londragon

N-E Cafe Podcast

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Posted (edited)

I think I'll have several things to say later tonight, but for now...

A thousand times yes on that Mark of the Ninja recommendation. Haven't played the remastered version (played the original release and got the DLC back then), but assuming it's the exact same as the original, it's one of the games of the decade for me. Astonishingly good.

Edited by Jonnas
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I'm currently listening to the latest episode, great so far but I've got to say that I'm sure I know what this weeks transition tunes are from...

Spoiler

Ristar :D

I heard the first track, noticed that it sounded like it was composed on a Yamaha YM2612, the sound chip which was inside the Sega Mega Drive.

Hearing the second track, I thought that it sounded familiar, not quite as recognisable as some games but certainly something I'd heard.

Third track, I know this game! I've played this game... it's a platformer, by Sonic Team but that means, oh right, Sega Mega Drive Collection on the Switch; it's Ristar!

Well played Nick, well played indeed and good on you for recognising such a fantastic and underrated platformer from the Nineties. :peace:

 

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Oh right, I forgot to make a TT guess! I knew the console, but needed some time to jostle the mind.

On a general note, I enjoyed listening to all the recommendations and impressions from you. Amusingly, my main purchase this sales season has also been the Mega Drive Collection on Steam (I noticed that the combined price of the games I had wishlisted was more than the discounted bundle). I will have a LOT to play at some point.

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Yep, just finished listening to this weeks episode, absolutely fantastic, really enjoyed it, only one thing could have made it even better...

...Ray-Tracing! :laughing:

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Listened for the first time while jogging and really enjoyed it, will add this to my rotation of things to listen to. 

My only suggestion/request would be to mention game names again when you finish talking about them. Maybe it's because I'm running but I quite often found I'd be interested in what you guys were talking about but had missed/forgotten the name of the game and they never got mentioned again and just referred to as "it" in the conversation. I don't think it took anything away from the quality of the show, but it would be a nice thing to have.

Really impressed with the work on this, you guys have done a great job.

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7 hours ago, S.C.G said:

Yep, just finished listening to this weeks episode, absolutely fantastic, really enjoyed it, only one thing could have made it even better...

...Ray-Tracing! :laughing:

Everybody needs Ray-Tracing in their life.

29 minutes ago, will' said:

Listened for the first time while jogging and really enjoyed it, will add this to my rotation of things to listen to. 

My only suggestion/request would be to mention game names again when you finish talking about them. Maybe it's because I'm running but I quite often found I'd be interested in what you guys were talking about but had missed/forgotten the name of the game and they never got mentioned again and just referred to as "it" in the conversation. I don't think it took anything away from the quality of the show, but it would be a nice thing to have.

Really impressed with the work on this, you guys have done a great job.

Thanks.  I hope the enjoyment we get from talking about our gaming love comes through.  I will try my best to mention the game name at the end.  I listen to the Kermode and Mayo Film Review Podcast and I have the same problem with their films.  I'm sure there will be loads of instances where we don't remention a game's name again, and there's always the show notes that can be referred to.  Not so handy when you're jogging I know.

Thanks again.  We'll keep them coming.

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Posted (edited)

With all this talk of digital deals I have a question for everyone - what is your current backlog and how are you going about trying to cut it down? I generally split my gaming time between 2 platforms - Switch and Xbox, and do find I have long periods where I'm pretty much focussed on one of these exclusively leading to the other platform building even more of a collection of unfinished games. Also I find I'm adding more things that I want to play much quicker than I can play the existing stuff thanks to watching gaming media in general, and this is not including that urge you sometimes get to replay something you already finished.

My current backlog still includes many games from past consoles that in my head I'm still going to play at some point but I just don't know when - and I think maybe I need to try and cut down on the youtube viewing - not only to focus on actually playing games more than watching people talk about them, but also to stop filling my head with ideas that this is another game I "must play" when something comes up that looks even the slightest bit interesting. I am also already trying to not buy any games unless I know I will play them immediately (not 100% successful but have done better with this so far than the past few years) and I have tried the approach of making a list to try and create a play order to try and cut these back, but I find I don't always get into a game if I start it because I scheduled a time specifically for it instead of just seeing it on the shelf/menu and wanting to play it.

EDIT: Forgot to mention, no idea on the transition tune this week.

Edited by Ealdst
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4 hours ago, Ealdst said:

With all this talk of digital deals I have a question for everyone - what is your current backlog and how are you going about trying to cut it down? I generally split my gaming time between 2 platforms - Switch and Xbox, and do find I have long periods where I'm pretty much focussed on one of these exclusively leading to the other platform building even more of a collection of unfinished games. Also I find I'm adding more things that I want to play much quicker than I can play the existing stuff thanks to watching gaming media in general, and this is not including that urge you sometimes get to replay something you already finished.

That's a great one for a Listener Question that'd we'd be more than happy to tackle on the podcast.  Thanks.

And, there's no way I would have guessed the Transition Tunes this week.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/11/2020 at 10:32 AM, londragon said:

Thanks.  I hope the enjoyment we get from talking about our gaming love comes through.  I will try my best to mention the game name at the end.  I listen to the Kermode and Mayo Film Review Podcast and I have the same problem with their films.  I'm sure there will be loads of instances where we don't remention a game's name again, and there's always the show notes that can be referred to.  Not so handy when you're jogging I know.

Definitely came through, certainly tempted me into wanting to buy a lot of the games you were talking about! Appreciate the effort on the game names, but don’t worry about it too much. Looking forward to the next episode.

Edited by will'
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N-E Café [031] How Do You Make It Smaller? has readied itself for action a day earlier than usual.  Nice work @Nicktendo

Episode 31 of the N-E Café sees hosts Lee Davies, Nick Lone and Gregory Moffett ponder the recent game drops from the E3 replacement digital events; games they’ve been playing, featuring Batman: The Enemy Within, Serial Cleaner, Resident Evil Zero, Spyro Reignited, Mark of the Ninja, Murder by Numbers, and Civilization VI; and the Topic of the Week, the GameBoy Micro Jr. Quiz.

This is episode 31 of the N-E Café Podcast, an N-Europe Podcast. Enjoy!

⦁ Intro Music: Super Mario Advance - Overworld

⦁ Introductions: 0:00:26

⦁ Nintendo News: 0:03:14

⦁ Best of the Forums: 0:30:35

⦁ Playstation 5 Presentation: 0:31:46

⦁ Download Delights: 0:44:16

⦁ Spyro Reignited Trilogy, Resident Evil Zero: 0:48:02

⦁ Serial Cleaner: 0:51:04

⦁ Batman: The Enemy Within: 0:56:07

⦁ Mark of the Ninja, Murder by Numbers, Civilization VI: 1:00:29

⦁ Game Boy Micro Jr.: 1:05:28

⦁ Closing: 1:40:12

⦁ Podcast Extras: 1:42:18

Can you guess what the Transition Tune is?  If it rings a bell, get in touch with us, or if you have a Listener's Question you’d like to discuss drop us a line right here in this very forum.  Thanks!

 

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Huh, early surprise. I'm about 65 mins in, and...

-DotEmu did not make the Wonder Boy remakes. That was a French developer called Lizardcube (sic);

-The classic Astérix artist is called Albert Uderzo. Didn't know he ever worked on a videogame, that's neat (does this also make him a French developer?).

Spoiler

Super Mario Land 2!

(Definitely not from a French developer)

 

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30 minutes ago, Jonnas said:

Huh, early surprise. I'm about 65 mins in, and...

-DotEmu did not make the Wonder Boy remakes. That was a French developer called Lizardcube (sic);

-The classic Astérix artist is called Albert Uderzo. Didn't know he ever worked on a videogame, that's neat (does this also make him a French developer?).

  I definitely know the transition tune... (Reveal hidden contents)

Super Mario Land 2!

(Definitely not from a French developer)

 

Ahh yeah, I was thinking of the publisher, not the devs. Graphical style is very similar though.

Transition tune was easy again this week, but good job :yay:

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Finished listening to it. As a fan of handhelds, I very much appreciated the entire Game Boy segment. Just a nice moment to gush about the good games from that side of gaming, both the well known ones and the hidden gems (nice shout-outs to Konami Krazy Racers, Kuru Kuru Kururin, and Pokémon TCG). Especially all the love for Donkey Kong '94. And even the ones I don't like such as Gargoyle's Quest, pleasedontkillme

I think Nick's list was the one most like mine. Lad has some good taste (we even had the same game for the 14 points spot). But the game that would've gotten my personal 15 points wasn't mentioned at all...

Spoiler

Fire Emblem: Blazing Blade, for the GBA (the one with Lyn, Eliwood, and Hector)

 

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Really good main topic of discussion this week, I thought that potential list of GB/GBC/GBA games for a mini system was excellent, with a decent amount of variety in there.

Though, if such a device was to happen, then Nintendo would have to put one game on there, which would be their equivalent to StarFox 2 on the SNES mini...

 

 

 

 

...I am of course, talking about Mole Mania. (It's time...) ;)

Or, I don't know... something like Mother 3 might do if they're stuck for games to choose. ::shrug:

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Just finished this and it was another good listen, though maybe a little long for me.

Really enjoyed the game boy segment, though I hope Nintendo don’t use that method to choose the games should they decide to go ahead with one. I can’t believe F1 Race was removed though, I loved that game and the four player was mind-blowing at the time!

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8 minutes ago, will' said:

Just finished this and it was another good listen, though maybe a little long for me.

Really enjoyed the game boy segment, though I hope Nintendo don’t use that method to choose the games should they decide to go ahead with one. I can’t believe F1 Race was removed though, I loved that game and the four player was mind-blowing at the time!

Nick and Greg showing their ignorance of great games, :heh:

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11 minutes ago, londragon said:

Nick and Greg showing their ignorance of great games, :heh:

Must be tough having to work with such people. Keep up the fight for quality content!

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15 minutes ago, will' said:

Must be tough having to work with such people. Keep up the fight for quality content!

It wouldn't have been the game I would have removed :grin:

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I have @Jonnas’s approval for my list so I make no apologies. Take off the nostalgia glasses 😂

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15 hours ago, will' said:

Just finished this and it was another good listen, though maybe a little long for me.

Really enjoyed the game boy segment, though I hope Nintendo don’t use that method to choose the games should they decide to go ahead with one. I can’t believe F1 Race was removed though, I loved that game and the four player was mind-blowing at the time!

I’ve seen the list of games on the various Mega Drive mini-esque consoles & it wouldn’t surprise me if this was the method they used!

The GameBoy segment was a really enjoyable listen, and the game element was a neat touch over just simply discussing great handheld games.  I personally didn’t disagree with many of the games and forgot that there were so many worthy contenders.  Great to see some love for some of the games I didn’t know if they’d be included (Pokemon TCG for instance).  Here’s the obligatory ‘what about this game’ opinion... shame there was no love for Stranded Kids, one of my favourites, and one I managed to get a mini-review into N64 / NGamer magazine with 😃.  

Good choices from everyone & another enjoyable listen, thanks.

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12 hours ago, Nicktendo said:

I have @Jonnas’s approval for my list so I make no apologies. Take off the nostalgia glasses 😂

By the way, considering how highly you praised DK '94, I do recommend Mole Mania, a GB game that shares the same director, and is available on the 3DS VC (appears often as a MyNintendo discount, too).

I know S.C.G. mentioned that game as part of a joke, but I assure you, it's excellent.

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Jonnas said:

By the way, considering how highly you praised DK '94, I do recommend Mole Mania, a GB game that shares the same director, and is available on the 3DS VC (appears often as a MyNintendo discount, too).

I know S.C.G. mentioned that game as part of a joke, but I assure you, it's excellent.

I may have mentioned Mole Mania to subvert expectations but, if there ever was to be a Game Boy mini, then I would certainly want that game included as well. :D

I'm definitely a fan of the game... :peace:

Spoiler

 

VCW molemania

Price: GB £2.69, EU €2.99
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Pax Softonica
Released: 1996
System: GameBoy

Puzzle games have never really been big on their story as that's not what you play them for, indeed it's all about challenging yourself and pitting your wits against cleverly designed scenarios so it should come as no surprise to learn that quite simply Muddy Mole has had his family kidnapped by nasty old farmer Jinbe. Naturally you're not going to stand for this instead choosing to go 'underground' quite literally as you plan your rescue mission that'll take you across many a field spread across eight large levels which will test you to the limit; so the question is... can you dig it?

Interestingly instead of taking out your enemies you'll find yourself outsmarting them which is a good thing considering there are quite a few throughout each level in additon to items to pick up plus many barriers in your way just to keep you thinking. Unlike other puzzle-based titles trial and error is not a viable option here as you'll actually need to put a great deal of thought into progressing to the next screen which will become a source of either fun or frustration depending on your natural persuasion; Muddy doesn't do a lot except dig underground and push/pull objects when above ground so while your options are rather limited it brings a rather resourceful approach to things which is a rarity in games these days.

Fun is sometimes followed by a few moments of frustration caused by the simple control scheme however as while undergound if you press the 'B' button Muddy will simply take a peek at the ground above but it's easy to forget instead just pressing 'A' which of course causes him to tunnel through completely leaving a hole that could block your progress if made in the wrong place, this can thankfully be avoided thanks to the save suspend feature but it's worth mentioning. While there are also slight issues with the controls if you're not used to them there is still a lot to love about the game as it clearly has a lot of charm that is present throughout but then when you consider that the game was designed by Shigeru Miyamoto this should come as no real surprise.

MoleManiaImage


Clearly there's a lot to love about the visuals as the plainly presented black and white visuals actually have a fair bit of detail to them, yes it's all mostly 'recycled' as you can see that many objects are simply the same having been copy-pasted throughout the levels but given that this is a puzzle game it works well with some decent sprite animation to boot. Audio however is in a league of its own featuring what is easily one of the greatest soundtracks I've ever had the pleasure of hearing on a portable game to date; genuinely a pleasant surprise.

With plenty of room for replayability via collectables, lovable characters and an addictive concept that just keeps giving; there is every reason to pick up Mole Mania if you are a fan of the genre simply because it has so much to offer. Naturally if this isn't your kind of game then this won't convert you but for those who enjoy quirky experiences then you need not look any further as while this may seem like a simple title on the surface it's not until you dig deeper that this true treasure starts to shine.   

Verdict : A genuine gem that many will be glad to see finally unearthed.

 

The review is from way before we had any official proofreading, so there are probably mistakes in there, hopefully made up for by including plenty of passion for the game. :smile:

Edited by S.C.G
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Posted (edited)
Just now, S.C.G said:

The review is from way before we had any official proofreading

So...few...commas :woops: Also, it's spelled Pax Softnica

Edited by Jonnas
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20 minutes ago, Jonnas said:

So...few...commas :woops: Also, it's spelled Pax Softnica

Going back and editing/improving some of my old articles is on the list of things to do, it might take some time though. :p

I might have to edit that one though, as that is quite a mistake on the name of the developer... I don't know why I thought there was an extra "o" in the name.

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