N-E Staff
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Everything posted by Jonnas

  1. General Switch Discussion

    Ah, Pachter... Hadn't heard that name in a long while. With all the crazy ways the world has evolved in the past 10 years, it's somewhat comforting to see that broken clock is still broken. Kudos to @Julius, who wasn't around back when Pachter's dumb takes were a common headline around here. Nevertheless, he looked up his reputation and deciphered him in no time flat. As a bonus, here's an old comic made in... I think, 2009:
  2. Super Mario 3D All-Stars (It's a out now)

    Just came across this video, and I figured it's relevant: Amusingly, this video was posted well before 3D All-Stars was announced, so you know it's not made for clicks. When I finally get around to playing Odyssey, I'll make sure to analyse that beach level as seriously as the rest of the game.
  3. The Disney Thread

    I'd say Pixar's been working in a lot of sequels lately, and you can tell the same passion isn't there. But Coco and Inside Out were phenomenal (the former especially), so I'm still cool with them.
  4. To be honest, I'm actually pretty excited for this. I couldn't stand Shadow Dragon's art style (and I never found a copy, anyway), and my main gripe behind the NES games is how slow they feel. This version allows us to play with modern QoL features like fastforwarding, and more importantly, a functioning official English translation! Heck yeah, I'm finally playing the first game to the end! Plus the mere thought of getting one of the older games translated is bizarre and otherworldly in all the best ways (and this announcement came so close to my birthday, I'm kind of seeing it as a surprise gift ) What I'd also like to see at some point is FE3. That's the mega-popular one in Japan, and we never got the remake. I know the fandom waxes this and that over the Jugdral games, but Mystery of the Emblem is the one I'm most curious about.
  5. The Disney Thread

    Reminder that this isn't Pixar, this is Disney's main animation team, responsible for the likes of Frozen, Moana/Vaiana, and Tangled. When they hit it, they hit it, so I'm looking forward to the end result. (Pixar's doing Soul, which I'm also quite excited about) (I do love a good typo)
  6. Your 2020 Gaming Diary

    From the screenshots I've seen of that patch, the Woolseyisms remain intact, the only retranslations were applied to terms that the series has since then properly branded (Ice3 becomes Blizzaga, Resire becomes Holy, etc.). So yeah, @Glen-i, this is probably the ideal patch you're looking for.
  7. The Disney Thread

    Hey now, that armadillo is Momo and Appa... rolled into one. *ahem* The movie looks pretty good. Comparisons to Avatar are inevitable, considering the setting, but I figure the similarities will stick to setting and synopsis. It looks like the focus will stick to this draconic main character (so expect more similarities to How to Train Your Dragon, I guess?). Honestly, I'm just glad to see the Disney Animation Studio produce something that looks worthy of their pedigree. Frozen 2 left me apprehensive regarding their future, but this looks like the kind of stuff I want them to make.
  8. N-E Café Podcast

    Well, after the main topic, that's the only issue I can comment on! That went towards many places (the many ways one can lose motivation). I've had my phases where I don't really want to play videogames. Sometimes I just want to do something different with my time, but just as often I really don't want to start something new, or even fall back into a comfortable game. These hiatuses don't usually last long, but I definitely feel burnout from time to time. I think the biggest one was when I got tired of the Wii because I had to change it to a far more cumbersome setup (seemingly small change, but it did mean I couldn't stand playing it if I thought I'd be interrupted with something within one hour of playtime, meaning I just stopped using it for a good while). That said, when that happens, I only pay nominal attention to gaming news (check new games being announced and not much else), because there's a lot that just doesn't interest me much, like sales data, info about consoles I don't own, and even a lot of individual industry scandals. How much I care about these depends on my mood. I don't need to keep up with stuff when I can catch up on the relevant bits later. Sounds like Greg's situation is different (since he's focusing more on PS4 still), but a break from gaming - or some parts of gaming - for however long it takes can go a long way, even if only to figure out what you want from your next game: you don't need to play Snake Pass just because, you should play it if you feel the itch, otherwise you'll dislike the experience regardless. Backlog woes is something I also feel quite often (and I'm pretty sure I commented on it before in this thread). I do feel overwhelmed by so much choice, but recently I started to do "smaller" goals: do only physical games, or clear what's currently on the Switch, or do a couple horror games for October... stuff like that, to get the ball rolling, a couple of titles at a time. I've had DK Tropical Freeze for more than year, but unless I set a specific goal (like playing it next December), it's going to stay that way. (The real issue is that I should stay my hand during sales, let's be honest) Honestly, I think what slows me down more than anything are personal commitments. I can keep a schedule, work normal hours, set goals... and it's all thrown out of whack because I suddenly have weekend commitments I learned about on Friday (so I lose the mood to play, even if I have some time left). ...This entire post felt rambly, but these are the places my mind went to when listening to the episode, I suppose.
  9. The Official Fire Emblem Thread

    She co-dominated the meta in FE Heroes for a good while, too... You might be on to something.
  10. N-E Café Podcast

    Right now, I'm up to Nick's Sunshine update, and yes, it's Pinna Park. If you're missing one blue coin in Ricco Harbor, may I suggest you go to the taller pathway (near where the Yoshis are in mission 8) and spray every window there? No joke, I once did a spin jump while spraying just for the heck of it, and a random blue coin popped out of one of those windows. I'll say more later, but I do need to try and keep my streak, though this might be the end of it...
  11. This is a "good news and bad news" post if I ever saw one. Glad to hear about you and your family. And I hope your friends can stay safe.
  12. The Official Fire Emblem Thread

    Huh, why Lyn? I get that she's popular and all, but what's the occasion? Do the figure-makers just get carte-blanche to do the character they want from time to time? Oh yeah, speaking of this post: Gott'im
  13. Switch eShop Thread

    Projection: First Light was released a couple of weeks ago on the eShop. It's the first title from Shadowplay Studios, and it's a 2D puzzle platformer made in the style of shadow theatre, with a light-based mechanic that's all about creating solid shadows. Does that interest you? Regardless of your answer, perhaps you should check the review I wrote for it, as it should shed some light on it. Who knows, this could be the game that brightens your day, and you might want to check a trustworthy review instead of being left in the dark. In light of that, you can read the review by clicking the image below:
  14. N-Europe Video Game Club

    I've kinda neglected this, but I do have a Mario game I played recently: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions. I have very fond memories of the original, so I wanted to write some words on it as well. I already did so on the Gaming Diary thread, so here goes: So yeah, sorry if it's coming late.
  15. Your 2020 Gaming Diary

    Man, I just took a hiatus from beating games, didn't I? I played Smash Bros and FE Heroes a lot lately, which kinda consumed my time (FEH has a lot of legit interesting stuff to do/build these days). Plus, Atomicrops got a massive update, so I've been checking that occasionally. But I did finish stuff, regardless: Projection: First Light ...We're gonna need a bigger light Projection released on the Switch eShop a couple of weeks ago, but I only finished writing the review now. it's a puzzle platformer about using light to navigate a world of shadow puppetry. I'm not going to post my impressions here, since I wrote a review for the main site. Click the pic above to check out my thoughts. Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (Remake) One of those few times where the boxart is the best choice to showcase the game Yeah, I bought this about a year ago, there was a major discount on it, less than 10€. I had played the 2003 original, so I knew this 2017 remake would be good. First, some background: Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga was the game that kickstarted this little spinoff RPG series on handhelds. The developers at Alphadream (RIP) took inspiration from several aspects of Super Mario RPG (timed hits, silly self-aware writing, zany spins on traditional Mario enemies) and turned them all up to eleven, adding their own flair to the mix. The result was a game that looked unique (the original characters look wild and new, while the usual Mario characters definitely had unique proportions there, compared to the main series), moved really fluidly, brought a distinct style to turn-based battles (even moreso than SMRPG), as well as several ideas for overworld exploration/navigation, and had excellent, memorable, light-hearted writing. I definitely remember being flabbergasted at the wild directions the game kept taking, even compared to other spin-offs. Even the way the plot starts is fresh: an evil wizard from the neighbouring country of Beanbean Kingdom decides to steal Peach's voice, and now the Mushroom Kingdom Bros decide to go there and retrieve it, getting into all sorts of wacky cartoony adventures as they explore this foreign land. From Bowser confirming that he doesn't know Luigi's name, to the Mario Bros using traditional jumps (as well as creative combo moves) to explore dungeons and fields, to highly-interactive and strategic battles, to meeting and talking to a slew of new characters and enemies, and even seeing unexpected cameos and references all over the place... This game was a high-octane hilarious adventure from beginning to end, oozing with charm and creativity. This game was a highlight of the GBA for me (a legit feat, considering that console's library) for a very long time. It eventually lead to me getting Partners in Time and Bowser's Inside Story for the DS (though I still don't have the 3DS games) and confirm that Alphadream's creativity knew very few bounds. This is a series I cherished and respected, even if I kinda stopped playing it around the 3DS era (and to be fair, I entered a bit of a Nintendo hiatus around that time). It's with these rose-tinted glasses that I entered this remake. Not knowing if I would love it all over again, or play something that felt dated. And it was... a bit of both, I guess? Graphically, the Mario characters look great in this new polished style (especially Bowser), while the original characters kinda look muted (I think the old sprites highlighted their distorted proportions better). I love the new backgrounds and lighting though, places like Chucklehuck Woods and Hoohoo Hooniversity feel completely different now. The Bro moves have a lot more punch to them in both battle and overworld, while the cutscene animations kinda lost some of theirs. In fact, many sprites feel less expressive than they did before, which is quite disappointing. Music-wise, I think every music sounds a lot better now, the soundtrack took a legit revamp. It was already good to begin with, so no complaints from me. Shout-out to Popple's Battle Theme still bopping all these years later. Battle-wise... I definitely remember the timed hits being straightforward, the enemy "tells" being obvious, and the Bro moves being a bit complicated to perform. This time around, timed hits cause a LOT more damage (since jumps evolved into double jumps in later games), enemy tells are harder to notice (might be the colours and lighting), and Bro moves are much easier to get right (circle timing will do that). There's also a "Defend" option that wasn't there in the original game, and it's not required for any enemy, so I refused to use it. I have the inkling of a feeling that enemies cause more damage too, but it's hard to say, it's been a long time since I played the original... but it is true that everybody feels like a glass cannon in the remake, whereas I didn't feel that way in the original. The game feels easier too, but that might just be my much-improved skill. Overworld exploration had a big let down for me. In the original, there was this intuitive system where you could switch position between the bros, and a move would do something different depending on whether a bro was front or back. Plus, if you just felt like having Luigi at the front, you could do it, Beanbean is a free country. But the remake replaced this with a strict list of actions you can perform in the overworld, and as you switch between them, Mario&Luigi just automatically swap places for some of them. Feels a lot more arbitrary, with the natural actions of the original being replaced with a strict, "gamey" list of options, and you can tell things weren't originally designed this way (this is so obvious when Luigi gets into a barrel: originally, Mario's unique moves in that situation were a natural extension of the usual control scheme, but now it's literally the only situation where Mario can jump from the back, so nothing to do with the new system). This might all sound like a nitpicky rant, I just feel like the fine bro control from the original was one of the things I really loved there, and they took it away. It should be noted, overworld design is as great now as it was back then, with shortcuts, secret passageways, collectibles and secrets in every nook and cranny... It's a very well designed world for an adventure game. Plus, they added map markers, which I love. It's only the way you perform bro moves that disappointed me. Story-wise... It's the same wit and clever writing, and that's a bit weird for me. I remember most of this dialogue, I don't think anything's changed, it's just that the material doesn't land for me as well as it did back then. I chalk this one up to me growing up, changing tastes. Superstar Saga felt super subversive back then, and now I feel like I've seen this self-awareness dozens of times. Plus, like I said, animations in cutscenes aren't as noticeable as before, and they added a lot to a scene's tone. Regardless, story scenarios are really good and creative (like the solo Luigi segment). I had no idea where the plot was heading in the original, and even now, the narrative still felt unpredictable, in the best of ways. I also appreciate how alive Beanbean feels, as characters come and go and return, and they do feel like a lived-in part of the world. Shout-out to Prince Peasly, always a cool dude whenever he appears, and the only NPC to consistently respect Luigi. I also should say, I'm surprised at the amount of things I didn't remember. It's one thing to recall moments, but not how, why, or when they happen. It's another to excise the entirety of Chucklehuck Woods from my memory (I remembered Popple and Rookie's debuts, and literally nothing else from that part of the world). I also blanked on stuff like Joke's End, or at one point asking myself "Where was that factory-looking mechanical dungeon with the cranes and the lasers? Is it after this university they're telling me to visit? I don't remember a university...". Man, time does things to us. Sprites............3/5 Backgrounds..5/5 Exploration.....5/5 Writing......,.....4/5 Creativity........5/5 Despite my gripes, I think it's fair to say that, overall, this version is an improvement over the original. If you haven't gotten into this series - or if you have, but skipped the first game - do yourselves a favour and play Superstar Saga. it's a legitimately great RPG that pushed boundaries in its time, and it's still super fun to revisit today. Bowser's Minions This is not a good picture... but then again, it's also not a good game Right, the remake came with this as an extra side game. Entirely optional, it features a lone goomba taking up the initiative to unite the remnants of a scattered Bowser army. I say "lone", but Captain Goomba (as his allies appoint him) does command an army, and he even gets the help of three other captains. There's no overworld to explore, just a series of missions to complete. In each one, your chosen army faces off against Beanbean armies, with the soldiers acting on their own, the only player input being the occasional special moves, as well as limited-use Captain Commands that affect the battle. Look, it's not a bad idea, and I want to give it a fair shake. Allowing armies to fight on their own - with sole player input being strategic decisions and occasional orders - is a staple of many strategy games (and even RPGs) both real-time and turn-based, so there's merit in the idea. There is some depth to this system too, with a triangle of type advantages (Melee > Ranged > Flying > Melee), various different types of units to recruit (Boos and Koopas have defensive utility, Goombas activate their specials often, various units simply have game-changing specials, etc.), bonuses for particularly gimmicky and/or flavour-appropriate teams (which encourages experimentation), plus the Captain Commands can change a lot of battles if you apply them properly (pro-tip, don't Halt every enemy special move you see). So where does this game go wrong? In many ways, actually. For starters, the menus are needlessly confusing. You can choose formation, but can't actually check what that formation looks like in practice (leading to a lot of confusion when you have a mixed team). You can check special moves, but you can't check what they do or how to activate them without retreating to the main menu and reading the tutorial/guide. Then there's the level up system... like, in a mission-based game? With literally dozens-to-hundreds of cannon fodder? So, it's not really worth it to mix, match, or experiment with your team, because underleveled soldiers won't help you much. You can grind missions, but that's an awfully boring thing to do. The game kinda recognizes this and often rewards you with "Experience Beans" to feed your army, but A. They're not nearly enough; and B. it's such a patchwork solution for a highly flawed system in the first place! To make matters worse, enemy levels inflate super quickly, meaning grinding can be a necessity just to progress normally. Now, you CAN change teams and formations to help you turn the tides and overcome a tougher challenge, but even that might not be enough. Since you can't change formation mid battle, nor give direct orders (the Captain Commands can only do so much), you might find that, regardless of how you change units around, there's nothing you can do to stop flying enemies from honing in on your captain. Furthermore, there is this infuriating tendency that units will match up in a way that will benefit the enemy (for example, let's say one melee minion and three flying minions against a ranged Captain. Suddenly, a flying enemy arrives as reinforcement and, arbitrarily, the one melee minion changes focus to fight him. The flying minions keep fighting the ranged captain), and there's very little you can do about it. I keep thinking, why can't I just adjust the AI to say "This minion will never attack the enemy Captain, they will only interject enemies gunning for their own captain"? Hell, merely giving them priorities would go a long way. Plot-wise, I actually enjoyed it quite a bit, and I admit it was the main thing propelling me forward. It's inconsequential to the main quest, but Captain Goomba and his wacky band go on a personal journey to validate themselves, and that was nice to follow. The script doesn't feel like it was written by the same people that wrote Superstar Saga (and it probably wasn't), so it brings a different kind of humour than the main game. It's silly and endearing, and my only complaint is that the ending's kind of shitty. But it's not enough to save this mode. And did I mention the music's super forgettable? Potential...........4/5 Execution.........2/5 Writing.............4/5 Overall Score...2/5 Unfortunately, the mode as a whole is too limited to be satisfactory. The ideas are there, but those who designed it should learn a bit more on how other strategy games keep their battles engaging.
  16. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

    My issue with the minecart comes more from me not feeling if I'm controlling it or not (which I now understand, I'm not). Feels like a combination between Yoshi's and Villager's side-b, joining the worst of both moves. Also, my main issue with the resources is that the bar is so confusing to interpret. Maybe Minecraft veterans can see it easily, but I can't even notice tiles without having to stop and squint. I know, this is a "me" thing. Steve's got tools, I just don't like using them. I don't like his down tilt, or his down smash, I can't do his up tilt in any way that isn't awkward... This guy's just a big ball cube of things I don't like doing. Sometimes that just happens, and the worst about it is still Diddy Kong (I actually enjoy Steve's dynamite, down air, and up smash, whereas Diddy's got nothing I like).
  17. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

    ...So I tried Minecraft Steve. The Classic Mode and Events were cute, even if I don't understand the references. Though I did laugh at the spirit called "Pigblin". So blatant. But I think I hate him. Barely anything about this character agrees with me. His blocks have more limitations than I though, I can't make sense of how to use them properly, nor his low stiff jumps, I can't figure out the minecart, much less the glider (never liked the system in Brawl, either), and he has the most confusing resource management system yet. This character is absolutely not for me, which is disappointing, considering how unique he is. On the other hand, Min-Min has been doing wonders for me lately, so I'm not too fussed.
  18. N-E Café Podcast

    Alright, so: I haven't played Hyrule Warriors, merely checked its soundtrack. I'm definitely intrigued by it, the opportunity/excuse to buy it just never came up. Yet; It's funny to hear "Overwatch looks like Fortnite" when OW likely had a big influence on that game's aesthetic (OW was marketed and released in 2016, whereas Fortnite came out in late 2017); Vouchers can be used on non-Nintendo games such as Dragon Quest XI and Bayonetta 2... but only because those games were published by Nintendo too. Regardless, I don't think Monster Hunter is included, no; Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon is a great game. Played it on the 3DS earlier this year (my thoughts). It's definitely better than Castlevania III; Petey Piranha is not a very good example of a repetitive boss, because his rematch is pretty different from the first time, in both tactics and setting (I always loved looking around after defeating him, seeing how much the fight wrecked/gooped the village). But maybe you were thinking of those goopy piranhas? There are, like, 10 of these things to fight in the game, and it's always the same tedious dance; I was expecting the main topic to be about remakes and demos and general, but it felt like an in-depth look into Pikmin 3. Not complaining, it's the sort of thing that made me want to get it. Thinking about it, haven't played a Pikmin since the first one, so I should definitely consider it. So yeah, good episode.
  19. Your 2020 Gaming Diary

    Just checked it and... they're the same thing. I thought it was called "Hard Mode", but it's actually "New Game Plus". So nevermind, then! Enjoy it when you get to it, it's good.
  20. Your 2020 Gaming Diary

    If you haven't done so already, do that run on Hard Mode. It legitimately makes every level feel fresh again. The extra DLC mission is also pretty fun. Remastered comes with that one, right?
  21. N-E Café Podcast

    Already answered the questionnaire and sent it. Very straightforward, all things considered. Once again, will leave bigger comments for later, but let's see if I can keep the streak going:
  22. Geez, that's rough. I've heard similar stories of silly protocols being followed instead of a semblance of reason (for example, my sister had to go to the hospital due to stomach issues. Because one of the symptoms was "light fever", she got put in the Covid wing for a few hours. Nonsensical to stress her out like this, even if it meant she got tested). I can understand them to some extent, since there's a huge volume of people to treat/diagnose, but outright denying tests based on delayed symptoms (that definitely exist, regardless of when they manifested) is utterly absurd. I do hope the worst has already passed, and wish you a speedy recovery. You think you can eat food with strong tastes, like Mexican?
  23. N-E Café Podcast

    Man, I had a hectic day and my brain is fried. Still: Final Fantasy VIII is absolutely on my wishlist, but I got so much to play already... I haven't been avoiding it or anything; I think you were the first publication/podcast/guys I follow to also report on the actual Minecraft updates. They don't interest me personally, but the discrepancy did highlight how much of a disconnect there is between usual gamer culture and Minecraft's audience. Good to see some overlap still exists; I'm totally sold on Minecraft Steve, even if he's not my type of playstyle. I love quirky WTF picks, and he definitely qualifies. Good to see a warmer reception to him, a few days later; Also good to see a more open-minded approach to Sunshine these days, now that people don't expect it to live up to Mario 64. I had that realization a few years ago, and now I really look back fondly on that game. In my tired state, my takeaway is that this was a wholesome episode. And I know the Transition Tunes:
  24. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

    Sweden made it into Smash! The youth is jubilant, the elderly have become Cranky, and this character has so little personality or design, I refuse to call him "Steve" (I shall call them Minecraft, because that's the real newcomer). It fits my personal standard of "utterly unexpected". I kinda dig (and then make blocks out of) it.
  25. General Retro Discussion

    Mark Brown just posted a mini-documentary of sorts regarding British indie developers in the early 80s: Fascinating stuff. I didn't know how prolific the UK industry was back then.