Jonnas

N-E Staff
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Everything posted by Jonnas

  1. General Switch Discussion

    There's a demo for AI: The Somnium Files (on Switch at least. Don't know which other consoles/stores also have it), in case you're still on the fence. I played it and thought it was fantastic.
  2. So this is a topic I've been thinking about for a while now. When you think about it, film and/or literary genres are fairly straightforward: romance, action, horror, comedy, thriller... these are all succinct and direct ways to describe the general tone or point of a traditional work of fiction. Sometimes things get silly, like some people might claim that "Historical", "Medieval", or "Sci-Fi" are genres (they're settings, after all), but that's far as it goes. But videogames get complex about it. It isn't enough to describe general tone, videogame genres need to be able to describe a game's mechanics, level design philosophy, specific variations thereof, and that's all before we take tone or setting into account. Hybrids are very common as well, and there's always the general necessity to describe which genres are getting mixed, instead of forcefully fitting it into a single one: for example, I've noticed Back to the Future is either described as an "Adventure" or "Comedy" but rarely both, but with videogames, we have no issue in calling a game a "roguelike twin-stick shooter". As such, things can get complicated, and arbitrary lines can be drawn in the sand. Like, how come we all agreed that "Metroidvania" and "2D Platformer" are separate genres? What distinguishes an RPG from a regular Adventure game? Tetris and Portal share the same genre, and that's really weird when you think about it. And which genre is Pac-Man, anyway? Hence this thread. I'm hoping this can be the place where we discuss the specifics and minutia of these things. And here are a couple of questions to get us started: 1. Is there such a thing as a 3D Metroidvania? If so, which games qualify? This question is self-explanatory. Metroidvanias are normally synonymous with 2D games, but should it be so? 2. Does "Action/Adventure" describe anything? How can we do better? The quotes I selected are tangentially related to this issue. Mainly, a lot of games are plainly described as "Action/Adventure", and while I can see why, that does feel overly generic, and not really representative of anything specific about the game in question. I mean, all it says is that there is combat (action), and explorable environments (adventure), and that's nearly all videogames! Should we do more to subdivide these types of games? If so, how? ---------- So yeah, hopefully we'll get some interesting discussion going Any other topic about videogame genres should be welcome here, so feel free to bring them up if you ever think of one.
  3. Videogame Genres

    Now that's the sort of take I like to see! (Speaking of misappropriation, I believe @Aperson was the one to mention Metroid Prime Hunters, not me)
  4. Your 2021 Gaming Diary

    April's been a bit of a slow month for gaming, personally. I've been taking my sweet time with certain games, which includes a couple of 2021 indie games that I actually got close to launch... Huniepop 2: Double Date Wait, I can explain! One-handed gaming makes any playthrough slower. Please understand. But seriously, I actually really liked the first Huniepop (surprisingly in-depth dating mechanics, with solid Bejeweled puzzles), so I had to check this bird out as well. The main "gimmick" in this one is that you only date two women at once, aiming for the threesomes. I always thought a "double date" is when two couples go out for a pleasant time, but it's always good to expand my wang slang. First of all, let's talk about tone and plot (actual plot, get your head out of the gutter). Our main character, now a successful womanizer, must engage in threesomes in order to prevent planetary destruction (don't ask). Sure. There's now a new batch of girls to seduce, learn about, and go deep into (several of which are uncommon archetypes for the genre, like a gold digger, a trans youtuber, or a sexually-repressed Pakistani). The new mechanics allow for more fluid interactions, more dialogue, and deeper characterization than before, too (best seen with the two returning girls, Lola and Jesse: Lola has a lot more personality now, while Jesse underwent some personal growth and development). Some of these multiple choice questions are actually hard to nail, now (and you'll want to get them right, character progression is tied behind multiple currencies now). The first game felt like a legit Dating Sim with an erotic streak (albeit one where you're cheating on everybody with 10 other girls), but the sequel... man, the sequel just operates on full-on porn logic, with flimsy reasons for steamy threesomes all around. On one hand, it feels less guilty, since it seems everybody's on board with casual sex this time, but on the other hand, it's hard to buy that Polly (old-fashioned housewife) or Lailani (shy girl with low libido) would be so eager to get involved in casual threesomes. In a way, the concept behind the game prevents too much of a consistent characterization. Ah well, doesn't matter had sex. Another issue is that, with a silent protagonist, the dialogue feels like the two women are dating, and you're just obnoxiously third-weeling. Some of the sex scenes had me going "Wait, why are they in that posit- oh right, there's a dude involved. And that's me". Does this game work better if the MC a girl, doing a lesbian fantasy? I wonder. But enough of that, you know what we're here for: hot puzzles. The puzzling mechanics take the base from the first game (each puzzle represents a date, and each token colour represents an action), and overhauled it. You now have to switch between girls as you solve the board, and in doing so, you're also managing their stamina bars. Focus too much on one girl, and she gets tired. Furthermore, having to effectively manage separate meters for the pink and teal icons (as well as separate gift lists) makes things a lot trickier. It's also not as easy to cheese through dates with the right gift combo. You assign gifts to girls, instead of coming up with a decked-out combo for everybody, so you do need to find good gifts for every individual girl. Furthermore, since it's harder to cheese, you do need to keep a consistent strategy in mind for each date (usually, it's aiming for 4-in-a-row matches, and grabbing Power tokens, but how you go about it varies greatly depending on your item setup) Another excellent addition: baggage. That is to say, flaws in the girls you're dating effectively function as handicaps or game-changers during dates. For example, Lailani's "Prude" gets offended by Sexuality tokens, as if they were purple broken hearts. Meanwhile, Ashley's "Commitment Issues" penalises you focusing on her for 4 moves, which neuters a lot of strategies. This effectively means that you don't get just one strategy for each girl, you need to come up with a strategy for each pairing. off the top of my head: Polly and Brooke will handicap the date in different ways if you give a gift to the other woman. In order to navigate this pairing, you need to tire each one out on purpose before giving gifts; Ashley doesn't like being the focus of attention, while Nora dislikes having focus taken from her. Seems like a good match, but then keeping Nora's stamina up becomes the crux of the date; Lailani gets offended by sexuality, while Jesse doesn't feel it. This effectively turns every red token into dead weight; Zoe swaps the properties of teal and purple, while Lillian does the same for pink and purple. In other words, they are effectively chasing the same purple resource for different meters, which completely changes how you approach the date. And so on. There's a lot of variety and challenge at work here, which will keep your grey cells working on getting you laid. And if you're looking to have an easier time, well, there's an Easy Mode (though be warned, it still doesn't mean Simple Mode). So yeah, while the simplicity of the first game worked well, the management and puzzle mechanics of the second one feel a lot more fleshed out, without obsoleting the first entry. I appreciate that a lot, makes the sequel feel very distinct (without ever losing its silly tone), and gives me hope the genre(s) can still be pushed in other directions. And on a general note, if you're willing to experiment silly embarrassing games, I do recommend trying this series out, whether you're looking for Bejeweling satisfaction, or just some horny nights. ... Horny nights... Huh, why does that feel familiar? ... Oh right! Horned Knight N-Europe Review If you haven't checked it out, I wrote a review for a 2D platformer on the eShop called Horned Knight. I recently beat its Hard Mode while playing leisurely. In my opinion, it's a good title if you're looking for some simple platforming action, but don't take my word for it when you could take the entire review for it! Click the link above for my full thoughts on this affordable little game.
  5. Videogame Genres

    Nice catch! It's true, the platformer genre was dire at the time, which goes to show genre naming conventions are a reflection of what the gaming community/subculture thinks. I also noticed some regions give different names to genres, or otherwise classify them differently (I've seen at least one publication refer to a fighting game as a "Beat'em Up", and heard at least one person say "Simulation game" to refer to any single-player game). And I'm not sure how much of an actual thing this is, but popular Anime My Hero Academia had a scene where somebody said "I faced the problem like a Role Play game [shows visuals similar to Dragon Quest / Final Fantasy], but when I thought of it as a Simulation game [the visual turns into Fire Emblem / Civilization], it started to make more sense", which indicates Japanese gamers have an entirely different nomenclatures going on. Just to add to this point, the irony is that the likes of Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy took heavy inspiration from D&D to begin with, before taking the videogame genre in a distinct direction. I think I've been hearing the "Western RPG" and "JRPG" distinction as far back as Baldur's Gate II. I'm betting that, while JRPG were proliferating on consoles, western-style RPGs were developing their own thing on PC, before the likes of Mass Effect and Elder Scrolls brought those PC conventions to console gaming in the late '00s. Good breakdown. It's a good conclusion that you've reached (the part I bolded), but it does beg the question of whether Link's Awakening (where you need to backtrack to fulfill the trading quest) or Skyward Sword (where you need to revisit the same areas often) count. Of course, it's all about the game's focus on freeform exploration, which gets subjective. To me, it just seems like Metroidvania is a game that fulfills all 3 points you mentioned... and is also a 2D platformer. Which sounds arbitrary, but I think that's how the term is used. People seem willing to overlook level design and exploratory elements as long as it "looks" enough like the references to the genre. Some people say Metroid Prime fits the genre, but only because it's Metroid. The likes of Bioshock and System Shock, despite being designed like that as well, aren't often called Metroidvanias. You're telling me the "git gud" crowd practices gate-keeping? My word! But seriously, these are all very good points. I've always seen the likes of Devil May Cry and Bayonetta as "hack&slash" games (which if you think about it, are basically Beat'em ups in 3D), but there is a desire to "unite" them further, based on the one developer creating both series with similar foci and conventions. Soulslike is another one where it makes little sense to pretend it's a genre, even though its gameplay conventions are notable and memorable. It already fits the trappings of agreed-upon genres, such as 3D Adventure game, or a 3D Metroidvania... or even a hack&slash, though one where each hack and each slash need to be thought about carefully Didn't know about the origins of the term. That's fascinating! As a fan of Point&Clicks, I did wonder how come that traditional type of game got excluded from the "Adventure" naming conventions (because I do remember a time where "Adventure game" meant "Point&Click". Maybe only the PC crowd from my country did that?). But looking at this, and back at the evolution of the term, it seems its initial usage in LoZ was it... the missing Link , so to speak. Not sure I agree about the Visual Novel part, though. Phoenix Wright has plenty of puzzle-solving! But do Japanese players truly refer to VNs as Adventure games? As with any social sciences, I figure these naming conventions are ever-evolving, but having a grasp of how people use these terms helps when, say, describing a new game, or hearing someone else talk about it. How people come up with terms, and how they use it, is a fascinating subject for me nevertheless. (Thank you for clarifying what you meant in the other thread, btw!) The Star Wars comparison is a good one, because I've seen it be described as different genres, from different publications. As you say, it's what resonates most with an audience or community. I suppose Metroidvania is just a catchier term. I've seen some try to make the term "ENG" (Environmental Narrative Genre) happen, but it doesn't catch on because "Walking Sim" just resonates more with people.
  6. Labyrinth City looks like a Where's Wally book come to life, it's wonderful. Likely not for me, but I love that it exists. As for stuff I may get: Last Stop and Hindsight look interesting. Granted, it's more because there's plenty of goodwill with the developers, but to be fair, it's hard to tell how good a story-driven game will be; Beasts of Maravilla Island. Not that much into the "walking peacefully in nature" concept, but this one looked kinda Pokémon Snap lite? There's a demo on Steam, so I'll check it out; Road 96 looks mildly interesting, but I think it's the sort of game I'll need to hear discussions about before I'm fully sold; The Longing is one I had heard of before, but I didn't know quite how it looked. This is another one I'll look into after hearing discussions, but the concept itself already caught my attention; There is No Game looks super wild. Definitely on the wishlist; Cris Tales is one I was already sold on (there's a demo on GOG); House of the Dead Remake came out of nowhere! If it has lightgun mechanics with the joycons, I'll seriously consider getting it; Skul is one I have seen on Steam a lot, but the UI always turned me off. I'll consider it, but I feel weirdly "meh" about it; Oxenfree 2... I'd be more interested if I had played the first one... Which is actually on my backlog ; Aztech Forgotten Gods was definitely the star of the show for me. Not that it looks super impressive or anything, but the setting is absolutely bonkers! Sci-fi Aztecs?! Fuck yeah, sign me up! So yeah. A couple of nice surprises, but on the whole, they showed a lot of games that just didn't click with me. Par for the course for an indie presentation, I suppose!
  7. As per usual, all I ask for is a release date for Freedom Planet 2. C'maaan...
  8. General Switch Discussion

    Can we not fire needless shots, please? Respect other people's preferences.
  9. Yes, I read it too. I have some minor misgivings for now, but my opinion is the same as yours.
  10. Switch eShop Thread

    Hey! Do you like 2D platforming? If so, you might like this review! Horned Knight N-Europe Review You may have noticed a cheap game called Horned Knight on your local eShop, since about a month or so ago. You may have wondered if you can shovel through some dark ghouls, or even some hollow ghosts and/or goblins. If you did, boy did I write the review for you! Quick, read it while it's hot, or else you may, like, read it while cold, and that would be a shame.
  11. General Switch Discussion

    Still have the original one on my backlog, waiting to get played. Maybe I'll do it close to this one's announcement/launch.
  12. I hadn't even noticed that one! Tails is a proficient mechanical engineer AND aviator, with connections to researchers and professors from other fields (in Unleashed, he's on familiar terms with a renowned historian/anthropologist, so he's been building up that researcher network quite far). G.U.N. doesn't get a single thing right! Sonic's the actual bum. No house nor property to his name, no job, no income. Tails has a workshop/lab, at least. Let's face it, in a world where anthropomorphic animals are a common part of society, confusing two easily distinguishable hedgehogs is just pure racism by the police. Never expected such biting social commentary to come from Sonic Adventure 2, but that's the world we live in.
  13. Wasn't Tails the result of an experiment? Assuming that Dr.Robotnik did it, and that he took him as a baby, that explains the lack of info regarding his birth. He now lives as a free spirit along with Sonic in natural Green environments such as Hills, which explains him being off the grid. Legally speaking, he may be a barbarian. Or maybe G.U.N. is just shit at gathering intel. "Height: Small"? Is that the best they can do? If they already have a field for hair colour, and another for race, why add the redundant "Complexion"? And yet they couldn't even tell a blue hedhehog from a black one!
  14. New Play Control!! for Wii feat. N-Europe

    I imagine they were specifically looking for something like "Nintendo New Wii Play Europe", and the Europe tag specifically brought them here. But it's pretty rad to see it pop up!
  15. What constitutes a Metroidvania seems a tad arbitrary at times, considering 3D games are often excluded whenever the genre is discussed (for example, the video Ronnie posted even posited that the likes of Arkham Asylum and Resident Evil could potentially qualify, but chose to exclude 3D games). I figure the likes of God of War (2018) and Dark Souls fit the criteria necessary to part of the genre, but it's not often presented that way. (I have no idea what DCubed is on about Metroid not being one. Like, "Metroidvania" is just a way to name the genre that Super Metroid and Symphony of the Night popularized, it's not something that needs to be a mix of the two)
  16. Skin Colour, Races and Racism

    I've seen videos about the subject before. About historical discrimination in medicine, I mean: Both of these are US-centric, but I believe a lot of it applies to other countries as well. The basic gist of it is that doctors discriminate against minority patients in a variety of ways (dismissal of symptoms, erroneous assumptions, generally unpleasant behaviour, etc.), which leads to an increasing distrust from said minorities in the entire health system. Something that contributed to this situation is that, for a long time, even medical research itself was racist ("Blacks feel less pain" being the most notable aspect of this, but John Oliver's piece brings some appalling sexist examples as well). While I don't know how much of this applies to the UK, it's easy to assume similar underlying reasons. In order to trust health care services, you need to trust "the system", and that won't happen if minorities don't feel included enough in society.
  17. General Switch Discussion

    In the story is what they mean. The Primes and Other M take place before the events in Fusion. But it's definitely a misleading way of putting it. The last fully original Metroid title was Other M, and we got one remake and one spin-off since then. If we're highlighting how inactive the series is, we really should go by release, not lore.
  18. Sony to shut down PS3, Vita, PSP stores

    What I find odd is that the Vita is included. Sure, the PS3 and PSP are old, but doesn't the Vita share digital architecture with the PS4 for cross-play and such?
  19. Ah, I need to manually download it (I was already used to the Switch being automatic about it). Since I have the physical copy, I've never been on the eShop page. Thank you! I already knew about the Amiibo stuff - and I love how well made they are - but the only ones I own are Alm, Celica, and Incineroar (plus, I need a specific reader for the 3DS, right? Don't have it)
  20. Your 2021 Gaming Diary

    Indeed, for March, my monthly selection of games (which I'll call a "picnic", considering March's batch) ended up kind of falling into my lap. I somehow won a A Short Hike code on the N-Europe Café podcast (thank you once again @Londragon, @Nicktendo, @nekunando), and I decided to play it alongside some other games that fit the theme. That theme was something like "short relaxing games", which felt loose, until Brandon Jones of EZA dropped some new terminology on me a few days ago: Mindful Games. So all pieces fell just right, a Mindful March was the right choice. Considering the slow-paced nature of such games, I decided to forgo the time limit at least this once, since the point is to relax, after all. If I was doing them as quickly as possible, I probably could've done them in a week, but it took me two instead. A Short Hike Paradoxically, fishing is neither short, nor a hike An indie game from 2019, mostly made by one Adam Robinson-Yu (and a handful of artists and composers). I'm pretty sure this game has a appeared in a couple of Directs before, and is the title I won on the N-E Café. (I was supposed to get it on the Switch, but the eShop somehow does not allow gift purchases. I thought this was Nintendo being backwards about something again, but then I learned the PS Store doesn't allow it either. What is the deal with this? Do PC digital stores own the copyright to the concept? Get your shit together, console giants. Anyway, I got the Steam code instead) I first expected this to be a slow game about walking, but it actually resembles a 3D Platformer. Scratch that, it really is a 3D Platformer. You're on an island with a rocky mountain, and you can explore it at your leisure. There are NPCs to talk to, sidequests to do, objects and secrets to find, a few minigames... There's a lot of content in a seemingly small package. You play as Claire, an anthropomorphic bird who's vacationing in this island with her aunt (a park ranger). Claire decides to hike to the top of the mountain to get some phone signal, and that's all it takes to kickstart the exploration trip around the island. The dialogue in this game is short, lighthearted, and pretty quirky, in a somewhat intentionally silly kind of way. As has been happening lately, my game defaulted to Brazillian Portuguese, but I decided to keep it this time around, because the translation seemed pretty well done to me. For available moves, there's jumping (as well as mid-air jumping), climbing, gliding (also known as falling with style), and some moves depending on whichever item you have, like digging or fishing. All of these moves feel really smooth, and it's very pleasant to just explore everything. The gliding mechanic in particular is delightful, and there's something magical about simply descending the island while gliding slowly down. You can also dive bomb to gain some speed, if it suits your fancy. The game-feel is pure joy. Some of the collectibles are fetch quests, and others are specific items, but the one collectible you want to be on the lookout for are Golden Feathers. Each one gives you more stamina, so that you may climb higher, or mid-air jump more times. You definitely need a set number to reach the peak, but nothing's stopping you from finding them all. I know I wanted to get all 20. As you can tell, the graphics are DS reminiscent, with its blocky models and simplistic style. It's not my favourite 3D art style, but when coupled with the cel-shading, it works really well with the colourful, cartoony ambiance this game's going for. Plus, I think the animations are smoother than what the DS used to have, which helped me ease into it. The music is lovely as well, with pleasant tunes and ambient sounds accompanying your journey. The game's quite short if you race to the top (about one hour) and not that much longer if you try to find everything (that's around 2 more hours), but this game isn't about reaching the top, it's about the sidetracking and enjoying the journey. Highly recommended. ABZÛ What an abzûrd title Diving into ABZÛ, I knew this 2016 game was going to be different, and I knew it was made by staff that also worked on Journey (Giant Squid Games, made up of former thatgamecompany employees). I bought it cheap on the eShop a while back, and this was an opportunity to check how I feel about this type of game. First of all, I should say ABZÛ is about a swimmer/diver exploring the sea, interacting with maritime lifeforms, and having a chill time. There's a plot and a progression, but it's all wordless, and open to interpretation. The meat of the game is the aesthetic, the environment, the flow of it all. ...Can't say I liked it, though. For starters, the diving controls are weird and unintuitive, the camera gives me a smidge of vertigo, and movement is a tad too slow for me. Secondly, this type of game seems to be designed with the idea that aesthetic and backgrounds are the main event, and I don't think that's enough to carry it for me. It's a swimming simulator with not much to do. It's weird, because I actually really like sealife. It was fun to see representation of real animals, both the famous and unknown (it's one thing to see sharks and orcas, but manatees were a surprise), the living and the extinct (there are coelacanth and plesiosaurs!), but that's really all it had, and the potential interaction with them is very limited. There are collectibles over the course of this 2 hour game (glowing shells) and though they're well hidden, the game isn't fun enough to motivate me to search for them. Also, this is yet another game set to Portuguese by default, and I couldn't change it. I didn't mind it too much this time around (the animal names were in my language, and I appreciated it), I'm more bothered by the fact that, in a game with so little text to begin with, they still somehow left some parts in English (what is it with bad translations as of late?). On the positive side, I think I can now say with some certainty that I don't think I'd enjoy the likes of Flower or Journey. I can see how others would, but I don't think they're for me. Silence Besides the main character, there's another 3D element in this screenshot. How obvious is it? For a more unconventional choice of a "mindful game", I checked what sort of short unplayed games I had on the Switch, and to my surprise, Silence was supposed to be shorter than I anticipated. This 2016 game, made by Daedalic, is actually a sequel to another game of theirs, The Whispered World (in fact, when they first announced it, it was tentatively called Silence - Whispered World 2). I remember being very surprised, as TWW ended pretty decisively. Furthermore, that game had a very 2D Disney-esque look to it, and this one looked rounder, grittier, and a lot more 3D. But since it was made by the same people, I trusted the bold new direction and eventually got it on the Switch. So what is it about? Daedalic specializes in traditional Point&Click games, and that's exactly what TWW was. It told the story of Sadwick, a cynical clown boy in a colourful fairytale world, going on a journey to save it. Silence goes on a different direction, with two siblings - Noah and Renie - from the real world (or a real-ish world, at least) being magically transported into Silence - the same world from the first game, now with a name - and trying to find a way home. While the plot of this game can be easily enjoyed on its own (returning elements and characters don't really need any introduction beyond what this game tells us), it starts by spoiling the entire ending segment of Whispered World (as a story that Noah tells Renie), which is a bummer. I personally recommend playing TWW first, not because you need it to enjoy Silence, but because that game is best enjoyed blind. With that out of the way, Silence is a Point&Click game as well, hence why I consider it "Mindful", the genre is always a chill experience. There's a drastic change in that there's no longer an inventory (or rather, there is, but there's no point in opening it), because you're not expected to carry more than one item at once. Despite this, the game is very intuitive, and the way you interact with the environments still leaves room for various puzzles, plenty of which aren't immediately obvious, and that's kind of impressive. Plus, the way this genre was translated into console controls is also way more intuitive than I thought, as even the UI is expressive enough to tell you what clicking on an object will do (though for whatever reason, you can't use the Joy-Cons as a pointer, which I thought would be a no-brainer? Maybe they designed this UI with the other consoles in mind) I figure the reason for the inventory change has to do with the art style, which I must say, looks excellent. I had my doubts at first, but the 2D backgrounds and 3D models blend in perfectly. Furthermore, you can tell the developers can now do a lot more animation work with the main characters, because they almost never put items in their pouch, they carry things around and interact with other elements this way. Noah and Renie may actually have different walk cycles depending on which item they're carrying (whether it's a bucket or a bunch of apples). It adds a lot of character, especially Renie's haughty walk cycle, and speaking of that, the models have super expressive faces as well. Like I said, you play as either Noah and Renie depending on the story beat, but there's a 3rd character: their pet Spot. Spot is a shapeshifting caterpillar that was Sadwick's pet in the previous game, and now he's back (thankfully, as Spot was one of the best parts of the previous game as well). As in the previous game, he can shapeshift into various forms depending on environmental interactions, and essentially functions as a swiss army knife. Or the inventory that this game otherwise does not have. His presence can make puzzles trickier than they initially seemed, which is a good thing for me. Plus, he's even cuter here than he was in the previous game (the top row shows the "before" and "after"). Maybe you can't tell from still shots, but he's much more expressive now too. The game is only about 5-6 hours, which is shorter than Daedalic's usual offerings. I figure this is in part because puzzles are easier to figure out this time around (the lack of a large inventory with useless junk on it does streamline thought processes), and the more detailed animations likely mean a reduction of elements to interact with as well (there are segments here that feel like they were cut shorter than they were originally meant to be). What we do have here looks and sounds pretty good, but it does feel more like a cinematic experience than a world to explore (and to their credit, there are no QTEs in sight, relying on more creative minigames to keep cutscenes engaging) This game booted up in Portuguese (again!), but I quickly changed it to German voices and English text. This has been how I've been playing Daedalic games, but it may have been a mistake this time around, because the game feels like it was written primarily in English. Plus, the dialogue was cut really weirdly, with characters speaking before the other one was done talking. Makes me think that the elaborate cutscenes were paced with English voice acting in mind. As for the plot... it's actually really engaging. It's easy to like our main characters, and even some of the minor ones (like Sam, the big gruff adventurer with a surprising amount of scientific knowledge in his brain). There are dialogue options, but they don't amount to any significant change, since the plot's pretty linear (some moments might weigh or hit differently depending on specific choices you made, but the journey provides the same beats). The main exception is one tough choice that defines which ending you get (you'll know when you see it), and both of them are quite emotional. I'd say it was a journey worth experiencing. So yeah, it's coincidental that @Vileplume2000 said not long ago that you don't see many Point&Clicks these days, but I already had this one lined up on the Switch to be played soon. I do recommend checking Daedalic's games if you're looking to get reacquainted with the genre (maybe even this one, despite me recommending The Whispered World first), because they always get creative with it, whether it be with puzzles, writing, or just the aesthetic. And that's the March picnic out of the way. April may get weird, though...
  21. Balan Wonderworld

    My thoughts on the demo from a while back: I am not confident in this game being good. It's got extremely basic controls and mechanics, uninspired level design, nothingburgers of special stages (which I believe are the ones causing seizure issues?), the plot is barebones to the point of being confused, and something about the way it ran (could've been the framerate, but it's hard to say) made me queasy. Of all those things, only the last one (plus the seizure thing) can be fixed with a patch, because everything else are fundamental design issues.
  22. *uses a Steam Engine to ressuscitate thread* Heyo. This game is next on my physical backlog, and I've started it recently (currently at Buckingham Palace). I entered mostly blind, not really aware of what people liked or disliked about it, and was immediately staggered by the long enemy turns I see posters complaining about in this thread. But I hear there was a patch to speed things up. If so, how do I know it's already installed? And if I can manually speed things up, which button is it? As it stands, I feel like I need to play this game while doing some other chore (alternating between the two), which is quite bothersome. Beyond that (and the annoyingly long ranges the enemies have), this feels like a fun game. It's unusual as far as tactical games go (though I haven't tried Valkyria Chronicles yet). The lack of a map is kinda bothersome, but I feel like it's part of the point, considering the over-the-shoulder perspective. Plus, the ability to walk back while collecting coins makes it feel like a collectathon, which feels fresh for strategy games.
  23. Fun with Flags!

    And here I thought this would be a thread about fun, useless flag facts. Like "The Dutch flag used to have an orange stripe, but got changed to red to save money" or "Nepal's flag isn't rectangular"
  24. N-E Café Podcast

    I'm afraid I don't have much to add this week (other than that Aladdin on Mega Drive was actually pretty dang cool). I really liked hearing the main topic's quiz, and all of the surprises it revealed (how the heck was PUBG more profitable than Fortnite? Baffling). Regarding the pause, I hope you enjoy the break. We all need some rest from time to time, and hopefully it'll do you all some good. See you soon And just for the heck of it... I don't think I can! I think I recognized Onett in there... and maybe the Wii Fit results screen? But it's quite hard to recognize the specific tunes.
  25. General Switch Discussion

    Yeah, a few big hitters, like I said. Though I imagine, if there's a new Mario coming soon-ish (at least within the New Switch's launch), it's likely to be Mario Kart 9