinct scripts for European and Brazilian Portuguese both. I ended up playing it entirely in the latter version (it read better, and it felt more genuine), which means I even found a sneaky reference to Hollow Knight that, to my knowledge, isn't there in English. Anyway, Dandara left enough of an impression on me that I decided to write a review for the website. First time I picked a game for a review out of my own initiative, so I'll leave the link here. For those who played (or will play) Dandara, let me know what you think. I'd love to hear more viewpoints on this game as well.
  12. Your 2020 Gaming Diary

    It's been 5,000 years, but I've finally written something about... Dandara Yeah, that game I finished back in late October. How come it took me so long to mention it?... Maybe because I chose to do an official review for N-Europe. That's right, no joke. I figured the game could do with more attention, whereas I should review something outside of its launch window. So please, take a look at my attempt at reviewing a slightly older title.
  13. N-E Café Podcast

    You posted the episode later than usual today. Hence, I only listened to it at the end of the day. Not too bad, since it was a short episode, albeit with a couple of big subjects: Final Fantasy IX Good to hear you're making steady progress, Nick. From your description, I take it you're near the Iifa Tree..? I'll be curious to hear more as you go (and hope you start the year with a relatively swift JRPG clear): Zidane's motives for kidnapping the princess aren't immediately apparent, but they're explained a couple of towns later; The slow transitions to random battles were like that in the PS1 version (notice that the beginning of the battle theme is timed to match it), and it's a relic from an era (or a console) with long loading times. It's a common complaint in for modern gamers, and I thought I heard this port has a way to speed it up..? I might be wrong on that, I thought it was one of the options from that minus button; The rush of boss battles you described was surprising... but I have noticed this game places boss battles where you wouldn't expect them to be (most JRPG predictably put them at the end of dungeons, but FFIX plays a lot more with the concept). The part you're at has a couple of sudden ones in the middle of dungeons, so I think I see what you mean. Guess all I can advise is to keep characters in good health, just in case. Regarding 2021, I had a good time hearing to predictions, both the optimistic and pessimistic, the obvious and the outlandish. As for my own: I predict a new Zelda title will be announced (likely a smaller one), and we'll get a tease of a new Fire Emblem game at some point. No Metroid Prime 4 news... but we'll get some other Metroid game regardless (either a smaller new game, or a collection). Kirby's going to get three games! We'll also see the revival of a dormant Nintendo series, likely Advance Wars. I'm looking forward to seeing this post in 12 months from now, see how off (or on) I was The title I'm looking forward to in 2021 is Bravely Default II, believe it or not. First demo convinced me to finally play the first BD (which I had in my backlog for so long), which eventually saturated me with its length... then the second demo comes out, I expect to find it mild, but I end up falling in love all over again. So yeah, reasonably hyped (and I hope it's physical...). So yeah, good start to the year EDIT: Right, the transition tunes
  14. General Switch Discussion

    For the Switch, just Luigi's Mansion 3. In their portfolio they also have Luigi's Mansion 2, the Mario Strikers/Football series, Punch-Out Wii, and Metroid Federation Force. Seems solid, yes
  15. N-Europe Video Game Club

    On one hand, I wouldn't mind replaying Mark of the Ninja (last time I played it was before Remastered even came out. I have it on Steam due to being a MotN owner, but haven't tried to see if there are more changes besides graphical) On the other hand, I have Celeste on (was part of that massive Black Lives Matter promotion from last year), but have yet to play it... On the other other hand, I could easily just talk about Edith Finch because I still remember a lot from that game (and it's not the sort of game that lends itself to replays anyway) ... I think I'll vote Celeste for now. The vote isn't split enough! Also, it's been a while since I updated these
  16. Your 2021 Gaming Diary

    I never played DK64. Is the entire game this naughty?
  17. Sakuna: of rice and ruin

    Weird, it's working for me. I only copy pasted the link. Maybe some sort of weird beef between your computer and the forum code?
  18. Your 2020 Gaming Diary

    I really wanted Three Houses to be my last game in 2020, but alas, those last few maps are giving me sass trouble. Still, since I started the year with an 8-bit 3DS Inti Creates title, let's bookend it with something similar: Blaster Master Zero More like "Blaster Master Theta", eh? My first ever contact with Blaster Master was a flash game on Newgrounds. A Super Mario Bros. romhack of sorts that allowed you to play as characters from various other NES titles, such as Link, Mega Man, or Ryu Hayabusa. It was an excellent game (no glitches with the various mechanics, and it was polished to the point that it included music from those titles), but that game's last update added character I'd never heard of before: SOPHIA from Blaster Master. It was a tank that could fire in any direction, fly around, and crawl on walls and ceilings. Super fun, super OP. Fast forward to 2017, and I'm a new 3DS owner. As I perused the 3DS eShop, what do I find? Blaster Master for the NES of course, but also... Blaster Master Zero? The description says "a reimagining of the NES classic, made by Inti Creates". Dang, what a concept, and there's even a demo. I tried it, and I was mildly pleased, but disappointed that I couldn't latch to walls. Anyway, earlier this year, around TGS, Inti Creates held a sale on their titles, and I got both this and Azure Striker Gunvolt. Since this one was shorter, I decided to play it now in December (try to finish at least something before the end of the year). I was mildly pleased, but still disappointed I can't latch to walls (gotta climb them from the ground). ... Fine, I'll say more. IC is great at making solid action games that feel good to play, and this game is no exception. The tank SOPHIA is super fun to play, while the on-foot sections with Jason are adequately underpowered. The top-down segments are creative, consisting on an "all-or-nothing" weapons system where you're either dominating or fighting very steep odds (though the sub-weapons you eventually gain always give you a fighting chance). My only gripe is that those top-down segments are slow, with no way to increase or modulate movement (which can make them tedious at various points). Everything else is great, with SOPHIA having a varied arsenal of weapons and sub-weapons that feels balanced and keeps things fresh. So why wasn't I more impressed with the game? Level design. BMZ is a Metroidvania, and yet it doesn't do anything particularly interesting with that. The game is divided by "Areas", which might as well be levels, and you pretty much stick to those until you clear everything in them (or just the bosses with the required upgrades). There's only one place where you need to backtrack (technically two, but it's the same trip), and it's such a slog - not to mention highlighted and telegraphed by the game - that it doesn't really add anything. If you're looking to 100% the game (and you need to do that to unlock the final level), the game even conveniently tells you where the remaining items are. Furthermore, even on a smaller scale, the game is filled with paths and treks that don't lead to anywhere of value (various paths are filled with enemies, only to reveal at the end... a dead end with a health pickup. Thanks, Obama). Not to say it's a boring time, because the bosses are great, and the regular enemies are fun to fight, but as an exploration game, it's quite lacking. Nevertheless, I do see the potential for improvement, and this game did convince me to add Blaster Master Zero 2 to my wishlist. Hopefully that game will allow me to latch directly onto walls. I do want to show my appreciation for this game's weird story, though. To my understanding, no version of Blaster Master has ever managed to present a story that makes sense (the Famicom version was straightforward with a war on aliens. The NES version changed it to a pet frog that got mutated, and a tank that popped out of nowhere to fight underground mutants on earth led by a skull emperor... then other games in the series continued to have convoluted plots), so this reboot also went with a convoluted story that involves a post-climate-change world, a runaway frog, inexplicable mutants out of nowhere (who seemingly don't count as valuable life forms), a climax that involves space travel, and a script that doesn't know what an android is. Shlocky fun, and I like that the game eventually introduces optional banter. I got the game's true ending (which was pretty great to play through, I adore the pun on the name of one of the final bosses), so I decided to quickly check out the original Blaster Master on the NES service on Switch. I appreciate that that game was trying to be a Metroidvania long before the genre was properly codified, but some things don't jive. Bosses bring sudden difficulty spikes, the gun during on-foot segments doesn't improve well enough, enemies respawn on top of Jason whenever I leave a mini-dungeon, and most egregiously, no in-game saving (only two lives, too). Hence, I'll let the classic game rest in history, and recommend Blaster Master Zero (also available on Switch) as a more adequate upgrade to it. Not planning on playing through the extra modes, nor purchasing the DLC characters, but it's pretty cool that Shantae and Shovel Knight are playable in this game. I'm betting these characters play very differently from the usual SOPHIA, which is something I always respect in a 2D action/platforming game. Gameplay.........4/5 Exploration.......2/5 Story................3/5 Extra Content...5/5 I'd say Inti Creates did a great job at reviving the franchise, though there are a few rough edges to iron out before it truly shines. I'll see for myself when I eventually buy BMZ 2 I started the year "currently playing" a Fire Emblem game. Ended the year "currently playing" two. Classic Jonnas. 2020 is at its end, and while I made hefty progress on my DS/3DS, the rest of my physical backlog did not progress so well, unfortunately. I guess my 2020 gaming resolution did not pan out so well. I did prioritize a lot of digital games in the end (and FE Heroes did worm its way back into my free time during this year's second half). Might change my approach somewhat in 2021.
  19. N-E Café Podcast

    Happy Holidays to our N-E Café hosts. These were some fun categories you had there, so if I had a game for each... Best Graphics: Dragon Ball FighterZ Best Music: Bravely Default Best Story: Fire Emblem - Three Houses Best Retro-style game: Bloodstained - Curse of the Moon Best Family game: Snipperclips Best Multiplayer: Super Smash Bros. Best RPG: Fire Emblem - Three Houses Best Strategy: Advance Wars - Dark Conflict Best Platformer: Sonic 2 Best Puzzler: Snipperclips Best Action: Atomicrops Best Adventure/Metroidvania: Dandara Best Event: The Portuguese national Smash tourney back in February. Lovely time. Any award I omitted, I either didn't play anything in that genre, or I only played one. I'll leave Top 10s and rankings for another time. (BTW, I laughed a lot at the Doritos ad Well done)
  20. Your 2020 Gaming Diary

    Scan is in this game, yes, and it's a White Magic skill, though I don't quite remember which equipment teaches it. While you're Dagger-less, your best bet is trial-and-error with Vivi, check if a spell does more damage than usual (or some intuition. I remember Gizamaluke's weakness because he's water-themed).
  21. Your 2020 Gaming Diary

    Hell yeah, love that one. I know you already defeated Gizamaluke, but here are a couple of tips that could help you in later battles: Pay attention to elemental weaknesses. Gizamaluke was weak to Thunder, for example, and some later equipment allows you to become immune to certain elements; You don't need to learn every skill you come across right away, but remember to change equipment around if you need a specific skill you haven't fully learned yet. This might be important for characters who only know one healing spell, or for using Zidane's Soul Blade attack (which varies with which weapon he has equipped), for example. Or more frequently, if you need status immunity, don't be afraid to return to that old hat that teaches Insomniac or Bright Eyes; Steal from bosses. They have some good stuff I remember my friend missed that extra party member during his first playthrough. Having them should make things easier going forward, though I don't remember exactly what kind of Blue Magic you can get right now.
  22. The Disney Thread

    I watched Soul with my family (we literally collectively bought 1 month of Disney+ to see it), and I liked it a lot. I can easily put it on the "great ones" Pixar bin. I do agree it might not be the best children's film, though. It's not the existentialism of it (I think children can handle concepts of death, life, and afterlife fairly easy if you're open about it early on), it's that the concepts it explores are so meta-physical and otherworldly (unborn souls sharing the same space of the afterlife, mentored by manifestations of the universe. They also apparently share this space with the minds of athletes and depressed office workers), it can be hard to wrap your head around it and get on the film's wavelength. Furthermore, this film is about an adult person with adult worries, which can be hard for children to relate to (at one point, someone talks about financial stability and the importance of a steady salary). Finally, the amount of references to historical figures will go over their heads (the reference to George Orwell had me in stitches, but it's definitely an adult thing. Same could be said of jokes that hinge on knowing who Ghandi or Madre Teresa are). All of that said, I hear my 7-year old cousin liked it, so maybe I'm just overthinking it.
  23. Beast's Switch Journey

    Pro-tip: when you play with anybody online, who's not yet on your Friend List, they will show up on your "suggested friends" list. This should be relevant if you ever play Mario Kart or Smash Bros. with a group. I'll add you on my own Switch.
  24. Your 2020 Switch Wall of Shame

    This e-mail was on the "Promotions" tab that I never check, so thank you for letting me know! I'm having a hard time copying the images, but the gist of it is: Most played games: Smash Bros. Ultimate, Three Houses, Dragonball FighterZ, Atomicrops (surprised to not see Garou...) 553 hours played (feels ludicrous, but I did still bring my Switch to a handful of Smash Bros. meets this year) 22 titles played, 231/366 days played I have a whopping 86 hours in February, which makes me think... I probably put more hours into DBZ than I realized. Probably that story mode. Second month is November with 63 hours, which does not feel correct... Recommended titles: Streets of Rage 4, Cuphead, Mario Kart 8 (I'm not into Mario Kart, but the other two are fair recommendations) Upcoming games: Bravely Default II, Mario 3D World, Monster Hunter Rise (BDII is basically cheating, Nintendo, come on) Fun stuff, and surprising data in parts. By the way, Atomicrops improved a lot since release, hence the extra hours. I probably would give it a 9 if I were reviewing it today.
  25. N-E Café Podcast

    This is a weird week for the podcast, because a lot of what was talked about (Bravely Default II, the Indie Direct, Online vs. Local), I already gave my opinion on them in their respective threads. I do think it was surprising how little attention was given to the Indie Direct, though. For example, you didn't even mention Grindstone during that segment, only to bring it up and praise it in the new releases segment. No mention of Fisti-Fluffs, either. Oh, and I should make my weekly guess: