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Cube

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Posts posted by Cube


  1. Bugsnax

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    I wasn’t expecting that much from Bugsnax, but ended up loving it. It’s a game where you collect cute creatures made out of food. There are 8 regions to explore, each with its own set of Bugsnax. You’ll need to learn their behavioural patterns and catch them using various traps and equipment. Working out how to capture each Bugsnax is a lot of fun, and you can combine your equipment in a manner of ways, like launching your trap towards Bugsnax. 

    A lot of the game is focused on the small village of Snaxburg, where you’ll find the muppet-like Grumpuses that reside in this world. They all have fun designs and personalities, along with their own troubles to help them with. A lot of this involves feeding them live Bugsnax, which transforms their body. Some of their issues are surprisingly deep, too. It may look like a kid’s game, but what Bugsnax does is quite surprising. 

    Bugsnax is incredibly entertaining. If it were a Pokémon game, it would easily be my favourite Pokémon game.
     

    Life is Strange: True Colo(u)rs

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    A visual novel game about a girl called Alex, who finally reconnects with her brother in a small mining town after going through a dreadful foster care system. She can delve into people’s minds and understand their emotions, so tries to help those around her.

    A lot of the game is story-related, so I’ll keep it short, but overall I enjoyed the story, even if the main mystery is fairly simple. I enjoyed the slow paced nature of the game and just wandering around the town, although I wish there were a few more locations you could enter. 
     

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  2. I enjoyed Picard season 2 for the most part, but some of the plot elements seemed to go nowhere and the pacing was annoying as the end of some episodes felt like they were in an odd place.

    Strange New Worlds episode 1 was a very strong start. 

    • Like 1

  3. Horizon: Forbidden West

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    While I loved Horizon: Zero Dawn, I was dubious about the sequel. A big part of the first game was discovering what went wrong with the old world, why society collapsed and how things exist as they do, with robot dinosaurs roaming around. It was amazing watching them treat such a silly-sounding topic seriously, but also create a compelling reason for it all as you get more and more invested in the story. But where does the story go once the biggest mystery is out of the way?

    Thankfully, Forbidden West manages to make you much more invested with the game’s current events and challenges, while still having more to reveal about the past. In Forbidden West, Aloy is attempting to fix the world by finding lost parts of an AI system, and is joined by new and old companions, giving other characters a much bigger role. I really enjoyed Aloy’s interactions with everyone, as well as the new groups of people you encounter throughout the game. 

    The side quests also feel much more meaningful, the world feels much more alive and you can see Aloy’s impact on it much more, making the open world feel much more alive. Traversing also feels much less restrictive, as there was only one “correct” climbing route in the first game, while you have less restrictions and more tools. Some things return form the first, such as Cauldrons and Tallnecks, but the developers have found a way to make each one feel unique and a wonder to explore. 

    Combat remains a lot of fun, too, although I found that overriding machines was less effective than the first (which does stop it from being overpowered) and there are a lot of “Apex” machines that can’t be overridden. This encourages you to use the other weapons more, although hitting off parts of machines with a bow and arrow is still the most satisfying way to me. Melee combat has been overhauled significantly with combos you can unlock, too.

    The game looks absolutely amazing, too. And I played this on a base PS4. Guerrilla have done a phenomenal job getting this running smoothly on such old hardware, especially looking as wonderful as it does. There are some issues - fast travel loading screens are much longer, plus you will occasionally hit a short loading screen as the game world catches up to you, but they’re worth it just for how great the game looks, and how life-like things like plants and trees are, both in looks and movement. 

    Horizon: Forbidden West is an absolutely phenomenal game, and has become one of my favourites.
     

     

    Lost in Random

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    A very whimsical game set in a world where dice have immense power, and imbue cards with power to help people fight. Except that dice are now banned and only the evil queen has one, and uses it to divide people into six cities. You play as Even, whose sister Odd gets chosen to be in the Queen’s region, setting off on a journey to help save her, encountering a dice companion along the way.

    While the synopsis is a lot like a typical young adult novel, the uniqueness of the dice aspect and how each regions are divided into numbers and have traits based on it, mixed with the style reminiscent of Henry Selick films, makes the story a wonderful one, with a creative array of characters and strange situations.

    The combat is a lot of fun, too. At the start of each combat, you are only equipped with a harmless slingshot. This is used to knock crystals off enemies to power up your Dice, drawing cards for you to use. Once you’ve drawn the cards you need (or reach your max), you can roll Dicey and spend the pips to buy cards. These can be weapons, traps, new abilities, health and other modifiers. Outside of combat, you can adjust your deck and buy new cards. It’s a really nice system, although I do wish that there was more variety. 

    My main criticism is that walking to and fro each section can be a bit dull in terms of the gameplay, especially when you’re looking for something. I do think that there could have been some platforming/puzzling alongside the story sections. Lost in Random is still a really fun game, though.

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  4. I'm a big Star Wars fan, but Yoda and Vader in Soul Calibur 4 just seemed incredibly dumb and out of place. 

    And the part that makes Soul Calibur 4 perfect for this thread: they weren't even available on the same platforms, so they couldn't even fight each other.

    The exclusive characters make sense when they're tied to the platform owners, but this was purely done for marketing.

     

    (I believe they later sold the other character as DLC for a temporary period).


  5. 18 hours ago, Hero-of-Time said:

    The first two games were something special, with the Rogue Leader still holding up to this day. 

    I thought that Rebel Strike was still mostly a great game, just spoiled a bit by terrible controls for the on foot sections.

    Something which was significantly changed for the unreleased Wii version, which has more traditional 3D shooter controls instead of the strange Robotron controls.


  6. The Medium was one of the dullest things I ever played. The twin world split screen thing was a nice idea, but even Metroid Prime 2 had more elaborate dual world puzzles than The Medium.

    Most of the problems in the game are purely because the main character is an idiot.

    It's a shame they patented the dual screen aspect, it would have been a cool idea for a puzzle game.

    • Like 1

  7. https://www-famitsu-com.translate.goog/news/202204/20258988.html?_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en-US&_x_tr_pto=wapp

     

    There's a "Story Mode" which combines all four games, along with the animations.

    It clarifies that the bonus music is simply more music for the sound test. It contains 73 tracks from Sonic Spinball, Knuckles Chatoitx and Sonic 3D Blast.

    The "letterbox" thing is multiple different backgrounds. 10 from the deluxe, one from the pre-order (A Mega Drive theme)

    Mirror mode can be unlocked if you don't pre-order.

     

    Developer is Headcanon, who worked on the mobile ports of 1 & 2 plus Sonic Mania.

     

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  8. It's a shame, because the UI there looks really nice and well done. I honestly would have been fine if they just charged the £37 (even if it is a bit steep) that the more expensive version costs and didn't bother with all the confusing nonsense. It's not even extremely clear if some features are unlockable in the base version (I think the Mirror Mode is) and which is locked behind the deluxe version/DLC.

    All this mess for £3.99. 


  9.  

    Finally has a release date. Also includes some animated shorts.

    They seem to have replaced the lives system with "coins", with classic versions still having lives. 

    Edit: More detials: https://origins.sonicthehedgehog.com/

    Looks like features are stupidly split across different versions/additional packs. Xbox pricing is live:

    Standard: £32.99

    Deluxe: £36.98

     

    Deluxe has extra animations on the menu and extra remastered music.

     

    Some other features (part of the regular game)

    - Mission Mode (objectives to complete on levels). Extra hard missions in deluxe version

    - Boss Rush mode

    Coins are in-game currency, looks like Mirror Mode can be unlocked using them (but automatically unlocked with a pre-order), no idea what else its used for. 

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  10. Looking forward to it. After an amazing season of Discovery (probably high up on the list of best seasons of Trek) and Picard being brilliant so far, I have high hopes for Strange New Worlds and Lower Decks S3 (Plus the rest of Prodigy S1, wish had been much better then expected and if it continues, might actually be the best first season of a Trek show).


  11. Virtue's Last Reward

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    The second Zero escape games. I enjoyed the structure of this much more than the first, and jumping around the different timelines felt like you were more in control of it. One flaw is that you do encounter the same conversations a lot of times, so there’s a lot of repetition (you can skip, but it skips so fast that you can miss new stuff). The puzzles were mostly great, but unfortunately there were a fair few colour-based ones that I couldn’t see, so I had to look the answer up.

     

    Weird West

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    This game has a lot of ambition, a lot of great ideas. It’s set in the wild west, but with supernatural creatures running amok. It promises the “immersive sim” experience where you can approach situations in any way you desire and the game won’t stop you, this includes killing vital NPCs. The story is spread across five characters with a decent amount of side quests, with abilities to unlock and weapons and equipment you can upgrade. Weird West has a lot of potential.

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t manage to live up to its potential. It seems the simple solution to being able to kill any NPC is that looting them will get you what you want. Some moments will also lock you into conversations before you can fight, which prevents you from doing it in your own way if you just want to shoot someone. Dialogue options are very limited, especially considering that there’s no voice acting (other than a narrator). 

    The main “do it your own way” seems to be more with how you deal with each area - each one being a small self-contained square You can be stealthy, go in all guns blazing or a bit of both. The stealth mechanics feel fairly awkward, and the game encourages you to use quicksave to help get your dresigned outcome - although one big issue is that enemy locations are sometimes not saved, so you can reload and have no option but to fight everyone.The combat itself is like a twin stick shooter, but with the rate the guns fire and the controls, it’s very difficult to be accurate. A lock on system instead would have been much better. Instead, I focused on melee because using guns was so unintuitive. 

    The biggest issues with Weird West, however, are the bugs. Your companions - which can either be random goons or previous characters you’ve played - will often just stop moving, sometimes they can just vanish from the game completely. Things will count as crimes for no reason. I had one side mission where you have to let someone out of jail. I paid their fine, and when the sheriff opened the cell, the whole town opened fire on me. When I reloaded, I couldn’t even talk to the sheriff anymore. I’ve encountered other quests with no way to progress and some I couldn’t even trigger. In one of the chapters, people talk about a character going missing, but there’s no way to investigate. At the end of the chapter, it berates you for not investigating it. 

    The fourth chapter feels the most broken. There’s two routes through it, and the one I took ended up feeling like I wasn’t supposed to do it (even though that, logically, it seems the “correct” method). The game also bigs up the connection between all five characters and the end is just…underwhelming. One of the characters even comments on this - lampshading that the game’s big mystery just fizzles out does not make it any better.

    It’s a shame, because Weird West really did have a lot of ambition, but it really feels like it needed another few years of development. 
     

    A Memoir Blue

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    This is sort of a short film (it’s less than an hour long) with some slight interactivity. The “game” part is really not much more than clicking/moving things to continue. The visuals are rather lovely, with some unique sights and a hybrid of 3D and 2D animation. The story is about a swimmer remembering how her mother was never there for her. There’s no voice or dialogue, it’s all delivered by animation. The ending is just…odd. The game acts like there’s some big emotional moment but doesn’t get the point of why across. 
     

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  12. Earthworm Jim is pretty shocking, considering the controversy around it and it's creators, and how much the company that owns it disses the Switch (they said, they're on the verge of bankruptcy). Makes JK Rowling look like a saint by comparison.

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  13. 20 week scan was today. Found out that we are having a boy.

    Also found out that his heart is abnormal, will need further checking but most likely he'll need surgery within the first week of birth. It's good that it's a treatable issue and that finding it now can help prepare for it, but still horrible to hear.


  14. 7 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

    I need to see a list of the retro games on offer before I commit. Would love to see trophy support on them as well.

    It's probably mostly the same games that were part of PS Now. The number of games quoted for each ("over 700" vs "740") is fairly close, so it will likely be PS Now games with a few extras.


  15.  Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
     

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    Originally a DS game, the Xbox version does have some significant improvements, but the actual interface is not one of them. If you’ve never played the game before, you would probably be able to guess that it came from a DS, and navigating the menus and puzzles can be cumbersome.

    That said, the main focus is the story, one that is surprisingly very engaging. 999 is very much “anime saw”: a bunch of people (nine) are trapped together and must pass through doors (numbered 1-9) in order to escape in a limited time (nine hours). Everyone is connected to the events in some way, and you have to figure it out by making different choices.

    Between story segments are “escape room” moments, where you explore rooms and solve puzzles. Navigating rooms by changing the camera angle can be quite disorientating, but I found that the puzzles followed a solid logic. A big part of the game involves the digital root: For the numbers 3, 4 and 5 you would add them together (3, 4, 5 = 12) and continue adding until you get to a single digit (1+2=3). There’s a handy calculator with this function, although annoyingly you can’t access the calculator (or any notes the game has saved for you) while interacting with any puzzles.

    The story has twists and turns, lots of conspiracy theories and a ton of theoretical science - some of it true, some of it not. The game has multiple endings, but you can access a flowchart to jump straight to divergent points to explore other paths.

    I did find that some portions of dialogue were pointless, with characters going through what they’ve just done, with flashbacks to remind you, and when the story has a time limit it makes no sense for people to discuss so slowly (playing the game has no time limit), but for the most part it was very engaging and really picks up near the end.
     

    LEGO: Builder's Journey

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    An incredibly cute, albeit short and sweet game. It reminds me a lot of the mobile game Monument Valley in that it’s a visually interesting interactive journey. Like Monument Valley, there aren't really any taxing puzzles, but how you interact with the world is still engaging. 

    The visuals are also quite astonishing, the LEGO elements look photorealistic, with imperfections helping to sell the look: lego bits shine slightly differently due to marks, and some pieces aren’t placed perfectly straight. It’s how you expect LEGO to look after it has been played with. 

    It’s a very short story, but has some surprisingly emotional moments and the puzzles do vary up a bit throughout the game.
     

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