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Everything posted by Cube

  1. bad stuff thread.

    I've just been informed by my fiancee that Tails is not green. My entire life is a lie.
  2. Forza Horizon 5

    Definitely the kind of anti-consumer thing that I expect Microsoft to do more of in the future, especially for multiplayer games so they can rely on peer pressure to push sales.
  3. Forza Horizon 5

    Played it for a few hours. Graphically, it looks amazing, but it has the same issues that 4 has. Drivatars are still creepy, and they still punish you in offline mode by making them crash into you and get in your way (it's bizarre how you have to go online if you want to drive peacefully). Getting cars is still down by roulette wheel, making it feel like you don't earn a single car, it's more like you're being given access to someone else's cars. Unlocking the Horizon outposts is slightly more progression than the previous one, although the prologue itself is really short compared to 4, which had lots of cool events and the fancy season changing as you went though it (it was easily the best part of 4). I'll probably carry on unlocking the outposts and playing the stories (I hope they've returned), as the core gameplay is great, it's just a shame that it still feels like a mobile phone game in terms of progression.
  4. Your 2021 Gaming Diary

    The Forgotten City Release date: 28th July 2021 Platform Played: Xbox Series S Completion: All four endings The Forgotten City starts off with the worst part of the game, with some poor writing which includes a really dumb Karen joke. It gives a sour taste to the start of the game but thankfully the choice of name actually ends up becoming an interesting twist, but it’s a bad way to date your game at the very start. This Karen has saved you from a river, and asks you to find someone called Al. Coming across some ruins, you fall down a large drop into a hidden ancient city, filled with gold statues of people, except these statues look like people frozen in time. Entering a portal, you end up hurled back in time around 2000 years into a mysterious ancient city. The city has what the inhabitants call “The Golden Rule”. If any one person commits a sin, everyone will be wiped out (by some kind of god, the people there disagree on which one). Some inhabitants think this is just a way for the magistrate to control the people. The Magistrate knows (based on your appearance) that someone will break The Golden Rule within the next day, as he’s discovered a ritual that allows him to reset time. In order to return to your own timeline, you are told that you have to stop this sin from being committed. While there is some combat in this game, the majority of the game is talking to people, discovering their history, motives and plans, as well as figuring out the puzzle of how the city works. If you fail, you have to rush back to the portal and start the day again, regaining your knowledge and any items you have collected. Unlike The Outer Wilds, another time loop game, The Forgotten City doesn’t run on a clock, events happen by you triggering them (often by walking to the location where they happen), which gives the game a very relaxed feel for the most part, as you don’t need to rush around. One other thing which is extremely handy is that as you complete tasks, you can tell the first person you meet each day to do a load of stuff for you, so you aren’t constantly repeating the same things and can focus entirely on unravelling more of the mystery. The writing (other than the one section at the start) is great, the 23 residents are mostly interesting (there are a couple that don’t do much) and it’s very satisfying learning how to manipulate events. I recently played Twelve Minutes, which is another dialogue-heavy time loop game, and in that it was a constant frustration that I couldn’t try any ideas or ask the questions I wanted due to the game’s limitations, but in The Forgotten City it seemed like most things I wanted to ask were there, and one crazy idea I had actually led to one of the game’s endings (there are four in total, although you really should aim to discover them all). The Forgotten City has a very interesting mystery, with lots of great revelations and discoveries throughout, and a conclusion I was very satisfied with. Unpacking Release date: 2nd November 2021 Version Played: Xbox Series S Completion: Finished game Unpacking is a game where you simply unpack boxes as someone moves house. The unpacking isn’t a challenge to overcome, but rather how you experience the game’s story, as it’s told through the items you unpack. You start off with some boxes in a child’s bedroom, you learn about their hobbies and interests as you go through each item and choose where to place it. You can be as neat or as messy as you want, you can take the time to make nice displays or just find somewhere for it to go. Once all items are out, some items will flash because they’re not in a “correct” spot. As long as you’ve been somewhat sensible and not just thrown everything on the floor, this will only be a few items, some are requirements like kitchen utensils doing in drawers or cupboards, but sometimes items simply need to be hidden out of view, representing an aspect of this person’s life. As you complete each level, you’ll move to the next house or apartment that this person lived in, deducing their life’s story through the items that follow to the next house, the ones that are hidden and the state of the house to begin with. The items tell stuff about the person and their current state, and if like me you’ll waste a lot of time analysing the games and DVDs, trying to work out what game or film the pixels are supposed to represent. There’s not a lot to actually say about Unpacking, it’s a very relaxing and calm game that tells a simple story in a unique way. It’s short (around 3 hours), but definitely worth experiencing. Kill It With Fire Release date: 13th August 2020 Version Played: Xbox Series S Completion: All objectives and challenges Kill it with Fire is an absurd and over the top game about killing spiders. It starts off nice and simple, before descending into complete madness. One interesting thing about Kill it with Fire is that the spiders are just spiders – there are some different types such as ones that jump, or queen ones that release young when killed and some that shoot webs, but there’s no venomous spiders, they can’t hurt you at all. I personally love this about the game, as it delves into one key aspect of arachnophobia, which is an illogical fear as spiders can’t hurt you (fearing venomous spiders isn’t a phobia, as there’s a valid reason to fear them). Each level will have a list of objectives such as killing certain kinds of spiders, killing them in specific ways, destroying or moving specific objects. You have to discover these objectives by finding them through the level, but if you happen to complete the objective before finding it, then it will be revealed and marked as completed. Weapons start from a clipboard, hairspray (with lighter) and a pistol, and throughout the levels you will find assault rifles, C4, hedge trimmers, frying pans and more. There are a few non-aggressive items such as cheese puffs (which serves as a lure but can also change spider type), energy drinks and flashbangs. The game is short, which works for a game like this as it doesn’t overstay its welcome. It doesn’t do anything mind blowing, but is simply entertaining and amusing. Backbone Release Date: 8th Jun 2021 Version Played: Xbox Series S Completion: Story completed A detective game featuring anthropomorphic animals, with a beautiful pixelated visual style, Backbone definitely starts out on the right foot. The game opens with you, a racoon detective, taking on a case involving a cheating husband. The club he’s suspected to be in doesn’t allow racoons, so you have to find ways into it. You have dialogue options which won’t alter the plot, but will alter how people will react to you, along with what options are available to you. You will also encounter a few puzzles, including one where you have to move objects around to work out a code. Everything about the opening act is wonderful, the characters you talk to are interesting, everything looks fantastic and the feeling of a detective is spot-on. There’s no “fail state” but it feels like you’re solving a case. It’s a brilliant start to a game, and showed a ton of potential. If only it kept it up. I get the impression that there was a lot more planned for Backbone, and that this first section was carefully crafted to show its potential, then when it came to developing the rest, they simply didn’t have the budget for it. The next few chapters are still good, held together by some great characters and good writing, as well as the mystery of what you discovered from the first case being interesting, however it feels more like a visual novel as you just move on to the next location, have a conversation and move on. Everything feels more scripted and it doesn’t feel like you, the player, is actually working out anything, just following instructions, although at least it feels like your conversation choices matter and affect how people perceive you, even if it does have no impact. Then, just as it seems like things are getting interesting and the mystery is starting to unravel, the game gives you another big twist, only this one really does not land. I won’t spoil what it is, but it feels like the game is derailed at this point, and from this point, it feels like your conversation options matter even less than they did before. There’s also no more exploring of new areas, it’s pretty much “press A to continue” at this point. Then the game just seems to…stop. The big twist itself would have worked, if it were the halfway point of a story, as it feels like there should be a lot more. There’s some new things set up right at and some aspects of the original mystery are just forgotten about. It further solidifies the idea that the developers ran out of money, as the game ends. It’s a shame, because the early stuff is fantastic, and the visuals, music and songs throughout remain a treat for the senses. There are some segments that let you sit back and enjoy the spectacle, and the story definitely seemed like it was going somewhere…it just never did.
  5. 66. Sonic Advance 2 Original Platform: Game Boy Advance Where to get: Second hand Sonic Advance 2 looks absolutely fantastic, the animations are wonderful and everything moves around extremely smoothly. The sound effects and music are also top notch, too. It’s definitely a treat to the senses as you play through the game. You can also see DIMPs starting to do their own thing with Sonic games, as you can see the beginnings of the Rush games in Advance 2. There’s a focus on speed as if you go fast enough for a long period (made shorter if you have more rings), you will enter a “turbo speed mode” where Sonic will go even faster, except that it’s much harder to stop. This focus on speed also comes alongside one of the main flaws that cropped up in the Rush series, with unseen bottomless pits and obstacles that are impossible to dodge. The high speed mode makes it even worse as it feels quite unresponsive, and can activate when you don’t want it to. Another new system is the trick system, mainly used for an extra jump. If you’re going fast, you really don’t have time to react when you see a platform slightly above you that you need to use it for. This wouldn’t be an issue if it was solely for extra routes, but sometimes you’ll end up falling down a pit because you didn’t react to something before it appeared on screen. The level design also doesn’t seem to match the focus on speed well, as the later levels are much more enjoyable to play at a slower pace. There doesn’t seem to be any sections to just enjoy the speed for a moment. The entrances to the special stages are also really well hidden, meaning you’ll have to slowly explore the levels if you want to collect them. You also need to collect them as the four main characters (Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and newcomer Cream) to unlock Amy – 28 in total, it goes a bit too far. Visually, Sonic Advance 2 is great. I just think it’s a step down from the first Advance in terms of gameplay. 67. Sonic R Original Platform: Saturn Version Played: PC (with fan patch) Where to get: Second hand This is definitely as bad as I was expecting it to be. It’s a Sonic racing game with bad controls, very little content, poor level design and an extremely awesome soundtrack. A racing game where Sonic actually runs (instead of using a car) does make a lot of sense, but the movement in this just feels off, it’s unresponsive and sluggish. Simply coming in first is trivially easy, as you can jump past huge sections of track while the AI tries to run along it, sometimes getting stuck. The main challenge comes from the collectibles. Hidden in each track are 5 coins and 1-2 chaos emeralds .To unlock the chaos emeralds, you’ll need to collect rings and open a “ring gate”, then collect the emerald and finish in first place (for levels that have two, you can do them individually). Collecting all coins and finishing in the top 3 will let you race a character to unlock them. There are a total of 5 levels, although the final one doesn’t have any coins or emeralds. The characters are a bit odd. Even when this was made, there were a few additional characters they could have picked. We have the main characters: Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy (who drives a really slow car) and Dr Robotnik. Metal Sonic makes sense, then it shoves in a creepy Tails doll, metal Knuckles and a random egg robot. You can also unlock Super Sonic to make the game even easier. While Sonic R is an awful game, I think it’s worth just seeing it for yourself. There’s not much to see so you’ll get through the levels finally quickly. 68. Sonic the Hedgehog: Dice Rush Original Platform: Board Game Where to get: Some new copies still available in USA/UK (as of Nov 2011) This board game is sort of like a speed Yhatzee. There is a pile of cards, each worth different numbers of points and all with a dice requirement such as a pair, four of a kind, 4 straight or even just free (these are negative points). A number of cards are drawn at the start of a round equal to the number of players and everyone starts rolling. You have to reroll your dice as quickly as possible (you can re-roll all or just a couple) until you get the needed result and then put your character card on top of the card you want to claim, you need to be the first to do so as once it has been claimed, nobody else can do so. After everyone has claimed a card, they all check to see if they can afford it and place them in their level. If they didn’t have the required dice, they must place it face down and not score it (free cards must always be added face up). Some enemies had badniks on them, which are worth negative points. If you have any leftover 6 dice after claiming a card, you can use them to kill them, adding a flicky token which is worth one point. After all cards have been claimed, you count up the points and the highest score wins. It’s a basic game, but surprisingly entertaining, and a pretty fun fuller game that takes less than 20 minutes. The Green Hill Zone artwork is nice, and it’s nice to see classic artwork in use for a more modern product.
  6. General Switch Discussion

    The hidden posts made no attempt to further discussion, they had no additional points made within them. One was a single emoji post, the other one was a vague attack against someone else, and removed in an attempt to prevent an escalation. My joke comment was followed by a point afterwards, that's the main difference.
  7. General Switch Discussion

    What do you think it is if not a console? A butterfly? The 3DS is a games console and the Switch is its successor (as well as also being the Wii U's successor).
  8. General Switch Discussion

    Well, from the Wii U and 3DS. You can't just ignore the larger chunk of Nintendo's console sales prior to the Switch.
  9. Pikmin Bloom (mobile)

    I tried the planting flower thing on my walk home from. I laughed when the coin reward was a single coin. Only £0.0079 worth, and only 8 months of walking to and from work (while doing the same on a weekend) to get the cheapest box for sale. That's provided you have enough petals, gathering them by feeding them nectar is a massive pain.
  10. Pikmin Bloom (mobile)

    Mine is 9757 2187 7794
  11. 64. Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble Original Platform: GameGear Where to get: Sonic Adventure DX, Sonic Gems Collection, 3DS eShop. For the Game Gear, this is an impressive title. As it was made for the Game Gear specifically, and not ported from the Master System, it utilises the Game Gear’s screen estate properly, the sprites are smaller and you can see more of the screen, leading to far fewer issues of jumping into the unknown. As the actual game is concerned, there really isn’t a lot to talk about. It’s a decent Sonic platformer but doesn’t really have anything special about it, nor does it really have any glaring flaws. If you want to play a Sonic platformer and haven’t played Triple Trouble before, then I’d say it’s worth it, as it’s still a fun title, but I can’t see myself wanting a second playthrough. There are a few fun set pieces, I did like the train boss, which was probably the most unique part of Triple Trouble, and the gameplay and graphics feel better than what you would expect from a Game Gear. 65. Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure Original Platform: Neo Geo Pocket Where to get: Second hand A Sonic adventure that was made for the Neo Geo Pocket, this game is essentially another 8-bit version of Sonic 2 (with a couple of elements from Sonic 1) like the Master System/Game Gear version of Sonic 2, except that the Neo Geo Pocket was a much more advanced console, resulting in a far better conversion. The Zones in Pocket Adventure are based on levels from Sonic 2, but renamed slightly (Cosmic Casino Zone instead of Casino Night Zone, for example), with a few taking some graphic design from Green Hill Zone and Scrap Brain Zone from Sonic 1. While the themes are the same, and the layouts are loosely based on the originals, to me these felt like “new” levels in terms of how they played, making it feel more like a remix of Sonic 2 more than a port. The gameplay in this is also great, feeling close to the original Mega Drive games in terms of physics and speed. It’s a ton of fun to play and I think this one definitely deserves a re-release as it’s well worth playing, even if it is derivative of Sonic 2.
  12. The Star Wars Thread

    At least she has more personality than the main character.
  13. What Have You Bought?

    Ordered it from Amazon on Wednesday (arranged for delivery today as I was on holiday until yesterday). This is for the standard Pixel 6, not the Pro, so probably why it was in stock.
  14. What Have You Bought?

    I went for the Caseology Parallax case, I liked the look of it. The grips on the side and the grooved back make it feel secure in my hand. Surprisingly, the double tap on back action seems to work even better with the case. And some cheap headphones for walking to work.
  15. What Have You Bought?

    @Ashley I'm just messing around with mine, the reverse translation is still there, just under the three dots. Really impressed with the camera so far, going from a Nexus 4, horrible Chinese phone and cheap Nokia 4.2 to this is a big improvement for me. Especially impressed with taking photos in a dark room with light coming in from the doorway. I still need to get used to the gestures, I'm used to having buttons at the bottom. I keep backing when sliding stuff to the right.
  16. Xbox Series S | X Console Discussion

    I've had three months of ultimate for £1 twice, and another three months (nearly four) via Microsoft rewards.
  17. You can remap buttons...but only via the settings which change it for the whole console. It really needs a per game setting. They probably consider their poor implementation "enough " and don't want to make specific button mapping when needed.
  18. bad stuff thread.

    One of my sisters (who just stated uni) witnessed a stabbing. She was walking home when it happened. She pressed her panic alarm and the attacker ran away. She ran over and used his coat to apply pressure, ambulance and police came. The victim survived and my sister was told that without her intervention (the alarm and slowing the bleeding) they would have died. So good in a way as she saved someone's life, but scary as she had to witness it.
  19. What Have You Bought?

    That's where the car door comes in. When I pulled the door, the phone was in the worst possible position and was crushed between the bottom of the door and the frame.
  20. What Have You Bought?

    My phone fell out of my pocket as I was closing a car door so ended up ordering a Pixel.
  21. Your 2021 Gaming Diary

    The Good Life The Good Life is a rather odd game. It sets itself in a small British town with a mystery to solve, while also attempting to be a “life RPG” similar to games like Stardew Valley and My Time At Portia. It describes itself as a "Debt Repayment RPG", which doesn’t really fit the game at all - the debt is a reason for your character’s motivation, but it doesn’t have any relevance to the gameplay. Naomi, a journalist from New York, is sent to “the happiest town in the world” to try and figure out the mysteries and secrets the town holds. Early on you discover that the residents can turn into cats and dogs, then gain the ability yourself to turn into either as much as you want. As you’re getting used to it, a murder happens and you try to solve that. The gameplay itself is a “crafting” type game. You find items by scrounging around the map (a lot are gained by going through bins) or killing animals. These can then be turned into other materials and then those materials can be used to construct things like outfits or garden furniture. Unfortunately, the drop rate for a lot of things is extremely low. It’s the kind of game where you need (for example) rabbit fur, but only get rabbit meat from the first 20 you kill. Gathering materials is not fun at all, and as it’s only required for a small amount of main missions, you’ll likely just ignore it altogether. I spent most of the game wearing a ruffled dress that was needed for a mission. You have multiple stats to keep up, like HP, health (this is separate from hit points and determines vulnerability to things like colds), hunger, charisma, stress. Some of it is always on the HUD while other times, it’s completely hidden. Most of this is managed by eating food. You can cook, but the amount of time required to get the resources means you’ll just buy it. The rest of the gameplay is mainly fetch quests, and the gameplay itself isn’t really fun, it’s just really slow and clunky. Turning into a cat or dog sounds great, but the cat form is barely used (you can jump up buildings but it’s used around twice) and the dog is mainly used for tracking scents. The cat can jump higher than dog/human, but it’s very wonky. Photography is another important aspect, you start with a sepia-toned camera but can buy a better one, along with a telescopic or wide angle lens. Objects are highlighted so you know what you’re taking a picture of. Some quests will ask for photos of certain objects or people. There is also a “social media” app that you can upload photos to, where your photos will get likes. If your photo matches any of the current hashtags, it will get more likes (and likes translate directly into money). What makes The Good Place interesting is the intrigue and mystery around it. Something I kind of like is that it’s a view of the UK from a non-British developer. As a result, things are a bit off. The food available in the game included things like hedgehog pie, red squirrel stew, red deer burgers (which some people might have, but it’s called venison), and pork scratchings are described as being great when you bite into them and pork juices flow out. I’m not sure if the food is stuff they think we eat, or if some are there purely as a use for the in-game animals. I also found it fascinating that they added models for grit bins, but seem to be unaware of what they are as they’re marked up as “rubbish bins”. Then there’s the mystery of what is going on. The story just gets crazier and crazier as you progress, with some amusing moments. For how the game looks, there’s also a surprising amount of swearing. I was a bit let down by how it’s resolved, but the ending was entertaining enough that it didn’t really matter. The Good Life is a rather frustrating, slow and clunky game that just had an intriguing vibe to it that makes you want to see the story through to the end.
  22. General Movie Thread

    Where's Sully? There's someone pretending to be him, but he doesn't have the most important aspect of Sully: the moustache. So it must be an imposter. Or perhaps they're going to do a Sonic the Hedgehog and tease the "correct design" at the end of the film? Also, supposedly the woman in the trailer is Chloe (she definitely doesn't have the charisma of Claudia Black that is required to make the character work).
  23. 63. Sonic and the Secret Rings Original Platform: Wii Where to get: Second hand A Sonic game with a unique control scheme. In Sonic and the Secret Rings, Sonic automatically moves forward and you make him move left/right by tilting the Wii Remote. Holding the jump button will make Sonic slow down and charge up a jump while you can move backwards while twisting the Wii Remote towards you. The latter is not explained by the game well at all, as the on-screen description implies you just move it so its facing towards you, when you actually have to flip the whole Wii Remote upside down. Once you discover that, the controls are still a bit odd, but functional. You will progress throughout a series of levels that take place in the world of Arabian Nights, starting with the desert level you would expect from a setting. The other levels, however, definitely take a lot of liberties, such as a jungle with dinosaurs, pirate ships, a floating city on top of a giant manta ray and a fiery factory. Each level is fun to play, with some great music throughout, and even with the fairly poor (for today’s standards) graphics, still have a nice visual style. Unfortunately, the game’s structure really lets it down. When you beat a level, you’ll get a cutscene (in a nice hand drawn style), where Sonic will indicate heading to the next level…but you can’t access the next level. Instead, you have to progress through a ton of challenges. Some of these are fun, but others are just repetitive as you play through the same parts of a level collecting rings, or killing enemies, or not killing enemies. Some of these are required to progress through the game, while others are optional…except the game gives no indication of which ones are which, so you’ll go through a lot of them anyway until one of them moves you on. When you unlock a new mission, the screen will just state a new mission unlocked and won’t even tell you which level its in. What doesn’t help is the main song, Seven Rings in Hand. I enjoy this song (especially the Crush 40 version), but it will drive you crazy throughout Sonic and the Secret Rings as it’s on a constant loop throughout all the menus, and the ranking screen plays a smaller snippet of it. You’ll hear it so much that it will annoy you pretty quickly. Another big issue with Secret Rings is how Sonic is at the start. The game has a levelling up system, where you will unlock new skills and assign them (you can have four different layouts), so as you approach the end, it gets significantly better, but really all of the speed ones should have been default as it really does give a bad first impression. I really like Sonic and the Secret Rings. Despite its flaws, there is a lot of charm to the game, with some really enjoyable levels. I would love a “Storybook Collection” remake with some more traditional controls as an option, as I think it really does deserve another chance. B1. Super Sonic Ball Original Platform: PC, Switch, PS4/5, Xbox One/Series Version Played: Xbox Series S Where to get: Digital stores The latest Sonic spin-off, this platforming game is a very different kind of platforming to other Sonic games, where Sonic is trapped in a ball and you move him by tilting the level itself, guiding Sonic past obstacles and along narrow paths. This is the first spin-off since Sonic Jump Fever where Sonic is playable, but not unlocked at the start. Instead, you start as AiAi the Monkey, who was introduced in Sonic Rivals and has appeared in a few spin-offs since then. The story itself is very loose and isn’t really explained at all. My guess is Dr Robotnik (who you never actually encounter) has trapped Sonic in an airtight ball, and he has to make his way through the levels in order to unlock the ball and escape. There is a time limit for each level (presumably representing how much air is left in Sonic’s ball). Some of the levels also imply that Sonic has also been shrunk down, as they take place above giant washing machines or a campsite stove. Each grouping of levels starts off with a “Green Hill Zone” level. It isn’t called Green Hill Zone, but features the signature chequered pattern and tropical setting, something that is consistent across all levels, but in different colours. There are some imaginative ideas here, as one series of levels takes place in a giant whale that has swallowed multiple cities, trapped in orbs. The gameplay itself is simple. The levels are made up of floating platforms that you tilt and you have to make it to the goal plate, collecting rings along the way. The rings can be used for unlockables, and collecting them all gets you bonus points. The gameplay itself sounds simple, but the simplicity is misleading as the levels get difficult very quickly. Thankfully, there are no lives to worry about, so you can perfect each level to your heart’s content, and the time from failing to starting again is very short, meaning that the difficult levels are challenging without being frustrating. I think I actually died on one level over 100 times before finally managing it. Super Sonic Ball is a really great game. The levels can get ridiculously difficult, but it’s immensely satisfying when you finally beat one.
  24. What Have You Bought?

    What make? Dell, HP? I just have to unlock phone to pay as well, and smart devices are now handily on the power button menu.
  25. Post your Cooking!

    Click Clock Salad Bear & Bird Roast Jiggy Biccies And Conga's Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice